Influential science fiction editor David Hartwell died yesterday of complications resulting from head injuries suffered during a fall at his home. [more inside]
Alex Gonzalez's "Lovecraft Letters" re-imagine problematic online dating messages as NSFW communication with unnameable creatures from beyond (1 2 3 4). Mallory Ortberg's hilarious "Texts from H.P. Lovecraft" focus on HPL himself, while Richard Svensson's brief video "The Lovecraft Alphabet" and David Haden's "Consult Mr. Lovecraft" plot generator present cute illustrations or parodies of HPL's work. [more inside]
President Obama’s Letter to the Editor [New York Times]
For the cover story of our Aug. 2 issue, Jim Rutenberg wrote about efforts over the last 50 years to dismantle the protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [previously], the landmark piece of legislation that cleared barriers between black voters and the ballot. The story surveyed a broad sweep of history and characters, from United States Chief Justice John Roberts to ordinary citizens like 94-year-old Rosanell Eaton, a plaintiff in the current North Carolina case arguing to repeal voting restrictions enacted in 2013. The magazine received an unusual volume of responses to this article, most notably from President Barack Obama.
Former NY Post editor and film critic Vincent Musetto has met his own deadline. Vincent, aged 74, was generally acknowledged as the author of the famous tag HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR. You can watch an interview with him here.
...can I help you with that? PLOS (The Public Library of Science) gets rid of reviewer and editor as a result of sexist statements, from Science Insider; Retraction Watch's summary. Here's the direct link to the apology and update on peer review policy from the PLOS ONE blog. Finally, this story gets the BuzzFeed treatment, plus some of the scientific community's responses using the hashtag AddMaleAuthorGate (additional examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, and the Microsoft Assistant paperclip: 5)
"Usually the kind of sound effects you heard in the earliest cartoons were strictly sound effects produced by musical instruments. What happened with Treg Brown is entirely different; he would bring in sounds that were recorded in the library at Warner Bros. If someone came quick to a stop, he would bring in a car skid from a Jimmy Carney gangster movie that they had recorded. If somebody was hit on the head and flew out a window there'd be a thunderclap followed by the sound of a biplane in a spin recorded for Dawn Patrol. It was this imposition of realistic sounds into the fantasy world of the cartoons which gave them comic impact."
CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown, (Part 1 Part 2 [SLYT]) is a short documentary about legendary sound editor Treg Brown.
More than any other editor except Harold Ross himself, Katharine White gave The New Yorker its shape, and set it on its course. -- William Shawn. Almost 20 years ago - and almost 20 years after her death - the New Yorker profiled its legendary editor in Lady with a Pencil. [more inside]
"Pastry work takes a level of skill, precision and rigor that I lacked in spades. I could’ve maybe become a decent pastry cook, with months of practice and a patient boss, but I was in no way qualified to be a pastry chef. I gave it my best effort, for three days, until the chef-owner realized her mistake and fired me. The place closed in less than 6 months. I never got paid." Laurie Woolever at The Billfold talks about how she went from Botantical Garden Intern to Anthony Bourdain's assistant.
Stalin's Blue Pencil (via).
Djugashvili (later Stalin) was a ruthless person, and a serious editor. The Soviet historian Mikhail Gefter has written about coming across a manuscript on the German statesman Otto von Bismarck edited by Stalin's own hand. The marked-up copy dated from 1940, when the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany. Knowing that Stalin had been responsible for so much death and suffering, Gefter searched "for traces of those horrible things in the book." He found none. What he saw instead was "reasonable editing, pointing to quite a good taste and an understanding of history."[more inside]
This past September, Jessica Ann Lum won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
Executive editor Karen Berger will be leaving DC Comics' Vertigo imprint in 2013 Reactions from the comics industry.
Hailed as the Github of printed circuit board (PCB) design, circuit.io allows hobbyists and electrical engineers alike to share their designs, providing a full featured schematic & PCB editor in the browser. [via (sorry, I couldn't resist, hyuk hyuk hyuk)]
James William Buel was a journalist, author, and editor, who was born in 1849 in Golconda, Illinois, and died in 1920 in San Diego, California. In his life, he traveled the world, writing and illustrating adventure tales about the wilds of Africa and the American West, and other exciting parts of the world. Many of his books are on Archive.org, ranging from America's Wonderlands, as delineated by pen and camera and Mysteries and Miseries of America's Great Cities, embracing New York, Washington City, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans; to Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia, with over 200 splendid engravings, and Sea and Land [microform] : an illustrated history of the wonderful and curious things of nature existing before and since the deluge (including a great number of creatures who apparently found joy in terrorizing and devouring people).
Super Mario Brothers X The greatest fan game tribute to Super Mario of all time! Gameplay video here. hat tip to tigsource!
"“If the book were to be published as it is in its present edited form, I may never write another story, that’s how closely, God Forbid, some of those stories are to my sense of regaining my health and mental well-being.” The New York Times reported today that Raymond Carver's widow, Tess Gallagher, is pushing to republish the stories in Carver's acclaimed 1981 breakout collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," in their original, unedited form. [more inside]
Wikipedia claims it has an accuracy rate similar to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. But are Wikipedia articles accurate enough to be relied on? The media frequently cite to the free encyclopedia despite a chance the information might be wildly inaccurate. In an effort to improve the accuracy and quality of articles, Wikipedia's internal editorial team has assessed and graded the content of 300,000 articles (out of 1.8 million articles in English alone.) One obvious way to improve accuracy is to reveal editor names, such as on the Citizendium (as previously posted on MeFi.) A simpler idea, however, might rely on a color scheme to automatically alert users to the accuracy of the article (or lack thereof).
Pixoh is a new online simple image editor in the vein of PXN8. Pixoh, however, allows quick image import and export from Flickr or upload any other webpage via bookmarklet. At the moment, only the most basic of editing tools are available, but the creators - in the spirit of Web2.0 openness - promise new features based on user votes. Effect for MeFi? Oversized inline images won't know what hit 'em.
The Grammarian. Miss Gould, as she was known to everyone at the New Yorker, died last week, at the age of eighty-seven. She worked at the magazine for fifty-four years, most of them as its Grammarian (a title invented for her). A typical “Gould proof” was filled with the lightly pencilled tracery of her objections, suggestions, and abbreviated queries: “emph?” “ind.,” “mean this?”. Writes David Remnick: "She confronted the galley proofs of writers as various as Joseph Mitchell, J. D. Salinger, Janet Flanner--well, everyone, really.". More inside.
A multiplayer text editor. Free and realtime. I think this is my new favorite thing.
In light of Steven Speilberg's editing of the soon to be re-re-released "E.T.", Slate offers its own (mostly funny) editing suggestions for the remaining Speilberg canon. By the way, is anyone else repulsed by what Speilberg's doing?
Business magazine editor sleeps with interviewee. Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Wetlaufer interviews retired GE CEO Jack Welch for HBR. They begin a torrid romance (Welch is, of course, still married to his second wife.) Other editors find out about the romance and Wetlaufer cancels her story. Other HBR editors call for her resignation and the managing editor merely reassigns her. 2 other HBR editors quit in disgust. You can't make this stuff up!
Additional coverage via Financial Times; Boston Globe; MSNBC.
Additional coverage via Financial Times; Boston Globe; MSNBC.