Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
Ask Metafilter has an awesomely nerdy thread on "Crimes committed by Ferris Bueller during his Day off." Here are a few of my favorites:
Violation of 720 ILCS 5/32-5.1: False Personation of a Peace Officer.
Odometer fraud (tampering): 49 U.S.C. Â§ 32703(2)
Odometer fraud (conspiracy): 49 U.S.C. Â§ 32703(4)
720 ILCS 5/Art. 16D - 3 - computer tampering (when he changes his attendance record).
720 ILCS 130/2a, contributing to the delinquency of children. Class A misdemeanor.
"I'm pretty... READ ON
In 1941, Winston Churchill delivered his "Great Declaration," a famous speech about the Nazi threat. He said (in part, and with emphasis added):
What tragedies, what horrors, what crimes has Hitler and all that Hitler stands for brought upon Europe and the world! The ruins of Warsaw, of Rotterdam, of Belgrade are monuments which will long recall to future generations the outrage of unopposed air bombing applied with calculated scientific cruelty to helpless populations. Here in London and throughout... READ ON
Niels Diffrient is an old-school industrial designer, best known for his Freedom Chair -- an ergonomic office chair that auto-adjusts to the user. Diffrient designed his chair after observing that most people never adjusted their chairs; he figured he might as well design one that did the task for them. In this TED Talk, Diffrient talks about how he got into chair design and discusses some of the technical challenges facing chair designers.
Discussed: dashing airplane pilots of the 1930s, drawing... READ ON
McSweeney's is running a hilarious piece that pretends to be an "internet-age writing syllabus and course overview" by "instructor" Robert Lanham. The course offers a much-needed review of writing that really matters today -- funny Twitter and Facebook messages, the art of the self-involved status update, and so on. The course description says: "Instant messaging. Twittering. Facebook updates. These 21st-century literary genres are defining a new "Lost Generation" of minimalists who would much rather... READ ON
This morning I came across a link to "Disturbing Strokes": it's the "Diff'rent Strokes" credits sequence set to disturbing music...and the result is supremely creepy (Mr. Drummond's intentions are, uh, questionable). It's fascinating how much music can change a sequence, turning it from uplifting to completely scary. Have a look:
There are other examples of this practice out there. For example, "Shining" is a spoof re-edit of the trailer for Kubrick's "The Shining," in which light-hearted music... READ ON
Get ready for a flashback...I present you Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" performed by an "orchestra" of vintage computer parts, including an Atari 800XL, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, an 8-inch floppy drive (!), a 3.5-inch hard drive, an HP ScanJet 3C, and several oscilloscopes. Party on, dudes.
For more along these lines, check out the creator's YouTube page.
(Via... READ ON
Just one more crazy SMB video, and then I swear I'll stop. For a while. Below, check out a video of Super Mario Brothers 3 with several hacks applied -- effectively turning it into a mashup with Line Rider. In Line Rider, you indirectly control your character (the rider) by drawing lines in a world...the rider simply rides those lines to make it through the world. In this crazy video, a "rainbow riding" hack has been added to SMB 3, so that the user no longer controls Mario directly, but instead draws... READ ON
Okay, this is just the best kind of silly. Eye on Springfield is a blog with a single, unswerving mission: to provide "a retrospective of Simpsons hilarity spanning from seasons 1 to 9, when it was still funny." And oh man, is it ever. (Funny.) The blog consists solely of screen grabs from the show, occasionally with snippets of explanatory dialog. Here are some of my... READ ON
The Onion A.V. Club brings us a super fun piece on albums that work best when listened to from start to finish. They've compiled a list of hits ranging from well-known classics like Sinatra's 1958 Come Fly With Me and Randy Newman's 1974 Good Old Boys to more obscure indie fare like Mike Watt's 1997 rock opera, Contemplating the Engine Room. (A note on that last one: I ran sound for Watt at the Tallahassee show of his Engine Room tour. Or I should say, I stood by as Watt's road sound guy operated the... READ ON
The latest Super Mario Brothers fan remake is called Super è€³ç”· Bros. (Yes, the abbreviation "Bros." is part of the official title.) Loosely translated as "Super Ear Man Bros.," the game is a heavily modified version of the original SMB title for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. In Ear Man, however, the game is all about suffering and frustration rather than family-friendly fun. Designed to be nearly unplayable in its complexity -- full of "gotcha" hidden blocks, fireballs, and... READ ON
Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart.