Omnium Gatherum: 25jul2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 25, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Ten Small Raisins.” About Inky Fingers: The Making of Books in Early Modern Europe [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Anthony Grafton—”The author of The Footnote reflects on scribes, scholars, and the work of publishing during the golden age of the book. From Francis Bacon to Barack Obama, thinkers and political leaders have denounced humanists as obsessively bookish and allergic to labor. In this celebration of bookmaking in all its messy and intricate detail, renowned historian Anthony Grafton invites us to see the scholars of early modern Europe as diligent workers. Meticulously illuminating the physical and mental labors that fostered the golden age of the book–the compiling of notebooks, copying and correction of texts and proofs, preparation of copy–he shows us how the exertions of scholars shaped influential books, treatises, and forgeries. Inky Fingers ranges widely, tracing the transformation of humanistic approaches to texts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and examining the simultaneously sustaining and constraining effects of theological polemics on sixteenth-century scholars. Grafton draws new connections between humanistic traditions and intellectual innovations, textual learning and craft knowledge, manuscript and print. Above all, Grafton makes clear that the nitty-gritty of bookmaking has had a profound impact on the history of ideas–that the life of the mind depends on the work of the hands.”
  • Night of the Guillotine.” About The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Colin Jones—”The day of 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794) is universally acknowledged as a major turning-point in the history of the French Revolution. At 12.00 midnight, Maximilien Robespierre, the most prominent member of the Committee of Public Safety which had for more than a year directed the Reign of Terror, was planning to destroy one of the most dangerous plots that the Revolution had faced. By 12.00 midnight at the close of the day, following a day of uncertainty, surprises, upsets and reverses, his world had been turned upside down. He was an outlaw, on the run, and himself wanted for conspiracy against the Republic. He felt that his whole life and his Revolutionary career were drawing to an end. As indeed they were. He shot himself shortly afterwards. Half-dead, the guillotine finished him off in grisly fashion the next day. The Fall of Robespierre provides an hour-by-hour analysis of these 24 hours.”
  • Equality and the elites. How political ideas such as ‘levelling up’ draw on centuries of meritocratic thinking.” About The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Adrian Wooldridge—”Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their birth. While this initially seemed like a novel concept, by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world’s ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left? In The Aristocracy of Talent, esteemed journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge traces the history of meritocracy forged by the politicians and officials who introduced the revolutionary principle of open competition, the psychologists who devised methods for measuring natural mental abilities, and the educationalists who built ladders of educational opportunity. He looks outside western cultures and shows what transformative effects it has had everywhere it has been adopted, especially once women were brought into the meritocratic system. Wooldridge also shows how meritocracy has now become corrupted and argues that the recent stalling of social mobility is the result of failure to complete the meritocratic revolution. Rather than abandoning meritocracy, he says, we should call for its renewal.”
  • Ken Starr helped Jeffrey Epstein with ‘scorched-earth’ campaign, book claims. Book by Miami Herald journalist details extraordinary efforts by special prosecutor who hounded Bill Clinton to aid sex trafficker.” About Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Julie K Brown—”Dauntless journalist Julie K. Brown recounts her uncompromising and risky investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex trafficking operation, and the explosive reporting for the Miami Herald that finally brought him to justice while exposing the powerful people and broken system that protected him. For many years, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s penchant for teenage girls was an open secret in the high society of Palm Beach, Florida and Upper East Side, Manhattan. Charged in 2008 with soliciting prostitution from minors, Epstein was treated with unheard of leniency, dictating the terms of his non-prosecution. The media virtually ignored the failures of the criminal justice system, and Epstein’s friends and business partners brushed the allegations aside. But when in 2017 the U.S Attorney who approved Epstein’s plea deal, Alexander Acosta, was chosen by President Trump as Labor Secretary, reporter Julie K. Brown was compelled to ask questions. Despite her editor’s skepticism that she could add a new dimension to a known story, Brown determined that her goal would be to track down the victims themselves. Poring over thousands of redacted court documents, traveling across the country and chasing down information in difficulty and sometimes dangerous circumstances, Brown tracked down dozens of Epstein’s victims, now young women struggling to reclaim their lives after the trauma and shame they had endured. Brown’s resulting three-part series in the Miami Herald was one of the most explosive news stories of the decade, revealing how Epstein ran a global sex trafficking pyramid scheme with impunity for years, targeting vulnerable teens, often from fractured homes and then turning them into recruiters. The outrage led to Epstein’s arrest, the disappearance and eventual arrest of his closest accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, and the resignation of Acosta. The financier’s mysterious suicide in a New York City jail cell prompted wild speculation about the secrets he took to the grave-and whether his death was intentional or the result of foul play. Tracking Epstein’s evolution from a college dropout to one of the most successful financiers in the country–whose associates included Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and Bill Clinton–Perversion of Justice builds on Brown’s original award-winning series, showing the power of truth, the value of local reportage and the tenacity of one woman in the face of the deep-seated corruption of powerful men.”
