May 17

Make Anim(ation) Real

Over 15 years ago, Microsoft released Photosynth [previously], a nifty tool that could correlate dozens of photos of the same place from different angles in order to make a sort of virtual tour using photogrammetry, a technique that went on to influence Google Earth's 3D landscapes and virtual reality environments. But what if you tried the same thing with cartoons? Enter Toon3D, a novel approach to applying photogrammetry principles to hand-drawn animation. The results are imperfect due to the inherent inconsistency of drawn environments, but it's still rather impressive to see a virtual camera moving around glitched-out versions of the Krusty Krab, Bojack Horseman's living room, or the train car from Spirited Away. Interestingly, the same approach works about as well on paintings or even AI-generated video; see also the similar technique of neural radiance fields (NERFs) for creating realistic high-fidelity virtual recreations of real (and unreal) environments.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:36 PM - 11 comments

Teruna Jaya (gamelan animated graphical score)

Stephen Malinowski is a YouTuber who makes animated scores, usually of Bach's music, but today I discovered something completely different: his spectacular score for Teruna Jaya, a classic of Balinese gamelan music (12 min.). [more inside]
posted by mpark at 4:21 PM - 3 comments

Mass production of ornamentation and its recent decline

The beauty of concrete. "Why are buildings today drab and simple, while buildings of the past were ornate and elaborately ornamented? The answer is not the cost of labor." A long article by Samuel Hughes describing the history of how ornamentation is produced.
posted by russilwvong at 12:14 PM - 36 comments

‘He likes scaring people’

These details emerged in 2010, when the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s equivalent of the FBI, was investigating the killings. The CBI charged Shah with kidnapping, extortion and murder. It alleged that the officers who killed Sheikh and his wife were working on Shah’s orders... Today, Amit Shah isn’t home minister for Gujarat, but all of India. From the heart of power in Delhi, he is in charge of domestic policy, commands the capital city’s police force, and oversees the Indian state’s intelligence apparatus. He is, simply put, the second-most powerful man in the country. How Modi’s right-hand man, Amit Shah, runs India.
posted by splitpeasoup at 12:00 PM - 3 comments

The Low Spark of High Heeled Chairs

"Designing a chair is a very constrained exercise: the general dimensions and angles are very much fixed," Yovanovitch said. "Designing a shoe is even more constrained and technical." from Christian Louboutin and Pierre Yovanovitch perch chairs on legs informed by "iconic women"
posted by chavenet at 11:56 AM - 12 comments

In my imagination, never feeling out of place

Young schoolchildren from County Cork, working with a non-profit children's music & creative space, have created a piece called 'The Spark" for Cruinniú na nÓg, which is the national free day of creativity for young people, run by the Creative Ireland Programme’s Youth Plan. Take a moment to imagine what you think it might sound like, before you click the link and enjoy 'The Spark'.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:03 AM - 11 comments

Rebel girl, you are the queen of my world

"I’m bored of that conversation and I don’t want it to be the only thing I’m known for." Kathleen Hanna interviewed about her newly released memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (archive link here)
posted by Kitteh at 8:31 AM - 12 comments

"this rat borg collective ended up [performing] better than single rats"

Conscious Ants and Human Hives by Peter Watts has an entertaining take on Neuralink. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 5:39 AM - 15 comments

Graffiti-covered door from French revolutionary wars found in Kent

A scratched wooden door found by chance at the top of a medieval turret has been revealed to be an “astonishing” graffiti-covered relic from the French revolutionary wars, including a carving that could be a fantasy of Napoleon Bonaparte being hanged. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 5:18 AM - 4 comments

Another layer of mediation to an already loopy transmission

Though LSD was sometimes passed around in the 1960s on actual blotting paper, sheets of perforated (‘perfed’) and printed LSD paper do not come to dominate the acid trade until the late 1970s, reaching a long golden age in the 1980s and ’90s. As such, the rise of blotter mirrors, mediates and challenges the mythopoetic story of LSD’s spiritual decline. For even as LSD lost the millennialist charge of the 1960s, it continued to foster spiritual discovery, social critique, tribal bonds and aesthetic enrichment. During the blotter age, the quality of the molecule also improved significantly, its white sculptured crystals sometimes reaching and maybe surpassing the purity levels of yore. Many of the people who produced and sold this material remained idealists, or at least pragmatic idealists, with a taste for beautiful craft and an outlaw humour reflected in the design of many blotters, which sometimes poked fun at the scene and ironically riffed on the fact that the paper sacraments also served as ‘commercial tokens’. from Acid media [Aeon; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 12:43 AM - 34 comments

