Habibi Funk

from TIME

How Arab Funk Is Going Global


In London’s Jazz Cafe, the sound of Egyptian legend Umm Kulthum’s song Alf Leila Wleila is reverberating around an atmosphere of anticipation. Fragments of light are reflecting off the Camden venue’s rotating disco ball—lighting up the faces of an intimate crowd who are waiting, drinks in hand, for Berlin record label Habibi Funk’s first live music show to start.

It’s late August and this diverse group of music lovers doesn’t seem entirely sure what they’re in for. But when Lebanese musician Charif Megarbane and his band takes the stage, the crowd loosens up. Tall and floppy-haired, Megarbane delights audience members with multi-instrumental songs from his new album Marzipan, which was released in July by Habibi Funk. “Hopefully you appreciate it all and thank you again for coming,” Megarbane says, to cheers, as he warms up the crowd.

In recent years, global interest in Arabic music has surged. TikTok and Instagram have helped a new wave of Arab talent such as Saint Levant, Issam Alnajjar, and Wegz reach tens of millions of people. Parties such as Beirut Groove Collective, Laylit, and DJ Nooriyah’s Middle of Nowhere frequently sell out in London, New York, and other Western metropolises. All of this has even prompted the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the global body for recorded music, to launch in November the first ever regional MENA music chart.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Owning Amboy

from SF Gate

‘Lovely chaos’: What it’s like to accidentally own a California ghost town

By Ariana Bindman

from Wikipedia

The deserted town of Amboy looks like a Harley Davidson fever dream drenched in neon. 

Just along Route 66 in the Mojave Desert, it appears like a mirage, or a gritty 1950s Western on acid. But amid the barren nothingness, just past the mysteriously placed Buddha statue and volcanic crater, you’ll also see the abandoned town’s most prominent landmark glowing in the distance: Roy’s Motel and Cafe, a remote gas station that has become an enduring, if surreal, symbol of Americana. 

Though it started out as a small mining camp, postcards suggest that Amboy once had 13 businesses, including cafes and motor courts, as well as a church and a school that catered to the town’s 200 residents. For a fleeting period after the war, business at the roadside diner boomed, bringing workers and travelers from all across the United States. 

[ click to continue reading at SF Gate ]

Built To Last

from AP

How are ancient Roman and Mayan buildings still standing? Scientists are unlocking their secrets


Rome's Pantheon is seen on Monday, July 24, 2023. The structure was built under Roman Emperor Augustus between 27-25 B.C. to celebrate all gods worshipped in ancient Rome and rebuilt under Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 128 A.D. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Rome’s Pantheon is seen on Monday, July 24, 2023. The structure was built under Roman Emperor Augustus between 27-25 B.C. to celebrate all gods worshipped in ancient Rome and rebuilt under Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 128 A.D. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

NEW YORK (AP) — In the quest to build better for the future, some are looking for answers in the long-ago past.

Ancient builders across the world created structures that are still standing today, thousands of years later — from Roman engineers who poured thick concrete sea barriers, to Maya masons who crafted plaster sculptures to their gods, to Chinese builders who raised walls against invaders.

Yet scores of more recent structures are already staring down their expiration dates: The concrete that makes up much of our modern world has a lifespan of around 50 to 100 years.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Ed Fancher Gone

from The Village Voice

Remembering Ed Fancher, a Village Voice Founder

He kept the paper alive through the early, lean years.


Village Voice article about the death of Edwin Fancher, one of the paper's founders.
Village Voice Archive

The front page of the January 4, 1956, issue of the Village Voice looked much like the others that had run since a trio of World War II vets founded the paper, three months earlier: the elegant Voice logo, designed by the painter Nell Blaine; a headline about Off-Broadway theater; a picture of the artist Marcel Duchamp, who had recently become an American citizen; and a headshot of the novelist Norman Mailer. What wasn’t typical was one of the bylines: “Edwin Fancher, Publisher of The Village Voice.” 

Fancher had mostly handled the business end of things: advertising, circulation, and distribution. But in this eleventh issue of the paper, he announced, “Leading Novelist to Write a Column for ‘The Voice,’” followed by: 

Beginning with our next issue The Village Voice will have a weekly column contributed to our pages by Norman Mailer. Mr. Mailer needs no introduction to most of our readers. At the age of 32 he has already had a most controversial career, and each of his three novels has received almost a total spectrum of praise and abuse. For your curiosity we quote these samples, inspired by The Naked and the Dead:

“The greatest writer to come out of his generation” — Sinclair Lewis. 

