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James Jackson Toth (of Wooden Wand) has a confession: he's a music addict, and he realized he had gone too far when he figured out that he couldn't listen to all his music in 40 years. But he had a plan - listen to one album only per week, starting on the first week of 2017. Only 52 albums for an entire year, to get back to really listening to and appreciating music, instead of amassing more and more. Album #1: Autechre's Oversteps from 2010. Things began to fall apart almost immediately.
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How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s. A look at the 1993 point-and-click adventure game Police Quest 4 as a mirror for the career and politics of its star writer, former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates. (CW: This article discusses incidents of police violence as well as depictions of queerphobia, violence, and murder.)
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In the 1970s, nobody knew what to do about Britain. The economy was in tatters. Industry was in decline. Governments changed like traffic lights. There were fears about terrorism, immigration, and fascism. We joined Europe, then we wanted out. This is a film about how the '70s shaped me. It's my story, but it's also Britain's. - Boy George's 1970s: Save Me From Suburbia
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Two people were killed during the second storm this year in the Netherlands. There was extensive damage. Roofs were torn off of buildings, cargo containers were blown off a dock, buildings collapsed and trees fell on houses and cars. The storm started in the morning and blasted the country for several hours. NRC posted this (non-gruesome) report in pictures. And if you're eager to see footage made and shared by Twitter users, don't miss out on #storm and #westerstorm.
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How Do You Rebuild Your Life After Leaving a Polygamous Sect? Buzzfeed writer Anne Helen Petersen reports on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) community of Short Creek, and how it is changing now that its former leader Warren Jeffs is in prison for life, there are a growing number of ex-FLDS members in town, and formerly powerless female ex-members have formed the Girlfriend Club to support each other as they recreate themselves and their lives. (TW: Some mentions of sexual and physical assault, forced marriage.)
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As Tom Phillips, the UK editorial director, leaves Buzzfeed, his parting piece describes the 29 stages of a twitterstorm in 2018. Related: the 29 stages five years ago (MetaFilter thread). Unrelated: MetaFilter content previously amplified by Buzzfeed.
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"Why Did Two-Thirds of These Weird Antelope Suddenly Drop Dead?" [more inside]
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Zeynep Tufekci discusses in new longform piece for Wired about how technology and the rise of social media is forcing us to rethink how we conceptualize free speech and censorship. (SLWired)
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A new system is being developed by the Railway Technical Research Institute in Japan to equip trains with sound effects to scare deer away from the tracks and prevent collisions. Researchers have seen the number of deer sightings go down by 45%.
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Since Sunday Minnesota Vikings fans have raised more than $150,000 for the New-Orleans based charity What You Give Will Grow founded by Saints punter Thomas Morstead. Morstead said 100% of donations will go directly to Children's Minnesota to support their Child Life department. [more inside]
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...hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap home. The complete Quantum Leap journey A visual representation of Dr Sam Beckett's entire Quantum Leap journey. For the Television issue of Special Request.
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MRAs Make 46-Minute Cut Of ‘The Last Jedi’ That Edits Out All The Women [Pedestrian] “Uploaded to The Pirate Bay yesterday by an anonymous user, the “The Last Jedi: De-Feminized Fanedit” is, according to their own description “basically The Last Jedi minus Girlz Powah and other silly stuff“. You might be wondering how this is possible, seeing as the film is still a ways off from its DVD release date, but the intrepid nerdlinger(s) who decided to make this possible were so impatient for a version of TLJ where boys don’t get old off that they used a dodgy camrip with hardcoded subtitles.” [more inside]
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"Ok, I’ll try and keep this brief, but lets talk PT Cruiser and the 2007 recession. FYI, I’m not *blaming* the crash on the PT Cruiser, just generally laying out how the story of the PT Cruiser and the people who bought them provides an early window into the lending meltdown..."
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Parliament has released their first song in 38 years: I'm Gon Make U Sick O'Me. George Clinton in da house, baby!
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"In the real world, contracts have social utility, and people use them in complex, strategic ways that often don’t align with their legal rights and obligations. These social functions require flexibility—often, the very flexibility that is intentionally short-circuited by smart contracts." Karen E. C. Levy discusses the limitations of smart contracts in her paper Book-Smart, Not Street-Smart: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts and The Social Workings of Law (PDF).
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Nintendo Labo is a series of DIY kits for their Switch console, each consisting of cardboard sheets, stickers, string, and rubber bands that can be constructed into RC cars, fishing rods, motorbikes, a piano, and even a giant robot backpack, all accompanied by games and (possibly) some kind of simple programming system. Labo follows in a long tradition of cardboard crafting and toys, from the glorious Polypops cardboard toys and furniture from 1966, to the Amsco Playsets of the 1970s, and of course Kenner's Star Wars Playsets (via @tealtan) – not to mention Nintendo's own Paper Model series dating back to the early 70s. [more inside]
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The Oral History of Breaking Bad To mark the 10-year anniversary of the premiere, Esquire spoke with Breaking Bad’s creators, actors, and broadcasters to reflect on this little-show-that-could, its groundbreaking approach to antihero storytelling, and its ascent from hidden gem to cultural phenomenon. [more inside]
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Nick Beggs, the very talented bassist/chapman-stickist from Kajagoogoo, has been receiving a lot of calls from scammy phone solicitors on his land-line. He's taught himself how to put the caller on speaker mode, and started recording himself fielding these calls. In October, he posted a flurry of selfies documenting these interactions. I think Nick just wants a friend.
