December 7

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 - 150 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

December 6

There is No Depression in New Zealand

There is No Depression in New Zealand (03’12) (1981) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:51 PM - 6 comments

Chariots Of Fire

Vangelis, 1981 [YT playlist] Side A: Chariots Of Fire; Five Circles; Abraham's Theme; Eric's Theme; 100 Metres [which on the album runs directly into] Jerusalem. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:56 PM - 15 comments

the hominid

Don’t write off Sasquatch. Let’s research him
Bigfoot Anatomy - "Sasquatch is just a legend, right? According to the evidence, maybe not, argues Jeffrey Meldrum--a position he holds despite ostracism from his fellow anthropologists and university colleagues" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:16 PM - 58 comments

La plus grande bête qu’on ait jamais vue

In late-1820s Paris, women wore their hair in towering horn shapes, people pasted giraffe-themed wallpapers on their homes, fabric was manufactured in spotted patterns, and one of the most popular colors was “giraffe yellow.” Everything was “la mode à la girafe.” The cause of this frenzy for the African mammal was the arrival of a dainty young creature from Sudan: the first giraffe in France.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:26 PM - 8 comments

It really is a plastic model of a severed tongue

Just as Facebook’s algorithm rewarded shocking, useless news in the past year, it’s doing the same to Wish, an app now known for selling what its CEO calls ‘plastic tongue things.’ Over the past few months, Wish ads have dominated Facebook by hawking bizarre items like hamster leashes, giant human-sized balls of yarn, toenail extenders, mysterious car goo, and a myriad of other strange things for extremely low prices. But to those businesses who rely on Facebook ad inventory, Wish ads are no laughing matter: Facebook’s Algorithm Hijacked This $8 Billion Company to Sell Cat Blindfolds
posted by not_the_water at 9:18 PM - 36 comments

“It gave you information about controls, but it did more than that,”

A Eulogy for the Video Game Manual [Cultured Vultures] “There is something quite cold and sterile about video game packaging today. Sure, the artwork is occasionally nice and cases are becoming smaller, sleeker – easier to store on the shelfs. But there is just something a bit off about them. They are merely methods of storing the disc or cartridge, which sounds an odd thing to criticise, given that is their primary function, though it seems justified. I think most would agree that the removal of the instruction booklet is one thing that is missed most.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:44 PM - 46 comments

America's Radical Asian Activists

Well-written article about the role Asian activists have played, both in defense of their group and in explanation of it. Stereotypes abound: hard-working, educated, etc. versus conformist, weird. The newspaper "Gidra" played a very visible role for the activists, starting in the 1960s. I've pulled the link to the Densho Archives that preserves the issues. Gidra archives
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:38 PM - 6 comments

Farmer suicide crisis in the US

Suicide rates for agricultural workers in some states five times that of general population; similar trends found worldwide. (SL Guardian)
posted by stillmoving at 6:16 PM - 27 comments

Sir Toby Toblerone, purest cat of the internet

Sir Toby Toblerone the cat [Facebook page] cannot walk at all. He was adopted by a British couple who makes sure he has a happy and adventurous life. Toby is often seen around town bundled up (complete with bobbly tam o'shanter), eagerly watching for trains and construction equipment. He likes trainspotting, chicken slices, and "booby cuddles," and dislikes "soggy moggy days." Sometimes his dad sings him songs about trains [Facebook video].
posted by dayintoday at 5:04 PM - 17 comments

The Sounds Of Silents

Can you hear this silent gif bouncing? Try some of the others at /r/noisygifs.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:48 PM - 43 comments


The Cambridge News, a small local paper thought they had a big, lurid headline splashed over their latest issue about "sex lair" schools. Instead, what they got was the printing instructions for the headline, in 100 point font as specified. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:29 PM - 26 comments

Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions

A soothing six minutes of traffic flow simulations using traffic mods for the game Cities: Skyline. (slyt)
posted by bondcliff at 12:42 PM - 51 comments

