Stone Junk Linky

Why are the penises on ancient statues so small?

Via Aaron, credits to Empire Strikes Back in the style of a James Bond movie.

Star Wars – Episode V "The Empire Strikes Back" Homage (Title Sequence) from KROFL on Vimeo.

Can someone explain to me how the heck this is possible? Elaborate 3D animations the size of an animated GIF?

The Atlantic on the growing divide between the Game of Thrones novels and TV show.

Via Johnnie: a 90-minute chat show where host Samm Levine (one of the geeks from TV’s Freaks & Geeks) interviews John Francis Daley (another of the geeks from TV’s Freaks & Geeks). I haven’t watched this yet!

Via d3vo – a ten-minute science show that does a pretty good explainer on why social psychology is in trouble, and what it has to do with yummy tasty cookies. There’s waaay more to talk about, but this is a good starting point.

And finally, via Lew, and I’m gonna borrow his selection of pullquote: I have no deeper explanation for why human females can dissolve rocks with our genitals. It simply is.

Teen Linky

via Evie: Stop telling me our relationship with our teens should suck. Our culture really loves to talk about how awful teens are. This is a necessary corrective.

Nonverbal autistic woman Carly Fleischmann launches her talk show interviewing a very game, and very lovely, Channing Tatum.

You’ve watched that Radiohead music vid that does a 70s horror movie in kids puppet format, right?

The Washington Post digs into the insult “egg”, which is hot on twitter right now. Here in NZ it has a long and proud history. You egg.

Via d3vo, river rockets of the Soviet space age. These look like they fell out of a classic Dan Dare strip!

And finally, this great blogpost starts with a sexist controversy surrounding a recent Wonder Woman comic book, and ends up surveying the ways toxic masculinity is messing up whole swathes of pop culture appreciation. (Even Monkees fandom for pete tork’s sake.)

Plastic Linky

I loved this edition of Manfeels Park. Hee hee! (Remember that all the dialogue is drawn from real exchanges online, with source link below the comic!)

Via Gareth: the voices of Pinky & the Brain read… Pulp Fiction. (Just one scene!)

(and via Cyrus, a highly entertaining script reading of The Matrix)

Great personal story: I was a Men’s Rights Activist.

Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) has been sharing shooting script pages from Star Wars, and there’s stuff I haven’t heard of before – like how Obi Wan was meant to survive the Death Star! This must have been changed on set!

Insanely huge Lego Star Destroyer

Original Pope of this blog (and upcoming contestant on Mastermind) David Ritchie discovered io9 shamelessly ripping off our “Pantheon of Plastic” idea: which actors played the most characters who got action figures?

And finally, via Pearce, from the NYT, the battle over the Sea Monkey fortune. Even more interesting than it sounds.

Dangerous Linky

Dangerous Treasures: A story of Lovecraftian horror, frantic action, and deepweb forum culture, by the lovely folks at Strange Company. (9 minute short film.)

My friend Kitty is featured in Woman builds herself new career… with Lego

via d3vo, the many forgotten benefits of segmented sleep

Via Alastair, four games that tell great stories, and how they do it

And the Humble Bundle right now has Telltale Games’ back catalogue, including the astonishing Walking Dead Season One as just part of their $1 set!!

And finally, Billy calls this a “really remarkable Wikipedia entry” and I have to agree. Every paragraph in the early going has a wild new idea in it. Then it gets even more densely packed with ingenuity. Read it! Jonathon Keats

Book Thief Linky

Via many people, this fascinating story of some writers who discovered their novels had been copied is a cracking tale in its own right – I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often to be honest.

A nice little article on the threat posed by oversensitive political correctness in higher education: there isn’t one. (via Hamish C).

1990 Nirvana concert in a tiny goth club. Choice. (via DM)

Alasdair gave the much-maligned Batman vs Superman a five-star review, and it’s a great read. (NB: he also gave it a four-star review.)

