January 30

Actress Cindy Williams dies at 75

She played straight-laced Shirley in "Laverne & Shirley" from 1976 to 1983.
posted by NotLost at 9:38 PM - 6 comments

A plain old-fashioned newspaper crusade.

Why Is the New York Times So Obsessed With Trans Kids? A detailed, scathing editorial by Tom Scocca.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 4:55 PM - 22 comments

We've Lost the Plot

We Are Already in the Metaverse (Megan Garber for The Atlantic)
posted by box at 2:22 PM - 22 comments

An unusually close glimpse of black hole snacking on star.

The Moon doesn’t currently have an independent time. It's time for another look at humanity's exploration of space, from 2022's end to the start of 2023. There's a lot going on, especially between the Earth's surface and orbit. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 12:18 PM - 8 comments

John Markoff discusses his biography of Stewart Brand at The Well

"He has stood his ground, but it ended a number of close friendships including his association with Amory Lovins." Stewart Brand, who is now 84, is currently working on a book about maintenance. [excerpt]. He is best known for founding The Whole Earth Catalog and coined the phrase, "Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive." The discussion on The Well (an early version of Metafilter) has plenty of delightful gossip about Norbert Weiner, Buckminster Fuller, and others. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 10:54 AM - 6 comments

Making Math into Art

A series of posters that visualize all three-digit prime numbers through geometry and color.
posted by duien at 9:55 AM - 17 comments

Mac & Cheese Blue

“Kraft has seen the American people through economic hardship, world wars, and social movements. It is, without a doubt, the food of troubled times. The fact that any one of us can go to a grocery store and buy one of these boxes for about a dollar during a global pandemic, a time of unprecedented inflation in the midst of a looming recession, is astonishing.“An Ode to Kraft Dinner
posted by Grandysaur at 8:38 AM - 88 comments

The Quizzing Equivalent of Holey Moley

A few weeks ago, Yogesh Raut (previously on MeFi) walked onto the Alex Trebek Stage and won his first game of Jeopardy! He went on to win two more, and nearly $100,000, before falling to a triple-stumper Final Jeopardy question. He also embarked on what NBC News called "a weekslong social media rant against the show, asserting that it's not a real quiz contest, questioning its value to society and accusing it of being 'fundamentally incompatible with true social justice.'" Is he Jeopardy's newest villain who should get a lifetime ban?
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM - 86 comments

Gone Fission

Hello, Monday, it's dear friends. Hi, yes, I'm totally awake, and I have a short quiz for you. How is this thread like a neutron? [more inside]
posted by taz at 3:20 AM - 54 comments

this is the last one this is the last one this is the last one

I’ve spent much of my adult life doing what I loved as a child: asking questions in the hope of finding some sort of resolution. Despite being someone who obsessed over the smallest questions and problems in the world around me, I long resisted turning those skills inward. As a result, I never knew the source of my tics, never knew that I had been living with Tourette’s syndrome. from How a Tourette’s Diagnosis Helped Me Understand Who I Am by Leyland Cecco
posted by chavenet at 2:53 AM - 4 comments

January 29

Our work is #15

posted by creatrixtiara at 9:05 PM - 31 comments

Secret of the Spartans finally revealed

How Often Should You Do the Spartan 300 workout?...answers your questions about the Spartan 300 workout, presumably an exercise regime favored by that mythically militaristic warrior-state. You can learn how many reps of each exercise are involved, what their diet was and so on. All of this leads up to Question 14: How Tall was a Spartan?
posted by storybored at 8:27 PM - 33 comments

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's freedom of speech at 1090 MHz

ADS-B Exchange has been sold for 20 million to private equity Jetnet and the volunteer data collectors are are feeling sold out. [more inside]
posted by zenon at 7:09 PM - 12 comments

tips on changing a car's tire

A 2.5 minute video plus some text tips on changing a flat tire on an automobile.
posted by brainwane at 5:23 PM - 30 comments

Well, that's rich. Or is it?

