February 14

Gâteau Gato Zeotrope

It's a cake. It's a cat. It's a zeotrope! See also the making of.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:37 PM - 8 comments

Wait, there's a permanent society for ephemera?

Your daily fall down the rabbit hole: The Ephemera Society of America. As it's been a while since its last mention, let's get caught up on new entries. Mid-century library posters! Victorian fashion alphabet! Medical ephemera! [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:09 PM - 7 comments

The Chickensh*t Club

In an alarming and comprehensive book published last summer, reporter Jesse Eisinger (previously) asks and attempts to answer Why Executives Don't Go To Prison Anymore?
Why Why federal prosecutors often wimp out in going after financial malfeasance? and why let corrupt bankers avoid jail? So why this book?
“I’ve been pretty obsessed with the financial crisis and its aftermath and why there were no prosecutions of top corporate officers from any of the financial institutions in the wake of the crisis,” Eisinger said. “It strains credulity that there wasn’t criminal fraud during the crisis and at the height of the crisis. And its strains the credulity of lawyers and prosecutors who I have talked with. This has become a commonplace observation.” “I don’t think fraud was necessarily at the heart of the financial crisis. But that doesn’t mean the crisis didn’t involve an enormous amount of fraud. I think it did.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:07 PM - 31 comments

People's Socialist Atlas

A History of the United American Socialist Republics is a full, 200-page alt-historical atlas. Also see the author's r/worldbuilding post.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:47 AM - 19 comments


The overall winner of the 2018 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council science photography competition is 'Single Atom In An Ion Trap'. More winners.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:16 AM - 11 comments

In case you need some adorable, funny, sometimes sad stories right now

Over on Twitter, one Christina asks a simple question: What's a childhood anecdote that says a lot about you?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:47 AM - 155 comments

I am watching it burn

Guy decides to make a sphere out of 42,000 matches, then sets it on fire.
posted by jeather at 8:06 AM - 60 comments

The Times Demonstrates Why Vetting Is Fundamental

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Times announced that they had made a new hire for their opinion pages: Quinn Norton, a tech journalist who had written for several notable publications such as The Atlantic and Wired. However, it did not take long for critics to point out a lot of aspects of Norton that made her hiring questionable - her ties to major figures in white supremacy, her casual use of bigoted slurs in her tweets, and overall a number of very questionable positions that had many asking the Times a simple question: how did she pass vetting?

By 10 pm that same day, the Times had announced that Norton had been fired. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:44 AM - 384 comments

"Eight Loving Arms and All Those Suckers."

How Angels in America put Roy Cohn into the definitive story of AIDS: This oral history is lightly adapted from The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America. (SL Vulture).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:39 AM - 5 comments

Move over, reality television.

Video shoots? Old news. In 2018, there are dedicated GIF shoots.
posted by mosst at 6:22 AM - 35 comments

Officially recognized as one of the toughest types of dirt in the nation

"Scientists had speculated such a soil should exist but it had never been seen—until this discovery four years ago." The Wauneta duripan in northern Arizona is now "officially recognized as one of the toughest types of dirt in the nation." But how does the competition stack up? [more inside]
posted by compartment at 6:18 AM - 34 comments

Why New England’s amphipods are turning into the scuttling undead

The drama playing out in a New England estuary has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller: unwitting characters carrying out pleasant lives against a bucolic backdrop of branched waterways and rustling grasses when—suddenly!—they’re overtaken by a potent parasite. They turn pumpkin orange and wander away from shelter in zombie-like confusion. Eventually, they’re gobbled whole by winged monsters. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 4:54 AM - 4 comments

'You b----y f-----g flaming p--s country w----s go and f--k your c--t'

'Merely a Warning that a Noun is Coming:' a review by Bee Wilson at the LRB about Christopher Hilliard's book The Littlehampton Libels ('A Miscarriage of Justice and a Mystery about Words in 1920s England') about a poison-pen case in an English seaside town in the years following the First World War, and more generally about attitudes toward 'foul language' when used by women (via reddit).
posted by misteraitch at 2:51 AM - 21 comments

