December 9

Art, awareness and the refugee crisis

"Irregulars" - a symbolic documentary about a refugee's journey, by Fabio Palmieri and Cyrille Kabore. "Human Flow" (trailer) - a film about current refugee migration, by Ai Weiwei. "Amadou Sumaila (portrait)" - from Passengers, a series by photographer César Dezfuli. "Molti" - an installation, by artist Antonio Biasiucci. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 8:56 AM - 1 comment

Patriotic trolling

What Happens When the Government Uses Facebook as a Weapon? In Bloomberg News Lauren Etter dives deeply into how trolls, targeted abuse, fake news, fake accounts, and Facebook help strengthen Philippine president Duterte and go after his enemies. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:55 AM - 3 comments

"Their Spirits Were Trapped In Those Masks"

At the end of the Southern Plains or "Red River" wars in 1875, the U.S. War Department shipped seventy-two Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Caddo Nations prisoners of war held without formal charges or trial from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. In 1878, the Smithsonian commissioned “life masks” — faces molded from clay — to be made of the Fort Marion prisoners. An American war trophy, the masks would become part of the United States' nationalistic propaganda effort to "depict indigenous peoples as vanishing, as nearly 'extinct,' and thus worthy of museum dioramas, not political rights." The masks are now stored in the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology's collection at Harvard University. But to whom do they really belong? [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:11 AM - 7 comments

Cat memes from 1911

Kittens and Cats; a Book of Tales by Eulalie Osgood Grover.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:45 AM - 7 comments

The Chimney Map

The chimney map is one of only three known copies of a 17th century map of world produced by the Dutch engraver Gerald Valck, which was found stuffed up a chimney in Aberdeen and saved by the National Library of Scotland. The story of its finding, conservation and unravelling has been told across three short films, as well as in the library's magazine (pdf, pages 15-18).
posted by rory at 4:55 AM - 10 comments

Silent Night, Bloody Night

Every Christmas Horror Movie, Ranked. [more inside]
posted by sapagan at 1:27 AM - 28 comments

Jurassic Bunk

“It’s either really a new dinosaur, which would be awesome, or it’s been tampered with and I really hope that’s not the case" Ed Yong on the case of the bogus bones (SL The Atlantic). [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:24 AM - 7 comments

December 8

Do I know you? Facebook seems to think so. But how?

"Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections." [SL Gizmodo] [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 9:43 PM - 61 comments

Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

The Columbia Journalism Review did an analysis of election 2016 election coverage and found "the various Clinton-related email scandals—her use of a private email server while secretary of state, as well as the DNC and John Podesta hacks—accounted for more sentences than all of Trump’s scandals combined (65,000 vs. 40,000) and more than twice as many as were devoted to all of her policy positions." Meanwhile"the breathlessly repeated numbers on fake news are not as large as they have been made to seem when compared to the volume of information to which online users are exposed." [more inside]
posted by mrmurbles at 9:37 PM - 35 comments

Protest music, past and present, from Pitchfork

The Year in Protest Music 2017 -- A list of 20 urgent tracks that spoke truth to power this year. Pitchfork has had a few other lists of protest songs in the past few years: We Shall Overcomb: Music as Protest at the Women’s March (Jan. 25, 2017) and 15 Ways to Protest Trump by Buying New Music (Jan. 20, 2017), and earlier with Protest Soul: Music for Healing a Broken World (Dec. 14, 2016), Sounds of Black Protest Then and Now (Sept. 15, 2016), and The Sounds of Black Lives Matter (Oct. 17, 2016). Handy song links listed below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM - 6 comments

It's A Beautiful Day

Truly delicious psychedelic rock from 1969: It's A Beautiful Day. [full album] Side A: White Bird, Hot Summer Day, Wasted Union Blues, Girl With No Eyes [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM - 30 comments

Mary H-G: Inventor of Visual Instruments / Pianist

The "light organ" and "light piano" are the instruments. As I understand it, in the early 1900s Mary Hallock-Greenewalt devised a method of creating light instead of sound when playing these instruments. "Nourathar" is her name for this visual music (the name honoring her Beirut heritage). Here is another photo of the organ, (an earlier version) early organ showing the non-linear rheostat she invented and patented (and which General Electric and other companies stole and used, but she sued them and won). [more inside]
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:34 PM - 5 comments

