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February 22, 2013
[chess] Playing Chess With Kubrick… Jeremy Bernstein reminisces about meeting and playing chess with Stanley Kubrick … ‘The next day Clarke called to say that I was expected that afternoon at Kubrick’s apartment on Central Park West. I had never met a movie mogul and had no idea what to expect. But as soon as Kubrick opened the door I felt an immediate kindred spirit. He looked and acted like every obsessive theoretical physicist I have ever known. His obsession at that moment was whether or not anything could go faster than the speed of light. I explained to him that according to the theory of relativity no information bearing signal could go faster. We conversed like that for about an hour when I looked at my watch and realized I had to go. “Why?” he asked, seeing no reason why a conversation that he was finding interesting should stop.’
February 21, 2013
[comics] Antony Johnston on phoning Alan Moore‘So this friend of mine, this guy I’ve gotten to know since entering the now-largely-online comics community, asks me if I want Alan Moore’s phone number. Do what, I say. He repeats the offer. Just don’t tell anyone where you got it, he says, or Alan will fucking kill me. Go on then, I reply. Why not? Half a millisecond after I write it down, I realise why not: I can never call this number.’
February 20, 2013
[music] Rutherford Chang – We Buy White Albums … fascinating photo-essay on an artist who only collects original vinyl copies of the Beatles White Album … ‘My collection of White Albums is on display at Recess, a storefront art space in SoHo. It’s set up like a record store with the albums arranged in bins by serial number, and visitors are invited to browse and listen to the records. Except, rather than sell the albums, I am buying more. I currently have 693 copies.’
February 19, 2013
February 18, 2013
[coke] A Brief History Racist Soft Drinks … fascinating look at the racial divide between Coke and Pepsi … ‘Few realize that Coke marketed assiduously to whites, while Pepsi hired a "negro markets" department. Put more bluntly, Coke was made for white people. Pepsi was made for black people. Over the course of the decades and the seemingly limitless growth of the soft drink industry, the companies have expanded their marketing departments and launched myriad campaigns to discourage the idea that either appealed to a specific race…’
February 15, 2013
[email] Inbox Zero for Life … a straightforward approach to the Inbox Zero lifehack using Gmail … ‘Triage. Your one and only goal for processing your inbox is to make it empty. Not to actually do anything productive, because processing email is inherently anti-productive. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re doing work here. Just get it over with as quickly as possible.’
February 14, 2013
Why Facebook Makes You Feel Miserable‘The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was "lack of attention" from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.’
February 13, 2013
[price] What A Year Of Stuff Costs … the prices of various things if you buy/use them for a year collected by Diamond Geezer‘Daily bath (medium depth): £98 (gas boiler), £291 (immersion heater) Daily shower (5 minutes): £44 (electric shower), £200 (power shower)’
February 12, 2013
[valentines] The Perfect Valentines Gift: pre-arrange a funeral for yourself and your partner …

