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Christo Gone

from The Guardian

Christo, artist who wrapped the Reichstag, dies aged 84

Bulgarian creator of large-scale public artworks worked in collaboration with wife Jeanne-Claude

by Alex Needham

Christo unveiling his first UK outdoor work, a 20 metres high installation on Serpentine Lake in London, in 2018. Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty Images

The artist Christo, known for wrapping buildings including Berlin’s Reichstag, and also swathing areas of coast and entire islands in fabric, has died aged 84. The news was confirmed on his official Facebook page, which said that he died of natural causes at his home in New York.

Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, Christo studied in Sofia and then defected to the west in 1957, stowing away on a train from Prague to Vienna. Two years later he met Frenchwoman Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his artistic partner and wife until her death in 2009.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 31, 2020 by Editor

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Earth Splitting?

from Science Alert

The Mysterious Anomaly Weakening Earth’s Magnetic Field Seems to Be Splitting 

by PETER DOCKRILL

(Division of Geomagnetism, DTU Space)

New satellite data from the European Space Agency (ESA) reveal that the mysterious anomaly weakening Earth’s magnetic field continues to evolve, with the most recent observations showing we could soon be dealing with more than one of these strange phenomena.

The South Atlantic Anomaly is a vast expanse of reduced magnetic intensity in Earth’s magnetic field, extending all the way from South America to southwest Africa.

Since our planet’s magnetic field acts as a kind of shield – protecting Earth from solar winds and cosmic radiation, in addition to determining the location of the magnetic poles – any reduction in its strength is an important event we need to monitor closely, as these changes could ultimately have significant implications for our planet.

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on May 30, 2020 by Editor

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SuperBob

Posted on May 29, 2020 by Editor

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THE WRETCHED @ the Drive-in

from Entertainment Weekly

How low-budget horror movie The Wretched became America’s No. 1 film

The supernatural shocker expanded to 45 drive-ins this weekend.

By Clark Collis

The Wretched
IFC MIDNIGHT

At the start of the year, the biggest movies set to be released in May looked like Fast & Furious 9Spiral: From the Book of SawBlack WidowScoob, and Artemis Fowl. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak prompted studios to either postpone the movies’ premieres or announce that they would debut on a streaming service. The most successful new film, according to Box Office Mojo, has been a supernatural indie-horror movie called The Wretched, which has dominated the website’s daily chart since it was released on May 1. As of Thursday, The Wretched  — about a teenager who discovers that a malevolent witch is living next door to his father — had been the No. 1 film in America for three weeks.

“It’s actually been a complete shock and kind of insane,” says the Detroit-raised Brett Pierce, who directed the film with his brother Drew. “We were a little movie from Michigan. We always aimed for the moon, but with an independent film you think, Yeah, we’ll come out in a few theaters, and we’ll play for like a week, and maybe ten people will see it. Most people are going to see it when we land on a streaming service at some point. Each week it just kept on getting bigger, it was one of those things where you just don’t believe it as it’s happening. We’re going to be a Jeopardy question one day, because we’re going to be the lowest-grossing most successful film.”

[ click to continue reading at EW ]

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Editor

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Accelerating AI

from The Wall Street Journal

What History Tells Us About the Accelerating AI Revolution

By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface
3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

A few weeks before our lives were turned upside down by Covid-19, I read Technology at Work v4.0, the fourth report in the Technology at Work Series developed by Citigroup in collaboration with Oxford University.  The report includes an excellent chapter on What History Tells Us About the Coming AI Revolution by Oxford professor Carl Benedikt Frey based on his 2019 book The Technology Trap.

Recent AI advances have “sparked much excitement…  yet despite this, most ordinary people don’t feel particularly optimistic about the future,” wrote Mr. Frey.  For example, a 2017 Pew Research survey found that three quarters of Americans expressed serious concerns about AI and automation, and just over a third believe that their children will be better off financially than they were.

But, in fact, serious concerns about the impact of technology are part of a historical pattern.  “Many of the trends we see today, such as the disappearance of middle-income jobs, stagnant wages and growing inequality were also features of the Industrial Revolution,” he writes.

“We are at the brink of a technological revolution that promises not just to fundamentally alter the structure of our economy, but also to reshape the social fabric more broadly. History tells us anxiety tends to accompany rapid technological change, especially when technology takes the form of capital which threatens people’s jobs.” 

