The unexpected emotions of a second pregnancy:
"My husband and I are sitting side-by-side on the sofa, silently staring at the wall. A few minutes ago, I waved a positive pregnancy test at him. He said “Well, then”, I said “yep,” and that’s about when the wordless wall appreciation began."
Sheryl Crow Talks Return to Nineties Roots on Upcoming LP:
"A little over three years ago, Sheryl Crow took her career in a radically different direction with the release of her debut country LP, Feels Like Home. Despite a relentless touring schedule and promotional campaign, the album didn't make much of an impression with country fans and no single placed higher than Number 72 on the Hot 100. "It was still a great experience and I learned a lot," says Crow. "But I gotta say that the country market is commerce at its most fully realized. Right now, I want to have an experience that feels detached from anything in commerce."
Nice try, Virgin Press Office, but…
"The thing about the Press Offices of TV companies is that they want you to write nice things about their programmes. To do that, they give you nice things, hoping to persuade you."
Billion-Dollar Baby: Resurrecting the Mammoth:
"The woolly mammoth is on the brink of de-extinction, but is it worth the cost to bring it back?"
Chinese studios to take on Kurosawa script:
"Chinese studios announced on Wednesday in Beijing that they are going to make a film out of a script by late Japanese film master Akira Kurosawa. Huayi Brothers Media and CKF Pictures will collaborate on "The Mask of the Black Death," a posthumous script by Akira Kurosawa, who died in 1998 and made many influential film classics such as "Seven Samurai" (1954) and "Ran" (1985)."
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2017
Lost and Found: My 1994 Story:
"The first months of 1994 found me slogging through East Village snow drifts in New York City. I was living in a friend of a friend's sublet in Alphabet City, which was just then finding its tentative way from smackhead rookery to bourgie boutiqueland. Those cold, chaotic streets mirrored my internal landscape: the demise of a long love affair had left me enervated and unmoored. I was also jobless, with my first big TV presenting job on Channel 4's pop culture car crash The Word now in my rear view mirror."
The Voyager Golden Record Experience:
"We at Damn Interesting have put together an online simulation of what an alien civilization might see and hear upon decoding one of the records, assuming that their seeing and hearing abilities are similar to our own. For the best experience, a laptop or desktop screen size is recommended. We share these sounds and images under the “fair use” exception to copyright law due to the historical significance of the media. You can launch the interactive now, or read on for more background and technical detail."
‘Sense8’: Netflix Reassembling Cast After Options Had Expired, Raising Prospects For Season 3:
"Season 2 of Netflix’s sci-fi drama series Sense8, from Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski, is set to debut May 5. It comes almost two years after the first season premiered on June 5, 2015, a year and nine months after the series was renewed for a second season, and eight months after the second season wrapped its marathon filming in more than a dozen locations across four continents."
The History of the Comic That Inspired Logan and Revolutionized the Marvel Brand:
"It’s hard to pick which scene in “Old Man Logan” is the wildest. The epic tale was first published by Marvel Comics in the pages of X-Men spinoff series Wolverine at the turn of this decade and is a huge influence on this weekend’s superhero tentpole picture Logan. It remains as shocking today as it was when it came out, a decade ago."
The New 'DuckTales' Cartoon Starring David Tennant Looks Pretty Dang Fun:
"Now that we can see a little of what Tennant, Bobby Moynihan, Danny Pudi, and Ben Schwartz have in store for us we're feeling ready for this duck-blur of a nostalgia trip."
"The world was a bit simpler when I was a kid. I was brought up in Stafford, which is in the West Midlands. Which meant that the Midlands Electricity Board provided our electricity. and Stafford is in England which is a part of Britain and so, naturally, British Gas provided our gas. And British Telecom provided our telephone line. Simple."
What’s in Subway’s chicken? Hint: Maybe only 50% chicken:
"Subway says its chicken should be 99% chicken and is looking into it."
My Black Is Not Your Black, And That’s Okay:
"As a 30-something year old black woman, I pride myself on having embraced my differences. This was not so much the case back in my mid-20s when I was struggling with my so-called “otherness” during a time when most people were trying to figure out who they are. I don’t eat fried chicken (anymore, at least). I do yoga. I obsess over Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I can express at length the differences between Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses. Kayaking and wine tasting are two of my favorite things to do. I have never once used the words “cray” or “twerk” in conversation. In fact, I’m still a bit foggy on what those words are even supposed to mean."
A Victorian Era Criminal Leads Police On A High Speed Bicycle Chase:
"In September of 1896, British newspapers reported the remarkable use of a bicycle in a New Jersey murder case. The case involved two men who had both emigrated to America from London in the early 1890s. One of these men was a farmer named Mr. Haggett who settled down with his family on a farm near Somerville. The other man was a fellow named Mr. Clossen who Haggett employed as a farm laborer. Sometime in 1896, Haggett caught Clossen stealing. In consequence, he not only fired him from his job, but also refused to pay him the thirty dollars in wages that Clossen believed he was owed."
A Hello Kitty Plane Exists And It's Adorable:
"Book your tickets! There’s a Hello Kitty jet and it’s beyond cute. Taiwanese airline company EVA Air teamed up with toy manufacturer Sanrio to design a "magic jet," totally decked out in our favorite cartoon kitty. Not only are the exterior of the jets themselves decorated with cute Hello Kitty images, absolutely everything on board, from tickets to toilet paper, are Hello Kitty-themed."
