Beer Stars

Hello internet friends,

I woke up this morning and instead of “Wah, end of the world!” my whole twitter feed was “Wah, Oscars!” – so I checked what happened and eh, this happened.[1]
Honestly, why do I even mention it? It’s been on every single news channel today. Just like I don’t quite see how it helps when I mention the TRAPPIST–1 planets. You all know it. It’s pretty exciting, but… eh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Maps! Apparently I was not the only child who was super happy when a book included a map and a whole bunch of additional material and addenda. My personal favorite has always been the pretty sparse map of Inner Mongolia from Fritz Mühlenweg’s Großer-Tiger und Christian.

FRUiTS is closing down and of course the reason is that Japanese street style is dead now. DEAD I tell you. Or maybe it just moved to some other place where it isn’t being turned into a commodity for a fashion magazine?

Fun fact! Self-driving cars are not humans. At least they don’t act human in any given traffic situation. While this is not entirely unexpected it is also something that will need to be addressed on mixed-used roads.


  1. If you’re the one person who did not read about that this morning and don’t want to click through: they actually read the wrong title for best movie, mostly because some accountant at PWC screwed up.  ↩

The Green Issue

Hello internet friends,

another Monday, this one with me cranky and slightly feverish in bed. So… let’s see how that will work for us.

Smart cities! They’ll probably work about as good as smart homes, which probably means – not all that good. Because what we should not forget – a city is not a computer. (Well, unless we get rid of all these pesky humans and just replace them with little robots.)

One thing that will always be a ~bug~ in a city will be the creative ways some of us humans are just a tiny little bit smarter than the systems around us. Take for example these models who use their ~being models~ skills to distribute weed in New York.

But sometimes we make little mistakes, no matter how smart we are. Just look at these friendly fellas, who accidentally bought a giant pig.

Now, shall we play “internet entrepreneurs being internet entrepreneurs” first or maybe a bit of science first?
Well, let’s do science! Turns out it is possible to measure the historical state of Earth’s magnetic field by looking at old clay jars. That’s pretty amazing.

So, internet entrepreneurs! Partying, throwing bread around – awesome! (I still like the clay pots more. Or maybe the models who sell pot? I can’t decide.)


Garnguur Shrugged

Hello internet friends,

I hope you’re all doing reasonably well in these troubled times. And if you don’t, maybe it cheers you up to watch Jason Statham punch people for over four minutes? Or seven minutes of him kicking things and people?
(Or maybe it’s your thing to watch him dance oiled-up in tiny leopard print underwear?)

Now that we’re firmly on the topic of dancing and maybe fired from the more conservative work places, let’s talk Batman and his dancing. Or lack of dancing. Erik Adams over at the AV Club is pondering the light side of the dark knight.

We did talk about the way I was taught history before – very centered on Europe (the only continent named after a case of bestiality) – so if someone had asked me where I thought the oldest stories about geographic events happened, I’d have probably pointed to Greece or Egypt and shrugged. Turns out the Australians have stories about things that happened 20,000 years ago.

Imagine being a little girl and some Hindu priest decides that you’re a living goddess. That might happen in Nepal, in fact it does pretty regularly. Now imagine being a young teenage girl and retiring from that job. As one might imagine it’s not that easy.



Hello internet friends,

for years I thought the most dangerous thing that could drop on my head could be some bird poo. Or maybe a random asteroid that will end all but the most resilient life, but I don’t think we’ll be that lucky in our lifetime.
Turns out crocodiles climb trees, too. (See, the turns out is even in their headline!) I haven’t heard any actual facts in the way of crocodiles living here in the middle of Europe, but you never know.

