The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing
Merrit Kopas describes a (hypothetical) Donkey Kong canon, and hypothesizes on why we are drawn to such things: "Today, achievements are ubiquitous, games can be easily pulled apart at the level of code by players to reveal their secrets, and reliable Japanese-to-English translations for all news of major titles are easy to come by—making it trivial to check the legitimacy of any claim about a released game’s actual content. But the human mind is not content to sit back and enjoy this state of affairs. If the code of games has been thoroughly mapped and catalogued, then the mind has found something more ephemeral to ponder: narrative."
game_commentary  narrative  rumor 
Review in progress: Exit Stage Left — The Snagglepuss Chronicles
This is a nice example of how to do very careful longform comics criticism
comics_commentary  bad_reviews 
Instead of Power | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
"In The Force Awakens between Rey and Finn, and now much more in The Last Jedi, we see relationships where friends hold each other accountable, where people share their pain and confront their moral failings together."
relationships  science_fiction  power  women  media_commentary 
A Kingdom from Dust — The California Sunday Magazine
Mark Arax: "I’m headed to the valley’s deep south, to a little farmworker town in a far corner of Kern County called Lost Hills. This is where the biggest irrigated farmer in the world — the one whose mad plantings of almonds and pistachios have triggered California’s nut rush — keeps on growing, no matter drought or flood. He doesn’t live in Lost Hills. He lives in Beverly Hills. How has he managed to outwit nature for so long?"
california  infrastructure  longform  2018_mixbook_contender 
7 days ago
Where Millennials Come From | The New Yorker
Jia Tolentino on Jean Twenge, Malcolm Harris, and millennial anxiety
anxiety  adolescents 
8 days ago
Department Stores Are Basically the Reason Women Were Allowed in Public - Racked
"Not only did these palaces get women outside the house, but they also employed them. Crisp-bloused, young white women made up the majority of the staff, mainly because the men in three-piece suits no longer fit into how women shopped. Many shoppers came in for no other reason than for the fun of being tempted — they wanted to play and dream, and needed someone who understood the language. Because of that, these stores became, in the words of Boston department store owner Edward Filene, an 'Adam-less Eden.'"
the_past  women 
8 days ago
Ambient at 40: Lawrence English examines the future of a drifting genre
Good piece, and includes an interesting manifesto--"12 notes towards a future ambient"
music_commentary  future 
8 days ago
Celeste stresses me out, and that calms me down - Polygon
"Tough games like Celeste are a safe space — which may seem ironic, considering their intensity — in which I know that there are rules to follow, and the context of the situation provides hints about what to do next. Even if a game is designed to be hard, it’s also designed to be beaten. "
8 days ago
La Monte Young: The Well-Tuned Piano Album Review | Pitchfork
Marc Masters: "Despite the piece’s staggering reputation, there is at least one simple idea at its heart: Specific sounds can create specific feelings. Young came upon this idea through his obsession with “just intonation,” the tuning system on which he based the composition. Most pianos are “well-tempered,” meaning each note is slightly off-center so that all 12 musical keys can be played. Young’s version of just intonation, by contrast, is more exact, with the intervals between each string following rigid whole number ratios. It’s difficult to tune a piano this precisely, which is why the process starts well in advance of the performance, and why Young usually plays on specially-modified pianos. As he put it, “The manner in which I play the piece, and how well, is directly inspired by the nature of the tuning.” // But the goal of “The Well-Tuned Piano” is less technical precision than emotional expansion. “It seems to me that each harmonically related interval creates its own unique feeling,” Young says in his box set notes. “Through this system we can, first, catalogue each feeling with its corresponding rational number, and then actually create, store, and retrieve, and finally and most importantly, repeat the feeling, relative to the musician’s ability to tune the intervals.” Even further, because “The Well-Tuned Piano” uses novel and rarely-heard intervals, it could potentially upend conventional notions of which emotions different keys produce. Young suggests it could even induce feelings that have never before been felt in response to music.
