Friday, March 27, 2020

How Will It End?

The Atlantic – "How the Pandemic Will End"
By Ed Yong

Budweiser - One Team

Social Distancing Art

via @carolineframke:

I logged ALL the way off last night to painstakingly make the New Girl loft as a Sims house and you know what, I sincerely regret logging back on so goodbye again ✈️virtual normalcy

Electricity Biscuits

via @sageboggs:

OK, buckle up. I wanna talk to you about Triscuit.

Several years ago I was at a party (BRAG!), and I spotted a box of Triscuits. I asked everyone, "What does the word 'Triscuit' mean? It's clearly based on the word "BISCUIT," but what does the "TRI" mean?" (I'm great at parties.)

The consensus was that "TRI" means three. Maybe "three layers" or "three ingredients." No one knew for sure, though, so I Googled it. But here's the thing -- Google didn't seem to have an official answer, either. Just more guesses.

So we went straight to the source. We emailed Nabisco. And the response we got a few days later shook us to the core. Here it is:

"The "TRI" does not mean 3." How... how do they know what it DOESN'T mean, but NOT know what it DOES mean? HOW??

Also, "No business records survived"? What the HELL happened at the Triscuit factory? Did the building explode? Did someone run out of the doors and yell "It doesn't mean THREE!" right before perishing in a giant blaze?

I was baffled. And I couldn't stand not knowing. So I did a little sleuthing online, and stumbled on some early Triscuit advertisements. Take a look at these bad boys:

In the early 1900's, Triscuit was run out of Niagara Falls. And their big selling point? Being "baked by electricity." They were "the only food on the market prepared by this 1903 process." Look at the lightning bolts! And that's when it clicked--

Elec-TRI-city Biscuit


Sunday, March 22, 2020

DJ D-Nice Hosts Self-Isolation Dance Party for 100K+

New York Times – "The Hottest Parties in Town Are Now Online"

The Science of Avalanches

New Yorker – "Snow Science Against the Avalanche"

"We think of the snow on a mountain as a solid mass. In reality, it is a layer cake created by serial snowfalls, each layer distinctive and changeable. “The snow cover is never in a state of repose,” Atwater wrote. “It is continually being pushed, pulled, pressed, bent, warmed, chilled, ventilated, churned.” The topmost layer might be evaporating into the night air; at the same time, radiant heat from the ground, or from nearby trees, could be melting the lowest layer. When the temperature differences between the layers are small, snow tends to sinter, or coalesce: the crystals knock off one another’s arms, becoming rounded grains that fuse into a strong, dense snowpack. When the differences are larger—say, between the pack and the ground—snow vaporizes upward and refreezes, creating hollow, cup-shaped crystals. The result is brittle, spiky snow, called depth hoar. (In ice cream, a similar process creates freezer burn.)

Neither settled snow nor weak hoar is dangerous in itself. The problem arises when a dense layer lies atop a weak layer to which it is poorly bonded. Depth hoar is “the eeriest stuff on any mountain,” Atwater wrote; it grows unseen, rotting the snow until it is weak and potted. It is strong in compression but weak in shear. Like a row of champagne glasses slowly loaded with bricks, it can hold a surprising amount of weight until, with the slightest shove, the structure falls apart, creating a slab avalanche.

The word “avalanche” is too graceful for the phenomenon it describes. On slopes shallow enough to accumulate snow but steep enough for it to be unstable—the sweet spot is said to be thirty-nine degrees—the layers will separate, and the slab will crack and slide. Churning violently, the snow reaches eighty miles per hour within a few seconds. A skier who avoids colliding with trees and rocks is likely to be pulled under, then pinned in place by thousands of pounds of snow that harden like concrete. Very few people can dig themselves out; most can’t even move their fingers. Within minutes, an ice mask forms around your face. You asphyxiate on your own exhaled carbon dioxide."

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Simpsons Aesthetic

New Yorker - "The Aesthetic Splendor of “The Simpsons”"
By Naomi Fry

"By general consensus, whether on Reddit or in more qualified critical assessments, the Golden Age of Fox’s “The Simpsons” began no later than its third season, and did not extend past its tenth—or even, in the view of some doctrinaires, eighth—season. (Beyond the eighth, as New York magazine suggested, in 2006, significant staffing changes and a general creative fatigue led to a slackening of the animated sitcom’s “high-wire mix of hilarity and humanity”). Those classic mid-nineties years of “The Simpsons,” which is, unbelievably, still on air, and in its thirty-first season, served more than anything, for me, as a kind of ideological guide to life. The show’s plots, which followed Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie on a variety of more or less realistic capers in the American everytown of Springfield, were written with a sharp eye, but their takeaway was hardly ever unsympathetic. “The Simpsons” had a million cracks and gags, not to mention exceedingly quick and incisive—and sometimes even slightly mean—assessments of American popular culture, but its tender tenor was just as important. Ralph Wiggum might have been the densest kid in Springfield Elementary, but our hearts still hurt for him when he didn’t receive a single valentine on Valentine’s Day. Watching the show, I aspired to be just half as hilarious and as cutting and as sensitive as it was.

