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January 1, 2014
[science] List of scientists who became creationists after studying the evidence‘ * ‘
January 2, 2014
14 kinds of Facebook people you want to block, but you can’t because they’re sort of your friends‘That guy who posts way too much… Get a life! Note that “too much” is defined as “more than you”.’
January 3, 2014
[press] 2013 According To The Daily Express Front Page‘You only need to look at four topics – health breakthroughs, weather, immigration and Maddie McCann – before you’ve accounted for half of their lead stories for the entire year.’
January 4, 2014
[moore] A Moment Of Moore: My name’s Alan Moore. I write comics.‘Goodnight Children, and sweet dreams, wereever you are.’
January 5, 2014
[tv] Homeland – box set review… Why you should be watching Homeland … ‘Season one, aired in 2011, hinges on the question: has Gulf war hero Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), held in an Afghan hole for eight years, been “turned” by al-Qaida? Lewis won an Emmy for his portrayal of the traumatised marine; Danes won two for her role – hunter to Brody’s hunted. As a bipolar intelligence agent Carrie joins a clutch of intense, idiosyncratic female leads in current TV drama (Spiral, The Killing, The Bridge, The Fall). Her judgments are brilliantly unhinged: her CIA mentor, Saul Berenson, calls her “the smartest and the dumbest fucking person I’ve ever known”.’
January 6, 2014
[moore] Epic Small Talk Fail

Epic Supper Small Talk Fail

January 7, 2014
[learning] Lol My Thesis … years of academic research condensed into one sentence. Political Science: ‘Can’t we all just get along? Get along my way, that is, not everyone else’s wrong way.’ [via jwz]
January 8, 2014
[science] Scientists Tell Us Their Favourite Jokes‘Sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium Batman!’
January 9, 2014
[tv] 14 Ways Nathan Barley Predicted The Future‘1. Camera phones with MP3 decks.’
January 10, 2014
[comics] The Art of Bill Sienkiewicz … great collection of art showcasing the legendary comic artist.
January 11, 2014
[politics] The Michael Gove random policy generator‘More latin! More bibles! More bibles in Latin!’
January 12, 2014
[moore] Lego Alan Moore‘Your Argument Is Invalid.’
January 13, 2014
[tech] Source Code in TV and Films … an amusing look at where the Source Code displayed in TV and movies is really from … ‘In the film Terminator, the HUD shows a listing of 6502 assembly language which appears to have been taken from an Apple II.’
January 14, 2014
[comics] Wertham was right… Batman and Whitey share a tender moment

Batman and Whitey share a tender moment...

January 15, 2014
[internet] Cicada 3301: I tried the hardest puzzle on the internet and failed spectacularly … more on the mysterious internet puzzle that restarted recently … ‘The image included text hidden with steganography, a technique which lets users bury information in seemingly innocuous files. To get the information out required me to use a program called OutGuess. To install OutGuess, I need to compile the program from source. To do that, I need to install Xcode, the Mac OS X developer tools, create a new command line project based on the source code I downloaded, reconfigure the program for Mac, deal with any dependency issues, build it, and then run it from the terminal. What I actually do is spend the better part of an hour clicking around in Xcode, desperately trying to find a magic button to click which will make everything work without requiring me to learn how to code in an afternoon. There is no such button. This may be harder than I thought.’
January 16, 2014
[comics] Last Alan Moore Interview? … Pádraig Ó Méalóid posts an epic Alan Moore interview – Alan covers criticisms about rape and racism in his comics and provides what is likely to be his final word on Grant Morrison … ‘As for the use of ‘problematic’ figures in the pages of The League, a great number of the literary figures which we’ve appropriated or re-imagined in the course of the book, have been to my mind every bit as problematic as the Galley-Wag. They just haven’t been black. As an example I remain somewhat unsure, in light of these current issues, as to why our use of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu in volume one seemed to have passed by without a murmur, given that here we have a character who was actually intended by his original author as a crude racial caricature of the most negative and xenophobic strain, and for whom our only act of rehabilitation was to suggest that Rohmer’s ‘Devil Doctor’ may have been motivated by a hatred of the British justifiably inculcated during his childhood in the years of the bestial and shameful Opium Wars. And yet, hardly a word said, as I recall.’
January 17, 2014
[funny] Dread Singles on Twitter … a Lovecraftian singles feed… ‘HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA, PEELING BACK THE SKIN OF THE INFINITE, PEERING INTO THE DYING HEART OF THE LAST TRUE MYSTIC, YOLO THEY HISS, YOLO’
January 18, 2014
[politics] Why do British prime ministers never wear wedding rings?‘The last married male occupant of 10 Downing Street to wear a wedding ring in public was Harold Wilson, who was PM from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.’
January 19, 2014
[web] Have I Been Pwned? … a service that allows you to check if any of your usernames or passwords been compromised in recent website security breaches.
January 20, 2014
[text] Cthuvian Ipsum Generator … A lorem ipsum generator from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos … ‘Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.’
January 21, 2014
[books] Tsundoku … the Japanese word for buying books, not reading them and leaving them to pile up.
January 22, 2014
[batman] City of Batmans‘I Batlove you.’ … via Forbidden Planet’s Blog.

