Randomness for 6/16

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1) One-bedroom home for sale in Minneapolis: $150K. Every picture is weirder than the one before it.

2) Eight of the best D&D modules of all time. Warning: gallery.

3) I have 227 browser tabs open, and my computer runs fine. Here’s my secret.

4) Things to never order at a fast food restaurant.

5) Beautiful hand-carved skateboards from Mumbai.

6) Like movies and reading screenplays? Simon Barrett’s shooting scripts for the films THE GUEST and YOU’RE NEXT are online.

7) The worst fucking shoes on the planet: Cowboy sandal boots.

Randomness for 6/5

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1) Grippy not Sticky: Stanford engineers develop a material that sticks without getting stuck.

2) Modern superhero comics done in a Golden Age style.

3) KITE FIGHT, a five minute documentary about the sport of soltar pipas, popular in the favelas in Rio. Video.

4) Segmented Glass Sculptures, via Marc Laidlaw

5) Boy Wonders. ::sniffle::

6) A plea for culinary modernism. Being honest about the way people *used* to eat.

7) Taylor Swifties.

Randomness for 5/28

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1) Darpa successfully tests the first bullet that can be steered after it was fired.

2) Geologists grill up stakes with lava… and ruin them.

3) Richard Prince Selling Other People’s Instagram Shots Without Permission for $100K Whenever I feel cynical about publishing, I think about fine arts and give my oil-painter wife a hug. (Of course, if he was skimming other people’s work from reddit, I wouldn’t be surprised…)

4) Feces rained down on outdoor Sweet 16 party. Dumped from a plane, obviously. Stranger than fiction

5) Nothing about this toy makes sense. Video. Don’t watch that without the sound.

6) Law & Order: Daredevil. Video. Also requires sound.

7) A Kickstarter for a horror video game about a blind woman. Cool.

Three posts about health, part two: food and skin

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Yesterday, I talked about food and anxiety. Today I’ll talk about food and my face.

Ugh. Seriously, I hate this, but many years ago I started getting red patches on my face. My skin would get rough and slightly puffy, and no amount of washing or moisturizing would make it better. The best I could hope for was to scrub my face so hard it all turned red. My wife had it, too. The best our doctors could manage was “You should wash your face,” which… yeah.

Eventually, things would get so bad that those red patches would start to peel. Yeah, I had face dandruff. Sorry, ladies, I’m taken. Continue reading

Randomness for 11/11

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1) An entire Tumblr dedicated to the question of whether MilSF author Myke Cole lays eggs.

2) Stan Lee responds to people who ask him when he’s going to retire. Video.

3) Dewitos: Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew.

4) Seventeen-year-old wins science competition by building an efficient algae biofuel lab in her bedroom. I hope this kid becomes a billionaire.

5) Do you get your hair cut at a barber? How to talk your barber about the haircut you want. Includes a helpful video.

6) Museum of selfies.

7) The novel then steps back in time to explain how Rico went from being just another one of Heinlein’s incurious teenaged dullards to an enthusiastic war criminal. In the process, it paints an interesting picture of the world Rico lives in, as well as of the contents of Heinlein’s id. James Nicoll reviews Starship Troopers.

Randomness for 7/12

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1) The best one-star review ever.

2) Ingmar Bergman’s THE FLASH. Video. #lol

3) 25 Pictures Of Lesbian Sex According To Stock Photography #15, wtf?

4) A film from 1943 or 1944 with a British major demonstrating knife-fighting techniques. Dubbed into Greek but subtitled in English. Video.

5) Books with almost identical covers.

6) Baking projects that didn’t turn out like their photos.

7) Top ten pictures of pie eaters.

Yesterday’s birthday celebration

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How many places around the U.S. (around the world, even) would be amused that yesterday’s high temps set a new record for July 1st: 94F, over a previous record high of 89F? In many places those numbers capture temps in the early morning, not the high for the day, but those places also have central air or even just air conditioners. My apartment in Seattle has no insulation and it doesn’t circulate air well, unless it’s a very windy day.

Anyway, we broke out the fan for the first time, but I still had an outbreak of heat-induced urticaria. (I keep meaning to blog about my health issues but never seem to find the time.)

My main birthday gift was a day when I didn’t have to do any work at all. The trash had been taken out, the floor cleaned, the toilet scrubbed, the carpet vacuumed (all by me the day before) so I had literally nothing to do around the apartment. I took a day off from my writing responsibilities, too. All I wanted to do was sack out on the couch and watch the extended LOTR movies.

You guys, I was really surprised by how much I was looking forward to this. Yeah, I do things that are fun or that count as goofing off, but they always come with a portion of guilt.

Yesterday was a day off from guilt.

Also, when I watch most movies I’m tempted to look at Twitter or have a comic book open next to me, but LOTR had my attention from the start. I managed to sit down close to my start time (which was 7am) and aside from looking at Twitter messages during DVD changes or checking the World Cup score for the Belgium match, I was offline most of the day. The movies themselves were engaging enough, even after multiple viewings, that I had no urge to turn away or fill dull time. What’s more, my wife–who generally has zero interest in Tolkien or other kinds of fantasy–was nearly late for work because the movie was so absorbing. I started the movies just after 7am and finished 8:30pm, and now I want to reread the books and replay the Lego game.

Weird thing: my kid is going through one of his bouts of late night wakefulness, where he sleeps all day and stays up all hours of the night. In fact, when I woke this morning, I found a plate of bacon, eggs, and toast waiting for me. My wife explained that she woke at 4am and found the boy wide awake in the kitchen cooking. He wanted to make a prepare breakfast for me, despite not being a kitchen person.

So, he dug up some YouTube videos for making scrambled eggs with bacon (and the video suggested boiling the bacon until the water steamed off and it could be browned in the skillet). Yes, by 6:45am, everything was stone cold, but while the bacon was a little bland, it was pretty good. Well, it was better than you could expect from twelve-year-old who never cooks and could barely sleep.

Dinner was delivery from a favorite pizza place. Lunch was a meatball sandwich on a fancy baguette, followed by the birthday cake cantalope-free fruit salad. See:

Inside the bag was a bottle of fancy rye whiskey. It was a good day, you guys, even if I did squeeze in a little writing work at the very end of the day.

I am 49.

Randomness for 4/19

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1) Baby noises edited into beatboxing. Video.

2) Every live action Marvel movie from 1998 ranked. I’d quibble with some of the rankings, but who wouldn’t? Also, there was no excuse for Elektra being so terrible.

3) The Ten Most Deadly Rocks And Minerals. h/t Kat Richardson

4) The placebo effects of food labeling.

5) Metal Albums With Googly Eyes, a Tumblr.

6) Time is a flat Family Circus, a Tumblr.

7) The best resignation letter ever.

Randomness for 10/10

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1) Another drive-through prank, skeleton edition. Video. This one is funny and Halloween is coming up, so… (h/t Nick Kaufmann)

2) Banksy kicks off an art institute on the streets of New York.

3) What your style of beer says about you.

4) Hyperbole and a Half explains power, identity, and changing yourself with costumes.

5) 44 of the Best Scared Bros at Haunted House (2013 pictures). I will confess to enjoying these pictures of absolute terror to an unhealthy degree. Oh, and the body language is instructive for any writer, I guess.

6) Test your color IQ with an online test. My wife, who took the analog version of this test in art school, scored a 26, which is pretty good. Then my son took it and scored a perfect zero. I haven’t tried it myself.

7) The internet is full of “life hacks” but how many of them actually work? 30 Common Life Hacks Debunked. Video.