50 most recent entries
Man with Six Senses</a>Hilowbrow publisher Joshua Glenn released a new book in his Radium Age Science Fiction Library series, a gorgeous paperback edition of Muriel Jaeger’s long-unobtainable thriller The Man with Six Senses. Buy your copy now, while supplies last!
Man with Six Senses
Mark Burnett, whose work has been featured here before, has used lists of leaked passwords to compile a master list of the 10,000 worst passwords (with accompanying wordcloud, see above); an astonishing 91 percent of all passwords used appear in the top 1000. Here's the top 100, with their relative frequency:
i especially like the one entitled "Cheese balls".
Spaghetti-Os commemorated Pearl Harbor in a special way, prompting a special twitterstorm of parodies -- click through for a selection:
so. flist. my sister is having a hanukah party next weekend and there's going to be a yankee swap/white elephant/gift exchange. the limit is $15. last year i made peanutbutter cookies and they were picked last, so this year i'm buying something. i got a little book of jazz age cocktail recipes because i thought it was cute - i'm pretty sure it came out as kind of a tie-in with the great gatsby, and i'm also pretty sure my sister's friends like a good cocktail - but i still have some money to spend, so what else should i get? i was thinking either a jar of garnish (maraschino cherries, cocktail onions, stuffed olives) or a couple wee bottles of alcohol (maybe a gin and a bourbon). good, bad, what? any other ideas?
When I was writing my first book, Just A Geek, I ended up with a lot of stories that just didn’t fit within the narrative. I didn’t know what to do with them, until my friend and editor, Andrew, said, “Why don’t you put them in their own book?”
I was hesitant, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a very good idea, so that’s what I did. I asked my friend Ben to draw some illustrations to keep the stories company, and I published it all on my own, before Just A Geek was even completely finished. The book is called Dancing Barefoot.
After I released the audio versions of Just a Geek and The Happiest Days of Our Lives, a lot of people asked me when I was going to do an audio version of Dancing Barefoot, to round out what I’ve just decided to call a trilogy. The truth is, I never intended to do an audio version of it, because I felt like I’d grown as a writer since it was published, and it would sound and feel strange to revisit that book without wanting to rewrite the whole thing.
But something really changed in me when I turned 40 last year, and I stopped worrying so much about things like that. I accepted that it was the best I could do then, and even if it’s a little rough around the edges, it’s because I made it that way.
So about a month ago, I booked some studio time with my favorite audiobook producers, and finally recorded an audio version of Dancing Barefoot.
It felt a little strange to record something I wrote over a decade ago, as I was entering my thirties, and looking into my past in order to understand my future. It was written during a tumultuous and uncertain time, when I was struggling so much just to make it month to month. Reading it now, knowing what my future actually held, both wonderful and terrible, made it a more emotional experience than I expected.
I had this weird sense of nostalgia as I read it, like nesting dolls: I remembered the stories that I told, I remembered writing them down on my blog for the first time, then editing them into Dancing Barefoot for the first time, and then shipping thousands of books around the world, out of my living room. I remembered how excited I felt when Anne and I opened the first box of books when they were delivered from the printer, and how happy it still makes me feel when someone hands me one of those books to sign for them.
Real quick, before I get to the link for the album, I want to say something to those of you who have been here for a decade, especially those of you who bought Dancing Barefoot so long ago: Thank you. Without your support then, I wouldn’t be here now. There’s a straight line between you buying that book from me, and me working on Eureka, Big Bang Theory, Leverage, and everything else. There’s an even shorter, straighter line between me shipping that book to you from my living room floor, to me writing all my other books, magazine columns, and posts of varying quality on this blog.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with declaring that “there are no second acts in American lives,” and before I began this journey a little over a decade ago, I believed him. But because I people like you kept coming back to read my blog, kept coming to see me perform on stage, and bought my books when I published them, I feel like I may be one of the exceptions to that rule.
