Why and How to Leave Facebook
Nick Briz is a Chicago-based new media artist, educator, and organizer. Briz teaches at the Marwen Foundation and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has shown his work internationally, and is the co-founder of the GLI.TC/H conference. While all of that is undeniably impressive, I must say I knew Briz was a genius when I first saw, “Apple Computers,” a powerful affront against Apple and a manifesto for the prosumer of our age. So, when Briz made “How To / Why Leave Facebook,” a piece about leaving Facebook, I knew I should pay attention. 
 
I recently left Facebook as well, but I was uninterested in any self-congratulatory artwork or dramatic fuck-you to the social platform. I hadn’t enjoyed my time on Facebook for a while, but Facebook had been such a large part of my life for 9 years. I don’t buy most complaints about it “not being real life,” or some useless addiction. As the largest social network in the world, Facebook is very much a part of real life, I just hadn’t felt like I was benefitting from that part of my life.   
 
My vague discontentedness with Facebook finally reached a boiling point in light of theiremotional contagion study. The highly controversial academic study was recently published, and it claims that Facebook had secretly manipulated the emotional state of nearly 700,000 of its users. I understood that Facebook’s main purpose is to make advertising dollars from it’s users, but this felt excessively creepy. And as VICE News has already reported, one of the study’s researches received funding from the Minerva initiative—helping the Pentagon study and quell social unrest—that made it all the more creepy. Yet I knew Briz would offer some insight beyond the most recent headlines. 
Continue

Why and How to Leave Facebook

Nick Briz is a Chicago-based new media artist, educator, and organizer. Briz teaches at the Marwen Foundation and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has shown his work internationally, and is the co-founder of the GLI.TC/H conference. While all of that is undeniably impressive, I must say I knew Briz was a genius when I first saw, “Apple Computers,” a powerful affront against Apple and a manifesto for the prosumer of our age. So, when Briz made “How To / Why Leave Facebook,” a piece about leaving Facebook, I knew I should pay attention. 
 
I recently left Facebook as well, but I was uninterested in any self-congratulatory artwork or dramatic fuck-you to the social platform. I hadn’t enjoyed my time on Facebook for a while, but Facebook had been such a large part of my life for 9 years. I don’t buy most complaints about it “not being real life,” or some useless addiction. As the largest social network in the world, Facebook is very much a part of real life, I just hadn’t felt like I was benefitting from that part of my life.   
 
My vague discontentedness with Facebook finally reached a boiling point in light of theiremotional contagion study. The highly controversial academic study was recently published, and it claims that Facebook had secretly manipulated the emotional state of nearly 700,000 of its users. I understood that Facebook’s main purpose is to make advertising dollars from it’s users, but this felt excessively creepy. And as VICE News has already reported, one of the study’s researches received funding from the Minerva initiative—helping the Pentagon study and quell social unrest—that made it all the more creepy. Yet I knew Briz would offer some insight beyond the most recent headlines. 

Continue

Can Science Find a Safe Replacement for Alcohol?
There is a knot of pain just behind my right eye that throbs in time with my pulse. My eyes feel raw. My mouth is dry. Last night’s booze-induced heroics are a distant memory. In the harsh light of day, I feel simply terrible, and yet, next weekend, I’m liable to do it all over again.
When it comes to legal intoxicants, alcohol is essentially the only choice available. It is the world’s most widely used drug, and can be safely deemed toxic, addictive, and linked to violent behavior. As the failed American experiment with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and 30s demonstrated, the desire for easy intoxication will seemingly always be a part of our society. But with a massive pharmacopeia and scientific infrastructure at our disposal, why do we still rely on such an imperfect means to accomplish that goal?
That imperfection was on display in a study released last week by the Center for Disease Control (CDIC). Their researchers have determined excessive drinking to be responsible for the deaths of 1 in 10 working-age adults in the US. In total, 88,000 Americans die every year from alcohol.
Continue

Can Science Find a Safe Replacement for Alcohol?

There is a knot of pain just behind my right eye that throbs in time with my pulse. My eyes feel raw. My mouth is dry. Last night’s booze-induced heroics are a distant memory. In the harsh light of day, I feel simply terrible, and yet, next weekend, I’m liable to do it all over again.

