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Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Unicorn (by Avanaut)


Thus at the next cocktail hour, I reached for the bottle of Poland's finest in my freezer. (Of course I keep vodka in the freezer. As Jack Donaghy would say, "What am I, a farmer?") Staring at the frosty bottle, however, caused flashbacks to Unpleasant Speculums I Have Known. Instead, I rooted around in a kitchen cupboard for some cheap (but warm) vodka left over from a party. There it was, in a jug. Not even my kids would sneak sips of this stuff. And I didn't think that that particular area of my body would be especially fussy about brands.

Skeptical of the story going around the internet about teenagers using booze-soaked tampons to get drunk, HuffPo writer Danielle Crittenden decides to try it for herself.

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Along with his other show, Hardcore History, Dan Carlin's Common Sense is one of my favourite podcasts right now. In the latest episode, "The Very Velvet Fist", he gives one of the best takes on the whole "Occupy" movement, especially given the whole UC Davis debacle last weekend.

Seriously, I hope everyone listens to this.

Less Human Than Human: The Design Philosophy of Apple | The Awl

Link: Less Human Than Human: The Design Philosophy of Apple | The Awl

Two things here.

First, this is just awful. The Awl usually has a fairly high standard for its articles, but this is a hot mess. When it isn't rambling to the point of incoherency, it's just plain wrong. For example, the first line of the second paragraph, where the author launches into the actual thesis:

The widespread admiration for Apple’s design ethos is in two parts: one functional, the other aesthetic.

Wrong already. Stephen Fry put it eloquently

Only dullards crippled into cretinism by a fear of being thought pretentious could be so dumb as to believe that there is a distinction between design and use, between form and function, between style and substance

(Although I don't think anyone who feels like dropping a bit of irrelevant trivia about John Ruskin into an article about Apple's design philosophy can legitimately invoke the 'fear of being thought pretentious' defence.)

Secondly, I don't know if this is happening to anyone else, but I'm getting this thing where a flash ad for the Chevy Volt is actually hijacking my entire browser session, reloading the entire article in an iframe on the Chevy site. This completely breaks Instapaper and means you can't send someone the URL without giving the Chevy site an extra hit. Earlier this week, Brent Simmons wrote a terrific article about how certain publications have become almost hostile towards their readers with the amount of intrusive ads on their pages. It's genuinely disappointing to see The Awl going down the same road.

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Doodled at a coffee shop. > >

The Life And Death Of Skyrim’s Lydia - Rock, Paper, Shotgun →

A while ago, I was banging on about the random events in the world of Red Dead Redemption and how they helped increase the sense of immersion and my fondness for that game (at least, the first time you encounter these random events. After six or seven attempted horse-jackings, it all becomes rote bullshit).

Skyrim, on the other hand, is genuinely amazing. There's so much to do -- not just story stuff, but random, one-off things -- that you find yourself investing deeply in the characters. I found myself nodding along to John Walker's story of 'his' Lydia. It's a totally accurate description of how this game gets its claws in you and you find yourself doing things (and enjoying doing things) in the game that sound completely cracked if you try to explain them to other people.

Dead End Thrills does Skyrim →

Okay, I'll admit, I'm a little obsessed with Skyrim right now. But look at these landscapes and tell me they're not amazing. Everyone gushed over how great the facial animation system was in LA Noire. I think the cloud generation system in Skyrim is even more impressive. This one is my favourite of the lot.

Cultural Differences →

In Ireland, Bagels and garlic bread set for sharp price rise as VAT rules change

The price of bagels, croissants, garlic bread and a range of other similar products is likely to increase significantly in the weeks ahead after Revenue decided they were not sufficiently bread-like to be exempt from VAT.

Meanwhile, in America, U.S. Decides Pizza Sauce Is a Vegetable

A joint Senate-House panel of American lawmakers has caved in to the frozen food lobby by voting to uphold school lunch regulations that stipulate that tomato sauce in pizza counts as a vegetable serving.

I never thought I'd say this, but maybe it's time Pat the Baker and Mister Brennan got together to form a lobby group of their own.

Quentin Tarantino is our Woodie Guthrie

What I’m saying, basically, is that Quentin Tarantino is our Woody Guthrie; he is the Woody Guthrie of mondo and the midnight movie.

Regardless of how you feel about Tarantino and his movies, I recommend that everyone reads Christian Thorne's amazing essay "Tarantino, Nazis, and Movies That Can Kill You" (part 1, part 2).

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Riff Raff - 1976 and 2011. Part of Irina Werning's amazing Back to the Future 2 series.