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Thursday Linky

Linky going out on Thursday this week on account of Easter.

Cavalorn has uncovered a genuine oddity from 70s Britain: a kid’s how-to guide for the occult. It’s like something out of Scarfolk, but real.

In Buzzfeed-does-journalism shock, here’s a quite nice piece on Tom Lehrer, and the quiet, comprehensive way he is ignoring his incredible legacy.

American football in China – this is a great tale. (via Nextdraft)

TL;DR wikipedia (via Dangerous Minds)

Kristen Schaal as Darth Vader

Malc tells a weirdly fascinating tale from his deep research into nuclear history: how did a 1980 tv movie feature in efforts to keep Pakistan from attaining nuclear power?

A conversation on Facebook led to a google search which unexpectedly turned this up: Herry Monster reunites with cute Sesame Street kid, 20 years later

The marvellous Mrs Meows gives a very smart, and usefully linked, account of how she grew out of Michael Jackson.

Hogwarts MOOC, lol

Unexpectedly, the AVClub manages to make a compelling inventory list on the subject of sinister rabbits in pop culture

True Detective meets Family Circus (I think I’ve seen more parodies of Family Circus than I have the real thing)

How to lie with graphs and charts! The real-world examples are jaw-dropping. (via Matt Cowens)

13-year-old eagle huntress (via Craig Oxbrow & Tim Denee)

And finally, don’t ever tease any other kids you guys


ZunZuneo Linky

Big story from the AP about US intelligence setting up ZunZuneo, a social media system in Cuba, with the intention of using it to encourage political resistance. Kermit Roosevelt, Jr would be proud.

Shakespeare plays, told as three-panel comic strips. (Titus Andronicus though.)

Infographic showing the depth of the ocean where the missing plane might be. Lots of people have been sharing this because infographics showing the depth of the ocean are always awesome.

Keith Ng destroys in this post about staring disaster in the face and assuming it’ll all be fine.

Great short Delia Derbyshire doco

The Atlantic has a good overview of this Heartbleed thing that’s making computer nerds everywhere change all their passwords.

Remember Tamiflu? Ben Goldacre writes about how a big pharma company tricked govts around the world into spending billions to buy its ineffective medicine, and how they didn’t break any laws to do it. Rage-inducing. (via Nate Cull)

Traffic sign tells you to do a silly walk when you cross the road.

The germ theory of culture: this popped up all at once on several social media channels. So I’m sharing it, even though I think it’s a pretty classic case of taking an interesting small idea and chasing it far beyond the point of viability. (The article itself levies this charge about 3/4 of the way through.)

Album covers, from the reverse

Geologists work out the geology of Game of Thrones

Smooth jazz version of Game of Thrones theme, feat. sax guy Dave Koz

And Goat version of the same


No Worries Linky

“No worries” is slowly infecting the USA – patient zero was Crocodile Dundee.

23 retro games you can play in your browser

Star Wars theme played on a huge pipe organ. Kinda wow. (via keith M)

The Chooseatron! I remember this Kickstarter, seems like it’s coming close to reality. Its a receipt printer that prints out choose-your-own-adventure stories as you make your decisions. (via Calum)

Why every film critic has Scarjo’s Black Widow wrong – I’m about 90% on board with this, my 10% reservation being that the critics and moviegoing public are being conditioned to see only the sexay sexay catsuit by the way the films have been marketed and structured (via Amanda Fitzwater)

Twin Peaks continuation fanfic told via Twitter (I have never been interested in a fanfic continuation of Twin Peaks but the use of Twitter makes this interesting to me)

The Game of Thrones RPG has released (free!) Hodor’s Guide to Hodoring, which is exactly the joke you expect, but still great.

My Girl, the video game. (Yes, *that* My Girl.)

Public domain sheet music repository (via BK Drinkwater)

Bake scientifically accurate cake planets (via Bruce)

Daily Mail headlines replaced with user comments (via David R)

This 2012 New Yorker piece about an invented language goes to a few interesting and unexpected places (also via BK)

Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel do a Les Mis confrontation (via Jenni)
while Hugh Jackman does Wolverine The Musical

Zola has released some free, beautifully formatted ebooks for some literary classics. If you’ve looked into ebooks, you’ll know it’s really easy to find free copies of these, but it can be a real pain to find copies that are actually pleasant to read.

Pearce shared with me the Czech poster for Alien, which I’d never seen before, and when I googled to find out more about it, I found a Czech board game of Alien (translated page) that I’d never heard of. It looks great!
(Also found: the Hungarian poster for Alien, the Polish poster for Alien, and the truly special Polish poster for Aliens)

And finally, there is no high culture. There is no low culture. There is only… cat videos.


Habit Linky

How to change a habit (flowchart image – the bits of research I know square with this)

Graph the audience grades of your favourite TV show (uses IMDB episode-by-episode ratings out of 10)

Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir does some for-real critical thinking about the Hunger Games and Divergent (et al.) – ” They are propaganda for the ethos of individualism, the central ideology of consumer capitalism, which also undergirds both major political parties and almost all American public discourse.” – love to see someone other than Mash thinking this hard about stuff.

