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The Sampha Process

from The New York Times

Sampha, a Wounded Voice for Drake and Beyoncé, Steps Out With ‘Process’

By 

Sampha, the experimental British pop singer and electronic producer, sounds like someone who has seen things.

For years, some of the biggest names in music (and the best talent scouts) — including Drake, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Solange — have deployed his lush, tender soprano, which can feel wounded but never weak, to telegraph their vulnerability. Through guest appearances on tell-all songs like Drake’s “Too Much” and Mr. West’s “Saint Pablo,” Sampha has made himself a go-to collaborator for those in search of emotional heft.

So it’s peculiar, then, given his ability to touch souls with his voice, that Sampha (born Sampha Sisay) long shied away from singing. As a child, he was known at home mainly as a dancer, doing Michael Jackson moves at the urging of his four much older brothers. When a career in music dawned on him, he thought of becoming a producer like Pharrell or Timbaland.

“When I started, I was just making lots of beats, and I wasn’t even intending to sing over them,” Sampha said last month in a low murmur, trailing off more often than he finished sentences. “I didn’t even have a microphone at home — I would have to go to someone else’s house to record.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on February 1, 2017 by Editor

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The Great Gig In The Yoko

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Editor

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Old Venice

from KCET

The Lost Canals of Venice of America

by Nathan Masters

Secreted away from the hustle and bustle of the famous boardwalk, the picturesque canals of Venice, California, are one of the seaside community’s hidden charms. But in Venice’s early years, the canals that survive today were only a sideshow. The main attraction – the original canals of Abbot Kinney’s Venice of America – are lost to history, long ago filled in and now disguised as residential streets.

In planning Venice of America, Kinney incorporated several references to the community’s Mediterranean namesake, from the Italianate architecture to his fanciful notion of launching a cultural renaissance there. But Venice of America would not have lived up to its name were it not for its canals.

When it opened on July 4, 1905, Venice of America boasted seven distinct canals arranged in an irregular grid pattern, as seen below in Kinney’s master plan for the community. Totaling nearly two miles and dredged out of former saltwater marshlands, the canals encircled four islands, including the tiny triangular United States Island. The widest of them, appropriately named Grand Canal, terminated at a large saltwater lagoon. Three of the smaller canals referred to celestial bodies: Aldebaran, Venus, and Altair.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on January 28, 2017 by Editor

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Kuso Gross-o

from The Verge

Kuso is the grossest movie ever made

Grotesquely explicit descriptions ahead

by Chris Plante

There are a number of reasons I’m hesitant to recommend Kuso, the first film from artist and musician Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus. (Spoilers and grotesquely explicit descriptions ahead.) I’ll start with the footage of an erect penis being stabbed. As with most footage of an erect penis being violently gored by a long steel rod, it’s certainly unexpected. So by the time you cover your eyes, it’s already too late. And if you happened to blink, it’s cool, Kusodelivers a callback.

To paraphrase the official plot synopsis, Kuso is a collection of semi-connected short films chronicling the lives of the mutated women, men, and children of Los Angeles, following the earthquake to end all earthquakes. But that’s not really Kuso’s story, let alone its point. While the film does hint at some interesting (though opaque) commentary about Los Angeles, racism, and the grim and bloody history of America, its creators are mostly interested in one thing: producing the grossest film ever.

They succeed. The sliced eyeball in Un Chien Andalou, the copious shit in River of Fundament, the corporeal mutilation of the entire torture-porn genre: it’s all an amuse-bouchefor the final course that is Kuso.

[ click to continue reading at The Verge ]

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Editor

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Arrivederci Yellow Spaghetti

from TimeOut LA

Say goodbye to LACMA’s beloved yellow spaghetti installation

By Michael Juliano

While droves of visitors are busy posing in between the lamp posts of “Urban Light” or pretending to hold up the 340-ton “Levitated Mass” for a fun photo, LACMA regulars know that the Miracle Mile museum’s most fun photogenic installation is a hands-on piece from 1990 that resides next to the entrance of the Ahmanson Building. But it turns out those swinging spaghetti strands won’t be around for much longer.

