Monday, January 31, 2011
The New Yorker has long profile of Guillermo del Toro. His childhood is a fairy tale itself:
In 1971, Guillermo del Toro, the film director, was a seven-year-old misfit in Guadalajara, Mexico. He liked to troll the city sewers and dissolve slugs with salt. One day, in the magazine aisle of a supermarket, he came upon a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He bought it, and was so determined to decode Ackerman’s pun-strewed prose—the letters section was called Fang Mail—that he quickly became bilingual.
Del Toro was a playfully morbid child. One of his first toys, which he still owns, was a plush werewolf that he sewed together with the help of a great-aunt. In a tape recording made when he was five, he can be heard requesting a Christmas present of a mandrake root, for the purpose of black magic. His mother, Guadalupe, an amateur poet who read tarot cards, was charmed; his father, Federico, a businessman whom del Toro describes, fondly, as “the most unimaginative person on earth,” was confounded. Confounding his father became a lifelong project.
Before del Toro started school, his father won the Mexican national lottery. Federico built a Chrysler-dealership empire with the money, and moved the family into a white modernist mansion. Little Guillermo haunted it. He raised a gothic menagerie: hundreds of snakes, a crow, and white rats that he sometimes snuggled with in bed. Del Toro has kept a family photograph of him and his sister, Susana, both under ten and forced into polyester finery. Guillermo, then broomstick-thin, has added to his ensemble plastic vampire fangs, and his chin is goateed with fake blood. Susana’s neck has a dreadful gash, courtesy of makeup applied by her brother. He still remembers his old tricks. “Collodion is material used to make scars,” he told me. “You put a line on your face, and it contracts and pulls the skin. As a kid, I’d buy collodion in theatrical shops, and I’d scar my face and scare the nanny.”
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Article by Katie Baker about the time she spent pretending to be an older woman on message boards:
Then it catches your eye — a black hat pulled down low on the head of a guy sitting offset from everyone else near the top of the stands. His posture is furtive, with none of the easy languor of the rest of the crowd. That, and the hat. A black Flyers hat. Him. Au Revoire. He is here, at your game, in the room, in the stands, in your life, in your real life, in the life that you haven't made up. He is sitting 3 feet from your babbling friends and about 15 from your parents, who smile and wave at you, their daughter, their athletic and whipsmart and promising daughter. They can tell that you're looking their way by the tilt of your helmet, but they can't see past it to the red in your face and the fear in your eyes.
I'd been careful, I thought. How had he possibly tracked me right down to the opening minutes of a high school hockey game? I assumed it was via the sleuthing of two women on the newsgroup, the ones going by Nastyflyersgirl and Starr.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
"The popular Arab sport of camel racing has been thrown into disrepute by the revelation that the animals have been artificially whipped with electric stun-guns to make them run faster"
Dubai police have confirmed they uncovered a gang of dealers who were selling electric stun gun kits, for up to £5,000, across the region.
These were then being fitted inside the robot jockeys, which cost between £130-£200, that in recent years have largely replaced child jockeys, traditionally used in camel racing, due to humanitarian concerns.