“Insidious slime” — Life magazine.

Fancher went on to enumerate more of Mailer’s contrasting reviews, noting that the famous writer had to go through six publishers before one would agree to print a “debatable passage” of six lines contained in his third novel, The Deer Park, which, Fancher noted, “received without question the most contradictory and confusing reviews of any novel in years.” 

[ click to continue reading at The Village Voice ]


from Gizmodo

Fright Krewe Exclusive Clip Presents the Gateway Horrors of Growing Pains

Eli Roth’s latest horror project is an animated Peacock and Hulu series for kids arriving October 2.

By Sabina Graves

Image for article titled Fright Crewe Exclusive Clip Presents the Gateway Horrors of Growing Pains
Image: Peacock

A group of kids join forces to uncover the lore of New Orleans through spooky supernatural adventures in Eli Roth’s Fright Crewe.

Each generation has a team of young heroes rise up to take on the threat of evil in its many forms: the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine meddling kids, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer gang (also called the Scoobies), and now the Fright Crewe. Coming October 2 on Peacock and Hulu, Roth’s latest horror series follows a group of youths in haunted New Orleans who uncover an ancient prophecy and are tasked by a voodoo queen to save their city from the biggest demonic threat it’s faced in almost two centuries.

The show, created by Roth and James Frey, has Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous’ Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco as showrunners; it will run for 10 episodes of monster fun exploring the mythology and lore of New Orleans. The cast of kids includes Sydney Mikayla as Soleil, Tim Johnson Jr. as Maybe, Grace Lu as Missy, Chester Rushing as Stanley, Terrence Little Gardenhigh as Pat, and Jacques Colimon as Belial.

[ click to continue reading at Gizmodo ]

Fright Krewe Fun

from CBR

Eli Roth Finds the Fun Side of Horror in DreamWorks’ Fright Krewe


Created and Executive-Produced by Eli Roth and James Frey, Fright Krewe is DreamWorks’ latest animated series. Focusing on an unlikely group of teenagers with mystical powers and a duty to stop an ancient evil from ripping apart New Orleans, Fright Krewe takes the classic adventure animation dynamics and infuses them with some of the frights and tension that Roth is most famous for. There are plenty of monsters and horrific images, but Roth maintains a consistently appealing edge to the central characters and their stories.

The result is a fun show that serves as a gateway for younger audiences to the horror genre. During an interview with CBR, Eli Roth discussed how Fright Krewe draws from Voodoo mythology and figures, the importance of authenticity, taking inspiration from previous animated projects, and crafting a series that older horror fans can share with their children.

[ click to continue reading at CBR ]

Surgeons At Risk

from The Guardian

US surgeons are killing themselves at an alarming rate. One decided to speak out

The grueling profession has long kept silent about mental distress. After losing a friend and quietly grappling with illness, Carrie Cunningham found a new way to save lives

by Christina Frangou

Carrie Cunningham in hospital hallway
The weight of responsibility on surgeons comes at a personal cost. Photograph: Kayana Szymczak/The Guardian

Carrie Cunningham puffed out her cheeks and exhaled. She looked out at the audience filled with 2,000 of her peers, surgeons who were attending the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Surgery, a prestigious gathering of specialists from universities across the United States and Canada.

Cunningham, president of the organization, knew what she was about to reveal could cost her promotions, patients and professional standing. She took a deep breath.

“I was the top junior tennis player in the United States,” she began. “I am an associate professor of surgery at Harvard.

“But I am also human. I am a person with lifelong depression, anxiety, and now a substance use disorder.”

The room fell silent.

Cunningham knew others in the room were struggling, too. Doctors are dying by suicide at higher rates than the general population. Somewhere between 300 to 400 physicians a year in the US take their own lives, the equivalent of one medical school graduating class annually.

Surgeons have some of the highest known rates of suicide among physicians. Of 697 physician suicides reported to the CDC’s national violent death reporting system between 2003 and 2017, 71 were surgeons. Many more go unreported.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Strike Over!

from TIME

    Screenwriters Reached a Deal to End the Strike. Here’s What Happens Next


    Union leadership representing screenwriters in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has declared an end to a monthslong strike after voting to lift it on Tuesday evening. The decision went into effect just after midnight on Wednesday, meaning TV and movie writers can return to work. In the meantime, between Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, union members can vote to ratify the new language in the 94-page contract. (If they vote against it, which seems unlikely, the negotiation process would start over.)

