Ten More Links and a Video.

6 things you don’t understand about feminism that you should probably learn before writing about feminism:
"Why oh why do so many American liberal media platforms insist on publishing articles about feminism by people who are totally clueless about feminism? There are so, so many feminists who know what feminism is, it seems unnecessary. There are also hundreds of books and resources that you could simply, you know, read if you were interested in writing about feminism with any accuracy whatsoever. But why bother learning about what you are writing about when you can just make it up as you go along! Especially when you know your fellow American liberals are eager to take in any and all ideas that support their lazy disinterest in challenging the status quo or memememeME! worldview."

Speaking While Female:
"YEARS ago, while producing the hit TV series “The Shield,” Glen Mazzara noticed that two young female writers were quiet during story meetings. He pulled them aside and encouraged them to speak up more. Watch what happens when we do, they replied. Almost every time they started to speak, they were interrupted or shot down before finishing their pitch. When one had a good idea, a male writer would jump in and run with it before she could complete her thought. Sadly, their experience is not unusual.

Help us create a directory of the UK’s recorded sound collections:
"Sound recordings help us to understand the world around us. They document the UK’s creative endeavours, preserve key moments in history, capture personal memories, and give a sense of local and regional identity. But the nation’s sound collections are under threat, both from physical degradation and the disappearance of the technologies that support them. To understand the risks facing the UK’s sound collections and to map the scale of the problem, the British Library is initiating a project to collect information about our recorded heritage, to create a directory of sound collections in the UK. By telling us what you have, you can help us plan for their preservation for future generations."

How Old VHS Tapes Helped Save Early Web Design:
"Conventional wisdom has it that anything published online can never be truly erased. People petition governments for the "right to be forgotten"—to have personal information and images permanently removed from the Internet. But look for a screenshot or image from a page of the very early web, and you'll find it almost impossible to locate. Prominent technologist Andy Baio, who runs the site Waxy.org, where he promotes tech ephemera and news, has discovered an unlikely portal to an era that has all but disappeared from today's Internet, and quite nearly from the human record: VHS tapes. With these tapes, now viewable on YouTube, comes a critical look into a period that set the stage for the massive design and technological changes society has undergone over the past 20 years."

The year of post-it-notes and mindfulness:
"For a nethead and digerati like myself, 2014 was a year of ironies."

The World's Oldest First-Grader Is Honored By A Google Doodle:
"The Google doodle for Kenya today shows a white-haired man at a table in a primary school, earnestly writing a classroom exercise. The kids behind him grin as if to say, "He is kind of old to be a first-grader.""

If Hermione Were The Main Character In “Harry Potter”:
"Hermione Granger and the Goddamn Patriarchy."

Video Games and the Curse of Retro:
"Video games are more prone than other media to obsolescence. With each new generation of hardware and software, scores of titles are made unplayable. Music has suffered similarly, of course: vinyl morphed into cassette into CD into digital audio. But music, like films and books, is easily transferred to new formats. Video games, which rely not only on audiovisual reproduction but also on a computer’s ability to understand and execute their coded rules and instructions, require more profound reconstruction. Without a strong commercial incentive to maintain their back catalogues, many publishers allow games to drift into extinction."

Google Translate Now Rewrites Foreign Signs Before Your Eyes:
"Google's Translate app is already pretty neat, allowing your to snap photographs and have them converted into one of 36 languages. Now, though, you can point your camera at a sign or menu and see the translation in real time."

Why Star Trek: Voyager Meant The World To Me:
"Twenty years ago today, Star Trek: Voyager premiered. Of the five live-action Star Trek series, Voyager is not the best. If you were ranking them, Voyager and Enterprise would probably duke it out for last place. But none of that matters, because Star Trek: Voyager meant everything to me as a child."

Oblivion (The Complete Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Volume Three).

Comics The DWM strip made the change to colour superbly well, still able to provide moody imagery when required but also allowing for bright technicolour leading to a change in the shading of the Doctor's jacket from green to blue (which seemed like a huge decision which just shows how conservative the Eighth Doctor era was) and real expression in Izzy/Destrii's gills. This graphic novel also includes the short piece Character Assassination, drawn for a special issue about the Master but since it's about the Delgado model I'm saving that for when I finally try and catch up on my Third Doctor backlog. Yes, I'm the kind of fan who has piles of stories for particular incarnations unread or unheard.


