Omnium Gatherum: 19sept2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for September 19, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Occam’s razor and the limits of simplicity. This—widely misunderstood—theoretical touchstone has guided our scientific and philosophical enquires for centuries. But is complexity always such a bad thing?” About Life Is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free and Shapes the Universe [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Johnjoe McFadden—”A biologist argues that simplicity is the guiding principle of the universe. Centuries ago, the principle of Ockham’s razor changed our world by showing simpler answers to be preferable and more often true. In Life Is Simple, scientist Johnjoe McFadden traces centuries of discoveries, taking us from a geocentric cosmos to quantum mechanics and DNA, arguing that simplicity has revealed profound answers to the greatest mysteries. This is no coincidence. From the laws that keep a ball in motion to those that govern evolution, simplicity, he claims, has shaped the universe itself. And in McFadden’s view, life could only have emerged by embracing maximal simplicity, making the fundamental law of the universe a cosmic form of natural selection that favors survival of the simplest. Recasting both the history of science and our universe’s origins, McFadden transforms our understanding of ourselves and our world.”
  • Call For Submissions. Deep Cuts in a Lovecraftian Vein is looking for guest-bloggers—specifically women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folk, writers with disabilities—to write brief essays about their experiences with the works of H. P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu Mythos, and interactions with publishing, fandom, and scholarship.”
  • New books will be hard to come by for the rest of the year. Book buyers, beware: New books will be in short supply for the rest of 2021.”—”Publishers are warning sellers and consumers that supply chain issues have forced a major slowdown in book production and threaten a shortage of certain titles for the rest of the year. Supply chain problems have touched almost every aspect of book production, storage, and delivery, mostly as a result of Covid-related bottlenecks. Printer capacity issues plagued the publishing industry last year, too, though 2021 is expected to be worse.”
  • When did humans start wearing clothes? Discovery in a Moroccan cave sheds some light.”—”In popular culture, cave men (and women) are often draped in furs, but archaeological evidence of what our Stone Age ancestors actually wore and how they made clothes is thin. Fur, leather and other organic materials generally aren’t preserved, especially beyond 100,000 years ago. However, researchers say 62 bone tools used to process and smooth animal skins found in a cave in Morocco may be some of the earliest proxy evidence for clothing in the archaeological record. The tools are between 90,000 and 120,000 years old.”
  • Woolly mammoth resurrection project receives $15 million boost“—”The scientific efforts to resurrect the woolly mammoth, which went extinct 4,000 years ago, just got a $15 million boost. A group of geneticists led by Harvard Medical School’s George Church envisions the mammoth once again roaming its natural habitat. The goal is to use genetic engineering to create a living elephant-mammoth hybrid that looks just like a woolly mammoth. Proponents of the project believe the beasts could help restore the Arctic tundra ecosystem and preserve the endangered Asian elephant, the woolly mammoth’s closest relative. This bold plan is fraught with ethical issues. Some scientists question if we know enough to make such an attempt — and the larger point of such an undertaking. But the thought of being up close with a once-extinct creature is a tantalizing one.”
  • Own Two Cats? Scientists Need Your Help“—”The misconception that cats are independent and like to be left alone is outdated, and we need to provide cat-owners with more educational resources to ensure their cats’ welfare in the home”
  • Watch “The Strange Orbit of Earth’s Second Moon (plus The Planets)
  • Watch “Is The Dust Bowl Happening Again?“—”In the 1930s, the US experienced what has been called its greatest ecological disaster, when the dust bowl ravaged the midwest, eroding topsoil, destroying crops, and displacing millions. As climate change exacerbates drought across much of the US in places like Phoenix and the larger Colorado River basin, damaging dust storms and haboobs are becoming more common, leading many experts to ask whether we might be heading into another dust bowl? In this episode of Weathered, we speak to a leading expert about this growing threat, the various hazards that dust storms pose to our health, and how best to prepare ourselves and stay out of harm’s way. Weathered is a show hosted by meteorologist Maiya May and produced by Balance Media that helps explain the most common natural disasters, what causes them, how they’re changing, and what we can do to prepare.”
  • Governments falling woefully short of Paris climate pledges, study finds. As Cop26 meeting approaches, analysis shows world is on track for 3C temperature increase if present trends continue.”
  • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak starts a new space company Privateer, to clean up space debris.” Tweet—”Now that’s interesting. Woz calling it “Privateer” & focusing on cleaning up what is often dismissed as space trash but is, in effect, the remnants of highly specialized telecommunications & space faring technology w/ all kinds of encoded systems & components? Interesting indeed”
  • Was this written in the 19th century? *stares in Coal country* “Amazon’s New ‘Factory Towns’ Will Lift the Working Class. Plentiful new jobs at higher wages in places with cheaper housing sounds like a solution to inequality.” Also “Amazon Is Creating Company Towns Across the United States. In more and more of the country Amazon acts like an employer in a company town, sucking up whole communities and shaping public goods and services to fit its profit-making needs.”
  • Apple reportedly threatened to boot Facebook from the App Store over human trafficking concerns. Apple threatened to remove Facebook from its App Store after a report about an online slave market. The BBC in 2019 reported that human traffickers were using Facebook’s services to sell domestic workers. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook knew about the practice even before Apple made its threat.”
  • Internal Facebook Documents Show How Badly It Fumbled the Fight Against Anti-Vaxxers: Report. Facebook researchers warned that anti-vaxxers were deluging comment sections with propaganda, but the company was slow to take action.”
  • Facebook forced troll farm content on over 40% of all Americans each month. Report blames Facebook’s prioritization of engagement over all else.”
  • Facebook VP disputes report claiming the platform knows about multiple flaws it doesn’t fix. The Wall Street Journal wrote a series of articles about the platform’s problems.”
  • A Detroit community college professor is fighting Silicon Valley’s surveillance machine. People are listening. Chris Gilliard grew up with racist policing in Detroit. He sees a new form of oppression in the tech we use every day.”
  • Drugs, robots and the pursuit of pleasure – why experts are worried about AIs becoming addicts“—”What links these seemingly unconnected events is something strangely akin to addiction in humans. Some AI researchers call the phenomenon ‘wireheading’. It is quickly becoming a hot topic among machine learning experts and those concerned with AI safety.”
  • Google’s Incredible New Photo AI Makes ‘Zoom And Enhance’ a Real Thing“—”You may well have seen sci-fi movies or television shows where the protagonist asks to zoom in on an image and enhance the results – revealing a face, or a number plate, or any other key detail – and Google’s newest artificial intelligence engines, based on what’s known as diffusion models, are able to pull off this very trick.”
  • Citing human rights risks, UN calls for ban on certain AI tech until safeguards are set up. ‘We cannot afford to continue playing catch-up regarding AI.'”—”The United Nations Human Rights chief on Wednesday called for a moratorium on the sale of and use of artificial intelligence technology that poses human rights risks — including the state use of facial recognition software — until adequate safeguards are put in place. The plea comes as artificial intelligence develops at a rapid clip, despite myriad concerns ranging from privacy to racial bias plaguing the emerging technology.”
  • EXPLAINER: What are ‘Crisis Standards of Care?’“—”As the spread of the delta variant continues unabated in much of the U.S., public health leaders have approved health care rationing in Idaho and parts of Alaska and Montana. At least five more states — Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas — are nearing capacity with more than 90% of their intensive care unit beds full, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The move to ration healthcare comes amid a spike in the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Crisis standards of care allow health care providers to give scarce resources, like ventilators, to the patients most likely to survive.” “At the extreme end of the spectrum, crisis standards of care generally use scoring systems to determine which patients get ventilators or other life-saving medical interventions and which ones are treated with pain medicine and other palliative care until they recover or die.”
  • A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’. We need to plan for a future where millions of survivors are chronically ill.”
  • Many faith leaders say no to endorsing vaccine exemptions“—”As significant numbers of Americans seek religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, many faith leaders are saying: Not with our endorsement.” “The issue is becoming more heated as public- and private-sector employers increasingly impose mandates. A clerical letter wouldn’t necessarily be needed for someone to be granted an exemption — federal law requires employers make reasonable accommodations for ‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs — though a clergy endorsement could help bolster a person’s claim.”
