Saturday, April 22, 2023

Sex, Lies, and LSD: The CIA’s Untold Story of Operation Midnight Climax

Low-rise jeans, Abu Ghraib, Gilmore Girls, a cultural fixation on eating disorders. A millennial recounts the 2000s — the  Decade of Cruelty 

We won’: Murdoch drops defamation suit against Crikey

Did you ever hear the one about the CIA-employed sex workers who were trained to drug, bed and interrogate unsuspecting American citizens while they were unwittingly tripping on LSD as government agents secretly watched? 
You’d think you’d remember a story like that but Operation Midnight Climax has conveniently evaded the public consciousness for decades. We’re…

Escape rooms

Randomness follows / exploring a collection of old Wired articles via Kottke) / ‘Invisible Houses‘ are never really invisible / houses on film, six classics / Edinburgh recreated in Far Cry / exploring video game worlds with / a brief history of topiary / on the ‘a half-decade of memory-holed music from roughly 2003-2009‘, what are the songs we lost at the heyday of the iPod era? / sort of related, ‘Did the Music Business Just Kill the Vinyl Revival?‘: ‘In other words, a technology that is 70 years old—and in which labels have invested almost zero additional dollars—is priced as if it’s a hot new innovation requiring billions of dollars in startup capital.’ Key takeaway: ‘Half of vinyl buyers don’t own a record player.’ / Pluralistic: Tiktok’s enshittification, or how the platform ‘heats’ the creators of its choice to artificially create demand, just like a rigged fairground game: ‘… Tiktok is handing out giant teddy bears.’ / the art of the escape room at Immersology, which provides ‘structures & theories of immersive theatre’ (via Culture Study) / vintage Pyrex goes viral / why is Toyota late to the EV party? / CarSized is a fun comparison site that shows just how much the automobile has ballooned in size over the decades / a gravity simulator at xkcd / whatever happened to the fourth plinth statues? / the end of Pollock’s Toy Museum? / The Classic is a magazine about photography / The Case of the Devil’s Baby of Ravenswood.

Wired: “…What started as a favor done on a business-trip whim has since become the great project of Hunter’s professional life. In its first few years of existence, 

Bookshop defied even its founder’s expectations and demonstrated how helpful its model could be for small businesses. Now, Hunter has a new plot twist in mind: He wants to show business owners how to scale up without selling out—without needing to kill the competition. The problem for independent bookstores is that many of them don’t have the bandwidth to run their own online stores. Their inventories and shipping capabilities are limited by their non-Amazonian budgets. 

Plus, sometimes they don’t want to participate in ecommerce; the romance of stuffed shelves and reading nooks and thoughtfully selected staff picks are central to their existence. Removing those experiences seems antithetical—even though it might be necessary—to the bottom line. Bookshop offers another option. Say you’re a small bookstore owner. 

It takes only a few minutes to set up a digital storefront on Bookshop’s website, list what books you want to sell, and, if you want, curate collections of titles to reflect your store’s worldview. You don’t have to actually stock any of the books yourself; Bookshop partners with the wholesaler Ingram to fulfill orders, so you’re off the hook for inventory and shipping. 

You get a 30 percent cut of the cover price on any book sold through your storefront. (If you’re a blogger, writer, influencer, or other bookish type, you can join Bookshop as an individual, even if you don’t own a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and take home a 10 percent cut on whatever you sell.)..”

How Survives and Thrives in Amazon’s World Wired