Behold: the Leidenfrost Maze

Making water run uphill.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:53 PM - 14 comments

Anime Eyes

The first trailer for Battle Angel Alita (US version) is here
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM - 219 comments

600 hrs -> Norwegian; 1200 hrs --> Zulu; 2200 hrs --> Japanese

How long does it take an English speaker to learn a foreign language? The map shows the number of weeks required for European languages. Scroll down to see the global results (from the Foreign Service Institute).
posted by storybored at 11:59 AM - 93 comments

“And the riot be the rhyme of the unheard”

RIOT - Civil Unrest [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] “In 2013, Riot - Civil Unrest was announced by developer Merge Games and went on to have a successful Indiegogo campaign. Four years later the game has finally arrived on Steam Early Access. Riot is a real-time riot simulator that puts you in control of either a large group of rioters or the police. As the rioters, you attempt to hold a position or reach a specified destination. As the police, it’s your job to hold back or disperse the crowd. Riot was an interesting idea back in 2013, and it now holds even more weight with 2018 on the horizon. Set in real world political conflicts like The Arab Spring, the game establishes the context for each riot prior to jumping in. However, it doesn’t do much beyond telling you what happened or what strides have been made as a result.” [via: Kotaku] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:22 AM - 7 comments

Cry Ho Ho Ho, and Let Slip the Hornéd Deer of War

Twitter's #WarOnChristmas is different this year: Sam Sykes has created an avalanche of atrocities. Peppermint-tinged, sleighbell-ringing atrocities.
SamSykesSwears: I have but one request this Christmas, guys. Take the #WarOnChristmas hashtag and fill it with accounts of the horrors of battling elves across snowy fields and firing anti-aircraft missiles at sleds streaking overhead.
[more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:58 AM - 64 comments

Willis Tower: sold at $1,050 million, assessed at $580 million.

How the Cook County Assessor Failed Taxpayers: Joseph Berrios’ error-ridden commercial and industrial assessments punish property owners, benefit lawyers. (slProPublica)

"In 2014, for instance, a building on Oak Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood sold for $14.9 million. The next year, the assessor’s office valued the building at $3.6 million — less than a quarter of the sales price. A year after that, in 2016, the building sold for even more: $23 million.

Eight miles west, a small industrial shop in the working-class Belmont Central neighborhood sold for $110,000 in 2015. The assessor’s estimate that year was $207,140, nearly double the sale price."
posted by crazy with stars at 10:45 AM - 20 comments

Tuned Up in the Spirit

Tuned Up in the Spirit: Lined out hymnody with the Old Regular Baptists "the oldest English-language religious-music oral tradition in North America, a tradition with roots stretching back to parish churches in England in the early 1600s and perhaps further still. Some people find it a strange sound. One researcher who went hunting for descriptions of lined-out singing from turn-of-the-century travelers in Appalachia told me that a few words kept popping up: mournful, wailing, confusion."
posted by OmieWise at 10:41 AM - 9 comments

"This began as a way to annoy friends whenever this song played"

Beyond thrilled 2 share my holiday single "All I Want For Christmas Is You But Just The Alto 2 Part From When My High School Chorus Sang It" [Twitter]

Writer/performer Natalie Walker draws on memories of high school choir to sing her own highly-specialized version of the Mariah Carey hit "All I Want for Christmas is You". [YouTube version] [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:35 AM - 38 comments

I care about you as a person./Especially, your values.

Want to take over a city?

You’re in luck.

I’ve built a couple of hyper-local membership models.

I’ve even managed seven city memberships at one time.

Number of members?

Over 5,000 people. [...]

LinkedIn power users are gaming the social network with elongated self-help posts that look like poems. We're calling them broetry. [SLBF]
posted by not_the_water at 9:28 AM - 23 comments

The Perfect Crime Was When They Took My Money

"Perfect Crime" is the longest-running play in New York, and its star, Catherine Russell, is in the Guinness Book of World records for playing the same lead part since its premiere in 1987. And by many, many accounts, it's awful. [more inside]
posted by knownassociate at 9:18 AM - 21 comments

Anyone for sirkkaleipä?

