This Fortnight-and-a-Half in Links

I’ve been busy these past few Saturdays… Coming home to hang with friends and family in Northern Virginia; entertaining a guest last weekend. I’m actually in Northern Virginia again but have the house to myself for a moment and thought I’d make an attempt at throwing a post together.

(Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I have to call people in the UK for work sometimes, and someone actually used the word “fortnight” as a genuine part of his everyday lexicon the other day. It’s moments like that that make it all worth it.)

Without further ado (and I did weed out a number of the links I’d made note of, on account of the lengthier time tin which I let them build up, but you’ll still notice a bit of an outdated Valentine’s Day/Grammy theme. Yeah, I’ve been off my game haha.):

Outdated Valentine’s-Themed Link #1: A very touching story about a married interracial couple, whose last name was “Loving,” and the societal and legal troubles they had to overcome in prejudiced 1950’s Virginia; from a recent UVA Student Newsletter. I actually took a rural poverty course with the professor being discussed my final semester at school; it was one of my favorites at the time (the fact that she’d order Take It Away sandwiches to have at the end of a longer class period didn’t hurt in that regard!). I also want to make a mental note of watching the HBO documentary, The Loving Storybased off of their tale. (As always, pictures link to their respective pages.)

loving in virginiahttp://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/foundation/emails/newsletter/feb2013/loving.html

Outdated Valentine’s-Themed Link #2: A Matador Network piece on international aphrodisiacs.

aphrodisiacshttp://matadornetwork.com/life/from-goats-head-soup-to-skink-flesh-aphrodisiacs-around-the-world-pics/

Outdated Grammy-Themed Link #1 (actually there’s only one): A… well the title really captures the essence of it all. A “hilariously grotesque email from network standards and practices” concerning what was and was not appropriate to be on air at the Grammy’s. The rules are… detailed and specific, and include the terms “bare fleshy under curves” and “‘puffy’ bare skin exposure.”

hilariously grotesque email atlantichttp://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/02/heres-hilariously-grotesque-email-network-standards-practices/61864/

And… the rest of the links, at random.

My brother achieved practically celebrity status in the Reddit world by being terrible at his job, apparently:

reddithttp://i.imgur.com/zCGtK9h.jpg

I told him he’d better be careful, though… there was that scandal with the Applebee’s waitress that happened over a similar offense…

My friend Tam also had a sort of brush with fame (anonymous fame, I suppose, oxymoronic as that may sound) when she discovered illustrations she’d designed on a freelance job a year and a half ago had actually become popular T-shirt graphics. She says:

In July 2011, I was approached by an NYC entrepreneur who’d seen my work. He wanted to create a company selling products based on vintage cameras, more specifically t-shirts featuring illustrations. I was commissioned for 6 different camera illustrations. Fast forward a year and a half, and I discover that people all over the world are wearing my artwork and it has been featured in a number of blogs and other press outlets. I still remember brainstorming about branding ideas and social media, and it’s finally come to life! So very cool. Check it all out below. I illustrated the Fast Shooter, Rangefinder Classic, Streetshooter, Swede, Tank, and Twin Lens Reflex.

dodge and burnhttp://www.dodgeandburn.com

In… entertainment news:

Remember that “Who Is Bonnie Bear?” Twitter that arose in light of the 140-character gold flowing from the fingers of dedicated Skrillex fans during the “Best New Artist” Grammy debacle last year (hey! I guess I do have another somewhat-Grammy-themed item!)? Ol’ Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) is back in the social media spotlight with this sugar sweet Tumblr:

i hope it's not too much of a spoiler to warn that they're PG at best, but you won't even mind.

i hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to warn that they’re PG at best, but you won’t even mind.

http://boniverotica.tumblr.com/

Any karaoke fan will appreciate this next one, and wish there were someone like John Brophy building cool and custom karaoke tracks on request at your local karaoke hangout. Why does Portland get the best of everything?!

portland karaokehttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/magazine/portland-karaoke-scene.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all&src=longreads&

So by now everyone’s seen approximately three billion videos of the Harlem Shake (or, if you’re me, just the UGA Men’s Swim and Dive one and the washing machine one, because I was curmudgeonly-annoyed by their ubiquity pretty quickly [“You see what she just did? She claims to hate it then frikkin’ links to two videos… what a hypocrite.”]), but something else has come out of Harlem that I don’t think is getting nearly enough attention: the Globetrotters, and specifically the fact that they’ve gone to North Korea for ‘basketball diplomacy.’ This is… a 30 Rock plot, no? The Guardian brings you up to speed.

his teammate's face looks like that because he's in the process of saying, 'i've always liked korea. north korea, south korea... don't matter. i've always liked korea.'

his teammate’s face looks like that because he’s in the process of saying, ‘i’ve always liked korea. north korea, south korea… don’t matter. i’ve always liked korea.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/video/2013/feb/26/harlem-globetrotters-north-korea-video

And finally, just because I can’t help including articles that make people of my generation feel hopeless:

age of the permanent internhttp://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/the-age-of-the-permanent-intern/

amazingly, history didn't make the list!

amazingly, history didn’t make the list!

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/college/T012-S001-worst-college-majors-for-your-career/index.html

One year ago: Ricotta Pancakes
Three years ago: Lantern Festival

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This Week in Links: February 3-February 9

But first!

新年快乐! happy chinese new year!

新年快乐! happy chinese new year!

I’m sure you’ve heard: it’s the year of the Snake. So if you were born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, or 2001, hooray, it’s your year, but I regret to inform you that this is actually an unlucky truth. You should wear something red every day this year to keep away the evil spirits and misfortune. If you’re interested in more information about this year of the snake, click here. (And yes, I know that New Year’s Day is actually tomorrow, but it’s already tomorrow in China, which means its already horrifyingly polluted air has been doubled in potency from the smoke of a myriad firecrakers that have already been set off. Again, on account of the spirits.)

