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The Last of Terry Pratchett’s Early Stories Will Come Out in September

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A new short story collection by Terry Pratchett is coming out in September! Entitled The Time-travelling Caveman, the book is the last volume of the late author’s early stories, The Guardian reports, compiling tales written in the 60s and 70s when he was working as a young journalist.

According to The Guardian, the stories “range from a steam-powered rocket’s flight to Mars to a Welsh shepherd’s discovery of the resting place of King Arthur.” The publication reports that they were first published in the Western Daily Press and the Bucks Free Press, the latter of which Pratchett began working at when he was just 17, and heretofore have only been obtainable in newspaper editions that auction for “hundreds of pounds”.

“There is so much in these stories that shows you the germ of an idea, which would go on to become a fully fledged Terry Pratchett novel, and so much hilarity that we know kids will love,” Ruth Knowles and Tom Rawlinson, who edit the author’s children’s books, said in a statement to The Guardian. “That is what makes the stories so special – they are for kids and adults, and kids who want to be adults, and adults who are still really kids. Which is exactly who a Terry Pratchett book should be for.”

Here’s the official synopsis, from Penguin:

Imagination is an amazing thing.

It can take you to the top of the highest mountain, or down to the bottom of the deepest depths of the sea.

This where it took Doggins on his Awfully Big Adventure: a quest full of magic and flying machines. (And the world’s best joke – trust me, it’s hilarious.)

It took three young inventors to the moon (where they may or may not have left a bottle of lemonade) and a caveman on a trip to the dentist.

You can join them on these adventures, and many more, in this incredible collection of stories . . .

From the greatest imagination there ever was.

Written for local newspapers when Terry Pratchett was a young lad, these never previously published stories are packed full of anarchic humour and wonderful wit.

A must-have for Terry fans . . . and young readers looking for a fix of magic.

You can read one of the stories, The Tropnecian Invasion of Great Britain, over on The Guardian‘s website nowThe Time-Travelling Caveman will be released September 3. The first batch of these early stories can be found in the collection Dragons at Crumbling Castle


Photo of Terry Pratchett by Silverlutra licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Manzabar
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I feel like I’m doing this backward.

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Victor: I don’t even know why I’m asking this but why are you cutting up pantyhose? me: Remember a few weeks ago when I was having sex with my cantaloupe plant? Victor: Yep, and I just remembered why I don’t … Continue reading
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Washington Redskins to change name

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The Washington Redskins will "retire" its name today, according to a report in Sports Business Daily. Its owners long declared their intention to keep the racist moniker irrespective of criticism, but this summer's widespread unrest over police violence rattled the team's advertisers and sponsors, who in turn liquefied the ground under their feet.

The move comes 11 days after stadium naming-rights sponsor FedEx’s public statement asking for a change to the controversial moniker. The new nickname will not be announced immediately because trademark issues are pending, the sources said, but insiders were told today that the “thorough review” announced July 3 has concluded. The team felt it was important to remove any doubts as to the future of the name, one source said.

Fans seem to be ready for a switch, with many saying they're eager to become Redtails, in honor of a famous squadron of black WWII fighter pilots.

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A Very American Suicide

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(This is the first ever guest entry on this website. I am making this exception because its author is unable to speak their mind publicly for fear of their safety. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are 100 percent in agreement with the views of this blog, its parent company, and its ...
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The Descendants: Photographer Drew Gardner Recreates Portraits of Historically Significant Figures

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Thomas Jefferson, by Rembrandt Peale, 1800. Shannon LaNier, Jefferson’s sixth-great grandson. All images © Drew Gardner, shared with permission

To prepare for a recent portrait, Shannon LaNier pulled a black coat over his head and wrapped a thick, layered collar around his neck, a costume to match what Thomas Jefferson wore in an iconic 18th-century painting. The Houston news anchor was participating in an ongoing series by British photographer Drew Gardner that recreates photographs, paintings, and other images of historical figures by styling their descendants in similar garb. LaNier’s photograph is particularly significant, though, because he’s the sixth-great grandson of Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, who the third U.S. president enslaved and forced to bear his children, a story that’s long been left out of historical narratives.

