2 April 2013
3 April 2013
[london] An Autocomplete Guide To London … Londonist examines what Google searchers think about various London boroughs … ‘Romford is the cruelest of cities.’
4 April 2013
[tech] The Never-Before-Told Story of the World’s First Computer Art (It’s a Sexy Dame) … the first computer art was apparently created by an anyonymous IBM employee … ‘A young man used a $238 million military computer, the largest such machine ever built, to render an image of a curvy woman on a glowing cathode ray tube screen. The year was 1956, and the creation was a landmark moment in computer graphics and cultural history that has gone unnoticed until now. Using equipment designed to guard against the apocalypse, a pin-up girl had been drawn. She was quite probably the first human likeness to ever appear on a computer screen. She glowed.’
5 April 2013
[ww2] Hitler’s Food Taster: One Bite Away from Death … The remarkable story of one of Hitler’s team of food tasters who survived the war … ‘Hitler’s thugs brought her and the other young women to barracks in nearby Krausendorf, where cooks prepared the food for the Wolf’s Lair in a two-story building. The service personnel filled platters with vegetables, sauces, noodle dishes and exotic fruits, placing them in a room with a large wooden table, where the food had to be tasted. “There was never meat because Hitler was a vegetarian,” Wölk recalls. “The food was good — very good. But we couldn’t enjoy it.” There were rumors that the Allies had plans to poison Hitler. After the women confirmed that the food was safe, members of the SS brought it to the main headquarters in crates.’
8 April 2013
[comics] 27 Comic Books That Came Out 20 Years Ago … ‘1993 was the biggest-ever year for sales in the comics industry. This is what was on the racks.’
9 April 2013
[life] What remains of Noel Edmonds’ ‘Blobbyland’ … An urban explorer photographs the ruins of a Mr Blobby themepark that closed in 1999.
11 April 2013
[comics] The Social Networks of Superheroes … Are fictional social networks similar to real ones?… ‘The Marvel Universe does exhibit the statistical features of a real social network in some simple ways. Furthermore, similar to our own world, they found distinct differences between the social structures of good guys and bad guys. However, in some very important aspects, it’s actually the opposite of a real social network. Specifically, while in real social networks the popular people interact with the other popular people, this is not so in the Marvel universe. For example, Spider-Man and Captain America rarely come into contact.’
[web] Plan Your Digital Afterlife With Inactive Account Manager … A dead man’s switch for Google accounts.
12 April 2013
[people] Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles: The Cash-Strapped King of the Nerds Plots a Comeback … profile / update on Harry Knowles … ‘His phone rang. Still trudging, Knowles answered. It was Roland De Noie, his business manager. “I really f—ed up,” said De Noie in a panic. “It’s all my fault.” He had discovered that Ain’t It Cool News — the website Knowles started in his Texas bedroom that grew to be the scourge of Hollywood, redefined the nature and pace of entertainment journalism and turned an overweight, ginger-haired self-diagnosed movie nerd into the face of a geek nation on the rise — owed about $300,000 in unpaid taxes. While Ain’t It Cool News had been making $700,000 a year in gross advertising revenue at its height in the early- to mid-2000s, that had dipped to the low-six figures by 2012. The business had no cash reserves and no way to pay the bills. Its bank account had been seized. “We’re not going to be able to get out of this one,” said De Noie.’
15 April 2013
[people] Noel Edmonds Biography Condensed …
16 April 2013
[comics] Tom Spurgeon On Frank Miller’s Daredevil … ‘Frank Miller was basically a zygote he was so young when those issues were coming out. Having arrived in comics at the end of the realism and relevance period, Miller could pick and choose which elements best suited his general approach to the character. Like a lot of writers, he ratcheted up the specter of violence by moving characters away from settling matters with their fists and into an era where everyone you ran into had a bladed weapon of some sort and wasn’t afraid to use it. There were a few guns, and a lot of guts. Wading into a bunch of guys with swords and knives felt different than seeing a hero plough into a wave of Moloids or a bunch of random dudes from the Serpent Society, slugging away all the while. It seemed an appropriate response to what we expected from entertainment in a post-Dirty Harry world.’
