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Burn J.D. Burn

from Yahoo! News

Woman with only known recording of J.D. Salinger’s voice to have tape burned

by Brendan Morrow

J.D. Salinger
J.D. Salinger Holly Ramer / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The potentially last chance to hear J.D. Salinger’s voice on tape is set to go up in smoke, according to the woman who recorded him.

Betty Eppes is in possession of the “only known recording” of author J.D. Salinger’s voice, but she is promising to never release it and has even updated her will to say it will “be placed, along with her body, in the crematorium,” Bloomberg reports.

Eppes was a reporter for the Baton Rouge Advocate in 1980 when she managed to land an interview with the famously reclusive Catcher in the Rye author, who at that point hadn’t given one in nearly three decades. But as Bloomberg explains, Eppes described herself to him as a novelist, not a journalist, and she didn’t tell him she would be taping their conversation using a recorder she had hidden in her sleeve.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on July 31, 2021 by Editor

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Nuggetopia

from The Wall Street Journal

We Live in a Golden Age of Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets

The ‘fun nugget’ boomlet taught makers to use fewer spikes, leave room for breading; now, perfecting Baby Yoda’s ears

By Ellen Byron

If Mark Tolbert could redesign his company’s Tyrannosaurus rex chicken nugget, he would make the neck slightly slimmer and the head a bit bigger.

“The head slopes down a little too much,” says Mr. Tolbert, a senior manager of the innovation center at Perdue Farms in Salisbury, Md. “But put some ketchup on it and you can’t see it.”

Mr. Tolbert speaks wistfully of the Triceratops, which consistently ranks as one of the most popular dinosaurs but so far eludes nugget-makers. “We’d never be able to make a chicken nugget with three horns coming out of its head,” Mr. Tolbert says. “That’s a three-dimensional shape.”

Major food companies can see a dinosaur-nugget boomlet. Parents buy them to motivate picky youngsters to clean their plates. Young adults eat them to spark childhood nostalgia.

And rising sales during the pandemic have prompted companies to consider what other nugget shapes might catch on—beyond the Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on July 30, 2021 by Editor

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Ron Popeil Gone

from NBC News

Infomercial king Ron Popeil dies at 86

Ronco’s Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ, and Popeil’s late-night infomercials pitching it, helped inscribe the phrase “set it and forget it” into the American lexicon.

Ron Popeil, the inventor and infomercial icon whose kitchen and direct-to-consumer products generated billions of dollars in U.S. sales, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 86.

Popeil “lived his life to the fullest and passed in the loving arms of his family,” a statement from his spokesperson said.

No cause of death was provided.

Popeil first appeared on television in 1959 in an infomercial for the Chop-o-Matic, and his company, Ronco, founded by his father, eventually went on to produce products including Hair in a Can and Pocket Fisherman.

[ click to continue reading at NBC News ]

Posted on July 28, 2021 by Editor

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Bourdain and a Boner

from Vanity Fair

Bourdain, My Camera, and Me

The photographer behind one of the most indelible images taken of the late chef remembers their friendship—and the way it evolved over time.

BY MELANIE DUNEA

The bone kept sliding out of my hand. I had picked it up at Ottomanelli & Sons on Bleecker Street, overloaded and teetering at the counter, balancing my cameras, my tripod bag, while I explained to the guy what I needed.

“The biggest you’ve got,” I said.

He wrapped it up in paper and I was on my way.

The moment I walked out of the butcher shop I realized how slippery and wide the bone was. I could have splurged for a taxi, or asked for an assistant to meet me, but I was still in the business of proving myself to the world by trying to do it all myself. Besides, I was so close, not far at all to the photo studio in the West Village, and look, all I had to do was place a thumb under the masking tape on the butcher paper and I could hold it all together.

This day, I knew I had to be early. Tony Bourdain might have been known as a badass and truth speaker but he was always early. I was shooting for My Last Supper, my first solo book. Tony’s would be one of 50 images in a project meant to mark a moment in history. All around me, chefs were coming out of the kitchen and becoming hot-shit celebs. I would ask each of them the same six questions and then photograph them. I had imposed no rules upon myself for this project, no must-dos. This was a relief from executing clients’ and art directors’ visions. I only wanted to push myself creatively. My wish was that each photograph reflected who the chef was at the moment they stood in front of me.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Editor

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Celebrating Sublime

from San Jose Mercury News

‘Sublime’ at 25: Remembering Bradley Nowell and the SoCal band’s massive hit album

The album sold over 18 million copies worldwide and spawned hit singles including “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way.”

By KELLI SKYE FADROSKI

Long Beach band Sublime released its third album, a self-titled effort, that featured hits like “Wrong Way,” “Santaria” and “What I Got,” on July 30, 1996 through MCA. (Image courtesy of Sublime)
Long Beach band Sublime released its third album, a self-titled effort, that featured hits like “Wrong Way,” “Santaria” and “What I Got,” on July 30, 1996 through MCA. (Image courtesy of Sublime)


On July 30, 1996, Sublime released its self-titled mainstream debut on MCA Records.

