February 19

Rednecks: a short fiction

"The miners are coming down from the hills, rising up out of the ground... They have knotted red bandanas around their necks, as if their throats have already been cut." A short story about very fine people from North Carolina novelist Taylor Brown, inspired by the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain--the largest labor uprising in United States history--and the bloody 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.
posted by xylothek at 8:08 AM - 0 comments

The Mess at Meetup

Meetup was supposed to be different. While much of the tech industry struggled to create inclusive work environments and free itself from the kinds of workplace harassment allegations that have spewed out of major companies like Google and Uber, Meetup was mission-driven, diverse, profitable, and user-focused. But last year, facing increasing competition, Meetup started negotiating an acquisition with WeWork—and everything changed. [slGizmodo]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:08 AM - 26 comments

Ike Did 9/11

Happy Presidents’ Day, they’re all awful. Here’s one ghastly fact about 45 presidents.
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 AM - 32 comments

Back in 1973, there was a girl from Tennessee

'Dolly Said No To Elvis' by Mark Nevin (ex Fairground Attraction), animated by Heather Colbert ... being the true story of the time a certain singer songwriter turned down The Colonel. It proved to be the right decision.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:56 AM - 2 comments

February 18

Because I do not care to enlarge my menagerie of pets...

In 1889, Tit-Bits magazine offered prizes to single, female readers who sent in the best answers to the question: ‘Why Am I A Spinster?’ Here are some highlights... [sl twitter thread] [more inside]
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 10:22 PM - 14 comments

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Watch Knife Skills (full video - 40 min), the Oscar-nominated short documentary about the opening of Edwins, a fine French restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, that is staffed almost entirely by ex-inmates with no prior restaurant experience. They have to learn everything there is to know about French food and restaurants in a very short period of time.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 PM - 0 comments

The authoritarian equivalent of Whuffie

China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious: The PRC's "social credit" scheme might have consequences for life in cities everywhere (SLAtlantic)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:16 PM - 47 comments


Abby and Brittany Hensel are dicephalic parapagus twins from Minnesota with separate heads and joined bodies (previously). After as normal a childhood as possible, they graduated from college in 2012 and became part-time teachers. (via) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:43 PM - 21 comments

I'm a little piece of leather but well put together!

We've hosted Jackie Shane on the blue before but she's worth a revisit, especially in light of a lovely 2-CD retrospective box set and some well deserved recognition.

Jackie Shane was born May 15 1940 in Nashville to Jack Crawford and Jessie Shane. When she was 8 she was asked to join the church choir ("I will sing but I will not listen to the minister and I'm not giving him my money. This shyster."). When she was 10 she moved back to Nasville to live with her aunt and started singing in gospel and church groups. By age 13 Jackie had begun to consider herself a woman in a man's body and started wearing makeup to school. [more inside]
posted by parki at 10:51 AM - 4 comments

Maximum heaviosity

Weasel Walter (label honcho, Lydia Lunch collaborator, Flying Luttenbachers mastermind, No Wave historian, bar band impresario, jazz bandleader, improviser, etc.) presents The Beatles' She's So 60 Minutes of Heavy.
posted by kenko at 10:08 AM - 9 comments

Two dogs bathing contendedly in a bowl of warm water.

Sometimes a single gif is all you need to make the world feel like a better place.
posted by humph at 8:39 AM - 27 comments

‘Mutley Cruh! Mutley Cruh!’

Ä Brïëf Hïstöry Öf Mëtäl Umläüts from Kerrang!
posted by chavenet at 6:51 AM - 37 comments

It felt like I was putting a big part of myself inside a locker

I am still learning to accept myself as I am. I hope it doesn't take another 50 years. Photo interview series by Jessica Dimmock with trans women in the PNW. Dimmock is careful to explain that the situations are, well, complicated: some of her subjects don’t consider themselves to be trans because, as Dimmock explains, it was not an identity that they felt free to totally embrace. “They’ve been trapped in a timeline and a situation at home that has made it impossible for them...But everyone I photographed is on the spectrum of having a full female identity. There are women inside all of these people.” The series places the women in the settings in which they found creative ways to steal away and express their honest identities in private,” she explains. “They are intentional and accurate to their stories.”
posted by stillmoving at 5:01 AM - 23 comments


In 1992, for their seventh album, Everything But The Girl changed tack entirely and went Acoustic [41m YouTube apologies for commercials] Cassette Side A: Love Ia Strange, Tougher Than The Rest, Time After Time, Alison, Downtown Train [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:33 AM - 10 comments

February 17

Take it to the bridge!