    The end to the strike follows a tentative agreement made Sunday night between the WGA and  the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to lift a work stoppage that began in early May.

    “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA wrote in an email to its members on Sunday evening. “What we have won in this contract—most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd—is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days.”

    [ click to continue reading at TIME ]


    from Golf Digest

    The stuffiest country club stories we’ve ever heard

    Golf has made progress in loosening up, but at some clubs old habits persist.

    By Sam Weinman

    One story that best encapsulates country club point-missing has circulated for years. The setting is an old, eastern golf club, with one of the best courses in the state. The club is notorious for its men-only policy. Forget about women joining as members or playing the golf course. Only a few days a year are they even allowed on the property.

    One day a member having lunch at the club abruptly falls ill at the table. He grabs his chest, falls to his knees. A concerned scrum gathers around his table. Word reaches his wife, who arrives at the club gates within minutes.

    “He is inside,” she is told as she tries to pass through. “Unfortunately,” the attendant continues, “no women are allowed on property. Please wait here.”

    No way this is true.

    “I’m afraid it is true,” one longtime member of the club says. “I’ve heard it, too,” a frequent guest of the club confirmed.

    [ click to continue reading at Golf Digest ]

    Free Rhinos!

    from The New York Times

    Now Available: 2,000 Rhinos, Free to Good Homes With Plenty of Space

    By Rachel Nuwer

    Now Available: 2,000 Rhinos, Free to Good Homes With Plenty of Space

    A herd of 2,000 rhinoceroses urgently in need of a new owner has finally found one: The rhinos and the farm where they live in South Africa have been purchased by a conservation group that plans to release the animals into the wild over the next decade.

    The southern white rhinos, thought to be the largest single population of their kind, were put up for auction in April with a starting price of $10 million. No bidders came forward. At that point, the future of the animals appeared precarious. But the conservation group African Parks announced this month that it had reached a deal to take over the herd.

    [ click to continue reading at NYT ]

    Home By The Sea

    Mysterious driftwood home appears on Bay Area cliff face

    By Andrew Chamings

    from SF Gate

    A mystifying, intricately built ramshackle home somehow stands on the face of a treacherous Bay Area cliff — and it apparently has a resident, or at least a regular visitor. 

    Built out of driftwood, likely collected from the waves below, the shack appears to have several rooms and rises over three levels on the steep San Mateo County rock face. Among the wood and ropes are a boxing punching bag, several buoys, some old signs and what appears to be a fully enclosed room. A solitary wooden chair also faces the Pacific, its back to rocks — hard to imagine how exposed that seat must feel in storms and high seas; or how beautiful the sun looks, setting over the Pacific.

    On the edge of the notorious Devil’s Slide cliffs near Pacifica, the makeshift dwelling first came to light when captured by a drone video in December 2022, and was highlighted in the California Sun newsletter this week.

    [ click to continue reading at SF Gate ]

    Fright Krewe

    from SyFy


    This October, the Fright Krewe assembles in New Orleans.

    By Matthew Jackson

    The cast of Fright Krewe
    The cast of DreamWorks Animations’ Fright Krewe, from the minds of Eli Roth and James Frey. Photo: Peacock

    It’s almost October, time for ghosts and goblins everywhere to come out and celebrate the spooky season. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get into the Halloween spirit with the whole family, and this fall, DreamWorks Animation is giving you one more on Peacock.

    Created by Eli Roth (Cabin FeverThe House with a Clock in Its Walls) and James Frey (I Am Number Four), Fright Krewe is a new animated series set in “the most haunted city in America,” New Orleans, Louisiana. In this historic, wonderfully spooky town, ghosts are nothing new, but a group of five teenagers is about to find out that ghosts are the least of what’s going on in New Orleans. 

    After a strange encounter with a Voodoo Queen imbues them with the powers of five powerful spirit, Soleil (Sydney Mikayla), Maybe (Tim Johnson Jr.), Missy (Grace Lu), Stanley (Chester Rushing), and Pat (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) find themselves imbued with strange supernatural powers which allow them to see the true nature of the city they call home. New Orleans, it seems, is home to all manner of supernatural monsters, including vampires, monsters and, yes, demons. In fact, New Orleans is about to face a demonic enemy the likes of which it hasn’t seen in centuries, and it’s up to these five teenagers to stop it…if they can get along, anyway. 

