Poshest. Things. Ever!

February 7th, 2014

The 28 Poshest Things That Have Ever Happened.

Assuming that it's not a Photoshop job, they left the worst until last:

28. And this velvet-covered Porsche

Velvet-covered Porsche

Why would you do that to a poor, defenceless car? Why?!?

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

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Small and Perfectly Formed

February 7th, 2014

Gary Card's illustrations of every Prince hair style from 1978 to 2013 are very cute. Downright hypnotic, even:

[Via kottke.org]

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The first 15 years or so of life are just tutorial missions, which suck. There's no way to skip these.

February 5th, 2014

Life is a game. This is your strategy guide:

Your Character

I never was much good at games.

[Via Tao of Mac]

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Kitestring

February 5th, 2014

It's sad to think that something like Kitestring is necessary, but if such a thing is needed then it might as well be as straightforward as this:

Taking a walk?
Walking solo at night can be unsafe. But when you must go out alone, let us know your ETA.

Check in with us
We'll send you a text message when your trip is over. Just reply to let us know you made it.

Stay connected
If you don't reply, we'll send your emergency contacts a customizable alert message.

[Via One Thing Well]

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Much as your mind is screaming, 'Go for it!' it is definitely not okay to have a strategy session with Chloë.

February 4th, 2014

From McSweeney's: Son, It's Time We Talk About Where Start-Ups Come From.

[...] I realize it's awkward, discussing these adult matters with your father, but have your buddies asked you to join a start-up? Be honest – Dad knows the HTML. Seriously, have you already started a start-up in the attic? I see you moved the family computer up there.

I want you to know I love you, even if you've experimented with JavaScript or started wooing venture capitalists. I'm just worried. [...]

[Via Pop Loser]

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Periodic Table of Storytelling

February 1st, 2014

James R Harris has constructed a Periodic Table of Storytelling and it is awesome.1

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

  1. Warning: contains links to TVTropes. Do not follow that link if you had plans to get anything important done in the next three hours.

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Breaking Madden

January 31st, 2014

The Super Bowl, in which the machine bleeds to death:

Over the course of the season, I've discovered lots of different ways to hack Madden NFL 25 into a thing that no longer resembles football as we know it. I've played around with rules, injury settings, all manner of player ratings, player dimensions, and anything else the game's developers have made available to us.

This time is special, though, because I'm pulling out every single one of the stops at the same time. No other scenario I've built in Madden has been so abjectly cruel or unfair; no other scenario has even been close. […]

The GIFs, the GIFs…

[Via kottke.org]

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A**h*l* Reality, more like

January 30th, 2014

I'm fairly sure the Infinity Augmented Reality Concept Video is a spoiler operation, secretly backed by Microsoft or Apple or some other Google rival to turn the public against the very idea of augmented reality. I mean, Infinity AR can't seriously believe that this is an appealing vision of the world five years from now, can they?

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Thomas Friedman Clogged My Toilet

January 27th, 2014

I'm pretty sure I read Justin Erik Halldór Smith's Thomas Friedman Clogged My Toilet a couple of years ago, but as far as I can tell I didn't post about it. It's long past time that I rectified that omission:

It is not for nothing that some years ago I sought out a home with a semi-secret 1/2-bath in the basement, for who has not at some point been at a social gathering, and preferred to reabsorb rank toxins through the intestinal walls, rather than to risk, by the emanation of one's own stench even through a closed bathroom door, being found out as a defecator? This, I've long believed, has been the key to my reputation as a host.

[Via homunculus, commenting at MetaFilter]

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Who needs the NSA?

January 27th, 2014

What a brand knows…

The question is, would your privacy fare much better if you were logging in to Google+ or Twitter instead? And if so, would that be because those networks were being less intrusive on a point of principle, or just because they haven't yet persuaded you to hand over quite as much information about yourself?1

[Via Extenuating Circumstances]

  1. Your social network's customers, don't forget, being not you the user but the marketing executives who want your details to help them sell things to you.

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Tintypes

January 25th, 2014

Photographer Victoria Will shot some old-style tintype portraits of some of the actors attending this year's Sundance festival. Some people look like they'd fit right in to the mid-19th century:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

My other favourites in the Esquire-hosted slideshow are Maggie Gyllenhaal1, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe with Rachel McAdams, and Anne Hathaway. Also Nick Cave.2

Victoria Will's own site has some more of her Sundance tintypes.

[Via kottke.org]

  1. Crazy eyes!
  2. But then, when does he not look like someone right at home in the 19th century.

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The Silmarillion Project

January 22nd, 2014

Dresden Codak artist Aaron Diaz has a new side project, designing the characters for a (sadly nonexistent) cartoon adaptation of The Silmarillion. If you're partial to his style (as I am) this is pure eye candy.

