244 posts tagged with Americana.
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Your Favorite Restaurant Sucks

Ranking America’s top 10 chain restaurants
posted by bq on Dec 15, 2017 - 140 comments

Sin Luz

Sin Luz: A multimedia essay on the state of Puerto Rico from the Washington Post. Puerto Rico’s apagón, or “super blackout,” is the longest and largest major power outage in modern U.S. history. Without electricity, there is no reliable source of clean water. School is out, indefinitely. Health care is fraught. Small businesses are faltering. The tasks of daily life are both exhausting and dangerous. There is nothing to do but wait, and no one can say when the lights will come back on.
posted by dinty_moore on Dec 15, 2017 - 10 comments

desegregation never happened

School segregation didn’t go away. It just evolved. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 15, 2017 - 36 comments

The legal battle for segregation is won but the community battle goes on

African-American mayor in Georgia can't get the keys to get into his own office [auto-playing video] [more inside]
posted by runt on Dec 15, 2017 - 5 comments

“That was live, 7. Not taped”

52 years ago today, the joint NASA mission of Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 marked a milestone: the first time that two orbiting objects successfully rendezvoused with one another in space. The Gemini 6 command pilot and Mercury Seven astronaut Wally Schirra (and onboard computers) brought the capsule within 1 foot of Gemini 7 and the two spaceships stayed in close orbit for four-and-a-half hours. Shortly after their separation, they gleefully marked another milestone: the first song transmitted from space. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on Dec 15, 2017 - 4 comments


Same-Sex Native American Couple Hopes to Break Barriers Through Dance A same-sex couple who fell in love while performing on the pow wow dance circuit is hoping they can bring confidence to other young Native Americans grappling with their sexual identities.
posted by hippybear on Dec 15, 2017 - 14 comments

I aint one of yall peers, I'm the sum of all fears

The Roots' Black Thought unleashes a blistering freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot 97 (NSFW language) for 10 minutes straight, doing everything from flipping words to talking about his position on late night television, to referencing a multitude of rappers from Rakim, the D.O.C., Kanye and Dr. Dre, to Kendrick Lamar, to talking about his mother and his upbringing and the current crop of rappers.
posted by cashman on Dec 14, 2017 - 48 comments

Penguin Nest Cam! Eggs hatching soon!

Welcome to the nest! Streaming live from the National Aviary's Penguin Point, we are pleased to bring you the soon-to-be newest members of our African Penguin colony. Watch the penguin parents care for their eggs, and then their chicks, as they hatch and grow. [more inside]
posted by Capt. Renault on Dec 14, 2017 - 20 comments


Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression. Reality for many people in this country is the inability to afford rent, buy a home, pay for healthcare, and get a steady job. Why is this often the rule rather than the exception, and what effects does it have on millennials and the future?
posted by holmesian on Dec 14, 2017 - 154 comments

Shirley Jackson reads The Lottery

Shirley Jackson was born on this day in 1916. In 1960 Folkways Records issued an LP of her reading The Lottery. Listen here.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 14, 2017 - 15 comments

"Ms. Faulkner is not a student at Middlebury College and never has been"

Last month Jame's O'Keefe, the conservative backed agent provocateur who had just failed in an attempt to discredit accusers of Roy Moore, spoke at Middlebury College to a crowd of around 50 people. His largely unwanted presence at the Vermont liberal arts college (or at least in its vicinity) would be a standard piece of Culture Wars agitation except for one thing: Nobody at the college seemed to know who had invited him. And the more they delved into it, the weirder it got.
posted by Artw on Dec 14, 2017 - 62 comments

The Journal of Prince Studies

The Journal of African American Studies devoted its September 2017 issue to Prince. You can read and/or download all the articles at the journal's site.
posted by goatdog on Dec 14, 2017 - 7 comments

“Yeah, I’m all in.”

