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"Actually, I like the way I look."

"What is new is that I have decided, at the age of 60, that I am a goddamn knockout. Like Dorothy at the end of the film version of The Wizard of Oz, I had the power I sought all along. I rub my thighs together — sorry, couldn’t resist — and tell myself over and over that I am beautiful and, what do you know, suddenly I am." Crime novelist Laura Lippman reflects on aging, eating, wanting, and leaping in her Longreads essay, "Whole 60." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:47 PM Jul 16 2019 - 34 comments [61 favorites]

How to, home and car edition

How to: change your car's oil, change a flat tire, flush your radiator and cooling system, jump-start a car, fix a running toilet, replace a kitchen faucet, diagnose and fix clogged drains, fix a blown fuse and reset a circuit breaker, install a light fixture, patch and repair drywall, and find wall studs
posted by Cozybee at 11:46 PM Jul 16 2019 - 29 comments [60 favorites]

About My Daughter

I almost blurt out that my daughter fills her heavy bags with books and printouts filled with bizarre words, setting off across the country like an itinerant salesman. That she's a pitiful girl who eats a meal in her tiny car after class, takes a cramped nap, and comes back home to immerse herself in books and writing again until she falls asleep. These unspoken words pound me in the chest like an assault. And now here she was, paying me a rent that was more of a bribe, having barged in with some strange girl and shaming her parents. The words are about to leak out of my mouth. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 2:15 PM Jul 16 2019 - 15 comments [47 favorites]

It's okay to be good and not great

What if striving to be great is what's holding you back? “Good is the enemy of great” is one of the most popular self-improvement expressions there is... It sounds appealing and rolls off the tongue nicely, but there’s a good chance it’s downright wrong."
posted by smoke at 4:07 AM Jul 17 2019 - 42 comments [39 favorites]

Write like you need it to survive

Maybe you wanna start getting ready for nanowrimo, maybe writing is for all year round. Either way, I've got around 50 links bookmarked just for you [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 10:50 PM Jul 15 2019 - 18 comments [121 favorites (37 in the past 24 hours)]

The Most Boring Tourist Trap in Every U.S. State

We've scoured the U.S. to find the least interesting and most skip-worthy destination in each state and Washington, D.C. We’re prepared for the fact that we’ll anger many locals, and we mean no offense with these choices. It’s likely we included many folks’ favorite detours. But just because you have a fond memory of a place doesn’t mean it’s worth anyone else’s time. And you can be sure that if it claims to be the world’s “largest” or “best” of anything, it made the list.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:58 PM Jul 16 2019 - 211 comments [29 favorites]

Human races are not like dog breeds: refuting a racist analogy

In 1956, evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane posed a question to anthropologists: “Are the biological differences between human groups comparable with those between groups of domestic animals such as greyhounds and bulldogs…?” It reads as if it were posted on social media today. The analogy comparing human races to dog breeds is not only widespread in history and pop culture, but also sounds like scientific justification for eschewing the social construction of race, or for holding racist beliefs about human nature. Here we answer Haldane’s question in an effort to improve the public understanding of human biological variation and “race”—two phenomena that are not synonymous. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 9:40 AM Jul 17 2019 - 15 comments [25 favorites]

treasure, but also guillotines

60 carats of meteorite-made glass. Guillotine signet rings. Bejeweled fox heads. Victorian crystal pendants with "a Westie who apparently was just caught pooping in a shoe." All these and more in Dearest, a newsletter by Monica McLaughlin on unusual antique and estate jewelry. [more inside]
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:48 AM Jul 17 2019 - 9 comments [23 favorites]

standard level, short and sweet

"I made the worst ever 1-1 remake in Mario Maker 2"
posted by cortex at 12:09 PM Jul 16 2019 - 43 comments [23 favorites (21 in the past 24 hours)]

