Posts Tagged: The End
45

Polly Asks: New York Magazine Wants Me to Write Ask Polly For Them. Should I Tell Them to Piss Off?

Dear Readers,

I need to tell you a story. That means this will be just like every other Ask Polly column, except this story is a little longer than usual, and at first, when you read it, you'll ask, "Where's the tepid dude of the week?" Just bear with me.

In September of 2012, after reading and admiring The Awl for years, and writing a few short humor pieces for them, I sent Choire Sicha an email. 

Subject: Existential advice column That's what I should be writing for The Awl.

Come on, pay me a tiny bit and it's yours! Just enough $ so my husband doesn't roll his eyes [...]

2

Last-Minute Chances For World To End On 12/21/12

  • "The first major snowstorm of the season began its slow eastward march across the Midwest early Thursday, leaving at least three people dead, creating treacherous driving conditions and threatening to disrupt some of the nation's busiest airports ahead of the holiday weekend."
  • "Tornado warnings remained in effect in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama early Thursday."
  • "Schools across the country, already on edge following last week's massacre of 20 students and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school have been further unnerved following a series of copycat threats, sometimes yielding arrests and caches of deadly weapons."
  • "The number of Americans filing first-time claims for [...]
2

Partial Credit

I listen to a lot of AM radio, which is “Amplitude Modulation,” and I don’t know what that means, but not so much in the morning, if you know what I mean, as far as listening. One of the best things about AM radio, besides how it blinks out when you go under a bridge if you are in your car and the static and how other radio stuff bleeds in and out of whatever channel you are on and how it sounds like it’s coming from The Past, is guys like Harold Camping, who has a show on a network called “Family Radio,” which is pretty much [...]

13

Imminent Rise of the Robot Helicopter Machines!

"With all due respect to truckers, cargo pilots and other professional haulers, transporting goods across vast distances is looking more and more like a waste of our species' time, opposable thumbs and easily bored brains." Popular Mechanics says unmanned aerial vehicles like the Snowgoose Bravo, made by the Canadian company Mmist, should be deployed right away to carry our stuff for us. (You know the guys in Mmist's AV department were pissed when they couldn't get the rights to "Lunatic Fringe" for that video, right?) But, really, wouldn't we just use our opposable thumbs and easily bored brains to tie the robot helicopters to our penises? Also [...]

0

Who Killed Kim's Video?

The Slits' cover of "Heard It Through The Grapevine" (a B-side, obviously) played over the speakers at Kim's Video & Music on 1st Avenue as a half-dozen early-afternoon browsers flipped through the vinyl. The ceiling, bifurcated into orange and purple halves shot through with yellow, hangs low, compressing the sound into a thick haze. "We don't really carry a lot of metal?" Julianne, one of the two college-aged clerks, told a patron who asked if Kim’s carried the band Death’s earlier stuff. "That's the only Death we have," gesturing toward the new release sections. Julianne, who is graduating from NYU in a few weeks, has been working [...]

9

Florida Will Kill Us All

Florida is going to stop killing itself person-by-person and will begin to eventually kill us all. While Rick Scott's government kept a horrifying TB outbreak secret (while ordering the closure of the hospital that treated such!), let us not forget dengue fever outbreaks in the Keys and all that scary other stuff. Basically we need to wall off the subtropical portion of the United States before it's too late, before crocodiles with hoof-and-mouth Legionnaires bird flu storm our gates.

6

"RoboEarth": An Internet for Robots :(

"Robots to get their own internet." —Enough said, right? Yes, I know, you're saying out loud: "How could this go wrong? The best part is that the RoboEarth website has a section called "collaborators," which, they certainly are. RoboVichy!

13

No Human Labor Now Worth More Than Five Dollars

Once, there was Mechanical Turk, where people in the third world would do data entry for you. And also Google Answers, wherein people would do your homework. But you know what's going well these days? The Internet will allow you to hire anyone in the world to do simple tasks for $5, thanks to Fiverr, one of the only web startups that has a chance of becoming profitable. And boy is it ever useful! "I will tell you what name or animal you look like for $5." And! "I will send you a postcard + 10 grams of our purest sand from Mauritius Island for $5." More [...]

6

Which Museum Did Your Evil Child Try To Destroy This Weekend?

Holy crap. Horrible kids, horrible parents. @tate pic.twitter.com/6h1nuY6CfQ

— Stephanie Theodore (@TheodoreArt) January 26, 2014

@TheodoreArt @hragv @Juddfoundation Maybe "You break it you buy it" — for $10mm — would have gotten her attention.

— Roberta Smith (@robertasmithnyt) January 26, 2014

And what did you do with your kids this weekend? Did you let them use an eight-figure Donald Judd as a jungle gym at the Tate?

38

Generation 'FNL'

I was born in Houston, Texas. By the time I was three years old, I was living in New Jersey for the long haul. My family has no true roots in Texas, so leaving it was not a major upheaval. My father always said that Texas was the best place he ever lived. Maybe it was the best place I never really lived. This weekend, the story of the best place that none of us have ever lived—Dillon, Texas—comes to a close. After five seasons, "Friday Night Lights" finishes up, sending those ochre-tinged Texan spaces that have come to feel like home into cold blue digital storage.

"Friday Night Lights" [...]

9

Passing the Turing Test: Killing Machines Now Indistinguishable From Humans

Poor Alan Turing proposed a test by which you'd know whether The Machines are thinking: converse with someone you can't see and who might be a human or might be a machine, and you'll always know which. Test after test, we always know; machines are inferior conversationalists. But recently from the IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-an extremely large, ruthlessly intelligent, highly organized professional association-comes troubling news. Change the test from conversing to killing, and all hell breaks loose: machines are indistinguishable from humans.

35

Horrifying Demonic Giant Asian Carp Are Finally Here To Destroy Us

There is a creature alive today who has survived millions of years of evolution, without change, without passion and without logic. It lives to kill. A mindless eating machine. It will attack and devour anything. It is as if god created the devil and gave him… carp. I mean, I don't know if this is more like Jaws or Piranha or Deep Blue Sea. But it is pretty damn scary. CBS news reports that giant Asian carp-much like Benson, who was from England, but less heartwarming and dearly departed, and more giant and voracious and terrifying and, apparently, unstoppable-are on the verge of invading Lake [...]