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The Weekender: on Maker Faire, Beyoncé, and the birth of snackwave

Everything to do, see, and read this weekend

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Welcome back to The Weekender, and it's been quite a week. We went to Iceland to test the new iPhones and ate cricket flour in Canada. In short, things got a little weird around here. In a good way. We promise. Take this opportunity to look back on some of our best work and some good reads from around the web. Then check out the fascinating things you can do this weekend just to kick back. Enjoy.

Do this

World Maker Faire, New York

Thousands of dedicated DIYers are heading to the New York Hall of Science even now to participate in World Maker Faire, one of nearly 100 maker events sponsored by Make Magazine and one of the biggest in the country. This is where that charmed few who believing building is better than buying meet to show off everything from custom jewelry to drones to massive Rube Goldberg machines. Check it out.

Derinkuyu Underground City, Turkey

Imagine it's the 8th century BCE and living underground, waiting for the hordes of invaders to finally pass. Now imagine doing that with 20,000 people. The Derinkuyu underground city in Nevşehir Province, Turkey descends 18 stories into the earth, and was once capable of providing air and water for a population the size of a small town. Now, about half the complex is open to tourists. You definitely need to see this one day.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Photo Credit: Başak Ekinci/Flickr

Read this

The Assassin's Creed curriculum: can video games teach us history?

We look at the past through books and movies, but what about reliving it through video games? Games are already doing that by using history as a setting, but there's far more potential in what video games can do to help us deal with, learn about, and learn from the past.

The ultimate photo shoot: on location in Iceland with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

One of the best things about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is their new camera, which can take some amazing photos. To find out just how impressive they can be, we partnered with photographer Austin Mann to see just how gorgeous its photos can get. Spoiler: really, really good.

A tiny gathering of artists has become the most interesting weekend in tech

The XOXO Festival in Portland has become a bastion of creativity and a reprieve from the marketing-infused culture of other big outings like SXSW. We headed out for its third year to see the different ways that artists are pushing the web forward.

I ate crickets because they're the future of food

Think crickets are gross? Try talking to the people at Next Millennium Farms and they'll tell you that cricket meat not only tastes great, but is healthier than much of what's on menus today. By year's end, they hope to ship 10,000 pounds of cricket flour a month, and demand is only growing.

Can crowdfunding help San Francisco's homeless?

San Francisco has a huge homelessness problem, but the city's penchant for technology is helping. Through a service called HandUp, donors are forging relationships with others in need and learning exactly how their assistance can make an difference — often almost immediately.

The Last Amazon

The New Yorker
Jill Lepore writes about the history of Wonder Woman and feminism.

Superman débuted in 1938, Batman in 1939, Wonder Woman in 1941. She was created by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard. A press release explained, " ‘Wonder Woman’ was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men" because "the only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity." Marston put it this way: "Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."

Ditching Twitter
Erin Kissane struggles with the flood of outrage and anger on Twitter that is increasingly difficult to avoid, and starts to explore ways of filtering and adjusting.

None of us are angry about everything, or even most things, but in the whole slimy pond of troubles there is something to injure every one of us in a particular and personal way that makes us turn to the stream and yell this is bullshit. And each shout makes the water rise a little higher, because how can you not respond to your friends when they’re in pain?

What We Talk About When We talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making

Quiet Babylon
Following the XOXO festival, Tim Maly grapples with the knotty problems of human cost, inequality, and infrastructure revealed by maker culture.

Chinese factory workers are not welcome at XOXO. This is a profoundly uncomfortable thing to say because it feels like punching down, but it is true. Chinese factory workers are not independent creators. What inspiration would they find in hearing John Gruber talk about Google Reader’s impact on his business model?

CD-Loving Japan Resists Move to Online Music

The New York Times
Ben Sisario explores the enduring appeal of the CD in the face of digital onslaught in Japan.

Japan may be one of the world’s perennial early adopters of new technologies, but its continuing attachment to the CD puts it sharply at odds with the rest of the global music industry. While CD sales are falling worldwide, including in Japan, they still account for about 85 percent of sales here, compared with as little as 20 percent in some countries, like Sweden, where online streaming is dominant.

Snackwave: A Comprehensive Guide To The Internet's Saltiest Meme

The Hairpin
Hazel Cills and Gabrielle Noone launch a deep investigation into the rise of Snackwave culture.

Over the past few years, an aesthetic we like to call "snackwave" has trickled up from Tumblr dashboards. Now a part of mainstream culture, snackwave is everywhere: it's printed on American Apparel clothes and seen in Katy Perry music videos. It's the antithesis to kale-ridden health food culture and the rise of Pinterest-worthy twee cupcake recipes. It’s the wording in your Instagram handle, a playful cheeseburger selfie, Jennifer Lawrence announcing on the red carpet that she’s hungry for a pizza.

Listen to this

Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury - There Must Be More to Life Than This

It's a big year for Queen and Michael Jackson fans. Circa 1982, Freddie Mercury collaborated on an unfinished version of "There Must Be More to Life Than This." Demoes of the sessions have been floating around the internet for years, but acclaimed producer William Orbit crafted this final version set to be released with Queen's new album Queen Forever this November.

White Arrows - In Bardo

Translated from Tibetan, bardo means the intermediate state between life and death. White Arrows' latest album definitely has ethereal feel to it, though you might be forgiven for confusing achieving enlightenment while listening to this for just feeling good. Atmospheric and altogether out there, give this a few listens to really get into it.

Play this

D4, Xbox 360

Swery65's D4 (short for Dark Dreams Don't Die) is probably the weirdest game to ever land on the Xbox. It's also a great reason to finally plug your Kinect back in. The plot might be perfectly cliché, the execution — complete with time travel and fighting with prosthetics — is insane. It's basically Twin Peaks with motion control.

Watch this

On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z

Beyoncé and Jay Z will almost certainly break the internet when their highly-anticipated concert special airs tonight, drowning us all in enough GIFs to overload Tumblr's servers. Such is their clout as American royalty that this is basically the pop culture event of the year. There's going to be a lot to parse out of this one, people. Tune in at 9. We'll be watching, too.