linkmachinego.com

January 1, 2016
[comics] Drew Friedman’s Comic Shop Clerks of North America

Comic Shop Clerks of America

January 4, 2016
[comics] Steve Bell’s top five cartoons of the year‘Show the Queen your Tonsils! Traitor!!’
January 5, 2016
[books] William Gibson on the Individual: ‘We do tend to have this unexamined assumption that the individual is a huge fucking deal. Because it feels to use that we are. Because our neurological equipment seems to demonstrate to each of us that we are quite obviously the exact center of the universe. Just as we are all, subjectively, politically quite sensibly centrist. The key to racism is that racists literally don’t know they are. They think it’s a specious category invented to shame them for simply being sensible.’
January 6, 2016
[mh370] MH370 Was Crippled by Sudden Electrical Failure … another theory on missing Flight MH370…

In a Daily Beast special report, I examined a scenario in which a fire in the forward cargo hold of the 777, originating in a consignment of lithium-ion batteries that were being shipped on the airplane, could have breached a wall and reached the Main Equipment Center, seriously degrading the airplane’s avionics and leading to the incapacitation of the crew and passengers.

However, the avionics for the Satellite Data Unit, sending the pings, was located not in the Main Equipment Center but well clear of it, in the roof of the cabin behind the wings, because that is where the antenna to access the satellite is best positioned.

The picture in the Australian report of an airplane stricken by a sudden and extensive loss of electrical power, while in no way definitive, is entirely consistent with this scenario.

Indeed, the report gives dramatic new clarity to the “zombie flight” version of events in which the airplane, by then fatally crippled, makes one final change of course and then flies into the vast emptiness of the southern Indian Ocean without any sign of human direction or control.

January 7, 2016
[truecrime] Serial thrillers: why true crime is popular culture’s most wanted … a look at the rise of True Crime … ‘Even now, true crime magazines tend to be displayed by newsagents closer to porn titles than the Economist. In publishing, a market leader is John Blake Books – a firm whose lists are unlikely to come under scrutiny by judges of the Man Booker prize. Currently touted Blake titles include Doctors Who Kill and The Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders. But an almost universal fascination with the extremities of human behaviour means the loftier parts of the arts also push through the police tape at crime scenes. In the 1930s, the New Yorker, the most literarily pristine of American magazines, began to profile killers of the sort that obsessed pulpier rivals. Next month marks the 50th anniversary of Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood, which investigated, in a manner that has clearly influenced Serial, a mass killing in Kansas.’
January 8, 2016
[fb] An Inside Look at a Facebook Data Center …. ‘Maybe this is why some of the moments where conversation switched from the technical operations to Facebook-speak felt so awkward, but unintentionally so, like when Facebook’s algorithm decides to fill your Year in Review with pictures of an ex-boyfriend. It’s a brand that becomes harder and harder to empathize with the more it insists on trying to be empathetic, maybe because it’s not clear if there’s a distinction between an empathy engine and a branding engine or maybe because I am generationally disinclined to trust anything that’s too big to fail.’
January 11, 2016
[hertzog] Lo And Behold, Reveries Of The Connected World Trailer … a new documenatary about the Internet from Werner Hertzog …

January 12, 2016
[facts] The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2015‘Speaking of preachers, the word “poltergeist” was coined by Martin Luther. (From Philip Ball’s “Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen.”) Thirteen years after he posted his famous ninety-five theses on the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Martin Luther wrote a pamphlet listing a hundred and fourteen grievances against the Catholic Church. The fifth item—following close on the heels of indulgences—was just one word long: “poltergeists.” (He objected to the way the Church used ghost stories to frighten congregants into holding multiple masses for the dead, supposedly to quiet their souls.)’
January 13, 2016
[tech] Why Activists Wanted to Destroy Early GPS Satellites … fascinating story about an axe attack on an unlaunched GPS satellite in the 1990s and the motivations behind it … ‘GPS’ major media debut took place on the battlefield during the 1991 Gulf War, where GPS-guided cruise missiles took out Iraqi infrastructure and soldiers carried commercial GPS receivers (the system was still incomplete in 1991, and as a result all GPS operations during the Gulf War had to be coordinated within specific time windows to be sure there were enough satellites overhead). When explaining the Gulf War’s influence on the Brigade, Lumsdaine noted that “most of the civilian casualties of Operation Desert Storm came after the war because the infrastructure was targeted; the water, the electric lines, the generating stations. GPS was critical for taking out the electric grid of Iraq… with the electricity came repercussions with water filtration plans and so forth.” Crippling infrastructure is a long-term attack strategy, and GPS let the military enact it with ruthless precision.’
January 15, 2016
[fail] The 100 Most Important Fails Of All Time … go and look at this epic collection of Fails.
January 18, 2016
[magic] Seems Legit: We Talked to a Witch Who Casts Viruses Out of Computers With Magic‘There’s all different kinds of energies, including entities that may or may not be noticeable to human beings. You might want to call them ghosts or angels or spirits or demons. Think of demons as entities—they eat, they absorb energy, and they want to be fed. Computers are a vast store of electromagnetic energy, as well as messages. Sometimes when a demon is in a computer system, it’s just like a roach in a kitchen. It just eats and stays out of the way. But some demons are working for someone’s who’s trying to hurt you, and those are the really hard ones.’
January 19, 2016
[headlines] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: January 2006 …

Evening Standard Billboards: January 2006

January 20, 2016
[fb] How to block the companies tracking you on Facebook … useful step-by-step guide to improving your privacy with Facebook
January 21, 2016
[life] Don’t freak out, but scientists think octopuses ‘might be aliens’ after DNA study … LOVECRAFT WAS RIGHT!! … ‘Octopus DNA is highly rearranged – like cards shuffled and reshuffled in a pack – containing numerous so-called “jumping genes” that can leap around the genome. “The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving abilities,” said US researcher Dr Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago. ‘
January 22, 2016
[sweets] Sugarless Gummy Bears Are Not Safe for Humans … how to disrupt your bowels with a few mouthfuls of Gummy Bears … ‘The beginning of the end. The bears opened my lower pod bay door and a gummy hell sprang forth. I made it to the toilet, just barely. My watery shit looked like a blend of bile and egg flower soup.’
January 25, 2016
[fb] Why Facebook Won, and Other Hard Truths … some interesting thoughts on Facebook’s success against the Open Web … ‘People read the web now at the level they read email — they look at a lot of stuff. And what they want (and what many people continue to shame them for) is a standard interface that allows them to do that without feeling stressed. You want to win against Facebook? Let go of the idea of people reading your stuff on your site, and develop or support interfaces that put your readers in control of how they view the web instead of giving the control to the people with the servers. Support people looking into federated recommendation systems. Make friends with the idea of full copies of your stuff flowing across the web instead of links.’
January 26, 2016
[funny] Literally Just 21 Mr Burns Quotes On Pictures Of Donald Trump‘Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.’

