Magic Debug Values: “…are specific values written to memory…so that it will later be possible to tell whether or not they have become corrupted…. Memory is usually viewed in hexadecimal, so memorable repeating or hexspeak values are common.” Though not a programmer, I’d seen some of these in various other contexts. Particularly fond of 8BADF00D, BADC0FFEE0DDF00D, D15EA5E, DEFEC8ED, and FEE1DEAD.
Welcome to Mystery Flesh Pit National Park: “The Mystery Flesh Pit is the name given to a bizarre natural geobiological feature discovered in the permian basin region of west texas in the early 1970s. The pit is characterized as an enormous subterranean organism of indeterminate size and origin embedded deep within the earth, displaying a vast array of highly unusual and often disturbing phenomena within its vast internal anatomy.”
While I didn’t know how little support Florida gave its less privileged residents, the common themes in all these stories really are glaringly obvious once pointed out.
“Another tedious, liberal, PC scold,” you may think as you read the headline for this piece. “Why can’t we just have fun and enjoy a hilarious meme in peace?” Well, you can enjoy “Florida man” all you want, but by any objective metric, it’s worth noting that “Florida man” memes—just like all “dumb criminal” or “weird crime” stories—are little more than a socially acceptable way of gawking at and belittling the dispossessed and indigent.
The reason Florida seems to have more “bizarre news” stories is because it leaves tens of thousands of people with financial, mental health and drug problems to fend for themselves, and then, under the banner of transparency, hands over the inevitable result of this lack of support to a click-hungry press. To paraphrase another viral tweet, it monetizes the rot.
“Florida man” isn’t an accident. It’s the logical byproduct of a state whose politics have been defined by cruel, racist indifference to the poor for decades.
Sometime between November 29th and January 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- 365 IETF RFCs: a 50th anniversary dive: "April 7th, 2019 is going to be the 50 year anniversary of the first ever Request for Comments, known as an RFC. These documents started out in 1969 as a way for ARPANET engineers to keep track of notes and discussions on their project. In honor of this anniversary, I figured I would read one RFC each day of 2019, starting with RFC 1 and ending with RFC 365."
- Is Grover swearing? No, it’s in your ears.: “As a phonetician, these types of misperceptions are sometimes fun because they force you to carefully listen to what people (in this case, Grover's voice) are doing as they produce speech very quickly. Phoneticians focus on the transcription and, more often, careful analysis of speech. Speech is fast, speech is messy, and when the conditions are right, one can misperceive one sound for another.”
- Against Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old”: "Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old is…a stunning technical achievement made by a filmmaker and producer at the top of their form. […] But…I can’t help but refuse and reject this picture in the strongest possible terms. It is a brilliant film that is also, unfortunately, a total mistake."
- On radical kindness (another aspect of hopepunk): “i will say this again: we are all going to die. the universe is enormous and almost entirely empty. to be kind to each other is the most incredible act of defiance against the dark that i can imagine.”
- The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk:: “The world is the world. It’s really good sometimes and it’s really bad sometimes, and it’s sort of humdrum a lot of the time. People are petty and mean and, y’know, PEOPLE. There are things that need to be fixed, and battles to be fought, and people to be protected, and we’ve gotta do all those things ourselves because we can’t sit around waiting for some knight in shining armor to ride past and deal with it for us. We’re just ordinary people trying to do our best because we give a shit about the world. Why? Because we’re some of the assholes that live there.”
Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65 percent: “The group that created ‘Weightless’, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
- Physicist Wins Ig Noble Prize For Study On Whether Cats Should Be Classified As Liquids Or Solids: "At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container," Fardin said. "If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid."
- Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens: “Where, exactly, the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids began — and why some academics think racism lies at the heart of many extraterrestrial theories.”
- Do you have any advice for someone who is 16?: "Watch Star Trek. // I’m sorry anon. I realized belatedly that I basically just told you 'turn to Jesus!' and walked away without explanation. I’m absolutely not kidding, though: Star Trek. Especially in times of difficulty and change: watch Star Trek."
- This is the Greatest Example of Wanton Cruelty in All of the Star Wars Universe: "There’s a lot here that can be considered cruel—torture, enslavement, sadism, and so on—but the really cruel thing isn’t directly happening in the scene, but it does make the scene possible. It’s the fact that droids can feel pain."
Sometime between December 27th and January 8th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Why So Many Men Hate the Last Jedi But Can’t Agree on Why: SPOILERS: "I don’t think every human who disliked The Last Jedi is an evil, evil misogynist. I do think that we have so deeply internalized sexist narrative tropes that we see them as 'correct' and 'good filmmaking' while seeing their absence as 'flaws.'"
- My Hero, Luke Skywalker: SPOILERS: “It is a beautiful fantasy and, I thought, a particularly resonant message for the anxious and depressed about what you can be capable of, the kind of peace you may be able to find if you dig down deep enough and push yourself emotionally.”
- Stop reading what Facebook tells you to read: "Literally, all you need to do: Type in web addresses. Use autofill! Or even: Google the website you want to go to, and go to it. Then bookmark it. Then go back every now and again."
- List: Alternatives to Platonic Love: "Newtonian Love – There’s a strong attraction between your bodies."
