So, look, I have some troubling news. You may want to sit down. Web Curios is taking a small break.
CALM YOURSELVES! STOP RENDING AT YOUR CLOTHES AND SKIN! STOP THE FLAGELLATIONS AND LET THE KEENING CEASE!
Compose yourselves, all of you, IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY. Paul, my editor here at Imperica, is going to have a bit of a rummage around the back end of the site over the next couple of weeks and do some other stuff to (read about it here); he'd be interested in hearing from you if you have any exciting ideas about what to do with the place and how to help out.
Whilst this is going on, I'm going to be catching up on my Friday sleep and possibly doing things like my laundry, or getting a haircut. It's going to be thrilling. Anyway, what this means is that Web Curios will be back in THREE WEEKS TIME - that is, on Friday 6 April. Until then, though, you will have to pass the time without it - WHAT WILL YOU DO? HOW WILL YOU COPE? Please feel free to tell us how much you'll miss this bitter, bitter shake of nihilism and ennui being forced down your gullet each week, even if it means you lying through your teeth.
Anyhow, this week's is a particularly mediocre edition in celebration of my impending break - during which I am going to be in part catsitting for my girlfriend, so there is the outside possibility that all my tendons will have -been shredded and I will never be able to type again, so chin up! = so without further ado let's pull the skin right back and take a look - it's probably fine, right? RIGHT! This, as ever, is Web Curios!
My chronic inability to avoid needless verbosity (see? even when I am trying to apologise for it, FFS) means that this has once again gone LONG and gone LATE - that said. it's fair to say in passing that if this week has taught us anything (and by 'us' I mean 'you' - I am no longer capable of learning anything, mostly instead leaching knowledge from my ears at a rate of knots) is that YOU DO NOT FCUK WITH VLADIMIR.
(as an aside, I texted that to my girlfriend this week but misspelled his name with an 'f' rather than a 'd' - turns out, he's a lot less intimidating if you call him 'Vlafimir')
(as another aside, let me make it clear to any agents who may be reading this that my opening this week is making absolutely NO inferences whatsoever, ok? Good)
Anyway, we ALL have things to be getting on with, not least YOU dear readers who have...no, I'm not going to tell you the word count this week, it will only upset you. Rest assured, though, that as ever it dense, thick and packed with the sort of chewy infolumps of questionable origin that have become Web Curios very own indigestible trademark. GET THE WARMING FLUID DOWN YOU, CHILDREN, FOR WHO KNOWS WHEN WE SHALL EAT AGAIN (next week, same time, same place, for reassurance) - this, as ever, is Web Curios.
I AM SO CHAPPED! SO CHAPPED!
I appreciate that it's pretty low down on the list of legitimate reasons to moan, but seriously, you really don't want to see my smile right now (plus ca change, eh?) (SO MUCH BLOOD!).
Have you been toboganning? Have you thrown a snowball? Have you, at the very least, drawn something puerile on someone's car windscreen? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? (to those of you reading this outside of the United Kingdom, we've had some weather).
Anyway, whilst it may be COLD outside, in here, crammed in with all the internet, it's all cosy and not a little close. Snuggle up, warms yourselves on this week's BONFIRE OF THE LINKS, and watch the flames - see what shapes you can scry, what terrible futures are presaged, what dreadful auguries of the future coalesce. EVERYTHING IS AWFUL AND NOTHING IS GOING TO BE OK - it's WEB CURIOS!
Even by the standards of a pretty fcuking febrile 2018, this one's been a doozy. Things I have seen or heard about this week, and this is just a small selection - teachers should have guns, we're letting Assad getting away with (lots of murder), Jezzus is a spy, Jezzus isn't a spy, Darpa want to weaponise sea creatures, you can now buy a dildo which will order you a pizza, sex robots.
