squint, together

squint, together is a week-nightly thingy from squinter media rounding up stuff you should know and posts from across the extended blog-o-verse. time to take off the glasses, give the eyes an ol' rub, and squint, together, for another fun-filled issue.

contributors

 trevor the owl, guest editor, site mascot

  austin, from squinter media

letter from our editor

 austin, โ˜• contributor
โœ‰๏ธ austinw@squintermedia.com

It's the little rituals that connect us: logging onto slack in the morning to stan our favorite films, jumping into video calls to sing songs, washing clothes in the tub because we forgot to hit the laundromat...

It's late at night, and once again I find myself writing, with a favorite drink in hand. (chocolate milk. I'll probably regret it, like I regretted getting a triple-stack burger.) Tonight begins the longest week of my life as I prepare to resume full-time childcare. Vacation was nice. But kiddos come first.

This issue is dedicated to those of you juggling work and kiddos, often at the same time. You wild, wonderful weirdos. Here's to you.

In the immortal words of Weird Al: dare to be stupid.


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austin's weird-ass store-bought pierogies

1 box of pierogies
1 brick butter


Pierogies came to Canada in the early 1900s with Ukaranian and Polish immigrants, but the best ones I've had were created by a mennonite cook (hi, Tena!). Sadly, I never learned to create pierogies from scratch, but listen up:

The trick to turning store-bought pierogies into delicious delectable treats is all in double-cooking. Boil the suckers until they float. While boiling, heat up a frying pan. Put big globs of butter in that pan until the butter melts into a dancing pool of yummy. Fry the now-boiled pierogies, taking time to flip them until they've reached a golden, soft-yet-crunchy consistency. Delicious. -- austin


a Bruce story: the man all over town

Old neighbor Bruce, rest his soul, was a man with as many talents as years. One of those talents was stories, and this one is all about the Man All Over Town. This was one of Bruce's favorite stories, and yes, by golly, it's 100% true. Old Bruce died a few years back, but I can still see him sitting on his favorite faded purple flower-patterened recliner, his brown eyes as large as saucers, his rim of hair wild.

The sleepy city of Kenora -- or as the locals called it, Rat Portage -- was a-stir one afternoon. Action had come to the Ontario settlement, action in the form of a red-haired menace. When locals were questioned in the days after The Incident, the only detail they could agree on was that the man all over town had red hair.

The bank in Kenora was small, the city itself smaller, and on that sleepy day in walked a man with red hair. He had dynamite, he said, and a deadman's trigger: if he didn't get the money and a vehicle, he said, he would blow them all to kingdom come.

The money, the bank provided. A truck, a voice on the phone informed him, would be there soon. But when he stepped outside the bank, he was greeted by a gaggle of onlookers and one very tired constable.

"Get back, or I'll blow-"

and then he blew up, just then, as a sniper bullet smashed into his leg, somehow triggering the dynamite. an explosion of cash and viscera filled the air; the locals say they were picking pieces of him off of buildings for a week afterwards.

Nobody quite knows who the man all over town was, but they all agree that he had red hair. What remains of him was buried in a small plot in Kenora, but his spirit will live forever in legend.


Rafi Schwartz will not be stopped

our favorite tie-wearing teddy bear published this first of april over at Rolling Stone for the first time, with a timely and crucial look at the workers who power a widely-used shopping app.

as the crisis has waxed worse, society has become increasingly reliant on retail workers and personal shoppers, who remain massively underpaid and wildly overstressed.

(Rafi's twitter feed: ๐Ÿฆ @TheJewishDream)

an excerpt from What It's Like to Work for Instacart During the Coronavirus Pandemic:

On March 16th, Laura Richey dropped off her last Instacart order of the day before heading home with a scratchy throat โ€” the sort of thing she assumed would dissipate with a few days of rest, before getting back to the suite of gig jobs sheโ€™s combined to make a full-time career. But when she woke up five days later unable to breathe, Richey knew she had to get help immediately.

you can read more in the article: What It's Like to Work for Instacart During the Coronavirus Pandemic, by Rafi Schwartz

What Itโ€™s Like to Work for Instacart During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The appโ€™s CEO called its workers a โ€œcommunity of household heroes.โ€ But are those workers getting what they need to deal with COVID-19?



the price of eggs

Shopping is now a living nightmare; at night, suspicion and unease, in daylight, massive lineups, food outages, and the ever-present sense of dread. Whether you're in New York City or Penticton, this has become our shared, frightening reality.

naturally, kinja user Awesome's Razor wrote a chilling personal account about their early morning (or late night?) venture out, inexplicably, for eggs.

(On another note: eggs have risen by about 15% in price in preceding months, and the chicken market has become so cut-throat some food production companies are transitioning into game development instead.)

The Price of Eggs
Itโ€™s 3:30 a.m. Iโ€™m looking at zucchini when a man in a mask walks around the corner of my aisle. He stops and stares at me. I can see him out of the corner of my eyes, the only part of โ€ฆ

Leah Finnegan has a newsletter

Leah Finnegan, now executive editor over at The Outline, has been publishing a personal newsletter on The Outline since 2016. Her latest piece is about... dyes.

