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18 May 19:16

A brief history of goths

by David Pescovitz

Given my own penchant in the 1980s for black clothing, black eyeliner, and Bauhaus, I was delighted by Dan Adams's TED-Ed video "A brief history of goths."

And if you find yourself in that delightfully dark place, please enjoy these classics:

17 May 23:06

Blacknoise generates irritating ambient sounds

by Rob Beschizza

Blacknoise is the opposite of a white noise generator: you leave it running and it produces annoying, aggravating sounds that go right through you.
17 May 23:05

With Great Privilege Comes Great Responsibility, Jimmy Fallon

by Dan Van Winkle

Donald Trump getting hair ruffled by Jimmy Fallon

You know the moment we’re going to talk about here: when Jimmy Fallon ruffled Donald Trump’s hair and instantaneously cemented his place as an enabler of this whole mess. That was a long time ago now—and feels even longer—but there’s a rare news profile today (from the New York Times) that isn’t about what specific variety of “anxiety” drove a Trump supporter to vote for that man. No, it’s about the real victim of Donald Trump’s rise: Jimmy Fallon.

Not that the current political moment hasn’t been bad for Fallon. Criticism of Fallon’s late night hosting skills have often pointed to his shows, both Late Night and now The Tonight Show, being light on substance and heavy on celebrities doing goofy things. The way things have been going lately, there’s definitely a desire for more comedy with a stronger viewpoint on the world, and that certainly has left Fallon at a bit of a disadvantage as Stephen Colbert finally overcame their sizable ratings gap.

But that’s all relative, and it’s incredibly difficult to feel bad for Fallon, considering the massive platform he has to say whatever he wants to the world. He told the Times, ““I don’t want to be bullied into not being me, and not doing what I think is funny,” he said more defiantly. “Just because some people bash me on Twitter, it’s not going to change my humor or my show,” but no one’s asking for him to turn his entire show toward—except maybe executives at NBC, for all I know. There’s just plenty of room for a happy medium between that extreme and actively trying to be apolitical to the point that you might actually be doing harm.

There’s also something to be said for providing an accurate view of the world rather than trying to achieve some kind of false balance between two sides that aren’t equal—something everyone in the media struggles with on a daily basis. Years before we even knew any of this would happen, the BBC tried to teach its reporters not to make false “both sides of the issue” equivalences, because that’s not something we just invented because we don’t like Donald Trump. Objective reality is never going to line up with the midway point between two political philosophies. In many cases, right and wrong exist. A platform like The Tonight Show has the ability to shape people’s view of where the “center” actually is, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s just as political to falsely put two unequal “sides” on equal footing as to give too much credit to the one you already favor, even if it’s unintentional.

Fallon seems to be saying it was. He also told the Times, “I didn’t [ruffle Trump’s hair] to humanize him. I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.'” At the time, that’s what I had assumed—that it was meant to follow in line with the storied history of mean-spirited jokes about Trump’s hair—but whether due to some super strength hair gel preventing the hair from getting messed up enough to drive the joke home, or due to Fallon’s demeanor not really coming across like he intended it to be a pointed moment, or due to the humanizing tone of the interview that preceded it, it certainly didn’t come off that way.

It’s especially difficult to feel bad for him, despite his assurance of, “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it,” because some of his reluctance to express an even modestly stronger point of view seems to be out of a fear that some people won’t like him—namely Trump voters, who he pointed out also watch The Tonight Show. “I’m a people pleaser,” he told the Times. “If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun.”

Yeah, getting political is hard. Some people won’t like you. Some people will like you, and then you’ll f*ck up, and they won’t like you anymore, or at least maybe they’ll think a little less of you. That happened to Stephen Colbert recently. It happens to us, around here, all the time. (And we’re always trying to do better!)

But that’s a choice we all make, and just like you really can’t be truly apolitical, it’s not a choice between alienating people and making everyone like you. There’s no scenario under which everyone likes you. You just have to choose which people you’re willing to alienate, and though that choice is yours to make, you also have to live with the message it sends. It’s easier to understand someone less privileged than Fallon choosing the path of least resistance, but he has the opportunity to do more than that and is consciously turning it down. He’s clearly decided that he’s more concerned about staying in the good graces of Trump supporters than of those who’d vocally criticize them, and as long as that’s how he feels, some of that criticism is going to come his way, too.

