Posted: May 16, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Chelsea Manning, Donald Trump, Embassy of Ecuador, Espionage Act of 1917, Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange, London, Smart TV, United States Department of Justice, WikiLeaks
Assange has not returned a series of recent emails from Fox News about Rich. MacFadyen, who was considered a mentor by Assange, died of lung cancer on Oct. 22 at age 76.
D.C. police have announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s killer. Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman has offered a separate $130,000 reward.
Rich had been at Lou’s City Bar a couple of miles from his home until about 1:15 a.m. He walked home, calling several people along the way. He called his father, Joel Rich, who he missed because he had gone to sleep. He talked with a fraternity brother and his girlfriend, Kelsey Mulka.
Around 4:17 a.m., Rich was about a block from his home when Mulka, still on the phone with him, heard voices in the background. Rich reassured her that he was steps away from being at his front door and hung up.
Two minutes later, Rich was shot twice. Police were on the scene within three minutes. Rich sustained bruising on his hands and face. He remained conscious, but died at a nearby hospital less than two hours later. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 24, 2017 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: Daily Mail, England, Google, London
Posted: February 6, 2017 Filed under: Global, History, Mediasphere | Tags: 1st Earl of Snowdon, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Buckingham Palace, Christmas, Elizabeth II, George VI, London, Monarchy of the United Kingdom, New Year's Day, United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, has celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee as Britain commemorates 65 years since she ascended the throne.
The 90-year-old monarch, who became the kingdom’s longest-reigning sovereign in 2015, did not publicly mark the occasion herself, but a 41-gun royal salute was fired in a central London park to honour the landmark.
“Today’s Sapphire Jubilee marks yet another remarkable milestone for our remarkable Queen,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.
“It is a testament to her selfless devotion to the nation that she is not marking becoming the first monarch to reign for 65 years with any special celebration, but instead getting on with the job to which she has dedicated her life.”
Elizabeth became Queen aged 25 on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father George VI.
She is the 41st monarch in a royal line that traces its origin back to Norman King William the Conqueror who claimed the throne in 1066.
When she overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s record of 63 years on the throne, she remarked it was not something to which she had ever aspired.
Buckingham Palace said she would spend Monday at her residence in Sandringham, eastern England, as was usual. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 30, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, CNN, Democratic Party (United States), Diane S. Sykes, George W. Bush, Harvard Law School, London, Sally Yates, United States, United States Department of Justice
On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz reacted to Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ announcement that the DOJ will not present arguments in defense of President Trump’s immigration order by saying Yates made a “serious mistake” and has “made a political decision, rather than a legal one.”
Dershowitz said, “Yates is a terrific public servant, but I think she’s made a serious mistake here. This is a holdover heroism. It’s so easy to be a heroine when you’re not appointed by this president and when you’re on the other side. She made a serious mistake. I think what she should have done is done a nuanced analysis of what parts of the order are constitutional, what parts are in violation of the statute, what parts are perfectly lawful. There’s an enormous distinction between green card holders on the one hand, people who are in the country and have to be thrown out on the second hand, and people who are simply applying to get visas. There is also a distinction between what’s constitutional, what’s statutorily prohibited, what’s bad policy. This is very bad policy, but what’s lawful. And I think by lumping all of them together, she has made a political decision, rather than a legal one.”
He added, “I think it’s — some of it’s constitutional, some of it’s not constitutional. For example, there is a statute that limits the president’s power, and says that visas may not be denied on the basis of religion. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 14, 2017 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Japan | Tags: 3D printing, Akinori Goto, Facebook, London, Manufacturing, New York City, Prosthetic Knowledge, Spiral Independent Creators Festival, Tokyo Art Beat, Zoetrope
Media artist Akinori Goto designed this fun 3d-printed zoetrope that when lit from the side reveals walking people. The piece was just on view at the Spiral Independent Creators Festival where it won both the Runner-up Grand Prix and the Audience Award. Video above from Tokyo Art Beat. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 29, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Mediasphere | Tags: A Nation at Risk, Hollywood Bowl, Karl Marx, London, Los Angeles, Monty Python, Russian Revolution, Soviet Union
Live from the Hollywood Bowl sketch from Monty Python – Communist quiz featuring Marx, Lenin, Che, Mao.
