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Degas On The Bus

from The Telegraph

Stolen £700,000 Degas painting found on a bus near Paris

by Rory Mulholland

Edgar Degas was a leading Impressionist. CREDIT: HERVE LEWANDOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

French customs officers making a random check on a bus at a motorway layby found a painting by 19th century Impressionist master Edgar Degas that was stolen nine years ago from a museum in Marseille.

The 1877 painting Les Choristes, or The Chorus Singers and sometimes called  The Extras, was found in a suitcase in the vehicle’s luggage compartment during a stopover in Marne-la-Vallée to the east of Paris.

Its value is estimated at €800,000 (£700,000).

But when the officers asked passengers who the case belonged to, they were met with a stony silence, the culture ministry said in a statement.

“Its disappearance represented a heavy loss to the French impressionist heritage,” said Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen, who issued a statement saying she was delighted at “the happy rediscovery of a precious work.”

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on February 23, 2018 by Editor

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“Wait till you start running into motherfuckers with three or four dicks! Bug-eyed motherfuckers!”

from Rolling Stone

The Last Word: George Clinton on Alien Encounters, Trump’s Lack of Funk

The Parliament-Funkadelic legend also discusses the perils of LSD, the death of doo-wop and how to find great musicians

By

Parliament-Funkadelic leader George Clinton talks to Rolling Stone about the essence of funk, his alien encounter, the dangers of LSD and more. Mark Summers for Rolling Stone

Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton is an irreplaceable walking museum of American musical history, with a career that began in Fifties doo-wop (the Parliaments were originally a Newark, N.J., singing group), and continues all the way to Kendrick-era hip-hop and beyond. Clinton put out an excellent, memorably titled memoir, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?, in 2014, and he suggests he’s already done enough additional living for another book – though he’s more focused on an upcoming documentary and a new album. He called in for a characteristically amusing and enlightening Last Word interview while on the road for his latest tour, which is set to run through April.

Who are the funkiest people who ever lived?
When I’m just tryna funk, it’s gonna be the Staple Singers, man – Pop Staples. And Ray Charles. Ray could take “Eleanor Rigby” and make that funky. He ends up doing that to anything – to me, that’s raw funk. And then [Motown session bassist] James Jamerson – that is a musician.

And who is the least funky person alive?
Oh, my God! [Laughs] Probably Trump. Can’t be no funk in the Trump! [Pauses] He ain’t gonna like that.

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on February 22, 2018 by Editor

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Roman Boxing Gloves

from BBC

Roman boxing gloves unearthed by Vindolanda dig

The gloves on a mannequinImage copyrightVINDOLANDA TRUST

Image captionThe gloves were “skilfully made” about 2,000 years ago

Roman boxing gloves unearthed during an excavation near Hadrian’s Wall have gone on public display.

Experts at Vindolanda, near Hexham, in Northumberland, believe they are “probably the only known surviving examples from the Roman period”.

Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda Trust director of excavations, described the leather bands as an “astonishing” find.

The gloves were discovered last summer along with a hoard of writing tablets, swords, shoes and bath clogs.

Made of leather, they were designed to fit snugly over the knuckles and have the appearance of a protective guard.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on February 20, 2018 by Editor

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Bubble Ice

from Smithsonian

Why Curling Ice is Different Than Other Ice

There is a science to preparing ice for the shuffleboard-like sport. It’s all about the pebbling

By Erica R. Hendry

20140214-130128.jpgAn ice maker pebbles the 2014 Olympic curling rink in Sochi. (Rich Harmer)

Let’s be honest: the fervor around curling in the 2014 Olympic Games has been mostly driven, so far, by the return of Team Norway’s outrageous pants.

When it comes to knowing as much about the sport, plenty of people fall a little short. And if you don’t know the rules, odds are you aren’t thinking much about the actual surface across which athletes push 44-pound stones for a shot at Olympic glory.

It’s just a hockey rink, right?

Well, not quite. Trying to curl on untreated ice “would be like a pro golfer going from putting at Augusta to putting on his back lawn,” says Derek Brown, USA Curling’s director of high performance.

If curling ice was flat, the stone would move barely halfway across the “sheet,” or curling lane. And that’s assuming the curler is hurling it as hard as possible. Friction would halt the rock within seconds. So, to make the ice more amenable to the sport, devoted ice makers employ a technique called “pebbling.” More or less what it sounds like, pebbling involves freezing small droplets of water across the playing surface between each match.

[ click to continue reading at Smithsonian ]

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Editor

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Mr. Ventimiglia

from The LA Times

He’s America’s TV dad. Get to know ‘This Is Us’ star Milo Ventimiglia

By YVONNE VILLARREAL

He's America's TV dad. Get to know 'This Is Us' star Milo VentimigliaActor Milo Ventimiglia, from the NBC hit, “This Is Us,” is photographed at his Los Angeles home with some of his hat collection, including the show’s Big Three Homes. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

It’s just after 1 a.m. and Milo Ventimiglia, finally settling into his Minneapolis hotel room after a climactic Super Bowl night, can at long last sleep with one less secret to keep.

