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A little Clump of Soul

Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:01 AM Sep 21 2014 - 92 comments [356 favorites]

EQUAL · MARRIAGE · UNDER · LAW

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 7:03 AM Jun 26 2015 - 1258 comments [352 favorites]

What to read when pressed for time.

17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting by Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature:
This week author Ian McEwan expressed his love of short novels, saying “very few [long] novels earn their length.” Certainly it seems like a novel has to be a minimum of 500 pages to win a major literary award these days, and many genre novels have ballooned to absurd sizes.

I love a good tome, but like McEwan many of my favorite novels are sharpened little gems. It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:39 PM Oct 23 2014 - 51 comments [351 favorites]

I like to watch.

Got some free time over the New Year's long weekend? Well, here's every episode (or damn near it) of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Boondocks, Clone High, Metalocalypse, Moral Orel, Robot Chicken, South Park (alt), Venture Brothers, Futurama. Or over here, there's all those and more. But wait my friends, there's more, yes, even more: for the same low price, I'll include the Ultimate Motherlode of Music Video (11,500 of them, or your money back!), alphabetized for your viewing pleasure. Just free up some bandwidth, and step inside ...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:30 AM Dec 29 2006 - 156 comments [350 favorites]

"Because your wardrobe is a pretty complex organism."

How to assess the quality of garments: a beginner's guide (part 1, part 2, cheat sheet).
Why you don't have anything to wear.
How to build the perfect wardrobe: 10 basic principles.
Building a capsule wardrobe 101.
And much, much more at style blog Into Mind.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:05 PM Jul 17 2014 - 79 comments [342 favorites]

Forty-three Werner Herzog films that can be streamed

Inside, please find a list of forty-three movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Werner Herzog, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. One or two of the films are in German without subtitles; this is noted in the description. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 10:40 AM May 4 2014 - 65 comments [339 favorites]

"discard anything that doesn’t spark joy"

De-cluttering your house with love: "Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying-up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go." [more inside]
posted by flex at 6:52 PM Jan 11 2015 - 143 comments [339 favorites]

Now the story of a wealthy man who lost everything. And the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.

The much-beloved Arrested Development was characterized by its complex, multilayered narrative jokes; here the A. V. Club analyzed a 50-second-long clip and tried to map out all its references (including one very subtle three-part joke about eggs). Luckily for you, there’s a very exhaustive web site, The Balboa Observer-Picayune, which documents the show’s obscurest jokes (H. Maddas, Blackstool, GOB’s ice obsession), its cleverest callbacks (Hello’s revenge, ”Mom says”, pilot/finale callbacks), its visual gags (yearbooks, newspapers, cartoons, Amazon), and its longest-running gags (I’ve made a huge mistake”, “Her?”, Cloud Mir, ”Hey, brother!”, and the chicken dance). Complete index of references at the Bluthcyclopedia. Complete transcripts of every episode. Bonus songs! All You Need Is Smiles. Yellow Boat. Big Yellow Joint. Hot Cops. It Ain’t Easy Being White. Discipline Daddy. Motherboy. Balls in the Air. You Here With Me. I Get Up. Finally, Fonzie jumps the shark again. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:59 AM Jun 16 2011 - 301 comments [338 favorites]

July 30, 762 to February 13, 1258

In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual and cultural legacies the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally), a dynasty, an empire, a city, and a library all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day. Now, how about for some context? [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 2:45 PM Dec 13 2013 - 39 comments [337 favorites]

privilege-checking and call-out culture

Ariel Meadow Stallings (creator of Offbeat Mama and Offbeat Bride) on liberal bullying: "...what's the biggest challenge we deal with every day? The challenge that has my editors second-guessing every post and quaking in fear, just waiting for the awfulness to begin? It's attacks from our fellow progressives... Increasingly, I've started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It's a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It's well-intended (SO well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don't agree with you… well, I'm not on-board." [more inside]
posted by flex at 8:57 AM Dec 2 2012 - 180 comments [331 favorites]

new life from leftovers

Don't toss that celery base! Did you know you can use it to re-grow a new bunch of celery? The same thing works for romaine lettuce and bok choy. You can regrow scallions or leeks or any cooking onion. You can grow garlic. What about lemongrass or ginger? Try planting pepper seeds or key lime seeds; a leftover pineapple top or the classic avocado pit. You can eat the leaves from carrot tops or sweet potato vines or just keep them as houseplants. Seeds Straight From Your Fridge (NYT link)
posted by flex at 9:06 PM Apr 25 2012 - 108 comments [330 favorites]

Consider the following...

Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Science rules)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Inertia is a property of matter)
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill-Bill-Bill-
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
(T-minus seven seconds)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy

[more inside]
posted by troll at 10:24 AM Aug 4 2011 - 101 comments [326 favorites]

MST3K: The Shorts

During its run, Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed on over 50 short films. Almost all of them are now on YouTube or Google Video. See the list (shamelessly cribbed from here) inside for links. [more inside]
posted by cog_nate at 12:38 PM Oct 24 2007 - 148 comments [325 favorites]

Best Longform of 2013

2013 had a lot of great longform writing. Longreads and Longform lead the way with their best of lists. Lots of sites provided year end lists: The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Business Week Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Dazed Digital, Deadspin, Esquire UK, FlavorwireGawker, Inc., Impose Magazine, Indiewire, i09, Lifehacker, Maclean's, Mashable, Mother Jones, National Geographic, National Journal, The New Yorker, On Earth, Out, Pocket, ReadWrite, Slate, Spin, Sports on Earth, The Electric Typewriter, The Verge, The Voice Media Group, and The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 7:11 PM Dec 30 2013 - 37 comments [323 favorites]

Kutiman mixes YouTube

Kutiman, the masterful Israeli funk musician and producer, outdoes himself by creating Thru-You: Multiple YouTube clips (mostly instructional and performance videos) edited into slick mega-mashups. They're not just patchwork assemblages, they're sample-based original creations that coud hold their own on anyone's album... Plus they're 100% audiovisual! It's a work of next-level genius.
(sorry for the hyperbole, but my mind has just been blown)
More Kutiman here. Music video here. And for you Pitchfork aficionados, here.
posted by Silky Slim at 12:58 AM Mar 4 2009 - 171 comments [318 favorites]

Imagine there's no people

So you wake up tomorrow morning to find almost everyone on Earth missing. The Internet will continue to work for a few hours: what information could you download to ensure your survival and rebuild civilization? A few suggestions: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Third Word Development (18 GB of information on agriculture, livestock, food processing, construction, water, sanitation, health and much more). The Global Village Construction Set (previously). Copies of Gray's Anatomy, Where There Is No Doctor, and The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide.

A few more that might be handy even in ordinary times: all of Wikipedia, or perhaps just a portion. (Ideally, of course, you’d already have a bound, printed copy), Offline Google Mail (Chrome) to save correspondence; SiteSucker to download sites you’d like to keep around while offline.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:52 PM Jan 5 2012 - 89 comments [317 favorites]

"It didn’t bother you to see the world tiny and unprotected, surrounded by darkness?”

In a recent episode of Mad Men titled "Lady Lazarus," Pete Campbell has an existential crisis when he sees a picture of the Earth from space, but were there color pictures of the whole Earth in October 1966? First some background... [more inside]
posted by quartzcity at 11:03 PM May 10 2012 - 87 comments [317 favorites]

How to Keep Someone With You Forever

"So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even. You have a few options. You could be the best lover they've ever had, kind, charming, thoughtful, competent, witty, and a tiger in bed. You could be the best workplace they've ever had, with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay. But both of those options demand a lot from you. Besides, your lover (or employee) will stay only as long as she wants to under those systems, and you want to keep her even when she doesn't want to stay. How do you pin her to your side, irrevocably, permanently, and perfectly legally?

"You create a sick system."
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:08 AM Jun 16 2010 - 163 comments [316 favorites]

useful websites

101 Useful Websites is "a frequently updated list of lesser-known but wonderful websites and cool web apps. Here are some of the most useful websites on the internet that you may not know about. These web sites, well most of them, solve at least one problem really well and they all have simple web addresses (URLs) that you can memorize thus saving you a trip to Google." [more inside]
posted by flex at 6:39 PM Jul 20 2014 - 16 comments [311 favorites]

Cooking 101: An Infographic is worth a thousand recipes.

How to Cook Vegetables. How to Flavor with Spices. How to Flavor with Fresh Herbs. How to Maximize Flavor using the Flavor Star. An international guide to Aromatics.
posted by storybored at 8:37 PM Nov 7 2014 - 59 comments [310 favorites]

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