Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

BRIGHT SHINY MORNING for Harry and Meghan

from The Financial Times

Letter: A book on the City of Angels fit for a prince

From Lyndon Heal, Madrid, Spain

While I wouldn’t challenge Janan Ganesh’s assertion (FT Weekend, April 25) that ‘the seminal book about 20th century LA by a London professor (Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reyner Banham), might I suggest Prince Harry read James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning as another perfect introduction to the diversity of life in LA.

Lyndon Heal 
Madrid, Spain

[ click to read at FT ]

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Banksy’s Superhero Nurse

from artnet

Banksy Just Made a Surprisingly Earnest Painting of a Superhero Nurse and Donated It to a British Hospital as a Morale Booster

The work will remain on view at the Southampton General Hospital until this fall, when it will go to auction.

by Caroline Goldstein

Banksy's painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).
Banksy’s painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).

Banksy has donated a painting to England’s Southampton General Hospital in an effort to raise the spirits of medical professionals working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The painting, an uncharacteristic medium for the elusive street artist, shows a young boy playing with a superhero doll dressed as a nurse, complete with a mask and apron bearing the Red Cross symbol, and a cape fluttering behind her. Next to the child, a wastebasket holds castoffs, including Spider–Man and Batman figurines—outdated versions of superheroes in our new pandemic-stricken world.

The artist left a note with the special delivery, titled game changer, that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The hospital, which is the largest in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust system, hosts coronavirus researchers, including those who are starting vaccine trials.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 17, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Corona Quads

from CBS Dallas

Born Into A Pandemic: Mother, Father Bring Identical Quadruplets Home

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County. (credit: Texas Health Resources)

A North Texas mother and father are celebrating a rare blessing, growing their family by four during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County.

“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” said Lauren Murray, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Dallas ]

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

The Green Comet Coming

from The Daily Mail

Green-tinged Comet Swan with an 11 million-mile-long tail flies past Earth on its way to the Sun – and you don’t need a telescope to see it

By RYAN MORRISON

The space rock, discovered in April by astronomer Michael Mattiazzo from Australia, has already passed the Earth but is getting brighter as it approaches the Sun

The green-tinged ball of ice and dust visits the inner part of the solar system once every 11,597 years and has a long blue tail stretching 10 million miles behind it.

Currently moving from the southern to the northern skies, it is just faintly visible to the naked eye, but current estimates suggest that, by the end of May, it could be significantly brighter – if it survives that long. 

The more material ejected from the comet as it warms up on its way towards the sun, the more sunlight it reflects and the more visible it becomes. 

Comets are fragile and often break apart as they approach the Sun – this happened to Comet ATLAS last month after it was also predicted to become very bright.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on May 15, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

VALLEY GIRL Fer Shur

from The New York Times

When ‘Valley Girl’ (and Nicolas Cage) Shook Up Hollywood

With no money or clout, what started as a cheap exploitation film managed to, like, totally click with a generation — and produce an unconventional superstar.

By Ashley Spencer

Four shots of nude breasts. That’s what the producers of “Valley Girl” demanded of their potential director, Martha Coolidge. If she wanted the gig — overseeing what was set to be a low-budget, exploitative high-school romp that could lure teen boys like “Porky’s” did — she’d need to make sure the requisite skin appeared onscreen.

Coolidge agreed and quickly found a loophole: “They didn’t say how long the shots had to be. Not smart of them.”

The nudity appears in the 1983 film for mere seconds, presented frankly and lacking any titillation. In fact, Coolidge transformed “Valley Girl” from its superficial beginnings into a teen classic full of heart and a trippin’-dicular new wave soundtrack. The movie is making a comeback of sorts — it was recently made available for digital download for the first time, and on May 8, a musical remake arrives on-demand starring Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse and the controversial YouTube star Logan Paul.

The films’ roots go back to Southern California’s valley girl culture, which became a national phenomenon in the early 1980s thanks to the recurring “Saturday Night Live” character Sherry and the hit song “Valley Girl,” by Frank Zappa and his daughter, Moon Unit. The tune scorned the ditzy middle-class teens who spoke in uptalk and spent their free time at the mall.

Eager to capitalize on the fad, the indie production company Atlantic Entertainment Group greenlit the original movie, batting away Zappa’s trademark-infringement suit. The budget was just $350,000. To compare, fellow 1983 coming-of-age comedy “Risky Business” cost $6.2 million. Coolidge took a mere $5,000 directing fee and many of the crew members were volunteers.