  • Surfing as Sacrament: Returning to New York’s Waves on September 12, 2001.” From The Drop: How the Most Addictive Sport Can Help Us Understand Addiction and Recovery [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Thad Ziolkowski—”In this revelatory and original book, award-winning author of the acclaimed surf memoir On a Wave illuminates the connection between waves, addiction, and recovery, exploring what surfing can teach us about the powerful undertow of addictive behaviors and the ways to swim free of them. Addiction is arguably the dominant feature of contemporary life: sex, gambling, exercise, eating, shopping, Internet use–there’s virtually no pleasurable activity that can’t morph into a destructive obsession. For Americans under the age of fifty-five, the leading cause of death is drug overdose. But there is another side of addiction. In some instances, the very activities that can lead to addiction can also lead out of it. As neurologists have recently discovered, surfing is a kind of study in the mechanism of addiction, delivering dopamine to the pleasure center of the brain and reshaping priorities and desire in a feedback loop of narrowing focus. Thad Ziolkowski knows this dynamic intimately. A lifelong surfer, he has been surrounded by addiction since his boyhood. In this unique, groundbreaking book, part addiction memoir, part sociological study, part spiritual odyssey, Ziolkowski dismantles the myth of surfing as a radiantly wholesome lifestyle immune to the darker temptations of the culture and discovers among the rubble a new way to understand and ultimately overcome addiction. Combining his own story with insights from scientists, progressive thinkers and the experiences of top surfers and addicts from around the world, Ziolkowski shows how getting on a board and catching a wave is a unique and deeply instructive means of riding out of the darkness and back into the light. Yet while surfing is his salvation, its lessons can applied to other activities that can pull us free from the lethal undertow of addiction and save lives.”
  • Sexual Politics and Female Power: Stories from the Playboy Bunny Resort.” About Shoulder Season [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Christina Clancy—”Once in a lifetime, you can have the time of your life. The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life. Living in the “bunny hutch”–Playboy’s version of a college dorm–Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught in a romantic triangle–and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next forty years. From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose–and gain–when we leave home. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Christina Clancy’s Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart.”
  • A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Carroll John Daly & the Birth of Hardboiled Pulp.”
  • The Sound of My Inbox. The financial promise of email newsletters has launched countless micropublications — and created a new literary genre.”
  • “There is an important sense in which it is correct to say that all written works in antiquity were a kind of samizdat, not because they were always, or even usually, illicit, but because their circulation was restricted to copies prepared by hand and passed by hand from person to person.”—M.I. Finley, “Censorship in Classical Antiquity,” in his Democracy Ancient and Modern, quoted at Samizdat.
  • Thoreau in Good Faith.”—”The writer went to Walden to reorient his world, so that the woods, rather than the town, centered his spiritual map.”
  • “Tradition is a great corrupter. It may preserve important facts, though even then the preservation may take the form of seizing on one important or merely picturesque fact and embroidering it. […] This is exactly the kind of thing that seizes the imagination of mankind; but it constitutes a warning against expecting popular tradition to preserve reliable history for long periods.”—Andrew Robert Burn (1902-1991), Persia and the Greeks: The Defence of the West, 546-478 B.C, quoted at A Great Corrupter.
