September 2021

Page turner

The life of this scribe is a real page-turner

It was the night of the Tony Awards. Actor, singer, writer and activist Alan Cumming had just received a Tony for his performance as emcee in the 1998 revival of “Cabaret”. He was in the press room, giving sound clips to the media.

In the middle of an interview, “A hand appeared on my left shoulder, a large body joined it on my right,” writes Cumming, who was born and raised in rural Scotland, writes in his new memoirs ” Baggage: Tales From a Fully Packaged life.

For a second, Cumming thought he was being assaulted. But the stranger hugging him was Sean Connery, another Scotsman, known to have played James Bond. Connery had won a Tony as the producer of the play “Art”. Connery, looking at the cameras, said of Cumming: “He’s my new son.”

He took ecstasy that night at the Tonys, Cumming reveals in “Baggage.” The medication for him was “my self-prescribed anti-anxiety medication,” Cumming writes, “And it worked.”

For most of us, winning a Tony for an acclaimed cover of “Cabaret” would be just a fantasy. For Cumming, winning the prestigious award is just one of many accomplishments.

Walt Whitman said it contained multitudes. Cumming, 56, who is bisexual and married to illustrator Grant Shaffer, is Whitman on Octane.

Cumming is a mathematician. He has appeared in numerous films, plays and television shows. He wrote two children’s books; a novel; a book of photographs and stories; and the memoir “Not My Father’s Son”.

His film roles range from the James Bond film “GoldenEye” to “Eyes Wide Shut” to the “Spy Kids” trilogy. Cumming won the Olivier, BAFTA and Emmy for his work on stage and on screen. On the London stage, Cumming has performed in “Hamlet”, “Bent” and other plays.

He has appeared in “Threepenny Opera” and “Design for Living” on Broadway. Cumming created and appeared in his solo adaptation of “Macbeth”.

On television, he is known for playing Eli Gold in “The Good Wife” and Dylan Reinhart in “Instinct”, the first television drama to air to have a main gay character. Recently, Cumming played Mayor Aloysius Menlove on the Apple TV + show “Schmigadoon!”

All of this would exhaust most of us. But Cumming has energy to spare. He hosts the podcast “Alan Cumming’s Shelves” and is the amateur bartender at Club Cumming in New York.

Cumming is known for his advocacy for LGBTQ rights. He has worked for marriage equality in Scotland and with the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ organizations.

In 2009, Cumming was named OBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List. In “Baggage,” Cumming writes that he received this honor for his work for LGBT rights. Cumming’s first memoir “Not My Father’s Son” is the story of his heartbreaking childhood. Growing up, Cumming suffered physical and psychological abuse and violence from his father. In the memories, Cumming grapples with secrecy and shame and the post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by his father’s sadistic treatment of him. “There is never any shame in being open and honest,” he writes.

“Baggage” tells many entertaining stories of showbiz. Who wouldn’t want to hear the stories of a writer whose friends include Liza (as in Liza with a Z)?

Still, “Baggage” isn’t some tasteless celebrity concoction from Tinsel Town. In “Baggage,” Cumming examines his relationships with his family, loved ones, and himself. It begins with her divorce from actress Hilary Lyon and ends with her marriage to Shaffer.

Cumming, who has dual UK / US citizenship, spoke to the Blade over the phone on a range of topics from “baggage” to politics to Helen Mirren on board the crocs.

Cumming was delighted with the positive response to “Not My Father’s Son”. He was happy that readers felt his words helped them confront the people who had mistreated them and “reckon” with their shame.

But, Cumming feared people would think he had “overcome” the despair caused by his father’s abuse. That he would never encounter this trauma again.

“I wrote ‘Baggage’,” Cumming said, “to overcome this idea of ​​triumph.”

“You don’t actually recover,” he added, “you do. You always have to manage it. “

Cumming is witty and exudes hope. But, he’s worried about what the future might bring to LGBTQ and women’s rights. The election of Joe Biden as president “was a real reprieve,” Cumming said, “but the way we’re heading, things could go the other way at any time.”