music_commentary  minimalism  emotions  to_hear 
8 days ago
Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious? - The New York Times
Plants may have consciousness, and (as a buried lede) we don't know why many forms of anesthetics work: "Researchers already knew that anesthetics with different chemical structures or elements all seem to halt pain, consciousness or activity in plants and animals — even bacteria. But how they render us unconscious or how so many different kinds physically act on the human nervous system still elude us after more than a century of use. "
consciousness  biology 
8 days ago
How to Pay Attention
A (very good) syllabus by Nick Seaver
8 days ago
Could Self-Driving Trucks Be Good for Truckers? - The Atlantic
"The impact that self-driving trucks would have on trucking jobs *seemed* obvious to people typing up reports on computers about the industry: Of course, self-driving trucks would mean less truckers. But what’s clear from the trucking-industry experts is that there is a lot about the job and the industry that has not been adequately captured in the studies that predict a job apocalypse. Or as the Western States Trucking Association’s Rajkovacz, who drove a truck for nearly 30 years, says, 'I got more time sitting on the shitter in a truck stop than these people have spent driving trucks.'"
business_commentary  future  transportation 
8 days ago
Will Zadie Smith Ever Feel Free?
"Across dozens of essays spanning about a decade’s activity (roughly congruent, she points out, with the Obama administration), we recognize a stable persona: a liberal, middle-class, middle-aged citizen of London and New York (with a two-year sojourn spent in Rome); a devoted mother, daughter, and wife interested in reflecting on those roles while protective of her own and her family’s privacy; a committed novelist and student of the history of the novel, somewhat apprehensive about her engagement with other art forms."
8 days ago
Vito Acconci’s Library | Frieze
" Acconci's system begins with general ontological categories – such as ‘Time’, ‘Space’, ‘Matter’, ‘Body’, ‘Life,’ ‘Mind’ and ‘Signs’ (there are 12 such categories in all) – which then proceed to sub-divide into more particular divisions and sections. By giving primacy to the ontological over the bibliographic, Acconci’s system does away with many library classification conventions. For instance, fiction and poetry are not treated as related genres of writing and thus placed within range of each other. Instead, novels are placed in a subset of ‘Time’ (‘fiction is about turning pages, it’s about time,’ according to Acconci) while poetry is classified as a subset of ‘Body,’ along with books on dance, music and clothing – perhaps reflecting Acconci’s own early evolution from poet to performance artist. Art and architecture books are also not assumed to share a common heritage and therefore assigned proximate shelf space. Instead, architecture books belong to a subset of ‘Space,’ while art books are classified as a subset of ‘Matter.’"
8 days ago
Features - Reverse Shot
Nick Pinkerton's four-part appreciation of "Twin Peaks: The Return": "It was a reminder, if needed, that 'cinema'—as defined as a thoughtful articulation of time and space in light and sounds and moving images in which every decision shows the imprint of a presiding creative intellect—can be found outside of the designated places we’re supposed to experience cinema."
12 days ago
The Selling of Katie Roiphe
"By making Katie Roiphe the new celebrity feminist, the Times aimed to create the illusion of being on the cutting edge of sexual politics. Its discovery and single-handed championing of this latest variety of feminism may have ostensibly served to “further debate,” but it actually did little more than prop up the Times‘ long-standing opposition to feminism’s more radical strains. Coming out of the mouth of a young, self-proclaimed feminist, the idea that date rape is the product of young women’s hysteria had legitimacy."
feminism  fuckwits 
15 days ago
Makin' Stuff in Los Angeles
A "maker/hacker/artist/weirdo map" made by @robdeadtech
california  city  city_guides  maps 
15 days ago
Wikipedia:Long-term abuse - Wikipedia
Sample: "Inserts random images of ceiling fans into any articles, and even links to videos of them."
