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Freed: Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs
08.11.2009
01:00 pm
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Severely ill and stroke-prone, Last of The Great Train Robbers Ronnnie Biggs was released by British officials into the free light of day last Friday.  After the ‘63 robbery, which involved the mail car hijacking of what would be roughly $70 million in today’s dollars, Biggs and his cohorts were quickly rounded up.  The money wasn’t—the bulk of it has never been recovered.  And after scaling a 30-foot prison wall and skipping off to Rio, it looked like Biggs wouldn’t be, either.  That is until 2001, when craving “a pint of bitter,” Biggs returned to England to resume his sentence. 

Beyond his decades as a fugitive, though, what best cemented Biggs’ outlaw celebrity status back home was his cavorting with The Sex Pistols.  Shortly after their final performance at Winterland, the Pistols flew down to Rio and recorded a couple of tracks with Biggs.  Their “collaborative” results—No One Is Innocent and Belsen Was a Gas—surfaced in both the film and soundtrack for Julien Temple’s The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, from which a vid of Innocent can be seen below.

 
In The LA Times: Great Train Robbery Outlaw Gains His Release

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.11.2009
01:00 pm
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The Comedy Genius of Sharon Horgan
08.11.2009
12:08 pm
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Actress/writer Sharon Horgan (right) is amongst the first ranks of British comedic talent. Up there with Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and The League of Gentlemen. But I don’t mean to compare her solely to males, I’m merely comparing her to other writer-performers. Horgan’s so good that, like her closest contemporary Julia Davis, her work so thoroughly transcends the notion of “female comedy” or “comedy for women” that it would be ridiculous to insist upon it.

Still, Horgan does happen to be a female, and a very attractive one at that. The series she is best known for Pulling (the second series comes out today on DVD in America) follows the travails of three single women in dead-end jobs and even worse relationships. Her acting style is similar in many ways to Warren Beatty or Gary Shandling’s awkward hemming and hawing, half-finished sentence school of acting (ugh, there I go with male comparisons again). With creative partner, Dennis Kelly, she knows how to write for her strengths. Like Gervais and Larry David, Horgan is a master at finding uncomfortable truths in the in-between moments of life. It’s tempting to describe Pulling as Sex and The City meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.


Sadly, the suits at the BBC—for whatever DUMBASS reason—decided not to renew Pulling for a third series. They did commission a one-off ending to the series, so it was neatly tied-up, but boy did they drop the ball on this one… However, the BBC’s loss is America’s gain as Horgan has reportedly signed a deal with HBO (Great move, HBO!)

Here are two more scenes from Pulling, one where Horgan’s Donna meets an old friend on the street and a second clip featuring fan favorite Karen in a typically awkward encounter in the supermarket.

More Sharon Horgan brilliance: In this painfully observed scene from Horgan and Kelly’s ensemble comedy for Channel Five, Angelo’s, husband and wife police partners, Dave and Karen visit the fertility clinic.

The Awl’s Alex Balk likes Pulling, too

‘There’s no moral centre to Pulling because we don’t have one!’

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.11.2009
12:08 pm
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ColorSuckr: Extract Colors From Photos
08.11.2009
01:04 am
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Colorsuckr is great browser-based tool for designers and artists. Input any picture and—voila—Colorsuckr automatically creates a palette for you. I tried to come up with the most colorful image I could think of and for whatever reason, I came up with Bjork. She’s colorful!

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ColorSuckr

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.11.2009
01:04 am
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Hubcap Prayer Wheel: Burn Rubber, Burn Karma
08.10.2009
09:13 pm
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Dangerous Minds pal Erik Davis sent us news of his wife, Jennifer Dumpert’s new project, The Hubcap Prayer Wheel:

Hubcap Prayer Wheel is a high-quality vinyl decal that depicts the most popular mantra in Buddhism, Om Mani Padme Hum. Long ago in Tibet, people inscribed this mantra onto prayer wheels that were turned by hand, but also by water or wind—a premodern version of sacred automation. With every spin of the wheel, by your own labor or otherwise, the prayer spread through the universe. So by affixing the decal to your hubcap, you can convert your car into a mobile prayer wheel. With Om Mani Padme Hum revolving as you drive, you can help ease your karma while radiating wisdom and compassion into your life and into the world.

