President Biden says WNBA star Brittney Griner has been freed from a Russian prison. "Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home," he wrote on Twitter. Previously and previouslier.
There's a poem at the end of Minecraft, but Minecraft doesn't own it. Quite a story by an author who lives in the gift economy as much as he can.
I want a silent wedding reception. My fiance and I are planning our wedding. As the bride, I’m planning on making certain requests of my guests, to make sure that my special day is as perfect as possible. For example, I’m asking that my guests wear exclusively yellow at the ceremony. My fiance has been supportive, but he angrily rejected my other request: that our guests remain silent throughout both the ceremony and reception (to ensure that the focus remains on us).... [more inside]
Fishing nets laced with spice did nothing to deter hungry dolphins, leaving fishers searching in their bid to beat depredation. (archive.today link)
Ari Melber sits down with Jeff Goldblum for a discussion from just a few days ago about his career that also touches on a zillion other topics, as you would expect from talking to Jeff. It's a fun and fluffy interview that might also contain some insights into the impenetrable Goldblum.
Robin Sloan on how Big Tech's recent stumbles can open the door to a new internet: Some of you reading this were users and/or developers of the internet in the period from 2002 to perhaps 2012. For those of you who were not, I want to tell you that it was exciting and energizing, not because everything was great, but simply because anything was possible. The concrete hadn’t set. Now, after a decade of stuckness, the pavement is cracking — crumbling — and I want to insist to those of you who lived through that time, and those of you who didn’t: we all have a new opportunity.
Over at Ask A Manager, proprietor Alison Green asked readers to recount their office holiday stories. Commenter Stella70 responded with a tale of youth, hubris, bad decisions, and copious amounts of alcohol.
Flow State is a substack that, each weekday, recommends an album or two's worth of 'music that's perfect for working (no vocals).' [more inside]
Lustmord has released a newly mastered redux of "The Silent Night" for all your dark ambient holiday needs. [more inside]
The recently published Sad Bastard Cookbook: Food you can make so you don’t die, by Zilla Novikov and Rachel A. Rosen, is here to rescue those of us struggling to feed ourselves. "Life is hard. Some days are at the absolute limit of what we can manage. Some days are worse than that. Eating—picking a meal, making it, putting it into your facehole—can feel like an insurmountable challenge. We wrote this cookbook to share our coping strategies." [more inside]
Narrative designer Bruno Dias (cf. Fallen London) presents: A [not yet] Compleat History of the Magic: the Gathering Metagame, an ongoing weekly series about the decades-long evolution of which kinds of decks competitive M:tG players were relying on in tournament play and exactly which stupid terrible broken cards were responsible for that before subsequently being banned from play forever. The story begins with Chapter 1: Magic as Dr Richard Garfield, PhD Intended.
"Mornings.co.uk was curious which dreams were most common in different countries around the world. So, we analysed Google search data to see which dream symbols every country is searching for. And then we looked at what the most common dreams might mean." For those who dream of maps, here's the hi-res one Mornings.co.uk drew up.
Advent Incremental is an advent calendar style incremental game by The Paper Pilot with new layers opening up each day leading up to Christmas.
The sky over the city of Vancouver was the color of a television tuned to a Prince concert. (archive.today link)
The primary product sold by all management consultants – both software developers and strategic organisers – is the theology of capital. Review essay by Laleh Khalili on When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm. A US government website records federal contracts given to McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and others. Homeland Security and the Pentagon paid lavishly for ‘engaging human-centred design’, developing a ‘culture of continuous improvement’ and other meaningless bits of management-speak festooned with cryptic acronyms. Two contracts with the federal procurement agency, which earned McKinsey $1 billion between 2006 and 2019, had to be terminated because the company refused to submit to an audit. [more inside]
5 key questions the Georgia Senate runoff will answer. The election could say a lot about candidate quality and whether Democrats can replicate their success in the state.
Season 4 of TCM's podcast The Plot Thickens is Here Comes Pam, 7 episodes of Ben Mankiewicz in conversation with Pam Grier about her life. From her childhood in Colorado to the present day, Pam tells her own story. And wow, what a story it is! Each episode runs ~45m, and there might be some bonus episodes released.
This is a new release of Dwarf Fortress. All craftdwarfship is of the highest quality. [more inside]
Fourteen beams of light will illuminate Mount Royal to commemorate the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre, an anti-feminist mass shooting that occurred 33 years ago on 6 December 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montréal, Québec, Canada. [more inside]
The rise of the video game union: [Polygon] is an all-in-one explainer on why game workers are unionizing and the specific steps that future organizers may take. We encourage you to share the link, and we’ve also prepared a zine version that you can print and distribute in your community. In legal speak, the zine is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US), which permits distribution of the zine provided that it is not altered or modified, or used commercially. Learn how to print it in your town. [more inside]
Spending too much money on food and drink is an act known as abligurition, according to one 18th-century dictionary – the result of which might be a feeling of barleyhood (a Tudor-period word for a hangover), or crapulence (defined by Samuel Johnson as “sickness by intemperance”). And after all that overindulgence you may well need to swadge (to relax after a large meal), and be in dire need of a yulehole – a term defined by the superb Scottish National Dictionary as “The hole in the waist-belt to which the buckle is adjusted to allow for repletion after the feasting at Christmas.” (Should you need it, the excellent Scots word pang, according to the same source, can be used to mean “to force an unwanted article on someone”. Ergo, it is the perfect word for Boxing Day, or for all the Bounty bars left in the bottom of your tub of Celebrations.) Author Paul Anthony Jones reveals the roots of his love of obscure words in The Guardian.
A few days before he ended things the second time, we had a fight about my writing and ethics, specifically the question of whether I would write about our hypothetical future child.
