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Steve Forte Shows His Hand

from The LA Times via MSN

The world’s greatest cardsharp reveals all

by Kevin Pang

Fremont Street, once the world capital of swank, used to be Steve Forte’s turf.

But on a spring day, he was just another face in a crowd, snaking through two relics of downtown Las Vegas, Binion’s and the Four Queens casino. No one bothered the man many consider the greatest card handler who ever lived.

Within the world of casino experts and magicians, Forte handles a deck of playing cards the way Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Not just among the best, but the best, full stop. In his hands, cards appear to shuffle but remain in perfect order. Cards apparently dealt from the top of the deck are taken invisibly from the bottom.

After years of being a reclusive figure, the 65-year-old Forte has published “Gambling Sleight of Hand,” his life’s work of underground card moves in a two-volume book of nearly 1,100 pages. Among sleight-of-hand aficionados, the book was a once-in-a-lifetime sensation: Even at $300, the first printing of 1,000 sold out in one week.

On this day, Forte agreed to visit places he doesn’t have much use for now. But soon enough, he showed his skill, making jaw-dropping observations about the games unfolding around him.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on May 31, 2021 by Editor

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Thermometer Fun

from TIME

Melting Butter, Poisonous Mushrooms and the Strange History of the Invention of the Thermometer

BY PHIL JAEKL

Placement of a thermometer on an outside wall. Figure 1 from 'Traittez de barometres, thermometres, et notiometres, ou hygrometres' by Joachim d'Alence, Published in 1688.
Placement of a thermometer on an outside wall. Figure 1 from ‘Traittez de barometres, thermometres, et notiometres, ou hygrometres’ by Joachim d’Alence, Published in 1688. Photo12/Universal Images Group/Getty Imahes

In the early 17th century, during the the Scientific Revolution, when the frontiers of discovery were marked by new ways to quantify natural phenomena, Galileo Galilei was forging new, innovative and empirically based methods in astronomy, physics and engineering. He also got humanity started toward a lesser known but crucial advance: the ability to measure heat.

During this era, a flurry of measuring devices and units of measurement were invented, eventually forging the standard units we have in place today. Galileo is credited with the invention of the thermoscope, a device for gauging heat. But it’s not the same as a thermometer. It couldn’t measure—meter—temperature because it had no scale.

Around 1612, with a name so nice he used it twice, Venetian scholar Santorio Santorio made crucial conceptual advances to the thermoscope. He’s been credited with adding a scale—an advancement about as fundamental as the invention of the device itself. The early thermoscopes basically consisted of a vertically oriented glass tube with a bulb at the top and a base suspended in a pool of liquid such as water, which ran up a length of the column. As the temperature of the air in the bulb increased, its expansion changed the height of the liquid in the column. Santorio’s writings indicate that he set the maximum by heating the thermoscope’s bulb with a candle flame, and he set the minimum by contacting it with melting snow.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on May 30, 2021 by Editor

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Mo Spin

from WIRED

One Man’s Amazing Journey to the Center of the Bowling Ball

Mo Pinel spent a career reshaping the ball’s inner core to harness the power of physics. He revolutionized the sport—and spared no critics along the way.

by BRENDAN I. KOERNER

diptych with half of a bowling ball with its core visible on the left side and a closeup of a bowling Tshirt that says MO.
PHOTOGRAPH: ELIZABETH RENSTROM

THE SWEET CLANG of scattering pins echoed through Western Bowl, a cavernous 68-lane bowling alley on the edge of Cincinnati. It was day one of the 1993 Super Hoinke, a Thanksgiving weekend tournament that drew hundreds of the nation’s top amateurs—teachers, accountants, and truck drivers who excelled at the art of scoring strikes. They came to the Super Hoinke (“HOING-key”) to vie for a $100,000 grand prize and bowling-world fame.