Of everything there is to focus on in the story (the Doctor’s new jacket, Izzy’s new body), I’m slightly obsessed with the TARDIS interior. Although the general look is similar to the TV Movie, the focus is on a library which is I think how it's portrayed in the novels and is much the case in the tv series. There’s also that massively scenic element of opening up the ceiling to reveal the exterior view something which must have been considered for television too but perhaps would never quite look right. Plus there’s the fairy tale element of having the door acting as a portal into another world and has that quality from both directions. It’s a moment which tends to be cut from the strips for reasons of brevity, and sometimes, as here, it’s sadly missed.

Beautiful Freak

Having Izzy change species is really bold storytelling and for the first time in the comics, the story arc is much more about character than story. The Doctor’s big speech about changing shape is just how you would expect him to try to deal with the situation but of course he’s dead wrong and Izzy throws it back at him just as she should. She’s not just isolated from her body now, she’s isolated from her entire life and doesn’t even know how her body reacts to anything, even how to breath. The scenes were she attempts to regain some of her identity by wearing the clothes she originally wore when she joined the TARDIS are meant to seem hopeful, but really they’re chilling. At this point we’re meant to believe Destrii isn’t returning with her real body but even with hindsight, this is extremely effective.

The Way of the Flesh

Four years before The Unquiet Dead, here’s a surprise celebrity historical which also backgrounds mortality albeit in a way which is utilised in a way which is closer to Army of Ghosts in terms of how it effects the local population. In keeping with the television series, we have the idea of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera with just enough accuracy for the purposes of the story, the former, thanks to her own condition, a way helping Izzy come to terms with her predicament ready for the next story in which it becomes vitally important. Reading this reminds me to watch the two biopics again at some point, Frida and The Cradle Will Rock, though it’s Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina’s voices from the former which spoke the dialogue in my head when reading this rather than Corina Katt Ayala and Ruben Blades from the latter.

Children of the Revolution

The strip that’s famous enough to inspire a merchandising gift set though kids won’t really be able to do a re-enactment until the inevitable waterproof Kroll hand puppet emerges. Of all these strips, barring the Izzy the Fish business, this is one of the few of these strips that could be filmed as is on television give or take a few budgetary trims. The idea of good Daleks has of course been visited a few times since, notably Into The Dalek, but also in Marjorie Blackman’s novella The Ripple Effect. Unlike pretty much every other occasion, the Doctor doesn’t immediately assume it’s a ruse and doesn’t attempt to reveal their “true” colours ala Victory of the Daleks. The notion of Daleks as religious beings would also later be developed in the Russell T Davies era as well as the notion of the Doctor as “saviour”.

Me and My Shadow

Another “Dalek Cutaway” this time to explain to potential new readers who Fey Truscott-Sade is to new readers as well as explaining to old ones why she hasn’t killed Hitler yet or some such. We’re told and we’ve seen in various narratives that the Time Lords aren’t the only beings in the Whoniverse with access to the technology. Although stories have been told about them and others manipulating history (see the Databank) even in Let's Kill Hitler there’s not much prospect of it. In the final exchange between Fey and Threshold, the latter reminds the former that Adolf is part of a nexus in history which is why she can’t go vigilante on him. But it’s interesting that we’ve never had a story about the Doctor saving Hitler as a young man from some other freelancer in order to save future history.


For all my griping about Capaldi’s callousness last year, the Eighth Doctor, largely due to his multi-media development across many years, could be pretty acerbic himself especially when his friends were in danger. Even knowing whom it’s directed it and why, when he says, “Wake up, Destrii. I care about keeping Izzy’s body intact, the girl currently wearing is can rot” it feels especially dark, especially since John Ross’s artwork magnifies the lines on his face and then cuts to a close-up of her finally appreciating the magnitude of what she’s done.  The story ends on a line which would become famous in the Eleventh Doctor era, the sentiment magpied for The Hungry Earth.  The monsters are scared of him.


Bye then Izzy. Something, now Sinclair’s departure is one of the most heartfelt in the show’s history not and least and also because of the reveal that she’s the first LGBT assistant in the show’s history. In the notes, writer Scott Grey explains that this had been decided right at the start as part of the development of the character but hadn’t really been worked into any of the stories because, as I suspect, how could you do that in the DWM strip without it seeming crass and exploitative? It’s only in her concluding chapter that it begins to make sense and her final kiss with Fey a poignant and logical conclusion to the narrative. Russell T Davies apparently contacted them with his admiration and quite right too. It’s an occasion when Who's comics demonstrate their ability to be as moving as any other artform.

