Blue Monday Links.


[Editor's Note:  This will be the last of the daily link posts.  I was going to try for the year, but without a particular focus it's taking too much of the day to do and stopped being fun.  Hope you've enjoyed it and be assured, if I'm still here, Christmas Links will be back in December.]

Radio 4 and Radio 3 explore the legacy of Modernism:
BBC Media Centre:  "Marking 100 years since the publication of Ulysses, Radio 4 and Radio 3 explore Modernism’s big bang - and its aftershocks - in a season of programmes."

Lee Grimsditch:  "The rare object is a reminder of one of the biggest scandals of the 20th Century."

Madison Dapcevich:  "The actor said he was sick of the crap coverage."

EJ Dickson:  "The ‘Yellowjackets’ star has gone from character actor to leading lady thanks to her singular ability to project simmering rage beneath a placid exterior."

Jay Rayner:  "Give us over-50s a menu we can read, grownup waiters and the chance to hold a conversation. It’s not too much to ask – and it makes business sense too."

Sunday Links


Nola Pfau:  "The 2021 MCU entry is finally streaming on Disney+. Here’s what you need to know before hitting play."

Southport Lifeboat: £1.4m station opens after three-year construction:
BBC News: "The £1.4m building has been paid for entirely by public donations on behalf of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust."

Dylan Moriarty and Joe Fox:  "Politicians in all but a few states have something urgent to quarrel about these days: maps! Control of the U.S. House is on the line — or within the lines. Here’s the deal: The once-a-decade census determines how many people from each state go to Washington, D.C. And states get to fiddle with the boundaries of those congressional districts. How the maps are drawn can make a big difference in which party winds up on top."

John Hoare:  "At the end of last year, we talked a little about how some sitcoms were shot far closer to transmission than I ever expected. But sometimes, such stories just seem a little too unbelievable. Take Are You Being Served? – or, specifically, Wikipedia’s episode guide for the show. If you scan your eyes down that list until you reach Series 5, you will come across something rather odd."

Daniel Drake:  “I sometimes imagine a future in which Shakespeare’s plays have lost their edge, no longer speak to us. That won’t be in my lifetime.”

Leah Greenblatt:  "The actor-director has seen fame from both sides now — and he's ready to talk (with Matt Damon, and us) about it."

Kate Dwyer:  "Why does this image keep resurfacing on social media?"

James Tapper:  "She began creating them as an outlet during the first lockdown, now the actress’s spoof sketches are a massive internet hit."

Meredith Jacobs:  "Jeremy Sisto, now in his fourth season as Assist. Special Agent in Charge Jubal Valentine on FBI, was no stranger to Dick Wolf‘s (ever-growing) TV universe before he joined the CBS procedural. In fact, Law & Order, on which he played Detective Cyrus Lupo from 2008 to 2010, is coming back for its 21st (!) season on February 24 on NBC."

Laurie Penny:  "Yes, we're going to Talk About Bruno."

Multi-Coloured Link Shop.

 
What happened to the Fox films Disney picked up?
Simon Brew:  "Disney inherited a slate of Fox movies when it bought the studio up in 2019 – here’s what happened to one that survived the initial cull of projects."

Emily Yahr:  "Struggling to constantly promote herself online, she posted that she’d rather just be a musician and a performer. Artists everywhere told her they feel the same way."

Howard Fishman:  "A look at Tom Noonan’s forgotten masterpiece “What Happened Was . . .”"

Mia Mercado:  "Actors will go to great lengths for their art. Take, for example, Neve Campbell, who, at 17, was attacked by a bear while shooting a movie."

Adrian Curry:  "A collection of gorgeous Eastern European posters for the 1970s films of the late, great auteur."

Eli Grober:  "Here at Time, we have made a number of changes over the last couple years. Now that 2022 is here, we’re announcing several major updates."

Dayna Evans:  "Try it out at your next party."

EJ Dickson:  "On this week’s episode of ‘Don’t Let This Flop,’ we talk Adult Disney pranks, “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” and the resurgence of 2014 Tumblr girlie style."

Lee Grimsditch:  "Pictures taken 30 years ago remind us just how much has changed."

Jordan Maison:  "The latest Disney+ Star Wars series went to great lengths to infuse its Tusken tribe with influences from real-world Indigenous cultures."