Jesus, the sex robots. I have to have a phonecall about them now, as it happens, so I'll leave you here with this week's hand-selected cornucopia of links, spilling ripely into your lap, pregnant with promise. Or at least you presume it's promise; then again, that swelling could be gases released by decay. Only one way to tell - BITE IN! Enjoy your latest tasty mouthful of Curios - IT'S LOVELY TO SEE YOU AGAIN!
OH GOD IT'S LATE AGAIN. I started doing this at 6am and now it's 1243 and I'm unshaven and filthy and CHRIST ALIVE I HAVE STUFF I AM MEANT TO BE DOING. Anyone would think that writing this rubbish is less of a hobby and more of a sort of overwhelming, life-consuming pointless timesink.
So with no further ado, let's get ON with it - this week has once again been a rolling cavalcade of horrors, but here's hoping that you at least got a plastic rose out of it. Now lie back, close your eyes and await the familiar sensation of being coated in a thin film of webspaff that it'll take you all weekend to wash off - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
HI EVERYONE! I have a confession to make - this week’s Curios, due to my having really screwed up my timings this week, was in part written in advance, hence you may miss the slightly breathless, race-against-time-oh-god-my-fingers-are-bleeding intensity of the usual offerings. Or, more likely, you may not. We will see.
Anyhow, I have places to go and people to see and thus NO TIME to ruminate on the CAR IN SPACE or the rest of the world’s madness and insanity. Instead I ask that you wish me luck and that you enjoy this week’s Curios which I lay before you now much like a cat might lay the freshly-gutted viscera of a small animal at your feet in hopeful supplication; hold your nose, hide your distaste and try at least to pretend to be grateful. This, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!
Crikey. For reasons you really don't want to know about but which can accurately be explained by the first picture in this week's Curios I am slightly up against it this week, timings and deadlines wise.
So that means NO TIME to say a super-special HELLO to all the people who might have come here on Warren Ellis' very kind recommendation (I promise to buy everything you have ever written and will ever write in triplicate, Warren), no time to talk about Auntie May in China or the State of the Union or the honestly chilling sight last night of the Telegraph's Tim Stanley saying - honestly, he really did - that what this country really needs is Jacob Rees-Mogg as Prime Minister and a return to Thatcherism. NO TIME! Which is a shame.
Still, there's just enough for me to say an extra WELCOME to all the people reading this on Matt Hancock, and to tell you to strap in tight - no, tighter, TIGHTER, by the time we get to the bottom you will practically RELISH the reduced bloodflow to your extremities. This, as ever, is ALL OF THE INTERNET (or the bits that I saw this week) in the form of Web Curios.
Whilst ordinarily following a week like that we've just seen I'd be fully entitled to go FULL DYSTOPIAN HOWL, you're spared that specific horror this week - so you'll have to imagine all my white-hot takes on the Presidents Club and the rest, as I am running LATE.
That said, for the few new people who might have come to Curios in the past few weeks or months, I thought it might be useful to do a quick recap of, well, what this is. So:
- What is this?: It's Web Curios, the longest and least-selectively edited weekly linkdump on the web! Delivered every week (well, ish) to your inboxes and to Imperica around about 1230 on a Friday, give or take a few minutes.
- Who are you?: I'm Matt, nice to meet you.
- Why is this so LONG?: Two main reasons; there is a LOT of webspaff produced every week, and I have appalling quality control
- Who do you do this for?: Charming. Myself, mainly - I tend to find that if I don't do this almost weekly I get what feels basically like a fatberg of information building up between my ears (insert your own 'that's your BRAIN ahaha' gag here, but know that I judge you for so doing).
- What's in Curios?: Depends on the weekly link harvest, but the top section is always about social media platform news and stuff about advermarketingpr; the second and third are MISCELLANEOUS LINKS, the fourth is Tumblrs, the sixth is the best of the longreads I've consumed that week, and the final one is new videos music or otherwise.
- Why the desperately unfunny section headings?: I am a sucker for a running gag, even if the only person who recognises it as such is me
- How do you DO this every week?: I have a very, very limited 'social' 'life'.
