always my go to icon…

always my go to icon…


polychroniadis: Roger Vail, ‘Kamikaze #3′, 1996.


Roger Vail, ‘Kamikaze #3′, 1996.


Radium Age 100 (25)

1962 edition shown here — we'd show the cover of AMAZING STORIES in which this novella first appeared, but that cover illustrates SKYLARK OF SPACE.Philip Francis Nowlan's ARMAGEDDON 2419 A.D.

Crom Your Enthusiasm (1)




cinephiliabeyond: A stunning poster for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr….


A stunning poster for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, courtesy of Reddit user benmadethis. You can also follow him on Tumblr, here.

No Fighting in the War Room or Dr. Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat  (2004) — a documentary about the historical context of Dr. Strangelove. Featurette includes numerous clips from the film, never-before-seen production stills, and rare and never-before seen or heard material from the private collection of the star of Dr. Strangelove, Peter Sellers.

Dear every screenwriter, read this: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern and Peter George’s screenplay for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers.

Dated November 4, 1961, the letter addressed to the novelist Peter George seemed decidedly odd coming from a man who had already directed the likes of Laurence Olivier, Kirk Douglas, and James Mason. It was handwritten, for starters—no secretary had typed it up—and it evinced, in the words of George’s son, a certain “touching modesty”: “First off let me tell you who I am,” it began. “I am a film director (Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita). I’ve been in England for over a year and returned to New York only last week expecting to contact you here.” Stanley Kubrick then went on to explain that he had become interested in “the nuclear situation” and was searching for the right material to adapt for a film: “I am earnestly looking for a story in those areas and your book came VERY CLOSE,” he told George. –How a dead serious novel became the nightmare satire of Strangelove

“What we are dealing with,” said Kubrick at our first real talk about the situation, “is film by fiat,  film by frenzy.” What infuriated him most was that the “brains” of the production company could evaluate the entire film – commercially, aesthetically, morally, whatever – in terms of the tour de force performance of one actor. I was amazed that he handled it as well as he did. “I have come to realize,” he explained, “that such crass and grotesque stipulations are the sine qua non of the motion-picture business.” And it was in this spirit  that he accepted the studio’s condition that this film, as yet untitled, “would star Peter Sellers in at least four major roles.” It was thus understandable that Kubrick should  practically freak when a telegram from Peter arrived one morning: Dear Stanley: I am so very sorry to tell you that I am having serious difficulty with the various roles. Now hear this: there is no way, repeat, no way, I can play the Texas pilot, ‘Major King Kong.’ I have a complete block against that accent. Letter from Okin [his agent] follows. Please forgive. Peter S.

For a few days Kubrick had been in the throes of a Herculean effort to give up cigarettes  and had forbidden smoking anywhere in the building. Now he immediately summoned his personal  secretary and assistant to bring him a pack pronto. —Notes from The War Room by Terry Southern

Below is a rare 35mm promo reel for Dr. Strangelove, narrated by Kubrick himself. Some of the takes did not make it in the final cut of the film.

Before Terry Southern got involved there was this script for Strangelove  which includes the pie-fight and “is framed as a film within a film, made by extraterrestrials, no less.”

Terry Southern’s profile of Stanley Kubrick that Esquire squelched in the 1960s… lucky for us it has been rescued:

In 1963, as Stanley Kubrick began production on Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Terry Southern completed a profile of the director for Esquire, which promply shelved it. Earlier this summer it was finally printed in Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot To Print (Nation Books), edited by David Wallis. The abridged version of Southern’s article  that follows is reprinted on the occasion of Sony Pictures Repertory’s 40th anniversary presentation of Dr. Strangelove this fall. —Check-up with Dr. Strangelove By Terry Southern


The following interview took place in the New York office of Harris-Kubrick Productions, and is a transcript of the taped recording. An Interview with Stanley Kubrick by Terry Southern; Unpublished; 1962

