Blood, Sweat, Toil and Tears: Playing Churchill on Screen [The New York Times] “He fought with distinction and held almost every major office in Britain. He commanded a country in the midst of world war and is credited with inventing the social safety net. He has been called an imperialist and a warmonger. A drunk and a racist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, rivaled only Shakespeare in his prolific literary output, and painted more than 500 pictures in his lifetime. And, some argue, he single-handedly saved civilization. Winston Churchill was a complex and contradictory leader unlike any in recent history. And he also presents one of the most sought-after and challenging roles for any actor worth his salt.” [more inside]
This is your latest installment in the Trump / U.S. Politics Megathread. Trump golfs on MLK day after urging Americans to celebrate it with volunteering; popularity among African Americans continues to plummet. Bannon subpoenaed to grand jury. Blowback continues on “Sh—holeGate”; CNN reporter expelled from press conference for asking about it. There are four years in a Presidential term of office (not many people know that).
Hundreds of survivors have come forward to testify against Larry Nassar, whom they say was allowed to abuse them for years through his position with USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and at John Geddert's Michigan club, Twistars. The hearings, which began today, will allow survivors to speak publicly, often for the first time [trigger warning for child abuse, sexual assault and suicide]. Yesterday, Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast in history, publicly identified herself as the third member of the 2016 gold-medal winning team from the Rio Olympics to be a survivor of Nassar's abuse, as did her two-time Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. 2012 Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney also spoke out publicly. Today, the other survivors who aren't as well known will get to tell their stories alongside Biles, Raisman, Douglas, and Maroney, who had more media coverage. [more inside]
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein – in charts (in celebration of 200 years of Frankenstein - which maybe hasn’t gotten the respect that it should have)
The Awl and sister site the Hairpin announced that they'll cease editorial operations at the end of January. [more inside]
"The following is a list of 4510 different titles given to the exact same generic 9:59 self-affirmation pep-talk on Spotify."
Nursultan Nazarbayev, authoritarian leader of Kazakhstan, has been broadly popular in his rule. Until he decided to start sticking apostrophes all over the place.
Aziz Ansari was accused of coercing a woman (content warning: graphic description of sexual assault) into having sex with him. People are having very different reactions to this news. [more inside]
When someone tells a story online, someone else will inevitably be ready with a two-word reply. “Didn’t happen,” they’ll type, or those who can’t be bothered to type can choose from an array of ready-made sceptical memes. New Statesman looks at DHOTYA.
"Women Farmers of Appalachia is a photography and interview series whose purpose is to give an honest representation of the daily lives of Appalachian women in agriculture." Austin Ledzian and Joe Mrava talk about their project Women Farmers of Appalachia "Even more striking than the images are the stories of the strength and steadfastness of the women behind the photographs. There was Laura, whose land has remained in her family for many generations, steeled and determined to carry on a lasting legacy. Another farmer, Gwynn, spent 13 years with her family terracing a hillside and converting its clay to plantable, fertile soil, all in the midst of a series of personal challenges, including caring for an ailing husband." - Huck Magazine
Caitriona Dunnett is using a digital-cyanotype process to photograph Mass Paths - The Secret Paths That Led Ireland’s Catholics to Forbidden Mass
but to recall the Platonic ideal of the thing. The Alchemy of Novelty Potato Chip Flavors.
Hey, remember that time back in 1995 when Boy George put out a punk/glam rock album that was also full of beautiful pop songs and ballads? Cheapness And Beauty was a real thing! Full album [YT playlist, ~50m] Side A: Funtime [video], Satan's Butterfly Ball, Sad, God Don't Hold A Grudge, Genocide Peroxide, If I Could Fly [more inside]
According to his Facebook page, public radio personality Joe Frank passed away this morning. [more inside]
Sleep Scientist Warns Against Walking Through Life 'In An Underslept State' Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He points out that lack of sleep — defined as six hours or fewer — can have serious consequences.
Proof, in YouTube playlist form, that Zack Morris from the 30-year-old American sitcom Saved by the Bell is trash. [more inside]
In 1968 Steve McQueen chased a Dodge Charger through the hills of San Francisco in an Mustang GT390 (previously). The production company bought two Mustangs from Ford, one was ruined during filming and the other ended up with a private owner, never to be seen publicly again. McQueen practically begged to buy it back until 1977, but was repeatedly rebuffed. But yesterday, the Bullitt Mustang was seen again.
