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September 22, 2014
[movies] Ghostbusting Lovecraft … great analysis of how the movie Ghostbusters beats back H. P. Lovecraft’s worldview …

…the busters’ typical enemies are ghosts of the Poltergeist persuasion, the Big Bad of the movie, a formless alien god from Before Time summoned by a mad cultist-cum-art deco architect, is basically Lovecraftian. From Gozer’s perspective—or the perspective of the Gozer cultist—human beings are small mammals clustered close to the firelight of their pathetic “reason,” etc. etc. etc. Standard Lovecraftian spiel. The skyscraper (and by extension New York and all human civilization) is the illusion. Scratch its skin and you’ll find a heartless alien reality beneath.

But Gozer loses. And the shape and consequences of his loss undercut the Lovecraftian dichotomy between apparent reality and actual horrifying reality. In Ghostbusters that horrorscape isn’t the truth either—it’s a mistaken interpretation of an underlying world that’s gross, evolving, playful, social, compassionate, and way more interesting than the dry surface layer.

September 21, 2014
[tech] These Two Guys Tried to Rebuild a Cray Supercomputer … recreating a 1976 supercomputer as a small computer using modern hardware … ‘The thing that turned out to be tricky, actually, was the software. No one had preserved a copy of the Cray operating system. Not the Computer History Museum. Not the U.S. government. It was just gone. Fenton searched high and low, eventually finding an old disc pack that contained a later version of the Cray OS…’
September 20, 2014
[politics] Daily Mash: Government Policy To Be Anecdote-Based‘Some of the anecdotes we’ve gathered are frankly shocking. Apparently there’s a man in Chester who’s signing on but gets a new 52” TV and a massive slap-up curry delivered to his house every day. Yes, every day. Anecdotes have also been helpful in David Cameron’s anti-porn campaign, with one Mumsnet user reporting that her son had stumbled across images of large-breasted milfs after typing ‘GCSE revision guides’ into Google.’
September 19, 2014
[movies] How ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Went From In-Joke to Blockbuster … on the comic book origins of the TMNT franchise … ‘The Turtles literally started out as a joke. Co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were comic-artist wannabes when they spent a November 1983 evening doodling the masked, weaponized reptiles to entertain themselves. Each adjective in Turtles’ title represented a hot superhero-comic trend at the time — mutants were the stars of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men; DC’s New Teen Titans had teenage protagonists; and future Sin City impresario Frank Miller had stuffed his groundbreaking run on Daredevil full of ninjas. By throwing it all together atop a funny-animal framework — which, from Carl Barks’ Donald Duck to Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck, had long been a route to comic-book gold — Eastman and Laird simply obeyed the Spinal Tap doctrine of cranking it to eleven.’
September 18, 2014
[scotland] This Is What It Will Be Like If Scotland Votes For Independence‘Queen: You lost a whole bloody country, you dishfaced twat.’

Angry Queen Punches PM

September 17, 2014
[funny] Werner Herzog’s Note To His Cleaning Lady‘I have conquered volcanoes and visited the bitter depths of the earth’s oceans. Nothing I have witnessed, from lava to crustacean, assailed me liked the caked debris haunting that small plastic soap hammock in the smaller of the bathrooms. Nausea is not a sufficient word.’
September 16, 2014
[gif] The Thin Yellow Line … astounding animated GIF of a crowd leaving Wembley stadium. [via jzw]
September 15, 2014
[books] Don Estelle: Sing Lofty (Thoughts of a Gemini) – An important and definitive guide … Scary Duck reads Don Estelle’s autobiography so we don’t have to … ‘If there’s one thing that stands out from Sing Lofty it’s this: Despite his prodigious singing voice, he was certainly no writer. And this comes out in his haphazard style, swinging from one subject to the next, recalling his exact mortgage payment at the time of the Suez Crisis and the name, address and post code of every booking he ever had, to his (probably righteous) rage at his lack of TV work after It Ain’t Half Hot Mum finished. If there’s an alternative title for this book, it’ll be Modern Life Is Shit… ‘
September 14, 2014
[people] In conversation with Werner Herzog: ‘Facts do not constitute truth’ … highlights from an evening with the eccentric movie director in Brooklyn …

Holdengräber reminded him of the dictum, attributed to Blaise Pascal, that opens Lessons of Darkness, Herzog’s 1992 documentary: “The collapse of the stellar universe will occur – like creation – in grandiose splendour.”

Herzog repeated it. He said, “Actually, Pascal didn’t write that. I wrote that.”

Holdengräber said: “But it sounds so very like Pascal.”

“Pascal should have written it,” Herzog said, of the 17th-century philosopher. “That’s why I signed his name.”

September 13, 2014
[comics] The Moon Knight Portfolio … another gallery of art by Bill Sienkiewicz and Christie Scheele from 1983.
September 12, 2014
[wisdom] The original hand-written Oblique Strategies … by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1974 … ‘Honor thy error as hidden intention.’

Original Oblique Strategies

September 11, 2014
[tv] Warren Ellis’s Heisenberg Theory … Warren Ellis On Walter White … ‘What keeps him alive is being a fictional supervillain. What kills him is being human.’
September 10, 2014
[life] Maslow’s Modern Hierarchy of Needs … another addition has been made to Maslow’s pyramid.
September 9, 2014
[crime] Police vow to stop Jack the Ripper before he kills again‘The investigation has so far interrogated 180,000 suspects, 140,000 of them black, 20,000 Polish, two Frenchman and the Duke of Clarence.’
September 8, 2014
[tech] Who wrote the text for the Ctrl+Alt+Del dialog in Windows 3.1? … another interesting titbit of Windows history from Raymond Chen.
September 7, 2014
[comics] Bill Sienkiewicz’s Moon Knight … gallery of art from Sienkiewicz’s mid-80’s run on Marvel’s Moon Knight.
September 6, 2014
[batman] XombieDIRGE: ‘I can take you as far as Blüdhaven, after that your on your own.’

Batman Hitchhiking

September 5, 2014
[comics] The Unlikely Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of “Viz” Comic … profile of Viz from Buzzfeed … ‘Some of the best-loved characters have changed in line with society. Student Grant, a nerdy university stereotype, began to feel outdated. (“They’re customers now,” says Dury.) Roger Mellie was just a sweary TV presenter; now he’s a way to satirise recent media scandals (at the time of writing Ian Botham’s Twitter account has recently posted a picture of an erect penis, and Thorp and Dury are going to have Roger’s do the same). Others remain a constant: Sid the Sexist is still yet to lose his virginity, and Fru ‘T’ Bunn remains a sketch about a baker who makes his own sex dolls…’
September 4, 2014
[loremipsum] Lorem Ipsum: Of Good & Evil, Google & China … the strange story of finding hidden messages in Google Translate with Lorem Ipsum filler text as input … ‘It all started a few months back when I received a note from Lance James, head of cyber intelligence at Deloitte. James pinged me to share something discovered by FireEye researcher Michael Shoukry and another researcher who wished to be identified only as “Kraeh3n.” They noticed a bizarre pattern in Google Translate: When one typed “lorem ipsum” into Google Translate, the default results (with the system auto-detecting Latin as the language) returned a single word: “China.” Capitalizing the first letter of each word changed the output to “NATO”…’
September 3, 2014
[movies] ‎Man On Fire: The Top 10 Films Of Tony Scott … interesting list of essential films directed by Tony Scott‘Day of Thunder – If you call this TOP GUN on the race track I am going to punch you in the face. This has nothing to do with TOP GUN and doesn’t even come close to resembling that story. Cole Trickle doesn’t have anybody really fighting for him outside of Randy Quaid, and if that’s all you have you’re fucked.’
September 2, 2014
[books] All About Alienation… Alan Moore discusses H. P. Lovecraft … ‘What Lovecraft seems to be doing in works like The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is attempting to embed the cosmic in the regional. He was doing his writing where he loved the New England landscape around him, he loved its history, he loved the way it looked, he loved everything about it. In that sense he was a very provincial person. He found his stay in New York unendurably horrific. But at the same time he was keeping up with the science of the day. And he understood the implications of that science; he understood the implications of relativity; he understood the implications of the quantum physicists; perhaps only dimly, but he understood how this decentralised our view of ourselves; it was no longer a view of the universe where we had some kind of special importance. It was this vast, unimaginably vast expanse of randomly scattered stars, in which we are the tiniest speck, in a remote corner of a relatively unimportant galaxy; one amongst hundreds of thousands, and it was that alienation that he was trying to embody in his Nyarlathoteps and his Yog-Sothoths.’
September 1, 2014
[people] Werner Hertzog On Chickens‘The enormity of their flat brain, the enormity of their stupidity, is just overwhelming.’
August 31, 2014
[lego] Lego Fawlty Towers Hotel Reception … go look at this loving recreation of the hotel reception set from the classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers.
August 30, 2014
[comics] Dave Sim And Gerhard: Aardvarks Over The UK … Dave Sim interviewed during a tour of the UK in 1993 … ‘The original idea for Cerebus was simply to do a more interesting comic book. I wanted to do something that had adult values applied to it, as opposed to just doing something along typical comic-book lines. You know, “let’s do a superhero ‘cos they’re selling okay”. And the further along I’ve gone, the more I’ve tried to do something that makes me happy, something that is satisfying to me. I enjoyed superheroes the same as any twelve year old, when I was twelve, but I’m almost forty now, so I put things into Cerebus that I’m interested in now!’
August 29, 2014
[history] Kill A Commie For Crom … nicely photoshopped, the orginal says Kill A Commie For Christ

Kill A Commie For Crom

August 28, 2014
[comics] After His Public Downfall, Sin City’s Frank Miller Is Back (And Not Sorry) … fascinating profile of Frank Miller …

At the turn of the millennium, Miller and Varley were working on their long-awaited Dark Knight sequel. It was initially hatched as a romp, a reinjection of Day-Glo fun into what had become a relentlessly grim superhero landscape. They were about halfway through the series on September 11, 2001. By this time Miller had moved back to New York, and the assault on his home disturbed him deeply—which again quickly became apparent in his work. In the later issues, Batman decides to let an alien force destroy Metropolis and its citizens, Captain Marvel is killed, and Batman kills a genetically manipulated Robin by hurling him into a lava-filled chasm. “I think there was a PTSD effect,” Varley says of 9/11. “I think many people didn’t get over it, that it will continue to affect their lives forever. And I think Frank is one of those people.”

August 27, 2014
[books] Things That Don’t Suck: Some Notes On The Stand … interesting look back and analysis of Steven King’s novel The Stand‘When I compared The Stand to The Lord Of The Rings, I wasn’t being idle. The book does very much feel like an American answer to Tolkien (In fairness King actually brings up Watership Down as his point of comparison, about half a dozen times to two Tolkien references. Either way it’s all British epic fantasy to me). King actually knowingly inverts Tolkien in some interesting ways. Making the protagonists all distinctly working class, when Tolkien’s Hobbits were pretty much landed gentry. Posing Flagg in some of his visions, on “a great high place” as Tolkien posed Sauron. And in my favorite tongue and cheek touch, putting his Mordor in the West rather than the East.’
August 26, 2014
[dawkins] Richard Dawkins’ Apology Generator … handy tool for when the evolutionary biologist offends large sections of the public‘If you transcended human emotion you’d know that you are delusional.’
August 25, 2014
[facebook] Getting to News Feed Zero … What happens if you hide everything on Facebook? … ‘Then, after 500 hidden posts or so, something strange happened. Facebook needed to take a breather. There are no more posts to show right now, it said. I felt like Columbus setting out to find the edge of the Earth, and succeeding. As someone who used to explore the boundaries of video game maps—hoping to find a glitch in the system that would unlock some heretofore unexplored wonders in lieu of actually playing the game itself—this felt momentous. And then it felt lonely…’
August 24, 2014
[facebook] I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity‘Since I stopped liking altogether, though, my Facebook stream is more akin to an eclectic dinner party. There is conversation, there is disagreement (mostly) without hostility, and there is connection. It seems as though I am getting more of what I actually want rather than just being served more extreme versions of what I Like.’

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