Posts Tagged: Things

Tonight, New York City Crowns Its Best New App! But Will It Be the Racist One?

Tonight, Big Bill de Blasio awards the winners in the NYC BigApps competition. That's a project of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. With mentors and judges from many, if not "all" walks of life, this project is one of the few rare ways that New York City might actually help a small business, while also helping to improve the lives of New Yorkers, or even making the city a better place in general. Cash prizes go to the best apps created out of city data.

But Mayor Bill will be treading on dangerous ground. Will the judges set him up for a disaster? Because among some [...]


Band or After-Life: Your Choice

Click to embiggen.

Yes, we are also sick of people stupidly putting things into brackets just because it's March.

Michael Bertin is a writer rarely in New York.


White Man To Play White Man

Jason Segel is going to play David Foster Wallace in some biopic that stems from David Lipsky's road trip biography. (A movie that will be shown on the Sundance channel once in 2016.) Some people are upset! How will we all move on?

Hard to imagine Jason Segel playing someone quite as brilliant as DFW.

— Matthew Gilbert (@MatthewGilbert) December 12, 2013

Jason Segel is playing David Foster Wallace in an upcoming biopic. Seriously? Was Franco not available?

— Charlie Kaufman Bio (@dalexanderchild) December 12, 2013

Look on the bright side: Segel is better than Franco.

— Jason Diamond (@imjasondiamond) December 12, 2013


22 Things I Still Remember About The Bloomberg Era

"Many of the jobs that disappeared in the recent recession have indeed vanished forever," wrote Virginia Postrel in the New York Times. That was February 22, 2004, the same day that "Sex and the City" ended.

Two days earlier, Martha Stewart's best pal, Mariana Pasternak, sold her out in court. Stewart was sentenced to a little prison time. And then, six long years later, Pasternak wrote a tell-all about their two decades of friendship. There was a glut of delighted press upon publication and then we haven't heard from her since.

It was just like that with the Goldman Sachs guy's memoir! I wonder [...]


Is This The Best Music And/Or Magazine Of 2013?

That was the bait, here's the switch! *WHACK* Maura Magazine is off i-devices and into the wild today. CHECK IT.


Matter Dot Com Redirects to the Pinterest Page "Mark Cuban's Companies"

Matter dot com redirects to the Pinterest page "Mark Cuban's Companies." ("These are the companies that I have a business interest in." Sidebar: I do really wish that this page read "These are the companies in which I have a business interest.")


You Are Always Saving The Best For Last

"New research from a team at the University of Michigan shows that simply saying something is the final one makes people enjoy it more."


Change Comes From Within Website

We are flipping the polarity here today, give or take. From now on, we—your faithful Awl servants Alex Balk and Choire Sicha—will be answering to the new editors of The Awl, Matt Buchanan and John Herrman. They will now officially be in charge, and will begin finding their way. They will make the decisions. We will take our demotion to feature writers and guest editors in stride.

Do you want to have a word with them? You can reach us all at notes @

Later today, give or take a day, you know how we are, the masthead will change. Alex's new title will likely [...]


Thing About Thingness

"Curiosities draw the most attention when the story about the story exceeds the story itself. In this case, the question of why American dialects even matter as a topic of public knowledge and citizen debate has been abandoned, for better or worse, in favor of the idea of its existence. That is to say, popularity online now depends on a thing’s thingness, on its ability to distinguish itself as a unique and precious snowflake, rather than by its meaning or its function."


The Five Most Important Things This Week

Veterans Day

Double-dripped from generations above we Hansons were military men until Me With My Many Feelings destroyed the line. You see, Papa was a California dream-machine with brass curls but he flipped his coin for the US Army to save our family. His brother followed in double-time. Grandpa hugged missile silos in Alaska during Korea and there’s rumor someone before him rode rough with Ol’ Theodore. Both my mothers’ fathers were pilots and both died before the Internet—one in Vietnam, the other with cancerous lungs. And it’s knuckle-hard to disagree while beaming respect but that’s the blood they bought for me, to be whiny problematic conflicting dodging and downright [...]


The Excellent Jewish Propagandist

Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.

Arthur Szyk illustrated everything from “Mother Goose” books to Esquire magazine covers, from Coca-Cola ads to one of the world's most beautiful Haggadot—but much of that was just a job. “I am but a Jew praying in art,” Szyk once wrote. He arrived in the United States—having fled Russian-occupied Poland for France, and then London—during World War II, where his ubiquitous caricatures of the [...]


