NYT Magazine:

What happened next was the strangest encounter of Lemming’s 28-year career as a football scout. Michael Oher sat down at the table across from him. . .and refused to speak. “He shook my hand and then didn’t say a word,” Lemming recalled. (“His hands — they were huge!”) Lemming asked a few questions; Michael Oher just kept staring right through him. And soon enough Lemming decided further interaction was pointless. Michael Oher left, and he left behind blank forms and unanswered questions. Every other high-school football player in America was dying for Lemming to invite him to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michael Oher had left his invitation on the table.

What never crossed Tom Lemming’s mind was that the player he would soon rank the No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation, and perhaps the finest left-tackle prospect since Orlando Pace, hadn’t the faintest notion of who Lemming was or why he was asking him all these questions. For that matter, he didn’t even think of himself as a football player. And he had never played left tackle in his life.

Here.

Fantagraphics:

The 1999 Nato bombing of Serbia. A grenade shell from a Sarajevo souvenir shop. A refrigerator with the frozen mummy of Tito… These serve as the starting point for a journey further and further down the collective unconscious of the Balkans, where the borders between dream and reality are erased and redrawn until they form a tale as exciting as it is fantastic, a tale which could be about our times and a war-torn Europe but just as well might be a deep dive into the psyches of its authors or a discussion about the essence of drawing. Bosnian Flat Dog is the result of a unique collaboration between two of Sweden’s most internationally renowned cartoonists, Death and Cand and Pixy creator Max Andersson and Lars Sjunnesson. Each of them contributed to every single drawing to the extent that they no longer can tell themselves exactly who did what. This has lead to the emergence of an independent artistic entity which is neither of the two, but something else, at once familiar and unknown and perhaps a little bit scary.

Here.

NYT:

If this sounds confusing, that’s the nature of chaos, which can be as hard to photograph as it is to describe. Fortunately, Robert Polidori is a connoisseur of chaos, and the beauty of his pictures — they have a languid, almost underwater beauty — entails locating order in bedlam.

The X of wires and the diagonal thrust of that green house, extending horizontally across the photograph, are vertically anchored by the telephone pole, creating a tranquillity in the composition that belies the actual pandemonium. Given bearings by this geometry, a viewer is set free to find details like the teetering stop sign on the street corner where the green house landed: a black-humored punch line.

All artists, as best they can, make sense of a world that is often senseless. Mr. Polidori’s work, from Chernobyl to Havana — in sometimes dangerous, topsy-turvy, out-of-time places — generally bears witness to profound neglect. A photojournalist’s compulsion and problem is always to contrive beauty from misery, and it is only human to feel uneasy about admiring pictures like these from New Orleans, whose sumptuousness can be disorienting. But the works also express an archaeologist’s aspiration to document plain-spoken truth, and they are without most of the tricks of the trade that photographers exploit to turn victims into objects and pictures of pain into tributes to themselves.

Here.

NYT:

“I was fortunate to work with Ingmar,” he said in 1995. “One of the things we believed was that a picture shouldn’t look lit. Whenever possible, I lit with one source and avoided creating double shadows, because that pointed to the photography.”

In his films, especially those with Mr. Bergman, light assumed a metaphysical dimension that went beyond mood. It distilled and deepened the feelings of torment and spiritual separation that afflicted Bergman characters. But in scenes of tranquillity filmed outdoors, the light might also evoke glimpses of transcendence. The sumptuous scenes of a Scandinavian Christmas in “Fanny and Alexander” burst with warmth and a magical, childlike joy.

Here.

He severed head of a corpse and claimed he pitied it and decided to do it a favour.

Daily Sun, Nigeria’s King of the Tabloids:

Azubuike, a native of Aguata in Anambra State, said: “I went to look for my friend at Alakuko on that fateful day. On getting there, I met his absence and decided to look for him at the motor park. On my way to the park, I saw three corpses on the road. They were all decayed and their skeletons were sticking out. I felt sorry for one of them and decided to cut off the skull.