Posted: December 10, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, Japan, Reading Room, Robotics | Tags: Culture of England, Culture of Japan, English literature, Japan, London, Museum of Brands, Natsume Sōseki, Open University, Packaging & Advertising, Picasa, The Japan Times
Posted: December 8, 2016 Filed under: Robotics, Science & Technology, Think Tank | Tags: Advanced Micro Devices, Atlas Robot, Boston Dynamics, Google DeepMind, iPhone, London, Marc Raibert, MIT Technology Review, Mustafa Suleyman, Robot
Legged robots from Boston Dynamics can navigate a home, and even deliver a parcel, using advances in manipulation and vision.
Will Knight writes: The nimble-legged robots under development at a secretive Google subsidiary are getting ever more capable and clever.
At a conference in Barcelona this week, Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics, which specializes in dynamically balancing legged machines, demonstrated some of the progress his researchers have been making.
“Many people are talking about drone delivery. So why not just plain legged robots?”
— Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics
Raibert demonstrated Spot Mini, the company’s latest four-legged robot, which is about the size of a large dog. Boston Dynamics has previously shown videos of Spot Mini operating in a mocked-up home—climbing stairs, opening doors, and even emptying a dishwasher using its gripper. The robot features a neck-like appendage and gripper that enables it to do simple, but potentially useful, manipulation tasks.
The robot is partially automated. A Boston Dynamics engineer steered a Spot Mini onto the stage during Raibert’s talk at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference. But the robot figured out for itself how to perceive and navigate the steps up to the stage, and then, once given the command, located and picked up a can from a table.
Legged robots could potentially be better than wheeled bots at navigating messy human environments, although the research robots under development at Boston Dynamics remain prohibitively expensive for now, some costing more than $1 million.
Boston Dynamics has built a reputation for developing robots capable of walking and running, even across treacherous ground using dynamic balance; that is, by constantly moving to maintain stability. The company has honed the technique over many decades to produce several stunning machines (see “The Robots Running This Way”). It makes a much larger quadruped, called Big Dog, which has been tested as a military pack mule, as well as a humanoid, Atlas, which took part in a robot rescue contest organized recently by the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (see “Why Robots and Humans Struggled with DARPA’s Challenge”).
As Boston Dynamics explores potential applications, it’s clear that manipulating objects while balancing this way will be a key focus. “Mobile manipulation is our next grand challenge,” Raibert said during his talk. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 4, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, China, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Beauty, Burberry, Clothes, Dolce & Gabbana, fashion, Glamour, Hong Kong, London, prosperity, United Kingdom, Wealth
Dolce & Gabbana held its first fashion show outside Italy in Hong Kong to showcase some of the world’s most expensive clothing, betting that there is still demand from the ultrawealthy for jewel-encrusted tiaras and glittery dresses. Photo/Video: Eva Tam.
Posted: November 13, 2016 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Anti-communism, Benito Mussolini, Communism, Fascism, Fascist, Ici Londres, Ideology, London, Marx, Marxism
Posted: October 14, 2016 Filed under: Comics, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere | Tags: Batman, BBC, Clowns, Comic Books, Evil Clowns, Facebook, Gurdwara Sahib Leamington and Warwick, killer Clowns, London, Royal Leamington Spa, Superhero
A “killer clown” craze is sweeping Britain, with police warning people against dressing as clowns in order to intimidate or harm people.
Now, the craze has taken a change for the strange in Cumbria, where a man is dressing as Batman and vowing to chase down the creepy clowns.
A photograph has been shared on Facebook of “Batman” seemingly chasing off a “killer clown”.
BBC Cumbria reported local company Cumbria Superheroes is behind the effort to rid the streets of clowns.
They have reassured that the costumed man is not a vigilante, but just trying to reassure local children who are scared of the “killer clowns”.
BBC Cumbria also shared a screenshot of an image, apparently from a local child, who was reassured after hearing “Batman” caught the clown. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 6, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Science & Technology, Self Defense, War Room | Tags: Chief of Naval Staff (Pakistan), David Axe, First Sea Lord, George Washington, London, Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom), Navy, River Thames, Royal Navy, Tower Bridge, United Kingdom, United States, United States Navy
The 34ft boat can skim across the waves at more than 50kts to track high speed targets, while navigating and dodging other ships without the control of a human.
Naval commanders believe the Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) could herald a robot fleet of high-speed craft packed with sensors to carry out spy and scouting missions.
The unarmed test craft is one of 40 prototypes to be tested by the Royal Navy in a major robot war game off the coast of northern Scotland in October.
The dawn of unmanned vehicles is likely to have the same revolutionary effect on naval warfare as the birth of flight and aircraft carriers, according to the navy’s Fleet Robotics Officer.
Cdr Peter Pipkin said: “This is a chance to take a great leap forward in maritime systems – not to take people out of the loop but to enhance everything they do, to extend our reach, our look, our timescales, our efficiency using intelligent and manageable robotics at sea.”
MAST has been built for the MoD’s defence laboratories and is based on an existing Bladerunner speedboat, but fitted with sensors and robotic technology that is still largely classified.
The boat has a sophisticated anti-collision system to avoid hazards and other craft, but current laws meant that when it was unveiled on the Thames, it had to have a human coxswain on board.
While the MAST is only a test platform for new technology and will not enter service as it stands, sources said it could it pave the way for future robots vessels that can track, shadow or spy on other craft as well as loitering off coastlines.
Elizabeth Quintana, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said the Navy was looking at unmanned vehicles to take on “dull, dirty, and dangerous” jobs. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 4, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, History, Politics | Tags: Abubakar Malami, Abuja, Brexit, Bugging, Chinese Spy, Conservative Party (UK), European Union, G20 Summit, Government of the United Kingdom, Hacking, Honey Trap, London, Memorandum of understanding, Spy, Surveillance, United Kingdom
British government aides have fallen victim to spying on previous official trips to China, with one Downing Street official reported to have had his mobile phone and secret documents stolen after he was seduced.
Government security chiefs are anxious to avoid a repeat of the incident, which took place during a visit by Gordon Brown in 2008, and have provided detailed guidance to Mrs May’s team.
The Prime Minister’s officials have been warned to take steps to protect themselves during the G20 summit, which begins on Sunday.
Officials travelling with Mrs May have been issued with temporary mobile phones and email addresses in an attempt to evade Chinese state hackers.
Security advisers are also warning staff not to keep gifts they receive and to be particularly wary of electronic devices, such as free computer memory sticks, mobile phone SIM cards or chargers which they are offered by their Chinese hosts.
One Whitehall source said security chiefs had warned them that hotel rooms used during the summit were likely to be bugged. “We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
Damian McBride, left, was then prime minister Gordon Brown’s special advisor CREDIT: BRUCE ADAMS/REX
British security agencies regard China as one of the most aggressive nations when it comes to launching cyber-attacks against western governments and businesses, as well as posing a major espionage threat to the UK.
Chinese technological expertise has prompted security concerns at the highest levels of government and British intelligence.
There are fears that Chinese intelligence agents will use their capability to intercept emails and phone calls and to install spy software on computers during the summit.
However, one of the gravest threats posed by foreign spies is also one of the oldest: the honey trap.
During Mr Brown’s visit to China in 2008, one of the No 10 officials accompanying the then Prime Minister reportedly fell prey to a “beautiful” female Chinese spy. She went back to his hotel room, drugged him, stole his mobile phone and documents from his briefcase.
The incident was described by Mr Brown’s former spin doctor, Damien McBride, in his 2013 memoir, Power Trip.
The No 10 team was “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes”, Mr McBride said.
Even before our resident security expert could warn us that their interest was not to be taken at face value, we looked up and saw one of our number disappearing up the stairs to the exit with one of the girls, beaming back at us.
