January 14

Polish Mayor Dies After Being Stabbed Onstage at Charity Event

It was just before 8 p.m. Sunday, and tens of thousands of people had gathered for a concert to promote the charity. A countdown had begun to signal the start of an extravagant laser light show called “Light to the Sky.” One second before fireworks were set to explode, a young man burst onto the stage and stabbed Mr. Adamowicz several times, including in the heart. Mr. Adamowicz’s injuries included “a deep wound to the heart, a wound to diaphragm and other injuries of internal organs,” doctors at Medical University of Gdansk said. Despite their efforts to save him, he died Monday afternoon. As the city went into mourning, Poland grappled with the question of whether the toxic and aggressive tone of the country’s political debate could have instigated the attack.
posted by M. at 1:27 PM - 32 comments

Bunnies. It must be bunnies.

"It's weird seeing a bunny … just kind of getting its head right into the side carcass of another rabbit and consuming meat," said Michael Peers, who wrote the paper. "It's kind of, I guess, not what you'd expect." [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 12:42 PM - 31 comments

The Best a Man Can Get?

Gillette, the razor company, yesterday released a short film titled "The Best a Man Can Be," challenging men to stand up to issues of toxic masculinity such as bullying and harassment in light of the #MeToo movement. In doing so, Gillette joins other companies whose ads have extended into social or political commentary, to mixed results. Reactions to the Gillette ad have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:36 PM - 87 comments

Representation Roundup

A short visual representation of the women of the 116th United States Congress (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 12:33 PM - 5 comments

What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it

“Visualizing data through graphs can be an effective way to communicate one’s results. A ubiquitous graph and common technique to communicate behavioral data is the bar graph. The bar graph was first invented in 1786 and little has changed in its format. Here, a replacement for the bar graph is proposed. The new format, called a hat graph [PDF], maintains some of the critical features of the bar graph such as its discrete elements, but eliminates redundancies that are problematic when the baseline is not at 0.”
posted by not_the_water at 10:00 AM - 20 comments

Bharat Bandh - “General Strike”

For two days, an estimated 150-200 million workers went on a strike against the Narendra Modi government in India, shutting down schools and public transport.(Quartz India) “Modi’s government is eager to amend the trade unions laws. Tapan Sen, the leader of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that the new trade union laws would essentially lead to the enslavement of Indian workers. These are strong words. But they are not unbelievable.” (Common Dreams) “At Jadavpur in south Kolkata, senior Communist Party India (Marxist) leader Sujan Chakraborty along with several other strike supporters were detained by the police. Protestors squatted on tracks in some places to stop trains and burnt tyres on the roads.” Bharat Bandh Highlights: As many as 10 Central Trade Unions with at least 20 crore (ten million) workers affiliated to them have joined the strike.(NDTV) Photos and news of the Bharat Bandh (Economic Times India) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM - 13 comments

Also, every secondary school would get a librarian

The LA Unified School District is going on strike for the first time in 30 years as of this morning, demanding smaller class sizes, long-term increases in staffing for students, and resources to be able to teach more effectively. Union president Caputo-Pearl asks: What does the future of American public education look like? Denver may join Los Angeles later this week in the first strike there in 25 years. The National Educational Association voted July to include support for demonstrators and a strike fund in its budget, a decision that in retrospect looks wise.
posted by sciatrix at 9:07 AM - 52 comments

Skin Cancer vs High Blood Pressure

Is sun exposure harmful or helpful? Outside magazine asks, "Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?"
posted by soelo at 9:05 AM - 108 comments

Space-filling curves the hard way

Wacław Szpakowski was a polish artist who made a series of complex drawings using one continuous line turning back on itself repeatedly. More examples viewable here; a few animated versions; some pages from his notebooks. (Those last three links are futzy embeddings from waclawszpakowski.pl, which has Polish- and English-language info about his life and work.) More images still if you click on "IMAGES" at the top right of this page.
posted by cortex at 8:56 AM - 14 comments

Winter is yadda yadda

HBO has announced the premiere date for the final season of Game of Thrones, so The Hollywood Reporter looks toward the endgame for the King in the North.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 AM - 100 comments

Renewable Energy To Remodel World Dominance Patterns

This Report analyzes the geopolitical implications of the global energy transformation driven by renewables. It is the culmination of ten months’ deliberations by the Commission, involving four meetings held in Berlin, Oslo, Reykjavik and Abu Dhabi respectively, as well as consultations with business leaders, academics and policy thinkers. It is informed by a number of background papers drafted by experts in the fields of energy, security and geopolitics. [via CleanTechnica + bonus]
posted by infini at 7:44 AM - 16 comments

3. Trying to be an author is a very bad idea.

A year after Ursula Le Guin's death, Alison Smith recalls escorting her during a university conference in 1987. When I met Le Guin, I was in outer space, hovering in that darkness. Cast out from my homeworld, I spent my days orbiting a new world, afraid to land. [more inside]
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 6:20 AM - 25 comments

A waxy Rogen

Chloe Condon, a developer advocate and well-known tech speaker, was linked to an Instagram post where a stolen photo of her at a conference was mis-used. She called the person out on Twitter and the in the ensuing Twitter thread it turned out that the individual involved had a history of faked media (including a photo with a, uh, strangely shiny Seth Rogen and a Pinterest board of photoshopped images of Mitt Romney.) She's since written a post talking about this very strange rabbithole on Medium.
posted by secretdark at 3:39 AM - 24 comments

Plato was the embodied form of the prep-jock

"My morning doodle, explained in a thread. I've sorted philosophers along the only axes that matter." (SL Twitter thread)
posted by criticalbill at 3:33 AM - 19 comments

January 13

Goodsprings, New Vegas is a place on Earth

A mere handful of photos from the real Goodsprings, which was the opening location for the PC/X360/PS3 game Fallout: New Vegas. [more inside]
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:48 PM - 6 comments

Link suggested between spikes in child abuse and timing of report cards

Content warning: Abuse of children
Dr. Melissa Bright, an early-childhood research scientist at the University of Florida, wanted to know if there was any truth to pediatricians' stories about child abuse spiking after report cards' release. After analyzing a year's worth of state child welfare data alongside schools' report card release dates, Dr. Bright and her colleagues found no spike in abuse cases when report cards were released Monday through Thursday; however, abuse rates were found to be four times higher when report cards were released on Fridays. (JAMA study abstract.) [more inside]
posted by duffell at 3:43 PM - 40 comments

I left my knickers at a house party we crashed

Every Saturday, The Guardian runs a blind date column, and every Saturday, the daters answer the questions about their date pretty coyly. Until this week's, when Joanne & Morgan hit it off pretty successfully. Joanne replied to “Did you kiss?” with “We did. A lot”, and Morgan replied with “Sure did”. It caused enough of a sensation that it merited a follow up article – they'll be in a full-time relationship once Joanne finishes her pottery course. And regular Guardian blind date reviewer Justin Myers reviewed it with sheer delight, saying [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 12:30 PM - 28 comments


Forged and Filed is a video by Jesse Beecher showing the construction of Seth Gould's piece "Coffer", a modern armada chest (more armada chest images).
posted by Stark at 11:16 AM - 9 comments

This little piggy liked.... being the subject of artistic expression!

Today in 1625, Jan Brueghel died. Before that, he liked to paint guinea pigs. [more inside]
posted by vespabelle at 10:59 AM - 13 comments

What does it take to lead a rooted life?

