This week, I was very pleasantly alerted to the world of AI generated pickup lines via the medium of Janelle Shane’s substack. There were any number of beautiful, bonkers, lines from, “Hey, my name is John Smith. Will you sit on my breadbox while I cook or is there some kind of speed limit on that thing?” to “I’m losing my voice from all the screaming your hotness is causing me to do.” I was, however, struck by the very good pickup line by one AI called Babbage which was heard to remark, “You’re looking good today. Want snacks?” and I am still in awe.
Anyway, I was posting away about my now blossoming relationship with Babbage over on twitter when Kara wrote to ask me to write something about pickup lines in the medieval period, and I will be damned if that is not a great idea. Don’t we all deserve a little light diversion on a Friday in the midst of all of the pandemic, ships stuck in the Suez canal, and police brutality? So, here is one for Kara.
For my last post of this garbage year I wanted to write you something festive. Maybe about commemoration, or compilation, or Christmas traditions of some kind. Then I logged into twitter and well lord forgive me, but it is time to go back to the old me.
You see, the first thing I was presented with as my poor tired eyes struggled to adjust to the weak light of a December morning was this:
This week I was lucky enough to be joined by Justin Hancock from BISH (where I have written before) for a discussion on the history of sexuality and how it is still playing out in the modern day, with particular reference to No Nut November.
We’re covering: ancient, medieval, and modern concepts of sexuality; the biopsychosocial approach to sex; and how to pronounce Graham Crackers. I hope you enjoy!
If you enjoyed this, please consider contributing to my patreon. If not, that is chill too!
In an extremely normal turn of events, this week I was forced to learn that Donald Trump, having never left his bullshit, was of course on it. The leader of the free world has been retweeting videos made by the good Dr Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based pediatrician who says the things he wants to hear. (Masks = bad. The drug that he has a financial interest in = good.) Turns out Dr Immanuel also has some, uh, spicier opinions as well.
Because I am an historian and can do stuff like this and call it work, I spent several hours yesterday playing with this incredible zoomable version of the Agas map of Early Modern London. If you just went over there and played with that and didn’t read the rest of this post I would make peace with it eventually. But why not do both?
Now that you are aware that this map exist, if you are still here first – thanks! Second, there are hundreds of reasons why this map is so amazing, but today we are going to talk about how it offers us a rare glimpse into everyday life in Early Modern London.
So, this week on Twitter, aka the place that Mufasa would have warned you that you must never go, we met a new dude. I became aware of him because he had some advice to world’s strongest man, and holder of the new world deadlift record Hafþór Björnsson, aka the Mountain, on how to stand next to his wife.