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February 1, 2017
[trump] Screaming About Trump Into a Well: A Text Adventure

>scream into the well about Trump moving forward with building a wall between Mexico

You scream. The well echoes back that Mexico will never reimburse the cost and wonders why Republicans are so willing to pay for an ineffectual wall but not a social safety net.

Yes, this is the best you’ve felt since election night! The well is your friend.

Unfortunately all this screaming is making your head flush and hot. If you want to continue screaming, you’ll have to find a way to cool off.

The air inside the well feels nice.

>lean further into the well

February 2, 2017
[politics] The man who could make Marine Le Pen president of France … a profile of Marine Le Pen’s right hand man… ‘The night Britain voted on whether to leave the European Union, before the polls had even closed, Philippot hosted a Front National Brexit celebration dinner at a Parisian bistro. Marine Le Pen was there, smiling and laughing, eating fish and chips and waving French and British flags. Philippot later said that there were two key moments in his life when he cried – when his mother died in 2009 and his tears of joy when Britain voted to leave the EU.’
February 3, 2017
[kubrick] The Shining: Who is the Man in the Bear Costume?

February 6, 2017
[ftangn!] Does An Octopus Have A Soul? This Author Thinks So… another look at the crafty, intelligent and playful minds of Octopuses … ‘Oh, boy, can they run! [Laughs] At the Middlebury Octopus Lab in Vermont they work with very small, pocket octopuses. The students often try to get them out of the tanks to run mazes or for experiments and these little guys will use the net like a trampoline, jump off the net on to the floor and run around like a cat! One student was chasing an octopus around, thinking, “This is insane, this can’t be happening!” But, it totally was happening. Octopuses are also really smart about getting out of their tanks. Aquariums work really hard to make octopus-proof lids. They’ve been known to free themselves, get in an adjacent tank and eat everybody in that tank. At the Seattle Aquarium they had octopuses in a tank with sharks. They were worried about whether the octopus would be safe around the sharks. Then the sharks started turning up dead—not eaten. Killed. Clearly, the octopus was worried about the sharks, too, and preemptively killed them!’
February 7, 2017
[movies] The Other Kane … the fascinating story of the other actor who (briefly) played Kane in Alien before John Hurt … ‘In the beginning, the actor portraying Kane was Shakespearean stage veteran, Jon Finch. The story of Finch’s departure is somewhat muddled. Most sources agree that Finch left the film due to a diabetic attack, which is denied by Finch himself. Some say that Finch’s illness revealed itself before the cameras, another says it took place in a plasterer’s chair. Some say he filmed for weeks, some say he filmed for days, and some say he filmed for merely one shot.’
February 8, 2017
[fascism] “Dude! Let me in!”

February 9, 2017
[movies] Gene Hackman: 10 essential films‘Less well known than The Conversation, but just as impressive, Night Moves is one of the great thrillers of the 1970s. It’s a detective story in which Hackman plays Harry Moseby, a football player turned private eye who gets caught in the middle of dubious activities in the Florida Keys. He’s on his very best form, the tough humour hiding a deep sensitivity about his decaying marriage and his own personal failures, and he relishes the literate, witty dialogue provided by Alan Sharp and the chance to play opposite the splendid Jennifer Warren, an actor with whom he has great chemistry.’
February 10, 2017
[tech] "Alexa…" — Stuart from Feeling Listless reviews the Amazon Echo/Dot. ‘Within a day of installation it had replaced the bell alarm clock which has woken me ever day since my 18th birthday with just a simple directive to play its space age sounding alarm at 6.45am each morning. I no longer get out of bed to tune to the Today programme on Radio Four. I’ll ask it for the news and it’ll play me the BBC radio headlines both from Radio 2 and the World Service. I’ll ask for NPR and I’ll receive the hourly bulletin from Washington. No need to check the BBC weather app either. Alexa knows how cold it is out there.’
February 13, 2017
[herzog] Werner Herzog Valentines‘The trees are in misery. The birds do not sing to you, my valentine, they just screech in pain.’
February 14, 2017
[valentines] Robocop Valentines

February 15, 2017
[books] Xenu’s Paradox: The Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard and the Making of Scientology … interesting overview of L. Ron Hubbard’s writing career and how it influenced Scientology …

The story itself, which has become more familiar than Hubbard or any of his disciples ever intended, revolves around the figure of Xenu, the tyrannical dictator of the Galactic Confederation. Millions of years ago, Xenu, faced with an overpopulation crisis, threw hordes of his own people into volcanoes on the planet Earth—then known as Teegeeack—and blew them up with atomic bombs. Their spirits, called thetans, survive to the present day, clinging to unsuspecting humans, and they can only be removed through dianetic auditing, a form of talk therapy that clears the subject of its unwanted passengers.

