Oh what a world it is, that has such musicians in it! There was a piano in a London tube station, so Aurélien Froissart decided to kill time by playing classical music. As one does. But then something amazing - another musician who was passing through asked if she could jump in. What followed was an incredible and virtually flawless impromptu duet - between strangers, with no planning, no rehearsal, no sheet music. Astonishing.
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We mentioned the Winamp Skin Museum at skins.webamp.org three years ago.
But we didn’t mention the interactive, browser-based version of Winamp.
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A ProPublica piece that looks at an article from Nature Sustainability Quantifying the human cost of global warming that dares to ask what if the human cost was the lens that we used to evaluate climate change impacts?
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The PGA has announced a merger (PGA site, NYT) with Saudi-backed LIV Golf. [more inside]
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Stanley Kubrick scholar Filippo Ulivieri shares a hidden, almost subliminal aspect of Jack Nicholson's performance in The Shining: quick, unsettling glances that break the fourth wall. (SLYT)
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Once again, Ask A Manager's Alison Green has asked her readers for their crazy work stories - this time regarding free food at work, and what it does to people's minds. [more inside]
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Happy birthday, Sweden, which is celebrating 500 years as a nation today on June 6, which became National Day in 1983 and an official public holiday in 2004. One reason the date of 6 June was chosen because it is the day in 1523 when Sweden became independent of the Union of Kalmar, which had formerly united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. It was a genuine new start for Sweden, and it was the occasion of their electing Gustav Vasa as their king and adopting their own flag. The second reason for choosing 6 June is that, in 1809, Sweden adopted a new constitution on that date. The tradition of celebrating 6 June as Flag Day began in the 1890s, when Artur Hazelius held such celebrations at his Stockholm-based open-air museum named “Skansen.” [more inside]
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The Many Feet of The Lands Between: A collection of the many feet you'll encounter on your journey through the Lands Between. [Steam Community][SFW] “Elden Ring is full of hard bosses, esoteric secrets, and weird exploits, but the current top guide on the game’s Steam page isn’t about any of that. It’s about feet. The fleshy pads come in all different shapes and sizes, and Elden Ring, like the Souls games before it, is full of them. So of course someone decided to document each pair, and now Steam users can’t get enough of them. “The Many Feet of The Lands Between,” reads the title of the current most popular guide. The collection, curated by Steam user Mister B, has over 70 entries, from Fia’s long narrow tootsies to the Mad Pumpkin Head’s gnarly arches. There are zero descriptions; it’s all just names and images, and it keeps getting updated with new content. The guide has a perfect five out of five stars and over 500 ratings.” [via: Kotaku]
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"Listen, if you’ve never had any scandals, my advice would be to continue to have none. But if you’ve had one, have as many more as you can. It’s the Kardashian, Trumpian information overload fatigue. There’s a point where people can’t retain enough information to remember every little scandal. Whereas if you have one scandal, people remember, and it defines you.” from Caroline Calloway Survived Cancellation. Now She’s Doubling Down by Lili Anolik [Vanity Fair; ungated] [more inside]
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Happy Pride Month! So, another artist suggested by wowenthusiast is anonymous Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47 [Wikipedia]. She recently completed her Beauty trilogy with the album Shape Up [YT playlist, Pitchfork review]. Leikeli spoke with NPR's Sidney Madden [44m] about the new album, her outlook and philosophy, and her struggles for authenticity. She did a set for NPR Music's 15h Anniversary [23m] that was so fire that Uproxx had to write about it. [more inside]
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Blaseball is shutting down after The Game Band concluded that it wasn't sustainable. They had been tooling up for its third age, titled the "Coronation Era," and had planned mobile apps as part of the experience. They even came out of siesta for a brief time, only to go right back into hiatus after deeming their effort not up to the quality they were aiming for. Laid off staff are being given severance pay, extended health care and help in finding work. The news on: Destructoid, Rock Paper Shotgun, Gamespot, The Verge.
