Death and surrender to power in the clothing of men. The evolution of The Punisher, big trucks, and militarized toxic masculinity as an illustrated webcomic.
The Incredible Story of the US Army's Earth-Shaking Off-Road Land Trains
You need to get 500 tons of supplies from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Ocean—a journey of about 400 miles through pure wilderness. There are no roads, very few airstrips, and endless ice. You're going to have to withstand minus 68 degree temperatures. Also, nuclear armageddon is on the menu if you're not quick about it. You, my friend, need a LeTourneau land train.[more inside]
The Great American Breakup Political scientist Louis Hartz accurately described the United States’ underlying cultural hyperindividualism. Is the next logical step the dissolution of the centralized federal state to become more like the EU? [more inside]
It's the !nternational Archive of Dreams. Dreams categorized by theme. Submit yours; read others.
Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead) "If you recognize yourself in some of these descriptions, know that this doesn’t mean I’m saying you don’t care, or that you’re a bad person, or a racist. Just that you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that your activism can begin and end with a hashtag. But systemic racism doesn’t care about your hashtags and your outrage. People have been hashtagging #blacklivesmatter for eight years, and young black men are being killed in the street for jogging. It’s critical to realize that if your allyship is performative, you are excusing yourself from engaging with the tough and messy conversations necessary to address the root causes. The conversations that will actually bring about change. And you’re easing your guilt with the empty advocacy of keyboard warrioring when what you really need to be doing is advocating with your actions." Here are four things to do.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has publicly denounced the Trump Administration [sl The Atlantic] Pretty much what it says on the tin. Mattis has broken his silence and come out in public condemnation of the President. The celebrated general had previously argued that it would be inappropriate and unproductive for him to do so.
"F*ck it, why wait." Run the Jewels 4 has been released by Killer Mike [@killermike] and El-P [@therealelp], the duo behind Run the Jewels. The album is available for free, with an option to donate to the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program. [more inside]
Studies That Most Likely Led WHO to Halt Hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 Trials are Under Fire Amid Questionable Data from Surgisphere (The Science Times, June 3, 2020) Other COVID-19 studies also drew from Surgisphere datasets. [more inside]
Things. This is a time for poetry, this one is by Lisel Mueller.
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition [Game Trailer] “First released in 2010 for the Nintendo Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles was a smash hit in Japan that was heralded as a breakthrough innovation for the JRPG genre - and then took a year to release in PAL format and another year after that to arrive in North America. [...] Ten years after its initial release, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition comes to Nintendo Switch and brings with it an overhaul of the original's now-dated graphics. The title goes well beyond that description though, providing fans with new content, additional features, and a preservation of the series' appealing storytelling.” [via: ScreenRant] [more inside]
8x6 Tiny Workshop Tour (Youtube): A calming, 15-minute walkthrough of a woodworker's tiny, immaculately organized workshop [more inside]
Both terrible and beautiful things have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen. Nothing will be unchanged, including board games. Yes, the coronavirus will change board games. That’s what I want to talk about today. [more inside]
Inside every dog there’s a hero waiting to be unleashed, or at least, that’s what we’d like to believe about our canine companions. New research suggests dogs truly want to rescue us when we’re in a bad situation, but they have to know how to help. […] At the same time, however, the new study still leaves us wondering if their heroic actions are prosocially motivated or if their behaviors are driven by other factors.
