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05 Mar 17:00

Today In 8-bit Album Covers: Opeth, Blackwater Park

by Kip Wingerschmidt
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Let's break skin!

The post Today In 8-bit Album Covers: Opeth, Blackwater Park appeared first on MetalSucks.

04 Mar 22:53

Terminally Ill Woman Is Taken by Ambulance to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam So She Can Visit It One Last Time

by E.D.W. Lynch
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Ambulance Takes Woman to Art Museum for Last Visit

On Tuesday, a terminally ill woman was taken via ambulance to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam so she could visit the arts and history museum one last time. The moving event, captured in a photograph, was the work of Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland (Ambulance Wish Foundation Netherlands), a Dutch organization that fulfills the last wishes of terminally ill, non-mobile patients with a fleet of custom ambulances and 200 volunteer medical personnel. The group also took two other terminally ill people to the museum during the Tuesday trip. According to the organization’s website, they have fulfilled nearly 6,000 wishes since their founding in 2007.

Ambulance Takes Woman to Art Museum for Last Visit
The ambulances parked at the Rijksmuseum. The foundation transported three people to the museum during Tuesday’s trip.

Ambulance Takes Woman to Art Museum for Last Visit
A terminally ill man viewing a painting at the Rijksmuseum.

photos via Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland

via reddit, Neatorama

16 Oct 14:29

Bra Making Notions Explained

by Norma
Russian Sledges

the trickiest part of bra-making is not the actual sewing

My last post reviewed bra making fabrics, but as you well know, you need more than fabric to make a bra. Like most bras, the Marlborough calls for about a half dozen different notions. That may sound like a lot, but each has a clear role to play in creating this bra. Let’s review them one by one.

Underarm and Band Elastic


The purpose of the elastic in a bra is to keep the garment correctly positioned against the body so it can support the breasts.

For bras you should use lingerie elastic that has a soft plush finish on one side since it will be in direct contact with the body in the finished bra. Usually this elastic has a decorative “picot” edge on one side and a flat finish on the opposite edge. You can choose which edge you want to be visible in the finished the bra.

The Marlborough uses two different widths of lingerie elastic with a wider elastic used for the band to add more stability and support.

Strap Elastic

The role of the straps is to keep the bra in a stable position on the body. Strap elastic is used to provide some flexibility to the straps for comfort. It is typically shiny on one side and plush on the body facing side. There should be some stretch to the strap elastic but it should be a firm stretch, 50% tops.

The width of the strap elastic used for the bra varies by cup size with the larger cup sizes using wider elastic for increased stability. A wider strap also creates more visual harmony with the rest of the garment in larger cup sizes.

While the Marlborough uses strap elastic for the entire strap, if you want or need more stability in the straps, you can make the front portion of the strap from low to no movement fabric and use strap elastic for just the back portion of the strap. There are several options when it comes to straps so I will be posting about different strap variations soon.

Hook and Eye Closure

The hook and eye closure is used to securely fasten the bra around the body. The backing of the eyes should be soft, since it will be up against the body.

Larger cup sizes use a taller closure than smaller cup sizes. The increased height allows for a wider band which helps to provide more support.

Underwire Channeling or Casing

Underwire channeling or casing is used as a sturdy enclosure for the underwires. It also stabilizes the cup to frame seam and should be used regardless of whether or not you are using underwires in your bra. I prefer a plush underwire casing since it is soft against the body, as well as strong and durable.

It is possible to make your own casing out of fabric, but I will save that tutorial for a future post!


Underwires support the breasts. They do this by spreading out the stress of breast support from the cups into the band and I recommend using them to get the best lift and support possible from your bra.

Underwires are most commonly made of metal and come in a variety of diameters and lengths. I don’t ever recommend plastic underwires since they splay too much across all cup sizes, negatively impacting their ability to provide support.

For the Marlborough, I used Bra-makers Supply regular size wires. If your wires are too short, they will not work. If your wires are too long, you can cut them to the correct length. When cutting wires for a bra, be sure to allow for a minimum of 3/8″ extra room in the underwire casing for “wire play” and to enable the casing to be stitched closed. I have a fun new way of sealing off the tips of cut wires that I plan to post soon.

Rings and Sliders

Rings and sliders provide a mechanism to make bra straps adjustable. (Note, only sliders are pictured above.)

