HOW TO: Randall "XKCD" Munroe's forthcoming book of "absurd scientific advice"

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's next book has been announced: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, a sequel of sorts to his 2014 book What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, spun out of his wonderful XKCD spinout site. It's out on Sept 3, and the publisher's description makes it (as Kottke says) an instant pre-order: "For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole." Read the rest

XKCD on the dishonesty implicit in the sharing options in social media

The latest XKCD strip, "Sharing Options/#2016" is a brilliant and trenchant surfacing of the hidden rhetoric of social media, where your options are "permanently share with billions of people, including internet scammers, random predatory companies, and hostile foreign governments" or "a small set of 300 or so approved friends," and when this is questioned, the social media companies profess an inability to understand what other options could exist. Read the rest

Woman World: the hilarious man-free apocalypse we've all been waiting for

Woman World started life as a webcomic created by Canadian cartoonist Aminder Dhaliwal to explore the premise of a world where "men have gone extinct" and women have to "learn to talk again because they're not being interrupted" -- what could have been a one-panel joke turned into one of the most remarkable, funny, compassionate, ascerbic, hilarious comics of its day, and that day is now, because today is the day you can get Woman World, a book from Drawn & Quarterly collecting the comic so far.

Bite-Sized Linux: a zine collecting awesome *nix tutorial webtoons

Julia Evans's Twitter feed is a treasure trove of her Bite-Size Linux comics that explain core concepts in Unix system use and administration in friendly, accessible graphic form. Read the rest

Chris Slane's privacy-oriented editorial cartoons are painfully funny

Online privacy is pretty much a dumpster-fire, but it's a funny dumpster fire in the world of Kiwi editorial cartoonist Chris Slane, whose one-panel strips are hilarious in a kind of oh-shit-we're-doomed kind of way. Read the rest

XKCD's security meltdowns for the coming year

Over at XKCD, Randall Munroe's predicted the Critical Vulnerabilities and Exposures for 2018, with some pretty solid predictions (especially under the tooltip, which finally reveals a secret that many of us have kept mum about for literal decades -- damn you, Munroe!). Read the rest

How a kid cartoonist avoided Scholastic's digital sharecropping trap

I'm an 8th grade middle school student at a public school in NYC. In my humanities class we are studying muckraking journalism, and we have an assignment to write a muckraking article about a modern issue. (For those who didn't pay attention during class, muckraking journalism is journalism that became prominent in the late 19th century. A muckraking article digs up and exposes problems in society.) Coincidentally, I recently had a personal experience with a muckrake-able issue. I chose to make lemonade out of lemons, and got a very interesting topic for my assignment--and one that I could write about both professionally and privately. So, I'm posting my homework here.

Diesel Sweeties pins: I want to believe in RSS and Computers Professional

From the delightful R Stevens of Diesel Sweeties fame, a pair of excellent enamel pins: Computers Professional ($11.33) and I want to believe in RSS ($11.55). Read the rest

Help Kate "Hark! A Vagrant" Beaton raise money for her sister's experimental cancer treatments

Kate Beaton (previously) is the creator of the astoundingly great Hark! A Vagrant webcomic) and is a bona fide Canadian culture hero; she is also in the midst of a terrible family crisis and wants our help. Read the rest

Jake Likes Onions: damned funny webcomics

My latest Twitter follow is @jakelikesonions, whose bi-weekly cartoon of the same name has been going since 2015, and represents a very deep set of funny stuff to lose yourself in. Some recent gooduns below: Read the rest

Incredible Doom: a new Patreon-supported comic about "teens in the 90s getting into life and death situations online"

Matthew Bogart's new comic Incredible Doom launches today, online and in print, "about a group of teenagers in the 90s getting into life and death situations over the early internet." Read the rest

The Oatmeal looks into our reality tunnels, the "backfire effect," and the nature of belief

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal is at it again with a smart, funny, and very relevant look at how we construct our beliefs, build our reality tunnels, and why we react so forcefully when the core assumptions of that belief system are threatened.

Read the rest of it. Nice touch that there are two version, one with colorful language and one clean, "classroom-friendly version."

David McRaney's You Are Not So Smart did a wonderful 3-part series on the backfire effect. You can access the first episode here. Read the rest

Kickstarting a fourth Oh Joy Sex Toy collection

Oh Joy Sex Toy (previously), our favorite pervy webcomic, just announced their fourth annual kickstarter for a new collection of the best of their excellent, excellent, sex-positive comic. Read the rest

We are living in a 1990s Cyberpunk dystopia

Cartoonist Maki Naro made this one-page comic for The Nib that compares the world of today with 1990s era Cyberpunk dystopia fiction. Read the rest

Houseguests, technological literacy, and the goddamned wifi: a single chart

Randal Munroe nails it again in an XKCD installment that expresses the likelihood that your houseguests will be able to connect to your wifi (I confess to having been the "firmware" guide -- but also, having been reminded to do something about my own firmware when other difficult houseguests came to stay). Read the rest

Webcomic explains how weakening the Voting Rights Act led to voter suppression in 2016

On The Nib, Andy Warner posts a quick primer on the Voting Rights Act, which was weakened in a 2013 Supreme Court case that struck down the requirement for districts with a history of racist voter suppression to get federal oversight for changes to their voting procedures; of note is the section on Jeff Sessions, whose Attorney General confirmation hearing is underway right now. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Spill Zone: a new free online graphic novel from Scott Westerfeld, creator of Uglies

Today marks the launch of Spill Zone, a graphic novel from Uglies creator Scott Westerfeld (previously) and Alex Puvilland: the tale of a brave photographer who ventures into strange, uncanny lands created by a mysterious catastrophe, and returns with images of those worlds that she sells to keep her scarred little sister whole. Read the rest

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