Although the Long Beach band had already put out two independent albums prior to this one, “Sublime” was different. It went on to sell over 18 million copies worldwide, spawning several singles including “What I Got,” “Santeria,” “Wrong Way” and “Doin’ Time.” The album was popular on both radio and MTV, thanks to an eclectic sound that intertwined elements of punk, ska, reggae, funk and hip-hop, as well as samples from artists like Bob Marley, George Gershwin, The Specials and The Who.

“I vividly remember sitting with my co-workers at the radio station [KFMA 102.1/FM] in Tuscon, Arizona when we first heard ‘What I Got,’ and we were like, ‘Wow, this is going to be huge,’” former KROQ DJ Ted Stryker said during a recent phone interview. “What did we know? We were a bunch of young idiots, but it was obvious that this band was going to be something great. That band, that album cover, these songs … they are stronger than ever and they still, 25 years later, feel so fresh. It sounds like summer. It sounds like we should be going to the beach. I don’t know if at the time they knew how timeless these songs were going to be.”

For the band and those close to it, Sublime’s breakthrough success also came at a time of great tragedy. Two months before the album was released, 28-year-old vocalist-guitarist Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose while on tour in San Francisco, leaving behind the band, his wife Troy Dendekker and their 11-month old son, Jakob.

[ click to continue reading at SJ Merc ]

Posted on July 26, 2021 by Editor

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The Maestro of San Francisco

from SF Gate

The curious life of the Bay Area’s 84-year-old bodybuilding rhinestone cowboy artist

by Michelle Robertson

Stills of Maestro Gaxiola from the Criterion Collection. 
Stills of Maestro Gaxiola from the Criterion Collection. Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

In his 84 years, Gerald “The Maestro” Gaxiola has been an artist, a bodybuilder, a philosopher, a writer, a singer/songwriter, a leather worker, a salesman and an aircraft mechanic. 

Above all, he is a Bay Area legend. Gaxiola has lived in Albany for decades, where he became a visible figure thanks to his handmade rhinestone cowboy outfits and “Maestro Day,” a short-lived celebration of art, life and cowboys. 

Gaxiola has not held a day job for nearly five decades. He’s painted an estimated 11,000 works of art, but refuses to sell them. He lives, indubitably, the artist’s life. 

[ click to continue reading at SF Gate ]

Posted on July 25, 2021 by Editor

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Interior People

Posted on July 24, 2021 by Editor

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LouvreHub

from The Observer

The Louvre Is Cracking Down on Pornhub for Turning Classic Art Into Explicit Content

By Helen Holmes

‘Venus of Urbino’ by Tiziano Vecellio at the Gallerie degli Uffizi. Roberto Serra – Iguana Press/Getty Images

Pornhub, one of the most highly visited adult websites in the United States, is reportedly facing legal action from the Louvre museum in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence after debuting a new interactive website and app, “Show Me the Nudes,” that features porn actors re-envisioning classic works of art as jumping off points for sexually explicit content. Pornography is famously difficult to describe, but it could certainly be argued that a clear continuum exists between unclothed Titian muses and 21st century graphic imagery. However, the aforementioned museums are initiating legal action against Pornhub for rights infringements and pushing for the website to take down the content.

“No one has granted authorizations for the operation or use of the art” a spokesperson for the Uffizi told The Daily Beast. “In Italy, the cultural heritage code provides that in order to use images of a museum, compressed works for commercial purposes, it is necessary to have the permission, which regulates the methods and sets the relative fee to be paid. All this obviously if the museum grants the authorization which, for example, would hardly have been issued in this case.” Some of the works featured on the Pornhub website from the Uffizi Gallery include Bacchus by Caravaggio, Spring by Botticelli and Angelica hides from Ruggiero by Giovanni Bilivert.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on July 23, 2021 by Editor

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The Genius of Earl

from PASTE

It Still Stings: My Name Is Earl‘s Incomplete Journey Towards Forgiveness

By Kristen Reid

It Still Stings: <i>My Name Is Earl</i>'s Incomplete Journey Towards Forgiveness

When My Name is Earl was canceled by NBC in 2009 after its fourth season, fans were heartbroken that our final glimpse into Earl Hickey’s life was a simple title card promising “to be continued…” After four years of watching Earl transform his life—and so many others’—it felt like a punch in the gut to see his story end this way.