    [ click to continue reading at SyFy ]


    from The Washington Post

    This planet light-years from Earth may be covered in ocean, NASA says

    Story by Ellen Francis 

    This planet light-years from Earth may be covered in ocean, NASA says
    This planet light-years from Earth may be covered in ocean, NASA says / © NASA; ESA; CSA; Joseph Olmsted/STScI

    Scientists have made a new discovery that hints at a possible water ocean on a massive planet many lights-years away from Earth, though it is not clear if it could support life, according to NASA.

    Researchers made the announcement after examining data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, gazing more than 100 light-years from Earth at an exoplanet — or a planet beyond our solar system — in the constellation Leo that goes by the name K2-18 b and is 8.6 times as massive as our planet.

    The astronomers, led by the University of Cambridge, found methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of K2-18 b, results that are “consistent with an ocean-covered surface underneath a hydrogen-rich atmosphere,” the university said.

    “The discovery provides a glimpse into a planet unlike anything else in our Solar System, and raises interesting prospects about potentially habitable worlds elsewhere in the Universe,” it said Monday.Webb telescope is already challenging what astronomers thought they knew

    NASA said the findings — including “the abundance of methane and carbon dioxide, and shortage of ammonia” — support the hypothesis that the exoplanet might be covered in ocean.

    [ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

    Trad Wives

    from The Wall Street Journal

    Dressing Like a 1950s Housewife Is Not Just for ‘Trad Wives’

    Bright-red lipstick, curled hair, high heels, full skirts: Feminists and ‘trad wives’ alike are embracing the midcentury look

    By Rory Satran

    Chloe Downing makes her own 1940s and ’50s pieces. JWCOOPER PHOTOGRAPHY

    Look closely among the droves of people in 

    Lululemon leggings and 

    Crocs next time you’re at the grocery store or the airport, and you might notice a curious sight: a woman dressed like a 1950s housewife. With her curled hair, full-skirted dress and high-heeled Mary-Jane shoes, she could be straight out of “I Love Lucy” or “Leave It to Beaver.” She might even be wearing an anachronistic frilly petticoat or apron. Wasn’t this a style that was left firmly in the past?

    Apparently not. A new generation of women is discovering the midcentury look, albeit for wildly varying reasons. Perhaps most divisively, there’s the “trad wife” movement, an online community of traditional women whose retro fashion reflects their religious, conservative and even sometimes far-right values. Then there are women who profess “vintage style, not vintage values,” combining hourglass silhouettes with a progressive worldview. And then there are those women and designers who just happen to appreciate the bygone charm of a swirly skirt.

    Lisa Pontius, a 35-year-old Charleston, S.C., homemaker, wears bright-red lipstick, wasp-waisted dresses and the occasional apron.

    “Looking at me, you’re going to probably assume a lot of things, but you probably would be extremely wrong,” she said. She’s not a trad wife; she just likes the way the clothes and makeup look.

    [ click to continue reading at WSJ ]


    from Spiked

    Djokovic’s revenge

    How the tennis champ stuck it to the lockdown elites.


    Djokovic’s revenge

    Revenge, it seems, is best served with a powerhouse forehand. That’s what Novak Djokovic did at the US Open yesterday. After three hours and 16 minutes of the most intense tennis, he defeated Daniil Medvedev, almost 10 years his junior, with a shot Medvedev just couldn’t return. But it wasn’t only his Russian opponent he humbled – it was the lockdown elites, too. It was that old Zero Covid fanaticism, which had hit the famously unvaxxed Djokovic especially hard. Having been frozen out of some grand slams for his apparently ‘arrogant’ refusal to get the jab, Djokovic has now stormed back in to remind yesteryear’s petty Covid tyrants of his greatness – and their folly.

    [ click to continue reading at Spiked ]

    Beauty Galore x4

    from Vogue

    Linda, Cindy, Christy, Naomi! The Iconic Supers Open Up About Their Fabulous Then—and Now


    TOGETHER AGAIN Turlington wears a Levis tank top. Bottega Veneta pants. Cartier bracelet. Campbell in Alaïa. Cartier...
    Turlington wears a Levi’s tank top. Bottega Veneta pants. Cartier bracelet. Campbell in Alaïa. Cartier ring. Evangelista wears shirt by The Row. Levi’s jeans. Crawford in Gucci. Cartier ring.

