President Obama & Marilynne Robinson: A Conversation in Iowa. "It seems to me as if democracy is the logical, the inevitable consequence of this kind of religious humanism at its highest level. And it [applies] to everyone. It’s the human image. It’s not any loyalty or tradition or anything else; it’s being human that enlists the respect, the love of God being implied in it."
Librarian Edith Edi Campbell posted to her Facebook page about “Large Fears,” a Kickstarter-funded children’s book for queer black boys, “I would say there are so few books for queer black boys, but there are too few books for all our marginalized young people.” Children’s writer Meg Rosoff responded: “There are not too few books for marginalised young people. There are hundreds of them, thousands of them. You don’t have to read about a queer black boy to read a book about a marginalised child. The children’s book world is getting far too literal about what ‘needs’ to be represented. You don’t read Crime and Punishment to find out about Russian criminals. Or Alice and Wonderland to know about rabbits. Good literature expands your mind. It doesn’t have the ‘job’ of being a mirror.” [more inside]
Thurston Hopkins was a British photojournalist. Here is his black-and-white photo essay from the 1950's called Cats of London.
How could anyone possibly screw up Ferris Bueller's Day Off? By turning it into a sitcom. [more inside]
From activist Palestinian OGs, to Black Hebrew hitmakers from remote desert outposts, to goofy trap about food, rap in Israel and Palestine is a melting pot of voices and perspectives. Mike Skinner of the Streets for Noisey Magazine investigates Hip Hop In The Holy Land. [more inside]
From W. Kamau Bell: "First of all, Doc McStuffins is about a seven-year-old black girl. That basically makes the title character the Diahann Carroll of children’s TV. How many other children’s TV shows have a black female lead character? Hint: The answer is “not nearly enough.” Second of all, Doc McStuffins is a doctor for her stuffed animals and toys. And that may sound merely adorable to you, but I’m raising a pair of black girls who will one day be powerful black women. And Doc McStuffins is the reason that my four year old could say the words “stethoscope,” “otoscope,” and “sphygmomanometer” when she was two years old."
The message he wants the developing world, especially the Islamic world, to receive from Iran is simple: you can be a safe, advanced and prosperous state without depending on America.
Counting the closures of rural inns, high-street noise boxes, sticky-carpet boozers of the backstreets, it can be said that roughly 30 pubs shut every week in the UK; a rate of decline that, as one group of worried analysts has calculated, would mean total elimination of the British pub by the 2040s.[sl longform grauniad] [more inside]
INSIDE AN FBI HOSTAGE CRISIS from the Wall Street Journal. [Warning: graphic violence, disturbing images and video]
Bury St Edmunds is a small, polite market town in rural eastern England. Better known for its ruined abbey, beer, sugar beet, and being the sort of place Margaret Thatcher ought to keep a tea shop, in 2002 local resident John Peel declared its music scene "the new Seattle". Yeah. How did THAT turn out?
John Grant [previously] has a new album coming out soon, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure. He released the lead video, Disappointing [NSFW], a while back, but it might have flown under your radar. It certainly did mine.
Pardon My French: 561 covers of English-language hit songs, sung in French (by native French speakers of varying musical abilities) in the most literal word-for-word translations over chiptune instrumentals. Includes classics such as L'éclair de Jacques Qui Saute (Les Pierres qui roulent), Sexuelle Guérison (Marvain La-Joie) or Le Paradis des Bandits (Yo Sympa). Includes MP3s, lyrics and links to the original songs for earbleach. BAISE OUAIS ! [more inside]
Sunset Silhouette Selfies
"It was hard work maintaining a light buzz for so long, but it paid off. When Rihanna’s manager, Jay Brown, appeared to tell me that this was one of her first interviews in years I just laughed. And then choked. Because here she was." — Miranda July interviews Rihanna for the NYT Magazine's Greats Issue. (SLNYTM)
Here's fifty lanes of automobile traffic in Beijing. Here's a bike traffic jam at CicLAvia in Los Angeles, and on New York's 5th Avenue the traffic is afoot.
