Strategic Subtweet Reserve: Condition Red

A thorny nest of teeth and Antarctica

I mentioned yesterday that the Times had hired Sabrina Imbler on the Science desk. Here are some of the best phrases from their first story, “These Brittle Stars Have Thousands of ‘Pig Snouts’ on Each Arm,” which is also a credible microwave version of the entire Southern Reach trilogy:

a faraway seamount …a thorny nest of teeth and, quite peculiarly, eight arms. …“That thing is all teeth.” …he put it in his “weirdo box,”… “Send me a piece of its arm.” …each had a pair of holes… a particular set of nostrils. …other pig-snouted holes he might have seen… proliferation of spine-like teeth… thousands of pig snouts on each arm… …decapod crabs, flowerlike crinoids, nautiluses… It’s totally unknown,” he said…

This is only a small sample, go read the whole thing, it’s great.

Not so great: it turns out the interview Egg did with a pseudonymous Substack fascist last month was not exactly “satire,” as Andreessen Horowitz Director of Falsehoods Margit Wennmachers told Taylor Lorenz, but in fact “an experiment,” which is a weird way to say an interview that actually happened, according to Insider’s Melia Russell. I’m sure this won’t get any more embarrassing for our Humpty-headed pal Marc. It does seem useful for reporters to know that A16Z will straight up lie to you, in service of what Ed Zitron rightly called “coordinated, anti-democratic, anti-free press propaganda.”

Bless This Mess: Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie posted a longform subtweet on her website about her experiences with (it appears) two different students criticizing her for her comments about trans women. Tabs sources, who have requested anonymity to be excluded from this narrative, tell me the young writers mentioned are OluTimehin Adegbeye in the first section and Akwaeke Emezi in the second. It’s not clear why Adichie decided to post this essay now, but the Strategic Subtweet Reserve is currently running dangerously low as a result.

First the ads, then the news about Choire, Ed Snowden, and the media reporter centipede.

🛍 Curious about the spoken and unspoken ways branding impacts our lives? Brands Mean a Lot is a weekly commentary on branding covering everything from home office playsets to menthol cigarette bans. Crappy illustrations included to drive the point home. Get it for free.

🌿 Digital journalism’s favorite annual reunion is online June 22–25! Register now for ONA21 to experience an inspiring festival of innovation in audience engagement, product and revenue strategy. (Need a scholarship? Apply now.)

🧹 DIRT is a daily-ish newsletter from Kyle Chayka, Daisy Alioto, and other contributors about digital culture: TikTok aesthetics, Netflix shows, video games. A cool, entertaining thing every morning. Subscribe!

👉 Buy a Media ClassifiedPromote your job opening / pitch call / new project / e-commerce brand with a classified ad! Study Hall and Today in Tabs are working together to distribute weekly listings to five figures of hyper-engaged followers of the media industry (editors, writers, executives) through all three newsletters. Click thru.


Turns out Choire’s plan to “help expand [The Times’s] newsletter portfolio” was to quit and start his own Substack. Tough, but fair. Anyway he filed his “last (???)” story for the Times today, and it’s the What Time Is the Superbowl of passport picture instructions.

Also Today in Substack: Edward Snowden has a Substack, and it is unreadable.

Though my relationship to time fluctuates, the gravamen of my disclosures remains constant.

Ok Ed, sounds great! We’ll get back to you on that soon.

Zillow “prices nationwide will be decided by a single neural network.” The system begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th.Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper gets a $60 million Spotify deal, without frienemy and former co-host Sofia Franklyn, whose fans are not thrilled. ❦ Media reporter Max Tani spotted media reporter Ben Smith at media reporter Brian Stelter’s book party, asking the questions no one wants answered, and now here it is in Today in Tabs, completing Media Reporter Centipede: The Full Sequence. ❦ Val Kilmer is late to the Batclam Discourse but I’ll allow it. ❦ The Washington Post: Mousefall. ❦ That’s a moray. ❦ Former Shake Shack manager Marcus Gilliam, accused of poisoning cops by New York’s hysterical, unhinged police unions, sues Officers Strawberry Shake, Vanilla Shake, and Cherry Shake. ❦ Houston Fox reporter blew up her career for a bunch of nonsense about Bitcoin and hydroxychloroquine, lol. ❦ Intricately jawlined billonaire divorcée Mackenzie Scott is giving away incredible amounts of money because she agrees that billionaires shouldn’t exist.

Intern Linda is taking us way, way down south today. That is not a Batman joke.

This year, plagued by interminable lockdown and the clawing fear that I wouldn't be able to graduate college once again, every time I felt the walls closing in I would dramatically threaten to run away to Antarctica. So imagine my surprise when I read this paper by C. Michael Hall and Jarkko Saarinen about the growth of polar tourism, and learned that one can actually go to Antarctica. (DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2010.521686)

Apparently tourism to the Antarctic was originally established by Chile and Argentina in the 1950s as part of both nations’ increasingly wild efforts to stake their territorial claims to parts of the continent; efforts which have also included flying pregnant mothers to give birth on the continent, citing the 1493 papal bull of inter caetera, and genomic sequencing projects. Citizens of Australia, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK might be surprised to find out their countries also claim to own bits of Antarctica, but in Argentina and Chile it really matters. It is prominently part of their public education, maps, and patriotism. (DOI: 10.2307/25765660)

Part of the Falklands War was also low key about this. So developments like Argentina unilaterally claiming 650,000 square miles of new territory are super great. Loves it. For now most nations have agreed to table their claims to Antarctica and leave it as a 'continent for science' until at least 2048. But this is just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg of Antarctica politics. Happy summer vacation! —by Intern Linda Yu


Finally:Quen herE! I No Lenger Miiss My Diedhubsand.”

Today’s Song: Modest Mouse, “The Cold Part”

~ So long to this tab soaked part of the world ~

Subtweet me, Daddy.