[I]f you use Google's Gmail and it just isn't working for you anymore, Microsoft wants to simplify the process of moving to Outlook.com.
This is roughly the equivalent of saying "if that thought-controlled flying Lamborghini just isn't working for you any more, Farmer Bob wants to simplify the process of moving to a blind, lame, rabid mule."
I also had several instances of acid reflux. Only the refluxes were not acid. No burning in my mouth or throat. Each time, I gargled with about 2 ounces of water, swallowed, then went back to sleep.
Very strange. No changes in diet other than adding 1 scoop of nutritional yeast in my Way-Good-Whey, but that was 12 hours before bedtime.
Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three: An Article 5 Novel, out in February from Tor Books. We want to give you a copy of the book right now, so you can follow Chase and Ember as they run from the Bureau of Reformation and seek refuge with the nebulous organization known as Three.
Check below for the rules:
This is a kind of continuation of the last one. The last one generated a lot of notes on Tumblr (1300+ in 24 hours, a kind of personal record) so this direction is not a bad one to take. Also, according to some of the replies, I was surprised to see the amount of support some people had from their partners, and this is forcing me to rethink that maybe these kinds of scenarios aren’t as rare as I thought.
Artistically, I decided to put a little more effort into this with backgrounds and such. I draw each panel in a space less than the size of a credit card so there isn’t much area to work with and the pens have to be extremely thin. But I really like how this came out for a change.
See original post: http://wp.me/p3KYMB-e9 (ClayComix.Com)
WhenI first wrote about contemporary American painter Jeremy Lipking back in 2006, I was struck in particular with his subtle and masterful understanding of value, and its relationship to color.
That impression has only been reinforced by the work I’ve seen from Lipking since then. His figures and faces, along with an occasional still life or landscape, carry forward the compositional strengths and restrained use of color often found in the late 19th century portrait masters like John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, perhaps along with painters like Jules Bastien-Lepage.
I get the impression that in instances where other painters might work and rework to push their colors brighter, Lipking works and refines his compositions to restrain them into greater depths of harmony.
Lipking’s work will be on display in a solo show at Arcadia Contemporary in NY, that opens tomorrow, December 12, and runs to December 31, 2013.
While the show is running, a preview should be available here, but the page hasn’t turned over to the new show yet, and will be replaced with another show when this one is over. In the meanwhile there is a magazine style preview here. Even though the latter is in one of those dreadful page-flipping, jiggling-zoom magazine formats, it’s tolerable if you make it full screen. YOu can also see his Arcadia Gallery regular listing.
Lipking conducts workshops, and has three instructional DVDs available on portrait and figure painting.
[Note: some images in the sites linked are NSFW]
Check out The Rule of Three by Eric Walters, available January 21st, 2014 from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux!
One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed.
Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival.
[Read an Excerpt]
“How many of us keep writing ourselves out of our own story, and kicking ourselves out of our own need for home…
Invite yourself in. You matter.”
Temperatures have hovered around and below freezing for days in a row in a place where the thermometer usually ranges between 40 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. The bay cradles the land, keeping us both warm and cool. But sometimes the unusual happens.
I layered silk long johns under my jeans before hopping on my bike.
The bustle of the kitchen had slowed down by the time I arrived. Everyone who had someplace to go, had gone. Those that remained had nothing. No tent under an overpass, no tiny room in an SRO, no couch, no bed, no money to camp out on the train or in a warm cafe. They huddled under coats and donated military blankets. Several gathered in the one tiny patch of sunlight near the women’s bathroom. The patch was shrinking.
Come closing time, I noticed that none of the volunteers were saying our usual chipper, “We’re closing folks, thanks for coming!” A few people lingered as long as possible, slowly gathering belongings and putting on layers. I bent my head back toward the table I was scrubbing down and paused. A wave of sadness washed through me. One moment of despair. There was nothing I could do for these people. Nothing except turn them back out into the cold. “This isn’t a personal failure,” I said to myself, though it felt like it. “This isn’t a failure of the kitchen. It is a failure of our culture.” And in the 10 billion year scheme of things, it likely is no failure at all.
The six members of the Walton family have one hundred fifty billion dollars. Six members of our local bay community have died from exposure in the last two weeks.
I tell this story because it is important. I tell this story also because it connects to you. To my students. Clients. Friends.
Too many of us are always putting other’s needs ahead of our own, while other’s aren’t doing that nearly enough. In either direction lies injustice.
The quote I began this piece with was something I wrote to a student last week.
