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from France 24

The music festival refusing to bow to Covid

Belgrade (AFP)

Tickets for the festival are already on sale with the date marked as July 8-11
Tickets for the festival are already on sale with the date marked as July 8-11 ANDREJ ISAKOVIC AFP/File

Pulsating crowds, booming open-air sound systems, megastars lapping up the adoration of thousands — music festivals are fast receding into distant memory thanks to Covid, but one event in Serbia is refusing to yield.

The Exit Festival — one of Europe’s biggest with organisers saying 200,000 attended in 2019 — is aiming to become the first such event to go ahead in Europe since the pandemic began.

Other big names on the circuit like Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Hellfest have already cancelled this year because of the virus.

But Exit spokesman Sanjin Djukic claimed medical experts had agreed it was possible to hold the event safely if visitors produced vaccination certificates or negative test results.

“We can say with absolute certainty that visiting Exit will be a lot safer than going into a bar or getting on a bus,” he told AFP.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on May 9, 2021 by Editor

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Barbershop

from SPIN

Seventh Heaven

Barbershop quartets are more than meets the ear

by Jonathan Rowe 

Met Quartet Servicing Barber Shop Owner
CREDIT: Bettmann / Contributor

Don’t let a century’s worth of pop culture fool you — the best of the best barbershop quartets have five voices.

Sure, four striped-shirt, straw-hatted, bow-tied bodies — but five voices. The second tenor sets the stage with a lead melody line, which the first tenor lays a high harmony on. The baritone singer handles mid-range, while the bass, the deepest voice of the four, lays a solid foundation. But when the overtones of these four pitch-perfect voices unite and merge, an invisible fifth voice emerges from the ether, an everywhere-but-nowhere aural apparition not unlike the effect of Buddhist monks chanting in a massive ancient temple. This unified fifth-voice phenomenon is known as harmonic coincidence, though it is nowhere near a coincidence, accident or fluke.

Summoning what former Barbershop Harmony Society President Art Merrill calls, “the voice of the angels,” takes well more than four peppy singers with dreamy voices. In fact, should one of the four mortals as much as drift off-pitch, the heavenly house of cards drops.

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Posted on May 8, 2021 by Editor

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Alpha Betas Red Head Intervention Map!

Posted on May 7, 2021 by Editor

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Going French

from The New York Times

See Fewer People. Take Fewer Showers.

Some people said they started bathing less during the pandemic. As long as no one complains, they say they plan to keep the new habit.

By Maria Cramer

Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool on Martha’s Vineyard, grew up showering every day.

“It’s what you did,” she said. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced her indoors and away from the general public, she started showering once a week.

The new practice felt environmentally virtuous, practical and freeing. And it has stuck.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Ms. Harper, 43, who has returned to work. “I like showers. But it’s one thing off my plate. I’m a mom. I work full-time, and it’s one less thing I have to do.”

The pandemic upended the use of zippered pants and changed people’s eating and drinking habits. There are now indications that it has caused some Americans to become more spartan when it comes to ablutions.

Parents have complained that their teenage children are forgoing daily showers. After the British media reported on a YouGov survey that showed 17 percent of Britons had abandoned daily showers during the pandemic, many people on Twitter said they had done the same.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 6, 2021 by Editor

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Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming

from Architectural Digest

Dive Into the History of the Swimming Pool in Photography

A new book is filled with iconic images of pools from the last 100 years

By Stefanie Waldek

Slve Sundsb Think Tanks Frank June 1998 on the cover of Pools Lounging Diving Floating Dreaming Picturing Life at the...
Sølve Sundsbø, Think Tanks, Frank, June 1998, on the cover of Pools: Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming: Picturing Life at the Swimming Pool. “The cover image of the book was shot by Sølve Sundsbø in the 1990s,” says Stoppard. “I asked him why the pool is so popular in photography and he said, ‘It almost invites you to take a photograph. It’s a premade studio.’ I think that’s very true.” Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Rizzoli

For the better part of the last century, photographers of all kinds have been drawn toward pools, whether for the way their reflective forms are captured by cameras or their role in social gatherings. The resulting images are the subject of Pools: Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming: Picturing Life at the Swimming Pool ($65, Rizzoli), edited by writer Lou Stoppard.

“I’ve wanted to do this book for years, so I’ve been collecting great pool photographs for a very long time,” Stoppard tells AD. “Part of this was to show the way that the swimming pool has remained a seductive place for photographers as years have passed. It sounds negative to call it a trope, but in a way, it is. Pool pictures litter the history of photography.”