I’m incredibly grateful for the life that I have now, the life that I worked so hard to build. Every single day, I’m afraid that I’m going to wake up and discover that it’s just a dream, or a cruel trick in some episode of The Twilight Zone. I worked really hard for what I have now, but I didn’t do it alone. People I’ll never meet took a chance on me and made it possible for me to do what I’m doing now, and I can’t thank you enough.
Okay, I’m rambling, so I’ll just get out of the way. Here’s the product information:
It’s available now on my Bandcamp page, you can listen to the entire thing there for free, or you can buy it for $10 though the weekend, before it goes up to $20 next week. It includes a digital booklet with all the illustrations Ben did, scanned by me from my original author’s copy of the book.
Here’s the description:
One year ago today
Five years ago today
Ten years ago today
Write a post like an introduction about you to a stranger/new reader. for elfy
Can you do it?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Toshi about the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea. Toshi discusses the significance of the ADIZ for military and civilian flights from the US, Japan, and South Korea. They consider how China will enforce the zone. Why here, and why now? Toshi argues that if America recognizes the zone, we might as well pack up and go home. Rob and Toshi debate whether the declaration was a bureaucratic error or came from the top. They conclude by discussing China’s new aircraft carrier, which is deploying to the South China Sea.
Bathtime Santa looks up to no good, what with the mischievous wink and thumbtacks. (Via Mostly Forbidden Zone)
Did you ever realize that people might not even realize what business you’re in? Sometimes, we miss a post, or a tweet, or we haven’t caught up recently, and then pow, years pass, and we don’t really know what’s what.
I thought I’d tell you what’s going on and what I’m doing.
At the moment, what I’m doing is publishing a business magazine called Owner magazine. It’s the business curriculum for your future. Instead of covering news stories about the business space, we write how-to information applicable to your future success. We publish this monthly and include around 20-25 different stories by about that many authors. We publish a few more stories throughout the month, but the “issue” comes out on the first of the month. It’s designed for mobile viewing, but if you’re a Kindle viewer, you can get it for your Kindle, as well.
I’m also publishing courses. We’ve had lots and lots of great experiences with our students and graduates, and people have given us great feedback to help us continue to help others succeed at their goals. Some courses, like Mastering the Digital Channel give people the chance to build out the digital elements of their business. Other projects, like the Owner Mastery Foundation Group allow for a daily experience to keep their business goals sharp. In ALL cases, I really enjoy the communities that have grown up around the material. The course material is great, but people stay for the community.
I still consult, but not as much lately. I’ve got a pretty fun project going that’s been fun. I’m also doing some coaching lately and that’s been very fun to enjoy. This part of my business is probably what people think I do most, but that’s not exactly how it goes these days. The magazine and the courses are probably the bigger efforts on any given day.
I’ve been a professional speaker since 2007. It’s one of my favorite parts of what I do. The opportunity to go beyond my books and blog posts and directly interact with people at an event is a great opportunity. Because I get to speak about business and marketing and digital business development and the like, I find that the material is always fresh and new, and thus, I get a lot of great opportunities to be helpful each and every time.
I’m working on finishing my seventh book right now. My other six are here. Writing has been a part of my life since I was a kid. On top of books, I write a newsletter that has nothing to do with this blog. You’d love it. :)
And What About You?
And that’s what I’m doing these days. What are YOU doing? I’d love to know more about it. Because URLs tend to muck up in my comments section, here’s a form that would help me know more about you. I made it for something I’m doing over at Owner, but it would apply here, especially if you want me to help you find more connections:
I recently worked on an upcoming video game from Double Fine, called Broken Age. I got to play a really fun character, and I had a super good time working with one of my favorite directors in the industry.
Double Fine announced my participation in a video that includes some shots of me recording, and the response from people who chose to respond was overwhelmingly positive.
Earlier this morning, the following Tweets appeared in my timeline, back to back:
When I was younger, I would have completely ignored the first one, and obsessively focused on the second one to the point of feeling shitty about myself. Part of having Imposter Syndrome is believing that people who praise you are dupes, while the people who criticize you can actually see through everything. But the thing is, the guy who isn’t thrilled has every right to feel that way, and I don’t take it personally. Not everyone digs what I do and what I bring to a project, and that’s totally cool. At the same time, it’s also pretty awesome that a lot of people do dig what I bring to a project, and that is also cool.
Consider this, about having perspective on criticism: If you enjoyed making a thing, and you’re proud of the thing you made, that’s enough. Not everyone is going to like it, and that’s okay. And sometimes, a person who likes your work and a person who don’t will show up within milliseconds of each other to let you know how they feel. One does not need to cancel out the other, positively or negatively; if you’re proud of the work, and you enjoyed the work, that is what’s important.Don’t let the fear of not pleasing someone stop you from being creative.
The goal isn’t to make something everyone will love; the goal is to get excited, and make a thing where something wasn’t before.
Because Nick had a work deadline on Monday, we both worked through the Thanksgiving holidays. We took yesterday off to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving together.
Average temperatures in Australian during the month of September were 2.75°C above average
CREDIT: Australian Bureau of Meteorology
2013 is well on its way to becoming the warmest calendar year on record in Australia. The country has just set a new record for the warmest spring ever.
Mean temperatures for Australia’s spring (which occurs during the U.S.’s fall) were 1.57°C above the 1961-1990 average. September was especially hot, with an average temperature of 2.75°C or nearly 5°F above normal. October came in at 1.43°C above average, while November came closer to normal, at 0.52C above average. And in addition to being unusually warm, spring also came early. On August 31, the last day of winter, average temperatures reached 85.9°F. It was the warmest last day of winter recorded since Australia started collecting temperature data 104 years ago.
To date, the year is 1.23°C above average and 0.18°C above the previous record year, 2005.
Australia’s record-breaking spring follows a generally wet winter and a summer that was also the country’s hottest on record. Temperatures soared so high in January that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology added new colors to its temperature maps. Deep purple now represents temperatures in excess of 50°C, or 122°F. The new high end of the scale tops out at 129 °F.
Thanks to the wet winter that helped vegetation flourish, followed by a hot spring that sucked out all the moisture, the east and west coasts of Australia may have to contend with another above-normal bushfire season this summer. Bushfire season in Australia has already gotten off to an early start as four major fires ravaged western Sydney and the surrounding Blue Mountains area of New South Wales in September.
The newest record broken in Australia comes just as the Australian Senate is debating the repeal of its carbon tax. Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who ran on an anti-climate agenda, has been making good on his campaign promises, much to the dismay of the climate conscious at home and abroad. He is hard at work dismantling the country’s carbon emissions scheme, and publicly shunned the recent UN climate talks in Warsaw by declining to send a senior elected member of his government. Abbott has also confirmed that his government has no intentions of reducing Australia’s emissions by more than five percent below 2000 levels by 2020 and has cut funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Funding for ARENA over the next two years will be about one fifth of current levels.
It’s extremely hard, if not impossible, to identify your favorite melody from your favorite composer, but for me, this one gets awfully close. It’s from Mozart’s Posthorn Serenade, Andante Grazioso. It begins at 1:21, introduced by the flute. Note also the incredibly sublime, yet so simple, descending counterpoint line in the background at 1:32. Then, a subtle key change and the oboe picks it up.
The cycle comes back at 3:41, but reversed–this time, the oboe goes first. And again, that descending counterpoint at 3:52 gives me chills every time, and I’ve been listening to this piece for at least 40 years.
I know—choosing your favorite melody like this is like choosing your favorite child. But why don’t you give it a try?
Identify one or more of your favorite classical melodies, then in the comments’ section, supply the link and the timing of when it starts, and I’ll post them all for a future musical interlude.
