posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Mega Builder of Garry's Mod by Craig Pearson ""How did they do that?" isn't something you often ask yourself when looking at a Garry's Mod screenshot. It's generally obvious how it's done when you can see the joins. But I asked myself that when I came across Vioxtar's [DeviantArt] work, because he doesn't build typical Garry's Mod contraptions. He builds worlds. Asking myself wouldn't get me any answers, so I took an extra step and asked him. His answers are as detailed and impressive as the work he produces, and gave me a whole new perspective on what it takes to turn Garry's Mod into art. He's broke the game more times than you can imagine, lost sleep, and worked for months on a single scene trying to bring the sandbox to life. I hope you enjoy his story."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Detroit Free Press' John Carlisle rides along on the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread program food truck. Here are the stories of some of the people he met. "There's no single lesson to be drawn here, no grand conclusion or policy prescription. The story's simply a look at some people's real lives, and real life is complicated. There's something to confirm everyone's biases in this story. For those who believe the poor are lazy or undeserving of help, some of the people interviewed will fuel those convictions with every word they say. And for those who think society doesn't do enough to help those who need it, there are some characters who provide telling proof of just how hard it is for the desperately poor to improve their lives, no matter how hard they try."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My Smizmar and I are popping to Innsbruck next week for 4 nights (Sat-Wed), with a day trip to Salzburg. Please give me your tips, especially for a day's walking in the mountains.We arrive on Saturday afternoon, so hope (weather permitting) to spend Sunday walking in the mountains, perhaps a circular walk of 5-10km (easy-moderate difficulty, no special equipment), maybe with a cable car ride to the starting point. I'm a bit overwhelmed by options - what's the best way to do this? Monday or Tuesday we'd like to take the train to Salzburg for the day. Is it best to book tickets ahead or can we do it on the day? What shall we do in Salzburg apart from walking around and eating and drinking delicious things? Monday or Tuesday is just for Innsbruck: anything in particular to see or do? Wednesday we just have the morning (need to be at the airport around 13:00) - is there anything neato we could fit into that morning? Vielen Dank!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I just bought a new iMac with Thunderbolt C connections. I'm looking for a great second green for creative work, editing, etc. Something new in the $1000 range. Any suggestions?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Cryptocurrency Universe - an infographic

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Looking for poems about sports and athletes. Any sport. Any time period. If it's not online, it would be great if you could provide the name of a book it's in.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I also wrote this question, and many people rightfully said I just needed to stop overthinking things and have more confidence... the thing is, I don't know how to do that!While this is somewhat related to the question above, it's a bit broader. This problem has nothing to do with living in China, as it has plagued me since... forever. I've seen multiple therapists about it, and while they've helped me think about why I might be this way, nobody has been able to help me actually be more confident. It's weird. I'm sort of a split brain. When it comes to interactions with people I know, professional interactions, that sort of thing... I'm fine. In this domain, I think that I have worth. But when it comes to pure social interactions, especially romantic ones, I just feel completely and utterly worthless. After reflecting a lot and talking to therapists etc, I think it boils down to some unhealthy friendships when I was young, and some bad experiences dating in college. I do not have any serious defects. I'm a bit short in America at 5'6, though in China this is average. I'm a bit chubby, though of a stocky/strong build. I'm a bit hairy. I'm a person driven by big questions, and am very curious about...everything and everyone. I believe that I make a good friend, but not a very interesting boyfriend. All of the women I've dated were women who I grew on, and they all basically told me at one point or another that they didn't find me very attractive, but that they came to appreciate my looks (not really great for my self esteem). I have many friends, including many female friends, and they all like to tell me how great I am etc etc, but I know that my fundamental issue is just confidence. When I'm around new people, especially large numbers of new people, I just feel like a burden to them. I assume that they are just "humoring" me by talking to me etc. Dumb example: at the language school I'm currently at, many chinese people eat in a room off to the side, and some of the language students eat with them. But I feel way to shy to "intrude" on their lunch, even though I know some students eat with them! And it'd be a great way to interact with more locals... I've had girlfriends (and boyfriends), I've had relationships that