Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – The Consolation of Philosophy

Wednesday Book Reviews (on Thursday, because I’m dumb):

 

 

Two Cheers for Anarchism (Arthur) This was a fun little introduction to ideas of anarchism. It’s a short book, and I don’t have too much to say about it, other than that I’m sympathetic to the idea of having as much as possible accomplished by free association between voluntary actors. Whether it’d work for a large body of people, I haven’t got a clue.

Calvin and Hobbes (Watterson) You may have noticed my artwork’s gotten a little more… painterly? I’m not sure the right word. But, I wasn’t sent this book and decided to read every page. It’s interesting to see Watterson’s early style – he’s still finding his way, and doesn’t yet have that calligraphic style he eventually mastered. Of course, it’s still ten times better than me, but you can see where he’s still figuring out how to do things.

We Can Build You (Dick) This book is all over the place, and it is very hard to follow. If I were more concerned about the appearance of intelligence, I would call it “post-modern.” As it is, I just found it confusing. What *is* interesting, is that it has a lot of the motifs that’d later appear in Dick’s magnum opus, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, including the concern over whether oneself is in-human, and the emotional tests used to detect machines. It even has the motif of the spider that’s so crucial in that later work. But, as a book alone, it’s not solid gold. It’s almost like a dream about that later book – a sort of creative fluid that needs to congeal into something more graspable.

Genius at Play (Roberts) I just absolutely adored this biography of John Conway, the great mathematician. It’s been a while since I read a great memoir of a scientists. They’re typically written without much love or understanding of the work. The other of this book had many many interviews with Conway, in addition to doing an immense amount of research. It’s just delightful, and I recommend it.

Feynman (Ottaviani and Mirick) This comic book is a sort of dreamy stringing together of some of the famous Feynman stories and lectures. I definitely enjoyed reading it, though I found it hard to tell if the comic book format added to that. It also (necessarily, but…) ends up painting a picture of Feynman as he saw himself, and mythologized himself, for better and worse. I did really enjoy it, though.

Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End (Worth) Well, the first book in this series was great, the second was solid, and this one ends up somewhere in between. It’s really a return to more stories of midwifery, and this is facilitated by using stories from other people alive at the time. I don’t know to what extent they are fictionalized, and I frankly don’t care. They’re great little stories. Worth also takes a strong stance for legal abortion, which is bolstered by horrifically detailed tales of what abortions were like in her time, when performed in secret by women with little to no medical background, using literally medieval methods.

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Band To Buzz About: Missing Words

For fans of: The New Division, All Hail The Silence, All Tvvins Long Beach electro-pop trio, Missing Words, are an addiction waiting to happen. Comprised of James Meays, Colin Wood and Nestor Grajeda, the band is set to release their debut EP, Memories, on January 10 – a compilation of anthems focused on… http://www.buzznet.com

Golden Globes Red Carpet Recap

Awards season is finally here! Last night, all our fave celebrities worked the red carpet looking totally glam for the Golden Globes. This awards show is always a hoot, probably because everyone’s boozing it up non-stop. If you’re still dancing in your bedroom pretending you’re in La La Land and wiping away tears after Meryl… http://www.buzznet.com

My Life In A Suicide Cult (After Everyone Else Died)

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Ironically, The Internet May Have Killed Traditional Cults For Good

Heaven’s Gate’s attempt to harness the internet may have actually been a death knell for groups like it. A professor of religion who wrote a book on them argues that, while people today are still interested in alternative spirituality, you don’t have to trudge out to a compound in California to experience it. If some fringe figure’s preaching appeals to you, you can just download his podcast or follow him on sexyfacejesus.tumblr.com. Hell, you probably have friends preaching the merits of Wicca or astrology on Facebook right now. Meanwhile, the number of groups like Heaven’s Gate have plummeted.

Heaven’s Gate’s site hasn’t been updated since 1997, which is just how Applewhite wanted it (how can you improve on a perfect design?). Our sources don’t even use the internet anymore aside from a little Googling, but when we asked how they felt to be left behind to do maintenance, they said, "We felt and still feel honored." They also said that people still express interest in their beliefs, but that there’s no group for them to join now — Heaven’s Gate is done, and while you’re welcome to subscribe to their ideas, you’ll have to do it on your own time.

Heaven’s Gate
Or submit something to their Fan Art section.

As for our sources, other than answering around 15 emails a day from journalists, rubberneckers, and people in search of answers, they live normal lives. They have jobs and friends, and while some of their associates know about their affiliation with Heaven’s Gate, no one’s ever made a big deal out of it (if you were their friends, would you bring it up?).

And yes, they still believe.

"We miss their presence all the time. Being with Ti and Do and all the Members of the Group was the finest experience of our lives. We are looking forward to being with our teachers again in the Next Level, but have to wait for now."

Heaven’s Gate
Luckily they have an endless supply of VHS-based entertainment.

Mark is on Twitter and has a book. Tiago is also on Twitter.

One of our most popular episodes from 2016 was when we invited Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark from ‘My Favorite Murder’ to talk about some of the best true-crime stories out there. So successful, in fact, that we’re resurrecting it (get it?) for a part two! Metal Fang, the Strangling Executioner and the murderer living in the attic just weren’t enough. So Jack O’Brien, Dan O’Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Karen and Georgia back for another creepy hour of serial killers and urban legends that are bound to make you terrified to go outside or talk to a stranger or do anything.

Get your tickets here:

For more insider perspectives, check out 7 Horror Movie Scenes I Lived Inside A Real Apocalyptic Cult and 6 Things You Learn Living In (And Killing) A Cult.

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