August 11

Poetry, physicality, card game? Japanese competitive karuta

Nintendo is well-known for starting out (in 1889) as a playing card company, but did you know that they first printed cards for a fiercely competitive, lightning-fast game that is little known outside Japan? [more inside]
posted by wnissen at 8:52 AM - 19 comments


So we been opening cans the wrong way our whole lives?
posted by griphus at 8:48 AM - 72 comments

My face is the real shop front

SOPHIE (wiki, official, previously) recently dropped her first full length album, OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES -- full album stream. Reviews: Pitchfork, The Line of Best Fit, exclaim. Interviews: Vice I-D, PAPER. Official videos: Faceshopping, It's Okay To Cry, Ponyboy. (some links may be nsfw) Enjoy.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:46 AM - 2 comments

August 10

You're not going crazy, Arthur, you're going sane in a crazy world!

In 1986, 18-year-old cartoonist Ben Edlund created The Tick as a mock-hero mascot for a newsletter for New England Comics, where he was a customer. A few pages of The Tick were included in the New England Comics Newsletter in '86, and two years later, NEC published the first of the black-and-white comic book series, featuring wacky superheroes and bizarre super villains. From there, The Tick and his compatriots has been in a three-season cartoon series on Fox Kids, a live-action series on Fox in 2001, and again as live-action in an Amazon exclusive production. One of the many things that makes The Tick’s situation unique is that Edlund has been centrally involved with every version since the ’80s, including the most recent live-action series. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 PM - 62 comments

"They keep their kitten-songs for us"

WHAT CATS KNOW ABOUT HUMANS: A THREAD A short Twitter thread that may resonate if you live with a cat.
posted by Lexica at 8:49 PM - 47 comments

The Nastiest Feud in Science

A Princeton geologist has endured decades of ridicule for arguing that the fifth extinction was caused not by an asteroid but by a series of colossal volcanic eruptions.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:24 PM - 42 comments

On supply chains and the modularity and morality of black boxes

"Supply chains are highly modular by design. Think of the shipping container. It wasn’t revolutionary because it was a box; it was revolutionary because it was a standardized, interchangeable box that could be locked in and transported. It makes globalization possible—it makes global scale possible—because of what it obscures...It sometimes seems as though there’s a psychological way in which we’ve absorbed the lessons of modularity—although the world is more connected than ever, we seem to have trouble imagining and articulating how we’re linked to the other denizens of global manufacturing networks." Logic: See No Evil, by Miriam Posner (via kottke).
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:33 PM - 11 comments

“Watching this show is like observing someone commit a crime,”

Netflix’s Insatiable Is an Utter Disaster [Vulture] “Well, I’ve seen all twelve — twelve, I tell you, twelve! — episodes of Insatiable, and it turns out the show is not as bad as you imagined. It’s actually worse. Like, worse in ways that you can’t even anticipate. Insatiable is an equal-opportunity train wreck. It doesn’t merely traffic in stereotypes about fat people; it does the same thing with regard to the LGBTQ community, Southerners, women, Christians, conservatives, African-Americans, and probably some other groups I’ve neglected to mention. It makes jokes about pedophilia and statutory rape that made my skin crawl so severely, it physically slid off of my body, got in my car, and drove straight to the beach so it could take a vacation from this show.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 5:49 PM - 55 comments

"It’s like keeping wine in a cellar instead of on the kitchen counter."

[…] the mavens of under-fashion still mostly align along the original poles: boxers versus briefs; feral versus domestic; low-rider comfort versus high-ball style. In recent years, that divide has gained an existential edge, with various studies suggesting that wearing tight-fitting underwear may be bad for the underwearer. Semen worsens in quality when exposed to higher-than-normal temperatures for too long. Could tighty-whities be a threat to humankind? This week, a team of researchers at Harvard published the largest and most definitive study of the subject to date, and the findings are compelling. “Men who wore non-boxers”—that is, briefs and their confining kin—“have significantly lower concentrations of sperm and lower sperm counts. […] It’s a numbers issue.”
(Alan Burdick, New Yorker)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:22 PM - 42 comments

A Training Tool of All Animals

Ido Portal is a "movement teacher" who works with professional athletes, most notably MMA star Connor MacGregor. His new fitness fad offers a new kind of athletic training that purports to combine "the most potent" aspects of all fitness disciplines, including martial arts, gymnastics, and dance.
posted by chrchr at 1:25 PM - 22 comments

Consider the hagfish.