George Osborne, the patron saint of austerity enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic, was in the House of Commons on Thursday, reveling in the fact that the U.K.’s economy is finally growing again, and claiming that “Britain’s economic plan is working.” Delivering his annual Autumn Statement—he was a bit late—the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed to forecasts from the quasi-independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which point to G.D.P. growth of 1.4 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2014....read more
Apps for Kids is sponsored by Little Blueprint: Personalized and ready-made children's books based on brain science, empowering kids to thrive through life's challenges and celebrations.
Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.In this episode, we set down our smartphones to talk about the Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel, in which two kids team up with Crazy Dave, the deranged zombie prepper, to rid Neighborville of the invading horde of undead humans. Jane also grabs my staple remover that I was repairing with Sugru and messes it up.
If you're an app developer and would like to have Jane and me try one of your apps for possible review, email a redeem code to email@example.com.
Jane and I love to get your emails with questions about game, gear, and tech. What's your question?
Listen to past episodes of Apps for Kids here.
An Heir to Thorns and Steel is a serialized fantasy novel updating once a week for free on Tuesdays, and again on Thursdays and Saturdays if tips reach $15 and $20, respectively. Single reviews of existing stories posted to Amazon count for $5 toward the tip total.
Blood Ladders, Book 1
The lead hunter set his spear across his saddle. “You can fight us, if you wish,” he said in a mellifluous voice.
I began that ride downtrodden in spirit and sore in body; by the time we stopped that first evening I was pain-raddled and desperate. When the hunter let me off his steed I tried to pace and crumpled. The two genets rushed to me while the elves watched, distant and stoic.
Cue the creepy music!
This is one of the rare episodes that didn’t get funded! So if you would like to tip, or write a review for me somewhere, that would be amazing! But if it doesn’t show up, then this is a freebie, and enjoy. :)
Mirrored from MCAH Online.
Being here in Omaha, being in the world at all, keeps stirring my thoughts of mortality. My dreams these days are almost always about incompleteness, failure and error. Comically so sometimes, some nights a tragedy in six REM cycles. I feel like I am digging my own grave, slowly.
Your Saturday moment of zen.
Dude, Where's My Accent? — Why the California Vowel Shift may have us all by the tongue. Also this. Snerk. (Via David Goldman.)
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
Then, a mumble of danger from down the street: five gendarmes waving pistols, shouting “Monster! Away from that woman!”
Well, that didn’t make any sense. Can’t they tell the difference between combat and surgery?
I didn’t want to argue with them though. I battered at the street with my hukuchô, scattering hovens all about. Still, the Boulevard of the Orange Pine Trees was a bad place for surgery — pine needles kept getting into my patient, for one extra problem. I could hear the howling of emergency vehicles coming towards me, too. Trying to repair Tarcuna with pine needles and bullets flying all over seemed to make a hard job impossible.
So (the Sanitarium) the next heartbeat, (the Anodyne) I didn’t do any more surgery. I just scooped (the Anodyne!) her up in my left claw, ripping deep surgically-useless furrows in her back (the Anodyne), and leapt clumsily into the sky. The shock of the takeoff worked its own mischief on her, and my best available answer for that (the Sanitarium) wasn’t much good. But we were in the sky (heartbeat) and another healing spell (the Anodyne) healed her back and kept her from dying all the way. Again.
We landed on the flat top of a nearby bank building. I set to work rather desparately. I didn’t know how much worm was left in her, or how many more healing spells she could endure.
Four more heartbeats, and I got to the end of the worm’s main body, a long tapered tip slithered up next to her esophagus. I thought for a moment that that was enough.
It wasn’t enough. A dozen long hooked probes extended from the tip into Tarcuna’s brain. That’s presumably how it had conquered her, and how it had intended to conquer me. It made the surgery that much harder, too. I’m willing to rip breasts and lungs and livers fairly casually and heal them back, but brains are much more delicate. Now I had to cut twice: a bit careless slice opening the side of her face, then a more careful slice exposing just a bit of brain, hopefully where a probe was. Then grab the worm-bit, careful not to rip her brain any more than I had to, quick before the wound killed her, and get my hand out of the way quick before the Anodyne trapped it inside her brain. I didn’t dare use the Sanitarium spell to heal such a wound, it’s just not that good. After a while, I skipped surgery on the second the Anodyne casting, hoping that the extra healing magic would keep her more alive, even at the cost of slowing the surgery down.
