September 15, 2020

Thirty-One Buster Keaton Movies

In The Great Buster, Peter Bogdanovich (and, really, every critic) identifies Buster Keaton’s greatest created period as the decade between 1920 and 1930. Before that time, he made a few two-reel films in supporting roles with Roscoe Arbuckle. After it, he made lesser movies with little creative control, dropped off the map, and eventually came back for a moderate late-in-life ressurrection.
But where, oh where, in this modern world, can we find the gems of his golden era? The obvious place. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 10:36 PM PST - 22 comments

A November Farewell -- by Mike Royko

They were young and had little money, and they came from working class families. So to them the cottage was a luxury, although it wasn't any bigger than the boat garages on Lake Geneva, where the rich people played. ~~~ Then he got lucky in his work. He made more money than he ever dreamed they'd have. They remembered how good those weekends had been and they went looking at lakes in Wisconsin to see if they could afford something on the water. ~~~ They hadn't known summers could be that good. In the mornings, he'd go fishing before it was light. She'd sleep until the birds woke her. The he'd make breakfast and they'd eat omelets on the wooden deck in the shade of the trees.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:51 PM PST - 22 comments

Scientific American endorses Joe Biden

Scientific American endorses Joe Biden for the US 2020 Federal election. This is the first time in the 175-year history of the publication that it has endorsed any political candidate.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:20 PM PST - 71 comments

Gen Z got disillusioned at an alarmingly fast rate!

Gen Zers Say Silicon Valley Is Elitist and Exclusive. Can They Build a New System? "In the coming months, the group's members plan to form a syndicate or angel fund to invest in community members’ projects. (Mr. Sridharan said the group hoped to raise money from tech investors and TikTok stars.) They view the server as an incubator for ideas and hope to see companies formed as a result of those discussions."
posted by geoff. at 8:05 PM PST - 27 comments

An encouraging game about matching colors

I Love Hue, Too is a mobile game that should delight any fan of tiled gradients. You re-arrange tiles in a polygon-tile grid to create a gradient. Gameplay video. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 7:33 PM PST - 17 comments

Who hasn't wanted to live in an abandoned school?

Take a few minutes to watch this guy living his best life in an abandoned school in Japan (SLYT).
posted by Long Way To Go at 6:19 PM PST - 30 comments

"regenerated during the very process of being shared"

Intangible Cultural Heritage is a UNESCO program initiated in 2001 to recognise and protect various cultures and practices that, unlike items on the UNESCO World Heritage List, cannot be touched. This content is parseable in many ways: a list of places you might want to travel, a somewhat dizzying data visualization, a peek into their backlog, living heritage among indigenous peoples, or those that are threatened by the aging of their practitioners. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 4:25 PM PST - 6 comments

Is there something that you wish you had done differently this year?

Since 2008, ten questions have been emailed across the world. If you have signed up to DoYou10Q? you will receive a question to respond to every day for ten days. A year later your answers are sent back to you. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:01 PM PST - 10 comments

Cookie Flipper

Pincremental is a free online idle game that starts as a janky pinball sim and turns into a janky pinball automation sim.
posted by cortex at 2:19 PM PST - 32 comments

Who needs autofocus?

Mirrorless cameras have made it easier for photographers to adapt vintage lenses to digital devices. Why use vintage glass? Because older lenses are cheap, can be weird and fun, and have a quality of craftsmanship that is rarely found in modern gear. Plus, shooting video with a 137-year-old lens is just cool. Certain lenses are prized for their retro character or swirly bokeh (others are, well, mildly radioactive). If there's a lens you want to try, there's probably an adapter for it – and if not, you can always 3D print your own.
posted by oulipian at 1:50 PM PST - 38 comments

A Different Picture of Chicken Rice Every Day

For 1,000 days, a Singapore resident, kuey.png, has been posting a different picture of chicken rice every day. [more inside]
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:05 AM PST - 23 comments

A Brief Retrospective of Reign of Fire

"It sort of had to be written by people who weren’t in the film industry, because if you told anybody the pitch was 'dragon apocalypse' they’d be like 'get the fuck out of my office!'" Set in a dystopian London besieged by dragons, Reign Of Fire debuted in third place on its opening weekend, behind Men In Black II and Road To Perdition. By the end of its theatrical run, it barely scraped back its $60 million budget (grossing $82 million internationally), which is an interesting figure when you consider its stars—Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler—were all on their way to A-List status. “I don’t think you can afford to put those three guys in the same movie right now,” director Rob Bowman reflected.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:57 AM PST - 69 comments

GLaDOS v1.1

Terence Eden's collection of imaginary software on floppy disks, including Holly, Bandersnatch, Janet, Mother, and WOPR.
posted by adrianhon at 8:29 AM PST - 26 comments

An Iranian Scientist's Misadventure in the US

"The Man Who Refused to Spy" is an article by Laura Secor in the New Yorker. The F.B.I. tried to recruit Iranian materials scientist named Sirous Asgari as an informant. When he balked, the payback was brutal. [more inside]
posted by of strange foe at 8:10 AM PST - 10 comments

"If they weren't my brother and dad, I would not go up to them."

Paddle of the Century: CBC describes a record-breaking father-son(s) canoe trip from Winnipeg, Canada to Belem, Brazil.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:00 AM PST - 8 comments

The Overwhelming Racism of COVID Coverage

Western media cannot write western failure. The real story is that ‘developing’ nations have done remarkably better at fighting COVID-19 than the rich and white. The real story starts precisely where the western map ends. Here be dragons. We be dragons.
posted by toastyk at 7:38 AM PST - 58 comments

Hue's Hue

For the Paris Review, Katy Kelleher writes essays on very specific colors. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 7:21 AM PST - 9 comments

Romanticism, rationalism and ferries

Joe Kennedy writes about romantic infrastructure, places and connections between them, with a special eye towards the Caledonian MacBrayne/CalMac ferries that link many coastal and island communities on the west coast of Scotland with the mainland and each other. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns at 6:54 AM PST - 1 comments

Short fantasy stories about a diminished hero and an exiled villain

"Captain Midrise" by Jim Marino is a loving description of a flying, people-helping superhero who loses some of his oomph but keeps on going, from the point of view of a journalist trying to cover the story responsibly. "Would the paper be liable if he stopped helping in emergencies? Would we just get sued forever until we died?" "Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer" by Megan Grey is a humorous, then bittersweet short fantasy about a bullied fifteen-year-old shoveling her demonic neighbor's driveway and coming over for hot chocolate. "Destroyer he may be called, but he kept his yard tidy and pulled in his trash cans at night, so the Homeowners Association turned their scowls on other targets." [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 5:20 AM PST - 6 comments

The Last Picture Show?

David Sims examines the failure of the one theatrical blockbuster this summer and what it means for the future of movie going:
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was supposed to be a boon for movie theaters, a light in the darkness after the coronavirus pandemic shut down cinemas for months. Here was an original film from a beloved director, one of the biggest titles of our postponed summer-movie season—surely this would be enough to lure people back to the big screen. Around the world, that’s proven largely true: Over three weeks, Tenet has made more than $207 million globally, a healthy number given the circumstances. But in the United States, the Warner Bros. film has grossed less than $30 million since August 31—a number so low that it’s scaring other major movies off the release schedule. Now the question isn’t whether theaters can return to normalcy, but whether they can survive this pandemic at all.
posted by octothorpe at 5:20 AM PST - 72 comments

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