Jonathan Jones: What’s happened to figurative art today? | Art and design | guardian.co.uk

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Jonathan Jones: What’s happened to figurative art today? | Art and design | guardian.co.uk

Visions and Revisions: an article by William Zinsser about writing and keeping up to date his book, On Writing Well | The American Scholar

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Lone Gunman.

Visions and Revisions: an article by William Zinsser about writing and keeping up to date his book, On Writing Well | The American Scholar

Music Ally | Blog Archive » Report: Spotify to sell music downloads via 7Digital

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Bad move if true: hooking up with 7digital dilutes the Spotify brand and if it’s a track-by-track then there’s almost no point. If this is an addition (say 100 MP3s/month) to the premium Spotify service then it makes more sense. We’ll see.

Music Ally | Blog Archive » Report: Spotify to sell music downloads via 7Digital

YouTube – Attention Scum – The Lock In

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YouTube - Attention Scum - The Lock In

‘Rock Band’ sales hit $1 billion | News | NME.COM

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‘Rock Band’ sales hit $1 billion | News | NME.COM

Fab floors – Times Online

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Fab floors - Times Online

Memoirs of rock mentor John Sinclair – Times Online

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Now I regard pop culture as a basic tool of oppression by the modern corporate order. It’s difficult for kids to develop the kind of consciousness we had because they’re surrounded by this girdle of pop culture. It’s there 24 hours a day. It’s the wallpaper.

Memoirs of rock mentor John Sinclair - Times Online

Russia sends troops to frozen north to claim Arctic resources – Times Online

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This while Obama asks for more NATO troops to Afghanistan. It seems like Norway will have to send more troops to the war-on-terror/drugs, so we have NATO brownie-points in lew for a future conflict between Russia and Norway. A “grey zone” agreement should have been sorted years ago. The later this is left to sit on the shelf, the greater the risk of an Arctic conflict.

Russia sends troops to frozen north to claim Arctic resources - Times Online

YouTube – Robert Normann DVD – Shine, The TV Collection

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YouTube - Robert Normann DVD - Shine, The TV Collection

At the Bull, then the Islingto…

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At the Bull, then the Islington Academy for DAF and hopefully a bit of Client.

Drawing a cirlce in Google Maps

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Drawing a cirlce in Google Maps

Last.fm Paid-Only for International Users, Kills Unofficial Mobile Apps

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Unaffected: A) I live in the UK and B) I only use it for scrobbling. Affected: A) With last.fm facing a slow death, how will Spotify make sure of survival?

Last.fm Paid-Only for International Users, Kills Unofficial Mobile Apps

Celebration of a City, London.Richard Bryant Flickr Competition (via ianvisits)

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Celebration of a City, London. Richard Bryant Flickr Competition (via ianvisits)

13 Great WordPress Speed Tips & Tricks for MAX Performance | Noupe

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13 Great WordPress Speed Tips & Tricks for MAX Performance | Noupe

Norwegian Premiership match played on snow-covered pitch (Dagbladet).

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Rosenborg beat Tromsø 4-2. Looks fun.

Norwegian Premiership match played on snow-covered pitch (Dagbladet).

Work? He really must try harder. Naomi Wolf reviews Alain de Botton’s latest – Times Online

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The overall trouble with the tone of this text is that it reads in many places as if someone had sent Oscar Wilde to investigatethe meat-packing industry in Chicago. De Botton often sounds as if he is poking at the idea of “work” with a gentlemanly stick, or peering at it under a bell jar; a curiosity of interest mostly to others, not a source of ambition or dread or survival - or money. In short, this book examining “work” sounds often as if it has been written by someone who never had a job that was not voluntary, or at least pleasant. Proof? After examining scores of tasks, trades and professions, the man does not make a single mention of an annual salary number.

Work? He really must try harder. Naomi Wolf reviews Alain de Botton’s latest - Times Online

Pregnant Fish Fossils found

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The time when young vertebrates first began to develop within their mothers’ bodies has now been pushed much further back in geological time, thanks to two remarkable discoveries involving fish.

Pregnant Fish Fossils found

The Kindly Ones slaughtered by Jonathan Littell – Times Online

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Now made available to English readers in a translation by Charlotte Mandell, The Kindly Ones will surely cause jaws here to drop with a different kind of amazement. For Jonathan Littell’s 984-page book is so bloatedly inept that its reverential reception across the Channel seems barely comprehensible.

