April 18

A glimpse into the OTHER side of a true renaissance man; Greg Popovich

Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty [more inside]
posted by indianbadger1 at 11:51 AM - 35 comments

Like a black cat sitting on top of her paws

A Perfectly Normal Interview with Carmen Maria Machado Where Everything Is Fine
The connection between narratives of vampires and narratives of women—especially queer women—are almost laughably obvious. Even without Carmilla, they would be linked. The hunger for blood, the presence of monthly blood, the influence and effects of the moon, the moon as a feminine celestial body, the moon as a source of madness, the mad woman, the mad lesbian—it goes on and on. It is somewhat surprising to me that we have ever imagined male vampires at all.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 11:39 AM - 26 comments

The Latin Typo That Gave Us the Temple of Ridicule; One Letter Matters

In the 1800s, French abbot-scholar Pierre Danet wrote a "complete dictionary of the Greek and Roman antiquities" that served as the basis for multiple dictionaries in European languages (Wikipedia). It included an entry on Aedicula Ridiculi (Google books; UMich text version), or a Little Temple of Ridicule, raised to the God of Joy and Laughter after the Romans laughed at the failure of Hannibal to lay siege to Rome. The building definitely exists (Google Streetview panorama), except it isn't a Temple of Ridicule. It's probably the tomb of Annia Regilla (Wikipedia), built nearly 400 years after Hannibal's invasion of Italy (Your Guide to Italy). The Latin Typo That Gave Us the Temple of Ridicule (Atlas Obscura)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM - 9 comments

The Radical Egalitarian Politics Of Weird Al’s "UHF"

There are days when I doubt that socialism will win. There are days when I think that running a print magazine on a shoestring budget with a group of oddballs is a doomed endeavor, that we will inevitably be crushed by the forces of rapacious capitalism. But then I think about UHF and I become more certain than ever that it can be done. Channel 8 will be driven off the air, and U-62 will emerge triumphant. Nathan J. Robinson (previously here, here, here, here, and here) of Current Affairs explains why 1989 cult classic UHF shows how collective enterprises succeed and why socialism produces superior culture. [more inside]
posted by duffell at 11:07 AM - 68 comments

Teen vandals' sentence: to read and write about literature

"The community blew up. Understandably. But you know, some of the kids didn't even know what a swastika meant. So I saw a learning opportunity. With children you can either punish or you can rehabilitate and these were kids with no prior record and I thought back to what taught me when I was their age, what opened my eyes to other cultures and religions… and it was reading." Two years later, prosecutor Alejandra Rueda reflects on the "reading disposition" she assigned to teens who painted racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on the Ashburn Colored School, a historically significant building in Virginia (now undergoing restoration and turned into a museum). The linked BBC article includes excerpts from a final essay by one of the teens. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:27 AM - 24 comments

Mapping Gothic France

Mapping Gothic France is a treasure trove of images of various types of Gothic structures (mostly churches) in France and England. There are other features, too. Narratives and historical tracking and comparison tools. It's a deeply textured website with a bit of an opaque interface. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:18 AM - 4 comments

hanging on by a thread

"O.K. Well, my name’s Vivian Zwick, and I’m 101 years old. And I came to this issue quite a long time ago." Did you know about abortion? "No, I’d heard about it, but I really didn’t know much about it. I didn’t start really working for it until about the early ‘60s, just the time that Governor Rockefeller in New York signed the bill to have abortion available to everybody — not in Missouri, but in New York State. So we were just delighted that there was actually a place where you could get an abortion here in America." As a growing number of states are introducing, moving, or enacting 6-week abortion bans, the NY Times Daily Podcast visits the Last Clinic in Missouri (transcript) and explores the Illinois option. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 6:46 AM - 12 comments

(Less Than, Approximately, Greater Than)

Why does Roman Mars' voice make some car stereos lock up and restart? In order to find out, Reply All creates the best lineup of podcasts in the business.
Less Than, Approximately, Greater Than, a cooking show with Samin Nosrat || 88% Parentheticals, hosted by Sara Koenig (it's about her mail (and her day)) || Carrot Space Carrot, a trek into the universe of carrots || 100% Related?, where Judge Goldman Sr. promulgates paternity pedantry || Blank + Blank = FUN, a very frank investigation into relationships with Kalila Holt
[more inside]
posted by rebent at 5:55 AM - 69 comments

