lazy boys don't stand a chance

theparisreview:

“He attempted one of the most ambitious feats the human imagination can undertake: he tried to picture, by turns seriously and playfully, not just how humanity might appear fifty or a hundred years down the line, but a thousand, ten thousand, or more.”
The future according to writer Stanisław Lem.

Automatic Lem! I’m currently halfway through Pirx the Pilot. He takes such a different approach than most science fiction writers, it’s always refreshing.

theparisreview:

“He attempted one of the most ambitious feats the human imagination can undertake: he tried to picture, by turns seriously and playfully, not just how humanity might appear fifty or a hundred years down the line, but a thousand, ten thousand, or more.”

The future according to writer Stanisław Lem.

Automatic Lem! I’m currently halfway through Pirx the Pilot. He takes such a different approach than most science fiction writers, it’s always refreshing.

— 3 days ago with 130 notes
#scifi  #lem 
From Old Norse tjóthr, meaning ‘fasten’

My wristwatch is tethered to:
- My arm
- The unrelenting march of time

— 6 days ago
#watches  #time  #tethering 
"They’re using it for Twitter spam, the dark web equivalent of boiling the bones for stock."
The Russian ‘hack of the century’ doesn’t add up | The Verge (via mikewebkist)

Dear Tech Writers,
Please include the “dark web equivalent” expressed as a culinary metaphor in all future stories about hacking. It makes them much more enjoyable.

What’s the dark web equivalent of deglazing a skillet? Clarifying butter? Heating olive oil until it shimmers, or testing a cake for doneness with a toothpick? The world awaits your metaphors.

(via mikewebkist)

— 1 month ago with 6 notes
#cooking  #hacking 
ridesabike:

Elaine Stritch rests her bike, reads a note, almost causes a riot.      
NEW YORK, June 26—TOLD TO KEEP HER SHIRT ON – Blonde Elaine Stritch, understudy to Ethel Merman in the Broadway hit, “Call Me Madam,” wears halter and shorts which cause her arrest in Central Park. Today she was fined $1 and told by Magistrate Emilio Jones, “A beautiful girl like you could cause a small riot and cause a large crowd to collect by removing your shirt.” “Well,” she replied, “I was there all day and nothing happened.” (AP, 1951)

ridesabike:

Elaine Stritch rests her bike, reads a note, almost causes a riot.      

NEW YORK, June 26—TOLD TO KEEP HER SHIRT ON – Blonde Elaine Stritch, understudy to Ethel Merman in the Broadway hit, “Call Me Madam,” wears halter and shorts which cause her arrest in Central Park. Today she was fined $1 and told by Magistrate Emilio Jones, “A beautiful girl like you could cause a small riot and cause a large crowd to collect by removing your shirt.” “Well,” she replied, “I was there all day and nothing happened.” (AP, 1951)

(via joannavaught)

— 1 month ago with 13143 notes
That’s what makes bikes so frightening: we prefer the devil we know, even when it’s infinitely more bloodthirsty than the one we don’t. →

mikewebkist:

This leaves a third source of fear and anger, the belief that bicycles are adding confusion to what was a smoothly-running system. Of the three, this is the most grounded in fact: there are more bikes in American cities than in the past, riding on streets that were almost entirely optimized for…

(Source: medium.com)

— 2 months ago with 3 notes
theparisreview:

The Light at Hinkson Creek
One final fall of sun slips past the ridgebehind my shoulder, coats the upper limbs of a creek-side sycamore in gold too rich for February, then settles on a streamdead still, the clumps of foam scattered acrossthe water hung like fruit on mirrored trees. The light seems somehow brighter brought to rest,entangled in the far bank’s canopy—the earthbound branches leafless, mottled grayand silver-white, the rough bark’s loosening curlsinverted in immaculate relief,and shimmering at my fingertips, so close I have to reach for it, the twice-bent gleamthat passes in the swirl my reaching makes.
—Bob Watts. Art: Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil.

theparisreview:

The Light at Hinkson Creek

One final fall of sun slips past the ridge
behind my shoulder, coats the upper limbs 
of a creek-side sycamore in gold too rich 
for February, then settles on a stream
dead still, the clumps of foam scattered across
the water hung like fruit on mirrored trees. 
The light seems somehow brighter brought to rest,
entangled in the far bank’s canopy—
the earthbound branches leafless, mottled gray
and silver-white, the rough bark’s loosening curls
inverted in immaculate relief,
and shimmering at my fingertips, so close 
I have to reach for it, the twice-bent gleam
that passes in the swirl my reaching makes.