lasted more than a month, I guess I just want to say that when it comes to like... being with people, being friends with people, I think I am fine. In fact, the aforementioned girlfriends who I "grew on" over time all were very sad when we broke up. The thing is though, I've never had a good date. I've never been a prolific dater... in my life I've probably gone on 30 first dates, and 2 seconds dates, and no 3rd dates. I also despise a lot of the gender roles that come with heterosexual dating. I dated men because while I generally prefer women to men for longer term romantic relationships, I find dating men has a lot less baggage. I do not think that I make this obvious on first dates, but I do think that I do not... sort of have the general "go get em" confidence and attitude that a lot of women find attractive. My dates tend to be 4 hours long, we chat a ton, and end as friends. I'm rambling, but I'm trying to give a picture of my interactions with people. I don't know. I don't know where people's confidence comes from. When it comes to men, I just see so many men filled with this... sense of entitlement. They seem entitled to affection, and they feel absolutely worthy of attention and desire. I've never felt that... and it is sort of double bad because I see that impulse as tied to a lot of the structural violence against women in American society, so it makes it hard for me to "project" confidence because when I contemplate it, I feel like I'm just stepping into this horrible patriarchal role. I know I'm horribly overthinking this, but that's my problem. I have been completely unable -- including with the help of therapists -- to break out of this mindset. The upshot is that I am happy with myself. I'm doing things I enjoy, I have a lot of friends I care about (though not in the place I currently live). But I do want to make new friends, I do want to find long term companionship (or even short term companionship if that's what someone is down for), and so I know that this is something really holding me back from having some of the rewarding relationships I think I'm capable of having... and all exacerbated by being in a new place where I know nobody! Thankfully I'm not too prone to loneliness and I'm just focusing on studying the language and living my life, but I know that it will start to get a bit lonely out here if I can't make some friends and at least dip my toes in the dating pool.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
... I'm pretty sure it's not just me. How do I work on this?Growing up, I had one very close friend. He introduced me to new friends, who would become my friends, but not close friends. Nevertheless I felt like I had a very socially fulfilling childhood and adolescence. I also dated an extrovert in high school and met about a zillion people through him. Ever since we parted ways after high school, I have not made a single friend. I'm now 30 years old and I feel very isolated. I live with my (college) boyfriend, but of course that's not the same as feeling that you have a real place in the world. He's also quiet and introverted, but I think dating introverts and extroverts both have their pros and cons, so that's not an issue. I've been aware of my social anxiety for a little over a decade. I've reasoned my way out of a lot of bad thought patterns, and I'm on an antidepressant that helps dampen the intensity, but I still have a lot of "embodied" anxiety (racing heart, tension, difficulty speaking) in social situations. Not giving talks or presentations: those I find easy. But groups and one-on-ones are very hard for me, my nerves take over and I talk too much or trail off and don't know how much eye contact to make, get nervous during eye contact, etc. It's really tiresome but I don't know how to even begin to address it. The net effect of all this is that I think I'm pretty unlikeable. People are definitely not drawn to me, except, occasionally, straight men who think I'm pretty and sound smart or "different." This was kind of quirky and manic pixie dream girl when I was younger, but I'm 30 now, and it feels very silly. I do have an easier time making friends with men, probably because it's easier to catch their attention in the first place. Women seem to dislike me; I don't know if I come off as competitive or defensive in a way that they can immediately spot, without attraction getting in the way? Gay men gravitate toward me, but I've never ever been friends with a gay woman, despite several gay women in my social circles being people I particularly respect. So I don't know what the gender/sexual dynamic is in my friendships, except that I'm probably intimidated by women and find men's attention easy to roll with. People close to me say I seem to handle social situations well, so I don't think it's anything overtly annoying that I do, just the sum total of my inability to control my behavior (and involuntary physical responses) when talking to someone. This is true around almost everyone; even my best friend, even my whole family, even my boyfriend when we've been apart more than a week. I guess I have zero confidence in my ability to really socialize with anyone, and I have no idea how to read social cues and ramp up a casual acquaintenceship. I don't even really know how to read an individual conversation-- how often to speak, when it's ok to pause, how much to share, etc. I've done the share too little and share too much and I can tell when they drive people away, but there have also been lots of times I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I would say that I enjoy talking to people, but I'm easily peeved, which is something I'm working on. The effect is that I tend to be outwardly very friendly and polite while inside very stressed and anxious to get out of the conversation ASAP, before I can screw it up. I brace myself all day at work for impending social scenarios and breathe a sigh of relief when they're over. I miss being around people, but I find it absolutely torturous to actually be in a social situation. I think I'm too sensitive and my self-esteem is too low, so I get defensive and also tend to put up walls, only wanting to talk about things outside myself, or only talk about myself in ways I'm comfortable with, which are generally neutral. It's hard for me to take teasing well. Anyway, all of this is to say that I've been having these troubles for a long time. I've come a long way from being deathly quiet around strangers to now openly attempting conversation and voluntarily putting myself out there. But I just don't know where to go from here? When I see people who are more socially "oblivious,", I admire their confidence and carefree "selfness" but get nervous and hyper aware of negative attention. But people who are more popular and normal seem to see through me to the weird awkward nerd inside. So I feel that I fit nowhere. At the end of the day, I don't know what I want; I'm easily bored and I know for a fact that many people I meet are not people I really want to be friends with because the conversation isn't very interesting. But usually when I meet someone who I do feel like I click with, things slowly fall apart as I make them more and more uncomfortable with my nerves. How can I even start to work on this? I've gone to group social anxiety therapy as well as individual therapy in the past. My therapist and I talked about feeling the "flow" of a conversation to know when to speak, etc. But it's hard to remember these things and calm down my twitchy freaking out body in the moment. Is there anything that could work for someone like me? Exposure therapy of some kind? A way to understand how friendships ramp up, what the rhythm of a normal conversation feels like? Any hope at all to actually learn how to enjoy other people and be myself?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
She's white, I'm not. It's stressing me out and worrying me.My friend Becky and I have been friends since we were 12. We went to the same small school in the South, we went to college together, and we have stayed in close touch today in our mid twenties. She's a fiercely loyal and dependable friend and will drive three states over to help you out. I didn't really understand why her comments before when I was younger bothered me, but just knew they bothered me. I.e. "My parents would kill me if I dated a black guy." Or "Look, I'm just as tan as you!" We went to college, were roommates, and here is where I discovered that being in a white majority high school and town skewed my perspective. I branched out, found more strength in my identity, opened my eyes to what was happening with race, and changed my perspective on my heavy Christian surroundings. In the midst of this, I remained friends with Becky because we had been old friends. We shared a lot of personal things together, and we made each other laugh. She made me promise I would be her maid of honor in her wedding and vice versa. She's a pushy friend but I'm pretty ok at dealing with it. Fast forward to now, post college and grad school. My perspective has changed and formed A LOT. I do not want to tolerate racism or intolerance in my close circle. I had come to ignore Becky's view and just learn not to ask or tiptoe around her, especially because we live states away and only catch up on the phone (and we stick to lighter topics or talk about her fiancé.) However, she came to visit me this weekend and the topic of the confederate statues popped up (as my city removed them) and she went into a tirade about how the civil war was not fought for slavery, racism does not exist today, and people are trying to erase southern heritage (again, she is from the South.) For lack of a better word, I was shook. I had an inkling that's how she would feel, but convinced myself that my friend who I have told about the instances I was called the n-word or told my parent's name was from a vase breaking (idk about that, I'm also half Asian) or how LAST YEAR my parents mailbox was smashed and n*gger was scratched into it, would probably not harbor that point of view. Becky is also much more religious than I am and used to be and it has come out that she does not approve of the church I attend, which is LGBT friendly. She made comments this weekend that indicate she isn't very tolerant of queer people (and I sadly wasn't surprised at this) but I'm still disappointed, especially since I don't identify as straight. She does not know this though. I call her a close friend because that's what she was but I'm not sure if I want her to be anymore. She is still a good friend, in that she is loyal and dependable and has stuck with me through thick and thin. But I literally get this knot in my stomach and tear up when I realize my friend may never believe me when I say racism is real and I've experienced it. I don't know how to talk to her about it either without feeling completely exhausted. We can't discuss these