photographer Yume Cyan has been shooting some magical long exposure photographs of fireflies in a forested area around Nagoya City, Japan. By keeping the camera’s shutter open at a low aperture Cyan captures every bioluminescent flash of each insect resulting in dotted light trails that criss-cross the frame.
We never get tired of fireflies.
I’m experiencing some confusing feelings toward Ginny Weasley right now.
Here I am again in my office (a.k.a. the bathroom) at 4:00am. Being awake at this hour is not unusual in the slightest. We are creatures of the night! In this industry, that’s kind of a given. Hanging out in the bathroom is also not unusual, but only because in an effort to cut down on cigarettes, we have opted to restrict smoking to this room. It keeps the apartment much more friendly for non-smoking friends and also means we have to get our lazy asses off the couch to smoke. No more constant lighting up while watching a movie. But it also means that if the bear is asleep and I’m in the sort of mood that I am right now, I pretty much curl up in here to chain smoke. Not as comfy as the couch, but I must follow protocol. On the bright side, it really makes quitting seem like a great idea.
A few hours ago, the bear got a “Happy Chinese New Year!” text from our down-the-hall neighbor. He calls himself The Flaming Horse. Actually. As in, when I met him and introduced myself as Tracy, he introduced himself as The Flaming Horse.
F.H.’s apartment is unfortunately located directly next to the door to the trash room. We’re on the 4th floor, so anytime someone puts trash in the chute, the clanging of the chute door and the sound of the garbage banging all the way down is perfectly audible from his apartment. We became aware of this fact one night when the bear got home from work around 3:30am, took a few bags of garbage to the chute, and found F.H. standing in the hall looking less than pleased. We have since adjusted our garbage removal routine.
Flaming Horse calls the bear Earth Horse, and I am Little Ox. He’s very into the Chinese Zodiac. He’s also an avid vinyl collector and a very sweet tiny man who may or may not want to bone my fiance, who has a standing invitation to hang out and listen to records with F.H. in his apartment.
Outside of our apartment building, which is nestled right in the most picturesque nook of the deep Tenderloin, there are massive explosions. Sometimes we don’t hear them for months at a time. Sometimes, like tonight, we hear them 7 or 8 times in a span of a few hours. They’re loud. Loud enough to set off all of the car alarms within a 3-block radius. Not to mention startle the hell out of me. But we’ve been living here long enough now that our standard reaction is, “Oh, there’s another one. What were you saying?” Living in this neighborhood will do that to you. Walking down the street you might find yourself having the following exchange: “Is that guy dead?” “I can’t tell.” “Hmm. What time did you say the movie starts again?”
A cop who used to frequent a bar where I worked once told me that a lot of the explosions are caused by problems with the underground gas lines. Sometimes they explode, but you can’t just dig up the whole neighborhood, so PG&E just tries to minimize risk. Which sounds alarming as hell, but after the initial shock of the idea, eventually it recedes and becomes just another vague inconvenience.
There are also people who apparently enjoy blowing up trash cans, usually by riding by on motorcycles and tossing in an M-80 or M-1000 or whatever and then speeding off. This happens all the time. Sometimes people get hurt. I don’t know. What I know is that the police station is one block from my apartment, and despite the frequency of these massive, floor-shaking explosions, I have never once heard a siren afterwards - just the car alarms and sometimes people shouting outside.
We have actually occasionally called the cops when our upstairs neighbors have gotten so out of control that we legitimately worried someone might be dying up there. We have called 5 times, I think. They showed up twice, and only when we called 911 rather than the station itself. But that’s a story for another day.
Isn’t it fun that in this city, a double-income couple without kids can only afford a 1-bedroom place if they are willing to live in this colorful neighborhood?
I’m going to try to get some sleep now. I promise that I have lots of stories that aren’t so driven by frustration, but tonight was particularly explosive. I’ve been living in this building for two years. I’m tough as nails! But sometimes I just have to ask myself, how is this even allowed?
John Steinbeck, in a letter to his son at boarding school. 1958
source: Letters of Note
I really don’t think I can add anything to this.
