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August 29, 2016
[gaming] Everything I Knew about Graphic Design I Learned from Ultimate Play the Game … Remembering Ultimate Play the Game – and the imapact they had on UK Gaming in the 1980s … ‘Everything about Ultimate Play The Game was kind of mysterious and seductive. The company’s name itself didn’t really make a lot of sense in and of itself, but that merely added to the mystique. An Ultimate game felt like a coherent package. The company had an identity. Even before you got to play an Ultimate game the artwork was selling you on the promise; they had a distinct visual style that was unlike anything else. The chrome airbrushing of the company logo, the box artwork – later, the games came packaged in special custom boxes, which made them feel even more special – which was usually reflected in the loading screens… Potentially, I loved all of that more than I did playing the games.’
August 26, 2016
[comics] Peter Bagge’s Neat Stuff paved the way for Hate—and the ’90s alt-comics boom … looking back at Peter Bagge’s Neat Stuff … ‘What was always great about Neat Stuff—and what makes those comics so exciting to read even today—is that they had the look of something disposable, but with a sneaky level of ambition and depth. One panel at a time, Bagge pulls readers into the lives of the Leeways or the Bradley family, taking what seems like tossed-off humor pieces and gradually revealing an uncanny understanding of human nature and the realities of modern American life. It’s no coincidence that Simpsons creator Matt Groening provided a quote for the cover of the first Bradleys book collection back in 1989. He recognized in Neat Stuff a kindred spirit…’
August 25, 2016
[tv] Twin Peaks Captions … Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace in Twin Peaks …

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace in Twin Peaks

August 24, 2016
[games] These Mysterious Symbols Have Been in 19 Video Games and No One Knows Why … interesting video games mystery from Vice Gaming‘Either way, the sigils and glyphs have all the makings of an alternate-reality game (ARG), where players collaborate on solving a mystery spread across the digital and physical world. Some of the most famous ARGs, like Halo 2’s “I Love Bees,” had participants standing at pay phones waiting for secret messages to push them one step closer to answers. Other clues have been known to be spectrographically hidden in audio files. To wit: One sigil was found by decoding the morse code hidden in another sigil found in the otherwise innocuous mobile game Slide the Shakes. The morse code spelled out a set of coordinates in Los Angeles, California, which led someone to find a hidden USB drive. On that drive was—of course—another sigil.’
August 23, 2016
[tech] Top 10 least-loved emojis … There are a lot of Emoji – and some are used more than others … ‘From the “what-were-they-thinking” department comes Lock with Ink Pen 🔏. Locks are good. Ink pens are good. So why are they together? Emojipedia speculates that it was meant to relate to cryptographic key signing in some way. This emoji feels like it escaped from the toolbar of Adobe Acrobat circa 1996.’
August 22, 2016
[tubes] Diamond Geezer takes the World Record for the fastest time visting every station on the Night Tube on Opening Night‘Guinness’s pernickety rules don’t allow a single challenger with incomplete evidence to claim the world record, so my time of 3 hours, 24 minutes and 7 seconds won’t be officially ratified. It’s also true that the Night Tube network is as yet incomplete, so all I’ve done is visit every station on the first two lines, which isn’t anywhere near the final tally. But when all five lines are running it’ll be totally impossible to cover the entire Night Tube in one night, so I’ve grabbed the record while someone can, and now it’s mine.’
August 19, 2016
[history] Interview with Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary‘But really, I didn’t do anything other than type in Goebbels’ office.’
August 18, 2016
[comics] Gallery of Art from Akira … collection of title pages from Young Magazine …

Kei - Akira

August 17, 2016
[comics] Cartoonist Garry Trudeau on the GOP’s “Natural Born Toon” … Garry Trudeau on Donald Trump … ‘I just put him in the strip. And it was an early transfer—easy transfer. He wasn’t a parody exactly; he was really more like a natural born toon. I just took him out of the box, removed the tags and put him right into the strip. And I think he’s—you know, he’s like a version of Daffy Duck, I mean, in terms of his appearance, the silly way in which he talks, the over-the-top self-regard. All these things just made him a perfect cartoon character. And so, I just had him interact with the other characters as a peer, and they interact with him as just a, you know, comic strip colleague. And I didn’t have to make any adjustments. I would take the things he said and reframe them in a way, you know, to maximize the satiric purpose of it, but I didn’t have to do much in terms of exaggerating, the way you normally do in a parody.’
August 16, 2016
[life] Man Hates Being Put In Position Where He Has To Think, Feel, Or Act ‘I swear, everywhere I go, people expect me to take some matter or another into consideration, display some sort of emotion in response, and perhaps even do something about it…’
August 15, 2016
[blogs] 15 Years of Feeling Listless … Stuart Ian Burns on blogging for 15 years … ‘As we discussed last time, the newer social media has all but killed new old-form blogs. On the odd occasion I do visit Facebook, I do see writing which even ten years ago would have naturally fitted on blogs and tweetstorms are the same. I’m often seeing people posting screen grabs of text on twitter so they can get all their thoughts down and always think it would be easier if they had a blogspot.’
July 28, 2016
[comics] Comics Not Just For Kids Anymore, Reports 85,000th Mainstream News Story … BANG! POW! ZAP! … ‘The incredibly perceptive and original article also specifically mentioned the work of writer Alan Moore, an obscure reference point that has only been used in every single article like this ever written.’
July 27, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: July 2006 … ‘MURDERED – FOR FALLING IN LOVE’

Evening Standard Billboards for July 2006

July 26, 2016
[moore] Creating Jerusalem: Alan Moore on the most important book he has written … Moore interviewed about his new novel called Jerusalem… ‘When we talk about history we talk about the history of church of state and maybe a dozen families. What about the rest of us? Weren’t we doing anything while all that was going on, or were we minor players in their drama? This is insisting that everybody has their own drama and mythology and story, and it is also insisting that if eternalism is a real thing that changes everything. It makes everywhere the eternal city, it makes everywhere Jerusalem and perhaps particularly the poorest meanest basest places.’
July 25, 2016
[religion] Did Jesus Have a Wife? … a must-read crazy detective story into the origins of a papyrus fragment from a gospel where Jesus mentions his wife…

His account of how he’d come to possess the fragment, I noticed, contained a series of small inconsistencies. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to make of them.

But years later, they still gnawed at me. The American Association of Museums’ Guide to Provenance Research warns that an investigation of an object’s origins “is not unlike detective work”: “One may spend hours, days, or weeks following a trail that leads nowhere.” When I started to dig, however, I uncovered more than I’d ever expected—a warren of secrets and lies that spanned from the industrial districts of Berlin to the swingers scene of southwest Florida, and from the halls of Harvard and the Vatican to the headquarters of the East German Stasi…

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.’

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