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The █████████ Mueller Report

Attorney General William Barr to hold press conference Thursday as Mueller report expected to drop (CNN) Your guide to Mueller's report on Trump: What's in it, what's not and what comes next (NBC); Marcy Wheeler’s primer How to Read the Mueller Report (“The first step is to know what is supposed to be in there and what isn't supposed to be in there -- something a lot of people get wrong.”); Justice Dept. to release two versions of redacted Mueller report (CNN); 25 Subplots to Watch in the Mueller Investigation (Politico); Memo to the Press: How Not to Screw Up on the Mueller Report (Lawfare); Maxing It Out for Trump Josh Marshall (TPM) on how the fix is in. This is the US politics megathread.
posted by zachlipton to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 9:26 PM
132 users marked this as a favorite

My god, it's full of STARS!

In astrophotography, the longer your camera's shutter is open, the more light you get. Five amateur astrophotographers challenged themselves to capture a world-record exposure. Result: The 1060-hour Large Magellanic Cloud
posted by flug to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:44 PM
97 users marked this as a favorite

Spira, Spera - Victor Hugo

Notre-Dame de Paris, the French Gothic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, has burned in a conflagration unrivalled since at least WWII, started accidentally, perhaps in the renovation work. But "spira, spera" -- breathe, and hope -- there has been no loss of life, only one reported injury, and the shell of the building appears (at this hour) to have been saved. "Cette cathédrale, nous la rebâtirons," declares Emmanuel Macron. ("The Cathedral, we will rebuild it.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 3:37 PM
73 users marked this as a favorite

The Radical Egalitarian Politics Of Weird Al’s "UHF"


TELL "\"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."

<SETG SCORE <+ ,SCORE 25>> <SETG MARVIN-COUNTER 4> <MOVE ,MARVIN ,PANTRY> <MOVE ,TOOL-REQUIRED ,MARVIN> <TELL "Marvin fiddles inside the " D ,MECHANISM " with the " D ,TOOL-REQUIRED " for about three-tenths of a second. He limps away. \"And me,\" you hear him mutter ashe goes, \"with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.\"" CR>)
A whole bunch of Infocom's original source code is now available on github.
posted by jenkinsEar to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 7:26 AM
61 users marked this as a favorite

I just really like this genre


Tell me about a complicated man

Pour One Out For Ulysses S. Grant, Adam Gopnik inThe New Yorker:
Though he [Ron Chernow] does the usual justice to the military saga of the Civil War, and Grant’s decisive part in it, his book aims to rehabilitate Grant as a politician and as President. He makes a convincing case that Grant actually behaved nobly, even heroically, while in the White House. He pressed the cause of black equality under the law, and was consistently on the right side of Reconstruction-era issues—winning more heartfelt praise from Frederick Douglass than Lincoln ever did.

posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 10:18 PM
54 users marked this as a favorite

A VOID

A Common Policy, Anna Aslanyan writing at LRB Blog
La Disparition, a lipogrammatic classic, turns 50 today [29 March 2019]. You probably know who it’s by; if not, you can look it up to find out why I’m unwilling to say who did it. From its first publication on 29 March 1969, this book built a cult following. It’s primarily famous for what’s missing from it, a basic but important thing that forms a part of words you can’t usually do without. Staying strictly within this tight constraint, it says what it wants to say about its protagonist, Anton Voyl, and his vanishing act – a conundrum for his companions – in a grippingly ludic, rigidly formulaic way.

posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 11:15 AM
53 users marked this as a favorite

"[unable to catch breath] eereeess um pizza"

Twelve years ago, after a mid-game rain delay, a couple of front-row fans grabbed a pop foul, ruining an easy out for fielder Garret Anderson. Unremarkable play, not worth remarking on. But then, 1.62 seconds later, here comes the pizza.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 3:59 PM
52 users marked this as a favorite

City Killers

“The automobile is the paradoxical example of a luxury object that has been devalued by its own spread. But this practical devaluation has not yet been followed by an ideological devaluation. The myth of the pleasure and benefit of the car persists, though if mass transportation were widespread its superiority would be striking. The persistence of this myth is easily explained. The spread of the private car has displaced mass transportation and altered city planning and housing in such a way that it transfers to the car functions which its own spread has made necessary. An ideological (“cultural”) revolution would be needed to break this circle. Obviously this is not to be expected from the ruling class (either right or left).” The social ideology of the motorcar - André Gorez, 1973. (Uneven Earth)
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:56 AM
50 users marked this as a favorite

Are Prisons Obsolete?