Abbey White:  "Composer Ramin Djawadi explains his approach to crafting themes for an atypical MCU movie, setting up a major twist through music and working with director Chloé Zhao on the film, out on Disney+ this week."

BBC News:  "The work was drawn by Mike Zeck and featured on page 25 of Marvel Comics' Secret Wars no 8."

Lohri Links.


Why Eternals Deserves A Second Chance On Disney+:
Ben Travis:  "WARNING: Contains major plot spoilers for Eternals."

Elle May Rice:  "The festival celebrating the music and culture of Africa, the Caribbean and the diaspora will return after a two-year hiatus brought on by the coronavirus pandemic."

Thomas Bacon:  "Doctor Who will continue the story of Jo Martin's Forgotten, Fugitive Doctor - but she's jumping into a completely different medium in April!"

Brendan Kergin: "The UBC library has been gifted a rare and important book: a first edition version of William Shakespeare’s Comedies Histories and Tragedies. Printed in 1623, there are only 235 left in the world; this one is only the second to come to Canada."

Catherine Bennett:  "It was designed as a life-sized version of snakes and ladders, plastered across Bologna’s central square, Piazza Maggiore."

BBC News:  "Picture the City uses landscape paintings acquired by the Bank of England over the years and places them alongside modern-day views."

Adam Scovell:  "With François Truffaut’s French New Wave classic The 400 Blows back in cinemas, we went in search of the locations, including the beach where that famous final freeze-frame takes place."

BBC Radio 4:  "... four women from different parts of Britain share stories of street harassment. Woven through this feature is a new, specially commissioned poem by Hollie McNish."

Mark Harrison:  "Three songs from Encanto have popped up in this week’s UK Official Singles Chart – with stats and waffle, here are some of Disney’s other chart hit crossovers."

Bree Fowler:  "Cybercriminals are increasingly using malicious QR codes to trick consumers."

Thursday Links.

 
Christmas pudding sales fall 30% in five years as mince pies fly:
Amy North:  "Christmas pudding sales have fallen by nearly 30% over the past five years, British Baker can reveal."

Paul McAuley:  "Special night aims to support people like Iwan Steffan, who is still struggling with the effects of lockdown."

BBC Media Centre:  "Join BBC Sport this February for all of the best moments from the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games across TV, radio and online."

Stephanie Pappas:  "They're definitely not saying it's aliens."

Sandoche & Farbod:  "Install any website as an app for instant access ."

Philip Kemp:  "Director Will Sharpe proves himself to be one of the UK’s most individual filmmakers with a colourful biopic on Victorian cat artist Louis Wain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch."
[Editor's note:  Features a few spoilers if you don't know the actual life of Louis Wain and a reveals couple of casting choices, the surprise of which are part of the film's charm.]

Henry K Miller:  "Alfred Hitchcock described his third film, The Lodger, as the true beginning of his directorial career but it would prove a near fatal screen debut for its leading light June Tripp."

David Betancourt:  "Temuera Morrison vividly remembers the first time he tried on his Boba Fett suit."

Tom Gater:  "BAFTA has unveiled the longlists across all categories for its 2022 Film Awards. Scroll down to see them in full."

Tobias Wilkinson:  "Nearly 75 years after the end of World War Two, the UK's last tank regiment in Germany, the Queen's Royal Hussars, returned home."

Tales of the Dark Times (Comic Creator).

Comics No matter how ardent the adult fan of Doctor Who, there are probably some elements which go ignored simply because they're not meant for our age group, and Comic Creator is a typical example.  Released in 2016 for ios, Amazon and Android, it's a more sophisticated digital equivalent of the rub-off transfer sets of the 70s and 80s, offering kids the ability to create their own stories using a predetermined set of characters and backgrounds.  It's produced by Scary Beasties, an award winning app creator who's worked with numerous licensees over the years including Disney and Nickelodeon and the BBC and it entirely pass me by until I had to download it in order to get part of the Time Lord Victorious story.

