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 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 17, 2013
[lifehacks] 99 Life Hacks to make your life easier!
… a large collection of image macros demonstrating life hacks.
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 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 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 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 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.’
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 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 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 6, 2013
… 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 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 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 1, 2013
[religion] Mormon Flow Chart for Your Soul
… everything you wanted to know about Mormonism but were afraid to ask …
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…’
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 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 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 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 23, 2013
[blogs] Ms. Attribution
… a tumblr that mixes up historical figures with quotes and song lyrics …
April 22, 2013
[comics] Letters of Note: The Rejection Slip
… a fantastic series of correspondence from Mad Magazine and a contributor in 1963.
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.’
April 16, 2013
[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.’
[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.’
April 15, 2013
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 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.’
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.