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January 1, 2013
[uk] 21 Brilliant British People Problems‘I don’t feel well but I don’t want to disturb my doctor.’
January 2, 2013
[death] The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death … fascinating longer read on what it’s like to die of cold in the open … ‘You’ve now crossed the boundary into profound hypothermia. By the time your core temperature has fallen to 88 degrees, your body has abandoned the urge to warm itself by shivering. Your blood is thickening like crankcase oil in a cold engine. Your oxygen consumption, a measure of your metabolic rate, has fallen by more than a quarter. Your kidneys, however, work overtime to process the fluid overload that occurred when the blood vessels in your extremities constricted and squeezed fluids toward your center. You feel a powerful urge to urinate, the only thing you feel at all.’
January 3, 2013
[lists] The Hundred Best Lists of All Time … the New Yorker provides a list of historic and important lists.
January 4, 2013
[comics] The Comics Reporter’s 50 Comics Positives For 2012 … a great list of good things that happened in comics during the last year … ‘Stan Lee Turned 90’
January 7, 2013
[funny] The Best Creative Drawings on Fingers

Finger Suicide

January 8, 2013
[disease] Charlie Brooker On The Norovirus:

The fascinating pitter-patter of stomach contents against the back of your teeth as a fearsome torrent of spew erupts from within like a liquid poltergeist fleeing an exorcism. The impressive way your backside emits high-pressure jets of hot fluid, like the Hulk squeezing silty boiled water from a Fairy Liquid bottle by clenching it abruptly in his fist. The searing aftermath, as your throat rages as though sandpapered and your anus screams like a scalded button. This is nature in all its raw majesty. Film it in HD, get David Attenborough to record the soundtrack, and you’ve got a Sunday evening treat for millions.’

January 9, 2013
[space] World’s Largest Scale Model of the Solar System Covers Sweden … fascinating blog post with pictures … ‘The Sweden Solar System is the world’s largest model of our planetary system, built at a scale of 1:20 million and stretches the entire length of the country. The Sun is represented by the Globe arena in Stockholm, the largest spherical building in the world. The planets are placed and sized according to scale with the inner planets being in Stockholm and Jupiter at the International airport Arlanda. The outer planets follow in the same direction with Saturn in Uppsala and Pluto in Delsbo, 300 km from the Globe. The model ends at the Termination shock, 950 km from the Sun.’
January 10, 2013
[google] The many different things the world wants to know how to do … as reported in the 2012 Google Zeitgeist‘Japan: how to save [battery] power. Kenya: how to abort. Mexico: how to vote. Netherlands: how to survive. New Zealand: how to screenshot.’
January 14, 2013
[comics] A Collection Of Quotes From Alan Moore’s Weeping Gorilla‘I guess all the Waltons must be dead by now.’
January 15, 2013
[comics] The New (and very liberal) Superhero Power Couple … fabulous mock up by Phil Noto of a 1972 Esquire cover with Black Canary & Green Arrow …

Black Canary & Green Arrow

January 16, 2013
[space] Skylab 4 Rang in the New Year with Mutiny in Orbit … the little known story on a mutiny in space … ‘Long work periods and seemingly endless lists of tasks took their toll on the rookie astronauts. The crew found themselves exhausted, falling badly behind schedule. NASA was pushing them too hard, they said, and they couldn’t keep working such long hours. Ground crews in mission control disagreed. They felt that the astronauts were complaining needlessly, that they should be working through their meal times and rest days to catch up. It was expensive having a crew in orbit for 84 days, and NASA intended to get all the work out of the men it could manage. About six weeks into the flight, a few days before New Year’s Eve, the Skylab 4 crew hit their breaking point…’
January 17, 2013
[war] What You Wear to Kill Osama bin Laden … some exhaustive details on what you need to kill the world’s most wanted man …

First he laid out his Crye Precision Desert Digital combat uniform, a long-sleeve, partially camouflaged shirt and cargo pants combo with ten pockets, “each with a specific purpose.” In the pockets he put assault gloves, leather mitts for “fast-roping,” an assortment of batteries, energy gel, two PowerBars, an extra tourniquet, rubber gloves, an SSE (forensic) kit, an Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera, and $200 in cash. The money was for a bribe or a ride, if needed. “Evasion takes money, and few things work better than American cash.”

January 18, 2013
[politics] Could Ed Miliband be Labour’s Margaret Thatcher? … some interesting similarities highlighted by Andy Beckett… ‘Miliband has a history of being underestimated – just as she was when opposition leader, and during her early years as prime minister. Like her, he was unexpectedly elected party leader. Like her, his public manner was then quickly judged unpalatable, his voice too nasal as hers was too shrill. Like her, he can seem too much of a party stereotype for broad appeal: the bourgeois north London leftie to her prim shire Tory. Like she did, he faces a smooth premier – “Sunny Jim” Callaghan for her, David Cameron for him – considered by journalists and voters to be more “prime ministerial”, but also made vulnerable by internal splits and the lack of a Commons majority. As she did, Miliband has led his party to a substantial but not always solid poll lead. Two and a quarter years into his tenure, it is identical to her party’s at the same stage: hovering around 10%.’
January 21, 2013
[war] WWII lard washes up on beach at Angus nature reserve‘Staff at St Cyrus nature reserve said four large, barrel-shaped pieces of lard have appeared on the shore. The fat is believed to have escaped from the wreck of a merchant vessel that was bombed in WW II. Scottish Natural Heritage said the lard was still a brilliant white and smelled “good enough to have a fry up with.” The lard would have originally been stored in wooden barrels, which have long since rotted away.’
January 22, 2013
[comics] Alan and The Mad Reader … a look on the early influence of Mad Magazine on Alan Moore … ‘The chief importance of the Superduperman story to Moore seems to have been the basic idea of a totally fresh way of looking at Superman, a character whose stories at that time were extremely formulaic. Apart from this, one small point worth noticing is the way in which the emblem of the hero’s chest keeps changing – just like that of Dourdevil in Moore’s Daredevil parody “Grit” (The Daredevils #8, 1983).’
January 23, 2013
[space] Philip Bond’s Portraits Of Women Astronauts

