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

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.
  • 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.
  • Born to paint?
    “It's not too late for you to be a genius. It comes at a price, but it's not based on your DNA.”

Broadcast

  • 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.
  • Judge Dredd: Mega-City One TV series on Netflix starring Karl Urban – release date, cast and everything you need to know
    "The excellent Dredd movie (no, not the Sly Stallone one) might not have done massively well at the box office, but that doesn't mean comic book fans aren't clamouring for more live-action tales from Mega-City One. So, thank goodness, then, for, well, Mega-City One, the new Judge Dredd TV series, which hopes to take everything that was great about the movie and turn it into the best goddamn telly show since Big Bad Beetleborgs. And there's been plenty of news and rumours about the show, so here's everything you need to know about Judge Dredd: Mega-City One. We'll be updating this page as and when new information comes to light, so bookmark it and come back."
  • BBC braces for backlash over North Korea service | Media | The Guardian
    "Francesca Unsworth, the director of BBC World Service, said the corporation was wary about launching the new North Korean service next month due to the likely opposition from the government but insisted the fragile political situation vindicated the move."
  • Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker announced as 13th Doctor | Television
    "She is the first woman to take on the role, playing the 13th Doctor in the BBC1 drama. Whittaker, who rose to fame in ITV’s crime drama Broadchurch, had been touted as one of the contenders. Debate has been whirring over who would play the Doctor ever since Peter Capaldi announced in January that he was leaving the programme."
  • I exposed the Rochdale scandal – Three Girls should be a catalyst for progress | Sara Rowbotham | Opinion | The Guardian
    I cried when I first saw Three Girls. The girls’ brave struggle to bring these criminals to justice is told with sensitivity and insight. It’s ultimately a story about childhood that ought to spark a national debate about the protections every child should be entitled to.

CGI

  • 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.
  • ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Black Mirror’ Among BAFTA Crafts Honorees | Animation World Network
    LONDON -- The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the winners of this year’s British Academy Television Craft Awards, celebrating the very best behind-the-scenes talent working in television. HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones received its first BAFTAs: in the Costume Design category for Michele Clapton and in the Production Design category for Deborah Riley and Rob Cameron. Dneg TV, Jean-Clement Soret, Russell Mclean and Joel Collins received the BAFTA for Special, Visual & Graphic Effects for the Black Mirror episode ‘Metalhead’.
  • Maya Aero smoke tutorial
    A look at Aero within Bifrost for create smoke effects. We look at collisions, emission and shading and rendering in both vray and arnold. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @Strangebox_ltd and instagram strangebox3d
  • Mixing MASH and Bifrost for Some Cool Effects
    Maya’s MASH has come a long way since its inception, and with the latest integrations, works well with most all tools in Maya. The motion graphics toolkit, as with dynamics in Maya offers an excellent playground for experimentation. 3D Artist Phil Radford (@Strangebox_ltd) heads up one such experiment mixing both MASH and Bifrost fluid effects.
  • Behind the Magic - Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Creating Supreme Leader Snoke - YouTube
    Take a look behind the magic at the Oscar nominated Visual Effects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In this clip we get a closer look at the motion capture performance by Andy Serkis and the incredible work by ILM Artists to bring Snoke to life.

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
  • #Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable
    In July of 2017, five days after the death of groundbreaking comics publisher Flo Steinberg, a group of Marvel Comics’ female staff went out for milkshakes to celebrate her legacy. One of them, Heather Antos—at the time an assistant editor at the company working on The Unbelievable Gwenpool—snapped a selfie of the group holding their sweets and posted it on Twitter.
  • Steve Ditko 1927-2018
  • 📷 Eleanor Davis
  • A Comic About My Bad Ass Grandmother aka Nag Finger
    A Comic About My Bad Ass Grandmother aka Nag Finger is about my favorite matriarch in life, my grandma. It’s about a long Chinese tradition of loving boys over girls just because they’re boys. It’s about the horrific custom of foot binding that debilitated women all over China and kept them close to home. It’s about how one bad ass grandmother raised three boys on her own, ran a laundry mat in Washington Heights, and learned to speak absolutely no English. It’s about a woman who scares the sh*t out of me, and the world, but who inspires me every day to be just as bad ass.

