The Beatles, Kiss, MFK Fisher, Consciousness

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The Beatles: A Day In The Life

Nicholas Dawidoff | Atlantic | 18th May 2017

The Beatles song anatomised in minute and glorious detail. “Paul thought the song needed firmer resolution. Three Steinway pianos and a harmonium were rolled into action, and at every keyboard the players were instructed to hit the single chord of E major simultaneously and hard, with the sustain foot pedal down, letting it carry as long as possible. There were nine takes. The tone is so big, so capacious and resonant because Martin and Emerick thought to put the recorder on half speed” (2,300 words)

When Kiss Went To Moscow

Kate Mossman | New Statesman | 18th May 2017

Backstage and offstage with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley at Kiss’s May Day concert in Moscow. “Nothing can prepare you for the Kiss make-up transformation in the flesh, and the psychological shift it occasions in both onlooker and band. One by one a series of giant seven-foot space clowns emerges, each with a look of surprise on its face. High up the door frame of Stanley’s dressing room peers a face like a sad mime, one eye a black star, red lips pulled into a feminine pout” (4,400 words)

Slop Machine

John Semley | Eater | 16th May 2017

Bob and Janet Combs raise 6,000 hogs a year on the slops from Las Vegas casino buffets. Now they’re expanding to 25,000 hogs — and they still handle only 15% of local buffet waste. The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace is half the size of a football field. Big hotels throw out eight tons of food each day. “There’s something encouraging, even intoxicating, about the Combs mission. By managing the residual runoff of human desire itself, they make possible sustainable exuberance” (3,100 words)

In Praise Of MFK Fisher

Bee Wilson | FT | 19th May 2017

“The problem with most food writing is that it is too much about ingredients and not enough about appetite. Every time I return to MFK Fisher — and she is the most rereadable of all prose stylists — I am struck that she tells you all the vital stuff that other food writers leave out. Her books are full of private cravings. Her dinners are about disappointments, the passing of time and the thrill of laughing uncontrollably over gin and toast and caviar with a secret lover” (1,600 words)

Mind And Time

Karl Friston | Aeon | 18th May 2017

Conjecture about the nature and purpose of consciousness. “The proposal on offer here is that the mind comes into being when self-evidencing has a temporal thickness or counterfactual depth, which grounds the inferences it can make about the consequences of future actions. There’s no real reason for minds to exist; they appear to do so simply because existence itself is the end-point of a process of reasoning. Consciousness, I’d contend, is nothing grander than inference about my future” (3,900 words)

Video of the day: Animal Gaits

What to expect:

How four-legged animals walk, trot and run. A guide for animators (1’50”)

Thought for the day

Less is more only when more is too much
Frank Lloyd Wright

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