On “Kirk drift,” the strange mass cultural misremembering of Captain Kirk

In this really fantastic long-form essay published in the online magazine Strange Horizons, Erin Horáková digs into the weird way William Shatner’s James T. Kirk has been collectively misremembered by popular culture. As she writes:

There is no other way to put this: essentially everything about Popular Consciousness Kirk is bullshit. Kirk, as received through mass culture memory and reflected in its productive imaginary (and subsequent franchise output, including the reboot movies), has little or no basis in Shatner’s performance and the television show as aired. Macho, brash Kirk is a mass hallucination.

Horáková walks through the phenomenon in great detail because, as she notes, “I believe people often rewatch the text or even watch it afresh and cannot see what they are watching through the haze of bullshit that is the received idea of what they’re seeing. You ‘know’ Star Trek before you ever see Star Trek: a ‘naive’ encounter with such a culturally cathected text is almost impossible, and even if you manage it you probably also have strong ideas about that period of history, era of SF, style of television, etc to contend with.”

Horáková goes on to explore the ways in which “Kirk drift” is connected to toxic masculinity, history, culture, and so much more. For instance:

The heterosexism goggles, which derange content via chauvinist interpretive paradigms, become not just inaccurate but horrifying when we look at episodes like “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” How would you read the scene in “Gamesters” where Kirk, terrified (with some reason) Uhura will be sexually assaulted and that he’ll be able to do nothing to help her, seduces his own captor in an effort to protect Uhura and get his people out of this situation if Kirk were a woman?

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Sad (but delightful) animals facts

Artist Brooke Barker uses her Instagram to document both sad animal facts and her delightful sense of humor. You can see some of my favorites below and learn more on her Sad Animal Facts website. Read the rest

How to make Wolverine claws from popsicle sticks

All you need to make these movable Wolverine claws are 15 popsicle sticks, six rubber bands, a piece of paper, and glue. Here’s a second, slightly more terrifying version that uses actual blades:

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Wonder Woman as a symbol of progress

In this new upload, video essayist KaptainKristian explores the history of Wonder Woman as a progressive symbol. Read the rest

Tracing how languages are related to one another

In this video for Mental Floss, linguist Arika Okrent and illustrator Sean O’Neill share the keys to understanding commonalities between languages.

[via Laughing Squid] Read the rest

Here’s why sloths are so slow

TED-Ed host Kenny Coogan and animator Anton Bogaty offer a crash course on sloth evolution. Interestingly, it turns out we might not have avocados without them. Read the rest

A giant DIY Egg McMuffin

In their quest to celebrate all things junk food, HellthyJunkFood hosts JP Lambiase and Julia Goolia construct a truly supersized Egg McMuffin. Read the rest

How do we know the universe is accelerating?

MinutePhysics explains how to chart the rate of expansion of the universe. Read the rest

The Social Network gets an Honest Trailer

“The world’s smartest film about the world’s dullest premise.” Read the rest

Disney princesses photoshopped onto real-world photos

In this fun series, visual artist Andhika Muksin edits animated Disney character heads onto celebrity photos and film stills. It sounds like it would be eerie, but the photos are perfectly edited and strangely compelling. Some of my favorites are below and you can see even more on Muksin’s Instagram.

Strolling Ever After . . . . . #art #disneycharacter #disneyfanart #disneyart #disneyarts #digitalart #disneyartspotlightfeature #digitalartist #digitalartworks #digitalartwork #disneyartfeed #disneyartshare #fashion #artphoto #artphotography #artcollage #artcollective #graphicdesign #sleepingbeauty #collage #collageart #cinderella #collageartwork #collageartworks #collageartist #contemporaryart #digitalcollage

A post shared by Andhika Muksin (@andhikamuksin) on Mar 21, 2017 at 8:06pm PDT

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An itty bitty Xenomorph stuffed animal

This adorable little Xenomorph will be available in July, but itty bitty Ellen Ripley is available right now. Read the rest

A travel diary how-to

In this relaxing video, YouTuber Jordan Clark talks through her process for making a keepsake travel diary. Read the rest

How to get your money’s worth at an all-you-can-eat buffet

Foodie Dan Pashman of You’re Eat It Wrong shares tips and tricks for mastering the all-you-can-eat buffet. Read the rest

Why can’t you use your phone on an airplane?

SciShow host Michael Aranda digs into the question most airplane travelers have probably asked themselves at some point. Read the rest

Digging into the history of the “Mary Sue”

In this new video, YouTuber and fandom expert Jill Bearup digs into the history of the fanfiction “Mary Sue” and offers a compelling defense of the much-maligned character archetype. The video is part of Bearup’s ongoing “History Of Fanfiction” series, which started with her delightful argument that Virigl was a Homer fanboy:

Bearup also uploads all sorts of great videos about pop culture, fandom, and feminism, like this exploration of whether or not you can slut-shame fictional female characters:

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A perfect penguin pun

This great World Penguin Day piece comes from London-based artist Ruby Elliot of Rubyetc. You can purchase her work on her Society6 page and follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram. She's also published a book called It's All Absolutely Fine, and a few more of her illustrations are below:

It's the cat of I hate you and/or something EDIT: now available as prints/tees/phone cases and all that. Click link in bio or go to society6.com/rubyetc

A post shared by Ruby (@rubyetc_) on Apr 21, 2017 at 3:16am PDT

Somehow accidentally committed myself to doing a bird each day this week via tumblr. Be your best and most yelly Thursday self xox

A post shared by Ruby (@rubyetc_) on Apr 13, 2017 at 4:21am PDT

Self-service

A post shared by Ruby (@rubyetc_) on Mar 17, 2017 at 4:18am PDT

Anyway here's a drawing about love. Lovely love

A post shared by Ruby (@rubyetc_) on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:15am PST

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Take a trip inside Japan’s robot hotel

Boing Boing has previously highlighted Japan’s Henn Na Hotel or “The Weird Hotel,” a hotel almost entirely run by robots. But this new video from British expat Chris Broad actually takes viewers inside the animatronic establishment itself. Read the rest

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