“I borrowed money from my mother to eat,” Coolidge said. “But I was making a real movie and that was what was important.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Zoom ZOOM Yeah!

from The New Yorker

Come On and Zoom-Zoom

By David Kamp

The transition from in-office meetings to at-home video conferencing has occasioned lots of memes and social-media posts about “my idea of a Zoom meeting,” usually accompanied by a grainy video or photo of haphazardly barbered nineteen-seventies children romping around in striped rugby shirts. Among older members of Generation X, it’s hard to hear the word “zoom” without associating it with “Zoom,” one of the most memorable and radically experimental television programs of its era. Like the teleconferencing service, the original “Zoom” was screen-based and interactive, and it quickly evolved into a national obsession. But, unlike Zoom the online platform, “Zoom” was mostly the province of kids, primarily those in the tween cohort.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 13, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Four Horsemen Afoot

from The Express

‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken

BIBLE scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the return of Jesus Christ in the holy book, have all been released.

By CALLUM HOARE

The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world
The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world (Image: GETTY)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear in the Book of Revelation, where they are named as a punishment of God, but some believe they are an analogy of real-life events to come in the future. Revelation 6 tells of a scroll in God’s right hand that is secured with seven seals, which, when opened, summons four beings that ride out on white, black, red and pale horses to bring about death, war, famine and plague. It states: “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

In 2005, Bible scholar Fred Dattolo published an article in ‘The Trumpet’ where he claimed “the galloping hoofbeats of the four horses are getting ever louder and closer,” stating that a future pandemic was all that was needed to set free the final Horseman, who would spread a disease to a quarter of the world.

He said: “The four horsemen are depicted in the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 as the first four of seven seals.

“These seals are benchmarks of end-time events leading up to and including the return of Jesus Christ.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on May 12, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

COVID Devastating Navajo Nation

from AP

‘The grief is so unbearable’: Virus takes toll on Navajo

By FELICIA FONSECA and TIM SULLIVAN

Eugene Dinehdeal shields his face from the setting sun on the Dinehdeal family compound in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation on April 20, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TUBA CITY, Arizona (AP) — The virus arrived on the reservation in early March, when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing. 

It was carried in from Tucson, doctors say, by a man who had been to a basketball tournament and then made the long drive back to a small town in the Navajo highlands. There, believers were preparing to gather in a small, metal-walled church with a battered white bell and crucifixes on the window.

On a dirt road at the edge of the town, a hand-painted sign with red letters points the way: “Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene.” 

From that church, COVID-19 took hold on the Navajo Nation, hopscotching across families and clans and churches and towns, and leaving the reservation with some of the highest infection rates in the U.S. 

Crowding, tradition, and medical disparities have tangled together on the tribe’s land — an area nearly three times the size of Massachusetts — creating a virological catastrophe. 

And the most basic measures to fight the virus’ spread — handwashing and isolation — can be difficult. 

One-third of the homes across the vast, dry reservation don’t have running water, forcing families to haul it in. Many in close-knit Navajo communities live in crowded houses where self-quarantine is impossible, and many must drive hours to the nearest grocery store. To most Navajo, isolating an infected person from their family is deeply alien.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Little Richard Gone

from Rolling Stone

‘I Majored in Mouth’: How Little Richard Invented the Rock Star

With his “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop, a-lop bam boom” battle cry, the late singer-pianist embodied an irrepressible rebel spirit that inspired everyone from John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix

ByROB SHEFFIELD

American musician and singer Little Richard pictured, with Screaming Lord Sutch behind,  speaking at a press conference to promote his appearance at the London Rock and Roll Show at Wembley Stadium in London, 4th August 1972. (Photo by Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Rob Sheffield looks back on how Little Richard’s big mouth and chaotic ego paved the way for every rock star who would follow. Getty Images

Rebellion, outrage, scandal, hypersexual egomania, ripping it up, rocking it up, gigantic hair, and mascara — all these things are in rock & roll because Little Richard put them there. He was the loudest and wildest and rudest of the Fifties pioneers, the most flamboyantly and untamably free. He invented the rock star. That’s why the world is mourning today for Little Richard, who died this morning at 87. “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Heebie Jeebies” — these songs have been an inspiration to rebel hearts ever since. When John Lennon was asked in 1970 by Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner about his taste in music, Lennon simply replied, “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop.”

That battle cry — the opening holler of “Tutti Frutti” — kicked off Little Richard’s career in 1955. It was the sound of a poor gay black kid in Macon, Georgia, announcing to the world that his time had come, exploding with falsetto screams and piano-stomping flash and a six-inch pompadour. As Little Richard told Rolling Stone in his legendary 1970 cover story, “I came from a family where my people didn’t like rhythm & blues. Bing Crosby, ‘Pennies From Heaven,’ Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard. And I knew there was something that could be louder than that, but didn’t know where to find it. And I found it was me.” 

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on May 9, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

MILFology

from Inside Hook

The Long and Decorated Literary History of the MILF

From Chaucer to Mrs. Robinson, one of literature’s most subversive archetypes is also a surprisingly old one

BY ELIOTT GROVER

history definition milf
KRISTEN LIU-WONG

“How many of you,” I ask a roomful of half-awake 18-year-old students, “are familiar with the term MILF?” There’s a frenzied exchange of knowing smirks. 

Determined to maintain an academic tone, I ask the next question. “And how many of you know the etymology of this acronym?”

“Mom I’d like to fuck!” one particularly enthusiastic scholar blurts out. 

“Thank you,” I say over the tsunami of snickers. “That’s what it stands for. But where does it come from?”

Roughly half the students in my film elective correctly identify Stifler’s mom, the sultry divorcée from the 1999 comedy American Pie, as MILF Zero, the woman to whom those four letters owe their provenance. “Here’s the thing,” I press on, “Stifler’s mom may be Hollywood’s most explicitly sexualized and predatory mother. But she wouldn’t exist without Mrs. Robinson.”

“Who’s Mrs. Robinson?” a student inevitably asks. And that’s where our unit on The Graduate begins. 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 8, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

And The Poor Woman Isn’t Even A Fan

from NBC News

Stormtrooper trying to get customers’ attention taken down by officers in Canada

Callers reported seeing a weapon being carried by an employee who had been trying to drum up business for a restaurant hit hard by the coronavirus.

by Tim Stelloh

Image: Stromtrooper arrest
A woman dressed as a stormtrooper speaks to Lethbridge police Monday when they believed the gun she had could be real. The actions of those officers are now being investigated internally after video of the incident was posted to social media. Brad Whalen

A restaurant employee in a “Star Wars” costume was detained in Canada on Sunday after 911 callers reported seeing someone in a Stormtrooper costume with a gun, police said.

The employee, who was carrying a plastic blaster, had been trying to drum up business for the struggling restaurant, which opened two months before Canadian authorities shuttered eat-in dining because of the coronavirus, the woman’s boss, Brad Whalen, told NBC News.

“When she was told to drop the blaster, she did,” he said. Whalen said it was also difficult to move in the $1,200 costume, which he decided to use for the promotion when showing “Star Wars” films to customers wasn’t an option for May 4.

“That’s what she was trying to yell,” he said. “You can’t kneel. You can’t sit when you wear it.”

He’d begun promoting auctions and other events online to generate business. When he settled on using the Stormtrooper armor, the employee, who’s been working with him since January, happily agreed to wear it.

“The ironic thing is, she’s not even a ‘Star Wars’ fan,’” he said. “Now I don’t think we’ll ever convince her to be one.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on May 7, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Mirth, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Coronadance 2020

from The Hollywood Reporter

Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States?

by Tatiana Siegel

Getty Images; Courtesy of SubjectAshley Jackson at a Sundance premiere and, later, in a mask while sick.

A swath of attendees suffered harsh flu-like symptoms, leading a microbiologist to question whether the January festival was “the perfect formula to contaminate everybody.”

On Jan. 27, actress Ashley Jackson felt the first symptoms of a nasty bug — fever, clammy skin, fatigue and shortness of breath. Given her current locale — Park City — she chalked it up to altitude sickness and toughed out her final day at the Sundance Film Festival, where she had attended the world premiere of Blast Beat, a family drama in which she co-stars, as well as a dizzying array of parties and lounges. The next day, the 20-year-old college student flew home to Atlanta, just as more intense symptoms began to emerge, including sore throat, aches and pains and a cough so violent, her neck swelled. Within 24 hours, she made her first of multiple visits to an urgent care facility or emergency room and was diagnosed with the flu based on her condition (though no flu test was given at the time).

