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Posted on November 10, 2017 by Editor

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Digitus Impudicus

from VICE

The Long, Angry History of Flipping the Bird

by Mack Lamoureux

The middle finger is way older than you think.

In late October, a woman named Juli Briskman pulled off something that many Americans—plus many foreigners—would die to do.

Briskman, bless her heart, flipped Trump the bird.

While Trump’s motorcade was cruising through Sterling, Virginia, they passed Briskman who was on her bike. Briskman, realizing who was pulling past her, extended her arm and popped up that wonderful, old as time, middle finger salute to America’s special liddle guy. As a result of pulling of the much loved stunt, the 50-year-old Briskman was fired by her government contractor employer.

However, the hero of this tale is a defiant one and told Huffpo that she’d “do it again” if given the chance.

But what was Briskman really saying with that single digit salute?

Well, as I’m sure you know, the finger is one of the most cherished gestures in the Western world. It’s how we show disapproval to those who can’t hear our vulgarities for whatever reason, it’s how I tell that chachi dude in the black truck that he almost ran me down in a crosswalk, and, if you’re the Canadian editor of VICE Sports, how you say hello to me in the morning.

The history of the finger isn’t completely concrete, but, as Benjamin Bergen, director of the Language and Cognition Lab at the University of California in San Diego explains, we know flipping people off goes back not just centuries but millennia.

“We know that it goes back, at least, to Greek times,” Bergen told VICE. “It shows up in some Greek plays and where it’s juxtaposed with other sorts of vulgar gestures, like the waggling of a penis for example. We also know that from records that it also showed up in plays in Roman times and in accounts of senate chamber conflict and so on.”

“We know that it had a name in Roman times where it was called the indecent or impudent finger, the Digitus Impudicus. It continues for the following millennium as we know, there are some urban myths people tell about the origins but as far as we can tell none of them are true, it really has a several thousand year history.”

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Editor

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Zombie Star

from BGR

Astronomers struggle to explain ‘zombie star’ that keeps exploding but won’t die

by Mike Wehner

Image Source: ESO

We humans like to pretend we know a lot about space and the various objects that we’ve observed in it, but at the end of the day we find ourselves scratching our heads more often than not. The latest and perhaps best example of this is a star called iPTF14hls, which keeps exploding but refuses to actually die, like some sort of stellar zombie. Isn’t space awesome?

Typically, when a star explodes in a supernova, it’s a sign that the star is progressing in its life cycle, erupting in a firestorm that decimates everything in its path and ultimately results in either a burnt out blob of incredibly dense matter, a neutron star, or even a black hole. iPTF14hls refuses to do any of those things, and has instead decided to just keep exploding over and over again.

In a new research paper published in Nature, scientists reveal their observations of the peculiar star, and do everything in their power to explain how this could even be possible. The researchers explain that a supernova of the star was observed way back in 1954, at which point science would have us believe that it was about to move past that stage and enter whatever comes next, but that’s not what happened.

[ click to continue reading at BGR ]

Posted on November 8, 2017 by Editor

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Bring Back The Hiss!

from The Wall Street Journal

A Global Shortage of Magnetic Tape Leaves Cassette Fans Reeling

Brisk demand from old and new fans prompts a Missouri company to return to a long-paused business

By Ryan Dezember and Anne Steele

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Steve Stepp and his team of septuagenarian engineers are using a bag of rust, a kitchen mixer larger than a man and a 62-foot-long contraption that used to make magnetic strips for credit cards to avert a disaster that no one saw coming in the digital-music era.

The world is running out of cassette tape.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on November 6, 2017 by Editor

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Koons On Art

from Bloomberg

Jeff Koons on the True Price of Being an Artist

The creator of some of the world’s most expensive art talks about his collaboration with Louis Vuitton and how excitement affects value.

By James Tarmy

Jay-Z performs at the V Festival in front of a Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture in August 2017. / PHOTOGRAPHER: SAM NEILL

James Tarmy: Your recent collaboration with Louis Vuitton is going gangbusters.

Jeff Koons: When the opportunity to work with Louis Vuitton came about, I thought, This is the perfect company: It has tremendous resources, it understands aesthetics, and it’s used to communicating to people through materialism.