Birmingham UK's GorillaBot take a Robodyssey to discover that I'm Just A Robot
posted by Catblack at 10:27 PM - 4 comments

Punk Rock Church—Cult?

Longread. Church becomes cult? Survivors bond into ... a cult? And so on.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:31 PM - 26 comments

“frenetic yet orchestrated ballet of sword slashes and bullet-speed art”

You've never played a game quite like Bayonetta [GQ] “There’s also a pair of high powered pistols attached to her absurdly high-heeled shoes. Oh, and the game darts between biblical analogy and sexual innuendo quicker than Bayonetta herself can backflip into the air to shoot a horde of angry angels with her deadly Louboutins. That near-the-knuckle approach to sex and sexuality is often gratuitous, especially when you’re forced to watch the nth slow-motion crotch shot while you loudly insist to your girlfriend, “Really, this is not what it looks like.” But the game also takes the time to empower Bayonetta. She’s a fantastic female lead and it’s refreshing to play as her rather than just another one of the bone-headed muscle men that are rife in most action games. She’s absolutely the star of the show, and both games string together some of the most absurdly bombastic set-piece moments you’ve ever seen on screen, in a way that’s so audacious you’ll wonder how it continuously ups the ante.” [YouTube][Trailer] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:18 PM - 42 comments


The Family Tree of the Noir Western
posted by Artw at 5:39 PM - 17 comments

Microburst, Meteor, UFO, Sasquatch

At 1:30 a.m. on January 27 hundreds of old growth trees fell in a small area on the north shore of Lake Quinalt in Olympic National Park. Park officials suggested a microburst could be responsible for the strong winds required to knock the large trees down, but the weather conditions made a microburst unlikely. Meteorologist Cliff Mass (previously) takes a look at the weather data to try to solve the mystery (Part II, final solution).
posted by edeezy at 2:30 PM - 28 comments

Love the second time around

He woke her in the middle of the night.

"Will you marry me," he asked.

"Of course I will, darling," she replied, a bit saddened.

Truth was, Michael and Linda Joyce had been married for 34 years, but Michael is battling Alzheimer's and he'd forgotten.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:44 PM - 16 comments

"The first Phoenicians on this beach"

Hanno the Navigator was Carthaginian explorer who traveled south along the African coast in the sixth Century BCE. He left behind an account of his journey, a periplus, which among other things gave the world the word "gorilla", which may have been a kikongo phrase originally. It can be read in English translation on Livius along with scholarly notes by Jona Lendering. Hanno's brother Himilco was also an explorer, venturing north along the Atlantic coast of Europe. Lionel Casson puts Hanno in context of the history of exploration. While reading the links, you might want to listen to folk rocker Al Stewart's 2008 song Hanno the Navigator.
posted by Kattullus at 12:29 PM - 12 comments

"I thought I'd had one too many wines for my birthday lunch," she said

"I was just trying to enjoy my book when all of a sudden an earthquake happens..." At 14:31:05 today, Britain suffered its largest earthquake for over a decade, being felt across major population centres such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Blackpool, Rhyl and Salford. The 'massive' quake centred on the village of Cwmllynfell (pronounced 'Cwmllynfell') in Wales, at a depth of 7km, and is the 17th in the UK so far this year. "I posted on Facebook immediately." While residents carried on or prioritised, and cats startled, questions have been asked. Please send British tea and moist crumpets.
posted by Wordshore at 11:38 AM - 55 comments

Don't call it a comeback: Dabrye finishes his x/3 trilogy after 17 years

The final installment in Dabrye's trilogy was worth the wait (Doug Coombe, Detroit Metro Times)
Dabrye is musician Tadd Mullinix's hip-hop producer alter ego. His first album One/Three came out in 2001, a unique hybrid of techno influences (Detroit techno, Warp Records, and kindred labels) and the classic hip-hop productions of Pete Rock, DJ Premier, the Bomb Squad, and J Dilla in particular. His second album, Two/Three, came out in 2006 and featured his hero J Dilla and Phat Kat on the single "Game Over," as well as Waajeed, Invincible, MF Doom, and Guilty Simpson. And then... pretty much silence from Dabrye.
That is, until now. Behold: Three/Three, featuring "a dream lineup of both Detroit (Danny Brown, Clear Soul Forces, Nolan The Ninja) and national (MF Doom, Ghostface Killah) MCs." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:11 AM - 6 comments

Wolkoff To Pay $150kto each 5Pointz Artist

Gerald Wolkoff Pays for Destroying 45 Works Of Art Judge Federico Bloc orders Gerald Wolkoff to pay maximum damages to the artists whose graffiti art he whitewashed over in 2013.
posted by Yellow at 9:21 AM - 22 comments

Farid Ayaz & Abu Muhammad

Farid Ayaz & Abu Muhammad sing “Kaan Roz ke Rooh” & “Adam Amad Babadan” [more inside]
posted by mahershalal at 5:22 AM - 9 comments

February 16

Donkey Kong's Timeline Is Truly Disturbing

Be it fridge logic or fanwank, when you think about it the Donkey Kong timeline is truly disturbing.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:43 PM - 22 comments

It's Friday night. There's a bowl just sitting there waiting. Why not?