Like many who make the annual trek to the indie film mecca, Jackson left Sundance far worse off than when she entered. After all, the quaint mountain oasis transforms into a petri dish as some 120,000 festivalgoers from around the world huddle in crowded movie theaters during cold and flu season. In recent years, the festival’s organizers have placed an emphasis on attracting international filmmakers, and this year was no exception, with a lineup of 118 feature-length films representing 27 countries.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Man Myth Warhol

from The Observer

New Biography ‘Warhol’ Separates the Man From the Myth

By David D’Arcy

Andy in Studio, New York, Union Square, 1976. Michael Childers

Warhol, by Blake Gopnik, begins moments after the militant feminist and Factory hanger-on Valerie Solanas shot the artist in June 1968. Warhol, then 39, lost his heartbeat and a lot of blood, and had gone into cardiac arrest. A bullet that passed through his body punctured a lung. It was thanks to an Italian surgeon who happened to be visiting another patient that the presumed DOA was saved.   

Gopnik’s staggering description of opening up the Warhol’s chest reads more like a slaughterhouse dismemberment than anything medical.    

For Andy Warhol (1928-87), who attended church every week, coming out alive was a miracle. By that fall, despite painful permanent damage to his stomach and esophagus, he turned the slashes on his body into a fashion joke—“I’m so scarred I look like a Dior dress,” he said upon returning to work. Richard Avedon photographed his lacerated midriff as if Warhol were St. Sebastian—a martyr who survived.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on May 5, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Viral Parenting

from The Atlantic

Being a Parent Has Made My Pandemic Life Simpler, If You Can Believe It

Hear me out.

by Tom McTague

A mother and her child hold hands in a park.

Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum

Perhaps it’s the strange effect of being forced to slow down, to spend all of one’s time outside work pootling and pottering rather than actually doing things and seeing people. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere, the eerie streets, the cordoned-off playgrounds and lines of masked shoppers. Perhaps it’s just being a dad with a garden, a shelf full of Dr. Seuss stories, and sudden access to Disney’s entire back catalog. Whatever it is, something in the air is making a time that should be anxious, monotonous, and frustrating somehow pleasant, and even meaningful.

One might assume my life to be an unrelenting grind right now—I’m locked down in London, a global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, trying to juggle my day job with looking after a 3-year-old. Yet that hasn’t been my experience. Having children does add pressure to lockdown life, no doubt, and those without children are always very gracious to say how much harder it must be than what they’re experiencing. I am conscious that this pressure is doubled for single parents, parents without a steady income, or parents whose jobs require them to risk their health in the service of everyone else’s. But for the privileged professional middle classes, I am beginning to think that parents have it better than nonparents.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on May 4, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Internet Archive Strikes Again

from BoingBoing

Watch a slew of vintage MTV from the 1980s

by DAVID PESCOVITZ

Archive.org contributor Windsinger is uploading their entire VHS collection of MTV recordings from the channel’s finest era, from its launch on August 1, 1981 until 1989 (with a few 1991 episodes of 120 Minutes thrown in for good measure). It’s remarkable how the channel has evolved (?) from its pioneering earliest days filled with new music, youth culture, and visual experimentalism to its current form.

“I’ve been collecting recordings of full, unedited, WITH commercials & especially the VJs for years,” Windsinger writes. “I’ve found these videos from old websites, torrent sites, sharing things, The Original MTV VJs facebook page, and of course the Archive.”

[ click to continue reading at BoingBoing ]

Posted on May 3, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Kim Gordon Rocks

from The New Yorker

Kim Gordon Is Home Again

The artist on Instagram, ambition, and Los Angeles.

By Amanda Petrusich

“The planet is on its way out if we don’t get our act together,” Kim Gordon, the musician and avant-garde polymath, said. “And then you look around and see a Buddhist catchphrase engraved on the floor of a juice place: ‘Be Here Now.’ ” Photograph by Annabel Mehran for The New Yorker

Kim Gordon was born in upstate New York, in 1953, but was raised on the West Side of Los Angeles, where her father taught in the sociology department at U.C.L.A., and her mother worked as a seamstress. She moved to New York City in 1980, with designs on becoming an artist. In 1981, Gordon and the guitarists Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth, an experimental rock band that inadvertently helped usher in the alternative-boom of the early nineteen-nineties. Gordon was the kind of cool—vaguely aloof, impossibly chic, intimidatingly smart—that made young women like me feel equal parts terrified and enamored. During a time when it was still somewhat anomalous to see women playing in rock bands, and especially in bands as esoteric and adventurous as Sonic Youth, Gordon was a beacon.

