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Hot Basquiat

from The Wall Street Journal

Basquiat Is Hotter Than Warhol—and Now a Billionaire Wants to Sell a 1982 Work for $70 Million

Collector Yusaku Maezawa is auctioning off his wall-size Basquiat, featuring a devilish figure, at Phillips this spring

By Kelly Crow

Untitled 1982 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, estimated at around $70 million, to be offered at Phillips in May. PHOTO: PHILLIPS

A billionaire who recently rocketed to the International Space Station said he is sending one of his prized Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings to auction this spring for an estimated $70 million. The move hints at the shifting whims of the world’s wealthy but also underscores the continuing strength of the art market overall. 

Yusaku Maezawa wasn’t well-known in art circles when he paid Christie’s a record-breaking $57.3 million for his untitled 1982 Basquiat six years ago. The collector reveled in the win by posting an image on his Instagram account, shrugging off the typical discretion exercised by some top buyers.

Now, the fashion mogul behind e-commerce site Zozotown said he is ready to resell his breakout Basquiat, enlisting boutique auctioneer Phillips to offer up the painting in May in New York. The 16-foot-wide work is splashed with red and salmon hues and features a horned devil-like figure that curators have suggested could be the former New York graffiti artist’s conflicted self-portrait. 

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on February 28, 2022 by Editor

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from Study Finds

Death by robots? Study finds automation is ruining people’s lives — and raising mortality rates!

by Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Death by robots might seem like an unusual cause of death, but as robots replace people on factory floors, there has been a rise of suicides and drug overdoses — especially in people between 45 to 54. A new study found a link between automation of U.S. manufacturing and an increased mortality rate among working-class adults.

Automation is partially responsible for a decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. Prior research has estimated a loss of 420,000 to 750,000 jobs during the 1990s and 2000s, most of which were manufacturing jobs.

“For decades, manufacturers in the United States have turned to automation to remain competitive in a global marketplace, but this technological innovation has reduced the number of quality jobs available to adults without a college degree — a group that has faced increased mortality in recent years,” says lead author Rourke O’Brien, assistant professor of sociology in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in a media release. “Our analysis shows that automation exacts a toll on the health of individuals both directly — by reducing employment, wages, and access to healthcare — as well as indirectly, by reducing the economic vitality of the broader community.”

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on February 27, 2022 by Editor

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All Hands On Deck

from PC Magazine

Steam Deck Hands On: Valve Successfully Frees PC Gaming From the Desktop

Available today, the Steam Deck trades raw power for the impressive ability to make your PC gaming library portable.

By Jordan Minor

(Photo: Romary Santana)

As someone who flew across the country to pick up a Steam Machine, only for Valve’s first attempt at merging gaming PCs and console concepts to go up in smoke, it’s telling that I’m still excited for the Steam Deck (starting at $399). After months of speculation and anticipation, we finally got our hands on Valve’s high-powered handheld gaming PC, a device that ships today to the first customers that preordered it. We’ll need more time for a full review, but here are our thorough first impressions of the Steam Deck, a handheld that delivers new joys to PC gamers who are willing to compromise on old standards.

The Steam Deck is big, but not that big. The 7-inch, 720p screen is roughly on par with what the Nintendo Switch offers, complete with a prominent bezel. The thicker main body (1.9 inches vs. 0.5 inches) is where you’ll find the volume buttons and microSD card slot and USB-C charging port. I wouldn’t want to drop the unit, but it feels sturdy enough that I wouldn’t immediately freak out if I did. 

[ click to continue reading at PC Mag ]

Posted on February 26, 2022 by Editor

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from Project Syndicate

Our New Cloud-Based Ruling Class


varoufakis88_FABRICE COFFRINIAFP via Getty Images_googlecloud

Capital is everywhere, yet capitalism is on the wane. In an era when the owners of a new form of “command capital” have gained exorbitant power over everyone else, including traditional capitalists, this is no contradiction.

ATHENS – Once upon a time, capital goods were just the manufactured means of production. Robinson Crusoe’s salvaged fishing gear, a farmer’s plough, and a smith’s furnace were goods that helped produce a larger catch, more food, and shiny steel tools. Then, capitalism came along and vested owners of capital with two new powers: The power to compel those without capital to work for a wage, and agenda-setting power in policymaking institutions. Today, however, a new form of capital is emerging and is forging a new ruling class, perhaps even a new mode of production.

At the beginning of this change was free-to-air commercial television. The programming itself could not be commodified, so it was used to attract viewers’ attention before selling it to advertisers. Programs’ sponsors used their access to people’s attention to do something audacious: harness emotions (which had escaped commodification) to the task of deepening… commodification.