Philip Bond Drawing Of Astronaut Jan Davis

January 24, 2013
[tv] How Unrealistic Is Murder On Television?‘In a paper printed in the British Medical Journal, Tim Crayford, Richard Hooper and Sarah Evans reported that the mortality rate for characters in the television soap operas Coronation Street and EastEnders exceeded those of bomb disposal experts and racing drivers. Deaths were generally violent, and recently introduced characters had a five-year survival rate.’
January 25, 2013
[health] What Doctors Won’t Do … Doctors discuss which medical treatments they would avoid … ‘I would never avoid having my children vaccinated. Several years ago, I volunteered with Médecins Sans Frontières and spent six months in Angola. I’d expected the poverty, but it was the arrival of kids suffering from severe illnesses that should never have occurred – illnesses easily prevented elsewhere, like measles, or tetanus – that saddened me most. That, and the quiet humility with which families would queue for hours under a scorching sun to receive their vaccines.’
January 28, 2013
[funny] Get Insulted By Martin Luther‘We leave you to your own devices, for nothing properly suits you except hypocrisy, flattery, and lies.’
January 29, 2013
[funny] Bad Kids Jokes … amusing collection of nonsensical jokes from children … ‘Why did the cow jump over the moon? Because he wanted to poo all over the moon.’
January 30, 2013
[batman] Batman Keeps Gotham Tidy

A Keep Gotham Today Poster

January 31, 2013
[tv] Looking Beneath The Waves … another Adam Curtis interview … ‘The great wonder of our time is also a disease of our time: the desire to experience things for ourselves. It’s just the thing at the moment, what we don’t want is to be told stuff. We don’t like elites any longer because we’re all like each other. We want to know it ourselves, we want to feel it. It’s partly due to the rise of individualism. But what we get to is what I call the “duchess paradox”, where everyone is now a duchess in society. The real problem with that is that if you’re all duchesses then what’s the point of being a duchess? Everyone’s a celebrity now. Everyone wants to be a celebrity, they want to be treated like celebrities. They want to go to spas, they want to get married in big, posh houses. People will pay for VIP tickets to concerts. It’s extraordinary. Everyone is desperately searching for where it’s at. The point is there is nowhere it’s at – “it” simply just doesn’t exist. It’s the great tragedy for that generation: they just want to experience something.’
February 1, 2013
[guns] The Onion: AR-15 Assault Rifle Beginning To Worry It May Never Get To Kill Innocent Person

The Colt-manufactured assault rifle confirmed that, given the administration’s intention to advance gun control measures designed to curb the nation’s ready access to deadly firearms such as itself, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the weapon will ever have the opportunity to act on its long-held desire to brutally execute even a single innocent person.

“Ever since I came off the assembly line, I’ve dreamed of being used to annihilate dozens of frantic people in a deadly rampage; it’s what I was made to do,” the semiautomatic rifle said from its display stand at Richmond-area gun retailer Pete’s Munitions. “But if the government clamps down on sales of guns like me, then I can pretty much kiss that dream goodbye. And, I have to say, the idea of that happening is massively disappointing for me.”

February 4, 2013
[watchmen] Rorschach’s Father: The Lost Tapes … previously little seen Alan Moore interview from 1987 on Watchmen … ‘The Nazis weren’t villains but ordinary human beings who did terrible things. Her­oes are usually people who, if you happened to be on the opposite side of any battle, would be famous monsters. It is all totally subjective. There aren’t any pure heroes; there aren’t any pure villains; there’s just people. But people like there to be heroes and villains, because if we can say “That person is a monster”, it makes us feel better or not so bad. Or it makes it not our responsibility. Mrs Thatcher isn’t a monster, sh’es just a fairly nondescript intellect, but she’s a greedy and an ambitious woman. It’s too bad that she’s Prime Minister. I mean, if she’d have stayed in her greengrocery business, probably not many peuple would have shopped there an awful lot, but it wouldn’t have done anv great harm. But a lot of the left wing in Britain like to portray Mrs Thatcher as a monster.’
February 5, 2013
[death] Wikipedia’s list of unusual deaths‘1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths. During the hikers’ memorials, several witnesses reported that the bodies had an “orangish tint” to them.’
February 6, 2013
[batman] An Extensive Discussion Of Batman Punching Animals‘I don’t think I actually have a comprehensive list handy, but I can assure you that Batman has gotten into fistfights with dogs, wolves, panthers, lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), gorillas (regular), gorillas (telepathic), gorillas (other), sharks, horses, crocodiles, at least one eagle, and I distinctly remember an ostritch, although the issue number escapes me at the moment.’
February 8, 2013
[conspiracy] Verified Facts About … a conspiracy theory generator … ‘Records indicate that Barack Obama’s ancestors were present at the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II– even those who had died decades earlier. Perhaps there’s more to learn about this event.’
February 11, 2013
[comics] “Son of Sam” and the Comics Industry … fascinating story of how the detectives investigating Son Of Sam visited DC Comics after it was suggested that Sam’s handwriting was like the lettering in comics … ‘Upon hearing why I’d been called into Sol’s office, a few of my cohorts had their own ideas about who might be the Son of Sam, including a couple of fellow staffers. The most convincing argument, however, was made for a somewhat reclusive artist whose ultra-conservative leanings might have made him a suspect as the killer of “loose” women. We did not, however, share any of this with the NYPD.’ [via Neilalien]
February 12, 2013
[valentines] The Perfect Valentines Gift: pre-arrange a funeral for yourself and your partner …

