blog

2019-02-11 20:08 culture blog

Tomi Ungerer, Brash Illustrator for Young and Older, Dies at 87 - The New York Times

“Americans cannot accept that a children’s-book author should do erotic work or erotic satire,” he told The New York Times in 2008, when some of his children’s books began to be republished in the United States and Britain. “Even in New York it just wasn’t acceptable.”

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2019-02-11 17:31 tech blog

LTD: Context And Presence – WARREN ELLIS LTD

Social media does not “get” not-fully-baked. Social media is useless for thinking out loud and exploring notions. Social media — bizarrely, given its nature — does not do context.

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2019-01-23 22:20 culture blog

Jonas Mekas, ‘Godfather’ of American Avant-Garde Film, Is Dead at 96 - The New York Times

“I can’t understand why people prefer the grossness and banality of a Hollywood or a European Art movie, as against the illuminations and ecstasies of an Avant-garde Film,” Mr. Mekas wrote in an essay in The New York Times in 1969. “The Hollywood film deals with gross, simplified realities, banalized feelings, ideas, thoughts. The Avant-garde Film deals with the subtler nuances of experience, emotions, ideas, perceptions — it illuminates them — it deals with things that make you finer.

“I do not understand,” he continued, “by what logic the public, film critics and educators choose to spend thousands of hours of their lives with second-rate art, while at the same time making fun of the Avant-garde Film.”

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2019-01-06 17:09 nature blog

'Sonic attack' on US embassy in Havana could have been crickets, say scientists | World news | The Guardian

But a fresh analysis of the audio recording has revealed what scientists in the UK and the US now believe is the true source of the piercing din: it is the song of the Indies short-tailed cricket, known formally as Anurogryllus celerinictus.

“The recording is definitively a cricket that belongs to the same group,” said Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln. “The call of this Caribbean species is about 7 kHz, and is delivered at an unusually high rate, which gives humans the sensation of a continuous sharp trill.”

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2018-12-21 18:30 culture blog

The ‘Godfather of Animated Cinema’ Makes More Than Just Movies - The New York Times

The movie he was working on at the time, “Castle of Otranto,” came under greater scrutiny, and censors demanded he make many changes. Mr. Svankmajer refused and as a result was banned from filmmaking. He could not finish his movie until 1979 when the prohibition was lifted.

“I never was a political artist,” Mr. Svankmajer said “but I am an engaged artist, because Surrealism was always an engaged art. The idea of Surrealism is to change the world — that’s Marx — and to transform life — that’s Rimbaud,” he added, referring to the 19th century French poet.

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2018-12-18 16:03 culture blog

Mixtape: Métron Records – Masahiro Takahashi - Visual Melt

I think it’s important for me to keep my own pace by creating music as if I’m slowly tending a miniature garden after coming home from my day job. However, I’m not sure if my music is defined as ambient music. For now, I feel soothed when I listen to or make music that is quiet and calming or takes me to some faraway place.

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2018-12-14 09:04 mind blog

Bertrand Russell's Advice For How (Not) to Grow Old: "Make Your Interests Gradually Wider and More Impersonal" | Open Culture

The best way to overcome it [the fear of death]—so at least it seems to me—is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.

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2018-12-07 20:13 culture blog

We Are Drowning in a Devolved World: An Open Letter from Devo - Noisey

Forty-eight years ago, on May 4, 1970, as a member of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), I was front and centre being fired on by my fellow Americans in the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University, as we peacefully protested President Nixon’s expansion of the cancerously unpopular Vietnam War into Cambodia without an act of Congress. I was lucky and dodged the bullet, both literally and figuratively, but four students were killed, and nine more were seriously wounded by the armed, mostly teenaged, National Guard troops. Two of the four students killed, Alison Krause and Jeffery Miller, were close acquaintances of mine.

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2018-12-05 17:55 space blog

Falling in Love With the Dark - Nautilus - Pocket

For roughly the past two decades, at least two-thirds of the U.S. population have not been able to see the Milky Way at all, and it will get worse before it gets better. The dawn of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is expected to significantly lower costs and spur consumption. In addition, LED lighting produces light with a bluer cast, which is more effectively scattered by the atmosphere. “This has the potential to be the nail in the coffin for seeing stars in most communities,” Nordgren tells me.

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2018-12-04 09:16 culture blog

Edward Gorey’s Enigmatic World | The New Yorker

From 1985 almost to the end of his life, he put on vaudevillian musical revues up and down the Cape, using, for the most part, nonprofessional actors. Many of the shows were mystifying. Of one, “Useful Urns,” a spectator said, “There were these big stage pieces shaped like urns that would move about the stage with actors popping out saying various unconnected phrases.” Reportedly, a lot of the audience walked out. Gorey, by contrast, had a wonderful time. “He hooted, whooped,” a witness recalled. “It was almost more entertaining watching him than the performance.” Asked, once, exactly what he did on these shows, he answered, “I direct, I design, I do everything.” He didn’t do it too hard, though. His assistant director said that his idea of directing was “to keep the actors from running into the furniture.”

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2018-11-24 12:40 culture blog

Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now and Walkabout, dies aged 90 | Film | The Guardian

In 1968, having established himself as a cinematographer, Roeg paired with film-maker Donald Cammell for their joint directorial debut, Performance. The film was originally intended as a vehicle for Mick Jagger, who was at the height of his fame, but between Cammell’s mystical gangster-meets-rock star story and Roeg’s visual inventiveness, the end product was deemed too unconventional for release by the studio, and was shelved for two years, but became a counterculture hit.

Roeg’s follow-up was equally unconventional: Walkabout, set in the Australian outback and starring a teenage Jenny Agutter and Indigenous Australian actor David Gulpilil (his screen debut). As with Performance, Walkabout was a commercial flop on release, but steadily grew in status and acclaim.

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2018-11-15 17:05 books blog

You Can't Rely on Inspiration: Essential Writing Advice from J.G. Ballard | Literary Hub

[O]ne’s become used to these overlong novels in which everything is explained and tidied up. At the heart of every good short story lies a certain ambiguity, a sort of “Yes, but.” That’s very seldom found in novels. And yet this ambiguity is the very stuff of life.

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2018-11-13 13:00 culture blog

FilmStruck's closing ignites fears that Hollywood's march toward streaming will erase movie history - Los Angeles Times

The internet has turned aficionados into online detectives, scouring the web for physical copies of obscure film titles.

“What’s happening is the cinema of the 20th century is being erased,” said Wheeler Winston Dixon, a film studies professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “These films vanish from public view because there’s no one there to recommend them.”

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2018-11-13 08:54 culture blog

Anthony Bourdain Takes A Tour Of The Lower East Side In Final 'Parts Unknown': Gothamist

Despite stops at Jean-Georges’ Public Kitchen, Ray's Candy Store, Emilio’s Ballato, John’s of 12th Street, Veselka and more, the food really came secondary to the interviews. Bourdain opened up his rolodex and met up with many key LES figures, including Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch, Fab 5 Freddy, Cro-Mags' Harley Flanagan, publicist Danny Fields, filmmakers Amos Poe and Jim Jarmusch, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black’s Kembra Pfahler, and Fishing with John star/painter John Lurie.

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2018-11-11 20:02 books blog

The Great Work: Alchemy and the Power of Words – Emergence Magazine

But the novel I started writing soon transformed itself into something else. A book which I began to write in conventional English became a book written in my own version of Old English, the language which my Anglo-Saxon narrator would have spoken. But this, while it might be the most obviously unusual feature of the novel, was not the most significant surprise the book sprang on me.

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