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The Surprisingly Savvy Weird Al Internet Machine

When he talks about his business being threatened by YouTube parody video-makers, he’s talking about the fact that the public’s yen for parodies is being met by amateurs. Earlier this week, a young woman turned an infamous recording of a Comcast customer service call into a belty ballad. Between the release of that recording and its conversion into digital video fodder, fewer than 24 hours had elapsed. This is an…

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Stop Using ‘Poet Voice’

This article analyzes (and skewers) that lilting steamroller tone of voice that so many poets use when reciting their work. During this banter the poet uses a slightly performative but mostly natural voice. It’s the voice they’d use to introduce you to their grandmother. Then they read the title of their first poem and launch into the first line. But now their voice is different. It’s as if at some…

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Jon Bentley | My Life in Art

Wonderfully weird retro pop art. Jon recalls his first encounter with the iconic Peter and Jane books: ‘Like many people of my generation, I learned to read with Peter, Jane, Mummy, Daddy and Pat the dog. As I struggled with the unfamiliar letters, my eyes where invariably drawn to the picture on the opposite page, full of strange details that drew me in and seemed to suggest a richer more…

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Cooper Hewitt: the typeface by Chester Jenkins

“[S]ince Cooper Hewitt is a government institution, “utilizing a well-crafted, American-made product was important. And not something that’s Helvetica.” Jenkins echoes that sentiment: “The design was created for the Smithsonian, which is owned by the people of the United States, so the typeface should likewise belong to the people of the United States.” –qz.com The new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, is a contemporary sans serif, with characters composed of modified-geometric curves…

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Dennis Jerz, R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots), Karel Capek’s “Fantastic Melodrama” – YouTube

“In which the origin of the word “robot” is traced, precursors and context are briefly examined, and the Human soul is displayed for your consideration.” Karel Chapek’s 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) coined the word ‘robot,” which in the play was applied to an artificial worker, a living being manufactured with a chemical substitute for protoplasm. However, by the late 1920s, the word “robot” was almost universally applied to…

The army of mechanical men no longer obeys my saxophone-issued orders! What will become of the noble workers!?
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Awesome 1935 Soviet Movie Deploys Saxophone-Controlled Robots to Crush Tophat- and Bowler-Wearing Capitalists

I wish I understood Russian, so that I could make sense of this 1935 Russian film featuring a mechanical man remote-controlled via saxophone. Apparently the capitalists take control of the invention and turn it on the workers, at least temporarily. The climax features the workers gaining control of the machines and using them to fight together against the evil capitalists. The story is obviously inspired by Rossum’s Universal Robots, the…

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Astronauts cloaked Klingon space patch: Star Trek-inspired emblem revealed

The current commander of the International Space Station initially designed a mission badge that paid homage to Klingons. Too bad that design didn’t fly. Swanson, who currently is commander of the International Space Station, collaborated with his daughter to create an insignia for the outpost’s Expedition 40 crew. What he and his fellow astronauts and cosmonauts ultimately launched with to the space station was a patch depicting the “past, present,…