(image: NBC)

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17 May 22:58

Newswire: Grizzly Bear announces new album Painted Ruins, international tour

by William Hughes

Less than a month after releasing its first song in more than five years, indie experimental outfit Grizzly Bear has announced its fifth studio album, Painted Ruins. To mark the occasion, the band dropped a new song today, debuting “Mourning Sound” on its YouTube page. Oddly chipper despite its title and dreamy vibe, it’s a welcome reminder of what we’ve been missing since Shields hit stores back in 2012.

The band also announced an international tour in support of the album, which arrives on August 18. The tour will kick off in October in Ireland, before making its way over to North America for an autumn-winter run of shows. You can see the full schedule below.

Grizzly Bear—Painted Ruins

  1. Wasted Acres
  2. Mourning Sound
  3. Four Cypresses
  4. Three Rings
  5. Losing All Sense
  6. Aquarian
  7. Cut-Out
  8. Glass Hillside
  9. Neighbors
  10. Systole
  11. Sky Took Hold

Painted Ruins Tour 2017

10/5—Vicar Street ...

17 May 20:55

The 10th Doctor and Rose Are Back in the TARDIS for More Doctor Who Adventures! - Allons-y!

by Dan Van Winkle

The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special wasn’t our last chance to get David Tennant and Billie Piper back together for some Doctor Who—and they’re finally going to actually acknowledge each other/give us actual Rose Tyler rather than The Moment” this time! Always and forever, we will appreciate how easy time travel shows make it to slip in any additional adventure writers can dream up.

The pair will kick off Volume Two of Big Finish’s Tenth Doctor Adventures series that previously brought Tennant’s incarnation of the Time Lord back together with Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Not to be left out, Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) will also return for the audio dramas, which will include three new stories. Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said, “Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list—two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore—love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!”

The three episodes are Infamy of the Zaross (by John Dorney), Sword of the Chevalier (by Guy Adams), and Cold Vengeance (by Matt Fitton). The first centers on an alien invasion of Earth that’s not what it seems, the second has the Doctor and Rose “arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived their life as a woman,” and the third on a deep space asteroid where old Who villains, the Ice Warriors, are thawing out. All three episodes are coming in November, with preorders already open on Big Finish’s site—including a special edition set to really commemorate the moment.

(via Blastr, image: Big Finish)

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17 May 20:45

List: Unpleasant Thoughts You Had, and the Items You Purchased in Order to Stop Having Them


Unpleasant Thought: Even if war with North Korea is as imminent as the media would like you to imagine, and even if the sea levels are rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year, it’s probably still not okay that you don’t have any real retirement savings.

Object Purchased: Triple Cinnamon Cupcake, from the Sprinkles ATM.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: Maybe you are just bound to repeat the patterns from your parents’ marriages regardless of when and whom you marry.

Object Purchased: Capri Blue Surf Spray Candle, from Anthropologie.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: The Wedding Industrial Complex has been clouding your sense of what’s real and healthy and what’s imaginary and commercialized since birth.

Object Purchased: Sequined Pineapple Dish Towel, also from Anthropologie.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: You are now almost positive you pronounced it “car-CEREAL state” when you were drunk at that dinner party and trying to sound smart, and everyone heard it. Everyone.

Object Purchased: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Lipstick, in Daiquiri, from Sephora.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: There is no way of knowing if your new female acquaintance is being cold and competitive toward you or if your internalized misogyny is making you feel cold and competitive toward her, and being socialized all your life to expect indirect aggression from other women is causing you to project that feeling onto her actually lovely and well-intentioned words and behaviors, and there is ALSO no way of knowing how many potentially life-altering female friendships have been and will be lost to you forever in this way.

Object Purchased: Shroomami Warm Grain Bowl, from Sweetgreen.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: You have not called your grandfather in 96 days, and you tell yourself it is because he’s always taking a nap but you know that really it is because you are so selfishly and childishly afraid of his death and your death and of death in general.

Object Purchased: Graceful Gardens Planner & Datebook, from The Paper Source.

- -

Unpleasant Thought: There is no afterlife.

Object Purchased: 2-for-1 flip flops, in Coral Pink and Fuschia Islands, from Old Navy.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: You have wasted and squandered your many privileges.

Object Purchased: AIRism Stretch Cropped Pants, from Uniqlo.

- - -

Unpleasant Thought: There is no ethical consumption under capitalism.