The Kindly Ones slaughtered by Jonathan Littell - Times Online

Harvard’s masters of the apocalypse – Times Online

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I write as the holder of an MBA from Harvard Business School – once regarded as a golden ticket to riches, but these days more like scarlet letters of shame. We MBAs are haunted by the thought that the tag really stands for Mediocre But Arrogant, Mighty Big Attitude, Me Before Anyone and Management By Accident. For today’s purposes, perhaps it should be Masters of the Business Apocalypse.

A dose of modesty among MBAs and business schools is long overdue. But it’s not going to come from Harvard. Light, told his audience in October: “The need for leadership in the world today is at least as great as it has ever been. The need for what we do is at least as great as it has ever been.”

A bold claim to which many might say: please, spare us.

Harvard’s masters of the apocalypse - Times Online

Quote by Interview: TC Boyle | Culture | The Guardian

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Science has killed religion, there’s no hope for the future with seven billion of us on the planet, and the only thing you can do is to laugh in the face of it all.

Interview: TC Boyle | Culture | The Guardian

Think tank: We’ve all been made criminals -Times Online

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Ordinary, upright citizens are now spied on, stopped and searched, arrested at gunpoint, DNA-swabbed and criminalised, for no good reason other than that some officer of the state has the power to do it, and is incentivised to do it.

The ink was hardly dry on the Terrorism Act 2000 before it was used to arrest Dundonian Sally Cameron, 34. Her crime wasn’t some conspiracy to blow up Dundee; it was daring to walk along a cycle path. Two squad cars roared up on her and she was carted off to the cells.

Then octogenarian Walter Wolfgang, who had escaped the Nazis and become a Labour activist in Britain, was arrested under the same law for merely heckling Jack Straw at a Labour party conference. That’s the Jack Straw who wrote last week that his party had extended freedoms, not curtailed them.

Really? The Terrorism Act allowed the government to designate areas where the police could stop and search suspects at will. Fine, you might think, if they see people acting suspiciously outside nuclear power stations. But no. Ministers instantly declared the whole of London a stop-and-search area. Now thousands of law-abiding folk are stopped and questioned each year – even a cricketer who was asked to explain why he was carrying a bat, and an 11-year-old girl, stopped and told to empty her pockets.

Another octogenarian, John Catt, was picked up by the cameras that monitor every car going through the City. He was on police files because they’d nabbed him once before – outside the same Labour conference – for wearing a T-shirt saying George W Bush and Tony Blair were war criminals. Could be offensive, they said.

Think tank: We’ve all been made criminals -Times Online

Prince Denies Deal with Morgan Library – ARTINFO.com

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Prince Denies Deal with Morgan Library - ARTINFO.com

Intriguing, The Times broke the (non-?)story of Prince donating his impressive library a couple of weeks ago:

“Basically, my collection is about sex, drugs, Beat [poets], hippies, punks – and great reads,” said Prince, who keeps his most valuable manuscripts, letters and autographed literary memorabilia in a fireproof, waterproof, room-size vault near his studio in northern New York state.

Not content with run-of-the-mill first editions, Prince, 59, has spent the past 25 years seeking out the rarest – and often most expensive – examples of some of the best-known books, magazines and other publishing ephemera of the past century.
To literary jewels such as a signed first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses and Vladimir Nabokov’s personal, annotated copy of Lolita, he has added a letter written by Sylvia Plath the day before the American poet killed herself; the original manuscript of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, complete with a letter from an editor suggesting Puzo change its original title, The Mafia; and the legendary, unpublishable, handwritten Cock Book, a one-off portfolio of erotica produced by one of Andy Warhol’s acolytes and depicting the genitalia of various celebrities of the 1970s and 1980s.

Saatchi speaks sense on where to spend budgets for art.

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Q:Should the country be spending money on saving Old Masters for the nation, or buying up works by the next generation of artists?

A:At the risk of being lynched — again — by the art crowd, I don’t think there is a great need any more to save paintings for the nation at the cost of supporting new art. What difference does it make if a Titian is hanging in the National Gallery, the Louvre or the Uffizi?

This isn’t the 18th century: people travel, so there’s no need to be nationalistic about the world’s art treasures. Much more important is to back living artists.

Saatchi speaks sense on where to spend budgets for art.

Tidal salt-water seaside swimming pools, by Oliver Merrington

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Tidal salt-water seaside swimming pools, by Oliver Merrington

Robotic fish seeks out water pollution | Metro.co.uk

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Robotic fish seeks out water pollution | Metro.co.uk

David Hockney swaps oils for pixels (as in using Photoshop) – Times Online

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Some critics are likely to point out that the software could allow painters to “cheat” by constantly correcting themselves and to be far more precise than if they were using only their eyes and hands. Hockney believes these features are an advantage. He can magnify a small area of the painting temporarily so that he can work on it in detail.

