The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

A biomechanical analysis of coitus

Objective: To describe male spine movement and posture characteristics during coitus and compare these characteristics across 5 common coital positions. Results: Based on range of motion, the least-to-most recommended positions for a male flexion-intolerant patient are mSIDE, mMISS2, mQUAD2, mMISS1, and mQUAD1 (NSFW).


13 classic scenes that explain how horror movies work.

Neanderthal and Sapiens, sitting in a tree...

"Scientists have reconstructed the genome of a man who lived 45,000 years ago, by far the oldest genetic record ever obtained from modern humans. The research, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, provided new clues to the expansion of modern humans from Africa about 60,000 years ago, when they moved into Europe and Asia. And the genome, extracted from a fossil thighbone found in Siberia, added strong support to a provocative hypothesis: Early humans interbred with Neanderthals."

Micropower's Quiet Takeover

Small-scale, low-carbon generation now produces one-quarter of world electricity (Rocky Mountain Institute)

Who Wears The Pants Around Here?

In 1938 Los Angeles, Helen Hulick went to jail for wearing slacks in courtroom. 'Kindergarten teacher Helen Hulick made Los Angeles court history — and struck a blow for women's fashion — in 1938. Hulick arrived in downtown L.A. court to testify against two burglary suspects. But the courtroom drama immediately shifted to the slacks she was wearing. Judge Arthur S. Guerin rescheduled her testimony and ordered her to wear a dress next time.' 'The next day, Hulick showed up in slacks. Judge Guerin held her in contempt. She was given a five-day sentence and sent to jail.'

'Hundreds sent letters of protest to the courthouse. Guerin's contempt citation was overturned by the Appellate Division during a habeas corpus hearing. Hulick was free to wear slacks to court.

A couple of months later, Hulick came back to court. Her point made, this time she wore a dress.'

That New Costume Smell

If you were a child in the 70s who dreamed of being Boss Hogg or an 80s baby desperate to be a Rubik's Cube, your dream could come true for less than $5. For that was the Golden Age of Ben Cooper and Collegeville Costume. Relive their glory days by perusing some vintage catalogs.

Collegeville: 1966, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1983, 1992
Ben Cooper: 1973, 1980, 1981
More photos

Halco costumes also deserve a mention, though they don't seem to inspire as much nostalgia. Perhaps because they licensed less popular characters like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Heinz Pickle.

He looks like a reverse Benjamin Buttons

Zach Galifianakis and Brad Pitt share some gum

You probably should play all of these...

With thousands of reader suggestions, Kotaku has published a directory of "Classic PC games you must play". The most voted for free games [links go to places you can download games]: Star Control II, Tyrian, Zork, Battle Zone, Myth II, and Daggerfall. Some of the most votes for games that are available for $10 or less:Master of Orion ($5),Quest for Glory ($10), Planescape ($10), Total Annihilation ($6), Heroes of Might and Magic III ($9), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ($5), Little Big Adventures 2 ($5), Descent ($10), and Betrayal at Krondor ($6). More idiosyncratic than PC Games list of the top games, but the people have spoken...

Car model diorama-rama

Instagram user takupon0816 is a constant stream of the most incredible model car dioramas. The weathering and lighting are so spot on that most barely give away they are in fact small scale models and not life-sized photoshoots. Weathering is a big thing in scale modeling with tools and techniques specifically made for it. There are also diorama model museums in Japan dedicated to showcasing the craft.

Michaelangelo: You're not a quitter, dude. Finish what you started.

This Is What Happens When You Eat 15 Slices Of NYC Pizza In One Day

Related: How I Took On The Citi Field Food Challenge (And You Can, Too)


Atlanta's graffiti filled Krog Street tunnel erased in protest. Artists and residents of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood, angry about an upcoming ticket-holders only masquerade ball (promising a "sultry underground experience" where "taboo will be the norm" for $40 not including drinks) have, in protest, painted over all the graffiti art that made Krog street tunnel remarkable to begin with.