May 16

tree of life of trees (flowers, really)

Old and improved, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew recently released a lovely tree of life of... well, plants [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by HearHere at 8:56 PM - 3 comments

The Last of New York City's Original Artist Lofts

Joshua Charow is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in NYC. He spent the past couple years ringing doorbells to find and interview over 30 artists who are living under the protection of the Loft Law to create his first photography book, 'Loft Law. The Last of New York City's Original Artist Lofts'. [more inside]
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:56 PM - 7 comments

The Car You Never Expected (to disappear)

Last week, General Motors announced that it would end production of the Chevrolet Malibu, which the company first introduced in 1964. Although not exactly a head turner (the Malibu was “so uncool, it was cool,” declared the New York Times), the sedan has become an American fixture, even an icon [...] Over the past 60 years, GM produced some 10 million of them. With a price starting at a (relatively) affordable $25,100, Malibu sales exceeded 130,000 vehicles last year, a 13% annual increase and enough to rank as the #3 Chevy model [...] Still, that wasn’t enough to keep the car off GM’s chopping block. [...] In that regard, it will have plenty of company. Ford stopped producing sedans for the U.S. market in 2018. And it was Sergio Marchionne, the former head of Stellantis, who triggered the headlong retreat in 2016 when he declared that Dodge and Chrysler would stop making sedans. [...] As recently as 2009, U.S. passenger cars [...] outsold light trucks (SUVs, pickups, and minivans), but today they’re less then 20% of new car purchases. The death of the Malibu is confirmation, if anyone still needs it, that the Big Three are done building sedans. That decision is bad news for road users, the environment, and budget-conscious consumers—and it may ultimately come around to bite Detroit.
Detroit Killed the Sedan. We May All Live to Regret It [Fast Company]
posted by Rhaomi at 2:35 PM - 109 comments

Chicago photography

Neighbors and neighborhoods near Midway Airport. I loved these photos, seeing them is like biking around in these neighborhoods. It's so easy to take photos now, but ordinary life with good composition and good light is still an unexpected pleasure.
posted by lwxxyyzz at 1:44 PM - 19 comments

“Bert, one step into animorphing into Ernie.”

The Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2024.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:48 PM - 10 comments

It becomes apparent there were at least three versions of the dough

Let’s go back to December 1942, to the corner of Wabash and Ohio, to a small abandoned basement tavern that was also once a pizzeria named the Pelican Tap. The new tenants living directly above the abandoned tavern are a recently married couple with their newborn daughter. The 39-year-old father is the painter and restaurateur Richard Riccardo, owner of the famous Riccardo’s Studio Restaurant on Rush Street. from The Secret History of the Original Deep-Dish Crust [Chicago]
posted by chavenet at 12:42 PM - 30 comments

New Yorker on Lucy Letby: Did She Do It?

The New Yorker takes on the dubious evidence that led to Letby's conviction and the bizarre UK media restrictions that governed coverage of the case. [CW: infanticide] Rachel Aviv's article paints a picture of a neonatal intensive care unit undergoing the same catastrophic deterioration as the rest of the National Health Service—a topic the magazine has covered recently—and how an especially competent and determined nurse might just end up at the scene of several patients' deaths because she was called in to help on virtually all difficult cases. [more inside]
posted by TheProfessor at 10:13 AM - 56 comments

"Every time you kiss me, feels like a..." WHAT?

Sock It To Me, Baby! was one of blue-eyed soul singer Mitch Ryder's top-ten hits, from early 1967. The expression is possibly best-remembered today from when a presidential candidate uttered it: In 1968, when Nixon said 'Sock It To Me' on "Laugh-In," TV Was Never Quite the Same Again. (Smithsonian magazine, 2018) [more inside]
posted by Rash at 9:47 AM - 6 comments

I've Worked With Better, But Not Many

How did Ghostbusters II create the talking Vigo the Carpathian painting? Glen Eytchison was deep in the planning stages of his next theatrical production when he got a phone call from Industrial Light & Magic. It was early 1989, and employees at George Lucas’s famed visual effects house needed to create a painting of a 16th-century Carpathian warlord that could come to life for director Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters sequel. They had to do it fast: The movie was due to come out in June. Could Eytchison help them? [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 7:07 AM - 9 comments

“It’s really a strange town.”

There was allure beyond negation. Branson’s geo-cultural attributes—not quite the Midwest or the South or Appalachia yet also all three; a region of old European settlement but also westward expansion; perched above whatever modest altitude turned the soil to junk and predestined the land for poor Scots-Irish pastoralists; in a slave state with the largest anti-Union guerrilla campaign of the Civil War but little practical use for slavery—invite an unmistakable imaginative allegiance. This is the aspiration and the apparition that the novelist Joseph O’Neill has termed Primordial America, the “buried, residual homeland—the patria that would be exposed if the USA were to dissolve.” “Wherever they hail from,” 60 Minutes’ Morley Safer went on, “they feel they are the Heartland.” No matter the innate fuzziness, Real America in this formula is white, Christian, and prizes independence from the state. It is atavistic, not reactionary. from The Branson Pilgrim by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi [Harper's; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 1:38 AM - 43 comments

"This is not a case of someone just taking inspiration from my work."

As previously mentioned, A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs is an exhaustive exploration of that music genre, starting before it existed and currently up to 1966. It is notable for the extensive research that goes into each episode (the detailed exploration of where Johnny Cash drew inspiration from is particularly striking), so much so that another podcaster (not linked to here for obvious reasons) has apparently been plagiarising entire episodes.
posted by Grinder at 12:34 AM - 19 comments

May 15

"I didn’t realize how important it is not to tell the truth"

The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) has posted about finding art made by a woman, Laura Perea, who was in a psychiatric hospital from the 1940s. She describes what she has discovered about Laura Perea's life and family, and reproduces her art, in three posts: Help me solve a haunting art mystery?; Art mystery possibly solved?; Uncovering the mystery of L. Perea and trying to erase the stigma of mental illness. Content warning: death by suicide of one of Laura Perea's family members. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 11:57 PM - 9 comments

30,000 rare oysters being reintroduced to Firth of Forth

30,000 rare oysters are being reintroduced to Firth of Forth. (The Firth of Forth is in Scotland, it is a body of water just North of Edinburgh.)
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 11:20 PM - 13 comments

Social History Of The Cardboard Box

'Cardboard’s ubiquity rests on simple claims: I can hold that, and I can go there'.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:52 PM - 22 comments

I'ma show y'all how to move this yay'

From Donald Glover: Childish Gambino - Little Foot Big Foot (Official Video) ft. Young Nudy [6m] Genius lyrics page.
posted by hippybear at 1:53 PM - 25 comments

Bobby Fingers Plays Fowl...Fabio-usly

Greatest human alive today, Bobby Fingers, has released another video, researching and creating a diorama of the 1999 incident where heartthrob Fabio came back bloodied after participating in the inaugural ride of the "Apollo's Chariot" roller coaster at Busch Gardens. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 1:39 PM - 30 comments

History Doesn't Repeat But It Sometimes Rhymes

Slovakia’s populist prime minister shot in assassination attempt, shocking Europe before elections [AP] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:35 PM - 36 comments

You're not supposed to actually read it

A GOP Texas school board member campaigned against schools indoctrinating kids. Then she read the curriculum. The pervasive indoctrination she had railed against simply did not exist. Children were not being sexualized, and she could find no examples of critical race theory, an advanced academic concept that examines systemic racism. - Her fellow Republicans were not relieved to hear this news.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM - 51 comments

The dove ascending breaks the air...

Remnants of a Legendary Typeface Have Been Rescued From the River Thames
posted by jacquilynne at 11:50 AM - 16 comments

Smoking is Awesome

"The average smoker loses 10 years of life. Which means some lose, like, 5 years and some lose like 25. You don't know which one will be you." Smoking is Awesome by Kurzgesagt and How "Anti-Vaping" Ads Trick You Into Vaping by Maggie Mae Fish are two sides of a coin: Maggie Mae Fish explains the media literacy needed to determine what makes effective anti-smoking ads and how tobacco (and now vaping) companies direct policy towards ineffective anti-smoking ads. Kurzgesagt has an informative and effective anti-smoking video.
posted by AlSweigart at 7:39 AM - 105 comments