Between games, many bowlers drifted to the alley’s pro shop to soak in the wisdom of Maurice “Mo” Pinel, a star ball designer for the sporting-goods giant AMF. Pinel had come to Cincinnati to promote his latest creation, the Sumo. The bowling ball had launched the year before, backed by a TV commercial featuring a ginormous Japanese wrestler bellyflopping down a lane, with the tagline “Flat out, more power than you’ve ever seen in a bowling center.” The ball had quickly become a sensation, hailed for the way it naturally darted sideways across the lane—a quality known as flare. To congratulate Pinel on the sale of the 100,000th Sumo, AMF had given him a chunky medallion embossed with writing in kanji, a bauble that dangled from his neck as he held court at the Super Hoinke.

The paunchy, shaggy-haired Pinel spent hours regaling the pro-shop crowd with his opinions on the Sumo and all things ball-related. His blunt commentary, delivered in the thick Brooklynese of his youth, ranged from the correct technique for drilling finger holes to his rival designers’ failure to appreciate Newton’s second law. The audience lapped up his acerbic takes on how to improve the sport’s most essential piece of equipment.

Fifteen-year-old Ronald Hickland Jr. was among the enthralled. A gifted math and science student who was falling in love with bowling, Hickland was captivated by Pinel’s zest for breaking down the technical minutiae of why balls roll the way they do. He was equally impressed by the flashiness of Pinel’s jewelry: In addition to the gaudy kanji necklace, Pinel sported a top-of-the-line Movado wristwatch—a luxury he was able to afford thanks to the $3-per-ball royalty he was getting from AMF.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on May 29, 2021 by Editor

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Mead Running Low

from CNN

First-ever Colorado River water shortage is now almost certain, new projections show

By Pedram Javaheri and Drew Kann

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US and a critical water supply for millions across the Southwest, has declined about 140 feet since 2000 and now sits at just 37% of full capacity.

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US and a critical water supply for millions across the Southwest, has declined about 140 feet since 2000 and now sits at just 37% of full capacity.

Thousands of people will celebrate Memorial Day this weekend on the water of Lake Mead, just 24 miles east of Las Vegas on the border of Arizona and Nevada.What they may not realize is that the oasis they’re enjoying in the desert is entering uncharted territory, with significant ramifications for millions across the Southwest in the years to come.

On Tuesday, the water level in Lake Mead — the largest US reservoir, and fed by the Colorado River — fell below the elevation of 1,075 feet. It has hit that mark only a handful of times since the Hoover Dam was finished in the 1930s, but it always recovered shortly after. It may not this time, at least not any time soon.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on May 28, 2021 by Editor

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Tasmanian Devils Return

from DNYUZ

In Australia, Births of Tasmanian Devils Are a Milestone After 3,000 Years

MELBOURNE, Australia — Pink, hairless, deaf and blind, the roughly month-old joeys were but the size of a shelled peanut.

Yet they were a momentous discovery for the conservationists who had set off across a dense eucalyptus forest in the dawn mist in hopes of finding them. About 3,000 years after Tasmanian devils were wiped out on the Australian mainland, seven babies were born earlier this month on the continent in their natural terrain.

“It was very moving,” said Tim Faulkner, the president of Aussie Ark, the conservation group that has been leading attempts to re-establish populations of the devils, long after they were eliminated on the mainland, most likely by wild Australian dogs, known as dingoes.

[ click to continue reading at dnyuz ]

Posted on May 27, 2021 by Editor

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No More Love

from The Spectator

The sexual counterrevolution is coming

America’s young elite is turning against free love

by Mary Harrington

sexual

Charlotte is a 23-year-old Harvard graduate. Beautiful and willowy, she grew up in — her words — ‘a super-liberal environment’. You might expect to find her Instagram full of sexy, pouting pictures. But Charlotte has deleted all the bikini photos from her online life. And six months ago, she embraced ‘modest dress’: nothing that exposes her collarbones or shoulders and nothing that reveals her legs above the knee.

Narayan is seven years older than Charlotte. He is what matchmaking 18th-century matrons might have described as ‘very eligible’: a clean-living, highly educated and charismatic single guy with a well-paid job in tech. He’s the embodiment of Jane Austen’s famous observation that ‘a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’. And contra all the modern laments about single men preferring to play the field, Narayan actually wants to get married.

