“Midnight, And The Stars And…Who?”

Here’s an interesting little piece of movie trivia from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining“:

“The 1921 photograph at the end of the film was a genuine 1920’s photo, with Jack Nicholson’s head airbrushed onto the body of another man. Stanley Kubrick originally planned to use extras and shoot the photo himself, but he realized he couldn’t make it look any better than the real thing.”

I’ve always (ALWAYS) known that a real photo was used for the film and I’ve always been fascinated with it and the faces in it for that very reason. As a matter of fact, I even have a framed copy of it in my living room which is always good for creeping visitors out.

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But who was removed from the photograph as Jack Nicholson was airbrushed in and what did he look like? Whose arm and body is that doubling for Ol’ Jacky Boy there?

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Well, so far as I can tell, history doesn’t seem to have recorded his name but here’s the elusive devil right here:

Shining

I’ve spent YEARS trying to track this photo down and it was only recently that I found it on a very informative website dedicated to all things SHINING…

Courtesy of  The Overlook Hotel

The original, unaltered period photo into which actor Jack Nicholson was composited to create the iconic photograph seen in the final shots of The Shining.

These images were found in a book entitled The Complete Airbrush and Photo-Retouching Manual, which was originally published in 1985. The book also identifies the retouching artist responsible for this work, Joan Honour Smith.

The original photographs of Jack Nicholson are located in the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London, and inspection of them reveals that only Nicholson’s head, collar, and bowtie were used; the rest of the figure is the anonymous man in the original 1923 photograph.

Interestingly, close examination of images from the film reveals that two different photo-composites were used: one for the long tracking shot which pushes down the hall towards the photo, and a different one for the extreme close-up. Nicholson’s composited head rotates from one photo to the next, and his shoulder shifts, partially obscuring the woman holding the cigarette behind him.

Retouching

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The Amazing Wheelharp!

This is a Wheelharp:

The Wheelharp

Despite looking positively Victorian, The Wheelharp is a a new keyboard controlled instrument with 61 strings (a full chromatic scale) which are bowed with actual bows! The Wheelharp also allows for different bowing intensities as well as having fully fitted damper and electric pick-up systems!

So how exactly does it work?

When the player presses any key (or keys) on The Wheelharp, the action moves the selected key (or keys)  respective string(s) toward a rotating wheel with a rosined edge, thereby bowing the string(s).

With the right pedal, the player controls the speed of a motor that turns the wheel, which varies the bowing speed of the wheel against the string and thus changes the dynamic effect. For instance, the wheel speed and the key depth can both be used to create swells and decrescendos. The action for each note can easily be removed as necessary for maintenance or string replacement.

The left pedal controls a full damper system that extends across the strings. An electromagnetic pickup floats above the strings and a piezoelectric pickup is mounted to the soundboard, allowing for the player to fully control the amplified timbre of The Wheelharp.

Here is a demonstration video of The Wheelharp in action:

The Wheelharp has been developed by Antiquity Music and manufacturing is expected to begin in June 2013.

How much will it cost?

Pricing (Linear Model or Radial Model):
* 5-octave range: $11,900
* 4-octave range: $10,900
* 3-octave range: $9,900

It’s already been described as a “Steampunk version of an orchestral sound library” which in other words means that if you want one, you’d better get one before either Tom Waits or The Flaming Lips buy the lot of them up and connect them together and end the entire World!

For much more information on The Wheelharp, including its history and musical demos, please visit the Antiquity Music site which is right HERE.

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Macabre, Weird & Wonderful Childrens’ Book Illustrations By Gōjin Ishihara.

Reddit is a wonderful place. I only recently discovered Reddit and even more recently than that I realised that you can search out specific words and phrases on it. I typed the word ‘macabre’ into Reddit’s search box and discovered the bizarre and frightening childrens’ book artwork of post WWII Tokyo based artist, Gōjin Ishihara!

From The Illustrated Book Of Japanese Monsters (1972):

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The next two illustrations are from The Illustrated Book Of Hell (1975):

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From The Complete Book Of Demons (1974):

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Gorgon. The Illustrated Book Of World Monsters (1973):

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Aliens In Ancient Japan. From the book, Mysteries Of The World (1970):

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From Sonosheet Book (1972):

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Prehistoric Man (1970):

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Spy Wars…

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The World’s biggest glutton from The World’s Greatest Wonders (1971):

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Precognition of plane crash. Mysteries Of The Body (1973):

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Nostradamus. Psychics Of The World (1974):

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Frozen planet. Year X: End Of The World (1975):

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Dark star gravity. Year X: End Of The World (1975):

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Glasgow’s George Square Is OUR Rectangle!

