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America Afraid Of Penises

from Vice

French Director Gaspar Noé on America’s Fear of the Penis

“The fear of the penis in the United States still shocks me,” he said. “In many ways, the Western world is turning Victorian.”

By Noel Ransome

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.

[ click to continue reading at Vice ]

Posted on February 28, 2019 by Editor

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Bring Back The Shit Stick!

from National Post

U.S. plush toilet paper use wiping out Canada’s forests, flushing away the future: report

The report 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

by Adrian Humphreys

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.

[ click to continue reading at National Post ]

Posted on February 26, 2019 by Editor

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Always Have An Off-site, Air-gapped Backup

from Fast Company

Humanity’s 30-million-page backup plan is heading to the moon

BY MELISSA LOCKER

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.

[ click to continue reading at Fast Company ]

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Editor

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Warhol Still More Famous Than Brady

Posted on February 24, 2019 by Editor

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Cassettes Still Rock (and hiss)

from The Guardian

It’s cool to spool again as the cassette returns on a wave of nostalgia

Sales are soaring and current stars are releasing tracks on the format… but is anyone actually listening to them?

by Nosheen Iqbal

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 quite a fall from the format’s peak in 1989 when 83 million cassettes were bought by British music fans, but when everyone from pop superstar Ariana Grande to punk duo Sleaford Mods are taking to tape, a mini revival seems afoot. But why?

“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.”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on February 23, 2019 by Editor

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Social Media Boys

Posted on February 22, 2019 by Editor

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Dragon Aurora

from The Metro

Nasa releases picture of mysterious ‘dragon’ aurora rearing its head in the sky

by Jasper Hamill

A view0 of the mysterious dragon aurora snapped in Iceland on February 18 (Photo: Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng)

NASA has released incredible pictures of an unusual ‘dragon’ aurora roaring silently in the sky over Iceland.

The stunning natural wonder was caused by particles emited from the sun which smash into the atmosphere to cause a dramatic light display.

Nasa wrote: ‘Have you ever seen a dragon in the sky? Although real flying dragons don’t exist, a huge dragon-shaped aurora developed in the sky over Iceland earlier this month.

‘The aurora was caused by a hole in the Sun’s corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth’s magnetosphere.

‘As some of those particles then struck Earth’s atmosphere, they excited atoms which subsequently emitted light: aurora.

‘This iconic display was so enthralling that the photographer’s mother ran out to see it and was captured in the foreground.

[ click to continue reading at Metro ]

Posted on February 21, 2019 by Editor

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Wi-Fi For The Brain

from Science Alert

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.

The discovery offers some radical new insights about the way neurons might be talking to one another, via a mysterious process unrelated to conventionally understood mechanisms, such as synaptic transmission, axonal transport, and gap junction connections.

“We don’t know yet the ‘So what?’ part of this discovery entirely,” says neural and biomedical engineer Dominique Durand from Case Western Reserve University.

“But we do know that this seems to be an entirely new form of communication in the brain, so we are very excited about this.”

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on February 20, 2019 by Editor

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Lagerfeld Gone

from Vogue

Legendary Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died

Karl Lagerfeld.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.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on February 19, 2019 by Editor

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LORDS OF CHAOS, Mayhem Dissed

from The Telegraph

Call for Lords of Chaos film about suicide and satanism to be banned

by  Charles Hymas

One of the most controversial films ever made has been approved for release in the UK despite featuring self-harm, suicide and burning of churches by members of a satanic black metal band.

Official film classifiers in the UK and US are understood to have been so concerned about the release of Lords of Chaos that it was reviewed at the highest levels.

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.

The film, based on the real-life Norwegian black metal band Mayhem,contains explicit violence, including two murders and the burning…

Posted on February 18, 2019 by Editor

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Motility Re-dated

from Phys.org

Discovery of the oldest evidence of motility on Earth

 

Discovery of the oldest evidence of mobility on EarthPreviously, 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.

[ click to continue reading at physical.org ]

Posted on February 17, 2019 by Editor

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Nippy Hot Rod Tractors

from Somerset Live

Police impound tractor after it was reported for drag racing motorbikes

‘Pretty nippy’ tractor weighs around 5.5 tonnes and has up to 175hp

By Thomas Cock

Police in Wiltshire seized a five-tonne tractor after being told it was racing against motorbikes.

By their own admission, police in Amesbury said pulling over a tractor for allegedly racing was an “unusual” operation.

The farm vehicle was impounded after it was found to be using red diesel – duty free fuel only to be used for agricultural purposes.

Police also said the driver could not produce valid insurance at the time.

They tweeted a picture showing a New Holland T6 175 tractor.

This model is listed online as having up to 175hp and weighing around 5.5.tonnes.

One twitter used described it as “pretty nippy.”

The tractor had a large sticker on it saying “seized by police – no insurance”.