She was also an avant-garde polymath. Gordon produced Hole’s début album, “Pretty on the Inside,” co-founded X-girl, a streetwear brand for women (the actress Chloë Sevigny was its official face), formed a series of musical side projects, and eventually began to show her drawings, paintings, and collages in galleries around the world. Around 2011, her marriage to Moore fell apart, and Sonic Youth went on an indefinite hiatus. Four years later, Gordon published “Girl in A Band,” a thoughtful, occasionally scathing memoir that recounts her formative years in Sonic Youth, her relationship with Moore, the birth of her daughter, and the origins of her art practice. She has spent the last several years performing as half of Body/Head, with the experimental musician Bill Nace, and, in 2019, at age sixty-six, she released her first solo album, “No Home Record.”

In April, Gordon and I began a correspondence, and she shared her thoughts on Instagram, Los Angeles, overpriced coffee, and canvassing for Bernie Sanders. This interview has been condensed and edited.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 2, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Mothers & Children

from artnet

Ahead of Mother’s Day, See Some of the Most Tender Depictions of Mothers and Children Throughout Art History

From Gustav Klimt to Alice Neel, artists have long focused on the subject of mothers.

by Caroline Goldstein & Katie White

Alice Neel, <i>Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia)</i> (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.
Alice Neel, Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia) (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” Poking fun at the sometimes overbearing nature of mother figures, the maxim highlights a universal truth: that life-giving often means succumbing to a future fraught with complicated emotions and worry.

And while mothers bear this responsibility and burden with a great deal of courage, if they’re especially lucky, they may be paid back with love, affection, and gifts when their offspring grow up—or, better yet, be portrayed in a work of art for all the world to see. 

Indeed, mothers have always made wonderful subjects for artists, who have long explored the space between their roles as individuals and as caregivers. Just ahead of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up eight famous artworks that beautifully depict the bond between mother and child.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 1, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Happy Whales – The Pearl In The Shell

from The Guardian

Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise

Curtailing of shipping due to coronavirus allows scientists to study effects of quieter oceans on marine wildlife

by Karen McVeigh

In cities, human lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic have offered some respite to the natural world, with clear skies and the return of wildlife to waterways. Now evidence of a drop in underwater noise pollution has led experts to predict the crisis may also be good news for whales and other sea mammals.

Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships.

David Barclay, assistant professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University, the lead author of a paper reviewing the phenomena, examined sound power – a way of measuring “loudness” – in the 100 Hz range from two sites, one inland and one farther offshore. He found a significant drop in noise from both.

“Generally, we know underwater noise at this frequency has effects on marine mammals,” Barclay said. 

“There has been a consistent drop in noise since 1 January, which has amounted to a change of four or five decibels in the period up to 1 April,” he said. Economic data from the port showed a drop of around 20% in exports and imports over the same period, he said.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Worse Than COVID

from c|net

Scientists pinpoint ‘most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth’

A paleontologist says time travelers would not survive long in this predator-packed area of Africa 100 million years ago.

by Amanda Kooser

Once you build your time machine, please do not set your destination for 100 million years ago in Morocco. 

An international team of scientists led by paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim of the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Portsmouth in the UK conducted a wide-ranging survey of the creatures and geology of an area in southeastern Morocco called the Kem Kem Group.

“This was arguably the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth, a place where a human time-traveler would not last very long,” Ibrahim said in a University of Portsmouth release on Friday. Some of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever discovered once roamed the region. 

The researchers published a paper on their Kem Kem Group findings in the journal ZooKeys this week. The University of Portsmouth called this “the first detailed and fully illustrated account of the fossil-rich escarpment.” 

Back in the Cretaceous, the area was home to rivers and packed with predators ranging from massive land-bound dinosaurs to flying pterosaurs. They had an abundance of prey to feed on. “This place was filled with absolutely enormous fish, including giant coelacanths and lungfish,” said co-author David Martill from the University of Portsmouth.

[ click to continue reading at c|net

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

When News Became Sports

from Vanity Fair

“SHOTS FIRED. HILTON HOTEL”: HOW CNN’S RAW, UNFOLDING REAGAN COVERAGE HERALDED THE NONSTOP NEWS CYCLE

Ted Turner’s upstart cable network beat the Big Three in reporting on the 1981 assassination attempt, though it—along with its broadcast rivals—made a major mistake amid the studio chaos, an early sign of the perils of breaking news on TV.

BY LISA NAPOLI

On a rainy spring Monday in March, Cissy Baker wound up sending her White House crew to a snoozer of a time-filler: the ballroom of the sprawling Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue, where President Ronald Reagan was about to address the national Conference of the Building and Construction Trades of the mighty trade labor union, AFL-CIO.

