Happy Halloween! J.K. Rowling Wrote a New Thing: Links You Need to See


There are two things you, internet dweller, should know about today — unless you live exclusively on a series of Wiki sites. First, it’s Halloween, dummy! (Okay, if you’re outside of the U.S., you’re excused.) But, still, it’s Halloween! Look at this photo of a dog dressed up like Ira Glass. (He’s ready to bark and bark and bark until he’s a master barker, guys!) Also, check out this whole list of costumes that Vox uses to explain the news:

The other thing that you, person reading a thing on the World Wide Web, should be aware of, is that J.K. Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, the greatest literary series of all time (maybe hyperbole), has released new writing on one of the Harry Potter-verse’s greatest villains, Dolores Umbridge. The whole thing is available on Rowling’s Harry Potter fan-site/interactive game, Pottermore, but really, that place is confusing. So, go over to the Today Show‘s web site and discover what seeds grew into the pile of vile that was Dolores Umbridge. Hey, even Umbridge’s resentment began with an unpaid internship. Universality.

Speaking of universality, how many of you have ever wanted to just speak to clients in a robot voice, knowing that that’s what they want to hear? About zero percent of all people who have ever felt said urge have actually acted on it, until now. A New York Health Department IT worker was suspended from his job for being caught answering calls in a robotic voice, apparently as a response to being told that his fast cadence and Brooklyn accent weren’t acceptable.

Also not acceptable? Showing most Halloween movies to children. Luckily, McSweeney’s has a list of Halloween movies for kids! These aren’t exactly real movies, but mostly ideas of movies. If you’re looking for a real movie to watch, I’ve got two for ya. The first is the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is being played nonstop on the Logo channel (yeah!) for the next few days. That may seem like an odd choice, given Logo’s mission statement of gayness, and given the controversy over whether or not Rocky Horror is “good for the gays,” but, when you read about the history of the film, it makes a little more sense.

The second movie is Spookies, a kind of bad-good film that was pieced together with two disparate works from two completely separate teams. As explained (and expanded upon) in this piece over at the Dissolve, the film — which has in recent years enjoyed its own resurgence in the cult-viewing world, whatever that can now be defined as — was the victim/benefactor of a troubled production, and it’s a singular viewing experience because of it.

But, let’s finish on something not so much horrifying, but morbidly intriguing. First, listen to that weird dark synth above.

Now, read this. If you’ve ever tried psilocybin, you know how it works, what it makes you see, how it makes you freak out, the types of plants it makes you want to embrace. But, maybe what’s more interesting (and less terrifying) is how it actually works on your brain, man. Like, how psilocybin makes the different sections of your brain cross-network, like some kind of post-grad desperate for a job. There are lots of big words in that article, but one of the main takeaways is this: Now that we know how these things work, it’s pretty much all but proven that psychedelics give additional insights into psychotherapy, and might even be useful in treating chronic depression.

What fun. Now, who wants some candy? Don’t mind the open wrapper. Oh, and here’s how you should spend the rest of your workday, should it not already be over.