Moving on. Dear Old Dad’s responsible for my first link: the page for a Discovery Channel series titled Africa, a video from which he shared with my brothers and me at the start of the week. The treacherous tale of a quarter-sized baby turtle fighting desperately to overcome the deadly obstacles he faces is both scary and sad, but as Dad pointed out– a testament that we can never, never, QUIT! (That’s his favorite quote.)

"baby turtle battles ghost crab"

“baby turtle battles ghost crab”

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/africa/videos/baby-turtle-battles-ghost-crab.htm

In a similar vein, my new favorite “About Us” page from a UK animal charity (I’ll remind you I have to look at these for work, and that I don’t make a hobby of scouring the web for UK animal charities.):

royal veterinary college act about ushttp://www.rvc.ac.uk/act/about-us

Because I’m a Canada-phile, and because even as a big fan of old Honest Abe, I have to say I’m all for it.

canada bids its penny goodbye; should the us?

canada bids its penny goodbye; should the us?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/04/171069240/canada-bids-its-penny-goodbye-should-the-u-s

My parents and I were revisiting that ancient “Did Gaga rip Madonna off with “Born this Way“?” debate last week and Dad made the accurate assertion that they do sound an awful lot alike. I tried to remember Gaga’s quote about the chord progression being a standard disco progression that’s been used over the past fifty years; she’s not a plagiarist, she’s “smart.” (I’m paraphrasing as the verbatim quote contains a few more expletives than I feel comfortable using in this forum, but feel free to read it in its entirety here.) Dad’s next question was, “Well then why aren’t there more that sound the same?”

He was probably referring to songs sounding the same as those exact two songs, but nevertheless I found this website posted by a friend on Facebook to be relevant. It’s compiled a whole collection of songs that have very similar riffs, chord progressions, or vocal arrangements and allows you to listen to them side by side. Many of them will have you wondering how you never noticed before (and yes, Gaga and Madonna made the list.)

sound just like radiohead beatleshttp://www.soundsjustlike.com

Another fun, interactive site sent to me by a coworker pits you against a computer set to either novice or vetaran in a very entertaining game of rock-paper-scissors. You can see how the computer learns how the moves work and then tries to anticipate your moves. Pretty interesting. And I’m still in such teacher-mode, I always find myself thinking, “Oh that could turn into some sort of English game!” or “Oh the kids would love that!” This was one of those moments.

rock-paper-scissors: you vs. the computer

rock-paper-scissors: you vs. the computer

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/science/rock-paper-scissors.html

On a completely unrelated note (but keeping with the theme of a three-way battle, I suppose. Although rock-paper-scissors is still only two-way so nevermind.), another New York Times article comparing the strong central government (but weak civil society) of China against the weak central government (but strong civil society) present in India. It discusses the pros and cons and implications of both scenarios and then, for good measure, holds them up to Egypt, in which both the government and civil society are weak. I just thought it was an interesting perspective on the comparisons and assumptions that are constantly being made about the world’s two largest nations.

india vs. china vs. egypthttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/friedman-india-vs-china-vs-egypt.html?src=recg&_r=0

And to end on a light note, a point of attraction for any Archer fans (or… really any women/gay men I would imagine. I mean, look at that bone structure…):

real models for archer characters

i was always under the impression that aside from h. jon benjamin the characters were modeled somewhat after their voice actors but i guess not.

http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/archer-characters-real-life-models.html

One year ago: Recipes” Update
Three years ago: Funtime!

This Week in Links: January 27-February 2

And wow, I think I officially have the lamest blog because in two weeks all I’ve had to write about were my favorite things I found on the internet. No, that’s a lie, Ryan and I went to see the xx on Tuesday and I watched him perform with Solar Bear the next day, but technical difficulties are preventing me posting about that. Why, oh why, in this day and age, would your standard HD video format on a camera be Mac incompatible? And why can’t I find a way to convert it to a format that either iMovie or FCP will import, and that is smaller than 15 gigs? (Why can’t we take cocktails to go? So many questions.)

Seriously though, if y’all have any insight into my barely-comprehensibly-alluded-to predicament please feel free to share.

So yeah, back to my exciting internet finds.

First and second up: On the very exciting subjects of work and retirement. The “secrets” in the first article are pretty self-evident, actually, but it’s a short and easy read; Daddy sent me the second and while I’m not quite in the “abiding by them” phase it does lay out some sensible rules to make sure we’re not all working til we’re 90. (I just shuddered pretty violently.)

secrets of america's happiest companieshttp://www.fastcompany.com/3004595/secrets-americas-happiest-companies

10 commandments of retirement planninhttp://money.msn.com/retirement-plan/10-commandments-of-retirement-planning#scptid

Many of you may have already seen that our dear little hamlet of Charlottesville got a shout out in this Huffington Post  list of ‘the country’s most restaurant-crazy cities.’

huffington post the country's most restaurant-crazy citieshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/best-restaurant-cities_n_2545499.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#slide=2022808

Emilie sent me this beautiful, wonderful, linguistically fantastic collection of foreign words with no English equivalent. Why don’t we have a word for the sense upon meeting someone that you’re going to fall in love?! (And in how many languages is there a word for it?)

14 wonderful words with no english equivalenthttp://theweek.com/article/index/238751/14-wonderful-words-with-no-english-equivalent

And from that I found this one about twelve states that only almost were. (No, Puerto Rico is not on there.)

12 proposed us states that didn't make the cuthttp://www.mentalfloss.com/article/12641/12-proposed-us-states-didnt-make-cut

I’m not a very political person and I wouldn’t generally have my blog go in that direction but I figured this Mother Jones article would appeal to all my wacky liberal friends, anyway: (Bonus: at the end it, as expected, devolves into a good old-fashioned gun debate!)

10 pro-gun myths shot downhttp://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

And guys, you thought Ollie was cute in a duvet:

ollie in bedollie in blanket

Doesn’t it just make you think, “Oooh, now if he were only in something a bit more… bespoke. I bet he’d sure be handsome…”?

