Posts with Recent Comments

Now imagine paying for all those things completely on your own.

If you live by yourself — or as a single parent or caregiver ... this is your life. All the expenses of existing in society, on one set of shoulders. For the more than 40 million people who live in this kind of single-income household, it’s also become increasingly untenable. When we talk about all the ways it’s become harder and harder for people to find solid financial footing in the middle class, we have to talk about how our society is still set up in a way that makes it much easier for single people to fall through the cracks. [SL Vox]
posted by Lycaste on Dec 2 at 10:22 PM - 6 comments

A Couple Of Lists Of Christmas Music

15 unconventional Christmas albums from the past 50 years,from KTVZ, Bend, OR. Also, 20 New-ish Christmas Albums That Actually Rule from Esquire. I will admit to ordering an album from one of these lists and expect to be pleased.
posted by hippybear on Dec 2 at 10:31 PM - 9 comments

As a Species, H. Sapiens Is Extraordinarily Samey

The signs are already there for those willing to see them. When the habitat becomes degraded such that there are fewer resources to go around; when fertility starts to decline; when the birth rate sinks below the death rate; and when genetic resources are limited—the only way is down. The question is “How fast?” from Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct by Henry Gee
posted by chavenet on Dec 2 at 2:27 PM - 68 comments

Fisher Price's Iconic Toy Telephone Now Actually Makes Phone Calls

Remember the classic toy Chatter Phone made by Fisher Price? It now has a version with bluetooth and can make calls. Gizmodo reports. The Onion reflects. [more inside]
posted by ShooBoo on Dec 2 at 7:31 AM - 24 comments

Amazon poised to pass UPS, FedEx to become largest US delivery service

Amazon has been steadily building up vast logistics and fulfillment operations since a 2013 holiday fiasco left its packages stranded in the hands of outside carriers. Bank of America analysts predicted Amazon delivered 58% of its own packages in 2019, making it the fourth-largest delivery service nationwide, according to Digital Commerce 360. By last August, Amazon was estimated to be delivering 66% of its own packages. Amazon’s in-house delivery operations have become a major advantage during this year’s holiday shopping season, which has been particularly challenging due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a global supply chain crunch and labor shortages. Beyond leveraging its own trucks and planes, Clark said Amazon has been shipping goods to new ports to avoid blockages.
posted by folklore724 on Dec 1 at 6:28 PM - 27 comments

"Now, what was this case about? Missing plums, was it?"

"From the icebox, he removes a small burlap sack with half a dozen plums inside it, places the bag on the counter next to the sink, and closes the icebox.... " The short fantasy story "This is Just to Say" by Timothy Mudie (previously) features a world-weary and idiosyncratic private eye, a worried wife, and the back story behind a couple of poems.
posted by brainwane on Dec 2 at 7:32 AM - 4 comments

Belfast-based art collective wins Turner Prize

Meet the 2021 Turner Prize-winning Array Collective (via The Guardian). One banner in the síbín reads: “Prepared for peas, ready for sausage war” – a reference to perhaps the most notorious of Belfast’s paramilitary murals which, accompanied by a sinister image of armed, hooded men, reads: “Prepared for peace, ready for war.” Array’s rewording is a dig at the “sausage war” and the DUP’s concern earlier this year that British bangers would struggle to find their way to Northern Ireland owing to Brexit. It’s a typical move from Array – to disarm, in all senses, the violent symbols of the region’s past. “Sometimes the culture here just hands you a joke on a plate,” says Campbell.
posted by Bella Donna on Dec 2 at 11:58 AM - 8 comments

Don't try to understand it. Feel it.

I used to be able to understand 99% of the dialogue in Hollywood films. But over the past 10 years or so, I've noticed that percentage has dropped significantly — and it's not due to hearing loss on my end. It's gotten to the point where I find myself occasionally not being able to parse entire lines of dialogue when I see a movie in a theater, and when I watch things at home, I've defaulted to turning the subtitles on to make sure I don't miss anything crucial to the plot. [more inside]
posted by octothorpe on Dec 1 at 5:32 PM - 120 comments

Just some tranquil DJ Mixes

Four new, mellow 70-ish minute mixes from Traumprinz, the anonymous/multi-aliased German DJ: To All Dreamers, To All Dancers, To All Lovers, To All Believers
Unlike earlier mixes, these incorporate a significant number of pieces by artists other than Traumprinz, from Hildegard Von Bingen to death's dynamic shroud.wav, from SHXCXCHCXSH to Underworld, from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma to Justin Bieber.
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 2 at 4:27 PM - 2 comments

Gay Men Earn Degrees at Highest Rate, Study Finds

Roughly 52 percent of gay men in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 36 percent of all adults. Mittleman said that gay men of every racial and ethnic group outperformed their straight male counterparts. “I think it’s especially striking within the Asian American population, given the fact that they generally have the highest levels of degree attainment in America,” Mittleman said. “Even within that already high-achieving population, gay men earn more college degrees than straight men.”
posted by folklore724 on Nov 30 at 10:36 AM - 21 comments

"Dazy keeps it simple: heart rot, butt rot, root rot."

