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Vigil For Torched Taco Bell

from Fox 5 NY

Alabama residents hold candlelight vigil for Taco Bell that burned down

– Residents of Montgomery, Alabama said goodbye to a beloved landmark

They gathered for a vigil to share their memories of a Taco Bell that is no more. The restaurant burned down last week.

Frequent customers took to Facebook saying they were going to have a candlelight vigil to “Stand together in the loss of our beloved Taco Bell.”

[ click to continue reading at Fox 5 ]

Posted on February 5, 2018 by Editor

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Parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable

The Sun

Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to FLIP sparking chaos and mass blackouts

Parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable by the reversal, experts have warned

By Brittany Vonow

 The change could cause disastrous repercussionsGETTY IMAGES

THE Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to flip, sparking chaos and making large parts of the planet uninhabitable, it has emerged.

Experts have warned that the change is extremely likely with the magnetic field weakening by 15 per cent over 200 years.

According to an Undark report, the flip could cause “devastating streams of particles from the sun, galactic cosmic rays, and enhanced ultraviolet B rays from a radiation”.

The report warned that satellite timing systems that govern electric grids could fail, causing a ripple effect that would shut off lights, computers and phones. Even flushing the toilet could become impossible, according to the article.

The article shared concerns from Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who warned “that parts of the planet will become uninhabitable during a reversal”.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on February 4, 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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Nothing To See Here

from ABC News

Scientists say rash of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on ‘Ring of Fire’ not connected

By BILL HUTCHINSON

Volcanic eruptions in Japan, the Philippines and Bali. Massive earthquakes in Alaska and Indonesia.

The rash of natural disasters over the past two days have one common denominator: they all occurred along the so-called Ring of Fire, a sprawling horseshoe-shape geological disaster zone.

At least five different events occurred on the Ring of Fire on Monday and Tuesday, including a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that rattled the town of Kodiak, Alaska, and the eruption of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane near a ski resort northwest of Tokyo.

[ click to continue reading at ABC News ]

Posted on February 2, 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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Gangnam Style

Posted on January 30, 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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Clear Water Bad

from The Chicago Tribune

Lake Michigan has become dramatically clearer in last 20 years — but at a steep cost

by Tony Briscoe

Zebra musselsIn this May 3, 2007 photo, Inland Seas Education Association instructor Conrad Heins holds a cluster of zebra mussels that were taken from Lake Michigan off Suttons Bay, Mich. (John L. Russell / AP)

Decades ago, Lake Michigan teemed with nutrients and green algae, casting a brownish-green hue that resembled the mouth of an inland river rather than a vast, open-water lake.

Back then, the lake’s swampy complexion was less than inviting to swimmers and kayakers, but it supported a robust fishing industry as several commercial companies trawled for perch, and sport fishermen cast their lines for trout. But in the past 20 years, Lake Michigan has undergone a dramatic transformation.

In analyzing satellite images between 1998 and 2012, researchers at the Michigan Tech Research Institute were surprised to find that lakes Michigan and Huron are now clearer than Lake Superior. In a study published late last year, the researchers say limiting the amount of agricultural and sewage runoff in the lake has had an immense impact. However, the emergence of invasive mussels, which number in the trillions and have the ability to filter the entire volume of Lake Michigan in four to six days, has had an even greater effect.

“When you look at the scientific terms, we are approaching some oceanic values,” said Michael Sayers, a research engineer at Michigan Tech and co-author of the study. “We have some ways to go, but we are getting a lot closer to Lake Tahoe. A lot of times, you’ll hear from people that the water is so blue it compares to something in tropical areas.”

[ click to continue reading at Chicago Tribune ]

Posted on January 28, 2018 by Editor

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Hereditary

Posted on January 27, 2018 by Editor

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Erect Knotweed

from are technica

Hunting for the ancient lost farms of North America

2,000 years ago, people domesticated these plants. Now they’re wild weeds. What happened?

Posted on January 26, 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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They’re Coming

from ABC News

Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast Michigan residents awestruck

By KARMA ALLEN

Residents of southeast Michigan were left a bit shaken Tuesday night after a big bright flash lit up the sky and the ground beneath them shook.

A flying saucer? No. A shooting star? Not quite.

The National Weather Service eventually solved the mystery, tweeting “USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.”