Towards an Empathic Civilization

The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy - "Where do we go from here? In this feature-length documentary, social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM - 11 comments

February 13


One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do, and 42 is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, but 52 is...well... [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:54 PM - 26 comments

Hey, maybe it's time, maybe it's time to live your life today

Pump the audio through your big speaker system and let DJ Rap give you a strong female [I seem to be posting these a lot right now!] album experience that starts out from dance electronica but ventures far afield through her 1999 (3rd) album Learning Curve: Cassette Side A: Bad Girl, Good To Be Alive, Fuck With Your Head, Bad Behavior[OMG THE PRESENTATION IN THIS BUT IT'S THE ONLY VERSION OF THIS SONG I FOUND I AM SO SORRY NSFW], Everyday Girl [missing], You Get Around [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:24 PM - 9 comments

Early Jazz in Europe; Old Foik ; Hot R&B

We'll start with the Harlem Hellfighters band at the end of WW I helping Europe celebrate. Then we've got an article about the Harlem Hellfighters Regiment, serving in WW I Europe and the hero's welcome they got in New York City from whites and blacks: Harlem Hellfighters. Then the awesome musician Elizabeth Cotton: Folk Singer, who almost faded into obscurity. And finally, a great photo of Wilson Pickett onstage with Jimi Hendrix playing backup: Pickett & Hendrix
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:06 PM - 3 comments

Vile Valentines

Aloha, mutants! It’s that time of year once again when couples are forced to spend lots of money on each other while the single folk get to laugh manically whilst eating alone in their dark, empty studio apartments. (More of a laugh-cry, really.) In either case, Valentine’s Day is clearly a holiday for losers. To help make the day a little more bearable, I’ve whipped up some free valentines [here and here] for you to share, email, print out, burn, and curse.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:05 PM - 6 comments

Breaking a 650-Year-Old Glass Ceiling with a Slim Black Rod

Sarah Clarke, the first Lady Usher of the Black Rod, today was given by Queen Elizabeth II her ceremonial black rod. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:01 PM - 27 comments

Romantical-type music from Dickie Valentine

Almost 70 years ago, UK teen heart throb Dickie Valentine was made, from the chap born with the name Richard Maxwell. Dickie was named the Top UK Male Vocalist in 1952 while singing with the Ted Heath Orchestra, the greatest post-war British big band, and again after going solo in 1954, the same year that his first wedding drew throngs of fans. Valentine had two hits on the charts in 1955: The Finger of Suspicion in January, then Christmas Alphabet in December, when it unseated (and was then replaced by) an early rock'n'roll single, Rock Around the Clock, which gives you a hint at why Valentine faded from popularity. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 PM - 2 comments

You think Google is a freedom fighter? Or Twitter?

Digital is killing democracy. Renegade Inc. interviews political scientist André Krouwel about his contrarian views on how technology is hindering rather than helping democracies. [more inside]
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:16 PM - 25 comments

If You're Not Watching, You'll Soon Be Part of the Blockchain

In the course of its 23 years of operation, the website Salon sought to bolster its earnings through a variety of means, including the acquisition of THE WELL in 1999 along with the unveiling of a "premium" version of its main site for paying subscribers. In further pursuit of revenue Salon has now announced it will warn users of ad-blocking software to either enable banner ads on its site, or partition part of their computers for "Salon to use your unused computing power" to mine cryptocurrency. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:38 PM - 113 comments

Montani Semper Liberi!

"A West Virginia resident and House of Delegates candidate was physically removed from a public hearing at the West Virginia House of Delegates shortly after she began reading a list of donations made to delegates by the energy industry, during discussion of a bill aimed at easing restrictions on gas and oil-related drilling on private land." She has posted the remarks she had prepared but did not get to finish on her website. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 3:36 PM - 8 comments

Punk is that which gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil

Logan Paul: A Brief Meditation. "They made a kind of monster machine, with every possible lever thrown towards a caustic narcissism, and then they pretend to be fucking surprised when an unbroken stream of monsters emerge."
posted by Sebmojo at 2:54 PM - 69 comments

One Minute Art History

"Filmmaker and educator Cao Shu captures the history of art in an experimental short film that lasts for less than one minute. Throughout the film, the central character goes through the small motions of everyday movements like checking the time and having a drink, with each frame rendered in a different art historical style."
posted by josher71 at 12:56 PM - 10 comments

...turning knobs and hitting buttons. Not on a controller, on a screen.