Author Mary Roach's new book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law has many excellent chapters on human/wildlife interaction. Here is one chapter about "danger trees," trees that are "dead soft" but not yet "dead fallen" and she talks to tree faller (or faller blaster) Dave "Dazy" Weymer about his work blowing up the tops of trees so that they don't come down unannounced and kill people. Here are a few Dazy Weymer videos from YouTube: an intro to being a faller blaster, felling a big spruce (no explosives) and blasting a small snag.
posted by jessamyn on Dec 2 at 3:50 PM - 7 comments

License to Ill

Havana syndrome resembles many other “contested illnesses,” only its sufferers — and promoters — are professional disinformation producers "Sometimes these communities can coalesce around unsubstantiated theories (as with Morgellons, an unfounded belief by some that mysterious fibers are growing out of their skin), but other times such networks can unearth tangible malfeasance (as with the childhood leukemia clusters in the late 1970s in Woburn, Massachusetts that were eventually traced to groundwater contamination from a local factory)."
posted by schmudde on Dec 2 at 8:23 AM - 26 comments

An Invitation to a Country House

Feeling the need to escape to the country and relax with some friends? May I suggest the Golden Age Mystery: a genre that grew in the wake of the trauma of World War I, providing readers with puzzles, excitement, and wise and/or witty detectives (and the occasional oaf) to watch at work. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian on Dec 2 at 9:09 AM - 16 comments

nature finds a way

World's first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say. Bongard said they found that the xenobots, which were initially sphere-shaped and made from around 3,000 cells, could replicate. But it happened rarely and only in specific circumstances. The xenobots used "kinetic replication" -- a process that is known to occur at the molecular level but has never been observed before at the scale of whole cells or organisms.
posted by fight or flight on Nov 29 at 1:02 PM - 54 comments

Come on baby, let me whisper in your ear

Before the Seattle sound grunged its way to the top of the charts, a power pop trio from Chicago dropped their debut album, International Pop Overthrow. Now a documentary by a filmmaker born four years after lead singer Jim Ellison died by suicide is tells the story in Out of Time: The Material Issue Story. It premieres in Chicago tonight at Lincoln Hall. [more inside]
posted by cyndigo on Dec 2 at 5:14 PM - 14 comments


The WHO has declared a new covid-19 variant of concern 'omicron'. Countries around the world are imposing stricter measures and travel bans even as the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa on Sunday urged countries to follow the science rather than imposing flight bans. Omicron contains many mutations that would appear to weaken the effectiveness of existing vaccines but many uncertainties exist as scientists and vaccine manufacturers scramble to learn more. The discovery of the new variant in South Africa raises concerns about global vaccine inequity.
posted by roolya_boolya on Nov 28 at 12:29 PM - 225 comments

Let’s talk about Chess

The 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship has started in Dubai. Magnus Carlsen defends his title against challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi in a 14 game match between November 26th- December 16th. You can watch the games daily on a number of chess focused Twitch channels linked below. Games start at 4:30pm in Dubai/ 12:30pm London / 7:30am New York. Games typically last 6 hours. [more inside]
posted by interogative mood on Nov 26 at 8:11 AM - 54 comments

"Young Americans are sounding the alarm."

According to the most recent Harvard Youth Poll (NPR, Politico, The Harvard Crimson), 52% of 18-29 year-olds in the U.S. believe that the country's democracy is either "in trouble" or "a failed democracy."
posted by box on Dec 2 at 9:51 AM - 61 comments

First they came for our news, then our homes, now our pets

There are many reasons life is unaffordable for many Americans. Stagnant wages and the high costs of housing and healthcare have been well covered by the media. What there’s been less writing about is how private equity has impacted the houses we live in, the news we read and even how we care for our pets. Mass changes in ownership overtaking entire economic sectors raise important questions for Americans: Should we be pressuring our politicians to create policy that ensures whole industries don't get eaten up by the investor class? If so, at what point should we intervene? [more inside]
posted by Violet Blue on Nov 30 at 10:23 PM - 51 comments

Failing to Treat a Malevolent Force

Opinion: The bombshell about Trump testing positive also implicates the Trump family, Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 12/2/2021. The Trump family has long treated rules and laws as nuisances that are only for the little people. And the news [*] that Donald Trump tested positive for covid-19 before the first 2020 presidential debate shows that this tendency may be even more depraved and malevolent than you thought. *Trump tested positive for coronavirus before first debate with Biden, three former aides say… six days before he was hospitalized for covid-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center., WaPo, 12/1/2021.
posted by cenoxo on Dec 2 at 9:06 AM - 37 comments

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