Narayan and his close male friends are all around the same age. They’re all elite guys working in tech and finance — and all either dating to marry, or already married. In what amounts to an informal 21st-century marriage brokerage, they and the wives of already-married members of their friend group collude to track down potential partners. But they’re picky — and Narayan is blunt about the criteria. It’s not just about being educated, ambitious or pretty. ‘Guys who say they don’t care about their wife’s sexual history are straight-up lying,’ he tells me. All the men in his group, he says, would strongly prefer their future wives to be virgins on marriage. Some categorically rule out women who aren’t: ‘No hymen, no diamond’.

[ click to continue reading at The Spectator ]

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Editor

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Musk v. Bezos

from WaPo via San Francisco Chronicle

The rivalry between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos already was intense. Now it’s extending to the moon.

by Christian Davenport

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton

WASHINGTON – In a flyer distributed on Capitol Hill last week, Elon Musk’s SpaceX warned that legislation now being considered would reward “Jeff Bezos with a $10 billion sole-source hand-out” that would tie up NASA’s moon plans and hand “space leadership to China.”

Bezos’ Blue Origin space company countered quickly and forcefully: “Lie.” “Lie.” “Lie,” it said of each of the allegations in SpaceX’s paper. And added: “What is Elon Musk afraid of … a little competition?” (Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

The dueling documents are the latest point of tension in a long-simmering rivalry between the world’s two wealthiest men and billionaire “space barons” who have sparred on and off for years in their quest to privatize human space exploration. Musk and Bezos have fought over a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, battled over a patent over landing rockets and have argued over which of them actually pulled off that feat first.

Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Amazon also are competing to put thousands of satellites in Earth orbit that could beam Internet signals to ground stations on Earth.

[ click to continue reading at chron.com ]

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Editor

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FutureSports

from WIRED

Gaming Influencers Are the Future of Esports

Top players have left pro leagues to pursue streaming full-time as the industry veers more toward content creators.

esport athlete head in hands in frustration
There’s a reason esports pros are called athletes: It’s a tough job, mentally and physically. Now, some top gamers are walking away.PHOTOGRAPH: RIOT GAMES/GETTY IMAGES

LUCAS “MENDO” HÅKANSSON was playing video games for work, but he was not having a good time. He’d sacrificed a lot to be a pro gamer, dropping out of high school to practice Overwatch for up to 18 hours a day. When the Houston Outlaws tapped him to play Overwatch professionally in 2017, he was thrilled. It seemed like his efforts had finally earned him his dream job. Then, reality struck.

There’s a reason why esports pros are called athletes. Håkansson’s schedule with the Outlaws was rigid. He woke up, warmed up, and then spent the rest of the day practicing Overwatch in a tiny, windowless room. “It was honestly a miserable experience being there,” he said. His contract limited when he could stream on Twitch; he says he had to keep the focus on the league, not himself. And always, there was the looming fear that if Activision Blizzard, Overwatch’s publisher, tweaked the game too much, he’d have to relearn his top characters—or be out of a job.

After a season in the Overwatch League, Håkansson quit esports to become a full-time content creator instead. He was quickly signed by another esports organization, Team Liquid—not just to compete, but to grow his celebrity as a gaming influencer. These days he plays another shooter, Riot Games’ Valorant, on Twitch, where he has 621,000 followers. Håkansson says he is happier and more stable now, and although the Overwatch League has increased its focus on player well-being, he predicts that more athletes will follow his path. (The league did not respond to our request for comment.) “I think that most people who can, will, if they haven’t already. And a lot of people already have.”

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on May 23, 2021 by Editor

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The Sun Always Wins

from Penn-Live

Solar storms are back, threatening life on Earth as we know it

By The Associated Press

Solar storm
While invisible and harmless to anyone on the Earth’s surface, the geomagnetic waves unleashed by solar storms can cripple power grids, jam radio communications, bathe airline crews in dangerous levels of radiation and knock critical satellites off kilter.

A few days ago, millions of tons of super-heated gas shot off from the surface of the sun and hurtled 90 million miles toward Earth.

The eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, wasn’t particularly powerful on the space-weather scale, but when it hit the Earth’s magnetic field it triggered the strongest geomagnetic storm seen for years. There wasn’t much disruption this time — few people probably even knew it happened — but it served as a reminder the sun has woken from a yearslong slumber.