  • The secret afterlives of medieval widows. Widows in the Middle Ages weren’t always the penniless, powerless figures we’ve made them out to be—they’re the reason why Britain has its beautiful monuments and churches.”
  • Yes, I Love Books, but Please Don’t Take Me to a Bookstore.”—”Arbitrary numbers to you, a point of anxiety for me. I’m book-full.”
  • The Quiet Mysticism of Almanacs.”—”‘The secret of The Old Farmer’s Almanac: pay attention,’ Tim Clark, a former editor at the Almanac, once told me. ‘Pay attention to the sky, and the winds, and the tides, and the number of acorns on the ground in the fall, and what the animals are doing, and which way the birds are flying. Pay attention. And that’s what a farmer in 1792 — or 1292 — had to do to survive.'”
  • America’s Obsession With Self-Help. From ‘The Old Farmer’s Almanac’ to ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,’ what do bestselling guides to self-improvement reveal about the United States?”
  • Ugh. Not now Goa’uld mothership! “Asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza to fly (safely) by Earth Sunday.”
  • Ugh. Not now acid spitting biomechanoids! “Acid-shooting whip scorpions are roaming a national park in Texas.”—”But the vinegaroons, which are nocturnal and can’t see very well, are “relatively benign unless you annoy them,” the park says.” Oh. Okay. Never mind. Also, are vinegaroons tasty on chips?
  • Tablet Reveals Babylonians Studied Trigonometry Before the Greeks.”—”In recent years, there have been all kinds of anthropological breakthroughs radically shifting our ideas of ancient life and the capacities of our prehistory predecessors — from the discovery of the world’s oldest home in South Africa to new evidence that titanium dioxide was utilized in Inca objects some 400 years before its “discovery” in the United States. In the same vein, research performed by scientists at UNSW Sydney has revealed that a famous 3,700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet is inscribed with accurate trigonometry.”
  • Tentacled droplets swim with stored heat energy.”—”If ever a science fiction movie director were seeking inspiration for how to depict tiny robotic alien life forms, they need look no further than those created by a team of scientists in Bulgaria, Poland, the UK and China. Beginning as innocuous oily droplets about 20–40μm across floating in water, these structures take on faceted, crystal-like shapes when cooled to around 2-8°C – even though they aren’t frozen. Then things get really weird.” Also watch “Tentacled droplets swim with stored heat energy.”
  • Solar Dynamics Observatory: Artificial Intelligence Helps Improve NASA’s Eyes on the Sun“—”A group of researchers is using artificial intelligence techniques to calibrate some of NASA’s images of the Sun, helping improve the data that scientists use for solar research. The new technique was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on April 13, 2021.”
  • Secrets of Mars’ core revealed for the first time.” Also “Marsquakes reveal the mysterious interior of the red planet.”—”When NASA’s InSight lander touched down on Mars in 2018, the mission team hoped the stationary spacecraft would be able to perform a checkup on the red planet’s interior. Now, InSight and its instruments have exceeded those goals, revealing the mysteries of the Martian crust, mantle and core that have eluded scientists until now. It’s the first time we’ve been able to peer inside and map the interior of another planet beyond Earth. The InSight mission team was able to achieve this extraordinary feat by tracking marsquakes on the red planet — like the earthquakes we experience on Earth, just a little bit different.” Also “What’s Inside Mars? Scientists Map Internal Structure for the First Time. For the first time, scientists have mapped the internal structure of a planet other than Earth, revealing the properties of Mars’ core and mantle.”
  • DeepMind Releases Accurate Picture of the Human Proteome – ‘The Most Significant Contribution AI Has Made to Advancing Scientific Knowledge to Date’. DeepMind and EMBL release the most complete database of predicted 3D structures of human proteins. Partners use AlphaFold, the AI system recognized last year as a solution to the protein structure prediction problem, to release more than 350,000 protein structure predictions including the entire human proteome to the scientific community.”
