Links

These are links from around the internet, the text caption below is usually a quote or the first paragraph of the article.

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Below you can find links arranged in the following categories:
animation | art | 360 | brainfood | broadcast | cgi | comics | drawing | film | maths | maya | mind maps | music | notebooks | photography | process | reading | realtime | webtech | politics | songs | world | writing | ecosystem

Recent

  • In Venezuela, White Supremacy is a Key to Trump's Coup
    On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections?
  • The Official Archive of Prince GIFs
    GIPHY, in collaboration with Paisley Park and Prince’s estate, has done a truly remarkable thing. It’s created an official archive of high-quality Prince GIFs, from virtually all of his music videos. You can browse it by album and by song.
  • Great Thread on Base and Superstructure from Black Socialists of America on Twitter
    How many of you artists/creatives out there have been wondering how/why it seems as though the quality of art and design with money behind it (in the mainstream) has lessened considerably over the years (saturation aside)? Ever hear of Marx’s “base and superstructure” theory? 😏
  • On Gustav Dore and King Kong
  • The scale of Star Wars characters and ships
    It’s the scale of significant Star Wars characters, objects, and ships from Episode I through VIII, plus Rogue One and Solo. Need I say more?
  • BBC fights to stop David Attenborough being poached | Television & radio | The Guardian
    The BBC has commissioned three major series on the natural world, as it fights to stop staff who make its popular natural history shows – including David Attenborough – being poached by deep-pocketed rival Netflix.
  • From Africa to the US to Haiti, climate change is a race issue | Patrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu | Opinion | The Guardian
    Just over a year ago, Black Lives Matter UK successfully shut down London City airport. Our aims were to call attention to three things: Britain’s historical responsibility for global temperature changes, while the UK remains among the least vulnerable countries to the direct effects of climate change; second, that black people and poor people globally suffer the most from environmental impacts; and third, that safe freedom of movement is a reality only for the privileged, wealthy and mostly white.
  • This photo taken of me in 1989 has been causing much merriment on Facebook. - Chris Shepherd
  • The hammer attack on Karl Marx’s tomb shows the alt-right fears his time has come
    I’ve never been a huge fan of Marx’s tomb in Highgate Cemetery. It’s designed in the classic Stalinist tradition to express, as its sculptor Laurence Bradshaw said, “the dynamic force of his intellect and the breadth and vision and power of his personality, along with a feeling of energy and endurance and dedication to purpose”. Karl Marx: superhuman, could be its subtext.
  • The New Social Media
    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the internet will look like in the future. Right now, it’s dominated by social media in one form or another, with large, megacorp silos acting as our primary sources of information and discourse. This is a shift from the “DIY” homegrown state of the early internet — while there were absolutely megacorps that cornered entire niches of the internet (think about the likes of AOL, for instance), it didn’t feel like quite as much of a stranglehold. There was lots of room for growth and plucky startups and homegrown projects. A proliferation of open source projects to run your own websites in all sorts of wacky configurations (lots of weird mishmashes of CMSes, blog software, forums, galleries, with some shaky handcrafted glue between them all). Lots of platforms, lots of different standards and protocols popping up all the time, and nothing really talking to each other all that well. Early attempts at cohesion had mixed success (OAuth, yay! RSS, woo! Trackbacks… um).

Animation

Art

360

  • How virtual reality is magical, ridiculous, and not figured out yet
    "First of two parter from Nat
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu Brings VR to Cannes With ‘Carne y Arena’ | IndieWire
    "As filmmakers, none of the grammar tools apply. A film is about frame, the length of a take, the juxtaposition of edited images. A film without a frame is to film as a car without tires. It’s not a car anymore. It’s a leap forward. With cinema, that little hole you see through, I give you 20% as director and you figure out the other 80%. That’s the dialectic.”
  • VR is telling deeper, more important stories
    At the Tribeca Film Festival this year, filmmakers displayed a mastery of virtual reality with a series of emotional, meaningful stories. It's an encouraging sign, considering previous efforts to produce coherent, non-game VR experiences have floundered, mostly due to the medium's infancy and a lack of widely available technology. Finally, though, we seem to have moved beyond the novelty of virtual reality and are starting to see it used to tackle various important issues.
  • Valve’s Face of VR Chet Faliszek Quits – VRFocus
    HTC Vive collaborator Valve is a fairly secretive company by most standards. Its CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell makes the odd appearance at events but in terms of virtual reality (VR) it’s been Chet Faliszek who’s become the main spokesperson for the firm. Today it’s been revealed that Faliszek has now left Valve.
  • Facebook closing 200 Oculus VR Best Buy pop-ups due to poor store performance
    The scaling back of Facebook's first big retail push for VR comes after workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups told BI that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. An internal memo seen by BI and sent to affected employees by a third-party contractor said the closings were because of "store performance."
  • Oculus' 'Dear Angelica' VR film debuts at Sundance Film Festival | VentureBeat | AR/VR | by Dean Takahashi
    VR films are getting serious and artistic. That’s what we’ll discover with the launch of Dear Angelica, a new virtual reality film from Oculus Story Studio, the VR film division of Facebook’s Oculus.
  • Why the future of VR is all down to touch control | Technology | The Guardian
    In 2016, 21st-century virtual reality really arrived. From cheap mobile experiences to exuberant desktop machines, if you wanted to dive into a virtual world, there was a way. But while the headsets opened up possibilities, the new breed of touch controllers are the virtual hands drawing you in.
  • Blend Shapes in Stingray
  • VR-Plugin for Autodesk Maya
    About VR-Plugin We are building a highly needed toolchain for professional Virtual Reality creators. With VR-Plugin you are prepared to enter the world of 360 degree production in VR. Now you can directly see the 3D environment in Autodesk Maya™ in your HMD (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive).
  • Journey to VR: Rendering VR content for mobile devices on Vimeo
    Daryl talks about rendering VR content in Max and Maya, and how to publish your results to YouTube so that you can view your experience on a mobile device. Follow along on the Journey to VR blog as Daryl builds his first VR experience: autode.sk/J2VR

Brainfood

  • Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children
    For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility. On Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the show that he created 50 years ago and starred in, he was the epitome of simple, natural ease.
  • It Was All a Dream | by Raheem Sterling
    So can I trust you? Can I tell you my story, and will you really listen? If you read certain papers, maybe you already think you know me. Maybe you think you know my story, and what I care about. But do you really?
  • 5 Pencil and Paper Games (That Aren’t Tic-Tac-Toe)
    In a time before people could cure their boredom by looking down at their phone and immediately retreating into an individual silo of entertainment, slaying its specter was often a cooperative exercise, requiring nothing more than a pencil and paper.
  • Mr. Rogers's Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Kids - The Atlantic
    For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility. On Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the show that he created 50 years ago and starred in, he was the epitome of simple, natural ease.
  • How to Slow Down Time
    As I moved from my twenties to thirties I noticed a certain psychological miscalculation happening more often: a day that feels like it was three or four months ago was actually a year ago.
  • How To Stop Negative Thoughts In 180 Seconds Without Meditating
    According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. If we repeat those negative thoughts, we think negative way more than we think positive thoughts.
  • General Thinking Tools: 9 Mental Models to Solve Difficult Problems
    When I first came across Charlie Munger’s 1995 Speech, The Psychology of Human Misjudgment, I realized that I could learn more from him than my MBA. So I spent the next few years reading and researching about cognitive biases and how we mislead ourselves. Munger showed me that the world had more to offer than just computer science and business, the two disciplines I’d spent the most time in. He opened up a world of mental models, which is just a fancy schmancy word that means thinking tools that you can use to solve problems.
  • Recent Quotes 18may18
    The Pandemonium Manifestos… ‘an angry declaration of support for an art of recollection, mysticism, ecstasy, and fantasy. Comprised of absurd and grandiose phrases conjuring up loathsome images, the manifesto employs a language of apocalyptic proportions.’
  • Garry Shandling and Ricky Gervais’s Epic Sparring Match
    "Judd Apatow’s two-part documentary on Garry Shandling, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, was released this week on HBO and it is, in a word, beautiful. In several more words, it attempts to paint a complete picture of a man who seemed to refuse to allow anyone to ever see the whole thing. It digs deep into Shandling’s extensive diaries and seems to leave no stone unturned, interviewing friends, former lovers, family, and employees, and scraping every project the man touched for insights, whether it’s as his alter ego Larry Sanders or the voice of a turtle in the 2006 animated film Over the Hedge. Judd clearly loves his late mentor but isn’t afraid to present Garry Shandling the man, warts and all." via @ironspike
  • Clash of the Titans: Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power on Dutch TV, 1971 | Open Culture
    Today, we're revisiting the clash of two intellectual titans, Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War, the American linguist and the French theorist/historian of ideas appeared on Dutch TV to debate a fundamental question: Is there such a thing as innate human nature? Or are we shaped by experiences and the power of cultural and social institutions around us? The thinkers answered these questions rather differently, giving viewers a fairly succinct introduction to their basic theories of language, knowledge, power and beyond.