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on May 5, 2021 by Editor

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Tarantino To The Rescue

from DEADLINE

Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema Sets Reopening Date

By Anthony D’Alessandro

More good news for LA moviegoers: Revival house New Beverly Cinema has set a reopening date of June 1 per its Twitter account. No further details were provided about the cinema’s upcoming schedule.

The 300-seat theater opened in 1929 at Beverly Boulevard near LaBrea Boulevard in Los Angeles. The two-time Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino subsidized New Beverly owner Sherman Torgan to the tune of $5K per month to keep the location open; Torgan, who passed away in 2007, owned the theater at 7165 Beverly Blvd since 1978. Tarantino became the new landlord in the wake of Torgan’s passing, holding the line on developers who yearned to turn the venue into a Supercuts. In 2014, Tarantino became head curator with a mandate that only 16MM and 35MM prints would be shown, and jettisoning the digital projector installed by Torgan’s son Michael. The cinema reopened in December 2018 after year long enhancements.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 4, 2021 by Editor

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Endangered Wings

from The Washington Post via MSN

America is running low on chicken. Blame covid-19, a sandwich craze and huge appetite for wings.

by Reis Thebault


a man holding a sandwich: Randy Estrada holds up his Popeyes chicken sandwich, shortly after the fast food chain introduced the menu item in 2019, which The Washington Post dubbed the Year of the Chicken Sandwich. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Randy Estrada holds up his Popeyes chicken sandwich, shortly after the fast food chain introduced the menu item in 2019, which The Washington Post dubbed the Year of the Chicken Sandwich. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It’s not like we weren’t warned. The doomsayers predicted this months ago: “A MASSIVE CHICKEN WING SHORTAGE IS BREWING,” blared the headline of one trade publication in early February.

But it turned out to be so much worse.

Bloomberg News, on Thursday: “Fried-Chicken Craze Is Causing U.S. to Run Low on Poultry.”

In other words, not just wings, but chicken in general. Or, as Bojangles put it in a recent tweet about their tenders: “we’re experiencing a system-wide shortage :( But they will be back soon!”

It seems the poultry paucity has arrived, heralded by a series of fast-food executives describing in earnings calls their stores’ struggles to stock enough chicken — nuggets, tenders, wings, patties, all shapes and sizes — to keep pace with legions of peckish Americans.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on May 3, 2021 by Editor

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Onboard With No Place To Go

from The Wall Street Journal

Trapped Aboard an Abandoned Cargo Ship: One Sailor’s Four-Year Ordeal

The MV Aman was seized near the Suez Canal in 2017. Years later, its chief mate was still on board, all alone.

By Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw

Mr. Aisha traded scrap metal from the ship to passing fishing and commercial vessels for cheese or fish. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD AISHA

SUEZ, Egypt—Chief Mate Mohammad Aisha awoke to the groans and tremors of a cavernous cargo ship listing hard to starboard. He staggered through the darkness up five flights of stairs to the bridge and shined his phone’s flashlight on the navigation dials.

The MV Aman was tilting 10 degrees, its 330-foot-long hull taking on more than 6 feet of water. Three miles from the nearest ship, Mr. Aisha knew that if the 3,000-ton boat went under, it would suck him, the only person on board, into the Red Sea.

This was a crisis. It was also Mr. Aisha’s best chance to escape.

For months, the 29-year-old Syrian had been the last sailor still living on a cargo ship, abandoned two years earlier near the mouth of the Suez Canal and being detained by the Egyptian government. They had refused to let him disembark but couldn’t keep him on the ship if it was sinking, he reasoned.

He activated an emergency beacon and shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” into the radio. Hours crawled by before a military patrol arrived to whisk him to land.

Ten days of interrogations in military and police stations later, Mr. Mohammad was right back where he started, returned to a deserted ship whose hull had been repaired. It was Oct. 27, 2019, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on May 2, 2021 by Editor

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Eli Broad Gone

from DEADLINE

Eli Broad Dies: Billionaire Businessman, Philanthropist, Founder of L.A.’s Broad Museum Was 87

By Tom Tapp

Eli Broad

Businessman, philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad, who left an indelible imprint on Los Angeles’ cultural scene, died today at age 87.

Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following a long illness, according to Suzi Emmerling, spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

Broad made his fortune building single-family homes. A New York native, he parlayed a loan from his in-laws into a homebuilding empire. He and Donald Bruce Kaufman founded KB (Kaufman & Broad) Homes in Detroit in 1956 when Broad was barely 20 years old. The firm went on to become the largest independent builder of single-family homes in the United States. It built more than 600,000 homes in the postwar boom, many of them in Southern California. He later bought Sun Life Insurance, morphing it into annuities giant SunAmerica. He sold it for $18 billion in stock in 1998. He was the first person to develop two Fortune 500 companies in different industries.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 1, 2021 by Editor

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Another New ORC

from VICE

Scientists Spot Yet Another Unexplained Ring-Shaped Radio Structure In Space

A new Odd Radio Circle (ORC) appears to span a million light years, and contains a clue that could explain these ghostly structures.

