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Posted on April 30, 2016 by Editor

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The Addiction Begins


The ‘American Gothic’ Trailer Proves The World’s Crime Addiction Is Only Just Beginning — VIDEO


While Hollywood works its way through a seemingly indefatigable trend of superhero movies, the television landscape has found itself in the grips of an equally unshakable fad: crime. The next show to get in on the crime craze is CBS’ American Gothic, hitting the airwaves this summer in what’s described as a “13-part murder mystery.” If you find yourself in withdrawal after the terrific FX series The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story earlier this year, then the first official American Gothic trailer is here to prove that it will definitely satisfy your crime addiction post-ACS.

Created by Corinne Brinkerhoff (The Good Wife) and James Frey (yes, he of the Million Little Pieces Oprah scandal), Gothic stars Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen (Sideways) as the matriarch of a Boston family torn apart when it’s revealed that one of them may have been involved in a string of murders in the area. Juliet Rylance (The Knick), Justin Chatwin (Shameless), and Antony Starr (Banshee) play her children… but which of them is a serial killer? That’s the question that American Gothic promises to answer; but can you figure it out for yourself before the finale?

[ click to continue reading at BUSTLE ]

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Editor

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VR Russo


2 of Marvel’s big directors are embarking on their own virtual reality project


russoAnthony Harvey/Getty Images Brothers Joe Russo (left) and Anthony Russo.

It’s not just gamers and aspiring filmmakers who are getting involved in virtual reality. It’s attracting some big Hollywood talent, too.

Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, the brain trust behind “Captain America: Civil War” and Marvel’s upcoming “Infinity War” movies, are interested in the potential of the technology, too, and will be using their branded entertainment companyBullitt, to explore the space.

“We’re looking at ways to expand that company,” Joe Russo told The Hollywood Reporterduring the Beijing leg of the “Civil War” press tour. “We feel a lot of the future of storytelling is going to be in the VR space. The possibilities do feel limitless. We’ve spent 100 years understanding film as two-hour, closed-ended stories.”

[ click to continue reading at TECH INSIDER ]

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Editor

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Richard Prince: Coolest Artist In The World




“I’m not a responsible person, you know — at all,” says Richard Prince, as if he is trying to remind himself of this as much as anything. “I’m just — I want to make cool shit. I want to be a cool dude, or whatever.”

Today, at 66, Prince is one of the most successful and influential artists of his generation — specifically, the Pictures Generation, an aloof clique of 1980s conceptualists that included Barbara Kruger, David Salle, Jenny Holzer, and Cindy Sherman (whom he used to date), who together reintroduced pictorial imagery to painting, in large part by borrowing it directly from advertising and mass culture. In music they call this “sampling,” and for Prince it started with his reshooting magazine ads with the logos of the products cropped out (he was working at Time Inc. and became fascinated by Marlboro cowboys). This new art was considered, at the time, a kind of critique of the aspirations advertising saddles us with. Some of the images, which Prince describes as “too good to be true,” were cropped or repeated, others simply held up, by Prince, for closer inspection. And the inspection could be lusty, especially when the images were icons of swaggering Americana. Recently, trying to explain the process, he wrote on his website: “It’s like sometimes I feel I’m fucking what I’m looking at.” His most memorable work is still a photograph he took of a photo of a 10-year-old Brooke Shields, standing naked in a tub, shrouded in steam, her hair and face made up, her body oiled like some ancient-days courtesan, which a photographer named Gary Gross had taken at Shields’s mother’s own behest.

Prince called his version Spiritual America, a name that was also an appropriation — the title belonged to Alfred Stieglitz’s close-up of the genitals of a castrated male horse  —and showed it in a gaudy frame in a small, semi-anonymous gallery he opened in a storefront on then-ragged Rivington Street in 1983, called Spiritual America too. At the time, some people compared it to a peep show, but what he had really done was create a semi-furtive place where prurient interest would be given an avant-garde alibi. The gallery kept irregular hours to keep out outsiders, which might not have been simple showmanship. In 2009, well after Prince had become famous, the work was removed from an exhibition at the Tate Modern by the police, who explained they wanted the museum to “not inadvertently break the law or cause any offense to their visitors.” Today, Spiritual America belongs to the Whitney, but you can’t look at it on its website — it’s hidden behind a large gray X.

[ click to continue reading at VULTURE ]

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Editor

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Prince & The New Muppet Generation

Posted on April 26, 2016 by Editor

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KIC 8462852


Did we just discover aliens? Scientists aren’t ruling it out



Aliens are not a thing. We know this, right? Well, maybe. Turns out that, almost despite themselves, some of the world’s leading astronomers are taking seriously the question of whether or not we are alone on Earth. Among them, Yale’s Tabetha Boyajian, who has stumbled into what might be one of the biggest mysteries in the galaxy.