The most durable rings and sliders are made of metal and coated in nylon. Color selection has been getting better as of late but the most widely available colors are white, beige and black. If you can’t find a color match for your project, you can do what I do: use gold or silver rings and sliders or just go with a sturdy clear plastic set.

The width of the rings and sliders you will use corresponds to your strap width. If you plan to create a two-piece strap (a fabric front and elastic back) you will need to get another two rings so you have a way to connect the front strap to the back strap. Out of rings? No problem. You can substitute sliders for rings and you have a different and fully functional look.

Center Front Embellishment (optional)

The center front embellishment is used for decoration and to camouflage the stitching that seals the wire casing.

You can attach a variety of embellishments to the center front of your bra so feel free to get creative. In addition to bows, I have seen bras with ribbon flowers, custom covered buttons and even mini pom poms. When selecting an embellishment, just be aware that any bold or multi dimensional decoration may show through clothing.

Where to Buy

Because few of us can find bra making supplies in our local area, I have list of bra making materials suppliers on my resources page.

Coming up in my next post, I will tell you how to manipulate your materials to get what you want from them!




04 Mar 12:30

El Tinieblo

by Jessica Sanchez
Russian Sledges

I guess luxury mezcal has officially gotten out of hand

Bringing heritage, tradition and youth with this newest project from Anagrama, El Tinieblo. A beautiful design for Mezcal that brings the color black in its full glory. The design focuses on antlers throughout. The glass bottle is embossed with antlers right in the front of the bottle. A design that is simple and truly lovely!

“El Tinieblo” is a premium artisan mezcal of Mexican origin that is distributed internationally. The brand has also been extended to a restaurant, inspired by the cultural and historical richness of the mezcal tradition. The naming for “El Tinieblo” emerges from a land property in Tamaulipas, México whose stories and legends give the brand its personality, positioning the mezcal as traditional yet unconventional and young spirited. 

Our branding proposal implements an icon that references the white-tailed deer found in the region, thus adopting the brand’s origins to complement the rest of the brand with a mysteriously dark sensation that maintains elegance and a modern contrast.

The bottle redesign takes the traditional context of artisan mezcal and reflects it through small gestures of classic labels that are reinterpreted in a contemporary style, such interpretation is reinforced with a classic emboss of the brand’s icon placed on the bottle’s front. “El Tinieblo’s” foundations are irrevocably heightened with the purpose of preparing this emerging brand for the international market."


Designed by: Anagrama 
Country: Mexico

04 Mar 20:16

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets

by russiansledges
The study finds that more than 6 percent of American synesthetes have color associations that match a particular Fisher-Price fridge magnet set.
04 Mar 12:43

Acclaimed Metal Guitarist Gets the Price Right

by russiansledges
There's this guitar player, Adam Dutkiewicz (above). He hails from Westfield, Massachusetts and helped start various metal bands in the late '90s, most notably Killswitch Engage. Gold record-producing and Grammy-nominated, Killswitch Engage calls western Mass home and has fans all over the world. Those fans went absolutely ape this week when Dutkiewicz appeared as a contestant on the long-running game show The Price Is Right – and won.
02 Mar 05:00

Travels with My Censor

by Peter Hessler

My Chinese censor is Zhang Jiren, an editor at the Shanghai Translation Publishing House, and last September he accompanied me on a publicity tour. It was the first time I’d gone on a book tour with my censor. When I rode the high-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing, Zhang sat beside me; at the hotel in Beijing, he stayed on the same floor. He sat in on my interviews with the Chinese media. He had even prepared the tour schedule on a spreadsheet, which was color-coded to represent five types of commitments, with days that lasted as long as thirteen hours. Other authors had warned me about such schedules, so before the tour I sent Zhang a request for more free time. His response was prompt: “In my experience, the tours in China are always tough and exhausting. Hope you understand it.”

See the rest of the story at

Comment from the March 9, 2015, Issue
Daily Cartoon: Monday, March 2nd
This Week in Fiction: Stephen King
04 Mar 12:00

Nongfu Spring Mineral Water

by Jenifer Tracy

It’s not every day that I’d consider taking my empty glass water bottle home in my purse from a restaurant – but the gorgeous new packaging for Nongfu Spring mineral water would tempt me to do just that. Designed by UK agency, Horse , these beautifully bottled waters will be seen throughout high-end restaurants, bars and hotels in China starting next month. Horse , these beautifully bottled waters will be seen throughout high-end restaurants, bars and hotels in China starting next month. 


