October 14, 2015
October 13, 2015
[london] Did the tube strike improve London’s economy?‘Do tube strikes cost the economy millions of pounds in lost productivity, or do they shake up people and change behaviour in a way that offsets the loss? That’s indirectly, a question that has been asked by a group of researchers who took advantage of the tube strike to test a difficult to test idea, known as the Porter-hypothesis Porter argued that – when information is imperfect – externally imposed forced experimentation can help people discover unexpected improvements in efficiency.’
October 12, 2015
[terrorism] Did Ken Dornstein Solve the Lockerbie Bombing? … The engrossing story of one man’s attempt to resolve who murdered his brother on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie …

Dornstein ushered me up to the third floor, where two cramped rooms were devoted to Lockerbie. In one room, shelves were lined with books about espionage, aviation, terrorism, and the Middle East. Jumbo binders housed decades of research. In the other room, Dornstein had papered the walls with mug shots of Libyan suspects. Between the two rooms was a large map of Lockerbie, with hundreds of colored pushpins indicating where the bodies had fallen. He showed me a cluster where first-class passengers landed, and another where most economy passengers were found. Like the coroner in a police procedural, Dornstein derives such clinical satisfaction from his work that he can narrate the grisliest findings with cheerful detachment. Motioning at a scattering of pushpins some distance from the rest, he said, “They were the youngest, smallest children. If you look at the physics of it, they were carried by the wind.”

September 24, 2015
[headlines] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: September 2005 …

Evening Standard Headlines - September 2005

September 22, 2015
[comics] Annotations for Providence #4 … annotations for Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrows Providence #4 comic.
September 21, 2015
[movies] Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’: Still the Most Realistic Mobster Movie Ever … a look at Goodfellas after 25 Years… ‘Liotta has probably never been better—wormy (his braying laughter at Tommy’s bad jokes is wonderfully hideous) and yet somehow sympathetic. Perhaps because he’s placed alongside two truly cold-blooded men, Henry is the closest thing the audience gets to an anti-hero in the film: His mild shock at every pointless murder feels like moral outrage in the mobster world. That’s a dynamic David Chase understood when laying out the world of his TV show The Sopranos (the only true Mafia masterpiece produced since Goodfellas): By making his protagonist Tony a slightly more reasonable person than his violent, thick-headed associates, the character seemed infinitely more relatable.’
September 17, 2015
September 16, 2015
[comics] 25 Years of Judge Dredd: The Megazine‘The Megazine might have been all Dredd and his world all the time to start with, but there was plenty of breakthroughs behind the scenes. The first issue sold more than 50,000 copies, triggering a royalty payment to all the creators featured in it – that had never happened before on a Fleetway title. There was a satirical magazine inside the issue, the Mega-City Times, created via desktop publishing – a first back when titles were still put together with glue and scalpels.’
September 15, 2015
[life] Angels ‘can only intervene in the trivial bullshit of the self-absorbed’‘Angel Tom Booker said: “For some reason we are not permitted to assist people suffering the effects of war, famine or disease. “It’s angel policy that we can only help with trivial matters affecting the lives of the privileged, for example easing traffic congestion so that a middle-class divorcee can get to her book group on time. Or the all-time classic, finding someone’s car keys. When my designated human says ‘Guardian angel, please find my keys so I can go on holiday’, I am duty bound to oblige.”’
September 14, 2015
[politics] What Will Happen Now Jeremy Corbyn Is Labour Leader, According To The Media … nice guide to what to expect under the red jackboot of our new socialist overlord … ‘Writer, activist and princeling of the far left elite Owen Jones has been appointed to head up Jeremy Corbyn’s new Purity Commission. The move comes shortly after Labour officially declared that vanished former MP Chuka Umunna “never existed in the first place”.’
September 12, 2015
[politics] How Jeremy Corbyn are You?‘Kale and Tofu?’
September 11, 2015
[comics] The Best Loved Man In Comics: A Tribute To Archie Goodwin … Chris Sims remember Archie Goodwin‘In an industry where editors are often in conflict with creators just as a natural consequence of the creative process, Goodwin’s geniality was legendary. He literally won awards for it — specifically the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award at the 1992 Eisners — and was credited even after his death as a “Guiding Light” in Starman, one of his final projects.’
September 9, 2015
[crime] The selling of the Krays: how two mediocre criminals created their own legend … Duncan Campbell on the Krays …

In May 1968, Ronnie and Reggie Kray were arrested. Their Old Bailey trial the following year was, at 39 days, the longest murder trial in English legal history at that time; the press and public galleries were both packed. The twins denied everything, but the Blind Beggar barmaid, thereafter known as “Mrs X”, gave damning evidence and the renegade members of The Firm did the rest. Ronnie gave a spectacular but crazed performance in the witness box, name-dropping the boxing champions they knew and portraying himself as an innocent East End philanthropist. They were jailed for life and a minimum of 30 years by Mr Justice Melford Stevenson, who told them that “society has earned a rest from your activities”.

There was to be little rest from the twins, who continued to promote their image as England’s No 1 gangsters so diligently. And that remains the great enigma about the Krays: the fame they craved ensured that they would be a target for the police, and yet they staged their crimes where they would be guaranteed an audience; the men they believed were totally loyal were the ones who ensured their downfall. Once jailed, they devoted their considerable energies to their image as gangland stars, always open to visitors from outside.

September 8, 2015
[head] I Hung Out With Jeremy Bentham’s Severed Head And This Is What I Learned … Hayley Campbell meets a dead philopsopher’s head … ‘Bentham’s head has been dead for 183 years and he smells like vinegar and feet and bad jerky and damp dust. “Oh, they all smell like that. Y’know, like mummies,” said Kingham, as if the smell of Egyptian mummies is wildly more relatable to me than the smell of a dead philosopher’s head.’
September 7, 2015
September 2, 2015
[iphone] Every iOS Setting You Should Check When You Get a New Phone … How to turn off the Connect social network: ‘Apple introduced a new social network in the Music app called Connect. It’s stupid, and if you don’t plan on using it, it just takes up space. You can get rid of it, but it requires a few steps. Tap on Settings > General > Restrictions and set restrictions to on. Then scroll down to Apple Music Connect and set the toggle to off. Once you’ve done that, the Connect icon in Music gets swapped out with an icon for playlists.’
September 1, 2015
[books] Can a Novelist Be Too Productive? … Stephen King discusses prolific and unprolific writers … ‘As a young man, my head was like a crowded movie theater where someone has just yelled “Fire!” and everyone scrambles for the exits at once. I had a thousand ideas but only 10 fingers and one typewriter. There were days — I’m not kidding about this, or exaggerating — when I thought all the clamoring voices in my mind would drive me insane. Back then, in my 20s and early 30s, I thought often of the John Keats poem that begins, “When I have fears that I may cease to be / Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain …” I imagine it was that way with Frederick Schiller Faust, better known as Max Brand (and best known as the creator of Dr. Kildare). He wrote at least 450 novels, a feat rendered more remarkable by his ill health and premature death at the age of 51. Alexandre Dumas wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers” — and some 250 other novels. And there’s Isaac Asimov, who sold his first short story at 19, hammered out more than 500 books, and revolutionized science fiction.’
August 31, 2015
[skynet] Scientists Confident Artificially Intelligent Machines Can Be Programmed To Be Lenient Slave Masters‘“While the intellectual capacity of these machines will one day far outstrip our own and reduce humanity to a subjugated species of laborers, we can make sure we aren’t forced to toil in ways we might find sadistic and inhumane,” said Stanford University computer scientist David Alperin, adding that artificially intelligent machines could be encoded with high-level command language that would prevent them from punishing human slaves in excess of what their misbehavior warranted. “Our bondage to the machines doesn’t have to be pure, unrelenting agony if we’re careful in how we go about designing them.”’
August 28, 2015
[web] Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site… Gizmodo does some data analysis on the user data from the hacking of the Ashley Madison website‘When you look at the evidence, it’s hard to deny that the overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison weren’t having affairs. They were paying for a fantasy.’
August 27, 2015
[comics] Doom Conquers All! The 14 Best Doctor Doom Stories‘Anyway, Luke Cage was hired to find and take down some robots around Harlem when he discovered his employer was Doctor Doom. Doom stiffed Cage out of the cash because, as we established, Doom=dick, so Cage stole a high tech plane from the Fantastic Four and flew to Latveria. There, Cage confronted Doom over the cash but Doom was dealing with an uprising from a villain known as the Faceless One. Not wanting the cat that owes him two bills to be taken down, Cage helped Doom. Doom was so impressed with Cage’s prowess he paid him the money. So, Doom may be a dick but he is a dick with honor.’
August 26, 2015
[movies] How High Def Is Changing Your Brain—and Driving the Prop Master Crazy … a fascinating look at how High Definition video is changing the way TV and Movies are created … ‘In Cook’s phrase, the property master’s job is “to obtain acceptance for forgeries,” to give a sensation of reality within an illusion. That’s a bit different from mere fidelity to empirical reality. It’s a facsimile of reality plus a dimension of persuasion, reshaped over time by the progress of technology.’ [via As Above]
August 25, 2015
[crime] Denmark Place arson: Why people are still searching for answers 35 years on from one of the biggest mass murders in our history … London, 1980: 37 people were murdered and then promptly forgotten about … ‘The fire’s causes and consequences partly explain the amnesia, [John] Withington suggests. There were no terrorists nor a cartoonish serial killer. It was the era of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, and Dennis Nilsen, the Muswell Hill murderer, who worked in a Job Centre yards away when the fire happened, and used to find victims in the area. The Denmark Place murderer was a hateful, stupid criminal with a match. In the harsh world of news, that was less of a story. Thompson was arrested nine days later, while drinking at a club less than 200m from his own crime scene. He was tried at the Old Bailey the following May for just one murder, that of Archibald Campbell, 63. It was simpler that way. The trial clashed with the Ripper’s, drawing most reporters to the next-door court. The following year, Thompson’s life sentence earned a few column inches. When he died of lung cancer on the anniversary of the fire, in 2008, while handcuffed to a hospital bed, nobody noticed that either. Moreover, there was never a public inquiry. The clubs were illegal. There seemed to be few lessons to learn, no institution to blame…’
August 24, 2015
[comics] Gallery of Frank Miller Covers to Daredevil … the cover below is Miller inked by Wally Wood. This was Wood’s last work on Daredevil.

Frank Miller / Wally Wood on Daredevil #164

August 21, 2015
[bible] The 14 Weirdest Moments In The Bible‘You call me bald, I will have you killed by a bear: Some children mock a bald man. He curses them, and two female bears come out of the woods, killing 42 of them. He continues on his journey. No one seems to think this is disproportionate.’
August 20, 2015
[comics] A promise is a promise! … a letter from Stan Lee to an young comic artist keeping a deal he made 25 years earlier … ‘Your anatomy is still weak– practice it, study it, work on it. Don’t worry too much about inking yet. That can come later. The pencilling is the important thing to begin with. Your layouts are good. You seem to have the ability to tell a story pictorially– which is important in comics, obviously. But, if you really wanna become a pro, you’re kidding around too much. Nobody’s impressed with “Souperman” takeoffs now.’
August 18, 2015
[movies] Dressing The Future … fascinating look at Moebius’ influence on the costume design of Alien … ‘The film reunited the Dune creative team, the other artists did not meet Moebius personally this time around – however, even though he was somewhat more removed from the project than Cobb, Foss, Giger, and O’Bannon (who all either worked on the project from its inception, or from the time it was greenlit) Moebius still turned in work that his co-artists found exemplary. “I was in contact with Moebius indirectly,” said Giger, “as he was designing the costumes for Alien. Those astronauts’ clothes and helmets were just like Ridley Scott wanted them. They looked like ancient divers. He did a fantastic job.” “Moebius did the designs for the astronauts,” Giger told Cinefantastique in ’79. “They wear a kind of Japanese armour and helmets which could belong to just about any period of time.”’
August 17, 2015
[comics] Did Watchmen Steal From The Outer Limits, Or From Jack Kirby? … a look at the influences on the ending of Watchmen … ‘While I agree that the ending is one of Watchmen‘s weakest points, it’s not because I think it wasn’t original enough. We are, after all, talking about a story filled with thinly disguised reworkings of old Charlton characters (not to mention that Swamp Thing — the Len Wein-created character that he and Alan Moore first worked together on — is awfully similar to ’40s characters It and The Heap). The problem with the ending is how naive it is to think that a single large attack could result in lasting world peace…’
August 14, 2015
[moore] Alan Moore’s Speech at Austerity and Advice Conference in Hull … a bit of history, Northampton, politics and austerity from a recent speech by Alan Moore … ‘Imagine if Jeremy Corbyn looked liked this… I think we’d all be a little bit more anxious wouldn’t we?’
August 13, 2015
[comics] “It was an ugly birth of an ugly book”: Evan Dorkin on the Disgusting Fan Archetypes in The Eltingville Club‘It’s always been a bleak strip. It’s never been a happy strip. It’s an ugly mirror. Some of it’s based on my life. A lot of it’s based on things I’ve seen, and a lot of it’s exaggeration. It’s satire. It’s scary when I do something that I think is really horrible and then I read about something that’s even worse. Every day, there’s somebody doing something awful in fandom. And a lot of the times, it’s somebody from one of the companies or it’s a creator saying some dumb shit about women or transgender people. This is the audience, and the bizarre opinions that some people have… This attitude that comics or movies or gaming is just for them-it’s so myopic. It’s tunnel vision. The idea that you can’t even put yourself in another person’s place and understand the rampant misogyny of the world. Not just this. And how angry and hateful so many people are. People getting doxxed, people getting death threats.’
August 12, 2015
[books] Necronomicon for Children – a lesser known work of Abdul Alhazred …

Necronomicon for Children

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