My daughter and I share a trick memory for lyrics. Part of our bed-time ritual is singing three songs -- two "new" songs (that she hasn't heard before) and one "old" one (from a previous night). It's really challenging to come up with two new songs whose lyrics I can remember (or fake) well enough every night. Last night, I found myself singing Desi Arnaz's "Cuban Pete," as performed on I Love Lucy, and we both agreed that it was a keeper, particularly for the "chick-chicky-boom" refrain (not to be confused with the likewise excellent and legendary "CHICA CHICA BOOM CHIC" refrain from Carmen Miranda). YouTube being the collective memory of a large slice of the species, it naturally has a clip of Desi and Lucy performing "Cuban Pete" from the 1951 I Love Lucy episode, "The Diet."
Amy Crehore says: "There's a great new interview with R. Crumb by Paul Gravett. Crumb with be the focus of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, France opening April 13, 2012."
You have been living in France since 1993. Do you feel remote from America and US pop culture, which were such an important part of your infuences, your creative mulch? Is that a problem?
I don’t feel remote from it, because in the modern world you can get anything, any movie, any book, music, any comic, you can read English language newspapers and magazines. The only thing I am remote from is the day-to-day life of the United States and when I lived in America, a lot of my work is a reaction to day-to-day life there. So that’s not there anymore and I don’t know what effect that has. When I got back there - I go back once or twice a year - after I’m there for a couple of weeks, the old contempt and disgust with America comes back over me again, probably even stronger than when I lived there. I can have contempt and disgust in France too! But in America, it’s so strong, it’s sick or something!
What do you dislike about France?
It’s a general disgust with humanity. I’m in Paris right now and we just came back from going on the Metro and you look at humanity and it’s just appalling, appalling out there! (Laughter) I’m no better, I don’t think I’m superior or anything. If I look in the mirror, I have the same reaction.
At least the French respect artists and creators a bit better?
No, the French have such a bullshit attitude about art. The bullshit is so thick here, it’s ridiculous. The French government supports art, there are a lot of art subventions, I don’t know why, they give a lot of money. Lots of people get on this bandwagon and make such terrible, terrible art, all over France.
What do you think of comics-inspired French fine artists like Herve Di Rosa?
Yeah, kinda interesting. And the other guy, Robert Combas. But there’s not enough nutrients in it for me. Guys like that are jockeying for position in the art world. Outsider artists, who aren’t looking for a place in galleries, to me are much more authentic and genuine, crazy people, working in isolation, that to me is much more interesting. In the world of comics where I come from, ninety-nine per cent of it is uninteresting to me, it’s vacuous and slick.
Mark sez, "Charity Engine has a new twist on volunteer computing: using surplus, wasted PC resources to raise money for major charities including Oxfam, Amnesty, MSF and CARE - and also for huge prize draws for everyone running it. Based on UC Berkeley's famous BOINC software, the Charity Engine grid is hired to science and industry as a super-cheap supercomputer, then the profits given to the charities and volunteers. It's already paid out over $30,000. The app only uses a tiny bit of electricity and generates far more for the good causes - and the prize draws - than it costs to run. Free to download, Charity Engine is available now for PC and Mac."
Kate Milford, author of the wonderful YA novel Boneshaker, sez, "This is the link to my Kickstarter campaign, in which I'm raising funds to self-publish a novella companion to my second traditionally-published YA fantasy, The Broken Lands. This is the first installment in what I hope will be an ongoing project with two goals: to combine traditional and self-publishing by releasing companion content alongside my hardcover books; and to use indie bookstore-friendly resources for the self-pub end of things. The first novella, The Kairos Mechanism, also acts as a bridge between the stories told in The Broken Lands and my first book, The Boneshaker. It will be released in three editions: paperback (via McNally Jackson's self-pub services and Espresso Book Machine); digital (via Google Play); and a Super-Special Digital edition, free or pay-what-you-like, which will be illustrated by young reader artists. The funds raised will finance the costs of publication as well as paying the young artists."
Science fiction writer John L. Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft for copyright infringement, claiming that its Assassin's Creed game series is lifted from his self-published work. In Ubisoft's saga, the contemporary protagonist must revisit the inherited memories of his ancestors, locked deep within his genetic code. Beiswenger's 2003 novel, Link, has a similar premise. Ars Technica's Kyle Orland finds the legal experts unimpressed.
Coincidence or not, the kinds of similarities cited in the complaint aren't nearly substantial enough to sustain a copyright infringement claim, according to Dallas attorney and Law of the Game blogger Mark Methenitis. "The level of comparison they're trying to make would be along the lines of both Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure have time machines as plot devices, so one must be infringing the other," he said. "A copyright does not protect abstract ideas at that level."
Beiswenger is suing for up to $5.25m dollars. A box set of Frank Herbert's Dune series is $15.25 at Barnes and Noble.