Titled The Descendants, the project is a visual excavation of Western history that questions what remains after generations pass. The relatives of historically significant people are, for the most part, out of the spotlight, but as the photographer notes, their ancestors’ “DNA is walking down the street.”

 

Irina Guicciardini Strozzi, the 15th great granddaughter of Lisa del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci

The project began about 15 years ago when Gardner’s mother mentioned that he resembled his grandfather. Although the current project has diverged from simple likeness—the photographer notes that similar features are not a requirement when searching for descendants—he hopes to inspire questions about people’s legacies. “I am not saying they look like their forebears,” he notes. “I’m encouraging a debate. I want to provoke a conversation that makes people curious about history.” Since its inception, he’s photographed relatives of Frederick Douglass, Lisa del Giocondo, Berthe Morisot, and Napoleon.

Gardner’s criteria for choosing subjects is strict: the historical figure must be widely known to the public and have made a significant impact that goes beyond simple celebrity. The next step involves tracking down paintings, photographs, and other realistic representations of the person, which eliminates a considerable number of prospects—originally, Gardner hoped to recreate an image of Pocahontas but soon realized that only a woodcut existed. The photographer then searches for living family members, sometimes working through more than a dozen generations to find someone within 15 years of age of the forebear. Often with the help of museums and other institutions dedicated to historical preservation, he contacts the relative to ask if they’ll pose for a portrait.

 

Frederick Douglass. Kenneth Morris, Douglass’s third-great grandson.

To maintain the integrity of the original image, the costumes and props are vintage, when possible. Some elements, though, like the massive, rusted chains forming the backdrop of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s portrait from 1857, don’t exist anymore. When the authentic items aren’t available, Gardner recreates them in physical or digital form.

For LaNier’s portrait, though, the situation was different. While he is dressed similarly to Jefferson, he diverges because he chose to forgo the wig his sixth-great grandfather wore.  “I didn’t want to become Jefferson,” he told Smithsonian Magazine. The result is a striking set of portraits that explore historical truths. “Jefferson may have been a founding father, but I am an image of what his family has now become,” LaNier says in an interview about the experience. “You look at my family and you see every color in there, as you will see from many family’s that have come from slavery.”

Although the pandemic has changed his immediate plans for upcoming recreations, Gardner is hoping to release more pieces in 2021, which you can follow on Instagram. For those interested in a behind-the-scenes look at his process,  Smithsonian Magazine has released videos of the Douglass, Jefferson, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton shoots.

 

Lucie Rouart, great granddaughter of Morisot. Berthe Morisot, by Edouard Manet, 1872

Isambard Thomas, Brunel’s third-great grandson. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, portrait by Robert Howlett, 1857, © National Portrait Gallery

Gerald Charles Dickens, Dickens’ great, great grandson. Charles Dickens, portrait by Herbert Watkins, 1858, © National Portrait Gallery

Tom Wonter, Wordsworth’s fourth-great grandson. William Wordsworth, portrait by William Shuter, 1798, © Cornell University

Helen Pankhurst, Pankhurst’s great granddaughter. Emeline Pankhurst, women’s rights activist.

Hugo de Salis, fourth-great grandson of Napoleon. Napoleon in his study, by Jacques-Louis David, 1812, © National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

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Apollo 16 footage interpolated from 12 to 60 frames per second

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DAIN is an AI-powered method for adding "missing" frames of footage. Standard interpolation treats the existing frames as flat fields of color and contrast, but the AI models the depth of regions in the scene, resulting in a more convincing and less "smeary" results. Let's go for a ride on the moon!

Apollo 16 Rover Traverse to Station 4 16mm footage interpolated from 12fps to 60fps with DAIN-AI. Colour corrected and synchronized with audio.

Raw 16mm film & Audio: NASA
Video & Audio Processing: Dutchsteammachine

Here's Apollo 14:

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