July 23, 2014
"

Minecraft-the-game, maintained in Sweden by Persson’s small studio, is just the seed, or maybe the soil. The true Minecraft (no italics, for we are speaking of something larger now) is the game plus the sprawling network of tutorials, wikis, galleries, videos—seriously, search for “minecraft” on YouTube and be amazed—mods, forum threads, and more. The true Minecraft is the oral tradition: secrets and rumors shared in chat rooms, across cafeteria tables, between block-faced players inside the game itself.

The true Minecraft is the books.

"

— Robin Sloan on the secret of Minecraft, its links to medieval magick and why my 9-year-old’s favorite TV show is now a YouTube channel narrated by what sounds like an absolutely obsessed adolescent gamer who does epic and in-SANE things with square-headed zombies and a horribly animated Godzilla.

July 7, 2014
"

If you’re going to christen a new company, it literally pays to choose easy-to-remember names like Barnings or Hillard. Even the three-letter ticker codes assigned to each stock made a difference: after just 24 hours on the markets, stocks with pronounceable ticker codes (e.g., KAG) rose in value 33% more than those with unpronounceable ticker codes (e.g., KGA). The simpler or more fluent the name, the more familiar and comfortable it felt, so, like a sunny day, a simple name dampened the riskiness of the gamble.


There’s plenty of evidence that the rest of us fall prey to similar biases. If you look at the names of some of the largest companies in the world, you’ll notice something that inspired founder George Eastman to name his camera company Kodak: They begin with a strong, decisive hard C or K. One analysis conducted in 1979 found that companies like Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Koch Industries and Costco made up 39 of the top 200 US companies, while a whopping 93 of those companies contained the sound somewhere in their names. The sound is one that conveys strength.

"

New York Post, “Trade of the Trick”, 24 Mar 14.

June 30, 2014
"

I did things in my 30s that were ignored by the world, that could have been quickly labeled a failure. Here’s a classic example; in 1974 I did a movie called Phantom of the Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise, which was a huge flop in this country. There were only two cities in the world where it had any real success: Winnipeg, in Canada, and Paris, France. So, okay, let’s write it off as a failure. Maybe you could do that.

But all of the sudden, I’m in Mexico, and a 16-year-old boy comes up to me at a concert with an album - a Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack- and asks me to sign it. I sign it. Evidently I was nice to him and we had a nice little conversation. I don’t remember the moment, I remember signing the album (I don’t know if I think I remember or if I actually remember). But this little 14 or 16, whatever old this guy was… Well I know who the guy is now because I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth; it’s Guillermo del Toro.

The work that I’ve done with Daft Punk it’s totally related to them seeing Phantom of the Paradise 20 times and deciding they’re going to reach out to this 70-year-old songwriter to get involved in an album called Random Access Memories.

So, what is the lesson in that? The lesson for me is being very careful about what you label a failure in your life. Be careful about throwing something in the round file as garbage because you may find that it’s the headwaters of a relationship that you can’t even imagine it’s coming in your future.

"

Paul Williams  (via albinwonderland)

There should be a word for the specific kind of creative failure that still leaves a lasting positive impression. It would describe most of my favorite movies, and a few of my very favorite albums.

(via andrewhickeywriter)

June 26, 2014
I think I would like spoken word on an X-ray of myself. Although it would make a great gift from a teenage boy to the object of his affections: Here, I made you a mix LP. And I broke my arm so you could have it. 

Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, people in the Soviet Union began making records of banned Western music on discarded x-rays. With the help of a special device, banned bootlegged jazz and rock ‘n’ roll records were “pressed” on thick radiographs salvaged from hospital waste bins and then cut into discs of 23-25 centimeters in diameter. “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole,” says author Anya von Bremzen. “You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”  [via objectoccult]

I think I would like spoken word on an X-ray of myself. Although it would make a great gift from a teenage boy to the object of his affections: Here, I made you a mix LP. And I broke my arm so you could have it.

Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, people in the Soviet Union began making records of banned Western music on discarded x-rays. With the help of a special device, banned bootlegged jazz and rock ‘n’ roll records were “pressed” on thick radiographs salvaged from hospital waste bins and then cut into discs of 23-25 centimeters in diameter. “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole,” says author Anya von Bremzen. “You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.” [via objectoccult]

June 18, 2014
levantineviper-archive:

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space is depicted in this poster from 1967.
Translation: Our women - our pride!


Poor Valentina…

levantineviper-archive:

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space is depicted in this poster from 1967.

Translation: Our women - our pride!

Poor Valentina…

(via brucesterling)

June 1, 2014

Bunny Yeager, maker of icons, Not Safe For Work Florida character, RIP.

April 24, 2014
"It was weary-sounding because it was 1996 and no one my age knew how to have fun. Maybe we were tired of screaming all the time. We were definitely the most slouch-shouldered generation in recent memory. When E sang, his voice sounded prematurely tired, he looked smart and worn, and we knew from his thrift-store leather jacket and safety glasses that he’d seen enough of life to know that elegant resignation was infinitely better than trying too hard."

— John Roderick on listening to the Eels and facing middle age.

April 23, 2014

"You can’t expect a language that well-traveled to be regular."

February 25, 2014
"Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums."

From Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of this Snowden-released Powerpoint presentation, evidently used to train intelligence agents how to use principles of stage magic to infiltrate online communities and shape internet discourse.

There are photos of UFOs in there.

Photographs. Of UFOs.

[via]

February 5, 2014
"Scott and his men never made it back to England; they died of starvation and exhaustion on their return trip. Though they reached the South Pole, they were second to Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team, who brought five times more cocoa."

Outside extols the manly virtues of hot chocolate.

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