July 20

Meet Mayor Max

The mayor of Idyllwild, California, was born into public service. He took office at just 11 weeks old and spends nearly every day engaging with his constituents and spreading his hopes for world peace. He does it largely in the nude, though he wears a tie and an array of hats. Mayor Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, age six, is a golden retriever on a mission: “In his heart, he would like to see peace on Earth in his lifetime.” [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:09 PM - 17 comments

“I took a fish head out to see a movie…”

He did the monster mash, he explained why bird is the word, and now…
Fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads. Fish heads, heads heads, eat them up, yum!
David Buck returns to Tedium to write about Barnes & Barnes’ classic weirdo tune: “Eat Them Up, Yum!”
Tired of reading? Perhaps you’d like to watch the band’s semi-autobiographical / music video collection VHS tape: “”Zabagabee: The Best of Barnes & Barnes”
posted by Going To Maine at 2:00 PM - 14 comments

The 25 Works of Art That Define the Contemporary Age

Three artists and a pair of curators came together at The New York Times to attempt to make a list of the era’s essential artworks.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:13 AM - 25 comments

Amber Ruffin and the Go Back to Your Country Girls

Patriotic Singing Group Responds to Trump’s “Go Back to Your Country” Amber Ruffin (of "Amber Says What", more on that inside) and the Go Back to Your Country Girls perform their hit song about people telling them to go back to their country despite them all being American citizens. From Late Night with Seth Meyers. [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 10:07 AM - 19 comments

The Algorithmic Colonization of Africa

In the race to make the continent teched-up, there are numerous cautionary tales that the continent needs to learn from. Otherwise we run the risk of repeating them and the cost of doing so is too high. To that effect, this piece outlines three major lessons that those involved in designing, implementing, importing, regulating, and communicating technology need to be aware of.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:37 AM - 6 comments

A nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker for ME/CFS

“The idea is to stress the samples from both healthy and ill patients using salt, and then compare how each sample affects the flow of the electrical current. Changes in the current indicate changes in the cell: the bigger the change in current, the bigger the change on a cellular level. A big change is not a good thing; it’s a sign that the cells and plasma are flailing under stress and incapable of processing it properly. All of the blood samples from ME/CFS [myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome] patients created a clear spike in the test, whereas those from healthy controls returned data that was on a relatively even keel.[more inside]
posted by jocelmeow at 7:19 AM - 12 comments

Private Games

Emily Short thinks about games made for specific recipients or small groups of friends. “Many of my favorite games to write have been written for specific people … The first computer game I ever completed, I wrote for my little brother because he was bored with math. It was a dungeon where the monsters asked you arithmetic questions as a form of combat. Astonishingly he liked it, which shows you something about the power of personalization. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 6:42 AM - 13 comments

This Is Your Life Scientific

The Life Scientific is a BBC radio program where Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them and asking what their discoveries might do for us in the future. [more inside]
posted by poxandplague at 1:55 AM - 2 comments

July 19

Here's what young activists are talking about this year

Teen Girl Activists Take On Skeptical Boys and Annoying Buzzwords -- NPR interviewed ten young activists at the Girl Up 2019 Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., this week. Girl Up (official YouTube videos) is a campaign founded by the U.N. foundation that promotes activism for 13- to 22-year-olds to work for the health, safety and education of girls.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:40 PM - 3 comments

Blissinformation

"Tag cleaners, as they call themselves, drown out gore, harassment, and more by flooding a user’s tagged photos with pleasant images. It’s benevolent spam. The most prolific accounts are usually reposting the same images ad nauseam in quick bursts." [more inside]
posted by Little Dawn at 9:39 PM - 8 comments

Do you get the Sound Mixing Nerd Spirit Orb?

"Invisible" Sound Design in Breath of the Wild (slyt) [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 6:15 PM - 10 comments

"There is a war raging - right now - with the Magisterium."

His Dark Materials, Extended Trailer. The BBC and HBO released a glimpse of their adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy series, apparently due out later this year. The cast includes Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda as the Texan aeronaut. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 5:18 PM - 54 comments

generating an electrifying conversation: do try not to be shocked

We all know about the ability of electric eels to stun their prey with a powerful shock. But how did the eels evolve this power? It didn't start as a weapon: the electric eel's knifefish ancestors, like its modern cousins, used weak electric pulses to talk to one another just as we use weak pulses of pressure to create sounds. (They're not unique, either--six lineages of fish have evolved this ability.) But electric fish like the knifefish aren't the only ones listening under the water: there are plenty of electroceptive predators paying attention, too. In a story that starkly resembles the pressures on acoustic communication, electric fish have to modify their signals to avoid being overheard. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 4:59 PM - 18 comments

