"Just Wait": On the 35th Anniversary of John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
Carpenter also deliberately avoids giving us a full and clear forensic timeline. Much like MacReady investigating the decimated Norwegian base, we’re often left to our best guesses about the Thing’s handiwork. We don’t always know if the characters have reasoned things out correctly, which makes The Thing both that much spookier and eminently rewatchable. Who sabotaged the blood bank? When did the Thing assimilate the character who is outed by MacReady’s blood test? Was one character’s apparent suicide really a suicide? And what about that ending? There’s a cottage industry of internet theorists dedicated to answering these questions, and even the likes of Russell and Cundey have not been able to resist participating in all the speculation. However, there’s something really quite rattling about The Thing’s intentionally inconclusive qualities.
6 hours ago
Omoshiro Block: A Paper Memo Pad That Excavates Objects as It Gets Used
Produced by Japanese company Triad, whose main line of business is producing architectural models, the Omoshiro Blocks feature various notable architectural sites in Japan like Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera Temple, Tokyo’s Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Tower. The blocks are composed of over 100 sheets of paper and each sheet is different from the next in the same way that individual moments stack up together to form a memory.
The Congress of Vienna
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the conference convened by the victorious powers of the Napoleonic Wars and the earlier French Revolutionary Wars, which had devastated so much of Europe over the last 25 years. The powers aimed to create a long lasting peace, partly by redrawing the map to restore old boundaries and partly by balancing the powers so that none would risk war again. It has since been seen as a very conservative outcome, reasserting the old monarchical and imperial orders over the growth of liberalism and national independence movements, and yet also largely successful in its goal of preventing war in Europe on such a scale for another 100 years. Delegates to Vienna were entertained at night with lavish balls, and the image above is from a French cartoon showing Russia, Prussia, and Austria dancing to the bidding of Castlereagh, the British delegate.
history  essays 
Breathing Frame - Installation by Ryo Kishi
breathing frame is a projection device dedicated to transmit not information, but expression such as colors and movement. The color hue of displayed image changes by breathing on, So viewers become part of projection device as a actuator. They breathe new life into the device. The more viewers, the more attractive projection device becomes.
2 days ago
How Toby Young got where he isn’t today | Stewart Lee
Toby Young has wasted his life spitting cold mucus at a ghost and throwing clumps of his own hot excrement at a shade, a raging zoo monkey. Toby Young was at war with a phantom cloud of semen, long since turned to dust motes, bobbing on the west London thermals. But, because I am kind and good, I take no pleasure in the slow-motion farce of his downfall.
quotes  media 
2 days ago
Facebook chooses friends over publishers
Facebook announced yesterday that it will begin to prioritize posts in the News Feed from friends and family over public content and posts from publishers. It will also move away from using "time spent" on the platform as a metric of success and will instead focus on "engagement" with content, such as comments.
twt  webtech 
2 days ago
The long exposure works of Francesca Woodman
Given that her complete catalogue is composed almost entirely of work she produced as a student, the posthumous critical esteem for American photographer Francesca Woodman is astonishing. Unlike music or math, where precocious displays of talent are not uncommon, photography tends not to have prodigies. Woodman, who committed suicide in 1981 at age 22, is considered a rare exception. That she has achieved such status is all the more remarkable considering only a quarter of the approximately 800 images she produced—many of them self-portraits—have ever been seen by the public.
3 days ago
"...the main way that the Kindle and other digital devices have transformed books is to make them as liquid as possible."
At Wired, my old colleague David Pierce writes about a topic near and dear to my heart: Amazon’s Kindle, and its effects on how we buy and read books:

For a decade, Amazon’s relentlessly offered new ways for people to read books. But even as platforms change, books haven’t, and the incompatibility is beginning to show. Phones and tablets contain nothing of what makes a paperback wonderful. They’re full of distractions, eye-wrecking backlights, and batteries that die in a few hours. They also open up massive new opportunities. On a tablet, books don’t have to consist only of hundreds of pages set in a row. They can be easily navigable, endlessly searchable, and constantly updated. They can use images, video, even games to augment the experience….

The next phase for the digital book seems likely to not resemble print at all. Instead, the next step is for authors, publishers, and readers to take advantage of all the tools now at their disposal and figure out how to reinvent longform reading. Just as filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh are experimenting with what it means to make a “movie” that’s really an app on a totally interactive device with a smaller screen, Amazon and the book world are beginning to figure out what’s possible when you’re not dealing with paper anymore.