“After reviewing several observational datasets, the NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor. We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor,” read a tweet posted nearly two hours before the NWS confirmed it was a meteor.

[ click to read full article at ABC News ]

Posted on January 21, 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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Dominance & Submission (Radios Appear)

from Prospect

How the internet controls you

Corporate giants have created an entirely new surveillance capitalism. And we’re too hooked to care

by John Naughton

The “dust of exploded beliefs,” the English aphorist Geoffrey Madan once wrote, “may make a fine sunset.” We’re beginning to see that glow over the internet which, if you count back to the design phase in the autumn of 1973, is now over four decades old.

From the moment the internet first opened for semi-public use in January 1983, it evoked utopian dreams. It was easy to see why. Cyberspace—the term coined by the novelist William Gibson for the virtual space behind the screen—really did seem to be a parallel universe to “meatspace,” the term invented by Grateful-Dead-lyricist-turned-essayist John Perry Barlow for the messy physical world that we all inhabit. Cyberspace in the 1980s was a glorious sandpit for geeks: a world with no corporations, no crime, no spam, no hate speech, relatively civil discourse, no editorial gatekeepers, no regulation and no role for those meatspace masters whom Barlow called the “weary giants of flesh and steel.”

But then, gradually, the internet was commercialised and those two parallel spaces merged to create our networked world, in which the affordances of cyberspace combine with surveillance and corporate control. Of course, the internet has brought huge benefits in terms of access to information and efficiency of communication: try imagining our home or work lives without it. But there are serious worries. The online world is populated by several billion mostly passive addicts of devices, apps and services created by a handful of corporate giants. Prying governments and giant companies have acquired the capacity to surveil our every move, both on the internet and, now that so many devices have built-in GPS, in the real world too. Through their ability to monitor our searches these companies—as well as the governments they co-operate with—are able to see our innermost thoughts and desires. (Yes, even our desires: what people search for on Google is incredibly revealing.)

[ click to continue reading at Prospect ]

Posted on January 19, 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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Record Sierra Wind

from The San Francisco Chronicle

199-MPH Sierra wind gust sets California record

A gust that blasted the summit of a peak at Alpine Meadows in February was the fastest non-tornado wind recorded in the United States in 2017.

The 199-mph gust was also the fastest ever recorded in California, according to the National Climate Data Center’s Extremes Committee, which sanctioned the mark last week.

For comparison, 140-mph winds have been known to pick up and hurl baseball-sized rocks.

“Even in winds of 120 mph you can’t stand under your own force,” says Tom Padham, a meteorologist with the Mount Washington Observatory. “You’re knocked over pretty quickly. You wouldn’t be able to stand back up.”

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington holds the record for fastest wind speed on U.S. soil — 231 mph.

The powerful 199-mph gust whipped Ward Peak in Alpine Meadows ski resort at about 11 p.m. Feb. 20 during a fierce storm driven by an atmospheric river that pummeled the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate.com ]

Posted on January 15, 2018 by Editor

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Love Love Deuce

from TIME

Why Is Tennis Scored So Weirdly?

By MERRILL FABRY

Do you have a question about history? Send us your question at history@time .com and you might find your answer in a future edition of Now You Know.

All sports have their own vocabularies, the shorthand lingo to communicate intricacies of rules and how play proceeds. But usually the scoring can at least be counted on to be fairly straightforward. Not so much for tennis.

For the unfamiliar, tennis starts with both players at zero, called love: “Love-all.” One person scores: 15 to love. The server’s score is said first, the receiver’s second. The other now scores, and they’re tied at “15-all.” The next point is 30, then 40, and the following point wins that game. If they tie at 40 it’s called a deuce. From that tie the next person to get a point has the advantage, but generally has to win by two points — that is, to score twice in a row — to win the game. And it doesn’t stop there. Six of these games make a set, and the set must be won by two games or it goes to a tiebreaker. After the set is over, it repeats. To win the whole match requires either winning best of five sets or best of three sets, depending on the competition.

With the Australian Open set to begin on Monday, observers may once again ponder an inevitable question: Why count this way?

[ click to continue reading at TIME Magazine ]

Posted on January 14, 2018 by Editor

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Pharaoh’s Meteorite

from RT

Giza Pyramid mystery chamber may hold Pharaoh’s ‘meteorite throne’

Giza Pyramid mystery chamber may hold Pharaoh’s 'meteorite throne'© Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

A huge void discovered inside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt late last year may hold an iron throne carved from meteorites, according to new analysis of ancient religious texts.

