Nearly 60 university and college presidents took home over $1 million in compensation in 2015.

“If people think they’ve seen the last of Roy Moore, they are sorely mistaken,” a visibly devastated Moore said. “I’m going to get back up, dust myself off, and head on over to the good ol’ Gadsden Mall.”

A devastated Roy Moore consoles himself by heading to the mall.

↩︎ The New Yorker
Roy Moore's loss is yet another sign of the President's prescience and intelligence, says the President.
A tally of winners and losers from the finally-finished Alabama special election.

Some oddly jazzy narration and soundtrack for a short 1963 British Pathé documentary on candlemaking.

"The candle comes from the dimlit recesses of our ancestral memory, and see what lovely things we've done with it!"

A fun interactive simulation shows how far certain pop songs have traveled in outer space via radio waves.

The simulation argument is appealing, in part, because it gives atheists a way to talk about spirituality. The idea that we’re living in only a part of reality, with the whole permanently beyond our reach, can be a source of awe.

In case you missed it, a fun one from last year: “What are the odds we are living in a computer simulation?”

↩︎ The New Yorker
Saudi Arabia's thirtysomething Crown Prince lifts the country's thirty-plus-year ban on movie theaters.
A Mexican journalist, detained in Texas, pleads for asylum, fearing he'll be killed by the Mexican military.

Surfing just lost its filmmaker: Bruce Brown, director of The Endless Summer, has died at 80.

Brown never understood why the film caught on so widely. One of the surfers from the film told the Los Angeles Times in 1991, “In the Vietnam era, everybody needed something like that. God, you felt good when you left the theater.”

Endless Summer is a classic; you can stream it on Netflix. We love this lesser-known Brown film, Surfing Hollow Days, which contains the first footage of somebody surfing Hawaii's Pipeline break (jump to 1:05:30).

Coincidentally, the World Title is being fought for at Pipeline as we speak, with Kelly Slater staging a comeback of sorts.

Decentralized water, food stores, secret hideaways: how Switzerland has prepared itself for the end of the world.
Among the best trends from Hollywood in 2017: arm casts, title shout-outs, Charlize Theron's coats.

Spotify just named "serialism" as one of the year's "biggest emerging genres." And we're a little surprised? That something so Schoenberg-loving is in there?

Jean Barraqué's "Le Temps Restitué," excerpted in the video above, is an example of what'll be competing with "cinematic dubstep" and "chaotic black metal next year."

For what it's worth, here's a Spotify-assembled serialism playlist:

Merriam Webster's word of the year is "feminism," after searches for it on their website increased 70% in 2017.
For tracking purposes: tallying the 60+ (so far) firings, resignations, and suspensions over sexual misconduct.

“Hi Margot, I saw you out at the bar tonight. I know you said not to text you but I just wanted to say you looked really pretty. I hope you’re doing well!”

In case you missed it: “Cat Person,” by Kristen Roupenian, about dating, texts, ghosting, and self-deception.

↩︎ The New Yorker
An interview with "stunned" Kristen Roupenian, whose story "Cat Person" broke the (literary) internet last week.

“These algorithms are not meant to improve traffic, they’re meant to steer motorists to their fastest path. They will give hundreds of people the shortest paths, but they won’t compute for the consequences of those shortest paths.”

Routing apps + ride-share apps = previously quiet neighborhoods turned into dangerous traffic zones.

↩︎ New York Magazine
Macron offers millions of euros—“Make Our Planet Great Again" grants—to US scientists if they'll move to France.