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Protégez-vous!

with thanks and love to The Beautiful MC

Posted on February 4, 2010 by Editor

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Leonardo da Vinci: Artificer, armorer, maker of things that go “boom”

from Cenedella.com

Leonardo da Vinci’s Resume

 

Before he was famous, before he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, before he invented the helicopter, before he drew the most famous image of man, before he was all of these things, Leonardo da Vinci was an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go “boom”.

And, like you, he had to put together a resume to get his next gig. So in 1482, at the age of 30, he wrote out a letter and a list of his capabilities and sent it off to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.

LeonardoResumeLarge.jpg

The translation of this letter is quite remarkable:

“Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moments on all those things which, in part, shall be briefly noted below.

1. I have a sort of extremely light and strong bridges, adapted to be most easily carried, and with them you may pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, secure and indestructible by fire and battle, easy and convenient to lift and place. Also methods of burning and destroying those of the enemy.

2. I know how, when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make endless variety of bridges, and covered ways and ladders, and other machines pertaining to such expeditions.

3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.

4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.

5. And if the fight should be at sea I have kinds of many machines most efficient for offense and defense; and vessels which will resist the attack of the largest guns and powder and fumes.

6. I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river.

7. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance.

8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out of the common type.

9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.

10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another.

11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.

Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency – to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.”

[ click to continue reading at Cenedella.com ]

Posted on February 3, 2010 by Editor

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Barnes & Noble Homeless Bathrooms

from Saturday Night Live

[ click to view at Hulu.com ]

Posted on February 3, 2010 by Editor

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Bozos In Heat

from The NY Times

Damsels in Distress, Bozos in Heat

Chris Gash

THE television landscape is a universe of opposites. The Travel network (get up and go someplace!) is the opposite of HSN (sit on your couch and buy stuff!). Syfy (fantastical things that haven’t happened yet) is the opposite of History (moderately interesting things that have already happened). The Golf Channel (sedentary activity watched by sedentary old duffers) is the opposite of Nick Jr. (frenetic activity watched by frenetic young children).

But one pair is more striking, more revelatory, than all the rest: Spike versus Lifetime. Guys versus Gals. XY versus XX. And with each channel offering new fare this month — Spike introduced the gross-out comedy “Blue Mountain State”; Lifetime fired up a new season of “Project Runway” — it seems a good time to compare and contrast these two cable franchises. What do their programs tell us about the sexes? What deep-seated yearnings drive the male of the species? What hopes and fears motivate the female? Is one smarter than the other, and if so, by how much?

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on February 2, 2010 by Editor

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Half-naked Nuns and Ejaculating Penises! at Gawker

from Gawker.com

Gawker Artists NSFW Party: Definitely Not Safe For Your Office

When we first saw Justine Lai’s “Join or Die” series, we just knew this art should be hanging at Gawker HQ. Thanks in part to Diesel, we made that happen. They dared us to “Be Stupid” and we happily obliged. Slightly-NSFW photo proof inside.

So, recap: A few months ago Lai made internet headlines with her self-portraity presidential pornography series. Gawker Artists—the program that makes our banner ad space look pretty sometimes—reached out to Justine, and the idea of an NSFW gallery was born. Four other sexually themed artists were expertly recruited by our curators, including Steve EllisEmiliano GranadoHeather Morgan and Randy Polumbo, the office was sex-ified, and Diesel offered to sponsor the opening party. Not wanting to leave anyone out, we invited some of our stupidest/most fortunate readers (as picked out by former intern/stupid fictional storyteller James Frey) and away we partied into the cold, late, SoHo evening.

While what happens in Gawker HQ typically stays in Gawker HQ, there was plenty of, er, “performance art” from our friends at The Box, as well as enough wine and beer to keep everyone feeling less awkward about the whole shebang. People looked at paintings of half-naked nuns, watched a man catch a bowling ball on his head with a scorpion in his pants, and played with the most delightful little digital kaleidoscope. It showed ejaculating penises!

[ click to continue reading at Gawker.com ]

Posted on February 2, 2010 by Editor

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White Girl Steppin’

from BooBooTV

wgs2.jpg

[ click to play video at BooBooTV ]

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Editor

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The Lost Man Booker Prize

from AP via Yahoo! News

‘Lost Booker Prize’ to be awarded for 1970 novel

LONDON – More than three decades after Iris Murdoch won Britain’s top literary award, and a decade after her death, she has a chance to win again.

