Friday, June 25, 2021


This MEdia Dragon like Quiz Will Reveal 5 Words That Sum Up Your Personality

Not to freak you out, but we know ~exactly~ who you are.

Jason Kottke: Bold & Colorful Minimalistic Portraits

SHOCKING NEWS:  No matter how many vitamins we take, we will eventually grow old and die.

This looks like a post-apocalyptic scene from a Cinderella nightmare, but these faux chateaux are real!

Unexpected Minor Planet to Visit the Inner Solar System Soon

Well, this is cool: a recently discovered minor planet estimated to be between 62 and 230 miles across is currently journeying through our solar system and sometime in 2031 will be almost as close to the Sun as Saturn.

And it turns out, astronomers are about to witness the closest pass of this incredible round trip. Currently, 2014 UN271 is about 22 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun (for reference, Earth is 1 AU from the Sun). That means it’s already closer than Neptune, at 29.7 AU. And it’s not stopping there — it’s already traveled 7 AU in the last seven years, and at its closest in 2031, it’s expected to pass within 10.9 AU of the Sun, almost reaching the orbit of Saturn.

Before then, it’s expected to develop the characteristic coma and tail of a comet, as icy material on its surface vaporizes from the heat of the Sun. This close pass would give astronomers an unprecedented close look at Oort cloud objects.

C’mon NASA, let’s a get a probe fired up and visit this very unusual object!


The film was not a success when it was released in 1968, but its narrative ideology and influence would be lasting. The 90-minute story, a mix of Narcissus and Odysseus set to a backdrop of class anxiety and cultural decline, is basically the same one that would take place over seven seasons of Mad Men; if you knew your Cheever, it was easy to imagine Ned sharing the commuter train into Manhattan with Don Draper. When the AMC series began, it even had Don and his family living in Ossining, NY, the same bedroom community Cheever called home when he died.

I was born the same week Cheever’s original story was published in the New Yorker, seven months after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a Catholic whose family had excelled in their imitation of high WASP style. Ten years or so later, a teacher at my Catholic grade school would screen a very expurgated 16mm print of the film to us during English class. I remember finding it baffling, even scary; if this was what being an adult involved, I was in no hurry to grow up.

The world of The Swimmer was recognizable to me years later, when Ang Lee made a movie out of Rick Moody’s 1994 novel The Ice Storm, set in a Connecticut commuter suburb less than a decade after The Swimmer. It told a similar story from a very Generation X perspective – the unsupervised kids growing up with Watergate and stagflation, their parents active soldiers on the front lines of the sexual revolution, hooking up and coming apart.

When we talk about the youthquake that unsettled and remade Hollywood in the late ’60s, Dennis Hopper’s Easy Ridergets cited inevitably. But in hindsight it’s difficult to see that the story of Wyatt and Billy crossing America on their motorcycles was more influential than a flop like The Swimmer, made by a movie star, a post-studio mogul and a pair of middle class bohemians that helped fix the image and pass judgment on a whole social class that, just a decade earlier, was certain that it had taken the commanding heights of society.

As James Lileks recently wrote on advertising in the 1950s and ’60s, “Turns out that living in near-Utopia has the worst possible effect: you decide to strive for a different Utopia altogether. Come to think of it, though, the roots of it all are in the ads. They’re testaments to happiness, a goal, a mode of living. But it’s not happiness you get because you’ve earned it. It’s happiness that you deserve as an American. That’s where things started to go sideways. It’s a short hop to thinking you deserve it all because you exist.”