“I’m happy everyone is in the know,” he says by phone.

As flawed-but-nearly-perfect patriarch Jack Pearson on NBC’s megahit “This Is Us,” Ventimiglia has joined the roster of TV’s most beloved dads. So beloved, in fact, that the character’s death, revealed in the show’s debut season, and the mystery surrounding it, kindled the question, “How did Jack die?” It quickly became a pop culture phenomenon rife with conspiracy theories.

On Sunday, the answer came. (This is … where the spoilers start.)

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on February 8, 2018 by Editor

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KATERINA UK

from The Bookseller

New James Frey novel from John Murray

by Katherine Cowdrey

James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces (John Murray), is publishing a new novel with John Murray called Katerina.

Katerina, pitched as a sweeping love story that alternates between 1992 Paris and 2017 Los Angeles, will be published in September this year. John Murray acquired UK and Commonwealth rights through Jenny Meyer of Jenny Meyer Literary Agency on behalf of Eric Simonoff at WME.

At the centre of the novel is protagonist Jay, who is 21 when he moves to Paris to live the artist’s life, and falls in love for the first time. Cut to 25 years later: he is a middle-age family man living in California when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years before.

North American rights have sold to Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, while the film rights to the book have been pre-emptively acquired by Makeready, the new production outfit launched in 2017 by former New Regency c.e.o Brad Weston. Frey will write the script and be executive producer. Guymon Casady is producing through Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360. WME negotiated the sale.

[ click to continue reading at TheBookseller.com ]

Posted on February 7, 2018 by Editor

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Odessa Young To ‘A Million Little Pieces’

from Variety

‘Assassination Nation’ Star Odessa Young Joins ‘A Million Little Pieces’ (EXCLUSIVE)

By Justin Kroll

Odessa Young12th Annual Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner hosted by Chanel, Arrivals, New York, USA - 24 Apr 2017WEARING CHANEL SAME OUTFIT AS CATWALK MODEL *6082168bgCREDIT: STEPHEN LOVEKIN/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

After a breakout role in the Sundance hitAssassination Nation,” Odessa Young is boarding Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “A Million Little Pieces.”

Young will be joining the previously announced cast of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Charlie Hunnam, and Giovanni Ribisi.

The story follows a young man who awakens on an airplane to Chicago with no recollection of his injuries or of how he ended up on the plane. He then heads to a rehab and begins his journey to sobriety. Young will play Lilly, a crack and heroin addict who falls in love with the man.

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on February 6, 2018 by Editor

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Fake Computer How-to

from Vice

How the Fake but Really Cool Computers in Movies Get Made

Whether it’s a DNA database in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ or the heads up display in Iron Man’s suit, real world user interface designers are hard at work making sure characters have a way to operate their fictional tech.

by Justin Caffier

Images courtesy of Cantina Creative

In the Iron Man films and comics, we’ll often see super-genius Tony Stark furiously churning out lines of code to make sure his latest suit upgrade can fly on auto pilot, harness a deadly new source of power, or pair with Bluetooth speakers. What we never see, however, is Tony mulling over font options, window sizes, and all the other variables that go into designing a user interface (UI) that doesn’t suck.

In the real world, tech behemoths like Apple pour billions into UI development, tweaking countless iterations of text bubbles and screen sensitivity to the point of perfection. But for the creators of fictional UIs of the silver screen who are working with mere slivers of a Silicon Valley budget, the path to a believable, elegant UI design is trickier process. At best, the work of these artists goes by unnoticed, seamlessly propelling the story while maintaining the aesthetic of the universe. At worst, it pulls the audience out of the moment, leaving them to wonder why future humans are using papyrus to announce an airlock breach.

We spoke with Alan Torres, a design supervisor at LA-based VFX studio Cantina Creative, to see what sort of process goes into this under appreciated bit of cinematic artistry. While at Cantina, Torres has helped design the God’s Eye device in the latest Fast and the Furious, created a dystopian DNA database in Blade Runner 2049 and, yes, even put the display in Iron Man’s helmet.

[ click to continue reading at Vice ]

Posted on February 3, 2018 by Editor

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One More Scroll To Go

from Atlas Obscura

One of the Last Two Dead Sea Scrolls Has Been Decoded

Israeli researchers found an ancient calendar by piecing together fragments of the text.

BY NATASHA FROST

A larger Hebrew scroll found in the cache in the West Bank caves.A larger Hebrew scroll found in the cache in the West Bank caves. PUBLIC DOMAIN

SOMETIME AROUND THE CUSP OF 1947, a teenage shepherd in the West Bank threw a rock, possibly to scare an animal out from a cliffside cave, and triggered one of the most incredible archaeological discoveries of the past century. Instead of a thud, a splash, or even a crash, he heard a shattering noise from within the cave, where the rock had hit a cache of large clay jars. In them were leather and papyrus scrolls. Later discoveries in caves in this area would shore up fragments of some 900 manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

These texts, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, have proven a source of fascination to scholars. But their precise origins remain opaque, beyond that they seem to have been written by an ancient Judean sect, the Essenes, and date to at least the 4th century BC. Now, Israeli researchers claim to have “solved” one of the final two scrolls, piecing together 60 of these tiny fragments and, in the process, identifying the name of a festival marking the changes between seasons: tekufah.

Speaking to Haaretz, Dr. Eshbal Ratzon and Professor Jonatan Ben-Dov from the Bible Department at Haifa University explained that by decoding and reconstructing one of the final two scrolls, they were able to uncover a 364-day calendar used by the ascetic sect. Their work was recently published in the Journal of Biblical Literature. This calendar seems to have been a source of struggle between the sect and the Temple, Ratzon said. “But this calendar was disputed, which may be one of the reasons this sect left the Temple and went to the desert. They had many disputes and this was one of them—they couldn’t celebrate holidays together.”

[ click to continue reading at Atlas Obscura ]

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Editor

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David Dastmalchian To ‘A Million Little Pieces’

from DEADLINE

David Dastmalchian Joins ‘A Million Little Pieces’ & ‘Die in a Gunfight’

by Amanda N’Duka

REX/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Ant-Man And The Wasp actor David Dastmalchian has landed two back-to-back projects. He’s set for A Million Little Pieces, the Sam Taylor-Johnson directed film adaptation of the James Frey book, which is currently in production. The pic stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri, Charlie Hunnam, and Giovanni Ribisi.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson adapted the book, loosely based on Frey’s life. It follows a young drug-addled writer, who enters a treatment center in Minnesota. Makeready’s Pam Abdy is producing with The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman. Makeready is also fully finance the film with eOne distributing Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

 

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Editor

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Goodbye, Graydon

from Vanity Fair

GRAYDON CARTER RECALLS HIS FONDEST MEMORIES (AND TRICKS OF THE TRADE) FROM 25 YEARS ATOP VANITY FAIR

The author recounts the key to his longevity, and some of his greatest hits along the way.

BY GRAYDON CARTER

editors-letter-annie-leibovitz-graydon-carter-vf.jpgPhotograph by Annie Leibovitz.

All good things—certainly in my case this month—eventually come to an end. This is my final issue of Vanity Fair. I won’t bore you with the details of my complex emotions right now, but I will say that being the editor of Vanity Fair may well be one of the most extraordinary professional experiences there is. I will have been here for more than a quarter of a century, which, in magazine years, is more than a few eternities. It’s 9,200 days of covering presidential terms (eight of them) and countless terrorist episodes, foreign wars, financial meltdowns, weather disasters, and societal upheavals. What have I left out? Oh yes, Washington scandals, Wall Street scandals, Hollywood scandals, Silicon Valley scandals, Westminster scandals, and Kremlin scandals. Plus Deep Throat and Caitlyn Jenner. I could go on. (On a more personal level, Vanity Fairpaid considerably better than my previous jobs, the result being that I had the wherewithal to afford to have more children, and was blessed with the addition of two daughters to the brood of three sons I had coming into the job.)

When I arrived at the magazine, Cheers, Murphy Brown, and Seinfeld were among the big television hits. George H. W. Bush was president and Bill Clinton would soon become the president-elect. It was the year that The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson went off the air. Taylor Swift was just out of diapers: she hadn’t even broken up with anyone yet—at least not to my knowledge. No one had heard of e-mail, and the Internet as we know it was still in the future. Back then I looked like one of the male assistants here now—clear eyes, dark hair, and a waist smaller than a yardstick. As I leave, I gaze in the mirror and, save for the absence of a twinset and pearls, I see the Queen Mother.

The crumbling husk that lies before you aside, not a week went by when I didn’t mention to one or more of the staff I saw every day—Chris Garrett, Aimée Bell, Jane Sarkin, Beth Kseniak, Sara Marks—just what goddamn fun this all was. And how could it not have been? After an exhilarating life at Spy and a giddy, shoestring year at The New York Observer, being given the editorship of Vanity Fair was truly like being given the keys to an almost fictional magazine kingdom. Back in the day we didn’t even have budgets. S. I. Newhouse, Jr., our legendary proprietor, just said to spend what you needed. In the late 90s, we were having lunch and I told him that I had some good news and some bad news. He said, “What’s the bad news?” I told him that the Hollywood Issue cover we had just shot might well be the most expensive magazine cover ever. Si thought for a moment, then asked, “Well, what’s the good news?” I said it lookedlike the most expensive magazine cover ever. Only Si would have smiled at such news.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Editor

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Hereditary

Posted on January 27, 2018 by Editor

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Juliette Lewis Joins Billy Bob Thornton in ‘A Million Little Pieces’ Cast

from WWD

Juliette Lewis Takes Over Acne Studios Instagram

The actress was spotted filming other guests, among which Isabelle Huppert, Sara Forestier and Stephen Jones

By Lily Templeton

Juliette Lewis front row at Acne StudiosJuliette Lewis front row at Acne Studios / Stephane Feugere/WWD

Juliette Lewis was busy capturing the scene at the first Acne Studios women’s show to be held during couture week in Paris on Wednesday, before sitting in the front row alongside Sara Forestier, Isabelle Huppert, Stephen Jones and Michel Gaubert.

