April 25

Stock buybacks, union power, and the anti-investment class

“Demands on firms intensified with the rise of ‘activist investors,’ formerly known as corporate raiders. As institutional investors became large shareholders of major corporations, they pressured firms to push up share prices by maximizing short-term profits. Since such institutional investors could move their investments around easily, firms grew more responsive to capital markets than to their customers. For public companies, key regulatory and legislative changes allowed for a greater focus on stock prices. In 1982, Congress passed the safe-harbor provision for buybacks, which formerly would have been considered market manipulation.” - How Shareholder Primacy Hurts Jobs and Wages (Law And Political Economy)
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 AM - 0 comments

Turkish baths: now with 100% more baby surprises!

Tia Freeman experiences some unexpected turbulence during her flight to Germany via Istanbul. Hold on folks, it's going to get a little baby bumpy. [more inside]
posted by drlith at 7:04 AM - 45 comments

Syria, You Are My Country

"In April 1928, approximately a year after the conclusion of the Great Syrian Revolt––ninety years ago this month––Tunisian Jewish superstar Habiba Messika [1903-1930] walked into the Berlin studio of the Baidaphon label and recorded, “Syria, you are my country” (“Souria Anti Biladi”). More about Messika's life, including her early death, and the pan-Arab anti-colonial effect of 78s."
posted by OmieWise at 6:49 AM - 1 comment

Every tear that you cry will be replaced when you die

British pop star Robbie Williams had his third album released in the bizarre format of 45rpm double vinyl. Regardless, Sing When You're Winning is a very strong album which charted high around the globe. Side A: Let Love Be Your Energy [animated video (possibly NSFW)], Better Man, Rock DJ [video]

Side B: Supreme [video], Kids Featuring Kylie Minogue [video link], If It's Hurting You [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:12 AM - 14 comments

April 24

Bullets and Ballot Boxes

On the evening of September 8, 1948, young Dorothy Nixon and her grandmother heard a car approach their home and heard two white men calling for her father. The white men had grown up near the Nixons and were well known to the family: Johnnie Johnson arrived with a shotgun, and his brother, Jim A. Johnson, carried a pistol. Jim called up to the Nixon’s house, demanding Isaiah Nixon come outside. When Nixon stepped onto the porch, Johnson asked Nixon how he voted that day...

Buried Truths is a podcast that grows out of an Emory University history class, deeply exploring a Civil Rights era murder that was never prosecuted, giving a window into the history of the voting rights movement, Georgia politics and much more. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 8:51 PM - 4 comments

Bob Dorough, December 12, 1923 – April 23, 2018

Bob Dorough has died, and with him an essential part of the early education of tens of millions of children in math, grammar, and United States civics. Here he is in 2011, doing an extended version of "Three is a Magic Number"... [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 6:46 PM - 47 comments

Because You Can Never Get Too Much Polka in Bad Times

The Casts of Hamilton Perform the Hamilton Polka (previously). [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 6:22 PM - 7 comments

(Cultural) Multilevel Selection

For the Good of the Species - "Whether group selection is an important evolutionary force, or not, is a highly controversial question in evolutionary science. A substantial proportion of evolutionary scientists still think that it is not." (via)
posted by kliuless at 5:55 PM - 10 comments

"Everyone thinks my dog is a puppy"

Writer Kelly Conaboy (previously) home-tested her dog's DNA so she could settle arguments at the dog park. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:47 PM - 41 comments

Ours is a culture in which occupying a dwarf body makes you a target.

Eugene Grant on dwarfism. "I promise you: the best thing to call someone with dwarfism is *their name*. If you don't know their name, ask yourself why you need to refer to their body before knowing who they are." [more inside]
posted by bitmage at 4:16 PM - 8 comments

Cloudy With a Chance of Default

Drew Cloud Is a Well-Known Expert on Student Loans. One Problem: He’s Not Real.
After The Chronicle spent more than a week trying to verify Cloud’s existence, the company that owns The Student Loan Report confirmed that Cloud was fake. "Drew Cloud is a pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report, LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education," wrote Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU.

Before that admission, however, Cloud had corresponded at length with many journalists, pitching them stories and offering email interviews, many of which were published. When The Chronicle attempted to contact him through the address last week, Cloud said he was traveling and had limited access to his account. He didn’t respond to additional inquiries.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:29 PM - 10 comments

Can carbon farming save the planet?