At the time of this interview (1967), Southern was famous as the ­coauthor of Candy, the best-selling sex novel, and as the screenwriter ­behind Stanley Kubrick’s dark antiwar, antinuke comedy, Dr. Strangelove. Both ­appeared in the U.S. in 1964 (a headline in Life magazine read “Terry Southern vs. Smugness”). By 1967 he could be spotted on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, standing between Dylan Thomas and Dion. Gore Vidal called him “ the most profoundly witty writer of our generation.” Lenny Bruce blurbed his books. —Paris Review, The Art of Screenwriting No. 3, Terry Southern

Inside: ‘Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’  (2000), a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of one of the classics of modern cinema. Including interviews with many members of the cast and crew of this story about the scramble by the heads of state to head off a rogue general’s attempt to launch a nuclear war, this film gives fans a wealth of new information on the work and effort that went into bringing the film to fruition.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:


cinephiliabeyond: For the avid Sellers fan, this is the jackpot…


For the avid Sellers fan, this is the jackpot – the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. Here’s the UNCUT version of The Peter Sellers Story: As He Filmed It, a very rare 3 and a half hour version of the documentary directed by Peter Lydon (not 90 min condensed rebroadcast version). Using a unique collection of his own home movies shot between 1948 and 1977 and discovered years after his death, this film presents an intriguing and intimate portrait of Peter Sellers. Told in his own words, and including many well-known personalities from Stanley Kubrick (including a rare footage of Kubrick playing tennis in a suit!), Sophia Loren and Robert Wagner to members of the Royal Family, in particular Princess Margaret and Prince Charles, this revealing film builds a fascinating and definitive record of a unique genius. With endless thanks to Peter Lydon.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:


bklynboihood: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES BALDWIN!“Words like…



“Words like “freedom,” “justice,” “democracy” are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.” -JB, The Price of the Ticket. 1985.

(image by: Dal Ray Williams)


collection-collection:Rubix Collection


Rubix Collection


polychroniadis: Daniel Everett photography.


Daniel Everett photography.




wwd: The line between fashion and art has never been as blurry…


The line between fashion and art has never been as blurry as it was at Viktor & Rolf Couture Fall 2015! See the full collection at

Photo: Giovanni Giannoni

very “artistic”


The Sunday Series: Sunday August 2, 2015

The Sunday Series:
Sunday August 2, 2015

This Sunday, it will be exactly three years ago that I left my job as a book-buyer for a well-known bookstore in Los Angeles.  Off -and-on, I have worked there for twenty-five years.   The last 15 years are pretty much straight through.  From the end of 2009 to August 2012, my chief role was to buy books for the store.   Without a doubt, it was the best job I have ever had.   There wasn’t a day, even though sometimes it was a struggle, that I didn’t enjoy.   For me, it was like being on a beautiful island, surrounded by books and interesting people.  I never underestimated the customers as well as my fellow workers at the shop.   Also, it was one of the few things I have done in my life that I felt was a total success.  Of course, one makes mistakes here and there, but over-all I’m very proud of the work I have done at this bookstore. 

Since I left the job, I have been living off my savings, which I see disappear on a daily basis.   While working, I tend to add services such as cable, more internet speed, and dining out.  Slowly I have been eliminating some of the service, and I pretty much stopped eating at restaurants.  I also used to go to expensive markets like Gelsons, but now, I tend to shop for generic brands in discounted supermarkets.  I ate meat, but now gave that up, which in hindsight, is good for my health.   My breakfast every morning is instant oatmeal, and at one time, I would empty two packets for breakfast, but now, I only eat one packet of instant oatmeal.  I add water of course, but very little, to make it more thick, and therefore more filling.   I avoid lunch and focus on having broccoli head and a plate of pasta for dinner.  My wine of choice is Two-buck Chuck.   I get a buzz which helps me in the long run to forget my everyday struggle or my lack of inner-happiness.  

