1 May 2015
[comics] The Best Superman Stories Not Actually About Superman
… interesting list of Superman-alike comics to watch out for … ‘Alan Moore’s Supreme was the Silver Age Superman thrown into a blender and it was awesome. I’m listing all of the issues because all of the issues are good: the opening issues, “The Supreme Story of the Year,” all about Supreme being ‘rebooted’ and finding the Supremacy, the place outside time where all previous Supremes live, to the issues where Supreme’s villains escape from the “Hell of Mirrors” and the Televillain kills Monica from Friends (literally), to the issue near the end that is a complete homage to all things Jack Kirby. It’s Alan Moore making Silver Age goodness.’
2 May 2015
[web] Inventing Favicon.ico
… the story of how the Favicon
was created at Microsoft … ‘I still remember telling my friend Michael Radwin at Yahoo about favicon.ico. He was looking at Yapache logs for fun as he does, and he had noticed an unusual spike in HTTP requests for http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico. He said, what the hell is favicon.ico? And I explained it to him. He was so excited that he slammed a favicon.ico onto the server, which might have been one of the first official favicons in existence.’
4 May 2015
[comics] ‘Beano’ reveals Dennis The Menace’s father is actually 1980s Dennis
… ‘In the most recent issue of The Beano, it is confirmed for the first time that Dennis’s dad is a grown-up version of the 1980s-era Dennis The Menace. While you may remember Dennis The Menace’s dad in his older, balder, Hitler moustache-sporting incarnation, the comic made a historic shift on 25 August 2012 by introducing a spikey-haired new ‘dad’. The comic also shifted the father-son relationship from its painfully old-fashioned combative (even abusive) tone, to one that was sometimes adversarial, but also friendlier.’
5 May 2015
[life] Quite possibly the greatest Internet comment ever…
posted by VoteUKIPforTheKids on a Guardian article on Steve Strange.
These guys were Bohemians? Don’t make me laugh. Do you know where the most bohemian place in this country is – The Church of England!
Women bishops, over friendly vicars, vegetarians, and socialists have done more damage to the once wonderful institution of the Anglican church than Hitler’s bombs. It wouldn’t surprise me if I woke up next week and found that Westminster Abbey was now a disco nightclub.
My brother in law, Nigel got caught up in the bohemian lifestyle when he met a Dutch sailor called Jurgen at a ‘get to know your neighbour’ session at his local church. I suppose we should noticed something suspicious when the vicar (who was wearing a rainbow coloured jumper) exhorted everyone present to shake their neighbour’s hand. Little did we realise at the time that this was his introduction to moral depravity. Mind you, Nigel was always an odd one. He preferred musical theatre to sport etc, but despite that found what we thought was a nice girl and got married. Sadly she turned out to be a harridan who was more interested in the Labour Party and ‘women’s issues’ than bearing his children. Ultimately she threw him out and moved her fancyman in. It nearly destroyed poor old Nigel. He lost a lovely home (four beds, large garden, double garage) on a nice estate and ended up living on a barge on a canal. Still he found love of some kind with Jurgen and together they making a living refurbishing soiled cinema seats in Amsterdam. Obviously I don’t talk to him anymore, neither does anyone else in the family. I can only hope he is happy.
6 May 2015
[comics] Facts in the Case of Alan Moore’s Providence
… annotations for Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrows not yet released Providence comic.
7 May 2015
[politics] Scarfolk Council: “Watch Out! There’s a Politician About”
… Election week posters from Scarfolk
… ‘Just before the Scarfolk election of 1975 the ruling party was keen to permanently eradicate all political opposition and set out to smear what it called a ‘hazardous surplus of politicians and others suffering from civic delusional disorders’. The incumbent’s aim was to bring about a state of emergency that would permit a legal postponement of the election, a postponement that could, in theory, become indefinite. The smear campaigns knew no bounds as one politician after another was exposed for corruption, sexual and moral improprieties, and poor table manners…’
8 May 2015
[tech] Conversation With a Tech Support Scammer
… fascinating transcripts of how a tech support scam happens … ‘“Take a look down here. See where it says processes?” he prompted. “That’s the problem. That’s why you’re getting the message popping-up. You see right here at the bottom?”
“46 processes? So that’s 6 more than normal?” I asked.
“Yes, right. What this means is, your computer is doing 46 different things at the moment,” he explained.’
9 May 2015
[fractals] Web Mandlebrot
… nicely done web-based Mandelbrot generator. [via Kottke
10 May 2015
[weirdscience] Radio 4 in Four: Robin Ince explores hollow earth
… go listen to this clip of Robin Ince on Hollow Earth theory
(guest-starring Alan Moore).
11 May 2015
[space] How Spaceships Die
… a look at how satellites and space probes end their working lives … ‘Every craft that we’ve ever sent to another planet is still there, to a greater or lesser extent. Twenty-one objects on Venus, 13 on Mars (including nine landers/rovers) and a startling 76 different lunar craft are all slowly decaying in their new homeworlds, not to mention the Huygens probe on Titan, Shoemaker on the asteroid Eros, Hayabusa on the asteroid 25143 Itkowa and the Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimnko. In total, there are over 476,000 pounds of Earth objects in alien worlds.’