By Becky Ferreira

Scientists have spotted yet another bizarre, gigantic, and unexplained circle-shaped radio structure in outer space, a discovery that contributes to “exciting times in astronomy,” reports a new study.

The bubble is the latest example of an Odd Radio Circle (ORC), an aptly named type of spectral ring that debuted in a 2020 paper led by Western Sydney University astrophysicist Ray Norris. Norris and his colleagues detected four of these enormous circles eerily glowing in faint radio wavelengths far beyond our galaxy.

Now, scientists led by Bärbel Koribalski, a research scientist at CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility, have discovered a fifth ORC that appears to span about one million light years. 

This structure, named ORC J0102–2450, also looks like it has an elliptical galaxy at its center, a feature it shares with two of the ORCs found by Norris’ team. Koribalski and her co-authors, including Norris, said the presence of the galaxies is “unlikely a coincidence” and may help explain the origin of these ghostly rings, according to their forthcoming study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, which is available on the preprint server arXiv. 

ORCs have flown under the radar for decades because they are extremely dim, but new and advanced radio telescopes, such as the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), are sensitive enough to spot the huge bubbles. 

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on April 30, 2021 by Editor

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Thank you, Mr. Hockney

from DNYUZ

New David Hockney Billboards to Brighten 4 Cities in May

New David Hockney Billboards to Brighten 4 Cities in May

Two suns will appear in four cities during the month of May — the real sun in the sky, of course, but also the chrysanthemum-like depiction of it in a video by the British artist David Hockney. The 2½-minute animation will be broadcast on digital billboards in Times Square in New York and prominent locations in London, Tokyo and Seoul.

Hockney’s dawning of a new day in a color-saturated landscape springs from his experience in early mornings looking out the kitchen window of his house in Normandy, France, where he has lived since 2019, carefully observing and creating art from his surroundings.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Editor

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The Origin of Medina Spirit

from Kentucky Derby

Tales from the Crib: Medina Spirit

by Kellie Reilly/Brisnet.com

A newborn who needed help, a $1,000 yearling whose small breeder had to sell, a cheap recruit for a hardscrabble talent scout, a juvenile purchase inspired by friendship – Medina Spirit’s story is ready-made for cinema.

And that’s even before his improbable rise for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Outlasting his higher-profile stablemates Life Is Good and Concert Tour on the trail, Medina Spirit is Baffert’s last remaining hope for a record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby (G1) win in 2021.

Medina Spirit was bred in Florida by Gail Rice, whose tiny broodmare band varies from one to four at a given time, including partnerships. His dam, Mongolian Changa, was a $9,000 yearling purchase by Gail’s former husband, trainer Wayne Rice. 

[ click to continue reading at KentuckyDerby.com ]

Posted on April 28, 2021 by Editor

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“what-the-hell-is-going-on-and-how-did-I-get-here”

from Vanity Fair

Andrew McCarthy Recalls the Heady Days of the Brat Pack

The Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire star has a new memoir, Brat: An ’80s Story.

BY ANDREW MCCARTHY

Lowe Tom Cruise and Estevez at the 1982 premiere of In the Custody of Strangers.
Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Estevez at the 1982 premiere of In the Custody of Strangers. BY FRANK EDWARDS/FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES.

It had been narrowed down to four actors for the two lead roles. We were broken into pairs. I was teamed with an impossibly handsome young actor named Rob Lowe who was auditioning to play my rich roommate and the son of the woman with whom my character would have an affair. The film was called Class.

I was back in the dizzy and disorienting world of “what-the-hell-is-going-on-and-how-did-I-get-here,” which suited my character perfectly. Rob and I were sent off to spend an hour together in an effort to create chemistry while the other pair of actors were put through their paces. We wandered through the nearby Water Tower Place, where I was soon to shoot a memorable (at least to me) love scene in a glass elevator.

