Walker found this in a Japanese magazine profile of Patagonia. He’s pleased to learn that he never gets bored.
Bill Watterson brought an end to Calvin & Hobbes in 1995, after just 10 years of writing and drawing the comic strip. But to his many devoted fans, that shockheaded boy and his tiger are as important today as they were when they first appeared in daily papers all around the country.
Filmmaker Joel Allen Schroeder collected the stories of Calvin & Hobbes‘ fans and dug into the strip’s mystique for his new documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson, which premiered in theaters and on demand yesterday. He talked with NPR’s Don Gonyea about the comic strip, its elusive creator, and the lasting appeal of stories about a boy and his tiger pal.
On the strip’s recurring themes
When you opened up especially the Sunday paper, it was almost like you didn’t know what sort of genre you might be seeing. What it going to be [one of Calvin's alter-egos] Spaceman Spiff, Interplanetary Explorer? Was it going to be Calvin and Hobbes time-traveling to whatever era Calvin was most interested in checking out at the time? Watterson would try all sorts of different things. I mean, Calvin’s world is just so huge, and whatever he wanted to explore, Watterson was able to come up with a great story and great visuals to match it.
On the philosophical themes Watterson dove into
So many of those strips were great philosophical discussions between Calvin and Hobbes. And the great thing about that type of strip is that, as a child I think you love some of the physical humor going on there, but then as an adult you can catch on to more of the discussion. … And that’s one of the reasons why it’s just so timeless and it still appeals to people.
A lot of people will talk about the raccoon story, where Calvin finds a dying raccoon and takes him home and puts him in a shoebox. In the end the poor raccoon doesn’t make it. … You see Calvin just so attached to the raccoon, and [he] sort of begs it not to break his heart. And you’re reading that strip and following along, and you’re sort of hoping the same thing.
On Watterson’s refusal to license Calvin & Hobbes images
I think it goes to his respect for the medium. I think he had a sense that that sort of licensing would diminish the significance, the meaning of his characters. That suddenly if Hobbes was a plush doll, does that answer that mystery of “Is Hobbes real? Is he a toy?” . … What Calvin says in the strip, does that have as much meaning if he’s on a Happy Meal? I think now one of the reasons why fans still hold Calvin & Hobbes in such high esteem is that it hasn’t been watered down. We see Calvin and Hobbes in the books, and that’s where they belong.
On the final Calvin & Hobbes strip
I think it sums up Watterson’s legacy so perfectly. It’s a fresh layer of snow and Calvin and Hobbes are out with the toboggan, and Calvin looks to Hobbes and says, “It’s a magical world, old buddy … let’s go exploring.” And those last words are just, I think, a challenge to all of us to make sure that we have that curiosity. And [they are] words, I think words to live by.
Western Colorado is about to transition from beautiful autumn conditions to winter weather this weekend. Models lacked consensus the past week but now generally agree with difference in the details. There is a deep long wave trough forming over the west with several fast moving NW systems moving through over the weekend. Possibilities are good for a long mountain snowfall event from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning with probable lulls or breaks in the action.
A shortwave trough will move into the Great Basin overnight bringing good round of precipitation into the San Juans and western Colorado later on Friday. A cold front precedes the system as you can feel in the air today. Strong southwest flow will develop ahead of the trough with snow or a mix of snow/rain over south to southwest slopes. Precipitation should become widespread by tomorrow afternoon.
The second of the two systems will move rapidly down the backside of the trough on Saturday and models are in agreement for increased precipitation. Cold air advection (transport of an atmospheric property by the wind) with the cold front ahead of the storm, combined with good orographic lift point to decent snowfall on west facing slopes Saturday into early Sunday. If it all turns out, the higher elevations of the San Juans could receive a foot or more of new snow on WSW slopes above 11,000′.