    Over two days in May, Cindy, Christy, Linda, and Naomi (no surnames required) can be found at a photo studio on the West Side of Manhattan doing that thing they do—supermodel-ing—with humor, and with ruthless precision. They don’t balk at wearing massive shoulder pads, pastel mini suits, skinny ties, and pointy pumps—items that bear no relation to the cozy cashmeres and jeans they arrived in—and they smile with familiarity at the racks of this season’s most important looks, which look not unlike designer offerings they wore more than 30 years ago. Back then they were just kids, really, and the clothes made no sense; now they are in their 50s, and ditto (save for a Schiaparelli gown in jersey that Christy falls in love with). Even the coolest, most downbeat look—jeans and a tank from superhot Matthieu Blazy for Bottega Veneta—is paradoxically made of leather. How does that work when walking a dog? But never mind. These are Supers and they can own any look, gamely sing along to a soundtrack of early Madonna and Lauper, catch the light just so to create shapes that don’t actually accord with their actual bodies, and all the while subtly coach the young, rising-star photographer Rafael Pavarotti on how best to capture the movement of the clothes. Between takes they check the monitors; being “bossy ladies” (Cindy’s term), they offer corrections. Naomi never gives up the heels, even when her costars are barefoot. It’s a master class in commitment. But how odd it must be to be in a back-to-the-future version of your own life! And even odder to have spent a life working at being beautiful when you are naturally, by any gauge, gorgeous. When Edward Enninful, who has known them all for decades, charmingly references an episode of 30 Rock in which Tina Fey’s character dates a man (played by Jon Hamm) who is so handsome that he unknowingly lives in a bubble of special treatment and privilege, it is Cindy, who has literally made beauty her brand, who smiles first in understanding.

    [ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

    Pooty-poot Invades The Moon

    from The Wall Street Journal

    Russia Aims to Restore Prestige in Race to Moon’s South Pole

    Success could signal Moscow’s ability to overcome sanctions and demonstrate its technological prowess, but the challenges are severe

    By Ann M. Simmons

    A Soyuz rocket carrying the Luna-25 lander blasts off at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome . HANDOUT/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

    Russia’s launch of its first lunar lander in nearly 50 years on Friday, an attempt to become the first country to reach the south pole of the moon, is a symbolic moment for a country anxious to prove it still has the technological capabilities befitting a great world power.

    The difficulties are manifold, from executing a successful launch to actually landing a probe on the rugged terrain at the pole on Aug. 21. Western sanctions stemming from its war in Ukraine mean Moscow has fewer collaborators than it might have had in the past. Russian scientists are also racing against a similar mission from India, and expect to land their own probe first. “We will now wait for the 21st,” Yury Borisov, head of the Roscosmos space agency, told workers at the Vostochny Cosmodrome following the launch, the Russian news agency Interfax reported. “I hope that there will be a highly precise soft landing on the moon.”

    Aside from boosting Russian prestige, a first-ever landing at the pole could be a valuable step forward in expanding scientists’ understanding of whether there could be sufficient quantities of ice there to provide fuel, oxygen and drinking water to support a possible human settlement in the future.

    [ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

    Jamie Reid Gone

    from Deadline

    Jamie Reid Dies: Artist And Graphic Designer For The Sex Pistols Was 76

    By Bruce Haring

    Jamie Reid, the artist and graphic designer whose work for the Sex Pistols defined the punk aesthetic, has died at 76.

    His gallerist, John Marchant, confirmed his death. In a statement, he was described as an “artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, rebel and romantic. Jamie leaves behind a beloved daughter Rowan, a granddaughter Rose, and an enormous legacy.”

    Reid met future Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren at Croydon Art School. That relationship blossomed into a collaboration on artwork for the Sex Pistols.

    Reid’s best known work was for the Sex Pistols covers including the pink and yellow text of their only album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,” and “God Save the Queen,” the hit single banned by the BBC. The latter featured a Cecil Beaton photo portrait of Queen Elizabeth II defaced by Reid.

