March 20, 2018

A green and gold paradise

A Time of Plenty: Celebrating Nowruz in America Nowruz is the Iranian/Persian New Year, occurring at the time of the spring equinox (this year, it was today, March 20th). A short essay about want and abundance amongst exiles. [more inside]
posted by praemunire at 9:39 PM PST - 12 comments

what do you do with a young jihadi?

Why would an American teenager ever leave the comforts of suburbia to fly to Syria and joın ISIS? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:31 PM PST - 25 comments

This Is A Boring Shark Attack

I started telling stories onstage at The Moth’s story slam in New York City ten years ago this month. I’ve had some successes along the way but like all successes, they’re buttressed by constant, massive failures.[...] The following rules are things I’ve picked up along the way that help me shape and streamline a story for an audience that is hungry for human connection and a bunch of good laughs.

8 Rules for Fascinating Storytelling: a useful and accessible list of lessons learned from 10 years of onstage storytelling, from MeFi's own chinese_fashion. [via mefi projects]
posted by Anonymous at 7:57 PM PST - 47 comments

Methoxyflurane, the Sweet Hypnotist and Government-Issue Potato Sacks

Ethan Persoff (creator of comic book scan collection Comics with Problems, the full archive of scans of underground newspaper The Realist and award-winning 2001 webcomic Teddy) is currently working on a synth music/comics project, THE BUREAU. Consisting of a series of comic panels, each accompanied by a music track, The Bureau depicts (in real-time) an ordinary humdrum day in the life of an office worker. Except the day turns out to not be quite so ordinary. Also, something is very wrong with the world, but that goes without saying. New update every weekday. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 6:41 PM PST - 5 comments

The false nostalgia of music played in an empty mall, or in a rainy car

Jia Tolentino writes for The New Yorker of The Overwhelming Emotion of Hearing Toto’s “Africa” Remixed to Sound Like It’s Playing in an Empty Mall, which is something you can experience on YouTube thanks to Cecil Robert, but he's not the first. Before him, and more prolific, there's allyson m. who also makes songs sound like you're listening from a bathroom (at a party*) or driving in a car in the rain. There's the false nostalgia for hearing songs in familiar, lonely settings. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:09 PM PST - 114 comments

Age of Emancipation

One of France’s most influential contemporary thinkers, Marcel Gauchet manages to craft a compelling historical account of half a millennium, exploring how we arrived at today’s crisis—and how we might get out - Michael C. Berent reviews Marcel Gauchet's four-volume Advent of Democracy (L'Avènement de la démocratie) (2007-2017) series in Dissent Magazine. And here's a recent interview with Gauchet: "There has been an absolute victory of the democratic principle."
posted by sapagan at 1:45 PM PST - 5 comments

Almost makes me want to learn cello...

A great cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android", played on one cello
posted by cozenedindigo at 1:03 PM PST - 16 comments

Ramblings '43

The Student Yearbooks of a Japanese-American Detention Camp: Topaz operated like any other 1940s U.S. high school, except its teenagers were prisoners of the federal government (single link Atlas Obscura link) [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars at 12:56 PM PST - 10 comments

“The child is in me still and sometimes not so still”

On what would have been his 90th birthday, Focus Features has dropped the first official trailer for a new documentary about Fred Rogers’ life and legacy: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:44 AM PST - 89 comments

There were no Paleolithic burgers, or pepperoni.

Food journalist Mark Bittman and Dr. David L. Katz, founder of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, sit down with Grub Street for a lengthy, exhaustive, no-"wellness"-nonsense interview about diet and nutrition.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 11:10 AM PST - 84 comments

David Avocado Wolfe Is The Biggest Asshole In The Multiverse

With more than 11 million followers on Facebook, David “Avocado” Wolfe, the Sideshow Bob-haired, blender-hawking alternative-health guru, calls himself the “Rock Star and Indiana Jones of the superfood universe.” And he's humble. You’ve undoubtedly seen one of his bullshit-filled posts or inspirational memes shared into your feed, but who — or more accurately, what — is David Avocado Wolfe? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:49 AM PST - 85 comments

A positive story about a subreddit?

“It’s a surprisingly functional and actually really nice community,” says Walker of of more than a dozen mods on the Male Fashion Advice (MFA) subreddit Basically, there's a bunch of men on reddit looking for fashion advice, and they've created a remarkably open, inviting, and downright thoughtful community around it.
posted by foxywombat at 9:40 AM PST - 52 comments

What Is Democratic Socialism Anyway?