Designed by Horse 

Client: Nongfu Spring 

Country: United Kingdom

Designers: Ian Firth & Sarah Pidgeon 

Illustrator: Natasha Searston

03 Mar 17:49

Why Popcorn Time Scares Netflix

by John McDuling

In January, Netflix, the online video streaming site, used its quarterly letter to shareholders to take aim at a rival. Not the premium-cable channel HBO, with which it's locked in an increasingly bitter battle for the best shows and movies; nor the cable provider Comcast, with which it's squabbled over the future of the Internet. Rather, Netflix’s missive called out a new adversary. “Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors,” it reads. “Popcorn Time’s sharp rise relative to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands, for example, is sobering.”

Popcorn Time is one of the most fascinating sites on the Internet at the moment. It's a platform that allows people to access vast swathes of video content without paying for it, but with a clean, legitimate-looking (and somewhat Netflix-y) interface. In other words, it isn't a shady-looking portal that makes the user feel like they're engaging in illegal behavior by logging on.

By some estimates, Popcorn Time’s user base in the Netherlands rivals that of Netflix. It also appears to be quite popular in the U.S. Bloomberg reported last week that usage of the service in the U.S. more than trebled between July 2014 and January 2015, and it now accounts for one-ninth of all torrent traffic in the country. Its rise reflects a sobering reality for the entertainment industry. Despite the widespread success of Internet-based content smorgasbords with simple pricing models like Netflix, piracy endures. And TV and movie piracy, at least, is almost impossible to wipe out.

Unlike in music, where services like Spotify offer a single subscription for almost any track the user might want, there's no one-stop shop for video. That’s partly because of the way licensing works: Movies are released at different times for theaters, video-on-demand, and then cable-TV or streaming services. It’s partly also because, unlike in music, video-streaming services have chosen to compete with each other by offering their own exclusive content rather than trying to have the most complete menu. As a result, the best products remain spread out across a confusing phalanx of outlets.

Web Search Interest in the Netherlands—Last 12 Months

(Data: Google Trends, normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100)

Popcorn Time, according to people who use it, lets you access just about everything on the Internet. It operates using the BitTorrent protocol, a file-sharing method that breaks large files into small pieces, which are shared out across the network of its users’ computers. When a user wants to download a file, her computer assembles it from pieces stored on other people’s computers across the network. This makes it easier to download large files, and harder to pinpoint who's responsible for uploading them—and thus almost impossible to eliminate. (The main difference between Popcorn Time and traditional BitTorrent is that when you choose a file to watch, BitTorrent assembles it first and stores it on your computer’s hard drive; PopcornTime just streams it as its components come in.)

The site emerged seemingly out of nowhere last year. The people claiming to be its creators wrote that it began as a challenge by “a group of geeks from Buenos Aires who wanted to see if they could create a better way to watch movies.” By March last year they had abandoned it because, they said, they “need[ed] to move on with our lives."

Others quickly took up the baton. There are multiple Popcorn Time sites now; is the biggest, it has the most likes on Facebook (it passed 100,000 recently) and it appears at the top of Google searches. It has a desktop client for both Mac and Windows computers, plus a Linux version and an Android app.

So who is behind this slick operation? Last month, I spoke to a person who claims to be Popcorn Time’s official spokesperson, a 20-something from Ontario called Robert “Red” English. He says that there are about 20 people—programmers and designers—scattered across the planet, working on Popcorn Time in their free time. It's an open-source project, so anyone can submit changes to the code, add features, and fix bugs. If he and the rest of the team think a contributor is helping, they will ask him or her to join on a more formal basis. Contributors change frequently.

Related Story

Soccer's Unsolvable Piracy Problem

Popcorn Time has no funding—it’s run out of the pockets of the small community behind it—and no business model, English says. Unlike other platforms used for piracy, it doesn’t even carry advertising. "We are a community and we are not really driven by the money of it," he says. "I don’t think it will be ever turned into a proper business." In other words, there are no plans to emulate Napster or BitTorrent and seek legitimacy. Napster, the first file-sharing site to gain prominence, had a string of legitimate business owners after being shut down, including German Media conglomerate Bertelsmann and U.S. retailer Best Buy, and is now part of streaming music provider Rhapsody. BitTorrent (the company, not the protocol) is backed by venture capital funds including Accel Partners.