12 May 2015
[politics] Did 1000 People Decide The Outcome Of The General Election?
… some analysis of the result of the General Election from Diamond Geezer
… ‘The fact remains that there are fewer than 1000 people out there on whose choice the outcome of this election hinged. If you changed your mind in Gower, Croydon Central or Bury North, one of those people could be you. Thank goodness nobody knew who you were before the polls opened, otherwise you’d never have been left alone.’
13 May 2015
[herzog] Werner Herzog’s memoir Of Walking in Ice, reviewed
… a book about that time Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris to visit a friend’s deathbed …
The voice too is the one we know so well from the films and summons the familiar face: lugubrious, disheveled, and beetle-browed, perennially squinting as though against the blinding light of the universe’s final catastrophe. No detail is too small to depress him: “The teenagers on their mopeds are moving toward death in synchronized motion,” he glumly writes. “I think of unharvested turnips but, by God, there are no unharvested turnips around.”
15 May 2015
[politics] Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed
… the inside story on Milliband’s downfall … ‘Another Labour insider told of the scene in the press office when Miliband posed with the notorious Ed stone, the 8ft 6in slab of limestone upon which his six key election pledges were inscribed. When it appeared on TV, a press officer ‘started screaming. He stood in the office, just screaming over and over again at the screen. It was so bad they thought he was having a breakdown.’’
16 May 2015
[science] Forget Fingerprints—in the Future We’ll Be Identified by Gut Bacteria
… a future plot to CSI: Vegas? … ‘Compared to microbes in the skin, mouth, and vagina, gut microbes were the most stable over time, according to the researchers. Around 86 percent of the time, the scientists were able to uniquely identify an individual based on stool samples taken 30 to 300 days after the original stool sample from which the microbial fingerprint was derived. With bacteria in the skin, mouth, and vagina, later fingerprints matched the original ones about 30 percent of the time.’
17 May 2015
[funny] Nick Clegg to become masked vigilante ‘the Liberal Democrat’
… senses-shattering news from News Thump
When asked how he intended to fund the expensive life of a costumed avenger, it was pointed out that Parliamentary expenses are ‘surprisingly flexible’.
“You had your chance,” said Clegg in a recorded message left pinned to the chest of an unconscious Green Party councillor.
“You could have chosen to follow good men, like Gladstone and Vince Cable.”
“In five years time you’ll look up from your Conservative government and factional left/ right squabbles and shout save us!” he added.
“And I’ll look down and whisper; No.”
19 May 2015
[people] Kay Burley becomes self-aware
… surprising news about the Sky News journalist and news anchor … ‘Burley, who on 9/11 reported that the entire eastern seaboard of the USA had been decimated by a terrorist attack, apparently recognised herself as a human being, separate from the environment and other individuals, and capable of introspection, after five hours of belligerently trying to interview “that sour-faced woman in the mirror”. Self-awareness usually begins in humans at the age of 18 months when toddlers recognise their own reflections.’
20 May 2015
[movies] Surely you can’t be serious: An oral history of Airplane!
… the creators of Airplace look back at the creation of the classic comedy movie …
Jim Abrahams: I always felt that part of what made it so endearing to have those guys in the movie was that everyone knew that [Robert] Stack and [Lloyd] Bridges and Leslie [Nielsen] and Peter Graves were having a laugh at the expense of their own images. That kind of self-effacing humor is endearing, and as we reflect on Airplane! and the fact that it’s lived so long, I think that’s part of the reason why: It’s not really mean-spirited, it’s actually sort of sweet.
Jerry Zucker: Everyone was terrific, really, but Leslie was the one who was just a fish in water. Leslie just loved it, every minute of it, and practically didn’t need direction, because once he got what we were doing, that was just his thing. He loved it.
21 May 2015
[batman] The True Creator of Batman Never Got Credit, and Now His Granddaughter Fights to Correct History
… the story of Batman’s co-creator Bill Finger and his grand-daughter Athena … ‘In part, it was the character’s global reach that inspired Marc Tyler Nobleman to research the creator who’d been sidelined. “I saw that he never had a book to himself, and it just seemed like a gross cultural injustice,” says Nobleman, who began his work in the early 2000s. Nobleman, who had previously written a book on Superman’s creators, dug through high school yearbooks, fanzines, and death certificates. He had assumed Finger had no living heir. Then one day in 2007, Nobleman spoke to a nephew of Bill’s who suggested he talk to the writer’s granddaughter. “I said, ‘He doesn’t have a granddaughter. His son Fred was gay and died in ’92 without children,’ as if I’d know better than the family,” Nobleman recalls. The nephew didn’t recall Fred’s daughter’s name but passed Nobleman off to other kin. Eventually, Nobleman learned her name was Athena Finger. He then landed on her MySpace page. “The first thing I saw was a picture of a dog whose name was Bruce Wayne,” Nobleman says.’
