Posts Tagged: The More You Know

"Burn Hollywood Burn" v. "12 Years A Slave"

Nestled midway on "Fear of a Black Planet," Public Enemy's 1990 platinum album—and one of the greatest musical releases of all time—comes "Burn Hollywood Burn." (Halfway between "911 Is A Joke" and "Fight the Power"! I mean!)

The track is notable not just for rhyming "burn" TERM and "perm" (important correction!) but for the collaboration with Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane—the only guest stars on the album. "Butlers and maids," slaves and hoes" is how Kane describes available Hollywood roles for black people.

Here we are in the future, 24 years later! How did the fellas take last night's best picture win for 12 Years A Slave, in [...]


The Complete Glossary of Hipster Hallmarks

A "hipster" is "a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns (as in jazz or fashion)." Or so says the eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. The extent to which that definition is insufficient and unsatisfactory in the modern era boggles the mind. So, naturally, during the past decade lots of people, publications and websites have attempted to fill in the Williamsburg-sized gaps in our understanding by crafting better, more expansive definitions. These efforts often fall short as well. To be fair, devising a comprehensive yet pithy definition is not easy in this case. (Give it a try. It’s like attempting [...]


The More You Know: Always Be Fighting Panthers

"If attacked by an endangered Florida panther, stand tall and fight back—that's the advice wildlife officials are giving after a series of recent panther attacks on domestic animals in the southeast U.S. state." —Everything about that sentence amuses and excites!


GTA: Vice City, Duke Nukem 3D Certified Totally Rape-Free

"An editorial on Friday about the Supreme Court’s review of a California law barring the sale or rental of violent video games to minors incorrectly described the content of three games. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Postal 2, and Duke Nukem 3D graphically depict many repellent acts. They do not depict rape." What happens when people defend the right of unpleasant speech who have still never walked a mile in Tommy Vercetti's shoes. Still, a counterpoint: "Wait, does getting your money back from a hooker by beating her up count as rape?"


Pet Tigers Totally Legal, Totally Awesome in 44% of America

Great news for all my cat-loving friends! "It is perfectly legal for a private individual to own a tiger-no license required-in nine U.S. states, including Idaho, Ohio, Alabama and North Carolina. (An additional thirteen states require private owners to obtain a permit to keep a wild animal.)"


Using Math to Judge the Stupidity (and Deadliness) of Crowds

How to stay alive when a crowd turns crushy: "Think of a crowd of people like a wave pool, where choppy waters represent crush conditions. When individuals are facing in similar directions to their neighbors, the crowd moves together-much like a single wave moving through the pool. But if people move in different directions they start pushing against each other, and that's when things get choppy. So by detecting when movements in the crowd start to fall out of sync, the researchers can predict the development of dangerous conditions."


The Wikileaks Data: Where to Start

If you're going to spend the day digging in on the just-released 75,000+ reports from the U.S. military provided by Wikileaks, and why shouldn't you, you should start with their mirror site, as their main site has gone down due to massive, crushing fascination. But first! It's time to learn the Afghan base acronym list and figure out who's all fighting whom. Here are a few other ways to dip your toe in: what the data reveals about reconnaissance drones; how they show that "the Pakistani military has acted as both ally and enemy"; and, that old chestnut, where in the world is Osama [...]


Someday A Jury Will Read Your Stupid Emails And You Will Feel Shame

In case you needed yet one more reminder, and you do, as any lawyer can tell you, just don't ever put things in email. Yes, we all hate the phone. Yes, it's truly horrible. But do yourself a favor. Save the juicy business for IRL. And also then when you do have a dishy phone conversation—in this case, with Tony Blair—don't then summarize it in… an email. This PSA comes to you from the unlikely source of one James Murdoch. If you're still somehow following the News of the World hacking trials and tribulations, which have been going on for what seems like several lifetimes, you can stop [...]


What Did Rich People Do This Morning?

