Things That Are In The Main Only Of Interest To Me: Digital Publishing Is A Pyramid Scheme -
Here are some brief points on the economics of for-profit start up publications.
There are a great number of them that are in profit. They exist to make money. They are not an altruistic project enamoured of the public good. They have boards, they have CEOs drawing large salaries, they have full…
Rob DenBleyker: My Facebook Lockout -
Today I got banned for 12 hours from Facebook. It’s not the end of the world (I think it helped my productivity) but I figured it would be worth discussing because of the context of the ban. So here goes.
Last June I made this comic:
Definitely not the most shocking thing we’ve done at…
* Hassan … The Golden Journey to Samarkand *
Go as a pilgrim and seek out danger
Far from comfort and the well lit-avenues of life.
Pit your very soul against the unknown
And seek stimulation in the company of the brave.
Experience cold and hunger, heat and thirst
And survive to see another challenge and another dawn.
Only then will you be at peace with yourself
And able to know and to say:
“I looked down on the farthest side of the mountain
And, fulfilled and understanding all, I am truly content
That I lived a full life
And one that was of my own choice”. — James Elroy Flecker
We came to the junction of the Yarra and Gardiner’s Creek. The confluence was hidden under a giant freeway bridge - it was a cave of echoes, the river threw dancing shadows, and a grid of stone paved the edges of Birrarung. From my research I’d gathered that the junction is approximately the furthest reach of Bunerong tribal land; from onward of the watery meeting place, both sides of the Yarra are Wurundjeri country. I grew up downstream from that place, crossing the river back and forth from my mum’s house to my dad’s, and I thought of how my cultural territory of the inner city seemed to reflect the ancient tribal boundaries between Wurundjeri and Bunerong lands. Friends often spoke of being ‘north of the river’ or ‘south of the river’ people, and I hear folk say of the river that it is hard to cross, as if there were a border between these lands. As if the Yarra wasn’t criss-crossed with bridges! It feels sometimes as if an old cultural way is persisting, despite so much change. — Maya Ward - The Comfort of the Water
Astronaut hunt turns into sexist nightmare for female finalist
A competition on Facebook by a male grooming brand to send a Malaysian to a space camp in Florida, USA to train to be an astronaut turned ugly when the only female finalist was “trolled”, drawing sexist comments from netizens.
Post-graduate student Roshini Muniam, who is one of the top five finalists of Axe deodorant’s Apollo Space Race competition, was discriminated against online due to her gender.
A comment posted by Syed Wazien on Roshini’s profile, featured in Axe’s Facebook page, expressed surprise over a woman’s desire to go to space.
“What – a woman?! No way, hose!!!” he said.
Geeky Fredward wrote that Roshini should not compete and must make way for her male counterparts to win the competition.
“Banyak lagi competition untuk female only kat luar tu lady.. (there are many other competitions for females out there, lady) don’t ruin what’s intended or most considered to be men only chance?”
Another commentator, Dimitriy Mirovsky, was more insulting, saying that women should be prohibited from the competition as they menstruate.
“pompuan REJEK…… lelaki sahaje….. kang tampon ang pecah kat langit tu abis rosak space craft tu….. kah kah kah……” (Women should be rejected… it is only for males… if your tampon burst while you are in space, the entire spacecraft will be spoilt… kah kah
This is reminiscent of an incident in the Malaysian parliament in 2007 when controversial Barisan Nasional MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, in a heated exchange in the Dewan Rakyat with opposition MPs over a leaky roof in Parliament House, said: “Mana ada bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga. (Where is the leak? The Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month.)”.
Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and other women MPs were outraged by his comments and he was eventually forced to apologise.
Plucky Roshini, 27, has hit back at the trolls.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I am all out to win this competition because I want to inspire ordinary people to have extraordinary dreams & goals,” she posted on the page.
The contestants underwent a series of challenges which tested their mental strength and endurance. The pictures of the top five were posted online. Visitors to the page then could vote for their choice.
Some netizens have also come out in her defence, with Rajakumari Rajagopal pointing out that the competition was open to all Malaysians and that she qualified on merit.
“She was the only Malaysian woman who had made her way to the semi-finals and now to the finals. She needs your help and everyone’s help to make her dream come true. Why can’t she have a dream? Why can’t she be given an equal right to participate? Why can’t she be the final person to represent Malaysia. Malaysia Boleh! 1 Malaysia! Hidup Malaysia!”
Rafizal Rahman said Roshini should not be praised and not criticised, pointing out there was already a lot of female astronauts in the world.
The competition closes next Tuesday and the winner will be announced on September 24.
The winner will represent Malaysia in Florida and compete against other nations’ candidates for an opportunity to go to space.
Only 22 people will be selected for the Florida experience.
She’s losing by 20k votes. Let’s fix this.
The great chain was upset; for the entire duration of the chain’s formative years it held the dream of being decorative jewellery. Being a golden necklace chain was not too much to ask, was it?
Now the poor old ‘great chain’ found itself relegated to being the pull chain attached to a toilet cistern … how the mighty had fallen, all of those early dreams crushed by the power of destiny.
In fact, the chain was not upset - it was utterly pissed off!
He waited until the train was in motion to make his move—a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. “Hi.” “How you doing?” “What are you reading?” “What’s your name?” “I really like your hair.” “That’s a really nice skirt.” “You must work out.”
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn’t going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. “I’d like to read my book.” And he pulled out the social pressure. “Hey, I’m just asking you a question. You don’t have to be so rude.” She started to look around for outs. Her head swiveled from one exit to another.
The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.
So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn’t exactly untrue—and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I’m fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. “It looks soft."
That’s about when it got…..weird.
He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely.
But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her.
"Wait, don’t be like that," I said. “Lemmie just ask you one question…"
"What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo.
And I’m not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn’t call it a day at that point, but…..maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. “What’s your name?”
Right now I’m sitting here typing out this story, and I’m still not entirely sure why I’m not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn’t come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of “pop” with intention—pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day’s end.
"DUDE," he shouted. “I’M NOT GAY."
That’s when I dropped the bedroom eyes and switched to a normal voice. “Oh well I could see not being interested didn’t matter to you when you were hitting on her, so I just thought that’s how you rolled.” —
Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing): Changing The Creepy Guy Narrative (via veruca-assault)
Jeff VanderMeer, author of The Steampunk Bible, defines it through a fittingly clunky, though ornate, equation:
Steampunk = Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man/baroque stylings) x (pseudo) Victorian setting] + progressive or reactionary politics x adventure plot. — Steampunk: Time travellers for industrial evolution