Back to ClientCo tomorrow, as they decided my three day week shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the vital business of posting gubbins like this lot
- The Alt-Right’s Meltdown Is Just Like Any Other Message Board Drama - The neo-Nazis who claim to have propelled Trump to office are in a big snit over the afterparty. Katie Notopoulos explains why: ”Things have gotten bumpy for the alt-right online movement since the election. It’s facing an identity crisis (what does it mean to be the “alt” if you’re getting what you want?) and grappling with certain fundamental questions like “Are we OK with Nazis?” (Even if its very name was coined by, well, Nazis.)… if you view it as an online community rather than a political movement, its trajectory starts to look very, very familiar. What we have here is a classic case of “mod drama.” As someone who has spent a lot of time taxonimizing online communities, from places like Fark to SomethingAwful, 4chan to Facebook groups for moms, I can assure you that one need only look at how other internet groups rise and fall to see what’s happening in the alt-right.”
- The Great American Witchhunt (Part One), (Part Two), (Part Three) - No, not the new administration’s policies, but belief in actual witchcraft in 20th century America: ”On November 27, 1928, a neighbour discovered the body of farmer Nelson Rehmeyer in the kitchen of York County, Pennsylvania home. In what was later described by witnesses as a scene of horror, what was left of Rehmeyer's body had been mixed in with the remains of an old blanket and mattress. Investigators determined that the 60-year-old farmer had been tied up and beaten before his body was set on fire, apparently to destroy any potential evidence… Things took a rather macabre turn when the trial began and Clayton Hess was called to give testimony. According to Clayton, John Blymer's confession consisted of four simple words: "I got the witch." Basically, the three men had killed Nelson Rehmeyer because they suspected him of being a witch who had hexed all three of them.”
- Simone Giertz Builds a Beer Serving Robot With Mixed and Messy Results - "I made a beer robot. Do it, it’ll be fun, the dark parts of my brain said. My whole house now REEKS of beer. I reek of beer. I’m not sure it’s ever going to wash out. Is this life now? Simone, the beer girl. I think I can roll with that."
- It's a bird! It's a plane! It's radar interference! - New Zealand Meteorologist Claire Flynn: ”Weather radars are used all around the world to detect rain, hail and snow, as it happens. However, there are times when the radar network can pick up other things as well. While you generally won't see aeroplanes on our radar images (the radar beam is usually beneath the flight path of most flights, and also our radars are calibrated to primarily pick up smaller objects, whereas radars at airports are calibrated differently to primarily pick up aeroplane-sized objects), there is a myriad of other things that can cause interference on our radar images”
- By Act of Parliament 1603: One Mulberry Tree - Terence Eden tries to find out the truth behind a plaque on a house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire: ”Welcome to my descent into a mulberry-induced madness… I know what you're thinking - why Mulberry trees? It all comes down to King James and his attempt to improve the economy of the UK.”
- Power vertical: inside Minsk, a city stuck in time and Good manors: fantasy homes of the new rich, Belarus-style - "Photographer Vitus Saloshanka returned to Minsk in 2009, eight years after he left his native Belarus for Germany, to capture a city which has ultimately stayed the same despite some change."
- The fight of your life - Lyra McKee on the traumatic brain damage that boxers suffer many years after retiring from the ring: ”“What’s going to happen to these guys that are pasta brains from taking hits?” Johnny asks Jerry. “You know, these boxers,” he continues, “everybody wants to make money on ’em and nobody puts anything into ’em. They just leave ’em at the roadside. And that’s not right!”… the boxers that this story is about haven’t died in the ring, but because of it – years later – when the bloodied noses and split lips had long since healed. At the time Johnny was fighting, it was called ‘Punch Drunk’ syndrome. Now, it’s called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). And while boxers and their brains were instrumental in the research to define the disease and establish it within medicine, their contribution has, say their families, largely been forgotten.”
- Painted by Bob Dylan - Diamond Geezer, whose blog has featured here once or twice before, was somewhat taken aback by a painting in an exhibition by Bob Dylan: ”According to the catalogue it's a watercolour, painted by Bob in 2015-6, and shows a Pier in Norfolk, Virginia… Bob Dylan's painting isn't of the USA, it's of the North Pier in Blackpool, and it's been constructed not from the artist's perception but using a photograph I took. This is the actual Bob Dylan we're talking about, the 2016 Nobel Laureate.”
- The True Story of Dr. Voronoff's Plan to Use Monkey Testicles to Make Us Immortal - "The search for a Fountain of Youth has driven humankind down some strange avenues of inquiry. But there may be none stranger than the work of Dr. Serge Voronoff. Known in his time as “the monkey gland expert,” Voronoff believed that human aging could be halted or even reversed by transplanting monkey testicles into people. And that was among the most down-to-earth of his ideas."
- Hyperart: Thomasson - "In the seventies, Japanese conceptual artist and writer Akasegawa Genpei and his buddies discovered “hyperart,” unintentional art created by the city itself. Everywhere they saw urban objects and structures that had had a use in the past, but were now useless … yet someone was still maintaining them, not removing them. Akasegawa named these objects “Thomassons” after American baseball hitter Gary Thomasson, who was recruited to a Japanese team and paid a mint to look pretty, but whose bat almost never connected with the ball." This Tumblr, a tie-in with the first Western publication of Genpei’s book on the subject, gathers user submissions of such artefacts, such as this stairway to a vanished overpass in Strasbourg (which, looking on Street View, sadly seems now to have been lost to redevelopment):