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“Dominic Cummings ... has the air of a startled testicle ...”

(CW swears, savage satire) Frankie Boyle on the UK election. “Boris Johnson, who looks like something you’d keep your pyjamas in, and who no reasonable person would choose to lead them into a chorus, has a strangely hunched demeanour; perhaps from all the time he spends crammed inside married women’s wardrobes, like a randy jack-in-the-box. This confused sex yeti has been booed by nurses: people who can remove a dressing, examine a festering wound, and still look up at you with a smile ... He doesn’t even seem to enjoy it; throughout the campaign he’s sported a face that looks as if it’s been kneaded by a baker going through a particularly bitter divorce ...”
posted by Wordshore at 5:24 AM Dec 7 2019 - 38 comments [45 favorites (30 in the past 24 hours)]

New advance in clean energy.

There's been an advance in generating power from the natural mix of fresh and salt water. The idea has been around for quite a while. In 2013 a French Team made a membrane that could do that. It's a completely passive effect. They use Boron Nitride Nanotubes embedded in a Silicon Nitride membrane. The charge on the Nanotubes preferentially sorts the positive and negative charges of the salt water and only lets one polarity through to the fresh water side. This creates a Voltage difference across the membrane. The French Team's estimate was:
"...researchers estimated a single square meter of the membrane—packed with millions of pores per square centimeter—could generate about 30 megawatt hours per year." [more inside]
posted by aleph at 4:27 PM Dec 7 2019 - 44 comments [26 favorites]

The debate over whether to ban “virginity testing,” explained

New York State is considering barring the practice after T.I.’s comments about his daughter. The rapper T.I. sparked nationwide controversy last month when he said he takes his 18-year-old daughter to the doctor every year to check if she is a virgin. While he later said his comments had been misinterpreted, experts say “virginity testing” is a real thing that happens in the US. Now, one state is taking steps to ban it. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:48 AM Dec 7 2019 - 44 comments [20 favorites]

I Do Not Want This Post on a T-shirt

The insanely specific T-shirt has been a staple of Twitter dunkings and Facebook "What the..." posts for a couple of years now, but the bots have recently stepped up from data mining to art theft, scanning for tweets like "I want this on a T-shirt!" and turning the picture or text in the tweet it's replying to into a T-shirt faster than you can say "The original artist doesn't get paid". Sometimes they even steal the idea from an actual T-shirt that someone else had created. The creators getting ripped off are fighting back creatively, including enlisting people to reply with "I want this on a T-shirt!" on every post on Disney's Twitter accounts to try to point the wrath of the Mouse's lawyers at offenders.
posted by Etrigan at 1:19 PM Dec 7 2019 - 19 comments [18 favorites]

T'ain't a good idea

Our ancestors had a secret to happiness we are just now rediscovering. Between hunting and gathering, drawing little horseys on cave walls, and discovering exciting new ways to die, they would roll onto their backs, grip their dirty hands around their dirty ankles, and expose their nether regions to the life-giving eye of the sun. (Reid McCarter, AV Club) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:44 PM Dec 7 2019 - 54 comments [14 favorites]

Measuring and ranking "is our children learning?"

The website uses standardized testing scores to rate schools nationwide. The claim is that this data helps all parents, but principally those in poorer families. However, a recent report by Chalkbeat and Vox has shown that rather than ratings schools by how much they educate children, GreatSchools has been echoing the common assumption that the best schools are white/Asian and rich. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 1:34 PM Dec 7 2019 - 10 comments [13 favorites]

My So-Karen Life

On Karens By Sarah Miller [NYT]
posted by latkes at 12:45 PM Dec 7 2019 - 55 comments [11 favorites]

negative b over 2 plus or minus the square root of, uh, something

How to solve quadratic equations with a method (slmb*) instead of just using the quadratic formula. This helps folks like me who more easily remember steps than formulas. *single link math blog
posted by otherchaz at 8:14 PM Dec 6 2019 - 22 comments [29 favorites (9 in the past 24 hours)]

They shouldn't be allowed to have orgasms on principle

The Real Reason People Won't Date Across The Political Divide ‘The people who say ‘it’s just politics’ are the people for whom bigotry poses no real risk to their jobs, relationships and lives.’ This was posted today at Miss Cellania , an excellent mix of fun and serious.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 1:31 PM Dec 6 2019 - 135 comments [38 favorites (8 in the past 24 hours)]

A Diary of a Young African Man

To be young is to have hope. So all these hindrances did not deter Kagwa from pursuing his interests. He was a keen member of the very local soccer league, replete with its own legends, and of their occasional jogging gang. He also knew where to buy the most lethal strains of moonshine, which was to be his undoing. By Kalundi Serumaga
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:42 AM Dec 7 2019 - 2 comments [7 favorites]

Top-Selling Singles by Decade, 14,500s BCE - 2010s CE

Archie Henderson is a musical historian. In this twitter thread, working with Adrian Gray, he lists top-selling singles of selected decades starting with the 2010s and going back from there. Way back.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:18 PM Dec 5 2019 - 23 comments [44 favorites (6 in the past 24 hours)]

Moment by moment, the work goes on.