important to me and my existence topics. I have friends I disagree with, but Becky is a strong willed person and when she thinks youre incorrect, you're incorrect, full stop. I learned to just change subjects or have her storm off. I feel terrible for considering stopping our friendship because I feel I must educate her and explain. However, I talked to my POC friends about this and their response was "Sis, there's no need for it to be your responsibility to be her educator. She has Google like the rest of us." I also don't think she will be able to fathom not calling me her best friend anymore. We have been friends for so long and she is a...possessive friend. I know she's lost other friendships which has made her insecure and made her hold even closely to our friendship. At one point in college, she did not like me hanging out with other friends too often because she was afraid I would leave her. She expects me to be in her wedding, for her to be in my future one (though I'm not planning on one any time soon), for me to *truly* name a child after her, and so on. When I imagine ending a friendship with her, I really am afraid of the turmoil afterwards and I honestly don't want to hurt her. I love her as a friend, but I'm also hurt as well. I don't know what to do. Please help me, I feel hurt and confused and guilty. Is it wrong for me to want to end a friendship over this? How does one kindly end one, or can I move her to not-as-close-friend instead of best? How do I even address being her maid of honor? I would still be there for her and would try to support her in any way I can, I just don't know if I can exhaust so much energy into a close relationship. Lastly, should I have a deeper talk on race and racism with her again? Try to educate and explain why racism is real? Thanks in advance.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How do I become a optimistic critical thinker?I want to be one of those happy people who have beautiful relaxing, HAPPY thoughts. However, I love skeptical, critical thinking! Does anyone have exercises/examples of balancing these two styles of thinking? Thank you!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Moon Phases 2017 [5 relatively soothing minutes] This 4K visualization shows the moon's phase and libration at hourly intervals throughout 2017, as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. Each frame represents one hour. In addition, this visualization shows the moon's orbit position, sub-Earth and subsolar points, distance from the Earth at true scale, and labels of craters near the terminator. Production music provided by Killer Tracks.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A dam fusegate is a non-mechanical method for automatically triggering water release when a reservoir fills to capacity. Basically a very large pivoting metal or concrete bucket that is tripped by inlet flow at high water, it's like an electrical fuse, only for water, and can be bigger. Much, much, bigger, as the can be seen at the Terminus Dam Spillway of Lake Kahweah in California. A little more information available in this document, page 3-46 on.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My Father, the Werewolf When I was a kid, my Dad taught me all about werewolves. Little did I know he was preparing me to understand his depression.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A new short film has been released by Kenzo, created by first time director Natasha Lyonne. The short stars Maya Rudolph as Chastity with Fred Armisen, Greta Lee, James Ransone, Matt Lucas, Macaulay Culkin, Waris Ahluwalia and Leslie Odom Jr. also making appearances. The 13 minute short pays homage to the eponymous characters played by Giulietta Masina in Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria and Shirley MacLaine in Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity, his take on Fellini's film. Lyonne is just the most recent director to make a short for Kenzo. Previous films were made by: Spike Jonze (Posted previously on Metafilter) Carrie Brownstein: The Realest Real with Laura Harrier, Natasha Lyonne, Mahershala Ali, Rowan Blanchard, Karan Kendrick, Lewis Pullman, and Kim Gordon Kahlil Joseph (Director of Beyonce's Lemonade video): Music is My Mistress with Jesse Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ish, and Kelsey Lu (Bonus music video from Lu) and Dawn in Luxor with Grace Mahary, Palaceer Lazaro, Tykee Dawkins, Chris "Worm" Lewis with music by Shabazz Palaces Gregg Araki: Here Now with Jacob Artist, Jane Levy, Grace Victoria Cox, Jake Weary, Avan Jogia and Nicole Laliberte Sean Baker: Snowbird with Abbey Lee, Clarence Williams III, Mary Woronov, Cameron Gentry, Janet Belt, Pam Moloe, Jack Two Horse, and Jean Bly with some additional projects centered more around the Kenzo fashion line but still worth seeing by Akinola Davies Jr & Ruth Ossai: Gidi gidi bụ ugwu eze (Unity is strength) All the models are locals from the village in Nsukka Partel Oliva: Sun to Sun and Club Ark Eternal So, what is Kenzo? Kenzo is a French luxury house currently owned by LVMH with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon as creative directors. Kenzo is named after, Kenzo Takada who founded the company in 1970. Takada sold Kenzo in 1993 and retired from the fashion industry in 2000 to work on his artistic career, recently returning to the industry where he maintains a good relationship with the house he founded. In addition to the