As in, people who buy purses are materialistic?
When I say that, I mean through materials—being able to adjust the textures of leather or to enhance color and dyes through different coloring techniques.

Playing with surfaces has been a preoccupation in your art for years.
What art is, for me, is the possibility that when someone views something, they’re able to pick up on the essence of their own potential: It’s a vehicle—something that stimulates their own excitement.

In your mind, is there a creative difference between making a mass-market purse for Louis Vuitton and a $5 million sculpture?
It’s not like I collaborate with people where there’s differences, or tension, or the possibility of an outcome that’s different from what I intended. I try to choose collaborations where we both really believe in a commitment to the viewer—where you can both communicate that what you really care about is them.

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on November 5, 2017 by Editor

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Honda Wins

Posted on November 4, 2017 by Editor

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Richard Hambleton Gone

from The New York Times

Richard Hambleton, ‘Shadowman’
of the ’80s Art Scene, Dies at 65

His spectral silhouettes appeared mysteriously on buildings in Manhattan — “I painted the town black,” he said — but his work also drew notice abroad.

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

In the early 1980s, when graffiti seemed to be everywhere, hundreds of startling black-painted silhouettes appeared mysteriously on buildings on the Lower East Side and in other parts of Manhattan. The spectral, life-size, menacing figures lurked and skulked and leapt. Some of their heads, with paint splattered upward, seemed to be exploding.

Richard Hambleton, the Canadian-born conceptual artist who painted them all (sometimes after fleeing the police, paint bucket in hand), was known as “the Shadowman.”

“I painted the town black,” Mr. Hambleton told People magazine in 1984. “They could represent watchmen or danger or the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust or even my own shadow.”

He became part of the downtown art scene with his contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat at Club 57, a basement bar on St. Marks Place in the East Village that is the subject of a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, complete with one of Mr. Hambleton’s “Shadowman” works.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Editor

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Free Dead

from dead.net

30 DAYS OF DEAD

Official 2016 30 Days of Dead Cover Art

If you’ve been part of the Dead.net community for the past few years, then you know we’re on a mission to make a miracle every day in the month of November. This year is no different.

As a token of our appreciation for making 2017 an epic year, we’re giving away a high-quality 320Kbps MP3 download every day this month. That’s 30 days of unreleased Grateful Dead tracks from the vault, selected by Dead archivist and producer David Lemieux! Intrigued? We’re also going to put your knowledge to the test and give you a chance daily to win a limited-edition 7″ single, the 1st release from our 2017 series.

Here’s how it works:

You know your Ables from your Bakers from your C’s, but can your finely tuned ears differentiate the cosmic “comeback” tour from a spacey 70’s show? Each day we’ll post a free download from one of the Dead’s coveted shows. Will it be from that magical night at Madison Square Garden in ’93 or from way back when they were just starting to warm it up at Winterland? Is that Pigpen’s harmonica we hear? Brent on keys? Step right up and try your hand all November long.

Guess the venue and date correctly and you’ll be automatically entered to win the prize of the day. Each day a winner will be selected at random, so take your time and make your best guess! Answer correctly, and you will also be automatically entered for our Grand Prize – a copy of our SOLD OUT MAY 1977: GET SHOWN THE LIGHT boxed set.

[ click to download at dead.net ]

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Editor

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Minchin

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Editor

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Hey Where’s My Willy At?

from The New York Post

Man enjoys life after losing 3-foot-long penis

By Gabrielle Fonrouge

Immanuel Muasya / Barcroft Image

He was way too big for his britches!

A Kenyan man with a 3-foot penis and 11 pound testicles is finally getting the chance to live a normal life — now that his massive package has been surgically reduced, reports said.

Horace Owiti Opiyo, known as Forence, first noticed a cyst on his genitals back in 2006 and had it removed — but it came back with a vengeance a year later, bringing the length of his penis to almost a meter, the Mirror reported.

The 20-year-old was forced to drop out of school and didn’t have the money to pay for surgery. He tried to use herbal remedies to help his condition but they didn’t work, the outlet said.