Valentines Advert For Pre-Arranged Funeral

February 13, 2013
[price] What A Year Of Stuff Costs … the prices of various things if you buy/use them for a year collected by Diamond Geezer‘Daily bath (medium depth): £98 (gas boiler), £291 (immersion heater) Daily shower (5 minutes): £44 (electric shower), £200 (power shower)’
February 14, 2013
Why Facebook Makes You Feel Miserable‘The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was "lack of attention" from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.’
February 15, 2013
[email] Inbox Zero for Life … a straightforward approach to the Inbox Zero lifehack using Gmail … ‘Triage. Your one and only goal for processing your inbox is to make it empty. Not to actually do anything productive, because processing email is inherently anti-productive. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re doing work here. Just get it over with as quickly as possible.’
February 18, 2013
[coke] A Brief History Racist Soft Drinks … fascinating look at the racial divide between Coke and Pepsi … ‘Few realize that Coke marketed assiduously to whites, while Pepsi hired a "negro markets" department. Put more bluntly, Coke was made for white people. Pepsi was made for black people. Over the course of the decades and the seemingly limitless growth of the soft drink industry, the companies have expanded their marketing departments and launched myriad campaigns to discourage the idea that either appealed to a specific race…’
February 19, 2013
[comics] Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios, Malta, 1983 … by Phil Noto

A picture of Matt Murdock and Elektra

February 20, 2013
[music] Rutherford Chang – We Buy White Albums … fascinating photo-essay on an artist who only collects original vinyl copies of the Beatles White Album … ‘My collection of White Albums is on display at Recess, a storefront art space in SoHo. It’s set up like a record store with the albums arranged in bins by serial number, and visitors are invited to browse and listen to the records. Except, rather than sell the albums, I am buying more. I currently have 693 copies.’
February 21, 2013
[comics] Antony Johnston on phoning Alan Moore‘So this friend of mine, this guy I’ve gotten to know since entering the now-largely-online comics community, asks me if I want Alan Moore’s phone number. Do what, I say. He repeats the offer. Just don’t tell anyone where you got it, he says, or Alan will fucking kill me. Go on then, I reply. Why not? Half a millisecond after I write it down, I realise why not: I can never call this number.’
February 22, 2013
[chess] Playing Chess With Kubrick… Jeremy Bernstein reminisces about meeting and playing chess with Stanley Kubrick … ‘The next day Clarke called to say that I was expected that afternoon at Kubrick’s apartment on Central Park West. I had never met a movie mogul and had no idea what to expect. But as soon as Kubrick opened the door I felt an immediate kindred spirit. He looked and acted like every obsessive theoretical physicist I have ever known. His obsession at that moment was whether or not anything could go faster than the speed of light. I explained to him that according to the theory of relativity no information bearing signal could go faster. We conversed like that for about an hour when I looked at my watch and realized I had to go. “Why?” he asked, seeing no reason why a conversation that he was finding interesting should stop.’
February 25, 2013
[comics] Upcoming: Darryl Cunningham’s Ayn Rand Memoir …Forbidden Planet has some pages from Darryl Cunningham’s latest comic strip.
February 26, 2013
[guardian] A Comment Generator For The Guardian‘Collecting my oak-smoked Salmon and dry-cured Trout direct from the smokehouse led me to a fascinating chat with the proprietor this afternoon. Quinoa is great in a packed lunch but it doesn’t keep Quentin full for his after-school amateur dramatics. We should all go back to living in communes like they did in Sweden in the 70s!’
February 27, 2013
[blogs] Scarfolk Council … Voted England’s creepiest blog in 1978 … ‘Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever.’

Sing-A-Long IRA Telephone Bomb Threats

February 28, 2013
[socialnetworks] An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network‘They say that when the costs–the time and effort–associated with being a member of a social network outweigh the benefits, then the conditions are ripe for a general exodus. The thinking is that if one person leaves, then his or her friends become more likely to leave as well and this can cascade through the network causing a collapse in membership. But Garcia and co point out that the topology of the network provides some resilience against this. This resilience is determined by the number of friends that individual users have. So if a big fraction of people on a network have only two friends, it is highly vulnerable to collapse.’
March 1, 2013
[tech] The Restart Page … Re-experience the thrill of watching your favourite retro operating systems reboot.
March 4, 2013
[comics] Annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Nemo: Heart of Ice … more work-in-progress annotations from Jess Nevins‘I confess to not understanding the “urine storage scheme” reference.’
March 5, 2013
[books] The Book-Writing Machine … What was the first book ever written on a word processor? … ‘It was 1968, and the IBM technician who serviced Len Deighton’s typewriters had just heard from Deighton’s personal assistant, Ms. Ellenor Handley, that she had been retyping chapter drafts for his book in progress dozens of times over. IBM had a machine that could help, the technician mentioned…’
March 6, 2013
[tech] How Qihoo 360 Won the Browser War in China … a look at how a virus company leveraged it’s position to create China’s most popular web browser … ‘When a user tries to uninstall the 360 browser, they are presented with three choices: Repair, Change to IE9, or uninstall directly. If they choose to change to IE9, after installation another popup occurs and when you click “Next”, it reinstalls the 360 browser and makes it the default.’
March 7, 2013
[funny] The Rules Of The Pool by John Allison