  • The Trauma Anti-Vaxxers and Anti-Maskers Are Inflicting on Children“—”The anti-mask, anti-vax zealots are everywhere around our children, who are desperately trying to simply find normalcy and to learn in the middle of an unprecedented disaster. They are in school board meetings, carpool lines, PTA gatherings, high school parking lots, varsity football games. They have brazenly invaded these places and disrupted the extraordinarily difficult work of teachers and school administrators, to ignorantly demand the removal of sensible safeguards that they claim are traumatic and harmful to children. The irony of the incendiary rhetoric and performative hysteria of these people—is that if not for them, our kids would be fine. If not for them, the worst of this would be over. The sad reality is that these people are the source of our children’s trauma”
  • Naomi Wolf Demands Retraction of My Article For Good of Her ‘Reputation’. PR reps for the Lenny Dykstra of the anti-vax movement included a subtle legal threat in their email.”—”Since being booted off of Twitter for spreading misinformation, Wolf has taken to the airwaves, appearing on alleged Jeffrey-Epstein-media-advisor Steve Bannon’s “War Room” show, and tweeted via her husband’s account. My article, ‘Fresh Off Twitter Ban, Naomi Wolf to Headline Anti-Vax Juneteenth Event,’ described Wolf’s headlining of a talk/potluck the organizers of which likened the fight against common sense health mandates by anti-vaxxers to the centuries-long struggle against chattel slavery in the US. The event would later be cancelled, as I detailed in a follow-up piece. I will not be retracting my article.”
  • Tweet—”Covid is killing you, but it’s stupidity you’re dying from.”
  • Oh. That’s what it was. “Biden Takes Rare Step To Share Nuclear Submarine Technology With Australia.” Also “Why France is angry about the US and UK giving Australia nuclear-powered submarines.”—”The French government says it was betrayed when Australia pulled out of their existing multi-billion dollar defense deal, agreeing instead to attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new deal with the United States and the United Kingdom. The effort to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines — a major step toward countering China as President Joe Biden works to build international backing for his approach to Beijing — is part of a new trilateral partnership among the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, dubbed ‘AUKUS.’ High-ranking French officials said the AUKUS deal was a stab in the back and a move that ‘shows a lack of coherence.’ In response to the trilateral agreement, a French official told CNN on Friday that France has recalled its ambassador to the US for ‘consultation’ — marking what’s believed to be the first time the French have resorted to such a move in modern times.”
  • Until the mid-1990s, Republicans and Democrats worried about climate change equally. Voters on the right were then persuaded to quit worrying by a well-documented misinformation campaign. Storms and fires will not bring an escape from America’s stuck climate politics. But look hard enough and an exit is visible.”
  • Hold on. A remote AI gun? “Mossad assassinated Iran’s chief nuke scientist with remote AI gun — report. Some would say that the operation succeeded in throwing Iran’s nuclear program into chaos for some months, but that Tehran has long since recovered.”—”Next, the report details how the sniper who took out Fakhrizadeh did so remotely from Israel, over 1,600 kilometers away, since the hit squad had long ago left Iran. The gun which was used was a special model of a Belgian-made FN MAG machine gun attached to an advanced robotic apparatus.” Not sure how that’s AI, tbh. But, still. Wtaf.
  • Tweet—”FYI: In the SCOTUS challenge to MS’s 15-week abortion ban, Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of TX’s SB 8, has filed an amicus brief on behalf of TX Right to Life. The brief invites the Court to overrule Roe & Casey AND Lawrence & Obergefell, 2 major LGBTQ equality decisions.” Tweet—”I’ve been telling y’all they don’t plan to stop with abortion.” Tweet—”The author of the Texas abortion bill said that overturning Roe v. Wade will make women practice abstinence. Now I have a question. Why are women forced to practice abstinence and men aren’t?” Also “Behind the Texas Abortion Law, a Persevering Conservative Lawyer. Jonathan Mitchell has never had a high profile in the anti-abortion movement, but he developed and promoted the legal approach that has flummoxed the courts and enraged abortion rights supporters.”
  • Do they know it’s Cringemas? (feat. Lyndal Rowlands), podcast—”We’re joined by climate journalist Lyndal Rowlands to discuss New Corp’s two-week admission that climate change exists. Then we dig into reality show The Activist, and the weird people behind it.” Also “CBS’ ‘The Activist’ Goes From Competition Show to Documentary After Harsh Blowback. The so-called ‘Oppression Olympics’ was originally poised to be a five-week competition show that pitted activists against activist in a battle for relevancy on social media.”
  • 1,400 Dolphins Were Killed in Faroe Islands. Even Hunting Supporters Were Upset. Graphic images of the animals raised ire among activists, and some locals said the killings undermined the work of whale hunters who follow a centuries-old tradition that helps feed local people.”