When it comes to legal intoxicants, alcohol is essentially the only choice available. It is the world’s most widely used drug, and can be safely deemed toxic, addictive, and linked to violent behavior. As the failed American experiment with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and 30s demonstrated, the desire for easy intoxication will seemingly always be a part of our society. But with a massive pharmacopeia and scientific infrastructure at our disposal, why do we still rely on such an imperfect means to accomplish that goal?

That imperfection was on display in a study released last week by the Center for Disease Control (CDIC). Their researchers have determined excessive drinking to be responsible for the deaths of 1 in 10 working-age adults in the US. In total, 88,000 Americans die every year from alcohol.

Continue

Finally someone invented the suitcasemobile

Finally someone invented the suitcasemobile

We Talked to a Dick Pic Expert About Vag Pics
Lawyer by day, dick pic critic by night, Madeleine Holden knows how to multi-task. The New Zealander is the curator and commentator behind Critique My Dick Pic (Link NSFW), a virtual Day of Reckoning for the world’s crappy dick pics, which went viralalmost as soon as it began last September. 
 
While the title alone was strong enough to garner tumblr attention, Holden’s blog is far from a gimmick. Submissions are assigned a letter grade and judged based on composition, lighting, and creativity, but the site has a strict no body- or size-shaming policy, and accepts submissions from anyone with a dick—men, ladies with strap-ons, and trans people are welcome to send in their artfully put together cock shots. Critiques are thoughtful (“Your dick pic is different in that your dick is soft yet you’ve managed to make it visually appealing by cupping it intimately with your hand”), funny (“Dude, this isn’t good. Your own girlfriend has given you a five and she loves you and knows about all your good qualities and likes that cute thing you do with your mouth”), and dripping with feminist swagger, much like Holden’s Twitter presence. 
 
As a sender and receiver of the occasional sexy message myself, I appreciate Holden’s efforts. There truly is a dearth of imagination out there when it comes to ways men choose to photograph their dicks. For a long time I held that against them—why was I messing with lighting and angles when I was getting sent the photographic equivalent of that comedy boner boi-oi-oiiing noise? I recently realized, however, that I was sending back full bod shots—this is where I had them beat. Turns out it’s hard (pun intended, forever) to take a pic of just genitals. Solo gens do not a cute pic make. At least not without some work. I thought it might be time to consult an expert. Can the vag pic have a renaissance like the one @moscaddie is helping bring about with the dick pic? We caught up with the dick pic critic, currently traveling around the States on a break from balancing criminal defense with Female God’s work to ask about logs, unsolicited sexts, and the future—if any—of the vag pic. 
 
Note: The interview is worksafe, but consider this a blanket NSFW warning for the links.
 
VICE: Hi, Madeleine. So, Critique My Dick Pic started in September, inspired by one particularly well-done dick pic. Why do you think the current state of dick pics is so dismal? What are the main mistakes holding dick pics back?
Madeleine Holden: I think that the main problem with dick pics is that men are preoccupied with using them as an advertisement for their size, rather than as a piece of erotic material intended to turn someone else on. That’s the reason that most dick pics are logs, and why an alarming number of them contain an inanimate object provided for scale. Pictures like this reek of insecurity and they’re extremely dull. Dick pics should include some non-dick body parts, and a dispiriting number of them don’t. 
 
Another reason that the current state of dick pics is so dismal is that there is a culture of non-consent that surrounds them. Dick pics are often thrust at women unsolicited on dating sites and social media, and they are widely reviled for this reason. We need to encourage senders of dick pics to share them strictly with people who want to see them. 
Continue

We Talked to a Dick Pic Expert About Vag Pics

Lawyer by day, dick pic critic by night, Madeleine Holden knows how to multi-task. The New Zealander is the curator and commentator behind Critique My Dick Pic (Link NSFW), a virtual Day of Reckoning for the world’s crappy dick pics, which went viralalmost as soon as it began last September. 
 
