Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tax Abuse and Insolvency: Highbrow Landscapes

Retirement is the first step towards the grave

Artists say things with objects, images, symbols, and metaphors that are difficult, if not impossible, to express any other way.
Artists have tremendous courage, a necessary quality when it comes to expressing personal dreams and emotions so all can see them.
Artists break down barriers of thought, time, custom, and expectation.
Artists make the intangible tangible.
Artists see the trees and the forest.
Artists challenge us to see and understand our world differently than we do now.
Artists are born with open hands and open hearts, courageously willing to accept whatever is given.
Imagine our world without artists, without their ability to see, dream, express, break down barriers, and challenge the rest of us to imagine our world differently.

Bolt reports that he spotted BC at Gosford

This document seeks views on how to tackle the small minority of taxpayers who abuse the insolvency regime in trying to avoid or evade their tax liabilities through the use of companies or similar structures, including through the use of phoenixism. 
Tax Abuse and Insolvency: A Discussion Document

These elegant pictures from Reuters illustrate the price of goods in Venezuela as the inflation rate hits 82,700 percent 

VOTE IF YOU HAVE A MIND TO:  Dragon Awards Sign Up 2018

From Chester Himes to Judy Blume, 10 Writers and Their Cats Literary Hub

Excerpted from Christine Brooks Cote, "Imagine Our World Without Artists," fromStill Point Arts Quarterly, Summer 2017.

In these turbulent times, we can't help but wonder just exactly how words do matter, in the sense of "for good" instead of what we see so much of bandied about in terms of knee-jerk thoughtlessness.World Literature Today provides the perspective "Words Matter: Writing as Inspired Resistance" in their January-February 2018 issue. In addition to its regular content is "Treasuring the Tradition of Inspired Resistance”: A Conversation with Maureen Freely by Michelle Johnson, poetry by Iossif Ventura and Anna Maria Carpi, an essay by Liliana Ancalao, three audio poems (online) in Mapuzungun, Spanish, and English, by Liliana Ancalao, a web exclusive interview “Breaking Open Gates: A Conversation with Emmy Pérez,” by Norma Cantú and Chelsea Rodríguez.

That’s what writers do: we start over. For a writer, every day is a new day with a new beginning. Even if we are writing an essay or a book chapter we have been working on for days or months—or years!—we face our notebook or keyboard not really knowing what is going to happen to our work next. We may think and hope that we know, but we really don’t—at least until we are deep into the story. Even then, we are invariably surprised.
Lee Gutkind from his What's the Story introduction to the 4th Annual Readers' Choice Theme issue of Creative Nonfiction - Starting Over: Hitting the Reset Button

darling nova melissa cundieffAutumn House Press annually hosts contests for full-length manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Each winner receives publication, and $2,500 ($1,000 advance against royalties and $1,500 for travel and publicity). The 2017 winners will be available for purchase next month.

In fiction, Glori Simmons’s Carry You, selected by Amina Gauthier, is an intense read, a linked collection of intertwined stories. Advance praise calls the collection gorgeous, moving, and deeply empathetic.

Dickson Lam’s memoir Paper Sons was selected by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Paper Sons combines memoir and cultural history, violence marking the story at every turn. Deming calls the book important and “beautifully crafted, rich in poetic image and juxtapositions.”

Alberto Ríos selected Darling Nova by Melissa Cundieff as the poetry 2017 poetry winner. The collection makes “new connections, new sparks, new thoughts as often as line to line,” and covers “grief, love, humanness,” moving readers.
While you’re learning more about the 2017 prize winners, be sure to stop by the contest submission guidelines: entries are now open until the end of June.

Now available: 16,000 sound effects used by the BBC in radio plays over the course of the 20th century.↩︎ BBC Sound Effects

Researchers propose a new kind of social anxiety: "reciprocation anxiety," for distress from receiving favors.
 The British Psychological Society

The Invisible Library had me at “interdimensional secret agent librarian” but it turns out to also be a charmingly-written novel with a wry awareness of literary tropes and their permutations. Published last year in the UK, this is a book The Guardian noted as some of its favorite science fiction, saying “it’s a breath of fresh air to discover a fantastical world that defies easy provenance and brings something new to the genre.”
I agree wholeheartedly, and was gratified to see that two sequels are already written, and due out in the US in September and December, respectively.


The Atlantic: “This is the story of John Brennan’s CIA spying on Congress and getting away with it.”

Will We Still Need Companies When Artificial Intelligence Takes Over?

While there has been a lot of discussion about “what’s left for humans?” as AI improves at exponential rates — the customary answer is that humans need to focus on the things they are uniquely good at, such as creativity, intuition, and personal empathy — I think we now have to ask, “what’s left for firms?” …Read More

Acclaimed Australian director Peter Weir testifies for filmmaker James Ricketson in Cambodia

Weir told the court that he had been a friend and colleague of Ricketson's for 45 years and could attest to his character.

