Shared posts

19 Feb 16:35

Just saying.

by Jessica Hagy


The post Just saying. appeared first on Indexed.

27 Feb 15:46

Dune recreated with gummi

by Cory Doctorow


"Crafted from a 2-foot-long gummy worm, Haribo gummy bears, black licorice string, yellow sprinkles, and rock candy crystals! A scene from the great science fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Here we see the giant gummy worm on the desert planet of Arrakis. Ridden by the powerful gummy bear Paul Atreides as he seeks to control the prescious "spice" melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and some prescient awareness. Muad'Dib!" (more…)

12 Feb 14:22

allacharade: frog-and-toad-are-friends: I’m reading Don Quixote for my world literature class and...



I’m reading Don Quixote for my world literature class and apparently when it was first published in 1605 it was world-changingly popular, one of the first “popular novels” as we know it today, and there were all sorts of people who were writing and publishing their own unofficial fan-sequels to Don Quixote which was basically the first fan-fiction, and then in 1615 the original author wrote an official sequel in which Don Quixote reads a piece of fanfic about him and sets out on a quest to beat up the author who mischaracterized him

This is all true. What happened more specifically is that one fan fiction got really really popular and since people weren’t all that familiar with how novels worked (because there weren’t really any other novels in Europe yet), a lot of people just took this as a valid sequel. Cervantes (the original author) had pretty much stopped working on any kind of sequel to the original at point, but he got really pissed that people were reading this fan fic and assuming it was as legit as his canon. So he got off his butt and wrote this sequel, which academics call big words like “meta-textual” when really it was Cervantes trying to make sure people understood his canon correctly and didn’t get carried away with their silly fan theories based on this one fic writer’s interpretation. 

Now-a-days, the “true sequel” is normally just lumped in and stuck onto the end as a “part II,” in case you are wondering why you’ve never heard of a Don Quixote the Sequel. By all accounts, the fan fic was pretty bad, which makes it’s a perfect beginning to the grand tradition of fanfiction.

Calling this the first instance of fanfiction, though, comes from the fact that this was the first time, as far as we know, that the author of the original stepped in to officially denounce fan work as not canon. For most of history (at least western history) there wasn’t really an idea that stories had ownership. Most famous greek plays and poems are based on other works. Virgil’s Aeneid can easily be called Homer fan fiction (we have no real way of knowing how much of the story existed in folk tradition and how much he made up). Most of the versions of greek myths you know come from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which is largely his short fics about other myths. Moving out of the classical world, bible fic constitutes a lot of what literature is for a while. Dante’s  Inferno, specifically, (which is, lets be clear, a self insert fic where the author meets his fave author - so it’s also RPF - and they take a tour through a crossover fic between the Bible, historical fic, and greek myth) was so popular that it’s kind of crossed over into fanon (quick - biblically how many cicles does Hell have? Answer: none, they all come from Dante and in turn Virgil, and eventually Homer…) On the run up to Don Quixote, we have Shakespeare, who adapted most of his plays directly from other works by other people, from which he asked no permission (nor was he expected to.)

The real move that makes this false sequel the first official fan fiction is that the author of the canon material asserted his ownership of the intellectual property that was the characters and the story. Not in the legal sense - there was nothing illegal about this sequel - but in the sense that you could call this sequel “unauthorized.” It’s the beginning of thinking of characters and stories as belonging to a specific person, rather than simply being created by said person.

23 Feb 18:45

Hark, A Vagrant: Karl Heinrich Ulrichs

buy this print!

Here is a comic about a man I admire very much! Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was an early champion of LGBT rights, and maybe the first person to speak publicly for them as he did in Munich in 1867. The last picture there is the place where he spoke. He used the word "Urning" for gay men, a term he coined, because even the word "homosexual" wasn't invented yet (it would be soon after). I only found out about him last fall, which is surprising and also sadly not surprising. But he was really amazing, I'm sure you will agree.

Hark! A Vagrant is a strange mix, sometimes the comics are straight jokes and sometimes, like here, I just want to talk about someone I think is great in a way that's easy to pick up on - comics are great for that! And I tell you what, I got so much out of this particular collection, of all the things I read. Here is a link:

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs:
Urning Pride and the First Known Gay Activist

Translated and Edited by Michael Lombardi-Nash, PhD

The document is a mix of things, essays and Karl's own writings and I think you will like it very much. I'm going to leave you with the epitaph on the stone his friends put up for him, he had many friends and admirers. It reads like a little affectionate biography.

