Link Dump

As per usual, some links I found interesting whilst perusing the depths of ye olde internets:

  • Teller Reveals His Secrets – Always fascinating to see what the guy who doesn’t speak has to say. Some neat observations about misdirection and magic, this one being my favorite:

    Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. You will be fooled by a trick if it involves more time, money and practice than you (or any other sane onlooker) would be willing to invest. My partner, Penn, and I once produced 500 live cockroaches from a top hat on the desk of talk-show host David Letterman. To prepare this took weeks. We hired an entomologist who provided slow-moving, camera-friendly cockroaches (the kind from under your stove don’t hang around for close-ups) and taught us to pick the bugs up without screaming like preadolescent girls. Then we built a secret compartment out of foam-core (one of the few materials cockroaches can’t cling to) and worked out a devious routine for sneaking the compartment into the hat. More trouble than the trick was worth? To you, probably. But not to magicians.

    This sort of thing doesn’t just apply to magic. How many people assume security in situations when someone could painstakingly figure out a workaround? Think about those tedious CSI recreations or even how the Allies were able to identify German radio operators based on each operator’s distinctive style of transmitting Morse code. It seems like more trouble than its worth, but it turns out that such machinations are worth quite a bit.

  • Why is there cardboard in Dracula? – I never noticed this before, but there’s an ugly piece of cardboard attached to a lamp in a series of shots in the movie. It was always assumed to be a mistake, but it’s hotly debated, and there’s a surprising amount of discussion about why it would or wouldn’t be a mistake…
  • Matt Talbot’s Horror Movie Posters – Every year for Halloween, this artist does a bunch of alternate movie posters for horror movies, and they’re fantastic.
  • Come on, Stranger Things, no one ever got that far in Dragon’s Lair – This is so very true:

    In a premiere episode that saw titanic hellbeasts looming over a fire-choked horizon, a young boy perilously trapped between reality and a grim alternate dimension, criminal teens evading the cops with their psionic abilities, and a high schooler driving a bitching Camaro, Stranger Things’ second season has already strained credulity with a single, ludicrous scene: There is no fucking way anyone ever got that far in Dragon’s Lair.

    Damn straight.

  • Why I keep being concerned about the rise of streaming services – MGK went through Edgar Wright’s list of his 1000 favorite films to see how many were available on streaming services. Spoiler, only 200-300 are available on a service, with another 400-500 or so available for “rental”, leaving a couple hundred completely unavailable. A couple of caveats:

    This is in Canada, and things are a little better in the US. And it’s worth noting that Wright’s taste can be somewhat… eccentric. I’m sure some of those movies aren’t even available on DVD. However, none of this changes the original point: Streaming services are nowhere near comprehensive, even when you add them all together (and trust me, the fragmentation and difference in quality between the top tier of these services and the rest is pretty high). We are still a long, long ways off from a comprehensive service.

That’s all for now…

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