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December 31, 2014
[crime] Exclusive: Jay, Key Witness from ‘Serial’ Tells His Story for First Time [Part 1 | Part 2] … ‘From the way he carried himself, at least, it looked like he had never lost anything before. And it was really hard for him to deal with being on the losing end. In that situation, he was the loser. And people were starting to find out he was a loser, ‘Oh, you and Hae aren’t together anymore. She got a new boyfriend?’ And he didn’t know how to deal with that. And the other thing about it, I mean, there looked like there was real hurt and pain. What else could motivate you to choke the life out of someone you cared about? He just couldn’t come to grips with those feelings. However he ended up doing it—whether it was premeditated, an involuntary reaction at that point in time—he just couldn’t come to grips with being a loser and failing. He failed; he lost the girl. I know that he came from a very strict religious background and that he was uneasy with some of the things he was doing. He was having a hard enough time with that itself. There were some big forces going on that didn’t have anything to do with Hae.’
December 30, 2014
[joke] Possibly The Best And Most Convoluted Knock Knock Joke Ever… a masterclass in how to derail a joke with Facebook comments … ‘Knock Knock. Who’s There? Irish Stu…’
December 29, 2014
[bbc] The BBC? It’s biased against tall women … amusing examination of recent complaints to the BBC … ‘There were the accusations of bias. These included claims that the BBC was being anti-Ukip, pro-Ukip, pro-Israel, anti-Israel, pro-climate change, too Left-wing, too Right-wing, pro-No vote in the Scottish referendum, pro-Thatcher, anti-Thatcher, anti-men, anti-women, pro-gay, pro-Royal, pro-Darwinism, anti-Formula 1, and anti-Staffordshire bull terriers.’
December 28, 2014
[zen] Wisdom from the 15th Century Zen Monk Ikkyū‘If you someday come looking for me, I will be in a shop that sells fine seafood, a good drinking place, or a brothel.’
December 27, 2014
[serial] ‘Serial’ Podcast Finale: A Desire for ‘Eureka’ as the Digging Ends … More thoughts on the conclusion of Serial‘The last episode was a tangled and heartfelt yet frustrating hour of radio in which Ms. Koenig hemmed and hawed and pored back over old evidence and asked, “Did we just spend a year applying excessive scrutiny to a perfectly ordinary case?” The answer to that question, apparently, is no and yes, and yes and no. Unlike the conclusions of Agatha Christie novels, real life can make only murky puddles.’
December 26, 2014
[crime] Death Row Guard Has Always Had Soft Spot For The Innocent Ones‘McFadden acknowledged he has felt a personal and enduring emotional connection to virtually every one of the not-guilty death row inmates he has known, from those assigned shoddy public defenders who failed to secure a plea deal, to those sentenced on the basis of clearly fabricated police evidence and later-recanted testimony, to those who were mentally unfit to stand trial in the first place.’
December 25, 2014
[xmas] ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells-‘

Batman Slapping Robin At Christmas Meme

December 24, 2014
[ipads] MacStories Must-Have iPad Apps 2014 … interesting collection of software for the iPad concentrating on workflows and automation and showing how far the iOS platform has matured … ‘There’s a few tasks that I still can’t get done on an iPad, but the list is shrinking, and, thanks to iOS 8, developers are coming up with new ways to make working on iOS more feasible and pleasant. I don’t use my iPad as a computer just to prove a point or because it’s a popular topic among readers and listeners of Connected: I need my iPad, the apps it runs, and the workflows I’ve created to automate what I do on iOS.’
December 23, 2014
[movies] How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA‘Francis Ford Coppola made four of the finest films in motion picture history, but he can’t get a movie produced anymore; after a ten-year exile, he made three films between 2007 and 2011 that were basically self-financed (via his lucrative wine-making business). “You try to go to a producer today and say you want to make a film that hasn’t been made before; they will throw you out because they want the same film that works, that makes money,” he said at the Marrakech International Film Festival.’
December 22, 2014
[serial] The ‘Serial’ Ending Never Belonged to Us, or Even to Adnan — It Was Koenig’s All Along … Another article on the conclusion of Serial … ‘But the most heartbreaking thing about “Serial” —and what made it so uncannily engrossing in the wake of Eric Garner and Michael Brown — is its portrayal of a system that is more powerful than it is fair. Yes, it’d be satisfying to know if Adnan did it, and if he didn’t, who did. But the more interesting question—and the scarier one, too—is how he ended up in jail despite nobody being sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, if he was guilty.’
December 21, 2014
[comics] The Sensual Santa‘Be a Sensual Santa! It’s Contagious!’