City Of Batmans

January 23, 2014
[comics] Stan Lee, The Man And The Myth … Chris Sims on Stan Lee’s legacy… ‘Stan Lee’s greatest talent, for good or ill, was never writing comics, or even editing them. It was promotion. I touched on this in an earlier column, but the real magic of Stan Lee’s contribution to Marvel wasn’t just filling Kirby and Ditko’s panels with five-dollar words and screeds against the commies. It was that brash, aggressive style that put a face (not coincidentally, his own) behind the comics. From very early on, the letters pages were clear to let readers know that “Stan and Jack” were the ones behind the adventures of the Fantastic Four, and again, you can’t really overstate how revolutionary that was. This was a time when creators were rarely if ever credited, but Lee — ironically, given the reputation that would come out over the years for stealing credit and hogging attention — was part of the crowd putting their names right there on page one.’
January 24, 2014
[tv] How should Homeland ‘reset’ for season four? … Stuart Heritage’s ideas for Season four of Homeland … ‘The absolute worst thing that Homeland could do this year is keep Dana around to snarl up a third of every episode by accidentally running over a nun on a Segway or Snapchatting a picture of her pubes to the Queen or whatever.’
January 25, 2014
[books] 19 Book Cover Clichés … a look at the remarkable similarities between the cover images of modern books… ‘Woman holding a birdcage for some reason – Must be a spooky tale in the Woman in Black vein.’
January 26, 2014
[movies] Hans Zimmer: ‘Going for Gold? I’m not ashamed of it! It paid the rent.’ … Hans Zimmer interview from the Guardian … Going for Gold Theme on YouTube

…the chuckling man on the other end of the phone line is happily claiming the theme tune for British TV game show Going for Gold, during an interview wind-down conversation about British TV prompted by his (British) colleague Russell Emanuel.

“Going for Gold? I’m not ashamed of it! It paid the rent and opened up all sorts of doors. I will admit to it: we all have to have our guilty little somethings!” says Zimmer, in a conversation that also includes the unexpected phrase: “I know Les Dawson. Come on, I’m not completely ignorant.”

January 27, 2014
[Religion] God Admits He Rarely Forgives‘Speaking to reporters, God, who admitted that He is “generally motivated more by anger and spite than forgiveness,” reiterated that being forgiving is “not in [His] nature,” and on the whole constitutes a small part of what the Lord does every day and what He feels He should do every day.’
January 28, 2014
[health] How do vaccines cause autism? … a useful website for anti-vaxxers.
January 29, 2014
[wikipedia] 12 Spectacular Acts Of Wikipedia Vandalism … More from Buzzfeed but the vandalism of Spot the Dog’s wikipedia entry is worth a look … ‘Where’s Spot? Is he under the stairs? Is he in the box? No. He’s at the bar: Sipping whiskey. Sucking on cigarettes. Suffering.’
January 30, 2014
[life] Decoding Cancer-Addled Ramblings … a remarkable post on Ask Metafilter where the commenters partially decode the last messages of a Grandmother who died twenty years ago… ‘AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but: OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOTAWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc etc etc’
January 31, 2014
[comics] In The Comic-Book Pages Of 2001, Two Sorts Of Genius Collided … comparing and contrasting Stanley Kubrick and Jack Kirby’s versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey … ‘The 2001 comic also caught Kirby at a low creative ebb. He’d poured a lot of himself into his Fourth World saga for DC, without much to show for it, and by the time he returned to Marvel, Kirby was back to thinking of himself as a hired gun, sweating to fill as many pages as his bosses required, governed by the mentality of a boy who grew up in a ghetto during the Depression. Where Kubrick was a meticulous planner, taking years to develop a project and fussing over every detail, Kirby was a disorganized workaholic, who according to his wife Roz would accidentally throw away about half the good ideas he scrawled onto notepaper and napkins, and who felt like he was on the verge of destitution if he didn’t generate at least 20 pages a week.’
February 1, 2014
[stories] Periodic Table of Storytelling … an attempt at distilling TV Tropes down into a table of classic story elements.
February 2, 2014
[moore] Moment Of Moore: Alan Moore. 60 Years. 60 Images … by Flavio Pessanha.
February 3, 2014
[batman] Batman is a Hoarder!‘No! I might wear that again!!!’

Batman... Hoarder?!

February 4, 2014
[books] How To Tell If You’re In A Hemingway Novel‘You are alone at sea. How you hate the sea, but how you respect the fish inside of it. How you hate the kelp. How indifferent you are to the coral.’
February 5, 2014
[quote] The Unknown Unknowns … a quote from Donald Rumsfield. ‘…there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.’
February 6, 2014
[watergate] The Red Flag in the Flowerpot … a writer looking at the personal archives of Ben Bradlee (Woodward and Bernstein’s editor) exposes doubts about some of the reporting of Watergate …

Later in the interview, Ben talked about Bob’s famous secret source, whom he claimed to have met in an underground garage in rendezvous arranged via signals involving flowerpots and newspapers. “You know I have a little problem with Deep Throat,” Ben told Barbara.

“Did that potted [plant] incident ever happen? … and meeting in some garage. One meeting in the garage? Fifty meetings in the garage? I don’t know how many meetings in the garage … There’s a residual fear in my soul that that isn’t quite straight.”

I read it over a few times to make sure. Did Ben really have doubts about the Deep Throat story, as it had been passed down from newsroom to book to film to history? And if he did, what did that mean?’

