November 14, 2012
"The exchanges have taken place in a time-honored arena for mudslinging in Britain, the letters page of a newspaper"
It took 15 years, but, as the Guardian reports, the feud between writers Salman Rushdie and John le Carre is at an end.
Thrones Food Trucks. (SLYT)
RIP to internet and body-mod legend Stalking Cat Known as "the cat guy" on many parts of the internet, Dennis had spent money to shape himself in the form of his totemic animal, which he described as "a stalking cat". He held the world record for "most permanent transformations to look like an animal" by a single person No note or reason has been shared by the family.
A year after the game Glitch 'unlaunched' to retool, Glitch is closing. Glitchens everywhere mourn their fabulous homes. Glitch had a quirky style and offered a large number of possible crafts to their players, but unfortunately the game did not attract a big enough audience to remain viable. previously previously
Radio Colifata is a beloved weekly Buenos Aires radio show run by psychiatric patients that breaks down boundaries between the "interned" and the "externed." During his Argentina tour, radio supporter Manu Chao invited a few Colifatos to join him. LT22 Radio La Colifata is 94 minute a documentary (in Spanish) shot over ten years that celebrates the station and the tour.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (previously, previously) has announced that it is suing the IRS over it's apparent unwillingness to enforce the rules against religious electioneering, banned by the The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Auctioneers as hypnotists? (Hurry up, you could lose the bid...)
How Polling Firm PPP Won The Election With Its Hilarious And Infuriating Questions: "Public Policy Polling, the firm that correctly predicted all 50 states in the presidential election, is known for asking some weird, quirky and, sometimes, controversial questions in its polls... Here are some of the firm's best questions of the election cycle." [more inside]
In 2006, aspiring inventor Marc Griffin appeared on the show American Inventor with a table game he had invented called Bulletball. Convinced he had created the next Olympic sport, he had spent 26 years of his life on the idea. He'd quit his job, sold all his possessions including his wife's wedding ring, and was sleeping in his car. The judges hated the idea – and his gut-wrenching experience on the show went viral. [more inside]
In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price. When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization. If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on[more inside]
When they take my shoelaces and belt, I realise that this is more serious than I had thought. [more inside]
The White House's petitions website has garnered over 100,000 signatures to "Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." Many signatures are from people not living in Texas. [more inside]
What happened next is that Pratchett collapsed. “I had to kneel on the back seat of the taxi and give him CPR,” Rob says. “It was fingers down throat stuff. He nearly died.” -- Extracts from an interview by Laurie Penny of Terry Pratchett reveal he nearly died and is planning to leave the Discworld in the hands of his daughter, Rhianna Pratchett. [more inside]
Robert Atwan, editor of the Best American Essays series, chooses the top ten essays since 1950 for PW's Tipsheet. All but three of the top essays are available to read online and linked in the article. (via)
COLBERT: I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn’t that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What’s evil is the purposeful distribution of fear. As Paul said when he was faced with the gom jabbar, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”A thoughtful interview with Stephen Colbert in Playboy (NSFW ads)(Non-Playboy copy.)
PLAYBOY: Did you just make a Dune reference?
COLBERT: I did! [laughs] If you’re injecting fear into other people, then you’re trying to kill their minds. You’re trying to get them to stop thinking.
100,000 Stars [SLInteractive3DVisualization] (Seems to run best on Chrome or Safari and a decent graphics card)
The History of Film in one convenient, zoomable graphic. 2000 "important" American, British, and a few other European films, grouped by genre and year. [more inside]
Royce White is a professional American basketball player who suffers from general anxiety disorder. Though he was considered one of the best talents in last year's NBA draft, he was not selected until the 16th pick, due to concerns over his mental health and his avowed reluctance to fly. Although the NBA season is only a couple of weeks old, White and his team, the Houston Rockets, are already having difficulty determining how to manage his health while meeting the professional demands of the NBA. LINKS: Documentary highlighting White's anxiety // Highlights of White while at Iowa State // White's Twitter account (where he is currently tweeting about his situation)
What was Of Grammatology about? When Madeleine, the heroine of Jeffrey Eugenides's campus novel The Marriage Plot, asks a young theory-head this question, she is immediately set straight: 'If it was "about" anything, then it was about the need to stop thinking of books as being about things.' That's not so far off. In all three books, Derrida's argument was that Western thought from Plato to Rousseau to Lévi-Strauss had been hopelessly entangled in the illusion that language might provide us with access to a reality beyond language, beyond metaphor: an unmediated experience of truth and being which he called 'presence'.—Not in the Mood by Adam Shatz is an essay in The London Review of Books about a new biography of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. The review does a good job of explaining Derrida's theories in simple language and putting it in the context of his life, from his childhood as French Jew in Vichy-controlled Algeria to his later years as a globetrotting academic star. For a complimentary perspective on Derrida, you can do worse than starting with these thoughts on his relevance for historians and progressives.
We’ve caught some of the smartest and most commited public men and women with their pants at their ankles. Time and again, we’ve had our fun. We’ve roundly mocked them for the very weaknesses that are so utterly our own. Reporters who have at points in their lives fucked themselves silly in hotel rooms across this great land of ours while pursuing the infidelities of more public men with righteous glee — these are not men and women who are much inclined to any real moment of self reflection, but then who among us really is? This kind of hypocrisy requires a complicit silence and a ritual wiping of the memory before every byline. [more inside]
Meet Michael the retired bank robber, Franklin the repo man, Trevor the psychopath and welcome to back Los Santos. (Previously) [more inside]
This woman had a haunted toaster. (Originally aired on the Today Show in 1984.)
"Then one of the nurses calls me and says, “The doctor would like to know why you’re rolling around on a table full of semen.” And I say, “TELL HIM THAT’S NOT HOW I NORMALLY SPEND MY SATURDAYS.”Author Pamela "Pamie" Ribon: "How I Might Have Just Become the Newest Urban Legend" [more inside]
While slit-scan photography is most well known for the "stargate" sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, advances in technology now allow it to be applied to moving objects in 3D. (via)
"Used to be that the idea was 'once every two years voters elected their representatives.' And now instead it's 'every ten years the representatives choose their constituents.'"
Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority, undermined Obama's mandate, set the terms of the sequestration fight, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade. It's not a new problem. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act, it could get a whole lot worse. And the electoral college may be next. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
The bicycle racing photographs of Timm Kolln. Tour de France 2009. The Peloton (previously). Racing polaroids. Roubaix. Jens Voight. Luis Ocana. Juan Antonio Flecha on a Winter Ride. Stage 9 2010. At the races. Bicicletas Zeus. Lo Stelvio. Federico Bahamontes. [Side scrolling photography site, your forbearance is appreciated.]
Book Shopping with the Best-Read Man in America. An afternoon in a used bookstore with Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize winning book critic and author.
Armstrong Baillie is unemployed and lives in Dundee. Twice a week, funded by his busking, he dresses up as a giraffe and performs good deeds.
"Farmer's Dilemma" is a short, sad and beautiful comic about family and acceptance. From Sam Alden's art blog, GINGERLAND.