Things Lance Storm Dislikes
Well, at least he’s honest! #   ·

How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet
Brilliant! Derren Brown would be proud. #   ·

McDaids Football Special: An oral history of the Donegal delicacy
I’ve never been to Donegal, so I’d never even heard of this, let alone tried it. Obviously I’m on a mission now. #   ·

Guardian readers’ recipe swap: Sandwiches
Some lovely picnic/lunch ideas here. Speaking of lunch: here’s a primer on grain salads and how to make them. And while I’m at it, a veggie burger recipe that comes recommended by Tom. #   ·

Ambient space sounds playlist
AKA Kottke goes drone. #   ·


A database for Lego sets, modern and historic alike. Oh my. #   ·


My Thumped review of Into the Storm
I’m gonna start linking my latest reviews here as they go up, starting with this one. Don’t know why I didn’t before; how silly of me. #   ·


Money in the Bank
On big time wrestling’s problem with labour. A good time to post this considering I’m watching SummerSlam right now. #   ·

Freelancing Sucks
It’s a slightly different experience in the US, but yeah: as a business, it does. #   ·

How to Be Polite
Paul Ford is one of the great under-sung short form writers. This is just another great example, when he’s as much practical as entertaining. #   ·

The New York Times on ‘The Rise of Beefcake Yoga’
I’ve been meaning to get in on the DDP Yoga thing for a while, because I’ve seen the results. #   ·

The Dummies’ Guide To Cosplay Photography in 2014
There’s a lot here about cosplay specifically but it’s also about the ethics and etiquette of public photography and behaviour in general, questions of which are often misunderstood on both sides. That some of this shit has to be explained might beggar belief, but there you go. #   ·


Doctor Who to Sherlock: TV franchises now have such devoted followings that casual viewers are alienated
The headline maybe overstates things a tad, but I’m very much behind the notion that ‘fan service’ — which Mark Lawson identifies in other words on his Guardian blog — can make for an impenetrable, elitist experience. Compare with the likes of Star Trek’s various series, or even a show like The West Wing, which all come with rich backstories that colour in every episode, especially in their later series, but aren’t difficult to get into at any stage; indeed, they encourage watching what came before as a pleasure, not a chore like revising for an exam. Fuck, even compare Sherlock with its far superior American counterpart Elementary. It’s a balance, but TV writers seem to be finding it harder to strike, more so I think since the likes of Battlestar Galactica (which seems to be praised as much as derided for its deliberately labyrinthine plotting). #   ·

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
Breaking down the streaming service’s thousands of micro-genres. Which is obviously interesting and great and all, but sometimes you just want to see what’s new, like we did browsing the ‘new releases’ shelves at the video store years ago, and Netflix doesn’t really cater for that. Thankfully there are third party sites that do, but that adds an extra layer that shouldn’t be necessary. #   ·

What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us?
Errol Morris has this theories; too much for me to unpack here in a pithy sentence or paragraph. #   ·


Cult films: just bad movies in a good disguise?
I can’t get with Queenan over Big Trouble in Little China (I just bought it on Blu-ray!) but he makes a good general point that cult films “are neither as bad as the general public and critics said they were upon their initial release, nor as good as their fans maintain.” He’s also spot-on about certain films being released in the wrong place at the wrong time (but you could say that about most ‘world cinema’). #   ·

Flip Your Wig: Bob Mould’s Favourite Albums
Has Mould softened a bit since his autobiography came out? He seems a lot more gregarious here, talking about the records that inspire him. (Also, kinda hilarious that one of his faves is a record by the Foo Fighters, who are basically the world’s most successful latter-day Hüsker Dü cover band.) #   ·

Everything You Need to Get Back Into Judge Dredd Comics
I used to read the Dredd newspaper strips; even in that short format it’s thrilling stuff. I think I’ll be looking for that Case Files collection in the library. #   ·


The Case for Reparations
Ta-Nehisi Coates states the facts, which alone make an argument that’s impossible to deny, in this authoritative essay for The Atlantic. #   ·


Allez Cuisine! A MetaFilter user has compiled nearly every episode of the original Iron Chef
And it’s a glorious, glorious thing. #   ·

Raymond Pettibon: punk with a pencil
Every now and then Raymond Pettibon gets rediscovered, and I can’t complain. See also: Pettibon interviewed by Kim Gordon #   ·

Every Irish Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Bet you didn’t know about most of these. #   ·


UK’s concerned clowns call for end to copycat crime wave
Argh! Attack of the Clown Trolls! #   ·

Handleband: a universal smartphone bar mount for bicycles
I want one of these. #   ·

The Death of the Blog, Again, Again
At some point in the coming years, blogging will become cool again thanks to the hipsters, and then it really will be dead! #   ·

mental_floss on the restored original cut of The Dark Crystal
No longer on YouTube at the request of The Jim Henson Company. Which is a shame, unless they make it a DVD/Blu-ray extra or something down the line. #   ·


On Smarm
First there was snark, the “hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt”; bullshit criticism of anything that doesn’t fit one’s own flimsily constructed worldview. But as Gawker’s Tom Scocca posits, it’s a reaction to smarm, an equally odious posture of self-satisfaction; the notion of being above criticism of any kind, which is built on similarly shoddy foundations. Both are as smug, selfish and ignorant as each other. #   ·

No girls allowed
Or, how the mainstreaming of the video game industry reinforced gender stereotyping. First there was this: “Knowing that you have limited funding, you can’t just market shotgun. You can’t just go after anybody,” says [marketing firm president] Rodger Roeser. “You need to have a very clearly differentiated and specific brand because that’s going to play into where you’re running your ads and what kind of ads you run. That niche-ing, that targeting makes it easier for marketers to have a very succinct conversation with their target without overspending and trying to reach everybody.” That led to this: “The industry did the math. Companies like Nintendo aggressively sought out people who played their games … Publishers traveled to cities, held tournaments and got to see firsthand who was playing their games … The numbers were in: More boys were playing video games than girls. Video games were about to be reinvented.” And somehow that got written in stone, and society at large has simply accepted it without question. Which says a lot about us, quite frankly. #   ·

Nick Southall on criticism
A different take on the matter than Simon Price’s piece but similarly thought-provoking. Myself, I try to approach things as a fan first and foremost, and go with my head where my gut leads me; it helps me avoid the kind of ‘decision fatigue’ Rumaan Alam writes about in The Firehose of Certainty. #   ·

Jonathan Lethem on the subversive power of comics and science fiction
I like Lethem, but I hope Dissident Gardens is better than his last novel Chronic City, which was fucking terrible. #   ·

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