As fascinating as macro photography is, most of us think we can’t do it because it requires specialized equipment. Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov, however, is an inspiration to aspiring amateur photographers everywhere – he created a home-made rig capable of capturing stunning close-up pictures of snowflakes out of old camera parts, boards, screws and tape. His pictures give us an enchanting close-up view of snowflakes that we could never hope for without specialized equipment.
The wonderful thing about snowflakes is that no two are alike. Their extraordinary diversity diversity stems from the many small changes in temperature and humidity that they experience while freezing on their way down to the ground. Their six-sided symmetry occurs because the crystalline structure of ice is also hexagonal. All of these many factors come together to create beautiful shapes that are almost always unique.
Kljatov’s rig creates the sort of photos that might otherwise require lenses or other equipment worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. And the pictures he creates with this rig look absolutely amazing. For more information about how he did it, check out his blog post.
NEW YORK — Don Cheadle will play Miles Davis in a biopic the actor has long planned on the innovative jazz pioneer.
BiFrost Pictures told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it will finance and produce “Kill the Trumpet Player,” with Cheadle also making his directorial debut. Cheadle has been trying to make the film for years. Production is finally set to begin in June.
The production company said the movie will focus on when Davis temporarily retired from making music and then re-emerged in 1979. The script is written by Cheadle and Steven Baigelman.
Ewan McGregor will co-star as a Rolling Stone reporter, and Zoe Saldana will play Frances Davis, the trumpet player’s former wife. Davis collaborator Herbie Hancock will be involved in the production.
Davis died in 1991 at age 65.
Charles Ergen, co-founder of DISH Network.
Net worth: $12.5 billion
His Ouray County Colorado ranch received $117,826 in crop and livestock disaster payments from 2002 to 2008.
Billionaires Received Millions From Taxpayer Farm Subsidies: Analysis
In late May, in a gaudy hotel suite brimming with tuxedoed film executives at the Cannes Film Festival, a publicist was pacing anxiously. “Bruce, we’ve got to go,” she said. Then, “Bruce, it’s time.” Next she tried, “Bruce, we’re going to be late,” before finally resorting to, “Bruce, please, they can’t start without you.”
Some actors attain celebrity before they know what to do with it; others project a diffidence to fame while secretly craving it; and some just don’t appreciate their numbered moments in the spotlight. Then there is Bruce Dern, who was so busy enjoying the moment that he was dangerously close to being late for the world premiere of “Nebraska,” the film he hopes will finally give him the validation he yearns for.
“Just a second, just a second,” Mr. Dern said, a plume of wild white hair crashing like ocean spray across his head. He was half-dressed, in crisp tuxedo pants with just a white undershirt and, as always, hopping from one topic to another. “Now, where was I?”
In the film, directed by Alexander Payne, Mr. Dern plays Woody, a wobbly, hard-of-hearing retired grouch who, edging toward senility, becomes convinced that he is a sweepstakes millionaire. He embarks on a road trip from Billings, Mont., to Lincoln, Neb., to claim his nonexistent winnings with his son, played by Will Forte. Woody is confused, alcoholic, and so taciturn he is practically mute. In these ways, he is the exact opposite of Mr. Dern, who has never touched alcohol, shuns caffeine and is always in the middle of some dizzyingly digressive story.
Yet like Woody with the sweepstakes mailing, Mr. Dern sees “Nebraska,” opening on Friday in the United States, as his golden ticket, the reason for an unlikely career peak at the age of 77.
Chasing Money, And Meaning, In ‘Nebraska’
You May Already Be a Winner. Or Not.
‘Nebraska,’ Directed by Alexander Payne, Stars Bruce Dern
Father And Son Make A Slow Connection In ‘Nebraska’
On Tuesday, artist Andy Warhol’s oversized and iconic Coca-Cola (3) will hit the auction block at Christie’s, and to borrow an old slogan from the company, It’s The Real Thing.
“I think he was told No. 3 is it — just throw away No. 1,” says Ryan, who added that Warhol had been struggling with different art styles at the time. “It wasn’t until he did the series of Coke bottles and got the feedback … that he found his genre.”