I have a large library, and I tend to either re-read my books or go to the library, which I’m extremely fond of.  You tend to have to wait for popular titles, but the price of books is pretty expensive.   If I have the money, I don't mind spending it on books, but then I have to think about the use of electricity in the house.  I normally like to read at night, but to save money I have all the lights out - about an hour after dusk.  It doesn’t save a whole lot, but everything helps.  To save water, due to the cost of the Department of Water and Power, and the drought, I pour myself a big glass of water in a glass, and I place it in the refrigerator.  I sip on it throughout the day which helps with hunger and it is also something I look forward for the duration of the day.  

I miss my work greatly, because it was a job where everyday I had to do something.  Purchasing books for a store are pretty much seven days a week type of occupation.  Since it’s a busy store, I needed to re-stock the titles as soon as they were sold.  The public gets hungry for books, and therefore I had to supply their hunger. The same I do at home now for my body and soul.  

I have heard that in Japan, they put a lid over the bath to keep it warm, and therefore the whole family can use it, after showering.  What I do is fill the bathtub up with water, and completely shut the room up - even closing the window.  The temperature gets cooler of course, but it is never frozen, perhaps due to the Southern California climate.   Nevertheless I just use a dime-sized drop of shampoo and the latter I use it to wash my body as well.   I perhaps go through this procedure every other day.  I don’t do that much physical activity, so I rarely sweat, unless the humidity is high.   To minimize my life in such a way has become an art to me.  Besides writing, I have very little tools to express myself, and I think through poverty, I found a medium that suits my purpose.  Currency is the cancer of the 21st century.  I prefer to live without it and just focus on the everyday needs one may or may not have.  We’re all individuals, and we each have our specific issues that we must deal with.  Mine is to go to disappear into the entrance of nonexistence.   To open that door, and to stick one’s head through the entrance, and then jump in, sounds like a beautiful ending to this narrative.  


Crom Your Enthusiasm (Intro)

weird thumbThis summer's ENTHUSIASM: Fantasy from 1934–43!

Odd Absurdum (6)

PILOTAttention needn’t be paid: the new Odd Couple

Rolling Stones – Necrophilia (Rare Unreleased 1972 Album)

Almost my favorite Brian Jones / Andrew Loog Oldham era Rolling Stones.  Where the blues meets pop and beyond.  A beautiful album.   Do enjoy.

ageofdestruction: solar corona, photographed by j. berkowski,…


solar corona, photographed by j. berkowski, 28th july 1851.

to go back to the beginning; the very first photographic image of the solar corona, recorded in daguerreotype during a solar eclipse at the royal observatory in königsberg (now kaliningrad). 

image credit: j. berkoswski / friedrich-schiller-universität: historische sammlungen zur naturwissenschaft, jan peter kasper. via:


70sscifiart: Tim White


Tim White


Jurgen (21)

jurgen thumbEfficacy of Prayer

M.R. James

MRJames1900He spun sinister visions.


I have taken a long time to get around to writing this up, partly I think out of reluctance to contemplate the whole question but also partly because it's much more troublesome to write a blog post with lots of links than to paste in simple text! But it is overdue, I need to send the link to a few people and here goes: these are some of the words I said for my father at the memorial we held at Penn in April.

First, some words a few friends of his sent via email.

Co-worker Chris Mustazza:
I used to stop by his office once per week or so just to chat about the wide range of topics that he knew about, from chemistry through technology through the history of sound recording. I respect him very much as a model of what a person can strive to be: massively knowledgeable, while also being so kind and humble.
Longtime friend and correspondent Paul Gould:
He would come to stay with us on many of his UK trips, tolerating the various futons and sofa beds we had to offer and the varying standards of accommodation, from the cold rooms we rented on the ground floor of a Victorian house in Liverpool (you had to put on additional layers of clothing when going inside in the Summer) to our current house in Halifax. When I was leaving my job at the University of Liverpool and mentioned feeling rather sad as I handed back my office keys, ID card, etc. his response was to send a cheque and tell us to go out and have a really good meal to cheer me up.

As time progressed, the gaps between our emails grew longer for reasons I can’t fathom. Looking back, I don't think we've been in touch since he came over in October 2013. We used to discuss the opera performances we’d attended (I do remember smiling when he dismissed a season at the Met one year as “too Italian”) and I was thinking of him recently when considering whether to book tickets to the Opera North Ring Cycle concert performances next year. Shelley flatly refused to accompany me, and I thought that asking him to make the trip over every Saturday for a month would have been a bit too much! I’m sure he would have enjoyed the idea, though. Coincidentally, Shelley and I were watching a TV programme this morning from the Jodrell Bank radio observatory in Cheshire, which we visited with him one time he was over while we were still living in Liverpool. We were laughing about the fact that he would always zip around museums and exhibitions in what seemed like 5 minutes, and yet still take away everything he wanted from them.
For me, my father was most of all an intellectual interlocutor, a person with whom I shared a great many sensibilities and interests. We were both in some sense more than is usually true "people of the internet": my father had a good deal of early involvement in the world of computing (he worked at HP in the late 1960s), but he really came into his own, I think, in the last ten or fifteen years (think about how Netflix lets you obtain obscure German films...).

For as long as I can remember, my father had captivating ideas and things: the gigantic spool with a mile of thread on it; the stint working on the neutrino detection project at the Homestake Gold Mine (I remember a conversation that must have happened when I was about eight in which my father sketched out the tank and explained why it was filled with dry-cleaning fluid!).

In high school, when I was obsessed with the works of Anthony Burgess and had read every book of his I could get my hands on, my father brought me with him into the stacks at the Penn library (my eyes were like saucers!) so that I could check out the other ones (ever the completist). He was not a great expresser of affection, but during a spell of working near a Pepperidge Farm outlet store, he used to bring home huge hauls of slightly damaged goods (cakes with a nub bitten out of the side, catering-size cartons of goldfish), and I also remember his purchase on the grocery run of the occasional box of Froot Loops as falling under the heading of affection as well!

When I was writing my undergraduate senior thesis on the electric telegraph and theories of language, he explored all sorts of archives and museums in the UK. Ditto when I was researching the life and work of Alfred Nobel for my second novel.

One way to convey something of the relationship is to search my Light Reading blog for all the links my father sent me over the years. It is an amazing catalog! He sent things that fell at the intersection of his interests and my own; he had a keen an eye for what I would find amusing or delightful.

Here are a few of them.

Under the heading of "recreational zoology":

“The faster, fiercer and always surprising sloth”

Urban falconry

A video clip of fisherman in West Flanders riding horses into the ocean to catch shrimp

An amazing Orion Magazine piece about the “deep intellect” of the octopus


Newly digitized images from Scott’s Antarctic expedition

Journalist Ben Fenton’s account of how he exposed a set of forged letters smuggled into the Public Records Office at Kew in an attempt to prove that Winston Churchill commissioned a British intelligence officer to murder Heinrich Himmler

What the Sampson archives revealed about life in the corridors of power


A Wall Street Journal spring stunt in which college presidents were invited to submit college application essays in response to a question their own institution offered to prospective students

Computing and the history of science:

A correspondent’s letter noting that a rebuild of the “Colossus” can now be seen in the museum at Bletchley Park (I was later able to go and see the museum of computing there with my own eyes!)

Douglas Hofstadter’s quest to build computational models of human intelligence

Random things he knew I would like:

A record-breaking chocolate bar (6 tons, if you are interested, manufactured by Thornton’s with dimension of 4m x 4m)

The amazing cakes featured on the website of Philadelphia’s “Night Kitchen” bakery (he’d been to a birthday party featuring one)


Wardrobe choices of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character

Morbid things:

The exhumation of the remains of Cardinal Newman

A rather fantastic Wikipedia biography of British doctor and mass-murderer John Bodkin Adams (convicted, among other things, of the wonderfully named offense "lying on cremation forms"!) (this came to his eyes as a consequence of reading D. R. Thorpe's Harold Macmillan biography and delighting in the way Macmillan's life seemed to intersect with all sorts of unexpected figures)

Kebabs made as corpse lay nearby:
Flies were landing on food in the shop and there was an "awful smell."
A fast food shop owner was found preparing food while an employee's corpse lay nearby.
Police called to the Pappu Sweet Centre in Wolverhampton in August discovered the man's body on a sofa near the kitchen, magistrates in the city heard.
The business, owned by Jaswinder Singh, 45, was shut down immediately.
The council said it was one of the worst cases environmental health officers had seen. Mr Singh has been banned from running any food business.
The man's death was not suspicious, police said.

A promotional video for a fundraising 5K race organized by a public library that combined 2 of my favorite things (as I noted on my blog) – libraries and the Vibram five-finger “toe shoes”

The private lives of public bathrooms

The difficulty of building a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark in modern-day Netherlands in compliance with EU fire safety standards

Madeleine Albright's fondness for "symbolic brooches":
A poem appeared in the papers in Baghdad comparing me to many things but, among them, “an unparalleled serpent”. So I decided to wear an antique snake brooch when I talked about Iraq. Some camera zeroed in, and the press asked, “Why are you wearing that snake brooch?” I said, “Because Saddam Hussein compared me to an unparalleled serpent.”
A first-person account of a Portuguese citizen who bought a small island and founded his own country:
I have both a Portuguese passport and a passport for Pontinha (where my passport number is 0001). There are four citizens: me, my wife, my son and my daughter. I am the police, the gardener, everything. I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it? If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign.

The Portuguese gastronomic speciality is bacalhau. But we are running out of cod in our oceans now, and we buy it from another country. So my gastronomy, my country’s speciality, is takeaway.
We both particularly enjoyed the Lunch with the FT feature, most of all when there is also some sort of drama concerning the food! (Gideon Rachman Here's a good example, in which Gideon Rachman interviewed the Prime Minister of Thailand in a "jollied-up" basement room at the Davos resort where the World Economic Forum is held: "Abhisit, immaculately dressed in a grey suit and waistcoat, with a pale blue shirt and black tie with white stripes, looks slightly doubtful at the array of lurid pastries and curled sandwiches placed before him. I explain that our conversation is meant to take place against a background of eating and drinking. “OK. I will comply,” he says. But he makes no movement towards the food.")

Things my father liked: sushi, oysters, rare beef. Wagner! Cars.

He followed very closely all sorts of things I was involved with: the artist Tino Seghal’s “situations” (this was another link he sent me), my friend and former student Nico Muhly’s career as a composer.

We often saw a film together: the last one we saw before he died was the Russian film Leviathan; other memorable excursions featured Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World, the Jackie Stewart documentary Weekend of a Champion and the Robert Downey, Jr. Iron Man.

He had a stint in hospital last spring, and it was a great relief to me and to him that he was able to regain enough mobility to get back to work, and even to get to New York earlier this year for food and culture.

Work was his lifeline. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack at home, and though I miss him acutely, I am glad for his sake that he didn't live a diminished life in his final years. Let us now eat and drink in his memory!



No Man’s Land (10)

cavern thumb"You are a coward," said my conscience.



tomhardyvariations: Love them ~all~ but the way Tom is…


Love them ~all~ but the way Tom is standing in character …

One of the things I admire about the way he played Eames was his body language. From the moment he appeared on screen, his posture, voice and gestures augmented the script wordlessly. The dip of a shoulder, the inflection of a word … Eames’s psychology was revealed in tiny movements. Right from Mombasa, we got him: Smooth, cocksure, dangerously smart - a slightly shady dandy who’s ready for anything, operationally or sexually. Yet we also get that he’s still a romantic at heart, maybe even an idealist. 


inthenoosphere: Satellite view of Antarctica


Satellite view of Antarctica




ZZZZZZSSSSSSIIIIIKK. KLLLLIIKLLIIIK. CHHRRRR. PIIIIIIIP / Druckwerk Basel / Haus für elektronische Künste Basel / Buero 146


Radium Age 100 (24)

deluge thumbS. Fowler Wright's DELUGE




thas-fandom: Blag Sophisticated Charm by Tom Hardy, Sarah J….


Blag Sophisticated Charm by Tom Hardy, Sarah J. Edwards & Sally A. Edwards.

Tom and Jacob trining and selfing!


blag “Ladies & Gents #TomHardy in the Razor design for the Old London Collection at #menswear #womenswear”




Circle Game (4)


blech: Healing Tool, by Brian Kane (via, via):Healing Tool is…


Healing Tool, by Brian Kane (via, via):

Healing Tool is art designed for people in cars. A temporary public art installation using digital billboards on interstate freeways.

The goal is to provide a moment of temporary relief and unexpected beauty during the daily grind of commuting.

The piece builds on a body of work which simulates digital experiences in the real world. In this case, simulating the Photoshop Healing Tool to replace or patch over the landscape which is blocked by the billboard.

During the day hours, a series of images from the specific location are shown on the display. We replace the missing background and create a magic dimensional window.


Atargatis, the Phoenician Great Goddess–Dea Syria Derketo Derceto mermaid goddess fish goddess water goddess canaanite goddess syrian goddess

Atargatis, the Phoenician Great Goddess--Dea Syria Derketo Derceto mermaid goddess fish goddess water goddess canaanite goddess syrian goddess:

I’ve discovered a new goddess who mirrors Astarte in meaning and symobology. She was worshiped in Syria. I once wrote a horror movie script about some neo pagans who inadvertently conjure a goddess. 


Choosing a new Librarian of Congress

I’ve been talking about this topic now in a few different places. Here is an article I wrote for Medium spelling out some of the things I only noted briefly on the Librarian of Progress site.

The Next Librarian of Congress


The Krays: Ronnie Kray Interview In Broadmoor 1989 Part One


furieosa: tom hardy in ‘the men of warrior’ photo book (click…


tom hardy in ‘the men of warrior’ photo book (click the photos for larger)


A Sort of Joy — MediumThe Museum of Modern Art is full of…

A Sort of Joy — Medium

The Museum of Modern Art is full of tombstones. You’ve may have cropped one out of an Instagram photo lately — they’re the small white signs that list the artwork’s vital statistics: title, artist, date, medium and provenance. Last week, MoMA quietly released their collections database, a vast graveyard full of tombstones, as a GitHub repository. Slightly more than 120,000 artworks are included in the .CSV release, all tightly arranged in rows and columns. […]

It’s 1:32pm. A woman in a black dress leans against the edge of a doorway between rooms in MoMA’s second floor galleries. Swatches of rotating light and the ting-tang of a Gamelan orchestra from the installation behind her bleed past her, out into the room that she’s facing.

“Fuck Off,” she mutters.

A few faces in the crowd turn towards her, but most either didn’t hear, or pretended that they didn’t hear. The woman continues, undeterred.

“Where’s My Fucking Peanut?”

“Shut The Fuck Up.”

“I Shit Crystals for you, David.”

Despite this impressive string of obscenity, the the gallery goers’ attention is mostly directed towards the middle of the room, where a group of five people who have just burst into song.

Over the next forty minutes, this group of six performers will speak (and sing) in a strange language — every word they say will be taken verbatim from the collections database. And yet it will not come off as if they are listing a litany of titles; instead they will engage in complex patterns of call & response, performing a combination of carefully choreographed exchanges and loosely-defined scenes, often balanced at the edge of chaos and absurdity.


The Machine Stops (3)

machine stops thumbRooms, tier below tier, reaching far into the earth.

“Computers aren’t just doing hard math problems and showing us cat videos. Increasingly, they judge…”

Computers aren’t just doing hard math problems and showing us cat videos. Increasingly, they judge our character.

Maybe we should be grateful.

A company in Palo Alto, Calif., called Upstart has over the last 15 months lent $135 million to people with mostly negligible credit ratings. Typically, they are recent graduates without mortgages, car payments or credit card settlements.

Those are among the things that normally earn a good or bad credit score, but these people haven’t been in the working world that long. So Upstart looks at their SAT scores, what colleges they attended, their majors and their grade-point averages. As much as job prospects, the company is assessing personality.

“If you take two people with the same job and circumstances, like whether they have kids, five years later the one who had the higher G.P.A. is more likely to pay a debt,” said Paul Gu, Upstart’s co-founder and head of product. “It’s not whether you can pay. It’s a question of how important you see your obligation.”

The idea, validated by data, is that people who did things like double-checking the homework or studying extra in case there was a pop quiz are thorough and likely to honor their debts.

Analytics, meet judgment of people. “I guess you could call it character, though we haven’t used that label,” said Mr. Gu, who is 24.

- Using Algorithms to Determine Character - The New York Times

A performance by the Chicago rapper Chief Keef — or rather, his…

A performance by the Chicago rapper Chief Keef — or rather, his likeness, beamed live via hologram from California — was shut down by the police on Saturday night in Hammond, Ind., after warnings from the mayor’s office that the performer could not appear, even digitally, promoters said on Sunday. The surprise appearance of Chief Keef at Craze Fest, a hip-hop festival in Hammond, about 25 miles outside of Chicago, was scheduled after a series of canceled hologram performances by the rapper, born Keith Cozart. Last weekend, a Chicago theater called off a similar show after representatives for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office deemed Chief Keef “an unacceptable role model,” whose music “promotes violence” and whose presence via hologram “posed a significant public safety risk.”

Hologram Performance by Chief Keef Is Shut Down by Police - The New York Times [Image via Chicago Tribune]




“There was a man who became so intrigued with watching salamanders, that he ended up as a salamander…”

“There was a man who became so intrigued with watching salamanders, that he ended up as a salamander watching the man he was.”

- Julio Cortázar (via inthenoosphere)

queenrhaenyra:→ For Steph


→ For Steph


Radium Age 100 (23)

"The Color Out of Space" first appeared in this issue of AMAZING STORIESH.P. Lovecraft's THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE

The Sunday Series: Sunday July 26, 2015

The Sunday Series:
Sunday July 25, 2015

A peaceful Sunday.  That is all I want.  I go to a movie theater in the suburb to see a comedy or even a comic book movie to take my mind off my troubles.   Many times I go to see a film and haven’t the foggiest idea what I have just seen.  Mostly I allow my thoughts in my head to be projected on the large screen in front of me, and I don’t even wish to dwell with what those thoughts mean or what they represent.   Most movie theaters these days only process digital images than film.  As of last March, 38,719 screens (out of a total 39,789 screens) in the United States have been converted to digital.   So in truth, am I even seeing a film?   Or a reproduction of a film?  Or should the credits now say “A Digital Production by Judd Apatow. ”

The beauty of modern theaters is how they convey the feeling that you’re in a first class compartment of an airplane.  The seating is very comfortable and one can even push back to recline and place your head facing the screen upwards.  A holder for your drink, and plenty of room on the armrest on each side of the chair to place your elbow or even arm.   It is also pleasant to be in a darken theater to see the projection of the latest digital release.   

The one thing that does bother me is the customer that comes in and seems nervous.  I have always felt that was me, in a sense, that I come to a movie with thoughts or problems, and the purpose of me being here is to leave my troubles outside the theater, for at least a couple of hours.   But I can feel that customers irritation or oddness, which totally destroys the experience of seeing a movie in a theater.  I thought that I should contact an employee of the theater to let them know that there is a customer who is giving out bad vibes, and therefore I’m not experiencing the enjoyment as fully as I should be entitled to.  

He keeps changing seats.  First he is sitting in my row, and I’m in the middle of the theater.  He then moves in front of me, and idiotically he sits in front of me.  He has a role of seats he can sit in. Yet he chooses the seat right in front of me.  I moved a few seats down, and when the coming attractions come on, I tend to watch him than watching what is on the screen.   Now I notice he have an object in his hand, and it seems he is looking at the object instead of the digital projection.  It isn’t a cell phone.  What is it?  