The Eight Doctor appears in two of the tales.  Chapter Three's set during his alliance with the Daleks as they encounter a suspicious looking ship which seems to have an all too easily digestible smorgasbord of Huon particles which leads the pepper pots down the road toward destruction.  Chapter Five is a multi-Doctor story with Eighth and Ninth on the hunt for Tenth.  They land on a planet and are surprised to stumble upon a suburban house which it transpires has fallen through the time fracture created at the close of play in Waters of Mars, aided by an inhabitant who's built a time machine.  Neither of the comics run to more than ten pages but both have a nice twist at the end.

Given the limitations of the format, it's surprising how well the writer of this, probably James Goss although it isn't stated, nicely captures Eighth's gentle sarcasm especially when he's bantering with the Dalek Strategist, a double act which is carried through audios and novels.  There's less chatter between the two Doctors in Chapter Five although it's clear they don't see eye to eye.  When Eighth says, "It's okay to change the universe when you change it for the better", Ninth doesn't look like he agrees entirely, although that could also be due to the limited number of facial expressions available for each of the characters and this just happens to be the one the artist chose to add some variety.

Placement:  They're set between chapters three and four of All Flesh Is Grass.  So for the sake of clarity, I'll split the entry for that novel into two and put this in the middle.

Wednesday Links.


Colors: Where did they go? An investigation:
Emily VanDerWerff:  "Why do so many TV shows and movies look like they were filmed in a gray wasteland?"

Alexandra Pollard:  "As the voice of Maria in ‘West Side Story’ and Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’, Marni Nixon should have been one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Instead, other actors got the credit and she became American cinema’s ‘most unsung singer’."

Damian Zane:  "Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine has made it his mission to preserve and exhibit the work of the late Ugandan studio photographer Kibaate Aloysius Ssalongo, who recorded the lives of people from the rural town of Mbirizi."

VizSweet:  "How many words did William Shakespeare invent? Probably around 1,000. Here are 400+ words Shakespeare invented or coined, a selection of the most interesting or notable." [via]

RSC Press:  "An evening of programmes on Sunday 16 January, including a screening of 2014's Henry IV Part I, in which Sir Antony memorably played Falstaff."

Michael Billington:  "Edmond Rostand’s great romantic has drawn actors including Ralph Richardson, Antony Sher and James McAvoy to its lead role. It is a tale of glorious theatricality, glittering poetry and heroic self-sacrifice."

Jennifer Maas:  "Sharon Stone has joined HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” for Season 2, playing the mother of star Kaley Cuoco’s Cassie Bowden, Variety has learned."

Ivy Knight:  "A production company chartered a party flight to Mexico, but when their antics ended up going viral, the rest of the world didn’t find it so amusing."

Jenny G. Zhang:  "One of the U.K.’s largest energy suppliers has been forced to say sowwy for sending customers what were supposed to be helpful tips for keeping heating bills down this winter, including some endearingly twee ones like cuddling for warmth and having a nice bowl of porridge."

Apollo:  "... There are many reasons for 1922 to be considered a milestone in the history of literary modernism, such as the publication of ‘The Waste Land’ by T.S. Eliot and Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf, but the publication of Joyce’s novel is the most compelling."

Tuesday Links.


Star of Christmas film sets up online boutique:
David Adamson: "Ellie Coldicutt, 24, starred as Beth in the festive favourite Nativity! back in 2009, charming viewers with the song Sparkle and Shine before going on to feature in the sequel as well as touring productions of The Sound of Music and the RSC’s Richard III."

Richard Brody: "One of the most original directors of New Hollywood, Bogdanovich was also a critic who expanded our cinephilic heritage."

Amy Zegart: "Espionage-themed entertainment is influencing policy makers, from soldiers fighting on the front lines to justices sitting on the nation’s highest court."

Ian Walker:  "A Calgary-based programmer recently shared his work turning a rotary telephone into what may be the least effective video game controller of all time."

Olympia Kiriakou:  "Screwball comedy’s fast-paced battle of the sexes explored the socio-economic politics of the 1930s and 1940s."

Laura Cappelle:  "The Comédie-Française is celebrating the 17th-century dramatist by recreating Tartuffe, the play that outraged the Catholic church and almost ended his career."

Ellen Peirson-Hagger:  "Press On Vinyl, a facility due to open in the new year, has been dubbed “the communist plant of Teesside”."