"Climate change often evokes images of smokestacks, and for good reason: The single largest source of carbon emissions related to human activity is heat and power generation, which accounts for about one-quarter of the carbon we put into the atmosphere. Often overlooked, though, is how we use land, which contributes almost as much. The erosion and degradation of soil caused by plowing, intense grazing and clear-cutting has played a significant role in the atmospheric accumulation of heat-trapping gases." [more inside]
posted by Lycaste at 2:45 PM - 5 comments

Death and Dragons

Complex thoughts and emotions arise... when contemplating death and immortality. The reflexive 'fight' against aging and death may have unforeseen consequences.
posted by CheapB at 2:25 PM - 30 comments

Meep meep meep

Hilariously disturbing photos of bearded men looking straight up.
posted by item at 2:20 PM - 41 comments

Why suffer a flawed family when you can hire a better one?

Japanese rental roles aren't new, but this New Yorker piece is the best take I've read on them.
posted by ecourbanist at 2:02 PM - 16 comments

Psychographic Snake Oil

The Big Data Panic. "Cambridge Analytica said it could move the minds of American voters. Science tells a different story."
posted by storybored at 1:13 PM - 24 comments

"... the sad truth is most of the time we call her Nutface."

The Evolution of Pet Names [single-link Bored Panda].
posted by chainsofreedom at 1:02 PM - 108 comments

Nicaragua protested

Nicaragua protested. People were killed. Changes to decrease pension benefits were rolled back. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:58 AM - 13 comments

The harp of Cronus

Play Saturn's Rings Like a Harp [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 9:01 AM - 8 comments

Regional reading: book picks for each U.S. state

This Map Shows The Most Famous Book Set In Every State (Business Insider; sorry-not sorry, Washington; previously) | The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State (Brooklyn Magazine; both a map and a vision test) | The Most Popular Book in Each of the 50 States (Scribd, via Parade Magazine, in 2014) | 50 States, 50 Novels: A Literary Tour of the United States (Qwiklit belies its name and provides extra thought in their list) | 100 Books Across America: Fiction and Nonfiction for Every State in the Union (A Reading List for Your Last-Second Literary Road Trip from Lithub, who are good with words but bad with math, as they include a pick per state in fiction, non-fiction, and a famous title) | 50 State Booklist (National Education Association throws out limits and lists 329 titles in total)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM - 57 comments

"I'm sure you guys have noticed I'm a pretty private person."

"Lil" Miquela Sousa is a Spanish-Brazilian American model and musician from Downey, California who was recently featured in a V Magazine editorial spread. Her Instagram account, @lilmiquela, has more than a million followers. Miquela's selfies show her wearing designer clothes, posing with other models, musicians and activists -- and she even launched Prada's Instagram Gifs last fashion week. But there's just one catch: Lil Miquela is not a human being. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:44 AM - 88 comments

Giving the gift of life

There is something near-miraculous about the organ donation system, which allows tens of thousands of Americans a year to give up parts of their body they no longer need to extend lives There are about 660,000 people in the United Stated being treated for kidney failure. One donor's story.
posted by pjern at 6:26 AM - 14 comments

Where is Jessica Hyde?

The innovative Channel 4 conspiracy drama series Utopia, is to be remade by Amazon.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:22 AM - 26 comments

Defend Rojava

Officially branded as terrorists by the authoritarian regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, alternately supported, disregarded and threatened by the US in this era of incoherent strategic policy, the autonomous citizens of Rojava — or the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria — have been left to fend for themselves in the face of a brutal and largely indiscriminate onslaught by the Turkish military. Now a selection of prominent American academics and public intellectuals has launched the Emergency Committee for Rojava, with an urgent call to support and defend this unique experiment with popular control and self-management. [more inside]
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:19 AM - 4 comments

Not Quite Fanfic, or, The Fab(led) Four

It is a premise that could not possibly belong to anything good: years after their breakup, the members of a beloved band find themselves suddenly reunited, restored to youth and sent to undertake a quest in another world. Except that this is a completely serious epic fantasy novel (albeit with many moments of humor). Indeed, there's a lot of self-awareness - one of the advanced aliens responsible seems to have a bit of a thing for the Beatles. This is With Strings Attached, or, The Big Pink Job. The first half is available for free, as is the first chapter of the first volume of the sequel, The Keys Stand Alone, Book One: The Soft World. Backstory on the book's creation can be found at its TVTropes page. (Content warnings that I'm aware of: mentions (at minimum) of violence, mentions of sex, mentions of rape, drug use) [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 5:06 AM - 5 comments

Garlic bread? GAR-lic bread? GARLIC BREAD????