Starring Jason Lee, My Name is Earl was a show about asking forgiveness and doing what’s right to make up for your past mistakes, no matter how long it’s been. Lee played Hickey, a two-bit criminal with no ambition, no drive, and no motivation to do anything except troll around the fictional Camden County in his El Camino with his equally burned-out brother, leaving a wake of destruction and pissed-off people in their path. But all of this changed when Earl had a particularly brutal wake-up call in the form of a little old lady running him over. Earl, never one to see a win in any way, shape, or form, had just scratched a lotto ticket revealing a $100,000 jackpot. What started as an innocent celebratory dance in the middle of the street led to an extended hospital stay, and while recovering, Earl discovered exactly how he was going to turn his life around.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on July 22, 2021 by Editor

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Vidiots Lives in Eagle Rock!

from The LA Times

Beloved video store Vidiots is set to reopen. How Rian Johnson and others are helping

By MARK OLSEN

A man and a woman walk under an Eagle Rock street sign and near a building with a blank marquee.
Vidiots, the long-running L.A. video store, is reopening in Eagle Rock with a restored movie theater. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

When Vidiots, the long-running video store in Santa Monica that had become a cultural cornerstone for the city, closed in 2017, it seemed the end of an era.

Now, on a corner in northeast Los Angeles, Vidiots is on the verge of a new beginning.

Construction is underway at the Eagle Theatre in Eagle Rock for it to become a combination 250-seat movie theater and video store, home to Vidiots’ collection of more than 50,000 titles on DVD, Blu-ray and VHS along with new programming. The project is expected to be completed and the new Vidiots is anticipated to open its doors in spring 2022.

“Even before the pandemic and lockdowns, I think that it is abundantly clear that the need for human interaction around the arts and particularly around film is really paramount to our culture and our sense of health and well-being,” said Maggie Mackay, executive director of the nonprofit Vidiots Foundation.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on July 19, 2021 by Editor

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Casino Twitch

from WIRED

Twitch Streamers Rake in Millions With a Shady Crypto Gambling Boom

The company says it is “closely monitoring gambling content,” but legal experts told WIRED that some promotions may be illegal.

by CECILIA D’ANASTASIO

Illustration of slot machine screens with cryptocurrency symbol
One attorney who specializes in online gambling law says he has recently been fielding lots of questions from US-based Twitch streamers about crypto gambling sites. ILLUSTRATION: SAM WHITNEY; GETTY IMAGES

TYLER NIKNAM WAS getting out of Texas. Niknam, 30, is a top streamer on Twitch, where he’s better known as Trainwrecks to his 1.5 million followers. For hours on end, Niknam was hitting the slots on Stake.com, an online cryptocurrency casino and his most prominent Twitch sponsor, to live audiences of 25,000. He’d been winning big, sometimes as much as $400,000 in crypto in one fell swoop, and he never seemed to go broke. The problem? It wasn’t allowed.

If you visit Stake on a US-based browser, a message will quickly pop up on the site: “Due to our gaming license, we cannot accept players from the United States.” Though Stake doesn’t possess a gambling license in any state, Niknam and other US gamblers easily circumvent this by using VPNs. Promoting gambling sites that cannot operate in the US and making money by referring US residents to them may constitute promoting illegal gambling, legal experts told WIRED.

“Canada needs to happen asap,” Niknam wrote in a private Discord DM to Felix “xQc” Lengyel, 25, Twitch’s number two streamer. Lengyel briefly streamed slots but stopped in June. “You cannot show you’re on Stake at all.” A few days later, Niknam arrived in Canada, where he settled into a routine—gambling in a mostly empty apartment, sometimes more than a dozen hours a day. (Niknam and Lengyel did not respond to WIRED’s requests for comment.)

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on July 13, 2021 by Editor

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NFT Boom

from The Observer

NFTs Generated $2.5 Billion in Sales in the First Half of 2021, New Reports Indicate

By Helen Holmes

A truck parked outside of Christie’s displays a CryptoPunk NFT on May 11, 2021 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

According to new marketplace data, NFTs have generated $2.5 billion in sales in 2021 so far, with monetary interest surging significantly in the second quarter. According to NonFungible.com, buyers of NFTs have clocked in at 10,000 to 20,000 per week since March, and despite the dominance of NFTs on the high-end art market, the most popular NFTs by the numbers are either collectibles or sports-affiliated. A chart from NonFungible.com indicates that in the first six months of 2021, 124,188 NFTs that could be classified as art were sold on the Ethereum blockchain, as opposed to 299,684 sports NFTs and 367,129 collectible NFTs. This data represents a sharp heel turn from reports that emerged in April which indicated that NFT sales were significantly slowing.

According to Reuters, June in particular has been a banner month for NFT sales. $150 million in sales were generated on the OpenSea NFT marketplace in that time; overall, reports indicate that the transaction volume of NFTs has multiplied by more than 25 since December of 2020. Sales overall were indisputably galvanized by the astonishing coup Christie’s pulled off in March when it sold an NFT made by the longtime net artist Beeple for $69.3 million, a sum which sent auction houses scrambling to assemble sales rosters which highlighted the non-fungible tokens.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on July 7, 2021 by Editor

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More Neanderthal Art

from artnet

Scientists Say an Intricately Carved 51,000-Year-Old Deer Bone Is the Earliest Example of Neanderthals’ Artistic Abilities

The bone was unearthed at the mouth of the Unicorn Cave in Germany.

by Caroline Goldstein

A 51,000-year-old deer bone with symbolic carvings. Photo: V. Minkus / Courtesy of Lower Saxony Office for Heritage.
A 51,000-year-old deer bone with symbolic carvings. Photo: V. Minkus / Courtesy of Lower Saxony Office for Heritage.