As the Covid-19 pandemic looks to likely accelerate the rate and pace of technological change, what can we learn from the Industrial Revolution that can help us better face our emerging AI revolution?  Let me summarize some of Mr. Frey’s key points. 

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on May 27, 2020 by Editor

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Nurse Nearly-nude

from The New York Post

‘Hot’ nurse disciplined for wearing bra and panties under see-through PPE gown

By Hannah Sparks

a nurse with only underwear beneath her clear hospital gown
A nurse at a hospital in Tula, Russia, wore nothing but underwear beneath a see-through protective suit, gloves and goggles while working in a COVID-19 ward. Tulskie Novosti

This naughty nurse is going viral.

A nurse in Russia was suspended from the hospital where she worked in Tula, 100 miles south of Moscow, after she arrived at her shift in the all-male coronavirus patient wing with no clothing save for her skivvies under her transparent personal protective equipment.

The unidentified staffer told her managers at Tula Regional Clinical Hospital that she was “too hot” to wear clothing underneath the head-to-toe vinyl gown, which protected her from contracting COVID-19. The incident was first reported by a local news outlet, the Tula Pressa newspaper.

While there were reportedly “no complaints” from her patients, hospital chiefs punished the nearly nude nurse for “non-compliance with the requirements for medical clothing.” The nurse claimed she did not realize that her underwear was showing through the PPE.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on May 26, 2020 by Editor

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The Other Plague

from NPR

They’re Back: Millions Of Cicadas Expected To Emerge This Year 

by Jason Slotkin

In parts of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, cicadas will climb out of the ground for their once-in-17-year mating cycle. Scientists have dubbed this grouping brood IX. Stephen Jaffe/AFP via Getty Images

As summer nears, 2020 has another trick up its sleeve. This time, it’s cicadas. A lot of cicadas. 

In parts of southwestern Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, it’s nearly time for a brood of the insects to emerge for their once-in-17-year mating season. As many as 1.5 million cicadas could emerge per acre. And did we mention the bugs are known for their distinct — and overwhelming — chirping?

“Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue,” predicts Eric Day of Virginia Tech’s department of entomology. He tells Virginia Tech Daily, “Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent — and amazing — this event is.”

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on May 25, 2020 by Editor

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Space Viruses

from Bloomberg via Yahoo! News

NASA Should Beware of Viruses From Outer Space

by Adam Minter

NASA Should Beware of Viruses From Outer Space

(Bloomberg Opinion) — This summer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will launch a rover designed to collect samples of the Martian surface and store them until they can eventually be brought back to Earth. When they arrive, according to a former NASA scientist, they’ll be “quarantined and treated as though they are the Ebola virus until proven safe.”His statement caused a minor media sensation, and understandably so. In the midst of one pandemic, Americans aren’t ready for another imported from outer space. But ready or not, the U.S. and other spacefaring nations need to start updating planetary-protection measures for a new era of spaceflight.In the years ahead, NASA’s Mars initiatives will likely be emulated by other countries. Ambitious private space companies are eager to follow with their own robots (and perhaps, eventually, humans). Clearer safety guidelines are essential both for protecting Earth and for ensuring that a wary public is comfortable with humanity’s next steps into the solar system.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on May 24, 2020 by Editor

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And now from the bright side…

from StudyFinds

Silver Lining: 2 In 5 Adults Have ‘Changed For The Better’ Thanks To Lockdown

by Jacob Roshgadol

LONDON — Many people have been using their extra time during the coronavirus lockdown wisely and have adopted new habits to keep themselves busy. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 British adults reveals that 43% of people feel they’ve “changed their ways for the better” as a result of all the time inside these past few months.

Researchers sought to learn how habits and daily lives have changed as a result of the lockdown. Nearly half of those surveyed expect to keep up these new hobbies, skills, and daily habits they’ve taken on after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Learning new computer skills, creating podcasts, participating in online fitness classes and going for long walks are some of the new activities people have turned to as a new means to occupy their time.

[ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

Posted on May 23, 2020 by Editor

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How THE SHINING Was A True Nightmare

from The Independent

‘Making The Shining was hell’: How tormented stars, Kubrick’s temper and box-office disaster led to an immortal horror

Stephen King hated it, but even set fires, bullying accusations, Shelley Duvall’s misery and Razzie nominations couldn’t stop ‘The Shining’. As it turns 40, Geoffrey Macnab speaks to Kubrick’s trusted assistant, and tells the gruelling true story of the production

Shelley Duvall’s Wendy Torrance struggles to keep a lid on her husband’s swelling mania (Warner Bros)

Jack Nicholson must have needed a lot of toothpaste. When he was starring in Stanley Kubrick’s horror movie The Shining (1980), he felt it a matter of common courtesy to brush his teeth before any new scene. Working on a Kubrick film was, he thought, “gruelling enough” anyway for the crew and his fellow actors without having him breathe over them through “a face full of lamb cutlets”. In her BBC documentary Making the Shining, Vivian Kubrick, the director’s daughter, shows Nicholson bent over the basin, rinsing his mouth. The moment the ritual was complete, he very politely walked back on set, picked up his axe and started trying to hack his co-star Shelley Duvall into pieces all over again with that demented grin on his face. There was take after take after take – and his breath was as fresh at the end of the day at the beginning.

Nicholson was playing Jack Torrance, a troubled writer and recovering alcoholic who takes his wife Wendy (Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) to the Overlook Hotel in the Rockies. Jack is planning to spend the winter as caretaker, working on a book, but he’s an angry, combustible figure anyway and the solitude brings out the devil in him. Little Danny has psychic powers. Through “the shining”, he can sense the evil and violence lurking within the hotel – and inside his own dad, too.

This Shining, which turns 40 tomorrow, is one of Kubrick’s greatest films. This was a director who never took shortcuts and who approached every film he made with a manic zeal to match that of Jack Torrance with his axe. Radiating a slow-burning fury, the movie turns up the intensity from frame to frame, with Nicholson’s performance increasingly deranged. The fast-moving camera work, strident music and intricate but absurdist plotting induce a sense of mounting hysteria in audiences who’ve regularly voted this the scariest movie ever made.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on May 22, 2020 by Editor

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Sam Taylor-Johnson on ‘The Film That Lit My Fuse”

from DEADLINE

The Film That Lit My Fuse: Sam Taylor-Johnson

By Jake Kanter

The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to grim headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.

Every installment we pose the same five questions, and answering those questions this week is Sam Taylor-Johnson, the BAFTA-nominated British director behind John Lennon biopic Nowhere BoyFifty Shades of Grey, and most recently A Million Little Pieces, on which she collaborated with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson. She is currently attached to direct a Paramount Television Studios adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Middlesex, while she is also poised to announce her latest feature at the reimagined Cannes digital film festival.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Editor

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VC-20 Virus Hits

from The Verge

A pizzeria owner made money buying his own $24 pizzas from DoorDash for $16

This is your brain on venture capital

By Bijan Stephen

Photo: DoorDash

There are many things that don’t make sense about global capitalism that I enjoy anyway — the clearly inadvisable, venture-backed monstrosities like dockless scooters and ride-sharing that, in the before times, changed how I interacted with the places I went. The thing that doesn’t compute for me is how these companies continue to burn through a reality-warping amount of other people’s cash in a way that upends the basic economics of things like taxi service and food delivery and fail, intentionally, to turn a profit. 

Yesterday, Ranjan Roy, a content strategist and writer, wrote about the latter in his newsletter The Margins; one of his friends who owns a few pizza restaurants suddenly got an influx of customers complaining about delivery when the restaurants didn’t offer delivery. “He realized that a delivery option had mysteriously appeared on their company’s Google Listing. The delivery option was created by Doordash,” Roy wrote.

Apparently, this is one way that DoorDash does customer acquisition — by bullying restaurants. But what’s funnier about Roy’s friend’s problem (and it was a real problem because of Yelp reviews and angry customers) is that DoorDash priced the pizzas incorrectly. “A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash,” emphasis Roy’s. And then: “My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!” 

And so the story unfolds. “If someone could pay Doordash $16 a pizza, and Doordash would pay his restaurant $24 a pizza, then he should clearly just order pizzas himself via Doordash, all day long. You’d net a clean $8 profit per pizza [insert nerdy economics joke about there is such a thing as a free lunch],” wrote Roy. They order 10 pizzas this way, and it worked! The money was free, a seamless transfer from SoftBank’s deep venture capital-lined pockets to Roy’s friend’s business bank account. Eventually, in another series of what Roy hilariously calls “trades,” they just ordered pizza dough through DoorDash for $75 in pure profit.