While the title alone was strong enough to garner tumblr attention, Holden’s blog is far from a gimmick. Submissions are assigned a letter grade and judged based on composition, lighting, and creativity, but the site has a strict no body- or size-shaming policy, and accepts submissions from anyone with a dick—men, ladies with strap-ons, and trans people are welcome to send in their artfully put together cock shots. Critiques are thoughtful (“Your dick pic is different in that your dick is soft yet you’ve managed to make it visually appealing by cupping it intimately with your hand”), funny (“Dude, this isn’t good. Your own girlfriend has given you a five and she loves you and knows about all your good qualities and likes that cute thing you do with your mouth”), and dripping with feminist swagger, much like Holden’s Twitter presence
 
As a sender and receiver of the occasional sexy message myself, I appreciate Holden’s efforts. There truly is a dearth of imagination out there when it comes to ways men choose to photograph their dicks. For a long time I held that against them—why was I messing with lighting and angles when I was getting sent the photographic equivalent of that comedy boner boi-oi-oiiing noise? I recently realized, however, that I was sending back full bod shots—this is where I had them beat. Turns out it’s hard (pun intended, forever) to take a pic of just genitals. Solo gens do not a cute pic make. At least not without some work. I thought it might be time to consult an expert. Can the vag pic have a renaissance like the one @moscaddie is helping bring about with the dick pic? We caught up with the dick pic critic, currently traveling around the States on a break from balancing criminal defense with Female God’s work to ask about logs, unsolicited sexts, and the future—if any—of the vag pic. 
 
Note: The interview is worksafe, but consider this a blanket NSFW warning for the links.
 
VICE: Hi, Madeleine. So, Critique My Dick Pic started in September, inspired by one particularly well-done dick pic. Why do you think the current state of dick pics is so dismal? What are the main mistakes holding dick pics back?
Madeleine Holden: I think that the main problem with dick pics is that men are preoccupied with using them as an advertisement for their size, rather than as a piece of erotic material intended to turn someone else on. That’s the reason that most dick pics are logs, and why an alarming number of them contain an inanimate object provided for scale. Pictures like this reek of insecurity and they’re extremely dull. Dick pics should include some non-dick body parts, and a dispiriting number of them don’t. 
 
Another reason that the current state of dick pics is so dismal is that there is a culture of non-consent that surrounds them. Dick pics are often thrust at women unsolicited on dating sites and social media, and they are widely reviled for this reason. We need to encourage senders of dick pics to share them strictly with people who want to see them. 

Continue

Mask Your Beastly Old Breasts with Surgically Implanted Underwires
Tiring of the hunt for the perfect underwire with which to mask your saggy, beastly old breasts? Fret no more. You can now have a bra surgically inserted beneath the skin, and screwed right into the rib cage with titanium screws. No more offensive, droopy boobs when your bra comes off!
The underwires are being called “silicone slings,” and they’re certified for sale in Europe. The first clinical trials were done in Belgium in 2009, and about 50 procedures have been carried out in Europe since then.
Orbix Medical, the company behind the new form of implant, says it offers an alternative to breast reductions. They can also be a good option for women who have had breast cancer. Any technology that helps women going through that is a welcome development, as far as I’m concerned. The conflict, though, comes into play when one considers the fact that they are also being lauded as a “solution” to the “issue” of sagging breasts.
Continue

Mask Your Beastly Old Breasts with Surgically Implanted Underwires

Tiring of the hunt for the perfect underwire with which to mask your saggy, beastly old breasts? Fret no more. You can now have a bra surgically inserted beneath the skin, and screwed right into the rib cage with titanium screws. No more offensive, droopy boobs when your bra comes off!

The underwires are being called “silicone slings,” and they’re certified for sale in Europe. The first clinical trials were done in Belgium in 2009, and about 50 procedures have been carried out in Europe since then.

Orbix Medical, the company behind the new form of implant, says it offers an alternative to breast reductions. They can also be a good option for women who have had breast cancer. Any technology that helps women going through that is a welcome development, as far as I’m concerned. The conflict, though, comes into play when one considers the fact that they are also being lauded as a “solution” to the “issue” of sagging breasts.