Turns out you’re right. He’d be super handsome. It’s making me wonder if I didn’t have one of those sober, midday blackouts I’ve been having lately and sneak him into the Young Men’s Shop Downtown and have a photo-shoot. Thanks, Uncle Gary, for sharing the page that linked to this most amazing of Tumblrs starring Ollie’s doggy doppelgänger: “Menswear Dog.”

mensweardoghttp://mensweardog.tumblr.com/

Yes, it’s got me pretty convinced that for being a “Thai street-dog mutt” (as I always tell people when they invariably ask. That or “Thai domestic fox,” because as David and I know, he looks like a medium-sized dog… but he’s a frickin’ huge fox.) he’s definitely got some Shiba Inu in him. And yes, I made a priority of subscribing to his Instagram as well.

Oh and today’s a good day for a Song of the Day. Phil and I were checking out The Nick Kroll Show (painfully funny, I thought) the other night and a trailer for Colin Farrell’s upcoming movie Dead Man Down came on (confession: I found it so ridiculous as to have assumed it was a Nick Kroll sketch when it started). By the end of the trailer, and with the knowledge that it’s being done by the director of the Swedish Girl With the DragonTattoo (It’ll be his first Hollywood foray, which I’m interested in because his GWTDT was very noticeably not Hollywood, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not.), I was actually kind of won over on the movie. But the most noteworthy part of it, for me, was this excellent cover of the Pink Floyd classic, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” done by a gal named Kendra Morris. While my favorite experience with “SOYCD” covers still has to be standing transfixed while Umphrey’s McGee did their awe-striking cover of the tune at All Good 2009, Kendra truly does it justice as well. See for yourself:

One year ago: The Story of a Passport
Two years ago: The Long Ride from Kolkata to Kodaikanal

This Week in Links: January 20-January 26

Wow… this was a very slow Week in Links. Could have probably extended it to another fortnight but… nah.

So that gives me liberty to throw back to a link I ended up shelving last week because the post was already so long:

scoby craigslistExcept– boom— it’s not even actually a link anymore because for whatever reason the post ended up being deleted :(. Maybe they think I was hawking an illegal substance? (brb… making sure it’s legal to make your own kombucha in this POLICE STATE. […tell me you all know I’m joking?]). But no matter, because I was still successful in spreading the progeny of Claire and Collette’s “Thomas”-in-Thailand (someone did ask if mine had a name, girls!) to three– nay, four!– lucky individuals in the Charlottesville area. Soon we’ll have a veritable army of kombucha brewers ’round here.

So onto the slim-pickings of the links by which I was actually entertained this week:

When a friend was telling me about roommate problems, I suggested she write a passive-aggressive (thanks to cheerleading I will never misspell that word) note to him. Then I remembered there was a site about that that I hadn’t been to in years and decided it was high time I got reacquainted. I was almost immediately rewarded with this:

passive aggressive note to mom

though you’ll frequently hear me saying i’m not sure i want kids, if i do decide to go ahead and procreate one of these days, i’ll be pretty disappointed if, at some point in his or her childhood, i don’t receive an almost verbatim version of this note.

http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2013/01/22/hart-brok/

At some point I came across this article on HuffPost, about what some of our favorite celebrities were doing before (or in addition to) making it big:

did you know about this emilie? after you were just reminding me about your lifelong dream to play the banjo.

did you know about this emilie? after you were just reminding me about your lifelong dream to play the banjo.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/creative-outlets-second-acts_b_2542942.html#slide=2011805

I’ve seen a few variations of this floating around the ‘book and while, admittedly, I probably will never do any of them, these “Life Hacks” (as I guess the kids are calling them these days) are good and creative ideas. That frequently employ recycling?

this one's actually maybe made for me right now because i've re-entered a fifth-grade-esque phase of nail polish compulsion.

this one’s actually maybe made for me right now because i’ve re-entered a fifth-grade-esque phase of nail polish compulsion.

 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/50-life-hacks-to-simplify-your-world/

Oh, and thanks to some highly coveted connections I have with the 2009 Trustees Board, I landed myself a spot in our Class of 2009 Winter E-news Alumni Profiles section. Celebrity status (though not quite as good as that one time I was in the Chinese newspaper…).

angela calonder winter alumni profilehttp://alumni.virginia.edu/connect/young-alumni/class-of-2009-winter-e-news-alumni-profiles/

And that’s really all I  got this week, darlings! Though it’s not like me to leave a post sitting at 381 words so I guess I could quickly include some of the music/other entertainment that’s gotten me by this week:

[Haha… just started gushing and gushing about “Icky Thump” to the point that it’s going to get its own post.]

I really enjoyed watching Jay-Z’s 2001 performance on MTV’S Unplugged (though I swear, if I have to hear/read one more person bitch about how there’s no more music on MTV… we get it, it’s defying its own acronym at this point, reality shows are annoying and pedestrian, you’re very very upset. But guess what, there are roughly a billion other places to listen to and watch music these days. And no one cares. To quote my eighth grade History teacher, ‘The horse is dead!’). I certainly think of hip-hop as something that could be difficult to, er, unplug, but I guess with the Roots behind you anything is possible. Mary J Blige also makes an appearance at the end, which was a nice addition. I’ve been feeling kind of sad that I was so hellbent on choosing between the likes of Blink-182 and Eminem (in my school it was very gauche to be into both punk rock and rap) back in middle school rather than just embracing everything. I missed out on so much for so long!

A couple of searches and subsequent clicks (found out Gwyneth Paltrow sang back-up for “Song Cry” at a Jay-Z performance in London a few years back, attempted to find a video of this) landed me at a video of Gwyneth Paltrow rapping “Gangsta Gangsta”? Which I found endearing because I too have dabbled in the lucrative industry of white-woman-rap. (Not gonna link to it though haha.)

celeb gossip blogs really want us to hate her but i just… can’t.