"But, as the mods explained, ChatGPT simply makes it too easy for users to generate responses and flood the site with answers that seem correct at first glance but are often wrong on close examination." The Verge has an article about the new Stack Overflow policy banning AI-generated answers. Users of the site are rewarded with points for contributing upvoted content to the site, which can be used as clout for job-finding prospects. [more inside]
Black Growth, Green Growth, and Creepy Eyes: three of a number of fascinating and unsettling procedural animations by rich_lord.
The Amaterasu Railway in Miyazaki Prefecture is a popular local train that takes passengers on a gorgeous 30-minute journey through the spectacular scenery of Takachiho. The quirky train is known for its open roof, its journey over Japan’s highest train bridge, and train conductors who blow bubbles along the way. But now they’re known for something else: leaving passengers feeling hungry.
"The California Roadkill Observation System uses a form-based data entry system to report carcasses resulting from wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC). Operating since 2009, it... contains 1,338 users and more than 54,000 observations of 424 species of ground-dwelling vertebrates and birds, making it one of the most successful examples of crowd-sourced roadkill and wildlife reporting." [source, via, cw: dead animals] See similar projects at GlobalRoadkill.net
The little-known student loan middlemen who are threatening debt forgiveness (MarketWatch) For decades, lawmakers shaped policy to benefit entities that earned money from the federal student-loan system, sometimes to the detriment of borrowers. Now, they are at the center of legal efforts to stop Biden’s cancellation plans (currently on hold).
Actor, music teacher and longtime Sesame Street resident Bob McGrath has died peacefully on Sunday, at the age of 90. [more inside]
Sisters from Nova Scotia Cassie (fiddle) and Maggie (piano and guitar) MacDonald play traditional and original music, and they're a breath of fresh air. Their sound is like...Solas, but less stern, plus sibling harmony, and also sometimes they stepdance for percussion. They both have lovely voices. Start with "Star in the East" [SLYT] and "Little Road to Bethlehem" [SLYT]. Then go get their Christmas album"A Very Very Cassie and Maggie Christmas" on Bandcamp and play it to chase away the gray winter days. [more inside]
Joyeux lundi, mes amis! For today's quiz, please identify the best French word: a) Liberté, b) Égalité, c) Fraternité, d) Apostrophe, e) Ce fil [more inside]
Goblin mode won the public vote to become Oxford’s Word of the Year 2022. Goblin mode has been floating around online for a long while and came to prominence over 2022. Its recent popular origins are contested, the main contenders being a viral Reddit post and a photoshopped headline about Julia’s Fox’s breakup with Kanye West. [more inside]
What is Structural Engineered Bamboo (SEB)? - "[Radial laminated bamboo] is more than twice the strength of any engineered or glulam timber product. In tension, it is more than 10 times stronger due to the continuous silica fiber content throughout bamboo. The higher density of SEB is ideal for connection design as timber fiber will crush within bolted connections, whereas this maintains its form under higher compression." [more inside]
Happy Daze is a news website which helps you stay informed on all the good things happening in this great big world of ours. The big news networks predominantly feature negative news because the only thing they are after is more clicks and eyeballs (so that they can generate more advertisement revenue), and the unfortunate fact is that sad, tragic, and negative news just generate more attention. Happy Daze is run by a small team with no outside funding. We are not owned by a billionaire or a VC firm so we can publish news that we think is important with no ads. We strive to be different and non-divisive by showing people that there are plenty of positive stories and things happening which can help make one feel better about the world and humanity in general. via Reddit
Noodle, the pug who made "no bones day" a thing, has passed at 14-1/2 years old, after a spell of TikTok stardom that raised him to the level of New York Times obituaryworthiness. (archive.today link)
The December 2 2022 episode of The Sarah Silverman Podcast, "Chapelle, B*Face, Anything Goes", spends much of its 50m running time with Sarah talking about Dave, anti-semitism, racism, her own past with blackface, and what all this seems to mean to her. I found this interestingly reflective and nuanced, and was worth my time to go through twice. [more inside]
How far can you walk in 10 minutes? How about an hour? Or on a bike? How far can you go by train in Europe in 5 hours? (How about non-stop?) For USians: Amtrak Explorer.
"The End of Companion Television" Former CNN host Brian Stelter on the end of live programming on the Headline News (HLN) network (SLThe Atlantic, archive.org version)
In Forests Full of Mines, Ukrainians Find Mushrooms and Resilience [The New York Times]
“The forests in areas that were occupied remain heavily mined. Mines and unexploded ordnance cover thousands of square miles of Ukrainian land, according to the interior minister, Denys Monastyrsky. The Ukrainian government pleaded with people not to pick mushrooms, and the government agency for forest resources imposed formal restrictions on walking in forests in nine Ukrainian provinces, including the region around Kyiv where Mr. Poyedynok goes. But specialists say it will take at least a decade to demine the forests — and many Ukrainians were not ready to wait that long before returning to their favorite hobby. Reports of mushroom hunters stepping on mines came regularly from all of the nine provinces where walking in the forest was banned.”These misty and damp parts of the country have long beckoned to mushroom hunters with the promise of plenty, but now peril, too, lies beneath the earth’s surface.
Play as an early 19th century surgeon in a historically accurate and gruesome interactive text game (Twine) by The Old Operating Theatre Museum’ web volunteer Charlotte Regan.
How to Find Dog Agility Trials (via https://dogagilitytrials.com/) UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada links inside. See pure happiness without having to talk to anyone! How could anybody have a better time than a very good dog who finally has something to do with all that energy and smarts? The hottest club in [your US state] is your local dog agility course. Culture and rules might vary at places and events – especially indoors, so check before going, but generally you do not have to own a dog to watch an agility trial. [more inside]
The year is very very definitely 1971, and these are Rare Moog Dancers.