Today in New York City, someone just bought this wee Harry Bertoia sculpture for $50,000, well above estimate. And also late this morning at Sotheby's, at the "important 20th century design" auction: a set of used 70s silverware was estimated at $6000 to $8000. It sold for $50,000. But in stranger news, the market for Nakashima furniture seems to be a little off! Lots withdrawn! Low bids accepted! I smell anxiety about the economy on the horizon.


The Real Cost of Drinking and Driving (Besides, Like, Vehicular Manslaughter)

"Natasha Vargas-Cooper had two drinks at dinner. Her ride home cost her more than $5,000."


For the Contemporary Media Glossary: "Story Torture"

Let us add to our modern vocabulary of new concepts (both serious and silly) of "the outrage economy" "the currency of attention" and "metafilm" and "mansplaining" and "metaenabling" and the like yet one more: "story torture": "Story torture is the media strategy of taking a news item and torturing every possible angle out of it. Like real torture, the key is not letting the story die, instead slowly beating it from every last possible angle."


Is Your TV News Broadcast An Infomercial In Sheep's Clothing?

Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey sheds a little bit of light on people who appear on many of this country's local newscasts pitching toys — yes, toys! is nothing sacred? — and who are paid by the companies that produce the products being touted. Unfortunately, the people in the newsrooms that chase these stories don't exactly subscribe to the old journalistic maxim of "If your source says she really really really loves a toy and mysteriously is able to travel around the country with nothing but this particular message in mind, check her income stream out":


Their Eyes Were Watching Porn

Considering that you are on the Internet right now, the odds are that, if you're not in an open-plan office, either your previous or next visit will be to a porn site. And when you do so, you may do it in your browser's "privacy mode," in order to cover your digital footsteps. But maybe you should hold off for a minute on that. A very important new study explains that the authors "show that many popular browser extensions and plugins undermine the security of private browsing." The long and the short of it? If you are on the internet looking at porn, you are not safe. And worse, [...]


Happy "Be Conscientious With Beverages Around Your Laptop" Day

Since time immemorial, human beings have loved to consume beverages-and loved to use computers. So I hereby declare today to be an important annual holiday with regard to laptop and logic board safety. How many laptops have we seen destroyed by a forgotten cup of coffee or a dripping bottle of Vitamin Water? This is especially true for those who foolishly keep iguanas and cats and other pesky critters in their homes. So many. So take time today to move those beverages back! Let's set a two-foot perimeter today. Maybe you can create a special beverage place farther from your typing area? The future-you will thank today-you when you [...]


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

— 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

— Swirl Love (@SwirLove) October 23, 2013



Website Targets Hazy, Perhaps Jittery Demographic

Former Radar editor Maer Roshan—along with his partners, Allison Floam (who built Microdialogue, which does consumer analysis, and also sells SunSak, which is "a round towel that transforms into a tote bag") and Joe Schrank (who runs a for-profit addiction recovery program)—have launched a website called The Fix, which covers the wild world of addiction in general and also has rehab reviews. In other new publication news, there is The Atavist, which (more slowly) publishes tablet and reader long-form nonfiction "singles" (that are not necessarily related to atavism).


How to Email NPR

NPR is afraid to make its people's email addresses accessible to the public. So, here you go! It's almost always in the form of first initial and last name—like—at NPR dot org. Easy!


Yesterday's Run: Like Fleet Week at High Speed but Sweatier

Did you know there were 1100 sweaty West Point cadets running through New York City yesterday? Also the Naval Academy. Just FYI. (Photo by West Point Public Affairs via Flickr.)


In Queens, To Find Locations Best

We recently lamented getting around in Queens, but little did we know, somehow, about this.

In Queens, to find locations best Avenues, roads and drives run west; But ways to north or south 'tis plain Are street or place or even lane. While even numbers you meet Upon the west and south of street.



Ross Douthat Finds Our Chewy Moral Center