Omnium Gatherum: 1aug2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for August 1, 2021

It’s the first OG of the month, so hello again to all Patrons!

I’ve made all the OG posts from July 2020 public on the blog, so that people can go back and see what they’ve been missing. And, in a year, when this one goes public, hello to everyone else on the blog!

Happy observed Lughnasadh, Lammas, or whatever harvest festival you celebrate! Also, astronomically speaking, August 7 at 6:53am UTC is when ☉ in 15° ♌︎ (Sol is in 15° Leo), so why not party for the whole week?

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Be sure to check out all the upcoming calendar events listed in Hermeneuticon for August!
  • Saturn will glow brightly in the sky next week. Here’s how to see it.”—”On August 1 and 2, Saturn will be at opposition, meaning the Earth will be located between the ringed planet and the sun. This is when the outer planet will be at its most luminous, making for a brilliant night sky view. Saturn’s opposition is at 2 a.m. ET on August 2, or 11 p.m. PT for those on the West Coast, according to EarthSky. Once Venus sinks below the horizon after the sun sets, Jupiter will be the brightest object in the sky, EarthSky said. To find Saturn, look just west of Jupiter.”
  • Plans for Stonehenge road tunnel ruled unlawful. Unesco warns UK to protect its heritage sites.” Wild. What a rollercoaster. I remember them talking about this kerfuffle back in, oh, hell, whenever the heck I was there, 2000-ish.
  • Tweet—”Want to know “the right way” to make pancakes? John Locke’s got you covered (Bodleian MS Locke c. 25, f. 85).” Serve Crowley Curry on them?
  • Spinoza’s Death Mask, and Reflections on Working at the RBML.”
  • NIETZSCHE! The Musical Will Have a Staged Reading Next Month. The reading will take place at the Fort Salem Theater in Salem, NY, August 21 at 7 PM.”—”Hebron residents Kimerer LaMothe and Geoffrey Gee will present a developmental reading of their brand new musical – Nietzsche! – on the MainStage of the Fort Salem Theater in Salem, NY, August 21 at 7 PM. Nietzsche! The Musical traces the tangled, passionate relationships that shaped the life and legacy of one of the most influential philosophers in the western world: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). While many people are familiar with the name “Nietzsche,” few know about the two women who helped make him who he was: Lou Salomé, the woman he wanted as his wife, and his sister Elisabeth, who married an anti-Semitic Christian activist and moved to Paraguay to found a colony for the pure German race. Nietzsche’s love for both of these women brought him face to face with challenges that threatened to destroy him. Yet time and again, he reached for a way to love life – all of it. His story of struggle and affirmation carries relevance for our time.”
  • Codex Seraphinianus: 40th Anniversary Edition [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Luigi Serafini, due September, 2021—”Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of its original publication, this special edition of the beloved, best-selling cult classic features a new design, new cover illustration, and 15 never-before-seen drawings. Featuring a handsome new package redesigned by the author himself, this edition is a must-have for fans and collectors of Luigi Serafini’s art. First published in 1981 in Milan by F.M. Ricci, the book has been hailed as one of the most unusual yet beautiful art books ever made. A visual encyclopedia of an unknown world written in an unknown language, it has fueled much debate over its meaning. Written for the information age and addressing the import of coding and decoding in genetics, literary criticism, and computer science, it has now fascinated and enchanted two generations. While its message may be unclear, its appeal is obvious: it is a most exquisite artifact, blurring the line between art book and art object. This edition presents it in a new, unparalleled light complete with 15 new illustrations by the author. With the advent of new forms of communication, continuous streams of information, and social media, the Codex is more relevant and timely than ever. A limited numbered deluxe edition, bound in real cloth and presented in a handsome slipcase, is also available. It includes a signed print of a new illustration made by the author to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death in 1321 of Dante Alighieri, one of Italy’s greatest writers and creator of The Divine Comedy.”
