Most favorited posts from August 2012:

"I guess it started for me when, as a young sci-fi movie fan, I did a fanzine at age 12 to 15... that’s when I learned how relatively cheap and easy it was to self-publish, at least for a small circle of weirdos. Later, after comics went up to 50¢, I started collecting stuff equally weird but much cheaper than comic books: kook literature." - Rev. Ivan Stang

You may know of the Church of the SubGenius, that parody religion that worships the almighty "Bob" and was a fixture of MTV and Night Flights back in the day. But do you know of its SECRET ORIGINS? Co-founder Ivan Stang corresponded with hundreds of "mad prophets, crackpots, kooks & true visionaries," from sincere cults to winking charlatans to utter nutjobs to hate groups to independent artists and musicians, with some respected names thrown in, and synthesized them into a half-joking, half-serious celebration of the kook spirit. These days of course the forward-thinking crackpot looking for sheep goes directly to the internet. But while it lasted Stang and co-authors Mike Gunderloy, Waver Forest and Mark Johnston collaborated to document this vanished scene in the legendary book HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL. (All links within may quickly lead someplace NSFW by the nature of the beast.)
posted by JHarris at 3:05 PM Aug 27 2012 - 134 comments [483 favorites]

On the proper fitting of jeans. More: Mom jeans and the dreaded "long butt" - "Lydia and I ran a completely scientific experiment to prove that, indeed, it’s all about the pocket. But, while doing so, also made many other notes for you to help you avoid a Mom Jeans catastrophe altogether"; the follow-up post - "Hypothesis: That the condition known as “long butt” and proven as simply a wardrobe mistake in previous works can also be replaced with much more flattering looks even for more mature Moms, and that proper dressage in appropriate jeans can be potentially life changing"; & even more: Gateway mom jeans - Gap and Old Navy? Links include photos of bums in jeans. (found via youlookfab)
posted by flex at 5:37 PM Aug 2 2012 - 212 comments [266 favorites]

Barking Up The Wrong Tree distils scientific research, focused on its motto: "I want to understand why we do what we do and use the answers to be awesome at life." With a gradual shift to more digest posts packed with links to summaries & sources, a sampling of the past couple weeks includes: What are 10 things you should do every day to improve your life? - What are 10 things you should do every week to improve your life? - 25 research-based ways to increase your intelligence - What are 7 things that can make you happier in 7 seconds? - 7 steps to never procrastinating again. Another blog along the same lines but less glib & immediate is Peer-Reviewed By My Neurons; recently: How confusion facilitates learning - The science of coming on too strong - Want to be creative? Play Dungeons & Dragons
posted by flex at 5:32 PM Aug 5 2012 - 39 comments [262 favorites]

They were a couple of blokes from a small city in in England who started out messing around with instruments. Paul played the guitar and drums, and Phil the saxophone, but both were interested in electronic music by the likes of Kraftwerk. Phil also liked hip-hop, and Paul got into acid house in the late 1980s. One afternoon, Paul slapped together a happy little song based on a sample from a now-forgotten instrumental cover version of some pop hit, and called the little ditty Chime. Even before it was pressed on vinyl, DJs were asking for it, and Orbital was born.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM Aug 12 2012 - 66 comments [226 favorites]

There seems to be a recent golden age of genuinely terrifying indie horror games that experiment with new ways to upset you. Slender [PC/Mac, free], is based on the creepy Slender Man mythos and has been garnering rave reviews and videos of terrified reactions as you try to escape the being that draws ever closer. The 4th Wall [free or $1 on Xbox/PC] is a even more abstract take on existential dread. SCP Containment Breach [PC, free] features the very disturbing Sculpture (even the picture in that link will creep you out) from the SCP series, it follows another SCP game - The Staircase. And there is more - Which [PC, free] has you stumble in the dark; Ib [PC, free] places you in the shoes of a girl in an abandoned art gallery, and Candles [free, Win/Mac] is all about atmospherics. On top of that, there are some cheap independent commercial games that generate great scares, such as Lone Survivor [online demo] and the now-famous Amnesia: The Dark Descent [PC/Mac/Linux, $20], whose upcoming sequel A Machine for Pigs, may have the best title of any game.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:55 PM Aug 15 2012 - 117 comments [226 favorites]

Khan Academy unveils its new interactive Computer Science learning platform. More coder resources: Free Tech Books, WiBit.net, Google Code University, the W3C's Web Standards Curriculum, a Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS, and codepen.io, a social sandbox for web design.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:06 AM Aug 14 2012 - 26 comments [147 favorites]