As was the custom in the carefully orchestrated universe of Washington politics, the text of the speech had been released to the press corps in advance. Most television viewers were unaccustomed to seeing routine events of the day in their entirety, but this was the kind of typical governmental affair that helped CNN burn through many an hour. There was always the chance that at some point the affable president might “commit news,” as the broadcasters cheekily referred to any unexpected development. Maybe there’d be boos from the audience; a bit of mileage could be had from that. As far as Atlanta was concerned, a speech by the president was far preferable to a five-minute, thumb-sucking analysis from Daniel Schorr. No wonder his nickname at CBS had been “Jukebox.”

The camera lingered on the president as he shook hands and beamed his movie-star grin. Anchor Bernie Shaw smoothly deployed his inside-the-Beltway knowledge in summarizing the remarks. Being able to offer this sort of live, postgame analysis was precisely what had lured him to this job. Who cared if there was no audience?

“President Reagan, in a speech that lasted about 19 minutes, drew applause four times from this group,” Shaw observed, with such authority that a viewer might actually believe there was a significance to the number of rounds of applause.

His midday assignment complete, he tossed the baton back to Atlanta. And during the next commercial break, Baker’s wish for a more interesting day suddenly materialized.

The words rang out from the police scanner at 2:27 p.m. “Shots fired” followed by “Hilton Hotel.”

In that instant, Baker frantically connected the dots: The Hilton? That’s where the president was, with one of her crews wrapping up inside. Her mind raced strategically over the map of the city. The chess game of routing personnel, particularly at a time of crisis, was a crucial part of running an assignment desk. Her back-of-the-hand knowledge of the nation’s capital was precisely the reason she’d been offered this job. It didn’t hurt that she ranked as a Washington insider. Her father happened to be the Senate majority leader, Howard Baker.

The next words that bleated out of the scanner offered a disturbing new clue: “Rainbow to GW.” Baker knew the code. “GW” meant the George Washington Hospital, and “Rainbow,” the first lady. If Nancy Reagan was heading for the hospital, that must be because the president was headed there too. But why?

Hearing the fracas among his anxious colleagues, Shaw demanded to know what was going on. A desk assistant said sarcastically, “I think they’re shooting at your president.”

“Don’t joke,” Shaw scolded.

For a veteran newsman, he was curiously unjaded—patriotic, and respectful of authority, even. (That didn’t equal passive. As a young member of the Marine Corps in Hawaii, he’d tracked down Walter Cronkite when he’d learned the anchorman was coming to town, urgently hoping for guidance on how to get into the business.)

The assistant responded to Shaw: “I’m not joking.”

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 28, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Pas plus, Nicoderm! Merde!

from The New York Post

France limits sales of nicotine products after fewer smokers catch coronavirus

By Laura Italiano

Nicotine patch
picture alliance via Getty Images

Fearing a run on nicotine gum and patches, France has banned the online sale of the products — a move spurred by reports of a lower-than-expected number of smokers among those hospitalized with the coronavirus.

In addition to the online ban, French authorities are limiting people who purchase the smoking cessation products at pharmacies to one month’s supply only, BBC.com reported.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on April 27, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Return of The Stoics

from The Guardian

Stoicism in a time of pandemic: how Marcus Aurelius can help

by Donald Robertson

A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Photograph: DEA/G DAagli Orti/De Agostini via Getty Images

The Meditations, by a Roman emperor who died in a plague named after him, has much to say about how to face fear, pain, anxiety and loss.

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The Antonine Plague, named after him, was probably caused by a strain of the smallpox virus. It’s estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.

From AD166 to around AD180, repeated outbreaks occurred throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions being devastated, and entire towns and villages being depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was particularly badly affected, carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book, known as The Meditations, which records the moral and psychological advice he gave himself at this time. He frequently applies Stoic philosophy to the challenges of coping with pain, illness, anxiety and loss. It’s no stretch of the imagination to view The Meditations as a manual for developing precisely the mental resilience skills required to cope with a pandemic.

First of all, because Stoics believe that our true good resides in our own character and actions, they would frequently remind themselves to distinguish between what’s “up to us” and what isn’t. Modern Stoics tend to call this “the dichotomy of control” and many people find this distinction alone helpful in alleviating stress. What happens to me is never directly under my control, never completely up to me, but my own thoughts and actions are – at least the voluntary ones. The pandemic isn’t really under my control but the way I behave in response to it is.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 26, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

New York No York

Posted on April 25, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

COVID In The Nude

from DNYUZ

The Nude Selfie Is Now High Art

It has become an act of resilience in isolation, a way to seduce without touch.