Object Purchased: Sustainable Vegan Bracelet, Woven in Cambodia, from Bloomingdales

17 May 20:44

A Generation of Sociopaths – how Trump and other Baby Boomers ruined the world

by Azra Raza

Jane Smiley in The Guardian:

LmcThe day before I finished reading A Generation of Sociopaths, who should pop up to prove Bruce Cannon Gibney’s point, as if he had been paid to do so, but the notorious Joe Walsh (born 1961), former congressman and Obama denigrator. In answer to talkshow host Jimmy Kimmel’s plea for merciful health insurance, using his newborn son’s heart defect as an example, Walsh tweeted: “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anyone else to pay for somebody else’s health care.” Gibney’s essential point, thus proved, is that boomers are selfish to the core, among other failings, and as a boomer myself, I feel the “you got me” pain that we all ought to feel but so few of us do. Gibney is about my daughter’s age – born in the late 1970s – and admits that one of his parents is a boomer. He has a wry, amusing style (“As the Boomers became Washington’s most lethal invasive species … ”) and plenty of well parsed statistics to back him up. His essential point is that by refusing to make the most basic (and fairly minimal) sacrifices to manage infrastructure, address climate change and provide decent education and healthcare, the boomers have bequeathed their children a mess of daunting proportions. Through such government programmes as social security and other entitlements, they have run up huge debts that the US government cannot pay except by, eventually, soaking the young. One of his most affecting chapters is about how failing schools feed mostly African American youth into the huge for-profit prison system. Someday, they will get out. There will be no structures in place to employ or take care of them.

The boomers have made sure that they themselves will live long and prosper, but only at the expense of their offspring. That we are skating on thin ice is no solace: “Because the problems Boomers created, from entitlements on, grow not so much in linear as exponential terms, the crisis that feels distant today will, when it comes, seem to have arrived overnight.” As one who has been raging against the American right since the election of Ronald Reagan, as someone with plenty of boomer friends who have done the same, I would like to let myself off the hook, but Gibney points out that while “not all Boomers directly participated, almost all benefited; they are, as the law would have it, jointly and severally liable”.

More here.

17 May 20:37

Shell to offer at least 16 weeks maternity leave

by ryanhandy
  Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that beginning Jan. 1 it will offer at least 16 weeks paid maternity leave to its female employees worldwide. The policy will particularly boost benefits for employees in 45 countries where there are only limited paid or unpaid maternity leave benefits, such as in the United States. Shell also has ...
17 May 20:18

Read the Entire First Chapter of Charles Stross' New Laundry Files Novel, The Delirium Brief, Right Here

by Rob Bricken

Charles Stross’ Laundry Files is one of the best and best-loved scifi series running (and a personal favorite). His upcoming installment, The Delirium Brief, not only begins with the titular secret occult-protection organization being dragged into the public eye—spoiler: everyone is very upset—but brings back beloved…


17 May 20:11

White supremacy is everywhere: How do we fight a concept that has so thoroughly permeated our politics and culture?

by S. Abbas Raza

Anis Shivani in Salon:

Ku-klux-klan3-620x412In the first part of this series, I focused on some of the history of white supremacy, particularly its late 20th-century versions, which continue to have so much influence today upon the current alt-right movement. It’s important to understand this history — some of which enters into truly exotic terrain — to understand the continuity of ideas, and to realize that we are not facing anything really new in the current manifestation of white supremacy.

But there’s a more mundane side to white supremacy, which deserves to be studied with as much attention: the way in which white supremacy works in and through institutions that we otherwise think of as legitimate to the core, and even essential to the workings of liberal democracy. If we explore how this has occurred recently, then we can no longer push white supremacy aside as an ideology that can be prevented from infecting so-called “mainstream” institutions. I’m thinking primarily of political parties, but once we admit that white supremacy is a fundamental influence on how parties reinvent and calibrate themselves, then this necessarily sweeps the social organism as a whole into the indictment.

White supremacy implies a certain logic that is inimical to that of the Enlightenment (the foundation of modern democracy). It is no coincidence that much of contemporary white supremacy continues to focus on the Illuminati and Freemasons as the disseminators of “secular humanism” (i.e., the core values of the Enlightenment), or that conspiracy theory mines the same territory when it takes on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (attacked as a worldwide conspiracy to bring about godless materialism) or such obsessions as the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the rest of the institutions associated with the New World Order (largely meaning the forces of globalization). Against the Enlightenment, which is said to lead to the weakening of the nation as an embodiment of the pure idea of race, the white supremacist insists on separation of races as his natural right. Against mongrelization, the white supremacist desires purity.