February 7, 2014
[posh] The 28 Poshest Things That Have Ever Happened‘This birth announcement in The Times: On 29th March 2013, to Emily (née Kew) and Christian, a son, Biggles George Fittleworth, and a daughter, Posie Betsy Winifred, a brother and sister for Tuppence.’
February 8, 2014
[people] New Blog Piece On Woody Allen To Settle Everything‘The truly essential 1,200-word online article, which, given its unique and illuminating insights into the topic and its wealth of arguments previously unconsidered by all other blog pieces on the subject, definitively answers all open questions about the 20-year-old case and effectively ends any dispute over Woody Allen’s culpability, how Americans should feel about his work, and his eventual standing in the annals of American cinema.’
February 9, 2014
[crime] Mug shots from Newcastle in the 1930’s

George Coulson Criminal

February 10, 2014
[mac] Unboxing a 30-year-old Macintosh 128K‘On eBay, gdavis6610 has been selling classic Apple equipment for a few years. In 2012, he sold a Macintosh 128K for $3519.84, over $1000 more than the original launch price. Fortunately, he takes pretty detailed photographs of his eBay kit. Here are some photos from his memorable unboxing of the original Macintosh 128K.’
February 11, 2014
[comics] The UK Government is now *literally* getting its immigration policy from Judge Dredd‘Citizenship is a privilege – Not a right!’
February 12, 2014
[politics] Rory Stewart: ‘The secret of modern Britain is there is no power anywhere’ … a fascinating interview with a Tory MP …

In a way, he says, ordinary Afghans are far more powerful than British citizens, because at least they feel they can have a role in one of the country’s 20,000 villages. “But in our situation we’re all powerless. I mean, we pretend we’re run by people. We’re not run by anybody. The secret of modern Britain is there is no power anywhere.” Some commentators, he says, think we’re run by an oligarchy. “But we’re not. I mean, nobody can see power in Britain. The politicians think journalists have power. The journalists know they don’t have any. Then they think the bankers have power. The bankers know they don’t have any. None of them have any power.”

And this from a man who only two years ago attended the Bilderberg conference, a highly exclusive and secretive gathering of the world’s most powerful bankers, politicians and businesspeople?

“Well there we are, you see,” he smiles. “I can tell you, there is nothing there. It’s like the wizard of Oz. This is the age of the wizard of Oz, you know. In the end you get behind the curtain and you finally meet the wizard – and there’s this tiny, frightened figure. I think every prime minister has sort of said this since Blair. You get there and you pull the lever, and nothing happens.”

February 13, 2014
[comics] Garry Trudeau On Extended Break From Doonesbury‘I’ve always thought of myself as a comic-strip lifer, which is common in our industry and an annoyance to younger cartoonists. I love working for newspapers, and can’t imagine life without them. Which is why I’m keeping one foot in with the Sundays.’
February 14, 2014
[hvd] 14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You

How I Love You...

February 15, 2014
[politics] Toward a Unified Theory of Scandal-Naming … on the devaluing of the “-gate” suffix for scandal … ‘Column-inch-limited headline writers in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, and especially the UK have all imported “-gate” for their own homegrown scandals. Many involve sports. Some involve bolognese sauce: The Montreal restaurant community was rocked last year by Pastagate, when Québéc’s language enforcers warned an upscale restaurant to stop using Italian words like “pasta” on its menu instead of the French equivalent. Very few rise near the level of Watergate. We need a new term for these sub-gate scandals.’
February 16, 2014
[life] Distant Planet Terrified It Might Be Able To Someday Support Human Life‘The 5.2-billion-year-old celestial body, which is located roughly 1,100 light years from Earth, said that for both its own sake and that of its entire solar system, it can only hope to never possess the necessary planetary characteristics and chemical elements needed to support either a deep-space human outpost or, more gravely, an entire human colony. “Luckily, with my high levels of atmospheric sulfur dioxide, methane, and radon, there’s no way any human could survive on my surface for more than a few seconds,” said WR 67c, adding that it is “incredibly lucky” to have developed extremely violent and widespread volcanism in addition to its poisonous atmosphere.’
February 17, 2014
[comics] Cover Version: Daredevil 230 and Cutting Techniques … an analysis by Matt Fraction of one issue of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s classic “Born Again” arc … ‘Miller’s work, which at its most baroque during this phase could be almost Faulknerian in its narrative shifts, tells “Born Again” across multiple plotlines and times. There are two different first person narrators and a close-third omniscient narrator. there is literally one instance of a nondiagetic narrative insertion in the issue of three total across the whole storyline. And the cuts come anywhere and everywhere — at some points across four different locations/times/storylines on a single page. what i really wanted to do was pick his sense of cutting apart a little bit, just to get a feel for how they did it. i wanted to pay attention to that tonight.’
February 18, 2014
[crime] Death of a Playmate … a long-read on the murder of Dorothy Stratten‘The irony that Hefner does not perceive or at least fails to acknowledge is that Stratten was destroyed not by random particulars, but by a germ breeding within the ethic. One of the tacit tenets of Playboy philosophy—that women can be possessed—had found a fervent adherent in Paul Snider. He had bought the dream without qualification, and he thought of himself as perhaps one of Playboy’s most honest apostles. He acted out of dark fantasies never intended to be realized.’
February 19, 2014
[movies] 26 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About RoboCop‘Despite the image depicted on the iconic movie poster, Weller couldn’t fit inside his police cruiser while wearing the full costume. So in any scene where he’s at the wheel of the cop car, RoboCop is pantsless.’
February 20, 2014
[life] Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… Updated!