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Apple Vision Pro: I Tried the New Mixed-Reality Headset [ungated] - "At the end of the demo, I took off the headset and felt two things: 1) Wow. Very cool. 2) Did I just do drugs?" [more inside]
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Intelligence Officials Say U.S. Has Retrieved Craft of Non-Human Origin (The Debrief, Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal*)

* Two former NYTimes reporters on the UFO beat. [more inside]
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Former F.B.I agent turned spy Robert Hanssen has died. [more inside]
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Einstein a Go-Go (alternative link) was a 1981 UK #5 song by Landscape (formed in 1975). A live performance, some background in this post and comments, and a 1979 feature on Tomorrows World. The extended mix. Also by Landscape: (My name is) Norman Bates.
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Millennials just keep voting (NYT gift). But will they move to the right (NYT gift)? Maybe (WaPo gift), maybe not (New York).
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Assuming the weather and engineering gods cooperate, a US government-funded satellite Moonlighter will launch [today], hitching a ride on a SpaceX rocket. And in roughly two months, five teams of DEF CON hackers will do their best to successfully remotely infiltrate and hijack the satellite while it's in space. The idea being to try out offensive and defensive techniques and methods on actual in-orbit hardware and software, which we imagine could help improve our space systems. [more inside]
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Being a Gay Game Developer [YouTube] “To all of my fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community, happy Pride. Being queer these days is a whirlwind of emotions, some very positive and hopeful, and others not so much. Our history is one of courage and struggle, a struggle that continues today. And in this fight, it’s essential to learn from the experiences of our queer elders, both to learn what has changed, and what work remains. One such elder is legendary game designer Tim Cain, who has recently published a video discussing his many years in the game industry as a gay man, and his journey from closeted life to being out to the world. Perhaps best known as the creator of the original Fallout games in the 1990s, Tim Cain has had a storied career in the games industry. [...] Though he knew from a young age that he was gay, Cain stayed in the closet for many years, only coming out in the 2000s after The Temple of Elemental Evil. In a recent YouTube video, he documented that journey from closeted to visible.” [via: Kotaku]
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Paying employees equally no matter where they live is a reflection of today’s internet labor market—a global landscape of suppliers and buyers who connect as if they were on the same street. “There’s a lively debate in big companies about flat salaries across geography, and, of course, I think everyone should do it,” says Rasch. “People often counter the policy with points about the different costs of living, but put simply, is it fair to pay someone who lives in a poorer part of town a lower salary? No.” from The Company Where Every Employee Earns the Same [Wired; ungated]
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Happy Pride Month! wowenthusiast reminded me that Jill Sobule [Wikipedia] kissed a girl way back in 1995 and everybody noticed. It's been too many years since then for this post, but what is she up to today? She's written an off-Broadway play! [Playbill] It was really well-reviewed, enough for multiple extensions in 2022 and even a brief revival earlier this year [Off-off review]. Here she talks to GLAAD about the show and her career [15m, annoying musical bed]. [more inside]
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Article from Current Archaeology about Aroma Prime, a company which creates historical smells for museums, theme parks and care homes. Their products include the smells of dinosaurs, dodos, mummification, candlemakers, ether, vintage sweets and the Wicker Man.
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“You know, everybody’s taste in art is different. But that’s not the point.” When the Neighbors Don’t Share Your Vision (And Your Vision Includes Giant Transformer Statues). [NYT gift link]
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A large predatory dinosaur related to Spinosaurus may have scooped up prey "like a pelican" by extending its lower jaw, European researchers propose in a new study. But the findings have upset some paleontologists who contest that the fossils were illegally taken from Brazil and should be returned to their country of origin. [more inside]
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Amazing what you can do with a banana, a pin, and a comb. Samples and Galleries
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A delightful thread by a serious amateur cricketer who found themself unexpectedly drafted in to make up the numbers in a village cricket match (Twitter).
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A word survives and thrives because it continues to quench an explanatory thirst; it meets a need or desire. And any word carefully examined will reveal itself to be a wormhole — an ongoing exchange between the past and the present. The prevalence of charisma implies a widespread belief in the power of it, and also in the ability of extraordinary individuals to change history. Weber’s terms still echo: Something magical and dangerous, something unfathomable, is afoot when charisma is present. “The pertinent question,” pondered the cultural theorist John Potts, “is not whether charisma actually exists, but why it exists.” from The Secret History And Strange Future Of Charisma by Joe Zadeh
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Happy Pride Month! Longtime MeFi favorite Janelle Monáe has been in process for years. Their newest singles Lipstick Lover [3m26s, possibly age restricted, clean version] and Float continue the unpeeling, unveiling of her current incarnation, a goddess of Pleasure. Janelle sits with Angie Martinez to talk [55m] about where they are now, how they got here, and what they're thinking about with the new album [Jun 9!] and tour. Similarly, here is a print interview with OUT Magazine about this new phase in their presentation. [more inside]
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Searching for Meg White - a profile and almost interview of the difficult-to-track-down White Stripes drummer.