It centers on a star known as KIC 8462852, tucked in the constellation Cygnus, more than 1,500 light years away from Earth. In 2015, using data from NASA’s Kepler space observatory, citizen scientists from Planet Hunters noticed something weird: something roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth was blocking the light from the star. This transit, as such dimming is known, was also happening in an unusual, unpredictable pattern. Some say massive clouds of star-making material might be blocking the light, while others think swarms of giant comets are getting in the way. But there’s another possible explanation that has yet to be ruled out: giant, alien-built megastructures. In this Q&A, Boyajian shares more details on KIC 8462852, now affectionately known as Tabby’s Star (a name she claims no responsibility for coining), and herein shortened to KIC 846 (a name she’s cool with).

[ click to continue reading at TED ]

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Editor

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Berkeley Bookstores Surviving

from The San Jose Mercury News

Berkeley: Independent bookstores adapt to keep customers

By Tom Lochner

Steve Lehman, a regular shopper at Pegasus Books, peruses the offerings at the independent bookstore on Solano Ave. in Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, April(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

BERKELEY — Battered by global economic forces, rising commercial rents, online buying and other changes in consumer behavior, many independent bookstores today are devising ever more creative solutions to stay in business.

Some don’t make it or simply give up — in Berkeley, Shakespeare & Co., Black Oak Books and William Stout Architectural Books closed within the last year, although the latter remains in business at its main store in San Francisco.

But many independent bookstores are experiencing a renaissance, reinventing themselves as literary community gathering venues, places not only to buy books but also to discuss them, meet their authors, listen to readings, and sometimes just to have fun.

[ click to continue reading at SJ Merc ]

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Editor

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It’s always good to re-live one’s formative years.

Posted on April 23, 2016 by Editor

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RELATIONSHIP STATUS – Coming exclusively to go90 on April 29th…

from Mashable

Milo Ventimiglia’s new go90 series takes on dating in the digital age


To say that dating in the digital age is complicated may be an understatement.

That’s exactly why Milo Ventimiglia, James Frey, and fashion and lifestyle digital network StyleHaul decided to partner up to produce a new dramedy all about the highs and lows of modern dating.

Relationship Status, which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, follows an interweaving cast of young people in New York and Los Angeles as they navigate love and friendships, all told through the lens of social storytelling optimized for mobile consumption.

Yes, that entails crazy one night stands, the “perfect” kiss, cheating partners and more dramatic moments — all which in a modern world “propelled by social media.”

Since technology is at the core of modern relationships, Ventimiglia said go90 was the right destination for this exact series.

SEE ALSO: Could 2016 be the year for Verizon’s go90 mobile content platform?

“I’ve been in the digital space since 2006, so 10 years now,” Ventimiglia, who will also star in the upcoming Netflix Gilmore Girls reboot, told Mashable in a phone interview.

“I’m happy that there is a less of a line between traditional film and TV and new media. [And] having this story related to all of us dealing with dating in digital age — and how it connects and pulls us apart — is a natural fit for a platform like go90.”

[ click to continue reading at Mashable ]

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Editor

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Sometimes It Snows In April (Try not to weep….)

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Editor

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Fuckin’ A – Just unbelievable.

PRINCE IS DEAD - Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.09.06 AM

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Editor

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Party’s Gone Out Of Bounds

from The New York Times

Partying Underground in Paris’s Secret Corners


parisuDmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times 

PARIS — Inside an abandoned seven-floor, 70-room house near the Arc de Triomphe, more than 650 revelers in floor-length gowns, curly white wigs and feathered masks gathered on a Friday night in January.

A nearly nude woman with a giant bouffant and flower-adorned underwear performed a sultry dance with pink wings, while a contortionist spouted French obscenities. At the bottom of a sweeping grand staircase, a four-piece band performed while couples waltzed.

For five years, a renegade group known as We Are the Oracle has been hosting such semi-secret parties in elusive sites throughout Paris, including the catacombs, empty railway tracks and abandoned chateaus. And not always legally.

What began as a word-of-mouth soirée among the city’s elite influencers has evolved into seasonal theme parties that combine the mystique of “Eyes Wide Shut” with the energy of all-night raves and the theatrics of “Sleep No More.”

