The Millions: On Whimsy, Trump, and ‘Bloom County’.
“It’s not just that Bloom County was prescient in seeing his trajectory. Nor is it just that it sussed out the void in his soul. No, what’s so frightening to see now, 30 years after Trump’s turn as Bill the Cat’s brain, is just how precisely it pegged why he shouldn’t have power.”
BBC: Western contact with China began long before Marco Polo, experts say.
“Other discoveries include new evidence that the First Emperor’s tomb complex is much bigger than first thought and 200 times bigger than Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.” China is wisely taking their time before excavating Qin’s tomb. If historical texts are correct, it is under a dome that models the night sky over China, and his entire empire is rendered in miniature underneath, with rivers and streams flowing of liquid mercury. I hope I’m still around when they finally open it.
NY Times Book Review: In ‘News of the World,’ Unlikely Companions Bond on a Journey.
“... Kidd loves to cull and aggregate articles, loves the gasps of surprise he hears, loves the power of information. During the hours you spend reading “News of the World,” that power is magically restored.” Sounds worthy. On my list.
Guardian.UK: Study shows books can bring Republicans and Democrats together.
“ What we found was surprising: when both conservative and liberal readers talk about “bridge books” instead of their usual partisan books, they change their way of talking and thinking in significant ways. They use less negative or hateful language. They use more words related to cognitive insight, such as “admit” and “explain”. In short, what is special about these books is that they make readers who otherwise have strong political dispositions become less tribal.” Just in time for choosing Xmas presents for people ...
NY Times: van Gogh Paintings Stolen From Amsterdam Are Recovered in Italy.
And they are gorgeous. Well done.
Italian Ways: The Ferrari 275 GTC, queen of competitions.
And one of Denise McCluggage’s favorite NART drives.
OpenCulture: Robert Heinlein Lists 5 Essential Rules for Making a Living as a Writer.
“2. You must finish what you start.” Oh, ouch.
PS Mag: Getting Punished as a War Criminal for Destroying Ancient Monuments.
“With the new ICC conviction, it appears all that thinking and law-making is finally having real-life effects. The prosecution of al-Mahdi, who was the head of Ansar Dine’s morality enforcement, could serve as a template for future cases against those who demolished artifacts in Palmyra and elsewhere, the BBC reports.” Nine years.
Atlas Obscura: Found - A Hand-Drawn Map of Detroit from 1790.
“In addition to being delicately illustrated and lovely, the map depicts an otherwise unknown period in the history of the city, just before the British were to evacuate, leaving the land to the burgeoning United States.” And the archaeologists rush to find bits and bobs under car parks and buildings ...
FirstThings: On Reading Old Books.
“Censoring history helps nobody.” Agreed, wholeheartedly.
An object lesson in white balance.
Shoot this, you obviously need a color patch setup to get it right. Not that a color bias doesn’t add drama. But I’d like to know what the colors really are!
NY Times Review: AC/DC, With Axl Rose, Shakes the Garden All Night Long.
“It was well into the homestretch of the concert, but Mr. Young just kept going nonstop for 15 minutes. He played blues riffs and zigzag lead lines and nagging trills and manic tremolo crescendos, racing around and under and up and down the whole stage set to end up on an elevator platform in a shower of confetti. It was a show of stamina and of sheer, cantankerous rock ’n’ roll persistence.” Huzzah, dude.
Open Culture: Mark Twain’s 60 American Comfort Foods He Missed While Abroad.
Underlines the paucity of our modern mass-produced diets. We think we have more variety, more choice. We don’t.
Riveted: The Re-Dedication of Naay I’waans (the Chief Son-I-Hat Whale House).
ArtDaily: Benjamin Franklin’s sword leads Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art sale.
Not an object one would associate with Franklin. Really interesting backstory. Esp. if you’ve read “The Count of Monte Cristo.”
Vimeo: Cinesite Captain America: Civil War VFX Showreel.
So much work. And this is only a small fraction of the film.
BittBox: Make a Dotted Line in Photoshop.
Dazed: A British artist is stranded on a boat in the open Pacific.
One of the more bizarre stories you’ll read this month. Make some time. Nothing really earthshattering, but still ... an artificial ‘connected’ no-(wo)man’s-land. It must be like suspended animation.
The Brander: Yulia Brodskaya.
Guardian.UK: The game is up - Shakespeare’s language not as original as dictionaries think.
“‘Tis Greek to me, my Lord ...” Seems one can never be absolutely sure of anything anymore. Gravity? Still here.
Italian Ways: Giovanni Patrone’s Italian ocean liners.
Ocean liners are some of my fave vintage posters.
pshares/blog: Online “Nymphet” Culture and the Reclaiming of Lolita.
This should be compared to the Harley Quinn phenom (Suicide Squad).
Salon: Bewildered in “Bloom County”.
“But silliness suddenly seems safe now. Trump’s merely a sparkling symptom of a renewed national ridiculousness. We’re back baby.” Pear pimples for hairy fishnuts had me crying laughing in the aisle at Barnes & Noble in NYC, when I picked up the very first Bloom County book. Bought it on the spot, been a fan ever since.
The Atlantic: Apeirophobia - The Fear of Eternity.
“When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant, and which know me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then.” Finally, an article worth my time to read.