"All roads lead to good intentions": Meet the Crossed Proverb, or "Perverb"

The Paris Review has a little teaser up about perverbs, a term invented by Maxine Groffsky for the result of split-and-crossed proverbs. Harry Mathews makes terrific use of the exercise: READ MORE

You Can Now Enroll at Hogwarts Via MOOC

Meet Hogwarts Is Here, a fan-run online wizard education, in which you can "enroll at Hogwarts, collect your textbooks and begin taking our 9-week courses online. You can now progress through all seven years of schooling and be assigned a professor, homework assignments, quizzes and more." The most popular course is Defense of the Dark Arts, naturally, and here is the answer to the most important question: you have to sort yourself. [Via AV Club]

Cow Backpacks That Collect 300 Liters of Cow Fart Gas Each Day

Researchers put plastic backpacks on cows, then inserted tubes into their rumens (their biggest digestive tract). They extracted the methane–about 300 liters a day. That's enough to run a car, or a fridge for 24 hours. [Fast Company]

India Recognizes Third Gender


On Ashol-Pan, the 13-Year-Old Eagle Huntress

You guys have likely read the BBC story about the 13-year-old Kazakh girl who hunts with eagles in western Mongolia; if you haven't, you must; the Ashol-Pan Lifetime Admiration Society starts now and ends never. ("I will endeavor to make myself worthy of you for the rest of my life, you eagle-wielding teen who strides the narrow world," wrote Mallory Ortberg yesterday.) It's a tough fucking life being a young girl in Central Asia, let alone one who is challenging gender norms, let alone one who is doing so by hunting with eagles: after a year of being harassed out of my skull in Kyrgyzstan I'd still barely seen things my female students already counted unremarkable. In a couple of those beautiful photos Ashol-Pan (off-duty) wears the same space-maid schoolgirl aprons they did, sits in one of those meticulous unheated schoolrooms with the blue-green walls and the white mountain light filtering in from the side. She looks, actually, a lot like an eighth-grade girl I taught once: READ MORE

"The hippo who tried to kill me wasn't a stranger." GO ON

There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf. I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo's snout. It was only then that I realised I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth. READ MORE

Twin Shadow, "To The Top"

I had no idea that my body was craving an '80s drunk-at-prom power ballad, but this new Twin Shadow is really doing it: the track is all Springsteen/Foreigner arena rock, lush with movie-montage emotion, with slight shadings in the harmony and production that keep it from feeling too pat. (Previously: his great cover of "Silent All These Years.")

"What is the probability, given that Ross painted a happy tree, that he then painted a friend for that tree?" (93%)

This is the happiest that Five Thirty Eight could ever make me: READ MORE

Excellent, An Ayn Rand Musical

The Anthem, a sci-fi musical inspired by Ayn Rand's novella Anthem, will make its off-Broadway world premiere at Culture Project's Lynn Redgrave Theatre this May. [...] Set in a far-off future in "a social media gone mad world, where individuality is illegal," Prometheus attempts to overthrow the state, controlled by the evil Tiberius, with a copy of Rand's work in hand. An expansive aerial and circus environment will set the scene of the revolution. [TheaterMania]

Is This How You Feel About Your Tattoo?

Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams (which is, as you've probably heard, very very good), has a piece in the New York Times about her tattoo: it's the epigraph to her book on her forearm, a line of script that says homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto, or "I am human: nothing human is alien to me." READ MORE