Near the end of my chat with Gaspar Noé, I ask him why he’s so comfortable with pushing narrative boundaries in film. He replied he doesn’t believe he’s pushing anything compared to what came before. So I remind him of cinema’s growing sensitivity to controversial representations of sexuality in 2019. The French director—whose latest film Climax (which is co-produced by VICE Studios), is a journey with a dance troupe lured into hallucinogenic states to the point of injury and death—decides to answer in the most Noé way possible.
“The fear of the penis in the United States still shocks me,” he lets out during a phone exchange. “In many ways, the Western world is turning Victorian.”
If you’ve ever seen a film by Gaspar Noé, it would be downright disappointing not to hear the word “penis” leave his mouth. The director is famed with his ability to unsettle viewers with equal parts beauty, sexuality and terror. You’ll see it in works such as Irreversible ,Love, Enter the Void, and now in Climax set for a March 1 limited release—zero penises guaranteed.
It takes a special kind of mind to come up with films that explore the dark depths of the human psyche. And thankfully, I got a chance to listen to the ideas that a mind like that will throw at you when questioned. Whether it was drugs, directing or “the penis,” Noé was a man comfortable speaking about it all.
The voracious use of toilet paper in the United States — with the average American using almost three rolls each week and major manufacturers spurning alternative fibres — is destroying Canada’s forests and causing widespread environmental damage, two international environmental groups say.
A report on tissue paper use gave failing grades to the leading toilet paper, tissue and paper towel brands for using only virgin fibre pulp, mostly from Canada’s old boreal forests.
“Forests are too vital to flush away,” says the report, called The Issue With Tissue, released Wednesday by Natural Resources Defense Council and Stand.earth, international nonprofit environmental organizations that cooperated on the study.
When SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket took off on Thursday night, it carried humanity’s entire backup plan with it. It was headed to the moon, the world’s ultimate cold-storage unit.
The Arch Mission Foundation (AMF) created the Lunar Library, a 30-million-page long compendium of humanity’s greatest cultural offerings, encoded it on a specially designed disc meant to last a billion years, and sent it to the moon to keep it safe. The disc is being carried to its final resting place on the moon’s surface aboard Beresheet, the Israeli spacecraft (and Google Lunar XPrize contender) that was carried to space by the Falcon 9, CNET reports.
The Lunar Library contains a vast archive of human history and civilization, covering all subjects, cultures, nations, languages, genres, and time periods. Everything from the contents of Wikipedia, to a compilation of human languages, the Rosetta Project, books selected by Project Gutenberg, as well as genome maps, 60,000 analog images of pages of books, photographs, illustrations, and documents, and much of the world’s greatest art, music, literature, and scientific knowledge. It’s all encoded on a disc that is composed of 25 nickel discs, each only 40 microns thick, made for the AMF by NanoArchival.
Pause. Stop. Rewind! The cassette, long consigned to the bargain bin of musical history, is staging a humble comeback. Sales have soared in the last year – up 125% in 2018 on the year before – amounting to more than 50,000 cassette albums bought in the UK, the highest volume in 15 years.
“It’s the tangibility of having this collectible format and a way to play music that isn’t just a stream or download,” says techno DJ Phin, who has just released her first EP on cassette as label boss of Theory of Yesterday.
“I find them much more attractive than CDs. Tapes have a lifespan, and unlike digital music, there is decay and death. It’s like a living thing and that appeals to me.” Phin left the bulk of her own 100-strong cassette collection in Turkey, carefully stored at her parents’ home, but bought “20 or 25 really special ones” when she moved to London. “I’m from that generation,” she says. “It’s a nostalgia thing – I like the hiss.”
Neuroscientists Say They’ve Found an Entirely New Form of Neural Communication
by PETER DOCKRILL
Scientists think they’ve identified a previously unknown form of neural communication that self-propagates across brain tissue, and can leap wirelessly from neurons in one section of brain tissue to another – even if they’ve been surgically severed.
Karl Lagerfeld / Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, September 2018
Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and widely popular designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has died in Paris. He was 85.