Drawing

  • 📷 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.
  • 18 tips for comics artists by Moebius "brief manual for cartoonist"
    1. when you draw you must clean yourself of deep feelings (hate, happiness, ambition, etc) 2 it's important to educate the hand, attain obedience, to full fill ideas. but careful with perfection, to much, as well as too much speed, as well as their opposites are dangerous. to much looseness, instant drawings,aside from mistakes, there's no will of the spirit, only the bodies. 3. perspective is of sum importance, it;s a law of manipulation in the good sense, to hypnotise the reader. it;s good to work in real spaces, more that with photos, to exercise our reading of perspective.
  • Dramatic Anatomical Drawings Comprised of Complex Hatched Colors by WanJim Gim | Colossal
    Seoul-based artist WanJim Gim illustrates the form and gesture of the human body using complex hatched layers of color and dramatic lighting. He adds intrigue to poses that could be considered traditional figure drawing studies by adding abstracted lines and watercolor washes that integrate the fragmented body parts into a larger visual field. In an interview with Trending All Day, the artist describes his inspiration and process:
  • Luis Nessi

Film

  • 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.
  • Hayao Miyazaki Meets Akira Kurosawa: Watch the Titans of Japanese Film in Conversation (1993) | Open Culture
    The name Miyazaki defines Japanese animation not just in its own country, but across the world. The name Kurosawa does the same for the rest of Japanese cinema. But given their differences of not just specific art form but of generation (Akira Kurosawa was born in 1910, Hayao Miyazaki in 1941), one might wonder whether the men themselves, were they to meet, would have much to talk about. Nippon TV put the idea to the test in 1993 by airing Miyazaki Meets Kurosawa, which sends the already renowned animator, whose sixth film Porco Rosso had come out the previous year, to the home of the long-reigning "Emperor" of Japanese film, whose thirtieth and final film Madadayo (a title translatable as Not Yet!) had come out the previous month. Their conversation starts at the 6:52 mark above.
  • Molly Ringwald Revisits “The Breakfast Club” in the Age of #MeToo
    Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.

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

  • 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!)"
  • Eleven Kinds of Blue: Werner’s Pioneering 19th-Century Nomenclature of the Colors, Beloved by Darwin
    “Finding the words is another step in learning to see,” bryologist Robin Wall Kimmerer wrote in her lyrical love letter to moss. And so it is: Description and observation entwine in the consecrating act of paying attention — the act that swings open the gates of perception and allows us to know the world as it really is, not as we have been conditioned to see it by our narrow frames of reference. Our frames of reference broaden only as we enrich the vocabulary by which we describe, label, and classify what we see — in science, in art, in life.

Music

  • 🎶 In bad times, good music.
  • Summer 2018 playlists, chosen by Goat Girl, Justice, Hot Chip and more
    Musicians reveal the songs they turn to when the sun hits the sky – listen to their hot tracks below
  • Heart of gold: Neil Young's online archives are a revolution in fandom
    Sometimes, flicking through the online Neil Young Archives, one wonders if he has slightly oversold the marvels on offer for public perusal. In his introductory video, Young guides new users around the site, showing them the audio, video and documentary material on offer. “Here we have a copyright letter,” he intones, over footage of an envelope. “Very interesting!”
  • The Stradivarius Of The Synthesiser: Fifty Years Of The Moog
    Fifty years since the introduction of Bob Moog's first modular synthesiser, Robert Barry explores the history of this revolutionary instrument, and discusses its legacy with Bernie Krause and Will Gregory of Goldfrapp
  • Brazilian Soul, now playing just down the rickety steps in the...
  • Heavy Funk covers of James Brown
  • Philip Glass: "I expected to have a day job for the rest of my life"
    I enjoyed reading Lolade Fadulu’s interview with Philip Glass about the composer’s early life and how he made a living in NYC before being able to fully support himself with his music (which didn’t happen until he was in his early 40s). As a boy, his mother made sure he got a musical education and his job at his father’s record store exposed him to the idea that people paid money for art:
  • Kendrick Lamar just won a Pulitzer Prize for ‘DAMN.’ - The Verge
    Kendrick Lamar has become the first non-classical, non-jazz artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album DAMN. The prize listing describes Lamar’s record, which documents the complexities of growing up in his hometown of Compton, as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
  • Stewart Lee on the 'nerveracking thrill' of being a fan of the Fall
    Tributes to artists often end up being more about the person writing them, but MES provided me with an alternative education, looping me into Camus, and Arthur Machen, and William Blake, and Can, and dub and old garage punk and rock’n’roll. I saw the Fall 52 times and without MES my life would have been utterly different and nowhere near as much fun. What on earth are we all going to do with ourselves now?
  • SotD: Troy
    I bought Sinéad O’Connor’s de­but, The Lion and the Co­bra, be­cause Mandinko was on the ra­dio and I liked it. The first time I played it, not hav­ing looked at the track list­ing, I no­ticed some med­i­ta­tive croon­ing about “Dublin in a Rainstorm”; the next time, a gut-grabbing throaty chan­t: “You should have left the lights on”; and then an­oth­er time a howl­ing dec­la­ra­tion about ris­ing, a phoenix from the flame. It took me a while to no­tice that all of these were from the same track: Troy. It’s a hell of a song.

Notebooks

  • 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.
  • Mattias Adolfsson’s Wildly Intricate Sketchbook and Doodle Artworks
    Like a mad hybrid of Where’s Waldo meets Dr. Seuss—with healthy doses of absurdity and science fiction—Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson (previously) fills his sketchbooks and canvases edge to edge with his manically dense drawings of… well, just about anything you can imagine. Around the framework of a known destination such as a small village or the interior of a church, the artist populates nearly every square inch with bands of unruly characters, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, and overly complex spacesuits. The purpose of everything seems to be a mystery, but the time spent trying to understand it all is always rewarding, a first-glance view can turn into minutes of exploration as each piece slowly unravels like a story.
  • Warm-ups, test prints, and selling your by-products
    While visiting our stunning new library, I popped down to the second floor gallery space to see collage artist Lance Letscher’s Books exhibit. It’s an interesting show because all of the pieces started as studies, or warm-ups: Letscher begins his day in the studio by collaging and experimenting on a book. Sometimes he’ll incorporate what he comes up with into a larger or more involved piece, but sometimes the book itself becomes a finished piece. (To learn more about his process, check out the new documentary, The Secret Life of Lance Letscher.) These aren’t your typical Letscher works. They’re rougher, more miniature. They’re beautiful in a more intimate way, like looking inside a Van Gogh sketchbook or listening to a Prince demo.
  • Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci ('The Codex Arundel')
    "A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes. The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as 'a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat' (f. 1r), a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career. Decoration: Numerous diagrams"

Photography

  • 📷 THE MIND STATE PROJECT | James Tarry - Inside the Outside
    For years now, I have been trying and failing to come up with a visual project about mental illness. In fact, I’ve also written several blog posts about this topic after seeing a slew of creatives all discussing how they struggle with mental illness online, but I have always deleted them. Depression still feels a bit of a taboo subject or something people still see as an over exaggeration, something you will ‘snap out of’, or even a call for attention – I think that’s why I have always deleted my scribbling.
  • A Candid Interview from 1986 with Seminal Photographer Nan Goldin | AnOther
    A new Aperture-published book reproduces fascinating interviews from the magazine’s history. Here, read Nan Goldin on The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
  • An endless day in Norway. Photos from Life Nature Library: The Poles.
  • 📷 L’Armée des ombres
    (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)
  • Hannah Kozak: Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts
    Hannah Kozak, photographer, film maker and writer, retraces her father’s footsteps of his stays in eight Nazi forced labor camps in Germany from 1943 until liberation on May 8, 1945 with a new series shot on film owith a 1961 Rolleiflex 2.8F, created as printed silver gelatin prints. The project, Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts, opens at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Los Angeles on May 20th, 2018 at 3pm, with a film screening at 4pm. The exhibition runs through August 20th.
  • 📷 Ralph Crane.
    Rodd Redwing, 1956.
  • Photographs of Palm Trees to Transport You to Sunnier Shores
    For most people, palm trees evoke daydreams of exotic holidays in sun-drenched locations. For Belgian photographer Bruno V. Roels, they’ve been the focus of much of his life’s work, and his latest show at New York City’s Howard Greenberg Gallery, A Palm Tree Is A Palm Tree Is A Palm Tree (a play on poet Gertrude Stein’s oft-quoted “a rose is a rose is a rose”), depicts the extent of Roels’ fascination with his uncommon inspiration.
  • Anatomy Films interview - Ellen Rogers | GNOSIS
    Culturally and personally it is very important to know why you are doing what you are doing. Art is culturally, historically and progressively important; if you are making art, you are making history. Ask yourself questions all the time; what is this image saying? Why am I making it? If it’s expression, what does it express? If it’s automatic, what is your unconscious letting you know broadly/culturally?
  • AIPAD 2018 – Todd Webb, presented by Todd Webb Archive  
    Sam Walker, Todd Webb Archive, Portland: Todd Webb composed Sixth Avenue Between 43rd and 44th Streets, New York, 1948 from eight separate images. It depicts the west side of Sixth Avenue between West 43rd and 44th Streets, taken on the afternoon of March 24, 1948. Realizing he had to work fast to retain the same light, Webb plotted the shoot beforehand, lining up the edges of each photo with chalk marks on the sidewalk. The image was exhibited at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair, and he became internationally recognized as the “historian with a camera.”
  • On Tania Franco Klein's "Our Life in the Shadows"
    In Tania Franco Klein’s photo series “Our Life in the Shadows”—on display last month at Mexico City’s Material art fair and San Francisco’s Photofairs—women stare blankly at static television screens, mirrored toaster ovens, and hazily lit window curtains. A sense of ennui permeates the images, which depict domestic life in rich cinematic detail. Each subject is cropped so that her face is never fully in view. Often, the women are distorted by a reflection or an obfuscating prop. In The Waiting, one of the fifty images that comprise the series, a bowl of lipstick-marked cigarettes is perched ceremoniously atop a pillow. The living room is saturated with a moody cobalt blue. (Other images are steeped in jewel-toned reds and deep emerald greens.) Unpeopled and static, the photo is, conceivably, a portrait; the alluring mise-en-scène bears only traces of the person out of view.

