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Fancy Fancy

from The Guardian

‘I don’t see jeans in my future’: the people who wear complete historical dress – every day

From the man who wears 17th-century clothes to the woman whose outfits are straight out of the 1950s, six people explain their deep devotion to period dress

by Ammar Kalia

It is a bold and often ostentatious choice, but historical dressing can be more than just a novelty means of self-expression. As with any clothes, they are a way of presenting ourselves to the world. And for some, that means wearing top hats, breeches, doublets, or Bakelite jewellery. Below, six period dressers explain their choices:

Zack MacLeod Pinsent, 25
Regency period

These are everyday clothes of the early 19th century. I never leave the house without a hat and I tend to walk around with a cane, too. A lot of what I wear at the moment is Regency style.

I’ve been dressing alternatively since I was 14 because modern fashion has never appealed to me. I wanted to look back to a time when things were of a higher quality and wear clothes that would make me stand out. I began wearing late-Victorian and Edwardian stuff bought in vintage shops in Brighton and it made me genuinely happy. I got into the Regency look because I was invited to a Regency ball in London and had nothing to wear. I tried to make something myself, but realised it was terrible since I couldn’t find the right fabrics, so I decided to research the history and develop my own skills.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on July 15, 2019 by Editor

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Mysterious Mars Methane

from The Atlantic

A Startling Spike on Mars

Methane gas is a potential indicator of life on the red planet, but it’s proving difficult to track.

by MARINA KOREN

If humans ever discover life on Mars, this is how it might start: with a breaking-news alert heralding a startling development well beyond Earth.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, The New York Times sent a bulletin: “Mars is belching a large amount of methane gas. It’s a sign of possible life on the red planet.”

NASA quickly published a press release acknowledging the detection, which, the Times had reported, marked the largest amount of methane ever registered by the Curiosity rover, a NASA mission that touched down on the red planet in 2012. But after that, the agency went quiet. The news had come from an email between scientists on the Curiosity team that had been leaked to the Times. It wasn’t supposed to be known, at least not yet. And there’s no room for nuance in a breaking-news alert.

Like the Times, NASA provided an important caveat: Many things can produce methane on Mars. Alien life is on that list, but other sources are far more likely.

After decades of exploration, spacecraft haven’t found any evidence of life on the surface of Mars. But some scientists say it may lurk beneath the surface, in the form of tiny organisms. And that’s why methane is so noteworthy. On Earth, microbes pump the natural gas into the planet’s atmosphere. Perhaps a similar arrangement exists on Mars.

Methane doesn’t last forever in the Martian atmosphere, however. Exposure to the sun’s radiation, combined with reactions with other gases, breaks down the gas molecules within a few centuries. This chemistry is what makes the spike that Curiosity found so intriguing. If methane is present in the Martian atmosphere right now, it must have been released fairly recently. Detectable quantities might be a sign that something is alive on Mars, capable of replenishing the supply.

Or not. Natural interactions between rock and water can also produce the gas. The methane might have been forged deep beneath the Martian surface—where reservoirs of ancient water chafe against sediment—escaping into the atmosphere through a narrow crack in the ground. The whiff Curiosity caught might have been billions of years old.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on July 14, 2019 by Editor

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Rube Lemonberg

Posted on July 13, 2019 by Editor

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Queen & Slim – Protest Art

from BLACKGIRLNERDS

Lena Waithe on Meeting James Frey and Using The Story of ‘Queen & Slim’ as Protest Art

By Jamie Broadnax

Photograph: David Levene

Lena Waithe is on fire with a never-ending series of projects under her belt, and this holiday season, her next film Queen & Slim will take you on a wild ride through some unexpected adventures.

One evening at a party, author James Frey approached Lena Waithe about a story involving a Black couple. A Black man and a Black woman on a first date. It’s not going well, but not going horribly either. They’re on their way home. They get pulled over. A cop gets aggressive. They kill him in self-defense, and they go. Frey knew that this was a story worth telling, but not through his lens.

Enter Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (Netflix’s Master of None) and filmmaker Melina Matsoukas — the mastermind behind Beyonce’s “Formation” music video — and now we’re telling a story through the lens of brilliant Black visionaries that can add nuance with ease.