A 51,000-year-old carved bone fragment may be one of the earliest works of art, researchers announced in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

The work, made from a knuckle bone belonging to a hoofed animal (likely a deer), was unearthed at the entrance to the Unicorn Cave in West Herz by a team of German researchers in 2019.

The carved bone is decorated with 10 angled lines in a chevron pattern that are clearly intentional, and not just random or naturally occurring indentations.

Relying on multiple types of testing, including radiocarbon dating, scientists deduced that the bone had to have been carved by Neanderthals, and not modern homo sapiens, who did not come to the area until at least 1,000 years later.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on July 6, 2021 by Editor

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Spoilage Alert

from The Atlantic

The Internet Is Rotting

Too much has been lost already. The glue that holds humanity’s knowledge together is coming undone.

By Jonathan Zittrain

Computer with screen glitching out
Getty / Valerie Chiang

Sixty years ago the futurist Arthur C. Clarke observed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The internet—how we both communicate with one another and together preserve the intellectual products of human civilization—fits Clarke’s observation well. In Steve Jobs’s words, “it just works,” as readily as clicking, tapping, or speaking. And every bit as much aligned with the vicissitudes of magic, when the internet doesn’t work, the reasons are typically so arcane that explanations for it are about as useful as trying to pick apart a failed spell.

Underpinning our vast and simple-seeming digital networks are technologies that, if they hadn’t already been invented, probably wouldn’t unfold the same way again. They are artifacts of a very particular circumstance, and it’s unlikely that in an alternate timeline they would have been designed the same way.

The internet’s distinct architecture arose from a distinct constraint and a distinct freedom: First, its academically minded designers didn’t have or expect to raise massive amounts of capital to build the network; and second, they didn’t want or expect to make money from their invention.

The internet’s framers thus had no money to simply roll out a uniform centralized network the way that, for example, FedEx metabolized a capital outlay of tens of millions of dollars to deploy liveried planes, trucks, people, and drop-off boxes, creating a single point-to-point delivery system. Instead, they settled on the equivalent of rules for how to bolt existing networks together.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on July 3, 2021 by Editor

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Hollywood Blockchain

from The Observer

The Hidden Value Hollywood Hopes to Unlock With NFTs

By Brandon Katz

Marvel Fox NFT
Hollywood hopes to unlock the hidden value in NFTs. Pixabay

We live in an increasingly interconnected digital world that has altered the very ways in which we communicate, work, shop, consume entertainment, and live. This digital overhaul has even made standard currency an anachronism in its own time as crypto value such as bitcoin surges in usage, popularity, and widespread acceptance (Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin become the NFL’s first player to convert his entire salary to bitcoin in April). As the economy evolves in conjunction with cryptocurrency, it serves as a catalyst of change from within for the surrounding industry.

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens that are impossible to fake and represent unique one-of-a-kind value, have become the latest creation yielded by an ever-fluid online economy. Their surge is perhaps best punctuated by recent blockbuster art sales, including a $69 million purchase of 5,000 all-digital works by Wisconsin-based artist Beeple. The jaw-dropping, eye-opening transaction immediately elevated the decreasingly niche crypto asset to mainstream relevance.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on July 1, 2021 by Editor

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NFTs for Good

from Foreign Policy

Are NFTs Always Bad?

The digital assets known as “nonfungible tokens” could help artists make money from their work.

By Diana Seave Greenwald

A Sotheby's NFT sale.
Mad Dog Jones’s “Visor” goes on view as part of “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale” at Sotheby’s in London on June 4. TRISTAN FEWINGS/GETTY IMAGES FOR SOTHEBY’S

What are nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and when did they come into existence?

The key to understanding nonfungible tokens is the definition of the term “fungible.” A good or asset is fungible when it is interchangeable with a good or asset of the same type; it is not unique. Currency—from dollar bills to bitcoins—is fungible. Therefore, nonfungible goods are those that are unique. An original work of art is a clear example of a nonfungible good. NFTs in their current form represent a collision of these two forms: currency, specifically cryptocurrency, and art. According to an article tracing the history of NFTs, they emerged in their current form around 2014, although there are competing timelines and origin stories that would trace their emergence to 2012. Of course, the current mania for them is much more recent—emerging pretty much within the last year.

