Frankie Boyle on offence and free speech
“If you want to work to change the usage of a word that’s discriminatory then fine, I’m behind you. But that’s a conversation that needs to be had in the culture. You can’t just decide that commonly used parts of a language are evil and that the people who didn’t get the memo must be bad people. Awkwardly, the areas of culture which would be most useful in updating how people perceive language are the very ones that are most censored.” Indeed. I’d even go as far as to say the absence of this kind of subtlety is killing culture. #   ·

Shout! Factory TV
The retro reissue label’s free, Hulu-powered streaming service, with oodles of MST3K ready to go (but if you’re outside the US you’ll need a good VPN and a browser that won’t leak your IP). #   ·

Totally Mexico! How the Nathan Barley nightmare came true
I was one of the people who loved this show because I don’t go out on Friday nights. But I never really thought of it as prescient so much as sending up the hipsterdom that was already staining the fabric of East London life. That hasn’t so much got worse as it has been magnified by the mainstream and its endless fascination with what goes on on the fringes (though hipsters are about as fringe as Starbucks, really). #   ·

The Happiness of the Katakuris is coming soon on Blu-ray
My favourite Takashi Miike flick (of which I’ve seen; he’s made a lot) is getting the BR treatment from Arrow Films. Sweet! #   ·

The Problem with Horror Movies Today
Chris Stuckmann nails it with this scathing criticism not just of a cynical industry that churns out dud after dud, but lazy audiences who’ll clearly lap up any aul’ shite. See also: The Problem with Action Movies Today (which I don’t agree with as much, but it makes some good points all the same). #   ·

The Nostalgic Attic’s guide to… Godzilla
My good buddy JP Mulvanetti’s introduction to the somewhat daunting monster movie franchise. #   ·

Kimono: Turn websites into structured APIs from your browser in seconds
I’m not quite sure what I could do with this, but feels handy to know it’s there. #   ·

Theory: Homer Simpson has been in a coma for 20 years
This explains everything. #   ·

How to adjust the screen brightness on VLC for Android
So that’s how you do it! I’m always accidentally brightening the screen on the tablet and there’s no obvious visual cue for rectifying the situation. #   ·

Prevent Running Shoe Blisters With a “Lace Lock”
So that’s what that extra hole is for! I’ll be doing this with all my shoes from now on. #   ·


OS X Mavericks: Using Apple’s hidden Wi-Fi Diagnostics tool
Why this is hidden is beyond me; apartment living means finding an empty Wi-Fi channel is a must. #   ·

Matt Webb on ‘consensus cosmogony’
“So we have all kinds of consensus understandings of what the future looks like, how we’ll get there, and what the first steps are. When consensus is strong, it’s an almighty power for coordination. For pulling in the same direction.” #   ·

Hit The Road
Directions between any two points in Dublin via public transport. It’s a little off here and there (there are some better transit connections if you walk between stops a little further) but I can see using this if I need to get to unfamiliar parts of the city. #   ·


The Cobweb: What the Web Said Yesterday
On the Internet Archive’s (and others’) attempts to preserve some kind of fixed account of a web that’s constantly in flux – with new information replacing old, or merely hiding it, not to mention the scourge of link rot. #   ·

Website Style Guide Resources
Filing this for future reference. #   ·

Being There: Ambient Loops from Famous Sci-Fi TV and Movies
Just goes to show that sound design is one of the more important elements when building a believable world on screen [c/o Alexis Madrigal’s newsletter]. #   ·


We Have Such Films To Show You
For future listening: a horror podcast by two MeFites, discovered via the previous link. #   ·

Nightmares in the Horror Aisle: Exploring the Movie Art That Traumatized You as a Child
That’s right, you never had to see the movies or even the trailers: the promotional art was enough. Mine was the one-sheet for A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge, which first loomed over me at Tara Street DART station in 1986 and is still creepy as hell nearly 30 years later. I’ve got to say, in general I avoided the horror section in the video store at all costs, so it’s funny that now I lap this shit up [c/o MetaFilter, with way more discussion about others’ similar neuroses]. #   ·


Perry Bible Fellowship: Cuniculus Vulgaris
One of a bunch of new PBF comics published over the last few weeks. Oh, how this strip has been missed! #   ·

Long Live Grim Fandango
Bee is a massive fan of this game, so I already know some of the backstory, but this puts a whole new spin on it. Of course I’ll finally dive into the game some time this year. #   ·