I posted it on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, and sure enough, some people responded. Still later, a session with a spiritual direction client also steered in this direction. I wrote about this Thanksgiving week, but the aura of it remains, so here we go again:
Too many of us are in pain. Too many of us are locking the parts that are in pain – or the parts that are pissed off, grieving, fearful – out in the cold. Too many of us are forgetting that we ourselves need kindness. That parts of our soul need a cup of soup and a smile.
The Five of Pentacles shows two destitute people, one likely a leper, one with bare feet. They trudge through the snow, past a brightly lit window. What parts of you feel like this? Outcast. Hurting. Shivering. Not allowed in.
We don’t have to live in the Five of Pentacles, always shut away from bright lights and warmth. I invite you to find the parts of self that feel cold and lonely and welcome them into your arms. I invite you to offer them something warm and comforting to drink.
Even for the space of three long breaths, find a way to offer yourself kindness.
I invite you to find one small way to also do this for one other.
Even members of the Walton family likely need a welcome in from the cold.
Sometimes one act of kindness can change somebody’s world.
Dealing with Salt Stains
One of the big dangers for shoes in the winter is salt stains. When roads become icy and salt gets put down, the resulting slush can seep into shoes and leave salt at the high-water mark. If this salt isn’t taken out, it can leave a permanent line in the leather, much like how scum is left after a receding tide.
If you do get salt on your shoes, you should let them dry naturally and wipe them down the next day with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. When you do, you’ll notice your shoes considerably darken. This is OK, as the leather is just soaking up the solution. Just rub along where the salt has gathered and you’ll be able to take it out before it does any real damage. Afterwards, let them dry naturally again before putting on some leather conditioner and giving them a layer of wax polish. This should give them a minimal amount of protection next time you go out.
Truthfully, as simple as this sounds, this process can become a bit of a chore if you live in an area with long winters. So the other solution is to wear shoes you don’t have to worrying about staining. Work boots are particularly good in this category, such as those made by Red Wing (the Beckman, Iron Ranger, 875, and 877 models are particularly nice), Wolverine (1000 Mile is the standard), and Chippewa (J. Crew has some models on sale right now for 30% off). I also recently picked up some brown “trench boots” from Oak Street Bootmakers. Their model is a bit more expensive, but I find the shape less clunky and the shoes easier to break-in.
Pictured above is the same trench boot model, but in Oak Street’s “natural Chromexcel” leather, which they source from Horween. These were worn through Chicago’s last winter and purposefully put through a bunch of snow and puddles in heavily salted areas. Horween’s Chromexcel is a particularly “oily” material, so it doesn’t get salt stains easily, but even here you can see that what “damage” has been done only make the boots look better.
Of course, you can only wear work boots with certain clothes, so if you need to wear a suit everyday for work, you might just have to put a little more time into your shoe care regime. But, if you don’t, wear shoes you don’t have to worry about ruining. Some shoes look better a bit beat up.
High Rise with Pleats
I love this photo of our friends over at The Armoury. The guy on the right is Jake, who’s wearing a pair of high waisted, grey flannel trousers built with single pleats. All too often, I read bloggers and fashion writers say that high-waisted trousers and pleated pants should be categorically avoided, or that you should only wear pleats if you’re a heavy set man. That’s a bunch of nonsense. You’d be surprised how good both can look if the tailoring is done well.
One upside to having a higher rise is that your shirt and belt don’t peek out when your jacket is buttoned, as your trouser’s waistline will be closer to your jacket’s buttoning point. That said, a higher-rise can look great when the jacket is open or closed, as evidenced by Alan and Jake above.
(photo via lnsee)
Outside of the glorious denim-on-denim combo that Will Forte wears while sitting astride his steed Teddy Jr., this has nothing to do with menswear. I just really love it every time “Ted Turner” is on Conan. So watch it, you hall of fame bong wranglers.
“Selfies” were in the news again today, as the press evidently felt that the U.S. president taking one of himself and some other world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was a newsworthy event (sigh).
Here are some more artists’ “selfies”, done with brush or graphite.
(Images above: Diego Rivera, George Tooker, Frits Thaulow, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Alphonse Mucha, Titian, Burton Silverman, Zinaida Serebriakova. [Thanks to Daniel van Benthuysen and Eric Kelly for their suggestions of Burton Silverman and Zinaida Serebriakova.])