He started to believe he’d been cursed.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Editor

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Taylor-Johnson’s Take On “A Million Little Pieces”

from The Hollywood Reporter

Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Tackle ‘A Million Little Pieces’ (Exclusive)

by Borys Kit , Tatiana Siegel

Mike Pont/WireImage/Sam Taylor-Johnson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

CAA has been negotiating the release of the rights of James Frey’s 2003 book from Warners, and the package is expected to be launched at the upcoming American Film Market.

The big-screen adaptation of James Frey’s best-seller A Million Little Pieces is being reassembled, this time as a team-up between husband-and-wife duo Aaron Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson.

The 2003 book was once one of the hottest properties in town but became radioactive after Frey was exposed for inventing or embellishing parts of the story that was originally dubbed a memoir. Warner Bros. won the book in a bidding war in 2003 and set it up with producer Brad Pitt and his then-Plan B partners Jennifer Aniston and Brad Grey. Frey wrote the first version of the screenplay.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Editor

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None Of This Should Be

from The Independent

The universe shouldn’t exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter

We don’t know why the universe isn’t destroying itself

by Andrew Griffin

Our universe shouldn’t exist, scientists say.

The most elite scientists in the world are still struggling to find why exactly our universe didn’t destroy itself as soon as it came into existence. That’s what science says should have happened – but it clearly hasn’t, since you’re here reading this, as far as we know.

At the beginning of the universe, according to the standard model, there equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. The trouble with that is that they would each have annihilated each other, leaving none of the matter that surrounds us today.

Researchers have been frantically looking for some difference between matter and anti-matter that could explain why the universe is still around. But they have tried a range of different possibilities – that they have different mass, electric charge, or something else – but have found no difference.

That has led researchers to question why the universe is still around at all.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Editor

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Cristóbal Vila

Posted on October 21, 2017 by Editor

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Asteroid Bus

from The Daily Star

Bus-sized Asteroid heading for Earth TODAY after string of near-miss encounters

AN ASTEROID will hurtle towards Earth today – just one week after another dangerously close encounter.

By Charlotte Ikonen

AsteroidGETTY / IMPACT: If the asteroid hit the Earth it would have a devastating impact

The newly-discovered space rock – named Asteroid 2017 TD6 – is expected to zoom past our planet at around at around 7.53pm.

It will be travelling at a distance of 191,000km away from civilisation.

According to NASA the chunk of rock is a whopping 22m wide.

Last week another asteroid made a close shave with Earth, as it soared past at a distance of just 27,000 miles above the surface.

[ click to continue reading at Daily Star ]

Posted on October 20, 2017 by Editor

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Moon Cave

from The Guardian

Discovery of 50km cave raises hopes for human colonisation of moon

Japan says lunar chasm measuring 50km long and 100 metres wide could be used as a base for astronauts and their equipment

by Justin McCurry

Earth rises over the lunar horizonEarth rises over the lunar horizon. Photograph: Historical/Corbis via Getty Images

Scientists have fantasised for centuries about humans colonising the moon. That day may have drawn a little closer after Japan’s space agency said it had discovered an enormous cave beneath the lunar surface that could be turned into an exploration base for astronauts.

The discovery, by Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe, comes as several countries vie to follow the US in sending manned missions to the moon.

Using a radar sounder system that can examine underground structures, the orbiter initially found an opening 50 metres wide and 50 metres deep, prompting speculation that there could be a larger hollow.

This week scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) confirmed the presence of a cave after examining the hole using radio waves.

The chasm, 50km (31 miles) long and 100 metres wide, appears to be structurally sound and its rocks may contain ice or water deposits that could be turned into fuel, according to data sent back by the orbiter, nicknamed Kaguya after the moon princess in a Japanese fairytale.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 19, 2017 by Editor

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Lunar Hilton

from Business Insider

A Las Vegas hotel mogul plans to send an inflatable space hotel into orbit around the moon by 2022

by Hilary Brueck

bigelow aerospaceA rendering of the inside of Bigelow Aerospace’s B330 space station was released in 2016. Now the company says it will be ready for lunar orbit by 2022.

Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based space pod company, wants to send an inflatable space hotel to orbit the moon, with accommodations for astronauts and citizen space travelers alike.

The company partnered with NASA in 2016 to attach an inflatable, soft-shell demo pod onto the International Space Station. Now, Bigelow has announced that a bigger inflatable pod, which it’s calling the B330 “lunar depot”, could be orbiting the moon in five years.

That moon station is much more ambitious than Bigelow’s ISS add-on. It’s designed to stand alone and is about a third of the size of the ISS. The company suggests the pod could hold roughly six people, and is billing it as a hub for “significant lunar business development.”

Providing accommodations for future space travelers is a logical next step for the company’s founder, Robert Bigelow, who owns the Budget Suites of America hotel chain and has been working on creating expandable space modules since 1999.

United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, plans to partner with Bigelow to launch the habitat into space, then get it circling around the moon.

[ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Editor

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Hellcat To Winnie

FWD to 59:10 for the cop punching Hellboy in the throat

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Editor

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Tiangong-1 Done

from The San Diego Tribune

China’s Tiangong-1 space station will crash into Earth within months

Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a Chinese space lab hurtling toward the earth.

Known as the Tiangong-1, the space station was launched by China’s National Space Administration in 2011 but is now headed for an out-of-control landing somewhere on our globe. Seriously.

China lost control of the 18,740 pound, 34-foot long space station — the first built and launched by the country — in 2016. Before that it was used for both manned and unmanned missions.

The lab’s re-entry is expected between now and April. But where? When? It’s hard to say.

[ click to continue reading at The San Diego Tribune ]

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Editor

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‘It’s a Very F*cked Up Time to Be’

from Daily Beast

Michael Stipe Opens Up About R.E.M. and President Trump: ‘It’s a Very F*cked Up Time to Be’

The R.E.M. frontman sat down with Stereo Williams to discuss the 25th anniversary of their celebrated album ‘Automatic for the People’ and the not so shiny happy state of America.

There are certain things Michael Stipe recalls about his most visible years as a rock superstar that give a clear indicator of his paradoxical relationship with icon status. He’s alternately cocky about R.E.M.’s heyday (“we were fucking audacious”) and self-effacingly dismissive about their most celebrated ’90s album (“I feel like I’ve been repeating everything I’ve been saying for the last quarter century”). The band’s Automatic for the People, released 25 years ago in October 1992, was a creative triumph at the height of R.E.M.’s most commercial period. The quartet from Athens, Georgia, had famously risen through the ranks of ’80s college rock to become ’90s pop stars, and frontman Stipe was wrestling with newfound superstardom.

And on a balmy day in the East Village, he’s still wrestling with that fame in hindsight.

“I became extremely famous—suddenly,” Stipe recalls. He smirks when thinking back to when he’d suddenly gone from college rock enigma to Bono-level rock star.

“I used to be able to identify the people that would recognize me walking on the sidewalk in New York,” he muses. “That went from those identifiable music fans or punk rock fans or whatever—to everyone. I went from a singer in a band with a few hits and a core audience—a large core audience—but [after] ‘Losing my Religion’ and the popularity of that video… I was hugely famous and that was weird for me. I’m still and always will be shy. I’ve learned how to deal with it and finish my sentences and talk to people in a regular way, but it was intense.”

[ click to continue reading at Daily Beast ]

Posted on October 15, 2017 by Editor

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Hatchet Throwing, Cool

from AFP via Yahoo!
<h1″>Hatchet throwing a new pastime in America

by Thomas URBAIN

Eatontown (United States) (AFP) – What better, safer way to have fun than drink beer and throw a hatchet?

This is now a thing in America, a new pastime, and it’s spreading.

On a busy Friday night at Stumpy’s Hatchet House in New Jersey, it sounds like this: the thud of the blade sticking into a wooden target, people cheering a good toss, and a bell ringing out when somebody scores a bull’s eye.

Its four founders say this place, which opened 18 months ago, is the first of its kind in the US, although Canada is generally considered the cradle of competitive hatchet-hurling.

Such spots are now found in Chicago, Washington, Nashville and Denver, among other US cities.

