June 24

Twins For a Day

A set of identical brothers ambivalently attends the world’s largest gathering for twins. (slTheNib)
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM - 0 comments

can't find the edge unless you fall off once in a while

So if type I fun is things that are fun while they are occurring, and type II fun is things that feel bad in the moment, but are looked back on fondly, and type III fun is things that are no fun at all, why would anyone deliberately seek out type II (or 'latent') fun?
Project Y tries to find out [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:04 AM - 28 comments

Freedom isn't a handout

Against the backdrop of cultural differences as a current axiom of academic (and other) discourse around the world, and against the very real, very-not-academic protests in Hong Kong as Hong Kong people advocate loudly for their independence from the Chinese legal system, Qu Weiguo addresses the 2019 graduating class of Fudan University with a speech about individual freedom, the problematic nature of 'cultural differences', and who gets to (or doesn't get to) claim freedom as an ideal.
posted by cirgue at 8:43 AM - 1 comment

Proximity builds tension

Writer Ocean Vuong publishes his first novel : as noted by the American Booksellers Association, "On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a portrait of a family, first love, and the power of storytelling and an exploration of the American stories of race, class, masculinity, immigration, as well as of addiction, violence, and trauma." As Lucille Clifton said, poetry should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable; Ocean Vuong's writing certainly does that. [more inside]
posted by wicked_sassy at 7:31 AM - 4 comments

June 23

No soundtrack, no commentary, just old toy restorations

Rescue & Restore is a YouTuber who takes vintage to antique toys and makes them look and work like new. No commentary, no soundtrack, just showing you what it takes to restore old, rusty toys with modern tools and techniques. There are eight videos up to date: Vintage Toy Electric Oven Restoration - Little Lady Range By Kingston | Barn Find Toy Piano Restoration | 1960s Tonka Jeep Restoration - Military Jeep GR2-2431 | 1930s Wyandotte Toy Airplane Restoration | 1920s Dayton Toy Train Restoration - Antique Locomotive | 5 Cent Candy Vending Machine Restoration - Northwestern Model 60 | 1960s Stepside Tonka Pickup Truck Restoration | Vintage Toy Cash Register Restoration - Tom Thumb || Also on Instagram and Facebook.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 PM - 22 comments

Can the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Survive?

“I can’t go up here and say I promise you UCB will be open forever.” "Is UCB done for? Does bankruptcy loom? Or can the theater survive? There are no easy answers; the hard answers aren’t all that pleasant. If the UCB4 cannot steer the ship out of this crisis, whether by implementing more sustainable practices or selling the business to someone who will, the theater will close." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:44 PM - 18 comments

Content Moderation

Ravelry, the eight-million-strong social network for knitters previously, has announced that it will ban its users from voicing support for the Trump administration on the grounds that doing so “is undeniably support for white supremacy”.
The language of the new policy has been adapted from a similar announcement by RPG.net last November.
Further coverage from: USA Today, The Guardian, Business Insider, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Inquisitr, The A.V. Club, and The Mary Sue.
(For a sense of scale: as of February, Twitter has 126 million daily users, Snap has 186 million, and Facebook has 1.56 billion.)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:20 PM - 90 comments

Shot through with dilettantism, sexual harassment and sherry

In the small, insular world of the British establishment, every so often a clique of people can exert an extraordinary influence. There is a curious parallel between the 1980s Oxford Tories and the 1930s Cambridge spies. [...] Admittedly, the comparison between the Cambridge and Oxford sets isn’t entirely fair: though both betrayed Britain’s interests to the benefit of Moscow, the Brexiters didn’t mean to.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:36 PM - 11 comments

Judith Krantz (1927-2019)

Judith Krantz, bestselling author and pioneer of the sex-and-shopping novel, has died of natural causes at 91. Krantz, who wrote prolifically for women's magazines, did not attempt fiction until later life. She published her first novel, Scruples ("about the staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique and the people who work in it"), when she was 50. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 6:01 PM - 12 comments

Radio Free Zone

To find real solitude, you have to go out of range. But every year that’s harder to do, as America’s off-the-grid places disappear. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:41 PM - 16 comments

“We haven’t even begun to solve the problem.”

