Handy Guides

How To Not Barf

The norovirus and various other lesser but still debilitating stomach-oriented bugs are making the spring rounds—"Rhode Island Wedding Results in 74 Norovirus Victims"!—including possibly around the edges of our office. I recently missed four days of work—really my first stretch of sick time in five years. I did, basically, think that I was going to die. There were some dark nights of solemn contemplation of life, and if it was worth living. I also got a great head start on my swimsuit season weight loss, so boo-yah! Also I can eat again now.

And I did it all without barfing. I have only barfed twice in the last 25 [...]


The Dumb Things We Do On Social Media And How To Try To Not Do Them (Good Luck With That)

"There’s no doubt social media can make a number of work tasks infinitely easier. But it can also be a land mine of potential snafus that at best cause professional embarrassment — and, at worst, cost you your job." —My initial reaction was, "Huh, I thought I canceled my subscription to The American Journal of No Fucking Shit," but the more that I think about it the more that I realize these are lessons we need to learn over and over and over and no matter how many times we see them it is never enough, so sure, go ahead and add [...]


Be Less Lonely

"Turn being alone into a positive. Do things you enjoy doing alone, like reading or walking. But make it part of your routine to be around people. Join a club, volunteer. If all else fails, have dinner at the bar in your favorite restaurant. Talk to the bartender." —Here are some tips to help you get over loneliness. It sucks to be sad, but I guess given everything that goes on it is probably inevitable, and as long as sorrow is what they're serving up you may as well take it at a table with somebody who might at least smile at [...]


What To Do If You're Not Alice Munro

"America isn’t yet a fully formed country. We haven’t decided quite what we want to be yet. And until we do, it would be best if you stay away. Only Alice Munro has made the suburban lifestyle even approach Literature-worthiness. But that’s Canada, where everything seems magical. I think that’s because the whole nation is so close to all that ice and when the sun or the stars hit it everything glistens. Everyone else just seems to sneer at boring middle-class people. As well they should. The most interesting thing that can happen in Suburban America is, like, having an affair or losing your baby in a mall. And relax, [...]


11 Impotence Cures Through The Ages

• In Impotence: A Cultural History, Angus McLaren, and leave it to a scholar named Angus, found a 17th century French midwife with a suggestion: "An enchanted husband should drink water from the mouth of a 'young stone horse.'" (To be performed, apparently, while the horse himself is drinking.) My new favorite euphemism for horny and limp is now "enchanted," but better yet: try "due benevolence" for sex. In the same study, "Nicholas Culpeper and midwife Jane Sharp recommended that a man, who due to magic could not give his wife 'due benevolence,' should piss through her wedding ring." That can’t be good for the ring. Culpeper’s Complete Herbal [...]


How To Lie To Kids About Santa

Now, I don’t think I ever actually believed in Santa. The closest I came was a slow-burning conviction that his name was Santa Sauce because he was, in some sense, actually a marinara-ladled meatball given life and laugh and beard. I don’t think that counts, really—certainly a meatball could never hold a sleigh’s reins, or operate a multinational corporation—so I'll claim that I knew from day zero that Santa was, strictly speaking, a kind of lie.

But he's a useful lie. One that parents can deploy to effectively trick children into not behaving like tiny sociopaths who are too short to drive themselves to school. (Imagine attempting to get full [...]


A Timeline Of Future Events

As told by Arthur C. Clarke's 1990 novel The Ghost from the Grand Banks, 2012 is the year that would see the Titanic resurrected from the ocean floor. But the year is now 2012, and the Titanic continues to sit 12,000 feet below the ocean surface, rusting more with every passing year (indeed, it's predicted here that by 2045, only the hull will remain). The likelihood that any of us will live to see a resurrected Titanic outside a James Cameron movie now seems very slim.

While some predictions of science fiction have come [...]


Where You'll Be Forgetting Your Passwords Next

In case you haven't made the transition from freaking out over taxes to freaking out over that massive Internet insecurity thing, here is a list of places you should change your password at.


The Seven Millennial Varieties Of Modern Humanoids

If you’re anything like me—a neon-blooded selfie-taking party slug with an APPetite for Disruption and Media Diets—you’re probably flailing in an ever-spinning maelstrom of opening and closing tabs, like, all the goddamn time. (While also struggling to maintain the appearance of being human!) One oft-encountered problem we NetLords run into as the tabs careen into our fat faces with a squawking, Hitchcockian fury, is whether or not we fall into the wide chasm of the term “millennial.” It’s a classification as broad as fellow alien Metta World Peace’s shoulders—Certified Journalists have calculated the birth year of millennials to fall anywhere between 1980 and 2000. So where on this fabricated, [...]


How To Vote

Yes it is election day at last, when your voice can be heard! Sort of. Kind of muddily. But this is what we have for now.

This is time for our basically annual reminder that New York has a wacky way of voting! And you can make your voice be heard a little more because candidates appear on different party lines on our weirdo ballots. For instance, Democrats will often appear on the Democrat line but also on the Working Parties line, and if you want to tell them that their voter base is to the left of Democrat, you vote on that line. Crazy right? So if you want [...]