We Sent Garlic Bread to the Edge of Space, Then Ate It [SLYT] [5:23] [subtitles]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 3:32 AM - 14 comments

Love is a good thing

Sheryl Crow stares at you from the cover of her 1996 eponymous second album and dares you. It was a largely a personal project, writing and producing basically everything. Cassette Side A:Maybe Angels, A Change [video], Home [video], Sweet Rosalyn, If It Makes You Happy [video], Redemption Day [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:58 AM - 16 comments

April 23

"Yes, I’m the nitwit who talked up going into bear country"

"I have become too much a friend to rules; I have slept for too long in a soft bed; I have grown quite comfortably into the rites of a civilized life and as a result I think I have become something of a fucking infant... But in the very breath of my demand for the “authentic” wild, the un-guided tour, I’m cringing at how flaccid and disgracefully naive I probably sound—how much like one of Krakauer’s goons, the kind of person who will either gentrify the woods or get myself killed in them."
posted by perplexion at 11:10 PM - 80 comments

“make, play, and discover.”

Nintendo has turned cardboard into a joyful ode to creation [Polygon] “Nintendo’s Labo kits do things with cardboard and electronics that feel like practical magic, but the construction process is the equivalent of overcoming a half-dozen small mountains. Building Labo Toy-Cons isn’t stressful or scary so much as it’s mysterious. You’ll spend a decent amount of time putting pieces together while wondering what they’ll do exactly, or even if they’re going to work when completed. And then you get that moment of joy when it all clicks into place, both literally and figuratively, and you get to marvel at the cleverness of the design. You always know what the next step is, and you know what the finished product will look like, but the journey itself is often full of surprises.” [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:29 PM - 20 comments

Take Your Heart

It's been over one year since the release of Persona 5 (PS3/4) which is the latest installment of Persona series by Atlus. The new setting takes place in modern day Tokyo and incorporates a much darker tone compared to the prior small-town life of Persona 4. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit at 7:14 PM - 19 comments

I'm not crying; it's just raining, on my face

Maps Without New Zealand
posted by Sebmojo at 5:20 PM - 36 comments

Stunt Men Recreate Video Game Fighters

I'm not a gamer so I have no idea how well these guys do. But it's certainly very cleverly done, and well done, too. And the stunt guys seem to put their all into the depictions. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
posted by MovableBookLady at 4:10 PM - 26 comments

"blobs of flesh with tendrils and limbs randomly growing out"

Robbie Barrat, a recent high school graduate from West Virginia and AI enthusiast, used a type of artificial intelligence called a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to scan thousands of nude paintings from WikiArt. Using two neural networks, a generator and a discriminator, the GAN essentially mimics distribution of data — from images and music to speech — to create its own versions. Barrat's experiment did not go well. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:15 PM - 48 comments

Can Your Cat High Five?

Jackson Galaxy, of Animal Planet fame, Launched Cat Pawsitive to increase the adoptability of cats in their shelters. [more inside]
posted by ShakeyJake at 3:03 PM - 26 comments


Intense Gravity of Super-Earths Could Trap Aliens on Their Home Planet
posted by Artw at 2:55 PM - 30 comments

Atomic Man

The cleanup of Hanford continues, and continues to be controversial. It's a good time to remember Harold McCluskey, perhaps. [more inside]
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 2:54 PM - 11 comments

Mr Sweet Face

On TV's Jane the Virgin, men cry, embrace empathy, and are open of heart. Why one writer wishes he’d been able to watch it as a kid. [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:42 AM - 8 comments

The Crudest Era In Cocktail History

The 1980s--"precisely the nadir of bartending in the twentieth century". Brought to you by Peachtree Schnapps, “the liquor industry’s equivalent of Michael Jackson’s Thriller," and the Flavor Generation.
posted by Hypatia at 11:37 AM - 113 comments

"I'd like Emma Stone to play every role in the movie. We'll CGI her."

The Crazy Rich Asians movie trailer has dropped, and it's glorious. Crazy Rich Asians is a 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan that follows Rachel Chu, a Chinese American economics professor, to Singapore to attend a wedding with her boyfriend, Nick. She soon discovers that Nick is "the Prince William of Asia," that his family is crazy rich, and that half the women in Singapore are now out for her blood. The film will be the first major Hollywood release (besides the occasional period piece) to feature an all-Asian cast in 25 years, since 1993's The Joy Luck Club. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:30 AM - 72 comments

you absolute coat hanger

Turns out you can make nearly any object into a good insult if you put ‘you absolute’ in front of it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:54 AM - 89 comments

the sioux chef

Chef Sean Sherman on creating an indigenous kitchen in the modern world., committed to revitalizing Native American Cuisine and in the process we are re-identifying North American Cuisine and reclaiming an important culinary culture long buried and often inaccessible. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:05 AM - 21 comments