  • Richard Woodman-Bailey lays newly minted coin at Stonehenge.” He’d placed a coin at Stonehenge 63 years earlier, and is putting another one in place as some repairs are taking place.
  • The perfectionism trap. Society bombards us with instructions to be happier, fitter and richer. Why have we become so dissatisfied with being ordinary?”
  • Ministers plan legal requirement for broadcasters to make ‘clearly British’ shows like Only Fools and Horses. Media Minister John Whittingdale told a Royal Television Society conference programmes such as Fleabag, Derry Girls and the Carry On films would meet the requirement.”—”The UK’s public service broadcasters will have a legal requirement to produce ‘distinctively British’ programmes under plans drawn up by ministers.” Also “We want more Britishness on TV, John Whittingdale tells broadcasters. The BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 will be forced to make more programmes with “Britishness” at their core under government plans. John Whittingdale, the media minister, said the government wants to ensure that public service broadcasters celebrate British values following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.”
  • The Louvre’s Art Sleuth Is on the Hunt for Looted Paintings. Emmanuelle Polack is the face of the French museum’s efforts to return stolen works. But some discoveries have put her employer in an awkward situation.”
  • Haha. I see what you did there: “Opinion: Putting a Black Character in ‘God of War’ Would Be Like Putting a Middle Eastern Character in the Bible“—”Counterpoint: Could you imagine changing the race of Jesus? Not even changing the plot, just like, swapping his skin color and changing the language he speaks? Just to make it easier to relate to him? No. That would be like making the Pharaoh some African dude. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, because you have no respect for history.”
  • Andrew Garfield says Tammy Faye was the first reality star. The once and maybe future Spider-Man says once you let cameras into your private life, you can never get them out.”
  • Why MLMs Like LuLaRoe Are Disturbingly Similar to Cults. VICE spoke with a cult expert about the parallels between LuLaRoe and the high-control groups he’s spent his career studying.”—”In an effort to further explore LuLaRoe’s cult-like traits, VICE called up Ross, who walked us through the parallels between LuLaRoe and many of the organizations he’s spent his career studying. According to Ross, LuLaRoe isn’t a one-of-kind case. All too often, he explained, MLMs pull straight from the cult playbook to recruit and retain the people whose lives they consume.”
  • Watch “Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye” official trailer, coming November 24 on Disney+. “Disney+ and Marvel Studios invite you on an unexpected holiday getaway, unwrapping a brand-new teaser trailer and poster today for “Hawkeye,” a new series set in post-blip New York City. Former Avenger Clint Barton has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas. Possible? Maybe with the help of Kate Bishop, a 22-year-old archer with dreams of becoming a Super Hero. The two are forced to work together when a presence from Barton’s past threatens to derail far more than the festive spirit.”
  • Watch “Batman: The Audio Adventures” official trailer, on HBO Max. “A tale of life and death in Gotham City. After years of vigilante crime fighting, Batman prepares to become an official Gotham member of the Gotham City Police Department, deepening the rift between himself and Catwoman, who’s been using Gotham criminals as her personal ATM. Meanwhile, Two-Face is deteriorating, his two halves at war and his obsession with duality out of control — which his rival the Penguin is more than happy to take advantage of. The Riddler, after years in the shadow of Batman’s A-list foes, is desperate to have his work taken seriously. And the Joker has big, big plans for Valentine’s day…”
  • Watch “C’mon C’mon | Official Trailer HD | A24″—”From writer/director Mike Mills and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman. C’mon C’mon – In Theaters this November.”