A reappraisal of Event Horizon – I saw it in the cinema and I remember really liking it, despite the reliance on jump scares and loud noises. The comments reveal how it continues to divide people – about 50/50 “thank you someone said it” vs. “you are bonkers it sucks”.

Trainwreck fans who’ve been missing gamergate will be delighted to hear there’s a new incredibly dumb online gaming ragefest targeted, in what is surely just one more coincidence in a long line of them, at yet another woman. This one’s about (“about”) game writing, which is something I do and get paid real human dollars for, so I feel I can say with at least some authority that there is no merit whatsoever to the alleged reason for this ragestorm. Maybe I’ll get frustrated enough to blog about it. (NO morgue no)

This 9-year-old crime reporter doesn’t care what anyone says. She rules.

Charts about tea, via Norman C.

I read this on Salon by d3vo suggested it as linky worthy: the end of the gig economy, or, why Uber isn’t transforming everything else after all.

And finally, also via d3vo: a writing app that encourages productivity in an unusual way: if you stop typing, it deletes all your work.

Mind Trick Linky

Mark Hamill does some smooth Jedi moves on over-eager Star Wars fans:

My friend Vivian has released her new EP, “In Between Times”. Listen on Bandcamp, and drop a few bucks if you like what you hear.

New Yorker thinkpiece about how we no longer use facts to justify our beliefs, which, okay, but I’m pretty sure we never did.

And this short vid summarising psychologist Paul Bloom’s take on why empathy is a bad thing is infuriating in its bland dumbness. “We go to war because we are told people are suffering and we need to save them, then it turns out we harm loads more people, THANKS EMPATHY”. Linking to see if I’m motivated enough to read deeper and figure out if this guy has a point or not. But I suspect not.

Both those via the Nextdraft newsletter of interesting things, well worth the subscription.

Actually these might have come from there too – Vanity Fair’s writeup of the senior citizens behind the biggest jewel heist in British history. (There _must_ be a film of this in production already.)

The origin of the Airball chant, basketball’s most humiliating crowd response.

Edward Gorey’s War of the Worlds illustrations.

The AV Club has an overview of the vast store of unaired TV pilots at DailyMotion, including Young MacGyver and Buffy: The Animated Series (which I’d never seen before).

Via Billy: the story of when, in 1906, a young African man was exhibited with the apes in a zoo.

And finally, what do you get when you cross legendary bad movie The Room with legendary good musical Hamilton?

Bestselling Linky

What does it take to be a bestselling author? Three dollars and five minutes.

Yes I’m a sucker for this story: an ode to promposals. Teens making a big deal of asking someone out to prom, partly trying to go viral, partly just for the joy of feels. (Yes of course this is a rose-tinted view of high school life which is still as full of misery as it ever was; that’s the whole point. I heart it.)

Via my aunt Margaret – geek vs. nerd infographic, plotting words associated with geek vs those associated with nerd, across 2.6 million tweets.

Via d3vo, D&D Strength in real-world terms

Also via d3vo, apparently this is a thing: head tingles from gently brushing microphones mounted in ears

I listen to Harmontown and I didn’t know this existed. It even says “episode 2”. It’s basically an episode of Harmontown but it’s filmed and the guest is Ernest Hemingway plucked out of history. Based on this description you will either have already clicked the link, or you can move on with a clear conscience.

David Roberts gives a smart, sympathetic reading on why so many people are voting for Trump.

Hey you guys you know how Obama did a foreign policy thing that was “be like minimally civil to Iran” not “threaten to blow Iran into a smoking crater” and the entire Republican political world went wiiiild? Turns out things are going beautifully. Thanks Obama.

How Robert Louis Stevenson’s reputation was shipwrecked by his inner circle.

Via Allen Varney: “Cyclops is a programming language written in Linear A, a forgotten/undeciphered script used 3500-4500 years ago on the Greek island of Minos.”

And finally, via Jason Morningstar, a 1975 FAA report on the Anthropometry of Stewardesses

Floating Linky

Scenes from a conspiracy theory cruise. Wow.