Rob had recently costarred in his first film, Francis Ford Coppola’s soon to be released movie adaptation of The Outsiders. He held forth from a place of Hollywood experience as we drifted over the polished marble of the mall, killing time. He spoke of Tom and Matt and pasta dinners with Francis. I was unsure just who he was talking about, but nodded my head anyway. I wondered how much of Rob’s banter was simply whistling in the dark and how much was a belief in his destiny, while another part of me simply envied his apparent ease and confidence. I said little. While a charming bravado may have been Rob’s preferred method of making himself ready, mine was to go quiet and become hyper-observant—both of those around me and of myself. I don’t believe either one of us thought to actually rehearse the scenes together.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Editor

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Summer of Soul

from PASTE

See the Transcendent First Trailer for Sundance-Awarded, Questlove-Directed Documentary Summer of Soul

By Jim Vorel

After a triumphant premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, music documentary Summer of Soul is headed to Hulu on July 2 in conjunction with Disney’s new BIPOC Creator Initiative. The film is the feature filmmaking debut of none other than Roots legend Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, cataloging a powerful but sadly forgotten chapter in American musical history—the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. As the synopsis reads:

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten-until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on April 26, 2021 by Editor

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Malaise Motors

from Car Bibles

Malaise Motors Is Your Safe Space to Love Cars That People Hate

Malaise-era cars haven’t had a huge fanbase, but it does exist!

BY KEVIN WILLIAMS

Monte Carlo

Facebook car groups can be a hot mess. Half of them seem like they’re full of dunderheads asking the same easily Googleable basic questions, and the other half is full of know-it-alls who lambast anyone who doesn’t align completely with their tastes. It’s easy for a group to become toxic or boring, then fade away into nothing. Malaise Motors is, refreshingly, neither.

The Malaise Motors Facebook group is dedicated to cars from the “Malaise” era, which this group defines as 1972 to 1995.

What is Malaise, you ask? To make a long story short, the U.S. had a horrible air pollution problem in the 1960s and ’70s – smoggy air was a common sight in many American cities. The Clean Air Act of 1972, created to clear up hazy skies, introduced limits on how much pollution engines could emit. The side effect, though, is that these emissions restrictions also severely limited output from engines.

Suddenly, a 350 horsepower V8 was now making 160 HP because the era’s automotive technology couldn’t really reconcile making power without making pollution. The group considers the mandate of OBDII, the universal computerized diagnostic system virtually every car made since ’96 has, as the end of Malaise. The group calls OBDII the “beginning the modern era of engine management and emissions control.”

[ click to continue reading at Car Bibles ]

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Editor

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Go YOLO!

from DNYUZ

Welcome to the YOLO Economy

Welcome to the YOLO Economy

Something strange is happening to the exhausted, type-A millennial workers of America. After a year spent hunched over their MacBooks, enduring back-to-back Zooms in between sourdough loaves and Peloton rides, they are flipping the carefully arranged chessboards of their lives and deciding to risk it all.

Some are abandoning cushy and stable jobs to start a new business, turn a side hustle into a full-time gig or finally work on that screenplay. Others are scoffing at their bosses’ return-to-office mandates and threatening to quit unless they’re allowed to work wherever and whenever they want.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 24, 2021 by Editor

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Big Ganjafoot

from Inside Hook

What Does Bigfoot Have to Do With a Murder at a Pot Farm?

In Hulu’s “Sasquatch,” director Joshua Rofé investigates whether the mythical creature was really responsible for a triple homicide in 1993

BY BONNIE STIERNBERG

In 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse was working on a cannabis farm in California’s Emerald Triangle, a region consisting of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties that’s famous for its marijuana production, when a frightened man told him he had discovered three bodies torn limb from limb. This wasn’t a ripoff, the man insisted; the weed was trampled over but intact. The perpetrator of this horrific crime, he claimed? Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, the mythical ape-like creature said to roam the forests of North America.

Hulu’s new three-part docuseries Sasquatch follows Holthouse as he sets out to investigate what really happened that night, and what begins as an intriguing look at American folklore and the surprisingly large groups of people who believe they’ve had Sasquatch encounters of their own quickly evolves into something far more sinister. (Spoiler alert: Bigfoot didn’t do it.) A cannabis farm might conjure up images of genteel hippies and back-to-the-landers, but Holthouse and director Joshua Rofé quickly find themselves caught in a world full of AR-15-wielding dope growers, racism against Mexican migrant workers, and yes, several unsolved murders. It’s a sobering reminder that we don’t need to invent cryptids to get our scary-story fix; there are plenty of human monsters walking among us.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on April 23, 2021 by Editor

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Singles Party With Prince

from The LA Times

All 85 Prince singles, ranked 4 u from worst 2 best

By MIKAEL WOOD, POP MUSIC CRITIC 

An illustration of Prince throughout the years.
Purple reign: Prince throughout the years. (Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

When Prince died five years ago this week, he left behind one of the richest, deepest, smartest, funniest, most beautiful and most complicated collections of work that pop music has ever known.

And it hasn’t stopped growing since he passed.

