Archive Page 2


r.i.p. richard matheson


one of the most influential writers (print, TV, movies) of the 20th century, and many have probably never heard of him

fandor’s keyframe obit

When Real Steel was released, Scott Meslow wrote in the Atlantic that “Matheson’s writing lends itself particularly well to contemporary Hollywood because it’s ‘high concept’—which translates, in screenwriting parlance, to ‘easy to pitch.’ At the heart of Matheson’s best tales you’ll find a simple, compelling question, from I Am Legend (‘what if a mass epidemic left a single man alive?’) to ‘Button, Button,’ the short story that became [Richard Kelly’s] The Box (‘would a needy family sacrifice the life of a complete stranger for a massive financial windfall?’).”

“But Matheson was hardly just a Hollywood idea factory,” writes Rob Bricken at io9. “Matheson’s dark, existentialist style influenced science fiction in every medium. His prose was humanist, but it was also bleak and ambiguous in a way that science fiction hadn’t been before, revealing the way the ambiguities of human nature play into stories of the fantastic. Ray Bradbury called him ‘one of the most important writers of the 20th century.’”

some of his credits:

screenplay and source story for Spielberg’s Duel (just saw some of this again yesterday on showtime — still my favorite spielberg movie)

several Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Night Stalker eps

The Incredible Shrinking Man screen play and source story

Somewhere in Time, same

What Dreams May Come, same

Stir of Echoes

ADDENDUM: Figured boing boing would have something on this. here’s a link to cory doctorow’s interview from 2011 (mp3).


james turrell turns guggenheim into

Just go

I first encountered his work at the Whitney in ’80 (jesus), where he had taken over the 4th floor during a 3-floor Edward Hopper retrospective.

No I still won’t try to describe it.

Hopefully Roden Crater will open some day . .

Before I leave AZ.


those potato chips have . . .

a lot of science behind them

and a vested interest in your bad health.

The importance of “crunch” was confirmed in a study funded by Unilever where the scientists tested whether people’s perception of a chip was altered by the sound it made when they bit into it. The researchers concluded that “the potato chips were perceived as being both crisper and fresher when … the overall sound level was increased,” indicating another possible way to control the perception of the product, although, the authors wrote, “consumers are often unaware of the influence of such auditory cues.”

It also helps if the food dissolves quickly in the mouth, tricking the brain into believing that no calories have been ingested. It’s called “vanishing caloric density.”

“What happens is that your brain gets fooled into thinking the calories have vanished and you’re much more apt to keep eating before the brain sends you a signal …you’ve had enough,” author Michael Moss said.

as someone with food addictions, this was a pretty bracing read.


PSA: Radiation OK

US gov’t says it’s OK, radiation isn’t so bad — particularly the waves of it washing our way from Japan


rushkoff on his new book, “present shock”

always intriguing, this one looks even better

But “present shock” is also as simple as the botox addicts on Real Housewives of Orange County, desperate to lock in the moment when they were 29 years old. All succeed in doing is paralyzing their faces in a poor imitation of that moment, and making themselves unavailable to the social moment in which they are living. They can’t register emotions on their faces, which is why they never believe one another. They are “overwinding” the present moment.

I’m reading more and watching less in general lately, partly due to buying a nook for my birthday, and partly due to how little what I want to see is easily available to watch at home.

and I’m going through some pretty big shifts, so I’m posting even less.


iceland kicks fbi out

for barging in unnannounced on wikileaks’ trail


this instead

instead of zero dark thirty, argo or homeland, freshen up your reality loom with this instead [via washington’s blog]

breathe in, exhale.