But more importantly, I discovered the wonder of listening to standup comedy in the office. It makes the hours fly and keeps your spirits up all day. You might emit an embarrassing chuckle or two, but I’ve decided it was worth it. Notable sets for me this week were Margaret Cho (thanks Chris Kelly, you created this monster), Craig Ferguson (wasn’t at all sure what to expect here but I was pretty entertained the whole time), Louis CK (been watching so much Parks and Rec lately it seemed a shame not to. Also that links to a bloopers reel that you should probably click right now.), Robin Williams (always a classic, and, notably, back in 1986 Qaddafi, gun control, and Clint Eastwood were still the buzzwords), and Mitch Hedburg (also, essentially, a bloopers reel).

And most importantly is that my friend Kyle turned me onto the Bird and the Bee, and specifically their Hall and Oates tribute album.

And then he told me about Live from Daryl’s House, specifically that time Chromeo showed up:

And just to close the subject, two of my favorite pieces of Hall and Oates-related literature: It’s been “A Night”  and Three Exciting Pieces of News from 2birds1blog.

One year ago: Penang, Again (Part Three)
Two years ago: Darjeeling; Leaving Kolkata
Three years ago: Assorted Updates

This Week in Links: January 12-19

Our themes this week are conspiracies, pop stars, and (surprise) animals.

Some of you may remember me discussing at some point or another a bit of stress I may have undergone when first arriving in Thailand on account of all the conspiracy-theory talk circulating amongst my friends. And Lupe Fiasco. “Nine-eleven, Building Seven, did they really pull it?!Planes were dowsing the planet with toxic aluminum and barium on the daily, Princess Di was assassinated, and we didn’t land on the moon. It just really had me feeling like this. (Okay, sorry Emilie, I promise not to start using gifs to illustrate everything, that is truly your realm.)

Of course I’m exaggerating, but it’s funny now to look back on because I do find the whole business a bit fascinating. Though have zero desire to spend any more time blogging about it. Or… about those conspiracies, anyway.

Because the fascination doesn’t stop there, people. Everything we hold near and dear in pop culture, it would seem, is potentially involved in some sort of twisted scheme. I first decided to do some investigating after looking for the full Watch the Throne album on YouTube because I was just dying, for whatever reason, to hear Jay say, “Do you know who I am, Clarice?” in “Murder to Excellence.” (Coincidentally this was the morning after Jodie Foster delivered her allegedly powerful Golden Globes speech, of which I was oblivious at this point.) Couldn’t find the full album; instead found the show they did in London for the Watch the Throne tour (in which they didn’t actually perform “Murder to Excellence,” but who’s counting?). Which brings me to how I started thinking about celebrity conspiracies: in the comments there were all kinds of Illuminati references (including one simply stating, “illuminati muppets,” which hit me hard, because the only thing I hate being called more than a sheep[le] is a muppet. But it was unclear to whom the comment was really directed so I was able to let it slide). And I realized it wasn’t the first time I’d seen the Illuminati mentioned in connection to some of our most beloved superstars, and so decided to find out more.

Now, I’ve read The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons so I like to think I know as much about the Illuminati as the next guy– that is to say, almost nothing. However, a quick, “what does jay-z have to do with the illuminati?” search yielded many results. I liked this one from Slate a lot, and with a title like, “Is Lady Gaga a Satanist Illuminati Slave?” who could blame me? But the graphic for this Gawker article was too good to pass up:

i mean, if nothing else this is definitely making me want to be a part of the illuminati. shoot... is that the intention? are they in my head already?

i mean, if nothing else this is definitely making me want to be a part of the illuminati. shoot… is that the intention? are they in my head already?

http://gawker.com/5886988/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-illuminati-the-conspiracy-theory-that-connects-jay+z-and-queen-elizabeth

It offers two comprehensive “guides” (“The Believer’s Guide” and “The Skeptic’s Guide,” both informative and, in good Gawker-style, hilarious), and gets you kind of hoping that Blue Ivy Carter really is in charge of the world, because an infant occupying the captain’s chair is about the only acceptable explanation for things being so messed up.

Perhaps you recall the 15 Insane Fan Theories… list from Buzzfeed I posted on my first installment of This Week in LinksAladdin‘s set in the future, Tarantino has created a similar but alternate universe, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off all takes place in Cameron’s head? Well Emilie’s directed me to a character-oriented list in the same vein:

literary characters conspiracy flavorwire

it’s like… 95% homosexuality (honestly i’m surprised bert and ernie and tinky-winky didn’t make the list…) but still worth a read, as that’s an entirely hyperbolic figure.

http://www.flavorwire.com/362916/a-few-conspiracy-theories-about-classic-literary-characters

And for old times’ sake, here are links to two of my favorite conspiracy theories from back in the day: Hollywood begins mass brainwashing campaign to get people ready for the next bioengineered virus release (via NaturalNews.com) and THE MOON: A Propaganda Hoax (via The Mad Revisionist). (The latter isn’t claiming that we didn’t go to the moon– it posits instead that our dear little satellite doesn’t even exist. Though in a world of limitless possibilities…)

On the topic of commentary in virtual forums, here’s that update I know you’ve all been longing for of any stirrings we created with out Lil Wayne reference in the Tupac Deposition video:

tupac deposition comments

esfelon makes a compelling argument, i’m just still trying to figure out what an ‘intelegentan’ is.

