Tag Archives: Celebrity

Horace Walpole

Longreads

Carrie Frye | Longreads | December 2014 | 16 minutes (4,064 words)

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As a child, Horace Walpole frequently heard it said of himself that surely he would die soon. Born in England in 1717, the last of his mother’s six children, he was fragile and prone to illness from birth. Two siblings before him had died in infancy, and so in the family order it went: three older children, loud, healthy and opinionated; two grave markers; and then young Horace toddling up behind—half child, half potential grave marker.

Naturally, his mother, Catherine, spoiled him. His father, Sir Robert Walpole, was the King’s prime minister. This often kept him away from home, as did a long-time mistress who acted, more than his wife did, as his hostess and companion. For her part Catherine had her own dalliances. It was that sort of marriage. The Walpoles…

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Sparkling Music for a Dishwater World: The Shins & the Limitations of the Indie Rock Narrative

Tropics of Meta

In March, Columbia Records launched one of its major albums of 2012, the Shins’s Port of Morrow. In the five years that had elapsed since the last full-length Shins release, the band, which became one of rock’s standard bearers with three terrific albums for Sub Pop Records between 2001 and 2007, underwent significant changes. Although two original Shins appear briefly on Port of Morrow, band founder, songwriter, and leader James Mercer remains the only permanent member. In addition to the new line-up, Port of Morrow is the first Shins album distributed by a major label. Mercer and the revamped band have generated extraordinary interest in the record, participating in a Columbia engineered program of multimedia promotion that has included live performance broadcasts (including a full hour on The Late Show with David Letterman), a nationwide tour, appearances at major festivals in the United States and Europe, consumer…

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The Rise and Fall of John DeLorean

Delorean1

Longreads

Suzanne Snider | Tokion | June/July 2006 | 12 minutes (2,918 words)

This story by Suzanne Snider—which details the fantastical rise and fall of John DeLorean, a former titan of the American automotive industry—first appeared in the June/July 2006 issue of Tokion. Snider is the founder/director of Oral History Summer School, and she is currently completing a nonfiction book about rival communes on adjacent land. Our thanks to Snider for allowing us to feature it on Longreads. 

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“A Brave & Startling Truth” (Maya Angelou)

Maya Angelou

Once again: RIP to a kind soul & one of the great guiding lights of American literature, Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Maya Angelou.

(J.W.)

Actors Revisit Their Famous Roles in Normal Attire

TwistedSifter

 

Empire Magazine is the largest selling film magazine in Britain and has been published monthly since 1989. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, they published a special edition of their magazine that was guest-edited by Steven Spielberg.

In a special section entitled The Birthday Portfolio, Empire had an exclusive star-studded photoshoot that paid tribute to some of the most iconic moments in movies in the last 20 years (1989 – 2009). The 20th anniversary issue featured over 27 Hollywood stars reliving some of their famous performances in their normal everyday attire.

Below is a snippet from this amazing photo series via atticus_finch on LiveJournal. To order the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition online go to: http://www.subscription.co.uk/home/prods.asp?m=807

 

 

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Terminator

 

 

 

2. Anthony Hopkins & Jodie Foster – The Silence of the…

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These 10 People Made the World a Better Place. More People Should Know their Names.

TwistedSifter

 

There are countless unsung heroes throughout history that are deserving of greater recognition and appreciation. This post strives to shed light on ten such remarkable individuals who have impacted the world. If you have suggestions for other notable persons, please let me know in the comments so I can do a follow-up post and we can continue to exalt these inspirational people and celebrate and share their incredible stories.

 

1. Niels Bohlin
Inventor of the Three-Point Seatbelt

Nils_Bohlin_three_point_seatbelt_inventor

 

On July 10, 1962, the US Patent Office issued Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin (July 17, 1920 – Sept. 26, 2002) a patent for the three-point seatbelt. Bolin worked for the Volvo Car Corporation and designed his three-point system in less than a year. Volvo first introduced the seatbelt on its cars in 1959. Consisting of two straps that joined at the hip level and…

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