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Actor in clown costume (1869). Credit: Weir Collection.

I’ll take a chicken nugget any day over a chicken tender. If the tender is more pure product, more Jonathan Waxman, the nugget is more food science, more Wylie Dufresne, more manipulation—a polite way of saying more processed. It is cooking as transformation.

Eater ranks America's chicken nuggets. Wendy's wins, White Castle loses, and McDonald’s nuggets are compared to golden labs.
↩︎ Eater

Sometimes books actually work quite well as websites: Matt Warshaw's coffetable titan The History of Surfing is now available online. Similar to the terrific Encyclopedia of Surfing website, but more narrative in laying out the sport's chronology.

Photograph: Tom Blake.

Lovely photographs by Daniel Ranalli that show how snails travel when left on their own. At Laurence Miller Gallery in Los Angeles this weekend.

The series is based on the drawings made by snails on the wet sand in the inter-tidal zone. They are part of an ongoing series of works involving collaboration between the snails and me. I choreograph the snails’ starting positions, and then photograph the marks they make over time.

(h/t Colossal)

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It seems it’s been forgotten that even in the realm of information technology, many of the same technical challenges, partial solutions, and problem areas have been around since the beginning of the discipline.

Some info about the "neophilic" tendency to forget that concerns about privacy have dominated computer circles for decades.
↩︎ Freedom to Tinker
Carved into a cliff outside Cape Town, a rare depiction of how it looks to see your colonizers arriving.

Good to know: Japan's Sanitary Equipment Industry Association agreed yesterday to standardize the iconography used on control panels for toilets.

The decision was made to ensure that “anyone can use the toilet environment with confidence,” especially the “rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists visiting Japan.”

Half a dozen compelling things to read during a Wednesday break

Can't say we loved reading all of these, but they certainly were all interesting.

"The Science of Swearing," Timothy Jay and Kristin Janschewitz, Association for Psychological Science

Our data show that swearing emerges by age two and becomes adult-like by ages 11 or 12. By the time children enter school, they have a working vocabulary of 30-40 offensive words.

"To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation," Jeanne Marie Laskas, New York Times

President Obama was the first to come up with a deliberate and explicit practice of 10 letters every day. If the president was home at the White House (he did not tend to mail when he traveled), he would be reading constituent mail, and everyone knew it, and systems were put in place to make sure it happened. The mail had currency. Some staff members called it “the letter underground.”

"Why Elites Always Rule," Hugo Drochon, NewStatesman

“There is always the domination of the minority over the majority. History is just the story of one elite replacing another.”

"Lessons From Playing Golf With Trump," David Owen, New Yorker

A friend asked me later whether Trump wasn’t “in on the joke” of his public persona, and I said that, as far as I could tell, the Trump we were used to seeing on television was the honest-to-god authentic Trump: a ten-year-old boy who, for unknown reasons, had been given a real airplane and a billion dollars.

"Michael Joyce's Second Act," Sam Riches, Racquet

In 1996, David Foster Wallace profiled tennis player Michael Joyce in one of the most celebrated pieces of sports writing ever published. Who has he become since?

"'Daddy, Can You Tell Me More About the Superheroes?'," Evan Narcisse, io9

I’d been waiting years for my daughter to show an organic interest in superheroes, video games, and the other stuff I write about as a professional nerd. It’s happening, at long last... but it’s taking us to some unexpectedly poignant places.


Instagram account messes with algorithm and body policing by posting close-ups of nipples.

The frame cuts out everything but the nipple, so the algorithm has no idea if it's looking at a man's nipple (OK) or a woman's nipple (not OK). The campaign says it aims to erode the double standard held by society and codified by Instagram toward female nudity.


At the American Federation of Teachers, there were always Republicans we’d endorse. And it got to the point where … the Republicans would say, “Please don’t endorse me because it will hurt me with the DeVoses.” They’d send back money because the DeVoses would punish them.

How Trump's education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos came to control Michigan's education system, the legislature, and more.
↩︎ Politico
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