November 18

Stencil Archive

The Stencil Archive is a searchable archive for thousands of photographs, videos, and more, related to stencil art from around the world.
posted by carter at 6:41 AM - 4 comments

November 17

Meet the Cat Who Turned Four Seasons Total Landscaping into a Virtual Re

Meet the Cat Who Turned Four Seasons Total Landscaping into a Virtual Reality Hangout for Furries "“When I’m hanging out with my friends we’re like, ‘we should make this into a VRChat world, all these stupid things,” says Coopertom, a New Jersey-based furry."
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM - 11 comments

Kabbalah and Communism

Aside from a small circle of students and admirers, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag was an unknown figure at his death in 1954. Today, religious schools and New Age “educational centers” around the world are actively spreading his ideas, and his writings are being analyzed by professors and graduate students. After spending an hour in the rabbi’s stone mausoleum, the pop-diva Madonna emerged with tears in her eyes. Who was this person to whom scores of pious (and impious) Jews and non-Jews are turning for inspiration?--Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag: Scholar of Kabbalah and progenitor of the Kabbalah [more inside]
posted by No Robots at 6:04 PM - 22 comments

Will you Stay?

Stay? is an interactive fiction game where you always get a second chance. From the description: "Welcome to Elaia, a magical city nestled in a high valley. It's the end of your first year at university & time to choose your major." It's a choose your own fantasy adventure that's part dating sim/part avert the apocalypse(s). [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 at 5:36 PM - 57 comments


Do you remember the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure? More specifically, do you remember The Girls of Rock and Roll? Of course you remember, it’s been in your head off and on for over thirty years. Then perhaps you would like to see what it looks like when performed by humans?
posted by supercrayon at 2:42 PM - 30 comments

Laundry requires so little, and I despise it so much

Rachel Sugar explores the history of washing clothes (Vox) and recent attempts to outsource it (again) or “luxify” the process.
posted by adrianhon at 1:32 PM - 63 comments

All ye lovers take heed of me, for I was once as lusty as ye

The Distinguished Medieval Penis Investigators In fourteenth-century England, one of the only ways a woman could get a divorce was if her husband was impotent. But first, she had to prove it in court.
posted by Gilgongo at 12:18 PM - 35 comments

The Earth is Our Canoe

The traditional Polynesian outrigger, Hōkūleʻa, and revitalizer of traditional Polynesian wayfinding, Nainoa Thompson, are no stranger to the blue (1) (2) . Until the end of November, the new documentary from the Polynesian Voyager Society, He Wa’a, He Hōnua - The Earth is Our Canoe, along with 4 previous documentaries spanning 5 decades, is available for free (requires registration) from the 40th Hawai’i International Film Festival.
posted by rubatan at 10:25 AM - 3 comments

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiine

After hearing that Dolly Parton donated $1MM to help fund Moderna's research into a COVID-19 vaccine, WIRED magazine's resident linguist Gretchen McCulloch wrote the lyrics to Vaccine Jolene, and Ryan Corell performed them late last night, with the family sleeping.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:20 AM - 38 comments


Dehd is a 3 person band from Chicago Illinois. They make minimilast post-punk pop music with hints of surf rock, dream pop, and Roy Orbison. Here they are performing songs from their 2020 album Flower of Devotion on KEXP Live at Home. They also make music videos: Loner - Haha - Letter - Flood
posted by ericost at 8:41 AM - 7 comments

Twenty years of federal planning for pandemics

Lots of plans, no coordination or authority "To summarize, the acronyms of those agencies that are supposed to organize a response to a communicable disease crisis include, but are not limited to, the ASPR, CDC, DGMQ, NCEZID, USSG, HHS, FEMA, FDA, NIAID, DOD, DHS, NSC, CTF, and associated sub-agencies and divisions and offices. Inside these agencies, there are dozens of intelligent and accomplished individuals, often from bipartisan or civil service backgrounds, who are supposed to lead in a crisis. The problem is that those people have no clear lines of authority about who is supposed to coordinate them or be in charge, and no clear plan to follow even if such authority were provided."
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:20 AM - 24 comments

November 16

Head-stabilized video of a hurdler (SLYT)

Grant Holloway's Head Stabilized Through the Hurdles. It looks unreal. I think this is the run.
posted by Gorgik at 9:43 PM - 32 comments

It’s much more easy to lose digital history than we think.