Through the Eyes of a Monster, tales from a different vantage point

About 40 years ago, Edward D. Wood, Jr. published a number of short stories in "girly" mags (cover images likely NSFW), but those stories haven't been republished, until now. Blood Splatters Quickly collects 32 stories from Ed Wood, and you can read The Day The Mummy Returned on Boing Boing. If you like tales told by the monsters, io9 collected more of such stories, videos, and video games, and there's a related AskMe post, looking for stories where humans are the monsters, many of which can be read online, as linked below the break.

100 Years of Martin Gardner!

In Honor of the Centennial of Martin Gardner's birth (October 21, 1914), we've lined up Thirty-One Tricks and Treats for you: Magazine articles, new and classic puzzles, unique video interviews, and lots more.The Nature of Things / Martin Gardner [46min video] ✤ The College Mathematics Journal, January 2012 dedicated to Gardner with all articles readable online.

Moderation Exasperation

So companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on an army of workers employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us. And there are legions of them—a vast, invisible pool of human labor. Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world's social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to "well over 100,000"—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook.
The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

Translation: I love mom

AutoRap is an app that will take words spoken into it and automatically tune them into one of several pre-set rap beats. Here, a young girl makes an adorable rap about her mother.

Why I Left

"It's about readers and their trust in us." Dave McKinney, longtime Chicago Sun-Times political reporter, resigns after the paper appears to cave to pressure from billionaire Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner to punish McKinney for writing an article that portrayed Rauner as a thug. After supporting McKinney publicly but attempting to remove him from the political beat, the paper reversed its three-year-old policy of not endorsing candidates by endorsing Rauner, who until recently owned 10% of the company that owns the paper.

Photographing Today's Solar Eclipse

This afternoon/evening, North Americans will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, making for some great photography opportunities from Chicago to LA and points northward (coverages as high as ~60% in the Northwestern US and Canada) -- even if there are some clouds! Not sure how to photograph an eclipse safely? Here are some detailed guides.

Along with the two guides mentioned above (one of which even has a handy table of exposure times!), there's an even more detailed guide in two parts [1,2] from the wonderful

But remember, safety first! Even during a partial eclipse, focusing on the sun can rapidly damage your delicate optics (and possibly your camera's). Not sure what filters are good enough to protect you? Here is a detailed comparison of various filter materials (including both ones designed for solar observation and makeshift ones like exposed film, magnetic media, & pop-tart wrappers) which includes measurements of their UV, visible light, and IR transmittance properties.

f-bombs for feminism?

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism (YouTube; NSFW), FCKH8's new video campaign, has gone viral - attracting both praise & criticism. FCKH8's campaigns have sparked similar mixed reactions before.

This Buzzfeed link relates in detail the content of the FCKH8 video without audio (therefore more SFW):
"What's more offensive? A little girl saying 'fuck' or the fucking unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?"

Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies reacts on Facebook:

I have a lot of folks sending me the cursing princesses video asking for my thoughts. When a friend sent it to me on Tuesday my response was this: "Well, I love the message and the girls are spot on as they deliver it.
At the same time, they are being used as props. Those aren't their thoughts or words, they are a schtick. It is funny because it is so wrong that it is right, but in general adults using kids as puppets makes me uncomfortable."

Then I learned the video was meant to sell t-shirts, I was distracted when I first viewed it and I didn't realize it was an advertisement. This is not the first provocative ad from FCKH8, whose adverts have gotten them in hot water before (using Ferguson kids to sell racism t-shirts). Now it just feels icky to me.

Here's the thing at some point I hope people understand --- Using the exploitation of girls to further exploit girls is not empowerment. Girls, on their own, are quite powerful and many are passionate about issues of inequality, violence, and general societal mistreatment. I'm raising an eight year old just like that. But you know, she's able to make her own case, formulate her own argument, and USE HER OWN VOICE. If you spent time talking with girls, you'd find this to be true of many of them.
When we have adults scripting and slickly producing a video meant to shock rock itself into viral fame, we aren't empowering girls and we certainly aren't liberating anyone. Feminism works when the message is heard, not argued over.