Karl Henrich Ulrichs
who was born in Westerfeld near East Friesland
He distinguished himself and became renowned among
his equals by his mental faculties in the humanities and other disciplines
through instruction he received in Gottingen and Berlin.
He was concerned about new problems in anthropology and jurisprudence.
He had a remarkable sense of duty.
He was not elevated to prosperity nor was he humbled
by the attacks from his adversaries.
As a pauper he left the region of Hanover and went into exile.
He traveled through a great part of Europe.
He displayed everywhere a model character by his knowledge and virtue.
Finally he came to live in Aquila in central Italy to live for a long time.
He edited a Latin journal titled "Alaudae" [Larks]
which received praise from the old and new world.
Not complaining, not anguished, he died in our city in his 70th year
on the day before the Ides of July 1895
His loyal friends and admirers here and across the Alps
joined in to pay for this gift for their best friend whom
they mourn the loss of, and mock his lack of fortune
by this truly excellent monument.

"New problems in anthropology and jurisprudence." Victorians, amirite? But still I mean, who doesn't want their friends to mock their lack of fortune with truly excellent monuments?
18 Feb 04:36

Wilde Life - 189


I love inappropriately-time grammar corrections.

New comic!
Today's News:

You guys are amazing. Thank you so much for the kickstarter. The book is definitely happening and there's so much time left!!

13 Feb 15:52

When you teargas a smooth hacky-sacker

by Cory Doctorow

riot skillz

This is found net.stuff, but my cursory research suggests it might come from Manama, Bahrain. That dude is s-m-o-o-t-h. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

18 Feb 18:17

Superduperperspective paintings that trick the eye

by Mark Frauenfelder


"This is an amazing piece of 3D art [by Patrick Hughes and on display at Birmingham Art Gallery] where the closest part of the picture appears to be the furthest away, an optical illusion known as "Reverspective". As you move around the painting, the room in the painting appears to move with you."

02 Feb 23:38

prokopetz: I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out...


I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out to me that your typical “geek” is just as hypermasculine as your typical “jock” when you look at it from the right angle.

As male geeks, a great deal of our identity is built on the notion that male geeks are, in some sense, gender-nonconformant, insofar as we’re unwilling or unable to live up to certain physical ideals about what a man “should” be. Indeed, many of us take pride in how putatively unmanly we are.

Viewed from an historical perspective, however, the virtues of the ideal geek are essentially those of the ideal aristocrat: a cultured polymath with expertise in a vast array of subjects; rarefied or eccentric taste in food, clothing, music, etc.; identity politics that revolve around one’s hobbies or pastimes; open disdain for physical labour and those who perform it; a sense of natural entitlement to positions of authority (“you should be flipping my burgers!”); and so forth.

And the thing about that aristocratic ideal? It’s intensely masculine. It may seem more welcoming to women on the surface, but - as recent events will readily illustrate - this is a facade: we pretend to be egalitarian because it suits our refined self-image, but that affectation falls away in a heartbeat when challenged.

Basically, the whole “geeks versus jocks” thing that gets drilled into us by media and the educational system isn’t about degrees of masculinity at all. It’s just two different flavours of the same toxic bullshit: the ideal geek is the alpha-male-as-philosopher-king, as opposed to the ideal jock’s alpha-male-as-warrior-king. It’s still a big ego-measuring contest - we’re just using different rulers.

04 Feb 16:01

Alternatives to "Resting Bitch Face"

by Cory Doctorow


On McSweeney's, Susan Harlan rounds up some less-objectionable alternatives we can use to describe so-called "Resting Bitch Face," such as "Yes I Really Do Just Want to Sit Here and Read My Book Unmolested Face." (more…)

03 Feb 05:00


by admin


The post 103 appeared first on Tiny Dick Adventures.

25 Jan 22:36


by Greg Ross

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

Please support Futility Closet on Patreon!