Charles The Carpathian

Buckingham Palace has revealed King Charles III's first official post-coronation portrait, and the work by artist Jonathan Yeo has proven to be...divisive in its design. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:20 AM - 98 comments

He only visited the Playboy Mansion to support their journalism

Perhaps Donald John Trump will have only one criminal trial this year. The prosecution's case in his state trial for using hush money to pay off a porn star to illegally influence his election is finishing with ex-fixer Michael Cohen testifying. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:09 AM - 58 comments

Thinking Big - Thinking Land Stewardship

Can sustainable farming and land use practices really scale to meet the challenges of our planet - or are they just niche hobby projects? Learn about how acquifers work and are recharged. Find out how the Pani Foundation water cup inspired Indian farmers to compete in building water retention structures for their villages. Learn about a Mesoamerican farming technology originally scaled up by the Aztecs. Hear American regenerative agriculture pioneer Gabe Brown, telling his story to the farmers who supply a major British supermarket chain as they move towards regenerative practices. Learn how a British city council responded to a major flood event by investing in beautiful sustainable urban drainage across the city and its suburbs (a presenter's connection drops out near the start of their video but it's worth skipping past it!)
posted by quacks like a duck at 7:08 AM - 2 comments

What is an ice cream sandwich, if not childhood persevering?

"The ice cream had a nice toothsomeness to it, with enough structure to hold everything together. For our absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, you’ll have to head to your corner store."
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:57 AM - 55 comments

Alice Munro, 1931-2024

Alice Munro, master of short stories, wove intense tales of human drama from small-town life is the Globe and Mail obituary [archive] for the Canadian literary giant who passed away Monday night. She received the Nobel in literature in 2013 among countless other prizes. She also cofounded Munro’s Books in Victoria, British Columbia, who posted a remembrance on Instagram. The New Yorker, where many of her stories first appeared, has a section with links to her short fiction, as well as personal essays, appraisals and an interview and an obituary [archive]. The 1978 classic Moons of Jupiter was recently featured on their fiction podcast, and it is also available as text.
posted by Kattullus at 3:29 AM - 44 comments

14 year old spends next two years fighting to save a forest

At 14, Ned stumbled upon a perfect jungle. He didn't know he would spend the next two years fighting to save it. When a teenager uncovered a critical refuge for endangered species, it marked the start of a journey that eventually saw the parcel of land named after him.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:53 AM - 3 comments

The Worth of Sats in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

In the same way a dollar is made up of 100 cents, one bitcoin is comprised of 100 million satoshis—or sats, for short. But not all sats are made equal. Those produced in the year bitcoin was created are considered vintage, like a fine wine. Other coveted sats were part of transactions made by bitcoin’s inventor. Some correspond with a particular transaction milestone. These and various other properties make some sats more scarce than others—and therefore more valuable. The very rarest can sell for tens of millions of times their face value; in April, a single sat, normally worth $0.0006, sold for $2.1 million. from Time Is Running Out in the Hunt for Rare Bitcoin [Wired; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 12:27 AM - 42 comments

May 14

A slice of life wrapped in an enigma with onions and cilantro

Indiana judge rules tacos, burritos are sandwiches
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:27 PM - 82 comments

Improve Your Sandwiches

Simple Rules for Better Sandwiches [11m30s] is part of the Technique with Lan Lam series from America's Test Kitchen. From suggestions for contrasting ingredients to techniques like pressing, and other ways to examine the ways that sandwiches could be improved. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM - 50 comments

How to Talk about War Truthfully

Words About War. "From George Orwell’s critique of the language of totalitarian regimes to today, discussions of war and foreign policy have been full of dehumanizing euphemisms, bloodless jargon, little-known government acronyms, and troubling metaphors that hide warfare’s damage. This guide aims to help people write and talk about war and foreign policy more accurately, more honestly, and in ways people outside the elite Washington, DC foreign policy “blob” can understand." Link to the PDF. [more inside]
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:47 PM - 28 comments


The Desktop Cat Cursor (not free but really cheap) , from Samperson, turns your computer's pointer into a big cat's paw extending onto the screen. Currently only for Windows 10 and 11 but a Mac version is in the works. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:05 PM - 22 comments

“interesting and adventurous and exciting and beautiful”