    [ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

    The Moon Is A Rich Mistress

    from Business Insider

    The moon is open for business, and entrepreneurs are racing to make billions

    Story by Marianne Guenot

    The moon is open for business. iStock; Robyn Phelps/Insider
    The moon is open for business. iStock; Robyn Phelps/Insider© iStock; Robyn Phelps/Insider

    If NASA has its way, it will send astronauts back to the moon by the end of the decade, making them the first humans to walk on the lunar surface in over half a century.

    But this isn’t just another scientific mission. This time around, NASA means business.

    With its Artemis missions, the US space agency aims to lay the foundations for the first human settlements beyond Earth and pave the way for extraplanetary colonization. And business is at the core of its strategy. 

    “It’s not theoretical at this point — it’s happening,” Brendan Rosseau, a teaching fellow at Harvard Business School who focuses on the space economy, told Insider.

    The agency is tagging private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Nokia, Lockheed Martin, and General Motors, to develop solutions for its lunar missions such as space-worthy rides, moon streaming, lunar GPS, and more.

    [ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

    Roth on Friedkin

    from Deadline

    Remembering William Friedkin: Directors Eli Roth, Guillermo Del Toro & Scott Derrickson, ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial’ Star Kiefer Sutherland Pay Tribute

    By Greg Evans

    Refresh for updates… Horror film director Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) is among the colleagues, friends and fans paying tribute to the late William Friedkin, the great director of The Exorcist and The French Connection who died today.

    “RIP to the legend William Friedkin,” Roth wrote on Instagram. “One of the most impactful directors of all time and certainly set the course of my life in a different direction with The Exorcist. He was so incredibly nice and supportive the few times I was lucky enough to meet him. Watch Sorcerer if you’ve never seen it. He was one of a kind. Legend.”

    [ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

    William Friedkin Gone

    from Variety

    William Friedkin, ‘The Exorcist’ Director, Dies at 87

    By Carmel Dagan

    Director William Friedkin, best known for his Oscar-winning “The French Connection” and blockbuster “The Exorcist,” died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 87.

    His death was confirmed by Chapman University dean Stephen Galloway, a friend of Friedkin’s wife Sherry Lansing

    His final film, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

    Along with Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola and Hal Ashby, Friedkin rose to A-list status in the 1970s, part of a new generation of vibrant, risk-taking filmmakers. Combining his experience in television, particularly in documentary film, with a cutting-edge style of editing, Friedkin brought a great deal of energy to the horror and police thriller genres in which he specialized.

    [ click to continue reading at Variety ]

    More Sex = More Memories

    from StudyFinds

    A better love life could save your memory during old age

    Does a poor sex life lead to memory decline? Researchers at Penn State have discovered a potential connection between low sexual satisfaction during middle age and future cognitive decline.

    The study, which focused on erectile function, sexual satisfaction, and cognition in men between 56 and 68 years-old, found that decreases in sexual satisfaction and incidents of erectile function displayed a connection with signs of memory loss later in life.

    “What was unique about our approach is that we measured memory function and sexual function at each point in the longitudinal study, so we could look at how they changed together over time,” says Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State and co-author on the study, in a university release.

    [ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

    Tulare Returned

    from The New York Times

    A Vast Lake Has Captivated California Where Farms Stood a Year Ago

    Tulare Lake re-emerged after intense storms battered the state this winter, and will likely remain in the Central Valley for months — and maybe years — to come.

    By Shawn Hubler / Photographs by Mark Abramson

    A watery landscape.
    Officials say that the lake has reached its peak size and predict it will stay at its current level for the next one to two years.

    It sounds like the sea and approaches the size of Lake Tahoe. Its wind-driven waves are unexpectedly silky and warm. Tulare Lake seems to go on forever on the immense brown and green flat of California’s Central Valley, shimmering like a great blue mirage.

    Three months have passed since the lake, which dates to the Ice Age, re-emerged in the basin that once held the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi River. Dammed dry by humans, it has periodically attempted a comeback, though rarely with the force seen after this winter’s storms.

    First a trickle, then a flood, the water that coursed into the lake bed over a handful of months swallowed one of the nation’s largest and most valuable stretches of cropland in about the time it takes to grow a tomato. Thirty square miles, then 50. Then 100. Then more.

    [ click to continue reading at NYT ]

    Cult of the Dead Cow Now

    from The Washington Post

    Hacking group plans system to encrypt social media and other apps

    Story by Joseph Menn

    Hacking group plans system to encrypt social media and other apps
    Hacking group plans system to encrypt social media and other apps © Tom Brenner/For the Washington Post

    SAN FRANCISCO — Once known for distributing hacking tools and shaming software companies into improving their security, a famed group of technology activists is now working to develop a system that will allow the creation of messaging and social networking apps that won’t keep hold of users’ personal data.

