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September 30, 2022
[photos] 5 Unintended Consequences of Photography‘Photography Gave Us an Appreciation of Time – The big events of life usually pass too slowly for us to observe. But photographs freeze the instants of change so we can see our child getting older by degrees, or our parents gradually aging across the years. And we can piece together a year from a thousand photographed memories of events our memories consider too minor to keep handy. We take this power of capturing time for granted, but it simply didn’t exist prior to photography.’
September 23, 2022
[truecrime] What Serial Gets Wrong … After Adnan Syed’s recent release, an examination (from 2014) of what the Serial podcast got wrong. ‘I have no idea who lied fifteen years ago, and I doubt we’ll ever find out. Lies have a way of burrowing into the brain and reshaping and reforming into truth after awhile. Whatever Adnan and Jay believed then could have changed by now. What does seem clear to me, though, is that there was rampant and serious misconduct by Baltimore law enforcement. It seems impossible that, as a defendant, Adnan got within the realm of a fair shake here. And even if law enforcement’s shady behavior didn’t rise to illegal misconduct, there’s a reasonable possibility that it could have had a tangible effect on the outcome.’
September 21, 2022
[moore] Discover Alan Moore’s Surprising First Published Superman Stories … A look at some long-forgotten UK published stories from Alan Moore. ‘That second Superheroes Annual in 1983…There was a two-page text piece by Alan Moore, with illustrations by the brilliant Bryan Talbot. The story was titled “Protected Species,” and it was about an alien who traveled the universe collected endangered species from lost planets that he would then bring to his bosses who would keep the survivors on a sort of zoo…’
September 19, 2022
[comics] “Westminster.”

From Hell - Westminster

September 16, 2022
[queen] The short unhappy life of Elizabeth Windsor … Politico sum up the life of Queen Elizabeth. ‘She knew a lot about the things she had inherited and not much about anything else. She drove — fast — about her estates in a beaten-up Land Rover and dedicated her life to fiercely protecting the promulgation of the family firm. But it was almost as if she was absent from her own story — her legend as rigorously curated and spun as that of any autocrat. To provide her United Kingdom with the monarch she felt it needed, she sacrificed an ordinary life and the other things most of us take for granted. But then the curious nature of hereditary monarchy never offered her another path.’
September 14, 2022
[queen] Inside British newsrooms on the day Queen Elizabeth II died: secret codes, chaos and black ties

‘Thirteen minutes after the note came the tweet. “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” wrote Buckingham Palace. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

“When the statement dropped about her health it was obvious, and suddenly no MPs would talk,” the Whitehall correspondent says. Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs stopped responding to messages.

Across at what was once known as Fleet Street, time stopped.’

September 12, 2022
[queen] Who the hell updated Queen Elizabeth II’s Wikipedia page so quickly?‘It’s not as simple as changing “is” to “was.” After Sydwhunte made the initial death edit, Elizabeth II’s article underwent more than 55 edits in the subsequent 15 minutes — adding sources, changing the tense, updating the infobox with the length of her reign, and updating her categories (she’s no longer in the category “living people,” for example). Over on the article for now-King Charles III, there was a frenzy of title changes as editors waited for his regnal name to be announced. Charles’ article changed titles five times while people waited for his official regnal name.’
September 9, 2022
[death] [NOTE: Do Not Run Until Fucking Queen Is Dead Or People Will Lose Their Shit] Queen Elizabeth Dead At 96 … The Onion’s top-quality obituary for the Queen. ‘She married Philip Mountbatten in 1947, beginning a [TK ADJECTIVE] royal union that lasted [TK] years until [NOTE: DID HE DIE? CHECK. IF HE DID, WE FORGOT TO RUN AN OBIT], in which they had four children: Prince Charles, the heir apparent, as well as Princess [TK], Prince [TK], and Prince Andrew [NOTE: CHECK ANDREW’S LATEST ROYAL STATUS RE: PEDOPHILIA ALLEGATIONS]. In addition to her children, the queen is survived by [INSERT SOME BULLSHIT HERE ABOUT HER DO-NOTHING PROGENY]. As Britain’s first lady queen [PROBABLY LOOK THIS UP] …’
September 8, 2022
September 7, 2022
[tv] Casting Columbo: the gargantuan unseen effort … A lot of the magic in Columbo came from casting the right actors for villians, victims and supporting cast. ‘Team Columbo considered up to three dozen different actors for every role in every episode. For a typical 1970s Columbo, the casting started with the producer. Three to four weeks before the scheduled start of filming—about the time he hired his director—the producer would compile a list of actors he thought would be right for each part. He’d also send the script to several talent agencies, to get their suggestions. Executives from Universal Television and from NBC would also weigh in. And, finally, the producer would bounce his options off of the director and Peter Falk.’
September 6, 2022
[politics] “He was scum.” … Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

‘If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern — but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.’