15 days ago
My Woody Allen Problem - The New York Times
A. O. Scott reassesses Woody Allen's body of work, and his own relationship to it: "His self-deprecation was a tactic, a feint, a rope-a-dope, and he was plagued less by the frustration of his desires than by their fulfillment. As soon as the heart got what it wanted, it wanted something else. What impressionable, heterosexual, unathletic adolescent boy would not want a piece of that action? [...] underneath the neurosis and the shrugging, stammering self-directed put-downs was a powerful sense of entitlement. The Woody Allen figure in a Woody Allen movie is almost always in transit from one woman to another, impelled by a dialectic of enchantment, disappointment and reawakened desire. The rejected women appear shrewish, needy, shallow or boring. Their replacements, at least temporarily, are earnest, sensuous, generous and, more often than not, younger and less worldly than their predecessors. For a very long time, this was taken not as a self-serving fantasy but as a token of honesty, or freedom from sentimental conceptions of domestic love."
men  media_commentary  relationships  privilege 
15 days ago
derek beaulieu, isostatisk landhöjning – Timglaset
isostatisk landhöjning is a visual poem of staggering proportions. This swirling, dynamic composition made of Letraset debris measures 80 x 20 cm (31,5″ x 7,9″).

In derek beaulieu’s own words:

"isostatisk landhöjning is the Swedish phrase for the post-glacial scraping and land-forming which results in the geography of northern countries (Canada and Sweden for example); this scraping results in inlets, small lakes and crenelated coastlines. This piece metaphorically scrapes the surface of writing, leaving behind the islands and coastlines of littered text; deposits left behind as meaning recedes"
visual_poetry  wishlist 
15 days ago
The Nazi Sites of Los Angeles | The New Yorker
A Nazi compound ruin can be found above the Pacific Palisades
points_of_interest  california 
15 days ago
Slut-Shaming She-Hulk | The Middle Spaces
A second She-Hulk appreciation post, this one focusing on an authorial misstep: "In fall of 2014 I wrote a long post about Dan Slott’s She-Hulk and what it did right in using her self-awareness as a way to comment on the treatment of her sexuality. However, I also wrote about how it fails by recapitulating the problematic transformation of her sexual desire into a running joke"
comics_commentary  sexuality 
15 days ago
YouTube could be amazing if Google cared enough to make it so - Polygon
"YouTube contains huge swaths of information, but no one at Google seems particularly concerned with policing the algorithm to allow you to watch things that are helpful without being sucked into extremism. A tutorial is given the same weight as a polemic — or possibly even less weight, since people will sit and watch rants more readily than see someone explain how to do something. "
zeitgeist  internet  depressing  attention 
15 days ago
Shop the Alchemical Symbols Collection
"All of our alchemy symbols are avaialable on shirts, hoodies, and a variety of other items like throw pillows and iPhone cases" :)
design  wishlist  fashion  magic  alchemy 
16 days ago
Dal Tokyo – HiLobrow
“Dal Tokyo is an unimaginable, absurd city whose sidewalks and alleys are crowded with punks, aliens, mutants, Sepaloids, Cubist girls, and adorable manga characters”
comics_commentary  to_read 
20 days ago
Rebis Records: Celestial Attunement | Gapers Block Transmission
Somehow I'd forgotten this nice deep dive into the Rebis discography (written a decade ago)
me  drone  rebis_stuff 
20 days ago
Amazon.com : Zafu Meditation Cushion - Yoga - Multiple Colors, Sizes and Fabrics - Organic Buckwheat Fill - Made in USA : Yoga Blocks : Sports & Outdoors
MetaFilter: "Buckwheat filled zafus. They're not just for meditation any more. We have a couple on our couch and use them as adhoc adjustable armrests, foot rests, and even couch napping pillows. But that's not all! Their loose mold-ability and insulating powers make them great lap desks for laptops, TV trays for holding a hot plate in your lap, and great book stands for hands free reading."
22 days ago
Help me upgrade the quality of my life for 100 bucks? - shopping qualityoflife purchase | Ask MetaFilter
Ask MetaFilter: "What could I buy with 100 USD that would improve my happiness and quality of life?"