Broadcast

  • BBC fights to stop David Attenborough being poached | Television & radio | The Guardian
    The BBC has commissioned three major series on the natural world, as it fights to stop staff who make its popular natural history shows – including David Attenborough – being poached by deep-pocketed rival Netflix.
  • Attenborough to front new BBC nature series One Planet, Seven Worlds
    Veteran broadcaster to feature in new series exploring how the continents shaped their unique animal life
  • Roku founder: We are in the golden age of TV
  • The battle for the future of TV
    The race to own the future of TV is intensifying, with mobile and streaming video companies looking to build or expand video services that will launch by next year.
  • Wyrd Britain: Sky
    Made by HTV West - who were also responsible for such wyrd wonders as 'Children of the Stones', 'Into the Labyrinth', 'Arthur of the Britons' and 'Robin of Sherwood' - 'Sky' is the story of a young man with solid blue eyes and strange powers found, buried under some leaves, in the woods who turns out to be a traveller from another time and dimension who has landed in 1970's Britain by mistake (as if anyone would go there on purpose).  Needing to find the 'Juganet' (a circle of power) that will enable him to complete his journey he co-opts the help of a trio of kids but ranged against them are the forces of nature in the shape of trees (leaves seem to particularly dislike him), wildlife and a spontaneously generated 'human' named Ambrose Goodchild (Robert Eddison) as the Earth tries to rid itself of this anom
  • SDCC 2018: 12 Things We Learned from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Panel | StarWars.com
    Today’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars 10th anniversary celebration at San Diego Comic-Con will be, to paraphrase a certain Sith Lord, long remembered. The panel, moderated by Amy Ratcliffe and featuring Dave Filoni (supervising director), Athena Portillo (line producer), Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano), Matt Lanter (voice of Anakin Skywalker), and Kevin Kiner (composer), was filled with fun stories, emotional reminiscing, and some really, really huge news. Here’s our full report from inside the room where it all happened — along with a collection of never-before-seen Filoni sketches shown throughout the discussion, as well as photos from the panel.
  • Channel 4 reveals shortlisted cities for new national HQ
    Channel 4 has shortlisted cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds to compete to become the home of the broadcaster’s new second “national” headquarters.
  • The rise and fall of Roseanne: how TV's biggest show fell apart | Culture | The Guardian
    – after its eponymous star compared Valerie Jarrett, a black former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape – sent rumbles through the entertainment industry. Barr’s tweet, in which she also “joked” that Jarrett had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, caused a public outcry, resulting in swift condemnations of Barr from her own cast mates and, ultimately, the network’s unprecedented decision to pull the plug on its ratings juggernaut just one week after its season finale.
  • Louis C.K. Put Me in a Lose-Lose Situation
    It’s been six months since I spoke publicly about Louis C.K. in the New York Times. Nevertheless, I’m still getting media requests to talk about it. During this time, it’s become clear that many people have no understanding of just how extensive and complicated the ramifications of what C.K. did have been, and continue to be. They didn’t end the day it happened and won’t end any time soon for me, a comedian who has now spoken out against one of her own. So in the hopes I stop getting asked about it, I’ve decided to explain a few things about this impossible situation.
  • BBC drama Tenko to get repeat run
    Based on real-life experiences, it follows the harrowing ordeal endured by a  group of British, Australian and Dutch women who were captured after the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941 and interned in a prisoner-of-war camp. One of the most critically acclaimed BBC dramas of the 1980s, Tenko was praised for its bold storylines and superb acting.

CGI

  • The scale of Star Wars characters and ships
    It’s the scale of significant Star Wars characters, objects, and ships from Episode I through VIII, plus Rogue One and Solo. Need I say more?
  • This little-known company helped make Red Dead Redemption 2 the most realistic game ever | WIRED UK
    Teddy Bergsman is an unusually prolific collector. Not in the traditional sense of the word – he doesn’t have shelves crammed with LEGO models or books of stamps tucked under coffee tables. Instead, Bergsman and his colleagues are obsessed with hunting down different landscapes, scanning each cliff face, pebble and blade of grass they find and putting results into a vast online library of the natural world.
  • Compulsory viewing: the Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo 2018
    The ‘CAF’ takes in the Animation and Electronic Theater, and the VR Theater, plus a selection of panels and talks about the latest in computer animation and visual effects. It’s definitely one of the best places to catch up with films from around the world.
  • FIRST MAN: An Effects Odyssey - VFX Voice MagazineVFX Voice Magazine
    Another was to deal with visor reflections. “Every shot where you saw an astronaut had a view of the camera,” says Lambert, “and the IMAX camera is absolutely huge, but also you got to see all the crew as well, the tents and everything else. So part of the visual effects work was to re-create the scenes digitally, and then remove the camera and the crew – who all leave tracks and marks in the gravel. So that needed to be cleaned up, too. Plus, this is IMAX, so when you get your 8K scan back and you look at it, you can still see footsteps!”
  • The 5 best pieces of advice for CG newcomers | Life in 3D | AREA by Autodesk
    If you’re new to CG, the entire experience can be intimidating. There’s a lot to learn – arguably more than any one person can ever know – and the skill curve is steep. You might have all kinds of innovative, awe-inspiring designs in your head, but it might take years of practice and hard work before you have the skills to execute them to your satisfaction.
  • MayaToHoudini - cgwiki
    I did a first version of this page after working on Happy Feet 2 in 2011, using Houdini in a very limited context in the lighting department. In 2014/2015 I've been lucky enough to use Houdini in a broader context on Insurgent and Avengers at Animal Logic, learning from some of the best Houdini artists around. As such it seemed time to update this little tour. I'm hardly an expert (hell, it took me years to feel halfway competent in Maya, and I've been using it since maybe v2 in 2001 or so), but I'm now fairly confident of what Houdini is and isn't good at. And while it shouldn't be a competition, I imagine folk reading this will be like I was several years ago; sort of intrigued by what Houdini offers, but wary of a big scary jump from the safe Maya waters. As such, this is a competition, and I'll try and point out why it's worth learning. It's also a big wall of text, sorry about that.
  • Cymatics effects with Houdini in Black Panther.
    Cymatics relates to the study of visible sound and visible vibrations. The most well-known manifestation is when someone places sand or powder on top of a highly reverberating speaker - the sound waves result in visible vibrating patterns in the material, almost kaleidoscopic in nature. That was a look determined to be imbued into different aspects of Wakandian life, owing to the vibranium being mined there. 
  • Nuke 11.2 New Features | CG Daily News
    [ #Nuke ] At FMX 2018Juan Salazar from Froundy shares us about what’s coming up for Nuke 11.2. Check it out!    More about Nuke
  • How The Stand-Out Character in 'Avengers: Infinity War' Was Made By Two Separate Studios
    These days, Marvel movies are so big and so complex, that it’s not unusual for more than a dozen visual effects vendors to be contributors to the final film. It’s also not unusual for multiple vendors to even share the delivery of the same character. This happened with Rocket Racoon (four vfx vendors) on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Hulk (two vendors) in Thor: Ragnarok.
  • World Machine 3021 - Terrain-generation tool is now available | CG Daily News
    Developed by Stephen Schmitt – World Machine is the popular terrain-generation tool for CG Artist. The latest update World Machine 3021 is now available with support for the JPEG and HDR file formats, updates the Output Manager, and addresses a number of longstanding workflow issues, including standardising viewport navigation.