He woke up the following morning “minus his Blackberry and half the contents of his briefcase”.
The official also had a “‘very bad headache, owning to the Mickey Finn nightcap his overnight companion had administered to him in his hotel room”.
The G20 summit in Hangzhou comes at a time of heightened tension between Britain and China. Within weeks of entering Downing Street in July, Mrs May put on hold a final decision on whether to approve a Chinese-backed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 29, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Clinton Foundation, Government of the United Kingdom, Julian Assange, London, WikiLeaks
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off.
Liz Crokin reports: Hillary Clinton and her media allies have been working overtime to put out numerous fires that continue to pop up and spread during the final weeks of her campaign for president. Recently, the flames have gotten more difficult to smother as reports of Clinton’s frail health have bled into the mainstream media, despite the unanimous and unilateral decision by the MSM to treat anyone who even raises a question as akin to a Holocaust denier (On Sunday night, for example, the Huffington Post fired contributor David Seaman and deleted his columns simply for linking to a Hillary health video that’s been viewed 4 million times.)
Julian Assange stoked more flames when he suggested a murdered DNC worker was the Wikileaks source for the DNC hack. Most recently, the Associated Press released a blockbuster story concluding that more than half of the people Clinton met with as Secretary of State gave donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off. These entities have gone out of their way to censor negative stories about Clinton, particularly ones involving the Clinton Foundation. There’s one common thread though these media outlets suppressing harmful Clinton stories all share: they’ve donated to the Clinton Foundation.
On Aug. 23 the Associated Press broke the story citing that more than half the people outside of the government that Clinton met with as she served as Secretary of State gave money to the Clinton Foundation, either personally or through companies or groups. The AP report concluded that 85 out of 154 people she met with from the private sector either donated to her charity or pledged commitments. The AP drew this conclusion by reviewing some of Clinton’s schedule from when she was Secretary of State. They obtained these records after a federal judge ordered the release of them stemming from a lawsuit they filed against the State Department in 2015. (The AP is reporting that the State Department won’t finish releasing the rest of Clinton’s schedule till after the presidential election despite their request for it by October 15.) This bombshell, compounded with Clinton’s use of a private server as Secretary of State, is fueling allegations that she was involved in a pay-to-play operation. This story has been suppressed by Google in its searches as it has done in the past with stories that paint Clinton in a negative light. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 3, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: Bernard Hogan-Howe, Counter-terrorism, Deputy chief constable, London, Metropolitan Police Service, Operation Herkules, Police, Sadiq Khan, Scotland Yard
DEVELOPING: A man attacked several people with a knife in central London Wednesday evening, killing a woman and injuring five other people in what police described as a possible terror attack.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called to Russell Square at around 10:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. ET) for a report of an armed man. They found “up to six people injured”, including a woman who was pronounced dead. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 22, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism | Tags: Facebook, Germany, London, Manhunt, Munich, Shopping mall, Twitter
A major police operation is ongoing in Munich, around the city’s Olympic Park, with German media reporting ‘multiple deaths’.
People were seen running from the shopping mall to get away.
Munich is in lockdown tonight as at least five people have been killed and 10 injured in a shooting rampage involving three gunmen.
A huge manhunt has been launched across the city, including snipers in helicopters, to catch the gunmen who are still on the loose.
Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre, in the district of Moosach, after hearing gunshots.
Witnesses said that the gunman screamed ‘I’m German’ and ‘f*** foreigners’ before shooting.
A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s directly outside the shopping centre.
In unverified footage, a man with dark hair, wearing a black t-shirt and denim trousers, appears to take aim at people outside a McDonald’s restaurant near the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum metro station.
He raises his arms, apparently holding a shotgun, and appears to fire at people outside the restaurant, who can be seen running for cover. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 6, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: Angular frequency, Auto racing, Automobile pedal, Automotive industry, Greenwich Mean Time, Internal combustion engine, International finance, London, Microsoft, TechCrunch
Rhett Allain reports: Bob Riggle is 80 years old and he has a car. This car has a 2,500 horsepower engine mounted in the rear. But what happens when you have this much power? Yes, you can see in the video that there are two events. First, the car does a “wheelie” and second the car rolls over.