And my friend Kyle sent me this gem on the basis that he ‘knew I liked reading comments.’ Am I that transparent?? But yeah. Good call, Kyle.

awesome, feminist-insensitive comments on the 'bic for her' pen available on amazon.com.

awesome, feminist-insensitive comments on the ‘bic for her’ pen available on amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-Cristal-1-0mm-Black-MSLP16-Blk/product-reviews/B004F9QBE6/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

I’ll do a little soul-baring right now (if Jodie can do it so can I!) and admit that 25 is a weird age to be newly single… since returning home from Thailand I’ve attended two weddings (one of which was my younger cousin’s) and borne witness to countless engagements and marriages thanks to the voyeuristic magic of Facebook (sorry, I don’t mean to sound disparaging of your bliss… heartfelt congratulations to all you litte lovebirds!). However, the old adage that “misery loves company” has rung true, and in Kathy’s and my case the silver lining has been that it would seem that nothing brings old friends together like simultaneous breakups. During her stay we spent countless contemplative hours going through the full spectrum of feeling like of course we’d end up happy to being fatalistically certain we’d end up alone (the phrase ‘cats eating my face’ got thrown around a bit) at least twice a day week, as well as watching Downton Abbey wondering where our respective Cousin Matthews were. She also hooked me up with these bits of literature on the subject of love in our weird and trying ‘modern’ age. They present a bit of a spectrum themselves.

item 1: a nytimes article in which men are DEFINITELY the bad guys. arg! men! chauvinism! glass ceiling! hook-up culture!

item 1: a nytimes article in which men are DEFINITELY the bad guys. arg! men! chauvinism! glass ceiling! hook-up culture!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/fashion/the-end-of-courtship.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

(My boy “Antoine Vanderbilt” coincidentally also addresses this article in his latest “Dear Antoine” installment, in which ‘Laura from DC’ wonders when is the most appropriate time to put out.)

in this one, from the atlantic, online dating is to blame for millenials’ inability to foster successful relationships– it’s so easy to find someone new ‘we’ don’t put in the time or attention necessary to keep the ones we have. an interesting hypothesis, anyway.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/a-million-first-dates/309195/#.UPQ9AcWMYa8.email

finally, a beacon of hope. a relationship succeeds because of undying effort on the part of a real-life prince charming. but is this still giving men too much agency/responsibility?! i’m waiting for the article about the relationship that succeeded because of undying effort on the part of a real-life princess charming.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/on-love-i-was-totally-into-enjoying-the-time/2013/01/10/c01b99ac-56b2-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

Anyway, that was a bit of a divergence from the aforementioned themes, let’s reel it back in with another one about pop stars… Specifically two surprisingly similar individuals: Kurt Cobain and Justin Bieber.

this makes ollie a lot like both of them.

this makes ollie a lot like both of them.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/10-ways-justin-bieber-is-like-kurt-cobain

(As long as we’re talking about commentary, let’s just say there are a handful of Kurt Cobain fans that do not appreciate this article one little bit. But I think lil Biebs is great? Just see for yourself!)

baby, señorita, mon chérie…

And moving onto animals (yayyy!).

more buzzfeed... i can't help it. the way the official takes the dog off the field is the same way i take ollie to my room to crate him. all limbs sticking exactly straight out.

more buzzfeed… i can’t help it. the way the official takes the dog off the field is the same way i take ollie to my room to crate him. all limbs sticking exactly straight out.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tommywes/adorable-dogs-interrupt-professional-soccer-game

because the only thing better than a donkey in a well is a comically large one.

because the only thing better than a donkey in a well is a comically large one.

http://www.petside.com/slideshow/photos-guinness-world-record-animals?Utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=cpc#586104

this is a work-find... looking through the church's website and was struck by this headline, and subsequently by the heartwarming story that accompanied it.

this is a work-find… looking through the church’s website i was struck by this headline, and subsequently by the heartwarming story that accompanied it.

http://www.pilgrimshospices.org/news/woody-the-rocking-horse-is-so-special/

another work-find...

another work-find…

http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/asaph/news/realeasteregg2013.php

I mean, it’s no Godbaby but… what is, really?

And, also because I can’t help it, a couple nerdy ones to round out the post and re-express my love of All Things Language.

do words really mean anything

http://hotword.dictionary.com/semiology/

i almost got lost in all the linked articles to this one... this stuff is seriously so intriguing to me.

i almost got lost in all the linked articles to this one… this stuff is seriously so intriguing to me.

http://hotword.dictionary.com/beautiful-sounding/

And… if comparing Justin Bieber to Kurt Cobain is such a sin in the musical world I don’t want to know what kind of offense it will be for him to share “Song of the Day” status with Janis Joplin but… I heard on the radio that yesterday would have been the Queen of Rock’s 70th birthday so I reckon it’d be a greater offense to not give her the last word:

i’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday… to be holdin bobby’s body next to mine.

(Ugh it was so hard not to go with “Mercedes Benz,” but Bobby McGee will always occupy a special place in my heart.)

Two years ago: October 24-25: The Final Leg

This Fortnight in Links

Because I never miss an opportunity to use the word “fortnight”?

And also I was too busy editing video last Saturday to follow through with my “important” “weekly” installment. Anyway, here’s fun stuff I’ve come across on the web this fortnight.

It wasn’t a disappointing fortnight at work, that’s for sure. I worked on accounts for all kinds of animal charities, which always delights me to no end. I asked my boss if it would be possible for me to work specifically on accounts concerning animals and she said they’d create a new position for me. I’m waiting on further information.

As always all photos link to their respective pages.

every company's 'people' page should have mandatory pet presence

every company’s ‘people’ page should have mandatory pet presence

http://www.woodgreen.org.uk/about/people

This page prompted my friend to make a remark about how he wishes he could have a donkey in his photo for his work ID. Which made coming across this one a few days later just that much more gratifying:

couldn't believe my eyes

couldn’t believe my eyes

https://spana.org/about-us/our-people

Actually now that I think about it, it was actually a brilliant fortnight for donkeys at work, because my co-worker also sent me this little motivational gem:

it'll bring tears to your eyes

you get only this teaser line. you know you want to know the rest of the story. it’ll bring tears to your eyes, this.

http://www.wonderfulinfo.com/stories_motivational/donkey_in_the_well.php

Though I’ve only been on the job for a month (two fortnights, if you will), I’ve already learned that in an office even the most mundane things become entertaining or noteworthy. Such as the fact that I came across an Annual Report in Comic Sans font, which warranted a big face-palm. And inspired me to revisit the archives of a friend’s Facebook page to track down this hilarious (if a bit vulgar) monologue, issued by Mr. Comic Sans himself. I think we’ve all been underestimating this font, world.

mcsweeneys comic sans
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-comic-sans-asshole

I also learned that McSweeney’s was started by Dave Eggers, which is exciting to me because What is the What? was one hell of a book and I’ve been meaning to patronize more of his projects.