The final key component that allows both cryptocurrency and NFTs to function is a technology that records who owns what: the blockchain. This digital ledger is a decentralized system that, because it is distributed across users and not subject to centralized control, indelibly records transactions. This permanence of digital record-keeping is critical to understanding the interaction between the art market and NFTs.

[ click to continue reading at FP ]

Posted on June 28, 2021 by Editor

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Dragon Man

from BBC News

Scientists hail stunning ‘Dragon Man’ discovery

By Pallab Ghosh

Dragon Man Skull
IMAGE COPYRIGHT KAI GENG The Dragon Man’s skull is huge, with a brain size about the same as the average for our species

Chinese researchers have unveiled an ancient skull that could belong to a completely new species of human.

The team has claimed it is our closest evolutionary relative among known species of ancient human, such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus.

Nicknamed “Dragon Man”, the specimen represents a human group that lived in East Asia at least 146,000 years ago.

It was found at Harbin, north-east China, in 1933, but only came to the attention of scientists more recently.

An analysis of the skull has been published in the journal The Innovation.

“In terms of fossils in the last million years, this is one of the most important yet discovered,” he told BBC News.

“What you have here is a separate branch of humanity that is not on its way to becoming Homo sapiens (our species), but represents a long-separate lineage which evolved in the region for several hundred thousand years and eventually went extinct.”

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on June 27, 2021 by Editor

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Rest In Peace, Madman

from UnHerd

John McAfee: America’s last real wild man

The creator of the first commercial anti-virus software was one of a kind

BY BEN SIXSMITH

John McAfee describes as himself as a lover of women, adventure and mystery.

John McAfee, who died yesterday, was one of the oddest men of our times.

You might have thought Elon Musk was the most eccentric man in tech, with his fondness for memes, crypto-currencies and flamethrowers. Elon Musk was Joe Average compared to McAfee. The creator of the first commercial anti-virus software was one of a kind.

Did he have his neighbour in Belize killed for poisoning his dogs? A court ordered him to pay $25m over Gregory Faull’s apparent wrongful death. How many drugs was he on? He seems to have turned himself into a walking, talking laboratory. Was there any substance to his many tweets about having sex with whales? (“Whale fucking. No joke. Each year, on Feb 1st, in the Molokai Channel, a few men compete in the world’s only whale fucking contest…I competed once. Almost got my ribs crushed.)

Given all this madness, it seems anticlimactic that McAfee was set to be extradited to the US on charges of tax evasion. Then again, that was the charge that brought down Al Capone.

Officially, McAfee is reported to have committed suicide. Understandably, rumours are flying. McAfee himself had said, “Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.” His wife said before his death that the US government was “determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies.”

[ click to continue reading at UnHerd ]

Posted on June 26, 2021 by Editor

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Artificial Rembrandt

from NYT via DNYUZ

Rembrandt’s Damaged Masterpiece Is Whole Again, With A.I.’s Help

Rembrandt’s Damaged Masterpiece Is Whole Again, With A.I.’s Help

AMSTERDAM — Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” has been a national icon in the Netherlands ever since it was painted in 1642, but even that didn’t protect it.

In 1715, the monumental canvas was cut down on all four sides to fit onto a wall between two doors in Amsterdam’s Town Hall. The snipped pieces were lost. Since the 19th century, the trimmed painting has been housed in the Rijksmuseum, where it is displayed as the museum’s centerpiece, at the focal point of its Gallery of Honor.

Now, from Wednesday — for the first time in more than three centuries — it will be possible for the public to see the painting “nearly as it was intended,” said the museum’s director, Taco Dibbits.

Using new high-tech methods, including scanning technologies and artificial intelligence, the museum has reconstructed those severed parts and hung them next to the original, to give an idea of “The Night Watch” as Rembrandt intended it.

The cutdown painting is about 15 feet wide by 13 feet high. About two feet from the left of the canvas was shaved off, and another nine inches from the top. Lesser damage was done to the bottom, which lost about five inches, and the right side, which lost three.

Temporarily restoring these parts will give visitors a glimpse of what had been lost: three figures on the left-hand side (two men and a boy) and, more important, a feel for Rembrandt’s meticulous construction in the work’s composition. With the missing pieces, the original dynamism of the masterpiece is stirred back to life.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Editor

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Ministry of Psychology

from Psychology Today

The Universal Fundamentals of Al Jourgensen

A musician finds connection in creativity.

by Michael Friedman Ph.D.

In 1969, the late Jim Morrison of the Doors had a prophecy—the birth of electronic music. He imagined that “some brilliant kid will come along … a lone artist with lots of tapes … a keyboard with the complexity and richness of a whole orchestra.” What was critical about Morrison’s prophecy was his excitement about this new possibility. He did not seem afraid of electronics, but rather open to what humans could do with machines to amplify the creative and emotional experience of music.