Valentines Advert For Pre-Arranged Funeral

February 11, 2013
[comics] “Son of Sam” and the Comics Industry … fascinating story of how the detectives investigating Son Of Sam visited DC Comics after it was suggested that Sam’s handwriting was like the lettering in comics … ‘Upon hearing why I’d been called into Sol’s office, a few of my cohorts had their own ideas about who might be the Son of Sam, including a couple of fellow staffers. The most convincing argument, however, was made for a somewhat reclusive artist whose ultra-conservative leanings might have made him a suspect as the killer of “loose” women. We did not, however, share any of this with the NYPD.’ [via Neilalien]
February 8, 2013
[conspiracy] Verified Facts About … a conspiracy theory generator … ‘Records indicate that Barack Obama’s ancestors were present at the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II– even those who had died decades earlier. Perhaps there’s more to learn about this event.’
February 6, 2013
[batman] An Extensive Discussion Of Batman Punching Animals‘I don’t think I actually have a comprehensive list handy, but I can assure you that Batman has gotten into fistfights with dogs, wolves, panthers, lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), gorillas (regular), gorillas (telepathic), gorillas (other), sharks, horses, crocodiles, at least one eagle, and I distinctly remember an ostritch, although the issue number escapes me at the moment.’
February 5, 2013
[death] Wikipedia’s list of unusual deaths‘1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths. During the hikers’ memorials, several witnesses reported that the bodies had an “orangish tint” to them.’
February 4, 2013
[watchmen] Rorschach’s Father: The Lost Tapes … previously little seen Alan Moore interview from 1987 on Watchmen … ‘The Nazis weren’t villains but ordinary human beings who did terrible things. Her­oes are usually people who, if you happened to be on the opposite side of any battle, would be famous monsters. It is all totally subjective. There aren’t any pure heroes; there aren’t any pure villains; there’s just people. But people like there to be heroes and villains, because if we can say “That person is a monster”, it makes us feel better or not so bad. Or it makes it not our responsibility. Mrs Thatcher isn’t a monster, sh’es just a fairly nondescript intellect, but she’s a greedy and an ambitious woman. It’s too bad that she’s Prime Minister. I mean, if she’d have stayed in her greengrocery business, probably not many peuple would have shopped there an awful lot, but it wouldn’t have done anv great harm. But a lot of the left wing in Britain like to portray Mrs Thatcher as a monster.’
February 1, 2013
[guns] The Onion: AR-15 Assault Rifle Beginning To Worry It May Never Get To Kill Innocent Person

The Colt-manufactured assault rifle confirmed that, given the administration’s intention to advance gun control measures designed to curb the nation’s ready access to deadly firearms such as itself, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the weapon will ever have the opportunity to act on its long-held desire to brutally execute even a single innocent person.

“Ever since I came off the assembly line, I’ve dreamed of being used to annihilate dozens of frantic people in a deadly rampage; it’s what I was made to do,” the semiautomatic rifle said from its display stand at Richmond-area gun retailer Pete’s Munitions. “But if the government clamps down on sales of guns like me, then I can pretty much kiss that dream goodbye. And, I have to say, the idea of that happening is massively disappointing for me.”

January 31, 2013
[tv] Looking Beneath The Waves … another Adam Curtis interview … ‘The great wonder of our time is also a disease of our time: the desire to experience things for ourselves. It’s just the thing at the moment, what we don’t want is to be told stuff. We don’t like elites any longer because we’re all like each other. We want to know it ourselves, we want to feel it. It’s partly due to the rise of individualism. But what we get to is what I call the “duchess paradox”, where everyone is now a duchess in society. The real problem with that is that if you’re all duchesses then what’s the point of being a duchess? Everyone’s a celebrity now. Everyone wants to be a celebrity, they want to be treated like celebrities. They want to go to spas, they want to get married in big, posh houses. People will pay for VIP tickets to concerts. It’s extraordinary. Everyone is desperately searching for where it’s at. The point is there is nowhere it’s at – “it” simply just doesn’t exist. It’s the great tragedy for that generation: they just want to experience something.’
January 30, 2013
January 29, 2013
[funny] Bad Kids Jokes … amusing collection of nonsensical jokes from children … ‘Why did the cow jump over the moon? Because he wanted to poo all over the moon.’
January 28, 2013
[funny] Get Insulted By Martin Luther‘We leave you to your own devices, for nothing properly suits you except hypocrisy, flattery, and lies.’
January 25, 2013
[health] What Doctors Won’t Do … Doctors discuss which medical treatments they would avoid … ‘I would never avoid having my children vaccinated. Several years ago, I volunteered with Médecins Sans Frontières and spent six months in Angola. I’d expected the poverty, but it was the arrival of kids suffering from severe illnesses that should never have occurred – illnesses easily prevented elsewhere, like measles, or tetanus – that saddened me most. That, and the quiet humility with which families would queue for hours under a scorching sun to receive their vaccines.’
January 24, 2013
[tv] How Unrealistic Is Murder On Television?‘In a paper printed in the British Medical Journal, Tim Crayford, Richard Hooper and Sarah Evans reported that the mortality rate for characters in the television soap operas Coronation Street and EastEnders exceeded those of bomb disposal experts and racing drivers. Deaths were generally violent, and recently introduced characters had a five-year survival rate.’
January 23, 2013
January 22, 2013
[comics] Alan and The Mad Reader … a look on the early influence of Mad Magazine on Alan Moore … ‘The chief importance of the Superduperman story to Moore seems to have been the basic idea of a totally fresh way of looking at Superman, a character whose stories at that time were extremely formulaic. Apart from this, one small point worth noticing is the way in which the emblem of the hero’s chest keeps changing – just like that of Dourdevil in Moore’s Daredevil parody “Grit” (The Daredevils #8, 1983).’
January 21, 2013
[war] WWII lard washes up on beach at Angus nature reserve‘Staff at St Cyrus nature reserve said four large, barrel-shaped pieces of lard have appeared on the shore. The fat is believed to have escaped from the wreck of a merchant vessel that was bombed in WW II. Scottish Natural Heritage said the lard was still a brilliant white and smelled “good enough to have a fry up with.” The lard would have originally been stored in wooden barrels, which have long since rotted away.’
January 18, 2013
[politics] Could Ed Miliband be Labour’s Margaret Thatcher? … some interesting similarities highlighted by Andy Beckett… ‘Miliband has a history of being underestimated – just as she was when opposition leader, and during her early years as prime minister. Like her, he was unexpectedly elected party leader. Like her, his public manner was then quickly judged unpalatable, his voice too nasal as hers was too shrill. Like her, he can seem too much of a party stereotype for broad appeal: the bourgeois north London leftie to her prim shire Tory. Like she did, he faces a smooth premier – “Sunny Jim” Callaghan for her, David Cameron for him – considered by journalists and voters to be more “prime ministerial”, but also made vulnerable by internal splits and the lack of a Commons majority. As she did, Miliband has led his party to a substantial but not always solid poll lead. Two and a quarter years into his tenure, it is identical to her party’s at the same stage: hovering around 10%.’
January 17, 2013
[war] What You Wear to Kill Osama bin Laden … some exhaustive details on what you need to kill the world’s most wanted man …

First he laid out his Crye Precision Desert Digital combat uniform, a long-sleeve, partially camouflaged shirt and cargo pants combo with ten pockets, “each with a specific purpose.” In the pockets he put assault gloves, leather mitts for “fast-roping,” an assortment of batteries, energy gel, two PowerBars, an extra tourniquet, rubber gloves, an SSE (forensic) kit, an Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera, and $200 in cash. The money was for a bribe or a ride, if needed. “Evasion takes money, and few things work better than American cash.”

January 16, 2013
[space] Skylab 4 Rang in the New Year with Mutiny in Orbit … the little known story on a mutiny in space … ‘Long work periods and seemingly endless lists of tasks took their toll on the rookie astronauts. The crew found themselves exhausted, falling badly behind schedule. NASA was pushing them too hard, they said, and they couldn’t keep working such long hours. Ground crews in mission control disagreed. They felt that the astronauts were complaining needlessly, that they should be working through their meal times and rest days to catch up. It was expensive having a crew in orbit for 84 days, and NASA intended to get all the work out of the men it could manage. About six weeks into the flight, a few days before New Year’s Eve, the Skylab 4 crew hit their breaking point…’
January 15, 2013
[comics] The New (and very liberal) Superhero Power Couple … fabulous mock up by Phil Noto of a 1972 Esquire cover with Black Canary & Green Arrow …

Black Canary & Green Arrow

January 14, 2013
[comics] A Collection Of Quotes From Alan Moore’s Weeping Gorilla‘I guess all the Waltons must be dead by now.’
January 10, 2013
[google] The many different things the world wants to know how to do … as reported in the 2012 Google Zeitgeist‘Japan: how to save [battery] power. Kenya: how to abort. Mexico: how to vote. Netherlands: how to survive. New Zealand: how to screenshot.’