The Sensual Santa By Dan Clowes

December 20, 2014
[xmas] Find the hidden words in Santa’s Christmas word search‘HAIL SATAN / CONSUME FLESH’
December 19, 2014
[life] This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint‘It was mostly people that had stomach hair who also typically found belly button lint. He proved it by shaving his own stomach, and seeing that he didn’t produce any belly button lint until his hair grew back. He also confirmed the seemingly obvious fact that lint originates from shirt fibers in two ways: by seeing that it always matched the color of the shirt he was wearing, and by chemically analyzing the lint and finding that it was mostly made of cellulose (the material that makes up cotton). It also contained some nitrogen and sulfur, likely from sweat and skin cells.’
December 18, 2014
[music] We Didn’t Start the Fire Pedia … a list of all the things in We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel sorted by their popularity on Wikipedia … ‘Berlin (1,080,805) / Einstein (352,130) / J.F.K. blown away (325,980)’
December 17, 2014
[serial] Serial nears its end, but the Reddit detectives keep working … a look at the impact of Serial as it concludes on Thursday …

Recently Tanveer actually found himself on the phone with Adnan, trying to explain the online furor over Serial. Adnan has no experience of social media, he says, so Tanveer had to find another metaphor to explain things. “Reddit is like road rage,” he says he told Adnan. People were very reactive and emotional. And under cover of anonymity, lots felt free to say things they would never say to Adnan’s face. “For Adnan, it was hard to fathom because Adnan’s been in jail,” Tanveer said. “Adnan said: ‘In my world, if you’re not ready to say something to someone’s face, you don’t say it.’”

December 16, 2014
[ukip] UKIPSum … Lorem Ipsum for people who won’t use foreign placeholder text … ‘Since the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the nation has been beset by serious storms and floods. One recent one caused the worst flooding for 60 years. The Christmas floods were the worst for 127 years. Is this just global warming or is there something more serious at work? I can’t go into a bank with a motorcycle helmet on. I can’t wear a balaclava going round the District and Circle line. So why should Islamic women be allowed to wear burqa or veiled niqab in public buildings and in certain private buildings’
December 15, 2014
[sea] Tjipetir mystery: Why are rubber-like blocks washing up on beaches?‘The word Tjipetir turned out to be that of a rubber plantation in West Java, Indonesia, which operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The blocks were not strictly rubber – they are most likely gutta-percha, the gum of a tree found in the Malay Peninsula and Malaysia. It was used in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries to insulate telegraph cables on the seabed. Before modern plastic began to be widely used, gutta-percha was also made into such items as golf balls, teddy bear noses, picture frames and jewellery, among many others.’
December 14, 2014
[comics] Judenhass … Dave Sim’s comic about the Holocaust is now available in the public domain. Download from the Judenhass website or Sequential.
December 13, 2014
[politics] Revealed: how Nigel Farage and Ukip begged for Enoch Powell’s support … What a suprise – it turns out Enoch Powell is one of Nigel Farage’s heroes … ‘Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, was branded “a pound shop Enoch Powell” by Russell Brand, a comedian, during a debate on the BBC’s Questiontime programme on Thursday night. The links between Mr Farage, Ukip and Mr Powell have been unearthed by The Daily Telegraph in letters to Mr Powell held in a university archive.’
December 12, 2014
[space] NASA’s Other Peanuts Traditions … a look at the history between NASA and Charles Schulz’s Peanuts … ‘NASA asked Schulz for permissions to use his two famous characters as call signs for the [Apollo 10] mission, something the artist considered a highlight of his career. Some of Schulz’s friends brought up the “what ifs” – what if the mission failed and a crew of dead astronauts was forever synonymous with his characters? Schultz replied simply that if the astronauts could risk their lives on the mission, he could risk his characters. Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for Apollo 10, even though they weren’t included in the official mission logo. People brought Snoopy dolls in to NASA to lay on top of the crew’s simulators. Apollo 10’s LM is still flying. The crew burned all the LM’s fuel after rendezvousing around the Moon to send it into a wide solar orbit. British astronomer Nick Howes is trying to find it.’
December 11, 2014
[shining] All Play And No Work… By Mike Handy‘Keep Pedaling’

