February 20

I hear their screams

Howard Jones released Dream Into Action in 1985 [CD-based YT playlist, ~55m] and it made quite a splash on both sides of the pond and around the world, with several charting singles and gigantic sales. UK Vinyl Side One: Things Can Only Get Better [video], Life In One Day [video], Dream Into Action, No One Is To Blame [video, completely different version], Look Mama [video], Assault And Battery [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:52 PM - 15 comments

Exhibition of Memories

The Museum of Broken Relationships. "Before flying to Zagreb, I’d put out a call to my friends—What object would you donate to this museum?—and got descriptions I couldn’t have imagined: a mango candle, a penis-shaped gourd, the sheet music from Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 3, a clamshell drilled by a dental student, an illustration from a children’s book that an ex had loved when he was young—showing a line of gray mice with thought bubbles full of the same colors above their heads, as if they were all dreaming the same dream."
posted by storybored at 9:40 PM - 6 comments

The Shallowness of Google Translate

Douglas Hofstadter takes a deep dive into why AI techniques don't equate to real undersanding. longread.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:58 PM - 54 comments

Mon Dieu, it's full of...

{gravelly voice} Throughout history, mythical creatures and phenomenon have been spoken of, described, searched for. Often, with no resulting evidence, no video, no photo. The Yeti, the Sasquatch, the Unicorn, non-hipsters who eat Blue Star donuts; the roll-call of unproven legends goes on. But now, deep in the Val de Bagnes of Switzerland, unambiguous photographic proof has emerged of the most mystical, most tasty of them all... (as discussed in the Irish media, a nearby sighting, and another, the anatomy of one, a herd or flock, just over the border in Italy, and a previous sighting of similar)
posted by Wordshore at 5:30 PM - 15 comments

RIP Thomas, the blind bisexual goose, 1980-2018

Thomas, a goose whose love life has delighted visitors to Waikanae's Waimanu Lagoons in New Zealand for many years, has died. His funeral featured a procession led by a bagpiper and a speech from the local mayor before the diminutive coffin was buried in a grave next to his life partner, Henry the swan. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel at 4:13 PM - 12 comments

In its house at R'lyeh, dead AI waits Deep Dreaming

The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel: Artificial Intelligence and Neoreaction - by Shuja Haider. A story of: Time travel, a future superintelligence as unavoidably but passionlessly vengeful God, neoreactionaries as the alt-right's intellectual avant-garde, neoreactionaries planning White Flight to Mars, Google's Deep Dream and "the Cathedral", libertarian transhumanism and libertarian fascism, Lyotardian far-rightists, Deleuzian Thatcherism and accelerationism, the Dark Enlightment, superrich supercapitalist super-villains, Silicon Valley hyperracism, Noys, Lovecraft, AI as class disparity amplifier.
And it isn't fiction.
posted by talos at 4:07 PM - 22 comments

Actually, my name is Austin Powers. Danger is my middle name

Just how dangerous are Winter Olympic sports?
posted by Stark at 12:37 PM - 56 comments

Dance or die!

Holly Dicker attends the biggest indoor hardcore rave in history to tell the story of Thunderdome and Holland's most significant youth culture movement. Legendary Dutch hardcore rave Thunderdome returns 5 years after their "final" 20th anniversary event in 2012. This is a great read about the history of a scene that inspired passion in a lot of people, as well as a detailed review of the event itself which seems rare in festival / rave culture.
posted by thedaniel at 11:02 AM - 14 comments

Missouri Fought For Years To Hide Where It Got Its Execution Drugs.

To hide the identity of the new pharmacy, the state has taken extraordinary steps. It uses a code name for the pharmacy in its official documents. Only a handful of state employees know the real name. The state fought at least six lawsuits to stop death row inmates and the press from knowing the pharmacy’s identity. Even the way Missouri buys and collects the drugs is cloak-and-dagger: The state sends a high-ranking corrections officer to a clandestine meeting with a company representative, exchanging an envelope full of cash for vials of pentobarbital. Since 2014, Missouri has spent more than $135,000 in such drug deals. - The secretive company behind Missouri’s lethal injections [SLBuzzfeed]
posted by supercrayon at 10:59 AM - 39 comments

What is reality, man?