Except… not really.
reading  bffr 
4 days ago
PicSat: Eye on Beta Pictoris
To understand why Beta Pictoris is receiving so much attention among astronomers, particularly those specializing in exoplanets, you have only to consider a few parameters. This is a young star, perhaps 25 million years old, one with a well observed circumstellar disk, the first actually imaged around another star. We not only have a large gas giant in orbit here, but also evidence of cometary activity as seen in spectral data. β Pic is also relatively nearby at 64 light years.
link  science  twt 
4 days ago
Katzine: The Guatemala Issue – Katriona Chapman’s Autobio Series Continues to Display an Understated Charm and Make a Profound Connection with Its Audience
Over the last couple of years Katriona Chapman’s amiable and beautifully crafted autobiographical series Katzine has fast become one of the most respected mainstays of the UK indie scene combining, as it does, its author’s welcoming on-page presence and her gorgeously shaded illustrative tones. Comprising gentle social commentary, addictive trivia and small insights into her everyday routine, it’s almost a sequential art Sunday supplement version of Chapman’s life.
twt  comics 
4 days ago
GIF Tutorial: Animate Your Artwork And Mesmerize Your Fans (Photoshop) - Society6 Blog
Grow your follower counts and increase conversions by making content every customer, fan and follower can appreciate–an animation of your artwork. Society6 Artist and GIF-maker, Cassidy Rae Marietta, shed some light on her animation process so you can do the same. You’ll get a step-by-step guide on how she takes her illustrations to the next level with animation, while stirring up new life on your social platforms.
4 days ago
Moby Dick
Melvyn Bragg and guests Herman Melville's (1819-1891) epic novel, published in London in 1851, the story of Captain Ahab's pursuit of a great white sperm whale that had bitten off his leg. He risks his own life and that of his crew on the Pequod, single-mindedly seeking his revenge, his story narrated by Ishmael who was taking part in a whaling expedition for the first time. This is one of the c1000 ideas which listeners sent in this autumn for our fourth Listener Week, following Kafka's The Trial in 2014, Captain Cook in 2015 and Garibaldi and the Risorgimento in 2016. With Bridget Bennett Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Leeds Katie McGettigan Lecturer in American Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London And Graham Thompson Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Nottingham Producer: Simon Tillotson.
essays  books 
4 days ago
"Work My Mind" by Cut Chemist, Chali 2na, Hymnal
"Work My Mind" by Cut Chemist, Chali 2na, Hymnal
5 days ago
When George Lucas formed Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in 1975, the director’s aim was for the company to deliver the ambitious visual effects for his space opera, Star Wars. Of course, ILM went on to revolutionize the way effects and story meet in that film, and across nine other Star Wars saga movies, plus scores of other releases.

Many of the innovations in visual effects that ILM has developed for the various Star Wars films shaped the industry, and continue to do so. VFX Voice takes a look back at just some of these leaps and bounds over the past 40 years.
5 days ago
Exposed: London’s eugenics conference and its neo-Nazi links – London Student
A eugenics conference held annually at University College London by an honorary professor, the London Conference on Intelligence, is dominated by a secretive group of white supremacists with neo-Nazi links, London Student can exclusively reveal.
5 days ago
'Black Panther' breaks Marvel's pre-sale record on Fandango
Black Panther is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry that looks like it's going to blow our minds and it seems the general movie-going audience agrees as the film has set a new advanced ticket sales mark at Fandango for Marvel films. 
5 days ago
Moira Donegan: I Started the Media Men List
In October, I created a Google spreadsheet called “Shitty Media Men” that collected a range of rumors and allegations of sexual misconduct, much of it violent, by men in magazines and publishing. The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.

One long-standing partial remedy that women have developed is the whisper network, informal alliances that pass on open secrets and warn women away from serial assaulters. Many of these networks have been invaluable in protecting their members. Still, whisper networks are social alliances, and as such, they’re unreliable. They can be elitist, or just insular. As Jenna Wortham pointed out in The New York Times Magazine, they are also prone to exclude women of color. Fundamentally, a whisper network consists of private conversations, and the document that I created was meant to be private as well. It was active for only a few hours, during which it spread much further and much faster than I ever anticipated, and in the end, the once-private document was made public — first when its existence was revealed in a BuzzFeed article by Doree Shafrir, then when the document itself was posted on Reddit.
5 days ago
"Woe Is Meee - Plaid Remix" by Ghostpoet, Plaid
"Woe Is Meee - Plaid Remix" by Ghostpoet, Plaid
6 days ago
SotD: Troy
I bought Sinéad O’Connor’s de­but, The Lion and the Co­bra, be­cause Mandinko was on the ra­dio and I liked it. The first time I played it, not hav­ing looked at the track list­ing, I no­ticed some med­i­ta­tive croon­ing about “Dublin in a Rainstorm”; the next time, a gut-grabbing throaty chan­t: “You should have left the lights on”; and then an­oth­er time a howl­ing dec­la­ra­tion about ris­ing, a phoenix from the flame. It took me a while to no­tice that all of these were from the same track: Troy. It’s a hell of a song.
6 days ago
Darkest Hour portrays the wartime prime minister as a flawed leader. But we shouldn’t forget how he worked with Labour to defeat the pro-fascist sympathies of large sections of the British elite
“For days past there has been no real news and little possibility of inferring what is really happening,” wrote George Orwell in his diary, on 28 May 1940. “Last night, E[ileen] and I went to the pub to hear the 9 o’c news. The barmaid was not going to have it on if we had not asked her, and to all appearances nobody listened.”