"While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centred virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centred virtue ethics. If the Aztecs were right, then 'Western' philosophers have been too focused on individuals, too reliant on assessments of character, and too optimistic about the individual’s ability to correct her own vices. Instead, according to the Aztecs, we should look around to our family and friends, as well as our ordinary rituals or routines, if we hope to lead a better, more worthwhile existence." Life on the slippery Earth by Sebastian Purcell
posted by lazuli at 9:11 AM - 18 comments

Have wheel, will travel

Ed Pratt is a young Englishman who recently finished unicycling around the world. He's currently posting videos of his travels in Southeast Asia. Before that he rode across China in under 90 days, after spending the winter in Kyrgyzstan. Ed's enthusiasm and good cheer are infectious, and he finds amazing hospitality wherever he goes. Also, his soundtracks are always on point.
posted by serathen at 8:27 AM - 5 comments

Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap

Kids get as many as half their calories at school (SLBloomberg) —a fact Michelle Obama emphasized when she made healthier school meals the centerpiece of her “Let’s Move” campaign for weight loss. Often, she argued, those calories were the wrong kind: Schools were letting kids load up on sugary drinks and low-quality carbohydrates... The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act gave schools more money if they met updated nutrition standards. Under President Obama, these included leaner proteins, limits on calories, and a fruit or vegetable at every meal... Almost immediately, the rules came under attack. [more inside]
posted by devrim at 8:01 AM - 55 comments

January 12

Lloyd’s of London presents Brainstorm: Coming Soon To a Theater Near You

Thirty-five years ago, a fantastic movie came out that starred four Hollywood legends, three of whom were Oscar winners. It was directed by one of the most important and influential visual artists in film history, and the plot foretold the invention of virtual reality decades ahead of its time. The script was written as a showcase for a new technology designed to change the way we see movies. One of the Hollywood legends died before the movie was finished, a mysterious death, and this ended up being her last movie—And you’ve never heard of it. The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie 'Brainstorm,' Natalie Wood’s Last Film By Ryan D'Agostino and Eleanor Hildebrandt for Popular Mechanics, Dec. 21, 2018 [original trailer] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:57 PM - 59 comments

Tribal Politics

How Tribal Psychology Makes us Prefer being Wrong. "...and Geoffrey Cohen — this is my favorite experiment that was ever done — he gave people a position on welfare and experimentally altered it so that either the Republicans or Democrats were saying basically the same thing on welfare....And what he found was that he could get people to change their position on welfare, 100 percent, all the way to the other side of the spectrum of policy, just based on what party they were told supported that position.... " [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:44 PM - 71 comments

Police killed an unarmed man-and this time the establishment took notice

Still, more than 13 months later, the FBI remains silent. The victim, Bijan Ghaisar, was a 25-year old accountant killed by the U.S. Park Police on November 17, 2017, after leaving the scene of a minor traffic accident. The FBI is investigating. That is all that is publicly known. [more inside]
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:32 PM - 18 comments

Twelve Safe Alternatives to the Bird Box Challenge

Veronica Lewis, on Twitter (also on Threadreader and on her blog): "I've seen the #BirdBoxChallenge all over social media lately. As someone with low vision and a blindness cane user, it worries me to see many unsafe and inaccurate videos about doing tasks with no vision. Here is a thread on safe and positive alternatives to the viral challenge."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:40 PM - 25 comments

Everyone's a critic

Padme the cat has strong opinions about art. Baroque portraiture isn't her thing
posted by PussKillian at 6:04 PM - 14 comments


Woodies! That's what devotees call cars with wood construction in the bodywork--and the devotees are legion. The whippersnappers among us may be more familiar with "wallpaper woodies" like the '86 Dodge Caravan, which featured woodgrain sheet vinyl. Over at Old Woodies, woodie enthusiast David Miller has exhaustively catalogued the history of the woodie with a zeal redolent of the '90s internet: American woodies, British woodies, French woodies, weird woodies, wicker woodies. Old woodie ads! Woodie miniatures! Thrillist has opinions on the 10 Best Woodies of All Time, while Popular Mechanics looks at 5 classics alongside 5 of the worst. (Previously: Retired French cabinet-maker builds wooden Citroen 2CV)
posted by duffell at 2:46 PM - 30 comments

Young Pickers of Note, 2019 Edition

Bluegrass guitarists Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle jam out on the Townes Van Zandt classic "White Freightliner Blues." [more inside]
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:54 PM - 16 comments

