Hitting That Tablet Sweet Spot: The Atavist

The idea is a such a simple one that it’s no wonder that everyone who has tried it before has made a hash of it: create a ideal format for mid-length storytelling that recalls the better long form magazine journalism while making use of the possibilities of the multimedia age. Much like it took over a decade for people who actually TALK on their cellphones in public to be treated like the social lepers that they are, with the tablet and mid-length writing (more than an article, less than a book) the technology has preceded its appropriate patterns of usage. Enter The Atavist. 15,000 words, give or take. $2 a pop. The writer gets paid a flat fee plus a percentage (likely less than Apple’s 30% cut… ouch!) Stories launch simultaneously for the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook, and soon, Android tablets (“We are working very hard on it, we promise…” […]


In another sign of the total destruction of the nerd closet, the word’s out that there’s a new series of Red Dwarf in the pipeline for 2012.  I have nearly fond memories of how my local PBS affiliate would end the night’s programming with an episode or two, long after the totebag-buyers had gone to bed.  I was typically stumbling in from some kind of chemical simulation of putting one’s brain in a rock tumbler (extreme Northeast winter temperatures + the finest high gravity malt liquors + early Rammstein) and trying to piece together what was happening with the cat-man in the smoking jacket and the chubby dreaded British guy from the last five minutes of the show as a good way of bringing my brainwaves back to safe levels of bafflement. While I always assumed it was a laugh track, apparently these were shot before a live studio audience. […]

Our Oceans, Ourselves

While I’m sure Africa is a little tired of being everyone else’s metaphor for the Grim Meathook Future, it’s a big place so there’s plenty of little vignettes like this to go around.  Just multiply by a few million or so, transpose to the oceans, and you’ve got your future where your grandchildren ask you what a tuna looked like and all you can think of is a little flat can. For all my brethren bailing water on the Titanic, here’s some lists of scaly beasts that it’s more OK to make into sushi: Seafood Watch. video via Pie Heaven and the BBC

The Palestine Papers

I know, it’s not exactly a slow news day.  Jack LeLanne died after all.  You’d think, though, that they could fit in word of the leak of 1,600 documents relating to Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations somewhere in between the State of the Union address (Haven’t read the transcript yet but I imagine that he used to words ‘America’ ‘prosper’ and ‘create jobs’ a few times somewhere in there. Just guessing.) and Egypt starting to rip at the seams (Though many news minutes might be needed to explain to viewers that despite having pyramids and mummies, Egypt is realer than both Narnia and Middle Earth). Take a look.  Al Jazeera’s West Bank office has already been smashed up a bit by protesters angry at the black eye this is giving the P.A.  Of course, some of those protesters just might have been policemen working overtime. While I’ve only taken the quickest of […]

First UFO related Wikileaks?

Skip the introduction and go straight to Afterposten’s alleged cable leak In a December 3 article of The Guardian, Julian Assange answered readers questions. To one question on UFOs he answered: Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant. However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules. 1) that the documents not be self-authored; 2) that they be original. However, it is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs. So realistically speaking some cables may mention UFOs, but its unlikely any claim direct contact with extraterrestrials, disclosure, or anything beyond UFOs simply being Unidentified Flying Objects. There some interesting gems in the Wikileaks cables such as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi parties hard like Andrew WK, Saudi King […]