Foregoing plans to launch Pride Month with live events across their network of museums, the Smithsonian presents Project Pride, a 2 hour video [YT link] which host Ari Shapiro introduces as a time capsule of LGBTQ Pride in 2020. Participants include Alex the Astronaut, Big Freedia, Bright Light Bright Light, Cameron Esposito, Courtney Barnett, Claud, Dorian Electra, Girl in Red, Indigo Girls, Jake Shears, Joy Oladokun, Kat Cunning, Madame Gandhi, mxmtoon, Nakhane, Pabllo Vittar, Pet Shop Boys, Roxane Gay, SOKO, Tig Notaro & Stephanie Allynne, VINCINT, and other guests. And the Smithsonian throws in their own historical context too. [more inside]
In the broadest of terms, animals are generally born one of two ways*: egg laying (oviparity) and live birth (viviparity), which raises the question: When and why did live birth evolve? Enter the Australian three-toed skink (Saiphos equalis), which can it both lay eggs and bear live young, and can do both within a single litter of offspring. Egg Laying or Live Birth: How Evolution Chooses (Quanta Magazine). [more inside]
If you're looking to decolonize your canon, this is a hell of a place to start: Funny, wholly original and unlike anything other than the many books that came after it and seem to have knowingly or not borrowed from it. There’s also a long hallucination involving a hippopotamus. The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is a 19th century novel by Machado de Assis, the greatest writer of Brazilian literature and “the supreme black literary artist to date” according to some. There's a new English translation by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux just out! (Machado previously)
Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada When victims are not the right kinds of victims, police have utterly failed. When the queer community in Toronto told police there was a serial killer targeting racialized queer men in the Church Street village, the police openly denied there was a serial killer and did not take the threat seriously. This allowed serial killer Bruce MacArthur to get away with murdering at least eight men over at least seven years. [more inside]
"It is one of the largest pyramids in the northern hemisphere and may be among the top 10 biggest pyramids in the world, depending upon how you measure. It has been called the “Tomb of Doom” and is rumored to have been cursed by the removal of a crystal skull. It’s also a Bass Pro Shop, and it’s located in Memphis, Tennessee." [more inside]
Join Robert Evans (of Behind the Bastards) and Katy Stoll and Cody Johnston (of Even more News) have a bout a million podcasts between them, including The Worst Year Ever. They started this podcast in 2019 to cover the US Presidential race. Then the pandemic. Now the United States burning down. [more inside]
Difficult conversations with children have to happen. A resource list for parents (caregivers, teachers, therapists, etc) around speaking plainly with children about race, racism, and racialized violence. [more inside]
Umurangi Generation [Game Trailer] “The pitch for Umurangi Generation is that it's a photography game. Much like Pokemon Snap, you're venturing around, trying to capture the best snapshot possible of your surroundings for cash. But Umurangi Generation isn't on-rails, and it isn't about cheerful monsters and surfing rodents. It's a first-person photography sim set in a "shitty future," where it sometimes feels like you're taking pictures in the ruins of the old world—or the origins of a new one. The city is in a crisis, and that means it's the best time to start exploring the streets and filling up a few rolls of film. [...] Players can either chase the bounties and objectives or, like me, wander aimlessly, trying to line up whatever shot strikes their fancy. Did I often fall off the building trying to get a picture of a seagull? Yes, but we all make sacrifices for the craft.” [via: US Gamer][Free Demo via Steam] [more inside]
Journalist and activist for greater family court transparency, Louise Tickle, posts about attending three family court sessions during lockdown: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The Transparency Project blogs about reporting a remote hearing. Lisa Harker, head of the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, interviewed: 'Remote family court hearings are not just or humane'.
- The Fundamental Difference Between Stories And Reality - "Characters have clear transformative arcs [whereas] our identities and personal journeys are so much more complex."
- Your Life is Not a Hero's Journey - "The history of the heroic adventure and the implications of projecting the hero's journey on our own lives."
- Identity Without Storytelling - "The only thing is, when it comes to the stories of our own lives, we are both author and character."[1,2,3]
1985 was a ridiculously strong year for music releases. June 1, 1985 saw the release of the debut album by a-ha, Hunting High And Low. Probably purchased by everyone because of That One Song and That One Video, it was a remarkably strong album [YT playlist], with other international hits. It continues to be a gem of 80s rock, even 35 years later. Side A: Take On Me [video version one, video version two (this is the one you remember)], Train Of Thought [video], Hunting High And Low [video], The Blue Sky, Living A Boy's Adventure Tale [more inside]
There’s a lot going on in this film: satire of the Japanese craze for European-style fine dining, comic reappropriation of American Westerns and Kurosawa, criticism of the relegation of women to the least prestigious kinds of cooking. In one of the movie’s many surreal interludes, a dying woman rises from her sickbed to cook one last dinner before expiring. My Quarantine: Savoring the Ramen Western by Sophie Pinkham for NY Books. Except Tampopo is far from the first western-styled Japanese movie, as discussed in Ramen Westerns: Far East Meets Old West from Criminal Elements, which looks at the movie exchanges between Japan and the United States. [more inside]
The Thick Blue Line - Patrick Blanchfield reviews Stuart Schraders' book Badges Without Borders, which covers the intertwined histories of policing and counterinsurgency in the United States.
