Wander Into a Magritte Painting While Masturbation-Charging Your Phone: Links You Need to See

Though painting may be undergoing an identity crisis in the conceptual/multimedia art era, there’s no doubt that for patrons of the arts, the form provides a necessary way for us to detach from the phantasmagoria of ever-morphing digital images and just stare at, say, a gorgeously rendered apple (or, hell, a whole basket of them!). Even surrealist work, whose oneiric style evokes a sense of nausea and movement, is still refreshingly static. In Magritte’s The Listening Room, for example, an apple may be inflated to fill a room, but at least we know we can’t click on it and make it talk, or use a slideshow to replace it with a plum. But it turns out that now we can, thanks to animator Ali Eslami and Unreal Engine, virtually wander through a series of Magritte’s images, including that of the famed mega-apple. Unfortunately, it’s pretty damn cool. 

And just as you might have thought you wouldn’t have been able to 3-dimensionally enter iconic paintings, you likely wouldn’t have thought the plots of novels could be turned into graphs. But University of Nebraska professor Matthew Jockers has been pioneering ways of finding commonalities in novelistic plots — by literally plotting their movements on graphs. 

In other, unsettling — but silver lining: environmentally sustainable! — “future” news, The Daily Dot reports that Pornhub has developed a product called the Wankband, which harnesses energy created by a rapid back-and-forth motion of the wrist. Simply plug your phone (or other device) into the band’s USB port and turn masturbation into the height of pragmatism! Unfulfilled horny people are, it seems, the 2015 equivalent of windmills.

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Thus far, all of this information could easily fit into a Neill Blomkamp movie — perhaps, even, his wildly hyped, upcoming-but-totally-nascent Alien film (while it was just recently announced, Blomkamp seems to already have enough of an idea of what he wants to know that he wants to forget Alien 3). With excitement consistently growing about both this and the March 6 release of Chappie, fans may find themselves wanting to revisit Blomkamp’s previous works — which wouldn’t be too daunting a task, as he’s only made two features. It turns out Blomkamp also expresses interest in revisiting the less successful of these films, Elysiumbut for different reasons. In an interview with UPROXX, the director said:

I feel like I f*cked it up… I feel like, ultimately, the story is not the right story. I still think the satirical idea of a ring, filled with rich people, hovering above the impoverished Earth, is an awesome idea. I love it so much, I almost want to go back and do it correctly. But I just think the script wasn’t… I just didn’t make a good enough film is ultimately what it is.

And if none of this has managed to surprise you, here’s a piece on Patti Stranger as a feminist icon.