...Recently, however, this wistful feeling has lifted a bit, thanks to a new, pleasurable way I’ve found to reëngage with “The Simpsons.” A few months ago, I began to come across Instagram accounts that post single frames from the show. First, I followed @scenic_simpsons, which, according to its bio line, is “dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful scenes, colours, sets and abstract compositions from The Simpsons. Seasons 1 - 10.” Then it was @psychedelic.simpsons (“A journey through the most trippy parts of The Simpsons”—this one, too, concentrating on “only the good seasons”); @surrealsimspons (“Dreams, hallucinations, imaginations and the surreal in the Simpsons”); @existential.simpsons, which includes a variety of anguished moments from the show; and @simpsonslibrary, which collects any “Simpsons” frame that includes printed and written matter (“Obsessive Bride”; “Modern Fart Denier”; “Zagat’s Guide to World Religions”). There seemed to be a “Simpsons” Instagram account for almost any niche predilection: @homer_feels, which collects the many moods of the family patriarch; @sartorial_simspons, which focusses on Springfield fashions; @simpsons_tech, which gives the history of technical inventions that have appeared on the show, like the FM radio and the karaoke machine; and @springfieldcuisine, which shares images of food that has featured on “The Simpsons.”

...When I happen upon almost any image from one of the “Simpsons” accounts, I am struck by how absolutely visually gorgeous it is. This is, perhaps, especially true when it comes to @scenic_simpsons, with its visions of a violet car, its headlights on, cruising in a darkened parking lot full of silent vehicles; or an abstract thicket of trees, their tops as dense and foreboding as storm clouds; or a digital clock on a bedside table, its face glowing 7:59, next to an orange phone. Though they come to us via our hubbub-filled Instagram feeds, these stand-alone pictures are as quietly stunning as any made by our greatest American artists of alienation and loneliness, from Edward Hopper to Arthur Dove."

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) as The Simpsons

Jay Electronica Releases an Album

A Written Testimony released March 13, 2020.

Pitchfork - "Jay Electronica Drops New Album, JAY-Z Features Heavily"
Pitchfork - "Best New Track: Jay Electronica“The Neverending Story”"

"What’s more surprising: the world crumbling around us in real time or Jay Electronica releasing a debut album, A Written Testimony, with JAY-Z on nearly every track? I gave up on the idea of a Jay Electronica solo album when I was a teenager trying to perfect the “Call me Jay Elec-Hannukah, Jay Elec yarmulke” section of “Exhibit C” in my bedroom. Yet Jay Electronica’s allure persists to this day, and “The Neverending Story,” the fourth track on the album, put me at ease for the first time in days. Over a soulful groove from The Alchemist, Jay Elec is in top form. “If you want to be a master in life, you must submit to a master/I was born to lock horns with the devil at the brink of the hereafter,” says Jay Elec, weaving myth and reality together. JAY-Z’s victory lap perfectly coexists with this wizardry: “I’m a miracle born with imperial features/I’m a page turner, sage burner, santeria,” says JAY, his swag is everlasting. Watching the two come together at such an uncertain time is cathartic."

Genius - "A.P.I.D.T.A.Jay Electronica"

"On “A.P.I.D.T.A.,” Jay Electronica and JAY-Z reflect on the death of close ones. The title of the song is an acronym for “All Praise Is Due To Allah”—the phrase is often used by Muslims to express gratitude. Jay Electronica is a prominent member of the Nation of Islam and is thanking God for everything in his life, including the blessing of completing his album and the trauma of losing a loved one.

During the album release live stream on Instagram, Jay Electronica said that the song was recorded on January 26, 2020—the same night that legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away in a tragic helicopter accident.

The instrumental samples “A Hymn” by Khruangbin."

Jay Electronica signs with Jay-Z's Roc Nation (November 2010)
The Livest Rapper Today (February 2010)

Monday, March 9, 2020

Coming Soon to Quibi

Los Angeles Times - "Quibi is reviving kids game show ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ — for grown-ups"

"“Legends of the Hidden Temple,” Nickelodeon’s “Indiana Jones"-inspired game show of the 1990s, is being revived by Jeffrey Katzenberg’s built-for-millennials streaming service Quibi, giving anyone who failed to assemble the statue in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey another shot at game-show glory.

The new series, however, will no longer be an awkward kids competition: The reboot is getting a “Survivor"-like makeover and will be aimed at adults (and superfans) who will compete in the trivia show and Temple games, Quibi announced Monday. It’s also going to be set in a real-life jungle rather than an elaborate TV studio, to appeal to “grown-up” audiences with scaled-up challenges and bigger prizes.


