Photo: Nelson Mandela Foundation
The BBC reports that Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died today at 95. Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail before leading the country out of apartheid, served from 1994-1999 after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
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Pure, 24-karat class—cheaper than Vertu, too! [Gold Genie via Uncrate]
Photo: Nottinghamshire County Council
The Daily Mirror asks, "Is this the ghost of White Lady of Rufford?"
Alberta College of Art and Design student Mary, AKA Thoughts Up North, created these fantastical characters based on the planets of our solar system: "The colors are all based off the planets’ true colors, and the designs are a mix of the names’ mythos and Holst’s “The Planets” suite. They get progressively less human the further they are from the Sun, which I thought was fun."
Pictured above are Mercury, Venus and Earth; Mars is gonna be everyone's favorite. Pluto fans will be delighted at its inclusion--maybe. [via Metafilter]
It's Hubert Cumberdale's birthday!
Earlier episodes of this horrible cartoon may be observed
at animator David Firth's homepage. Previously
In Irkutsk, a percussion group plays music with frozen water from Lake Baikal. [Video Link via Mefi]
Smoke, vomit, boredom, segregation and death: and you paid about five times as much for the privilege
. [Fast Company] — Rob
Tom Scocca writes that ostentatious positivity, pitched as a noble response to the web's omnipresent snark, typically amounts only to the worse thing that snark itself cures: smarm.
What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves. Smarm would rather talk about anything other than smarm. Why, smarm asks, can't everyone just be nicer?
The most significant explicator of the niceness rule—the loudest Thumper of all, the true prophetic voice of anti-negativity—is neither the cartoon rabbit nor the publicists' group nor Julavits, nor even David Denby. It is The Believer's founder and impresario, Dave Eggers.
Smarm is another word for Serious Culture—"In smarm is power"—and you know what to do with that.
"After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday. Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of msnbc, I have tendered my resignation
. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments." — Martin Bashir, Coprophagio-Hortator Emeritus.
The likely answer is "nothing much", I'd hazard, because it's just too cool to die. The British flag remains integrated with those of several other independent countries, and even one U.S. State, because it's just so goddamn sexy. But hey, the status quo is no fun!
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We present to His Excellency the President of the Presidium of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China an enormous tank of pig semen!
Under the deal with China, the "porcine semen" can be flown to the country in frozen and fresh form. Pigs will not be flying but their seed will take to the air. A No 10 spokesperson said: "We're doing all we can to ensure that businesses up and down the country reap the rewards from our relationship with China. And that includes our pig farmers. This new deal to export pig semen will be worth £45m to UK firms and means Britain's best pigs will help sustain the largest pig population in the world.