The unflinching new drama Queen & Slim released by Universal Pictures, stars Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya as Slim and Nightflyers‘ Jodie Turner-Smith as Queen. After Queen and Slim are pulled over in their vehicle, the situation escalates and Slim is forced to kill the police officer in self-defense. In a complicated situation predicated on a history of state-sanctioned violence and criminal injustice against African-Americans, the two fear for their lives and is forced to go on the run.

Their story is complicated further when the incident is captured on video and goes viral. Queen and Slim become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief, and pain for people across the country. BGN was invited to the set a week before Mardi Gras in New Orleans to chat with the cast and crew of the impending feature film.

On Meeting James Frey and the Idea Behind the Script

One evening at a party, Lena Waithe meets novelist James Frey. He is notably known or notoriously known for his book “A Million Little Pieces” that became an Oprah book club selection. However shortly after reports emerged that his autobiography was more fiction than fact, the author was under fire. Oprah wasn’t all too pleased, and eventually, the beef between the two was squashed.  James Frey clearly has a creative mind, and negative scrutiny hasn’t stopped him from writing.

According to Waithe: 

“James Frey pitched me the opening at a party and [he] was like, “I can’t write this movie. I need a person to write it who understands it.” So all he gave me was an opening and that opening I was like, ‘Got it. I know what the movie is. Let me go figure this out.’ He had a different title that wasn’t right. Titles are really important.  [I thought] what are some things that I can do to make every Black man, every Black woman, no matter what your walk of life is or where you are coming from, can look at them and see a piece of yourself in them?”

The two exchanged emails, and Waithe asked Frey if he had an outline and if he had a title.

[ click to continue reading at BLACKGIRLNERDS ]

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Editor

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Badasses Morgan and Rapinoe Bring The Cup Home Again!!

Posted on July 7, 2019 by Editor

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Roth, Frey, Easton-Ellis

from Facebook

Posted on July 6, 2019 by Editor

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They’re Real

from The Wall Street Journal

The Asteroid Peril Isn’t Science Fiction

Even if we managed to spot a small but dangerous asteroid heading for Earth, we currently have no means to stop it

Gordon L. Dillow

In May, a group of international scientists assembled near Washington, D.C., to tackle an alarming problem: what to do about an asteroid hurtling toward Earth.

Astronomers at a mountaintop observatory in Hawaii had spotted an 800-foot-wide asteroid, dubbed 2019 PDC, when it was 35 million miles away. By asteroid standards, it was relatively small—not even close to the six-mile-wide piece of space rock believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Still, this asteroid was traveling at 31,000 miles an hour…

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on July 5, 2019 by Editor

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Explosive Times

from Oregon Live

It’s not your imagination: Americans are shooting off more fireworks than ever

By The Conversation

AP Photo/Nick Ut

In the eyes of many Americans, the Fourth of July is a day for parades, barbecues and, of course, fireworks.

The tradition got its start at the beginning of our nation’s history after the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to write and sign the Declaration of Independence. A day after the Continental Congress adopted the declaration on July 4, 1776, John Adams – soon the second U.S. president – penned a letter to his wife Abigail, declaring that Independence Day o”ught to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

One year later, Philadelphia celebrated the anniversary with fireworks – or “illuminations,” to Adams – plus a parade commemorating Independence Day.

So with that in mind, here are four fascinating sets of facts about fireworks.

[ click to continue reading at Oregon Live ]

Posted on July 4, 2019 by Editor

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Tortillapocalypse

from Food and Wine

Taco Bell Confirms ‘Tortillapocalypse’ Is Real, Recommends Gorditas Instead

Many locations around the country are running out of tortillas used for burritos and quesadillas.

By Mike Pomranz

Image from FranchiseTimes.com

Taco Bell has mastered the art of stretching their menu by creating new items out of existing components. A “Double Decker Taco” is just a hard taco wrapped in a soft taco. A “Quesarito” is just a burrito with a quesadilla shell. And so on and so forth. But there a potential pitfall to that strategy: If one major ingredient runs out, a large chunk of the menu can collapse like a house of cards. And sadly, Taco Bell is apparently facing a major shortage of a real doozy: their ten-inch tortillas. Welcome to the “Tortillapocalypse.”