The company, which plans to launch programming as “quick bite” videos, has been feverishly adding programming. It recently announced a series with filmmaker Ridley Scott, a show produced by “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” stars Kris and Kendall Jenner, and projects from singers Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez and NBA star Steph Curry.

It also will reboot MTV’s dating game “Singled Out” and feature a daily hip-hop news show and a short-form version of “60 Minutes.”"

Esquire - "Quibi Is a Streaming Service Like We've Never Seen Before. Here's What You Need to Know."

Also coming to Quibi:

"Chrissy's Court: In the wake of Judge Judy comes this bite-sized reality series from our favorite highly opinionated model/mom/Twitter legend. Real people with real small claims cases will be subjected to Chrissy Teigen’s ruling.

Varsity Blues: This revival of the iconic 1999 movie has not released a cast yet, but we’re holding out hope that James Van Der Beek will somehow be involved.

Just One Drink: Laura Dern leads this unique Quibi project written by Nick Hornby (Brooklyn, State Of The Union) in which she plays a bartender in a series of stand-alone vignettes between her and the various troubled customers she serves.

Mapleworth Murders: This comedic murder-mystery can’t not be funny with SNL alums producing, writing and acting in it— think Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg and Tina Fey, just to name a few."

The Future of Content 
How Many Quibis?

Long May He Reign

Wall Street Journal - "LeBron James: Steady in a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"
By Jason Gay

"One of these days, James will slow down. He will lose a step, maybe two steps, and it will be jarring and melancholy. We don’t like to see our legends slow down. But all of them slow down. Bodies defy us. Age catches up. Them’s the rules.

It looked like it might be happening last year. James’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers was a bust; his undermanned, poorly assembled team was staggering toward the finish. James had already lost a chunk of time—17 games—to a groin injury, the longest stretch he’d ever missed. As March wound down, L.A. shut him down for the rest of the season.

Maybe this was it.

Nah. It was not it.

James has not statistically been the best basketball player in the league this season—that is Antetokounmpo, who is now sidelined with a knee injury which hopefully will be minor—but over the past week or so, he has very much re-asserted his grip on the fictional belt of Best Basketball Player on the Planet.


With apologies to Giannis, Kawhi Leonard, James’s teammate Anthony Davis, James Harden and Sabrina Ionescu, that player still very much is James, who is 35 years old and has played more minutes (48,295 through Sunday) than anyone currently in the league and all but seven players in NBA history.

James’s numbers are impressive—25.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, a league-leading 10.6 assists—but once more, his impact is his command, his ability to seize big games at critical moments. On Sunday versus Kawhi and the Clippers, on Friday versus Giannis and Milwaukee, versus recent opponents like Boston and Zion’s Pelicans, James continuously has, at critical junctures, asserted his will on the game, looking as dynamic and physical as ever. When James is at his best, basketball bends to accommodate his talent. And it’s been bending for him, a lot, lately.

Even if James isn’t your favorite, you have to shake your head and marvel at it. While it’s true the addition this season of Davis—a top NBA star, by every metric—gives the Lakers a massive and sometimes superior second threat, this very much remains James’s team. He is playing second chair to no one.

There’s also this: he’s doing this amid what is a surreal and stunned Lakers season due to the tragic death of franchise legend Kobe Bryant in late January. Such an event has the potential to undo a club, but the Lakers have continued to roll, using their grieving of Bryant as fuel. It’s here where James perhaps shines the most: as a leader, as the wizened veteran, as the rare high-profile athlete who is unafraid to think out loud."

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Millennial Aesthetic … “People are tired of the sameness and already craving something new”

The Cut - "The Tyranny of Terrazzo Will the millennial aesthetic ever end?"
By Molly Fischer

"Consider a previous youth-style shorthand: the hipster, preeminent cultural punch line of the aughts. Both hipster and millennial were terms that drifted away from strict definitions (hipsters being subcultural, millennials being generational) to become placeholders for “whatever fussy young people seem to like.” It is strange, now, to remember a time when chunky-framed glasses were understood as a hipster affectation; today they just look like Warby Parker. The hipster aesthetic harked back to a grimy past: Its spaces were wood-paneled, nostalgic; perhaps they contained taxidermy. Behind lumberjack beards and ’70s rec-room mustaches, there was a desire for something preindustrial or at least pre-internet.


No account of the millennial aesthetic could fail to address pink: For the better part of a decade, millennial pink bedeviled anyone a color could bedevil. When Facebook rolled out a corporate rebrand last fall, the lead image in the press release showed the new logo — breezily spaced sans serif — in a muted shade somewhere on the ham-to-salmon spectrum. Samuel keeps wondering when people will get sick of the color, but they don’t; almost every client asks for pink. She thinks this is because it’s soothing. They want houses that remind them of vacations, suggest Mediterranean idylls.


