07.27.17

Finland, Land Of Bizarre Sports

The wife-carrying race is only the beginning: there's swamp soccer, competitive hobby horse, cell-phone tossing, and the Mosquito Killing World Championship. Among others. Why? "Finns offer various deep-seated factors, including an enthusiastically outdoorsy populace (that goes slightly stir-crazy during the region's oppressively dark winter months), widespread public access to recreational spaces, and a continuing relaxation of the traditionally reserved national character. (Also, alcohol.)"

How Academic Writing Gets To Be Meaningless

"The use of words without fixed or clear meanings is a major part of what makes academic writing so terrible. People often complain that academic writing is “obscure” or overly convoluted and complex. But there’s nothing inherently wrong with either complexity or obscurity in themselves; research papers in the sciences have to be complex and technical, and introducing people to obscure and unfamiliar words or concepts can be a key part of developing human knowledge. The problem largely comes when words are vague and unclear, admitting of many possible interpretations."

So Banksy’s Balloon Girl Was Voted “Best-Loved” Art Work In Britain? OMG

Under its fake radicalism, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon is the kind of sentimental tosh our great grandparents too would have voted as Britain’s best-loved. Its kitsch pathos resembles one of the most popular Victorian images, John Everett Millais’ painting Bubbles, a picture of a child blowing bubbles used as an advert for Pear’s Soap. Today we laugh at it and sneer at them for liking such soppy stuff. Imagine how future generations will mock us for sanctifying Banksy, the Boaty McBoatface of modern art.

Poet Ocean Vuong On Translation, Success, And Optimism In This Moment

Vuong says that it's far more common to be from a poor background than a middle-class one, but the literary world doesn't seem to know it. "The fact of the matter is that displacement, immigration and war are some of the most common factors of human history, so I always insist with a little mischievousness that I’m writing something very normal, very common. In fact, perhaps the middle class story is the exotic."

Poet Ocean Vuong On Translation, Success, And Optimism In This Moment

Vuong says that it's far more common to be from a poor background than a middle-class one, but the literary world doesn't seem to know it. "The fact of the matter is that displacement, immigration and war are some of the most common factors of human history, so I always insist with a little mischievousness that I’m writing something very normal, very common. In fact, perhaps the middle class story is the exotic."