I wasn’t actually able to find the Comic Sans article and had to resort to actually establishing communication with said friend in order to find it, but all was not for naught; my efforts were rewarded by this:

"tales from the international spy and advertising agency." i don't think i could think of a marriage that would make me happier than that of 'mad men' and 'archer.' this tumblr is pure gold, guys.

“tales from the international spy and advertising agency.” i don’t think i could think of a marriage that would make me happier than that of ‘mad men’ and ‘archer.’ this tumblr is pure gold, guys.

http://sterlingarcherdraperpryce.tumblr.com/

Facebook also hooked me up with this fascinating piece about people’s post-Sandy dreams, on the page of an old friend whose dream was actually used in the article (she’s the one who “found herself floating on top of a Tyrian purple lagoon: ‘none other but the imaginary “Broadway Canal.””)

harper's sandy and the sandman
http://harpers.org/blog/2012/12/sandy-and-the-sandman/

And in that article was a link to this… amazing site: http://remcloud.com. You just… post a brief explanation of your dream, and you can see if people are having similar dreams to you. I haven’t tried it yet because I think it’s going to really freak me out, but I’m working my way up to it mentally. I’ll get back to you.

What else, what else? Oh right, so when driving back from NYC on New Year’s Day, Kathy’s friend (and our gracious chauffer) had us listen to Lil Wayne’s deposition and… I mean, just watch. It’s well worth the six minutes of your life.

So it was hilarious enough that we felt we needed to share it at our gathering last Saturday night, and everyone loved it so much that we decided to move onto the next logical thing: Tupac’s deposition. Whereas Mr. Carter went in there blazed out of his mind and proceeded to bring the lolz by avoiding and/or repeating every question asked of him (and then threatening the lawyer who was questioning him), Tupac sat there and, to quote the top comment, “They expected an illiterate dope to come in and self-incriminate himself with broken English and thug logic but instead they got an intelligent human being who was able to defend his music as artistic expression…”

In other words, not very funny. As we felt the need to inform them:

it hasn't generated any activity yet.

it hasn’t generated any activity yet.

(In fact, I made a point of going to Copyright School on YouTube after NBC really pushed the law on me after uploading that video of Jenna Maroney and Paul L’astnamé singing “O Holy Night” on 30 Rock for my Christmas post on account of that comment. I wasn’t able to leave comments until I went and promised not to use any more copyrighted material :(. I thought I had it all figured out, that getting-around-copyright-ish business!)

Oh yeah, and then a co-worker showed me this which… kind of is beyond what I’m capable of describing to you. Like… Lil Wayne fan-fiction or something, but I don’t think it’s meant to be understood as such. Are you under the spell of the demon to whom Lil Wayne sold his soul in order to assure the success of Young Money?

lil wayne's secrethttp://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Lil_Wayne’s_Secret

If you’re in the mood to do some reading about the debt bias, I really liked this post that was Freshly Pressed a while back:

he calls it 'econ for poets' haha... even i could understand it!

he calls it ‘econ for poets’ haha… even i could understand it!

http://yourbrainonecon.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/the-debt-bias-or-how-good-reforms-do-bad-things-to-good-people/

If you’re feeling nerdy in that kind of language-exploration kind of way that I know affects so many, you may find this of interest:

bbc english

favorite part: “Hinglish is a blend of Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English and is so widespread that it’s even being taught to British diplomats… In Hinglish, a co-brother is a brother-in-law; eve-teasing means sexual harassment; an emergency crew responding to a crisis might be described as ‘airdashing’, and somewhat confusing to football fans, a ‘stadium’ refers to a bald man with a fringe of hair. There’s even a new concept of time – “pre-pone”, the opposite of postpone, meaning “to bring something forward”.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20332763

Kathy sent me this article that I really had to drag myself away from after reading the first page at work, and I’ll admit to not actually getting around to reading the rest of it. But I found it to be wonderfully written and it stirred up nice memories of my wandering past. Do check it out.

twenty somethings new yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2013/01/14/130114crat_atlarge_heller#ixzz2HKnhJuwk

Big news for board games: (Thanks Emilie.)

they best leave that shoe alone...

they best leave that shoe alone…

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/01/08/monopoly-board-game-tokens-change/1805387/

Another co-worker wants to spring a few of us from work for however long a Rickshaw Run takes and I’ve offered to assist his friend make a movie about it. If everyone just wanted to start sending out positive intention that this becomes a reality, I’d appreciate it.

i dream of it

i dream of it

http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/rickshaw-run

Oh another work discovery: a gallery of awesome wildlife shots, most notably this fox, naturally because it reminds me of Ollie, my Thai Domestic Goat Fox.

ollie's mouth isn't quite that big.

ollie’s mouth isn’t quite that big.