Fortunately no one was injured, but at least this is a great opportunity for a physics lesson.
Center of Mass and Wheelies
There are some forces acting on this car so let’s start with a diagram.
There are essentially three forces on the car in this case.
- The gravitational force pulls down. We can model this force as though it was only pulling down at one point. We call this point the center of mass (technically, it would be the center of gravity—but on the surface of the Earth these two points are at the same place).
- There is the force that the ground pushes up on the car. Since the car is not accelerating in the vertical direction, this ground force must be equal to the gravitational force.
- The friction force pushes on the tire at the point of contact with the ground. This force pushes the car in the direction that it is accelerating.
But how does this car stay tilted up like that? Shouldn’t the gravitational force make it fall back down? Clearly, it doesn’t. Perhaps the best way to understand this wheelie is to consider fake forces. We normally consider forces as interactions between objects (between the ground and the car or between the Earth and the car). However, it’s sometimes useful to create other forces that are due to accelerations. Now, these are fake forces in that they are not a real interaction. But as viewed in an accelerating reference frame (like inside the car), it is as though there is this real acceleration force.
Since the car accelerates to the left (in the above diagram), the fake force is to the right and keeps the car in wheelie up position.
But what about torque? If you want to rotate an object, you need torque. One expression for torque would be (this is just the scalar form—for simplicity):
In this expression, F is the force, r is the distance from the point of rotation to the point where the force is applied and θ is the angle between these two things. For the total torque about the wheel, it’s really just the torque due to the gravitational force and the torque due to the fake force.
If you put the engine in the front of the car (where it usually is) then the center of mass moves closer to the front. This means the gravitational torque will be much larger (since r is larger). If you get the center of mass closer to the back wheel, the torque from the fake force doesn’t need to be as high to get a wheelie. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 10, 2016 Filed under: History, Science & Technology | Tags: Glasgow, Lancaster University, London, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Sierra Leone, South Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
Thousands of motorists each day travel along the M74 motorway, to the south of Glasgow, unaware of the fascinating 1000-year history emerging from the edge of the hard shoulder.
Just opposite the Hamilton Services on the M74 in South Lanarkshire, GUARD archaeologists have discovered what could be the remains of the lost village of Cadzow. Cadzow was the name given to the community which lived on the edge of the River Clyde here in medieval times. In 1445, King James II gave his permission for the place to be renamed Hamilton and the residents were forced to move a mile or so south to the town’s current location.
The discovery was made by a GUARD Archaeology team led by GUARD Project Officer Kevin Mooney, as part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project. The work was undertaken for the Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), the company responsible for the improvements on the Central Scotland motorway network, with a construction joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman and Lagan Construction Group…(read more)
Posted: December 19, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption | Tags: Amazon tax, Australia, Central London, Edward Davenport, London, Prison, Vice, Wolf of the West End
Matt Shea writes: Google image search “Edward Davenport” and you’ll see a mosaic of celebrity selfies featuring everyone from the Prince of Monaco to 50 Cent. “Welcome to the website of Edward Davenport,” the website of Edward Davenport proclaims, “one of London’s most flamboyant and best-known entrepreneurs, as well as a true English gentleman from an established British family.”
But this public persona—that of the aristocratic socialite—is Eddie’s trick. It’s how, in the past, he gained people’s trust and got what he wanted. The man behind that selfie smile—the subject of the new VICE documentary Wolf of the West End—has bankrupted business partners and made an estimated £34.5 million [$51.5 million] through fraudulent activity, according to the Serious Fraud Office (Davenport says the figure wasn’t anywhere near that much).