Kangaroo Scrotums Are the New Victims of Global Warming
Climate change is a huge concern for many, many reasons: the ice caps are melting, droughts are sweeping the world, and mega-hurricanes are striking cities that have never before had to weather such storms. But it’s only recently that climate change has threatened Australia’s hilarious but substantial kangaroo nutsack trade. The hopping marsupials’ scrotums, which are crafted into souvenir bottle-openers and key rings, have made manufacturer John Kreuger, hereby known (by me) as the King of Ballsacks, hundreds of thousands of dollars. These days, however, John’s trade is suffering due to a series of floods in Queensland—which some meteorologists believe to have been caused by climate change. The flooding has purportedly pushed kangaroos inland and away from the areas where they’re normally killed for their testicles. John told me how it feels to have his balls literally on the line.
VICE: How have the floods affected the scrote business?
John Kreuger: The older animals tend to sense weather patterns. They know it’s going to rain. They then head to the desert country away from cull areas, especially the big guys. Consequently, I’ve found it harder and harder to get people to supply me with the bigger scrotums I need.
Scientists are blaming the floods on climate change and saying that this has caused kangaroos to flee to habitats that would normally be of no interest to them. Do you believe global warming is the cause of the Great Kangaroo-Scrotum Shortage?
You’d have to be pretty dumb to not notice the signs. I’m 72, and if you talk to the older people, they say, “Oh, everything is changing, we weren’t getting these cyclones as regular as we are now.” A cyclone might have hit the coast once every seven years, but now it’s once every few. So many things are pointing to a change—scientists have been saying this for years.
Where are all the kangaroos heading now?
They head inland away from the lower-lying areas. By instinct or whatever, I don’t know, they know they can get trapped in the lowlands. The ones left behind are the younger, which are not so smart, and of course their scrotums are not big enough for what I need.
What will you do if they don’t come back?
I am stockpiling a lot of scrotums; I’ve probably got about 50,000 in storage. We process about 1,000 a week, so we have a 12-month supply there. And we’re buying them as soon as they become available. The basis of my successful business is having all products. If I haven’t got them, I’m out of business.
So you’re prepared for an environmental scrotum crisis of immense proportions?
I’m well aware of climate change. I think we create heat and it’s affecting the world. I plan ahead, but I take things one day at a time. I can afford to at my age.
Read more from our The World Hates You Issue:
This is so NSFW it’s out of control. But it is also kind of awesome, especially if you like boobs. If you don’t like boobs, the unbelievable silliness of the whole thing will most likely entertain you. Also the song is pretty fun. Also I heard it for the first time at a Silent Disco thing and now whenever I hear it I get some pretty rad Molly flashbacks.
Our Approach to Pedophilia Isn’t Working by Sophie McAdam
I’m not a pedophile apologist, to be clear. But vengeance for the loss of a child’s innocence is distracting us from the crucial search for preventive measures. Our collective disgust of pedophiles means we are distancing ourselves from gaining any understanding of them and pushing the problem further underground. If we want to protect our children, we need to know how.
Hear, hear, sister. I hope desperately that this conversation, difficult though it may be, gains some momentum as more and more people begin speaking out.
In Legalize Polygamy: Marriage Equality for All, Jillian Keenan argues in favor of striking down laws banning polygamy in this country. She has some solid points, though I’m disappointed at the lack of acknowledgement of multi-partner families with different structures, i.e. polyandry.
If we were to legalize multiple-partner marriages of any kind, I would see it as a step backward rather than forward to isolate such rights to husbands with multiple wives. Despite this (admittedly rather large) oversight, her perspective is worth a quick read. Here’s a sample:
Legalizing consensual adult polygamy wouldn’t legalize rape or child abuse. In fact, it would make those crimes easier to combat.
Right now, all polygamous families, including the healthy, responsible ones, are driven into hiding (notwithstanding the openly polygamous Brown family on TLC’s Sister Wives, that is). In the resulting isolation, crime and abuse can flourish unimpeded. Children in polygamous communities are taught to fear the police and are not likely to report an abusive neighbor if they suspect their own parents might be caught up in a subsequent criminal investigation. In a United States with legalized polygamy, responsible plural families could emerge from the shadows—making it easier for authorities to zero in on the criminals who remain there.
Since January we’ve been really enjoying the non-fiction reading recommendations of Non-Fiction Addiction, a new support group for hardcore longform addicts. That’s why decided put them in chare of The Electric Typewriter for a day… get ready for an overdose of classic reads…
Mmmmm yes please