A Last Conversation with Aharon Appelfeld

My conviction that Aharon Appelfeld was the greatest Jewish writer alive began when I was perhaps 50 pages into his first novel to be translated into English, Badenheim 1939. It was a Holocaust novel, perhaps the greatest Holocaust novel ever written, I suddenly surmised, set in a spa town, before the war even started. It conveyed the desperation, self-deception, fratricidal impulses, paranoia and dread of a people sentenced to die.

What was so remarkable was that Appelfeld conveyed this sweeping psychological portrait of a people on the edge of annihilation without a single scene from a ghetto, a concentration camp, or a gas chamber. At the very end of the book there was a train. The train did all the work, I saw. I marveled at the weirdness, the historicity, the mythic economy, of this highly unusual creation, a masterpiece of irony that was at the same time exceedingly empathetic and gentle, at the same time as it terrified me. It was like a bedtime story written by Kafka. Then I forgot about it, or mostly forgot about it.

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Black Mirror Season Four Episodes Brilliantly Reimagined as Classic Comic Book Covers

Metal Head

Tales of the Unexpected Black Mirrors is a another brilliantly illustrated series from prolific Brazilian designer Butcher Billy that reimagines all six episodes from the fourth season of Black Mirror as colorful covers of classic-style comic books that used to cost 60 cents apiece. Billy had illustrated previous seasons of Black Mirror much in the same way. These and other illustrations, shirts and bags are available for purchase through the Butcher Billy RedBubble store.

There is a fourth season beyond that which is known to man. It is a season as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. You’ve just crossed over into the Tales of the Unexpected Black Mirrors.

USS Callister



Hang the DJ

Black Museum

images via Butcher Billy

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A Giant Interactive Glass and Gold Picture Frame Sculpture That Stands 150 Meters Above Dubai

The city of Dubai is known for its devotion to opulence and its newest addition to the skyline is no exception, though not without its own controversy. Mexican architect Fernando Donis submitted his original frame design in 2008 to the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award – Dubai and won first prize. When it was time to build, however, Donis was required to sign over his rights to the design. Donis explained his vision in an interview with The Guardian.

They took my project, changed the design and built it without me …Instead of another massive structure I proposed a void. Something that would frame all the other landmarks.

Despite the controversy, The Dubai Frame was built in Zabeel Park and opened on January 1, 2018. The Frame stands 150 meters high above the city with a 100 meter bridge between the towers the offers spectacular views of the city’s most iconic sights.

The location of the giant rectangular frame is Zabeel Park and was carefully chosen to give visitors the best view of both old and new Dubai. The project comprises a 150-metre-high, 93-metre-wide structure being built to resemble a huge picture frame, through which landmarks representing modern Dubai such as Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa can be seen on one side, while from the other side, visitors can view older parts of the city such as Deira, Umm Harare and Karama.

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via The Guardian, My Modern Met

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The Benefits of Putting the Security of Blockchain Ledger Technology to Use Within the Voting Process

In a fascinating video for Big Think, technology entrepreneur Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of HyperLedger, an open source blockchain project that’s thinking beyond cryptocurrency, talks about the benefits of putting the security of blockchain ledger technology to use within the voting system. At the same time, Behlendorf also acknowledges that it wouldn’t be prudent to digitize the entire process, such as using mobile devices to vote mostly because these devices are not immune to hacking, malware and malfunction.

Going digital isn’t just a matter of convenience, but one of accountability—citizens the world over are increasingly losing trust in the democratic system, from miscounted votes, to denying eligible people the right to vote at all. …Brian Behlendorf considers two aspects where blockchain can help, and one where it absolutely can’t. Better tech can end voter discrimination at polling stations, and falsely reported totals at the state and national levels, but will we ever be able to vote on our mobile devices from the comfort of a blanket fort? Behlendorf delivers the bad news.

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Visual Effects Expert Explains the History Behind Shrinking People in Movies

Downsizing visual effects supervisor James E. Price sat down with WIRED to explain the history behind shrinking people down in movies.