What Do Wild Animals Do in a Wildfire? When big blazes spark and spread, some species escape, some perish—and some even thrive, as written by Sarah Zielinski for National Geographic. In Australia, Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), and Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) have been documented intentionally spreading fire to drive out prey, recently confirming what Aboriginal people have talked about for thousands of years. [more inside]
In 1959, four major Jazz albums were made that changed music forever: Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue", Dave Brubek's "Time Out", Charles Mingus' "Mingus Ah Um", and Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz To Come"
‘Black Lightning’ Is Pulp With a Purpose [The New York Times] “By day, Jefferson is a high school principal, something of a local hero for his outreach to troubled students. Until nine years ago, though, he patrolled the fictional city of Freeland, wearing a space-age electro-suit that one observer likens to a Parliament-Funkadelic outfit. Targeted by the police for vigilantism, he wearily gave it up. But he’s drawn back in as the city is overrun by a brutal gang, the One Hundred, which ends up threatening his two daughters: Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain).” [YouTube Trailer] [more inside]
#MeToo has reached China, sparking a small but growing protest movement within elite universities, concern and censorship from the country’s authoritarian rulers - and self-reflection within the small foreign journalist community regarding its own culture and reporting. [more inside]
New photos, and some stories, of the 1968 Resurrection City demonstration. "Deeply Grieving MLK’s Death, Activists Shaped a Campaign of Hurt and Hope At Resurrection City, an epic 1968 demonstration on the National Mall in Washington D.C., protesters defined the next 50 years of activism"
New York Cancels Private Prison Care Packages Program brief article at the Marshall Project. The article notes that the program that "forced families and friends to send care packages to prisoners only through select private vendors" is suspended. It may yet expand. [more inside]
Flordia’s prisoners are going on strike. “...For no less than one month, they will refuse to work in the kitchen, the laundry, on farms, in maintenance, or in other jobs upon which the prisons depend to function. They will boycott products and services, forgo phone calls and the canteen, and engage in other activities to disrupt the prison economy.”
In addition to demands for higher wages, the reinstatement of parole, ending canteen price gouging, restoration of voting rights, and Stopping unpaid work for hurricane cleanup, inmates are also demanding a end to the overcrowded and deteriorating conditions of Florida prisons “There are so many unexplained deaths,” Lisa Graybill, deputy legal director for criminal justice reform at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Intercept. “They’re just appalling.”
There’s surprisingly little research on diastasis recti, which affects at least 60 percent of postpartum women. As with many other postpartum complications that affect women, there is little good research on the condition. Women aren’t routinely screened for DR at the one standard postpartum visit that occurs around six weeks after birth. And if they do get a diagnosis, they are often told that core work — for instance, tons of crunches — will tone the tummy and thus, close the gap. But core work done improperly or alone won’t necessarily fix the problem. In fact, it can even make things worse. And over the long term, DR can compromise the stability and function of the core, and is linked to a host of other problems that can crop up even years after childbirth. Given that so many women are forced to learn about DR on their own, here is a guide for how to try to prevent it and address it from those who treat it.
Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival. [slProPublica]
Color is perspective. One may express a rose is red or pink or yellow, but what is the exact hue and saturation of that color? It’s all perspective. I believe there are no two people who can see one color the exact same way.
It's safer to back into a head-on parking spot, and then pull out forward. Most Americans do just the opposite. Why?
There are bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) older than this whale of a tale.
EXTRACTS. (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian). It will be seen that this mere painstaking burrower and grub-worm of a poor devil of a Sub-Sub appears to have gone through the long Vaticans and street-stalls of the earth, picking up whatever random allusions to whales he could anyways find in any book whatsoever, sacred or profane. Therefore you must not, in every case at least, take the higgledy-piggledy whale statements, however authentic, in these extracts, for veritable gospel cetology. Far from it. As touching the ancient authors generally, as well as the poets here appearing, these extracts are solely valuable or entertaining, as affording a glancing bird’s eye view of what has been promiscuously said, thought, fancied, and sung of Leviathan, by many nations and generations, including our own.[more inside]
So Murphy's Stout is not Guinness, it's from the Republic of Cork, Ireland's southern capital. In 1997, to capitalize on the rising popularity of anime Murphy's broadcast a amazing anime ad on the UK's Channel 4, Last Orders. The ad was a homage to a famous (in Cork) ad from the early nineties inspired by Kurosawa. That ad also had an excellent follow up, "Old man with parsnip". Cheers!
The sound of space-filling curves. Herman Haverkort presents sonifications, or musical representations, of space-filling curves in various dimensions. (Sonification previously.)