[ click to continue reading at The Verge ]

Posted on May 20, 2020 by Editor

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“Of course I’m Meg”

from The New York Times

In a New Collection of Old Stories, Madeleine L’Engle Is Back

By Heidi Pitlor

According to Madeleine L’Engle, who died in 2007, “You have to write the book that wants to be written.”Credit…Sigrid Estrada

In “A Wrinkle in Time,” an adolescent girl’s fury is nothing to be renounced — instead, it’s ammunition to be stockpiled in the battle against evil.

“‘Stay angry, little Meg,’ Mrs Whatsit whispered. ‘You will need all your anger now.’” Mrs Whatsit’s words are radical, written as they were decades before the Riot Grrrl and Girl Power movements and their celebration of female wrath. Meg Murry helped pave the way for Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen and Beatrice Prior. With some heavy-duty extrapolation, one might say that Murry’s spirit can also be found in the environmental activist Greta Thunberg (mocked by the president of the United States for being “very angry”), Parkland’s gun control advocate Emma González (called an unimpressive “skinhead lesbian” by one Republican candidate) and countless other young women who have harnessed their outrage into political movements against powerful forces.

When asked, Madeleine L’Engle once admitted, “Of course I’m Meg.” For years, L’Engle fought a culture that scorned girls’ emotions and intelligence. She also faced off against a myopic publishing industry. “A Wrinkle in Time” — a book of speculative fantasy woven through with physics, metaphysics and theology — was rejected by 26 publishers before it found a home. Editors questioned whether the audience would be adults or children. The story was not what people expected from middle-grade fiction; perhaps most galling, the book was not just one thing at all. Meg — and maybe Madeleine — could be angry, but also impatient, loyal, insecure, determined, underachieving. Of course a girl — a person — is never just one thing either.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 19, 2020 by Editor

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BRIGHT SHINY MORNING for Harry and Meghan

from The Financial Times

Letter: A book on the City of Angels fit for a prince

From Lyndon Heal, Madrid, Spain

While I wouldn’t challenge Janan Ganesh’s assertion (FT Weekend, April 25) that ‘the seminal book about 20th century LA by a London professor (Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reyner Banham), might I suggest Prince Harry read James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning as another perfect introduction to the diversity of life in LA.

Lyndon Heal 
Madrid, Spain

[ click to read at FT ]

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Editor

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Banksy’s Superhero Nurse

from artnet

Banksy Just Made a Surprisingly Earnest Painting of a Superhero Nurse and Donated It to a British Hospital as a Morale Booster

The work will remain on view at the Southampton General Hospital until this fall, when it will go to auction.

by Caroline Goldstein

Banksy's painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).
Banksy’s painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).

Banksy has donated a painting to England’s Southampton General Hospital in an effort to raise the spirits of medical professionals working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The painting, an uncharacteristic medium for the elusive street artist, shows a young boy playing with a superhero doll dressed as a nurse, complete with a mask and apron bearing the Red Cross symbol, and a cape fluttering behind her. Next to the child, a wastebasket holds castoffs, including Spider–Man and Batman figurines—outdated versions of superheroes in our new pandemic-stricken world.

The artist left a note with the special delivery, titled game changer, that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The hospital, which is the largest in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust system, hosts coronavirus researchers, including those who are starting vaccine trials.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 17, 2020 by Editor

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Corona Quads

from CBS Dallas

Born Into A Pandemic: Mother, Father Bring Identical Quadruplets Home

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County. (credit: Texas Health Resources)

A North Texas mother and father are celebrating a rare blessing, growing their family by four during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County.

“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” said Lauren Murray, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Dallas ]

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Editor

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The Green Comet Coming

from The Daily Mail

Green-tinged Comet Swan with an 11 million-mile-long tail flies past Earth on its way to the Sun – and you don’t need a telescope to see it

By RYAN MORRISON

The space rock, discovered in April by astronomer Michael Mattiazzo from Australia, has already passed the Earth but is getting brighter as it approaches the Sun

The green-tinged ball of ice and dust visits the inner part of the solar system once every 11,597 years and has a long blue tail stretching 10 million miles behind it.

Currently moving from the southern to the northern skies, it is just faintly visible to the naked eye, but current estimates suggest that, by the end of May, it could be significantly brighter – if it survives that long. 