Continue

This Guy Spends His Entire Life in Front of a Webcam
Ari Kivikangas spends his entire life in front of a webcam. But unlike most vloggers devoted to sharing their lives with people who couldn’t care less, he doesn’t often do very much; there are no Kid Cudi ukelele covers or desperate pleas for followers, and at no point has he broken into a comedy routine.
That’s his first selling point. The second is that Ari—or “Cyberman”, as he’s called his Ustream show—claims to be online 24/7, except for brief gaps when he’s picking up his epilepsy medicine or, as he told me in an email, when he’s “getting some pussy (not often) or masturbating!”
What Ari does is called “life-casting”, which should be pretty self-explanatory, but basically involves live-streaming every single thing you do, like a self-enforced Truman Show with a fraction of the viewers. There’s something kind of fascinating about that; it takes a very specific type of confidence to not a give a shit about strangers watching you sleep.
So to find out a little more about his life online, I Skyped with Ari from his home in Finland. 
VICE: Hi Ari. So when did you start livestreaming your life?Ari Kivikangas: I started about four years ago. I was stuck at home for three months and had a lot of time on my hands but nothing to do, so I started doing this. I’m epileptic and I don’t work any more, so I’m always at home.  
And you’ve spent all of your time online throughout those four years?Yes, I’m online 24/7.
Have you always been quite an open person? Because letting people into your life to this extent seems like a pretty big step to take.It’s a very big step, yeah, because I say exactly what I’m thinking at all times. I also tell everyone pretty much everything about my own personal history—not everything, but most things.

Ari, showing viewers his setup
Give me a sample.For example, I told my audience that I gave a man a blowjob. I’m bisexual. He came to see me, so I gave him a blowjob.
On webcam? No, not on webcam. I’ve masturbated on webcam before, though.
Regularly?No, just once, a year ago. That wasn’t cool; it was really stupid. People were not cool about it.
Why do think that is? I had a really negative reaction to it, but I don’t care about what they say any more—I have a choice as to when I masturbate. 
Do you ever go offline?Only when I’m picking up my medication or when I masturbate, but I can do that in other ways, like in my trousers.
Continue

This Guy Spends His Entire Life in Front of a Webcam

Ari Kivikangas spends his entire life in front of a webcam. But unlike most vloggers devoted to sharing their lives with people who couldn’t care less, he doesn’t often do very much; there are no Kid Cudi ukelele covers or desperate pleas for followers, and at no point has he broken into a comedy routine.

That’s his first selling point. The second is that Ari—or “Cyberman”, as he’s called his Ustream show—claims to be online 24/7, except for brief gaps when he’s picking up his epilepsy medicine or, as he told me in an email, when he’s “getting some pussy (not often) or masturbating!”

What Ari does is called “life-casting”, which should be pretty self-explanatory, but basically involves live-streaming every single thing you do, like a self-enforced Truman Show with a fraction of the viewers. There’s something kind of fascinating about that; it takes a very specific type of confidence to not a give a shit about strangers watching you sleep.

So to find out a little more about his life online, I Skyped with Ari from his home in Finland. 

VICE: Hi Ari. So when did you start livestreaming your life?
Ari Kivikangas:
 I started about four years ago. I was stuck at home for three months and had a lot of time on my hands but nothing to do, so I started doing this. I’m epileptic and I don’t work any more, so I’m always at home.  

And you’ve spent all of your time online throughout those four years?
Yes, I’m online 24/7.

Have you always been quite an open person? Because letting people into your life to this extent seems like a pretty big step to take.
It’s a very big step, yeah, because I say exactly what I’m thinking at all times. I also tell everyone pretty much everything about my own personal history—not everything, but most things.

Ari, showing viewers his setup

Give me a sample.
For example, I told my audience that I gave a man a blowjob. I’m bisexual. He came to see me, so I gave him a blowjob.

On webcam? 
No, not on webcam. I’ve masturbated on webcam before, though.

Regularly?
No, just once, a year ago. That wasn’t cool; it was really stupid. People were not cool about it.

Why do think that is? 
I had a really negative reaction to it, but I don’t care about what they say any more—I have a choice as to when I masturbate. 

Do you ever go offline?
Only when I’m picking up my medication or when I masturbate, but I can do that in other ways, like in my trousers.