diversity shown in the short films and celebrated in the linked interviews from Lim and Leon, Kenzo gained further positive notice for their all Asian line up of models in their June fashion show, celebrating the heritage of Kenzo and its founder. Okay, fashion house, I get it, but what the deal with these commercials or movies or whatever they are? Where's the connection to the product? "We had designed the clothes and wanted to give a platform to Natasha. We told her we had a design philosophy for what the collection was about, but which she didn't need to incorporate. What was interesting for us wasn't about following the commercial guidelines, but seeing what she would read in the clothes. It's fascinating to see our designs reimagined and re-read by a totally different set of eyes. " Transcribed from the second page of the "Cabiria, Charity, Chastity" interview here. So now you know.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A neural network learns to create better D&D spells. After an unsuccessful (previously) attempt to get a computer to make new D&D spell names by feeding it 365 spells, computer researcher Janelle Shane fed it a database of all 1300+ spells from 4th edition, with much better results. Things have gone from Glasp to Song of the doom goom.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The installer showed up with the new dishwasher (KitchenAid KDTM404EWH). Once he took the old one out, he found that there are pipes in the way. Any ideas about what I can do?Here's a picture of the pipes and the area vacated by my old dishwasher. The installer said I'd need a dishwasher with a depth no greater than 19.25 inches. That's the distance from the closest pipe and the front edge of the counter-top. That seems small to me. Do they make dishwashers like that?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This one time? At Irish camp? Students in the Irish language immersion summer school Colaiste Lurgan have become YouTube stars for their Irish-language covers of pop hits. Here, as Gaeilge, for your viewing and listening pleasure: An Laisc Is Mó (Blurred Lines); Ar Mo Thaobh (Stay With Me); An tÁdh 'Nocht (Get Lucky); Africa (le Toto); Func Anseo (Uptown Funk); Síoraí Spraoi (Cheerleader); Na Cuimhní (Somebody That I Used To Know); and of course, this summer's blockbuster, Despacito. ..and because no summer camp experience could possibly be complete without it, Tóg Amach Mé. Discovered a 4yo previously after I built the post, but there's a lot more here now so maybe it's not completely doubly, I hope.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Are there any entertaining podcasts that'll help me get familiar with Windows Server or general IT enterprise support?I've been a Mac guy for decades, and I've found a ton of of great Apple-centric podcasts with fun hosts, good rapport, and (especially) a relatively high-level technical angle that's still accessible to the regular joe. Accidental Tech Podcast, The Talk Show, Welcome To Macintosh, Next Ten Words, etc. But I just started a new job that's going to require me to get up to speed on enterprise IT in a Windows-dominated world. Podcasts could be a great "immersion" learning tool for me, but even my coworkers, when pressed for recommendations, mostly listen to Apple-centric podcasts! Wondering if there's anything out there, something that's basically like ATP but for the other side of the aisle. Bonus points for shows that touch on Exchange Server, LabTech Automate, Windows Server Manager, Shadowprotect, Hypervisor setups, and enterprise security (I do already know about Security Now and it's pretty good).

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
After years of work, a group of dedicated enthusiasts will finally apply to have the first Dark Sky Reserve in the US. The International Dark-Sky Association has certified only 11 other reserves across the globe, and only one other in the Americas, at Mont-Mégantic national park in Québec. Each Reserve covers at least 700 square kilometers, and light pollution is so imperceptible that it is possible to see the interstellar dust clouds of the Milky Way. As one of the mayors involved said: "It's nice to look up and see something greater than ourselves."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
What's the best way to help victims of this flood?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
One of the original five elements of hip-hop culture, breaking (also known as breakdancing) never quite attained the ubiquity of rap, but it quietly remains an international phenomenon. If you're curious about the modern state of this art/sport hybrid, you could do worse than to start by watching the winning team showcase at last year's Battle of the Year, the biggest breaking crew tournament in the world. Or, for something a little less traditional, 2015's winner is a beautiful fusion of Spanish and hip-hop culture. Or perhaps you're one for the classics: Ichigeki's winning show from 2005 is often cited as the best showcase in the tournament's history. But if you restrict yourself to watching showcases, you'll be missing most of what makes breaking great. True breaking takes the form of improvisational dance-offs between opponents, each responding to, and one-upping, the other's moves. Last but not least, while breaking is an overwhelmingly male art form, there are also some seriously talented bgirls to keep an eye on. Breaking consists of four fundamental