Sly Stone leaping and kicking the air in his ultra-70s platform heel boots. Thelonious Monk at the piano, a weapon slung across his shoulder and surrounded by the accoutrements of underground resistance. Bruce Springsteen grinning and leaning on his buddy, sax man Clarence Clemmons. If you're any kind of music fan, these iconic album cover images will probably be familiar to you. And they are only the tip of the iceberg: there were so, so many more designed for Columbia Records, over the years, by art director John Berg, who has just passed on at the age of 83. So long, John, and thanks for all those killer record covers.
Previous efforts to revamp Playboy, as recently as three years ago, have never quite stuck. And those who have accused it of exploiting women are unlikely to be assuaged by a modest cover-up. But, according to its own research, Playboy’s logo is one of the most recognizable in the world, along with those of Apple and Nike. This time, as the magazine seeks to compete with younger outlets like Vice, Mr. Flanders said, it sought to answer a key question: “if you take nudity out, what’s left?”Playboy to stop printing nude photos as of the March 2016 issue. (SLNYT) [more inside]
Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. He remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay. [more inside]
For Reuters, Neil Hall and Angus Berwick tell the tale of Lincolnshire hermit Rachel Denton. In 2006 Denton formally committed to living the rest of her days in solitude after a lifetime as a teacher and Carmelite nun. In addition to keeping a garden and raising chickens, she makes time in her routine to update her Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.
"The room was upholstered in crimson and oatmeal and decorated with Socialist Realist frescoes of industrious maidens. A hefty multipointed star descended from the ceiling like a satellite returning from space. Above the tables a pair of identical life-size plaster statues of Soviet schoolgirls faced each other in the manner of temple guardians. They drummed on drums with a look of patriotic ecstasy; crimson blindfolds bound their eyes. Taking a swig of kvas, a fermented bread beverage that's slightly reminiscent of root beer, I wondered whether the statues were intended to be a political statement, nostalgic kitsch, or just a really ambitious exercise in color coordination." - The Surreal Thrill Of Moscow Dining by Alex Halberstadt
Here's a 5 min. Youtube clip with some tile makers and brick layers creating ceramic art with oriental motifs & Arabic music in the background
On this Columbus Day, consider what the world truly looked like before the arrival of the West. [more inside]
"FABRICATIONIST DEWIT REMAKES THE WORLD" is a work of interactive fiction that tells the story of a synthetic being who, after a sleep of centuries, receives an unexpected visitor—along with a new role in the Great Project.
So I lived my life flying around the world, telling people how to do things I had sometimes never done myself, while everyone suddenly seemed to believe I was a real programmer because of things I did that were mostly not related to programming in the first place. One day, I was stuck in an airport coming back from a conference, furiously typing at a terminal, when an odd, gentle voice asked me: If you please, design me a system!
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird books, eight new titles are being produced. However these are targeted at adults, and may not be entirely serious in nature... [more inside]
A journey through the architecture and urban landscape of Chicago – from industrial zones to Mid-Century suburbs and all points between. [more inside]
Social network giant Facebook paid just £4,327 ($6,643) in corporation tax in 2014, its latest UK results show. Its most recent Companies House filing shows the company as making a pre-tax loss of £28.5m last year, but the firm also paid its 362 UK staff a total of £35.4m in share bonuses.
Rates of all types of addiction — not just alcohol — are elevated in aboriginal peoples around the world, not only in America. It’s unlikely that these scattered groups randomly happen to share more vulnerability genes for addiction than any other similarly dispersed people. But what they clearly do have in common is an ongoing multi-generational experience of trauma.No, Native Americans aren't genetically more susceptible to alcoholism.