22 days ago
Amazon.com - BLACK+DECKER Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum
I'm always disappointed with dustpans so maybe it's time to upgrade to this? Unit number CHV1410L 16V
tools  wishlist 
22 days ago
OUTLIER Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt
A high-end warm base layer T-shirt ($110)
22 days ago
No One Knows Why This Tweet Went Viral - Motherboard
On H: "If you have no idea what’s going on, that’s the point."
memetics  zeitgeist  internet  humor 
22 days ago
It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech | WIRED
Zeynep Tufecki: "By this point, we’ve already seen enough to recognize that the core business model underlying the Big Tech platforms—harvesting attention with a massive surveillance infrastructure to allow for targeted, mostly automated advertising at very large scale—is far too compatible with authoritarianism, propaganda, misinformation, and polarization. The institutional antibodies that humanity has developed to protect against censorship and propaganda thus far—laws, journalistic codes of ethics, independent watchdogs, mass education—all evolved for a world in which choking a few gatekeepers and threatening a few individuals was an effective means to block speech."
internet  rhetoric  liberty  surveillance  2018_mixbook_contender 
25 days ago
Sharper Image — Real Life
Rina Nkulu: "The r/MaleFashion and r/streetwear subreddits are dotted with Imgur links to “inspo” albums; /fa/ houses a myriad of threads that classify, seek to classify, and provide inspiration for endless looks, along with questions about what is “/fa/” and what’s not — its definition is never fixed, entirely dependent on the opinions of strangers, and meant to look like the opposite: intuitive, immutable."
fashion  internet 
25 days ago
Akwaeke Emezi: “‘I’ve never heard of anyone like this,’ the surgeon told me.
He was an old white man who had performed many surgeries on trans patients, from breast augmentations to double mastectomies. ‘Male to female, female to male, fine. But this in-between thing?’”
25 days ago
The Rising Pressure of the #MeToo Backlash
Jia Tolentino: “I have been confused by the tone of all of these pieces, which seem far more inflamed, over-generalized, and fatalistic than the relentlessly nuanced and self-interrogative essays that have actually delineated #MeToo. At the center of this discussion about discussion, there is a question: What are the parameters in which we should hold people responsible for more extreme versions of their behavior? “
men  women  feminism  2018_mixbook_contender 
26 days ago
What’s in an egg? - The Boston Globe
"the FDA does not have a definition and 'standard of identity' for the word 'egg' in its regulations."
26 days ago
Waiting for the Weekend - The Atlantic
"It was not unusual for sporting events, fairs, and other celebrations to last several days. Since Sunday was always an official holiday, usually the days following were added on. This produced a regular custom of staying away from work on Monday, frequently doing so also on Tuesday, and then working long hours at the end of the week to catch up. Among some trades the Monday holiday achieved what amounted to an official status. Weavers and miners, for example, regularly took a holiday on the Monday after payday—--which occurred weekly, on Friday or Saturday. This practice became so common that it was called 'keeping Saint Monday.'"
the_past  work 
27 days ago
History of Laundry-After 1800
"By the end of the century there were plenty of wrapped bars of commercial, branded laundry soap sold at moderate prices. To mix up a lather, you could grate flakes off the bar of soap, or even buy ready-made soap flakes in a box. Soap powder had been known for a few decades, and from about 1880 it was quite widely available."
27 days ago
How Gorogoa's puzzles were designed | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
“Gorogoa is a game about fitting things together. Fitting a detail in one image with a detail in another and see how it produces something new. ... Gorogoa is also a game about linking things together. You draw relationships between images and find them leading into and influencing wider themes.”
videogames  to_play 
27 days ago
Donald Trump Is the First White President - The Atlantic
Coates: Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.
race  class  power  politics  government  2018_mixbook_contender 
27 days ago
The Intimate Life of Violence - Los Angeles Review of Books
Elaine Scarry, interviewed about torture, nuclear weapons, and the enduring power of the humanities. "Because certain aspects of the world are so starkly wrong, it is easy to see how the world can be changed for the better. (If the world were wrong in some intricate or obscure way, we would be in much less trouble but it might be harder to sort out what needs to be changed.)"