[ click to continue reading at Somerset Live ]

Posted on February 16, 2019 by Editor

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God Bless Testosterone

from ABC 7 Detroit

Local powerlifter lifts vehicle off man trapped underneath after accident

By: Alan Campbell

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — A local power lifter is being hailed as a real life super hero, after his quick actions helped save a man pinned under a rolled over vehicle.

Ryan Belcher, works out and trains at the gym 5 days a week. It’s his life, and a place he credits for giving him extra strength on a day he needed it the most.

“I just lifted and started pushing the vehicle as hard as I could,” Belcher said.

Belcher isn’t your normal power lifter.

“What’s weird is it’s easier for me to not know the weight,” he said.

It was around 4:30 Thursday afternoon when Belcher heard something outside his workplace on the 2600 block of Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti.

“I just hear a big smash and, as I look out, a crowd of people are coming and this vehicle is flipped upside down and my first instinct was to just take off out there,” he said.

[ click to continue reading at ABC 7 Detroit ]

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Editor

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MAGMA

from The Express

Yellowstone volcano: How scientists ‘intensely monitor’ rising column of HOT MAGMA

THE YELLOWSTONE volcano has been “intensely monitored” by a team of scientists and volcanologists concerned by a 400-mile-long plume of hot magma that is rising beneath the surface of the Earth.

By CALLUM HOARE

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.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Editor

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Little Sis I Got Your Back

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Editor

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Steamboat Coming

from Travel Breaking News

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…

[ click to continue reading at Travel Breaking News ]

Posted on February 12, 2019 by Editor

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Fifth Estate Fashion

from AP

Extra! Jeremy Scott makes news (literally) on the runway

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.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Editor

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“A MILLION LITTLE PIECES” Backstage

from Backstage

Why There’s Magic to ‘Proper Indie Filmmaking’

BY ASHLEY LEE

Photo Source: Courtesy Tiff

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.’ ”

[ click to continue reading at Backstage ]

Posted on February 10, 2019 by Editor

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Asteroid Space Station

from The Daily Mail

Scientists want to build a space station INSIDE an asteroid and use artificial gravity from the rapidly spinning space rocks to mine valuable minerals

  • It is possible to bore into the middle of an asteroid and mine from within   
  • Mining on the surface of asteroids is impossible as the gravity is insufficient 
  • Inside the asteroid would allow it to use the artificial gravity from its spinning 
  • Experts say the real-life applications of this technology remains unproven

By JOE PINKSTONE

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)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.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on February 9, 2019 by Editor

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Les secrets du Chateau

from Vanity Fair

Secrets of the Chateau Marmont

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.

by MARK ROZZO

A photo of The Chateau Marmont.Photograph by Nikolas Koenig/OTTO.

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.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on February 8, 2019 by Editor

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Taco Art @ SXSW

from artnet

Holy Guacamole! A Group of ‘Taco-Loving Creatives’ Is Building a Pop-Up Museum Devoted to the Mexican Snack at SXSW

The pop-up promises to “deliver true Instagrammable goals.”

Avocados. Courtesy of Tacotopia.Avocados. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

The pop-up museum trend shows no sign of dying out as the latest Instagram trap is set to touch down in Austin, Texas, just in time for the SXSW film, music, and media festival, which runs from March 8 to 16. It’s called Tacotopia, and it’s already threatening to go on a six-city tour to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The exhibit is part of a larger movement encompassing interactive and experiential art,” the press release helpfully points out for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock since Refinery29’s 29 Rooms and the Museum of Ice Cream ushered in this strange new age of ball pits and thematic odes to avocados, dreams, feminism, pizza, and rosé.

But this particular iteration doesn’t even pretend it’s there for anything more than to “deliver true Instagrammable goals” via larger-than-life immersive installations, according to its website. It will include such attractions as a foam pico de gallo ball pit, a “Señorita Needs a Margarita” lime swing, and a staircase leading to “Churro Heaven.”

It all feels vaguely sacrilegious: the jumping off point for the whole affair is a character dubbed the Goddess of Tacos, a cross between the Zapotec Goddess of Life and Ushnishavijaya, the Buddha Goddess of a Long Life. Tacotopia plans to work with local artists in all six cities to create unique installations for each stop on the tour.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on February 7, 2019 by Editor

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Sullivan on Sex

from New York Magazine

The Nature of Sex

By

Photo: Yukipon

It might be a sign of the end-times, or simply a function of our currently scrambled politics, but earlier this week, four feminist activists — three from a self-described radical feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front — appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation. Together they argued that sex was fundamentally biological, and not socially constructed, and that there is a difference between women and trans women that needs to be respected. For this, they were given a rousing round of applause by the Trump supporters, religious-right members, natural law theorists, and conservative intellectuals who comprised much of the crowd. If you think I’ve just discovered an extremely potent strain of weed and am hallucinating, check out the video of the event.

