Cool Stuff Sunday

Firstly, sorry for last week’s sad one-link post! I started collating my weekly finds and then conveniently just… didn’t. So anyway, enjoy this make-up post ❤

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I find prison an incredibly interesting environment from an outside perspective, and recently, Buzzfeed partnered with the Howard League for Penal Reform to publish inmate diaries from one day in September this year. Interesting to read just how boring it can be.

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Thinking of packing up shop and moving overseas? I know I am. Check out these handy tips over at The Cusp on doing it without fucking up!

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My cousin Mal recently took a trip back to Tanna Island to discover more about our ancestor, Tommy, and his trip from Tanna to Queensland back in the 1800s. He found some incredible things out, including the fact Tommy wasn’t blackbirded as we had long suspected, but in fact desperately wanted to get off the island. #themoreyouknow

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How is this even real? *cries*

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Okay so apparently there are people who can’t visualise things in their mind. These people are called aphantasiacs, and one of them has written this amazing insight into discovering he had it. Humans are so weird and I absolutely love it.

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Cool Stuff Sunday

Further to last week’s NatGeo list, take a gander at AWOL’s top 15 places to visit in 2017 and get booking!

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Some absolutely beautiful photos from the opening day of Disneyland in 1955 over at Buzzfeed! (omg can we just take a moment for the PERFECT Debbie Reynolds tho?! *crying*)

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The session made it clear just how much of a marathon the filmmaking process is, especially at the high end. Seven months of negotiating with Universal. Half a year waiting for Winslet. Two years of convincing a private investor to pony up part of the $2 million gap, to go along with the negotiations for facilities deals and producer contribution that made up the rest of it. Five years to get rights. A year of waiting because Winslet got pregnant, which added two million to the budget and forced Maslin to have to rejig the financing (money doesn’t wait around). Seven years to get from option to screen.

The Dressmaker is one of my favourite films from 2015, and recently, producer Sarah Maslin broke down the details for financing the project. Some great insights into the depths she researched and planned for, and some actual numbers for all you budding filmmakers out there.

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Instead of an interjection of “I’m not racist, but…”, or “I have Asian friends and they make jokes like this all the time”, perhaps the next phrase to come out of your mouth should be, “tell me more about this, I’m listening”. We all have much to learn from one another, and it can be difficult to make progress when all you can hear is a cacophony of voices, shouting over each other, and unwilling to make compromises.

My pal, Yen-Rong Wong is an amazing human, and also wrote this excellent piece for Catalogue on Australia’s rampant casual racism.

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The Australian Romance Readers Association recently collated responses from their annual readers survey which has delivered some super interesting results in terms of genres and ages of the romance reading demographic. You can read the findings, and a link to the full list of results at the link above.

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Since being diagnosed with PCOS two years ago, I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage my symptoms without resorting to the Pill, and having decided not to approach with hormonal supplements, I’ve been at a loss as to how to go about finding the right alternative. Today, a friend posted a link to this excellent piece over at MindBodyGreen on natural things you can do right now to manage symptoms of PCOS. Generally speaking I’m not the world’s biggest natural medicine advocate, but Mum’s a naturopath so I’ve always been surrounded by it, and I’m so thrilled to have found a place that’s encouraging PCOS-ers to approach it with natural solutions.

Cool Stuff Sunday

The Hamilton Mixtape is gonna drop real soon, and I’m dying with anticipation, but in the meantime, I’m spending every available moment on Lin-Manuel’s soundcloud account. It’s an incredible insight into his writing process. One of the most mind-blowing tracks (aside from the haunting demo of Satisfied) is this early draft of My Shot, complete with extended HERCULES MULLIGANNNNNNN (soz had to) verse:

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Looking to travel somewhere there are fewer crowds or less tourists to combat in queues at beautiful landmarks? NatGeo have put out a great list of 10 places that need more travellers. A couple of spots out of left field, but Armenia looks pretty freaking lovely, and I’ve always wanted to see Nepal.

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Continuing with the travel thing, now that I’m itching to get on a plane again now, here are some practical tips to saving your hard-earned cash for your next trip, thanks to my pal Tofu Traveler. I really am going to have to say goodbye to Apple Music, aren’t I?