The Rules Of The Pool

March 8, 2013
[twitter] The Real Weird Twitter Is Espionage Twitter … Is Twitter being used as a numbers station? … ‘GooGuns posts nothing but strings of letters and numbers, like b39e65fa00000000 in intervals of about five minutes on average. The string of characters always ends with zeroes, occasionally with the location service turned on, so you can see that 554705fa00000000 was allegedly tweeted from the “Region of Khabarovsk.” This has been going on all day and all night, for years, with more than 318,000 tweets posted since 2009. But why?’ [via @qwghlm]
March 11, 2013
[life] The Godzilla Threshold: ‘Things are at the point where even summoning Godzilla, king of monsters and patron saint of collateral damage, could not possibly make the crisis any worse. The situation has crossed the Godzilla Threshold. Once the Threshold is crossed, ANY plan, with even the smallest possibility of success, no matter how ludicrous, impossible, dangerous or abhorrent, suddenly becomes a valid option.’ [via YMFY]
March 12, 2013
[drink] What Coca-Cola Contains‘The number of individuals who know how to make a can of Coke is zero. The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero. This famously American product is not American at all. Invention and creation is something we are all in together. Modern tool chains are so long and complex that they bind us into one people and one planet. They are not only chains of tools, they are also chains of minds: local and foreign, ancient and modern, living and dead — the result of disparate invention and intelligence distributed over time and space.’
March 13, 2013
[apple] Abandoned Apples … pictures of long discarded Apple computers that have been left to slowly decay.
March 14, 2013
[weird] So Ben & Jerry’s has an actual Graveyard for their Discontinued Flavours‘Surrounded by a white picket fence on a grassy knoll, lie the headstones of especially beloved flavours or particularly despised flavours, some that were introduced as early as the late 1970s when the ice cream company was founded, but sadly met their untimely fate. The folks at Ben & Jerry’s are pretty good at word play and each flavour has its own poetic epitaph…’
March 15, 2013
[weird] Richard Nixon Meets Robocop

Richard Nixon and Robocop

March 18, 2013
[funny] How To Get Coments On Your Posts‘My post included cute animals, Chuck Norris, open source software, bacon, Ron Paul, the recession, epic failures, cynicism, Apple and a FREAKING NARWHAL!!!’
March 19, 2013
[tech] It’s OK to Be a Hater Because Everything Is Bad … amusing rant about the awfulness of technology … ‘Tablets are a complete luxury item—PURE luxury—and owning one makes you an asshole, instantly, categorically. It’s a wonderful toy. But a toy. A big boy toy. Nobody needs an iPad. Nobody. Not a single person, unless you’re literally so stupid and/or infirm that you can’t use a keyboard and mouse like the rest of the industrialized (or barbaric) world. iPads are a status symbol, a second computer that’s built expressly for convenience. You’re spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to make your cushy life even cushier by carrying a beautiful computer you don’t need that you can use while flopped down on the couch or leaning against an airplane window like the bourgeois brat idiot you are. You don’t need this thing, and you know you don’t need it. You need a PC-yes. You need a PC to be part of modern society. But you don’t need an iPad, and the entire notion of the luxury device is noxious and offensive…’
[life] Go Look: Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions
March 20, 2013
[life] Taxis and the shortest route home‘When I first started driving a cab, I drove the shortest route -always, I’m ethical- but people would accuse me of taking the long way because it wasn’t the way they drove. So, I learned to go their way ending up with a lot less grief and a lot more money. If you’ve ever wondered why a seeming professional cab driver will ask you how to get to your destination, this is why. Going your way means they’ll make more money and they won’t be accused of ripping you off. Not to say that in the beginning, I wasn’t stupid. I’d try to show the customer the route on a map but they’d usually be offended that I was contradicting them. It was to their house, if I’d never been there, how could I possibly know better than they did?’ [via As Above]
March 21, 2013
[email] Time’s Inverted Index … What it’s like to examine your past using your email archive … ‘While right now it’s unusual in general population for a person to have all this history so close, so quickly searchable, obviously the world will go this way. There will be many new forms of art and commerce over time, I think, that allow us to interact with, and share from, our private archives. There is going to be an urgent market need for tiny mechanical historians who can live in our pockets and point out our flaws.’
[comics] Go Look: An Actor Who Should Have Played Green Arrow.
March 22, 2013
[comics] Go Look: Only A Sub-Normal Human Being Would Buy This.
March 25, 2013
[comics] The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Owns The Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval … I missed this when it happened – the rights transferred in 2011 and the code closed down in 2010 … ‘The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today announces that it has received the intellectual property rights to the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval in an assignment from the now-defunct Comic Magazine Association of America, which administrated the Code since the 1950s.’
March 26, 2013
[books] Meanwhile, in Islington Waterstones… ‘Horror’
March 27, 2013
[funny] The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense‘In my gross over simplification the vast majority of the multitude of evidenced-free beliefs at large in the world can be crudely classified into four basic sets or bollocks. Namely, Religion, Quackery, Pseudoscience and the Paranormal.’
March 28, 2013
[life] I Went to the Playboy Mansion (and It Was Kinda Depressing) … what a writer from Vice found when he wandered off around the Playboy Mansion‘Wandering through the house gave me a feeling not too dissimilar to when a relative dies and you have to go to their place and figure out what to do with their things. Except for, in this case, that dead relative was the magazine industry. Or something. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But the mansion was really, really sad. And it smelled like old man.’
March 31, 2013
[scary] 25 Scary Easter Bunnies Of The Past