April 17

Major report finds NZ's environment is in serious trouble

'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble (Eleanor Ainge Roy, Guardian)
A report on the state of New Zealand’s environment has painted a bleak picture of catastrophic biodiversity loss, polluted waterways and the destructive rise of the dairy industry and urban sprawl.
[more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 9:58 PM - 14 comments

The █████████ Mueller Report

Attorney General William Barr to hold press conference Thursday as Mueller report expected to drop (CNN) Your guide to Mueller's report on Trump: What's in it, what's not and what comes next (NBC); Marcy Wheeler’s primer How to Read the Mueller Report (“The first step is to know what is supposed to be in there and what isn't supposed to be in there -- something a lot of people get wrong.”); Justice Dept. to release two versions of redacted Mueller report (CNN); 25 Subplots to Watch in the Mueller Investigation (Politico); Memo to the Press: How Not to Screw Up on the Mueller Report (Lawfare); Maxing It Out for Trump Josh Marshall (TPM) on how the fix is in. This is the US politics megathread. [more inside]
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 PM - 1112 comments

Now, Tracey, let's not rehash the coroner's report.

Heathers, the classic dark comedy, has turned 30.

AV Club: Heathers' director, writer, and star reflect on its legacy after 30 years
AV Club: How the Heathers team crafted the definitive teen satire
New Yorker: “Heathers” Blew Up the High-School Comedy
Variety: Why Winona Ryder’s Agent Begged Her Not to Do the Subversive Teen Movie
The Independent: Will this kind of movie ever be made again?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 PM - 58 comments

The Truth About Dentistry

"It just adds to the whole idea that you go to a physician feeling bad and you walk out feeling better, but you go to a dentist feeling good and you walk out feeling bad.”
posted by trillian at 6:51 PM - 80 comments

A subjective photographer

Heinz Hajek-Halke - (NSFW) - was an experimental photographer who joined the newly founded German post war Fotoform group.
Picking up where Bauhaus left off.
posted by adamvasco at 6:07 PM - 5 comments

When Panoramas Backtrack

Who doesn't love a good panoramic shot - this phone technology is perfect for capturing gorgeous meadows, hilltops or colorful deserts. Still landscapes can be captured with ease at just a touch of a button and scan with a steady hand - but what happens when you want to photograph an object that has a little bit more trouble sitting still - like your precious pets - well, you end up with a creature that has eight legs, two heads, and six tails! (SLBoredPanda)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:38 PM - 28 comments

studies British big cats alongside mythical creatures

On the trail of Britain’s wild big cats [The Guardian] "Hundreds of big cat sightings have been reported in Britain in the last three years. But is it pumas and panthers running wild – or our imagination?"
posted by readinghippo at 1:18 PM - 20 comments

"without first getting some kind of serious ethical guidance."

Scientists revive pig brains somewhat in the lab. "a surprising amount of cellular function was either preserved or restored." (Caution: does involve some discussion of animal slaughter, not gratuitous)
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 12:35 PM - 51 comments

I just really like this genre

Lucy Lang, former Manhattan prosecutor, reviews 30 courtroom scenes from TV and movies
Alex Honnold, only person to free solo El Capitan, Breaks Down Iconic Rock Climbing Scenes
Dr. Ali Mattu, clinical psychologist, Reviews Mental Illness In Movies
Bear Grylls Reviews Survival Movies
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM - 38 comments

online motherhood: disingenuousness disguised as relatability

Since the first mommy blogs of the early aughts (SL TheCut), online motherhood has come a long way. If you were to take a paleontological approach and classify online motherhood into ages, you might break it down like this: the Confessional Age (2001–2009ish), the Early Sponcon Age (2009–2015ish), the Influencer Age (2015–2018), and now, the Perfectly Imperfect Age....“Perfectly imperfect” claims to reject the trap of perfectionism, and often appears alongside stories about a “journey” to self-acceptance, or a triumph over adversity. It’s often used to describe an overall approach to life: Forget the happy homemaker routine and embrace the chaos and love of your family life as it already is. [more inside]
posted by devrim at 11:32 AM - 53 comments

