July 18

The Igbo slave trade

My great-grandfather, the Nigerian slave trader. A New Yorker article by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani in which she reflects on her family's involvement in the African slave trade, and its ramifications today for the descendants of both the slavers and the enslaved.
posted by tavegyl at 2:14 AM - 0 comments

This ant moisturizes. This ant is round and huggable.

An entomologist rates ant emojis.
posted by Vesihiisi at 12:01 AM - 3 comments

July 17

Wonder Woman 1484

Incredibly Detailed Aztec Inspired Pop Culture Illustrations by Jorge Garza
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:44 PM - 1 comment

An Egyptian-UFO Cult in Brooklyn

Nuwaubian group wound up labeled as a hate group by the SPLC. Not long ago in Georgia, black and gold pyramids stood proudly on the 476-acre compound of Tama-Rey. It was the holy “Land of the Sun,” a place where the self-declared God, Dr. Malachi Z. York, manipulated thousands of nationwide followers in the “Nuwaubian Nation of Moors” to believe they were cosmic purveyors of an extraterrestrial truth.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:09 PM - 7 comments

Piloting a tea-zeppelin on Mars is a lonely job

Robin Johnson makes interactive fiction and text adventures. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 7:52 PM - 5 comments

"I wouldn’t, if I were you ... but I do."

"I respect that bakers who are proud of their bagels might get pissed that someone is destroying their creation. But it’s a damn piece of bread. Eat it in a way that makes the most sense to you. If you want to enjoy your sandwich without half of the toppings falling out of the sides, then do what feels right: hold your head high and scoop out your bagel."
posted by Lexica at 7:51 PM - 27 comments

Fortune favors the brave

The facility, called Diamond Light Source, is one of the most powerful and sophisticated X-ray facilities in the world, used to probe everything from viruses to jet engines. On this summer afternoon, though, its epic beam will focus on a tiny crumb of papyrus that has already survived one of the most destructive forces on the planet—and 2,000 years of history. It comes from a scroll found in Herculaneum, an ancient Roman resort on the Bay of Naples, Italy, that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:41 PM - 5 comments

'I punched him so hard he cried': inside the Street Fighter movie

In 1993, writer/director Steven de Souza battled a military coup, an ever-growing cast list and a self-destructing Jean-Claude Van Damme – and came out with a profitable picture. A loving, quite funny reminisce.
posted by smoke at 7:23 PM - 11 comments

…some of the first feminist and intersectional writing my Nani ever read

Justice Among the Jell-O Recipes: The Feminist History of Food Journalism [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 3:39 PM - 9 comments

Deeper, deeper, deeper

68-year-old artist/musician Lonnie Holley has released the video for his new single, "I Woke Up In A Fucked-Up America." [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 2:16 PM - 6 comments

Old Library Tickets

Library tickets, library cards and library pockets as historical or nostalgic objects: Is the Library Card Dying? by Sara Polski in The Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 2:14 PM - 29 comments

Professional ninja shortage: new recruits wanted

Iga, a small town in Japan, and the birthplace of the ninja, is seeking to combat decreasing population by recruiting more ninjas A short (9:30) podcast from NPR.
posted by stillmoving at 1:18 PM - 23 comments

How Corelle plates came to dominate immigrants' kitchen cabinets

We kept all three types stacked high in a kitchen cabinet, a potentially disastrous placement for clumsy kids looking to set the table each night. But these weren’t any plates. They were Corelle, the seemingly indestructible kind still found in immigrant households across the country. [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:49 PM - 98 comments

Die (if you're) Hard

Toward a Feminist Reading of "Die Hard"
posted by Scattercat at 11:46 AM - 29 comments

Watching the World Cup in Tehran

We lefts the stadium with no loss, no victory, but plenty of indignation. Thousands of us walked out onto the street through a long dark tunnel, lost in the all-consuming blow of horns and chants of Iraa-a-a-n. The trumpet of God seemed to be calling out the Day of Judgment: Iran gave its best World Cup performance in recent history, and women were allowed inside Iran’s largest stadium for the first time in decades. @Pedestrian writes about women and Iran's World Cup performance for Popula. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 11:38 AM - 2 comments

None Dare Call It Treason

Donald Trump, current occupier of the Oval Office, has returned to the US after a tumultuous six-day international tour in which he again declared himself "a very stable genius" after disrupting the NATO summit in Brussels (Rolling Stone), lied about predicting Brexit while criticizing PM Theresa May over her handling of it (The Sun), called the European Union "a foe" of the US (CNN), and then met with President Vladimir Putin in a two-hour, closed-door, off-the-record session that culminated in a joint news conference so shameful (Washington Post) and obsequious (NYTimes) that people are debating if it was treasonable (Business Insider). … And halfway through this trip, on Friday the 13th, Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a new indictment (PDF) of 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign (NY Times), and on Monday, the Department of Justice DoJ Release: charged Russian national and NRA Mariia Butina, who lobbied the National Rifle Association and the National Prayer Breakfast on behalf of Russia (New York Times) and met Trump in 2015 (CNN), Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States (DoJ press release). [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:40 AM - 252 comments

“...a moral pretext for what is really just imaginative pleasure.”