Comics

  • Frontier #17: “Mother’s Walk”
    While reading Lauren Weinstein’s “Mother’s Walk,” the latest entry in the ongoing monograph anthology series Frontier, it occurred to me how rare it is for a comic to offer this kind of portrayal of childbirth and motherhood.
  • French Abstract Formalist Comics (French Structural Comics): An Artistic Movement
    Definition In the mid-2010s, a group of young French artists began creating wordless comics with geometric and minimalist style and little or no narrative. What they show instead is more of a "process." The emotionless and mechanical style and lack of narrative and words lead the reader to focus on the formal qualities and abstract concepts of comics, visual art, and printed media, such as space-time, movement, body, sign, texture, representation, transformation, repetition/variation, etc.
  • Graphic short story: An Artistic Odyssey | Books | The Guardian
    Edith Pritchett has been named winner in the Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize 2018. This is her entry
  • Doctor Who Magazine - 39 Years of Happy Times and Places! – Broken Frontier
    It was precisely 39 years ago that the first issue of Marvel UK’s Doctor Who Weekly went on sale, cover dated 17th October (the date it was due to go off sale!) and began a new era in Doctor Who comics which is still continuing today, 530 issues later…although these days, of course, it’s called Doctor Who Magazine, and is published by Panini since Marvel UK has long since gone the way of the Dodo, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and British Home Stores. Today’s DWM is a very different beast, a full-fledged magazine of which the comic strip is just a small (though vital) part. But in 1979 the new weekly was very much a comic, and benefited from the input of some of the most talented names in British comics.
  • The Serena cartoon debate: calling out racism is not ‘censorship’ | Gary Younge
    If there is one thing more damning than the racist cartoon of Serena Williams published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun earlier this week, it’s the paper’s response to accusations of racism. And that’s saying something. Because the cartoon is bad. It’s Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind, Mammy Two Shoes from Tom and Jerry, going out in the cotton fields with Topsy to eat watermelon, Aunt Jemima’s pancakes bad. It’s Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Pauline Hanson, Jeremy Clarkson after a bottle of scotch and a screening of Katie Hopkins’ documentary on white South African farmers bad.
  • Spinning – Tillie Walden’s Eisner Award-Winning Graphic Memoir is a Masterpiece of Comics Narrative
    From The End of Summer to I Love this Part through to A City Inside, a rich seam of autobiography runs through Tillie Walden’s comics, manifesting itself in everything from imaginative visual metaphor to the use of on-page avatars to embody her own experiences. In her Eisner Award-winning Spinning Walden takes a more direct approach to her autobio practice, detailing her childhood years as a competitive skater in a memoir that explores themes of identity, family, coming out and those first formative steps to adulthood with a subtle but deeply affecting poignancy.
  • Puerto Rico Will Receive Funds Thanks to La Boriqueña Comic
    While the U.S. government has done an absolutely paltry job of helping Puerto Rico recover from a devastating season of hurricanes that left thousands of people dead and millions without proper access to power, one comics creator is doing what he can to give back to the island.
  • Remembering the Woman Who Changed Marvel Comics - The Atlantic
    After Marie Severin started at Marvel Comics in 1959, one of her first assignments was a spread that Esquire magazine commissioned on college drug culture. “They wanted Kirby,” she recalled in an interview, referring to the company’s biggest star, the penciler Jack Kirby. “[The production manager Sol Brodsky] said, ‘I don’t want to use Kirby, we’ll miss a deadline. Marie, see what they want
  • 'Disgrace and shame': Alan Moore points to Boris Johnson in Grenfell fire comic | Books | The Guardian
    Moore has briefly come out of retirement to contribute to a new anthology raising money for PTSD support for survivors
  • Yes, graphic novels are thriving. (Well done, Booker) | Rachel Cooke | Opinion | The Guardian
    omic book Sabrina by Nick Drnaso is on the longlist for the prize, but it’s just the latest in a fine tradition

Drawing

  • ✍️ Eugène Viala (1859-1913)
    Eugène Viala (1859-1913)
  • 🖼 Richard Roland Holst - Sunflowers, 1892.
    Richard Roland Holst - Sunflowers, 1892.
  • The best way to learn is drawing, even if you're no artist
    Our anxiety around drawing starts around puberty, when we begin self-critiquing our abilities to render a perfect likeness, Dowd says. “The self-consciousness associated with ‘good’ drawing, or a naive form of realism, is mostly to blame,” he explains to Quartz. ”If you take a step back, and define drawing as symbolic mark-making, it’s obvious that all human beings draw. Diagrams, maps, doodles, smiley faces: These are all drawings!”
  • 📷 Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918)
    Mime van Osen, 1910. Watercolor and charcoal on paper, 45 x 31.6 cm.
  • 🖼 Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966)
    Trois personnages sous la lampe à Maloja [Three figures under the lamp, Maloja], 1955. Pencil on paper, 29.5 x 41.6 cm
  • Egon Schiele on What It Means to Be an Artist and Why Visionaries Always Come from the Minority
    One needs to observe and experience the world with naïve, pure eyes in order to attain a great weltanschauung; — that is a living cult. — the proper tone is a book which, for some, may be nice to consult, but proves itself completely useless in the world; in other words, there are those who should live through books and those who exist through themselves; who are better? — that is clear. — Few see the sun and everyone else must read novels and novellas in order to finally realize that there is light.
  • 📷 Anatomy of the Image Hans Bellmer
  • You can draw, and probably better than I can
    In the early 1980s I met a laughter therapist named Annette Goodheart who told me I could draw. She was at the conference in Boulder to speak on laughter therapy, a subject she took very seriously indeed, and lectured about how we could be healthier in mind and spirit if we laughed more. This was of no help, because I already laughed a great deal, for example at my own jokes. Annette was also on a panel with a title something like, "Yes, you can draw." She said everyone can draw until we are told or convince ourselves that we cannot. We start out drawing everything we see until that day comes when it is pointed out that our drawing of a dog, for example, looks nothing like a dog. Then we begin to believe we cannot draw. In the early 1980s I met a laughter therapist named Annette Goodheart who told me I could draw. She was at the conference in Boulder to speak on laughter therapy, a subject she took very seriously indeed, and lectured about how we could be healthier in mind and spirit if we laughed more. This was of no help, because I already laughed a great deal, for example at my own jokes. Annette was also on a panel with a title something like, "Yes, you can draw." She said everyone can draw until we are told or convince ourselves that we cannot. We start out drawing everything we see until that day comes when it is pointed out that our drawing of a dog, for example, looks nothing like a dog. Then we begin to believe we cannot draw.
  • 📷 Femme dansant et jouant du tambourin (Françoise) [Woman dancing and playing a tambourine (Françoise)],
    📷 Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Femme dansant et jouant du tambourin (Françoise) [Woman dancing and playing a tambourine (Françoise)], 1946. Pencil on paper, 66 x 50.5 cm.
  • Edinburgh: Built on bones and ruins
    [Guest post by Aud Koch in Edinburgh, Scotland] Edinburgh is a gorgeous city built on bones and ruins: it is a mad god's dream. This I learned on a recent sojourn to the British Isles.