The actress caught Casey Spooner jumping up on a bench to shake things up. Earlier in the week, he and partner-in-crime Violet Chakchi had joked about wanting to have their own reality TV crew.

“I’m doing the Instagram takeover for Acne Studios,” said Lewis, known for such films as “Cape Fear” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Lewis hinted at further projects with Acne, and then clammed up. In the meantime, she is flying back to Los Angeles to start filming on Monday a screen adaptation of “A Million Little Pieces,” the infamous James Frey book, with Billy Bob Thornton.

[ click to continue reading at WWD ]

Posted on January 25, 2018 by Editor

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Spice World Redux

from Interview

CREW MEMBERS EXPLAIN WHY SPICE WORLD IS STILL SO WEIRD, 20 YEARS ON

By Rachel Hodin

Turn on Spice World today, and I promise it will confound you. So many things about the movie don’t make sense. So many things defy the basic rules of narrative, with characters left unexplained and subplots unresolved—but that’s what makes it so captivating and fun. How exactly did this poppy, cinematic romp get made? It’s one of the greatest mysteries of pop culture, and one that, on the occasion of the movie’s 20th anniversary, I’m determined to resolve.

As pointed out on the podcast How Did This Get Made?, Spice World got away with ignoring the most basic tenets of moviemaking and screenwriting. Spice World has no real plot, and no end goal—there’s no real story arc at all, for that matter. The girls pinball from place to place, studio to studio, and rehearsal to rehearsal, each one suited up in her respective coat of character armor. Then, with 10 minutes to go in the movie, the band’s “first live show at the Royal Albert Hall”—fleetingly mentioned in one of the film’s first scenes—becomes the movie’s climactic narrative. Will they or won’t they pull off their first live concert? Thing is, the girls have already performed live only a couple scenes prior—not to mention in the first scene—but this is the grand finale, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Apparently.

Then, there’s the Spice Bus—which, while certainly a sight to impress even Austin Powers, tricked-out with fairytale ’90s-era gadgets and toys—is also about 12 times the absolute maximum size that any bus interior could feasibly be. It’s a full-on dreamscape, and one that production designer Grenville Horner remembers fondly. “The Spice Bus was fantastic,” he told me over the phone. “It was just fun. You totally invent it; it’s not like anything you’ve ever come across.”

[ click to continue reading in Interview ]

Posted on January 24, 2018 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Casts Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri, Charlie Hunnam, Giovanni Ribisi

from DEADLINE

Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri & Charlie Hunnam Join Aaron Taylor-Johnson In ‘A Million Little Pieces’

by Mike Fleming Jr

Billy Bob Thornton A Million Little PiecesREX/Shutterstock/Nan A. Talese

EXCLUSIVE: A Million Little Pieces, the screen adaptation of the James Frey book, is fast assembling for a January 25 production start. Billy Bob Thornton has joined Aaron Taylor-Johnson and director Sam Taylor-Johnson for the first film to go into production for Brad Weston’s producing/financing company Makeready. Thornton will be joined by Carla Juri, who emerges from Blade Runner 2049 to play the female lead, and Charlie Hunnam. Giovanni Ribisi was already set. Makeready’s Pam Abdy is producing with The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman.

Thornton plays the role of Leonard, whom fans of Frey’s book will recall as a mysterious tough guy who became the guardian angel at a rehab facility for the protagonist, who tried to end his addiction problems before they killed him. Frey later wrote Leonard’s life story in a followup book.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on January 23, 2018 by Editor

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Sunset

from The New York Times

Where the Real Los Angeles Meets the Dream

On Sunset Boulevard, two Californias — the lived place and the one seen on screen — run parallel for 22 snaking miles.

Photographs by Jake Michaels / Text by  / Produced by

Like Broadway in New York and Ocean Drive in Miami, Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is both a real street and a myth. It’s where you go to gas up at the Arco station (5007 Sunset Boulevard) or grab a meal at In-N-Out Burger (7009 Sunset), and also to chase the dream of fame and eternal sunshine. Remarkably, Sunset lives up to the postcard.

Drive east to west, from where the street begins downtown to where it ends 22 twisting miles later at the Pacific Ocean, and at any point along the route, you will see the images that movies, TV shows and magazines have implanted in your brain.

In hip and historically Mexican Echo Park and Silver Lake, you’ll find trendy boutiques beside a 99 Cents Only store (3612 Sunset), and cool kids scarfing down tacos at Guisados (1261 Sunset).

In Hollywood, there are always weird Hollywood people, and tourists hoping to see weird Hollywood people, walking around near where Sunset meets Vine.