Have A Smart Friend Help You Click This Link

Could it really be possible that you are so appallingly ignorant that you require instructions on how to make pasta? Have you really made it this far in your life where a step-by-step explanation which includes advice on the boiling of water is something you would find both helpful and necessary? Is there really a chance that you are so shit-all stupid? Apparently, there is.


You're Sad Because You Suck Because You're You

"Many emotionally sensitive people seem to dislike and even hate themselves. The reasons vary but seem to fall into certain categories: self-blame, negative self-attribution, believing myths, not living values, treating yourself as if you don’t matter and" realizing that, in spite of whatever good intentions you have somehow managed to retain while being buffeted by the basic brutalities of life you will one way or another hurt or disappoint the people who love you the most and then briefly consider the possibility that it's their own fault for choosing to love someone as worthless as you are in the first place before finally accepting the bitter reality that no [...]


How To Cook For Between 10 And 250 People After A Disaster And/Or Over The Holiday

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, volunteers have spontaneously organized to help the many, many people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the storm. Many displaced or electricity-lacking NYC residents are still in need of hot meals. Occupy Sandy has been coordinating deliveries and making some food at their hubs in Brooklyn, but a lot of the food they're distributing is coming from various kitchens in churches and schools and even homes, and some of those volunteers are also finding ways to deliver the food themselves. (Here's what's happening and where to help for Thanksgiving.)

This outpouring of community support gives me a schizoid blend of alternately [...]


How to Watch "Battlestar Galactica"

Recently I've been rewatching "Battlestar Galactica." On a rewatch, I feel like it's a very long haul. And I've now seen a lot of people cruise through the first couple seasons then get bogged down in, say, season three. It's quite a bit of TV! For a non-fanboy or non-fangirl, it can get tedious. Reordering the Star Wars movies made so much sense; the so-called "machete order" for Star Wars (IV, V, II, III, VI, skipping "Episode One"!) is a work of genius. So I began to wonder, not so much about order, but: how can we chop down "Battlestar"? The answer: pretty easily. (DON'T KILL ME, FANS!)

But [...]


Distract Your Brain Back To Sleep

"Waking in the early hours… is something everyone does, but most people go instantly back to sleep. With insomniacs it is a chance for the brain—'a 24-hour thinking machine that sees wakefulness as Christmas'—to start racing; and the more you struggle against it, the worse it gets. The answer is not to seek refuge in blacked-out rooms or alcohol (one of his patients used to line up six shot glasses of vodka beside her bed), but to persuade the brain to take a break. One exercise he suggested was to focus on a single sense by asking yourself, say, 'What can I smell?'; if a thought tries to interrupt, banish [...]


Gaming Out Your Holiday Drinking Regimen

This should help you plan out your Thanksgiving coping mechanism.


A #WhiteBoyWednesday FAQ

#WhiteBoyWednesday—a thing that happens on Twitter!—brings many questions. How can you best enjoy white boys on Wednesday? We investigated.

Can you pander and post selfies?

@Swirlovin #WhiteBoyWednesday #TeamBlackGirls pic.twitter.com/P5sfgPrDPB

— Richie The C. (@JukeNuke_em) October 23, 2013


Actually… probably yes.

I always check out the white guys that hash tag #TeamBlackGirls on #WhiteBoyWednesday to see if they are attractive .

— LEGNA (@teamANGEL_) October 23, 2013

Should you troll black men on #WhiteBoyWednesday?

It's Wednesday so it's only right!! #WBW #WhiteBoyWednesday #InterracialLove #SwirlLovin pic.twitter.com/39QOan0S7O

— Swirl Love (@SwirLove) October 23, 2013



How Is The Artist To Survive In Society? Ask A Muppet

Perhaps you remember the very excellent "Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death," published here back in summer of 2011. That has led to a very exciting new Kindle Serial: Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career. And here is a big excerpt over on Longreads today.


The Neurotic's Guide To Skiing

So you are a neurotic person who wants to learn how to ski. Not "neurotic" in the infuriatingly loose sense in which normal, highly functioning people use it ("Okay, like, I hate to be noo-rot-tick, but I really think we should leave this party to get to the other party because my friends are at the other party and might leave it soon."), but actually neurotic, sometimes cripplingly so: Your brain doesn't work like other people's brains. Your thoughts are often sputtering satellites orbiting singularities of infinite worry. Sometimes when you get a call and see that it's your mom you're sure that when you pick up she'll be crying [...]


Reviews of White Noise Recordings

Due to the ever-increasing loudening of the universe, white noise is now a multi-billion-dollar-grossing industry. I just made that fact up! It's probably not true in the slightest! But there are a TON of albums, apps, websites and purveyors, all devoted to white noise. That is because some of us cannot sleep without it, due to exterior noise and/or snoring, or because of our fear of silence and/or death, or also because we are tired of babies crying.

The best way—with a few exceptions!—to use white noise at night is with an iPhone or iPod docked in some kind of speaker-thing. Or from your computer to speakers! (As long as [...]