  • Why Flat Earthers, Moon Landing Truthers, and Other Conspiracy Theorists Believe Their Own Nonsense. John V. Petrocelli on the Alarming Spread of Fake News and Society’s Increasing Aversion to Critical Thinking.”—”A public without basic bullshit detection and disposal skills cannot defend itself against the many unwanted effects of bullshit.” Excerpt from The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by John V. Petrocelli—”Expanding upon his viral TEDx Talk, psychology professor and social scientist John V. Petrocelli reveals the critical thinking habits you can develop to recognize and combat pervasive false information that harms society in The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit. Bullshit is the foundation of contaminated thinking and bad decisions leading to health consequences, financial losses, legal consequences, broken relationships, and wasted time and resources. No matter how smart we believe ourselves to be, we’re all susceptible to bullshit—and we all engage in it. While we may brush it off as harmless marketing sales speak or as humorous, embellished claims, it’s actually much more dangerous and insidious. It’s how Bernie Madoff successfully swindled billions of dollars from even the most experienced financial experts with his Ponzi scheme. It’s how the protocols of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward resulted in the deaths of 36 million people from starvation. Presented as truths by authority figures and credentialed experts, bullshit appears legitimate, and we accept their words as gospel. If we don’t question the information we receive from bullshit artists to prove their thoughts and theories, we allow these falsehoods to take root in our memories and beliefs. This faulty data affects our decision making capabilities, sometimes resulting in regrettable life choices. But with a little dose of skepticism and a commitment to truth seeking, you can build your critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills to evaluate information, separate fact from fiction, and see through bullshitter spin. In The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit, experimental social psychologist John V. Petrocelli provides invaluable strategies not only to recognize and protect yourself from everyday bullshit, but to accept your own lack of knowledge about subjects and avoid in engaging in bullshit just for societal conformity. With real world examples from people versed in bullshit who work in the used car, real estate, wine, and diamond industries, Petrocelli exposes the red-flag warning signs found in the anecdotal stories, emotional language, and buzzwords used by bullshitters that persuade our decisions. By using his critical thinking defensive tactics against those motivated by profit, we will also learn how to stop the toxic misinformation spread from the social media influencers, fake news, and op-eds that permeate our culture and call out bullshit whenever we see it.”
  • Via email from Ken Knabb of Bureau of Public Secrets: “From January to May 2021, I did a series of ten Zoom presentations of French songs — ranging from nineteenth-century cabaret songs, through the noirish chansons réalistes of the 1930s, to the astonishing Renaissance of great post-World War II singer-songwriters such as Léo Ferré, Jacques Brel, Anne Sylvestre, and above all Georges Brassens […] During each session I gave a roughly 90-minute presentation, briefly introducing the singers or songwriters, translating or summarizing each song before I played it (unless it happened to have English subtitles), and sometimes making other remarks on the cultural or historical contexts. Video recordings of all ten of these Zoom presentations can now be freely accessed from http://www.bopsecrets.org/recent/frenchsongs.htm. The same webpage also includes links to a variety of additional performances, film clips, articles, interviews, etc., in case you would like to explore further on your own.”
  • Richard Double (1948-2021)“—”Richard Double, emeritus professor and former chair of philosophy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, has died. Professor Double was known for his work on free will. Professor Double was known for his work on free will. You can browse some of his writings here.” Works by Richard Double.
  • Scientists find two huge red rocks with ‘complex organic matter’ in the asteroid belt that shouldn’t be there. 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia are thought to have moved into the belt from beyond Neptune at the start of the solar system.” Also “2 Red Objects Were Found in the Asteroid Belt. They Shouldn’t Be There.”
  • Iceland may be the tip of a sunken continent. ‘Icelandia’ was lost to the sea 10 million years ago.”—”Iceland may be the last exposed remnant of a nearly Texas-size continent — called Icelandia — that sank beneath the North Atlantic Ocean about 10 million years ago, according to a new theory proposed by an international team of geophysicists and geologists. The theory goes against long-standing ideas about the formation of Iceland and the North Atlantic, but the researchers say the theory explains both the geological features of the ocean floor and why Earth’s crust beneath Iceland is so much thicker than it should be. Outside experts not affiliated with the research told Live Science they are skeptical that Icelandia exists based on the evidence collected so far. Even so, if geological studies prove the theory, the radical new idea of a sunken continent could have implications for the ownership of any fuels found beneath the seafloor, which under international law belong to a country that can show their continental crust extends that far.” Um. It’s a continent. In the Atlantic. That sunk. DUN DUN DUN!
