Kevin Sweeting reports on The revenge of Jobriath, the first openly gay music star, and our growing collective appreciation for his brilliant music.
Jobriath did not pussy-foot around. While Elton John and Freddie Mercury were snugly in the closet and Klaus Nomi was nothing above 14th Street, Jobriath was unabashedly declaring himself the “the true fairy of rock ‘n’ roll.” Elsewhere, the crazed androgyny of glam was all transgression-grubbing sizzle and no steak. David Bowie was pretty deliberately fooling no one with his prep-school overtures of bisexuality and Mick Jagger and his nail polish could ride that sneer of masculine sexual aggression past any name-calling, but Jobriath? Jobriath made no attempt to pass. “Asking me if I'm a homosexual is like asking James Brown if he's black,” Jobriath told the press.
See also a recent documentary, Jobriath A.D., and this review by Marc Almond of Soft Cell. Jobriath would be getting on for 70 now, had he lived, and Sweetings' is my favorite article about him yet. Sweeting not only offers some why in addition to the usual vaguely-mysterious what, but makes a striking point about the nature of Jobriath's growing fame: that his success now is the dividend of past failure.
That said, there's something too easy about a conceptual keystone often placed in the arch of Jobriath's rise and fall:
Read the rest
Kelsey Campbell-Dollahan: " there's still no perfect way to care for sufferers of dementia and Alzheimer's. In the Netherlands, however, a radical idea is being tested: Self-contained "villages" where people with dementia shop, cook, and live together—safely
." — Rob
It lost 750,000 bitcoins to a "hacking attack"
, reports The New York Times
, a haul worth some $400m at the present exchange rate. This site
has some useful information on the cryptocurrency's fluctuating value.
Update: More from Cyrus Farivar at Ars:
Tsutomu Okubo, now a member of the Japanese parliament and a former banker at Morgan Stanley, told Ars that he had begun discussing new bitcoin-related regulation with the Financial Services Agency, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Japan a year ago.
"However, their response is that Bitcoin is neither currency nor regulated settlement in Japan," he said by e-mail. "Regarding exchanges like MtGox there is no regulation now."
Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology. Some eight U.S. states are considering regulation of Google Glass, a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. Law enforcement and other groups are concerned that drivers wearing the devices will pay more attention to their email than the road, causing serious accidents.
One can only hope that, thanks to this public lobbying, they will be held appropriately and proportionately responsible when the killings begin. The point, though, is that they know they can afford it.
The first time I got properly plastered, as a 12- or perhaps 13-year-old Briton, it was thanks to that exotic foreign import, Mad Dog
. Oh, for that sweet, fruited American brew! Here's Hamilton Nolan on the fact that "Foreign Idiots Can't Get Enough of Our Wine"
, riffing on the LA Times' coverage of California's effortless exporting of it
No disrespect to people in foreign countries, but they are approximately the world's biggest suckers, when it comes to believing things about America. No, all Americans are not cowboys; we don't all own guns, and work at Disney Land; and we certainly don't make any good wine.
By 14, I had learned to make my own Mad Dog, from Ribena and a bag of sugar and powdered yeast. I remember being quite certain that it tasted better than the real thing, too.
Rebecca J. Rosen recalls "the transformative decade between Stonewall and AIDS", an age of activism whose "improbable unveiling" began with a riot sparked by drag queens.
At its core, that transformation was about visibility. During those years, there was the first gay television movie; a sexy on-screen kiss between two men in Sunday, Blood Sunday; and the release of Cabaret, which has been hailed as the first movie that "really celebrated homosexuality." There were gains in politics too: Edward Koch, then serving in Congress, "became one of the first elected officials to publicly lobby on behalf of the homosexuals of Greenwich Village," Kaiser writes. Gay Pride Week was established. Perhaps most significantly: In December of 1973, the board of the American Psychological Association voted 13-0 "to remove homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders."
Wired's Greg Miller takes a look at the huge risks involved in digging enormous, container-ship size canals.
There are many lingering questions. How HKND–apparently the only company to submit a bid–managed to land the deal, isn’t clear, leaving many Nicaraguans frustrated by their government’s lack of transparency. ... Exactly where the money to build the canal will come from is another mystery, as is the role, if any, the Chinese government will play. Wang Jing has denied that the government is involved in the project, as have government officials. But some analysts suspect otherwise. ... Nor has any assessment of the environmental impacts of the project.
Deepto Hajela with the AP
: "Apple filed papers on Tuesday telling a federal appeals court in New York that a judge's finding it violated antitrust laws by manipulating electronic book prices 'is a radical departure' from modern antitrust law that will 'chill competition and harm consumers' if allowed to stand." — Rob
Enjoying the crest of a wave, this crocodile shut down Cable Beach
near Broome, Western Australia, one of the country's most popular tourist hotspots. The animal has been slated for removal to the nearby Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park. [Perth Now via Abroath
Shot at 240 frames per second, Li Hongbi's statues seem at first look to be a bizarre computer-graphic effect. But they are in fact incredible paper sculptures, a concertina of countless layers stretched this way and that. [Video link
Not all of them are beautiful, or abstract, but all of the photos in Wired's gallery of beautiful abstract photos of mines are, indeed, of mines. Here's Pete Brook on the vast marble tombs left by a slowing business.
We’ve been cutting chunks of marble out of the mountains of Vermont since 1785. The continent’s first commercial marble quarry was cut into Mount Aeolus, and stonecutters came from all over the world to work its stone throughout the 19th century. The Vermont Marble Co. was the largest U.S. corporation when it was founded early in the 20th century. The industry has dwindled somewhat in the face of mounting competition from China and changing tastes in architecture, but granite remains a fundamental part of Vermont.
Please hear all these quotes
in the voice of Mugatu from Zoolander
. "IS THIS A NAPOLEON DYNAMITE TALENT SHOW?"
Enjoy minutes of fun with Holy Stomping, a free video game tribute to the Monty Python foot. [via RPS]