May 17

the Republicanization of Brooklyn

While Cuomo reportedly is doing all he can to field a candidate to challenge [Simcha] Felder in the September primary election, the Orthodox legislator has little reason to feel much pressure. He is backed by a constituency that is growing both in size and self-confidence, say political observers [...] Attacks by the governor or anyone else on Felder will serve only to alienate those voters further from the Democratic Party, they say. The days when Jews, especially the Orthodox, automatically voted Democrat are over.
An Orthodox politician stands in the way of Andrew Cuomo’s national ambitions
posted by griphus at 8:14 AM - 33 comments

The 9.9 Percent

The Birth of a New American Aristocracy
In America today, the single best predictor of whether an individual will get married, stay married, pursue advanced education, live in a good neighborhood, have an extensive social network, and experience good health is the performance of his or her parents on those same metrics.
posted by MythMaker at 7:56 AM - 88 comments

vin extraordinaire

Has wine gone bad? ‘Natural wine’ advocates say everything about the modern industry is ethically, ecologically and aesthetically wrong – and have triggered the biggest split in the wine world for a generation
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:37 AM - 44 comments

The Waning Crescent

“Despite being brought up as an atheist, I was always very aware of my family history as well as the history of Lipka Tatars. Following many discussions about rising nationalism and Islamophobia, I realised just how very few people are aware of the Muslim community peacefully settled in the heart of Europe for over 600 years. Knowing that Podlasie region is the only place within today’s Polish borders where Tatars not only lived for generations, but are still present today I decided to execute the project there. This was my first visit to the region,” says Korycki, who shot his project The Waning Crescent during the summer of 2017.
posted by kmt at 5:20 AM - 4 comments

You may actually encounter other actual human beings

What? Why? Physical World Presale? NIN decides that their upcoming tour will use only actual physical tickets, no online ordering (except in special cases). "Everything about the process sucks and everyone loses except the reseller. We’ve decided to try something different that will also likely suck, but in a different way. We’re hoping many of you will be happy with the results, while some may do what they always do and bitch about it." [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:27 AM - 105 comments

May 16

"If I go to bed before the hunger hits then half a bagel is enough"

Everyone I’ve ever talked to who has been poor and is not anymore has the same story of the moment they realized they weren’t poor anymore: grocery shopping.

Writer Erynn Brook laid out the difference between being poor and being broke in a Twitter thread and received a lot of confirmatory responses.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:54 PM - 90 comments

A sad voice. A sad chord. Drums and hi-hats. Maybe some beeps.

Planet Lonely is a thirty-five track “album” of melancholic house music released for free by DJ Healer on his Soundcloud, following his two recent albums and another DJ mix.
(DJ Healer’s various other aliases have included Prime Minister of Doom, Traumprinz, DJ Metatron, and Prince of Denmark.) Previously
posted by Going To Maine at 9:32 PM - 7 comments

A Friend In Need

The Chrysler Museum Of Art has announced a new series of acquisitions to showcase one of the most reproduced and yet least known American artists of the last century. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM - 3 comments

Famous People Dancing: Is It Different?

Random famous people caught in snapshots dancing in sundry places.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:43 PM - 22 comments

“Now Fizzing”.

Fizz enthusiasts, unite! A secret seltzer society for the digital age. [The Guardian] “It’s a closed Facebook group that’s been around since 21 November 2014, and it’s composed of more than 3,100 members from around the world. Within the group, its members offer and ask for tips on where to find sought-after flavors and brands (the Polar seltzer’s seasonal flavors are always a huge hit – right now, everyone is on the hunt for its Blood Orange Lemonade, Starfruit Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade Seltzer’ade flavors), share selfies and videos of themselves trying new kinds of seltzer for the first time (called “seltzies” and “fizzeos”, respectively), and discuss other aspects of their lives through the lens of the drink that has brought them all together.”
posted by Fizz at 8:04 PM - 73 comments

Green gilled shark vomits fizgig arm

Shark Arm murder 1935 - The tale of a tattooed boxer, cocaine smuggling, cab rides, a speedboat chase, murders and sharks. [more inside]
posted by unliteral at 7:50 PM - 4 comments

The Church of Ambient Music

Ambient Church is “an NYC-based nomadic experiential event series dedicated to working with artists to bring new ecologies to architecturally unique spaces through audio visual performance.” [more inside]
posted by velvet winter at 6:04 PM - 11 comments

