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April 20, 2007
It's not just a beverage.
32 things you can do with beer. (Besides drink it.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:35 PM PST - 25 comments

Ziggy The Bagman
Ziggy the Bagman (real name Zbygnew Marian Willzek) is a 46 year old man who has long lived on the streets of Brisbane, gaining notoriety for the large collection of bags he carries with him at all times (unless they're being seized by the authorities). He's resisted all attempts to get him a home, preferring to sleep rough due to (as this interview with Ziggy relates) a desire to practice self-control of body and mind mixed with religious reasons. This is in spite of several attacks on him, every one of which he says he remembers very clearly. Although many have written of him, and created MySpace pages in his honor (though one wonder how honored Ziggy would actually be if he knew about it), he remains arguably the most well known face of Australia's growing homelessness crisis (PDF file).

It is probably quite difficult for many to imagine what it would actually be like to be homeless, although for your edification here is an excellent site detailing a day in the life of six other homeless people in six cities around the world from Australia's public broadcaster, the ABC. I'm sure Ziggy would have appeared in the movie too, but no doubt the $10 fee he would have asked for would have been too steep for the ABC.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:21 PM PST - 38 comments

The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis
The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis. In 1978, renowned structural engineer William LeMessurier discovered a mistake in his design for the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center. With hurricane season approaching, the skyscraper was in imminent danger of collapse. His handling of the situation has been praised as a "stunning example of good ethics in action" – but some disagree.
posted by smably at 9:43 PM PST - 46 comments

How do you rot? Let me count the ways.
Body Farm Background: green burial
posted by Listener at 9:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Church banishes limbo
An entire realm chained and locked shut. Who shall inherit all the lost souls? (Especially since it apparently contains everyone who died before the coming of Christ.)
posted by aletheia at 8:33 PM PST - 83 comments

Philosophy is Not Philosophy
The familiar story of 20th century philosophy is one of analytic versus continental philosophies. In spite of this, behind the exaggerated differences is the common history that these two traditions often forget. In failing to remember this common history, it's easy to forget that for all its supposed universality, philosophy is so distinctly western. It's naive to think that this narrow-mindedness is due to western intellectuals being unable to hear the wisdoms of the world over the din of their own arguments. Rather, it is only that these wordly traditions don’t have that flavour – that hardness of crystal. [more inside]
posted by Alex404 at 8:25 PM PST - 22 comments

Fr Fr Fr Fr FreshhhHHH
All this scratchin' is makin' me itch.
posted by phrontist at 6:08 PM PST - 26 comments

What Kind of World do You Want?
Five For Fighting (John Ondrasik) is pretty cool and has some good music (enbedded audio). This video, created by school kids, really rocks. You can watch and submit your own home vids for in support of some good charitable causes.
posted by snsranch at 5:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan are married
Shaadi mubarak! The most beautiful woman in the world was married today. Aishwarya Rai and Abshishek Bachchan, two of India's most popular actors, tied the knot in Mumbai, amid tight security. While a comparatively modest affair, it was not without drama. Oh, you weren't invited? Well, you can still watch the bride and groom dance -- with the father-in-law, too.
posted by Methylviolet at 5:01 PM PST - 100 comments

Boozing Broadway Style
[Joe] Namath learned to drink as a youngster, back home in Beaver Falls. You could say he developed a taste for hooch as an infant— when he got fussy while teething his mother rubbed his gums with a rag soaked in grain alcohol. (via SpoFi, another story of a great athlete/drunkard)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Make the Logo Bigger
Make the logo bigger. (mp3) The fine folks at Speak Up provide a bit more explanation. One can only assume that the follow-up hit will be entitled either 'Split the Difference' or 'The Client Loved It, But They're Changing Everything.'
posted by ba at 4:31 PM PST - 44 comments

Sigourney, Diamonds and a Big Goose
First a goose, then Sigourney and now really old diamonds. A diamond field in Northern Ontario, Canada has turned up a 1.5 Carat diamond from what is believed to be the world's oldest diamond deposit at 2.697 billion years old. The diamonds were found, of all places, just 12 kilometers from the small town of Wawa, Ontario (www.wawa.cc) - previously famous for being home to the world's biggest goose and filming location of the 2006 film Snow Cake starring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver.
posted by empatterson at 2:43 PM PST - 37 comments