So if there’s no money in it, why do the people behind Popcorn Time bother? Fun, mainly, English says. “A lot of the project is about showing … other companies like Netflix that having the content that’s currently on air—the new stuff, not last season—that’s what drives people to watch. It’s a way of showing the media that you can do better.”

The team behind the original Popcorn Time insisted they had checked “four times” with lawyers that the service was legal. English says his team has been in contact with lawyers, “but for the most part there is not a lot we need to speak to them about.” Popcorn Time doesn't control or manage any of the content that is accessible through the service; it just provides the method of access. “We are not selling you a product, we are not ripping you off," he says. "We are just giving something out for free."

The video and music industry see things differently. There have been countless lawsuits against BitTorrent services and their users. Some, notably in Sweden, have been successful, even ending up with convictions. But in the U.S., as Mother Jones reported a year ago, judges have been getting more skeptical about the evidence copyright holders present. Basically, an IP address—a number that identifies each computer connected to a network—is no longer considered such a reliable indicator of who has been actually downloading or uploading files.

Popcorn Time does not control or manage content; it just provides the method of access.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a trade association for Hollywood studios that's been involved in many lawsuits against copyright offenders, declined to comment on Popcorn Time to Quartz. So did Netflix. But Parker Higgins from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a consumer digital rights group, argues that Popcorn Time is no more illegal than photocopiers or videocassette recorders. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that Sony’s Betamax video recorder wasn’t illegal because it was capable of “significant non-infringing use.” Similarly, Popcorn Time can be used to navigate vast swathes of non-copyrighted material, Higgins explains. “If it’s used to infringe copyright, that may itself be a violation, but that doesn’t make the tool illegal.”

The Betamax defense isn’t iron-clad. At least two file-sharing sites that tried to use it—Grokster and Streamcast—lost, because the court ruled that they actively encouraged piracy. But that case also marked out a territory within which file-sharing is legal, making it easier for sites like Popcorn Time to stay (just) on the right side of the law.

English says the team behind Popcorn Time is aware that the platform is being used extensively in places like the Netherlands and “had a general idea that people were beginning to talk about us.” But what he didn't realize was that it was starting to get noticed on Wall Street.

More From Quartz

Investment analysts are concerned about its impact on Netflix and other big entertainment companies that produce and own content. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield for one, has repeatedly warned that “Hollywood should be very afraid” of apps like Popcorn Time, which he says could threaten the financial strength of the entertainment business. “The reality is TV everywhere [i.e., online services from US cable TV providers and channels such as HBO Go] has gone nowhere while the piracy sites such as Popcorn Time have continued to innovate,” Greenfield says in an email.

Popcorn Time doesn't track usage and isn't particularly concerned about the imitators it has spawned. “In general we don’t care,” English says, “but when it comes to the ones that install viruses on your computer it pisses us off because it ruins a good name.” To think that a group of earnest freelancers working in their spare time could pose challenge to Netflix, a $30 billion company, not to mention media giants that have been around for decades, is staggering. But as long as the big TV and movie studios continue to limit their content to certain online platforms, there’ll be demand for a service that provides it all in one place—especially if that service is also free.

03 Mar 18:51

Mount Everest, Toilet

by Adam Chandler

Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Everest's iconic conqueror, once said "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." Increasingly though, since Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first reached the summit in 1953, the world's tallest mountain has become ourselves.

A new scourge facing Mount Everest, according to Ang Tshering, the head of Nepal’s mountaineering association, is human waste. “Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there,” the AP reported on Tuesday. If there is too much waste in a single hole, the material cannot decompose properly.

Tshering also noted that hundreds of foreign climbers visit the site each year and that there is no plumbing above base camp. In addition to making the mountain less pristine, officials say the dumping, if you will, also poses a health hazard.

The association has a detailed guide for the handling of human waste, dedicating as many lines of instruction to the endeavor as the disposal of garbage. Nepal requires climbers to bring down everything they take up or lose a $4,000 deposit, but there is no such penalty for improperly disposing of organic material. Wildlife can be drawn to the unfamiliar scent and vegetation can be disturbed, according to the association. The group is drawing attention to the hazard because the climbing season begins this week and as more adventurers chase the peak, camps are being spoiled with human waste.

Writing in The Atlantic, Kaid Benfield detailed an annual voyage by locals called the Eco Everest Expedition, which in 2011, sought to "bring down 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms) of garbage from the lower part of the mountain and another 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) from near the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) summit. As he writes, that detritus includes "empty oxygen bottles, ropes, tents, and other garbage."