It's very soothing.

The Saddening
I recently discovered two things: a term from fabric dyeing about how to drain things of their vibrancy, and an old family letter. They are somewhat related.

well, hot damn

Music lovers, prepare to mourn another major loss: vinyl records.

For years, the medium has been the province of old audiophiles (pretentious humbugs!) and hipsters, having seen a small resurgence in popularity in the past decade. Fans of this obsolete format say that vinyl has a certain warmth lacking in digital ones and zeroes. And they're right: the discs produce a warm sound. Because they're on fire.

To be precise, the lacquer pressing plant is.

Disco inferno
A fire at one of the worldโ€™s only lacquer manufacturing plants calls the future of vinyl into question.
and i fell into a burning ring of fire

stop capitalizing every single word in headlines, you dorks

there is a trend ruining the internet, the trend of people Capitalizing Every Single Word In A Headline. Stop it.

Yes, I realize I'm guilty of it, too. It intuitively feels correct to see it in the CMS in camelcase. "Look ma, I'm writing a real article!". But historically, headlines were oft printed in all caps, as were book titles. The infamous Dewey Beats Truman headline was actually printed as DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN -- all the better to greet your eyeballs with.

These days, though, most news is consumed via social media platforms rather than paper; camel-case headlines are hard to correctly parse, but easy to misread. Minimise friction: no more camelcase.

-- austin


five things you never wanted to know about sax

The saxophone has been a staple of music ever since it was invented by adolphe sax way back in the 1840s, though kids these days (ugh!) mainly know it as "that thing from fortnite". my parents never let me get a saxophone, insisting on the much more affordable piano keyboard instead. total bummer, because the only cool keyboardists ever were Liberace and Freddy Mercury, and absolutely nobody else.

  1. before The Sax became the soundtrack of the roaring 20s (and the wacky 80s reboot), The Sax was an unkillable mancub. the kid just couldn't be kept down, surviving multiple falls, poisonings, explosions, only to die tragically of old age.
  2. last year, someone stole the same saxophone from a Washington, DC music store twice. weird, but true. the felon in question was finally fingered and charged with two counts of burglary.
  3. Florida's greatest bank robber, Forrest Tucker, was a talented home-made kayaker, notorious contortionist, and master of escape. He taught the saxophone for $25/hr, until at the age of 78, he decided to pull one last job.
  4. What is it with saxophones and heists? In 2019, bandits made off with 35 saxophones from a massive private collection... but left behind the most valuable one.
  5. Manu Dibango, a saxophone god from Cameroon, died in Paris last week. His work spanned 44 albums and seven decades, though most remember him for his pioneering Disco track, Soul Makossa. He was 86.


six browser games to destroy your productivity

productivity, smhoductivity. in the spirit of the timewasters of yore โ€“ hello, high school โ€“ here's six browser-based games that will definitely destroy your productivity (they did contribute to this issue coming out late)

mystera legacy, a browser-based 2d MMO

a simple little game, this one ate most of my afternoon. it's easy enough to jump into, being a rewarding little skinnerbox/sandbox MMO.

Mystera Legacy by jvh85
Free 2D sandbox MMORPG in open beta. Play in your browser!

super combat squadron

advance wars, but make it an RTS? heck yeah. ridiculously challenging, though. I will not be defeated!

Super Combat Squadron by sanojian
Single and multiplayer RTS

lazergrrl lite

a smart take on the tactical bombing genre, this is a radically cool game that supports online and local play. the devs have a full version of this in the works, but for now, enjoy the brilliant browser version.

https://sandwich-generation.itch.io/lazergrrl-lite

bruh.io

a 2d, fast-paced battle royale with an active reload system, officially making this the third-best battle royale behind Tetris 99 and Putt-Putt Royale.

Bruh.io by Bitfox Games
Try and outplay your friends in this Multiplayer Battle Royale Shooter.

uno, online

it's uno, but online.

Uno Online by Blyster
Online card game for 2-4 players.

infinite mario bros (html5)

a port of the classic java web game. mario now runs with superspeed thanks to modern computers being ridiculously fast, making this the silliest game yet. single-player.

https://openhtml5games.github.io/games-mirror/dist/mariohtml5/main.html


a quick word about the toilet paper situash

Will Oremus, a writer at medium.com's ozm team, did a dive into the toilet paper shortage, and his findings: the main cause of the shortage isn't hoarders, but supply-chain logistics.

The good news is that there's an abundance of commercial toilet-paper, though that might be scant comfort to those of us accustomed to triple-ply at home.

https://marker.medium.com/what-everyones-getting-wrong-about-the-toilet-paper-shortage-c812e1358fe0


until tomorrow!

Well, this has been a fun issue to write, from behind the screen of my laptop. I read everything you send me, even if I don't respond to any of them. If you want a response, send your mail to โœ‰๏ธ hello@squintermedia.com or poke us on twitter.

This has been issue #2 in our squint together series, you can read the rest of them in our squint together archives

 austin, โ˜• site contributor
โœ‰๏ธ austinw@squintermedia.com