February 10, 2016
A variety of documentaries about Negro League baseball: Only The Ball Was White, Black Ball, Extra Innings: Preserving the History of the Negro Leagues, and The Long Summers of Lou Dials. [more inside]
Zoë Quinn explains “why [she] just dropped the harassment charges [against] the man who started GamerGate.” (via Ellen Pao’s Twitter.)
Twenty years ago a Seattle boy moved to Nepal after being recognized as the reincarnation of a revered Tibetan lama. The public’s reaction to his mother’s decision to let him go says as much about our understanding of parenting as it does about Buddhism.
Wasps are a dangerous introduced pest in New Zealand. Here, a researcher excavates an active German wasp nest by hand. Thrill to the angry buzz of outraged wasps! Recoil as they hurl themselves at the camera! Goggle at the venom splatters! 10 minutes of terrifying yet compelling man on wasp action. [more inside]
Anfield Road prices to stay frozen for two years. After many protests [nsfw:language] over a price increase from £59 to £77 - that included an unprecedented 10000 fan walk-out against Sunderland at the 77th minute (result 2-0, final score 2-2), Liverpool FC owners Fenway Sports Group stepped back and apologized from the original pricing plan. [more inside]
As reported this weekend, Twitter announced today that timelines will no longer be ordered strictly by reverse chronology. [more inside]
"We accuse someone of pretentiousness to call out false authority and deflate delusions of grandeur. But we’re also using the word as a tool of class policing: a way to tell a person to stop putting on airs and graces." Dan Fox, Why I'm pretentious and proud of it [more inside]
Everyone dies of something, but after slogging through the daily news, you'd think most people die from terrorism, shark attacks and gas explosions. But are these tragedies — not to mention deaths from lightning strikes, plane crashes and tsunamis — actually top killers in the United States?
The always-excellent Shmuplations has translated a 2011 interview about the creation of classic NES game Rockman, known in the US as Mega Man, and its sequel. It's a great depiction of the creative process relating to game development.
"JANE (late 20s) sits hunched over a microscope. She’s attractive, but too much of a professional to care about her appearance." Hollywood producer retweets actual intros for female characters in actual proposed scripts.
Loudly, and apparently without caring who heard her, a research assistant at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City charged that her boss—noted paleoanthropologist Brian Richmond, the museum’s curator of human origins—had “sexually assaulted” her in his hotel room after a meeting the previous September in Florence, Italy. At the meeting, one person who heard the allegations was Bernard Wood, 70, a senior paleoanthropologist originally from the United Kingdom. In St. Louis, Wood canvassed younger researchers about their experiences with Richmond. He asked everyone the same question: “Does this alleged behavior come as any surprise to you?” He didn’t get the “yes” he was expecting.
One of the most compelling arguments for literary diversity has to do with the people who are following behind. If a little Mexican-American girl grows up with dreams of being a poet, what happens when she looks at the prize winners each year and doesn’t see anyone who looks like her? Can a young African-American man aspire to being a Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist if he doesn’t know that there is someone like him out there? I would argue the same thing happens for working-class kids, especially those in families more concerned with putting food on the table than getting to the symphony, families who see the arts as the sole pursuit of the rich (as my own working-class immigrant father did).
This week, copyright trolls came for @Dog_rates, the beloved Twitter account that rates dogs (but NOT saber-toothed tigers or t-rexes). In a chilling move, the troll threatened to make a similar attack on @Dog_rates's biggest rival/colleague, @EverythingGoats. Twitter has refused to comment.
The Brackets for The Morning News 2016 Tournament of Books by The Tournament of Books Staff [The Morning News]
You already know the titles and judges that will participate in this year’s tournament. You likely perused the “long list” for a glance at 86 of our favorite works of fiction from last year. You might have even checked out our 11 previous tournaments, just to whet your appetite—or maybe you have no idea what we’re talking about, in which case you should go read this primer. [Download the 2016 brackets as a .PDF][more inside]
Atlas Obscura brings us the story of the mid-20th Century "Peanut Butter Hearings", where the Peanut Butter Manufacturers Association faced off with the FDA (and the Peanut Butter Grandma, a.k.a. Ruth Desmond, head of the Federation of Homemakers) to hammer out the exact percentage of peanut butter that had to be peanuts. (via Mental Floss)
She’s the dead hooker in the trunk. A universal cautionary tale, the drug-using sex worker is too wretched to be relatable, too scorned for even countercultural cred. She is repulsive, unclean and immoral. She is pitiable at best, inhuman at worst—dismissed by police lingo about murders whose victims are drug-using street workers: “No Human Involved.” If she’s white, she’s lucky enough to be merely an abject victim. If not, she’s a deranged criminal. She’s a scarred, blotchy mugshot in your local paper’s coverage of prostitution stings—recycled without regard for privacy by anti-drug PSAs to let kids know that that’s what they’ll look like after years of doing dope. She’s the woman I’ve heard my escorting clients joke about not wanting to fuck with someone else’s dick—not realizing that they are talking to a sex worker who uses heroin, as I force myself to laugh along with them.
Cassandra Clare, fanfiction author turned bestselling author, has been accused of copyright infringement by Sherrilyn Kenyon for sharing such themes [pdf of exhibit] as "evil father who has to be killed", "magical swords that battle evil", "rebellious and beautiful female character" and "round room with magical portals". [more inside]
"I've got eight words for you: I've got two words for you: Fuck off" A Python code implementation of the sequence presented by @extranapkins in this tweet.
Funny or Die Made a Trump Biopic, Starring Johnny Depp [NYT]. The 50-minute comedy is streaming now at Funny or Die. (Head's up: NYT link has spoilers!)
‘Letterlocking refers to the folding and securing of any writing surface (such as papyrus, parchment, and paper) to function as its own enclosure.’ In their YouTube channel, Jana Dambrogio of MIT Libraries and her colleagues demonstrate a number of letterlocking techniques, from a simple method used by Russian soldiers in WWII, to more elaborate and ‘secure’ schemes employed by the likes of John Donne, Constanijn Huygens, Elizabeth Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I. [more inside]
The smuggler in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from the original Star Wars who refers Obi-Wan to Chewbacca has been known for years as BoShek. But despite having an action figure of the character, the actor playing him was unknown. With help from the Rebel Scum forum, Billy Jensen was able to use social media detective work to track him down.
Kept in the dark for 60 years, fruit flies begin to reveal their genetic adaptations. In 1954, seven years after their cousins returned from space, a colony of fruit flies was plunged into a darkness which would continue through 1500 generations right up till the present day. The results of this study shed considerable light on the role of genetic variation in physical adaptation. Spoiler: [more inside]
Horses can recognise human emotion, study shows Man’s favourite neigh-sayer can not only tell whether a human might be in a bad mood, it can do so from a photograph. So brilliant! [more inside]