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10 November 2017
[truecrime] Outside the Manson Pinkberry … a long, thoughful dive into the world of Manson Family bloggers‘I found the Manson Bloggers so intent on each other that my arrival barely registered. They were talking shop with the eagerness of model-train enthusiasts. I grabbed a beer and tried to follow the rapid-fire discussion about unsolved Northern California murders and Roman Polanski’s sexual preferences. It was tricky—like all subcultures, when the Manson Bloggers feel safe, they speak in a kind of in-group argot, full of nicknames, acronyms, and arcane references. There were hardly any mentions of husbands, wives, children, jobs, any of the infrastructure of daily life. Instead, they gossiped about minor Manson Family characters as if they were mutual friends.’
9 November 2017
[mac] The Twiggy Mac Lives! The Quest To Resurrect The World’s Oldest Macintosh‘How did this Mac survive? Was this the only one? The owner of the mysterious machine, posting as “mactwiggy” and known publicly only as Jay, said at the time that he bought the system after seeing it advertised online. “The elderly gentleman I purchased it off of is a retired engraver,” Jay wrote on Applefritter’s forums. “The company he worked for was hired to make some award medallions for a ceremony at Apple. It would have been some point in 1983 I personally think, but he really couldn’t recall. They sent over this Mac to use as a model for him to work off of. When the job was done, they tried to make arrangements to send it back. Apparently after several attempts, Apple just told them to keep it.” The seller knew he had a highly collectible computer, but was willing to sell the piece at a less-than-maximum price to avoid dealing with potential buyers. “He was really just happy it was going to someone who knew what it was and would appreciate it,” Jay wrote. It was major find — truly a Mac collector’s dream.’
8 November 2017
[comics] From Zadie Smith to Ethan Hawke: why we love graphic novels … Celebrities discuss their favourite comics. Sam Bain: ‘The four artists I’ve followed with the most devotion are Chester Brown, Jaime Hernandez, Daniel Clowes and Joe Matt. Peter Bagge’s Hate was a favourite of mine and Jesse [Armstrong]’s when we started writing sitcoms in the late 90s. The first 12 issues in particular are a perfect sitcom and so much fresher and more contemporary than what was on TV at the time. Joe Matt’s Peepshow was also an influence, unsurprisingly! I had the opportunity to take Joe out for lunch in Los Angeles recently to thank him for his incredible body of work and to encourage him to produce more comics.’
7 November 2017
[prison] Insane Prisoner Inventions: 24 DIY Prison Tools & Weapons … a fascinating look at what prisoners build inside prison. Below is picture of a knuckleduster…

6 November 2017
[life] The laws of stupidity according to economist Carlo M. Cipolla … The Five Laws of Human Stupidity seems very relevant to our times … ‘Law 3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses. Cipolla called this one the Golden Law of stupidity. A stupid person, according to the economist, is one who causes problems for others without any clear benefit to himself. The uncle unable to stop himself from posting fake news articles to Facebook? Stupid. The customer service representative who keeps you on the phone for an hour, hangs up on you twice, and somehow still manages to screw up your account? Stupid.’
3 November 2017
[movies] 42 Facts Every “Ghost World” Fan Should Know’18. The studio wanted someone like Russell Crowe or Harrison Ford to play Seymour. 19. They also considered Nathan Lane for the role. 20. But Zwigoff always knew he wanted to cast Steve Buscemi in that role. “I had to call him and threaten to hang myself if he wouldn’t take the part,” he said.’
2 November 2017
[kubrick] Danny Lloyd – the kid in The Shining: ‘I was promised that tricycle after filming but it never came’ … Whatever happened to the child who played Danny Torrance in the The Shining?

Kubrick and his team protected him from the scary stuff, Lloyd says. In one scene, where Wendy runs screaming through the hotel with Danny in her arms, Duvall carried a lifesize doll. “I specifically remember I was banned from the set for the entire time Scatman Crothers was being axed,” he says laughing. There is something nice and Tom Hanks-y about his measured tone and efforts not to say anything mean or controversial.

I read that he accidentally walked in on Jack Nicholson filming “Here’s Johnny!” (voted the scariest scene movie history a few years ago). Is that true? “Yes, but not the actual ‘Here’s Johnny’ bit. Jack was out in the hallway with the axe. He was having fun and goofing off. I think it was a plastic axe he had. Both my parents were there and we were laughing. That wasn’t scary.”

