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Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Kubrick

“I like boring things”*…

What’s not to like?…

A Youtube video titled “THE MOST BORING VIDEO EVER MADE (Microsoft Word tutorial, 1989) has accrued over 1.5 million views despite its self-proclaimed boringness. The video, an hour and forty-seven-minute computer tutorial, appears to have been recorded in one long take. It’s a time capsule to the early days of home computers and despite the monotonous, sleep-inducing narration, the instructions are quite thorough. In the video’s comments, viewers point out the mind-blowing drama at minute 59 and the charming quote “no ‘command m’ for ‘miracle.'”

1989 Microsoft Word tutorial is ‘the most boring video ever made’,” from Annie Rauwerda @BoingBoing

Pair with this 1984 video of Stanley Kubrick discussing his favorite software manuals:

* Andy Warhol

###

As we take on tedium, we might send qualified birthday greetings to Edward William Bok; he was born on this date in 1863. An editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, he is best remembered for his 30-year stewardship of the Ladies’ Home Journal.

Bok’s overall concern was to promote his socially conservative vision of the ideal American household, with the wife as homemaker and child-rearer. At the Ladies Home Journal, Bok authored more than twenty articles opposed to women’s suffrage, women working outside the home, woman’s clubs, and education for women. He wrote that feminism would lead women to divorce, ill health, and even death. Bok viewed suffragists as traitors to their sex, saying “there is no greater enemy of woman than woman herself.”

(See here for a glimpse at his ambitions and impact.)

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Back to the streets…

Following earlier assays of street signage from all over (e.g., here and here), the rubber finally meets the road itself.  Readers, the Toynbee Tile…

Franklin Square, Washington, DC (source)

Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles– all roughly the size of an American state license plate, and all bearing roughly the message above– have been found embedded in the pavement of roads in streets in two dozen major U.S. cities and four South American capitals.

There’s no consensus among scholars of the tiles as to their reference or meaning.  It’s pretty widely held that the “Toynbee” reference is to historian Arnold Toynbee, perhaps to a passage (in Experiences):

Human nature presents human minds with a puzzle which they have not yet solved and may never succeed in solving, for all that we can tell. The dichotomy of a human being into ‘soul’ and ‘body’ is not a datum of experience. No one has ever been, or ever met, a living human soul without a body… Someone who accepts – as I myself do, taking it on trust – the present-day scientific account of the Universe may find it impossible to believe that a living creature, once dead, can come to life again; but, if he did entertain this belief, he would be thinking more ‘scientifically’ if he thought in the Christian terms of a psychosomatic resurrection than if he thought in the shamanistic terms of a disembodied spirit.

Others suggest that the tiles allude to Ray Bradbury’s story “The Toynbee Convector,” to Arthur C. Clarke’s story “Jupiter V,” or– perhaps, given the direct 2001 reference, most likely– to Stanley Kubrick’s film (in which, readers will recall, hibernating astronauts who had secret training were to be revived upon arrival on Jupiter).

And while there’s no agreement on the identity of the tiler, a majority of enthusiasts believe that “he” is from Philadelphia– both because the City of Brotherly Love hosts the highest concentration of the plaques and because a collection of tiles found there deviate from the norm to ascribe a plot to John S. Knight (of Knight-Ridder, the erst-while newspaper publishers), the Mafia, and others.

See a (nearly) complete list of tiles and their locations here, a set of photos here, and learn how they are implanted here.  Visit this site for a peek at a Sundance award-winning documentary on the Tiles.

UPDATE:  Further to earlier posts on Lorem Ipsum and it’s bastard children, Bacon Ipsum and Hipster Ipsum, more grievous greeking:  Velo Ipsum (for bicycling enthusiasts), and for the reportorially-inclined, Journo Ipsum.

As we watch where we’re walking, we might recall that it was on this date in 1504 that Michelangelo’s 17-foot-tall marble David was unveiled in a public square outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence.

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Well, it beats a lump of coal…

Last minute gift panic?  No problem.  Just wander over to Toy-A-Day, and download dozens of printable, foldable delights.  From Superman to Mr. Natural (below), there’s something suitable for just about anyone on Santa’s list.

As we reach for the scissors, we might recall that it was on this date in 1971 that Stanley Kubrick’s adaption of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange was released… Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well.

Original One-sheet

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 19, 2009 at 1:01 am

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