linkmachinego.com
January 18, 2022
[moore] Alan Moore’s Top Five: Mystics and Magicians‘Austin Osman Spare: He knew and possibly shagged Aleister Crowley, but regarded Crowley as “an Italian ponce out of work” and utterly rejected Crowley’s lore-bound and formal magical system. Spare was approached sometime in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler with a request that he paint the occult-obsessed fuehrer’s portrait, which he declined, replying “if you, sir, are the superman, then I am proud to remain an ape.” When Spare and his Brixton studio were later bombed during the Blitz, Spare suffered some kind of stroke and was left paralysed down his right side, including his drawing hand, but, being Spare, he simply taught himself to draw with his left hand…’
January 17, 2022
[cummings] Intoxicating, insidery and infuriating: everything I learned about Dominic Cummings from his £10-a-month blog … A deep dive into the world of Dominic Cummings.

What’s so interesting about Cummings is that although he seems to share some of this deep scepticism about democratic politics and politicians – too slow, too trivial, too easily spooked – he cannot fully embrace it. After all, tracking public opinion in a clear-eyed, unsentimental way is what he does, perhaps better than anyone. He is a genius at it. In the end, his blog reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke: “The food here is terrible!” “Yes, and such small portions!” Cummings thinks that British politics is broken, that the two main parties are ready for the knacker’s yard, and that most of the political class couldn’t strategise their way out of a paper bag. And yet he can’t resist trying to play their game. He wants to abolish the Labour party. He also wants to teach it how to win the next election. He’d like to put quantum physicists in charge of the government. He’d also like to see Rishi Sunak boot Boris (and Carrie) out of Downing Street. He wants to burn it down. He also wants to make it better.

January 14, 2022
[games] Creating Lode Runner … How the classic 8-bit platformer game Lode Runner was created. ‘The manner in which James’s system worked made the monsters seem to have intelligence – they’d often pause rather than home in on you. “And what made the game really interesting was they ran all this logic to determine if they were going to make this one move, left or right, but you could then jump off a platform and end up falling halfway down the screen. At that point, all bets were off, because your position changed so quickly,” says James, adding that – as you might have guessed – “a lot of the fun for me was applying the logic to different levels and not necessarily playing the game!”’ [More: Looking back at Lode Runner]
January 12, 2022
[podcasts] Two podcasts series I’ve listened to recently…

  • Hunting Ghislaine … John Sweeney examines how Ghislaine Maxwell became a convicted sex trafficker.

  • The Coming Storm … An attempt to understand QAnon and it’s history.

January 11, 2022
[books] Infographic of Words Invented or Coined by Shakespeare … Shakespeare invented the word fap? Really?

Partial Infographic of Words Shakespeare Invented

January 10, 2022
[web] Meet the man who accidentally started an assassin hiring website … Buying a internet domain name can have unexpected consequences. ‘Innes had received a message from a woman named Helen. She was stranded in Canada, had lost her passport, and wanted three family members in the UK murdered for screwing her out of her father’s inheritance. He didn’t respond. But she persisted: sending a second email, which included names, addresses and other corroborating information. Innes felt compelled to act…’
January 7, 2022
[drink] The Heaviest Drinker in the Animal Kingdom … Today I learned it is very hard to get hamsters drunk. ‘Alcohol goes straight from the gut to the liver, which starts breaking down the mind-altering toxin that is ethanol. Hamster livers are “so efficient” at processing ethanol that very little ends up in their blood, says Tom Lawton, a critical-care doctor in Bradford, England. But when the hamsters got injected with ethanol, the substance could bypass the liver and go into their bloodstream and then their brain—hence much wobbling and falling over. Hamsters’ alcohol tolerance is likely an adaptation to their hoarding lifestyle.’
January 5, 2022
January 4, 2022
[time] COVID Standard Time‘Today is Tuesday, March 674th, 2020.’
December 31, 2021
[twiiter] The Most Deranged Twitter Posts of 2021‘The great thing about the former Number 10 adviser Dominic Cummings is he’s not really a person, as such – he’s a late-period Aaron Sorkin character, a Steve Bannon manqué, a Hogarth of words. He is what a very, very dumb person thinks a very, very smart person is like. He is the one person who understands that – whatever happens – posting will always return to its origins. He is, in other words, a man with a blog. This post reads like someone beat Dominic Cummings over the head with a rock, and then asked him to both describe the contents of The Prince and the political events of 2021. It is unintelligible, and it is exactly what this country deserves.’
December 30, 2021
[space] Billionaires Explain Why Space Is The Next Frontier‘I would like to ruin space for everyone.’
December 29, 2021
[comics] Roscoe Moscow: Who Killed Rock’n’Roll? Parts: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 |51-60 … Early Alan Moore strip from 1979-80 published originally in Sounds.

