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My god, it's full of STARS!

In astrophotography, the longer your camera's shutter is open, the more light you get. Five amateur astrophotographers challenged themselves to capture a world-record exposure. Result: The 1060-hour Large Magellanic Cloud
posted by flug to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:44 PM
86 users marked this as a favorite

The Radical Egalitarian Politics Of Weird Al’s "UHF"


TELL "\"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."

<SETG SCORE <+ ,SCORE 25>> <SETG MARVIN-COUNTER 4> <MOVE ,MARVIN ,PANTRY> <MOVE ,TOOL-REQUIRED ,MARVIN> <TELL "Marvin fiddles inside the " D ,MECHANISM " with the " D ,TOOL-REQUIRED " for about three-tenths of a second. He limps away. \"And me,\" you hear him mutter ashe goes, \"with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.\"" CR>)
A whole bunch of Infocom's original source code is now available on github.
posted by jenkinsEar to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 7:26 AM
62 users marked this as a favorite

Tell me about a complicated man

Pour One Out For Ulysses S. Grant, Adam Gopnik inThe New Yorker:
Though he [Ron Chernow] does the usual justice to the military saga of the Civil War, and Grant’s decisive part in it, his book aims to rehabilitate Grant as a politician and as President. He makes a convincing case that Grant actually behaved nobly, even heroically, while in the White House. He pressed the cause of black equality under the law, and was consistently on the right side of Reconstruction-era issues—winning more heartfelt praise from Frederick Douglass than Lincoln ever did.

posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 10:18 PM
62 users marked this as a favorite

I just really like this genre


A VOID

A Common Policy, Anna Aslanyan writing at LRB Blog
La Disparition, a lipogrammatic classic, turns 50 today [29 March 2019]. You probably know who it’s by; if not, you can look it up to find out why I’m unwilling to say who did it. From its first publication on 29 March 1969, this book built a cult following. It’s primarily famous for what’s missing from it, a basic but important thing that forms a part of words you can’t usually do without. Staying strictly within this tight constraint, it says what it wants to say about its protagonist, Anton Voyl, and his vanishing act – a conundrum for his companions – in a grippingly ludic, rigidly formulaic way.

posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 11:15 AM
54 users marked this as a favorite

"[unable to catch breath] eereeess um pizza"

Twelve years ago, after a mid-game rain delay, a couple of front-row fans grabbed a pop foul, ruining an easy out for fielder Garret Anderson. Unremarkable play, not worth remarking on. But then, 1.62 seconds later, here comes the pizza.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 3:59 PM
53 users marked this as a favorite

"Where would we be without the words of Japanese women?"

Works by Japanese Women is a 12 part series by Kris Kosaka for The Japan Times on Japanese female authors, starting with an introduction. The articles all focus on writers who've been translated into English. The contemprary authors are Hiromi Ito, Mieko Kawakami, Yuko Tsushima, Kaori Ekuni, Takako Arai, Nahoko Uehashi and Yoko Tawada. Earlier writers featured in the series are late 19th Century short story writer Ichiyo Higuchi, feminist playwright and novelist Fumiko Enchi and the series ended with an encouragement to read the thousand year old works of Sei Shonagon and Murasaki Shikibu. The series also included a profile of the pioneering feminist magazine Seito.
posted by Kattullus to MetaFilter on Apr 20 at 3:08 PM
48 users marked this as a favorite

Great modern art museums I don’t know yet?

I've got some flexibility in planning my travels, and my work commitments are usually at night, so daytimes are for museums and modern art's my big priority. Tell me your favorites that aren’t on this list of ones I’m grateful to know already (ordered roughly by how much I love them): Tate Modern, SFMOMA, Pompidou, Kiasma, MoMA and PS1, Stedelijk, YBCA, Moderna Museet, Whitney, de Young, Hirshhorn. Don't need to be 'major' but I want to hear places you think are extraordinary.
posted by kalapierson to Ask MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 1:13 PM
47 users marked this as a favorite

Parochialism in Western philosophy & engaging with non-Western thought

Led willingly by Fate: Peter Adamson considers how to combat parochialism in philosophy. "Philosophy has a problem. It is an academic field that is strikingly non-diverse, at a time when universities and their students are increasingly concerned with diversity..." This is an excellent and engaging essay by Peter Adamson (@HistPhilosophy, previously) on the need to engage with non-Western philosophy and thought.
posted by homunculus to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 11:55 AM
45 users marked this as a favorite

it wasn’t really sci-fi because it was beautifully written

Why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi? Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Machines Like Me, is a fiction about science – specifically, artificial intelligence. It is set in an alternative reality where Alan Turing does not kill himself but invents the internet instead; where JFK is never assassinated and Margaret Thatcher’s premiership ends with the beginning of the Falklands war. The near future of the real world becomes the present of the novel, giving McEwan the space to explore prescient what-ifs: what if a robot could think like a human, or human intelligence could not tell the difference between itself and AI? Machines Like Me is not, however, science fiction, at least according to its author. “There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future,” McEwan said in a recent interview, “not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas.” There is, as many readers noticed, a whiff of genre snobbery here, with McEwan drawing an impermeable boundary between literary fiction and science fiction, and placing himself firmly on the respectable side of the line.
posted by octothorpe to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 7:22 AM
43 users marked this as a favorite

Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.