Judging the bog passable which hath such things growing there on

It's #Januhairy! Dr Kate Lister of The Whores of Yore (NSFW) gives an overview of the cultural history of female pubic hair. [more inside]
posted by Vesihiisi at 9:50 AM - 14 comments

The Testament of Malice

"When the rolling boulder crashes into a solid piece of terrain like a pillar or wall, the boulder sprouts two long triple-jointed clawed arms and an enormous fanged maw. The rolling boulder is in fact an elder mimic that pulls its body along with its lanky arms and attempts to shovel fleeing sisters into its mouth." Testament of Malice is a free collection of 100 traps for dungeon Hell temple crawls. [more inside]
posted by Zed at 9:34 AM - 9 comments

A theology that could not have been represented in egg

Jonathan Miller (1998): On reflection A 1998 BBC documentary from Jonathan Miller, on reflections, surfaces, sheen, colour, shine, and the way oils transformed the ability to represent light, and hence darkness.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:37 AM - 5 comments

January 11

Higher Steaks

Will 2019 be the year of lab-grown meat? - "After years in the lab, will meats derived from animal cells finally break into the mainstream consumer market? The products could have huge implications for the planet, human health and animal welfare." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM - 86 comments

"So that's how unboxing videos looked like in the 1800s. Who knew ?"

Mrs. Crocombe receives a letter, then writes a response and prepares a package.
Mr. Townsend receives a letter and a package.
Mr. Townsend writes a letter and prepares a package.
Mrs. Crocombe receives a letter and a package. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 10:56 PM - 11 comments

But I Don't Do This For You

Lizzo Round-Up -- Since her last EP release in 2016, Minneapolis Good As Hell queen Lizzo has not been silent. Since then she's spoken out a lot: Aug 2017 - Water Me; Sept 2017 - Truth Hurts; Mar 2018 - Fitness; June 2018 - Boys; Nov 2018 - Bye Bitch (Soundcloud, YouTube short link); Jan 2019 - Juice
posted by hippybear at 8:57 PM - 20 comments

It's Dau or Never

Thirteen years after production began and roughly eight years after a fascinating GQ article brought it to mainstream attention, the mysterious and controversial Russian film/art project Dau is finally being released. [more inside]
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 7:31 PM - 23 comments

"It looks like they're not going anywhere real fast."

The town of Roddickton-Bide Arm in Newfoundland has been overrun with seals that may have become disoriented owing to a sudden freeze-up of the inlet through which they arrived.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:29 PM - 18 comments

Implicit Attitudes Can Change Over the Long Term

“We provide the first report of long-term change in both implicit and explicit attitudes – measured from the same individual – towards multiple social groups,” says psychological scientist Tessa E. S. Charlesworth of Harvard University, first author on the study. “This research is important because it shows that, contrary to previous assumptions that implicit attitudes were stable features of the mind or society, implicit attitudes appear, in fact, to be capable of long-term durable change.” [more inside]
posted by clew at 5:21 PM - 12 comments

Now, with ice dancing

"Reeling in the Years" (Donnie and Marie Osmond cover) [more inside]
posted by msalt at 5:12 PM - 49 comments


It was the #bestnine2018 on instagram for piemakers & Pâtisseriers, so here are some random samples:
Cristina MJ of forty nine figs
Helen Nugent of Batterednbaked
Baker Joy Huang
Julie Jones
Best nine by acarriedaffairdesigns
Michelle Lopez
Thida Bevington
Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin is The Pieous
Heather's Pies
Sugar Artist Liz Joy
Bakers Blondie and rye and Brooklyn sourdough
And then there are professional pastry chefs, like David H Chow, or Pablo Gicquel
Arlene Lott
Previously: Karin Pfeiff Boschek
Or just pig out on #Patisserie or #PieArt
posted by growabrain at 4:37 PM - 6 comments

psyduck is my large adult son

FILM CRIT HULK CATCHES THEM ALL. Live-tweeted discovery of the joys of Pokemon in three acts.
Day One I am choosing pikachu because I know what a pikachu is.
Day Two with my strong pet children commences.
Day Three let's have some POKEFUN.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:28 PM - 6 comments