That was the second day of the Dunkirk evacuation, and just hours after Churchill had made his speech to the Cabinet, which said: “If this long island story of ours is to end, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground”.
7 days ago
Where Has This Amazing Comic Book Art Been All My Life?
François Schuiten, like the creator of Tintin, is Belgian, and he’s best known for his drawing in the series Les Cités Obscures, a collaboration with his childhood friend, Benoît Peeters. They first worked together at the age of 12 on a school magazine; Benoît wrote the fictional stories, Fançois made the imaginative drawings, and pretty soon the faculty tried to stop them from publishing it, preferring Latin translations and moralizing anecdotes as more appropriate subject matters.
8 days ago
Poet Jane Kenyon’s Advice on Writing: Some of the Wisest Words to Create and Live By – Brain Pickings
Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.
8 days ago
Ten things I learned from ILM about ‘The Last Jedi’s’ space battles
Space battles are synonymous with Star Wars films. The original trilogy is fondly remembered for ILM’s use of motion control and miniatures. These days, like on The Last Jedi, digital ship models, photorealistic rendering and simulated crashes and explosions are of course the norm.

But to ensure the space battles in this latest Star Wars adventure echoed those memorable scenes from the first films, ILM employed several ways to bring them to life, even starting an in-house project to copy – at least to some degree – the look and feel of the original motion control miniature movements.

vfxblog recently visited ILM London to find out more on that process, plus a whole bunch of other things about the scenes in which Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) takes on the Dreadnought, and when Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) launches his spinning attack on the Resistance cruiser.
cgi  link 
11 days ago
The Scottish Sisters Who Pioneered Art Nouveau
Most people have heard of Art Nouveau, but few remember two of the most influential figures in its conception. (No, not Gustav Klimt.) They were a pair of sisters named Margaret and Frances MacDonald, who, along with their Glasgow School of Art classmates Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Herbert MacNair, comprised the Glasgow Four. Art Nouveau wouldn’t be what it is without them.
11 days ago
Free speech works both ways – as Toby Young is finding out
Some have argued that free speech is under threat at universities, but the bigger issue is the mental health crisis engulfing campuses across the country. Students are financially stretched and terrified of poor employment prospects in a grim labour market post-graduation, while all the fanfare around vice-chancellors’ pay obscures just how many younger academics are essentially employed on zero-hours contracts, flitting between multiple jobs and expected to work unpaid outside of their meagre contracted hours. Both of these factors severely impinge on the teaching and learning experience and are a far bigger threat to the sector, than whether or not speakers are no-platformed.
politics  link 
12 days ago
Top Ten Tips For A Healthier Brain In 2017
How’s this for a New Year’s resolution?Resolve to improve your mood, concentration, and energy, lower your stress hormone levels, re-balance your hormones, and reduce your risk for dementia and many other chronic diseases—all by Valentine’s Day. All you have to do is commit to a brain-healthy lifestyle—starting with diet. 

What is a brain-healthy diet, you ask?

The very same diet that is healthy for the
12 days ago
MASS PATHS | Caitriona Dunnett - Inside the Outside
Mass Paths is a series of handcrafted photographs, landscapes of the Irish countryside embedded with absence. They portray the traces of paths walked by Catholics to reach illegal mass during penal times.

The Penal Laws were imposed on Catholics in Ireland in 1695 and religion was prohibited. The Church was kept alive by operating under great secrecy. My aim is to visually unearth the history behind these paths and the people who walked them.

The locations of these sites were passed on by word of mouth. This local knowledge was handed down through generations. The oral tradition in Ireland disappeared gradually around the 1960s alongside land exchange and redevelopment.

I spent years researching mass paths and other penal sites, piecing the information together, scouring through word searches on the Internet, finding little snippets posted by schools, regional newspapers and walking clubs. These fragments led to maps, hunting for locations, hidden in the landscapes.

I followed in the footsteps of the thousands of people who walked to penal sites across Ireland. Then recorded these reenactments in an attempt to capture their stories of resilience, courage and commitment so that they are not lost.
13 days ago
The Best Comics of 2017
We asked a wide array of our contributors and other comics figures to share their favorite comics from the past calendar year. In the interests of keeping things individual and unpredictable, we let our listmakers choose their own criteria for inclusion, decide for themselves whether or not their selections needed explanation, and stop their lists at whatever number they felt was appropriate.
comics  twt 
13 days ago
Bullet points on the Iranian revolt – Mosquito Ridge
…on the basis of limited evidence and sparse independent journalism for now
14 days ago
Ahed is only 16. And there's no father more proud of his daughter than me - Israel News | Haaretz.com

This night too, like all the nights since dozens of soldiers raided our home in the middle of the night, my wife Nariman, my...
18 days ago
You are what you share
s we move away from the top-down regime of promoted movies, well-shelved books and all sorts of hype, the recommendation from person to person is now the most powerful way we have to change things.

It takes guts to say, "I read this and you should too." The guts to care enough about our culture (and your friends) to move it forward and to stand for something.

We'll judge you most on whether you care enough to change things.
18 days ago
How to Turn a Malignant Tumor into a Digital Self-Publishing Project
I've been a freelance journalist for seventeen years. I've written for magazines and websites, appeared on TV and radio shows, and self-published a 10,000-word investigation of the Great Recession's impact on the adult movie industry, "They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?" I've published short stories, and Future Tense Books published a collection of those short stories, You're a Bad Man, Aren't You? I've blogged for Forbes and for Time Warner. At one point, I became a digital copywriter and wrote Facebook updates for a bottle of stomach medicine. But today marks the first time I'm selling one of my original digital short stories on my personal website. It is "The Tumor."
18 days ago
How I set up an automatic weekly blog digest
Earlier this year someone asked me why my blog didn’t have an email newsletter. My instinctive reaction was “I don’t have time to do that every week!! I won’t remember!”. But then I realized that I could automatically generate a weekly blog digest! Now I’ve had it for ~6 months (https://jvns.ca/newsletter).
18 days ago
Text-only news sites are slowly making a comeback. Here's why. | Poynter
A few days before Hurricane Irma hit South Florida, I received a query on Twitter from a graphic designer named Eric Bailey.

“Has anyone researched news sites capability to provide low-bandwidth communication of critical info during crisis situations?” he asked.

The question was timely — two days later, CNN announced that they created a text-only version of their site with no ads or videos.
22 days ago
Anti-empire, pro-activist … The Last Jedi is as left wing as Jeremy Corbyn
What have The Last Jedi and Jeremy Corbyn got in common? There’s the penchant for silly hats, and a love of cuddly critters – but that goes for any of the series’ previous entries too. No, what the new Star Wars film and the Labour leader really have in common is that they’re both as red as Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.
27 days ago
Artist of the Day: James Chia Han Lee
James Chia Han Lee
LOCATION: Toronto, Canada
PRIMARY MEDIA: Graphite, charcoal, oil paint, pencil, crayon
EDUCATION: Humber College [Advanced diploma, graphic design, 2013]
Large-scale charcoal drawing for Journeyscapes 2017 in Chicago
“My mom told me, ‘有一點像您亂畫的’ (‘Kinda looks like you just drew whatever’). Don’t draw things like whatever; mom will call your bullshit and you’ll feel bad.”
MORE: Website/Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook
28 days ago
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Will Be Too Inclusive for Some People. Good. | WIRED
There is a scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi—I won’t say too much, but you'll see it yourself—where a young Asian woman does a brave, selfless thing to help the Resistance. It’s a very sweet, very Star Wars Hero Moment, but it's also an important one. Los Angeles Times film writer Jen Yamato called out its significance for fans of color on Twitter, noting “films like these leave their mark on entire generations—representation matters.” She woke up the next morning to a stream of mentions telling her to “stop making everything about race.” Her reply? “I hope you all enjoy the new Star Wars.” The implication was obvious: They won't. The Last Jedi isn’t here to appease the old guard.
4 weeks ago
Eight planets found orbiting distant star, NASA says
For the first time, eight planets have been found orbiting a distant star, Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years from Earth in the Draco constellation, NASA announced Thursday. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come.
4 weeks ago
Corbyn v May in the battle to go viral at Prime Minister's Questions
Each Wednesday at noon, MPs gather in the House of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions, and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn gets six attempts to question Theresa May.
It's billed as a fiery debate about the issues of the week, but it can often head off-topic into what might sound like an unscripted generalised ramble.
There's a very good reason for why this happens - as well as engaging with their opponent, both leaders are also trying to go viral on social media.
At last week's Prime Minister's Questions - or PMQs as it is widely known - Mr Corbyn's first couple of questions were about the big issue of the week - the prime minister's failure to a secure a Brexit deal in Brussels on Monday.
4 weeks ago
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