The essence of the advertiser’s job was captured in a line spoken by Don Draper, the fictional protagonist in the television serial Mad Men, set in the advertising industry of the 1960s. Coaching his protégé, Peggy, on how to think about the Hershey chocolate bar their firm was peddling, Draper caught the spirit of the times:

“You don’t buy a Hershey bar for a couple of ounces of chocolate. You buy it to recapture the feeling of being loved that you knew when your dad bought you one for mowing the lawn.”

[ click to continue reading at Project Syndicate ]

Posted on February 25, 2022 by Editor

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from InsideHook

A Look Inside the Curing Room at Chicago’s Lardon, Quite Possibly America’s Finest Salumeria

Chef Chris Thompson breaks down the process behind his immaculate cured meats


a string of cured meats in the curing room at lardon in chicago
Vegetarians, you may want to look away

It’s 33 degrees today in Chicago — a good temperature for butchering, according to Lardon chef Chris Thompson, but not for curing, a task best carried out at about twice that. But the temperature won’t stop Thompson from his regular Thursday morning routine: putting up coppa, finocchiona and more for the pork-focused menu at his Logan Square restaurant, which decidedly and unapologetically breaks with plant-forward dining trends.

Thompson proudly leads the way through the curing room, a tight squeeze rendered even tighter thanks to the plethora of bresaola, prosciutto, salami and more hanging within — meats Thompson proudly refers to as his “babies.”

“We probably have over 3,000 pounds of meat in here, right now,” he says with a grin, most of which comes from whole hogs raised locally and humanely by Trent Sparrow of Catalpa Grove in Dwight, Illinois.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on February 24, 2022 by Editor

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Three Pietas

from France 24

Michelangelo’s three ‘pietas’ united in historic first

The exhibition is the first time Michelangelo’s famed “Pieta” will be displayed with two other sculptures by the Renaissance giant of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of Christ Vincenzo PINTO AFP

Florence (Italy) (AFP) – It is admired the world over as an exquisite depiction of maternal grief. But Michelangelo’s “Pieta” has overshadowed two other moving sculptures on the same subject by the Renaissance giant.

That is why Florence’s Opera del Duomo museum in Italy is putting on display together for the first time all three versions of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of her son Jesus Christ.

The Tuscan museum’s original “Bandini” goes on show Thursday alongside casts of the “Pieta” and “Rondanini”, which are on loan from the Vatican Museums.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on February 23, 2022 by Editor

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The Mouth Of The South

from The Optionist

Q&A: Ted Turner Biographer Porter Bibb

The Mouth of the South: Turner at the official CNN launch event in Atlanta on June 1, 1980. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

All the drama around CNN and Jeff Zucker got me thinking about Ted Turner. I called up Porter Bibb, who wrote the best-selling 1993 biography of CNN founder Ted Turner, Ted Turner: It Ain’t As Easy as It Looks. Bibb told me about how he came to be Turner’s biographer, and, most interestingly, Turner’s unsparing, unfavorable thoughts about CNN under recently-ousted Jeff Zucker, and John Malone’s relationship to Turner.

Turner’s life — his father’s suicide, winning the America’s Cup, turning a rinky-dink Atlanta station at the end of the dial into a media powerhouse, his marriage to Jane Fonda — is the raw material for a great TV series. In the age of streaming, Bibb thinks Turner’s full life is better suited for a multi-part limited series, though he compares the possibilities not unfairly to Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator. (Interested? Ping me and I’ll put you in touch with Bibb, who controls the rights).

The book was optioned years ago to a couple of Turner executives, but rights eventually reverted to Bibb. A few others have kicked the tires, including Oliver Stone. But as Bibb explains, he’s feeling a new eagerness to see something come to screen both because of the timeliness of the story and Turner’s declining health. 

Bibb was Rolling Stone’s first publisher where he recruited high school buddy Hunter Thompson to write for Jann Wenner’s publication; now he’s an investment banker (currently at Mediatech Capital Partners) specializing in media deals for 40 years.

[ click to continue reading at The Optionist ]

Posted on February 18, 2022 by Editor

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Nandi Bushnell

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Editor

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Trigger Art

from sp!ked

Great art is supposed to be ‘triggering’

The rise of trigger warnings is a threat to artistic freedom.

by Ella Whelan

Great art is supposed to be ‘triggering’

What ‘triggers’ us in art is subjective. At the opening night of JM Synge’s Playboy of the Western World in Dublin in 1907, audience members were triggered into rioting, including throwing projectiles at the stage, because of its shocking content – including a portrayal of patricide and scenes involving ladies’ knickers. Sinn Féin leader Arthur Griffith described the play as ‘a vile and inhuman story told in the foulest language we have ever listened to from a public platform’. WB Yeats, who had not expected such a reaction, berated the audience for having ‘disgraced yourselves again’. Synge, however, was quietly triumphant, writing to his fiancé the morning after: ‘It is better any day to have the row we had last night, than to have your play fizzling out in half-hearted applause. Now we’ll be talked about.’