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Silverchair is one of the best bands to come out of Australia probably ever, and I was stoked to find Triple J have done a huge retrospective on the J Files podcast. Catch the episode–featuring a pretty in-depth chat between The Doctor and Daniel Johns, and the accompanying four-chapter breakdown. Epic.

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As a lifelong Potterhead, it’s been interesting to watch the growth and expansion of the Potterverse since part two of The Deathly Hallows was released. This wonderful piece over on Buzzfeed really gets to the heart of how strange it feels to not be excited by more of something I have loved since I was 11. (FYI, I definitely, absolutely, unequivocally want a TV series about the Hogwarts Founders, so if someone at Netflix can run with this, that’d be super.)

With the Harry Potter franchise, it’s not an issue of quantity — it’s one of quality. The community around Harry Potter is used to being overwhelmed by material. They were revolutionary in that field, innovating what it meant to be a fan in the age of the internet, and serving as a gateway to many of what we consider the major fandoms and pop-cultural phenomena of the past decade.

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And to round off the day, here is my pal Simon Groth with the only response to Dylan’s Nobel Prize I care about. Absolutely spot on. A+. Five stars. Etc.

Cool Stuff Sunday: bumper edition

So for the first time in months, I haven’t posted for two Sundays in a row 😦 I AM SORRY LOYAL HUMANS, I was very very not alive after a major work project/event and several uni deadlines happened in the space of ten days. My gift to you is a GIGANTIC edition of Cool Stuff Sunday today, so enjoy many ridiculous things that I’ve found over the last fortnight. You’re welcome.

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I am a very annoying, affectionate person. My friends both love and hate me if we haven’t seen each other in a while, because one of the ways I express emotional reactions is by touching another human being, i.e. I will hug them for a very long time and smoosh their beautiful faces. Anyway, Mental_Floss has put together some “rules” (i really don’t know why they’re calling them rules but ok M_F, you do you) about touch, and how important it can be in alleviating some symptoms of depression.

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Speaking of it, a new study has found that depression may actually originate–at least for some people–in our immune systems. Take a look at this article over at the Sydney Morning Herald for one of the most interesting reads on neuroscience this week.

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The TOM HANKS TAKEDOWN over on Buzzfeed was amazingly gripping for a roasting of one of my faves??? Charting the rise and fall of Hanx is pretty spectacular, and so insanely in-depth that I’m left wondering if, in fact, the author has done their entire PhD on him. (Nice one if so).

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It’s November so as is my body’s wont, I’m getting itchy feet again. I’ve seen some berserk travel deals in the last month, and finally investigated what the heck an error fare is thanks to my buddy Tofu Traveler, who has some excellent tips for getting your cheap on when planning your next trip.

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R U INTROVERT? Have some tips about doing life.

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Who loves Beyonce? Me! Most of the time. If you do too, take a look at these mash-ups of Bey tunes with other excellent tunes. I’m particularly stoked with the Partition/Bitch Better Have My Money track, and the Halo/Fire Meet Gasoline mash-up is scratching at my insides, but basically these are all magnificent.

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Not part of the Beyhive?

Head over to the NME for a collection of Bowie’s isolated vocals on some of his most masterful pieces. What magic we have lost this year 😦

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An important discussion on what we need to talk about with our children when we talk about consent and body autonomy. 

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Pete Souza, the man behind the lens over the course of Barack Obama’s presidency has shared some of his favourite ever photographs of the outgoing President (jesus that’s hard to write). Wonderful, funny, heartwarming and poignant. I’m gonna miss this guy.

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Am absolutely loving my rewatch of Sailor Moon currently, and stumbled across these 15 things you might not know about good old meatball head. GET IT TOGETHER, TUXEDO MASK!

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And to take us out, here’s a thing. I saw A Monster Calls earlier in the week, and it annihilated what was left of me after a pretty huge fortnight. It was an absolutely beautiful retelling of Patrick Ness’ work, but make sure you take someone who’s going to hold your hand while you heave wracking sobs next to them.