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/exhibition/british-wildlife-photography-awards-2011/exhibition-chapter/the-british-wildlife-photography-awards

I feel the need to include this because I think it’s memorable and important. He’s not making any gun control argument you haven’t heard already, but he’s doing it in a way only Jon Stewart can… Well done, sir.

i couldn't find a still where he WASN'T making a ridiculous face

i couldn’t find a still where he WASN’T making a ridiculous face

http://mtvnmobile.vo.llnwd.net/kip0/_pxn=1+_pxI0=Ripod-h264+_pxL0=undefined+_pxM0=+_pxK=18639+_pxE=mp4/44620/mtvnorigin/gsp.comedystor/com/dailyshow/TDS/season_18/episode_040/ds_18040_02_1280x720_3500_h32.mp4?tds_mobile_web

And because this La Roux playlist made my morning yesterday I’ll throw it in too. The opening track is my new jam:

One year ago: Lemony Herbed Potato Salad (I need to make this again! I used to love that ish.)
Two years ago: October 21: The Apex!
Three years ago: Laura’s Trip to Beijing

This Year in Lists

Already I’m going to deviate from my intended trend of “This Week in Links” by moving to something a bit broader: This Year in Lists. It’s the end of the year, so everyone’s making lists of the best this or the worst that or their favorite whatever. I’m pretty bad at stratifying things, nor do I feel that I’ve been well-versed enough in anything related to pop-culture or world events or really anything to put together anything even close to a very insightful list of that variety.

But I do love lists, so I decided to try a different tack and make a list of the lists I’ve come across that kind of… did the work for me. Here they are, in no particular order: Angela’s List of the Top 12 Lists of 2012.

First up, from Pitchfork.com, two lists I’ve actually made a point of seeking out every year: the Best and Worst album covers of the year. Always entertaining to me. PF’s actually got quite a few music-oriented lists up at the moment, if you head over to their homepage.

pitchfork worst album covershttp://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9013-the-worst-album-covers-of-2012/

pitchfork best album covers
http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9014-the-best-album-covers-of-2012/

Moving onto Daytrotter.com, and sticking with the music theme: Daytrotter’s Top 200 Sessions of the year. Daytrotter’s just a real fun music site that features “seventeen bands and over 60 Daytrotter Session songs” each week. Some bands you’ve likely heard of, some you probably haven’t, but I’ve been impressed with most everything I’ve perused on the site. As stated on their “About” page, “What Daytrotter is attempting to do is to not kid around with you and tell you that we found something that you never knew existed. We are going to contribute to the musical landscape, not just toss it around like a used book or a stolen pick-up line. We’re going to give you something that you truly have never heard. We are not giving you songs from someone you love’s record album, thereby stealing from someone you love. We’re giving you exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands.

You can buy a membership which allows you to download a certain amount of the music, or just stream for free. They’ve broken up their Top 200 list into a few installments; this one starts at the top and is particularly near and dear to me as it features a track from a local Charlottesville band, with whom my brother has played trumpet on a number of occasions, The Hill and Wood.

daytrotter best sessions 2012http://www.daytrotter.com/#!/concert/best-songs-of-2012/20056400-37383579

Next up: an assortment of lists from AntoineVanderbilt.tumblr.com. I discovered this blog a few months ago when a mutual friend linked to the very poignant and eloquent “More than a Game” post on Facebook. I was so moved and impressed by the writing I continued perusing, and by the time I reached the funny and insightful “Democrapalooza 2012: The Road to the White House” post I was hooked. I think it’s safe to say I’ve kind of creepily become this stranger’s biggest fan, and come to completely defer to his rulings on pop-culture dealings (though I can’t say I wasn’t taken aback by a bit of a Taylor Swift fixation). And… as a result, I’m totally yoinking all four of his Top 25 year-end lists.

Top 25 TV Shows:

this'll be the only time i spoil the #1 results, but i agreed so wholeheartedly with this pick, not to mention spend as much time ogling jon hamm as possible, so the exception needed to be made.

this’ll be the only time i spoil the #1 results, but i agreed so wholeheartedly with this pick, not to mention spend as much time ogling jon hamm as possible, that the exception needed to be made.

http://antoinevanderbilt.tumblr.com/post/37640390874/the-best-tv-shows-of-2012

Top 25 Songs:

antoine vanderbilt top songshttp://antoinevanderbilt.tumblr.com/post/37723025445/top-25

Top 25 Albums:

antoine vanderbilt best albums 2012
http://antoinevanderbilt.tumblr.com/post/37802987742/top-10-albums-of-2012

Top 25 Reads:

lots of books/articles i'm keen to check out here. and this one, which i already have, and which draws relevant parallels between t-swift and the likes of both tupac and dre.

lots of books/articles i’m keen to check out here. and this one, which i already have, which draws relevant parallels between t-swift and the likes of both tupac and dr dre. i didn’t think it was possible either.

http://antoinevanderbilt.tumblr.com/post/37858350150/the-best-words-i-read-in-2012

What would a list about lists be without a nod a Buzzfeed, your one-stop-shop for every internet list about anything ever? A few of my recent favorites:

the 40 cutest things that happened in 2012. be sure to watch the kangaroo video.

the 40 cutest things that happened in 2012. be sure to watch the kangaroo video.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/cutest-things-that-happened-in-2012

50 most wtf animal pics. i just... really like animals, guys.

50 most wtf animal pics. i just… really like animals, guys.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/50-most-wtf-animal-pics-of-the-year-6z51
(reminds me of that one time in bali…)

in a totally different vein, li wei's best non-photoshopped shots of 2012. really stunning images allegedly done without 'cheating.'

in a totally different vein, li wei’s best non-photoshopped shots of 2012. really stunning images allegedly done without ‘cheating.’

http://www.buzzfeed.com/txblacklabel/li-weis-best-non-photoshopped-shots-of-2012-28m7

Even real news (“real” “news”?) sites aren’t above list-creating, so I’ll wrap up with some items from the Guardian and Time.

the worst ideas of 2012

the worst ideas of 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/series/the-worst-ideas-of-2012

top 10 underreported stories

top 10 underreported stories

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/04/top-10-news-lists/slide/floridas-voting-fiasco/

And if you somehow haven’t had enough of lists yet, Time’s actually got a whole smorgasbord of them. They call it the “Top 10 Everything of 2012.

