Sunday, February 28, 2021

Flim, an Intelligent Movie Screenshot Search Engine

 To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

— Anthony Burgess, born in 1917

Sometimes even the simplest phrases can fill you up with enough energy to last you for the rest of the day

The Dodo and We Rate Dogs are some of the friendliest spaces online, “but videos and tweets about dogs, cats, cows and piglets aren’t just about spreading good cheer…The Dodo isn’t alone in its mission to become an authority in the pet space either. Animal shelter and rescue organizations like YouTube subscribers), Howl of a Dog (1.28 million subscribers) and strong online presences. Dogs also get plenty of love from social media accounts like We Rate Dogs. Run by Matt Nelson, it has almost 9 million followers on Twitter and uses its reach to raise money for pups in need…Joanna Zelman, The Dodo channel’s executive producer, says giving viewers a sense of hope and optimism about the world is a pillar of the brand’s philosophy. “There’s not a ton of trust in the world right now,” she says. “But animals are as pure and honest and believable as you can get…”

Is It Time to Kill the Book Blurb? - WSJ

This seems to me to be much ado about very little. I've written a few. I try to be matter-of-fact and not over-the-top. I would need more than a blurb on a book cover to prompt me to buy a book.

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading “Flim is a movie search engine currently in beta that returns screenshots from movies based on keywords like “clock”or “tree”…You can filter results by things like genre, year, and film ratio. You can search by color and within movies, e.g. “tuxedo” in Titanic..”

Flim is the answer to the statement: images are everywhere: movies, TV, movie clips, internet. Images are needed at every creative process level. From fashion and design, via cinema and music video. Flim is the best tool for iconographic search…over 50,000 HD screen shots provided daily. Stills come from movies, documentaries and soon from Ads and music videos. Each picture is registered by film, director, DOP, actor, genre, style topics, release date…”

Father Kafka as Gabbie invades COVID Sydney

 I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that's the job of art.

— Andre Dubus, who died in 1999 when Gabbie was seven 7

 A joy forever: poetry world prepares to mark bicentenary of John Keats | John Keats | The Guardian.

My favorite poet. Long before the French Symbolists, me made music out of words.

A list of the 25 greatest art heists of all time. If you're familiar at all with the history of stolen art, the #1 and #2 heists aren't so hard to guess.

“It’s a bottle shop, but we were lucky enough to get a space that has a courtyard out the back and a restaurant space up above it, and a massive kitchen,” Mike Bennie (Rootstock), who co-owns P&V with Lou Dowling (ex-Mary’s), tells Broadsheet. “We thought we would utilise the courtyard space to create a full-service experience, which means you can taste wine, you can drink wine, and you can pull bottles off the shelf and sit down and open [them] for a small corkage fee. And we have a small list of by-the-glass options which will be opened every day and change regularly. It’s basically an enhanced version of P&V.”

What Is a Trophic Cascade? Definition and Ecological Impact

Discover how an extinction can impact the rest of an ecosystem. 

The Evolution from  Snurfing to Snowboarding. Sherman Poppen invented snurfing in the 60s and Jake Burton's addition of bindings a decade later changed the game. The old snurfing/snowboarding footage in this is incredible.

In our time of plague, a cast of literary oracles has emerged: Camus, Defoe, Saramago. But in feeling trapped, Kafka is paramount  Father Kafka  

Articles of Note

How to write, according to Martin Amis: No fancy syntax; use line breaks liberally; be original; see things with a poet’s eye... more »

New Books

A Romantic-era notion holds that science kills wonder. The work of Alan Lightman only multiplies it... more »

Essays & Opinions

In literary studies, melodrama reigns as paranoia is pitted against repair, violence against nurture, suspicion against trust   ... more »

