Novelty: Vintage Cadillac Bicycle

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‘More Terrific Thrills on the Unknown Planet

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via Zontar of Venus: More “The Hotspur” – 


Confirmation Bias?

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[VIDEO] ‘A Wild Hare’, 1940: Happy Birthday, Wabbit! Bugs Bunny Turns 75 Years Old

The world’s favorite cartoon rabbit is 75 years old today. Bugs Bunny made his first appearance in 1940 in the theatrical short “A Wild Hare.” CBSN’s Elaine Quijano shows us how his catch line, “What’s up doc?” has stuck ever since.

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At WSJ, Mike Ayers writes:

 Bugs is being hunted down by Elmer Fudd, a dance the two would engage in for many years to come. In the first appearance, Bugs’s voice is a bit deeper, but his penchant for trickery at Elmer’s expense is immediate.

Watch the cartoon above.

Fun fact about “A Wild Hare”: In 1940, it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Short, but lost to “The Milky Way.”

On “Looney Tunes” animator Chuck Jones’s Facebook page, a note about “Wild Hare” director Tex Avery was posted, with six tips Jones learned from Avery about art and animation:

Happy 75th Anniversary, Bugs Bunny! Bugs first appearance was on July 27, 1940 in a short cartoon directed by Tex Avery, “A Wild Hare”. In August of 1980 when Tex passed away, Chuck wrote an appreciation that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. It said in part:

“What Tex taught me was this:

“1. You must love what you caricature. You must not mock it–unless it is ridiculously self-important.

“2. You must learn to respect that golden atom, that single-frame of action, that 1/24th of a second, because the difference between lightning and the lightning bug may hinge on that single frame.

“3. You must respect the impulsive thought and try to implement it. You cannot perform as a director by what you already know, you must depend on the flash of inspiration that you do not expect and do not know. Read the rest of this entry »


‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Clinton, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen

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New York Magazine’s Cosby feature

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Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Federal Bureau of Investigation Founder J. Edgar Hoover, Before Lunch

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[VIDEO] First Full ‘Spectre’ Trailer HD

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007 Spectre Trailer 2 (2015) Daniel Craig James Bond Movie HD [Official Trailer]

 

 


Stanley Kubrick Born Today, July 26

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Director Stanley Kubrick 1928 – 1999

Stanley Kubrick was born in New York, and was considered intelligent despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance, Kubrick’s father Jack (a physician) sent him in 1940 to Pasadena, California, to stay with his uncle Martin Perveler. Returning to the Bronx in 1941 for his last year of grammar school, there seemed to be little change in his attitude or his results. Hoping to find something to interest his son, Jack introduced Stanley to chess, with the desired result. Kubrick took to the game passionately, and quickly became a skilled player. Chess would become an important device for Kubrick in later years, often as a tool for dealing with recalcitrant actors, but also as an artistic motif in his films.

Jack Kubrick’s decision to give his son a camera for his thirteenth birthday would be an even wiser move: Kubrick became an avid photographer, and would often make trips around New York taking photographs which he would develop in a friend’s darkroom. After selling an unsolicited photograph to Look Magazine, Kubrick began to associate with their staff photographers, and at the age of seventeen was offered a job as an apprentice photographer.

In the next few years, Kubrick had regular assignments for “Look”, and would become a voracious movie-goer. Together with friend Alexander Singer, Kubrick planned a move into film, and in 1950 sank his savings into making the documentary Day of the Fight (1951). This was followed by several short commissioned documentaries (Flying Padre (1951), and (The Seafarers (1953), but by attracting investors and hustling chess games in Central Park, Kubrick was able to make Fear and Desire (1953) in California.

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Filming this movie was not a happy experience; Kubrick’s marriage to high school sweetheart Toba Metz did not survive the shooting. Despite mixed reviews for the film itself, Kubrick received good notices for his obvious directorial talents. Kubrick’s next two films Killer’s Kiss (1955) and The Killing (1956) brought him to the attention of Hollywood, and in 1957 he directed Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory (1957). Douglas later called upon Kubrick to take over the production of Spartacus (1960), by some accounts hoping that Kubrick would be daunted by the scale of the project and would thus be accommodating. This was not the case, however: Kubrick took charge of the project, imposing his ideas and standards on the film. Many crew members were upset by his style: cinematographer Russell Metty complained to producers that Kubrick was taking over his job. Kubrick’s response was to tell him to sit there and do nothing. Metty complied, and ironically was awarded the Academy Award for his cinematography.