One man's quest against debt collectors and resellers

When the scammers started to hound Therrien, he hounded them right back.
posted by boo_radley at 12:40 PM - 45 comments

Streaming NOW: 50 Hours of Electronic Music

Always On is a 50-hour Youtube livestream of electronic music and beats featuring female, nonbinary, and transgender performers from 17 countries, sponsored by Moogfest. The NYTimes has more on Moogfest in May, the livestream, and celebrating these amazing artists. (Stream started at 12PM EST, so should run until 2 PM EST on Dec. 8.)
posted by kristi at 12:13 PM - 7 comments

DEVO, Eno, Bowie, Holger Czukay

Mark Mothersbaugh says he's found tapes of (most of) DEVO jamming with Brian Eno, David Bowie, and Holger Czukay. The news dropped at a Bowie-focused even Mark spoke at in New York City. Daniel Maurer was there and has the details. Holger Czukay, bassist for Can, recounted his experience of the session in a short essay on his website. In addition, Mark also claims to have found the 24 track tape and Brian Eno's production notes for Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, which include additional tracks with Eno's synth, and additional vocals by David Bowie. No word on any potential release yet.
posted by SansPoint at 12:10 PM - 23 comments

On Reading and Books

On Reading and Books
Nineteenth-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer digs deeply into reading, writing, and publishing from his idiosyncratic perspective in this essay from his book Parerga and Paralipomena. (Alternate link)
posted by springo at 11:38 AM - 9 comments

Today is the One hundredth Anniversary

The Halifax Explosion. Previously. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has some good links. Another previously.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:39 AM - 18 comments

FPPs Full of Women

Who wants to learn about some rad women from history? I do! Here are some sources to get your daily dose of women across the ages, in whatever format your eyes, ears or brain prefers. If no other, give The History Chicks a whirl, but there are lots more ways to learn the stories of women who have made an impact. [more inside]
posted by Liesl at 9:44 AM - 6 comments

The best restauraunt in London

Eggs a la Peds? no problem! How to get to #1 on Tripadvisor while actually not serving actual food.
posted by pjern at 8:19 AM - 99 comments

Mailsploit: now is the time for increased email dilligence (and fakes)

‘Mailsploit’ Lets Hackers Forge Perfect Email Spoofs (Andy Greenberg for Wired) -- as summarized on the Mailsploit website
TL;DR: Mailsploit is a collection of bugs in email clients (over 30 applications) that allow effective sender spoofing and code injection attacks. The spoofing is not detected by Mail Transfer Agents (MTA) aka email servers, therefore circumventing spoofing protection mechanisms such as DMARC (DKIM/SPF) or spam filters... In addition to the spoofing vulnerability, some of the tested applications also proved to be vulnerable to XSS and code injection attacks.
[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM - 29 comments

People who live in glass villages...something something

Finland has long been home to a vibrant glass industry and renowned glass artistry. To take one example, there are the glass birds of Oiva Toikka. Watch a three-part interview about his art here : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The Nuutajärvi glass village was established in 1793, and remains a centre of Finnish glass artwork and production today. The glass company Iittala was founded in 1881 and is known for - among other work - Alvar Aalto 's designs. Aalto was also an architect of some note. You can watch the creation of an Aalto vase here. Iittala also holds a biennial international glassblowing competition, the Iittala Cup. Watch as glassblowing gets competitive, below the fold... [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:23 AM - 8 comments

"When you go under 4mph it'll explode!"

