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December 12, 2011
[life] History Of The Universe In A Nutshell

December 8, 2011
[blogs] The 90 Best Tumblr Blogs Of 2011 … Need to procrastinate today? This list of Tumblr blogs may help.
December 7, 2011
[comics] Full and Uncut Interview with Alan Moore … the full text to a abridged interview in the Independent published online … ‘Comics is great if you’re working with an artist that you’ve got respect for and you’re working in a situation where there aren’t the arbitrary demands, just the general bullshit of the comics industry to deal with. I think that me and most of the artists that I respect, we’re too old for all that. We’re old, we’re tired [laughs], I just simply cannot be putting up with the petty interference that is part and parcel of the entertainment industry.’
December 5, 2011
[movies] Kubrick speaks in regard to ‘The Shining’ … from The Kubrick Site

Q: You are a person who uses his rationality, who enjoys understanding things, but in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining you demonstrate the limits of intellectual knowledge. Is this an acknowledgement of what William James called the unexplained residues of human experience?

A: Obviously, science-fiction and the supernatural bring you very quickly to the limits of knowledge and rational explanation. But from a dramatic point of view, you must ask yourself: ‘If all of this were unquestionably true, how would it really happen?’ You can’t go much further than that. I like the regions of fantasy where reason is used primarily to undermine incredulity. Reason can take you to the border of these areas, but from there on you can be guided only by your imagination. I think we strain at the limits of reason and enjoy the temporary sense of freedom which we gain by such exercises of our imagination.

December 2, 2011
[comics] 2000AD – Dummy Issue Promo … fascinating look at a 1976 mock-up of the first issue of 2000AD. Looks very much like they were planning a sci-fi version of Action.
December 1, 2011
November 30, 2011
[life] What are the chances of your coming into being?‘So what’s the probability of your existing? It’s the probability of 2 million people getting together – about the population of San Diego – each to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. They each roll the dice, and they all come up the exact same number – say, 550,343,279,001…’
November 29, 2011
[blogs] Online community: For every blog, there is a season … On how blogs end … ‘Just as reaching the end of a good book feels like demise writ small, so, too, does shutting down a blog. A blog’s promise, encapsulated in its reverse chronology, is that there will always be another post, even if the reader doesn’t know when.’
November 28, 2011
[comics] Alan Moore – meet the man behind the protest mask … interview with Moore where he discusses the use of V for Vendetta masks in recent protests …

…More than 100,000 of the £4-£7 masks sell every year, according to the manufacturers, with a cut always going to Time Warner. Does that irk Moore?

“I find it comical, watching Time Warner try to walk this precarious tightrope.” Through contacts in the comics industry, he explains, he has heard that boosted sales of the masks have become a troubling issue for the company. “It’s a bit embarrassing to be a corporation that seems to be profiting from an anti-corporate protest. It’s not really anything that they want to be associated with. And yet they really don’t like turning down money – it goes against all of their instincts.” Moore chuckles. “I find it more funny than irksome.”

November 25, 2011
[conspiracy] The Umbrella Man … brilliant Errol Morris short interview with Josiah Thompson on a weird detail from the assasination of J.F.K. ‘[John Updike] said that his learning of the existence of the Umbrella Man made him speculate that in historical research there may be a dimension similar to the quantum dimension in physical reality. If you put any event under a microscope, you will find a whole dimension of completely weird, incredible things going on. It’s as if there’s the macro level of historical research, where things sort of obey natural laws and usual things happen and unusual things don’t happen, and then there’s this other level where everything is really weird’
November 24, 2011
[comics] Gallery Of Art From Gene Colan’s Dracula … missed this at Halloween but Colan’s art is always worth a look.
November 23, 2011
[eyes] Monroe or Einstein: Check If You Need Glasses at Your Computer … find out if you are shortsighted …

Do You See Einstein Or Monroe?