Prince believed in sprawl, as he demonstrated with double and triple albums and with an internet storehouse of music he invited his fans to wander. Since his death, the artist’s estate has issued multiple LPs and box sets of material pulled from the famous vault at his Paisley Park complex in suburban Minneapolis.

Yet Prince was also devoted to the concise pleasures — and to the market-exciting potential — of a hit single. In his career as a solo act and as the frontman of the Revolution and the New Power Generation, he placed 47 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100, all of them before digital streaming opened up pop’s flagship chart to viral flukes.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on April 22, 2021 by Editor

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Botanical Depression

from The Atlantic

The Dark Side of the Houseplant Boom

American culture is becoming more and more preoccupied with nature. What if all the celebrations of the wild world are actually manifestations of grief?

Story by Megan Garber

A woman in a red raincoat looking at nature on a moving blue textured background
Sindha Agha

It started, as so many of life’s journeys do, at IKEA. We went one day a few years ago to get bookshelves. We left with some Hemnes and a leafy impulse buy: a giant Dracaena fragrans. A couple of months later, delighted that we had managed to keep it alive, we brought in a spritely little ponytail palm. And then an ivy. A visiting friend brought us a gorgeous snake plant. I bought a Monstera online because it was cheap and I was curious. It arrived in perfect condition, in a big box with several warning labels: perishable: live plants.

Where is the line between “Oh, they have some plants” and “Whoa, they are plant people”? I’m not quite sure, but I am sure that we long ago crossed it. I would read the periodic news articles about Millennials and their houseplants and feel the soft shame of being seen. But I cherished our little garden. Potted plants have a quiet poetry to them, a whirl of wildness and constraint; they make the planet personal. I loved caring for ours. I loved noticing, over time, the way they stretched and flattened and curled and changed. I still do.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on April 21, 2021 by Editor

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Jim Steinman Gone

from Deadline

Singer Bonnie Tyler Remembers ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Composer Jim Steinman: He Wrote “Some Of The Most Iconic Rock Songs Of All Time” – Update

By Greg Evans

Jim Steinman, the composer and lyricist whose roster of hit records included the huge Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” was remembered by the singer as the “true genius” behind “some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.”

“I am absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of my long term friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman,” tweeted Tyler, whose other hits composed by Steinman included “Holding Out For A Hero.”

“Jim wrote and produced some of the most iconic rock songs of all time and I was massively privileged to have been given some of them by him. I made two albums with Jim, despite my record company initially thinking he wouldn’t want to work with me. Thankfully they were wrong…”

Deadline confirmed Steinman’s death with the Connecticut state medical examiner earlier today. The composer, lyricist and producer whose roster of hit records began with Meat Loaf’s smash 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, was 73. A cause of death has not been disclosed.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Editor

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They Did It In A Minute

from Popular Mechanics

Why Scientists Want to Shorten the Minute to 59 Seconds

Time might be running out.

BY CAROLINE DELBERT

midnight
ISTEO / Getty Images

We like to say nothing is certain in life but death and taxes, but the truth is even our planet and the universe are constantly imposing changes on us.

That includes this new suggestion from scientists: We should consider shortening the minute to just 59 seconds, at least for one “negative leap second” that will better line us up with Earth’s real rotation.

This is on the heels of a year marked by many shorter-than-average days, following several years in which Earth has rotated faster than maybe ever before. What’s going on?

First, you might wonder why tiny portions of individual seconds make any real difference. The truth is they don’t for most people, or even most applications. But for some, like scientists and specially tuned scientific instruments, the differences must be accounted for. Something simple like a clock that just sets itself and “sheds” the extra or missing partial second each midnight could detract from research or regulation of important functions.

[ click to continue reading at Popular Mechanics ]

Posted on April 18, 2021 by Editor

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Black Hole Stun

from The Atlantic

A New Era of Black Holes Is Here

Astronomers have discovered a black-hole treasure trove that is changing our view of the cosmos.

by THOMAS LEWTON AND QUANTA MAGAZINE

A blurry image of a black hole
MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / GETTY

When the first black-hole collision was detected in 2015, it was a watershed moment in the history of astronomy. Using gravitational waves, astronomers were observing the universe in an entirely new way. But this first event didn’t revolutionize our understanding of black holes—nor could it. This collision would be the first of many, astronomers knew, and only with that bounty would answers come.

“The first discovery was the thrill of our lives,” says Vicky Kalogera, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University and part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration that made the 2015 detection. “But you cannot do astrophysics with one source.”

Now, Kalogera and other physicists say they’re entering a new era of black-hole astronomy, driven by a rapid increase in the number of black holes they can observe.

