Lockdown Links #6

BBC Philharmonic binaural recordings:
"Binaural sound gives headphone listeners a realistic impression of 3D space. Sounds can come from all around you, including above and below, giving a greater feeling of immersion."

Streaming: the restless career of Nicolas Cage:
"While the actor turns the air blue in Netflix’s History of Swear Words, delve into his eclectic back catalogue from Moonstruck to Mandy."

Magic at the End of the Lane: ‘Classic’ Doctor Who, from An Unearthly Child on January 1st to The TV Movie on December 31st:
"(Day Nine — January 9th 2021 Wall of Eyes and Rider From Shang-Tu) I’ve got a bit of a fascination with the TARDIS. Not so much the fictional TARDIS as it appears within Doctor Who, but rather the TARDIS as a prop or a set used in the production of the programme. You may have noticed that in this blog already, because I keep pointing out what I think are interesting things about the prop as I go along."

Remake/remodel: 45 weird and wonderful alternative film cuts:
"All films exist in slightly different cuts but sometimes the alternative versions are fascinating in their own right, with entirely new scenes and different rhythms that enable them to stand on their own against the original. We pick some of the most intriguing examples."

"Let's face it. We are all stuck indoors. And it's going to be a while till we travel again. Window Swap is here to fill that deep void in our wanderlust hearts by allowing us to look through someone else's window, somewhere in the world, for a while. A place on the internet where all we travel hungry fools share our 'window views' to help each other feel a little bit better till we can (responsibly) explore our beautiful planet again. Let's travel without moving for now. Let's window swap."

Have a taste of ‘gumbo diplomacy’ by making this Biden nominee’s classic recipe:
"Anyone who has served a big pot of gumbo to family and friends knows exactly what Linda Thomas-Greenfield means when she refers to “gumbo diplomacy.”"

Bong Joon-Ho Talks 괴물 (The Host):
"The budget's scale might be similar, but what we wanted to show and how we do it is completely different. Also, the film doesn't cling to spectacle like many Hollywood blockbusters do. So if you really have to compare it to a foreign film, it might still follow the alien theme, but more than Independence Day it would be something focusing on the family like Signs maybe?"

The Day the Great Apes Died: The Legacy of the 1995 Philadelphia Zoo Fire:
"Twenty-five years ago, the tragedy at the World of Primates building broke the city’s heart and raised a loaded question: What, exactly, do we owe the animals in our care?"

Simon Pegg on where the four Beatles' voices are found in your mouth:
"In this 41-second video, Simon Pegg describes his party trick of showing how to do Beatles impressions based on where they are in your mouth. John is high in your head, Paul is higher, George is on the side of your mouth, and Ringo is right up front."

Lucy and Ardi: The two fossils that changed human history:
"Kermit Pattison, author of Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Ancestor and the Origins of Humankind, tells the story of two skeletons that changed our understanding of the evolution of humans."

Lockdown Links #5

Transformers: The Movie and The Great Toy Massacre of 1986:
"Transformers: The Movie traumatized a generation of kids with a string of startling deaths."

DOCTOR WHO – ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ reviewed by Frank Collins:
"The Doctor escapes from her alien prison with the help of an old friend, and returns to help prevent a disaster."
[Editor's note: Absolutely fair summation of what was a deeply average episode. Chris Chibnall's best decision as showrunner was to hire Jodie Whittaker. His worst was deciding to write some episodes himself. Apart from the odd bright spot usually credited someone else, his tenure has been a catastrophe.]

Climate change: 2020 in a dead heat for world's warmest year:
"New data from EU satellites shows that 2020 is in a statistical dead heat with 2016 as the world's warmest year."
[Editor's note: Of course is bloody is. I'll shut up now.]

The untold truth of Jif peanut butter:
"Peanut butter has a long and interesting history. Evidence points to the Incas being the first people to grind peanuts, and the first person who made peanut butter in the United States was John Harvey Kellogg, who invented a form of it in 1895 (via National Peanut Board). Jif was born more than half a century later in 1958 (via Jif)."

Food at 20: its biggest year:
"20 years ago when BBC Food was first created we would never have imagined how we’d be celebrating its 20th anniversary. The average weekly traffic across all weeks in 2020 was 3.4m unique UK browsers, which was up +74% on the average for the previous calendar year. The peak weekly traffic came at Easter with 6.4m UK unique browsers.. That’s quite a birthday party!"

Chicken tikka masala:
"Chicken tikka masala – we love you. A quintessential British recipe and one that shouldn't rely on a phone call to the takeaway."

What Would Statehood for Washington, D.C. Mean?
"On Wednesday night, Democrats clinched a narrow majority in the Senate, wresting control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2011."

Ian McKellen Shares Regret Over Not Realizing Elliot Page’s Struggle on ‘X-Men’ Set:
"McKellen reflects on Page's "difficulty with communicating" during the production of "X-Men."

Roku acquires Quibi’s content:
"Quibi is dead, but its shows will live on."

What I learned playing 30+ years’ worth of Jeopardy! video games:
"From the Apple II to PS4, digital Jeopardy! spans 40+ games and traces the medium's history."

Mutually Assured Destruction (Time Lord Victorious).

A base under siege story which flips the paradigm and has a ship full of Daleks defending themselves from the Doctor. The Daleks even have someone who's co-operating with the enemy. Other than as a sequel to the previous story this doesn't really move the Time Lord Victorious storyline on much, but it's a compulsive listen largely because Paul McGann sounds like he's having such tremendous fun, especially during a zero gravity scene were he's playfully taunting one of the pepperpots. Lizzie Hopley previous played Gemma, one of Eighth's earliest audio companions and she captures his voice perfectly (she also wrote the terrific Precious Annihilation for the Tenth Doctor and River Song box).  Are we supposed to interpret that the Eighth Doctor has yet another companion by the end?

Lockdown Links #4

Doctor Who's Sacha Dhawan on his battle with anxiety: 'Getting help was scary':
"The young actor, who plays the timelord’s arch enemy The Master, talks about his meaty new role in The Great – and reveals how he overcame the fears that used to leave him traumatised in his trailer."

What Anxiety Does to Your Brain and What You Can Do About It:
"Anxiety is a perfectly normal and natural part of being a human. There are always going to be times when we’re more nervous or worried than others, but for some, anxiety is a much stronger, more fearsome force—one that never goes away. But what is anxiety exactly, and what’s going on in your mind (and your body) when it strikes? How do you cope when it takes hold?"

Scoring The West Wing: Q&A With W.G. Snuffy Walden:
"Composer W.G. Snuffy Walden on putting The White House to music."

Blue badge permit 'shocking disparity' revealed:
"People with non-visible disabilities such as autism or Parkinson's disease face a "shocking disparity" when applying for a blue badge parking permit, a BBC investigation has found."

A midsummer night's sax comedy: the return of the lost Shakespeare jazz musical:
"It had the hottest musicians, the coolest singers – and Louis Armstrong playing Bottom. But Swingin’ the Dream was a $2m flop. Can the RSC breathe new life into this big band take on the bard?"

Williamson Art Gallery closure threat would 'leave many people's lives much lonelier':
"Campaigners say losing the 92-year-old gallery would 'leave many people's lives much emptier and lonelier'"

Alfre Woodard Discusses Police Violence and the Ending of Clemency:
"Clemency, the 2019 film directed and written by Chinonye Chukwu, is a masterwork. It centers on the life of Bernadine Williams (played by the marvelous Alfre Woodard), a death row warden facing her 12th execution — that of Anthony Woods (a striking performance by Aldis Hodge)."

Putney to Manchester:
"As part of a Tomorrow's World investigation into transport efficiency, BBC producer Paul Ferris attempts to travel from south-west London to Manchester on foot, buses, underground, overground, BEA coaches and plane. He discovers that it is a bit of a faff. Originally broadcast 6 January 1966."

The Generation that Doesn’t Believe Helen Keller Existed:
"And what that says about the world we’re growing up in."

Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo, but got laughed out of the room:
"The company wanted Nintendo's software for the original Xbox."

The Enemy Of My Enemy (Time Lord Victorious).

Audio This middle episode of the trilogy replays a key moment from the Doctor's past. "Have I that right?" Unlike the Fourth Doctor, Eighth is travelling alone and its not a spoiler to say he doesn't go through with it even without a Sarah Jane figure with him counterintuitively egging him on. But he's in the middle of the Time War and has the opportunity to blink the mortal enemy of his race out of existence and decides not to as though his moral code wouldn't allow it even though there have been numerous occasions before and since when he's not just contemplated it but carried through on the threat (cf, Revolution of the Daleks).  On this occasion its also while in the process of defending an equally genocidal race.  Tracy Ann Baines's script seems to be foreshadowing the Tenth Doctor's future behavior, in fact, demonstrating that as with everything else in his timeline, the Doctor has an inconsistent moral code which changes depending on his incarnation and how he's feeling on the day.

Placement: Before The Knight, The Fool and the Dead.  Again.

Lockdown Links #3

SEEN, READ 2020:
"01/01 LES MISERABLES (’19)"

VR: L - A City Through Its People:
"L— A City Through Its People brings together three distinct exhibitions, the combined archives of which cover a time period of Liverpool from the 1950s to the present day. Spanning evolutions in industry, society, and leisure at a time of rapid change and challenge, they share unique approaches and perspectives in telling a story about Liverpool, its people, and the ideals that lend the city charm and a distinct personality."
[Editor's Note: Co-curated by friend of the blog Laura Robertson. Linked page includes this virtual version of the exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery which now closed due to lockdown.]

Let's all meet up in the year 3000! Inside the immersive Doctor Who: Time Fracture:
"Audiences can explore 17 different worlds, meet Daleks and drink cocktails in an ambitious theatre show this spring."

