Thirty-four years ago today, NBC premiered The Master (publicity still), a ninja action series starring Western film veteran Lee Van Cleef (as the ninja) and Timothy Van Patten, half-brother of Dick Van Patten, as his hot-headed young sidekick. Each week, Max and The Master drive into a new town (in Max's custom van) and end up protecting/rescuing a damsel in distress from greedy land developers, union-busters, crimelords and their thugs, a surprisingly high number of other ninjas, and the occasional terrorist. (Here's Van Cleef promoting the show on Carson.) Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 know the show from Master Ninja I and II, repackaged video versions of the first four episodes. Cancelled after 13 episodes, the entire series is viewable on YouTube: [more inside]
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Two Tone was both a record label and movement that combined imported Jamaican Ska with homegrown British punk to form a uniquely British multi-racial, multi-ethnic musical (and sartorial) style that has gone on to have a worldwide impact. They also had complicated relationship with another UK youth culture at the time: skinheads.
MLK Now - "In the year before King's death, he faced intense isolation owing to his strident criticisms of the Vietnam War and the Democratic Party, his heated debates with black nationalists, and his headlong quest to mobilize the nation's poor against economic injustice. Abandoned by allies, fearing his death was near, King could only lament that his critics 'have never really known me, my commitment, or my calling.' " (via) [more inside]
Need a 45 minute break? Like, from anything? Here's piano artist (painter? poet? priest? alchemist?) George Winston's 1982 album Winter Into Spring [44m]: Side A: January Stars, February Sea, Ocean Waves (O Mar), Refletion [more inside]
The Sedona 5's Excellent Adventure On the morning of November 19, 1995, a federal budget stalemate between President Clinton and the U.S. Congress had forced the national park system to shut down, and the entire Grand Canyon had been closed to visitors for the past five days.”
What Did We Get Stuck In Our Rectums Last Year? (2017 Edition). Sticking things in our rectums previously. [more inside]
The U.S. Fertility Rate Is Down, Yet More Women Are Mothers The increase has been especially steep among groups of women who hadn’t been having as many babies: those with advanced degrees, and those who never marry. Today, 55 percent of never-married women ages 40 to 44 have at least one child, up from 31 percent two decades ago, Pew found. [more inside]
Why Cats Love Boxes, According to Science! There's also a (captioned) video on Twitter, starring Artemis, a black cat, which are clearly the best cats. [more inside]
Should we steer clear of the winner-takes-all approach? Looking to build a more inclusive culture and environment, scientists in New Zealand held a 'Kindness in Science' workshop in Dec 2017. Nature interviews seven scientists to discuss what this culture-shift would mean for them. The essay by Emily Bernhardt that helped inspire the workshop is also a fantastic read ('Being Kind').
[S]tudies from countries that have decreased their BAC laws to 0.05 percent, such as Austria, Denmark, and Japan, demonstrate that this is an effective policy. In their 500-page report, Getting to Zero Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities A Comprehensive Approach to a Persistent Problem, the non-partisan National Academy of Sciences note that "Alcohol-impaired driving is an important health and social issue as it remains a major risk to Americans’ health today, surpassing deaths per year of certain cancers, HIV/AIDS, and drownings, among others, and contributing to long-term disabilities from head and spinal injuries." and make recommendations for broad changes, including lowering the BAC levels from .08 to .05 percent. [more inside]
The Terror [YouTube] [Trailer] “Inspired by a true story, The Terror, from executive producers Ridley Scott, David Kajganich and Soo Hugh, takes viewers on a harrowing journey. The story centers on the Royal Navy’s perilous voyage into unchartered territory as the crew attempts to discover the Northwest Passage. Faced with treacherous conditions, limited resources, dwindling hope and fear of the unknown, the crew is pushed to the brink of extinction. Frozen, isolated and stuck at the end of the earth, The Terror highlights all that can go wrong when a group of men, desperate to survive, struggle not only with the elements, but with each other.” [more inside]
Your Amazon Order Could Get You in Trouble With Customs. You wouldn’t think online shopping could get you in trouble with customs, but if you accidentally order counterfeit merchandise on Amazon it just might. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, you probably want to double check your orders from now on. It just might get you kicked out of CBP's Trusted Traveler program.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
This weekend Michael Nesmith and The First National Band begin a mini-tour of California venues, concentrating on performing their country-rock material from the early 70s. The FNB released three albums (Loose Salute, Magnetic South and Nevada Fighter) between 1970 and 1971. [more inside]
“Worker centers—a catchall term for a broad array of local groups across the country—sprung up in the void left by the collapse of unions. They are a sort of one-stop shop of last resort for the problems of the working class. They organize campaigns for worker rights, wrangle with bad bosses, and more. And because worker centers have been at least somewhat effective in mitigating the horrors of life among the working poor, pro-business forces have long been anxious to undermine them.“ Walking The Floor of the Great Minnesota Activist Factory, Hamilton Nolan - Splinter.
As Macron says 'non' to a financial services deal and Boris tries to distract everyone with his bridge here's Everything you need to know about the Brexit endgame in five minutes
Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective by Shane Balkowitsch, the only wet plate collodion artist in North Dakota. [more inside]
The Morgan Map of 1682 vs today. Compare London of 1682 with aerial imagery from today, street by street. [more inside]
It keeps looping. Unstably coded.
It keeps looping. Unstably coded.
