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People in high profile government jobs share commonly held view of multiply bankrupt toupee model [more inside]
Music and politics have a long history and in 2017, a new chapter in their fraught and complicated relationship burst open (related, previously) .... It was a strong year for guitar rock, the best of it coming from relatively younger bands dominated by women (related).... 2017 was also a year when much beloved artists abandoned the sounds their fans first fell in love with to try something new.... There was so much more that happened in 2017 .... but let's try to wrap our heads around some of it, or at least take some time to read year-end lists, or skip the words and listen to the music. [more inside]
Yet it never occurred to me, as I rehearsed my talking points more than a decade ago, that my index cards belonged to the very European history I was studying. The index card was a product of the Enlightenment, conceived by one of its towering figures: Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and the father of modern taxonomy. But like all information systems, the index card had unexpected political implications, too: It helped set the stage for categorizing people, and for the prejudice and violence that comes along with such classification.
"Nichole Perkins was parched. 'The thirstiest,' she offers. And who could blame her? The writer had been scrolling through Twitter when she came across it—a photo of Luke Cage actor Mike Colter, seated, smoldering. She paused. And then she wrote 'I bet he mashes his cornbread in his greens, eats it with his fingers, then looks at you like 'you next.' Elsewhere, Bim Adewunmi read Perkins' tweet and gasped for air. She was scandalized, appalled, horrified! She was in love: 'I was like, 'It's so disgusting! It's disgusting. Oh my god, it's amazing.' She had known Perkins for years, but the tweet was a revelation. Perkins wasn't just a likeminded woman on the internet. She was the rarer breed: a friend in filth." And thus - Thirst Aid Kit, a buzzfeed podcast, tumblr, and twitter, was born. [more inside]
The All-Consuming Emotions of Food in Video Games [US Gamer] “Food is often seen in games as a means of survival, mostly as health. A piece of bread stolen off a vendor's table in Skyrim will grant you two health; the cabbage stew at the tavern will grant you 10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the spicy pepper steak will take the edge off of cold weather. A game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a huge inventory of food items, many of which are dropped after knocking out enemies. While the enormous variety adds an element of immersiveness into Castlevania, it's often nothing health or a novelty. Though none of these games' food systems could be considered simplistic, they have a narrow view of eating; food is health, and eating is the mechanic in which it's used. It's easy to see food only as a function of survival, but there’s a whole breadth of games—” [more inside]
"As soon as they start pushing an interrogation into a predetermined answer, as opposed to the truth, the outcome is inevitable." Amanda Knox on Life After Wrongful Conviction. Of further interest, False Confessions.
Andrés Forero, drummer for the musical Hamilton, demonstrates his drum parts from two songs in the show.
A prison in Romania, Doftana, spawned an intellectual newspaper for prisoners only. And then it was gone. It had been written in code on cigarette paper or foil, and pages from library books. When the prison closed, the ephemeral paper was lost. But it nurtured political activists who took its ideas to the outer world.
Orgonite are a Middle Eastern Rave group from Tel Aviv with lyrics in Hebrew, Russian, English and Arabic: Habibi Yaeni, HAMSA, Adibass, Kayfuyem (feat. Arsen Petrosov) [more inside]
Inspired by this comment, I thought I would learn a little more about blood type tattoos. [more inside]
When Phil came back in November, he wanted so badly to stay sober, and for the next three months he did. But it was a struggle, heartbreaking to watch. For the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than either of us. I bowed my head and thought, I can’t fix this. It was the moment that I let go. I told him, “I can’t monitor you all the time. I love you, I’m here for you, and I’ll always be here for you. But I can’t save you.” — Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction
One month ago, Alabama's sleepy special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate was rocked by bombshell underage sexual assault allegations against far-right firebrand Roy Moore, lifting Democratic challenger Doug Jones into an unthinkable lead. But after state leaders resisted calls for Moore to drop out, GOP opposition eroded, with the most toxic elements of the party eventually giving full-throated endorsement (and $$$) to the twice-impeached theocrat. Polls showed Moore rebounding, but the unique confluence of scandal, tribalism, enthusiasm, and high stakes in this deep red state makes turnout impossible to predict. Polls are opening now, and close at 7PM central time -- stay tuned to see if the Yellowhammer state elects a radical child abuser... or the first Democrat in a quarter century. [more inside]
As the 1950s unfolded, it became clear that buying a few extra cans of food at the grocery store wasn’t going to feed the entire country sufficiently. In urban areas, high-rises, and many southern states where homes lacked basements, there would need to be larger government-run shelters. People couldn’t be expected to bring their own supplies and food; everything they would need had to be ready and waiting inside a shelter when nuclear war arrived. The Eisenhower administration embarked on the quest to develop the perfect “Doomsday food.”Meet the all-purpose survival cracker, the US government's Cold War-era nutrition solution for life after a nuclear blast.
Trailer for The Star Wars based on the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie (SLVimeo)
The BMJ asks "Does Peppa Pig encourage unnecessary use of primary health care resources? [more inside]
Coconuts in mediaeval England weren't as rare as you'd think, no matter what Monty Python would have you believe. They were a common item in wills, fashioned into elaborate drinking cups.