“As prison abolition moves from margin to center, it's important to spotlight those who have theorized and practiced it, like Ruth Wilson Gilmore, so we don't, to paraphrase Beth Richie "win the mainstream and lose the movement." Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (NYT magazine) “Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba wants us to explore some truly radical notions that force us to inspect those instincts towards punishment. Hear her dismantle what she calls the current "criminal punishment system" and instead employ the ideology of restorative justice.” (Chris Hayes’ Why Is This Happening?) “Outspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. ” Jailbreak Of The Imagination (Truth Out) Prisons and Class Warfare: An Interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Verso) “They Are Trying To Kill Us In Here. (The Appeal) “Abolition is both a practical organizing tool and a long-term goal.” (Transform Harm)
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 10:37 AM
49 users marked this as a favorite

“Dealing with these themes requires caution and care,”

A Cancelled Board Game Revealed How Colonialism Inspires and Haunts Games [Waypoint] “On April 7th, prominent publisher of board wargames GMT Games released a statement announcing that they’d pulled a game from their pre-order list: Scramble for Africa. The game, portraying the eponymous invasion of the African continent by European powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seemed like one that portrayed the colonial period in Africa in a simplistic way, ultimately rewarding players for being the best at recreating a piece of history that included genocide in Namibia and mass enslavement in the Belgian Congo Free State. It had come under heavy critique from board gamers for, in the words of GMT’s own statement, “both topic and treatment” of its colonialist historical setting. ”
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 5:18 AM
48 users marked this as a favorite

But now I didn’t want to avoid them.

I was also in the middle of a divorce, and receiving a barrage of emails from my ex-husband telling me in no uncertain terms how horrible I was. That season, I read the news, the emails, the pieces for my job. I couldn’t escape the constant torrent. A Greek chorus of women across America spoke with a single voice. “Men are bad. Men are trash,” the women said. And yet, all I wanted to do was touch men, taste them—I craved them.
I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 8:45 AM
47 users marked this as a favorite

Them's the Frakes


Paying a lot more and getting a lot less


The End of General Civility, and the Rise of Selective Empathy

... there's a point at which empathy doesn't even look like the kind of universal empathy I was taught in school. There is a natural way that empathy gets triggered in the brain — your pain centers light up when you see another person suffering. But out in the world it starts to look more like tribalism, a way to keep reinforcing your own point of view and blocking out any others. The End of Empathy is part of NPR's Civility Wars series, in which NPR has been traveling the United States to explore how people are grappling with the idea of civility in polarizing times.
posted by filthy light thief to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 8:34 AM
39 users marked this as a favorite

A great sun has set.

Gene Rodman Wolfe, 1931-2019. A titan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and American literature has passed.
posted by doctornemo to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:39 AM
38 users marked this as a favorite

Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden

When I meet women on dating apps, I always want to know if I can take them to the Olive Garden, my treat. It’s a solid opener; a way to know if we’re compatible. If they’re the right kind of woman for me, they’ll respond with an enthusiastic yes.

The right kind of woman for me is someone who won’t give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn’t care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu. We’re at Olive Garden because it’s kitschy and cute. Nothing that happens needs to be a serious thing. It’s no big deal.

posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 5:59 PM
38 users marked this as a favorite

it wasn’t really sci-fi because it was beautifully written

Why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi? Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Machines Like Me, is a fiction about science – specifically, artificial intelligence. It is set in an alternative reality where Alan Turing does not kill himself but invents the internet instead; where JFK is never assassinated and Margaret Thatcher’s premiership ends with the beginning of the Falklands war. The near future of the real world becomes the present of the novel, giving McEwan the space to explore prescient what-ifs: what if a robot could think like a human, or human intelligence could not tell the difference between itself and AI? Machines Like Me is not, however, science fiction, at least according to its author. “There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future,” McEwan said in a recent interview, “not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas.” There is, as many readers noticed, a whiff of genre snobbery here, with McEwan drawing an impermeable boundary between literary fiction and science fiction, and placing himself firmly on the respectable side of the line.
posted by octothorpe to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 7:22 AM
38 users marked this as a favorite

No Measure of Health

No Measure of Health profiles Kyle Magee, an anti-advertising activist from Melbourne, Australia, who for the past 10 years has been going out into public spaces and covering over for-profit advertising in various ways. Recently, he painted over the advertising video screens at Melbourne Central station with a modified fire extinguisher.
posted by bashism to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 4:37 AM
37 users marked this as a favorite

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Popular Comments

I found this quote from Douglas Adams especially helpful today: “I remembered once, in Japan, having been to see the Gold Pavilion Temple in Kyoto and being mildly surprised at quite how well it had weathered the passage of time since it was first built in the fourteenth century. I was told it hadn’t weathered well at all, and had in fact been... [more]
posted by scaryblackdeath to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 6:11 PM
233 users marked this as a favorite

This is why my diet consists entirely of unsweetened baking chocolate, unflavored oatmeal, and raw meat. Hahaha, fools, I'm enjoying REAL flavor, not that stupid "tasty" flavor! [view]
posted by kyrademon to MetaFilter on Apr 14 at 1:45 AM
188 users marked this as a favorite

One big change in my understanding of men as I’ve gotten older—I used to think the men I knew hurt women (intentionally or accidentally or without caring either way) because they were overly strong, macho, masculine, not “touchy feely,” not empathetic, but after years of observing my own and others’ failed relationships, workplace conflicts, random... [more]
posted by sallybrown to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:24 AM
124 users marked this as a favorite

Time to open up a gourmet milk and sugar cart on the sidewalk outside. [view]
posted by duffell to MetaFilter on Apr 14 at 4:38 AM
114 users marked this as a favorite