November 22, 2011
[comics] ‘Superheroes are our dreams of ourselves’ … Alan Moore interviewed by the Independent … ‘He stepped away from mainstream publishing and film royalties: an act of artistic integrity that has seen him branded as everything from eccentric to bitter. Eccentric perhaps, in the way that writers often are, but bitter? Certainly not. The man that greets me is warm and affable, and delighted to be asked to talk about one of his favourite works, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It’s a series he says is dear to his heart, particularly those more recent episodes published by the independent Knockabout Comics.’
November 21, 2011
[web] Google Analytics A Potential Threat to Anonymous Bloggers … I’ve always believed that it is almost impossible to be completely incognito and publish something on the internet – here’s one more example of the pitfalls anonymous bloggers have to watch out for … ‘Watch your history. Sites like Whois Source track your history of domain and nameserver changes permanently, and Archive.org may archive old versions of your site. Being the first person to follow your anonymous Twitter account or promote the link could also be a giveaway.’
November 18, 2011
[science] Richard Feynman on Curiosity

‘The world is strange. The whole universe is very strange, but you see when you look at the details that the rules of the game are very simple – the mechanical rules by which you can figure out exactly what is going to happen when the situation is simple. It is like a chess game. If you are in a corner with only a few pieces involved, you can work out exactly what is going to happen, and you can always do that when there are only a few pieces. And yet in the real game there are so many pieces that you can’t figure out what is going to happen – so there is a kind of hierarchy of different complexities. It is hard to believe. It is incredible! In fact, most people don’t believe that the behavior of, say, me is the result of lots and lots of atoms all obeying very simple rules and evolving into such a creature that a billion years of life has produced.’
November 17, 2011
[books] Stephen King Goes to the Rescue of JFK … Stephen King’s latest book reviewed by Errol Morris …

In “11/22/63,” we get glimpses of a nimbus of evil that surrounds the world. There are no single crimes. Each act of cruelty or violence is somehow associated — harmonized, King would suggest — with every other act. Inside the past, Amberson learns there are no accidents, no inadvertencies. Just an infernal machine. (Tick, tock.) He says: “Coincidences happen, but I’ve come to believe they are actually quite rare. Something is at work, O.K.? Somewhere in the universe (or behind it), a great machine is ticking and turning its fabulous gears.”

There is a darker what-if. What if history is too forceful to redirect? What if jiggering the engine produces no favorable outcome — merely a postponement of the inevitable? If he had lived, Kennedy might not have escalated the war in Vietnam, and might have kept America out of a bloody mire. But we don’t know.

November 16, 2011
[comics] Bruce Wayne’s Medical Records‘By far the greatest contributor to patient’s ongoing morbidity are his multiple and seemingly ceaseless musculoskeletal injuries. The most significant of these was sustained several years ago, when he was rushed to GCGH with several fractures of his lumbar vertebrae, reportedly after falling while rappelling. Skeletal series obtained at that time revealed numerous (>20) areas of orthopedic injury in various states of healing, which could not be fully explained by recent fall, including areas of all extremities and many ribs; confirmatory bone scan similarly showed many areas of increased uptake. Patient’s robust stature is not consistent with osteogenesis imperfecta, and skin biopsy was negative for abnormal collagen and P3H1 or CRTAP genetic defects. Malignancy was suspected, but eventually ruled out following oncology consultation. Patient explained most of these (and most subsequent) injuries as being the result of membership in a private and apparently quite intense mixed martial arts club. Patient has denied being the victim of domestic abuse by Mr. Grayson following indirect and direct questioning on numerous occasions.’ [via jwz]
November 15, 2011
[books] Errol Morris Interviews Stephen King … on his new book about time travel, J.F.K. and Lee Harvey Oswald …

Oswald just happened to be at the right place at the right time. He and his wife were effectively done, and she was living with Mrs. Paine out in Irving. He used to come on the weekends, but that week, he came on Thursday — the night before the assassination. And it seems pretty clear from his actions and from the things he said that he had decided to do this, but that he could be persuaded to change his mind. He and Marina went to bed that night and in bed, he asked her, “Is there a chance that we can get back together?” And she was very cold to him. She said, “No, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, Lee.” And in the morning, he left his wedding ring and he left all the money in his pockets in a teacup in the kitchen for her. And that was it. There is this chain of ifs, but really, it’s as simple as that. He wanted to shoot somebody. He wanted to be somebody famous. It’s all there. The pieces all click together pretty nicely.

