Ruscha Does Sunset

from LAist

How Ed Ruscha Photographed Every Building On The Sunset Strip


car.gifFor his iconic book “Every Building on the Sunset Strip”, Ruscha used a motorized camera to shoot a “long picture” of the Sunset Strip. (Via YouTube)

Contemporary artist Ed Ruscha has lived in Los Angeles for more than sixty years. Though he is surely one of our brightest art world luminaries, his work has done far more than just shape the meaning of L.A. art—Ruscha has fundamentally shaped the way we see the city itself, making art of our vernacular landscape and sanctifying the California mundane. We truly seeour palm trees, dingbat apartment buildings, billboards and gas stations in large part because Ruscha showed them to us.

In Ed Ruscha: Buildings and Words, a new short documentary commissioned by MOCA, director Felipe Lima presents the story of Ruscha’s art practice and immersion in Los Angeles, from his word paintings to his photographing of Los Angeles apartment buildings.

Narrated by Owen Wilson—who promises that he isn’t going to try and explain Ruscha’s work to us, just show us what there is—the mini-doc blends archival footage and personal photographs with new interviews, taking viewers on a rapid-fire, immersive tour through the work and obsessions of one of America’s most iconic living artists.

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The Revolution Is Really Here! Yeah, baby!


7-Eleven Just Used a Drone to Deliver a Chicken Sandwich and Slurpees


Image by Flirtey

Another milestone in drone deliveries. 

A 7-Eleven customer’s order for Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and candy will forever go down in history.

What makes it remarkable is that the convenience store chain used a drone to deliver the order to a family in Reno, Nev., 7-Eleven said on Friday. The company partnered with drone startup Flirtey for the delivery, which the companies said was the first time a drone has legally delivered a package to a U.S. resident who placed an order from a retailer.

But the drone delivery wasn’t a casual affair.

“This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” Chris Walach, the director of operations for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), said in a statement. The NIAS is a Nevada government-backed non-profit autonomous vehicle advocacy group that helped oversee the delivery.

[ click to continue reading at FORTUNE ]

Ka-boom Over Argentina

from GMA News

What was that explosion? A meteor, it turns out

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Residents of a city in southern Argentina got a scare when a series of powerful explosions shook homes and buildings Wednesday, but the cause turned out to be a natural wonder: a meteor disintegrating overhead.

It was an ordinary Wednesday afternoon in General Roca, a city of 85,000 people, when suddenly a series of loud blasts caused buildings to shake and windows to rattle.

“Everything trembled,” said Martin Soria, the local mayor.

Police, firefighters and emergency workers rushed to the scene, but found no evidence of a bomb, earthquake or calamity.

Finally, scientists pieced together the reason: A meteor had entered the Earth’s atmosphere some 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) overhead, traveling at 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) per hour.

“It took everyone by surprise because it entered the atmosphere over an inhabited area. If it had fallen over the desert, the sea, Antarctica, we would never have known,” said astronomer Roberto Figueroa, head of the nearby Neuquen observatory.


[ click to continue reading at GMA News ]

“A blob of light that’s about 4,500 times brighter than it should be…”

from Atlas Obscura

The Scientist Who Thinks He Found Proof of a Parallel Dimension

Not sci-fi, just science.

Mapping cosmic radiation: the different colors indicate 3.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations. (Photo: NASA/WMAP Science Team/Public Domain)

Parallel universes have long been a staple of superhero comic books, where they usually go hand-in-hand with stories about bizarro worlds just like ours, gone terribly wrong.

But despite their place in science fiction, scientists have taken the idea of parallel universes seriously for quite awhile now. And a mysterious blob discovered in 2015, in a map of our own universe’s glow, might actually be a cosmic bruise—a sign that our universe has collided with another one.

How does this work? First, you need to understand the cosmic microwave background, or CMB—the oldest light in the cosmos. Essentially, it’s a steady, persistent background radiation filling the universe, left over from the Big Bang. (It’s believed to be the vestigial result of recombination, the moment when neutrons and electrons first combined to create hydrogen.)