Pink is not the only soft color in the millennial palette. There’s green, often in the form of plant life — it has a wholesome appeal next to the pink — and then an expanding array of colors simultaneously saturated and chalky, muted even when not actually pastel: seafoam, terra-cotta, lavender, and (especially) ocher. In explaining the appetite for colors that soothe, we might gesture vaguely in the direction of Now More Than Ever, anxiety, the news. A more direct explanation would probably be that other stalwart of millennial pop sociology: the phone, now the basic tool with which we view, record, and disseminate images of the world. All that time spent staring into a glowing screen makes the prospect of something gentle — something literally easier on the eye — enticing. The millennial palette is the opposite of glare; onscreen or off, it’s color softly veiled.


Instagrammable is a term that does not mean “beautiful” or even quite “photogenic”; it means something more like “readable.” The viewer could scroll past an image and still grasp its meaning, e.g., “I saw fireworks,” “I am on vacation,” or “I have friends.” On a basic level, the visual experience of a phone favors images and objects that are as legible as possible as quickly as possible: The widely acknowledged clichés of millennial branding — clean typefaces, white space — are less a matter of taste than a concession to this fact.


It is hard to imagine ourselves growing old — to imagine the time, nearly upon us already, when “millennial” no longer means “young.” Likewise, it is hard to imagine how the millennial aesthetic will age. Its blank, clean surfaces aspire to a world without clutter or scuffs, unmarked by the passage of time. In this aspiration, the millennial aesthetic is somewhat democratic — anything can be new, for a while. It is a style that looks, in its ideal state, like a purchase.


What the millennial aesthetic sells, it sells through the promise of novelty. This is true even when the product on offer is not appreciably novel: cat food, Dutch ovens, and generic drugs are repackaged, redesigned, as if millennial buyers required a version all their own. Jessica Walsh, a graphic designer and founder of the creative agency &Walsh, dates the style to the last five years and sees its expiration date approaching already. “Everyone wants to look like the Casper, Warby Parker, or Aways of the world,” she explains, which has made branding increasingly interchangeable. “People are tired of the sameness and already craving something new.”

When the time comes — when smooth pastels start to feel a little tacky, when brown starts looking good again — what will be saved? As in any era, most of our belongings will be lost, but fewer than ever seem worth trying to preserve. In her article “Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?,” author Anna Hezel asks employees in a West Elm store how long that “Peggy” couch was, ideally, supposed to last. One to three years, they inform her.

Last year, the interior-design start-up Homepolish collapsed; last month, Casper made its disappointing IPO; last week, Outdoor Voices CEO Tyler Haney stepped down amid reports that her company, based on tastefully colored leggings, was losing cash. Design created an astonishing amount of value in the last ten years, and increasingly that value looks ephemeral. I remember visiting WeWork corporate offices in early 2016 and telling a friend that the space already felt period — larded and spackled with efforts to look designed ca. 2016, which now sounds like a very long time ago. Of course, I can also look around my apartment and see what threatens to wilt: boob poster, pink blanket, plants. We have lived through a moment in which design came to seem like something besides what it was, like a business model or a virtue or a consolation prize. The sense of safety promised in its soft, clean forms begins to look less optimistic than naïve."

Millennial Pink

From the Auteur Behind the Metal Gear Solid Series

New York Times Magazine - "Hideo Kojima’s Strange, Unforgettable Video-Game Worlds"

"After my interview with Kojima, I spent much of the next few days sequestered in my tiny hotel room in Tokyo, playing Death Stranding on the cheap TV. Once I started guiding Sam along his journey, I found Death Stranding to be not as radically unfamiliar as Kojima’s prerelease hype had suggested. In many ways it hews to the popular conventions of the “open world” genre — a term that arose to describe titles like Rockstar Games’s famed Grand Theft Auto series, which tossed aside the linear levels of older games in favor of endlessly explorable virtual environments. As in the Grand Theft Auto games, I controlled a character from a third-person perspective and roamed free over a vast landscape. I advanced the plot by taking on mandatory missions, but I also could complete various optional secondary quests for additional rewards. I assembled an arsenal of weapons and gadgetry that slowly built my character’s abilities and opened up new ways to interact with the world. To someone watching my screen, it would have been possible to conclude that Death Stranding was basically a sci-fi version of Rockstar’s wildly popular recent open-world cowboy epic, Red Dead Redemption 2.

But there was something fundamentally new, I found as I continued to play. Death Stranding manages to transform an act that most open-world games take for granted — the act of traveling from one point to another — into a complicated and meaningful experience. Although you eventually gain access to vehicles, much of the time walking is your only mode of transit. In most games, walking is a mindless chore: You can watch the scenery go by, but there’s not much to do besides push the joystick forward. But in Death Stranding, traversing the terrain comes to feel like the core of the game. Walking Sam across the rugged landscape with a load of cargo teetering over his back requires a level of skill and concentration rarely found in games outside of combat."

Cauliflower up 40%!

Wall Street Journal - "‘The New Kale’: Cauliflower Becomes a Bestseller"

"The vegetable now outsells cabbage and garlic, but still lags behind lettuce and onions. Kale, which rose to prominence in recent years, is experiencing a decline in sales and remains less popular than cauliflower.


Farmers have expanded cauliflower acreage to meet the fresh demand, said Curt Epperson, who manages the produce and floral sections at Publix Super Markets Inc. Cauliflower grows in 30 days, he said, compared to the 70 to 100 days that produce such as tomatoes and peppers need to reach maturity. Cauliflower, like many vegetables produced in the U.S., is mostly grown in California."

Sunday, March 1, 2020

John Mulaney's Leap Day SNL

How Many Quibis?

New York Times – "What’s a Quibi? A Way to Amuse Yourself Until You’re Dead"

The Future of Content

The Wolverine

Smithsonian Mag – "Beasts of the Northern Wild"

New Drake Music

Kanye West & Buffalo Bill in Wyoming

New York Times – "Kanye, Out West"

"There Kanye West is at the McDonald’s, the Best Western and the Boot Barn. He hangs out at the Cody Steakhouse on the main drag, where he met one of his intern videographers, a student at Cody High School. His ranch is close to town, and to get where he needs to go, Kanye drives around town in a fleet of blacked-out Ford Raptors, the exact number of which is a topic of local speculation. Gina Mummery, the saleswoman at the Fremont Motor Company dealership, would only say that she sold him between two and six.

Kanye started taking trips to Wyoming regularly in 2017, shortly after he was hospitalized for what was characterized on a dispatch call as a “psychiatric emergency.” He spent lots of time making music in the state in 2018, holding an incredible listening party for his album “Ye” in late May in Jackson, a town famous for its skiing, fishing and ultrawealthy residents.


Cody was brought into being by Buffalo Bill Cody, another bombastic showman who was, in the second half of the nineteenth century, the biggest celebrity in the world. More famous in his time than Theodore Roosevelt and better-traveled than the Grateful Dead in ours, Buffalo Bill basically invented the fantasy of the American West through his touring Wild West Show.

Founding a town in Wyoming was just one of Buffalo Bill’s many late-life enterprises. It has proved, in some ways, to be his most concrete legacy."

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Synthetic Ski Slope On Top of a Danish Waste-to-Energy Plant

Outside Mag – "Denmark Took a Mountain of Trash and Made a Ski Hill"

"...Amager Bakke, or CopenHill, as it’s been dubbed, is a 462,848-square-foot waste-to-energy plant—which just happens to have a ski slope on its roof—rising like a glittering aluminum iceberg from the flat plains of a semi-industrial section of Amager (pronounced, inexplicably, “am-ah”), an island that comprises part of the city of Copenhagen.

Standing at the 279-foot summit of what is now one of the city’s tallest structures presents a surreal spectacle: skiers whooshing down a vast carpet of green Neveplast, a synthetic “dry skiing” surface from Italy, amid a staggering panorama that’s dominated by the smokestacks of nearby biomass plants and, behind them, the gloomy, fog-shrouded expanse of the North Sea, dotted with massive wind turbines. Like the writer Don DeLillo’s “postmodern sunsets,” it’s at once inspiringly beautiful and vaguely apocalyptic.


CopenHill, which, along with the plant below, is owned by Amager Resource Center (ARC), offers more than skiing. You can simply hike to the summit on the marked trail for the best view in Copenhagen, stopping to admire the wild strawberries growing on landscaped sections to one side of the slope (where a fox was recently spied). You can also run that path up (there’s already a Strava segment). If you’ve any gas left, there are CrossFit bars at the top. “Last weekend we had a race with 450 people dressed as Santa Claus,” Cecilie Nielsen, CopenHill’s head of customer relations, tells me. “It was awesome.”

Come spring, one of the world’s tallest climbing walls, a twisting and weaving ascent, will open on a corner of the building, which will eventually be laced with green as the structure’s built-in aluminum window boxes begin to bloom. And, lest they forget why they are there, climbers, as they traverse along the holds, will get occasional views into the plant itself, where soaring apses support the huge and complex workings that turn Danish garbage into Danish heat and electricity.

That a cutting-edge waste-to-energy facility now also boasts the best skiing in Denmark—call it the powder plant—is thanks to native son Bjarke Ingels, one of the world’s best-known architects and an espouser of a way of thinking he’s called “sustainable hedonism,” a near oxymoronic philosophy that dares to ask the question: Can saving the world be fun?