Stumpy’s owners are talking about opening another elsewhere in New Jersey and have even started offering franchise arrangements. They hope to have a network of 15 within a year.

“This is the next bowling,” said Kelly Josberger, a former elementary school principal aged 51 who decided to change careers. Like her three partners, she had never before run a business.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on October 14, 2017 by Editor

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Filthy Re-birth

from The New York Times

Can Gowanus Survive Its Renaissance?

Brooklyn’s famously filthy canal is getting cleaned up. A building boom is coming. And not everyone is happy.

By ANDY NEWMAN

Stroller traffic on Carroll Street. Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

“Welcome to Venice Jerko.” The greeting is painted in three-foot-high letters on a brick wall along Brooklyn’s legendarily polluted Gowanus Canal, right across from the canal’s first luxury high-rise and its new waterfront promenade.

One recent sunny Sunday, a party of German seminary students and a pair of hotel publicists gathered for a canoe tour. The seminarians had read about the canal in a German travel guide that promised “a romantic sunset on the water.” The publicists were scouting to see if the boutique hotel, opening a few blocks away, might want to include guided canoe trips.

But as much as the canal zone has been remade already, the next few years promise, or threaten, a different magnitude of change altogether.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Editor

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It’s Coming

from C|NET

Asteroid that just buzzed Earth may not miss on return visit

Asteroid 2012 TC4 doesn’t have a very memorable name, but it might leave quite an impression years from now.

BY ERIC MACK

asteroid-earth-animationA rendering of Asteroid 2012 TC4. / NASA/JPL-Caltech

The house-size asteroid that just passed by Earth, almost as close as many satellites in orbit, will be back — and a future visit might lead to it taking up permanent residency here.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Asteroid 2012 TC4 safely passed by our planet at an altitude of 27,300 miles (44,000 kilometers), just a few thousand miles above the level of satellites in geosychronous orbit. That’s nearly twice as close as when it passed us almost exactly five years ago, about a week after it was first discovered in October 2012.

The most recent models of the space rock’s future path, which can be altered by Earth’s gravity each time it makes a close pass, have ruled out the possibility that it will impact Earth when it makes another close call in 2050.

But the same can’t be said for its visit in 2079.

[ click to continue reading at C|NET ]

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Editor

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Charlie’s Stash

from The Thread

HOW CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S WIFE SAVED HIS BACKYARD FORTUNE

By Sean Braswell

Charlie Chaplin was having lunch in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when he heard some devastating news on September 19, 1952. The British screen legend and longtime U.S. resident received a telegram aboard the England-bound Queen Elizabeth indicating that he would not be allowed back in America unless he agreed to come before an immigration authority to answer charges of political and moral turpitude. Translation: U.S. authorities thought he was both a communist and an adulterer, which put him into rather a sticky situation in 1950s America.

Chaplin was returning by ship to his native England for the first time in more than 20 years, bringing with him his wife and four children for the worldwide premiere of his latest film. Like many in Hollywood, he had been growing increasingly frustrated with being the target of communist allegations hurled by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and others in Washington. And so Chaplin made a bold decision after receiving the telegram: He would not go back to the U.S. The hitch? Chaplin’s vast Hollywood empire, a fortune amassed over decades of successful motion pictures, lay in his adopted homeland. More than a million dollars also lay buried in his Beverly Hills backyard. How was he to extricate his fortune without returning? To solve his problem, Chaplin turned to the person he trusted more than any other — his fourth wife, and an American citizen — Oona O’Neill Chaplin.

[ click to continue reading at The Thread ]

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Editor

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Now Teddy Is On Drugs

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Editor

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Virgin Mars

from Business Insider

Richard Branson says he’s 6 months from going to space — but Mars belongs to Elon Musk

by Tom Turula

richard bransonRichard Branson’s private space program Virgin Galactic has long promised to democratize space travel.

After thirteen years of development and setbacks — including a fatal crash, technical difficulties and frequent delays — Richard Branson’s private space program, Virgin Galactic, is soon ready for live action, at least according to Branson himself.

“We are hopefully about three months before we are in space, maybe six months before I’m in space,” the founder of Virgin Galactic, which is part of Virgin Group, told an audience at Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland last week.