22 May 2015
[wikipedia] Death means a lot of bureaucracy on Wikipedia
… ‘When someone dies, on their Wikipedia article a diligent editor is supposed to update the following things…’
23 May 2015
[music] CIA Allegedly Behind 1980s Club Hit About Sleeping Dominatrix
… a true story that reads like something James Ellroy might write if he wrote about the Seventies … ‘In 1978, the CIA was caught up in a BDSM Cold War affair. A potential Soviet asset had fallen for a professional dominatrix who made decent money peeing on entertainment lawyers. Also in play was Mary Tyler Moore’s landscaper, merely because he was sweet on the dominatrix and her record collection. The most actionable intelligence from these black leather ops would not be obtained by the Agency, but by the landscaper himself, Stuart Argabright. Under the alias Dominatrix, Argabright recorded “The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight,” a New York club hit released in 1984…’
24 May 2015
[tech] Executor 2.0 for MS-DOS
25 May 2015
[kubrick] Stanley Kubrick’s Keys To The Shining
… going far too deep on Kubrick’s The Shining and a conspiracy / cover-up by NASA
… ‘Stanley Kubrick embedded the Narrative of a Murder in this Film. I believe it was His wish that it be found – by his Audience. I’m motivated to share this Narrative here, because ultimately it contains information that is profoundly pertinent – to All of Us.’
26 May 2015
[death] The most insane deaths seen by an NYC medical examiner
… fascinating overview of the career of a Medical Examiner in New York …‘When Judy Melinek was considering where to begin her career as a medical examiner — New York or LA? — she was given great advice. “If you really want to learn forensic pathology, do a rotation in New York City,” her chief resident said. “All kinds of great ways to die there.” Including, but not limited to: plummeting down a manhole, attack by egg-roll machine, miscalculating the tensile strength of cable cord and scaffolding collapse. In Melinek’s first week on the job, the tone became clear. As one novice began describing the case of “a man who was shot by a lady,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Seymour Hirsch corrected him. “Shot by a woman,” Hirsch said. “Ladies don’t shoot people.” And so began Dr. Judy Melinek’s education in life and death in New York City…’
27 May 2015
[comics] Does Wally Wood Deserve a Creator Credit on Netflix’s “Daredevil”?
… I’m no expert on early Daredevil but it sounds like he does deserve credit … ‘No one is more important to Daredevil than Wallace “Wally” Wood! After leaving his historic 12-year hit run on MAD Magazine, in 1964, Wood took over the then foundering, near-cancellation fledgling Daredevil comic after issue #4. Wood created the RED Daredevil character design, the interlocking double-D logo (which inspired the nickname “DD”), developed the visualization of the Radar Sense, created the grappling-hook cane/Billy-club cable, technological enhancements to DD’s senses, themes used through the Frank Miller run, and beyond. Lee and Everett are acknowledged at the opening of the Netflix-Marvel series and many more comic-book talents are thanked in the Netflix Daredevil show but not “Kid Daredevil Himself, Wally Wood” as Marvel sometimes called him!’
28 May 2015
[kubrick] The 10 Most Outrageous Theories About What The Shining Really Means
… ‘Stuart Ullman’s Paper Tray is Trying to Have Sex with the Audience – Top-notch conspiracy hunter Jay Weidner has many, many theories about the work of Kubrick (and other things) but some of the more eye-popping are his thoughts about how the director used the subliminal messaging of advertisers in his films. To wit: In the scene where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) meets Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) in his office and, Weidner says in 237, his hips line-up perfectly with his paper try making it look like an erection.’
29 May 2015
[london] London’s Most Mysterious Mansion
… some detective work on who owns London’s largest mansion … ‘Beneath the forecourt, in front of the main house, the new owners have built what amounts to an underground village—a basement of more than forty thousand square feet. (The largest residential property in Manhattan is said to be a fifty-one-thousand-square-foot mansion, on East Seventy-first Street between Madison and Fifth, owned by Jeffrey Epstein.) This basement, which is connected to the Orangery, includes a seventy-foot-long swimming pool, a cinema with a mezzanine, massage rooms, a sauna, a gym, staff quarters, and parking spaces for twenty-five cars. In late 2013, the local council approved plans for a second basement, beneath the gatehouse, which will connect that building to both the main house and the Orangery. Earlier this year, the owners also sought planning permission to extend an underground “servants’ passage.” When the refurbishment is complete, Witanhurst will have about ninety thousand square feet of interior space, making it the second-largest mansion in the city, after Buckingham Palace. It will likely become the most expensive house in London.’
31 May 2015
[comics] Annotations for Providence #1
… notes on Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrow’s latest comic … ‘Page 17, Panel 3: “The Repairer of Reputations” in The King in Yellow is set in an alternate future New York in the 1920s, which featured legalized suicide chambers and a concluded European war with an American victory; this further reinforces the layered fictionality of Providence, where the reality of the comic book is not our reality, nor even Lovecraft’s.’