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ITMFA III: The Search for Articles of Impeachment

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has invited President Donald Trump to its first impeachment hearing, scheduled for Dec. 4, starting a new phase of the inquiry that could lead to formal charges against the president within weeks. In the meantime, Lawfare has written a Starr Report, based on the impeachment investigation hearings, which serve as "the narrative backbone for the articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee will now prepare and on which members will vote." [more inside]
posted by katra on Nov 29 at 12:36 PM - 404 comments

The Afghanistan Papers

From 2014 to 2018, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction conducted a deep investigation into the failures of the US war in Afghanistan, entitled "Lessons Learned". The investigation included candid interviews with more than 600 people with firsthand experience in the war. After multiple FOIA suits, the Washington Post has now published those interviews, revealing that the public was consistently lied to about the state of the war from its inception. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Dec 9 at 8:25 AM - 27 comments

“I ain't the sharpest fruit in the shed...”

Smash Mouth’s “All Star” played with melons and Toto’s “Africa” played with sweet potato and squash by YouTuber Pupsi.
posted by Fizz on Dec 9 at 10:34 AM - 6 comments

All of us who live here can taste the fire and feel it in our throats.

Australia Burns Again, and Now Its Biggest City Is Choking - NYT. Psychologists describe a creeping sense of impotence and dread. “The stress based on the fact that thick smoke can accelerate pre-existing cardiovascular conditions is one thing,” said Frans Verstraten, who holds the McCaughey Chair of Psychology at the University of Sydney. “But the other kind of stress, based on the realization that there is not much we can do — helplessness; the realization that you can’t do anything about it — makes it worse.[more inside]
posted by Acid Communist on Dec 8 at 2:21 PM - 29 comments

From the past until completion

The official trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 appeared. The new Wonder Woman movie, a/k/a WW84: Wonder Woman, is scheduled to appear next summer.
posted by doctornemo on Dec 8 at 5:34 PM - 63 comments

Confessions of an Adjacent Geek

When I think about the current rules of engagement/consumption for fandom and what they’ve evolved into, I do sometimes wonder if there’s a room for the person I am now: a “lightly geeky,” casually interested fan with a history of being more highly engaged. [more inside]
posted by storytam on Dec 9 at 11:01 AM - 2 comments

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 on Dec 7 at 9:48 AM - 58 comments

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 on Dec 8 at 7:10 AM - 74 comments

Decline & Fall of the 5-Gallon Flush

Nostalgia for the power and glory of the 5-gallon flush has driven activism and trans-national smuggling, while quantified flush power ratings and consumer satisfaction (pdf) with low-flow toilets have both risen. However, reduced water usage is challenging municipal systems' ability to transport solids downstream and replacements for flush toilets are gaining traction, at least with some researchers. [more inside]
posted by head full of air on Dec 8 at 2:04 PM - 58 comments

The best thing you can do is not buy more stuff

Adam Minter is an opinion columnist with Bloomberg where he writes about China, technology, and the environment, an author (Goodreads), and self-described junk man (personal website, Shanghai Scrap), as seen columns and books. In 2013, he wrote Junkyard Planet (Amazon; Goodreads), as covered in a long interview with NPR where he described how Christmas lights in the U.S. were turned to slippers in China. With his new book, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale (Amazon; Goodreads), he talked to NPR again at length, about a range of topics, from the rise of "cleanup" companies, to how unwanted donations from the U.S. end up for sale in Asia and Africa (a separate, short NPR story). More on the the impacts of, and attempts to stop, importing used clothes in Africa below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 8 at 9:24 PM - 38 comments

Was it a virtual AOL or was it a Tuna Colada

Verizon announced (previously) that December 14 is the deadline to archive all Yahoo Groups content, and is actively preventing archival efforts. Verizon has blocked semi-automated scripts, disabled the PGOlffine backup tool, and banned the email addresses of volunteer archivists. The Archive Team estimates that will result in an 80% loss of the total Yahoo! Groups they where attempting to rescue. Once again, Yahoo! has found a way to destroy the most massive amount of history in the shortest amount of time with absolutely no recourse. [more inside]
posted by zenon on Dec 9 at 9:51 AM - 8 comments

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 on Dec 7 at 4:27 PM - 52 comments

Farewell to the ‘Guru of Doo Doo'

Remembering Los Angeles' 'wizard of compost': Working steadily for decades, Tim "Zeke the Sheik" Dundon turned a suburban yard into a green oasis and the base for a massive composting operation before his death this past summer. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Dec 9 at 9:55 AM - 2 comments

He Had One Question

Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. For a few months, they managed to be each other’s escape, but they knew these visits wouldn’t last. Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite. It took them 72 years.
posted by Toddles on Dec 8 at 8:23 PM - 8 comments

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 on Dec 6 at 1:31 PM - 141 comments

The Languages of NYC

New York City is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. The Endangered Language Alliance has just published a map of 637 of them, just in time for the end of the UN's International Year of Indigenous Languages. [more inside]
posted by damayanti on Dec 9 at 6:53 AM - 9 comments

René Auberjonois 1940-2019

René Auberjonois, veteran of stage, screen, and voice acting for over half a century, has died of metastatic lung cancer, per his family. [WaPo] [Twitter] [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on Dec 8 at 5:30 PM - 106 comments

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 on Dec 6 at 9:19 AM - 61 comments

to finally see Mr. Hooper once more

Carrol Spinney, who performed as Big Bird for over fifty years, has passed at 85. Spinney retired from the role last year after his struggles with dystonia prevented him from performing any longer. Spinney on the blue previously: [1], [2], [3].
posted by mightygodking on Dec 8 at 9:54 AM - 104 comments

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Metafilter Post

Inside the Rise of Skywalker article and photos. (No leaks or major spoilers in this post.) [more inside]
posted by medusa on Dec 7 at 3:08 PM - 32 comments

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