1) A random comic generator. NSFW.
3) Was 2014 the Year of the Video Essay? Who knew? How to make a great video essay: Video (naturally)
4) A long run down a concrete luge in New Zealand. Video.
6) Google maps for fantasy spaces. Cute.
6) The relationship between coffee and mesmerism, and the importance of morning rituals. Video.
3) Is everything good about Minecraft gone? This piece echoes my earlier post about buying my son an Xbox, and I agree that Minecraft has changed as third parties set up their own servers. My son plays a game that’s a lot like The Hunger Games, and doesn’t build nearly as much as he used to. He still builds, but there’s a lot of PvP, too.
5) Dutch real estate broker installs mini-rollercoaster into home to give prospective buyers a tour. Video. As stunts go, this one is terrific.
6) Ugly Christmas sweaters are the new thing, so why not turn them into men’s suits? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
7) Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School Professor, Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food. You can be very very wrong while being right.
2) Stan Lee responds to people who ask him when he’s going to retire. Video.
4) Seventeen-year-old wins science competition by building an efficient algae biofuel lab in her bedroom. I hope this kid becomes a billionaire.
5) Do you get your hair cut at a barber? How to talk your barber about the haircut you want. Includes a helpful video.
7) The novel then steps back in time to explain how Rico went from being just another one of Heinlein’s incurious teenaged dullards to an enthusiastic war criminal. In the process, it paints an interesting picture of the world Rico lives in, as well as of the contents of Heinlein’s id. James Nicoll reviews Starship Troopers.
1) World’s Worst Playgrounds h/t @cstross
7) The Zero Stooges (aka The Three Stooges Minus Stooges). Video.
1) The 50 Dorkiest Songs You Love. NB: you don’t have to tell me you personally don’t love some or all of them. I know.
2) Edgar Wright – How to do visual comedy. Video. This is excellent and shows why I find modern comedy so incredibly boring.
3) Joaquin Phoenix’s Forehead (Rotated). Video. So weird and funny.
4) Anonymous Gods. The computers at Google automatically blur the faces of famous religious statuary.
5) Netflix’s new spoiler website. #spoilers
The WSJ has an interesting article on “reading parties,” (skip the comments). People are getting together to read in silence, which is fine, I guess?
The really interesting thing is the list of health benefits to reading, which is included in this handy graphic.
“Reduces stress” is vital, and “Improves listening” makes me think I should have my son read three or four times a day.
But I’m still stymied by the idea of reading parties. I get that it can be pleasant to meet new people doing the thing you love (especially if you’re the type to bring “impressive” books so everyone could see how smart you are) but it still seems like putting yourself in a position where the people around you will, with your permission, police your own behavior. “I’d never stay off Twitter for 30 minutes if I were alone, but if I have all these people watching me…”
I’m not saying there’s something wrong with it, but it’s not a choice I would make. If I realize the book I’m reading can’t keep me so absorbed that I stay off Twitter, I put the book away. Then again, I’ve never been the sort who tried to impress people with my reading choices.
ADDED LATER: I took the speed reading test. While my comprehension was perfect (partly because I knew I’d be tested) my wpm was 261, slightly above average. That surprises me, because I’ve always believed I was slower than average. I guess I’m just slower than everyone I know.
6) Beautiful animated gifs. h/t @keithcalder
2) If David Lynch directed Dirty Dancing. Video.
3) Black leather dragon backpack. I’d get this, but it would make the toddlers in the Starbucks cry.
4) What your favorite 80s band says about you. This is better than it has a right to be.
6) Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie: the same movie.
7) Was HP Lovecraft a good writer? Nick Mamatas makes the argument that he was.