After mapping and analyzing the CMB using data from the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope, Ranga-Ram Chary, a cosmologist at the California Institute of Technology, thinks that he’s spotted a telling inconsistency in the pattern: a blob of light that’s about 4,500 times brighter than it should be, based on our existing understanding of the early universe. As explains it, the blob’s signature is “more consistent with a universe whose ratio of matter particles to photons is about 65x greater than our own.”

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Billy Name Gone

from The New York Times

Billy Name, Who Glazed Warhol’s Factory in Silver, Dies at 76


Stephen Shore

Andy Warhol’s New York loft on East 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan, called the Silver Factory because every surface was embellished with aluminum foil and silver paint, was to the social life of postwar art what Gertrude Stein’s Rue de Fleurus apartment in Paris or the Royal Academy of Art’s drawing rooms in London were to previous eras.

But the Silver Factory wouldn’t have been the hallowed salon it was had Warhol, in 1959, not run into a handsome, brooding waiter named William Linich Jr., a refugee from the middle-class straits of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who had moved to the city and plunged into its ferment as the Beat years gave way to the counterculture.

When Warhol later went to get a haircut at Mr. Linich’s apartment, he was so wowed by its obsessive reflective décor (“I even painted the silverware silver,” Mr. Linich once recalled) that he invited Mr. Linich uptown to decorate the loft the same way — an act that came to symbolize an entire Pop worldview that Warhol would invent.

“Why he loved silver so much I don’t know,” Warhol wrote of the man who later rechristened himself Billy Name. “But it was great. It was the perfect time to think silver.” It was the future, he said, the space age, and also the past, the silver screen and old Hollywood. “Maybe more than anything,” he added, “silver was narcissism — mirrors were backed with silver.”

Billy Name, who became Warhol’s lover, muse and court photographer, leaving behind a monumental visual record of the 1960s art world in and around the Silver Factory, died in Poughkeepsie on Monday at 76. His agent and executor, Dagon James, said the cause was heart failure.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

THE KICKS Streams on Amazon Starting August 26

from Stream Daily

The Kicks starts streaming in August

The soccer-themed live-action series, based on books written by U.S. Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, will make its Amazon debut on Aug. 26.


Brand-new Amazon original kids live-actioner The Kicks is set to launch Aug. 26 on Prime Video in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Austria. The show is based on a book series by U.S. Olympic gold medalist and current U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Alex Morgan.

Aimed at kids ages six to 11 years, the series follows young female soccer star Devin Burke (Sixx Orange), who, after moving to California with her family in the middle of the school year, must cope with turning around her struggling new team.

The series’ pilot episode is available to stream from today and nine additional episodes will debut exclusively for Prime members via the Amazon Video app for TVs, and internet-connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online on Aug. 26.

Full Fathom Five novelist James Frey (I Am Number Four), Todd Cohen (Lumen), David Babcock (Twisted) and Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm in the Middle) are the series’ executive producers.

The Kicks is co-executive produced by Nastaran Dibai (According to Jim) and written by Orenstein, David Steinberg (Space Racers), Taylor Cox (King Julien Stand Up) and Jacquie Walters (Building Wild).

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from Entertainment Weekly

Comic-Con 2016: American Gothic panel ponders the killer


As CBS’ summer murder mystery thriller American Gothic heats up, the cast was on hand at Comic-Con on Thursday to tease the identity of the killer.

On the series, the wealthy Hawthorne family discovers that not only was their now-deceased patriarch (Jamey Sheridan) possibly a serial killer, but he could’ve been aided by one of their own. Was it the steely matriarch (Virginia Madsen), the black sheep prodigal son Garrett (Antony Starr), the ambitious eldest daughter Alison (Juliet Rylance), the innocent younger school teacher Tessa (Megan Ketch), or the former junkie cartoonist Cam (Justin Chatwin)?