  • Animals Emerged 350 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought, Fossil Discovery Suggests. Tube-like impressions found in Canadian rocks are further evidence that sponges were the first animals on Earth.”
  • Light from behind a black hole spotted for 1st time, proving Einstein right. The “luminous echoes” come from the rear part of the black hole’s corona.” Also “Thanks to a gravitational trick, astronomers observed light from behind a black hole.”
  • Underground ‘Lakes’ on Mars May Just Be Big Globs of Clay. Recent detections of something that looked like liquid water could be chalked up to an esoteric mineral, according to new research.” Also “Lakes on Mars May Be a Mirage, Scientists Say. A new batch of research shows that clay, not water, may be the source of bright spots under Mars’ South Pole.”
  • Archaeologists Discover 2,550-Year-Old Carving of the Last King of Babylon. Found in northern Saudi Arabia, the inscription depicts sixth-century B.C.E. ruler Nabonidus holding a scepter.”
  • Mysterious Ancient Greek ‘Phaistos Disc’ in LOST language finally decoded to reveal sexy secret. A LANGUAGE expert claims to have decoded an ancient Greek relic that has baffled researchers for over a century.”—”According to his data, the disc is a religious text about a ‘pregnant goddess’ who takes shape in the face of Astarte.”
  • The Forgotten History of Amazon Warrior Women of Ancient Scythia. The remains of more than 300 ancient warrior women have been unearthed over the years — and more discoveries are likely, researchers say. Here’s their story — and why scholars chose to ignore their history for decades.”
  • Ancient psychoactive plants in a global village: The ritual use of cannabis in a self-managed community in Catalonia—”The contemporary use of APP in Western societies is gaining popularity. International drug policies and the schedule of controlled drugs claim to be based on scientific evidence, but this evidence is limited. The contemporary myopic focus on the risks and harms of drugs overlooks important realities, such as the benefits of non-problematic drug use. These omissions could in part be rectified through the consideration of scientific findings from the field of ethnography regarding the spiritual and community dimensions of drug use.”
  • Neanderthal Blood Study Hints at One Possible Reason They Went Extinct. A landmark analysis reveals what we can learn from blood.”
  • He Wrote a Gardening Column. He Ended Up Documenting Climate Change. Over 45 years, his advice to Alaskans has changed with the transformation of the planet.”
  • Western Wildfires Are Sending Carbon Offsets Up in Smoke. The offsets’ vulnerability to wildfires shows they’re a flawed climate tool, particularly as big blazes become more common.”
  • As wildfires burn in Canada, an ‘unprecedented’ blanket of smoke hangs over Minnesota. Smoke from across the Canadian border is seeping into Minnesota. Officials warn unhealthy air quality will persist until next week, fueling concerns over possible health impacts.”
  • The amount of Greenland ice that melted on Tuesday could cover Florida in 2 inches of water.”—”Greenland is experiencing its most significant melting event of the year as temperatures in the Arctic surge. The amount of ice that melted on Tuesday alone would be enough to cover the entire state of Florida in two inches of water. It’s the third instance of extreme melting in the past decade, during which time the melting has stretched farther inland than the entire satellite era, which began in the 1970s.”
  • Brains Might Sync As People Interact — and That Could Upend Consciousness Research. When we cooperate on certain tasks, our brainwaves might synchronize. This finding could upend the current understanding of consciousness.”
  • From the That’s Not A Noodle dept: “Weird, noodle-shaped amphibians known as caecilians found in South Florida canal.”
  • From the Dinosaurs Are Still Here dept: “Bird brains left other dinosaurs behind.”—”Today, being ‘birdbrained’ means forgetting where you left your keys or wallet. But 66 million years ago, it may have meant the difference between life and death—and may help explain why birds are the only dinosaurs left on Earth.”
