"Cocky" romance novelist embarks on a second career as a trademark troll: will romance writing fall from grace?

Over the past 20 years, the world has become a lot more cognizant of the risks of unbalanced copyright, as what was once a way to help creators gain leverage over publishers, studios and labels became a rubric for mass surveillance, unaccountable censorship and monopolism. Read the rest

Speaking in my professional capacity as a dystopian science fiction writer...

It is hard to imagine a more foolish proposition than putting Mark Zuckerberg in charge of my romantic life. Read the rest

Emotional labor watch: "Closers" flirt on behalf of men who use Tinder

Closers are paid $1.45/session to log into (usually) men's dating-app accounts and flirt with the women in their queue for 10 minute stretches, as part of a gig-economy company called Vida (Virtual Dating Assistants). Read the rest

Romance writers sought for library residency at my former Toronto workplace

I was a teenaged page at the North York Central Library in suburban Toronto, working in the Business and Urban Affairs section, shelving books, taping together newspapers while we waited for their microfilm versions to arrive, and fiddling around with the newly installed (and poorly documented) computerised catalogue/lending system -- I worked there with many other would-be writers, like Nalo Hopkinson, who was a public service clerk a few floors down. Read the rest

Vinegar Valentines: Villainous Victorian woodcuts that lament the irritations of engaging tradesmen

Spitalfields Life highlights a selection of the "Villainous Valentines," Victorian-era prints that illustrate the irritations of hiring different kinds of tradesmen, accompanied by appropriate doggerel. It's like a bougie mirror-world version of London Labour and the London Poor, with illustrations by way of John Tenniel. Read the rest

Chinese wives, denied legal rights, hire "mistress dispellers" to keep their marriages intact

China's long economic boom and near-total lack of social and legal protections for divorced women has created growth industries in weird services that help women keep their marriages intact after their jerky husbands start treating them like shit and/or start having affairs. Read the rest

Cute single-panel comic about relationships

Yehuda Devir and his wife Maya are both artists, so it was natural for him to create a charming illustrated blog of their relationship. Read the rest

A neural network generated these can't-fail pickup lines

Neural nets are starting to wake up. These pickup lines, generated by a neural net maintained by research scientist Janelle Shane are much more interesting than standard pickup lines.

Are you a 4loce? Because you’re so hot!

I want to get my heart with you.

You are so beautiful that you know what I mean.

I have a cenver? Because I just stowe must your worms.

Hey baby, I’m swirked to gave ever to say it for drive.

If I were to ask you out?

You must be a tringle? Cause you’re the only thing here.

I’m not on your wears, but I want to see your start.

You are so beautiful that you make me feel better to see you.

Hey baby, you’re to be a key? Because I can bear your toot?

I don’t know you.

I have to give you a book, because you’re the only thing in your eyes.

Are you a candle? Because you’re so hot of the looks with you.

I want to see you to my heart.

If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I have a price tighting.

I have a really falling for you.

Your beauty have a fine to me.

Are you a camera? Because I want to see the most beautiful than you.

I had a come to got your heart.

You’re so beautiful that you say a bat on me and baby.

You look like a thing and I love you.

Hello.

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Man proposes to girlfriend on plane, then barfs before her

Moments after executing a meticulously-arranged marriage proposal—a flight in a small airplane, a "marry me" sign on the ground, the ring presentation—Darrell Hamilton Jr vomited at the feet of Rheanna Lopez, the object of his affection. She said yes! Read the rest

Bake: a Queen of Hearts cherry pie for V-day

Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) (previously) writes, "Happy Valentines Day! If your readers are looking for a last-minute gift idea for their significant others, they may want to check out my new pie tutorial. It's a Queen of Hearts cherry pie baked in a heart shaped cake pan." Read the rest

This year's nerd Valentines are in, and they are boss af

For the fifth year (previously), Evil Mad Scientist Labs offers a selection of supremely nerdy Valentines to download [PDF] and print! Read the rest

Michigan young Republicans apologize for Hitler/Holocaust-themed Valentine

Central Michigan University's College Republicans threw a Valentines event where attendees got gift bags prepared by the university's young, upstanding Republicans, including this one, bearing a likeness of Adolf Hitler and the message, "my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews." Read the rest

Customizable, animated feminist "candy hearts" for an anti-trumpist v-day

Clair writes, "In light of all the coverage of Trump Valentines, I wanted to share a kickass content piece I helped create that is a feminist alternative. With the Women's Marches and Trump's complete disregard for the American people--especially women--it's important to share positive, pro-female content too!" Read the rest

Georgia police captain got his ex-wife jailed for her Facebook comment about him

According to a lawsuit, Corey King, a police captain in Washington County, Georgia, conspired with his friends magistrate Ralph O. Todd and Sheriff's Investigator Trey Burgamy to arrest King's ex-wife, Anne King, and her friend, Susan Hines, for a Facebook exchange in which they commiserated over Captain King's refusal to pick up medicine for his sick children. Read the rest

Some delightfully sweet Valentine's magic for you to perform

Andy from The Jerx (previously) shows how you can use Thomas Bloomberg's Konami Code effect (which allows the performer to force an observer to pick a certain square in a grid, despite a seeming free choice) to perform a baffling and delightful effect using a box of assorted chocolates this Valentine's Day. Read the rest

Make: a wifi internet Valentine

Becky Stern writes, "Send your valentine a note through the net! This DIY electronics project uses a small vibrating motor to gently wave a tissue paper heart and flash an LED when it receives instructions over the internet from another device. I built two versions of the ESP8266 wifi circuit, also equipped with two buttons for triggering the two commands. The devices talk over the Adafruit IO cloud data service to communicate with each other from anywhere with wifi, and I'll show you how to activate your valentine with the API gateway service IFTTT as well, in case you only want to build one valentine circuit." Read the rest

Eleanor & Park: a terrifying YA romance that has rescued its readers and frightened their parents

Last week, the National Coalition Against Censorship honored Rainbow Rowell for her refusal to be back down on the frequent challenges to her multiple-award-winning, bestselling 2013 novel Eleanor & Park. I was there, and got a copy of the novel, and have read nothing since, and now that I've finished it, I find myself profoundly moved.

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