The Independent: The lampshade that drives its owners mad

This piece, from The Independent on Sunday last week, has haunted me for days. It’s beautifully-written and affecting, deeply interesting, and touched me most because I can see myself reacting in just the same obsessive-compulsive way. It’s a rather horrible story – but the overall feeling (as noted in the article) is one of tremendous sadness.

Still, if I could find myself empathising with Jacobson, just as he empathised with the less fortunate in this story, perhaps there is hope that the very humanising act of sharing in the emotions of our fellow people on this planet could help prevent such inhuman, unfeeling atrocities from ever occurring again.

I wanted to single this article out because I think it’s exceptionally written. It’s the sort of “quality journalism” that is perhaps rare these days, and was an unexpectedly good (if rather unhappy) piece to stumble upon the other day.

Get out of here: Mark Jacobson's nightmares about the lampshade impelled him to keep it sealed in a white cardboard box in storage two hours' drive away from his Brooklyn home


Viewed from a distance, it is an unremarkable object. Place it on a corner table in any house, and it would probably pass unnoticed, for a while. Picking it up and holding it is another matter. The translucent quality of the material stretched over its eight panels should be attractive but isn’t. The lampshade has a curious, waxy texture. You might convince yourself that the covering was some commonplace form of tanned parchment, were it not for its yellow-green opalescence and the fact that embedded in one or two areas of the material are thin, white filaments, slightly thicker than cotton, that have the appearance of very finely minced squid. It seems somehow surprising that it has no smell.

When you run your finger around the edges of a small square that a DNA analyst cut out of one of the panels, you notice the surprising thinness of the taut covering. Leave anybody to examine this object for long enough and I think they would experience two reactions: a slow but mounting repulsion of the kind that occurs instantaneously when you see a rat, and an impulse to ask: “What is this thing made of?”

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By Princess Stomper Posted in Media

Sushi Cat

Much as I might have lived to regret my teasing of Armor Games over the fictional TES V: Alinor – which I can assure you is merely a product of my own warped sense of humour – the prank was invented from a position of great respect for the distinctive, characterful games on Armor’s site.

My favourite of all has to be Sushi Cat, a very Japanese take on Peggle, which has adorable cinematics, great music, and very addictive gameplay. I’ve been dipping in and out of the podgy feline game for nearly a year now, and if you haven’t taken a look, I’d highly recommend it.

Here it is on the iPhone:

but you can play it for free here: