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Death, Lonely Death

Billions of miles away at the edge of the Solar System Voyager 1 has gone mad and has begun to die
posted by signsofrain at 5:03 PM Feb 21 2024 - 118 comments [75 favorites]

All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy

Michael Idov's stellar article for GQ.com about being In Athens With Michael Shannon, the Night He (Sort of) Reunited R.E.M. And you better believe there's [more inside]
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 9:46 PM Feb 21 2024 - 21 comments [27 favorites]

Stone Age wall found at bottom of Baltic Sea

Stone age wall found at bottom of Baltic Sea may be Europe’s oldest megastructure. They think it may have been used to help hunt reindeer. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 4:34 PM Feb 21 2024 - 5 comments [19 favorites]

A genre of swords and soulmates

"Romantasy 'allows women to have it all', says Christina Clark-Brown, who shares book recommendations on the Instagram page ninas_nook. 'There is no damsel who needs saving but rather women are allowed to be powerful, go on epic quests, and find love with a partner who is an equal to them in every way.'" The Guardian has some exciting news for you [Archive] about romantasy. Is what's described, though, a never-before-seen phenomenon? (Of course not.) [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:53 AM Feb 22 2024 - 66 comments [19 favorites]

The surprising origins of wave-particle duality

Everything acts like a wave while it propagates, but behaves like a particle whenever it interacts. The origins of this duality go way back.
posted by ShooBoo at 3:44 PM Feb 21 2024 - 7 comments [20 favorites (17 in the past 24 hours)]

Like Roy Moore never left

The reproductive healthcare community of Alabama was thrown into turmoil this week following a shockingly theocratic state supreme court decision that defines frozen embryos as children under the state's Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. Fearing prosecution, the influential UAB Health System has responded by officially suspending all in-vitro fertilization (IVF) services statewide. The controversial ruling puts Alabama at the forefront of the national fetal personhood movement, a key player in the push by conservative activists to institute unabashed Christian nationalism in a second Trump term. Unfortunately for Alabama voters, the state lacks a public referendum system, meaning any reforms must pass through the state legislature's Republican supermajorities.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:55 PM Feb 21 2024 - 83 comments [16 favorites]

Half-Life Histories

Half-Life Histories (Youtube playlist link) is a mini-documentary series about nuclear and radiological disasters by Youtuber and science educator Kyle Hill. Hill's series covers both well-known and major nuclear accidents and disasters like the Demon Core at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Castle Bravo detonation on Bikini Atoll, and less well-known incidents like what happened when scientist Anatoli Bugorski accidentally put his head in a particle accelerator beam, and the only recorded death from an unknown source of radiation.
posted by yasaman at 7:30 PM Feb 21 2024 - 10 comments [13 favorites]

“They’re noticeably different, except for a few”

Meanwhile, Rybak and Hearn say that prospective buyers regularly call or email asking for guidance in authenticating this or that painting, worried they may have sunk large sums of money on worthless imitations. Some buyers were bilked out of their life savings. For the fraudsters, of course, the scheme was nothing more than a way to make money. But the devastation to honest buyers, to Morrisseau and his legacy, to Indigenous culture, and to Canadian art writ large is incalculable. Morrisseau’s works were not meaningless paintings but precious, irreplaceable examples of the Anishinaabe experience in Canada and the world. from Inside the Biggest Art Fraud in History [Smithsonian]
posted by chavenet at 5:07 AM Feb 22 2024 - 30 comments [11 favorites]

'I think too much complexity can actually be a bad thing.'

"I decided to write a sequel of sorts to a craft talk I gave in Paris last month on what I’ve been calling moral worldbuilding, which to me just means being more conscientious about the kinds of value systems we include in our work, and facing up to the fear of being called didactic or melodramatic. That talk was pretty diagnostic and focused mostly on theorizing causes of how we got there. This one focuses more on the aesthetic qualities of bad moral worldbuilding and their immediate causes. It’s pretty vibey." Brandon Taylor's new essay, living shadows: aesthetics of moral worldbuilding.
posted by mittens at 12:00 PM Feb 22 2024 - 10 comments [11 favorites]

A bigger, better train for Conductor Whiskers

Yesterday, mobile game developer Hit-Point quietly announced Neko Atsume 2, coming this summer to Android and iOS. [more inside]
posted by May Kasahara at 11:41 AM Feb 22 2024 - 11 comments [9 favorites]

Steven Richard Miller 1950-2024

Steve Miller, coauthor of the Liaden universe, has died at the age of 74. He wrote his own obituary.
posted by WizardOfDocs at 4:37 PM Feb 21 2024 - 20 comments [8 favorites]

How Google is killing independent sites like ours

Private equity firms are utilizing public trust in long-standing publications to sell every product under the sun. In a bid to replace falling ad revenue, publishing houses are selling their publications for parts to media groups that are quick to establish affiliate marketing deals. They’re buying magazines we love, closing their print operations, turning them into digital-only, laying off the actual journalists who made us trust in their content in the first place, and hiring third-party companies to run the affiliate arm of their sites. While this happens, investment firms and ‘innovative digital media companies’ are selling you bad products. These Digital Goliaths shouldn’t be able to use product recommendations as their personal piggy bank, simply flying through Google updates off the back of ‘the right signals,’ an old domain, or the echo of a reputable brand that is no longer.
Indie air purifier review site HouseFresh does a deep dive into the incestuous world of top-ranking Google product search results. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 1:22 PM Feb 20 2024 - 93 comments [66 favorites (6 in the past 24 hours)]

The New Tabletop Games Journalism

Rascal News is a new venture in tabletop games journalism. Building on the 00s' New Games Journalism for videogames, the editors/authors are Lin Codega, Rowan Zeoli, and Chase Carter. A recent interview with Kimi Hughes discusses "How Has Actual Play Changed Game Design?" [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:44 AM Feb 21 2024 - 8 comments [20 favorites (6 in the past 24 hours)]

Critically endangered bettongs double population in NSW

Critically endangered bettongs survive fires, floods to double population in NSW. A program re-introducing brush-tailed bettongs to a conservation area in the Pilliga State Forest shows promise, after an east-coast extinction lasting more than 100 years.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 9:29 AM Feb 22 2024 - 6 comments [6 favorites]

What if you suspect your husband is fantastically evil?

Shot: "The Lure of Divorce" In which Emily Gould writes: "Seven years into my marriage, I hit a breaking point — and had to decide whether life would be better without my husband in it." (continued inside) [more inside]
posted by MiraK at 2:01 PM Feb 21 2024 - 42 comments [7 favorites (5 in the past 24 hours)]

Next Friday is Hawaiian Shirt Day!

Twenty-five years ago today, the movie Office Space premiered. Watch the original trailer. Read Roger Ebert’s 3-star review (“a comic cry of rage against the nightmare of modern office life.”) Enjoy an oral history. Read reflections on the impact of the movie from Variety, BBC, and The Guardian. Maybe you want to buy yourself a red Swingline stapler to celebrate?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:24 AM Feb 19 2024 - 70 comments [38 favorites (4 in the past 24 hours)]

"A sort of anti-woke summer camp."

"An alluring name, Forbidden Courses. I decided to take a look. Although my spleen is not inflamed by the culture wars, although my heart is not lifted by calls like Bari Weiss’s for a “coalition” comprised of “trads, whigs, normies,” I was curious. How plausible was their project? What ideas would they discuss? I applied to UATX last March. There was the cover letter, and the three essay questions, and the writing sample. I speckled them with Harold Bloom and Nietzsche. “Exploitation … belongs to the essence of what lives,” that sort of thing. April 6th, the letter arrived in my email inbox: “Congratulations! … UATX is extending you an offer of admission to Session I of this year's Forbidden Courses.” I flew south in June. " [Web Archive link] [more inside]
posted by reclusive_thousandaire at 10:07 AM Feb 20 2024 - 113 comments [29 favorites (4 in the past 24 hours)]

Smart Move(?)

Capital One announced this week that it intends to buy Discover in an all-stock deal valued at $35 billion, which would make it by some measures the largest credit card company in the U.S. While CEO Richard Fairbank covets Discover's independent payments network, consumer advocates fear a negative effect on its vaunted customer service, as well as a general trend of credit card companies squeezing customers more as they grow larger. Though there is an argument that the proposed deal will increase competition at the network level, it will still face heavy antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Reserve and Biden administration regulators. Meanwhile in Congress, criticism of the deal has already been aired by pro-regulation stalwarts, including Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, and... Josh Hawley?
posted by Rhaomi at 3:00 PM Feb 22 2024 - 4 comments [3 favorites]

You can wag your tail / But I ain't gonna feed you no more

Why Willie Mae Thornton Matters. Author Lynée Denise on the book's genesis: I saw this video of one of her performances from 1970 and I was like who the hell is this? Who is this woman commanding the room, commanding the band with all this dignity, all this ruthless inner peace?

Thornton is sometimes overlooked in music history, but her rendition of "Hound Dog" came first, and was a smash hit to boot. More happily “Ball and Chain” became one of Janis Joplin’s signature songs with Big Mama’s blessing, after Joplin encountered Thornton singing it in a Divisadero St club in San Francisco. Dubbed "Big Mama" for her size, Thornton had raised herself out of poverty, turning professional singer at the age of fourteen in 1940. [Previously on MeFi] [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 6:39 PM Feb 19 2024 - 7 comments [31 favorites (2 in the past 24 hours)]

Load your band into the van and hit the road

What Drives Us [1h30m] is a documentary about being an on-the-road rock and roll band. It's an interesting journey of self-discovery. Directed by Dave Grohl. Includes interviews with unexpected people.
posted by hippybear at 6:21 PM Feb 19 2024 - 13 comments [28 favorites (2 in the past 24 hours)]

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