The youngest Vuntut Gwitchin chief in recent history only moved back to his home community six years ago after a difficult childhood on the streets of Whitehorse. Now, he's sharing his story of hardship and hope. Dana Tizya-Tramm is our Northerner of the Year.
posted by Rumple at 9:23 PM Dec 6 2019 - 6 comments [16 favorites (6 in the past 24 hours)]

Starving Artist

"The banana is the idea": Performance Artist Eats $120,000 Banana Off Wall at Art Basel Gallery [Daily Beast] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:02 AM Dec 8 2019 - 37 comments [6 favorites]

God mode is on by default.

I Am Jesus Christ [YouTube][Game Trailer] “There have been Christian video games for nearly as long as there have been video games, with devout parents desperately trying to keep the devil at bay by feeding their kids a steady diet of Bible Adventures, Dance Praise, and dozens of other off-brand, Bible-friendly Mario wannabes. And yet, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like I Am Jesus Christ. [...] After all, even extremely religious games rarely put players in the sandals of the Nazarene himself, on account of, well, the blasphemy. But I Am Jesus Christ appears to just go for it, featuring scenes of you and your big white hands curing the blind, calming storms, and making fish appear where fish were not.” [via: A.V. Club] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:10 AM Dec 8 2019 - 33 comments [6 favorites]

The Deep Sea

Scroll down... Keep scrolling. By Neal Agarwal. More here.
posted by motty at 2:32 PM Dec 5 2019 - 64 comments [82 favorites (5 in the past 24 hours)]

The Consultants Behind Every Crisis

“ McKinsey has faced mounting scrutiny over the past two years, as reports by The New York Times, ProPublica and others have raised questions about whether the firm has crossed ethical and legal lines in pursuit of profit. The consultancy returned millions of dollars in fees after South African authorities implicated it in a profiteering scheme. The exposure of its history advising opioid makers on ways to bolster sales induced the usually secretive firm to declare publicly that its opioid work had ended. Last month, the Times reported that McKinsey’s bankruptcy practice is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.“ How McKinsey Helped the Trump Administration Detain and Deport Immigrants (ProPublica/NYT) “ From top to bottom, the post-1970s job insecurity, legitimated by #McKinsey ideas, intertwined with the industrial undocumented workforce that made #Silicon Valley possible.” (Twitter)
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM Dec 6 2019 - 57 comments [30 favorites (5 in the past 24 hours)]

Saint Nick and the barrel boys, a real pickle of a (Christmas) story

It's that time of year when people celebrate Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6 (Wikipedia). If you're looking through images of his saintly actions, you will likely see him depicted with three men, often young, in a barrel or tub (WTF Art History). This was a particularly popular medieval legend (Google books preview), as seen in this ornate carving (Met Museum). More modern interpretations have expanded Nicholas' domain to include brewers, based on these images, but in fact, he is resurrecting pickled boys (Beliefnet). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:42 PM Dec 7 2019 - 7 comments [4 favorites]

The Morning The Music Died

The Fate of the USS Arizona Band – “On December 7th, 1941, on the coast of Oahu, those stationed at the naval installation of Pearl Harbor were unaware that they would soon become a part of history. Just before 8 AM, their lives were changed forever and many of them became forever engraved in America’s history. Among the 1,177 sailors who perished aboard the USS Arizona during Japan’s attack were a group of 21 notable heroes who were there for one reason – at 8 o’clock that morning, they were scheduled to ring in the morning with the national anthem.” (Photo gallery of Pacific Fleet Band #22 members at
posted by cenoxo at 8:09 PM Dec 7 2019 - 5 comments [4 favorites]

It probably all started with a Bailey's commercial 20 years ago

A decade ago, Moby analyzed his album from a decade previous, Play, for Rolling Stone. He had intended for it to be his last album. It turned out to be a global album superstar [YT Playlist, 64m]. It was Christmas season 20 years ago when the world first started taking notice. Side A: Honey [video], Find My Baby [video], Porcelain [video (eye), video (car)], Why Does My Heart Feel So bad? [video] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:32 AM Dec 8 2019 - 6 comments [4 favorites]

NPR's Book Concierge 2019

NPR's Book Concierge is back with 350 reads in 33 categories that you can mix and match. If you're still not able to find the perfect book for your next read, you can also explore the books from the last seven years, or look at Metafilter discussions from 2017 or 2015.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:48 AM Dec 4 2019 - 26 comments [41 favorites (3 in the past 24 hours)]

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