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The Long-tail Rising

from Showbiz 411

What Year Is It? Oldies Take Up 8 of the Top 20 on iTunes Including 1994 “Zombie” and 1970 “Spirit in the Sky”

by Roger Friedman

What year is it again? While Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” is number 1, and Justin Bieber is in the top 10, the iTunes chart continues to be rife with Oldies. Oldies!

It’s comfort food for the pandemic, I guess.

On the iTunes Top 20, 8 of the entries are oldies but goodies. They include Norman Greenbaum’s unintentionally spiritual “Spirit in the Sky” from 1970 and the Cranberries’ “Zombie” from 1994. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” a song with with 9 lives, is number 4. The late 70s hit already had a massive run on the charts last year after going viral from a fan video. “Dreams” won’t go away.

[ click to continue reading at Showbiz 411 ]

Posted on April 11, 2021 by Editor

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Critic Declares Warhol Not Lame

from The New York Times

Warhol a Lame Copier? The Judges Who Said So Are Sadly Mistaken.

An appeals court ruled that Andy Warhol violated a photographer’s copyright by appropriating her image for a silk-screen he did in 1984. Our critic disagrees.

By Blake Gopnik

Andy Warhol’s ”Prince,” which became the subject of a court case over copyright issues.
Andy Warhol’s ”Prince,” which became the subject of a court case over copyright issues. Credit…The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A few years back, a bevy of art critics declared that Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 sculpture called “Fountain” — a store-bought urinal he had presented, unchanged, as art — was the most influential work of the 20th century. Andy Warhol’s 1964 Brillo Boxes — copies of scouring-pad cartons presented as art — could easily have come a close second. The philosopher Arthur Danto built an illustrious career, and a whole school of thought, around the importance of those boxes to understanding the very nature of artworks.

Last month, three federal appellate judges in Manhattan decided they knew more about art than any old critic or philosopher: Whether they quite meant to or not, their ruling had the effect of declaring that the landmark inventions of Duchamp and Warhol — the “appropriation” they practiced, to use the term of art — were not worthy of the legal protection that other creativity is given under copyright law.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 10, 2021 by Editor

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Almost da Vinci

from France 24

World’s priciest painting not a full da Vinci, claims doc

The painting was last auctioned at Christie's in New York in 2017
The painting was last auctioned at Christie’s in New York in 2017 TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

A French documentary has cast fresh doubts over the world’s most expensive painting, the “Salvator Mundi” credited to Leonardo da Vinci, revealing a resulting diplomatic tussle between France and its Saudi owner.

The painting of Jesus Christ, nicknamed the “male Mona Lisa”, was sold at a 2017 Christies auction in New York for a record $450 million.

Its secret buyer was later revealed to be Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, though this is still denied in Riyadh.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on April 8, 2021 by Editor

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Baby Satting

from SF Gate

Satellite technology puts into orbit swarms of spacecraft no bigger than a loaf of bread

Christian Davenport, The Washington Post

The Superdove mini-satellite manufactured by Planet.
The Superdove mini-satellite manufactured by Planet. Photo by Planet Labs

The avalanche was a stunning disaster, 247 million cubic feet of glacial ice and snow hurtling down the Tibetan mountain range at 185 mph. Nine people and scores of animals were killed in an event that startled scientists around the world.

As they researched why the avalanche occurred with such force, researchers studying climate change pored over images taken in the days and weeks before and saw that ominous cracks had begun to form in the ice and snow. Then, scanning photos of a nearby glacier, they noticed similar crevasses forming, touching off a scramble to warn local authorities that it was also about to come crashing down.

The images of the glaciers came from a constellation of satellites no bigger than a shoe box, in orbit 280 miles up. Operated by San Francisco-based company Planet, the satellites, called Doves, weigh just over 10 pounds each and fly in “flocks” that today include 175 satellites. If one fails, the company replaces it, and as better batteries, solar arrays and cameras become available, the company updates its satellites the way Apple unveils a new iPhone.

[ click to continue reading at SF Gate ]

Posted on April 6, 2021 by Editor

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Wheelmaker

from WIRED

Who Invented the Wheel? And How Did They Do It?

The wagon—and the wagon wheel—could not have been put together in stages. Either it works, or it doesn’t. And it enabled humans to spread rapidly into huge parts of the world.

by CODY CASSIDY

Woman's shadow cast on old wooden wheel
ILLUSTRATION: CASEY CHIN

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of years before the invention of the wheel, some unlucky hominin stepped on a loose rock or unstable log and—just before they cracked their skull—discovered that a round object reduces friction with the ground. 