The NRA is millions of dollars in debt, but seems to have deeper troubles. Most of their money is spent on high salaries and high living for NRA insiders, much of it funneled through a public relations firm, Ackerman McQueen, which kicks back much of the money those same insiders. It's similar to the executive pay scandals at the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Red Cross, but carried to a whole new level. Previously, there were thoughts and prayers for them here.
posted by Bee'sWing to MetaFilter on Apr 20 at 12:40 PM
41 users marked this as a favorite

Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden

When I meet women on dating apps, I always want to know if I can take them to the Olive Garden, my treat. It’s a solid opener; a way to know if we’re compatible. If they’re the right kind of woman for me, they’ll respond with an enthusiastic yes.

The right kind of woman for me is someone who won’t give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn’t care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu. We’re at Olive Garden because it’s kitschy and cute. Nothing that happens needs to be a serious thing. It’s no big deal.

posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 5:59 PM
38 users marked this as a favorite

In Kākāpō breeding season news…

Kākāpō (previously on MetaFilter) are having a record breeding season: more than 76 chicks have hatched from 49 out of the 50 breeding females. Since there are only 147 adult Kākāpō on the planet (so few that Wikipedia lists every one of them by name) this is a very big deal. And in breaking Kākāpō news, Solstice just laid another 3 eggs last night - her third nest this year!
posted by simonw to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 8:03 PM
37 users marked this as a favorite

Civilizations Lost in Deep Time

“Wait a second,” he said. “How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?” [...] There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far.
posted by ragtag to MetaFilter on Apr 22 at 2:06 PM
36 users marked this as a favorite

Lip Liners: Writers on the Power of Red Lipstick

"I have worn lipstick since long before he was born; every day, for many years. I can’t remember, though, when habit became ritual. I feel as though if I could, if I could pin down the moment that commenced a daily ceremony, I might demarcate between girl and woman with clear, metaphoric ease. But when and how do you become a woman? It is a long, raw process that doesn’t seem to end." That's Jessica Friedmann, one of a dozen writers included in this round-up from Longreads: When Lips Speak for Themselves: A Reading List on Red Lipstick.
posted by MonkeyToes to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 7:38 AM
34 users marked this as a favorite

What is best for your kids is what works for you

"Many of the benefits cited do have some basis in evidence, just not always especially good evidence. And even when the evidence is good, the benefits are smaller than many people realize." An economist looks at the statistical evidence for three hot-button "best practices" in baby-rearing.
posted by drlith to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 6:35 PM
34 users marked this as a favorite

The appropriate place for regulation is where there is market failure

A Regulatory Framework for the Internet - "There are, in Internet parlance, three types of 'free'... Facebook and YouTube offer 'free as in speech' in conjunction with 'free as in beer': content can be created and proliferated without any responsibility, including cost. Might it be better if content that society deemed problematic were still 'free as in speech', but also 'free as in puppy' — that is, with costs to the supplier that aligned with the costs to society?"
posted by kliuless to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 1:01 AM
32 users marked this as a favorite

How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever

Yes, D&D is back. But it’s cool now (sort of). And legions are into it, including an unprecedented number of adult and female players, attracted by a popular recent revamp and new online playing options. It’s the ultimate sign that nerd culture is now mainstream. The game’s popularity has waxed and waned over its 45-year history. But in 2018, its developers, Wizards of the Coast, sold more units than ever before.
posted by octothorpe to MetaFilter on Apr 20 at 7:52 AM
32 users marked this as a favorite

Spira, Spera - Victor Hugo

Notre-Dame de Paris, the French Gothic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has burned in a conflagration unrivalled since at least WWII, started accidentally, perhaps in the renovation work. But "spira, spera" -- breathe, and hope -- there has been no loss of life, only one reported injury, and the shell of the building appears (at this hour) to have been saved. "Cette cathédrale, nous la rebâtirons," declares Emmanuel Macron. ("The Cathedral, we will rebuild it.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 3:37 PM
32 users marked this as a favorite

Posts

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"I still can’t get over the fact that American police are so predictably violent towards innocent people that you can literally call in a hit on somebody by making a fake 911 call. ....Like a guy was just (rightly!) convicted of murder for swatting somebody else, which is basically the legal system admitting that its enforcement arm is free to... [more]
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 11:53 AM
119 users marked this as a favorite

I once served on a jury where the defendant claimed the police officer had told him they were impounding his car (an ordinary minivan) because it was so nice and valuable. The defendant was not a native English speaker, and had recalled this with sincerity rather than the poor attempt at a joke (by the police officer) that it obviously was, and the... [more]
posted by davejay to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 1:31 PM
119 users marked this as a favorite

I found this quote from Douglas Adams especially helpful today: “I remembered once, in Japan, having been to see the Gold Pavilion Temple in Kyoto and being mildly surprised at quite how well it had weathered the passage of time since it was first built in the fourteenth century. I was told it hadn’t weathered well at all, and had in fact been... [more]
posted by scaryblackdeath to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 6:11 PM
118 users marked this as a favorite