Film

  • On Gustav Dore and King Kong
  • From zero to hero: how the Spider-Man franchise was saved
    Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Peter Parker’s Spider-Man has long been a cultural icon, dominating both merchandise sales and the box office. But big screen fatigue set in and interest started to dwindle. Now Sony is preparing to blow the Spider-Verse wide open, giving the green light to stories that barely involve or aren’t centered on Peter Parker at all – a long overdue development.
  • Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment
    The actress deleted her Instagram posts this summer in response to online harassment. Here she speaks out for the first time.
  • 60 free Film Noir Movies
    During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark locations and shot in a black & white aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death.
  • Ingmar Bergman Evaluates His Fellow Filmmakers -- The "Affected" Godard, "Infantile" Hitchcock & Sublime Tarkovsky
    Nowadays, most of us who still religiously attend screenings of films by the most respected European directors of the twentieth century have circled the wagons: even if we far prefer, say, Fellini to Truffaut, we'll more than likely still turn up for the Truffaut, even if only out of cinephilic solidarity. But in the fifties, sixties, and seventies — or so I've read, anyway — discussions of such filmmakers' relative merits could turn into serious intellectual shoving matches, and even many of the luminaries themselves would evaluate their colleagues' work candidly. At the Ingmar Bergman fan site Bergmanorama, you can read what the maker of The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and Persona had to say about the makers of movies like L'Avventura, Breathless, Vertigo, The Exterminating Angel, The 400 Blows, and Stalker.
  • ‘Star Wars’ Fandom is Broken - Film School Rejects
    Fandom is like religion. Sometimes it’s a positive thing that enriches people’s lives for the better. On one hand, there’s the community aspect which allows us to develop bonds and enjoy conversations with like-minded people. On the other, being a fan of something can be more personal, a source of comfort and inspiration which provides a temporary escape from the real world or, in some cases, imparts wisdom and provokes thoughts which help us understand it better. This type of fandom is a beautiful thing, and most people associated
  • ‘Solo’ Theater Projection Problems Leave Fans In The Dark, Enrage Industry Veterans
    While much of the coverage of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” focuses on its subpar box office performance, many fans and critics have expressed disappointment with a more immediate problem: The movie is hard to see. The “Solo” Reddit thread is packed with opening-weekend moviegoers complaining the film was so dark they had trouble making out characters’ faces or details in the film’s expansive galactic settings.
  • Avengers: Infinity War - Wizards vs. The Prophet
    L ast week, I was under the rock that everyone talks about and didn’t get to see Avengers: Infinity War until a couple of days ago. (Mild spoilers follow.) There’s a lot to like about the movie — I personally loved watching it — but the thing that surprised the hell out of me was how closely the motivations of Thanos and the Avengers echoed the subject of Charles Mann’s The Wizard and the Prophet.
  • ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Joe Russo on How Marvel Changed Storytelling – Variety
    “I think all of this — Netflix, Marvel, ‘Star Wars,’ this massive moment of disruption we’re in — is really a function of audiences craving new kinds of storytelling,” Russo says. “I think we had a really nice run for 100 years of two-hour, two-dimensional storytelling, but I think over the next decade, decade-and-a-half, you’re going to see a radical shift in how stories are told.”
  • An animated "music video" of similar satellite imagery
    Arena is a video created by Páraic & Pearse McGloughlin constructed from different structural forms (roads, stadiums, center-pivot irrigation circles) in satellite images of the Earth animated together into a kind of music video. (It’s hard to describe it. Just watch and you’ll see what I mean.) The first part of the video, with the roads, reminded me of the screensaver on a computer or DVD player where a ball or logo bounces around the screen.

Maths

  • The matrix calculus you need for deep learning
    This paper is an attempt to explain all the matrix calculus you need in order to understand the training of deep neural networks. We assume no math knowledge beyond what you learned in calculus 1, and provide links to help you refresh the necessary math where needed. Note that you do not need to understand this material before you start learning to train and use deep learning in practice; rather, this material is for those who are already familiar with the basics of neural networks, and wish to deepen their understanding of the underlying math. Don't worry if you get stuck at some point along the way---just go back and reread the previous section, and try writing down and working through some examples. And if you're still stuck, we're happy to answer your questions in the Theory category at forums.fast.ai. Note: There is a reference section at the end of the paper summarizing all the key matrix calculus rules and terminology discussed here.
  • This is the ‘dance’ of Venus, as viewed from earth.
    The magical geometry that exists between the cycles of the planets has been a source of fascination and mystery for centuries. Lately, the adoption of the heliocentric viewpoint has caused many of these marvels to pass by the interest of astronomers. The pattern of Venus around the Earth portrays a 5-petalled rose when viewed from the geocentric position. Every 8 years, when the Earth and Venus ‘kiss’ to form another petal, Venus presents the same face to the Earth. The dance of the planets: their retrograde motions, synodic periods, distance and orbits present us with patterns that resonate to their essence. Kepler understood such patterns as a mathematician aware of the mystical qualities of the universe. The patterns of Venus are extremely beautiful - the heart and the rose. They reveal the essence of Venus in her role of celestial guardian of love and beauty to those of us here on Earth.  Each planet has its own dance pattern and the cosmos takes on a beauty beyond words.  God is the artist who creates the universe.“
  • Five ways ancient India changed the world – with maths
    "It should come as no surprise that the first recorded use of the number zero, recently discovered to be made as early as the 3rd or 4th century, happened in India. Mathematics on the Indian subcontinent has a rich history going back over 3,000 years and thrived for centuries before similar advances were made in Europe, with its influence meanwhile spreading to China and the Middle East."
  • Hints of Trigonometry on a 3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet
    "Suppose that a ramp leading to the top of a ziggurat wall is 56 cubits long, and the vertical height of the ziggurat is 45 cubits. What is the distance x from the outside base of the ramp to the point directly below the top? (Ziggurats were terraced pyramids built in the ancient Middle East; a cubit is a length of measure equal to about 18 inches or 44 centimeters.) Could the Babylonians who lived in what is now Iraq more than 3,700 years ago solve a word problem like this?"
  • Trippy 3D-printed spheres that help conceptualize 4D / Boing Boing
    We briefly review the distinction between abstract groups and symmetry groups of objects, and discuss the question of which groups have appeared as the symmetry groups of physical objects. To our knowledge, the quaternion group (a beautiful group with eight elements) has not appeared in this fashion. We describe the quaternion group, both formally and intuitively, and give our strategy for representing the quaternion group as the symmetry group of a physical sculpture.
  • Artistic Expressions of Math Over Seven Centuries
    Picturing Math at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has prints dating back to the 15th century, all expressing the beauty of mathematics.
  • IOT: Euclid's Elements
    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Euclid's Elements, a mathematical text book attributed to Euclid and in use from its appearance in Alexandria, Egypt around 300 BC until modern times, dealing with geometry and number theory. It has been described as the most influential text book ever written. Einstein had a copy as a child, which he treasured, later saying "If Euclid failed to kindle your youthful enthusiasm, then you were not born to be a scientific thinker." With Marcus du Sautoy Professor of Mathematics and Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford Serafina Cuomo Reader in Roman History at Birkbeck University of London And June Barrow-Green Professor of the History of Mathematics at the Open University Producer: Simon Tillotson.
  • How much math should kids learn in school? | Public Radio International
    After the blackboard's been erased: Educators are hotly debating what students gain from curriculums that focus on high-level math like algebra and calculus
  • An ode to clouds
    Clouds are a glimpse into the mighty power of fluid dynamics, complicated equations made real and actual and gorgeous, painted across the sky.
  • Some rather strange history of maths
    Scientific American has a guest blog post with the title: Mathematicians Are Overselling the Idea That “Math Is Everywhere, which argues in its subtitle: The mathematics that is most important to society is the province of the exceptional few—and that’s always been true. Now I’m not really interested in the substantial argument of the article but the author, Michael J. Barany, opens his piece with some historical comments that I find to be substantially wrong; a situation made worse by the fact that the author is a historian of mathematics.