elements: toprock, downrock, freezes, and power moves. Toprock is loosely defined as a string of steps done standing up, while downrock consists of steps where the dancer's body is at least partially supported by her hands. Freezes occur when a dancer holds a stylistic pose, and power moves are pretty much anything that requires exceptional strength and flexibility to execute. Curious about the culture underpinning the dance? Here's an in-depth talk on the History and Organization of Breakdance. If you still simply can't get enough, you might want to try a crew battle, where two entire teams of dancers compete against each other. Or perhaps check out this Seven 2 Smoke battle, where a line-up of bgirls compete one-on-one against each other until one has won seven rounds. Want even more? This Wikipedia article has a list of enough major tournaments to get you started, and most of the battles are freely viewable online with a quick Google. As you get deeper down the rabbit hole, you might begin to notice the individual quirks and style each bboy and bgirl brings to the dance, whether it's bboy Pocket's legendary power moves, or AT's impressive flow. Finally, if you're tempted to try out some of those moves for yourself, there's no shortage of tutorials out there. Think you're too old? At 34, bgirl Ayumi, an elementary school teacher by day, will be the first woman to compete at the Red Bull BC One, one of the biggest solo tournaments in the world.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My five year old niece likes to talk to me on the phone, and is finally starting to actually participate in conversations instead of just going silent if she doesn't have an immediate answer to a question. But now that I can ask her questions and get real answers, what should I ask her? And how?A lot of our conversations are of the "What did you do at school this today?" sort and she's not good at telling anecdotes from her day, so I usually get short answers. That's an improvement over evasive changing of the subject to something else she doesn't really want to talk about, either, but it is still hard to hold a conversation with her. How do I approach a conversation with a five-year-old in a way that gives her the confidence and opening to tell me stuff in more depth instead of me asking her a question, getting a minimal answer, and asking her another question? I run out of questions pretty fast that way.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm a natural layabout who needs to find a (preferably core-strengthening, preferably cheap) exercise I like enough to become a habit.I'm getting older, my metabolism is dying, and I need to get off the couch and exercise. Problem is, I just really don't enjoy exercising at all. My favorite exercises are either expensive (yoga, Pilates) or more relaxing than helpful (yoga, I'm looking at you again). I am NOT a runner, more of an ambler. In the past, I went to a gym with after-work classes (body pump, etc) that offered a good mix of muscle workout/cardio. But those gyms don't seem to exist anymore, at least not near me in my price range. The old-style workout classes seem to have moved more into Crossfit, which is kind of intense for me and not very relaxing. I have access to my tiny apartment living room and whatever exercise videos are on Roku, if that helps. However, I don't have much space and do have a rather curious cat. I also recently had a slipped disc, so I'm looking for something that will get my core muscles moving and hopefully get rid of some belly fat but won't further damage my back. Seriously, I just want a set of exercises I can do without thinking I'd rather be at the dentist's!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Why do bands record their albums in multiple studios all over the world?This NPR article about a new album from the band Cut Copy notes that it was recorded in "Copenhagen, Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta and Melbourne." That's five cities across three continents. And New Yorker article about a new album from the band the National says it was recorded in a studio in upstate New York as well as in L.A., Paris and Berlin. If you read liner notes of albums, you'll often see multiple locations for the recording sessions. What's the purpose of this? Isn't it expensive to jet a band around the world, freight their equipment, book hotel rooms, etc.? What results can the band get out of choosing many different studios instead of just sticking to one? Do they make recording sessions coincide with tour schedules?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione (1837 – 1899) was an Italian aristocrat, a secret agent/courtesan sent to plead the cause of Italian unity with Emperor Napoleon III, and a photographic artist whose association with French photographer Pierre-Louise Pierson from 1856 to 1895 resulted in about 700 portraits of herself (Metropolitan Museum, Réunion des Musées Nationaux), many of them extravagant, excentric, and truly fascinating, such as the famous Game of madness (Scherzo di follia). Those in a hurry can click on Buzzfeed's top 25 Castiglione pictures. Others pictures and explanations can be found below the fold. In 1856, the 18-year old and recently married Virginia Oldoini was sent to Paris by her uncle Camillo Cavour, Prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, to seduce Napoleon III and win him to the Italian cause by any means necessary. She began sitting