Almost 115 years later, the idea that art can and should surprise us in shocking or even hurtful ways feels like a thing of the past. The art world today is often so terrified of unruly audiences, who these days take to hurling tweets instead of rotten fruit, that trigger warnings are now ubiquitous. They have become a means of controlling and anticipating what kind of reaction a piece might elicit.

[ click to continue reading at sp!ked ]

Posted on February 10, 2022 by Editor

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The Bard

from Inside Hook

Selema Masekela Is on a Mission to Return Surf Culture to the People

The bard of the action sports world chats about African surf culture, his career highlights, and his secret love for Miranda Lambert


Selema MasekelaSelema MasekelaIan – Drachman/Mami Wata

For anyone familiar with the world of action sports, Selema Masekela needs no introduction. The legendary sports commentator was ESPN’s host of both the X Games and Winter X Games for 13 years, has covered both the Olympics and World Cup for NBC Sports, and served as both host and executive producer of VICELAND’s docu-series Vice World of Sports. His voice and visage are inextricably linked with some of the most — if you’ll pardon the expression — “holy shit” sporting moments of the last quarter century.

The son of famed South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela (and an accomplished musician in his own right), Selema has also spent a significant portion of his life on the African continent and has of late been hard at work on Afrocentric surf apparel brand Mami Wata. The term “Mami Wata” translates to “Mother Water” (or “Mother Ocean”) and serves as a powerful moniker to invoke the brand’s celebration of African surf culture as well as their mission to create jobs, grow economies and support youth surf therapy organizations on the African continent. In addition to their range of eye-catching tees, hoodies and boardshorts (all designed and produced in South Africa), Mami Wata also supports said organizations via the book AFROSURF, described as “a visual mindbomb packed with over 200 photos, 50 essays, surfer profiles, thought pieces, poems, playlists, photos, illustrations, ephemera, recipes, and a mini comic, all wrapped in design that captures the diversity and character of Africa.” It’s a dope read and we highly recommend picking up a copy.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on February 9, 2022 by Editor

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The Rock ‘n Roll GOAT

Posted on February 6, 2022 by Editor

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from The Wall Street Journal

SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites Are Photobombing Astronomy Images, Study Says

Streaks left by passing satellites mar observatories’ celestial images, potentially hinder spotting of dangerous asteroids

By Aylin Woodward

A streak from a Starlink satellite appears in this image of the Andromeda galaxy. PHOTO: CALTECH OPTICAL OBSERVATORIES/IPAC

As the armada of satellites circling Earth grows, a new study shows that astronomy images are being marred by streaks of reflected sunlight left by the fast-moving objects.

SpaceX alone launched nearly 150 of its expanding fleet of Starlink telecommunications satellites in the past month.

For the study, published Jan. 14 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers examined the effects of Starlink satellites on about 300,000 images taken by an instrument at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California. Between November 2019 and September 2021, they noted a 35-fold increase in the number of corrupted images.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on February 5, 2022 by Editor

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Gold Cube

from The U.S. Sun

Mystery as gold cube worth $11.7million ‘pops up’ in NYC’s Central Park – and it has its own security guards

by Frances Mulraney

A MYSTERIOUS gold cube worth an estimated $11.7million appeared in New York’s Central Park on Wednesday morning accompanied by its very own security detail.

The cube, composed of 186 kilograms of pure 24-karat gold, was rolled out in front of a snowy Naumburg Bandshell at 5am in the morning surrounded by photographers and NYPD officers.

The hollow gold block is the creation of 43-year-old German artist Niclas Castello, who has branded it the “Castello Cube.”

The 410-pound work is not for sale but was used as publicity for the launch of accompanying cryptocurrency, the Castello Coin.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on February 3, 2022 by Editor

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Magnet Fishing

from Military Times

Florida boy reels in .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles while fishing

By Sarah Sicard

Over a balmy winter weekend in South Miami-Dade, Florida, a young boy and his grandfather set out to fish along a canal. What they reeled in weren’t fish, but holy mackerel were they a catch.

Duane Smith was shocked when his grandson Allen Cadwalader pulled in two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles while magnet fishing, the Miami Herald reported.

Smith and Cadwalader went out with magnetic rods after viewing a YouTube video on it, and decided to drop lines in the C-102 canal.

“We ended up with two pounds of scrap metal and 40 pounds of gun,” Smith told the Miami Herald, adding, “I figured, since it was our first time, this was beginner’s luck.”

[ click to continue reading at MT ]

Posted on February 1, 2022 by Editor

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