Nineteen heartbeats and ten probes later, the first fighter plane came roaring noise and roaring danger across the sky.
I couldn’t imagine how I was going to do brain surgery and protect myself from missiles and rays at the same time. So I skipped the spare Anodyne and breathed long lightning at the plane’s left wing. I was hoping to just cripple it, since it technically hadn’t attacked me. But that’s where it stored some of its bombs or fuel or something. It caught fire rather impressively, and bits of blazing metal splashed over the city two miles away.
Such a botchery of a day.
The other eleven fighter planes curved around a bit. (I didn’t understand at the time, but the television report said that they were waiting for orders from their sky-admiral. They knew something of our breath weapons from the Kyongsy Temple, but didn’t know about lightning.)
I rushed the rest of the surgery. The last probe was buried deep in her brain, and the eleven planes had encircled me and were coming from eleven different directions. I healed Tarcuna with my hand stuck at the base of her brain holding the end of the probe, waited for a heartbeat, and tug and the Anodyne — tug and the Anodyne — tug and the Anodyne, ripping the core of her brain and healing it as quickly and fully as I could manage. On the third tug, the probe was free, out of her brain, and I could slice the side of her face and lift it out in the usual way.
I took a heartbeat to watch and listen. Tarcuna was still dying between the Anodynes, but with most of the worm out of her and no surgery, the spells were actually making progress. I took Tarcuna in my forepaws and put the Esrret-Sky-Painted on us, and flew off the bank.
Then the fighter planes came, and circled overhead in much confusion.
I flew us to our hotel, took a hoven form, disguised us with illusions, levitated a bit so we wouldn’t leave bloody footprints, and carried Tarcuna to our room. Our bathtub was quite large. I filled it with hot water and soap, and started the laborious business of scrubbing a vast amount of hoven blood out of both our fur. I still needed to put the Arcane Anodyne into Tarcuna: every minute at first, every six minutes by the time we were clean. Lots of poison had been spilled into her, and I had left little bits of deliquescing cyoziworm all over too.
Halfway through the bath, Tarcuna opened her eyes. “I’m free? I’m alive?”
“You’re free, you’re alive, you’re still needing lots of attention to keep you that way. Rest now. Later you must explain many things to me.”
She closed her eyes again, and let me clean her and heal her.
Sometimes my hobby of sheltering small people is rather too much work.
Or maybe, rather a lot of work. I was glad to have done it.</p>
Here’s my Q&A column from the WSJ this week — and if you have any questions for me, you can tweet them to @danariely with the hashtag #askariely, post a comment on my Ask Ariely Facebook page, or email them to AskAriely@wsj.com.
Delta Air Lines recently announced plans to start distributing thousands of Microsoft Surface 2 tablets to its pilots to spare them lugging around heavy documents, maps and flight plans. As a passenger, I always suspected that flight attendants sometimes ask us to turn our gadgets off not because they might harm the plane’s instruments but because some airline employees get a kind of twisted satisfaction from making passengers suffer a bit more. What do you think? Is the whole issue of turning electronics off just a way to make the passengers realize that the flight attendants are really in control?
In fairness, the unpopular (and rapidly fading) ban on using personal electronics during takeoff and landing was a Federal Aviation Administration regulation, not a policy by the airlines. Even so, the logic of turning off iPads and Kindles while taxiing was never clear to me either, and the joy that some flight attendants took in commanding passengers to turn their devices off could make one suspect that your “control theory” is right. Nevertheless, I suspect that this was just one more regulation set up without much thought that the poor flight attendants were forced to follow—and that in fact, they most likely suffered much more from having to enforce a rule that annoyed passengers and lacked logic many times a day.