Bob Watts. Art: Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil.

— 2 months ago with 144 notes
"One of the things that struck me when I came to the U.S. was discovering American poverty. I say this because I had consumed a lot of American culture, but I was not quite prepared for the reality of American poverty. When I first drove through West Philadelphia I had this strange sort of shock. I got the sense that this was a part of the U.S. that had been forgotten and that always stayed with me. I wanted to write a novel where the character notices, because it’s very easy to live through these things and not take notice. In five seconds you can drive through a neighborhood where things seem fine, to a neighborhood where the world seems to have forgotten that people are there."
The Rumpus Interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via therumpus)

Great interview. Good comments on body image, the interplay of success and racism in America, homophobia in Africa.

(via mermaidbones)

— 2 months ago with 164 notes
#books 
theparisreview:

“Spain seemed to arrive with things backwards: vici vidi veni. And for emperor, king, or champion of the world, that’s simply not how things work.”
Jonathan Wilson and Rowan Ricardo Phillips on sketches of Spain and England in the World Cup.

The Paris Review remains the best source for short, lovely essays about the World Cup that should resonate with fans and non-fans alike. The first half of this roundup was written by a poet and compares the Dutch national team to Miles Davis.

theparisreview:

“Spain seemed to arrive with things backwards: vici vidi veni. And for emperor, king, or champion of the world, that’s simply not how things work.”

Jonathan Wilson and Rowan Ricardo Phillips on sketches of Spain and England in the World Cup.

The Paris Review remains the best source for short, lovely essays about the World Cup that should resonate with fans and non-fans alike. The first half of this roundup was written by a poet and compares the Dutch national team to Miles Davis.

— 3 months ago with 61 notes
Obamasana

A dream two nights ago. I was in a huge group yoga session in a large, echoey, indoor space, like an arena or convention center. The President was leading. Occasionally, people would ask questions about political issues. The President would start to answer the question, but somehow by the end of the answer it has returned to yoga instructions, inhale and reach your right arm to the sky, exhale and let all of the tension unwind from your spine.

— 3 months ago
#dream  #yoga  #Obama  #president 
Parainfluenza

It’s been an odd few days. I’ve been really sick this week. My doctor told me yesterday it’s probably a virus called parainfluenza - just a bad cold.

As people do these days when they’re sick, I’ve been consuming a lot of media. Clearly, I’ve been reading 1491 (which I couldn’t recommend more, though I don’t really recommend you read it in an emotionally fragile, fever-dream state). I watched a bunch of episodes of Louie. And I finally got around to listening to and watching some of the videos from Beyonce’s secret album of late last year.

About the latter, I have the following questions:

In Drunk in Love, what is Jay-Z trying to convey by referencing the Ike/Tina Turner scene in which Ike makes Tina eat the cake? There are a bunch of different ways one can read the lyrics. Has he addressed this in an interview?

In Partition, in the chorus, is it “girl you like” or “girl you lick”? I think the former, but a close friend insists the latter. Most posted lyrics I can find have “like”, but that doesn’t necessarily settle it, and certainly maybe it’s meant to be an ambiguous play on words.

Thank you for your help, Internet.

— 3 months ago with 2 notes
#sick  #beyonce  #fever 
"So number one, Reading Rainbow was not cancelled because it was not effective. Reading Rainbow was the most used television resource in our nation’s classroom. In 2009, it was [cancelled] due to No Child Left Behind. That government policy made a choice between teaching the rudiments of reading and fostering a love of reading. So the idea that I am trying to somehow revive a failed endeavor is bullshit. That’s right. I said it. Bullshit."
— 3 months ago with 30951 notes
Common English words that come from Native American languages

Potato, tomato, chocolate, cocoa, coca (so also, Coke), chili, poncho, cashew, tobacco, hurricane, hammock, canoe, barbeque, kayak, anorak, guacamole, avocado, pecan, moccasin.

