Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The entire run of Avant Garde magazine is now online

I have written about Avant Garde magazine before. It’s one of the great 60s magazines, and the beginning of the modern magazine.

Now you can read the entire run of Avant Garde online.

Hockey Night in Turkmenistan

Had I known there were no bookstores in Turkmenistan maybe I would have said, ‘No way,’ when my wife told me she’d been offered a job there. Any nation that bans bookstores is no place for a writer.

There were other signs that the Central Asian petro state was not going to embrace me as a comrade: I am an anarchist (funarchist, actually) – whereas Turkmen authorities once jailed a young man, for a year, for organizing a flash-mob dance party. The ultra authoritarian police state, known to expats who reside there as North Korea Lite, is a vast desert where the summer temperature usually hovers around 45 degrees – whereas as I am a tree-hugging, snow-loving Canadian whose genetic roots are buried in the Finnish permafrost.

Brian Salmi’s story on how he hoped to arrange the first Turkmenistanly Cup just gets weirder from there.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Textpattern 4.6 released

Textpattern has been my goto CMS since 2004, which is prehistoric in CMS years. Wordpress people love the zillion of templates out there, Textpatterners love that TXP lets you essentially turn regular webpages into CMS’s. This new release is a significant upgrade and lead developer Stef Dawson should be proud of his team.

"Okay boys, this is what they pay us for"

This Politico oral history of the passengers of Air Force One on 9/11 is fascinating. What is mind blowing is that George W. Bush and company were getting most of their information via rabbit ears from broadcast stations that faded in and out as they cruised for hours.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Forget what they're selling, their home page animated gif is amazing

Cards against humanity has opened a new service for creators of things to do proper distribution and package mailouts. Looks perfect for people who successfully pull off Kickstarters then must deliver the damn pledges.

But the header gif by Paul Robertson is something else.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Vice tried to buy the News Of The World from Rupert Murdoch

Keach Hagey writing in the Wall Street Journal

[Vice co-founder Shane] Smith says he really got to know the younger Mr. Murdoch when Vice tried to buy News Corp’s News of the World tabloid at the height of its phone-hacking scandal, arguing he could use the paper’s notoriety to turn it into a new kind of international news outlet. The idea didn’t fly, but Mr. Murdoch “liked our cockiness,” Mr. Smith said.

H/T James Waterson

Politico: NY Times is opening a Canadian newsroom

Joe Pompeo, writing for Politico

Morning Media has learned that the next two places The New York Times is targeting for expansion are Canada and Australia. The company has already dispatched research teams to lay the groundwork and has begun recruiting journalists to build out small newsrooms in both countries, similar to the Mexico City-based, digital Spanish-language operation for Latin America that the Times launched earlier this year.

I have actually noticed a lot of Canadian stories lately in the New York Times, beyond Justin. It’s a good plan: Postmedia has been cutting back its reporters, particularly on culture. Sure, the Canadian market is only 10 per cent the size of the US market, but what newspaper would turn down possible 10 per cent growth now?

This story reminded me of the a 1990 article in Spy Magazine after they noticed that the Globe & Mail had placed 29 boxes in New York City.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Last November, illustrator Rick Meyerowitz, former editor Tony Hendra, and former art director Peter Kleinman discussed the National Lampoon, moderated by graphic design historian Steve Heller. It’s a great session.

I need to watch the doc, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead on iTunes soon.

London police have set up a team of super face recognisers

Patrick Radden Keefe, writing in the New Yorker

Prosopagnosics often have strange stories about how they cope with their condition. The subjects had their own curious tales about being on the other end of the spectrum. They not only recognized character actors in movies—they recognized the extras, too. In social situations, prosopagnosics often smiled blandly and behaved as if they had previously encountered everyone they met, rather than risk offending acquaintances. Russell’s subjects described the opposite adaptation: they often pretended that they were meeting for the first time people whom they knew they’d met before. After all, if you’re introduced to someone at a party and you remind him, in pointillist detail, about the circumstances of a brief meeting years earlier, he might reasonably conclude that you are a stalker. One of the subjects described an ex-boyfriend’s referring to her as a “freak of nature.”

As someone who has a terrible time recognising faces — self-diagnosed prosopagnosia — I find this fascinating.

You can take the test that the Met puts its face recognition applicants through here.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Former 1960s bondage-film actress is waging legal combat for ownership of the SeaMonkeys fortune

Yolanda Signorelli von Braunhut is a onetime heir to the considerable fortune still generated by her husband Harold’s iconic invention, Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys. As her lawyer told it, she was now isolated, cash-starved, often without electricity or running water on a palatial estate on the Potomac River in southern Maryland. Having retreated to a single room in the old mansion, she was prepping for her second freezing winter, barricaded by thick quilts, her bed next to a fireplace stocked with split wood. From this bunker, Signorelli von Braunhut has been waging legal combat against Sam Harwell, chief executive of a big-time toy company whose name seems straight out of a Chuck Jones cartoon: Big Time Toys. NY Times

I had SeaMonkeys as a kid in the 70s, but the pinnacle of my love for the brine shrimp was when I persuaded my then-employer, Another.com, to install a SeaMonkey cam on my desk in 2000. In 2000! What other wonders would this Internet future conceive?