During Wednesday’s episode, Cam was seemingly cleared since his DNA didn’t match the blood found on the Silver Bells Killer belt, but there was a familial match, which means one of the Hawthornes was definitely the killer. So who is it? Chatwin, Starr, and Ketch stayed mum during the panel, though they have finally discovered the answer since American Gothic is currently shooting the finale in which fans will discover the truth.

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The Real American Tragedy

from The Guardian

Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests

The demand for ‘perfect’ fruit and veg means much is discarded, damaging the climate and leaving people hungry

By  US environment correspondent

Discarded food is the biggest single component of US landfill and incinerators, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Discarded food is the biggest single component of US landfill and incinerators, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Photograph: Dan Tuffs/for the Guardian

Americans throw away almost as much food as they eat because of a “cult of perfection”, deepening hunger and poverty, and inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.

Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials.

From the fields and orchards of California to the population centres of the east coast, farmers and others on the food distribution chain say high-value and nutritious food is being sacrificed to retailers’ demand for unattainable perfection.

“It’s all about blemish-free produce,” says Jay Johnson, who ships fresh fruit and vegetables from North Carolina and central Florida. “What happens in our business today is that it is either perfect, or it gets rejected. It is perfect to them, or they turn it down. And then you are stuck.”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Yes, there were.

from NPR

Were There Aliens Before Us?


Drake's equationUniversity of Rochester/Courtesy of Adam Frank

Are we the only civilization-building intelligent species that has ever occurred in the universe?

It’s one of science’s oldest questions. Earlier this year, my colleague Woody Sullivan and I published a paper in the journal Astrobiology presenting new results that, I believe, throw new light on the ancient question. And, based on that work, last month I wrote an OpEd in The New York Times that ran with provocative title “Yes, There Were Aliens.” The Times piece found a large audience and generated strong responses running from agreement to dissent to folks telling me I really should look into UFOs (sorry, not my thing).

Today, I would like, once again, to present our argument and dive a little deeper into its meaning and its limits. In particular, I want to address two excellent rebuttals written by Ross Andersen in The Atlantic and Ethan Siegel in Forbes. Neither Andersen or Siegel was buying some of my contentions and they both made good points. The thing about science (take note climate deniers) is that it’s really a call and response. Both Andersen and Siegel are great writers. Their skepticism made me think even harder about the ideas in our paper and that was really helpful.

One note before we begin. This piece is a tad long because I need to introduce some of the background for the rest of my argument to make sense. Those familiar with the “Drake equation” and its history can skip the next section.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Death of The Cowboy

from Popular Mechanics

Meet SwagBot: The Four-Wheeled Robot Cowboy


SwagBot is the world’s first robot cowboy, built to roam the rugged Australian terrain.

While it will be doing some cowboy work, make no mistake: SwagBot is less like John Wayne and maybe a little more like a hyper-competent herding dog. It can corral cows and pull trailers, doing the type of work seen in the early parts of Brokeback Mountain. It can go through swamps, up hills, and over rocks. It’s not the first robot to hit the farms of the Australian outback, which are vast, remote and often difficult to access.

[ click to continue reading at Popular Mechanics ]

Selfie Suicide

from Rolling Stone

Death by Selfie: 11 Disturbing Stories of Social Media Pics Gone Wrong

Fatal poses with walruses, bulls and even a live grenade


The never-ending pursuit of the ultimate shot for social media sharing has reached a startling new height: 8,000 feet above sea level. This month, a grown man fell to his death while posing for a picture on a ledge at Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel in Peru. But death by selfie at a temple built for human sacrifice begs the question: How far would you go to get that killer shot?

The facts speak for themselves. In 2015, more people died from taking selfies than from shark attacks. Tourist destinations such as Mumbai have gone so far as to designate selfie-free zones. Even the notoriously unsympathetic Russian government issued a manual for how to safely take a selfie. Our need to capture the present moment via social media has completely changed the way we experience life, and a tragic irony presents itself when that results in death.