We need to be vigilant, Cumming said. “Women’s rights – with what’s going on with abortion in Texas – are in real danger,” he said.

But life isn’t all worries for Cumming.

There is his work. In 2022, he will continue to perform “Och and Oy! A Considered Cabaret ”with Ari Shapiro of NPR. He shoots the film “Rare Objects” with Katie Holmes.

And there are his friends. “Liza is adorable,” Cumming said of her friend Liza Minnelli. One day, Cumming was rehearsing with Minnelli. Along with Joel Gray, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera and other celebrities, they were going to say hello to the songwriting team Kander and Ebb.

They were going to perform Minnelli’s signature song “New York, New York”. “It looked so easy,” Cumming said, “But I couldn’t understand Liza’s dance moves. First, Liza tried to help me.

But without success. “Then Chita came to help me,” Cumming said, “it was overwhelming to have two legends trying to teach me.”

After these failed attempts, Minnelli told him, “Oh, honey, make it yours!”

There was a time when Cumming made Helen Mirren see the light on Crocs. He was in Hawaii filming “The Tempest” with Mirren. “We were in the desert. I would wear my Crocs, ”he said,“ she said my Crocs were ugly. “

“I said, ‘Helen, that’s fair enough. But when I say things are ugly, I use my inner voice, ”Cumming added.

A few weeks later, Cumming saw Mirren. She wore Crocs. “She said she was wearing flip flops and they hurt her feet. Now she loved Crocs.

“I told him ‘you were an enemy, now you are a lover,’ added Cumming, ‘that’s a beautiful thing.’

Cumming is currently on a UK book tour. The tour stops in Miami on November 20; Chicago on November 21 and several other US cities through spring 2022. For more information on Cumming’s new book, visit

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Page turner

Nickolas Butler’s Debut Novel Set Outside of Wisconsin Is a Suspenseful Page Turner | Entertainment

“Godspeed” is the first novel by Nickolas Butler, author of Eau Claire, to be set outside of Wisconsin.


GENA KITTNER For the State Journal

Popular Wisconsin author Nickolas Butler is delivering another page turner this fall, but with a few deviations from his usual style.

Not only is his latest, “Godspeed” more suspenseful than his other works, it is also the first of his books to take place outside of Wisconsin. The book centers on a trio of men – longtime friends – who together start a construction business outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The three land a once-in-a-lifetime job in a multi-million dollar home that could be their make – or their loss. Butler is one of many authors planning in-person events at this fall’s Wisconsin Book Festival.

Q: How does it feel to have published it?

A: I feel good. I feel like this was the book I wanted to write at this point in my life. Seems more timely to me now than when I wrote it, as the housing market keeps getting hotter.

Q: The housing market, class conflicts, wealth disparities are all issues addressed in this book which centers around three entrepreneurs trying to complete a mansion building in four months – on Christmas Day – in order to receive a substantial bonus. Have you done any construction or had a house built?

A: The house I am telling you about today my wife and I paid to have it built in 2013. We lived on the site in another structure (during construction) so every day I would wake up and see what was going on. go on and talk to the guys who would be working on the house. We had friends in common. They were very candid with me about the ups and downs of their lives. I’m not a particularly DIY guy, but I was definitely connected to this process of being with these guys and they helped inform the book, without a doubt.

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Page layout

How to organize your webpage layout with the box template

CSS margin, frontier, and padding Properties are used on any HTML element to create a unique effect. They work together to make sure your web page is organized and presentable.

Of these three properties, the frontier The property may look more familiar as it is usually easily identified on a web page. However, using the frontier the property would not look as presentable as it would on most websites if the developer had not also changed the padding and margin Properties.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn about the box model and how each of its layers works together to organize website content.

What is the CSS box template?

The CSS box template is basically a box that encloses every HTML element. The box model consists of four layers (as you can see in the image below), and each layer has a unique purpose.