ethics  interviews  power  torture  violence  warfare 
28 days ago
Mario Batali and the Appetites of Men | The New Yorker
Helen Rosner: "Hunger and lust are twin evolutionary urges, and Batali is hardly the first to find them intertwined. Both offer intensely intimate, intensely physical rewards. Both are classically disdained—the two pleasures, according to Plato, that a true philosopher should forsake. But, even if food and sex partner well, they do not occupy the same plane of experience."
men  sexuality  power  violence 
28 days ago
The Kids Aren’t Alright | Dissent Magazine
Natasha Lennard reviews Malcolm Harris' "Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials"
28 days ago
Moira Donegan: I Started the Media Men List
"The spreadsheet only had the power to inform women of allegations that were being made and to trust them to judge the quality of that information for themselves and to make their own choices accordingly. This, too, is still seen as radical: the idea that women are skeptical, that we can think and judge and choose for ourselves what to believe and what not to."
women  men  feminism  zeitgeist  2018_mixbook_contender 
28 days ago
Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program - The New York Times
"Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes. In addition, researchers spoke to military service members who had reported sightings of strange aircraft."
oddities  aliens  government  crypto 
28 days ago
The Madness of King Donald | New Republic
Jacob Bacharach: "The president poses a problem that has vexed royal courts for millennia: What to do about a tyrant who has lost his wits?"
mental_illness  politics 
29 days ago
I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter – The Everywhereist
Geraldine DeRuiter: "Most women don’t even need to hear the shitty comments made to us anymore. We’ve heard them so many times, we can create our own."
women  feminism 
29 days ago
Aziz, We Tried to Warn You - The New York Times
The history of the affirmative consent movement, concisely and trenchantly presented by Lindy West
feminism  women  men  sexuality 
29 days ago
The 29 Stages Of A Twitterstorm In 2018
"14. Then suddenly there are Nazis everywhere."
zeitgeist  internet 
29 days ago
"INVISIBLE LIGHT is the complete 78 card tarot deck translated through photographs by Brandy Eve Allen"
magic  wishlist  photography 
4 weeks ago
Coates and West in Jackson | Boston Review
Begins with the Coates / West fray, and ends with the people of Jackson, Mississippi, "who have built the country’s most radical movement, mobilized new forms of political participation, and elected a people’s government committed to building a socialist commonwealth" [!]
race  america 
4 weeks ago
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing on Vimeo
"'The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories."
videos  fashion  future  business_commentary 
4 weeks ago
From the makers of "Ugly Furniture"
videos  humor 
5 weeks ago
A culinary historian’s surprising account of Boston restaurants through time - The Boston Globe
"[Young's Hotel] had an a la carte menu of the day where they had 27 oyster dishes, 14 clam dishes, 24 soups you could order, 38 salads, 27 preparations of sweetbreads, and 57 steak dishes. How could they put out 57 different steak dishes? That’s crazy. They also had pig’s feet and crackers and milk. Other hotels had similar menus in 1910. The idea back then was to blow your mind with choice."
the_past  food  boston_area 
5 weeks ago
Why Rupi Kaur and Her Peers Are the Most Popular Poets in the World - The New York Times
A guarded appreciation of Rupi Kaur (& her kin) as a "young adult subgenre" of poetry
6 weeks ago
“A Field of Strangeness”: Anna Kavan’s “Ice” and the Merits of World-Blocking - Los Angeles Review of Books
"The world Kavan builds is less a realistic 3-D model of a universe than what might be called “a field of strangeness,” walled off not merely by the ice of the title, but by the concealment (and revelation, always the dance between the two) of the author. It is a work of 'world-blocking' rather than conventional 'world-building.'"