Oscar's Predilections.

Film Having been reading Doctor Who comics all morning and shopping at Asda, I entirely forgot about the Oscar nominations. Watching the announcement via YouTube led to an enjoyable moment when a microphone two of the producers of the coverage discussed when to turn off the feed, "We don't want a situation like last year..." Whatever happened then. I've slept and eaten some cheese since then. Either way the only thing anyone is talking about on Twitter is Dick Poop and The Lego Movie.

Best Picture

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Of course, though given previous experience, and I do keep saying this, it'll probably go to something relatively conventional with a decent lead performance.

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

But if it wasn't there, Wes Anderson. That goes for Best Picture too. I wouldn't be entirely unhappy if Budapest won both either.

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Because Cumberbatch.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, One Day, Two Nights
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Because Jones. Felicity "Chalet Girl" Jones is now an Oscar nominee. Though Pike is a close second.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Although we're reminded by anyone who watches soap operas that actors there have had to sustain characters across many years, the technical feat of doing that convincingly and invisible across over a decade within a few days here and there can't be disregarded. There is an argument that they're playing versions of themselves, but Hawke's characterisation is very distinct when seen in comparison to Jesse.

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

Admittedly to an extent these awards should be handed to Boyhood for the sheer endurance of the effort, but in relation to screenplay, creating a coherent story across that time taking into account changes in casting and location has to be acknowledged.

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Shrugs. Haven#t seen any of these. Cumberbatch rule applied.

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Was One Day, Two Nights not submitted? I haven't seen that yet either but it seems like a real Oscar type film. Odd.

Best Documentary Feature

Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

That's what I presume will win - its the least controversial of the choices,

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

See here. Other than that I'm applying the MARVEL rule. Other than Boyhood, the most important film of last year was relegated to the craft categories.

Best Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome,” The LEGO Movie
“Glory,” Selma
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again

Consolation prize. Sniff.

Best Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

Though having two Desplat nominated scores means it'll go to something else due to split voting.

Best Film Editing

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

In your face, The Baftas. The multiple aspect ratios of Budapest should give us pause though.

Best Cinematography

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner


Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Because it's the one I've seen. Disney vs Disney here too.

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

See above.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Because it's the most important film of last year. Expect Budpest will get it though.

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Dawn will probably win it though. At a certain point the Oscars are going to have to start looking at mocapping in general and as an artform. In this category we're comparing the creation of a performance with crashing a spaceship into a city. They're not the same thing.

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper

No idea. Should have seen it at the cinema. Didn't. I've left the Short Films off. I know my place.

Let's talk about The Lego Movie and the Oscars.


Don't read this if you haven't seen it yet.

Seriously, don't.

Here's what the Oscars says in relation to the eligibility of an animated film:

"An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time."

The running time of the film is 83 minutes.

 My guess is the live action elements towards the end rendered it ineligible for a nomination (we could time those minutes I suppose and see) or failing that Oscar voters assumed it was ineligible and simply didn't vote for it.

Or decided that it was simply an eighty minute long toy commercial and didn't vote for it on that basis.

Simple as that.

Still, it was exciting for the three minutes when we thought it might be up for Best Picture.  I'll post the nominations in a minute or two.

My Favourite Film of 2013.

Film  Gravity was a surprise.

The process of Christmas shopping every year is different.

Some years, like this year, everything seems to fall into place, the perfect items tumble off the shelves and through the letter box (or rather carefully handed over at the doorstep) and there little stress and no worry.

2013 was not like this.  In 2013, I didn't have a clue.

Which is why I ended up on Renshaw Street looking for Christmas presents one afternoon late into 2013.

I didn't find anything and I especially didn't find anything for my parents.

Dejected and doubting myself it didn't take too long to realise that I needed to take a step back.  To breath.

So despite having decided I wouldn't end up seeing Gravity at the cinema, I went to see Gravity at the cinema.

I surprised myself with a film.

In Screen One at Picturehouse at FACT in Liverpool.

Thank goodness.

Sitting on the row was a good choice especially since FACT's screen runs from floor to ceiling and as Sandra Bullock tumbled and rolled through her computer generated space, I felt my stomach repeating the gesture right the way through, my heart pumping, my mouth wide open, forgetting all my Christmas present buying troubles.

Not even the burk directly behind me with the massive bag of crisps who only seemed to munch during the all important moments of silence really distracted me.

I turned around now and then to give him my trademark glare but he was clearly in the group of people who just didn't seem to get Gravity, that its slight characterisation and relatively simple story are a slave to the visual and ride.  He sighed.  He fidgeted.  He continued munching.

But I was with Sandra in her space suit breathing and breathing and breathing some more even when she shouldn't, even when I couldn't.

Then as it reached its conclusion, my arms wrapped around myself, watching one of the most powerful, moving shots in cinema history, I grinned.  As director Alfonso Cuaron's credit appeared I raised my arms in the air.

Presents were bought.  Christmas was fine.  Though I can't credit either to Gravity exactly, I was at least reminded that if you just keep going you'll get there in the end.

Woody Allen's signed with Amazon.

Film You will have read the news but just to record it here for posterity, Woody Allen's signed with Amazon to write and direct a series for them.

"I don't know how I got into this," says in the press release I received about it. "I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin."

Well, quite. It's not his first television work of course. That would be, most prominently and least promisingly, his version of Don't Drink The Water starring himself and Michael J Fox for HBO which I reviewed here. Which isn't especially promising.

Does this mean that for the first time in decades there won't be a new film in 2016, breaking an unbroken run of annual releases since Annie Hall in 1977? Or will he manage to fit this in and a theatrical release?

What form will it take?  Will it be one story across multiple episodes or my guess which is some kind of anthology series based on his previous writing (so as to keep it distinctive from the Whit Stillman series).

Presumably they're just throwing some money at him and seeing what he'll come up with.  Either way, it's deeply exciting.

Soup Safari #14: Boston Chicken Chowder at La Soupe du Jour.

Lunch. £3.50 meal deal (including bread with cheese topping and a banana). La Soupe du Jour, 1-3 Dolman's Lane. Warrington, UK. WA1 2ED. Tel: 01925 555 030. Website.

The Company of Friends: Izzy's Story

Audio The oddness of suddenly hearing these characters which have only previously appeared on page is entirely mitigated by just how authentically enthusiastic Jemima Rooper sounds as Izzy and how perfectly writer Alan Barnes gauges the script in capturing her pop culture references. Having this audio version comment on its comic origins is sublime as are the satirical swipes against 2000AD and its ilk, in a story which you can still absolutely imagine having appeared early in the comic’s DWM run (I think I may have listened to it slightly “out of sequence” but with no standard placement and multiple choices online I just ended up picking somewhere at random). Funny also how its conclusion manages to sound like parts of Gallifrey Base commenting on a female Master just a few years later.

The Glorious Dead (The Complete Eighth Doctor Comic Strips Volume Two).

Comics If all of the Eighth Doctor's multi-medium appearances, mimicked the production method of the televisions series in some respect with book editors and audio producers working in a similar way to showrunners, the comics also had just one or two writers across their entire run, Alan Barnes and Scott Gray, developing a unifying style and a very specific idea of how this version of the Doctor and his adventures should be written whilst simultaneously being just as flexible and experimental in the media within which they’re working.  Having jumped in originally halfway through the material in this collection, it's quite the experience to finally read the stories leading up to The Glorious Dead and beyond and understanding what all of those continuity references actually meant.

Happy Deathday

There’s an argument that Doctor Who’s rarely better than when it’s taking the piss out of itself but as writer Scott Gray suggests in his notes this was the main strip’s first attempt at out and out comedy. Predictably, it’s hilarious. As he says, after the TV movie had “flatlined” they were looking for any opportunity to celebrate an anniversary and this was the 35th and so we have eight Doctors and hundreds of monsters appearing across eight pages spoofing both The Five Doctors and Dimensions in Time (and arguably and spectacularly Terrance’s recently published novel The Eighth Doctors). There is a conversation between 4th and 7th about Time Lord allergies which is probably one of the best pieces of dialogue in the franchise’s history and an example of just the sort of fun you can have with this character.

The Fallen

Grace! Having waited a couple of years to bed in, the strip finally does the direct sequel to the TV movie on but harshes the mellow of the reunion by all but removing the romance from the relationship and in a way which doesn’t quite feel in character for Dr Holloway – though its fair to say that its probably impossible to say properly what is in character considering her limited screen time. Nevertheless it’s easy to admire how Scott Grey is able to turn the odder elements of the TV movie, 8th’s prophesies, the half-human thing to the advantage of the story and how conservative it is that despite the strip has access to the character (something neither the novels or audios have) they don’t use her as the companion. The strip wants to be its own thing so Izzy remains.

Unnatural Born Killers

Kroton! This short piece by Adrian Salmon acts as a kind of “Dalek Cutaway” for future attractions. The graphic novel helpfully reprints the cyberman with a souls first appearances in the then Doctor Who Weekly in which he first discovers he’s different and begins to make human friends and the Salmon strip somewhat continues his story to show that he’s begun to take the fight to races, in this case the Sontarans, who’re threatening what he knows to be his former people. The art is dynamic with great use of blacks to produce something distinctive to the rest of the strips. Of course the notion of expected antagonists, what are usually called monsters, becoming the Doctors and allies and friends would return in the new series with the Paternoster Gang if lacking the melancholia of this man caught between races and worlds.

The Road To Hell

A full on Japangasm with the sort of dense storytelling and heavy exposition you can usually expect from manga. With massive visuals and splash pages and acres of philosophy and alien mythology it’s sometimes difficult to quite follow. It’s noticeable the extent to which Izzy is being utilised to drive the narrative as much as the Doctor and across all of these strips is rarely damselled. Katsuri will clearly return (his condition also looks towards the future treatment of Captain Jack). Even after having been saved he’s clearly unhappy that it means he’ll have to walk in eternity, his honour devalued. As we’ve already seen, the sense of who’s an antagonist/protagonist in these comics is especially fluid. The Doctor had better watch out.

TV Action

Good old TV Action. Of all the Eighth Doctor strips, this is one of those which is often talked about in hushed tones, I believe, the nod of recognition that people were there. I was. I began reading DWM some time during The Road To Hell, perhaps episode three, so felt like a bit of charlatan when suddenly handed a celebration for all the issues I hadn’t read – until I realised I been bought that very first issues. This now doubly nostalgic trip to BBC Television Centre in 1979 is fairly notable for the extent to which it dodges the yewtree in a way that even television documentaries from the late 90s singularly failed to and rendered themselves impossible to rebroadcast. Oh and the Tom Baker bit which is one of the funniest things I’ve read so far on these travels, the quotes all from actual interviews, the total legend.

The Company of Thieves

Kroton! Again! Designed to insert the Cyberman into the TARDIS crew, his first meeting with the Doctor’s noteworthy because it’s a rare cliffhanger in which our sympathy is with an attackee. The Time Lord “kills” Kroton first and so successfully has Scott Grey’s writing made us careful him that see him felled is genuinely worrying, notably also because we know how the Doctor will feel when he realises his mistake. As 8th tussles with pirates over the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, it’s also the first time I’ve really heard Paul McGann convincingly saying his lines and there’s even a moment with which I’m sure I’ve heard repeated between him and Charley as he worries about the TARDIS’s navigation, whispering so as not to heart the time capsule’s feelings.  He’s always doing that, isn't he?

The Glorious Dead

Yes, a single paragraph is entirely inadequate. Once again it’s impossible not to see resonance with later escapades, notably the conclusion to Capaldi’s first series with its weaponising of death and a emotional Cyberperson sacrificing himself to thwart the Master’s plans (see also the clever misdirection the Time antagonist’s identity). The concept of the Omniversal spectrum just confirms my expectation that all of fiction and reality is Doctor Who (also neatly explaining the TV Action business) and the resulting Peanuts parody is inspired. It’s the first occasion when I’ve cheered on turning the final page and the whole thing took an hour to read, much longer than usual. Only really marred by the slightly odd moment early on when 8th describes Izzy as a “blushing beauty” during some introductions. Oh dear, Doctor.

The Autonomy Bug

For the final strip in black and white, Roger Langridge returns with some absolutely gorgeous cartoon visuals which smuggle a very dark tale about what constitutes identity and whether anyone one person has the right to dictate how another group should live. The whole thing looks like and is structured in the style of a Doctor Who Adventures strip but the storytelling is much more mature (though its true some DWA can be deceptively so too). Scott Grey suggests Cuckoo’s Nest as an influence in his notes but there are moments that recall Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the way that characters who could be simplistic gain depth through action and exposition (see also the novels The Crooked World by Steve Lyons and Paul Magrs’s Sick Building). A really impressive end to the collection.

The teenage version of me just screamed.

Music Old friend Matthew Rudd is now a DJ on Absolute 80s and presents Forgotten 80s and whenever he plays a Debbie Gibson tune he tend to let me know as he did this afternoon:

To which I replied:

To which Debbie Gibson herself replied:

Oh who am I kidding. I screamed, the version of me now. I expect I know what I'll be listening to for the next week.


