As Faber & Faber Editor, T.S. Eliot rejected George Orwell's Animal Farm.
"Take medicine, for example: Yes, people once believed diseases were caused by demons and/or witches, but remember that it all made perfect sense to them based on the available information at the time.
"That said, we find it a bit hard to believe that no one found it strange that: #7. Blowing Tobacco Smoke into People's Assholes Was a Popular Cure."
And: YouTube Comment Reconstruction #2 - 'GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten'
"E. M. Forster’s idea has always stuck with me—that a writer who’s fully in control of the characters hasn’t even started to do the work. I’ve never had any direct fictional input, that I know of, from dreams, but when I’m working optimally I’m in the equivalent of an ongoing lucid dream. That gives me my story, but it also leaves me devoid of much theoretical or philosophical rationale for why the story winds up as it does on the page. The sort of narratives I don’t trust, as a reader, smell of homework."
"Islam: The Untold Story is a documentary film written and presented by the English novelist and popular historian Tom Holland. The documentary explores the origins of Islam, an Abrahamic religion that developed in Arabia in the 7th century; it criticizes the orthodox Islamic account of this history, claiming that this traditional story lacks sufficient supporting evidence."
"Inspired by the 'Yes We Can' video, this piece was produced by Hossein Dehbashi for the 100th day of the Government of Prudence and Hope, featuring Hassan Rouhani's first speech as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This video was an initiative taken by the artists (without the President's knowledge) to immortalize President Rouhani's emotional speech, where he expresses hope for peace, friendship and progress. Only at the later stages was the video shown to President Rouhani."
"Caravaggio (1986) is a British film directed by Derek Jarman. The film is a fictionalised re-telling of the life of Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio."
"The instrument’s exterior is painted in a rich midnight blue, adorned with golden swirls painted on the side. The inside of its lid is a deep raspberry inscribed with a Latin quote in gold leaf by 12th-century German nun, mystic and philosopher, Saint Hildegard.
"‘Holy prophets and scholars immersed in the sea of arts both human and divine, dreamt up a multitude of instruments to delight the soul,’ it says."
Le Monde considers a jumper made famous by Forbrydelsen's Sarah Lund.
Pixelated embroidery by Diane Meyer.
Hat tip to Mr. Percifield.
Igorne the sophomoric, content-free Che Guevara reference; this is gorgeous.
"Would you drink wine flavored with mint, honey and a dash of psychotropic resins? "
"The Mirror reports that all seven missing episodes from a classic William Hartnell (the First Doctor) story from 1964, 'Marco Polo,' have been found and that it’ll be officially unveiled next month."
Pertinent to my interests: Ontario's public broadcaster helped turn a generation of Canadians into fans of everyone's favourite Time Lord.
High fantasy for young adults: "At Oxford in the nineteen-forties, Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was generally considered the most boring lecturer around, teaching the most boring subject known to man, Anglo-Saxon philology and literature, in the most boring way imaginable."
A web experience built for Chrome.
"In the early 1980s, long-forgotten German band Saâda Bonaire recorded a set of tracks that somehow succeeded at amalgamating the slick, polished sounds of electro and disco with Middle Eastern instrumentation and harmonic structures. Tragically, the project was scrapped at the last minute by its label, but Captured Tracks has recently unearthed and remastered all 13 tracks and plans to finally give them a proper release next month."
Else Waugh: "He was a novelist known for his quick and cruel wit, his wide-eyed opinions and his indifference about saying the shocking. So a BBC Home Service programme called Frankly Speaking in which Evelyn Waugh is quizzed by three abrasive questioners was never going to be a walk in the country. Today what was later described as the most ill-natured interview ever broadcast can be heard for the first time since 1953.
"Waugh was being questioned by Charles Wilmot, Jack Davies and Stephen Black and the exchanges are, to say the least, 'sparky', according to British Library sound archive curator Stephen Cleary. 'It's three interviewers pitched against one subject and they don't get on terribly well.'"
"Acclaimed by CNN as the 'guru of all screenwriters,' Field is celebrated as the first writer to outline the paradigm that most screenplays follow, which is the classic three-act structure."
"Feminism has to start listening to Frank Sinatra and stop listening to Lacan, Derrida and Foucault."