Take, for example, this illustration of Melkor and Ungoliant looking down on Telperion and Laurelin, the Two Trees that lit the Land of the Valar:

Silmarillion Chapter 8: Of The Darkening of Valinor

But now on the mountain-top dark Ungoliant lay; and she made a ladder of woven ropes and cast it down, and Melkor climbed upon it and came to that high place, and stood beside her, looking down upon the Guarded Realm.

…Then Melkor laughed aloud, and leapt swiftly, and leapt swiftly down the western slopes; and Ungoliant was at his side, and her darkness covered them.

Melkor and Ungoliant

Lovely work, best viewed full size at the the author's site.

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QFT

January 19th, 2014

From the bash.org Quote Database:

<Aoi-chan> everyone's first vi session.

^C^C^X^X^X^XquitqQ!qdammit[esc]qwertyuiopasdfghjkl;:xwhat

[Via Ivan Fyodorovich, commenting at MetaFilter]

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Cute Animals. Bad Dates.

January 18th, 2014

Cute Animals. Bad Dates.

These are actual quotes taken from online dating profiles and Craigslist personal ads. Brought to you by cute animals, because that makes everything that much better.

[Via metamedia]

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The Time Travel Mart

January 15th, 2014

The Time Travel Mart in Echo Park caters for travellers from all eras:

Be careful with that 'fire' stuff...

There's even an online store to cater for the needs of those of us not able to get to LA.1

[Via fuck yeah, science fiction!]

  1. Confused? This Atlas Obscura article explains all.

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Watch her eyes…

January 12th, 2014

Confused little girl meets her father's twin for the first time:

Adorable.

[Via MetaFilter]

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Glass, Darkly

January 12th, 2014

Theodore Ross is sceptical about the benefits Google Glass promises to bring us one day:

Sergey Brin put forth this rationale last February in a TED conference presentation during which he compared Glass to a smartphone and suggested that the head-lowered gaze was somehow emasculating. "We all use these touch phones, which you can't even feel," he said. (Not sure what he meant by that, but hey, who's the visionary? Not me.) "Is this what you were meant to do with your body?" Brin claimed that they had tried "to make something that frees your hands [and] frees your eyes" – the ocular freedom being achieved by putting "the display up high, you know, out of your line of sight."

When you hear Brin speaking in these terms, best check your wallet. Likewise, when Genevieve Bell, Intel's in-house anthropologist (known as their Director of Interaction and Experience), goes on NPR to describe a future smartphone that will direct her past the coffee shop she's gone looking for and into a museum to view a "piece of art…like nothing [she's] ever seen before," I resist. I don't see that future as a totalitarian vision so much as one built on the exploitation of laziness and busyness, the fatigue of work and children, the stress of bills. It doesn't harm so much as transform, devolving us into a pack of boring stooges who can't decide whether we want a coffee or an epiphany-generating aesthetic experience.

In all fairness, it's entirely possible that by the time Google Glass is a reasonably-priced piece of hardware rather than a really, really expensive beta product Google, Intel and their competitors will have worked out what ordinary people really want to use wearable technology for. I'm pretty sure that being deluged with ads1 isn't it.

  1. Sorry, that's "Opportunities to view a piece of art like nothing we've ever seen before." If we can pick them out amongst all the exhortations from local shops to take advantage of their latest sale offer, designed just for us.

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The Scale of the Universe 2

January 12th, 2014

The Scale of the Universe 2. Best viewed in full screen mode.

[Via Astronomy Picture of the Day]

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How Britain exported next-generation surveillance

January 9th, 2014

James Bridle on How Britain exported next-generation surveillance. Good, but depressing.

As is often the case when it comes to governments and surveillance technologies, the problem isn't so much the technology itself as it is a reluctance on the part of officials to explain how the data gathered is being used, beyond a bland assertion that all relevant laws and guidelines are being followed. Plus, of course, mission creep on every possible front.

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Simon Hoggart

January 6th, 2014

Today's Guardian commemorated the passing of their parliamentary sketch writer Simon Hoggart by reprinting some of his finer moments. I always liked Hoggart best when he turned his attention to some of the less consequential figures From the back benches:

"Does Sir Peter Tapsell actually exist? I ask the question following his own question – nay, speech – on Wednesday, which was magnificent. It could have been a pastiche of the perfect Tapsell address.

I imagined his words being carved into tablets of polished black basalt, mounted in the British Museum, etched dee

p so that even the partially sighted can feel their way to his eternal wisdom.

Possibly Sir Peter is a mass thought form, created by Tory MPs, for whom he recalls their party as it used to be, and Labour MPs, who wish that it still was. Certainly it is true that the whole House looks forward keenly, yearningly, to his every word.

When the Father of the House arose in the middle of prime minister's questions, a great throb of excitement ran along all benches, rather like the moment in a Victorian seance when the eerie manifestation of a dead Red Indian appeared above the fireplace. This moment of glee was followed, as it always is, by a hushed and expectant silence."

- 14 September 2011

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