Maya

  • MayaToHoudini - cgwiki
    I did a first version of this page after working on Happy Feet 2 in 2011, using Houdini in a very limited context in the lighting department. In 2014/2015 I've been lucky enough to use Houdini in a broader context on Insurgent and Avengers at Animal Logic, learning from some of the best Houdini artists around. As such it seemed time to update this little tour. I'm hardly an expert (hell, it took me years to feel halfway competent in Maya, and I've been using it since maybe v2 in 2001 or so), but I'm now fairly confident of what Houdini is and isn't good at. And while it shouldn't be a competition, I imagine folk reading this will be like I was several years ago; sort of intrigued by what Houdini offers, but wary of a big scary jump from the safe Maya waters. As such, this is a competition, and I'll try and point out why it's worth learning. It's also a big wall of text, sorry about that.
  • Use Arnold Color Jitter to Randomize Colors Quickly - Lesterbanks
    Arnold Render and maya and maya rendering tutorials and maya texturing tutorials and maya tutorials and tutorials
  • How to get a metaball-like effect from MASH geometry?
    I have a MASH network with a bunch of spheres moving around (and intersecting with each other). Is there a way to like make them into metaballs or somehow make the clump of spheres look like one, solid mesh?
  • You can remap color with any texture, not just a ramp
    Hi all. I have a tip for those of you who like procedural texturing, and I hope this is news to at least some of you, or I'll feel silly =) As I was learning World Machine and Substance Designer lately, I really liked their ability to create and use image based ramps to remap colors. I was wondering if Maya can do this as well, and I experimented a bit. This is what I came up with: If you create a noise node, go to attribute editor and hit "Insert" under "Color Remap", you get a ramp that you can colorize the noise. You probably know this, But you can also use any texture for remapping colors, not just gradients. If you create a file node and connect "RemapRgbToHsv" to the file texture (H to U and V to V), the colors in the file texture are used to remap the noise.
  • Polynomial Optics to Arnold [POTA] - zeno pelgrims
    POTA is an implementation of Sparse high-degree polynomials for wide-angle lenses [2016]. It renders images with high-order aberrations, at a fraction of the cost of tracing rays through lens elements. It is done by pre-calculating fitted polynomials, which serve as a black-box to transform the rays on the sensor to rays on the outer pupil. All credit goes out to the authors of the paper, I only wrote the implementation for Arnold.
  • Colour Variation with the Instancer and Arnold
    Using Arnold, it’s extremely easy to add colour variations to particle/ MASH instances. This works in a similar way to the MASH Colour node, which is only available when using MASH in Repro mode (when the output is a mesh). When you’re working with instances, the job of colour variations is down to the renderer.
  • Free Python Scripts for Maya
    Double Negative senior TD Erik Lehmann has shared 3 python scripts for Maya that can drastically optimize your workflow. The best thing here is that the scripts are free.
  • How to create and render 620 million Poly Forest in Maya
    "In this video, Marcel DeJong show us how to use MASH and Arnold in Maya 2018 to create and render a 620,000,000 poly forest of trees in a matter of minutes."
  • MASH Dynamics: Basics - YouTube
    "In this tutorial we show you how to use MASH dynamics to simulate falling dominoes, then render that animation in Arnold."
  • Basic Dynamics in Mash.

Mind Maps

  • Urban Forestry: Explore 678,632 Street Trees of NYC with Interactive Map
    The NYC Parks Department offers an amazing resource in the form of an online map that “includes every street tree in New York City” (spanning 422 species) first mapped by volunteers in 2015 and now updated daily by their forestry team. “On the map, trees are represented by circles. The size of the circle represents the diameter of the tree, and the color of the circle reflects its species. You are welcome to browse our entire inventory of trees, or to select an individual tree for more information.”
  • An 11-foot long ribbon map of the Mississippi River from 1866
    Coloney and Fairchild’s patented apparatus required that the single sheet be cut into strips, attached end-to-end, mounted on linen, and then rolled inside a wooden, metal, or paper spool (fig. 4). The resulting portability of the map was crucial because, as advertisements indicated, it was intended for business travelers, steamboat navigators, and tourists.
  • Original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood
    The ink-drawn map of Hundred Acre Wood by Winnie-the-Pooh illustrator E. H. Shepard dates back to 1929. I’m headed straight for Eeyore’s gloomy place, which is rather boggy and sad. The drawing is up for auction, in case you’re interested in dropping a couple hundred thousand dollars
  • Two Hundred Years of Blue
    With Carl Sagan’s poetic Pale Blue Dot on my mind lately, I have found myself dwelling on the color blue and the way our planet’s elemental hue, the most symphonic of the colors, recurs throughout our literature as something larger than a mere chromatic phenomenon — a symbol, a state of being, a foothold to the most lyrical and transcendent heights of the imagination.
  • 📷 Dates due, 1940s-1980s.
  • 📷 Cross sections of a portion of the N.E. Jura Mts.
    Swiss Alps.
  • Greenland’s Hand-Sized Wooden Maps Were Used for Storytelling, Not Navigation
    On September 1, 1884, the Danish explorer Gustav Holm and his men set ashore at the small settlement of Ammassalik (“the place with capelin”), on the eastern coast of Greenland. They had traveled for four months, from the trading post of Nanortalik in the south, in a small armada of seal-skin boats and kayaks. Johannes Hansen, a translator on the expedition, recalled that day’s first meeting with the local Tunumiit people in his diary, “… sometimes they lined up quite far away from us and stared at us, and yelled îh and âh; and then someone said, ‘We are sorry for you poor things, for having come this long way up to our dismal land; but to us you are incredibly funny, and pleasing to look at!’”
  • 📷 Heptagon from Ten Equal Lines
    National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
  • A Cartography Nerd's Guide to Custom Map-Making | ideo.com
    My wife and I are city people, and our only family car is a Vespa that is much too slow to cross any bridges. So most weekends, if it’s nice out, we’ll chart an urban hike through San Francisco, targeting a different neighborhood and a different park. This has kept us occupied for the last few years. But they don’t call it the 7x7 for nothing—San Francisco is actually a small city. So my wife and I have started to play tennis. 
  • A Beautiful Map of Boston's Sewers
    "EVERY CITY NEEDS SEWERS. After all, they’re vital for piping human waste far, far away from where people live. You might say that Boston especially needs them, though. For example, one of the area’s best-known residents, the football quarterback Tom Brady, apparently drinks up to 37 glasses of water a day. (And sometimes that still isn’t enough, I guess!)"