Rodger spies some significant, and troubling, gaps in the kinds of books out there for children.

Interview with Antiques Roadshow US expert about how they make the show – surprisingly to me, really interesting!

A brief history of evil finger-tenting.

The Hardy Boys meet True Detective

Lotta discussion of the Atlantic’s feature on whether we’re overprotecting our kids. I haven’t read it yet, but Svend notes: “I wonder how different the world would be if the United States had managed to get universal health care back in the 30s with the New Deal. If you couldn’t sue cities for injuries, would the homogenization of playgrounds have been as severe?” (sorry to quote your email without permission Svend but this is a smart question so I’m doin’ it)

via d3vo, the best nerd rage you will find on Facebook’s Oculus Rift buyout

Four steps to fixing inequality (via James Shaw)

Typecast, a cover of Royals

And finally – sad to hear of the death of Dave Brockie aka Oderus Ungus. (Not that I ever listened to GWAR but.) Here’s the man himself reading Goodnight Moon:


12 Years A Slave (USA/UK, 2013)

I am part of the film’s third audience, neither American White nor American Black, privileged to watch from outside, safely, to look upon the horrors and the injustice and whisper thanks that my people never devoured themselves with such madness, to observe with smug fascination at the broken ways of some other kind of people so different from my own. But the film doesn’t let me take this escape, for the unspeakable encompassing specificity of the American slave trade is an expression of something within, and Ejiofor and Nyong’o and Woodard and the rest don’t let me hide from the truth that I am complicit too, my veins are thickened with power, my people have embraced their strength and murmured that it could not be helped, and I sit white and healthy in what I call my property on a land my people once desired, a system of normalised exploitation replicating soundlessly around me, and just because my ancestors did not take a whip I cannot be at rest, it is in all of us, and it is in me and mine at strength, the sins are mine, and if I tell myself I am safe from this film I am lying, because it rebukes me too, it must rebuke me, it must teach me to hate a part of myself, but not just that, but also to love some part, some small part, that knows how justice might be found at any cost, that might be coaxed to hold on to justice, that might be tricked to fight for justice, for that is in my lineage too. This film is not safe, is not an instructive lesson in good morals for middle-class white people, it is not interested in me, but it comes for me anyway, and it looks at me, and it looks at me, and it looks.

Tagged ,

Kiss Linky

I defended that kiss video last week. By the end of that day I’d seen loads of other discussion/argument/parody about it. Here’s the essentials:
All the parodies
NYT tells the story of the video – and it just reinforces my belief that people who thought they were being lied to have the wrong end of the stick.
Vice made its own strangers kissing video, using ordinary men & women off the street. Literally.

Speaking of kissing that guy, a fascinating article about how, when you get song lyrics wrong in your head, it often doesn’t matter too much. Via the NextDraft email, sign up to NextDraft!

Speaking of music with fuzzy lyrics, GQ has a neat, tight oral history of Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Westboro Baptist Church, they of the picketing military funerals, do a weird cover of Royals.

The Garry lab & its alumni continue to make science awesome. This (free to read) paper shows if your name is easy to pronounce, people find it easier to believe you. It cites that legendary “Clinton deploys vowels to Bosnia” Onion article.

Via Damon – a fascinating sliding logic puzzle. There’s an intuitive rhythm you get into quite quickly, but some cleverness would be needed to finish this!

“Second-generation internet language plays with grammar instead of spelling.” a linguist explains doge. Via Michael U, or someone on Facebook who tagged him and the tag made it show up in my feed but not on any search I can come up with Facebook UX continues to be a joke but anyway thanks mysterious person who tagged Michael.

Via Stephen Fox: a one-woman cover of Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box. Fun.

All-time top 5 best uses of punctuation in literature! (via svend)

Also via Svend: a twitter feed of actual TV network notes. When people working in US TV swear about the instructions they receive from stupid bosses, this is the kinda thing they mean.

Two minutes of very scary. I’m liking this trend for micro-length horror films. (via Brian Marshall)

Get a free (digital) copy of the first issue of Ms. Marvel, the great new comic about a teen girl Muslim superhero mixing it up in the Marvel universe! Also three other comics that are probably also good!

And finally, Sarah-Michelle Gellar gives the last word on that lingering question from Buffy: Spike or Angel?


Fool’s Linky

That shameful anti-gay legislation in Uganda? It was probably the result of intensive lobbying by US evangelical Christians. Mother Jones has the full scoop.

The complete guide to listening to music at work. (via Nextdraft. Subscribe to Nextdraft!)

The Loomio free decision-making tool has launched a crowdfunding effort. I haven’t looked much into it but I am assured it is worthy. Check it out.

The collage art of Louis Armstrong (for once I’m ahead of Dangerous Minds, I have encountered this coolness before).

