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Ideas for software that will change the world for better/worse.

Blackmailr. Super Goodinator. Two new apps that will transform your life. [more inside]
posted by dubold on Mar 12, 2013 - 31 comments

What we talk about when we talk about the Tube

The first District line train out of Upminster in the morning is the first train anywhere on the underground network. It leaves the depot at 4.53, the only train anywhere in the system to set out from its base before 5am ... if you catch that train, you might be tempted to say ta-dah!—except you probably wouldn't, because nobody is thinking ta-dah! at seven minutes to five in the morning; certainly nobody on this train. People look barely awake, barely even alive. They feel the same way they look; I know because, this morning, I'm one of them.
John Lanchester on the experience, at once aversive and hypnotic, of catching the London Underground. Lanchester's article is an extract from his forthcoming entry in the new Penguin Lines series of tube-reading-friendly books released to commemorate the Underground's 150th anniversary. Meanwhile, the Guardian have compiled a collaborative Spotify playlist of songs that mention Tube stations, for those so inclined.
posted by Sonny Jim on Mar 6, 2013 - 37 comments

Even the act of not having an opinion is now opinionated.

If you want my opinion, what we need are experts, not windbags (SLG*) *G for Guardian [more inside]
posted by Megami on Feb 24, 2013 - 36 comments

"His writing is not about something; it is that something itself."

In theory: the unread and the unreadable - "We measure our lives with unread books – and 'difficult' works can induce the most guilt. How should we view this challenge?"
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 19, 2013 - 18 comments

You know you make me wanna tweet

A new app has been invented that allows women ('girls only!') to rate and hashtag the men they've met, befriended or dated. The reviews are not positive. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Feb 13, 2013 - 122 comments

What's in a Name?

Is your name linked to your life chances? The Guardian's Data Blog examines the link between first names and life outcomes in a series of diagrams. "The Guardian Digital Agency has looked at the first names of doctors, prisoners, football players, Guardian staff and other professions and mapped how often certain names occur."
posted by sundaydriver on Feb 11, 2013 - 62 comments

Going Clear Blocked By UK Libel Laws

Why can't we read the Scientology book Going Clear in the UK?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 1, 2013 - 31 comments

Like pornography, you know it when you see it ...

International Art English (IAE) with its pompous paradoxes and plagues of adverbs is not to be confused with actual English.
posted by philip-random on Jan 29, 2013 - 64 comments

Gay Rights In The US, State By State

The Guardian has published a compelling interactive graph about where the 50 United States stand on LGBT rights. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jan 2, 2013 - 55 comments

Michael Buerk Attacks BBC, the media, the privately educated, and inequality

Michael Buerk: ""The arts, low and high, are dominated by them. The BBC is a private-school old boys' and girls' association. They edit most newspapers, even the Leftish Daily Mirror and the Guardian", he wrote."

Buerk also criticised the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee : "saying it was "cringingly inept" and had left him ashamed."

Michael Buerk rants about the BBC, the media and the UK.
posted by marienbad on Dec 31, 2012 - 54 comments

"The merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI"

How the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy [more inside]
posted by dubold on Dec 29, 2012 - 177 comments

Short story podcast

Authors choose their favourite short stories. For the next two weeks over the festive period we will be running a short story podcast each day. Our contributing authors introduce the stories they have chosen to read. Ford reads Carver. Gordimer reads Saramago. Selfs reads Borges. Postcasts are being posted here. [previously]
posted by shakespeherian on Dec 24, 2012 - 3 comments

Grauniad Down Under?

