January 17

What came first? Or last, or in between?

Wikitrivia by Tom J. Watson is a game you can play for free in your browser. You get cards representing historical events, and have to put them in chronological order (like the card game Chronology). The software reuses data from the Wikimedia project Wikidata (previously). [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 3:51 PM - 29 comments


"Surrounded by candles and crystals, [Erin Shade] described their relationship as an abuse of power. “People like Joss offset their trauma on other people in exchange for their energy, and take their energy to keep going — to keep themselves alive, almost,” she told me. “That’s why he’s so good at the vampire narrative.” (Whedon says he “should have handled the situation better.”)"
- The Undoing of Joss Whedon (Vulture, cw: descriptions of abuse, racism). Joss previously on the Blue, here, here and here.
posted by fight or flight at 3:01 PM - 49 comments

The NFTs must flow! (not)

SPICEdao mistakenly believed it had acquired copyright to produce NFTs "Crypto group shamed for spending $3m on ‘Dune’ book, mistakenly believing it had acquired copyright to produce NFTs" [more inside]
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 2:03 PM - 51 comments

Cities Aren't Loud: Cars Are Loud

The recent Nature-Deficit Disorder post reminded me of the video "Cities Aren't Loud: Cars Are Loud" [SYTL] on the Not Just Bikes channel. We don't want to go to nature to escape from cities; we want to escape from noise. Specifically, the noise from car horns, exhaust pipes, but especially tires. [more inside]
posted by AlSweigart at 1:52 PM - 11 comments

The first database of slaveholding members of Congress.

The Washington Post has examined thousands of pages of census records and historical documents and found that more than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people. People who had been slaveholders continued to serve in Congress well into the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by Word_Salad at 1:27 PM - 5 comments

Important scientific question finally answered!

Do Cheetahs Prefer Cold Hard Concrete Or Warm Blankets Pillow & A Friend? Featuring feline behaviour that most of us know intimately from our own moggies.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:46 AM - 29 comments

The Green Raiteros bring rides to a transportation desert

This Central Valley outpost is one of the most fertile places on Earth, attracting thousands of seasonal laborers to harvest lettuce and reaping windfalls for big agribusiness. But for most of Rey León’s life, the city of Huron has been a transportation desert. ... now, as the Biden administration builds its multibillion-dollar blueprint for confronting deep inequities in the transition to green transportation, one of the few places it has to look for inspiration is Huron. Evan Halper reports for the LA Times on an innovative electric car ride-sharing initiative in a neglected Central Valley town. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:31 AM - 7 comments

Dang Blues: The return of Jawbone.

When Bob "Jawbone" Zabor, a one-man blues band from Detroit, played a 2004 live session on John Peel's BBC radio show, the DJ declared him "almost a definition of what I would like this programme to be about". Peel played nearly every track of Jawbone's homemade CDR on the show and immediately invited him for another live session - but died before that offer could be made good. Jawbone, who still struggled to find gigs in America, released a couple of official albums here and remained a cult favourite on the UK circuit until 2008, when he suddenly dropped out of sight. Now he's back with his first new songs in over a decade and this exclusive PlanetSlade interview telling the full story. Listen on Spotify or Apple Music. [via Paul Slade’s mefi project]
posted by ellieBOA at 1:11 AM - 4 comments

January 16

"You people are just vectors of disease to me."

Professor puts hilarious Deadwood-ish rant video up at the start of his class, drama ensues. "Barry Mehler is a Ferris State University professor in Michigan who was suspended after posting an expletive-filled video for his class in which he told students they were “vectors of disease” who should “stay the f*** away from me” due to COVID-19." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:29 PM - 81 comments

Dr. Beatrice Mintz

Beatrice Mintz, 100, of Philadelphia, a pioneering, award-winning research scientist in developmental biology and genetics, gene-transfer technology, epigenetics, and tumor microenvironment, died Monday, Jan. 3 [more inside]
posted by sepviva at 7:06 PM - 10 comments

"They’re not my roses but they’re for a comrade in arms."

Some vintage feel-good pieces from Steve Dublanica's blog Waiter Rant: "Miracle Pizza", "Twenty Year Payback", "Bride & Groom", and the more bittersweet "Tapestry". (Previously, previously.)
posted by brainwane at 2:25 PM - 8 comments

Like that coffee shop you can't write in anymore, but quieter

Writers often toil in solitude. Here's a place we can gather, whether to write silently in the Studio or talk about books and writing in the Lounge. The 24-Hour Room is a free virtual writers space offering fellowship, structure, solutions, motivation and intellectual sustenance. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 1:31 PM - 5 comments

Porca miseria!