Another Ten Links and a Video.

How Wes Anderson’s Cinematographer Shot These 9 Great Scenes:
"There are few directors with a visual style as distinctive as Wes Anderson's, and to find out just what goes into his carefully composed shots, you'll want to talk to Robert Yeoman. The 63-year-old cinematographer has shot every one of Anderson's films (save for the stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox); though, astoundingly, he's never been nominated for an Academy Award. Still, with The Grand Budapest Hotel in the hunt for multiple Oscar nods next week, what better time to talk to Yeoman about his storied career, using nine of Anderson's most famous scenes and shots as prompts?"

Why Pygmies Aren't Scared By The 'Psycho' Theme:
"In many ways, music and emotion almost seem interchangeable. Try listening to the Star Wars' Cantina Band song without smiling, or to the Psycho soundtrack without feeling a little tense. But what if you had never heard Western music before. Would these songs still make you feel the same way?"

Can’t sleep? How to beat insomnia:
"I don’t remember having trouble sleeping – until my late teens. There was no grand trauma, no “aha” moment to pinpoint when my sleep was disrupted. I just sort of drifted into insomnia. And there I have stayed, on and off, for almost 15 years. It has meant exhausted days and nights stretched out in front of me like the Grand Canyon. I have tried to remedy it over the years, using pills (soft herbal brands and the hard big pharma types), sprays (top picks: lavender and frankincense), a variety of “calming” sounds (including whale, panpipes and white noise) and, of course, the gold-level option of “wishing really hard”."

David Sedaris gives evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee:
"On 6 January 2015, MPs on the Communities and Local Government Committee took evidence on litter. It was the committee's second evidence session for its inquiry on litter. The inquiry is looking at how significant a problem littering and fly-tipping is, and whether current government policies are adequate, and give local authorities enough autonomy to tackle the problem." [I also posted this to Metafilter.]

A Look at Battersea Park Station:
"At first sight, Battersea Park station appears to be a complete contradiction. It is not exactly pretty at platform level, but has a splendid façade and booking office. It has five platforms, but only one that is really both fit for purpose and useful. It is surprisingly busy despite the lack of any obvious reason for the high demand. It will also likely get much busier when construction begins on the Battersea Power station development or the Northern Line Extension."

An Open Letter to Men On the Subway During Rush Hour:
"I know you like to spread your chests wide, inhaling deeply and filling your lungs with that special patriarchal air that is your birthright. I know you need to place your legs in wide stances to give ample room to your massive testicles, which you have inherited after generations of Darwinism have assured only the largest and best scrotum survive. I know you need to mount your body against the entire center subway pole, claiming your land like Columbus. I get that."

Women, Minority First-Time Directors Face Tough Time Getting Into TV Biz: DGA Study:
"Women and minority episodic TV directors face a “significant hiring disadvantage” getting into the business because of their gender and race, according to a new five-year study by the Directors Guild of America. The report found that only 18% of all first-timers are female, and that only 13% are minorities."

Navigating The Social Mob Of Mistaken Identities On Twitter:
"In May 2010 I joined a startup called Aviary. My first boss was one of the founders of Aviary named Michael S Galpert. Michael’s initials are MSG and as an early tech adopter, he managed to snag @msg when Twitter came out. MSG is also short for Madison Square Garden, and the Twitter mentions go a little nuts when the Knicks’ and Rangers’ seasons pick up. Michael has fun with it, using a hashtag of #wrongmsg when retweeting some of the funny mistakes. @msg was my first understanding of mistaken identity on Twitter."

Great Museums Television:
"GREAT MUSEUMS is an award-winning documentary television series celebrating the world of museums. The series airs coast to coast on public television stations. GREAT MUSEUMS opens the doors of the museum world to millions of Americans through public television, new media and community outreach with the goal of "curating a community of learners." Executive produced by Marc Doyle and Chesney Blankenstein Doyle, the compelling educational series has won more than forty television awards for excellence, including multiple Cine Golden Eagles, Telly Awards, and Aurora Excellence Awards." [YouTube Channel]

The Code: A Declassified and Unbelievable Hostage Rescue Story:
"Colonel Jose Espejo was a man with a problem. As the Colombian army’s communications expert watched the grainy video again, he saw kidnapped soldiers chained up inside barbed-wire pens in a hostage camp deep in the jungle, guarded by armed FARC guerillas. Some had been hostages for more than 10 years, and many suffered from a grim, flesh-eating disease caused by insect bites."