December 14

The Younger Miss Bennets Expose Themselves at the Netherfield Ball.

Pride and Prejudice reimagined. TL: DR version: Just check the tags.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 12:36 PM - 13 comments


Spinning coins or tops is not random, but there is an algorithm to correct for this in playing dreidel.
posted by clew at 11:48 AM - 24 comments

Net Neutrality Repealed

In a 3-2 vote, the FCC repeals net neutrality. Ajit Pai celebrated by doing the Harlem Shake.
posted by WCityMike at 11:47 AM - 143 comments

Lost rivers, buried creeks, and disappeared streams

Hidden Hydrology is an occasional blog that investigates the history of disappearing and disappeared examples of water-based topology and infrastructure in urban settings. A recent post, The Water in the Wood, looks at the use of wooden water and sewer pipes in 19th century cities.
posted by carter at 11:20 AM - 9 comments

We Must Do Politics Or Have Politics Done To Us

The Communications Workers of America reached a tentative deal with AT&T for 21,000 workers who had been without a contract since February. New Media giants Vox and Buzzfeed are fighting attempts of workers to unionize, with Vox accused of union busting (Vox Media Union response) and Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti continues his opposition to organization. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM - 16 comments

"Ms. Faulkner is not a student at Middlebury College and never has been"

Last month Jame's O'Keefe, the conservative backed agent provocateur who had just failed in an attempt to discredit accusers of Roy Moore, spoke at Middlebury College to a crowd of around 50 people. His largely unwanted presence at the Vermont liberal arts college (or at least in its vicinity) would be a standard piece of Culture Wars agitation except for one thing: Nobody at the college seemed to know who had invited him. And the more they delved into it, the weirder it got.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM - 62 comments

Lisa Simpson is now a Disney Princess

It's official: Disney has bought 21st Century Fox 'Disney now has its hands on Fox’s key franchises including “X-Men,” “Alien,” “Predator,” “Avatar,” “Die Hard,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Kingsman” and “Fantastic Four” (which is listed in the press release). Disney now also controls the full rights to all “Star Wars” films with the previously Fox-owned 1977 original likely to go back to Disney’s Lucasfilm – meaning theatrical re-releases and a potential home video version of the original theatrical cut.' [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 9:28 AM - 81 comments

The Journal of Prince Studies

The Journal of African American Studies devoted its September 2017 issue to Prince. You can read and/or download all the articles at the journal's site.
posted by goatdog at 7:47 AM - 7 comments

tensions between the ephemeral and permanent

It's 30 years old: Snowman 1987/2016 (multimedia)
posted by jjray at 7:46 AM - 2 comments

Are we nearly there yet?

- Why Planes Don't Fly Faster [SLYT 11:32] "Nowadays American Airlines Flight 3 still leaves JFK daily at noon, but the difference is that today Flight 3 is scheduled to arrive at LAX at 3:27 p.m, 44 minutes later than in 1967." So what's going on? [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:50 AM - 47 comments

That's No Moon...

When the moon hits your eye like a big...pancake? Photographer Robert Pufleb and designer Nadine Schlieper have created some astonishingly realistic images of possible lunar surfaces in their new book Alternative Moons using PANCAKES. [more inside]
posted by briank at 6:18 AM - 6 comments

“Yeah, I’m all in.”

When Phil came back in November, he wanted so badly to stay sober, and for the next three months he did. But it was a struggle, heartbreaking to watch. For the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than either of us. I bowed my head and thought, I can’t fix this. It was the moment that I let go. I told him, “I can’t monitor you all the time. I love you, I’m here for you, and I’ll always be here for you. But I can’t save you.”Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction
posted by timshel at 2:28 AM - 39 comments

Papercraft Refugees

Eat Your Cake; I'm a Vietnamese Refugee (2010) (10’09) This documentary is about courage and survival and having the will and perseverance to succeed despite considerable obstacles. The story of Mitchell Pham's remarkable journey is told through the evocative use of stop-frame animation, created from a Vietnamese traditional folded paper craft, mixed with live action to show an innovative account of his harrowing but ultimately inspirational journey from Vietnamese prison camp, to a life in New Zealand after the Vietnam war. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:26 AM - 2 comments

December 13

Platform Democracy and Governance

Estonia, the Digital Republic - "Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:43 PM - 7 comments

Yacob and Amo: Africa's Precursors to Locke, Hume and Kant

The African Enlightenment: The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum at 10:47 PM - 20 comments

... self-deprecating comedic humility balances the gravity of life...

