Who was Ivor Cutler? A Glaswegian transplant living in London, creating surreal and playful music and poetry, sometimes accompanying himself on harmonium, from 1959 until his death in 2006. [BBC obit | Guardian obit | Telegraph obit ] By then, he'd also appeared on the John Peel Show more times than any other artist (not counting The Fall). [ A piece on him from the BBC's "In Search of the Great English Eccentric" | BBC piece and a Guardian piece on a biopic play about Ivor's life and times, The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler • National Theatre of Scotland's website for the play ]
Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh! [ponk] [doont] HRARGLBL [ponk] [doont] Huhhhrh?
For the past month Gawker has been sharing true stories from behind the front lines of adjunct-dom: The Educated Underclass. [more inside]
Captain Disillusion (previously) has himself become disillusioned with his own show's format. Fortunately, a mentor from another era has returned to give him guidance.
This interactive chart of who marries whom may be a horrible example of data visualization, but it contains fascinating information about marriages by occupation for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. For example, actuaries mostly marry database administrators, though male actuaries in same-sex marriages prefer fitness instructors and female actuaries in same-sex marriages go for carpenters. High-earning women (doctors, lawyers) tend to pair up with their economic equals, and the most common marriage is between grade school teachers. Hints on how to read the chart inside, as you explore the more interesting parings (for example, proofreaders tend to marry optometrists) [more inside]
The Many Ways The Media Gets Around Saying [Groin] By Kyle Wagner [FiveThirtyEight] It’s the oldest laugh in sports: Some poor schmoe takes a sports ball to the crotch, keels over and, once we’re reasonably sure no lasting damage has been done, the TV announcers deadpan some dad jokes while the camera pans around to giggling teammates. It’s as much a familiar sports yuk as other not-all-that-uncommon oddities, like a field player on the mound or the fat guy touchdown, only with funnier GIFs. At least, that’s how things work when the hit comes in a relatively low-stakes setting. But what happens when the stakes are raised? And just as important, when reporters are forced to write about sportsmen kicking each other in the nuts, what do they write? This week has provided some answers.
America's a big country. From the easternmost reaches of Maine to the western Alaska islands in the Bering Sea, these United States include towns with every imaginable name. We've collected some of the more surprising examples. Because it's the last day of May and we wanna keep MeFi weird. Add your own examples, let's go wild!
In order to expand the discussion of black cinema beyond #OscarsSoWhite, Slate put together a panel of cinema experts and historians to create The Black Film Canon - fifty important films by black directors, showcasing the black cinematic voice spanning over half a century. (SLSlate)
Business of Disaster: Insurance firms profited 400 million after Sandy. An investigative report from Frontline and NPR. [more inside]
"My other fruit bowl has a teapot in it." "Fruit, in my fruit bowl? Are you mad?" Readers share pictures of their fruit bowls with the Standard Issue
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 46 in 1988, social worker, artist, dancer, marathoner and activist Patricia Lay-Dorsey has documented much of her journey. [more inside]
Using photogrammetry, Claire Hentschker has extracted the physical space of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining' from the first 30 minutes of the film and reassembled it in VR along the original camera path. [more inside]
The Morph Club Podcast - Two comix illustrator friends revisit Katherine Applegate's popular 1990's YA book series Animorphs! Join them as they laugh and cry about sad morphing teens and the horrible aliens who hate them. [more inside]
How Toronto's craziest Twitter war ended up in court (slTorontoLife)
A new survey released by Medscape (owned by WebMD) shows that female doctors are paid significantly less than male doctors. Some of this may be due to specialty choice, but not all; the pay gap is $33,000 even among primary care physicians. A 2012 study also found that, among a study group of highly ambitious physician-researchers, women MDs make $12,000 less than men, after controlling for myriad factors other than gender (full paper).
Goiter-Ridden Creche Figures — Disease-ridden pilgrims bring a whole new level of realism to the manger scene. [more inside]
In Hangzhou, China, a new bookstore designed by XL-Muse contains mirrored ceilings as well unique designs around mirrors that provide amazing illusions, as well as a very unique "book playground".
"Many of the people involved in the Washington National Opera’s production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle say their first exposure to opera came from the same source—Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons." [SLWSJ]
Google has crunched the data on all those food-related searches you made and released a 75-page report, Food Trends 2016 [pdf]. Spoiler: bacon isn't going anywhere.
Wendy Carlos is one of the most important composers living today. While primarily connected to the fields of electronic music, sound design, and alternate tunings, her compositions transcend these genres. It is certain that her music will be included among the major milestones of 20th century music.
A Boston advertiser's technology, when deployed by anti-choice groups, allows those groups to send propaganda directly to a woman’s phone while she is in a clinic waiting room.
Me and Magdalena is the latest single by the Monkees. This is the first single from the Monkees' 12th album, 'Good Times!', written by Ben Gibbard from 'Death Cab For Cutie'. [more inside]
Dan Lewis's Now I Know newsletter brings us the story of Combat Juggling, and I bring it to you just because it's weird.
“You will never see a Mister Softee truck in Midtown,” he continued. “If you do, there will be problems, and you won’t see him there very long.” [SLNYT]
"Jeanie is actually 100 percent correct in her assessment that Ferris has been cut way too many breaks in life and should be held to a higher standard. In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, she’s not just a petty, jealous sibling, she’s a female voice of reason raging against a society that demeans her and disregards her opinions." - On the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a reflection on the overlooked Jeanie Bueller.