Hubcap Prayer Wheel

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
09:13 pm
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Announcing the Oops Design Award Nominees
08.10.2009
05:22 pm
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Behold a couple of the er… “winners” in this year’s crop of nominees for the Oops Design Award. Aren’t some of these just gorgeous?

Oops organizers have selected:

1. Ugliest product design of the year
2. Silliest product design of the year
3. Most useless product design concept of the year

There are plenty more of these “winners” on their website.

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Via Oddee (thank you Mister Mark Jordan of London, England!)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
05:22 pm
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Japanese Neon Light Fighting
08.10.2009
05:11 pm
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You have to hand it to the Japanese, they know violence sells and they market it like no other country can.

But this has to be the dumbest sport in history, two fat guys pounding each other with neon-rods until they?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
05:11 pm
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Bush Administration Gets Its Own Social Network
08.10.2009
02:25 pm
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If there is one thing our descendants will judge the 00s for more than the presidency of George W. Bush, it’ll be f—-ing social media. But now, both horrors have teamed up to create the ultimate Voltron of Suck.

The Raw Story reports:

Staffers for former President George W. Bush have an answer to the Facebook community’s generally negative view of them: We’ll start our own.

In a move reminiscent of the Bush White House’s decision to create an “Office of Special Plans” to find evidence tying Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda in an effort to end-run the Pentagon and the CIA when things weren’t turning out their way, former deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto is leading an effort to create a social networking hub for “Bushies only.”

In an interview with Politico, the erstwhile spokesman said efforts to program the site are underway and that a site would likely launch by the end of the year.

The only way I can possibly respond to this is by offering a humble prayer at the altar of Anonymous: Please, 16-year-old geniuses, please… enjoy yourself with this.

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.10.2009
02:25 pm
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The Now Explosion: The Original MTV
08.10.2009
01:56 pm
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The Now Explosion was an early attempt—ten years before MTV—to make a music video network. The programming on The Now Explosion consisted mostly of professionally produced music videos of the era, but they also generated dozens of hours of homegrown music videos featuring lip-sync and amateur performers slathered with tons of primitive special effects (and this was 25 years before YouTube!).

The “Now Explosion” first aired in Atlanta on Channel 36 in 1970. It was a Top 40 music program which, along with airing the current songs of the day, showed images to go with the music, all to the patter of an unseen DJ. Images came from promotional films and videotapes from the bands’ management, but the show’s producer, Bob Whitney, also created in-studio and on-location film and tape images to play with the songs. He created psychedelic visual effects over the images, producing rapid zooms, shapes morphing on top of images, multiple colors and images. The show is a very good depiction of the music, cultural imagery, and clothing styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

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Not much survives from The Now Explosion, although many hours were recently preserved by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection in Georgia.

Click HERE to see a video reel of highlights from The Now Explosion.

The Now Explosion website

An interview with Atlanta reporter, Miriam Longino, about her efforts to uncover the history of The Now Explosion

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
01:56 pm
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Ian & Lozz: My Animal Side
08.09.2009
10:45 pm
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Photographer Ian Lozz and Art Director/Illustrator Lawrence Mann have new work up on their website titled “My Animal Side.” I adore the classic English gentleman look!

 

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Ian & Lozz

Thanks Lea Zuccaro!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.09.2009
10:45 pm
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Christploitation Cinema: If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?
08.09.2009
05:08 pm
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Ron Ormond is the Ed Wood of bad religious film-making and If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? is his magnum opus. It’s like a Jack Chick tract come to life!

Here’s an (edited) review found on the Greylodge G-Pod website:

imageIf Jesus Christ came back to Earth and saw the 1971 Baptist propaganda film If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? he would convert to Buddhism. This astonishing little movie hits a rare trifecta of foaming-mouth lunacy: barking dogma, Cold War paranoia and Dixie-fried exploitation film-making at its unintentionally funniest.

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? is the unlikely collaboration of two of the least inspiring men of their respective trades: the Rev. Estus W. Pirkle, a Mississippi preacher who had a minor following thanks to mail order sales of audiotaped sermons, and Alan Ormond, a Grade Z filmmaker who gave the world such nonsense as The Monster and the Stripper and The Girl from Tobacco Road. Ormond came to Rev. Pirkle?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.09.2009
05:08 pm
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