Brain Pickings

Reverse Psychology Halloween Edition

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How to nail the I-don’t-give-a-fuck look by actually not giving a fuck but hopefully getting one.

TRICK OR TRITE

Halloween, that special time when people who should not be roaming the streets half-naked get to roam the streets half-naked, is almost upon us. And if you’re employed by any part of the creative industry and/or consider yourself a “hipster” (despite never admitting to it), so is that tortuous hunt for the right costume. You know, the one that lets you out-hip, out-snark, and out-I’m-too-cool-to-care-about-this-kind-of-stuff everyone else. The one from the comfort of which you can make fun of all the vixens, sluts, bachelors, pimps, and other oh-so-cheesy get-ups out there. The one that inevitably turns out to be much less funny/original/culturally-relevant than you thought.

Amazoning It Well, this year we’re doing a full 180 and refusing to let this whole fuss consume a good two weeks of our lives. So, we’re getting a marginally-out-of-the-box costume that comes in a box. Yep, we’re Amazoning it. Because, seriously, it’s a Catch-22: If you end up on the “most original” list, you’re inevitably slammed with the “trying too hard” stamp. And if you don’t, well, you’re just unoriginal.

So join us in screwing with the system by boxing it all with a few click-ship picks that are sure to set you apart from the cheeseballs and the try-hards by being, well, neither. If only so you can make fun of all your friends who did spend those obsessive two weeks on their costumes.

If you’re hitched, how about the Plug & Socket set? Nothing says “we have great geek sex and like to rub it in your face in a way you can’t exactly call us out on” better. Or, if you’re on the not-wanting-to-look-desperate-so-broadcasting-desperation-hoping-it-would-appear-snarky side, just don the One Night Stand costume — sure, you’ll go home alone again, but at least you won’t wake up next to one of those much-less-attractive-in-the-morning French maids, vixens or naughty nurses.

And although it’s so 2007, we’re yet to have someone take us up on our Borat mankini dare. Plus, nothing says “I’m too cool to care about impressing people with my time-relevant wit” like a has-been costume that your rock out with your… oh, never mind.

Mac Guy Speaks Up

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Because nothing says “Mac Guy” better than a smartass passive-aggressive comment about PC Guy.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

After last week’s rather scandalous exposé on the whole Mac vs. PC thing, we find out today that Mac OS market share has hit an all-time high at 8.28%, at the expense of Windows’ slow but steady fall from the 90.24% top.

Okay, no surprise, as we believe settling for the inferiority of a PC operating system is one of modern civilization’s most irrational and logic-devoid transgressions, right up there with Spandex, Hummers and George W.

But our quote of the week comes from our Swiss Mac brethren, specifically one CNN commenter unambiguously nicknamed “cynik”:

“A mac is a kitchen in your home, where you prepare your favourite delicacies.

A pc is a camp kitchen for a pack of grunts whose opinion doesn’t matter to their management.”

So much for neutrality.

Deadliest Itch: Malaria Awareness Mosquito-Mosaic Posters

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Why the seat of privilege comes down to having OFF! on hand.

The other day, we established that we’re all African. Fitting, since today we’re looking at one of the coolest awareness campaigns we’ve seen in a long while, which happens to address Africa’s most serious malady: Mosquitoes.

And if you think we’re kidding, or making an awful joke that belittles the AIDS epidemic or genocide, we’re not — every year, mosquito-carried malaria takes more children’s lives in Africa than all other diseases combined. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 3,000 children die from malaria every day.

So African nonprofit África Directo unleashed a brilliant campaign to make this simple point so powerfully:

Mosquito PSA

Mosquito PSA

“Nothing and no one takes more lives than malaria”

Mosquito PSA

The portraits are, of course, composed entirely of mosquitoes — a stencil technique that puts Banksy to shame.

Mosquito PSA

Out of Spainish agency Sra. Rushmore.

via Arab Aquarius

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Artist Spotlight: Adrian Johnson

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Because nothing non-awesome ever came from the U.K.

We’re suckers for awesome illustration. So we dig U.K. artist Adrian Johnson, whose work spans anything from editorial stuff for iconic publications like The Guardian, GQ and The Monocle, to advertising for big-timers like Vodafone and Canon, to animation for a number of top ad agencies, plus a ton of other killer artwork for clients like Scion, Computer Arts and 2K by Gingham.

Green Living

Some of our favorites: The instant point made in Brand Whore for adidas / British Airways Business Life, the social commentary of Relocate for The Guardian, the category-defying Small Business Trip for MasterCard, the simple wit of Memories Are Our Fuel for Scion / Giant Robot, and the sheer awesomeness of Coolest. Fact. for 2K by Gingham.

Fucking Negative

via design:related

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Cartography by the People

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What getting lost in Eindhoven has to do with a nice pit bull and a shovel.

PEN & PAPER: 1, GPS: 0

It’s no secret we’ve been obsessed with maps for a while now. Which is why we’re all over the Hand Drawn Map Association — a quirky, relentlessly amusing archive of user-submitted maps and other interesting diagrams, all drawn, of course, by hand.

The collection spans anything from convoluted direction maps Map that we bet did more harm than good, to a weird hybrid diagram of the digestive system and hell, to what appears to be a bizarre and somewhat creepy treasure-hunting map.

And in the ultimate old-school-new-school fashion, the Association has its very own Facebook page, complete with free goodies for anyone who fans it. You can even follow them on Twitter.

Which reminds us of that incessantly awesome Map of Online Communities.