April 17, 2017
#vanlife, The Bohemian Social Media Movement. Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.
How The Best Podcast Of The Year Was Made. McLemore is a late-middle-age clock restorer, hedge-maze maker, acid-reflux sufferer, and all-around gadfly. The hook for S-Town is that he says he’s heard talk of a murder in Woodstock, but the listener quickly gets the sense that what McLemore says is less the point than how he says it. The tapes of his conversations with Reed are glorious, darkly comic linguistic sculptures, filigreed with vulgarity, custom slang, and scientific names for plants. S-Town Is a Well-Crafted Monument to Empathy. [more inside]
An appreciation and exploration of the history, usage and context of the four-letter word beginning with C. NSFW.
Console Repairmen Explain Why Cockroaches Love PS4s [Kotaku] “The PS4’s design accommodates roaches better than other consoles’ because its ventilation grates are wider. Those vents are located at the bottom of the console, so roaches can get in with ease. Also, according to repair professionals, the PS4’s insides gets hotter than the Xbox One’s because of its internal power supply. Warm, in an enclosed space and close to the floor, PS4s are great roach nesting grounds.”
After many, many years and more than a few attempts, NASA finally has a place to search their images, videos, and audio. Brief story of the effort. [more inside]
A Chaos of Delight: The Wonderful World of Soil Mesofauna is the gorgeously photographed website of a macro photographer and obsessive fan of the strange, tiny animals that live in our soil. "For the last two years I've been travelling the world, studying and photographing Collembola, my greatest passion. This website was set up to have as complete an overview of the mesofauna as possible, within the limits of what I find funny."
The term Diaosi (屌丝), which is roughly translated to mean ‘loser’, was originally used as an insult to mock other online users. By 2013, Analysys International, a consultancy, estimated that over 500 million Chinese—more than a quarter of the total population of the country—self-identified as a Diaosi. This throwaway derogatory slang had seemingly hit a deep and collective emotional chord among the wider Chinese population.Winning and Losing in Modern China
For a long time, I’d respond to men’s Wallace recommendations with “he’s on my list,” or “I’ve been meaning to — totally.” And for a long time, I meant it. Now, thinking about becoming that kind of person makes me feel tired. This is how you become the right kind of person: if you’re not in a position of power, identify your oppressors — well-intentioned, oblivious, or otherwise — and love their art. This is why it’s hard to distinguish my reaction to Wallace from my reaction to patriarchy. This insistence that I read his work feels like yet another insistence that The Thing That’s Good Is The Thing Men Like.Deirdre Coyle reviews Brief Interviews with Hideous Men for Electric Lit's "Late to the Party." [TW: sexual assault]
Last week, Nintendo discontinued the incredibly popular NES Classic, for some reason. This is far from the first questionable business decision they’ve made and it definitely won’t be the last. Find out which one of these decisions you are in this quiz, courtesy of Kotaku.
NeoGaf thread • Previously.
NeoGaf thread • Previously.
Should you take a chance on the $9 all-you-can-eat buffet? Can a $2000 pizza possibly beat a Brooklyn slice? In their series, Worth It [YT playlist], Buzzfeed's Alex Choi, Steven Lim, and Andrew Ilnyckyj pit the most expensive, least expensive, and middle-priced versions of foods against each other to see which one is the best [Buzzfeed]. (Buzzfeed links include video plus a condensed review with photos.]
Agnes Denes' Isometric Systems in Isotropic Space-Map Projections is a series of drawings of world maps projected onto non-spherical shapes: pyramid, torus, cube, snail, and so on. Collected in the (very out of print) Map Projections, which you can browse here (or with zooming via a flash version).
NPR is hosting a First Listen of the Original Cast Recording of Groundhog Day: The Musical. Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.
Despite sizable turnouts around the country for Tax Day marches, the majority of U.S. voters recently polled disapproving of most of Trump's actions, and his polls still close to his record low numbers, Trump continues to pull in money for his 2020 campaign, with a significant portion paying for use of his own properties. Meanwhile, Gorsuch's time on U.S. high court will begin with three cases, and the public focus may be on if he recuses himself from one of those cases, and there is a lot of speculation on Steve Bannon's future in the White House, and what happens if he's ousted. [more inside]
Wake-up call for your eyes are these rooms, mostly from the 1970s. We've gotten so blah in our designs and need more of this back.
Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point? [NYT]
More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry, which President Trump championed during the campaign as a prime example of the workers who have been left behind in the economic recovery.[more inside]
To create a fictional universe, you might start with building 1000 stars. Okay, maybe a planetary system or even terrestrial planet is more manageable. Just don't forget your basic seasonbuilding. Obviously your higher life forms will require a language and eventually a writing system. Finally, celebrate your magnificent creation with this a cappella operatic rendition of Justin Bieber's Baby in the very language you've created. Need more help? Artifexian has got you covered.
Talking to the Popular Girls, 20 Years Later | "Why we let male attention rule our entire world and why we were so devastatingly mean to each other still confounds me. To them the answer seemed at once utterly obvious and also unremarkable. 'Because we were immature,' Grace said. 'We didn’t know any better.' But I still can’t believe how much I gave up and how hard I worked at becoming cool simply because I had a crush on a Hot Guy in third grade. 'Having the boys’ approval was, like, everything,' Meg said, 'and so the meaner you were, the more attractive you were.' "
The one true doomsday device that’s known to exist has been around since 1985 and is called Система «Периметр», or, in normal people talk, Perimeter System. It’s also more evocatively known as Dead Hand.
Microphones can be instruments of possession; I'm sure we have all been unlucky enough to witness an otherwise decent person turn into (gender neutral) "that guy" by virtue of being behind a live mic. But possession by microphone spirits can be magnificent. Consider these two very different contestants on Britain's Got Talent: 12-year-old Beau Dermott (2016) and 28-year-old Alice Fredenham (2013). [more inside]