  • Watch “NINE DAYS | Official Trailer (2021)”—”Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will…”
  • Watch “Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands” official gameplay reveal trailer—”✨fantastical destinations🗺️ 🍄shroomie bois😈 ⚔️shooty! slashy! casty! smashy!🔥 🐑sheep a shark🦈 🦀CRABHOUSE CRABHOUSE CRABHOUSE🏠” “Embark on an epic adventure full of whimsy, wonder, and high-powered weaponry! Bullets, magic, and broadswords collide across this chaotic fantasy world brought to life by the unpredictable Tiny Tina. Roll your own multiclass hero and loot, shoot, slash, and cast your way through outlandish monsters and loot-filled dungeons on a quest to stop the tyrannical Dragon Lord. Everyone’s welcome, so join the party, throw on your adventuring boots, and be Chaotic Great!” Coming March, 2022.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Debuts First Official D&D Musical. The first-ever Dungeons & Dragons musical is coming to D&D Celebration 2021, and it will feature Anthony Rapp, Azie Dungey, and Vico Ortiz.”—”The DM of The Circus of Sound event is Kelly D’Angelo (Miracle Workers), and the players consist of musicians who have appeared in movies, TV shows, video games, and theater. The group includes Anthony Rapp (Rent, Star Trek: Discovery), Jason Charles Miller (Godhead, Critical Role), Azie Dungey (Girls5eva, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Vico Ortiz (American Horror Story), and Mariah Rose Faith (Nightmare Time). It’s unclear if they will all be playing as D&D’s popular Bard class, but if there was ever a time to run an all-Bard party in D&D, the first legitimate D&D musical seems like it should be it.”
  • Doctor Who’s First Female Doctor Deserves Better“—”Doctor Who should absolutely be applauded for finally putting a female Time Lord at the helm of the TARDIS. But as we start to consider the legacy of the Thirteenth Doctor and what Whittaker’s run means in the larger scope of the show’s history, it’s difficult not to conclude that the folks in charge (be it showrunner Chris Chibnall, larger BBC overlords, or some mix of both) never quite knew what to do with her. And that’s a real shame.” “It is also Whittaker whose Doctor has yet to have a true showcase episode, like Capaldi’s “Heaven Sent,” David Tennant’s “Midnight” or even Matt Smith’s “The Doctor’s Wife,” the sort of era-defining installment that allows viewers to understand the iconic character in a new way. And the decision to add John Bishop’s Dan Lewis for Thirteen’s final season, rather than allow Yaz to serve as a sole companion, means we’ll never even get to see this Doctor establish a close one-on-one relationship with anyone else, as we have with every other modern incarnation.” “Perhaps the announcement that Thirteen’s final season will be one long serial story means that we’ll finally have the chance to really delve into her character in a way that the previous two seasons haven’t allowed us to do. Whittaker deserves the chance to truly shine – and fans deserve to properly get to know this Doctor before we have to say goodbye.”
  • Tweet thread—”Welp, Paizo just fired their two most senior customer service people (one a woman, one a POC) for apparently being too willing to push back on abusive management. Of course, this also means that the last person they might retaliate against for me airing dirty laundry is gone.”
  • Tweet—”AOC’s dress is performative. criticizing the dress is also performative. everything is performative. we’re all performing. welcome to clown school.” Tweet—”We must imagine Pagliacci happy.”
  • Tweet—”A 40-year friend of a Capitol Police officer reported the officer for disclosing the secure location he evacuated lawmakers to on Jan. 6. The friend believed the officer was aligned with the rioters, per USCP discipline reports obtained by McClatchy.” See “Capitol Police officers face discipline for selfies with rioters, internal documents show.” “Tweet—”remember when AOC said on one of the capitol officers directing her to a safe location had anger and hostility in his eyes—and she wondered whether he was trying to put her in a vulnerable situation—and she was mocked by both left and right? a lot of y’all owe her an apology.” Tweet—”There were several reasons I refused to stay in the ‘secure location’ on the 6th. This was one of them. Few people want to discuss the reality and implications of this because it’s politically difficult, fraught, and unpopular, but it’s right there. And we need to talk about it.”
  • The miracle of the commons. Far from being profoundly destructive, we humans have deep capacities for sharing resources with generosity and foresight.”
  • Watch “How I Re-Designed the Traditional Bass Guitar: Industrial Design Process“—”This video explores the industrial design process, from napkin sketch to prototype. I talk about formulating a product design goal, creating design criteria, starting with crude napkin sketches, and finally going into 3D CAD. The final result of all of this effort is a CNC’ed bass guitar prototype.”
  • Watch “A Day in Roaring 20’s Berlin | 1927 AI Enhanced Film [ 60 fps,4k]”—”Experience the real Babylon Berlin of the 1920’s. AI enhanced with deep learning techniques. From dawn until dusk in three minutes. Berlin of the Weimar Republic was a multi-cultural city. Teeming with flappers, bobbed hair, cloche hats, and the dancing girls of Berlin’s infamous Cabaret scene.”
