- tudent receives free cocaine with Amazon textbook order. Is this where we’ve going wrong with our textbook sales? [via]
- How College Football Bowls Earn Millions In Profits But Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes. Are you ready for some economic disparity?! [via]
- The Texans who live on the ‘Mexican side’ of the border fence: ‘Technically, we’re in the United States’ [via]
- Roger Ebert on why movie revenue is dropping:
The message I get is that Americans love the movies as much as ever. It’s the theaters that are losing their charm. Proof: theaters thrive that police their audiences, show a variety of titles and emphasize value-added features. The rest of the industry can’t depend forever on blockbusters to bail it out.
- And finally, Scott Tobias on why 2011 was secretly a really good year for movies:
I don’t mean to be bullying or schoolmarmish about it, only to point out that when great films get pushed to the margins in our technology-rich times, far more than just a handful of self-selecting New Yorkers have a chance to see them. The key is to not let awards-season hype color your perception. We consider 2007 a monumental year because its strongest achievements—movies like There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, and Zodiac—happened to have healthy budgets and the backing of major studios. Compare that to a 2011 where a pleasant-but-disposable trifle like The Artist is leading the charge, and it’s little wonder that perception marks it as a weak year. (The Tree Of Life may be the only 2011 film high in both ambition and visibility, and will almost certainly top every critics’ poll as a result.) But for the adventurous—and again, you don’t have to venture off the couch to be among them—2011 was an embarrassment of riches, full of lively, diverse, form-busting visions across all genres and around the world. And the best of them ask something of the viewer, offering rewards in exchange for an active engagement. Just don’t expect all the question marks to turn into exclamation points: To quote some advice to Michael Stuhlbarg’s spiritual seeker in A Serious Man, “Accept the mystery.”
- Tintin’s Lovecraftian Adventures
- Along the same lines: What If…Herge Created the X-Men?
- And also, what if Charles Schulz illustrated H.P. Lovecraft? [via]
- Today in infographics: The Rules of Magic, Doctor Who Timeline, and Good Versus Evil in the Superhero Comic Color Palette [via and via]
- The truly odd story of New York’s Hartwick College and their “Methuselah” trust from a one-time benefactor:
Because thanks to an eccentric New York lawyer in the 1930s, this college in a corner of the Catskills inherited a thousand-year trust that would not mature until the year 2936: a gift whose accumulated compound interest, the New York Times reported in 1961, “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.” The mossy stone walls and ivy-covered brickwork of Hartwick College were a ticking time-bomb of compounding interest—a very, very slowly ticking time bomb.
One suspects they’d have rather gotten a new squash court. [via]
- Sorry, folks on my Christmas list: Mailing Chicken Pox Lollipops Is Illegal, Reckless. Maybe just a card? [via]
- A Tree Grows in Queens (Right Through An Auto Body Shop!) [via]
- “Sure. Alternate realities. You could have, like, a world without shrimp. Or with, you know, nothing but shrimp…” – Anya
First top predator was giant shrimp with amazing eyes. (“You have amazing eyes! Please don’t eat me, giant killer shrimp!”)
- The Higgs boson: Why scientists hate that you call it the ‘God particle’ [via]
- And finally, Bobby McFerin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale [via]:
- A Manufactured ‘Crisis’: Congress Can Let The Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs Or Service Reductions
- Undocumented Pregnant Women Forced To Give Birth While Shackled In Front Of Police
- Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit
- Stony Brook University Student Is Being Deported Despite Being In America Since She Was 20 Months Old
- And finally, White House Starts a Mini-War in Africa. Hopey-changey.
- A is for Ackbar [via]
- You’ve almost certainly heard this, but it’s worth repeating again and again and again: Ayn Rand received Social Security and Medicare. [via]
- 8-Bit vs. Reality [via]
- Lost Boys is Michael. A strangely compelling cut of the movie. (See also: it’s shelley duvall! many, many times!)
- And finally, Cat Rambo shares with writers 5 Things To Do In Your First 3 Paragraphs
- Obama’s Kickstarter Campaign to Solve the Debt [via]
- On a more serious note, an interesting look inside Kickstarter itself.
- Moore’s Law may soon be broken. Whither the Singularity? [via]
- If Male Superheroes Posed Like Wonder Woman. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, but…well, that there is part of the problem, isn’t it? [via]
- And finally, Matthew Cheney revisits the movie Stand By Me:
When I was ten, Stand By Me felt like the apex of realism because I’d never encountered a character who seemed so much like me as Gordie did. Twenty-five years later, it feels real for opposite reasons: for its naked artificiality. It gets right the way we shore up our fading memories by turning them into stories, by setting a soundtrack to them, by finding just the right words for every conversation and just the right lessons for every walk down the railroad tracks.