What does it mean to be rich in America, where the elite need to re-earn their position anew each day and experience the demands of wealth without its promised sense of security and ease? [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 4:56 PM - 93 comments

Regional textile economies (aka soil-to-skin)

Each year, the United States produces enough wool to create millions of sweaters. But a big hunk of that wool production ends up composted or even landfilled. The Regional Fiber Manufacturing Initiative at Fibershed includes tons of research, e.g. current capabilities of Western U.S. fiber manufacturing (artisanal bottlenecks and all) and their Fiber Visions of how dogbane, wool, and cotton could honor Indigenous practices and regenerate soil health for Central & Northern California. Small wool mill Ewethful (in Oregon) on what goes into the price of a skein: 12 lbs of unprocessed wool --> skirt the wool (remove any vegetable matter, poop and/or unwanted fiber) --> 9 lbs of raw wool --> wash --> resulting in 6.5 lbs of clean wool. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:27 PM - 3 comments

In 1183, a Chinese Poet Describes Being Domesticated by His Own Cats

In 1183, a Chinese Poet Describes Being Domesticated by His Own Cats. In Korea cat owners aren't called cat owners: they're called goyangi jibsa, literally 'cat butlers.' Clearly the idea that felines have flipped the domestic-animal script, not serving humans but being served by humans, transcends cultures.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 3:25 PM - 17 comments

This Is Not Laid Back

Almost ten minutes of a cutesy depressed anthropomorphic bread undergoing existential torture, a daily occurence for Bernd das Brot (previously) every night when the Kinder Kanal is not broadcasting. In German with English subtitles.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:47 PM - 10 comments

Time Sync

CERN engineer Daniel Valuch discusses synchronizing a pendulum clock with the ALPHA Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock.
posted by zamboni at 1:14 PM - 5 comments

Is Yunchan Lim’s Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto the greatest ever?

Yunchan Lim is South Korean pianist who June became the youngest ever winner of the Van Cliburn piano competition. Among the pieces that the 18 year old player were Liszt's Transcendental Etudes and Mozart's Piano Concerto #22. Most notable however, was his performance of Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto, which created something of a stir. [more inside]
posted by beisny at 10:53 AM - 15 comments

The Violin Doctor

He’s trusted to repair some of the world’s most fabled — and expensive — instruments. How does John Becker manage to unlock the sound of a Stradivarius? (SLChicagoMag)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:47 AM - 10 comments

Monterey Park & Half Moon Bay: One week

LATimes has many news articles about what happened at Monterey Park: honoring the victims' lives, how the shooter's motives remain a mystery, whether domestic violence played a part, the deafening silence of Californian Republican politicians, and how to continue to dance and rebuild after a tragedy. In Half Moon Bay, the shooter admits to his rage being sparked over a $100 repair bill, long hours, and being bullied at his place of employment. LATimes remembers the victims of Half Moon Bay. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:43 AM - 12 comments

January 28

Low-income people need ‘15-minute cities’ the most

"Those who think “15-minute cities” are for wealthy urbanites should consider this graph from a recent nationwide study. It shows a powerful reverse correlation between household income and use of services and amenities within a 15-minute walk of home. In other words, the wealthier you are, the less you rely on goods and services within your immediate neighborhood or adjacent neighborhoods. (You can easily afford to drive, or take a cab or Uber/Lyft to more distant locations)." [more inside]
posted by aniola at 9:28 PM - 73 comments

Free pedicures at the beach

Mitchell Varela gets his pedicures done by one of the most unlikely sources: a cast of striped shore crabs on the shoreline of San Diego, California.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:42 PM - 39 comments

Culture, identity, and belonging

My Son Asked For Minnie Mouse Underwear And I Realized We Have A Big Problem. If we believe in equality and inclusivity, it’s incumbent we create space early in kids’ development to experiment, experience and grow outside of narrow labels. For me and my son in that Target, these labels raised questions on why we separate genders in the first place and the ways this separation impacts how each of us sees the world.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:32 PM - 59 comments

This case is closed.