Cool Stuff Sunday

Holy christ, I have like 8 days until all my final assessment is due and all I’ve been doing is reading this amazing #longread on Buzzfeed about the History of The Cool Girl. *hearteyes*

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Yooooooooooo, so Teyana Taylor (of Fade/amazing rig fame) is doing a new dance workout program called Fade2Fit, and yes I have already signed the fuck up. Details on the program are pretty sketchy at the moment, but I have unmanageably high hopes.

If you need a reminder of who Teyana is, or just want another glimpse of the kind of body actual real life humans can have (I’m still not convinced, it’s too good), check the clip for Fade below:

As one of my friends said “Thanks for reminding me of this video clip, now I have to go to confession again.”

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Last week, I was lucky enough to see one of my absolute favourite humans of all time, Glen Hansard, perform with his incredible band for his Didn’t He Ramble tour. Aside from being another feather in the ‘I Love You Glen’ cap, there was a buzz of joy pulsing through the room from the first second the musicians stepped on stage that I haven’t felt at a gig in a long time. Anyway, Glen is a fucking magical human being, and his interview on Radio National while he was here is worth a listen if you’ve any mind for musical genius.

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Girl in Pieces has been on my To Read list for a little while. Recently, the author penned a wonderful open letter about self-harm, both to self-harmers and those who love them. It’s pretty important, so go have a read.

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Ending today’s post on a slightly lighter note: cute AF bridesmaid dress mismatching!

Cool Stuff Sunday

Kicking off today’s post with some pretty sobering news: arts workers are twice as likely to attempt suicide as the general population. In light of this report, I thought it would be good to link back to ArtsHub’s article on self-care in the arts workplace. Be good to yourselves, and each other, babes ❤

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My good pal and writer extraordinaire, Peter M Ball, is full of incredible writing advice over at his blog, but this piece he wrote on the perils and advantages of proper time management is bloody excellent. Even if you’re not actively pursuing a writing career, this precise and encouraging method of calculating your time can be great for allocating time to personal projects, or reallocating your hours to things that matter to you.

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Sometimes freelancing sucks. Here’s a quick read on how to navigate a tricky relationship with an editor, thanks to Travel Write Earn.

They’re doing their job the way they think works best for them, so you need to do yours they way that’s best for you.

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If you don’t know already, I bloody love Taika Waititi. His movies Boy, Eagle Vs Shark and What We Do In The Shadows (plus that little flick Hunt For The Wilderpeople) give me utter joy, and I thank GOD he wandered into filmmaking. Anyway, further to my last Taika post, head on over to his Reddit AMA thread for some amazingness. I had no idea he wrote the original screenplay for Moana?! *dies*

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Cool Stuff Sunday

Get yourself some life lessons by the women of Jane Austen over at Verily. All awesome and true.

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I’ve always been rather intrigued by Arthur Amon’s theory of love. He posits that if you ask these 36 questions to a complete stranger–or someone you fancy a bit–and then stare into their eyes for four minutes (…………………………. that seems unnecessarily lengthy), then you’re pretty likely to fall in love. Looking at the questions, they seem like the kinds of things you’d share with someone you’re in a relationship over time, so it’s actually just the Express Lane version of intimacy. Anyway. Spotted this successful crash test of the theory, and was spurred on to find out the success rate of the 36. Find some other interesting results here, here and here. This one is probably my fave, but this was a punch to the feels.

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I am a massive massive fan of Daniels’ bloody insane film, Swiss Army Man, and a fan of Daniel Radcliffe (how can a HP fanatic not be tho??). It’s really cool to listen to DanRad chat to The Empire Film Podcast about his prep for playing corpse bride, Manny; his general excellence in stunts; and amazing insight into his own progression as an actor since the Potter films (special mention to Kill Your Darlings and Horns!). I’m also now super pumped to see Imperium and #thesweatyrevenant???????????????????? BIZARRE. Go listen.

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It wouldn’t be a Cool Stuff Sunday without a Shakey reference, so head on over to McSweeneys for this ~amazing~ list of The Housewives of Shakespeare Tag Lines. Short and sweet!

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Yesterday I watched this heart-stopping short film, Borrowed Time. Set aside 6 minutes and do yourself a favour.

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And to round off the afternoon, here are 13 great questions to kick around at your next book club session.

