October 12, 2020
This year's finalists have not yet been announced, so it's not too late for a post about the winners of the 2019 Best Illusion of the Year contest. First Prize: the Dual Axis Illusion; Second Prize: Change the Color; Third Prize: The Rotating Circles; and my favorite of the honorable mentions: 3D Graffiti. (MetaFilter posts about previous years: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2009)
Clean vectored outlines? Wide-screen format? These don't look like reruns! That's because Steven Spielberg Presents The Animaniacs on Hulu, coming this November. (twitter link to new 1m30s preview. it's everything I hoped it would hint that the new series would be... omg so so very much this)
Two fanfiction short stories by Marie Brennan, writing on Archive of Our Own. "Darkness in Spring", a very short, silly riff on Greek mythology and today's exponents of darkness: "One year, Persephone doesn't leave Hades on schedule. Demeter goes to find out why." "The Rest", a clever James Bond-The Sandbaggers crossover: "Very few people remember where M came from." (You don't need to know The Sandbaggers to enjoy it -- just enjoy seeing competent women's tradecraft applied to bureaucracy and spy shenanigans.)
Tim Sneath upgrades his trusty Macintosh SE/30 to a brand new iMac G4 and marvels at the technological progress that a decade brings, including a DVD player, built-in Ethernet and modem, OS X Panther, EarthLink, and World Book 2004.
It's a good year to be elsewhere. If you've a warm sweater, stout boots, and a tolerance for solitude, consider caring for a remote island. There are lots of options for armchair or eventual cargo ship travel: [more inside]
This is my message to the western world - your civilization is killing life on Earth. An opinion piece for The Guardian by Nemonte Nenquimo, a member and leader of the Waorani people of the Ecuadorean Amazon and one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of 2020. [more inside]
SLYT: Library Takeout A librarian at Duke University created a video to explain how to get materials safely and friends, it slaps! [more inside]
BBC Culinary Roots: “The first time you see a burrata sitting on a plate, tilted, you might be perplexed. Burrata is as white as mozzarella but comes with a strange narrowing at the top, like a giant dumpling. With a knife and fork, you poke the pouch, knowing something hides below that initial cheese layer. With a firm stroke, you cut the sachet in two, and the filling made of cream and mozzarella strips spills out and spreads across the plate. You roll the mozzarella strips with your fork like spaghetti, and with cream dripping, you have the first bite: an explosion of milk mixed with sweet cream and mozzarella.”
Furman explains that her own use of throwback elements - swing beats, wailing saxophones, doo-wop choruses - is partially the product of all the "musical debris" floating around in her head, but it’s also a useful way to set up bigger thematic ideas. That’s especially where the '50s and '60s influences come in. "I go to that music because I feel a sort of similar level of repression in my life, where I know that transphobia and heteronormativity are not going to destroy me, but I can feel it holding me back and I can feel myself pushing against it," she says. [more inside]
Eunice Newton Foote rarely gets the credit she’s due. In 1856, she theorized that changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could affect the Earth’s temperature, arriving at her breakthrough through experimentation. With an air pump, two glass cylinders, and four thermometers, she tested the impact of “carbonic acid gas” (the term for carbon dioxide in her day) against “common air.” When placed in the sun, she found the cylinder with carbon dioxide trapped more heat and stayed hot longer. From this simple experiment, Foote connected the dots between carbon dioxide and planetary warming—and she did it more than 160 years ago. Elle excerpts a book edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson on climate feminism. [more inside]
Popular in South America, Europe, and Quebec, Argentine-Spanish cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón (July 17, 1932 - September 30, 2020) — better known as Quino — drew his comic strip Mafalda (a politically/socially aware six year old girl) from 1964 to 1973. There’s an English fan website, and a large gallery of Tejón’s later wordless political cartoons on Imgur [H/T Macwhiskey]. *Before the Calvin Era.
The role of cat eye narrowing movements in cat–human communication. (SLNature) Or How to Teach Your Dang Cat to Pay Attention to You. "One common anecdotally acknowledged yet subtle behavioural display that cats appear to direct at humans is the slow blink sequence (see also33). Slow blink sequences involve a series of half-blinks (where the eyelids move towards each other without ever fully closing the eye34) followed by either prolonged narrowing of the eye aperture or a full eye closure (see Fig. 1). Anecdotal evidence and personal observations suggest that the slow blink sequence can be used as a method of cat–owner communication, and is said to occur in calm, positive contexts." [more inside]
The Swamp that Trump Built A businessman-president transplanted favor-seeking in Washington to his family's hotels and resorts--and earned millions as a gatekeeper to his own administration (the latest in an ongoing NYT investigation) (previously)