Then, there are the human deaths on the mountain which, as Svati Kirsten Narula pointed out last year, total nearly 900 from 1950 until today. Some 16 climbers died in one deadly ice release last year, which some blamed on another man-made phenomenon: global warming.

03 Mar 17:48

Ásatrú in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

by russiansledges
Inmates of the "Intensive Management Unit" at Washington State Penitentiary who are adherents of Ásatrú in 2001 were deprived of their Thor's Hammer medallions.[43] In 2007, a federal judge confirmed that Ásatrú adherents in US prisons have the right to possess a Thor’s Hammer pendant.
01 Mar 00:30

Statuesque - @goodfellow

Russian Sledges

edward gorey, I presume

Statuesque - @goodfellow

03 Mar 22:36

Boston: 1630 Shoreline with modern shoreline overlayed.

Russian Sledges

via firehose

Boston: 1630 Shoreline with modern shoreline overlayed.

03 Mar 22:38

Cesar Chavez Park: Birding Hotspot | Golden Gate Audubon Society

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

attn rosalind

it is worth going to the berkeley marina to see if the tiny owls are still hanging out

About midway on the path, look for a bird ID plaque, showing photos of the most common birds. Further along at the northeast corner, the Burrowing Owl habitat usually attracts observers when the birds can be seen poking their heads out of a ground squirrel burrow, between November and March. These small owls – a California Species of Concern — are almost invisible because of their coloring, but a docent with a spotting scope can show you where to look.
03 Mar 13:27

Streetscapes: Did a real estate broker...

by Tom Acitelli

022615i-petition.jpg Did a real estate broker forge a bunch of names to eighty-six a wine bar? "An April 1 arraignment in Cambridge District Court could get at an answer, as Sydney DePaulo has been summonsed on multiple charges ... related to a petition he submitted in March against the opening of a wine bar and charcuterie called UpperWest at 1001 Massachusetts Avenue, near Harvard Square. ... [B]ut it's not clear that any names on it are real aside from his own." [Day]

03 Mar 03:32

hatpire:thefabulousconchitawurst:xSince Eurovision last year...

Russian Sledges

via firehose




Since Eurovision last year I’ve seen a ton of people confusing Conchita as a beacon of transgender pride and it’s always irked me. She isn’t transgender and has never claimed as such, as the image set here shows. She seems very respectful towards people who are, in fact, transgender, and I’m glad she’s taken so much time to clarify the difference between the drag persona of Conchita Wurst (and her male performer) and what being transgender actually is.

27 Feb 13:55

#TheDress and the Rise of Attention-Policing

by Megan Garber
Russian Sledges

attn overbey: do you suppose criticism of the criticism of the meta-news of #thedress is the final stage of #thedress coverage?

Swiked/Tumblr/The Internet/The Atlantic

It caused Taylor Swift to feel “confused and scared.” It caused a rupture in the Kardashian-West household that might never be repaired. It caused Chris Murphy, a Democratic representative from Connecticut, to come out and say, “I know three things: 1) the ACA works; 2) climate change is real; 2) [sic] that dress is gold and white.” It caused the rest of us to question our sanity and our friends and the nature of reality.

The basic problem with The Dress—having gone viral on BuzzFeed last night, it has already come to stand in for all dresses, Platonically—is this: Some people see it as blue and black. Others see it as white and gold. And each side is, like, 1,000 percent sure that they see the dress as it is, in reality—so sure that the conversations about the dress have tended to play out as ALL-CAPS ASSERTIONS OF OBJECTIVE TRUTH because OMG YOU GUYS IT’S WHITE AND GOLD AND IF YOU CAN’T SEE THAT THEN I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU. (And also as ALL-CAPS DECLARATIONS of a slightly more modest variety: "I swear to you its no hoax," Swiked, who wrote the Tumblr post that launched a thousand existential doubts, promised. "I saw the dress in real life, it’s blue and black. Some people just see this pic as white and gold. I DONT HAVE ANY ANSWERS BUT I NEED THEM.")