25 Jan 15:07

An Early Valentine’s ‘GIF(T)’ from Lonac

by Christopher Jobson



Here’s a fun new animated mural by Croatian artist Lonac (previously) who painted this anatomically-correct heart complete with an air duct aorta using nothing but freehand spray paint. You can take a peek at some of his ongoing projects over on Facebook.

18 Jan 20:49

Astronomers unofficially designate a David Bowie "constellation"

by David Pescovitz


Studio Brussels asked astronomers at Belgium's MIRA Public Observatory to select stars that would make a fitting asterism in memory of David Bowie. (Of course, only the International Astronomical Union can officially name stars and other astronomical objects, and it's almost always with a number.)

In any case, this effort was tied to the "Stardust for Bowie" annotation project for Google Sky. There is also an unrelated petition to "Rename planet Mars after David Bowie."

(via The Guardian)

20 Jan 17:53

Slow motion video of drill bit covered in many colors of paint

by Mark Frauenfelder


The Slow Mo Guys aimed their high-speed video camera at a spinning drill bit covered in paint. The result was pretty.

17 Jan 07:27

not-so-secret-nerd: rowanwould: The best explanation I’ve heard so far for why R2 only woke up at...



The best explanation I’ve heard so far for why R2 only woke up at the end, is that he actually does start booting up when BB8 first finds him; he just has to get through 10 years worth of updates before that.

I can literally accept that

21 Dec 16:40

IETF approves HTTP error code 451 for Internet censorship

by Cory Doctorow


The 451 HTTP error code, first proposed in 2012 as a tribute to Ray Bradbury's classic novel is now an IETF standard and is the preferred error message for a server to send to a browser when content is blocked for legal reasons. (more…)

06 Jan 18:18

A Logarithmic Map of the Entire Known Universe in One Image

by Christopher Jobson


Trying to imagine the scope of the cosmos is nearly impossible, but musician and artist Pablo Carlos Budassi decided to make a visual attempt by cramming the entire known universe into a single image. Using scores of satellite images and photos snapped from NASA’s rovers, he painstakingly pieced together many of the prominent features of the universe as observed from our solar system in the form of a logarithmic map. Logarithms are useful for understanding large numbers or distances, so in Budassi’s map each consecutive ‘ring’ around the circle represents several orders of magnitude further than the one before it.

Budassi was aided by similar (though less visually stunning) logarithmic maps produced by astronomers at Princeton back in 2005. In this map, our sun and solar system are seen in the middle, followed by the Milky Way Galaxy, another ring of nearby galaxies like Andromeda, all the way out to cosmic radiation and plasma generated by the bing bang on the furthest outskirts of the image.

You can see a much larger version of the map here and read a bit more about it on Tech Insider. (via I F*cking Love Science)

16 Nov 01:51

invokingbees: ultrafacts: The words on her tank: Боевая...



The words on her tank: Боевая подруга means Fighting Girlfriend [x]

While living in Tomsk, she learned that her husband was killed fighting the forces of Nazi Germany near Kiev in August 1941. The news took two years to reach her. The news angered her extremely, and she became determined to fight the Germans in vengeance for her husband’s death 

Most of the men fighting alongside Mariya just saw her as a publicity stunt and didn’t take her seriously. However, their doubts were quickly laid to rest when Mariya drove her tank straight into battle and was the first tank to breach the German lines. In doing so, she destroyed several machine gun nests and German artillery. It wasn’t long until the Germans figured out that her tank was the one they needed to really worry about.

The Germans immediately started focusing their gunfire on her medium Mariya-Vasilievna-Oktyabrskayasized tank, temporarily crippling it. Mariya didn’t sell all her worldly possessions just so she could sit around in a crippled tank. She was determined to get her vengeance. She leaped out of her tank into a hail of gunfire and started patching it back together so that she could charge even further into the enemy lines.

A month later Mariya found herself in the middle of night raid when her tank was hit by an artillery shell severing the tracks on her tank. She once again jumped out of her tank and started repairing the tracks while her gun crew provided covering fire. A few days later and a little worse for wear, she rejoined the fight.

Mariya Vasilyevna Oktyabrskaya  was the first female tanker to be awarded the Hero Of The Soviet Union award; the Soviet Union’s highest award for bravery during combat.