Giulio Magli, Director of the Department of Mathematics and Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the Politecnico di Milano, studied the Pyramid Texts, religious writings carved into pyramid walls around 2400 BC. Based on his studies, Magli proposes that it’s possible the throne of Pharaoh Khufu – or ‘Cheops’ – lies inside the chamber.

Of course it would not be melted iron but meteoritic iron, that is, fallen from the sky in the form of iron meteorites and again cited in the Texts,” Magli says in his paper.

Explaining the structure of the pyramid, Magli states that before arriving at the funerary chamber there is a gallery. “The newly discovered room is over this gallery, but does not have a practical function of ‘relieving weight’ from it, because the roof of the gallery itself was already built with a corbelled technique for this very reason,” he explains in a statement.

So what was this room used for? Magli offers a possible interpretation that falls in line with existing knowledge on Egyptian funerary religion as documented in the Pyramid texts: “In these texts it is said that the pharaoh,before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the ‘gates of the sky’ and sit on his ‘throne of iron.’”

[ click to continue reading at RT ]

Posted on January 13, 2018 by Editor

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Hardcore Wrestling

from The Sun

BLOODY VIOLENT: Inside the bloody world of hardcore wrestling where fighters brawl with shards of glass, barbed wire bats and fan-made weapons in ultra-violent ‘death matches’

These shocking pictures show hardcore wrestlers fighting until they are dripping with blood and hurling themselves into fiery pits full of glass.

By Emma Parry, Digital US Correspondent

IT’S been dubbed the bloodiest sport in the world – where men and women beat each other to a pulp with glass lighting tubes, fan-made barbed-wire bats and other deadly weapons.

This is hardcore death-match wrestling and, according to fans, it’s 100 per cent more brutal than anything you’ve seen on WWE.

With a large and loyal following, these fighters travel across America – and the world – taking part in ultra-violent wrestling events – such as barefoot thumbtack matches – before patching themselves up with superglue and hitting the road.

Others hurl themselves off rooftops or scaffolding into pits of fire, glass, barbed wire – or all three – in front of wild, cheering crowds.

These graphic pictures were taken by photographer Marc McAndrew who spent two years following the wrestlers and documenting their lives….

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on January 12, 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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Mars Is Where We Were At

from AFP via Yahoo!

Deep, buried glaciers spotted on Mars

By the 2030s, NASA hopes to send human explorers to Mars, the surface of which is seen in a May 2017 handout photo covered in carbon dioxide snow and ice, different from the buried glaciers researchers have spottedBy the 2030s, NASA hopes to send human explorers to Mars, the surface of which is seen in a May 2017 handout photo covered in carbon dioxide snow and ice, different from the buried glaciers researchers have spotted (AFP Photo/HO)

Miami (AFP) – Buried glaciers have been spotted on Mars, offering new hints about how much water may be accessible on the Red Planet and where it is located, researchers said Thursday.

Although ice has long been known to exist on Mars, a better understanding of its depth and location could be vital to future human explorers, said the report in the US journal Science.

Erosion has exposed eight ice sites, some as shallow as a few feet (one meter) below the surface, and going as deep as 100 meters or more, it said.

These underground cliffs appear “to be nearly pure ice,” said the report, which is based on data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2005.

“This kind of ice is more widespread than previously thought,” said Colin Dundas, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on January 10, 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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SpaceX Mystery Messages

from The Daily Express

Top SECRET US satellite launched by SpaceX aims to send ‘unknown group’ MYSTERY messages

SPACEX are to launch a top-secret satellite codenamed project Zuma this Friday, the US Air Force confirmed.

By TARYN TARRANT-CORNISH

SpaceX cut the feed to the second stage of the launch to keep the Zuma mission top secret during launch.

The mysterious project will see the private space agency launch the satellite allowing an unnamed government organisation to send messages or take photos.

One of the few scraps of information currently available has revealed Zuma will enter into a low orbit around Earth.

What the orbiter’s mission is and who will be operating it is unknown with US authorities so far refusing the release any more information.

[ click to continue reading Express ]

Posted on January 8, 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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