VINSON CUNNINGHAM: Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others (New Yorker)
The most interesting people in "Stories"-and by this one might only mean the best New Yorkers-are the conscientious objectors. Happy to relinquish their likenesses, they refuse further flattening. One woman-a book open on her lap, a swatch of a purple sweater waving out over washed-out jeans, her face perhaps pointedly outside the frame-says only this to her would-be inquisitor: "These experiences were so meaningful to me that I don't want you to soundbite them.
Mark Coker: Dan Poynter, The Father of Self Publishing, Passes Away (Smashwords Blog)
Dan led the indie author movement long before the movement had a label, and long before many of its current beneficiaries were even born. Tens of thousands of writers over the last three decades have benefited from the best practices wisdom of his Self Publishing Manual, not to mention his hundreds of presentations over the years at writers conferences around the world.
Exclusive: Dan Poynter on the Future of Books (Smashwords Blog)
It takes courage to write a book. It takes even more courage to blaze your path as an indie author.
Tom Danehy: sure life is about personality, not looks, but tom takes a look at each of the republican presidential candidates anyway (Tucson Weekly)
My sainted Italian mother, Teresa Maria DiMarco, used to speak to me in her native tongue. When I was in my early teens, she looked me in the eye and said, "If you want girls to like you, you have to either be good looking or have a great personality. So you'd better get to work on that personality."
Tammy Oler: Oh, the Humanity (Slate)
A mind-bending, award-winning science fiction trilogy that expertly investigates the way we live now.
Isaac Cabe: "5 Beloved Celebrities (With Under-Reported Awful Sides)" (Cracked)
We know that, behind their perfectly white piano-key teeth, flawlessly Proactiv-ed skin, fleekishly groomed eyebrows, and reptilian shapeshifting abilities, celebrities are usually just as flawed as the rest of us -- even the really nice ones. This is why you shouldn't be entirely surprised to learn that all of the people in the following paragraphs are actually absolutely terrible.
ADRIENNE LAFRANCE: Our Planet Is Among the First of Many, Many Earths (The Atlantic)
A new study finds the universe is chock-full of materials for making Earth-like planets, but most of them haven't formed yet.
Julie Beck: The Zen of Adult Coloring Books (The Atlantic)
I get it now.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
British Graffiti Artists
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"BEWARE THE FINE PRINT"
ALL GODS STILL SUCK!
"I'M SORRY I'M A TOOL"
"BERNIE IS GRUMPY"
MOVING ON UP!
STEALING ANTIQUITIES FOR JESUS!
"WHY? WHY? WHY?"
"THE BATTLE FOR THE UNIVERSE"
THANK YOU DOWDY GOWDY!
"THEY HURT MY BABY!"
VOTING FOR A REPUBLICAN WILL GIVE YOU CHLAMYDIA.
DIAPER BOY STRIKES AGAIN!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Bit cooler, but not enough to close the windows.
'Saturday Night Live'
Pressure continued to mount on NBC to cancel Donald Trump's (R-Pendejo) guest-host appearance on this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" as a coalition of advocacy groups delivered petitions to the network Wednesday calling for him to be dropped from the show.
The petitions delivered to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC and "Saturday Night Live," marked the latest attempts to dissuade the network from allowing the Republican presidential hopeful to host the show, with the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda earlier asking that NBC reconsider the decision.
In advance of the show, NBC released promotional spots featuring Trump that included one in which he refers to a Republican opponent, Ben Carson, as "a complete and total loser."
Meanwhile, Trump drew sharp criticism in an online letter with the names of dozens of prominent writers, filmmakers, academics and others from the United States, Spain and Latin America attached to it, including Oscar-winning writer-director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Birdman: Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance").
NBC would not comment on whether any other presidential candidates are being considered to host "SNL."
Resurrects Hollywood's Darkest Chapter
The subpoena came like a death sentence. Dalton Trumbo, the famed Hollywood screenwriter, knew what it meant when he was officially summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. He knew they would pry into his political beliefs and slander him as a Soviet operative. And he knew that he would refuse their invasion, protest their witch hunt and be jailed for doing so.