Moving west into Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, the street becomes wide and lush and curving. The sidewalks and pedestrians disappear, and the wealthy residents in their mansions hide from the celebrity-home bus tours behind walls of hedgerow — the Sunset of “Sunset Boulevard” and “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Editor

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Bocuse Gone

from Reuters

‘Nouvelle cuisine’ pioneer Bocuse dies at 91

Reuters Staff

PARIS (Reuters) – Paul Bocuse, one of France’s most celebrated chefs, has died at the age of 91, the interior minister said on Saturday.

Bocuse was an early exponent of “nouvelle cuisine”, which reinterpreted traditional French cooking using less butter and cream and focusing on fresh ingredients and stylish presentation.

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on January 20, 2018 by Editor

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747 Gone

from The New York Times

The 747 Had a Great Run. But Farewell Doesn’t Mean the End.

By

MARANA, Ariz. — There may be no airliner as recognizable as the Boeing 747, the world’s first jumbo jet, with its iconic hump of an upper deck. For aviation fans, the introduction of the “Queen of the Skies” was a triumph of engineering and grace: unprecedented size and speed with spiral-staircase international glamour.

But the airline business has changed, and the giant plane has become more expensive to operate. A couple of weeks ago, the final 747 flight by any commercial United States airline took to the sky.

Like so many others before it, the plane was heading to the Southwest to retire.

A passer-by at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport might have noticed something unusual as Boeing 747 No. 6314 pushed back from the gate for the last time. Onlookers in the terminal waved farewell as the plane, operated by Delta Air Lines, taxied out to the runway. Undeterred by the chilly weather, even members of the ground crew pulled out their phones to memorialize this flight in photos.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Editor

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Dad Rap

from The Wall Street Journal

Hip-Hop’s Generation Gap: ‘Emo’ vs. ‘Dad’ Rap

As the music genre has become a commercial juggernaut, some worry about a cultural divide between younger and older artists

By Neil Shah

Rap has become the most-consumed music in America, according to industry data, but with its growth comes a new concern: a widening generation gap.

Just as rock ‘n‘ roll splintered in the 1970s when punk arrived, a beef between some young hip-hop artists and “dad rappers” is dividing fans. Some music insiders worry that the schism will hurt the unity of the hip-hop community when its music is at its cultural and commercial peak by splitting fans into opposing camps.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Editor

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Dolores O’Riordan Gone

from The New Yorker

The Ferocious, Sublime Dolores O’Riordan, of the Cranberries

By Amanda Petrusich

The Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan, who fronted the alt-rock band the Cranberries since 1989, died on Monday, at the age of forty-six. O’Riordan was managing several health issues at the time of her death—she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015 and had been suffering from back pain, which resulted in the cancellation of a Cranberries reunion tour last year. Her body was found in a hotel on Park Lane, in central London; her death was described as sudden and unexplained.

O’Riordan was born in Ballybricken, in County Limerick, in 1971. She was the youngest of seven children and just eighteen when she joined the Cranberries. Her folks were strict: as a teen-ager, she wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or buy her own clothes. In an interview with the Irish Times, she recalled how the guitarist Noel Hogan brought her a pair of Doc Martens to wear for the band’s first photo shoot. “They were too big for me, but I put them on anyway,” she said. “Suddenly I looked like an indie girl.”

Like many people, the first time I heard her sing was on “Linger,” an early single that ended up in fairly heavy rotation on MTV in 1993. The black-and-white video, directed by Melodie McDaniel, was based loosely on Jean-Luc Godard’s “Alphaville,” a film that considers the potency of desire. It’s a hazy, sentimental song about realizing that you’re on the bummer end of a lopsided relationship. “You know I’m such a fool for you,” O’Riordan sings. She’s asking, in a way, for mercy—a final show of kindness: “You’ve got me wrapped around your finger / Do you have to let it linger?” I wasn’t old enough to understand the particular humiliation of being duped and strung along by someone you loved and trusted, but I nonetheless recognized the deep agony and confusion in her voice when she asked, “Why were you holding her hand?”

Still, it wasn’t until “Zombie,” the first single from the band’s second album, “No Need to Argue,” that the sublime recklessness of O’Riordan’s voice became fully evident. By then, the Cranberries were the most successful Irish rock band since U2. Most of the other rock singers I admired at the time (Kim Gordon, of Sonic Youth; Kim and Kelley Deal, of the Breeders; Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill) sounded plainly and hopelessly cool—disaffected, vaguely antagonistic, and aloof. O’Riordan sounded like a maniac. “Zombie” was written as a memorial for two children—the twelve-year-old Jonathan Ball and the three-year-old Tim Parry—who were killed in an I.R.A. street bombing, in Warrington, England, in 1993 (the explosives were hidden in garbage cans). She goes feral on the chorus: “Zombie-ie-ie-ie-oh-oh-oh-oh!” It’s all terrifically guttural—ugly, wild, and paralyzing. For an American kid, her round Irish accent made the word seem even stranger, as if she were conjuring something otherworldly, only to vanquish it.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Editor

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Stick History

from Nautilus

The Stick Is an Unsung Hero of Human Evolution

Stone’s silent sister in the archaeological record.