  • Watch “Harvard Scientists May Just Have Uncovered the Holy Grail of Battery Technology“—”For almost five decades, Lithium Metal Batteries or Solid State Batteries have held the promise of capacities, lifetimes, and charging capabilities many times that of today’s Lithium Ion batteries. But dendrites and low current densities have held them back. A discovery at Harvard in May of 2021 might just change all that.”
  • Eternal Change for No Energy: A Time Crystal Finally Made Real. Like a perpetual motion machine, a time crystal forever cycles between states without consuming energy. Physicists claim to have built this new phase of matter inside a quantum computer.”
  • ‘I will not be silenced’: Women targeted in hack-and-leak attacks speak out about spyware. Female journalists and activists say they had their private photos shared on social media by governments seeking to intimidate and silence them.” Also “On the list: Ten prime ministers, three presidents and a king. Among 50,000 phone numbers, the Pegasus Project found those of hundreds of public officials.”
  • Artificial intelligence can now be recognised as an inventor after historic Australian court decision.”
  • Facebook’s metaverse gambit is a distraction from its deep-seated problems. Facebook’s problems aren’t sexy to solve, so it found another challenge.” Also “‘Metaverse’: the next internet revolution?
  • Here are the latest accusations Activision Blizzard employees have leveled at the company.” Also “‘Cube Crawls’ and ‘Frat Bro’ Culture: California’s Huge Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Alleges Yet Another Toxic Workplace in the Video Game Industry. Several hundred Activision Blizzard employees stage a walkout which they say is in a response from company leadership to a lawsuit highlighting alleged harassment, inequality, and more within the company outside the gate at Activision Blizzard headquarters on July 28, 2021 in Irvine, Calif.” Also “Inside Blizzard Developers’ Infamous Bill ‘Cosby Suite’. Booze, sexual remarks, and a giant portrait of Cosby are all at the center of Activision lawsuit.” Also “Former Blizzard Developer and ArenaNet, Undead Labs Founder: ‘We Need Unionization’. Jeff Strain writes an open letter calling for full unionization within the games industry.”
  • Tweet—”My take on Activision Blizzard: If the company wants to change, it should start by firing a significant portion of its thoroughly polluted executive team.” Tweet—”When people say they don’t want politics in games, this – a line up of right-wing politicians being given executive positions in Activision Blizzard – should be what they mean rather than it just being a complaint about gay or female characters existing.” Also, not a good look: “Activision Blizzard Hires Union-Busting Firm As Workers Start To Come Together. WilmerHale will ‘review’ Activision Blizzard HR policies.”
  • Tweet—”The artist mentioned in this post is John Polidora. From ages 22-24, I basically lived in constant anxiety because I knew he was actively talking poorly about me to his peers at Blizzard because I chose not to date him.”
  • Amazon MMO New World Trolled With Real Facts About The Company. Lulu Chiba has taken it upon herself to spread the truth.”
  • Safari Extension Rejected Because Developer Not ‘Reputable’“—”First, Reed and his company very much are reputable, and their products have even been recommended by Apple itself. Second, Apple claims to treat developers the same. Third, how can a new developer ever get started if being reputable is a prerequisite?'”
  • Belabored: Why ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ Fails Workers. A close look at what happens when corporations police themselves.”
  • Suspended Hell.”—”All social media both feeds and feeds on narcissism, but Twitter’s capacity to mirror the world and its users’ neuroses in discrete verbal and visual units, at least in certain corners of the site, elevates self-regard to a formal principle. We compulsively iterate ourselves as memes, set pieces, and DIY allegorical photos, as if hoping we’ll eventually perfect the reflection.”
  • Philosophical CAPTCHAs—”Select all the square with pipes.”
  • “‘A nightmare scenario’: how an anti-trans Instagram post led to violence in the streets. Misinformation about Wi Spa, a Korean spa in Los Angeles, quickly spread around the world. Since then, trans women in LA have faced violence and online abuse.”
  • Olympic Gymnast Luciana Alvarado Included a Black Lives Matter Tribute in Her Floor Routine. ‘We’re all beautiful and amazing.'”
  • You got your California digital vaccine record. But how does the QR code work? The QR code associated with your digital vaccine record uses a technology meant to…” Tweet—”Using a QR code to verify relevant health information between individuals interacting together without exposing other aspects of their private information is just one of many things California has learned from adult entertainment workers.”