Also, DM puts its indie cred on the line and celebrates the solo album by Spice Girl Mel C (AKA “the one who could sing”). I have great fondness for “Never Be The Same Again”, especially when Lisa Lopes comes in. Gone too soon, that one.

First Kiss: a documentary art video project – this has been everywhere, eeeverywhere. But it’s worth a look I reckon. Then read about how it’s viral marketing (sorta?) and they’re all actors (not all) and… It’s a constructed reality, sure. But I don’t find it entirely cynical, myself.

Grantland has a lovely feature on the sad clown who sang that cover of Royals

The Honest Trailer for Frozen is a gem. (I haven’t seen Frozen.)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game
has been polished up for its 30th anniversary. Still free to play, of course!

Science admits the 5-second rule is not entirely dumb.

Marvellous account of everything that went wrong with the making of Street Fighter: The Movie. It was meant to be a fun, dumb action film. It became a complete disaster.

The smart young women of Rookie mag have a roundtable about the divisive figure of Kanye West.

Short doco by Community’s Danny Pudi about a legendary basketball team who turned heads by… wearing their shirts untucked.

And finally, dogs in a photobooth.


Reading Linky

I’ve heard about this text presentation method before – flashing words up one after the other so you don’t have to move your eyes – but Spritz is the first company I’ve seen try to make a business out of it. (Curious about what tradeoffs are hidden in there – eyetracking data shows when we read text presented in the usual way, like this paragraph, our eyes jump around a lot, ahead of and behind where we are “up to”, grabbing context data as we go.) (Via d3vo)

Stephen Judd has offered a collection of fascinating articles about all manner of subjects – the first collection of many I hope! I’m particularly interested in this one about caste in India, Gandhi, and one BR Ambedkar who I haven’t heard of before, but as I write I haven’t read it yet. Hopefully by the time this goes up I have remedied that!

The AV Club discusses Dawson’s Creek. I link to it because they agree with me.

Comedy legend Michele A’Court writes a definitive answer to the “are women funny?” category of questions.

Parody of The Wolf of Wall Street trailer: The Worf of Starfleet

(Anyone know their Trek? The moment around 1:10 where they have an overhead pullback NOOOOOO – I have searched before for the origin of this cliche and am curious when this episode aired.)

Via Simone, Mongolian throatsinging rave music. Very throat.

Quite lovely timelapse tour through NZ

Have I linked to LOL My Thesis yet? Academic types provide pithy, hilarious, self-lacerating micro-summaries of their work.

Guy introduces new version of Chess! Yes there have been like eleven billion chess variants created with exciting new pieces like the Unicorn or the Starship Enterprise. I don’t even care about chess at all. BUT – this one still gets my interest by making one of the new rules both elegant and simple: you win if your King crosses the midline of the board. That’s an idea that feels like smart game design. Next step: playtest it for, oh I dunno, two or three centuries? The rules of chess have a high bar for entry. (The rest of his ideas are… less elegant)

Damian Hirst does art on a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet.

And finally, THAT scene from the first Alien film, depicted in Lego


Integer Linky

Via John Fouhy: Dungeons and Dragons Ability Modifier Sequence from the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. As John said in his tweet, “This is some kind of nerd congruence. I struggle for words.”

Rare Star Wars posters from around the world. Some of these are very odd.

Lovely illustrations of kids playing Star Wars. There’s a bunch, click “next” to move through them.

Also, Star Wars invades Sochi (via Mike Upton)

Boromir death simulator. (via Darcy)

Barbie defends her decision to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Slate points out how vile this “defence” is (via Simone)

Music for Making Love (via Pearce)

Elsa from Disney’s Frozen calls out the other Disney princesses. In song, of course!

College Humour on the engagement ring diamond scam…

This piece owes a debt to: the classic, all-time famous Atlantic magazine feature on the scam that is the engagement ring diamond. Still viral thirty years on! (Blaise put this on my screen this time ’round but it keeps cycling.)

Via my mum, maps of stereotypes

For my mum (and other Austenphiles), 15yo Jane Austen’s satirical history of England

And finally, The saga of Moon Moon the derp wolf.


Nijinsky Linky

(No Nijinsky included)

Get prepared tomorrow

Star Wars as told in the original tapestry

Listen to the music that was inscribed on a random butt in that one Bosch painting.

Woman recreates the selfies of the guy who took her phone (via Camilla)

Young people swap clothes with their grandparents (also Camilla)

Nature offers a clear, humbling account of how my discipline ended up accused of being mostly wrong.

Go Make Me a Sandwich patreon – sponsor a blog about women and games. I played a small part in inspiring this blog’s existence, funnily enough.

Conversational map: when a London Kiwi meets a London Kiwi (via Ian Hicks)

The Typefight: typefaces fight it out.

Evolution of the Vertigo zoom – haven’t watched this yet but, come on.

Evolution of the Dolly Zoom from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.

And finally, someone went to an awful lot of trouble to remove the baby from “Full House”, and it doesn’t work at all, but it exists, because the internet.