UIs that accidentally preserve memories

Marcin Wichary reminisces about UIs that accidentally amass memories, beginning with "the wi-fi 'preferred networks' pane – unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés." Examples in the ensuing twitter thread (Threadreader) include, Bluetooth pairings, weather app saved locations, Vimeo's profile photo gallery, old Mii avatars, email drafts folder, ~/.ssh/known_hosts file, and User 1's ichat logs. via
posted by not_the_water at 1:10 PM - 66 comments

Bringing ancient manuscripts in the Vatican's Archives to (digital) life

Archivio Segreto Vaticanum, or the Vatican Secret Archives contain 85 km (~53 mi) of shelving, but is limited to physical access only... for now. But digitizing alone isn't enough - even with an index, how can you search this volume of material? Digitized text would be ideal, but automated digital transcription through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) only works with typed text because of a need for consistent shapes and clear spaces between characters. Add artificial intelligence and now you might have something. In Codice Ratio is the research project that is trying to recognize character segmentation, which is fed into a convolutional neural network to recognize characters and language models to compose word transcriptions.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM - 5 comments

What if Javascript Wins?

What this suggests is that JavaScript may be reaching escape velocity as a network, and as an ecosystem of related technologies. To be clear, there’s no winner-takes-all here — domain-specific languages will always have their uniquely valuable areas of focus. But for general-purpose coding? Everything from spreadsheet macros to Internet of Things hardware seems to default to having JavaScript be one of the primary ways to make things programmable.
[more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 12:52 PM - 98 comments

MH370 is still missing, with no final answers

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, shortly after leaving Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing. The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the official search in January 2017 with no answers. How could a modern aircraft tracked by radar and satellites simply disappear? Because, say a group of experts, the pilot wanted it to. The theory posited on “60 Minutes” has something in common with previous ones about the fate of MH370: They're all guesswork. “It's all assumption and supposition and opinion. They have no corroborated facts to back any of it up, and we have never had anything corroborated.” (SL Washington Post) [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:13 AM - 55 comments

“It’s kind of scary, but it’s amazing"

With auto loan delinquency rates now higher than during the 2008 financial crisis, many Americans may soon be facing a new, higher tech repo man. (wapo link, may need to open in incognito mode)
posted by selfnoise at 8:41 AM - 89 comments

He gets to and I have to!

Two hidden pages have been found in Anne Frank's diary. Covered with gummed brown paper to hide her risqué writing from her family, the pages contain dirty jokes and musings on sex.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:58 AM - 39 comments

A full English every morning

Mary and the Witch’s Flower director Hiromasa Yonebayashi on why Japanese directors go wild for Britain’s cuisine, climate, chintz – and unionised miners [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:34 AM - 20 comments

"Then they just go back to being inanimate objects..."

Stems is a beautiful and slightly melancholy stop-motion animation by Ainslie Henderson, created using music by Poppy Ackroyd.
posted by Stark at 4:53 AM - 14 comments

"it is about vengeance of biblical proportions"

Lingua Ignota, named after the mystical language of Hildegard of Bingen, is a musical project of interdisciplinary artist Kristin Hayter. In it she channels her traumatic experiences into industrial dirges inspired by liturgical chants. "Part of the reason I use tropes of extreme music is because that was my abuser's world, that was his music." [more inside]
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:15 AM - 13 comments

Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society

A brief(ish) review of 'Radical Markets' - "The most radical thing about their proposal to reform property rights is the notion that private ownership of property is in some way a fundamentally flawed idea, and that progress requires movement toward a new norm: that social ownership of property is more just and efficient." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:33 AM - 16 comments

May 15

The official research on who would or would not fuck a robot is small.

The easy fantasy of what a sex robot might be — indistinguishable from an actual human, except hotter and prepared to fulfill any desire — is far from the current reality. Henry, if we’re being cruel, is essentially a high-quality dildo attached to a fancy mannequin with a Bluetooth speaker in his head. But the gulf between what we imagine and what’s possible makes sex robots the perfect vehicle for pondering our sexual and technological future. We might not wake up with sex robots in our beds tomorrow, but right now they’re an irresistible thought experiment. Since making my date with Henry, he’s become my favorite dinner-party topic. Would you fuck a robot? I’ve asked countless friends, as we all gather round a phone and flip through photos and videos of Henry like he’s someone’s latest Tinder match. (Weak conversational skills, but always DTF … maybe yes?)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:58 PM - 118 comments

Undiscovered continent

A Silver Thread: Islam in Eastern Europe A long article by Jacob Mikanowski in the Los Angeles Review of Books about Islam in Eastern Europe through folklore and history. [more inside]
posted by tavegyl at 9:22 PM - 5 comments


The past, present and future of The Binding of Isaac [Polygon] “Originally designed in Flash, The Binding of Isaac has since been updated and released on around a dozen platforms, with millions of copies sold. The basic premise: A boy named Isaac is locked in the basement of his home by his mother. There, he must survive an unending wave of horrors that are probably just representations of his own psychosis. The core gameplay, though, is fairly traditional. Really it’s just a shooter with original Zelda DNA mixed in. [...] Almost all of the reviews listed are from people who have played for more than 100 hours. When The Binding of Isaac grabs you, it does so without mercy.” [YouTube][Trailer][Interview w/Edmund McMillen] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:59 PM - 54 comments

Spend time with friends / spend time on art / leave the nights for me.

