Heroine Linky

Maire shares her top ten heroines from YA fantasy, her top seven feminist villains, and her top seven feminist supporting characters.

Via Ben S, the history of the original run of Star Wars comics from Marvel. They have a goofy rep because of the green talking bunny rabbit alien, but they did some interesting stuff as they went along.

That Spinoff list of NZ non-fiction had very little Māori content in it. The site follows up with a Team Brown remix.

Smiling slaves and the real censorship in childrens’ books.

A search engine that digs up the appropriate screen captures to go with any Simpsons quote.

via Hannah Shaffer, Worst Draft: “”Worst Draft is a minimalist word processor that removes the two biggest roadblocks for writers: editing & distractions. Users will be unable to delete anything more than a few most recently typed words, and they will also be unable to access any other applications without first closing Worst Draft.”

via Jenni, Anil Dash writes against the internet wisdom that is “don’t read the comments”

via Debbie, the Melbourne Museum has a great computer animated video of the destruction of Pompeii.

via Fraser, the secret of the writing on Poe Dameron’s jacket in the new Star Wars film.

CIA Linky

Via alastair g: a 1980 CIA research paper, by their Deception Research Program, on facts and folklore about deception [PDF link]

Here’s a reading list for me: the 100 best works of New Zealand non-fiction. Many of these I’d never even heard about!

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a new shortread following up his hugely impactful Case for Reparations. The immediate context is Bernie Sanders making statements ruling out consideration of reparations; the body of the piece is showing how reparations might actually be undertaken in a meaningful way. The true message, to my mind, is how already the entire content of Coates’s reparations article has been forgotten – that piece forcefully said that reparations is not just about long-dead slaves, but also about structural injustices inflicted on millions of living people. The cultural narrative about reparations is very locked up and it will take effort to shift it! Anyway, read Coates kicking tail: The Case for Considering Reparations.

At the bottom of Dangerous Minds’ piece on the dumped original soundtrack for The Exorcist is a great little video compiling interviews with people coming out of screenings. A marvellous few minutes!

An advice columnist is sent a scenario from a Seinfeld episode, and takes it seriously. Everyone seems to be taking this as a huge faux pas by the columnist, but that is silly. There is nothing wrong with this. Seinfeld was famously about the minutiae of modern manners; advice columnists are principally there as an entertaining diversion. It’s all good.

And finally, The Chickening:

Some Linky

It’s a new year, 2016, and it looks like the world could need some linky. So here are some.

Matthew Dentith, a theorist about conspiracy theorists, gives a fascinating analysis of how the Serial podcast deals with evidence in the Adnan Syed case, and how the Undisclosed podcast that looks at the same case approaches things in a very different way.

I missed this until after my final linky of last year year, but it’s Nate’s really good piece on what the 1977 Star Wars movie was actually about.

A system to give every room-sized space on earth its own address made up of three simple words. Interesting, although I’m not entirely convinced it’s exactly useful. (via Allen Varney)

What happened to the mince pie in America? (via d3vo, who understands the special place of the mince pie in NZ)

The Atlantic’s 50 best podcast episodes of 2015.

An alternate cut of Inside Out that just has the normal-life stuff. This could be kinda harrowing. Haven’t watched.

Texts from Superheroes (via Ben S)

Regular readers will know that I usually finish the linky with one “and finally” link that is… a little bit weird. Well… this week I have more weirdness to go around. So:

And finally, The Wizard of Oz, in alphabetical order

And finally, via my darling Cal who told me I had to put this in the linky: What did we get stuck in our rectums last year

And finally, via Angus, seadope.com

And finally, via Angus, a dating website for people who are secretly lizards.

And finally, via Pearce, what you get when Tim Allen’s Home Improvement character is the voice of Chewbacca.

And finally, via d3vo, Bushes of Love: extended

And finally, via Steve H, just trust me and read this one: whatever happened to television’s most famous couples?

Butts Linky

An extensive, illustrated guide to the butts of Middle-earth (via Theron, who was just trying to share the pain.)

Via Lew:

The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path To Jihad – via Ivan

Scarfolk makes a leap at viral fame with these Star Wars Medical Instruments. (Update a day later: seems to be working out for them so far, this is everywhere.)

d3vo found this interesting Cosmo article on a 20-something woman who invited all the people she had crushes on into a Facebook group called “my crushes”. (If I was still tutoring social psychology I’d definitely build a lesson around this.)