When Phil came back in November, he wanted so badly to stay sober, and for the next three months he did. But it was a struggle, heartbreaking to watch. For the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than either of us. I bowed my head and thought, I can’t fix this. It was the moment that I let go. I told him, “I can’t monitor you all the time. I love you, I’m here for you, and I’ll always be here for you. But I can’t save you.”Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction
posted by timshel on Dec 14, 2017 - 39 comments

... self-deprecating comedic humility balances the gravity of life...

“Heavyweight,” the Podcast That Contends with Our Regrets "When the writer, radio producer, and humorist Jonathan Goldstein set out to create his Gimlet podcast, “Heavyweight,” whose second season concluded on Thursday, he considered introducing each episode with a subway P.A. system that would talk to him like the voice of God. On the podcast, Goldstein—a longtime producer at “This American Life” whose radio show “Wiretap” aired on the CBC for more than a decade—acts as a kind of social instigator and meddling therapist. With gumption, empathy, and comic awkwardness, he ventures into people’s lives and tries to help them resolve things from the past: an unsolved human mystery, lingering guilt, a falling-out, hurt that’s turned to grievance." (slNewYorker)
posted by crazy with stars on Dec 13, 2017 - 16 comments

In a crisis, play "Don't Stop Believin'"

The Bar [And Bat] Mitzvah Party Starters
posted by zarq on Dec 13, 2017 - 14 comments

"I think you overestimate their chances."

USA Today lists the 40 best Star Wars movie characters. [more inside]
posted by hanov3r on Dec 13, 2017 - 78 comments

The Best Days of Our Lives

Are you having a bad day? Would you like to see some videos of people having a GREAT day and share in their excitement? How about some kids getting into college? Warning: there is screaming. Lots of it. Big article with many examples of the genre. More below the fold, if your eardrums can handle it. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex on Dec 13, 2017 - 22 comments

A Navajo Night Chant in Photographs

The most sacred of all the Navajo ceremonies, the Yébîchai cheremony, aka the Night Chant , is a healing ritual that takes place over many days. Masked figures chant and perform ritual dances around the ill person in a sweat lodge, to restore "order, harmonize and re-establish and situate social relations." Sandpaintings (2) and Ye’b’tsai-tsa’pas, circle kethawns, are also employed to help heal the sick. [more inside]
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr on Dec 13, 2017 - 1 comment

The Anarchist Bikers Who Came to Help

In November, the artist and writer Molly Crabapple spent a week in Puerto Rico documenting grassroots efforts by communities to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. Here are excerpts from her sketchbook
posted by Artw on Dec 12, 2017 - 2 comments

The essence of joy and heartbreak

Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the Smithereens, has passed away at the age of 62. [more inside]
posted by litlnemo on Dec 12, 2017 - 39 comments

See two aitch six ohhh

Buzzfeed's Eugene Lee Yang and Kelsey Darragh drink every state's most iconic alcohol, although the definitions of "most" and "iconic" are frequently stretched to breaking (video; contains strong language). [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy on Dec 12, 2017 - 116 comments

[Puts down snifter]

Time once again for our holiday tradition: The Hater's Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog by Drew Magary. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 12, 2017 - 92 comments

A few scenes of holiday shopping from yesteryear

Losing Ourselves in Holiday Windows
posted by jjray on Dec 12, 2017 - 9 comments

Nothing Says Appetizing Like Freeze-Dried Mice Holding Champagne

Competitive tablescaping: it's intense, it's a little weird, and it's growing. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Dec 11, 2017 - 14 comments

All Japanese persons, both alien and non-alien

Earlier this year a film curator at the Internet Archive digitized a 16mm color film reel shot by an unknown cameraperson which captured 17 minutes of footage from a concentration camp for Japanese-American citizens in Jerome, Arkansas in June 1944, showing the daily lives of detainees and camp personnel and their families. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Dec 11, 2017 - 16 comments

He takes shots other people haven't even tried before

“Pistol” Pete Maravich vs. George “Iceman” Gervin — H-O-R-S-E
posted by timshel on Dec 11, 2017 - 22 comments