Kubrick’s next project was to direct Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), but negotiations broke down and Brando himself ended up directing the film himself. Disenchanted with Hollywood and after another failed marriage, Kubrick moved permanently to England, from where he would make all of his subsequent films. Despite having obtained a pilot’s license, Kubrick was rumored to be afraid of flying.

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Kubrick’s first UK film was Lolita (1962), which was carefully constructed and guided so as to not offend the censorship boards which at the time had the power to severely damage the commercial success of a film. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) was a big risk for Kubrick; before this, “nuclear” was not considered a subject for comedy. Originally written as a drama, Kubrick decided that too many of the ideas he had written were just too funny to be taken seriously. The film’s critical and commercial success allowed Kubrick the financial and artistic freedom to work on any project he desired. Around this time, Kubrick’s focus diversified and he would always have several projects in various stages of development: “Blue Moon” (a story about Hollywood’s first pornographic feature film), “Napoleon” (an epic historical biography, abandoned after studio losses on similar projects), “Wartime Lies” (based on the novel by Louis Begley), and “Rhapsody” (a psycho-sexual thriller).

The next film he completed was a collaboration with sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is hailed by many as the best ever made; an instant cult favorite, it has set the standard and tone for many science fiction films that followed. Kubrick followed this with A Clockwork Orange (1971), which rivaled Lolita (1962) for the controversy it generated – this time not only for its portrayal of sex, but also of violence. Barry Lyndon (1975) would prove a turning point in both his professional and private lives. His unrelenting demands of commitment and perfection of cast and crew had by now become legendary. Actors would be required to perform dozens of takes with no breaks. Filming a story in Ireland involving military, Kubrick received reports that the IRA had declared him a possible target. Production was promptly moved out of the country, and Kubrick’s desire for privacy and security resulted in him being considered a recluse ever since.

Having turned down directing a sequel to The Exorcist (1973), Kubrick made his own horror film: The Shining (1980). Again, rumors circulated of demands made upon actors and crew. Stephen King (whose novel the film was based upon) reportedly didn’t like Kubrick’s adaptation (indeed, he would later write his own screenplay which was filmed as The Shining (1997).)

Kubrick’s subsequent work has been well spaced: it was seven years before Full Metal Jacket (1987) was released. By this time, Kubrick was married with children and had extensively remodeled his house. Seen by one critic as the dark side to the humanist story of Platoon (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987) continued Kubrick’s legacy of solid critical acclaim, and profit at the box office. Read the rest of this entry »


Help Fund My Robot Army!

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An anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional kickstarter crowdfunding pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. (There is a link to a preview on the Humble page).

I got this bundle recently. This book is original and inspiring (if you have an imaginative mind). Interesting to see how these imaginary kickstarter pitches, with a description, goals and comments, suggest a story. Some titles: The Spirit of Mars: Fund a Sacred Journey to the Red PlanetCatassassins!, A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal FlowLife-Sized Arena TetrisPrima Nocta Detective Agency Needs You, and many more. Read the rest of this entry »


Campaign 2016: Donald Trump Challenges Other GOP Contenders to Farting Contest

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UPDATE: Important Headline Correction

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Error: Previous headline said “Elecocutes”. Should be “Electrify”. We apologize for any inconvenience.


The Mighty Peatonito! Mexico’s Masked Hero Making Streets Safe – for Pedestrians

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Peatonito and the clowns from the civic association the Claustrofobos are among a wave of activists fighting uncivil behavior and bad urban planning. 

Mexico City (AFP) – On the mean and traffic-choked streets of Mexico City, a fearless superhero is fighting to protect the planet from the worst the internal combustion engine can throw at it.

“Pedestrians are happy because they finally have a defender. We live in a car dictatorship. Nobody had fought for pedestrian rights until some activists emerged a few years ago.”

— The mighty Peatonito

The mighty Peatonito (Little Pedestrian) pushes cars blocking the path of pedestrians, creates crosswalks with spray paint, and climbs on vehicles parked on sidewalks — though his mother has begged him to stop stepping on them.

