January 26, 2009
Behind The Rent Strike [YouTube playlist; six parts of 50ish min. documentary] Nick Broomfield's graduation piece, a documentary on the 14-month rent strike by the people of Kirkby New Town, near Liverpool, which began in late 1973 in response (it wasn't the only one) to the Heath government's Housing Finance Act. Broomfield gets plenty of insight from local people and examines the social conditions behind the events. Great viewing of good film-making and an opportunity for a bit of nostalgia if you're a viewer from round that way.
Metafilter's Back Monday Flash Fun: Two Rooms is a logic game where you trigger switches to move barriers out of your way. [more inside]
"George Bush was not a conservative, but rather a curious hybrid of reactionary and progressive." "The Obama presidency is not a revolution, but instead a restoration. The "values upon which our success depends", Obama reassures America, "these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout history". He asks for a "return to these truths". Nothing new is needed, neither fresh ideas about the human condition's betterment nor utopias; merely a return to and vindication of the past."
The President's hero is a 68-year old preacher, fearless civil rights activist, and Congressman named John Lewis. [more inside]
Art Museum for sale. Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off a 6,000-object collection that includes work by such contemporary masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik. The LA Times makes the Madoff connection.
Is Slumdog Millionaire A) A white man's imagined India B) The reality of Mumbai C) An immensely likeable slice of broad entertainment – nothing else D) All of the above? And will it win the Oscar for Best Picture now that it's taken the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture and the SAG award for Best Ensemble?
Charlie's Angels. Simon & Simon. 21 Jump Street. Baywatch. The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. And of course, The X-Files. His filmography spans nearly 40 years, and his habit of using profanity onset was immortalized in the classic episode Jose Chung's From Outer Space (sorry, no video), but in the end, he really loved those guys, and they loved him. He was lured out of semi-retirement and back to Canada to executive-produce and direct Supernatural for the WB (later CW). Kim Manners died of lung cancer in LA on January 25, 2009.
What's the most exciting thing about flying? Right: inflight meals. There are whole websites and Flickr groups dedicated to their tinfoil-wrapped glory. But sometimes you just have a bad food-day, like the poor passenger who sent this hilarious complaint letter about the food on his flight from Mumbai to Heathrow to Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways.
A June 2008 photo first published in Time shows various items President Obama carries or has carried in his pockets for good luck. There's more than just a Blackberry in there: you might find an odd Hanuman, a Miraculous Medal, a khata, and much more. [more inside]
Perhaps the finest Doctor Who/Benny Hill/Eminem mashup ever produced. (Collegehumor.com, possible NSFW sidebar ads)
The Day the Saucers Came was originally published in 2006, in the (now defunct) EZine Spider Words 1, no. 2. Neil Gaiman has read the story aloud, on occasion. In December 2008, the story was made into a poster by a Finnish artist. That poster was then transformed into a fancy Flash presentation on Microsoft's Infinite Canvas ("A Funky Side Project from Microsoft Live Labs"). [more inside]
British Library warns of 'black hole' in history if websites and digital files are not preserved. "Historians of the future, citizens of the future, will find a black hole in the knowledge base of the 21st century." In addition to dead file formats and lost information from government websites, Lynne Brindley also points to the habits of individuals. "I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them."
A curated collection of web comics over at Greylock Arts, with creator interviews and lots of links to strips like Underwire, Persimmon Cup, Truth Serum, Wondermark, The Process, Amazing Facts...and Beyond!, Phil McAndrew and more, including a few previously featured on the blue. [via Bookslut]
A guide to regional pizza styles of the USA. Odds are you already know about New York-style and Chicago-style, but what about Old Forge pizza, St. Louis-style or the Indian pizza of San Francisco? [more inside]
Change has come to Google Maps. The Cheney veil of pixels is gone from the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory. But don't look for sat photos to show you whatever it was that happened beneath the house.
William Kristol's last column. President Bush's last photographs (scroll down to the end of the article or search for "three versions").
Here's a trio of art sites for your Monday perusal. Here Yesterday is sketches and recollections from surfing's back roads. Daily Doodle is a med student pulling out his sketch book when studying overwhelms him. Then, from the Institute of Modern Science, two VLC (very large collages).
Alcatraz's American history began as the first US fort on the West coast, where it served as "an icon of US military power". Before it held these guys, it held these guys. This guy thinks The Rock would be a good place for these guys.
Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
Charlie Brooker cannot help saying out loud what many of us were thinking. He's already known to the Secret Service - and as having "the same mentality as Hitler" (previously on Metafilter)