The Guardian, the 191-year-old British daily newspaper whose name is synonymous with broadly left-leaning values, is reported to be planning to open an Australian online-only news operation. The venture (which has not been confirmed) is said to be headed by current Saturday Guardian editor Katherine Viner, and to be a joint venture with Australian philanthropist Graeme Wood, who already runs a not-for-profit media site). The Guardian already runs a US online news operation (previously) with local reportage and commentary. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 17, 2012 - 57 comments

London's Brilliant Parade

The winners and runners-up in the second annual Shit London photography awards, celebrating the city's ugliest buildings, worst shop names and most depressing views (Guardian.co.uk)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 6, 2012 - 21 comments

The Screensaver, The Axe, The Ice Climb, And The Bear

One dealt with her near-death experience by forcing herself to stare at a screensaver of the shark that ravaged her body. Another let the bear finish the job 22 years afterwards. People respond to life-threatening traumas in different ways, as documented by The Guardian in Life after near-death: why surviving is only the beginning.
posted by mreleganza on Nov 18, 2012 - 50 comments

"The exchanges have taken place in a time-honored arena for mudslinging in Britain, the letters page of a newspaper"

It took 15 years, but, as the Guardian reports, the feud between writers Salman Rushdie and John le Carre is at an end.
posted by subdee on Nov 14, 2012 - 37 comments

on Kate Moss, and "taking one for the team"

On Kate Moss, and Taking One for the Team: "So, earlier this week Vanity Fair published a rare interview with Moss, in which the model, who is well-known for her circumspection, is unusually frank about the early years of her career. Moss was still a skinny, gangly teenager when she was plucked from mediocrity in Croydon and catapulted to superstardom. She was barely an adult, almost still a child, when she did her first topless photo shoot, with Corinne Day for The Face. In the interview, she talks about how uncomfortable this made her... This isn't the only the only revelation Moss made during the interview. It also turns out that the famous Calvin Klein campaign she did in 1992 with Mark Wahlberg gave her a nervous breakdown... Conveniently ignoring the fact that when the pictures were taken, Moss wasn't 'the face of the '90s', but a skinny teenage girl who cried because she was made to take her clothes off, Needham continues by saying that Moss' skinny frame 'seemed to encapsulate the euphoria of those long-distant times.'" [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 5, 2012 - 92 comments

Frightening fiction

Scary stories for Halloween Guardian books writers select their favourite seasonal chillers
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 25, 2012 - 54 comments

The Moving Finger types; and, having typed, Moves on

Perhaps that is the way to get handwriting back into our lives – as something which is a pleasure, which is good for us, and which is human in ways not all communication systems manage to be. It will never again have the place in people's lives that it had in 1850. But it should, like good food or the capacity to take a walk, have some place in our lives from which it is not going to be dislodged. Extracted from The Missing Ink: The lost art of handwriting (and why it still matters) by Philip Hensher.
posted by ersatz on Oct 8, 2012 - 133 comments

Creepy photography

Creepshots and revenge porn: how paparazzi culture affects women (The Guardian, UK)
"What unites creepshots [on Reddit], the Middleton photographs, the revenge porn websites," says Franks, "is that they all feature the same fetishisation of non-consensual sexual activity with women who either you don't have any access to, or have been denied future access to. And it's really this product of rage and entitlement"
[more inside]
posted by asymptotic on Sep 23, 2012 - 501 comments

"I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism."

Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon is speaking out against the network after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage as part of its "Eye On" series. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
posted by mek on Sep 5, 2012 - 21 comments

RIP Nina Bawden, 1925 to 2012

Nina Bawden, writer of novels for adults and children, born in 1925, died on 22nd August 2012. “As a child, Nina said, she had felt wicked because the children in the books she read were all so good, and she was one of the first writers for children to create characters who could be jealous, selfish and bad-tempered” (Guardian obituary). [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Aug 27, 2012 - 10 comments

The Right Time To Shoot

Should a photographer document or intervene? In the wake of the recording of a sex attack in India, The Guardian interviews several photojournalists who have experienced doubt and regret over their actions. [more inside]
posted by Magnakai on Jul 28, 2012 - 105 comments

Adventure Capital

How to make money with £100 Five Guardian writers speculate to accumulate.
posted by mippy on Jul 24, 2012 - 29 comments

'like a sort of soul-compass after I was dead.'

