On Young Chinese Professionals Celebrate the Single Life by Spending a Collective $5.4 Billion in One Day
I think the message of that final photo is "if you are single, you won't have anyone around to tell you that you either need longer socks or your trousers are too short."
@Jim Behrle : Also, at Brown, they are not "pass-fail" courses, they are "satisfactory-no-credit" because "passing" and "failing" are constructs of the oppressive capitalist-normative society which pathologically quantifies all human activity into artificial zero-sum games. GET IT RIGHT, YOU LAZY DRIVELLING JERK.
Alternate take : Additionally, it's not "failing to reach orgasm", it's (insert joke here. Does "taking an incomplete" work? UGH I AM SUCH A LAZY DRIVELLER.)
Special bonus alternate take : As a Brown alum, I feel vaguely slandered by the Times.
Robert Aickman! He's a bit undeservedly obscure these days, but his compilations of short stories ("Cold Hand in Mine", particularly) are very easy to get hold of, and oh man was he good. He never really descends into outright horror, just a slow slide into wrongness, like dream-logic invading the everyday.
Neil Gaiman (!) compared his stories to a sleight-of-hand where a magician not only makes a key vanish from his hand, but you can't be sure he had a key in his hand in the first place. That's about right ... he was extraordinarily subtle and unsettling.
@stonefruit : Have you ever read Bellairs's (one?) novel for adults, "The Face in the Frost"? It's equal parts whimsy and flesh-creeping nightmare, and really excellent.
So, who at the Hairpin is going to do a review of "I Await the Devil's Coming," the 1902 memoir of a then-19-year-old Mary MacLane when it goes on sale in a new edition this week? Because it's like the best thing I've read, oh, all month.
The New Yorker has an excerpt, which is absolutely amazing, and of which I'll quote a little bit :
I have read some girl-books, a few years ago—“Hildegarde Grahame,” and “What Katy Did,” and all,—but I read them from afar. I looked at those creatures from behind a high board fence. I felt as if I had more tastes in common with the Jews wandering through the wilderness, or with a band of fighting Amazons. I am not a girl. I am a woman, of a kind. I began to be a woman at twelve, or more properly, a genius.
And then, usually, if one is not a girl one is a heroine—of the kind you read about. But I am not a heroine, either. A heroine is beautiful—eyes like the sea shoot opaque glances from under drooping lids—walks with undulating movements, her bright smile haunts one still, falls methodically in love with a man—always with a man, eats things (they are always called “viands”) with a delicate appetite, and on special occasions her voice is full of tears. I do none of these things. I am not beautiful. I do not walk with undulating movements—indeed, I have never seen any one walk so, except, perhaps, a cow that has been overfed. My bright smile haunts no one. I shoot no opaque glances from my eyes, which are not like the sea by any means. I have never eaten any viands, and my appetite for what I do eat is most excellent. And my voice has never yet, to my knowledge, been full of tears.
I'm sorry, but the fact that the Psychonauts one is the only actual in-game dialogue of the bunch makes it the best.
@ms. alex : I'll just leave this right here, then. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVtw94PJ8XA
Granted, what you see happening here is, practically speaking, a really bad idea. Still, awesome.
@lindsayishere : One of my best friends in high school would sneeze with a big windup and then clamp down at the end of it, somehow holding in the sneeze so it was like aaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHH*hnk*. It was simultaneously nerve-wracking and awesome -- I was always worried that someday the built-up pressure would overcome his skull's structural strength and his head would just detonate, Scanners-style.
@MoxyCrimeFighter : Oh God, are we the same person? Let's form a messed-up-brain and chewy-fingers club.
@stuffisthings : Clifford Stoll has a story about his thesis defense for his astronomy PhD. The four examiners start off by asking him a couple of questions specifically relating to aspects of his thesis and his research, and he's feeling pretty good about it -- this is all the high-level stuff that he's been working on, and he knows it cold.
This goes on for some time, and they're about ready to wrap up, when one of the examiners says "oh, and one last question, Mr. Stoll. Why is the sky blue?" Stoll is dumbfounded -- this is first-year physics, way at the other end of the curriculum from his awesome PhD-level stuff -- and he sort of stammers out something about light entering the atmosphere at an angle. The examiner nods and says "yes, but can you be more specific?" Stoll manages to put together an explanation of how water droplets in the atmosphere diffract the light from the sun, and how that causes the angle. "Yes," says the examiner, "but can you be more -specific-?"
Half an hour later, he's dredging up everything he can remember about subatomic physics ...