for Mayer and Pierson, photographers favoured by the imperial court. Milan (1856). One of her first pictures by Pierson and quite unremarkable. This would change, as young Virginia quickly figured out the photographic media. While the pictures were taken by Pierson, she was the one who chose the poses, the costumes, the mood and directed the shoots, making her a pioneer in artistic photography. Her collaboration with Pierson would last almost 40 years. The gaze (1856–57). One of her first remarkable pictures. "The gaze" is the title given to this image by Robert de Montesquiou, a dandy and poet who collected her portraits, owned a mould of her feet, and later wrote her biography ("La Divine Comtesse") in 1913. The countess often wore spectacular dresses, which probably helped her to win the Emperor's attention. She became his mistress in June 1856. The Queen of Hearts (1861-63) . The countess wore this risqué and allusive dress during a costume ball in February 1857. Empress Eugenie de Montijo (who had been away giving birth while her husband and the countess were getting busy in public) commented dryly that "the heart was a little low". The countess' vanity and arrogance was getting on people's nerves and while she never lacked male friends, the French imperial court never adopted her. Some other stunning dresses: The Queen of Etruria (1863). Worn in February 1863 at a fancy-dress ball. The moiré dress (1860s) The cut knot (1861-67) The Marquise Mathilde (1861–66), a Mardi Gras costume she wore in 1857. The Queen of Night (1863–67) Elvira (1861-97). Note that she just put her arms through the sleeves and does not actually wear the dress! The Vengeance (ca 1863). This image, where she wears the "Queen of Etruria" dress, was sent to her estranged husband following his threat to remove their son from her care. She kept her son. Funeral (1861-65). That one is pretty dark. Virginia Oldoini was a proto-cosplayer: she loved to impersonate famous tragic figures... Judith. Also known as "Assassination", another murder photo. Mary Stuart (1860s) Ann Boleyn (1861-1867) The Ristori series (1860s). Adelaide Ristori (1822-1906) was the most popular and influential Italian tragedian of the 19th Century. ... "exotic" women... Cauchoise series (1865). Traditional costume from the Pays de Caux, in Normandy. The caracul series (1860s). She's supposed to be a Russian noblewoman and wears a karacul (astrakhan) dress. Reclining Chinese woman Standing Chinese woman Algerian woman ...and nuns! The white nun (1856-57) Sister Elize (1865) The Hermite of Passy (1863). She showed up dressed like this at a catholic charity event in April 1863. The attendance, who had waited for hours and expected something truly spectacular from her, was... disappointed. A number of her photographs, and her most famous ones, use onirical, inventive, expressive and often surprising poses. Game of madness, her most famous portrait. The opera ball (1861–67), one of many images featuring her bare shoulders and/or mirrors. A Sunday (1861-1866). Same dress as above. Watching eyes (1860). Another mirror play. Extasis (1860s) Interrogation (1860s) Facepalming (1860s). OK the actual title is "The countess at table with hand to face". Reclining in dark dress (1861–65) Noon and Midnight (1861-1867) Tall (1863). The child is her son Giorgio. The silk dress (1861-67) Virginia Oldoini was supposed to be the most beautiful woman of her time. She was also a top-ranking courtesan, depending on aristocrats, financiers, and politicians to support her lavish lifestyle and her artistic endeavours. So a little advertising did not hurt. The beautiful décolleté (1860s) The beautiful arms (1865) Drooping shoulders (1865) The legs (1860s) The nape (1861–67) Many of her photographs were meant to be retouched and painted over, at great expense. Fright (1860s). The untouched photo. Fright, study (1861–67). The photo retouched by the countess with precise instructions. Fright, final (1861–67). The final image fullly painted and retouched. Ritrosetta (1861-1894, retouched) Portrait in a White Dress (1856–57, painted and retouched) Her glory days in the courts of Europe came to an end in 1867. In 1870, she was in Florence when Napoleon III called on her to plead on Bismarck to not to humiliate France further by occupying Paris. Italian unity was achieved in 1871 (but her actual role is disputed). She was back in France in 1872 where she kept having high-profile liaisons. In 1878, she moved to an apartment at 26, Place Vendôme. She became a recluse, living in black-walled, mirrorless rooms, barely seeing other people and going out wearing a veil. In 1875, she briefly resumed posing for Pierson, then stopped again. She came back to the studio in 1893, at 56, and made several series of photographs where she tried in vain to recapture the pictorial glory of her youth, using similar poses and concepts. Rachel (1893). I guess that this alludes to the French tragedian Rachel (1821-1858). The ermine coat (1895) The rose series (1895) The rose series (1895) The feet (1894). The countess had been very proud of them in her youth. Reflection on the Police mirror (1894-1895) (the French title doesn't make sense). The countess died in 1899, with her stuffed dogs as sole companions. Biographic elements taken from Wikipedia, Plume d'Histoire, La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione and La Castiglione: Vies et métamorphoses.

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