After the subpoena, came a race to prepare for the coming storm: sell his family's house, finish what work he could and, as he said, "get ready to be a nobody."
Once erased from movies, Trumbo's name is back in theatres - and this time, it's not below the title but right in it. "Trumbo," starring Bryan Cranston, resurrects the darkest chapter in Hollywood history - the blacklist - and celebrates one of the men the movie industry once tragically shunned.
During the decade-long blacklist, studios refused to hire any of the so-called Hollywood Ten - those who, like Trumbo, refused to co-operate with the HUAC, which was acting in the grip of Cold War paranoia.
The period - "a time of evil," Trumbo called it - has occasionally been the backdrop for movies, most notably Sydney Pollack's "The Way We Were" and Martin Ritt's "The Front." But "Trumbo," which opens Friday, is the first major release to tell the story through its actual people.
Scientists at a research center on Hawaii's Coconut Island have embarked on an experiment to grow "super coral" that they hope can withstand the hotter and more acidic oceans that are expected with global warming.
The quest to grow the hearty coral comes at a time when researchers are warning about the dire health of the world's reefs, which create habitats for marine life, protect shorelines and drive tourist economies.
When coral is stressed by changing environmental conditions, it expels the symbiotic algae that live within it and the animal turns white or bright yellow, a process called bleaching, said Ruth Gates, director of the Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii.
If the organisms are unable to recover from these bleaching events, especially when they recur over several consecutive years, the coral will die. Gates estimated that about 60 to 80 percent of the coral in Kaneohe Bay has bleached this year.
Tops Earnings Expectations
Disney is allaying concerns about cord-cutting after reporting better-than-expected revenue in the cable-network division that houses ESPN.
CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that he remains "bullish" about the TV business. Three months earlier, Disney set off a wave of selling in media stocks after trimming its future guidance due to a modest decrease in ESPN subscribers. Last month, Disney cut about 300 jobs at ESPN and shuttered its popular Grantland website.
Thursday's comments come the same day Disney announced it is licensing ESPN and other channels to Sony's PlayStation Vue online TV service, a bundle of over 50 channels that is still smaller than most traditional pay TV packages and costs $50 a month.
Overall, revenue rose 9 per cent to $13.51 billion, shy of the $13.55 billion expected. But adjusted earnings grew to $1.20 per share from 89 cents a year ago, beating the $1.15 expected.
Alleged Site Of 'Nazi Treasure Train'
Experts will next week begin inspecting the site in the southwestern Polish city of Walbrzych where a Nazi train that could contain looted treasure is allegedly buried, the city said Thursday.
A first group of experts, including the two men who claimed to have found the armoured Nazi train, will likely start their non-invasive search early next week, according to municipal spokesman Arkadiusz Grudzien.
"The experts will be able to use different measuring equipment and detectors but are not allowed to touch the ground," Grudzien told AFP.
"They won't be able to dig, or drill or introduce cameras into the ground. They're only allowed to perform a non-invasive search."
Coffins, Skeletons Found Under Street
Two centuries-old burial vaults discovered beneath a street in the heart of New York University's campus by workers replacing a water main were likely part of a Presbyterian church cemetery, an archaeologist said Thursday.
One of the roughly 15-by-18-foot crypts was clearly disturbed, with the skeletons and skulls of between nine and 12 people pushed into a corner while more than a dozen stacked wooden coffins can be seen in the second one, said Chrysalis' Alyssa Loorya, the project's principal investigator.
Anthropologists and archeologists have hung lights in the excavated area and will use digital cameras with zoom lenses to take pictures of the coffin plates in the hopes of identifying the buried. And because city policy is to leave burial grounds undisturbed if possible, project engineers are planning a new route for the water main.
The vaults were probably built in the late 18th century or early 19th century and belonged to one of two area Presbyterian churches, Loorya said. Members of her team will search old newspapers, death records and church archives to identify the buried if possible.