When he received an audience question about who will reach Mars first, he or Elon Musk, Branson made clear he is not as keen on the red star as SpaceX and Tesla’s founder.

“I’m not as passionate about Mars as Elon is. My love for space is about how much it can do for people back here on earth, and that’s what Virgin Galactic is pushing towards.”

[ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Editor

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Kubrick’s Right-hand

from Daily. Beast

Stanley Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man Speaks: The Personal Toll of Working With a Genius

Leon Vitali’s career spent working alongside Stanley Kubrick is a case study of both selfless devotion and self-destructive mania. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

by

Every serious cinephile is aware of Stanley Kubrick, but far fewer are familiar with Leon Vitali, the English co-star of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon who, following that performance, became the auteur’s steadfast right-hand man. Doing everything asked of him by the legendarily meticulous filmmaker—from taking notes, creating marketing materials, and color-coding prints, to casting, rehearsing with stars, and acting himself—Vitali was the irreplaceable assistant who helped shepherd to the screen The Shining, Full Metal Jacketand Eyes Wide Shut, even as his vital role in those projects remained largely hidden from the public.

That situation is justly rectified by Tony Zierra’s Filmworker, a superb documentary about Vitali’s career alongside Kubrick that serves as a case study of both selfless devotion and self-destructive mania—as well as a much-deserved celebration of a true artist-behind-the-artist. And according to its subject, it certainly doesn’t overstate how uniquely demanding it was to work with one of cinema’s true geniuses.

“Balance is a word that rarely came into my vocabulary throughout my whole time, whether I was working with Stanley or not,” Vitali chuckles when speaking to me from Los Angeles, two days before Filmworker’s premiere (this Tuesday) at the New York Film Festival. “I’m just one of those people who gets quite emotional once they got locked into something. And some things take on proportions of life and death.” Though he found watching himself on screen in this form “a little bit weird,” he confesses, “I can honestly say it didn’t exaggerate, in any stretch of the imagination, how fraught or tense it could be. Or how time intensive.”

[ click to continue reading at Daily Beast ]

Posted on October 8, 2017 by Editor

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Red-Right 88

from BobFreyMusic.com

BOB FREY

Hey Everybody,

Below is a newly recorded version of my 20-minute (!!) ode to the Cleveland Browns “Red-Right 88”.  It first appeared on my record “Tape From Minnesota” (2004).  I decided to re-record this song, started from scratch and, in addition to new vocals and guitar, I have added, with a little help from my friends, some tasty keys & percussion.  This is a work-in-progress, and I hope to have some violin on there soon.  But, as another Browns season begins, I thought I’d get this version out there.  Enjoy! Hope everybody doing well and, Go Browns!! B
P.S. And- Good Luck to our baseball boys as they chase their record-setting 22nd win in a row!  Jonathan and I have watched just about every game from our comfy Mpls basement.  Cherished Father & Son times… kinda like those described in “Red Right 88”, except Cleveland is winning! B

[ click to check out Bob Frey Music ]

Posted on October 7, 2017 by Editor

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Luca Stricagnoli

Posted on October 6, 2017 by Editor

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AIM Gone

from The Atlantic

AIM Was Perfect, and Now It Will Die

A eulogy for the chatting service, which will shut down on December 15

by ROBINSON MEYER

The logo for AOL Instant Messenger, a yellow running personAxel Heimken / AP

You kids don’t understand. You could never understand.

You walk around in habitats of text, pop-up cathedrals of social language whose cornerstone is the rectangle in your pocket. The words and the alert sounds swirl around you and you know how to read them and hear them because our culture—that we made—taught you how. We were the first generation to spend two hours typing at our closest friends instead of finishing our homework, parsing and analyzing and worrying over “u were so funny in class today” or “nah lol youre pretty cool.”

That thing you know how to do, that cerebellum-wracking attentiveness to every character of the text message and what it might mean—we invented that. But when we invented it, we didn’t have text messages, we didn’t have Snapchat, we didn’t have group chats or Instagram DMs or school-provided Gmail accounts. We had AIM. We had AOL Instant Messenger.