I believe it was John Scalzi who said, "The failure mode of 'clever' is 'asshole.'" Throw in a group of people with the power to kill people without consequence, and well, that line is even easier to cross. [view]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 11:33 AM
96 users marked this as a favorite

reminds me of my dad's story about bringing one of his old dogs to the vet due to a problem with its foot. The vet lifted said dog onto the examination table, gave her a looking over and concluded that the best course of action would be to take her into town for an x-ray etc. Which annoyed my dad as that meant he'd lose half a day. My dad... [more]
posted by philip-random to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 8:40 AM
96 users marked this as a favorite

This is the bit I keep coming back to (emphasis added): Some of the company’s most senior execs, notably Chris Cox, agreed that Facebook needed to give serious publishers a leg up. Others pushed back, especially Joel Kaplan, a former deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush who was now Facebook’s vice president of global public policy. Supporting... [more]
posted by zachlipton to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 10:01 AM
94 users marked this as a favorite

I'll say "so where should we meet" and then I'm waiting like 24-48 hours to hear back. I'll go through the whole conversation where we break up and cry about it and then suddenly I get a text Why are you sitting there like a princess trapped in a turret, depending on a man to rescue you from your distress? Rescue yourself.... [more]
posted by DarlingBri to Ask MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 4:05 AM
84 users marked this as a favorite

There's a documentary out there about the screech owls in central park narrated and hosted by Isabella Rosellini (pre-Green Porno) that is just stunning. She interviews a bunch of scientists and the interviews follow a pattern where the scientists try to do their basic 'talking to the press' dumbed-down spiel like 'did you know that birds lay eggs... [more]
posted by sexyrobot to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 8:57 AM
80 users marked this as a favorite

If you know where the cop bar on your neighborhood is and they have a wifi jukebox you can have a grand old time. Ask me how I know. [view]
posted by East14thTaco to MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 2:03 PM
79 users marked this as a favorite

the burden of proof for totally fake sounding claims like this is on the person making totally fake sounding claims [view]
posted by Gymnopedist to Ask MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 10:28 AM
75 users marked this as a favorite

“There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future,” McEwan said in a recent interview, “not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas.” ...says the guy who clearly hasn't read any decent SF, or even understands the genre.... [more]
posted by leotrotsky to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 7:40 AM
74 users marked this as a favorite

Having been here a fair while myself, it sometimes seems like any MeTa about mod actions or inactions is immediately filled with approximately equally sized groups shouting at one another about how the other side is dead wrong and in bad faith and their ideas are killing Metafilter. The anthropologist Gregory Bateson coined the... [more]
posted by spitbull to MetaTalk on Apr 16 at 3:16 PM
73 users marked this as a favorite

Westerosi obsidian is high in obsurdium. That's got a much lower melting point. [view]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 11:30 AM
71 users marked this as a favorite

I honestly don't understand why dental care is so de-coupled from medical care. [view]
posted by runcibleshaw to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 7:50 PM
69 users marked this as a favorite

I think all of this depends on context and the personalities of those involved BUT sometimes I have to teach my middle school students how to apologize effectively* and I tell them that their apologies should generally include 1) the words I’m sorry 2) ownership of actions- list specifically what they did wrong after the words I’m sorry (and... [more]
posted by charmedimsure to Ask MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 12:24 AM
68 users marked this as a favorite

I think Arnett's essay makes it pretty clear she's not there for the food. As she says: There’s something comforting about the fact that my Olive Garden is located in the neighborhood where I grew up. It’s where my evangelical family and I used to eat together before we stopped speaking. Before I came out, before I stopped going to church,... [more]
posted by schroedinger to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 6:26 PM
64 users marked this as a favorite

My Heathers confession: I loved this movie when I was a teen. So much so that I made my very Christian older brother and his wife rent it to watch with me. “You’ll love it!” said I. “It’s hilarious.” (Often times I say that teenagers are stupid and that their brains aren’t fully formed and we shouldn’t let them near sharp objects or... [more]
posted by greermahoney to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 10:21 PM
64 users marked this as a favorite

The pull quote in the post reads SO differently from the POV of a woman writer than from a man writer as I initially thought. [view]
posted by bleep to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 7:57 PM
64 users marked this as a favorite

Hoo boy. Lot to unpack here. I don't have expertise with everything in this study, but the electrophysiological component is in my wheelhouse. So first, my own summary of what this study is about based on my reading of it. The brain is the most metabolically demanding organ in the human body (and in that of most other large, complex animals).... [more]
posted by biogeo to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 7:47 PM
63 users marked this as a favorite

Also: In the future, and I say this gently, maybe don't be so quick to share your would-be partner's sexual orientation with other people, even your family. It's not really your story to tell, and in this case it led to a less than ideal outcome when you told someone who it sounds like doesn't understand what it means to be pansexual. I know you... [more]
posted by limeonaire to Ask MetaFilter on Apr 21 at 11:24 PM
63 users marked this as a favorite