Jesús Rafael Soto’s “Penetrable,” a thick curtain of yellow plastic hoses, will wrap up its stay at LACMA on February 12. The kinetic installation has invited visitors to get lost in its tangle of human-scale strands since 2011. We had grown so accustomed to the late Venezuelan artist’s sculpture that we assumed LACMA owned the piece, but it was instead part of a long-term loan from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, to which it’ll return next month.

[ click to continue reading at TimeOut ]

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Editor

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Speed Queens

from Dangerous Minds

SPEED QUEENS: THE FEARLESS FEMALE DRAG RACERS OF THE 60S AND 70S

By Cherrybomb

Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney on the cover of ‘Sunday News Magazine’ in 1978. 

Like many fields of work, the drag racing scene was and is fairly well dominated by men. During its heyday, specifically the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, the National Hot Rod Association incorporated the use of gorgeous women/models to help appeal to the fanboys. If you were into that scene, you probably spent a lot of time fantasizing about Pam Hardy aka “Jungle Pam” who accompanied driver “Jungle Jim” Liberman across the country clad in go-go boots and form-fitting, barely-there outfits that showcased her bodacious “assets” while she showboated on the track and in the pit for her adoring fans. Though Liberman would pass away unexpectedly in 1977, Hardy would continue to appear at racing events. But this post isn’t about buxom blonde race track cheerleaders. It’s about the ballsy women who drove the cars during that era—and there were actually quite a lot of “speed queens” that not only gave their male counterparts a run for their money, but also blazed a trail for other women who wanted smoke up the track.

And since I know you’re curious, here’s a shot of “Jungle Pam.” Though her attire says otherwise, it must have been cold that day.

[ click to continue reading (and viewing) at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on January 23, 2017 by Editor

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ENDGAME: Rules of The Game

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Editor

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Superfly Snuka Gone

Posted on January 16, 2017 by Editor

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Low

from The Observer

How David Bowie Perfected the Concept Album on ‘Low’

David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth.David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to EarthYouTube

It’s been said the beginning of Kosmische Musik—the hypnotic, minimalist style of music crudely dubbed “Krautrock” by the British press in the late ’60s—lies in the wake of World War II. The trance-like atmosphere and sterilized rhythms were the result of a sound designed to mirror the shell shock that fell over Germany after the demise of the Third Reich as well as the Schlager pop music deemed appropriate for public consumption by the government.

“There were not too many ways for a German rock musician to perform music, to make music, even to think of the theoretical development of music because there was no heritage in the country,” explains the late Edgar Froese of the groundbreaking electronic outfit Tangerine Dream in the BBC documentary Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany.

“And the Germans were in a very bad situation. You couldn’t forget that. I mean, they were so stupid and guilty for it, to start two wars. As horrific as it was it had one, forgive me to say that, one positive point. There was nothing else to lose. They lost everything. And so, when we thought about doing music in a different form, there was only the free form, the abstract form.”

Oddly enough, when David Bowie began exploring this new music coming out of Germany from groups like Tangerine Dream and Cluster and Kraftwerk, he was coming under fire for some of the things he was saying while under his Thin White Duke persona in 1976.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on January 15, 2017 by Editor

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William Peter Blatty Gone

from The Sun

William Peter Blatty dead aged 89 as tributes pour in for The Exorcist author

BY JOHN SHAMMAS
Linda Blair in 1973 playing the possessed child

THE legendary horror writer who penned The Exorcist has passed away at the age of 89.

William Peter Blatty’s death was confirmed on social media by the film’s director William Friedkin this afternoon.

The writer won the Oscar in 1973 for his screenplay, based on his own book that was published in 1971 which told the story of a child possessed by a demon.