One of those brilliant kids who came along was Al Jourgensen of the industrial band Ministry. Industrial music is an aggressive fusion of electronic music and rock that employs harsh and provocative sounds created by any number of machines—from synthesizers to tools found in factories. Anything goes—nothing is off-limits. And Jourgensen has embraced Morrison’s enthusiasm for the possibility that machines can bring to creativity over the past four decades, propelling Ministry to be considered one of the greatest industrial bands of all time.

But in talking with Jourgensen for the Hardcore Humanism Podcast, the art is only an extension of his deeper philosophy on human nature—what he describes as the “universal fundamental.” The universal fundamental is that all beings throughout the universe are connected to one another. And the way we stay connected and communicate is by perpetually engaging in a creative and dynamic process by which we take in the information the world gives us, interpret it in our own unique way, and send it back out into the world. Jourgensen’s embrace of the range of sounds that make up industrial music in general and Ministry’s music, in particular, is his way of staying connected to the “universal fundamental.”

At the core of Jourgensen’s approach to the world and his art is open-mindedness. Like Morrison, Jorgensen did not fear but rather reveled in the new opportunities provided by industrial music. Intricate to this perspective is that all sounds are fair game for music—not just the ones made by traditional instruments. If we want to be truly aware of and connected to human experience and the world around us, we need to listen to and utilize all available sounds in art.

“Basically, since the 19th century, we’ve been living in an industrial age. All of a sudden, there’s been all these new noises that had never been heard before on this planet. You know, cotton gin, steam presses, printing presses, all these large machineries that make these audible sounds that have never been heard,” Jourgensen told me. “We’re familiar with these sounds. It took a long time to get used to these, and nobody thought of them as music … but now you can go on online anywhere and get plugins or apps of pretty much every sound that’s ever been made.”

[ click to continue reading at PT ]

Posted on June 22, 2021 by Editor

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Death Of The Circus

from WaPo via MSN

Opinions | The disappearance of the circus from American life leaves us lonelier

by Les Standiford

Johnathan Lee Iverson et al. on a stage: Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson says farewell to the crowd alongside Paulo Dos Santos, center, and Tatiana Tchalabaev, right, at the end of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Uniondale, N.Y., in 2017. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson says farewell to the crowd alongside Paulo Dos Santos, center, and Tatiana Tchalabaev, right, at the end of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Uniondale, N.Y., in 2017. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

The cry “the circus is coming to town” once signaled a fourth major holiday, equivalent with Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July. Shops, public offices and schools closed, and an entire populace assembled to witness the parade of bands, clowns, exotic animals and bejeweled performers marching from the rail yards to the circus grounds, paced by aromatic elephants and shrieking calliope music all the way. But the circus did more than entertain. It reassured Americans that anything was possible.

The circus has roots extending back to Greek and Roman times when emperors stalked wild beasts in coliseums to the delight of crowds. It was revived in Turkey in the Middle Ages when acrobats walked ropes that stretched from one ship’s mast to that of another. During the 18th century, British equestrians found gainful employment after life in the calvary corps by performing impossible feats of horsemanship inside a carefully measured ring (42 feet in diameter to this day, maximizing the centripetal force that plants a performer upon the mount).

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Posted on June 20, 2021 by Editor

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Run Like Hell

from The New York Post

Roger Waters turns down ‘huge money’ for Facebook ad: ‘No f–kin’ way’

By Rob Bailey-Millado

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters says he turned an "a huge, huge amount of money" from that "little p--k" Mark Zuckerberg.
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters says he turned down “a huge, huge amount of money” from that “little p–k” Mark Zuckerberg.

Roger Waters has revealed that Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg offered him big bucks to use Pink Floyd’s classic 1979 anthem “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” in an Instagram ad.

However, the co-founding member of the iconic rock band turned the “little p–k” down flat — with a cantankerously foulmouthed touch.

“It arrived this morning, with an offer for a huge, huge amount of money,” the 77-year-old bassist and composer said at a recent pro-Julian Assange event, Rolling Stone reported. “And the answer is, ‘F–k you. No f–in’ way.’”

He continued: “I only mention that because this is an insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything. I will not be a party to this bulls–t, Zuckerberg.”

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Posted on June 15, 2021 by Editor

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Yea! Coffee

from NYT via DNYUZ

The Health Benefits of Coffee

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Americans sure love their coffee. Even last spring when the pandemic shut down New York, nearly every neighborhood shop that sold takeout coffee managed to stay open, and I was amazed at how many people ventured forth to start their stay-at-home days with a favorite store-made brew.

One elderly friend who prepandemic had traveled from Brooklyn to Manhattan by subway to buy her preferred blend of ground coffee arranged to have it delivered. “Well worth the added cost,” she told me. I use machine-brewed coffee from pods, and last summer when it seemed reasonably safe for me to shop I stocked up on a year’s supply of the blends I like. (Happily, the pods are now recyclable.)

All of us should be happy to know that whatever it took to secure that favorite cup of Joe may actually have helped to keep us healthy. The latest assessments of the health effects of coffee and caffeine, its main active ingredient, are reassuring indeed. Their consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, depression, suicide, cirrhosis, liver cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.

