January 4, 2015
The Best American Essays of 2014 Many of the essays are behind paywalls, or subject to monthly article limits. I've linked to those as well because some of you have access through work, school, or subscription. [more inside]
Royal Mail 'special stamps' have been produced in the UK for fifty years since 1965, when the new postmaster general, Tony Benn, expanded the criteria for commemorative stamps to include representations of British life and culture.
Andre Aciman, professor of comparative literature at CUNY, on writing, his work, and inspirations (SLYT).
Thanks to science, most of us accept the deep past – so why are our imagined futures so shallow? [more inside]
Eleven worldwide victories for 2014 - Ten Indigenous Stories of Note in Canada in 2014 [more inside]
The Indian wedding that exploded in violence: a short story by Ranbir Singh Sidhu
Michael van Gerwen throws 17 perfect darts during the 2013 World Darts Championship. The crowd goes WILD.
The Nintendo Character Guide from 1993 is a sort of "bible" for for Nintendo Partners to use as a guide for creating media involving Nintendo's characters, and has been revealed by Blake J. Harris. This affords us a behind-the-scenes look at the official backstory as it was in 1993.
In what is being heralded as a "neo liberalist capitalist dystopic future present nightmare", a "UK version of American Psycho" or simply the "end of days", an upmarket property agency in England releases a (serious) video advert for luxury London apartments. Social media is abuzz with analysis, wondering about his day job / cover, and photoshopping, while the Independent newspaper gapes with incredulity. Comments on the video have been disabled. [more inside]
The most colorful clock/time-waster that'll brighten up your day, albeit slowly: What Colour Is It?
"What was striking about the recent film The Imitation Game wasn't just the incredible story of Alan Turing, the man who helped the Allies win the Second World War by cracking Germany's Enigma code, only to find himself chemically castrated for being gay. It was the epilogue that informed us that the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, criminalising homosexual activity, led to 49,000 gay men being convicted of gross indecency in the UK. If you subtract Turing and Oscar Wilde from that total, that’s 48,998 stories that still haven't been told." Why is television still ignoring gay lives? – Matt Cain for The Independent. [more inside]
Michael Caine on Acting in Film is 58 minutes from a 1987 BBC documentary in which Michael Caine teaches some actors about how to adjust their performance for the movie camera instead of the stage. Worth watching if you're interested in acting or movies, or if you just like seeing someone who's very good at his job explaining how he does it. [more inside]
Your Body's Amazing Reaction to Water: The strange physiological effects of freediving.
“I guess I don’t hate superheroes. I just hate the kind of superhero books that are usually out." The death and rebirth of Valiant Entertainment, superhero comics' strangest success story. [more inside]
SLBBC - Three cheers for the onion: onions are eaten and grown in more countries than any other vegetable but rarely seem to receive much acclaim. It's time to stop taking the tangy, tear-inducing bulb for granted and give it a round of applause. [more inside]
"At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet of standardized testing and indoor inactivity is choking the creativity right out of our kids. The alternative: set 'em free."
The AMNH team preserving Lonesome George for display. As the last known Pinta Island tortoise, Lonesome George became a worldwide icon of conservation decades before he died from natural causes in the Galápagos in 2012. When Lonesome George arrived at the American Museum of Natural History in early 2013 to be preserved as a taxidermic specimen, Museum scientists and a master taxidermist faced a number of crucial decisions as they worked to prepare a mount that was both scientifically accurate and beautiful. [more inside]
Ordnance Survey Maps - England and Wales, 1842-1952: ‘The most comprehensive, topographic mapping covering all of England and Wales from the 1840s to the 1950s,’ courtesy of the National Library of Scotland. You can browse the maps as individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales; as a seamless zoomable overlay layer on modern Google and OS maps; or as a seamless zoomable layer side-by-side with modern Google and OS maps. Also, Maps of Scotland: ‘Access high-resolution zoomable images of over 91,000 maps of Scotland and beyond.’