Scary Easter Bunny

April 2, 2013
[funny] Dalek Relaxation Tape … according to Peter Serafinowicz the Dalek’s have recently released a new-age relaxation tape … ‘YOUR TENSION HAS BEEN EXTERMINATED! EXTERMINATED!’ [via Feeling Listless]
April 3, 2013
[london] An Autocomplete Guide To London … Londonist examines what Google searchers think about various London boroughs … ‘Romford is the cruelest of cities.’
April 4, 2013
[tech] The Never-Before-Told Story of the World’s First Computer Art (It’s a Sexy Dame) … the first computer art was apparently created by an anyonymous IBM employee … ‘A young man used a $238 million military computer, the largest such machine ever built, to render an image of a curvy woman on a glowing cathode ray tube screen. The year was 1956, and the creation was a landmark moment in computer graphics and cultural history that has gone unnoticed until now. Using equipment designed to guard against the apocalypse, a pin-up girl had been drawn. She was quite probably the first human likeness to ever appear on a computer screen. She glowed.’
April 5, 2013
[ww2] Hitler’s Food Taster: One Bite Away from Death … The remarkable story of one of Hitler’s team of food tasters who survived the war … ‘Hitler’s thugs brought her and the other young women to barracks in nearby Krausendorf, where cooks prepared the food for the Wolf’s Lair in a two-story building. The service personnel filled platters with vegetables, sauces, noodle dishes and exotic fruits, placing them in a room with a large wooden table, where the food had to be tasted. “There was never meat because Hitler was a vegetarian,” Wölk recalls. “The food was good — very good. But we couldn’t enjoy it.” There were rumors that the Allies had plans to poison Hitler. After the women confirmed that the food was safe, members of the SS brought it to the main headquarters in crates.’
April 8, 2013
[comics] 27 Comic Books That Came Out 20 Years Ago‘1993 was the biggest-ever year for sales in the comics industry. This is what was on the racks.’
[news] Evening Standard – Margaret Thatcher Dies

Evening Standard Headline Board: Margaret Thatcher Dies

April 9, 2013
[life] What remains of Noel Edmonds’ ‘Blobbyland’ … An urban explorer photographs the ruins of a Mr Blobby themepark that closed in 1999.
April 11, 2013
[comics] The Social Networks of Superheroes … Are fictional social networks similar to real ones?… ‘The Marvel Universe does exhibit the statistical features of a real social network in some simple ways. Furthermore, similar to our own world, they found distinct differences between the social structures of good guys and bad guys. However, in some very important aspects, it’s actually the opposite of a real social network. Specifically, while in real social networks the popular people interact with the other popular people, this is not so in the Marvel universe. For example, Spider-Man and Captain America rarely come into contact.’
[web] Plan Your Digital Afterlife With Inactive Account Manager … A dead man’s switch for Google accounts.
April 12, 2013
[people] Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles: The Cash-Strapped King of the Nerds Plots a Comeback … profile / update on Harry Knowles … ‘His phone rang. Still trudging, Knowles answered. It was Roland De Noie, his business manager. “I really f—ed up,” said De Noie in a panic. “It’s all my fault.” He had discovered that Ain’t It Cool News — the website Knowles started in his Texas bedroom that grew to be the scourge of Hollywood, redefined the nature and pace of entertainment journalism and turned an overweight, ginger-haired self-diagnosed movie nerd into the face of a geek nation on the rise — owed about $300,000 in unpaid taxes. While Ain’t It Cool News had been making $700,000 a year in gross advertising revenue at its height in the early- to mid-2000s, that had dipped to the low-six figures by 2012. The business had no cash reserves and no way to pay the bills. Its bank account had been seized. “We’re not going to be able to get out of this one,” said De Noie.’
April 15, 2013
[people] Noel Edmonds Biography Condensed

Excerpt from Noel Edmonds Biography

April 16, 2013
[comics] Tom Spurgeon On Frank Miller’s Daredevil‘Frank Miller was basically a zygote he was so young when those issues were coming out. Having arrived in comics at the end of the realism and relevance period, Miller could pick and choose which elements best suited his general approach to the character. Like a lot of writers, he ratcheted up the specter of violence by moving characters away from settling matters with their fists and into an era where everyone you ran into had a bladed weapon of some sort and wasn’t afraid to use it. There were a few guns, and a lot of guts. Wading into a bunch of guys with swords and knives felt different than seeing a hero plough into a wave of Moloids or a bunch of random dudes from the Serpent Society, slugging away all the while. It seemed an appropriate response to what we expected from entertainment in a post-Dirty Harry world.’
[comics] Alan Moore On Providence, Jerusalem, League And More … The first part of an interview with Moore from Pádraig Ó Méalóid mostly on recent and upcoming work … ‘I will also point out that if you’ve got, I believe twenty percent of young people polled said that they would be embarrassed if their mates caught them reading. That would seem to me to be a decline, and also I would say that if you’ve got the Avengers movie as one of the most eagerly attended recent movies, and if most of those attendees were adults, which I believe they were, then if you’ve got a huge number of contemporary adults going to watch a film containing characters and storylines that were meant for the entertainment of eleven year old boys fifty years ago, then I’ve got to say, there’s something badly wrong there, isn’t there? This is not actually cultural progress. Anyway, that was my feelings. Yes, I’d stand by the sentiments expressed in League 2009.’
April 18, 2013
[life] What’s the Point of Being a Polo Tycoon If You Can’t Adopt Your Girlfriend? … a story pulled straight from the right side of Bret Easton Ellis’ brain … ‘A Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that John Goodman (not the actor John Goodman, the Florida polo tycoon John Goodman, who founded something called the International Polo Club) committed a fraud on the court when he failed to notify it, or the opposing parties in a pending lawsuit, about his plan to adopt his girlfriend and thereby give her access to a substantial trust fund. The trust was one in which “all Goodman’s children were to share equally,” so if his girlfriend also became his child … you get the idea. The “Adoption Agreement” also gave the girlfriend/daughter almost $17 million in additional assets plus an unlimited right to ask for more money from the trust, not a bad right to have if you can get it.This concerned Goodman’s two existing children and his ex-wife for obvious reasons, and also bothered the parents of Scott Wilson. Wilson died in 2010 after a car accident involving Goodman, who was allegedly drunk at the time.’ [via jzw]
April 22, 2013
[comics] Letters of Note: The Rejection Slip … a fantastic series of correspondence from Mad Magazine and a contributor in 1963.
April 23, 2013
[blogs] Ms. Attribution … a tumblr that mixes up historical figures with quotes and song lyrics …

