January 22


Facility is a new print-only magazine about bathrooms. One part of the magazine is available online, however: a list of codes for public restrooms in several US cities.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:26 PM - 33 comments

how to be a good indigenous ally

How do you cross that invisible line that takes you from being in the Aboriginal 'good books' to being on the s**t list?, writes Summer May Finlay. (SBS NITV) [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 8:57 PM - 15 comments

Houses with names

Welcome to the first edition of the McMansion Hell Yearbook - a year by year account of how the McMansion came to be. We begin our tour of time in the year 1970.
posted by waving at 7:33 PM - 64 comments

Better living through caffeination

Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and ExperimentConsidering a 25% reduction in coffee mass (i.e., $0.025 saving), and considering the daily coffee consumption in the United States (124,000,000 espresso-based beverages per day), our protocol yields $3.1 million savings per day, or $1.1 billion per year.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:47 PM - 17 comments

The chicken-or-egg of big gods, morality, and societal complexity

First there were little gods. People then developed complex civilizations, and those people then created big, "morally concerned" gods. That's a very succinct summary of a study using a huge historical database (The Conversation, March 20, 2019), which was published in Nature (abstract; link to full PDF via Nautilus article titled The Worth of an Angry God: How supernatural beliefs allowed societies to bond and spread, which poses a counter-argument to this theory). The huge database is Seshat Databank, named after the ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM - 37 comments

📴✉️ They designed an envelope to hide your phone from yourself

Envelope - temporarily transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device [YouTube] “A set of envelopes which temporarily transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you to take a break away from your digital world. Many people feel that they spend too much time on their phones and struggle to find a balance with technology. We have designed a series of special paper envelopes which completely transform the functionality of your smartphone for the time it is sealed inside, allowing you to enjoy fewer distractions for a little while. One envelope turns your phone into a very basic device which can only make and receive calls, while the other turns your phone into a photo and video camera with no screen, helping you to focus on what’s in front of you. Printed buttons which subtly light up allow you to dial and take photographs, creating a calm but magical “Envelope User Interface”.” [Android app](Currently only supports the Google Pixel 3a)[GitHub][.PDF]
posted by Fizz at 10:09 AM - 56 comments

"I just want to be happy"

Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S.
(Previously): World Happiness Report
posted by growabrain at 9:52 AM - 36 comments

Gutting the IRS

The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher. For years, the company has moved billions in profits to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes. When the IRS pushed it to pay, Microsoft protested that the agency wasn’t being nice. Then it aggressively fought back in court, lobbied Congress and changed the law. (SL ProPublica by Paul Kiel)
posted by crazy with stars at 9:47 AM - 9 comments

Reality; go home; you drunk

Signed into law Dec 20, 2019, Space Force is alive and has a space force hub named SPOC [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:23 AM - 80 comments

a way to avoid being, without allowing time itself to end

Online public spaces are now being slowly taken over by beef-only thinkers, as the global culture wars evolve into a stable, endemic, background societal condition of continuous conflict. As the Great Weirding morphs into the Permaweird, the public internet is turning into the Internet of Beefs. [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 8:48 AM - 98 comments

Philosophy Twitch

Lefty youtube channel Philosophy Tube drops the politics to talk about what really matters: The Trouble with the Video Game Industry. Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by postcommunism at 8:31 AM - 9 comments

The Incredible Adventures of Man Spider

This is the story of a spider bitten by a radioactive man and imbued with the powers of being human. This comic is not based on a true story (it’s based on billions of true stories).
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM - 9 comments

Becoming A Man

P. Carl writes an essay about his experiences with masculinity as a trans man. [SLNYT]
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:42 AM - 25 comments

The Joy Of Lizzo

[Lizzo] has become a new kind of pop superstar, full of relentless positivity. But it took a long time and a lot of heartache [medium length read] Rolling Stone profiles the top Grammy nominee, also a minor MetaFilter favorite. [NSFW for artful naked/near-naked photography]
posted by hippybear at 6:12 AM - 21 comments

No he isn't! He's resting...

Monty Python's Terry Jones has died aged 77.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:36 AM - 188 comments

January 21

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before

The most common last name in every country | See also: Why are there so many Smiths in the world?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:23 PM - 93 comments

Several reporters, including me, made it a policy not to quote her.