And thanks to the film’s success, the possessed child’s image has become iconic among horror fans.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on January 13, 2017 by Editor

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Finally, a Purpose for Instagram

from Vanity Fair

Helen Mirren Is on Her Way to Kardashian-Level Instagram Mastery

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Oh, what a difference three years makes for Helen Mirren, queen of moviegoer hearts and, now, Instagram feeds. In 2014, the Oscar-winning actress took an aggressively anti-social media stance, telling press, “I’m not a social-media person. . . . I find it distasteful.” Speaking of a 24-hour experiment with Facebook, Mirren said, “I just found it so intrusive and I didn’t want strangers wanting to become my friends. I just didn’t want that. There was something really scary about it and I didn’t like it at all.” So imagine our surprise in discovering on Thursday that Mirren has not only embraced her new Instagram account, but begun posting the kind of photos typically seen in the feeds of Kardashian family members—bathtub pics!

On Thursday, while in Paris for a L’Oréal photo shoot, the actress took to the social platform to share a very behind-the-scenes shot of her Parisian hotel accommodations. Mirren posted a photo of her feet, while soaking in a bathtub, and captioned it: “ahh end of the day in the bath. You cannot overestimate how fortunate I feel”

[ click to continue reading at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Editor

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Bowiedamus

Posted on January 8, 2017 by Editor

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Why Video Games

from Nautilus

How Video Games Satisfy Basic Human Needs

BY SIMON PARKIN

“Mass Effect: Andromeda” | Image from IGN / Bioware / YouTube

Grand Theft Auto, that most lavish and notorious of all modern videogames, offers countless ways for players to behave. Much of this conduct, if acted out in our reality, would be considered somewhere between impolite and morally reprehensible. Want to pull a driver from her car, take the wheel, and motor along a sidewalk? Go for it. Eager to steal a bicycle from a 10-year-old boy? Get pedaling. Want to stave off boredom by standing on a clifftop to take pot shots at the screaming gulls? You’re doing the local tourism board a favor. For a tabloid journalist in search of a hysteric headline, the game offers a trove of misdemeanors certain to outrage any non-player.

Except, of course, aside from its pre-set storyline, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t prescribe any of these things. It merely offers us a playpen, one that, like our own cities, is filled with opportunities, and arbitrated by rules and consequences. And unless you’re deliberately playing against type, or are simply clumsy, you can’t help but bring yourself into interactive fiction. In Grand Theft Auto, your interests and predilections will eventually be reflected in your activity, be it hunting wild animals, racing jet-skis, hiring prostitutes, buying property, planning heists, or taking a bracing hike first thing in the morning. If you are feeling hateful in the real world, the game provides a space in which to act hatefully. As the philosophers say: wherever you go, there you will be.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on January 7, 2017 by Editor

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HAUNTED Casting

from Variety via Yahoo! TV

TV News Roundup

by Dani Levy

CASTING

Three new cast members will join Syfy‘s “The Haunted” as series regulars. Steve Kazee and David Alpay will play two of the four siblings in the Bradley family reunited after their parent’s death, slowly fixing their relationships with each other and navigating between the all too real ghosts from their pasts. DeVaughn Nixon will play a detective, investigating the mysterious circumstances around the deaths. Full Fathom Five’s James Frey and Todd Cohen will executive produce. Pilot writer Noga Landau, of “Tau” and “The Magicians,” will also co-executive produce.

[ click to read full article at Yahoo! TV ]

Posted on January 6, 2017 by Editor

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Bend It

Posted on January 5, 2017 by Editor

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Anti-fame

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Why some artists no longer want to be famous

by Aurélie MAYEMBO

An art piece protected by a plexiglass pane by British artist Banksy, seen on a beach in Calais, northern FranceAn art piece protected by a plexiglass pane by British artist Banksy, seen on a beach in Calais, northern France (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)

Paris (AFP) – “I love being famous,” the black US comedian Chris Rock once quipped. “It’s almost like being white.”

But a growing number of artists would rather have success without the encumbrance of fame.

From the street artist Banksy to the Italian literary phenomenon Elena Ferrante, a new brand of creator is actively rejecting the limelight and doing everything they can to avoid it.