And… that might be me done for the year, friends. I head to New York City tomorrow morning to ring in 2013 with some old partners in crime and suspect I’ll be a bit indisposed. So here’s wishing you all a most exciting, happy, and safe New Year’s Eve!

One year ago: Christmas in Thailand
Three years ago: Christmas Party Video

This Week in Links: December 16-22

I realize I haven’t provided much background on what it is Ollie (or I) are doing in America, and I guess that’s a post that is probably coming in the future. For the present, I’ll say that my job requires me spending a lot of time on the internet (because, you know, I don’t spend a lot of time on the internet as it is…), and as a result I come across… stuff. Now, I know there are already lots of ways to organize and keep tabs of the “interesting” or “noteworthy” things that tickle one’s online fancy… Pinterest and Reddit and the like. (This week I even learned that the word “curate” is being used to describe the “technique of cobbling together preexisting web content and sharing it with readers/followers/whomever.” I was embarrassed when I read the article because I knew that’s exactly what I’d started an email thread to myself with the intention of doing, but found redemption in the knowledge that I would never have considered myself a curator by doing so.)

However, blogging’s always been my virtual poison of choice and at this point in my life this old dog doesn’t care to learn any new tricks. So, the idea is that I’m going to make a weekly Favorites list of the off-beat and entertaining things I stumble upon (oh yeah, that’s a thing too, isn’t it?) and throw them all in one Saturday archive.

Some of them will be things directly related to my job, like the fact that I now possess the knowledge that members of Build-a-Bear management are referred to not as officers but, in fact, “bears.” (All photos link to their respective site.)


http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=182478&p=irol-govmanage

Or that a UK site called ChurchAds.Net has fought back in the War on Christmas with a controversial “Godbaby” campaign:

this links to a poll, where you can declare “I like the Godbaby poster,” “I dislike the Godbaby poster,” or “I have no strong views either way about the poster.”

http://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/godbaby-poll

Or that earlier this month Benedict XVI became the first Pope to join Twitter. There goes the neighborhood, right?

his first tweet, posted on december 12, reads, “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” he went a little crazy, tweeting five whole times that first day, but then took a week-long break before getting back at it.

https://twitter.com/Pontifex

And now that I’m sure I’ve really left you guessing as to what my job entails, I’ll go on to admit that many of my links will be decidedly work-unrelated. Here’s one I discovered when checking my bank statement:

i was reading ‘grapes of wrath’ at the time i saw this one and the irony was not lost on me that a bank– so grossly vilified in the novel– would be displaying the work of dorothea lange– whose work creates a striking visualization of steinbeck’s themes. in any case, lots of nice photos, quotes, and history here.

http://museums.bankofamerica.com/arts/bearing-witness-exhibition/Gallery

The New York Times published a list of the top 25 films of the year with the rationalization that this was a year in which 10 would not suffice. (And I admit, I can’t remember many times in my life where I’d walk into a cinema and admit to wanting to see every movie on the marquee, but it’s happened this year more than once.)

new york time's top 25 films
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/movies/a-o-scotts-25-best-films-of-2012.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

And oh hey Buzzfeed, thanks for providing me with countless smiles and instances of inspiration. This week’s notables:

11 beautiful monochrome literary posters pairing insightful quotes with elegant design. if you're struggling to think of what to get me for christmas, look no further.

11 beautiful monochrome literary posters pairing insightful quotes with elegant design. if you’re struggling to think of what to get me for christmas, look no further.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/these-posters-make-the-perfect-literary-christmas

"15 insane theories about movies and television that will blow your mind." i know the term gets thrown around a lot, but my mind was blown. i found the tarantino one most compelling, but they all got you thinking.

“15 insane theories about movies and television that will blow your mind.” i know the term gets thrown around a lot, but my mind was blown. i found the tarantino one most compelling, but they all get you thinking.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/15-fan-theories-that-will-forever-change-the-way-y

"the 25 funniest autocorrects of 2012." NSFW in every way, including the fact that you will be laughing at the painful awkwardness of each situation in a way that it appropriate for no office environment, no matter how hard you're pressing your scarf to your mouth. (thanks andrew/emilie)

“the 25 funniest autocorrects of 2012.” NSFW in every way, including the fact that you will be laughing at the painful awkwardness of each situation in a way that is appropriate for no office environment, no matter how hard you’re pressing your scarf to your mouth. (thanks andrew/emilie)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-25-funniest-autocorrects-of-2012

Off-beat news story of the week:

this particularly appealed to my former self who studied russian for 2 years and was able to be like, 'yeah, i remember that letter, and we were told it might not always be seen with the two dots above it!' no mention of the cia was ever made, however.

this particularly appealed to my former self who studied russian for 2 years and was able to be like, ‘yeah, i remember that letter, and we were told it might not always be seen with the two dots above it!’ no mention of the cia was ever made in class, however.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/cia-officially-denies-that-it-is-trying-to-erase-a-letter-from-the-russian-alphabet/

You might have heard that Obama was named Person of the Year by Time (thanks Kathy), and that article, despite its kind of rose-colored filter, is worth a read for sure. I learned that the MLK quote I have in my Facebook quotes (“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”) also adorns his doormat at the Oval Office, which made me feel pretty cool. However, I thought the glance-back at the 2008 Person of the Year– also Obama– was all the more interesting in that you can see both his achievements and the ways in which we can still hope to change. Plus the graphic was just better.

time person of the year 2008
http://www.time.com/time/person-of-the-year/2008/

And for an even further glance-back, this tongue-in-cheek article in the New Yorker about 1912’s Man of the Year:

the new yorker mitt romney man of the year
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/12/time-names-mitt-romney-man-of-the-year-1912.html

And finally, from Matador Network, just a stunning collection of quotes and photos with a “reflection” theme.

quotes and photos for reflection
http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/reflections-46-quotes-and-photos-for-deeper-contemplation

One year ago:  Ricotta/Tomato/Mushroom/Basil and Ricotta Eggplant/Olive/Pesto Pizzas