More here.

15 May 16:32

Doctor Who Just Did One of Its Most Daring Episodes in Ages

by James Whitbrook

By its very nature, Doctor Who is a formulaic show. You’ve got the Doctor, you’ve got a companion, they go on an adventure, there’s a scary monster, they overcome it , and are back in the TARDIS in time to do it all over again. But its latest episode did something to twist that: it gave some major consequences to the…


08 May 19:55

Brian Greene on How Science Became a Political Prisoner

by Nick Stockton
Brian Greene on How Science Became a Political Prisoner
The author of <em>The Fabric of the Cosmos</em>, and other bestsellers, says America needs rational thinkers to step up and help fix its relationship with facts. The post Brian Greene on How Science Became a Political Prisoner appeared first on WIRED.
08 May 19:50

EPA Dismisses Half the Scientists on Its Major Review Board

by msmash
An anonymous reader shares a report: A few weeks after the election, pro-Trump commentator Scottie Nell Hughes heralded the dawn of a new era when she declared, "There's no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts." In the age of Trump there's little need for people who've devoted their lives to studying scientific facts, and over the weekend the administration finally got around to dismissing some of them. According to the Washington Post, about half of the 18 members on the Environmental Protection Agency's Board of Scientific Counselors have been informed that their terms will not be renewed. The academics who sit on the board advise the EPA's scientific board on whether its research is sound. The academics usually serve two three-year stints, and they were told by Obama administration officials and career EPA staffers that they would stay on for another term. But on Friday some received emails from the agency informing them that their first three-year term was up and they would not be renominated. Republican members of Congress have complained for some time that the Board of Scientific Counselors, as well as the 47-member Science Advisory Board, just rubber-stamp new EPA regulations. A spokesman for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt confirmed that he's thinking of replacing the academics with industry experts (though the EPA is supposed to be regulating those companies). Gretchen Goldman, research director at the Center for Science and Democracy, expressed her disappointment and asked, "What's the scientific reason for removing these individuals from this EPA science review board? It is rare to see such a large scale dismissal even in a presidential transition. The EPA is treating this scientific advisory board like its members are political appointees when these committees are not political positions. The individuals on these boards are appointed based on scientific expertise not politics. This move by the EPA is inserting politics into science."

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03 May 20:52

Crows atop other birds

by Andrea James

Crows are smart, and they can be kind of jerks sometimes. To wit: this series of crows perched or riding on top of other birds. Their victims range from indifferent to grumpy. (more…)
03 May 20:51

This coding bundle is the ultimate coding bundle

by Boing Boing's Store

You are probably very good at your job, and may not feel the need to learn how to code. That's perfectly okay. But it's possible that learning programming could be an interesting and fiscally rewarding way to enrich your life and advance your career. In that case, take a look at The Ultimate Learn to Code 2017 Bundle in the Boing Boing Store. This collection offers a multi-disciplinary approach to learning programming and features a wide variety of courses. A sampling of what you’ll learn:

  • How to build web applications with Ruby on Rails
  • Responsive web design with HTML, CSS
  • Cross-platform mobile app development
  • Crafting complex user interfaces using Angular.js and TypeScript
  • How to work with relational databases and client-server communication
  • Java, Python, Javascript, Objective-C, Swift, and other powerful programming languages

With over 80 hours of instructional content, you’ll gain fluency in an array of widely-used technology stacks and coding styles. Go ahead and take a deep dive into software development with the Ultimate Learn to Code 2017 Bundle, available in the Boing Boing Store.

03 May 20:50

Notorious B.I.G. sculpture is actually a giant paper coil

by Andrea James

Felix Semper paid tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. in the only way he knew how: by sculpting a slinky-esque coil of flexible paper into a remakably lifelike work of art. (more…)

03 May 20:48

American Gods Examines the Hidden Cost of Immigrating to the United States

by Katharine Trendacosta

America is a country of opportunity, as we’re constantly told. People come here with nothing yet can make themselves billionaires. But there’s a price that immigrants have to pay when they come to this country, an unspoken loss that lies at the heart of American Gods. “We are a country of cultural appropriation,” says…


03 May 18:20

Interns at Facebook, Google Out-Earn the Average American

by msmash
Alayna Treene, writing for Axios: Long gone are the days of unpaid internships, at least at these 25 companies who are paying interns more than what the average American earns. Tech and finance interns in particular -- including at Google, Bloomberg, BlackRock, and Facebook -- earn more per month than the average American, according to data released by Glassdoor Tuesday.

