Sometimes One Wrong Creates A Half Dozen Rights... This is a chronicle of a life changing kayak trip, taken by three old friends. In spirit, rather like John Muir's Stickeen, a story I read several times as a child. Sometimes the universe seems to conspire to undo, some random blunder. A well told tale of friendship and adversity, countered by absolute serendipity with a ton of effort, risk, and ability. Glacier Bay Alaska was their destination, traveling with a close friend who was a seasoned guide. An irresistible destination, but wild, part of the attraction and also the invigorating unease. A beauty of a place.
Bill Langlois has a new best friend. She is a cat named Sox. She lives on a tablet, and she makes him so happy that when he talks about her arrival in his life, he begins to cry.
The first trailer for the live-action Dora the Explorer movie is out. The movie is not produced by Michael Bay as previously expected and looks to follow in the footsteps of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
NPR's Kristen Hartke explores the world of zero-proof spirits - companies like Seedlip, Stryyk, and Ceder's that make non-alcoholic but still flavourful spirits.
"The square looks something like a geological cross section. Its base is sedimentary: coconut and chopped walnuts bound together by a buttery silt of cocoa and crushed graham crackers. A middle layer of yellow buttercream teeters on the brink of liquefaction. And its top crust of chocolate, hard and brittle, thaws like the Arctic tundra the longer it lingers at room temperature." British Columbia's Nanaimo bar turns up at womb-to-tomb events across Canada. [SLNYT]
Sarasota Half in Dream is a feature-length Surrealist documentary about dead turtles, crab swarms, decaying resorts, and microscopic histories; explorations into the abandoned golf courses, factories, and resorts of Sarasota, Florida and interviews with local youths who are using them for new and strange purposes. What would the Surrealists and Situationists think of a suburban, subtropical tourist town? What goes on in a storage unit in the dead of night? What is the afterlife of a decommissioned train car? What ghosts haunt a ruined hotel? What is the life cycle of a city? When will waters wash it all away? Streaming online for free. [via mefi projects]
Short story "Fountane Of" on Curious Fictions Author-described "short, sharp, and not very sweet. Plus, time-traveling janitor!"
"The three parents share incubation responsibilities for the eggs ... Like their relationship, their history is complicated." Livestream of the nest.
A Beginner's Guide to MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) - "MMT proposes that a country with its own currency, such as the U.S., doesn't have to worry about accumulating too much debt because it can always print more money to pay interest. So the only constraint on spending is inflation, which can break out if the public and private sectors spend too much at the same time. As long as there are enough workers and equipment to meet growing demand without igniting inflation, the government can spend what it needs to maintain employment and achieve goals such as halting climate change." [more inside]
A Couple That Got Married After 2 Weeks On How It Went Down: "This is about to be a buncha laughs. Just so you know, we’re a very unique couple."
The Truth About Wasabi
75-year-old Shigeo Iida, the eighth-generation owner of his family’s wasabi farm in Japan, takes pride in his tradition, which is profiled in Edwin Lee’s short documentary Wasabia Japonica.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince is a gentle, loving consideration of the legacy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved book. [more inside]
Game tips: It's Winter! Stay inside your apartment and make yourself some scrambled eggs... This video game lets you wander about a dreary suburban Russian tower block. Nothing to do, no one to see, you cannot lose nor can you win.
Ella Briggs, an 11-year-old Connecticut resident, became her state’s first openly gay “kid governor”. The fifth-grader was elected to the post by 6,400 of her peers from 87 schools across the state. During her campaign, she made LGBTQ youth safety her primary focus, noting that she was inspired by her own experience. She’s already so invested in public service, she said she would love to become America’s “first lesbian president.”
The Floods Are Coming: Climate Refugees in Bangladesh (42½min video) “An estimated 2000 people arrive in Dhaka every day. During monsoon season, the number rises to 4000 a day.”
Continuing his series on the Alt-Right Playbook, Ian Danskin of Innuendo Studios takes his newest video to discuss what conservatism actually believes in, and why that basis makes it at odds with liberalism...and succeptable to fascism. (SLYT) [more inside]
There are going to be days when you cannot cook, days when your stove is out of commission, or days when you’re suddenly stuck at home because your road is blocked off, and you have few groceries. This is where industrial food comes in. Platitudes about real food are all nice and good until you have a real need for food that cannot wait.Jonathan Katz has some thoughts on how to best stock your pantry.
2019 marks 100 years since Theodore Roosevelt's death, and with it, remembrances for his achievements (History | Mystery Stream), including "his commitment to and advocacy of conservation of the environment." Beyond the conservation versus preservation debate that predates U.S. National Parks (USDA.gov), there's the complicated of the relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and the Indians (Native American Netroots), most damning being his statement that "The truth is, the Indians never had any real title to the soil." Nowhere is this more apparent than the creation of the Grand Canyon National Park, and the exclusion of the Havasupai who inhabited the area (N.A.N.). More on this ugly past: Environmentalism’s Racist History (New Yorker).
“It’s a very different, and more disquieting, achievement to create a high-rise district on a plinth so sealed-off and yachtlike that nobody need ever leave.” On March 15, after 12 years of planning and six of construction, the Related Companies (which is actually just one mammoth real-estate company) will open the gates to its new $25 billion enclave, Hudson Yards -an agglomeration of supertall office towers full of lawyers and hedge-funders, airborne eight-figure apartments, a 720,000-square-foot shopping zone, and a gaggle of star-chef restaurants. Live Blog of the first day of opening by The NYC Eater (start at the bottom) “It is always a little sad to see what the people rich enough to have everything actually want. ” Hudson Yards Is An Ultra-Capitalist Forbidden City “Unlike a real neighborhood, which implies some kind of social collaboration or collective expression of belonging, Hudson Yards is a contrived place that was never meant for us.” Hudson Yards Has $4.5 Billion In Taxpayer Money. Will We Ever See It Again?
Inside the Battle to Close Rikers: Can New York City build its way out of mass incarceration? [The Marshall Project]
Psychologists have defined a "light triad" of personality traits. The team led by Scott Barry Kaufman has investigated what exemplifies the best of humanity, as opposed to the worst of humanity that is captured by the "dark triad" (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism). The three traits that constitute the "light triad" are Kantianism (“treating people as ends unto themselves, not as mere means to an end”); Humanism (“valuing the dignity and worth of each individual”); and Faith in Humanity (“believing in the fundamental goodness of humans”).
Rick Steves is absolutely American. He wears jeans every single day. He drinks frozen orange juice from a can. He likes his hash browns burned, his coffee extra hot... And yet: Rick Steves desperately wants you to leave America. Sam Anderson interviews Rick Steves ("one of the legendary PBS superdorks") for the New York Times Magazine. [more inside]
"Once the cycle starts and a group get a few such papers out, the auto-catalytic effect sets in: future work can justify itself by saying 'we use a standard model in the field'. All of this even though the 'standard model' never had a justification for it. Eventually the subfield can start generating and answering its own field-endogenous questions that are fundamentally unhinged from reality. ... Sometimes, new authors don’t even realize they’ve fallen into a trap. If they’ve been trained within the bubble, it might be impossible to find the appropriate distance for questioning. When reflection on my own work, I sometimes fear that parts of evolutionary game theory might end up like this. ... Motivatiogenesis can be especially easy to fall into with interdisiplinary work."
Today's Guardian has an excellent piece outlining the past excesses of Norway's black metal scene. If you love Spinal Tap and have a robustly dark sense of humour, I'm confident it'll be the most entertaining thing you read today. Meanwhile, here in East London, we're hosting the World Metal Congress. Here's a programme of events (Friday / Saturday) and the organisers' list of metal bands from around the world. This Syrian film they're showing on Saturday looks like it could be pretty amazing.
“Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life.” In a personal essay published in The New Yorker, Emilia Clarke recounts the two aneurysms she suffered while filming the Game of Thrones series.
Scientists rise up against statistical significance. In a comment piece published in the March 20 issue of the journal Nature, zoologist Valentin Amrhein, epidemiologist Sander Greenland, statistician Blake McShane, and over 800 co-signatories argue that the time has come to abandon the use of statistical significance in science. [more inside]
Deadspin's Barry Petchesky FOIA'd viewer complaints about the Super Bowl halftime show.
The FCC received 94 complaints regarding last month’s CBS broadcast, and 58 of those took issue with Maroon 5's halftime show—specifically, lead singer Adam Levine’s bare chest. America still has a very complicated relationship with nipples.
Catch Me Once, Catch Me 218 Times, The program GraffitiTracker presaged law enforcement’s ability to use technology to connect people to past crimes. The sheriff had been keeping tabs on him and every other tagger in the city. It was 2010, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department had recently rolled out a database called GraffitiTracker—software also used by police departments in Denver and Los Angeles County—and over the previous year, they had accumulated a massive set of images that included a couple hundred photos with his moniker. Painting over all Kyle’s handiwork, prosecutors claimed, had cost the county almost $100,000, and that sort of damage came with life-changing consequences. Ultimately, he made a plea deal: one year of incarceration, five years of probation, and more than $87,000 in restitution. [more inside]
When I crossed into this lawless territory, I worried that my scooter would shut off and the whole plan would sputter to a stop, leaving me at the mercy of the hordes and their perverse whims. But upon entering the forbidden zone, the scooter kept moving. I was safe... for now. [more inside]
Deadwood Movie - Official teaser trailer. Release date set for May 31.
