Clickbait Dissertation: scholarship distilled to upworthyspeak

Clickbait Dissertations builds on the excellent work of Lolomythesis, but this time, rather than distilling their doctoral work to a single line of snark, grad students are asked to compress their scholarship to a ridiculous linkbaity headline ("What happens when you put farmers on the internet? Justice."). Bonus: each one links to the actual thesis, and most include abstracts. Read the rest

Backers get gruesomely murdered in crowdfunded Elite novel

BBC presenter Kate Russell's first science fiction novel is Elite: Mostly Harmless, a novelization of the classic video game Elite, whose production was successfully kickstarted last year. One of the backer rewards was to have yourself gruesomely murdered in the pages of the book, and six lucky fans are now enjoying their deaths: Read the rest

Dada vs Hitler: the anti-Nazi collages of John Heartfield

In the runup to WWII (and during it) Dadaist photographer John Heartfield and his collaborator George Grosz produced a startling series of anti-Nazi collages that echo through to today's practice of political shooping. An informative Metafilter post by Adamvasco has lots more links. Read the rest

Kickstarting an Oh Joy Sex Toy book

Oh Joy Sex Toy, our favorite webcomic for perverts, is Kickstarting a book collecting its first year's worth of comics! $10 gets you a PDF, $35 gets you the printed book. Read the rest

House Republican leader defeated by Tea Party challenger

USA Today: "The demise of the Tea Party has been greatly exaggerated." Read the rest

Happynomics versus econobollocks

Tim Harford investigates the field of "happynomics" through which economists attempt to devise policies that make people happier, and does an excellent job of sorting the evidence-based approaches from the trendy rubbish that's part ideology and part wishful thinking. Bottom line: beware the "focusing illusion"; count your blessings to reverse your habituation to the good things in life; set things up so that doing the things you want is easier than doing the things that make you unhappy, and, finally, understand that you probably can't be happy all the time.

If this stuff interests you, I strongly recommend Stumbling on Happiness, an excellent book about the state of psychiatric research into happiness by Daniel Gilbert, head of Harvard's psych department. Read the rest

Chimps beat humans at game theory

In Chimpanzee choice rates in competitive games match equilibrium game theory predictions, a paper in Nature by Colin Camerer and colleagues, researchers document the astounding performance of chimpanzees in classic game-theory experiments -- a performance that's substantially superior to humans who play the same games: Read the rest

Woman arrested for beating up boy flying drone on beach

Andrea Mears, a 24-year-old Connecticut woman, has been charged with third-degree assault and breach of peace after a teenager used his cell phone to record her assaulting him. She's heard on the video saying, "I'm gonna beat your ass, you little motherfucker." She was apparently upset that he was flying a remote control drone equipped with a camera on a public beach. Read the rest

How Heinlein went from socialist to right-wing libertarian

A review in the New Republic of volume two of the authorized biography of Robert A Heinlein takes the biographer, William H Patterson, to task for his uncritical approach to Heinlein's famously all-over-the-place politics. But there is enough (uncritical) details in the book that the reviewer feels able to parse out Heinlein's swing from socialist to right-wing libertarian (here's my review of part one). Read the rest

Great home brewing tool: immersion wort chiller

I attribute the biggest gains in the quality of my home-brewing to the immersion wort chiller. Read the rest

Good news: NASA and ESA's Mars500 inspires film. Bad news: Starring Dane Cook.

A real-life mock Mars mission created by NASA and the European Space Agency to test the psychological stresses of long-distance space travel has inspired an action movie starring comedian-turned-serious-guy Dane Cook.

The Future of Cereal Box Art

I feel that the current trends in cereal box art--the wildly distorted faces and poses, the lurid digital-airbrush modeling--have surely reached some kind of maximum. Read the rest

In case of fire: please leave the building before posting to social media

Excellent advice!

A PSA Read the rest

Pixel panties

$4,306 raised of $12,500 goal on Indiegogo. Read the rest

NSA: We're too complex to comply with law, so we're destroying evidence in EFF lawsuit

The National Security Agency is using a new argument for not retaining the data it gathers about users' online activity: The NSA is just too complex. Read the rest

The New Pornographers: new music!

Following on Neko Case's latest solo album, the excellent "The Worse Things Get...," she's reunited with her supergroup bandmates in The New Pornographers to record Brill Bruisers, coming out August 26. Check out the infectious first track and play with the album art below! Read the rest

Possibly the most genius don't-text-and-drive PSA ever

Volkswagen and ad agency Ogilvy Beijing created this powerful and sneaky PSA for moviegoers in China, to warn of the dangers of being distracted by your smartphone while driving. We don't know that the footage is genuine, but even it not--it's a powerful concept. More at Ads of the World.

Read the rest

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