A Cartoonist in Jail 

Friday, January 9th, 2015

When cartoonist Elana Pritchard wound up in jail, she documented it as best she could.

Life Imitates Snowpiercer 

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

In the wilds of Michigan, a family driving a minivan was involved in a car accident. While that’s bad enough, the biggest problem was actually that the other party didn’t know anything had happened. After the minivan ran into the back of his tractor trailer, the unaware driver dragged the family for sixteen miles before police intercepted the unfortunately coupled vehicles.

This is horrifying, of course, but since everyone survived with only minor injuries, it’s also hilarious. The sheer length of the incident is what really gets me. After a few seconds of terrified screaming, you’d have to stop. Your lungs would eventually give up. 15 or 30 seconds in, you’d have to begin to come to terms with the situation. Eventually, around mile 10, you may start to question your so-called “memories” of the beforetime. Perhaps you merely dreamed of an existence in which you weren’t being carried through the blinding snow by a speeding big rig. Who’s to say?

A Teenager’s View on Social Media Written by an Actual Teen 

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Real life teenager-for-at-most-the-next-364-days Andrew Watts has written an excellent piece on how he and his peers use the major social networks currently in existence. It’s very interesting to see how the different networks are viewed by one of their most coveted demographics.

Going Out on Top 

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Imagine if after winning the Super Bowl in February, the Seattle Seahawks had folded entirely by July. That’s what just happened to the Boston Militia, formerly the best women’s tackle football team on the planet. After seven years, three national championships, and just six total losses, the team has suddenly been shuttered, and that really is a shame.

Boston Militia in Action
A Boston Militia Game in April, 2014
[Photo courtesy P. Kafasis]

You’ll be missed, Militia.

Some Florida Courthouses Take Their Ball and Go Home 

Monday, January 5th, 2015

In a rather cowardly effort to avoid performing same-sex marriages, several counties in Florida have decided to cease performing marriage ceremonies at all.

Small Favors 

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

If you’re an American who doesn’t live in New Jersey or Oregon, you have the option of pumping your own gas. And if you live somewhere where it gets cold, or even if you just want to clean your windshield while you fuel up, you know how nice it is to have a hold-open clip. The ability to keep gas flowing without needing to hold the pump yourself is a small nicety in life. Yesterday, life in Massachusetts got a little better, when hold-open clips were finally legalized here.

Massachusetts is the only state in America where hold-open clips are banned, though a handful of cities and towns across the country have also put the kibosh on them. They’ve been outlawed here since self-serve gas pumps were given the go-ahead back in the 1970s. But Coan says that advances in pump technology, and decades of data from the 49 other states where hold open clips are allowed, have convinced the folks at the Fire Safety Department that it’s time to lift the ban.

Yes, the Bay State needed decades of data to determine that hold-open clips weren’t horrible death traps. At this rate, maybe we’ll get happy hour back in a few hundred years.

Not-So-Regrettable Errors 

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Start the new year off right, with these 2014 regrets from “The Stranger”. Enjoy gems like this:

In reference to the Village Theatre’s recent production of Mary Poppins, Krishanu Ray, calendar editor of The Stranger, described Mary Poppins as the “flying nanny we all love to hate,” when in fact he should have described her as the “fascist magician we all love to hate.” We regret the error.

Anything but That 

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The recent Sony hack has been devastating for the company, but a Sony spokesperson has detailed how the company coped. What must surely have been the worst part of the hack for employees is that they were forced to return to their old Blackberrys to send and receive emails.

I’d Rather See 3500 White Elephants 

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The result of a multi-billion dollar Army project is finally going to take flight outside Baltimore. Specifically, folks driving along the interstate will be able to see a massive blimp, three times the size of a Goodyear blimp, hovering in the sky.

Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty 

Monday, December 29th, 2014

I had a pretty goddamned shitty 2014. So when Facebook offered a “Year in Review”, I was entirely uninterested. Eric Meyer, who lost his daughter this year, fared even worse. Facebook automatically showed him a picture of his deceased daughter, and told him “Here’s what 2014 looked like for you”. It was both correct, and incredibly cruel. We wouldn’t accept this behavior from a human, and we shouldn’t accept it from a machine programmed by a human either.

As Jeffrey Zeldman noted, unexamined privilege is a part of the problem. This feature was made by “a group to whom nothing terrible has happened yet”.