Better remembered today by his nickname, “Bull” Connor was an outspoken white supremacist who believed desegregation was a communist plot; just five years earlier, as commissioner of public safety in Birmingham, he had notoriously unleashed riot police, fire hoses, and attack dogs on nonviolent civil rights protesters. That such a man should have been on the receiving end of America’s first 911 call is fitting. As Stuart Schrader reveals in his new book, Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing, the United States’ 911 system was modeled on an earlier program pioneered by American-funded police forces fighting a Marxist insurgency in Caracas.[more inside]
Over the past 20 years, renowned illustrator John Burgoyne has produced more than 150 intricate, hand-drawn illustrations for Cook’s Illustrated magazine. In 1886, the US Government Commissioned 7,500 watercolor paintings of every known fruit in the world. Now, using materials from the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection, you can make your own Cook's Illustrated poster! (Some assembly required.) 2019 OpenCulture article on the collection is here, with great examples and interesting context. My own fave, the pawpaw. [more inside]
Laura Kampf gives some Workshop Tips - Measuring, Marking & Math tips about how to avoid using math while making stuff.
This Lickable Screen Can Recreate Almost Any Taste or Flavor Without Eating Food (Gizmodo): "…The Norimaki Synthesizer takes a more aggressive approach through the use of five gels that trigger the five different tastes when they make contact with the human tongue. ¶The color-coded gels, made from agar formed in the shape of long tubes, use glycine to create the taste of sweet, citric acid for acidic, sodium chloride for salty, magnesium chloride for bitter, and glutamic sodium for savory umami. When the device is pressed against the tongue (Youtube), the user experiences all five tastes at the same time, but specific flavors are created by mixing those tastes in specific amounts and intensities, like the RGB pixels on a screen. To accomplish this, the prototype is wrapped in copper foil so that when it’s held in hand and touched to the surface of the tongue, it forms an electrical circuit through the human body, facilitating a technique known as electrophoresis." [more inside]
Both Michael Roth’s The Web Opera and HERE’s all decisions are made by consensus use our screen-mediated world as a narrative given.
1985 was a ridiculously strong year for music releases. June 1, 1985 saw the release of Sting's first solo album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles [YT playlist]. It was inescapable for months, with massive hit singles. And it has Branford Marsalis on saxophone! Side A: If You Love Somebody Set Them Free [video], Love Is The Seventh Wave [video], Russians* [video], Chidren's Crusade, Shadows In The Rain [more inside]
It's been about four hundred years since the Imp Girls landed at Hot Lumpy Rock. Here's a map of what eventually became the Much Sass State. [avi: Orgy Pant Hobos]
Leontyne Price is the legendary American soprano and the first African American to become a lead performer at the Metropolitan Opera. On Jan. 1st, 1985, at age 58, she sang her farewell performance on the Met Stage in the role of Verdi's Aida. In this highly emotional video from that night, she sings the iconic aria O Patria Mia and the audience responds with a rapturous applause. (slyt) [more inside]
If you've walked past the corner of 7th Avenue South and Christopher Street in New York City, you might have noticed a little triangular mosaic in front of Village Cigars (Google streetview) that reads "Property of Hess Estate which has never been dedicated for public purposes ▽". This is the tiny "spite triangle" that marks a century-old grudge against New York City (Mentalfloss). At 500 square inches, it is the smallest piece of private property in the city (Atlas Obscura). Bonus: 10 NYC Streets from the Original Dutch Colonial Street Grid (Untapped Cities).