Continue

Ken Kesey’s Son Is Using Kickstarter to Plan a Sequel to His Dad’s Legendary, Acid-Fueled Bus Trip
In 1964, Ken Kesey—intrepid psychedelic traveler and author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—piled into a multicolored school bus with his friends and a bunch of drugs and drove from La Honda, California, to New York City for Cuckoo’s Nest'sBroadway premiere. The gaggle of proto-hippies traveling with Kesey were dubbed the “Merry Pranksters,” and their goal was to freak the fuck out of Middle America and document the whole thing for a feature-length film.
The movie they wanted to make never quite came to fruition, but the trip, and the Pranksters’ subsequent LSD antics, were cemented in history in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book,Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Prankster adventure, and Kesey’s son, Zane, is looking to raise $27,500 to take the Pranksters’ psychedelic trip all over again. The original 1939 Harvester bus—named “Furthur”—is currently rusting in a swamp behind the Kesey Farm in Oregon, but Zane has a new one, and it’s even more decked-out than the original. If you want to get on the bus, you can donate $200 or more to be considered for the trip. And if you were off the bus in the first place, as Kesey once said, then it won’t make a damn.
If the Kickstarter hits its goal the new bus with its new Pranksters will be swinging through America later this summer. I called up Zane to learn a little more about the trip.
VICE: Hey, Zane. How long has the Kickstarter campaign been going on?Zane Kesey: Like three weeks. We’re around halfway to our goal and have a week left.
Do you already know who will be onboard?There have been 20 or 30 applications sent in. If you donate $200, we’ll give you a bunch of cool Prankster stuff—but you also get to apply to ride on the trip with us, be part of the movie that we’re making, and become a Merry Prankster. Even if we don’t choose you, we’ll still send you a Merry Prankster laminate. It will get you on the bus whenever we go parading through your town.
I know you haven’t planned the whole journey out yet, but are any stops lined up?We’re going cross-country and hitting a few really good festivals along the way. Lockn’ Festival in Virginia is a big one. Furthur, the Grateful Dead side project that is named after the bus, is playing.
That’s cool.We’ll be at their only concert this year, at the final Allman Brothers concert, and then atPhases of the Moon Festival in Illinois. Then we’ll head to this art festival called Great North up in Maine, which has the best artists from across the country. We’re hoping they will paint on the bus.
Continue

Ken Kesey’s Son Is Using Kickstarter to Plan a Sequel to His Dad’s Legendary, Acid-Fueled Bus Trip

In 1964, Ken Kesey—intrepid psychedelic traveler and author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestpiled into a multicolored school bus with his friends and a bunch of drugs and drove from La Honda, California, to New York City for Cuckoo’s Nest'sBroadway premiere. The gaggle of proto-hippies traveling with Kesey were dubbed the “Merry Pranksters,” and their goal was to freak the fuck out of Middle America and document the whole thing for a feature-length film.

The movie they wanted to make never quite came to fruition, but the trip, and the Pranksters’ subsequent LSD antics, were cemented in history in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book,Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Prankster adventure, and Kesey’s son, Zane, is looking to raise $27,500 to take the Pranksters’ psychedelic trip all over again. The original 1939 Harvester bus—named “Furthur”—is currently rusting in a swamp behind the Kesey Farm in Oregon, but Zane has a new one, and it’s even more decked-out than the original. If you want to get on the bus, you can donate $200 or more to be considered for the trip. And if you were off the bus in the first place, as Kesey once said, then it won’t make a damn.

If the Kickstarter hits its goal the new bus with its new Pranksters will be swinging through America later this summer. I called up Zane to learn a little more about the trip.

VICE: Hey, Zane. How long has the Kickstarter campaign been going on?
Zane Kesey:
 Like three weeks. We’re around halfway to our goal and have a week left.

Do you already know who will be onboard?
There have been 20 or 30 applications sent in. If you donate $200, we’ll give you a bunch of cool Prankster stuff—but you also get to apply to ride on the trip with us, be part of the movie that we’re making, and become a Merry Prankster. Even if we don’t choose you, we’ll still send you a Merry Prankster laminate. It will get you on the bus whenever we go parading through your town.

I know you haven’t planned the whole journey out yet, but are any stops lined up?
We’re going cross-country and hitting a few really good festivals along the way. Lockn’ Festival in Virginia is a big one. Furthur, the Grateful Dead side project that is named after the bus, is playing.

That’s cool.
We’ll be at their only concert this year, at the final Allman Brothers concert, and then atPhases of the Moon Festival in Illinois. Then we’ll head to this art festival called Great North up in Maine, which has the best artists from across the country. We’re hoping they will paint on the bus.

Continue

Get the Hell off Twitter, Morrissey 
Morrissey is now on Twitter. We’re doomed. But I guess that’s progress.
In olden times, you had to wait  ages for Morrissey to say that the Chinese were little yellow fungal spores splattered unevenly across the planet who should use their burgeoning space program to build a big rocketship that could cart them all off to the nuclear heart of the sun.
Honestly, under-25s, it was a whole process. First, a journalist had to be summoned. Then, the negotiations as to whether the banner headlines would over-summarize his racial opinions had to be undertaken with a publicist. A venue needed to be found. And a journalist to put his or her tapes in the tape recorder, and ask two questions: “How are you?” and “Do you think the Smiths will ever reform?” An hour later, a groaning tape recorder full of glib jokes and moans would have to be sent off for transcription. Finally, days, weeks, months later, the world would finally know what was wrong with the Chinese (they are a sub-species), and how it could be fixed (with flaming astral death). The headline-writers would then load up their headlines: “Bigmouth Strikes Again!” or something. Then the opinion writers would be summoned to put together essays about how He Really Has Gone Too Far This Time. Then a plucky freelancer would have to be dug up to rail against the backlash, and on and on, forever.

Now, all of that shit is going to be INSTANT. “Cut off the head of Dappy,” Morrissey will poke, one finger at a time, into his Samsung S5, and the three saps who write all the music news blogs will go: “Morrissey Stokes Controversy as He Urges Dappy Beheading.” “You’ll Never Guess What Morrissey Has Said Now…” Gawker will tease. “Beheading Dappy: N-Dubz Hitmaker Hits Back at Moz” the HuffPo will wail, despite its readers having no particular interest in either person.
Continue

Get the Hell off Twitter, Morrissey 

Morrissey is now on Twitter. We’re doomed. But I guess that’s progress.

In olden times, you had to wait  ages for Morrissey to say that the Chinese were little yellow fungal spores splattered unevenly across the planet who should use their burgeoning space program to build a big rocketship that could cart them all off to the nuclear heart of the sun.

Honestly, under-25s, it was a whole process. First, a journalist had to be summoned. Then, the negotiations as to whether the banner headlines would over-summarize his racial opinions had to be undertaken with a publicist. A venue needed to be found. And a journalist to put his or her tapes in the tape recorder, and ask two questions: “How are you?” and “Do you think the Smiths will ever reform?” An hour later, a groaning tape recorder full of glib jokes and moans would have to be sent off for transcription. Finally, days, weeks, months later, the world would finally know what was wrong with the Chinese (they are a sub-species), and how it could be fixed (with flaming astral death). The headline-writers would then load up their headlines: “Bigmouth Strikes Again!” or something. Then the opinion writers would be summoned to put together essays about how He Really Has Gone Too Far This Time. Then a plucky freelancer would have to be dug up to rail against the backlash, and on and on, forever.

Now, all of that shit is going to be INSTANT. “Cut off the head of Dappy,” Morrissey will poke, one finger at a time, into his Samsung S5, and the three saps who write all the music news blogs will go: “Morrissey Stokes Controversy as He Urges Dappy Beheading.” “You’ll Never Guess What Morrissey Has Said Now…” Gawker will tease. “Beheading Dappy: N-Dubz Hitmaker Hits Back at Moz” the HuffPo will wail, despite its readers having no particular interest in either person.

Continue

FaceTime Girls Are the New Webcam Girls
The future of cybersex is in the palm of your hands.

FaceTime Girls Are the New Webcam Girls

The future of cybersex is in the palm of your hands.

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