November 14, 2011
[books] Is Reading On The Toilet Bad For You?‘No writer owned the arena of toilet reading more than Henry Miller. He read truly great books on the lavatory, and maintained that some, Ulysses for instance, could not be fully appreciated elsewhere. The environment was one that enriched substantial works – extracted their flavour, as he put it – while lesser books and magazines suffered. He singled out Atlantic Monthly. Miller went so far as to recommend toilets for individual authors. To enjoy Rabelais, he advised a plain country toilet, “a little outhouse in the corn patch, with a crescent sliver of light coming through the door”. Better still, he said, take a friend along, to sit with you for half an hour of minor bliss.’
November 11, 2011
[funny] Man Killed To Death

Man Killed To Death

November 10, 2011
[comics] Judge Dredd And Spikes Harvey Rotten Share A Moment‘You -Er- Look Wonderful, Spikes!’
November 9, 2011
[crime] The Constitution of the Mexican Mafia‘9. Membership is for life. 10. Membership mandates assaulting/killing all drop outs.’
November 8, 2011
[comics] The High Cost of (Being) Death … interview with the woman who was the inspiration for Death In The Sandman … ‘Hadley explains how she went from begging for spare change and living in the infamous ‘80s Salt Lake City flophouse called Kill Pigs to gracing the pages of a world-famous comic. “Mike Dringenberg was a good friend of mine,” says Hadley. “He told me that he wanted to use me for a model for a character in a comic book, but I didn’t think anything about it.” It wasn’t until years later, the conversation long forgotten, that she leafed through an issue at a friend’s apartment in Houston, Texas and found Dringenberg’s original drawing of her looking up from the pages and a personal thanks from the author for the use of her image. “Hey, this is me!” she exclaimed, to the amazement of her friend.’
November 7, 2011
[life] Why Fingernails on Blackboards Sound So Horrible‘Much time has been spent, over the past century, on working out exactly what it is about the sound of fingernails on a blackboard that’s so unpleasant. A new study pins the blame on psychology and the design of our ear canals…’
November 4, 2011
[comics] Art Spiegelman: ‘Auschwitz became for us a safe place’ … Art Spiegelman on Maus and MetaMaus. .. ‘The shock of Maus, and the source of its great and enduring power, lies in Spiegelman’s absolute refusal to sentimentalise or sanctify the Survivor, in this case, his father. During the war, Vladek lost his six-year-old son, Richieu, poisoned by the aunt to whom his parents had sent him for safe-keeping, in order that he might avoid the gas chambers; he lost most of his extended family, and he endured months of the most appalling fear and hardship in Auschwitz-Birkenau and, later, Dachau. But unimaginable suffering, Spiegelman wants us to understand, doesn’t make a person better; it just makes them suffer.’
November 3, 2011
[history] London, Summer, 1976 … a small collection of evocative photos of London from the mid-1970s [via Unreliably Witnessed]
November 2, 2011
[comics] A STRONGER LOVING WORLD .. the Moment Of Moore I’ve been waiting most of the year to post! ‘Midnight, November Second.’
[comics] Hark A Vagrant: Tycho

a cartoon about Tycho Brahe

November 1, 2011
October 31, 2011
[life] Baby Sharks Birthed in Artificial Uterus‘After mating, a female produces as many as 40 fertilized embryos, separated between two separate wombs. The embryos take nearly a year to fully develop, but they begin hunting long before that. After about two months, their own yolk sacs go dry. Hungry, they start eating their brothers and sisters. After the rampant in utero cannibalization, only one shark — the biggest and strongest — is left in each womb.’ [via jwz]