'Welcome to Milk Float Corner, to the best of my knowledge the only site on the web dedicated to "our friends electric" - the humble milk float. Designed for reliability, durability, and quietness of operation, milk floats are also pollution-free as they glide around during the early hours...' [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 5:55 AM - 36 comments

"The Silence Breakers" are TIME's 2017 Person of the Year

The Silence Breakers. "The people who have broken their silence on sexual assault and harassment span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. Their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results. For their influence on 2017, they are TIME’s Person of the Year." [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:24 AM - 72 comments

Lightning in a bottle

Transient is a short film by Dustin Farrell, with an arresting mix of dramatic weather timelapses and super-slow-motion lightning strikes. (via Colossal)
posted by Stark at 3:03 AM - 4 comments

Sunday Night, after Ed Sullivan and competing with Bonanza

50 years ago, the hot new TV show was "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour". Many of the people involved (Tom, Dick, the producers, writers Rob Reiner, Steve Martin, Mason 'Classical Gas' Williams, Bob Einstein before Super Dave, and a host of others) have contributed to an 'oral history' of the show, most famous for being cancelled after 3 seasons for being "too controversial". [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:35 AM - 24 comments

December 5

Please do not bite the books

‘Please do not bite the books’ and other comical library rules. (Martin Lewis, Te Papa Blog) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert at 11:17 PM - 23 comments

Guilty Giraffe & Desmond And The Tutus

It's time once again for the AV Club's Year In Band Names. [previously, previously]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:23 PM - 21 comments

"Kelsey Grammer’s voice sounds like a reassuring pat on the head,"

How ‘Frasier’ Found a Second Life on Streaming [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:48 PM - 70 comments

a true piece of art is a window into the transcendent

Dissect is a musical podcast "created by Cole Cuchna, "one person, working in his spare time, in a garage in Sacramento." It is also a moving and illuminating deep look into the music and genius of Kanye West, via a deep dive into his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Even if - Especially if you are a music fan who has found Kanye to be insufferable and unpleasant, it is worth your attention, because there is a good chance that the experience will be relevatory, and you might find yourself encountering some surprising moments of grace (at 26:20). [more inside]
posted by beisny at 7:53 PM - 7 comments

“...often undervalued, the paper bag will keep doing its job.”

The Secret Feminist History of Brown Paper Bags [Eater] “Few things are as useful as the paper bag. In the United States, people use (and reuse) 10 billion of them every year. Who among us has gotten through life, likely as a child, without opening up a brown paper bag filled with a sandwich, juice box, and a piece of fruit? Or, later in life, enjoyed an alcoholic beverage in a public place with the illegal item safely ensconced inside a bag? But paper bags have been around for so long, and in so many forms, that few have ever stopped to wonder where they came from in the first place. Even fewer know that paper bags were involved in not one but two feminist crusades.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:00 PM - 18 comments

not roxanne

AC/DC but every time they say "thunder" it gets faster (previously) [via]
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 PM - 14 comments

Sophy Hollington's mind makes star poop

"In some Inuit cultures, meteors are colloquially known as Ulluriat Anangit which roughly translates as 'star poop.' Illustrator, printmaker, and Linocut artist Sophy Hollington has published a new creation: My Mind Hides a Friendly Crater, the result of her “almost morbid fascination with asteroids.” [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 PM - 3 comments

Patlabor on the production line

Smets handed me a power tool, flipped a physical switch on the arm of the vest, and told me to raise my arms over my head as though I was on an assembly line. At some point during my movement, the exosuit kicked into action, its spring mechanism lifting my arms the rest of the way. I could leave my arms in place above my head, too, fully supported. My fingers started to tingle after awhile in that position. Are exoskeletons the future of physical labor?
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM - 38 comments

Puppies Meet Baby Animals: Cuteness Ensues

HuffPo partnered with Puppy Chow and created a series of videos that show a few of the "firsts" in a puppy's life. Meeting new species, for example. [all videos have cheery music]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:40 PM - 6 comments

Banner Ladies

Fascinating human billboards
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:19 PM - 18 comments

With a compass, you're never lost.