When the invitation for the masquerade ball was unveiled last October, through a video that promised an epic party called “Venise Sous Paris” (or “Venice Under Paris”), it created intense intrigue. “OK, get your plane ticket!” proclaimed Marina Smith of Nova Scotia, who shared the invitation on Facebook.

Over two weekends in January, 2,800 attendees from as far away as Australia and the United States paid 61.50 euros (around $70) to dress like Venetian noblesse, sip Champagne and dance like Casanova until 2 a.m.

The next event is called “The Soviet Factory,” and it is scheduled to take place April 29 and 30 at a location that will be revealed a day before the party. Some 2,000 guests are expected to adhere to a Communist-chic dress code.

The parties were dreamed up by Foulques Jubert, 29, a former business student who spent a year attending 24 festivals in 13 countries (including Burning Man in Nevada and Tomorrowland in Belgium) to learn how to bring similar spectacles to Paris.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Editor

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Black Mayo


In the “Black Mayonnaise” of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, Alien Life Is Being Born


Illustration by Simon Fraser/Eugene Lehnert

On a late fall morning, Joseph Alexiou fastened his life jacket and stepped into an eight-foot fiberglass boat floating on the Gowanus Canal. A licensed New York City tour guide, and an amateur historian, Alexiou was preparing to take a passenger on an unsanctioned tour of the waterway he’d spent three years researching for his book, Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal. Alexiou, 32, confessed that when boating on the canal, he felt slightly afraid for his life.

The rowboat pulled away from the rubble at the foot of Second Avenue, beside the new Brooklyn parole check-in office and across from Whole Foods Market. The water was milky green, with an almost oily thickness, and gangs of loose lumber blew crosswise in the wind. Alexiou took a picture of graffiti that said “Keep Gowanus dirty.” Then he began to rattle off, with apparent encyclopedic accuracy, the history of every building in sight.

In the 1800s, Brooklyn’s manufactured gas industry, which turned coal into gas (illuminating the city before electricity), had facilities along the Gowanus and became a major culprit in the colossal pollution of the 1.8-mile long canal. What’s more, the canal has always been a wetland, alternately draining and flooding the surrounding area. During heavy rain, untreated sewage pours into it from several points, the result of New York’s combined sewer and storm drain system and the canal’s low elevation. “Only the monumental, astronomically expensive effort of engineering could change this fact of geography, and so during the greatest rainstorms, swelling tidewaters fill the main and lateral sewer pipes,” Alexiou wrote in Gowanus. “Once these are full, the waters fill area basements—a fact of nineteenth-century life that continues today.”

In 2010, the canal was declared a Superfund site, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency, and other government agencies, to clean it up. More than $500 million has been requested to combat 150 years of pollution. If you fell in, Alexiou said, you’d be treading in human feces and shower water. If you touched bottom, he added, you’d be stepping in “coal tar, PAH, PCBs, and heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury—they call it black mayonnaise.”

[ click to continue reading at NAUTILUS ]

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Editor

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Thirty Years of BLUE VELVET

from The Village Voice

Thirty Years on, ‘Blue Velvet’ Still Enraptures and Confounds


Thirty Years on, 'Blue Velvet' Still Enraptures and ConfoundsCourtesy Film Forum

Three decades after its initial release, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet has lost none of its power to derange, terrify, and exhilarate. Debuting in September 1986, deep into the Reagan presidency and the same year that Top Gun was the biggest box office draw, Lynch’s fourth feature ingeniously plumbs the discordances inherent in many American myths: of idyllic suburban life, heroism, adolescent romance. As J. Hoberman wrote in his rave for this paper, “Continually unpredictable, Blue Velvet is generically a teen coming-of-age movie crossed with a noir. But Lynch is weirdest precisely when attempting to be most normal.” (Ten years ago, the inimitable filmmaking fantasist Guy Maddin celebrated Lynch’s movie in the Voice as “the last real earthquake to hit cinema” and a “red-hot poker to the brain.”)

Small-town orderliness is distorted in the first shot: The saturated, hyperreal hues of red roses in front of a white picket fence and under a blue sky seem to be daubed from the same phantasmagoric palette as the “candy-colored clown they call the sandman,” the opening line of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams,” a pivotal song heard later in the film. The prominence of that 1963 ballad, plus Bobby Vinton’s syrupy title tune, another hit from that year, destabilizes our sense of time; Blue Velvet, much like Mulholland Drive (2001), its closest cognate, exists in a bizarre present never quite untethered from the past.