mr-burns-donald-trump-mashedup

January 27, 2016
[howto] YouTube Loop … useful guide to looping YouTube videos.
January 28, 2016
[conspiracy] Secret success: equations give calculations for keeping conspiracies quiet … The mathematics of conspiracies … ‘Through his equations, Grimes calculated that hoax moon landings (410,000 people) would have been revealed in three years eight months, climate change fraud (405,000 people) in three years and nine months, a coverup of unsafe vaccinations (22,000) in three years and two months and a suppressed cancer cure (714,000 people) in three years and three months. “My results suggest that any conspiracy with over a few hundred people rapidly collapses, and big science conspiracies would not be sustainable,” he said. Grimes also looked at the maximum number of people who could take part in a conspiracy in order to maintain it. For a plot to last five years, the maximum was 2,521. For a scheme to remain under wraps for more than a decade, fewer than 1,000 people can be involved.’
January 29, 2016
[toys] Stormtroopers – the world’s biggest army? … a BBC reporter attempts to find out how many Star Wars Action Figures have been sold since 1977 … ‘My first significant breakthrough came from an unlikely source – the Leicestershire County Council Museum Service. The original Star Wars toys were produced under license in the UK by a company called Palitoy. They had a factory in Coalville in Leicestershire, and the museum inherited some of its paper. An internal company newsletter from 1985 revealed it had sold 25 million action figures in the UK alone – more than one toy for every child in the country at the time.’
February 1, 2016
[conspiracy] What Kind of Person Calls a Mass Shooting a Hoax? … an appalling story about how parents of children murdered in a mass shootings get harassed by mass-shooting conspiracy truthers … ‘The conspiracy movement’s personal attacks show no sign of abating. Early this November, a 32-year-old man was arrested for accosting the sisters of Vicki Soto, a slain teacher, at a Newtown charity event; he wanted to ask them whether a family photo of theirs had been photoshopped. For the hoaxers, no private moment has been sacred. At one point, they vigorously picked over the details of Noah’s funeral. Prior to the ceremony, the family opened Noah’s casket for a private viewing, which was reported in the news. It’s not an unusual custom for Jewish families, but hoaxers alleged it was against the laws of the religion, which somehow helped substantiate their claim that Noah wasn’t real.’
February 2, 2016
[war] How Rogue Techies Armed the Predator, Almost Stopped 9/11, and Accidentally Invented Remote War … a look at how the the Predator Drone was created …

The team found what they were looking for during one of the Predator’s very first split operations missions in early September 2000. Swanson was circling over Tarnak Farms, a walled compound near the Kandahar airport where bin Laden—or UBL as the team called him, referring to the alternative spelling, Usama—was thought to be living. Jeff Guay, an Air Force master sergeant on the team, was controlling the drone’s camera. Sure enough, a man in white, surrounded by an entourage, soon emerged on their screens.

“When UBL walked out of that one building,” Swanson says, “the way he appeared much taller than everybody, the people were deferential around him, the way he was dressed, Jeff and I just looked at each other and it’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s got to be him.’” Swanson assumed a cruise missile would be dispatched in the direction of bin Laden while the Predator loitered overhead to make sure he stayed put. The team had been instructed to continue circling for as long as necessary, even if that meant running out of fuel and crashing.

But for reasons obscure to the team, no strike was ordered. With Swanson gripping his joystick, unable to do anything but stare, America’s final chance to kill Bin Laden before September 11 slipped away.

February 3, 2016
[work] Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday‘He wants a relaxed, friendly company culture implemented by the end of the week, sources within the organization confirmed. “I don’t care how you make this a laid-back, fun place to work, just get it done, and get it done fast,” Abelson said during a meeting of the company’s various department heads, which is said to have begun with Abelson harshly reprimanding a client service manager for arriving five minutes late.’
February 4, 2016
[true_crime] “Not Guilty” Pleasure: Why We Love but Distrust True Crime … Rex Sorgatz on the powerful appeal of True Crime … ‘In the first season of Serial, the foundational story to disassemble is that Adnan Syed murdered his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. That’s the authoritative version, reported by newspapers. What Serial does, through a dozen spellbinding episodes, is slowly dismantle the official story, until eventually you have no idea what happened. At that exact moment — when you say I don’t know! — crime transmutes into true crime. (You can tell the difference between highbrow and lowbrow true crime by the degree to which a narrator professes I don’t know! The greater the narrative self-doubt, the higher the brow.)’ 
February 5, 2016
[sonic] The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy … Did Michael Jackson write soundtrack music For Sonic 3?… ‘As the 1990s wore on, Sega lost a crucial round of the console wars to a resurgent Nintendo and upstart Sony. Ben Mallison remained a Jackson and Sonic fan. But as he entered his teen years, something about Sonic 3 started to tug at him. There was something weird about that Sonic 3 music, and he couldn’t figure it out. Then one day, it came to him. “Huh,” Ben thought. “That Sonic music sure sounds like Michael Jackson.” “I’ve always been musically inclined and have a knack for noticing stuff like samples or ripoffs in songs,” he says. But he didn’t have any way to share his theory with the world. For that, Ben had to wait for the Internet…’
February 8, 2016
[movies] 44 Of The Most Breathtaking Shots In Michael Mann Movies

William Peterson in Manhunter

February 9, 2016
[comics] ‘Has The Human Centipede Taught Us Nothing?’ Alan Moore Answers Questions About Cinema Purgatorio For Bleeding Cool … a Q&A regarding the new black and white anthology comic Moore is launching on Kickstarter … ‘ I’m aware that a large majority of the current comic book audience are pathologically averse to anthologies, and you can certainly see their point. After all, when has anything memorable in the comic book medium ever emerged from an anthology? Except, obviously, Action Comics. Oh, and Detective Comics. And Sensation Comics and All Star and Adventure Comics. And Will Eisner’s work. And Jack Cole’s. And Mad and the entire E.C. line. And Amazing Adult Fantasy. And Tales of Suspense. And Strange Tales. And Journey into Mystery. And Creepy, and Eerie. And Zap. And the rest of the Undergrounds. And Comics Arcade. And 2000AD. And Warrior. And Viz. And almost all English and European comics. And almost all American comics, even single-character titles, until the 1960s. But other than that, what has the comic book anthology, or the Roman Empire for that matter, ever done for us?’
February 10, 2016
[comics] The Making of Daniel Clowes … a long, nicely-done profile of Dan Clowes … ‘Clowes quickly gained a reputation as the industry’s angry young man. Friends still talk about “the chip” — that weight on his shoulder from having worked so hard at a medium long associated with kids and misfits. “Oh, you mean the chip?” they’ll ask when questioned about how much he’s changed since those early days. Read enough of his works and you’ll see character after character with some version of the chip, from Enid Coleslaw to Wilson to the time traveler in Patience. “We often talked about Charles Schulz,” Clowes’s friend and fellow artist Richard Sala says. “When he was alive, he was the most famous and successful cartoonist ever, but he was still depressed. He still remembered every slight and every mean thing that anybody had ever said to him. And I think Dan related.”’
February 11, 2016
[codes] They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside … fascinating story of how the code of a long-forgotten secret society was cracked … ‘There were at least 10 identifiable character clusters that repeated throughout the document. The only way groups of letters would look and act largely the same was if this was a genuine cipher—one he could break. “This is not a hoax; this is not random. I can solve this one,” he told himself. A particular cluster caught his eye: the cipher’s unaccented Roman letters used by English, Spanish, and other European languages. Knight did a separate frequency analysis to see which of those letters appeared most often. The results were typical for a Western language. It suggested that this document might be the most basic of ciphers, in which one letter is swapped for another—a kid’s decoder ring, basically. Maybe, Knight thought, the real code was in the Roman alphabet, and all the funny astronomical signs and accented letters were there just to throw the reader off the scent. Of course, a substitution cipher was only simple if you knew what language it was in.’
February 12, 2016
[books] Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82 by Andy Beckett review – how today’s Britain was born in the early 80s … some interesting thoughts on how lucky Margaret Thatcher was in the early 1980s … ‘The readying and departure of the taskforce became in Beckett’s words “an epic, brilliantly manipulative piece of public theatre … that would run, to credulous rave reviews in most of the British media, for the rest of the Falklands conflict, and indeed [for more than a year] right up to the next general election”. Those scenes and the victory that followed did wonders for a prime minister who only a few months before had registered lower approval ratings than any of her predecessors; who, according to John Hoskyns, the head of her policy unit, could be found in the summer of 1981 sitting on a seat at the end of her garden thinking: “It’s all gone wrong. I don’t think it will ever come right. I’m the most unpopular prime minister ever. I will go down as a total disaster.” A year later, even as the taskforce was still heaving and wallowing its way homeward, the Tories were suddenly leading Labour by 20% in the polls and Thatcher was chastising “the waverers and the faint hearts … who thought we could no longer do the great things which we once did”, and announcing that Britain had “found herself again in the South Atlantic and will not look back”. In the election the following year, the Tories won their biggest victory since Harold Macmillan’s in 1959.’
February 14, 2016
[comics] Watchmen Photomanips for Valentines Day‘I thought maybe we could… Um, try some wife-swapping after dinner.’