Mental As Anything
Written by Mark Saraceni, directed by Geoff Bennett
Season 4, episode 15
1st UK Transmission Date: 20 January2002
1st US Transmission Date: 31 January 2003
Guest Cast: Blair Venn (Macton Tal), John Brumpton (Katoya), Rachel Gordon (Lo'Laan)
Synopsis: John wants info on the Skreeth, so Scorpius tells him that a man called Katoya, who trains people in mental discipline and martial arts, may be able to help—but only if D’Argo, Rygel and John undergo Katoya’s training. It’s partly a ruse—while he is keen to find out about the Skreeth, Scorpius also wants John to undergo anti-Scarran training, so he will be able to resist interrogation when he is inevitably captured.
The holidays are a time for peace on Earth and good will towards man. So movies set at that time often involve heartwarming and cute scenes like Tiny Tim saying, “God bless us everyone;” Jimmy Stewart running through Bedford Falls wishing everybody a, “Merry Christmas;” and the guy from The Walking Dead telling Kiera Knightly that she’s perfect. That’s fine, and those are some scenes from good movies, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a good action sequence at Christmas time. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to watch brave heroes and heroines battle to preserve the spirit of the season. So, if you’re in the mood for some mayhem to go along with your cheer, here are several exciting holiday classics to consider:
Die Hard (1988) & Die Hard 2 (1990)
These are the two films that probably come to mind when most people think about Christmas action movies, and for good reason, too. Watching a lone everyman (granted, his everyman quality tended to diminish as the film franchise went on), John McClane, try to save Christmas from an army of bad guys is a lot of fun, especially when their leader is Alan Rickman. The tension, humor, and Rickman’s villainy make the first film one of the greatest action movies of all time, but the sequel where McClane tries to liberate a busy holiday airport from the grip of William Sadler’s rogue military unit is a lot of fun, too.
If the first Die Hard is already a regularly part of your holiday viewing, you might want to try reading the novel it's based on, Roderick Thorp's Nothing Lasts Forever, which is a much darker and grittier story. It features an older protagonist named Joe Leland, but it's still fantastic. I'm currently reading 58 Minutes by Walter Wager, which was the inspiration for Die Hard 2.
[KaBOOM! Santa's got a half dozen more to drop on you...]
Long time readers of Lines and Colors will know that, with a few exceptions, I’m not particularly fond of modernism — especially post-war American modernism.
Sculptor Alexander calder is certainly one of the exceptions. I’ve loved his work since I was introduced to it when I was in high-school, where we were encouraged to make our own “mobiles” in art class. This was reinforced by the fact that Calder and his family of sculptors (father and grandfather) were from here in Philadelphia, and there are examples all around, including the wonderful large mobile called Ghost in the great staircase hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Calder created his sculptures with wire and wonderful flat metal shapes that looked like the inspiration for the best 60′s modern design and the related styles of animation. And Calder’s sculptures are animated! The move, suspended from wires or balanced on pedestals, with an uncanny slow-motion dance of balance and grace, driven by the most subtle disturbances in the air around them.
Most sculptures are about form and space, and how one defines the other (see my post on Bernini). Calder’s sculptures were also about air and time and gravity.
Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic is a show now on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that continues to July 27, 2014.
For more, including a discussion of why I find Calder so fascinating, see my 2006 article on Alexander Calder.
SAG announced the nominees for its annual awards this morning. I'm thrilled to say that the cast of GAME OF THRONES are nominated as Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Drama, on a shortlist that also includes our familiar rivals BOARDWALK EMPIRE, BREAKING BAD, DOWNTON ABBEY, and HOMELAND. The guild members also nominated our fearless stuntwomen and stuntmen for Outstanding Action Performance by Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series. BOARDWALK EMPIRE, BREAKING BAD, and HOMELAND are up in that category as well, along with THE WALKING DEAD. And Peter Dinklage, our once and future Tyrion Lannister, was nominated as Best Actor in a Television Drama. He will vie for the award against Steve Buscemi (BOARDWALK EMPIRE), Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD), Jeff Daniels (THE NEWSROOM), and Kevin Spacey (HOUSE OF CARDS).
For a full list of the nominees, go to:
The SAG nominations follow close on the heels of AFI's annual announcement, recognizing their ten favorite films and television shows of the previous year. GAME OF THRONES made the list for the third year in a row. The AFI recognition is especially nice since it has no winners and no losers; all ten of the chosen films and television shows share the recognition.
AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
AFI AWARDS 2013 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
Tomorrow the Golden Globe nominations will be announced, and we'll see if the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will make us three for three. Keep your fingers crossed.
- Current Location:Santa Fe
- Current Mood: happy
The episode I'm going to talk about now is The Corbomite Maneuver.