Lightning strikes at 7000 frames per second. [SLYT]
Inventions of Mine That Have Been Misused for Evil Purposes by veteran silly-person Jack Handey from The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs department
When "Rationalism" makes you dumber: Scientific American writer John Horgan's recent talk to a large skeptic conference was cut short when he called for turning skepticism towards "hard targets" such as psychiatric drugs, medical overtesting and militarism, and away from "preaching to the choir" rants against the paranormal and superstitious. [more inside]
Weird Skateboarding: Ritchie Jackson, Almir Jusovic, Jason Park, Kilian Martin, Gou Miyagi, William Spencer, no but seriously Willy Spencer.... Is This Skateboarding?
Chinese students gaming entry into and passage through Western universities The advertisements were tailored for Chinese college students far from home, struggling with the English language and an unfamiliar culture. Coaching services peppered the students with emails and chat messages in Chinese, offering to help foreign students at U.S. colleges do much of the work necessary for a university degree. The companies would author essays for clients. Handle their homework. Even take their exams. All for about a $1,000 a course.
Norway's Virus make weirdness and dissonance surprisingly catchy and groovy, an uneasy truce between jazz and metal resembling a mixture of Talking Heads and Voivod. Stereogum offers a couple of looks at upcoming new record Memento Collider. "There’s Crzal's [of Ved Buens Ende, Aura Noir, Satyricon, and more] cool, controlled vocal, sometimes backed by a wistful maybe-theremin. There's clean-ish guitar that’s fringed with the fry of radiation. There’s the equally hooky and knotty basswork provided by Plenum, a returning member whose other gig, Manimalism, is one of the more interesting projects to surface lately. There’s Einar Sjursø’s subtly massive drumming, perfectly providing the right snap to every rise and fall. There are nearly eight minutes of grooves patiently fighting over the title of 'that groove.'" [more inside]
If you only know Indigo Girls from their few hits from decades ago, you might not be aware that they get pretty intense on every album. Let's look at their deeper tracks from each of the Girls and how they evolve across time, starting with the beginning of their label recording career in 1989, Indigo Girls and the tracks Blood And Fire [Amy] and Love's Recovery [Emily]. [more inside]
Imagine it's the Fall of 1987 and you recently saw The Princess Bride (trailer). Then you heard that Fred Savage was back, in an oddly familiar setting with another story, this time about dinosaurs. You might be thrilled to see Dinosaurs! A Fun-Filled Trip Back In Time! (full film), even if you've already seen Will Vinton's clayanimation that was used as part of a dream sequence of sorts. Flash forward to the present day and you might do a bit of research on the "prehistoric monsters" featured in the short film and find some of the details less than accurate. [more inside]
Frisson (Wikipedia), dubbed "skin orgasms" by some researchers, is the sensation of shivers, often accompanied by the physical manifestation of goosebumps, which some listeners experience in response to particularly emotional or unexpected passages in music. Writing in The Conversation, Ph.D. candidate Mitchell Colver explores "Why do only some people get 'skin orgasms' from listening to music?" [more inside]
How can design techniques encourage animal phobics in opening up to a positive perspective on the feared animal?
Does not contain pictures of animals.
Trigger warning for tone: in parts, comes across as minimizing.
Does not contain pictures of animals.
Trigger warning for tone: in parts, comes across as minimizing.
Here in the northern hemisphere the days are getting warm enough to start wishing for some cool air. Let's dream together of snowy mountains and fun ways to get down them. Sure, we could alpine ski or snowboard, some of us may telemark, and lots of us go sledding, but we're dreaming here so let's make things more unusual. [more inside]
"This is all hilarious, of course — a 14-year-old girl utterly fanatical about the Founding Fathers — that is until you realize that it isn’t going away." Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports on taking his 14 year old daughter, Elizabeth, to see Hamilton.
Portland isn’t the biggest city, the most historical city, or the best weather city. If it isn’t quirky donuts that we promote, what’s it gonna be? You think Seattle people actually like the Space Needle? Hell no. It looks like a giant alien dick. But you’ve got to hand it to them, they put that alien dick on t-shirts, aprons, and frisbees and sell it year round. Voodoo has become a Portland institution, and it’s time to accept it. What is civic pride if not the ability to look out-of-towners directly in the eye and say “you should buy this stupid bullshit.”
We praise people that are “courageous” enough to quit their 9-to-5 and dive into the deep end of the exciting unknown. We idealize and romanticize the idea of being our own boss and being in charge of our own schedule. To take a risk and reap the bountiful benefits. Yet no one talks about the real sustainability or self-sufficiency of this formula when the playing field is never even.
How Tumblr Users Transformed a Homophobic Post Into a Dystopian Science Fiction Lovefest [more inside]
TS Eliot's rejection of Orwell's Animal Farm [The Guardian] Digitised for the first time by the British Library, Eliot’s rejection is now available to read alongside others including Virginia Woolf’s to James Joyce. Eliot’s letter is one of more than 300 items which have been digitised by the British Library, a mixture of drafts, diaries, letters and notebooks by authors ranging from Virginia Woolf to Angela Carter and Ted Hughes. The literary archive reveals that Orwell was not the only major writer to suffer a series of rejections: the British Library has also digitised a host of rejections for James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, showing how his patron Harriet Shaw Weaver attempted to find a printer for the novel she had published in serialised form in The Egoist. [more inside]