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Cerne Abbas

from The New Yorker

The Mysterious Origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant

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

By Rebecca Mead

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

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

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on May 14, 2021 by Editor

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Colorado River Redux

from Audubon

Reconnecting the Colorado River to the Sea

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

By Jennifer Pitt

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at Audubon ]

Posted on May 13, 2021 by Editor

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The Secret Scream

from Architectural Digest

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

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

By Nick Mafi

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on May 11, 2021 by Editor

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The da Vinci Bear

from Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on May 10, 2021 by Editor

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Next Up

from France 24

The music festival refusing to bow to Covid

Belgrade (AFP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on May 9, 2021 by Editor

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from SPIN

Seventh Heaven

Barbershop quartets are more than meets the ear

by Jonathan Rowe 

Met Quartet Servicing Barber Shop Owner
CREDIT: Bettmann / Contributor

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Posted on May 8, 2021 by Editor

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Alpha Betas Red Head Intervention Map!

Posted on May 7, 2021 by Editor

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Lounging, Diving, Floating, Dreaming

from Architectural Digest

Dive Into the History of the Swimming Pool in Photography

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

By Stefanie Waldek

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on May 5, 2021 by Editor

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Tarantino To The Rescue


Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema Sets Reopening Date

By Anthony D’Alessandro

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

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

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 4, 2021 by Editor

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Eli Broad Gone


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

By Tom Tapp

Eli Broad

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

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

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

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 1, 2021 by Editor

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Thank you, Mr. Hockney

from DNYUZ

New David Hockney Billboards to Brighten 4 Cities in May

New David Hockney Billboards to Brighten 4 Cities in May

Two suns will appear in four cities during the month of May — the real sun in the sky, of course, but also the chrysanthemum-like depiction of it in a video by the British artist David Hockney. The 2½-minute animation will be broadcast on digital billboards in Times Square in New York and prominent locations in London, Tokyo and Seoul.

Hockney’s dawning of a new day in a color-saturated landscape springs from his experience in early mornings looking out the kitchen window of his house in Normandy, France, where he has lived since 2019, carefully observing and creating art from his surroundings.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Editor

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The Origin of Medina Spirit

from Kentucky Derby

Tales from the Crib: Medina Spirit

by Kellie Reilly/

A newborn who needed help, a $1,000 yearling whose small breeder had to sell, a cheap recruit for a hardscrabble talent scout, a juvenile purchase inspired by friendship – Medina Spirit’s story is ready-made for cinema.

And that’s even before his improbable rise for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Outlasting his higher-profile stablemates Life Is Good and Concert Tour on the trail, Medina Spirit is Baffert’s last remaining hope for a record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby (G1) win in 2021.

Medina Spirit was bred in Florida by Gail Rice, whose tiny broodmare band varies from one to four at a given time, including partnerships. His dam, Mongolian Changa, was a $9,000 yearling purchase by Gail’s former husband, trainer Wayne Rice. 

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on April 28, 2021 by Editor

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from Vanity Fair

Andrew McCarthy Recalls the Heady Days of the Brat Pack

The Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire star has a new memoir, Brat: An ’80s Story.


Lowe Tom Cruise and Estevez at the 1982 premiere of In the Custody of Strangers.
Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Estevez at the 1982 premiere of In the Custody of Strangers. BY FRANK EDWARDS/FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES.

It had been narrowed down to four actors for the two lead roles. We were broken into pairs. I was teamed with an impossibly handsome young actor named Rob Lowe who was auditioning to play my rich roommate and the son of the woman with whom my character would have an affair. The film was called Class.

I was back in the dizzy and disorienting world of “what-the-hell-is-going-on-and-how-did-I-get-here,” which suited my character perfectly. Rob and I were sent off to spend an hour together in an effort to create chemistry while the other pair of actors were put through their paces. We wandered through the nearby Water Tower Place, where I was soon to shoot a memorable (at least to me) love scene in a glass elevator.

Rob had recently costarred in his first film, Francis Ford Coppola’s soon to be released movie adaptation of The Outsiders. He held forth from a place of Hollywood experience as we drifted over the polished marble of the mall, killing time. He spoke of Tom and Matt and pasta dinners with Francis. I was unsure just who he was talking about, but nodded my head anyway. I wondered how much of Rob’s banter was simply whistling in the dark and how much was a belief in his destiny, while another part of me simply envied his apparent ease and confidence. I said little. While a charming bravado may have been Rob’s preferred method of making himself ready, mine was to go quiet and become hyper-observant—both of those around me and of myself. I don’t believe either one of us thought to actually rehearse the scenes together.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Editor

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Summer of Soul

from PASTE

See the Transcendent First Trailer for Sundance-Awarded, Questlove-Directed Documentary Summer of Soul

By Jim Vorel

After a triumphant premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, music documentary Summer of Soul is headed to Hulu on July 2 in conjunction with Disney’s new BIPOC Creator Initiative. The film is the feature filmmaking debut of none other than Roots legend Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, cataloging a powerful but sadly forgotten chapter in American musical history—the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. As the synopsis reads:

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten-until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on April 26, 2021 by Editor

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Malaise Motors

from Car Bibles

Malaise Motors Is Your Safe Space to Love Cars That People Hate

Malaise-era cars haven’t had a huge fanbase, but it does exist!


Monte Carlo

Facebook car groups can be a hot mess. Half of them seem like they’re full of dunderheads asking the same easily Googleable basic questions, and the other half is full of know-it-alls who lambast anyone who doesn’t align completely with their tastes. It’s easy for a group to become toxic or boring, then fade away into nothing. Malaise Motors is, refreshingly, neither.

The Malaise Motors Facebook group is dedicated to cars from the “Malaise” era, which this group defines as 1972 to 1995.

What is Malaise, you ask? To make a long story short, the U.S. had a horrible air pollution problem in the 1960s and ’70s – smoggy air was a common sight in many American cities. The Clean Air Act of 1972, created to clear up hazy skies, introduced limits on how much pollution engines could emit. The side effect, though, is that these emissions restrictions also severely limited output from engines.

Suddenly, a 350 horsepower V8 was now making 160 HP because the era’s automotive technology couldn’t really reconcile making power without making pollution. The group considers the mandate of OBDII, the universal computerized diagnostic system virtually every car made since ’96 has, as the end of Malaise. The group calls OBDII the “beginning the modern era of engine management and emissions control.”

[ click to continue reading at Car Bibles ]

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Editor

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from DNYUZ

Welcome to the YOLO Economy

Welcome to the YOLO Economy

Something strange is happening to the exhausted, type-A millennial workers of America. After a year spent hunched over their MacBooks, enduring back-to-back Zooms in between sourdough loaves and Peloton rides, they are flipping the carefully arranged chessboards of their lives and deciding to risk it all.

Some are abandoning cushy and stable jobs to start a new business, turn a side hustle into a full-time gig or finally work on that screenplay. Others are scoffing at their bosses’ return-to-office mandates and threatening to quit unless they’re allowed to work wherever and whenever they want.

[ click to continue reading at DNYUZ ]

Posted on April 24, 2021 by Editor

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Big Ganjafoot

from Inside Hook

What Does Bigfoot Have to Do With a Murder at a Pot Farm?

In Hulu’s “Sasquatch,” director Joshua Rofé investigates whether the mythical creature was really responsible for a triple homicide in 1993


In 1993, investigative journalist David Holthouse was working on a cannabis farm in California’s Emerald Triangle, a region consisting of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties that’s famous for its marijuana production, when a frightened man told him he had discovered three bodies torn limb from limb. This wasn’t a ripoff, the man insisted; the weed was trampled over but intact. The perpetrator of this horrific crime, he claimed? Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, the mythical ape-like creature said to roam the forests of North America.

Hulu’s new three-part docuseries Sasquatch follows Holthouse as he sets out to investigate what really happened that night, and what begins as an intriguing look at American folklore and the surprisingly large groups of people who believe they’ve had Sasquatch encounters of their own quickly evolves into something far more sinister. (Spoiler alert: Bigfoot didn’t do it.) A cannabis farm might conjure up images of genteel hippies and back-to-the-landers, but Holthouse and director Joshua Rofé quickly find themselves caught in a world full of AR-15-wielding dope growers, racism against Mexican migrant workers, and yes, several unsolved murders. It’s a sobering reminder that we don’t need to invent cryptids to get our scary-story fix; there are plenty of human monsters walking among us.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on April 23, 2021 by Editor

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Singles Party With Prince

from The LA Times

All 85 Prince singles, ranked 4 u from worst 2 best


An illustration of Prince throughout the years.
Purple reign: Prince throughout the years. (Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

When Prince died five years ago this week, he left behind one of the richest, deepest, smartest, funniest, most beautiful and most complicated collections of work that pop music has ever known.

And it hasn’t stopped growing since he passed.

Prince believed in sprawl, as he demonstrated with double and triple albums and with an internet storehouse of music he invited his fans to wander. Since his death, the artist’s estate has issued multiple LPs and box sets of material pulled from the famous vault at his Paisley Park complex in suburban Minneapolis.

Yet Prince was also devoted to the concise pleasures — and to the market-exciting potential — of a hit single. In his career as a solo act and as the frontman of the Revolution and the New Power Generation, he placed 47 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100, all of them before digital streaming opened up pop’s flagship chart to viral flukes.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on April 22, 2021 by Editor

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Jim Steinman Gone

from Deadline

Singer Bonnie Tyler Remembers ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Composer Jim Steinman: He Wrote “Some Of The Most Iconic Rock Songs Of All Time” – Update

By Greg Evans

Jim Steinman, the composer and lyricist whose roster of hit records included the huge Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” was remembered by the singer as the “true genius” behind “some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.”

“I am absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of my long term friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman,” tweeted Tyler, whose other hits composed by Steinman included “Holding Out For A Hero.”

“Jim wrote and produced some of the most iconic rock songs of all time and I was massively privileged to have been given some of them by him. I made two albums with Jim, despite my record company initially thinking he wouldn’t want to work with me. Thankfully they were wrong…”

Deadline confirmed Steinman’s death with the Connecticut state medical examiner earlier today. The composer, lyricist and producer whose roster of hit records began with Meat Loaf’s smash 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, was 73. A cause of death has not been disclosed.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Editor

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Reddit Mechanics

from WIRED

The Physics of Reddit’s Spinning Solar System Icon

If the dots on the loading screen were planets, is their motion realistic? And can we actually model it?


two small circles in two bigger ones

WHILE WAITING FOR  Reddit to load on my phone, I wondered if I could do some physics with the loading icon. Maybe you’ve seen it. It looks like a mini solar system with four planets (two inner planets and two outer planets). Let’s model it!

We should start with some data. I can do a screen capture of the loading screen and then use my favorite video analysis program (Tracker Video Analysis) to get position and time data. Of course, the screen shows distance in units of pixels and that’s not very useful. I don’t know the actual size of this “planetary system” (or whatever it is), so I will just set the scale size to 1 outer orbital diameter unit. This is the distance across the whole orbit of one of the outer “planets.”

In order to see if this figure moves in some type of realistic way, I need to look at the motion of the planets. One of the simplest things would be to look at the angular position as a function of time. What is the angular position? If you were to draw a line from the middle of the center sun to one of the orbiting planets (in a flat plane), the angle between this line and the x-axis would be its angular position. This is the same as if you were using polar coordinates instead of Cartesian coordinates. By using the angular position instead of x and y coordinates, I can still map out the motion, but I don’t have to worry about the orbital size. Then I can see if different orbital distances have different orbital speeds.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 16, 2021 by Editor

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from The New Yorker

The Florentine

The man who taught rulers how to rule.