You probably use at least one every day, right? Especially in the summertime. Source: Wikipedia, List of English words from indigenous languages of the Americas.

— 3 months ago with 2 notes
#indians  #english  #words  #language 
Tisquantum

I suppose this would be better suited to November, but I’m reading 1491, and it’s making my head spin. You may know the story of Squanto, the friendly Indian who helped the Pilgrims of the Mayflower survive in Plymouth, leading to the first Thanksgiving.

Here’s what actually happened (sources: 1491, Wikipedia [Tisquantum, Pilgrims]; any errors are my own):

After Columbus’ discovery of the New World in 1492, the European powers starting sending ships over to trade and try to settle. In New England, these ships were mostly English, with a few French. They were successful at trading, but not at settling - the coast was densely populated with Indians (one French captain had wanted to found a naval base on Cape Cod, but reported back that there wasn’t room), and the Indians didn’t let people stay long. They’d let boats land and parties could camp for a while, but then eventually the Indians would make the colonists leave. This went on for about a hundred years.

Around 1610, an English captain kidnapped around a dozen Indians from New England and took them back to Europe to try to sell into slavery. Tisquantum was one of them. He escaped from slavery, managed to find his way to England, where he lived in the house of a rich man for seven years, during which he learned English. Finally, he was able to negotiate his transport back to his home.

He made it to Newfoundland, and from there caught a ride down the New England coast. The coastal villages that had been thriving ten years prior were graveyards. They were empty, or piled with skeletons or corpses.

What had happened: after the kidnapping of Tisquantum and the other Indians, a French ship had wrecked in the area. The Indians were angry about the abduction of their people, so they kept the French sailors hostage. The French were carrying, probably, viral hepatitis, but whatever it was, it wiped out around 90% of the nearby native population in two or three years.

So Tisquantum sailed down the coast, passing former Indian villages and confederations of the coast, now empty save death, until he got back to his home village, Patuxet. It had suffered the same fate - he was the last of his tribe alive. There were about 50 hungry English - the Pilgrims - living in Patuxet, which they’d renamed Plymouth.

There had been 100 before the winter; the Pilgrims made the foolish mistake of landing in New England with few supplies in December. The only way the Pilgrims survived the winter was by robbing Indian graves, which had maize in them (as John J. Sullivan noted in an essay in Pulphead, nearly the very first thing the Pilgrims did in North America was rob an Indian grave).

In the spring, Tisquantum walked into the village, his former home, and introduced himself to the Pilgrims. The name he used, Tisquantum, was probably not his given name. It means something like “rage of the great spirit” or more poetically “the wrath of God”, which we can only speculate he chose in response to the destruction of his people.

He helped the Pilgrims, and negotiated an alliance with them against the Indian groups to the west, which hadn’t yet (but would soon be) affected by the epidemic. He died two years later of “Indian fever,” undoubtedly one of the diseases brought over by the Europeans.

All of this information is out there, but before reading 1491, I’d never seen the pieces put together into this story. Perhaps because it’s so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose every person I’d known, my entire culture and society. I can’t imagine what it would feel like, what kind of determination could convince me to help the people who’d come with that death to my home. I’ve woken up several mornings this past week thinking about this, horrified.

Perhaps something to share with your friends and family next Thanksgiving.

— 3 months ago with 6 notes
#indians  #pilgrims  #mayflower  #new world  #tisquantum  #squanto  #thanksgiving  #plymouth 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Even though I’ve known of Neil Gaiman for about 20 years (since an embarrassingly intense Tori Amos phase in high school; she mentioned him in a lyric and they became friends, maybe you all know this already), I made the terrible mistake of not reading anything he’d written until this past month. Then, I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s one of the more magical books I’ve ever read, I’d highly recommend it to almost anyone. It’s a bit scary, but worth the journey. It’s short, too - you could read it in a weekend if it was a lazy one.

— 3 months ago with 2 notes