PureText: Have you ever copied some text from a web page, a word document, help, etc., and wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? PureText makes this simple.
Let’s Be Real: Americans Are Walking Around With Dirty Anuses: “I find it rather baffling that millions of people are walking around with dirty anuses while thinking they are clean. Toilet paper moves shit, but it doesn’t remove it. You wouldn’t shower with a dry towel; why do you think that dry toilet paper cleans you?”
No more ‘product of its time,’ please:I don’t think that we should hide texts with troubling elements. They are part of the literary canon and they have influenced us, for both good and ill. We should definitely be reading them, and we should also be talking about them. A lot.
An automatically generated list of links that caught my eye between April 27th and May 17th.
Sometime between April 27th and May 17th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
The Case of the Stolen Source Code: Last week, for about three days, the macOS video transcoding app HandBrake was compromised. One of the two download servers for HandBrake was serving up a special malware-infested version of the app, that, when launched, would essentially give hackers remote control of your computer. // In a case of extraordinarily bad luck, even for a guy that has a lot of bad computer luck, I happened to download HandBrake in that three day window, and my work Mac got pwned. // Long story short, somebody, somewhere, now has quite a bit of source code to several of our apps.
JSON Feed: Announcing JSON Feed: We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs. So we developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds.
What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast: So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve? And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before? And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling? And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?
Hubble Contacts: Low-cost subscription model service for daily wear contacts. I usually wear monthly, but it may be worth comparing prices.
IPA Phonetic Transcription of English Text: This online converter of English text to IPA phonetic transcription will translate your English text into its phonetic transcription using International Phonetic Alphabet.
An automatically generated list of links that caught my eye between March 31st and April 2nd.
Sometime between March 31st and April 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
Rosie’s Phenomenal Precision Insult Machine!: Don't reach for those old, tired gendered, ableist, or otherwise lazy and harmful insults. Trust the machine to help you find the perfect, targeted insult for your specific needs! (Does not contain gendered- genital-based insults, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, dis-ableism, body-shaming, slut-shaming. May contain peanuts.)
Joss Whedon’s obsession is not feminism: The problem is that at some point in his career, Joss became so intent on the masochistic fantasy of being hated by strong women for being a nerd that he spent a decade writing stories about violating those women to ensure they would hate him.
Of dwarves and gender: So one day a dwarf is talking to a human and finally realizes that when humans say woman, they generally mean “person who is theoretically capable of childbirth” because for whatever reason, humans assign social expectations based genital differences.
On Wm. Golding’s Lord of the Flies: Basically all the good Golding scholars agree that Lord of the Flies is intended as a condemnation specifically of western positivism and superiority, not a condemnation of human nature. Golding believed that good societies were possible, but that he was not living in one.
An automatically generated list of links that caught my eye between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th.
Sometime between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
The Male Power Fantasy (and why Mad Max and Captain Kirk don’t fit): This relates to a theory I have, which is that the archetypal Western Male Hero is James Bond, to the degree that people (Mainly straight white men) start to see every Western Male Hero as James Bond. Which is to say an aggressively masculine, quip-spitting, hyper violent womanizer. The ultimate Male Power Fantasy. A new supermodel love interest (or two) every film, a gun in his hand, and no consequences for his actions.
Geisha FAQ: Please do not spread misconceptions about these hard-working women artists. They deserve respect and have persevered for centuries with women at the forefront of these professions.
Earth is dangerous: I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
Of privilege and nostalgia: The reality is, there was never a time when everyone could just enjoy things. To be able to say you had that time is to admit the privilege you had at not having to think about problematic behavior because it didn’t negatively affect your life.
To everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.: Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand.
Snarky but amusing and thorough Romeo and Juliet analysis: SUMMARY: Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly rich play that is mostly about how feuds fuck people over badly and how if you have to wait until YOUR KIDS OFF THEMSELVES to figure that out you deserve to lose your children. Romeo and Juliet are victims of the feud and its mindless death-lust, not perpetrators of death on others. They’re not supposed to be figures of ridicule OR representatives of True Love: they’re supposed to make the audience go “oh BABIES, no, you’re going to end so badly” and then be sad when they do.
The singular “they”: Next time someone complains about singular “they” I’ll point them to this 17th century rant against singular “you”.
Dear Fellow Guys….stop hitting on women at work….: If you’re interacting with a human it’s because you want to interact with a human and you want that human to be nice to you. You are paying for their kindness, for their smiles when their feet hurt and their questions about your day when they haven’t had lunch yet. Flirting with customer service workers at work, asking them out when they’re on the clock and paid to make you happy, telling them you think they’re attractive and expecting a gushing response – that’s breaking the rules. That’s a lose-lose situation that you’ve set them up for. (tags: sexismtoxicmasculinitybehaviorflirtingsafetytumblr )
The origins of kakistocracy are actually pretty neat. The term was first used around 1829 and was coined as an opposite to “aristocracy”. It comes from the Greek “kakistos” or “worst”, which is the superlative form of “kakos” or “bad”. Switch the “k” to a “c” and you have the root of modern words like “cacophony”.
But here’s where it gets even more fun. “Kakos” is closely related to “Caco” or “defecate”. As we saw above, it’s essentially the same phonetic sounds and has similar modern words derived from it.
Today, you’ll find this in the Greek “Kakke” “human excrement”, Latin “cacare“, Irish “caccaim“, Serbo-Croatian “kakati“, Armenian “k’akor“, Old English “cac-hus” or “latrine”, Dutch “kak“, German “Kacke“, and the school-yard favorite “caca“.
So in this trying time, remember the word “kakistocracy”.
Two years ago, Brown attempted to teach Watson the Urban Dictionary. The popular website contains definitions for terms ranging from Internet abbreviations like OMG, short for “Oh, my God,” to slang such as “hot mess.”
But Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity — which the Urban Dictionary is full of. Watson picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia as well. In tests it even used the word “bullshit” in an answer to a researcher’s query.
Ultimately, Brown’s 35-person team developed a filter to keep Watson from swearing and scraped the Urban Dictionary from its memory.
Gee, seems like parenting would be a little easier (if less embarrassing–and, of course, amusing) if the solution was that easy for people!
Seattle Police Reportedly Kill Man With Knife — as written, grammatically, that tells me that the police stabbed a man to death. But that can’t be right, can it?
Oh, the joys of clumsy headline writing. Here’s two versions of the same story. The first seemed really odd when I saw it come up in Google Reader. “[Seattle Police Reportedly Kill Man With Knife]” — as written, grammatically, that tells me that the police stabbed a man to death. But that can’t be right, can it? The article summary clears it up (mostly: one could make an argument that the summary states that the police killed a man by shooting a knife at him, but while that fits the grammar, it’s a bit of a stretch to think that someone would derive that meaning), as does [the second article] with a more well-written headline and summary, but it gave me a bit of a laugh.
: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008626921_apwapoliceshooting.html?syndication=rss “Seattle Times: Seattle Police Reportedly Kill Man With Knife”
: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008627109_webcopshooting14m.html?syndication=rss “Seattle Times: Man with knife shot and killed by Seattle police early this morning”