March 15, 2018
Starring Randy Newman as Devil, James Taylor as Lord, Don Henley as Faust, Elton John as Angel Rick, Linda Ronstadt as Margaret, and Bonnie Raitt as Martha: Randy Newman's Faust, a 1995 album written by the master of comedic cynicism: Cassette Side A [Lyrics sometimes NSFW]: Glory Train; Can't Keep A Good Man Down; How Great Our Lord; Best Little Girl; Northern Boy; Bless The Children Of The World; Gainesville; Relax, Enjoy Yourself [more inside]
Surviving Mars: Fourth Rock from the Sun [Destructoid] “You'd be forgiven for assuming that a game called “Surviving Mars” might be yet another entry in the burgeoning survival genre, a Minecraft-esque recreation of Andy Weir's The Martian, or Bohemia’s Take On Mars. You'd be wrong, but a title like that invariably conjures images of punching Mars rocks to build Mars huts and craft Mars shovels and that sort of thing. Well, you do all of the above in Surviving Mars, except from a top-down perspective, as the game is actually a city-building and management sim from the folks that brought you the last three Tropico titles. But rather than playing a developing-world dictator, players this time step into the environment-sealed boots of a Martian colonial administrator, tasked with establishing humanity's first extraplanetary settlement. For that to happen, of course, survival is a must.” [Youtube][Trailer] [more inside]
The question, then, is how to dwell in the ambivalent place where we acknowledge that no one is obligated to desire anyone else, that no one has a right to be desired, but also that who is desired and who isn’t is a political question, a question usually answered by more general patterns of domination and exclusion.Does Anyone Have the Right to Sex? A piece by philosopher Amia Srinivasan in the London Review of Books. [more inside]
Creating undiscovered landscapes by clever use of drone-assisted lighting in this series of photographs by Reuben Wu (previously).
The Trump Show, Episode 22: amid deadly showdowns with Russia, North Korea, Iran, and the UAE, the President gets tough with Canada. And there's oh, so much more inside. [more inside]
It’s shuffleboard meets Swiffer ad. [But:] “It’s way harder than you think,” Mark Shegelski, a physicist at the University of Northern British Columbia, and a recreational curler, told me recently. “It’s like golf: it’s easy to watch a guy hit a golf ball, and you think, ‘This isn’t very athletic.’ And then you get out there yourself and find that it’s incredibly difficult.” Also incredibly difficult: understanding why curling stones curl the way they do, a problem that Shegelski has been chipping away at for two decades. ... What curling rocks do is so complicated that there’s got to be more than one thing going on. [SL NewYorker]
Muppet Guys Talking is a documentary from Muppeteer and film director Frank Oz, featuring interviews with a number of present and past Muppet performers: Dave Goelz (Gonzo, Bunsen Honeydew), Jerry Nelson (Floyd, Emmet Otter, The Count), Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn, Zoe), Bill Barretta (Pepe, Big Mean Carl) and Oz himself. The film will be available to the public tomorrow, but you can get a sneak peek of it today.
Genderfluid elves : In their weekly tease of upcoming content, lead designer Jeremy Crawford talked about planned changes to elves. In this update to the game's cosmology, the creator of the elves, Corellon Larethian was an androgynous being who can change form at will, as could the ancestral elves. Naturally, 'Some elves retain a blessing of Corellon. As part of this blessing, these elves can actually choose their biological sex whenever they finish a long rest. These elves can choose to be male, female, or "neither" based on their moods or feelings.' [more inside]
The Master of Body Horror: A David Cronenberg Horror Retrospective. To celebrate his birthday, explore TIFF's virtual David Cronenberg exhibition (previously on Metafilter), or ruminate over whether 1983's Videodrome has aged well. [more inside]
A contact sheet of 70 rare photos, found at a garage sale, led a man on an odyssey. The photographer was unknown. There was a Zodiac Killer connection. The quality of the photos was high. How to get started finding the source?
“I don’t think Americans have trouble simultaneously believing that stories of the CIA assassinating people are mostly “crazy,” and that they absolutely happened. What emerges from the contradiction is naïveté coated in a candy shell of cynicism, in the form of a trivia game called “Did you know the CIA _____?” Did you know the CIA killed Mossadegh? Did you know they killed Lumumba? Did you know the CIA killed Marilyn Monroe and Salvador Allende? Did you know they made a fake porn movie with a Sukarno lookalike, and they had to take out Noriega because he still had his CIA paystubs in a box in his closet? There’s a whole variant just about Fidel Castro. Some of these stories are urban legends, most are fundamentally true, and yet as individual tidbits they lack a total context. If cold war is the name for the third world war that didn’t happen, what’s the name for what did?” Did you know the CIA _____? (N+1)
How to Launch a Physical Product. "... lately, all that people are talking about is digital products. And I get it. I really do. The margins are great. They’re easy to make. They’re even easier to sell. But what if the thing that you want to make is a physical thing? What if, like me, you’re obsessed with creating something you can hold in your hands?"
Daniel Mallory Ortberg's new story "The Fisherman and His Friend" from his book "The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror" is now available on Buzzfeed.
The latest world happiness report (170 page PDF, supporting website) by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. BBC: “This year's happiest place on Earth is Finland, according to an annual UN report - toppling Norway from the top spot.” Guardian: “For the first time the UN also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest.” Washington Post: “Perhaps tired of winning, the United States falls in World Happiness rankings.” Telegraph: “Happiness was defined by six factors: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.” Huffington Post: “The Nordic ‘secret’ to happiness lies in their ability to limit misery – that is, people who report very low levels of happiness.”
Jason Williams, who goes under the moniker REVOK, threatened H&M with litigation after the retailer featured an image of graffiti which he claimed to have created in its online advertising. Williams allegedly demanded compensation from H&M. [more inside]
In January, the Asbury Park Press (APP) published "The Shield" -- a 19-part investigation of police corruption and lack of accountability in New Jersey. The exposé took two years to complete and revealed that municipalities across the state had collectively spent about $43 million in taxpayer money to cover up the brutal actions of rogue cops who had killed, beaten and stalked more than 200 citizens. In many cases, the cops were not only protected from punishment, but even kept their jobs and received promotions. [more inside]
NASA’s Twins Study confirms 7% of astronaut and identical twin Scott Kelly’s DNA remains altered, two years after returning from one year aboard the International Space Station. [more inside]