The idea of a hill loomed, by necessity, early in the project. The engineers, Ingels says, had dictated a basic envelope for the building, based on the machinery inside. “It was this kind of tiered series of blocks that got taller,” he says, like an ascending stereo-equalizer display. “The diagram was already mountainesque.”

Initially, BIG added “the simplest kind of sloping roof,” adorned with a rooftop park. But he felt they were “staying in the realm of cosmetics,” like “putting lipstick on a pig.” He wondered if they could do something more transformative. On a site visit, Ingels noticed the nearby Copenhagen Cable Park, which whizzes wakeboarders around the harbor via overhead wires. “It just became so clear: the skiers had already arrived, but only in the summer.”

That part of Copenhagen wasn’t hurting for open space, but what it lacked—what the entire country lacked—was an enticing ski hill. “You have to drive four hours to Isaberg, in Sweden,” he says. “And Isaberg is not a very large mountain. The main slope is only a 150-meter [492-foot] drop. So it dawned on us that we could actually do two-thirds of a real mountain ski slope.” It seemed far-fetched at first. They talked to a ski-resort operator. They talked to Team Denmark, an elite-sports organization. No one told them it couldn’t be done, if only because no one had done it. “We started getting an understanding that we couldn’t actually shoot the idea down.”

Not that it was easy. As Jesper Boye Anderson, a designer at BIG, had told me in the firm’s Brooklyn offices: “You don’t open the code books and then look how to do a ski slope on top of a waste-burning plant.”"

Previously on Bjarke Ingles:
Architect Bjarke Ingels (2011)
New Business Story (2012)
Two World Trade by Bjarke Ingels (2015)
Each Apartment Has Its Own Pool (2016)
The Bjarke Ingels Group Plans for the Oakland Athletics (2018)

The Making of Inception's Snow Scene in Alberta

Unofficial Networks – "Canadian Ski Resort Used To Film "Inception" & "The Revenant" Plans To Reopen 2020"

Ovi – an All-Time Great

The Globe and Mail – "It’s time we treat Alex Ovechkin as an NHL all-time great"

"As you read this, Alex Ovechkin has just scored his 700th NHL goal.

That puts him in the same career postal code as Brett Hull and Phil Esposito.

If he lasts another couple of years – which he will because, as Ovechkin has told us, “Russian machine never breaks” – he’ll be up there with Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

But Ovechkin is already the greatest goal scorer in hockey history.

When Gretzky was netting 70, 80, 90 goals a season, about eight goals were scored in the average NHL game. That rate had fallen to fewer than six when Ovechkin began his run.

In retrospect, it feels as though about half of Gretzky’s goals were scored on some skinny, flailing idiot who’d come 10 feet out of his net trying to cut down the angle and then fell over. And as you may recall, he had a fair bit of help as well.

Ovechkin has spent large chunks of his career cutting his own trail through the NHL. He came in during the tail end of the Dead Puck Era. He’s faced bigger, faster goalies, all of whom are now equipped like they work as tackling dummies for attack dogs. The defenders have been super-sized as well.

Most tellingly, none of Ovechkin’s brightest contemporaries are anywhere near him. Sidney Crosby is closest – and he’s 250 goals behind.

Had he played in Gretzky’s era, on a team such as the mid-eighties’ Oilers, just imagine the numbers Ovechkin might’ve put up. A thousand goals, easy. Maybe a lot more.

Ovechkin hasn’t been misunderstood or underappreciated, but he has been overanalyzed. As observers, we’ve spent a great deal of his career trying to figure out what he represents."

The Need for Extended and Forged Families in America

The Atlantic – "The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake"
By David Brooks

"When we discuss the problems confronting the country, we don’t talk about family enough. It feels too judgmental. Too uncomfortable. Maybe even too religious. But the blunt fact is that the nuclear family has been crumbling in slow motion for decades, and many of our other problems—with education, mental health, addiction, the quality of the labor force—stem from that crumbling. We’ve left behind the nuclear-family paradigm of 1955. For most people it’s not coming back. Americans are hungering to live in extended and forged families, in ways that are new and ancient at the same time. This is a significant opportunity, a chance to thicken and broaden family relationships, a chance to allow more adults and children to live and grow under the loving gaze of a dozen pairs of eyes, and be caught, when they fall, by a dozen pairs of arms. For decades we have been eating at smaller and smaller tables, with fewer and fewer kin.

It’s time to find ways to bring back the big tables."

Westworld Season 3 Trailer

March 15, 2020

Vida Americana at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Vida Americana: Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945 
February 17 - May 17, 2020

New York Times - "How Mexico’s Muralists Lit a Fire Under U.S. Artists"

"From floated proposal to finished product, “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945” at the Whitney Museum of American Art represents a decade of hard thought and labor, and the effort has paid off. The show is stupendous, and complicated, and lands right on time. Just by existing it accomplishes three vital things. It reshapes a stretch of art history to give credit where credit is due. It suggests that the Whitney is, at last, en route to fully embracing “American Art.” And it offers yet another argument for why the build-the-wall mania that has obsessed this country for the past three-plus years just has to go. Judging by the story told here, we should be actively inviting our southern neighbor northward to enrich our cultural soil.