I’ve no doubt that many will see these women as anti-trans bigots, or appeasers of homophobes and transphobes, or simply deranged publicity seekers. (The moderator, Ryan Anderson, said they were speaking at Heritage because no similar liberal or leftist institution would give them space or time to make their case.) And it’s true that trans-exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs, as they are known, are one minority that is actively not tolerated by the LGBTQ establishment, and often demonized by the gay community. It’s also true that they can be inflammatory, offensive, and liobsessive. But what interests me is their underlying argument, which deserves to be thought through, regardless of our political allegiances, sexual identities, or tribal attachments. Because it’s an argument that seems to me to contain a seed of truth. Hence, I suspect, the intensity of the urge to suppress it.

[ click to continue reading at New York ]

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Editor

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Conquering The Ardblair Stones

Posted on February 5, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN AND SLIM – Cold in Cleveland

from The Plain Dealer

Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith continue movie making on chilly Cleveland set of “Queen and Slim”

By James Ewinger, The Plain Dealer

(AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Stars and film crew continue to mine movie gold on St. Clair Avenue, despite bitter cold.

The movie being made here now is called “Queen and Slim,” staring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. Filming, much of it at night, began this week and is expected to wrap here Friday.

After filming early Wednesday morning, Turner-Smith said in a Tweet it was “slightly chilly” in Cleveland with a screen shot of her weather app displaying a reading of minus-17 degrees, which likely was the wind-chill. Temperatures at that time were around zero.

By midday Wednesday, there was no evidence of a film on St. Clair Avenue, except for a lone City of Cleveland van. Filming was to resume at 5 p.m. as temperatures dipped below minus-5 with a wind chill in the minus-30s. St. Claire from East 61st to East 71st was to be closed for the second straight night.

Melina Matsoukas is directing the movie, with a script by Lena Waithe and author James Frey. The Hollywood Reporter and other film-focused outlets have called in a “Bonnie and Clyde” story.

“To me, this is protest art,” Waithe told Variety in July. “It’s about being black and trying to fall in love in a world that’s burning down around you.”

Variety called that “Queen & Slim” an “exploration of America’s social and political climate through the lens of a genre-defying love story. The film centers on a black man and black woman who go on a first date that goes awry after the two are pulled over by a police officer at a traffic stop. They kill the police officer in self-defense and rather than turn themselves in, they go on the run.”

[ click to read full article at Cleveland.com ]

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Editor

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Speech Recognition (Without The Speech)

from Science Daily

Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

Advance marks critical step toward brain-computer interfaces that hold immense promise for those with limited or no ability to speak

Credit: © adragan / Fotolia

In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the groundwork for helping people who cannot speak, such as those living with as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or recovering from stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.

These findings were published today in Scientific Reports.

“Our voices help connect us to our friends, family and the world around us, which is why losing the power of one’s voice due to injury or disease is so devastating,” said Nima Mesgarani, PhD, the paper’s senior author and a principal investigator at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. “With today’s study, we have a potential way to restore that power. We’ve shown that, with the right technology, these people’s thoughts could be decoded and understood by any listener.”

Decades of research has shown that when people speak — or even imagine speaking — telltale patterns of activity appear in their brain. Distinct (but recognizable) pattern of signals also emerge when we listen to someone speak, or imagine listening. Experts, trying to record and decode these patterns, see a future in which thoughts need not remain hidden inside the brain — but instead could be translated into verbal speech at will.

[ click to continue reading at Science Daily ]

Posted on February 3, 2019 by Editor

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Withnail & I

from Vanity Fair

The Cult of Richard E. Grant’s Withnail and I Is Finally Having Its Moment

After decades of obsessively quoting Bruce Robinson’s 1987 comedy, Gen Xers are using Grant’s Oscar nomination as an excuse to teach a new generation to demand the finest wines available to humanity.

by DUFF MCDONALD

Bruce Robinson’s script for his 1987 cult classic, Withnail and I,wanders effortlessly between the high (a Hamlet soliloquy) and the low (“You can stuff it up your arse for nothing and fuck off while you’re doing it!”). But it’s the incandescent performance of Richard E. Grantthat sends the dark British comedy—about a couple of out-of-work actors—into the stratosphere of greatness.

So it’s less weird than it might at first seem that the movie which screened at New York’s Film Forum on Thursday night wasn’t the one that has earned Grant a best-supporting-actor Oscar nomination—Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy—but the one that forged his legend more than three decades ago.

Over coffee in Brooklyn, I asked Grant if he could tell when he read the script for Withnail and I that it was a role for the ages? “I knew it bone-deep,” he said. “It made me laugh out loud, it was so brilliantly written. Even the stage directions were hilarious. I had also been unemployed for nine months, too, so it was the best preparation I could have had for playing an embittered unemployed actor.”

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Posted on February 2, 2019 by Editor

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Posted on February 1, 2019 by Editor

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