January 2, 2016
"Being a fascist collaborator has never tasted so sweet.": Performance artist Penny Arcade on cupcakes and New York City at the Poetry Project's 2016 New Year's Day marathon benefit reading.
Of Oz the Wizard. Finally someone put it in alphabetical order! SLVimeo.
Beloved (if not legendary) German comedian Loriot is not well known outside of Germany, mostly because his particular kind of comedy and commentary does not translate well. But here are two pieces that transcend wordplay and language/culture barriers: Loriot Conducts The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (from the 1970s with then Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in the audience), and then for the 100th Anniversary of the BPO, The "Hustensymphonie", a performance of a piece by Grieg "with live broadcast/recording effects". [more inside]
New book shows Marie Antoinette used invisible ink, secret stamps in love letters to Swedish count Touched on somewhat less sensationally in this article: From letters to apps, the secret code language of lovers [more inside]
Over 50, Female and Jobless by Paticia Cohen [The New York Times] A new study found that the employment prospects for women over 50 darkened after the Great Recession, as many now earn far less and use many fewer skills than they did before. [more inside]
ReFashionista: Jillian Owens takes out-dated, oversized or was-this-ever-fashionable? thrift store clothing and turns it into wearable clothing. She's been blogging since 2010 so her archives are lengthy, but she's also just started an update-a-day challenge for 2016. Want to skip the lengthy explanations and just see some before-and-after photos? Try this slideshow of her work on the Grist.
Garth Turner, current real estate curmudgeon and former politician, makes his predictions for 2016. Some are genuine predictions, others not so much. Dear old Garth does this every year, with mixed results. (2014, 2013, 2012)
Jason Wingreen died at the age of 95 on Christmas Day, 2015. A character actor best known for his role of Harry the bartender on All in the Family until his iconic roll as the one true voice of Boba Fett made him famous to Star Wars fans everywhere in 1980. [more inside]
What would have happened if Harry Potter had been a squib? How might the story of the books gone differently? Well. Perhaps Arabella Figg noticed something first.
Dr. Henry Marsh has performed 400 "awake craniotomies" -- a surgical procedure he helped pioneer -- in which a specific kind of brain tumor that looks just like the brain itself is identified through electric stimulation and removed. Without surgery, 50 percent of patients die within 5 years; 80 percent within 10 years, and the operation can prolong their lives by 10 to 20 years or more. He was profiled in a 2007 documentary: The English Surgeon as well as this article by Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Terrible Beauty of Brain Surgery. Images in some links in this post may be disturbing to some viewers.
Two months in, Porter Ranch [California] gas leak compared to BP Gulf oil spill: More than 1,800 families have been relocated by the gas company and more than 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Some say they can’t remember a displacement of residents this large since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when 20,000 people were left homeless. Two local elementary schools have been impacted, with nearly 2,000 schoolchildren and staff slated to be moved to other schools in January. Enough methane gas is being released to fill the Empire State building each day, state officials have said, and the concern has even reached the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued temporary flight restrictions over the area for small aircraft and helicopters. [more inside]
How's The Winds of Winter coming along? "The book's not done," says George R. R. Martin. His publishers said that they could turn the manuscript around in three months, which meant he would've had until December at the latest to get it on shelves in time for season 6 of the TV series. Fans are predictably grizzly. Earlier this week Deadspin put it to you that he had no pages at all. Some number-crunching posted on Watchers on the Wall back in March suggested an optimistic date of January-February 2016 (which seems unlikely now) and a pessimistic guess of early 2019. (previously, previously, and previously)