Sixteen-year-old Agnes Quill has inherited an ancient family curse, brought about by the loss of her parents. Several of our key scholars have accounted for and confirmed that she has the ability to see and communicate with spirits trapped between worlds. In several confidential journal entries, Agnes describes the events of her parents’ funeral, where the ghost of her Grandfather, Ages Quill, visited her. It was then that he explained the nature of specters and how he used his connections with them to great advantage throughout his career. Ms. Quill's stories are written by Astronaut Academy creator Dave Roman, and illustrated by a growing collection of artists. (via io9)
Atlas Obscura provides a Guide to Communist Mummies, and there's plenty more online. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum, where he has been kept since 1924, defying his wishes to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. He wasn't alone forever, as Stalin's body was kept in the mausoleum after his death in 1953, until his body was quietly removed in October, 1961. Just under eight years later, Hồ Chí Minh died, and against his wishes to be cremated, a very large state funeral was held and Uncle Ho's embalmed remains were placed in a mausoleum. Chairman Mao Zedong made A Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death in 1956, but his wishes were overlooked when he died in 1976, and he joined the growing ranks of the preserved communist leaders in his own crystal casket, housed in a grand mausoleum. [more inside]
"The key learning from this was that *Santa* IS brand. PARTLY literally and TOTALLY metaphorically."
*Santa* is a Concept, not an idea. It's an Emotion, not a feeling. It's both Yesterday and Today. And it's Tomorrow as well. Santa winds infinite Possibilities around finite Limitations to evoke the essence of invention and the Odour of Nostalgia. It has the complexity of Simpleness and the Simplicity of complexitiveness. It begins with the Hiss of Power and ends with the Ah of Surprise. *Santa* is.
Sex Worker Literati is a monthly storytelling series that features sex workers, former sex workers, and people with stories about the sex industry who read, monologue, perform, and shimmy their ways into your hearts, minds, and naughty bits. (NSFW video feed) [more inside]
"What do you think of that, Santa?" Yet another case of student 'art projects' out of control . . . other incredible violations of mall-Santa lap etiquette:1, 2, 3, and no doubt the most flagrant example, 4. Be careful out there.
The Aphrodite Project : both an homage to Aphrodite and her prostitute-priestesses as well as a practical tool for the contemporary sex worker. Or, GPS platform shoes for street hos. Check the demo.
An iTunes For The Rest Of Us? Just for laughs I often flip through my (free subscription!) Stereophile magazine. You know, the one with the ads for the $12000 speaker wire and $5000 CD players. Imagine my surprise when I saw a preview of a new music service, MusicGiants, that is offering lossless music downloads for $1.29 each. Targeted to "audiophiles", MusicGiants is also selling its "SoundVault", which seems like some kind of Windows Media Center PC, albeit with a $10,000 price tag, and an ability to download the lossless tracks to some portable media players, with the notable exception of the iPod. Oh, and there's a $50 annual fee (!). Ho hum so far, but then I noticed that the service has significant buy in from most of the major labels, indicating that they seem to have developed some faith in the ability of Microsoft's DRM to shield their "top quality" downloads from pirates. My thinking on this is that if successful, it should prompt Apple to offer lossless downloads from the iTMS Service, if only because Apple likes to present a "high end" image, and having a competitor actively dissing iTMS by lumping it in, quality-wise, with "pirated music from p2p networks" has got to hurt.
Child Pimp and Ho Costumes. That's... what it says.