The inevitability of this moment of clarity explains the ancient ubiquity of rollers, which are simply logs put underneath heavy objects. The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians used them to build their pyramids and roll their heavy equipment, and the Polynesians to move the stone moai statues on Easter Island. But rollers aren’t terribly efficient, because they have to be replaced as they roll forward, and even if they’re pinned underneath, friction makes them horribly difficult to move. The solution—and the stroke of brilliance—was the axle. Yet despite the roller’s antiquity, it doesn’t appear that anyone, anywhere, discovered the wheel and axle until an ingenious potter approximately 6,000 years ago.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 4, 2021 by Editor

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The Invisible NFT

from VICE

People’s Expensive NFTs Keep Vanishing. This Is Why

“There was no history of my ever purchasing it, or ever owning it,” said one confused NFT buyer. “Now there’s nothing. My money’s gone.”

By Ben Munster

File:NFT Icon.png
Wikimedia Commons

Last month, Tom Kuennen, a property manager from Ontario, coughed up $500 worth of cryptocurrency for a JPEG of an Elon Musk-themed “Moon Ticket” from DarpaLabs, an anonymous digital art collective. He purchased it through the marketplace OpenSea, one of the largest vendors of so-called non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, in the hopes of reselling it for a profit. 

“It’s like a casino,” he said in an interview. “If it goes up 100 times you resell it, if it doesn’t, well, you don’t tell anyone.”

He never got the chance to find out. A week later, he opened up his digital “wallet,” where the artwork would supposedly be available, and was faced with an ominous banner reading, “This page has gone off grid. We’ve got a 404 error and explored deep and wide, but we can’t find the page you’re looking for.” 

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on April 1, 2021 by Editor

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Warhol Loses

from AP

US court sides with photographer in fight over Warhol art

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

In this 1976 file photo, pop artist Andy Warhol smiles in New York. A federal appeals court sided with a photographer Friday, March 26, 2021, in her copyright dispute over how a foundation has marketed a series of Andy Warhol works of art based on her pictures of Prince. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. appeals court sided with a photographer Friday in a copyright dispute over how a foundation has marketed a series of Andy Warhol works of art based on one of her pictures of Prince.

The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the artwork created by Warhol before his 1987 death was not transformative and could not overcome copyright obligations to photographer Lynn Goldsmith. It returned the case to a lower court for further proceedings.

In a statement, Goldsmith said she was grateful to the outcome in the 4-year-old fight initiated by a lawsuit from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She said the foundation wanted to “use my photograph without asking my permission or paying me anything for my work.”

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on March 27, 2021 by Editor

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The Good Ol’ Days of Movies and Mosquitoes

from Architecture Digest

The 25 Most Charming Drive-In Movie Theaters Left in America

Forget Netflix, of the roughly 350 remaining drive-in theaters in the U.S., these establishments are quintessential Americana

By Kristine Hansen

red car by fence with blue skies
Photo: Courtesy of Finger Lakes Drive-In

When it comes to midcentury design, boomerang tables and walnut credenzas get all the love. But what about drive-in movie theaters? Although many succumbed to the popularity of indoor cinemas, followed by the rise of Netflix, about 350 remain in operation today, a steep dive from the 4,000 or so that once served as after-dark entertainment during summer. One is even opening in Nashville in next month or so: the August Moon Drive-In, a re-creation of a 1960s drive-in—complete with burgers, shakes, and classic cars—as well as the largest non-IMAX theater in the country. From New York’s Hudson Valley to Southern California, here are 25 of the most charming from coast to coast, folding in ambiance and décor from a bygone era (complete with vintage cars). Bring a soft blanket, lawn chairs, and bug spray, plus some cash for popcorn, and you’ve got all the goods for the perfect summer evening.

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on March 25, 2021 by Editor

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Madnfts In The Housing Market

from CNN

World’s first digital NFT house sells for $500,000

by Lianne Kolirin

The NFT digital Mars House sold for more than $500,000.
The NFT digital Mars House sold for more than $500,000. Credit: Courtesy Krista Kim

Having spent so much time at home over the last year, many people are craving a change in their surroundings. But if a coat of paint or some creative renovations fail to do the trick, there is now a more extreme alternative: The digital house. Mars House, the world’s first digital NFT (non-fungible token) home, has recently sold for more than $500,000.

