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The Giraffe-Necked Assassin Bug 

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

It should be no surprise that the insect crazy enough to hunt spiders is Australian. The giraffe-necked assassin bug is more than a little nuts.

Election Watch 2016: October 18th Edition

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

We’re just three weeks away from the end of the horror show that is the 2016 American election season, and I for one can’t wait. But before then, it continues to be imperative to convince folks that voting for Donald Trump would be a huge mistake. Today, let’s talk about voter fraud, and voter intimidation.

In recent years, Republicans around the country have passed laws aimed at making it tougher to vote. The reason given for these laws is that we must crack down on voter fraud. The problem with these claims is that voter fraud is so rare as to be non-existent.

Meanwhile, after studying how various groups voted, North Carolina Republicans eliminated voting options favored by those who support opponents. For instance, after learning that voters of color disproportionally make use of early voting, its availability was greatly reduced. On the other hand, elderly voters who lean Republican use absentee voting more than most, and so it was left untouched. This is all simply shameful.

Now, Donald Trump has entered the fray. A spokesman for his campaign was quoted by Time saying they hope for low voter turnout, as it would favor Trump:

“We have no problems going deeper into the mud,” the adviser said. “A low-turnout election is better for us.”

If low turnout is good for you, you should re-think your whole campaign, and possibly your whole life. Democracy is about hearing from as many eligible voters as possible. Anyone who opposes that is headed right down the path toward tyranny.

More recently, Trump has repeatedly whined both broadly and non-specifically about the upcoming election being rigged. Is the election rigged? No! While there are justifiable concerns about things like paperless voting machines and the aforementioned legal changes which have made voting more difficult, America still has one of the most transparent election processes in the world. No one is going to steal the presidency from Donald Trump. He’s simply going to lose it on his own.

Of course, that only happens if all those who oppose Trump make it to the polls on November 8th. We must all refuse to be intimidated by Trump’s fear-mongering attempts at voter intimidation. His racist dog-whistle language must not be enough to swing the election in his favor. Make sure you’re registered to vote, then vote, and help others vote as well.

Register To Vote

Today (October 18th) is the last day to register in Oregon, Kansas, Minnesota, Florida (after multiple extensions, this is really last call), West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Maine. Tomorrow (October 19th) is the last day to register in Wisconsin, and my home state of Massachusetts. Get more information at https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote.

Inside North Korea 

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Photographer Fabian Muir has visited North Korea five separate times, and he’s brought back photos that are much more revealing than usual.

Artist Statement

This is a selection of the many images I collected over my two years in the DPRK. Working within the constraints placed upon visitors there, the series seeks to offer a fair, honest and intimate portrayal of the country and its people.

See Muir’s site for much more.

Motels From the Past 

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

I love atomic age design1, and these photographs of New Jersey motels capture some wonderful examples.


Footnotes:

  1. We recently rebranded over at Rogue Amoeba, and the new logo has some atomic age styling to it that I enjoy. ↩︎

Happy Dying 

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Speaking of Asia being oh-so-very-different from America, a somewhat strange new program is gaining popularity in South Korea: role-playing one’s own funeral.

For years now, South Korea has had the second-highest rate of suicide in the world. Public and private programs have been developed to address the problem, and one getting notice lately is called “Happy Dying.” The program, led by Mr. Kim Ki-ho brings participants together to reflect on their lives by experiencing their own fake funeral. They write their own eulogies, make out mock wills, and pen farewell notes. Then, they dress in traditional burial linens, climb into coffins in a darkened room, and meditate on their lives for 30 minutes.

While the pictures of this are quite interesting to see, I’d love to read more about the whole program.

A Most Mysterious Star 

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Did we just discover proof of alien life? Well, maybe.

Endorse Him for Cartoon Captioning 

Friday, September 25th, 2015

A third universal New Yorker cartoon caption has been found, courtesy of Frank Chimero.

What Kind of God Would Allow a Thing Like This to Happen? 

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Well, this is fantastic. The Atlantic has collected 16 photos of various popes having amusing wardrobe malfunctions.

Pope Gaga
Her Holiness, Pope Gaga

Take Down the Flag 

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates on Dylann Roof’s horrific massacre and the Confederate flag which stands behind it.

Nail Houses 

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Speaking of China, while the country is growing incredibly quickly, not everyone is part of that growth.

Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called “nail houses.” These properties, standing alone amid the ruins of other buildings, belong to owners who have stood their ground and resisted demolition.

The images are bizarre to behold.

Nail House in the middle of a road
A pair of sexagenarians have kept this particular building from being torn down.