Cool Stuff Sunday

Arts workers famously earn fuck all money (can attest to the veracity of the statement), so ArtsHub have done us a solid and complied a list of 50 Ways to Make A Living in The Arts! Hooray!

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One of my fave movies from the last few years, Turbo Kid, is getting a flippin’ sequel guys. Oh ma gadddddd ❤ Here’s the film clip/prequel too.

ALSO, SEE TURBO KID IF YOU HAVEN’T YET.

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Fancy a trip through the English countryside? (Yes is the only correct answer to that btw). Take a squiz at these beautiful Austen-esque accommodation options over at Verily and get planning. I am beside myself in love with the Northanger Abbey Suffolk priory and need to live there yesterday.

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Taika Waititi is one of my favourite human beings on the planet, and this interview is a prime example of why. Creative nomad. Just. MARRY ME ALREADY.

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Feminist reads! Added these to my TBR list, and would like to add Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny to the mix.

Cool Stuff Sunday

STAR WARS SUITS. Need I say more?!

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I’m a giant wordnerd, and correct punctuation makes me very happy. But did you know there are marks that we rarely use anymore? Sure, you’ve probably heard of the interrobang, but what about the Snark Mark? (My fave because it sounds like Dark Mark and is also used to indicate in-text when you’re being an asshole.) Git sum lernin’.

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Ever wonder what the heck it was that got Sofia Coppola a fairly regular gig as a director (aside from her famous Dad?) Check out this list of short films that kicked the careers of 16 filmmakers off over at mic.com. Michel Gondry! Lynne Ramsay! George friggin’ Lucas!

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And just because this makes me infinitely happy ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Cool Stuff Sunday

I have so much to say about this berserk video, but first and foremost, who puts the world’s saddest musical tunes on a karaoke playlist at a kids party? Shit kicks up a notch at the two minute mark onwards. and then the first second he opens his mouth in the second video. What an absolute killer!

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If there’s ever a week I don’t talk about Hamilton or Lin-Manuel Miranda, please check my vital signs. Anyway, Lin-Manuel did an interview with GQ this month and took a bunch of bangin’ shots and you should go read it because it’s full of great insight about being an artist and a bunch of cute AF Lin stories.

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Being bi-sexual in pop culture (or IRL tbh) is a bit of a bust, because people tend to think you’re confused or must secretly be gay or straight but just have strange commitment issues (yeah, no). The kids over at Junkee mag are doing a shout-out for a couple of new releases that explore the realities of bisexual characters. And considering I’m in the midst of writing a rom-com with a bi protagonist, I AM ALL ABOUT THIS.

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Go check some incredibly beautiful artworks by John Austen, who’s created a suite of pieces based on Shakespearean plays. I’d recommend following the link through to the full gallery ❤

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Cool Stuff Sunday

Normally I get a bit huffy seeing articles about travelling as a single female, but there are quite a few places in this AWOL list that I’m keen to head to, so thought I’d share for the babes flying solo ❤

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It’s been a bit of a rough week this week after Lionel Shriver opened Brisbane Writer’s Festival with a divisive address on identity, cultural appropriation and the right to write last Thursday. There was a lot of hurt caused, and words exchanged, and a ‘right of reply’ pop-up session held at the festival. So it’s been intense. This article on Medium written by Ana Thomas is an incredible exploration of cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, but the points carry over to general life.

That blind entitlement is the foundation in which a person’s defense can begin to grow and also find a distorted justification, when confronted. Oftentimes when someone is called out for appropriation by the community from which they’re stealing — they take offense and go on the defense. Responding aggressively or decidedly taking an uninvolved stance through passive language.

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So apparently scientists have been researching fertilisation and KABLAMMO we may be able to fertilise pseudo-embryos if this experiment on mice is anything to go by… ~weird science~

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I can’t say I’m the world’s biggest South Park fan. I’ve seen a handful of episodes over the years and–for the most part–enjoyed them. But I’ve never been swayed enough to sit down purposefully and watch it, unless you count those times when my mother watched it religiously every week (100% not a lie). Anyway. There’s a really great oral history of South Park making the rounds on The Hollywood Reporter, and I read it gleefully. So you probs should too.