Skip to content

Vote Like A Pirate Linky

Voting is underway now, so it’s a good time to share – what it will be like if Scotland votes for independence? (via Morag) (the Vox one made me lol)

If you haven’t seen this yet, it is marvellous marvellous marvellous.
Grandparents on Facebook keep accidentally tagging Grandmaster Flash into their messages.

Star Wars minus the Williams score: the Throne Room scene. So good.

Some things you can literally do in your sleep.

Hahaha after a Judge ruled Christian pamphlets could be handed out in Florida schools, but other religions could too… Satanic Temple Children’s Activity Book. This is culture jamming at its finest.

Dylan Horrocks did a great Pecha Kucha on his Year of Belief, in which he did some delving into religion and faith

You can listen to a sampler of the stories from Baby Teeth, the scary-children horror anthology I contributed to, in the latest Tales to Terrify podcast. Dan has the scoop.

And finally… from the depths of my unused linky folder, how about the comic prequel to the Golden Girls in which they are super-spies?



Pour Vous Linky

The actual rules for “tu” and “vous” in French. Lovely. (via @adzebill)

The Atlantic: Why do people believe in ghosts?

Luc Besson’s “Lucy” inspired much derision due to a (very dumb) “10% of the brain” thing. Anna K recasts this as metaphor for a Lovecraft-style expanded perception, and finds much to admire. I haven’t seen the film but this is the first review of it that has remotely made it sound appealing to me.

IKEA instructions for movie monsters (via Tof)

Pearl Jam covered (a few lines of) “Let It Go”, the song from Disney juggernaut Frozen, by request of Vedder’s 5yo daughter. (via Susan H)

What it would be like dating the Disney princes:

Insightful essay on the BBC News site about how Scotland got to the point that a vote for independence is gaining popular support – this sure wasn’t always the case! (Here’s a hint as to why: Thatcher + austerity.) It’s one of those awful “long-scrolling multimedia” things that news organisations think are very clever (because Snow Fall won the pulitzer I guess) but that already look massively dated; if you can put up with that, this is a great read. (Via Andrew Watters)

Also, Monbiot’s latest column on the Scottish Independence Referendum is probably the single most optimistic thing I’ve ever seen him write: Scottish independence will spark a new progressive movement that will transform (what’s left of) the UK! I’ll believe it when I see it, but he is right that Scottish independence will be hugely influential outside of their borders.

Craig Oxbrow has made me aware that Harvey Keitel is reprising his Pulp Fiction character in a series of ads for an insurance company. The video is region-locked, so I can’t watch it, and from Craig’s description I suspect that’s probably just as well.

And finally, the Duck Tales theme song with real ducks:


Conical Linky

(Super-short linky this week. I don’t know why, just haven’t come across much linkable stuff.)

A board game invented for the TV show ‘Parks & Recreation’ was played for real, for charity, at GenCon.

The Guardian has an interesting take on the narrowing margin in the polls as the Scottish independence referendum date approaches, and particulary how the vote is being talked about down at street level, in the pubs and nightclubs. (It certainly has the Scottish contingent on my social media streams busy!)
Also: George Monbiot’s column on the subject certainly has people talking, 3500 comments and counting…

A history of classical music, in the form of cat GIFs. (via Bruce N)

Fascinating photoset of soldiers’ kit from 1066 to 2014.

And finally, this book review about a noir mystery with a cast of teddy bears is sensible enough. But the comment section… ah, the comment section. It just gets better as it goes along.


Badwell Linky

This week in Malcolm Gladwell schadenfreude: the 10,000 hour rule isn’t real

It’s the election in NZ soon, and as with most constituencies, the parties need to work really hard to actually get people to the voting booth. NZ independent journo Nicky Hager, talking in the wake of his expose book about dirty political tactics in NZ (it would all be pretty ordinary stuff in other countries but we are trying to keep a lid on those tactics here), offered his big suggestion for election day:

This, I note, is precisely the plan I came up with after a conversation with a Green party candidate when I tried to apply my social psyc masters to electoral strategy. If we can make voting a social event, participation will jump. A little. (Note that in NZ, like in all sensible countries, voting is on a weekend day.) It’s a really good idea. says D&D is officially cool again. Unsure where the “again” part of the headline comes from, but, yup – more & more hipsters been flinging those twenty-sided dice lately. Artisan, hand-crafted action adventure fun – how can you go wrong?

