"I can’t imagine a nonfiction writer who wasn’t influenced by the fiction he or she had read. But the “thriller-like pacing” you find in my writing may come more from my own beat than from thrillers. I walk fast and am impatient. I get bored easily—no less with my own ideas than with those of others. Writing for me is a process of constantly throwing out stuff that doesn’t seem interesting enough. I grew up in a family of big interrupters." Janet Malcolm interviewed by Katie Roiphe in The Paris Review
posted by escabeche
on Jul 25, 2011 -
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?!
That's right. The Late Late Show
's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer
-- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences
(including the iconic animal puppets
by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance"
by Irene Cara, "On the Floor"
by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka"
by Shakira, "Men in Black"
by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant"
by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
by Wham!, "It's Raining Men"
by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)"
by Tino Rossi.
Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious
-- he responded to Arthur's "homáge
" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 11, 2011 -
BLVR: This is all a pretty analytical approach to improvisation, where I think a lot of people consider Phish’s music to be just “made up on the spot.”
TA: We’re the most analytical band, in some ways. We’d talk and talk for hours about this stuff. I see improvisation as a craft and as an art. The craft part is important. There’s a lot of preparation and discipline that goes into it just so that, when you’re in the moment, you’re not supposed to be thinking at all.
The Believer - Interview with Trey Anastasio
posted by lemuring
on Jul 2, 2011 -
Minor Threats "The punk icon Ian MacKaye always wanted to create a tribe. Now an elder statesman of D.C. hardcore, the musician talks about organized religion, breaking toilets, and making peace with his mother’s death."
A simply fantastic interview with Ian Mackaye
from a magazine you wouldn't expect to be covering a hardcore music legend. I know there are some fans here on the blue who may really enjoy this.
posted by punkrockrat
on Jun 29, 2011 -
The A. V. Club has an exhaustive and revealing four-part interview with Dan Harmon
, creator of Community, in which he discusses the conception and production behind every episode of the show's ambitious and flawed second season.
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 10, 2011 -
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -
The Burns Archive
is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing
subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery
this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through
with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 26, 2011 -
over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable
. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th
, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content
(with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009
. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck
to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team
, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously
), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible
. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 18, 2011 -
Ah wilderness! What better place to escape the stifling trappings of urban existence - overflowing inboxes, two-hour commutes, social-media addiction. And, of course, indoor plumbing. "Take off your shoes for a while, unzip your fly, piss hearty, dig your toes in the hot sand, feel that raw and rugged earth," the great Western author and curmudgeon Edward Abbey once exhorted car-bound city slickers. Contemplating the reasons for taking a trek down the Appalachian Trail (and aping Abbey-ish machismo), travel writer Bill Bryson mused, "I wanted a little of that swagger that comes with being able to gaze at a far horizon through eyes of chipped granite and say with a slow, manly sniff, 'Yeah, I've shit in the woods.'"
posted by vidur
on Apr 4, 2011 -
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
The Madoff Tapes "One evening, my home phone rang. “You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,” a recording announced. And there he was." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 28, 2011 -
is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections
, Incredible Explosions
, Incredible Body
, and many more
. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers
in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books
, educational games
), interactive history sites
, and animation
. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries
on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 4, 2011 -
Swimming around in a mixture of language and matter, humans occupy a particular evolutionary niche mediated by something we call 'consciousness'. To Professor Nicholas Humphrey we're made up of "soul dust
": "a kind of theatre... an entertainment which we put on for ourselves inside our own heads." But just as that theatre is directed by the relationship between language and matter, it is also undermined by it
. It all depends how you think it.
posted by 0bvious
on Feb 4, 2011 -
"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women." 73-year-old Jack Nicholson talks
about relationships, sex, aging, art, drugs, partying with Keith Richards, plastic surgery, and acting.
posted by John Cohen
on Jan 30, 2011 -
The Dancer and the Terrorist.
When Peru’s most wanted man, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso
, was captured in 1992, a young ballerina, Maritza Garrido Lecca,
went to jail too
, for harbouring him at her studio. The story was turned into a novel
, “The Dancer Upstairs
). This year, the author of the novel, Nicholas Shakespeare
, flew to Lima to meet the dancer at last — and to ask her whether she was guilty.
posted by zarq
on Jan 20, 2011 -
On Friday evening, Trent Reznor sat down with Jon Pareles (music critic for the NYT) for a lengthy, candid interview about his work on The Social Network soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels, and his creative process. The interview runs 1h15m, and is available for download in both video
versions. [more inside]
posted by hippybear
on Jan 9, 2011 -
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now.
In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego
. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist
-- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro
interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com
offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone
. More: Port discussion group
- Vintage review
- Original game manual (text
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 31, 2010 -
is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
Legendary hip hop producer DJ Premier interviewed in the XXL Icon Interview
and The Smoking Section
. Remarkably candid conversations about his life in East Coast hip hop, with interesting stories about his work with Jay-Z, Biggie, Puff, Nas, Jeru the Damaga, Group Home, Suge Knight, Christina Aguilera and of course, Guru. On finding records to sample: "Well, there’s still diggin’ spots. If you’re in that world like I am, you know the spots, you see everybody—Just Blaze, Alchemist, Large Professor, Pete Rock—we still pop up in those spots. You got Big City records, you got Turntable Lab, you still have A1, you got Academy, you know. I’m not gonna tell you all the digging spots."
posted by the mad poster!
on Dec 20, 2010 -
A 3 hour podcast interview
here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War
, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law
and numerous other comics
. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe
. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton
, being Irish-English, Sláine
and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers
. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic
, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
posted by Artw
on Dec 19, 2010 -