From falling down the steps of the Taj Mahal to being gored alive by wild animals, here are the 11 most disturbing stories of selfies gone disastrously wrong.

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]


from The Mirror

NASA shuts down live International Space Station feed as ‘mysterious UFO enters Earth’s atmosphere’

The incident caused speculation online – and is not the first time NASA have been accused of tampering with the feed


UFO spotters have raised the alarm after the International Space Station live feed cut out just as a large mysterious object appeared to enter Earth’s atmosphere.

The incident occurred on July 9 and was first reported by prolific UFO hunter Streetcap1 in a video uploaded the same day.

The enthusiast did not directly imply that the object was an alien spacecraft saying: “This could well be a meteor or the like.

But he implied that the camera being turned off was slightly sinister: “What made it interesting was that the camera cut off when the UFO seemed to stop.”

Other enthusiasts put forward theories including one who suggested in could be the Chinese space cargo ship Tiangong-1.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Humpback On The Beach

from grindtv

Jogger stopped in tracks as humpback whale nearly storms beach


A woman jogging on the beach in Pacifica, Calif., was astonished to see a humpback whale swimming straight toward her through the surf, seemingly intent on beaching itself.

“Whoa, stay back, buddy!,” Roberta Gamble said to the whale, while videotaping the rare encounter on Monday morning.

Humpback whales were feeding beyond the surf zone, but this whale had chased a school of anchovies almost onto the shore. It opens wide to gulp the bait fish, directly in front of Gamble, about 5 seconds into the video.

“Oh dear,” she says in the short clip, which on Thursday began circulating on whale-themed Facebook pages.

“Although humpbacks have at times been observed lunge-feeding just outside the surf zone, it is extraordinarily rare to catch one with its belly actually on the sand,” whale researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger posted on the public group, Cetal Fauna. “I’ve witnessed humpbacks feeding close to shore here, but always just outside the surf – never this close!”

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Dawn of The Musical Cosmos

from Nautilus

Brian Eno Plays the Universe

A physicist explains what the composer has in common with the dawn of the cosmos.


Michael Putland / Getty Images

Everyone had his or her favorite drink in hand. There were bubbles and deep reds, and the sound of ice clinking in cocktail glasses underlay the hum of contented chatter. Gracing the room were women with long hair and men dressed in black suits, with glints of gold necklaces and cuff links. But it was no Gatsby affair. It was the annual Imperial College quantum gravity cocktail hour. Like the other eager postdocs, this informal meeting was an opportunity to mingle with some of the top researchers in quantum gravity and hopefully ignite a collaboration, with a drink to sooth our nerves. But for me this party would provide a chance encounter that encouraged me to connect music with the physics of the early universe.

The host was dressed down in black from head to toe—black turtleneck, jeans, and trench coat. On my first day as a postdoctoral student at Imperial College, I had spotted him at the end of a long hallway in the theoretical physics wing of Blackett Lab. With jet-black wild hair, beard, and glasses, he definitely stood out. I said, “Hi,” as he walked by, curious who he was, and with his “How’s it going?” response, I had him pegged. “You from New York?” I asked. He was.

My new friend was Lee Smolin, one of the fathers of a theory known as loop quantum gravity, and he was in town considering a permanent job at Imperial. Along with string theory, loop quantum gravity is one of the most compelling approaches to unifying Einstein’s general relativity with quantum mechanics. As opposed to string theory, which says that the stuff in our universe is made up of fundamental vibrating strings, loop quantum gravity focuses on space itself as a woven network of loops of the same size as the strings in string theory.

