linkmachinego.com
3 November 2011
[history] London, Summer, 1976 … a small collection of evocative photos of London from the mid-1970s [via Unreliably Witnessed]
2 November 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

1 November 2011
31 October 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]
28 October 2011
[comics] Charlie Higson’s list of favourite comic books and graphic novels‘I grew up on Tintin and Asterix, and for many people in the UK they are the only graphic novels they are aware of. The French call this style of pure, clean, solid artwork la ligne claire, and it’s a style that works brilliantly for kids. I used to lose myself for days in the detail of these pictures.’
27 October 2011
[comics] Dan Clowes interviewed by the Onion’s AV Club‘The Death-Ray really should have been a graphic novel to start. I have no idea why I did it as a saddle-stitched comic, other than I just couldn’t bear to stop Eightball somehow. It just seemed like, “How can I end Eightball?” I remember when the Hernandez brothers first ended Love And Rockets, thinking, “How could they do that? It’s the end of an era!” [Laughs.] So it was really more about that, not being able to move on. But it really makes no sense as a magazine, and it’s just so unavailable to so many people. I really want people to read the book, and bookstores never sold an issue of Eightball because nobody knew what it was.’
26 October 2011
[space] Billion-Ton Comet May Have Missed Earth by a Few Hundred Kilometers in 1883‘On 12th and 13th August 1883, an astronomer at a small observatory in Zacatecas in Mexico made an extraordinary observation. José Bonilla counted some 450 objects, each surrounded by a kind of mist, passing across the face of the Sun…’
25 October 2011
[war] Last Nuclear ‘Monster Weapon’ Gets Dismantled‘[The B-53 Bomb is] the ultimate Cold War weapon, the one that Major Kong would have ridden into Armageddon at the end of Dr. Strangelove. And on Tuesday, it will no longer exist. Out at the Energy Department’s Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, the last of America’s B-53s is in storage. Come Tuesday, it will be dissected: The 300 pounds of high explosives will be separated from its enriched uranium heart, known as a “pit.” The pit will be placed into a storage locker at Pantex, where it will await a final, highly supervised termination.’ [via jwz]
24 October 2011
[people] Stephen Levy on finding Einstein’s lost brain

I came to the conclusion that the brain, in sectioned form, was still in the possession of the pathologist who removed it from the Einstein head, Dr. Thomas Harvey. I tracked him down in Wichita, Kansas. At first he didn’t want to tell me anything, but after a while he finally admitted that he had the brain. After a longer while, he sheepishly told me it was IN THE VERY OFFICE WE WERE SITTING IN. He walked to a box labeled “Costa Cider” and pulled out two big Mason jars. In those were the remains of the brain that changed the world.

21 October 2011
[comics] V for Vendetta masks: Who’s behind them?‘Anybody watching coverage of the demonstrations may have been struck by a repeated motif – a strangely stylised mask of Guy Fawkes with a moustache and pointy beard. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrived at the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest to make a speech wearing one of these masks. He took it off, reportedly at the insistence of the police.’
20 October 2011
19 October 2011
[comics] How could they do this to Tintin? … another negative look at Speilberg’s Tintin Movie – this time from Nicholas Lezard … ‘As it is, the film has turned a subtle, intricate and beautiful work of art into the typical bombast of the modern blockbuster, Tintin for morons, and the nicest things one can say about it are that there’s a pleasing cameo of Hergé himself in the opening scene, the cars look lovely, indeed it is as a whole visually sumptuous, and (after 20 minutes or so of more or less acceptable fidelity; and the 3D motion-capturing transference of the original drawings is by far the least of the film’s problems) it usefully places in plain view all the cretinous arrogance of modern mass-market, script-conference-driven film-making, confirming in passing that, as a director, Spielberg is a burned-out sun.’
18 October 2011
[comics] The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn – Review … a disappointing look of Speilberg’s Tintin film: ‘…while the big set pieces are often exuberantly handled, the human details are sorely wanting. How curious that Hergé achieved more expression with his use of ink-spot eyes and humble line drawings than a bank of computers and an army of animators were able to achieve. On this evidence, the film’s pioneering “performance capture” technique is still too crude and unrefined. In capturing the butterfly, it kills it too. What emerges is an array of characters (puffy, moribund Haddock; opaque, inexpressive Tintin) that may as well be pinned on to boards and protected by glass.’
17 October 2011
[amazon] The 10 Best Amazon Reviews Ever … this doesn’t mention Henry Raddick (a fantastic Amazon reviewer who was once interviewed by Andrew Orlowski) so isn’t complete by any means. However, this great review for a container of Wolf Urine compels me to blog it: ‘Even though it has a rather short and crisply defined finish, I still believe this has the composition and acidity to age well in the cellar of any self-respecting urine connoisseur.’
13 October 2011
[usb] How to Plug In a USB Cable Correctly Every Time … a great tech tip – can’t believe I didn’t realise this years ago!
12 October 2011
[comics] Kids Say The Stupidest Things: The Wit And Wisdom of Naughty Children … Children who kill – in their own words by Evan Dorkin‘Murder Isn’t That Bad. We All Die Sometime.’

Quotes From Children Who Kill

11 October 2011
[comics] It’s 1969, Ok? … Kevin O’Neill interviewed by Pádraig Ó Méalóid

Kevin O’Neill: It’s a pity we couldn’t have used Marvelman, ‘cause I always liked him when I was a kid, I thought he was a fantastic character, but it’s… it’s one of those characters that is now almost toxic, anyone who touches Marvelman, it’s like a curse, you know, you just want to pass it straight on, which is a terrible state of affairs for the character to end up in.