Music

Notebooks

  • 📓 Page on the unconscious by Lynda Barry
  • Leaf Through the Pages of these Animators’ Beautiful Sketchbooks | LBBOnline
    From methodically organised idea libraries to bulldog-clipped stacks of paper and digital notebooks, LBB’s Laura Swinton delves in…
  • How to Keep a Zibaldone, the 14th Century's Answer to Tumblr - Atlas Obscura
    ONE DAY IN VENICE, SOMETIME near the end of the 14th century, a busy merchant found himself with a few spare moments. Maybe it was a slow day at the docks, or he arrived home too early for dinner. Whatever the reason, he did what people of his era tended to do when they had some time—he took out his notebook and his set of pens, and he put together a page-sized patchwork of his afternoon.
  • 10 Famous Authors on the Importance of Keeping a Journal
    Many famous writers have kept journals or diaries — for many, it is a creative necessity, for others, a place for exploration, and for some an art form in and of itself. This week, Brain Pickings treated us to a few passages on the art of keeping a diary from Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, and we were inspired to see what other authors had to say on the topic (we were also inspired to resume our old diaries, but never mind). After the jump, read ten famous writers on the importance of keeping a journal (or, in some cases, the lack thereof), and let us know whether you keep your own notebook, journal or diary in the comments.
  • Inside the Process and Workbooks of Photographer Nigel Shafran | AnOther
    London, 1994, from Work Books 1984 – 2018Courtesy of Nigel Shafran
  • 📷 Medieval Doodles
    Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, MS 95 (Missal, 12th century).
  • Notebook Turducken
    I carry the pocket notebook all day, scribble stuff in it, take notes. It’s basically a scratch pad. Then, every morning after breakfast, I open up the pocket notebook, check my notes, then I fill out my logbook, which is sort of like an index of my days and a memory refresher. Then, I write and draw 3-10 pages in my diary, based on my notes and my log. I cross off things in my pocket notebook after I write about them. The diary then becomes a place I go to when I need new writing and blog posts. It might sound like a lot of work, but using this method I am never lost for something to write about. Also, my job is to write, so, there you have it. (By the way, I stole most of this method off David Sedaris.)
  • Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood
    ON ANY GIVEN DAY, FROM her home on the Isle of Man, Linda Watson might be reading a handwritten letter from one Confederate soldier to another, or a list of convicts transported to Australia. Or perhaps she is reading a will, a brief from a long-forgotten legal case, an original Jane Austen manuscript. Whatever is in them, these documents made their way to her because they have one thing in common: They’re close to impossible to read.
  • Has Artificial Intelligence Cracked the Voynich Manuscript's Mysterious Code?
    An emotional investment in the Voynich manuscript offers little in the way of return. For hundreds of years, this 15th-century document full of indecipherable writing and cryptic illustrations has sat dark and inscrutable. Attempts to figure out its code tend to be swiftly debunked by the scholarly community, whether they’re as sensible-seeming as “It’s a woman’s health manual!” or as outlandish as “I think an alien did it.” Alan Turing and the Bletchley Park team’s attempts to decode it were unsuccessful. Now, at the University of Alberta, Canada, researchers have taken a new tack to try to illuminate the manuscript, named for 19th-century Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich. Where humans have failed, artificial intelligence is attempting to pick up the slack. It’s a predictably vexing development to medievalists and other experts.
  • AUD KOCH — Recent sketchbook pages.
    Ongoing anatomy practice & color/texture exploration.

Photography

Process

  • Great Thread on Base and Superstructure from Black Socialists of America on Twitter
    How many of you artists/creatives out there have been wondering how/why it seems as though the quality of art and design with money behind it (in the mainstream) has lessened considerably over the years (saturation aside)? Ever hear of Marx’s “base and superstructure” theory? 😏
  • Things That Make It Easier to Write by @SUSANNAHBRESLIN
  • How To Stay Creative Anywhere In The World
    Artist and illustrator Kit Mizeres lives on the open road. Her dreamlike works are inspired by folklore, personal mythology and her every-changing environment. Here, she shares her insight on how to stay inspired and keep your creativity flowing no matter where you are.
  • Beeple Creating Art Every Day.
    Beeple is a graphic illustrator, animator and multimedia artist who has been creating a new piece of artwork every day ( “everydays,” as he calls them) for 11 years.
  • Ask Angella: What Can I Do to Feel Better About My Finances? - Society6 Blog
    “This is less of a question and more of a cry for help: MONEY. IS. HARD. Can you share some of the best financial advice you’ve received?” 
  • 25 Reasons to Keep on Making Stuff in Times of Crisis
    In an epic GIF-laden thread on Twitter, author Chuck Wendig lays out “25 REASONS TO KEEP ON MAKING STUFF IN THIS TIME OF RAMPANT ASSHOLERY”.
  • The daily
    Is there something you do every day that builds an asset for you? Every single day? Something that creates another bit of intellectual property that belongs to you? Something that makes an asset you own more valuable? Something that you learn? Every single day is a lot of days. It’s easy to look at the long run and lull yourself into skipping a day now and then. But the long run is made up of short runs.
  • The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk
    When you make learning a habit, you’ll be more successful and productive in life. By investing in a reading habit, you can ensure you're growing yourself -- and your company -- every day.
  • If You Want to Write a Book, Write 500 Words a Day
    I’ll be honest: I kind of thought I invented the magic 500 words thing. I’ve been saying that’s my policy for years. I’ve written four books that way, more or less. But last week, author Rebecca Schuman tweeted that 500 words a day was her policy, suggesting it as a workable pace for any writer working on a long-term project. She called it the 5-5-5 rule: 500 words a day or five pages of edits, five days a week.
  • Throat clearing isn't necessary
    Begin in the middle.

Reading

  • My year of reading African women, by Gary Younge
    Feeling it was time to fix my radar, I decided, when it came to fiction, to read only African women for a year. The motivation was not virtue but curiosity. I wondered what I had been missing out on. I wasn’t completely ignorant of literature by women from that part of the world: I’d read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ama Ata Aidoo, Bessie Head, Buchi Emecheta, Leila Aboulela, Gillian Slovo, Nadine Gordimer and Zoë Wicomb. Nor was I entirely ignorant of that part of the world. I lived in Sudan for a year, reported from South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Sierra Leone and visited Ghana on holiday. But it had been at least four years since I read any of those authors and five since I set foot on the continent.
  • Can Reading Make You Happier?
    For all avid readers who have been self-medicating with great books their entire lives, it comes as no surprise that reading books can be good for you.
  • Google launches a DRM-free audiobook store: finally, a writer- and listener-friendly Audible alternative! / Boing Boing
    A decade ago, when Amazon acquired Audible, the two companies promised that they'd phase out their DRM, which locked listeners into using their proprietary software and devices to enjoy the books they purchased. Audible never made good on that promise, and stonewalled press queries and industry requests about when, exactly, this fairtrade version of their industry-dominating audiobook store would finally emerge.
  • How to read
    Five years ago I realized that I remembered almost nothing about most books that I read. I was reading all kinds of non-fiction - pop-psychology, pop-economics, pop-sociology, you name it - and felt like quite the polymath auto-didact. But one day, after I had finished blathering at a friend about how much I had enjoyed Thinking, Fast and Slow, they asked for a quick summary of the book’s overall thesis. I thought for a while, mumbled something about System 1 and System 2 and how I had only really read it for background knowledge, and adroitly changed the subject. As I was falling asleep that night it occurred to me that calling yourself an auto-didact doesn’t mean you actually know anything.
  • Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books - The New York Times
    Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama.
  • Fasting by Émile Zola.
    Fasting (Le Jeûne) is a short story by Émile Zola that first appeared in 1870, just before the first of the Rougon-Macquart series, The Fortune of the Rougons. Anyone who is familiar with Zola will know that the Catholic church was frequently a target of Zola's, and he criticised them in novels such as The Conquest of Plassans (1874), The Sin of Abbé Mouret (1875), and the 'Three Cities trilogy': Lourdes (1894), Rome (1896), Paris (1898), even going as far as wish to establish a new and better religion in his 'Four Gospels' series (which begins with Fruitfulness; I've still not read the others yet).
  • Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Books | The Guardian
    "If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future."
  • New Gabriel García Márquez Digital Archive Features More Than 27,000 Digitized Letters, Manuscript Pages, Photos & More | Open Culture
    When Gabriel García Márquez died in 2014, it was said that only the Bible had sold more books in Spanish than the Colombian writer’s work: Love in the Time of Cholera, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The General in His Labyrinth… and yes, of course, One Hundred Years of Solitude, the 1967 novel William Kennedy described in a New York Times review as “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.”
  • "...the main way that the Kindle and other digital devices have transformed books is to make them as liquid as possible."
    At Wired, my old colleague David Pierce writes about a topic near and dear to my heart: Amazon’s Kindle, and its effects on how we buy and read books: For a decade, Amazon’s relentlessly offered new ways for people to read books. But even as platforms change, books haven’t, and the incompatibility is beginning to show. Phones and tablets contain nothing of what makes a paperback wonderful. They’re full of distractions, eye-wrecking backlights, and batteries that die in a few hours. They also open up massive new opportunities. On a tablet, books don’t have to consist only of hundreds of pages set in a row. They can be easily navigable, endlessly searchable, and constantly updated. They can use images, video, even games to augment the experience…. The next phase for the digital book seems likely to not resemble print at all. Instead, the next step is for authors, publishers, and readers to take advantage of all the tools now at their disposal and figure out how to reinvent longform reading. Just as filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh are experimenting with what it means to make a “movie” that’s really an app on a totally interactive device with a smaller screen, Amazon and the book world are beginning to figure out what’s possible when you’re not dealing with paper anymore. Except… not really.
  • Have a lover, have friends, read books. Montaigne was right about one thing | Germaine Leece
    Stories have been around since time began; they tell us what it is to be human, give us a context for the past and an insight towards the future. A narrator’s voice replaces our stressed, internal monologue and takes us out of our life and into the world of a story. Paradoxically, we think we are escaping ourselves but the best stories take us back deeper into our interior worlds. Freud, who believed the “reading cure” came before the “talking cure”, once wrote that wherever he went he discovered a poet had been there before. It is difficult to access emotional language and this is why we have writers. They remind us of the universality and timelessness of emotions, helping us better understand our own.

