The mermaid flicked her tail and sighed. It had been a stressful week, but now finally in the shade of the trees arching over the river, she was able to relax. Traffic was far away, and she knew she'd have the park to herself - she'd swum in after hours and nobody watched the water ways.
And then, she saw it...
The albino squirrel everyone had been raving about.
She reached for her phone slowly - the prize money was as good as her's.
Hard to pick my favourite The Shovel article today, but this is it:
I would like to (dis)prove something my transphobic father said.
#transgender people, did you choose a name that’s a diminutive of or sounds like your deadname?
Preferably boost for a larger sample size.
Little headsup, Mastodon developers seem to be testing a language selector in the posting interface (see attached image).
The idea is you set the language you're posting in which will make it easier for other people to filter your post out if they don't speak it.
You can already set your default language in the Preferences/Settings section, but the idea of this new feature is to let you optionally change the setting for each particular message. This is handy if you toot in several languages.
I have no idea if/when this will be rolled out, the developers' instances often get test features like this.
Under cover of darkness, I return the idol to its rightful place in the Temple at Abu Simbel.
The air fizzes and Dr Vogel appears. He points a gun at me. “I’ll take that.”
“Wherever you take that, I’ll find you!” I challenge.
“Au contraire! I am going to take it back to 1960 me, when I was here hunting for it.”
“I wouldn’t do that. Lake Nasser wasn’t—“ but he is gone. He’s going to materialize before the Temple relocation, sixty metres above ground level. I hope Vogel can fly.
The bandits had thought the ruins a safe hideout. What remained was proof to the adventuring party of the contrary.
"At least whatever did this wasn't interested in the treasure," the ranger gagged.
"Do you know what it was?" asked the cleric, having hastily prayed for their remains to not rise.
"No. So let's hope it's very full and won't return. Still, let's not linger."
They all agreed; even the wizard's curiosity had already departed.
I had resisted when the demon had expressed desire in possessing me in order to torture my mind and body.
Eventually I failed and months later I was mentally exhausted, sore beyond anything I had experienced before...
But my finances were balanced, my appointments had all been made, and I'd been exercising.
"That was torture? I mean my muscles ache, but..."
"You can't cancel your appointments."
"Wait, no! Possess me again! Please!"
We were warned about pirates in this sector. When we see a blip on our aft scanners we fear the worst. Engines are at full but the vessel still gains on us. There’s no point hailing them; we’d have no common language.
They pull alongside. We prepare to be boarded.
Through the airlock window a suited figure gesticulates towards the stern of our ship, then returns to their craft, which rockets away.
“I think,” ventures the XO, “they’re telling us we have a taillight out.”
The jester hid as the guards searched.
"You've done it now," said his only sure friend, a royal cook, "You're supposed to wittily cut down those who displease the king, not him!"
"When my humor cuts others as cruel as the king, yes," said the jester, "But not his subjects who simply wish for fairness and aid."
The jester changed out of his makeup and uniform, walking out unnoticed, castle map in hand to be passed on to righteous rogues.
Animals Laugh Too: UCLA Study Finds Laughter in 65 Species, from Rats to Cows
The following is quoted from someone I don't know on Facebook, Dan Eliot Barker, back in 2019. It perfectly captures my frustration with contemporary art. At times it is powerful, but often it's an excuse for lazy trolling.
Recently, there was a dust-up over “The Comedian,” a piece in which Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan taped a banana to the wall of a gallery and sold it for $120,000. A gallery patron made additional news by pulling the banana off the wall and eating it. Interviews made it clear that everyone involved was trolling. The saga was catnip to people who believe that conceptual art is full of shit.
Maurizio Cattelan is clearly full of shit, but his work begs the question: could an artist ever walk into a gallery with some snacks, say “this may look like something I picked up at the bodega on the way here, but it is in fact my Art, behold my Art,” and NOT be full of shit?
In my opinion, the answer is yes.
My opinion is heavily informed by this 1991 piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is a pile of free candy. Visitors are invited to take one piece of candy. Frivolous, right? The piece may be staged in any gallery that follows a few simple rules. The most important rule is that the pile should weigh 175 pounds.
175 pounds was the healthy weight of Gonzalez-Torres’ partner Ross Laycock, who died of AIDS.
González-Torres had a Roman Catholic background, and taking the candy is meant to be an act of communion. The patron partakes in the “sweetness” of Ross while participating in his diminishment and torturous death.
The decision to use candy has political significance. In 1991, public funding for the arts and public funding for AIDS research were both the hottest of hot-button issues. HIV positive gay male artists were being targeted for censorship. González-Torres was desperate to be heard, and part of the logic of “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) was that you can’t censor free candy without looking ridiculous. The replicability of the piece makes it indestructible; González-Torres had an intuitive, ahead-of-its-time understanding of virality that came from dealing with an actual virus rather than the internet.
I’ve never seen this piece staged, but I think about it all the time. The artist, sadly, is no longer with us. But we will always have the most brilliant, heartbreaking free candy to ever be heaped in a corner. The key to conceptual art is storytelling - how well can you tell a story without words OR a “proper” picture? The banana on the wall sucks because it doesn’t tell a story about anything but attention-seeking and greed. I can’t stand Banana Guy or the media coverage surrounding him because stunts like that make people close their minds to unconventional art and storytelling, which can be just as sophisticated and moving as conventional art and storytelling.
Starting a tag for people who are struggling with making art because they're not up to their own standards.
Draw something little. Just have a go A little flower or some leaves or something abstract. Then share it with that tag.
People browsing the tag: be kind and encouraging. Help people get into the habit of drawing regularly and not being afraid of being 'bad'.
3,200-Year-Old Egyptian Tablet Records Excuses for Why People Missed Work: "The Scorpion Bit Him," "Brewing Beer" & More
Musk is a "free speech absolutist" except when he's not
* asked Chinese censors to suppress criticism of his cars,
* attacked critical journalists,
* threatened employees who talked about unionizing, and
* doxed anonymous investors who criticized his company.
If you could ever so kindly tell me the best thing that happened to you today. That would be most lovely. #bestthings