  • Researchers detect first ‘moon-forming’ disc surrounding exoplanet.”—”For the first time, scientists have clearly identified a ring of gas and dust circling a planet outside our solar system — a discovery that could help reveal how planets and moons are formed, a study showed Thursday. The disc surrounds an exoplanet dubbed PDS 70c, one of two gas giants similar in size and mass to Jupiter that orbit the star PDS 70, nearly 400 light years from our solar system.”
  • Five Ways Humans Evolved to be Athletes. An archaeologist explores human athletic paleobiology to explain how our prowess in sport has deep roots in evolution.”
  • Microbially produced fibers: Stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar.”—”Spider silk is said to be one of the strongest, toughest materials on the Earth. Now engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have designed amyloid silk hybrid proteins and produced them in engineered bacteria. The resulting fibers are stronger and tougher than some natural spider silks.”
  • 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite found in horseshoe footprint. The meteorite is a rare carbonaceous chondrite.”—”A crumbling hunk of rock found in a field in England is a rare meteorite from the earliest days of the solar system, dating back about 4.6 billion years. The meteorite was found in Gloucestershire in March […] The meteorite was sitting in the imprint of a horseshoe left behind in a field”
  • Strange 3D-printed shapes test 150-year-old mathematical theory.”—”A strange shape described by mathematician Lord Kelvin in 1871 and predicted to behave unusually in a fluid has finally been fully studied in the real world thanks to 3D printing – and it seems Kelvin may have been wrong. The behaviour of the shape, called an isotropic helicoid, has been described in fluid dynamics textbooks, but it hadn’t been directly measured until now.”
  • The Food System’s Carbon Footprint Has Been Vastly Underestimated. A new analysis pins one-third of global greenhouse gases on the food system by including long-overlooked factors such as transportation, packaging, and waste.”
  • The FAA Changed Its Definition of ‘Astronaut’ on the Same Day Jeff Bezos Went to Space. New FAA rules say Jeff Bezos doesn’t qualify for its astronaut wings.”
  • Tweet—”Interesting thread highlighting the confusion regarding ownership in the NFT space. Person makes a physical copy of the artwork displayed in their NFT. IMO they can’t, the NFT is not the work, and it’s not a licence either.”
  • Wally Funk Is Defying Gravity and 60 Years of Exclusion From Space. Ms. Funk’s trip to space with Jeff Bezos is reason to celebrate. But the launch this week, decades after she was denied the opportunity, also raises questions about whom space is for.” Also tweet—”‘Now that you have experienced the majesty of space, the wonder of the stars, how do you-‘ ‘I will industrialize it'”
  • Tweet—”Replacing traditional recreational trips to space for billionaires with robust public transport could offset carbon emissions – if billionaires would ride them. A team is addressing obstacles that prevent billionaires from changing their practices.”
  • Amazon reportedly worked on an Alexa wearable for kids. With GPS and some kind of integration with Amazon Kids Plus.”
  • Amazon applies for patent on secondary delivery vehicle to carry packages from truck to doorstep.” For my own part, I always imagined that deliveries would eventually be done via train cars packed with drones, that got moved around from city to city and then would release a swarm into the sky of the last miles to people’s doors.
  • The ‘Fyre Fest’ of overnight camps closed after 6 days. Camp Quinebarge did not go as planned. The rustic, long-running New Hampshire camp abruptly shut down earlier this month after just six days. Camp directors informed parents, who had shelled out $3,400 for two weeks, that they needed to pick up their children the next morning.”
  • Anti-lockdown lunacy: from the elites to the streets.”—”On the national day of ‘freedom rallies’, thousands of people protested in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane against both NSW’s lockdown and the national vaccination program, under the influence of a range of right-wing Trumpian anti-science conspiracy crap and social Darwinist individualism masquerading as the call for ‘freedom’.”
  • Watch “Do you see what I see?” Directed and Edited by Brad Abrahams. “From illustrating for Sesame Street to exposing the New World Order, this is the story of the controversial and recently departed David Dees, unofficial artist of conspiracy theory culture. What sent him down the rabbit hole, and is there a path out?”
  • Leaked RNC emails prove Republicans always knew Trump was lying about 2020 fraud. Lies of omission aren’t real lies in the GOP leadership’s eyes.”
  • Two-thirds of Southern Republicans want to secede. And that number is rising.”