A "Gold rush" for cricket snack startups as Finland legalises edible insects. At the beginning of November, Finland's food safety authority allowed the sale of insects as food. Entocube is a Finnish company that builds insect farms out of shipping containers, and established Finnish food giant Fazer has already begun selling bread made from cricket flour (sirkkaleipä). Insects as a food source previously here and here. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:52 AM - 34 comments

Hawaiian treasure preserved in Massachusetts

Interested in historical curiosities from Hawaii, but prefer New England's climate? You're in luck! The American Antiquarian Society, located in Worcester, Mass., is "a hotbed of Hawaiiana," with archives housing and preserving an extensive collection of early Hawaiian engravings, newspapers, "laws, brochures, broadsheets, hymnals, almanacs, cookbooks, primers and spelling books." The Honolulu Civil Beat brings us the story behind the collection. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:51 AM - 6 comments

Celebrate the Fragile Beauty of Endangered Coral Reef Ecosystems

Artist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison creates large scale ceramic installations and sculptures inspired by science and marine biology. Her intricate hand-crafted porcelain works celebrate the fragile beauty of endangered coral reef ecosystems and promote awareness to conserve and protect our natural world. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 6:51 AM - 5 comments

Happiness for Headline Hacks

Slovenian Spies Stage Secret Strike.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:45 AM - 12 comments

Dance Square Dance Revolution

PUT YOUR TIN FOIL HATS ON, we are about to go on a VERY wild ride.

I haven't been this excited since I first found out about the incredibly strange world of quicksand porn.
Let Robyn Pennacchia tell you about the conspiracy to make square dancing the national dance of the US and how it originated as part of an even madder ploy by Henry Ford to destroy Black, Jewish jazz with folk music. Quicksand porn briefly discussed here.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:50 AM - 99 comments

The pipes are calling

Irish uileann pipes have been recognised as an important and unique cultural heritage symbol by UNESCO. But not many people know that there is a long tradition of uilleann pipe playing among Irish Travellers. [more inside]
posted by night_train at 5:32 AM - 11 comments

I’m drawing in the sand a line

The woke Slim Shady – understanding Eminem in the age of Trump (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:28 AM - 30 comments

"…he will be our friend for always and always and always."

Russian photographer Andy Seliverstoff loves dogs and the kids who love them. His recent series, Little Kids and their Big Dogs, showcases both. (Instagram | 500px | Facebook)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:48 AM - 6 comments

Mataku - Māori Tales of the Unexplained

Mataku is basically the Māori X Files, and it’s a national embarrassment that this show isn’t every part as much cultural canon as The Lord of the Rings or Outrageous Fortune.
[more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:37 AM - 6 comments

December 7

it's anti-fascist, not anti-fashion

The New York Times Style section has latched onto the most recent of trendiest trends, and present a guide to anarchist fashion: What To Wear To Smash The State, Rick Paulas [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:48 PM - 37 comments

Noshing in Asia

Take your husband and child across China and Mongolia in a small RV (one of six available to rent). Really fun article on what it's like to encounter Mongolians when traveling in your RV. They're friendly people and invite the travelers into their yurts to sample their traditional foods. Next is an introduction to the foods of Georgia 10 Georgian Dishes And now I'm hungry.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:37 PM - 8 comments

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth

Shalon Irving's story shows how it happens: The researcher working to eradicate disparities in health access and outcomes had become a symbol of one of the most troublesome health disparities facing black women in the U.S. today: disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality. The main federal agency seeking to understand why so many American women — especially black women — die, or nearly die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth had lost one of its own. From Nina Martin, NPR
posted by Dashy at 6:06 PM - 38 comments

Childhood Innocence

"The magical moment seeing our wee boy Archie's face on Christmas Day." (SLYT)
posted by WCityMike at 2:54 PM - 17 comments

You know what they put on French fries on Vulcan instead of ketchup?