Damn, I Really Like Pressing Buttons In Video Games [Waypoint] “UI games, when done well, are really great at immersion. So, the term “UI Game” isn’t exactly a real, precise thing, so, let me explain: I’m talking about a class of game where your primary means of interaction with the worlds is through an in-game UI. Like pressing buttons or hitting switches on the onscreen HUD, as if going through two layers of obstruction between you and the “physical” world of the game. Think of desktop simulators: like Cibele or Her Story, where all of the action is happening on the other side of the screen, but in this context, in a more sci-fi or mechanical setting. It's as if you are seeing this universe through a ship’s cockpit, or a viewscreen, or a helmet,”
posted by Fizz at 12:31 PM - 43 comments

$$$ ... $$ ... $ ... ?

Donald Trump wants to raise the gas tax, previously unthinkable from a Republican, to increase the Highway Trust Fund which is chronically underfunded. As cars and truck become more efficient, what's the best way to fund road maintenance, repair and construction? Make Every Road A Toll Road [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:47 AM - 121 comments

The Action Is Go

Fuzzy, overdriven, bass heavy, driving kick drums and bluesy riffs - 90s stoner rock bands are back, baby!
Fu Manchu - Clone of the Universe
Corrosion of Conformity (w/ Pepper Keenan!) - No Cross No Crown
Monster Magnet - Mindfucker, out March 23
Fireball Ministry (w/Scott Reeder of Kyuss!) - The Answer [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 11:41 AM - 18 comments


Never try to eat a bombardier beetle. Because if the little shit feels threatened is will squirt boiling chemicals from its asshole right in your mouth to make you kindly vomit it back up you beetle eating weirdo.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:08 AM - 33 comments

Neighborhood submits official needs & priorities plan as a comic book

Each of St. Paul's 17 districts is required to submit a "Small Area Plan" about once every 10 years to communicate what their needs and priorities are in regards to housing, transportation, arts, education and land use. These are typically dry, jargon-laden affairs, but the Frogtown Neighborhood Association wanted to do something to get the attention of city leaders and bring more neighborhood residents into conversations about urban development. [more inside]
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:03 AM - 6 comments

and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt

Prehistoric wine discovered in inaccessible caves forces a rethink of ancient Sicilian culture. Exploration of intolerably hot and humid caves in Monte Kronio in Sicily revealed several Copper Age storage jars containing organic residue. In one, the residue indicated the presence of pure grape wine from 5,000 years ago, the oldest wine found in the Europe and the Mediterranean. The author speculates that ancient Sicilians may have traded wine with people of the Aegean to obtain metals.
posted by exogenous at 11:01 AM - 4 comments


An Oral History of The Wire’s Unforgettable 5-Minute ‘Fuck’ Scene
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM - 65 comments

Windows of San Francisco

"Looking out the window is an underrated activity. Each one is like a never-ending movie about a small, specific place in the world. You never know what kind of characters you’ll see, or what kind of plots will unfold. I tried to capture this feeling with Windows of San Francisco, which features views from 100 different windows around the city. San Francisco is a magical place, enjoy the journey." Windows of San Francisco, made by Jon Murray, Matthew Pullen, Andrew Pullen & Pete Blaszkiewicz
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:55 AM - 20 comments

Earthquake-Proof Climbable Bookshelf!