Watchmen Wife Swapping Valentines

February 15, 2016
[movies] Michael Mann Looks Back on His Career … Michael Mann interviewed… ‘Because, though people characterize Heat as a crime thriller, that’s the last thing it is, at least in my mind. It’s a very formally structured drama, and its structure is a character-driven dialectic of Hanna [Al Pacino’s character] and McCauley [Robert De Niro’s character]. Its plot is driven by a crime story and a police story to a certain point, and then it breaks into a kind of chorus. In that chorus, we see slices of these different people’s lives. The fuguelike nature of the narrative is what was so exciting to me. When you’re with McCauley, you are subjectively immersed in his life, and you want what he wants, his expectations, his ambitions — his heart is your heart. You want him to get away. When you’re with Hanna, you want him to intercept McCauley, and you want him to achieve what’s driving him. That the two of them know and like each other while they’re headed for a lethal collision, and that they’re two of the only people who are like each other in the invented universe of this movie, that’s the construction. It’s brutally rigid construction.’
February 16, 2016
[blogging] Can Young House Love Escape the Internet? … A cautionary tale about lifestyle blogging … ‘By 2011, YHL was getting over 5 million monthly page views (with a million unique visitors), and the Petersiks were regularly working a second shift after Clara’s bedtime and throughout weekends and vacations. Family outings had to include something “bloggable,” like a stop at an antique store. Each holiday required fresh seasonal content. The Petersiks were also picking up all those side projects that felt like huge wins, but required a tremendous amount of additional work. They admit the blog made money “a nonissue” in its final years. “For a long time, we thought we were doing okay if we could duplicate our salaries from our old advertising jobs; then it got to the point where we could bring in much more,” says Sherry. “But I kept saying, ‘I don’t want more money, I want more time.’” She’d spend school field trips sneaking onto her phone to respond to comments from the zoo or the aquarium. “I felt like any day where I was being a great blogger, I was being a bad mom and vice versa,” Sherry says. She and John both worried that their marriage was being reduced to “essentially co-workers.”’
February 17, 2016
[celebrity] 19 Completely Underwhelming Real-Life Celebrity Encounters‘I queued behind Matt Smith from Dr Who in a Tesco Express. He was buying hummus and a kit kat chunky.’
February 18, 2016
[enhance] Let’s Enhance‘Let’s run this through video enhancement…’

February 19, 2016
[trump] The Art Of The Trump Videodrome Deal … Warren Ellis on Donald Trump … ‘It’s all a bit weird for me. It feels just that bit too much like the news out of the US is being generated by a computer that ate books by me and about thirty of my comrades and is spitting out algorithmic stories.’
February 22, 2016
[magazines] The many, many trials of Judy Finnigan … The strange world of British women’s weekly magazines… ‘The inventiveness of the editors of Bella, Best, Woman and Woman’s Own is hugely impressive, and I am in awe of their ability to create compelling, gripping coverlines each week from perhaps three interesting words in a dull interview or an out-of-context Loose Women soundbite. These headlines are always accompanied by a grainy, blown up paparazzi pic or screen grab of the story’s subject looking either demented, drunk, dying or, if they get very lucky, all three at once.’
February 23, 2016
[murder] The murderers next door … Engrossing true-crime story about a couple who murdered the wife’s parents for money to buy celebrity memorabilia …

The couple admitted manslaughter, but not double murder. They said 63-year-old Patricia had shot William, 85, during a late-night row. In their version of events, Patricia had then turned on Susan, saying she was having an affair with Christopher, taunting and provoking her into turning the gun on her mother. Susan told the police she’d been sexually abused by her father until she was 11, and that her mother had been complicit. The couple said it was a crime of passion and claimed that Susan had acted alone. She told Christopher only a week after the shooting, they said, when they returned to Mansfield from their home in Dagenham, ate fish and chips, watched the Eurovision song contest, and got up at 2am to bury the decomposing bodies.

“They’d had 15 years to prepare a story that would bring them the least amount of time in prison,” DCI Rob Griffin, who led the case against the couple, tells me. It was his job to prove this was a calculated double murder, motivated by greed and deserving a long stretch in jail. But proving anything in a case this historic is a challenge: there were no phone records, no CCTV, no emails for him to trawl through (“The footprints people tend to leave behind nowadays weren’t there for us”). So Griffin turned to what he calls “old-fashioned detective work”: tracing relatives and neighbours from 1998 to try to piece together what had happened.

February 24, 2016
[life] Chip Zdarsky’s Formula 4 Success…

Chip Zardsky's Formula 4 Success

February 25, 2016
[funny] Jumbled Nest Of Cords Makes Move To Third New Apartment … from the Onion’s News in Photos.
February 26, 2016
[comics] It’s Stan Lee’s Universe … must-read attempt to sum up Stan Lee’s legacy in comics …

“Stan’s gotten far too much credit,” says veteran comics writer Gerry Conway, who’s known Lee since 1970. “People have said Stan was out for No. 1, and to a very large degree, that’s true. He’s a good guy. He’s just not a great guy.”

“Unfortunately, from day one, Jack was doing part of Stan’s job, and Stan was not doing part of Jack’s job,” says comics historian Mark Evanier, who worked as Kirby’s assistant and has worked on and off with Lee since the 1970s. “When you talk to Stan Lee, when he turns the Stan Lee act off, he’s a very decent human being who is chronically obsessed with himself. He’s very insecure. Those of us who have trouble being angry for some of the things that happened, it’s because we saw the real human being there at times.”

