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A year after Ursula Le Guin's death, Alison Smith recalls escorting her during a university conference in 1987. When I met Le Guin, I was in outer space, hovering in that darkness. Cast out from my homeworld, I spent my days orbiting a new world, afraid to land. [more inside]
Lexicity: dedicated to providing online study resources for ancient languages, claims to be "the first and only comprehensive index for ancient language resources on the internet." With links to resources for 30 ancient languages from Akkadian to Ugaritic (a language discovered in 1928!), you can spelunk and meander and amble your way through dictionaries, grammar lessons, charts and aids, ancient texts, and other resources. [more inside]
"Deep in the antebellum bowels of Southern history, there emerged a style of gospel music called the Sacred Harp. Designed so untrained singers could sing by sight from hymnals, it produced an otherworldly, earthshakingly loud brand of music." [more inside]
The Embroidered Computer is an exploration into using historic gold embroidery materials and knowledge to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.
Plants Can Hear Animals Using Their Flowers "In both lab experiments and outdoor trials, they found that the plants would react to recordings of a bee’s wingbeats by increasing the concentration of sugar in their nectar by about 20 percent. They did so in response only to the wingbeats and low frequency, pollinator-like sounds, not to those of higher pitch. And they reacted very quickly, sweetening their nectar in less than three minutes." [EdYongFilter]
[SLYT] The forgotten art of blank VHS covers, remastered and reimagined.
Jolene: Horror Version performed by Elli Jelly. It started as a Tumblr comment and was crowd sourced into something bigger. Now, you can enjoy it in your headphones as you wait for Jolene to awake from her slumber and take everyone's men... straight to the dark realms. Soundcloud version. [more inside]
While the Instant Pot might be the most sophisticated fix yet for Americans’ dwindling opportunity to prepare their own food, it can’t address the bigger problem of where that time and skill went in the first place, and how much more stands to be lost (SLTheAtlantic). [more inside]
The LA Unified School District is going on strike for the first time in 30 years as of this morning, demanding smaller class sizes, long-term increases in staffing for students, and resources to be able to teach more effectively. Union president Caputo-Pearl asks: What does the future of American public education look like? Denver may join Los Angeles later this week in the first strike there in 25 years. The National Educational Association voted July to include support for demonstrators and a strike fund in its budget, a decision that in retrospect looks wise.
American football season is winding down. The college football season is already over, and there are only three more NFL playoff games. (Although the Alliance of American Football will kick off its inaugural season in February!) Now that we don't have games to keep us occupied anymore, let's turn our attention to Xs and Os instead. If you can't tell the difference between a 3x1 spread and a flexbone, jump in to some Xs and Os blogs and start learning. By next season's kickoff, you'll be able to impress all your rowdy friends when you say things like "oh, that's a simple smash concept to the boundary with the H-back check-releasing to the flat, gives the QB an easy hi-lo read". [more inside]
By any reasonable standard, I have won life’s lottery. I grew up with two loving parents in a peaceful house. I’ve spent my whole career doing work that thrills me—writing for newspapers and magazines. I married the best woman I’ve ever known, Alix Felsing, and I love her more now than when my heart first tumbled for her. We’re blessed with strong families and a deep bench of friends. Our lives are full of music and laughter. I wouldn’t swap with anyone. Except on those mornings when I wake up and take a long, naked look in the mirror. —Tommy Tomlinson on “what it’s like to be too big in America”
“This does not at all mean that Marxists oppose self-improvement and self-care as such. There is nothing wrong with many of the activities suggested by either subculture, nor would socialism be a world without individual care and development. On the contrary, we oppose capitalism, in part, because it directly disincentivizes self-enrichment, encouraging the accumulation of capital or higher wages above everything else. Under capitalism, an individual who chooses to prioritize their hobbies and social well-being runs the risk of being “outcompeted” by those more willing to subordinate those needs to the logic of profit motive.” Self-Improvement and Self-Care: Survival Tactics of Late Capitalism
Wacław Szpakowski was a polish artist who made a series of complex drawings using one continuous line turning back on itself repeatedly. More examples viewable here; a few animated versions; some pages from his notebooks. (Those last three links are futzy embeddings from waclawszpakowski.pl, which has Polish- and English-language info about his life and work.) More images still if you click on "IMAGES" at the top right of this page.
The Original Hacker's Dictionary - "pretty much the original, snarfed from MIT-AI around 1988."
FUTURE ZONE is a YouTube channel devoted to full length science fiction movies, many of which are Italian - but not all, I think. Of course there is [more inside]
"Like many people my age and older, I miss the pre–social media internet. The new internet knows this, and it capitalizes on my nostalgia as it eats away at the old internet. It amounts to an unforeseen form of technological cannibalism." Kate Wagner, The Baffler
Thirteen years after production began and roughly eight years after a fascinating GQ article brought it to mainstream attention, the mysterious and controversial Russian film/art project Dau is finally being released. [more inside]