By Claudia Roth Pierpont

An illustration of Machiavelli
Machiavelli believed that to succeed in life a man must be adaptable. Illustration by Lorenzo Mattotti

One method of torture used in Florentine jails during the glorious days of the Renaissance was the strappado: a prisoner was hoisted into the air by a rope attached to his wrists, which had been tied behind his back, and then suddenly dropped toward the floor as many times as it took to get him to confess. Since the procedure usually dislocated the shoulders, tore the muscles, and rendered one or both arms useless, it is remarkable that Niccolò Machiavelli, after reportedly undergoing six such “drops,” asked for pen and paper and began to write. Machiavelli had nothing to confess. Although his name had been found on an incriminating list, he had played no part in a failed conspiracy to murder the city’s newly restored Medici rulers. (Some said that it was Giuliano de’ Medici who had been targeted, others that it was his brother Cardinal Giovanni.) He had been imprisoned for almost two weeks when, in February, 1513, in a desperate bid for pardon, he wrote a pair of sonnets addressed to the “Magnificent Giuliano,” mixing pathos with audacity and apparently inextinguishable wit. “I have on my legs, Giuliano, a pair of shackles,” he began, and went on to report that the lice on the walls of his cell were as big as butterflies, and that the noise of keys and padlocks boomed around him like Jove’s thunderbolts. Perhaps worried that the poems would not impress, he announced that the muse he had summoned had hit him in the face rather than render her services to a man who was chained up like a lunatic. To the heir of a family that prided itself on its artistic patronage, he submitted the outraged complaint “This is the way poets are treated!”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on April 14, 2021 by Editor

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da Vinci

from Architectural Digest

Biographer Walter Isaacson Gives AD an Exclusive Interview on Leonardo da Vinci

On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, AD speaks with Walter Isaacson on the innovator’s best creations, what he might be designing today, and more

By Nick Mafi

self portrait of an artist
A presumed self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, which is currently located in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.Photo: Getty Images

There is perhaps no one more fascinating in history than Leonardo da Vinci—or more elusive. Leonardo left us no real diary of his personal experiences. Sure, there are thousands of pages from his legendary notebooks, but between those covers were no accounts of his upbringing, or the life he led in his later years. Instead, we see a mind at work in the moment, unconcerned with the ways in which history would remember him. In the more than 7,000 remaining pages of his notebooks, there are casual doodles next to precise anatomical drawings, models for new weapons alongside a sketch of how a fetus is positioned within a womb, portraits or geometric patterns coupled with proposals for city redesigns. And it’s because of this restless search for knowledge that Leonardo has become known as the quintessential genius, a man who likely made the most significant link between science and the humanities.

Society’s fascination with Leonardo seems to have grown with each passing generation. Every year there seems to be a new revelation about his life as biographers have pursued the clues Leonardo left us: He was a vegetarian, ambidextrous, bisexual, unfazed by deadlines, etcetera. Which is why so many rushed to read the most recent biography about Leonardo, courtesy of master biographer Walter Isaacson, who has previously written about other luminaries: Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs (who handpicked Isaacson to write his biography).

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on April 13, 2021 by Editor

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3BlackDot & BavaMedia

from The Hollywood Reporter

Digital Studio 3BlackDot Inks Deal With Management Firm BavaMedia (Exclusive)

The Los Angeles-based company will provide content services to Bava’s talent roster, comprised of live-streamers and YouTube personalities.


Bucks Headshot
YouTuber Ryan “Bucks” Hughes is part of BavaMedia’s talent roster. BUCKS GAMING

Entertainment studio 3BlackDot has signed a one-year partnership with gaming talent management company BavaMedia.

The exclusive deal will see the Los Angeles-based company provide BavaMedia’s talent — comprised of live-streamers and YouTube personalities — with content-related services such as brand partnerships and original programming deals, as well as e-commerce opportunities designed to expand their potential for revenue in the marketplace.

BavaMedia’s talent roster includes YouTuber GhostNinja, who has over 4 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform; and PackAPuncher, who is nearing 3 million; as well as Bucks, FreshPanda, Ahrora and Nerpah, whose YouTube subscriber counts are also climbing.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on April 12, 2021 by Editor

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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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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.


Woman's shadow cast on old wooden wheel

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


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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