Frida Kahlo’s “The Broken Column,” a self portrait. / Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Before face-touching became potentially lethal, my friend Dave had a lot of lovers. Now he makes do with nude selfies. He doesn’t even request them, he says. They appear as if by magic. “I wake up and they are just there.”

“I keep getting explicit photos from people I thought were just my friends,” says Matthew, an artist in Providence, R.I. He adds, “It’s nice to know they’re thinking of me.”

Since the pandemic began, sex has changed: It’s imagined, monogamous, Zoomed or Skyped. And nude selfies have become one symbol of resilience, a refusal to let social distancing render us sexless. Nude selfies are no longer foreplay, a whetting of a lover’s appetite, but the whole meal.

Though the debate about art versus pornography has never been settled, a case can be made that quarantine nude selfies are art. Some of us finally have time to make art, and this is the art we are making: carefully posed, cast in shadows, expertly filtered. These aren’t garish below-the-belt shots under fluorescent lighting, a half-used roll of toilet paper in the background. They are solicited or spontaneous. They are gifts to partners in separate quarantines, friends who aren’t exactly friends, unmet Hinge matches and exes. (Exes are popping up like Wack-a-Moles these days.)

“Before the quarantine, I navigated under a ‘nudes are for boyfriends’ rule,” says Zoe, a marketing assistant in Los Angeles. “Something special for someone I trust. But in times of loneliness I turn to serial dating and now that plays out via virtual connections.”

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 24, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

When You Can’t Afford Gallery Prices

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Family Video Gaming Finally

from TIME Magazine

Don’t Feel Bad If Your Kids Are Gaming More Than Ever. In Fact, Why Not Join Them?

BY SEAN GREGORY


I’ve been thinking an awful lot about the 1989 Detroit Pistons over the past few days. Rick Mahorn, the starting power forward, can’t make a goddamn layup. Neither can Dennis Rodman. Isaiah Thomas is missing too many shots. Do I have anyone on my team who can stop Michael Jordan, who over the past four games is averaging 83.5 points per game against a squad once known as “The Bad Boys” because of its nasty defensive disposition? I’m not seeing much Bad in these Boys. 

Yeah, it would probably be sorry enough if I was consumed by the actual Detroit team that last played an actual NBA game at the outset of the George H.W. Bush administration. But no, I’m talking about the video game version of that championship squad. In NBA 2K20, the popular virtual hoops game that for many fans has replaced real basketball during the coronavirus pandemic, you can play using one of many fine historic NBA squads. And currently, my 13-year-old son and I are in a heated best-of-seven series, featuring my ‘89 Pistons versus his 1991 Chicago Bulls, another NBA title team, on our PlayStation 4. He’s up three games to one.

For a middle-aged man with many adult responsibilities, stressing about Bill Laimbeer’s minutes during these scary times doesn’t seem very healthy.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Fake Planet News

from USA Today

What scientists had believed was a planet beyond our solar system has now apparently disappeared from sight, a study says, which suggests “that what was heralded as one of the first exoplanets to ever be discovered … likely never existed,” according to the University of Arizona.

The “exoplanet,” a planet outside our solar system, supposedly orbited around Fomalhaut, a star 25 light-years away.

Instead of a planet, which had been named Fomalhaut b, what astronomers likely saw was a large cloud of dust from two icy bodies that had smashed into each other. 

“These collisions are exceedingly rare, and so this is a big deal that we actually get to see one,” study lead author András Gáspár of the University of Arizona said in a statement. “We believe that we were at the right place at the right time to have witnessed such an unlikely event with the Hubble Space Telescope.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on April 21, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Rogue Waves

from The Future of Things

The Wave That Changed Science

by Ran Levi

Historical image of a possible Rouge Wave
(Credit: NOAA Photo Library)

Over the centuries many sailors described seeing huge ocean waves, monsters of the seas that towered to heights of 30 meters and more. Those Rogue Waves, as they were called, appeared suddenly and rammed into the unfortunate vessel. Scientists tended to ignore these stories. They considered them to be legends, fairy tales that sailors tell each other to pass the time on long journeys. They had good reason to doubt these stories: contemporary mathematical models predicted that the biggest possible ocean storm wave could be twelve to fifteen meters high.

But those tales, passed from one sailor to another in pubs or late at night on the ship’s bridge, told also of a massive ‘hole’ in the water, tens of meters deep. This hole was followed by a nearly-vertical wall of water – a wave so steep no ship could ‘climb’ it. According to the stories, when a ship was hit by such a wave it usually drowned within seconds.