Artist Christo has died. He and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, created massive environmental installations. [more inside]
Centroid Towns is an anthology documentary project using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research to study the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States. This symbolic center is calculated every ten years to accompany the U.S. Census, first located in 1790 near Chestertown, Maryland, and moving steadily westward, currently residing near Plato, Missouri. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America. [more inside]
How RuneScape is helping Venezuelans survive [Runescape]
“Against this cataclysmic economic and societal backdrop, millions of people have fled the country in search of better lives, with many more desperately trying to find their own means of escape. In November 2019, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants reached 3 million. Those who remain in the country have been forced to find innovative ways to survive. While some craft bags out of worthless bolivars — Venezuelan currency — to sell at markets, others look to a virtual land of opportunity, spending hours in front of computer screens and mobile phones hunting green dragons* in the online multiplayer role-playing game RuneScape.”*A quick and common way to earn vast amounts of RuneScape’s currency, gold, is to kill “Green Dragons.” Players can collect items dropped by the dragons and sell them on the in-game marketplace for “gold.” Then, this gold can be sold on third-party sites for money that works in the real world (often in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin). [more inside]
Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey (1875 – 1905), styled Lord Paget until 1880 and Earl of Uxbridge between 1880 and 1898, and nicknamed "Toppy", was a British peer who was notable during his short life for squandering his inheritance on a lavish social life and accumulating massive debts. Regarded as the "black sheep" of the family, he was dubbed "the dancing marquess" and for his Butterfly Dancing, taken from Loie Fuller, where a voluminous robe of transparent white silk would be waved like wings. He inherited some £73m. But in the space of just over five years, he had blown the lot, been declared bankrupt, and died from complications of tuberculosis in Monte Carlo. Newspapers in March 1905 declared his death a "wasted life". Paget's style has often been compared to that of Freddie Mercury. (via) Previously on M-F
During a week's break from A Daily Social Distancing Show, Trevor Noah has been thinking. He shares his thoughts in an 18 minute video, George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper. [more inside]
Maya Dukmasova has been writing about police abolitionist community organizing since 2016: "It’s easy to dismiss prison and police abolition as unrealistic and out of touch, but if one is seriously interested in figuring out how to keep communities safe while reducing violence and other crime, abolitionists offer a plethora of practical ideas. As many of them have pointed out to me over the years, prisons and police don’t do anything to make many neighborhoods safer and more stable, so here are some stories about other ways we could be using our time and resources." [more inside]
"My all-time favorite map-based data visualization was created in 1944. Harold Fisk, working with the US Army Corp. of Engineers, mapped the length of the Mississippi River. What sets his visualization apart from others is that he maps the river through time, and manages to do so in a way that is both beautiful and surprisingly effective. I want to pay homage to his series of maps by creating my own system for procedurally generating maps of meandering rivers." With that, Robert Hodgin made Meander, a procedural system for generating historical maps of rivers (plus adjacent roadways and developments) that never existed. [via Mltshp]
Robert Evans, Bellingcat reporter, hosts the podcast Behind the Bastards. The formula is simple: Robert researches a terrible person (usually from recent history) and relates his research to a rotating cast of comedians who try to crack wise in the face of duplicity, misery, degradation, and death, while Producer Sophie tries to a) keep them on track adn b) stop Robert from wrecking the studio. [more inside]
America's Never-Ending Battle Against Flesh-Eating Worms - "Inside the U.S. and Panama's long-running collaboration to rid an entire continent of a deadly disease." (thread/reader: "Screwworms were eradicated from the U.S. decades ago. But how? In the 1950s, the U.S. began growing millions of screwworms in a factory, sterilizing them with radiation, and dropping them out of planes. And this still happens today! Everyday!"; the USDA's screwworm eradication collection; merch/stickers; via)
BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz reads E.M. Forster's 1909 novella The Machine Stops. "The Machine Stops is not simply prescient; it is a jaw-droppingly, gob-smackingly, breath-takingly accurate literary description of lockdown life in 2020. [...] It's not lost on me that you are reading this on the internet on a man-made device over which we just about still believe we have mastery." [more inside]
Pelada (90 mins youtube) is a 2010 documentary/travelogue in which two American collegiate soccer players who couldn't make the leap to the professional level investigate the culture of pickup football around the world across 25 countries.
A little new listening for your weekend: Indigo Girls have a new album out, Look Long. It's full of collaborators old and new. Here's the official YouTube playlist. Here are the lyrics at lifeblood.net. [more inside]
Tony Goldmark has spent his quarantine time compiling a key archive of the ages: I figured out the precise chronological order of all the MCU movies (so far) BY SCENE. Start with the first three minutes and forty-five seconds of Thor: The Dark World, then switch over to 1:19:43-1:19:54 of Thor: Ragnarok, and a hundred and sixteen steps later (thanks to Goldmark going back to separate some of the time heist scenes), with all of Spider-Man: Far From Home, you will have Uatu'd the 23 MCU movies, hopping across all of reality to get the story in one kind-of-continuous narrative.
We all know that our pets love us. They snuggle up to us when we’re cold. They cheer us up when we’re feeling down. And the looks that they sometimes give us can make our hearts melt—sometimes it seems like they’re looking straight into our souls. (SLBuzzFeed, h/t Miss Cellania)
Global deaths due to various causes and COVID-19 - a sobering data visualization that puts the pandemic in greater context