"There are two kinds of women: those who knit and those who unravel. I am a great unraveler. I can undo years of careful stitching in fifteen gluttonous minutes. It isn't even a decision, really. Once I see the loose thread, I am undone. It's over before I have even asked myself the question: Do I actually want to destroy this?" [more inside]
Watching him direct is akin to witnessing an athletic performance. Soderbergh walks, jogs, runs, sits, lies on the floor, and hangs half off dollies while PAs grip his ankles. “When I tell other cameramen what goes on with Steven, they’re flabbergasted,” says Soderbergh’s longtime second cameraman, Patrick O’Brien, who works on only about 30 percent of The Knick — usually when Soderbergh needs him to gather extra close-ups in a scene with a lot of characters, operate a crane that he’s sitting on, or shoot the other side of a two-person conversation. [more inside]
The world's coral is suddenly and rapidly starting to die - "This is only the third time we've seen what we would refer to as a global bleaching event. [The prior events] were in 1998 and 2010, and those were pretty much one year events. We're looking at a similar spatial scale of bleaching across the globe, but spanning across at least 2 years. So that means a lot of these corals are being put under really prolonged stress, or are being hit 2 years in a row." Can 'manually breeding supercorals capable of living in increasingly inhospitable waters' help in time? (via/via)
But people who decide to study this violent history, people who write it all down — we’re also people who need to mail in tax forms, or put on a pot of coffee, call our dads. This can be difficult work, this act of entering the pre when you live in the post, and then having to be a person, and hand something in by a deadline, and walk away and study and do it again. For writers of colour who choose to study or tell the stories of their own communities, this in-between space is made more stark by the fact that they work within a system that often speaks about them, for them, but not with them.
A serial novel written in real time by Joshua Cohen, with illustrations by Leon Chang.
PCKWCK is a reinterpretation of Charles Dickens' first serial novel, The Pickwick Papers. That's about all we know so far, because it hasn't been written yet. Beginning Monday, October 12th at 1pm EST, Joshua Cohen will write PCKWCK over five days in front of the entire internet. Every day from 1pm-6pm EST visitors to www.PCKWCK.com will be able to watch Cohen write in real time, offer feedback that may affect the outcome of the novel, and talk with Cohen and other readers in a chat room.[more inside]
The Maine lobster haul has been growing and growing since the early 1990s, and no one is certain of why. Now there are fears of a pending bust, but without knowing the reason for the boom, no one can confidently predict whether the bust will happen either.
How the women of Umatilla, Oregon took over the city's government - in 1916.
In reality the Washington D.C. football team has a racist name, an asshole owner, and ruined one of the most promising rookie quarterbacks to ever play in the league. Jon Bois uses Breaking Madden to get fictional revenge by burning Washington to the ground. [more inside]
On this day one hundred years ago, the German army executed Edith Cavell. She was a British nurse who had worked in Belgium before the First World War, and then helped Belgian, French, and British men escape the country during the German occupation. A military court found her guilty of actively aiding the enemy in wartime, and ordered her execution. [more inside]
String (or yarn) and nail art can pretty straight-forward - use nails to set anchors for string and make something. You can make more complex patterns, like this string art clock by Aline Campbell, or multi-colored geometric patterns by Mahmoud Al-qammari. But it takes more skill and patience to make a giant portrait, as done by Zenyk Palagniuk, in the style of Kumi Yamashita.
The Amsterdam Klezmer Band performs their Klezmer rap song 'Chassid in Amsterdam'. Lyrics (in Dutch/Jiddish) in the description. [more inside]
Input/Output (SLVimeo) - A new short from Terri Timely and Park Pictures which defies description
Given the success I am having with students, one might think that the Mathematics Department leadership would be expressing curiosity about how I am achieving that success. Instead, Craig Evans in early 2014 asked me "If you had a job at McDonalds and came along with all these new ideas, how long do you think you'd carry on working there?" The fact that the now Interim Chair of the UC Berkeley Mathematics Department should compare undergraduate education to fast food reveals everything you need to know about how students are regarded by the leading clique of men at the helm of the Mathematics Department of the number one public university in the world. [more inside]
"Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention." NYTimes. Links contain upsetting images and video. [more inside]
A man takes his car for a drive through town. Stuff happens (SLYT).
The Economist's Quality of Death Index for 2015 was published last week. It attempts to measure the quality of palliative care in 80 countries. The top three countries (in order) are Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. And the bottom three countries? Philippines, Bangladesh, and Iraq. Here is The Economist's summary and here is the full report.
(slvimeo) Richard Thompson is renowned among cartoonists as the "artist's" cartoonist. Little known to all but those close to him is the extent of his extraordinary art, a gift so rare that it compelled "Calvin and Hobbes" creator, Bill Watterson, to break an almost 20 year silence and declare, "Now I have a reason to read comics again". Cul de Sac, his comic strip, from the beginning.