Rudimentary stepwells first appeared in India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D., born of necessity in a capricious climate zone bone-dry for much of the year followed by torrential monsoon rains for many weeks. It was essential to guarantee a year-round water-supply for drinking, bathing, irrigation and washing, particularly in the arid states of Gujarat (where they’re called vavs) and Rajasthan (where they’re baoli, baori, or bawdi) where the water table could be inconveniently buried ten-stories or more underground. Over the centuries, stepwell construction evolved so that by the 11th century they were astoundingly complex feats of engineering, architecture, and art.
L. Ron Hubbard (Andy Daly) is interviewed by time traveler H. G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) on a special 2-part episode of The Dead Authors Podcast. Part 1, Part 2. [more inside]
The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
It was Christmas Eve. I begin this way because it is the proper, orthodox, respectable way to begin, and I have been brought up in a proper, orthodox, respectable way, and taught to always do the proper, orthodox, respectable thing; and the habit clings to me. Of course, as a mere matter of information it is quite unnecessary to mention the date at all. The experienced reader knows it was Christmas Eve ... It always is Christmas Eve, in a ghost story.In Told After Supper (1891), Jerome K. Jerome parodied the tradition of telling Christmas ghost stories, but it's plain to see that he had fun writing them. And horror writer Ramsey Campbell, himself the author of a number of Christmas stories, recently dropped by /r/WeirdLit to list off a few places to find more. [more inside]
This may be the best War of the Worlds movie ever made, and it's barely three minutes long. And it's not exactly doing HG Wells per se. It's a trailer for or clip from The Great Martian War 1913-17, which concerns "the catastrophic events and unimaginable horrors of 1913-17, when Humankind was pitted against a savage Alien invasion." The video seems to use a mix of reenactors, period film, and f/x. (SLVimeo) [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
A review of Fritz Lang's film Metropolis by H. G. Wells, published in the April 17, 1927 issue of the New York Times and reprinted in his essay collection The Way the World is Going.
A 47 year old NYC photographer says to hell with it. He takes his 10 thousand dollars or so and buys a spot of land. You are miles and miles from anywhere. John Wells wants to build something for himself and inspire others. John has built the Field Lab and invites all who are interested to explore the idea of living off the grid... that is to use only the power you produce and eat what you grow. He has gotten a little attention...but for the most part has stayed out of the spotlight. You can follow his day to day blog and live a little vicariously. Note: If you want a tour...show up with a six pack or something. Its a long drive to town and he will forever be your friend.
"In Wells, God writes the human narrative, in Moore's version, it is humanity that ghostwrites its own story and credits it to God. The decision left to humanity is whether it will script its own history consciously, or allow the narrative to be shaped secretly by leaders and figures of authority..." The historiography (alternate, longer explanation) of Alan Moore. Warning: long. [more inside]
Evolutionary theorist Dr Curry predicts humanity will "split in two". At the very least this should provide material for playground insults. At the top end, as Dr Curry says, we could be living in Wells' The Time Machine. Only without the time machine, sadly.
War of the Worlds (this is not about Bush) Don't own a television? Want an alternative? Live performance, live orchestra, no net. October 30, 2002 8-9 PM Eastern. Glenn Beck recreates Orson Welles chilling performance that captivated a nation along with full orchestrations and foley effects. this is a radio broadcast