Robert Plant's 1993 Fate Of Nations was his sixth solo album. It's draws from a lot of influences. Like, a LOT. Side 1: Calling To You [video], Down To The Sea, Come Into My Life, I Believe, 29 Palms [video], Memory Song (Hello Hello) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:27 PM - 14 comments

Make comics!

Want to make comics? Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett of Big Red Hair have you covered with their recently updated Resources for Comic Book Creators and comic book writing guide.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM - 2 comments

LGBTQ activism in the New East

Being LGBTQ is a new series from Calvert Journal that includes Live by night: An evening with Maydana, Ukrainian drag queen and asylum seeker, No Silence: Growing up LGBTQ in the forgotten world of Transnistria, Secret histories: LGBTQ life in pre-revolutionary Russia, Horoom Nights: Inside the secretive queer night at Tbilisi’s world-famous Bassiani club, and more... [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:28 PM - 4 comments

Antiracist Medievalisms: Lessons from Chinese Exclusion

"In the following sketches, I explore how early Chinese Americans created space for antiracist medievalism. Not only did people of Chinese ancestry turn “medieval” tropes and rhetoric against their contemporary detractors, but they also found affirming possibilities to assert a shared humanity and to claim cultural belonging." [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 2:03 PM - 5 comments

Love Crime? Is it time for some sweet chocolate Justice?

Since 1976, someone has decorated Portland, Maine, with hearts. Red hearts printed on white copy paper on businesses, cars, and the occasional heart banner on the museum, library or other building. Hearts have spread to other towns. Now, one guy is in a snit. [more inside]
posted by theora55 at 1:41 PM - 34 comments

"Panther's Rage" is about T'Challa's failure as a leader

Making the Panther a volunteer schoolteacher in Harlem wasn't an evil thing for the previous writer to do, but it was, as McGregor so pointedly acknowledges, a pretty stupid thing to do. T'Challa isn't an African-American looking for his place in the world, he's an African, all caps, and more importantly, he's the spiritual and political leader of an entire country. If he wants to dick around above the Upper West Side and teach poor kids, that's sweet, but what McGregor realized (immediately, and irritably), was that this effectively meant the character had abandoned Wakanda and all of his people along with it.
David Brothers & Tucker Stone write about Don McGregor's classic "Panther's Rage" for The Comics Journal. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:14 PM - 10 comments

actually a character wearing a train model as a hat

A Twitter thread on video game development hacks
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM - 11 comments

The right to grieve

"I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’m good for. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that I have so much in my head, and so much in my Google Drive, that is basically useless right now. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that the life I imagined is not going to happen. I’ve already stopped doing my scholarship, other than editorial work for forthcoming pieces. In a few months, I’ll be done teaching. I don’t know how to come to terms with never doing those things again.
posted by Lycaste at 12:16 PM - 91 comments

The Final, Terrible Voyage of the Nautilus

Kim Wall went for a ride on a submarine, hoping to write a story about a maker of "extreme machines." She never did. I needed to know what happened. [more inside]
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:16 PM - 23 comments

Sworn Virgins

Burrnesha are women who live as men in Albania for the freedom, but the custom is dying out. The strict patriarchy is slowly giving way to a new culture and these sworn virgins are the last of their kind.
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:20 AM - 16 comments

And don't even get me started on alligators...

What Color Is a Tennis Ball? — An investigation into a surprisingly divisive question [Marina Koren, The Atlantic]

"The seemingly trivial question tore apart our usually congenial group. Lines were quickly and fiercely drawn, team green against team yellow, as my colleagues debated the very definition of color itself. Swords were brandished in the form of links to HTML color codes or the paint selection at Sherwin-Williams. Attempts to broker a cease-fire, to consider that maybe tennis balls are actually yellow-green—or green-yellow, or chartreuse—were brushed aside. At one point, I lashed out at a colleague who then reminded me we were on the same side." posted by Atom Eyes at 10:12 AM - 92 comments

