This Week in Links 30

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • A filmmaker here in Austin (who, full disclosure, we tangentially know) is doing a Kickstarter for a fan film about X-Men's Storm. You should back this, it looks awesome.
  • NPR tells us how to win Monopoly in 21 seconds, which is the only way I will agree to play that game. (And having said that, Becca and I are now in a fight.)
  • Nathan Rabin is sorry he ever coined the phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl." This is an interesting piece, but I think it's conflating, a bit, the popularity of that phrase with the popularity of that archetype.
  • Batgirl's getting a new costume for her reboot, and it's awesome: fun, practical (within the bounds of assuming any superhero costume is practical), feels like something that character would actually choose for herself, and I need to cosplay it, stat.
  • The New Republic has a great, if depressing, piece about women's value, framed around that awful Esquire piece announcing it was OK to find 42-year-old women attractive: How, in this country, every barometer by which female worth is measuredfrom the superficial to the life-altering, the appreciative to the punitivehas long been calibrated to “dude,” whether or not those measurements are actually being taken by dudes. 
  • The coolest mom ever hand embroidered a Calvin and Hobbes panel for her son and it's so good I can't even.
  • TIME has a great look at the television series through history that changed the rules on how women's sexuality is portrayed, with really thoughtful examples.
  • So unlike Mallory Ortberg, I think you should watch Jenny Lewis' new music video because the song is great. And also unlike Mallory Ortberg, I have no strong feelings about Kristen Stewart as she normally appears. But like Mallory Ortberg, I have strong feels about KStew in drag: Something you might not have come to understand, if you are not a student of La Stewart as I am, is that she is one of the most misunderstood people in the world. Everything you found objectionable about her in the Twilight films — and you found her objectionable; I have read the internet — was the result of a lion being forced to wear housecat drag.
  • Before last week, I had watched exactly none American Ninja Warrior, and now I have watched Kacy Catanzaro conquer it like a beast, and now I don't think I need to watch any more American Ninja Warrior because I cannot imagine it gets any better than tiny gymnasts dominating a show that appears to be like if Wipeout was organized by sadists.
  • The most iconic soft drinks from each state. Texas' is right on, but I am ENRAGED that we get regular Dr Pepper and Oklahoma gets cane sugar Dr Pepper. I will flip this table.
  • In more state news, Jeff Friesen created a diorama in Legos that perfectly captures the essence of each of these fifty united states.
  • The New York Times has a lovely ode to Dungeons & Dragons, and the generation of writers it inspired: Playing D&D and spinning tales of heroic quests, "we welfare kids could travel," Mr. Díaz, 45, said in an email interview, "have adventures, succeed, be powerful, triumph, fail and be in ways that would have been impossible in the larger real world."
  • Dolly Parton played "Yakety Sax" at the Glastonbury Music Festival, which is obviously the greatest thing that has ever happened to anyone. (Vulture's video isn't working for me, so here's another clip.)
  • 25 Literary Pun Names for Your Cat. Becca and I agree that #12 is best.