Trypophobia may not be a real phobia. There is no green apple Gummi Bear flavor. Basically, our senses may not be reliable.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:49 AM - 90 comments

“an endless war without boundaries, no limitation on time or geography”

The strange history of an imperial skirmish in Niger
posted by infini at 7:55 AM - 3 comments

Stop calling it seaweed.

From Overfishing to Sustainable Farming. The innovative 3D model for ocean farming employs hurricane-resistant anchors on the seafloor at the edges of the farm, connecting with ropes to buoys on the water’s surface. Another rope runs horizontally about eight feet below the surface. The kelp is grown on ropes hanging down off the horizontal rope, creating a vertical growing space. “Next to the kelp, we’re growing scallops and mussels, also vertically, and then further down, we have oysters in cages, and then clams actually down in the mud,” Smith explains. “The vertical-water-column approach reduces the farm’s footprint, and the multiple species create a diversity so that a farmer is protected should anything cause one of those crops to falter or fail in a given season.”
posted by emjaybee at 7:40 AM - 23 comments

There's no wine at Wendy's

Wendy's Shabbat. The story of some eighty-something Jewish friends and their 97-year-old rabbi, who found an unorthodox way celebrating their Friday night meals. From the new film by Rachel Myers.
posted by Mchelly at 5:30 AM - 17 comments

Who kills Bambi?

‘People think the deer are lovely. Then they learn more about it’: the deer cull dilemma. The Scottish Highlands have a deer problem. Is shooting tens of thousands of them the only solution?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:01 AM - 127 comments

Cambridge researchers attempt to vaccinate against Fake News

“The idea is that once you’ve seen the tactics, and used them in the game, you build up resistance,” said Sander van der Linden, director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab. Researchers at the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab have built an online game designed to reveal the key strategies used in the creation and dissemination of fake news. About the game. Previous related research into the subject from the same institution.
posted by Chairboy at 2:32 AM - 26 comments

My ready meal is none of your business

Jack Monroe (previous) has responded to a now deleted tweet by Bath Conservatives suggesting Monroe is the poster girl for eating on £10 a week. Monroe's response: I have lived, waiting in fear for this moment, for almost six years. Waiting, to be upheld as some kind of justification for the deepest incisions of Conservative cuts as they seek to justify their barbaric policies by attaching them to someone who can be used as an example of ‘pulling themselves up by their bootstraps’. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:33 AM - 32 comments

February 19

from psy-op pamphlet to stateside souvenier

Afghan War Rugs And The Lossy Compression Of Cultural Coding [Twitter][Spooler (req. login) ] [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:58 PM - 3 comments

Shattered convictions I thought were reflecting you

CCM artist Leslie Phillips had been marketed as "the Christian Cyndi Lauper", and it didn't sit well with her. The producer for her 4th album, T Bone Burnett, helped her morph her sound and put enough, um, ambiguity in the album that Leslie was able to start a new, secular music career as Sam Phillips. But here is that brilliant, acoustic textured, questioning, and yearning [and receommended for non CCM audiences too] Leslie Phillips album from 1987: The Turning [YT playlist, ~40m]. Side A: River Of Love, Love Is Not Lost, The Turning, Libera Me, Carry You [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM - 20 comments

Your Cortex Contains 17 Billion Computers

It's a neural networks of neural networks up in your noggin. (Dr. Mark Humphries for Medium) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:08 PM - 36 comments

devoid of verse numbers and footnotes, so it reads less like a textbook.