If you (a centaur) or a centaur you know are having a heart attack, don't fret: Drs. Wu, Lang and friends are on the case.
posted by Shepherd at 12:17 PM - 32 comments

We need to talk about your TPS reports.

"Bullshit jobs are ones where the person doing them secretly believes that if the job (or even sometimes the entire industry) were to disappear, it would make no difference [to society] — or perhaps, as in the case of say telemarketers, lobbyists, or many corporate law firms, the world would be a better place." Imagining a World With No Bullshit Jobs
posted by AFABulous at 11:53 AM - 101 comments

German police save man from baby squirrel terror

Officers in the south-western city of Karlsruhe responded to the call for help and arrived to see the creature still terrorising the caller.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 10:23 AM - 57 comments

"Our story has never been present."

Native Americans push schools to include their story in California history classes [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:29 AM - 16 comments

Data For Progress

The New Progressive Agenda Project gives policymakers and advocates reliable congressional district and state-level polling data that would normally be out of reach for even the best-funded campaign. In the coming weeks, we’ll be periodically releasing new data on progressive proposals that are message-tested and ready to be introduced in the 116th Congress. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand makes the case for family leave - Senator Tammy Baldwin makes the case for employee governance (also known as worker co-determination) - Senator Cory Booker makes the case for a federal investment in fair housing - State Senate candidate Zellnor Myrie looks at public housing from a state perspective - State Senator Kevin de León makes the case for free college - Political scientist David Faris makes the case for DC, Puerto Rico and territory statehood. Polling The Left Agenda: numbers show support for broad leftist policy among rural, urban, and suburban voters.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM - 6 comments

Do You Know Where Your Sand Comes From?

It may be from little Spruce Pine, North Carolina. There's lots of mineral wealth in the southern Appalachians, and the best and purest quartz sand is found in a tiny town in Mitchell County NC. Without it, you don't get your fancy phones and the like.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:39 AM - 9 comments

"This is the adventure of the United Ship Enterprise..."

On this day in 1966, William Shatner recorded the opening narration to Star Trek. You know it best by its opening words, "Space ... the final frontier." But it didn't start out that way. [more inside]
posted by zooropa at 7:38 AM - 42 comments

The Story We Don’t Talk About: On Irishness, Immigration, and Race

Maeve Higgins writes on Irishness, immigration, and race: Being white in America is so potent, so seductive, it can blind a person without them knowing it. Being white can make a whole community forget who they are and where they came from. The year Frederick Douglass visited Ireland was the year the country began its terrible spiral into a famine that ultimately killed a million people. There had been food shortages before, and the extent of the disaster was not yet clear, but he writes in a letter of the horror of leaving his house and being confronted with the sight of hungry children begging on the street. It’s painful to look through that lens at the present and see so many powerful Irish-Americans, like Paul Ryan, whose great-great-grandfather survived the famine and fled to America in 1851, doing everything they can to stop today’s refugees from entering the very country that gave their family sanctuary when they most needed it. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 7:34 AM - 35 comments

People use basic income to improve their quality of life

Universal basic income hasn't made me rich. But my life is more enriching: "The Finnish basic income trial, of which I am part, finishes at the end of the year. Having been interviewed by nearly 70 separate media outlets, from the BBC to Le Figaro, the question I have been asked most often has been: how has the basic income trial changed my life? My answer is simple. In money terms, my life has not changed at all. However, the psychological effects of this human experiment have been transformative. I vastly prefer basic income to a benefits system fraught with complicated forms, mandatory courses and pointless obligations... it gives you security to chase other opportunities. It pushes you to seek fulfilling work – and isn't that what unemployment benefits should do?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:38 AM - 36 comments

What Do 90-Somethings Regret Most?

I interviewed the oldest people I know. Their responses contradict popular research about aging and happiness [slMedium]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:16 AM - 41 comments

You can't spell "fart" without spelling "art"

Japanese fart scrolls. In European medieval marginalia you get a lot of dick jokes, as well as weird sex and people sticking things up bums but farts are a bit less common. Of course fart jokes exist, because monks and scribes are only human and farts are hilarious (don't ask me why so many people are fighting snails though). [more inside]
posted by auntie-matter at 4:14 AM - 17 comments

Her Life, Her Body, Her Heritage

As Beyonce takes over Vogue Magazine, she has some stuff to say. Beyoncé In Her Own Words. (SL Vogue)
posted by hippybear at 4:13 AM - 7 comments

Calgary jumps on the custom manhole chuckwagon

Calgary becomes the latest city to add artfully designed manhole covers to their sewage system. Three artists have been selected to depict the various part of the water treatment system. [more inside]
posted by arcticseal at 2:55 AM - 7 comments

