For Your Enjoyment #20

The road instantly turned to mud and gravel the moment we passed the sign, and after about three turns we crested a ridge giving us a view of the Alaska we were leaving behind: civilization lay behind us now. 

- Friends (and photographers) Stuart Philkill and Sebastiaan de With have meticulously documented their 10,000-mile motorcycle trip from San Francisco to Alaska, and the results are absolutely beautiful (image above)

George, a 10-year-old goldfish in Australia, had a relatively large tumor on its head. So George's owners brought the fish to Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, where a veterinarian successfully performed surgery on the pet. According to the hospital, the procedure last week went ... "swimmingly."

You don't have to give up on a sick goldfish!

The reality of living with an iPhone, or any smart, connected device, is that it makes reality feel just that little bit less real. One gets over-connected, to the point where the thoughts and opinions of distant anonymous strangers start to feel more urgent than those of your loved ones who are in the same room as you. One forgets how to be alone and undistracted. Ironically enough experiences don’t feel fully real till you’ve used your phone to make them virtual—tweeted them or tumbled them or Instagrammed them or YouTubed them, and the world has congratulated you for doing so. 

- Is Apple technology taking over our bodies and our lives?

"We're celebrating the elegance of the past and embracing some qualities that have been left behind - poise and decency. The DecoBelles do mid-range kicks, the Charleston and a dance with hats. It's very cute and charming. We don't twerk."

- SF Gate reports on The Art Deco Society of California's annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon (h/t DM)

For our generation — a shoulder demographic between Generation X and the millennials — this was one of our movies, a film that managed, however oddly, to capture the ineffable feeling of being a (white, straight) quasi-alienated teenager in a very specific time.

- BuzzFeed takes a look at the belated success and enduring impact of 90s cult classic "Empire Records"

“It’s like winning the lottery,” Rothblatt said happily, about seeing her name atop the list of America’s 200 highest-paid CEOs], during one of the meetings I had with her this summer. But Rothblatt could not be less interested in establishing herself as a role model for women. “I can’t claim that what I have achieved is equivalent to what a woman has achieved. For the first half of my life, I was male,” she said.

-  NY Mag takes a look at the life of Martine Rothblatt, the 59-year-old transgendered founder and CEO of United Therapeutics

The unsavory manifestations of Lovecraft’s dread can’t be surgically removed from his fiction by an act of willful blindness, as some fans seem to think. To the contrary, they help us to understand it, but to do that we need to be able to accept the truth that even great artists — greater ones than Lovecraft, certainly — have their ugly sides, and that ugliness can be inextricable from their greatness.

- Salon argues the case of trying to separate Lovecraft's work from his documented virulent racism

IS has achieved something scarcely conceivable in the Middle East by uniting the bitterest of foes in a common purpose.

- The Economist examines the messy political allegiances of the Middle East