Box model

The first layer is in the center of the box model. This is the position given to each HTML element. In the picture above the auto x auto the value is currently displayed from the center position, but this value will be replaced by the width x height of each HTML element.


The padding The property is located between the HTML element and the frontier property, and the margin the property is located on the exterior side of the frontier goods. The padding and frontier properties usually do not have visible defaults for a given CSS element. However, a flaw margin the value of the property is on some HTML elements, namely the p element — which defaults to 16px on top and bottom.

Using the CSS margin property

The margin property has four sub-properties, namely high margin, right-margin, low margin, and left-margin. These properties are used individually to create the margin size on a specific side of an item, or as a group just using the shortcut margin goods.

Margin ownership structure

Selector {
margin: margin-top margin-right margin-left margin-bottom;

The example above represents the basic structure of the margin goods. The first value in the value stack assigned to the margin The property targets the top, the second value targets the right, the third targets the left, and the fourth targets the bottom of an item.

Related: How to Target Part of a Webpage Using CSS Selectors

Example of using the margin property

margin: 20px 10px 20px 10px;

The above code effectively assigns a margin of 20px on top, 10px on the right, 20px on the bottom and 10px on the left of all p items on a specific web page. However, the same effect as the above code produced can be achieved with less code:

margin: 20px 10px;

The above code will produce the same result as the previous code snippet. The first value assigned to margin the property will target the top and bottom, and the second value will target the right and left sides of all p elements on a web page.

If there is a case where the margin that should be assigned to all four sides of an HTML element is the same, you can use the following code to achieve this:

margin: 20px;

The above code assigns a margin 20px on all four sides of the p elements on a web page.

Unpack the CSS border property

In the CSS box template, the frontier property is the third layer. As margin, the frontier The property has several sub-properties that you can use in a stack value. But, unlike the margin property, not all frontier sub-properties must be present for the frontier property to function properly. There is only one property that must be present: the border style goods.

Basic border property structure example

border: border-style;

The border style The property in the example above can take the form of one of several values. For example, if you want a solid frontier around all the paragraphs on your web page, the following code may help:

border: solid;

The frontier The property also allows a developer to target specific sides of an HTML element with the following four sub-properties:

  • border-left
  • border-right
  • high border
  • Bottom border

If there is a case where you need to place a frontier on only one side of an item, you can use the appropriate subproperty from the list above.

Unpacking the border-style property

Although not always visible, each HTML element is surrounded by the frontier goods. Your inability to see the frontier in some cases, this is because the default value of the border style the property is null. You can assign many different values ​​to the border style property, some of the most popular being:

Using the border property with a stack value

Three values ​​can be assigned to the frontier property to get a specific result. These values ​​are the border width, border style, and border color Properties. Therefore, if you want to create a solid red frontier around a paragraph that is 2px wide, the following code will accomplish this:

border: 2px solid red;

You can also use the stack value on one side of an item by replacing the frontier in the example above with the sub property that targets the appropriate side. For example, if you want to target only the left side of all paragraphs with the same stack value above, you can simply replace “border” in the example above with the “border-left” property.

Using the CSS Padding property

CSS padding property is very similar to the margin goods. The padding the property has four sub-properties, padding above, padding-right, padding-stockings, and fill-left. You can use each sub-property individually or feed them as a stack value in the padding goods.

As margin, if only two values ​​are assigned to the padding property, the first will target the top and bottom sides of the element, and the second will target the left and right sides. If only one value is provided, all sides will have the same padding Cut.

The following three sets of code will produce the same result on all p elements on a web page.

Using four padding values

padding: 20px 20px 20px 20px;

Using two padding values

padding: 20px 20px;

Using a padding value

padding: 20px 20px;

Using the CSS Box Model

Using the frontier, margin, and padding properties will help you organize your web page, regardless of the page type. Here’s how to use them in tandem:

Basic HTML document example

The Box Model

Heading One

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit.
Impedit rem recusandae id est. Rem, quod odio. Doloremque nemo libero,
fuga suscipit dignissimos soluta iusto ullam ducimus rerum labore necessitatibus facilis.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit.
Impedit rem recusandae id est. Rem, quod odio. Doloremque nemo libero,
fuga suscipit dignissimos soluta iusto ullam ducimus rerum labore necessitatibus facilis.