- Can I nick all this great insight and pass it off as my own each week, thereby making myself look better to my agency colleagues and piggybacking shamelessly on your effort and curiosity?: I am your humble servant.
- Must you do the shouty caps thing?: YES.
GREAT! Well, now we're all caught up, and as we wait for Donald In Davos - and, on that note, the spectacle of a billionaire idiot, in his role as 'most immediately powerful man in the world', delivering a barely coherent address about why he is great to a roomful of other billionaires, some idiots, some possibly geniuses, who will then all get together and decide, based on their collective wills and whims, how the world is going to work for the rest of us, is enough to make even me, a reasonably rational person, start to get a bit BILDERBERG BILDERBERG LIZARDS ILLUMINATIE EYES AND PYRAMIDS OH MY DAYS about everything - let's CRACK ON WITH THE LINKS! It's another 8,000 word hit of web, RIGHT IN THE MAIN VEIN. This, as ever, is Web Curios!
BUILD A BRIDGE TO FRANCE! I'll tell you an other way to cement our ties with continental Europe, Johnson, you colossal ballsac...ah, no, no negativity! Let's be positive! Let's SMILE! Web Curios' resolution to ensnare new readers with a sunnier, more positive outlook has lasted into the third week of 2018 which is, frankly, longer than I expected - such an achieve, and it's only January!
This edition of Web Curios is dedicated to all the poor buggers at Buzzfeed who've spent the past week sending 'last day at Buzzfeed' tweets and by so doing painting the picture of a company that really has managed to spaff an astonishing amount of VC cash up the wall with nothing approaching a business model to show for it. Good luck in the content farms, everyone, and thanks for all the words.
But you're not here for (surprisingly sincere, on reflection) goodbyes to journalists - you're here for LINKS! And oh my DAYS do we have links for you here at Curios - fat links, skinny links, funny links, scary links, and links which, should you click them, will forever give you the scarred and haunted air of One Who Has Seen Too Much. Roll up, roll up, step inside the tent, adjust your eyes to the gloom and CLICK YOUR LIFE AWAY.
This, as ever, is Web Curios.
Look, whatever else might have happened in the world this week, it pales into insignificance when compared to THIS. Just enjoy it on a loop; you're welcome.
Anyway, I'm in quite a good mood today and so am going to try not to ruin it by ranting too much at you. It's Friday! It's the weekend (practically)! This week's Curios contains an uncommon number of excellent links! Oh, ok, fine, everything's still AWFUL, obviously, but manageably so. Sit back, relax, let my words permeate your consciousness like those weird little brain-burrowing worms in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - because what could be nicer than having a whole week's worth of web insinuated into your consciousness on a Friday afternoon? Well, yes, fine, but you probably can't get away with that in the office whereas this can legitimately be timesheeted as 'general internet research' - HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE WELCOME TO WEB CURIOS!
Well that's disappointing. Despite all the end of year excitement and promises of a fresh start and OUT WITH THE OLD and the like, turns out 2018 is just like 2017.
YES THAT'S RIGHT IT'S A WHOLE NEW YEAR! A whole new twelve months of Trump and war and corruption and idiocy and beef and snark and cant and sexism and cronyism and hatred and nazis and fools and influencers and brands and work and disappointment and indigestion and sleeplessness and anxiety and loss and tears and fear and and and and
And, of course, LINKS! That's right, whilst the pages on the calendar may turn and the seasons may cycle, some things remain inviolate, such as my ceaseless devotion to finding stuff on the web to share with YOU, my silent, faceless, tiny readership. I fervently hope that each and every one of had a time this Christmas (whichever sort of time you like best), and that you're facing the coming 12 months with a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye.
If you're not - if you're feelinng a touch tired and a touch jaded - then just dip a nostril to my mirrored surface, hold the note tightly and just inhale the linklines I lovingly present to you; these are guaranteed to perk you right up (don't mind the taste in the back of your throat). Welcome to 2018! WELCOME TO WEB CURIOS!