You've heard of African Swine Fever in Europe before. Now that first cases have just been reported in Piedmont and Liguria, Italians are waking up to looming trade bans on some of their most prized exports, and lockdowns of large tracts of their beloved forests. Few Italians are aware, however, that Europeans colonizers are to thank for the emergence and spread of this flu/fever/pest/pandemic, or of Italy's direct responsibility (pdf here) in causing the previous animal panzootic in Africa, the devastating, genocidal rinderpest of the 1880-90's, in response to which European hogs were introduced to Africa in the first place... [more inside]
posted by progosk at 11:50 AM - 3 comments

Why Galesburg Has No Money

There are plenty of towns our size, especially if you look outside the US, that are able to be financially solvent while we struggle. "This is a story about how we re-developed this town."
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 8:08 AM - 54 comments

1997 Forever and Ever

Left Alive And Unchanged is the story behind the still extant website of the Heaven's Gate cult, whose infamous 1997 mass suicide in a mansion near San Diego, CA is still being talked about today.
posted by tommasz at 6:32 AM - 21 comments

Nature-Deficit Disorder

This is no way to be human by Alan Lightman [archive version]
posted by chavenet at 3:34 AM - 40 comments

January 15

Mary Worth Readers Are Serious About This Stuff

The Mary Worth comment board is unhinged and, frankly, a little frightening. “Honestly, the fervency of their devotion to this comic strip is impressive, and we should all wish for this kind of action.”
posted by marxchivist at 6:37 PM - 63 comments

The adventures of Novax Djacovid

"We’d stop writing about the guy if he stopped giving us fresh crap to write about." "Why on earth would Australia let in a reckless, twice-infected, antivaxxer who is clearly not interested in following rules, and quite possibly played fast-and-loose with the exemption protocols so that he could hit a yellow ball with a racket?" [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:36 PM - 87 comments

Step One: Get the Beat

Dancing With Systems is an essay listing a dozen+ ways of thinking about, working with and enhancing systems. The author is Donella Meadows, one of the authors of environmental classic, The Limits To Growth. From the list, e.g. "#7. Make feedback policies for feedback systems. President Jimmy Carter had an unusual ability to think in feedback terms and to make feedback policies. Unfortunately he had a hard time explaining them to a press and public that didn’t understand feedback. He suggested, at a time when oil imports were soaring, that there be a tax on gasoline proportional to the fraction of U.S. oil consumption that had to be imported. If imports continued to rise the tax would rise, until it suppressed demand and brought forth substitutes and reduced imports. If imports fell to zero, the tax would fall to zero. The tax never got passed." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 4:43 PM - 8 comments

A set of connected medical mysteries

"A View from the Bridge" by Matthew O. Dumont, MD is an excerpt from his 1994 memoir Treating the Poor: A Personal Sojourn Through the Rise and Fall of Community Health. Blogger siderea recommends it as "a medical mystery – a psychiatric medical mystery – that goes in a very unexpected and illuminating direction" and recommends: "This is worth reading unspoiled." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 12:48 PM - 10 comments

Students Walk Out Over COVID-19 Safety Issues

Students are demanding to be protected from COVID-19 at schools. As schools return from winter break, the omicron COVID-19 variant continues to cause outbreaks among students, teachers, and staff at school. The staffing shortages have become so severe that some districts are asking parents to come in as substitutes and to fill in various roles at schools. In various cities, teachers unions and districts are fighting with over remote schooling and COVID safety. Amid the tumult, students are also fighting to be heard, and to guarantee their own safety in schools. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 7:51 AM - 126 comments

Back to Normal Doesn't Work Because Normal Wasn't Working

It all feels like some terribly boring nightmare, this gentle constant frustration in the space where hope used to be. Back to Normal Isn't Enough, from Kelsey McKinney, writing for Defector. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 5:58 AM - 185 comments


A Spotify list with a theme.
posted by otherchaz at 4:02 AM - 16 comments

A minimal game to waste your time

posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 2:41 AM - 16 comments

January 14

Chubbyemu's A [Person did this Thing.] This is what happened.

Good taste prevents me from providing a sample video above the fold because Here Thar Be Trigger Warnings. Yar! Short videos describe persons who made incredibly foolish decisions and the results thereof. Very scientific, very horrific descriptions ensue. Please stop and think before clicking upon...

                Chubbyemu's videos. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 10:15 PM - 29 comments

RIP Jean-Jacques Beineix 8 October 1946 - 13 January 2022

Jean-Jacques Beineix, stylish French film director, passed away at home in Paris on 13 January 2022 after a long illness. [more inside]
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:45 PM - 20 comments

He's lost the respect of his country and a year's supply of Turtle Wax.

Prince Andrew loses his military titles, patronages, and use of the term "His Royal Highness." A day after a ruling that Virginia Roberts Giuffre's lawsuit against Prince Andrew accusing him of rape will proceed, and after 150+ war heroes wrote a letter urging the Queen to strip Andrew of his titles, the Queen of England officially took away her favorite son's military titles*, patronages, and his "His Royal Highness" "styling--well, he technically still has that last one, he's just not really allowed to use it any more. The military appointments have been "in abeyance" since 2019 when Prince Andrew was forced to step down from public duties in 2019, but he still retained them until now. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:10 PM - 64 comments

Unearthing vanished ecosystems, 40-years studying moa poo

A local scientist has just published a study of pre-human vegetation in Southern New Zealand Central Otago New Zealand - largely through analysing moa (Dinonis species) coprolites and bedding material in caves. This has taken forty years as the region is harsh (<400mm rainfall, -20 to +40°C), inaccessible and research was self-funded. [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 12:37 PM - 7 comments

Outrage is an indulgence

... however much you may wish he would go away, he isn’t going to. His Brexit moment might have passed. But the future probably still belongs to people like him. And it remains as important as ever to try to understand what the other side thinks.

Single Link The Guardian longread on "the most interesting writer about politics in Britain today" ... Dominic Cummings
posted by protorp at 12:18 PM - 17 comments

Everyone loves Bidoof

Bidoof's Big Stand, a cute short film about everyone's favourite normal-type beaver-inspired Pokémon. Bonus: a 2 hour metatextual analysis of Bidoof's contribution to society.
posted by Stark at 10:15 AM - 18 comments

This show would have been a masterpiece if it was narrated by Rick

The Dystopian Existential Nightmare of Motel Makeover (SLYT)
posted by clawsoon at 9:31 AM - 36 comments

Olivia Colman with the Cossacks reply

Olivia Colman + Adrian Edmondson read letters between Sultan Mehmed IV and the Zaporozhian Cossacks (3:56 YouTube) [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 9:01 AM - 25 comments

Imagine a radish seed.

Winter Is for Regeneration. The Garden’s — and Yours, Too by Jess Housty is the first in a Tyee series of essays on winter’s meaning. [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 8:07 AM - 1 comment

The brutal creation of a billionaire’s pleasure garden

Claire Armitstead in The Guardian on a new documentary by Salomé Jashi. On the surface, Taming the Garden is a faithful record of the tough negotiations and brutal mechanics of tree removal. One family are delighted to sell their tree. They are in debt and have been trying to kill it for years because it blocks the sun from their mandarin orchard. Others are left in grief, with gardens cratered like bombsites. All are unaware that the chosen specimen may not be the only tree to suffer; so will any lesser trees unfortunate enough to impede its transportation, sometimes by two lorries abreast, along roads that have to be specially widened for each journey. From this limb-cracking progress emerges a profoundly moving meditation on power, the vulnerability of nature and the primordial impulse of men to bend the environment to their will.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:22 AM - 7 comments


People Building ‘Blockchain City’ in Wyoming Scammed by Hackers. [more inside]
posted by signal at 6:31 AM - 127 comments

Signature’s Stephen Sondheim tribute concert to stream free this weekend

Signature Theatre is thrilled to announce that special arrangements have been made to stream Everybody Rise: Signature Remembers Stephen Sondheim for free for a limited 72-hour period. [DC Metro] Trailer. YouTube Link for viewing that will go live this evening.
posted by hippybear at 5:41 AM - 7 comments

January 13

Let them eat free fake

Dev corrupts NPM libs 'colors' and 'faker' breaking thousands of apps Developer of open source projects “colors” and “faker” decides to brick his own projects . GitHub has reportedly suspended the developer's account. [more inside]
posted by beesbees at 9:34 PM - 125 comments

1st Sedition Charges for January 6, 2021 Insurrection

Takeaways from the landmark sedition indictment against the Oath Keepers and why DOJ acted now, Marshall Cohen, CNN, Updated 10:39 PM EST, Thu January 13, 2022. The Justice Department on Thursday announced the first sedition charges related to the January 6 insurrection, a watershed moment in the year-long investigation. The case revolves around the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group, and its leader Stewart Rhodes.
posted by cenoxo at 9:24 PM - 50 comments