Empathy Machines: Fellow feeling as a technologically mediated experience by Olivia Rosane “The narrative about the power of literature, like the current approach to VR, makes historical change not a matter of the resistance efforts of the oppressed and their allies but of relatively privileged people speaking to other relatively privileged people to spark a paternalistic response. [...] By focusing on bringing the experiences of the marginalized to elites, VR developers implicitly endorse a system in which a small number of people retain outsize power.”
posted by Fizz at 8:40 AM - 4 comments

Divine Feminine Energy is not the empowering narrative you think it is.

While the idea that women are innately nurturing and emotionally sensitive might sound harmless, these ostensibly positive stereotypes are hard-working components in the overall narrative that women are irrational, intellectually inferior, and servile beings who are most at home in the domestic sphere — the exact logic that’s always facilitated women’s oppression. And however innocuous it seems on the surface, this kind of benevolent sexism actually causes more harm than overt misogyny.
For the love of goddesses, stop deifying women
posted by griphus at 8:35 AM - 44 comments

When and where did we begin? What is a Homo sapiens anyway?

The New Story of Humanity's Origins in Africa comes from several new discoveries, which suggest that our species didn’t arise from a single point in space. Instead, the entire continent was our cradle. In reviewing and summarizing recent developments across multiple fields, 23 scientists pose the questions Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter? Researchers have determined that much of human DNA comes from Neanderthals, and at least two other hominid species. And with these re-evaluations come others, including the discovery of ancient (2.1 million year old) tools in China that suggests early hominims left Africa earlier than previously thought.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 AM - 12 comments

Unity With The Space Comrades!

“Outside of Posadism there was Peter Kolosimo, an Italian born anti-fascist partisan and early proponent of the “ancient astronaut” theory that alien visitors kickstarted civilization. After the war, he was kicked out of the Communist Party for his unorthodox views — not because of the alien stuff, but for his support of Tito’s anti-Stalinist Yugoslavian socialism. As a freelancer, he began to dabble in the occult and paranormal. His 1965 work, Not of this Earth, which argued that aliens had influenced — or created — early human civilizations, became a bestseller in Italy.“ THE SECRET HISTORY OF MARXIST ALIEN HUNTERS (The Outline)
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM - 4 comments

(Democratically) Controlling Ownership of Production's Means

The Socialist Network - "At the heart of the split between liberals and socialists, at least in theory, is the question of what to do about capitalism. Liberals tend to see it as something that needs to be fixed. Socialists see it as something to be defeated. They say they do, anyway. As we've seen, the Millennial socialist intellectuals aren't really calling for government takeover of industry. Still, their stated opposition to capitalism-as-such has consequences for how we address the problems of the modern economy." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:33 AM - 43 comments

$$$

Treasure Planet - Disney's Biggest Mistake [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:20 AM - 46 comments

Billy Wayne Ruddick for the American people.

Meet Billy Wayne Ruddick, Sacha Baron Cohen's latest creation. Dr. Ruddick (PhD) runs Truthbrary.org for the good of the American people.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:24 AM - 28 comments

Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends?

One discipline reduces behavior to elegantly simple rules; the other wallows in our full, complex particularity. What can they learn from each other?
posted by spaceburglar at 4:34 AM - 10 comments

American Library Association: Libraries must allow hate groups

The American Library Association, through their Officer for Intellectual Freedom, has passed a resolution stating libraries must allow hate groups to book their meeting rooms.. Many librarians and library supporters have taken to twitter to express their opposition using the hashtag #NoHateALA, claiming this decision threatens the safety of their users and staff. Members of the Office for Intellectual Freedom claim the resolution was snuck past to the members. [more inside]
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:01 AM - 62 comments

The Sky Road

The UK has announced it will be building its first spaceport on Scotland's northern coast.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:57 AM - 28 comments

July 16

You like yours hot?