The British Home Office Keeps Refusing Visas To Writers And Artists, Causing Big Problems For Festivals

The UK publisher of a Palestinian journalist whose visa was denied and denied before finally – too late for her to get to the festival, of course – being OK’d at the last minute: “It feels like we’re all sleepwalking into a new age of nativism. … We’re not just talking about classic, difficult-to-prove institutional racism. We’re talking about quiet, effective cultural censorship. The Home Office is saying, in effect: British readers shouldn’t be hearing from other perspectives at our book festivals; their voices are of less worth; British voices first.”

Twelve Authors Denied Visas To Appear At Edinburgh Book Festival

“The festival … has reported a jump in refusals over the last few years. This year, about a dozen individuals had gone through an extremely difficult process to obtain a visa, [director Nick] Barley said. They were from Middle East and African countries, with one author from Belarus.”

I AGREE: An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep. I always figured I was better off bullshitting with a clear head than trying to cram overnight. But actually, if you go to class and do the reading all along, you don’t have to worry that much.

'Not to Have Lived Quite in Vain'

“I have more confidence in the dead than the living.”

VS Naipaul, Nobel prize-winning British author, dies aged 85Guardian. And see ‘Two worlds’: VS Naipaul’s 2001 Nobel lectureScroll
On Film and Furniture, you’ll find info about the production and set designers of films & TV shows and features about the furniture and wallpaper in Phantom Threadthe Parr’s massive new home in Incredibles 2 (Pixar listed the place on Zillow), and some of the cooler items from Blade Runner 2049.
They also have a store from which you can buy items from your favorite movies:whiskey tumblers from Blade Runnera sofa from Ex Machinalounge chairs from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and, of course, the Overlook Hotel rug from The Shining. (thx to several ppl who sent this in)
via Domino

Between 1888 and 1913, Romeyn Beck Hough worked on a multi-volume book called The American Woods that contained 1000+ paper-thin wood slices from more than 350 different varieties of North American trees.

Each specimen page of the work is dedicated to a single tree and consists of a cardboard plate into which three translucent slices have been placed, three variations of cross-section — transverse, radial, and tangential. The wafer-thin slivers — which would glow like a slide when held up to the light — were prepared using a slicing machine of Hough’s own design and which he patented in 1886. In addition to the specimens Hough also provides information about the characteristics, growth habits, medicinal properties, and commercial possibilities of the tree. With some of the trees in the book now very rare the series now has an added value and, as Rebecca Onion from Slate’s The Vault comments, “stands as a memorial to the shape and extent of American forests at the end of the 19th century”.

What a fantastically odd book. You can view the whole thing at Internet Archive.

We Love Peonies | Laurel & Wolf

Joel Simon used a generative design process powered by a genetic algorithm to optimize the floor plans of buildings for different characteristics. That is, the algorithm “grew” buildings that had ideal floor plans for minimizing construction materials, shortest fire escape paths, and access to views — without worrying about how the buildings would actually be constructed.

The results were biological in appearance, intriguing in character and wildly irrational in practice.

As building materials and techniques continue to develop beyond the rectilinear bricks and concrete blocks, the “wildly irrational in practice” bit will become increasingly irrelevant. (via bb)

THE STORY OF A FACE: How National Geographic came to cover this path-breaking surgery and what happened next. By Barbara Allen.

FIRST PERSON: Alexandra Glorioso complained about the battery of expensive tests. Unnecessary, she said. Then she found out she had cancer. “And now I’ve been given the thing I’ve always wanted as a journalist: access … I am in reporter heaven even if I am in cancer-patient hell.”

HONORED: Carolyn Ryan, assistant managing editor of The New York Times, has won the inaugural leadership award from NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. “Since she worked in Boston and now at The New York Times, Carolyn has continued to make strategic hiring decisions that bring true diversity to the newsroom, landing some of the best people in the business,” said NLGJA president Jen Christensen, who calls Ryan "a personal hero." 

CAN I SUE: Deceitful? Yes. Actionable? Um, likely not. People pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen may have signed releases indemnifying Cohen and producers of Showtime's "What Is America?" from legal action, Sopan Deb writes. 

SNACKABLE JOURALISM: I must confess, I didn’t see this coming. VICE’s Munchies vertical has signed a deal to open a food court in a mall in New Jersey.
TWEET OF THE DAY: From the NYT's Ken Vogel. Folks, be careful out there:

NOT FREEZING: When is permafrost not permafrost? When the earth in one of the coldest places is not freezing. National Geographic has the story from Cherskiy, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle — and the implications if carbon-rich places start releasing massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.
VULTURE: When a health company CEO researched the “activist investor” buying a stake, the experience was like “Googling this thing on your arm and it says, ‘You’re going to die.’” On June 6, that CEO — Jonathan Bush of Athenahealth — resigned. From Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker.