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I often get asked “why do you post so much hip hop music on this blog?” and “what’s the connection between comics and hip hop culture?”. To which I answer: “BECAUSE.” and “BASICALLY EVERYTHING!”.

From their underground beginnings, to their acceptance in mainstream culture. From the similarities between over the top characters, the super groups, the feuds, the team-ups and their ability to advance their art form and re-invent themselves and their medium over the years.

Hip Hop and comic books will always be linked, and my love for both is the main inspiration for this blog.

Above is selections from
from this past Free Comics Day. It illustrates better than I could how closely linked the two mediums are. 

(via fantagraphics)


Come Check this show out! curtisretherford is a contestant along with Matt Rubano, bradyocallahan is in the piece that I wrote. And as always YOU can be a contestant. 

UCB East at Midnight, This Friday. 5 bucks but you might win 20!

Improv: Hurricane Neddy and Group Games

One important, and easily overlooked aspect of group games is rhythm. There are two scenes, one after another, in Hurricane Neddy, in season 8 episode of The Simpsons that work as perfect examples of a well-timed group game.

You can watch the scenes here, starting at 09:43.

(Note: Both of these are examples of group games with a straight man reacting against an unusual thing. Obviously, not all group games need a straight man, but these particular types of group games most frequently spiral out of control. Also, this is something Kevin Hines has noted teams I’ve been on about several times, so he is likely the reason I was thinking of this while rewatching this episode of The Simpsons for the millionth time a couple months ago.)

Let’s start with Marge driving the Flanders family back to their home, which had been destroyed by a hurricane.

Maude: Oh, they rebuilt our house!

Ned: Oh, it’s a miracle!

Marge: I started making some calls last night, and before I knew it practically all of Springfield was offering to help.
(various Springfielders agree)

Homer: Sure! Hope you like it, neighbor. We didn’t have the best tools or all the know-how but we did have a wheelbarrow full of love.

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The R&R Mystery Hour Presents “The Secret of the Old Clock”


Saturday, September 20, 2014
10 pm
The Players Theatre
115 Macdougal St, New York, New York 10012
Tickets: $5 at the door

Facebook invite link

At what age does a girl detective become a woman detective? How does one respond to Ned Nickerson’s advances on Tinder? If you all hate subway bedbugs so much, why don’t you all just get new sportscars?

Mysteries! I mean, aren’t they just everywhere?

Your presence is requested at a new variety show hosted by Nancy Drew (Sarah Rainone) and Reference Book (Curtis Retherford) and featuring the ever-mysterious house band, The Gumshoes
(Alessandra Migliaccio, Matthew Rubano, and Curtis Retherford).

This month, your soon-to-be-favorite mystery-solving duo will help you unlock the secrets of TIME ITSELF using nothing but our wits, the clues hidden in places many are afraid to look, and Nancy’s father’s credit card. Have a look at this month’s performers:

Rudy Behrens, Ellena Chmielewski, Meseret Haddis, Aaron Jackson, Alexis Pereira, David Sidorov, Riley Soloner

Naked People (Time Out Critic’s Pick), Happy Hour Story Hour (Slake)

Ora Fruchter (The PIT, Yellow Sneaker, Doppelskope) and Bradford Jordan (The PIT, Story Pirates, the Moth)

Pack your magnifying glasses and put on a pair of sensible shoes (you never know when you might need to chase down a clue) and please join us as we make sense of this mad world we live in.

We have a monthly variety show! Our first one is this Saturday, and I am incredibly excited about it. There’s going to be improv, music, storytelling, and more, all based on the theme The Secret of the Old Clock.


If I could talk to my 20 year old self, I’d tell me to get fit and stay fit, then I’d tell me to take some classes in clown, mask work and physical theater. I don’t think I would have listened 46 year old me though.


If I could talk to my 20 year old self, I’d tell me to get fit and stay fit, then I’d tell me to take some classes in clown, mask work and physical theater. I don’t think I would have listened 46 year old me though.


What do you see? Some pretty ordinary old aerial photographs? Or an entire German army hidden beneath elaborate camouflage disguise?

First, meet Solomon J Solomon: a London portrait artist who made a living during WW1 painting posthumous portraits of lost husbands and sons, and who was an expert in camouflage. He was recruited by the military to help develop new methods of camouflage from a ‘Special Works Park’ in Kensington Gardens, a short stroll from his home. He experimented with draping various coverings over dugouts, guns and hangars to conceal them (see a tank with the Solomon camouflage scheme here).

But by 1918 he felt his efforts puny in the context of, he believed, a colossal German triumph of deception. While he had concealed the occasional gun or observation post, the Germans, he argued, had successfully hidden a massive build-up of men and material.

Solomon came into possession of some photographs of St Pierre Capelle and Sparappehoek taken by his cousin from a kite balloon. Close examination with his artist’s eye told him that the shadows were wrong, the fields looked odd for the time of year, and the landscape had imperfections, like an imperfectly executed sketch.

As an artist, he understood how colour and shade can detach a feature in a flat painting from its background. In a war, your shadow could kill you. When draping nets over an object it was important to soften the angles. The nets should not just be pegged around the base of the object, they should slope gently away.

He was told that no traffic had ever been observed on the road from St Pierre Capelle to Nieuport despite it being the only road to the front from Bruges. Of course night-time travel would go undetected, but to him it was clear that lengths of the road had been covered with painted nets to conceal day time activity. The more he looked the more he saw that the entire landscape was an elaborate hoax. Real railways were covered and decoy lines were painted. A few trucks were scattered in sidings, but these were just theatrical props on top of a busy railhead. He saw that large farm houses cast no shadows. It meant that huge canopies of netting and tarred paper had been raised to the level of the eaves and that the farm house was perhaps surrounded by a mass of invisible infantry and weapons. All that was visible was a row of haystacks in a field, the shadows, staying fixed as the sun traced its arc. In short, the Germans had been able to hide a whole army ahead of a major advance, Ludendorff’s spring offensive of 1918.

If we look now at his book, Strategic Camouflage, the black and white photos are grainy, the diagrams fuzzy and his captions are frustratingly terse and ambiguous. Was Solomon deluded? He was not generally believed.

‘Alas, I was powerless – and could only wring my hands!’ he wrote in frustration.

The Spring Offensive was real enough and involved a surprise attack by hundreds of thousands of German troops withdrawn from the Russian Front. It is a cliché of war that history is afterwards written by the victors. So it is that we do not hear at length of a German triumph of strategic deception. But Solomon received anecdotal evidence of net canopies being found intact after a German retreat, and some German writings gave them mention. So, perhaps he was right.

Look again at the photos. In the first, A railway line at St Pierre Capelle runs nearly horizontally across the picture and a few trucks stand as bold rectangles on the tracks. It was Solomon’s contention that these trucks were flimsy dummies and sat on top of the real marshalling yard which was covered.

In the second, The yellow rectangle draws attention to one of the features that Solomon saw. We see fields, a farmyard, a tramline. Solomon saw something different. This rectangle is roughly divided in half by a dark shadow which Solomon contended was really the summit of a very large roof or covering sloping away upwards towards the long side of the outline, and beneath which men or equipment could be concealed. The field and the tram line are a sham. The tram line, particularly, ends unconvincingly and was intended to take the eye away from the field.

Read the full story on the Ri Blog. Thanks to Laurence Scales for the research and writing of this amazing story. He’s a volunteer working at the Ri, and leads unique and eclectic London tours focused on the curious history or science, invention, medicine and intelligence.


Bill Nye Fights Back
How a mild-mannered children’s celebrity plans to save science in America—or go down swinging.
Read the full article on Popular Science


Bill Nye Fights Back

How a mild-mannered children’s celebrity plans to save science in America—or go down swinging.

Read the full article on Popular Science

(via brennanleemulligan)

Why I Decided War Reporting Was No Longer Worth the Risk

Covering wars for a polarized nation has destroyed the civic mission I once found in journalism. Why risk it all to get the facts for people who increasingly seem only to seek out the information they want and brand the stories and facts that don’t conform to their opinions as biased or inaccurate?

Why I Decided War Reporting Was No Longer Worth the Risk, by Tom A. Peter, New Republic

A short article about the uselessness of war reporting for a country of people who no longer believe the news.

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