… and that’s why I play guitar every day.

The Writer’s Retreat by Grant Snider. Re-blogged from the author’s site, the drawing appears in the NY Times Book Review on 20 July 2014.

The Writer’s Retreat by Grant Snider. Re-blogged from the author’s site, the drawing appears in the NY Times Book Review on 20 July 2014.

Joshua Westbury’s very nicely done kinetic typography video for John Anealio‘s “Steampunk Girl” song.

The “Steampunk Girl” song (and the rest of the Laser Zombie Robot Love album) can be downloaded for free from the composer’s site.

'Early Days', a great new folk/blues-song by Paul McCartney about his early days in Liverpool with John Lennon, re-enacted as a black and white movie in the American South in the 1950s by director Vincent Haycock.

The gentleman with the day jamming with Paul is none other than Johnny Depp by the way.

The Suck Fairy - by Jo Walton

I believe I’ve mentioned the Suck Fairy a few times here but without ever discussing her in depth. I first heard of her in a panel on re-reading at Anticipation, when Naomi Libicki explained her to the rest of us. Naomi has since said she heard of her from her friend Camwyn. Wherever she came from she’s a very useful concept. This post is directly related to that panel, and also one at Boskone this year.

The Suck Fairy is an artefact of re-reading. If you read a book for the first time and it sucks, it’s nothing to do with her. It just sucks. Some books do. The Suck Fairy comes in when you come back to a book that you liked when you read it before, and on re-reading—well, it sucks. You can say that you have changed, you can hit your forehead dramatically and ask yourself how you could possibly have missed the suckiness the first time—or you can say that the Suck Fairy has been through while the book was sitting on the shelf and inserted the suck. The longer the book has been on the shelf unread, the more time she’s had to get into it. The advantage of this is exactly the same as the advantage of thinking of one’s once-beloved ex as having been eaten by a zombie, who is now shambling around using the name and body of the former person. It lets one keep one’s original love clear of the later betrayals.

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In this breathtaking underwater photograph by Kurt Arrigo, Japanese two-time Olympic synchronised swimmer Saho Harada is freediving (= no breathing aid) with a school of tuna fish at a depth of approximately 18 meters (60 ft). This is not a composite or digitally manipulated. 

It is entitled Set me free, which makes sense once you notice the faint mesh pattern in the background and realize the fish and diver were inside a large fishing net. 
via TwistedSifter and 500px

In this breathtaking underwater photograph by Kurt Arrigo, Japanese two-time Olympic synchronised swimmer Saho Harada is freediving (= no breathing aid) with a school of tuna fish at a depth of approximately 18 meters (60 ft). This is not a composite or digitally manipulated.

It is entitled Set me free, which makes sense once you notice the faint mesh pattern in the background and realize the fish and diver were inside a large fishing net. 

via TwistedSifter and 500px

“Books About Town” - London gets 50 new (book) benches

The next time you take a load off while walking the streets of London, you may find yourself settling down into a good book - whether you’re reading one or not.

The National Literacy Trust has launched the “Books About Town” campaign, asking designers to create London benches based around some of the world’s best loved books.

Crafted to look like the curled, open pages of a paperback novel, 50 of the benches have been dotted around the capital, covering everything from Dr Seuss to George Orwell’s 1984.

On October 7th the benches will be auctioned at London’s Southbank Centre, with proceeds going towards helping tackle illiteracy in deprived areas of the UK.

See them all, learn about their locations etc. at Books About Town; via Gizmodo

If only we would have bought the Atari 800 computer 34 years ago … we would still have a computer that never became obsolete. 
(via Retronaut)

If only we would have bought the Atari 800 computer 34 years ago … we would still have a computer that never became obsolete.

(via Retronaut)

Finally - scientists find actual use for tofu!
Stop throwing it away, there may be a use for the most useless and disgusting item in the fridge yet: Dr Jon Major, a physicist working at the University of Liverpool’s Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, says tofu can be used to clean up solar cells. 
More at Gizmag.

Finally - scientists find actual use for tofu!

Stop throwing it away, there may be a use for the most useless and disgusting item in the fridge yet: Dr Jon Major, a physicist working at the University of Liverpool’s Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, says tofu can be used to clean up solar cells.

More at Gizmag.

Shapeways has a model of a three-sided die available for printing.
This design is as functional as it is beautiful. Simply read the top edge when it settles after being thrown or spun.

Shapeways has a model of a three-sided die available for printing.

This design is as functional as it is beautiful. Simply read the top edge when it settles after being thrown or spun.

The coolest car I can imagine – a flying Citroen DS Coupe in dark red.
Sadly it only exists in the imagination of Swedish photo-manipulator Jacob Munkhammar.

The coolest car I can imagine – a flying Citroen DS Coupe in dark red.

Sadly it only exists in the imagination of Swedish photo-manipulator Jacob Munkhammar.

This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd Martian day, or sol, of its mission. (March 8, 2004)
The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover’s navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover’s panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera’s color filters.

The image is reminiscent of the famous pale blue dot capture by Voyager 1. If you have never heard Carl Sagan’s famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ speech, check it out here.
Re-blogged from TwistedSifter

This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd Martian day, or sol, of its mission. (March 8, 2004)

The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover’s navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover’s panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera’s color filters.

The image is reminiscent of the famous pale blue dot capture by Voyager 1. If you have never heard Carl Sagan’s famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ speech, check it out here.

Re-blogged from TwistedSifter

Absolutely useless information no. 7

Buzz Aldrin was the first person to pee while on the surface of the Moon.

Source: National Geographic

Supposed and filmed locations of fictional places c/o Wondernode

Supposed and filmed locations of fictional places c/o Wondernode

Excerpt (22 min) from an interview Philip K. Dick gave in Metz, France in 1977.