A short history of Flash & the forgotten Flash Website movement. A transcript of a talk by Nathalie Lawhead about the era of Adobe Flash and the loss of cultural memory that came with the death of Flash as a medium. [more inside]
posted by Kybard at 6:01 PM - 66 comments

Hot dogs, grapes, cookies and whipped cream

For all your raccoon-watching needs. A Nova Scotia man gets mobbed by over two dozen raccoons during a nightly feeding session. Toward the end of the video he dons a crocheted raccoon hat. In this video, he introduces the raccoons to (non sugar-based) whipped cream in a can. (That section starts around the 9:30 mark. It takes the furballs a while to get used to having dairy products sprayed into their mouths, but they do get the hang of it, especially one guy. Earlier in the video, he explains there are no local laws prohibiting him from feeding the animals.)
posted by sardonyx at 1:37 PM - 94 comments

The Glory of Motion

Praised by Italo Calvino as “one of the finest essays in English literature”, Thomas De Quincey’s 1849 The English Mail Coach describes his opium-tinged perceptions of riding on the coach (which at the time represented the ultimate in speed and power); a near-accident with a young couple on a “frail reedy gig”, and a lengthy dream fugue. Commentary by Robin Jarvis (Public Domain Review) and Dan Chiasson (The New Yorker). Previously.
posted by adrianhon at 1:22 PM - 12 comments

a song takes on meaning when its own heartbeat is strong

When New York City Ballet cancelled their in-person Fall 2020 season, they asked five choreographers to choreograph site-specific works for small groups of New York City Ballet dancers. new song by Andrea Miller. pixellation in a wave by Sidra Bell. Solo for Russell by Pam Tanowitz. Water Rite by Jamar Roberts. Thank You New York by Justin Peck. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 12:39 PM - 3 comments

Shine On, You Crazy Duckbill

In addition to being a “duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying aquatic [venomous mammal]”, platypii are also bioluminescent! Vice, National Geographic, The New York Times,, The Cut, and Science News have reportage on the forthcoming paper in Mammalia
posted by Going To Maine at 12:35 PM - 35 comments

Pikachu's Basilisk

Matthew Rayfield, a programmer who makes mobile and web-based toys, created 3,000 new Pokémon using open-source AI models. Via Vice
posted by chavenet at 11:31 AM - 11 comments

The Substackerati

Did a newsletter company create a more equitable media system—or replicate the flaws of the old one? (SL CJR)
posted by toastyk at 9:21 AM - 30 comments


Fergal Scahill's fiddle tune a day, Day 86 "The New Mown Meadow" Reel. Joined by Emma O'Sullivan, the mighty sean-nós dancer from Renvyle in Connemara.
posted by Cozybee at 8:18 AM - 13 comments

The overfitted brain

How Artificial Neural Networks Paved the Way For A Dramatic New Theory of Dreams “ The goal of this paper is to argue that the brain faces a similar challenge of overfitting, and that nightly dreams evolved to combat the brain's overfitting during its daily learning. That is, dreams are a biological mechanism for increasing generalizability via the creation of corrupted sensory inputs from stochastic activity across the hierarchy of neural structures.”
posted by dhruva at 5:56 AM - 64 comments

Ancient Clippy from the Deep

Ancient squid-like creature with paperclip-shaped shell may have lived for hundreds of years - "D. maximum was a large, squid-like creature (its shell was over 1.5 meters tall), an ammonite that was part of a now-extinct group of tentacled cephalopods. It went extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs, presumably for the same reason: the Chicxulub asteroid strike. What made D. maximum stand out was the unique shape of its shell. The top portion bent back and forth, resembling a paperclip."
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM - 26 comments

November 15

An Insipid Intrigue

A reposted Twitter thread. The link below has the entire Twitter thread drama regarding the David Southwick social media fakery in easy one page post form. (David Southwick is a Liberal MP in Caulfield, Melbourne, previously of padded resume fame)
This is a reposted Twitter thread in its whole.
Bonus threatening tweet to the author by David Southwick.
By gomichild aka Cerebral Soup aka Crowbar Jones
posted by Alnedra at 11:08 PM - 26 comments

Ratatouille the Musical

Okay I'm going to try to explain this, so bear with me. On Tiktok, an entire community has come together to create Ratatouille the Musical. What seemed like a joke has become an incredible undertaking...In all seriousness, the Ratatouille musical has been an incredible outlet and source of joy for theater students, who are living through the worst time in their industry's history.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:33 PM - 50 comments

Why The Giving Tree Makes You Cry

The book opens with scenes of childhood happiness. The boy plays with the tree every day: running, climbing, swinging, pretending. They are happy. But every good story thrives on conflict, and that is exactly what we encounter when we turn the page. We now read the book to our children, as it was read to us before we knew the loss age brings, back when the story was about nothing more than a tree’s tender love.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:28 PM - 50 comments