New Mexico Museum Unveils Fossil
Paleontologists with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Thursday unveiled the first baby Pentaceratops skull ever discovered as hundreds of people lined up to get a look.
Scientists had cut open the giant plaster jacket that protected the skull as it was airlifted out of the desert badlands of northwestern New Mexico and trucked to the museum.
They revealed the shield-like part of the dinosaur's skull, some teeth, an arm bone, a rib and what looked like a vertebrae, but museum curator Spencer Lucas said there's still much work to be done.
Now, technicians will begin the painstaking work of digging out the fossils from the rock in which they have been encased for some 70 million years.
The process will take many months, but the public will be able to watch from windows that offer a view into the museum's preparation room.
'Gum Wall' To Be Cleaned
After 20 years of people sticking their gum to the walls of an alley by Seattle's Pike Place Market, officials say it is time for a cleanup.
Pike Place Market announced this week it will take down the estimated 1 million pieces of gum off the walls of Post Alley. Known as the "gum wall," the sticky landmark has become a popular attraction to visitors and locals.
Besides gum, people leave pictures, business cards and other mementos. Some pieces of gum were shaped into hearts and messages.
The market has hired a contractor that will use steam to melt off the gum, beginning Nov. 10. Pressure washing damages the historic building too much.
Nude Fetches Over $67M
A nude portrait by Pablo Picasso brought in over $67 million at Sotheby's on Thursday, a day after the auction house sold $377 million worth art from the estate of its late former owner.
The fall art auction season got underway Wednesday evening with Sotheby's selling 77 works from the A. Alfred Taubman collection. The auction house said nearly 90 per cent of the works were sold. At a day sale Thursday, Sotheby's featured an additional 122 additional works from the Taubman collection.
The auction house estimated the total value of the Taubman collection at $500 million.
On Thursday evening, Sotheby's offered impressionist and modern artworks from other collections including the van Gogh.
Melissa Mathison, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, died Wednesday in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She was 65.
Mathison's writing credits also include The Black Stallion (1979), The Escape Artist (1982), Indian in the Cupboard (1995), Kundun (1997) and her most recent collaboration with Spielberg, The BFG, now in postproduction and set for release in 2016.
The screenwriter, a native of Los Angeles, was married to actor Harrison Ford from 1983 to 2004. They had met when she was a young assistant on the set of Apocalypse Now in 1976. Mathison and Ford married in a 15-minute ceremony at the Santa Monica Courthouse in 1983 and had two children together: son Malcolm, a musician, born in 1987 and daughter Georgia, an actress, born in 1990. They survive her.
George Barris, the legendary custom car builder who created television's original Batmobile and helped define California's car culture with colorfully designed vehicles ranging from the stunningly beautiful to the simply outrageous, died Thursday. He was 89.
Barris, who had been in declining health, died at his Los Angeles home with his family by his side, said Edward Lozzi, his longtime publicist and friend. No cause of death was given.
Barris customized cars and buses for TV shows, movies, celebrities and heads of state and was a pioneer in designing small, plastic models of those customized cars. The models popularized his wildly imaginative vehicles all the more when they were assembled by millions of American youngsters in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
For decades Barris worked out of a shop in a modest North Hollywood neighborhood, just down the street from Universal Studios. Passers-by would often be startled to see the Batmobile or another stunning vehicle sitting inside the shop and to meet Barris if they strolled in to check it out.
Barris also worked on The Munster Koach for the 1960s TV show "The Munsters," and "Black Beauty," the car Bruce Lee used in the TV show, "The Green Hornet."
He also customized cars for numerous well-heeled private collectors, Lozzi said, as well as buses for traveling rock musicians.
Born in Chicago on Nov. 20, 1925, to Greek immigrants James Salapatas and Fanicia Barakaris, who later Americanized the family name to Barris, George was 3 when he and his older brother, Sam, moved to Roseville, California, to live with their aunt and uncle after their mother died.