NFTs have made headlines recently, allowing digital art and other musings such as drawings or music to be sold online.An NFT is a unique digital token which effectively verifies authenticity and ownership. It is encrypted with the artist’s signature on the blockchain, a digital ledger used in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The new owner paid digital artist Krista Kim 288 Ether — a cryptocurrency that is equivalent to $514,557.79 — for the virtual property. In exchange, the buyer will receive 3D files to upload to his or her “Metaverse.”Metaverse is a virtual extension of our world, Kim told CNN Tuesday, where plots of virtual land are purchased and traded, and digital homes and business are built.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on March 23, 2021 by Editor

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Big Brother Pollock

from artnet

Jackson Pollock’s Older Brother Charles Was the Family’s First Artist. Now, an Exhibition Brings Their Work Together for the First Time

Their careers diverged, but the brothers remained devoted to each other.

by Katie White

Jackson and Charles Pollock in New York 1930 Courtesy of the Archives of Charles Pollock, Paris.
Jackson and Charles Pollock in New York 1930 Courtesy of the Archives of Charles Pollock, Paris.

Did Jackson Pollock become an artist because he was copycatting his older brother? Believe it or not, the pugnacious Abstract Expressionist was the baby brother in his family—the youngest of five sons born to Leroy and Stella Pollock. What’s more, he wasn’t his family’s first artist. That title belonged to Charles, the eldest of the Pollock brood and a decade Jackson’s senior. 

“Charles started this whole damn thing,” said Sanford McCoy, the Pollocks’ middle brother, once in an interview. “Charles was the fellow who had the intellectual curiosity all along.”

Now, “Charles and Jackson Pollock” an exhibition at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida, (through March 28) marks the first time that works by the two brothers have been shown side by side. 

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on March 19, 2021 by Editor

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The Old Game Lady

from Bloomberg via MSN

Facing Post-Trump Slowdown, New York Times Eyes $100 Billion Games Market

by Gerry Smith

Four new games, appearing on selected days, will accompany the crossword and KenKen in our print edition. 

(Bloomberg) — The most searched-for terms on the New York Times website last year weren’t “Trump” or “Biden” or even “coronavirus.”

They were “crosswords” and “Spelling Bee,” the name of the Times’s online word game — part of the newspaper’s attempt to grab a bigger piece of the $100 billion market for mobile games.

The Times is under pressure lately to diversify away from news. With Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency over — and the riveting events of 2020 in the rearview mirror — the newspaper has warned that subscriber gains won’t continue at the rate they did last year. So the company is looking to games to help maintain its momentum. 

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on March 18, 2021 by Editor

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The Antikythera Mechanism

from artnet

This Mysterious Ancient Greek Device May Be the First Computer. Now Scientists Have Just Taken a Big Step Towards Making It Work

The Antikythera Mechanism has been recreated in a computer simulation—yet enigmas still remain.

by Sarah Cascone

A fragment of the Antikythera Mechanism at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece. Photo courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece.
A fragment of the Antikythera Mechanism at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece. Photo courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece.

Scientists are one step closer to unlocking the secrets of the 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, considered the world’s first computer, thanks to a new computer-generated reconstruction of the ancient device.

Researchers from the University College London have unveiled their computational model in the journal Scientific Reports, and are currently in the midst of building a physical replica.

Discovered in 1901 off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera, the mechanism was actually an astrological clock that would have shown the movement of the five known planets and predicted astronomical events such as the phases of the moon and lunar and solar eclipses—but with the earth placed at the center of the universe.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on March 15, 2021 by Editor

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Marvelous Marvin Gone

from The Daily Mail

Undisputed middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler dies at age 66 after one of his biggest rivals Tommy Hearns said he was ‘in an ICU fighting the effects of the vaccine’

By MALCOLM BROWN

Boxing was in mourning on Saturday night after the shock death of one its all-time greats, Marvin Hagler, at just 66, after he reportedly suffered side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The American boxer – born in Newark, New Jersey – dominated the sport’s middleweight scene, which he was champion of between 1980 and 1987.  

He was also named as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1980s by Boxing Illustrated magazine and won the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year award twice. 

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on March 14, 2021 by Editor

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Back to Smallville

from The Wall Street Journal

Small-Town Natives Are Moving Back Home

For many young people, returning to struggling communities means exchanging prosperity for a more rooted life.

By Grace Olmstead

PHOTO: JENN ACKERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

My great-grandfather, who died in 2007, stayed in the same little Idaho farm town for all 96 years of his life. Even as his siblings left the farm and traveled the world, “Grandpa Dad,” as we called him, turned down opportunities for adventure and bigger paychecks. But he had something that many people who have left their hometowns behind, like me, would like to regain: roots.

Over the past few years, a growing number of Americans have been moving back to the small towns and rural communities they were once encouraged to leave. Thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, 52% of adults age 18 to 29 lived with their parents in 2020, the largest share since the Great Depression, according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, Census Bureau data indicate that large metro areas have seen declining growth and in some instances population losses since 2010.

Many people move home to help out with family businesses, support aging loved ones or share the joys of small-town life with their kids. I left Fruitland, Idaho, for college on the East Coast in 2009 and now live in northern Virginia. While writing a book about the farm community where I grew up, however, I discovered many people who have chosen to move back home as part of a larger mission. They are fighting rural poverty, restoring broken food economies and bringing health back to neglected soil. Their vision of success has less to do with financial prosperity or personal comfort than with the more demanding values of stewardship, investment and care. 

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on March 13, 2021 by Editor

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Always Worth Watching Again

Posted on March 12, 2021 by Editor

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NFT ART

from NBC News

Digital artwork sells for record $69 million at Christie’s first NFT auction

The first purely digital work sold by an established auction house brings blockchain into the world of fine art.

By Michela Moscufo

Image: Beeple
Digital art collage by Beeple, Christie’s Auction House / AFP – Getty Images

Christie’s auction house sold its first purely digital artwork Thursday for a record $69 million, the highest price paid for an NFT, or nonfungible token.

The work, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” is by Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name Beeple. The work is a collage of 5,000 drawings, one created and posted every day for the past 13 and a half years.

Originally created with pen and paper and now mostly illustration software, the sketches run the gamut from an angular line drawing of his first baby to Hillary Clinton and well-known cartoon characters.

The winning bidder owns the work in the form of a unique string of code, called a nonfungible token. The piece has no physical presence and will be “delivered directly from Beeple to the buyer, accompanied by a unique NFT encrypted with the artist’s unforgeable signature and uniquely identified on the blockchain,” Christie’s said.

[ continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on March 11, 2021 by Editor

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Shapira’s Scroll

from DNYUZ

Is a Long-Dismissed Forgery Actually the Oldest Known Biblical Manuscript?

Is a Long-Dismissed Forgery Actually the Oldest Known Biblical Manuscript?

In 1883, a Jerusalem antiquities dealer named Moses Wilhelm Shapira announced the discovery of a remarkable artifact: 15 manuscript fragments, supposedly discovered in a cave near the Dead Sea. Blackened with a pitchlike substance, their paleo-Hebrew script nearly illegible, they contained what Shapira claimed was the “original” Book of Deuteronomy, perhaps even Moses’ own copy.

The discovery drew newspaper headlines around the world, and Shapira offered the treasure to the British Museum for a million pounds. While the museum’s expert evaluated it, two fragments were put on display, attracting throngs of visitors, including Prime Minister William Gladstone.

Then disaster struck.

Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau, a swashbuckling French archaeologist and longtime nemesis of Shapira’s, had been granted a few minutes with several of the fragments, after promising to hold his judgment until the museum issued its report. But the next morning, he went to the press and denounced them as forgeries.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on March 10, 2021 by Editor

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ALPHA BETAS Exclusive Clips

from RCR News Media

Check Out Bonus Scenes from ALPHA BETAS, a New Animated Series Featuring Some of YouTube’s Biggest Gaming Personalities #Video

By Davey N

In Alpha Betas, video games are powering the world thanks to a massive, top-secret CIA program. In the comedic style of Rick & Morty meets Westworld, the show follows an elite virtual strike force of four top gamers as they drop into the virtual realms of video games to fix potentially world-ending issues. Known as the Alpha Team, these four willfully reckless and dangerously arrogant guys are the tip of a five-hundred billion dollar US Government spear sent to be heroes in high-octane pixelated worlds.

