Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Links

Cleaning out my Instapaper links...

Interesting Reads:
Trust your memory? Maybe you shouldn't
"One conversation with Elizabeth Loftus may shake your confidence in everything you think you remember. Loftus is a cognitive psychologist and expert on the malleability of human memory. She can, quite literally, change your mind.

Her work is reminiscent of films like "Memento" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," where what you believe happened is probably far from the truth -- whether you're the eyewitness to a crime or just trying to move past a bad relationship." [via]

Masturbation Is at the Root of the Culture Wars
"The 19th century's secularized anxiety about masturbation was rooted in a fearful reaction to women's growing demands for political and economic power. Simply put, doctors and moralists feared that masturbation made men more dependent—and women less so. Kellogg and Graham worried that boys who masturbated would not only lose their physical vitality, but would become more easily influenced and even dominated by women. The boy who could resist pleasuring himself as a teen was learning the strength he'd need not to allow himself to be manipulated and hen-pecked by his future wife. At the same time, Granville, Baker-Brown, and their peers worried that a woman who learned to give herself sexual pleasure might pursue self-sufficiency in other areas. At a time of rising male anxiety about feminist demands for suffrage, female masturbation became an unsettling symbol of women's independence." [via]

Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alight as long as you do good
I already like him more than Pope Palpatine! [via]

For the Homestead:
Use a French Press to Add Flavor to Your Beer
These all sound delicious, but I really can't wait to try the Framboise with cocoa nibs - yum! [via]

The Best Pocket-Sized Tools for Your Inner MacGuyver

How to Build the Essential Toolbox for Every Level of DIY

The Sweethome
"It’s a list of the best home gear, each item chosen mindfully and in accordance with many hours of research and interviews with the world’s most knowledgable experts and testers, all in service of backing up our own testing and opinions. It’s not a blog. We don’t do news and we don’t post multiple times a day—we just want to help you pick out great gear and get on with your life." [via]

Literary Fun:
Four Literary Pub Crawls We Love

How to make a multi-book secret stash

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

NYC 2013, Part One

Last week, Jon and I went to NYC. It was an incredibly packed trip - we had something planned almost every day! This is already a super-long post (really unusual for a blog that rarely gets updated anymore), so I'm dividing it up. Here are the highlights from the first half of the week:

Our first night, we went to a D20 Burlesque show. This one was especially awesome, because it was a tribute to Joss Whedon!
Even the drinks were Whedon-themed! I had a Slayer-Ade and it was delicious.
"Anya" and "Xander" sang and danced (and stripped) to "I'll Never Tell" from the "Once More with Feeling" episode of Buffy.
The best was definitely Astonishing X-Man Cyclops - he even had tasseled pasties over his eyes to mimic optic blasts!

That evening, we saw ASSSSCAT 3000 at the UCB Theater. It was so crowded, we actually sat ON the stage. I didn't take any pictures in the theater, since that was a big no-no (and would've been really noticeable during the improv, considering we were practically sitting in their laps), but one of the shows is available on YouTube:

At the crack of dawn (seriously), we arrived at the Dominique Ansel Bakery to wait in line for our cronuts:
Let me tell you, the whole cronut thing is NUTS. Jon discovered them while he was researching stuff for us to do in the city, and the hullabaloo over them only intensified in the days leading up to our trip. This is an approximation of a conversation I had with my mom the day before we left:

Mom: Are you guys going to get cronuts while you're there?
Me: How do you even know what a cronut is?
Mom: They were talking about them on the news.

Holy cow. You know it's big when my mom has heard about it. So anyway, we got to the bakery a good two hours before the opening and ended up being 10th and 11th in line. One of the men in line in front of us turned out to be a homeless guy who had been paid $40 by a yuppie to wait in line for him. (!) When Dominique opened up the shop, he was really nice and said hi to everyone, but he refused to allow one guy in because he was an honest-to-God CRONUT SCALPER. Seriously, these people buy the cronuts for $5, then turn around and sell them for $20 - $50. EACH.

Long story short(-er), the cronuts were delicious. Maybe not worth standing in line for two hours again, but definitely worth it for the experience. We also went back to the bakery later in the week to try some of the other pastries; I actually preferred the salted-caramel eclair to the cronut.

Our Monday night was spent at my favorite Brooklyn bar, The Way Station. It's Doctor Who-themed! The walls are decorated in steampunk paraphernalia and the bathroom entrance is a TARDIS (because it's bigger on the inside):

The reason we went to the Way Station on this particular night, however, was because of the band playing there: The Doubleclicks! My current favorite song (and not just because they dedicated it to me, the only English major in the crowd) is "Oh, Mr. Darcy," which you can hear here:

We didn't have anything planned for Tuesday, but while I was getting ready in the morning Jon managed to get us tickets to that day's taping of The Daily Show. This involved going to Hell's Kitchen in the afternoon to stand in line to pick up the tickets, then coming back an hour and a half later to wait in line for the actual taping.
The show was great; John Oliver is incredibly funny and the guest was one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan.

Continuing our comedy motif, that night we went to the Sweet Comedy Show. It was kind of a weird show - the comedians were great, but there were some very drunk hecklers in the balcony that really detracted from the show and threw off the vibe of the room. By a strange coincidence, I had read this excellent essay by Patton Oswalt earlier the same day. To read about how hecklers can affect a show and then to actually see them do it was disconcerting. I was glad when they finally left (after being called out by the comedians and yelled at by the rest of us in the audience), but I felt really bad for the comedians who had to put up with them during their sets.

That seems like a really weird place to end this part of the travelogue, so instead I'll leave you with this list of the 10 most satisfying cases of hecklers getting destroyed. Stay tuned for Part Two!