November 11, 2009
The man who killed Chuckles the Clown David Lloyd is dead. He wrote one of Mary Tyler Moore's funniest moments. He also wrote for Frasier, Cheers, Lou Grant, and Taxi, including Elaine's Strange Triangle . He also wrote and created Brothers, an early TV show to feature a character who just happened to be gay. No big deal.
Lou Jing was your average 20 year old woman from Shanghai, until being on Go! Oriental Angel, an American Idol like singing competition show, had to point out the obvious. Lou Jing is half Chinese, half African- America, something China apparently wasn't ready for.
In How to Write a Great Novel authors such as Edwidge Danticat, Hilary Mantel, Orhan Pamuk, Junot Díaz and Margaret Atwood speak about their writing process. If you want your thoughts on writing in a longer format, you could do a lot worse than The New York Times' Writers on Writing series, which features short essays by, for example, Kurt Vonnegut, Saul Bellow, Louise Erdrich and Annie Proulx. Should you thirst for meditations longer yet, Barbara Demarco-Barrett has on her Writers on Writing radio show interviewed a boatload of authors and it is available as a podcast [iTunes link]
Christopher Bird at Mighty God King has written some corkers in the past - from his ejection from Livejournal owing to his review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to his frequent conversations with Flapjacks and Photoshopping of Final Fantasy Covers (previously). He's really outdone himself this time, with Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer. Read it, and, quite possibly, weep. Bonus points to the first person who constructs a Primer-level explanation of what happened.
"One month ago Dartz presented uberluxury armored car with whale penis interior - PROMBRON... As the world’s resonance was very huge and Dartz got lot of angry e-mails from Greenpeace, WWF and also Pamela Anderson, Dartz make strong decision to stop their plans regarding such interior."
A rare living fossil, the Queensland Lungfish can today breathe a sigh of relief. A decision yesterday by the Australian Federal Environment Minister (and Midnight Oil frontman) Peter Garret has rejected the Queensland Government's plans to dam the Mary River for urban water use. [more inside]
US Crude Oil Production vs. Rock Music Quality, by year. Is Rockism the cultural equivalent of Hubbert Peak Theory?
The Ride Journal is a lovely mag by/about/for cyclists of all types: bmxers, fixed gear riders, road racers, tricyclists, casual riders... you name it! It's a beautiful publication--great photography, nice paper, good personal stories. However, it's a print mag. As their 3rd issue is being mailed out, they've made their first avaiable for download as a 26MB PDF.
"Dollhouse" is dead. Joss Whedon falls victim to FOX once more.
A nail-polished obsessed blogger is using up her purchases on a new nail design every day for a year. [more inside]
It sounds like a George Lopez joke. “Times are so bad that I saw an Anglo day laborer standing outside Home Depot the other day.” Except it’s true.
Theme Park Maps showcases those hand-drawn brochures that showed where the roller coasters and bumper cars were at your favorite theme park.
What does an aircraft company do when military contracts dry up? Fairey’s answer was to reinvent the helicopter and revolutionize the short-haul airline industry. After 15 years of effort, its unique project, the Rotodyne, came within an inch of achieving that goal. The Fairey Rotodyne, which first took to the air more than 50 years ago, was billed as the world's first vertical take-off commercial passenger aircraft. Fairey talked up expressions of interest from BEA in the UK, New York Airways and the US Army, but the crucial launch order never came. British government policy to rationalize the industry saw the end of the Rotodyne and Fairey as an airframe maker in 1962.
The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr. at the University of New Mexico. "In 1941 to 1943, Collier worked as a photographer with the Farm Securities Administration and the Office of War Information under Roy Stryker and documented many areas around the eastern U.S and northern New Mexico." The full photoset is at flickr here.
Yesterday evening, Robert Enke, goalkeeper of Germany's national soccer team, committed suicide. At a press conference today, his wife revealed, that he had been suffering from depression for 6 years and had been in therapy. He covered it up out of fear to lose custody of his adopted daughter and his career as a professional footballer. [more inside]
Alaska’s most famous hockey player, Levi Johnston, is set to pose nude for Playgirl (previously). But didn’t Playgirl – the magazine – close up shop last year, going online-only? And wasn’t it ultimately run by straight guys in the first place? Jessanne Collins, Playgirl’s former managing editor, debunks some myths about the magazine that was to the nude-male pictorial what Marky Mark was to hip-hop.
In September, Jade Ewen replaced Keisha Buchanan in the line-up of the British pop group Sugababes. Buchanan was the last original member of the group, making the Sugababes the pop equivalent of the Ship of Theseus, an ancient philosophical paradox. The switch caused acrimony, heartache and legal wrangles. But Popjustice now reveals that it also has terrifying implications for the future of human civilisation. Sunday 30 April 2265: Mutyageddon.
Underground Signs is a company in Brooklyn creating customized NYC subway signs. Other products have horned in on the distinctive look of the MTA's designs, including the map, the train line logos, and the neighborhoods serviced. But this is the first I've seen of the option to create a replica from the NYC underground with one's own name, street, etc. (the site allows you to generate a"Create Your Own" image). [more inside]
Architect Jakob Tigges plans to erect a 1,000 meter tall artificial mountain in the middle of Berlin. [more inside]
The Guardian recently published a beautiful article about Danish Dynamite, the '80s Danish national soccer (football) squad. Rob Smyth and Lars Eriksen write about how the success and failure of the national team highlighted national traits that Denmark has. The writing about the matches is among the most inspired I have ever read. [more inside]
Stem Cell Awareness and The Black Community "Due to genetic variance, 1 in 500 Europeans need to be on the registry, but 1 in 10 Africans should be on the registry worldwide..." 5 Fast Facts on Bone Marrow Registration and Donation. If you want to find out more about whether you can save a life, visit Be The Match (US), OneMatch (Canada), or the Anthony Nolan Trust (UK).
Say hello to googles new concurrent programming language Compiles faster than c/c++ and runs just as fast. Garbage collection + concurrency included
Nabokov, Meet 50 Cent: Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind. "Those who have been paying attention to Zadie Smith since her White Teeth debut likely already know about her affinities for E.M. Forster, Lil Wayne, George Eliot, Kafka, and Fawlty Towers. She's one of probably three working writers capable of smuggling a riff on the perils of "keeping it real" into The New York Review of Books."
Beautiful data visualisations of the original Choose Your Own Adventure stories. A project by Christian Swinehart.
"It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed." Despite efforts by Victorians to eradicate them, dialects of English in Great Britain continue to vary greatly, much to the consternation of many traditionalists. But a recently acquired archive is giving new insight into old dialects--some of which no longer exist. Recorded in a WWI prisoner of war camp on shellac disks, the archive was part of an effort by German linguists to study regional variation in the English language. A report by PRI's The World includes a brief synopsis--and a powerful rendition of a beloved Scottish ballad by a homesick soldier.
Soldiers return home after months abroad and are greeted by their very excited dogs. (A compilation of puppy-focused welcome-home videos for Veterans' Day.)
I like big bundts and I cannot lie! In honor of November 15th, National Bundt Day, the Food Librarian is bringing us 30 days of Bundt cakes. (via)
On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Lieutenant John Purvis risked court-martial by taking some snapshots of the battlefield. Now his photograph album has been put online. It gives an extraordinary insight into what it was like to be an ordinary soldier in the middle of the battle, marching up to the front, resting in the forward lines, taking cover as a bomb explodes, advancing into battle, watching a shell burst, digging into freshly made trenches, or moving forward over captured ground.
Samoan government Minister Hans Joachim "Joe" Keil is suing US immigration agents and the State Department. [more inside]