In 2016, Anat Deracine wrote a piece and "hid it under a rock for reasons that no longer exist." Earlier this month, she declared that 2018 is going to be fearless and published her Divine Comedy of the Tech Sisterhood.
"The cast-iron skillet is 13 inches in diameter and so heavy I have to use both hands to pour anything out of it. And it tells a story of Florida endurance and female endurance that I wanted with me in that moment, a thing I never want to lose. It belonged to my great-great-grandmother, the cook on a wagon train from Georgia to Florida in the late 19th century...She had packed up everything she could, including the skillet, an even more massive Dutch oven and a one-gallon soup pot, all of them iron, all built to last. The kinds of things you take when you can take only important things." From the Bitter Southerner's Folklore Project: Susannah Nesmith's The Skillet, a personal reflection on what to save when you must leave it all behind. [more inside]
Falu Red, The Color of Bucolic Barns and Mummified Swedes [The Awl] “According to legend, there was once a goat named Kåre who lived with his shepherd boy in rural Sweden. One day, Kåre returned home with his horns stained a bright, mineral red. Instead of being frightened by his newly Baphomet-looking livestock, the boy summoned all his entrepreneurial impulses and set to work figuring out how he could make money from this occurrence. His goat had fallen headfirst into a pile of earthly riches, discovering a patch of copper-laden land, russet soil and dusty yellow stones. This site would become the famous copper mines of Falun, the source of much of Sweden’s wealth throughout the Middle Ages and the reason we have the term “barn red,” for it was here that Swedes discovered the preserving and protective properties of copper, iron ochre, silica, and zinc. Mixed with linseed oil, these minerals became a deep warm red paint, which was applied to the sides of houses and barns throughout Scandinavia and later, the east coast of America.” [more inside]
The Story of Cats is a documentary mini-series, first aired on ITV then re-cut with new narration on PBS: Nature, now as a two-part series instead of three, with a different narrative flow. Where ITV focuses on comparisons of wild cats with "our moggies," PBS traces the evolution of cats as they spread across the world, and into our homes. ITV [via YouTube] ep 1: Wild at Heart; ep 2: Cute Response; ep 3: Super Cats | PBS ep 1: Asia to Africa; ep 2: Americas
When comedian Paul Scheer got snarky on Instagram about the cover of a romance novel, members of the romance community took him to task. In apology, he live-tweeted his reading of the first book in the series. Via SorryWatch: ALL HANDS, ALL HANDS, EXCELLENT CELEB APOLOGY NOT A DRILL. [more inside]
Carolina Fish Camps were and are an institution. But new southerners, especially Mexicans, are adapting older recipes to their tastes and old southerners are loving the new foods, too. Here's a video on a new recipe for turnip greens Turnip Greens de Arbol and a new dessert melding old and new: Peach Empanadas. The South has always blended traditions from other cultures and it's still doing so.
It’s an intense and cult-ish thing to discover Pierce’s books as a young girl. For all their sorcerers and dragons, her books, at their core, are about young women growing up and figuring out who they are: how to be weird and stubborn and heroic and angry, how to deal with getting their periods, how to control their tempers, how to handle jealousy, how to decide whether to sleep with their best friends or their teachers, how to prevent pregnancy, how to navigate romantic relationships with men many years their seniors, how to challenge and defeat men many years their seniors, how to be women who don’t conform to the rigid expectations of their (entirely imaginary!) world and time.
Rob Gonsalves was a Canadian artist who produced a delightful series of paintings that were part optical illusion, part flight of fantasy. Andrea Kowch paints magical realist pictures of women in rural landscapes. Her work has been described as like a cross between Andrew Wyeth and Alfred Hitchcock.
"Do improvements in energy efficiency actually lead to energy savings? At first sight, the advantages of efficiency seem to be impressive. For example, the energy efficiency of a range of domestic appliances covered by the EU directives has improved significantly over the last 15 years. Between 1998 and 2012, fridges and freezers became 75% more energy efficient, washing machines 63%, laundry dryers 72%, and dishwashers 50%. " [more inside]
British Rail, Rail Blue 1967-1980 Footage of British Rail trains accompanied by contemporary music hits and radio show clips (SLVimeo)
To Norway, home of giants (1979). John Cleese takes us on a journey through his ancestral Norway in this Python-esque travelogue which explores ski culture, Viking-era nostalgia and reenactment, a taste of Norwegian cuisine and literature, and even a visit with the Nobel committee.