Por otro lado, no se puede apartar la mirada

The potato head of Palencia: defaced Spanish statue latest victim of botched restoration (The Art Newspaper, Nov. 11, 2020) Conservation experts in Spain are once again calling for stricter regulations within the sector after yet another work has been irreparably damaged by an amateur restorer. Adorning the facade of a high street bank in the north-western city of Palencia, the statue, first unveiled in 1923, once depicted a smiling woman carved among a pastoral scene of livestock. Behold the latest art "restoration" gone completely wrong in Spain: A melted face with two round cavities standing in for eyes, a misshapen lump approximating a nose, and an agape maw of a mouth (NPR, Nov. 11, 2020). [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:49 PM - 28 comments

Duel of the Takes

Before J. J. Abrams took over Star Wars: Episode 9, Colin Trevorrow wrote a complete script for the movie, originally named Duel of the Fates. The alleged script is online and includes notable differences from the final movie (e.g. no Palpatine, greater roles for Finn and Rose) as well as some similarities. A rich set of concept art of the movie also leaked. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 1:11 PM - 51 comments

Leap second hiatus

Leap seconds exist because the Earth takes (very roughly) about a millisecond more than 24 * 60 * 60 seconds to rotate each day; when we have accumulated enough extra milliseconds, a leap second is inserted into UTC to keep it in sync with the Earth. At the moment the Earth is rotating faster than in recent decades: these shorter days, with a lower length-of-day, means the milliseconds accumulate more slowly, and we get fewer leap seconds. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 12:45 PM - 20 comments

#GeorgiaRaising virtual door-knocking

For your holiday shopping, buy a present from Georgia instead of Amazon—or donate to a Georgia school or non-profit—and leave a positive #GeorgiaRaising note letting them know you're donating/buying in support of senatorial candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, and then optionally share on social media. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 9:50 AM - 11 comments

Riding the Circle of Light

The Radiophonic Workshop has always broken new sonic ground, from the Doctor Who theme to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Now they’re at it again — this time using the internet as a musical instrument. [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 9:03 AM - 5 comments

Raspberry Pi 400

The compact single board computer is now available inside a keyboard, turning any TV into an affordable all-in-one computer. Explaining Computers review.
posted by adept256 at 5:55 AM - 68 comments

November 14

Meeting Mr. Kid Pix

"I wanted it to kind of expand people's idea of what, say a drawing program could do or what a computer could add to that." A reflection on 30 years of Kid Pix, software tools as art, and the process as the joy of art, rather than the result.
posted by wesleyac at 7:37 PM - 15 comments

The Prestige Trap

"I left in the middle of my junior year during the peak of on-campus recruiting, the process by which Harvard students compete for internships at a narrow list of companies. I say "narrow" to emphasize the fact that just three industries captured the attention of my peers: finance, big tech, and consulting (FTC). When you subtract out the students attending grad school or who don't immediately enter the workforce, nearly half choose one of these fields. Why? ... The average Harvard student would probably prefer to work on Google Maps over Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this doesn't explain why students have such narrow interests within FTC. Why are Google and Facebook so attractive to prospective engineers while Stripe and Nvidia are never brought up? Or why do aspiring consultants obsess over McKinsey, Bain, and BCG to the exclusion of more boutique firms with similar compensation structures?"
posted by geoff. at 6:40 PM - 70 comments

Robert S. is dying today. He wants to share his thoughts.

Robert S., on Reddit. [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:13 PM - 29 comments


Animals Keep Evolving Into Crabs, Which Is Somewhat Disturbing: "groups of crustaceans have evolved into crabs in five completely different contexts, giving rise to a meme that the long arc of history truly bends toward the crab." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:26 PM - 40 comments

7.8 billion people living in the ruin of the old world

What must we do to rebuild? Metafilter's favourite German bank has some thoughts about what global society might take to rebuild 'democratic capitalism' in the wake of Covid-19. For starters, a 5% tax on anyone who enjoys the privilege of working from home. [more inside]
posted by biffa at 3:28 PM - 58 comments

Moving beyond remote

Slack surveyed 9000 "knowledge workers" over six countries about their experiences working remotely in 2020. Among the findings include a preference for a hybrid office-home model, an increase in work-life balance but a small decrease in "sense of belonging", with a significant discrepancy by gender and those with and without children.
posted by adrianhon at 1:05 PM - 39 comments

Team-mates in love

Dr Payoshni Mitra, an athletes' rights activist, who has worked on the cases of South Africa's champion mid-distance runner Caster Semenya and Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, believes it's the latter. She calls the environment in a women's sports team "a safer space compared to men's teams". That is possibly why women's teams are spaces where women who are not considered stereotypically feminine feel welcome. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 11:52 AM - 5 comments

You Are the Light of the World

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II sees the shining light of Kamala Harris as the light of a star, born long ago, taking many years to reach us, a sign that darkness cannot prevail, in his sermon last Sunday. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 9:41 AM - 44 comments

