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What to read when pressed for time.

17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting by Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature:
This week author Ian McEwan expressed his love of short novels, saying “very few [long] novels earn their length.” Certainly it seems like a novel has to be a minimum of 500 pages to win a major literary award these days, and many genre novels have ballooned to absurd sizes.

I love a good tome, but like McEwan many of my favorite novels are sharpened little gems. It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:39 PM Oct 23 2014 - 51 comments [297 favorites (235 in the past 7 days)]

"So no I don't always believe them and yeah I let them know that."

While working within the Chicago Police Department, Rebecca Campbell (PhD, Professor, Michigan State University) was told by a detective that "most victims lie" about sexual assault. She, on the other hand, was certain that most victims told the truth. Wondering how both she and the detective could be so certain, she began to do the research to find out. Her work examines how the legal and medical and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent and pediatric victims of sexual assault. [Warning for graphic descriptions of assaults] [more inside]
posted by VioletU at 12:26 PM Oct 24 2014 - 49 comments [163 favorites]

Far beyond "every good boy does fine"

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People Toby W. Rush's "Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People" covers a massive range of topics like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, and harmonics. The online book itself is arranged as a collection of about 50 PDFs that offer diagrams, notes, and tips for everything music theory related. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:51 PM Oct 23 2014 - 26 comments [258 favorites (108 in the past 7 days)]

"I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm"

Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.
At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:06 AM Oct 29 2014 - 38 comments [98 favorites]

Do you like vintage training/educational fims? Meet Jeff Quitney.

Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women’s tennis, then you’ve just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480 [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 7:45 PM Oct 24 2014 - 16 comments [88 favorites]

10 hours of street harrassment, edited down to two minutes

10 hours of street harrassment, edited down to two minutes. From Hollaback.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM Oct 28 2014 - 584 comments [83 favorites]

How to Win the Lottery

Darius Kazemi: Every Talk Ever Given by a Successful Creative Person (SLYT) Note: It's worth watching to the end.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:25 AM Oct 27 2014 - 75 comments [75 favorites]

Jian Ghomeshi fired from CBC

Jian Ghomeshi, host and co-creator of Q, has been fired from the CBC ‘over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.’ [more inside]
posted by torisaur at 6:43 AM Oct 27 2014 - 610 comments [71 favorites]

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise

David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell, writes for the Pacific Magazine on how confidence and incompetence often go hand in hand: We Are All Confident Idiots
posted by tykky at 7:22 AM Oct 28 2014 - 74 comments [67 favorites]

Success is the thing that kills bands. We haven't had any success.

So there's this UK punk band. First wavers, '77. Cohorts of Gang of Four (whose pictures were inadvertently printed on the back of their first album). Rivals of The Clash, to whom their first single was an answer record. Their energy is so gregarious, their working-class politics so pointed but relatable, they make a mark for themselves despite the limitation of barely being able to play. They get to the part where they're supposed to break up or fade away. Instead, they learn to play, to play very well, even. They become an ever-shifting collective, picking up new members, people from The Rolling Stones, or people who'd played with The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, The Cure. They made roaring post-punk records, shimmering power pop, pint-raising Irish/British folk, and booze-saturated country records. They found a fascination with folk music, American country music in particular. Actually, they may have accidentally invented alt-country. Lester Bangs says they're "The most revolutionary group in the history of rock n' roll." Hyperbole? Nah. Hyperbole was when he called them "better than the Beatles." 37 years in, they're still making records that odds are, you either love dearly, or have never heard of at all. They're The Mekons, friend, and Joe Angio's new documentary looks at them in all of their shambling, lovable, raucous glory. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM Oct 30 2014 - 33 comments [67 favorites]

IN ANY CONVERSATION YOU ARE ALSO DEALING WITH AN EMOTIONAL TRUTH

Film Crit Hulk is back with a long essay about more-than-gamergate. Building off his previous ethical criticism (especially his multipart James Bond series) Film Crit Hulk gives us his opinions on "THE VOID OF THIS PARTICULAR HOUR". [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 9:36 AM Oct 30 2014 - 56 comments [66 favorites]

ACTUALLY

Actually, it's about ethics in games journalism.
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM Oct 24 2014 - 660 comments [65 favorites]

Seriously, it's not an RPG supplement

Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has just released brand new scans of the Voynich Manuscript. The entire collection is available in JPEG and TIFF, and the new scans look pretty nice. The Beinecke's main page for the Voynich (previously) gives a high-level overview of what the Voynich is, but René Zandbergen's site is probably a better place to start. Just want to poke around? Try the Voynich Manuscript Voyager, which lets you zoom in and bookmark any location in the book. Or the Voynichese Query Viewer, which provides visual search results. And don't forget the text, which the Voynich information browser provides in your choice of transcription. [more inside]
posted by bigbigdog at 12:28 AM Oct 24 2014 - 30 comments [69 favorites (64 in the past 7 days)]

You were't planning on sleeping this week, were you?

Lauren Davis rounds up webcomics to give you thrills and chills on io9, calling out 18 specifically, then listing additional titles in some of the descriptions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM Oct 29 2014 - 20 comments [63 favorites]

And then it happens again, when you’re sixty or seventy.

"A child’s body is very easy to live in. An adult body isn’t. The change is hard. And it’s such a tremendous change that it’s no wonder a lot of adolescents don’t know who they are. They look in the mirror — that is me? Who’s me?

And then it happens again, when you’re sixty or seventy."
Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:19 AM Oct 26 2014 - 42 comments [59 favorites]

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858
posted by Nevin at 5:30 PM Oct 28 2014 - 42 comments [59 favorites]

"What do you do when you think you have a murderer in the family?"

My Grandma the Poisoner. And now, once again, I feel like I’m supposed to care. Like there should be closure. Either I purge my past, forgive her, and arrive at a higher vibrational state, or I find proof of what she’s done over the years and expose her once and for all. I’d always planned to search her house one last time, but now the house is gone. And nobody is exhuming any bodies, and Grandma doesn’t even know what Grandma did. And there’s not going to be any grand finale. And as I sat there listening to Grandma sing with my children—not quite crying, I wasn’t quite crying—I realized that I didn’t care what had happened, that nobody cares what happened, that caring is for cops on CSI and doctors on ER and muscle-bound Marines in the movies. [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings at 11:46 AM Oct 27 2014 - 74 comments [58 favorites]

Crisis in Mexico: the government is killing students - again

Something happened the night of September 26th, 2014 near the town of Iguala, 100 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. According to The New Yorker: “Scores of uniformed municipal police and a handful of masked men dressed in black shot and killed six people, wounded more than twenty, and rounded up and detained forty-three students in a series of attacks carried out at multiple points and lasting more than three hours [...] The forty-three students taken into police custody are now ‘disappeared.” All 43 students, all young men who were studying to become rural teachers, are still missing, presumed dead. [more inside]
posted by omegar at 4:37 PM Oct 28 2014 - 27 comments [54 favorites]

From a Mefite, Announcing a Compendium of Letter Templates

The Art of Letter Writing investigates The New Century Standard Letter-Writer (1900), a collection of example letters for people to use as templates over the course of one's whole life," from A Clerk Apologizing to His Employers, and A Young Lady Desirous of Securing Farm-House Board, to A Gentleman to a Young Lady Friend of His about a Misunderstanding (from Wondermark)
posted by adrianhon at 3:12 PM Oct 28 2014 - 16 comments [53 favorites]

Anarchy in the Pre-K

Martha Stewart Living inspires parents to throw a Punk Rock Inspired Party for their children. Instead of advising parents to hijack the school's photocopier and use ransom-note letters from shoplifted magazines for invites; to get their child's mohawk ready to withstand the "nosh pit" with a fresh shave and white glue; perhaps piercing their cherubic cheeks with a safety pins; or even offering lessons in gobbing on the entertainment, the author suggests serving Spinach Ricotta Skulls and printing the sheet music of your favourite punk song on fondant-covered cupcakes. It's no wonder that the real party is in the comments.
posted by peagood at 2:03 PM Oct 24 2014 - 105 comments [51 favorites]

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