You had me at earthquake proof, climbable floor to ceiling bookcase.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:29 AM - 28 comments

Maybe there's a use for this annoyingly endearing creature

The Furby Organ by Look Ma No Computer
posted by gwint at 8:06 AM - 28 comments

From the Kentish Town post office murder to haunted Tulse Hill Station

Grim London - An interactive map of the historical dark side of the Old Smoke.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:09 AM - 10 comments


The Twitter account of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is kinda strange.
posted by alby at 6:01 AM - 16 comments

You created Salt Bae, and now you have to eat his nasty food

Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, known as Salt Bae for a 2017 viral video which featured him slicing and salting a tomahawk steak in a somewhat unconventional manner, has a spendy new location in midtown Manhattan. Some early diners have not been impressed, but Salt Bae dgaf; he's sprinkled salt for Simone Biles and David Beckham and posed with Diddy. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy at 5:56 AM - 53 comments

Is it future or is it past?

"Twin Peaks: The Return, or What Isn't Cinema?" - a four-part essay by Nick Pinkerton at Reverse Shot: 1: Where You Find It, 2: Myth Makers, 3: The Art/The Artist, 4: Life Lessons.
posted by sapagan at 5:48 AM - 12 comments

"After you." "Oh no, I insist..."

The latest from Boston Dynamics: Hey Buddy, Can You Give Me a Hand? [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:20 AM - 61 comments

♪ ♫ “This means nothing to me...” ♬♪

It was too slow, too long and there was a violin solo - the antithesis of a commercial single.” Vienna (alternate, lyrics, extended version), by Ultravox and their replacement lead singer Midge Ure/Father Benny Cake, was created in 1980 and released the following year, being kept from #1 in the UK by Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face. Inspired by the Walker Brothers, eternally popular and admired by Gary Numan, Ultravox performed it at Live Aid, the song becoming the title track (nearly didn't) of their Kraftwerkesque 4th album. The video - “We invented the music video clichés - cropping the top and bottom to make it look like CinemaScope...” - was allegedly based on Carol Reed’s 1949 film “The Third Man” but was filmed mostly in London. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 4:36 AM - 34 comments

Come for the culture shock, stay for the attention to detail

A long and ongoing thread of (mostly design and UX-related) observations from Japan, by design observer Marcin Wichary (previously: 1, 2, 3).
posted by acb at 3:59 AM - 22 comments

February 12

Leaning into the life of a dog

"Designing toys is definitely silly and crazy, but we also have a very serious, almost scientific approach to it. Designing dog toys hasn’t really been a category that industrial designers have been trying to break into. It’s been a boring category and we’re aggressively trying to change that."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:05 PM - 23 comments

You've gotta find your way before it's too late

Dionne Farris went from working with Arrested Development [Tennessee] to doing a 1994 solo album which had a pretty big hit with lead-off song I Know [video].. It's a shame the rest of the album didn't garner much attention because Wild Seed-Wild Flower is brilliant: Side A: I Know, Reality, Stop To Think, Passion, Food For Thought, Now Or Later [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM - 11 comments

"Shite and onions!"

Ulysses: Good or Bad? "This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of James Joyce’s Ulysses." [SL LitHub] [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:54 PM - 83 comments

Biohackers Revolt as CEO Locks Himself In Lab

First, inject yourself with a diy herpes treatment. Then go off the rails.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:51 PM - 43 comments

What The Hell Is Gabberdisco?

An hour long mix of hard beats and pop songs? Yes please! Cheese quotient is a little lower than might be expected. Pickle quotient is a little higher.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:32 PM - 1 comment

Create, Love, and #Resist

Evan Tyor and Luke McGinnis are roommates who share a 500 sq. ft. apartment in Brooklyn. Each month a bevy of musicians and vocalists cram into their home for the Apartment Sessions. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean at 6:01 PM - 5 comments

"It took me years to get back in the bath."

Decades ago, a kid didn't listen to his mother, and kept making that face. Today, he's just trying to get through life. Cautionary Tales (Vimeo, approx. 8 min.) (via)
posted by Countess Elena at 4:59 PM - 20 comments

gliding around on his hardwood living-room floor in our socks

The Bittersweet Beauty of Adam Rippon
posted by minsies at 3:41 PM - 11 comments

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