November 13

No one is listening to us

“In the imminent future, patients will start to die because there simply aren’t enough people to care for them. Doctors and nurses will burn out. The most precious resource the U.S. health-care system has in the struggle against COVID-19 isn’t some miracle drug. It’s the expertise of its health-care workers—and they are exhausted.” [SL Atlantic]
posted by supercrayon at 10:48 PM - 85 comments

When the Damned toured with T. Rex

Capt. Sensible talks about when Marc Bolan asked the Damned to join T.Rex on tour. "Unlike some of his fellow ’70s rock stars, Marc saw some worth in punk rock. He was certainly smart to hitch his ship to the coming new wave. Most of the punks dug T. Rex too - and glam rock in general for that matter. There were no 10-minute drum solos there to moan about, that’s for sure." [Also, Bolan inspired "Smash it up"!]
posted by goofyfoot at 10:16 PM - 19 comments

THE VIRUS REACHES STAR CITY (Polina Ivanova for Reuters)

Within weeks of Russia’s first confirmed case, the coronavirus had penetrated the closed walls of Star City and crossed the high-security gates of its cosmonaut training center. It had radiated across Russia’s revered space program during a moment of international attention and national pride, and had, potentially, come within an inch of glass away from traveling to space in a cosmonaut. In Star City, with the clinic in the grip of the outbreak, a hunt was launched for someone to blame, the doctor at the clinic said.
posted by bq at 4:55 PM - 9 comments

"Waters' Closets"

John Waters Has Pledged to Donate His Art Collection to the Baltimore Museum Once He Dies—So Long as It Names Its Bathrooms After Him. CBS Baltimore: Waters first became interested in art when he visited the museum as a boy in the 1950s, buying a poster at the gift shop. CBC: Waters spoke to As It Happens host Carol Off about the collection, the museum and the "ridiculous elitism" of the art world. Here is part of their conversation [includes link to full audio of the interview]. Baltimore Sun: All hail the John Waters' restrooms.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:28 PM - 25 comments

The Boundless Banality of Beige

Gloria Jaroff is against beige (Common Edge). “I am tired of design magazines and paint companies trying to sell me on dull ‘neutral’ colors. They claim ‘Beige Is Back,’ that there is a historical elegance and calming effect to monochromatic off-whites. I don’t buy it. A minimalistic approach to color in modern buildings and interiors doesn’t relax me—it puts me to sleep.” (via The Browser)
posted by adrianhon at 12:53 PM - 81 comments

The People v. Donald J. Trump

The criminal case against him is already in the works — and it could go to trial sooner than you think. To assess the odds that he will end up on trial, and how the proceedings would unfold, I spoke with some of the country’s top prosecutors, defense attorneys, and legal scholars. For the past four years, they have been weighing the case against Trump: the evidence already gathered, the witnesses prepared to testify, the political and constitutional issues involved in prosecuting an ex-president. Once he leaves office, they agree, there is good reason to think Trump will face criminal charges. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:52 AM - 174 comments

How Baseball Was Solved, And Where It Got Us

Your favorite team could improve its chances of winning. It won’t, because it doesn’t believe it’s worth it. Franchises are no longer forced to rely on winning to create profit. The era of baseball as pure competition is over.
posted by Carillon at 11:20 AM - 47 comments

The Black Music History Library

This is a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day.
posted by girlmightlive at 11:16 AM - 8 comments

Everything's Meant To Be Broken

It started with an offhanded joke on Instagram by Austin from the band Loud Letters — what would it sound like if Phoebe Bridgers had written the song "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Bridgers herself conditionally promised to make it happen, and after some notable pressure being applied, we now have an answer. A gorgeous cover of that song from that Nic Cage/Meg Ryan movie and a duet between Bridgers and Maggie Rogers, available on Bandcamp for 24 hours as a fundraiser for Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization. Good job, internet!
posted by Maaik at 5:19 AM - 31 comments

November 12

"We didn't mention copyright."

Penelope Farmer's children's timeslip novel, Charlotte Sometimes (1969), was the inspiration for a song by The Cure. Farmer writes about her experience of this here and here. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 10:29 PM - 32 comments

“Who in their right mind would...” covid cruise ship edition

The number of passengers who have tested positive on the Caribbean cruise ship ("while enjoying a safe environment onboard") has increased to five. The sailing, with 53 passengers and 66 crew, was the first in the Caribbean by any cruise vessel since the coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic in March. There were a few minor changes in onboard facilities and passengers socially distanced, with several tests before the ship set sail. Passengers are currently confined to cabins, with menus slid under their doors. (title)
posted by Wordshore at 2:31 PM - 170 comments

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