RealTime

  • 10 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality
    Virtual Reality (VR) holds a huge potential to transform how people and businesses interact with each other as well as the surroundings. Previously VR was generally associated only with the gaming industry. Now it’s on fire with new opportunities for use. Although this innovative technology has been traditionally associated with the gaming industry,
  • Physical game design quickstart toolkit - metamedia
    For a few years now, I’ve been part of running physical game design workshops in various settings – usually with the aim of achieving something playable in a short time frame, before iterating on it quickly to see what we can build.
  • Aardman's first ever game finds shared humanity in World War I
    Set in 1916, 11-11: Memories Retold takes players to the trenches of the First World War, but unlike recent takes on the theme such as Electronic Arts' Battlefield 1, the conflict itself isn't the central premise. Rather than a shooter or action game, Aardman’s game blends puzzle-solving and exploration with a deeper narrative. The end product is something of an evolution of the adventure game genre, a modern day point-and-click where story and experience are of far greater importance than challenge.
  • Don’t write off gaming.
    Games can instil amazing character traits like perseverance, kindness, cooperation and strategic thinking,” he says. “And gaming health is about a balanced diet. With food, we don’t worry about plate time, it’s what’s on the plate that matters. Similarly, it’s what’s on the screen that’s important.”
  • How ARKit 2 works, and why Apple is so focused on AR – Ars Technica
    Augmented reality (AR) has played prominently in nearly all of Apple's events since iOS 11 was introduced, Tim Cook has said he believes it will be as revolutionary as the smartphone itself, and AR was Apple’s biggest focus in sessions with developers at WWDC this year.
  • Project from Planeta lets you create musical sculptures in VR, placing objects that create sounds when hit by falling droplets:
    NYC product studio Planeta has just released the VR experience Drops, a cross between a drum machine and a zen garden that diverges from traditional music interfaces and enables the organic composition of complex rhythms and melodies. It’s intuitive to use and accessible to musicians and non-musicians alike. Its meditative environment is inspired by the renowned architecture of Tadao Ando, and it includes sound banks created by noted musicians Patrick Higgins and Patrick Russell.
  • The White Pube | States of Play: Rolplay Reality
    States of Play: Roleplay Reality is yet another oversubscribed group show full of tech art under spotlights in the darkened rooms of FACT: if u have been to one of these at the gallery, you’ve been to them all. They are curated like ‘what if we tried to make the gallery look like the internet but in real life!’ i used to be excited at that but now im over it. States of Play is ‘exploring the complex, contemporary landscape of video games’ with a particular focus on role-play. Upstairs, and straight to the point of contention, there’s a virtual reality film that lasts just over a minute made by art bro Jordon Wolfson. in the video a computer generated version of the artist beats a man, who is kneeling on the pavement before him, to death. It is called ‘Real Violence.’ as the viewer, you are bodiless and watching over the scene as it plays out in a cleaner, emptier simulated new york. There is a Hanukkah prayer being sung somewhere as Wolfson begins by using a baseball bat to knock the man down, before stamping his head repeatedly into the ground. the victim’s legs twitch emphatically on the floor. and both murderer and victim are generic looking white men, just to set the scene.
  • Fields
    App by Planeta uses Augmented Reality and Spatial Audio to turn your space into a sound installation, letting you experience compositions by others or creating your own:
  • How Fortnite Captured Teens’ Hearts and Minds
    The craze for the third-person shooter game has elements of Beatlemania, the opioid crisis, and eating Tide Pods.
  • Ebb and Flow - Conversations on the recent momentum of Japanese...
    Forty minute documentary from Archipel talks to various developers on the subject of recent critically and commercially successful collection of video game releases from Japan over the past couple of years, including the lastest Zelda, The Last Guardian, Resident Evil 7, Nier: Automata and more.

Webtech

  • The New Social Media
    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the internet will look like in the future. Right now, it’s dominated by social media in one form or another, with large, megacorp silos acting as our primary sources of information and discourse. This is a shift from the “DIY” homegrown state of the early internet — while there were absolutely megacorps that cornered entire niches of the internet (think about the likes of AOL, for instance), it didn’t feel like quite as much of a stranglehold. There was lots of room for growth and plucky startups and homegrown projects. A proliferation of open source projects to run your own websites in all sorts of wacky configurations (lots of weird mishmashes of CMSes, blog software, forums, galleries, with some shaky handcrafted glue between them all). Lots of platforms, lots of different standards and protocols popping up all the time, and nothing really talking to each other all that well. Early attempts at cohesion had mixed success (OAuth, yay! RSS, woo! Trackbacks… um).
  • Elderblog Sutra: 1
    I learned about elder games from the classic Steve Yegge post, The Borderlands Gun Collectors Club (ht Chris Reid). The idea is that in a complex game, after most players have finished a first full play-through, the mechanics might still leave interesting things for them to do. An Act 2 game-within-a-game emerges for experienced players who have exhausted the nominal game. A game dominated by such second-order players is an elder game. In Borderlands, the elder game was apparently gun collecting.
  • Rightsholders Say Latest Article 13 Text Won’t Close the Value Gap
    This September, the European Parliament backed the controversial Article 13 proposals, something that was met with a chorus of support from the entertainment industries, the music sector in particular.
  • Tumblr — a eulogy / love letter
    For a while communities on Tumblr were a small, strange antidote to that. Thank you for the time we had, we have to preserve what space we have left.
  • Rudy Giuliani blames Twitter for typo being turned into anti-Trump message
    Jason Velazquez instantly noticed something wasn’t quite right with one of the tweets from Rudolph W. Giuliani. It was Friday and President Trump’s lawyer had issued yet another missive criticizing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But unlike Giuliani’s other tweets, one pesky missing space between two sentences turned previously normal text into a bright blue hyperlink.
  • Tumbl Down
    I’m a syndicator. I stopped wanting to silo original collections of words in other people’s systems a long time ago. I send things from here and Longwave and Status to social networks, but they don’t originate there, and twice a year I wipe them anyway. I have been using Tumblr since the outset, but long ago grabbed all my stuff out of there and set up a system to save anything new on my Tumblr to an offsite location. For some considerable time, I’ve only been using it to find material – when I reblog, it triggers an IFTTT recipe that copies the material to my personal logging site.
  • Why The Rock's Social Media Muscle Made Him Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actor
    Dwayne Johnson clenches his granite jaw as he squints into the distance. A bead of sweat drips down his forehead before he throws back his head in a belly-shaking laugh. It's a sweltering summer day in Atlanta, and The Rock is on set doing what The Rock does best. He licks his lips, delivers his lines with panache and swaggers his hulking 6-foot-5 frame out of the shot.
  • “The Status Page”
    - by @warrenellis. I could see how building one of these with RSS feeds and live embeds would be possible. I’ll get to it.
  • The magnetic generosity of the network effect
    An idea shared is more powerful than one that’s hidden. A technology standard outperforms a proprietary one. A community is stronger than divided individuals ever could be.
  • Google to shut down Google+ after failing to disclose user data leak
    This March, as Facebook was coming under global scrutiny over the harvesting of personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google discovered a skeleton in its own closet: a bug in the API for Google+ had been allowing third-party app developers to access the data not just of users who had granted permission, but of their friends.