Tom Verlaine was a member of Television, the first band out of the CBGB scene in New York City to get signed to a major label. Their album Marquee Moon has been a huge influence on generations of bands. Verlaine died (non-paywalled) this morning after a brief illness.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:21 PM - 53 comments

How A24 Cinematically Highlights the Asian American Experience

New YouTuber HupahZ, whom I believe to be Asian and tried to research but got nowhere, has some insights into Asian American cinema, and specifically three A24 films. He explores how The Farewell, Minari, and Everything Everywhere All At Once are each a glimpse into the prism that is being Asian American. I really enjoyed this a lot. How A24 Cinematically Highlights the Asian American Experience [30m]
posted by hippybear at 2:08 PM - 0 comments


The Calculator Drawer is the Internet Archive's new collection of emulated calculators (and, in some cases, manuals.) [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:29 PM - 18 comments

A True, Truthful and Genuine Life

Adolfo Kaminsky saved thousands of Jews by changing their identities [The Economist; ungated] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:37 AM - 24 comments

The photography of Tyre Nichols

Beyond the headlines, the man. From Heather Cox Richardson.
posted by aiq at 8:57 AM - 26 comments

Ladies of Andor: A SAG-AFTRA interview

For all the Andor lovers a great interview with Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Genevieve O'Reilly and Fiona Shaw by Erik Davis.
posted by domdib at 3:05 AM - 11 comments

Zoo clones critically endangered Przewalski's horse using 42 yr old DNA

California zoo clones critically endangered Przewalski's horse using 42-year-old DNA. The foal, named Kurt, was born to a surrogate mother, a domestic quarter horse.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:07 AM - 27 comments

January 27


Chronophoto is a game in which you guess the dates of some photos — the closer the guess, the higher your score. That's it!
posted by swift at 4:31 PM - 75 comments

They're all good dogs.

The 2022 Dog Photography Awards. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 1:32 PM - 21 comments

...a thrill similar to flying an F-4 fighter jet, but, um, on the ground

The Rezvani Vengeance is a quarter-million dollar SUV designed exclusively for idiots [Kotaku.com] “You know where you’re going wrong? After a long day indiscriminately firing your Beretta 1301 in the desert, you’re home chugging back your InfoWars Ultimate Bone Broth Plus, when you discover you’re all out of SSI Sight-Rite chamber cartridge laser bore sights. So you jump into your SUV to head to the nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods, right? Only, in that SUV? Is it bulletproof? Does it fire pepper spray out the wing mirrors? Does it even come with gas masks? No I don’t think it does. Which is why you want to get yourself a Rezvani Vengeance, designed by video game vehicle artist, Milen Ivanov. [...] This laughably silly vehicle, yours starting at $285,000, is made to order, and thanks to bizarre TikTok influencer videos, a demonstrably extant creation. Based on the Cadillac Escalade, your standard model comes with all the features you’d expect in your bog-standard quarter-million dollar car.”
posted by Fizz at 1:22 PM - 97 comments

The horse has a sensitive digestive system

Farmer, artist and writer Lynn R. Miller on working horses: "There are fewer rules to working horses and more subtleties and opportunities." A review of Miller's Art of Working Horses. "Then the seat broke and he was tossed forward under the plow, under the feet of his horses and the tongue of the plow, with one thigh up against that sharpened coulter, a steel disc meant to bite deep into sod. The horses had stopped in an instant." And another review. Archived "Ask a Teamster" [the horse driving type] columns at Small Farmers Journal, established by Miller in 1976.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:05 PM - 4 comments

Seagulls also drool, especially when eating pepperoni

In March of 2018, 18 years after being banned from the Empress Hotel in British Columbia, Novia Scotia resident Nick Burchill wrote them a letter and asked for forgiveness. In October of 2022, Benedict Cumberbatch did a dramatic reading of the letter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:53 AM - 18 comments

Bike Lanes good? Myths about them

The Guardian posts Ten common myths about Bike Lanes, and why they're wrong.
(archive link)
And in Wired, the Battle over Bike Lanes.
(archive link) [more inside]
posted by Rash at 10:31 AM - 73 comments

The umlaut is a pain in the ass to type

The move by Mr. Erdogan’s government is unusual. It involves the difference between what linguists call the “exonym"—the name for a place or thing in other languages, and the “endonym"—the local name. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 8:42 AM - 166 comments

“They weren’t actually looking at my ancestors as people.”