It’s Coming Through A Crack In The Wall

“Rather than shy away from being called a socialist, a word conservatives have long wielded as a slur, candidates like Mr. Bynum are embracing the label. He is among dozens of D.S.A. members running in this fall’s midterms for offices across the country at nearly every level. In Hawaii, Kaniela Ing, a state representative, is running for Congress. Gayle McLaughlin, a former mayor of Richmond, Calif., is running to be the state’s lieutenant governor. In Tennessee, Dennis Prater, an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University, is running to be a county commissioner.“ Yes, I’m running as a Socialist, why candidates are embracing the label (NYT) Congress is wealthy, the people are not - How to get more working-class candidates like Kerri Harris to run for office (The New Republic). One out of every five Americans has taken part in a rally, speech, or protest in the last two years. (The Nib)
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM - 82 comments

“Day after day, the women could hear the chain saws getting closer.”

61-year-old Theresa “Red” Terry has been camped in a tree for more than three weeks. [WP]. She is protesting of the clearing of trees on her property for the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Police are preventing friends and family from bringing her food or water.
posted by slipthought at 7:49 AM - 11 comments


Richard Herring 'interviews' Brian Blessed (slyt, nsfw swearing, discussions of the sexual antics of gorillas and bellowing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:44 AM - 20 comments

Fit doesn't have to be synonymous with thin.

Fit is a Feminist Issue, a blog about fitness for older women. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 3:40 AM - 18 comments

What is the opposite of water?

Cygnus. Poetry by Cameron Barnett. Bivocal, dialogical, interruptive — what’s the technical term for this poem’s gracefully woven structure? It forces you to read between the lines. Maybe everything after the first line is an answer to “the opposite of water.” Or maybe the indented sentence is a sort of swan song floating through the questions. “Cygnus” is Latin for “swan” and the name of a constellation. Any way you read it, the poem’s interrogative uncertainty shimmers like the mirrors of that dazzling final image. Selected by Terrance Hayes
posted by dancestoblue at 2:38 AM - 6 comments

April 22

The Truth about Tanks on the Western Front

To give you a general sense, in April of 1945 the Germans have about 90 tanks on all of the Western Front. All tanks, everything, Panthers, Panzer IV, Tigers. They had a handful of Tigers. They had about 400 other armored vehicles, assault guns, Stug III and things like that. So they had just short of 500 armored vehicles on the entire Western Front, from the North Sea all the way down to Bavaria and Southern Germany. At that point in time the United States had 11,000 tank and tank destroyers, to give you some sense of the disparity in forces. - - Popular historian Stephen Zaloga gives an interview discussing armored warfare in Western Europe during the Second World War for Tank and AFV News. [more inside]
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:57 PM - 69 comments

Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match

"We came ... to try to understand the forces of social disruption that have followed Facebook’s rapid expansion in the developing world" NYT's Amanda Taub and Max Fisher reports on how Facebook as a platform has galvanised sectarian violence. Some might not agree with the assessment, like Jesse Walker, but for scholars in the field like Zeynep Tufekci, this makes a coherent argument. Meanwhile on Twitter: The 'botmageddon' in Southeast Asia || A researcher at the Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab of the Washington-based Atlantic Council think tank said over 17,000 bots tweeted content related to the Malaysian election over the last week.
posted by cendawanita at 8:53 PM - 25 comments

Armenians on the verge of a regime overthrow

The President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, changed the constitution so that Armenia went from a semi-presidential state to a parliamentary one. Then he made himself Prime Minister immediately after his last presidential term. Armenian citizens, led by Internet-savvy opposition leaders under a coalition called Yelk (Way Out), dominated by the Civil Contract Party, now number possibly more than 150,000 people (~5% of the population) in the streets and more engaging in acts of disobedience from their homes. [more inside]
posted by k8t at 8:47 PM - 19 comments

So Here's Your Future

The Thermals have officially disbanded. Every album put out by The Thermals was a haven for punks and partiers, parents and kids, and outcasts of all stripes. Their albums were stuffed to the edges with intellectual rumination, melodies packed around bass lines, and a newfound sense of a life lived. (analogue.io) After 15 years on the scene, Portland, Oregon indie rockers The Thermals are packing it in. (consequence of sound) The Portland trio called it quits this week, but for many, they leave behind a fiery legacy that can’t be put out. (flood magazine) [more inside]
posted by curious nu at 8:26 PM - 11 comments

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