1 November 2017
[books] Famous Authors Reply to Your Unsolicited Dick Pic … Mary Shelley: ‘I behold the wretch — the miserable monster whom I had help create. He takes up the entire screen; and this dick pic, if dick pic it might be called, is fixed on me. The veins throb, and it lurches forward disturbingly, while a single tear weeps from the tip. Your one hand is stretched out, seemingly to grip him, but I avert my eyes and delete the image. I take refuge in my Candy Crush challenges, where I remain during the rest of the night…’
31 October 2017
[books] Philip Pullman’s swearwords are a useful lesson for children … Why swearing isn’t bad for children … ‘Children also learn, from a surprisingly early age, that swearing isn’t all negative. Research shows that swearing is linked with all kinds of emotional states, including joy, surprise and fear. By learning to swear, children learn to understand other people’s feelings in a more nuanced way. “Children learn that curse words intensify emotions in a manner that non-curse words cannot achieve,” says Professor Jay. But the biggest advantage, from my perspective as a parent, comes from studies dating back as far as the 1930s, which show that swearing quickly replaces biting, hitting, and screaming as children develop. To which I must say, thank fuck for that.’
30 October 2017
[life] Man Gets Life In Order For 36 Minutes‘During this period, he did not once concern himself with his finances, his in-laws, or his dental coverage. And as his mind began to wander freely, he neither relived painful humiliations from his past, nor felt any anxiety about his personal shortcomings.’
27 October 2017
[comics] Untitled Comic Strip by Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb from American Splendour in 1980 … ‘So much is said in silence….’

26 October 2017
[tv] It was acceptable in the 80s: why Magnum PI should be spared reboot hell‘Magnum PI, for crying out loud. Is nothing sacred? Sure, on the surface, the original Magnum PI was just one of a glut of post-Vietnam shows about vigilante justice with a charismatic male lead and storylines that wrapped up neatly at the top of the hour. But it was special. Everyone knows it was special. By some absurd alchemy Magnum PI ended up perfectly written, perfectly cast and perfectly soundtracked, managing to be both of its time and utterly timeless. You don’t mess with Magnum PI.’
25 October 2017
[true-crime] ‘We found who killed your sister.’ 48 years later, a cold case is solved … a true crime story from Los Angeles … ‘The investigators frequently flipped through those files, looking for the clues that could lead them to Halison’s killer. Last summer, they asked Klann to run the DNA again, hoping improved technology would finally help them identify enough markers to upload the sample in the state’s system. When Klann got the results, he said, he immediately sent Bengtson a text message. “Are you sitting down?” he wrote…’
24 October 2017
[comics] The Alan Moore 2016 Christmas Interviews – Part IV… includes Alan’s walking tour of the Boroughs in Northampton and some thoughts on translating his work into other languages … ‘Turn around, and head back down George’s Row and the south flank of All Saints until you have reached the front of the church, the pillared portico where Audrey Vernon’s parents sat all night after her recital of ‘Whispering Grass’. Across the road you will see the mouth of Gold Street, with the jewellers to the left where Ann Timson saw off three sledge-hammer wielding robbers with her handbag a few years ago. I’m sure this incident is available on Youtube, and is always good for an admiring laugh.’
20 October 2017
[life] Somebody should have advised Niall Horan that naming his debut album Fucker Flicker was a mistake.

19 October 2017
[web] Ev Williams Wants To Save Media — Again. But Some Writers And Publishers Are Skeptical. … engrossing long read on Ev Williams latest attempts to change online journalism … ‘At the time of the Napa retreat, the company practiced “holocracy,” a management philosophy that in theory avoids a hierarchical management structure by empowering employees to make business decisions. But it didn’t always work that way at Medium. Former employees said they often had to work backward, unpacking Williams’ vague and shifting mission statements to figure out what, exactly, he wanted them to do. After the company retreat, several sources said, Medium’s 25 or so editorial employees entered into a months-long period of awkwardness: They weren’t laid off outright, but they got signals that the goals of the company were no longer aligned with their presence. “We had this series of work groups where you tried to figure out what your job and the future of publishing was,” one source said. Former employees suspected that Medium was trying to thin out its editorial staff by attrition.’
18 October 2017
[wikipedia] 19 Wikipedia Pages That’ll Send You Into A Week-Long Wikihole … a great time wasting list … List of common misconceptions: ‘This list is basically what it says on the tin: a bunch of facts that you think you know but aren’t really facts at all. For example, I was upset to learn that Thomas Crapper (the guy in the above photo) didn’t actually invent the flushing toilet. He just made them more popular. Also, less surprisingly, Einstein didn’t really fail maths, and when he heard this claim he said “before I was 15 I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” No need to brag, Albert.’
17 October 2017
[comics] Some Marvel(ous) Covers Of Bill Sienkiewicz … great gallery with some less well known covers …