Put Peanut Butter Powder in Everything:
"it wasn’t very long ago that mainstream nut butter options were limited to the smooth or chunky varieties of peanut butter offered by a handful of familiar brands (or their in-store generic counterparts). Today, reality is far nuttier."

The Oral History of 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam's Time Travel Masterpiece:
"Inverse speaks with director Terry Gilliam and nine other people involved in the making of this 1996 sci-fi cult classic."

Why isn’t the UK government talking about airborne transmission of Covid-19?
"Even now, ministers appear reluctant to admit past mistakes and explain to the public how risky meeting indoors really is."

When should you take your Christmas decorations down?
"Christmas might not have felt very fun or festive this year and many of us will be wondering when we should take our tree and decorations down."

Windows 10’s taskbar is getting a big update with new weather and news widget:
"The biggest change to the Windows taskbar for a few years."

Document: The White House Coup, 1933:
"The White House Coup. During the 1930s, some of Wall Street's most famous names plotted to overthrow president Franklin Roosevelt."

Taylor Swift Shut Down Those "Woodvale" Third Album Theories And Said The Whole Thing Was Actually Sparked By Her Own Mistake:
"Always remember to remove secret code names for album titles when mocking up their artwork."

Lockdown Links #2

BBC delivers biggest Education offer in its history - including devoting significant airtime to Education on BBC Two:
"The BBC is to deliver the biggest education offer in its history across more of its platforms. It will bring together BBC Two, CBBC, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and online to deliver a new education offer to children, teachers and parents as a third national lockdown begins."

The pandemic stranded this couple 4,780 miles apart. That’s when they knew they had to be together for good:
"Sam Morrison’s proposal to Shifra Samuel in Amsterdam included a boat ride and inflatable tube-man costumes."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
"Forty-two years ago, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy made its debut on BBC Radio 4. To mark this momentous anniversary, here are a collection of clips related to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or HHGTTG if you prefer, or H2G2 if you like brevity, or tHGttG for completionists, or even The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, if hyphens are your thing."

It gets … worse: what can we learn from movies set in 2021?
"A look ahead, courtesy of movies set in the next 12 months, suggests we should expect natural disasters, even more all-consuming tech and a super swine flu."

New York transit workers: 'We don't get respect':
"New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is essential to keeping the city moving. But workers say throughout the pandemic they haven’t been given the care or respect of other frontline workers. A New York City subway conductor and a bus driver share their stories with BBC News."

Star Wars: New Trailer For The High Republic Book Series:
"Early last year, Disney and Lucasfilm revealed a new era in Star Wars storytelling, announcing 'The High Republic', which will chronicle an era in that Galaxy Far, Far Away that is an even Longer Time Ago. A new trailer for the book and comics series is now online."

Casualties of War:
"An atrocity in Vietnam."

It's Time to Declutter Your Streaming Watchlists:
"Have you ever come across a show and thought, “I should add that to my list,” only to find out it was already there? With so much content, it’s easy to build a lot of unwatched clutter."

We Are All Related: Artists, Writers, and More Share Wishes for 2021:
"Contributors to MoMA Magazine share their wishes for 2021, from honest reckonings to immortality."

A Farewell to Adobe Flash—and the Messy, Glorious Web: "The software helped create an amateur internet. It’s a far cry from the glossy, corporate one we know now."

Lockdown Links #1

National lockdown: Stay at Home:
"Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country. Find out what you can and cannot do."

How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Space:
"Sure, the 19th-century invention transformed shopping. But it also revolutionized how we think about the built environment."

Hope springs: why we might get two years’ worth of quality films in 2021:
"If everything goes to plan, this year we’ll get two awards seasons in one – after a lengthy cinema hiatus, it’ll be all feast, no famine."

Listen to the ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ soundtrack now:
"The soundtrack for the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special, Revolution of the Daleks, is now available on all digital services."

Hair ice: The strange phenomenon of 'candy floss' on trees:
"If you go down to the woods today for a winter walk, you could be in for a big surprise."

Did You Know How Ice Was Preserved In The Deserts Of Persia?
"Ancient structures used to make and preserve ice in the deserts of Persia."

Roku might pick up all of that abandoned Quibi content, raise it as its own:
"The Quibi team may have had trouble finding some poor sap to buy the underwhelming mobile-forward streaming service before its quick demise in December, but it appears that they are still able to rehome its recently abandoned content."

The International Space Station can’t stay up there forever. Will privately run, commercial replacements be ready in time?
"Concerns are rising that the United States could be left for years without a place to send its astronauts if planning doesn’t begin soon for a new space station."

Free Games:
"Epic Games Store gives you a free game every week. Come back often for the exclusive offers. Download a free game or join a free-to-play game community today." [Editor's Note: It's currently Jurassic World: Evolution.]

What Happened to The New Mutants?
"The behind-the-scenes story of an X-Men horror movie five years in the making involves The Breakfast Club, penis graffiti, and a whole lot of rewrites."