Though Taco Bell has been playing down the shortage in its official statements, the problem — to some extent at least — is nearly nationwide. The company told People, “While some Taco Bell restaurants are experiencing supplier shortages, we are working diligently to replenish the supply of our tortillas (used for products like quesadillas and burritos) in those restaurants and encourage fans to try any of our other delicious menu items like the Power Menu Bowl or Cheesy Gordita Crunch in the meantime.”

[ click to continue reading at Food and Wine ]

Posted on July 3, 2019 by Editor

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Doublethink Anew

from The Atlantic

Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined

What 1984 means today

GEORGE PACKER

OLIVER MUNDAY

No novel of the past century has had more influence than George Orwell’s 1984. The title, the adjectival form of the author’s last name, the vocabulary of the all-powerful Party that rules the superstate Oceania with the ideology of Ingsoc—doublethinkmemory holeunpersonthoughtcrimeNewspeakThought PoliceRoom 101Big Brother—they’ve all entered the English language as instantly recognizable signs of a nightmare future. It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. Throughout the Cold War, the novel found avid underground readers behind the Iron Curtain who wondered, How did he know?

It was also assigned reading for several generations of American high-school students. I first encountered 1984 in 10th-grade English class. Orwell’s novel was paired with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, whose hedonistic and pharmaceutical dystopia seemed more relevant to a California teenager in the 1970s than did the bleak sadism of Oceania. I was too young and historically ignorant to understand where 1984 came from and exactly what it was warning against. Neither the book nor its author stuck with me. In my 20s, I discovered Orwell’s essays and nonfiction books and reread them so many times that my copies started to disintegrate, but I didn’t go back to 1984. Since high school, I’d lived through another decade of the 20th century, including the calendar year of the title, and I assumed I already “knew” the book. It was too familiar to revisit.

Read: Teaching ‘1984’ in 2016

So when I recently read the novel again, I wasn’t prepared for its power. You have to clear away what you think you know, all the terminology and iconography and cultural spin-offs, to grasp the original genius and lasting greatness of 1984. It is both a profound political essay and a shocking, heartbreaking work of art. And in the Trump erait’s a best seller.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on July 2, 2019 by Editor

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New Mineral Goldmine

from WIRED

NEW ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES UNEARTH A TROVE OF UNUSUAL MINERALS

by SOPHIA CHEN 

Nataliyamalikite was discovered in Kamchatka’s Avacha Volcano, which emits sulfurous vapor that’s high in thallium. YURI SMITYUK/GETTY IMAGES

THE LANDSCAPE OF Kamchatka Peninsula steams with sulfurous vapor, its 29 active volcanoes forming a hazy backdrop for the region’s herds of reindeer and rivers of salmon. One of the most geologically active places in the world, Kamchatka juts out from the eastern coast of Russia to resemble a larger version of Florida. A process almost like alchemy occurs here: Like a set of roiling cauldrons, Kamchatka’s volcanoes mix unusual combinations of atomic elements to forge minerals that are unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

And in the past few years, researchers have discovered several new minerals on Kamchatka. “They pop up by accident,” says Joël Brugger, a geologist at Monash University in Australia, who helped discover a new mineral on the peninsula called nataliyamalikite in 2017. “You just have to keep your eyes open.” Researchers don’t set out to make these discoveries, usually. Instead, they stumble upon new minerals during their studies of broader geologic processes that might, for example, cause rare metals to collect in unusually large concentrations in a specific volcano.

These finds are part of a current boom in mineral discoveries across the planet. On average, geologists and mineral collectors have reported more than 100 new minerals per year since 2009, according to a database affiliated with the International Mineralogical Association. “Given the level of exploration over the last hundred years, you might think that we were running out of minerals to describe,” says Brugger, who has participated in the discovery of 23 new minerals himself. “But the number of discoveries is increasing.” To qualify as new minerals, these materials must be never-before-seen natural combinations of one or more elements in solid form, arranged in a repeating structure. Mined diamond and quartz are both minerals, whereas opal, which does not have a repeating crystal structure, and synthetic gemstones, which aren’t natural, are not. Of the 5,477 known minerals, more than 1,000 were discovered in just the past 10 years.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Editor

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