As I'm sure practically everyone has seen this episode, I'll go ahead with the spoilers. The Enterprise participates in a tense saber-rattling exercise with an unknown alien only to discover that the alien in question was testing humanity's responses from behind a scary facade and was actually friendly and nice--once the test was passed. Okay. First, let's keep in mind that this was less than four years after the American Cuban Missile Crisis. This is a huge factor in American SF of that era. The feeling of having passed an important test for humanity as a whole was huge in America's consciousness at that time. The feeling of relief was made even more powerful by the fact that people had been exposed daily to the concept that humanity was going to die in a giant mushroom cloud at any second. Now, understand I've seen this episode before. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen all the original episodes at one time or another.) I knew how it would play out. (With Kirk, McCoy, and Useless-New-Navigational-Officer Bailey drinking with baby Clint Howard.) Still, the differences between my expectations and what happens hit me pretty hard.
SF then: After repeated unsuccessful attempts to run away from the mysterious space cube, Kirk doesn't resort to readying phasers until the ship experiences dangerous radiation. (the clip actually edits out this part.) He didn't shoot until the cube was so close that the effects of the blast shake the entire ship. They actually take damage. In spite of this, when the vasty-huge alien space ship (shown in clip) shows up and says, "Dude, you guys are totally trespassing. Die now." Kirk doesn't instantly assume an aggressive posture. He tries to talk his way out of the situation because he may have made a big mistake in blasting the cube. When the alien rattles its sword again Kirk continues to seek a diplomatic solution. He apologises. Then he resorts to bluffing. Even the contents of the bluff aren't over the top aggressive. He states that attacking his ship will result in an explosion of equal amount of force returned to the individual alien ship due to the alien's attack. They're dragged off by the tracker beam to alien prison. Kirk manages a successful escape attempt through passive resistance. Alien ship is disabled. Kirk lends aid to the alien. Alien reveals he's okay and not only gives humanity a passing test grade but offers an exchange of technology. Everyone learns more from the experience, and everyone is better off.
SF now: Captain Jack McClane runs across alien space probe. It repeatedly blocks his path. Losing patience with the stupid cube, he assumes it's a terrorist plot and nukes it. Everyone shouts "W00t!" and claps. Then the vasty-huge alien space ship shows up. Captures Enterprise in tracker beam tells them they've trespassed. McClane declares apologies are for the weak. No clear borders were obvious. It's the aliens' fault for not being clear that the area was theirs. "You should've provided a sign written in English! Or perhaps a flag!" Anyway, space wants to be free. Alien says they will be punished in space prison, nonetheless. Everyone on the good ship Enterprise is certain this is the end. They'll surely be killed by the unreasonable savage alien. Oh, woe. McClane has sex with Yeoman Rand. Because Rand doesn't want to die a 30 year old virgin. McClane calls alien a "Bobble Head" or "Puppet Face" or somesuch juvenile name in an effort to be funny and dismissive because he has to be in power at all times. When the alien still won't let the Enterprise go McClane declares that such an action is an act of war and that the entire Federation will come down upon the alien and bomb him, his people, and his ancestors back into the stone age--assuming they ever had a stone age. Suddenly, McClane divines a means of attack, using chewing gum and a hair pin from Yeoman Rand's bra--also a few handy gallons of gasoline and a match. Damages alien ship. Alien asks for help. McClane blows up the ship because we all know it's only a trap, and that guy was a douche anyway. Goes about his business with a self-satisfied "we showed those bastards" smirk. Because there are no people actually occupying Space, the Final Frontier only Alien Things. Manifest Destiny, baby! Fuck yeah!
We've come to expect violence as the answer to all ills as an audience. I felt it as I was watching this episode. "Why didn't he just blow up the 'bad' guy?" This is why (among other reasons) I object to there being only one type of story. It's time to explore more options more frequently. I suspect that's the optimism people miss. Trek isn't shiny happy people doing shiny happy things in shiny happy space. It never was. Conflict isn't the problem either. Stories need tension. Therefore, original Star Trek characters face grim situations and they do today. They just choose to respond in other ways beyond violence.
Isn't that interesting?
 Mind you, the fact that Uhura is on the bridge at all in 1966 is HUGE. She was the reason why I was interested in SF. She made it okay for women of any variety to be in SF as something other than a prize to be collected.
 Don't ask why Yeoman Rand keeps these things in her bra. You'd think that would chafe--especially the gasoline can. Good thing she doesn't smoke for fear of damaging future babies.