The 2000s were good to Eddie. After buying Sierra Leone’s London embassy—the Central London mansion, 33 Portland Place—for just £50,000 [$75,000] in 1999, he turned it into an arena for decadent sex parties, spending the next ten years entertaining celebrities and aristocracy. However, in 2011, “Fast Eddie” was convicted of engineering a multi-million pound fraud and sentenced to nearly eight years in prison, before being released in 2014 as an “act of mercy” because of ill health due to one of his kidneys failing.
So what was it like to go from a life of luxury to a South London cell? How would a serial partier cope with life between the sexless walls of Wandsworth Prison? What’s life in jail like for a wealthy white-collar criminal? I spent a fair amount of time with Eddie during the filming of Wolf of the West End, so I got back in touch to find out.
VICE: What’s your worst memory from prison?
Edward Davenport: There were occasions where there was a staff shortage or things would get canceled. So when you normally play badminton on, you know, a Saturday afternoon or something, and then suddenly it gets canceled due to staff shortages, it’s not like you’ve got a lot of other things you can arrange at short notice.
So your worst memory from being in prison was having to reschedule badminton?
[Laughs] I’ve been raided in the middle of the night before.
Why did they raid you?
I think they were looking for illegal contraband items.
What about, like, the solitary nature of it—the boredom and the lack of intimate company. Did that not get to you?
Well, it was a bit like being a virgin again when I got out. I think I had plenty of women before I went in. I mean, maybe if you’ve been into prison and you haven’t done anything before with your life, but I had a bloody busy 45 years where I had had, you know, I suppose you could say, more than anyone could ever dream of and ever want. I had been out most nights—I’d done everything, you know.
[Read the full story here, at VICE]
The staff are almost up to the standards of politeness and friendliness and professional-ness as hotels. They call you by your name, you know.
OK, but there must have been some bad bits about prison.
Well, having a kidney transplant wasn’t exactly ideal. This is supposed to be a very civilized country, a very sophisticated country, yet here I am for a white-collar crime being taken to do dialysis and, during the whole of the dialysis, left in handcuffs
The kidney story does sound quite bad, but what about the rest of it? I mean, prison can really get to some people. Are you telling me you experienced none of that?
I’ve seen none of that. I think you might have been doing articles on prisons in different countries.
OK. In that case, what was good about prison?
Well, I became quite good at badminton. There wasn’t much else there except playing badminton that was quite good.
Is the rumor true that you used to somehow get the prison guards to give you lobster for dinner?
Well, of course I’d have my own food, yeah. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 16, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture | Tags: 3D printing, A Christmas Carol, Belgravia, Brutalist architecture, Christmas, design, Illustration, London, Somerset House, typography, United Kingdom
Image © The Beekeeper by Dan Des Eynon
|The Directory of Illustration and the Association of Illustrators (AOI) bring you the World Illustration Awards 2016 – a truly global competition that honors the most creative and inspiring commercial illustration from around the world.
Work entered by February 8 will be reviewed by a jury of distinguished international industry professionals. The competition shortlist reflects exceptional work by illustrators currently making an outstanding contribution to visual culture and is published in full on theaoi.com, which receives over 100,000 hits per month, many of these from commissioners looking for the perfect candidate for their next job.
- Announcement at a prestigious awards ceremony in London’s major arts and cultural center.
- Selected works on exhibit in the spectacular Terrace Rooms at Somerset House as part of a touring show reaching approximately 40,000 visitors throughout the UK.
- Publication in an accompanying exhibition catalog that will be circulated to all major illustration buyers.
Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Economics, Mediasphere | Tags: Ai Weiwei, Andy Warhol, Art exhibition, Artist, Atlanta, Beijing, London, Marilyn Monroe, New York City, The Andy Warhol Museum
Candace Taylor reports: The former Andy Warhol estate in Montauk—a collection of white-shingled cottages overlooking the ocean—has sold for $50 million, believed to be a record for the former fishing village.
Andy Warhol bought the estate in the 1970s.Photo: Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
The buyer of the roughly 5.7-acre oceanfront compound, called “Eothen,” was Adam Lindemann, founder of the gallery Venus Over Manhattan. The property had been listed together with a 24-acre horse farm for $85 million, but Mr. Lindemann wasn’t interested in the horse farm, and it is still available, said Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who listed the property with Sotheby’s International Realty. The seller was J.Crew CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler, who bought the property for $27.5 million in 2007, according to public records.
