Gilligan’s Island’s Castaways Based on the 7 Deadly Sins

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Creative Minority Report delivered today’s mind-blowing fact – that the castaways on Gilligan’s Island each represent one of the seven deadly sins.

• The Professor – Pride

• Thurston Howell III – Greed

• Ginger – Lust

• Mary Ann – Envy (of Ginger’s looks)

• Mrs. Lovey Howell – Gluttony

• The Skipper – Anger or wrath

• Gilligan – Sloth

But as others have mentioned, Gilligan cannot be ‘sloth’.

“(It’s really) Mrs. Lovie Howell. Again, the article is adamant that Gilligan is the representation of sloth, but Gilligan is the only one on the island who works. No one works as hard as Gilligan. He’s constantly building, fishing, climbing and being the servant of all the others. Lovie, on the other hand, seldom does any work and complains bitterly about it when forced.”

A nice theory is that Gilligan is the protagonist (“Gilligan’s Island”), trapped forever in a hell caused by his own sins.

via Reddit.

The Nutritional Olympics

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Researchers from William Paterson University have compared 41 fruits and vegetables for their relative nutritional density. Watercress, chinese cabbage, and silverbeet took the top medals (berries were unfairly excluded from competition). The list contains some perhaps surprisingly good ‘regular’ performers – leaf lettuce, parsley, and lemons all did well.

You can read the original list here (one where the berries got to compete is here).

Samurais in Space: The Sources for Star Wars

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I can – correction, have – watch things like this for hours – the source material for Star Wars. This video has an unusually good history focus. If you’re just into the shot-by-shot stuff though, it starts at the 6:20 mark.

One of the most comprehensive video comparisons, of course, is in Kirby Ferguson’s “Everything is a Remix”, the Star Wars segment has been chopped out below.

And for serious fans – 8:30 minutes of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, intercut with its original sources (including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Casablanca, Yojimbo, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, and The Magnificent Seven).

Film School’d clip via Kottke.

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You can read about more sources here, and the archive to beat all archives, here.

Kate Beaton’s Night Shift

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Holy crap. Kate Beaton’s Night Shift is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. Just sixty or so panels, but it has a sense of ambition (particularly after getting used to the recent – equally delightful – small vignettes from the holidays).

Like all good work, it’ll ripple out to crash into whatever’s going in in your life. You can enjoy the whole thing here.

Curzio Malaparte – Mysterious Like You

Curzio Malaparte is one of the most intriguing figures to emerge from of the chaos of Italy’s involvement in World War Two. He worked as a poet, literary journal editor, filmmaker and novelist, and his literary style can be seen as an important precursor to contemporary magical realism. And he also designed and built the most beautiful house in the world (more on that later).

As a poet, journalist, and literary journal editor, Malaparte played a dangerous double game, both courting and ridiculing the rising Fascist leaders of Europe. A participator in Mussolini’s infamous March on Rome, he was later exiled for speaking out against Italy’s elite, and imprisoned by Mussolini on multiple occasions (partly for the unhealthy habit in 1931 of referring to Adolf Hitler as a woman).

Despite this, Malaparte was invited to cover the war, and most notably the German invasion of Eastern Europe. Malaparte’s father was German, and his mother Italian – influences which enabled Malaparte to both happily dine with the Nazi elite, and critically observe the civilian and battlefield turmoil. The paradoxical recording of this duality (particularly his masterpiece Kaputt) remain amongst the most intriguing documents to have emerged from that terrible conflict.

Kaputt itself is a book very much of two sides. The Italian experience of the war was necessarily ambivalent, and reading the novel can be a frustrating experience of inaction and distance towards the horrors witnessed. A tour of the Warsaw ghetto is contrasted with ghost stories, and other purely fictional passages of lyrical genius. Elsewhere, dead bodies falling from train carriages are described as cooly as the architecture of Stockholm. Most notably, there is little by the way of a traditional narrative.

‘Written as a Fascist, edited as a Communist’ would be too simplistic a description of the novel, as Malaparte’s political opportunism remained constant. But an analysis of its editing process reveals a personal journey of someone who once thought German victory assured, and later witnessed its dramatic collapse first hand. The book remains both a rare perspective from the point of view of the losing Axis powers, and of the emergence of a new postwar reality. The Skin followed Kaputt, itself a fascinating examination of the (almost innocently naive) US forces as they invaded a very complex, shattered Southern Europe.