It's not terrible. Pretty neat, actually. Less boom-boom than I was worried about. I joked on the dayjob blog that rather than "based on All You Need Is Kill", we might say that the film is "thematically adjacent to All You Need Is Kill." Yes, it's whitewashed, but given the sales of the books and the orders coming in for the mass-market tie-in edition, the film remains a great commercial for the novel!
In other news, I have a new essay up on BullSpec, about my new novel Love Is the Law (which is under eight bucks, and fits in Christmas stockings, btw), in which I explain why it's actually like The Alchemist.
Image borrowed from here.
Via Nick Mamatas,this article about writer Colin Wilson, who passed away in the last week, which begins:
How dismayed the late Colin Wilson would have been if, through some of the occult powers in which he believed, he had been able to read his own obituaries.
The man whose first book The Outsider caused him to be lionised in 1956 by the literary greats of the day has been remembered in several blogs for his later novel Space Vampires, which inspired a famously trashy Hollywood film. In the broadsheets, the life of a self-proclaimed genius has been given the faintly amused treatment favoured by obituarists when dealing with a life of eccentricity or failed promise.
Yet there is sort of heroism in the way that Wilson, having been abandoned by those who once praised him, remained loyal to his own talent, living a life of writing, reading and thinking –probably in that order.
The article, which you might be able to tell from the excerpt, is playing both ends of the game with regard to Wilson (which is why Nick pointed it out, I suspect — to mock it). Wilson would be dismayed, but on the other hand he did what he wanted, but on the other other hand here’s a checklist of things to avoid if you want your obits to be properly reverential.
And, I don’t know. One, I think if Mr. Wilson is still sentient after his death, he’s got other, more interesting things to think about than his obits; I suspect at that point worrying about your obits would be like worrying about the end-of-year assessment of your kindergarten teacher once you were out of college (“Nice kid. Hopefully will figure out paste is not for eating.”).
Two, if Mr. Wilson had any sense at all — or any ego, which by all indications he certainly did — then he recognized (before he passed on, obviously) that to the extent he and his work will be remembered at all, obituaries — transient news stories that they are — are insignificant. He’ll be remembered for the work, and the status of the work in the context of history is not settled at the time of the obituary.
Salient example: Gaze, if you will, on the New York Times obituary for Philip K. Dick, on March 3, 1982. It is four graphs long (the final two graphs being two and one sentences long, respectively) — which for a science fiction writer is pretty damn good, when it comes to obits in America’s Paper of Record, but which, shall we say, does not really suggest that Dick’s notability would long survive him. Now, look at the voluminous record of writing about Dick in the NYT post-obit — an index of five pages of thumbsuckers. Pre-death, I find one note about Dick in the index, and it’s one of those Arts & Leisure preview bits.
So, yes. The obit was not the final word, because the work continues — or at least, can. In Dick’s case, the majority of his fame has come after his death, alas for him. He (nor any of us) would not know that from the four paragraphs in the NYT on 3/3/82.
I noted it before and will like do so again: As a creative person (or, really, any other sort of person), you have absolutely no control how history will know you, if indeed they know you at all. For most creative people, to the extent they are remembered at all, they will be remembered for one thing, because the culture at large only has so much space for any of us. You won’t get to choose which one thing for which you are remembered. If, for Wilson, the one thing he’s remembered for is Space Vampires rather than The Outsider, then that is still one more thing for which he is remembered than the billions of us who go to our graves and are swallowed up by them. So well done him.
But even then, the culture’s memory is not infinite. Wilson’s work, one way or another, is not likely to survive the vicious cultural culling that happens over the course of time; it’s unlikely to be remembered by anyone but academics in a hundred years, or even them long after that (nor, to be clear, will mine, or the unfathomably large majority of works being created today). The good news is the judgment of the obits will have passed from this world long before then. And in any event the sun is going to swell up into a red giant in five billion years and likely swallow up the planet, so that’ll be the end of all of it.
(Obit for the sun: “A long, pedestrian life followed by a brief illness; survived by Jupiter, three other planets and numerous moons and comets. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Orphaned Trans-Neptunian Objects Fund.”)
I don’t know Mr. Wilson to any degree — I am one of those who knew him best for creating the source material for Life Force, which was a terrible movie — but my wish for him was that he lived the sort of life where he didn’t actually care what his obits said, and instead enjoyed his life and left work that had the possibility of speaking for itself, over time. If you’re a creative (or indeed any other) person, let me suggest you don’t worry about your obits either. As well as you can, live the life you want to live and make the work you want to make. After you’re gone, it’ll all be sorted out or not. You won’t be around to worry about it. Focus on the parts you’re around for.