  • From 2020: “Three Cheers for Socialism. Christian Love & Political Practice.”—”Is this freedom? From what, exactly? […] the classical social democrat or democratic socialist might be forgiven for thinking that Americans are curiously deluded regarding their own supposed inalienable liberties.”
  • Texan Republican Cancel Culture Targets the Teachings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Why did Texas senators vote to drop Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” from school curriculums?”
  • Kyrsten Sinema’s Strategy of Refusing to Do Anything About Anything Is Not Impressing Voters, Poll Says. Arizona offers a natural experiment in whether people would rather see a Democrat hold out for Republican cooperation or just pass stuff they like.”
  • Appeasement, in our century.”—”Thus has Joe Biden given up the fight for democracy, in exchange for the breadcrumbs that the Dark Lord will allow.”
  • Alabama district attorney aims to prosecute a woman for taking a prescribed drug while pregnant.”—”Now she has been indicted on a felony charge because, when she was eight months’ pregnant, she refilled a legitimate opioid prescription to treat her crippling pain. If Blalock were to be convicted, her case could set a dire precedent, not only for pregnant people, but for anyone seeking a prescription for a controlled substance in the state. Blalock says her orthopedist never asked if she were pregnant when she came in to refill her hydrocodone prescription, which she’d had for years. Weeks later, she gave birth to a baby boy with no sign of neonatal abstinence syndrome. A positive drug screen, however, triggered an investigation. Investigators confirmed Blalock had a valid prescription. A pill count proved she’d been taking her medication as prescribed. Then, in a move that appears to be calculated to evade provisions of Alabama’s chemical endangerment law that are carved out for pregnant women taking legitimately prescribed medication, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly charged Blalock with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.”
  • ‘Incel’ plotted to kill women in Ohio State University mass shooting, federal prosecutors say.”
  • Missouri attorney general says he will sue to stop mask mandate in St. Louis, St. Louis County. Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a tweet that he intends to file a lawsuit to ‘stop this insanity'” Also Tweet—”Our top priority is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of the people of St. Louis City and County. Nobody is surprised that the Attorney General plans to file yet another frivolous lawsuit to serve his own political ambitions.”
  • Companies claim there’s a labor shortage. Their solution? Prisoners. Worker advocates say prison labor programs exploit workers with few options as bosses refuse to raise wages to attract employees”
  • Shoplifting Is Big News; Stealing Millions From Workers Is Not.”—”An alleged “crime surge” at Walgreens drugstores in San Francisco was a hot topic for Bay Area news outlets in the early months of 2021.” “FAIR identified 309 published pieces on the 21-second video, using a combination of Nexis and Google advanced search to find every article published by a news outlet, from the video’s publication on June 14 to July 12—a 28-day timeframe. Compare this to another Walgreens-related theft story: the November settlement of a wage theft and labor law violation class-action lawsuit against Walgreens, filed by employees in California for $4.5 million.”
  • Activision Blizzard Sued By California Over Widespread Harassment Of Women. The lawsuit highlights multiple instances of harassment and discrimination that are ‘a violation of state civil rights'”. Also “Activision Blizzard appoints former Trump official as its chief administrative officer. “Mike Pompeo’s attack dog” joined the publisher earlier this week.”
  • The Supreme Court may toss Roe. But Congress can still preserve abortion rights. A simple majority vote in the Senate would nullify the threat to reproductive health posed by the Mississippi case.”
  • Why I’m glad that I’m an ‘overthinker’.”—”‘Just going with it’ is not something I do. I have to really understand what I’m doing and then I think through almost every possibility and eventuality, like a mind map on steroids. And I plan. When people say things like: “Who could have imagined XYZ would happen?” about some entirely predictable outcome, my most common response is “I could”. I have realised that for most people I am an overthinker, but for me, it is others who underthink. I just think.”
  • Want to Be Happier? Science Says Buying a Little Time Leads to Significantly Greater Life Satisfaction. Buying things won’t make you happier. But research shows that buying time can, as long as you do it the right way.”
