1. This is a great story about an owl who helped raise a number of other animals in an animal sanctuary. I think it says something about the ability for animals to care for one another, and more importantly, it kind of spits in the face of all the libertarian bullshit about the base nature of the human animal–the assumption that animals are inherently selfish seems is just wrong.
2. The Herman Cain plan is from SimCity, but you know that already. The important thing about this is that this is game logic interrupting into our daily lives, and for a number of reasons. Games resonate with us on some kind of base level, and the simple ideas that games build and teach us their mechanics with are important because they give us a window into how palatable concepts can be communicated to people. There’s also something that no one else has covered in this story: 9-9-9 is the baseline in SimCity, and if you don’t adapt those tax rates, your city will fail.
3. A number of comics creators talk about gender and comics over at Comics Alliance. I think the the professional, top named comics writers say some of the dumbest stuff, and that the indie comics people toward the bottom say the smartest. Any time I read a male comics creator say that they aren’t writing gender, they’re writing characters, I cringe, because I know they’re writing for the baseball cap crowd, as Brandon Graham calls them. He says this, actually:
I think mainstream comics’ missteps with female characters are part of a larger problem connected with a lack of real diversity in the mindsets in the people making those comics. It’s not just the straight, white, middle aged baseball hat dudes it’s also the people that think along the same lines as them. Just getting more women in would be a start but it’s no help if they’re just making the same types of books as the ballcap dudes.
One of the great things about comics is that every type of person you can imagine who ever enjoyed reading a Spider-Man comic as a kid can and does get into making their own comics. I think it would do nothing but help widen reader interest and the health of the art form to get as many types of creators coming from really different places work pushed to the forefront. Past that I think we need people willing to call bullsh*t on sub par work. So that’s my comic book wish: everybody let in but respect hard earned.
4. This is an interview with Chrysta Bell about her new album with David Lynch. I think it is amazing; I can’t stop listening to it. You should spend the $10 to support her and David Lynch and just be fucking cool for once how about it.
5. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is going to go live soon. It is an amazing project, and I am really happy to see it coming to fruition. You really need to do as much as possible to help the project–there is a large amount of science fiction work that is being lost.
6. There is going to be a new expansion for World of Warcraft that features a race of panda people who are monks. Pretty fucking orientalist if you ask me.
7. Scientists think that an ancient kraken made self portraits out of the bones of dinosaurs that it murdered. Just read the goddamn story and tell me that it is the coolest thing that you have ever heard, because you know that it is, stop trying to deny it.
8. How To Be A Retronaut has a great series up of world leaders when they were young. Just check it out for more like this sweet picture of Berlusconi as an awesome younger person (as opposed to a shitty older person)