Leonardo Depicted America: Misread as the Moon. Advances in Historical Studies, 8, 139-147. “Leonardo da Vinci must have been aware that Columbus discovered new territories in the West. Until now, no material evidence had been found to substantiate this assumption. Here we show that Leonardo not only read Amerigo Vespucci’s letter (derived from a painted star constellation), but that he even drew a map including the New World, a drawing which was previously interpreted as a depiction of the Moon. Finally, Leonardo engraved his notion of this new continent on an ostrich egg globe (now known as the Da Vinci Globe) and made a copper cast of this. Both the cosmographic and cartographic clues demonstrate that Leonardo da Vinci knew about the fourth continent, to be named “America” in 1507, less than a decade after Columbus embarked upon its shores. This expansion of Leonardo’s cartographic legacy comes at a time of increased interest for such multi-disciplinary insights, as the world commemorates in 2019 the 500th anniversary of his death…”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti dead: San Francisco poet, bookseller was 101 - Los Angeles Times.

  Lawrence Ferlinghetti dead: San Francisco poet, bookseller was 101 - Los Angeles Times.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and titan of the Beat era, dies at 101

Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside City Lights Bookstore in 2013.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside City Lights Bookstore in 2013. 
(Stacey Lewis)

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the opposite of the flamboyant literary bad boys drawn to the bohemian haven he nurtured in 1950s San Francisco.

Unlike Beat novelist Jack Kerouac and poet Allen Ginsberg, he was known for neither public drunkenness nor public nudity. Tall and lean, he swam daily and biked to work at City Lights, the San Francisco bookshop that became a landmark of intellectual freedom not long after he co-founded it seven decades ago.



I first met Dinty W. Moore at the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference back in 2016. I’d been an avid reader of Brevity for some time, and so by the time I was face-to-face with the man (whom I thought of as The Editor-in-Chief, all caps) I was a sprawling mess who tried to make a self-deprecating joke about New Coke and ended up saying something dumb like, Oh yes, I used to do cocaine. Fortunately for me, Moore’s sense of humor and grace extends beyond the page.

Moore has authored several books, including Between Panic and Desire, Crafting the Personal Essay, The Accidental Buddhist, and Dear Mr. Essay Writer Guy, and his writing has also been widely anthologized. He is the editor-in-chief of Brevity, which is now in its second decade of publication, and has a very nice garden. Moore’s forthcoming essay collection, To Hell with It: Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous, Needlessly Guilt-Inducing Inferno, comes out on March 1 from University of Nebraska Press. To Hell with It moves between being tongue-in-cheek and deeply sincere as we travel through the narrator’s personal hells. The collection is structured around Dante’s Inferno, and each essay takes a slightly different shape, weaving together research and personal narrative and interspersed with images. It is an absolute delight (a reader’s Paradiso).

NYT Opinion: “The short film above allows you to experience the brutality of the pandemic from the perspective of nursesinside a Covid-19 intensive care unit. Opinion Video producer Alexander Stockton spent several days reporting at the Valleywise Medical Center in Phoenix. Two I.C.U. nurses wore cameras to show what it’s like to care for the sickest Covid patients a year into the pandemic. So many Americans have died in hospitals without family by their side, but they were not alone. Nurses brush patients’ teeth, change their catheters and hold their hands in their final moments. In just a year, we’ve lost half a million Americans to Covid-19. Vaccinations may be offering some relief, but inside I.C.U.s, nurses continue to contend with the trauma and grief of America’s carousel of death.”

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Chill Room

 Self-Medicating Media: Relax in Online Ambiance Rooms

Need to generate some 3D blobs? Use this little web tool.

A collection of writings and thoughts about being a "good enough parents "Every parent wants to be a good parent. And every parent, every day, fails at that because, right now, being a good parent is literally impossible."

The UX On This Small Child Is Terrible. "This Small Child won't open its mouth for a toothbrush, but won't close it during my cousin's wedding ceremony. It's as if this Small Child was not designed with accessibility in mind."

Museum Alive is an augmented reality app narrated by David Attenborough that puts prehistoric creatures on your literal desktop.

Andy Works is making aesthetically bold iOS apps that prioritize "play, aesthetics, and quality-of-life over efficiencies". So far they're doing simple apps: timer, calculator, weather.

Chill Room, a playlist of long, relaxing nature videos.