The Anita Sarkeesian Story: A Look Back at 10 Years of Feminist Frequency [Polygon] “For our interview, Sarkeesian and I are sitting in an apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District. I want to talk to her about her life and her work. I want to find out more about her background and her formative years as a political activist and cultural critic. I want to find out why her non-profit orgaization, Feminist Frequency, is dramatically scaling back its operations, exactly 10 years after its formation. But first, I want to talk about her achievements.” [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:18 PM - 15 comments

Being Beyoncé’s assistant for the day: DONT GET FIRED THREAD

It’s your first day on the job and Beyoncé is getting ready for a red carpet. What are you getting her for breakfast? (scroll down to see choose-your-own-adventure-style threading)
posted by Etrigan at 10:54 AM - 27 comments

The Remains Of Stalin’s Dead Road

In Russia’s arctic wilderness the remnants of one of the Soviet Union’s most tragic gulag projects now lies largely forgotten. Photojournalist Amos Chapple went to see it.
(Gulag previously.)
posted by adamvasco at 6:24 AM - 42 comments

June 22

Keep Socialism Queer

“Pointing out hypocrisy or craven motivations seems almost beside the point. Yes, Equinox is showcasing an artform pioneered by poor transwomen of color while gentrifying the very neighborhoods they used to live in by building luxury gyms that charge up to $250 in monthly rates. Yes, Essie is simply trying to maximize its profits by expanding its clientele to people who are not women. Yes, Fossil’s website still divides their products into “men’s” and “women’s” despite allegedly helping a nonbinary customer come to terms with their identity. Who cares? There is an unspoken agreement that even savvy consumers who see through the bullshit will at least appreciate the effort required to produce it.” Raytheon said Gay Rights! ( Outline) “Recent years have also seen a blossoming in the smaller worlds of queer communist and socialist politics. Though the scale of US gay rights organizing has atrophied since the victory of the gay marriage campaign, efforts to organize trans and queer people explicitly against capitalism, to think queer freedom alongside communism, are at their most vibrant since the gay liberation era of the early 1970s.” Fifty Years Of Queer Insurgency (Commune) Barbara Smith: Why I left the mainstream Queer rights movement. (NYT) Keep your politics out of my gay rights! (Liquid Flannel Podcast)
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 PM - 42 comments

NPR Code Switch Book Club, Summer 2019

NPR's Code Switch team has a list of 14 non-fiction and 14 fiction books for summer reading, ranging from The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis and White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (forward by Michael Eric Dyson) to No-No Boy by John Okada and Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker (all book links go to Goodreads).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 PM - 7 comments

Didn't Calvin do this in A Wind In The Door?

"Supposedly you can sweet-talk your plant to greater health — so I screamed at and insulted a plant every day for three weeks, all in the name of science" This....does not quite go as one expected. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:47 PM - 23 comments

Nude Girl Filming Bags 11 On a Bare Island Off Staten

August 3rd, 1965 saw the brief collision of a handful of people. A local photographer, a hopeful actress, a budding filmmaker, and a failing businessman. They came together, made a sex film, got arrested, and never saw each other again. If life is the sum of one’s choices, their lives were shaped by what happened that summer’s day. The Sexploitation Film Made on a Desert Island in New York City [NSFW]
posted by chavenet at 12:37 PM - 14 comments

I thought the project was just to build a big, dumb steel arch

So what are the difficulties of building a giant shed around an exploded nuclear reactor? How did a small Scottish consultant land work on a critically important international project? And what is it like to work at the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident? [more inside]
posted by chappell, ambrose at 12:28 PM - 14 comments

Desus and Mero Give a Crash Course in Wokeness

Desus and Mero Aren’t Your Parents’ Late-Night Hosts. They've gone from radio bodega boys to webseries stars to Viceland darlings to their current and most prestigious gig to date - but can the stars of the hit podcast Bodega Boys win over a broader—and whiter—audience on Showtime? [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 11:36 AM - 6 comments

“It was the mother colony of all Syrians in North America”

Strangers: the Syrian diaspora in 19th century New York. While they were predominantly Christian, like the majority of immigrants flooding into the country from other parts of the world, they were Arabs. They spoke Arabic. Their shop signs were in Arabic. They had over 40 local newspapers which were printed in Arabic. Some lasted only a couple issues. Others, like Kawkab America and Al-Hoda, lasted decades, and became debating forums for issues all immigrants faced when they came to the U.S. “They were trying to figure out who they wanted to be in the U.S.,” says Jacobs. “There was a debate in the community about how much of their identity they should give up, how much they should sacrifice to become Americans.” The language they spoke however, often misidentified them as Turks, having come from Ottoman provinces in Syria and Palestine.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:33 AM - 9 comments

It sucks to go to the doctor if you’re trans

The health care system is rife with transphobia. While there has been an expansion in trans training programs for medical providers in recent years, trans people still struggle to find competent basic care, much less trans-specific care. “Trans broken arm syndrome” — a phenomenon where every little ailment, from an infection to a broken arm, is blamed on the hormones many trans people take as a routine part of their transition — is a common occurrence within the medical community....Trump’s proposed ACA rule, and an earlier proposed rule that would allow doctors to make religious objections to providing certain medical treatments, will only exacerbate the medical knowledge gap when it comes to treating trans bodies. Instead of doctors attending training on how to treat trans people with competence, Trump’s rule will allow them to just deny service altogether. Doctors could also condition care on a trans person detransitioning in any state that doesn’t already have trans nondiscrimination protections on the books.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:21 AM - 20 comments

African homophobia and the colonial roots of African conservatism

Turn any homophobic corner in Africa and you're guaranteed to run into a delirious celebration of "African culture," but there's nothing African about homophobia. Kamau Muiga writes.
posted by hugbucket at 8:04 AM - 8 comments

A Frog, a Banjo, & an Indelible Message: Making "The Rainbow Connection"

Oscar winner Paul Williams on writing Kermit the Frog’s signature song: “The thing that is so human about the song, and spiritual at the same time, is that it honors the questions, not the answers.” slVanityFair
posted by Etrigan at 4:56 AM - 35 comments

June 21

#OurHouseisAlwaysFullofLaughter

You've probably seen the video of comedian DJ Pryor discussing the season finale of Empire with his earnestly babbling son Kingston. Denny's used the two of them in a Father's Day ad, and Chris Cuomo interviewed them for CNN. Here's more Kingston, and here's the family's Facebook page.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:32 PM - 6 comments

rogue sneakers

These TV shows were ruined by stray shoes: A rogue sneaker is all it takes to smash through the suspension of disbelief. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 10:33 PM - 62 comments

Stopette: industrial design, and interpretive dance

Jules Montenier was a cosmetic chemist who improved antiperspirant, making them less irritating to the skin, and developed a new squeeze-bottle applicator with the product name of Stopette (Cosmetics and Skin). He became sponsor of What's My Line? (Old Time [Radio]), as seen in this collection of ads. But wait, one of them is not like the rest. That would be Dorothy Jarnac's Stopette pantomime. She's more than the Deodorant Dancer -- Miss Jarnac started out as an exponent of the classical ballet, but her sense of humor got the upper hand and she gained some small renown for interpretive dance (Periodically Vintage). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:59 PM - 5 comments

Stonehenge Skyscape

Stonehenge Skyscape. "For thousands of years people have made the pilgrimage to Stonehenge to gaze in wonder at the interplay with the monument of the sun, moon and stars, but from Friday a virtual version of the looming sky above the circle will be available to people from around the world. A live feed from a camera close to the stones has been set up – appropriately enough on the summer solstice – to allow people to tune in to the monument whenever they want. After dark, the live feed is replaced by a computer-generated image of the night sky as it would be at the moment a viewer clicks on the link to the website." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:58 PM - 4 comments

Some Suburb of Hell

America’s New Concentration Camp System
posted by latkes at 6:32 PM - 58 comments

standing in our living room pretending it's not our living room

What It’s Actually Like to Be on House Hunters Twice "For starters, we already had a house. It just got weirder from there." [Slate.com]
posted by readinghippo at 3:42 PM - 45 comments

the knowledge that we truly belong to any place eludes many of us

The second in what will be a trilogy, coming after the Pulitzer Prize winning and all around incredible Become Ocean (Bandcamp link), is John Luther Adams' newest and equally incredible work Become Desert (NPR link with Spotify stream).
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:16 PM - 4 comments

My Last Hideous Man

E. Jean Carroll, advice columnist extraordinaire and former Miss Cheerleader USA, reckons with a life full of hideous men, from being attacked by her Girl Scout camp counselor to being raped at Bergdorf’s by the current President of the United States. (tw: rape and sexual assault)
posted by sallybrown at 11:44 AM - 44 comments

"tom holland could run me over with a truck and I would say thank you"

The first time I noticed that quite a lot of people on the Internet seemed to be begging celebrities to kill them was a couple of years ago. “Can lana del rey step on my throat already,” one person tweeted. “Snap my neck and hide my body,” another announced, when Lady Gaga posted a new profile photo. [...] One takeaway from all this is that young people really love celebrities. Another is that we’re craving unmediated connection so desperately that we would accept it in the form of murder. It’s also possible that we simply want to die.
Love, Death, and Begging for Celebrities to Kill You
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM - 82 comments

o/' Spider-Tank, Spider-Tank, ain't no mob that he can't spank... o/'

A week out from the launch of the game's third expansion, Shadowbringers, the folks at Square Enix have dropped an ad for Final Fantasy XIV where Hannibal Buress works on training Tom Holland to be the Warrior of Darkness.

Japan, on the other hand, gets an anime catgirl having fun with friends. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:05 AM - 15 comments

Round of 16

The Group Stage of the 2019 Women's World Cup is over, and the bracket for the elimination Round of 16 is set: [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:51 AM - 19 comments

“I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to work there”

“They just said me and [my colleague] were very meticulous and had a lot of promise to move up to the SME position,” Speagle said, referring to the subject matter experts who make $1 more per hour in exchange for answering moderators’ questions about Facebook policy. “They said Facebook is basically shoving all of their graphic violence content to us, that they didn’t want it anymore. So they had to move more people to cover it. And that’s all that we saw, every single day.” For the first time, three former Facebook moderators in North America are breaking their nondisclosure agreements and going on the record to discuss working conditions that include squalid, bed bug infested offices, theft and abuse by managers, and developing PTSD from watching graphic violence : BODIES IN SEATS (Content warning: This story contains descriptions of violent acts against people and animals, accounts of sexual harassment and post-traumatic stress disorder, and other potentially disturbing content.)
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 AM - 65 comments

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

The newest game from Niantic hit phones yesterday: Harry Potter Wizards Unite. Like Pokemon Go, you walk around and interact with icons on your phone, but Wizards Unite improves on what makes Pokemon Go great. Have questions? There's a lot of options, but there's also an FAQ.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:42 AM - 46 comments

Blue hedgehogs, blue shells, and blue jorts. 🏎️

Much more than Mario Kart: The history of kart racers [Ars Technica] “No video game genre divides and unifies us like the kart racer. For every Mario Kart there are a dozen by-the-numbers cash-ins, and even that hallowed series receives regular criticism as too derivative. But while we all breathe a collective sigh of disappointment with each kid-friendly license that predictably goes the generic kart-racing route, it's hard not to get excited by that rare entry that feels fresh and new. A great kart racer is a joyous thing. It's accessible yet deep, fun yet primed for oh-so-serious competition between friends, and full of colorful, wacky charm. It is a game for everyone. So in keeping with the spirit of the genre—and as the latest edition in our gaming genre history series that includes city builders, graphic adventures, and simulation games—it's time to ride through the ups and downs of kart racing.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:25 AM - 15 comments

Friday Flash Fun: 5 Step Steve

The Kitty Federation sent a crew, led by Captain Laika, to a distant planet. When they failed to return, the Federation got worried. Dozens of puzzles stand in your way. And you only have 5 steps to solve them.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:43 AM - 7 comments

Everything I Learned While Getting Kicked out of America's Biggest Anti-

Everything I Learned While Getting Kicked out of America's Biggest Anti-Vaccine Conference Jezebel's Anna Merlan visits, and is ejected from, the AutismOneconference. [more inside]
posted by Hold your seahorses at 3:54 AM - 36 comments

"Woke Up Looking" by Gideon Irving

Cool video with no CGI or green screen. Video side-by side with making of [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 3:15 AM - 9 comments

June 20

From "Distanced Irony" to "Naked Authenticity"

He went from bro-asshole correspondent on The Daily Show to AlexJonesMeetsColbertReport for Comedy Central, but Jordan Klepper's new series Klepper is unlike anything ever seen before. A docuseries which explores issues from the inside, and maybe gets a white guy to weaponize his privilege on behalf of his subjects. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:20 PM - 5 comments