The more material ejected from the comet as it warms up on its way towards the sun, the more sunlight it reflects and the more visible it becomes. 

Comets are fragile and often break apart as they approach the Sun – this happened to Comet ATLAS last month after it was also predicted to become very bright.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on May 15, 2020 by Editor

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VALLEY GIRL Fer Shur

from The New York Times

When ‘Valley Girl’ (and Nicolas Cage) Shook Up Hollywood

With no money or clout, what started as a cheap exploitation film managed to, like, totally click with a generation — and produce an unconventional superstar.

By Ashley Spencer

Four shots of nude breasts. That’s what the producers of “Valley Girl” demanded of their potential director, Martha Coolidge. If she wanted the gig — overseeing what was set to be a low-budget, exploitative high-school romp that could lure teen boys like “Porky’s” did — she’d need to make sure the requisite skin appeared onscreen.

Coolidge agreed and quickly found a loophole: “They didn’t say how long the shots had to be. Not smart of them.”

The nudity appears in the 1983 film for mere seconds, presented frankly and lacking any titillation. In fact, Coolidge transformed “Valley Girl” from its superficial beginnings into a teen classic full of heart and a trippin’-dicular new wave soundtrack. The movie is making a comeback of sorts — it was recently made available for digital download for the first time, and on May 8, a musical remake arrives on-demand starring Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse and the controversial YouTube star Logan Paul.

The films’ roots go back to Southern California’s valley girl culture, which became a national phenomenon in the early 1980s thanks to the recurring “Saturday Night Live” character Sherry and the hit song “Valley Girl,” by Frank Zappa and his daughter, Moon Unit. The tune scorned the ditzy middle-class teens who spoke in uptalk and spent their free time at the mall.

Eager to capitalize on the fad, the indie production company Atlantic Entertainment Group greenlit the original movie, batting away Zappa’s trademark-infringement suit. The budget was just $350,000. To compare, fellow 1983 coming-of-age comedy “Risky Business” cost $6.2 million. Coolidge took a mere $5,000 directing fee and many of the crew members were volunteers.

“I borrowed money from my mother to eat,” Coolidge said. “But I was making a real movie and that was what was important.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Editor

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Zoom ZOOM Yeah!

from The New Yorker

Come On and Zoom-Zoom

By David Kamp

The transition from in-office meetings to at-home video conferencing has occasioned lots of memes and social-media posts about “my idea of a Zoom meeting,” usually accompanied by a grainy video or photo of haphazardly barbered nineteen-seventies children romping around in striped rugby shirts. Among older members of Generation X, it’s hard to hear the word “zoom” without associating it with “Zoom,” one of the most memorable and radically experimental television programs of its era. Like the teleconferencing service, the original “Zoom” was screen-based and interactive, and it quickly evolved into a national obsession. But, unlike Zoom the online platform, “Zoom” was mostly the province of kids, primarily those in the tween cohort.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 13, 2020 by Editor

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Four Horsemen Afoot

from The Express

‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken

BIBLE scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the return of Jesus Christ in the holy book, have all been released.

By CALLUM HOARE

The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world
The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world (Image: GETTY)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear in the Book of Revelation, where they are named as a punishment of God, but some believe they are an analogy of real-life events to come in the future. Revelation 6 tells of a scroll in God’s right hand that is secured with seven seals, which, when opened, summons four beings that ride out on white, black, red and pale horses to bring about death, war, famine and plague. It states: “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

In 2005, Bible scholar Fred Dattolo published an article in ‘The Trumpet’ where he claimed “the galloping hoofbeats of the four horses are getting ever louder and closer,” stating that a future pandemic was all that was needed to set free the final Horseman, who would spread a disease to a quarter of the world.

He said: “The four horsemen are depicted in the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 as the first four of seven seals.

“These seals are benchmarks of end-time events leading up to and including the return of Jesus Christ.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on May 12, 2020 by Editor

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COVID Devastating Navajo Nation

from AP

‘The grief is so unbearable’: Virus takes toll on Navajo

By FELICIA FONSECA and TIM SULLIVAN

Eugene Dinehdeal shields his face from the setting sun on the Dinehdeal family compound in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation on April 20, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TUBA CITY, Arizona (AP) — The virus arrived on the reservation in early March, when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing. 

It was carried in from Tucson, doctors say, by a man who had been to a basketball tournament and then made the long drive back to a small town in the Navajo highlands. There, believers were preparing to gather in a small, metal-walled church with a battered white bell and crucifixes on the window.