Looking back at Taiwan's White Terror, 38 years of Martial Law, in games

Taiwan's White Terror (Wikipedia) was a period of martial law lasted for 38 years and 57 days from 19 May 1949 to 15 July 1987, following the February 28 Incident (Wikipedia), also known as the 228 Incident. Fear of discussing the White Terror and the February 28 Incident gradually decreased with the lifting of martial law in 1987, and Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness (Harvard Chinese Film and Culture course handout; trailer and full film on YouTube) was the first movie dealing with the events, released in 1989. Still, this period of Taiwan's history is not broadly discussed. More recently, a mobile game is reopening a closed chapter in Taiwan’s history (Ars Technica, with a broader summary of the White Terror period). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM - 6 comments

“History belongs to everyone.”

Heaven’s Vault review: an archaeology video game actually about archaeology [Polygon] “Diving into a game is akin to learning a new language. In each game, we first learn the basics: how to navigate the map, to attack enemies, to uncover new details in this world. With languages, we start with vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. In both, we slowly master individual components, entwining them to convey complex ideas. Heaven’s Vault, the latest game from Inkle, challenges its players to master a game and a language at the same time. [...] The adventure is meticulous and thoughtful, standing in stark contrast with most games that have put me in an archaeologist’s boots. In Heaven’s Vault, I’m not slaughtering hordes of enemies with a bloody pickax, or sniping at sentries with a makeshift bow. I’m performing the actual job.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:39 AM - 16 comments

Are Prisons Obsolete?

“As prison abolition moves from margin to center, it's important to spotlight those who have theorized and practiced it, like Ruth Wilson Gilmore, so we don't, to paraphrase Beth Richie "win the mainstream and lose the movement." Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (NYT magazine) “Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba wants us to explore some truly radical notions that force us to inspect those instincts towards punishment. Hear her dismantle what she calls the current "criminal punishment system" and instead employ the ideology of restorative justice.” (Chris Hayes’ Why Is This Happening?) “Outspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. ” Jailbreak Of The Imagination (Truth Out) Prisons and Class Warfare: An Interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Verso) “They Are Trying To Kill Us In Here. (The Appeal) “Abolition is both a practical organizing tool and a long-term goal.” (Transform Harm)
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM - 35 comments

Per Wikipedia,"the name roughly translates as 'Joe's Hole' from Italian"

In Bon Appetit, Priya Krishna tells the story of the rise and near-fall of Buca di Beppo, discussing how a Midwesterner with no connection to Italian culture built a restaurant empire based on red sauce served under decor out of the wildest Italian-American sterotypes.
posted by Copronymus at 10:31 AM - 71 comments

Fifteen Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook

In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook. Here's how that turned out. [more inside]
posted by vitout at 9:29 AM - 62 comments

Taxes: A Public Record -- Pro and Con

Everyone's Income Taxes Should Be Public - "Disclosure of tax payments would make it easier to hold politicians accountable. It also would help to reduce fraud and economic inequality." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:24 AM - 60 comments

April 16

Siamese Jets

What's bigger than an American football field and flies? The Stratolaunch. April 13 saw its first flight, a two and half hour shakedown over the Mojave. Previously.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:19 PM - 44 comments

I have sailed around here and your compass will spin erratically...

Long day at the studio, pouring a drink, and we should probably talk about this thing sitting at the bottom of Lake Ontario Thats marked on my navigational chart no one really wants to talk about....who’s in for a discussion about an extra terrestrial impact? (single-link Twitter thread)
posted by JamesBay at 7:41 PM - 44 comments

Transforms Hearing Aids Into Smart Wearables

AI hearing aid translates 27 languages in real-time and also doubles as a hands-free earpiece. The language translation works in conjunction with a smartphone app. If an English speaker wearing the device says something to a Chinese speaker, the Livio AI system would translate the words and display them in Chinese characters on the English speaker’s smartphone screen. If the Chinese speaker said something in return, those words would be directly translated into spoken English in the ears of the hearing aid wearer. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 6:10 PM - 40 comments

"[unable to catch breath] eereeess um pizza"