“Heavyweight,” the Podcast That Contends with Our Regrets "When the writer, radio producer, and humorist Jonathan Goldstein set out to create his Gimlet podcast, “Heavyweight,” whose second season concluded on Thursday, he considered introducing each episode with a subway P.A. system that would talk to him like the voice of God. On the podcast, Goldstein—a longtime producer at “This American Life” whose radio show “Wiretap” aired on the CBC for more than a decade—acts as a kind of social instigator and meddling therapist. With gumption, empathy, and comic awkwardness, he ventures into people’s lives and tries to help them resolve things from the past: an unsolved human mystery, lingering guilt, a falling-out, hurt that’s turned to grievance." (slNewYorker)
posted by crazy with stars at 8:15 PM - 16 comments

the cake is a lie.

The All-Consuming Emotions of Food in Video Games [US Gamer] “Food is often seen in games as a means of survival, mostly as health. A piece of bread stolen off a vendor's table in Skyrim will grant you two health; the cabbage stew at the tavern will grant you 10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the spicy pepper steak will take the edge off of cold weather. A game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a huge inventory of food items, many of which are dropped after knocking out enemies. While the enormous variety adds an element of immersiveness into Castlevania, it's often nothing health or a novelty. Though none of these games' food systems could be considered simplistic, they have a narrow view of eating; food is health, and eating is the mechanic in which it's used. It's easy to see food only as a function of survival, but there’s a whole breadth of games—” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:57 PM - 42 comments

In a crisis, play "Don't Stop Believin'"

The Bar [And Bat] Mitzvah Party Starters
posted by zarq at 3:19 PM - 15 comments

What? A swallow carrying a coconut?

Coconuts in mediaeval England weren't as rare as you'd think, no matter what Monty Python would have you believe. They were a common item in wills, fashioned into elaborate drinking cups.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:04 PM - 14 comments

The digital arms race in DDoS is inexorably linked to Minecraft

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet (Wired) “They just got greedy—they thought, ‘If we can knock off our competitors, we can corner the market on both servers and mitigation,’” Walton says. In fact, according to court documents, the primary driver behind the original creation of Mirai was creating "a weapon capable of initiating powerful denial-of-service attacks against business competitors and others against whom White and his coconspirators held grudges.” [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 2:55 PM - 24 comments


"Rock-comet" 3200 Phaethon is approaching the Earth and it's closest point of approach will be a mere 6,407,618 miles away. That means it's time for the best meteor shower of the year, the Geminid meteor shower, expected to peak at maximum tonight under a very slim and late-rising Moon [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:18 PM - 18 comments

"I think you overestimate their chances."

USA Today lists the 40 best Star Wars movie characters. [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 1:44 PM - 78 comments

In case of nuclear war, check under left arm

Inspired by this comment, I thought I would learn a little more about blood type tattoos. [more inside]
posted by TedW at 12:39 PM - 13 comments

the matter of false confessions

"As soon as they start pushing an interrogation into a predetermined answer, as opposed to the truth, the outcome is inevitable." Amanda Knox on Life After Wrongful Conviction. Of further interest, False Confessions.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 11:33 AM - 30 comments

The Best Days of Our Lives

Are you having a bad day? Would you like to see some videos of people having a GREAT day and share in their excitement? How about some kids getting into college? Warning: there is screaming. Lots of it. Big article with many examples of the genre. More below the fold, if your eardrums can handle it. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:04 AM - 22 comments