On a dirt road at the edge of the town, a hand-painted sign with red letters points the way: “Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene.” 

From that church, COVID-19 took hold on the Navajo Nation, hopscotching across families and clans and churches and towns, and leaving the reservation with some of the highest infection rates in the U.S. 

Crowding, tradition, and medical disparities have tangled together on the tribe’s land — an area nearly three times the size of Massachusetts — creating a virological catastrophe. 

And the most basic measures to fight the virus’ spread — handwashing and isolation — can be difficult. 

One-third of the homes across the vast, dry reservation don’t have running water, forcing families to haul it in. Many in close-knit Navajo communities live in crowded houses where self-quarantine is impossible, and many must drive hours to the nearest grocery store. To most Navajo, isolating an infected person from their family is deeply alien.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Editor

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Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

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Little Richard Gone

from Rolling Stone

‘I Majored in Mouth’: How Little Richard Invented the Rock Star

With his “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop, a-lop bam boom” battle cry, the late singer-pianist embodied an irrepressible rebel spirit that inspired everyone from John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix

ByROB SHEFFIELD

American musician and singer Little Richard pictured, with Screaming Lord Sutch behind,  speaking at a press conference to promote his appearance at the London Rock and Roll Show at Wembley Stadium in London, 4th August 1972. (Photo by Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Rob Sheffield looks back on how Little Richard’s big mouth and chaotic ego paved the way for every rock star who would follow. Getty Images

Rebellion, outrage, scandal, hypersexual egomania, ripping it up, rocking it up, gigantic hair, and mascara — all these things are in rock & roll because Little Richard put them there. He was the loudest and wildest and rudest of the Fifties pioneers, the most flamboyantly and untamably free. He invented the rock star. That’s why the world is mourning today for Little Richard, who died this morning at 87. “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Heebie Jeebies” — these songs have been an inspiration to rebel hearts ever since. When John Lennon was asked in 1970 by Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner about his taste in music, Lennon simply replied, “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop.”

That battle cry — the opening holler of “Tutti Frutti” — kicked off Little Richard’s career in 1955. It was the sound of a poor gay black kid in Macon, Georgia, announcing to the world that his time had come, exploding with falsetto screams and piano-stomping flash and a six-inch pompadour. As Little Richard told Rolling Stone in his legendary 1970 cover story, “I came from a family where my people didn’t like rhythm & blues. Bing Crosby, ‘Pennies From Heaven,’ Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard. And I knew there was something that could be louder than that, but didn’t know where to find it. And I found it was me.” 

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on May 9, 2020 by Editor

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MILFology

from Inside Hook

The Long and Decorated Literary History of the MILF

From Chaucer to Mrs. Robinson, one of literature’s most subversive archetypes is also a surprisingly old one

BY ELIOTT GROVER

history definition milf
KRISTEN LIU-WONG

“How many of you,” I ask a roomful of half-awake 18-year-old students, “are familiar with the term MILF?” There’s a frenzied exchange of knowing smirks. 

Determined to maintain an academic tone, I ask the next question. “And how many of you know the etymology of this acronym?”

“Mom I’d like to fuck!” one particularly enthusiastic scholar blurts out. 

“Thank you,” I say over the tsunami of snickers. “That’s what it stands for. But where does it come from?”

Roughly half the students in my film elective correctly identify Stifler’s mom, the sultry divorcée from the 1999 comedy American Pie, as MILF Zero, the woman to whom those four letters owe their provenance. “Here’s the thing,” I press on, “Stifler’s mom may be Hollywood’s most explicitly sexualized and predatory mother. But she wouldn’t exist without Mrs. Robinson.”

“Who’s Mrs. Robinson?” a student inevitably asks. And that’s where our unit on The Graduate begins. 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 8, 2020 by Editor

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And The Poor Woman Isn’t Even A Fan

from NBC News

Stormtrooper trying to get customers’ attention taken down by officers in Canada

Callers reported seeing a weapon being carried by an employee who had been trying to drum up business for a restaurant hit hard by the coronavirus.

by Tim Stelloh

Image: Stromtrooper arrest
A woman dressed as a stormtrooper speaks to Lethbridge police Monday when they believed the gun she had could be real. The actions of those officers are now being investigated internally after video of the incident was posted to social media. Brad Whalen

A restaurant employee in a “Star Wars” costume was detained in Canada on Sunday after 911 callers reported seeing someone in a Stormtrooper costume with a gun, police said.