“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke … All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it … and you know it.”
The artist later went on to depict other American brands, including Brillo, Campbell’s Soup, General Electric, Heinz and Kellogg.
The Coke painting, which has been part of a private collection since 1995, could sell for more than $40 million — another Warhol piece, Coke Bottle (4), sold for $35.4 million a couple of years ago.
Coca-Cola itself holds more than 20 pieces of Warhol art. Ryan says the company never sent a cease-and-desist order to the artist asking him to stop using the company’s logo and other trademarks, but rather they “acknowledged each other from afar.”
Slaves at a coffee yard in a farm. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1882.
Brazil was the last place in the Americas to abolish slavery — it didn’t happen until 1888 — and that meant that the final years of the practice were photographed.
This has given Brazil what may be the world’s largest archive of photography of slavery, and a new exhibition in Sao Paulo is offering some new insights into the country’s brutal past.
One image at the exhibition, for example, has been blown up to the size of a wall. “Things that you could never see, suddenly you see,” says anthropologist Lilia Schwarcz, one of the curators of the new exhibition called Emancipation Inclusion and Exclusion.
In its original size and composition, the image from photographer Marc Ferrez, one of the most impressive photographers from 19th century Brazil, shows a wide shot of a group of slaves drying coffee in a field. Their faces are indistinct but the overall impression is one of order and calm. But once the picture is blown up, the expressions become distinct and details emerge. A female slave is breastfeeding a child in the field; clothes that look neat are seen to be tattered.
“Expanding the photos, we can see a lot of things we couldn’t see and the state didn’t want to see,” Schwarcz says. “We do not want to show slaves only like victims.”
Black woman with white child on her back. Bahia, 1860.
Ronald Heifetz draws on his training as a psychiatrist to coach aspiring leaders at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ronald Heifetz has been a professor of public leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School for three decades, teaching classes that have included aspiring business leaders and budding heads of state. Each year, he says, the students start his course thinking they’ll learn the answer to one question:
As leaders, how can they get others to follow them?
Heifetz says that whole approach is wrong.
“The dominant view of leadership is that the leader has the vision and the rest is a sales problem,” he says. “I think that notion of leadership is bankrupt.” That approach only works for technical problems, he says, where there’s a right answer and an expert knows what it is.
Heifetz trained as a psychiatrist, and he describes his view of effective leadership with an analogy from medicine. “When a patient comes to a surgeon, the surgeon’s default setting is to say, ‘You’ve got a problem? I’ll take the problem off your shoulders and I’ll deliver back to you a solution.’ In psychiatry, when a person comes to you with a problem, it’s not your job actually to solve their problem. It’s your job to develop their capacity to solve their own problem.”
Many intractable political issues, such as civil war, poverty or ethnic tension are complicated, and solving them may require a whole nation of people to change their mindset. As they approach these sorts of “nontechnical” problems, Heifetz says, leaders should think less like surgeons, and more like psychiatrists.
In such cases, “the people are the problem and the people are the solution,” he says. “And leadership then is about mobilizing and engaging the people with the problem rather than trying to anesthetize them so you can go off and solve it on your own.”
Since the 1980s, historians have concentrated on leaders’ failings, as well as their successes.
WASHINGTON — The President John F. Kennedy students learn about today is not their grandparents’ J.F.K.
The first — and for many the last — in-depth lesson that American students learn about the 35th president comes from high school textbooks. And on the eve of the anniversary of his assassination 50 years ago, a review of more than two dozen written since then shows that the portrayal of him has fallen sharply over the years.
In general, the picture has evolved from a charismatic young president who inspired youths around the world to a deeply flawed one whose oratory outstripped his accomplishments. Averting war in the Cuban missile crisis got less attention and respect. Legislative setbacks and a deepening commitment in Vietnam got more. The Kennedy-era glamour seemed more image than reality.