BY ALEXANDER LANGLANDS

In April 1997, at the snooker world championship held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, Ronnie O’Sullivan stepped up to the table to play a frame in what was expected to be a routine victory in his first-round match against Mick Price. What happened in the next 5 minutes and 20 seconds sent shock waves through the world of snooker and ripples of respect through the wider world of professional sport. To the uninitiated, there is a sequence of 36 balls that must be potted in order to achieve the highest score possible in a frame: 147—what aficionados call a “maximum break.” Up until 1997, this had been achieved in official competition snooker on a handful of occasions, in a sport that had effectively turned professional in the late 1960s. It was only a matter of time before the gifted O’Sullivan scored his first competition 147, but it was the manner in which he did it that created such a stir. As he glided around the table he played with a pace and confidence that belied his 21 years. A man at one with the stick in his hands and in a trancelike engagement with his art, he was demonstrably thinking four or five shots ahead and, in playing with such fluidity of movement, O’Sullivan had found a new zone within which the game could be played.

It may seem crude, but to put the achievement into context, it can be compared on pure financial terms with other sports. For a frame that lasted a mere 320 seconds, O’Sullivan was awarded bonus prize money of £165,000. Few can brag that they’ve ever earned £515.63 per second for the work they do—especially at such a tender age. At its most basic, he makes his money with a length of polished wood and a lump of chalk. For many people, earnings aside, O’Sullivan’s feat ranks among the very best sporting achievements in the world. But for me, it’s a celebration of mankind’s perfection at stick usage: a poetically beautiful combination of craft, genius, nerve, and swagger.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Editor

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The First Animations

from Nautilus

Early Humans Made Animated Art

How Paleolithic artists used fire to set the world’s oldest art in motion.

BY ZACH ZORICHILLUSTRATION BY MIKO MACIASZEK

Stone steps descended into the ground, and I walked down them slowly as if I were entering a dark movie theater, careful not to stumble and disrupt the silence. Once my eyes adjusted to the faint light at the foot of the stairs, I saw that I was standing in the open chamber of a cave.

Where the limestone wall arched into the ceiling was a line of paintings and drawings of animals running deeper into the cave. The closest image resembled a bison, with elongated horns and U-shaped markings on its side. The bison followed several horses painted solid black like silhouettes; above them was an earthy-red horse with a black head and mane. In front of that was a very large bison head that was completely out of scale with respect to the other images.

It was the summer of 1995, and in the dim glow, I gazed at the ghostly parade just as my ancestors did roughly 21,000 years ago. Radiocarbon dates from Lascaux cave suggest the art is from that period, a time when wooly mammoths still roamed across Europe and people survived by hunting them and other large game. I stood in silence as I tried to decode the work of the ancient people who had come here to express something of their world.

When Lascaux cave was discovered in 1940, more than 100 small stone lamps that once burned grease from rendered animal fat were found throughout its chambers. Unfortunately, no one recorded where the lamps had been placed in the cave. At the time, archeologists did not consider how the brightness and the location of lights altered how the paintings would have been viewed. In general, archeologists have paid considerably less attention to how the use of fire for light affected the development of our species, compared to the use of fire for warmth and cooking. But now in Lascaux and other caves across the region, that’s changing.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Editor

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Anderson .Paak

Posted on January 7, 2018 by Editor

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The Deadliest Car In History

from Inside Hook

THE DEADLIEST RACE CAR IN HISTORY HAD LOOKS THAT COULD KILL, TOO

Let’s hope this one handles better than the original

BY EVAN BLEIER

The Deadliest Race Car in History Had Looks That Could Kill, Too

At the 1955 edition of Le Mans, a ‘53 Austin-Healey 100 was at the center of a horrific crash that left 85 people dead and dozens more maimed and injured. The Austin-Healey that RM Sotheby’s is putting up for auction next month in Arizona is not that car, which holds the ignonimous title of being the world’s deadliest.

But it is modeled after it.

Manufactured in February of 1956 and one of only 640 factory-built Healey 100 Ms ever made, the roadster is built to the specifications of the 100s that were first raced successfully — and safely — at Le Mans in 1953.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on January 6, 2018 by Editor

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Scratch Chocolate

Posted on January 5, 2018 by Editor

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Freddie’s Bash

from INTERVIEW

Freddie Mercury’s Saturday Night in Sodom

a night of debauchery

In the colossal Imperial Ballroom inside the Fairmont New Orleans, Freddie Mercury—expert partier who lived by the mantra “excess all areas”—overwhelmed 400 guests at the launch of Queen’s fourth album, Jazz. This party had it all: “voluptuous strippers who smoked cigarettes with their vaginas, a dozen black-faced minstrels, dwarfs, snake charmers, and several bosomy blondes who stunned party revelers by peeling off their flimsy costumes to reveal that they were, in fact, well-endowed men,” it was described in Pamela Des Barres’s Rock Bottom: Dark Moments in Music Babylon.

