My friend Joshua Glenn is a voracious reader of adventure novels. He's turned me onto tons of great books, and he recently compiled a list of 250 great adventure novels from the 20th century. Many of these books are available on project Gutenberg and other public domain book and audiobook websites. I really appreciate that josh found cover art from early editions of the books, rather than the usually terrible art found on contemporary editions. I want to read them all, starting with Black Magic: a Tale of the Rise and Fall of the Antichrist! (audiobook | e-book)
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Marjorie Bowen’s supernatural fantasy adventure Black Magic (1909). In medieval Flanders, Dirk Renswoude, a lonely craftsman of noble birth, meets Thierry, a young scholar who shares Dirk’s fascination with the black arts. Against a background of violent storms, mysterious comets, and a Walpole-esque mood of gothic horror, the two experiment with mystic circles, arcane incantations, and the summoning of demonic visions. Although Thierry is afraid of blasphemy, Dirk is ambitious — and has sworn allegiance to the Devil in return for worldly power. In fact, Dirk aims to become the Antichrist and Satanic Pope! Nevertheless, Dirk is not entirely villainous — he risks everything for Thierry, with whom he has fallen in love… and his backstory reveals a surprise twist that makes us sympathetic to his desire for the agency and independence denied to him by his family. Ysabeau, a cold-blooded schemer and murderess character, also becomes a sympathetic and even heroic figure; and Jacobea, the novel’s tormented heroine, is also well-portrayed.
The Wall Street Journal ranked America's 20 largest airports. The rankings contain few surprises.
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The top three airports—Denver, Orlando and Phoenix—have one major factor in common: strong competition among airlines. Denver is one of the few airports with three major airlines connecting customers: United, Southwest and Frontier. In Phoenix, American and Southwest compete with connecting hubs. In Orlando, the largest airline, Delta, controls only 28% of passenger traffic.
The famously mistranslated phrase featured in Monty Python's Flying Circus; here it is in many languages. [via]
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Afrikaans My skeertuig is vol palings
Albanian (Gheg) Anija jêm ãsht plot mê ngjala
Albanian (Tosk) Automjeti im është plot me ngjala
Aleut Baluunax̂ liidax̂ ayx̂aasim hnin
Alsatian Mini Aéroglisseur esch voll von Ààle
In Would You Survive a Movie Gunfight?, Shea Serrano offers a thorough look at the form and function of movie gunfights and what it takes to get through one alive.
The Best Times to Movie-Shoot Someone
• When it’s a revenge thing.
• When you’re a law-enforcement officer and they’re a bad guy.
• When you’re a bad guy and they’re a law-enforcement officer.
• When it’s the Wild West and someone is riding toward you on horseback. (This one is great because they always roll off the back of the horse, or, if you’re lucky, they get their foot trapped in one of the stirrups and then the horse drags ’em a good ways.)
• When they’re standing on top of a building and you shoot them and they fall off very dramatically. (They have to crash through an awning.)
I have so many problems with Serrano's top list of movie gunfights, but I'm busy finishing up a nice piece about the shortcomings of Smurfs 3: The Lost Village as revolutionary praxis. Read the rest
Since I last presented a year-end videogame wrap-up for Boing Boing readers, it's become an exponentially harder task. The number of games released per day has - even just since 2014! - risen a few times over, so narrowing a list down means leaving amazing and creative work behind. That's not even to mention the herculean task of staying on top of the pile of games still unplayed.
2016 gave us a generous amount of powerhouse titles hoisted by massive budgets and massive marketing efforts: hello Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Doom, No Man's Sky, Pokémon Sun & Moon, and especially Uncharted 4. But I did my best to wander the far corners of the internet, searching and sometimes blindly stumbling upon weird, beautiful, thoughtful videogames.
Below you'll find 20ish games (actually quite a good number more) that sang to me the most, and I think exemplify the best that 2016 had to offer. You'll find interesting places to explore, unique achievements and re-inventions of old standards, and brilliant ideas executed simply. I hope you find them as surprising and delightful as I did.
by A.P. Thomson & Jenny Jiao Hsia • Get it: Windows/Mac/Linux
Beglitched is, on its face, a fairly simple match-3 type game, on the same family-tree branch as Bejeweled or Candy Crush or any other number of similar clones you may have spent all your idle moments thumbing around with on your phone over the past few years. Read the rest
You might not know this, but the editors of Wikipedia maintain an automated list of all the world's cookies. The have everything from Germany's Aachener Printen to Neutrassian Zalgowafers, but somehow missed Mealy Grahams from good old England. [via] Read the rest
The Intercept's Sam Biddle asked nine tech companies if they would help authorities create a national registry of known muslims—one of president-elect Donald Trump's campaign suggestions. Only Twitter would go on the record to state that it would not co-operate with such a list.
Twitter: “No,” and a link to this blog post, which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, by outside developers, of “Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.” which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, by outside developers, of “Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.”
Bravo. It takes courage and planning for publicly-traded businesses to take a hostile stand on hot potatoes like this, and Twitter bothered. Compare to IBM, whose CEO wrote Trump a slobbering mash note promising the services of her company.
Seven of the other companies didn't respond at all. Microsoft responded with "We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point."
We're asking if tech firms are going to cooperate. But when it comes to inferring affiliations from the mass surveillance of private data, it's just the sort of thing whistleblowers warn us is already going on. Trump's off-the-cuff blather about official registries isn't about what is known, but about making it acceptable.
That said, Biddle's post was met this weekend by dismissive sneering from the Gilfoyles: a good reminder that Silicon Valley is cynical and willing, and that fatalism is the best policy.
Update: Duped Cory. Read the rest
The staff of Half Moon pub in Herne Hill in south London maintain a pseudonymous list of customers who are permanently banned from the premises; their colorful descriptions are a thing of beauty. Read the rest
Brent Underwood uploaded an ebook, comprising of a photo of his foot, to Amazon. He sold 3 copies and was an Amazon Bestseller. tl;dr: avoid the busy categories. Read the rest
Who were the original comic artists that left an indelible mark upon the world, paving the way for those who followed? Monte Beauchamp identifies the genre's early masters
The New York Times Magazine's 6th Floor Blog interviewed me about the books I'm reading now (including a climate scientist's account of dealing with evidence and uncertainty in the treatment of cancer), the science books I love (where you'll learn why it's impossible to remove the risk from risky technologies), and the books I generally recommend to everybody (try my favorite boozy novel of jazz-age New York). Overall, it's definitely a list I think the Happy Mutants will dig. Read the rest