16 October 2017
[tv] 16 Peaceful Things To Watch On Netflix When You Just Want To Relax … Buzzfeed on stress-free slow television … ‘ Fireplace For Your Home – Watch on: Netflix Worldwide – A crackling fire, hot apple cider, and a warm blanket. Mind-numbing bliss.’
11 October 2017
[tv] Your New TV Ruins Movies‘Filmmakers were not content to make movies with video cameras until those cameras could shoot 24p, because video, with its many-frames-per-second, looks like reality, like the evening news, like a live broadcast or a daytime soap opera; whereas 24p film, by showing us less, looks somehow larger than life, like a dream, like a story being told rather than an event being documented. This seemingly technical issue turns out to have an enormous emotional effect on the viewer. These days, any TV you are likely to buy, will, by default, have technology enabled that completely changes the emotional quality of the movies you watch. This is a cinematic disaster.’ [via Feeling Listless]
10 October 2017
[docu] Louis Theroux Explains the Staged Realities of ‘My Scientology Movie’ … interesting Q&A interview … ‘You get that feeling—which is some of my favorite material in documentaries in general—that the wheels have come off. Someone says, “Fuck you,” the set wobbles, and the mic drops down. You hear them on the mic: “I’m fucking done with this shit. Go join the cult of Louis Theroux if you want to.” There’s an electricity to that kind of material, where it’s slightly going awry. When [Rathbun] is like, “Your questions are fucking insipid and repetitive. Ask me a real question,” he’s basically saying, “You’re a bullshit journalist, and I’m sick of you.” That crackles with the quality of real life.’
9 October 2017
[alien] 32 Things We Learned From the ‘Alien’ Commentary … some notes from an audio commentary on Alien

“He’s a Replicant, basically,” says Scott about Ash. Yes, we get it, Ridley. Decker is a Replicant. Ash is a Replicant. We’re all Replicants. You happy? He does point out Ash’s quick, little jog in place might be a clue to him being a robot, that maybe all robots get stiff and need to keep their joints active. Someone go see if Harrison Ford ever does that in Blade Runner.

5 October 2017
[movies] Risky Business Dance with “Realistic” Audio … What might Tom Cruise dancing in Risky Business sound like with no music? …

4 October 2017
[movies] This Future Looks Familiar: Watching Blade Runner in 2017 … a nicely written fresh view on Blade Runner

There are cops, and there are little people.

There is a whole class of slaves. It is illegal for them to escape slavery. The cops are supposed to murder the slaves if they escape, because there is a risk that they will start to think they’re people. But the cops know that the slaves are not people, so it’s okay to murder them. The greatest danger, the thing the cops are supposed to prevent, is that the slaves will try to assimilate into the society that relies on their labor.

Assimilation is designed to be impossible. There are tests. Impossible tests with impossible questions and impossible answers. The tests measure empathy. It is not about having enough empathy, but about having empathy for the correct things…

3 October 2017
[documentaries] Unsolved Mysteries … another examination of the limits of what documentaries can tell us … ‘Almost every single moment contained in the 18-hour The Vietnam War could be treated in the “What really happened? And can we ever know?” style of contemporary, searching documentaries. Co-director Novick told Vanity Fair of the war, “There’s no agreement among scholars, or Americans or Vietnamese, about what happened: the facts, let alone whose fault, let alone what we’re supposed to make of it.” To have adjudicated all these questions on camera would have led to a documentary 1,000 hours long, one that told us so much more about the nitty-gritty subjectivity of the Vietnam War it might as well have told us nothing.’
2 October 2017
[web] Snopes.com and the Search for Facts in a Post-Fact World… the fascinating story behind Snopes.com‘The problem is that David’s telling of the Snopes story does seem to slight [his ex-wife]. However meticulous he might be in fact-­checking the errors of others, there is always this slippage in his account of his own success, this insistence that he did it by himself. It’s not a slippage that has any bearing on his dispute with Proper Media or the contractual matters at issue there. He went through a bad divorce and emerged from it, as it seems to me people often do, with a blind spot. It’s one we all have to one degree or another, to fail to see the obvious when it comes to ourselves. It just stands out with David because he has spent his career being so scrupulous about facts.’
29 September 2017
28 September 2017
[books] Stephen King, The Art of Fiction … an excellent, wide ranging interview …

No, Cujo was a standard novel in chapters when it was created. But I can remember thinking that I wanted the book to feel like a brick that was heaved through your window at you. I’ve always thought that the sort of book that I do—and I’ve got enough ego to think that every novelist should do this—should be a kind of personal assault. It ought to be somebody lunging right across the table and grabbing you and messing you up. It should get in your face. It should upset you, disturb you. And not just because you get grossed out. I mean, if I get a letter from somebody saying, I couldn’t eat my dinner, my attitude is, Terrific!

27 September 2017
[movies] Hayley Campbell on Brian De Palma’s Blow Out‘It’s about about a tortured man torturing himself in only the way an obsessive creative whose art lies in the miniscule can: over and over, not until it has no meaning, but until it grows and has so much meaning that it consumes him.’
26 September 2017
[work] Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza‘The free Italian pies arrived approximately 20 minutes after a company-wide e-mail detailing upcoming cutbacks was sent out late Friday morning. “Everyone’s been fed up and ready to explode at management for weeks,” production designer Carolyn Wurster said. “But then all those pizzas showed up, and it just didn’t seem like the right time to start demanding a legitimate healthcare plan or salary raises that reflect the amount of work we do.” Added Wurster, “They ordered like 10 huge pies.”‘