For example, a 1975 high school text by Clarence Ver Steeg and Richard Hofstadter said that in his handling of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, “Kennedy’s true nature as a statesman became fully apparent.” In “A People and a Nation,” they said his 1963 limited nuclear test ban treaty “was the greatest single step toward peace since the beginning of the Cold War.”
On civil rights, they said, his administration “did not receive congressional cooperation.” Even so, they wrote, inaccurately, “buses, hotels, motels and restaurants were largely desegregated” in his presidency. Most of those changes came when the Civil Rights Act was signed by his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1964.
The 69th Regiment Armory on East 25th Street may have seemed like an odd venue, but it was big enough to hold the 1,400-work exhibition. “There were lots of comparisons in 1913 of the Armory Show being a bomb from the blue, so the Armory is not inappropriate,” says curator Kimberly Orcutt.
One hundred years ago in New York City, nearly 90,000 people came to see the future of art. The 1913 Armory Show gave America its first look at what avant-garde artists in Europe were doing. Today these artists are in major museums around the world, but in 1913, they were mostly unknown in America.
Boasting 1,400 works — from artists such as George Braque, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, and many, many more — it was the biggest art show New York had ever seen. Today, the New York Historical Society is celebrating the Armory centennial with artworks from the original exhibition.
Normally used to store arms and train troops, the 69th Regiment Armory on East 25th Street was an odd venue, but it was big enough to hold it all. “There were lots of comparisons in 1913 of the Armory Show being a bomb from the blue, so the Armory is not inappropriate,” says curator Kimberly Orcutt.
The avant-garde show raised hackles. The most controversial work was Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Everyone had an opinion about it, including former President Theodore Roosevelt, who compared it to a Navajo rug he had in his bathroom.
Americans were not used to looking at abstract art. And the Duchamp — painted in ochres and browns a year before the Armory Show, was Cubist — splintering a profile figure so it seems to be in motion. The painting provoked critiques of all sorts, including cartoons and poems.
“It was called a bundle of slats, an explosion in a shingle factory,” says curator Marilyn Kushner.
Viewers were puzzled; with all those fragments, where was the nude? But they lined up to see it, and the other avant-garde works. Some 87,000 people came to the Armory show. Rich collectors and dealers had seen such art in Europe, but this was the first time the masses got to see — and react to — the new ideas.
Earlier this fall, Sam Buffa represented Team USA in the ISDE, an acronym for the awkwardly named “International Six Days of Enduro,” the granddaddy of off-road motorcycle competitions, which held its centennial edition from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 on the Italian island of Sardinia. “It’s definitely the marathon of motorsports,” he says. His group finished second, the first time the American team had ever done that. (France got No. 1).
Synopsis: ENSO-neutral is expected through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014.
During October, ENSO-neutral persisted, as reflected by near-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). During the month, slightly below-average SSTs were evident in most of the Niño regions, except for Niño-4, which remained near zero (Fig. 2). However, the oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) rose from near average to slightly above average (Fig. 3), due to the eastward shift of a downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave, which was reflected in the above-average subsurface temperatures across the western half of the Pacific (Fig. 4). The atmospheric circulation remained largely near average during the month, with generally small departures in equatorial convection (Fig. 5) and upper and lower-level winds. Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect ENSO-neutral.
The majority of model forecasts indicate that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) will persist into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2014 (Fig. 6). Though confidence is highest for ENSO-neutral, there are also growing probabilities for warm conditions (relative to cool conditions) toward the spring/summer 2014. The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast).
This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 5 December 2013. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate Prediction Center
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NOAA/National Weather Service
College Park, MD 20740
What this means: J.R. Confidence seems high for ENSO-neutral conditions, but there are also growing probabilities for warming conditions toward the spring/summer 2014. Last winter (El Niño neutral) 2012/13 was below average for the San Juan Mountains. No-Niño years (neutral) often aren’t generous for above average winter snows.
Powerless to control his caucus, John Boehner has proved to be one of the weakest congressional leaders in American history.