Lee had offered up his West Kensington flat for the quantum gravity drinks that evening to give the usual annual host, Faye Dowker, a break. Faye enjoyed being the guest lecturer that evening. Bespectacled, and brilliant, she was also a quantum gravity pioneer. While Professor Dowker was a postdoc she studied under Steven Hawking, working on wormholes and quantum cosmology, but her specialty transformed into causal set theory. After a couple of hours, the contented chatter gave way to Faye as she presented her usual crystal-clear exposition of causal sets as an alternate to strings and loops. Like loop quantum gravity, causal sets are less about the stuff in the universe and more about the structure of spacetime itself. But instead of being woven out of loops, spacetime is described by a discrete structure that is organized in a causal way. The causal-set approach envisions the structure of space analogous to sand on a beachhead. If we view the beachhead from afar, we see a uniform distribution of sand. But as we zoom in, we can discern the individual sand grains. In a causal set, spacetime, like a beach made up of sand, is composed of granular “atoms” of space-time.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

The Biology of Music

from The Guardian

Breakthrough in understanding the chills and thrills of musical rapture

How certain pieces of music send tingles up the spine has stumped researchers for centuries, but a recent brain scan study may have provided some clues

By  Science editor

How does music evoke goosebumps and spine tingles?How does music evoke goosebumps and spine tingles? Photograph: Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

The skin comes out in goosebumps and tingles run up the spine. But how particular pieces of music can induce such rapturous effects in people has stumped researchers for centuries.

With the passing of time comes new technology though, and suitably equipped with modern brain scanning equipment, scientists may now have made some headway.

In the latest effort to understand “the chills”, researchers in the US put out a call for music fans who either consistently experienced euphoric sensations on hearing certain tracks, or who hardly ever felt them at all.

“It stemmed from a deep interest in intense, profound emotional responses, in particular those that come from music,” said Matthew Sachs, a graduate student at the University of Southern California who conducted the experiments at Harvard University. “I’ve always been fascinated by how a collection of tones changing over time has the ability to evoke these very strong sensations.”

More than 200 people responded to the call and filled out online personality questionnaires. From these, Sachs and others at Harvard and Wesleyan University in Connecticut selected 10 to form a “chill group” and another 10 to form a “no chill” group.

Before having their brains scanned, the 20 volunteers went into the lab with playlists of music they found most pleasurable. The tracks ranged from the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing to Bag Raiders’ Shooting Stars and Blue Devils Drum Corps’s Constantly Risking Absurdity.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]


from RealClear Science

The Top Six Dinosaur Myths

By Nick Longrich

We can go to the gift shop after you’ve eaten Dave Catchpole/FlickrCC BY

When the first dinosaur bone was described in 1676, it was thought to come from an elephant or perhaps a giant. Over a century later, scientists realised such fossils came from a creature they named Megalosaurus, portrayed as a sort of stocky, overgrown lizard. Then, in 1842, leading anatomist Richard Owen recognised Megalosaurus as part of a whole new group of animals, which he named Dinosauria, or “Terrible Lizards”.

Since then, around 700 different dinosaur species have been described, with more found everymonth. Our ideas about dinosaurs have also changed radically. The dinosaurs we know today are very different from the ones in the books you may have read as a child.

Myth 1: Dinosaurs were all big

The name dinosaur tends to evoke images of giants – and certainly many were very large. Tyrannosaurus rex was around 12 metres long and weighed more than five tonnes, the size of an elephant, and it probably wasn’t even the biggest carnivore. Long-necked, plant-eating sauropods grew to titanic proportions. The enormous Argentinosaurus is known from just a few bones, but its size has been estimated at 30 metres in length and 80 tonnes in weight. That’s larger than any living land mammal and all but the largest whales. And dinosaurs are unique here. No other group of land animals before or since was able to grow as large.

But not all dinosaurs were giants. The horned dinosaur Protoceratops was the size of a sheep. Velociraptor was the size of a golden retriever and had to be scaled up for Jurassic Park to make it more terrifying. Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of small species discovered, such as the
cat-sized raptor Hesperonychus, the rabbit-sized plant-eater Tianyulong, and the quail-sized insect-eater Parvicursor. The smaller species were probably more common than their giant cousins. It’s just that the massive bones of a T. rex are more likely to have been preserved and a lot easier to spot in the field.

[ click to continue reading at RealClear Science ]