Critical Linking: October 24th, 2013

 

Atlasphere: For devotees of Ayn Rand, because no one wants todate one of those by accident.

A dating site for Ayn Rand fans. Had to make sure this wasn’t from The Onion.

Burt’s Bees doesn’t exactly balm in its debut on Vine, but the effort isn’t da balm, either. The brand riffs on classic literature in animated “adaptations” of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Little Women, with more to come.

What a weird marketing campaign….for lip balm.

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Americans were comparatively weak-to-poor in all three areas. In literacy, for example, about 12 percent of American adults scored at the highest levels, a smaller proportion than in Finland and Japan (about 22 percent). In addition, one in six Americans scored near the bottom in literacy, compared with 1 in 20 adults who scored at that level in Japan.

Can’t even be sarcastic about this.

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It’s also not exactly a conventional novel. Its full title is an unwieldy mouthful: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The author (or authors) writes under the ungainly nom de plume of The American Psychiatric Association – although a list of enjoyably silly pseudonyms is provided inside (including Maritza Rubio-Stipec, Dan Blazer, and the superbly alliterative Susan Swedo). The thing itself is on the cumbersome side. Over two inches thick and with a thousand pages, it’s unlikely to find its way to many beaches. Not that this should deter anyone; within is a brilliantly realized satire, at turns luridly absurd, chillingly perceptive, and profoundly disturbing.

Reviewing the DSM as a dystopian novel is freaking genius.

 

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