Peter Capaldi’s Oscar-winning 20-minute short film:

“On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity.” The end of gamers (via Kieron Gillen)

Israeli & Palestinian kids go to the U.S. together, and it helps. An interesting & encouraging exploration of the contact hypothesis, and like the best psyc experiments, it’s about boys going to camp.

The Fawlty Towers hotel set recreated in Lego. Marvellously done!

Thoughts about class in Australia (via saniac/Stephen Judd): “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that citizens in contemporary Australia are now implicitly divided into those who bother and those who don’t. It seems poverty and wealth can no longer be attributed – even in part – to social origins; they are apparently manifestations of character.”

This made me lol:

Via Allanah: enter the Useless Web

The final linky is always something baffling, but you might wonder how I can find something more baffling than those two items. Don’t worry, I got you covered…
And finally, Irresistible Horse Hoods


Aw Yiss Linky

Aw Yisser, Beaton style.

Usagi Yojimbo stop-motion short! (via Gareth Skarka)

Last week I shared the 538 coverage of the NZ-expat King of Scrabble! D’oh, his reign is over.

Email will never die

This is really very good indeed: the first part of a legit adaptation of Jack Chick’s fabled D&D-will-make-you-worship-Satan comic, DARK DUNGEONS:

Professional Wrestling tells the story of capitalism

Johnny Cash has been everywhere (Via Svend)

Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman script

Willie Nelson’s card trick

Bogie and Bacall starred in a radio drama serial!?

This is lovely – a Read-Along StoryBook for The Thing:

Shower thoughts with Nick Offerman

via Svend – airplane cutaways!

Also via Svend – ornate dragons painted with a single brush stroke

And last via Svend, Dan Geer’s talk at a Black Hat hacking conference on Cybersecurity as Realpolitik (text) – svend says it “has a bunch of interesting ideas about how he would solve things”

And finally, Robin Williams & Craig Ferguson dance to Britney


Mork and Linky

(I’ve basically read none of the things I’m linking this week, only skimmed them. Far too much going on in the world right now. Many of these links are via the marvellous Nextdraft.)

Longreads has pulled out from their archive some long pieces on Robin Williams.

This mash-up of the Muppets (doing Danny Boy) and the Beastie Boys is one minute of perfection.

Journalism: You’re a teenager and you’re a pedophile. You don’t want to hurt anyone. What do you do? – Plus an interview with the writer of that piece.

More on the methodological knife fight going down in my academic field, social psyc.

Weirdly effective: the opening credits of Twin Peaks, in 8-bit form.

Every Hitchcock cameo.

The Wonder Years: An Oral History

Organize your life: be like a chef. (Sound right, Gator?)


The New Zealander who is the best Scrabble player on Earth.

Spacewar! – a computer game from 1962

“The assumption is that history is linear – from ignorance to enlightenment. It’s true that we’re closer to racial justice than we were, say, a century ago, but here’s the paradox: while we might be more diverse, more tolerant and more committed to racial justice than our ancestors, we’re committed to an ideology that makes racial justice impossible – colorblindness.” Morgan Godfery on the insidious racism built into NZ culture.

How high-quality action movies are made now – this sequence, lasting all of two seconds, is a blur of cool people doing stuff when first seen. But when inspected closely, as you do in this age of blu-ray and animated gif, you can see exactly what is going on – and what is revealed is way way cooler than you ever guessed. This is storytelling happening in such density that you can only pick up on it through detailed study (or by following this link). Amazing.

And finally (again via Dangerous Minds): the ambient sound of a Star Wars X-Wing, for 12 hours.