Now is the time to pickle green walnuts

My neighbor was out picking walnuts yesterday to make pickled walnuts. We share our urban habitat with SQUIRRELS and they EAT ALL THE WALNUTS so I was excited to learn how to intercept some of the nuts. So if you ALSO want to know how to intercept some of the walnuts in YOUR neighborhood from YOUR local squirrels, you'll be wanting these recipes. Turns out squirrels live EVERYWHERE. Green walnuts are the answer. Long live the green walnut! [more inside]
posted by aniola at 9:32 PM - 16 comments

Warp at 30: we have been reasonable people for decades

Get hyped for days of warped music! Warp Records turns 30 soon, and is celebrating with a multi-day take-over of NTS Radio (Wikipedia), starting on 21 June 2019 at 12 PM BST (TimeBie converter). The 60-hour line-up is on Warp.net (direct image link; Imgur link for posterity), and I've pulled together a random live set from each of the musicians* on the line-up, in case you can't tune in (or can't wait), plus some more links to read along while you listen. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:25 PM - 34 comments

Rube Goldberg steps back for a three.... it's good!

2-D Trick Shots — a few marbles (one orange), a few woodblock magnets, some K'nex pieces, and a "net" made of buckyball magnets, all set in motion on top of a tilted magnetic whiteboard. [SLYT, 2:16]
posted by not_on_display at 5:51 PM - 16 comments

Keep on trippin'...

First step towards a better prosthetic leg? Trip people over and over. The aim of "stumble recovery" research being carried out at Vanderbilt University is to "construct a model of which factors determine the nature of the stumble response, so when a stumble occurs, we can use the various sensors on a robotic prosthetic leg to artificially reconstruct the reflex." From the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation: A novel system for introducing precisely-controlled, unanticipated gait perturbations for the study of stumble recovery.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:02 PM - 10 comments

Public Access Television and Free Speech

Opinion analysis: Court holds that First Amendment does not apply to private operator of public-access channels From the majority's opinion: “MNN, as a private actor, is not subject to First Amendment constraints on how it exercises editorial discretion over the speech and speakers on its public access channels.” From the minority's dissent: “Just as the City would have been subject to the First Amendment had it chosen to run the” channels itself, MNN “assumed the same responsibility when it accepted the delegation” to run the channels and must comply with the First Amendment.” [more inside]
posted by daq at 2:17 PM - 30 comments

The 10 levels of jazz guitar

Young Swedish guitarist Lucas Brar shows how to play Summertime by Gershwin in 10 different ways. Starts at 0:28. Full Channel here. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:56 PM - 10 comments

Unseen 9/11 archive found at house sale

Ground zero demolition archive c/w 9/11 Archivists who bought a stash of CDs at a house clearance sale found 2,400 photos of Ground Zero in New York taken following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. c/w 9/11 [more inside]
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 1:34 PM - 17 comments

as with anything that goes mainstream, something is lost

"Drag brunch, until recently, was almost an oxymoron. For most of the 20th century, drag happened in queer spaces, in the dark, and was created by people who scraped together beauty from whatever they could find. Brunch, until about the 1980s, was conspicuously for the rich, or at least the genteel, an occasion for after church or on Mother’s Day — not one eating too much or getting too drunk. It was an opportunity to be seen looking sharp, at least in the church sense. There was little chance the worlds should ever meet. But starting around the 1990s, brunch got raucous and, concurrently, drag got mainstream." Jaya Saxena at Eater asks When Did Drag Brunch Get So Normie?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:12 PM - 11 comments

Unsolicited praise for sportswriter Jon Bois -Kate Wagner for theBaffler

For all the Bois bois (and everyone else, too) on Metafilter - unabashed praise for a transcendent sportswriter. Kate Wagner does a great job diving into what makes Bois something special. "his work brings together sports and art, sports and media culture, sports and history, sports and creative nonfiction, sports and fiction-fiction. Armed only with a high school diploma and a computer, Jon Bois renovated the genre of sports writing for the internet age. " " As a cultural critic, most people only get to hear about what I hate, and few ask me what I like. Well, I like the work of Jon Bois."
posted by jayz at 12:36 PM - 24 comments

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