The employee, who was carrying a plastic blaster, had been trying to drum up business for the struggling restaurant, which opened two months before Canadian authorities shuttered eat-in dining because of the coronavirus, the woman’s boss, Brad Whalen, told NBC News.

“When she was told to drop the blaster, she did,” he said. Whalen said it was also difficult to move in the $1,200 costume, which he decided to use for the promotion when showing “Star Wars” films to customers wasn’t an option for May 4.

“That’s what she was trying to yell,” he said. “You can’t kneel. You can’t sit when you wear it.”

He’d begun promoting auctions and other events online to generate business. When he settled on using the Stormtrooper armor, the employee, who’s been working with him since January, happily agreed to wear it.

“The ironic thing is, she’s not even a ‘Star Wars’ fan,’” he said. “Now I don’t think we’ll ever convince her to be one.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on May 7, 2020 by Editor

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Coronadance 2020

from The Hollywood Reporter

Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States?

by Tatiana Siegel

Getty Images; Courtesy of SubjectAshley Jackson at a Sundance premiere and, later, in a mask while sick.

A swath of attendees suffered harsh flu-like symptoms, leading a microbiologist to question whether the January festival was “the perfect formula to contaminate everybody.”

On Jan. 27, actress Ashley Jackson felt the first symptoms of a nasty bug — fever, clammy skin, fatigue and shortness of breath. Given her current locale — Park City — she chalked it up to altitude sickness and toughed out her final day at the Sundance Film Festival, where she had attended the world premiere of Blast Beat, a family drama in which she co-stars, as well as a dizzying array of parties and lounges. The next day, the 20-year-old college student flew home to Atlanta, just as more intense symptoms began to emerge, including sore throat, aches and pains and a cough so violent, her neck swelled. Within 24 hours, she made her first of multiple visits to an urgent care facility or emergency room and was diagnosed with the flu based on her condition (though no flu test was given at the time).

Like many who make the annual trek to the indie film mecca, Jackson left Sundance far worse off than when she entered. After all, the quaint mountain oasis transforms into a petri dish as some 120,000 festivalgoers from around the world huddle in crowded movie theaters during cold and flu season. In recent years, the festival’s organizers have placed an emphasis on attracting international filmmakers, and this year was no exception, with a lineup of 118 feature-length films representing 27 countries.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Editor

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Man Myth Warhol

from The Observer

New Biography ‘Warhol’ Separates the Man From the Myth

By David D’Arcy

Andy in Studio, New York, Union Square, 1976. Michael Childers

Warhol, by Blake Gopnik, begins moments after the militant feminist and Factory hanger-on Valerie Solanas shot the artist in June 1968. Warhol, then 39, lost his heartbeat and a lot of blood, and had gone into cardiac arrest. A bullet that passed through his body punctured a lung. It was thanks to an Italian surgeon who happened to be visiting another patient that the presumed DOA was saved.   

Gopnik’s staggering description of opening up the Warhol’s chest reads more like a slaughterhouse dismemberment than anything medical.    

For Andy Warhol (1928-87), who attended church every week, coming out alive was a miracle. By that fall, despite painful permanent damage to his stomach and esophagus, he turned the slashes on his body into a fashion joke—“I’m so scarred I look like a Dior dress,” he said upon returning to work. Richard Avedon photographed his lacerated midriff as if Warhol were St. Sebastian—a martyr who survived.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on May 5, 2020 by Editor

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Viral Parenting

from The Atlantic

Being a Parent Has Made My Pandemic Life Simpler, If You Can Believe It

Hear me out.

by Tom McTague

A mother and her child hold hands in a park.

Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum

Perhaps it’s the strange effect of being forced to slow down, to spend all of one’s time outside work pootling and pottering rather than actually doing things and seeing people. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere, the eerie streets, the cordoned-off playgrounds and lines of masked shoppers. Perhaps it’s just being a dad with a garden, a shelf full of Dr. Seuss stories, and sudden access to Disney’s entire back catalog. Whatever it is, something in the air is making a time that should be anxious, monotonous, and frustrating somehow pleasant, and even meaningful.