The deal closed Monday, according to Mr. Brennan, who said the property is the most expensive home ever to sell in Montauk.
A few weeks ago, Mr. Lindemann put another oceanfront Montauk home he owns on the market for $29.5 million, according to Rylan Jacka of Sotheby’s, who is listing the property with Compass. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 14, 2015 Filed under: Food & Drink, History | Tags: 1600s, Coffee, England, London, Petition
Posted: December 7, 2015 Filed under: Religion, Terrorism, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Defection, Houthis, Islam, Islamic state, London, Muslim, Muslim world, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam
John Broman writes: Eyad Ismoil is one of the half-dozen men convicted for carrying out the World Trade Center bombings in 1993. Born in Kuwait to a Palestinian father and Jordanian mother, he was sentenced to 240 years in prison for driving a rental van packed with a bomb into a garage, killing six and injuring about 1000 more. (During his trial, he maintained that he was innocent and did not know what was inside the truck.) But 20 years after his arrest and burial deep inside the dungeons of the ADX Super Max facility in Colorado, Ismoil was moved to the general population here in West Virginia at USP Hazelton, the high-security federal prison where I reside.
Ismoil is my coworker in one of the resource centers on the compound that gives inmates an opportunity to break free from the gambling, drugs, and violence that makes up a monotonous prison life. I find him to be an extremely intelligent and humble man; for someone who’s supposed to “hate the infidels,” he shows no signs of loathing towards the many prisoners and staff who openly despise him.
Still, Ismoil’s ethnicity and the nature of his crime make him a target. Every horrific event that pops up on the news increases the disdain for him even more, but after talking with the guy, I found myself less than shocked at the eruption of radical Islamic terrorism over the past two decades. Indeed, when I first asked Ismoil about ISIS after the Paris attacks, he asked me one question back: “Why do you think they did it?”
I responded with the only thing I knew: “They hate us.”
He smiled and rolled his eyes, as if to say I knew nothing. So it was that an unlikely acquaintanceship between a hippie bank robber from Pittsburgh and a convicted terrorist from the Middle East was born.
[Read the full text here, at VICE]
Recently I sat down at a table with the thin, bearded 44-year-old Muslim, to get his views on the Islamic State, the mass shooting in San Bernardino, and other tragedies like the Planned Parenthood attack in Colorado. He said that to resolve the conflicts between extremists in the Middle East and the West, it was important to talk “human to human,” but he also made it clear that he empathizes at least somewhat with the Islamic State. Unsurprisingly, many of his views would be considered appalling to the vast majority of Americans, but our conversation gave me a window into the worldview of people who think the US is to blame for terrorism.
VICE: As an Islamic terrorist from an earlier generation, what’s your sense of who the Islamic State’s members are and where they came from?
Eyad Ismoil: ISIS is not jihadists recruited from all over to fight. They are the Sunni Muslims that have lived through 25 years of wars, torture, and rapes. They are the Iraqi and Syrian people that have suffered from unjust wars started by the US government. And when the US government [mostly pulled out of] Iraq in 2010, the Shia and Maliki government started killing the Sunni day and night under the watch of the Americans.
The US response was, “This is an internal problem. We don’t want to interfere with their business.” The show Rise of ISIS showed this, even though they tried to spin it like ISIS are aliens from another planet trying to take advantage of the massacres that the Shia—the government of Iraq—is doing to the Sunni and to get people to pledge.
But the fact that every Arab and Muslim knows is [that] ISIS is the native people of Iraq and Syria. That’s why the head of ISIS is Abu Bakr Baghdadi. He was a prisoner in an American prison in Iraq during the occupation for about four years and is known to be a scholar from the prophet’s family. They are a very big family in Iraq. That’s why [many] of the Sunni pledge to him.