Process

  • 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.
  • 10 habits to improve your #art
    3D character artists André Castro & Gabriel Bona take an in-depth look at 10 habits to implement in your life to improve your art...
  • Photographs of Artists in Their Studios in the 1960s and 70s | AnOther
    From Cosey Fanni Tutti operating heavy machinery to Bridget Riley painting circles, a glimpse into the spaces, and processes, of a generation of British artists
  • Make Money Online: Paying sites and apps for making cash – MSE
  • Best Practices for Newsletters — CJ Chilvers
    I've had a personal newsletter since around 1999. I've found it to be the most effective means of communication the internet has yet to produce. It's portable, open, universal, and personal.
  • A Modest Guide to Productivity
    It’s me! That ideal Frank you wish you could more regularly be! I’ve taken a moment away from my self-actualized, perfect state to jot down some advice that you may find handy as you trudge through your inharmonious slog of a life! I think you will find this timely, relatable, and actionable, because I have made the effort to form-fit these tips just for you—er, me! (The arrangement is all very confusing, really, so never mind!)
  • 7 Reasons Why Some Artists Succeed
    Do you ever see an artist on Instagram who looks like a total overnight success? One day you had never heard of them and the next day, they’re everywhere and doing tons of projects – from their own studio work to all sorts of business relationships, catapulting their financial success.
  • "my current scanning process" – by @nijomu
    It’s one thing to draw in pen-and-ink, but quite another to reproduce it. Back when I was photocopying everything, I had little control over what I got. I would go to the copy place, try a sample on each available machine, and then use the best one. But that was a long time ago. Since then, it’s all been about scanning.

Reading

  • 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.
  • Behold the Stars: Exiles by James Joyce.
    Exiles is James Joyce's only play, completed in 1915 and first published in 1918 between A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922), and, like Portrait of an Artist, it is rather autobiographical. Unfortunately, it's generally agreed to be his least successful work.

RealTime

  • 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.
  • VR’s Inflection Point | Animation World Network
    The evangelical fervor of tech entrepreneurs is understandable. The belief and willpower required to bootstrap is significant, and the proselytizing necessary to convert investors and consumers is daunting. Among the Technorati, Steve Jobs’ famed “Reality Distortion Field” is more often regarded as an admirable attribute than a cautionary quality. But the single-minded drive of unicorn breeders can drift into myopia if left unchecked, resulting in a technology’s champion becoming its worst enemy (*cough* Zuckerberg *cough*). The VR ecosystem is unfortunately not immune to this syndrome.
  • "More people watched other people play videogames in 2017 than all NFL regular-season games combined"
    How Professional Video Gamers Train for a World Championship : The Philadelphia 76ers’ practice facility is one of the largest and most expensive in the NBA—an $82 million, 125,000-square-foot behemoth that boasts a hydrotherapy room, a recording studio and a full-service restaurant. It’s the morning of a home game versus the Miami Heat, and the 76ers have just finished a light practice on one of two regulation-size basketball courts.
  • Gloomy Sunday
    Latest addition to Memo Akten’s ongoing ‘Learning to See’ project demonstrates a neural network powered realtime image translation framework, presenting possibilites for visual poetry