Emily Wick (seen previously on MeFi) is on a quest to encourage new ways of seeing what's hidden in plain sight. In 2010, she created a regulation-size, inverse-color American flag (turquoise, black, and yellow) at an event in her Oakland art space, Smokey's Tangle. The flag makes use of an optical illusion: after staring at the inverted-color flag for several minutes, looking at a blank white surface creates an "after-image" with the flag's proper colors. After the 2017 US presidential inauguration, she took the flag to the Oakland Women's March. From there, she was encouraged to photograph the flag in the context of her daily surroundings. The result is her 2017 project Inverse Universe.
posted by duffell at 2:44 PM - 9 comments

Löfven, Lööf and Lövin

After months of impasse and a caretaker government, it seems that Stefan Löfven has forged an agreement with the center-right Annie Lööf and the Center and Liberal parties. With the continued support of the Green party of Isabella Lövin, it would appear that Sweden will soon have a government, albeit one somewhat hogtied with a right-wing budget. The center-right Alliance block appears now to be shattered, leaving Moderaterna and the Christian Democrats in opposition, along with the much-discussed Swedish Democrats. Previously.
posted by St. Oops at 2:25 PM - 7 comments

first a GIF, then a YouTube video, of a monkey pissing in its own mouth

Writers from Pitchfork, The New York Times, and others reflect on The Art of the Pan: What’s the Point of a Bad Review in 2019? [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 1:29 PM - 19 comments

Let Everybody Sing

"Deep in the antebellum bowels of Southern history, there emerged a style of gospel music called the Sacred Harp. Designed so untrained singers could sing by sight from hymnals, it produced an otherworldly, earthshakingly loud brand of music." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:10 PM - 51 comments

Socialism and Self-Care

“This does not at all mean that Marxists oppose self-improvement and self-care as such. There is nothing wrong with many of the activities suggested by either subculture, nor would socialism be a world without individual care and development. On the contrary, we oppose capitalism, in part, because it directly disincentivizes self-enrichment, encouraging the accumulation of capital or higher wages above everything else. Under capitalism, an individual who chooses to prioritize their hobbies and social well-being runs the risk of being “outcompeted” by those more willing to subordinate those needs to the logic of profit motive.” Self-Improvement and Self-Care: Survival Tactics of Late Capitalism
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM - 35 comments

Learning to Be Present While Fighting for Your Father

When they lose my father’s medicines in the days and weeks, then months, to come, I demand emergency provisions. When it is clear that the wrong pills and the wrong doses have been slipped into the treatment, I am not easily consoled. When they accidentally bring my father someone else’s cure, I am aggressively self-righteous. When the meals that are delivered aren’t the meals my father wants, I knock to the front of farmer’s market lines so that I can hurry back to him with something he might like. An essay by Beth Kephart for Catapult. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:37 AM - 10 comments

Repurposing flowers

Plants Can Hear Animals Using Their Flowers "In both lab experiments and outdoor trials, they found that the plants would react to recordings of a bee’s wingbeats by increasing the concentration of sugar in their nectar by about 20 percent. They did so in response only to the wingbeats and low frequency, pollinator-like sounds, not to those of higher pitch. And they reacted very quickly, sweetening their nectar in less than three minutes." [EdYongFilter]
posted by dhruva at 9:48 AM - 35 comments

"I created a methodology to protect students who want to do this work."

Five intimacy coordinators explain their craft. [via]
posted by jessamyn at 9:34 AM - 13 comments

Friday Frivolity: Yippee Ki Yay, thy fornicator of motherhood

Ars Technica's Christmas downtime federal government shutdown special: four movies retold as medieval tales, thanks to the highly enjoyable online Historic Tale Construction Kit, based on the Bayeaux Tapestry (inspired by a tweet from @pinstripedline) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM - 9 comments

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