January 26

Crunchy Con's

What is a "Crunchy Conservative"? A new political buzzword or a lifestyle manifesto, the Crunchy Con may even be a new political species, unless you're a Contra-Crunchy Con.
posted by stbalbach at 7:50 AM - 52 comments

ExtremeInstability.com discovers YouTube

ExtremeInstability.com discovers YouTube A taste of what you'll find on his awesome (one case where awesome is not a hyperbole) DVDs. Living on the Plains is anything but boring "come spring". Other fun tornado videos: Just about as close as you want to get to a tornado touchdown, DEFINITELY as close as you want to get to a tornado touchdown (wmv), and others: 1, 2 (language warning), 3 (language warning). It is funny to hear the calmer voices of the experienced chaser contrasting with the newbies. Even funnier when the calm chaser gets excited. Season begins in a little over 2 months!
posted by spock at 6:54 AM - 12 comments

Abdominal / Format

Format, Abdominal - Vicious Battle Raps, Hit Song previously
posted by hypersloth at 4:55 AM - 25 comments

Wired: What We Don't Know

Wired: What We Don't Know How did life begin? What's the universe made of? Why do we sleep? Is the universe actually made of information? How does the brain produce consciousness? Why do we still have big questions? 42 of the biggest unanswered questions in science.
posted by loquacious at 1:07 AM - 45 comments

January 25

Secrets of the ancients, revealed! ... or never bring a knife to a nanotube fight.

It took a long time for many achievements of the ancient world to be duplicated. The first city to reach one million people was Baghdad in 775 CE (or possibly Rome nine hundred years before), a feat that would not be duplicated until London and Beijing grew in the 19th century. The largest building in the world was the Great Pyramid for forty centuries until the 19th, and the world's current longest canal is over two millenia old. Some mysteries still remain, such as the formula of Greek Fire, but it looks like a different ancient weapon's secret has been discovered, that of Damascus steel. The key ingredient -- nanotech!
posted by blahblahblah at 11:12 PM - 29 comments

I [Heart] Charts and Graphs

Data analysis, brought to you by Big Blue, is following a trend. Data has never been more social. Geeks and statistics groupies used to be isolated, but the internet is changing that. Ever pine for a pile of Excel spreadsheets? Have you tried running an ANOVA on a year's worth of traffic data? You're not alone. New sites add sociability to cold hard facts; take a look at the "YouTube for data" or IBM's Many Eyes. Both sites induce squeals of delight from anyone who's ever felt Tuftian. What's next? One word: infornography. Please, keep your Standard Deviation jokes to yourself.
posted by Monochrome at 10:43 PM - 16 comments

Yet Another Text To Speech program

Oddcast's Text To Speech Demos let you type in words in 14 different languages. Hear thick accents if you enter English or learn how to pronounce that word you always say wrong in Spanish.
posted by daninnj at 10:42 PM - 23 comments

it's been agreed that results of the debate are to be binding on all religious and nonreligious people.

Sam Harris, an atheist, and Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic, debate whether moderate religion makes any sense. Harris: "Religious moderation is the result of not taking scripture all that seriously." Sullivan: "Blogger, please."
posted by ibmcginty at 10:19 PM - 85 comments

Get Your Art On For Charity

The One Million Masterpiece. Be a part of a global collaborative art project and help raise money for international humanitarian and environmental charities.
posted by amyms at 9:08 PM - 4 comments

Tell me the stories that will embarrass those conservative bigots that are backing a constitutional ban on our formalized relationships.

The dirty underbelly -- I'm sick and tired of these hypocritical Hoosier legislators who think that my sex life or relationship status is any of their business. Do I intrude on who they're sleeping with? I didn't, but I'm going to start now. ...Consider this a call to arms gossip. ... -- Bilerico, a GLBT blog in Indiana, fighting their proposed state Constitutional Amendment to ban marriage and all other rights for gay and lesbian couples and families.
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM - 40 comments

Too Racist? Or Too Stupid?