Lisa Gitelman:  "Anyone who remembers making the transition from typewriting to word processing has probably thrown away a fair number of floppy disks and jettisoned more than a few computers since then. Bad for the planet, yes. But it also poses particular challenges for the stewards and denizens of archives."

Jessamyn West:  "I won a year's supply of cheese in a contest May of 2019."

BBC News:  "The tiny building appeared at Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in August, during Banksy's "Great British Spraycation"."

Plough Monday Links.


Art historian discovers that £65 painting on his wall is work of Flemish master:
Dalya Alberge: "Picture of Isabella Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain, is likely to be by Sir Anthony van Dyck, finds Courtauld’s report."

Elle May Rice:  "How many of these are on your bucket list?"

Adreon Patterson: "What did the Back to the Future star think of his performance in the film?"

Elizabeth Howell: "The generational observatory is en route to its parking spot and getting ready to test its mirrors and instruments."

Mark Sinker:  "Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules (at Somerset House until 6 March 2022) consists of pages and tales from the comic’s eight decades, loosely organised into themes, along with work by some forty non-Beano artists that amplifies its characters, motifs and slapstick."

Dade Hayes: "TikTok’s grip on young audiences is a well-established fact, but the social network has just released a new report detailing how that defining trait has made it increasingly attractive to Hollywood."

Jacqui Wine:  "I loved this novella, a striking portrayal of a determined young woman set in Weimar-era Cologne. First published in 1931, and subsequently banned by the Nazi authorities, Gilgi (One of Us), was Irmgard Keun’s debut novel, announcing its author as a powerful new voice in German literature."

Matt Singer:  "This week’s episode of The Book of Boba Fett introduced two new characters to the series’ cast, a pair of corpulent alien crime lords from the race known as “The Hutts.” Cousins of the notorious Jabba the Hutt, they are carried along on a sagging throne by a legion of footmen."

Sal Cinquemani: "Tori Amos’s debut album, Little Earthquakes, helped reshape the pop landscape and the reverberations can still be felt today."

Wendy Molyneux: "Hi, if you are reading this essay then congratulations, you are still alive. And if you are alive, then you have either gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, or you still have the opportunity to get the vaccine against COVID-19. And holy fuck, if you aren’t fucking vaccinated against COVID-19, then you need to get fucking vaccinated right now. I mean, what the fuck? Fuck you. Get vaccinated. Fuck."

Sunday Links.


Arts Industry News:  "Curators and management staff at the Gladstone Museum, with its famously recognisable brick bottle kilns where Channel 4’s popular Great Pottery Throw Down is filmed, and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery have been told that all their posts are to be deleted as the council seeks to cut £7.1m from its annual budget. Both were scheduled to re-open on January 18 after a Christmas closure lengthened by the Omicron Covid crisis."

Forget Sherlock Holmes and try these other Victorian detectives:
Clare Clarke: "Rivals, clones and parodies of Baker Street’s finest sprang to life in the late 19th century. Clare Clarke walks you through the best of the bunch, from Loveday Brooke to Flaxman Low."

Zack Zwiezen:  "The popular streamer was banned after streaming episodes of the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon."

Matt Zoller Seitz: "His image evolved and adapted over decades as the central contradiction of the actor and director’s life played out on screens."

Gemma Chan:  "The actor knew her father had served in the merchant navy, but it wasn’t until she read about Britain’s mistreatment of Chinese seamen in the 40s that she understood just how much his experiences had shaped her family."

Dan Hancox: "During the second world war, Chinese merchant seamen helped keep Britain fed, fuelled and safe – and many gave their lives doing so. But from late 1945, hundreds of them who had settled in Liverpool suddenly disappeared. Now their children are piecing together the truth."

Michael Cavna: "Luke McGarry began drawing a nude Pooh Bear as soon as he heard the news. The original, nearly 100-year-old “bear of very little brain” from the Hundred Acre Wood had rung in this new year by entering the public domain. Now quite humbly, McGarry’s creative appetite felt rumbly."

Karyn Starmer: "I love Christmas I really do. I love a good party and a thoughtful gift. As a child, I was fortunate to grow up with all the anticipation of Christmas Eve, then the early morning excitement to see what the man in red had delivered."

BBC News: "Panicked patients dialled 999 after eating sandwiches with mouldy tomatoes in and suffering papercuts."

Alison Flood: "Independent sellers have battled lockdowns, supply-chains issues and Amazon to reclaim their place in the industry. We speak to the people who opened their own."

Nihilistic Saturday Links.

 
Mirna Abdulaal: "It is easy to see the buzz expressions “mental health” and “ways to cope with stress/anxiety” appear regularly on social media, but it’s even harder to directly interact with someone who struggles from anxiety."

UK surge in post-Christmas returns reveals dark side of online shopping boom:
Sarah Butler: "Returns process thought to cost firms about £7bn a year and weigh heavily on companies’ carbon footprints"

Phoebe Barton: "Half marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks and fun runs - there's something for everyone."

Julian Mark: "Passengers on a Canadian charter flight danced, drank alcohol and vaped as they made their way from Montreal to Cancún, Mexico, the day before New Year’s Eve. Video footage of the rave-like atmosphere made its way onto social media, and the images of maskless travelers partying in the air amid surging coronavirus cases sparked broad condemnation."

Ryan Gajewski: "The actor will reprise his role as Batman in the upcoming film 'The Flash.'"

BBC News:  "BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan got caught in a snow drift while filming in Washington DC on Monday and had "snow" way out."

News Desk (AFP): "A herd of goats grazing on a London city farm are getting their teeth into hundreds of unwanted Christmas trees donated by residents in a fundraising drive."

Sheelah Kolhatkar:  "Since its installation, the sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, has been mired in legal disputes and claims of “fake corporate feminism.” New York City will soon decide its fate."

Laurian Clemence: "As we welcome in another year, and reflect on the turbulent one that’s passed, the existential words of Professor Stephen Hawking are as poignant as ever: “Remember to look up at the stars, and not down at your feet.”"

Nigel Andrews:  "... revisits his interviews with Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen and Debbie Reynolds to tell the story of how they created Hollywood’s most enduring musical."

Across The Omniverse.

Film  Having given it the requisite few weeks, let's briefly talk about the magnificent Spider-Man: No Way Home and how it fits within the MCU's general "multiverse" system.  Numerous tweets, blog posts and video essays have suggested that there's a continuity error between the appearance of the other two Spiders and various villains and what was established in Loki (and Agents of SHIELD for that matter) something which presumably be explained in Doctor Strange's Multiverse of Madness.

But the structure of how these fictional universes fit together has already been well established in both the MARVEL and DC continuities and indeed the Marvel Database has a whole page explaining how these things are nested which I'm about to regurgitate in relation to how it works in this new live action version and once you have it fixed in your head you can see how the whole notion of "canonicity" in relation to "things happening in fictional universes" is absolute nonsense.  That everything is canon(ical).

This nested structure breaks down as follows:

Omniverse.

An infinite collection of all fictional universes ever.  As the Marvel article lists,  "not only Marvel Comics, but also DC Comics, Image, Dark Horse, Wildstorm, Archie, Harvey, Shueisha, Boom Studios, Rebellion, Dynamite, IDW, Graphic India, Derby Pop, Vertigo, Oni Press, Udon, Valiant, and every universe ever mentioned or seen".  Basically, this is everything.  Every film, tv show, comic, advert, every piece of fiction ever created.  The DC version of the article is a bit more exclusive because of course it is.

To keep things simple, I'm only going to refer to how this works for the MCU.  

Multiverse.

This is were the jargon becomes a bit confused and why what appears on screen is more complicated.  What seemed to happen at the close of Loki is the creation of a multiverse but its implied that all the individual universes must be branches of the main MCU timeline.  Except the universes which feature in the Spiderverse (including the animations) are wildly divergent to the point of not having their own Avengers and Peters fighting solo.  Not to mention wherever Venom is coming and going from.

That's because Loki isn't about creating the multiverse.  The multiverse already existed and contains all of the different live action MARVEL film series, all existing within their own continuity.  Roughly speaking:

The MCU
The Raimi Spider-Man
The Webb Spider-Man
All of the different universes in the Spider-verse film
The Tim Story Fantastic Four
The Josh Trank Fantastic Four and arguably Deadpool
The OG X-Men and/or the First Class X-Men
Whatever was happening with mutants on TV and/or Logan
The Blade films
The Ghost Rider films

What we saw in No Way Home was the top three of these connecting together and hopefully in Doctor Strange's Multiverse of Madness a few more of them giving us a cameo.  The Sony Spider-verses aren't alternative versions of the MCU, they are their own distinct universes that happen to share some similarities with each other but are wildly different in other ways, not unlike the Bondiverse and now potentially have their own branches thanks to the events in No Way Home.

Universes.

This is a single nested continuity which itself can contain numerous alternative realities.  But they're all variations on a much similar theme and their own history or continuity can be changed and its the variations in one of these which we watch being created in Loki and What If? with the various characters oblivious to the other timelines nested within their greater multiverse.  There can be an infinite number of timelines within these universes with all the Kangs which could look like a "multiverse" when viewed from inside, if you're not aware that other "universes" exist, that there's more than a sacred timeline.

At least that's how I rationalise it, although its possible DS's MoM won't view it that way or at least present it in those terms although it'll be possible to retroactively apply it to this structure anyway.  

Loki (the series) has already thrown a spanner in the works by not presenting us with lots of Loki that all look like Tom Hiddleston and could have emerged from places as significantly divergent as the Spider-verse but the show makes it clear that they're all the result of anomalies in this single timeline that they've had to trim, work the Time Variance Agency is presumably doing without an awareness that there are universes out there in which the laws of Time are wildly different anyway.

But how does Agents of SHIELD fit into this?  The timey-wimey direction the show takes in its latter seasons has been used as a reason to exclude it from the MCU even though with all of the various movie crossovers in which it literally set up storylines in much the same way as the Disney+ originated series.

Except it fits perfectly into the events of Loki.  Due to how its main character is resurrected, that show happens in 2012 as per MCU chronology.  So when SHIELD's adventures diverge and the timeline changes, they're creating or at least part of an alternate reality which can now exist because of Sylvie's actions and which they can travel back from in the final episodes to the main MCU leaving Deke behind (and the episode is sneakily vague on how that works in relation to the snap).

Reading back through that it looks like absolutely gobbledygook but I've had it rattling around in my head for weeks and its good to get it written down.  But it also makes it easier to understand how a particular fictional universe fits within a much wider narrative context.  I've simplified things a bit here, but obviously you'd include all of the various MARVEL comics universes in alongside the ones listed above and try to figure out how the spider-verse in the comics connects the film and the version which originated in the cartoon.

All of which said, my suspicion is that there are more levels to this and that you could make a clearer distinction between universes and timelines.  Oh god, now I'm trying to explain how this works in relation to the DCU and that's a whole other multiverse of madness.

Orthodox Christmas Links.


Aleksandar Brezar:  "Mostar’s rich skyline, with mosques and Catholic church towers peeking out above buildings and set against an imposing mountain range, now once again features the towers of an elegant Orthodox church — perched on a hill above the city’s eastern side — after it was destroyed during the brutal war in the city almost 30 years ago."

Maddie Capron: "As you take down holiday lights, you may want to be mindful of deer and other animals."

Lee Grimsditch: "The shopping centre opened in 1989 and faced fierce opposition from conservationists who wanted to preserve the city's Georgian heritage."

How Jessica Simpson Almost Lost Her Name:
Stephanie Clifford/Eliza Ronalds- Hannon: "The pop star’s billion-dollar fashion brand fell into the hands of the wrong company. After a two-year battle, she finally bought it back."

Simon Hattenstone: "The actor opens up about her queer years with Derek Jarman and her latest clutch of films, and reveals her plans for a career change. And all while taking her five spaniels for a walk."

"A multi-institutional resource documenting Shakespeare in his own time."

Big Finish: "Brigadier Winifred Bambera returns to the UNIT front line in her own brand new series of full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish Productions."

Mark Brown:  "Neil Cole’s Museum of Classic Sci-Fi, hosted in cellar of his Allendale townhouse, holds costumes and props from numerous TV classics."

Chris Peterson: "Back in February of 2021, we told you about Todd Spann, the Indianapolis-based science fiction super fan who created a Star Trek set in his basement. The project took more than three years to complete. Nearly a year later, Spann made use of his creation, releasing a new short film based on Star Trek and filmed entirely on location at his home in Indiana."