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… Updated!

February 21, 2014
[power] U.K. National Grid status … Statistics about the UK’s electicity supply in near real time … ‘Gridwatch was born, first of all to scrape the data off the BMreports site every 5 minutes and inject it into an SQL database where it would be easy to perform specific searches and do statistical analysis. Then, in a rather retro and humorous way, to display the data in terms of analogue instruments and moving graphs. This is pure personal amusement, I like dials and graphs.’ [via As Above]
February 22, 2014
[tv] What happens at Netflix when House of Cards goes live‘Edberg said the last time House of Cards launched, the engineers figured out that the entire season was about 13 hours. “And we looked to [see] if anybody was finishing in that amount of time,” Edberg said. “And there was one person who finished with just three minutes longer than there is content. So basically, three total minutes of break in roughly 13 hours.”‘
February 23, 2014
[weird] The 38 Most Unexplainable Images On The Web … WARNING: Contains traces of Garry Glitter. NSFW. Tasteless.
February 24, 2014
[history] Time travellers: please don’t kill Hitler … Why Killing Hitler is a bad idea … ‘This is overlooked surprisingly often, so it bears repeating: Hitler didn’t win. Whatever you think of the present, we don’t live in some bleak wasteland dominated by a global Reich. Because Hitler and his armies lost. Although it was a costly victory, it was still technically a victory, so why risk going back and interfering with an outcome you favour? And arguably, it was due to Hitler’s incompetence as a strategist that the war panned out the way it did. In a way, Hitler had the perfect combination of drive, charisma, evil and incompetence to unite the world against him and ensure that his forces lost.’
February 25, 2014
[tv] Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer’s death marked the rebirth of TV drama … Looking back at Twin Peaks after twenty years … ‘It would be wrong to attribute all that’s since taken place to the creative impact of Twin Peaks but Lynch’s legacy can nonetheless be seen in dramas in a whole range of recent TV shows. For a start, Lynch helped make television attractive to film stars. Kyle MacLachlan, who played the other-worldly Special Agent Dale Cooper, had been the lead in Blue Velvet. The message was that television was no longer a Hollywood ghetto. Without Agent Cooper perhaps there would have been no Jack Bauer. Similarly, it’s hard to imagine that JJ Abrams’s high-concept genre-mashing with Lost would have happened if Lynch hadn’t pioneered the way. And in David Chase’s casting in The Sopranos it’s possible to see the influence of Lynch, who used almost forgotten character actors like Richard Beymer.’
February 26, 2014
[people] Ghosting … a long read from Andrew O’Hagan on what it’s like ghostwriting for Julian Assange … ‘ I am sure this is what happens in many of his scrapes: he runs on a high-octane belief in his own rectitude and wisdom, only to find later that other people had their own views – of what is sound journalism or agreeable sex – and the idea that he might be complicit in his own mess baffles him. Fact is, he was not in control of himself and most of what his former colleagues said about him just might be true. He is thin-skinned, conspiratorial, untruthful, narcissistic, and he thinks he owns the material he conduits. It may turn out that Julian is not Daniel Ellsberg or John Wilkes, but Charles Foster Kane, abusive and monstrous in his pursuit of the truth that interests him, and a man who, it turns out, was motivated all the while not by high principles but by a deep sentimental wound. Perhaps we won’t know until the final frames of the movie.’
February 27, 2014
[movies] RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier discusses the film’s origins‘In both of the movies I’ve written for Paul, they both seem—and I would say this is mostly my fault—they are often called prescient, in that they seem to predict things that are coming. Certainly Detroit’s decline seems to be predicted very well, but that was already happening. I got to a metric, if you want to call it that, wherein I would say, “If you want to predict the future, just think about how bad it could be and make a joke out of it, and there you go.” And if you look at Starship Troopers that way too, it may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a projection of what’s already happening, and where things were going.’
February 28, 2014
[ships] Russia’s Giant Secret Spy Ship Killed Rats, Ruined Careers and Almost Got Blown Up TWICE … fascinating story of the Russian ship Ural… ‘Ural didn’t just kill turtles. She also became what Russian Navy Blog described as “one of those rare ships free of rats.” When her electronics were all switched on, something—radiation, perhaps—swiftly killed all the rodents aboard. Rats “only reappeared when the ship moored at the pier.”’
March 1, 2014
[comics] Clintonlovespizza: “Wolverine, bring me a cheese pizza.” …

"Wolverine, Bring Me A Cheese Pizza."

March 2, 2014
[movies] Today is the Day Marty McFly Went to the Future … and tomorrow, yesterday and next week…
March 3, 2014
[web] Only 90s Web Developers Remember This … HTML tag nostalgia … ‘The 1×1.gif — or spacer.gif, or transparent.gif — is just a one pixel by one pixel transparent GIF. Just like the most futuristic CSS framework of today but in a billionth of the file size, 1×1.gif is fully optimized for the responsive web.’
March 4, 2014
[curtis] Adam Curtis: “We don’t read newspapers because the journalism is so boring” … another interview with Adam Curtis … ‘So much of the way the present world is managed is through – not even systems – its organizations, which are boring. They don’t have any stories to tell. Economics, for example, which is central to our life at the moment … I just drift off when people talk about collateralised debt obligations, and I am not alone. It’s impossible to illustrate on television, it’s impossible to tell a story about it, because basically it’s just someone doing keystrokes somewhere in Canary Wharf in relation to a server in … I dunno … Denver, and something happens, and that’s it. I use the phrase, ‘They are unstoryfiable’. Journalism cannot really describe it any longer, so it falls back onto its old myths of dark enemies out there.’
March 5, 2014
[movies] The Original Robocop Was A Christ Allegory‘We could view Robocop as Verhoeven’s response to a kind of mythological or narrative challenge: retell the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (as an historical figure or a religious one, it’s up to you) in a way that’s relevant for our contemporary context. The idea that someone like Verhoeven might respond to that challenge by inventing a murdered cop who is brought back to life by technical wizardry, only to walk the Earth again as a robot, is pure genius, almost hilariously so. It not only suggests an awesomely freewheeling response to an ancient storyline; it also raises the absolutely gonzo interpretive possibility that the machines and devices around us, from police drones to television sets, are able to bear religious, mythic, or theological implications.’
March 6, 2014
[tv] TV palate-cleansers: after Breaking Bad, viewers need Cake Boss‘There is only so much of, say, Borgen that one can take before it all gets too much. You find yourself either shuffling around with your brow furrowed as you wrestle with the weighty thematic issues of whatever you’re binge-watching, or trapped in a desperate cycle of increasingly hyperbolic praise for a show that you only really like because a broadsheet newspaper said you should. When this happens, you need crap. You need a palate-cleanser. You know the sort of shows I’m talking about. Cake Boss, for example, is the perfect antidote to Game of Thrones. Sometimes, when you’ve watched 350 different but identically named characters from 200 barely distinguishable regions shout frilly exposition at each other for four straight hours, you just want to watch a man make a cake. Possibly a cake shaped like a Transformer. Possibly while doing all he can to push the limits of New Jersey’s workplace harassment laws.’
March 7, 2014
[comics] League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo: Roses of Berlin annotations … more LOEG annotations from Jess Nevins‘Panel 2. “Heil, Hynkel.” As shown in the previous issues of League, there is no Adolph Hitler in the world of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, just as there is no Mussolini and various other major world figures. What we have instead are literary or filmic analogues for these characters. In this case, Hitler is replaced by Adenoid Hynkel, the Hitler analogue from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940).’
March 8, 2014
[politics] The Top Five Political Twitter Gaffes‘We can’t decide if this is a gaffe or an unintentional stroke of genius. Who knew Ed Balls would become a social media superstar by accidentally tweeting his own name?’
March 9, 2014
You Cannot Like Yourself… On Facebook [via Blech]

You Cannot Like Yourself

March 10, 2014
[columbo] The Case For Making Columbo America’s Doctor Who … a reminder of how great Columbo was … ‘Columbo says things like “Watch my hand, it’s full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?” to suspects. He is deliberate. He moves at the pace of justice. Unflagging, unwearying, unrelenting; he is the Anton Chigurh of goodness. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards Columbo. It is his fundamental goodness, as much as his native intelligence, that make him a good detective. He is not a remote genius; he is not a refined gentleman; he is a good man, and it is this that makes him not just a good detective but my detective. He is America’s detective. A good and a quiet man who brings his own lunch and will not go away until order is restored.’
March 11, 2014
[dailyfail] Profits Of Doom … Is the Daily Mail Online as sucessful as it seems? … ‘DMGT also reported that their print advertising was down 2%, bringing in only £53million this year. This figure was kind of brushed over in favour of talk of website growth – played down almost – but it’s worth a quick look. £53 million is £12 million more in ad revenue than the website generates. Yes, the website’s growth has been impressive – it has become the biggest newspaper website in the world – but it’s actually pulling in much less cash than its dead-tree equivalent. The Daily Mail’s circulation is 1.6 million, about 1% of its apparent online audience. So the ad space they’re selling online is actually, relatively, worthless and it appears to be their only major stream of revenue.’
March 12, 2014
[london] Oh shit, say tube drivers … The Daily Mash on the death of Bob Crow… ‘Martin Bishop, a driver from Peckham, said: “I would very much like the RMT to advertise – immediately – for a New Person to Scare the Shit Out of Capitalists. “However, I suspect it may now be time for me to drive a taxi.”’
March 13, 2014
[www] 25 Things You Might Not Know About The Web On Its 25th Birthday‘5 Tim Berners-Lee is Gutenberg’s true heir – In 1455, with his revolution in printing, Johannes Gutenberg single-handedly launched a transformation in mankind’s communications environment – a transformation that has shaped human society ever since. Berners-Lee is the first individual since then to have done anything comparable.’
March 14, 2014
[tech] Good advice from a Fortune Cookie‘You will never get back the years of your life you spent pointlessly rolling your own CMS.’
March 15, 2014
[histort] The First Ever Selfie‘Robert Cornelius, an amateur chemist, took this self-portrait 175 years ago in the back of his family’s silver-plating shop in Philadelphia. On the back, Cornelius wrote: “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.” It was one of the first Daguerreotypes to be produced in America…’
March 16, 2014
[comics] It’s Affable Alan Moore… His Stories Never Bore! … Lew Stringer on Alan Moore … ‘Behold! He’s breathing new life into the genre!’
March 17, 2014
[life] Report: Only 20 Minutes Until Introverted Man Gets To Leave Party‘I told myself I’d stay here until 8:30, and I already killed about 15 minutes avoiding conversation by circling repeatedly around the table of hors d’oeuvres to appear occupied, and another cumulative half hour pretending to text friends, so I just need to make it a few more minutes…’
March 18, 2014
[comics] Katsuhiro Otomo and the Perfect Panels of ‘Akira’‘Otomo takes the basics of comics art and executes them so well that he elevates a scene that could’ve been seen in any comic into something divine.’
March 19, 2014
[internet] How to use the Internet

How to use the Internet

March 20, 2014
[tv] 27 Reasons Why You’re Still Watching “The West Wing”‘R.I.P Dolores Landringham. You were just the best.’
March 21, 2014
[politics] The Conservatives Long-Term Economic Plan For Britain‘Click your nearest city to find out what the Conservatives are doing for you…’
March 22, 2014
[tech] Spring Cleaning Who Has Access to Your Social Media Data … useful tips for managing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn … ‘Just like the spring cleaning rule that says, “If you haven’t worn it in six months, throw it out,” you should use the same edict with your online data: “If you haven’t logged in to an app or site in six months, revoke its access.”’
March 23, 2014
[comics] Script Robot Moore and Art Droid Gibson Celebrate Their Eagle Award For Halo Jones‘The celebration’s over! Back to work’
March 24, 2014
[crime] What the Kitty Genovese Story Really Means … turns out most of what I knew about the murder of Kitty Genovese is wrong … ‘The Times story was inaccurate in a number of significant ways. There were two attacks, not three. Only a handful of people saw the first clearly and only one saw the second, because it took place indoors, within the vestibule. The reason there were two attacks was that Robert Mozer, far from being a “silent witness,” yelled at Moseley when he heard Genovese’s screams and drove him away. Two people called the police. When the ambulance arrived at the scene—precisely because neighbors had called for help—Genovese, still alive, lay in the arms of a neighbor named Sophia Farrar, who had courageously left her apartment to go to the crime scene, even though she had no way of knowing that the murderer had fled.’
March 25, 2014
[comics] Matt Fraction on Batman #405 … interesting analysis of two pages from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s “Year One” arc on Batman … ‘Miller’s still calling shots here more often than not. The longer and longer I’ve written comics the less and less interested in that control I become; besides, if you write your shit the right way the variations of interpretation any artist worth a good goddamn will come at you with will all be what you wanted or better anyway… There are no significant coloring notes at all nor environmental ones — the rain it would appear was entirely Mazzucchelli, the time of night and everything else Lewis, smartly working backwards from the following issue.’
March 26, 2014
[comics] Watch Alan Moore Do Magic…‘But yes, I can definitely, definitely do like, real magic…’
March 27, 2014
[ipsum] Translating Lorem Ipsum … What does the filler text “lorem ipsum” mean? … ‘The text itself has been designed not to communicate, to have the look of text but no meaning – but meaning bubbles up through it nonetheless. The 16th-century printer who came up with it got there by mangling Cicero’s ‘De finibus bonorum et malorum’, an exposition of Stoicism, Epicureanism and the Platonism of Antiochus of Ascalon. Though most of the metaphysical subtlety has been wrung out, sense hasn’t completely: the text is haunted, as Derrida might have put it, by the piece of writing it once was.’ [via As Above]
March 28, 2014
[suicide] The Woman in 606 … well written investigation into the suicide of a woman in Seatle …

What could she be trying to communicate through all that stuff about being from the future? I asked. What about the flour she poured everywhere?

“A person in a psychotic state is trying to push their reality back into the environment,” the psychologist said, describing a theory from psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion. “In a sense, you’re holding it because she pushed it back out of herself. She put it back into your environment—whatever she was trying to express. So you’re left with it as a mystery. Everybody in proximity is left with it. Everybody who witnessed it is holding it. So the cop has to hold it. You have to hold it. Your boyfriend is trying to hold it. And it’s her trauma. It’s her experience of trying to communicate a trauma, while not necessarily being able to process it herself. So when you work with people who are psychotic, the challenging thing is you’re dealing with unspoken, often preverbal trauma that they’re not emotionally processing, so you end up holding it for them. It’s almost like they scattershot their reality at everyone. You’re left with the mystery, right? What was the powder? Why’d she go out the window like that? What’s with the white cat? We’re still in her dream with her. So in a sense”—the psychologist stopped for a moment, watching me take notes—”so in a sense, you’re writing about this because in a way she left you with all these mysteries. She left you with an unfinished dream and you’re trying to finish it for her.”

It’s impossible to know what was happening in her mind, but it’s also impossible not to wonder…

March 29, 2014
[books] Meanwhile, on Tumblr… ‘Big hair, one shoe, no knickers. we’ve all been there.’
March 30, 2014
[people] Ayn Rand Comic Biography … from Darryl Cunningham

Ayn Rand's Childhood

March 31, 2014
[funny] Bollocks is Britain’s first language‘The Institute for Studies found that most Britons were fluent speakers of bollocks, and could talk bollocks on almost any subject without the need for facts or logic. Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Bollocks is a rich and vibrant language that enables the speaker to sound knowledgeable despite being what we linguists call ‘a knob’.’
April 1, 2014
[conspiracy] Confessions of a Non–Serial Killer … what it’s like to be part of a conspircacy theory and incorrectly identified as as serial killer… ‘ As I understand it, Penn first decided I was the culprit after analyzing the Zodiac’s messages to the San Francisco Chronicle and determining that the murderer was an artist with the initials HOH, whose crimes formed, on a map, some sort of graphic having to do with a radian (the angle formed by laying a circle’s radius along its circumference, about 57 degrees) and Mt. Diablo, a Bay Area landmark. There is also something about water, whose chemical formula is sometimes written HOH, and my initials (my middle name, which I rarely use even as an initial, is Henry).’
April 2, 2014
[books] Capote’s Co-conspirators in “In Cold Blood” … a look at what’s true and untrue in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood … ‘In his 1988 biography of Capote, Gerald Clarke reveals that the redemptive coda at the end of the book, in which Dewey encounters a friend of Nancy Clutter’s in a cemetery, was fiction: their conversation, which Capote relates in direct quotes, never happened. Even so, Capote is right to suggest that any narrative representation of events is an accumulation of “selected” details, and that the process of selection and arrangement through which a writer converts disparate facts into an absorbing story entails an inevitable measure of artifice.’
April 3, 2014
[comics] Twenty-two comic books Alan Moore was looking forward to reading in 1988… Part 1 | Part 2
April 4, 2014
[tide] High Tide / Low Tide Pictures … some pictures of the UK coast contrasting high tide with low tide (by Michael Marten).
April 5, 2014
[property] Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs Tumblr‘Jean-Paul Sartre said “hell is other people”. It is not. Hell is this patio.’
April 6, 2014
[comics] Here Is the Greatest Collection of Superhero Dancing GIFs the Internet Has Ever Known‘That Rhythm Is Infectious!’
April 7, 2014
[comics] Lew Stringer’s 7 Ages Of Fan!

Lew Stringer's & Ages Of Fan

April 8, 2014
[london] What is it like to live on Britain’s most expensive street?‘Eskimo Ice services draws up outside one house – the company delivers ice sculptures for parties, and its website shows glassy ice lions and carved statues of the London skyline. Elsewhere, a van – Anglo-Italian marble installation – is delivering bespoke marble, granite, limestone and porcelain tiles. Gardeners arrive in a van marked Siddeley landscape design (a company that also appears to work on mammoth private estates in China and Russia). British Security Technologies is parked outside another mansion, its van promising in italic lettering: “We’ll Keep You Safe ‘n’ Sound Tonight.” A vehicle drives up to provide swimming pool and whirlpool maintenance. There is also a fire-protection services van, an emergency plumbing car and Rentokil pest control – because, it seems, money offers no real protection against fire, rats and plumbing catastrophes.’
April 9, 2014
[comics] The Twelve Best Covers Of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen‘If I could own one piece of original comic book art, this would be it. In one image the entire run of Jimmy Olsen, and the entire Silver Age of DC Comics is encapsulated. The caption on the cover proclaims Jimmy Olsen to be “The Red-Headed Beatle of 1,000 B.C.!” and the screaming girls reinforce it. Everything about this cover is great, but the best bit is Superman declaring that Jimmy has become as popular as Ringo.’
April 10, 2014
[ios] The Ultimate Guide to Solving iOS Battery Drain… useful guide to dealing with a common issue on iPhones … ‘Step 1: Disable Location and Background App Refresh for Facebook.’
April 11, 2014
[titanic] This is what the menu on the Titanic looked like‘We’re down with roast beef and brown gravy for lunch, but jacket potatoes for breakfast?’
April 12, 2014
[2001] 2001: A Space Odyssey (2012 Trailer Recut) … a trailer for Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as a modern summer blockbuster. [via Kevin Church]
April 13, 2014
[bullshit] New-Age Bullshit Generator‘Nothing is impossible. Self-actualization is the driver of aspiration. You and I are entities of the dreamscape. Traveller, look within and enlighten yourself.’
April 14, 2014
[life] Remembering the sinking of The Titanic – 100 years later…

Inflatable Titanic Slide

April 15, 2014
[wikipedia] TL;DR Wikipedia … condensed Wikipedia … ‘Ayn Rand was American novelist, best known for developing the philosophy of Objectivism, which apparently states that every college freshmen must get really into Objectivism.’ [via Qwghlm]
April 16, 2014
[email] The First Emoticon May Have Appeared in… 1648 … Alexis Madrigal attempts to push back the history of the Smiley to the 17th Century … ‘Why would anyone care about a smiley face in a poem from the 17th century? For me, it’s like a wormhole that connects our time with theirs. If you’d been alive in 1648, you might have considered that a colon and a parenthesis form a smiley face. Our ancestors looked upon the same marks on the page and saw the possibilities that we take for granted. While emoticons have probably been independently invented many times—the earliest documented use of the smiley face with a nose, :-), comes in 1982—Herrick very well could have been the first.’
April 17, 2014
[comics] Heads or Tails … a wonderful new comic strip from Chris Ware about the life of a penny.
April 18, 2014
[history] The Last Places … the remarkable story of how Henry VIII’s wine cellar came to be perfectly preserved under the Ministry of Defence Main Building in Whitehall … ‘Writing in a 2010 issue of the AA Files Andrew Crompton describes the design of the poetically named MoD Main Building, which was “so slow in coming out of the ground that it became know as the Whitehall Monster.” In addition to the understandable delay caused by World War Two, Crompton ascribes its astonishing twenty-one year construction to the fact that the MoD Monster has “embedded within it a series of spaces that seem to have more to do with sympathetic magic than functional architecture.” Included among these embedded spaces are a Gothic crypt, a crooked staircase that leads nowhere, “five very fine eighteenth-century interiors” — the first ever preserved outside of a museum — and, of course, Henry VIII’s long-lost wine cellar.’
April 19, 2014
[movies] Irrational Treasure … a look back at the last ten years of Nicolas Cage movies… ‘The main problem with the notion that Cage squandered his post-Oscar momentum on dumb action movies and thereby lost something irretrievable is that Cage’s sellout movies are more consistently entertaining than just about anybody else’s. His inherent absurdity infects and elevates them; Cage’s own expansive persona fills in the gaps in action-movie characters without qualities.’
April 20, 2014
[politics] The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld (Part 1) … Errol Morris On Donald Rumsfeld … ‘Not just him but the entire building was in denial. Doug Feith — don’t get me started on Doug Feith — told me that they had a Marshall Plan all set to go in terms of rebuilding Iraq. And he pointed to this stack of huge three-ringed binders, all of them black. There must have been about 10 of them stacked up on top of a cabinet. And I asked to see them, and he said, “No, you can’t. It’s classified.” And I said, “Well, O.K., I understand that, I guess.” But I raised it to somebody else within the next couple of weeks. I said, “Well, Doug Feith showed me the Marshall Plan for Iraq.” And this person laughed, and he said, “Mik, that was the Marshall Plan.” It was a copy of the original Marshall Plan, not a plan for Iraq.’
April 21, 2014
[dailyfail] Daily Mail Headlines Replaced With User Comments