  • Meet the Dommes Who Are Demanding Their Submissives Get Vaxxed. ‘I specialize in toilet play, and I can’t do it with people who are unvaccinated,’ says one domme requiring proof of vaccination for dungeon entry.”
  • The Surprising Innovations of Pandemic-Era Sex. Many queer people are reimagining their own boundaries and thinking of this reentry period as a time for sexual self-discovery.”
  • Some vaccinated Americans have lost their patience with those refusing the shot as Covid-19 cases surge and mandates return.”—”‘Why should those who don’t seem to want to do what’s best for the public now get to just benefit from being open again, while they also just spread Delta variant around?’ she said.
    ‘Those of us who got vaccinated, we want to live our lives,’ Tolford said. ‘The way to do it was to get vaccinated and we’ve done it and now you guys still don’t want to put other people first and put the greater good of society first, so maybe you guys need to just go stay home. Maybe it’s time for you guys not to be able to do everything because you don’t want to participate.'” Also tweet—”People in Missouri are donning disguises to receive a coronavirus vaccine, according to a doctor there. Patients are worried about how their family members and friends will treat them if they reveal they have been vaccinated.” Watch “Getting the Facts: COVID-19 Vaccines and Confidentiality.”

  • Netflix To Require Covid Vaccinations For Actors & Other “Zone A” Personnel On Its U.S. Productions.” Also Tweet—”Thank fucking god. The personal rights of conspiracy-theorists to endanger their own health don’t trump the rights of those of us living in reality to get our lives back. Hope to see this mandated to the rest of the company and beyond. It’s time to quit playing around.” By the by, check out this tweet with a picture of Alex Hirsch and Dana Terrace, with Dana in a Garfield & Baphomet dress.
  • The pandemic proved basic income works in the U.S.. Here’s how to answer Pope Francis’ call to build back better.”
  • Oh, ffs. “More than half of the white-tailed deer in Michigan have been infected with coronavirus.”
  • Lock down properly, and pay workers more to stay home.”—”Governments are willing to throw billions of dollars at business affected by lockdowns, with few strings attached, but drag their feet before announcing measures to help the working class.”
  • Damn Right Jan. 6 Was a Coup—This Was Trump’s Call That Led There. Before the MAGA goon squad stormed the Capitol building at the beginning of January, Trump had tried to get the DoJ to roll over for him at the end of December.”
  • Trump’s aggressive efforts to overturn election results come to light. A hand-written document released by the DOJ has the former president’s actions catching up with him.”
  • Former Virginia policeman charged in Capitol riot to stay in jail after buying guns. A federal judge called his purchases ‘a remarkable shopping spree for high-powered assault weapons.'” Tweet—”Was a police SERGEANT at the time of the insurrection * Was released on bail * Bought 34 firearms online * FBI finds a partially assembled pipe bomb in his home. * Since his arrest ‘has expressed pride’ in the riot and ‘enthusiasm for the prospect of future political violence.'”
  • ‘Comically Minimal Ego-Stroking’: Inside The Bumble Takedown Of A Violent Capitol Rioter. Andrew Taake was arrested for pepper-spraying and attacking police officers with a whip at the U.S. Capitol. Here’s how a Bumble dating app user reeled him in.”
  • The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy. In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic—and a clear threat to the nation.”—”He will not admit he is wrong; he will not stop believing. He will not understand that he was conned out of the millions he has spent ‘validating’ fake data.”
  • That Sneaky QAnon-Flavoured Post in Your Yoga Group. You can tell by the keywords. This isn’t going away.”—”Several commenters responded negatively to its ‘toxic positivity’. Some were suspicious that the text looked like a ransom note made from magazine-letter cutouts. But as a conspirituality researcher, three things stood out for me: ‘Consent’. ‘Agenda’. ‘I hereby nullify’.” “If you come across an anodyne but vaguely paranoid meme that offers spiritual solutions to a fallen world in strangely hackneyed language — dig a little. QAnon isn’t going away.”
