November 25, 2020
[retrogaming] The boy behind the biggest coin-op conversion of the 80s … A look at how a british teenager converted the arcade game Outrun to the Commodore 64 in 1987. ‘It seemed that the 17-year-old in the room had a prototype of just what US Gold needed – and this was around Eastertime, giving them months to get the game ready for Christmas 1987. “Geoff took me into a side room where there sat an OutRun arcade machine. He said ‘Martin you can do this right? You can convert this to the C64?’ I was gobsmacked. Within an hour the lawyers and my dad had made a contract and that’s how I landed my first conversion. The upfront fee was about £20k. That was a lot of cash back in 1987.”‘
November 23, 2020
[trump] How long till Trump Leaves Office? … ‘It is 57 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, 31 seconds until Wednesday, 20 January 2021’
November 20, 2020
[funny] Diana twats the Queen with a corgi: how accurate is The Crown? … ‘Mrs Thatcher chucks an unflushable turd out of a Balmoral window – In a socially awkward visit by the Thatchers to Balmoral, the panicked prime minister blocks the cludgie and has to remove the offending log with her bare hands before throwing it from a window. In reality, Balmoral is equipped with extra-powerful toilets to cope with the Royals’ habit of eating half a stag for lunch.’
November 18, 2020
[food] Map of European Culinary Horrors … ‘Europe is littered with disturbing domestic meals. There’s a vast selection of fermented fish in Scandinavia, offal stews on the Balkans, deep fried pizzas in Scotland, sadistically squashed birds cooked under pressure in France, and a variety of dishes made from animal blood across the entire continent. The top spot is reserved for Sardinia, where a special type of sheep cheese, infested with semi-transparent insect larvae, will tickle all your senses in a way you won’t forget.’
November 17, 2020
[gaming] Retro games – How I fixed the Atari 2600 awful music … How one Atari programmer managed to work around the 2600’s musical limitations. ‘I knew that a ton of the frequencies were out of tune, so what technical trick could I come up with to coax the Atari 2600 into playing beautiful, melodious in-tune music? The answer was, none. I couldn’t come up with any technical trick that worked, so I went to Plan B. Rather than forcing the Atari to do something it couldn’t do, I took the opposite approach, putting some effort into figuring out exactly what it could do.’
November 16, 2020
[corona] Pfizer Announces First Batch Of Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Collector’s Edition Limited To 2,000 Doses … ‘The Covid-19 Platinum Edition Vaccine is a must-have for vaccinophiles and sure to quickly increase in value. Act now, and you’ll also receive a leather-bound volume filled with freehand ink drawings of the novel coronavirus’s genome sequence, as well as historic early sketches of our life-saving vaccine’s chemical structure. This legendary piece of inoculative history can be yours for only $4,999.’
November 13, 2020
[moore] La Frontera (2011) by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie … A charming, little-seen short story from Moore and Gebbie originally published in Spain.
November 12, 2020
[trump] Trump Files Lawsuit In Pennsylvania Alleging Election Officials Totally Disregarding His Feelings … ‘A lot of these ballots clearly contain information that makes me sad and scared, and it’s just not right…’
November 10, 2020
[funny] Hitler learns he can’t stop vote counting … The Trump Downfall meme we were all waiting for. ‘We built a diverse coalition of white people in militias and white people NOT in militias.’
November 9, 2020
[comics] Herb Trimpe, We Love You! … fascinating documentary about comic artist Herb Trimpe with scenes shot in the Marvel Bullpen during 1970 and 1971.
November 4, 2020
[trump] Do we know who the next president is yet? … ‘No. It’s 1 day since Election Day.’
November 3, 2020
[heat] Live tweeting the movie Heat – One minute per day… ‘HEAT, min 079: this is it: Pacino yells GREAT ASS. iconic (dare i say historic) cinéma. here’s a theory on why it plays: it’s not only his eruption, but how he almost says BIG, switches last-second to GREAT, and nearly defaults to GREAT BIG, then catches himself short. that’s art’
October 30, 2020
[rats] ‘He couldn’t move’: New York City man falls into sinkhole full of rats … ‘He couldn’t move, and the rats were crawling all over him. He didn’t scream, because he didn’t want the rats going into his mouth.’
October 29, 2020
[halloween] Pentagram Lacing … Lace Your Shoes in a Pentagram – Handy for Halloween…
October 27, 2020
[covid-19] Donald Trump’s COVID-19 plan … ‘Not Found’
October 26, 2020
[religion] The 1990s Cult ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Has Four Remaining Followers – We Spoke to Them … Whatever happened to the Heaven’s Gate cult after the majority of members comitted suicide in 1997? ‘I wondered who, in 2020, would be maintaining the email address for a cult whose members are all famously dead. So I emailed it to find out, asking how many members – if any – are left. “None,” came the reply. “The Group came to an end in 1997. There are no members or anything to join.” So who was I speaking to?’
October 23, 2020
[tv] Curb Your Enthusiasm at 20: The show that made a schmuck the hero … Looking back at twenty years of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. ‘“I was born in the same hospital as Larry, three days apart,” [Richard] Lewis tells me, explaining the strange kismet of their lifelong relationship. “We went to the same sports camp when we were 12, and I hated him and he hated me. I never wanted to see him again. He was just a lanky a**hole, and he considered me a chubby a**hole. So we never saw each other again until 12 years later when we were comedians in New York starting out. “He was a big fan of mine, and there was something about his face that scared me. It was like something out of a Polanski movie…’
October 22, 2020
[books] Alan Moore’s Book Recommendations … A wide-ranging book list compiled from a number of interviews over the years.
October 20, 2020
[music] Yacht or Nyacht? … A comprehensive list of songs that are Yacht Rock or not using the Yachtski Scale.