Even first-time novelists, whose publishers are often desperate for them to go out and promote their work, are thumbing their noses at celebrity.

One young French novelist, who writes under the pseudonym of Joseph Andras, rejected the country’s top prize for a first book last year because it threatened his anonymity.

Like Ferrante, whose Naples quartet has become a huge international bestseller, Andras refuses to be photographed and only does interviews via email.

“A baker makes bread, a plumber unblocks pipes and writers write,” he declared in his only interview, granted to the Communist newspaper L’Humanite. “Everything is in the book, I don’t really see what more I have to add.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Editor

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Happy New Year!

Posted on December 31, 2016 by Editor

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How-to Neon

Posted on December 29, 2016 by Editor

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Baba Booey Gone

from USA Today

Joey Boots from ‘Howard Stern Show’ dies at 49

by 

(Photo: Jamie McCarthy)

Joey Boots, who helped introduce America to the expression “Baba Booey” on The Howard Stern Show, has died at 49.

The radio personality, whose real surname is Bassolino, was found unresponsive in his Bronx apartment Friday, report TMZ and  CNN.

The NYPD later confirmed his death to the Hollywood Reporter.

Bassolino, who was part of the rogue’s gallery known as the Wack Pack, grabbed attention by shouting “Baba Booey” on Stern’s show and during live TV reports. He even managed to successfully defend his right to do so in a New York court.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on December 26, 2016 by Editor

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“Most” Influential Album Covers

from American Express

The 57 Most Influential Album Covers

[ click to view all 57 covers at AmEx ]

Posted on December 25, 2016 by Editor

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Bowie’s Basquiats

from artnet

What David Bowie’s Basquiat Painting Teaches Us About the Art Market

The painting has come to auction twice before, with illuminating results.

Brian Boucher

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Air Power (1984), from the collection of David Bowie. Courtesy Sotheby's London.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Air Power (1984), from the collection of David Bowie. Courtesy Sotheby’s London.

The holdings of pop superstar, art collector, and artist David Bowie are headed to auction November 10 at Sotheby’s London, and the prize lot is a canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat, titled Air Power (1984). It is estimated to sell for as much as £3.5 million ($4.3 million).

Showing a grimacing, full-length figure at the left and a masklike face at the center above a hatchet, among other imagery, the painting stands five and a half feet high; it has been exhibited in public just three times.

The painting has come to auction twice before, according to the artnet Price Database, and the ups and downs in its price might offer a lesson about holding on to prized works. Even as today’s art market has softened, this painting’s story may make you want to take the long view.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on December 23, 2016 by Editor

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Hollywood Babylgun

from The Hollywood Reporter

LOCKED & LOADED: The Gun Industry’s Lucrative Relationship With Hollywood

By Gary Baum & Scott Johnson

The NRA and the entertainment industry interact publicly as mortal enemies. But as the number of weapons shown in movies and TV steadily increases — and stars like Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie make fortunes wielding guns onscreen — a co-dependence that keeps both churning is revealed: “making the liberal bias a lot of money”

BURNISHED BY THE LOW LIGHT OF GLASS-WALLED DISPLAYS, THEY seem like ancient artifacts, but the objects here are beloved contemporary icons. One case houses the massive Smith & Wesson Model 29 wielded by Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan in the 1973 film Magnum Force. In another rests the Beretta 92F used by Bruce Willis in Die Hard. All the great shoot-’em-up classics — The Bourne IdentityPulp FictionThe Wild Bunch — are here. This exhibit, celebrating cinema, isn’t in Hollywood; it’s thousands of miles away, in a museum at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Va.

The NRA is proud of its “Hollywood Guns” exhibit. It’s the most popular of more than a dozen rooms and multiple showcases, which include the gun that Theodore Roosevelt took on a 1913 expedition to the Amazon. The shiny allure of the Hollywood gun room comes last in the museum tour — “like a reward,” says an NRA official.