[ click to continue reading at Penn-Live ]

Posted on May 22, 2021 by Editor

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Happy Little Ugly People

from The Daily Beast via Yahoo! News

Sex, Deceit, and Scandal: The Ugly War Over Bob Ross’ Ghost

Bob Ross Estate
Bob Ross Estate

by Alston Ramsay

Bob Ross is everywhere these days: bobbleheads, Chia Pets, waffle makers, underwear emblazoned with his shining face, even energy drinks “packed with the joy and positivity of Bob Ross!” Whatever merchandising opportunity is out there, kitsch or otherwise, it’s a safe bet his brand-management company is on it—despite his having shuffled off the mortal coil more than 25 years ago.

He’s also a smash hit on social media, where he feels more like a Gen-Z influencer than a once semi-obscure PBS celebrity who rose to fame in the 1980s on the back of his bouffant hairdo, hypnotic singsong baritone, and a timeless message about the beauty of the world around us. His official YouTube page has logged close to half a billion views. He’s been satirized by the comic-book anti-hero Deadpool, the world-infamous street artist Banksy, and even Jim Carrey as Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live.

If that weren’t enough, he’s hawking Mountain Dew in a new CGI commercial that’s right on the edge of the uncanny valley, and Netflix has a feature-length documentary about him due this summer by the prolific actor-producer Melissa McCarthy.

Yes, Bob Ross is a beacon of light in an ever-darkening world—an endless stream of soothing bon mots perfectly at home in the meme-and-merchandise internet era.

He was also recently in federal court. Or, to be more precise, his eponymous company Bob Ross, Inc., was. Now run by the daughter of Bob’s original business partners—Annette and Walt Kowalski—Bob Ross, Inc., was defending itself against claims that it had made millions of dollars by illegally licensing Bob’s image over the last decade, expanding far beyond the company’s original core business of selling Bob Ross-themed paints and paint supplies.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on May 21, 2021 by Editor

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Grodin Gone

Posted on May 20, 2021 by Editor

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RW GTA

from AP

Street racing surges across US amid coronavirus pandemic

By ANDREW SELSKY

Jaye Sanford, a 52-year-old mother of two, was driving home in suburban Atlanta on Nov. 21 when a man in a Dodge Challenger muscle car who was allegedly street racing crashed into her head-on, killing her.

She is one of the many victims of a surge in street racing that has taken root across America during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting police crackdowns and bills aimed at harsher punishments.

Experts say TV shows and movies glorifying street racing had already fueled interest in recent years. Then shutdowns associated with the pandemic cleared normally clogged highways as commuters worked from home.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 19, 2021 by Editor

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Picasso 103

from France 24

Picasso painting sells for $103 mn in New York: auction house

The painting 'Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)' is the fifth one by Pablo Picasso to sell for more than $100 million
The painting ‘Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)’ is the fifth one by Pablo Picasso to sell for more than $100 million DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS AFP/File

Pablo Picasso’s “Woman sitting by a window (Marie-Therese)” sold Thursday for $103.4 million at Christie’s in New York, the auction house said.

The painting, completed in 1932, was sold for $90 million, which rose to $103.4 million when fees and commissions were added, after 19 minutes of bidding, Christie’s said.

The sale confirms the vitality of the art market despite the Covid-19 pandemic — but also the special status of Picasso, who was born in 1881 and died in 1973.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on May 18, 2021 by Editor

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Super Cat

Posted on May 17, 2021 by Editor

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Einstein Gone Wild

from Study Finds

Newly discovered letter reveals Albert Einstein’s views on birds, bees, and physics

by John Anderer

Einstein letter
Letter by Albert Einstein, validated by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where Einstein bequeathed his notes, letters and records. Click to enlarge. (Photo: Dyer et al. 2021, J Comp Physiol A / The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.)

MELBOURNE, Australia — No single individual may be more synonymous with the term “genius” than Albert Einstein. Born in Germany, but forced to flee Europe during the Nazi occupation, Einstein ended up becoming one of the greatest physicists of all time. Now, a letter he wrote in 1949 has been discovered, revealing some of Einstein’s thoughts on various topics.