Here’s a few new scenes to get what Alpha Betas is all about:

[ click to continue viewing at RCR ]

Posted on March 9, 2021 by Editor

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ALPHA BETAS otw

from BubbleBlabber

Alpha Betas: A New Mission Takes Hold In The Go Home Clip

by John Schwarz

The final clip for Alpha Betas is here in anticipation of the comedy pilot which premieres on March 13th.

The half-hour comedy stars leading gaming influencers VanossGaming, BasicallyIDoWrk, I AM WILDCAT and Terroriser, and the project marks the first long-scripted television series from the group, who bring a collective audience of over 40 million fans across social media.

In #AlphaBetas​, video games are powering the world thanks to a massive, top-secret CIA program. The show follows an elite virtual strike force of four top gamers as they drop into the virtual realms of video games to fix potentially world-ending issues. Known as the Alpha Team, these four willfully reckless and dangerously arrogant guys are the tip of a five-hundred billion dollar US Government spear sent to be heroes in high-octane pixelated worlds.

[ click to continue reading at BubbleBlabber ]

Posted on March 8, 2021 by Editor

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Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Tackle Rothko

from Deadline

‘Rothko’: Sam Taylor-Johnson To Direct Art-World Drama With Russell Crowe, Aisling Franciosi, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, More — EFM Hot Package

By Andreas Wiseman

Russell Crowe, Aisling Franciosi, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor Johnson / Mega

Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades Of Grey) is to direct starry drama Rothko, which will chart how Kate Rothko, the daughter of revered U.S. painter Mark Rothko, was drawn into a well-publicised legal battle to honor her father’s legacy.

We can reveal that the film will star rising actress Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale), Oscar-winner Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind), Golden Globe-winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Golden Globe-nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name) and BAFTA-winner Jared Harris (Chernobyl).

Crowe will play artist Mark Rothko and Franciosi will portray his daughter Kate.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on March 6, 2021 by Editor

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Tia Mowry’s Favorite Books

from Marie Claire

Tia Mowry Shares Her All-Time Favorite Books in ‘Shelf Portrait’

She has a gorgeous library in her bedroom!

By Marie Claire

Tia Mowry’s chic library, located in her room (a dream!), is filled with a variety of books alongside her “shrine of accomplishments,” as seen in Marie Claire’s latest episode of Shelf Portrait, where celebrities, influencers, and famous bookworms invite us inside their homes to show off their personal libraries.

Mowry proudly has her first book, Oh, Baby!, displayed on her shelf, as well as candles, flowers, sage, and pictures. In the video, she reveals her five favorite books of all time are James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces (everybody is struggling with something in their life and this books speaks to that), Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret (she says it changed her life!), Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements (it gave her so much wisdom), Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (it’s all about looking for the signs), and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love (the ultimate lesson that women can create their own journey).

[ click to continue reading at Marie Claire ]

Posted on March 4, 2021 by Editor

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Magnes and The Real Porsche

from Inside Hook

Street Racing Through LA With Magnus Walker, The World’s Most Notorious Porsche Collector

The stories behind Magnus Walker and Daniel Malikyar’s new photo series are almost better than the images themselves. Almost.

BY ALEX LAUER

Magnus Walker Porsche 277 in the LA River
Magnus Walker, left, in his 277, a highly modified Porsche 911. Daniel Malikyar via Santo Gallery

“Yesterday I drove a $4 million Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, which was really impressive,” says Magnus Walker, “but it’s a car that is way out of my league.” 

From looking at his Instagram, you wouldn’t believe any car is out of Magnus Walker’s league. One day he’s cruising around in a six-figure Ferrari in Los Angeles, another he’s testing the chops of the new Ford Bronco in the middle of nowhere. You see, Walker has become one of the most recognizable Porsche collectors and customizers in the world — known as much for his signature “Outlaw” builds as his signature dreadlocks and Gandalf beard — and with that repute comes the opportunity to drive all manner of rarefied automobiles, if not own them. Despite that access, there’s still plenty left on his vehicular bucket list, and that’s where Daniel Malikyar comes in.

