February 28, 2020
[food] British Food Generator … ‘Ploughman’s Egg Eaten at breakfast time black pudding recipes vary from place to place, some common choices include fried eggs, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, bread, tomatoes; options include kippers, baked beans.’
February 27, 2020
February 26, 2020
[movies] How Bong Joon Ho Built the Houses in Parasite … Fascinating, spoiler filled look at the construction of the sets for Parasite. “The trash can cost like $2,300! It was German,” says Bong. “Me and my crew members were like, What the fuck? What kind of idiot would buy a trash can that’s going to smell anyway?” Still, they picked that trash can not only for its brand value, but because it was telegenic: Bong wanted one with a cinematic lid. “When you step on it to open it, it would open really smoothly, and then when you released your foot, it would quietly close like some sort of computer graphic,” he says.’
February 25, 2020
[movies] Cultural Details You Missed in “Parasite” … Interesting, but spoiler filled. ‘I’m sure most picked up on how food showed the Kims’ class progression, starting with a bag of white bread. Then the Drivers’ Cafeteria (기사식당), which I personally like. They’re cheap but good buffets. Then they’re eating proper rice, egg, and kimchi at home. Then grilling L.A. Beef Galbi at home. When the family is sitting around and drinking the first time in the film, they’re sharing a bag of chips opened like a bowl as “anju” (pub grub). They’re also drinking FiLite, which is the cheapest malt beverage on the market. It’s nasty. When we return to that same get together as the Kims are moving up in income, everyone but the mom has switched to Sapporo, which is considered an expensive import.’
February 24, 2020
[movies] 10 great Lovecraftian horror films … The Thing: ‘In Carpenter’s film, what they encounter when investigating the wreck of a Norwegian exploration base is an otherworldly creature that can assimilate and take the form of any other living organism. The effects, done by pioneer special effects artist Rob Bottin, play a huge part in getting the audience to experience the same abject horror of seeing creatures that defy natural laws, that shouldn’t exist in a physical space. The creature, although seen, is not a single thing; it mutates and adapts. It, and its intentions, are unknowable.’
February 20, 2020
[web] How to Deal with Running Out of iCloud, Google, and Dropbox Space … Useful guide to saving space and money with Cloud apps.
February 19, 2020
[comics] The horror comic that wasn’t: Alan Moore and Bryan Talbot’s Nightjar … Pages from one of Moore’s lost comics.
February 18, 2020
[weird] The Russian Conspiracy Theory That Won’t Die … Interesting summary of the Dyatlov Pass incident. ‘The group began moving toward the slope of Peak 1079, known among the region’s indigenous people as “Dead Mountain.” A photograph showed the lead skiers disappearing into sheets of whipping snow as the weather worsened. Later that night, the nine experienced trekkers burst out of their tent half-dressed and fled to their deaths in a blizzard. Some of their corpses were found with broken bones; one was missing her tongue. For decades, few people beyond the group’s friends and family were aware of the event. It only became known to the wider public in 1990, when a retired official’s account ignited a curiosity that soon metastasized.’
February 17, 2020
[books] Literary Alternatives to “Ghosting” at Parties … ‘EDGAR ALLAN POE-ING – Die in a gutter before the party starts, probably from consumption (with a hint of alcohol poisoning).’
February 14, 2020
[comics] Young Alan Partridge Adventures #1 … ‘Issue 1 – The Poachers of Swaffham Wood!’
February 13, 2020
[life] Was Jeanne Calment the Oldest Person Who Ever Lived—or a Fraud? … A deep dive into the world of Gerontology and the mystery of Jeanne Calment. ‘The passage of time often quells controversy, but, in the Calment case, it only unsettled the dust. As the world’s population continued to grow, the cohort of people living to the age of a hundred and twenty-two did not. More than two decades after Calment’s death, her record still stood, making her a more conspicuous outlier with every year that went by. Either she had lived longer than any human being ever or she had executed an audacious fraud. As one observer wrote, “Both are highly unlikely life stories but one is true.”’
February 12, 2020
[apollo] Apollo 11 vs USB-C Chargers … Comparing the CPU of the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer vs. USB-C wall chargers. ‘I claim that we would only need the compute power of 4 Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 USB-C chargers to get to the moon…’
February 11, 2020
[life] The Octopus: An Alien Among Us … Are Octopuses Conscious? ‘The octopus has a central brain and also an independent, smaller processor in each arm, giving it a unique mixture of centralized and distributed command. The octopus also probably has self models—rich, constantly updated bundles of information to monitor its body and behavior. From an engineering perspective, it would need self models to function effectively. For example, it might have some form of a body schema that keeps track of the shape and structure of its body in order to coordinate movement. (Perhaps each arm has its own arm schema.) In that sense, you could say that an octopus knows about itself. It possesses information about itself and about the outside world, and that information results in complex behavior. But all of these truly wonderful traits do not mean that an octopus is conscious…’
February 10, 2020
[dredd] The Best Comics of the Decade (Are All Judge Dredd) … Some interesting analysis of the last ten years of Judge Dredd comics. ‘With seven pages per chapter there is never much time to overthink things. 2000AD remained the pinnacle of to-the-point presentation – never more than necessary, never less than what you want. These are procedural comics taken to its zenith. Henry Flint, John McCrea, Colin MacNeil, P.J. Holden and (of course) Carlos Ezquerra have all brought their own little touches to the world of the strip, always in service of the story. But, the reason Judge Dredd is the best comics of decade is more than that. It’s more than any single story or creator. It’s not about what it does, it’s about what it is. To me at least, Judge Dredd in the 2010’s is zeitgeist. It’s a story about one of the biggest moral questions in the West – can you be a good man in a bad system?’
February 7, 2020
[tv] ‘Did we work through hangovers? Most definitely!’ The stars of This Life on their era-defining show … Remembering This Life. ‘Jack Davenport: With Miles, I realised that the more I leaned into his essential twatness, the better things would be.’
February 6, 2020
[comics] Image Comics Free First Issues … Huge collection of taster comics. I recommend: Criminal #1, Die #1, Kill, or be Killed #1 and The Fade Out #1.
February 5, 2020
[life] Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day … ‘All my life, I could hear my voice in my head and speak in full sentences as if I was talking out loud. I thought everyone experienced this, so I did not believe that it could be true at that time. Literally the first person I asked was a classmate of mine who said that she can not “hear” her voice in her mind. I asked her if she could have a conversation with herself in her head and she looked at me funny like I was the weird one in this situation…’
February 4, 2020
[doom] OK Doomer … A great look at playing Doom in 2020. ‘ Doom’s “2.5D” graphics, though primitive by modern standards, help it pull off things that are far more difficult to do with today’s software tooling. You experience the game as 3D, but the game’s level design and movement patterns are more or less reflective of 2D arcade shooters like Robotron, Geometry Wars, Commando, or Smash TV. You move incredibly fast (50 scale miles per hour!) through non-linear explorable levels that are designed to optimize play rather than look realistic. You fight diverse hordes of slow-moving enemies (compared to you at least!) that are individually weak but collectively quite dangerous. At the higher difficulty levels (Ultraviolence is really the best way to play), your only hope of survival is raw speed and cunning. The stylized abstraction of the game makes it feel like a strange, nightmarish vision you are hallucinating, which gets progressively more terrifying as the early infested techbase levels transition into hell itself.’
February 3, 2020
[web] “Link In Bio” is a slow knife … Anil Dash on Instagram’s war on web links. ‘The ultimate triumph of being anti-web is to make links scarce. The smallest possible number of links a platform could allow is zero, so Instagram gets as close to that theoretical limit as possible, and gives you… one. You can have one link. Aren’t you grateful? One!’
February 2, 2020
February 1, 2020
[comics] 100 of the Best Horror Comics of All Time … ‘Gyo: An undercurrent of black humor runs throughout much of Junji Ito’s work, and nowhere does he play with that contrast as fruitfully as in Gyo. Subtitled The Death-Stench Creeps, Gyo commits dozens of pages to bloated, infected humans essentially farting themselves to death, but any hint of a laugh is dashed when the full scope of Gyo sets in. These gasbags are trapped in mechanical carapaces drudged up from the ocean floor, remnants of some long-ago war effort returned to haunt the living. What at first seems like “only” an invasion of land-bound sea creatures (including the most chilling shark scene to ever take place out of the water) soon turns into an Apocalyptic vision of body horror as only Ito can conjure.’
January 31, 2020
[truecrime] The girl in the box: the mysterious crime that shocked Germany … Go read this truly bizarre German True Crime story. ‘It appeared that the kidnappers had planned to keep Ursula alive. The box, 1.40m deep, was fitted with a shelf and a seat that doubled as a toilet. It was stocked with three bottles of water, 12 cans of Fanta, six large chocolate bars, four packets of biscuits and two packs of chewing gum. It also contained a small, bizarre library of 21 books, from Donald Duck comics to westerns, romance novels and thrillers with titles such as The Horror Lurks Everywhere. There was a light and a portable radio tuned to Bayern 3, the same station that broadcast the traffic jingle. To enable Ursula to breathe, the box had a ventilation system made from plastic plumbing pipes, which extended to ground level. But whoever designed it had failed to realise that without a machine to circulate the air, the oxygen would quickly run out. The police believed they were hunting more than one kidnapper, because of the size and weight of the box. At 60kg, it would probably have needed at least two people to carry it into the woods…’
January 30, 2020
[wtf?] 32 Minutes of Soothing, Relaxing, Meditating Vietnam War Sounds for Studying and Thinking … War as relaxing white noise. You can also try: WW1 and WW2.
January 29, 2020
[socialmedia] The strange case of Paul Zimmer, the influencer who came back as a different person… Always love a story about influencers behaving badly. ‘On 14 October 2019, Paul Zimmer posted a side-by-side image of himself (sporting a barely-grown-out beard) next to another image of what appeared to be himself, albeit clean-shaven. “This actor @TroyBeckerIG kid literally looks like a younger sexier version of me,” Zimmer wrote. “I don’t even use social media anymore but had to post this hahah…” Clicking on Troy Becker’s Instagram led to an almost unpopulated account, with only 11 posts uploaded before Zimmer’s side-by-side post. For a Gen-Z actor, this would amount to an unusually sparse social media presence.It’s hard to track the fan response to this post because comments on Zimmer’s Instagram are disabled. But almost two months later, on December 10, another “Troy Becker” post was made, addressing those who had responded that Becker was in fact Zimmer by saying: “IM TELLING YOU HE IS MY YOUNGER BRO [crying laughing emoji]”).’
January 28, 2020
[comics] The Forbidden Planet Blog Archive … Good to see the an archive of Forbidden Planet’s blog appear – There is a huge collection of interviews, art, reviews and more. Go click: Brendan McCarthy, Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore.
January 27, 2020
[movies] Studio Notes to a Test Screening of Blade Runner, January 21, 1981 … ‘This movie gets worse every screening.’
January 24, 2020
[life] How DISGUSTING Are You ? 🤢 quiz… So, it turns out I am more dusgusting than I thought.
January 23, 2020
[movies] 10 great stressful films … ‘Funny Games: Sadistic in its simplicity, Michael Haneke’s razor-edged slice of cinematic brutalism follows a nice, middle-class German family out to their lakeside summer cottage, then watches with clinical detachment as they’re tied up, tortured and massacred by a pair of nice, middle-class young men. Nowhere near as violent as its reputation suggests, Haneke’s film has much loftier ideals than simple shock, asking its audience some of the very same questions posed in our intro above – why do we, as viewers, subject ourselves to this horror? What do we expect to gain from it? And are we truly passive in our response, or is the film giving us something we’re actively asking for? Filmed in agonising long takes and never shying away from the physical and emotional consequences of abuse, Funny Games is a profoundly moral, darkly comic endurance test.’
January 22, 2020
[web] Tiny Helpers … Huge collection of useful single-purpose websites handling tasks from web designers.
January 21, 2020
[life] My (36F) husband (41M) has some disturbing requests for after he’s passed away. … ‘My husband wants me to have his skull taken from his body and cleaned. Then he wants that skull put on the mantelpiece in the living room. The rest of his body he wants sent to one of those places that makes the gems out of bodies and made into two blue diamonds. He then wants those gems to be put in the eye socket of the skull to look like eyes. Then he can “watch the family home” and “be passed down through the generations”.’