The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Is It True, Mr. Spielberg, That …

It’s not often one sees a hard-hitting piece of entertainment journalism, like this Q&A, in which Der Spiegel grills Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg about their Scientologist beliefs. (Waxtastic.)


More Star Wars

Kevin Smith, Lord-King of the Nerd Nation, says Episode III rocks hard. (Warning: lotsa spoilers.)

And elsewhere on the web, Darth Vader’s blog is both predictably hilarious —

Later, I will find the man responsible for dispatching the repair droids and crush his trachea with my mind. I also have tentative lunch plans with General Krelcon and his people, possibly in the Corellian quarter.

— and surprisingly poetic.


More Beautiful Than Shakespeare's Sonnets

Love. (Quicktime.) From MeFi.


Open-Source Star Wars

Clive Thompson links to what he calls the most impressive piece of fan art yet, a 40-minute Star Wars, downloadable online, created with $20,000 and a lot of love. Check out the trailer.


Is It Possible to Un-Jump the Shark?

Robin’s boss really gave ’em hell today, and it was wondrous to behold.


E-Paper's Here


JKottke brings us the best look I’ve seen so far at the new technology. His reaction?

What you can’t see from the photo is how insanely crisp and clear the text on the “screen” is. It was book-text quality…it looked like a decal until you pushed the next button and the whole screen changed. It was *really* mind-boggling and you could instantly see how most books are going to be distributed in the very near future. Despite looking like a computer, when you were reading, it felt like a book because of the resolution (a very odd sensation). And it’s not only for books…I was told that there’s e-paper that’s capable of full-color 24 fps video. Can’t say enough about how blown away I was by the Librie.

Update: No, wait, actually, here’s the best look. Here’s a pretty good one.

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Random Mongolian Genetic Trivia Item of the Day

Recently, a geneticist at Oxford University, Dr. Chris Tyler-Smith, and geneticists from China and central Asia took blood samples from populations living in regions near the former Mongol empire, and they studied the Y chromosomes. These are useful in establishing lineage because Y chormosomes continue from father to son. Dr. Tyler Smith and his colleagues found that an anomalously large number of the Y chromosomes carried a genetic signature indicating descent from a common ancestor about a thousand years ago. The scientists theorized that the ancestor was Genghis Khan (or, more exactly, an eleventh-century ancestor of Genghis Khan). About eight per cent of all males in the region studied, or sixteen million men, possess this chromosome signature. That’s a half per cent of the world’s population. It is possible, therefore, that more than thirty-two million people in the world are descended from Genghis Khan.

— from Ian Frazier’s story “Invaders,” in the April 25th New Yorker.

More on Genghis Khan, playa, from the Guardian.


Homeless By Choice

I don’t know how this is so fascinating, but dagnabit, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a blog about how to rock homelessness.

I’m sitting here in my temperature-regulated apartment, eight feet away from my washer and dryer, twelve feet from a hot shower and two feet from my bed. I imagine stowing away in my car for the night on a residential street, hoping no thieves or police disturb my sleep. I imagine waking up, driving to an unfamiliar gym, and feigning interest in a new membership for the hope of free access to the bathing facilities. There’s a perverse twinge of romance in all of this. Or is it perverse?

It is a well kept secret that homelessness can be freedom and comfort can attend it. The secret is well kept because revealing that you are homeless in this society is dangerous. There is stigma. There are even laws prohibiting it. Imagine that. There are laws against being homeless. Let me say that one more time. There are laws against being homeless.

I don’t know if you can help reading this site and wondering if you could do it. Then again, I could also be really strange.

Let me give you an example of a successful bloodless conflict. I was packing up a storage unit one day, and I had only that day to finish. In the same facility a man was screaming at his soon-to-be-ex-wife on a cell phone, and creating an atmosphere that I found intolerable. I decided to stop this guy from yelling. I yelled at him forcefully, Hey! Shut the hell up!

Well, predictably this brought the man’s wrath toward me. He started yelling at me and making aggressive gestures, and at that moment I did something he could not have expected. I submitted. I wimped out. I apologized and said I should mind my own business. I backed down.

Now, the soon-to-be-ex-wife was no longer on the phone, so he couldn’t yell at her. He had no way to yell at me, or continue to bring a fight to me, because I had backed down. He grumbled and muttered and hurled a few insults at me, but he stopped yelling and I got back to work in blissful quiet. Understanding the nature of winning, the precise goals I was trying to achieve, allowed me to give my opponent the illusion that he won while I got everything I wanted.

And no one got hurt. Always seek the scenario in which no one gets hurt.


Come On, It's Like a Golf Handicap

Noted: Veronica Mars is hella cute, even in ugly shorts.

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Someone REALLY Wants the Oil

This is my new favorite thing. Also see: The Daily Show’s GayWatch. (Via my 2nd favorite thing.)