The exhibit highlights the sometimes uneasy but fruitful partnership between the gun industry and Hollywood, where firearms are an integral part of life and storytelling. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers say that there’s no better way to brand, market and sell a weapon than to get it placed in a big Hollywood production. And most of the time, it’s free — product placement at its finest.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Editor

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Lyndsy Fonseca to “THE HAUNTED”

from Deadline

‘The Haunted’: Lyndsy Fonseca To Star In Syfy Pilot, Elizabeth Cappuccino Also Set

by 

lyndsy-fonseca-3Courtesy of Syfy

Former Nikita star Lyndsy Fonseca and up-and-comer Elizabeth Cappuccino (Jessica Jones) have been cast as two of the leads of Syfy’s supernatural horror drama pilot The Haunted.

Written by Noga Landau (Tau, The Magicians)The Haunted centers on four siblings – Juno (Fonseca), Virgil, Eliis and Hester (Cappuccino) — who reunite following their parents’ deaths. As they try to overcome their fractured personal relationships they find that they must also face the literal ghosts from their past in order to survive.

James Frey and Todd Cohen of Full Fathom Five executive produce and Landau co-executive produces for Universal Cable Productions.

[ click to read full article at Deadline.com ]

Posted on December 19, 2016 by Editor

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Alogrithm X

from BBC

Algorithms Are Making Us Small-minded

Your life is mapped out for you but, not in the way that you think. How predictive algorithms narrow your perspective – and ultimately your choices.

By Sydney Finkelstein

(Credit: Getty Images)Online retailers like Amazon offer us products based on our previous browsing habits – but that can add to the echo chamber (Credit: Getty Images)

We live in a world of curation. The internet — aided by algorithms that predict what we search, buy, listen to, read, watch and even who we want to date and marry — expertly helps to us find what we want.

Well, as long as it’s similar to whatever we’ve liked in the past.

And there’s the rub. The ubiquity of incredibly powerful algorithms designed to reinforce our interests also ensures that we see little of what’s new, different and unfamiliar. The very things that are at the heart of learning, understanding and innovation. Rather than taking us out of our comfort zone, the digital revolution is enabling each of us to live happily in our own worlds, and in the process closing down opportunities for originality, spontaneity and learning.

The best part of all: we love it this way.

How do I know?

Because we flock to Amazon to buy what their algorithms say we should buy. Because we read news that reinforces what we already believe. And because we even rely on dating sites that specifically seek to match us with similar people.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on December 18, 2016 by Editor

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Henry Heimlich Gone

from The LA Times

Henry Heimlich, doctor who invented lifesaving anti-choking procedure, dies at 96

by Steve Chawkins

When he was a 21-year-old camp counselor, Henry Heimlich saved a life and had his first brush with fame.

On the way back to New York City from Massachusetts at summer’s end, his quick thinking in a train wreck helped save a critically wounded crew member. It also landed the handsome medical student on the front page of the New York Times. A month later, the Greater New York Safety Council gave him a gold watch.

Never one to shy away from the limelight, Heimlich would go on to a level of fame — and controversy — that astonished even him.

Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon who developed the lifesaving Heimlich maneuver after experimenting on anesthetized beagles, died Saturday in Cincinnati, his family said. He was 96.

[ click to continue reading at LA Times ]

Posted on December 17, 2016 by Editor

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National Asteroid Day decreed by QUEEN

from PASTE

Thanks to Queen’s Brian May, We Now Have “International Asteroid Day”

By Monica Hunter-Hart

ad30

The fact that an asteroid could easily and suddenly obliterate Earth is something people usually try not to think about. But Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May would caution against blissful disregard; thanks to him and three co-founders, the U.N. Committee On The Peaceful Uses Of Outer Space have approved an annual awareness campaign in the form of “International Asteroid Day.”

In regards to this cosmic threat, May has stated, “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it became that the human race has been living on borrowed time.” He added that asteroids hit Earth “all the time.”

