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November 11, 2021
[comics] A rare interview with Robert Crumb on America, PC culture and Trump‘It was Aline who hung, at the entrance to their home, a Donald Trump voodoo doll, complete with pins. “She’s really obsessed with Trump,” he says. “I’m no friend of Trump. I think he’s a bad man, but he’s a symptom of things that have been happening in the States for decades, it’s the decline of the Roman Empire. She suggested we make a comic about Trump together. I said, Okay, I can get into that, and then I spent an entire day just drawing Trump’s hair. I studied his hair with a magnifying glass. When you see a man with hair like that, alarms should go off.”’
November 10, 2021
[comics] Why Bruce Wayne Should Never Give Any Money To Charity‘Amongst Batman’s wider enemies are therapists, teachers, postal workers, and ventriloquists. If you support the arts: you’re probably funding an origin story. If you support public services: origin story. There’s no industry which won’t pivot into a villain production line. One time a policeman got shot and was reborn as an immortal Avenging Wrath of the Murdered Dead. Every single person in Gotham City is one bad day away from turning into a criminal, and Bruce Wayne’s best bet is to hoard all his money and make sure that nobody else gets their hands on it.’
November 9, 2021
[books] On the Trail of a Mysterious, Pseudonymous Author … The fascinating story of a piecemeal novel sent in the post by an unknown author. ‘Why not get it published? Why send it to a seemingly random and relatively small group of recipients? (Prickett has sent copies to five or six hundred people.) “The worst thing about writing,” he told me, “is how long you spend working on something before you get to show it to people. It’s a very lonely way to work. You spend three or four years on a book and then it takes months to find an agent, months for the agent to find a publisher, and then it’s another year or more before the book comes out . . . The literary industry is just not much fun.”’
November 8, 2021
[space] Unwrapped: Five Decade Old Lunar Selfie … A 1969 selfie of Neil Armstrong captured from the reflection in Buzz Aldrin’s helmet. ‘ The original image captured not only the magnificent desolation of an unfamiliar world, but Armstrong himself reflected in Aldrin’s curved visor. Enter modern digital technology. In the featured image, the spherical distortion from Aldrin’s helmet has been reversed. The result is the famous picture — but now featuring Armstrong himself from Aldrin’s perspective.’