Doftana Red: the Disappeared Prison Newspaper

A prison in Romania, Doftana, spawned an intellectual newspaper for prisoners only. And then it was gone. It had been written in code on cigarette paper or foil, and pages from library books. When the prison closed, the ephemeral paper was lost. But it nurtured political activists who took its ideas to the outer world.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:58 AM - 3 comments

A Navajo Night Chant in Photographs

The most sacred of all the Navajo ceremonies, the Yébîchai cheremony, aka the Night Chant , is a healing ritual that takes place over many days. Masked figures chant and perform ritual dances around the ill person in a sweat lodge, to restore "order, harmonize and re-establish and situate social relations." Sandpaintings (2) and Ye’b’tsai-tsa’pas, circle kethawns, are also employed to help heal the sick. [more inside]
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 10:14 AM - 1 comment

2017 in music: more light to fight the darkness

Music and politics have a long history and in 2017, a new chapter in their fraught and complicated relationship burst open (related, previously) .... It was a strong year for guitar rock, the best of it coming from relatively younger bands dominated by women (related).... 2017 was also a year when much beloved artists abandoned the sounds their fans first fell in love with to try something new.... There was so much more that happened in 2017 .... but let's try to wrap our heads around some of it, or at least take some time to read year-end lists, or skip the words and listen to the music. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM - 26 comments

United State of Pop 2017 (How We Do It)

The Earworm 2017 has landed, as is tradition. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 9:29 AM - 37 comments

im a soviet refugee singing for salam

Orgonite are a Middle Eastern Rave group from Tel Aviv with lyrics in Hebrew, Russian, English and Arabic: Habibi Yaeni, HAMSA, Adibass, Kayfuyem (feat. Arsen Petrosov) [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM - 7 comments

Basically, anything that can be fancied, we attempt to fancy.

"Nichole Perkins was parched. 'The thirstiest,' she offers. And who could blame her? The writer had been scrolling through Twitter when she came across it—a photo of Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, seated, smoldering. She paused. And then she wrote 'I bet he mashes his cornbread in his greens, eats it with his fingers, then looks at you like 'you next.' Elsewhere, Bim Adewunmi read Perkins' tweet and gasped for air. She was scandalized, appalled, horrified! She was in love: 'I was like, 'It's so disgusting! It's disgusting. Oh my god, it's amazing.' She had known Perkins for years, but the tweet was a revelation. Perkins wasn't just a likeminded woman on the internet. She was the rarer breed: a friend in filth." And thus - Thirst Aid Kit, a buzzfeed podcast, tumblr, and twitter, was born. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 8:55 AM - 31 comments

Cake Breakers, Marrow Spoons, and Ice Cream Sporks

Odd and unusual utensils -- Odd and unusual -- Historically odd and currently unusual.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:50 AM - 29 comments

No jokes, just a new politics thread

People in high profile government jobs share commonly held view of multiply bankrupt toupee model [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:31 AM - 836 comments

By case 3, Dr Brown Bear displays signs of "burnout"

The BMJ asks "Does Peppa Pig encourage unnecessary use of primary health care resources? [more inside]
posted by threetwentytwo at 8:14 AM - 20 comments

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Trailer for The Star Wars based on the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie (SLVimeo)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:31 AM - 21 comments

In the room when it happens

Andrés Forero, drummer for the musical Hamilton, demonstrates his drum parts from two songs in the show.
posted by thelonius at 5:12 AM - 12 comments

Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash

Botnik runs the Harry Potter books through predictive keyboards. It is a thing of laughter.
posted by Kitteh at 4:37 AM - 35 comments

How the Index Card Cataloged the World

Yet it never occurred to me, as I rehearsed my talking points more than a decade ago, that my index cards belonged to the very European history I was studying. The index card was a product of the Enlightenment, conceived by one of its towering figures: Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and the father of modern taxonomy. But like all information systems, the index card had unexpected political implications, too: It helped set the stage for categorizing people, and for the prejudice and violence that comes along with such classification.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:29 AM - 15 comments

“We warned him we weren’t very good with hits.”