  • From 2012: The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Oliver Burkeman—”Success through failure, calm through embracing anxiety—a totally original approach to self-help. Self-help books don’t seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth—even if you can get it—doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what “happiness” means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it’s our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty—the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person’s guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.
  • Mending the metabolic rift: Marxism, nature and society. Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalism provides the key to understanding the environmental catastrophe we’re witnessing, and to gaining a clearer picture of what’s needed to repair our damaged relationship with the Earth.”
  • Watch “The Forgotten R-Rated Cancelled Black Widow Film.”
  • Watch “The Game Prototype That Had to Be Banned by Its Own Studio.”—”After the huge success of games like Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, Halfbrick Studios began prototyping some new ideas for their next game. This is the story behind one of those prototypes; a game that caused so many problems within the studio, its creators were forced to ban it from being played entirely.” Reminds me of when a friend and I tried to play Peter Suber’s Gnomic, and found that it was not at all fun like we thought it would be, with a lot of the same flaws and fallout mentioned for this quite different, in the particulars, game.
  • Watch “Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Evolution as an Action Hero.” The voice cast of Kevin Smith’s He-Man series is pretty awesome, and the strength and centering of SMG’s role at Teela is a cool part of the update; that’s tweaking the shit out of some people, but to hell with them. I’d forgotten that SMG was the Seventh Sister in Rebels!
  • By the Power of Grayskull, ‘He-Man’ Is Back—Beefier and Better Than Ever. The new Netflix series honors its predecessor in ways notable and sly, while also humanizing its larger-than-life heroes and villains. Kids of the ’80s, rejoice.”
  • Watch “Demonic“, dir Neill Blomkamp, with Carly Pope, Chris William Martin,
  • The Uniqueness of the Hammer Camera: Jack Asher and Arthur Grant. Jane Nightshade goes behind the camera to take a closer look at the cinematographers who helped give Hammer its ‘bright, bold and scary’ visual appeal…”
  • ‘Protected Again And Again’: How A Fencer Made It To The Tokyo Olympics Despite Sexual Assault Allegations. The US Center for SafeSport was tasked with investigating sexual abuse claims at Olympic programs. But in the first Summer Games since the agency’s creation, Team USA fencers say the system failed them.” Tweet—”A white man accused of sexual assault is given more leeway than a black woman who smoked weed.”
  • More on this, forced perspective big screen ad tech, but these are from last year: “From 3D big ‘wave’ to future of ‘Fourth Screen’ in everyday life” and “Ultra-High-Resolution 3D Like Giant Display“.
  • Can You Tell If These Cherries Floating in Water Are a Simulation? Researchers have developed a new method of 3D modeling surface tension and the results are frighteningly realistic.”
  • Watch “How One Man In Egypt Is Keeping This 200-Year-Old Tile Tradition Alive“—”Saied Hussain has been hand making tiles out of cement for over 50 years. He says he’s one of the last still doing this work in Egypt — most other workshops couldn’t withstand competition from marble and ceramic tiles. We went to Cairo to see how his business is still standing.”
  • Watch “In Their Shoes” trailer for an upcoming short film—”Here’s a cheeky preview on the short film i have been working hard on over the last few months! I will release the full film on Friday 30th July.”
  • Watch “Why French sounds so unlike other Romance languages.” Kinda wild. I kept hearing Werner Herzog’s disdain for French in my mind whilst watching this.
  • The Key to Understanding Iran Is Poetry. From angry cab drivers to COVID-19 to the war against ISIS, Iranians speak of their frustrations and hopes through verse.”
  • Surrounded by naked furries! From 2013, watch “Hentai Corporation – Equilibristic Brides [CENSORED]” More surrounded by naked people! (It takes a while to get to that specifially, but the whole thing is wacky so …) Watch “Glass Animals – Space Ghost Coast To Coast.”
  • Carl Sagan Predicted The Mess 2021 Would Be 25 years Ago.”—”Astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan managed to predict a lot of the things the challenges America faces in the year 2021 all the way back in 1995 when he was writing a book published just before his death in 1996.” A clip of Sagan calling out Star Wars, and then a pointedly prognostic passage from The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] is read—”A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace”