This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.
My weather app says it's 22, but it feels like Nine. Unless you're naked, in which case it's considerably colder. How do they calculate wind chill, anyway? Do they presume a certain amount of exposed skin - face, hands - and go from there? No one who's outside right now and starkers would think "oh, nine sounds about right." There's just three settings, really. Coat and no hat, coat hat gloves, and ABSOLUTE ZERO.
MYSTERIES "He was also instrumental in catching Captain Midnight and the Playboy TV hacker, experiences he remembers with equal doses of relish and disgust." This account of the history of TV intrusions brings back the tale of the Max Headroom Takeover, which remains unsolved. Never mind the the technical obstacles to hijacking a broadcast signal - it's the fact that the interlopers built a set, figured out how to hide their identity in a perfectly zetgeisty way, then didn't bother to come up with a script.
It's still creepy.
Max Headroom was a quintessential high-80s cultural product, a pre-internet look at the computerized dystopia towards which we might be heading. People thought at the time he was computer generated. No: lots of latex. He made an appearance in a music video called "Paranomia" by the Art of Noise, which was remarkable for using all the interesting developments in musical technology and video and coming up with something rather empty. (Godley and Creme's video for Herbie Hancock's "Rock It" was a similar experiment. You see something new being born, and it's just . . . not . . . right.)
MOVIES There's a Kojak sequel in the works. Who's up for the role? Well, Hollywood isn't exactly overabundantly endowed with bald tough-guys at the moment, so naturally it's this guy. Could be good; Ang Lee is set to direct, supposedly, so it could be a "reimagining" of the character that "reboots" the character into today's gritty New York, etc etc. Better to set it in the 70s, complete with bad cars and burned-out neighborhoods and sweaty desperate junkies. A reminder for those who think the 70s was happy shiny disco time where everyone had fun and wore bell-bottoms.
I met Telly Savalas once, in Los Angeles. Poolside at the Sheraton Universal, where he had a suite. (The hotel's bar was called "Telly's," and had a caricature of him over the door. Guests who dropped in for a beer were often surprised to find the Man Himself sitting around, relaxing.) I was working on a laptop, which was not a common sight in 1994. He waved me over and said he wanted to take a look at that thing. I ran him through the paces, showed him what it could do - not much, in retrospect, although it could "log on" to a BBS and "interface" with "modemers." Elementary programming in Hypercard. He seemed interested and thanked me and that was that. Nice guy. Gave off an air of substantial contentment, which is a good thing to have. More on his bar - which wasn't his at all, it seems - right here in this LAT piece.
ART If the word "Stunning" wasn't used on the internet to describe anything that's not "awesome," I'd say these are stunning, but that's not quite right. You will not lose your sense or spatial orientation as though you had been struck with a claw hammer. How's this: You may be impressed by these photos inspired by Hopper paintings.
I read somewhere - the standard phrase one uses to mean "won't Google, for fear I will be proven wrong, negating my entire position" - that the unsettling quality of a Hopper painting was due in part to perspective lines that never made sense. Of course it's the scenes themselves, silent moments of tenebrous unease and melancholy, but also the lines. Here's one of the Hopper-inspired photos:
For what it's worth. Anyway, it's a great series - one is NSFW, but it's art! so it might pass scrutiny. Not sure whether Hopper put giant cats in his work, though. If he did, it explains why he quit the city and just did seaside landscapes.
DCVotD Or, Video of the Day. If you have a big monitor, put this on full screen and get about 16 inches from the screen. Yikes.
There were two choices. He chose wisely.
Amongst the plethora of JFK material on the web today, you might find this intriguing: a motion-stabilized version of the Zapruder film. Daily Dot says:
The GIF was posted on Reddit more than two weeks ago and, like the original Zapruder film itself, is raising questions as to what really happened that day.
Not really. “Raising Questions” n this instance means “people who haven’t studied a thing about the murder are pointing out details that have been settled long ago.” Rob Reiner, who recently insisted on the Bill Maher show that the motorcade slowed down, perhaps on orders from the Illuminati, will say the GIF is faked.
OUCH From the Daily Mail - a newspaper in Jolly Olde - this headline: “A balanced news report: TV journalist faceplants during live broadcast from ice rink.” Subhead:
M.A. Rosko was broadcasting live from the Minnesota rink when she fell
Went face-first onto the ice and later tweeted she had swelling to her lip
A Minneapolis reporter goes down, and it’s news in England? Only because there’s video.