One of the church members who read this account was screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who was a devoted Scientologist for over three decades before resigning in an ugly public split. Haggis told Lawrence Wright, the author of the seminal New Yorker piece that became the exposé Going Clear, that after finishing the story, he got the wild idea that it was some sort of insanity test—if you believed it, you were kicked out. When he asked his supervisor for clarification, he was informed: “It is what it is.” Haggis read it again, but the same thought continued to resound in his brain: “This is madness.”

Hubbard himself had another term for it. In an insertion to the original manuscript, squeezed between two lines, the author left his own description of what he had written: “Very space opera.”

February 16, 2017
[Politics] Is Theresa May up to the job of prime minister? Here’s how to tell‘There is a Shakespearean dimension to the way British prime ministers meet their tragic destinies. The seeds of their downfall are sown as they rise to the top. Thatcher glittered in the October 1974 election when as shadow environment secretary she pledged to abolish rates, the unpopular property tax. A few months later she was leader. Yet when she finally abolished the rates as prime minister, replacing them with the poll tax, the policy destroyed her. Cameron appeased Eurosceptics in his leadership contest by pledging that Conservatives would leave the centre-right grouping in the European parliament. He won, and then appeased them again as leader by holding the referendum that killed off his political career. Blair was propelled to power by his belief in third way politics, an attachment that led him to the hell of Iraq as he sought to back the US and yet persuade it to work with the UN – his fatal third way.’
February 20, 2017
[politics] Dear President Bannon: Congratulations On Your Upgrade to Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of the Abyss!‘We thank you for your use of our offerings, including Graft, Pandering, Deceit, and the Promotion of Discord. You earned your Fraud points through a surprising variety of purchases, ranging from tax evasion to promoting white supremacy. The bulk of your Fraud points were earned, of course, through your war against Islam, a religion you slandered in Breitbart News and in your “documentaries.” Once you became a Presidential advisor, you started earning triple points with your Muslim-targeted immigration ban. (We apologize that the product broke immediately upon delivery.)’
February 21, 2017
[politics] Paul Nuttall’s autobiography to be a Choose Your Own Adventure book‘If you want to be leader of UKIP, turn to page 23, if you want to battle a goblin for ten gold coins, turn to page 144. UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is to tell of his many adventures in a new autobiography called The Kipper of Firetop Mountain, he has revealed this morning….’
February 22, 2017
[books] Fictional characters make ‘experiential crossings’ into real life, study finds … a look at the power of fiction on readers’s inner lives … ‘The term covers a wide range of experiences, from hearing a character’s voice to feeling one’s own thoughts shaped by a character’s ideas, sensibility or presence, he continued. “One respondent, for example, described ‘feeling enveloped’ by [Virginia Woolf’s] character Clarissa Dalloway – hearing her voice and imagining her response to particular situations, such as walking into a Starbucks. Sometimes the experience seemed to be triggered by entering a real-world setting similar to one in the novel; in other situations, it felt like seeing the world through a particular character’s eyes, and judging events as the character would.”’
February 23, 2017
[ukip] An absolutely authentic quote from Paul Nuttall…

February 24, 2017
[comics] The 20 comics to watch out for in 2017‘Dissolving Classroom by Junji Ito (Vertical, January) After an eight-year break from the medium, 2015 provided two Ito books that left many questioning whether the horror master was losing his touch. But he remains one of the few Japanese cartoonists who is able to connect with a wide global audience, so all eyes will be on this new collection detailing the depths a teenager will go to to get revenge on the world.’
February 27, 2017
[comics] 40 years of 2000AD: looking back on the future of comic books … 2000AD celebrated it’s 40th birthday yesterday…

Back when IPC execs were tossing around ideas for the title of the new comic, Pat Mills vividly remembers the then publisher John Sanders coming up with the futuristic name. “I said to John: ‘What happens when we reach the year 2000? What will we call it then?’” Mills laughs. “He said to me, ‘Don’t worry, Pat. If it lasts three or four years we’ll count ourselves lucky.’”

February 28, 2017
[crime] Serial Killers Should Fear This Algorithm … hunting serial killers with statistics … ‘He spent months trying to develop an algorithm that would identify unsolved cases with enough commonalities to suggest the same murderer. Eventually, he decided to reverse-engineer the algorithm by testing his ideas against one well-known case, that of Gary Ridgway, the so-called Green River Killer, who confessed to killing 48 women over two decades in the Seattle area. Hargrove thought that if he could devise an algorithm that turned up the Green River Killer’s victims, he’d know he was on the right track. “We found a hundred things that didn’t work,” he recalls. Finally, he settled on four characteristics for what’s called a cluster analysis: geography, sex, age group, and method of killing. For gender, he stuck with women, since they make up the vast majority of multiple-murder victims who aren’t connected to gang-related activity. When he used women between the ages of 20 and 50—the cohort most commonly targeted by serial killers—the algorithm lit up like a slot machine’