This is the bit I keep coming back to (emphasis added): Some of the company’s most senior execs, notably Chris Cox, agreed that Facebook needed to give serious publishers a leg up. Others pushed back, especially Joel Kaplan, a former deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush who was now Facebook’s vice president of global public policy. Supporting... [more]
posted by zachlipton to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 10:01 AM
93 users marked this as a favorite

Great essay. As for "Why is the car treated like a sacred cow?", in addition to the noted reasons—the triumph of bourgeois ideology, and the mythology of the car-as-luxury-object—there's also some much more... material reasons. The auto industry employed (and to some extent continue to employ) a large percentage of the American... [more]
posted by Kadin2048 to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 10:48 AM
83 users marked this as a favorite

There's a documentary out there about the screech owls in central park narrated and hosted by Isabella Rosellini (pre-Green Porno) that is just stunning. She interviews a bunch of scientists and the interviews follow a pattern where the scientists try to do their basic 'talking to the press' dumbed-down spiel like 'did you know that birds lay eggs... [more]
posted by sexyrobot to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 8:57 AM
78 users marked this as a favorite

I once was arranging to meet a person for work who I hadn't previously met. She suggested we meet at one of these sort of coffee shops. It was relatively new in town at that point and considered very fancy with its shiny chrome and pale wood, floor to ceiling glass windows and refusal to let customers have milk in their drinks. I asked if she... [more]
posted by lollusc to MetaFilter on Apr 14 at 2:44 AM
73 users marked this as a favorite

Westerosi obsidian is high in obsurdium. That's got a much lower melting point. [view]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson to MetaFilter on Apr 16 at 11:30 AM
71 users marked this as a favorite

Even the "good men" I know are... not super good, at all. Things seem equal, at the start of heterosexual relationships that I've been in and that I witness, they always do, and then slowly over time they drift towards the man. Just drift towards him, his preferences, how he likes to spend his time, the things that matter to him, the... [more]
posted by sockermom to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 10:07 AM
70 users marked this as a favorite

This is a true hipster's paradox, in that it is insanely boring, but yet complaining about it is also insanely boring. [view]
posted by saladin to MetaFilter on Apr 14 at 5:28 AM
69 users marked this as a favorite

Cappuccino is a classic of high-end coffee shops. The snootiest of snoots will still typically serve lattes, caps, and machiattos. They may balk at adding sweetener and other flavors to those drinks, but the standard espresso drinks are an experience separate from brewed coffee. A well done latte or cap is often kind of similar to a chocolate... [more]
posted by firebrick to MetaFilter on Apr 14 at 2:16 AM
68 users marked this as a favorite

I honestly don't understand why dental care is so de-coupled from medical care. [view]
posted by runcibleshaw to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 7:50 PM
68 users marked this as a favorite

Parisians singing to the cathedral as it burns [view]
posted by donnagirl to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 3:54 PM
68 users marked this as a favorite

“There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future,” McEwan said in a recent interview, “not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas.” ...says the guy who clearly hasn't read any decent SF, or even understands the genre.... [more]
posted by leotrotsky to MetaFilter on Apr 19 at 7:40 AM
68 users marked this as a favorite

"Why do women write so much fiction and fanfiction about falling in love with robots or aliens or monsters?" is a question I see pop up a lot and I often wonder if it's because it's a fantasy of containing the bad parts of relationships with men. You can change a robot's programming, you can meet an alien whose culture is not built on... [more]
posted by emjaybee to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 10:12 AM
67 users marked this as a favorite

I don't think civility is "under siege" (can we stop with the unhelpful war metaphors) now anymore than when Preston Brooks nearly killed his fellow Congressman Charles Sumner with a gold handled cane in the Senate chamber. In my experience, as a brown atheist woman, the people calling most loudly for a "return to civility"... [more]
posted by basalganglia to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:20 AM
66 users marked this as a favorite

My take is that the kind of civility they long for the return of has never existed. What did exist were stronger power hierarchies that kept certain unprivileged groups in line, for fear for their lives, and that this is what those in power miss. That’s not to say that he unprivileged no longer fear for their lives, they do. But I do think there is... [more]
posted by scantee to MetaFilter on Apr 15 at 9:14 AM
66 users marked this as a favorite

I think Arnett's essay makes it pretty clear she's not there for the food. As she says: There’s something comforting about the fact that my Olive Garden is located in the neighborhood where I grew up. It’s where my evangelical family and I used to eat together before we stopped speaking. Before I came out, before I stopped going to church,... [more]
posted by schroedinger to MetaFilter on Apr 18 at 6:26 PM
61 users marked this as a favorite

My Heathers confession: I loved this movie when I was a teen. So much so that I made my very Christian older brother and his wife rent it to watch with me. “You’ll love it!” said I. “It’s hilarious.” (Often times I say that teenagers are stupid and that their brains aren’t fully formed and we shouldn’t let them near sharp objects or... [more]
posted by greermahoney to MetaFilter on Apr 17 at 10:21 PM
61 users marked this as a favorite