"A micromort is a unit of risk measuring a one-in-a-million probability of death."

by Justin Broadway
China’s Chen Jiande kicks Mongolia’s Erdenebaatar Naranchimeg during their under 67 kg taekwondo match during the East Asian Games in Hong Kong (Photo: Reuters, via Telegraph)

China’s Chen Jiande kicks Mongolia’s Erdenebaatar Naranchimeg during their under 67 kg taekwondo match during the East Asian Games in Hong Kong (Photo: Reuters, via Telegraph)

"You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning….
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave….
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

— Hunter S Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I still have no idea what Christopher Nolan’s new film is about

"If Grijalva feels the need to take out some anger on the Senate, he should pass health care then go find a particularly annoying Senator and punch him in the face. Just—bam!—pop him."

Matt Yglesias

"In the end, though, the rules do matter - it’s just that obeying them doesn’t. They need to be there to create a tension between conservatism and innovation. If the innovation continued unchecked, unmonitored by Susie Dent, then the language would fragment into thousands of mutually incomprehensible dialects. The stickler-advocated rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation slow the speed of change and allow the language to remain united."

David Mitchell on grammar-based pedantry

From the MODIS Rapid Response System, on 7th January at 11 :50 UTC: Snow across Great Britain.

From the MODIS Rapid Response System, on 7th January at 11 :50 UTC: Snow across Great Britain.

Lady Gaga Barbie (Photo: VeiK)

Lady Gaga Barbie (Photo: VeiK)

I’m sad this Stockholm library is not in fact real (Graphics: Oliver Charles)

I’m sad this Stockholm library is not in fact real (Graphics: Oliver Charles)

Films of the 00s

And again…

28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002)
Amélie [Le fabuleux destin d’Amél ie Poulain] (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
The Edukators [Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei] (Hans Weingarten, 2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard, 2008)
Hero [Ying xiong] (Zhang Yimou, 2002)
Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)

I did try to get this down to just ten, but I couldn’t. (Interestingly, only two of the twelve are from post-2004. Why is that?)

If I had to pick just one, it would be Eternal Sunshine, which is just astonishingly lovely.

Director of the decade is (was?) Christopher Nolan: Memento (2000), Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008) could all have made this list; I decided to limit myself to just the one.

The Big Picture’s decade in news photographs (Photo: Adam Pretty / Getty Images)

The Big Picture’s decade in news photographs (Photo: Adam Pretty / Getty Images)

Twitter Links (December 2009)

'Dry' vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag.” Yay?

You’ll read my, you’ll read my, you can read my Neutraface. (Even if it’s bold italic.)

Ampersandwich

Pope’s playlist: “Presumably he can relate to the lyrics ‘I’m tired of being poor and even worse I’m black.’”

Cool birthday cake for panda (Also, best use of the adjective “butter-stick-size”.)

Awesome WaPo correction (via @wcp)

"Kiki, 146, whose energetic lovemaking made him a hit with the French public, succumbs to infection." :o(

Gnome Chomsky

Derek the Dalek (via @ToyHorses)

Fat albino hedgehog! (via @notreallyrich)

If you haven’t read Obama’s Nobel prize speech, I can recommend it

!!! Definitely want one of these. Not sure I could bear to eat it, though. (via @gracedent)

"But hey, you’d go back to your Walkman too, if everytime you put your iPod on shuffle, it blew up the goddamned planet.

Tiny gingerbread houses

'The deadweight loss of Christmas' applies equally to Hanukkah and other holidays with gift-giving rituals.”

"Today there was also mixed news for the tens of thousands of fans of India’s most popular—and only—cartoon porn star.”