Seemingly of the moment is Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan, reteaming with Lynch after his 1984 sci-fi flop, Dune), a college-age amateur sleuth bedecked in New Wave–ish skinny ties and boxy blazers, a thin hoop barely visible on his left ear. The body part proves crucial to the plot. The university student finds an ear, severed and moldered, in a field; determining to whom it was once attached is just one part of a gruesome mystery he tries to solve. In the course of his snooping, Jeffrey also imagines himself as a protector, determined to save the damaged nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini, in her first major role in English) from her thralldom to the nitrous-oxide-huffing sociopath Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). But in rescuing Dorothy, the upbeat boy detective must reconcile darker desires of his own, unleashed when he spies on the alluring, fragile chanteuse — who will soon command Jeffrey to hit her — through the slats in her closet door.

[ click to continue reading at The Village Voice ]

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Editor

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Nabokov, Amateur Lepidopterist

from The New Yorker

Vladimir Nabokov, Butterfly Illustrator


Vladimir Nabokov began collecting lepidoptera at the age of seven. Throughout a long and protean literary career, his passion for insects remained unwavering. He published his first verses as a teen-ager, shortly before the Russian Revolution; in 1918, he fled St. Petersburg for Crimea, where he surveyed nine species of Crimean moths and seventy-seven species of Crimean butterflies. Two years later, as a first-year student at Cambridge University, he described his observations in a scholarly paper for The Entomologist. In 1940, having written nine novels in Russian and one in English, Nabokov immigrated to New York, where he became an affiliate in entomology at the American Museum of Natural History. The following year, he began working at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, devoting as much as fourteen hours a day to drawing the wings and genitalia of butterflies. “Fine Lines,” a new book out this week from Yale University Press, reproduces a hundred and fifty-four of his illustrations, some for the first time.

For a Nabokov fan, paging through “Fine Lines,” which includes a critical introduction and several essayistic evaluations of Nabokov’s scientific oeuvre, can feel a bit like reading the second half of “Pale Fire”: one is confronted by a content-rich, almost dementedly tangential commentary on an increasingly inscrutable work. And yet, as with “Pale Fire,” the commentary is so fully intertwined with the work that, by the end, it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. The writer and the lepidopterist really do turn out to be the same person, engaged in a single, if multifaceted, project of knowledge and description. As Stephen H. Blackwell and Kurt Johnson, the editors of the volume, note, the famous four-by-six-inch notecards on which Nabokov wrote his novels were originally the medium he used for his entomological studies.

When Nabokov started studying butterflies, his dream was to identify a new species. As a child, in 1909, he proposed a Latin name for a subspecies of poplar admiral that he had spotted near his family’s estate, only to be told by a famous entomologist that the subspecies had already been identified, in Bucovina, in 1897. As an adult, Nabokov had more luck. He named multiple species, most famously the Karner blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), which he came across in upstate New York, in 1944.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Editor

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Ancient Trees

from National Geographic 

These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell

by Becky Harlan


Over three trillion trees live on planet Earth, and yet we know so few of their stories. Of course all trees play an important role—purifying the air, hosting the feathered and the furry, teaching kids (and kids at heart) how to climb—but some have spent more time doing these things than others. Quiver trees, for example, can live up to 300 years, oaks can live a thousand years, and bristlecone pines and yews can survive for millennia.

In 1999, photographer Beth Moon took it upon herself to begin documenting some of these more seasoned trees. Specifically, she sought out aged subjects that were “unique in their exceptional size, heredity, or folklore.” And it was a quest. “So many of our old trees have been cut down,” she says, “that without a concerted effort you are not likely to run across one.”

She found some of her subjects through research and discovered others through tips from friends and enthusiastic travelers. Beginning in Great Britain, she eventually trekked across the United States, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to connect with oaks named after queens and baobabs shaped like teapots.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 17, 2016 by Editor

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Drone Racing

from CNBC

ESPN to broadcast drone racing

DroneGetty Images

Drones have officially become mainstream.

The International Drone Racing Association said on Wednesday that it had signed a multi-year deal with ESPN to bring the new sport of drone racing to the sports network.

“We look forward to providing drone racing fans a larger platform to access this exciting world,” Matthew Volk, director of programming and acquisitions for ESPN, said in a statement. “Drone racing is an opportunity to reach and connect with a growing and passionate audience.”

ESPN’s first broadcast of an IDRA event will take place in August. The 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships crowns the fastest drone pilot in the country and will be held on Governors Island in New York City.

[ click to continue reading at CNBC ]

Posted on April 16, 2016 by Editor

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Iron Man Moving To Sonoran Desert

from WLEB 21

Robert Downey Moving to Yuma, Arizona

photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / croppedphoto by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped

YUMA, Arizona – In a big surprise to everyone in Los Angeles, Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr reveals in a new interview that he is moving to the Yuma, Arizona area. He tells the magazine that he is “tired of the L.A. lifestyle” and is looking for a big change in life.

