1 October 2013
[politics] Digested Read: Power Trip by Damian McBride
I should stress that never at any time did Gordon or the two Eds have any idea whatsoever that I was leaking stories to the media or briefing against colleagues. Every time something to our advantage dominated the headlines, they would all three gasp with amazement and say: “Wow! What a brilliant coincidence. Aren’t we lucky to have so many coincidences! Are you sure you didn’t have anything to do with this?” And I would reply: “I know I’ve got a reputation for being a bit of a liar, but I promise I’m not lying this time. Believe me, if I’d known the minister was shagging his secretary, I’d have told the Mail ages ago.” And they would say: “You’re so sweet, Damian.”
2 October 2013
[spiders] Dancing With Black Widow Spiders
… What it’s like to be bitten by a black widow spider … ‘ I decided to go fishing for dinner. On the same front porch where I had removed so many black widows, I kept a pair of water shoes and some fishing tackle. I put the shoes and the tackle in my car and drove eight miles to my favored hole. I donned the shoes before walking to the edge of the water. Within about a dozen steps, I felt a stinging sensation on the second toe of my left foot, as if there had been a thorn inside the shoe. Then the pain increased to about that of a wasp’s sting. I sat on a rock and removed the shoe. The squashed remains of a spider were smeared across the insole. I realized instantly what must have happened: a black widow from the porch had made its home in my shoe. For a long moment, I stared at my throbbing toe and wondered what to do…’
[dailyfail] Should I Read The Daily Mail?
… There can only ever be one correct answer to this question.
3 October 2013
[politics] Conservative conference: Ukip and Thatcher give David Cameron a headache
… fascinating look at the state of the Conservative Party right now … ‘The man in the waistcoat is another Tory who supports a deal with Ukip. “We both want the same thing,” he says, “and it’s foolish to fight each other.” But the closing music after Cameron’s speech is unlikely to appeal to the faragists – Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop, with its mantra: “Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.” The Ukippers reckon yesterday can be brought back…’
4 October 2013
[dailymail] How Much Are You Hated By The Daily Mail?
… they hated me by question 9.
7 October 2013
[comics] Quincy, M.E.
… great spoof comic cover by Michael Kupperman
8 October 2013
[movies] What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining”
… a look at Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s different approaches The Shining
… ‘The two men represent diametrically opposed approaches to creating narrative art. One is an aesthete and the other is a humanist. Kubrick was a consummate and famously meticulous stylist; King’s prose is workmanly and his novels can have a shambolic bagginess. The great theme of King’s fiction is the capacity of the average person — especially working-class or similarly humble men and women — both for evil and for heroism. Although there’s almost always a battle against a supernatural antagonist in King’s books, the best of his novels hinge on the protagonists’ struggles with themselves. In “Doctor Sleep,” it is just as valiant for Danny Torrance — the psychic child character in “The Shining,” now grown up — to stay sober as it is for him to challenge the novel’s Big Bad.’
9 October 2013
[batman] Top 12 Moments From Grant Morrison’s Batman Run
… Interesting list of high points from IGN … ‘Morrison established the idea of Batman as a redemptive force. For Damian, the idea of becoming a hero and battling evil proved more captivating than inheriting the world’s largest criminal empire. Batman inspired him to become something better than he was, just as it inspired every Robin before him.’
[funny] Royal Mail Privatisation: New ‘While You Were Out’ Card Issued
… ‘Could not be delivered earlier: Because even Magaret Thatcher thought it was bonkers.’
14 October 2013
[funny] Depraved Masochist Enjoys Following The News
… more from The Onion … ‘Sources confirmed that Petrillo makes no effort whatsoever to conceal his insatiable desire for self-inflicted torment, going so far as to take pride in his familiarity with issues such as America’s distribution of wealth, the latest jobs report, what’s happening in Congress recently, and the nation’s current incarceration rate. In fact, he is reportedly not content with simple masochism, and often spreads the anguish of his knowledge to his fellow citizens. “Whenever I come across an interesting article online, I like to email it to my friends and try to get a conversation going,” said Petrillo, his voice betraying no shame.’
15 October 2013
[dailymail] Daily Mail Guidance To Staff In The 1960s
… Things have certainly changed at the Mail. ‘1. No member of the staff intrudes or is called on to intrude into private lives where no public interest is involved.’