Faith Hope Consolo was a commercial real estate trailblazer in New York City, specializing in flagship retail stores. But shortly after her obituary was published in 2018, its writer "received a message through LinkedIn, the kind that every journalist dreads"... She Was a Star of New York Real Estate, but Her Life Story Was a Lie [NYT, but I promise it's worth it]
posted by Mchelly at 2:22 PM - 24 comments

Farewell to America

This is the summer I will leave America, after 12 years as a foreign correspondent, and return to London. My decision to come back to Britain was prompted by banal, personal factors that have nothing to do with current events; if my aim was to escape aggressive policing and racial disadvantage, I would not be heading to Hackney. In 2015, Gary Younge moved back to the U.K. But first he wrote a long read about all the reasons why, as a Black father, moving made sense. (Content warning for violence and racism.) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 2:15 PM - 6 comments

How one move can make climbing more inclusive

We listened as Emily explained the four major elements that are involved in climbing: the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. I think my jaw dropped when, partway through the clinic, Emily asked us, “How is anyone going to ‘go for it’ when their heart center is heavy and weighing them down?”

Anaheed Saatchi writes about how the climbing community can become more inclusive and intersectionally aware, starting with one challenging move: the dyno.
posted by daisyk at 12:08 PM - 19 comments

awkward pastel drawing of a person peering through a magnifying glass

Somebody figured out where the hell exactly all those WikiHow images come from. (Spoiler alert: low-paying distributed freelance labor.)
posted by cortex at 11:51 AM - 25 comments

The Six Levels of Affluence

"If I gave you $100, would that change your life? What about $100,000? How about $100 million? Your answer will depend on many things including age, family situation, and your current net worth. More importantly though, how you change your behavior after receiving such money can tell you a lot about your current financial standing." Climbing the Wealth Ladder
posted by COD at 11:31 AM - 65 comments

Dame of the Hand Tattoo

It’s much better to age disgracefully! “My mother once said, ‘Never worry about getting older. I know the thought of you being 45 when you’re 25 is, Oh, my god! Who wants to be 45? But it’s amazing because when you get to be 45, you’ll realize it’s actually very cool and you don’t want to be 25 again,'" [Helen Mirren] told Vogue. "And I have to say, she was absolutely right. With every age comes advantages and disadvantages. And you tend to find that you don’t want to go back. You want to be exactly where you are with everything you’ve experienced.”
posted by stoneweaver at 10:14 AM - 38 comments

"not a technical problem"

Will artificial intelligence fix hiring discrimination? Well, no, but what do people think about it? And if AI isn't the answer, what is? In two blog posts, data scientist @ryxcommar discusses the snake oil of HireVue et al, public discourse thereof, and conducts a mini-survey of his own, with disconcerting results. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 10:06 AM - 14 comments

What does it mean to be human? And what does it mean to be… a goose?

The Untitled Goose Game and Philosophy [Sidequest] “The Goose does good, but it is a self-serving good. Were it not a goose but a man, would we not praise the Goose’s efforts? Would we not commend him for disrupting capitalism? For returning the carefully confined garden to its wild and free nature? Perhaps, and yet the Goose is trapped in an earthly, goosely flesh. Each day the Goose drives the humble village further from God’s light and closer to depravity. But is that not what was foretold? Boehme theorized that not only would the Fall of Man occur, but that it was necessary, that it would catalyze man’s evolution. To the villagers, the Goose can do no good. The Goose is devilry and chaos. The Goose is the catalyst.”
posted by Fizz at 9:46 AM - 46 comments

Terrifying and heartbreaking stories of the Underground Railroad, sung

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new album highlights another key figure: William Still [an abolitionist, historian and conductor for the Underground Railroad], who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. He's featured prominently in the new film Harriet [...] and he's the central figure of Sanctuary Road, a new oratorio (official YT playlist) by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec based on Still's 1872 book The Underground Railroad (Archive.org). Kent Tritle deftly leads the Oratorio Society of New York Orchestra, Chorus and a dynamic cast of African American soloists. (NPR) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 AM - 1 comment

Menses Magazines

Rag mags and monthly issues: Five period zines to stop you seeing red [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 8:54 AM - 4 comments

Het Lam Gods

Eight years into the restoration of the famous Ghent Altarpiece, overpainting has been removed to reveal the face of the Lamb of God as envisioned by the Van Eyck brothers, unseen since it was covered up in the 16th century. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 8:29 AM - 47 comments

"Mars is awful."