October 19, 2020
[comics] Adrian Tomine in conversation with Seth … I wonder how they coerced Seth to use Zoom? :)
October 15, 2020
[crime] I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book … What did a journalist learn from calling all the contacts in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book?
This urge to make Epstein’s power sophisticated and complex serves a similar purpose as the elites’ insistence on Epstein’s extraordinary genius–both are ways of squaring the evident smallness of the man himself with the vastness of the world he built and the seemingly outsized influence he possessed. Both of them betray a collective lack of imagination when it comes to just how ludicrously rewarded dumbasses can be in this country. Epstein didn’t have to be anything special to become a key player in an evil conspiracy. He had to be rich, and he had to be useful to people richer and more powerful than he was. The very real possibility is that Epstein was both a rich dumbass and a key player in an evil conspiracy, because evil conspiracies require nothing more.
October 14, 2020
[docu] 40 of the best documentaries you need to watch … A list from Wired of great documentaries available in the UK. ‘8 Days: to the Moon and Back – This is the story of the Moon landing, but told in a completely new way. Created by the BBC, 8 Days: to the Moon and Back uses original declassified audio from Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins as they made their trip to the Moon. In the recreation, which is a technically a “feature drama” but has enough realism to count as a documentary for this list, actors were filmed lip-synching the actual words that were said. The result? It’s a triumph and probably the closest we’ll ever get to recreating that fateful mission.’
October 12, 2020
[moore] Alan Moore Rare Interview: “Superhero Movies Have Blighted Culture” … A standard-issue Alan Moore interview but good to hear his updates on what he’s currently working on and how he and Melinda Gebbie are dealing with lockdown in Northampton. ‘I’ve only retired from comics. I’m finishing off a book of magic now. It’s been stalled for a while but I’m also working on an opera about John Dee with [musician] Howard Gray. I’ve got some short stories coming out. And I’ve also been thinking a lot about what we want to do after The Show feature film. We hope that it’s enjoyable as a thing in itself, but to some degree it could be seen as an incredibly elaborate pilot episode, we think there’s quite an interesting story that we could develop out of it as a TV series, which would imaginatively be called The Show.’
October 9, 2020
[life] Life advice from Nicholas Ray … ‘Open any book and read what’s there: you’ll find your problems. Hold a problem in your mind. Open a book.’
October 8, 2020
[moore] First Look Trailer for The Show … A trailer for the upcoming film from Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins.
October 7, 2020
[moore] “Providence Was Really Exhausting. Finishing It Felt Like Finishing College”: An Interview With Jacen Burrows … Long discussion with Jacen Burrows on his career at Avatar and collaborations with Alan Moore and Garth Ennis. ‘I didn’t know a tremendous amount about Lovecraft himself until we did Providence. There was stuff I’d stumbled across during research and stuff I learned from Alan. As you know, he writes massive scripts with a lot of extra information for context and he’d often pull stuff from some of the many research books he’d read and put it in the script so I could be fully informed about why we were taking things in certain directions during the production. It was quite helpful and rare, honestly, to have that much insight. The deeper thinking behind the scripted actions instead of just stage directions, you know? A lot of people find those Moore scripts challenging because of the density but I really liked it, even if it was a ton of work to get it all on the page.’
October 5, 2020
[truecrime] Since 1979, Brian Murtagh has fought to keep convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald in prison… A powerful 2012 update on the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case from Gene Weingarten.
‘A major problem for Jeffrey MacDonald, Thornhill said, was Jeffrey MacDonald:
October 2, 2020
[tech] Boeing 747s still get critical updates via floppy disks … ‘While it might sound surprising that 3.5-inch floppy disks are still in use on airplanes today, many of Boeing’s 737s have also been using floppy disks to load avionics software for years. The databases housed on these floppy discs are increasingly getting bigger, according to a 2015 report from Aviation Today. Some airlines have been moving away from the use of floppy discs, but others are stuck with engineers visiting each month to sit and load eight floppies with updates to airports, flight paths, runways, and more.’
October 1, 2020
[truecrime] The Rise of the True-Crime Podcast … A look at how True Crime podcasts got mainstreamed. ‘She taught herself production by googling “How do I use GarageBand to edit.” She dropped three episodes at once, and within two weeks, she had 4,000 downloads. “I chalked it up to being in the right place at the right time. Then Justin [Evans] from Generation Why mentioned me and my show. That put me on the map. By the end of the week, I had 75,000 downloads.” That was in 2016, which true-crime producers described as still the Wild West of indie podcasting. Everyone learned by trial and error. They knew one another and shared tips in private Facebook groups; they attended conferences like CrimeCon to drum up publicity. They learned about filing Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain coroner reports and the pitfalls of using copyrighted music. They compared notes on how much to charge advertisers poking around this new medium and what hosting platforms cost. They set up Patreons, sold merch, plugged one another’s shows, and guest-hosted tirelessly. Ludlow also belongs to an informal FB group of female podcasters who support and encourage one another.’
September 30, 2020
[aircrash] In 2005, Helios flight 522 crashed into a Greek hillside. Was it because one man forgot to flip a switch? … A powerful look at who is to blame for the crash of Helios Flight 522. ‘After the disaster, Greek air investigators determined that flight 522 had crashed because it had failed to pressurise properly. As it climbed, the air in the cabin had become too thin to breathe, causing most people to lose consciousness. The investigation quickly focused on the theory that the pressurisation selector switch had been left in “manual” rather than “auto”, and attributed this to human error – principally that of Irwin who, they said, had not returned the switch to its correct position after a safety check; and of incompetent pilots who had failed to spot the error. This narrative was soon leaked to the press…’