  • Watch “Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched Is the Only Folk Horror Documentary You Ever Need to See. io9 debuts the trailer for Kier-La Janisse’s festival hit, a 3-hour deep dive into the witchy, creepy subgenre.”—”Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched arrives on VOD on October 26; it will also roll out for limited theatrical bookings and even more festival play dates throughout the fall (check the film’s official website for updates). It comes to home video on December 7, and Severin Films is already anticipating anyone who comes away from a viewing determined to watch as many of the films highlighted in the documentary as possible by offering up a massive Blu-ray box set. ‘All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror’ contains “19 of the best-known, least-known, rarely-seen and thought-lost classics of folk horror from around the world, all restored from the best available vault elements,” according to a press release, plus special features galore for each individual film, a copy of Jim Williams’ wonderful Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched soundtrack, and more.”
  • Horror artist turns Frozen coloring book into catalog of terror.”
  • Watch “Locke & Key Season 2 | Teaser Trailer | Netflix”—”Official teaser for Locke and Key season 2, coming to Netflix on October 22, 2021. Locke & Key follows 3 siblings who, after the murder of their father, move to their ancestral home only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities.”
  • Watch “Midnight Mass | Official Trailer | Netflix”—”This little island, so sleepy it might be dead. The isolated community on Crockett Island experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – following the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest. An original series from Mike Flanagan come to Netflix on September, 24th.”
  • ‘Flight Of The Navigator’ Female Reboot In The Works At Disney With Bryce Dallas Howard Directing & Producing.”
  • Netflix Is Transforming Matt Wagner’s Grendel Into a Series“—”This one comes straight out of left field: Netflix has given a series order to an adaptation of Matt Wagner’s Grendel, and it’s already got a whole cast and everything. Abubakr Ali will star as Hunter Rose, who is not just a fencer, not just a writer, and not just a fencer-writer but also an assassin—as his alter ego, Grendel. As you can see in Netflix’s tweet below, Grendel wears a fancy outfit and a creepy mask. The character was first introduced in 1982 and had a complicated publication history before winding up at Dark Horse, which has a first-look deal with Netflix.” Also “Netflix Orders ‘Grendel’ Series Based On Dark Horse Comic With Abubakr Ali To Star, 8 More Cast“—”With Ali’s casting, he becomes the first Arab Muslim male actor to portray a series lead in a comic book adaptation.”
  • Message in a bottle from Japan washes up on Hawaii beach after 37 years. Discovery made by a local girl comes decades after the bottle was put into the sea by schoolchildren as part of an experiment to monitor ocean currents.”
  • There’s an unofficial PbtA TTRPG for Infinity Train! “Infinity Train – the Unofficial Tabletop RPG” by Henry Kathman—”Infinity Train: The UNOFFICIAL Roleplaying Game is an adaptation of the 2019 Cartoon Network Miniseries which seeks to recreate the experiences of the show for a tabletop setting. This game is meant to be played with 2-6 players, one of whom will act as the Conductor (or Gamemaster) of this mysterious train, while the other players take the roles of denizens of this train or passengers who found themselves transported from earth to this world. This game will use the Powered by the Apocalypse tabletop gaming system, taking much inspiration from games like Babes in the Wood, Monster of the Week, and Dungeon World. While players will not be required to have any previous experience or knowledge about roleplaying games, a basic familiarity with these concepts will prove helpful. This game will primarily take place aboard the titular Infinity Train; a strange train that has the capabilities of creating anything that can be imagined. If you haven’t already seen this show, it comes with a high recommendation to anyone playing this game. While this game is designed to be enjoyed by fans of the show, the system can still be enjoyed by fans of speculative fiction stories like The Twilight Zone, Portal, and The Library of Babel, or any fans of western animated cartoons like Gravity Falls and Over the Garden Wall. Using both sets of inspirations will greatly help create interesting situations to help your passengers arrive at their proper destination in life.”
  • Honey, I Joined a Cult. It’s time to start working towards that ultimate goal of enlightenment, faith and money…lots and lots of money. Create, customise, expand and manage your own cult whilst listening to funky music in Honey, I Joined a Cult!” A casual indie simulation developed by Sole Survivor Games, from Team 17.
  • From 2012: “Electron Microscope Zooms In, Finds Life on Life on Life. There’s a bacterium on a diatom on an amphipod on a frog on a bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea!”