- This is not going to go the way you think: The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues: SPOILERS: “Happy endings are always undone because ‘endings’ don’t really exist. Time doesn’t stop when you want it to. Your ‘destiny’ can and will be slowly eroded away by the many small, cumulative abrasions of life that inevitably follow after you achieve it. This is real, and it’s disillusioning, and it can fill you with righteous anger at the unjustness of it all.”
Sometime between December 20th and December 26th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Star Wars’ Vice-Admiral Holdo and Our Expectations for Female Military Power: SPOILERS: “What The Last Jedi does—amongst many other things—is present its audience with more than one mode of female power.”
- The Last Jedi Is Subversive AF, and I Am Here for It: “Those who wanted a safe and comforting Star Wars movie are understandably upset. The Last Jedi is anything but safe. It’s as subversive as it gets, and I am here for it.”
- From C-3PO’s perspective, ‘Star Wars’ is a prolonged nightmare – The Washington Post: "Your master goes into a bar, where they refuse to serve you. Instead of leaving the bar in solidarity, he makes you wait outside."
- Love Actually’s Workplace Harassment Feels Especially Egregious at the End of 2017:
- Star Wars “fans” should remember being a fan doesn’t mean unequivocal love (or hate): SPOILERS: “This is the problem with these loudest of ‘fans’: They’ve forgotten that a big part of fandom is the ability to hold multiple opinions on the same material all at once. That all-or-nothing mentality does a disservice to fans and films alike, by reductively lumping pluses and minuses into one indiscernible stew of love or loathing.”
Sometime between June 25th and July 16th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- On ‘canon’ in fandom: “Do you know when ‘canon,’ like as a concept, became like a standard nerd thing?”
- Call “revenge porn” what it is: sexual abuse: “This new term — image-based sexual abuse — better describes the nature and harms of the deeply injurious actions of men (and it is mostly men) who perpetrate it.”
- As Chinese, Iranian and Indonesian As Apple Pie : The Salt : NPR: “So where do apple pies come from? Let's deconstruct the stories of the ingredients that make up the sweet treat — and the winding paths they took to our plates.”
- Now Everyone Really Can Code Thanks to Apple’s New College Course – TrendinTech: "Apple is launching a new program intended for college-level learners, extending Apple’s learning courses from kindergarten age and adulthood. This new course, called Apple App Development Curriculum, is available for free through iBooks."
- How Does X-Men’s Charles Xavier Leave His Own House?: "Based on various depictions of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, Professor X—a paraplegic mutant telepath with a supposedly genius-level intellect—somehow forgot to add wheelchair ramps to his own home."
Sometime between March 31st and April 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Rosie’s Phenomenal Precision Insult Machine!: Don't reach for those old, tired gendered, ableist, or otherwise lazy and harmful insults. Trust the machine to help you find the perfect, targeted insult for your specific needs! (Does not contain gendered- genital-based insults, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, dis-ableism, body-shaming, slut-shaming. May contain peanuts.)
- Joss Whedon’s obsession is not feminism: The problem is that at some point in his career, Joss became so intent on the masochistic fantasy of being hated by strong women for being a nerd that he spent a decade writing stories about violating those women to ensure they would hate him.
- Of dwarves and gender: So one day a dwarf is talking to a human and finally realizes that when humans say woman, they generally mean “person who is theoretically capable of childbirth” because for whatever reason, humans assign social expectations based genital differences.
- On Wm. Golding’s Lord of the Flies: Basically all the good Golding scholars agree that Lord of the Flies is intended as a condemnation specifically of western positivism and superiority, not a condemnation of human nature. Golding believed that good societies were possible, but that he was not living in one.
- What’s Wrong With Using The Word “Gypsy?”: TL;DR: It's racist. Here is a list of myths and realities about the Romani/Roma people.
Sometime between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- The Male Power Fantasy (and why Mad Max and Captain Kirk don’t fit): This relates to a theory I have, which is that the archetypal Western Male Hero is James Bond, to the degree that people (Mainly straight white men) start to see every Western Male Hero as James Bond. Which is to say an aggressively masculine, quip-spitting, hyper violent womanizer. The ultimate Male Power Fantasy. A new supermodel love interest (or two) every film, a gun in his hand, and no consequences for his actions.
- So many biological genders: If anyone tells you that there are 2-3 sexes in the world I want you to just go ahead and slap them.
- Fight Club and toxic masculinity (with a side of Mad Max: Fury Road): Hold up – you mean there are people who watch Fight Club and don’t realise that Tyler Durden is meant to be full of shit?
- Geisha FAQ: Please do not spread misconceptions about these hard-working women artists. They deserve respect and have persevered for centuries with women at the forefront of these professions.
- Earth is dangerous: I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
- Of privilege and nostalgia: The reality is, there was never a time when everyone could just enjoy things. To be able to say you had that time is to admit the privilege you had at not having to think about problematic behavior because it didn’t negatively affect your life.
- To everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.: Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand.
- Snarky but amusing and thorough Romeo and Juliet analysis: SUMMARY: Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly rich play that is mostly about how feuds fuck people over badly and how if you have to wait until YOUR KIDS OFF THEMSELVES to figure that out you deserve to lose your children. Romeo and Juliet are victims of the feud and its mindless death-lust, not perpetrators of death on others. They’re not supposed to be figures of ridicule OR representatives of True Love: they’re supposed to make the audience go “oh BABIES, no, you’re going to end so badly” and then be sad when they do.
- The singular “they”: Next time someone complains about singular “they” I’ll point them to this 17th century rant against singular “you”.