January 3, 2016
Scientists have used groundbreaking technology to figure out how the Earth looked a billion years ago
Venture capitalist Paul Graham starts 2016 with an essay on Economic Inequality
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. Some worry this is a sign the country is broken. I'm interested in the topic because I am a manufacturer of economic inequality. I've become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I've spent the past decade working hard to do it.[more inside]
Four years ago, Lee Hardcastle remade John Carpenter's The Thing in a two minute short, featuring flightless birds made of Plasticine. After that he was “legally advised not to make any more claymations involving penguins and gore,” but he didn't stop making bloody, disgusting, humorous shorts. He remade that short with clay cats, and has made a number of new pieces over the years, including a horror story about toilets that won a place among an international cast of horror directors in a horror anthology. He has posted a number of additional shorts on YouTube, which he has also sorted into playlists for convenient browsing.
New York Times Sunday Review Opinion piece "The Selfish Side of Gratitude" by Barbara Ehrenreich "Perhaps it’s no surprise that gratitude’s rise to self-help celebrity status owes a lot to the conservative-leaning John Templeton Foundation. At the start of this decade, the foundation, which promotes free-market capitalism, gave $5.6 million to Dr. Emmons, the gratitude researcher. It also funded a $3 million initiative called Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude through the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, which co-produced the special that aired on NPR. The foundation does not fund projects to directly improve the lives of poor individuals, but it has spent a great deal, through efforts like these, to improve their attitudes."
A web tool (scroll down) built by Radim Řehůřek allows you to compute analogies between English words using Google's word2vec semantic representation, trained on 100 billion words of Google News. "He" is to "Linda" as "she" is to "Steve." "Wisconsin" is to "Milwaukee" as "Maryland" is to "Baltimore." "Good" is to "MetaFilter" as "evil" is to "LOLCats." [more inside]
Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin, discusses feminism and the effects of having an "invisible disease" (Lyme). She's in remission now, but while she was sick, she and her husband, Adam Horovitz, noticed a double-standard for male caregivers. In this interview, she discusses her illness, recovery, and emotional labor.
Hilariously bad Spanish covers of the Sex Pistols, circa 1978. Behold: Anarchy in the UK. [more inside]
Back in May, Slate published an article decrying the trend in craft beers to be overly hoppy (at least according to the tastes of the author). The next day, a rebuttal was crafted (pun intended) and posted the the Bear Flavored beer blog. The main point of contention in the counterpoint article is that more hops does not always mean more bitterness. Additionally, even if some beers were highly bitter, then why complain if some people enjoy them?
What to do when you're not the hero any more by Laurie Penny [NewStatesman] From Star Wars to Mad Max, a new, more diverse kind of storytelling went mainstream this year - and the backlash shows how much it matters. [more inside]
An armed right-wing militia has occupied a federal building and plans to stay for "years." Here is a bit of background to this issue, which has been brewing for years in rural Oregon. Social media has taken note of the response both from authorities and the general media to this action, drawing out the disparities between the response to black vs. white civil disobedience.
Google Books has ten years of Maximum PC online for your enjoyment and occasional chuckles. [more inside]
Sci-Fi Author (and Metafilter's own) Charlie Stross has an interesting thought experiment: Could you get to a technological society without the use of writing? And if so, what would that look like?
For two days in 1975, rock band KISS took over the town of Cadillac, Michigan, and played at the Cadillac High School Homecoming. [SLYT] What started as a football coach looking for a way to inspire his players ended up bringing the entire town together in the name of rock and roll. [via]
18-year-old self-taught costume designer Angela Clayton makes incredible, highly detailed outfits based on history, fantasy, and (formerly) cosplay. Some standouts include a medieval gown with accompanying escoffin, an Elsa costume with over 100,000 hand-applied rhinestones, and a Christmas costume with LED lights. She documents her progress regularly and provides sewing tutorials for her work.
Two years ago today I last got shithoused. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They’ve since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking... I’ve learned a lot in two years, so I thought I’d share that with you, in case you’d like to take a break from the booze cruise.Andy Boyle writes about lessons learned from two years without alcohol.
"Icons Unmasked" is the latest gallery of pop culture alterations by Alex Solis showing the originals, influences, parallels or secret identities behind 70+ iconic characters. Solis' previous galleries include: "Famous Oldies" (aged versions of heroic characters) and "Famous Chunkies" (they're fat), plus mixed media, animations and other stuff from cute to creepy to both ("Adorable Circle of Life" shows cute predators killing and eating cute prey - you have been warned).