It was Halloween 1978. The ballroom was outfitted with 50 dead trees rented especially for the occasion, which made it look like “a skeletal forest. It had a kind of witchcraft theme,” said EMI’s Bob Hart. Bourbon Street’s biggest freaks and eccentrics were hired to entertain, leaving other bars and clubs forced to close for the night.

 [ click to read at INTERVIEW ]

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Editor

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1968 Predictions on 2018

from The New Yorker

The 1968 Book That Tried to Predict the World of 2018

By Paul Collins

For every amusingly wrong prediction in “Toward the Year 2018,” a speculative book from 1968, there’s one unnervingly close to the mark. / Illustration by Robert Beatty

If you wanted to hear the future in late May, 1968, you might have gone to Abbey Road to hear the Beatles record a new song of John Lennon’s—something called “Revolution.” Or you could have gone to the decidedly less fab midtown Hilton in Manhattan, where a thousand “leaders and future leaders,” ranging from the economist John Kenneth Galbraith to the peace activist Arthur Waskow, were invited to a conference by the Foreign Policy Association. For its fiftieth anniversary, the F.P.A. scheduled a three-day gathering of experts, asking them to gaze fifty years ahead. An accompanying book shared the conference’s far-off title: “Toward the Year 2018.”

The timing was not auspicious. In America, cities were still cleaning up from riots after Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s assassination, in April, and protests were brewing for that summer’s Democratic National Convention. But perhaps the future was the only place left to escape from the present: more than eight hundred attendees arrived at the Hilton. “They met in the grand ballroom,” the reporter Edwin Yoder wrote at the time, “which is not so much futuristic as like a dimly remembered version of the 1920s small-town grand movie house.”

Invitees were carefully split by the F.P.A. between over-thirty-fives and under-thirty-fives—but, less carefully, they didn’t pick any principal speakers from the under-thirty-fives. As their elders mused on a future of plastics and plasma jets, without mention of Vietnam and violence in the streets, there was muttering among the younger attendees. Representatives from Students for a Democratic Society demanded time at the mike and circulated a letter questioning whether the conference was for “discussion or brain washing.” Waskow, today the rabbi of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, was an S.D.S. alumnus attending the conference out of a sincere interest in the future—but he was skeptical of futurism. By 1968, he’d already been working for more than a decade on a never-finished epistolary sci-fi novel, “Notes from 1999.” “But,” Waskow explains, “I was interested in changing the world—not trying to predict the future, but to create the future.”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Editor

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Ice Bowl 50

from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Ice Bowl, 50 years later: An oral history of the Packers-Cowboys 1967 NFL Championship Game

ON DEC. 31, 1967, THE PACKERS EDGED THE COWBOYS, 21-17, IN A GAME FOR THE AGES. HERE’S THE STORY OF THE ICE BOWL AS TOLD BY THOSE WHO PLAYED IN IT AND WITNESSED IT.

by Gary D’Amato

It would have been a great game if it had been played on a sweltering September afternoon or on a crisp autumn day in November or even indoors, if there were domed football stadiums in 1967.

That year, the NFL Championship Game pitted Vince Lombardi’s proud but aging Green Bay Packers, seeking an unprecedented third consecutive title, against Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys, an ascending team out for revenge after losing narrowly to the Packers in the ’66 championship game.

Eight Packers and four Cowboys who took the field that day would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both coaches would be enshrined, too. The Packers had guile and experience and a field general named Bart Starr. The Cowboys had youth and superior team speed and their “Doomsday Defense.”

Yes, it would have been a great game on any day, in any kind of weather.

It would be played, though, on New Year’s Eve day in Green Bay, in the kind of weather that tested the limits of what a man could endure.

The official low temperature at Austin Straubel Airport that day was 17 below zero. With Arctic winds whipping out of the northwest, the wind chill dipped to 50 below at Lambeau Field, its turf frozen solid and topped by a layer of ice, so that players slipped and slid and fell on what felt like jagged concrete.

The game would be decided in the closing seconds, at the conclusion of a drive that bordered on the mystical, with Starr plunging into the end zone to put a symbolic exclamation mark on the Lombardi era.

Fifty years ago Sunday, on Dec. 31, 1967, the Packers edged the Cowboys, 21-17, in a game for the ages.

The Ice Bowl.

It was and remains the coldest game in NFL history. It is among the most memorable games in league annals because of the wretched conditions, what was at stake and the dramatic way it ended.

[ click to continue reading at MJS ]

Posted on December 31, 2017 by Editor

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Mass Grave Re-writes History

from Smithsonian Magazine

This Mass Grave Discovery Could Alter Roman History

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that a mass grave discovered in the north of England is a gladiator cemetery. But the most compelling clue is an identical site in Turkey, almost 2,000 miles away.

