British musician Phildel makes songs that sound like the ones on Florence + the Machine's first album, or maybe White Chalk–era PJ Harvey—nursery rhymes with drum machines for grownups who've seen some shit. (She's seen her fair share, having been raised in an abusive home that didn't allow music.) Her first (and right now, only) album, The Disappearance of the Girl, has its ups and downs, but this song will never leave your head. Ever. Prepare to be constantly singing to yourself about wolves and blood and sinners and stuff, because that's your life now.
This amazing Slate piece takes to task America’s choices for official state birds as “a big joke.” Apparently, governmental ornithologists (or whoever makes the bird decisions around here) demonstrated “a general lack of thought” and didn’t even “research the bill color” of their selections. READ MORE
When I started grad school a few months ago, I was delighted to find that all the restrooms in the Humanities building have chalkboards in each stall. Presumably it’s a technique intended to cut down on actual graffiti, and it seems to work: Though the chalk is long gone and the messages are mostly in marker, those messages on the chalkboard, and the stalls’ walls, remain pristine (for some definition of the word pristine that includes surfaces sprayed nearly continuously with microscopic drops of toilet water). READ MORE
When I moved into my current apartment, I was told it had a dishwasher. Actually what it has is a machine that uses water and a tremendous amount of noise to take bits of food from one dish, swirl them all around, and stick them onto other dishes. This may have to do with detergent companies removing phosphates from their formulas; I’ve tried several different brands, and none seems to work. A maintenance guy even once told me the problem was that, paradoxically, I was using too much soap, which may have been clogging the pipes. READ MORE
Every year since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has united an entire continent with the power of music and the beauty of poorly translated English. This year’s competition, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, is no different. Each country submits a song, and viewers voting by phone or text select a winner. In grand Eurovision tradition, their choices include a few folk songs, a few rock songs, a few dance-pop songs, and innumerable sappy ballads. Oh, and a Romanian entry that’s inexplicably in Spanish. READ MORE
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You mean this whole mess was just one patriarch this entire time? Well, goddamn, I blame him, too. READ MORE
I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for arguing that health insurance plans should cover birth control. I wish I could say I was, but unfortunately it’s the kind of crude, thoughtless misogyny we’ve come to expect from arguably the most influential conservative pundit in the country. What is surprising about his statements is how he and other conservatives have, for the moment, stopped trying to use arguments about religious freedom and started trying to present as a self-evident truth the idea that women should be prohibited from having sex. And that should drive home one message to virtually every American woman: that’s you he’s talking about. READ MORE