“It’s one of those things where you sit down and you say, ‘You gotta be forgiving of your parents,’” says artist Colleen Doran, who drew Lee’s new memoir. “I don’t know of anyone who knows Stan and doesn’t love him, even if they hate things he’s done.”

February 29, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: February 2006 …

Evening Standard Billboards: February 2006

March 1, 2016
[gaming] The man who made ‘the worst video game in history’ … How Atari’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was made… ‘Warshaw’s stock was high at Atari. The 24-year-old had just finished the video game of Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg considered Warshaw a “certifiable genius” and 36 hours earlier Warshaw had been hand-picked for their next collaboration. “It was a day that will live in infamy in my life forever,” says Warshaw. “I was sitting in my office and I get a call from the Atari CEO. He said, ‘Howard, we need the ET video game done. Can you do it?’ “And I said, ‘Absolutely, yes I can!'” Games for the Atari 2600 were distributed on cartridges that took weeks to manufacture. If ET was to be in the shops for Christmas, Warshaw had a tight deadline…’
March 2, 2016
[food] More Realistic Meat Substitute Made From Soy Raised In Brutally Cruel Conditions‘“Our vegetarian entrées and meal starters are the most authentically meat-like available on the market, because we make sure our soybeans are raised in filth-caked, overcrowded growing troughs in a windowless facility where daytime temperatures regularly exceed 120 degrees,” said Greenwood Farms marketing director Michael Latimer, adding that the beans’ rich, savory flavor is enhanced by the unsanitary conditions and the regular spread of disease and infection through the crop. “We also make sure our soybeans are pumped so full of a variety of powerful hormones and antibiotics that their growth is boosted far beyond what the plants are capable of naturally, giving our product the same delectable consistency as meat you find at your local grocery store.” “When you sink your teeth into one of our veggie burgers, you’ll know this is the kind of flavor you can only get from soybeans that have never seen actual sunlight,” he added.’
March 3, 2016
[movies] Ghost in the Shell, over two decades old, remains our most challenging film about technology … a look back at the anime/manga Ghost in the Shell‘Kusanagi also questions what her existence means or even is, and whether she is just a synthetic being created by scientists, with neurological implants aimed at making her more productive. She asks her colleague Batou, “I mean who knows what’s inside our heads. Have you ever seen your own brain?” and examines whether a hyper-connected cyborg could create its own soul all by itself? This scene ultimately poses the final scary question: what is the purpose of being human?’
March 4, 2016
[hertzog] Werner Hertzog on Ewoks‘And what haunts me, is that in all the faces of all the Ewoks, I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the Ewoks. And this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food.’

Hertzog on Ewoks

March 7, 2016
[lovecraft] Lovecraftian Oral: Dead Squid Can Have Sex With Your Mouth … LOVECRAFT WAS RIGHT! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! … ‘Squid corpses, even when cooked, retain their sexual reflexes and have been known to inseminate our mouths. After eating calamari…a South Korean woman reported experiencing “severe pain” and a “pricking foreign-body sensation” in her mouth. From her tongue, inner cheeks, gums, throat, her doctor escised “twelve small, white, spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms.” These were spermatophores, whicih possess seriously tenacious ejaculatory apparati, and a cementlike body, which allows for their attachment to materials like the tongue, inner cheeks, gums…’
March 8, 2016
[movies] The Mystery of the Maltese Falcon, One of the Most Valuable Movie Prop … What happened to the statuettes used in The Maltese Falcon movie? …

Suddenly here it is, plopped down in the middle of an antique chessboard like a massive rook, a foot-high black statuette of a falcon. The hunched, brooding shoulders are instantly recognizable.

There is a long moment of silence.

“This is the thing dreams are made of,” Risan announces.

I’m not sure what to say. He has told me he actually owns two Falcons. I ask where the other one is. “I leave it downstairs,” Risan replies. “It’s too fucking evil. It has the presence of surrealism. American surrealism. The evocation of evil that it manifests is not normally the kind of thing I like to collect. I like the Warhols, the chessboards. So I leave it in the basement.”

This is a lot to digest. Risan senses my skepticism.

“I know, right?” he says with a smile. “Weird. Weird guy with a lot of art.”

March 9, 2016
[comics] From the Bayou to London: A Conversation with Artist John Totleben … interview with the legendary comic artist … ‘I think younger readers probably have already been exposed to those influences in other comics, so when they look at Miracleman it probably doesn’t seem like a bigger deal back in 1988 or whatever. They don’t get the full effect of that. It’s kind of similar to rock music where someone listens to Jimi Hendrix nowadays; they may not get the full effect of the intensity he really got across back then because all those influences have been absorbed into the culture of rock guitar techniques and so on. The full effect just can’t be felt. That’s what’s it’s like with Miracleman. You had to have been there.’
March 10, 2016
[comics] Cliff Chiang’s Mashups of 80’s Comics and Album Covers

80's Comics As Album Covers

March 14, 2016
[tv] Columblr … tumblr for The Just One More Thing podcast about Columbo. ‘In “An Exercise in Fatality,” gymnasium chain magnate Milo Janus’ (Robert Conrad) business double-dealings are about to be exposed by a disgruntled franchisee! What’s his wisest course of action? Why, cancel the fellow’s contract with a metal pipe to the throat and make it look like a tragic gym accident! As Columbo tries to put it all together, you’ll be plunged into a world of vitamins, sweaty dudes, X-rated Italian horror films, soulless bureaucracy, and Jim Rockford’s ladyfriend in a bikini…’
March 15, 2016
[books] American Psycho Author Bret Easton Ellis Tells Us Where Patrick Bateman Would Be Today‘There was the possibility to hide during Patrick’s ’80s reign that there simply isn’t now; we live in a fully exhibitionistic culture. Because he wasn’t a character to me as much as an emblem, an idea, I would probably approach him the same way now and address his greatest fear: Would anyone be paying any attention to him? One of the things that upsets Patrick is that, because of a kind of corporate lifestyle conformity, no one can really tell the other people apart (and what difference does it make, the novel asks). People are so lost in their narcissism that they are unable to distinguish one individual from another (this is why Patrick gets away with his crimes), which ties into how few things have really changed in American life since the late ’80s; they’ve just become more exaggerated and accepted. The idea of Patrick’s obsession with himself, with his likes and dislikes and his detailing—curating—everything he owns, wears, eats, and watches, has certainly reached a new apotheosis.’
March 16, 2016
[crime] Why did two parents murder their adopted child? … a long, disturbing true-crime story from Spain … ‘Immediately after his arrest, Basterra was put in a police cell next to his wife, separated by a flimsy partition through which they could speak – and be secretly recorded on video. The police amassed hours of tape but at no point in the recorded conversations was there any admission of guilt or any other evidence to use against Basterra and Porto (a court would also later declare the recordings inadmissible). “Look what trouble your overheated imagination has got us into,” was one of several enigmatic phrases used by Porto.’
March 17, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: March 2006 … Sex, death, terror, leopards and free goody bags – another average month in London…

Evening Standard Billboards: March 2006

March 18, 2016
[people] When Benny Hill met Anthony Burgess… Craig Brown remembers the odd meeting between the writer and comedian … ‘The two men met for the first time shortly after the review appeared. I was lucky enough to be present at this bizarre meeting. Both of them were remarkably like they were on television. Hill arrived first, as perky as can be, apparently over the moon at having been driven by a female taxi driver (“Oooh, I said, you can take me anywhere, my love!”). Burgess – histrionic, loquacious, with deep voice and furrowed brow, putting the emphasis on unexpected words – behaved just like a slightly hammy actor playing the part of Anthony Burgess. The two of them were full of mutual admiration, but never quite found common ground. All in all, it followed a similar pattern to T S Eliot’s meeting with Groucho Marx: the author wanted to show off his knowledge of comedians, while the comedian wanted to show off his knowledge of authors. By the end of the dinner it seemed to me unlikely they would ever meet again, and, as far as I know, they did not.’ [thanks Phil]
March 21, 2016
[kubrick] There’s Something About Stanley: Kubrick’s Strange Science Of Obsession … the search for meaning in Stanley Kubrick’s films… ‘What if the most meaningful clue is not in anything that the Kubraphiles are proposing, but in the fact that they are looking, and what if Kubrick intended this to happen? Allowing that it was more than just the deluded bid for immortality of a cosmically inflated ego, what might the end game be here? As I suspect every good Zen master will tell you, the nature of such a many-layered puzzle is that it’s not the answer but the experience of finding it that leads to understanding.’
March 22, 2016
[books] Some Kind Of Abstraction: Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho 25 Years On … Another look at American Psycho‘We’re a world away from the wry, toothless, plot-driven 80s satires of Tom Wolfe or Martin Amis here. In American Psycho we’re shown a tiny social circle in its antiseptic habitat. Not much of note happens outside of Bateman’s uncorroborated excesses. But refracted through his inner world, and thanks to Ellis’ gift for, well, writing, the tour we take is tense, energetic and – surprisingly, given what we’re shown – emotionally resonant.’
March 23, 2016
[moore] What Next For Providence? … Where is Alan Moore heading with Providence? … ‘Issues #5 and #6 are almost a two part story, where Black visits a city which is a major nexus of Lovecraft’s work, and intersects with several different stories, and many characters who act towards Black in an openly malevolent manner. I predict that #11 and #12 will be set in Providence, RI, and will feature Black’s inevitable doom after similarly intersecting with multiple stories and characters. “The Haunter of the Dark” has to appear. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward seems extremely likely’
March 24, 2016
[comics] A Gallery with some of Howard Chaykin’s black and white art

Panels from Howard Chaykin's Shadow

March 25, 2016
[books] Swansea Oxfam charity shop asks women not to return used Fifty Shades of Grey‘An Oxfam bookshop in Swansea is inundated with so many copies of the erotic novel – ‘literally hundreds’ – that they’ve started begging women to stop bringing them in. The shop now has so many copies of the book, they’ve built a fort out of them.’
March 28, 2016
[comics] Howard Chaykin Speaks … Chaykin, like Alan Moore, is unable to give a bad interview … ‘I’m on record everywhere regarding this – I’d like to think that had I known it was going to be that big a deal, I would have done a better job. That work will haunt me to my grave, diminishing the value of the actually good and true work I’ve produced in the past forty odd years. I figure my NYT obit will read HOWARD CHAYKIN DIES; FUCKED UP STAR WARS COMICS – AND REALLY NOW, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE HE DID, RIGHT?’
March 30, 2016
[work] HR Sends Out Reminder Email About Not Scrawling ‘Revenge’ In Blood In Conference Room‘“Most of you are already familiar with this rule, but just as a refresher, it’s directly against company policy for an employee to use blood to write ‘revenge’ on the conference room walls, door, or table,” wrote Shumaker, emphasizing that it did not matter if the word was rendered in human or animal blood.’
March 31, 2016
[tv] A Tribute to Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy

A tribute to Mrs Slocum's Pussy

April 1, 2016
[comics] Elektra: Assassin’s Political Satire Cuts Deep 30 Years Later … revisiting Miller & Sienkiewicz’s masterpiece … ‘I can’t overstate how much fun Miller and Sienkiewicz are having in this series. They’re two virtuoso talents at the peak of their powers, making satiric hay out of politics, government, the military, gender stereotypes and other comic books, which were (and still generally are) weak sauce compared to this.’
April 5, 2016
[books] In Hindsight, an ‘American Psycho’ Looks a Lot Like Us … one more look back at American Psycho … ‘With time, the book itself has picked up a good deal of grudging respect, too. It’s seen as a transgressive bag of broken glass that can be talked about alongside plasma-soaked trips like Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” (1962) and Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” (1985), even if relatively few suggest Mr. Ellis is in those novelists’ league. I read “American Psycho” for the first time recently, and this is certain: This novel was ahead of its time. The culture has shifted to make room for Bateman…’
April 6, 2016
[politics] Inside the Unorthodox Donald Trump Campaign‘A confluence of factors created the conditions for this election and Trump’s surprising success in it: the turbulence of economic change, anxiety about terrorism, the rise of social media, Obama-inspired racism, Hillary-inspired misogyny, resistance to all manner of social change; the list can go on and on. But one factor that’s been particularly crucial to Trump’s rise may be the way that reality television, cable news, and talk radio have shaped the culture’s sense of “reality” — in other words, its relationship to truth. If Ronald Reagan showed us that Hollywood was good training for politics, Trump is proving that the performance skills one learns in the more modern entertainment arenas are even more useful. Talk and reality shows are improvised operations, mastered by larger-than-life personalities expert at distorting and provoking, shifting and commandeering attention.’
April 7, 2016
[moore] Other Moore’s Laws … What if Alan Moore, Roger Moore and Michael Moore had their own laws?

Other Moore's Laws

April 8, 2016
[movies] ‘Superman,’ The Inside Story: Director Richard Donner Remembers Meeting Stallone to Play the Lead, Working With Brando, and a Near-Fatal Knife Attack … Richard Donner describes how Superman: The Movie got made …

I was brought up on Superman as a kid. There was a whole point in my life where I read Superman. So when I was finished with it, I was like, “Man, if they make this movie, they are destroying the legend of Superman.” I wanted to do it just to defend him.

I called [writer] Tom Mankiewicz, who had been a friend for years. He said, “I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to do a comic book.” I said, “Tom, it’s more than a comic book. Please come over.”

I got a little stoned, smoked some weed, put on the Superman costume. I was in pretty good shape then. It was like elastic. And Tom pulled up, and I ran across the lawn and Tom turned and looked at me and ran back to his car.

Tom says, “You’re crazy. Get the f— away from me!”

