View Full Version : Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCXIII

28th December 2015, 14:18
Unless you're one of those unfortunates who has to work this week, you'll be needing plenty of reading matter to help you ignore your loved ones over the next few days. Here you go :)

Longform: Best of 2015 (https://longform.org/lists/best-of-2015) - "We recommended 1,453 articles this year, from 1,210 writers and 360 publications. They were read nearly 20 million times. These were our favorites." A few of these already appeared here during the year, but most of them didn’t.

The Onion: Our Annual Year 2015 (http://www.theonion.com/2015) - If the massive dose of reality in Longform’s selection gets too much, seek refuge in this roundup of surreality from The Onion: from a creepy artist (http://www.theonion.com/article/artist-always-carries-around-sketchbook-in-case-he-37804) (”local artist Brian Danforth told reporters Tuesday that he makes a point to always carry a sketchbook around with him in case he feels like making a stranger uncomfortable”) to oppressed Christians of the USA (http://www.theonion.com/article/nations-oppressed-christians-huddle-underground-li-52019), who ”huddled in a secret underground bunker late Wednesday night to decorate and light a single withered Christmas shrub”.

How my doppelgänger used the Internet to find and befriend me (http://fusion.net/story/121797/doppelgangers/) - "On a Monday morning a couple of months ago, I got an email from someone whose name I didn’t recognize with the subject line, “I am your doppelgänger :).”" Kashmir Hill on the woman who looks just like her, and other people who have found their double.

The Round-Up: Tweets of the year (http://standardissuemagazine.com/misc/the-round-up-tweets-of-the-year/) - "Amanda Wilkie trawls the internet so you don’t have to. This week, as a Christmas gift, she’s scoured social media for the funniest women she could find." This is a six-monthly roundup, following on from one in July (http://standardissuemagazine.com/misc/tweets-of-the-year-so-far/). (And no, there’s no men on either list, because they’re lists of tweets by women.)

How a Creepy Logo Doomed DARPA’s Surveillance Program (http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2015/12/how-creepy-logo-doomed-darpas-surveillance-program/124746/) - "In February 2002, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, The New York Times published a story reporting that John Poindexter, the former national-security advisor to Ronald Reagan, had a new role: the head of the newly created Information Awareness Office, a subset of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)… The image chosen to represent the project wasn’t the sole source of the outcry—but it certainly didn’t help calm things down, either.” Apart from the Illuminati-invoking logo, it’s also worthy of note that IAO is the name of a powerful archon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archon_(Gnosticism)) in certain Gnostic traditions, and the alchemical formula of life, death, and rebirth in the Qabalistic system of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (http://www.golden-dawn.org/egypt.html) (nothing to do with Greek nationalists) that inspired Aleister Crowley (http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/IAO).

What Did We Get Stuck In Our Rectums Last Year? (http://adequateman.deadspin.com/what-did-we-get-stuck-in-our-rectums-last-year-1749308157) - Barry Petchesky looks through the annual reports on Things Removed From Orifices: ”WAS AT A ‘FISTING PARTY’ AND HAS A SPIKEY RUBBER BALL THAT LIGHTS UP STUCK IN RECTUM” :eek

Sentric Music: the Blogception - All The Blogs You Need In One Blog (http://sentricmusic.com/blog/2015/october/the-blogception-all-the-blogs-you-need-in-one-blog/) - If your plan is to make it big in the music business next year, this collection of blog posts will set you on the right track, whether it’s getting your tune used on an advert, or putting the right metadata on your demo. ”The truth is, I started [this blog] because I was frustrated. Frustrated by the seemingly basic things many, many artists/bands/musicians were doing wrong on a daily basis and I was fed up at explaining a number of these bread-and-butter examples until I was blue in the face. The best advice I’ve ever been given over the years is by people who know the subject area well and who don’t sugarcoat it. All the advice contained in the Sentric blog tries to take heed of this ethos; it’s truthful and potentially blunt at times, but not cynical and never unnecessarily abrasive.”

Science-fictional shibboleths (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/12/science-fictional-shibboleths.html), Fantasy shibboleths (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/12/fantasy-shibboleths.html) - If, on the other hand, it’s your sci-fi and/or fantasy writing that’ll help you make it big, author Charlie Stross has some good advice for you. ”Certain patterns are guaranteed to make me throw a book at the wall these days (or they would, if I wasn't doing almost all my reading these days on an iPad), or at least stop reading on the spot… specific shibboleths of the science fictional or fantastic literary toolbox that give my book-holding hand that impossible-to-ignore twitch reflex.” Linked to from there is the excellent Turkey City Lexicon (https://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/turkey-city-lexicon-a-primer-for-sf-workshops/), by Lewis Shiner and Bruce Sterling, which helpfully defines terms for a number of common modes of failure in sci-fi writing: ”The Cozy Catastrophe: Story in which horrific events are overwhelming the entirety of human civilization, but the action concentrates on a small group of tidy, middle-class, white Anglo- Saxon protagonists. The essence of the cozy catastrophe is that the hero should have a pretty good time (a girl, free suites at the Savoy, automobiles for the taking) while everyone else is dying off.“

The 10 Best Business Lessons Of 2015 (http://www.fastcompany.com/3054486/lessons-learned/the-10-best-business-lessons-of-2015) - If, however, you’re planning to get rich quick by doing normal business stuff, here’s a roundup of potentially useful lessons learned from the past year, such as Suzan Bond’s thoughts on the term “freelancer”: ”Saying you’re a freelancer doesn’t signal to others that you're a know-what-you’re-doing, take-no-crap professional… clients too often see freelance arrangements as low-cost line items rather than strategic partnerships.”

Photo of the Day: Your Favorites From 2015 (http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photos/pod-best-of-2015/) - And if Christmas excess has left you far too hungover to bother planning for next year’s big break, here’s some pretty pictures from National Geographic to rest your eyes on instead :)

When Penguins Attack - Clinton Berry

Bonus New-Year-relevant linky from norrahe: Is it cocktail hour yet? (http://www.kitchenexile.com/2015/01/is-it-cocktail-hour-yet.html)

Happy invoicing! :wave:

28th December 2015, 19:44
The science fiction shibboleths on is so true.
You meet someone who has had a hernia operation or a twisted ankle and they never stop talking about it.
Watch Lost or somesuch where people fall out of the sky and live, they go sunbathing and never mention it once.

Get attacked by laser wielding brain sucking mega-brained aliens? lose 3 pints of blood and get traumatised for life ? need urgent burns and other medical treatment ? nahh ..lets talk about how to set up a counterattack soonish.

3rd January 2016, 16:08
Excellent set of links, thanks.

Now the only question in my mind is "who the feck wants to go to a fisting party in the first place & where did they get a spiky rubber ball that lights up from?"

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Hot-Sell-LED-Spiky-Rubber-Bouncing_60294198544.html?spm=a2700.7724857.29.109 .d02Ag0

Fill yer... erm... boots!

Shades of "Armageddon" on that one. :rollin:

LOL Classic that one..