July 25, 2017

When you try to whip them forwards, they buck you off

In Defence of the Bad, White Working Class. Shannon Burns writes thoughtfully in Meanjin about middle-class myopia in antiracist politics.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 10:29 PM PST - 147 comments

Strange Fruit

New cover of Strange Fruit "It’s a small and safe thing, using music as a political statement, but at a time when we feel utterly powerless to fix what is so clearly broken with our country, any action at all feels like progress." From Cover Me

posted by Gorgik at 9:53 PM PST - 5 comments

A looming male fertility crisis

A newly published meta-analysis of 185 studies of 42,935 male-bodied people from 1972-2011 [pdf] found that sperm concentration has fallen by 52.4% in North America, Europe Australia and New Zealand—with no sign of stopping. No significant trends were seen in South America, Asia and Africa, but the authors noted that limitations in the underlying studies made it impossible to rule out a significant trend in those continents as well. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 7:54 PM PST - 87 comments

🚒 🎶 🐕

Siren Songs of Samoyeds [howling and sirens, h/t Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:05 PM PST - 17 comments

"Are my methods unsound?" "I don't see any method at all, sir."

Pence Breaks Tie as Senate Votes to Begin Debating Obamacare Repeal [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 5:51 PM PST - 3016 comments

Billy Bragg on Roots, Radicals, and Rockers

What do you get when a bunch of British school boys in the mid-'50s play Lead Belly's repertoire... on acoustic guitars? Skiffle. And Billy Bragg wants you to get to know the music that brought the guitar to post-war British pop. (YT video of his recent talk at the Library of Congress, with transcript.) [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:06 PM PST - 20 comments

"the living record of a universal mind"

The British Library has digitized Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook ('The Codex Arundel') and made 570 digitized images available online. [via] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 2:43 PM PST - 6 comments

Terrific TV titles

How Opening Titles Became So Damn Good. (SLVWired)
posted by storybored at 2:30 PM PST - 35 comments

My whole family is being chipped

On Aug. 1, employees at Three Square Market, a technology company in Wisconsin, can choose to have a chip the size of a grain of rice injected between their thumb and index finger. (SLNYT) Once that is done, any task involving RFID technology — swiping into the office building, paying for food in the cafeteria — can be accomplished with a wave of the hand.
posted by stillmoving at 1:03 PM PST - 136 comments

Lasseter: the man who found that fabled reef, a man from death returned

Field-Marshal Sir William Birdwood wrote: " The annals of Central Australian exploration are tragic and heroic, but it is long indeed since I read a more moving story of endurance and heroism in the face of terrific odds than the epic which Mr. Ion Idriess has woven out of the last few months of the life of L. H. B. Lasseter." Lasseter's Last Ride was published in 1931, then turned into a folk song and a (possibly related) poem. This story mixes facts, half-truths, rumours, stories (PDF) — adds a twist of drama, waits 80 years and serves up a story nearly as reliable as Ulysses, wandering his own Mediterranean desert. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Cousins, identical cousins...

"Pet brothers from other mothers..." [more inside]
posted by cooker girl at 11:15 AM PST - 23 comments

The Transported Man

"Teleportation killed the Mona Lisa." So begins The Punch Escrow , a novel about everyday teleportation gone awry in the year 2147, by MeFi's own analogue . Available all over the interwebs today from places you buy books. [more inside]
posted by bitterkitten at 10:30 AM PST - 33 comments

“In the right context you can make words do all kinds of things.”

The Last Days of New Paris is China Miéville’s novella about a surrealist Paris magically overlapping with our realist Paris.
At the back of the book, Miéville offers endnote citations of the surrealist art that inspired his writing. I corralled all the art in this post.
posted by adamvasco at 10:12 AM PST - 26 comments

At Play in the Carceral State

At Play in the Carceral State. Waypoint looks in depth at the intersection of gaming with prisons and prison culture, with a special focus on Gitmo. (Waypoint, previously.)
posted by kmz at 9:56 AM PST - 6 comments

“So that’s what I was for—there to handle cheese.”

Americans are drinking less milk than ever before, but fast food restaurants are saving the dairy industry by coming out with tons of new menu items featuring dairy products, especially cheese. A look at how a government-backed dairy industry group teamed up with Taco Bell to create the Quesalupa and convinced McDonald's to switch from margarine to butter. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 9:31 AM PST - 80 comments

“It’s real. Those emotions are real. The loss is real.”

In These Games, Death Is Forever, and That’s Awesome [Wired] ““Permadeath” has been growing in popularity among game designers in recent years. Although it can take different forms depending on which game you’re playing, the message is always the same: Mistakes have consequences. [...] The games today that use permadeath as a feature are something of a hybrid of old and new. They have more storyline than Pac-Man but the emphasis is not on a heavily scripted Hollywood-style narrative. Rather, the game’s fictional worlds set the scene, establish a strong sense of place, but give the players more leeway to imagine their own personal stories.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:46 AM PST - 61 comments

The Thing in the Woods

In 1962 woodsman David McPherson Sr. found himself deep in the forest of Lutes Mountain, some 15 kilometres west of Moncton, N.B., staring upwards at a 181-kilogram white box with cameras and hanging from a tree by a deteriorated parachute. What began as a day of scouting timber would turn into the mystery of "the thing in the woods" that would stay with his family for the next 55 years.
posted by twilightlost at 8:33 AM PST - 25 comments

Sadiq Khan Takes on Brexit and Terror

It is Khan’s lot to have emerged as a national figure just as London is more vulnerable, and more at odds with the rest of Britain, than at any other point in its recent history. The New Yorker profiles London's Mayor. (SLNewYorker)
posted by Ziggy500 at 7:41 AM PST - 7 comments

"This is a commodity that has been fundamentally disrupted."

Taxi medallions in New York City (one of the prime examples economists give when discussing rent seeking) have plummeted in value by more than half since Uber and Lyft came to town, which has had knock-on effects including three credit unions that specialize in loaning money against medallions going into conservatorship, with one analyst comparing it to the subprime mortgage crisis.
posted by Etrigan at 6:05 AM PST - 54 comments

"We live in Generation U Mad Bro"

South Park raised a generation of trolls (slAVClub)
posted by sigma7 at 5:14 AM PST - 178 comments

"A happy and Quiet Valentines Day with no drains blocked!"

The Guardian's Underwhelming UK Holiday Photos (previously) has grown into a rich archive. Enjoy underwhelming photos of office Christmas decorations, heatwaves, snowmen, Valentine's day (and again), pancakes, and many more. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 3:15 AM PST - 10 comments

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