Together, the two collaborated on a new photography series in which they set out to “[capture] the fine art of urban racing” in L.A. The images, which are available for purchase through Santo Gallery in limited-edition prints starting February 19, sit at the intersection of old-school hot rods in car magazines and new-school car porn on Instagram feeds. That dichotomy comes straight from the creators: Walker is a 53-year-old gearhead and British expat, while Malikyar is a 26-year-old Afghan-American virtuoso, the co-founder of Santo with a portfolio of gripping photography and film work that belies his years. 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on March 3, 2021 by Editor

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Gaming With Spotify

from WIRED

How to Bust Your Spotify Feedback Loop and Find New Music

Does the algorithm know you too well? Here’s how to shake up your recommendations for a more varied listening experience.

by VICTORIA TURK, WIRED UK

a girl laying down listening to music PHOTOGRAPH: JUSTIN PAGET/GETTY IMAGES

IF YOU’RE LISTENING to music right now, chances are you didn’t choose what to put on—you outsourced it to an algorithm. Such is the popularity of recommendation systems that we’ve come to rely on them to serve us what we want without us even having to ask, with music streaming services such as  Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer all using personalized systems to suggest playlists or tracks tailored to the user.

Generally, these systems are very good. The problem, for some, is that they’re perhaps really too good. They’ve figured out your taste, know exactly what you listen to, and recommend more of the same until you’re stuck in an endless pit of ABBA recordings (just me?). But what if you want to break out of your usual routine and try something new? Can you train or trick the algorithm into suggesting a more diverse range?

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on March 1, 2021 by Editor

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Fred Segal Gone

from Deadline

Fred Segal Dies: Iconic Retailer Who Defined L.A. Fashion Was 87

By Bruce Haring

Fred Segal, who was a fashion icon in Los Angeles for more than 60 years, has died because of complications from a stroke, his representatives confirmed Friday. He was 87.

“In 1961, Fred Segal created a retail scene that defined Los Angeles fashion and sparked a revolutionary shift in style that has transcended the last six decades. Fred Segal pioneered the shop-in-shop concept and experiential retail, resulting in a brand built on heritage, inclusivity and love that changed the face of retail forever,” read a statement.

Fred Segal’s became known as a high-end fashion boutique with a young and hip vibe. The stores lured customers including the Beatles, Elvis, Diana Ross, the Jackson Five, Nicole Kidman and Jefferson Airplane, among many others.

When Segal opened his West Hollywood store, 85 percent of the inventory in the 350‑square‑foot store was blue. Later, in a 700-square-foot store on Santa Monica Boulevard, Segal’s form-fitting fashion was a big hit. That led to a jeans-only store on Melrose at Crescent Heights in 1960 in the heyday of that retail strip, and he soon created the first “Jeans Bar.” Fred Segal’s denim designs for men and women were selling for $19.95 when jeans were typically $3.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on February 26, 2021 by Editor

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Etna Anew

from Associated Press

Mt Etna’s latest eruptions awe even those who study volcanos

ROME (AP) — Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, has awed even seasoned volcanologists in recent days with spectacular spurts of lava lighting up the Sicilian sky each night.

The latest eruption overnight petered out by around 0900 GMT Tuesday, according to Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology. 

For over a week, Etna has been belching lava, ash and volcanic rocks on a regular basis. The nearby Catania Airport closed temporarily, and residents of the town of Pedara said it appeared one day last week as if it were raining rocks as a thick blanket of ash covered the town.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on February 23, 2021 by Editor

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Mad Madlib

from The New Yorker

The Obsessive Beat-Making of Madlib

The producer’s new album, “Sound Ancestors,” a collaboration with Four Tet, distills his eclectic, globe-trotting approach to sampling.

By Hua Hsu

Madlib and Four Tet
Illustration by Saddo

Madlib has always seemed more concerned with making music than with the question of what to do with it. The forty-seven-year-old producer and multi-instrumentalist has estimated that he makes hundreds of beats a week, many of which he never shares with anyone. His beats are a form of homage. He listens carefully to an old record, trying to squeeze every musical possibility out of it, to follow every path not taken. Sometimes it’s therapeutic. The week that Prince died, Madlib mourned by making tracks built on Prince samples. Following the death of his collaborator J Dilla, and then that of MF DOOM, he stayed awake for days, making hundreds of hours of music. Since the nineties, Madlib has essentially been building a private, ever-expanding library of beats, which spans everything from hip-hop, jazz, and soul to German rock, industrial music, Brazilian funk, and Bollywood. He has released dozens of albums under just as many aliases. Sometimes the aliases splinter off to form side projects. For Madlib, making music is as elemental as eating or sleeping, though he claims to do very little of the latter.