So your local techno-libertarian wants to build a new home off-world. What are the challenges (YT) to supporting human life on Mars? What's most likely to kill you? And even if we can keep people healthy for more than a short period, what would it look like to work on Mars?
posted by backseatpilot at 6:18 AM - 101 comments

Animal Antics

Grizzly Bear Fight!
Elephant Investigates Hotel

And because humans are animals: Baby's First Taste of Ice Cream
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:58 AM - 14 comments

The Fight Over a Wealthy Biochemist’s Frozen Head

A fraught, multi-million-dollar legal battle over the frozen head of a now-deceased biochemist escalated into fraud claims this week, after four years of wild allegations that at one point involved talk of a wax dummy head and an alleged hidden will.
posted by Etrigan at 5:51 AM - 19 comments

January 20

What we still haven’t learned from Gamergate

Gamergate should have armed us against bad actors and bad-faith arguments. It didn’t. It’s natural to assess what sociocultural lessons we’ve learned from the previous decade, now that we’ve entered a new one — and whether they’re the kinds that might help us make the 2020s a better era. No honest attempt at such an assessment can be complete without grappling with the messy human dramas and the increasing trend toward polarized, incendiary conversations that emerged in the latter half of the 2010s. And that means contending with the unlikely, unpleasant, and far-reaching watershed movement that was Gamergate...Six years later, here’s a look at some of the lessons we still need to learn from Gamergate in order to keep its victims safe — and in order to keep the next decade from producing a movement that’s even worse. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:59 PM - 59 comments

I have no idea how this pianist got their cat wedged into a piano or why

But the cat seems to enjoy it. [more inside]
posted by carter at 6:10 PM - 23 comments

A World Without Pain

It is rare, but there are people who are born without the ability to feel pain. Joanne Cameron has never experience pain, but she is unique in that she also has never experienced the extremes of rage, dread, grief, anxiety, or fear. The hours spent staring into the dark, looping around our own personal grand prix of anxieties, are not a waste of time but a fundamental expression of our humanity. And so on. To be a person is to suffer. But what if our worst feelings are just vestigial garbage? ... Pain is what makes joy, gratitude, mercy, hilarity, and empathy so precious. Unless it isn’t. (SLNYer)
posted by ShooBoo at 5:50 PM - 31 comments

I can't remember where I left my library card

The Radiohead Public Library is now open for business. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater at 5:31 PM - 16 comments

How to Make Sense of an Undrowned Town

Residents of Celles in France were evicted so their village could be flooded. Then, it wasn’t.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 5:25 PM - 9 comments

How to Thermal Your RC Glider

First you launch the glider. Then you follow the wind. The birds know what they're doing.
posted by clawsoon at 4:12 PM - 8 comments

Content Moderation is Unending Warfare

“I worried about that a lot when it was in the initial stages. The reality is that any app, such as a hookup app, can be used to manipulate and hurt others, primarily women. I figured, isn’t it better to try to foster human connection than not?” ... The woman stares into the pools of bottomless remorse and empathy that are the rapist’s girlfriend’s eyes. She is utterly sincere; the woman can tell. The rapist’s girlfriend truly believes that she and the rapist are making the world a better place." From You Will Never Be Forgotten by Mary South [The New Yorker] [CW: pretty much everything. Rape, gun violence, cannibalism, San Francisco real estate, venture capital, &c. ] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:40 PM - 8 comments