[comics] Alan Moore On Providence, Jerusalem, League And More … The first part of an interview with Moore from Pádraig Ó Méalóid mostly on recent and upcoming work … ‘I will also point out that if you’ve got, I believe twenty percent of young people polled said that they would be embarrassed if their mates caught them reading. That would seem to me to be a decline, and also I would say that if you’ve got the Avengers movie as one of the most eagerly attended recent movies, and if most of those attendees were adults, which I believe they were, then if you’ve got a huge number of contemporary adults going to watch a film containing characters and storylines that were meant for the entertainment of eleven year old boys fifty years ago, then I’ve got to say, there’s something badly wrong there, isn’t there? This is not actually cultural progress. Anyway, that was my feelings. Yes, I’d stand by the sentiments expressed in League 2009.’
18 April 2013
[life] What’s the Point of Being a Polo Tycoon If You Can’t Adopt Your Girlfriend? … a story pulled straight from the right side of Bret Easton Ellis’ brain … ‘A Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that John Goodman (not the actor John Goodman, the Florida polo tycoon John Goodman, who founded something called the International Polo Club) committed a fraud on the court when he failed to notify it, or the opposing parties in a pending lawsuit, about his plan to adopt his girlfriend and thereby give her access to a substantial trust fund. The trust was one in which “all Goodman’s children were to share equally,” so if his girlfriend also became his child … you get the idea. The “Adoption Agreement” also gave the girlfriend/daughter almost $17 million in additional assets plus an unlimited right to ask for more money from the trust, not a bad right to have if you can get it.This concerned Goodman’s two existing children and his ex-wife for obvious reasons, and also bothered the parents of Scott Wilson. Wilson died in 2010 after a car accident involving Goodman, who was allegedly drunk at the time.’ [via jzw]
22 April 2013
[comics] Letters of Note: The Rejection Slip … a fantastic series of correspondence from Mad Magazine and a contributor in 1963.
23 April 2013
[blogs] Ms. Attribution … a tumblr that mixes up historical figures with quotes and song lyrics …
24 April 2013
[music] 80′s Sax solos … a lovingly compiled list of sax solo’s from 1980’s music along with sound samples … ‘At some point in the 80s, popular music started incorporating saxophone solos as some kind of fad. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs…’
25 April 2013
[lego] LEGO’s magic number is 37,112 … ‘Have you ever asked yourself this question: “How many times can I assemble LEGO bricks before they wear out?” Well… probably never but I did…’
26 April 2013
[life] How Astronaut Chris Hadfield Showed Berlin’s Ongoing Struggle For Unification … ‘[Hadfield’s] snap of Berlin, taken from about 200 miles above the Earth, clearly shows the line of the old wall as expressed by the difference in streetlighting between the former east and west.’
29 April 2013
[books] Martin Amis’ Guide to Classic Video Games … a fascinating look at the video game book that Martin Amis wrote in the early 1980’s and doesn’t like to discuss…
…There’s a half-expected (but still surprising) guest appearance from what I would be willing to bet is a young Christopher Hitchens. In a diverting rant about the increasing presence of voice effects in games, Amis recalls his first exposure to such gimmickry at a bar in Paris on New Year’s Day, 1980:
I was with a friend, a hard-drinking journalist, who had drunk roughly three times as much Calvados as I had drunk the night before. And I had drunk a lot of Calvados the night before. I called for coffee, croissants, juice; with a frown the barman also obeyed my friend’s croaked request for a glass of Calvados.
Then we heard, from nowhere, a deep, guttural, Dalek-like voice which seemed to say: “Heed! Gorgar! Heed! Gorgar … speaks!
“… Now what the hell was that?” asked my friend.
“I think it was one of the machines,” I said, rising in wonder.
“I’ve had it,” said my friend with finality. “I can’t cope with this,” he explained as he stumbled from the bar.
30 April 2013
[comics] Brendan McCarthy’s Desert Island Comics … Forbidden Planet’s blog interviews Brendan McCarthy on which comics he’d want if marooned on a desert island … ‘I’m struggling to call it a day here, because if somebody put together a book of Infantino’s 60′s Flash and Batman covers, I’d have no choice … Also, some Sergi Toppi would be swell. Some Frank Quitely would also be grand. WE3 probably. And one of Grant’s Doom Patrol TPBs would be nice too…’