Madlib, born Otis Jackson, Jr., was brought up in Oxnard, California. His father was a soul singer, and his mother was a pianist. As a teen-ager, he and his brother, Michael, who raps and produces as Oh No, formed a hip-hop collective called the Crate Diggas Palace. Madlib’s first major release came in 1999, when the Lootpack, a trio made up of Madlib and his high-school friends Wildchild and DJ Romes, put out “Soundpieces: Da Antidote!” In the next few years, he began to channel his work ethic into a universe of alter egos. One of his most famous albums, “The Unseen,” from 2000, which is credited to an alter ego named Quasimoto, was the result of an experiment. He didn’t like the sound of his own voice, so he pitch-shifted his vocals and rapped from the perspective of a slick-talking, squeaky-voiced alien prankster with a fondness for marijuana.

In the early two-thousands, Madlib began applying the logic of hip-hop, where anything can be taken apart and put back together, to jazz music. He started by playing the melodies of his favorite tunes on the keyboard. Then he taught himself other instruments, which he played alongside samples, becoming a one-man ensemble. He invented a roster of jazz musicians with names like Monk Hughes, Ahmad Miller, and Joe McDuphrey. He wasn’t a virtuosic soloist; rather, his work skillfully pursued hazy textures and stoned vibes. His jazz noodling culminated in the excellent album “Pardon My French,” which came out last year—one of three credited to him in 2020. It was released by a group called the Jahari Massamba Unit, a collaboration between Madlib and the Detroit drummer and producer Karriem Riggins (who is real).

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Posted on February 2, 2021 by Editor

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Space Court

from GMA Network

Dubai creates ‘space court’ for out-of-this-world disputes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai announced Monday the creation of a “space court” to settle commercial disputes, as the UAE—which is also sending a probe to Mars—builds its presence in the space sector.

The tribunal will be based at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, an independent British-inspired arbitration centre based on common law.

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Posted on February 1, 2021 by Editor

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The Reddit Boys Revenge

from Vanity Fair

“You Meet Insanity With Insanity”: The GameStop Redditors Who Upended Wall Street Are Doubling Down

by Jessica Camille Aguirre

Wall Street can seem like a citadel, so it is with unreserved glee that many have kept tabs on the GameStop saga this week. For once, the underdogs were getting flush—and even better, seemingly screwing over hedge funds in the process. On WallStreetBets, the Reddit forum where it all began, retail traders are rallying one another to stay aggressive and hold against downward pressure on the stock, whose value was sinking by Thursday afternoon. An I.T. worker in Atlanta who bought in on Monday after reading about GameStop on the forum said he watched the value of his position lose and then regain around $100,000 over the course of 24 hours, and he’s not abandoning his shares anytime soon.

“It does feel like a gang-up on Wall Street, which has suffered no repercussions from the pandemic,” the I.T. worker said. “Jobless claims, jobless claims, every week we see them going higher and higher, all the chaos with Brexit, all the stuff that’s happening. Like, we can’t go outside, but you guys are making a profit. What the fuck?” On WallStreetBets, it’s to no small amount of admiration that DeepFuckingValue, one of the first users to go bullish on GameStop, who has since been identified by the Daily Mail as 34-year-old financial adviser Keith Patrick Gill, continues to post his daily tally from staying long on the video game store chain. Midweek, that was almost $50 million (from a reported initial investment of some $53,000), but the next day, it had dived by more than $14 million

What happened was this: A few hedge funds, reading what they thought was the writing on the wall, bet against GameStop by shorting its stock, predicting that a brick-and-mortar store had no future in the COVID-delineated online economy. So retail traders bought the stock in droves and pushed its value up, knowing that traders would eventually have to buy the stock back at the higher price in order to cover their positions, losing money in the process. GameStop isn’t the first short squeeze Wall Street has seen, but it’s one of the first that originated in the online forums where day traders using popular platforms like Robinhood have coalesced during the pandemic. Some major funds were caught in the squeeze, including Melvin Capital and Citron Research, and total losses from the short positions in U.S. companies were estimated to be more than $70 billion as of Thursday. Redditors rejoiced over Wall Street’s pain, and CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the masses ganging up against institutional money could be finance’s new paradigm. “There is definitely a level of nervousness here,” said a hedge fund manager named Westley, who asked not to have his last name published. 

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on January 28, 2021 by Editor

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Life on Eartha

from Vanity Fair

Transformative Life

Kitt’s 1989 autobiography, Confessions of a Sex Kitten, tracks an icon’s incredible journey from abused child to outspoken star.