An excellent mashup of Britney Spears & the Twin Peaks theme

Via Siobhann and Morag near-simultaneously, What if Disney Princesses were Tardigrades?

Via Pearce: a linguist discusses the distinctive and bodacious way Bill & Ted use language.

And finally, via theremina, whatever this is

Creepy Linky

Archive.org has a whole mess of Warren Publishing mags up for download, including loads of issues of Creepy! (Also, it would be timely to note, the Famous Monsters of Filmland Star Wars special from 1977.

Speaking of, the best thing about new Star Wars is probably Carrie Fisher doing media. This breakfast TV interview is hilarious.

Via Andrew S: MTV’s Liquid Television stuff is being put up online

Dante’s Hell, depicted in Lego

A Lego colour chart

Harmontown, a webcomic about loving a podcast too hard.

Rebel Without A Pause: Killer Mike and the return of the politically engaged rapper

Why do we fall for con games? Because stories.

Via Pearce: check out the amazing “heist” clause that is alleged to be in the contract for that hateful rich guy’s $8 million purchase of that Wu-Tang album.

Judy Garland doing blackface two years before Wizard of Oz.

The linguistic secrets of youtube videos.

Via d3vo: this article claims that in the 60s a Scotsman didn’t eat for a year

Via Svend, wiki’s article on habitual be: “In one experiment, children were shown drawings of Elmo eating cookies while Cookie Monster looked on. Both black and white subjects agreed that Elmo is eating cookies, but the black children said that Cookie Monster be eating cookies.”

And finally, wrestling is serious business.

Judd Aye Linky

Ken Loach does Star Wars

(via Andrew Layden)

The heartwarming story of the pink R2 robot that will appear in the new Star Wars film.

And this was a very important mission for the stormtroopers (via Sam W)

Great video summary of the case for JarJar Binks as a hardcore evil Jedi (via the Alligator)

’tis the season for bemused articles about the Star Wars Holiday Special! Here’s the Guardian’s take (via Alastair G) and the AV Club’s. (It was actually a Thanksgiving special, but everyone associates it with Christmas these days, because that makes it funnier.)

Enough Star Wars. Here’s an exceptional piece by David Roberts explaining Trump and his crazy lies. Money quote:
“Republican billionaires and political operators have spent decades building a self-contained epistemic bubble in which they could pump up the right-wing base with fear and paranoia. Now the Frankenstein’s monster has lumbered off the table and crashed into the cocktail party.”

East/West cross-cultural differences depicted as pictograms. Lovely & insightful, simple images that communicate so much. The networking one!

Via Scott A: reflections by the woman who accidentally sent NZ into a Taytay frenzy.

Lovely New Yorker cover by Chris Ware that unfolds into a sumptuous story in the This American Life mold.

Everyone loves the rapping Pope.

The writer of Withnail & I has a new book giving his theory of Jack the Ripper’s identity. There’s no reason here to give his effort any more credence than the billion other theories, but the way he talks about it is just wonderful. I hope the book is in the same voice!

Dangerous Minds has a revelation – there was a Fast Times at Ridgemont High spinoff TV show! With both Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling involved! DM reckons it was pretty good – I wonder how it possibly could be, given the nature of 80s TV and type of movie they’re trying to adapt. All seven episodes are at the link, for now at least.

And finally, also via DM – it turns out “And so you do what they told ya” sounds, in Japanese, something like “Break the chicken nuggets, daddy”. And so:

Dystopia Linky

via Scott Common: ranking dystopias by their livability.

via Ben Sedley: that time Alan Moore wrote stories for Star Wars.

It’s Steph Curry playing HORSE with his dad! (If you don’t know who Steph Curry is… he’s like, in the movies where an overlooked kid with none of the physical attributes rises to somehow become the champion of the world, he’s that, but he really exists and is really doing it.)

How smiling evolved over a century of yearbook photos. (I knew people maintained a neutral expression in early photos because the images took time to fix, and neutral faces were easier to hold – but this article attributes smiling in photos to a marketing campaign from Kodak!)

