In what remains a QVC record, Ina Garten — the only guest who Mr. Venable says made him feel like a crazed teenager at a rock concert — sold out of 30,000 copies of her latest book in 25 minutes 4 seconds. And that doesn’t take into account what the publishing industry calls the QVC effect. That is, the extra sales and marketing power that rises up through Amazon sales and bookstore orders because QVC has deemed a book worthy. -- QVC’s David Venable: The Man Who Helps America Cook by Kim Severson, New York Times
Every winter Katie Faflik's Peepaw throws a holiday party, with one guest dressed as Winter Man. Is it Gregg this year [Facebook]? Snaps from Peepaw's Thanksgiving party, with all the trimmings [also Facebook]. [more inside]
When the Original Cast Album of Lazarus was released, it contained a bit of a bonus: three studio tracks of songs from the show recorded as out-takes from his final album ★. No Plan, Killing A Little Time, and When I Met You. [more inside]
The MRT Circle Line was hit by a spate of mysterious disruptions in recent months, causing much confusion and distress to thousands of commuters. Like most of my colleagues, I take a train on the Circle Line to my office at one-north every morning. So on November 5, when my team was given the chance to investigate the cause, I volunteered without hesitation.
"Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks. "
"I feel like I’ve fallen down a wormhole, entered some parallel universe where black is white, and good is bad. Though later, I think that perhaps what I’ve actually done is scraped the topsoil off the surface of 2016 and found one of the underground springs that has been quietly nurturing it. It’s been there all the time, of course. Just a few keystrokes away… on our laptops, our tablets, our phones. This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight." [SLGuardian]
Marcel Gotlieb est mort à 82 ans. Known as Gotlib, founder of the comic magazine Fluide Glacial, creator of Gai-Luron, SuperDupont and many more. Author of the Rubrique-à-brac serie, considered a masterpiece of french humor.
Signs Of A Creepy Government Conspiracy At Standing Rock is a bit of investigative journalism from, er, Cracked, covering various cybersecurity attacks that have been launched against the protest camp at Standing Rock.
Mass Effect: Andromeda [YouTube] The journey to Andromeda begins now. Navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds, and lead the charge to find a new home among the stars. How far will you go to become humanity’s hero? [more inside]
An investigation by The New York Times of tens of thousands of disciplinary cases against inmates in 2015, hundreds of pages of internal reports and three years of parole decisions found that racial disparities were embedded in the prison experience in New York.
Gerudo Valley (alternate), composed by Koji Kondo, is part of the soundtrack of the popular 1998 Nintendo 64 title: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The valley itself lies to the west of Hyrule and can be traversed by jumping across on Epona. Recently, an Unreal Engine 4 recreation of the location was produced. The tune has been covered quite a lot (more below the fold) or reworked by DJs or given a full orchestral interpretation (alternative). Also, the original as a 10 hour loop. [more inside]
Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study. Writing in the journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050...previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account. This could trigger a "positive feedback" and push the planet's climate system past the point of no-return. [more inside]
WHITE NOISE - the best of the AltRight. "It's not that fringe, okay?"
"Setting out to try to become a nicer person sounds like a deeply colourless and dispiriting ambition. In theory, we love niceness of course, but in practice . . . "(SLYT)
Men Dump Their Anger Into Women "Women are expected to regulate the emotions of men as well as themselves. They have to sharpen their emotional regulation skillz because they’ll be regulating for two even when they’re not pregnant. [...] This takes many forms, and at its most benign looks like listening, support and empathy. However, as it becomes more noxious, women are expected to read the emotions [of] men and proactively protect them from their own negative emotions. [more inside]
"Turning a blind eye to the Earth wouldn’t just stifle basic research. It would leave us more vulnerable to all sorts of weather and climate-related disasters, from drought-fueled famines in Ethiopia to devastating wildfires in Alberta to the ceaseless march of sea level rise in South Florida and the South Pacific. These, and many other environmental challenges that NASA’s Earth science division helps us to understand, have enormous economic and national security implications for all of humanity." [more inside]
Hey, Aren't You... is a short (15 min) DVD extra featuring interviews with many of the actors who played supporting characters on Seinfeld and the impact the show had on their life.
More bad lip reading, to an unbelievably catchy tune.
Noel Gallagher talks about the making of Be Here Now, and why D'You Know What I Mean? needed to be remixed.
"So you've got this huge desk the size of Bradford, you've got a tape machine which couldn't handle the amount of tracks so you had to get another tape machine. It's the only time I've ever seen it in the history of music... When we separated all a hundred guitars, all doing the same thing, and got the key elements, and then did that remix, it sounds amazing. You can actually hear the strings, the bass guitar, and you can actually hear everything."[more inside]
Can you figure out the mystery inside this remarkable ad about high school love? (Do watch the ad before scrolling further.)
Wherein the soothing nostalgia of vaporwave is combined with the hallucinatory, corrupted-VHS ennui of Marge and the gang. [more inside]
The Gambia’s autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh, who once claimed a “billion-year” mandate to rule, has conceded defeat after a shock election loss to a real-estate developer who once worked as a security guard in London. "Hello, are you hearing me?” Jammeh asked Adama Barrow, grinning widely on his mobile. “I wish you all the best. The country will be in your hands in January. You are assured of my guidance. You have to work with me. You are the elected president of The Gambia. I have no ill will and I wish you all the best.” [more inside]
Actor Andrew Sachs, best known for his beloved portrayal of a hapless Spanish waiter named Manuel on the British sitcom Fawlty Towers, has died at 86...
