- “Local business owners say Yelp offers to hide negative customer reviews of their businesses on its web site…for a price.” [via]
- The GOP’s Blatant Racism:
The problem with the illusion of a postracial society is that at almost any moment the systemic nature of racism, its legacy, methods and impulses, might have to be rediscovered and restated as though for the first time. If the problem has gone away, those who point it out or claim to experience it are, by definition, living in the past. Those who witness it in action must be imagining things. Those who practice it are either misunderstood or maligned. [via]
- The Tragedy of the Smurfs:
Imagine what that must feel like, to be forced into a single role at birth, a role that not only defines what you’ll do for the rest of your life, but what you’ll be. Trapped. Unchanging. Your name is a black hole, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never escape its pull. And then to see in humans a freedom that you yourself will never know.
That’s the true dystopian horror of the Smurfs. [via]
- Zack Handlen on the most recent Supernatural episode:
As a straight dude, I have a sneaking suspicion I missed out on one of the main appeals of 1944 for a large part of Supernatural’s audience, but an outfit isn’t really enough. If Mad Men did an episode called “Christina Hendricks Goes To Bikini Island,” I wouldn’t automatically praise it. I’d watch it, sure, but c’mon.
- And finally, Philip José Farmer’s calling card [via]:
- Top Five Most Destroyed Canadian Cities In The Marvel Universe [via]
- Sam Worthington now admits he also sucked in Clash of the Titans. Well, it’s something, at least.
- New York Times Crossword Puzzlemaster Schooled on Definition of ‘Illin’. Crossword to your mother. [via]
- “Back in 2005 I did an evil, evil thing.” College professor seeds Internet with fake term paper to catch plagiarists
- And finally, Maureen McHugh on zombies:
Zombies, of course, are the opposite [of vampires]. They lack individuality. They are mindless, ugly, hungry. In a world where everything is ecologically interconnected they are outside nature, and therefore something that we can kill without concern or discrimination. And yet they are us, transformed into trash. Zombies, in one sense, are the ultimate ecological disaster.
- Buy a “mega jug” (their words) of soda with your meal, and KFC will donate money to diabetes research. That’s irony coming full circle.
- The US State Department reportedly lobbied against a minimum wage increase in Haiti on behalf of textile corporations. That’s just scummy. [via]
- Fuckin’ A: profanity at the New Yorker. [via]
- China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work. [via]
- And finally, Jonathan Coulton on Snuggies and Business Models. The Planet Money podcast is worth listening to, if you haven’t already.
- RIP Frank Buckles, the last remaining American WWI vet. [via]
- I’m quite disappointed to learn that The Ethicist is ending, apparently for no particular reason other than that the New York Times thinks any change is good change. I think they’re sadly mistaken.
- PodCastle, “the world’s first fantasy audio magazine,” is looking for readers.
- Ever wonder what happens when you stick your head into a particle accelerator? Better to read this than actual try it. [via]
- And finally, a simply stunning photo of crows — lots and lots of crows. It looks like if Jackson Pollock had done the cover for an H.P. Lovecraft novel. [via]
- On WNYC, the Leonard Lopate Show has recently started posting picks and suggestions from any given week’s guests, asking them questions about what books they’re reading, what music they’re listening to, etc. They also ask, “What’s one thing you’re a fan of that people might not expect?” Teller, the silent half of Penn and Teller, answered, “Novel forms of pancakes and waffles.” I love that I have almost no idea what he means.
- All this time, I had been avoiding the Huffington Post mostly just because it’s a time-sink. Like io9, Metafilter, or Boing Boing, I was only visiting occasionally, and even then only when another blog redirected me there. But, it turns out, there’s a whole bevy of other reasons to avoid it, namely that, although it earns millions of dollars — and even more in its recent merger with AOL — it still doesn’t pay its writers, nor did it even pay for the blogging platform that runs it. Plus, it seems less like an interesting time-sink and more one that just re-purposes what other news blogs have written, with occasional liberal celebrity cameos, for the purpose of aggrandizing the Huffington Post. Maybe that’s unfair. As I said, I don’t spend much time with it, except when others occasionally direct it there. But it would be nice if some of that AOL money went to the people who day by day create the product AOL bought.
- A teenage burglar killed three goldfish because he didn’t want to leave any witnesses behind. In his defense, he may just have been reading The Cat in the Hat one too many times. Then again, reading might not be too high on this brainiac’s agenda. [via]
- I don’t think it will surprise anyone that Donald Rumsfeld is full of shit. This is what I think he himself would call “a known known.”
- And finally, Wolverine or two Bat Men? [via]