Benjamin Mako Hill on the ‘cultivated disdain of professional sports’ among intellectuals
I feel like this is far more a concern on the other side of the pond. For sure, on both sides sports are for the enjoyment of the masses, but there’s a confluence of situations that create very different circumstances, things like the clique culture in schools that doesn’t really exist along the same boldly demarcated lines over here, or the long-standing higher-cultural appreciation for football, boxing and the like. It’s quite common round these parts to find avowed geeks by any definition who are similarly geeky about soccer or any sport of choice, whereas in the States it seems almost an initiation rite of geekdom to loudly dismiss the low culture of ‘sportsball’ while failing to appreciate the inherent irony in that. #   ·

Kickstarter for Ghostbusters: The Board Game
They’ve more than doubled their goal with 24 days to go. But so expensive! And the shipping! Safe to say it’s getting made, though, so I’m thinking I can wait till it’s available in stores. #   ·


Write an adventure novel in three days, the Michael Moorcock way
Lots of inspiration here. Also: maybe expand that timeline to three months and I’ve got a reachable ambition [c/o Interconnected, filtered]. #   ·

The Peer Group’s Rhetoric and Hands EP
More than 30 years after it was supposed to come out on New Alliance, a long-lost San Pedro post-punk gem finally gets a vinyl/download release. #   ·

We Should All Step Back from Security Journalism
This is a scary situation: we need security journalists to protect us from the awful, awful things our governments are all quite willing to perpetrate on us beneath the cover of technological ignorance. #   ·


Pirating The 2015 Oscars: HD Edition
DVD screeners aren’t leaking like they used to, says Andy Baio, because they don’t matter in a world where HD is king. #   ·

Internet Under Fire Gets New Manifesto
There are so many YES lines to pick from this, but right now I’m going with number 117: We, the People of the Net, cannot fathom how much we can do together because we are far from finished inventing how to be together. #   ·


Cauliflower pizza crust
Yes, another low-carb recipe for future reference. I don’t think this really needs the ground almonds, though. #   ·

Vietnamese Cauli-Fried Rice
We’ve done fried ‘rice’ with cauliflower a few times, and this looks like a lovely variation to try. The sauce looks fairly simple, too. #   ·

Give Me Five: Hummus with lamb
This is good: only five ingredients (unless you make your own hummus, which is dead easy once you have all the bits you need) to make a proper hearty meal that’s relatively low in fat and carbs. #   ·

Twilight Struggle on BoardGameGeek
Everybody’s talking about this as the game to get. Bonus that it’s a two-player game. But it’s a tad expensive, and the playing time is quite long. 1960: The Making of the President, from one of the same designers, looks like a swifter play. #   ·

Mobile journalism examples and production tips
From a Q&A with video journalist Philip Bromwell. It’s still amazing to me how much you can do with just an iPhone, it’s a proper multimedia tool intrinsic to the kind of media innovation being nurtured at Northwestern. Though of course, with the whole concept still in its infancy, much of it still resembles the journalism of old only with some bells and whistles attached. How engaging is that in the long run? #   ·


Noises On! #3: Better late than never
The latest instalment of my very irregular heavy music column for Thumped; 3,500 words on 50-something releases I was acquainted with over the past 12 months. Let’s see if I can get the next one done before summer. #   ·

My Thumped review of Jupiter Ascending
Haters gonna hate, but the Wachowskis’ new one is a hell of a lot of fun. And I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who thought so. #   ·


Should critics see films more than once?
It’s not a notion that I subscribe to. Are you a critic writing for a general audience, or a critical theorist writing for film readers? I think most, like me, would be the former, writing for people who will likely only see any given movie once in the cinema or wherever (unless they love it so much they’ll buy it) so will judge, like the critic will, based on that first and only impression. That’s not to say there shouldn’t be time for reflection (Mark Kermode even advocates for waiting a few weeks before putting fingertips to keyboard) but critics who evaluate new releases based on repeat viewings aren’t seeing the same film everyone else is seeing. I think AO Scott, as quoted in this piece, has the best approach in trying to watch “twice in one sitting”. #   ·


The Guardian updates on user feedback on its new site
Very pleased to see they’ve added the ‘Today’s Paper’ link to the sections list, though that area hasn’t been spruced up with the new templates as yet. #   ·