One might assume my life to be an unrelenting grind right now—I’m locked down in London, a global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, trying to juggle my day job with looking after a 3-year-old. Yet that hasn’t been my experience. Having children does add pressure to lockdown life, no doubt, and those without children are always very gracious to say how much harder it must be than what they’re experiencing. I am conscious that this pressure is doubled for single parents, parents without a steady income, or parents whose jobs require them to risk their health in the service of everyone else’s. But for the privileged professional middle classes, I am beginning to think that parents have it better than nonparents.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on May 4, 2020 by Editor

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Internet Archive Strikes Again

from BoingBoing

Watch a slew of vintage MTV from the 1980s

by DAVID PESCOVITZ

Archive.org contributor Windsinger is uploading their entire VHS collection of MTV recordings from the channel’s finest era, from its launch on August 1, 1981 until 1989 (with a few 1991 episodes of 120 Minutes thrown in for good measure). It’s remarkable how the channel has evolved (?) from its pioneering earliest days filled with new music, youth culture, and visual experimentalism to its current form.

“I’ve been collecting recordings of full, unedited, WITH commercials & especially the VJs for years,” Windsinger writes. “I’ve found these videos from old websites, torrent sites, sharing things, The Original MTV VJs facebook page, and of course the Archive.”

[ click to continue reading at BoingBoing ]

Posted on May 3, 2020 by Editor

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Kim Gordon Rocks

from The New Yorker

Kim Gordon Is Home Again

The artist on Instagram, ambition, and Los Angeles.

By Amanda Petrusich

“The planet is on its way out if we don’t get our act together,” Kim Gordon, the musician and avant-garde polymath, said. “And then you look around and see a Buddhist catchphrase engraved on the floor of a juice place: ‘Be Here Now.’ ” Photograph by Annabel Mehran for The New Yorker

Kim Gordon was born in upstate New York, in 1953, but was raised on the West Side of Los Angeles, where her father taught in the sociology department at U.C.L.A., and her mother worked as a seamstress. She moved to New York City in 1980, with designs on becoming an artist. In 1981, Gordon and the guitarists Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth, an experimental rock band that inadvertently helped usher in the alternative-boom of the early nineteen-nineties. Gordon was the kind of cool—vaguely aloof, impossibly chic, intimidatingly smart—that made young women like me feel equal parts terrified and enamored. During a time when it was still somewhat anomalous to see women playing in rock bands, and especially in bands as esoteric and adventurous as Sonic Youth, Gordon was a beacon.

She was also an avant-garde polymath. Gordon produced Hole’s début album, “Pretty on the Inside,” co-founded X-girl, a streetwear brand for women (the actress Chloë Sevigny was its official face), formed a series of musical side projects, and eventually began to show her drawings, paintings, and collages in galleries around the world. Around 2011, her marriage to Moore fell apart, and Sonic Youth went on an indefinite hiatus. Four years later, Gordon published “Girl in A Band,” a thoughtful, occasionally scathing memoir that recounts her formative years in Sonic Youth, her relationship with Moore, the birth of her daughter, and the origins of her art practice. She has spent the last several years performing as half of Body/Head, with the experimental musician Bill Nace, and, in 2019, at age sixty-six, she released her first solo album, “No Home Record.”

In April, Gordon and I began a correspondence, and she shared her thoughts on Instagram, Los Angeles, overpriced coffee, and canvassing for Bernie Sanders. This interview has been condensed and edited.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 2, 2020 by Editor

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Mothers & Children

from artnet

Ahead of Mother’s Day, See Some of the Most Tender Depictions of Mothers and Children Throughout Art History

From Gustav Klimt to Alice Neel, artists have long focused on the subject of mothers.

by Caroline Goldstein & Katie White

Alice Neel, <i>Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia)</i> (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.
Alice Neel, Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia) (1967). Courtesy of Artnet.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” Poking fun at the sometimes overbearing nature of mother figures, the maxim highlights a universal truth: that life-giving often means succumbing to a future fraught with complicated emotions and worry.

And while mothers bear this responsibility and burden with a great deal of courage, if they’re especially lucky, they may be paid back with love, affection, and gifts when their offspring grow up—or, better yet, be portrayed in a work of art for all the world to see. 

Indeed, mothers have always made wonderful subjects for artists, who have long explored the space between their roles as individuals and as caregivers. Just ahead of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up eight famous artworks that beautifully depict the bond between mother and child.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 1, 2020 by Editor

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