Heading Two

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit.
Impedit rem recusandae id est. Rem, quod odio. Doloremque nemo libero,
fuga suscipit dignissimos soluta iusto ullam ducimus rerum labore necessitatibus facilis.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit.
Impedit rem recusandae id est. Rem, quod odio. Doloremque nemo libero,
fuga suscipit dignissimos soluta iusto ullam ducimus rerum labore necessitatibus facilis.

Related: Best Sites for Quality HTML Coding Examples

The above code will produce the following output in the browser:

Basic layout of the html document

The image above shows two div elements each containing a title and a paragraph. Each div the element has a margin, frontier, and padding of 0px, width of 1042px and height of 112,438px as you can see in the box template below.

Box template of a default div

Using the frontier The property provides a clearer perspective of what is happening on the page.

Using the border property

border: solid;

Using the CSS code above will produce the following output in your browser:

Using the border property

Now that the frontier The property is visible, it has a default width of 3px, as seen in the box template below.

Box template using the border property

As you can see from the box model above, the margin the property is outside frontier. Therefore, you can use it to create a space between the two div elements.

Using the margin property

border: solid;
margin: 20px;

Presentation margin with the above code will create the following output in your browser:

Using the margin property

It’s a little better, isn’t it? There is sufficient space between the div elements. All sides of each div element now have a margin of 20px, as you can see in the box template below.

Box model using the margin property

You can now focus on the inside of the border, where the padding property falls into the box model.

Using the padding property

border: solid;
margin: 20px;
padding: 10px;

The above code will produce the following output in your browser:

Using the padding property

As you can see in the image above, the text inside the border has now moved away from the edges due to the padding goods. The box model below shows that all the layers in the box model are now in use.

Experiment with CSS properties

You now have an understanding of the box model and how each element in it works together to achieve a specific result. You can try to assign a stack value to the frontier property and modify the frontier color to red, or you can replace the frontier property with its border-left sub-property and see what happens.

There are plenty of other CSS properties to explore, and with the CSS cheat sheet you can experiment with each one.

Screenshot of examples of CSS properties used in a code snippet
The CSS3 essential properties cheat sheet

Master essential CSS syntax with our CSS3 properties cheat sheet.

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About the Author

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Page turner

New ‘the Pale Tiger’ page turner is a thrilling tale of stylish spies

Although they recently got acquainted, author Mike Harrison and illustrator Darren Greenblatt quickly hit it off, both in person and on the pages of Harrison’s The Pale Tiger. The novel, which warns of too real a prospect of war between the United States and China, is a genre of thriller you should not miss. While Harrison’s breadth of knowledge and insight made history, Greenblatt brought the words to life with his fashion-focused sketches. The result? A stylish story that will keep you going from start to finish.

Mike Harrison (author)

Mike Harrison (Courtesy)

What’s your pitch for the book?
In a severe storm in the South China Sea, an American warship and a Chinese warship collide. Was it an accident? Or is it the prelude to Operation Pale Tiger, a legendary Chinese plot to bring America to its knees. Emma Wilson, an elite MI6 agent, is sent to Hong Kong, behind one of the executives of Crator Capital, a major London hedge fund believed to have high-profile ties to the Chinese government. Back in London, the bizarre death of a Crator Capital analyst catches the attention of Detective Anne Perry. Unbeknownst to them, they are caught in the eye of the same storm and will need all of their courage and skill to stay alive as they are drawn into the murderous world of The Pale Tiger.


How long did the book in preparation last?
From first strike to last, it took a year, once I assembled the character cast and worked out the plots!