August 9

Why Adults Can't Develop Perfect Pitch

Why Adults Can't Develop Perfect Pitch, Or How to teach your infants to learn perfect pitch. (slyt)
posted by tresbizzare at 9:59 PM - 49 comments

How to revive electrocuted monkey, as demonstrated by fellow monkey

Resusci Anne would likely take issue with his technique, but it's hard to argue with success (slyt, annoying background music). An expert at National Geographic weighs in on the question regarding whether or not the rescuer knows that shaking the rescuee and dropping it in puddled water can reanimate it. Answer: It's difficult to say.
posted by she's not there at 8:50 PM - 7 comments

Shark Mystery

Where Have South Africa’s Great Whites Gone? "The world’s most famous sharks are the great whites off Cape Town, featured in the popular “Air Jaws” series. But now these sharks have mostly gone missing, and some experts blame a fishery for depleting the smaller sharks that the great whites feed on."
posted by brundlefly at 5:15 PM - 12 comments

“You wouldn't download a car!”

What Does Nintendo's Shutdown Of ROM-Sharing Sites Mean For Video Game Preservation? [Nintendo Life] “The recent news that Nintendo is taking legal action against two sites which illegally distributed ROMs has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response, and rightly so. The individuals sharing these files online care little for the intellectual property rights of the developers who slave away to make the games we get hours of enjoyment out of, and instead leverage the growing interest in retro gaming purely to plaster their sites with garish advertisements for mail-order girlfriends and other dubious businesses. Nintendo – a company traditionally very protective of its IP – has struck a blow which will hopefully have long-term ramifications for the entire industry.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:38 PM - 68 comments

Long to hang over us

A rule in Australia's parliamentary rulebook states that constituents may request a portrait of the Queen from their federal MP, which they are entitled to receive free of charge. (The rule also includes portraits of the royal consort, Prince Phillip, as well as flags, recordings of the National Anthem and other “nationhood materials”.) This rule, which dates back to 1990, is unique to Australia: citizens in the UK may request portraits of the Queen but have to pay for them. Since the hitherto obscure rule was publicised in a story in VICE Magazine a few days ago, Australians have been exercising their rights, inundating their MPs with requests for monarchic merch, though not everyone is happy with this. [more inside]
posted by acb at 3:27 PM - 33 comments

Handy says "ready a book!"

If you want to be like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, adopt their voracious reading habits (Quartz) -- it's a story line that comes back every few years. "From Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates, all of the most successful leaders are avid readers" -- Why You Should Read 50 Books This Year (And How To Do It) (Fast Company). Is that target too low? How to read 100 books a year (Observer). But if a specific number of books is a daunting target, instead focus on the fact that It's Never Too Late to Be a Reader Again (Wired). Still looking for inspiration to grab a book? There's a video for that! Make that many videos! Behold BookTube! (Wikipedia) Here's A Beginner’s Guide to BookTube (Bookriot), and Meet the YouTube Stars Turning Viewers Into Readers (NYT).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:36 PM - 59 comments

“The Black Panther Memorial Award"

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced they will be adding a new award category for "popular film.". Critical reaction is not mixed: The Oscars' New 'Popular Film' Award Is An Awful Idea [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:24 PM - 79 comments

Whatcha lookin' at?

Animals interrupting wildlife photographers
posted by gwint at 1:57 PM - 20 comments

"My God. It's a megalodon."

Inside the 20 year journey of The Meg, from a novel pretty much explicitly designed to be the basis of a movie to a movie starring Jasom Statham with a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Previously. Science and stuff.
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM - 102 comments

Thunderbolts and Lightning

Is Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” Actually About Coming Out? An excerpt from My Life as a Goddess by Guy Branum, of Pop Rocket and Talk Show: The Game Show fame.
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:41 AM - 42 comments

A beautiful studio full of instruments is like a playground

Stop me if you've heard this one: seven Dave Grohls walk into a studio... and record a 23-minute instrumental track. Be sure to watch the lead-in mini-documentary featuring kids talking about their experiences learning an instrument, then check out the charts, multi-track audio (and video), and a list of organizations supporting and providing music education.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:13 AM - 24 comments

The Vegetable Fight of the Century

Point: Salad is overrated (Tamar Haspel, Washington Post). Counterpoint: Iceberg lettuce is superior (Helen Rosner, New Yorker). [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 11:06 AM - 76 comments

Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games

One day, Lacy conducted an experiment... [more inside]
posted by haemanu at 10:32 AM - 25 comments