Six philosophy graduates founded the group "Ponte la del Metro" to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Six philosophy graduates founded the group “Ponte la del Metro” to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

“We think that giving information through art and culture makes information more fun.”

— Co-founder Aldo Giordano

“Pedestrians are happy because they finally have a defender,” Peatonito said, his face covered by a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and wearing a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing.

“We live in a car dictatorship. Nobody had fought for pedestrian rights until some activists emerged a few years ago.”

Meanwhile, below the city streets five clowns are on a similar mission to send up urban incivility, barging into a metro carriage making monkey noises and holding a sign saying “It’s better without pushing.”

As he goes about his mission Peatonito wears a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

Peatonito wears a wrestling mask adorned with a pedestrian symbol and a striped cape (sewn by his grandma) adorned with the black and white stripes of a pedestrian crossing (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

“Six philosophy graduates founded the group ‘Ponte la del Metro’ to restore metro etiquette in 2010, and later created Claustrofobos.”

Peatonito and the clowns from the civic association the Claustrofobos (Claustrophobes) are among a wave of activists fighting uncivil behavior and bad urban planning in this metropolis of 21 million people, four million cars and five million daily metro commuters.

In 2013, around 30 groups from across the country formed The Pedestrian League, which published a “Mexican Charter for Pedestrian Rights” and lobbies against public policies that favor cars.

Some groups post pictures on social media to shame drivers illegally parked on sidewalks or in handicapped spots. With buckets of paint, they create crosswalks or trace sidewalks.

But humor is the weapon used by Peatonito and Claustrofobos. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] First trailer for Former Gawker COO’s ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ Documentary Released

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Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films today debuted the first trailer for the upcoming biographical film centered around Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” was originally premiered earlier this year at SXSW and is spearheaded by director Alex Gibney and executive producer Gaby Darbyshire, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Gawker Media.

Darbyshire headed up Gawker legal when the media company’s subsidiary Gizmodo bought the iPhone 4 that was “left at the bar” and would have been at the center of the controversy that surrounded the subsequent firestorm with Apple and then CEO Steve Jobs. Read the rest of this entry »


How I Killed ‘National Lampoon’

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‘It was my fault,’ only half-jokes the best-selling satirist and former editor of the iconic publication. Now, on the eve of a Lampoon-less ‘Vacation’ reboot he deems unworthy (a ‘dump-fill featuring the ‘Hangover’ wimp’), he explains what went right and very wrong for the once-legendary comedy brand.

P.J. O’Rourke writes: A new Vacation movie is scheduled to be released — or allowed to escape — on July 29. To judge by the obvious, pitiful, frenetic, stupid raunchiness of its trailer, it belongs to the genre known as “post-humoristic.”

“The National Lampoon staff was busy sticking it to the man and being alienated, sarcastic, cynical and hip. I had the Squaresville job of making the magazine show a profit. To which task I guess I seemed well-suited. I owned a suit.”

The movie declares itself to be a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation, the 1983 classic of obvious, pitiful, frenetic, stupid innocence. But the words “National Lampoon” are never mentioned in the trailer. This is doubtless a relief to those two good souls in Funny Heaven: John Hughes, who wrote the script for the original, and Harold Ramis, who directed it. Yet the absence of the magazine’s name causes pangs of ancient regret to old duffers who held NatLamp dear in the 1970s and early 1980s.

O’Rourke in January.

O’Rourke in January.

We remember how the publication was a font of youthful nihilism’s dark, ironic genius (albeit with the obvious, pitiful, frenetic and stupid qualities that entails).

“National Lampoon was never a pleasant place to work. The office was rife with the clubby snits and snubs of its clubby, snitty progenitor, Harvard Lampoon, founded in 1876. Some of the snits were a century old.”

We remember how, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the magazine went to hell. National Lampoon now seems damned to the point that its name isn’t even worthy of being attached to a summer cineplex dump-fill featuring the Hangover wimp dentist as leading man and a Chevy Chase cameo.

From left: Anthony Michael Hall, Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Dana Barron, the original Griswolds from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, based on a Hughes magazine story from 1979.

From left: Anthony Michael Hall, Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Dana Barron, the original Griswolds from 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, based on a Hughes magazine story from 1979.

