December 2, 2017

Voyager 1 fires TCM thrusters for the first time in 37 years

"Since 2014... the thrusters Voyager 1 has been using to orient the spacecraft... have been degrading". These attitude control thrusters perform small but critical adjustments that keep the spacecraft's communication antenna oriented with the Earth. A group of JPL propulsion experts assembled by the Voyager team proposed an "unusual solution" - to test the trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters Voyager used during planetary and moon encounters as it passed through the solar system. But the last time these thrusters had been used was during the Saturn flyby - in November 1980. [more inside]
posted by nanojath at 10:47 PM PST - 47 comments


"Let dogs be dogs and do zoomies to their heart's content."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:46 PM PST - 49 comments

North Pole Toy Factory outsources catalog mail services to Anchorage

Letters from [and to] Santa must be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than December 15. Santa’s helpers in Anchorage, AK, will take care of the rest!
posted by not_on_display at 8:08 PM PST - 9 comments

Milk and sugar, you infernal harpy?

It's tea time! "Please, go die." "No one likes you." "Kindly fuck off." "Stop talking." "We hate your baby." "I could poison you." "You are tedious." "I hope you choke." Oh, and let's not forget "Wretched", "Tedious" and "Loathsome".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:56 PM PST - 17 comments

In difficult times, lift up your voice and sing.

Earlier this year, Toronto's drop in singing event Choir!Choir!Choir! invited LA-based singer MILCK to sing her women's protest anthem "Quiet" with a crowd of 1300 choir members; all proceeds went to the American Civil Liberties Association. Established by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman in 2011, Choir!Choir!Choir! meets twice weekly at Clinton's Tavern to build community and give people a place to sing without judgment, with a side of social activism. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:29 PM PST - 11 comments

“There are geometrical shapes that make us feel happy,”

Engare, a videogame about the mathematical beauty of Islamic art [Kill Screen] “Engare started out life as a question posed by Bahrami’s high school geometry teacher. This teacher asked the class what shape would be traced by a point attached to a ball if the ball was rolled across a surface (it’d probably be a series of loops). Years later, this same question essentially serves as the concept for Engare, except it asks you to experiment with more than just a ball, becoming more complex as you progress. Each level gives you an incomplete pattern and you have to figure out how to, well, complete it. To do this, you attach a point to one of the objects in the level and then, when you press play, hope that the point’s movement upon that object draws the shape you’re after. If it doesn’t, you rewind, move the point somewhere else, and so on—.” [Gameplay Trailer][YouTube] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:33 PM PST - 19 comments

Bill and Ted's Excellent Online Adventure, circa 2002 into the future

You might think it's most heinous that we have yet again failed to celebrate Bill and Ted day on June 9th (6/9), but there's always the excellent Bill and Ted (dot org) to help you celebrate those two excellent dudes year 'round. Beyond the two movies, the well-documented Excellent Adventure (1989, sci-fi buddy comedy) and lesser detailed Bogus Journey (1991, another cult hit), as well as the two seasons of the cartoon series (1990-1991, with and without Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, and Bernie Casey reprising their film roles), the live-action series (1992, with 7 episodes aired), various comics, a musical theater adaptation of Excellent Adventure, a fan art gallery, a fan fiction library, and more. Whoa! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:01 PM PST - 19 comments

ctrl-c, ctrl-v

Emma Cline sued and countersuing over spyware and plagiarism claims surrounding her best-selling novel, The Girls. [more inside]
posted by jeather at 3:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Sex isn't chromosomes

Sex Itself is a comprehensive demolition of the very term “sex chromosomes” – a taxonomy from nearly a century ago, stumbling along half-alive in the public’s imagination but long overdue a visit to the glue factory
posted by latkes at 1:50 PM PST - 57 comments

A . for CompuServe

CompuServe's forums -- which still exist -- will be shutting down [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 12:30 PM PST - 45 comments