So you can think this video is great and you can think girls dropping f-bombs is no big deal and you can clap and squeal at these adorable little long as you see the video for what it is: child actors repeating memorized lines about some very serious topics (they may not even understand) so that a company can make money.
further reaction at Women You Should Know:
FCKH8's "F-Bomb Princess" Video Isn't Offensive... It's Exploitative

FCKH8 had another recent campaign attract controversy:
Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids by (YouTube video link)

Colorlines: This is the T-Shirt Company Making Money Off of Ferguson

DailyDot: Clothing company FCKH8 gets hate for anti-racism Ferguson T-shirt
The issue of FCKH8's "attention-getting style" has always been a source of conflict with the marginalized groups it attempts to represent. Both as a for-profit business and as a fundraising organization, FCKH8's main goal is to promote itself and sell more products. Inevitably, this causes some friction with non-profit campaigners who demand a more nuanced discussion of race, gender and sexuality...

There's no doubt that FCKH8 donates significant amounts of money to worthy causes. But by simplifying issues such as the Ferguson protests, anti-black racism and LGBT discrimination into marketable T-shirt slogans, FCKH8 can expect to see more of this type of backlash in the future.
further reaction from ChescaLeigh:
FCKH8 Continues To Be Awful, Demands An Apology & Accuses Colorlines Of Being Homophobic
(ChescaLeigh previously on MeFi with Shit White Girls Say... To Black Girls)

on tumblr: stopfckh8

FCKH8 previously on MeFi for their Straight Talk On Gay Marriage video: Some Dudes Marry Dudes, Get Over It

hassled by the cops for taking too many photographs of freight trains

Please tell me the most Dad thing your dad has ever done


A prolific vandal has defiled natural features in at least ten US National Parks. And then posted about it on social media. Reddit is on the case.

Really, really old dogs

"Photographer Pete Thorne has discovered that, just as photographing the elderly can make for powerful portraits, the same can be said for old dogs as well. His "Old Faithful" photo series takes a warm and intimate look at man's best friends as they live out their golden years."

"I write as a reader, not knowing what the author will say next."

Russell Edson was a prose poet whose poetry had the "the sustained wackiness of old Warner Brothers cartoons." When he passed away this year Charles Simic wrote in appreciation of his work, as did J. Robert Lennon, whose article included two audio clips of Edson reading. In interviews, Edson spoke with the same mix of seriousness and humor as he did in his poetry. Here are two interviews, one with Peter Johnson [pdf] and another with Mark Tursi. But, of course, the important thing is his poetry, so here are a few examples: 1, 2, 3. And finally, here's a video of him reading (starts after the 9th minute). [Edson previously. I especially recommend reading the linked appreciation by Sarah Manguso.]

"My father directed his stupid humor at me."

Louise Bourgeois Peels an Orange. A short film about her father, a little girl, and an orange.


Playboy models from Miss March 1954 to Miss January 1979 on meeting the male gaze then—and now. (NSFW!) "There is, according to Playboy magazine's official style guide, no such thing as a former Playmate."

At the invitation of New York magazine, Dolores Del Monte (Miss March 1954), Helena Antonaccio (Miss June 1969), Marilyn Cole Lownes (Miss January 1972), Janet Lupo (Miss November 1975), Laura Aldridge (Miss February 1976), and Candace Jordan (Miss December 1979) recount their experiences as Playboy centerfolds and bunnies, and have some new pictures taken. Aldridge recalls, "My ex-husband [Alan Aldridge, who did graphic design for the Beatles] might be the only person who didn't think Playboy was cool. He thought Hugh Hefner exploited women." (NSFW.)

Dogs reenacting U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments

If there is any justice in the world, this will revolutionize the way you consume Supreme Court news. Fed up with the Supreme Court's refusal to allow cameras at oral arguments, John Oliver has proposed an alternative to existing television coverage that relies on artists' renderings of the justices. Oliver has released more than ten minutes of raw footage of dogs dressed up like the members of the Court, and has challenged news outlets to use the footage to create less-boring recreations of oral arguments.

So far, this challenge has resulted in recreations of the Aereo and Hobby Lobby arguments.