The latest catalog of these so-called black-hole binary mergers—the result of two black holes spiraling inward toward each other and colliding—has quadrupled the black-hole merger data available to study. There are now almost 50 mergers for astrophysicists to scrutinize, with dozens more expected in the next few months and hundreds more in the coming years.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on April 17, 2021 by Editor

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Reddit Mechanics

from WIRED

The Physics of Reddit’s Spinning Solar System Icon

If the dots on the loading screen were planets, is their motion realistic? And can we actually model it?

by RHETT ALLAIN

two small circles in two bigger ones
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

WHILE WAITING FOR  Reddit to load on my phone, I wondered if I could do some physics with the loading icon. Maybe you’ve seen it. It looks like a mini solar system with four planets (two inner planets and two outer planets). Let’s model it!

We should start with some data. I can do a screen capture of the loading screen and then use my favorite video analysis program (Tracker Video Analysis) to get position and time data. Of course, the screen shows distance in units of pixels and that’s not very useful. I don’t know the actual size of this “planetary system” (or whatever it is), so I will just set the scale size to 1 outer orbital diameter unit. This is the distance across the whole orbit of one of the outer “planets.”

In order to see if this figure moves in some type of realistic way, I need to look at the motion of the planets. One of the simplest things would be to look at the angular position as a function of time. What is the angular position? If you were to draw a line from the middle of the center sun to one of the orbiting planets (in a flat plane), the angle between this line and the x-axis would be its angular position. This is the same as if you were using polar coordinates instead of Cartesian coordinates. By using the angular position instead of x and y coordinates, I can still map out the motion, but I don’t have to worry about the orbital size. Then I can see if different orbital distances have different orbital speeds.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 16, 2021 by Editor

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“Mom, are we OK?”

from DNYUZ

How a Burst of Light in the Sky Illuminated Something Primal

by Brooke Jarvis

How a Burst of Light in the Sky Illuminated Something Primal

At around 9 o’clock on the night of March 25, the sky above my house in Seattle lit up with an astonishing display. I know this not because I happened to see it — I was inside, as I am too often, working at my computer — but because my Twitter feed was suddenly full of different versions of the same, uncanny video. The earliest clips captured what looked like a single streak of light, fracturing outward into a shimmering cascade. What came next looked like the world’s largest and longest-lasting firework, or a huge shower of comets hitting all at once, or a waterfall of light falling sideways.

It was golden, spectacular, alarming, otherworldly, indecipherable, unknown. While the cameras rolled, I could hear the voices of the people pointing them upward. Again and again, in tones ranging from rapturous to fearful (and using a variety of expletives, depending on the personality of the videographer), they looked to the sky and asked, “What is that?”

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 15, 2021 by Editor

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Machiavelli

from The New Yorker

The Florentine

The man who taught rulers how to rule.

By Claudia Roth Pierpont

An illustration of Machiavelli
Machiavelli believed that to succeed in life a man must be adaptable. Illustration by Lorenzo Mattotti

One method of torture used in Florentine jails during the glorious days of the Renaissance was the strappado: a prisoner was hoisted into the air by a rope attached to his wrists, which had been tied behind his back, and then suddenly dropped toward the floor as many times as it took to get him to confess. Since the procedure usually dislocated the shoulders, tore the muscles, and rendered one or both arms useless, it is remarkable that Niccolò Machiavelli, after reportedly undergoing six such “drops,” asked for pen and paper and began to write. Machiavelli had nothing to confess. Although his name had been found on an incriminating list, he had played no part in a failed conspiracy to murder the city’s newly restored Medici rulers. (Some said that it was Giuliano de’ Medici who had been targeted, others that it was his brother Cardinal Giovanni.) He had been imprisoned for almost two weeks when, in February, 1513, in a desperate bid for pardon, he wrote a pair of sonnets addressed to the “Magnificent Giuliano,” mixing pathos with audacity and apparently inextinguishable wit. “I have on my legs, Giuliano, a pair of shackles,” he began, and went on to report that the lice on the walls of his cell were as big as butterflies, and that the noise of keys and padlocks boomed around him like Jove’s thunderbolts. Perhaps worried that the poems would not impress, he announced that the muse he had summoned had hit him in the face rather than render her services to a man who was chained up like a lunatic. To the heir of a family that prided itself on its artistic patronage, he submitted the outraged complaint “This is the way poets are treated!”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on April 14, 2021 by Editor

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da Vinci

from Architectural Digest

Biographer Walter Isaacson Gives AD an Exclusive Interview on Leonardo da Vinci

On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, AD speaks with Walter Isaacson on the innovator’s best creations, what he might be designing today, and more