"Heathers" Official Red Band Trailer (YT), for the new Paramount TV show based on the 1988 black comedy. Reactions to the trailer veer between it being "sublimely vicious" and "baffling" and "a conservative fantasy".
Dean Allen made Textism and Textile and Textpattern and Favrd and other things and posted daily photos of his dogs and they made the web better. RIP.
Spiritual hyperplane: How spiritualists of the 19th century forged a lasting association between higher dimensions and the occult world.
James Jackson Toth (of Wooden Wand) has a confession: he's a music addict, and he realized he had gone too far when he figured out that he couldn't listen to all his music in 40 years. But he had a plan - listen to one album only per week, starting on the first week of 2017. Only 52 albums for an entire year, to get back to really listening to and appreciating music, instead of amassing more and more. Album #1: Autechre's Oversteps from 2010. Things began to fall apart almost immediately.
How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s. A look at the 1993 point-and-click adventure game Police Quest 4 as a mirror for the career and politics of its star writer, former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates. (CW: This article discusses incidents of police violence as well as depictions of queerphobia, violence, and murder.)
In the 1970s, nobody knew what to do about Britain. The economy was in tatters. Industry was in decline. Governments changed like traffic lights. There were fears about terrorism, immigration, and fascism. We joined Europe, then we wanted out. This is a film about how the '70s shaped me. It's my story, but it's also Britain's. - Boy George's 1970s: Save Me From Suburbia
Two people were killed during the second storm this year in the Netherlands. There was extensive damage. Roofs were torn off of buildings, cargo containers were blown off a dock, buildings collapsed and trees fell on houses and cars. The storm started in the morning and blasted the country for several hours. NRC posted this (non-gruesome) report in pictures. And if you're eager to see footage made and shared by Twitter users, don't miss out on #storm and #westerstorm.
How Do You Rebuild Your Life After Leaving a Polygamous Sect? Buzzfeed writer Anne Helen Petersen reports on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) community of Short Creek, and how it is changing now that its former leader Warren Jeffs is in prison for life, there are a growing number of ex-FLDS members in town, and formerly powerless female ex-members have formed the Girlfriend Club to support each other as they recreate themselves and their lives. (TW: Some mentions of sexual and physical assault, forced marriage.)
As Tom Phillips, the UK editorial director, leaves Buzzfeed, his parting piece describes the 29 stages of a twitterstorm in 2018. Related: the 29 stages five years ago (MetaFilter thread). Unrelated: MetaFilter content previously amplified by Buzzfeed.
Zeynep Tufekci discusses in new longform piece for Wired about how technology and the rise of social media is forcing us to rethink how we conceptualize free speech and censorship. (SLWired)
A new system is being developed by the Railway Technical Research Institute in Japan to equip trains with sound effects to scare deer away from the tracks and prevent collisions. Researchers have seen the number of deer sightings go down by 45%.
She keeps watch over one of the largest databases of missing persons in the country. For Meaghan Good, the disappeared are still out here, you just have to know where to look. [slLongreads]
Since Sunday Minnesota Vikings fans have raised more than $150,000 for the New-Orleans based charity What You Give Will Grow founded by Saints punter Thomas Morstead. Morstead said 100% of donations will go directly to Children's Minnesota to support their Child Life department. [more inside]
...hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap home. The complete Quantum Leap journey A visual representation of Dr Sam Beckett's entire Quantum Leap journey. For the Television issue of Special Request.
MRAs Make 46-Minute Cut Of ‘The Last Jedi’ That Edits Out All The Women [Pedestrian] “Uploaded to The Pirate Bay
yesterday by an anonymous user, the “The Last Jedi: De-Feminized Fanedit” is, according to their own description “basically The Last Jedi minus Girlz Powah and other silly stuff“. You might be wondering how this is possible, seeing as the film is still a ways off from its DVD release date, but the intrepid nerdlinger(s) who decided to make this possible were so impatient for a version of TLJ where boys don’t get old off that they used a dodgy camrip with hardcoded subtitles.” [more inside]
Michelle Allison on the links between diet, death & neo-reactionary thought:
“Why do the people who have it all, who live on the bleeding edge of technological advancement, contribute in massively influential ways to our culture, who are massively financially rewarded, NEED EVEN MORE? To the point of doing away w/ enlightenment ideals and democracy itself? It seemed impossible to understand, and then my index card reminded me: because when you can't navigate your fear of death, can't even SEE it, nothing is ever enough. You can reach the top of the existing hierarchy and at the end of it, you're still human, still going to die.”[more inside]
Do Large (Magnitude ≥8) Global Earthquakes Occur on Preferred Days of the Calendar Year or Lunar Cycle?
"Ok, I’ll try and keep this brief, but lets talk PT Cruiser and the 2007 recession. FYI, I’m not *blaming* the crash on the PT Cruiser, just generally laying out how the story of the PT Cruiser and the people who bought them provides an early window into the lending meltdown..."
In an announcement made today, Amazon Chooses 20 Finalists for Second Headquarters. [more inside]
Parliament has released their first song in 38 years: I'm Gon Make U Sick O'Me. George Clinton in da house, baby!
"In the real world, contracts have social utility, and people use them in complex, strategic ways that often don’t align with their legal rights and obligations. These social functions require flexibility—often, the very flexibility that is intentionally short-circuited by smart contracts." Karen E. C. Levy discusses the limitations of smart contracts in her paper Book-Smart, Not Street-Smart: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts and The Social Workings of Law (PDF).