DESIGN Your favorite books, if they were not books at all, but a brand of tea. I was just wondering what they’d look like.
DASH-CAM DU JOUR Space rock illuminates the Ukrainian sky. No earth-shattering kaboom this time, though.
Because everyone has cameras in their car, we have the meteorite from another angle:
Off to finish a column; see you around.
The problem with concerts are the people who share your tastes. The ones who do stupid things that spoil it for everyone - shouting WOOO! during the quiet parts, standing on their seats so no one behind can see, throwing up, lighting shirts on fire and waving them around, fireworks, and so on. Festival seating! they called it. It was neither.
At least in those days you weren’t a risk from the band itself. This is just remarkable. The Independent:
US rapper George Watsky has apologised after performing a stage dive in London that broke a woman’s arm and gave a man muscular bruising.
The rapper was performing at Alexandra Palace in north London when he climbed up the stage on a rope before launching himself onto the audience from 30ft.
In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, Watsky apologised for his stunt and said he decided to jump due to a “huge overreach in the heat of the moment”.
Here it is. Warning: swear words, because he’s a serious artist with something to say.
He fell on the ground because people got out of the way. Most people when they see an object falling from on high will get out of the way.
HISTORY This happens when you raze the city from time to time.
Archaeologists have unearthed traces of a previously unknown, 14th-century Canaanite city buried underneath the ruins of another city in Israel.
The traces include an Egyptian amulet of Amenhotep III and several pottery vessels from the Late Bronze Age unearthed at the site of Gezer, an ancient Canaanite city.
Earlier this summer, Ortiz and his colleague Samuel Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority noticed traces of an even more ancient city from centuries before King Solomon's time. Among the layers was a section that dated to about the 14th century B.C., containing a scarab, or beetle, amulet from King Amenhotep III, the grandfather of King Tut. They also found shards of Philistine pottery.
Pity that Amenhotep 3 just gets mentioned as the grandfather of Tut. He ruled a long time - almost 40 years, scholars believe - and Egypt did well under his reign. Wikipedia notes that he suffered from something that was rare in ancient times: old age.
Scientists believe that in his final years he suffered from arthritis and became obese. It has generally been assumed by some scholars that Amenhotep requested and received from his father-in-law Tushratta of Mitanni, a statue of Ishtar of Nineveh—a healing goddess—in order to cure him of his various ailments which included painful abscesses in his teeth.
A forensic examination of his mummy shows that he was probably in constant pain during his final years due to his worn, and cavity-pitted teeth.
Two months after the crime drama’s second cancelation, The Killing is being resurrected for a fourth season at Netflix. The streaming service, which stepped up to make the last revival feasible, will air six episodes, which will be billed as the series’ “final season.”
The series' stars Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos will return, with the show set to explore a new case.
Six episodes is just about enough. The series was so much better in its third season; leaner and richer, and Kinnaman dialed back the sneezy qualities.
CHECKING IN Let’s revisit the strange blog that barfs up random search terms with a Minnesota flavor. Mo link; don’t want to send it a jot of traffic, let alone an iota. Today’s subject: Northfield!
Take a cruise while you are facing a DWI in Minnesota, plate impoundment may seem like one of this people, go and have an abundance of character and charm. Finding fun, variety, value and making lasting memories with a DWI.
That’s one way of putting it. Now, strap in and prepare for whiplash:
Other liberal arts schools in Minnesota can be easier if you elect to stack your personal injury protection, but your car gets damaged. You will find existing homes in Minnesota, there is so much more to discover in the northfield minnesota news off season, when the crazy Brett Favre rumors started swirling. Was he coming out of retirement? Is he injured or is he healthy and ready to play? Just when it seemed like he was finally done considering it, he changed his mind again and showed up to 275% of the smaller Minnesota casinos.
Easy to see how someone could stumble across this page and think “finally, my source for quality legal advice.”
This, we’re told, is not CGI. While we’re all staring drop-jawed at JCVD, a round of applause for the drivers, who bring to mind the remark about Ginger Rogers: all she had to do was everything Astaire did, except backwards, and in heels.
“Pork” is a generous term, since the McRib has traditionally been fashioned from otherwise unmarketable pig parts like tripe, heart, and stomach, material that is not only cheap but also easier to mold and bind into a coherent, predetermined shape. McDonald’s accurately lists the patty’s primary ingredient as “boneless pork,” although even that’s a fairly strong euphemism. Presumably few of the restaurant’s patrons would line up for a Pressed McTripe.