Proper Twelfth Night Links.

 
Emma Beddington: "Yes, comfort and joy is nice. But there are some seasonal trappings I am glad to see the back of."

Elizabeth A. Harris: "Filippo Bernardini, an Italian citizen who worked in publishing, was charged with wire fraud and identity theft for a scheme that prosecutors said affected hundreds of people over five or more years."

Reeves Wiedeman/Lila Shapiro: "For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. Is it espionage? Revenge? Or a complete waste of time?"

Diamond Geezer: "Just before Christmas I published a simple infographic summarising the sequence of lockdown restrictions over the last two years... a brief monthly snapshot of fluctuating curbs on freedom."

Jim Waterson: "Nathan Dane spent six years honing his version of the BBC’s defunct text-based information service."

Chris Velazco/Tatum Hunter : "The consumer electronics trade show salutes 2022 with some of the strangest technologies we’ve seen in a while. Here are the highlights."

Rob Beschizza: "... this Sony demo video from 1990, then, is an uncanny thing: the technology and image detail we register as a 21st-century experience but with the lighting, style and vibe at least a decade older."

Rivka Galchen: "Access to information only goes so far to explain the curious link between secrets and those who tell them."

BBC News: "The series commemorates the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne."

Lesley Goldberg/Alex Weprin: "Local TV giant Nexstar is said to be among the suitors for the broadcast network."

Echoes of Extinction (Time Lord Victorious).

Audio  Having finally collected almost all the different parts of Time Lord Victorious, the BBC's cross platform merchandising palooza which began in 2020, I've started working through them in narrative order as per the list I put together this time last year.  Although we covered the most of the McGann releases already (and it'll be fun to hear how they fit properly into the thing), Echoes of Extinction is his first appearance in the story, but was the last of the releases to emerge, thanks to COVID-19 shutting down its distribution potential for months thanks to it originating on vinyl.  Fortunately there was also a download.

The Doctor lands in a very slight riff on Beauty and the Beast, fighting against a genocidal psychic entity which holds the surviving member of a race hostage, her only other companion a robot butler.  At only half an hour, long enough to fill one side of a vinyl album, not too much happens and Alfie Shaw's script seems mostly to act as set up for the next episode featuring the Tenth Doctor which takes place after the core Time Lord Victorious shenanigans so I won't be listening to for a while.  

Perhaps the most exciting thing is the Eighth Doctor saying he's trying to get to the opening night of the Braxiatel Collection, which after its brief mention in City of Death now has a giant footprint in the spin-off media within a few sentences of the Shadow Proclamation which doesn't get more Nu Who.  As ever, this incarnation straddles across the mythological mish-mash of the franchise.  Placement:  Almost by default, this is now the first story of the Time War era.

Twelfth Night Links.

 
Gary Bainbridge: "I’m now selling some absolutely tremendous food-related greetings cards through the portal Thortful under the brand name Cheerful Sheep."

Errol Laborde: "True New Orleanians never have to worry about post-Christmas letdown. That’s because, to most of the world, the the day that is the twelfth and final day of Christmas is recognized locally as Twelfth Night, the first day of the Carnival season."

BBC News: "A man tried to destroy a Banksy mural after hearing it was being moved from Wales to England, a court heard."

Caitlin Flanagan: "How could I have succumbed to this common, embarrassing habit that just about everyone on Earth knows is a scourge?"

"The former NatWest Bank (in Liverpool) closed its doors in 2017."

Guy Lodge: "As awards season heats up, there are a number of deserving performers who haven’t been making the cut."

Daniel Victor: "The word game has gone from dozens of players to hundreds of thousands in a few months. It was created by a software engineer in Brooklyn for his partner."

Mona Khalifeh: "ET's Nischelle Turner spoke to Chastain ahead of the release of her new action film, The 355, where she ensured that her female co-stars -- Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Fan Bingbing and Diane Kruger -- were all compensated both equally and fairly, something she's done on previous projects."

"Survival — of books, and of the rare-book business itself — is a particular art. Grace Flynn: Alongside Monet paintings, rare books and manuscripts ranging from first edition religious texts to Leonardo da Vinci’s notes are considered some of the most prized collectibles in the world."

