January 8, 2012
Well, bust my britches, here it is January 8, Elvis Presley's birthday! Now, a mere 20 days after the young rock crooner had celebrated his 21st, back in 1956, he stepped onto the stage at CBS Studio in New York City and made his US national television debut, on the Dorsey Brothers show. Seems he was hot property from the get-go, cause he was back on that stage, straightaway, for five more appearances, on February 4th, 11th and 18th, then again on March 17th and 24th. And, yeah, heck, he was pretty good.
Everything you need to know about Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, the best writer artist team currently working in comics, and their particular brand of noirish crime and noirish supercrime. With their latest project, Fatal, they add a new ingredient to the mix and bring us noirish Lovecraftian crime.
WE ARE THE COMIC SANS DEFENDERS. WE FEAR NO FONTS AND WE WILL MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD COMIC SANS. BECAUSE HELVETICA IS SOOO 2011
"Five thousand years from now—let’s say we didn’t find the God particle. We’re still looking. I think we probably won’t be making things of the nature that we are now. I think we’ll just be trying to appreciate things more. Maybe we’ll design better ears. I mean, our hearing’s crappy. We’ll have huge ears and we’ll be able to tune in to Mars, or we’ll have a hundred lenses through which we can look onto the surface of Mars with our so-called “bare eyes,” or look through our hands. We’ll be able to be in the present more effectively." The Believer interviews Laurie Anderson.
William Wallace Cook, seeking to help mechanize the art of novel writing, came up with the 1462 possible plots for all stories. He then devised the Plotto system, whereby an author need only consult the book of plots to construct the next best seller.
Today, NASA goes open source with its code, joining endeavours such as SpaceHack [previously], WorldWind and (for more worldly coders) Github, GoogleCode, and the venerable SourceForge.
When Iñigo Quílez isn't hard at work at Pixar, he's active in the demoscene, creating 4KB programs that render incredible procedurally generated scenes. He also writes tutorials on both video and audio synthesis, but arguably the coolest section of his site features live-coding videos of him improvising both audio and video rendering code that will make any experienced programmer feel wholly inadequate.
Folkrace is a class of rally racing originated by the Finns. Run with old, cheap cars, it's intended to be the racing class for everyone. Watch F1 champ Mikka Hakkinen train up Top Gear's James May for a Folkrace.
"We fall into genre wars, of literature versus science fiction, and I don't think it's a real war." - Lauren Beukes
The Guardian interviewed four science fiction authors on the theme of the current state of SF. These authors are, in order, Lauren Beukes, Michael Moorcock, Alistair Reynolds and Jeff Noon, the latter two being interviewed together. Opinion ranges from bullish to crotchety, with plenty of shades and nuances.
Up and coming rapper Home Brew spits the truth about New Zealand. His affinity for Crate beer, a resolve to sit back and let the world's problems unfold, and a penchant for BBQs makes for great Summer music. (hey it's summer over here alright..) Underneath the Shade , Chicken Chow Mein , Same Shit Different Day [more inside]
Rokko Chan! Want to relieve the nes days with megaman? Now you can - in your browser! Same difficulty and annoying traps as ever :)
A leaked memo by India's Military Intelligence indicates they eavesdropped on a U.S. government department (USCC) that reports to congress on "the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship [between the U.S. and China]" using "lawful intercept" backdoors provided to the Indian government by Apple, RIM, and Nokia. (previously) [more inside]
As more women earn high-level corporate roles, more husbands are staying home, raising the kids, and changing the rules.
After the success of 2008's In the Heights, a Broadway rap musical about Washington Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda went to work on his sophomore project: a rap concept album on the life of Alexander Hamilton. [more inside]
The Future of History (non-gated, summary): Many have noted that democracy [1,2,3] does not often sit well with capitalism [1,2,3], but Foreign Affairs argues in its latest issue that, while the ideological battle was won in the 20th century, the challenge of 21st is one of implementation -- how to make liberal democracy work. [more inside]
The Montreal Screwjob (part 1, part 2, aftermath) - as remembered by Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels,and Vince McMahon (previously)
Seven Nation Army (original) - The Glitch MOB Remix of the song is used in the G.I. Joe 2 Trailer, which inspired me to dig up some of the better versions of the song. Nostalgia 77 - Acoustic Cover - 8 Bit - Piano - Pamplemoose - Ben l'Oncle Son - Brazilian Mefi - And of course a Ukulele - Previously on the Blue
Morpion Solitaire is a very simple pencil-and-paper, line-drawing game for which the best possible score is not known! New records are still being set.
Frederica Sagor Maas dies at 111; silent film screenwriter. Her 1925 script for "The Plastic Age" launched the career Clara Bow. She wrote numerous scripts during the silent era, including movies starring Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer with whom she became friends. But she felt badly treated by Hollywood, her scripts stolen, plagiarized or bowdlerized. She was also blacklisted, wrongly accused of being a communist. Broke and dispirited, she and her husband contemplated suicide. But she survived, and went on to write a highly critical book about early Hollywood, where she dished on many famous figures. [more inside]
The Guggenheim Museum is claiming to be the first museum to begin issuing new exhibit catalogues as e-books for purchase. But even more exciting to the 20th century art history nerd, they've also partnered with the Internet Archive to offer free digitized versions of out-of-print catalogues going back to the 1930s. [more inside]
The Comedian's Comedian's Comedian: Garry Shandling on boxing, basketball, buddhism and being.
In 2004, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke. Author Terese Svoboda's uncle checks into a pyschiatric ward. [more inside]
Infinite Stupidity Now, it sounds incredible. It sounds insane. It sounds mad. Because we think of ourselves as so intelligent. But when we really ask ourselves about the nature of any evolutionary process, we have to ask ourselves whether [our mechanism for generating ideas] could be any better than random, because in fact, random might be the best strategy. Mark Pagel previously, edge.org previously
Will we be all right in the end? David Runciman on democracy, fatalism, and the European crisis (LRB)
Need some quasiperiodic tilings? Alan Schoen has a smorgasbord of tilings of rhombuses with pentagonal, heptagonal, and nonagonal symmetry that come in many flavors. Be sure to check out his page on triply periodic minimal surfaces and the other curios at his Geometry Garret.
"Your sentences are so long," [L.A.Times] The point of the long and winding sentence - Pico Iyer’s essay on why he’s made the conscious decision to write longer sentences.
John Barrowman sings a medley of the themes from Spider-Man and Wonder Woman (SLYT)
"Youtube Musician" Mike Tompkins uses his "voice and mouth" (not to mention a teensy bit of post production) to cover well known pop songs. Whilst obviously far, far from the first to do this sort of thing, his videos - Coldplay's Paradise and Adele's Rolling in the Deep, for example - are perhaps unusually polished affairs, and make much of his facial expressiveness, which apparently comes from his involvement in theatre at an early age. [more inside]
"By the time I started fighting my personality was pretty well formed already, and what attracted me was its contrast to who I was and the life I was leading. Since then I’ve become a competent boxer and I hope to be good at Thai boxing as well, but I’m not a fighter and I never wholly will be." Warning: This story has a very sad ending. [more inside]