Paris – and international Communism – became interests after the war, as it was for much of Western Europe’s avant-garde. However, further literary success was elusive for Malaparte. Politically, he continued to maintain consistent individuality. A more notable later interest became film, and Malaparte was awarded the City of Berlin prize for his movie “Forbidden Christ”, at the first ever Berlin Film festival. It could be seen as the closing act of his wartime narrative, a revenge tale against fascist horrors in his homeland.

After literature however, it is perhaps in architecture that Malaparte’s influence has been most widely felt. During a period of internal exile in Italy’s isolated coast, he had the architect Adalberto Libera draw up plans for a house for a particularly spectacular clifftop location in Capri. Dissatisfied, Malaparte redid the design, and had it built by a local stonemason (extreme architectural porn follows).

Malaparte conceived of architecture as an act of self-portraiture or psychoanalysis, and the house is isolated, always outward looking, and blank. The roof becomes a sun deck, it’s views of the Mediterranean a perfect place to observes the trials of an Odysseus.

The interiors have since been restored to their former glory, and can be viewed today. They sit somewhere between a remarkably contemporary looking style, and a record of a peculiar time and place (1940’s Italian Modernism).

The house was notably used by Jean-Luc Godard in his film Le Mepris, with the house acting almost as a major character. The views of the Capri coast were used by Godard as a second ‘screen’, turning the action into a meditation on watching. Passionate desire towards both love and film – and a sense of inevitable dissolution – are both central concerns of the film.

Malaparte’s literary output seems equally contemporary and temporal. His surname – Malaparte – itself is a textural puzzle. First used in 1925, it could be literally translated as “Wrong” or “Evil Side” (a counter to Bonaparte’s “Good Side”). The author’s sense of distance and mutability mirrors both his own country’s wartime experience, and perhaps our own contemporary one.

The Facts Don’t Work

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Yale Law school professor Dan Kahan has been doing interesting studies into political beliefs. His latest finding? Facts don’t matter. In fact, when arguing with a climate change denier, gun nut, or any other extremist, facts, literally, cannot be seen.

What’s worse, when people are misinformed, giving them facts to correct those errors actually makes them cling to their beliefs more tenaciously. Here’s some of what Brendan Nyhan found, in the same area:

• People who thought WMDs were found in Iraq believed that misinformation even more strongly when they were shown a news story correcting it.

• People who thought George W. Bush banned all stem cell research kept thinking he did that even after they were shown an article saying that only some federally funded stem cell work was stopped.

• People who said the economy was the most important issue to them, and who disapproved of Obama’s economic record, were shown a graph of nonfarm employment over the prior year – a rising line, adding about a million jobs.  They were asked whether the number of people with jobs had gone up, down or stayed about the same.  Many, looking straight at the graph, said down.

• But if, before they were shown the graph, they were asked to write a few sentences about an experience that made them feel good about themselves, a significant number of them changed their minds about the economy.  If you spend a few minutes affirming your self-worth, you’re more likely to say that the number of jobs increased.

It would be something if Reaganesque positive election ads had a greater ability to change folks’ minds than negative. Although, that thought is equally depressing. Read more here.

The Hiroshima Shrug

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Foreign Policy has a persuasive article that argues that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons had little effect in the ending of the war in the Pacific. Indeed, it may have perversely helped the Japanese leadership and Emperor to escape blame, and helped their long term interests.

It is troubling to consider, given the questions raised here, that the evidence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is at the heart of everything we think about nuclear weapons. This event is the bedrock of the case for the importance of nuclear weapons… But what are we to make of all those conclusions if the traditional story of Hiroshima is called into doubt?

Read the full article here.

The New Hollywood

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Lovely writing, as much as great analysis, from Lynda Obst, on the New Hollywood. ‘I didn’t take his gloomy talk about piracy seriously. I just went around saying, “The landlord has the blues,” and blithely fell into the future.’

Hollywood is completely broken, via Salon.com

iPhone versus a Canon

This is about a million years old, and back several generations of technology (on both sides). But I still keep refering to it, so here it is – The Guardian’s staff photographer taking her (then new) iPhone 4S, and her workhorse Canon 5D mkii, out and about in London. If nothing else, knowing the strengths of each helps you get the most out of either tool.

iPhone vs a Canon

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