The story of the guys who created Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) is … dramatic (also, Superman as initially conceived, was actually a villain).
There’s a lot of crap on YouTube, but also a lot of gold — in this case, the first ever recording of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” (as in, he sits down, says “I’m gonna sing another new one now … I know these new songs, maybe that’s kind of weird”). Five minutes or so, and totally worth it.
Bonus: if you like that, here is the equivalent one for “Old Man”. Also, there are no background singers or dancers, or a music video to go along, or special effects of any sort; it’s just him, a guitar and mic. Just saying.
The picture at the top is something that randomly popped up because I have a Chrome extension that shows stuff like this.
Someone followed an unusually large rabbit hole and found a Templar’s cave. Seriously.
I finished slowly re-reading Moby Dick and this piece (”The endless depths of Moby Dick symbolism”) perfectly captures my bewildered mix of feelings (what the **** did I just read?)
The book is nearly impossible to place, to categorize, to hold without feeling the vertiginous swell of its creation. More than any other book, it fills me with awe and dread.
Moby-Dick is about everything, a bible written in scrimshaw, an adventure spun in allegory, a taxonomy tripping on acid. It seems to exist outside its own time … It is so broad and so deep as to accept any interpretation while also staring back and mocking this man-made desire toward interpretation.
What does it mean? There are so many symbols as to render symbols meaningless.
There are survivalists, and then there are survivalists who want to do it in style. I present to you the future of luxury underground living (no, seriously, click on it and scroll down; you have to see it to believe it).
Finally, if you care for this sort of thing: it turns out that Carl Jung wrote a critical essay on ”Ulysses” when he read it, and then sent a letter praising it, to James Joyce.
Well, I just try to recommend my little essay to you, as an amusing attempt of a perfect stranger that went astray in the labyrinth of your Ulysses and happened to get out of it again by sheer good luck. At all events you may gather from my article what Ulysses has done to a supposedly balanced psychologist.
Found this great series of insights on movies on Youtube (the one linked to, on The Prestige, was especially good)
One of the absolutely bestexamples of synthesizing things that seem so different from each other, in this caseSnow Crash and Infinite Jest
I’m not sure if I agree with the conclusion in this piece, but I do think what’s covered in it is good stuff. Sample snippet:
And just as Smith’s friend says, this descent to righteousness is a habit—one of those habits of the heart, as Alexis de Tocqueville called them, that are essential to “the maintenance of a democratic republic in the United States.” In a nation founded on the suspicion of authority, in which the state church is no church at all, in which everyone may well be equally right (or just as disastrously wrong), ideologies inevitably wrestle each other to a standstill. But there is no arguing with the person suffering through no fault of his own; he’s been wronged, so he is right. The struggle for the moral high ground becomes, in remarkably short order, a race to the bottom.
Cautiously optimistic about a possible forthcoming movie adaption of Dune
AtlasObscura has a lot of interesting, weird stuff, like this bit about the “China girl” images that apparently used to be at the beginning of every movie reel.
I’ll admit I never knew about the man behind the “Hugo award”; and if you care about the Hugo award at all, you should read this piece, written by James Gleick (yes, that guy); would’ve used this image for the cover if I’d got to this item first.
February was the last month of any formal recovery; my physical therapy came to an end, and I can pretty much do most normal things now (except for climbing down stairs, that’s still a work in progress).
To celebrate my walking without a cast, we went to the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose (and ended up getting an annual pass; it remains to be seen whether we end up using it).
The big event of the month was our trip to San Diego (my first after the leg fracture in October), for four days.
We went to the zoo on the first day, which was lucky because after that the next two days had surprisingly stormy weather. We spent a great day at the Children’s Museum the next day, and at my brother’s place the next two days. Much fun was had by all 🙂
This may only be interesting from a curation/archival point of view, but still: the folks at the “Long Now Foundation” (responsible for that big clock) have a “Manual for Civilization”, which is their canonical list of fundamental books as per various Science Fiction authors, artists, etc.
“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
“Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.”
I got to know about “Christmas Tree Worms” after seeing the photos someone took on a coral reef dive (there’s no end to weird stuff in the sea).
I don’t have time to really play console games any more (sigh!), but I can still drool. Though now I care less about “Call of Duty”, and more about stuff that has a compelling narrative. A leading contender here is “No Man’s Sky”, and here is NPR’s literary perspective on it.
Hypertext and interactive fiction is a recent fad of mine, so I found this article interesting, since it asks why we don’t have more hypertexts around (my own explanation is that this branch of fiction migrated from books, to video gaming instead).
Finally, I wasn’t sure whether to file this under the ‘science’ or ‘art’ category, and I chose the latter because it just looked so freaking gorgeous: a renaissance-era geometry book! Here is an example:
List is somewhat in flux because my, um, note-taking system was badly used the last several weeks. There was a lot of other interesting stuff, which is just … lost.
A reminder that none of this means anything, it’s a rough catalogue of “some stuff I came across over a month”, that’s all.