The benefits of fasting have been covered before on Metafilter, but a new BBC documentary (discussed by the presenter Dr Michael Mosley in the Telegraph here) looking at the science behind fasting seems to show that the evidence supporting fasting’s general health benefits beyond weight loss are growing.
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 3:07 AM Aug 20 2012 - 97 comments [140 favorites]

LoseThos is an operating system written by a schizophrenic programmer.
posted by dmd at 6:56 AM Aug 29 2012 - 263 comments [136 favorites]

[NSFW, TW] Sex House is an Onion webseries about six sexy Americans locked in a house for a reality show about getting nasty, but by the end of the first night things start to get terrible. Think No Exit meets Black Mirror (previously), it's a scathing satire of American sexual attitudes that's also amazingly suspenseful.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:48 PM Aug 9 2012 - 97 comments [133 favorites]

Ebru, turkish for "marbeling", and is hypnotizing to watch. It is a process that puts colored paint on the surface of water, and then transferring it to paper. It is probably most common for us now in its use in bookbinding, showing as early as the 17th century in Europe, and it's still being done routinely today in the US Government Printing Office. The art is much older, dating back to 10th century Turkey. It had a resurgence in the 60's as a psychedelic hippie art form. It's easy to learn but can take years to master.
posted by crunchland at 8:02 PM Aug 25 2012 - 32 comments [126 favorites]

"Last week, I graduated from the 2012 Clarion Writer’s Workshop. And everything people tell you about it is true—it’s incredible, it’s transformative, it will make you into the writer you were meant to be, it builds unbreakable bonds with a ton of other brilliant writers. AND you’ll be devastated when it’s over. As I attempt to process my grief at Clarion’s end, I thought I would transcribe the copious notes that I took during the course of those six weeks." Clarion 2012: Every Brilliant Piece of Writing Advice (via jscalzi)
posted by Artw at 6:30 PM Aug 14 2012 - 98 comments [122 favorites]

Coming soon to a red planet near you, it's the Mars Science Laboratory! On Monday, August 6 at 05:31 UTC (other times around the world), NASA's Curiosity rover is expected to land on Mars in search of conditions suited to past or present Martian life. Live coverage begins on NASA TV at 03:30 UTC. But this mission has been years in the making, so if you have a little catching up to do...
posted by ddbeck at 9:11 PM Aug 4 2012 - 139 comments [118 favorites]

A cold autumn day was dawning as the German soldiers of the Altenwalde Versuchskommando prepared their V2 rocket for launch. They'd done this a hundred times before, but when the V2 finally roared up into the sky over the North Sea, the men of the AVKO couldn't help but smile and cheer. Soon the rest of the soldiers and officers around the launchpad were cheering as well. British officers and soldiers. Because this was Operation Backfire, the beginning of something that most people don't even know existed - the British Space Programme.
posted by garius at 10:41 AM Aug 30 2012 - 42 comments [115 favorites]

Computer-based musicians have a wealth of free VST (Windows) and Audio Units (Mac) plugins to use in their favorite DAW software. Here are some of my favorites (primarily Mac, though most are available for Windows as well). If you share my passion for this stuff, you are likely already a fan of the excellent website KVR Audio, the ultimate resource for plugins of all stripes.
posted by dbiedny at 9:19 AM Aug 14 2012 - 54 comments [114 favorites]

Even in the grips of the Great Recession, one industry's profits are bubbling up, pouring forth, and experiencing growth in market share, dollars spent, and profit: craft beer!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:25 PM Aug 22 2012 - 81 comments [114 favorites]


Wonderful words with no simple English equivalent.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:04 AM Aug 13 2012 - 231 comments [110 favorites]

"What is a cult film? A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everyone. James Bond movies are not cult films, but chainsaw movies are. Just because a film has become a cult movie does not automatically guarantee quality. Some are very bad; others are very, very good. Some make an awful lot of money at the box office; others make no money at all. Some are considered quality films; others are exploitation movies. One thing cult movies do have in common is that they are all genre films - for example gangster films or westerns. They also have a tendency to slosh over from one genre into another, so that a science fiction film might also be a detective movie, or vice versa. They share common themes as well, themes that are found in all drama: love, murder and greed." - of the British TV film slots accompanied by an introduction perhaps the most celebrated is Moviedrome, running between 1988 and 2000 and presented first by Repo Man director Alex Cox and then film critic Mark Cousins.
posted by Artw at 11:40 PM Aug 3 2012 - 88 comments [108 favorites]

"The Creepicus Complainicus, of the genus “Saddest Panda.” His cry is 'Why won’t someone just touch my wiener?'" Captain Awkward addresses the perrenial case of the creepy dude and the development of the proto-rapist.
posted by Sayuri. at 8:41 AM Aug 9 2012 - 365 comments [105 favorites]


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