Last November, the Mayor Gallery had an exhibit of Sylvia Plath's sketches. (via)
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 20, 2012 - 5 comments

Body Integrity Identity Disorder

Body Integrity Identity Disorder is when a subject feels that he or she would be happier living as an amputee. This raises several questions: should amputation be offered as a treatment to people suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder? Or, should the alien limb be integrated into the body image? To what extent is the disorder psychological or neurological? Regardless, further research is needed. That said, in talking about newly categorized disorders such as BIID, do we spread "semantic contagion"? [previously]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 19, 2012 - 49 comments

Florence Williams - Breasts: A Natural & Unnatural History

Your Breasts Are Trying To Kill You: Slate reviews Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence WIlliams (an edited excerpt from the book re: breast milk in The Guardian - includes breastfeeding photo). NPR interview with Williams (41 min. audio and text highlights); a brief interview with Williams in The Star and a long interview in Maclean's. A recent piece by Williams in Slate: A new set of reports shows that federal policy on chemicals testing neglects breast health. Subject found via a post on IBTP discussing the ban, and then partial retraction of that ban, on allowing breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks to swim topless at a Seattle public pool - includes topless photo. Some may consider the photos noted NSFW.
posted by flex on Jul 10, 2012 - 19 comments

Sexual Habits of the Adélie Penguin

"Blizzards and freezing cold were one thing. Penguin perversion was another. Worse was to come, however. Levick spent the Antarctic summer of 1911-12 observing the colony of Adélies at Cape Adare, making him the only scientist to this day to have studied an entire breeding cycle there. " Penguin sex habits study rediscovered at Museum. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 9, 2012 - 21 comments

"There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person." G.K. Chesterton

Want a bestseller? Write about Henry or Hitler… [Guardian.co.uk] From Tudor England to the Third Reich, history's megalomaniacs continue to make great literary fodder.
posted by Fizz on May 13, 2012 - 12 comments

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." ~ Mark Twain

Don't judge a book by the ad on its cover. [Guardian.co.uk] Chalk it up as another brilliant innovation – or a sign of the impending apocalypse – as China Daily reports that publishers are making space on the front covers of books for advertising. Apparently the "first book to carry an advertisement" is an account of the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, written by his mother, which was published in March adorned with "the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer".
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2012 - 40 comments

"Being in a cage for such an extended period of time, it has its downfalls."

Forty years in solitary: two men mark sombre anniversary in Louisiana prison [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 30, 2012 - 25 comments

Slapstick comedy for your Friday the 13th!

This is why you don't text and walk. Via the Guardian.
posted by orrnyereg on Apr 13, 2012 - 82 comments

The Dictator's Secret Emails

The British newspaper The Guardian has obtained a cache of 3,000 emails purported to have been exchanged between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his wife, and a close circle of advisers and friends. The personal emails allegedly show Assad dismissing his government's proposed reforms, mocking the efforts of Arab League monitors to spot military tanks besieging cities, as well as Assad's wife placing extravagant shopping orders, sometimes through intermediaries. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Mar 14, 2012 - 35 comments

'The album was created with no talking. It's telepathy – Wobble and me just have that'

How we made: Jah Wobble and Keith Levene on Public Image Ltd's Metal Box. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 15, 2012 - 11 comments

Alan Moore's Masks: A Face to Face

Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory to face that face. But who is the true anarchist?
posted by 0bvious on Jan 13, 2012 - 37 comments

FBI releases file on Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard

Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard (Russell Tyrone Jones) was "heavily involved" in "murder, car-jackings … and the sale of drugs [and] illegal guns", according to a newly released FBI report. The FBI's 93-page file on ODB, revealed in a Freedom of Information request, connects Mr. The Bastard with a litany of serious crimes in the late 80s and 90s.
posted by porn in the woods on Jan 11, 2012 - 52 comments

"We fall into genre wars, of literature versus science fiction, and I don't think it's a real war." - Lauren Beukes

The Guardian interviewed four science fiction authors on the theme of the current state of SF. These authors are, in order, Lauren Beukes, Michael Moorcock, Alistair Reynolds and Jeff Noon, the latter two being interviewed together. Opinion ranges from bullish to crotchety, with plenty of shades and nuances.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 8, 2012 - 41 comments

Revolution + Bonuses

Egyptian army officer's diary of military life in a revolution -- It's ridiculous; at the height of the unrest reserve officer salaries doubled and everyone was getting huge bonuses all the time [...] Most full-time officers didn't really care what was happening politically on the streets, they were just happy with the extra money. Occasionally though you'd hear guilty jokes about how we were the only people who were benefiting from the revolution and the Egyptian people had been screwed over.
posted by philip-random on Dec 28, 2011 - 7 comments

The year in Lego pictures.