He puts it back in his pocket.  The film is starting.   The dialogue is funny.  Yet he doesn’t laugh nor does he look like he is paying any attention to the film.  Once in awhile, I see him glancing at me time-to-time.  I make sure that I don’t capture his eyes when he does so.  I sometimes wished that the cinema was totally blacked out, except for the screen.  The whole idea of being in a cinema, at first, was to be part of the audience.  But the reason I’m at the cinema is really the size of the screen, and the fact that one can lose themselves to the images in front of them, as well as being surrounded by the digital projection’s Dolby sound.  

The disturbing aspect of this environment is the customer mouthing off to the screen, but I can’t fully hear him, due to the volume of the movie being so loud.     I wonder if he feels he’s being pulled into the narrative of the movie, or is he living in his own narrative with its own unique soundtrack?    The weather is so hot today, and all I want is to lose myself in an air-conditioned theater, yet, I can’t focus on my comfort, due that this guy is making me totally uncomfortable.   If I was a normal guy, I would go up to him and tell him to shut-up, or please leave the theater, but I’m fearful of approaching a stranger.  When you are part of the audience, one hopes that we are all on the same wave length - yet clearly this ‘gentleman’ is on another planet.

If I just close my eyes, all of this will go away.   My thoughts are projected on my eyelids.  I see abstraction from the lights bouncing around the screen.  I find this to be the perfect cinema.   Not digital, but human.   No one exists, except me.  I, alone.  Finally.  


delphes: (x) can’t hardly wait for new mini…



can’t hardly wait for new mini series “Versailles”



At the New York Times, Oliver Sacks on the consolations of the physical sciences:
Next to the circle of lead on my table is the land of bismuth: naturally occurring bismuth from Australia; little limousine-shaped ingots of bismuth from a mine in Bolivia; bismuth slowly cooled from a melt to form beautiful iridescent crystals terraced like a Hopi village; and, in a nod to Euclid and the beauty of geometry, a cylinder and a sphere made of bismuth.

Bismuth is element 83. I do not think I will see my 83rd birthday, but I feel there is something hopeful, something encouraging, about having "83" around. Moreover, I have a soft spot for bismuth, a modest gray metal, often unregarded, ignored, even by metal lovers. My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated or marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for bismuth.
And another nice recent piece: "My letter from Oliver Sacks." (Links courtesy of Dave Lull.)


At the New York Times, Oliver Sacks on the consolations of the physical sciences:
Next to the circle of lead on my table is the land of bismuth: naturally occurring bismuth from Australia; little limousine-shaped ingots of bismuth from a mine in Bolivia; bismuth slowly cooled from a melt to form beautiful iridescent crystals terraced like a Hopi village; and, in a nod to Euclid and the beauty of geometry, a cylinder and a sphere made of bismuth.

Bismuth is element 83. I do not think I will see my 83rd birthday, but I feel there is something hopeful, something encouraging, about having "83" around. Moreover, I have a soft spot for bismuth, a modest gray metal, often unregarded, ignored, even by metal lovers. My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated or marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for bismuth.
And another nice recent piece: "My letter from Oliver Sacks." (Links courtesy of Dave Lull.)

Fever dreams

Tim Adams on Hanya Yanahihara, at the Guardian (via Geoff Chadsey):
“I knew when I started it would be about 1,000 manuscript pages,” Yanagihara says, with the true novelist’s sense of fate. “I’d had the characters in my head for a long time. I was writing every single night and all weekend and it is not something I necessarily recommend. Though it was an exhilarating experience it was also an alienating one. In the first part of the book, JB [one of the four friends, an artist] is talking about painting and about how it becomes more real than life itself. That process, which I experienced, is absorbing and dangerous. It is probably one I will never have again, and one I never want again.”

Next Page »