Waterstones announces their Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service, a brand new way to receive your favourite books. Per the FAQ: Q. Isn’t this just what they did in Harry Potter? A: Yes, this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You’re asking that as if this is a bad thing
"Now, I don't write many short stories these days, but I'm a sucker for the right kind of charity approach. And besides, I had a hypothesis I wanted to test: that every short story can be improved by adding dinosaurs and sodomy." SF author Charles Stross (metafilter's own) shares a short shaggy dog story he wrote back in 2011 containing sex, waterfowl, and reverse-engineering evolution: "A Bird In Hand."
This is the diary of me attempting to play Skyrim using only Illusion magic: I'm not allowed any weapons, armour, or magical items, and I can't attack anyone directly.The first entry is here, or you can see all entries to date here.
Suzdal awaited the Emperor's arrival... So the ancient Russian town had to acquire a duly imperial lustre, somehow, anyhow. [more inside]
I can't rightly vouch for this story but a fellah told me when he was a young'n, didn't his mother wake him early on a weekend...Norm MacDonald has spent the last 9 hours tweeting a set of rambling Faulknerian jokes.
Actor Michael Cera invents a twisted text message relationship between actor Michael Cera and the unsuspecting "Jeremy" in a Shouts & Murmurs piece for the New Yorker.
"Kiss Me, I''m Desperate," by Blake Grigsby. But how could anyone who made the world's largest cardboard castle be desperate?
Attenborrowed. SLVimeo. David Attenborough narrates the now-infamous Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke "twerking" performance.
String Theory is a character-driven serialized comic book published on the web and written/illustrated by Dirk Grundy (Twitter cat feed). Following the adventures of grumpy, socially inept super scientist Dr. Herville Schtein, it is set in an alternate timeline where "the Cuban missile crisis went terribly wrong," the Cold War never ended, super scientists and super powered individuals run amok, the American Southwest is an irradiated postnuclear desert, "America...is not doing so well," and Chicago... Let's not talk about Chicago. It is about failure and families and how we all kind of mess each other up a little, but only because we care. It's kind of sad. But also kind of funny. Think Venture Brothers with the satire and comedy turned down, and the characterization and plotting turned up. Oh! There is also a very cute talking cat, if that helps sell it for you. [more inside]
Stop calling the DA "the Government!" it hurts her feelings or something. The defense responds..'Should this Court disagree, and feel inclined to let the parties basically pick their own designations and ban words, then the defense has a few additional suggestions....defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a "lawyer," or a "defense attorney." Those terms are substantially more prejudicial than probative. See Tenn. R. Evid. 403. Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the "Defender of the Innocent." This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent. Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation "Guardian of the Realm."'
The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
I’ve always written high-quality sentences, prepared with the finest grammatical ingredients. In the coming year, I’m raising the bar even higher: I’ll be offering only artisanal words, locally grown, hand-picked, minimally processed, organically prepared, and sustainably packaged... - by Michael Erard, reprinted at Medium
In celebration of the end of the latest season of Children's Hospital, South African producers Your Girlfriend made a tribute video: It's Children's Hospital Africa.
If you enjoy skeletons and terrible puns, this comic will meet your needs for today. (SLTumblr, via Reddit)
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
"It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers [that are] found here on the International Space Station."