It’s no accident that many people who appreciate VR and AR are also fans of scifi books, movies, and TV shows. Technology has imitated art and the other way around, with science fiction writers coining terms like “virtual reality” and “the metaverse,” and tech companies using science fiction writers as in-house futurists and advisers.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in books with significant AR and VR presence, this is the reading list for you. Also on Goodreads.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in books with significant AR and VR presence, this is the reading list for you. Also on Goodreads.
Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting "Photographer David Burdeny [...] began the series SALT: Fields, Plottings and Extracts in 2015, using aerial photography to explore some of the world’s most vibrant salterns in Utah, Mexico, and Australia. Gazing upon the images it’s difficult to determine whether the expressive boxes of color are produced with a camera or paintbrush, or if the gestures were made by hand or nature."
An electric company, a college dropout, a DOG, a Bohemian musician, an up and coming artist, spies, robots, Aliens™ and "Erotic Space Adventures": The (Early) History of Squaresoft [more inside]
Why not eat steak tartare at the same restaurant seven nights a week? It’s not because I’m boring; I’m just saving my exciting stuff for other areas of my life.
Making the Geologic Now is an online book in the form of a Zuihitsu, in which short chapters that are part science, part interview, part engineering, part art, part culture, and part whimsy mingle with each other to reflect upon the Anthropocene. It can be browsed on the web, downloaded for a price you choose (including free), or bought as a hardcopy.
I Dialed a Wrong Number and Stumbled Into International Phone Fraud. "Cuba is one of the most expensive countries to call from the U.S. […] To get around this tightly restricted market, a great many fraudulent and ingenious ways of making money have sprung up around calling to Cuba. Global capitalism abhors a vacuum. And so, of calls from North America and Europe, the ones to Cuba are the most likely to be fraudulent in some way, according to the Communications Fraud Control Association’s 2015 global survey. And telecommunications fraud is no small thing. In all, fraud costs the telecommunications industry an estimated $38.1 billion a year."> [more inside]
"But seriously. If you're going to create a world where an entire town of Puritanical eighteenth-century Scots(wo)men have their town converted into a forward-motion-only time machine that will, in the span of just one year in their eyes, deposit them in the year 38235 — that's thirty-eight thousand two hundred thirty five — in what frickin universe does it make any sense whatsoever to make your story about a guy one of the village girls develops a crush on, on day goddamn two!?!"
"Olivia!" 1978 ABC TV special with Andy Gibb & ABBA This is the concert segment IN TRUE STEREO from the 1978 special "Olivia!"
The Police but every time they say "roxanne" it gets faster (single link Twitter video)
The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
It's here! It's December which means it's time for the yearly DJ Earworm: United State of Pop 2016. [more inside]
Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of General Tso's Chicken, has died at the age of 98. Peng first made the dish in the 1950s while working for the Nationalist government in Taiwan, naming it for Zuo Zongtang, a statesman and military leader from the Qing dynasty famous for having put down the Taiping Rebellion (previously). When the dish made it to the U.S., the New York Times' Mimi Sheraton raved about it using the words in the post title. [more inside]
A group of Australian high school students have managed to recreate a life-saving drug that rose from US$13.50 to US$750 a tablet overnight after an unscrupulous price-hike by former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli. The Sydney Grammar students reproduced the drug, Daraprim, used to treat a rare but deadly parasitic infection, in their high school laboratory with support from the University of Sydney and global members of the Open Source Malaria consortium. [more inside]
The Map of Physics : "Everything we know about physics - and a few things we don't - in a simple map." (SLYT, via Kottke)
Handgun Safe Research is a vimeo channel where various handgun safes are effortlessly defeated with zip ties and paper clips.
Nighttime scenes of parked cars and deserted streets, photographed by Langdon Clay (1974-76).
Jon Sudano has covered a diversity of groups from the Village People to Adele . . . but all his songs have one thing in common. It's not his beard or his dedication to his craft; every song he covers has the lyrics and melody replaced with Smash Mouth's "All Star". [more inside]
LA Times: Remains of ancient elephant unearthed at L.A. subway excavation site "The first discovery, made just before Thanksgiving, was of a 3-foot section of tusk fragments, as well as fragments of a mastodon tooth, found at a depth of 15 feet at the Wilshire and La Brea excavation site, said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. [more inside]
The New Zealand Herald's extended report on the hair extension industry and how hair gets from rural China to first world salons
In his 2005 book Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times, Churton challenged this scholarly consensus, acknowledging the likelihood that Baphomet originated as a botched transliteration from Arabic to French, but offering a few alternate etymological routes that it may have traveled to get there.What’s In A Name: How A Medieval French Typo Might Have Come To Represent Satanism
The Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life postmortem with Amy Sherman-Palladino (major spoilers) (FanFare threads: Fall, Summer, Spring, Winter)
Aussie Hayden James makes extra awesome house music, if you're into that kind of thing. See Permission to Love, in all of its 8-bit glory. Also listen with your ears to Something About You and (my favorite) Just a Lover.
Tired of RHNB? Does ruining the plumbing with sodium and mercury not do it for you any more? Does dry ice leave you cold? Get your ASMR on with Will It Melt! (YT channel) [more inside]