I had to write to my site host and ask them to unblock the word "lesbian" before I could publish this post:
"Q: Have you seen that new lesbian movie, Blue is the Warmest Color?
"A: No I haven’t. But I adored Desert Hearts—starring one of your fine Canadian actresses. I think that all movies made by lesbians for lesbians have been really dreary with no sense of style. Lesbians are boring. It was a lot more interesting when lesbianism was evil and perverse. Now everything is so accepting and all the heat has gone out. It’s all about Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi. It's banal."
"For over 20 years, Nicolas Vanier, an untiring voyager in the coldest of climes, a veritable Jack London of modern times, has criss-crossed the wildest regions of the far northern lands. His travels include major expeditions in Siberia, Lapland, Alaska and of course Canada, where he recently undertook an incredible White Odyssey: 8600 kilometres covered with a team of sledge dogs, from Alaska all the way to Quebec. It was during that crossing, on the floor of a sumptuous and inaccessible valley in the Rocky Mountains, that Nicolas met the man who inspired him to make this film, a film that has lived within the man...
"He's a 50-year-old trapper named Norman Winter, and he lives with a Nahanni woman, Nebaska. Norman has always been a trapper, with no need of the things that civilisation has to offer. He and his dogs live simply on what they produce from hunting and fishing. Norman made his sledge, snowshoes, cabin and canoe with wood and leather that he took from the forest and that Nebaska tanned, in the traditional style, just like the Sekani did in early times, using the tannin in animal brains, then by smoking the skin. To move around, Norman uses his dogs. They're quiet, and with them he's ready for action at the slightest sign of life, but all the while attentive to the majestic grandeur of the territories he passes through. That's why Norman Winter is a trapper. The Great North is inside him and Nebaska carries it within her, in her blood, for the taiga is the mother of its people..."
Hat tip to Alexei.
"Castello Cavalcanti is a short film written and directed by Wes Anderson and released in 2013. Starring Jason Schwartzman as an unsuccessful race car driver who crashes his car in an Italian village, the 8-minute film was filmed at Cinecittà in Rome, Italy and financed by Prada. It first debuted at the Rome Film Festival and was released online on November 13, 2013."
"As I waited, the housekeeper tended to me in Paris’s dining room. I sat at a long table across from from a model of the castle at Disneyland and in front of a huge painting that depicted Paris, Darth Vader, Andy Warhol, Lady Gaga, and other American icons covered in blood at a last supper. The housekeeper returned and asked me if I’d like anything to drink. Like a queen visiting an heiress in a Henry James novel, I asked for hot tea. She asked me if a certain kind of tea would be okay; I didn’t hear what she said but didn’t want to be rude, so I said, 'That’d be great.' She returned with a mug of tea on a black plate. The tea’s tag said 'Dream.' Does Paris Hilton drink dream flavored tea? I wondered. I sipped the tea. Apparently, dreams taste like chamomile."
"How do you illustrate a scent? Dior asked 15 female artists in celebration of Miss Dior. The results—which range from Karen Kilimnik’s dioramas of Monsieur Dior’s favorite Versailles spot, the Temple of Love, to the Chinese painter Liang Yuanwei’s lovely interpretation of a 1949 Miss Dior gown—will be on display in 'Esprit Dior, Miss Dior,' at the Grand Palais in Paris from November 13 through 25."
Preparation 1/3: "How do screenwriters begin a new project? We speak to a range of leading experts who offer insights into their working process. Find out why David S. Goyer meditates, how food shopping helps Susannah Grant, and why long walks lead to Richard Curtis writing Love Actually."
The First Draft 2/3: "So you're ready to start writing your first draft - how do you begin? Our screenwriting experts reveal their top tips and techniques, discussing the common mistakes to avoid, overcoming doubts and knowing when you're on the right track."
Re-writing 3/3: "One of the biggest challenges any writer faces is re-writing their script. In our final video, expert screenwriters discuss whether there's a limit to the number of re-writes you can do, responding to criticism, and keeping enthusiastic about your work."
"Calder Shadows, which opened last week at Adam Lindemann’s Upper East Side gallery Venus Over Manhattan, is two shows in one. First there are the exquisite mobiles and stabiles by the sculptor Alexander Calder, eleven in all including a wire 'portrait' from 1929 and the tabletop piece 'Bronze Quadrilateral' from 1960. But even more mesmerizing are the shadows these pieces cast on the gallery’s walls and floor."
"The first blast of cold changed the look of fashion overnight. Men’s coats with brass buttons echoed the military theme, as did trench coats (but not cyclamen-pink fur). Black offset the leaves. "
"The top noses in the fragrance industry talk us the dos and don’ts of perfume."
"Every year, my wife and I devote the month of November to convincing our children their plastic dinosaur figures come to life while they sleep."
"A somewhat-mostly-accurate educational parody film by Max Landis, Produced by Bryan Basham @bryan_basham
Starring Elden Henson, Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Morgan Krantz and many more."
Some NSFW language. Hat tip to Mr. Proctor.
"3) Weakness: Aquaman’s weakness is being removed from water for a longtime. Unfortunately this is no great secret in the DC Universe, so nearly every plan to kill or detain Aquaman starts here. Namor’s seems to be being around beautiful and unavailable women. Obviously, Namor has the more crippling weakness being in the Marvel Universe."
"We answer the following questions about superpowers: Can superheroes be real people? (No.) Can real people become superheroes? (Maybe.) And which is better: flight or invisibility? (Depends who you ask.)"
"Joan Crawford and Walter Huston give powerful performances in this drama directed by Lewis Milestone. Controversial for its time, the film tells the story of prostitute Sadie Thompson and the lustful preacher who tries to 'save her' when their ship makes an unscheduled stop over on the South Sea island of Pago Pago."
"The luxury high heel as status marker is directed not toward men but toward other women—both intimate confidantes and bitter rivals. The high heel in its dazzlingly heraldic permutations (as dramatized in Sex and the City) is beyond the comprehension of most men: only women and gay men can tell the difference between a Manolo Blahnik and a Jimmy Choo. In full disclosure, I never wear these shoes and indeed deplore their horrifying cost at a time of urgent social needs. Nevertheless, I acknowledge and admire the high heel as a contemporary icon and perhaps our canonical objet d’art."
"'The King in Yellow' is the name of a 1938 short story by Raymond Chandler. It is a crime story in which the narrator has apparently read Chambers' book, and uses the phrase to describe one of the other characters.
Philip Marlowe, Private Eye - Season 1, Episode 2 "The King in Yellow"
"I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November 11th, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the 11th minute of the 11th hour of Armistice Day, which was the 11th day of the 11th month. It was during that minute in 1918, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not. So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions: A Novel (1973)
Unassuming people who casually saved hundreds of lives.
And again with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
"Ice Planet is a Canadian science fiction film released in 2003. It was produced as a pilot movie for an intended TV series."
"(c) The year is 2040. There have been riots in the streets of London after Britain has run out of petrol because of an oil crisis in the Middle East. Protesters have attacked public buildings. Seeral policemen have died. Consequently, the Government has deployed the Army to curb the protests. After two days the protests have been stopped but twenty-five protesters have been killed by the Army. You are the Prime Minister. Write the script for a speech to be broadcast to the nation in which you explain why employing the Army against violent protesters was the only option available to you and one which was both necessary and moral."
"This experiment is designed to test whether you can spot the difference between a fake smile and a real one."
"Our scientific, 100%-accurate test will work out where in the country you belong."
"Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing has created an installation for the V&A’s John Madejski Garden that is inspired by poet Tao Yuanming’s Peach Blossom Spring, and by the works in ‘Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900’. From his Beijing studio, Bing explains his magical V&A installation, the Chinese admiration for the 'stroke of genius', and his desire to “induce different perspectives in the audience” through his art."
"(Gian Francesco) Poggio Bracciolini (February 11, 1380 – October 30, 1459) served under seven popes, as a Florentine/Roman scholar, writer and an early humanist. He recovered a great number of classical Latin manuscripts, mostly decaying and forgotten in German, Swiss, and French monastic libraries, including the only surviving Lucretius, and disseminated manuscript copies among his learned friends."
Zuhandenheit: "Poggio was famous for his beautiful and legible book hand. The formal humanist script he invented developed into Roman type, which remains popular as a printing font today (as his friend Niccolò de' Niccoli's script developed into the Italic type first used by Aldus Manutius in 1501)."
LVHM news: "Louis Vuitton has picked France's most avant-garde designer, Nicolas Ghesquière, to put the polish back on the 19th-century luxury label."
