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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:

“He was a very egotistical person, and it absolutely came through. When he took the stand and started that phony crying, we were astonished. It was like bad acting. When we got to the jury room, we weren’t allowed to discuss it, and we didn’t, but we’re looking at each other, and it was like, ‘What just happened out there?’

“You know, there was testimony that a month after [the murders], MacDonald had sex with a nurse. The defense objected, and it was stricken from the testimony, but how do you strike that from your mind?”

That was the thing, Thornhill said. The jurors felt it: There was something fundamentally wrong with Dr. 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…’
September 29, 2020
[london] A Jack the Ripper mural – are you serious? How the Eastenders hit back … A look at why a Jack the Ripper mural got painted over in Whitechapel. ‘The Duke of Wellington had offered the wall as a “blank canvas” for Zabou – a French-born, London-based street artist – and her spray cans. It’s just a few metres away from a barber called Jack the Clipper, and not too much of a distance from Jack the Chipper. Pre-Covid, there were constant Jack the Ripper tours here, with large groups traipsing round pavements led by theatrical guides acting out the gory details of the murders, stopping at sites where the mutilated bodies of the women were found, at pubs where they drank, flop-houses where they stayed when they could afford it. There’s even a Jack the Ripper museum, which opened in spite of much local protest.’
September 28, 2020
[comics] A List of Things Mark Evanier Learned About the Comic Book Industry … Great, amusing list from Mark Evanier. ‘In most fight scenes, the amount of time it would take actual combatants to throw all those punches is often less than one-tenth the time it would take them to speak all the words in their word balloons while they battle.’
September 24, 2020
[funny] Hilarious Images of Rockstars Whose Guitars Have Been Replaced with Giant Slugs … Who knew that replacing Guitars with Giant Slugs just works?

September 23, 2020
[dredd] The Megazine That Never Was … The story of an unlaunched Judge Dredd comic from 1984. ‘Sadly, unlike the other stories from the Fortnightly dummy issue, Alan Moore and Mike Collins’ Badlander is a title that never saw publication. Marking the iconic Moore’s only work within the Judge Dredd universe, the strip was to tell the truth about what really happens to the Judges when they decide to go on “the Long Walk” — a piece of Dredd mythology where, instead of retiring, veteran Judges set off to provide justice and law in the radioactive wastelands of the Cursed Earth.’
September 22, 2020
[comics] Their Other Last Hurrah – Cinema Purgatorio … A Comics Journal review of Moore and O’Neill’s Cinema Purgatorio. ‘When the terrified gangsters speak about being hounded by that thing in their past that wouldn’t let them go why am I thinking about A Small Killing? And at this point I realize the problem isn’t the work; it’s me. Here I am, in front of this dedicated, fascinating, funny and (in many ways) educational series and all I can think about is intertextuality. Seeking the digs at Grant Morrison and wondering if the bearded madman portrayal of Howard Hughes reminds me a bit too much of Alan Moore himself. This kind of exercise can often be a time waster. A replacement for a deeper engagement with the work (mea culpa by the way). Doing it while reading a finishing work by two grand masters is the definition of not seeing the forest for the trees. You can also read the book on its own terms and just see two utter greatest playing their game, heaving a ball, no limits allowed.’
September 21, 2020
September 18, 2020
[movies] Airplane! at 40: the best spoof comedy ever made? … A look at why Airplane! was so good. ‘There are puns, pratfalls, provocations, foreground/background dynamics, double entendres, references to film and TV and popular commercials, random acts of silliness and absurdity, and every possible strain of what would later be categorized as a “dad joke”. Even at 40, when a handful of the references and bits have grown whiskers, Airplane! still absolutely kills. Rarely has a film so eager to please been so successful in doing so.’
September 17, 2020
[comics] How legendary weekly British comic, 2000 AD, survived Covid-19 and thrived… Some great news for British comics. ‘Like many other children’s publishers during the Covid-19 lockdown, 2000 AD has also witnessed a significant uptick in subscriptions at a time when children – and their parents – were at home rather than school. The publisher saw a 6% rise in subscriptions between Q1 and Q2. Additionally, the publisher also saw sales up 94% on print editions from its webshop and a 56% rise in digital e-comic sales.’
September 16, 2020
[movies] ‘The stench of it stays with everybody’: inside the Super Mario Bros movie … A look at why the Super Mario Bros movie in 1993 was epic flop. ‘Toward the end of the allotted 10-week shoot, it was clear there was still a lot more work required, but money was running out. A planned finale on the Brooklyn Bridge, laden with special effects, would have to be scuppered. “We were supposed to wrap the movie, but our producers determined that we still had two and a half to three weeks of shooting to do,” says Mathis. “The directors were thanked and told: ‘You can leave now, we’re going to make the rest of the movie without you.’ At that point, it was abundantly clear things had gotten out of control.”’
September 15, 2020
September 14, 2020
[space] What happens to your body when you die in space? … Just how do you deal with a corpse in space? … ‘The realistic options for a deceased crewmember—cannibalism, cold storage in the trash room, being freeze-dried and shaken into a million frozen flakes—lack the dignity we associate with the majestic endeavor of spaceflight. But Wolpe doesn’t think humankind will have a hard time adjusting to the harsh realities of posthumous treatment in space. We already accept that Earthbound explorers may suffer indignities if they die in the field. Wolpe sees Mount Everest as a perfect Earthly analogue for the future Mars missions: when people die, their bodies just stay there. Forever.’
September 10, 2020
[occult] Christopher Lee on the Occult … Fascinating look at Lee’s views on the occult with video of an interview from 1975. ‘In 1975, during the filming of Dennis Wheatley’s classic occult novel To the Devil a Daughter, Lee gave an interview on his thoughts about Satanism (hey kids, it’s real!), Black Magic (yep, people do practice it every day, esp. in Hollywood), and why occult beliefs were so prevalent in the 1970s (boredom and bad fashion probably….). Lee is a fine man to spend some time with.’