I saw a machete by the roadside, which I used to sever the head. I put the head into a nylon bag and was going back to my friend’s house when I was intercepted by the police. I explained to them that I only took pity on the corpse. I would have even carried the whole corpse, but it was too heavy. My intention was to help the corpse by burying its head. I had no ulterior motive.”

Here.

NYT:

That solitary drive would also give shape to “Train to Pakistan,” Mr. Singh’s slim, seminal 1956 novel whose opening paragraphs contain one of its most unsettling lines: “The fact is, both sides killed.” An estimated one million people were killed during the partition, and more than 10 million fled their homes: Hindus and Sikhs pouring into India, Muslims heading in the other direction, to Pakistan. The novel tells the story of an uneventful border village that gets swept up in that violent storm.

Now, in a new edition of the novel, Roli Books in New Delhi has paired his story with 66 unflinching black-and-white photographs of the Partition era, some never before published, by the American photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. This new incarnation of “Train to Pakistan,” which Roli hopes to find international distributors for at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month, has given the book what its author happily calls “a new lease on life.” It has also given Mr. Singh, who at 91 has borne witness to several rounds of carnage in his country, an occasion once again to warn against forgetfulness.

Here.

NYT reviews American Hardcore. My review from a January showing at Sundance is Here.

NYT:

Musically hardcore was a repudiation of almost everything, from disco to the dilution of first-generation punk labeled new wave to, of course, the same high-flying and deeply loathed bands, like the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Journey, that the original punks also despised. Hardcore was more than noncommercial; it was anticommercial. No one in the movement made more than spare change, and many lived hand to mouth. Poverty was synonymous with purism.

Directed by Paul Rachman, from a screenplay by Steven Blush based on his book “American Hardcore: A Tribal History,” the film, which is filled with grainy archival clips of hardcore performances, is a toned-down cinematic equivalent of the music: fast and loud, but not too loud. The movie scrambles to cover so much territory that there is room only for musical shards and slivers; few complete songs are heard, and no signature anthems stand out. These excerpts are spliced with pungent bits and pieces from dozens of interviews, the whole crisply edited into a rapid-fire history. If 9 out of 10 bands are groups almost no one ever heard of, the movie’s encyclopedic concept is touchingly thorough.

Here.

Washington Post:

“We’re not going to speculate with you today about recommendations,” Baker announced at the session, hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Can the war in Iraq be won?

“We’re not going to make any assessments today about what we think the status of the situation is in Iraq,” said Hamilton.

Could they at least explain their definitions of success and failure in Iraq?

“We’re not going to get into that today,” Baker replied.

After more such probing, Hamilton became categorical. “We’ve made no judgment of any kind at this point about any aspect of policy with regard to Iraq.”

A few minutes later, one of the organizers called out: “We have time for one or two more questions.”

Here.

Last words of death row inmates, from the Guardian:

“Statement to what. State what. I am not guilty of the charge of capital murder. Steal me and my family’s money. My truth will always be my truth. There is no kin and no friend; no fear what you do to me. No kin to you undertaker. Murderer. [Portion of statement omitted due to profanity] Get my money. Give me my rights. Give me my rights. Give me my rights. Give me my life back.”

Here.

LA Times:

I was still looking at the wounded man and blaming myself for not stopping to help. Other shoppers peered at him from a distance, sorrowful and compassionate, but did nothing.

I went on to another grocery store, staying for about five minutes while shopping for tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. During that time, the man managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times. The car took off down a side road and vanished.

No one did anything. No one lifted a finger. The only reaction came from a woman in the grocery store. In a low voice, she said, “My God, bless his soul.”

I went home and didn’t dare tell my wife. I did not want to frighten her.

Here.