What was the starting point of the story?
I wanted to bring the characters to life, especially my two protagonists, Emma and Anne. I wanted to place the story in the context of a real and relevant geopolitical crisis. How America deals with the rise of China is the great power challenge of the 21st century. I remember reading a headline about a near miss between American and Chinese warships in the South China Sea. I started to think, “Someday the crash will be real, and what could happen next?” “

What role does fashion play in the novel?
What Emma and Anne wear is more often implied than described. Take Anne, she’s an experienced detective and used to showing authority and confidence. The Max Mara cape really captures how Anne’s look is both eye-catching and modest at the same time. The ambiance of the Ralph Lauren trench coat is timeless “London copper”. But there is another side to Anne, which can be seen when she is at her home in West London. She can exchange her street-smart side for the calm of her Barnes cuisine and the warm sweetness of Brunello Cucinelli. Emma, ​​like all elite MI6 agents, is a chameleon. The Burberry leopard print coat is camouflage in a literal and metaphorical sense. She could be anything or anyone, blending into her relaxed elegance. There is a time to hide and a time to do, and Emma in the Stella McCartney coat exudes threat as much as style. She might be on the angels’ side, but she can play hard if she has to. We rarely see Emma on leave in the book, but then is an MI6 agent ever on leave? The Armani costume looks great at an aperitif, but Emma being Emma, ​​it won’t be that simple. She looks like she’s having a good time, but she’s there for a reason, and her prey won’t see her coming.

What made Darren Greenblatt the perfect collaborator to illustrate the book?
We were talking about the two main characters and thought it would be fun to imagine how Emma and Anne would express themselves in a fashion setting, bringing them to life in a different setting. Darren’s work is incredibly original and really captures something of both.

And the book will become a movie!
I recently finished the script with writer / director Niall Johnson, whose credits include White Noise, Keeping Mum, Mum’s List and The Stolen. We had a great time working to bring the story to life for the big screen, led by executive producer Gareth Jones (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Secretary, Damascus Cover and Boiling Point). We are very excited!

Do you think the fictional script for your novel could happen in real life?
Absolutely it could! And the scary thing is that it might not be that hard to get out of it, as you can read in my book.

You are on London time! What do you like most about city life?
I was born here, so the place is in my blood. I love that it’s a global city. People come from all over the world to settle in London. This is what gives the place its energy. And I love humor. Ultimately, Londoners can always laugh at themselves. I also love the weather, believe it or not. Wouldn’t it be boring if it was too sunny, right?

Darren Greenblatt (illustrator)

What made you explore fashion through art?
I was a college girl in Bucks County, PA designing all of my friends’ future wedding / prom dresses, so my career didn’t surprise anyone. What’s most exciting to me is that hand-drawn fashion illustrations seem to be making a comeback. Maybe this is a reaction to all the computer generated art out there!

How was it working on this novel with Mike Harrison?
Mike has been great to work with. He is creative, intelligent and has a strong sense of who his characters are. We talked about Emma and Anne’s life, their likes and dislikes, how their jobs and their locations help define who they are and what they wear. Then I would send her runway images of designer looks that I thought would be in their closets. While the novel isn’t a “fashion story” per se, there’s no denying that fashion choices can help define a character and set a mood.

You’ve also worked with designers, like Betsey Johnson and Fiorucci. And you have created your own handbags!
I have had a long and winding career and have worn several hats. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you do whatever needs to be done to make your vision come true. Flexibility is the key, while staying true to yourself. It’s definitely a dance. Looking at all of my work, I now see that the common thread has been to try to help make life more beautiful through the power of good design.

What have you been up to recently?
I left New York after 26 years and moved with my husband and daughter to Princeton, New Jersey. I received some attention for my interior design of our new home. As with everything I have done throughout my career, things have evolved organically into other things – so I started a small business, Princeton Creative services, addressing what I enjoy doing the most, which includes residential and hotel interior design, illustration and painting.

Something exciting about the works?
I have been busy for the past few months. I illustrated a new book by Jeremy Murphy released in March titled F ** k Off, Chloe — Surviving the OMGs! and FML! in your media career. I also worked on the interior design of two locations in Princeton, a chic apartment near DC and a fantastic bungalow in LA (yay for Zoom!). And I spent hours a day painting, which was deeply rewarding and inspiring.

