What do Amish Friendship Bread, poetry and chain letters have in common?
Sadie Stein opened her inbox the other day to find an email about a poetry chain, she writes at the Paris Review. Although participating in the chain left her “feeling a bit like someone’s aunt,” the email project was ultimately inspiring, and reminded Stein of the last chain she’d taken part in—the act of baking and passing along to neighbors strange bread made from instant vanilla pudding....more
Highlights include a meta horror story by Benjamin Percy, Star Wars in tweets by Ian Doescher, a sinful beach house weekend told in real time by Julia Fierro, the hidden erotic inner life of Downton Abbey’s Mr....more
For those of us who have our hearts set on becoming professors, a Ph.D. is a necessary step toward landing a coveted tenure-track position. But if we aren’t planning to spend our lives at the blackboard, is a doctoral degree worth its hefty price tag?...more
Woods writes that alt weeklies are “connected to a city in the way that a website can never be” and that they “report on the cultural life of a city in a way that neither big daily papers nor websites can.”
But as costs rise and many independent papers are folded into corporate conglomerates (indeed, the City Paper was just purchased by the Baltimore Sun Media Group), is the era of alternative print journalism nearing its end?...more
The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Ian Bassingthwaighte. Here’s an excerpt:
I spend all night thinking about bopping Karen ASAP like that would prove she’s right for me. Then immediately before sunup I sneak out of my cabin with the secret mission of finding hers.
Luigi Prina’s airships are pretty delightful.
Hey scientists, you probably shouldn’t pollute Antarctica so badly.
I guess we’re talking about kakapos now!
I have a moral obligation to post about any and all developments in aquanaut suits....more
In the New York Times novelist Charles Yu, author of the hilarious, tragic, brain-melting How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, recounts his experience falling in love with technology.
A private channel had opened up, a vast network of channels, connecting the inside of my head with the insides of other heads.
Guys, please don’t litter on Everest. (Is this really a thing we have to say now?)
Remember that time the Vatican put the pope’s corpse on trial?
Perhaps you’d like to look at a 19th century illustrated almanac of fashion....more
You might have noticed the recent trend of character personality quizzes filling up your social media newsfeeds. These quizzes promise to let you know which character you are most like, making it seem as if we read and watch television to find traces of ourselves fleshed out in fictional form....more
Gila Lyons has a strikingly vulnerable essay at The Millions about her decision to start taking anti-anxiety medication. Typically, artists who suffer from mental health issues opt to ride against the current and let their creativity take precedent. Yet, Lyons took the road less traveled and chose mental stability over waxing genius....more
My friend Jonathan loaned his copy of Argo to George H. W. Bush, who loved it....more
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 are oversexed monsters, apparently, to such a degree that Levick didn’t include his observations about the species. From Slate:
While visiting Adélie penguins rookeries, Levick was shocked by the activities of what he called “hooligan cocks.” Males accosted and copulated with other males, females that were injured, chicks that had tumbled from their nests, and corpses.
The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from N. Michelle AuBuchon. Here’s an excerpt:
The more you take away, the more the world opens up. This is a poetic way of saying that Lakshmi was living vicariously through the amputation and relocation of her body parts.