'Manuscripts' Encourages Readers To Approach The Bible Like A Novel [NPR] “But there's also been a surge of interest in engaging with the Bible in the same way you would a novel, free of footnotes and asides. That's the approach taken by the small team behind Manuscripts, a new version of the Bible in the form of individual pocket-sized volumes – the first of which are coming out this month after a successful crowdfunding campaign. "Our research showed us that people were often intimidated by how it's traditionally been presented; as one big book," says Manuscripts creative director Jacob Scowden. "We wanted to give an ease to it, and reemphasize the effectiveness of reading the Bible as individual books."” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:12 PM - 58 comments

No chicken for you! (and no wages for you)

While in the USA they sell scratch and sniff cards, and in Australia serve tanks and discuss naked wrestling, in the UK KFC aren't doing well. Following several days of closures and "everything but chicken" menus, most branches of KFC stay shut. This began when, though warned, KFC switched to a cheaper deliverer - "optimised delivery scheduling" - who promptly could not deliver ("It's pretty complex!"). Speculation on why continues, while KFC staff are being accused of chicken smuggling and "encouraged" to take holidays by KFC. Politicians have been contacted by constituents (some resorting to vegetables), while closures also affect Taco Bell. As ever, Twitter (and dead royalty) is unhappy, though in the not-distant future, a tasty new flavour of chicken may be sold in Britain. Mmm!
posted by Wordshore at 5:26 PM - 69 comments

Fair go, sport!

“The irony of athletes from Great Britain, which spent £275m on preparations for the Rio games, raising fundamental questions about fairness in a race against an athlete from a country that spent less than £1.9m has somehow been lost” wrote the South African author and commentator Sisonke Msimang. Grauniad link.
posted by spaceburglar at 3:32 PM - 5 comments

Ancient Hill Rice Rediscovered

A staple of African cooking that was thought lost was found in a small field in Trinidad. The fat, nutty grain, with its West African lineage and tender red hull, was a favored staple for Southern home cooks during much of the 19th century. Unlike Carolina Gold, the versatile rice that until the Civil War was America’s primary rice crop, the hill rice hadn’t made Low Country plantation owners rich off the backs of slaves. The search for the missing grain led to Trinidad and Thomas Jefferson, and now excitement among African-American chefs. [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:13 PM - 16 comments

"This is really scorched earth"

IBM Sues Microsoft's New Chief Diversity Officer To Protect Diversity Trade Secrets: IBM has filed suit against one of its longtime executives, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, alleging that her new position as Microsoft’s chief diversity officer violates a year-long non-compete agreement, allowing the Redmond company to use IBM’s internal secrets to boost its own diversity efforts. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 1:51 PM - 47 comments

Cooking with Ursula K. Le Guin

Recipes based on food from Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand Of Darkness
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM - 11 comments

May it be a refuge and a mirror.

A Silent Place launches. The new project by Jonathan Harris consists of slightly animated, slightly interactive images, displayed slowly and with a meditative soundtrack. The images are drawings of and inspired by Utah-area pictographs. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 11:47 AM - 3 comments

Rednecks: a short fiction

"The miners are coming down from the hills, rising up out of the ground... They have knotted red bandanas around their necks, as if their throats have already been cut." A short story about very fine people from North Carolina novelist Taylor Brown, inspired by the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain--the largest labor uprising in United States history--and the bloody 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.
posted by xylothek at 8:08 AM - 8 comments

The Mess at Meetup

Meetup was supposed to be different. While much of the tech industry struggled to create inclusive work environments and free itself from the kinds of workplace harassment allegations that have spewed out of major companies like Google and Uber, Meetup was mission-driven, diverse, profitable, and user-focused. But last year, facing increasing competition, Meetup started negotiating an acquisition with WeWork—and everything changed. [slGizmodo]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:08 AM - 81 comments

Ike Did 9/11

Happy Presidents’ Day, they’re all awful. Here’s one ghastly fact about 45 presidents.
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 AM - 92 comments

Back in 1973, there was a girl from Tennessee

'Dolly Said No To Elvis' by Mark Nevin (ex Fairground Attraction), animated by Heather Colbert ... being the true story of the time a certain singer songwriter turned down The Colonel. It proved to be the right decision.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:56 AM - 11 comments

February 18

Because I do not care to enlarge my menagerie of pets...

