The Good, the Bad, and the Book Trailers

Happy World Book Day (a few days late, and also only in the UK and Ireland)! This week’s post will be a short one, because I’ve got a big deadline on Friday that I should be focusing on, but I’ll try to start you off on an interesting trajectory. Naturally, the part of Book Day most people … Read more

‘Everything is Awesome’ is the Anthem of Our Age

So the Oscars were on over the weekend. And although The LEGO Movie may have been snubbed in the nominations for Best Animated Feature, it was very present in the evening’s rendition of ‘Everything is Awesome’, which included Oscar statuettes made out of LEGO blocks and a heavy metal interlude by Will Arnett (as Batman): … Read more

Our Zombies, Ourselves: A Lecture with J. Halberstam

At guest lectures I usually come prepared to fully understand about half of the references made, and get excited about one or two particular sound bytes. Not so at Jack Halberstam’s lecture on Zombie Humanism at the End of the World (originally titled ‘Our Zombies, Ourselves: Queerness at the End of Time’), kindly hosted by the Cardiff … Read more

Popular Culture and the English Language (Meh)

A little while back the Oxford English Dictionary’s always-delightful blog had a special feature on a certain pop culture phenomenon: The Simpsons. This piece, written by English professor Michael Adams, talked about a number of the words The Simpsons has brought to the English language, but two in particular stood out: d’oh and meh. Aside … Read more

What They Do in the Shadows is Basically What We Do, Too

Whatever I had been expecting from vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, it wasn’t what I got in the end. And I mean that in the best possible way. Where to start? With plot, I suppose, though that may be the least interesting part about this film. What We Do in the Shadows follows a film … Read more

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

Today marks the very first Jane Austen Day – which would also be the author’s 239th birthday were she still alive. While a lot of websites have been celebrating by listing 30 tips from Jane Austen for a successful life (“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be … Read more

Tiny Hamsters

Today I saw this newly-viral video of a tiny hamster eating a tiny burrito on Gizmodo:

As with all videos of animals who think they’re people, I was sold. The video wasn’t what interested me the most, though. In the comments section, the following exchange took place between the post author and a random commentator:

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I laughed (inside, not out loud) as I read that, but then I started wondering whether that could ever happen, and if so, what it would take to actually get everyone who saw that thing to abandon the internet forever. Would it be something great, or something from a Brave New World-esque dystopia?

For a second, I could virtually taste the relief I would feel to know that “It’s all done now”. I only wish a thousand dancing hamsters could make it happen.

Travis Louie and the Other Victorians

Artist Travis Louie paints some of my favourite portraits. Part Victorian photography, part monster mashup—no matter how hard I believe that his fantastical creations never actually existed, looking into their eyes I can never quite shake the feeling that they’re still out there somewhere, taking selfies and giving the paleo diet a go.