Sydney Page: "Casey Holihan and her husband, John Noe, had been stranded on Interstate 95 in Virginia for about 16 hours when they got an idea."

Scottish Bank Holiday Links.


Stephen Woolley: "Hart gave me my first break in the industry and stood out as a beacon of hope for those who followed."

Public Domain Review: "On the chime of midnight last night, as many of us welcomed in — by booze-fuelled countdown or bliss of sleep — the start of a new year, the public domain had a special moment too, welcoming in many thousands more works into its ever-growing expanse, including Winnie The Pooh, poems by Dorothy Parker, and Franz Kafka’s The Castle."

Matt Haughey: "In early 2011, at the Webstock conference in Wellington, New Zealand, my new friend Jeremy Keith was on stage talking about the impermanence of the web and the ephemeral nature of our work and over drinks afterwards together we came up with a quick challenge for a Long Bet."

David Vetter: "Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, which released on Christmas Eve, is not a subtle movie. It is a brash, absurdist satire about the incapability of our political and media classes to respond appropriately to impending, world-ending disaster." [via]

Probably Charlie Brooker: "Philomena Cunk's latest landmark mockumentary series Cunk On Earth will see the long-awaited return of pioneering documentary-maker Philomena Cunk on her most ambitious quest to date; venturing right up humanity to find out who we are, how we got here and what was the point.  Cunk on Earth will see the long-awaited return of pioneering documentary-maker Philomena Cunk on her most ambitious quest to date; venturing right up humanity to find out who we are, how we got here and what was the point."

Sharanya Hrishikesh: "... many women were not impressed. They saw it as a mere gimmick, and a deeply offensive one at that, claiming to break down the very thing it's built upon: the male gaze."

Claire Potter: "In 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed that Americans celebrate the Christmas season by counting birds instead of hunting them, and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count was born."

Taylor Telford: "The company cuts off support for the once-beloved cellphone and status symbol, a casualty of the rise of the touch screen."

Cal Newport: "We need fewer things to work on. Starting now."

Darcel Rockett: "If it’s been said once, it’s been said many times. There’s just something about Chicago — you just have to see the number of former/native members of our community making moves in other cities and venues, including those helming some of the country’s notable archives at institutions in Washington, D.C."

Another Bank Holiday Monday Links.


BBC Media Centre:  "The work sits on a BBC 100 website which also features an interactive year-by-year timeline covering key moments in the BBC’s first 100 years."

Andrea Stone: "From transforming the study of early humans to working to save the elephants, “he was a force to be reckoned with.”"

Michael Hogan: "The journalist behind those ‘explainer’ videos on seeing his No 10 Christmas party video go viral, being a drum’n’bass DJ and wearing ‘an awful lot’ of blue."

Brendon Connelly: "2021’s mystery TV run the gamut of tones, from cosy to caustic. Here’s a quick survey of some of the better mystery series that puzzled armchair detectives over 12 months, including one solid gold masterpiece and plenty of other gems that were sadly overlooked. That’s the magic of VOD – they don’t need to stay overlooked forever."

Odi O'Malley: "Welcome to '¡Elígeme! ”, The section of the website in which we pay tribute to those album tracks that had enough value to be singles, but were replaced by other releases, sometimes better, on other more debatable occasions."
[Editor's note: Translation of a really good article on a Spanish pop website.]

Waiyee Yip:  ""Do I not deserve to be Chinese just because I have small eyes?"  That is what Chinese model Cai Niangniang wrote in a recent impassioned social media post, after old pictures of her went viral for all the wrong reasons."

"La Befana, which coincides with the feast of the Epiphany on 6 January, is an annual public holiday across Italy."

Alex Hess: "Armageddon once delivered thrills and megabucks spectacle. Now it’s the unnerving backdrop for satires and family drama."

Juliet Elperin: "TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST, Alaska — The Sitka spruce soaring more than 180 feet skyward has stood on this spot on Prince of Wales Island for centuries. While fierce winds have contorted the towering trunks of its neighbors, the spruce’s trunk is ramrod straight. Standing apart from the rest of the canopy, it ascends to the height of a 17-story building."

Serina Sandhu: "The social historian also believes ‘we’re missing a real trick in the way we’re teaching history’, adding that is should focus more on human beings."