linkmachinego.com
May 18, 2022
[web] I’m a fucking webmaster‘People would come to us with a problem, and we would figure out a solution. We couldn’t just search the web because the web was still being written. And you couldn’t just punt a hard question to the engineer in the desk next to you. Why? Because you were sitting alone in a utility closet packed with floppy disks and old tape drives.’
May 17, 2022
[covid] Michael Lewis: ‘We were incentivised to have a bad pandemic response’ … An update with Michael Lewis from last year about his latest book on Covid-19. ‘Each December, Dean would write her new year resolutions on the back of a photograph of her grandmother. On 20 December 2019, she wrote down two things. “1) Stay sober. 2) It has started.” She had a kind of sixth sense that the viral pandemic she had long been expecting had begun. By coincidence, and rather oddly, at about the same time, Lewis put forward the idea, in a conversation with the Observer, that the only thing that could wake America up to Donald Trump’s governmental negligence was a pandemic. He now plays down his clairvoyance, explaining that he gave that example simply because it was a situation that would affect everybody. “Rich white people would be scared too,” he says. In the event, many Americans followed Trump’s lead in denying the danger of Covid-19 and the virus has remained a highly divisive and contested subject. “If it had killed twice as many people and killed kids,” says Lewis, “you wouldn’t be seeing these revolts in Oklahoma. You’d be seeing the New Deal.”’
May 16, 2022
[movies] Raise The Titanic and Its $5 Million Replica Liner … The story behind one of the biggest movie failures of all time. ‘In many ways, the removal of the source novel’s melodramatic exclamation mark hints at what really hampered this $40 million confection: it’s all so slow and deathly serious. The book’s pulpy tall tale is flattened out in the film as a terse Cold War thriller. The supporting cast, which includes Sir Alec Guinness, Jason Robards and M Emmet Walsh, all talk with furrowed brows and aching sincerity – even when saying things like, “We’re on a ship that never learned to do anything but sink, that’s distress!” At one point, Dirk Pitt yells at a graphic of the Titanic on a computer screen, “It’s just sitting there. Move, you bastard, move!” By the 100 minute mark, you’d be forgiven for shouting the same thing…’
May 13, 2022
[art] My brother the superhero: how the death of comic book legend Steve Dillon inspired a creative awakening … A powerful piece on how Glyn Dillon reacted to the death of his brother Steve. ‘Steve’s death changed his younger brother’s life in all sorts of ways. When it happened, Glyn was working at Pinewood Studios as a costume designer on the latest Star Wars movie. It was work he loved but it also involved long, stressful hours and it had been nagging away at him that what he really wanted to do with his life, ever since he was a teenager, was paint. This family tragedy gave him the push to pursue his dreams. “At first I thought about doing a comic [about Steve’s death], but the feelings felt too big for that medium,” he says. “I needed to do something different, more physical, standing up, climbing a ladder.”’
May 11, 2022
May 10, 2022
[microsoft] Ewan Dalton’s Tip o’ the Week … If like me, you spend a lot of time working with Microsoft products you might find some useful tips at this blog from Microsoft.
May 6, 2022
[life] 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known … Some advice from Kevin Kelly. ‘Dont believe everything you think you believe.’
May 4, 2022
[comics] Arena: The Comic Strip Hero… … A look back in 1981 at the success of Superman with interviews from the creators Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and other comics artists such as Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman.

April 29, 2022
[herzog] Werner Herzog Has Never Liked Introspection … A long, powerful interview with Werner Herzog. ‘The deepest of catastrophes was the First World War, and then only twenty years later or so you have the Second World War, and the complete destruction of Germany. Almost every single major city in Germany looked like the World Trade Center after its attack. And that sank in—and it’s in me. My first memory is of my mother ripping my brother and me out of bed in the middle of the winter night, wrapping us in blankets, and taking us up on a slope. In the distance, at the end of the valley, the entire night sky was red and orange and very slowly pulsing. She said the city of Rosenheim was burning. I was only two and a half. Normally, memories do not go back that far, but I know this was my very first memory, and it’s embedded in my soul.’
April 28, 2022
April 26, 2022
[space] The Hubble Space Telescope Hasn’t Burned Out Yet … How is Hubble doing after 32 years in space? ‘We are closer to the end of Hubble’s mission now than we are to its beginning. Someday, probably at the end of this decade, the space telescope will stop working. The people who manage Hubble’s time are already working with astronomers around the world to make sure they make the most of the years left, Jennifer Wiseman, a senior project scientist on the Hubble mission, told me. They’re asking: “What’s important to do with Hubble while we still have Hubble?”’
April 25, 2022
[tv] ‘You Don’t Understand What This Is Doing to Me’ … Remembering James Gandolfini and a deep-dive into the impact that playing Tony Soprano had on him. ‘To say that Gandolfini rose to the occasion would be putting it mildly. His complex, nuanced, and inspired performance demonstrated remarkable range, not just over the course of the series, or any one episode, but often within a scene, a confrontation, even a single moment, that seemed to transcend mere “acting.” No matter how despicable Tony’s behavior appeared on the surface, Gandolfini was so persuasive and affecting —whether conveying Tony’s rage, passion, or some fleeting flash of guilt — that the audience never turned its back on him. In a troubling age of anti-heroes, Tony Soprano was royalty. His eyes told a million tales, and his performance elevated him to the upper echelon of American actors. He adapted handily to the series’ widened scope, its growth from intimate portrait to rich, blood-splattered tapestry, and he was enormously instrumental in making The Sopranos an epochal cultural event — unofficially the start of what some would call television’s “second golden age.” Whether that’s true or not, it was a golden age of Gandolfini.’
April 20, 2022
[web] How I Experience Web Today … A really depressing demo of how mainstream websites behave today. ‘We’d like to send you notifications with the latest news and updates from our site.’
April 19, 2022
[movies] Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit … I will never tire of this Cage compilation.

April 15, 2022
[comics] We Apologize For Publishing Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation … All is one in Darkseid! ‘Naturally, the staff and ownership of Hard Drive don’t encourage anyone to die for Darkseid; we encourage conversation. As the current and eternal ruler of the dread planet-fortress Apokalips, Darkseid is a public figure of note. While we pointedly disagree with cosmic genocide, we considered his perspective on the fabrege egg we call life newsworthy. Now it’s clear that no conversation can take place after cutting out your own tongue. We’ve removed Darkseid’s editorial, at great human cost. Our Opinion editor caught a glimpse of the equation as he deleted the page, snuffing the flame of his mortal soul and replacing it with loyalty to Darkseid.’
April 13, 2022
[movies] Hello, I’m Nicolas Cage and welcome to Ask Me Anything … Reddit AMA. ‘A: Who is your favorite character in all of literature and film? Q: That is so hard to answer. I will say that James Dean’s performance as Cal in East of Eden is largely the reason I became a film actor. His role in that is one of my favorite characters in cinema. But then we can go all the way to Rasputin or we can go to Dmitri Karamazov. Dmitri Karamazov is one my favorite characters in literature. I love him so much because he’s so happy and he has no money. He’s just living it up. He spent all his money trying to get the girl. I did the same thing once. I was very Dmitri Karamazov in high school. The most beautiful girl in high school who was a grade older than me invited me to the prom but I had no money. My grandmother gave each of us a little bond. My older brother bought a car. My second oldest brother bought some stereo equipment. And I splashed out on a chauffeur-driven limousine, a tuxedo and a four course meal at Le Dome on Sunset blvd. The car was $2000, the stereo was $2000, and my prom night was $2000 and man, that was money well spent. THAT’s Dmitri Karamazov.’
April 12, 2022
[comics] Incredible photos of S.F.’s legendary first comic book store have surfaced — 50 years after we lost them‘The photos show a tiny store where every square inch from floor to the high ceiling is covered with comic book racks and comics displayed in plastic wrap. Arlington stands like a bird on a perch, looking over his customers on the low rung of one of several ladders. A mix of sullen-looking men and wide-eyed children browse horror comics, Tales of the Green Beret and some of the earliest Marvel X-Men issues.’
April 11, 2022
[life] Fries on the Pier … from False Knees.

April 8, 2022
[books] He Was an Ex-FBI Serial Killer Profiler. Then His Lies Caught Up With Him. … Another story (Previously) of a fraudulent serial killer expert this time based in the UK. ‘The relationship between Harrison’s falsehoods and the apparent obliviousness of his audiences and publishers raised a number of still unanswered questions. Why had no one before Robin Perrie bothered to check the claims in such a colourful CV? And what does this web of strange deceit say about the nature of true crime fandom and the cottage industry surrounding it?’
April 7, 2022
[books] The novelist who wrote “How to Murder Your Husband” is now on trial for murdering her husband.‘A few years after Nancy Crampton Brophy—a self-published romance novelist—wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband,” her husband was found shot to death in his classroom at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. While that essay might have been a little bit of a red flag to investigators, the trial judge has deemed it inadmissible as evidence on the grounds it might prove prejudicial (you think?).’
April 5, 2022
April 4, 2022
[podcasts] Alan Moore and Brian Catling Discuss The Power of Imagination … A fascinating podcast hosted by Robin Ince.
April 1, 2022
[comics] Creating the Judge Dredd by Brian Bolland Apex Edition: A How-to Guide for the Rash and Enthusiastic … David Roach on the difficult search for Brian Bolland’s 2000AD work for an artist’s edition book. ‘At first the page count was uncertain, as we weren’t sure how many pages it would be possible to find, but ideally it was going to be 96, rising to 144 or higher if possible, though at times that felt like a far-off dream. But what that meant was that we were aiming to include as much as 1/3 of his entire British output, which was quite a sobering thought. One complication in tracking down Brian’s pages was the haphazard way in which these early pages were disseminated among collectors. IPC, 2000 AD’s first publisher, had a blanket policy of not returning artwork, something which only changed in the ‘80s in the face of mounting pressure from its artists. In the intervening years, however, numerous pages were stolen from offices and storage warehouses, often turning up for sale in London comic shops, much to the artist’s frustration. As 2000 AD’s most popular artist, Brian’s art was particularly prized and most persistently stolen, and, to this day, certain strips, including his first Judge Death serial, have never surfaced again.’
March 30, 2022
[crime] Charles Graeber’s top 10 true crime books‘Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry — You can’t deny the all-time bestseller of the genre, or the detail-driven dive into the world of Charles Manson and his addled cult known as “the family”, written by a prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca murders with access to all the grim details, partnered with a solid historical writer in Gentry.’
March 29, 2022
[elon] Please Like Me … A small request from Elon Musk. ‘I’m sure it seems like I have it all. And maybe I do. Although I’d like to make one simple request: Please like me. Please, for the love of all that is holy, consider me clever and interesting. Honestly, I don’t get why anyone wouldn’t like me. I do cool stuff. I make cars. People like cars, don’t they? I make stonks go to the moon. Isn’t that cool? Isn’t making stonks go to the moon something people like? Seriously, c’mon. Appreciate me. I was on Rick And Morty. Wubba lubba dub dub, right? People love that show!’
March 25, 2022
[life] 100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying … I have a theory that you usually find one useful thing in these lists of ways to improve your life. ‘Don’t be weird about how to stack the dishwasher.’
March 24, 2022
[lol] Why We Use “lol” So Much … A deep-dive into LOL. ‘We use lol as a way of downplaying a statement; adding irony, levity, humility, empathy, or commiseration; expressing amusement; or just neutral acknowledgment. No longer simply an internet acronym that’s entered the mainstream, lol is an example of how language evolves over time, adheres to new grammatical rules, and creates community around the people that use it.’
March 23, 2022
[politics] Manufactured Culture War Outrage Calendar … created by @WebofEvil. ‘Easter Eggs, not Chocolate Eggs. But not Halal Easter Eggs.’

Manufactured Culture War Outrage Calendar

March 22, 2022
[war] “Z” Is the Symbol of the New Russian Politics of Aggression‘Graphically, the “Z” is clearly closer to the swastika than to any prominent Soviet symbol, such as the five-pointed star, the hammer and sickle, or the red flag. Its use seems to require a double inversion: first, the people of Ukraine—a nation that suffered some of the greatest losses at the hands of Nazi Germany and one that is currently led by a Jewish President—are rendered as Nazis; then, the Russians, who claim to be fighting for peace and “de-Nazification,” adopt a visual symbol that appears to reference the swastika.’
March 21, 2022
[comics] Zorro in Arkham: Reflecting on a Legendary Batman Saga With Writer Grant Morrison, Part 1‘Dan asked me to write Batman…. He likely saw more potential in Damian than I did, and he was right. I’d figured out that Batman as a concept was impervious to pretty much any assault. Camp Batman worked, serious Batman worked, Lego Batman worked. Dad Batman? That would work too. There had been a few ‘son of’ stories over the decades, some written by Alfred the butler as literary amuse bouches, imaginary tales of the next generation. I had the title Batman & Son in my head, like a family business, like Steptoe & Son or, for US readers, Sanford & Son. I gambled that having a deadly aristocratic ninja brat for a kid would only make Batman cooler and add some extra complexity to his mythos…’