Roscow Moscow Comic Strip

December 28, 2021
[anime] Decades Later, An Animator’s Complaint Discovered In Akira‘At around the 38-minute-mark in the movie, there’s a Caution sign on some medical equipment. Underneath, it looks like English is written, but it’s actually Japanese that was written in the Latin script. In English, the text translates to: Why do we have to fill in this far! Knock it off! Enough’
December 27, 2021
[tv] What Was the First TV Show to Reference the Internet?‘The X-Files had to have been among the first shows to use the web in a storyline, in “2Shy,” which originally aired in November 1995. The episode features a mutant serial killer who sweet-talks self-conscious women online, convinces them to meet in-person, then pulverizes their flesh for sustenance. (Moral of the story: Chat with strangers online and an alien will turn your body into goo.)’
December 24, 2021
[comics] A Hellraiser Christmas from Kevin O’Neill … [via Twitter]

[politics] Meet the man who created the ‘Christmas is cancelled’ myth‘Looking back 23 years on, Chubb is amazed that his team’s suggestion to promote two months of events in Birmingham city centre under the banner of “Winterval” continues to resonate. “We put it to the council, they liked the idea, and it didn’t seem necessary to explain to anyone why we did it,” he says, explaining that the programme covered everything from BBC Children in Need events to Diwali celebrations and Christmas parties. “That’s why the furore that happened afterwards was a surprise – maybe we were a little naive.”’
December 23, 2021
[xmas] Jay Rayner’s 10 Christmas food commandments‘Thou shalt eat trifle for breakfast on Boxing Day. It’s Christmas. The usual rules do not apply.’
December 22, 2021
[tv] Is “Succession” the Best Sitcom on Television?‘What makes any good sitcom work is an ability to repeat itself with small differences. Kendall is still a wimp who swings between self-satisfaction and an insatiable hunger for reassurance, and Strong is fantastic in his portrayal of this back-and-forth. But in Season 3 he fashions himself as a woke warrior, which opens up new satirical avenues for the show. “Fuck the patriarchy,” this patriarch manqué shouts at the press on his way into a charity gala. “Another life is possible, brother,” he tells Tom, urging him to leave Logan’s camp. (“Fuck you, plastic Jesus,” Shiv tells Kendall at one point, hitting the nail on the head.) He is also obsessed with tracking the public’s response to his newfound reputation as a whistle-blower, asking Greg to “slide the sociopolitical thermometer up the nation’s ass and take a reading.” The hapless sidekick checks Twitter and notes that Kendall is “the No. 1 trending topic, ahead of Tater Tots.”’
December 21, 2021
[beans] Things full of Beans that shouldn’t be full of Beans … Go look at a revolting gallery of baked bean photos.
December 17, 2021
[docu] The 78 Best Documentaries of All Time A great list of documentaries from Vogue. … ‘The Fog of War – Errol Morris’s Academy Award–winning portrait of Robert S. McNamara—roundly recognized (and vilified) as the architect of the Vietnam War—organizes his subject’s reflections on his life and career into a list of maxims about war and human error, with what The New York Times called “the cumulative message suggesting that in wartime nobody in power really knows anything.” It is not a film meant to reassure its viewer. “Believing and seeing are both often wrong,” goes one lesson. “Rationality will not save us,” says another. The final (and saddest) is delivered by Mr. McNamara with a smile: “You can’t change human nature.”’
December 15, 2021
[comics] Blocky Mania: The Perfection of Artist Mick McMahon … A nice overview and gallery of the art of Mick McMahon. ‘Few other artists have illustrated Judge Dredd, Tank Girl, Batman (in issues of the fondly-remembered Legends of the Dark Knight anthology series; McMahon has said that he drew it for the money, and he thinks it shows in the finished pages), and Sonic the Hedgehog, but McMahon’s run on the latter character is as important for a generation of readers as his Dredd was for their parents. He also got into design work for video games and toys, and started introducing digital tools into his process. McMahon never stopped moving forward, no matter what.’