Oh, but it gets worse:
roducts are bound and preserved by a petrochemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.”
I think I saw TBHQ open for New Riders of the Purple Sage in 1977. Given the amount of delirium not directly tied to McRib consumption, I think you're probably safe.
Next thing they’ll tell you: the Shamrock Shake actually contains trace elements of leprechaun tissue.
VIDEO Oh hey great this guy’s slowing down to give me a ride. Finally, this day’s looking up.
INFOGRAPHIC DU JOUR Amazed no one thought of this before: the pie chart of pies, from Modern Farmer. If you’re in the mood for another pie chart that sums up something perfect, head to the Oatmeal for a look at what really makes people want to watch a movie. Hint: it’s not the necessity of pants.
NEAT; SWEET. PETITE Just because something was in black and white on the TV doesn’t mean it wasn’t in color. “The Addams Family,” for example, was perfect for black and white, but it’s not like they used black and white materials to built the set. What color was it, really? Here. (Via fastcompany.)
SCIENCE! Scientists have discovered something interesting about 2002 UX25, a 400-mile-wide rock in the Kuiper belt. If you put it in the ocean . . . it would float.
That's the most useless thing you’ll learn all day. But a day without a new piece of information that has no relation to anything in your life is one of those things that makes us human. Its not like dogs ever say “purple planets are the ones most likely to have life? Cool.”
Off to the Mall of America for Give to the Max day. I don’t know who this Max is, but he’s going to be well-off at the end of the day.
First things first: here’s the video for the Robotics Alley expo. All praise to Shari Gross for shooting editing, and to all the people who endured my questions.
YOU TUBE IS BROKEN Or so we’re told. Everyone who thinks the problem with YouTube is the comments, raise your hand.
Okay, almost everyone’s hand went down. For most people, YouTube is for watching videos. Or, more often than not staring impatiently at an ad, looking at the lower right-hand corner, waiting, ciicking SKIP AD and then watching the video, finally, and then clicking on the X in the ad box that slides up 20 seconds into the video, except you clicked on the box itself and now you have a pop-up window with the ad sent out auto play and you can’t find the off button.
This Daily Dot article finds someone who’s unhappy:
“I f**king hate that today you have to sign up for everything,” wrote one 4chan user. “On Youtube I could use a funny anonymous name and post comments on vids I don't want Facebook or whatever to know about.”
Yes, that’ll make some people nervous at YouTube: 4chan users can’t make anonymous comments without “whatever” knowing about it.
CHAIRS OF THE FUTURE A new concept for airplane seats. Interesting idea, but this would seem to require the flight attendants to make the changes between flights, adding more time between landing and take-off. In the future, these adjustments will probably be made automatically by the onboard computer, which is tied directly into the passenger manifest - if, that is, someone runs the numbers and figures there’s profit in this. At least it would avoid this problem: “37 stone man is forced to buy two airplane seats, discovers they’re in different rows.”
You will also note that the Seats of Tomorrow are rather deficient in the legroom department. Anyway, let’s cue the judgmental scolds in the comments:
Travelling by Air is an unnecessary luxury in the age of Internet and telepresence. I would ship you all by cattle cart.
The people keen to let others know they disapprove of someone else’s “unnecessary luxury” are the people who would take it away if they had the power. Hold on, I spoke too soon. After people argue about whether everything can be done over the internet, Mr. Enlightenment responds:
I didn’t say that you couldn’t travel. I just said that if you did I would treat you like a caged hen and really ram you in and milk you for all your worth. That’s all.
And if no milk is forthcoming from the hen, it’s time to rethink one’s approach.
ART Big sale yesterday; someone paid $142 million for a work by one history’s ugliest painters, Francis Bacon. But that’s not all. NYT:
The Bacon triptych was not the only highflier. A 10-foot-tall mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture that resembled a child’s party favor, Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold to another telephone bidder for $58.4 million, above its high $55 million estimate, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
Koons’ Wikipedia page has this entry on his “Banaity” series:
Koons then moved on to the Banality series. For this project he engaged workshops in Germany and Italy that had a long tradition of working in ceramic, porcelain, and wood. The series culminated in 1988 with Michael Jackson and Bubbles, a series of three life-size gold-leaf plated porcelain statues of the sitting singer cuddling Bubbles, his pet chimpanzee.
That sold for millions. Koons is always smiling in his portraits; one can certainly understand why.
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