    The group, Cult of the Dead Cow, has developed a coding framework that can be used by app developers who are willing to embrace strong encryption and forsake revenue from advertising that is targeted to individuals based on detailed profiles gleaned from the data most apps now routinely collect.

    The team is building on the work of such free products as Signal, which offers strong encryption for text messages and voice calls, and Tor, which offers anonymous web surfing by routing traffic through a series of servers to disguise the location of the person conducting the search.

    The latest effort, to be detailed at the massive annual Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas next week, seeks to provide a foundation for messaging, file sharing and even social networking apps without harvesting any data, all secured by the kind of end-to-end encryption that makes interception hard even for governments.

    [ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

    James Larkin Gone

    from reason

    Backpage Founder, Alt-Weekly Entrepreneur, and Free Speech Warrior James Larkin Has Died

    Larkin, 74, took his own life on Monday, just a little over a week before he was slated to stand trial for his role in running the web-classifieds platform Backpage.


    Entrepreneur, journalist, and First Amendment warrior James Larkin has died, just a little over a week before he was slated to stand trial for his role in running the web-classifieds platform Backpage. Larkin, 74, took his own life on Monday.

    A native of Maricopa County, Arizona, he leaves behind a wife and six children, as well as a string of newspapers and a legacy of fighting for free speech.

    With journalist Michael Lacey, Larkin built the Phoenix New Times from an anti-war student newspaper into a broad—and still-thriving—record of Maricopa County culture and politics. New Times didn’t shy away from honest reporting on local law enforcement and power figures—including Sen. John McCain and his wife Cindy—or on controversial issues like abortion, immigrant rights, or the 1976 murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.

    “I had just come back from school in Mexico City and had been exposed to the Mexican student movement in the late 60’s and early 70’s and they were really serious radicals, serious revolutionaries, and a lot of them were killed in the ensuing years, murdered by the Mexican government. I realized that politics were serious,” Larkin told Reason in 2018. “I felt that the paper…really had an opportunity to be politically powerful.”

    [ click to continue reading at reason ]

    Babylon Growing

    from The New Yorker

    Revisiting My Rastafari Childhood

    Babylon was everything forbidden, and looming all around us—and my father tried to protect us from it at all costs.

    By Safiya Sinclair

    The first time I left Jamaica, I was seventeen. I’d graduated from high school two years before, and while trying to get myself to college I’d been scouted as a model. And so I found myself at the Wilhelmina Models office in Miami, surrounded by South Beach’s finest glass windows with all my glass hopes, face to face with a famous one-named model who was now in her sixties. When her gaze halted at my dreadlocks, I shouldn’t have been surprised at what came next.

    “Can you cut the dreads?” she asked, as she flipped through my portfolio, her soft accent blunting the impact of the words.

    Back home in Kingston, hair stylists would leave my dreadlocks untouched, tied up in a ponytail with my good black ribbon, deciding that the problem of my hair was insolvable.

    “Sorry,” I said. “My father won’t allow me.”

    She glanced over at the agent who had brought me in.

    “It’s her religion,” he explained. “Her father is Rastafarian. Very strict.”

    The road between my father and me was woven in my hair, long spools of dreadlocks tethering me to him, across time, across space. Everywhere I went, I wore his mark, a sign to the bredren in his Rastafari circle that he had his house under control. Once, when I was feeling brave, I had asked my father why he chose Rastafari for himself, for us. “I and I don’t choose Rasta,” he told me, using the plural “I” because Jah’s spirit is always with a Rasta bredren. “I and I was born Rasta.” I turned his reply over in my mouth like a coin.

    [ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

    Pee-Wee Gone

    from The New York Post

    Paul Reubens dead: Pee-wee Herman actor was 70

    By Brooke Steinberg, Eric Hegedus and Nadine DeNinno

    Paul Reubens, the actor who made millions around the world laugh with his Pee-wee Herman character, has died. He was 70.

    “Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness,” his reps said in a statement to The Post.

    The cause of death was cancer, according to the statement.

    “Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit. A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit.”

    post to his official Instagram account included a quote from Reubens directly to be shared with his fans after his passing: “Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years. I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”

    [ click to continue reading at NYP ]