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I’ve never experienced anxiety like this. The intensity frightens me. The panic is febrile and tangible, raising my pulse. My palms are wet, my vision silvered. I didn’t realize how much value I place on other people’s opinions.
As I walk, I have to stop myself from laughing, a reaction I identify as a way to prevent myself from spiralling into utter fear.
Who killed the liberal arts? (Actually, I think we should probably ask “Are the liberal arts dead?” Then we should probably answer “Yeah, mostly.”)
“Are these really the people we want running the world?” Delbanco asks. Unfortunately, they already are. I am not the only one, surely, to have noticed that some of the worst people in this country—names on request—are graduates of the Harvard and Yale law schools.
If you’re a mixed martial arts fan, this discussion at The Classical is a pretty hilarious way to start your weekend.
I’ve had plenty of awkward first date conversations about why in the blue fuck I cover this sport and have learned that a) fighting is a fundamentally cool distillation of the concept of competition and b) the culture of fighting is so screwed up and insane there is no way I could ever fully look away.
MMA fans are split into two groups. The vast majority are not just dumb, but objectively bad people. The ignored minority is exceptionally smart and thus mentally hounded by the terrible/awesome dichotomy of fighting.
The evolution of cheating in chess. I’ve been trying to beat my iPhone at chess for about four years. Unsuccessfully.
But by 2007, a chess engine called Rybka was routinely shutting out grandmasters even when spotting the humans a pawn and taking black, thereby letting humans go first, the more statistically desirable position. Computers have gotten noticeably better since then; humans haven’t.
The man-machine war in chess is no longer contested: “Computers are better than us,” says USCF president Ruth Haring.
Everything you need to know about yesterday’s Apple announcements. A pretty excellent recap of the salient points.
Facebook is built into the iPhone THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
A candid proposal from an advertising firm’s creative director.
A direct mail concept that you won’t open or ever see. (It’s actually a piece of my son’s lined notebook paper with sketches of monsters on it, not that it matters.)
An oral history of Chuck Taylors.
My daughter, she’s 15 now, and she wears a pink pair. When I tell her that we used to play basketball in those same shoes, she can’t believe it. She sees the rock bands wear them, I guess. People think Chuck Taylor is made up, like Ronald McDonald or something. I don’t know how we got from his shoe being the shoe of those great Boston Celtics teams to being a shoe for teens. It’s crazy. How does that happen?
Why you shouldn’t hate-read on the internet.
In an attention-based economy, ANY attention is a form of currency.
AV Club looks back at 1992′s awesome year of hip hop albums and puts Arrested Development’s 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… into context.
1992’s albums from these four groups were all outliers from some of hip-hop’s strangest, least-palatable offshoots, but Arrested Development wasn’t just some weird group that a bunch of critics who probably didn’t listen to a whole lot of traditional hip-hop happened to like. They were fucking huge. The band sold four million copies of its debut. You know who sells four million albums these days? Just about nobody.
Turn your iPhone photos into Polaroids with the Impossible Project’s Instant Lab. (I no longer have a grip on what’s real.)
A DJ mix using the source material sampled on Paul’s Boutique. Fantastic.
Solid Steel in association with Serato (31st August) 3 years ago Solid Steel DJs Cheeba, Moneyshot and Food had the idea of collaborating on a version of the Beastie Boys‘ ‘Paul’s Boutique’ album made entirely from the original sample sources, shortly after Moneyshot aired his mix of their ‘Check Your Head’ album in the same way.
Finally the result is here, titled ‘Caught In The Middle Of A 3-Way Mix’ – each of them have taken a third of the album to work on and combined their efforts into a mix that will make you hear it in a new way. Aside from the original sample sources they’ve included commentary from the Beasties, vintage interviews, demo versions and much more.
The mix was over half way completed when they heard the tragic news of MCA‘s death in May so the impetus to finish it was instantly doubled and new meaning given to the project. It goes without saying that this is also a tribute to Adam Yauch and the legacy he left behind and we hope it will be embraced by Beastie fans around the globe.
Wikipedia doesn’t think Philip Roth is a credible enough source when editing an entry about his own novel.
Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”
The adventures of Wikipedia Brown.
“Son, are you figuring out who solved the case, or are you playing Fruit Ninja?”
“Fruit Ninja,” Wikipedia said, finally putting his phone down. “Mother, can you hand me that Encyclopedia?”
His mother handed the book to him. Wikipedia used it to kill a spider, then threw the book in a trashcan and picked his phone back up. “Sammy Smithson is innocent, he was across town at a hotel when the bank was being robbed.”
“How do you know that?” Mr. Brown asked.
“Because he wrote a negative review of the hotel on Yelp.
A very special article about very special episodes.
Because problems are resolved almost as quickly as they’re introduced in these episodes, and typically with some grand outpouring of emotion or over-the-top confrontation, these short stretches of seriousness can be unintentionally hilarious. The ultimate example of this is “Jessie’s Song,” the oft-quoted bit of Saved By the Bell melodrama that has straight-A student Jessie Spano struggling to balance her singing group, Hot Sundae, with her schoolwork. She turns to caffeine pills, has a meltdown, and cry-sings that infamous line: “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…scared.” If Saved by the Bell were screened in a concert setting, this would be the episode that everyone would wave their cell phones and lighters to. It’s like the sitcom equivalent of “Freebird.”
Twitter doesn’t want you. Truth!
You’ve been replaced with immature teenagers, attention-starved celebrities, “SEO ninjas”, and companies pretending to build relationships with their clientele when in reality, they’re simply making it easier to appease dissatisfied customers before bad word-of-mouth gets out of hand.
Your Instagram horoscope.
Toaster: You’re a foodie who loves writing “nom nom” on dishes that either clog arteries or contain artfully placed herb sprigs. You’re young, selfish, and lack marketable skills, so stop taking pictures and focus on your goal of achieving Elite Yelper status.
The strange death of the English gentleman.
One of the distinguishing marks of a gentleman was that he did things because he knew they were the right thing to do, not because they would bring him personal advantage.
The glass is really half empty.
Our ability to imagine a future has helped us to use tools, build civilizations, and domesticate other animals, but it comes with quite a catch: it also made us aware of our own mortality. When the best-case scenario is that we will all get old and die, and so will everyone we’ve ever loved, optimism isn’t a choice—it’s a necessity.
Walking Without Rhythm 009 is now up. It features music from RJD2, Boy Eats Drum Machine, See-I, Sid Le Rock, Nine Lives and more.
McSweeneys: I don’t think liberals realize we’ve been joking about the whole homophobia thing.
We never actually had anything against the gay community—heck, literally every single conservative politician understands that sexual preference isn’t a conscious choice, and secretly finds the idea of discriminating on the basis of such preferences to be morally and intellectually abhorrent.
But watching the Democrats throw a hissy fit every time every time we blocked legislation that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples or allowed gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the armed forces—
Excuse me, guys—I can’t help cracking up when I talk about this stuff.
The New Yorker on the end of Nintendo Power magazine.
I didn’t have to get too close: I had memorized the previous Nintendo Power cover, so I knew when a new one had arrived. If it had, I grabbed the copy, took it to a corner cubicle, and flipped through it like I’d just discovered Hustler.