Twelve years ago, after a mid-game rain delay, a couple of front-row fans grabbed a pop foul, ruining an easy out for fielder Garret Anderson. Unremarkable play, not worth remarking on. But then, 1.62 seconds later, here comes the pizza.
posted by cortex at 3:59 PM - 66 comments


A Common Policy, Anna Aslanyan writing at LRB Blog
La Disparition, a lipogrammatic classic, turns 50 today [29 March 2019]. You probably know who it’s by; if not, you can look it up to find out why I’m unwilling to say who did it. From its first publication on 29 March 1969, this book built a cult following. It’s primarily famous for what’s missing from it, a basic but important thing that forms a part of words you can’t usually do without. Staying strictly within this tight constraint, it says what it wants to say about its protagonist, Anton Voyl, and his vanishing act – a conundrum for his companions – in a grippingly ludic, rigidly formulaic way.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:15 AM - 75 comments

Game of Thrones lied! Obsidian casting is not a thing!

Dragonglass (Game of Thrones wiki), the common name in Westeros for volcanic glass also known as obsidian, was recently forged or cast in Game of Thrones, but don't try that at home. While you can knap obsidian, trying to cast an obsidian sword is a very hot, messy process, and glass blowing and bending a obsidian knife doesn't go much better, if your goal is to make an actual weapon (How To Make Everything YouTube videos x3).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:12 AM - 139 comments

So, two Shoggoths walk into an opticians…

In Cultist Simulator, Death Is Only The Beginning [Kotaku] “The most fun thing to do in Cultist Simulator is die. Cultist Simulator is a new game about running a cult, interpreted as a virtual card-based board game. There are no instructions for what to do, really, so you begin picking up cards, putting them in different slots, and hoping for the best. Sooner or later, you’ll die—usually as a sacrifice. Then the game opens up. You play the game by putting cards in slots and then waiting for them to resolve.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:26 AM - 34 comments

Free reign on global trade is what corporate titans hope for

“Much of the modern economy, pioneered by Walmart, is reliant upon increasingly complex supply chains that push production costs down onto subcontractors, giving them incentive to wring every cent of profit out of workers and protecting large corporations from responsibility. This must end. Companies claim they cannot patrol their supply chains but this is a choice. They do a great job of controlling for cost and quality, yet when it comes to labor standards, they plead ignorance. That is not acceptable. If a Walmart supplier refuses to pay its workers the minimum wage, then Walmart is responsible for that by choosing that contractor. Holding Walmart financially accountable for its supply chains through U.S. courts would alone raise global workplace standards.” The Democrats’ Yawning Silence on Trade (Boston Review)
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM - 11 comments

Mice in Spaaace

In zero G, it helps to have a tail – NASA scientists have now published the first detailed study of how mice behave in the NASA Rodent Hardware System, which has housed almost a dozen experiments on the International Space Station since 2014. They found that the rodents engaged in all the typical mouse behaviors, even in the “weightlessness” of the microgravity environment [video at end of article].
posted by cenoxo at 8:10 AM - 16 comments

"Viewers 'don’t want to hear about science from a woman.'"

The AV Club takes a look at why there are so few science and nature documentaries narrated by women.
posted by sardonyx at 8:07 AM - 49 comments

TELL "\"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."

<SETG SCORE <+ ,SCORE 25>> <SETG MARVIN-COUNTER 4> <MOVE ,MARVIN ,PANTRY> <MOVE ,TOOL-REQUIRED ,MARVIN> <TELL "Marvin fiddles inside the " D ,MECHANISM " with the " D ,TOOL-REQUIRED " for about three-tenths of a second. He limps away. \"And me,\" you hear him mutter ashe goes, \"with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.\"" CR>)
A whole bunch of Infocom's original source code is now available on github. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:26 AM - 77 comments

Face the ball to be the ball to be above the ball

Introducing Speedgate, a sport created (mostly) by AI. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 7:03 AM - 34 comments

eBay Robbery = Bayrob

In which ZDNet puts together a pretty good summary of a Romanian malware gang whose members were found guilty by a US federal court just this last week -- The Bayrob malware gang's rise and fall: The story of how a talented computer science student and his friends created and ran a multi-million dollar botnet. [medium length read, pretty fascinating really]
posted by hippybear at 6:08 AM - 9 comments

On all other nights we eat many kinds of fruits... On this night...