  • Home Office set up fake website to deter asylum seekers from crossing Channel with ‘misleading’ claims. Exclusive: ‘On The Move’ website claims to offer ‘reliable information’ but does not disclose government affiliation.”
  • The Biden Administration must walk back the MailGuard program banning letters from home in federal prisons. The Bureau of Prisons is implementing a heartless, ineffective policy with far-reaching effects.”
  • Tweet—”EXCLUSIVE: Frito-Lay worker Brandon Ingram was severely electrocuted on the job, disabled and denied medical care. Now Brandon, his wife, and children are being stalked and secretly filmed by company agents. This is the most disturbing Frito-Lay story we’ve covered.”
  • How Games Workshop grew to become more profitable than Google. Tabletop gaming, based on a mix of science fiction and fantasy worlds, has seen sales surge during lockdown.”—”This week the Nottingham-based company, which produces the Warhammer fantasy role-playing brand, announced all of its workers would get a £5,000 bonus after sales and profits surged during the pandemic.”
  • Fire Engulfs Warehouse of South America’s Largest Film Collection.”—”A storage facility belonging to the Cinemateca, the national film institute in São Paulo, Brazil and South America’s largest film collection, went up in flames Thursday night. The 70,000-square-foot building is the nation’s latest cultural asset to succumb to preventable fires and floods, largely a consequence of deep budget cuts in the sector and government negligence.”
  • The revolutionary idea behind America’s urban trails. Pioneered more than a century ago by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, greenways are nature-filled city hikes that point to the future.”
  • How Black Foragers Find Freedom in the Natural World. Foraging has opened their eyes not just to the possibilities of new food sources, but to the legacy of land separation.”
  • Investment in Public Transportation That Exacerbates Inequality.”—”Government investments in public transport systems may very well be exacerbating inequality due to their direct ties with the global capitalist system.”
  • Cuts to art subjects funding ‘walk us back 60 years’, says artist Helen Cammock. UK’s decision to slash subsidy is designed to stifle criticism from artists, Turner prize winner says.”
  • Revealed: Science Museum signed gagging clause with exhibition sponsor Shell. The Science Museum has signed a gagging clause in its agreement with Shell International to sponsor its climate change exhibition, agreeing to take care not to say anything that could damage the company’s reputation, Channel 4 News has learnt.”
  • Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen.”—”McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known lawyer for church sexual abuse victims who is representing the man alleging the abuse by McCarrick.”
  • Tweet—”If anyone was considering entering this @Medium contest, make sure you read the fine print, which includes one of the shadiest content/rights grabs I’ve ever seen. Medium takes full rights, including derivative, for all pieces ENTERED in the contest (not just winners).” Also tweet—”honestly everyone just needs to stay the fuck away from Medium as platform. money and IP grabbing union busters. ask yourself why they’re running competitions for new writers after they sacked all the professionals they had just a few months ago.” Also tweet—”it’s hard to say no to work and hard to work in any sort of ethical or equitable framework nowadays, but Medium has so recently and repeatedly fucked people over — some of them friends — that I can’t help but side-eye folks I know working for and at Medium. if you can, pls avoid!”
  • The newest self-publishing platform for writers? OnlyFans.“—”The Internet has opened up new modes of self-publishing for writers: subscription services like Substack and Patreon, online releases on platforms like Gumroad, and even NFTs. Now, we’re seeing the debut (to my knowledge) of a new self-publishing model: writer Aurora Mattia has published her latest story “Ezekiel in the Snow” on her OnlyFans page, where she also releases adult content for her subscribers.”
  • The first bestselling paperback original in the US was a work of lesbian pulp fiction.” From 2005: “Sapphic soldiers. Tereska Torres — author of 1950s lesbian pulp novel ‘Women’s Barracks’ — talks about the ladies of the Free French Forces, shocking American audiences, and being mistaken for a ‘lesbian writer.'”
  • More on this: “Britney Spears’ New Lawyer Suggests Her Dad Dissipated Her Fortune.”
  • Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney for Breach of Contract Over ‘Black Widow’ Release.” Also “Women In Film, ReFrame & Time’s Up Condemn Disney For “Gendered Character Attack” On Scarlett Johansson In Her ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit.” Why can’t Marvel and Disney ever pay people? Also, this is about streaming rights in contracts. We’ve been here before. Remember the hullabaloo around 2006 or so about residuals for talent from DVD sales? And the writers’ strikes? Also music rights: “The weird legal reason many of your favorite shows aren’t on DVD.” (Remember the big deal about Sita Sings The Blues? See “Sita sings the copyright blues.” Music rights was also an issue for Synthetic Pleasures.) You know, frankly, I think the entire crew of a production should get residuals too. It is obscene how abusively bifurcated compensation is between casts and crews. That’s not to even mention how screwed voice actors are comparatively. But, releases direct to streaming services should probably change the equation, and, if DVD was a clue, not be presumed free for residuals. (Moreover “Is Matt Damon the last of Hollywood’s leading men? The actor is one of the world’s biggest stars — but he’s alarmed by the way cinema is changing. Is the A-lister one of a dying breed?”—”Movies as we know them aren’t going to be a thing in our kids’ lives.” Which, let’s be honest, even before lockdown, it has been so long since I went to a cinema that I can’t even remember when I was in one last, like by now it’s been, what, almost a decade for me? Seriously! They mostly suck, and in so many ways, and have for a very long time. Except for “specialty” cinemas, of which there are none anywhere near me anyway, they’re awful. I just don’t have much interest anymore, my self. Even the nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. And nowadays I wouldn’t trust a room of strangers around here not to be plague zombies.)
  • ‘The Green Knight’ Review: Monty Python and the Seventh Seal. Dev Patel plays a medieval hero on a mysterious quest in David Lowery’s adaptation of the 14th-century Arthurian romance.”
  • Watch “A Memoir Blue” trailer. “What are the moments that bond family together? From Cloisters Interactive, A Memoir Blue is a poignant story of a mother and daughter, experienced through memories cherished and memories suppressed.”
  • Watch “The Artful Escape” trailer. “A teenage guitar prodigy sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona and confront the legacy of a dead folk legend. Starring voice performances by Michael Johnston, Caroline Kinley, Lena Headey, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Strong, and Carl Weathers.”
  • Watch “Solar Ash” gameplay trailer.
  • Okay, Annapurna is already on fire with the surreal and wild stuff in the previous things, but I’ve literally been excited about and waiting for this since 2015, when it first burst out as a little demo of a cat in Kowloon that set certain parts of the Internet on fire. It’s finally going to release in 2022! Now it’s called Stray and is coming from Annapurna. Watch “Stray” offical gameplay and release trailer. Check out the HK devblog, which goes back to 2015. And this from 2016: “A Video Game Where You Play a Cat Exploring Hong Kong’s Densely Populated Kowloon Walled City.”—”HK Project is a video game where you play cat exploring Hong Kong’s densely populated, mostly ungoverned Kowloon Walled City. Players control a cat as it explores its stylized world by jumping and crawling around the city.”
  • Watch “Brand New Cherry Flavor“. “This isn’t your average revenge flick. A filmmaker heads to Hollywood in the early ‘90s to make her movie but tumbles down a hallucinatory rabbit hole of sex, magic, revenge – and kittens. Brand New Cherry Flavor — a new limited series starring Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener, Eric Lange, Jeff Ward and Manny Jacinto — premieres August 13.” From Netflix: “A filmmaker heads to Hollywood in the early ’90s to make her movie but tumbles down a hallucinatory rabbit hole of sex, magic, revenge — and kittens.” “Created by ‘Channel Zero’ writers Lenore Zion and Nick Antosca and based on the novel by Todd Grimson.” From 1996: Brand New Cherry Flavor [Amazon, Local Library] by Todd Grimson “Losing out on a much-needed directing job, Lisa Nova sets out to wreak a special vengeance on the high-living denizens of Hollywood, an erotic, nightmarish quest that awakens an age-old, implacable curse and leads to an encounter with the ultimate evil, the Soul Eater.” “In the world of Hollywood’s panderers, philanderers, has-beens, and sycophants, aspiring screenwriter and director Lisa Nova considers herself a rising star who can transcend the lies, cheating, and hypocrisy for the sake of her art. When she is coldly betrayed by one leering producer too many, she turns to Boro, the enigmatic leader of a local biker gang, to exact vengeance and she gets more than she bargained for. It begins with the strange tattoos that appear overnight on her skin like stigmata, followed by the hallucinations of ancient cults of the undead. Lisa soon finds herself contending with white jaguars and cannibalistic demons rising from the grave, and the lines between dreams and reality quickly dissolve in this surreal and exhilarating blend of satire and the macabre.”