The author is up against 21 other writers who published novels in English in 1970 for the “lost” Booker Prize.

The books were never considered for the prize at the time. The reason? The Booker was originally awarded for any book published in the previous year. But in 1971, it became a prize for the best novel published that year.

That meant that a raft of books published in 1970 were left out in the cold, and the Lost Man Booker Prize is an attempt to remedy the oversight.

“Our longlist demonstrates that 1970 was a remarkable year for fiction written in English,” Ion Trewin, the prizes’ literary director, said Monday. “Recognition for these novels and the eventual winner is long overdue.”

Murdoch’s “A Fairly Honourable Defeat” is up against 21 other works, including “The Fire Dwellers” byMargaret LaurenceLen Deighton‘s “Bomber,” “A Guilty Thing Surprised,” by Ruth Rendell, and “A Clubbable Woman,” by Reginald Hill. All the books on the list are still in print and available today.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Editor

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Fifth Avenue, 5 AM

from HarperStudio

Fifth Avenue, 5 AM

Fifth Avenue, 5 AM by Sam WassonThe images of Breakfast at Tiffany’s are branded into our collective memory: we can see Audrey Hepburn stepping out of that cab on the corner of 57th and 5th, and we can picture her again with George Peppard, huddled in an alleyway and wrapped in a kiss, as the rain pours down around them. Those moments are as familiar to us as any in whole the history of movies, but few of us know that that ending was not the film’s original ending. In fact, it was only one of two endings the filmmakers shot—and it almost didn’t make it in.

The reasons why have to do with Tiffany’s cutting-edge take on sex in the city, namely, when to show it, and how to do it, without getting caught. If Truman Capote had it his way, his beloved Marilyn Monroe would have been cast as Holly, but crafty executives knew that she’d have the censors on red alert. So they went for Audrey. But would she go for them? Frightened at the prospect of playing a part so far beyond her accepted range—not to mention the part of call girl—Audrey turned inside out worrying if she should take her agent’s advice and accept the role. What would people think? America’s princess playing a New York bad girl? It seemed just too far…

Fifth Avenue, 5 AM is the first ever complete account of the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Drawing upon countless interviews with those involved in the film’s production, from actors to producer Richard Shepherd to Gerald Clarke, Capote’s biographer, Wasson brings us inside the world and indeed inside the mind of one of America’s greatest cinematic icons.

With a cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, director Blake Edwards, and, of course, Hepburn herself, Wasson immerses us in the America of the late fifties, before Woodstock and birth control, when a not-so-virginal girl by the name of Holly Golightly raised eyebrows across the nation, changing fashion, film, and sex, for good. But that was the easy part. Getting Audrey there—and getting the right people behind her—that was the tough part.

[ click to read full review at HarperStudio.com ]

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Editor

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Exit Through The Gift Shop

from The LA Times

Banksy’s latest move

The underground artist’s film ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ is a hot ticket at Sundance. It’s part guerrilla art chronicle and part satire of celebrity, consumerism, the art world and filmmaking.

By John Horn and Chris Lee

The movie doesn’t appear anywhere in the Sundance Film Festival’s catalog. Outside a small circle of ultra-secretive confidantes, nobody knows its director’s identity or whereabouts. And the film’s place in the Sundance schedule wasn’t even announced until last week.

That didn’t prevent “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” a film from acclaimed British street artist Banksy, from becoming Park City’s hottest ticket on Sunday night. Outside the 446-seat Library Center Theatre, Banksy fans started queuing up hours before “Gift Shop’s” premiere, in 15-degree weather, even if their chances of getting in were somewhere between slim and none.

A film-within-a-film that begins as a chronicle of guerrilla art and its most prominent creators but morphs into a sly satire of celebrity, consumerism, the art world and filmmaking itself, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a work that’s nearly impossible to categorize. The movie that’s both about — and made by — the controversial and hugely popular artist grapples with a separate series of contradictions about the competing themes of fame and privacy.

“Trying to make a movie which truly conveys the raw thrill and expressive power of art is very difficult. So I haven’t bothered,” Banksy said in an e-mailed statement. “Instead, this is a simple everyday tale of life, longing and mindless vandalism.”

[ click to read full article at LATimes.com ]

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Editor

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