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"Venture capital’s playbook for AI is the same one it tried with crypto and Web3 and first used for Uber and Airbnb: break the laws as hard as possible, then build new laws around their exploitation. The VCs’ actual use case for AI is treating workers badly."
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The Best Known Old Babylonian Tablet? is an essay by Janet L. Beery, introduced by Frank J. Swetz, about leading students through a mathematical problem preserved on a nearly four thousand year old Babylonian tablet, which happens to demonstrate that the Babylonians knew the square root of 2. The cuneiform tablet is kept at the Yale Babylonian Collection under the catalog number YBC 7289, and has been scanned in three dimensions and can even be 3D-printed for classroom use. The Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage released a short video where curator Agnete Lassen describes YBC 7289 and Chelsea Graham explains how it was digitized.
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With Hannah Gadsby’s ‘It’s Pablo-matic,’ the Joke’s on the Brooklyn Museum - The Australian comedian turns curator in a show about Picasso’s complicated legacy. But it’s women artists the exhibition really shortchanges.
So who should be most brassed off by this show? Not Picasso, who gets out totally unharmed. But the women artists in the museum’s collection dragooned into this minor prank, and the generations of women and feminist art historians — Rosalind Krauss, Anne Wagner, Mary Ann Caws, hundreds more — who have devoted their careers to thinking seriously about modern art and gender. Especially at the Brooklyn Museum, whose engagement with feminist art is unique in New York, I left sad and embarrassed that this show doesn’t even try to do what it promises: put women artists on equal footing with the big guy.
Gift link
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Happy Pride Month! Long-time MeFite obliquicity suggested I introduce Grace Petrie [Wikipedia], with this article [DIVA], which contained this video, Black Tie [5m, RECOMMENDED - if you only watch one thing here, watch this]. What a treat! By way to introduce her as a person, here is Richard Herring interviewing her for an hour [from late 2019, interview actually starts at 5m12s], and she's really a really funny, charming political spitfire. If you want the politics turned up even more, Music And Politics With Grace Petrie [26m] is from Jan 2023, recorded in Australia, and was just two days before the concert in Sydney where these highlights were audience-recorded [33m]. Additionally, here's a pandemic pro-shot set in an empty Leicester Cathedral [48m] with a mostly different setlist. I think she's wonderful. [more inside]
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Paragraphica is a context-to-image camera that uses location data and artificial intelligence to visualize a "photo" of a specific place and moment. The camera exists both as a physical prototype and a virtual camera that you can try. Project by Bjoern Karmann [CW: you will be interacting with AI]
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“Dreamhouses assume that you never have anything you wish was private." Architectural Digest ventures inside the set of an upcoming movie you may have heard of, a "Fuchsia Fantasy" inspired by Palm Springs midcentury modernism which apparently caused an international run on the fluorescent shade of Rosco paint.
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From Scientific American: Imaginary numbers—the square roots of negative numbers—are an inescapable part of quantum theory (includes the history of imaginary numbers).
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According to the Washington Post there are at least nine distinct US doughnut regions. (gift link) [more inside]
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It's Friday. What time could be better for an incremental game? Array game does away with all of the useless decorative paperclips, fish, buses, drugs, llamas, wizards, cookies, elves, rockstars, corn, Rembrandts, skyscrapers, cows and trees that other incremental games have. Just a pure hit of numbers going up, things to make the numbers go up faster, and things that make the things that make the numbers go up faster go up faster. [more inside]
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When Carroll High School of Fort Wayne Indiana canceled the school play, "Marian, the True Tale of Robin Hood" because it included LGBTQ+ themes, the students decided to take matters into their own hands.
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Thomas Flight on metamodernism in current media
In this video I dive into what Metamodernism is and what it looks like in film, and chart how the movies have evolved since their modernist origins.
[more inside]
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