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July 22, 2016
[tv] A BBC comedy secret – REVEALED! … the Gibberish phone call – a classic BBC sound effect – slowed down … ‘Hello Sidney, yes, it’s me…’

July 21, 2016
[comics] Ask the Artist Interview with Providence’s Jacen Burrows … discussing Providence and collaborating with Alan Moore … ‘I think Alan might even have said that one of the issues (#7 perhaps) was the longest he’d written for a single issue but I may be remembering that wrong. I’ve said before that Providence was like doing a graduate thesis, with all of the reading, research and actual drawing work. It has certainly been the hardest and longest project I’ve ever attempted. But I wanted to do it right and be as true to his vision as possible. I’ve tried to do every camera angle as described, every expression, every location. If he put it in the script, I tried to put it on the page.’
July 20, 2016
[movies] Cageomasochism: Loving to Hate Nicolas Cage … How to understand Nicolas Cage’s roller-coaster career… ‘The larger, more glaring problem for me is this insane idea that in recent years Cage has been doing nothing but cash grabs. If you think Nicolas Cage views any of his roles as an easy way to earn a quick buck, you’ve never actually watched this man act. The late Roger Ebert was a big fan of Cage and once described him by saying, “He’s daring and fearless in his choice of roles, and unafraid to crawl out on a limb, saw it off and remain suspended in air. No one else can project inner trembling so effectively…he always seems so earnest.” I think this is the best description of Cage I’ve ever heard and that last snippet I’m especially fond of.’
July 19, 2016
[life] How to stop your phone from distracting you and wasting your life‘Buy a travel alarm clock and charge outside the bedroom. Waking up to check our phone sets our day off to a bad start. Get a separate alarm clock and leave your phone outside to charge.’
July 18, 2016
[comics] Looking Back at Marvel’s Wonderfully Weird Comic Adaptation of the First Star Wars Movie … It’s always worth sharing Howard Chaykin’s view on his work in this comic. ‘It’s the first issue—of the six that would adapt the film eventually known as A New Hope—that is the most “alien” in comparison to the movie. Covering from the opening crawl to Luke being ambushed by the Tusken Raiders, it’s clear that Thomas and Chaykin had limited access to the film beyond the shooting script (and presumably, publicity stills). Not only are scenes that didn’t make it into the final movie included, such as Luke’s encounter with Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine, everything looks slightly off, if still recognizable with the hindsight of seeing the movie. The Star Destroyer from the opening is bizarrely curved, while C-3PO’s body angular and sharp. The X-Wings on the cover are right out of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art rather than the final design. Darth Vader’s visage is almost skeletal compared to its movie counterpart, and… well, take a look at Chaykin’s surprisingly mature Luke…’
July 15, 2016
[brexit] Everything you need to know about Theresa May’s Brexit nightmare in five minutes … TL;DR – We’re fucked basically…‘An interim agreement. This would deal with her main problem, which is time. The Article 50 timetable is just so punishing no nation could come out of it safely. She could skip all this two-year stuff and agree an interim arrangement where the UK stays in the single market while it negotiates its ultimate Brexit deal, with a deadline of 2020 to coincide with the general election. Then she could go to the country looking for a mandate to sign that deal. That would calm the markets, provide a better situation for a decent deal with Europe and other countries, and generally make the whole process a lot less frightening and hysterical for all involved.’
July 14, 2016
[herzog] Ecstatic Truths: The Best of Werner Herzog’s Reddit Q&A‘Well, I would say, reading is some kind of essential prerequisite to everything you do. Whether you are a scientist or a filmmaker, or just a normal human being working in a more “normal” profession. I cannot argue much about it. Read, read, read, read, read. The other side, traveling on foot, nobody does it and what I said will disappear into thin air any moment from now. Traveling on foot has actually given me insight into the world itself. The world reveals itself to one who travel on foot.’
July 13, 2016
[politics] Prime Minister Theresa May Makes First Policy Announcement… ‘It’s Simple…’

Theresa May: "It's simple... We Kill The Batman."