Although Hockney is predominantly a painter, he has always been willing to experiment. His work has included Polaroid photograph compositions, faxes, collages of photographs and early Xerox prints in the 1980s.

David Hockney swaps oils for pixels (as in using Photoshop) - Times Online

10 government databases ‘will break the law’ – Times Online

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10 government databases ‘will break the law’ - Times Online

Last Barr steps down from board of Irn-Bru maker.

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The company traces its origins back to 1830, when Robert Barr, Mr Barr’s great-great-grandfather, started a cork-cutting business in Falkirk. In 1875 his son, also called Robert, opened a soft drinks business. His son, also called Robert, launched a second business in 1887 and this was taken over by his brother, Andrew Greig Barr, in 1892 — and it was he who, in 1901, first began selling “iron brew”.

Despite there being more than 1,000 other soft-drink makers in Scotland at that time, many of whom sold a version of the product, AG Barr was able to become a market leader through shrewd advertising.

The drink, which in its Scottish homeland outsells both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, was endorsed in its early years by Donald Dinnie, the Scottish strongman who was described in Barr’s adverts as “the world champion athlete” — although the first sportsman to feature in its ads was Adam Brown, a former Highland Games champion. Later, it was endorsed by Benny Lynch, the Glaswegian boxer and world flyweight champion, still regarded as one of the best fighters Britain has produced.

The quirky advertisements have lasted to this day. The brand’s best-known slogan — “Made in Scotland from girders” — is one of many to have won awards in recent years.

Last Barr steps down from board of Irn-Bru maker.

Christopher Dresser / Design Museum Collection : – Design/Designer Information

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Dresser’s designs were radical in the context of a period when many designs combined a heady mix of cultures and periods with the highly decorative Rococo revival style dominating silverware. His reduced, geometric forms revealed the influence of Japanese and Islamic silverware and a desire to be economic with the use of costly materials. Maintaining an acute awareness of function, Dresser also became adept at utilising standardised components for handles and lids to reduce costs for manufacturers.

Christopher Dresser / Design Museum Collection : - Design/Designer Information

Remembering Bogle Chandler – an interactive narrative

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One for a rainy day, via The Guardian

Remembering Bogle Chandler - an interactive narrative

Would-be iTunes Store killer SpiralFrog goes extinct – The Baltimore Sun’s David Zeiler follows all developments related to Apple, Inc. – baltimoresun.com

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I realise that Spotify might have better prospects (and a much better name of their business), but I am still weary of shelling out a tenner a month for what is basically just access to music (or your own digital radio station).

Would-be iTunes Store killer SpiralFrog goes extinct - The Baltimore Sun’s David Zeiler follows all developments related to Apple, Inc. - baltimoresun.com

Vibram fivefinger neoprene shoes (via FT)

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Meet The Makers (people of craft) – FT

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A nice little piece on craftship in the FT Magazine today, one of the companies profiled is the gunmaker Michael Louca working for Watson Brothers (one of their guns for shooting grouse pictured).

Meet The Makers (people of craft) - FT

Freemium – basic services for free, charge for premium (Wikipedia)

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Freemium is a business model which works by offering basic services for free, while charging a premium for advanced or special features. The word freemium is a portmanteau created by combining the two aspects of the business model: free and premium. The business model has gained popularity with Web 2.0 companies.

Freemium - basic services for free, charge for premium (Wikipedia)

Free Music Downloads – Last.fm

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Free Music Downloads – Last.fm

self-portrait cast made from the frozen blood of artist Marc Quinn.

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self-portrait cast made from the frozen blood of artist Marc Quinn.

markwilson.it » TalkTalk “free” broadband… here’s the catch

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markwilson.it » TalkTalk “free” broadband… here’s the catch

Thirty Free Image Resources on the Web (About.com, via Lifehacker)

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Thirty Free Image Resources on the Web (About.com, via Lifehacker)

The Marriage – Game/Art by Rod Humble (via Wired)

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Its probably some kind of record to have such a small game give hundreds of words of explanation. By way of defence I should say that I regard game rules as highly compact artistic statements so its not surprising that unravelling them takes a while in prose, also artistic criticism for games is a new field so we don’t have the pre existing vocabulary to deal with outlying games like this, yet.

 

The Marriage is intended to be art. No excuses or ducking. As such its certainly meant to be enjoyable but not entertaining in the traditional sense most games are. This means I am certain to be perceived as being pretentious by some who read this, my apologies. 

The Marriage - Game/Art by Rod Humble (via Wired)

Google Maps Mania: Street View Now in the UK and Netherlands

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Google Maps Mania: Street View Now in the UK and Netherlands