Here is what The Dress, as depicted across the Internet, looks like:

The original dress, from the original Tumblr post (swiked/Tumblr)

The visual/moral/existential discrepancies—ceci n’est pas une robe—are most likely traceable to the play of light on the pigment rhodopsin, found in the rods of the human eye, and also to the glorious dynamism of the human sensory experience, though maybe also to a hoax of Santa and/or Söze proportions, and possibly also to a rupture in the space-time continuum that can be mended only by Matthew McConaughey's dimples. Regardless. The Rorschach dress—the dress that, as so many news outlets have reminded us, has "broken the Internet"—has brought us together; it has divided us; it has caused us to question the physical world and our place within it and hinted that perception is relative and also that while facts may be sacred they are also uncomfortably unsteady. Maybe the left shark was actually yellow, and what is yellow anyway, I mean like how would you describe yellow to a blind person, and have you ever really looked at your hand, like really looked, and HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE WHAT I SEE and maybe The Matrix was onto something and I AM SORRY BUT IT IS SO OBVIOUSLY WHITE AND GOLD and either way we will all die alone.  

So, yeah. You can read the dress—sorry, #thedress—as a metaphor: for our knee-jerk impulse toward partisanship (#TEAMBLUEANDBLACK), for the dynamic nature of observable reality (#TEAMWHITEANDGOLD), for the Internet’s ability to prove Walt Whitman right yet again, for its ability to prove Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrong yet again, for the fundamental challenge of consensus-building in American democracy, for Plato’s caves and Russell’s turtles and Bill Murray’s groundhog. What I want to focus on, though, is a little sliver of all that: a particular strain of commentary that arose during the explosion of conversation about #thedress. Here is a representative tweet, from God (well, @TheTweetofGod) himself:

The color of a dress? Really? That's what you're asking Me? THE OCEAN LEVELS ROSE FOUR INCHES IN TWO YEARS. You know that, right?

— God (@TheTweetOfGod) February 27, 2015

This is a line of logic that will be familiar from most any Meme Event—the logic that says, basically, "don’t look at that; that is unimportant." It’s attention-policing, and it’s reminiscent of so many other strains of rhetorical legislation that play out in online conversations: You can’t say that. You can’t talk about that. GUYS, the attention-policer usually begins. How can you be talking about a dress/a leg/a pair of llamas/a dancing neoprene shark when climate change/net neutrality/marriage equality/ISIS/China/North Korea is going on?

The world, to be sure, is a complicated and often tragic and often deeply unfair place. It contains famines and genocides and war, births and deaths, Katy Perry and Björk, Big Macs and kale and Bloomin' Onions, privilege and the lack of it, llamas that are caged and llamas that are free. And we humans—animals who are striving to be so much more—have a big say in the balance between the good and the bad. We should not be glib about any of that. Nor should we lose sight of the fact that, if you find yourself with the ability to use the most transformational communications platform the world has ever known to engage in debates about the color of a dress being sold on Amazon dot com, you are, fundamentally, extremely privileged. And thus in a better position than most to make the world better. Attention is a valuable thing; we have an obligation to be selective about where we direct it.

And yet. The problem with attention-policing—besides the fact that it tends to be accompanied by humorlessness and marmery, and besides the other fact that it serves mostly to amplify the ego of the person doing the policing—is that it undermines the value of Internet memes themselves. Those memes, whether they involve #thedress or #llamadrama or #leftshark or #whathaveyou, are culturally lubricating. They create, and reinforce, the imagined community. Last night, we needed each other—not just to share and joke and laugh, but also to prove to ourselves that we weren’t going completely crazy. “TELL ME WHAT COLOR THIS DRESS IS,” I texted a friend. “OKAY, PHEW,” I texted again, when he saw it as white-and-gold. I also, on the other hand, mock-disowned a significant percentage of the people I love in a haze of #whiteandgold partisanship—but even that kind of faux-fighting has its value. Theorists of play, from Huizinga to Piaget, have pointed out how powerful the infrastructures of games can be. They allow us to explore ideas and bond in a mutually-agreed-upon environment. Jane McGonigal, the game designer and theorist, suggests that the alternate universes provided by video games allow us to think in terms of collaboration and problem-solving. Games’ constraints, she argues, are actually empowering.

And what are memes if not games? They are small; they are low-stakes; they are often silly. (Sorry, #llamadrama.) But they are also communal. They invite us to participate, to adapt, to joke, to create something together, under the auspices of the same basic rules. That is not a small thing. That is, in fact, a huge thing—particularly when it comes to the very concerns the attention police like to remind us of. If we have any hope of solving the world’s most systemic and sweeping problems, we will have to come together. Inequality, climate change, injustices both enormous and less so … these will require cooperative action. They will require us to collaborate and compromise and value diversity. The dress makes a pretty good metaphor for all that. Also, it is totally white and gold.