July 12, 2016
[life] Scientists Slowly Reintroducing Small Group Of Normal, Well-Adjusted Humans Into Society‘Prior to the conservation efforts, it is believed that even-tempered people with sound judgment and the ability to put the needs of others before themselves had dwindled to less than 150 within the country’s borders, and had gone completely extinct in the nation’s businesses and civic institutions. Experts widely agree that without isolation, protection, and captive-breeding programs, the remaining thoughtful, foresighted individuals would have been totally wiped out.’
July 11, 2016
[brexit] Brexit: a coup by one set of public schoolboys against another … Brexit – it’s all about the Oxford Union apparently … ‘The moment Brexit was achieved, Johnson and Hannan airily informed Britons that immigration would continue after all. No wonder, because the public schoolboys don’t care about immigration. Whether Poles and Bangladeshis live in unfashionable English provincial towns is a matter of supreme indifference to them. The public schoolboys turned out to have no plan for executing Brexit. I’m guessing they considered this a boring governance issue best left to swotty civil servants. Johnson actually spent the Sunday after Brexit playing cricket. In the great public-school tradition, he was a dilettante “winging it”.’
July 8, 2016
[blogs] No Post Today … Diamond Geezer ponders the end of his blog … ‘The first physical thing that’ll go noticeably wrong is likely to be that my Flickr subscription expires and thousand of links stop working, as well as certain embedded photos which could create a bit of a mess. Various spam comments will soon appear which I won’t be around to delete, and the content will look increasingly out of date. Then at some point Blogger is going to change something, and that’s going to mess everything up. I don’t know what that change’ll be, maybe an enforced template update or a request for authentication, and I don’t know when. But every few years they throw a new grenade into the mix, and this time I’m not going to be able to respond and adapt, so the blog may be tweaked into something unreadable or reduced to an unusable rump. Sorry about that, in advance.’
July 7, 2016
[comics] Interview With Providence Letterer Kurt Hathaway … a great interview and especially fascinating on the details around the lettering of Robert Black’s Commonplace book at the back of the comic … ‘Once I heard I had to do it by hand, it made sense to keep it typeset, and simply print it out at roughly twice the printed size, plop some tracing paper over it—and hand-letter on the tracing paper with the typeset text visible underneath. In this way, my hand-lettering would fill the same space as the typeset version—just in my handwriting. So it still came in at 14 pages. When I’m done—it takes me about 3 weeks to do the backmatter material—I scan it, fix any mistakes in Photoshop and make sure that Avatar gets it in enough time to work their graphic magic.’
July 6, 2016
[politics] ‘Thatcher’s ghost told me to run’ says every Tory leadership candidate‘Michael Gove said: “I awoke when the owls outside my woodland cave began hooting loudly and when I came out Mrs Thatcher’s ghost was beckoning. She then implanted a vision of Britain in my brain. She also said that Boris was a twat.”’
July 5, 2016
[news] The most dangerous drug isn’t meow meow. It isn’t even alcohol… … Charlie Brooker on the British Press … ‘In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge. Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often “cut” the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out. The hapless user has little or no concept of the toxicity of the end product: they digest the contents in good faith, only to pay the price later when they find themselves raging incoherently in pubs, or – increasingly – on internet messageboards.’
July 4, 2016
[tech] How to Write a History of Writing Software … A look at the early history of Word Processing … ‘Another interesting story that’s in the book is about John Updike, who gets a Wang word processor at about the time Stephen King does, in the early 1980s. I was able to inspect the last typewriter ribbon that he used in the last typewriter he owned. A collector who had the original typewriter was kind enough to lend it to me. And you can read the text back off that typewriter ribbon—and you can’t make this stuff up, this is why it’s so wonderful to be able to write history—the last thing that Updike writes with the typewriter is a note to his secretary telling her that he won’t need her typing services because he now has a word processor.’
July 1, 2016
[euref] Boris’s career undone by a Poundland Lord and Lady MacGove… John Crace’s political sketch on Johnson and Gove … ‘Boris couldn’t resist a bit of drama, delaying the announcement that he wouldn’t after all be standing for the Conservative party leadership right till the end, but that was just about the only sign of life he gave. The deflation was near total. Boris had only ever come out for leave to get the top job and now his ambition was dust. Nadine Dorries was in tears by the end; so it wasn’t all bad.’
June 30, 2016
[euref] Our Brexit Future in 23 Tweets … from Alex White

16. This is a particular threat for Labour. We expect UKIP etc to mount a serious challenge in Labour heartlands (even with Corbyn gone)

17. UK establishment will take time to fully reassert itself. Lack of planning / credibility will lead to ongoing doubts about capacity.