Following the news that Quentin Tarantino is developing a new Star Trek movie for J.J. Abrams, it is being reported that both Abrams and Paramount have agreed to Tarantino's condition that the movie be rated R. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 2:38 PM - 149 comments

Anyone who was watching that night was shrieking, I promise.

I Think About This a Lot: When Kimberly Shaw Ripped Off Her Wig on Melrose Place. It would not occur to me until years later that Kimberly’s revenge plot was a more sane reaction to her circumstances than I’d given her credit for. Watching today, Kimberly’s anger feels righteous and well earned.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:21 PM - 14 comments

It's an Ultraviolet Kind of Day

Pantone has named its color for 2018: Ultraviolet. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:08 PM - 38 comments

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.”

Flickr's Top 25 Photos of 2017. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM - 30 comments

Nancy gets hit one time and the world shits. For me it was all the time.

The new movie I, Tonya offers the complete story of Tonya Harding, a woman who was "a punchline, her name alone providing a bitter shorthand for scandal." According to Vogue: "The result is a dark (more like pitch-black) comedy that makes you feel uneasy about laughing, a mockumentary that casts doubt on the mechanisms by which documentaries—or journalism more generally—purport to enshrine the truth, a demented, doomed love story that’s mostly about abuse." The Roger Ebert web site: 3-1/2 stars.
posted by Melismata at 1:39 PM - 65 comments

Patreon to shift payment processing fees from creators to patrons

Patreon has sent an email to patrons today stating that, "Starting December 18th, we will apply a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 that patrons will pay for each individual pledge. This service fee helps keep Patreon up and running." [FAQ] Vice: It will now cost patrons around $1.38 to give a creator $1 per month, instead of $1, which some creators believe could lead serial backers—those who support a lot of projects but at a very low monthly fee—to pull support. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 1:37 PM - 127 comments

“Bleak But Gorgeous, Like Light Through Ice”

Prize-winning author-critic William Gass dead at 93 [AP] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 12:21 PM - 15 comments

Solidarity Not Charity

What Is Mutual Aid and how does it differ from charity or Not-For-Profit? The Mutual Aid Toolbox.
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM - 23 comments

Letters From WWII found in a storage locker

Four siblings wrote hundreds of letters to each other during World War II. The story they tell of service, sacrifice and trauma was hidden away in an abandoned storage unit — until now.
posted by COD at 8:40 AM - 6 comments

I, for one, etc., etc.

Given only the rules and four hours to practice, the algorithm AlphaZero (by Google and DeepMind) proceeded to defeat the reigning engines in chess, shogi, and Go. [more inside]
posted by starman at 7:06 AM - 93 comments

Cult 2.0 is upon us

Sedona, AZ has been infiltrated by a polyamorous tech bro cult leader with a massive following. His devotees are everywhere. They believe he can control the weather with his mind. He talks about aliens & government conspiracies, sleeps with and verbally abuses students and believes he is an awakened God not responsible for his actions. He loves expensive scotch and has a sweet spot for cigars, but not Cubans. I spent one month embedded in his group under the alias “Shakti Hunter.” This is my report.

Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro
posted by timshel at 5:59 AM - 146 comments

Something broke, is breaking still

The use of sexual frustration and weaponized misogyny in the radicalization of young men is consistent across ideologies, and the entitlement that underlies it is not exclusive to fascist movements. - The Consent of the (Un)governed, Laurie Penny on #metoo, neoliberalism, the alt-right and the breaking point the world finds itself at today.
posted by Artw at 5:35 AM - 141 comments

Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry. [more inside]
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:32 AM - 68 comments

Have you, in fact, got any cheese here at all?

In an extraordinary moment in a week full of them, it became clear yesterday that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis has been bluffing on Brexit, and that the 58 (or 57, or 50-60) impact assessments he has alluded to for months, and which were requested by Parliament six weeks ago, do not, in fact, exist. [more inside]
posted by rory at 2:54 AM - 149 comments

If you go down in the woods today

Out Came the Girls - Adolescent Girlhood, the Occult, and the Slender Man Phenomenon (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 AM - 23 comments

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