All Play And No Work

December 10, 2014
[tv] The Mystery of the Creepiest Television Hack … the true story of how a Pseudo-Max Headroom briefly hijacked Chicago TV broadcasting one evening in 1987 …

Then the camera cuts to Max from a slightly new angle, facing off screen and bent over. His mask dangles near the camera; his face is off screen and his buttocks are hanging out, front and center. “They’re coming to get me!” he screams. On the right side of the screen, a woman lazily spanks his ass with a flyswatter. “Come get me bitch!” he yells. The scream becomes a distorted, symphonic drone. And then just as quickly as his arrival, the signal cuts out, and Chicago was back to the eerie quiet of the regularly scheduled Dr. Who episode.

“As far as I can tell,” the Doctor observes at that very moment, “a massive electric shock. He must have died instantly.”

December 9, 2014
[crime] Serial: The Syed family on their pain and the ‘five million detectives trying to work out if Adnan is a psychopath’ … Jon Ronson meets Adnan Syed’s family … ‘As someone who’s written a book about psychopaths, I’ve had about a million people tweet me to ask if I think Adnan is one. I think it’s totally irresponsible to diagnose someone from afar, whether you’re a clinician or not, and I’m not. But for what it’s worth, nothing in Adnan’s conversations with Sarah rings any bells from the time I attended a course that teaches people how to identify psychopaths in part through the nuances of their language.’
December 8, 2014
[funny] Richard Dawkins Renounces Atheism After Smoking DMT

The professor claims that, while his DMT experience is largely ineffable and almost impossible to describe to anyone who hasn’t also been through it, he “saw the self transforming machine elves that Terence McKenna was talking about” and that they communicated with him.

“I can’t believe I’ve been so wrong all of these years,” raged an exasperated Dawkins while smashing his private collection of dinosaur bones. “I always thought I’d be able to explain away any experience I had on the basis of evolutionary theory but I just wasn’t able to apply it to this, it was mental.”

December 7, 2014
[books] Chris Morris interviews Bret Easton Ellis‘Who says Americans can’t write books? Well, my school teacher for one did but she was wrong and she’s dead now, and as if to dance on her grave this American is all book. His name is Brett Easton-Ellis, he’s from New York. Now I want you to imagine a book over 6 feet tall, it looks like a man, then imagine that book takes you aside throws open its arms and sprays words all over your face. It makes you laugh, it makes you cringe with raw satire like guts.’
December 6, 2014
[serial] Serial podcast and the genre question: investigative journalism, character study, or legal procedural? … a look at why Serial can’t settle down on one particular genre … ‘I think there’s a deeper meaning to the way Serial has moved from a project that requires answers and resolutions to one that doesn’t. Maybe the uncertainty is even a small rebuke to us overeager fans, as if the powerlessness in not knowing might bend our minds back to one of the only things we know for sure: that a young woman, Hae Min Lee, was taken from her friends and family forever.’
December 5, 2014
[news] The Most Earth-Shattering Local Newspaper Stories Of 2014‘TOWN NOT READY FOR SUSHI’
December 4, 2014
[comics] Graphic Novels for People Who Aren’t into Superheroes … Great list of comics to look up if you fancy a graphic novel or two (or three or four).
December 3, 2014
[serial] Charts for People Obsessed with Serial … useful info-graphics for people obssesed with the Serial podcast

The odds of getting a charming sociopath as a defendant

December 2, 2014
[religion] God’s Lonely Programmer … fascinating story of a man who has crafted his own computer operating system inspired by God‘ The words pour out on TempleOS.org, a torrent of verified random numbers, news links, YouTube videos, and scriptural exegesis. It’s the dense work of a single, restless mind writing ceaselessly without an audience. After two months of emails and phone conversations, I know more than when I began; specifically, I’ve accumulated more raw data, more facts about his life and experience. But I suspect I’ve only sketched a shadow. The full reality remains unreachable, an irreducible mystery.’

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