On The Hairpin Halloween Advent Calendar: Halloween Rituals

@tofuswalkman : Because I am a Terrible Person and feel that scaring trick-or-treaters is not as popular as it should be, I approve of this wholeheartedly.

For a while there, I was moving from place to place every other year. My Halloween ritual was, every time I moved into a new place, I would dress as a scarecrow that Halloween. When Halloween night rolled around, I would put on my scarecrow costume and full-head-covering scarecrow mask and sit in a chair outside my front door with just the porch light on and a bucket of candy by my feet.

Protip : stay nice and still, and always let the first, bravest kid in the group get his or her candy without incident, because then the other kids think they are home free.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm 0

On Real Perfumes For Fictional People

@NellyBly, @Lucienne : In either case, I believe describing the perfumes as "notional" rather than "fictional" would be the mot juste.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 10:28 am 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

@bureaucrab : Holy God, that was elegant as -hell-. I'd compare that to some incredible double-fake basketball move if I watched basketball. I mean, after receiving that, I can imagine the recipient apologizing to -you- and sending you a cash-filled birthday card even if it's not your birthday.

Can you just follow me around and apologize for everything I do? I will split my earnings with you.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

The last recommendation I’ll make for today ... (is) finding a good tailor and cobbler in your town.

I am totally 100% in agreement with this, and would like to amplify an excellent piece of advice :

Tailors : The person who does hems and cuffs at your dry cleaners is probably not the tailor you want. Look for someone with a standalone shop. Better yet, drop by your local Nordstrom or other higher-price-point clothing store and ask for a recommendation.

Cobblers : Look for the guy with the shop full of old scraps and pieces of leather; old-looking machinery in the back room is a plus, as the old machines last forever and do a better job (and a good cobbler knows this).

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm 0

On The Love-Hate Relationship Between Science Fiction and Technology

"Tales from Super-Science Fiction" has a serious Venture Bros ring to it. Or, obviously, vice-versa.

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 11:49 am 0

On A Curated Selection of Wonderfully Gruesome Sentences from Wikipedia

Re. Scaphism, see also Mellified man :

After a century or so, the contents would have turned into a sort of confection reputedly capable of healing broken limbs and other ailments. This confection would then be carefully sold in street markets as a hard to find item with a hefty price.

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm 1

On The "Real" Rosie the Riveters

I particularly like how the woman in the photo above is all "yeah, I may be operating power tools here, but it's no big deal. Shoot, I don't even have to take my -ring- off for this."

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:44 am 0

On "What Made the Universe Bang to Begin With"

@j-i-a : The coffee-cup bit on the Times explainer is pretty awesome.

Also, here is a good older piece on Guth, which frames his work nicely in the arc of his career : http://www.esquire.com/features/copernicus-galileo-hubble-guth-1199

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm 0

On How to Make a Successful TV Drama

Let's see how this matches up with my favorite show currently on TV.

Teenage girls and/or women with astoundingly fantastic hair, check.
Rituals with masks, metaphorical check.
Plaid, check.
Teenage girls and/or women with astoundingly fantastic skin, check.
Vast quantities of alcohol, check.
Men with amazing forearms, check.*
Taxidermy, check.**
Unusual teeth, check.
Amazing breasts, check.
People or things being underwater, check.***
Hot guys with secrets, OH YES CHECK.
Women with scratchy voices, DOUBLE CHECK LIKE ALL OF THEM.

It's official, RuPaul's Drag Race is the best drama on television right now. You heard it here first.

* Cf. "Pit Crew"
* Stuffed crows, "Game of Thrones" outfit.
** Last season premiere, "I was giving Helen Keller drowning realness". Don't ask.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm 2

On Every Dress Worn by Best Actress Oscar Winners, 1929-Present

@Katyola : The dress that Cotillard wore in '08 was at the Brooklyn Museum's Gaultier show! (I'm pretty sure that was it -- after 6 or 7 rooms,* you kind of hit peak Gaultier.**)

* Approximately 120 ensembles, with two or three more rooms to go. God, it was a lot of Gaultier.

** Peak Gaultier is characterized by symptoms including blurred vision, nausea, visual hallucinations of horizontal blue-and-white stripes, involuntary smacking motions with the hands, and an overwhelming urge to raid your grandmother's underwear drawer.

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm 0