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on December 12, 2016 by Editor

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The Miracle Of The Can

Posted on December 11, 2016 by Editor

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Rocket Men

from The Guardian

Rocket men: why tech’s biggest billionaires want their place in space

Forget gilded mansions and super yachts. Among the tech elite, space exploration is now the ultimate status symbol

by  in San Francisco

Richard Branson with a Virgin Galactic space aircraft at the company’s Mojave desert headquarters.Richard Branson with a Virgin Galactic space aircraft at the company’s Mojave desert headquarters. Photograph: Barry J Holmes for the Observer

The explosion could be felt 30 miles away. At 9.07am on 1 September, a SpaceX rocket containing 75,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene ignited into a fireball that could be seen from orbit, billowing black smoke into the gray sky around its Cape Canaveral launch pad.

On board was a $200m, 12,000lb communications satellite – part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org project to deliver broadband access to sub-Saharan Africa.

Zuckerberg wrote, with a note of bitterness, on his Facebook page that he was “deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite”. SpaceX founder Elon Musk told CNN it was the “most difficult and complex failure” the 14-year-old company had ever experienced.

It was also the second dramatic explosion in nine months for SpaceX, following a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” of a booster rocket as it attempted to land after a successful mission to the International Space Station.

Later that day, Nasa’s official Twitter account responded: “Today’s @SpaceX incident – while not a Nasa launch – reminds us that spaceflight is challenging.”

Yet despite those challenges, a small band of billionaire technocrats have spent the past few years investing hundreds of millions of dollars into space ventures. Forget gilded mansions and super yachts; among the tech elite, space exploration is the ultimate status symbol.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on December 5, 2016 by Editor

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DRY Revived

from Dangerous Minds

THE ENTIRE PRINT RUN (1979-82) OF NYC PUNK MAGAZINE ‘DRY’ IS NOW ONLINE!

by Christopher Bickel

Wendy O Williams of the Plasmatics in ‘Dry’ magazine

Ryan Richardson is one of the United States’ foremost collectors, archivists, and dealers of punk rock records and ephemera, as well as being the Internet saint who created free online archives of Star,  Rock Scene, and Slash magazines. He also runs Fanzinefaves.com, a repository of various early punk zines as well as the exhaustive punk info blog Break My Face.

We’ve written about Richardson’s punk altruism before here at Dangerous Minds. The last time was back in June when he uploaded the entire print run of excellent early San Francisco punk magazine Damage over at his site CirculationZero.com.

Richardson has done his Good Samaritan work once again, this time with the upload of the complete print run of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s NYC punk magazine Dry to Circulation Zero.

According to Richardson, Dry was conceived by art school students and titled as a reaction against Wet, “The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing.”

Dry is manic in its cut-n-paste layout and panicked in its reviews and reports. Eclectic coverage of punk, No Wave and eventually hardcore in the later installments.

Fourteen issues were published, all of which are available as a single pdf download HERE.

[ click to continue reading at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on December 4, 2016 by Editor

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Moon Village Coming

from The Belfast Telegraph

‘Moon village’ plans winning worldwide support

Futuristic plans for a “moon village” proposed by the European Space Agency (Esa) are winning support from around the world.

The idea is to set up a permanent human outpost on the moon that will be a base for science, business, mining and even tourism.

Esa director general Jan Woerner said the moon village was discussed by member state ministers meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland to decide space funding.

At a press conference after the two-day meeting he said: “We are now having a list of actors worldwide who would like to participate in this moon village concept.

“There are ideas of companies – not only ideas, projects of companies – to go to the moon, and they want to be part of this community.

[ click to continue reading at The Belfast Telegraph ]

Posted on December 3, 2016 by Editor

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Inventor of General Tso’s Chicken Gone

from Taiwan News

Inventor of General Tso’s Chicken dies in Taipei at age 98

The inventor of General Tso’s Chicken and founder of famous Taiwanese Hunan-style restaurant chain Peng’s Garden died in Taipei on Wednesday

By Keoni Everington

General Tso’s Chicken(By Wikimedia Commons)<

Chef Peng Chang-kuei (彭長貴), the founder of the famous Hunan-style restaurant chain Peng’s Garden Hunan Restaurant (彭園湘菜館) and inventor of the world famous Chinese dish General Tso’s Chicken, died on Nov. 30 at the age of 98 from Pneumonia.