BY HADLEY HALL MEARES

Eartha Kitt Performing in London November 1989
GERAINT LEWIS/ALAMY.

Eartha Kitt was many things: a nightclub chanteuse who could sing in seven languages; a movie star; an activist, dancer, singer, comedian…and Catwoman. She created iconic cultural moments, purring hits like “Santa Baby,” “I Want to Be Evil,” and “C’est Si Bon.” Her lovers were American aristocrats like Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon (he even created a lipstick shade for her) and film industry scion Arthur Loew Jr. An eccentric grand dame, swathed in Balmain and sipping champagne, she was a cabaret legend, creating magic on the stages of The Carlyle and the Persian Room.

But Kitt’s greatest creation was herself. In her 1989 autobiography, Confessions of a Sex Kitten, she tells the epic story of her self-made life in poetic, precise prose. “I have no idea how old I am. Believe it or not, I have no paper that says I was ever born,” she wrote. “Maybe that’s why they call me a legend, because I don’t really exist.”

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Posted on January 22, 2021 by Editor

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Bernie Sits

from WIRED

He Made a Viral Bernie Meme Site. Now He Has to Keep It Going

Nick Sawhney’s “Bernie Sits” puts Sanders anywhere on Google Street View. 

by BRIAN BARRETT

Bernie sitting with a mask on

BY 9 PM ET last night, Nick Sawhney knew he was in trouble. 

Just a half hour earlier, still steeped in the afterglow of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Sawhney had pushed live a website that lets you put a viral image of Bernie Sanders—seated, mittened, alone—atop any Google Street View image. The meme had already reached a fever pitch, with the Photoshop faithful placing the senator from Vermont in everything from Mortal Kombat to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. But Sawhney’s creation, born out of a group chat with friends, added layers of personalization, ease of use, and absurdity; because it fixes Sanders in the same coordinates regardless of his location, he occasionally looks as though he’s floating, or sitting on a car, or in an otherwise unlikely orientation.

The site gained traction on Twitter slowly at first; friends retweeting, then friends of friends. A few verified accounts joined in. And then, as wonderful and perfectly timed internet creations do, it snowballed.

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Posted on January 21, 2021 by Editor

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The Death of Flash

from The LA Times

Why the end of Flash animation marks the end of an era for creativity on the web

By CAROLINA A. MIRANDA

A message to uninstall Flash appears above a Flash-based work of art by Rafaël Rozendaal titled "Future Physics," from 2007.
A message to uninstall Flash appears above a Flash-based work of art by Rafaël Rozendaal titled “Future Physics,” from 2007.(Screengrab by Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times)

It was a tale of sex and death and Teletubbies.

In 1998, programmer and animator Tom Fulp released an online video game titled “Teletubby Fun Land” that featured the characters from the British children’s television program getting drunk and stoned and engaged in acts of devil worship. One of the game’s narratives showed a version of Po (the red one) getting it on with a sheep. 

As the site grew in popularity, the BBC, which aired “Teletubbies,” grew appalled. In 1999, the British broadcaster demanded that Fulp, then a college student, take the site down. He initially acquiesced, but within days, “Teletubby Fun Land” was right back up — with Fulp noting that parody was protected under laws governing free speech.

“As far as I have always known, Mad magazine makes a living out of doing the same thing,” Fulp told Wired at the time. “I am pretty sure U.S. laws protect me.”

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Posted on January 4, 2021 by Editor

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Fripp & Toyah Do Black Dog

Posted on January 3, 2021 by Editor

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Mary Ann Gone

from Deadline

Dawn Wells Dies Of Covid-19: Mary Ann On ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Was 82

By Erik Pedersen

Dawn Wells, best known for playing the girl-next-door castaway Mary Ann on the iconic CBS comedy series Gilligan’s Island, died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles of complications due to Covid-19. She was 82.

Wells, who was Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant, beat out 350 actresses for the role of Mary Ann Summers. She also appeared in more 150 series and several movies during her career as well as on Broadway.

Wells’ naive country character on Gilligan’s Island was juxtaposed with that of Tina Louise’s Ginger, a sultry movie star. The rather-stereotyped dueling characters fueled a debate that continues among fans today: Mary Ann or Ginger.

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Posted on December 31, 2020 by Editor

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