Barris would say years later that they customized their first car as teenagers - a 1925 Buick they were given for helping in the family restaurant. They sold it and used the money to work on another.
After fully customizing a 1936 Ford in high school, Barris formed the Kustom Car Club. The unusual spelling of "custom," never fully explained, came to be his signature.
The brothers, meanwhile, moved to Southern California after World War II and began designing cars for private buyers. Their colorful, sometimes outlandish refurbishing of convertibles, coupes, sedans, hot rods, even lowrider cars soon brought them to the attention of Hollywood.
Their clients came to include Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone and numerous other celebrities and studio executives.
For a brief time in the 1940s, Barris also raced his cars at speedways but gave it up when it took too much time from his customizing work.
After Sam Barris left the business in the 1950s, George and his wife, Shirley, continued on their own.
His most famous creations, such as the Ala Kart and the Hirohata Merc, remain instantly recognizable on the car collector circuit to this day.
The most famous of all, the Batmobile, built from a refurbished 1955 Lincoln Futura, sold at auction two years ago for $4.2 million.
Barris, meanwhile, remained active until recent months. He and his son, Brett, took part in a signing last summer at a Los Angeles car dealership for their recently published book, "King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris."
In addition to his son, Barris is survived by his daughter, Joji Barris-Paster, and a grandson. Barris was preceded in death by his wife.
Dan Poynter, author and self-publishing pioneer, died on Tuesday after a long illness. He was 77.
Well known in the book business for his 1979 work The Self-Publishing Manual, Poynter was one the earliest advocates of quality self-publishing. He produced scores of books, seminars, reports and articles on the subject long before digital technology transformed it into an easy-to-adopt option for authors.
After beginning his career in the aviation industry as a parachute-designer, Poynter stumbled into the publishing business. When he went looking for a book on the then-emerging sport of hang gliding and couldn't find one, he decided to publish his own book on the subject. That effort led him to write his groundbreaking title on self-publishing.
Poynter founded Para Publishing in 1969. The company focused on technical books and manuals about about sky-diving and parachute design. The house's list eventually expanded to include books on a variety of topics, including self-publishing and writing. Although Para Publishing grew to include multiple staffers, Poynter often described the business as "the world's largest one-man publishing company." In 1986 he launched the newsletter Publishing Poynters and subsequently wrote more than 100 books on writing and publishing.
He was a founding member of the Publishers Marketing Association (now called the Independent Book Publishers Association) and in 1992 that organization awarded him its Benjamin Franklin Person of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement. Poynter received numerous other awards for his work in publishing. He also received honors for his passion: skydiving. (He was inducted into the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame.)
Poynter has been hailed a visionary and mentor by a new generation of digital publishers. A number of these digital publishers, including Smashwords's founder Mark Coker
Johnny Fratto, Hollywood man about town, self-described Mafia guru and a frequent guest on Howard Stern's radio program, died Thursday of lung cancer. He was 61.
Fratto, who was diagnosed three months ago, died in a Los Angeles hospital with his family by his side, his wife, Jowanka, told The Associated Press.
The dapper Fratto dabbled in several businesses, including film and television. He also owned the custom motorcycle business Beverly Hills Choppers and said he counted numerous celebrities among his friends. Paris Hilton was photographed on a red carpet with one of his motorcycles.
Fratto was likely best known for his appearances on Stern's radio program and for his friendship with one of the show's most popular guests, Eric "The Actor" Lynch, the diminutive, profanity-spouting caller who specialized in insulting Stern.
Lynch, who stood just 3 feet tall, died last year. Fratto met him through the show and eventually became his agent, landing him bit parts in several movies and TV shows.
Fratto's father, Louis Fratto, was a prominent mob figure in the Midwest from the 1930s until his death in 1967, and his son sometimes hinted he had his own mob connections. Although he identified himself on his Twitter page and elsewhere as a Mafia guru, his wife said that wasn't true.
Additional survivors include Fratto's sons, Willie, Joey and Johnny Jr., and his daughters, Alexis and Angela.