That story, a hemispheric one, begins in Mexico in the 1920s. After 10 years of civil war and revolution, that country’s new constitutional government turned to art to invent and broadcast a unifying national self-image, one that emphasized both its deep roots in indigenous, pre-Hispanic culture and the heroisms of its recent revolutionary struggles.

The chosen medium for the message was mural painting — monumental, accessible, anti-elitist, in the public domain. And three very differently gifted practitioners quickly came to dominate the field: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros: “Los Tres Grandes” — “the three great ones” — as they came to be known among admirers."

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Future of Content

Quartz - "The age of the vertically shot blockbuster is upon us"

Russian director Timur Bekmambetov is "developing “the first vertical format blockbuster,” according to Deadline. Based on the true story of a Soviet fighter pilot who led an escape out of a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, the film, titled V2. Escape From Hell, will be shot and released entirely in vertical mode, rather than in the traditional horizontal format moviegoers are accustomed to.

Though designed to be watched on phones, the film will also be shown in theaters in 2021. It’s unclear exactly what that will look like on movie screens: Either the film will be projected exactly as it was shot (resulting in two large black bars on either side of the picture) or it will be reformatted to fit the big screen."

The Verge - "QUIBI VERSUS THE WORLD: Can Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman change everything about video on your phone?"

"Jeffrey Katzenberg insists that his new video-streaming service Quibi isn’t competing against Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, or any of the other streaming services that have launched or are launching soon. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re not even asking the right questions.

“We don’t think we’re in the streaming wars,” Katzenberg, the former boss of Walt Disney Studios and founder of DreamWorks, tells The Verge in a closed-door meeting the day before the company’s grand reveal at a CES keynote. “They’re all battling for this,” he says as he thrusts his arm toward a TV in the room. “We’re going for this,” he says, gesturing toward his phone. “Don’t tell them!”

Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, who is best known as the CEO of HP and eBay, are publicly announcing Quibi at CES — but not quite unveiling it — after having raised $1 billion on the promise of a roster of Hollywood stars and supposedly revolutionary video-streaming technology that delivers portrait and landscape video at the same time. Everything on Quibi is designed for viewing on a phone, on the go, in 10 minutes or less. These chunks of video are called “quick bites” — hence, “Quibi.”

When Quibi arrives on April 6th of this year, it’ll cost $5 a month for an ad-supported version or $8 a month for an ad-free experience. Katzenberg and Whitman formulated this idea nearly two years ago and have been relentlessly signing up the biggest names in Hollywood to be a part of it."

Variety - "Tinder’s Apocalyptic ‘Swipe Night’ Interactive Dating Show Sets Release DateTinder’s Apocalyptic ‘Swipe Night’ Interactive Dating Show Sets Release Date"

"Tinder next month will bow its first original entertainment content — “Swipe Night,” an interactive adventure series in which viewers are forced to make dating choices on humanity’s last night on Earth.

Variety previously reported details of the location-based social network/dating app service’s foray into original content, which recently wrapped production in Mexico City and was directed by Karena Evans, who has helmed numerous music videos for rapper Drake including “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What.” The project had a budget of over $5 million and the six-episode series has a total runtime of more than two hours, Variety reported.

The first episode of “Swipe Night” will premiere Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. local time in the U.S. Subsequent installments will be released weekly on Sundays and will only be available for 6 hours (from 6 p.m. to midnight local time). The show’s title is a play on “swipe right,” the Tinder action for indicating you’re attracted to someone based on their profile.

Why is Tinder launching choose-your-own-adventure-style thriller about the end of the world? The company explained that by presenting a “shared content experience,” it wants to provide an icebreaker for Tinder members to connect with each other. "

CNN - "Game over for HQ Trivia"

"It's over for HQ Trivia.

The company behind the once-popular live mobile trivia game is shutting down, CNN Business has learned. HQ will part ways with 25 full-time employees.

When HQ launched in 2017, its first game HQ Trivia quickly attracted millions of people across the world who stopped whatever they were doing twice a day to play the game on their smartphones. The company was profiled by The New York Times and its original host Scott Rogowsky became a household name, appearing on programs like NBC's "Today" show.

But over the next year, the game's popularity faded and its parent company was hit with a series of setbacks. The company grappled with internal turmoil, including the death of HQ cofounder Colin Kroll, who died in December 2018 from a drug overdose.

CEO Rus Yusupov said in a company-wide email on Friday that "lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution." In the email, which was obtained by CNN Business, Yusupov also disclosed that the company had hired a banker "to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company." He said the company had "received an offer from an established business" and was expected to close the deal on Saturday, but the potential acquisition fell through."