"Our common past is the Next Frontier." Time Machine Project builds a Large Scale Simulator mapping 2000 years of European History, transforming kilometres of archives and large collections from museums into a digital information system This sounds futuristic, but this work is an iteration of the Venice Time Machine, which has the goal of analysing 1,000 years of maps and manuscripts from the floating city's golden age (Nature article; short video on YouTube). As previously discussed, machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) can translate tomes of hand-written works, and because some works are fragile, X-ray tomography can "read" through the entire volume of a book, without ever having to open it (short info/demo video on YouTube). [more inside]
We all know that guy (and it is usually a guy). He started out nominally liberal or apolitical and easygoing, became a libertarian, started believing in deep truths and conspiracy theories, and ended up contemplating a compound in the woods. Slate does a deep-dive into the Joe Rogan phenomenon and how it radicalizes wannabe "free thinkers." Sheeple need not apply.
Jake Phelps, the caustic, funny and brash (Vice) longtime editor of skateboarding’s most revered magazine, Thrasher, a position that made him a tastemaker in a subculture known for resenting authority (Thrasher), was found dead on March 14 at his home in San Francisco. He was 56 (New York Times). [more inside]
“The game industry is making record profits, yet very little of that is flowing into the hands of the people who actually create the games. Together, we have the power to change this.” At the 2019 Game Developer’s Conference in San Franscico, Game Workers Unite released a special zine all about unionizing and co-op efforts. Union FAQs : Is Profit-Sharing What We Want? Craft Unions, Industrial Unions… What’s the Difference? Strategy Guide: How to Start Organizing your Workplace. Not in the Industry? Ways To Help.
There Is No Reason To Cross The U.S. By Train, But I Did It Anyway, Caity Weaver for The New York Times Magazine [more inside]
Welcome to Noraville The small Maryland town rebuilt by Nora Roberts
Wear Your Meds distributes buttons with images of commonly-prescribed mental illness medications, with the goal of normalizing the open discussion of those medications and the conditions they treat. All proceeds are donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The project was developed by copywriter Lauren Weiss, who upon finding the right medication thought “It blew my mind that people actually lived a mentally stable life all the time. Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
It must be that people don’t remember real parties well enough to re-create them with any accuracy. There’s too much missing information. Fictive parties evoke this sense of impaired time by impairing the narrative, with non sequitur, snippets of nonsense conversation, continuity errors. It’s often suddenly 2 AM.On Classic Party Fiction
Anti-vaxxers trolled a doctor’s office. Here’s what scientists learned from the attack. [WaPo] Same story, different slant with different information: 'They picked on the wrong group': Attacked on social media, local pediatricians take on vaccine doubters [Post-Gazette] Both articles are worthwhile; they don't overlap much and combined give a fuller picture.
Before the camera, we recorded the world in watercolors. These paintings are too fragile to exhibit, not prestigious enough to be remarked upon. Some were painted by famous artists -- most by military draftsmen, scientists on expeditions, women all over the world. They provide an astonishing visual link to our past. Watercolour World is digitizing the world's documentary watercolors. [more inside]
Alan Krueger, who ignited the debate on minimum wage and pushed economics to be a more empirical field of study, has died. He blew up the assumption of most economists at the time that labour markets were more or less competitive. He thrilled young economists with the idea that natural experiments and instrumental variables could show causation, not just correlation. He advised two American presidents, despite vowing to never return to government after the first one. Among his many publications were important studies of terrorism, the opioid epidemic, and racial inequality. His death, by suicide, has prompted discussion of mental health in academia.
Satisfactory [YouTube][Game Trailer] “While Goat Simulator was about chaos, Satisfactory is about control. Available now in early access on the Epic store, Satisfactory is a base-building and resource management game in line with Oxygen Not Included. It plays a little bit like Minecraft for adults, given its first person perspective and checklist style gameplay. You play as a representative of Ficsit, a megacorp that wants to you rob an alien planet of its natural resources in order to build increasingly complicated machines. As you play, you gain the ability to craft more and more buildings that help keep your assembly lines efficient. [...] You’re here, on this lovely, calm, peaceful planet, to fill its vistas with machines belching black smoke.” [via: Kotaku]