Sexiest Man Alive

November 26th, 2015

Mallory Ortberg reveals the fate of David Beckham, Sexiest Man Alive.

Hugh. George. Matthew. Johnny. Ryan. Bradley. Channing. Pierce. Ben. Brad. He kept these names always at the forefront of his mind, naming each one at the pace of his breath and his feet. For as long as he could remember, he had been running.

We Are Not Worthy.

[Also features a glorious sideswipe at Tom Hiddleston.]

[Via MetaFilter]

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How to Sound Design Your Life

November 8th, 2015

How to Sound Design Your Life:


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ITUNES T&C: The Graphic Novel

November 3rd, 2015

ITUNES TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The Graphic Novel is a neat implementation of a very silly idea.

I particularly like this Hellboy take on Steve Jobs (though I do find myself wondering how useful that Right Hand of Doom would be with an iPhone's touchscreen):

[Via philgyford]

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Mentos National Night

November 1st, 2015

First we had travel agents fretting about the Danish birth rate, now it appears that Mentos are worried that Singaporeans aren't doing their duty when National Day comes round.

[Via Crooked Timber]

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Galactic History, or Galactic Folk Tale?

October 28th, 2015

Max Gladstone cautions us against falling for the Great Sophont Theory of History:

FROM: Doctor Flox Beelthrak, Education Department, Corellia University
Djane Lel, Secretary of Historiography, Coruscant Teacher’s College


Your Harvest issue's cover feature ("Heroes of the Galactic Revolution: A Twenty-Year Retrospective"), however well-intentioned in its commemoration of the anniversary of our galaxy's liberation from the Palpatine Regime, indulged in and perpetuated many damaging and historically inaccurate popular fantasies.

However widespread the folk narrative of the Skywalker and Solo families has become in the decades since liberation, we expect more from a journal of your self-professed dedication to intellectual rigor.

The Great Sophont Theory of History has been deservedly discredited for decades; our galaxy's very size – millions of sentient species spread across billions of worlds – should be enough to discredit any notion its history might be shaped by the decisions of a few individuals.  What steersman could seize the wheel of such a vessel? […]

[Via Making Light]

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Application to be a (female) literary agent

October 14th, 2015

Dean Burnett's pisstake of a particulary awful job advert is pretty great:

[I…] was intrigued by a job advert for "Literary Assistant" that appeared on the Guardian Jobs page. I discovered it via the Twitter reaction to it, stemming from the fact that it was maybe the most ridiculous and borderline-creepy job advert in living memory. On Ada Lovelace day, as well. It's been taken down now, although forward-thinking internet types of course saved it for future reference.

But a scientist shouldn't be deterred by a null result, and beggars can't be choosers. I reckon I'd make a decent literary assistant, so here's my application letter.


Job Title: Literary Assistant (cum Miss Money Penny, cum Bree Van de Kamp, cum Archetypal Muse, cum Lara Croft)

I am able to meet all these (admittedly bizarre) requirements. For instance, it’s “Miss Moneypenny”, not Money Penny. See how I assist with your literary efforts already? Admittedly I don’t resemble Bree Van de Kamp but I can safely say anyone who would want me as a housewife would have to be very desperate. I may not be an “archetypal” muse but have proven very inspirational to people in the past, prompting them to come up with creative ways of saying “Why have you done this, Dean?” and “Please get out of my bins”. I have also worked with processing the dead and my lack of physical exercise means my chest is “oversized”, so I’m basically the same as Tomb Raider Lara Croft.

[Via @cstross]

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Do It for Mom

October 4th, 2015

Danish moms are being asked1 to send their adult kids on baby-making vacations:

[Via @cityofsound]

  1. Which is to say, invited by advertisements for a travel agency – there's nothing 'official' about this.

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5 mètres 80

September 7th, 2015

5 mètres 80:

C'est magnifique!

[Via Rands in Repose]

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2 Kinds of People

September 5th, 2015

No doubt about it, there definitely are 2 Kinds of People in this world.

2 Kinds of Mac Users

Me, I'm closer to the second type in terms of desktop clutter (unless you think all that Geektool output at the left of the desktop disallows me.)


[Via Daring Fireball]

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'Chains of Attestation' is a great name for a heavy metal band, but it is less practical in the real, non- Ozzy-Ozbourne-based world.

August 30th, 2015

James Mickens has some thoughts about the state of online security:

The only thing that I've ever wanted for Christmas is an automated way to generate strong yet memorable passwords. Unfortunately, large swaths of the security community are fixated on avant garde horrors such as the fact that, during solar eclipses, pacemakers can be remotely controlled with a garage door opener and a Pringles can. It's definitely unfortunate that Pringles cans are the gateway to an obscure set of Sith-like powers that can be used against the 0.002% of the population that has both a pacemaker and bitter enemies in the electronics hobbyist community. However, if someone is motivated enough to kill you by focusing electromagnetic energy through a Pringles can, you probably did something to deserve that. I am not saying that I want you dead, but I am saying that you may have to die so that researchers who study per-photon HMACs for pacemaker transmitters can instead work on making it easier for people to generate good passwords. "But James," you protest, "there are many best practices for choosing passwords!" Yes, I am aware of the "use a vivid image" technique, and if I lived in a sensory deprivation tank and I had never used the Internet, I could easily remember a password phrase like "Gigantic Martian Insect Party." Unfortunately, I have used the Internet, and this means that I have seen, heard, and occasionally paid money for every thing that could ever be imagined. I have seen a video called "Gigantic Martian Insect Party," and I have seen another video called "Gigantic Martian Insect Party 2: Don't Tell Mom," and I hated both videos, but this did not stop me from directing the sequel "Gigantic Martian Insect Party Into Darkness." Thus, it is extremely difficult for me to generate a memorable image that can distinguish itself from the seething ocean of absurdities that I store as a result of consuming 31 hours of media in each 24-hour period.

[Via Schneier on Security]

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