April 12, 2016
[tv] Findable.TV … useful website to search all popular streaming sites in the US and UK to find the movies and TV you want.
April 13, 2016
[politics] Has Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor Seumas Milne gone rogue? … an interesing profile (but written by Alex Wickham so YMMV) … ‘A recurring theme is Milne’s disconcertingly endearing comic character. Dressing in a communist-chic black rollneck jumper and white chinos, Milne offers great value as a self-deprecating self-parody. “He’s like Swallows And Amazons meets Spetsnaz,” says one journalist who has worked with him.’ [thanks Phil]
April 14, 2016
[tech] How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting … An interesting look at the history of the ballpoint pen and it’s role in the decline of cursive handwriting … ‘My fountain pen is a modern one, and probably not a great representation of the typical pens of the 1940s—but it still has some of the troubles that plagued the fountain pens and quills of old. I have to be careful where I rest my hand on the paper, or risk smudging my last still-wet line into an illegible blur. And since the thin ink flows more quickly, I have to refill the pen frequently. The ballpoint solved these problems, giving writers a long-lasting pen and a smudge-free paper for the low cost of some extra hand pressure.’
April 15, 2016
[comics] Art: Wally Wood’s Sound Effects…. and much more … a gallery of Wally Wood comics …

Wally Wood's Sound Effects! Page 1

April 18, 2016
[comics] The Evolution of Daniel Clowes … Nicely done profile of Clowes career… ‘Eightball was like seeing Clowes’ id, ego, and super-ego splayed out on the page. Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron translated his dreams (dreams being a frequent source of inspiration and analysis for Clowes) into a darkly bizarre journey into sexual perversion; Pussey lampooned every level and segment of the comics industry with unreserved viciousness. In short, odd stories, loners and misanthropes navigated a world of rampant ignorance and crass consumerism. In autobiographical diatribes and skillful pop parodies, Clowes gouged at the grotesqueness of American culture until its eyes were bloody, and always made sure to save a few jabs for his least-favorite subject: himself.’
April 19, 2016
[religion] I sniffed the end of the world, and it smells like bile and dread … Two artists have created what Armageddon smells like .. ‘To put it somewhat intestinally, Apocalypse left me with an undeniable feeling of dread, right there in my bowels. It felt like the nasal equivalent of a subsonic frequency.’
April 20, 2016
[tv] Teletext time travel … a fascinating look at how lost Teletext pages are being recovered from VHS tapes … ‘The pages are a snapshot of life in the 1980s – British Rail train times, Mrs Thatcher’s opinions, new pound coins and Gus Honeybun – and therefore fascinating for historians of modern life…’

Recovered Teletext Page

April 21, 2016
[life] Deep Intellect … a wonderful article on the alert, intelligent, playful minds of octopuses… ‘Only recently have scientists accorded chimpanzees, so closely related to humans we can share blood transfusions, the dignity of having a mind. But now, increasingly, researchers who study octopuses are convinced that these boneless, alien animals — creatures whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago — have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities. Their findings are challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.’
April 22, 2016
[life] Universe Feels Zero Connection To Guy Tripping On Mushrooms‘Frankly, I feel like he and I are as separate and unconnected as we’ve always been. Sure, he seems like a decent person, but have we at some level blended together into a single cosmic entity, flowing through each other and commingling our energies? Definitely not.’
April 25, 2016
[comics] Bill Sienkiewicz reminiscences about meeting Gary Groth‘I turn, Gary is taking big fast purposeful strides toward me, a nickel-plated revolver in both hands, looks like a S&W .357 magnum/4 in. barrel. I jump back because, one, I don’t know Gary that well, two, he’s got a gun, intent, and I’m not stupid. Gary ignores me and slides into where I was standing, aiming the pistol at the VW with both hands…’
April 26, 2016
[movies] An electrician remembers: I worked with Jack Nicholson and Stanley Kubrick‘It was a small crew and he used us for bit parts. Because they rarely shoot leading artists when you can’t see their face, he said to me: “You look like Jack – put on the jeans and boots.” In the film, when a semi-conscious Jack is dragged into the food store, those are my legs on screen. He asked me to be the guy in a bear suit with his arse hanging out and his head in a man’s lap at the end. But I said: “No, mate, I ain’t having that.” Could you imagine? Everyone at home saying: “That’s Bobby Tanswell.” Nope, sorry.’
April 27, 2016
[comics] Comics You Should Own – Elektra: Assassin … another look at one of my favourite comics … ‘I suppose this should be called a guilty pleasure, because there’s only a little in these comic books that is socially redeeming in any way. From the first few pages, Miller and Sienkiewicz grab us by the throat and refuse to let go. It’s impressive, when you read these in one sitting, how the creators keep the high level of energy over eight issues. There’s very little fluff here, which is amazing, considering the padding we often see in comics today. Even the “down time” in this book is packed with little details, both in the writing and the art, that doesn’t leave us much time to catch our breath…’
April 28, 2016
[comics] The 13 Most Interesting Time Travel Stories in Comics … a varied collection of comics to track down … ‘Three years before they would create 1986’s Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were honing their comic-creating skills by producing short stories for 2000 A.D. magazine. In one of the magazine’s recurring features called Time Twisters, they published a five-page story called Chronocops! that is considered one of Moore’s best early works, and one that would hint at the complex narrative skills he would demonstrate later in his career…’
April 29, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: March 2006 … Another average month in London: Death, more death, Cancer, Tom Cruise has a baby, John Prescott had an affair and pictures from a HORROR PUPPY FARM.

Evening Standard Billboards: April 2006

May 2, 2016
[crime] Criminals Explain How They Justified Their Crimes to Themselves … ‘These “techniques of neutralisation” form the basis of a concept known as “neutralisation theory”, which was posited by sociologists David Matza and Gresham Sykes in the 1950s. The theory holds that criminals are able to neutralise values that would otherwise prohibit them from carrying out certain acts by using one or up to five methods of justification: “denial of responsibility”, “denial of injury”, “denial of the victim”, “condemnation of the condemners” and “appealing to higher loyalties”.’
May 3, 2016
[comics] The Battle Over the Sea-Monkey Fortune … a fascinating look at the weird legal battle over the rights to Sea-Monkey novelties you saw in the back-pages of comic books …
The story began with the widow, whose name is Yolanda Signorelli von Braunhut. She is a onetime heir to the considerable fortune still generated by her husband Harold’s iconic invention, Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys. As her lawyer told it, she was now isolated, cash-starved, often without electricity or running water on a palatial estate on the Potomac River in southern Maryland. Having retreated to a single room in the old mansion, she was prepping for her second freezing winter, barricaded by thick quilts, her bed next to a fireplace stocked with split wood. From this bunker, Signorelli von Braunhut has been waging legal combat against Sam Harwell, chief executive of a big-time toy company whose name seems straight out of a Chuck Jones cartoon: Big Time Toys.
May 4, 2016
[politics] Maybe Donald Trump has really lost his mind: What if the GOP frontrunner isn’t crazy, but simply not well?‘The first time I wondered at something being not quite right with Trump’s brain was during the first debate in August 2015 when Trump said “We need brain in this country to turn it around.” Even my 10-year-old son noted that Trump had suggested we need intelligence in government in a really stupid way. But it was more than stupid; it was ungrammatical. It wasn’t simply a basic use of language; it lacked the grammar structure that even a third grader has readily available. And for all of the ease with which we Trump bash, it’s worth remembering that he did, in fact, graduate from Wharton as an undergraduate in economics. He might have been full of bluster back then, but I’m guessing he still could speak in a complete sentence.’
May 5, 2016
[internet] The Internet of Stings … from Tom Morris‘Every night you stay; I’ve hacked your Airbnb. I’ll be watching you, because I’ve put spyware on your laptop. Every smile you fake you post on Instagram.’
May 9, 2016
[movies] The Time they used a Whippet Dog as a Xenomorph … fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a failed special effect experiment for Alien³