Neil Armstrong Lunar Selfie

November 5, 2021
[funny] Gunpowder plotte was ye false flagge, says 17th century conspiracy theorist‘A 17th-century conspiracy theorist is convinced the gunpowder plot was a government scheme to justify taking people’s gunpowder away, as it is impossible for mere powder to undo stone and stout oak beams. Simon Williams, esq, Gentleman of the parish of Kettering, has written a hard-hitting pamphlet pointing out that it is not credible that a small group of religious fundamentalists could smuggle thirty-six barrels of gunpowder into Parliament without the government being complicit in some way…’
November 4, 2021
[art] Jacksonpollock.org … Waste some time creating your own Jackson Pollock painting within your web browser.
November 3, 2021
>> The 100 greatest TV series of the 21st Century‘It felt like the right time to survey the television landscape because arguably it has been the defining art form of the past 21 years: where once, rightly or wrongly, it was largely patronised as cinema’s younger, more rough-and-ready sibling, today its artistic credibility is unassailable, while the advent of streaming platforms has also given shows the ability to reach unprecedented global audiences all at once. And so, in order to mark TV’s ascendancy, we have decided to ask the question: what are the greatest TV series of the 21st Century?’
November 2, 2021
[apple] A Prototype Original iPod … A very yellow testing prototype of the original iPod. ‘Clearly, this revision of the prototype was very close to the internals of the finished iPod. In fact, the date there — September 3rd, 2001 — tells us this one was made barely two months before it was introduced…’
November 1, 2021
October 28, 2021
[books] How to Get Your Mind Blown by H.P. Lovecraft and Alan Moore in 7 Epic Steps‘If you get this far and you still haven’t had enough, go even deeper down the rabbit hole. (This is where I’m currently at) Read S.T. Joshi’s biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence. It’s over 1600 pages long. It’s IN-DEPTH. Realize that you didn’t actually know anything about the life and works of Lovecraft. Read each Lovecraft story again as you go through the biography and now you will understand the context of each story as you fully digest them. Then read the Moore books again. Get lost in the abyss. It was never a rabbit hole, it was a portal through time and space where your mind and reality melt and warp.’
October 22, 2021
[london] The unsolved mystery of the Putney Pusher … A look at why a random crime seen on CCTV in 2017 remains unsolved. ‘The woman’s fall was no accident. The bus’s dashboard footage revealed, frame by frame, what had happened. A jogger can be seen running in the opposite direction. Though his face is obscured, there’s a decent enough outline to work with: he’s a stocky white male, with short brown hair and brown eyes – wearing dark blue shorts and a grey t-shirt. As he runs towards the woman, he seems to make a decision. In one stride, he’s next to her, arms outstretched. After shoving her into the path of the bus, he carries on running without a backwards glance.’
October 21, 2021
[quacks] James Morrison: The Doctor Who Made His Patients Poop Themselves To Death‘The doctor, you’ll be shocked to learn, wasn’t too fussed about figuring out things like dosage, and here’s where things got dangerous. As far as he was concerned, if you fancied ramming down dozens of the laxatives that was fine. He even recommended that you take laxatives for the diarrhea, “so as effectually to carry off the morbid humours”, as well as dysentery. Needless to say, but this is like someone trying to treat your ball pain with successive blows to the testicles. He advised that you were likely to feel worse before you get better, and to not let that stop you from taking his extremely profitable medicine. Of course, the pills began to kill people, including one 15-year-old girl who died “in horrible distress” as a consequence of taking his medicine, as well as a little apprentice boy, among others.’
October 20, 2021
[internet] The ‘Dead-Internet Theory’ Is Wrong but Feels True … An odd conspiracy theory that claims that most of the content on the internet is posted by Bots. ‘Anyway … dead-internet theory is pretty far out-there. But unlike the internet’s many other conspiracy theorists, who are boring or really gullible or motivated by odd politics, the dead-internet people kind of have a point. In the New York story that IlluminatiPirate invokes, the writer Max Read plays with paranoia. “Everything that once seemed definitively and unquestionably real now seems slightly fake,” he writes. But he makes a solid argument: He notes that a majority of web traffic probably comes from bots, and that YouTube, for a time, had such high bot traffic that some employees feared “the Inversion” — the point when its systems would start to see bots as authentic and humans as inauthentic.’
October 19, 2021
October 18, 2021
[web] What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about? … Another great list of websites from AskReddit. JustWatch.com – Ever had a movie or TV show in mind and you wanted to know where to stream it online? Want to know if you can stream free with ads, with a subscription, or rent/buy it at a glance? Search a title and immediately know where to go to legally watch anything. Every boutique streaming service is accounted for. If it’s not listed here, start looking for physical media.’
October 15, 2021
>> I don’t know who needs this today but here’s a YouTube of Paul Giamatti yelling. You’re welcome.

October 14, 2021
[comics] “Are You Glad You Did It?”: An Interview with Douglas Wolk …An interview with Douglas Wolk on his quest to read every Marvel comic and the book he wrote about it. ‘There were also a few unexpected “wow” moments. [J.M.] DeMatteis and Liam Sharp did a Man-Thing series in 1998 that’s never been reprinted and it’s freaking gorgeous. How did I not know about this? And honestly, going back and reading Master of Kung Fu. There were a few weekends I spent reading that series and thinking, “This is so gooood. This is so problematic. This is so good.”’
October 6, 2021
[comics] Ditko Con 2021 … The Comics Journal visits a fan convention celebrating Steve Ditko. ‘Javier Hernandez recommended everyone read Ditko’s later works and also ran into memorable fans at his table, including a couple from the local Rusyn Byzantine Catholic group. He reported that they felt Steve Ditko likely based his illustrated Spider-Man and Doctor Strange hands after one of the Saints in the Byzantine Catholic religion. After some research, it became apparent to me that the paintings of St. Nicholas’ right hand follow this same very distinct pattern.’
October 5, 2021
[movies] Superman III, and childhood nightmares … A look-back at the movie Superman III. ‘But right throughout Superman III, I found myself more uneasy around the character of Vera than the de facto villain of the piece, Ross. No slight on the hugely entertaining Robert Vaughn there, rather I just think Annie Ross is really quite brilliant. There’s an argument I strongly subscribe to that if you want to get under someone’s skin, then a human in a suit tends to make a far more compelling monster than even the most wonderfully-created purely-CG effect.’
October 4, 2021
[books] The deep state… they thought the could get away with it. But they never prepared for the…