You don’t have to recruit people for ISIS. They’re Muslims from all over the world that have seen an injustice after 25 years and want to help their brothers. What you have to understand is the Iraqi people are the most stubborn of the Muslim world. They won’t accept occupation or humiliation.
Day after day, all these things add up ’til the volcano erupts, and that is what’s happening in Iraq and Syria under the name ISIS.
Were you surprised by the Islamic State attack in Paris?
People over in America ask why ISIS did this. [But] people in the Middle East ask, “Why is the US doing this to us?” Put yourself in their shoes—France is dropping bombs for a year in Iraq and [more recently] Syria, destroying everything, women, children, buildings… A bomb doesn’t discriminate between ISIS or women and children—it just destroys. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 24, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, History | Tags: Alexandra Shulman, Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton, Claudia Schiffer, Herb Ritts, Kate Moss, London, National Portrait Gallery, New York City, Photography, Vogue (British magazine), Vogue (magazine)
Model wearing a shoulder baring short black ball gown of silk paper taffeta with a large pink bow at one shoulder and an asymmetrical hooped skirt, made to order at Henri Bendel; pictured in front of a Jackson Pollock painting at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Photo Cecil Beaton
Vogue, March 1951 – mudwerks
Posted: November 13, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Global, History, Japan, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: al-Qaida, Algeria, Anders Behring Breivik, Anti-Semetic, Atocha station, Irish Republican Army, Jewish Museum, London, Madrid, Paris, Paris Attacks, Utoya island, Western Europe
Here is a look at some past notable extremist attacks in Western Europe:
• Jan. 7, 2015: A gun assault on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo kills 12 people. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
• May 24, 2014: Four people are killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by an intruder armed with a Kalashnikov. The accused is a former French fighter linked to the Islamic State group in Syria.
• May 22, 2013: Two al-Qaida-inspired extremists run down British soldier Lee Rigby in a London street, then stab and hack him to death.
• March 2012: A gunman claiming links to al-Qaida kills three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse, southern France.
• July 22, 2011: Anders Behring Breivik plants a bomb in Oslo then attacks a youth camp on Norway’s Utoya island, killing 77 people, many of them teenagers.
• Nov. 2, 2011: Offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris are firebombed after the satirical magazine runs a cover featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. No one is injured.
• July 7, 2005: 52 commuters are killed when four al-Qaida-inspired suicide bombers blow themselves up on three London subway trains and a bus.
• March 11, 2004: Bombs on rush-hour trains kill 191 at Madrid’s Atocha station in Europe’s worst Islamic terrorist attack.
• Aug. 15, 1998: A car bomb planted by an Irish Republican Army splinter group kills 29 people in the town of Omagh, the deadliest single bombing of Northern Ireland’s four-decade-long conflict.
• July 25, 1995: A bomb at the Saint-Michel subway station in Paris kills eight people and injures about 150. It was one of a series of bombings claimed by Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group.
Source: The Japan Times
Posted: November 3, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Robotics | Tags: Dance, Getty Images, London, Photography, Robot
Two nude women dance on stage with a ‘robot’ in a show at London Casino, 1937 (General Photographic Agency, Getty)
Posted: October 29, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment | Tags: A Streetcar Named Desire (play), Andrew Lloyd Webber, Billy Wilder, Broadway theatre, English National Opera, Glenn Close, London, Sunset Boulevard (film), Tony Award
It’s murder and love at first sight! Smitten insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). The plan? Stage her husband’s death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance, and then abscond with the loot. But the lethal duo must first get past a crafty claims inspector who senses something isn’t kosher. That’s the cold-blooded setup in Billy Wilder’s superb film noir. New DCP Restoration courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray star in this gripping film noir from Academy Award-winning director Billy Wilder. A calculating wife encourages her wealthy husband to sign a double indemnity policy proposed by smitten insurance agent Walter Neff. As the would-be lovers plot the unsuspecting husband’s murder, they are pursued by a suspicious claims manager (Edward G. Robinson). It’s a race against time to get away with the perfect crime in this heart-racing Academy Award-nominated masterpiece.