Lagerfeld was creative director of Chanel, the French house founded by Gabrielle Chanel, for an era-defining, age-defying 36 years. Upon assuming the reins in 1983, Lagerfeld swiftly revived Chanel, reinterpreting the house founder’s iconic tweed skirtsuits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. He did it via the lens of hip-hop one season and California surfer chicks the next—he was a pop culture savant—without ever forgetting what the revolutionary Coco stood for: independence, freedom, and modernity.
In more recent years, as the company’s fortunes grew and grew, Lagerfeld became known for the lavish Grand Palais sets he conceived for the six Chanel collections he designed a year. There was a rocket ship, a reproduction of the Eiffel Tower, and a supermarché stocked strictly with Chanel-brand products. Florence Welch sang on the half-shell at the Spring 2012 show. Most memorable of all was the improbable giant iceberg from Scandinavia that Chanel shipped across the continent for the Fall 2010 show. Lagerfeld also pioneered the concept of the traveling pre-season show. The Karl caravan has landed variously in Versailles; West Lothian, Scotland; Dallas; Seoul; and, spectacularly, Havana, Cuba.
Church groups have, however, called for it to be banned following controversy over the role of online self-harm images in the death of Molly Russell, 14, who took her own life after viewing such images on Instagram.
Discovery of the oldest evidence of motility on Earth
Previously, the oldest traces of this kind found dated to approximately 600 million years ago: the Ediacaran period, also characterized by a peak in dioxygen and a proliferation in biodiversity. Scale bar: 1 cm. Credit: A. El Albani / IC2MP / CNRS – Université de Poitiers
An international multi-disciplinary team coordinated by Abderrazak El Albani at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) has uncovered the oldest fossilised traces of motility. Whereas previous remnants were dated to 570 million years ago, this new evidence is 2.1 billion years old. The fossils were discovered in a deposit in Gabon, where the oldest multicellular organisms were found. The results appear in the 11 February 2019 edition of PNAS.
A few years ago, geologist Abderrazak El Albani and his team at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) discovered the oldest existing fossils of multicellular organisms in a deposit in Gabon. Located in the Franceville Basin, the deposit allowed scientists to re-date the appearance of multicellular life on Earth to 2.1 billion years—approximately 1.5 billion years earlier than previously thought (600 million). At the time, the researchers showed that this rich biodiversity co-occurred with a peak in dioxygenation of the atmosphere, and developed in a calm and shallow marine environment.
In this same geological deposit, the team has now uncovered the existence of fossilised traces of motility. This shows that certain multicellular organisms in this primitive marine ecosystem were sophisticated enough to move through its mud, rich in organic matter.
The Yellowstone volcano has erupted three times in history – 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago. Scientists have previously revealed that, should an earthquake occur, it could take less than two weeks before a catastrophic reaction event with the potential to wipe out three-quarters of the US is triggered. Now, it is the job of geologists to “intensely monitor” a large area of molten rock directly below the surface of the supervolcano, it was revealed in a documentary.
“We can reconstruct a 3D picture like an MRI scan by recording thousands of earthquakes.”
The documentary then reveals how the mapping system of more than 150 seismometers has identified a 400-mile-long magma plume rising from the Earth’s core.
Should this reach the surface, there could be catastrophic effects.
The last eruption of Yellowstone produced around 2,500 times more volcanic material than the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens.
Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser Is Gushing at a Record Pace
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Late last year, Jeff Carter happened upon Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world, just before it erupted. “It was so much louder, and higher and stronger than anything I had seen, almost frightening,” he said. “People around us were so emotional, just cheering and roaring,” Mr. Carter said. “This old fellow who had it on his bucket list was so verklempt when the geyser erupted, it was neat.” All but dormant for years, Steamboat is erupting fairly frequently these days and more people like Mr. Carter are getting to witness it.
While Old Faithful is a global icon of punctual eruption — it usually erupts every 90 minutes or so — it is the exception among geothermal features. Most of Yellowstone National Park’s 1,000 or so geysers are far more irregular and unpredictable. Many geysers, like Steamboat, are quiet and then suddenly rouse. Steamboat sometimes jets water to heights of 300 to 400 feet — far higher than Old Faithful’s top height of 185 feet…
Extra! Jeremy Scott makes news (literally) on the runway
By JOCELYN NOVECK
NEW YORK (AP) — CHAOS! HORROR! PANIC! BABY, IT’S HOT! Designer Jeremy Scott has always liked to make news, but with his latest collection he did it literally, drawing design inspiration from New York’s tabloid headlines.