In the letter, Einstein discusses possible connections between physics, biology, and wildlife. In other words, can scientists make new breakthroughs by studying how animals such as birds and bees move and fly around? This letter may date back over 70 years, but modern physicists are still debating that question.

Moreover, recent discoveries pertaining to migratory birds actually appear to corroborate what Einstein wrote all those years ago. In short, Einstein was correct in theorizing that animals can provide us with some clues about how physics works.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on May 16, 2021 by Editor

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The Flynt File

from VICE

‘Fuck This Court’: We Obtained Larry Flynt’s FBI File and It’s Pretty Wild

The 322-page file contains a litany of events from John DeLorean’s cocaine bust to an alleged effort by Flynt to blow himself up in front of the Supreme Court.

By Irving Alpert

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 9.49.53 PM.png

When Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt died on Feb. 10 at the age of 78, it signaled the end of an era where a misogynistic smut peddler could be viewed as a kind of antihero.

It’s hard to laud someone who built his empire by unabashedly treating women like pieces of meat, but as a First Amendment warrior, Flynt won important legal victories while sticking his thumb in the eye of the powers that be.

Over the decades, Flynt took on America’s morality police or anyone he felt to be hypocritical on matters of sex, engaging in what the Washington Post once referred to as “Dirt Bag Journalism.” This involved offering millions to anyone who could prove an extramarital affair with a high-ranking government official, such as in 1998, when he took down then-House speaker designate and staunch Clinton impeachment backer Bob Livingston. In 2017, Flynt offered $10 million for information leading to Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. 

Many know Flynt best from the Oscar-winning 1996 Milos Forman film “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” in which he was portrayed as a rakish rogue by Woody Harrelson. The movie went a long way toward softening Flynt’s image as a tawdry yet charismatic freedom fighter, while sanding off the more grotesque aspects of his personality.  

To the FBI, he was a person of interest.

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on May 15, 2021 by Editor

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Cerne Abbas

from The New Yorker

The Mysterious Origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant

On a hillside ages ago, people inscribed a naked man with a twenty-six-foot-long erect penis. Why did they do it?

By Rebecca Mead

The sun was still low in the sky on the spring morning last year when Martin Papworth, an archeologist for the National Trust, arrived in the village of Cerne Abbas. Setting off along a wooded path at the foot of Giant Hill, he carried in each hand a bucket loaded with excavation tools. Cerne Abbas, in a picturesque valley in Dorset, about three hours southwest of London, is an ancient settlement. At one end of the village, beneath a meadow abutting a burial ground, lie the foundations of what was, a thousand years ago, a thriving abbey. Close by is a spring-fed well named for St. Augustine, a monk who was sent by Rome in the sixth century to convert Britain to Christianity, and who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. According to legend, he caused the spring to stream forth by striking the ground with his staff. Atop Giant Hill lies an earthwork, possibly dating from the Iron Age: a rectangular enclosure, known as the Trendle, that may have been a temple or a burial mound. The object of Papworth’s interest was another mysterious man-made part of the landscape: the Cerne Giant, an enormous figure of a naked, armed man, carved into the chalk of the hillside.

The Cerne Giant is so imposing that he is best viewed from the opposite crest of the valley, or from the air. He is a hundred and eighty feet tall, about as high as a twenty-story apartment building. Held aloft in his right hand is a large, knobby club; his left arm stretches across the slope. Drawn in an outline formed by trenches packed with chalk, he has primitive but expressive facial features, with a line for a mouth and circles for eyes. His raised eyebrows were perhaps intended to indicate ferocity, but they might equally be taken for a look of confusion. His torso is well defined, with lines for ribs and circles for nipples; a line across his waist has been understood to represent a belt. Most well defined of all is his penis, which is erect, and measures twenty-six feet in length. Were the giant not protectively fenced off, a visitor could comfortably lie down within the member and take in the idyllic vista beyond.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on May 14, 2021 by Editor

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Colorado River Redux

from Audubon

Reconnecting the Colorado River to the Sea

Binational Water Conservation Making the Colorado River More Sustainable for People and Birds

By Jennifer Pitt

Delivery of water for the environment in the Colorado River Delta, May 3, 2021. Photo: Adrián Salcedo, Restauremos el Colorado

The Colorado River is flowing again in its delta. This is a big deal for a river that has not flowed through its delta in most years since the 1960s, resulting in an ecosystem that is severely desiccated and devastated.

