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Rudimentary stepwells first appeared in India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D., born of necessity in a capricious climate zone bone-dry for much of the year followed by torrential monsoon rains for many weeks. It was essential to guarantee a year-round water-supply for drinking, bathing, irrigation and washing, particularly in the arid states of Gujarat (where they’re called vavs) and Rajasthan (where they’re baoli, baori, or bawdi) where the water table could be inconveniently buried ten-stories or more underground. Over the centuries, stepwell construction evolved so that by the 11th century they were astoundingly complex feats of engineering, architecture, and art.
For the last three days, a Search and Rescue Officer for the US Forest Service has been telling his stories to the NoSleep subreddit. They are by turns unsettling, sad and and just plain creepy ... and what's with the stairs? Read the comments, too. [more inside]
Vox argues that the reason the technical set gets frustrated with American politics is simple. They have a mental model of the political structure that is divorced from the actual reality of American politics. (SLVox) [more inside]
The 51 Best Fantasy Series Ever Written [Buzzfeed]
Whether you’re a Swords and Sorcery type of fantasy reader, a fan of battles and betrayal, or you just want a few more goddamn elves in your life, there’s something for you here. These are the truly great fantasy series written in the last 50 years.
What books should a critic own? "Each week, the National Book Critics Circle will post a list of five books a critic believes reviewers should have in their libraries." Here are all the lists, from 2007-2011. [more inside]
Duck army (SLVine) - just six seconds of video but what seconds they are. (Requires audio)
"I suspect that the way I feel now, at summer's end, is about how I'll feel at the end of my life, assuming I have time and mind enough to reflect: bewildered by how unexpectedly everything turned out, regretful about all the things I didn't get around to, clutching the handful of friends and funny stories I've amassed, and wondering where it all went. And I'll probably still be evading the same truth I'm evading now: that the life I ended up with, much as I complain about it, was pretty much the one I chose. And my dissatisfactions with it are really my own character, with my hesitation and timidity." (slNYT)
Gerrymanders Miss One Person The City Council of Columbia Missouri recently created the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District in the interest of raising taxes in that area to allow for improvement projects. The district boundaries were carefully created to exclude any actual residents of Columbia, giving the property owners the exclusive right to vote on property assessments. They almost got it. [more inside]
Last year, Laura Nowak used Instagram to document the responses she got when she asked men on Tinder about their views on feminism. Nowak said she started the project because “I don’t want women thinking they have to settle for being objectified if they want casual sex, and I don’t want men on Tinder being systematically categorised as creeps.” In February 2015, Instagram deleted her @feministsontinder account, stating that it violated their guidelines. Now Nowak is back on Instagram with @feminist_tinder, recording the responses she received when she put the phrase "hello I am a feminist" in her Tinder profile. [more inside]
Createdigitalmusic collects together 11+ documentaries on the history of electronic music. Ranging from 2 on Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (1 previously), to EMS (previously), to detroit, acid house, rave (previously), tresor, and more. Plus one news report an the early days of Chicago house that's a documentary in and of itself.
A three-hour mixtape of Goth history - a selection of nearly 50 tracks of early-to-mid eighties Goth classics that goes a lot deeper than your standard Bau'd Hauses and Sisters of the Mercy. Part of the Secret Thirteen mixes, a series nearly 160 sets deep of interesting and offbeat sonic collections. [more inside]
The Late, Great Stephen Colbert “The level of emotion you're getting from me right now—I'm not saying it's dishonest,” he said. “I'm just saying it's not normal. I'd really love to go to bed. I promise you, I do not spend my time on the edge of tears.”
"How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels Kindle Edition" In the wake of this year's kerpupple surrounding the Hugo awards, Alexandra Erin has created a Kindle book in response to Theodore Beale's (Vox Day) Amazon release of "SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police". [more inside]
Absolutely true plotlines from the latest season of Law & Order SVU. [single link imgur album]
100 great films by female directors. Part 1: 1912-1953, Part 2: 1962-1975, Part 3: 1975-1981, Part 4: 1982-1991, Part 5: 1991-1997, Part 6: 1998-2001, Part 7: 2002-2009, Part 8: 2007-2009, Part 9: 2010-2012, Part 10: 2012-2014. (This is not "The" 100 Great Movies By Female Directors. It's merely 100 movies we love and honestly think you will too.) [more inside]
Mount McKinley Will Again Be Called Denali [New York Times]
President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, restoring an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America. The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes. The central Alaska mountain has been called Mount McKinley for more than a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it, Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.”
"It took me eighteen weeks to heal. I never did manage to breastfeed properly, either gross incompetence on my part or possibly my body deciding: what the fuck, man. My hair went grey. I didn’t try to ask for support, at least until I started showing PTSD symptoms and developed Postpartum Psychosis. The experience had taught us that I was essentially disposable, and I didn’t trust the hospital enough to return. I sought help from other services instead. I heard voices, ringing in empty rooms. I heard constant crying while the baby was asleep." [more inside]
In 1997, HBO hired animation legend Ralph Bakshi to create an animated sci-fi show for adults. The result was "Spicy City," which only lasted for six episodes. All six of them are on YouTube. [more inside]