Japanese family crests are known for their tasteful design and simplicity, but what might surprise you is the incredibly simple geometric principles used to create even complex ones. (No English in the narration, but give it a moment and you won't need it.) [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:04 PM - 17 comments

How Vladimir Lenin Became a Mushroom

How Vladimir Lenin Became a Mushroom: The fake news that took the former Soviet Union by storm.
posted by brundlefly at 2:40 PM - 12 comments

Éliane Radigue, drone music pioneer

Éliane Radigue is a French composer who is one of the pioneers of drone music, and is still active at 85. She worked with Pierre Henry and other musique concrète pioneers in the 50s, but her experiments with feedback and tape loops in the 60s drifted too far from the scene, so she moved to New York in the 70s. She is perhaps best known for her synthesizer based compositions in the 70s through early 2000s. A representative piece is Trilogie De La Mort, one of several pieces inspired directly by her conversion to Tibetan Buddhism: I. Kyema, II. Kailasha, III. Koumé. Since 2004 she has composed entirely with acoustic instruments, e.g. Movement 3 of Naldjorlak I, written for cello; if you're in a hurry, here's a 1:30 live clip from Naldjorlak III. [more inside]
posted by advil at 2:01 PM - 8 comments

Polka, coming at you live from Valkenswaard!

Spin the globe and it will start playing live radio wherever you stop. You can also click on a specific place. Libyana 100.1 FM is playing some bangers! Radio Thailand 97 has some good chillout music. Catavento Radio (Brazil) got my hips shaking. There are hundreds (thousands?) of stations. If you get static, just be patient, it will likely snap to the nearest station.
posted by AFABulous at 1:36 PM - 24 comments

kindness shines through

Twitter offers its most unlikely trending topic yet: hope. (sl new yorker)
posted by kneecapped at 12:44 PM - 6 comments

The Christian Legal Army Behind ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’

The Nation investigates the Alliance Defending Freedom. An in-depth look at one of the most powerful anti-gay-rights legal groups in the country, with ties to the Department of Justice, Congress, multiple state legislators and state departments of justice, thousands of attorneys who will work pro bono, and donors including Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and noted puncher of journalists Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT).
posted by mephron at 12:08 PM - 78 comments

Never underestimate the self-delusion of a Hollywood professional

In two weeks, Netflix will premiere Bright. Starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton – real movie stars – directed by David Ayer – a real movie director – the film is said to have cost somewhere in the time zone of $120 million – real money. So why does Bright not feel like a real film? [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:52 AM - 86 comments

Surveillance has never been more affordable

Gizmodo: Don't buy anyone an Echo A light switch also doesn’t keep track of everything you’re doing and send the data to Amazon or Google or Apple. What happens between you and the switch stays with you and the switch. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise at 10:29 AM - 200 comments

100 Finns in 100 Years

Happy Birthday Finland! Here are pictures of one Finn for every year of Finnish independence photographed by Hannu Pakarinen.
posted by vespabelle at 9:14 AM - 20 comments

Little House on the Locust Swarm

Charles Ingalls must have heard of the grasshoppers; newspaper columns were full of them. Yet when the Ingallses settled on Plum Creek in 1874, the land was cloaked in spring green. They may have believed, as others did, that the grasshoppers had moved on. In fact, the previous year’s swarm had laid their eggs before departing. While Charles Ingalls plowed his fields, grasshoppers flew and marched in columns again, leaving destitute farmers in their wake with no seed to plant the next season.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:09 AM - 47 comments

'Games are weird. Let's roll with that.'

"Games don't make a great deal of sense. After more than a decade of covering them for a living and for fun, we’ve realised that the only way we can do them justice is to cut the brakes, and go a little mad ourselves. If you've ever taken a step back from the hobby and wondered what the hell you were doing? This is for you."
[more inside]
posted by cjelli at 8:46 AM - 9 comments

The first butt time capsule

While restoring an 18th century Spanish statue, preservationists found that Jesus' butt was hollow, containing two hand-written letters describing daily life in the region, including descriptions of food, games, diseases and the Spanish Inquisition. The original letters will be archived and copies replaced in the butt hole to preserve the priest's intentions.
posted by jeather at 8:14 AM - 66 comments

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