False Ted Bundy Quote

April 24, 2013
[music] 80′s Sax solos … a lovingly compiled list of sax solo’s from 1980’s music along with sound samples … ‘At some point in the 80s, popular music started incorporating saxophone solos as some kind of fad. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs…’
April 25, 2013
[lego] LEGO’s magic number is 37,112‘Have you ever asked yourself this question: “How many times can I assemble LEGO bricks before they wear out?” Well… probably never but I did…’
April 26, 2013
[life] How Astronaut Chris Hadfield Showed Berlin’s Ongoing Struggle For Unification‘[Hadfield’s] snap of Berlin, taken from about 200 miles above the Earth, clearly shows the line of the old wall as expressed by the difference in streetlighting between the former east and west.’
April 29, 2013
[books] Martin Amis’ Guide to Classic Video Games … a fascinating look at the video game book that Martin Amis wrote in the early 1980’s and doesn’t like to discuss…

…There’s a half-expected (but still surprising) guest appearance from what I would be willing to bet is a young Christopher Hitchens. In a diverting rant about the increasing presence of voice effects in games, Amis recalls his first exposure to such gimmickry at a bar in Paris on New Year’s Day, 1980:

I was with a friend, a hard-drinking journalist, who had drunk roughly three times as much Calvados as I had drunk the night before. And I had drunk a lot of Calvados the night before. I called for coffee, croissants, juice; with a frown the barman also obeyed my friend’s croaked request for a glass of Calvados.

Then we heard, from nowhere, a deep, guttural, Dalek-like voice which seemed to say: “Heed! Gorgar! Heed! Gorgar … speaks!

“… Now what the hell was that?” asked my friend.

“I think it was one of the machines,” I said, rising in wonder.

“I’ve had it,” said my friend with finality. “I can’t cope with this,” he explained as he stumbled from the bar.

April 30, 2013
[comics] Brendan McCarthy’s Desert Island Comics … Forbidden Planet’s blog interviews Brendan McCarthy on which comics he’d want if marooned on a desert island … ‘I’m struggling to call it a day here, because if somebody put together a book of Infantino’s 60′s Flash and Batman covers, I’d have no choice … Also, some Sergi Toppi would be swell. Some Frank Quitely would also be grand. WE3 probably. And one of Grant’s Doom Patrol TPBs would be nice too…’
May 1, 2013
[religion] Mormon Flow Chart for Your Soul … everything you wanted to know about Mormonism but were afraid to ask …

A Flowchart of Mormon Beliefs

May 2, 2013
[tv] Law & Order’s Fakest Websites … great supercut of all the fake websites used on Law and Order … ‘Laffy Time Kids Club – a magical land of fun, games and sexual assault.’
May 3, 2013
[web] After Checking Your Bank Account, Remember To Log Out, Close The Web Browser, And Throw Your Computer Into The Ocean … some good computer security advice from Chase Bank … ‘If you’re using a publicly shared computer at a library, for example, additional precautions are required. Before logging in, raid the library’s artifact collection and grab the sharpest object inside—a sword, bayonet, or antique letter opener will do. Then repeatedly stab everyone who’s in the building, preferably in the neck, as you never know which one of them might look over your shoulder while you’re online. Once they’re incapacitated and bleeding out, simply hop on the computer for your session…’
May 6, 2013
[windows] Solitaire.exe … a real life pack Windows Solitaire playing cards … ‘Solitaire.exe is a physical pixel-for-pixel recreation of the popular computer card game included in the Windows 98 operating system.’
May 7, 2013
[funny] I Lived With John Humphrys – He Was a Nightmare‘He used to sit me down and make me watch Fort Boyard. “Look at her,” he said, pointing at Melinda Messenger. “Have you seen such a thing? She has eleven O-Levels.” And then his breathing went all funny.’
May 8, 2013
[crime] How a Mysterious Beaumont, Texas, Murder Was Solved… fascinating true crime story from Mark Bowden – a real Sherlock Holmes-esque locked room murder mystery …

The circumstances of Greg Fleniken’s death, as reported, were unremarkable. On the table before him was a 55-year-old Caucasian male who appeared to be in decent shape. After methodical inspection, the only marks Brown found on the body were a one-inch abrasion on his left cheek, where his face had hit the rug, and, curiously, a half-inch laceration of his scrotum. This was interesting. The sack itself was swollen and discolored, and around the wound was a small amount of edema fluid. The bruising had spread up through the groin area and across the right hip. Something had hit him hard.

The story his body told grew more intriguing. When Brown opened the front of the torso he discovered a surprising amount of blood and extensive internal damage. A certain amount of partly digested food had been torn from his intestines. The doctor found small lacerations there, and on the stomach and liver, as well as two broken ribs and a hole in the right atrium of his heart.

The condition of his insides reflected severe trauma: Fleniken had been beaten to death, or crushed. Brown concluded that the wound to his genitals likely had been caused by a hard kick. He had also taken a blow to the chest so severe it had caused lethal damage. He would have bled out in less than 30 seconds.

On the official form, next to “Manner of Death,” Brown wrote, “Homicide.”

May 9, 2013
[am] Reasons I Do Not Dance: Alan Moore Interview … interview with AM on psychogeography and it’s connections with his work … ‘The author that first introduced me to [psychogeography] was the person I regard as being its contemporary master, namely Iain Sinclair, with his early work Lud Heat. Obviously, since then my appreciation of the field has broadened to include a wider range of writers. Some of these, like Arthur Machen, would appear to have been consciously applying something very much like Iain Sinclair’s conception of psychogeography as ‘walking with an agenda’, while others such as H.P. Lovecraft sought only to draw poetic inspiration from specific landscapes and their atmospheres, apparently without a conscious understanding of the way in which these fictions could be said to have emerged from the geography in question. Nor did Lovecraft seem aware that his imaginings, superimposed upon the actual territories of New England, were inevitably to become part of the way those territories were perceived and thus part of the place itself.’
May 10, 2013
[movies] It’s Back To The Future Day! … nicely done Back to the Future Day hoax generator … ‘We don’t have hoverboards or flying cars powered by rubbish, but we cannot give up hope for…the Future.’

Back To The Future Generator

May 13, 2013
[web] Don’t Be a Stranger … a longer read on internet friendships and the differences between the Web in 2006 and now … ‘Internet friendship yields a connection that is selfconsciously pointless and pointed at the same time: Out of all of the millions of bullshitters on the World Wide Web, we somehow found each other, liked each other enough to bullshit together, and built our own Fortress of Bullshit. The majority of my interactions with online friends is perpetuating some injoke so arcane that nobody remembers how it started or what it actually means. Perhaps that proves the op-ed writers’ point, but this has been the pattern of my friendships since long before I first logged onto AOL…’
May 14, 2013
[comics] Cerebus On The Berlin Wall … a photo taken in 1989 and originally published in Cerebus #127 … ‘Conveniently located below a manned East German guard tower. Cerebus is mere yards to the right of Checkpoint Charlie.’
May 15, 2013
[books] To Understand The World Is To Be Destroyed By It … Jess Nevins essay on H.P. Lovecraft … ‘Lovecraft did not create cosmic horror. He recreated it. Lovecraft desacralized cosmic horror, reinterpreting it through the lens of modern scientific theory and removing its Victorian moral assumptions. What Lovecraft created was a specifically twentieth century idea: the universe as an empty, materialist one, in which there is no spiritual meaning to any actions and in which human existence is not significant in any way. This idea has been enormously influential on creators of fantastic fiction, and is Lovecraft’s lasting legacy.’
May 16, 2013
[books] Funny Reviews Of Mr Men Books On Amazon‘In his third work, Mr Happy, Hargreaves takes us on a Jungian journey to the integrated self. The story starts by introducing us to the supposedly perfect life that our eponymous hero appears to live – the tranquilized bliss and counterfeit euphoria of Happyland. Yet what is it that leads Mr Happy to wander away from an existence that, if truly flawless, should suffice to satisfy and sustain him? Why this need to venture deep into the mysterious unknown of the forest? To open a door in a tree-trunk and descend a staircase beneath the ground to the deepest recesses of the unconscious?’
May 17, 2013
[lifehacks] 99 Life Hacks to make your life easier! … a large collection of image macros demonstrating life hacks.
May 20, 2013
[bond] His Name Is James Bond … a Youtube video adding some very funny lyrics to the James Bond theme … ‘Because I’m suave it’s okay for me to act like a prick.’
May 21, 2013
[politics] We Asked the Lunatic Fringe of UK Politics About Their Ideal Britain … Vice interviews a number of eccentric political parties about their policies …

Vice: So you’re literally trying to take us back the Dark Ages?

Acting Witan of Mercia: It’s crystal clear that the Norman invasion in 1066 smashed the old system. This wouldn’t matter a jot if the world was OK as it is, but it isn’t. The causes of the problems of today go back to 1066. Before the 1066 holocaust, England had more to do with northern Europe and Scandinavia than the continent. If you look at those countries now, it’s a closer model to where we might have been had the Norman conquest never happened.

May 22, 2013
[politics] Is David Cameron Still Prime Minister?… a single-serving website that might be changing from Yes to No soon.
May 23, 2013
[life] Technically…

Is A Glass Always Full?

May 24, 2013
[politics] The relentless charm of Nigel Farage … fascinating profile of UKIP’s leader … ‘It also strikes me that the geniality, the pints, the cigarettes, the red meat, the hail-fellow-well-met—that these totems take their toll on Farage far more than he lets on. “I’ve learned how to do it,” he says, meaning his affability, “how to exaggerate it. Of course you learn in this job.” He’s eccentric in a way, but most of all he is what he is: a suburban stockbroker from a minor public school with one very good point. And perhaps his greatest significance is as an indictment of the other party leaders.’
May 27, 2013
[batman] Grant Morrison explains the last 74 years of Batman

Batman from 1938 who’s out there with guns in his hand and he’s fighting vampires and crooks, I thought, well, imagine that’s Batman at 20, you know. And then he meets this kid when he’s 21, and the kid’s this little working class circus kid who’s totally cocky. And this introverted young Norman Bates Batman is suddenly, “Wait a minute. This is the kid that died in me. This is everything that I wanted to be.” And the two become friends, and it’s not creepy. It’s like, “He’s my best friend and my brother and everything I wish I could be.” And the kid’s looking at him like, “He’s everything I wish I could be.”

May 28, 2013
[wikipedia] Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia … a fascinating look at the detection of a rogue Wikipedia editor … ‘Some parts of the exchange struck me as odd, particularly his declaration that he was was “tech-deficient.” Young has over 5,000 friends on Facebook, a Twitter account, a resume that includes a stint teaching at the online-only University of Phoenix and a credit on his eldercare website that says “Designed by Robert Young © 2012 using Homestead website templates.” He sounded right at home in the realm of new technology.’
May 29, 2013
[books] I Am Very Real … a letter from Kurt Vonnegut to the leader of a school board which had burned a number of his books … ‘If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young.’
May 30, 2013
[politics] The Conservative Party Insult Generator … from The Poke‘Mad Loon, Unwashed.’
May 31, 2013
[books] Bibliocide … a writer burns his mouldy set of Encyclopaedia Britannica encyclopaedias and reflects upon it …

In that respect, my encyclopædic blaze symbolised the benefits of creative destruction. Britannica stood for a time when access to information was limited, and largely determined by money. The magnificence of the collection was deeply connected to the fact that they were exclusive, expensively produced objects. We might well miss the smell of the leather binding, the crisp sound of flicking through their thin pages, the gravitas that the sheer 4lb weight of each volume suggested. But if what was on those pages mattered most, we must believe that these losses are more than outweighed by the freedom for anyone with an internet connection to access the same content and more at little or no cost. A world of valuable books behind the closed doors of a privileged minority cannot be preferable to one of invaluable information available through the open door of a web browser.