“How did AIM work?” you ask. It was like Gchat or iMessage, but you could only do it from a desktop computer. (Since we didn’t have smartphones back then, its desktop-delimited-ness was self-explanatory.) You could set lengthy status messages with animated icons in them. And iconic alert noises played at certain actions: the door-opening squeak when someone logged on, the door-closing clickwhen they logged off, the boodleoop for every new message.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on October 5, 2017 by Editor

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The Hooker Ripping It Up In Detroit

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Editor

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Kim Gets Screwed Again

from GIZMODO

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Kim Dotcom’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Appeal

by Tom McKay

Former Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom’s long, wild ride through the courts crashed into another setback Monday, with the Supreme Court declining to hear an appeal in the 2012 seizure of his assets in New Zealand.

US prosecutors had charged Dotcom with crimes including racketeering and money laundering related to Megaupload, the file-hosting service they said he operated as a thinly veiled piracy site. In January 2012, New Zealand authorities armed with rifles and tactical gear and accompanied by police helicopters raided his rented mansion at the behest of the US, seizing millions of dollars in property and freezing Dotcom’s overseas bank accounts.

The US government has been trying to get its hands on $40 million of those assets since 2014, saying Dotcom’s web empire profited by $175 million at the cost of some $500 million in stolen intellectual property from the entertainment industry. In 2016, an appeals court ruled the civil forfeiture could move forward because Dotcom never came to the US to contest it—thus making himself subject to “fugitive disentitlement.” That more or less means US courts consider him to have become a fugitive and thus unable to contest the seizures.

[ click to continue reading at GIZMODO ]

Posted on October 3, 2017 by Editor

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Paglia on Hefner

from The Hollywood Reporter

Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner’s Legacy, Trump’s Masculinity and Feminism’s Sex Phobia

by Jeanie Pyun

With the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on Sept. 27, cultural historian and contrarian feminist Camille Paglia spoke to The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview on topics ranging from what Hef’s choice of the bunny costume revealed about him to the current “dreary” state of relationships between the sexes.

Have you ever been to a party at the Playboy Mansion?

No, I’m not a partygoer! (Laughs.)

So let me just ask: Was Hugh Hefner a misogynist?

Absolutely not! The central theme of my wing of pro-sex feminism is that all celebrations of the sexual human body are positive. Second-wave feminism went off the rails when it was totally unable to deal with erotic imagery, which has been a central feature of the entire history of Western art ever since Greek nudes.

So let’s dig in a little — what would you say was Playboy’s cultural impact?

Hugh Hefner absolutely revolutionized the persona of the American male. In the post-World War II era, men’s magazines were about hunting and fishing or the military, or they were like Esquire, erotic magazines with a kind of European flair.

Hefner reimagined the American male as a connoisseur in the continental manner, a man who enjoyed all the fine pleasures of life, including sex. Hefner brilliantly put sex into a continuum of appreciative response to jazz, to art, to ideas, to fine food. This was something brand new. Enjoying fine cuisine had always been considered unmanly in America. Hefner updated and revitalized the image of the British gentleman, a man of leisure who is deft at conversation — in which American men have never distinguished themselves — and the art of seduction, which was a sport refined by the French.

Hefner’s new vision of American masculinity was part of his desperate revision of his own Puritan heritage. On his father’s side, he descended directly from William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower and was governor of Plymouth Colony, the major settlement of New England Puritans.

But Hefner’s worldview was already dated by the explosion of the psychedelic 1960s. The anything-goes, free-love atmosphere — illustrated by all that hedonistic rolling around in the mud at Woodstock in 1969 — made the suave Hefner style seem old-fashioned and buttoned up. Nevertheless, I have always taken the position that the men’s magazines — from the glossiest and most sophisticated to the rawest and raunchiest — represent the brute reality of sexuality. Pornography is not a distortion. It is not a sexist twisting of the facts of life but a kind of peephole into the roiling, primitive animal energies that are at the heart of sexual attraction and desire.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on October 2, 2017 by Editor

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Sun & Peng’s ‘Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other’

Posted on October 1, 2017 by Editor

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