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Let Me Tell You About Homestuck

5 years.
7,000 pages.
13,000 panels.
700,000 words. [Approximately the length of the Bible.]
Over 3 hours of animation.
Over 23 hours of soundtrack.
15 separate games, in 3 unique styles.

PBS once called Homestuck the "Ulysses of the Internet". Its author, Andrew Hussie — who resembles Joyce in his impishness, stylistic maximalism, and fondness for disturbing smut — calls it "a story I've tried to make as much a pure expression of its medium as possible". It has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring proms and dominating Amazon makeup reviews. But most importantly, it's a rollicking good read, equal parts slapstick and epic, bildungsroman and cultural commentary.

What on earth about it makes its fans so overly zealous? And how the hell does one start the daunting process of reading Homestuck? If you're even the remotest bit curious about this Internet phenomenon, the following is a teensy-weensy introduction to just what makes Homestuck so terrific. [more inside]
posted by rorgy at 1:14 AM Oct 16 2014 - 156 comments [222 favorites]

I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.

I waited silently for her to explain that the female pelvis is shaped slightly differently from the male’s, with a larger opening for childbearing. That part was the giveaway. The real purpose of the exercise was to make her prove her conjecture with measurements--to translate the theory to practice. I also wanted her to explain why this sexual dimorphism--that is, this sexually determined physical difference--is not nearly so pronounced in nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees.

She spoke: Males have one fewer pair of ribs than females.
When teacher Robert S. Root-Bernstein got this answer to his question on how you should distinguish between male and female skeletons, he had to find a way to make her realise her error without disparaging her religion.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:12 AM Oct 20 2014 - 268 comments [86 favorites]

"...to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace, BBC Documentary. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:50 PM Oct 19 2014 - 5 comments [83 favorites]

Bobby drank too much and fell in the Clyde

Your next favorite band is probably from Glasgow. Sure, we know Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian (previously and very previously), Frightened Rabbit (previously), The Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, and Chvrches (previously). Step inside for some of Glasgow’s current talent explosion. [more inside]
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:55 AM Oct 16 2014 - 48 comments [73 favorites]

Unique taste — and the capacity to avoid the basic — is a privilege.

'She (and it is always a she) cherishes uninspired brands — a mix of Target products, Ugg boots over leggings, and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes (the ultimate signifier of basicness) — and lives a banal existence, obsessed with Instagramming photos of things that themselves betray their basicness (other basic friends, pumpkin patches, falling leaves), tagging them #blessed and #thankful, and then reposting them to the basic breeding grounds of Facebook and Pinterest.' Anne Helen Petersen on why 'basic' is just another word for class anxiety. [Single link Buzzfeed] [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:56 AM Oct 21 2014 - 171 comments [72 favorites]

cooking.nytimes.com

As hinted in the leaked digital innovation report which outlined how the venerable newspaper could leverage a substantial archive to compete with clickbait, The New York Times has been developing cooking.nytimes.com, a beautifully searchable repository of every recipe ever published in the newspaper. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:28 AM Oct 17 2014 - 29 comments [68 favorites]

Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We've All Been Waiting For

I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history of race in America and I ask them to shout white racial slurs at me. The results are usually disappointing. [more inside]
posted by 724A at 9:36 AM Oct 19 2014 - 171 comments [60 favorites]

When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes.

The Rise Of Men’s British-Made Shoes
The most famous Northampton technique is the 'Goodyear welted' shoe. Invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr., the Goodyear welted process is the footwear equivalent of the off-side rule: until somebody sits you down and talks you through it, it’s quite hard to understand.

The process involves approximately 75 components and 200 separate operations. On average, the whole process, from start to finish, takes eight weeks to complete. The main benefit of footwear that is made using Goodyear welted construction is that it can be resoled repeatedly, giving the shoe a longer lifespan.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:15 PM Oct 20 2014 - 76 comments [60 favorites]

Always remember it is YOUR project and YOUR paper and YOUR thesis.

"As the academic year begins again, new PhD students across the country (and further) are slowly settling into their fresh surroundings. I stayed at the same university when I made the switch to postgraduate research but I still remember feeling quite lost at the start, not knowing what to do or where to be. I’m now entering the final year of my studies and have (I hope) picked up some useful knowledge along the way.