In this timeline, Price explains the special effects techniques like forced perspective, compositing, the Schüfftan process, rotoscoping, motion control, motion capture and more. Movies include Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Cylops, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Hook, The Indian in the Cupboard, The Lord of the Rings franchise, Ant-Man, and, of course, Downsizing.

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Andre Drummond shushes Philly crowd despite 30-point deficit

Dec 30, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) reacts after making a dunk during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

While shooting 62.6 percent from the foul line would not be seen as a major achievement for most basketball players, that does not apply to Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond. In the first five years of his NBA career, Drummond shot no better than 41.8 percent from the charity stripe in any particular season.

Maybe the fans at Wells Fargo Center were getting on Drummond about his foul shooting abilities, because after going 2-for-2 on one trip he decided to shush the crowd… despite the Pistons trailing by 30 points.

Drummond and 76ers center Joel Embiid have had a bit of a rivalry this season, with Embiid coming out on top Friday night by virtue of the blowout result.

The post Andre Drummond shushes Philly crowd despite 30-point deficit appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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LSU parts ways with OC Matt Canada

Sep 9, 2017; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers offensive coordinator Matt Canada before a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers and offensive coordinator Matt Canada have agreed to mutually move on from one another, the program announced on Friday night. Ross Dellenger of The Advocate reports that Canada will be paid $1.7 million of the remaining $3.3 million available on his contract.

Canada spent just a single season as the offensive coordinator of the Tigers while also serving as the quarterbacks coach. He’s lived a nomadic life as a college coach, having been the offensive coordinator for seven programs over the course of his career.

He broke into the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Indiana — his alma mater — for the 1994 season. His first offensive coordinator role came in 1997 with the Butler Bulldogs, before getting his next chance as the OC for Northern Illinois in 2003. He would hold that post again with the Huskies in 2011.

He also returned to his roots as the OC for the Hoosiers from 2007-2010, the longest he has been for any stop in his coaching carousel. Since 2012, he has served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Wisconsin Badgers, NC State Wolfpack, and Pitt Panthers before joining LSU.

The Tigers finished the 2017 year with a 9-4 record, scoring 354 points over the course of the year, the second-fewest in the SEC West. They finished the year with a 17-point performance against Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl, a game in which they did not score during the first half.

It was head coach Ed Oregeron’s first full season at the helm for the Tigers. He will move into his second year with a new offensive coordinator.

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Brewers and Padres making bullpen moves

The Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres are making separate signings in order to hopefully boost their bullpens, according to reports.

The Brewers made the first move, agreeing to a deal with southpaw Boone Logan, as first reported by Jon Heyman. He’ll earn $2.5 million guaranteed with $3.2 million in incentives and a club option in 2019 worth $4.125 million.

The Padres followed with a two-year deal for right-hander Craig Stammen, per Heyman. They’re also considered the “favorite” for Japanese reliever Kazuhisa Makita. Makita, a submariner, is reportedly on his way to the United States to take his physical.

Logan can provide some depth for a Brewers bullpen that could use some. It seemed like every other day there was a transaction relating to the bullpen, whether it was a call up, send down or designating for assignment. The Brewers bullpen was anchored by closer Corey Knebel, but the team was forced to throw the 5th-most innings out of the bullpen.

Left-handers had a .711 OPS off Logan last year but that number was just .477 in 2016 as a member of the Rockies. Injuries limited Logan to 21 innings with the Indians last year. As it stands, Josh Hader is the main lefty in the Brewers pen.

Stammen will return to the Padres after pitching 80.1 innings of relief for the team last season. He struck out 8.3 batters per nine, his best mark since 2013. While his 4.38 FIP didn’t match up with his 3.14 ERA, a slight regression is still probably worth it for San Diego as long as he provides innings.

Makita only struck out 35 batters in 62.2 innings but walked just five. He’s been a full-time reliever the last two years, finishing with a 1.60 and 2.30 ERA, respectively.

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