Microlog//Latest

The Road to Geekdom
Yes, there are many inroads to geekery, and the border crossings shouldn’t require passports, but let’s recognise that it goes both ways: as much as elitism among geeks is a serious problem (just like with any clique), ‘geekdom’ is taken by some as no more than today’s badge of cool (what else is new?). Between those two poles lie the honestly curious, and they should always feel welcome. John Siracusa sums that up succinctly: “Geekdom is not a club; it’s a destination, open to anyone who wants to put in the time and effort to travel there.” #   ·

Shudder To Think made the most head-fucking non-hit of the ’90s
You might not think you’ve heard these guys, whether as a band or individually, but you have. #   ·

Melvins’ Buzz Osborne picks songs by “bands that were good, but blew it”
He’s no shrinking violet, that King Buzzo. #   ·

Beam me up: A beginner’s guide to the Star Trek franchise
Here’s a pretty good intro to Star Trek for newbies, though I wouldn’t preface it by saying ST is “particularly intimidating for the uninitiated” — that’s all in the mind. Watch a few shows and its charm will guide you in. My own recommendation would be to start with TNG (except perhaps season 1, it’s fairly ropey) and then move on to DS9, my personal favourite for the sub-sub-plot deep connections between its characters that underpin the whole experience but often only reveal themselves as so important on repeat viewing. Voyager is unfairly maligned (I’ve been rewatching and enjoying it lately) though the AV Club writer neglects to remark on the show’s biggest failing: concentrating on the Janeway-Seven-Doctor trio at the expense of everyone else in the cast. Enterprise is what it is: ill-conceived but not flat-out terrible. (I can’t watch TOS myself, I can’t get over the period cheesiness, but I’m not going to deny the good that it did.) #   ·

My Thumped review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Or Sin City 2, which is the title on all the marketing over here, even though it’s not the one on screen. Whatever the name, it’s still not a good movie. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.25

How Scrivener Helped Me Organize All My Writing
I may give this a go sometime, to see if it works for me; €30 is a lot to drop on an app unless I use it constantly (like 1Password). Presently I do all my writing and digital note-taking in nvALT but it has its limitations. See also: I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing #   ·

Roboto
The Wikipedia entry for Google’s Roboto font. Might see how it works for this site. #   ·

Seinfeld is 25; here are 5 ways it changed television
Seinfeld is one of those things I would much rather read about than actually watch (its situations are excruciating to me). See also: Seinfeld at 25: Carol Leifer Reveals the Origins of the Marble Rye and the Elaine Stories We Never Saw. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.23

“Speaking up every. Fucking. Time”
Elizabeth Spiers’ fair profile (which became much more than that) of tech culture writer and activist Shanley Kane, which reinforces the impression generated by Kane’s own words and deeds of someone who demands absolute, uncompromising control — over their work, public image, whatever. So not a bad person, just someone who appears to have a character flaw that blinds them to the notion that media ethics exist as a concept independent of them. It happens. Bobbie Johnson provides more background to the story. #   ·

Maciej Cegłowski on Sana’a
The astonishingly well travelled proprietor of Idle Words (and Pinboard) on being a tourist in Yemen in the Age of Terror (registered trademark of the US Government). #   ·

The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect
Added to my Instapaper queue. Also: serendipitous considering the day I had yesterday, typos aplenty. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.22

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. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.21

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. #   ·

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


Microlog//2014.08.19

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. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.18

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. #   ·


Microlog//2014.08.16

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. #   ·


Microlog//2014.06.25

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. #   ·


Microlog//2014.05.22

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. #   ·

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