It's more involved than you might think

How to Make Preserved Lemons in the Workshop
posted by clawsoon at 2:45 PM - 51 comments

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

When, through the nighttime murk of the Amazon River, an electric eel locates a feeder fish, what happens next is instantaneous: A jolt of electricity surges through the fish’s nerves. Its muscles contract simultaneously, and it is transformed into a living, floating statue. This is roughly the same reaction that women born between Labor Day 1985 and New Year’s Eve 1991, approximately, exhibit when exposed to the opening seconds of the Spice Girls’ debut single “Wannabe.” Pharmacists, statisticians, probation workers, bank tellers, event planners, bartenders, psychologists, paralegals, market research analysts, junior members of Congress, phlebotomists, journalists — in the void between the salutatory “Yooo!” and the song’s first plonked-out musical note, all of these become temporarily incapacitated, frozen between heartbeats with lightning in their blood. Caity Weaver writes for the NY Times Style Section on the Spice Girls Generation
posted by ChuraChura at 2:22 PM - 28 comments

It catches the sunlight and sparkles.

"Let's talk about peeing in space." Lots of fun facts in this Twitter thread by writer Mary Robinette Kowal, debunking the idea — put forth by some readers in response to her essay in the NYT on women astronauts — "that women couldn't go into space because we lacked the technology for them to pee in space" and explaining in detail how "we didn't have the technology for men to pee in space when they started either." (Also: extra fun facts on pooping, and farting, and belching, and periods in space.)
posted by bitteschoen at 1:14 PM - 27 comments

Tituss Burgess and an Ode to 45

Tituss Burgess (of Kimmy Schmidt and Pinot Noir fame) has released a video for his song 45. (Video. Lyrics.) The video features actor Daniel J. Watts, an empty mansion, Tituss in a straight jacket, and some weird eye makeup. [more inside]
posted by kinsey at 12:56 PM - 8 comments

The Kiss that Changed Video Games

The story of how The Sims (EA, 2000) ended up facililtating gay relationships - despite an earlier decision by the developers not to allow it. Also how an unscripted same sex kiss between background characters led to The Sims becoming the talk of E3 in 1999. (SLNew Yorker)
posted by gemmy at 12:27 PM - 7 comments

I learned to love you lucidly

The Spanish-Basque rock band Hesian's cover of Alaitz & Maider's song "Amets bat" ("A Dream"). The video includes a clip of Alaitz and Maider singing verse four of the song starting about 1:40. (previously) [more inside]
posted by nangar at 11:38 AM - 1 comment

Woe To ‘Tango And Cash’

Mourning The Impending Death Of The Communal Random Movie On Cable [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 11:26 AM - 83 comments

“I can’t wait to get back to the shop again and blow things up.”

The surprisingly engrossing history of How The Milwaukee Bucks And A Former Wedding DJ Won The T-Shirt Cannon Arms Race.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:11 AM - 3 comments

Harpsichord Drone

All 555 Scarlatti harpsichord sonatas simultaneously.
posted by kenko at 11:04 AM - 31 comments

Popular Front

"This essay argues that socialists can effectively shape political debate in alliance with social democrats. I will limit my arguments, for the most part, to the rhetorical level, while recognizing there are larger questions about the relationship between socialists and social democrats that are essential to discuss. The battle over rhetorical space within key alliances is nonetheless central to winning political contests, which is why I focus on it here." Shifting Alliances: Socialists, Social Democrats, and the New U.S. Left
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM - 11 comments

Look at the birdie

The award-winners and top 100 entries from the Audubon Society's annual Photography Awards. That is all.
posted by drlith at 10:58 AM - 11 comments

"WARNING: this thread gets very very silly."

University of Bonn research assistant Erik Wade informs us of a hitherto little-known clade:
Thread: everyone knows that medieval art is filled with snails fighting knights, but there's actually a whole medieval snail ecology and society, from snail-birds to snail-monks. And, ofc, snail-cats.
Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:44 AM - 14 comments

A bad workday's lessons on building Stack Overflow’s community

The monster in this case is not one person, it was created when lots of people, even with great intentions, publicly disagreed with you at the same time. Even kind feedback can come off as caustic and mean when there is a mob of people behind it. No matter how nicely they say it, when a large group of people you really respect publicly challenge something you’ve done it can feel like a personal attack. 1600 words from Sara Chipps at Stack Overflow.
posted by cgc373 at 10:41 AM - 27 comments

RIP BEEFTANK

Former college and professional football quarterback Jared Lorenzen has passed away at the age of 38. Known as "The Pillsbury Throwboy" and "The Battleship Lorenzen" for his size as a quarterback, his most notable contribution to pop culture was serving as the inspiration for CLARENCE BEEFTANK in Jon Bois' Breaking Madden series. Unsurprisingly, Bois has written a touching eulogy for Lorenzen and the feats he was capable of on the field.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:20 AM - 11 comments

Put that lad on the next courier, and we'll show it in London

The story of the invention of the black box flight recorder with subterfuge and ridicule. And stubbornness and humour.
posted by plonkee at 9:54 AM - 2 comments

I mean, who wouldn't want a gang of meerkats on their head?

