The Thriller Diaries

Vanity Fair article on the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video:

Most serendipitously, Jackson was the ideal video star. Not only did he radiate an epicene glamour that was at once innocent and intensely erotic, but he was also conceptually inventive, a great dancer, and a sartorial trendsetter. He judged the quality of what the fledgling rock network MTV was airing to be poor, and felt he could do better. He hired the best directors and choreographers and applied everything he had soaked up from watching Gene Kelly and Astaire movies. In a black jacket and pink shirt he slid and spun his way down a surreal city street in the “Billie Jean” video-an electrifying, transformative performance.

Microsoft still the Big Dog

TechCrunch deciphers Microsoft Communications Head Frank Shaw’s “look at our big numbers” post:

Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.

What he really means: While our rivals are getting all the hype in the press, and people keep blogging about us “dying”, we’re selling 7 copies of our OS every second. Keep this number in mind when you read the next group of stats.

7.1 million
Projected iPad sales for 2010.

58 million
Projected netbook sales in 2010.

355 million
Projected PC sales in 2010.

What he really means: Remember that 150 million number? Yeah, the iPad can suck it. And about the iPad and netbooks killing the PC - I have 355 million reasons why that’s not happening anytime soon. Did I mention we’ve sold 150 million licenses for those PCs?

(via Daring Fireball)

Breaking the story that broke Kevin

Fascinating background from ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann on the media involvement in the Kevin07 political assassination:

It was news to everyone. In the minutes after 7:00pm, in the offices and restaurants and cafes around the Parliamentary Triangle, the mobile phones of Labor MPs and senators lit up. In the early stages ministers and MPs rolled out the usual denials, because they honestly believed it was another beat-up.

Toronto G20 riots

Pretty full on photo sets at the Toronto Star and blogTO. Apparently the black clothing of the ‘anarchists' is a deliberate ploy, and they strip back to civvies to blend into the crowd when it’s over. The black-leather face-mask cops and black-bloc protesters end up looking almost identical, except one side has guns and the other baseball bats. Unsurprisingly there’s zero coverage on the SMH site - just waffle about Wayne Swan.

♪ The Unthanks - Here’s the Tender Coming ♫

Beautiful and haunting folk, with the two Unthank sisters on vocals and a tremendous variety of instrumentation accompanying. They harmonise with strong Geordie accents, interpreting English folk and their own work, and whilst melodically gentle the traditional lyrics tell of a harsh and sad world. Here’s a Guardian Video of standout track The Testimony of Patience Kershaw, based on the spoken testimony of 17 year old Patience Kershaw to the Royal Commission on Children’s Employment in 1842.

World Cup half-way photos

Half way. Love the shot of English fans at Glastonbury watching the World Cup. Putting your hands on your head must be a spontaneous & universal “ohhhhhhhhhh” reaction.

A long game of tennis

4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7.


Topically, David Foster Wallace writes in the NYT about Feds in 2006 - also a World Cup year:

And there’s that familiar little second of shocked silence from the New York crowd before it erupts, and John McEnroe with his color man’s headset on TV says (mostly to himself, it sounds like), “How do you hit a winner from that position?” And he’s right: given Agassi’s position and world-class quickness, Federer had to send that ball down a two-inch pipe of space in order to pass him, which he did, moving backwards, with no setup time and none of his weight behind the shot. It was impossible. It was like something out of “The Matrix.” I don’t know what-all sounds were involved, but my spouse says she hurried in and there was popcorn all over the couch and I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs.

DC Comics brings iBatman

Batman on the iPad. They’re also bringing Sandman, my favourite comic series by far. Be nice to be able to carry that around in your pocket, leaving the paper comics in pristine mint unread format on the shelf.