In fact, in numerous studies conducted throughout the world, consuming four or five eight-ounce cups of coffee (or about 400 milligrams of caffeine) a day has been associated with reduced death rates. In a study of more than 200,000 participants followed for up to 30 years, those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day, with or without caffeine, were 15 percent less likely to die early from all causes than were people who shunned coffee. Perhaps most dramatic was a 50 percent reduction in the risk of suicide among both men and women who were moderate coffee drinkers, perhaps by boosting production of brain chemicals that have antidepressant effects.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on June 14, 2021 by Editor

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Ned Beatty Gone

from DEADLINE

Ned Beatty Dies: Oscar-Nominated Star Of ‘Network’ & ‘Deliverance’ With More Than 160 Screen Credits Was 83

By Matt Grobar

Ned Beatty, a prolific, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor who did memorable turns in such films as NetworkDeliverance and Christopher Reeve’s first two Superman pics and was a three-season regular on Homicide: Life on the Street, died Sunday in his sleep. He was 83.

Beatty’s manager, Deborah Miller, confirmed the news to Deadline, saying the actor died of natural causes, surrounded by his family and loved ones. No other details about his death were provided.

“Ned was an iconic, legendary talent, as well as a dear friend,” said Miller, “and he will be missed by us all.”

Born on July 6, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, Beatty kicked off his career as an actor around the age of 19, when he appeared on stage in the play Wilderness Road. He spent his first 10 years in the profession working in theaters across Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.

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Posted on June 13, 2021 by Editor

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Chainsmokers 3BLACKDOT Emo

from Variety

Chainsmokers Get Behind Scripted Film Set in Emo Music Scene, ‘Every Nite Is Emo Nite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

By Chris Willman

Emo Night feature film

The EDM-pop duo the Chainsmokers is among the backers of a scripted feature film, “Every Nite Is Emo Nite,” that is in development with the goal of placing fictional characters amid the real-life setting of the Emo Nite events that have gained in popularity after beginning on L.A.’s club circuit.

Participating in the development of a screenplay by Brandon Zuck are the Chainsmokers’ production company, Kick the Habit Productions; 3BLACKDOT, which recently announced a three-picture deal for horror films with Eli Roth and rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson; Five All in the Fifth; and Emo Nite’s co-founders.

Although emo is not the Chainsmokers’ signature genre, the members of the duo, Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, said in a joint statement to Variety that “emo music has greatly influenced our lives, taste and the music we make. The community around the music is one of a kind, and we’re excited to showcase Brandon’s amazing story for the world to see.” 

Taggart and Pall’s producer partners in Kick the Habit are Dan Marcus and Adam Alpert. The producers for 3BD are James Frey, Reginald Cash and Mitchell Smith. The Five All in the Fifth producers on the project are Douglas Banker and Alex Garinger.

[ click to read entire article at Variety ]

Posted on June 11, 2021 by Editor

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Hell, I’m not a punk.

from Inside Hook

Richard Hell on New York City and Revisiting “Destiny Street” (Twice)

The legendary musician reflects on his final album

BY CHRIS COTONOU

Richard Hell reflects on "Destiny Street."
Richard Hell reflects on “Destiny Street.” Roberta Bayley

Richard Hell doesn’t like being called a punk. It’s surprising, considering he’s remembered as a punk innovator. He’s a man who defined New York’s 1970s CBGB era, influenced the Sex Pistols and was a member of some of the greatest punk bands of all time: Television, The Heartbreakers and The Voidoids — before walking away from it all. But he’s sure: “I’m not a punk.”

Speaking to InsideHook from his home, Hell is an introspective person. He has already lived three or four different lives outside of music, having arrived in New York as a poet, then a publisher, an author, an actor and a film critic. He has even directed a short film. But it’s the records where he solidified his status as an icon: that skinny, bare-chested frame on the cover of Blank Generation, the hazy, mischievous glare — tired after weeks, maybe months, of shenanigans. And his singing, which was more playful and debonair than his growling punk contemporaries, set him apart. 

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Posted on June 10, 2021 by Editor

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Koons Dada Beeple

from NEWSWEEK

Don’t Dismiss Digital Art

by MAX RASKIN, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LAW, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

A woman looks at a NFT
A woman looks at a NFT by Ryoji Ikeda titled “A Single Number That Has 10,000,086 Digits” during a media preview on June 4, 2021, at Sotheby’s for the Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale Online Auction to take place June 10, 2021. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Art is now digital, and a debate is raging: Are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) worth the exorbitant prices they are selling for? The simple answer is yes. If someone voluntarily pays a huge amount for something, he values it more than the money he hands over. Others may disagree with his choice, but that’s what makes a free society.

