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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?)

#iftheygunnedmedown

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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Deep Breath Linky

Oh man this comic strip wrecks me. (Pixar related.)

Lots of fruit and veg never makes it to retail because it doesn’t look perfect. One supermarket chain has figured out an ingenious way to reduce this food waste: they, um, just sell it anyway. Lovely. (via Craig N)

Cinefix’s top 10 most effective editing moments of all time

Is Neko Case mocking nerds, or mock-mocking nerds? U DECIDE!

Weird Al doing Weird Al stuff, releasing a bunch of new videos in a rush. The man is a treasure. I particularly enjoyed this one:

Grantland intereviews Al and wonders how relevant he is in this digital era

What is weird? What is cool? (both of those via the excellent Nextdraft – I recommend signing up to the emails!)

Women just don’t have much upper body strength, and so there are certain things they just cannot – er, wait just one second while I watch this – oh. OH.

Billy’s come across some interviews with a fascinating scholar with a surprising perspective on many things – trees decide to take psychotropic drugs? Bacteria build roads? Wild stuff, read his summary.

Classic album covers minus their deceased members.

Neat 10-minute short film about a basketball agent making an offer to a promising high school player. Watch the film before you read the (great) interview.

And finally, via Robert Whitaker, wrestling promos edited so only the sound of breathing remains

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Love 2 Hate Linky


Love 2 Hate: A party game for inappropriate people, kickstarter for my friend Colm’s game has just launched. It’s a little bit Apples to Apples, a little bit Cards Against Humanity, and it sure looks like fun times to me. Take a look and consider backing it!

(Huh, just checked the preview of this post – there sure are a lot of videos this week. Oh well!)

Frankfurt airport reimagined as a Star Wars starport

via Jamie N: “a preview of a show of Star Wars done with shadow puppets, as a
way to promote traditional Malaysian culture.”

More good news on the climate change front: solar energy is kicking ass in Oz.

Analysis of the visual techniques of Michael Bay, film stylist. Interesting and convincing as far as it goes, but kinda doesn’t mention the fatal incoherence of his editing. (via Mike Foster)
Also Michael Bay: Transformers 4 is a master class in economics (via Pearce)

Guy kickstarts making a potato salad. Spins wildly out of control. All I can think is, this guy is gonna be sick of potato salad by the time he fulfils all those rewards. IF HE EVER DOES.
Update: wow, this was at about $2,000 pledged when I wrote the above. it’s now at… substantially more. The Awl explains how this potato salad is a darkness alighting upon our souls.

Via Campbell March: The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness (mid-19th C)

45 minutes of Whose Line bloopers and outtakes (NSFW) (via Phil Berghan-Whyman)

Japanese Doctor Who has been turning up all over:

So has American Doctor Who:

But only Craig Oxbrow pointed out this Arabic/Indian/something Doctor Who:

Posted without comment, because it would take more than I have to comment with any nuance: if you love science this will make you angry, says io9

What if Ingmar Bergman directed a movie about comicbook superhero The Flash?

And finally, via Robert Whitaker, the goals from that Germany-Brazil World Cup slaughter given the perfect commentary: from wrestling legend Jim Ross.

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Emotion Contagion Linky

So Facebook ran a big experiment on their users, filtering the feed one way or the other and measuring emotional effects. It’s been a huge disaster in just about every way – this Guardian column sums it up smartly. But the most amazing thing, for me, is that this ongoing disaster – which is really hurting Facebook because it crystallises lots of pre-existing concerns about them – is for research that sounds, well, weak as hell. Here’s a ruthless takedown of the actual research. (For what it’s worth, I’m not exactly morally outraged about what was done – I think it was silly and wrong in the same way Facebook’s interference in the feed for commercial reasons is silly and wrong.)

All about the live-action Fantastic Four TV show from the early 60s. Totally true and genuine.

Cory Doctorow summarises Piketty. Good stuff.

For Lizzie Bennet Diaries fans, check out these NZ teens doing a vlog-adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.

Authors cosplay as their favourite childhood lit characters – via Marguerite

The house used by David Lynch for Laura Palmer’s family home is for sale. Some of the furniture is still there from shooting in 1988. Many comparison photos

Dice shaming

This Blackwater stuff is bananas. They took control of operations in Iraq then threatened inspectors who raised concerns – and the reporter behind that story is currently being threatened with prison for not revealing his sources. USA! USA!

Cleanse your palate from that, with this Aaron Swartz doco, free under creative commons. (It’s part of the NZ Intl Film Fest, too.)

John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight” is buried somewhere in NZ’s weird pay-TV structure but they put big chunks of it (all of it?) online. Watch some. It has an interest in the whole world – rare enough anywhere – and a big heart. It favours long, sustained stories, really getting into its subject matter in a meaty way. And it is HILARIOUS. Maybe start with this great piece about the US evangelical influence on Uganda’s homophobic laws.

9th Wonder’s 11-track tribute to Bobby Womack (free download)

38 wonderful moments in closed captioning history (via David R)

A theory of Star Trek economics

Women who cycle and wear skirts: here’s one neat trick

Interview with Morag and Erin, creators of the lovely Manfeels Park

Lionel Messi is impossible (via d3vo)

And finally, Nicolas Cage as Disney Princesses

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Manfeels Linky

Unexpectedly, for the first time in literally years, I’m having twinges of hope about fate of the planet this week. Prompted by these two things:

(1) A new Al Gore piece in Rolling Stone, in which he points out that the climate change battleground is shifting, using Obama’s recent moves to point out a whole lot of significant positive changes like rapid changes in solar.

(2) Climate Voter, an apolitical initiative by a number of NGOs (350, WWF, Greenpeace, Forest & Bird, Gen Zero, Oxfam) to basically build up a petition of people indicating how climate will drive their voting behaviour. This is a really elegant way to put these issues on the table. They’re hitting 15K as I write which is pretty solid but if climate change is an important issue for you I urge you to sign up as well. Do it now! I’ll wait!

Grantland has a great account of a convention for Diplomacy players – this game’s reputation as “the game that destroys friendships” is well-deserved.

I wondered out loud when someone would write about how Tumblr has changed comics. Kieron Gillen pointed me at this great article on how Marvel Comics is being shaped by Tumblr. I think there’s more to say – like how gender-bent/race-bent cosplay pics are changing the visual vocabulary of supers storytelling – but this covers a bunch of good stuff. Recommended to comics nerds of course but also anyone interested in social media as a phenomenon.

David R celebrated the 25th birthday of Tim Burton’s Batman with this supercut of Batman mentions:

Manfeels Park – hilarious new webcomic mashing together Pride & Prej images with man-pain internet comments. (by Marrog & Erin, hello Marrog & Erin)

Make up routine to make you happy. I have never learned as much about the intricacies of feminine psychology. (via Sophie O’Doom)

Charting the adaptation of Game of Thrones – which chapters to which episodes

Pugs as Game of Thrones characters

Homemade Hoth

Being a neocon means never having to say you’re sorry

This story is amazing: guy who ended up irrevocably lost when he was 4 years old later tracked down his home by searching google maps for familiar scenes (via Sarah E)

And finally… Nick Offerman narrates this very funny short about an intrusive narrator in an old west saloon

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Flick Kick International

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Flick Kick Football Legends, the football-kicking free-to-play mobile game I wrote for, has updated and is even more fun. I particularly like the International Cup, where your team goes to Brazil to compete after your national team gets abducted by aliens. I wrote almost all of the dumb dad-joke commentary, and the absurd little storylines that run in-between matches. I love every character, but I think I love the mad Doctor most of all.

Get the game!

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