Stranger Things 4 Teaser and Netflix's 2020 Film Roadmap

No date yet on ST4.

Some of the Netflix original movies announced for 2020 via Netflix Film's Twitter on 1/3/20:

MANK: From director David Fincher (THE SOCIAL NETWORK, ZODIAC, GONE GIRL, FIGHT CLUB), the story centers around the writing of CITIZEN KANE. Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, and Lily Collins star.

REBECCA: Director Ben Wheatley's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel (adapted by Hitchcock in 1940) follows a newly-married young woman (Lily James) who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca.

THE OLD GUARD: From director Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL), Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne lead a covert group of immortal mercenaries who must fight to keep their team together when they discover the existence of a new immortal and their extraordinary abilities are exposed.

HILLBILLY ELEGY: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, and Gabriel Basso star in director Ron Howard's adaptation of J.D. Vance's memoir of the same name, a modern exploration of the American Dream about three generations of an Appalachian family.

DA 5 BLOODS: The latest Spike Lee joint follows four African American vets who return to Vietnam, searching for the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure. Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, Norm Lewis, Delroy Lindo, and Jonathan Majors star.

EUROVISION: When aspiring musicians Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world’s biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream is a dream worth fighting for.

I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS: A road trip becomes a twisted mix of palpable tension, psychological frailty, and sheer terror in the latest from Charlie Kaufman (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ADAPTATION, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), starring Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.

THE LAST THING HE WANTED: In this Joan Didion adaptation from Dee Rees (MUDBOUND), a veteran D.C. journalist (Anne Hathaway) loses the thread of her own story when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break.

A FALL FROM GRACE: In this thriller from Tyler Perry (MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION), Grace (Crystal Fox), a disheartened woman restored by a new romance, discovers her relationship is full of secrets, and her vulnerable side quickly turns violent. Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb, Cicely Tyson also star.

TIGERTAIL: This film from writer/director Alan Yang (MASTER OF NONE) tells the story of a Taiwanese factory worker who leaves his homeland to seek opportunity in America, where he struggles to find connection while balancing family & newfound responsibilities.

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL: Mark Wahlberg reteams with director Peter Berg (FRIDAY  NIGHT LIGHTS (Movie)) to play an ex-cop, Spenser, who moves in with Hawk (Winston Duke), an aspiring MMA fighter with his own rap sheet. Between gym rounds, the duo’s taunts turn to trust, and they team up to solve a double homicide.

THE PROM: Ryan Murphy (THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE) directs this story of a lesbian teenager who's banned from attending the big dance with her girlfriend. The injustice prompts a cast of Broadway eccentrics to descend on the small Indiana town to fight back. Meryl Streep, James Corden & Nicole Kidman star.

OUT OF THE FIRE: Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary with nothing left to lose when his skills are solicited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. Action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller directed by Sam Hargrave.

Billie Eilish's James Bond Theme

No Time to Die (trailer)


Mighty Ducks Reboot

TMZ - "EMILIO ESTEVEZBACK ON THE ICE ...'Mighty Ducks' Reboot!!!"

"Filming is already underway for the 10-episode TV series, which Disney says is set in present-day Minnesota and features the Mighty Ducks as an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey program.

Emilio's gonna reprise his role as Coach Bombay and guide a ragtag group of misfits as they discover the joys of playing for the love of the game. In other words, it's pretty much the same plot as the 1990s trilogy."

People - "See the First Look Photos of Emilio Estevez as Coach Bombay in Mighty Ducks Reboot"

"On Thursday, Disney+ announced the 57-year-old actor will be reprising his role of coach Gordon Bombay — which he played in The Mighty Ducks film franchise — in the upcoming TV series based on the sports trilogy."

The Batman Starring Robert Pattinson

June 25, 2021
Written and Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War of the Planet of the Apes)

Robert Pattinson as Batman
Zoë Kravitz as Catwomn
Paul Dano as The Riddler
Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon
John Turturro
Peter Sarsgaard
Jayme Lawson
Andy Serkis as Alfred
Colin Farrell as Penguin

Modern Art

Remix of Bartholomeus van der Heist's 1600's work.

Via Reddit: Painting I found in a shop. Should have bought it.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Olympic Dreams

"the first movie to ever be filmed during an ongoing Olympic Games"

February 14, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The French Dispatch

July 24, 2020
Written & Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson

Rochester, Minnesota City Flag

MPR News – "Replacing Rochester's city flag design may be harder than it sounds"

Hiro Murai Breaks Down Teddy Perkins Scene

Ryan Coogler Breaks Down the Busan Casino Fight Scene

Hiro Murai:
The End of Robbin' Season
Childish Gambino – "This Is America"
Nike for LeBron James – The Tattoo (Directed by Hiro Murai)