Sources: [1] [2]

Follow Ultrafacts for more facts



31 Dec 04:05

sonneillonv: theladyems: bramblepatch: bramblepatch: Ok so I know I’ve seen a few posts about...





Ok so I know I’ve seen a few posts about the Organa-Solos passing baby Ben back and forth and spoiling him rotten while rebuilding the Republic but also consider:


Big, loud, belligerent, protective, huggable Chewbacca toting his best friend’s kid around

You know what, I’m doubling down on this. Give me a Kylo Ren who not only understands spoken Wookie but can also speak it with a passable accent because Chewbacca babysat him so much when he was bitty. Give me a confrontation between them in Episode IIX where Chewy is screaming at him and Kylo Ren just starts irately yodeling back.


Chewie has a life debt toward Han that includes Han’s family, so YES LET’S DO THIS IT IS CANON

06 Jan 18:38




30 Dec 16:02

lung distance

by The Awkward Yeti

Lung Distance

25 Nov 22:27

And now, a summation of all the news:

by Jessica Hagy


The post And now, a summation of all the news: appeared first on Indexed.

01 Dec 15:30

The Elf on the Shelf is a surveillance-normalizing little creep

by Rob Beschizza


Important reminder, happy mutants! The Elf on the Shelf, the cherubic, round-eyed toy with a faux-traditional backstory, is yet another manifestation of the surveillance state. It watches you 24/7, then reports your behavior to an old white man with unaccountable authority who judges you and manipulates you with largesse or neglect.

Laura Pinto, a technology professor:

The gaze of the elf on the child’s real world (as opposed to play world) resonates with the purpose of the panopticon, based on Jeremy Bentham’s 18th century design for a model prison… What is troubling is what The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state. Further to this, The Elf on the Shelf website offers teacher resources, integrating into both home and school not only the brand but also tacit acceptance of being monitored and always being on one’s best behaviour--without question.

By inviting The Elf on the Shelf simultaneously into their play-world and real lives, children are taught to accept or even seek out external observation of their actions outside of their caregivers and familial structures. Broadly speaking, The Elf on the Shelf serves functions that are aligned to the official functions of the panopticon. In doing so, it contributes to the shaping of children as governable subjects.

The Washington Post asked her if she's serious. Yes and no, obviously:

“I don’t think the elf is a conspiracy and I realize we’re talking about a toy,” Pinto told The Post. “It sounds humorous, but we argue that if a kid is okay with this bureaucratic elf spying on them in their home, it normalizes the idea of surveillance and in the future restrictions on our privacy might be more easily accepted.”

The nastiest thing about the "Elf on the Shelf" is not that it elaborates the old "Santa's watching you" thing… ch090129 … but the life-overwhelming specificity with which it does it. The Elf on the Shelf's mythos controls the parameters of play, puts the observation of play expressly beyond the child's control, and defines who gets to touch what during play and who knows about it. It is a very creepy toy.

(Whether it's worse than toys that let parents secretly spy on children old enough to have a sense of privacy, or internet-connected ones that send recorded media over the internet, is another matter)

03 Dec 17:16

In historic shift, U.S. military to open all combat jobs to women

by Xeni Jardin

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter holds a news conference at the Pentagon.  REUTERS

The Associated Press is reporting today that U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will soon announce a historic change: The military will open all combat jobs to women.


23 Nov 00:00

Supreme Court

Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy called the man's arguments that he could be either Alito or Ginsburg "surprisingly compelling, but ultimately unconvincing."
16 Nov 00:00


The last band of color indicates the snake's tolerance for being held before biting.
22 Jul 13:08

Loving Touches

sleep is dumb

Tonight’s comic is about the kind of love only a cat can give you.

13 Nov 18:03

Cop who unplugged his cam before killing a 19-year-old girl is rehired

by Cory Doctorow

Screen-Shot-2015-11-12-at-3.16.59-PM (1)

Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear was ordered to wear a body-camera after many of the city's residents complained about their encounters with him. Afterward, he routinely failed to plug in the camera. His camera was not running when he shot and killed a 19-year-old girl in 2014. (more…)

25 Aug 20:21

Exercise Hurts

by The Awkward Yeti
12 Nov 15:49

I mean, if you’re gonna fight a holiday:

by Jessica Hagy