Caveat emptor: How to spot a fake Louis Vuitton Know your bag!
Hat tip to Alexei.
Սիրուշո, Տաշիր: Live @ Tashir 2013.
"This is the only surviving recording of Virginia Woolf's voice. It is part of a BBC radio broadcast from April 29th, 1937. The talk was called 'Craftsmanship' and was part of a series entitled 'Words Fail Me'. The audio is accompanied by a slideshow of photographs of Virginia Woolf.
"The text was published as an essay in 'The Death of the Moth and Other Essays' (1942), and I've transcribed the recorded portion here."
"Instead of building static three-dimensional items from layers of plastics or metals, 4-D printing employs dynamic materials that continue to evolve in response to their environment."
Otherwise known as the Cadillac WTF.
Und: The Robbie Williams rendition.
"Julian Barbour, visiting professor at the University of Oxford and the author of The End of Time, addresses the question, Does Time Exist? Barbour explores the history of scientific thought on the concept of time and presents his own interpretations of what time is."
"To investigate how video games affect the brain, scientists in Berlin asked 23 adults (mean age: 24) to play the video game “Super Mario 64” on a portable Nintendo XXL console over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games."
"The story of 15-year-old Jack Andraka who, after losing his uncle to pancreatic cancer, invented an early detection method for cancer that won Grand Prize at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)."
What is Sriracha? And why is everyone talking about it?
Chiliheads: "As Collins wrote, hot-sauce production is one of the ten fastest-growing industries in the country, but I didn’t even notice that I had three kinds of it on my desk (sriracha, Cholula, and Tabasco) until someone pointed it out to me."
Hot Pepper Game Reviews: GTV V.
"Working from her studio in Berlin alongside a vast archive of smells (supported since 2004 by multibillion-dollar firm International Flavors & Fragrances Inc), Sissel Tolaas recontextualises the odours of reality by reconstructing them on the molecular level. 2013 has seen the Norwegian map the smellscapes of Calcutta (in process) and Istanbul, with a commission from Jameson Irish Whiskey still to come."
"In James Joyce's Ulysses, Leopold Bloom drinks his tea from a moustache cup he received from his daughter Milly for his 27th birthday."
"The collection the designers sent out for spring was roughly part five (it’s hard to keep count) in their long-running serial about Sicily, Domenico Dolce’s place of birth. The thing about that island is that it’s full of archaeology, overlaid with layers and layers of history, religion, drama, and cinematic representation. Endless angles to dig into. This season they excavated the Greco-Roman aspect. Imagine a tour of the Greek ruins at Syracuse in springtime. The other part of the equation was the almond blossom embroidered in sprigs in the ultra-pretty side of the collection. 'It’s a dream of Sicily,' said Stefano Gabbana. 'Like, you go on holiday to Syracuse or Taormina, and you see the Greek theater, then you come home and dream about it.'"
"After years of speculation, one of fashion’s most iconic brands is making its comeback with Marco Zanini at the helm."
"Woh was a Hindi language Indian television horror-thriller series which aired on Zee TV in 1998. The series starred noted Indian film director, Ashutosh Gowarikar in an important role."
Episode 1 (no subtitles, sadly).
"The autumn/winter shoot took place on Ministry of Defence training land and Noah [Huntley]'s Emmerdale experience would have been great practise for staying cool and looking hot while battling the elements and posing with ponies. Featuring the best of British fabrics and manufacturing the collection includes washed Harris Tweed made in the UK, Sanders brogues, a Camridge Satchel, lush velvets, the brand's signature tartan, elbow patches and Alpaca wool in the knitwear.
"Menswear design director Frances Walker took inspiration from artists Mark Rothko and Sean Scully and invented a new colour for the season, a dark rusty 'squirrel' designed to be worn in rich, dark shirts and roll-necks."
"When these architects say ‘defensible space’, they mean it in a drastically literal fashion."
"The big chill. The great outdoors. Glaciers, wind, sublime adventures and a need for protection. The new Fendi collection caters to heroic human needs for life in extreme conditions. The urge to shield the body from the chilly aggression of the elements brings texture, both visual and tactile, to the forefront."
”When the clouds began to break, there were rainbow colours in the sky and a halo spanning 360 degrees!” continued Hänninen. ”It was worth taking a picture or two.”