In 1889, Tit-Bits magazine offered prizes to single, female readers who sent in the best answers to the question: ‘Why Am I A Spinster?’ Here are some highlights... [sl twitter thread] [more inside]
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 10:22 PM - 22 comments

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Watch Knife Skills (full video - 40 min), the Oscar-nominated short documentary about the opening of Edwins, a fine French restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, that is staffed almost entirely by ex-inmates with no prior restaurant experience. They have to learn everything there is to know about French food and restaurants in a very short period of time.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 PM - 6 comments

The authoritarian equivalent of Whuffie

China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious: The PRC's "social credit" scheme might have consequences for life in cities everywhere (SLAtlantic)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:16 PM - 64 comments


Abby and Brittany Hensel are dicephalic parapagus twins from Minnesota with separate heads and joined bodies (previously). After as normal a childhood as possible, they graduated from college in 2012 and became part-time teachers. (via) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:43 PM - 28 comments

I'm a little piece of leather but well put together!

We've hosted Jackie Shane on the blue before but she's worth a revisit, especially in light of a lovely 2-CD retrospective box set and some well deserved recognition.

Jackie Shane was born May 15 1940 in Nashville to Jack Crawford and Jessie Shane. When she was 8 she was asked to join the church choir ("I will sing but I will not listen to the minister and I'm not giving him my money. This shyster."). When she was 10 she moved back to Nasville to live with her aunt and started singing in gospel and church groups. By age 13 Jackie had begun to consider herself a woman in a man's body and started wearing makeup to school. [more inside]
posted by parki at 10:51 AM - 4 comments

Maximum heaviosity

Weasel Walter (label honcho, Lydia Lunch collaborator, Flying Luttenbachers mastermind, No Wave historian, bar band impresario, jazz bandleader, improviser, etc.) presents The Beatles' She's So 60 Minutes of Heavy.
posted by kenko at 10:08 AM - 9 comments

Two dogs bathing contendedly in a bowl of warm water.

Sometimes a single gif is all you need to make the world feel like a better place.
posted by humph at 8:39 AM - 27 comments

‘Mutley Cruh! Mutley Cruh!’

Ä Brïëf Hïstöry Öf Mëtäl Umläüts from Kerrang!
posted by chavenet at 6:51 AM - 39 comments

It felt like I was putting a big part of myself inside a locker

I am still learning to accept myself as I am. I hope it doesn't take another 50 years. Photo interview series by Jessica Dimmock with trans women in the PNW. Dimmock is careful to explain that the situations are, well, complicated: some of her subjects don’t consider themselves to be trans because, as Dimmock explains, it was not an identity that they felt free to totally embrace. “They’ve been trapped in a timeline and a situation at home that has made it impossible for them...But everyone I photographed is on the spectrum of having a full female identity. There are women inside all of these people.” The series places the women in the settings in which they found creative ways to steal away and express their honest identities in private,” she explains. “They are intentional and accurate to their stories.”
posted by stillmoving at 5:01 AM - 34 comments


In 1992, for their seventh album, Everything But The Girl changed tack entirely and went Acoustic [41m YouTube apologies for commercials] Cassette Side A: Love Ia Strange, Tougher Than The Rest, Time After Time, Alison, Downtown Train [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:33 AM - 11 comments

February 17

Take it to the bridge!

Birmingham UK's GorillaBot take a Robodyssey to discover that I'm Just A Robot
posted by Catblack at 10:27 PM - 6 comments

Punk Rock Church—Cult?

