Roanoke Times reader burned up by pronunciation of "Cockburn"

The best letter to the editor in modern journalistic history was published yesterday by The Roanoke Times. [via Comfortably Smug]

Please explain to me why Leslie Cockburn pronounces her name Coburn. There is no way you can get "co" out of "cock" and please don't tell me that the CK is silent. If she finds her name offensive for some reason or another, then why doesn't she just change it? Is it because she is a Democrat and doesn't know the difference? I know this won't be printed because the paper is liberal and never wants to print the truth.

BILL KOPCIAL, ROANOKE

Here's another ad for Cockburns, the portwine, via Maria Bustillos.

A good trick for telling the true cineaste from the poseuer by the latter's pronunciation of the second "ck" in "Hitchcock." Read the rest

Painting reveals interior of Bruegel's Tower of Babel

Artist and animator Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame, with collage artist Kōsuke Kawamura, painted this view of the inside of the Tower of Babel, a perfectly fascinating pastiche of Bruegel's original, below.

Eric Stimson reports:

... Kawamura, who colored the painting to closely match the original. Kawamura says that he used over 25,000 layers in his editing software, "the most I've ever done in my life." He also had to carefully set the correct perspective for each brick. In the end, he doesn't even recognize his own work.

Otomo visited the original painting in Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen so he could study it carefully in detail. He even stumped the resident curators with his questions. For instance, they weren't sure where the tower's entrance was, but Otomo thinks he found it. He also noticed a river flowing into the tower and in the background, so he included it in his cutaway.

Modeling the Library of Babel in Sketchup. Read the rest