“This is also why authoritarian “socialist” regimes don’t deserve the name. The whole purpose here is to increase people’s control over their circumstances. If you’re simply vesting that control in a government, and people have no say in that government, then there’s nothing socialistic about what is going on, unless the term is meaningless. Collective ownership means collective decision-making power. Without democratic decision-making, then there’s no collective ownership. There’s just government ownership, and governments themselves only conform to the principles of socialism to the extent they are democratic. In fact, “democratic socialism” should be a redundancy, because socialism should consist of the application of democracy to all aspects of life.” Socialism As A Set Of Principles (Current Affairs)
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM PST - 30 comments

Gleaming The Cube

A Rubik's cube being solved in 0.38 seconds. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 9:20 AM PST - 15 comments You've thought about a lot of plates of beans.

What your favorite website says about you?
posted by deezil at 8:31 AM PST - 53 comments


posted by palindromic at 8:30 AM PST - 3 comments

Dragnets Will Pull You In, Tell You That You're Deep In Sin

In keeping with their namesake, the early work of Cabaret Voltaire consisted primarily of Dada-influenced performance art and experimentation with tape machines, helping to pioneer industrial music in the mid-1970s. Finding an audience during the post-punk era, they integrated their experimentalist sensibilities with dance, new wave, and pop styles. Micro-Phonies, their 1984 album continued their journey from Dadaists to Dance Floor. [more inside]
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 7:26 AM PST - 13 comments

List of "some" words: awesome, handsome, cumbersome, threesome

The surreal wordplay comedy of Ken Cheng will have you doing mental gymnastics with ordinary words: Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian - 'Shame' [SLYT][NSWF] [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:24 AM PST - 14 comments

It's going to be lemon elderflower

Continuing to break protocol and tradition, the big news of the week (official press release, tweet) is that the Royal wedding (Rachel Meghan Markle, Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor) cake will not be fruitcake. It will be lemon elderflower, to symbolise Spring (appropriate), made with organic flour and designed by California-raised pastry chef Claire Ptak (Easter, Christmas), who runs Violet Cakes, and baked by her team. Claire specialises in "American style cakes". Quashing rumours it was to be banana cake, the cake will be covered in buttercream and adorned with flowers. Meghan, from Yorkshire via California, previously interviewed Claire for The Tig. Royal Fondling. Recipes from Cygnet Kitchen, Belvoir Fruit Farms, Hannah Bakes.
posted by Wordshore at 7:23 AM PST - 49 comments

Not Without Precedent

A fifth package-bomb, destined for Austin, has exploded at a FedEx facility. Two people were injured in package-bomb explosions just yesterday. Austin police suspect that these incidents may be racially motivated and are now asking for the killer to reach out and talk to them. [more inside]
posted by runt at 7:22 AM PST - 161 comments

Everything I've done I've for you; I move the stars for no one

I would argue that the Trevor Jones parts of the 1984 Labyrinth Soundtrack Album are equally as strong as the David Bowie parts. Side A: Opening Titles Including Underground, Into The Labyrinth, Magic Dance, Sarah, Chilly Down, Hallucination [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:08 AM PST - 19 comments

Food abundance and violent conflict

By correlating crop yields and conflict in Africa over the years 1998-2008 using 55km x 55km grid, Ore Koren found that, contrary to previous expectations, conflict is driven by higher yields, on average, and not by scarcity. African Farming talks to Koren, who quotes one of history's deadliest warlords: "Armies march on their stomachs." "I think the key thing to take from this paper is that the root cause of violence over food is not necessarily low or high agricultural production, but rather limited access to food and the lack of social safety nets for those who are at the risk of being food insecure. Limited political and economic development means that many armed groups can or must rely on their own strength to enjoy agricultural resources."
posted by clawsoon at 5:40 AM PST - 3 comments

This is What Extinction Looks Like

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, has died. Two females of the subspecies remain.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:24 AM PST - 47 comments

Hello! This is Rough Trade ...

Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Show profiles Rough Trade Records in 1979. Includes live footage of and interviews with Stiff Little Fingers, Lora Logic and Essential Logic, The Raincoats, Robert Rental and The Normal, and Geoff Travis and various Rough Traders.
posted by carter at 4:58 AM PST - 6 comments

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