For reading, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
For drooling, Concept Ships.
And while I’m at it, I’ll remind you of the existence of Escape Pod, a weekly podcast of science fiction short stories, read aloud. It, too, is awesome, and free.
The title is a description, not a command. Tor is giving away free .pdfs of some of their titles, at the rate of one a week, and they’ll email them right to your own personal inbox, if only you ask. Not only that, there’s a contest involved. I’m signed up, of course, because if there’s anything I like more than a book, it’s a free book transmitted directly through the ether into my home.
And of course, there is also the Baen Free Library.
On the Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society, I found a post about hole punch clouds, which took me to this perfectly wonderful site: The Cloud Appreciation Society. The very existence of a Cloud Appreciation Society website makes me happy and full of love for humanity. Then from this image of a tornado, there’s a link to video of that tornado. And then from there are links to many, many other videos of tornadoes on that site.
So that’s your post for today. Clouds, doing beautiful, amazing, terrifying things, sometimes all at once.
I like the excerpt they provide:
He must escape or die.
. . . Almost instantly the shrill sound of a whistle broke to his right and a street guard stepped from a doorway, struggling to free her rifle from her garments.
“Male Pig!” she screamed. “Halt!”
Why would the guard be struggling to free her rifle from her garments? Is she not wearing the latest in sensible-yet-smart martial-wear like Ilsa, She-Wolf of NOW, up there on the cover? I don’t see what should be so tough about unslinging a rifle. Oh, wait. She’s a girl – maybe she’s all flustered ’cause it’s <stage whisper>that time of the month</stage whisper>! Bet you wish you had a man to do your storm-trooping now, eh missy?
Eric and I were discussing renewable energy at Christmas dinner, and how the challenge isn’t generation, it’s storage. I described hearing about pumped hydro storage, which was a new idea to the table (I’ve only run across it once myself, in, I think, a comment thread at Matt Yglesias‘ blog). So I googled it up, and found the above link, via this article about a proposed artificial island used for that purpose. So there you go.
Kevin Drum has announced the winners of the Golden Wingnut award, for the all-time wingnuttiest blogpost. N.B. that first place went to a guy who used to call himself “Hindrocket.” Since most of you don’t spend nearly as much time on the Internet as I do, you might be slightly perplexed by the whole enterprise, so in addition to following the links to the winners, you can gain some context here, and read some of the posts whose authors had to settle for being honored-just-to-be-nominated.
These are some of the finest examples of batshittery ever devised by a man or woman simultaneously afflicted by Right-affiliated politics and the need to post to a blog. They deserve your attention; they’ve earned your amused contempt.
I have a theme in my head, and this Regina Spektor video is one illustration of it (said theme has nothing to do with the title of this post, except in the ways that it does).
Apart from my metaphysic, I would like additionally to link you to another Regina Spektor song, Better, which rocks my socks in a similar manner to Tegan and Sara’s “Take Me Anywhere.”
Also, this. Patrick Nielsen Hayden calls it one of the most beautiful pieces of music of our age, and I want to agree with him. I read somewhere that people love bowed string instruments so much because they most closely approximate the sound of the human voice, which seems totally true to me except when I’m humming the saxophone parts of Morphine songs.
This is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. I’m serious.
Yacht Rock Episode 1
Yacht Rock Episode 2
Yacht Rock Episode 3
Yacht Rock Episode 4
Yacht Rock Episode 5 (my favorite)
Yacht Rock Episode 6
Yacht Rock Episode 7
Yacht Rock Episode 8
Yacht Rock Episode 9
Yacht Rock Episode 10
After having made episodes for a year, they stopped this past June, which I realize makes linking to it now like the Internet equivalent of, “Holy shit, have you seen this show Friends?” but whatever. You must experience this.
(via, more or less, The Poor Man)
I know for a fact there’s a dent in the wall of one of the second-storey rooms in the house in which I grew up that was caused by the hurling of a twenty-sided die.Â That’s just how I rolled, as a lad.
It cannot be coÃ¯ncidence* that I’ve spent the entire weekend playing Guitar Hero.
Lauren has been watching a metal documentary, and is clearly no stranger herself to the metal.Â From comments, I followed a link to the Wikipedia page for Lemmy Fuckin’ Kilmister.Â Imagine my surprise as I learned that “Kilmister” — and a metal-er fuckin’ appellation you will not find — is actually the surname with which he was born.
His name, his moustache — Lemmy is the genetic culmination of the Heavy Metal branch of the human evolutionary tree.Â I will hear no argument on this subject.
And it’s really goddamn satisfying to play “The Ace of Spades” on Guitar Hero.
That is all.Â Go about your business.
*If I can’t have a fuckin’ umlaut, I’ll take the fuckin’ dieresis.
Matthew Yglesias, who is much smarter than I am, and who had been accumulating more identities, blogularly speaking, than Marduk, has decided to ditch that paganesque shit and consolidate himself into the One True Internet Yglesias.
So that our top post is not one full of partisan sheep’s venom and blogofascism, I give you a video of a Japanese show wherein successively heavier fish are put out for cats to carry away. Who is strongest kitty? The scientific method will tell us.
(via Cute Overload, natch.)
So I was farting around on YouTube again, watching some Ramones videos, which goddamn. The debt we all owe to the Ramones is tremendous.
And then for whatever reason, YouTube threw me a link to some Stevie. It must have known.
Besides the fact that holy balls is Stevie Wonder a national treasure, I’d like to say a couple of things about the drummer. Thing the first, he’s totally holding the drumsticks in the nerdy proper way, as he delivers pure soul. Remember, kids, craft is not the enemy of art. Thing the second, when’s the last time you saw an afro like that? I’d actually like to enter this drummer’s afro as exhibit whatever in my case that we have become a decadent society concerned only with the comfort of homogeneity. ?uestlove (a drummer himself, which has nothing to do with anything, but it’s coincidental enough to mention) is the one contemporary guy I can think of with an afro like that, but I’ve got money that says he gets at least one comment per day about it. Black people can’t get away with their own hair these days, and I’m prepared to call that one symptom of what’s gone wrong with our culture.
When I were a lad, my mom had a boxed set of the Boston Pops doing — wait for it — popular songs. Among them was one of her favorites (a family favorite, really), “Mah-Nah-Mah-Nah.” Family consensus regarded the Boston Pops version as a cover tune, though. Everyone knows that if “Mah-Nah-Mah-Nah” is to be sung, it is to be sung by muppets.
Now, through the magic of YouTube, which is really the greatest thing to hit the Internets since Google, here’s the original muppet version from Sesame Street:
Seriously: huge open-mouthed OMG smile, doing the chairbound “I can’t believe how fucking wonderful this is” dance.
UPDATE: Holy crap.
This makes me happy, though it falls apart under the slightest scrutiny (Hobbes was always more reasonable than Calvin – he was the one who would’ve sold out G.R.O.S.S. in a heartbeat, if it meant smooches).
Also, I take vehement exception to the idea that Calvin’s father was some sort of repressive force in his life.Â Calvin may have perceived it that way, but if we’re forced to pick one of Calvin’s parents as the source of his over-active imagination, I think his dad wins easily.
Also also, Calvinball is like the opposite of Fight Club.Â Calvinball is gleeful anarchy; Fight Club is basically fascism for frat boys.
Okay, so the idea of Calvin and Hobbes as Jack and Tyler is totally wrong.Â Still, fun to think about.
(via Punkass Blog)