Stuff I Read Lately, Tuesday 7/26/11

Normally I tweet all these links, but I’ve been thinking that I waste too much time on social networks. So, collecting and collating instead.

Matt Langer · The 7 Stages of Internet Grief

  1. people tweet about dead celebrity
  2. people tweet about what dead celebrity meant to them
  3. people tweet insensitive jokes about dead celebrity
  4. people tweet about how it’s too soon to be tweeting insensitive jokes about dead celebrity

the art of creative destruction | Justine Musk: “Too many of us die with our novels unwritten, our songs unsung, our talents undeveloped, our creative work left buried inside us. “

For Amy « Russell Brand: “She wasn’t just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a fucking genius”

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: What to Say When Friends are Discussing Video Games That You Have Not Played.: “Duke Nukem Forever: ‘How ironically are you playing it?’”

July 26, 2011 | Rhymes With Orange: “Are you sure you want to shut down now?”

Why Don’t They Just Drop Dead, : a poem by Barbara Louise Ungar

“all these ex-husbands
of mine, instead of dogging me
like old tattoos, distorted

by wrinkles, faded & stretched by obscene
middle-age, humiliating me with my
unfortunate past lapses in taste.”

KMFDM – Dogma (lyrics): In the tradition of really bitter spoken word semi-poetry over noodly music. See also Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier” and much of the oevre of Jello Biafra.

“We fear that pop-culture is the only culture we’re ever going to have
We want to stop reading magazines
Stop watching T.V.
Stop caring about Hollywood
But we’re addicted to the things we hate
We don’t run Washington and no one really does
Ask not what you can do for your country
Ask what your country did to you”

An Academic Author’s Unintentional Masterpiece – NYTimes.com (obnoxious NYT reading limits apply): Geoff Dyer’s new column in the NYT book review is about reading. This column is a complicated joke pretending to be a review, and its so wonderful I keep reading it over and over again.

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Elizabeth Taylor, Black Widow | The Hairpin: “Taylor’s life was much juicier and more scandalous before Sir Burton, when Taylor wrote the book on gossip in the post-studio system Hollywood, and that book is, at least by members of our (approximate) generation, relatively unread. And it’s even more of a page-turner than Twilight the first time around, before you realized that [SPOILER!] Stephenie Meyer was going to have the baby eat its gross-disgusting-anti-choice way out of the heroine. “

linked list, 11/30/2010

I’ve been posting links to twitter, but I’m also going to repost and summarize them here once in a while. Current topics of interest are food, books and writing, the creative process, women in science and tech, and any good stories on any subject.

You can send me links here, on twitter, or via delicious.

Lemony Snicket’s NaNoWriMo pep talk, for all the doom-filled joy.

Dave Eggers’s NaNoWriMo pep talk, on procrastination, posted two days before the end of the event.

A heartbreaking interview with Laura Hillenbrand, the author of “Seabiscuit,” and just recently, “Unbroken.” She is an absolutely terrific writer. She also has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which makes her so ill it confines her to her house and limits her to only a handful of small activities per day.

The lost women scientists of Britian’s Royal Society. Despite being banned entry from the Society, women have been doing important science for hundreds of years and getting no credit for it at all.

GrowVeg Garden Planner. An online, Flash-based garden planner, primarily for vegetable gardens. I’ve been doing my garden planning in a spreadsheet and on paper for years and within a week this site was utterly indispensable to me. You can make it as simple or a obsessive-compulsive as you want it to be.

Manual Coffee How-to Videos from Barefoot Coffee. Barefoot is my local third-wave espresso cafe and coffee roaster. (They make a seriously mean cappuccino.) These videos for making coffee without a machine are wordless and beautifully filmed from the MakeSHIFT collective. Videos for French Press, Chemex, and Hario.

There’s a lot of strength in a loaf of bread: An absolutely terrific video for a small Brooklyn bread bakery. Liza de Guia at Food, Curated does great video all the time but this one is especially wonderful. I can smell the bread in this video.

very, very well documented

And while I’m on the subject of documentation, here’s a great story from the former The Daily WTF.com, now known (sadly) as WorseThanFailure.com, called Very, Very Well Documented.

George’s contact at the Air Force was a gruff, old general with a vast knowledge of aerial warfare and forty years experience in the service. Naturally, he was very skeptical of the new guys’ ability to develop a ‘military grade’ product.’ After all, they hadn’t spent a single day in uniform. But George’s team quickly won him with a demonstration: one month after being awarded the contract, they had fully replicated the prototype plane’s specifications in their software. [..]

‘Gentlemen,’ the general started during one of their wrap-up meetings, ‘you have done very well. I am very impressed. There is, however, one problem. You did not provide nearly enough documentation.’ […]

‘You see gentlemen,’ the general continued, ‘for such expensive program, we require at least eight meters of documentation.’ He stretched his arms as far as he could to illustrate. Clearly, he was not joking.

(read the rest of the story)

(I got it from The Daily WTF.)

the true story of the emu press

A long time ago here I posted about the manual for the MN-156 Reciprocating Emu Press, which was mysteriously stored on Amazon’s media servers. I ended that post wondering what the real story was behind this amusing parady of a user manual.

A while ago mad_eponine, the author of the Reciprocating Emu Press manual, sent me email pointing me to this livejournal post with the real story, including how it ended up at Amazon. It is brilliant. I am happy to have played a small role in the saga.

coffee obsessions even stronger than mine

All Hail the Mighty Coffee Bean! – Wired News

Another Lore Sjöberg essay. I might as well just set up a Lore Sjöberg reposter for this blog because every single thing the man writes is totally brill. All Hail the Mighty Lore Sjöberg.

Step Two: Storage
All coffee lovers know that coffee grounds turn into the very dandruff of the Dark Lord himself if you leave them out for more than 145 seconds. Clearly I’ll need a way to store the grounds while I’m having each bean individually ministered to. The CafeStore 4000x creates a vacuum environment for the storage of the ground beans. Not just a vacuum in the usual sense of having very little air, but an ideal vacuum with no air, no black-body radiation, no zero-point energy, nothing but beans. According to the laws of physics, this is impossible, and as such may cause the universe to cease to exist, but isn’t that worth it for the perfect cup?

hope is emo

Hope is Emo

The podcast stories of an angsty teenager. “Gym class is SO STUPID. The running and the changing in the locker room and its all CRAP. How big is my cup size, does it matter? How big is my SOUL??”

These videos are done by the same people who do Ask A Ninja. You probably don’t want to watch all of them at once because they get kind of tedious, but they’re fun in short doses. I relate.

iphone user’s guide

The iPhone, a User’s Guide (McSweeney’s)

I . Introduction
II. Turning on the iPhone
III. Making a call using the iPhone

XI. Using the iPhone to explain how the internal board committee of Apple Computer Inc. (before the name change) headed by Al Gore could exonerate Steve Jobs of any wrongdoing in the options-backdating scandal

XVII. Using the iPhone to assist Nicole Kidman in playing a frankly commercial Mrs. Coulter in the new adaptation of The Golden Compass without losing the anti-Miltonian vibe or the stuff about the Magisterium

XIX. Using the iPhone to learn whether Ehud Barak ever considered adopting Barack Obama and changing the Illinois junior senator’s name to Barack Barak