Boomer with a Computer

October 1, 2021
[spy] ‘Havana syndrome ’ and the mystery of the microwaves … A beginners Guide to the mystery of Havana Syndrome. ‘One theory is that Havana involved a much more targeted method to carry out some kind of surveillance with higher-power, directed microwaves. One former UK intelligence official told the BBC that microwaves could be used to “illuminate” electronic devices to extract signals or identify and track them. Others speculate that a device (even perhaps an American one) might have been poorly engineered or malfunctioned and caused a physical reaction in some people. However, US officials tell the BBC no device has been identified or recovered.’
September 30, 2021
[comics] 2000 AD Covers Uncovered – A legend returns: it’s Mick McMahon on Prog 2250 … Some comics process – how Mick McMahon creates a Judge Dredd cover for 2000AD. ‘The brief is Dredd in action, so pretty open-ended. My first move is to draw some Dredds and hope that one of them feels ‘right’. As I sketch on these first sheets I gradually start leaning towards the idea of a big Dredd filling the cover with a white background.’
September 27, 2021
[moore] How Alan Moore ripped James Bond to shreds … A deep dive into Alan Moore’s loathing for James Bond. ‘I admire how completely Moore vivisects the iconography of 007. The Craig films tend to get discussed as darker or more humane variations on the James Bond theme, but he’s still a guy who saves the world, leaving a trail of weird foreigners and attractive corpses behind him. I’ve noticed a general growing tendency in film criticism to give every reboot several benefits of doubt, with a baked-in assumption that any three-decade-later legacy sequel or recast reboot is obviously expressing something thoughtful about a franchise’s troubled legacy. With Jimmy, Moore seems to say: Cut the crap. This stuff is rotten, and making it look young and cool again won’t make it any less rotten.’
September 24, 2021
September 20, 2021
[columbo] Celebrating Murder by the Book’s 50th anniversary … A look back at the first episode of Columbo. ‘However, what most makes Murder by the Book sing is the presence of Jack Cassidy as the ultimate foil to the scruffy Columbo. His Ken Franklin is urbane, stylish, arrogant, extroverted – and utterly heartless. Yet being a double murderer never seemed such fun given Cassidy’s gleeful wickedness that makes him one of the series’ most cherished guest stars. Cassidy is my favourite Columbo guest star killer of all. I rate many others extremely highly, but Cassidy had the X-factor and was the absolutely perfect choice to play Franklin. Just as Donald Pleasence was born to play Adrian Carsini in Any Old Port in a Storm, no one could have embodied Franklin better than Cassidy. His contrast to the earthy Falk makes their every encounter absolutely zing.’
September 15, 2021
[comics] Jonathan Ross in conversation with Alan Moore … a long forgotten interview from 2002.

MOORE: Swamp Thing is probably more of a template for the Vertigo books than Watchmen was, but with Swamp Thing, you’ve got all these stories which are really horrible, really grim and really depressing… but then you’ll have these little stories like the Swamp Sex Issue, a love poem more or less.

ROSS: Yeah, some of them were quite light.

MOORE: In a way it’s crueler, if you give people a love poem they’ll numb out and switch off… it keeps the horror fresh if you…

ROSS: …give a little taste of sorbet in between the death and desolation.

MOORE: You feel the pain much greater…

September 14, 2021
[wikipedia] One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia … A fascinating look at how lots of Nazi history on Wikipedia is essentially fanfiction and the difficulties in clearing it up. ‘In the spring of 2016, Coffman goes through hundreds of articles about the winners of various Nazi medals, including one called the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. She removes biased sources and any information based on those sources. When she is done, typically, there is nothing left to the article—nothing to say about the person—other than the fact that he won an award. She then insists that an award isn’t reason enough for a stand-alone Wikipedia article. Without a reliable source telling your life story, you can’t be notable. Poof. Another Nazi legend bites the dust.’
September 13, 2021
[comics] Ten Days of Steve Ditko … Arlen Schumer’s collection of ten key comic images from Steve Ditko.

September 9, 2021
[web] Why are hyperlinks blue? … a deep-dive into the history of web browser user interfaces. ‘We’ve now been able to narrow down the time frame for the blue hyperlink’s origin. WWW, the first browser, was created in 1987 and was black and white. We know that Mosaic was released on January 23, 1993 and was credited as being the first browser with blue hyperlinks. So far, we have been unable to find blue being used for hyperlinks in any interface before 1987, but as color monitors become more available and interfaces start to support color, things change quickly…’
September 6, 2021
[covid-19] Oh My Fucking God, Get the Fucking Vaccine Already, You Fucking Fucks‘Oh, you’re afraid of fucking side effects? Fuck you. You know what has fucking side effects? Fucking aspirin, fucking Tylenol. You could be fucking allergic to pineapple, you fucking fuckwit. Everything has side effects. You’re being a big fucking baby with a huge diaper full of fucking diarrhea, complaining about maybe feeling slightly tired for a day or two while your asymptomatic COVID case you get and pass to some innocent fucking kid could wind up killing them or someone else. Fuck you, you fucking selfish fucking shit-banana, you unredeemable ass-caterpillar, you fucking fuck-knob with two fucks for eyes and a literal poop where your heart should be. ‘