My Thumped review of Manuscripts Don’t Burn
Mohammad Rasolouf’s powerful excoriation of Iranian state oppression is worth your attention. #   ·

Bill Orcutt: ‘Harry Pussy were my perfect band’
I’ve tried with Harry Pussy (on paper I should love them, but I can’t get with it) but Bill Orcutt’s solo music is astounding. I shook his hand and thanked him for coming when he played here in Dublin last year; maybe that was weird for him, I don’t know, but I meant it. #   ·

Welcome to the Age of the Upgrade
I can understand the enthusiasm, but I fear this way of thinking gives license to the likes of Apple et al to drip-feed innovations, build in obsolescence, etc. More importantly, we’re really not all early adopters: we’re not bloody beta testers for your products if we’ve paid full whack for ‘em. #   ·

My Thumped review of Before I Go To Sleep
Another thumbs-down from me, I’m afraid. #   ·

Did Kim Jong Un Feed His Uncle To 120 Dogs? Be Skeptical
I was immediately suspicious when I heard this story back in January, because it sounded just like the kind of smear that isn’t necessary to illustrate the ‘badness’ of such a despot. #   ·


The 2013 Good Gift Games
Matthew Baldwin’s good for lists like these. I do have to add that some of them (I know for sure in Coup’s case) may not work well as two-player games, so caveat ludius. But the likes of Pathfinder (which also works as a solo game) are perfect. #   ·

How to Draw Adventure Time
“A sixteen-page manual detailing the intricacies of drawing Finn & Jake from Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time series.” Need I say more? #   ·


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. #   ·


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 #   ·

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. #   ·


“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. #   ·


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. #   ·

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