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Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Curious Case Of The Alien In The Photo – And A Mystery That Took Years To Solve, by Les Carpenter, The Guardian

By 2012 time was running out on Roswell. With nothing tangible to link the accident to aliens, Roswell was becoming a cold case.

Then Joseph Beason contacted Tom Carey.


When Carey opened the email attachment in his Philadelphia-area home office , he jolted in his seat. Clearly visible on the figure’s head was a dark mark similar to other black blotches across the body’s torso. It appeared to be some kind of skin discoloration, but to Carey, who has anthropology degrees from two different universities, that mark on the head was something else.

What It Was Like Trying To Get President Obama To Tell A Dick Joke, by David Litt, Vulture

Perhaps our friends in Hollywood knew how to crank out an endless series of amazing jokes. I certainly didn’t. For me, the secret to writing one funny line was to write about twenty-five awful ones first. Most evenings I would comb through the day’s rubble and sigh. But after picking the diamonds from the rough, and combining them with material coming from outside the building, a monologue began to take shape.

A few days before the dinner, Favs and I went to the Oval to present about forty of our favorite lines. Together with David Plouffe, the president’s senior advisor, and Jay Carney, the press secretary, we sat on the couches while POTUS read out loud. Each time he laughed, I made a mental note. Each time he didn’t, I had a mental breakdown.

Tough-Love Urbanism: On Jeremiah Moss’s “Vanishing New York: How A Great City Lost Its Soul”, by Sam Hall Kaplan, Los Angeles Review of Books

But what is the nature of the changes we are now witnessing, and how are they already affecting the hapless city dweller?

According to Jeremiah Moss, the change in his beloved city of New York over the last several decades has been decidedly and depressingly convulsive, if not worse, destroying in his view what had made New York the world’s urban paragon — the Big Apple, Batman’s Gotham City, call it what you will. The change is engaging and exciting, but also exasperating, and it makes life in the city a challenge for most.

Universe Review: Our Starry Night, Seen From All Angles, by Stuart Clark, The Guardian

As I flipped through the pages of the new Phaidon book Universe, I found myself experiencing a sense of Herschelian wonder at the sheer beauty of deep space. But what makes this book unique is that as well as the breathtaking images taken with telescopes and the drawings of historical astronomers, it also includes the creative representations that have sprung from the mind of artists.

The result is a weighty tome that contains more than 300 evocative pictures. It was once popular to call publications of this sort “coffee table books”, but Universe deserves more serious consideration than as a visual distraction while taking a caffeine hit.