Culture

We Recommend: Your Friday Freebies

Junkee-endorsed bits and bobs to make your weekend better. Featuring an incredible photo essay, a ridiculous website, an online writers festival, an article on how to be funny, and more.

Each Friday, our contributors send in a bunch of (legally) free stuff they’ve come across this week to help you waste your weekend. You’re welcome.

Photo Collection: ‘Raising Rob The Orphaned Baby Palm Squirrel‘, by Paul Williams

Recommended by: Jack Arthur Smith

Wondering through the forests of Sri Lanka, BBC wildlife film maker Paul Williams came across a teeny, tiny baby squirrel on its last legs.

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Pained by what he saw he made it his mission to nurse this little thing back to life.

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The photos are incredible.

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Music: Demos by Heavy Bangs

Recommended by: Nathan Wood

Last week, Noisey writer Dan Ozzi crafted a fantastic piece about how Philadelphia — despite having a reputation for being full of baseball-obsessed, junk food-gorging bros that love to punch on — has one of the most exciting emerging punk rock scenes in the world. Listing the likes of The Menzingers (soon to tour Australia with Melbourne’s Smith Street Band), RestorationsModern Baseball and more, the article is pretty much a killer mixtape of a dozen or so bands that you should be losing your hearing to right now.

One of the acts to feature was Heavy Bangs, whose sole member Cynthia Jon is also a member of infectious pop punk outfit Radiator Hospital. It’s a more delicate example of the kind of music exploding from the Philly scene, but it’s also totally gorgeous, Camera Obscura-esque, teeth-rotting-it’s-so-sweet kind of music that gets stuck in your head for days.

You can download Heavy Bangs two-song demo from her Bandcamp for free.

Weather: Doge Weather

Recommended by: Katie Booth (‘Shoshi Games Is, Like, Way Better Than The Winter Olympics‘)

Sick of watching weather guys and gals with oompa loompa fake tan make a recovery after an awkward autocue fail? Much annoy? Such broken?

Doge Weather is here for you, translating the weather in your current location into your favourite language.

“Mostly sunny morning. Cloud increasing through the afternoon with high humidity, and a chance of late rain”?

Or:

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It’s your choice.

How-To: ‘Dissecting a Frog: How To Write a Humor Piece‘, by Teddy Wayne for the NY Times

Recommended by: Andy Huang (‘Seven Fashion Films By Your Favourite Auteurs‘)

What if I didn’t have to be naturally funny, but could still make readers chuckle simply by ending a convoluted rhetorical question with a comment like, I NEED A LEMON?

“While there is no substitute for a naturally sharp sense of humour, it is possible to improve one’s prose wit by studying the form,” writes Teddy Wayne. Having appeared in The New Yorker and McSweeney’s — go-to place for intelligent short humour pieces — Wayne is certainly no stranger to the form. He dissects it in this piece for The New York Times, offering suggestions on how to master the artAspiring witty writer-peoples: there is hope!

Micro-Site: Planet Money Makes A Shirt

Recommended by: Madelin Newman (‘Five Celebrity Friendship Groups We’d Really Like To Hang Out With‘)

NPR economics wizards, Planet Money, created a microsite to follow the manufacturing path of the humble t-shirt.

Split into five chapters, this multimedia extravaganza is a shiny and distilled look at the global impact of garment manufacturing. It’s an impressive example of the type of online journalism that can be achieved with a bottomless pit of money (or a really really good Kickstarter campaign).

Performance Art: Day For Night, By Jeff Khan and Emma Price

Recommended by: Brendan Maclean (‘Dan Savage On The Queer Rights Movement, Monogamy, And Sex‘)

Performance art can be pretty hit and miss — I mean, how many times can you be shocked by someone peeing on stage?

But Day For Night, a collaboration between Performance Space and Sydney Mardi Gras, completely blew me out of the water.

Within the giant halls of Carriageworks, you move between several works set to the music of Stereogamous (Paul Mac, Jonny Seymour). There’s confetti cannons, headbangers in leather, diamond-clad aliens plugged into the space itself.

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Stay ten minutes or for the whole day — the cycle of performers constantly changes so everyone gets a different experience.

Website: Cache Monet

Recommended by: Edward Sharp-Paul (‘Popcorn Dressed As Lamb: My Beef With Wes Anderson‘ and ‘Everything You Need To Know About The W.A. Shark Cull‘)

Sorry first internet era, you’re just a big joke to us now… but what a joke!

Spinning chip! That scrunching sound when you throw things in the trash! Microsoft-fetishising hip hop!

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I don’t know what’s going on here, but I like it. My brain hurts.

Festival: Digital Writers Festival

Recommended by: Michelle See-Tho (‘Nine Completely Un-Romantic Films To Watch This Valentine’s Day‘)

That the media landscape is changing is undeniable, and it deserves to be discussed and challenged. Presented by the Emerging Writers Festival, the Digital Writers’ Festival kicked off this week, with virtual panels and online workshops featuring Australian and international writers: a meta way of talking about digital media, through digital media.
Things that I’m excited about include the How To Do Digital Journalism panel on February 24, and the Student Media Roundtable on February 23. You can access the DWF here.

Song: ‘Moon Song’, by Karen O and Ezra Koenig

Recommended by: Andy Huang (‘An Interview With Markus Zusak‘)

If you love/hate Her and the too-twee twang of the much-loved/hated ukelele, then there is a high likelihood you will love/hate this special duet version of ‘Moon Song’ by Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), which was released earlier in the week to celebrate the Oscar Nomination for Best Original Song.

Whether you’re lonely or in love (with a human, your personal computeror any other inanimate objects), this dreamy track is perfect, and will either make you sick from cuteness overload, or just really, really happy today.

Article: ‘You All Forgot That Luke Skywalker Is A BAMF’, by Emily Asher-Perrin

Recommended by: Patrick Magee (‘The Schapelle Telemovie Represents Everything That’s Wrong With Australian TV‘)

Emily Asher-Perrin has gone and written a Force-chokingly incredible piece on how Luke Skywalker is actually the greatest character in the Star Wars universe – ‘You All Forgot That Luke Skywalker Is A BAMF‘ (I don’t know what BAMF stands for, but I assume it’s “Best Acting Much Force”).

If like me, you’ve been forced (LOL) to hide your love for the fanboy-turned-Jedi under a bushel, print this out and pin it to the face of the next person who mentions how much they love Han “I Don’t Know What A Parsec Is” Solo.

Literary Google Maps: ‘On The Road For 17,527 Miles’

Recommended by: Rob Moran

Although, like many 20-somethings embarking on their first epic backpacking trip, I first read Kerouac’s On The Road in an enjoyable stretch of stupid freedom (and relaxing train rides), I can’t remember a thing about it besides Californian orange groves and lovable Mexican girls. Thankfully, German college student Gregor Weichbrodt had an idea to re-jog our memories in the nerdiest way possible.

This week, Weichbrodt took all of the novel’s geographic mentions, stuck them in Google Maps, and ended up with 60-odd pages of driving directions that echo Sal Paradise’s own cross-country journey. Like Kerouac’s own intricate headrush, the final result — all “Head southeast on 19th St towards Curtis. Take the first left onto Broadway…” — is its own sort of poetry. Sure, the most boring and soulless poetry ever, but hey, it passes the time (about 272 hours, apparently).

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