The Competitive Quartet

Salut Salon is a German musical quartet that plays classical music with a “passionate virtuosity, instrumental acrobatics, charm and a great sense of fun”. For a little taste of their vibe, check out this video of the four of them playing Vivaldi’s Summer with a mock competitive spirit that escalates with increasingly outlandish & impressive performances. This article calls Salut Salon “the Harlem Globetrotters of piano quartets” and that’s pretty accurate.

Design studio Collins has created a new brand identity for the San Francisco Symphony that uses type in a playful, almost musical way. This brief video demonstration is worth 1000 words:

Even better, you can experiment with your own type and music with the Symphosizer web toy. I made this (to the beat of Daft Punk)

The Otherworldly Sounds of the Long String Instrument

Jason Kottke   Feb 22, 2021

Here are a pair of videos of Ellen Fullman playing the Long String Instrument, an musical instrument with up to 100-foot-long strings that Fullman has developed over the past 35+ years.

NomadLand Poland

Architects behind Poland and Its Lake huts

Radiohead. Ballet. Together at Last Polish Ballet 🩰 .

A pair of dancers from the Polish National Ballet perform a dance to Reckoner by Radiohead, choreographed by Robert Bondara. This is from a longer performancefeaturing a number of Radiohead songs. The whole performance briefly popped up onlineover the weekend but is gone now. The video above is the only clip I could find on YouTube — hopefully the whole thing will be available again at some point.

 Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture.

… polling suggests that devotees of contemporary architecture are overwhelmingly in the minority: aside from monuments, few of thepublic’s favorite structures are from the postwar period. (When the results of the poll were released, architects harrumphed that it didn’t “reflect expert judgment” but merely people’s “emotions,” a distinction that rather proves the entire point.) 

READ THIS IF YOU LIVE WITH SOME WHO’S GOT SOME INTERESTING MILEAGE:  On Post Traumatic Stress, marriages, and two truly awesome books.

British police send “chilling” message: “Being offensive is an offence,” later retract.

Hässja by Emil Bäckström. Image credit: Emil Bäckström.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID: Ashley Madison ‘married dating’ site grew to 70 million users in 2020.

Entrance Building of Botanical Garden in Prague

Both The Dig (1939 British archaeology and sexual restraint) and Minari (Korean immigrant family farming in Arkansas) are excellent movies and show that “old school” substantive cinema is alive and well.  Given the number (and quality?) of delayed releases, this will be quite a year for moviegoing.  At some point.  Nomadland, however, did not thrill me.  It is ultimately a movie for either critics who wish to condescend or viewers who wish to see another portrait of alienated middle America, at this point a dull and overdone topic.  Good negative Richard Brody review here (New Yorker).

A 3D map of all the buildings in the Netherlands, colored by their age.

High-interest lending and pawn shop activity are both falling

"At 43 I constantly feel out of place with you. I have all the wrong thoughts and desires." A writer breaks up with his writing career 

How to write, according to Martin Amis: No overly complex syntax, use line breaks liberally, be original, see things with a  poet’s eye  

An old Romantic-era notion holds that science kills wonder. The work of Alan Lightman only multiplies it    Romantic 

In literary studies, melodrama reigns as paranoia is pitted against repair, violence against nurture, suspicion against  trust  

Consider The Ushers…

Usher is a variant of the French huisier,from the Latin ostiarius, a custodian of the doors. The role comes from early modern theater, where Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 dictionary also has them as “audiencers.” The Gentleman Usher would be among the most active figures running an aristocratic house, supervising honored guests in performances, courtly masques, or other entertainments. – Van

Breakthrough: Scientists Figure Out How To Talk To Dreamers In Their Sleep

An international team of researchers was able to achieve real-time dialogues with people in the midst of lucid dreams, a phenomenon that is called “interactive dreaming,” according to a study published on Thursday in Current Biology. – Vice

What would human history look like if told through our relationships with animals? Scroll

21-year-old UK teacher becomes youngest woman to row Atlantic solo Guardian

Tea With Martin Amis Tablet

Can Historians Be Traumatized by History? The New Republic

America’s Hidden Gulag New York Review of Books