Facing up to 2020

At this late stage it's likely fair to say that most of you have clocked that this year's been a bit, well, shit. But that being the case hasn't stopped people from getting creative. UK filmmaker Peter Maynard took to still imagery for his first photographic project, Stay Home Faces, a selection of shots from which are below. Conceived after the UK was put into lockdown on March 23, Maynard's project documents this new way of life behind closed doors. The subjects were never directed, the shot never much wider than the frame, the windows always closed, a layer of glass protecting the contributors and photographer from each other, and also acting as a visible divide, echoing social distancing measures. 

"Getting out for a daily half hour walk became an essential part of my routine in the early days of lockdown. After a couple of instances of waving at neighbours as I passed by, I thought to start taking their photo. I wasn’t sure how long the lockdown would last and wanted to document it in some way. I liked the visual aesthetic of faces framed by their windows, and It was a way to stay connected with people in real life (albeit through a couple of panes of glass). Once I’d taken a few, word spread and I started getting contacted by local volunteers, it became a little daily event that I look forward to amongst the plethora of Zoom calls."

Essentially, Stay Home Faces is a portrait of 2020. You can follow @stayhomefaces on Instagram.

Click image to enlarge

Code read

Fans of late-60s true crime or underrated David Fincher films rejoice, as code-breakers have managed to crack a 340-character cipher 51 years after it was purportedly sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by Zodiac Killer.

As covered on the BBC, the solution was posted onto the YouTube account of Virginia web-designer David Oranchak, who says he cracked the cipher along with Australian applied mathematician Sam Blake and Belgian Jarl Van Eycke, a warehouse manager and code-breaking software engineer.

Just to add credibility, the FBI later tweeted confirming the code-breaking achievement, and said it continued to seek justice for those killed.

Famiglia Fundraiser

The Sopranos, the iconic 1999 mafia crime series starring James Gandolfini as the Jersey mob boss, has been a lockdown solace for original and new fans alike. Forgoing getting deep on that final episode, some good news for Sopranos superfans has arrived. The show’s cast and crew are set to partake in a special livestream reunion this Friday (December 18), during which they’ll read a new sketch by its creators.

As reported over at DAZED, Former cast members Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Robert Iler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Drea de Matteo, Tim Van Patten, Steve Schirripa, Maureen Van Zandt, and Steven Van Zandt will come together on Twitch to raise money for non-profit Friends of Firefighters, which offers mental health services to former and active New York City firefighters.

Buona fortuna!

Conjunction junction, what's your function

Soon, (on December 21st to be exact) a celestial formation will appear for the first time in 800 years. Saturn and Jupiter, the two largest planets in our solar system, will align in the night sky, forming a mysterious and rare 'double planet.' NASA has produced a video explaining how to view the conjunction, and Mashable has added some great facts and tips. If you want to see Jupiter's four moons, it's possible, but grab a telescope before heading out to watch the planets align. This can't be an omen, right? One last gaff before 2021? No?