Blackout poetry. [more inside]
posted by queen anne's remorse at 6:01 PM - 7 comments

POW Olympics WWII

Woldenburg POW camp managed to hold an olympics, mostly for officers.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:56 PM - 4 comments

A lost child, saved in an inconceivable way

Time and again, the bear they had sworn would rip us limb from limb was begrudgingly allowed a place at the table, and behold, it used a fork and a spoon. The natural laws we have believed in and taught our children have sometimes been found to be not natural laws at all, but rather fearsome constructs of our own making, undermined by the evidence. And among those mistakes there is this: All of the promises of politicians, generals, madmen, and crusaders that war can create peace have yet to be borne out.
Small Wonder: a timeless essay on fear, war and hope, by Barbara Kingsolver.
posted by Rumple at 5:00 PM - 8 comments

Kato Kaelin No Longer Worst Houseguest Ever

For the past few years, Julian Assange has been a guest of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, after former president Rafael Correa offered him political asylum. That said, little was known about the lengths that Ecuador would go to in order to protect Assange, or how he repaid that.

Until now.

The Guardian and Focus Ecuador have released details on Operation Hotel, the operation by Ecuadorian Intelligence to support Assange and monitor him. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:58 PM - 92 comments

One Brain to record them all

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno turns 70 today. Rolling Stone has a nifty tribute, as does Pitchfork, but I've used my copy of Oblique Strategies to put this together. Don't blame me, blame 15 year old me. [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 2:20 PM - 30 comments

The Fault in Our Ears

@CloeCouture: What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel [Twitter link]

Please just help us out here. Listen to the clip below and tell us if you hear the word “Yanny” (not a word) or “Laurel.”
Depending on a number of factors — including the sound settings on your computer, and maybe more crucially, your age — you might hear one or the other.

posted by Atom Eyes at 1:17 PM - 266 comments

Black Klansman, again but different

BlacKkKlansman (trailer; Wikipedia): A Spike Lee joint. From producer Jordan Peele. Based on some fo’ real, fo’ real sh*t. (2014 Vice interview with Ron Stallworth, the first black cop in Colorado Springs, who infiltrated the local Klan organization) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:01 PM - 19 comments

The dumbest publishing platform on the web.
- About
posted by cjorgensen at 11:49 AM - 46 comments

“We do want to write on it, though.”

David Letterman Just Can’t Figure Out Why He Never Had Women Writers. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:11 AM - 52 comments

Money and the murky boundary of teaching and sex

Every few years an essay appears that treats the question of sexual harassment in the academy as an occasion to muse on the murky boundaries of teaching and sex. While a staple of the genre is the self-serving apologia for an older male harasser, the authors are not always old or male. And though some defend sex between students and professors, many do not. These latter writers have something finer, more Greek, in mind. They seek not a congress of bodies but a union of souls. Eros is their muse, knowledge their desire.... I call this genre The Erotic Professor.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:24 AM - 37 comments

Once asked to describe his get-up, Mr. Wolfe replied, “Neo-pretentious.

Tom Wolfe, the white-suited wizard of “New Journalism” who exuberantly chronicled American culture from the Merry Pranksters through the space race before turning his satiric wit to such novels as “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “A Man in Full,” has died. He was 88. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:25 AM - 95 comments


As the Brexit phony war rumbles on with deadlines getting ever nearer, it's time to ask the big question... namely is it racist / prejudice to call angry, red-faced, middle-aged, right-wing, white men, 'gammons'?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:15 AM - 127 comments

May 14


15,000 and more years ago, North America had lions, cheetahs, camels, mammoths, giant sloths[previously], short-faced bears, giant beavers and sabretooth salmon. Barring enormous advances in cloning technology, none[previously] of those magnificent beasts will walk the earth again.
But we can replicate the effects they had on the ecosystem, with Pleistocene Rewilding! [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:46 PM - 30 comments

HAL's voice sounds unsettling because it's Canadian

HAL 9000, the seemingly omniscient computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, was the film’s most expressive and emotional figure, and made a lasting impression on our collective imagination. This is the story of the creation of HAL’s performance — the result of a last-minute collaboration between the idiosyncratic director Stanley Kubrick and the veteran Canadian actor Douglas Rain. (NYT)
posted by misterbee at 9:44 PM - 28 comments

the most wary, the most secretive, the least conspicuous

Nadia Drake on jaguarness: "In an instant, I registered that, yes, the bathroom trail we had cut through the Peruvian jungle was indeed occupied by a member of the largest cat species in the Americas. She was so close that if she launched herself at one of us, it would be game over in seconds... Powerful predators that kill by puncturing skulls with their tremendous bite, jaguars reign over both ecosystems and mythologies. Everyone hopes to see one of the spotted cats when they visit this part of Peru, and on several earlier occasions, I’d been lucky enough to glimpse the cats along the riverbank. But this was the first time I’d been jaguar’d out of the damn bathroom."
posted by ChuraChura at 7:35 PM - 27 comments

LuL haHAA CmonBruh

A guide to understanding Twitch emotes [Polygon] “To understand every moment of Twitch — every pitfall, every win, every ridiculous play — is to understand the emotes, those instantaneous reactions in the right sidebar. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of emotes being sent over Twitch chat every second, and to someone who’s just ventured in to check out a stream, it can be a little daunting. [...] To get you up to speed, we’ve compiled a list of popular emotes below, with the intention of adding more if any rise in popularity, and updating the explanations if the emotes change in meaning.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:26 PM - 29 comments

"The Steve Jobs 'hero/sh*thead' roller coaster was real"

John Carmack shares his memories of Steve Jobs. John Carmack co-founded id Software and was the lead programmer of several video games you've probably played even if you're not a gamer (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, and more). Shortly after Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1996, he invited Carmack for conversations about supporting games on the Mac. And thus a roller coaster relationship was born. [more inside]
posted by zooropa at 7:01 PM - 73 comments

Once it's recorded, then it's over.

R.I.P. Glenn Branca. Avant garde composer, guitar player, No Wave godfather, designer of experimental instruments, dead at the age of 69. [more inside]
posted by curiousgene at 3:35 PM - 36 comments

The Singing Unicorn

King of Mask Singer (미스터리 음악쇼 복면가왕) is a South Korean singing competition tv show that began in 2015. Contestants are given elaborate masks (made by designer Hwang Jae-geun) to wear that conceal their identities and personal aspects, like their ages, which could lead to prejudiced voting. Last night, a special guest dressed in a sparkly unicorn mask and matching cape sang "Tomorrow" from Annie. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM - 16 comments

You've got me ... who's got you?

Margot Kidder has died at age 69. Best known for portraying Lois Lane in the original Superman movies, she was also known for her breakdown in 1996 and struggle with bipolar. NYT obit. Celebrities react to her death. Pics through the years. Variety obit.
posted by Melismata at 12:04 PM - 77 comments

Put your money where your Malthus

Wizards, following Borlaug’s model, unveil technological fixes [to global population increase]; Prophets, looking to Vogt, decry the consequences of our heedlessness.
Charles Mann with a long read on whether Earth can support 10 billion people.
posted by Rumple at 11:50 AM - 51 comments

"They asked me to be a guinea pig, and I’ve been donating ever since"

On Friday, Harrison made his final trip to the blood donation center. At age 81, he had already passed the age limit allowed for donors, and the blood service had decided Harrison should stop donating to protect his health, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. For six decades, ‘the man with the golden arm’ donated blood — and saved 2.4 million babies. (non-paywalled link here)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:27 AM - 40 comments

The U.S. Deep Poverty Problem/Why the Great Society Worked

...The Oxford economist Robert Allen recently estimated needs-based absolute poverty lines for rich countries that are designed to match more accurately the $1.90 line for poor countries, and $4 a day is around the middle of his estimates. When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India. Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million), about the same as in Senegal (5.3 million) and only one-third less than in Angola (7.4 million). Pakistan (12.7 million) has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.
The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:08 AM - 49 comments

You always knew you'd be the one

The Imagine Dragons theme for the 2014 LoL champs kind of kicked ass imo.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:44 AM - 6 comments

Not a sequel to Ocean's Eleven

Ocean's Monopoly: How Nations Use Science to Conquer the Sea—“A look into the complex world of ocean bed ownership and how nations are vying for their own piece of the puzzle.” A 48m documentary in English from Al Jazeera and Werwiewas Media Productions. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 6:57 AM - 5 comments

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