Politics

  • The hammer attack on Karl Marx’s tomb shows the alt-right fears his time has come
    I’ve never been a huge fan of Marx’s tomb in Highgate Cemetery. It’s designed in the classic Stalinist tradition to express, as its sculptor Laurence Bradshaw said, “the dynamic force of his intellect and the breadth and vision and power of his personality, along with a feeling of energy and endurance and dedication to purpose”. Karl Marx: superhuman, could be its subtext.
  • Owen Jones meets Diane Abbott | 'Racism is meant to tell me I don't belong in politics'
  • David Graeber: Bullshit Jobs, Direct Democracy & the End of Capitalism
    James Butler is joined by David Graeber to talk through the meaning of direct democracy, the ennui at the heart of neoliberalism, and examine the relationship of political thinking to political practice. http://novaramedia.com/?p=12278
  • 'I love this': bid to discredit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with college dance video backfires | US news | The Guardian
    Effort to embarrass freshly sworn-in congresswoman fails after footage endears her to wide audience
  • Trump at bay: failure looms as Democrats load 'subpoena cannon' | US news | The Guardian
    There was sunshine, palm trees and the endless expanse of ocean. There was golf with Jack Nicklaus, the most successful player of all time. There was a dinner that included stone crab, oysters, jumbo shrimp and clams; turkey, beef tenderloin, lamb and salmon; Chilean Sea bass, red snapper and braised short ribs.
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg’s failed coup shows the hard Brexit delusion is dead
    This week we’re seeing the end of three delusions within the Conservative party. The first is that Theresa May would deliver the hard Brexit demanded by MPs in the European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg. The second is that they would mount a successful challenge to overthrow her. The third – and most significant – is that the Tory party might risk leaving the EU without a deal.
  • Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight
    Back when I was in high school in Sarajevo, my best friend was Zoka. We listened to the same bands, went to the same rock shows, found the same stupid things hilarious, played soccer together, skied on the same mountain, supported the same soccer club, confided in each other re: girls, got drunk in the park after school from the same bottle of toxically cheap liquor. We argued about many things, very often about movies—back in the early 1980s (and thereafter) I fancied myself knowledgeable about cinema, which entitled me to deplore the movies he appreciated.
  • This Is All Donald Trump Has Left
    “President Donald Trump often stands near a helicopter on the White House’s South Lawn while reporters shout questions at him. Certain elements of this ritual are the same every time. The wheedling honk of Trump’s voice and the uneasy tilt of his standing-on-a-hoverboard-for-the-first-time posture are constants, as is his customary air of triumphal huffiness. The whining white noise wash from the helicopter bends everything in the same strange direction, with everyone involved only kind of getting maybe three-quarters of what everyone else is saying. The questions change and the answers mostly don’t. It’s never a conversation, although it unfolds roughly along those lines. “
  • A new America is being born and the Democratic left are leading the way
    The party won big where it went left and where it fielded women, people of colour and, above all, people of principle.
  • Corbyn’s Labour shows it is prepared to shake up the status quo | Financial Times
    Among executives it is fashionable to say that if you think Brexit is bad enough, wait until you see what happens when the markets focus on the risk of a Labour government. While I have concerns about the overall fiscal framework of the opposition’s policies, I am not overly concerned by some aspects of a prospective Jeremy Corbyn administration. Indeed, in at least six policy areas, which Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell are treating as priorities, businesses and the government need to catch up.

Songs

World

Writing

  • I'm Thinking About Investigative Journalism
    As of late, I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in investigative journalism, and I have a few takeaways.
  • She created a monster: how Mary Shelley's Frankenstein invented modern horror
    One stormy night in 1816, while staying at Lord Byron’s villa near Lake Geneva, an 18-year-old woman tossed and turned in the thunder-filled darkness. Her name was Mary Shelley, and she was having a nightmare about a monster made from scraps of humans.
  • Know thyself… by writing your first novel
    Write from your stomach, not your head or heart. When you have an idea, wait. The longer you do, the more fully formed your story will come out. The necessity of writing comes before its beauty. Imagine listening to Chopin. Then imagine playing it; the approach is completely different. Think about where you place your fingers, not about its beauty. Twist your plot like a screw, don’t hammer it like a nail. Events have to be spread out evenly along the narrative so that the story is sustained and developed over the whole narrative. If a character wants to become rich, rob them first. You need to put obstacles in your characters’ way. Characters must pay some kind of price for what they desire and that cost is our investment in their story. Dialogue is more like two monologues that only sometimes connect. Your characters should talk ‘at odds’ with each other, addressing their own issues instead of each other’s.
  • Know thyself… by writing your first novel | Life and style | The Guardian
    Dig deep inside, battle self-doubt and become the person you know you can be. Richard Skinner on the healing powers of writing a novel
  • 7 Hollywood Gatekeepers on What They Look for in a Script
    As part of our ongoing investigation into how movies are written now, Vulture talked to some of Hollywood’s most powerful executives and producers about what exactly they’re looking for in a script in 2017. Below, find out what drives these gatekeepers nuts, why they do (or don’t) care about spelling and grammar, why page length matters, how Trump has changed their tastes, and what goes into the oft-forgotten art of saying “no.”
  • If You Want to Write a Book, Write 500 Words a Day
    I’ll be honest: I kind of thought I invented the magic 500 words thing. I’ve been saying that’s my policy for years. I’ve written four books that way, more or less. But last week, author Rebecca Schuman tweeted that 500 words a day was her policy, suggesting it as a workable pace for any writer working on a long-term project. She called it the 5-5-5 rule: 500 words a day or five pages of edits, five days a week.
  • Lando Calrissian is pansexual, says Solo co-writer (correction)
    Lando Calrissian, one of Star Wars’ most popular characters recently reimagined by actor Donald Glover, is pansexual. Jonathan Kasdan — the co-writer on the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story and son of legendary Star Wars writer, Lawrence Kasdan— told Huffington Post that Lando is “pansexual,” meaning that he’s “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity,” according to one definition.
  • FIRE & BLOOD : On The Way | Not a Blog
    "No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER. You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year, as I suggested back over on Live Journal. Archmaester Gyldayn has at last completed and delivered the first half of his monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, FIRE & BLOOD, and Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager will be releasing the hardcover on November 20, I am thrilled to say."
  • How founders can write a quality blog post in 1 hour - Baremetrics
    We all need traffic. Targeted traffic to our sites that’ll convert. SEO, PPC ads, organic social media posts, blogs, email newsletters, a culture manifesto — you name it, content must be produced. For us, content has been a major cornerstone of our growth and it’s something we put a lot of time and energy in to.
  • Cell Phone Novels
    Japanese cell phone novel (keitai shousetsu, ケータイ小説, literally keitai = cell phone, shousetsu = novel, sometimes mistakenly called mobile novels) phenomenon began almost 20 years ago and landed in the English-language world in 2008, beginning a new literary movement among thousands of young writers and readers globally first on Textnovel.com and now also on Wattpad. The cell phone novel is a remarkably unique new form of writing, fusing serialized online storytelling with simple haiku-like poetic technique and with prose narrative. Each chapter or page is at most 200 words, but usually averaging around 50-100 words, using white space, line breaks, fragments, free flow poetry, deeply personal thoughts, emotions, and onwards. As it is about the literary culture, form and style, there is no restriction of genres or content.

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