The grinning mugs of students at Tarleton State University in Texas and the University of Connecticut School of Law are gracing the pages of The Smoking Gun, where they stand accused of racial insensitivity. Is this passive-aggressive racial stereotyping? Simple stupidity? Or can we call this parody and laugh it off?
posted by krippledkonscious at 6:37 PM - 106 comments

Mi caru ti

Happy St. Dwynwen's Day! (Not to be confused with this guy or Hallmark's go-to fella, both handy for those of us wanting to be in love.)

Go out and smooch someone Welsh today.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 5:13 PM - 16 comments

Cat Spa

Cat Spa [YouTube*]
*I surrender
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:30 PM - 156 comments

"I Got Mixed Up With Some Dungeons and Dragons Bitches"

A Day in the Life (nsfw, youtube, two minutes of your life you can't have back)
posted by bardic at 4:07 PM - 41 comments

Economics in One Lesson

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt, is available online for all to peruse, and makes sobering reading for anyone who's ever fretted over the United States' $8.7tn national debt. Or if you prefer action to theory, you can always help your fellow citizens out by making a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:49 PM - 39 comments

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot At first, I was sure this was fake, and one of these guys was going to die horribly. But now I'm not sure. If this isn't fake, it's coooooool. (via Gizmodo)
posted by gummo at 3:41 PM - 28 comments

Smart or Stoopid?

Are you Smart or Stoopid? A quick, entertaining and (for me) reasonably challenging way to determine your level of intelligence. Be sure to post your score.
posted by JPowers at 3:30 PM - 203 comments

Long Time, No Smithereens

Meet the Smithereens. [warning: streaming Flash audio]
Nine years after their last album and 43 years after the original was released, The Smithereens cover the Beatles' Meet the Beatles album [review; this article has more background].
posted by kirkaracha at 2:31 PM - 51 comments


HyperBike! Invented by Curtis DeForest, this sci fi-looking gizmo has its rider standing up between a pair of cambered eight-foot wheels and pedaling with both arms and legs. It can "easily" hit 50 mph and it much harder to tip over than a regular bike (and doesn't kill your sperm count, either). NASA is interested in it for low-gravity environments.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:35 PM - 54 comments

We're Gonna Have A TV Party Tonight

Light Criticism is the newest project by Graffiti Research Lab and the Anti-Advertising Agency.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:33 PM - 23 comments

Daryl Press on credibility

The Credibility of Power. Daryl Press, author of Calculating Credibility: How Leaders Assess Military Threats, argues that in a crisis, the credibility of threats is primarily determined by the balance of power and the interests of stake; past history is relatively unimportant. As case studies, he examines the decision-making of Hitler and his generals during the crises over Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. "To this day, U.S. leaders ... are loath to reevaluate existing commitments for fear that doing so would signal irresolution. These fears, however, are greatly overblown." An example of US rigidity: Gideon Rose on the end of the Vietnam War.
posted by russilwvong at 1:14 PM - 4 comments

Bank robbery

How often can a customer walk into a bank and take a whole till full of cash, till and all? Well, that's what Declan Purcell did (okay, actually bailiffs acting on his behalf) after the Royal Bank of Scotland failed to comply with a court order to refund him 3400 pounds in bank fees.
posted by louigi at 12:22 PM - 64 comments

Chords, chords, chords

If you can stomach (and run) Windows Media Player and are a musician*, perhaps you might find the Muse On Visualizer somewhat interesting. It attempts to extract chord names from the music stream and display them realtime. Then again, maybe you are looking to experiment with chords and music theory or else figure out what you've been banging out. * Yes, I realize +1 of you probably have problems with one or the other of these. Deal. Also, MuseOn is more fun-toy than genius-spot-on-makes-TABs-for-you.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:37 AM - 16 comments

iphone beat making challenge

iPhoneMania, Catch It When Steve Jobs answered his iPhone at this year's MacWorld, he ignited a frenzy months before the gizmo will even hit stores. Now sneakmove, who first presented the "diy: cut and fold paper iphone" is back with a contest that challenges musicians to make the best song they can using the a sample of the phone's distinctive ring.
posted by PeteNicely at 11:33 AM - 24 comments

The Childbirth Centrifuge

The Childbirth Centrifuge You must be pregnant to ride this ride. Why push your baby out when you can spin the sucker out? This device probably makes one mean martini, too. Unlike many patent applications, the Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force is described in great detail, making me wonder whether a prototype actually got constructed. Link goes to a summary. Click through for the completely confusing text of the patent.
posted by fleener at 11:18 AM - 38 comments

