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Links for the Day: Leaked NYT Innovation Report, Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist, Louie Starts Necessary Conversation, Arcade Fire “We Exist” Video, & More

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Links for the Day: Leaked NYT Innovation Report, Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist, Louie Starts Necessary Conversation, Arcade Fire “We Exist” Video, & More

1. “The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age.” It’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shift to digital—even in one of the world’s greatest newsrooms. Read it.

“I confess I didn’t feel anything quite so revelatory when I read last week’s leaked version—which read like an indoor-voice summary, expected and designed to be leaked to the broader world. This fuller version is quite different—it’s raw. (Or at least as raw as digital strategy documents can get.) You can sense the frayed nerves and the frustration at a newsroom that is, for all its digital successes, still in many ways oriented toward an old model. It’s journalists turning their own reporting skills on themselves.”

2. “Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist.” Yes, your gluten sensitivity may be in your head.

“Analyzing the data, Gibson found that each treatment diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Reported pain, bloating, nausea, and gas all increased over the baseline low-FODMAP diet. Even in the second experiment, when the placebo diet was identical to the baseline diet, subjects reported a worsening of symptoms! The data clearly indicated that a nocebo effect, the same reaction that prompts some people to get sick from wind turbines and wireless signals, was at work here. Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn’t the culprit; the cause was likely psychological. Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did. The finding led Gibson to the opposite conclusion of his 2011 research: ’In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten.’ Instead, as RCS reported last week, FODMAPS are a far more likely cause of the gastrointestinal problems attributed to gluten intolerance. Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist at Monash University and lead author of the study alongside Gibson, noted that when participants consumed the baseline low-FODMAP diet, almost all reported that their symptoms improved!”

3. “Fat Woman Talking” Libby Hill on how Louie starts a necessary conversaion.

“In this way, ’So Did The Fat Lady’ ventures into territory rarely explored in pop culture: what it is to be a fat woman existing in a society that views her as less than. In the episode, a lovely, funny, overweight waitress named Vanessa (Sarah Baker) romantically pursues Louie to less than ideal ends. During her pursuit, Vanessa is revealed to be a fully formed, fully realized person; smart and capable; independent and motivated; stepping out of the fat girl holding cell populated entirely with Funny Best Friends and blazing a new trail: She is the Manic Pixie Fat Girl. And for good reason. Vanessa is written in the most droll and likable way because C.K. wants to make it perfectly clear that the reason she is rejected is because of her size. Not even being the platonic ideal is enough when you’re an overweight woman.”

4. “Why Today’s Best Horror Films Come from Australia.” Calum Marsh on how the land down under has become the source of some of the most striking horror films of late.

“Oddly enough, however, the most significant boon to the genre’s credibility would arrive in the form of a re-release of the 1971 film Wake in Fright. The long-lost cult classic, a harrowing psychological thriller by First Blood director Ted Kotcheff, was re-released in 2012 by indie distributor Drafthouse Films, whose celebrated efforts to return the film to public view brought with it an influx of publicity and attention. It also suddenly seemed apparent that Wake in Fright’s blistering portrayal of the outback and the anxieties that curdle under the sweltering Australian sun constituted the principal antecedent of the Aussie horror movement.”

5. “Still Radioactive and Spoiling for a Fight.” Godzilla, Grandaddy of Movie Monsters, Stomps Back.

“Godzilla shows up fairly late in the new movie that bears his name, and he also shows his age. Though this gigantic monster is, within the film’s own mythico-scientific terms, the long-slumbering reminder of a primordial, prehuman age, by the calendar of popular culture, he’s a baby boomer. And now, roughly 60 years after he first appeared (as Gojira in the still unsurpassed, recently restored Japanese original), everybody’s favorite skyscraper stomper is exhibiting some familiar generational traits. He seems grumpy and underslept, as well as thicker around the jowls and midriff. And though he arrives dragging the usual heavy allegorical baggage, you can detect a trace of wistful worry in his rampages, as if he had begun to doubt his own relevance.”

Video of the Day: Arcade Fire’s “We Exist” music video starring Andrew Garfield:

Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to ed@slantmagazine.com and to converse in the comments section.

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Let Your Sanity Go on Vacation with a Trip to the Moons of Madness

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

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Moons of Madness
Photo: Rock Pocket Games

The announcement trailer for Moons of Madness opens with an empty shot of the Invictus, a research installation that’s been established on Mars. The camera lingers over well-lit but equally abandoned corridors, drifting over a picture of a family left millions of kilometers behind on Earth before finally settling on the first-person perspective of Shane Newehart, an engineer working for the Orochi Group. Fans of a different Funcom series, The Secret World, will instantly know that something’s wrong. And sure enough, in what may be the understatement of the year, Newehart is soon talking about how he “seems to have a situation here”—you know, what with all the antiquated Gothic hallways, glitching cameras, and tentacled creatures that start appearing before him.

As with Dead Space, it’s not long before the station is running on emergency power, with eerie whispers echoing through the station and bloody, cryptic symbols being scrawled on the walls. Did we mention tentacles? Though the gameplay hasn’t officially been revealed, this brief teaser suggests that players will have to find ways both to survive the physical pressures of this lifeless planet and all sorts of sanity-challenging supernatural occurrences, with at least a soupçon of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmicism thrown in for good measure.

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

Rock Pocket Games will release Moons of Madness later this year.

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Watch: Two Episode Trailers for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Reboot

Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes.

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The Twilight Zone
Photo: CBS All Access

Jordan Peele is sitting on top of the world—or, at least, at the top of the box office, with his sophomore film, Us, having delivered (and then some) on the promise of his Get Out. Next up for the filmmaker is the much-anticipated reboot of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, which the filmmaker executive produced and hosts. Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” In the former, Kumail Nanjiani stars as the eponymous comedian, who agonizingly wrestles with how far he will go for a laugh. And in the other, a spin on the classic “Nightmare at 20,0000 Feet” episode of the original series starring William Shatner, Adam Scott plays a man locked in a battle with his paranoid psyche. Watch both trailers below:

The Twilight Zone premieres on April 1.

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Scott Walker Dead at 76

Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde.

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Scott Walker
Photo: 4AD

American-born British singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Scott Walker, who began his career as a 1950s-style chanteur in an old-fashioned vocal trio, has died at 76. In a statement from his label 4AD, the musician, born Noel Scott Engel, is celebrated for having “enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of the Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”

Walker was born in Hamilton, Ohio on January 9, 1943 and earned his reputation very early on for his distinctive baritone. He changed his name after joining the Walker Brothers in the early 1960s, during which time the pop group enjoyed much success with such number one chart hits as “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

The reclusive Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde. Walker, who was making music until his death, received much critical acclaim with 2006’s Drift and 2012’s Bish Bosch, as well as with 2014’s Soused, his collaboration with Sunn O))). He also produced the soundtrack to Leos Carax’s 1999 romantic drama Pola X and composed the scores for Brady Corbet’s first two films as a director, 2016’s The Childhood of a Leader and last year’s Vox Lux.

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