  • A24 Lands Rights To Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Parable Of The Sower’, Setting ‘Time’ Director Garrett Bradley To Helm“—” A24 has won rights to Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction odyssey Parable of the Sower, the first in a two-book series, and has set Time director Garrett Bradley to direct. Originally published in 1993, the book has recently been rediscovered by fans and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for the first time in September 2020, fulfilling a lifelong dream of Butler’s. Paul Mezey will produce the film. The rights deal was negotiated by Anonymous Content on behalf of Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. A24 will finance and distribute. Set in a near-future Los Angeles devastated by societal collapse, a teenager with a unique gift must lead humanity in a battle against extinction.” Of course, this is about Parable of the Sower [“>Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Octavia E Butler—”This acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from an award-winning author pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid’s Tale and includes a foreword by N. K. Jemisin (John Green, New York Times). When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions. Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.”
  • Watch “The Day When All The Planets Will Align In This Century“, if you can stand to stick this silly thing out. However, I always thought that a configuration like this would be a good, essentially objective milestone from which to start a calendar year count that wasn’t, you know, based on monarchic or imperialistic measures. (See Burroughs on the five steps to consolidating revolutionary gains: “proclaim a new era and set up a new calendar”.)
  • Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, Seuss! Watch “Popular Words Invented by Authors.”—”Authors often create words just for a one-time usage… but a special few will gain traction and become full-fledged parts of our shared lexicon!”
  • From the Robots Coming For Our Jobs dept., wait. Actually, this is cool. Let the little machine work! “Robot arranges 100,000 dominoes into a Super Mario Bros. mural in one day. The robot is fed dominoes by another robot.” Watch “World Record Domino Robot (100k dominoes in 24hrs).”
  • Watch “NECRONOMIDOL – RITUAL.” Also tweet—”Note the unicursal hexagrams on the new Necroma outfits.”
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation Celebrates the Origins of He-Man.” This rightly notes that there are some bits of deep lore shown in animation for the first time ever in the new show.
  • Life lessons from beekeepers – stop mowing the lawn, don’t pave the driveway and get used to bugs in your salad.”
  • Could Apes Build a Society in 3,000 Years? the Science Behind Planet of the Apes—”There might come a day when our ape cousins emerge as something new, but we’re going to need to give them time. Probably a lot of it. Here’s hoping by then we’ve learned to get along.” Welp. No time for that. Let’s just start the uplift programs already!
  • From 2020: “An Ancient Dinosaur Relative Is Also Related to Humans—and Its DNA May Hold the Secret to Living Longer.”—”The tuatara is old. 250 million years old. That was when this bizarre creature shared its last common ancestor with other reptiles before it evolved further and diverged. It used to be one of of several Rhynocephalia species that crawled across the antediluvian continent of Gondwana, but is now the only one that remains. Its genome links it not only to reptiles (which it most obviously resembles), but also birds and yes, mammals like humans. DNA from this living relic could also be the elixir of life.”
  • From 2020: “A Parade of Earthly Delights: Floating Bosch Parade Celebrates Painter Hieronymus Bosch in Spectacular Aquatic Event.” “Until the next parade kicks off on June 17, 2021, stay up to date with the striking floats planned for the next event on Instagram and YouTube.” Also “Stunning Photos From The Bosch Parade, The Sailing Parade In The Spirit Of Jheronimus Bosch” Welp. Didn’t happen this year in June. It was rescheduled for June 16-19, 2022, so, you know … Check out Instagram, YouTube, and their website for more, and to follow along.
  • Alan Moore and Glycon by SerhiyKrykun.”

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