Bad Password Linky

So it turns out you don’t have to change all those shamefully lame passwords you use

Photobooth selfies across the 20th century

Pinky & the Brain return with more swear words than I remember (NSFW: swears)

Three hours of Amiga game music – you’ll know if that’s something you need to hear. (via Adam Koebel)

Disney’s launched a new Muppets webseries to link in with the DVD of the latest movie. I watched the first ep and it was… not good. Approach with caution.

The fundamental psychological bias that determines your politics – this is definitely part of the picture. (via Grant R)

Andrew O’Hehir, Salon’s film reviewer, writes some smart politics about Hillary Clinton’s ascendancy and what that says about the broken USA political environment.

Sing-a-long-a Star Wars soundtrack music:

Amazing – a photo of a fight in the Ukraine Parliament that looks like Renaissance art – complete with Golden Ratio spiral analysis. (via Allen Varney)

Fascinating article about how political divides break up our online sharing networks, looking specifically at the Israel/Palestine discussion (via Nate C)

How to do a better job of arguing from analogy, a.k.a. How likely is another World War?

The study of adjective order: why we say big red dog not red big dog, and loads of cool and interesting things that follow once you work out those rules.

And finally… it had to be done, but it didn’t have to be done this perfectly: Game of Thrones transit maps


BFF Linky

From Svend: the sinister simplicity of the BFF-bot

The first photo uploaded to the web was a sign of things to come

Scream Queen: Queen song rendered entirely in screams from movies

How English sounds to non-English speakers – using the phonemes but in nonsensical arrangements (via Tof)

I didn’t even know this article was about Orange is the New Black until I was already reading it, and I don’t know anything about that show. But it’s a good read:
My life with Piper

You’ll know if you want to check out Grantland’s week of articles devoted to the Romantic Comedy genre

“I can’t even” and H.P.Lovecraft

“To build a traditional city, an environment where people want to walk, build Really Narrow Streets.” (via Ivan T)

50 best opening lines in movies and 50 best closing lines in movies

The new D&D website is live, anticipating their big marketing push. Apart from game geeks like me, this will interest people curious how a 40-year-old brand is being repositioned and how the digital game/tabletop game divide is being managed. Additional data point: they have recruited Ice T to read for their audiobook line.

That poster of the woman saying WE CAN DO IT is not Rosie the Riveter. It is an anti-union poster.

Debunking myths about Gaza and Israel and Hamas and the IDF – I’ve been avoiding putting anything online about what’s happening in Gaza, because it’s a complex subject and I don’t have time for any more than cursory discussion. But this seems worth sharing anyway.

Michele A’Court: victims of drunk driving crashes – is it their fault?

And finally, via DM: Playing Stairway backwards, played backwards


NZIFF: The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden (USA, 2013)

Doco about a weird unsolved murder mystery in the 1930s Galapagos Islands. There were only a handful of people on the island of Floreana, all eccentric or mad to various degrees, locked in strange jealousies and rivalries. It’s a small cast of characters, none of whom are particularly endearing, all destined to be either victims or suspects.

It was a good watch, but like more than a few docos I’ve seen in the last few years, it was slooow. There was a tight, excellent 90-minute documentary film inside this 120-minute version, and I would much rather have seen that. But I can recommend it anyway – there is much in this account worthy of eyebrow-raising, and that is surely a good measure of a documentary’s worth.

Tagged , , ,

NZIFF: Under The Skin (UK, 2013)

Scarlett Johansson is an otherworldly being who seduces Glaswegian men to their otherworldy doom. It’s shot, framed, told, and paced as an art film, but the narrative itself is fairly straightforward. (Which is good! That’s not a criticism!) There are many mysteries, mostly unexplained, although the shapes of answers are given. There’s a lot of improvised stuff where unsuspecting Glaswegian locals found themselves interacting with Johansson in seduction mode. The whole sequence on the beach is one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever seen.

I loved it. Best thing i’ve seen in ages. But this is really not for everyone.

Tagged , , ,