This article was originally published at

28 Feb 12:18

Fear Envelops Russia After Killing of Putin Critic Boris Y. Nemtsov

An old friend recounted hearing the former deputy prime minister tell of dangerous new research on Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

28 Feb 17:04

dilithium-crystals: #actual fangirl Jadzia Dax Me and Jadzia...

Russian Sledges

via firehose

<3 <3 <3


#actual fangirl Jadzia Dax

Me and Jadzia knew what was up. #SpockLoveForever

27 Feb 02:30

GEAR | L.L. Bean Tote Fauxnograms

by Lizzie
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Nothing really new about the fact that you can customize L.L. Bean's iconic canvas tote bags in any way you want, but I still get a kick out of it. So many opportunities for humor not taking monograms so seriously. Here are a few I'm mulling over before spring. Very important things to think about over the weekend.

Keep up with Tomboy Style elsewhere: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER.

P.S. FairEnds x Tomboy Style hats!
28 Feb 19:50

A guide to washing machine / laundry symbols.

Russian Sledges

via firehose

A guide to washing machine / laundry symbols.

27 Feb 15:00

Mount Eerie – Sauna

by invisibleoranges
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Phil Elverum’s new record straddles the line between metal and indie, with interesting results.

This is a content summary only. Click on the story to read the whole thing at
25 Feb 14:30

Fair Use Fundamentals Infographic

by Jill Hurst-Wahl
Fair Use Fundamentals InfographicThe Fair Use Week web site has this infographic on Fair Use Fundamentals.  Thankfully, it carries a Creative Commons license, so you are able to share and reuse it, if you wish - and I think you will indeed wish to use it!
25 Feb 18:10

O Librărie

Russian Sledges

via firehose

(otters: "I like this but those tables and railings are going to get fucking filthy")

27 Feb 19:16

Ad-hoc museums of a failing utopia: the store windows of the last days of the USSR

by Cory Doctorow
Photographer David Hlynsky -- American born, Canadian residing, child of Eastern European emigres -- took over 8,000 street photos of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, East Germany and Russia, documenting the last days of ideological anti-consumer shopping, now anthologized in an amazing book. Read the rest
27 Feb 15:46

The History of the New York Subway as a GIFA fun little GIF from...

The History of the New York Subway as a GIF

A fun little GIF from Appealing Industries that shows the construction of the modern New York Subway in sequence. I’d really like it to be just a little slower, and have a year clock somewhere. Bonus points would have been awarded for showing the construction and eventual demolition of the elevated lines as well. Still nicely done, and almost mesmeric after a while.

Compare with this GIF of the Boston “T”.

Source: Appealing Industries website via quite a few readers this morning

27 Feb 23:07

Great Job, Internet!: Fuck libraries: a bibliography of every book mentioned on Parks And Recreation

by Dan Selcke
Russian Sledges

via firehose

There will never be another new episode of Parks And Recreation. This fact cannot be denied, no matter how hard we try. However, hope need not fade so long as fans keep posting remembrances, retrospectives, video remixes, and other such tributes until the gods take pity on them and fold time back on itself, allowing everyone to experience the magic of the series anew.

With that goal in mind, here is a list of books, both real and fictional, that were embraced by key members of the Parks And Recreation gang over the course of the show. With titles like Air Force Nøne and Mulch Ado About Nothing, the list demonstrates that the Parks writers had a facility with wordplay that rivaled that of The Simpsons writers and their famously hilarious signage.

  1. A History Of Pawnee, Indiana
  2. It’s Not the Size of the Boat: Embracing Life with a Micro ...
27 Feb 21:25

Pat Robertson Thinks There Could Be Demons In Your Second-Hand Clothes

by Meredith Woerner
Russian Sledges

"...But I don't think every sweater you get from Goodwill has demons in it."

if only

Human goblin creature, Pat Robertson, is an adult who thinks that spirits can attach themselves to your old thrift shop purchases. No really, Pat Robertson thinks there are demons in your vintage band t-shirts.


27 Feb 00:00

Dress Color

This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car.
26 Feb 13:08


Russian Sledges

via firehose

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.