A native of Changsha, Hunan Province, Peng began training at the age of 13 under the tutelage of the famous Hunan chef Cao Jing-chen (曹藎臣), who was the family chef of Tan Yan-kai (譚延闓), the prime minister of the Nationalist government from 1926 to 1928. After WWII, he was put in charge of running Nationalist government banquets, and in 1949 he fled to Taiwan after the Kuomintang’s forces were defeated by the communists in the Chinese Civil War.

According to an interview with the China Times, Peng says that his most famous dish was created in 1952 during a four-day visit by U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Admiral Arthur W. Radford. After three days, he had served the guests most of his repertoire of dishes, so to try and mix things up a bit, he decided to chop some chicken into big chunks, fry it to a golden hue and then added a different combination of sauce and seasoning to create a new dish.

The admiral was so impressed with the dish that he asked Peng what it was called, he thought quickly on his feet and said “General Tso’s Chicken” (左宗棠雞).

[ click to continue reading at Taiwan News ]

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Editor

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The Farmer’s Daughter

from LAist

How A Seedy Motel Called The Farmer’s Daughter Became A Boutique Hotel

BY JULIET BENNETT RYLAH

flying-bacon.jpeg“Flying Bacon” by Jessie Azzarin (Photo via Farmer’s Daughter Hotel)

The farmer’s daughter, in fiction, is an attractive, pure-hearted young woman who grew up on a bucolic farm. She’s Daisy Duke. She’s Dolores Abernathy of Westworld. She’s Mary Ann, stranded on an uncharted desert isle. Technically, she’s even The Walking Dead‘s Maggie Greene. She appears in songs, she’s a central character in crass tavern jokes, and she turns up in many an adult film. But in Los Angeles, Farmer’s Daughter is also a hotel.Peter and Ellen Picataggio bought the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel on Fairfax Avenue in 1997. At that time, Ellen said it already bore its peculiar name, but it was something of a “no-tell motel.” It’d been there since the ’60s, had its halcyon days through the ’70s, and fell into disarray thereafter. For a short period of time, it was a Best Western, but not when the Picataggios got their hands on it. Ellen described the owner they got the property from as “absentee.”

Looking at old photos supplied by the Picataggios reveals the kind of unremarkable, bland, yet oddly endearing decor of any mediocre American motel. The off-white bathroom with the hair dryer attached to the wall, the small closet stacked with unused phonebooks, the green carpeting you rarely see outside of motels and dated transit hubs, and the plain bed, dressed in pink and green patterned comforters, positioned beneath uninspired paintings of ambiguous landscapes. These pedestrian rooms served as the accommodation for many a CBS studio guest, including those who went to sleep dreaming of spinning The Big Wheel and winning a lump sum from Bob Barker. The sign was a big, yellow roadside eye-catcher, with a smaller marquee below that read, “Our Rooms Are Tops” on one side and “Extra Nice Rooms” on the other.

“Gotta love the cheap art on the wall,” Peter said of the old rooms. “I think I might have kept a piece somewhere just for fun and memories. Never forget where you came from.”

The original yellow sign, too, is now a part of the hotel’s office.

[ click to continue reading at LAist.com ]

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Editor

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Inventor of Big Mac Gone

from FORTUNE

The Inventor of the Big Mac Has Died

by 

Michael Delligatti, the man who brought you the Big Mac, has died. He was 98.

Delligatti, more affectionately known as “Jim,” was one of McDonald’s first franchisees. He first created the Big Mac in 1967 at his Uniontown, Penn. restaurant, Business Insider reports.

Almost 50 years later, it’s the same recipe served in chains today: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions—on a sesame seed bun (for those of you old enough to remember the jingle). McDonald’s has been experimenting with the Big Mac’s size lately, offering both smaller and bigger versions of the sandwich.

[ click to continue reading at FORTUNE ]

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Editor

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