Category Archives: Media

Can You Buy Wisdom For $400 (Or More)?

“One bit of truth I do hold self-evident for myself, however, is that the chance of finding Wisdom 1.0 or 2.0 while wearing a nametag at an indoor conference on a beautiful day is close to nil.” [Strickland/Civic Center]

In a graceful skewering of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, which is intended to address “the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world” (why not? I guess), Michael Strickland ponders the likelihood that one will actually find wisdom at a conference.

Tickets to Wisdom 2.0 ran from $400-$1500 (plus a $7.95 fee). The wisdom seeking activities Strickland proposes, “Swimming naked in the ocean, walking in a redwood forest, talking with a sympathetic friend, playing a game at a municipal golf course, or concentrating on a book,” are all pretty close to free.


Farewell, Dalek Designer

Dalek“’Before rehearsals started the cast and other members brought their children along and they were shown the Daleks and talked to the Dalek operators,’ he recalled. ‘But then when rehearsals started the operators got into the Daleks and started moving, and at that point all the children screamed and ran out of the studio.'” [The Telegraph]

Raymond Cusick, who designed the Daleks, the longstanding and beloved nemeses of Dr. Who, has died at age 84.

I love this — according the The Telegraph, Cusick originally explained to his BBC bosses how spooky the Daleks’ movements could by when “in the canteen, he picked up a condiment container, and steered it around the table.” EX TER MIN ATE!

Photo: studiofibonacci’s very sexy “exterminate!” patterned fabris, available at Spoonflower.

Social Media Isn’t Making You Miserable, Your Crappy Choices Are

“Whenever someone writes one of these screeds, they have to ignore that Twitter is entirely self-selecting. You chose who to follow. You chose to behave like a jerk, or a needy child, or a boor. Twitter didn’t make you an ass. Twitter gave you an opportunity to exhibit your lack of impulse control.” [Sicha/Awl]

As almost always (as much as I might like it, I cannot see into his soul, hence the “almost” qualifier) Choire Sicha nails it as he gently chides those who sob that social media is full of meanies.

I’ve been in an email conversation with an ex for a few days now about Facebook. He’s not on it at all, I am mostly because it’s kind of expected of someone in my line of “work.” I was telling him that he might like Twitter, because I like Twitter and I assume that someone I banged in the 80s and I are still on the same page about everything.
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Why Aren’t You Reading This Magazine About What You Can Catch From Chickens And Corpses?

plagueThere is so much amazing stuff in February’s “Emerging Infectious Diseases” Journal from the CDC. By “amazing,” of course, I mean, stuff that will make you completely batshit (HA HA batshit!) paranoid.

I do not even know where to begin. Flu fun at the live poultry mart (oh, yeah, there’s a lot of poultry and pork stuff in this issue. Enjoy your Super Bowl ribs and wings platter)! A new strain of the plague! “Corpse-to-Human Transmission” of the Nipah virus!

If, like me, you read The Coming Plague like it was Stephen King (but written better) and are waiting for your copy of Spillover to arrive (I’m on the SF public library’s reserve list, it’s popular!), then fuck Vogue, this is the monthly for you. AND YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE.

Owl Crime Scene Investigated

“It died squirming and convulsing in the talons of an owl, locked in by the bone ratchets the owl shares with other raptors.” [Hill/Scientific American]

Yeah, it sounds like the prose you might find in one of those fat novels at the front of the grocery store with titles like “DEAD LADY BOOK.”* But it’s not, this is a blog post on Scientific American’s site, going all CSI-speculative on a quite lovely photo of an odd pattern captured in snow.

Do I hope this picture is real, because it is neat looking? You bet I do. But if I found out it wasn’t, and that at least one small rodent didn’t actually learn the hard way that “Hawk owls in particular eviscerate small mammals before eating their heads and organs, thereafter caching the remains,” well, that’s fine with me.

* If there were as many high-profile serial killers at work as books/TV would have you believe, there’s basically be no good looking women left, unless you count the guys wearing their skin.

Why Can’t You See That Your Dog Is Trying To Tell You Something About Your Boyfriend

“Dear Abby: My boyfriend, ‘Richard,’ and I are a mature couple who have been seeing each other for three years. My dog is the issue.

‘Princess’ weighs 9 pounds and is spoiled. She barks at anyone and anything. Richard can no longer tolerate Princess’ barking and has curbed his visits. Except for this issue, he is my dream guy. I feel Richard should understand my attachment to Princess. Am I being selfish?” [Phillips/UPI via SF Chron]

I have so many questions about this situation! Questions that Jeanne “Dear Abby” Phillips, who phoned it in with a “contact a dog trainer” (is this Abby’s new “consult your clergyman”?) response. But, like, who was in the advice seeker’s (“Won’t Give Up the Pup”) life first — “Richard,” or “Princess”? Did WGUTP intend to make the dog-related pun of “curbed”? (And how could Phillips pass that one up? “‘Princess is the one who needs to be ‘curbed'” etc.)

And why are we ignoring the fact that “Princess” might be trying to tell WGUTP something VERY IMPORTANT about Richard? Everyone knows that dogs display aggression in an effort to protect their guardian.

WGUTP, I’d be looking askance at “Richard,” not at “Princess,” were I you.

Tonight’s debate memes, before they happen (By pixplz)

WHO WILL WIN tonight’s important debate between that one dude and that other dude? I can’t predict! However, with help from The Winnower’s resident political soothsayers, I’ve been working hard at seeing into the future of hashtags. First there was this, and then there was this. What will there be next? My vision is still a little murky, but here’s some of what I’ve prognosticated so far:

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