Whippet Dog As Xenomorph in Alien³

May 10, 2016
[life] Existentialist Firefighter Delays 3 Deaths‘SCHAUMBURG, IL—In an ultimately futile act some have described as courageous and others have called a mere postponing of the inevitable, existentialist firefighter James Farber delayed three deaths Monday. “I’m no hero,” Farber said after rescuing the family from a house fire on the 2500 block of West Thacker Street, and prolonging for the time being their slow march toward oblivion.’
May 11, 2016
[comics] On the Winter Soldier’s Unprecedented Creation … a look-back at Captain America’s sidekick Bucky and the creation of the Winter Soldier … ‘Then came May 25, 2005, the day when issue No. 6 would reveal the Winter Soldier’s identity. “I was terrified that that was going to be the end of my career,” Brubaker recalls. “My fear was that people would think we’d jumped the shark or something.” It wasn’t an unreasonable fear. Previous status-quo-shaking comics events had marred sales and reputations — for example, there was a widely mocked ’90s tale about Spider-Man being revealed as a clone, and none of its creators emerged with their names unsullied. No. 6 hit stands, and, on page 17, readers got their first clear view of the Winter Soldier, his rifle trained at Captain America’s head. A friend of Cap’s who’d been captured by this mysterious figure tells our hero, “I think — I think it’s Bucky!” The man had long, brown hair — a request Brubaker says came from Quesada, who wanted to make it clear that Bucky wasn’t a kid anymore. He had a bionic arm with a Communist red star on it — Brubaker and Epting were tapping into the tradition of comic-book pseudoscience. And, lest we forget that he was still Bucky at his core, he had that classic little domino mask on. A reinvented icon had arrived.’
May 12, 2016
[kubrick] Stanley Kubrick’s personal copy of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining … with hand written marginalia from Kubrick … ‘Any problems with the kitchen – you phone me.’
May 13, 2016
[politics] I worked for Zac Goldsmith’s failed campaign – and this is what it looked like from the inside‘It doesn’t really matter that Zac Goldsmith can’t hold a pint, knows bugger all about Bollywood or football, and was, for a bizarre five minutes, jokingly rumoured to be the “Croydon Cat Killer”. These were unfortunate but forgivable blips. Running a campaign that draws ready (and ideologically coherent) support from the likes of Katie Hopkins is harder to excuse.’
May 16, 2016
[comics] 19 Comic Books To Turn You Into A Comics Reader … Great list to look up if you fancy a comic or two.
May 17, 2016
[comics] Philip Pullman: Why I love comics‘Their importance for children should not be underestimated. Pullman recalls visiting a school in Swindon in the early 1990s and noticing a copy of Watchmen, the now iconic comic-book series deconstructing the superhero genre, that was created by British writer Alan Moore, sticking out of a boy’s schoolbag. “I said to the boy: ‘So you’re reading Watchmen,’ and he said yeah, in the tone of ‘another adult’s going to patronise me’. Then we had a discussion that was analogous to literary discussion. Children take to comics naturally and are able to talk about them with great freedom and knowledge.” Did he let his two sons, both grown up, read comics? “I was shoving them into their hands!” He remembers in particular Judge Dredd.’
May 18, 2016
[movies] Behind the Scenes of Alien … amazing gallery of photos and designs from the production of Alien …

Eddie Powell in Alien Costume

May 19, 2016
[books] H. P. Lovecraft in 1919 … What was H. P. Lovecraft up to in 1919? … ‘Much of what we know of Lovecraft for this year comes from his amateur publications and his few surviving letters—only a handful have survived from this period—but it was a quietly formative year in his life. The discovery of Lord Dunsany gave shape to his experiments in fiction, and he began to find his own voice and preferred style, while the hospitalization of his mother gave him an unexpected freedom, living alone for the first time.’
May 23, 2016
[movies] Some thoughts on Blade Runner … by Nathan Jurgenson‘Bladerunner is also very much like the cyborg genre in other ways, for example, in its approach to sex and gender. Deckard (a cop who is finishing off the genocide of a group of sentient slave laborers who attempted to cast away their chains) becomes attracted to the Rachael replicant precisely because she is confused and vulnerable. For both Pris and Rachael, and also Samantha in Her and Ava in Ex Machina, the men in these movies are sexually attracted not to wires and circuits but childlike vulnerability. Pris and Ava are in on it, manipulating men by pretending to be childlike fantasy objects. Samantha and Rachael instead merely reflect that same desire in those making and watching the films. Deckard makes this most explicit when he has Rachael in his apartment and starts kissing her. She tries to escape, but Deckard doesn’t let her. She says no, and he says her no is really a yes, and repeats this until she complies. Deckard is attracted to telling her how to say yes, how to desire, to make decisions for her, and ultimately be her savior. Like most cyborg movies, the cyborg is a fembot, and the movies ultimately say more about sex than technology.’
May 24, 2016
[life] List: Things the World’s Most and Least Privileged People Say.‘My children aren’t vaccinated!’
May 25, 2016
[food] 24 Absolutely Horrendous Vintage Recipes‘HAM IN ASPIC’

Ham in Aspic

May 26, 2016
[comics] A leather-clad Tinkerbell … a reread / review of Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill’s Marshall Law … ‘The first couple of issues mix cartoon satire and the grim ‘n gritty flavour of the time fairly uneasily. Putting it out front; the first sequence, when we stalk and murder a strippogram dressed as a superheroine, isn’t good. It’s all shown through the killers eyes and the killing is blatantly sexualised. Not just the death-by-claw-penetration, which you could perhaps make a thematic case for, but the fact that in four shots of the corpse falling from a tall building every one of them is a titshot. That’s something nobody was uncomfortable with back then – these were adult comics, Biff Bam Pow not just for kids – but is profoundly uncomfortable now. And Lynn, the Marshal’s girlfriend in his secret identity, gets three pages of loving relationship which ends with them getting it on before she’s dressed in Celeste’s costume and is leered at, stalked, raped and murdered to better motivate our protagonist. A woman in a refrigerator before they’d been named.’
May 27, 2016
[work] Job candidate lists ‘desk where nobody can see my screen’ as deal breaker‘Cooper said, “I find that I work better on my own, and in as secluded a space as possible. When nobody can see me, or even if they don’t know I’m actually there, I achieve a Zen state of productivity and you can watch my output increase tenfold. It is not, repeat NOT about playing Minecraft on company time…”’
May 31, 2016
[billboards] Evening Standard Billboard Flashback: May 2006 … ‘PRESCOTT CAUGHT OUT AGAIN’