MySpace:

My friends call me Jonah! I am Ex-Special Forces, a Martial Artist, & a musician. I have my own C.D. out titled Have Harp Will Travel. Check out my web-site for sound-bytes at HaveHarpWillTravel.com & loads of crazy pix! I live in Dansville, New York with my wife & huge Tibetan Mastiff dog, Tonru, & our tiny, black kitten Vas’ka. Love fantasy, adventure, action flicks, comic books, etc. My wife Anna is directly from Nikolaev, in the Ukraine, & is a fashion model.

Here.

Wooster Collective:

STIKMAN Has just returned from a thousand mile journey across the state of New York and the province of Ontario. Along the way I spread hundreds of STIKMEN and STIKMAN paintings in the cities and towns that I encountered. In Toronto I installed a wide variety of artworks throughout 50 miles of streets and alleyways. I was lucky enough to have a chance encounter in a parking lot with the art prankster Istvan Kantor, the godfather of culture jamming and the founder of Neoism. He was painting one hundred works an hour for seven hours so I was able watch him work his magic and pick up some paintings and do a little collaborating.( the last photo is of two of the paintings that were painted that day by Istvan)

Here.

Guardian:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday accused the Pope of committing the world’s biggest Christian church to what he claimed was a “crusade” launched by President Bush against Islam.
The Iranian leader’s words represented a setback to more than 25 years of Vatican diplomacy aimed at distancing Roman Catholicism from the west many Muslims regard as hostile and decadent. In his first comment on remarks on Islam made by Pope Benedict last week, the Ayatollah said they formed “the latest link in the chain of a crusade against Islam started by America’s Bush”.

Here.

Washington Post:

“It has been reported,” said Fox, that “your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?”

Allen recoiled as if he had been struck. His supporters in the audience booed and hissed. “To be getting into what religion my mother is, I don’t think is relevant,” Allen said, furiously. “Why is that relevant — my religion, Jim’s religion or the religious beliefs of anyone out there?”

“Honesty, that’s all,” questioner Fox answered, looking a bit frightened.

Here.

MagnumPhotos:

Koudelka, published by Delpire, Paris, 2006.

Here.

Guardian:

The elephant may have been in the room, but by the end of its stay it had lost its sheen. Tai, the 38-year-old painted pachyderm that was the centrepiece of the first major US show by the British graffiti artist Banksy, was scrubbed down on Sunday on the orders of the Los Angeles department of animal services.

Here.

Business Week, via ValleyWag:

The man who, after Jobs, is most responsible for Apple’s amazing ability to dazzle and delight with its famous products, chose instead to talk about process — what he called “the craft of design.” He spoke passionately about his small team and how they work together. He talked about focusing on only what is important and limiting the number of projects. He spoke about having a deep understanding of how a product is made: its materials, its tooling, its purpose. Mostly, he focused on the need to care deeply about the work.

After graduating, Ive joined Grinyer in 1989 in a London startup, Tangerine Design. But he couldn’t get British companies to appreciate his work. When a company mothballed a bathroom sink he’d spent months working on, “he was dejected and depressed,” says Grinyer. “He had poured himself into working for people who really didn’t care.” Ive admits he wasn’t cut out to be a design consultant, where salesmanship is the most essential skill. “I was terrible at running a design business, and I really wanted to just focus on the craft of design,” he told Pearlman.

Here.

Onion Radio News:

The sixth grader will eventually learn everything she needs to know about sexuality two to three years from now, when she’ll be given to a 60-year-old Mormon elder in Canada.

mp3, Here.

X-Arcade:

The newest addition to Xgaming’s award-winning lineup remains faithful to it’s arcadian ancestry and injects the most complete and authentic home arcade gaming experience into your home.

Here.

BBC:

Pablo Wendel, made up like an ancient warrior, jumped into a pit showcasing the 2,200-year-old pottery soldiers and stood motionless for several minutes.

The 26-year-old was eventually spotted by police and removed from the scene.

Unearthed in 1974, the statues are said to be one of the 20th Century’s greatest archaeological finds.

Here.

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