"So I’ll cut right to the point: below is a list of handy tips, tricks, general advice and things I wish I knew when I started my PhD. The list was put together from chats with other PhD friends of mine, but is by no means exhaustive (nor is it in any particular order, though it did get quite long…). Hopefully it will help somebody. Please share your comments at the bottom if you have things to add – the more the merrier." Things I wish I knew when I started my PhD… from Between a rock and a hard place.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:37 AM Oct 18 2014 - 59 comments [59 favorites]

Do you fold it or wad it?

Buzzfeed conducted a(n unscientific) poll of over 300,000 readers on their bathroom habits. Some startling findings: most people pee in the shower, some people take their pants and/or their shirt off to poop, and 21% of respondents have their toilet paper facing the wrong way. The gulf between sitters and standers is widening, and the sitters contingent is winning. (Previously on sitters vs. standers.) [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 7:57 AM Oct 21 2014 - 195 comments [55 favorites]

Spinach dip and pork rinds for dinner? Heavy cream on everything? Yes.

The "Keto Diet" is deigned to keep your body in a constant state of ketosis. Originally designed to help people with sever epilepsy, it has become quite a popular way to lose a large amount of weight in a short period. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy at 5:11 PM Oct 18 2014 - 126 comments [53 favorites]

Welcome to BLAH

Virgin Airlines has released a nearly six-hour video showing what's it like to fly from New York to San Francisco with BLAH airlines, which is fictional, gray, boring, and non-Virgin; all in excruciating detail. (Warnings: SLYT, mannequins, Lynchian, Virgin Pepsi Blue)
posted by Baldons at 7:49 AM Oct 16 2014 - 82 comments [50 favorites]

Opera On Demand

Top hat at the cleaners? Opera glasses broke? Lost your box? Watch The Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera (Deutsch, English) Vienna State Opera, or concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic and a variety of options from medici.tv and The Young Vic, The Globe, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:42 AM Oct 17 2014 - 9 comments [49 favorites]

Don't Let's Stop

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It's a brand new record
for nineteen-ninety,
They Might Be Giants' brand new album:
FLOOD (43m)
Or, if you'd rather meet James Ensor, there's John Henry (57m)! For something Fingertippy, there's Apollo 18 (43m)! More recent: Nanobots (45m) - Join Us (47m) - The Else (38m) (Official links from the band's YouTube channel! Oh, and they also have a podcast.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM Oct 20 2014 - 47 comments [48 favorites]

“To navigate, you must be brave and you must remember.” - Mau Piailug

... imagine for a moment that you didn’t have to rely on maps to navigate the unknown—that your memory, instincts, and knowledge of the environment sufficed. This is the art of Polynesian wayfinding. An article by Lily Bui, a researcher at MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, summarizing how Polynesians managed to reliably navigate between more than a thousand islands in 10 million square miles of water, an area slightly larger than the size of Canada, with limited instruments and great memories for details. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM Oct 16 2014 - 6 comments [47 favorites]

Buy now, pay forever

Continuing the exposure of how "being poor is expensive," the Washington Post takes a look at rent-to-own purchases in its article, Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa. [more inside]
posted by fireoyster at 7:22 PM Oct 17 2014 - 116 comments [44 favorites]

And the lunatics yelling at the moon!

In early March of this year, the New York City Philharmonic staged what initially seemed like a restrained concert of Stephen Sondheim's musical “Sweeney Todd.” Per the New York Times review : "The director, Lonny Price, started the evening with a wink toward the formalities of classical concertizing, as the cast of principals lined up in front of music stands at the lip of the stage, clad in tuxedos and staid dresses, binders in hand, as if they were about to sing a little Schubert. Oh dear." But then . . . [more inside]
posted by bibliowench at 1:57 PM Oct 20 2014 - 77 comments [44 favorites]

It was for the best, every time.

Fictional Characters Whose Lives Would Have Been Vastly Improved By An Abortion (SLToast)
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:44 PM Oct 16 2014 - 193 comments [43 favorites]

The author admits that he ought to know better

Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock. Hat tip to Kate Beaton's tumblr, where Nonsense Novels is also available as a pdf download from the NYRB, with an introduction by Daniel Handler. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 1:03 PM Oct 19 2014 - 10 comments [42 favorites]

Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?

Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. This is a promise. For the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true and based on solid fact.
Orson Welles' cinematic confidence scam, F for Fake, gets a new two disc Blu-Ray Criterion Collection release this year. Ben Sampson offers a visual analysis in two parts, breaking down the film's layers of paradoxes. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:17 PM Oct 21 2014 - 22 comments [42 favorites]

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