Sex Offender Registries Don’t Keep Kids Safe

At least 12 states require sex offender registration for public urination; five apply it to people charged with offenses related to sex work; 29 require it for consensual sex between teenagers. According to Human Rights Watch, people have been forced to spend decades on the registry for crimes they committed as young as 10 years old. An article by Michael Hobbes
posted by latkes at 4:15 PM Jul 16 2019 - 19 comments [18 favorites]

“has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away starving“

“Before all else, we must pursue a vision of the common good (by whatever charitable means we can) that presumes that the basis of law and justice is not the inviolable right to private property, but rather the more original truth taught by men such as Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose of Milan, and John Chrysostom: that the goods of creation belong equally to all, and that immense private wealth is theft – bread stolen from the hungry, clothing stolen from the naked, money stolen from the destitute.” What Lies Beyond Capitalism? A Christian Exploration (Plough)
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM Jul 17 2019 - 8 comments [18 favorites]

More capable than your smartphone

Your toaster probably has more processing power, but can it get you to the moon? An appreciation of the Apollo Guidance Computer. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 6:13 AM Jul 17 2019 - 23 comments [16 favorites]

Richard E. Byrd's Antarctic Adventure, with stowaway Billy Gawronski

The Roaring Twenties in the United States was a time of numerous publicity stunts. One such example was Richard E. Byrd’s 1928-1930 Antarctica Expedition, which was sponsored by mass media (JStor Daily article) and the companies who provided typewriters to candy, paper to Byrd’s desk. His first exploration was recorded and presented in With Byrd at the South Pole and documented by Byrd in Little America : aerial exploration in the Antarctic, the flight to the South pole (documentary and book on But he was not the only self-promoter on that journey: meet the teen who snuck aboard a polar expedition (Nat Geo), a scrappy Polish American kid from New York’s Lower East Side named Billy Gawronski (New Yorker).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM Jul 16 2019 - 5 comments [15 favorites]

Piano composition

Nahre Sol explains really clearly how you can go from simple to complex when composing music for the piano. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 3:34 AM Jul 17 2019 - 6 comments [15 favorites]

Unicorns Beneath the Sea

A retired teacher found some seahorses off Long Beach. Then he built a secret world for them. Now he works with scientists to answer questions about mating and lifespan, among other questions. His partner Ashley Arnold 'learned to dive as part of a program the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs hospital offered to female veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma.' “All the irritation on the surface disappears when you go under the water,” she says. “It’s like, ‘What was I concerned about?’ You forget about everything else. Nothing else matters.” [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver at 9:53 AM Jul 16 2019 - 2 comments [23 favorites (13 in the past 24 hours)]

Debunking the Bystander Effect

New research analyzing camera footage shows the bystander effect may be largely a myth.
posted by blue shadows at 11:03 PM Jul 16 2019 - 19 comments [13 favorites]


Baz Furnell draws mandalas. Do you want to draw mandalas like Baz Furnell? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 8:34 AM Jul 17 2019 - 6 comments [13 favorites]

"It’s a lot of history"

A look at some of the gems hidden away in the photo archive of Ebony and Jet magazines, set to be auctioned tomorrow. With more than four million prints and negatives in boxes and old file cabinets, the archive is considered the most significant collection of photographs depicting African-American life in the 20th century. Much of it has barely been seen by the public in decades, and few photos have been digitized. Now art historians fear a private collector could buy the archive and stash it away. [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 12:39 PM Jul 16 2019 - 7 comments [12 favorites]

But You Look Fine: A Reading List

About Disabilities, Accommodations, and School. "Because of her reaction, I assumed all professors might view my health condition as a nuisance. I became skilled at performing wellness, enough so that even people in graduate school made sly comments like, I’ve never seen you this way after reading my personal essays about my neurological symptoms, as if they, too, needed reassurance that what I had experienced was real."
posted by Little Dawn at 11:36 PM Jul 15 2019 - 16 comments [40 favorites (11 in the past 24 hours)]

Let Gandalf Go, You Monsters

Tom7 invents and tests a variety of very bad chess-playing algorithms.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:02 AM Jul 16 2019 - 13 comments [23 favorites (11 in the past 24 hours)]

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