First things first, the most important thing to do is to plan well. Forward planning is vital to any night sky shot, along with a steady tripod and a warm coat. There are quite a few websites and twitter feeds that can help you with your planning. Even though it only takes about an hour and a half for the ISS to complete an orbit of the planet, you could be waiting quite some time under the night skies before the station appears above.
At Outside magazine, a beautifully-written and skillfully-reported story on the search for Micah True, aka "Caballo Blanco." The long-distance runner who became famous by way of the book "Born to Run" died last month, after setting out on a 12-mile hike in the Gila National Forest. Related: this 2010 profile of True (PDF) in Arizona fitness magazine Sweat is one of the better ones.
Photo: Micah True in Mexico's Copper Canyon. Ryan Heffernan, via Outside Magazine.
Getting the most from a turntable requires careful setup, although maybe not as careful as people who sell calibration equipment would have you believe. “Setting up the turntable doesn’t have to be as complicated as they make it,” said Mr. Shaw. There can be leeway from the exact specifications, he said, adding, “Set it up fairly close, it will be fine. My point is, don’t obsess.”
His recommendations are for good, relatively inexpensive gear, such as Music Hall's MMF 2.2LE and the Pro-Ject Debut III, both of which I am more than proud to put my Amazon referrer ID on.
A bearded gentleman in Portland, Oregon who was upset about being "harassed by airport security" took off all of his clothes while in the TSA screening lane Tuesday evening. He was arrested, taken to jail, and held on $4,000 bail.
According to Portland police, John E. Brennan took off his clothes while going through airport screening at Portland International Airport just after 5:30 p.m. and stood naked before other passengers, including children.
Two screening lanes were closed as a result. Some passengers covered their eyes as well as their children's and retreated from the sight. But others laughed and began snapping photos.
(...) Said Brennan's father, also John Brennan, when reached by KATU News Tuesday night: "This is quite a shock. He hasn't been under any stress that I know of. He's never really under any stress. He works for a computer company in California. He does something with the Internet, which is just kind of mystical to me. This is quite a surprise."
As the final volume of Brian Wood's brilliant anti-war graphic novel DMZ nears publication, Dominic Umile looks back on the series' 72 issue run of political allegory and all the ways that it used the device of fiction to make trenchant comic on the real world. DMZ is a story about the "State of Exception" that the American establishment declared after 9/11, a period when human rights, civil liberty, economic sanity, and the constitution all play second-fiddle to the all-consuming war on terror. Like the best allegories, it works first and best as a story in its own right, but it is also an important comment on the world we live in.
In DMZ #8, Matty Roth reviews a series of New York Times newspapers to reconstruct a timeline of the book’s war. Burchielli’s panels are nearly blacked-out. It’s as if Roth is squatting on a darkened stage: Nothing behind him is discernible outside of more yellowed newspapers, each slugged with copy that’s painfully close to our own real-life headlines. Brian Wood’s chief character is despondent and sounds like many of us do today in the era of Occupy Wall Street, hostilities in Afghanistan, the Obama administration’s drone campaign, and rampant corruption plaguing state and federal government, all amid an ever-theatric run-up to another presidential election.
Even as DMZ had another 64 issues and more than five years to go, Roth’s thoughts are rendered with an undeniable degree of both prescience and finality: “I never paid attention to politics. Never seemed to be a point. Politics happened the way it happened regardless of what anyone thought or did. So why bother?”
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today said, “The reason for that is those kinds of photos are used by the enemy to incite violence, and lives have been lost as the result of the publication of similar photos.”
Only 2 of of the images were published. 16 more were received by the war correspondent who wrote the piece; the paper will not release them.
“They are just awful,” he said, calling the two that were published “the least gruesome.”
Photo: A soldier from the Army’s 82nd Airborne with a dead insurgent’s hand on his shoulder. (Los Angeles Times / April 18, 2012)
From the Dec 1941 ish of Mechanix Illustrated, a jim-dandy shop project to make Junior his own dowel-firing machine-gun!
ANY small boy will want, and be delighted with this toy submachine gun, which holds fifteen shots in the magazine and fires them continuously, until empty, as the “tromboning” action is worked. Made entirely from wood, simple of construction, and employing no “hard to get” parts, this gun would make an excellent mass production product for any guild club doing such work for gift or sale.
The body of the gun, housing the mechanism, is built up on the side plate having the projection to which the magazine is secured. If the modeler makes up a set of full sized drawings of all the parts on light card or heavy paper and makes cut-outs from them, much of the fitting and adjusting may be done before actually cutting the parts, from wood. This minimizes the chance of error caused by working from small drawings.
The short dowels which project through the firing pin and cocking bar should slide freely, but not too loosely in the tracks formed by the small rippings, which are bradded and glued to the side plates. Punch pin holes through the full sized drawing of the side plates, at the exact location of these rippings so both plates are identical.