June 3, 2013
[london] Highgate Vampire … fascinating story of the creation of a urban-legend in 1970s … ‘The Hampstead and Highgate Express reported [Seán Manchester] on 27 February 1970 as saying that he believed that ‘a King Vampire of the Undead’, a medieval nobleman who had practised black magic in medieval Wallachia (Romania), had been brought to England in a coffin in the early eighteenth century, by followers who bought a house for him in the West End. He was buried on the site that later became Highgate Cemetery, and Manchester claimed that modern Satanists had roused him. He said the right thing to do would be to stake the vampire’s body, and then behead and burn it, but this would nowadays be illegal. The paper headlined this: ‘Does a Vampyr walk in Highgate?’ Manchester later claimed, however, that the reference to ‘a King Vampire from Wallachia’ was a journalistic embellishment. Nevertheless, the 1985 edition of his book also speaks of an unnamed nobleman’s body brought to Highgate in a coffin from somewhere in Europe. In his interview of 27 February, Manchester offered no evidence in support of his theory.’
June 4, 2013
[comics] Silver Age Superman – An Early Pick-up Artist? … Is Superman using his powers to neg Lois?

Superman / Lois / Super Dickery

June 5, 2013
[life] 7 Habits of Highly Successful People‘5. Polo’
June 6, 2013
[conspiracy] Bilderberg 2013: welcome to 1984 … fascinating look at Watford’s reaction to the Bilderberg conference turning up in their borough …

The auditorium grew hushed as a senior Watford borough councillor took to his feet. The police liaison team looked nervous. They had made their presentation and laid out their plans for this “unique event”: the anti-terrorism zones, the identity checks, the restriction on vehicles stopping in the vicinity of this “important international conference”. But now it was the turn of the people of Watford to speak.

What would they make of this international three-day policy summit, with its heavyweight delegate list bulging with billionaire financiers, party leaders and media moguls, protected by the biggest security operation Watford has ever seen?

“What this whole thing boils down to,” boomed the councillor, “is this: are you, or are you not, setting a precedent for vehicles parking on the verge of the Old Hempstead Road?”

June 7, 2013
[comics] Has DC Comics done something stupid today?‘Are you tired of having to comb through dozens of articles trying to figure out if DC Comics has done something cringeworthy today? Would you like to be the first person to know how long it’s been since DC’s alienated fans, minorities or people with discerning taste? Do you like regularly experiencing schaudenfreude at the expense of a major corporate entity?’
[comics] The Believer – Interview with Alan Moore‘Retroactively I can see that a lot of my earlier work was starting to center around themes that would become a lot more lucid when I did understand them in a magical context. The sense of timelessness or the fact that time may have a very different nature than that which we perceive has been there since my earliest 2000 AD short stories. It was there in Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, it was there with William Gull in From Hell, and it’s there at the moment at the forefront of Jerusalem. So a lot of these things, even if they weren’t specifically magical, you start to see that, unintentionally, they were approaching a similar territory.’
June 10, 2013
[funny] Man On Cusp Of Having Fun Suddenly Remembers Every Single One Of His Responsibilities … more from the Onion

Platt, who reportedly sunk into a distracted haze after coming to the razor’s edge of experiencing genuine joy, fully intended to go through the motions of talking with friends and appearing to have a good time, all while he mentally shopped for a birthday present for his mother, wracked his brain to remember if he had turned in the itemized reimbursement form from his New York trip to HR on time, and made a silent note to call his bank about a mysterious recurring $19 monthly fee that he had recently discovered on his credit card statement.

“Everything’s fine,” said the tense, mentally absent man whose girlfriend asked him what was wrong after his near-giddy buzz vanished and he remembered that he hadn’t called his aunt yet to check up on her after her surgery. “I’m having fun.”

June 11, 2013
[people] Rich Kids Of Instagram … Let me tell you about the very rich. They have more luggage than you and me.
June 12, 2013
[lovecraft] Lovecraft Actually Move Poster … by *DrFaustusAU on deviantART

Lovecraft Actually - Very Cosmic, Very Horror.

June 13, 2013
[politics] Whistleblowers Are Weird … The Daily Beast on Edward Snowden … ‘[Whistleblowers] are weird in their own way, because they have to be in order to be willing to violate the trust of their group in order to protect a principle. In Eyal Press’ book on dissenters, Beautiful Souls, they come off as rigid, idealistic, a bit self-righteous, and more than a little naive. Those are not characteristics that make you fit in.’
June 14, 2013
[fun] Ed Balls Teaches Typing … old-school web fun with Ed Balls.
[comics] Man Of Steel: Why Hollywood Needs A Break From Superhero Movies … Joe Queenan on superhero movies … ‘The most interesting thing about the popularity of superhero movies is that they are insanely expensive to make, yet they spring from a plebian, populist artform. Comic books, at least until recently, were cheap. They were beautifully drawn and exciting, but they were still basically cheap. That was the point. Movies are not cheap, especially not in 3D. Comic book heroes, like football players, have lost all contact with their proletarian roots.’

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