Evening Standard Billboards: May 2006

June 1, 2016
[doom] Doom was video gaming’s punk moment … a look back at Doom … ‘People talk about how Reservoir Dogs made violence into ballet – well Doom turned it into a mosh pit. In Doom, violence was the communicative medium of the world. And it was astonishing, breathtaking fun. All great popular works simultaneously reflect and re-construct the subculture they emerge from. They have an energy that crackles with life and youth, you feel it under your skin, it bursts through your veins like adrenaline. Doom dragged video game design away from the structures set out by the 1980s arcades and set a new blueprint. It told us that things were going to be different from now on and you’d better be ready.’
June 2, 2016
[web] The Perks Are Great. Just Don’t Ask Us What We Do … What working for an adware company is like … ‘Tyler was not pleased when a colleague finally explained the business model to him. “Wait, really? That’s what we do?” he remembers thinking. “We’re that skeezy toolbar company that your grandmother installs that she can’t get out and she’s got seven of ’em and her computer doesn’t work anymore?” Oops.’
June 3, 2016
[murder] I know who killed the Black Dahlia: my own father … a compelling story about a retired cop investigating his father for the murder Elizabeth Short‘Steve says that, for him, the Black Dahlia case is like a loose thread in a sweater: you tug on it gently, thinking you’ve come to the end, and it continues to unravel. There has never been a comfortable end point to conclude his investigation: each piece of evidence leads to another, in turn leading to another crime. All told, Steve believes he’s located a trail that connects his father to dozens of murders, stretching across California. Details from murders in Los Angeles lead Steve to a string of murders in Chicago, which then led him to Manila and the slaying of a 28-year-old woman named Lucila Lalu, whose dismembered body had been found situated oddly like Short’s.’ [thanks Phil]
June 6, 2016
[comics] A New Theory on Providence’s Ending … where is Alan Moore heading with Providence? … ‘The monsters do not need to be made real. The monsters of Providence ARE real already. What they actually want is nearly the opposite. The Apocalypse sought by the monsters is similar to the one Moore initially seemed to be setting up in Promethea. The monsters are preparing to REMOVE themselves from reality, where they are (despite their best efforts) mortal and vulnerable, instead ascending to the immortal state of dreams and fictions.’
June 7, 2016
[comics] BATSOWL – The British Batman of 1918 … the remarkable find of a British prose story similar to Batman produced for children in 1918 … ‘However, the notion of costumed ‘bat-men’ didn’t originate with Bob Kane’s creation. One such earlier character was Batsowl, who starred in a series of prose stories in the British comic Illustrated Chips in 1918. I’m not suggesting for a moment that there was any connection of course. Bob Kane was born in 1915, so it’s highly unlikely he’d have seen a British comic when he was three years old. However, there are some interesting similarities between the two characters’
June 8, 2016
[comics] Original hand-painted color guides by Frank Miller … some interesting original art found on The Bristol Board

Hand painted Daredevil Colour Guides by Frank Miller

June 9, 2016
[books] Real Book Thieves: Most Commonly Stolen Books… from Libraries and Book Stores … ‘Graphic Novels. The majority of book thieves are young, white males, and this is what they read.’ [via Kottke]
June 10, 2016
[anime] How Akira sent shockwaves through pop culture and changed it‘Akira sailed in on a river of blood and cartoon nudity. It looked different to previous anime features, as Otomo took Hollywood films like Bonnie & Clyde as inspiration. The result was a visual paroxysm: the final product pried open audience’s eyes by using a record 327 colours, 50 of which were created specifically for the production. (Akira Red is a thing, apparently.)’
June 13, 2016
[hetzog] Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World Trailer … the official trailer for Werner Herzog’s film about the Internet … ‘Have the monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be tweeting.’ [via Kottke]
June 14, 2016
[comics] Providence Ghoul Photoshoot Interview with Susanna Peretz… Peretz is the creator of the Ghoul masks used in a photo in Providence #7 … ‘The products and materials alone came to around two thousand pounds [nearly $3,000 U.S.]. On top of that you have to consider two months work to produce the pieces, studio costs, assistant’s fees, actor’s fees, location hire, camera, lighting… It all adds up but it is this attention to detail and realism that sets Alan’s work apart.’
June 15, 2016
[web] Hail-Hydra.com… where on earth could Hail Hydra! dot com redirect to? :)
June 16, 2016
[euref] The Five Main Reasons you should Vote Remain…

The five main reasons you should vote remain...

June 20, 2016
[internet] Lonelygirl15: how one mysterious vlogger changed the internet… fascinating back story behind one of Youtube’s earliest web series which turned out to be professionally done … ‘As far as Beckett was concerned, it was a race against time before someone else pipped them to the post. He said: “Somebody was going to create a scripted show on YouTube that uses the vlogger format and if they were marketing savvy they would make it feel real so there would be talk about it. “If we didn’t do it, then somebody else would.” The business side was headed up by their friend Greg Goodfried, a lawyer who later became one of the show’s producers. His wife Amanda, then working at the Creative Artists’ Agency (CAA), was tasked with maintaining Bree’s Myspace page. They had a plan, they had the webcam, they had the scripts. All they needed now, was the right girl for the part.’
June 21, 2016
[philosophy] The Philosopher’s Jumper … a black wool jumper suitable for a philosopher – only £125! ‘Since 1953 (when the German philosopher Martin Heidegger bought one in a shop in Hamburg), the black jumper has been the philosopher’s costume of choice. It has taken pride of place in the wardrobes of philosophical figures as diverse as Herbert Marcuse, Iris Murdoch, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. The Philosopher’s Jumper, designed in collaboration with Bella Freud, invites us to share in the philosophical life: one of soul-searching, interesting relationships, impassioned argument and bold speculation.’
June 22, 2016
[comics] Deni Loubert: “It Was Him & Me Against The World” … Deni Loubert on Dave Sim … ‘Truthfully, when I look back on those Cerebus days when it was him and me against the world — that’s how we always used to refer to it — it was marvelous, it was what I thought love was about. Those were the good years but when the bipolar started to show up and he started to not trust me about stuff, that’s when it started to change. I long for that sweet boy who told me he was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty by drawing comic books.’
June 23, 2016
[euref] 16 Times The EU Referendum Was Improved By Alan Partridge Quotes‘Knowing me, knowing EU. Aha!’

Bojo, Cameron and Alan Partridge

June 24, 2016
[space] The sounds of starships … Metafilter on using the ambient engine sounds of fictional spaceships as white noise … ‘The background engine noises of iconic science fiction spaceships can be remarkably soothing. That is why Spike Snell created 12-hour sound loops…’
June 27, 2016
[euref] Has article 50 been invoked? … Every crisis needs a single-serving website … ‘No – 4 days since the EU referendum on June 23, 2016’
June 28, 2016
[comics] “I Love Second Acts in Comics” … Jason Shiga – creator of Demon – interviewed … ‘Well, I submitted Demon to publishers maybe two years ago, and honestly I was kind of unreasonable about it. I had a number of demands. It’s a serial, so it must be released as pamphlets! They should be monthly 24- or 32-page pamphlets, because Demon is an homage to the old superhero comics or 1990s alternative comics. (Those are some of my favorite comics, like Hate by Peter Bagge.) I also refused to remove anything. There’s a scene where the main character constructs a shank out of dried semen. There’s another scene where the antagonist farts semen into the main character’s face. There’s camel sex. I was like, “I will not change a single panel!” Also, a lot of the issues were insane. Issue seven was four pages long, and I insisted it must be four pages long. There’s another issue that has no images in it, but I think it might still be a comic and I insisted this issue must exist as well.’

Page 1 of 212