All 218 U2 songs ranked from worst to best.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:39 AM - 97 comments

Origin of Species with bonus pictures

Darwin's young children sometimes painted pictures and wrote stories on the back of draft manuscripts for Darwin's books & notes. They are very sweet.
posted by Lezzles at 3:01 AM - 4 comments


Shell Climate Solutions Roadshow: UK-based artist and political cartoonist Darren Cullen responds to Shell's Make the Future campaign. [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 1:25 AM - 4 comments

December 12

The Anarchist Bikers Who Came to Help

In November, the artist and writer Molly Crabapple spent a week in Puerto Rico documenting grassroots efforts by communities to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. Here are excerpts from her sketchbook
posted by Artw at 10:51 PM - 2 comments

The Doomsday Diet

As the 1950s unfolded, it became clear that buying a few extra cans of food at the grocery store wasn’t going to feed the entire country sufficiently. In urban areas, high-rises, and many southern states where homes lacked basements, there would need to be larger government-run shelters. People couldn’t be expected to bring their own supplies and food; everything they would need had to be ready and waiting inside a shelter when nuclear war arrived. The Eisenhower administration embarked on the quest to develop the perfect “Doomsday food.”
Meet the all-purpose survival cracker, the US government's Cold War-era nutrition solution for life after a nuclear blast.
posted by Rumple at 10:33 PM - 24 comments

The essence of joy and heartbreak

"He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll." Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the Smithereens, has passed away at the age of 62. [more inside]
posted by litlnemo at 10:24 PM - 39 comments

Is this a stain I see before me? Out, out damned spot!

How to Clean up Holiday Party messes. "TH: What other tips or tricks for the holiday party season can you give us? JK: If I had to tell people to carry just one thing with them to handle stains on the fly, it would be hand sanitizer. Weird but true. It has a high concentration of alcohol in it, which is a very good stain remover and will work on everything from pen to food spills to blood. Not that you’d need to get blood stains out of anything during the holidays, of course."
posted by storybored at 10:07 PM - 10 comments

Theater Of War

The Healing Power of Greek Tragedy: Do plays written centuries ago have the power to heal modern day traumas? A new project raises the curtain on a daring new experiment [Smithsonian Magazine lengthy article, lightly discusses PTSD from war or police violence]
posted by hippybear at 9:56 PM - 4 comments

The name is Finland. Tom of Finland.

Earlier this year, Finland submitted the eponymously-titled Tom of Finland as its foreign-language film entry for the 2017 Academy Awards. The film - directed by Dome Karukoski and starring Pekka Strang - is a biopic chronicling the life and artwork of Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland. It is currently screening on selected dates in the United States and Canada (direct link to trailer here) . Some links likely NSFW. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:53 PM - 22 comments

Which famous Toronto raccoon are you?

Raccoons are some of Toronto's most famous residents. Their exploits and adventures frequently make the news. Now you can answer that age old question: Which famous Toronto raccoon are you? [more inside]
posted by thecjm at 7:52 PM - 10 comments

Do not need Ultraman

Rusborg (Русборг) is the largest international festival of military reenactors in Russia. Last May, during the Battle For The Bridge, one of the participants spotted a sky demon and brought it down with a mighty spear cast. The heroic deed was immortalized with a runestone. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:51 PM - 20 comments

Foundation and Empire

Jim Simons, noted mathematician (winner of the Veblen Prize) and founder of ungodly-successful quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, is spending his retirement running an institute focusing on data analyses in support of tough scientific problems. Simons made more than $1.5 billion in 2015, despite being retired from the fund. Some of that money is going to support the private foundation the Flatiron Institute. Its mission is "to advance scientific research through computational methods, including data analysis, modeling and simulation." But what do we think of a world where patronage of science is once again passing into the capricious and unaccountable hands of the uber-wealthy? [more inside]
posted by praemunire at 6:35 PM - 31 comments

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