Thanks to commitments from the United States and Mexico in the Colorado River binational agreement—Minute 323 –  35,000 acre-feet of water (11.4 billion gallons) dedicated to create environmental benefits will be delivered to the river from May 1 to October 11. The expectation is that this will create and support habitat for birds like the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yuma Ridgway’s Rail, and Vermilion Flycatcher, and give life to the many plants and animals in this ribbon oasis of green in the midst of the Sonoran Desert.

[ click to continue reading at Audubon ]

Posted on May 13, 2021 by Editor

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The Secret Scream

from Architectural Digest

Revealed: The Secret History Behind Edvard Munch’s The Scream

A previously unnoticed sentence etched in a top corner of the painting has scholars debating who wrote the words, and why they might’ve done it

By Nick Mafi

man next to painting
Edvard Munch’s The Scream was completed by the Norwegian artist in 1893. Photo: Getty Images/Oli Scarff

There are perhaps a handful of paintings so iconic, they’ve come to represent images of our time: Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Picasso’s Guernica, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Munch’s The Scream are a few that come to mind. So well researched are these works, that nearly nothing new is left to explore with them; we visualize them in the same way as a can of Coca-Cola or McDonald’s Golden Arches. But what happens when something new, something previously unnoticed grabs our attention? For The Scream, Edvard Munch’s best-known painting, a tiny inscription consisting of eight words, written in pencil, at the upper left corner of its frame is getting attention like never before.

“Could only have been painted by a madman”: Eight words written in Norwegian have stirred a debate among scholars and art fans alike, raising the question, “Who wrote these words?” Some have argued it could only have been Munch who inscribed the ominous sentence, while others contend it must’ve been the hand of a vandal who etched them onto the canvas. But it’s not just who scribbled the words into the top of the painting, but why? Before concluding this, we must consider the artist in question.

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on May 11, 2021 by Editor

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The da Vinci Bear

from Reuters

Da Vinci’s ‘Head of Bear’ drawing seen fetching up to $16 mln

Leonardo da Vinci's (1452-1519) "Head of a bear" drawing is seen in this undated handout image. Copyright Christie's2021/Handout via REUTERS

A drawing of a bear’s head by Leonardo da Vinci is seen fetching up to $16.7 million, potentially setting a record, when it heads to auction in July, Christie’s said on Saturday.

Measuring 7 cm (just under 3 inches) squared, “Head of a Bear” is a silverpoint drawing on a pink-beige paper. The auction house says it is “one of less than eight surviving drawings by Leonardo still in private hands outside of the British Royal Collection and the Devonshire Collections at Chatsworth”.

It will lead Christie’s “Exceptional Sale” on July 8 in London with a price estimate of 8 million to 12 million pounds ($11.14 million – $16.71 million).

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on May 10, 2021 by Editor

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Next Up

from France 24

The music festival refusing to bow to Covid

Belgrade (AFP)

Tickets for the festival are already on sale with the date marked as July 8-11
Tickets for the festival are already on sale with the date marked as July 8-11 ANDREJ ISAKOVIC AFP/File

Pulsating crowds, booming open-air sound systems, megastars lapping up the adoration of thousands — music festivals are fast receding into distant memory thanks to Covid, but one event in Serbia is refusing to yield.

The Exit Festival — one of Europe’s biggest with organisers saying 200,000 attended in 2019 — is aiming to become the first such event to go ahead in Europe since the pandemic began.

Other big names on the circuit like Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Hellfest have already cancelled this year because of the virus.

But Exit spokesman Sanjin Djukic claimed medical experts had agreed it was possible to hold the event safely if visitors produced vaccination certificates or negative test results.

“We can say with absolute certainty that visiting Exit will be a lot safer than going into a bar or getting on a bus,” he told AFP.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on May 9, 2021 by Editor

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Barbershop

from SPIN

Seventh Heaven

Barbershop quartets are more than meets the ear

by Jonathan Rowe 

Met Quartet Servicing Barber Shop Owner
CREDIT: Bettmann / Contributor

Don’t let a century’s worth of pop culture fool you — the best of the best barbershop quartets have five voices.

