Posts by: Joshuah Bearman

a very smart little man in an evening dress suit

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George Murray Levick, in the early twentieth century, on Scott’s expedition to antarctica: “When seen for the first time, the Adélie penguin gives you the impression of a very smart little man in an evening dress suit, so absolutely immaculate is he, with his shimmering white front and black back and shoulders.” But the penguins […]

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R.I.P. Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, natty dresser, accomplished traveler, hater of Daylight Savings Time

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A wildly entertaining obit from the Biloxi Sun Herald: He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words “veranda” and “porte cochere” to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving […]

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The Other Argo

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In 2007 Rumpus pal Joshuah Bearman wrote a Wired article that became the movie Argo. Originally there was a different opening to this article, called The Bond Opening.

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Baghdad Country Club

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The following is an excerpt from “Baghdad Country Club” by Joshuah Bearman. You can find the full story on The Atavist. *** Iraqis have a word, barra, which means “out there,” and for those lucky enough to be inside the Green Zone came to mean the rest of Baghdad, the bedlam beyond the T-walls. As the insurgency […]

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Kobayashi Maru

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Stirring but brief portrait of the 50 Japanese nuclear plant workers crawling in the darkness, exposing themselves to radiation, in desperate attempt to stave of nuclear meltdown.

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Virginal Super Soldiers

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Why aren’t more people talking about Ghaddafi’s elite team of virginal super soldiers? We all knew Ghaddafi was a megalomanaical and evil dictator with a flair for fashion. But who knew he could combine all his interests in one stroke of evil genius with the Amazonian Guard, a team of hand-picked, martial arts-trained, marksman virgins […]

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Naturalists’ Deaths By Unnatural Causes

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Richard Conniff, author of The Species Seekers, found himself, while researching that book, cataloging the strange deaths of many naturalists over the past two centuries. He compiled them on his website. It makes for fascinating reading. Among my favorites:

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Best Shot From the Nine Eyes of Google

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Collections of imagery culled from Google Street View have been around for some time now, but Jon Rafman has the best eye for discerning the funny, surprising, and poignant moments captured by what amounts to the most extensive documentary photography project of all time. Google’s endless mechanized street surveillance is the ultimate photographer: fast, tireless, nearly […]

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USAF and Medusa

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The only problem with naming your new weapons system “Gorgon Stare” as the Air Force has done: Medusa’s lapidogenic vision was actually used against her. In fact, it was classic asymmetrical warfare: the vastly more powerful Gorgon’s Stare against mortal little Perseus and his shield. But the Perseus was smart, his shield was shiny, and Medusa’s strength became […]

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