The Waiting Room

First Nations people don’t believe in crossing the border, but the imaginary boundaries we’re forced to move between can create very real divides. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:16 AM - 30 comments

No plea bargains in Germany because of non-adversarial trial system

Keeping Trials Honest by keeping them short and sensible America has a legal system which makes trials so long and expensive that plea bargaining and the conviction of innocent people is inevitable. Germany does it better. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:14 AM - 30 comments

Branding Fascism on PJs and Lunchboxes

Pop Culture Critic Extraordinaire Lindsay Ellis (many previouslies) takes on the new Star Wars films with the question: What is the Ideology of the First Order?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:43 AM - 32 comments

Right-Wing Marchers Have Declared Portland Enemy Territory

Why Portland? And will it ever stop? "Last weekend, 400 people, mostly men, met in a parking lot along the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash., girded for battle. They carried helmets and shields. They wore full suits of futuristic combat armor, Boba Fett helmets and homemade Pepe the Frog costumes. They clambered onto private school buses and drove into enemy territory: Portland. Within hours, the streets of the Rose City were filled with strange sights that have recently become common in Portland: neon chemical smoke, men in costumes throwing punches, and riot cops charging into battle." [more inside]
posted by A. Davey at 7:17 AM - 82 comments

garnet tunnels

Something Digs Intricate Tunnels in Garnets. Is It Alive? "Furthermore, the tunnels branch and connect with each other in a very unusual pattern, looking a bit like the structures made by some kinds of single-celled fungus colonies. "
posted by dhruva at 5:53 AM - 21 comments

Feisty, frigid and frumpy

25 words we only use to describe women (
posted by Caduceus at 5:45 AM - 62 comments

Five Telegrams

The most recent episode of BBC World Service's series In The Studio [iPlayer link, 27m] (half-hour profiles of artists of various flavors) featured Anna Meredith and Richard Slaney who created a musical and visual performance piece for the BBC Proms for the centenary of the First World War. It's worth a listen (details under the fold) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:10 AM - 3 comments

August 8

Kiddo, the first cat to attempt crossing the Atlantic Ocean by air

"On October 15, 1910, Kiddo the cat became the first of his kind to attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean by airship—and he wasn’t very happy about it." [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:36 PM - 21 comments

Don't be evil

"The last thing you want is to get blindsided by a future YOU helped create. The Ethical OS is here to help you see more clearly." [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 4:15 PM - 47 comments

One hundred years ago the tide finally turned

The Allies started the final offensive on the Western Front. On August 8, 1918 began what history would call the Hundred Days Offensive; it would end WWI's terrible Western Front before the year was out. In front of Amiens a Canadian, Australian, British, American, and French attack used tanks and air power to drive deeply into German lines, winning surprise, causing panic, and capturing many prisoners. Shortly afterward the German command realized the war was over. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 2:34 PM - 23 comments

If you’re here to help others, be patient and welcoming.

Stack Overflow, and by extension Stack Exchange, has released its new Code of Conduct, guiding user behavior. It looks like it has potential to make the site better and more welcoming for the many who need programming help.
posted by Quackles at 2:32 PM - 23 comments

We have the technology. We can make make ourselves better, stronger ...

You may have seen those metal fitness ... things in your local park, found around the world from Brisbane to New York City, but how do you use them? San Antonio Parks has tutorial videos on YouTube and Fit Trail provides (smallish) illustrations for 20 stations, including some that don't require installed features. And if you're not sure which to use, Shape has the best and worst of fitness playground equipment. Don't have any of that gear? Benches and tire swings can be used. Find a sturdy beam and you're on your way to doing 25 pull ups. Or skip the gear and get started towards 100 push ups, 150 dips, 200 squats, 200 lunges and 200 sit-ups. Or mix it up and check out Darebee's workout routines and challenges.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:06 PM - 16 comments

"totally un-European"

How Europe Learnt to Swim [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:02 PM - 17 comments

Es Hoy

Abortion is banned in Argentina except for cases of rape or risk to a woman’s health. That could change today if the country’s Senate votes to legalize abortion up to 14 weeks. A bill passed the country's lower house of Congress nearly two months ago by a slim margin. "Senators will now decide whether to send the bill on to President Mauricio Macri — who, despite his personal misgivings, has said he would sign it into law." This would make Argentina the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion. Hundreds of thousands of pro-choice activists (wearing green) and anti-choice activists (wearing sky blue) are now protesting in the capitol, Buenos Aires. Many are young women. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:26 PM - 11 comments

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