September 5, 2022
[cia] The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge … The astonishing story of how the CIA lost control of it’s arsenal of hacking tools because of an extremely angry, disgruntled employee. ‘Unlike other prominent digital leakers, Schulte did not seem like an ideological whistle-blower. Ayn Rand fanboys are not exactly famous for their doctrinal consistency, and Schulte’s concerns about “Big Brother” don’t appear to have occasioned much soul-searching in the years he spent building surveillance weapons for a spy agency. On an anonymous Twitter account that Schulte maintained, he reportedly expressed the view (in a since-deleted tweet) that Chelsea Manning should be executed. Weber recalled Schulte saying that Snowden deserved the same. Could it be that Schulte had leaked the C.I.A.’s digital arsenal not because of any principled opposition to the policies of the U.S. government but because he was pissed off at his colleagues?’
September 2, 2022
[toys] Genuine Thoughts and Prayers Collectible Toy‘Perfect for any tragedy.’

Genuine Thoughts and Prayers

August 25, 2022
[comics] Neil Gaiman on the Secret History of ‘The Sandman,’ from Giant Mechanical Spiders to the Joker … Long interview with Gaiman on The Sandman comics, TV series, Alan Moore, his history with DC Comics and much more. ‘I love that the House of Secrets and the House of Mystery are on screen. I love that Asim Chaudhry and Sanjeev Bhaskar are respectively Abel and Cain. I love the fact we’ve got Goldie and Gregory the Gargoyle. I look at Gregory and I’m just sad that [artist] Bernie Wrightson is no longer with us, because I wish he’d lived to see Gregory the Gargoyle flying around on the screen, this thing that he made. I love all that. I think that’s so much fun. And I love the fact that if you want to do weird deep dives into DC chronology, you have Lyta Hall, who in some versions of DC Comics existence — not really the one that we were in even by the time we got to the comic — but there is a level in which she’s Wonder Woman’s daughter. And perhaps she is, we’ll never know.’
August 24, 2022
[life] If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow? … The engrossing real life story of a surgeon obsessed with head transplants. ‘One day, her friend, Cleveland neurologist Michael DeGeorgia, called her to his office. He quietly slid a battered shoebox toward her, inviting her to open it. Schillace obliged, half-worried it might contain a brain. She pulled out a notebook—perhaps from the ‘50s or ‘60s, she says—and started to leaf through it. “There’s all these strange little notes and stuff about mice and brains and brain slices, and these little flecks,” Schillace says. “I was like, ‘What … what are all these marks?’” Probably blood, DeGeorgia told her.’
August 19, 2022
[comics] Interview: Joe Colquhoun … Charlie’s War artist Joe Colquhoun interviewed in 1982 by Lew Stringer. ‘I found Roy [of the Rovers] a bit of a boring subject, not being a great fan of football, and after four or five years of drawing those bloody hairy-arsed footballers tearing around morning, noon and night, it got me down a lot.’
August 17, 2022
[tech] Janet Jackson had the power to crash laptop computers‘One discovery during the investigation is that playing the music video also crashed some of their competitors’ laptops. And then they discovered something extremely weird: Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video! What’s going on?’
August 16, 2022
[games] Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist … A true-crime story about the robbery of a pristine collection of video games and the emotional cost of losing it. ‘Generations of games had been lost to attics, yard sales, and garbage bins, and enthusiasts like Brassard had become sentimental about finding and possessing them. A culture, and then a market, had bloomed around such wistful longings. It’s fair to assume most humans have played a video game—the emotional capital of playing and loving a game 30 years ago is one of the reasons games that old have become desirable. In the summer of 2021, a sealed copy of the first print of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $2 million at auction. A copy of The Legend of Zelda went for nearly $900,000. A pristine, never-opened copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1.56 million.’
August 15, 2022
[cancelled] I’m a low-income pensioner and I’m terrified of university cancel culture this winter‘Yes, those with conservative views have got the Daily Telegraph, the Mail, Spectator and the Sun if people want to advocate sending Windrush migrants to Rwanda in leaky boats, but if they’re denied the platform of the University of East Anglia you’re literally cutting their tongues out. I don’t know what I’m going to do…’
August 12, 2022
August 11, 2022
[lovecraft] H.P Lovecraft’s very bizarre hatred of Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights … TL;DR – Lovecraft was racist. ‘He seemed to filter all his untethered anxiety into the very building at 169 Clinton Street. “I conceived the idea that the great brownstone house was a malignly sentient thing — a dead, vampire creature which sucked something out of those within it and implanted in them the seeds of some horrible and immaterial psychic growth.” Yet Lovecraft saved his greater fantasies for the neighborhood south of here. He eventually funneled all this tortured and deranged hysteria into his horror writing with the publication of “The Horror at Red Hook,” a story that literally depicts the neighborhood as a gateway to Hell.’
August 10, 2022
[comics] The definitive guide to the many editions of Sandman … Useful reading order to Sandman along with a guide to the many different editions of the series. ‘The cheapest way to read is at your nearest library. For those willing to splash, there are many different editions to collect the series; Single Issues, TPB, Deluxe, Omnibus, and Absolutes. For non-comic readers, it is recommended that you decide on a format/edition and stick with it to avoid confusion as different editions cover varying amounts of content per volume.’
August 8, 2022
[comics] The 100 Most Influential Pages in Comic Book History … A wide ranging look at 100 pages that changed comics. ‘Hawkeye No. 11 (2013): The highlight of the run came in Hawkeye No. 11, an issue told through the eyes of Lucky, a dog that Hawkeye adopted in the first issue of the series. Lucky (or Pizza Dog, as he thinks of himself, due to his taste for pizza) sees the world through a series of nonverbal signifiers (the book’s letterer, Chris Eliopoulos is credited as “production” for the issue, as he delivers a lot more than just lettering in the issue). It’s Chris Ware–esque diagram artwork, but with a great deal more heart behind the experiences of Lucky. This was one of the most acclaimed single issues of the past decade, winning an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.’
August 5, 2022
>> I don’t know who needs this today but here’s an acapella version of ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by the Beach Boys. [via]