“My ancestors put me here,” Pappenfort said. “They came from Illinois, and it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to get them where they’re supposed to be again.” The Museum Built on Native American Burial Mounds (Logan Jaffe, ProPublica, 2023-01-27)
posted by Not A Thing at 8:11 AM - 13 comments

OK Google, Save My Life

Google researchers unveil a generative music AI, MusicLM. "We introduce MusicLM, a model generating high-fidelity music from text descriptions such as a calming violin melody backed by a distorted guitar riff'..." [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:49 AM - 81 comments

The Very Human Experience of Falling For a Robot

Aria Code podcast episode: Guys and Dolls. Host Rhiannon Giddens, along with Soprano Erin Morley, conductor Johannes Debus, machine learning researcher Caroline Sinders, and psychologist Robert Epstein explore Jacques Offenbach’s 1881 opera The Tales of Hoffmann and how its automated character Olympia echoes current day concerns about A.I. technology. [more inside]
posted by Zumbador at 3:29 AM - 10 comments


“It’s always about the family. A titanic battle is raging.” [FT; ungated] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 2:47 AM - 8 comments

Roxane Gay in Antarctica: The Things We Do for Love

Once upon a time, writer Roxane Gay and her wife, the illustrator Debbie Millman, set sail to Antarctica. Here, they each tell the tale—well, their version of it.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:52 AM - 12 comments

January 26

What time is it on the Moon?

Defining lunar time is not simple. Although the definition of the second is the same everywhere, the special theory of relativity dictates that clocks tick slower in stronger gravitational fields. The Moon’s gravitational pull is weaker than Earth’s, meaning that, to an observer on Earth, a lunar clock would run faster than an Earth one. [...] “This is a paradise for experts in relativity, because you have to take into account so many things.” 1300 words from Elizabeth Gibney for Nature.
posted by cgc373 at 5:21 PM - 62 comments

the posh and parentally blessed

[Vice] American Nepo Babies Have Nothing on the British Perhaps the British sequel to the ongoing (US-centric) nepo baby discourse, previously seen on the Blue here.
posted by cendawanita at 2:22 PM - 26 comments

"No ideas but in things" is an idea not a thing

No the CIA Didn't Invent "Show Don't Tell". Or maybe they did? Perhaps the effects of CIA money on the Iowa Writer's Workshop are overblown, but this piece in Current Affairs makes a strong case how the CIA has influenced "literature" in America. (previously)
posted by slogger at 1:31 PM - 48 comments

“...being accused of being a gamer, solve the problem like a gamer,”

The union-oriented Twitter account Daily Union Elections asked the world in a recent tweet, “Union folks, what is the best grievance/[Unfair Labor Practice] that you’ve ever won?” And the world responded in kind.
““A member was accused of playing video games on his work computer,” union organizing director Erik Strobl said. “I got him cleared by proving conclusively that the employer-provided graphics card couldn’t handle the resource-hungry game his supervisor claimed to have seen.””
The worker wasn’t even playing a game, but watching “a game review on his break (which is fine),” Strobl clarified, “but he was accused of installing unauthorized third-party software on a government computer (which he 100% didn’t do and, as I showed, couldn’t have done). Zero abuse of time or state property.” [via: Kotaku]
posted by Fizz at 12:28 PM - 8 comments

We all know what a rotten egg smells like, right?

Kenji López Alt answers the eternal question: Should I eat this? (SLNYT) (Archive link)
posted by adamrice at 11:43 AM - 25 comments

How Andrea Riseborough pulled off that shocking Oscar nomination

But a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity. Riseborough, a gifted English actress who has worked with everyone from Mike Leigh to Alejandro G. Iñárritu and won many admirers and allies in the process, somehow entered the awards season conversation.
posted by Etrigan at 10:42 AM - 32 comments

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