Via Peter B: proof that dogs can read human emotional states. Cute doggums strapped into giant medical machines!

Via Dave Keyes, the Wiggles did a grown-up concert in a pub and it was amazing.

The month-by-month transformation of the American male gaze: every centerfold from Playboy ever. Warning: many, many naked women.

Cleanse your palate with new hero Jenny Beavan who wore exactly what she wanted to the Oscars. Best bit: she won for costume design. (via Evie)

Long, searing indictment of the complete capture of society by Boomer interests. Surgically dissects what sits behind those comments telling young people to stop acting so entitled and to start working hard. Aussie article, but you could go through and put a tick by the paras that apply equally to NZ – there would be very few paras left unticked.

Via Scott Common, why kids’ movies have so many happy poor people

The BBC has an interactive history of interactive fiction called, of course, SKILL, STAMINA AND LUCK

And finally, via Nick P, HUGE BASKETBALL SHORTS

Fairy tale linky

Tracing the origins of fairy tales using a genetic methodology – “The Smith and the Devil” may be 6,000 years old.

The secret lives of tumblr teens – while insightful, I found this depressing reading. It starts as a discussion of why the clever weird kids gravitate to tumblr, and then, like the kids in the story, gets entirely caught up in the mechanics of making money through the network.

Via Hamish C: Vader’s Redemption: The Imperial March in a major key.

Typography guru/comics letterer Todd Klein on the logos used for the Marvel movies.

How the internet is trying to design out toxic behaviour. Good. The problem can’t be solved this way, but there is lots and lots of space for mitigation.

The New Yorker has an interesting profile of Mr Money Mustache, who gives advice on living frugally, retiring early, biking everywhere, that sort of thing. (My Cal is something of an enthusiast.)

And finally, via Gareth S, the most unsettling channel on Youtube. Weird stuff out there on the internet, huh.

New Mutants Linky

via Theron – if you read Marvel Comics in the 80s, this will be a bit surreal.

Interesting look at how a wholesome TV personality in Japan was undone by scandal, and what that reveals about sexism within the culture.

What happened after Sweden started putting Bechdel test results on films.

Some insights into the crazy US conspiracy thing that is the Sovereign Citizens Movement.

Via Angus Dingwall – “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” turns 15. Contentious claim there from the NY Mag that it was the first real internet meme – expect fierce warfare from “Mr T Ate My Balls” partisans.

Ima link to Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the Grammys because I’ve seen a lot of hiphop performed at awards shows and I always look forward to those performances and they always, always suck. Hiphop is the opposite of award shows. But Kendrick killed. Watch it.
The Hamilton performance is also very much worth your time.

The BBC has a great explainer on those gravitational waves and what the discovery means.

Hot sauce in her bag – how this Beyoncé lyric reveals a whole food culture. Great article!

Clay Shirky makes clear how social media has broken the structure of US politics and opened the way for Trump and Sanders.

Two links about academic publishing’s ongoing crisis: Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge, and “Get Me Off Your ****ing Mailing List” is an actual science paper accepted by a journal (profanity censored so I don’t set off workplace filters)

Investigative journalism from Buzzfeed would have been the setup for a joke about cat pictures a short time ago, but now some great work is coming out of the viral content giant. Here’s a glimpse of how they work, and maybe what the future of journalism looks like.

And the flip side of the same issue: how TMZ pursues its ruthless celebrity news journalism.

There’s no such thing as everlasting love (according to science” says The Atlantic. Interesting piece about one line of research into “love”. I appreciate anything that busts up the love mythology so prevalent in Western culture, but this article, like so much science reporting, skates over a lot of nuance that presumably exists. It reminds me of a forum post I wrote two decades ago declaring love is “a trick of the light” – I stand by that post, inasmuch as I remember what I said, but suffice it to say I have been steadily adding nuance to my understanding for twenty years since.

And finally… a ranking of all 118 sweaters seen on Twin Peaks. As my brother put it, “An intersection of obsessive, cult, and pointless that may be the most perfect snapshot of what the internet is all about.”