Please Welcome Emma Carmichael, Editor of The Hairpin

Emma Carmichael—recession-era graduate, hip hop enthusiast, most recently managing editor of Deadspin, and previously managing editor of Gawker—will become the editor of The Hairpin beginning next Wednesday. She plans to turn the site into a field hockey fan forum. Lots of gifs of amazing goals. Kidding! No, it's mostly just NASCAR coverage from here on out. And what of trusty Hairpin founder Edith Zimmerman? She will take a little break and then return to continue making The Hairpin the Special People's Club that it is. Questions? Ask them in the comments over there. Just not here. We're trying to keep this a safe space. (Yes, [...]


Until Further Notice: Non-Negotiable Instructions

Wake up when you have to.

Take as much air you need.

Examine trivial details, the bubbled foam on a just-used but not-yet-rinsed toothbrush.

Eat what you eat too often.


Have or dwell on the possibility of sex.

Envy things but realize it is not the things you desire so much as the comfort of envy itself, the notion that you might one day have more.


The Pinterest "Opt Out of Theft" System

Photo-rebroadcasting site Pinterest has rolled out a meta tag that disables people stealin' your photos on Pinterest. It's a good and smart measure for the company, sure. It doesn't mean the vast majority of users aren't copyright infringers, either—but it does protect the company even further than their already totally appropriate DMCA procedures. The vast majority of people will not take advantage of this measure, which makes it seem like they are therefore de facto ceding copyright in exchange for promotion. (Although no action does not equal renouncing one's copyright, of course.) For instance, I can't imagine that we'd ever use it: denying readers the ability [...]


The Tragic Life of Ugly Birds

Outside my third-floor window, in a narrow, leafy lane of Bandra West, a suburb of Mumbai, a crow had got itself stuck in some leftover Christmas decorations that were hanging off a tree. One of its feet was caught in string and the crow was dangling in mid-air. As it became more aware of its situation, it became more frantic, wrapping the string around its foot more securely. I’m not an animal activist and crows are not likable but I could not watch it die a slow, painful, and terrified death.

It was too high up and too far away from my building for me to be able to [...]


I'm Not Going To Coachella This Year

I'm not going to Coachella this year. Since 1999, the music festival has been raging each year in the dusty Empire Polo Club of Indio, California. Each year I mildly look forward to the announcement of the line-up. What bands that I don't really care about will be named the "headliners"? What bands that I mildly like will be in much smaller type, in a strange order, that makes no sense based on either record sales or fan base or any other metric. Ooh, I'll think, finally, a festival where I can see both Mogwai and Girl Talk and Laura Mvula and maybe a flashback performance of the Jon Spencer [...]


How Did Pumpkin Become Beloved? Labor, Nostalgia, Refreshment And White Women

This story begins, like so many before it, with a marathon session of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” Specifically, the show’s 1999 Halloween episode, “Episode LXXXI: The Phantom Menace.” (STTW has a real gift for prophecy.) Sabrina, played by Melissa Joan Hart, is a faux black sheep with a heart of gold; her manager (cum boyfriend cum soon-to-be-war-photographer) is as auspicious as he is handsome—which is a lot—but is also a bit dunderheaded. The setting: a Central Perk knockoff:

JOSH: Y’know, I’m really surprised our special pumpkin flavored coffee hasn’t been more popular.

SABRINA: Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that it’s a hideous shade [...]


What Haters Will Inevitably Do

"There’s always gonna be people on blogs and shit like that who want to spout off whether it’s out of jealousy or what. I mean, there’s a lot to be jealous of." Go ahead and guess, but I suppose it could be so many things that it's not really a fair contest.


From "Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever"

From a new ebook today from The Millions: Mark O’Connell's Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever.


Why I Am Leaving the Muppets

From time to time, we offer our space to individuals with something to say and nowhere to say it. On the occasion of this week's release of the recent film The Muppets on DVD (a "DVD" is what they had before Netflix Instant) and the announcement that a new Muppets movie is expected soon, here is M.B. Cluckerton.

Today is my last day at Disney Muppet Global. After almost 30 years crammed in the back of Fozzie’s car—starting out as a summer intern at Fraggle Rep in Williamstown, then doing yellow-chick understudy work at Muppets Dubai—I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and salmonella-ridden as I [...]