August 2, 2022
[ai] The Kubrick Times 🚨📰 … Using an AI to generate newspaper articles from NYT Headlines used by Kubrick’s 2001. ‘World Population Passes 6 Billion Mark – The world’s population has officially reached 6 billion people, according to the United Nations. This milestone has been both celebrated and met with trepidation, as it highlights the enormous pressure that our planet is under. The population is now evenly split between the northern and southern hemispheres, with 3 billion people living north of the equator and 3 billion living south of it.’
August 1, 2022
[comics] John Wagner and Alan Grant Interviewed in 1988 … I was very saddened to hear of Alan Grant’s passing last week – below is a funny story from him in the linked interview. ‘A freight company hired me to find out where a million and a quarter pounds missing from the books had gone, and I’d not got the slightest idea where it had gone and didn’t even know where to start looking. So I compromised by burning the books. By the time I’d finished they’d no idea what they had or what they didn’t have. The funniest thing about it was that when I eventually told them I couldn’t take it any more and I was leaving to go back to Scotland immediately because my granny had died or something, they said “That’s a great shame. You were doing so well we were going to give you our Heathrow account. There’s 5,000,000 pounds missing there.” And I was travelling home from Tilbury at night ripping up the books and throwing them out of the train window. IPC did eventually take me on for a partwork called “Birds of the World,” and I was there until it closed down after six months.’
July 28, 2022
[movies] ‘Blade Runner’ at 40: Why It’s Still the Greatest Sci-Fi of All-Time‘Working from a formula he perfected in 1979’s Alien, Scott brought his world of grimy industry and neon-lit shadows, rogue androids and put-upon protagonists to California, swapping Alien’s body horror for the police procedural. Granted, Deckard isn’t Ellen Ripley, but in its portrayal of the battered and bruised detective battling against the system, Blade Runner is a Chinatown of the future. That it was only Scott’s third film as director makes it all the more impressive.’
July 27, 2022
[movies] Revisiting the L.A. of ‘Heat’ 24 Years Later with the Iconic Crime Drama’s Location Manager … Visiting the locations of Michael Mann’s Heat in 2019. ‘Though the view from the house that was eventually chosen had an incredible, panoramic view, Balton felt it didn’t seem authentic. “I said to him, ‘You know, Michael, it’s L.A. Not everybody lives in an incredible apartment with a great view. I mean, you know that, right?’ and he looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, I know that. Now go out and find what I told you to find,’” she said, laughing.’
July 11, 2022
[akira] A Collection of Every Akira Video Game Ever Made‘Akira was one of my favorite films as a teen and I remember hearing rumors of a video game version, but I could never find it. Eventually, I just filed it away as a myth, like the supposed Akira live action film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Not only are these games real though, you can even be able to play them thanks to ROM archivists…’
July 7, 2022
[books] Eric Clapton’s Bookshelf … An amusing forensic examination of Clapton’s bookshelves and what they say about his character.