November 11, 2015
"Here’s the point: to all of us readers, Saga gives a promise of freedom to be whoever we want and make our own choices without fear of being judged or punished." -- Nadia Bauman looks at what exactly it is that makes Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan's Saga so popular.
Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Extra History: The Seminal Tragedy (2, 3, 4), wherein Extra Credits' history subseries (previously) takes us into the series of coincidences, missed saves, miscommunications and bad decisions that led the world improbably into The Great War. (Bonus: Corrections, Retractions, and Lies!)
In Flanders Fields read by Michael Enright.
Remember back in July, when 1000 musicians all gathered in the Italian city of Cesena in a bid to get the Foo Fighters to come play a concert there? Remember when Dave Grohl responded by saying the Foo Fighters would? He meant it - last week, on November 2nd, the Foo Fighters played for an audience of 3000 in Cesena, and the videos are starting to show up online now. [more inside]
A challenge coin has been struck to commemorate Det. Ralph Friedman's service in the NYPD. He is the most decorated detective in NYPD history.
Are you a James Bond fan? You've seen every movie including unofficial ones like Never Say Never Again and the original 1967 Casino Royale? How about Operation 007 starring Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, Bernard Lee as "M" and... Neil Connery, Sean Connery's brother, as 007's brother... Neil Connery. The Italian production was also known as O.K. Connery. How good is the movie? So good that it it made into an episode of the much-loved Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The Burning Man of Birding: Inside Iceland's Puffin Festival by Brian Kevin [Audubon.org] For decades Icelanders have celebrated the Atlantic Puffin even while they've served it up on plates. But some traditions can't last forever.
These days, though, the only place to reliably find smoked puffin at Thjodhatid is in the concession tent, where, alongside cheeseburgers and chicken fingers, it’s sold for 1,500 krona, or about $12, per bird. That’s three times what it cost 20 years ago, making one little puffin an expensive snack; it’d take three birds to make a modest meal. So it isn’t a popular menu item—the concession tent has stocked just 600 birds for a three-day fest that regularly draws 16,000 people. Still, the puffin has its devotees.
You know, a little known fact about the Greeks is that they invented The Sequel. So, in the finest tradition of their ancestors, the Portokalos family will be returning to the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, this coming March. [more inside]
Monster flash flood, August 30, 2015, Southern Utah: A massive thunderstorm stalled up this basin and dumped billions of gallons of water in around and hour and a half.
Watch this video where it appears that the Earth is breathing. [VVS trigger alert]
To see how long it would take to attain an arbitrary skill, Mike Boyd chose skateboarding and set the milestone at a kick flip. It took him five hours and forty-seven minutes. With help from his cat. [SLYT]
The podcast Gastropod explores alcohol through the lens of the peak booze generation in the UK. The podcast recaps Chrissie Giles' article Peak Booze: How My Generation Became the UK's Heaviest Drinkers before jumping into exploring "Synthalol" as an alternative to booze. [more inside]
Spotlight, the movie: A personal view Lessons learned from survivors of sexual abuse, the strange intoxication of Hollywood & the power of investigative journalism. By Matt Carrol.
The Life & Times of Strider Wolf Trigger warnings for Violence, Child Abuse.
People think of Bainbridge Island as a peaceful, affluent, middle-class bedroom community and day trip destination, seven miles on the ferry from downtown Seattle. The island has a population of about 23,000, 5.5 percent unemployment, and the median housing price is below $500,000. Less well known is the island's role as an incubator for young and talented loud rock musicians. The suburban cocktail of teenage angst, plastic prosperity, and free time that makes angry young musicians pop up like mushrooms after a spring rain is hardly unique to Bainbridge, but the island has those ingredients in excess. What's special about Bainbridge hardcore is the scene's longevity. For more than 30 years, a metamorphosing network of house shows helmed by high-school teenagers has produced well-loved bands and musicians, many of whom never make a dent in the mainland musical consciousness—though some, like the radically unalike Murder City Devils and Holy Ghost Revival, have. The island lists Chad Channing (formerly of Nirvana), Andrew Wood (Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone), and Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden) among its famous alumni. Governor Jay Inslee is also a Bainbridge native, but nobody can confirm ever seeing him at a house show.
"There's a snideness about it that is in keeping with the experience and the inner life of being a certain kind of teenager. It's very anti-earnest. There was a moment after the period where that song came out where everything was humorless and grotesque. But after that, it seems like what happened was that everything got pretty earnest." Why Harvey Danger's '90s alt-rock hit "Flagpole Sitta" endures. [more inside]
What Are the Defining Ingredients of a Culture’s Cuisine? Priceonomics examines a dataset of Epicurious recipes to pull out the most common ingredient and the most distinctive ingredient by cuisine, plus a "Meat-o-Meter" that looks at commonly used meats in various cuisines. [more inside]
When Britain entered the war in Europe in 1914, it wasn't a sufficiently existential threat for Parliament to authorize a draft, so enlistment in the armed services was still voluntary. To "encourage" enlistment, Vice-Admiral Charles Penrose-Fitzgerald organized a group of women known as the Order of the White Feather. Their task -- to hand a white feather to any military-aged man they saw out of uniform. [more inside]
Shortly after the dust of the Civil War had settled, plantation owners in the Deep South tried to replace the labor of black ex-slaves with Chinese immigrants--most of whom left rather than put up with bad working conditions. Some, however, stayed in the Mississippi Delta through the end of Jim Crow, often carving out a role for themselves in the South's harsh racial climate as grocers serving primarily black communities. In fact, a historic Supreme Court case extending the reach of segregation to all non-white people took place when a Chinese family sued a local white school board. Now these grocers are dying out as their children leave the South, but groups like Southern Foodways are collecting their stories so that their contribution to Southern history can be remembered.
In the war against campus sexual assault, why are we not talking about drinking? "It bothers me that the conversation about alcohol and consent seems to be debated mostly by women—fought by women, argued about by women, the emotional burden carried by women. I’m ready to see more focus on how drinking changes men: how sex and aggression can get cross-wired, or the frightening way alcohol can smear their good sense away. Not “how much did she drink” but how much did he?" (slTexasMonthly) [more inside]
If you, too, tend to forget to visit MeFi Projects, possibly due to everything existing everywhere, simultaneously, then you ought to check out MagicRealismBot on Twitter. [more inside]
Visitors are invited to join Shia LaBeouf in person as he watches all his movies consecutively in reverse chronological order over the next three days, 24 hours a day.
United States Naval Aviation 1910–2010 by Mark L. Evans and Roy A. Grossnick is the Naval History and Heritage Command’s fourth update to the original history which was initiated in 1960. That first issue celebrated the first 50 years of United States naval aviation and this two-volume set commemorates the centenary. [more inside]
Are you flippping kidding me? Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays pens an essay that begins "Let me take you inside my head for a second" and brings us through his thoughts in Game5 of the ALDS against Texas and his now (in)famous home run and bat flip. [more inside]
Rewrite the rules to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy - "If there's one thing Joseph Stiglitz wants to say about inequality, it's that it has been a choice, not an unexpected, unfortunate economic outcome. That's unnerving, but it also means that citizens and politicians have the opportunity to fix the problem before it gets worse." (via) [more inside]