A simple recipe for chimichurri
Used this easy recipe the other night to go with sirloin steak and it turned out great, though I think we could use a little less oil next time. #   ·


The return of the remaindered links (sort of)
I’ve been thinking of ways to improve my front page for a while now, and Jason Kottke’s post on his own changes was just what I needed. When I first started Soon after starting my link blog it was pinned right after the first main post, basically copying what Kottke did then, and is doing again now. So why not steal from the best once more? (My rejigged front page also has the added bonus of introducing some colour (via the category banners, which I’ll be tinkering with in due course) that’s been lacking, I think; all these blacks and greys were bumming me out.) #   ·


Metazz: Metal Album Covers Redesigned
I feel fairly meh about most of these, but the Black Sabbath one is fantastic [c/o Decibel]. #   ·

Girls Fight Out
You might expect the perspective of this outsider who meets some of the tough-as-nails women vying for a spot in the UFC to err on the superficial, to play up the ‘bloodsport’ angle and decry the sexism and general bro-ness of big-time MMA. And Taffy Brodesser-Akner doesn’t leave any of that out, because it’s all there for the taking, but she’s also savvy enough to see the UFC as showbusiness, as entertainment as much as if not more than the sporting championship it professes to be. It’s funny how much Dana White, the Vince McMahon of MMA, and his ilk constantly rag on the ‘fakeness’ of pro wrestling when the UFC’s recent success is mostly down to the oldest tricks in the kayfabe book. Brodesser-Akner doesn’t make any explicit comparison, but it’s impossible to miss the parallels between, say, the hooded, menacing Ronda Rousey marching to the ring to the strains of ‘Bad Reputation’ and the glass-smashing, ass-whooping heyday of Stone Cold Steve Austin. #   ·


The Legend of Panther Girl
Even if this tale is as embellished or kayfabed as the world of wrestling it depicts, it’s still a wonderful story of rivalry among the top gals of grappling in the heyday of the territorial era. #   ·

Powered by Movable Type
Jason Snell extols the virtues of the CMS that still provides the backbone for legendary websites like Kottke.org and this place right here. #   ·

Roads Were Not Built for Cars
Did you know Henry Ford ripped off the idea of the assembly line from bicycle factories? There’s plenty of tidbits like that in this review of a new book busting the myths of road ownership. #   ·

Random Acts of Nuclear Devastation
A Christmas present from everyone’s favourite ‘heavy jazz’ duo Dead Neanderthals. #   ·


My Thumped review of Whiplash
I have to say, I wasn’t blown away right after seeing this, but it stayed with me over the next few days, more for the range and quality of JK Simmons’ performance than anything else #   ·

Unedited Footage of a Bear
You’ve seen Too Many Cooks, right? Well, here’s another great ‘infomercial’ from the warped minds at Adult Swim. #   ·

What 800 Nerds on a Cruise Ship Taught Me About Life, the Universe, and Snorkeling
“If the JoCo Cruise is a church, I am apostate. That’s why I couldn’t stop worrying and love the Sea Monkeys. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a nerd anymore. It was that I did. Or rather, that I already, inescapably, was. That boat and those people? They were my hometown. Like everyone’s hometown, mine embarrasses me. I have worked hard to lose my accent. I know every back-alley shortcut and every bit of secret gossip. I couldn’t leave soon enough. I miss it ferociously. I’m always happy to meet natives and always trying to avoid them. I’ll defend it with my life against any threat, even when I’m wrong.” Is it really about ‘losing the accent’, or being embarrassed by others who seem too conspicuously enthusiastic about their chosen obsession? If everyone relaxed a bit and didn’t try so hard, maybe we wouldn’t be so hung up about it. #   ·

Dear Metalheads, Stop Apologizing For Liking Metal
Well said, Jonathan Dick, well said. #   ·


What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs
Disappointing that this piece embellishes the valid criticism of Mayer’s tenure at Yahoo! by putting across her general distrust of people without a third-level degree (strangely irrational for an engineer, that) as a specific dislike of other women-with-currency like Gwyneth Paltrow, handbags at dawn and all that. It’s just one of a few asides and examples that lend this text an distasteful, condescending tone. #   ·

Eloquent Javascript
The whole book, served as a website. Nice. Filing here for future reference. #   ·

This page is a reverse chronology of recent Microlog entries by MacDara Conroy. To catch future entries, you can follow on Twitter or subscribe to the reader feed. You will find many more past entries going back to 2003 in the Archives →