who is dead?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #52 Who is dead?     Simply leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE 1 (07 December 2012): As nobody seems fit to guess anything when Google’s image search … Continue reading

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what is said?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #49 We are in an officers’ mess. Two senior members of the flight personnel are having a conversation while playing pool. What is said in this conversation?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be … Continue reading

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who is exchanged?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #44 Here is a fine noir Cold War scenario. Right at the Iron Curtain government officials are waiting for an exchange of prisoners. But who is exchanged?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be … Continue reading

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more nuclear follies

  This is a kind of a follow-up to Japanese artist ↵Isao Hashimoto’s chilly time-lapse map depicting the 2053 nuclear explosions having taken place between 1945 and 1998. I again embedded it above because it’s quite a testament. When I watched these horrific quarter of an hour for the first time at a certain point I thought: They are speaking with each other. There are segments in the animation when suddenly the frequency of nuclear blasts e.g. in the USA speedens up. After a short pause the answer comes as a rapid succession of nuclear fireworks within the Soviet Union. … Continue reading

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colonial crimes records

again a glimpse into the heart of darkness Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.     Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.     … Continue reading

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forget your past

Last summer photographer ↑Timothy Allen met Alexander Ivanov, a colleague of his, at a photo festival in Bulgaria: ‘Back then he showed me some pictures of what looked to me like a cross between a flying saucer and Doctor Evil’s hideout perched atop a glorious mountain range.’ This winter Timothy went there, 250km from Sofia, and took ↑glorious pictures of the Buzludzha monument, a gigantic, now abandoned and decaying monument to socialism. The pictures show the building from the outside, the inside, and even from the sky. Goes well with the ↵cosmic communist constructions photographed by Frédéric Chaubin. via ↑entry … Continue reading

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colossus

But—and it was a very large but—his had been the guiding brain, the one with the big overall concept, the vision. And that was the one that counted. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Briefly he considered his future, but the idea of life without the Project lacked reality. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     They were both roughly the same age, in their very early fifties, though a hundred years earlier they would have appeared much younger. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Now it’s all over, and in the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize what it … Continue reading

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a murder of quality

The cold was crisp and sharp like flint. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     For a moment Fielding thought of Hecht pasturing in that thick body: it was a scene redolent of Lautrec. Yes, that was it! (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     It was from us they learnt the secret of life: that we grow old without growing wise. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     I used to think it was clever to confuse comedy with tragedy. Now I wish I could distinguish them. (Le Carré 1962: chpt. 1)     Being alone was like being … Continue reading

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cold war cyberpunk

In my ↵post on John le Carré I somehow tried to vindicate my erupted interest in cold war spy fiction and my subsequent digesting of according novels and movies. Now ↑Bryan Alexander sent me excerpts from a ↑recent interview with ↑William Gibson, which force more mosaic tiles to fall in place: INTERVIEWER: Was [Philip K.] Dick important to you?     GIBSON: I was never much of a Dick fan. He wrote an awful lot of novels, and I don’t think his output was very even. I loved The Man in the High Castle, which was the first really beautifully … Continue reading

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call for the dead

[...] academic excursions into the mystery of human behaviour, disciplined by the practical application of his own deductions. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     This part of him was bloodless and inhuman—Smiley in this role was the international mercenary of his trade, amoral and without motive beyond that of personal gratification. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     By the strength of his intellect, he forced himself to observe humanity with clinical objectivity, and because he was neither immortal nor infallible he hated and feared the falseness of life. (Le Carré 1961: chpt. 1)     For four years … Continue reading

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