Ten Things You Missed This Week #8

1. I’ve long held a theory that there is no difference between intelligence and communication, which is why I place such a high premium on idea-words good. This piece looks at four ways in which writing has rewired our brains, and though it doesn’t touch on my theory, it does present fascinating ideas on how we now process individualism, objectivity, abstraction and linear thinking. (via Chas Licciardello)

RT @LisaDib1 Dear Dolly Doctor, when I straighten my hair, it smells like bacon. Am I pregnant? Curious, Melbourne

2. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying to find out what will happen next to Astrid Soulblighter. Or learn about the importance of Cumin in Western culture. Or discover the thrilling secrets of the Balthazar Tablet. Thanks to this not-at-all-made-up New York Times Best Seller list, I finally can. (via Richard Watts)

RT @abeforsythe Cant wait to see what Michael Bay does with the new transformers movie.

3. Chris Eigeman is a fantastic actor, and it turns out he’s a pretty great father too. Read what happens when his four-year-old son decides that the great Beatles album Abbey Road is the greatest thing ever. (via Guy Davis)

RT @Renesonse Asked 5yo if she was listening: “I’m always listening but sometimes I imagine you say different words.”

4. I’m not the biggest fan of Super 8. I love elements of it, but I found it thematically confused, particularly towards the end. But did I miss something? This blog has a theory on the meaning of Super 8, and it’s brilliant. A little too brilliant. The blog appears to have been set up solely to promote this theory, and a Twitter account has appeared to promote it. There is no hint of the author, which is strange, because when most people come up with something as inspired as this, they tend to put their name to it. Why would you want to be anonymous? Well, imagine this: you’re JJ Abrams and you’ve taken great care to weave in a lot of clever subtext to your film, only nobody picked up on it and it’s got you really frustrated. How do you get it out there? That’s just about the only time I could imagine someone not wanting to put their name to it. But hey, just my theory.

RT @battsignal “It would take as many human bodies to make up the sun as there are atoms in each of us.” – Martin Rees, Astronomer

5. The first time I ever heard of Watergate was when I was a kid was reading Doonesbury comics (other kids were into Batman and Spider-man; I was immersed in jokes about the Iran-Contra affair). In this particular comic (4 April 1978) TV reporter Roland Hedley is talking to Washington Post writer Rick Redfern. ‘What have you people been up to since you overthrew the Government, anyway?’ Roland asks. ‘Not sure,’ Rick says. ‘Sports, I think.’ It’s forty years since Watergate happened, and Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein have recently written a follow-up piece for the Post. Here, they make the compelling point about people remembering the cover-up over the crime. (via Greg Jericho)

RT @booneleila I bet the Presidential Seal gets to eat all the fish he wants.

6. One of the most remarkable things about the brilliant US sitcom Community is the character of Abed, a half-Persian pop-culture obsessed guy with Asperger’s Syndrome. So what happens when an autistic woman named Julia sees the show and is captivated by a character who ‘moves like me’? (via Martyn Pedler)

RT @badbanana Hey, courtroom artists. If you think the guy sounds guilty, draw an eye patch or scar. This isn’t photography.

7. I’ve always found it interesting the way we refer to ‘The Ukraine’ and ‘The Bahamas’ and ‘The Netherlands’ instead of ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Bahamas’ and ‘That Place Where Holland Is’. Now the BBC looks at which countries actually use the definite article and which don’t. (via Superlinguo)

RT @JoshMalina Fun Fact: Born Dave Smith, Chiwetel Ejiofor struggled to make it as an actor for years before changing his name.

8. Letters of Note is a brilliant, brilliant website, posting the correspondence of key historical figures. In these recently-published letters, Gene Wilder sends some notes to Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, containing suggestions on how Wonka should behave and look. The ideas are both inspired and presented with humility. If you thought you couldn’t love Gene Wilder any more, prepare yourself. (via Daley Pearson)

RT @danguterman Whoever used to own this parrot sure had some elaborate theories about 9/11.

9. The US National Republican Congressional Committee asked the public to sign a petition to repeal ‘Obamacare’, and featured the live-streaming video of a printer as it produced the personalised messages from protestors. But the RCC didn’t count on one thing: Weedlord Bonerhitler. Here’s what happened. And here is a pic of some of the best messages. And here’s a video of the printer before it was shut down. (via Graham Linehan)

RT @FreeRangeCookie Siri, why are those men mad?

10. Did you watch the Mad Men season five finale last week? If not, then don’t worry, I’ll flag spoilery links with an asterisk (*) lest you click on them, but make sure you do get to it soon: it is possibly the finest season of television ever produced. You can tell by the theories and essays that it has inspired. (I personally resisted the urge to write massive essays on its themes and subtext after every episode! Oh, the glorious density!) My favourite is Jim Emerson’s brilliant essay on memories and recurrence*. There’s also a magnificent essay by Owen Gleiberman on how he thinks the series itself will end* when it finally wraps up at the conclusion of its (purported) seventh season (via Louise Hesteline). (That link, by the way, is totally different from the fake ‘last page of the last episode’ written by comedian Jason Woliner that I posted about in Ten Things #4.) Oh, and did you know that you can pre-order Sterling Gold by Roger Sterling, the autobiography he wrote during the fourth season? For real. But the link I really want to send you? An article predicting the events of season five, written by Devin Faraci (formerly of CHUD, currently of Badass Digest), back in 2010 at the conclusion of the show’s fourth season. It’s fascinating in retrospect, not just for how much he got right, but how the things he got wrong are eerily close to what eventually happened. It’s an astonishing piece.

RT @real_kaplan Look. If you “Re-Tweet” me without asking, I will take down your name and you will face possible legal action for copyright infringement.

What are you doing tomorrow? (That’s midday on Saturday, June 16.) Correct! You are going to be attending the Save the Astor rally at the Astor Theatre in Melbourne. I’ll be in Sydney during the event and unable to attend, so I need at least seven hundred of you to act as my proxy. Here are the details, and here’s why you’re going!