Chromatically speaking, Scott’s runway show Friday evening at New York Fashion Week was a very disciplined collection in all black and white; Scott usually uses a riot of bright colors and large cartoon graphics in his clothes.
Here, garments were emblazoned with an artist’s versions of the New York Post and the Daily News — on dresses, trousers, jackets, jumpsuits and much more. Some of the most striking items: dainty, elegant chiffon party dresses printed with tabloid headlines.
On the first day of production for “A Million Little Pieces,” Aaron Taylor-Johnson was completely naked. Per the instruction of Sam Taylor-Johnson (his director, screenwriting partner, and wife), the actor began dancing for the camera, spinning wildly with vacant eyes before falling out a window.
“I wanted the audience to know, very quickly, exactly who he was, without repeating imagery we’ve seen before,” explains Sam Taylor-Johnson of introducing the film’s drug-addicted character. “I said, ‘You’re a broken human being, and your behavior has to be so raw and without any boundaries or sense of self. So, your nakedness, you have no sense of it being right or wrong. You have no shame. You have no anything, really.’ Of course, when we shot it, it’s like, ‘Oh, god.’ ”
An asteroid would need to be made of solid stone and spin one to three times a minute to provide enough gravity to resemble that of the Martian surface. Visualisations of the potential project have not been created and it may look like anything from a simple cavern to a complex spacecraft similar to the International Space Station (stock image)
Space stations of the future may be built inside distant asteroids, scientists claim.
One team of researchers found it would be possible to bore into the middle of a distant space rock, erect a space station and mine valuable minerals from within.
They proved it would be mathematically possible, with the right asteroid, to put a cylindrical space station inside a rock several hundred feet wide.
Experts say the logistical possibilities of this concept remains an issue and that it is at least several decades away from becoming a reality.
Some scientists rebuffed the research and claim not enough is known about the physical composition of asteroids to guarantee building a space station inside a huge rock would not cause it to fragment and break apart.
As the ultimate movie-colony clubhouse turns 90, Mark Rozzo prowls among the bungalows and crannies off Sunset Boulevard where mega-stars and ne’er-do-wells, from Garbo and Harlow to Lindsay and Britney, have whiled away nearly a century of enchanted evenings.
In the late 1920s, as Hollywood was booming and Beverly Hills was sprouting a bumper crop of movie-colony mansions, the stretch between them was little more than sagebrush and scrub. It was known as No-Man’s Land. Winding through it was a forlorn trail with a presumptuous name: Sunset Boulevard. Where this unpaved road met Marmont Lane, catty-corner to an oasis-like complex of villas in mid-construction called the Garden of Allah, the attorney and developer Fred Horowitz became mesmerized by a barren hillside. One day in November of 1926, the story goes, he rolled up to the unpromising site in a town car, pulled out a snapshot he’d taken in the Loire Valley of the Château d’Amboise (where Catherine de Medici and Henry II of France shacked up in the 16th century), and, in a title-card moment from a silent movie, shouted: “YES.”
Horowitz had found his spot. Here, on the north side of Sunset, he would build a brawny, earthquake-proof, seven-story, Manhattan-worthy apartment house in a fairy-tale French Gothic style: thick, buff-colored walls, spiky turrets, steep roofs, arched windows, raftered ceilings, and a vaulted colonnade, with the two flanks of the building folding in upon a grassy courtyard, all adding up to a veritable fortress of luxury, taste, and fantasy. His California castle—“distinctively furnished and decorated,” as the early ad copy put it—would have state-of-the-art kitchens and bathrooms. Promising Park Avenue-style discretion and privacy, it would be a sanctuary for New Yorkers moving West and for movie machersdesiring East Coast polish. Horowitz toyed with names: Chateau Sunset? Chateau Hollywood? He went with Chateau Marmont. It sounded French. Along with the Garden of Allah, the Chateau Marmont turned that faceless frontier into what would become the Sunset Strip.