By Nick Mafi

self portrait of an artist
A presumed self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, which is currently located in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.Photo: Getty Images

There is perhaps no one more fascinating in history than Leonardo da Vinci—or more elusive. Leonardo left us no real diary of his personal experiences. Sure, there are thousands of pages from his legendary notebooks, but between those covers were no accounts of his upbringing, or the life he led in his later years. Instead, we see a mind at work in the moment, unconcerned with the ways in which history would remember him. In the more than 7,000 remaining pages of his notebooks, there are casual doodles next to precise anatomical drawings, models for new weapons alongside a sketch of how a fetus is positioned within a womb, portraits or geometric patterns coupled with proposals for city redesigns. And it’s because of this restless search for knowledge that Leonardo has become known as the quintessential genius, a man who likely made the most significant link between science and the humanities.

Society’s fascination with Leonardo seems to have grown with each passing generation. Every year there seems to be a new revelation about his life as biographers have pursued the clues Leonardo left us: He was a vegetarian, ambidextrous, bisexual, unfazed by deadlines, etcetera. Which is why so many rushed to read the most recent biography about Leonardo, courtesy of master biographer Walter Isaacson, who has previously written about other luminaries: Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs (who handpicked Isaacson to write his biography).

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on April 13, 2021 by Editor

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3BlackDot & BavaMedia

from The Hollywood Reporter

Digital Studio 3BlackDot Inks Deal With Management Firm BavaMedia (Exclusive)

The Los Angeles-based company will provide content services to Bava’s talent roster, comprised of live-streamers and YouTube personalities.

BY TRILBY BERESFORD

Bucks Headshot
YouTuber Ryan “Bucks” Hughes is part of BavaMedia’s talent roster. BUCKS GAMING

Entertainment studio 3BlackDot has signed a one-year partnership with gaming talent management company BavaMedia.

The exclusive deal will see the Los Angeles-based company provide BavaMedia’s talent — comprised of live-streamers and YouTube personalities — with content-related services such as brand partnerships and original programming deals, as well as e-commerce opportunities designed to expand their potential for revenue in the marketplace.

BavaMedia’s talent roster includes YouTuber GhostNinja, who has over 4 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform; and PackAPuncher, who is nearing 3 million; as well as Bucks, FreshPanda, Ahrora and Nerpah, whose YouTube subscriber counts are also climbing.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on April 12, 2021 by Editor

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The Long-tail Rising

from Showbiz 411

What Year Is It? Oldies Take Up 8 of the Top 20 on iTunes Including 1994 “Zombie” and 1970 “Spirit in the Sky”

by Roger Friedman

What year is it again? While Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” is number 1, and Justin Bieber is in the top 10, the iTunes chart continues to be rife with Oldies. Oldies!

It’s comfort food for the pandemic, I guess.

On the iTunes Top 20, 8 of the entries are oldies but goodies. They include Norman Greenbaum’s unintentionally spiritual “Spirit in the Sky” from 1970 and the Cranberries’ “Zombie” from 1994. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” a song with with 9 lives, is number 4. The late 70s hit already had a massive run on the charts last year after going viral from a fan video. “Dreams” won’t go away.

[ click to continue reading at Showbiz 411 ]

Posted on April 11, 2021 by Editor

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Critic Declares Warhol Not Lame

from The New York Times

Warhol a Lame Copier? The Judges Who Said So Are Sadly Mistaken.

An appeals court ruled that Andy Warhol violated a photographer’s copyright by appropriating her image for a silk-screen he did in 1984. Our critic disagrees.

By Blake Gopnik

Andy Warhol’s ”Prince,” which became the subject of a court case over copyright issues.
Andy Warhol’s ”Prince,” which became the subject of a court case over copyright issues. Credit…The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A few years back, a bevy of art critics declared that Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 sculpture called “Fountain” — a store-bought urinal he had presented, unchanged, as art — was the most influential work of the 20th century. Andy Warhol’s 1964 Brillo Boxes — copies of scouring-pad cartons presented as art — could easily have come a close second. The philosopher Arthur Danto built an illustrious career, and a whole school of thought, around the importance of those boxes to understanding the very nature of artworks.

Last month, three federal appellate judges in Manhattan decided they knew more about art than any old critic or philosopher: Whether they quite meant to or not, their ruling had the effect of declaring that the landmark inventions of Duchamp and Warhol — the “appropriation” they practiced, to use the term of art — were not worthy of the legal protection that other creativity is given under copyright law.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 10, 2021 by Editor

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Giant Crab Radio

from VICE

Mysterious Radio Blasts From Space Just Got a Whole Lot Weirder, Somehow

Scientists discovered that so-called “giant radio pulses” coincide with X-rays, suggesting they are hundreds of times more energetic than previously thought.