2011 in Lego Pictures. From the royal wedding to the death of Osama bin Laden, the English summer riots and the fall of Gaddafi, here are some of major news stories of the past 12 months captured in Lego by Flickr members.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 19, 2011 - 13 comments

We got some right, some not so right.

"They may well do it." [The Guardian] Sir Arthur C Clarke predicted in a lost BBC interview that the Russians would win the space race by landing the first man on the moon in 1968, probably on the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. Arthur C Clarke on The Sky at Night – video.
posted by Fizz on Dec 2, 2011 - 38 comments

If 'male' and 'female' were no longer true, then what was?

Thinking critically about transgender issues, a podcast by Juliet Jacques, author of the Guardian's Transgender Journey series. [more inside]
posted by ArmyOfKittens on Oct 29, 2011 - 13 comments

Well, sure, it's all downhill that way

"Storytelling is inherently dangerous. Consider a traumatic event in your life. Think about how you experienced it. Now think about how you told it to someone a year later. Now think about how you told it for the hundredth time. It's not the same thing. Most people think perspective is a good thing: you can figure out characters arcs, you can apply a moral, you can tell it with understanding and context. But this perspective is a misrepresentation: it's a reconstruction with meaning, and as such bears little resemblance to the event." Charlie Kaufman: Why I Wrote Being John Malkovich. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 7, 2011 - 47 comments

Grauniad USA

A new US-oriented front page for the Guardian online, reflecting a 'new digital operation based in New York'. US visitors to the .co.uk front page will be redirected to .com, but you can choose which version to see at top left. [more inside]
posted by Segundus on Sep 15, 2011 - 36 comments

Guardian editor alleged to have leaked Cablegate password

Wikileaks has alleged that Guardian editor David Leigh negligently leaked the encryption passphrase to the unredacted 'Cablegate' archive in an upcoming book. The Guardian denies the charges, but states that "[a] Twitter user has now published a link to the full, unredacted database of embassy cables", potentially putting informants at risk.
posted by p3on on Aug 31, 2011 - 203 comments

"By setting up on a canal boat, we hope to promote a less hurried and harried lifestyle of idle pleasures, cups of tea, conversation, culture..."

In the U.K., sometimes the bookstore comes to you— on a barge. The Book Barge: a floating bookshop on a canal boat (57' Cruiser Stern) in Lichfield, Staffordshire. [The Guardian]
posted by Fizz on Jul 18, 2011 - 23 comments

"In nonfiction, you have that limitation, that constraint, of telling the truth."

The 100 greatest non-fiction books: [Via: The Guardian] After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.
posted by Fizz on Jun 14, 2011 - 74 comments

Subtext

The Guardian has a new series of webchats with various people in the publishing industry starting with literary agent Karolina Sutton. Also various writers are asked: Can you teach creative writing?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 15, 2011 - 18 comments

skiffy

Today's Guardian Review is a science fiction special [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 14, 2011 - 89 comments

The nonexistent epidemic

The Guardian speaks to suffers of Morgellons, a disorder that, depending on whom you ask,is a delusional psychosis, an epidemic that's whitewashed out of medical research, or for conspiracists, alien nanotechnology. (Previously.)
posted by mippy on May 9, 2011 - 127 comments

As long as they're vertical, it's all right.

It's an odd thing that libraries – by tradition temples to the unfleshly – can sometimes seem such sexy places. The Secret life of libraries.
posted by shakespeherian on May 3, 2011 - 37 comments

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