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03 May 18:19

E-reader Sales Slack as Paper Books Reclaim Market Share

by Jessica Hall

If you have an e-reader laying somewhere collecting dust, you aren't alone. More and more consumers are making the shift back to hard copy.

The post E-reader Sales Slack as Paper Books Reclaim Market Share appeared first on ExtremeTech.

06 Mar 19:41

Excellent, cheap monitor stand

by Mark Frauenfelder

The AmazonBasics Metal Monitor Stand ($15) was just what I needed to give my monitor a 4.25 inch boost. My laptop fits under the monitor, too, freeing up desk space.

06 Mar 19:39

Here's how Texas' bathroom bill could impact Houston's tourism industry

by Joe Martin
The proposed "bathroom bill" is currently the cause of heated debate in Austin, but local leaders say Senate Bill 6 could play a role in Houston's ability to draw in new conventions and trade shows. SB-6 is a bill requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their biological sex. Proposed by four Texas Republicans, the bathroom bill has been a legislative priority for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick despite state and local business groups arguing the bill could have an adverse impact…
06 Mar 19:38

Cartographers’ Stories

by Jonathan Crowe

Daniel Huffman and John Nelson have launched A Cartographer’s Story, a website that collects personal essays from mapmakers.

While our community has a rich culture of sharing project walkthroughs and clever tricks, our colleagues also need to hear about the personal and emotional relationships we have with our maps. We invest ourselves in creating works that are meant to stir the hearts and imaginations of others—and in return our works invest in us. What are your stories? How has mapping moved you or changed you? Did it encourage you through a tough time? Teach you something about yourself? Represent a significant relationship in your life?

Seven stories posted so far; they’re looking for more.

06 Mar 19:38

John Blake’s Sea Chart Books

by Jonathan Crowe

Two books by John Blake on nautical maps that had heretofore escaped my attention: The Sea Chart, the second edition of which came out last May; and Sea Charts of the British Isles, a 2008 book that is getting a paperback edition in April. [WMS]

06 Mar 19:37

Powerful Video Shows Why Ghost In The Shell Whitewashing Has Real Consequences

by Beth Elderkin

It can be easy to dismiss issues of representation in the abstract. Casting Scarlett Johansson as the lead in Ghost In The Shell was portrayed as part of the business, and many who criticized it as whitewashing were told they were over-reacting. After all, “it’s just a movie.” But as one video shows, there’s nothing…


06 Mar 19:26

You May Want to Marry My Husband

by S. Abbas Raza

Amy Krouse Rosenthal in the New York Times:

05LOVE-master768I have been trying to write this for a while, but the morphine and lack of juicy cheeseburgers (what has it been now, five weeks without real food?) have drained my energy and interfered with whatever prose prowess remains. Additionally, the intermittent micronaps that keep whisking me away midsentence are clearly not propelling my work forward as quickly as I would like. But they are, admittedly, a bit of trippy fun.

Still, I have to stick with it, because I’m facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one. I need to say this (and say it right) while I have a) your attention, and b) a pulse.

I have been married to the most extraordinary man for 26 years. I was planning on at least another 26 together.

Want to hear a sick joke? A husband and wife walk into the emergency room in the late evening on Sept. 5, 2015. A few hours and tests later, the doctor clarifies that the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn’t the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer.

As the couple head home in the early morning of Sept. 6, somehow through the foggy shock of it all, they make the connection that today, the day they learned what had been festering, is also the day they would have officially kicked off their empty-nestering. The youngest of their three children had just left for college.

More here.

06 Mar 19:25

Things We Saw Today: The Metal-as-Hell Cellist Behind the Wonder Woman Theme

by Marykate Jasper


Tina Guo, the classically trained musician who provided the badass cello riffs on Wonder Woman’s theme from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, shared a video of her making the song even more metal. She told io9 that the video below is in preparation for her personal work, rather than a new song for Wonder Woman, but she is recording something for Wonder Woman. Either way, we can still enjoy (a) her talent (b) her use of the hashtag #PizzaPower.

