January 6, 2008
"My Fake Baby" is a Channel 4 documentary exploring "the lives of women who spend hundreds of pounds on life-like baby dolls. Loved like real babies, they're taken for walks, cuddled and even have their nappies changed." Parts 2, 3, 4, 5.
Dee Dee bellbottom jeans. According to a friend who lived in Tokyo recently, Dee Dee is rumored to be one of the hottest independent brands this winter, among the ultra-hip Shibuya youth. Dee Dee's shop is just a few blocks from the notorious Shibuya 109 building, the homebase of all kogals. (prev) [more inside]
Boing Boing Bingo! Via Laughing Squid, via Twitter.
Teff, a native Ethiopian grain, has been cultivated there for at least 4,000 years. Its seeds are smaller than pinheads, and can be easily scattered. Many Ethiopians eat it two to three times a day in injera bread, porridge or, of course, alcohol (pages 3-4). The grain is gluten-free and is full of essential amino acids, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. It has a short growing season and tolerance for marginal soils and drought or flood conditions, but its low comparative yield optimal sunlight conditions, and labor intensive harvest may limit the spread of the grain.
Are we recording all this, Nick? I hope we are. Right here we go... In 2005, the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was preparing a "two-way" regarding that year's VJ Day 60th anniversary commemorations. He and the interviewer Richard Evans just couldn't see eye to eye as to how the story should be covered. Luckily for us, their tetchy conversation and the fall out with the producers was recorded (transcript/mp3). Despite the vintage, it's a rather revealing behind the scenes record demonstrating the process that's often gone through to decide how news is best communicated to we listeners.
What does "globalization" look like? Princeton's searchable collection of historical maps and present-day analysis, including Artists' Travels in the Renaissance, an 1891 ethnographic chart, Telegraph Lines in 1869, Global Terrorism c. 1983, Oil reserves vs. consumption, a visualization of world development since 1960. (via)
Elyse Sewell blogs domestic abuse in her Livejournal. Previously. Think you had a shitty weekend? Nah. Why not compare it to mine? . . . On the drive home (home?) from Albuquerque to Portland, my ex-boyfriend got sh*tfaced and roughed me up in a Sacramento hotel. I escaped from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence and talked to hotel security, who called the fuzz. [more inside]
Netsuke of the Meiji Period is an online exhibit from the Los Angeles County Museum, noted for the depth of its collection. (more). The György Ráth Museum and the Ferenc Hopp Museum also house a fine classic collection. (more). Today, netsuke carving is alive and well - see the Kiho Collection for one young master. If you would like to explore more sculpture for the hand, the International Netsuke Society has a good link list to many excellent contemporary netsuke artists.
Got My Mojo Working was written by the little-known Preston Foster and first recorded in 1956 by the only slightly better-known Ann Cole. It was, of course, the Muddy Waters version that became the hit and a signature song for him: he sang it throughout his entire career, and it has become one of the best-known blues standards of all time. The song itself just has a lot of mojo, you know, so naturally plenty of others have covered it through the years: a small sampling from the YouTubes would include Carl Perkins, Willie Dixon, Elvis Presley, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, JJ Cale, Pinetop Perkins and Louis Jordan. Hell, even Bobby Darin couldn't resist the mojo!. NOTE: Check hoverovers for link descriptions. [more inside]
Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham. Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects with his bold compositions.
The China Labour Bulletin reports on the state of the worker's movement in China and sees a potential role for the official All-China Federation of Trade Unions in the light of the new Labour Contract Law that came into effect January 1. CLB director Han Dongfang has previously been less than enthusiastic about the ACFTU's potential as a genuine voice for workers. Some businesses have already moved to preempt what protections the new law offers, and despite a decade of criticism, worker abuse persists in China.
Coonskin. In 1975, animator Ralph Bakshi made a film, Coonskin, that so impressed the Museum of Modern Art that they immediately set up a special screening, causing Al Sharpton to lead the Congress of Racial Equality in surrounding the building in protest. [more inside]