The six new shortlisted designs for the revamp of Glasgow’s George Square have been unveiled and I’m almost speechless at how terrible and charmless they all are. ALL of them.

Luckily, I’m not completely speechless and I’d just like to take this opportunity to say this:

George Square Is OUR Rectangle! Leave those Victorian statues EXACTLY where they are!

The moving of Glasgow’s many Victorian statues like gigantic chess pieces is nothing new and it’s not that I or the many other people who live close to the square are against change. As a matter of fact, everybody I’ve personally spoken to is all for a revitalisation of George Square but, and listen carefully, as a PUBLIC and VERY GREEN space!

The statues that surround George Square have been discreetly moved over the years more than once but c’mon! They look so settled where they stand today. And everybody knows it except for the people in charge who very shortly are about to completely ruin George Square as we have come to know it.

Let’s take a look at the six new shortlisted designs for the Square and as always, click on the images to enlarge them.

Design One:

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Design Two:

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Design Three:

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Design Four:

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Design Five:

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Design Six:

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Design Six is apparently the current “most popular” design with Glaswegians. The best of a bad bunch I’d say.

I’m not very good expressing myself when I’m angry without using extreme profanities so here are some photos of how George Square has looked in the past…

1878:

George Square

1880:

G. Square

1929:

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1975:

1975

Fireworks Night 2012:

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…and here are two panoramic shots of how George Square currently looks today…

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Don’t tell me what you think.
Write to Glasgow City Council and/or a decent Glasgow Newspaper you trust.
So not The Daily Record.

Keep right up to date with everything by visiting: Restore George Square.

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“New York City: A True 8th Avenue Tale” By Bob Heaney.

My friend Bob works as a bouncer on the doors of The Tempest, a great little dive bar on New York’s 8th Avenue. A few days ago, Bob had this utterly jaw dropping story to tell…

A true 8th Avenue tale. Apologies in advance for the use of profanity and one particularly offensive term, but the story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it wasn’t quoted verbatim and uncensored:

It was a typical Friday night at Tempest and the evening had thus far been uneventful. We were expecting a decent crowd to file out of the Knicks game and into the pub, but until the final buzzer sounded in the Garden we would have to settle for the slow but reliable business from the handful of regulars and the odd passerby that stopped into the pub. Hoping to kill some time, I stepped out front for a smoke. Within moments of me lighting the cigarette, an unusual-looking fellow approached me. His clothes were far too big for his body (although his build was anything but frail) and he had a manic look in his eyes that was unmistakably the gaze of someone who wasn’t, as they say, “all together”. Far younger and more spry than the usual derelicts who mill about on 8th Avenue, I kept at an arm’s length as he made eye contact with me.

“Yo man, I need two dollars and sixteen cents” he announced with the trademark specificity of so many of the beggars and con men that practice their trade around Penn Station.”I don’t have any money” I replied.

Reaching into his pocket, he produced a Discman that had to have dated to the mid-1990s.

“But my motherfucking batteries is dead, man! I need to listen to my jams!”

“I’m very sorry, buddy,” I reiterated, “but I don’t have anything for you”.

At this point his glare went from crazed to menacing. His eyes assumed a steely clarity that was unsettling, to say the least.

“Is that how we going to play it, motherfucker?” he snapped, the inflection of his voice rising and becoming noticeably louder. “I just got out of motherfucking Rikers, asshole,” he continued. “Do you know what that means? Do you know what that makes me, motherfucker?!”

I took a step back and squared my shoulders, keeping my arms to my sides but otherwise assuming a fighter’s stance. I fully expected him to attack me at that point. Although his dress made him appear comical at first glance, he was nonetheless powerfully built. Just when I thought he was about to swing, however, he began gesticulating wildly to himself.

“It makes me a faggot!”

I looked at him with an expression of utter bewilderment.

“I got fucked in the ass every day there, and now I’m a faggot! Yeah! I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! Whoooooo!”

He repeated the phrase over and over again, each repetition louder and more enthusiastic than the one that preceded it. As quickly as he had approached, he turned around and began walking away from me into 8th Avenue’s perpetual tangle of traffic. He raised his arms triumphantly above his head and continued to repeat his new mantra:

“I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! I’m a faggot! Yeah!”

Halfway across the street, he approached an off-duty yellow cab that was sitting in traffic. With one abrupt motion, he grabbed the handle to the driver’s door and swung it open violently. The terrified driver cowered in fear as our hero leaned in and screamed into his ear:

“I’M A FAGGOT!”

Without another word, he calmly walked away from the cab with his arms still raised skyward, sauntering down 30th Street like the heavyweight champion of the world.

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