Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

♦ Sutured Infection, a tumblr that appeals to the grisly in me, posted a lovely (non-grisly) image of Alfred Hitchcock in the Thames I’d never seen before (not that I’d seen any images of Hitchcock in the Thames previously):

♦ Some days (all the days?), I really don’t understand people. Amanda Palmer, whose music I’ve enjoyed (and who also happens to be married to Neil Gaiman, which is how I was really exposed to her music), started a Kickstarter campaign for her new album and tour that has been crazy-successful. My first thought when I heard she’d reached half a million dollars in two days? “Good for her!” Some other people’s responses? Rancor. To give you an idea of the vitriole, here’s photographer Kyle Cassidy’s response to people’s complaints about the limited edition book reward (which, by the by, includes more than the book) for Palmer’s Kickstarter project (via). Making art and living while making art takes money. I contribute to a lot of Kickstarter projects because I like supporting artists. If there is a reward I’d like to have but don’t feel I can afford, I do not begrudge the artist for setting the reward that high; I choose instead a reward I can afford and go about my business. Honestly, entitled people, get it together!

♦ Just because I love the house, the dog, and the tree (via):

♦ My friend Zachary Jernigan posted this link on Facebook, and I had to share because it’s really, really cool: The Scale of the Universe by Cary Huang. Here’s the description:

What does the universe look like on small scales? On large scales? Humanity is discovering that the universe is a very different place on every proportion that has been explored. For example, so far as we know, every tiny proton is exactly the same, but every huge galaxy is different. On more familiar scales, a small glass table top to a human is a vast plane of strange smoothness to a dust mite—possibly speckled with cell boulders. Not all scale lengths are well explored—what happens to the smallest mist droplets you sneeze, for example, is a topic of active research—and possibly useful to know to help stop the spread of disease. The above interactive flash animation, a modern version of the classic video Powers of Ten, is a new window to many of the known scales of our universe. By moving the scroll bar across the bottom, you can explore a diversity of sizes, while clicking on different items will bring up descriptive information.

♦ I’m digging this new piece by j*ryu (click the link for more images). Via.

Book Nook.

I was reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog the other day and found a link to an earlier post I missed, wherein she has a quiz about second lines (can you identify a famous book by its second line?). I think I missed three, though my second choice (which sometimes was my first choice and I second-guessed myself) was always right. Take the quiz—it’s fun!

If you want to hear Neil Gaiman read his poem “I Will Write in Words of Fire,” you can!

My friend Eljay Daly turned me on to the Bookshelf blog of Alex Johnson (whose book on bookshelves I bought after looking at the blog). Here’s a sample from the blog:

This flowchart of Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by Brenna Clarke Gray at BookRiot is too, too perfect:

♦ I really enjoyed this article on how Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tried a new approach to school discipline and found that suspensions dropped 85%. Via.

♦ This xkcd cartoon cracked me up. Click here to see the caption. Also, check out “Forgot Algebra,” which also cracked me up (even though I never use algebra either, I agree it’s weird people do that!).

Writers’ Corner.

Rachelle Gardner posted some thoughts for writers’ significant others. Share it with your loved ones!

Chuck Wendig posted 25 realizations writers need to have.

I thought Malinda Lo’s post about writing about kissing was interesting.

My friend Cynthia Kraack had an interesting post about a writer’s worth.

Elizabeth Spann Craig had a number of good posts on this week’s Twitterfic. Here are a few I enjoyed or found useful/informative:

Curious about the difference between first-round edits, line edits, and copyedits?

The writer’s version of the seven deadly sins (and you can buy a t-shirt, too).

What not to do, or what Anna Elliott learned from watching season four of Castle (I stopped watching Castle in real-time a few months ago because I didn’t like how the writers were handling the relationship between Castle and Beckett; now I’m curious to see why Elliott thought the show went off the rails recently.)

The seven bad habits of insanely productive people (I don’t feel insanely productive, but I do have all of these bad habits, to some degree or another).

Writers, don’t be afraid to add drama to your work:

♦ io9 gave me the low-down on an optical illusion that explains the origin of imaginary monsters. Then io9 re-freaked me by telling me about bees that will drink tears from my eyes! But then io9 calmed me down with a great write-up on the French movie La Fée (Fairy). Check out the whimsical, wacky trailer (a second, longer trailer is at the link):

♦ For Beckie:


♦ Two of my most trusted film critics (Cameron Cook and Daniel Dye) gave a big thumbs up to The Avengers, so I’m hoping to see it in the theater. In the meantime, I’ll content myself with this fun Eclectic Method remix of the trailer:


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