Einstein’s complex ideas, compellingly explained using only simple and commonplace words.

More Steph: professional ballet dancers analyse his grace on the court.

Big, warm-hearted article on the outsize presence of Samoans in American Football.

Via David R: the perfect shot in Alien 3.

Via Steve Ellis: the 6 ballsiest moments in the history of American espionage.

And finally, probably the extreme-est of the extreme haunted houses trend.

Weird English Linky

Via Allen Varney: Why English is so weirdly different from other languages

Also via Allen: the heartbreaking truth behind Snape’s first words to Harry Potter

The New Yorker has a great longread about one of the most visible faces of the Westboro Baptist Church and how she ended up leaving it. The reason? Twitter.

Fascinating look at privacy and security concerns arising from a new piece of technology: a talking Barbie doll.

It’s Star Wars Week at the AVClub – all the Star Wars linky you could want.

The Spinoff has a fascinating long report on what went on behind the scenes at “Scout”, the entertainment/gossip news hub for NZ media conglomerate Mediaworks. It’s a slow-motion trainwreck of epic proportions. Indicative anecdote: unpaid intern writes listicle about influential Kiwi youth and puts Lorde at the top; politically-connected head of Scout forces her to replace Lorde with the widely disdained son of the Prime Minister.

And finally, via Pearce – an oral history of when Mr Snuffleupagus was revealed to the grown-ups of Sesame Street. Quite lovely.

Logo Logic Linky

Inadvertantly sexual company logos – what, no London 2012?

Step-by-step walkthrough of how to solve the hardest logic puzzle ever devised.

This one is an essential read. Watching as political leaders make policies that will cause significant social harm (“austerity” as the current example in many regions), you wonder how they can sit there so pleased with themselves. Monbiot has some leaked correspondence to and from David Cameron that shows exactly how. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so deeply, infuriatingly awful. For additional fury, consider how the politically subservient media portrays people like Corbyn and Sanders as “unrealistic”.

Great article/interview about Harvey Danger’s surprisingly long-lived 90s track “Flagpole Sitta”

Comic about a dog. Make sure you have tissues handy.

10,000 wax cylinder recordings, digitised and free to download.

Star Wars fan makes full-sized model of the holochess game from the original film.

Incredible huge crowd photo that you can just zoom and zoom and zoom into. (via my mum!)

An oral history of the geeky half of Freaks & Geeks. Many anecdotes I hadn’t heard before – I love the thought of Martin Starr and James Franco working out together then staying up until 2am writing a brutal revenge screenplay.

Victorian nipple rings (via d3vo)

Blair gives an epic review of classic Judge Dredd story “The Apocalypse War”. (I picked up the Eagle Comics reprints of this amazing story in the 80s and it blew my little head off.)

The Scooby Doo gang in the changing fashions of the decades. (via Jenni)

Ladybird’s Book of the Hipster

There’s a great image-heavy website for street photographer Vivian Maier, whose photos (beginning in the 1950s) were only discovered in 2007. (via Andy McLeod, who saw the doco about Maier)

10 kids TV episodes that have been removed from distribution. Fascinating 6-minute video. WARNING: number 10 in this list is that Pokemon ep with the flashes that caused epileptic fits – the video shows the flashes! So if you’re visually sensitive like me, turn it off when you get to that last item!

King Tut’s excavation photos – in colour! (Colourised, but in a very clever way.)

Lovely interview with the real life inspiration for Charlie Brown’s Little Red-Haired Girl

And finally, via Steve Piner, a German safety video for forklift drivers.

Webb Ellis Linky

Rugby World Cup was last weekend I know, but I liked this: top five heartwarming moments from the rugby world cup. I’ve never followed rugby that closely but it seems to me this sheer niceness in the sport these days is a new trend – not something I remember from decades past. Am I wrong?

Matt Taibbi: the case for Bernie Sanders, or how mainstream US media’s cynical obsession with the horserace is letting everyone down.

The Comics Journal (coincidentally the first place I ever heard about her, way back in the 00s) has a mammoth interview with Kate Beaton (who is soon to be a guest at the NZ Festival Writer’s Week!)

Every conversation between parent and child, in four conversations

And finally, via Campbell, Choose Your Own Adventure meets the paradox of free will