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The Best Toy Maker

Kids know that the best toys are the ones you make from stuff that's lying around. Arvind Gupta's been doing this for three decades. Take a look at his Turbine bottle cap, Helicopter foam cup, Drinking straw flute, The CD hovercraft, Magic Paper Fan, Funny Fountain, Drinking Straw Centrifuge Pump, Climbing Butterfly. Or check out the rest of his 1000 videos(!). Go to his website and discover an armload of books and pamphlets describing more toys (some of them classic) along with science experiments, math activities and stories. A sample: The amazing Touching Slate, a drawing toy for blind children. Hands On - Science Sense, Hands On - Ideas and activities, Toy Joy, Little Science, The Toy Bag, Toy Treasures. Little Toys , Finally you can hear Arvind in person at TED.com giving career advice, showing off a dozen toy examples, demonstrating the structure of methane; telling a Large Hadron Collider joke and finishing with the wonderful "Captain's hat" story. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:09 PM May 15 2011 - 30 comments [255 favorites]

Anyone CAN Cook

Anyone CAN Cook [NY Times link] 101 incredibly simple 10-minute recipes from Mark Bittman.
posted by dersins at 9:09 AM Jul 18 2007 - 70 comments [253 favorites]

She might've called it Getyouracttogether.org, but she changed one word.

Get Your Shit Together helps you do what it says on the tin. After her husband died in a 2009 bike accident, Chanel Reynolds created the site as a step-by-step toolkit to help keep track of important life documents and tasks. Four days after its launch, the New York Times got in on the action. [more inside]
posted by Madamina at 12:10 PM Feb 6 2013 - 28 comments [253 favorites]

There once was a girl named Lenore

Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks, as brought to us by our very own Lore Sjöberg. English majors, begin your griping now.
posted by SansPoint at 5:21 AM Jul 23 2007 - 301 comments [252 favorites]

ANGER IS AN ENERGY

Today is Election Day in the United States.

In the wake of the most disastrous election in United States history, and after nearly two years of unfettered corruption and a dangerous trend towards strongman rule (see Metafilter potus45 threads passim), the American people now have their last best chance to halt Trump's incipient fascism by capturing at least one chamber of Congress. Democrats' chances look strong in the House, as well in the state races, but dicey in the Senate. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 PM Nov 5 2018 - 2195 comments [251 favorites]

The Best Magazine Articles Ever

Kevin Kelly has posted a list of what he believes are the best magazine articles ever.
posted by reenum at 12:26 PM Jul 28 2010 - 88 comments [250 favorites]

Why am I so lazy?

Ask Polly answers a question from a reader who asks "Why am I lazy? Why do I put off everything I don’t want to do? And why can’t I flip a switch and just be a goddamn adult?"
posted by AFABulous at 1:24 PM Jan 6 2018 - 74 comments [250 favorites]

SLRP (R=reddit). PDF Paradise!

"Have any of you ever found a great PDF online?" [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 9:01 AM Mar 26 2011 - 52 comments [247 favorites]

When you're poor...

The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (sl Cracked list) [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:42 PM Jan 19 2012 - 368 comments [245 favorites]

How to Negotiate Your Job Offer

Professor Deepak Malhotra offers 15 pieces of negotiation advice, followed by Q&A, in an informal session for students at the Harvard Business School. (1 hr 5 min video).
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 10:33 PM Aug 17 2013 - 12 comments [243 favorites]

Ex Urbe

"But Freud had a second fear: a fear of Rome's layers. In formal treatises, he compared the psyche to an ancient city, with many layers of architecture built one on top of another, each replacing the last, but with the old structures still present underneath. In private writings he phrased this more personally, that he was terrified of ever visiting Rome because he was terrified of the idea of all the layers and layers and layers of destroyed structures hidden under the surface, at the same time present and absent, visible and invisible. He was, in a very deep way, absolutely right." [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 1:40 PM Aug 20 2013 - 31 comments [243 favorites]

Secret Merlings! Secret Merlings everywhere!

Who is Jon Snow's mother? What's up with the crazy seasons in Westeros? Why have the White Walkers returned after all this time? These questions and more have been the subject of much speculation and debate among fans of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire / Dunk and Egg universe for more than a decade. Fans have published their theories in forums, on fansites, and even as the occasional academic journal article. (Spoiler warning: All sources -- show, books, cut scenes, DVD special features, pre-released chapters, interviews, visions you got from a tree, etc. -- are fair game in this thread!) [more inside]
posted by Jacqueline at 5:03 AM Apr 28 2014 - 500 comments [243 favorites]

Sing us a Song to Keep us Warm, There's Such a Chill

In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 12:06 PM Jun 16 2012 - 66 comments [242 favorites]

Chess tactics explained in plain English

A Field Guide to Chess Tactics. Chess tactics explained in plain English, with hundreds of examples. A great site for beginning to mid-level players. Includes a large library of positional problems, organized thematically, with the solutions explained and discussed. For example, learn about knight forks, then quiz yourself on the same topic.
posted by Rumple at 9:53 PM Jun 19 2007 - 76 comments [241 favorites]

The Definitive Look at the Diversity of Our Planet

Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:15 AM Mar 7 2011 - 69 comments [241 favorites]

OK. 3, 2, 1. Let's Jam!

The year is 2071. Humanity has spread across the solar system and the Space Police have reinstated the bounty system of the Old West: catch wanted fugitives alive, deliver them to the cops and get paid. Cowboy Bebop chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of a group of bounty hunters as they try to catch bad guys and make a living. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:02 PM May 7 2013 - 153 comments [239 favorites]

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:16 AM Dec 9 2013 - 92 comments [239 favorites]

"oh, hello."

"She stared at a single set of footprints in the snow ahead of her. She fixated on the tracks and realized they had been made by a pair of sneakers. She silently scolded the absent hiker who had violated normal safety rules and walked on."
posted by bondcliff at 1:39 PM Jan 7 2019 - 81 comments [239 favorites]

HEAVY METAL

The Science of Cast Iron Cooking. The Truth About Cast Iron. How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet:
The skillet you want is at least fifty years old, and right now it is probably sitting on a thrift store shelf or a yard sale table. Your first task is to locate it. Until the 1960s, the final stage in manufacturing cast iron was to machine-polish each pan until the cooking surface was as smooth as glass. New cast iron is sold unpolished, that is, fresh out of the mold, with a texture like pitted Formica. The cast iron companies claim that the new, unpolished skillets are as easy to season and as non-stick as the old, polished ones—but then they would say that. You can polish new cast iron yourself with an orbital sander and some 80 grit, followed by hand sanding with 220 grit wet-dry, then 320, then 400, then 600 for good measure, but let’s face it, you’d rather have those five hours of your life and the ridges on your fingernails intact. The skillet you want is polished already.
How To Season A Cast Iron Pan. 5 Myths Of Cast Iron Cookware. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:35 PM Feb 17 2015 - 180 comments [238 favorites]

A fistful of Rikers.

Star Trek TNG goes horribly wrong in a series of short, surreal and very zen mashups: Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
posted by loquacious at 4:54 AM Jan 31 2009 - 102 comments [235 favorites]

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