Teen does 10 years for oral sex

Why is Genarlow Wilson in Prison? Genarlow Wilson sits in prison despite being a good son, a good athlete and high school student with a 3.2 GPA. He never had any criminal trouble. On the day he was to sit for the SAT, at seventeen years old, his life changed forever. He was arrested. In Douglas County he was accused of inappropriate sexual acts at a New Year’s Eve party. A jury acquitted him of the allegation of Rape but convicted him of Aggravated Child Molestation for a voluntary act of oral sex with another teenager. He was 17, and she was 15.

On July 1st, the new Romeo and Juliet law went into effect in Georgia for any other teen that engages in consensual sexual acts. That change in the law means that no teen prosecuted for consensual oral sex could receive more than a 12 months sentence or be required to register as a sex offender. But since the law was not changed retroactively, Genarlow Wilson must serve his mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, without parole.
posted by b_thinky at 10:02 AM - 179 comments

"I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

As MIDEM - arguably the world's most important music conference - gets under way this week in Cannes, an ominous milestone has been reached here in the United States. Last week, the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack registered the lowest record sales for a No. 1 album since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking data. This week, the soundtrack's sales dropped 9%, but it has managed to hold on to the top spot with a paltry 60,000 units sold. (So, What song was No. 1 on Billboard the day you were born?)
posted by phaedon at 9:29 AM - 29 comments

In My Language

An autistic woman "speaks" her language, then ours. (YouTube) "My language is not about designing words or even visual symbols for people to interpret. It is about being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment, reacting physically to all parts of my surroundings." [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 9:13 AM - 170 comments

BBS Sysop, RIP.

BBS Sysop, RIP. In 1987 Don DeLapp Jr died and his family maintained his BBS in his honor. In December, Don Senior died during an operation. Their BBS is immortalized on Don Jr's headstone.
posted by GuyZero at 8:55 AM - 14 comments

Helvetica, a documentary film

Helvetica, a documentary film. "Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives."
posted by londontube at 8:16 AM - 25 comments

Like juice boxes, for grownups.

Pocketshot. For when you really need to slug some rum on a long bike ride.
posted by pieoverdone at 7:34 AM - 48 comments

Premature Death of Rock Stars

Heart attacks, not overdoses, number one cause of musicians' early demise. An almost-thorough list of dead rock stars, but there are some "cause" blanks that need filling in.
posted by usedwigs at 6:49 AM - 46 comments

Make the Metafilter you wanna make!

Mozilla Bug 97284: Allow page to make arbitrary elements user-editable in browser (contentEditable attribute) With a wee pinch of javascript that you paste into your address bar, you can edit this -- or any -- page:
javascript:document.body.contentEditable='true'; document.designMode='on'; void 0

Make the Metafilter you always wanted by flipping your browser into design mode with document.body.contentEditable='true' or document.designMode='on'.
posted by ph00dz at 5:53 AM - 29 comments

Fry me with a nuke

Wanna get nuked? the Active Denial System [just say no?] was launched yesterday - its a microwave ray gun that makes people feel like they're going to catch fire. Wasn't there a ray gun at a certain point in a book we trashed a while earlier?
posted by infini at 5:21 AM - 46 comments

Willard Wigen, microsculptor

Willard Wigan The smallest sculptures can only be measured in thousandths of an inch which is why they can sit, very delicately, on a human hair three thousandths of an inch thick. When working on this scale [Willard Wigan] slows his heartbeat and his breathing dramatically through meditation and attempts to harmonise his mind, body and soul with the Creator. He then sculpts or paints at the centrepoint between heartbeats for total stillness of hand. He likens this process to "trying to pass a pin through a bubble without bursting it." His concentration is intense when working like this and he feels mentally and physically drained at the end of it. (previously)
posted by pmbuko at 4:42 AM - 25 comments