The rise of ~YouTube stars~ was the first thing that ever made me feel old. But I think I’ve finally come around, because whatever it is this young woman is doing is very much my kind of humor.
Meanwhile in the department of “things are different in China” – live-streaming seems to be really big there. But eh, probably they’re not that different. There’s the whole Twitch thing and… eh… whatever else is doing the live-streaming these days. How would I know? In internet years I’m old. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Here, a public service from Irregularity HQ: I have learned that some of my readers don’t quite know what these things are, what the difference is and that they have it – so I managed to find an article that explains them pretty nicely: How to Tell Whether You’ve Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz

I forgot all three of those for a short time while reading this wonderful article on Soylent. The pull quotes alone are worth clicking that link, he says, staring off into the distance.
Meanwhile people who actually produce real food have a whole other problem: their equipment is increasingly locked behind DRM.


All Otter Shows

Hello internet friends,

first things first: happy Year of the Fire Rooster!

On Friday the dumpster fire on the other side of the Atlantic has escalated even more. The Verge is looking at how the CEOs auf Silicon Valley companies are responding. Meanwhile this is how things look like from the Middle East. At least the reaction of the American public is somewhat encouraging with protests all over the country and a record sum of donations to the ACLU.
idk people, all of this really scares me and I doubt that things will get any better soon.

Well, let’s forget about the future that will be for a while and remember the future that could have been. It’s always weirdly soothing to look at drawings by Syd Mead.

Another way to calm our nerves might be reading the works of one of the many self-help gurus out there. Turns out – and this is the real surprise here – these people are usually not what they seem to be.

We all liked Jurassic Park, right? Well, just imagine how adorable (and probably even more terrifying) it would have been with huge otters. I mean – huge otters are scarier than huge chicken, right?

One of those cheesy authors that keeps getting reposted into my Tumblr dashboard once said we’re all made of stardust. :unamused:
But do you want to know what is really made of stardust? The dirt and grime on our roofs. Turns out, eh?

Stay safe out there. Stay sane.

The Last Log

Hello internet friends,

well, that was a bit of a crappy week, wasn’t it?
The only thing that sort of fills me with some hope for the future were the Women’s Marches on Saturday – well done, ladies. You’re the good ones in this situation.
(Oh, by the way: if you think that what the world needs right now are strong, authoritarian and nationalistic leaders, you are invited to click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this email.)
((No, if you want to unsubscribe anyway – how dare you! – I don’t necessarily think you’re one of those people.))

Onwards to our usual escapism!

The pinacle of escapism is Star Wars and because we’re now living in a world where this is provided to us on a yearly basis, we’re looking forward to the next one, which will now be called “The Last Jedi.”
And now we have a couple of months to wonder if “jedi” is plural or singular and if singular, if it is female or male. Oh the nerd joy!

More nerd joy! Logarithms! I honestly have forgotten all about them. Which is obviously so much of a mistake that to atone I even link to Forbes. (I honestly don’t know how that helps. The article is pretty good, though – even if you’re not too firm on the logarithms.)

Instagram news! If you’ve noticed that Instagram keeps changing around stuff you’re not alone. (And if you’re grumpy about it, because you’re getting older and you’d rather like things to stay the way you’re used to them, hi! Welcome to the club.) Either way – here’s an interesting look into the way Instagram is changing.

Very fascinating: the history of headscarves. Including a lot of on-the-ground reporting from the Headwrap Expo in Detroit, which is apparently a thing.

And now for something completely different: the history of hiding alcohol. Cheers to that.


Diminishing Returns

Hello internet friends,

as so many of us I quite enjoy the idea of a shower beer. I mean, this brewer here even created a beer that is specifically made for shower consumption.
But after some serious experimentation I realised that this is yet another thing where I like the idea of something a lot more than the actual experience. I’m probably a slow drinker, so beer is getting luke-warm for me even in normal conditions. But in a hot shower? How’s that supposed to work?

Remember that alien megastructure that wasn’t a megastructure at all but we don’t quite know what it is? Turns out it might actually be a star eating a planet!
This is all pretty exciting stuff. Would you like to know more?

It’s not all stars and planets up there in space. There is also a lot of space junk that we humans left there. And sometimes that stuff falls back to earth and somehow survives that fall. And that’s what amateur space debris enthusiasts are looking for.