“I’m just tired of the L.A. lifestyle and the fake people, honestly, and I feel like, at this point in my life, I’d rather just live in a place full of real, genuine people. I’ve been to Yuma a few times over the years and the people there are real… they’re genuine people, and yeah every community has its problems but the people there are good, decent people and they care about their community. Those are the things I find most important in deciding where to live,” Downey told the magazine.

[ click to continue reading at WLEB 21 ]

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Editor

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AMERICAN GOTHIC – Premiering This Summer (Preview)

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Editor

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Cloaking Earth

from The Washington Post

Scientists have a wild idea for hiding us from evil aliens

By Rachel Feltman


Most of the time when we talk about silly scientific papers related to alien life, we’re talking about crazy ideas for how to find aliens. But a new study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society proposes a way of hidingfrom aliens. Humans are so fickle.

A lot of our search for Earth-like planets (and, by extension, for life as we know it) hinges on transiting planets. These are planets that pass in front of their host star in such a way that the transit is visible from our perspective. The movement of the planet in front of the host star makes the light from that star dim or flicker, and we can use that to determine all sorts of things about distant worlds — including how suitable they may be for life.

[Study: Maybe we can’t find aliens because they’ve all died already

Some scientists have suggested that we should hope that Earth is a transiting planet from the perspective of some other world that hosts intelligent life. In other words, our best shot at finding aliens might be hoping that they’re using exactly the same methods of planetary detection that we are, and that they can see the passage of Earth in front of the sun with their telescopes. If we made a lot of noise in the direction of those theoretical planets, we might get their attention faster.

Or we could point lasers at them instead.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Editor

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Meteorites for Bid

from Crain’s

Rock stars: Christie’s trades art auctions for meteorites

Darryl Pitt and other dealers are hoping an upcoming Christie’s auction will send the values of meteorites—yes, cosmic debris—into the stratosphere


More than a hundred meteorites ranging in weight from a few ounces to at least a half-ton will soon conclude their journey from the distant reaches of the solar system to the mainstream of the collectibles universe. On April 20, Christie’s will hold its first live auction devoted exclusively to the extraterrestrial objects.The London event marks what may be just a small step for the auction house but a giant leap for New York’s leading meteorite dealer, Darryl Pitt. A former photographer for Rolling Stone and the owner of a jazz artists’ management agency, he has been one of a tight-knit band of proselytizers who over the years have helped the onetime shooting stars reach an audience beyond meteorite hunters, hobbyists, scientists and museums.

Working from his agency’s office above Times Square, Pitt, 60, has been particularly persuasive regarding the aesthetic value of meteorites. And through auctions and interviews, he has conveyed to newcomers the fascination inherent in objects that are among the oldest in the solar system and the rarest on Earth.

Demonstrating the power the objects can have over the uninitiated, he handed a visitor a chunk of nondescript gray rock marked with white spots. “That’s the oldest matter that mankind can ever touch,” Pitt said, pointing to the flecks of compacted nebular dust or “CAIs”—calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions, which are about 4.6 billion years old. The rock itself was an Allende meteorite, a much-studied variety from a shower that fell in northern Mexico in 1969.

Though he trades with museums and has been credited on research papers for Eureka-moment discoveries that he has passed along to scientists, Pitt has a business interest in promoting meteorites. Some specimens from his private, 650-piece Macovich Collection of Meteorites will be centerpieces in the Christie’s sale. (“Macovich” is Russian for “son of Mack,” referring to Pitt’s late father.)

[ click to read complete article at Crain’s ]

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Editor

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Rage Yoga

from SFGate

‘Rage Yoga’ encourages posing while cursing, drinking, and listening to metal

By Alyssa Pereira

ryInstagram from dopeame

There’s a common saying cited by non-yogis as a reason not to practice and pose: “It’s boring.”

That’s an understandable sentiment — some people just don’t find the same kind of stress release in yoga as they do in, say, kickboxing — but with a new take on the practice, called “Rage Yoga,” there may be more folks flocking to the fitness activity than ever before.

Created by a Calgary, Canada resident named Lindsay-Marie Istace after “the really painful breakup of a long term relationship,” Rage Yoga is meant for those who are hoping to improve their posture and flexibility, but have never felt at ease in a modern yoga studio.

Or for those who just have a little extra aggression they need to work out.