Webtech

  • On Leaving Twitter
    Over the past few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m effectively done with twitter for personal use. If you know me, you know this is a big deal and I tell you it was not a decision I came to easily, nor one that I’m happy about making. I quit Facebook in 2012 because I didn’t like what the company and the site was doing but I didn’t really use much to begin with so it wasn’t that big of a deal, this however is heartbreaking, and I feel like I’m on some level admitting defeat.
  • “I have some updates”
    I'll be honest: my favorite kind of blogging is dumb blogging. Not dumb as in "idiot" (although I enjoy that, too), or silent, but dumb as in...nonessential, I guess. I'm crafting my own definition to suit my needs, but it falls somewhere along the lines of this entry I just stumbled across in my trusty Merriam-Webster app: 5 : lacking some usual attribute or accompaniment ; especially : having no means of self-propulsion • a dumb barge
  • Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter partner for ambitious new data project
    Today, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter joined to announce a new standards initiative called the Data Transfer Project, designed as a new way to move data between platforms. In a blog post, Google described the project as letting users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it.”
  • The conventional wisdom about not feeding trolls makes online abuse worse
    “According to the conventional wisdom of the internet, there’s one simple guideline for responding to trolls: don’t feed them. Ignore them, don’t react to them, don’t give them the attention they want. The axiom has become such a reflexive piece of advice and assumed knowledge that it can often be difficult to see the misperceptions and dismissiveness at its heart, the four hideous lies that perpetuate the cycle of misunderstanding, and the grim, cruel reality it has helped to enable in online culture.” - via @newsmary
  • The Blog Garden
    In some ways this would be a return to what I did a few years ago with my Gospel of the Trees site, which arose because what I wanted to say about trees just couldn’t be made to fit into a book, in part because it refused to become a linear narrative or argument and in part because it was so image-dependent and book publishers don’t like the cost of that. But the advantage of a tag over a standalone site is that each post can have other tags as well, which lead down other paths of reflection and information, in a Zettelkasten sort of way.
  • Wikipedia Italy Blocks All Articles in Protest of EU's Ruinous Copyright Proposals
    Last month, members of European Parliament voted to move forward with a sweeping overhaul of the European Union’s copyright laws that critics say will impede the spread of news, kill memes, bolster tech giants, and stifle innovation. Ahead of the final vote this week, Wikipedia Italy has joined protests across the continent by blocking users from viewing its pages.
  • Reclaiming RSS – Aral Balkan
    For those of you born into the siloed world of the centralised web, RSS is an ancient technology from Web 1.0 (“the naïve Web?”). Like most things back then, it does what it says on the tin: it enables you to easily syndicate the content of your site. People interested in following your posts subscribe to your feed and receive updates using their RSS readers. There is no Twitter or Facebook in the middle to algorithmically censor … ahem … “curate” your posts.
  • Against algorithmic control
    “The principles outlined by Oren Etzioni of the Allen Institue are good ones: no AI may operate on me without me knowing that it exists; a computer operating on me must disclose that it is human; and an artificial intelligence has to obey the same laws as human beings. But it’s not enough. I want to know what the algorithm is trying to do. I want information symmetry.”
  • Cheering for Optimism and the Internet
    Listen, If there is anything I could wish on you, more than my work ethic, or my energy, or my charisma, it would be the mindset and perspective of how good life really is. I for one, was born in the former Soviet Union, with no internet and no capitalism to save me. Due to my circumstances and the reality that I immigrated to the US in 1978 and was somehow perfectly parented without the aircover to dwell or complain, I became rooted in a foundation of gratitude and a level of perspective and practicality that changed my life and behavior permanently.
  • The odd reality of life under China's all-seeing credit score system
    In the UK, credit scores are mostly used to determine whether people can get a credit card or loan. But in China, the government is developing a much broader “social credit” system partly based on people’s routine behaviours with the ultimate goal of determining the “trustworthiness” of the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. It might sound like a futuristic dystopian nightmare but the system is already a reality. Social credit is preventing people from buying airline and train tickets, stopping social gatherings from happening, and blocking people from going on certain dating websites. Meanwhile, those viewed kindly are rewarded with discounted energy bills and similar perks.