U.S. Supremes: COVID19 Day-to-Day Danger "No Different...Air Pollution"

NFIB v. OSHA: ""COVID19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases." [more inside]
posted by WCityMike2 at 4:47 PM - 77 comments

NBC's TODAY Show at 70 (at 35)

Corresponent Mike Leonard imagined in 1986 what Today would look like in 2022. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 4:20 PM - 15 comments

Peter Talisman: Lord of the Harvest

Bring in the grain, uncover a mystery, and lose yourself in the dance of Peter Talisman. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:11 PM - 12 comments

Hugo Largo

One of the most atmospheric bands of the late 1980s, Hugo Largo had a sound anchored by two bass guitars embellished with violin and the incredible voice of Mimi Goese. It was also the most direct link between Michael Stipe and Brian Eno (until Stephen Colbert, anyway).
posted by rikschell at 1:39 PM - 18 comments

"New year, new me, right?" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self Part 6 Julie Nolke again, with green hair this time. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:00 PM - 19 comments

Tiny House Villages (THVs) are a growing solution for restoring dignity.

Tiny House Villages (THVs) are a housing first solution that can create a sense of ownership, security, and dignity for residents. For example, Community First! Village in Austin Texas is expanding its 200-unit community of tiny houses and campers, surrounding community kitchens, workshops, health services. The Hope Factory in Seattle Washington has created an assembly line process for volunteers to build 4 tiny homes each week. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 10:27 AM - 35 comments

Has reality caught up to the “Murder Police”?

David Simon Made Baltimore Detectives Famous. Now Their Cases Are Falling Apart. [New York Magazine] At 7:45 p.m. on December 27, 1986, Faheem Ali was shot dead in the streets of Baltimore. No physical evidence tied anyone to the killing, and no eyewitnesses immediately came forward. But Baltimore homicide detectives Thomas Pellegrini, Richard Fahlteich, and Oscar “The Bunk” Requer were not going to give up easily.

Requer and Pellegrini are among a constellation of Baltimore Police Department officers who have, through Simon’s work, defined what it means to be a homicide detective in the popular imagination — and whose biggest cases are starting to fall apart or have been overturned.
posted by riruro at 10:09 AM - 56 comments

Sundance Film Festival is Entirely online again for 2022

Individually Ticketed Films are honestly a great deal at $20 and they go on sale today. The promise of online Sundance last year literally kept me going through the darkest days of covid winter and I am truly grateful they are doing it again this year. [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 9:24 AM - 17 comments

Tangerine sorbet and citrus tangents

Author and pastry chef David Lebovitz shares a recipe for tangerine sorbet and musings on citrus. Lebovitz also links to his recipe for bergamot marmalade, references the California Rare Fruit Growers organization, and name-checks kumquats (which are "either members of the citrus family, or they're not".) [more inside]
posted by fruitslinger at 8:05 AM - 27 comments

The bus to nowhere

"On a cold winter’s evening back in 2009, over a few pints in a Bath pub, four transport professionals discussed where the most unlikely place would be to run a bus service." The answer was the uninhabited village of Imber, closed by the Ministry of Defence during World War II and since used as an urban warfare training site. And the result was bus service 23A, also known as Imberbus, most recently operated on 21 August 2021 with 18 old and new Routemaster buses stopping at Imber and Gore Cross on their way to Brazen Bottom with up to 15-minute headways, maps, printed schedules, rollsigns, and all the accoutrements one would expect from a scheduled public bus service, but maybe not one that operates once a year. An All The Stations video on the Imberbus Ghost Village Bus Service shows the route and a short interview with Sir Peter Hendy, one of the most prominent British transport executives, but also organizer of the service and apparently a huge bus nerd.
posted by grouse at 7:47 AM - 19 comments

January 13th... Mixed Peppers

@TarynDeVere: "My style challenge for Jan is to dress inspired by something in my house each day. Today it's sink unblocker." (Interview from Australian TV).
posted by rongorongo at 6:34 AM - 24 comments

January 12

"I don’t know how you do your job"

My bile rises as I’m asked to move my dying cancer patient out of ICU to make room for an unvaccinated man with Covid Oncologist Ranjana Srivastava writes of what it is like to make a decision so many health professionals around the globe are being asked to make. (Single link from the Guardian.)
posted by Megami at 11:10 PM - 113 comments

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