fantastic_literature  book_commentary  world-building 
6 weeks ago
Never Get Off The Boat | Brendan C. Byrne
Brendan C. Byrne at the Baffler: "[T]he Seasteading Institute’s tactic of slow detachment of the nation state suggests it wants a high-tech, luxury utopia for millionaire-innovators, whose whims can be seen to by a captive workforce. Instead of the barren platform of the slightly infamous micronation Sealand, the Institute offers us just another shitty Special Economic Zone. Thus, the globalist, corrupt institutions which libertarians despise are utterly necessary for the creation of their successor. "
6 weeks ago
Female Gaze: Lana Del Rey, I Love Dick, And The Love Witch - MTV
Meaghan Garvey: "That void between fantasy and reality, I think, is the real setting for Del Rey’s and [Anna] Biller’s respective work — a dreamy, self-constructed universe that reconciles the romantic optimism of a young woman’s expectations with the unfulfilling realities of female existence."
women  media_commentary 
6 weeks ago
Meet Oscar Olsson, the Man Behind H&M’s New Millennial Brand
I'm looking for examples of "shocks" that businesses are working to accomodate; this guy from H&M is putting his finger on one of them: “In this future society, as any brand or any kind of provider of anything, you need to embrace the fact that the power is not in your hands,” Olsson declared. “The power has shifted to what we call tribes.”
business_commentary  fashion  subculture 
6 weeks ago
Step Style - YouTube
Alan Lomax film focusing "on leg and foot movements in dance and their relation to cultural patterns, work movements, and sports." Guy who posted it remarks "don't own any rights, just found a VHS copy in a garbage can near a pre columbian museum in Santiago de Chile"
dance  body  sports  videos 
6 weeks ago
Alan Lomax and the Temple of Movement | Limn
"Lomax had begun to notice eerie changes in the way people across the planet moved their bodies, observing in particular the seeming omnipresence of the 'the head-back, chest-out, erect posture of the North European elite.' Scholars in the new field of kinesics had found that human beings 'respond below the level of awareness to the movement patterns they encounter,' and he warned that the global media was in the process of invading humanity’s very bones and sinews. Soon, even the denizens of the world’s most remote forests would be striding like stiff-necked London bankers. Lomax predicted that the consequences of this transformation would be profound and devastating, ranging from individual emotional pain to the wholesale destruction of embodied cultural knowledge. His solution? A massive archive of movement."
archive  dance  body 
6 weeks ago
Argument Champion
A game requiring you to speedily navigate network maps of related concepts
language  videogames 
6 weeks ago
Chicago Pedway System
The little-known ins and outs of the Chicago Pedway system
maps  chicago  urbex 
6 weeks ago
One Year After Trump’s Election, Revisiting “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” | The New Yorker
Masha Gessen reconsiders her suggestions for surviving the Trump years (which ran in NYRB immediately after the elections)
authority  totalitarianism  politics 
7 weeks ago
Scollay Square - Wikipedia
Major city square in Boston, destroyed in the 1950s to make Government Center
the_past  boston_area 
7 weeks ago
Bioregionalism – Daniel Christian Wahl – Medium
Introduction to the concept of "bioregionalism": "The intellectual roots of bioregional thinking lie with Patrick Geddes who in the early 20th Century call for designing cities within the bio-geographical context of their providing region. Lewis Mumford spread Geddes’ ideas in the USA and through Ian McHarg the bioregional approach inspired a civic movement on the US West coast lead by Raymond Dasman, Peter Berg, Kirkpatrick Sale and the poet Gary Snyder."
biology  ecology  nature  place 
7 weeks ago
A Stove Less Ordinary
A blog on nineteenth-century stove history
7 weeks ago
have a holly jolly crisis
A compilation of Christmas vines
vines  humor  videos 
9 weeks ago
Actually, How Donald Trump Eats His Steak Matters - Eater
Helen Rosner: "A person who refuses to try something better is a person who will never make things good."
2017_mixbook_contender  food  politics  knowledge  fuckwits 
11 weeks ago
Bioregional Animism Questions
"Years ago, came across a post on a website which had questions related to how knowledgeable one was to their local region. (The list was called “Bioregional Quiz: Re-Indigenize Yourself Project“ for anyone interested.) "
knowledge  infrastructure  ecology  nature 
november 2017
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