Sure, four striped-shirt, straw-hatted, bow-tied bodies — but five voices. The second tenor sets the stage with a lead melody line, which the first tenor lays a high harmony on. The baritone singer handles mid-range, while the bass, the deepest voice of the four, lays a solid foundation. But when the overtones of these four pitch-perfect voices unite and merge, an invisible fifth voice emerges from the ether, an everywhere-but-nowhere aural apparition not unlike the effect of Buddhist monks chanting in a massive ancient temple. This unified fifth-voice phenomenon is known as harmonic coincidence, though it is nowhere near a coincidence, accident or fluke.

Summoning what former Barbershop Harmony Society President Art Merrill calls, “the voice of the angels,” takes well more than four peppy singers with dreamy voices. In fact, should one of the four mortals as much as drift off-pitch, the heavenly house of cards drops.

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Posted on May 8, 2021 by Editor

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Alpha Betas Red Head Intervention Map!

Posted on May 7, 2021 by Editor

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Going French

from The New York Times

See Fewer People. Take Fewer Showers.

Some people said they started bathing less during the pandemic. As long as no one complains, they say they plan to keep the new habit.

By Maria Cramer

Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool on Martha’s Vineyard, grew up showering every day.

“It’s what you did,” she said. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced her indoors and away from the general public, she started showering once a week.

The new practice felt environmentally virtuous, practical and freeing. And it has stuck.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Ms. Harper, 43, who has returned to work. “I like showers. But it’s one thing off my plate. I’m a mom. I work full-time, and it’s one less thing I have to do.”

The pandemic upended the use of zippered pants and changed people’s eating and drinking habits. There are now indications that it has caused some Americans to become more spartan when it comes to ablutions.

Parents have complained that their teenage children are forgoing daily showers. After the British media reported on a YouGov survey that showed 17 percent of Britons had abandoned daily showers during the pandemic, many people on Twitter said they had done the same.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 6, 2021 by Editor

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Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming

from Architectural Digest

Dive Into the History of the Swimming Pool in Photography

A new book is filled with iconic images of pools from the last 100 years

By Stefanie Waldek

Slve Sundsb Think Tanks Frank June 1998 on the cover of Pools Lounging Diving Floating Dreaming Picturing Life at the...
Sølve Sundsbø, Think Tanks, Frank, June 1998, on the cover of Pools: Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming: Picturing Life at the Swimming Pool. “The cover image of the book was shot by Sølve Sundsbø in the 1990s,” says Stoppard. “I asked him why the pool is so popular in photography and he said, ‘It almost invites you to take a photograph. It’s a premade studio.’ I think that’s very true.” Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Rizzoli

For the better part of the last century, photographers of all kinds have been drawn toward pools, whether for the way their reflective forms are captured by cameras or their role in social gatherings. The resulting images are the subject of Pools: Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming: Picturing Life at the Swimming Pool ($65, Rizzoli), edited by writer Lou Stoppard.

“I’ve wanted to do this book for years, so I’ve been collecting great pool photographs for a very long time,” Stoppard tells AD. “Part of this was to show the way that the swimming pool has remained a seductive place for photographers as years have passed. It sounds negative to call it a trope, but in a way, it is. Pool pictures litter the history of photography.”

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on May 5, 2021 by Editor

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Tarantino To The Rescue

from DEADLINE

Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema Sets Reopening Date

By Anthony D’Alessandro

More good news for LA moviegoers: Revival house New Beverly Cinema has set a reopening date of June 1 per its Twitter account. No further details were provided about the cinema’s upcoming schedule.