Sick transit gloria. What a shocking fall for Lampoon’s shock humor. And it was my fault.

“Plus having a bunch of humorists in one place is like having a bunch of cats in a sack.”

I was editor-in-chief of National Lampoon from 1978 through 1980, when the magazine began sinking. It limped on as a monthly until 1985, but I was one of the last original creators still on board.

The failure was caused by success. From the inaugural issue of National Lampoon in 1970 until he left in 1974, Michael O’Donoghue was the most important influence on its style, tone and content. He went on to become the first head writer for Saturday Night Live.

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he new Vacation features a Chase (center) cameo.

Before becoming the first stars of SNL, John Belushi and Chase starred, alongside Christopher Guest, in the 1972 off-Broadway play National Lampoon Lemmings. Belushi recruited Bill Murray for the 1973-1974 National Lampoon Radio Hour cast, which included Richard Belzer. Murray and fellow Radio Hour performer Gilda Radner starred in the 1975 off-Broadway National Lampoon Show. Hughes started a spectacular career writing for the Lampoon. Ramis started another scripting National Lampoon’s Animal House with NatLamp co-founder Doug Kenney and Chris Miller, author of Lampoon’s popular Animal House short stories that inspired the 1978 movie.

Belushi (center) in 1978’s Animal House, scripted by Ramis, Doug Kenney and Chris Miller.

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) Directed by John Landis. Shown from left: Tom Hulce (as Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger), John Belushi (as John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky), Stephen Furst (as Kent ‘Flounder’ Dorfman)

“Even in the salad days of magazine publishing, there wasn’t a lot of lettuce on the plate. Playboy used to pay — cue Dr. Evil moment — a dollar a word.”

If you see a pattern, it’s called money. What do you think the proper comparison would be between how much Hughes was paid for writing National Lampoon’s Vacation and how much I paid him for the short story “Vacation ’58,” upon which the movie was based? If you’re thinking chalk and cheese, you like to eat chalk better than John did.

[This story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe]

The National Lampoon Show  (New York City, 1974) Shown from left: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis

The National Lampoon Show (New York City, 1974) Shown from left: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis

Even in the salad days of magazine publishing, there wasn’t a lot of lettuce on the plate. Playboy used to pay — cue Dr. Evil moment — a dollar a word.

By 1980, talented young writers with youthful nihilism’s dark, ironic genius had as many opportunities as there were Porky’s sequels.

[Read the full text here, at Hollywood Reporter]

Besides, National Lampoon was never a pleasant place to work. The office was rife with the clubby snits and snubs of its clubby, snitty progenitor, Harvard Lampoon, founded in 1876. Some of the snits were a century old. Plus having a bunch of humorists in one place is like having a bunch of cats in a sack.

The iconic Lampoon cover from 1973.

The iconic Lampoon cover from 1973.

As the boss, I had the people skills of Luca Brasi in The Godfather and the business acumen of the fellows who were managing New York’s finances in the 1970s (remember the Post‘s headline “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD“). Read the rest of this entry »


ATTENTION: Young People!

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It’s Friday!

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[VIDEO] LIVE: Jimmy Herring with John McLaughlin, from the 26th Anniversary Aquarium Rescue Unit Tour

Three minutes of senior-citizen shredding.

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The 26th Anniversary Aquarium Rescue Unit Tour


[BOOKS] Now In Paperback: Hillary Clinton is ‘Payola Woman: The Intimate Inside Story of a Woman’s Fight for Stardom’

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Barney Frank: ‘Nobody Cares What I Think’

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Barney Frank – POLITICO Magazine


REWIND: Trump TIME Cover, 1989

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Alex Winter to Direct Upcoming Frank Zappa Documentary

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“There has yet to be a definitive, authorized documentary on the extraordinary life and work of Frank Zappa. I am beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Our tale will be told primarily in Frank’s own words; he will be our guide through this journey.”

— Director Alex Winter

Alex Winter is developing a documentary on the late musician Frank Zappa, which he will direct from his own script and produce with Glen Zipper.

“This is not an easy story to tell and we trust that Alex truly understands the complex and multi-faceted man that my father was.”

— Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa

The Zappa Family Trust has given its backing to the untitled project. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Washington’s Dames, Dope, and Phony Dough’

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