There is no general theory of networks

Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks. Remember when scale-free networks were all the rage? The idea was that real-world networks (including but very much not restricted to social networks) are surprisingly-often well-characterized by a power-law distribution: a node has k connections with a probability proportional to some (negative) power of k. This had implications for every science involving things connected to or interacting with other things! Well, about that...
posted by Jpfed at 9:40 AM - 12 comments

Tanlines for Children

Electronic pop duo Tanlines have released a record of children's standards.
posted by josher71 at 9:18 AM - 8 comments

a creative choice, to say the least, but also cruelly ironic

Guerrero (whose name, in Spanish, means “warrior”) fought the ban, saying that he had merely drunk a tea that included coca leaves—a common enough beverage in Peru, though Guerrero lives in Rio de Janeiro, where he plays for the soccer club Flamengo. But his claim paved the way for his Brazilian lawyers to mount an even more interesting defense, introducing FIFA to its oldest, and highest, character witnesses ever: the Children of Llullaillaco, three mummies named for the icy, twenty-two-thousand-foot-tall volcano in Argentina where they were left by the Incas, five hundred years ago. - As Peru Heads to the 2018 World Cup, Its Star Striker Has Three Inca Mummies to Thank [more inside]
posted by beisny at 8:40 AM - 7 comments

Aren't all dogs ethical? Yes, but these are objectively the most ethical

NYC Ethics Watchdogs! The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board posts the city's objectively most ethical dogs. [SL twitter thread w photos of doggos]
posted by moonmilk at 8:30 AM - 16 comments

Hello, human person

Can you come up with the same answer as a robot in this word association game?
posted by jeather at 8:05 AM - 78 comments

slow-motion infocalypse

Inside the two years that shook Facebook, and the world
The stories varied, but most people told the same basic tale: of a company, and a CEO, whose techno-optimism has been crushed as they’ve learned the myriad ways their platform can be used for ill. Of an election that shocked Facebook, even as its fallout put the company under siege. Of a series of external threats, defensive internal calculations, and false starts that delayed Facebook’s reckoning with its impact on global affairs and its users’ minds. And—in the tale’s final chapters—of the company’s earnest attempt to redeem itself.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:57 AM - 47 comments

you come across a collapsed mall from the Times Before

Couture is weird, and comics creator Jared Pechacek is making it weirder. Electric Lit gathers his collection of tweets turning the 2018 A.F. Vandevorst spring collection into a tale about building community in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:55 AM - 7 comments

You don't want to know what was in her eye

Abby Beckley had been living on an inactive cattle ranch when she began to have the sensation that something was in her eye. "You know how it feels when you have an eyelash in your eye?" she asked. "That's exactly how it felt, but when I looked in the mirror, I couldn't see anything...I finally couldn't take it any[more]," she said. [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 7:39 AM - 46 comments

I'll give you the brightest of stars

M.anifest's new song Simple Love is a slow, luxurious dance through the streets of Tema, Ghana. via okayafrica
posted by ChuraChura at 5:03 AM - 3 comments

Young, gifted and classical

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is a cellist from Nottingham, England. In 2016 he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award, the first black musician to do so. He's just released his first record-breaking album, which along with classical pieces, has covers of 'Hallelujah' and 'No Woman No Cry'. He also has six siblings who all play to concert standard too.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:11 AM - 6 comments

Online communities reach middle age

Before Usenet and MetaFilter but after email, and launched 40 years ago on February 16th 1978 in Chicago after development that avoided committee inertia, the CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System) was created by Ward Christensen (creator of XMODEM) and Randy Suess. It consisted of a homebrew computer with 40k of memory, was managed by a "sysop", eventually contained 20,000 lines of code, and worked well. Announced in Byte Magazine, the sole modem and 300 baud card meant members took it in turns to use, the system restarting with each new call. textfiles.com has some BBS logs and captures: [1][2][3][4]. Problems with the system?? Phone the developers. (2008 FPP, and a busy 2006 "Did you run a BBS?" AskMe)
posted by Wordshore at 12:01 AM - 83 comments

February 15

Everyone needs one

Find you someone who's as happy to see you as this donkey. Or someone who wants to hug you as much as these animals.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:47 PM - 31 comments

Get Offa My Cloud!

Intimate Photos Escape the Cloud and Redistribute to Random Phone A man sets up a new smart phone for his gran. Looking through the images he has migrated for her, he notices images of someone he works with, a man and child. Verizon has no idea how images made it from the cloud to another party's phone. The folks whose privacy was dispensed out onto the web, are suing. This is some inborne, disastrous glitch. How much do they charge to go fishing in the cloud?
posted by Oyéah at 7:42 PM - 46 comments

« Older posts