In her essay ‘The Double Standard [PDF] of Aging,’ Susan Sontag explores how a “visceral horror felt at aging female flesh” is entrenched in our visual culture, manifested in caricatures of viragos and witches. “Rules of taste enforce structures of power,” she wrote, “the revulsion against aging in women is the cutting edge of a whole set of oppressive structures (often masked as gallantries) that keep women in their place.” Reclaiming elderly sexuality is an act of defiance, a rebellion against a youth-obsessed culture, fuelled by misogynistic gender norms. from The Untold Lives of Mature OnlyFans Performers [Huck] CW: NSFW language, it's about OnlyFans and has pictures of women in lingerie.
posted by chavenet at 11:22 AM - 12 comments

The weird and wonderful world of the PC-98

Pastel cities trapped in a timeless future-past. Empty apartments drenched in nostalgia. Classic convertibles speeding into a low-res sunset. Femme fatales and mutated monsters doing battle. Deep, dark dungeons and glittering star ships floating in space. All captured in a eerie palette of 4096 colours and somehow, you’re sure, from some alternate 1980s world you can’t quite remember… Drawn painstakingly one pixel at a time, with a palette of 4096 possible colours, pushing the limits of these 80’s era machines memory, these early graphic artists and hackers alike have left an indelible mark on the world of digital art and internet culture, only to be forgotten in the passing of time. But what made this boring business computer from Japan so special?
The strange world of Japan’s PC-98 computer [contains some NSFW pixel art] / More striking imagery: Incredible pictures from an era of games we never got to experience [CW: flashing lights] - Tumblr: High quality [SFW] pixel art from PC-98 games - The Art of PC98 - Amino: The world of PC-98 Pixel Art - Galleries from @noirlac, @item, and [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:10 AM - 7 comments

May is for Lyme and ME and Autoimmune

What happens when you're an amazing young musical talent who's discovered while busking and then signed to a record label deal but things go terribly wrong and you lose it all. In this case, you spend 8 years searching for a way to not die and then proceed to produce a distinctive track upholding a promise to advocate and support the Millions Missing who are thusly forsaken. This may be the first time any song that brings a story about M.E. and Lyme Disease hits the top 40 of the official charts; brought to us by an independent artist who has been unable to tour. [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:22 AM - 20 comments

Seeing coal

Coal is more than a commodity. It is 300-million-year-old life matter transformed into carbon. It performs a vital function – storing carbon underground. It is rich with meaning and portent, and it deserves our attention. Human lives are ephemeral, yet our actions in the here-and-now shape an unseen future. Through its dynamic materiality, coal connects us to Deep Time and Nature. It reminds us of our own Earth origins and helps us re-vision how to live on a fragile and finite planet.
posted by sepviva at 8:53 AM - 13 comments

User Inyer Face

You kind of just have to click through to experience the madness. It's literally the worst. All the worst "features" combined into the worst interface of all time - so far.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:01 AM - 28 comments

Internet use linked to higher wellbeing, global study suggests

Internet use linked to higher wellbeing, global study suggests.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:13 AM - 37 comments

The Last Pre-Raphaelite

Edward Burne-Jones was the last Pre-Raphaelite. Frank Cadogan Cowper was the last Pre-Raphaelite. Christiana Herringham was so late in the game, she was more of a Pre-Raphaelite Renaissance painter. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:24 AM - 6 comments

Uncommonly radical and eloquent history

All these right-wing thinkers are much more comfortable thinking about the blurred lines between sexual and economic politics than many thinkers on the left. And they understand that Keynesianism rests on a certain kind of sexual contract. Any challenge to this order—whether it be an escalation of wage or benefit claims, or the flight from sexual normativity, or unmarried women claiming welfare benefits—disrupts the fiscal and monetary calculus on which Keynesianism rests. Public spending becomes profligate, debt burdens become intolerable, inflation spirals out of control. All of which is to say that the state is subsidizing marginal lives more than it is subsidizing capital. from Extravagances of Neoliberalism, a conversation with Melinda Cooper [The Baffler; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 12:19 AM - 45 comments

May 13

"In select stores, based on historical sales performance."

Target to Cut LGBTQ Pride Month Products From Some Stores After Backlash (Bloomberg, [more inside]
posted by box at 3:18 PM - 68 comments

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