That’s 12 double-crosses in a movie with a runtime of 108 minutes. That’s an average of one double-cross every nine minutes, which is an extremely high DCPM (double-cross per minute) rate. There’s also the raccoon, and a few alligators, and Kevin Bacon’s alligator, and the pool scene, and Bill Murray as a lawyer. It’s a lot. Wild Things is a lot.
Wild Things, one of the sleaziest wide releases of the '90s, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. [spoilers abound in all links] [more inside]
posted by edeezy at 10:35 PM - 21 comments

Journalistic Deficiencies: Metaphors Differ

David Roberts argues that journalists' desire to appear unbiased impacts their ability to understand the substance:
[I]magine covering substantive disputes every day but not allowing yourself to develop opinions about them. It takes will & effort!  [ . . . ] Political/policy analysis, when done well, is developed through dialog. [ . . . ] It's a muscle that requires exercise. And "objective" reporters don't exercise it. [ . . . ]  I've seen it again & again: when I can cajole "objective" reporters into sharing their opinions on, oh, the national debt, or climate policy, or electoral dynamics, those opinions are almost always shockingly flat-footed & childlike.
[Threadreader link for the twitter averse] [more inside]
posted by mark k at 8:36 PM - 6 comments

говори со мной о простых вещах

Vera Polozkova is a contemporary Russian poet. For most of you, here are some beautifully illustrated English interpretations of her poems. [more inside]
posted by prefpara at 7:26 PM - 5 comments

Weirdest Most Beautiful Bugs

A family created a small scholarly museum of bugs in nowhere Colorado. Driving along a nondescript section of Highway 115 a few miles south of Colorado Springs, it’s hard not to swerve at the sight of a gigantic Hercules beetle, its horns as tall as a house, standing beside a sign for the May Natural History Museum.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:48 PM - 8 comments

Canon in KFC

TwoSet Violin are a pair of blokes from Brisbane who want to make classical music relevant to the modern generation through fun, humour and simplicity. Which explains the existence of Pachelbel's Canon in D performed on rubber chicken.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:34 PM - 16 comments

"All of Harry Potter, but keep Alan Rickman"

Saturday, July 14 2018. Tweet to Film Critic HULK: "You can replace the cast of any movie with The Muppets, but you keep one of the human actors. What movie and which human do you keep?" [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:50 PM - 347 comments

I sort of hated this - I really did!

The 100 Best One-Star Reviews of The Catcher in the Rye [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:20 PM - 76 comments

Happy-ever-after is a fairy-tale notion, not history.

Ruth Franklin writes about children's Holocaust literature for the New Yorker: There’s something essential about the interactions among generations in the stories we tell about the Holocaust ... a younger person literally bears witness to the stories of an older generation—either by experiencing them herself, as Hannah does, or by listening to the testimony of survivors. And the reader, by imagining herself in the place of the main character, can vicariously bear witness, too. If there’s a consolation in reading these books, that’s where it can be found... “Fiction cannot recite the numbing numbers, but it can be that witness, that memory.” We may emerge from these books without grasping the true horror of their stories. But at least we’ve learned how to listen to them.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:09 AM - 10 comments

Virgenes de la Puerta

Peruvian artist Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo pays homage to trans women in this intensely moving gallery (click the pictures to advance through the gallery). (Vice article with background information) NSFW - Nudity
posted by stoneweaver at 10:59 AM - 4 comments

“That’s when the ulcer started.”

Today is Amazon Prime Day, a 36-hour shopping event invented to celebrate Jeff Bezos’s online marketplace dominance. As comrades around the world go on strike to protest Amazon’s workplace conditions, let’s take a look at the best Prime Day deals: The Motherboard Guide to Amazon Prime Day
posted by not_the_water at 10:59 AM - 106 comments

The answer always is: "Tell the world the facts."

One of the founding members of the NAACP, Ida B. Wells was at one point the most famous black woman in America. A fiery, exacting journalist, she's best known for her work on documenting lynching (and the false premises used to justify it) in her books Southern Horrors and The Red Record, the latter of which is now seen as a pioneering work of early data journalism. Now, a community group is working to create a monument to Wells in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, where she lived and worked. [more inside]
posted by Four String Riot at 10:16 AM - 10 comments

something something "square meal" something

Some physically pixelated (voxelated?) foodstuffs from Yuni Yoshida, art director:
- Apple and banana.
- Pineapple.
- Hamburger.
Also tilings and textures and patterns and tilings. [via kottke, c/o mltshp.]
posted by cortex at 10:07 AM - 14 comments

Brooch Warfare from a WWII Vet

Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith has, among other passions (not limited to corgis) , a love of brooches. She has an impressive collection: Some simply ornamental, and some with more significant meaning. [more inside]
posted by FritoKAL at 9:21 AM - 26 comments

Putting the "crow" in necrophilia

It’s early April 2015, and John Marzluff and I are standing with a film crew attempting to capture some footage of a crow funeral to compliment a story they are working on about Gabi Mann. I’ve already set the dead crow on the ground, it’s placed just out from a cherry tree resplendent in springtime blossoms. After only a few moments of waiting, the first crow arrives and alights on the tree.
posted by sciatrix at 9:05 AM - 41 comments

Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos

Who owns the space under cities? (The Guardian) Airspace ownership and control (Slate) is often discussed with regard to drones. When thinking subsurface, mineral rights (Geology.com) probably come to mind with extractive industries, but what about subterranean management? With city centers fully built, developers are looking down as well as up. Singapore has been doing subsurface planning since 2007 (Science Direct, abstract only) Hong Kong built underground caverns to expand its available real estate space (Wired) after maximizing surface and airspace development, and Helsinki has an underground masterplan (Hel.fi). British Geological Survey's Project Iceberg (BGS) aims to document and better manage underground developments in England. Up next: tunnels to ease traffic congestion. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:27 AM - 18 comments

The Story of the Eman Boys, in What Is Known as the Mansion of E

The Mansion of E, the daily fantasy webcomic by Robert M. Cook (who self-admittingly compares his work to that of Henry Darger - minus the creepiness, I assure you), today celebrates its 15th anniversary. If you dare delve through 5000+ strips of the worldbuilding-packed adventures of minor aristocrats in a post-magic world and their mansion so big its basement and garden contain entire civilizations, start in the same place 15 years earlier - or should that be two days earlier? Day 0 goes to July 31 2003 plus the Early Hours strips linked from there. Day 1 (aka the Endless Day) takes up a literal decade. We are currently in Day 2. (There are helpful Recap and Wiki links on the front page and there is also a TVTropes page.)
posted by BiggerJ at 6:52 AM - 1 comment

L - A - B - O !

Nintendo Switch Labo Creator's Contest Winners [Nintendo Life] “Nintendo recently shared details surrounding its Nintendo Labo Creators Contest, asking players to come up with the greatest inventions they could muster to earn some fantastic prizes. The contest was split into three categories - Best Decorated Toy-Con, Best Toy-Con Mod, and Best Original Invention - with an emphasis being placed on musical instruments and game ideas when the contest was first announced. Some of the winners included an RC car that was decorated like a dinosaur and a beautiful The Legend of Zelda-inspired Toy-Con Piano, a 'solar-powered' accordion, and a tea-pot.”
posted by Fizz at 6:11 AM - 7 comments

Impossible is Nothing

Beninese artist Thierry Oussou’s multimedia installation Impossible Is Nothing, is currently on show at the Berlin Biennale. It's a multimedia representation of an excavation carried out in 2016 at Allada in Tokpa, southern Benin, with history and archaeology students from University of Abomey-Calavi. They uncovered the 19th-century royal throne of King Béhanzin, the last ruler of the kingdom of Dahomey. Except the throne has been in possession of the French state since the early 1890s when Béhanzin was defeated, and Dahomey (present-day Benin) colonised and it's currently in the stores of the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. [more inside]
posted by Helga-woo at 4:35 AM - 7 comments

A gun, a bag and a talking hat.

Director Duncan Jones teased his next film would be a comic book movie... now he has revealed it'll be a Rogue Trooper film from the comic 2000 AD [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:20 AM - 21 comments

July 15

Their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows

In April 1941 only two decades after the rancor and bloodshed of the Irish War of Independence and its Civil War, with the cautious assent of the first Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland Éamon de Valera who had maintained neutrality from the Allies and the Axis, crews of volunteer firefighters crossed the border into the North (~40min podcast) to help battle the blazes ignited by Luftwaffe bombing in the Belfast Blitz. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 10:48 PM - 9 comments

that strangely tender malice, at once so delicious and yet so purifying

The New York Yankees Are a Moral Abomination: "Soberly considered, the New York Yankees and their fans present a moral dilemma. Our consciences, naturally abhorring everything abominable, tell us that such things simply ought not exist. And yet we also know that the evil they represent is one we would not really want eradicated. " (SLNYT by David Bentley Hart)
posted by crazy with stars at 9:45 PM - 42 comments

Why functional programming? Why Haskell?

Haskell is most likely quite different from any language you've ever used before. In Haskell, we de-emphasise code that modifies data. Instead, we focus on functions that take immutable values as input and produce new values as output. Given the same inputs, these functions always return the same results. This is a core idea behind functional programming. [more inside]
posted by hexaflexagon at 6:30 PM - 103 comments

"To see oursels as others see us"

In those files, as I found from my own Polish dossier, it’s not only a younger half-forgotten self that you meet. It is also an unrecognisable stranger – yourself, as others have seen you. For nearly thirty years, hundreds of thousands of people have been reading their secret police files, the records of surveillance, denunciation and manipulation compiled by the spooks of communist Europe.
posted by Hypatia at 6:23 PM - 5 comments

The Glue Famine

"It was December 18th, 2016 when we noticed that all the glue was gone and we had no clue why. So when the cavernous shelf was filled, only to be emptied again immediately, we began to speculate. Something as simple as Elmer’s Glue, although a little oddball, did not seem an unlikely victim for whatever might have been caught in the crosshairs of a Pinterest trend. We’d survive- whatever it was. I was in no way prepared for the reality. " [more inside]
posted by Quackles at 5:50 PM - 56 comments

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