There are fascinators, and then there are fascinators. Maor Zabar makes hats that really stand out, from sea creatures to bugs to fast food. He also has a shop on Etsy - but the prices are high.
posted by Mchelly at 9:51 AM - 8 comments

Pansexual’s Labyrinth

Otamere Guobadia writes for Dazed about sexual fluidity, in his own life and in our expectations of celebrities who come out (or don't). "Man” and “woman” as described in our sexual orientations are not only necessarily imperfect characterisations, but they are flexible and porous categories; in our lifetimes and indeed in our everyday, our desires weave many times in and out of them. I have desired bodies that both uphold these categories, and bodies that fail them entirely, and everybody in between. I have had men wolf whistle at my skinny jean-clad legs as I walked down the stairs of a double decker bus, only for their leering to turn to agitation and anger when the rest of my torso came into view. Desire is a silly and changeable thing. [more inside]
posted by Stacey at 9:29 AM - 8 comments

Hollis B. Worth Opens Up About Bulleit, Diageo Split

Hollis B.Worth, (née Anne Hollister Bulleit) is known to thousands in the spirits industry as the “First Lady of Bourbon” and as the face of the Bulleit brand that is named after her family. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 9:16 AM - 18 comments

Because tech meccas don’t always conform to stereotype

In the 1980s, One of the World's Cellphone Hot Spots Was ... Zaire Now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:01 AM - 4 comments

50 Years of Stupid Moon Songs

This epposide of my favorite WFMU show is a three-hour fever dream.
posted by thursdaystoo at 8:57 AM - 7 comments

An ambulance can only go so fast: Neil Young's On the Beach at 45

An Ode to ‘On the Beach,’ Neil Young’s Most Beautiful (and Most Depressing) Album Forty-five years after its release, Young's melancholic search for meaning in a chaotic world feels more relatable than ever. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 8:33 AM - 27 comments

Photographs From Above by JP and Mike Andrews

UK based-brothers JP and Mike Andrews began taking aerial photographs of the Earth after a year-long trip experiencing the incredible landscapes found in the Australian Outback. Using a drone, the pair have continued to capture natural and manmade scenes across the world, stumbling upon unique patterns that can only be discerned from above. (Instagram feed)
posted by bondcliff at 6:54 AM - 8 comments

On Disgust

"Disgust left unexamined serves to reinforce prejudices, but to sit with disgust, to hold it close and try to feel the contours of its reason for being, is to open one's self up to radical new experiences of empathy." On Disgust: How Revulsion Shapes Popular Art, an essay by Gretchen Felker-Martin
posted by Greg Nog at 6:33 AM - 22 comments

The Mortgaging of Sierra Online

The Digital Antiquarian on the overreach of the company behind King’s Quest, Quest for Glory, and Outpost. From the execrable “love theme” song Girl in the Tower that debuted with King’s Quest VI to misadventures on the Sega Genesis CD, Sierra’s fall was years in the making…
posted by adrianhon at 6:04 AM - 18 comments

“The eider is an unsung hero, far braver than any bird of prey”

In Ísafjörður, the capital of Iceland’s remote Westfjords region, a Lutheran pastor compared eiderdown to cocaine. “I sometimes think that we are like the coca farmers in Colombia,” he said. “We [the down harvesters] get a fraction of the price when the product hits the streets of Tokyo. This is the finest down in the world and we are exporting it in black garbage bags.”
The Weird Magic of Eiderdown by Edward Posnett, adapted from his book Strange Harvest. Bonus video: Motherless Eider ducklings playing with human children.
posted by Kattullus at 4:54 AM - 14 comments

She's a good dog

Australia's friendliest dog reunited with owner after 5 days lost in the desert. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 3:42 AM - 5 comments

Sod Pepsi's navy

"Let's talk about the point after WW2 where the Knights Hospitaller, of medieval crusading fame, 'accidentally' became a major European air power." A twitter thread by John Bull.
posted by um at 12:03 AM - 20 comments

July 18

“Her books are full of passion and disaster.”