[ click to continue reading at Smithsonian ]

Posted on December 30, 2017 by Editor

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Miraicraft

from WIRED

HOW A DORM ROOM MINECRAFT SCAM BROUGHT DOWN THE INTERNET

by 

THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.

It was a hard story to miss last year: In France last September, the telecom provider OVH was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack a hundred times larger than most of its kind. Then, on a Friday afternoon in October 2016, the internet slowed or stopped for nearly the entire eastern United States, as the tech company Dyn, a key part of the internet’s backbone, came under a crippling assault.

As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls. The truth, as made clear in that Alaskan courtroom Friday—and unsealed by the Justice Department on Wednesday—was even stranger: The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans. All three—Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, respectively—admitted their role in creating and launching Mirai into the world.

Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Editor

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Blood Sport for Bones

from The LA Times

Archaeology as blood sport: How the discovery of an ancient mastodon ignited debate over humans’ arrival in North America

By THOMAS CURWEN

“Oh my God,” Richard Cerutti said to himself. He bent down to pick up a sharp, splintered bone fragment. Its thickness and weight told him that it belonged to an animal, a very big animal. His mind started to race.

He was standing at the foot of a slope being groomed by Caltrans for a road-widening project through the Sweetwater Valley near National City.

Earthmoving equipment had already uncovered other fossils from elsewhere on the site, mostly rodents, birds and lizards. But this bone was from no ordinary animal. The operator wanted to keep digging, but Cerutti raised a fist to stop him. He felt a tightening knot of anger.

The contractors had worked over the weekend without contacting him, and he could see the damage they had done. He sprinted up the slope to a construction trailer and picked up a telephone.

“Tom,” he said. “I think I have a mammoth out here on State Route 54. Can you send some help?”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on December 24, 2017 by Editor

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Sharon Springs

from Logo

Sharon Springs, NY: The Gayest Little Town You’ve Never Heard Of

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community.”

I grew up in the rural, rolling farmland of Upstate New York. Occasionally—often on the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or nearby Glimmerglass Lake—we would pass through Sharon Springs, a town memorable solely for the distinctly pungent smell that emanated from its natural sulphur springs.It was because of these springs and their healing properties that Sharon Springs had grown into a popular summer spa destination in the 19th century, attracting thousands of visitors annually including members of the Vanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde, who lectured at one of its hotels in 1882. By the 1970s, though, Sharon Springs had fallen firmly into decline and seemed destined to become a footnote in Upstate New York’s history.Twenty years later, however, the village would embark on a renaissance thanks to Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, a couple who were passing through from New York City, located approximately 200 miles away.

“My husband and I saw an old farmhouse outside the the village and thought, this is the coolest thing we’ve ever seen,” recalls Plummer, the mayor of Sharon Springs. And so they bought the house, as well as several other properties, including the then-rundown historic American Hotel that they rehabilitated and run today. Beyond that, the two men have been pivotal in attracting others to join in with their enthusiasm for the village of 550 people.

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community, we are the ones who came in here and started to improve things,” continues Plummer, as we sat together in the cozy lobby of his hotel. As if on cue, Lance and Anthony, another gay couple from NYC, appear. “These guys came in one Friday about six months ago, and on Sunday saw a realtor and, like, three days later they put an offer on a house.”

[ click to continue reading at Logo ]

Posted on December 22, 2017 by Editor

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Mimi O’Donnell on Philip Seymour Hoffman

from Vogue

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction

philip-seymour-hoffmanThe exceptional leading man Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death in 2014 dealt a heartbreaking blow to American cultural life. Photographed by Anton Corbijn, 2012

The first time I met Phil, there was instant chemistry between us. It was the spring of 1999, and he was interviewing me to be the costume designer for a play he was directing—his first—for the Labyrinth Theater Company, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. Even though I’d spent the five years since moving to New York designing costumes for Off-Broadway plays and had just been hired by Saturday Night Live, I was nervous, because I was in awe of his talent. I’d seen him in Boogie Nightsand Happiness, and he blew me out of the water with his willingness to make himself so vulnerable and to play fucked-up characters with such honesty and heart.

I remember walking into the interview and anxiously handing Phil my résumé. He studied it for a few moments, then looked up at me and, with complete sincerity and admiration, said, “You have more credits than I do.” I felt myself relax. He wanted to put me at ease and let me know that we would be working together as equals. After the meeting, I called my sister on one of those hilariously giant cell phones of the time, and after I had raved about Phil, she announced, “You’re going to marry him.”

Working with Phil felt seamless—our instincts were so similar, and we always seemed to be in sync. Though there was clearly a personal attraction, both of us were involved with other people, so we fell in love artistically first. Over the next two years, we continued to work together—I designed the costumes for everything he directed—and, along the way, I was invited to become a company member of Labyrinth, of which Phil was the artistic director. As an ensemble, we produced Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, which put us on the map. Then, seven years to the day since I’d moved to the city, 9/11 happened. It was disorienting to be finding our place as the world seemed to be collapsing around us.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Editor

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