18. Much of the UK’s ‘political stability premium’ based on predictability / reliability etc could be lost for long time

June 29, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: June 2006 … ‘JCB MANIAC DESTROYS HOUSE: PICTURE’

Evening Standard Billboards for June 2006

June 28, 2016
[comics] “I Love Second Acts in Comics” … Jason Shiga – creator of Demon – interviewed … ‘Well, I submitted Demon to publishers maybe two years ago, and honestly I was kind of unreasonable about it. I had a number of demands. It’s a serial, so it must be released as pamphlets! They should be monthly 24- or 32-page pamphlets, because Demon is an homage to the old superhero comics or 1990s alternative comics. (Those are some of my favorite comics, like Hate by Peter Bagge.) I also refused to remove anything. There’s a scene where the main character constructs a shank out of dried semen. There’s another scene where the antagonist farts semen into the main character’s face. There’s camel sex. I was like, “I will not change a single panel!” Also, a lot of the issues were insane. Issue seven was four pages long, and I insisted it must be four pages long. There’s another issue that has no images in it, but I think it might still be a comic and I insisted this issue must exist as well.’
June 27, 2016
[euref] Has article 50 been invoked? … Every crisis needs a single-serving website … ‘No – 4 days since the EU referendum on June 23, 2016’
June 24, 2016
[space] The sounds of starships … Metafilter on using the ambient engine sounds of fictional spaceships as white noise … ‘The background engine noises of iconic science fiction spaceships can be remarkably soothing. That is why Spike Snell created 12-hour sound loops…’
June 23, 2016
[euref] 16 Times The EU Referendum Was Improved By Alan Partridge Quotes‘Knowing me, knowing EU. Aha!’

Bojo, Cameron and Alan Partridge

June 22, 2016
[comics] Deni Loubert: “It Was Him & Me Against The World” … Deni Loubert on Dave Sim … ‘Truthfully, when I look back on those Cerebus days when it was him and me against the world — that’s how we always used to refer to it — it was marvelous, it was what I thought love was about. Those were the good years but when the bipolar started to show up and he started to not trust me about stuff, that’s when it started to change. I long for that sweet boy who told me he was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty by drawing comic books.’
June 21, 2016
[philosophy] The Philosopher’s Jumper … a black wool jumper suitable for a philosopher – only £125! ‘Since 1953 (when the German philosopher Martin Heidegger bought one in a shop in Hamburg), the black jumper has been the philosopher’s costume of choice. It has taken pride of place in the wardrobes of philosophical figures as diverse as Herbert Marcuse, Iris Murdoch, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. The Philosopher’s Jumper, designed in collaboration with Bella Freud, invites us to share in the philosophical life: one of soul-searching, interesting relationships, impassioned argument and bold speculation.’
June 20, 2016
[internet] Lonelygirl15: how one mysterious vlogger changed the internet… fascinating back story behind one of Youtube’s earliest web series which turned out to be professionally done … ‘As far as Beckett was concerned, it was a race against time before someone else pipped them to the post. He said: “Somebody was going to create a scripted show on YouTube that uses the vlogger format and if they were marketing savvy they would make it feel real so there would be talk about it. “If we didn’t do it, then somebody else would.” The business side was headed up by their friend Greg Goodfried, a lawyer who later became one of the show’s producers. His wife Amanda, then working at the Creative Artists’ Agency (CAA), was tasked with maintaining Bree’s Myspace page. They had a plan, they had the webcam, they had the scripts. All they needed now, was the right girl for the part.’
June 16, 2016
[euref] The Five Main Reasons you should Vote Remain…

The five main reasons you should vote remain...

June 15, 2016
[web] Hail-Hydra.com… where on earth could Hail Hydra! dot com redirect to? :)
June 14, 2016
[comics] Providence Ghoul Photoshoot Interview with Susanna Peretz… Peretz is the creator of the Ghoul masks used in a photo in Providence #7 … ‘The products and materials alone came to around two thousand pounds [nearly $3,000 U.S.]. On top of that you have to consider two months work to produce the pieces, studio costs, assistant’s fees, actor’s fees, location hire, camera, lighting… It all adds up but it is this attention to detail and realism that sets Alan’s work apart.’
June 13, 2016
[hetzog] Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World Trailer … the official trailer for Werner Herzog’s film about the Internet … ‘Have the monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be tweeting.’ [via Kottke]
June 10, 2016
[anime] How Akira sent shockwaves through pop culture and changed it‘Akira sailed in on a river of blood and cartoon nudity. It looked different to previous anime features, as Otomo took Hollywood films like Bonnie & Clyde as inspiration. The result was a visual paroxysm: the final product pried open audience’s eyes by using a record 327 colours, 50 of which were created specifically for the production. (Akira Red is a thing, apparently.)’

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