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In My Language

An autistic woman "speaks" her language, then ours. (YouTube) "My language is not about designing words or even visual symbols for people to interpret. It is about being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment, reacting physically to all parts of my surroundings." [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 9:13 AM Jan 25 2007 - 170 comments [192 favorites]

3-second Men

2 July 1863, second day of Gettysburg. Sickles has pulled his III Corps -- without orders -- off of Cemetery Ridge and positioned it a half mile in front of the rest of the Union lines. Longstreet smashes the hapless III Corps and its men are in full flight. Hancock rides back and forth inside the gaping hole left by Sickles. Below him, almost 2000 men of Wilcox's brigade are charging up the slope. They will gain a foothold on the ridge and be reinforced by Lee. As Longstreet pins down the Union left, Lee will roll up the center and right of the Northern army and chase them from the field. He will then march on and take Washington before turning north along the eastern seaboard. Lee will capture and burn Philadelphia and Boston in his March Along the Sea, chasing the Northern government from city to city until Lincoln finally sues for peace and the union is no more. Suddenly, a line of blue-coated soldiers comes into Hancock's view. "My God, is this all the men here? Who are you?" "1st Minnesota, sir." "See those colors?", says Hancock, pointing at the flags of the oncoming Confederates, "Take them." [more inside]
posted by forrest at 5:45 AM Jul 2 2008 - 82 comments [192 favorites]

"You can't get un-famous. You can get infamous, but you can't get un-famous."

James Lipton interviews Dave Chappelle. Dave Chappelle interviews James Lipton. And while we're at it.... [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM Dec 17 2012 - 48 comments [192 favorites]

Neighborhood of Make-Believe

15 reasons Mister Rogers was the best neighbor ever.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:49 AM Jun 1 2007 - 131 comments [191 favorites]

considering & rethinking bathrooms

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian):
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:52 AM Jul 22 2014 - 181 comments [191 favorites]

"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery."

Things That Don't Suck, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.

I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.

[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:31 PM Aug 19 2014 - 162 comments [191 favorites]

42 steps to conquering executive function problems (in 68 easy steps).

Step 63: Panic. All jesting aside, executive function skills are important. The ability to start new tasks, switch easily between tasks, pause before responding to something, and plan for the future all seem like small, simple things. But many people struggle painfully with them, especially when difficulty with them is treated as a personal failing. (Turns out it's more complicated than that.)
posted by sciatrix at 3:58 PM Mar 3 2016 - 102 comments [191 favorites]

Rick. Rick. Rick.

Rick taught his cat, Lou, how to use instant messaging. Their chat logs can be read at Lou vs. Rick. (SLTP)
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:52 AM Nov 3 2011 - 106 comments [190 favorites]

2011 In Music

It's December so it must be time to list the best songs of the year. Pitchfork's Top 100 Songs and Top 50 Albums, MTV's Top 10 Songs of 2011, Billboard's 20 Best Singles, Spin's 20 Best Songs and Top 50 Albums, AARP's Top 10 Albums For Grown Ups, The A/V Club's Best Music of 2011, Rolling Stone's 50 Best Singles and 50 Best Albums, NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs of 2011, BET's 100 Best Songs of 2011, NME's Best Albums of 2011, MixMag's Tunes of The Year, Metacritic's Top 10 Albums of 2011, Pop Matters 75 Best Albums, Songs and more. [more inside]
posted by empath at 9:23 PM Dec 17 2011 - 154 comments [190 favorites]

why we care about what we wear

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion? [more inside]
posted by flex at 4:00 PM Aug 15 2014 - 33 comments [190 favorites]

"So no I don't always believe them and yeah I let them know that."

While working within the Chicago Police Department, Rebecca Campbell (PhD, Professor, Michigan State University) was told by a detective that "most victims lie" about sexual assault. She, on the other hand, was certain that most victims told the truth. Wondering how both she and the detective could be so certain, she began to do the research to find out. Her work examines how the legal and medical and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent and pediatric victims of sexual assault. [Warning for graphic descriptions of assaults] [more inside]
posted by VioletU at 12:26 PM Oct 24 2014 - 49 comments [190 favorites]

Good stuff on Wikipedia

The 50 most interesting articles on Wikipedia. | 50 more of Wikipedia's most interesting articles.
posted by aldurtregi at 7:11 AM Nov 23 2009 - 57 comments [189 favorites]

Don't Be Afraid Of The Art Of Noise

The new orchestra will achieve the most complex and novel aural emotions not by incorporating a succession of life-imitating noises but by manipulating fantastic juxtapositions of these varied tones and rhythms. Therefore an instrument will have to offer the possibility of tone changes and varying degrees of amplification.
In 1984, inspired by concepts outlined in The Art Of Noises, a 1913 Futurist manifesto by Luigi Russolo [HTML version, PDF pamphlet version] and new music technology , a musician, a audio engineer, a programmer, a producer, and a music journalist came together to form one of the most influential music collectives of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for you, a definitive look at the Art Of Noise. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:12 PM Jan 10 2012 - 66 comments [189 favorites]

The Julia Childs

If you become a cultural icon, those who come after in your field will almost certainly be compared to you and your achievements. And if you were the late Julia Child, ground-breaking television chef and champion of French cooking in the United States, you would find your name to be the first half of a lot of comparisons. The Julia Childs, as it were. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:27 PM Oct 14 2013 - 31 comments [189 favorites]

The lasting legacy of the "rocket girls" of JPL

California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been central to the US missile and rocket development and operations for decades, and from the beginning that technology's success rested on a corps of expert mathematicians, people known as computers. And from the beginning they were all women, in a time when such opportunities were few and far between. You can find pictures of them, but names have not been well-recorded ... until now. Nathalia Holt found many of those women and wrote about their experiences in her book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM Jun 15 2016 - 22 comments [189 favorites]

Show me the working!

Why movies cost so much. (MLYT!) Let us pause, in our respective busy days, to celebrate the gag reel. Are you ready? House season 2 and 3 (and bonus valley girl take); Grey's Anatomy seasons 3 and4, Back to the Future, Star Trek (2009), Star Trek (1969), Star Trek (IV), Star Trek (TNG), Star Wars (original), Star Wars ("1"), Star Wars ("2"), Star Wars ("3"), Step Brothers, Men in Black, LOTR, POTC, POTC 2, POTC 3, Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Hot Fuzz, Yes Man, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, and many others.
posted by e.e. coli at 9:33 AM Nov 30 2009 - 64 comments [188 favorites]

You’ll be pleased to note, it also makes it easier for you to dust.

My Fault, I'm Female [more inside]
posted by lunasol at 5:40 PM Jul 19 2010 - 712 comments [188 favorites]

I: is all you can say is purple? p: yes.

"I moderate jokes on a Kids Jokes website. A lot of joke submissions can't be published because they're offensive, not suitable for children or don't make any sense... so I publish them here instead: Bad Kid's Jokes "
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:18 AM Nov 29 2012 - 210 comments [188 favorites]

Why are glasses so expensive?

Why are glasses so expensive? [SLYT] According to Forbes, "Today more than 80% of major eyewear brands, including the world’s No. 1 seller, Ray-Ban, [and Oakley] are designed and retailed (over 7,000 stores US alone) by Luxottica" (2012). [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 12:17 PM Oct 13 2015 - 203 comments [188 favorites]

Strategy for calling your representatives

Emily Ellsworth once spent six years working as a staffer for Congress, and she tweeted about the ways to contact them that she observed were most effective for making a difference. She collected her tweets on Storify, here. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:41 AM Nov 12 2016 - 48 comments [187 favorites]

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