The comedy troupe Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre started in 1975 when five University of Iowa graduate students hoped to score some free beer. You may have heard Ask Dr. Science (Wikipedia) sketches on All Things Considered. Ask Dr. Science first ran in 1982 (or maybe on New Year's Day 1981) as a project of Duck's Breath members Dan Coffey and Merle Kessler on KQED. [more inside]
The Tribal Rite of the Strombergs (SLNewYorker)
If you're reading this it's already too late... Hiding messages in hotels since 2006. By David Bussell. [Via]
Gnomeland "New Hampshire's Premiere Gnome Destination!" Also known as, what happens when friends play a prank on you and install 500 handpainted gnomes in and around your house. Full Flickr set [via mefi projects]
The "sadistic verses" are a genre of Russian schoolyard rhymes marked by extremely dark humor. For example, "Two lovers lay / In a field of tall wheat / Quietly, quietly comes the combine / Grandmother spits out the cloth / She has found inside her bread." Unfortunately, English compilations are a bit hard to find. Here's a blog post by a Georgian (US state) who moved to Moscow and collected a few, and here's a more scholarly PDF which also quotes many examples. [more inside]
"10. Mild Non-Injurous Physical Contact: (i.e.,“a little bit of smacky face“) Unlike other forms of contact that lead to physical injury, sexual contact is unlikely to leave scars and is more likely to induce guilt that can be taken advantage of by a good interrogator." (NSFW) [more inside]
Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America. The New York Times profiles funny guy Jack Handey as his first work of fiction, The Stench of Honolulu, goes on sale tomorrow. (Read the first three chapters here.) Handey, of course, is best known for his Deep Thoughts, and for his SNL sketches, including the classic Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He's also a hilarious essayist: some of my favorites include What I'd Say to the Martians, Ideas for Paintings, My Nature Documentary, The Plan, and How I Want to Be Remembered.
British comedian Josie Long explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting. Animals. Astronomy. Plants.
Cats puking to techno music (SLYT). Exactly what it says on the tin.
What's the most intellectual joke you know? is Slate's summary of this Reddit thread (for once, the comments are worth it!), with more good comments in this Marginal Revolution discussion. Of course, we can do better...
You may know him as simply Paul F. Tompkins from Mr. Show with Bob and David or Best Week Ever but fans of now-defunct Comedy Death Ray Radio, Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast, and the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV series know that there is more to him than meets the eye. Much, much more. [more inside]
"I know the only reason you wear those cargo shorts is to get my attention, okay? I'm not buying it." Ladies, I'm sure you've noticed them on the Internet: Fake Nerd Boys -- a brief rant on the impending demise of a proud but beleaguered subculture. (SLYT) [more inside]
Well, maybe Twitter is just another big toilet wall, but there's as much clean space and spray paint as you'll ever need. What are you going to do with it? Create something or destroy someone else's picture? Ricky Gervais on the Internet as creative playground.
Cecil Crowninshield, resident mystical defender of Salem Massachusetts, has put down his Lumurian Quartz topped wand and picked up the keyboard to help keep his neighbors informed of goings-on around town via a series of local news columns - Impress your date! - The Top Five Salem Sandwiches and the ghosts who stole them! - Magick On A Budgetk! When not writing his regular column, Cecil enjoys commenting on others. [via mefi projects]
The very funny design/performance art work of Phil Jones.
Actual conversations with my 2 year old daughter, as re-enacted by me and another full grown man - Episode 1.
If you were watching late-night television in July 1998 you may have seen the half-hour informercial parody that the Beastie Boys produced to promote their upcoming album, Hello Nasty. The ad features Mike D, MCA , and Ad-Rock taking on roles to shill everything from the services of phone psychics to get-rich-quick scams to a food processor that plays songs from the upcoming LP. (Warning: video auto-loads.) [more inside]
Somtimes a guy just wants a curiously asexual sprite to whimsicaly break the chains of his workaday world for an hour or so - cue the Manic Pixie Prostitute!
A Logic Named Joe is a short science-fiction story by Murray Leinster. Published in 1946, the story depicts data-mining, massively networked computers, search engines, privacy/censorship filters and internet porn. Read it here.
Column 7: The Young Man’s Guide to Wearing and Shopping for Women’s Clothes for the First Time. A hilarious column by Casey Plett at McSweeny's Internet Tendency.
Comics made out of covers for books in the Oxford World's Classics series. For earlier editions, see here, here, here, here, and here.
Greenboy: Prescription for Death is a purported lost Dragnet episode made by writers from Mr Show and Mystery Science Theater. It uses technology first seen in Forest Gump to digitally add actors into the psychedelic "Blueboy" episode of Dragnet 1967. The result is a hilarious story of bad cops chasing after Greenboy, the pusher of a dangerous strain of medical marijuana called Larry in the Sky with Diamonds. (NSFW due to language).