Written by Julia Oakes

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Page turner

Mao is a predictable yet enchanting page turner

Mao Book review 1

There aren’t many mangaka as revered or successful as Rumiko Takahashi. His designs have defined entire generations with classics like Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2, and now she’s back with a new, but decidedly familiar, shounen series dubbed Mao. While this first volume is brief, it sets the stage for a compelling old-fashioned tale of time travel, demonic curses, yokai, and the awakening of great power from within.

The story is told through the eyes of Nanoka, a high school student who miraculously survived a tragic road collapse that claimed the lives of both of her parents years before. As a result, she grew up with a fragile constitution and very few strong memories of that fateful day.

Fast-forward eight years later and as she walks home to her grandfather’s house, she stops at the crash site, which is right in front of a shopping mall today abandoned. Hearing strange sounds from inside brings her in, and before she knows it, Nanoka is suddenly transported to another world and abruptly attacked by a bloodthirsty yokai. Enter Mao, the titular exorcist who heals her after the encounter and ultimately reveals that she has stepped 100 years in the past – and that she may not be as human as she once thought.


For better and for worse, Mao throws readers into the thick of the action without too much time spent fleshing out Nanoka’s personality outside of her aloof attitude at school and physical weakness. On the one hand, it sets the stage for the action and fun group dynamics that Nanoka ultimately establishes with Mao and his assistant Otoya. In contrast, as readers barely get a chance to know her, Nanoka ends up being rather bland and uninteresting for the majority of the volume. The role she plays is akin to that of a virgin protagonist in a video game; she always gets things explained to herself and reacts to her surroundings rather than being her own distinct person. Nine times out of ten, the real stars of the show are Mao and the Otoya doll, both of whom are tropey but interesting nonetheless.

Fortunately, the overall plot is compelling enough on its own to make this first volume a page turner. Mao’s tireless quest to find the Byouki who cursed him hundreds of years ago is a classic yet powerful hook that quickly establishes an end goal while simultaneously linking Mao and Nanoka in a predictable yet exciting way. It also makes sense of the series of murder mysteries the trio begin to investigate: Mao has been hunting down the Byouki for ages, and Nanoka fits perfectly into the team as the precious third. The fact that she ends up doing research and forming her own motivation for wanting to hunt down the monster only strengthens their motivation even more.

While the pace seems a bit rushed at times, Takahashi does an admirable job of keeping readers invested in learning both the mystery behind the curse of the Byouki and the moment-to-moment adventures of the crew. This is in part thanks to the fantastic design of the monsters; The Byouki and all the other yokai look really intimidating and fearsome despite how difficult they might be.

Mao Byouki

For as nice as Mao is chapter by chapter, however, a few problems have already arisen in this first volume. The first is the speed with which Mao spoils her eventual romance. Fans of Takahashi’s previous works might have guessed right off the bat, but there still could have been a playful “Will they, won’t they” dynamic between Mao and Nanoka if their romance was inferred rather than outright declared. The worst part is that there is absolutely no romantic development in this first volume, which makes the framing totally unnecessary when it could have been a smooth and gradual build over time. It’s not a compromise, and it remains to be seen how well the relationship is handled as the series continues, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless that could have been easily avoided.

The other misstep is how Mao quickly asserts himself as immortal, largely removing the stakes from any battle he participates in. casually letting enemies attack him once he loses interest in the fight takes some of the excitement out of every encounter. Thankfully, Nanoka starting to awaken her own abilities at the end of the first volume gives some hope that future fights will have more stakes.


The start of Mao looks like the start of a great adventure that Rumiko Takahashi could have conceived of decades ago. His art style is more distinct and striking than ever, although it may seem a bit bland or mellow to young manga readers accustomed to the more bombastic and detailed action sequences that are preferred today. For those in the mood for a nostalgic action-adventure series that’s unabashedly old-school and traditional, however, Mao may be exactly what you are looking for.

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