“Want to better your strength, flexibility and become zen as f—? Enjoy the occasional f-bomb or innuendo?” the site reads. “You’ve come to the right place.”

Istace also encourages participants to feel free to swear and drink while posing, telling Vice that “as soon as people get into the sequences they tend to naturally drink slowly.” Metal music is also often played too, with albums by the likes of Metallica and Black Sabbath spinning in the background.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Editor

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AMERICAN GOTHIC Crew Stop Real Bad Guy In Toronto

from CityNews

Charges laid after television crew notices break-in


The crew from the television show ‘American Gothic’ thwarted a robbery in Toronto on Friday morning.

The crew were setting up on Bathurst Street south of Davenport Road, across from the Hillcrest TTC Yards, around 4 a.m. when they spotted someone breaking into a building.

They called police, who arrived and took four people into custody.

[ click to continue reading at CityNews ]

Posted on April 10, 2016 by Editor

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Sir Faldo

 from Golf Digest

Nick Faldo pulls off the most creative shot — and celebration — of the week

[ click to view at Golf Digest ]

Posted on April 9, 2016 by Editor

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from The Boston Globe

CBS murder mystery will be set in Boston



Film crew outside Faneuil Hall filming for the upcoming CBS murder mystery “American Gothic.”

Those cameras you saw in front of the Boston Public Library a few weeks ago were not affiliated with Mark Wahlberg’s Boston Marathon bombing movie, “Patriots Day.” They belonged to a television show “American Gothic,” which will premiere on CBS in June.

Showrunner Corinne Brinkerhoff, who earned her graduate degree from Boston University in 2004, confirmed that “Gothic” is set in Boston, and that the crew filmed scenes and exteriors at the BPL, Faneuil Hall, and City Hall. She said she’d hoped to film at Trinity Church, but her plans were cut short because of the last snowstorm.

[ click to continue reading at The Boston Globe ]

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Editor

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Ballin’ At The Foos Motel

from The New Yorker


Gerald Foos bought a motel in order to watch his guests having sex. He saw a lot more than that.


I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes measuring six by fourteen inches in the ceilings of more than a dozen rooms. Then he covered the openings with louvred aluminum screens that looked like ventilation grilles but were actually observation vents that allowed him, while he knelt in the attic, to see his guests in the rooms below. He watched them for decades, while keeping an exhaustive written record of what he saw and heard. Never once, during all those years, was he caught.

I first became aware of this man after receiving a handwritten special-delivery letter, without a signature, dated January 7, 1980, at my house in New York. It began:

Dear Mr. Talese:

Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America, which will be included in your soon to be published book, “Thy Neighbor’s Wife,” I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.

He then described the motel he had owned for more than ten years.

The reason for purchasing this motel was to satisfy my voyeuristic tendencies and compelling interest in all phases of how people conduct their lives, both socially and sexually. . . . I did this purely out of my unlimited curiosity about people and not as just a deranged voyeur.

He explained that he had “logged an accurate record of the majority of the individuals that I watched”

and compiled interesting statistics on each, i.e., what was done; what was said; their individual characteristics; age & body type; part of the country from where they came; and their sexual behavior. These individuals were from every walk of life. The businessman who takes his secretary to a motel during the noon hour, which is generally classified as “hot sheet” trade in the motel business. Married couples traveling from state to state, either on business or vacation. Couples who aren’t married, but live together. Wives who cheat on their husbands and visa versa. Lesbianism, of which I made a particular study. . . . Homosexuality, of which I had little interest, but still watched to determine motivation and procedure. The Seventies, later part, brought another sexual deviation forward, namely, group sex, which I took great interest in watching . . . .

I have seen most human emotions in all their humor and tragedy carried to completion. Sexually, I have witnessed, observed and studied the best first hand, unrehearsed, non-laboratory sex between couples, and most other conceivable sex deviations during these past 15 years.

My main objective in wanting to provide you with this confidential information is the belief that it could be valuable to people in general and sex researchers in particular.

He went on to say that although he had been wanting to tell his story, he was “not talented enough” as a writer and had “fears of being discovered.” He then invited me to correspond with him in care of a post-office box and suggested that I come to Colorado to inspect his motel operation:

Presently I cannot reveal my identity because of my business interests, but [it] will be revealed when you can assure me that this information would be held in complete confidence.