  • Amy Jo Johnson, the original Pink Ranger, pranked the cast of the new Power Rangers movie by pretending to be a reporter at their press junket. (via Nerdist)
  • ScreenCrush shared an amazing look at all the visual effects work that went into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the movie overall, I still found the amount of work and artistry that goes into creating these scenes astounding. It’s worth checking out.
  • Remezcla and NPR’s Latino USA released a story about the fascinating, super-secret process of creating the Spanish-language dub of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The secrecy around the film was just absurd. As described by io9, translator Katya Ojeda “had to translate from a rotoscoped version of the film. The entire screen was in black, and when the actors talked, little ‘bubbles’ would open up so she could observe the lip movements.” (via io9)
  • Danny Rand will not wear a costume in the first season of Iron Fist, so fans of navel-deep plunging necklines will have to wait. (via CBR)
  • Disney has posted the first five minutes of their Disney Channel Original Movie, Tangled: Before Ever After. The movie is a sort of extended pilot for Tangled: The Series. (via /Film)

(image via screengrab from Guo’s video)

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06 Mar 19:23

The Man Who Made Apple Famous On The Danger Of Frothy Startup Narratives

by Rick Tetzeli

Regis McKenna, Silicon Valley's cultural shaman, explains why many startups (*cough* Uber) find it hard to live up to their brand stories.

Regis McKenna, Silicon Valley's cultural shaman, explains why many startups (*cough* Uber) find it hard to live up to their brand stories.

Regis McKenna is Silicon Valley's original storyteller, the closest thing it has ever had to a shaman-in-residence. McKenna, 77, had a notable hand in shaping the strategy and marketing of some of tech's biggest companies, including National Semiconductor, Intel, Genentech, Electronic Arts, and perhaps most notably, Apple. All are companies that started small, grew big, and had to wrestle painfully with their own identity along the way. McKenna consults occasionally, often for startups, and knows every step of the Silicon Valley corporate assembly line, from university innovation competitions to the corner office of tech behemoths. He recently spoke with editor-at-large Rick Tetzeli about corporate narratives in Silicon Valley:

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06 Mar 18:48

Doctor Who Is Bringing Back the Original, Hellishly Creepy Cybermen From the '60s

by James Whitbrook

Sure, the Cybermen have been “back” in the revived era of Doctor Who for a while. Hell, they’ve even been turned into Iron Man, basically. But these Cybermen never were actually the original monsters from the classic series—they were parallel world knockoffs. And now, the grandaddies of all Cybermen are finally back.


03 Mar 19:53

William Dalrymple: Indian history is much like the Game Of Thrones

by S. Abbas Raza

Debarati S. Seni in the Times of India:

ScreenHunter_2615 Mar. 03 15.30Thirty-three years ago, on a cold winter night in Delhi, when everyone was swathed up in their blankets, braving the chill, 18-year-old William Dalrymple, landed in India. He wasn't interested in this country back then, but over the years that changed and how — thanks to his many books about the rich Indian history. If you are someone who finds history boring, then you are among those who haven't read Dalrymple. The prominent historian, author, broadcaster and critic, has many awards to his credit, has an innate knack with words, as he showcases bygone, ancient tales to you in a fascinating way.In an exclusive chat with Bombay Times, William tells us about how enthralling history really is with sagas of loot, murder, torture, violence, deceit and colonial greed and more...

Do you think non-fiction has finally found its feet in India?

India has seen an enormous growth in non-fiction. They are actually selling more than fiction now, which was impossible to imagine a decade ago. There are amazing non-fiction writers in India — Suketu Mehta, his book on Mumbai, I think is a masterpiece of my generation of writers. At a recent literature festival, I must have had around 250 writers and at least 50 Indian non-fiction writers.
I agree that narrative history is only beginning to find its feet now with works of people like Ram Guha and Sunil Khilnani. And up to now, since the 50s, the history of India has been preserved in academic writings in prose, more about social economic history, peasant history and worker history, than readable tales of romping Mughals.

More here.

21 Feb 18:03

A.V. Club Live: What is the worst movie the Mystery Science Theater guys have ever seen?

by Erik Adams

The answer may surprise you—and give new meaning to the phrase “Sophie’s choice.”

Watch the full interview here.