January 1, 2009
Walter Monheit -- The Oldest Club Kid A retiree who lives in Bensonhurst with his cat, Precious, he is known for nocturnal antics like dancing with sexy young women in clubs, and getting their phone numbers. In a world marked by status-consciousness tied to youth, physical beauty, and wealth, this elderly man of modest means is popular and respected, and some club owners admit him for free—the mark of a VIP.
Brad Pitt is no spring chicken, but it still took some work to put an 85-year-old version of his face on a child's body in his newest movie. The first step: a new markerless, wireless, uncanny-valley-clearing motion capture process, termed "volumetric cinematography" by the effects studio. [more inside]
Former US Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) dead at 90. You may be familiar with Pell grants.
Fans of both Dead Space (and comic books in general), will be happy to learn that the first issue of the new comic book mini-series based on the game has been released online, in full, for free here. Not a fan of Dead Space but like comic books? There are lots of other comic books online that can be viewed for free, like stuff from DC Comics, Marvel and Image. There's also a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who comics online for your viewing pleasure (in fact you can even make your own with the latter).
So one of your resolutions was about your lifelong dream of getting into Playboy? Here's an article that has all the details you don't normally hear about. "Hef is like any normal hot-blooded American who likes pretty ladies: He took a wife or two, has four kids, and lives in a Tudor-style mansion with luscious lawns and a personal zoo. Sounds like any old family man, right?" There's a How-To included: [more inside]
A New York Times article about the debate over just what kinds of animals count as guide animals. Horses? Monkeys? Parrots? Ducks? Who gets to determine what counts as a service animal, and how? [more inside]
Who says nothing on the Web ever goes away? Make yourself a Disposable Webpage and it'll be gone in a maximum of 90 days (plus 2 weeks for some inexplicable reason). [more inside]
Donald Westlake is dead. This prolific novelist wrote more than 100 books and several screenplays under many names, creating one of the most memorable comic caper series and hard violent fiction under his psuedonym, Richard Stark. John Banville called Stark and Georges Simenon "two of the greatest writers of the 20th century."
Time to turn off the lights. "Cities needlessly shine billions of dollars directly into the sky each year and, as a result, a fifth of the world's population cannot see the Milky Way. Malcolm Smith explains why a dark sky has much to offer everyone." [Via]
Dear Israel: you picked wrong boat to mess with. Israeli patrol boats have rammed into and nearly capsized a relief vesssel sailing in international waters, bearing humanitarian medical aid to Gaza. Accompanying the international doctors and aid workers who comprised the heart of the mssion were several politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as well as several international journalists, such as Karl Penhaul of CNN and Othman Abu Battiri of Al Jazeera, who have used mobile video reporting to refute Israel's claims that the damage was somehow caused by those leading the relief mission. Shades of the USS Liberty... or Whale Wars?
The Polar Bear Club of Milwaukee has been going strong since 1916, with crazy folks like this carrying on the tradition of jumping into the icy waters of Lake Michigan year after year.
The Academy of Achievement brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world. Through profiles, biographies, and interviews Achievers in The Arts, Business, Public Service, Science, and Sports teach us how the Academy's core values of passion, vision, preparation, courage, perseverance, and integrity can, and will, lead to success. [more inside]
Take Me Back - The Series
Start your new year by visiting (perhaps revisiting) the amazing corpus of Stephen Ratliff's Star Trek fan fiction, and you'll have nowhere to go but up. Unless you have an iron will and love of unmitigated pain, however, ignore the preceding link and proceed in the company of a few robot friends. [more inside]
The End of the World Cult is a 2007 documentary about the Lord Our Righteousness Church, aka the Strong City Cult, as they count down the days before the end of the world on October 31st 2007. The film features unusually good access and especially focuses on the creepy sexual relationship cult leader Wayne Bent has with his mostly female followers. If you watch the film and are hankering after justice, you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Bent was sentenced to eighteen years prison for sexual relations with minors. Oh, he also has a blog.
The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," [more inside]
"I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my work." Reclusive author J. D. Salinger today celebrates his 90th birthday. [more inside]