Anybody but Griffith:
"How did the norms of storytelling technique develop between 1908 and 1920? More specifically, I hoped to trace out an array of stylistic options emerging for the feature film. What range of choice governed staging, framing, editing, and kindred film techniques?"
Wrongbestfilmgate was a moment of pure chaos – my night of shocks at the Oscars:
"The Guardian film critic’s first Academy Awards ceremony delivered selfies, supercharged excitement and an upset that left everyone dazed."
Challenging sexist jokes can be difficult - but this is why we must speak up:
"Last week, I found myself battling a sexist joke for the first time in my adult life. Yes, battling! The joke wasn’t made towards me, per se, but was actually made in the body of an article written by a male writer…which somehow felt worse. I won’t get into details here, but I’ll just say that this joke was about sexually harassing women in the workplace. More specifically, that we would enjoy being harassed — if our male coworkers could simply muster the guts to do so."
Cosmic blast from the past:
"Three decades ago, a massive stellar explosion sent shockwaves not only through space but also through the astronomical community. SN 1987A was the closest observed supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope and has become by far the best studied of all time, revolutionising our understanding of the explosive death of massive stars."
A Better Way to Fight Discrimination in the Sharing Economy:
"The sharing economy has a discrimination problem. Studies have shown that the sharing economy isn’t as open as we think: People of color are discriminated against on platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft. A study of ride-hailing platforms found that black passengers were subjected to longer wait times and higher cancelation rates than white passengers. A study of Airbnb found that guests with African-American-sounding names were 16% less likely to be accepted by hosts than guests with white-sounding names."
Meet TV's First Non-Binary-Gender Character: Asia Kate Dillon of Showtime's 'Billions':
"Asia Kate Dillon uses the pronouns "they, their and them." Because, like their onscreen character Taylor Mason on Showtime’s Billions, Dillon self-identifies as nonbinary. And thanks to this groundbreaking role, these are pronouns that more people will hopefully feel more comfortable using in the very near future."
Julie Benz on her numerous TV deaths, from Dexter to Buffy The Vampire Slayer to Angel:
"Julie Benz got her start as an actress when she was still in her teens, shifting back and forth between movies and TV and racking up a wide variety of credits in a relatively short amount of time. But it was her work with Joss Whedon—first on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, then on Angel—that put her on the map. Since then, Benz has remained a stalwart in genre projects, appearing in sci-fi series (Defiance) and superhero shows (No Ordinary Family). She’s also earned considerable acclaim for her stint on Dexter and has also turned up in more than a few horror films, the most recent of which, Havenhurst, is out now."
Social Media Are Driving Americans Insane:
"If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a “constant checker.” And chances are, it’s hurting your mental health."
Emma Thompson: 'Too soon' to do Love Actually sequel after Alan Rickman's death:
"Emma Thompson has spoken for the first time about why she isn't taking part in the upcoming Love Actually sequel."
The Worst Mission Statement Of All Time:
"It might not mean that much to you, but 55 Regent Street is one of London’s most iconic retail addresses. It’s the building facing Piccadilly Circus, formed of a wedge between Regent Street and Piccadilly. [...] It was the department store Swan & Edgar until 1982. Later it was Tower Records, then the Virgin Megastore, until that become Zavvi. Now, it’s a clothes shop called The Sting. And in the window of The Sting, on the Piccadilly side, is displayed the worst mission statement of all time." [via]
Bar's ban on men chatting up women: is it feminism gone too far, or Don Draper redux?
"A bar in Australia’s capital city Canberra has banned men from approaching women."
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2017
Film Few genres are as time sensitive as the Christmas film. There's something inherently strange and unseasonal about watching a festive favourite at any time outside December up to the first six days of January. Indeed, in truth, once Boxing Day is finished, the shine is already off as the sentiments which the story is probably trying to communicate feel hollow somehow especially if like me you couldn't really enjoy Christmas as much as you'd like due to catching the lurgy which was floating around for 2016. The last thing you want is to see lots of shiny happy people having a marvellous time (at least by the end, Capra) when you're stuck in bed unable to eat anything solid.
A Christmas Carol (of which the Edison edition is my film of the year) is no exception. I try to watch an adaption of Dickens's story every Christmas and although, because of the sheer number of different examples, I've attempted to indulge as late as the Summer because there aren't enough years in a life, the juxtaposition of sun outside and snow on screen simply doesn't work. It's almost as though the emotional tug of the tale requires the viewer's shaky emotional state around Christmas time in order to work its magic. Perhaps we're at our most philosophical at the turning of the year, and a story designed to play into our own feelings of regret in order to create empathy for its protagonist is best viewed then.
Television series seem to have a counter effect. In the age of the boxed set and binges, especially when watching something from network television, we'll inevitably stumble upon a festive edition and in the best of examples it puts us right in the mood, makes us feel Christmassy for the duration, reminds us of what we like about the season. True there's the inevitable emptiness afterwards when we realise that the actual event is still nine months away, but the next episode is usually at the push of a button and we know that there'll probably be another festive edition within a dozen or so episodes. Or sooner in the case of modern Doctor Who.