Daily Mail Headlines Replaced By User Comments-comments

April 22, 2014
[tv] Danny Trejo: I always just kinda say “Yeah, but did your head crawl across the desert on a tortoise?”
April 23, 2014
[dailyfail] You’ve seen the sidebar of shame, now check out the Daily Mail *timeline* of shame‘2002 – Claims mouth wash, oral sex, Pringles and Facebook cause cancer.’
April 24, 2014
[comics] A Letter from Denny O’Neill about working at Marvel Comics in 1966‘The notes in the margin are Jack’s — he actually plots the story as he draws it, after an initial, and usually brief, plot conference with our leader. From the marginal comments, Stan does the script.’
April 25, 2014
[tech] The Hackers Who Recovered NASA’s Lost Lunar Photos … a wonderful story of digital archeology …

The photos were stored with remarkably high fidelity on the tapes, but at the time had to be copied from projection screens onto paper, sometimes at sizes so large that warehouses and even old churches were rented out to hang them up. The results were pretty grainy, but clear enough to identify landing sites and potential hazards. After the low-fi printing, the tapes were shoved into boxes and forgotten.

They changed hands several times over the years, almost getting tossed out before landing in storage in Moorpark, California. Several abortive attempts were made to recover data from the tapes, which were well kept, but it wasn’t until 2005 that NASA engineer Keith Cowing and space entrepreneur Dennis Wingo were able to bring the materials and the technical know how together.

When they learned through a Usenet group that former NASA employee Nancy Evans might have both the tapes and the super-rare Ampex FR-900 drives needed to read them, they jumped into action.

April 26, 2014
[tech] Previously Unknown Andy Warhol Works Discovered on Floppy Disks from 1985 … another story of digital archeology … ‘It was not known in advance whether any of Warhol’s imagery existed on the floppy disks—nearly all of which were system and application diskettes onto which, the team later discovered, Warhol had saved his own data. Reviewing the disks’ directory listings, the team’s initial excitement on seeing promising filenames like “campbells.pic” and “marilyn1.pic” quickly turned to dismay, when it emerged that the files were stored in a completely unknown file format, unrecognized by any utility. Soon afterwards, however, the Club’s forensics experts had reverse-engineered the unfamiliar format, unveiling 28 never-before-seen digital images that were judged to be in Warhol’s style by the AWM’s experts. At least eleven of these images featured Warhol’s signature.’
April 27, 2014
[movies] A View To A Kill: Occasionally Starring Roger Moore … an amusing look at the conclusion to Roger Moore’s run of movies as James Bond… ‘Let’s be honest: Roger Mortis has finally set in. This incarnation of cinema’s favourite secret agent is no more. This is an ex-Bond. It’s not even Rodge’s fault (he graciously noted that he was “only about four hundred years too old for the part”) – the poor bastard had been trying to escape since 1979, but Cubby Broccoli never had the balls to choose another Bond. As a result of that cowardice, and combined with the fact that Moore is nearly three years older than Sean Connery, James Bond went from a prowling, 32-year-old sex puma in 1962 to a shuffling, 57-year-old sex tortoise in 1985 without ever making reference to his own advancing years or behaving accordingly.’
April 28, 2014
[stickers] How much does it cost to fill the Panini 2014 World Cup Sticker book? … it turns out that collecting World Cup team stickers in a pretty expensive hobby … ‘You need 824 packets and that’s a smacking £412.’
April 29, 2014
[trolling] The Compleat Troller, Or, THE ART OF TROLLING

The Compleat Troller

April 30, 2014
[space] SuitSat1: A Spacesuit Floats Free … slightly disturbing picture of a empty spacesuit floating away from the International Space Station … ‘The unneeded Russian Orlan spacesuit filled mostly with old clothes was fitted with a faint radio transmitter and released to orbit the Earth. The suit circled the Earth twice before its radio signal became unexpectedly weak.’

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