The shape of the jelly, like the shape of the McDonald’s McRib, pays homage to something that it is not - The Secret History of those Passover Jellied Fruit Slices. Still don't appreciate them? Economy Candy says Don't Diss Passover Fruit Slices (audio) [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 5:41 AM - 45 comments

April 15

My god, it's full of STARS!

In astrophotography, the longer your camera's shutter is open, the more light you get. Five amateur astrophotographers challenged themselves to capture a world-record exposure. Result: The 1060-hour Large Magellanic Cloud [more inside]
posted by flug at 9:44 PM - 44 comments

Homestuck: The Epilogues

Ten years after the debut of Homestuck, and 3 years after the end of Homestuck, The Homestuck Epilogues begin - following the core team as jaded young adults making sense of canon, relevance, and the aftermath of their mission. [more inside]
posted by divabat at 7:18 PM - 35 comments

I Wanna Meet Richard Dreyfuss

I wanna see how his bald head shines
How the light reflects on his moustache
Did you ever see Mr Holland's Opus?
God Richard Dreyfuss, he fucking crushed that [more inside]
posted by stinkfoot at 5:34 PM - 11 comments

Paying a lot more and getting a lot less

Today is Tax Day in America. The IRS is intentionally starved for resources, forced to make filing taxes as complicated as possible so a predatory industry can make even higher profits, focuses its audits on poor and black people, and can't recover the billions owed by the very wealthy people who push for its gutting. But if there could be a worst of all in this dismal maelstrom, it is this: American workers effectively pay some of the highest taxes in the world but don't get much in return. [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 3:50 PM - 62 comments

Spira, Spera - Victor Hugo

Notre-Dame de Paris, the French Gothic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has burned in a conflagration unrivalled since at least WWII, started accidentally, perhaps in the renovation work. But "spira, spera" -- breathe, and hope -- there has been no loss of life, only one reported injury, and the shell of the building appears (at this hour) to have been saved. "Cette cathédrale, nous la rebâtirons," declares Emmanuel Macron. ("The Cathedral, we will rebuild it.") [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:37 PM - 278 comments


A tattoo is a decision you have to live with for the rest of your life. But what about after that? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 1:20 PM - 39 comments

The Half Decent Football Magazine

When Saturday Comes is an independent football magazine focused on giving fans a voice. And on the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough, it's worth going back and reading their original editorial on the disaster. [more inside]
posted by kendrak at 11:33 AM - 6 comments

Them's the Frakes

Jonathan Frakes telling you you're wrong for 47 seconds (SLYT, perfection)
posted by duffell at 10:21 AM - 49 comments

City Killers

“The automobile is the paradoxical example of a luxury object that has been devalued by its own spread. But this practical devaluation has not yet been followed by an ideological devaluation. The myth of the pleasure and benefit of the car persists, though if mass transportation were widespread its superiority would be striking. The persistence of this myth is easily explained. The spread of the private car has displaced mass transportation and altered city planning and housing in such a way that it transfers to the car functions which its own spread has made necessary. An ideological (“cultural”) revolution would be needed to break this circle. Obviously this is not to be expected from the ruling class (either right or left).” The social ideology of the motorcar - André Gorez, 1973. (Uneven Earth)
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM - 54 comments

A great sun has set.

Gene Rodman Wolfe, 1931-2019. A titan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and American literature has passed. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 9:39 AM - 116 comments

if it fits your macros....

Counting Your Calories? It Might Not Be The Best Way To Track Nutrition
Death of the Calorie [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:07 AM - 31 comments

But now I didn’t want to avoid them.

I was also in the middle of a divorce, and receiving a barrage of emails from my ex-husband telling me in no uncertain terms how horrible I was. That season, I read the news, the emails, the pieces for my job. I couldn’t escape the constant torrent. A Greek chorus of women across America spoke with a single voice. “Men are bad. Men are trash,” the women said. And yet, all I wanted to do was touch men, taste them—I craved them.
I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone.
posted by griphus at 8:45 AM - 42 comments

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