Here are today's must-reads:
Shapes fall from the sky, all you have to do is to control how they fall and fit within each other. A simple premise, but add an annoyingly addictive electronica soundtrack (based on a Russian folk tune called Korobeiniki, apparently) and you have a revolution in entertainment.
Since Tetris was launched on the world in 1986, millions of hours have been lost through playing this simple game. Since then, we’ve seen games consoles grow in power, and with it the appearance of everything from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft. Yet block and puzzle games like Tetris still have a special place in our hearts. Why are they are so compelling?
While it’s easy to list any number of left-leaning people in the comedy business, it’s not so simple to come up with big-name conservative comedians beyond Dennis Miller, P.J. O’Rourke and Victoria Jackson. And while seemingly liberal-minded satirical news programs The Daily Show With Jon Stewartand The Colbert Report are unstoppable on their warpath, when the Fox News Channel unveiled its conservative news satire show The 1/2 Hour News Hour in 2007, the program lasted a measly 15 episodes.
So why isn’t there a Republican version of Jon Stewart, a conservative counterpart to George Carlin? Is it because conservatives by their very nature aren’t as funny as liberals? Scientifically, are Republicans just not wired in the same comical way as Democrats?
What would American life be like without Roger Ailes?
Not immediately that different, which is why many people have wishfully thought his contract might not be renewed. The Fox News method – rancorous rightwing personalities with a carefully curated subtext – is a ratings-winning formula that would have continued. But soon enough, it would begin to pall (which is, of course, what the wishful have hoped for).
There is an obsessional quality to the Fox formula when it's directed by Roger Ailes. This is auteur stuff. This is real trouble-making. His is a golden gut – not just for television but for provocation (of how many can that be said?). Whereas everyone else in television is worried about going too far, Ailes is diabolically turning the country upside down.
By all success measures, Roger Ailes may be the one person in America who most deserves to keep his job. And indeed, after a protracted period of negotiation – which likely will have made him the highest-paid person in television – last week, News Corp, Fox's parent, renewed his contract for another four years: right through to the next presidential election, over which he will, once again, have vast and undue influence.
Almost everyone of good will and establishment credentials surely shivered at the news.
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about today:
- "Republican Voter Suppression App Designed By The Onion" http://pjblack.me/RGJ0cJ
- "Why the GOP Should Fear a Romney Presidency" http://pjblack.me/S7f6Rt
- i'll have to check it out: "Spotify app Soundrop relaunches, becomes social music player" http://pjblack.me/RGLoAb
- i am a cat person: "How a Cat Boosts Your Creativity" http://pjblack.me/RGCp1W
- do you have it yet? (i do): "Facebook Messages Update Rolls Out To More Users" http://pjblack.me/S7Tp3T
- some of these very strange: "9 Craziest Russian Commercials" http://pjblack.me/P3Rb4O
- "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Explores Photo Manipulation" http://pjblack.me/QG0CG3
- "Men vs. Women: The Search for the Parked Car" http://pjblack.me/RG9kDJ
- "The Erosion of Privacy and the Rise of Publicness…and why it’s a good thing" argues @briansolis http://pjblack.me/RELmc5
- "HeTexted Is Really About Mocking the Clueless" http://pjblack.me/S6c5Rr
- "An actual October Surprise?" http://pjblack.me/RGOILB
- has anyone played letterpress yet?: "Tweetie Creator Loren Brichter Discusses His Long-Awaited Follow-Up" http://pjblack.me/REJqjH
- "Laughter As A Form Of Exercise" http://pjblack.me/S674s0
- what a dumb story: "CNN Retracts Story About Hormonal Women Voters" http://pjblack.me/RGuYb0
- "Online courses part of bigger threat for unis" http://pjblack.me/RGkMiF #highered
- "Amazing Illustrated Maps Of Major Cities" http://pjblack.me/TVLSBR
- "Can Livestrong Live Without Lance?" http://pjblack.me/S66Np6
- "The Biggest Sites In Social Publishing" http://pjblack.me/RBpxtT
- "Lessons from abroad: Janice Reid's Menzies Oration" http://pjblack.me/S7a73t #highered
- "Roger and us: how Ailes' Fox talk revolutionised the American right" http://pjblack.me/RAefGf
- "Cuts 'undermine' economic credibility" http://pjblack.me/S7a5bI #highered
- "TEQSA hindering online growth, says Barber" http://pjblack.me/RGiIHz #highered
- "Only elite to survive slump in university funds" http://pjblack.me/S79LJT #highered
- "How to be Internet-famous with the help of social media" http://pjblack.me/S3pNV8
- "The Skyfall's the limit on James Bond marketing" http://pjblack.me/RAdqgH
- go @JoeTrippi!: "How Joe Trippi Found Happiness At Fox News" http://pjblack.me/S3otBF
- "What Happens When You Flush A Toilet On An Airplane?" http://pjblack.me/QTNjQd
- "Profiteers of Pain: Obstacle Racing in America" http://pjblack.me/XMGLrJ
- "Scientifically Speaking, Who's Funnier: Democrats or Republicans?" http://pjblack.me/S3msp4
- this is cool: "Looping Roller-Coaster Stairway You Can Actually Walk On" http://pjblack.me/XRTklz
- an amazing photography project: "Scenes From World War II Photoshopped Onto Today's Streets" http://pjblack.me/WHPY6x
- "Twitter memes go viral with help of big media tweeters" http://pjblack.me/S3k5Te
- "The Nine Circles Of Internet Hell" http://pjblack.me/QTNATb
- "The Most Amazing Parking Spaces In The World" http://pjblack.me/QTNvim
- "The Psychology Of Tetris" http://pjblack.me/QTNcUE
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.