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Three different ways of coping with Nazis, some more effective than others. First there's Oskar Speck, who kayaks from Germany to Australia. Then there's how Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto coped with the Germans. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising & Jewish Identity And then there's how Isidore Greenbaum stood up at an American Nazi rally. American Nazis & a Jewish Man from Brooklyn
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The Minnesota Diet A new short story from the author of the Nebula Award–winning All the Birds in the Sky. [more inside]
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The United Kingdom has a unique genetic heritage of pig breeds, but in 1955, facing pressure from the Danish, Dutch and Irish pig industries, the Howitt Report recommended that British pig operations needed to be based on only three breeds, Large White, Landrace and Welsh, narrowing the pool of British Pigs from 16. In the subsequent years, four breeds went extinct: Cumberland, the Dorset Gold Tip, the Lincolnshire Curly Coat and the Yorkshire Blue and White. Rare breeds are now faring better than before, but still not great. For more on these breeds and the efforts to maintain them, see the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. British pig history side-story: The Pig War of 1859, which was really about which country controlled San Juan Island.
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"Decide what you think you're worth and then ask for what you think you're worth. Nobody's just going to give it to you." The 'Grey's Anatomy' star recalls in her own words the personal struggles and advice from Shonda Rhimes that led to a milestone: highest-paid actress on a primetime drama.
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How much do restaurants really make from food orders? Washington City Paper's Young and Hungry asked restaurants to break down the costs of some of their most popular dishes. [more inside]
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Across the country each year, thousands of people are wrongly labeled unconscious after suffering severe brain injuries. Among the survivors, a few, including Nick Tullier, make it to a Houston rehab hospital, where those with even the worst prognoses get a shot at recovery. (SLHoustonChronicle) [more inside]
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"If men can swallow the confronting reality that their silence is foundational to both sexism and sexual violence, then they get to embrace the inverse reality—that their vocal dissent could begin to destabilise these evils at their base." [CW: sexual assault]
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Translation is an essay by Deborah Smith, translator of Han Kang's novel The Vegetarian, among others. It is a response to various criticisms of her translation, first by translator and novelist Tim Parks, followed by Charse Yun, who also laid out complaints about it from Korean critics, though, as Kang Hyun-kyung reports, Smith has vociferous defenders in Korea. If you want a summary, Clare Armitstead, who comes down on Smith's side, recaps the controversy in The Guardian. Jiayang Fan touches on the dispute but focuses more on Han Kang and her upcoming books in Smith's translation in an essay in The New Yorker called Buried Words.
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Said to be larger than the Holocaust in absolute numbers, a new documentary, Bengal Shadows, revolves around the British empire’s role, especially that of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in causing and exacerbating the Bengal famine of 1943.
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Every baffled new parent goes searching for answers in baby manuals. But what they really offer is the reassuring fantasy that life’s most difficult questions have one right answer. [slGuardian Long Read by MeFi's own Oliver Burkeman]
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It has been snowing heavily in Scotland. All the snow ploughs and gritters are out doing their part. You can track their position and progress live - where you will also notice that each vehicle has a name. Bonus for finding David Ploughie.
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Marie Grosholtz was really good at propping a freshly beheaded and bloody head on her lap so she could do a death mask She even started on Marat's death mask while Corday was being arrested for the murder.
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Blood, Sweat, Toil and Tears: Playing Churchill on Screen [The New York Times] “He fought with distinction and held almost every major office in Britain. He commanded a country in the midst of world war and is credited with inventing the social safety net. He has been called an imperialist and a warmonger. A drunk and a racist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, rivaled only Shakespeare in his prolific literary output, and painted more than 500 pictures in his lifetime. And, some argue, he single-handedly saved civilization. Winston Churchill was a complex and contradictory leader unlike any in recent history. And he also presents one of the most sought-after and challenging roles for any actor worth his salt.” [more inside]
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This is your latest installment in the Trump / U.S. Politics Megathread. Trump golfs on MLK day after urging Americans to celebrate it with volunteering; popularity among African Americans continues to plummet. Bannon subpoenaed to grand jury. Blowback continues on “Sh—holeGate”; CNN reporter expelled from press conference for asking about it. There are four years in a Presidential term of office (not many people know that).
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Hundreds of survivors have come forward to testify against Larry Nassar, whom they say was allowed to abuse them for years through his position with USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and at John Geddert's Michigan club, Twistars. The hearings, which began today, will allow survivors to speak publicly, often for the first time [trigger warning for child abuse, sexual assault and suicide]. Yesterday, Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast in history, publicly identified herself as the third member of the 2016 gold-medal winning team from the Rio Olympics to be a survivor of Nassar's abuse, as did her two-time Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. 2012 Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney also spoke out publicly. Today, the other survivors who aren't as well known will get to tell their stories alongside Biles, Raisman, Douglas, and Maroney, who had more media coverage. [more inside]
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"The following is a list of 4510 different titles given to the exact same generic 9:59 self-affirmation pep-talk on Spotify."
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Nursultan Nazarbayev, authoritarian leader of Kazakhstan, has been broadly popular in his rule. Until he decided to start sticking apostrophes all over the place.
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Aziz Ansari was accused of coercing a woman (content warning: graphic description of sexual assault) into having sex with him. People are having very different reactions to this news. [more inside]
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