By Becky Ferreira

In the year 1054, skywatchers in China and Japan witnessed light from an exploding star reach Earth, creating a dazzling bright spot in the sky. More than a millennium later, scientists have now revealed amazing new details about the powerful and unexplained radio signals that eerily emanate from the remains of this ancient supernova.

For years, scientists have been baffled by extremely loud radio signals, known as giant radio pulses (GRPs), that can be traced to a special type of dead star known as a pulsar. Pulsars are compact, rapidly rotating remnants of supernovae that get their name from the clockwork pulses of radiation they emit from their poles, which have made them useful natural timepieces for astronomers who use their regular bursts to measure other celestial phenomena. 

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on April 9, 2021 by Editor

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Almost da Vinci

from France 24

World’s priciest painting not a full da Vinci, claims doc

The painting was last auctioned at Christie's in New York in 2017
The painting was last auctioned at Christie’s in New York in 2017 TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

A French documentary has cast fresh doubts over the world’s most expensive painting, the “Salvator Mundi” credited to Leonardo da Vinci, revealing a resulting diplomatic tussle between France and its Saudi owner.

The painting of Jesus Christ, nicknamed the “male Mona Lisa”, was sold at a 2017 Christies auction in New York for a record $450 million.

Its secret buyer was later revealed to be Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, though this is still denied in Riyadh.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on April 8, 2021 by Editor

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Vampire Valley

from Newsweek

Can Blood from Young People Slow Aging? Silicon Valley Has Bet Billions It Will

BY ADAM PIORE

FE_Young Blood_03
Beta-amyloid plaques and tau in the brain.COURTESY OF NIH/NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING

The Spanish firm Grifols helped set off a kerfuffle last year when it, along with other firms, offered nearly double the going price for blood donations for a COVID-19 treatment trial. Brigham Young University in Idaho had to threaten some enterprising students with suspension to keep them from intentionally trying to contract COVID-19. The trial failed, however, and now the Barcelona-based firm is hoping to extract something far more valuable from the plasma of young volunteers: a set of microscopic molecules that could reverse the process of aging itself.

Earlier this year, Grifols closed on a $146 million-deal to buy Alkahest, a company founded by Stanford University neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray, who, along with Saul Villeda, revealed in scientific papers published in 2011 and 2014 that the blood from young mice had seemingly miraculous restorative effects on the brains of elderly mice. The discovery adds to a hot area of inquiry called geroscience that “seeks to understand molecular and cellular mechanisms that make aging a major risk factor and driver of common chronic conditions and diseases of older adulthood,” according to the National Institutes of Health. In the last six years, Alkahest has identified more than 8,000 proteins in the blood that show potential promise as therapies. Its efforts and those of Grifols have resulted in at least six phase 2 trials completed or underway to treat a wide range of age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Alkahest and a growing number of other geroscience health startups signal a change in thinking about some of the most intractable diseases facing humankind. Rather than focusing solely on the etiology of individual diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and arthritis—or, for that matter, COVID-19—geroscientists are trying to understand how these diseases relate to the single largest risk factor of all: human aging. Their goal is to hack the process of aging itself and, in the process, delay or stave off the onset of many of the diseases most associated with growing old.

[ click to continue reading at Newsweek ]

Posted on April 7, 2021 by Editor

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Baby Satting

from SF Gate

Satellite technology puts into orbit swarms of spacecraft no bigger than a loaf of bread

Christian Davenport, The Washington Post

The Superdove mini-satellite manufactured by Planet.
The Superdove mini-satellite manufactured by Planet. Photo by Planet Labs

The avalanche was a stunning disaster, 247 million cubic feet of glacial ice and snow hurtling down the Tibetan mountain range at 185 mph. Nine people and scores of animals were killed in an event that startled scientists around the world.

As they researched why the avalanche occurred with such force, researchers studying climate change pored over images taken in the days and weeks before and saw that ominous cracks had begun to form in the ice and snow. Then, scanning photos of a nearby glacier, they noticed similar crevasses forming, touching off a scramble to warn local authorities that it was also about to come crashing down.

The images of the glaciers came from a constellation of satellites no bigger than a shoe box, in orbit 280 miles up. Operated by San Francisco-based company Planet, the satellites, called Doves, weigh just over 10 pounds each and fly in “flocks” that today include 175 satellites. If one fails, the company replaces it, and as better batteries, solar arrays and cameras become available, the company updates its satellites the way Apple unveils a new iPhone.

[ click to continue reading at SF Gate ]

Posted on April 6, 2021 by Editor

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