Weird Arby's Guy, also Weird Satanist Guy, wasn't actually interviewed

In 2011, former 7 Action News Reporter Julie Banovic did a story about a car smashing through an Arby's in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Then in March 2016, the story circulated again, this time with a much more entertaining interview. "I thought perhaps the end of days was upon us. But it turned out it was just a disoriented old lady in a champagne-colored Toyota Avalon, crashing into my world like DNB circa 1996," said the fake Arby's employee. That "weird Arby's guy" is Andrew Bowser, who also edited himself as "weird satanist guy" in a WDIV story on the satanic statue unveiling in Detroit. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 10, 2017 - 4 comments

Live In a Blissful Bubble For Your Own Safety

A 13-year-old girl managed to become a writer for on-line sports publications. She pretended to be a man and kept up the masquerade for eight years. [more inside]
posted by CCBC on Dec 10, 2017 - 51 comments


Jon Bois, author of MeFi-celebrated multimedia narrative 17776 and creator of Breaking Madden, Chart Party, and Pretty Good, has written dozens of pieces (fictional and nonfictional) about class, feminism, aging, sports, politics, wonder, education, and art. Following the jump, a collection of links. (previously) [more inside]
posted by brainwane on Dec 10, 2017 - 25 comments

"A Muppet Family Christmas" is extremely my shit

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a beloved holiday classic, but many may not be as familiar with A Muppet Family Christmas, a television special broadcast in 1987 and 1989, but never released on home media in its original and complete version due to various rights issues. It's noteworthy as one of the few Muppet vehicles with appearances and references to characters from the four major franchises (The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock) and for featuring a cameo by Jim Henson as himself. You can watch John Lagomarsino explain why the special is extremely his shit. You can watch a version of the special via YouTube.
posted by girlmightlive on Dec 10, 2017 - 77 comments

Forever Professor

"Forever Professor" is a 30-minute documentary about Mark McKinley, a psychology professor at Lorain County Community College in Ohio who collects talking clocks and watches. In fact, he holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of talking clocks. He has also attempted to be recognized for the largest collection of talking watches, an endeavour that has yet to bear fruit. His Youtube channel contains close to 200 short videos of some of the clocks in his collection. He also maintains the online International Society of Talking Clock Collectors Museum. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Dec 9, 2017 - 2 comments

Looks like a fun guy

The largest living thing on Earth is a humongous fungus. via BBC Earth [more inside]
posted by dogmom on Dec 9, 2017 - 20 comments

"Their Spirits Were Trapped In Those Masks"

At the end of the Southern Plains or "Red River" wars in 1875, the U.S. War Department shipped seventy-two Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Caddo Nations prisoners of war held without formal charges or trial from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida. In 1878, the Smithsonian commissioned “life masks” — faces molded from clay — to be made of the Fort Marion prisoners. An American war trophy, the masks would become part of the United States' nationalistic propaganda effort to "depict indigenous peoples as vanishing, as nearly 'extinct,' and thus worthy of museum dioramas, not political rights." The masks are now stored in the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology's collection at Harvard University. But to whom do they really belong? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2017 - 7 comments

Tuned Up in the Spirit

Tuned Up in the Spirit: Lined out hymnody with the Old Regular Baptists "the oldest English-language religious-music oral tradition in North America, a tradition with roots stretching back to parish churches in England in the early 1600s and perhaps further still. Some people find it a strange sound. One researcher who went hunting for descriptions of lined-out singing from turn-of-the-century travelers in Appalachia told me that a few words kept popping up: mournful, wailing, confusion."
posted by OmieWise on Dec 8, 2017 - 9 comments

The Perfect Crime Was When They Took My Money

"Perfect Crime" is the longest-running play in New York, and its star, Catherine Russell, is in the Guinness Book of World records for playing the same lead part since its premiere in 1987. And by many, many accounts, it's awful. [more inside]
posted by knownassociate on Dec 8, 2017 - 21 comments

Hawaiian treasure preserved in Massachusetts

Interested in historical curiosities from Hawaii, but prefer New England's climate? You're in luck! The American Antiquarian Society, located in Worcester, Mass., is "a hotbed of Hawaiiana," with archives housing and preserving an extensive collection of early Hawaiian engravings, newspapers, "laws, brochures, broadsheets, hymnals, almanacs, cookbooks, primers and spelling books." The Honolulu Civil Beat brings us the story behind the collection. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Dec 8, 2017 - 6 comments

Dance Square Dance Revolution

PUT YOUR TIN FOIL HATS ON, we are about to go on a VERY wild ride.

I haven't been this excited since I first found out about the incredibly strange world of quicksand porn.
Let Robyn Pennacchia tell you about the conspiracy to make square dancing the national dance of the US and how it originated as part of an even madder ploy by Henry Ford to destroy Black, Jewish jazz with folk music. Quicksand porn briefly discussed here.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 8, 2017 - 99 comments

I’m drawing in the sand a line

The woke Slim Shady – understanding Eminem in the age of Trump (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 8, 2017 - 30 comments

Cult 2.0 is upon us

Sedona, AZ has been infiltrated by a polyamorous tech bro cult leader with a massive following. His devotees are everywhere. They believe he can control the weather with his mind. He talks about aliens & government conspiracies, sleeps with and verbally abuses students and believes he is an awakened God not responsible for his actions. He loves expensive scotch and has a sweet spot for cigars, but not Cubans. I spent one month embedded in his group under the alias “Shakti Hunter.” This is my report.

Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro
posted by timshel on Dec 7, 2017 - 146 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 on Dec 6, 2017 - 24 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 on Dec 5, 2017 - 7 comments

Banner Ladies

Fascinating human billboards
posted by MovableBookLady on Dec 5, 2017 - 18 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 on Dec 5, 2017 - 47 comments

Cyndi Lauper slays on the Appalachian Mountain dulcimer

My favorite thing discovered on the internet research rabbithole is how Cyndi Lauper is widely-regarded by Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer enthusiasts as one of the finest straight-up performers on the obscure instrument.
Says @JMMcDermott. Proof: True Colors, Time after Time, Fearless.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 5, 2017 - 69 comments

(Not) The Patron Saint of Finland

In 1956, tired of being hassled by his Irish friends about why the Finns in town didn't have a patron saint to celebrate, Richard Mattson invented one on the spot: St. Urho, whose legend evolved to claim he drove the grasshoppers out of Finland and saved the wine crop, and whose saint's day was celebrated by drinking on March 16 -- right before St. Patrick's Day. His legend has grown and spread across Finnish-American and Finnish-Canadian communities in the upper midwest. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Dec 4, 2017 - 19 comments

Ow My Balls

Hot Ones is a Youtube series where people eat sequentially hotter wings while doing interviews. See Neil deGrasse Tyson get his comeuppance. Watch Terry Crews cry. There is something for everyone (all previous links are to Youtube). (Wikipedia about show for those who don't want to/can't watch videos)
posted by Literaryhero on Dec 4, 2017 - 18 comments

I'm-a teach you how to make lasagna

Brandon Scott is gonna teach you how to make lasagna (slYouTube) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on Dec 4, 2017 - 13 comments

Sad news for MilSF fans

The Navy’s Much-Hyped Electromagnetic Railgun May End Up Dead In The Water
posted by Artw on Dec 4, 2017 - 53 comments

“That didn’t work.”

The Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Lions - and Wrestlemania III (previously) - has been in a state of decay ever since its closure. On Sunday, an attempt to demolish it with explosives failed, prompting a range of hot takes and Detroit Lions-related jokes. The Pontiac Silverdome previously: 1, 2. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Dec 4, 2017 - 26 comments

This is just to say

Plums. Ice box. Baby Shoes Forgive me.
posted by theora55 on Dec 4, 2017 - 170 comments

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