Longread. Church becomes cult? Survivors bond into ... a cult? And so on.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:31 PM - 26 comments

“frenetic yet orchestrated ballet of sword slashes and bullet-speed art”

You've never played a game quite like Bayonetta [GQ] “There’s also a pair of high powered pistols attached to her absurdly high-heeled shoes. Oh, and the game darts between biblical analogy and sexual innuendo quicker than Bayonetta herself can backflip into the air to shoot a horde of angry angels with her deadly Louboutins. That near-the-knuckle approach to sex and sexuality is often gratuitous, especially when you’re forced to watch the nth slow-motion crotch shot while you loudly insist to your girlfriend, “Really, this is not what it looks like.” But the game also takes the time to empower Bayonetta. She’s a fantastic female lead and it’s refreshing to play as her rather than just another one of the bone-headed muscle men that are rife in most action games. She’s absolutely the star of the show, and both games string together some of the most absurdly bombastic set-piece moments you’ve ever seen on screen, in a way that’s so audacious you’ll wonder how it continuously ups the ante.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM - 46 comments


The Family Tree of the Noir Western
posted by Artw at 5:39 PM - 17 comments

Microburst, Meteor, UFO, Sasquatch

At 1:30 a.m. on January 27 hundreds of old growth trees fell in a small area on the north shore of Lake Quinalt in Olympic National Park. Park officials suggested a microburst could be responsible for the strong winds required to knock the large trees down, but the weather conditions made a microburst unlikely. Meteorologist Cliff Mass (previously) takes a look at the weather data to try to solve the mystery (Part II, final solution).
posted by edeezy at 2:30 PM - 28 comments

Love the second time around

He woke her in the middle of the night.

"Will you marry me," he asked.

"Of course I will, darling," she replied, a bit saddened.

Truth was, Michael and Linda Joyce had been married for 34 years, but Michael is battling Alzheimer's and he'd forgotten.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:44 PM - 16 comments

"The first Phoenicians on this beach"

Hanno the Navigator was Carthaginian explorer who traveled south along the African coast in the sixth Century BCE. He left behind an account of his journey, a periplus, which among other things gave the world the word "gorilla", which may have been a kikongo phrase originally. It can be read in English translation on Livius along with scholarly notes by Jona Lendering. Hanno's brother Himilco was also an explorer, venturing north along the Atlantic coast of Europe. Lionel Casson puts Hanno in context of the history of exploration. While reading the links, you might want to listen to folk rocker Al Stewart's 2008 song Hanno the Navigator.
posted by Kattullus at 12:29 PM - 13 comments

"I thought I'd had one too many wines for my birthday lunch," she said

"I was just trying to enjoy my book when all of a sudden an earthquake happens..." At 14:31:05 today, Britain suffered its largest earthquake for over a decade, being felt across major population centres such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Blackpool, Rhyl and Salford. The 'massive' quake centred on the village of Cwmllynfell (pronounced 'Cwmllynfell') in Wales, at a depth of 7km, and is the 17th in the UK so far this year. "I posted on Facebook immediately." While residents carried on or prioritised, and cats startled, questions have been asked. Please send British tea and moist crumpets.
posted by Wordshore at 11:38 AM - 61 comments

Don't call it a comeback: Dabrye finishes his x/3 trilogy after 17 years

The final installment in Dabrye's trilogy was worth the wait (Doug Coombe, Detroit Metro Times)
Dabrye is musician Tadd Mullinix's hip-hop producer alter ego. His first album One/Three came out in 2001, a unique hybrid of techno influences (Detroit techno, Warp Records, and kindred labels) and the classic hip-hop productions of Pete Rock, DJ Premier, the Bomb Squad, and J Dilla in particular. His second album, Two/Three, came out in 2006 and featured his hero J Dilla and Phat Kat on the single "Game Over," as well as Waajeed, Invincible, MF Doom, and Guilty Simpson. And then... pretty much silence from Dabrye.
That is, until now. Behold: Three/Three, featuring "a dream lineup of both Detroit (Danny Brown, Clear Soul Forces, Nolan The Ninja) and national (MF Doom, Ghostface Killah) MCs." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:11 AM - 6 comments

Wolkoff To Pay $150kto each 5Pointz Artist

Gerald Wolkoff Pays for Destroying 45 Works Of Art Judge Federico Bloc orders Gerald Wolkoff to pay maximum damages to the artists whose graffiti art he whitewashed over in 2013.
posted by Yellow at 9:21 AM - 23 comments

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