Sunday, April 28, 2019


There is a rolling and dreadful (in the original sense of “inspires dread” poetry to the words about the final judgement “when the secrets of every heart shall be laid bare.”

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: The Ohio Guy Who Only Drank Beer For All Of Lent Is … Healthier Than Ever? “‘I feel like I’m in my 20s,’ the 43-year-old Army veteran said

Soldiers Grove Wisconsin – America’s First Solar Village

No Thanks: Are millennials nothing more than "Generation Wuss," when compared with his own Generation X The negative reviews of Bret Easton Ellis's new book are almost enough to make one want to defend it. Perversity may be underrated as a motive for human behavior: Nothing makes me want to cut my lawn less than a prissy neighbor's complaint that the grass is growing long; nothing makes me want to defend a book more than a chorus of the self-righteous decrying it.
So, with White, the hip young novelist of the 1980s has produced an aging man's 2019 tirade against political correctness, and the denunciations of his nonfiction collection of essays have been relentless. Ellis baits readers into calling him "a sexist, a misogynist, a racist," theWashington Post casually opens its notice of the book. Ellis is "a resentful, bitter man still caught up in the heat of arguments, years after everyone else has left the restaurant," adds the Guardian. "For years now, Bret Easton Ellis has been accused of being a racist and a misogynist," and his latest book proves that "these things are true," Bookforum chimes in.
... In truth, what Ellis wants most of all is to be an aesthete, in the strict sense of someone who believes that art is both distinct from politics and more important than politics in the great chain of being. We have seen this before—aesthetes trying to look back down at politics from the aspect of aesthetics. That's what Oscar Wilde, for example, attempted in his 1891 essay "The Soul of Man under Socialism." Wilde mostly failed in the project, but in an age as unrelentingly political as our own—an age determined to bring everything under the shadow of its grim we-alone-are-moral politics—there is certainly room for a great aesthetic defense of art and rejection of the dominant politics of the cultural elite.
Unfortunately, Bret Easton Ellis's White just isn’t it.

One million species risk extinction due to humans: Agence France  Presse: “Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends 

You Can Virtually Visit 31 National Parks This Week With Google Earth: Adventure  Journal: “In honor of National Parks Week, which runs through April 28, Google Earth has launched a stunning virtual tour of 31 parks. Obviously, you’d rather be in those parks, but if you can’t, this is a pretty novel use of eye-opening technology to bring you there. The tours are part of Google Earth’s “Voyager” project, and in addition to a sort of fly-through overview of the parks, there are guided virtual tour videos of some favorite places of the national park’s rangers. The program is easily navigable; just click on the park you’d like to visit and the software plops you right down on the trail. Well, your computer, anyway, not physically you. The ranger tours are in videos in which you click and drag for 360-degree views of the cave or rock formation they’re showing off. A cool diversion from your workday.”

Plenty to spy in CIA's first Instagram picture

America's spy agency made its first foray on the picture-based network with a cryptic photograph of a cluttered desk.

Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review, decided to downgrade her tech two years ago. “It has worked out, with paper and DVDs instead of the latest apps and gizmos…Strictly in terms of review process, our desk hasn’t changed much — because the vast majority of our editors and reviewers prefer to work in print. It’s easier for an editor to assess a book without reading it in its entirety by dipping in and out. Reviewers like to mark up their galleys, which are early review copies. That said, PDFs make fact-checking far easier and speed our process for embargoed books. We can also see early editions of visual books that aren’t available in galleys (the printing costs are too high) without having to wait for finished physical copies. And we can more readily get access to audiobooks digitally than we ever could with CDs. [Note – there are many professionals in all sectors who are tech literate and yet gadget and gizmo averse

Agents Versus Writers Is Nothing New In Hollywood

Sure, the conflict is about packaging and digital rights – but it’s older than that, dating back to Robert Kennedy’s Department of Justice and a deal brokered in 1962. Now, “the two sides seem locked in a standoff with no end in sight, in a battle that could ultimately upend television and movie production and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of people.” – The Atlantic

Beyoncé Drops “Homecoming”, a Live Album of Her Coachella Performance

Jason Kottke   Apr 17, 2019

With a tweet at 3:20am this morning, Beyoncé announced her latest album, a 40-track live album of her acclaimed 2018 Coachella performance. You can listen to Homecoming right now on SpotifyApple MusicTidalAmazonYouTube, and Pandora....

After the Coachella performance last year, the NY Times’ music critic Jon Caramanica wrote:
Let’s just cut to the chase: There’s not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year, or any year soon, than Beyoncé’s headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Saturday night.
It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction

John Coltrane’s Appeal: He Was An Obsessive Creative.

Coltrane is the archetypal creative obsessive intent on finding unheard approaches to the building blocks of music, from the arc of his melodies to the rhythmic drive of his solos to the harmonic framework for his songs. – Times Literary Supplement

SO YESTERDAY HELEN POSTED A LINK to Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It,and some people commented on how it had changed their lives. But in this post I’m actually soliciting your experiences. Let us know how it worked out. (Bumped)

Why Are Many Of Us Obsessed With Reading Books Quickly?

The point is, the act of reading is rarely a simple case of ‘finish one, start another one’—it’s an endless overlapping conversation between reader and page, an imprecise gumbo of genres and moods and facts and jokes and… cliffhangers. – Melville House

Everyone Draws, And Everyone Should Appreciate Drawings A Whole Lot More

If you can doodle, you are drawing. And you’re not alone. “When I was a baby critic, a veteran colleague once told me to avoid drawing shows at all costs, since they were just preliminary exercises. But some of the greatest shows I have ever seen were composed entirely of graphic masterworks.” – The Observer (UK)