Pádraig: As I said, I’ve researched the thing in enormous detail for the past several years. The book was going to be called Poisoned Chalice, because both Alan and Neil refer to it as a poisoned chalice in different interviews I saw, and now I find that my own curse of Marvelman…

[Earlier I had mentioned to Kevin that the book I’ve written on Marvelman is now without a publisher, as MonkeyBrain Books, who had contracted to publish it, were taking a break from publishing, at least for the time being, leaving it without a home for the moment.]

Kevin O’Neill: Isn’t that weird?

10 October 2011
[books] Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books … broad list of interesting sci-fi as voted by fans. [via Metafilter]
[london] Bollards of London … a taxi-driver blogs the ancient and not-so ancient pavement bollards of London … ‘Bollards have a history richer than most objects placed upon the pavement and we can easily find some dating back to the earlier part of the 19th Century.’ [via As Above]
7 October 2011
[jobs] Keep the faith! … A letter from Steve Jobs … ‘Back in the early days of Apple, Inc., long before he began sporadically responding to emails from customers, the inimitable Steve Jobs could sometimes be found signing computer chips, attaching them to sheets of Apple stationery, and then replying to fans of his company.’
6 October 2011
[apple] How Robert X. Cringely summed up Steve Jobs in 1992…

The most dangerous man in Silicon Valley sits alone on many weekday mornings, drinking coffee at Il Fornaio, an Italian restaurant on Cowper Street in Palo Alto. He’s not the richest guy around or the smartest, but under a haircut that looks as if someone put a bowl on his head and trimmed around the edges, Steve Jobs holds an idea that keeps some grown men and women of the Valley awake at night. Unlike these insomaniacs, Jobs isn’t in this business for the money, and that’s what makes him dangerous.

I wish, sometimes, that I could say this personal computer stuff is just a matter of hard-headed business, but that would in no way account for the phenomenon of Steve Jobs. Co-founder of Apple Computer and founder of NeXT Inc., Jobs has literally forced the personal computer industry to follow his direction for fifteen years, a direction based not on business or intellectual principles but on a combination of technical vision and ego gratification in which both business and technical acumen played only small parts.

Steve Jobs sees the personal computer as his tool for changing the world. I know that sounds a lot like Bill Gates, but it’s really very different. Gates sees the personal computer as a tool for transferring every stray dollar, deutsche mark, and kopek in the world into his pocket. Gates doesn’t give a damn how people interact with their computers as long as they pay up. Jobs gives a damn. He wants to tell the world how to compute, to set the style of computing.

Bill Gates has no style; Steve Jobs has nothing but style.

A friend once suggested that Gates switch to Armani suits from his regular plaid shirt and Levis Dockers look. “I can’t do that,” Bill replied. “Steve Jobs wears Armani suits.”

Think of Bill Gates as the emir of Kuwait and Steve Jobs as Saddam Hussein.

Like the emir, Gates wants to run his particular subculture with an iron hand, dispensing flawed justice as he sees fit and generally keeping the bucks flowing in, not out. Jobs wants to control the world. He doesn’t care about mantaining a strategic advantage; he wants to attack, to bring death to the infidels. We’re talking rivers of blood here. We’re talking martyrs. Jobs doesn’t care if there are a dozen companies or a hundred companies opposing him. He doesn’t care what the odds are against success. Like Saddam, he doesn’t even care how much his losses are. Nor does he even have to win, if, by losing the mother of all battles he can maintain his peculiar form of conviction, still stand before an adoring crowd of nerds, symbolically firing his 9mm automatic into the air, telling the victors that they are still full of shit.

You guessed it. By the usual standards of Silicon Valley CEOs, where job satisfaction is measured in dollars, and an opulent retirement by age 40 is the goal, Steve Jobs is crazy.

4 October 2011
[books] Maurice Sendak: ‘I refuse to lie to children’ … great interview with the children’s author …

And with that he’s off again. Of Salman Rushdie, who once gave him a terrible review in the New York Times, he says: “That flaccid fuckhead. He was detestable. I called up the Ayatollah, nobody knows that.” Roald Dahl: “The cruelty in his books is off-putting. Scary guy. I know he’s very popular but what’s nice about this guy? He’s dead, that’s what’s nice about him.” Stephen King: “Bullshit.” Gwyneth Paltrow: “I can’t stand her.”

3 October 2011
[politics] A List Of Things Confiscated From People Entering The British Parliament‘Spike Wristbands / Weed Killer / Secateurs / Science Putty / Peircing Kit / Plastic Thumbs.’ [via Tom Morris]
28 September 2011
27 September 2011
[space] 10 Weirdest Consumer Products Based on NASA Technology‘Personal Lubricants – Maybe you thought they called it Astroglide because it makes you feel like a star. But no. The clear, water-based lubricant was developed by an engineer named Dan Wray while he was working on the space shuttle’s cooling systems at Edwards Air Force Base in 1977.’
26 September 2011
[web] The Relative Sizes of the World’s Largest Photo Libraries: ‘…this year people will upload over 70 billion photos to Facebook, suggesting around 20% of all photos this year will end up there.’
25 September 2011
[comics] Snowball 99 … a tumblr dedicated to Howard Chaykin …

Raiders Of The Lost Ark Comic Cover

24 September 2011
[comics] William Gaines testifying On Behalf Of Comic Books In the 1950’s: ‘Jimmy Walker once remarked that he never knew a girl to be ruined by a book. Nobody has ever been ruined by a comic.’
23 September 2011
[comics] Chiropractic … a beta-version of a comic strip about Chiropractic Therapy for Darryl Cunningham’s Science Tales book.