Skip to main content

The Pipwick Papers

A list of things to read

Sometimes the regular Sunday Papers boy is unable to make his rounds for whatever reason and the THUNK of a rolled up digital news roundup hitting your screen never happens.

Here, instead, is the Pipwick Papers. It isn't games-focused but it is still a selection box of reading material. Think of me as that creepy Milk Tray dude, wandering in and leaving a bunch of hyperlinks on your pillow.

  • Ria Jenkins in The Guardian on criticism being treated as censorship. This is a quote from academic Thryn Henderson as part of the piece:
  • “The games industry [has been] insular for so long that there’s been a lot of gravitating towards the same goals and ideals,” she says. “The attempt to discuss or deconstruct that now is seen as censorship - because people infer from that new discussion that they aren’t allowed to like those things anymore.”

  • Game of Thrones got its Season 5 trailer on - to the smooth sounds of Bowie's Heroes as covered by TV On The Radio
  • Phil Plait gives an update on a cosmic inflation discovery he wrote about on his Bad Astronomy column over on Slate. You don't need to know what cosmic inflation is (although he gives a good entry-level explanation) - what I found interesting was what he was saying about scientific announcements and reporting. Specifically this tidbit about FTL neutrinos which I'd not heard of before:
  • "I’m remembering the faster-than-light neutrino announcement, when the scientists said, basically, “Look, we’ve investigated this as much as we can, and we know it sounds crazy, but our results seem to say that FTL particles are possible. What did we miss?” They were very skeptical, and were asking for others to pitch in and see what they found. It turns out there was a loose cable in the equipment (yes, seriously), that messed up their timing experiments."

  • The Atlantic went to poke around Google's health research facility - involves pills which release teeny tiny particles which could be capable of marking cancer cells which would then be read via a magnetic bracelet. Also features dummy arms made from real human skin.
  • ROSS - a digital legal expert capable of understanding natural language questions - is in development (answers given are not legally binding).
  • Snail facials are a thing. The beauty industry makes this type of pronouncement a lot. See fish foot spas, chocolate body wraps and bull semen hair treatments for further edification.
  • When I returned home, my wife described my face as “different” but declined to go into detail.

  • Magic: The Gathering's Alesha, Who Smiles At Death
  • Videos of how food styling works by Minhky Lee. The videos are a couple of months old now but I didn't see them at the time and find the processes involved in making food look good on camera endlessly fascinating. The icecream one is my favourite, I think.
  • Leigh Alexander (RPS columnist and friend) on wearable tech in the form of a vibrating gigantic statement ring.
  • Tellingly, one proposed use of Ringly is “when you’re waiting for him to text.” Imagine alleviating your dating anxiety with a giant moonstone ring. A beautiful, expensive ring devoted to immediately informing heterosexual single women who like flashy jewelry that “he” has texted. Could you sync Ringly with Tinder, so that you’re not always that person overtly checking Tinder at the bar?

  • A selection of music videos which caught Rob Walker's eye
  • And from the very end of last week, This American Life - If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS. There's a conversation between writer Lindy West and the only troll who ever apologised to her, a story about an osprey nest camera, and Ira Glass slipping in a casual Taylor Swift reference at the 50:18ish mark.
  • Read this next