Politics

  • Our new international movement will fight rising fascism and globalists
    Our task is not unprecedented. Fascists did not come to power in the mid-war period by promising violence, war or concentration camps. They came to power by addressing good people who, following a severe capitalist crisis, had been treated for too long like livestock that had lost its market value. Instead of treating them like “deplorables”, fascists looked at them in the eye and promised to restore their pride, offered their friendship, gave them a sense that they belonged to a larger ideal, allowed them to think of themselves as something more than sovereign consumers.
  • This isn’t just a culture war – we need a radical anti-fascist movement right now
    My mum was an anti-racist activist in the 70s and 80s. She fought the National Front in Newham, Wood Green and New Cross; she helped organise marches after the murder of Altab Ali in Whitechapel; she participated in neighbourhood police-monitoring groups, at a time when the Metropolitan police faced intense criticism from black and Asian community groups for its failure to adequately investigate racist murders, its protection of the NF from counter-protesters, and inflammatory “swamp” style policing. I grew up listening to her stories with the sense of awe you might feel when hearing about the labours of Hercules: these feats are impressive, but ultimately consigned to the past. Skinheads, swastikas, Paki-bashers – such monsters had long been laid to rest. The past felt so distant, it may as well have been myth.
  • Johnson has created a moment more decisive than ‘rivers of blood’
    I think – no, I insist – that this is nothing short of deplorable, and that this confrontation poses greater long-term dangers than Powell’s speech in 1968. It is a founding principle of any pluralist society that in our permanent negotiation with one another we strive to be decent and dignified.
  • How Labour’s Dreadful Antisemitism Debate Has to Change | Novara Media
    The standard of debate around Labour’s antisemitism saga has been dire from the start, and both Corbyn’s critics and his supporters on the left have been to blame.
  • Fake News UK style
    "So yesterday Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech which journalists can been given advance notice of. The Independent tweeted “Jeremy Corbyn to highlight economic 'benefit' of Brexit as he demands UK stop relying on 'cheap labour from abroad'” and referenced an article by their political correspondent Jeremy Kentish. As you might expect, the great and the good piled in to condemn the speech as anti-immigrant and pro-Brexit...."
  • Be left. Be radical. Be Zen…
    This is a short document about the current political situation — the Tory meltdown and the potential move to create a centrist party. If you agree with it please share it with other left-wing and progressive people, discuss it and act on it.
  • What’s Liam Fox been up to? Clearing the way for chlorinated chickens | Nick Dearden | Opinion | The Guardian
    The trade secretary is busy pitching Britain into a global race to the bottom after Brexit. But there’s still time to stop him
  • Labour’s task is to arm its working class supporters with a narrative of hope
    There were three, mass political events last weekend. Around 250,000 people marched in London against Trump. The next day more than 50,000 marched against him in Edinburgh. The third event was, on a population basis, the biggest: “upwards of 200,000” reported the Mirror, drawn mainly from a region of just 2.5 million people. What was its name? If you only watch the national news you won’t know, because it wasn’t covered. The answer is, the 134th Durham Miners Gala.
  • Labour’s antisemitism code is the gold standard for political parties | Jon Lansman | Opinion | The Guardian
    The new code makes clear that discrimination against Jewish people is unacceptable while allowing for legitimate criticism of Israel
  • Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow
    Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism

Songs

World

Writing

  • 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.
  • Here’s Your Chance To Read This Year's Oscar-Nominated Screenplays
    As you watch an Academy Award-nominated film, you can clearly notice the acting, editing, set design, and a variety of other categories that end up getting nominated. However, as you watch the film, there’s one thing you can’t judge – the screenplay. Sure, you can listen to dialogue, and understand the story’s structure, but for the most part, the screenplay is a mystery.
  • Him Too? How Arthur Miller Smeared Marilyn Monroe and Invented the Myth of the Male Witch Hunt.
    If the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements were actual witch hunts, the accused might be jailed in basement cells and kept from physical contact with other prisoners. They might be stripped naked and examined for evidence of third nipples. If they had moles, or physical “abnormalities” they would be pricked with needles. They might be tied to chairs and submerged in water, to see if they could float. They might be put on trial. They might be executed, in an American trial by hanging, not burning, as is more usual in the popular imagination. The accused would not be witches. None of them. Without exception, they would be innocent.