Nathan Gelgud honors Dame Iris Murdoch, born 100 years ago this week, with a graphic appreciation of his “favorite writer” in the NYRB. Elsewhere online: “Iris Murdoch at 100” in The Guardian,On the Centennial of Iris Murdoch’s Birth, Remembering a 20th-Century Giant,” in The New York Times, and “The Moral Vision of Iris Murdoch,” in the Jesuit review America. [more inside]
posted by LeLiLo at 10:48 PM - 5 comments

Disney's New Lion King Is The VR-Fueled Future Of Cinema

Achieving that photoreal look, the thing that trompes your oeils into thinking you might be watching a nature documentary, wasn’t simply a matter of employing space-age visual effects. Favreau and his crew shot The Lion King as one would any conventional movie: with dollies, cranes, and other tools that let cinematographer Caleb Deschanel get just the right angles. There were even lights and cameras. It’s just that the cameras and lights were nowhere to be found. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:23 PM - 52 comments

“There are many risks in the home”

Children have been crushed and killed by home elevators for decades. Regulators could reduce the danger but haven’t.
posted by ContinuousWave at 9:09 PM - 10 comments

Stevia: Indigenous knowledge, endangered herbs, and biopiracy

Wild stevia grows in remote northeastern highlands along the border of Paraguay and Brazil. While not exactly unpleasant, the plant’s aroma is often referred to as “goat’s scent” by indigenous populations. The pungency does not suggest sweetness. “Western scientists did not ‘discover’ the usefulness of this plant—they were introduced to it by the Guaraní.” [...] Without the help of the Guaraní, there would be no stevia industry. But the plant is now critically endangered in the wild. [The] Guarani hope a lawsuit will help them save stevia’s native habitat and rescue the wild plant from extinction. The Indigenous Tribes Fighting to Reclaim Stevia From Coca-Cola (Atlas Obscura long read) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 PM - 4 comments

The Reboot to end all Reboots

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot "The stoner icons who first hit the screen 25 years ago in CLERKS are back! When Jay and Silent Bob discover that Hollywood is rebooting an old movie based on them, the clueless duo embark on another cross-country mission to stop it all over again!"
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:57 PM - 90 comments

"A Cruel Angel's Edit" : The Lingua Franca of Pop-culture Deconstruction

With the recent arrival of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" to Netflix, the internet was again seized by one of the most squabbled-over animes of all time. But if there is anything about NGE that the internet can agree on, it's that the opening theme song and video, "A Cruel Angel's Thesis", totally kicks ass. Its hyper-paced and heavily-layered editing is at once prototypical AMV eye-candy, while also being a solid narrative deconstruction of a show you'll never really understand. As with other anime fan edits, it quickly became popular to re-cut other anime in the same style. But it was its discursive potential, mixed with the totally over-the-top tunes, that made the "Cruel Angel's Edit" such a powerful meme outside of anime, and has inspired a series of truly high-effort good-posts over the years re-rendering all aspects of culture. Here are some of the internet's best, and below the fold some honorable mentions: Arthur | King of the Hill | Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives | Regular Show (original) | Super Mario 64 | Marianne Williamson | Drake and Josh | Hey Arnold! | Steam Summer Sale | The Legend of Zelda | Windows 98 | 2018 World Cup [more inside]
posted by grillcover at 5:31 PM - 49 comments

A Somewhat Surreal Story About Surrealist Photos

Fernando Lemos, a naturalised Brazilian Painter, started experimenting with photography in 1949 making a series of Surrealism inspired photographs.
“The information from abroad that reached us was very poor, hardly any. On Man Ray, I don’t think he knew anything about him. However, he also had that genius, he knew how to manipulate reality and objective data without obeying its rules and conventions".
An interview, an article and a gallery.
( ART - some images NSFW).
posted by adamvasco at 5:17 PM - 2 comments

How not to die at a Baseball Game

Annette Choi at FiveThirtyEight charted where 906 foul balls landed. She's clearly mapped out the most dangerous places to sit.
posted by meech at 4:54 PM - 16 comments

Some (but not all) of the best Disney songs

The Ringer staff has ranked the 40 "best" Disney songs. Needless to say, the list is wrong, but at least they had the decency to put all the songs on one page, so you don't have to click through. They also made a video in which they discussed some of the contenders, including some songs that didn't make the list. [more inside]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:07 PM - 42 comments

Cats the Musical: 2019 ‘Live Action’ Movie trailer [SLYT 2min 41sec]

“ MEEEEEEEEEEEEMORY! .. ..” It’s a trailer, for the Live Action Movie version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical about Cats. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 3:14 PM - 245 comments

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