I do worry about another aspect of your question: making airplanes too reliant on tablet technology. A crash of the less dangerous type could translate into a more harmful one.
I recently had a massage when I was very tired, and I fell asleep repeatedly. Every time I dozed off, the masseuse moved me particularly vigorously and woke me up. This left me a bit embarrassed, and it wasn’t fun to be woken up so many times in one hour. What should the masseuse have done—let me sleep through the massage, or woken me up to experience it?
The person giving you the massage was wrong. More generally, this is really a question about different types of pleasure and their building blocks. In general, you can think about the pleasures you get from anticipating a massage, experiencing it, and remembering it after the fact.
The interesting thing about remembered and anticipated pleasure is that they capture some aspects of the experience—but not all of them. That’s why, for example, you might remember an experience that was great for 15 minutes as better than an experience that was great for the first 15 minutes and then merely good for 15 more. In essence, the longer experience had more goodness in it (30 minutes), but the remembered pleasure wasn’t as large because it also involved some less exciting moments.
I suspect that the masseuse wanted you to have more moments in which you experienced the massage—but by doing so added some less pleasurable parts and decreased your remembered pleasure, which will also decrease the anticipatory pleasure you’re likely to feel before your next session on the table.
This lesson, by the way, applies to many other domains of life. Think about a presentation to clients, a dinner party, or a discussion with a friend—it’s the quality, not the quantity, which influences our remembered and anticipated pleasures.
My kids are spending much of their time on social networks such as Facebook. Are they really being social with their friends or just wasting time?
Here’s my test for real friendship: Would your friends bail you out of jail if you needed them to? My sense is that spending face-to-face time with friends is likely to increase the likelihood of bail, while following someone’s status updates won’t. If your kids aren’t increasing their odds of getting real help when they need it, they probably aren’t being social in a meaningful way.
See the original article in the Wall Street Journal here.
Every weekend, Longform shares a collection of great stories from its archive with Slate. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform’s app to read the latest picks, plus features from dozens of other magazines, including Slate.
It happens sooner or later for every kid: Someone spills the beans about Santa Claus. In 2011, Elizabeth Weingarten confessed that in third grade, she revealed the truth about Santa to a classmate. Out of guilt, she tracked down her young friend to make sure she hadn’t ruined Christmas forever. The original piece is reprinted below. Also, read Stephen Tobolowsky on discovering that Santa isn't real.
To believe or not to believe, that is question this time of year. In 2011, Stephen Tobolowsky wrote this personal essay about growing up Jewish in Dallas and learning that Santa isn’t real—but choosing to believe anyways. The original piece is reprinted below. Read Elizabeth Weingarten on spoiling Santa Claus and ruining Christmas for third graders.
Rule 1: If there's no really good reason for a business to be done locally, it will migrate to the web.
Rule 2: Businesses that migrate to the web often have economies of scale, and those businesses quickly coalesce into just a few (or even one) winner.
The winning strategy for the local business or freelancer, then, is:
a. provide a product or service that truly works better when it's local, and
b. do it in a way that works better when it's small, custom, connected and not in search of economies of scale.
first, happy birthdays to othercat (today) and lady_yashka (yesterday)! i know sushi figured in at least one of those celebrations, but might i also suggest some cake?
Usually when I think of Steampunk makers, I envision people building things like ornate keyboards, or corsets with light–up buttons, or possibly mechanical claws that dispense exact change. I don't see a lot of people doing things on an automotive scale, which always surprised me, considering the car culture that pervades much of the United States. Oh, sure, there are a few things, like the Golden Mean (http://formandreform.com/wordpress/?pa
"favorite character i've created or top five with specific reasons why i like them" for shivering_lance, which i should've done yesterday but my brain was tired. my first reaction to this one was "ugh, dude, i hate you". and then i thought about it, and my second reaction was "ugh, dude, i hate you". i mean, everyone's my favorite when i'm writing them.