Friends, Fiends and Followees

  • I've written a little bit about #brexicuted premiering at @edfilmfest on my blog. More to come. Better get back to making it. I'm being #brexit accurate.
    I can now reveal that our latest film Brexicuted will premier at Edinburgh Film Festival on the 27th June as part of the McLaren Award Screening. The film aims to capture that bulldog British spirit that makes our country Great. No. The GREATEST! See how I used the capital letters there to really emphasise the towering splendour of our scared isle. 
  • The Amazing - Rewind (Official Video)
    Rewind is the second single taken from the forthcoming album by The Amazing, titled 'In Transit'. Released on 6th April 2018. Pre-order 'In Transit' now: https://theamazing.lnk.to/intransit
  • Natural History Museum & UCL unveil face of 'Cheddar Man' in C4 doc
    A brand new Channel 4 documentary, First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man, has followed pioneering research carried out by a crack-team of Natural History Museum Human Evolution and DNA specialists, University College London scientists and the world’s foremost prehistoric model makers, to reveal - with unprecedented accuracy - the striking and surprising face of ‘Cheddar Man’, Britain’s oldest nearly complete skeleton.
  • Gav Strange shares his thoughts on why we never have enough time
    In his latest column for Inkygoodness, designer Gav Strange says we need to take responsibility for how we spend our time - or risk wasting it.
  • The Making of the Deep Ocean Episode in 'Blue Planet II'
    The producer Orla Doherty talks about malfunctioning submersibles, toxic lakes at the bottom of the ocean, and being literally out of her depth.
  • A Lover's Discourse | Bright Wall/Dark Room
    On their first date, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) sponges the makeup from Alma’s (Vicky Krieps) lips. He wants to see what he’s looking at. This is no ordinary seduction, for though he persuades the young waitress to go back to his country house and to remove her dress, he desires only to remake her. He prompts Alma to jump onto a table so he can slink a muslin sample onto her body. His sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) arrives, surprised to find this new guest, but somehow also unsurprised, and gamely opens her notebook. She underscores Alma’s name and takes down the young woman’s measurements. When Reynolds informs Alma she has no breasts, she sputters an apology. Reynolds smiles. “I can give you breasts. If I want to.” He is creating a second skin—and what he loves is what he’s created.
  • How to Turn a Malignant Tumor into a Digital Self-Publishing Project
    I've been a freelance journalist for seventeen years. I've written for magazines and websites, appeared on TV and radio shows, and self-published a 10,000-word investigation of the Great Recession's impact on the adult movie industry, "They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?" I've published short stories, and Future Tense Books published a collection of those short stories, You're a Bad Man, Aren't You? I've blogged for Forbes and for Time Warner. At one point, I became a digital copywriter and wrote Facebook updates for a bottle of stomach medicine. But today marks the first time I'm selling one of my original digital short stories on my personal website. It is "The Tumor."
  • ‘Like running a marathon – with 100 sharks on your tail’: behind the scenes of Blue Planet II | Television & radio | The Guardian
    "I’ve spent more than 500 hours in submersibles 1,000 metres under the sea – the maximum depth technology can take us. You can’t go to the toilet the whole time you’re down there, so you have to hold it for 10 hours. The comms come and go, too. You’d always rather be in constant radio contact – it’s not great when somebody goes quiet. But I’ve spent long enough down there to not get flustered, and to keep faith. Most people say they could never go down in a sub, but it doesn’t bother me at all. If someone could figure out how to make a submarine I could live in and just drive around on the sea floor, I would."
  • Becoming Dangerous: Coming Soon! – Fiction & Feeling
    "BECOMING DANGEROUS is a nonfiction book of deeply personal essays by marginalised people operating at the intersection of feminism, witchcraft, and resistance to summon power and become fearsome in a world that would prefer them afraid. With contributions from twenty witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels, BECOMING DANGEROUS is a book of intelligent and challenging essays that will resonate with anyone who’s ever looked for answers outside the typical places."
  • The Pizzagate Polity | Melissa Gira Grant
    "Trump started his day defending himself against charges that he had appeared sympathetic to white supremacists when he retweeted a claim about black crime from a man who was once ejected from a Washington, D.C., restaurant for covertly livestreaming his attempts at uncovering a Satanic child sex slavery ring. The President closed out the afternoon with remarks before a podium in his own gilded New York tower, in which—as if there had been a doubt just hours before—he openly sympathized with white supremacists. Meanwhile, over on Pizzagate Twitter, when the president extended conventional both-sides-ery to anti-fascist demonstrators for bringing violence on themselves, his words were applauded and echoed."

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