How else could you explain an “invisible” sculpture that recently sold for over $18,000? Price is guided by scarcity and subjective valuation—not by the cost of raw materials and labor or objective truth. Sculpturist Jeff Koons broke a record several years ago selling a rabbit statue made of stainless steel for $91 million. If you broke down his creation into scrap, it’d be worth a few feet of train track. Yet this was heralded as a wise investment in the art world.

With money machines around the world humming, it is not surprising that pieces of digital art have been selling at record prices. More money is chasing fewer goods, which causes prices to rise. A virtual collage from the artist known as Beeple recently sold at Christie’s for $69 million.

[ click to continue reading at NEWSWEEK ]

Posted on June 9, 2021 by Editor

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The Future of The Car is The Skateboard

from The Wall Street Journal

The Future of Classic Porsches and Jaguars? Electrification

Owners of vintage sports cars and hot rods are giving them a second life by installing recycled Tesla powertrains. Dan Neil gets the lowdown on EV conversions.

By Dan Neil

ZOOM SCHOOL San Diego-based Zelectric’s Tesla-powered 1968 Porsche 912. Its 500-hp drive unit is installed between the rear wheels. The upper part of the former engine bay has been transformed into trunk space. Steering and brakes are unassisted. PHOTO: ZELECTRIC

“She called me on Monday to tell me how much she loved it,” Mr. Davis said, “and in the next breath how she could not wait for me to get it out of her garage. It reeked of gasoline and was dripping oil on the floor. It’s hard to start. It’s got two chokes, an old four-speed transmission. So what happens? Her passion, her dream of the car fades away.”

“When she gets it back,” Mr. Davis said, “she can just press the pedal and go.”

Gasoline-to-EV conversions are not new. I met a JPL scientist in Pasadena, Calif., who had done the same to his MG British sports car in 1965, using lead-acid batteries. Facebook and the website EValbum.com document decades of such projects, from mild to wild, mowers to dragsters, by over-functioning DIY Quixotes.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on June 8, 2021 by Editor

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Willie

from The Wall Street Journal

Why Willie Nelson Is America’s Favorite Outlaw

At 88, Willie Nelson is still singing, writing, championing the causes he believes in—and staying true to his renegade Texas roots

By Alan Light

PHOTO: MARK SELIGER

Being stuck at home has been brutal for many of us, but it’s different for Willie Nelson. He’s spent most of his life on a tour bus, logging over 100 shows a year for decades; his signature song is “On the Road Again.” The guy wasn’t trained to be an indoor cat.

His response to quarantine has been a schedule and productivity that would be daunting for someone half his age. In the past year, Nelson has released two albums—First Rose of Spring and, more recently, That’s Life, songs from Frank Sinatra’s catalog; written his 10th book, Willie Nelson’s Letters to America; organized and performed at multiple livestream benefits (including the 35th annual concert for Farm Aid, an organization he helped found); delivered a keynote address at the (virtual) South by Southwest festival; recorded a version of “I’ll Be Seeing You” as a PSA for Covid vaccination; launched a new cannabis convention; and turned up on additional duets and recordings. It’s not the same as being on the bus, but it’s not a bad showing for a guy who turned 88 in April.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on June 4, 2021 by Editor

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Even Cooler Than NFT

from HypeBeast

Italian Artist Salvatore Garau Has Just Sold an Invisible Sculpture for $18,000 USD

Made from “air and spirit.”

By Ambrose Leung

Italian artist Salvatore Garau has just sold an invisible sculpture for $18,000 USD. The Io Sono (I am) sculpture, as the artist explains, exists but just not in material form, and is actually more like a “vacuum.”

The 67-year-old went on to elaborate that, “the vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.” Much like how we “shape a god we’ve never seen.”

The “sculpture” is intended to be displayed in a 5×5-foot square and must be displayed in a private space free from obstructions where lighting and climate control are not required. Reiterating that even if you can’t see it, it does exist, Garau included a certificate of authentication to the purchaser.

[ click to continue reading at HYPEBEAST ]

Posted on June 3, 2021 by Editor

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Super-prodigy

from Fox 5 NY

Piano prodigy practices for Carnegie Hall performance

By Stacey Delikat

GREENWICH, Conn. – Her fingers may be small, her tiny feet far from the pedals, but Brigitte Xie has some massive talent.

Xie is just 3 years old but in six months she has progressed more on the piano than some people do over the course of years.

“She is really exceptional,” said Felicia Feng Zhang, her teacher. “She listens so well. When I demonstrate, she really watches what I did and imitates well.”

Last summer as the pandemic wore on, Xie’s parents, Nicole Sun and Tao Xie of Ridgefield, Connecticut, were looking for something to keep their toddler busy. They connected with Zhang, an award-winning piano teacher. After a few online lessons, Xie’s parents brought her to Zhang’s Greenwich studio for in-person lessons.

[ click to continue reading at Fox 5 NY ]

Posted on June 1, 2021 by Editor

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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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