Weekend Reading

Thanks to the people who threw a couple of these my way, if you do spot anything and think ‘that weirdo will probably find this interesting’ then send it on (Twitter usually best way). And yes, it takes a weirdo to know a weirdo…

  • Commencement 1999
    Rocker David Bowie and jazz innovator Wayne Shorter accepted honorary doctorates while 580 graduates received their diplomas at the 1999 Berklee Commencement last Saturday.
    No idea why this bubbled into my timeline but it did, and it’s Bowie, and it’s wonderful. What better way to start 2018!

  • Every Last Jedi
    This is a spoiler-filled first set of reactions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    Yes I’ve seen it. Yes I’m in the ‘well that could’ve been better’ camp. Not bad, just not as good as we’d all hoped (at least it’s not another Jar Jar).

  • A People’s History of Tattooine (with tweets)
    @tcarmody I’m just saying you can’t trust a man what plays in a cantina band. Not you, Figrin D’ith.
    Is this fanfic? I think this is fanfic (regardless of the medium). One for Star Wars geeks.

  • From C-3PO’s perspective, ‘Star Wars’ is a prolonged nightmare
    Which means that soon our giddy anticipation will give way to hard, cold reality like the planet Hoth — or soft, warm reality, like a Wookiee’s hug, as the case may be. We know that C-3PO, everyone’s favorite useless golden robot butler, is going to be in the new movie.
    Is this fanfic? I think this is fanfic (regardless of the medium). One for Star Wars geeks.

  • The Improbable Time When Orson Welles Interviewed Andy Kaufman (1982)
    “Sitcoms are the lowest form of entertainment,” declares Andy Kaufman as portrayed by Jim Carrey in Milos Forman’s biopic Man on the Moon. “I mean, it’s just stupid jokes and canned laughter.”
    The reverbations of my watching of Jim & Andy continue. I fear I may be entering a Kaufman-esque hole in the internet soon (or I have already?)

  • The Next Bechdel Test
    The Bechdel-Wallace Test — more commonly abbreviated to the Bechdel Test — asks two simple questions of a movie: Does it have at least two named female characters? And do those characters have at least one conversation that is not about a man? A surprising number of films fail the test.
    Further, much needed, reverbations from #metoo

  • An Argument Against Luxury Seating at the Movies
    The increasingly popular luxury reclining chair is a scourge on the moviegoing experience. Featuring heated seats, padded footrests and leather upholstery, these reservable, oversized, electric-powered armchairs have been installed incrementally at the country’s major movie theater chains.
    I’ve yet to try one of these, and let’s be honest, the problem with cinemas is not the seats (hint: if you talk during a movie YOU ARE THE PROBLEM)

  • 30 years after Prozac arrived, we still buy the lie that chemical imbalances cause depression
    Some 2,000 years ago, the Ancient Greek scholar Hippocrates argued that all ailments, including mental illnesses such as melancholia, could be explained by imbalances in the four bodily fluids, or “humors.”
    This is STILL the line, I’ve heard it from my own doctor. Shocking.

  • Achieve That New Year’s Goal By Not Telling A Soul
    If you don’t think this applies to you, you’re in good company—this topic has caused some controversy in the Curiosity office. Many of us think that a declaration of your goals is just a way to stay accountable to them, not a way to feel like you’ve already achieved them.
    I’ve already mentioned that I don’t do resolutions but here’s the thing, I do them every year. Accountability vs fear of failure is a tough balance though.

  • The David Bowie Book Club Gets Launched by His Son: Read One of Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books Every Month
    Cast as the star of 1976’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie traveled to New Mexico for the shoot, meeting with director Nicolas Roeg soon upon arrival. “I took with me hundreds and hundreds of books,” Bowie said to The Face magazine a few years later.
    Wanna start a book club, or just get some ideas? Here ya go.

  • Iceland has a simple solution for closing gender pay gap: Make it illegal
    … (yup, I got nothing. Simple solution indeed).

  • The year we wanted the internet to be smaller
    Americans got tired of big social media in 2017. Or at least, we stopped wanting to look at it, and we stopped pretending to like it.
    *yawn* must be the new year, didn’t we say a lot of this last year (about stepping away from social media)? I know I did…

  • Why You Should Always Add Water To Your “Neat” Whiskey
    But not all whiskeys are smokey, especially as you get farther from Scotland. Still, it’s quite likely that the phenomenon remains in effect.
    First things first, Scottish whisky HAS NO ‘E’ in the spelling!! Other than that, whisky is rank, go nuts.

  • Interview: Architect Marc Kushner
    Manipulating space in order to create new ways for us to live and work, architects have always experimented with their craft.
    The one profession I’d love to have gotten into, I find design (particularly when focused on how humans interact with it) to be endlessly fascinating.

  • The 99 best things that happened in 2017
    If you’re feeling despair about the fate of humanity in the 21st century, you might want to reconsider. In 2017, it felt like the global media picked up all of the problems, and none of the solutions. To fix that, here are 99 of the best stories from this year that you probably missed.
    See, the world is not a bad place! Screw the media, believe in love and compassion!

  • Scientists have created a drug that replicates the health benefits of exercise
    Researchers have made the breakthrough of couch potatoes’ dreams with a new drug that mimics some of the most important effects of exercise.

  • Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.
    A diet of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Indeed, the evidence for fiber’s benefits extends beyond any particular ailment: Eating more fiber seems to lower people’s mortality rate, whatever the cause.
    And here was me eating Fruit & Fibre for how good it tastes…

  • There’s a reason using a period in a text message makes you sound angry
    When it comes to texting, the period gets a lot of attention. What they’re actually noticing is written language becoming more flexible, with texting possessing its own set of stylistic norms (sometimes informally called “textspeak” or “textese”).
    Language evolves. I’m trying not to get angry at this nonsense though. Can. You. TELL?

  • Easter hunt is on: Cadbury makes batch of white Creme eggs
    British confectioner Cadbury is making a white chocolate version of its popular Easter Creme egg — and offering a cash prize for those who find them as it tries to bolster the product’s appeal.
    It’s actually offering the prize to stop any idiot trying to eat what will be the most sickly sweet thing ever invented (after tablet, obvs).

  • The Top Albums of 2017
    Here is my soundtrack from the past 365 days, a very long, very weird year. All in all, there were 74 albums I went back to over and over in 2017. And here’s a Spotify playlist of the entire pile.
    Maybe I’ll just keep up with music one year behind, seems to be easier that way, let everyone else figure out the good stuff first.

  • What is your album of the year and why? (Song of the year ok also.)
    So: If you had to pick one album that was your big discovery in 2017 – or just one song, if you can’t pick an album – what would it be? Why is it so great? Then they talked about watching the film when they were nine and I wanted to die, but I still love the record…
    Both a reminder that AskMeFi is still going strong, and that there is always new music you had no idea existed. Bjorn from Abba’s Piano album is bloody lovely!

  • How to protect your PC against the major ‘Meltdown’ CPU security flaw
    Details have emerged on two major processor security flaws this week, and the industry is scrambling to issue fixes and secure machines for customers. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the flaws affect nearly every device made in the past 20 years.
    Still ‘breaking’ but worth keeping an eye out for more on these issues.

  • Rock night at the museum: Gigs and shows will accompany Rip It Up exhibition at National Museum
    The NMS has held Fringe events before but not rock gigs to accompany exhibitions. The Herald was allowed a peak at some of the 300 exhibits which will form the exhibition, at the NMS’s huge store in Granton, north Edinburgh.
    Looks like a wee day out in Edinburgh this year.