Mick McMahon - Some Sky

December 14, 2021
[xmas] ‘It looks like fresh sewage!’: We taste test Christmas dinner flavoured foods – from soup and crisps to sarnies … Stuart Heritage reviews festive food. ‘Costa sells mac and cheese boxes all year round, and they generally taste like something that gets slid underneath prison doors during budget cuts. But now that it is Christmas, Costa has unveiled its pigs in blankets mac and cheese, which is – brace yourself – regular mac and cheese, but with some cocktail sausages balanced on top. First, this isn’t remotely Christmassy. It’s the sort of thing that restaurants put on children’s menus for kids who don’t yet know how to chew. Second, eating it made me so miserable that my soul gave up and left my body. Thanks a lot, Costa. How nice is it? 1/5’
December 13, 2021
[xmas] The Christmas Sandwich Reviews … Feeling Listless is reviewing pre-packed Christmas sandwiches and it reads like a much more personal, tougher (and expensive!) blog project than I ever might have imagined. I think how he feels about festive sandwiches at the end of this will be interesting. ‘When I told the check out person that I’d travelled all the way from Liverpool to visit Booths near Burscough (I’m terrible at small talk) and she gave me the requisite bemused interest, I knew it was probably a good thing I didn’t mention it was just to buy a sandwich because that would have been silly. But nevertheless for the purposes of this survey I did indeed travel to Ormskirk then walk for three quarters of an hour to a non-descript retail park just off the A59 in order to taste what this particular supermarket had to offer in the way of a festive butty…’
December 7, 2021
[xmas] How to make your own Die Hard Christmas tree ornament‘ If you really want to go for it, you’ll probably need to go find one of these foil gift boxes to cut up. Otherwise, you can do what I did and use tin foil and a cereal box. You’ll also need scissors, tape, a cereal box, a color printer, and a toilet paper or paper towel tube.’
December 6, 2021
December 3, 2021
[tv] ‘We were two tortured idiots trying to make TV’: The Adam and Joe Show, 25 years on‘One of the most striking things about rewatching The Adam and Joe Show is how well most of it has aged (there are notable exceptions, including a debate about the relative merits of vinyl versus CDs). That’s partly because – comfortingly or depressingly, depending on how you look at it – mainstream entertainment hasn’t actually changed that much. The subjects of their parodies – Star Wars, Friends, Loose Women – remain ubiquitous. People Place, their very funny pastiche of daytime TV programmes that “take on these really massive subjects but do them in a huge hurry, and involve members of the public and just rush them all the time”, as Cornish puts it, remains painfully spot-on.’
December 2, 2021
[books] The Origins of Raoul Duke… How Hunter S. Thompson created his alter-ego. ‘Although Duke played no real part in this breakthrough book about the infamous motorcycle gang, his name was casually included in a list of outlaws near the end. Readers at the time must have been baffled, as this was the first time Thompson had ever used that name. However, it was not the first time that the words “Raoul Duke” had appeared next to each other in print. The improbable appellation had popped up in a series of articles in December 1965—a month when Thompson was furiously scouring newspapers from across North America in search of material for his book, which he considered a meditation on the media as much as the biker gang. In the midst of his press binge, he more than likely stumbled upon a series of stories about an unassuming businessman from Calgary by the name of Raoul “Duke” Duquette…’
December 1, 2021
November 30, 2021
[comics] Neil Gaiman on Desert Island Discs … On Books: ‘My dad, always my dad… would literally pat me down because I had been known to hide books under my jumper and he would lock them in the car. And it never really worked, because wherever we were, I could normally find something to read. It just wouldn’t have been what I wanted to read, but suddenly… I’d be off in the corner reading The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten or something, because it was the book that I found.’
November 29, 2021
[comics] Like Colonel Sanders: The Stan Lee Era … A deep dive into the life of Stan Lee via two recent biographies. ‘Lee’s final years were a strange mixture of global fame and outlandish hustling. He enjoyed filming his Hitchcock-like cameos for the MCU movies, but got only token fees for them and avoided sitting through the premieres: ‘Stan hated superhero films,’ his business manager told Riesman. A parade of unreliable associates – including a memorabilia mogul who claimed to be Michael Jackson’s best friend – tried to persuade him they’d found a way to turn his celebrity into cash.’