The critical tea kettle bimetallic thermocouples problem

Teapotty at Chi-TEK at the V&ATeapotty at Chi-TEK at the V&A by Rain Rabbit (cc by-nc)

I've made a few internet connected tea kettles in my day.

pmg talks about "the EastEnders Threshold," kettle controls, tea, attention span, and intellectual property restrictions in the cyberpunkworldproblems thread.

10/15/16
by taz

121: Gold Medal For Restraint
Hey, it's the next podcast episode!

10/05/16
by cortex

Towering achievement

Concurs de castells Tarragona 2008 68Concurs de castells Tarragona 2008 68 by fer55. (cc by-sa)

Amazing pictures of the traditional Catalonian human towers called castells. Mefites share more background:

samelborp reports in from Catalonia: "... I went to the pla├ža de la vila (town's main square) to see them perform. One thing is to watch it in TV, but when you are there you realize what it takes to build those inmense human towers, the huge amount of people and how they arrange themselves..."

fuzz follows castelling too: "[Catalan tv] covers the Castellers every week as though it were a major sporting event. [...] it's amazing how the competition has intensified ... An 8-level castell was impressive a few years back; this time I got to see two successful 10-level towers."

In a 2005 thread, shoepal told how "I actually participated in a castelling (practice) event on a hot autumn afternoon in a small town outside of Barcelona. I was part of the base of the castle and had folks walking on my shoulders towards the center."

...and benzo8 on being a regular casteller: "us guys at the bottom may well have ten people directly on our shoulders, and maybe fifty-sixty people above us in total!"

Got that good soul in my feet

dancedance by bambe1964 (cc by-nd)

Put your dancing shoes on and take a trip around the world, in gusandrews's fascinating comment on the myriad ways social dance changes and spreads.

Doroteo Arango II reflects on one night at a famous dance club in London. "In 2002 I made a literal last minute decision, standing at the check-in line at the airport after a visit to my sister, to stay in London and see how long and how far I could make it with 100 pounds and basic English..."

Did you catch the incredible historical find, re-created Afro-Caribbean dance music from the 1600s?

What are some of your favorite transcendent, gives-you-chills performances? (And how about most amazing heart-in-your-throat sports moments?)

Conspire describes how this dancer's sign-language performance modifies lyrics and mixes languages to better serve the intended viewer.

Pre-debate MetaTalk prep
Getting antsy for the US presidential debate tonight? See this MetaTalk thread for info.

09/26/16
by cortex

Saved from Obscurity?

Uneasy DreamsUneasy Dreams by Celeste (cc by-nc)

Theodolite asks a fascinating question: who are some famous artists, writers, historical figures, etc. whose reputations were revived by a single person?

09/22/16
by taz

"Stir it with a workmate's pen - never your own"

Caution: I'm HotCaution: I'm Hot by CarbonNYC [in SF!] (cc by)

The goal is to take this fiery, unstable chalice to the sugar counter without losing too many fingers to third degree burns. Once there you add roughly two sugars. I say "roughly" because there aren't actually any spoons - just one of those weird sugar jars with a funnel lid (which may, or may not, be clogged up) so you have to guesstimate.

garius on "caff tea."

09/19/16
by taz

The Terror

Dessin illustrant la position du HMS Terror au lever du soleil le 14 juillet 1837 / Sketch illustrating the position of HMS Terror at sunrise, July 14, 1837Dessin illustrant la position du HMS Terror au lever du soleil le 14 juillet 1837 / Sketch illustrating the position of HMS Terror at sunrise, July 14, 1837 by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives (cc by)

If you haven't checked it out, don't miss orrnyereg's wonderful megapost on the HMS Terror and the fate of the lost Franklin Expedition. (also, ChuraChura's tale of discovering her ancestor who was a member of two Arctic rescue expeditions to save Franklin!)

09/18/16
by taz

Videonautica

Nam June Paik - Megatron MatrixNam June Paik - Megatron Matrix by Ryan Somma (cc by)

How did that bizarre avant garde show get broadcast, anyway? Mefi's own Dean 358 worked with pioneering video artist Nam June Paik, and explains how Paik's personal charm and enthusiasm got the art made and on the air. "...getting access to video equipment in the 1980s was a really big deal. Video edit suites took up lots of space and cost millions of dollars to build and operate. Getting access to a satellite...well, absolutely unthinkable."

Behind the camera

Maria Frostic - Main Iceberg LagoonMaria Frostic - Main Iceberg Lagoon by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (cc by)

How fake is fake in nature documentaries? sciatrix on why scientists stage photos of their mice, and ChuraChura reveals that butterflies love pee.

What should I watch, from a huge archive of Russian films? gusottertrout recommends some movies: "One of the great pleasures of watching Soviet cinema is seeing the differences in attitude towards common film tropes."

The real work of fake tears - pseudostrabismus tells us what it takes to film a movie scene with two actors crying: "Frankly it's a wonder actors can cry at all."

Where do tv chyrons come from? Jahaza explains who decides which words appear on screen during news broadcasts.

People are people

Paradise Riflebird, native VireyaParadise Riflebird, native Vireya by maxful (cc by)

I want to be a better manager. What did your best manager do? What about your worst?

I want to write in a realistic way about how people meet. How did you meet your significant other?

I want to understand typical people's day-to-day schedules, how they stick to plans, what are realistic daily goals. How did you spend your day?

Cut on the bias

Wallpaper Blue Jeans (Closeup / Nahaufnahme)Wallpaper Blue Jeans (Closeup / Nahaufnahme) by Thragor 2 (cc by)

Was the Olympic swimming pool crooked? Wade into some musing on the physics of pool design.

Speaking of world-class swimming, mce explains all about those modern ultra-high-tech swimsuits and the new rules they brought in (suits must be made of textile!).

Speaking of textiles, here's politikitty on what happened to Levi's? -- inside blue jeans manufacturing and the tradeoffs involved in making inexpensive stretchy comfy pre-faded jeans.

Speaking of discerning durability, how do I pick good quality fabric for sewing?

It's September: Are we having fun yet?

BUNCHIE by kanarienvogelBUNCHIE by kanarienvogel

[Answer: Yes, yes, we are having the fun!]

filthy light thief proposes Happy Fun September in MetaTalk. Wheee!

09/01/16
by taz

Can I Vote?

VoteVote by H2Woah! (cc by-nc-nd)

lampshade has been collecting voter info resources for the US elections. Handy!

08/29/16
by taz

"Back In My Day"

Scholars at a Lecture by William Hogarth

Okay, so I said I'd tell the full story of the perennially misbehaving student from the 18th-century. Here it is!

Catseye presents a provocative potboiler about a puckish pupil from the past.

08/24/16
by taz

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