August 20, 2012
If you only have three minutes to spend on this post, listen to this song. The Yummy Fur was an unfairly obscure Scottish art-rock group active from 1992-1999. The group is best known for having two band members who currently comprise half of Franz Ferdinand, but that says little about the Yummy Fur proper. The group has a low-fi, angular, sound with mostly-spoken lyrics - the most familiar analogue might be the verses from Pavement's "Stereo" [more inside]
Radio contact ceased. Temperatures in the cockpit were rising precipitously; aluminum fixtures began to melt. It's possible that one of the pilots, or both, simply caught fire. At air-traffic control in Moncton, the green hexagon flickered off the screen. There was silence. They knew what was coming: the huge fuck, the something terrible. God save them. One controller began trembling, another wept. It was falling. Six minutes later, SR111 plunged into the dark sea.
Fan versions of the Game Of Thrones theme are not unknown to YouTube, but here is a cat singing the Game of Thrones opening theme thanks to modern wizardry. [more inside]
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her. [more inside]
There's kids farmed through juvenile detention centers for profit, oppressive corporate barons, and young people striking and occupying New York City to protest social injustice. The corporate overlords try to use the NYPD and private goons to break up the movement, but they can't stop the Tony-winning choreography. Wait, what? Newsies is a record breaking Disney musical based on the flop-turned-cult favorite 1992 film starring a young Christian Bale. [more inside]
The Games We Play. [SLYT] And you thought you were the only one.
Phyllis Diller, dead at 95 I encountered her first on Scooby Doo and I discovered how funny she really was as an adult. She was on the Ed Sullivan show in 1969 and she sounded just as fresh and full of sass in an interview I heard taped last year.
Decca's international search for the lowest singing voice out there - specifically, a voice that can sing Low E, three octaves below middle C - has been won by Tim Storms (warning, auto starts some sound). Storms is Guinness record holder of Lowest human voice and widest vocal range for male. [more inside]
"A post-World War II documentary, banned by the military in 1946 but lately released online, is one of the earliest depictions of psychotherapy." Let There Be Light, a film by John Huston. [more inside]
"Waking up married after a drunken Vegas weekend used to be an adventure reserved for one man and one woman. But thanks to a new law, athlete Brady Kelly and actor Cheeks find themselves unexpectedly and legally wed. Unwilling to undermine the hard-fought battle with a public quicky divorce, these two decide to make a go of it. They were doing okay when they were dating. But how will it work out, now that they are HUSBANDS?" The hilarious web-series by Jane Espenson and Brad Bell enters its second season, with cameos by pretty much everyone you love.
Spectrum: New American Music was a series of five LPs released by Nonesuch between 1968 and 1974, featuring works by composers like Stefan Wolpe, George Rochberg, and Milton Babbitt, performed by Arthur Weisberg's Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Nonesuch released a Spectrum compilation on CD in the 1990s; everything that's not on the CD is available at Internet Archive (Part 2), courtesy of the Avant Garde Project. [more inside]
Leading a struggling Kickstarter campaign is not a fate I would wish upon my worst enemy. The project consumes your every waking moment (and dreams) with a constant whine of stress. [...] There's nothing worse than when your Kickstarter dries up like that. People avoid making eye contact with you. [...] It's a time of quiet reflection and common questions: "Are you guys going to be okay?" "Think you'll try again?" and "I hear Zynga is hiring."How Camouflaj saved République's Kickstarter
Red Star in Orbit is a three-part BBC documentary about the history of the Soviet space program, originally broadcast in 1990 as part of the ongoing series Horizon. Based on a book by American space historian and NASA vetran James Oberg, who features prominently in the program, Red Star in Orbit was filmed and assembled while the slow collapse of the USSR was already underway. The filmmakers were given an unprecedented amount of access to active Cosmonauts, veterans of the program and to Star City itself. [more inside]
The benefits of fasting have been covered before on Metafilter, but a new BBC documentary (discussed by the presenter Dr Michael Mosley in the Telegraph here) looking at the science behind fasting seems to show that the evidence supporting fasting’s general health benefits beyond weight loss are growing.
How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial (SLYT) was made by Tom Willett, a 74 year old semi-retired comedian, musician, and actor. Willett's personal website, Comedy Parade, includes style and character-building tips for budding comedians, interspersed with tributes to comedians he admires. This recent interview with Willett comes off the heels of the watermelon eating tutorial video's viral success.
When asked why he continues to film videos of his skits, comedic news broadcasts and songs instead of “retiring,” he said it‘s because he hasn’t changed from the 14 year old who decided to throw all of his ambition into being an entertainer. “I’m basically the same person I was when I was 14 — inside. I haven‘t changed what I like and I never do what you’re supposed to do. I do what feels right.”
"For NOLA-shot 'Looper' soundtrack, composer [Nathan Johnson] relies on the music of munitions." (last two links contain embedded video)
Can the Government Require Doctors to Provide Misleading Information to Patients Seeking Abortions? A Federal Appeals Court Says No, but Means Yes. [more inside]
In a twist worthy of a bestseller or blockbuster, the remains of the shipwrecked Terra Nova have been identified just off the coast of Greenland, just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scott's ill-fated attempt to become the first man to reach the south pole. On 6 June 1911 Robert Falcon Scott, who was born in Plymouth, celebrated his 43rd birthday at the south pole expedition base camp at Cape Evans. On 29 March 1912 he and his companions finally starved and froze to death in their tent, 11 miles from a supply cache, on the march back from discovering that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them to the pole.