Ages 8-Adult

Rush Hour is a sliding block puzzle invented by Nob Yoshigahara and manufactured by ThinkFun. The goal of the game is to get the red car out of a six-by-six gridlock of vehicles by moving the other vehicles out of its way (youtoob). There are several online versions in Java/Flash (bottom of link)- my favorite has the first 2 complete sets from the board game. It's a gentle warm-up for your brain.
posted by MtDewd at 4:40 AM - 19 comments

Fox goes after YouTube pirates

Fox goes after YouTube pirates. Fox takes a new approach to fight copyright infringers who post illegal content on YouTube. Going after the user who uploaded the copyrighted material instead of forcing YouTube to pull it from the web site should prove a more effective deterrent.
posted by jeyoung at 2:36 AM - 20 comments

Never piss off a nerd

An interview with 'muslix64', who got fed up when his new television refused to play HDDVDs, because of DRM problems. So he cracked the HDDVD DRM. Then, for good measure, he cracked Blu-Ray too. The first HD movies are already appearing on a Torrent near you.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:53 AM - 42 comments

January 24

disco d

My formula for success:
(PosEn - NegEn)(NT)^i = R
PosEn is your positivity, positive emotions, positive ego
honesty, love, friendship, etc
NegEn is your negative emotions & energy & ego
hate, fear, jealousy, envy N is network (virtual, personal, spiritual)
T is time
i is ideas and indivituality
R is results
the only thing you cant make more of is time
posted by nervousfritz at 11:14 PM - 26 comments

And now--a quick word from our sponsors!

Advertising in India (thanks to this post by NickySkye) More ads here and here
posted by hadjiboy at 10:42 PM - 12 comments

General Chao's Pork

2000 pigs sacrifice to the deity General Chao of Wudeh temple.
posted by jonson at 10:13 PM - 41 comments

T.V. Pirates! Arrrrr!

On November 22nd 1987, sports anchor Dan Roan of Chicago's WGN-TV News Network was narrating the video of the day's football highlights when something highly unusual happened. The pictures on the station monitors in the studio suddenly began to jitter and twitch. And that was just the beginning. Two hour later, it happened a second time (View clip here) [via KUR]
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:14 PM - 46 comments

Book of Martyrs

John Foxe's Book of Martyrs offers complete, searchable transcriptions of the 1563, 1570, 1576, and 1583 editions of Foxe's Actes and Monuments... Readers can juxtapose two editions to see Foxe's alterations. The site includes images of the foldout woodcuts, along with the title pages. Other goodies include a raft of introductory essays and detailed commentaries on the illustrations to books 10-12. See also the Foxe Digital Library Project at Ohio State University, which includes woodcuts, images of selected pages, and an exhibition catalog. There are more woodcuts from the 1610 edition at Penn's Center for Electronic Text and Image and from the 1784 edition at Kansas State University.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:11 PM - 10 comments

Mythbuster Compilation

Every Mythbuster myth in nifty graph form on one page. Quick and easy reference to each myth busted, confirmed, or plausible.
posted by GatorDavid at 8:08 PM - 39 comments


Alberto Gonzalez says "there is no express grant" of habeas corpus in the Constitution. Previously on MeFi and AskMe.
posted by anarcation at 7:47 PM - 73 comments

Virgin Birth? No, Virgin Hatch.

A virgin birth? No, but a virgin hatch. The process by which this happened is nothing new, but appears to be the first recorded instance in this species. Maybe this phenomenon could also help solve a controversial human problem.
posted by The Deej at 7:39 PM - 13 comments

F***ing Hippies (Gotta Love 'Em)

Youtube links to Neil Young busking in Glasgow and some more. Vintage Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
posted by snsranch at 6:56 PM - 17 comments

Eventually ever' man gotta face the problem of tryin'to figger if it's worthwhile to prove that he is himself

I Go Pogo! I'll let Walt Kelly, the creator of the remarkable comic strip Pogo, introduce himself because he is far more clever than I am.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 6:44 PM - 31 comments

map art

Here are three artists who use maps in their art: Mathew Cusick makes collages of old maps, Layla Curtis makes collages of current maps (flash; click on works, collages) and Susan Stockwell makes maps out of, well, just about anything.
posted by dhruva at 6:11 PM - 14 comments

The Caretaker

The Caretaker
posted by hama7 at 6:01 PM - 16 comments

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