After reading this letter, I put it aside for a few days, undecided on whether to respond. As a nonfiction writer who insists on using real names in articles and books, I knew that I could not accept his condition of anonymity. And I was deeply unsettled by the way he had violated his customers’ trust and invaded their privacy. Could such a man be a reliable source? Still, as I reread the letter, I reflected that his “research” methods and motives bore some similarity to my own in “Thy Neighbor’s Wife.” I had, for example, kept notes while managing massage parlors in New York and while mingling with swingers at the Sandstone nudist commune in Southern California (one key difference: the people I observed and reported on had given me their consent). Also, the opening line of my 1969 book about the Times, “The Kingdom and the Power,” was: “Most journalists are restless voyeurs who see the warts on the world, the imperfections in people and places.”

As to whether my correspondent in Colorado was, in his own words, “a deranged voyeur”—a version of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, or the murderous filmmaker in Michael Powell’s “Peeping Tom”—or instead a harmless, if odd, man of “unlimited curiosity,” or even a simple fabulist, I could know only if I accepted his invitation. Since I was planning to be in Phoenix later in the month, I decided to send him a note, with my phone number, proposing that we meet during a stopover in Denver. He left a message on my answering machine a few days later, saying that he would meet me at the airport baggage claim.

Two weeks later, when I approached the luggage carrousel, I spotted a man holding out his hand and smiling. “Welcome to Denver,” he said, waving in his left hand the note I had mailed him. “My name is Gerald Foos.”

My first impression was that this amiable stranger resembled many of the men I had flown with from Phoenix. He seemed in no way peculiar. In his mid-forties, Foos was hazel-eyed, around six feet tall, and slightly overweight. He wore a tan jacket and an open-collared dress shirt that seemed a size small for his heavily muscled neck. He had neatly trimmed dark hair, and, behind horn-rimmed glasses, he projected a friendly expression befitting an innkeeper.

After we had exchanged courtesies, I accepted his invitation to be a guest at his motel for a few days.

“We’ll put you in one of the rooms that doesn’t provide me with viewing privileges,” he said, with a lighthearted grin. He added that, later on, he would take me up to the special attic viewing platform, but only after his mother-in-law, Viola, who helped out in the motel office, had gone to bed. “My wife, Donna, and I have been careful never to let her in on our secret, and the same thing goes, of course, for our children,” he said.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Editor

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Okie From Muskogee Gone

from Fox News

Merle Haggard dead on his 79th birthday

Country music legend Merle Haggard, who was known for hits like “Okie From Muskogee” and “Mama Tried,” died on his 79th birthday.

Haggard’s manager, Frank Mull, said the country icon died in Palo Cedro, California, of pneumonia that he had been battling for months. He had kept up an ambitious touring schedule, but the pneumonia in both lungs had forced him to cancel several shows this year.

Born outside of Bakersfield, California, in 1937, Haggard, the son of Oklahoma migrants, was raised in a converted railway boxcar, the only home his family could afford. Famous for his prison stint in San Quentin, Haggard said music was his only opportunity out of poverty.

“My decisions have been easy,” he told the Associated Press in 2014. “It was either back in the cotton patch or go to work in the oil fields. … They didn’t compare with music. I was able to make more money in a beer joint when I first started than I was digging ditches.”

The gruff, baritone-voiced singer became known for his classic tunes about drifters, convicts and blue collar workers, including “Workin’ Man Blues.” His tunes celebrated outlaws, underdogs and had an abiding sense of national pride. But he said back in 2014 that after writing some 700 songs, it’s hard to find a subject he hasn’t written about yet.

[ click to continue reading at Fox News ]

Posted on April 6, 2016 by Editor

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The Bullwhip Is Back

from The New York Times

Why Mapplethorpe Still Matters



LOS ANGELES — In a midcareer self-portrait, Robert Mapplethorpe depicted himself as a devil, with a bullwhip for a tail. But he ended up on the side of the angels. In 1989, a traveling survey of his work, with pictures of extreme homosexual acts, pushed the American culture wars into high gear. Religious groups raged. An indignant Congress cut federal money to artists. The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, set to host the show, dropped it like a shot.

Mapplethorpe knew nothing of any of this. He was three months dead of AIDS at 42. Yet he was present by proxy. After the show’s cancellation, anti-censorship demonstrators gathered outside the Corcoran and projected his images on its facade, including another self-portrait, this one of a leather-clad punk with a pompadour and a disdainful snarl. The crowd viewed the images in mournful silence. A new Mapplethorpe, Saint Robert, was born.

A quarter-century later, canonization is complete. In Los Angeles, a doubleheader retrospective, “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium,”is on view at both the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A documentary film, “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” will have its debut Monday on HBO. Rumor has it that a biopic is in the works. An artist once reviled as a pariah and embraced as a martyr has been thoroughly absorbed into mainstream. He’s now a classic, with auction prices to match. The question is, how does the work, cleaned of the grit of controversy, hold up?