Stop trying to make fetch happen

Ten Long Years of Trying to Make Armie Hammer Happen, Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM PST - 123 comments

Nearly 20% of NYC's sexual misconduct reports happened on MTA alone

We Need to Talk About the MTA’s Sexual Assault Problem. Every time women take public transit, they risk sexual assault. Can't take the train. Can't ride the bus. Can't use ride-sharing apps. Unsurprisingly, this has a negative effect on women's mobility. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 11:53 AM PST - 29 comments

How gun violence affects kids across America

John Woodrow Cox has spent the year reporting for the Washington Post on children affected by gun violence. "Did your father die?" For a 2nd grader, gunfire, lockdowns, then the worst violence of all. Almost two dozen kids are shot every day in the US. This 4-year-old was one of them. Twelve seconds of gunfire: school playground shooting still haunts the first graders who survived. He'd been shot at 15. Now, amid Chicago's relentless gunfire, he had one goal: stay alive. The Las Vegas shooting: six teens and the wounds they carry.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:46 AM PST - 7 comments

although my voice was very unlike the soft music of their tones

Coditany of Timeness Two technologists trained a neural network to produce a black metal album.

They started with a pre-existing recording, cut it into tiny tracks, then taught the software to arrange the clips into convincing music. Here's their paper. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 10:45 AM PST - 10 comments

In 1973, the Goat faced an uncertain destiny.

Dear friends, family, and farm animals: the Gävle Goat has been erected for 2017. Since the 1960's the Swedish town of Gävle has erected a giant (13 meters tall and 7 meters long) Yule Goat constructed of straw over a Swedish pine frame. Nearly every year, the goat has been destroyed, usually via arson. Will 2017 be one of the vanishingly rare years that the Gävle Goat survives the holiday season? Keep up with the Gävlebocken Twitter to find out.
posted by angeline at 10:29 AM PST - 74 comments

“We are in a golden age in HIV vaccine science.”

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the NIH announced two new large clinical trials. HPTN 084 will test the efficacy of a long-acting injectable drug in volunteers in southern and eastern Africa. Imbokodo will recruit women in southern Africa to test the efficacy of a mosaic vaccine designed to induce immune responses against a variety of strains of HIV. Also see the South African Medical Research Council announcement. [more inside]
posted by esoterrica at 10:28 AM PST - 5 comments

"I'm mostly a puddle."

Raising a Teenage Daughter, by Elizabeth Weil. With comments and corrections by Hannah W. Duane.
posted by zarq at 10:12 AM PST - 24 comments

also known as the death metal album cover fox

The gray fox of the American Southwest is 2.5-3.5 ft long, weighs about 7-15 lbs, and by the way, it drags skeletons up into the trees. [modestly graphic photo]
posted by moonmilk at 10:09 AM PST - 12 comments

Michael W. Smith - Christmas

In 1989, CCM artist Michael W. Smith was at the peak of his career, achieving minor mainstream success while being one of the biggest Contemporary Christian artists of the time. He released an excellent, orchestra+choir, Steamroller-influenced, rather introspective-feeling album of original holiday music titled simply Christmas. The opening track is Overture/O Come All Ye Faithful. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments

These, then, are the stakes.

When it comes to the border on the island of Ireland, the coming days will stretch the politics of Brexit to the limit. RTE's Tony Connelly continues his deeply informed coverage with an outline of the main issues that need to be addressed in the coming days for an agreement on the Irish border to be reached and for Brexit talks to move to Phase II. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:40 AM PST - 82 comments

"I'm not a curmudgeon, I'm just a scientist's daughter."

Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin (via)
posted by kliuless at 3:34 AM PST - 16 comments


'Nada' was the comic book adaptation of Ray Nelson’s short story 'Eight O’Clock in the Morning'. You might know the story better from the film version.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Pup pet

Amazing dancing wolf (single link Twitter video)
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:15 AM PST - 22 comments

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