16 October 2013
[life] Once a celebrity has been linked with a silly object, they stay connected for ever
… Can public figures be defined by ridiculous objects they stumble upon? … ‘I’ve never been convinced that Philip Larkin was right when he wrote that all that remains of us is love. After Bill Clinton is dead and gone, it’s not love that I’ll remember him for. It’s an object – and I don’t even mean that cigar that went on holiday somewhere in Monica Lewinsky’s nether regions. The object was brought to my attention in Alastair Campbell’s diaries, in a story where Tony Blair, Kevin Spacey and Bill Clinton are all sitting in a McDonald’s restaurant. In Blackpool. “So there we were,” Campbell writes, “drinking Diet Coke and eating chicken nuggets as he [Clinton] poured forth on the theme of interdependence and the role of the Third Way in progressive politics.” Obviously, it is the chicken nuggets that get me.’
18 October 2013
[apple] Did you know that the iPhone 2G is a collector’s item?
… ‘There are several examples of “new” iPhones with open boxes going for north of $600, with sealed boxes successfully selling for as much as $1,999.’
22 October 2013
[politics] Margaret Thatcher: five things you didn’t know about her
On holiday on the Islay estate of her aide Peter Morrison, Thatcher – wishing to avoid post-dinner party games – went for a nocturnal walk. Her protection officers, thinking her asleep, were in the pub, but one policeman was still on duty. Suspecting the unknown figure, in a long, hooded cloak, was an intruder, he unleashed his alsatian, who knocked Thatcher down and pinned her to the muddy turf. “The incident passed into legend among her inner circle,” writes Aitken, “with the punchline question: ‘How on earth did the dog dare?'”
23 October 2013
[science] Science For The Epic Motherfreaking Win
… a profound meditation on the glory of science … ‘Science… fuck yeah. The cool part about learning science on Facebook is that they use pictures and the words aren’t very big and you get to browse Facebook the entire time. Plus, the swearing. You can’t swear in school which is bullshit. I think I would like school a lot more if it was compacted down into meme format. Like instead of summer reading we could just look at like 10 to 20 different memes a day. Neil deGrasse Tyson for the motherepic shit win.’
24 October 2013
[funny] Lost Wormhole
… ‘Do not attempt capture because you’ll totally screw with the Space/Time Continuum Bro.’
25 October 2013
[apple] Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.
… customer support stories from Apple Stores … ‘When Apple employees are asked what they love most about their job (and they are asked often) most invariably answer “the people.” They mean their co-workers, not the customers. Because the daily expectations for customer service go beyond anywhere else in retail, only those with managerial ambitions will invoke their commitment to helping people. Some thrive on that. Others get diagnosed with PTSD. Consider that the flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is open 24 hours and has more annual foot traffic than Yankee Stadium, yet only one door. Every day, in every Apple Store, people flood to customer service, when what many truly need is therapy.’
[via Sore Eyes
28 October 2013
[funny] Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested
… more from The Onion …
Hamilton made the call to police at approximately 7:30 p.m., when she discovered that the bearded cable repairman she had let into her apartment was actually Marzano in disguise.
“Thank God he’s in custody, and this nightmarish ordeal is finally over,” said Hamilton, a single mother struggling to raise an adorable, towheaded boy all alone in the big city. “I repeatedly told him I wasn’t interested, but he just kept resorting to crazier and crazier schemes to make me fall in love with him.”
29 October 2013
[books] 12 Unpublished Novels We Wish We Could Read
… A look at unpublished novels from many notable writers. On Harper Lee’s
never seen book The Long Goodbye: ‘Lee was halfway through the followup to her Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill A Mockingbird when she just… stopped. Was it the pressure? The alcohol? Capote? No one knows. We don’t even know what the book was supposed to be about. All we know is she wanted to be the “Jane Austen of Southern Alabama,” and write “a series of novels chronicling small-town life.” She began another project in the 80s, a true crime piece about “a renegade Alabama preacher whose wives and close relatives had a nasty habit of ending up dead,” but abandoned that as well. She refuses to speak to anyone about either.’
30 October 2013
[batman] The Many Faces Of The Joker
… a nicely done animated GIF showing the many faces of the Joker in movie and television adaptations along with the actors who played him.
31 October 2013
[comics] Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Rises Again
… The Guardian reviews Gaiman and J. H. Williams III’s new Sandman comic … ‘Gaiman’s return to Sandman was always one of those idle “wouldn’t it be great?” things for me, alongside “wouldn’t it be great if they made a new Indiana Jones movie?” and “wouldn’t it be great if the Sex Pistols reformed?” Which goes to prove you should be careful what you idly ponder. The Sandman story doesn’t need more telling; Gaiman presumably doesn’t need the money. I can’t say I’d heard people clamouring for the untold story of what Dream was doing before he was captured by Roderick Burgess. Therefore there can only be one possible reason for this comic’s existence, and that has to be because it’s great.’