The 300-seat theater opened in 1929 at Beverly Boulevard near LaBrea Boulevard in Los Angeles. The two-time Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino subsidized New Beverly owner Sherman Torgan to the tune of $5K per month to keep the location open; Torgan, who passed away in 2007, owned the theater at 7165 Beverly Blvd since 1978. Tarantino became the new landlord in the wake of Torgan’s passing, holding the line on developers who yearned to turn the venue into a Supercuts. In 2014, Tarantino became head curator with a mandate that only 16MM and 35MM prints would be shown, and jettisoning the digital projector installed by Torgan’s son Michael. The cinema reopened in December 2018 after year long enhancements.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 4, 2021 by Editor

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Endangered Wings

from The Washington Post via MSN

America is running low on chicken. Blame covid-19, a sandwich craze and huge appetite for wings.

by Reis Thebault


a man holding a sandwich: Randy Estrada holds up his Popeyes chicken sandwich, shortly after the fast food chain introduced the menu item in 2019, which The Washington Post dubbed the Year of the Chicken Sandwich. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Randy Estrada holds up his Popeyes chicken sandwich, shortly after the fast food chain introduced the menu item in 2019, which The Washington Post dubbed the Year of the Chicken Sandwich. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It’s not like we weren’t warned. The doomsayers predicted this months ago: “A MASSIVE CHICKEN WING SHORTAGE IS BREWING,” blared the headline of one trade publication in early February.

But it turned out to be so much worse.

Bloomberg News, on Thursday: “Fried-Chicken Craze Is Causing U.S. to Run Low on Poultry.”

In other words, not just wings, but chicken in general. Or, as Bojangles put it in a recent tweet about their tenders: “we’re experiencing a system-wide shortage :( But they will be back soon!”

It seems the poultry paucity has arrived, heralded by a series of fast-food executives describing in earnings calls their stores’ struggles to stock enough chicken — nuggets, tenders, wings, patties, all shapes and sizes — to keep pace with legions of peckish Americans.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on May 3, 2021 by Editor

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Onboard With No Place To Go

from The Wall Street Journal

Trapped Aboard an Abandoned Cargo Ship: One Sailor’s Four-Year Ordeal

The MV Aman was seized near the Suez Canal in 2017. Years later, its chief mate was still on board, all alone.

By Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw

Mr. Aisha traded scrap metal from the ship to passing fishing and commercial vessels for cheese or fish. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD AISHA

SUEZ, Egypt—Chief Mate Mohammad Aisha awoke to the groans and tremors of a cavernous cargo ship listing hard to starboard. He staggered through the darkness up five flights of stairs to the bridge and shined his phone’s flashlight on the navigation dials.

The MV Aman was tilting 10 degrees, its 330-foot-long hull taking on more than 6 feet of water. Three miles from the nearest ship, Mr. Aisha knew that if the 3,000-ton boat went under, it would suck him, the only person on board, into the Red Sea.

This was a crisis. It was also Mr. Aisha’s best chance to escape.

For months, the 29-year-old Syrian had been the last sailor still living on a cargo ship, abandoned two years earlier near the mouth of the Suez Canal and being detained by the Egyptian government. They had refused to let him disembark but couldn’t keep him on the ship if it was sinking, he reasoned.

He activated an emergency beacon and shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” into the radio. Hours crawled by before a military patrol arrived to whisk him to land.

Ten days of interrogations in military and police stations later, Mr. Mohammad was right back where he started, returned to a deserted ship whose hull had been repaired. It was Oct. 27, 2019, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on May 2, 2021 by Editor

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Eli Broad Gone

from DEADLINE

Eli Broad Dies: Billionaire Businessman, Philanthropist, Founder of L.A.’s Broad Museum Was 87

By Tom Tapp

Eli Broad

Businessman, philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad, who left an indelible imprint on Los Angeles’ cultural scene, died today at age 87.

Broad died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following a long illness, according to Suzi Emmerling, spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

Broad made his fortune building single-family homes. A New York native, he parlayed a loan from his in-laws into a homebuilding empire. He and Donald Bruce Kaufman founded KB (Kaufman & Broad) Homes in Detroit in 1956 when Broad was barely 20 years old. The firm went on to become the largest independent builder of single-family homes in the United States. It built more than 600,000 homes in the postwar boom, many of them in Southern California. He later bought Sun Life Insurance, morphing it into annuities giant SunAmerica. He sold it for $18 billion in stock in 1998. He was the first person to develop two Fortune 500 companies in different industries.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 1, 2021 by Editor

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