To understand Martin Luther King Jr., don't rely on the highlights reel

Reducing King to a teddy bear of a civil rights figure robs him of how much he risked and makes it easier to vilify modern activists, experts said. Perspective on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy including links to several seminal speeches. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 12:57 PM - 13 comments

loving and hating and loving and fighting each other

Queering Shakespeare: Tessa Gratton on Lady Hotspur and her adaptation of Henry IV, Part I. Source material: Project Gutenberg, youtube (edited version).
posted by curious nu at 12:47 PM - 3 comments

the leech triumphantly oozed its way back into the hospital

The modern medical leech is not a myth, or a homeopathy you can only find behind the counter at a store selling healing crystals. Indeed, these toothy worms are serious tools for the 21st-century doctor. At Duke and in prominent hospitals around the country, from Johns Hopkins to the Mayo Clinic, leeches have found particular utility in the post-surgical ward doing what they do best: draining blood... “The patients always get a huge kick out of it when we say we’re going to use leeches on something,” says Shammas. “They think it’s the coolest thing in the world.” Bradley Allf writes for Atlas Obscura on The Leech's Journey.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:41 AM - 38 comments

Sabbath-sanctioned Sips

Here are several hundred reviews of kosher wine and spirits by Yehoshua Werth. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 8:29 AM - 8 comments


The state of blackness in games [Eurogamer] “Seeing a black person in a game is still a strange experience more often than not. For the longest time, black characters seemed to fall precisely into two categories, scary and...funky: Your average scary black character is at first glance like so many other men in games. He's buff, and he has a gun. What you need to take into account however, is how this stereotype has affected black men in real life: many people still readily draw the conclusion that a black man who looks a certain way is likely to have a history that includes a council house upbringing and a brush or two with the law. [...] The funky black guy either sports an afro, says "yo" a lot, wears sunglasses indoors, or all three. He's also usually loud, and claims to be a "free spirit" or anything else that makes people think of Chris Rock or Dennis Rodman. He's often a quest-giver, or someone who appears in the background for laughs, such as in Persona 4 or Ni no Kuni 2. There's often at least one character of this type in every fighting game, including Tekken and Dead or Alive.” [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:49 AM - 20 comments

"What's a Smilin' Face When the Whole State's Racist?"

In 1991, rap group Public Enemy released 'By the Time I Get to Arizona,' a song about Arizona's failure to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. [more inside]
posted by box at 6:36 AM - 34 comments

Of Twenty-Two North American Birds

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, What bird are you most like?
posted by jjray at 6:26 AM - 102 comments

January 19


OKAY. The Princess Bride. Super well known and beloved film, and I have absolutely no idea what it's about. Now I did initially think it was the one (also not seen) where the lady comes down on a meteor or something but apparently not so, and I think I also got it mixed up with Zorro? Idk i've not seen that one either. So my best guess is 1) there's a princess and 2) she's a bride. Now this seems, to me, pretty standard so idk why this movie is so beloved. […]

So... let's dive in?
Twitter | Threadreader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:18 PM - 156 comments

Tocatta And Fugue In C64

"It struck me that, at least in theory, organ pipes should generate quite primitive sound waves. If so, how come a church organ doesn't sound like a chip tune, which is also built up from simple waveforms? Well, actually it will, if you remove the church."
posted by mhoye at 7:05 PM - 25 comments

*hoo* *hee* *hoo*

If you watched the recent streaming series The Mandalorian, you may have noticed that the theme song , by Ludwig Göransson, used as a major element a woodwind not normally featured: the recorder. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:38 PM - 30 comments

Sometimes we need a little glimmer of hope for humanity...

If so, you might find “American Flowers” by Birds of Chicago comforting.
posted by HuronBob at 4:28 PM - 5 comments

Imagine Herbie

The Imagine Project was a studio album released by Herbie Hancock released on June 22, 2010 The title song was Imagine by John Lennon, a reminder that Lennon was an excellent songwriter. Other songs were Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up", Moraes and Baden Powell's "Tempo de Amor", Matthew Moores "Space Captain", Bob Dylans "The Times, They Are A' Changin'", Larry Klein's "The Song Goes On", "La Tierra" by Juan Esteban Aristizabal. While the chosen songs were all international hits, the main point was the international musical collaboration. [more inside]
posted by mumimor at 3:29 PM - 4 comments

Making Civic Literacy Fun Again: iCivics

Are the kids in your life asking difficult questions about representative democracy in the U.S.? Asking you to talk about how impeachment and conviction work? Supplement your explanations with iCivics, a free online resource whose goal is to help students become more familiar with citizenship through play. Run a county! Oversee the federal budget! Be a juror! [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:48 PM - 6 comments

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