This latest episode in the endless Republican reality show is not chiefly about the incompetence and incessant squabbling of ideologues and petty politicians, although it’s that, too. Nor is it the outcome of the intense partisan polarization that has thrown Washington into gridlock, as if the problem is abstract partisanship itself, with Democrats and Republicans equally at fault. Least of all is it about rescuing the economy from the Democrats’ profligate deficit spending, as Republicans claim – not with the deficit shrinking to its lowest level since the financial disaster of 2008 and with the outlook improving. This crisis is about nothing other than the Republican Party – its radicalization, its stunning lack of leadership and its disregard for the Constitution.
The Western Slope towns of Naturita and Nucla once boomed thanks to uranium mining in the area. But when the mines closed in the 1980s, unemployment skyrocketed. So when plans for a new uranium mill were announced, many residents of the two towns welcomed the news. Others, led by an advocacy group in Telluride, went to battle, saying the risks to health and the environment were too great. The controversy is the subject of a new documentary by Telluride filmmaker Suzan Beraza, Uranium Drive-In. It’s one of a number of documentaries at this year’s Starz Denver Film Festival. Ryan Warner speaks with Beraza about the film.
SLICK ROCK, Colo. — The Dolores River bends through southwestern Colorado like a gooseneck, shaded by red rock canyons that leave those who pass through here breathless.
Hidden from the riverbanks, behind cottonwoods and mule deer tracks, are different, artificial formations. Off a nearby road, an aging tower marks the property of the Burros Mine, partly owned by State Representative Don Coram. Heaps of rocks tinged with the greenish hue of uranium are visible. Abandoned mining equipment lies strewn about. A darkened portal is gated shut. Downstream, another mine, owned by the Cotter Corporation, lies similarly silent.
Despite bursts of activity from 2003 through 2008, most uranium mines scattered across Colorado have largely been out of production for decades, a testament to fluctuating mineral prices. Now the future of these mines is at the crux of a dispute that could set a precedent for how they are handled.
Environmental groups in Colorado contend that many of the state’s 33 uranium mines should be forced to clean up, given that uranium mining, which flourished here during the cold war, has gone dormant. In legal filings, they have alleged that companies like Cotter are skirting potential costs associated with cleanup, which is required by the state after an operation shuts down.
The environmental groups say the companies should be prohibited from obtaining state-issued exemptions, under which the companies do not have to produce but are not obligated to restore the land, either. Letting the mines idle heightens the risk of contaminating treasured areas like the Dolores with radioactive substances like uranium and radon, the groups argue. At a hearing on Wednesday, Colorado’s mining board will review the environmental groups’ objections.
The dispute cuts especially deep in the West, where abandoned uranium mines pock the region and have cost the federal government millions to reclaim.
The pastoral is one of literature’s oldest forms; it’s safe to say our ideas about nature, however, have changed rapidly and radically in the modern age. Poet Harryette Mullen makes a beautiful marriage between those new ideas and a classic poetic form in her first collection in over a decade, Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary.
The tanka is a Japanese form dating back centuries. It’s a 31-syllable poem that usually includes what Mullen calls “a refined awareness of seasonal changes and a classical repertoire of fleeting impressions.” In Urban Tumbleweed, Mullen has written 366 tankas, describing a year of living in Los Angeles and traveling to places like Texas, Ohio and Sweden while taking careful note of the natural world around her. The book is dense with jacaranda, rainstorms, bedbugs, epazote, and neighborhood watches, while faithfully evoking both the form and ancient spirit of the tanka — makingUrban Tumbleweed a gorgeous book that should establish Mullen as a poet with wide appeal.
Each tanka offers up a different type of poetic energy: some of them work as factoids, others are addressed to her neighbors and friends, but almost all of them are built from the collisions of sensual details that take place around Mullen as she tries to be more mindful of her surroundings. While she writes about riding the bus to work or about pulling a blanket over her head during a storm, she is also writing a quiet argument about living in two worlds: the insistent, natural world, as well as the civilization that sometimes complements nature and other times complicates it.