CES seems to be a weird, weird place to visit while being sober. I’d rather not imagine what it would be like on LSD. Luckily I don’t have to imagine, because that’s how it is.


A Sad Parody

Hello internet friends,

I hope you’re all doing well. Me personally? Eh, could be better. I could do with a hug and maybe one of those multi-week (months?) digital detox retreats in some weird hippie commune. (Aww, man, I did have such a fun article on one of those places and I can’t find it anymore. Technology! Ugh. I mean, honestly. Not even Creepy Chrome’s history search is helping me. Maybe read this essay on the 20 year anniversary of “The Beach” from last summer instead? Idk.)
Or maybe I’ll just become a priest?

One thing that I just know will probably always stay in the stage of being a concept and yet is very fascinating to me is Personal Rapid Transit – you know, the idea of small-ish self-driving pods on dedicated little tracks. Turns out the idea is not really all that new and just like so many things from that era will probably turn into a sad parody of itself.

Another fascinating thing: maps! Here is one of Chinese merchant shipping routes from the 17th century.

Now here we go, three articles from the New Yorker that are worth reading:

  1. The Vertical Farm – the future!
  2. The Voyeur’s Motel – wtf?
  3. A Selection of the 30 Most Disappointing Under 30 – disappointingly enough I wasn’t even able to get on that list. Mostly due to my advanced age.

I’ve said it on Twitter before: my favourite new genre of literatur is “reviews of books by Marie Kondo” – here is one of her new book: Did Marie Kondo’s Spark bring me Joy?

Take care out there.


Hello internet friends,

first email of the year! Yay.

Now for some Star Wars. Because obviously.
Why Carrie Fisher Should Be Remembered As General Organa, Not Princess Leia – very much so. I mean – both, but still. She was the best part of The Force Awakens and given that I quite liked that movie, that’s something. (She also was by far the best part of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” – but we better forget about that movie pretty quick.)

A wonderful piece of fan fiction is this obituary to General Organa. It’s so well written and so obviously by a nerdy fan without being too… well, nerdy-fan-y.

While much has been said about the Star Wars costume designer’s love for multiple pens one thing is pretty amazing: We don’t see many written words in these movies. Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate. So maybe these are not pens but terrible USB sticks or something?

Robot news!
I’ve been sternly warned that enough is enough with the robot sex articles. So: none of those this week. (That is pretty easy, though. I didn’t even see one anywhere.)
What else do we have, then? There’s this overview of companies that work on robots that take us places. And there is this robot that takes care of your child.
Robots are going to take our jobs. But do they want to?[2]
Either way, robots and AIs are going to be in the future a lot. And here we have one company that is really happy about it.

Turns out bats are a lot like us. Just, you know, better.


  1. Or as we say in the business: Eh. Same Shit, Different Year. Don’t ask in what kind of business.  ↩

  2. As usual with these “robots are going to take our jobs” articles: the real problems aren’t the robots. The real problem is capitalism.  ↩


Hello internet friends!

It is the second day of Christmas and there is still an email from me. Hail Mary!

I do get some “Dude, stop it with the robot sex links” feedback, but… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ For a slight chuckle I will gladly look past that. Sex robots will ‘come a lot sooner than you think’, scientist claims – and as so many people on Twitter said: that looks like a design flaw. (Haha? Sorry.)

This is the last email for this year and I’m weirdly proud that I made it this far into the year without having met anyone in ~real life~ who talked about “hygge” and still don’t know how to pronounce it.

Do you have a friend who creates stuff? Maybe writes a mediocre newsletter? Well, Andrew W.K. thinks you should encourage them.
Hey, let’s try it?

iddqd and idkfa made so many things so much easier for people who were not very good with computer games. These days? Not so much. Here’s a short history of cheat codes in video games.
A real life cheat code seems to wearing a hi-vis west. Who knew.

Underwater news!
Any article that starts with a scuba-diving philosopher is either terrible or great. This one about octopus intelligence is not terrible.
Meanwhile they’re not the only smart animals down there in the water. We should not underestimate fish.