For a long time, scientists thought their understanding of ocean waves was reasonably good. The way they saw it, the mathematical models that were developed for other kinds of waves, like sound waves and electromagnetic waves, could be applied to waves in the ocean. And why should these models not be appropriate? A wave is just a wave, after all – an interference making its way from point A to point B, energy being transported from one place to another. Based on these mathematical models, scientists believed a thirty meter may exist, but is likely to occur only once every thirty-thousand years. Thus, Rogue Waves reports were placed in the same category sea-dragon stories, Bermuda Triangle oddities, and mermaid tales.

A single wave that crashed on a tall oil-rig in the northern Atlantic Ocean shocked the foundations of these scientific models.

[ click to continue reading at The Future of Things ]

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

COVID Reads

from The Millions

On Pandemic and Literature

by Ed Simon

Less than a century after the Black Death descended into Europe and killed 75 million people—as much as 60 percent of the population (90% in some places) dead in the five years after 1347—an anonymous Alsatian engraver with the fantastic appellation of “Master of the Playing Cards” saw fit to depict St. Sebastian: the patron saint of plague victims. Making his name, literally, from the series of playing cards he produced at the moment when the pastime first became popular in Germany, the engraver decorated his suits with bears and wolves, lions and birds, flowers and woodwoses. The Master of Playing Cards’s largest engraving, however, was the aforementioned depiction of the unfortunate third-century martyr who suffered by order of the Emperor Diocletian. A violent image, but even several generations after the worst of the Black Death, and Sebastian still resonated with the populace, who remembered that “To many Europeans, the pestilence seemed to be the punishment of a wrathful Creator,” as John Kelly notes in The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of all Time.

The cult of Sebastian had grown in the years between the Black Death and the engraving, and during that interim the ancient martyr had become associated with plague victims. His suffering reminded people of their own lot—the sense that more hardship was inevitable, that the appearance of purpled buboes looked like arrows pulled from Sebastian’s eviscerated flesh after his attempted execution, and most of all the indiscrimination of which portion of bruised skin would be arrow-pierced seeming as random as who should die from plague. Produced roughly around 1440, when any direct memory of the greatest bubonic plague had long-since passed (even while smaller reoccurrences occurred for centuries), the Master of the Playing Cards presents a serene Sebastian, tied to a short tree while four archers pummel him with said arrows. Unlike more popular depictions of the saint, such as Andrea Mantegna’s painting made only four decades later, or El Grecoand Peter Paul Reubens’s explicitly lithe and beautiful Sebastians made in respectively the 16th and 17th centuries, the engraver gives us a calm, almost bemused, martyr. He has an accepting smile on his face. Two arrows protrude from his puckered flesh. More are clearly coming.

[ click to continue reading at MM ]

Posted on April 19, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Don’t Mess

Posted on April 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Anal Contact Tracing

from The Mirror

Smart toilet recognises users by their ‘anal print’ and can detect early signs of cancer

Scientists say the smart toilet could be useful to individuals who are predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure

The smart toilet

Going to the loo may never be the same again thanks to scientists who claim to have invented a device that can be fitted on toilets to detect signs of various diseases in stool and urine.

The gadget, which fits inside the bowl, uses cameras, test strips and motion sensing technology to analyse the deposits and sends the data to a secure cloud server.

The researchers said their so-called “smart toilet” technology could be useful to individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure. 

Dr Sanjiv Gambhir, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford University ‘s School of Medicine in the US, and senior author on the study, said: “Our concept dates back well over 15 years.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Mirth, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Caveman Make String

from artnet

Archaeologists Just Discovered That Neanderthals Made String 50,000 Years Ago, Suggesting They Were Waaay Smarter Than We Thought

The researchers say that Neanderthals “really weren’t very different from us.”

Modern cordage made of grass fibers. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hardy.
Modern cordage made of grass fibers. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hardy.

Archaeologists have unearthed more evidence that Neanderthals were smarter than we previously believed.

According to newly found materials, our human brethren were making the world’s first string 50,000 years ago. The oldest-known cord fragments prior to this discovery were found in Israel, and were made some 19,000 years ago.

The find comes from an archaeological site called Abri du Maras in southeastern France, where Neanderthals lived between 90,000 and 42,000 years ago.

“The idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans is becoming increasingly untenable,” researchers say in an article documenting their finds published in Scientific Reports.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on April 16, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Next Page »