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 5, 2016 by Editor

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Learning Through Writing

from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

My Life: Imparting life lessons among 10th-grade teacher’s favorite tasks

by Christina Grande


When I was in third grade, I dressed up as a teacher for Halloween. My mom sprayed my jet-black hair gray (with semi-permanent dye) and wound it into a bun. Making my look complete, she fitted me with plastic black frames, a long skirt and a button-down shirt. I stood up tall to show the camera my best prim and proper stance, putting on a serious look.

Twenty-eight years later, in classroom A2, I stand in front of my 10th-graders in leggings, flats, and hair that always hangs down my back. At this stage in my life, I am nothing like the snapshot of a teacher I saved from years ago. There is nothing prim and proper about my attire, nor is there anything prim and proper about my attitude. While I love literature and writing, my favorite things to impart upon my students are thoughts and ideas about life.

Before class, Maddie whispers to me that she has a secret to tell me afterward. Even though I know the secret will be about a boy and a crush and maybe things that will have no relevance tomorrow, I smile, because this is the essence of childhood and youth.

In Room A2 at 10 a.m., these are the details that matter. In a moment, we will talk about writing memoirs. Later on, Maddie might have to deal with her parents’ divorce and where she will spend her first separate Thanksgiving dinner — at her mom’s or her dad’s house. She might have to decide where she will apply to college or how her SAT scores compare to those of her peers. But, right now, in this moment, she will giggle and share whispers with her friend Sid. The bell has not rung. Third period has not yet begun. And right now, we are silly.

I keep this in the back of my mind as I remind myself that writing must be both thoughtful and fun. The bell rings, and I begin my lesson with a video about how to write six-word memoirs. I watch even the most disengaged kids become transfixed as they look at some examples of writers who have effectively used six words to convey their life stories. They see memoirs from famous people like Molly Ringwald who says, “Acting is not all I am,” and the writer James Frey who says, “So would you believe me anyway?”

I challenge them to create their own memoirs in 15 minutes, unsure of what will become of this short exercise. This is one of the few English classes at my school that is de-leveled, meaning that of the 17 students I teach in this course, half of them are honors students and the other half are standard-level students, who sometimes need additional support writing and crafting sentences. For this reason, I never know how to anticipate the engagement of my students.

[ click to continue reading at Richmond Times-Dispatch ]

Posted on April 4, 2016 by Editor

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Fun With Dad

Posted on April 3, 2016 by Editor

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Zaha Hadid Gone

from WIRED

Superstar Architect Zaha Hadid Is Dead at 65

Zahad Hadid in her London office in 1985.Zahad Hadid in her London office in 1985. CHRISTOPHER PILLITZ/GETTY IMAGES

ZAHA HADID, ONE of architecture’s biggest stars, has passed away at age 65. According to the website of the Iraqi-born, London-based designer, she suffered a heart attack in a Miami hospital while being treated for bronchitis.

Hadid, who is largely regarded as the most influential female architect in history, made her mark on the world with extravagant buildings that embraced organic curves, fluid lines, and often hefty price tags. Though her career wasn’t without controversy, Hadid’s legacy will be her finished buildings, which were often imbued with an expressive sense of motion. Her most well-known work includes Azerbaijani’s flowing white Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, London’s Olympic Aquatics Center, and her early work on the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Reactions to Hadid’s death ranged from pure shock to celebration of her formative role in modern architecture….

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 2, 2016 by Editor

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Invisible Oort Cloud Coming To Kill Us All

from New Scientist

The Oort cloud surrounds our solar system – why can’t we see it?

It’s a giant sphere of a trillion rocks encircling us that occasionally sends comets slinging our way. That’s a convincing story – but we’d love some direct evidence

Oort cloudOort cloud: out of the darkness Credit: Jon Lomberg/SPL

You’ll find it in every astronomy textbook: the spherical cloud of a trillion lumps of rock and ice that forms the outermost boundary of our solar system. The Oort cloud’s distant edge could lie some 100,000 times further out from the sun than Earth, more than a third of the way to its nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri.

Out there, the gravitational pull of other stars and even of the Milky Way itself outweighs that of the sun. These influences can sometimes knock an Oort cloud object off course and in our direction, becoming what we know as a comet. Indeed, the need for a source for “long period” comets – bodies that pass us less than once every 200 years – is the only evidence we have for the Oort cloud’s existence, and that is circumstantial to say the least.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Posted on April 1, 2016 by Editor

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