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades, co-written by his son Christopher. His grandson Adam Tolkein explains how it came about. The Washington Post gives a great review.
posted by stbalbach at 1:55 PM PST - 58 comments

first they came for the pigeons but i did not speak out because i was not a pigeon
"The Pigeons Won't Know What Hit Them" Robop .: Intelligent Bird Control for the third millennium.
posted by Stynxno at 1:20 PM PST - 20 comments

The gangsters that rule Hip Hop are the same gangsters that rule our nation.
The gangsters that rule Hip Hop are the same gangsters that rule our nation. An open letter to Oprah Winfrey about misogyny and the gangsta chic in rap and hip hop, now under scrutiny in a post-Imus world. (via Poetry Foundation)
posted by John of Michigan at 12:22 PM PST - 70 comments

I Love Vermont
I Love Vermont
posted by james_cpi at 12:16 PM PST - 50 comments

More than Moore's
Shift happens. Thought-provoking, powerpoint-ish, reference-free, Friday Fun.
posted by HyperBlue at 11:43 AM PST - 48 comments

in the clouds
Rare and strange cloud formations. Mammatus, lenticular, noctilucent, nacreous, hole in the sky. Basic cloud guide.
posted by nickyskye at 10:09 AM PST - 45 comments

How rate hikes could stamp (ahem) out yr favorite zine
Last year, one of the last of the independent magazine distributors, Independent Press Association, went out of business (and took many smaller magazines along in its wake), and those who have survived, like Punk Planet, now depend on its subscription base for revenue. Now, a proposed postal hike, which favors magazines with larger circulations, could be the final nail in the coffin for some of the little guys.
posted by pfafflin at 9:07 AM PST - 26 comments

"Divergence of Interests" is one way to put it.
"The church of global free trade, which rules American politics with infallible pretensions, may have finally met its Martin Luther." A thorough summary in The Nation of the brilliant but ignored Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests by Ralph Gomory, former IBM Senior Vice President for Science and winner of the National Medal of Science. His heresy? Arguing, with supporting technical and economic data, that multinational corporations and their home countries have divergent interests in shipping skilled labor and advanced technologies overseas, and that this "divergence" is a net negative for the American economy and the American public. Globalization, he argues, has its losers, the United States paramount among them.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:53 AM PST - 76 comments

Faking It: the quest for authenticity in popular music
“We consider the 'primitive' music of blues singers such as Leadbelly to be more authentic than that of the Monkees. But all pop musicians are fakes . . . Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor . . . have turned out their personal record collections to produce a persuasive defence of inauthenticity as the defining characteristic of great popular music[.]” (via)
posted by jason's_planet at 7:58 AM PST - 144 comments

Music!
Ultimate Jukebox
posted by konolia at 7:26 AM PST - 28 comments

Women don't talk more than man after all.
The commonly held belief that women talk more than men is apparently a fabrication. The truth: "No reputable study has ever measured the widely repeated numerical comparisons that show women talking two or three times as much as men."
posted by 2shay at 7:16 AM PST - 97 comments

Venus, get your gun.
I support gun control, but for 82-year-old Miss America Venus Ramey, I make an exception. The first redhead and the only native Kentuckian ever to be Miss America, she's pretty fearsome with a snub-nosed .38.
posted by tizzie at 5:32 AM PST - 116 comments

Banksy Mural Painted Over
The Independent's headline actually uses the word 'obliterated'. I like this quote from the stuffed shirts at Travel for London - "We recognise that there are those who view Banksy's work as legitimate art, but sadly our graffiti removal teams are staffed by professional cleaners, not professional art critics." This Reuters article reckons the mural was worth £250,000. This isn't an excellent photo of the mural before it was whitewashed, but it's the only one I could find (Flickr). Do Banksy's pieces create an atmosphere of "neglect and social decay" or are they valuable pieces of art that should be preserved? These folks were so upset that the prospective buyers of their house in Bristol were going to paint over one of his pieces that they've changed the terms of sale. "The owners consider it a work of art and want it kept as it is. They came to us to help sell it as a mural with a house attached."
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:03 AM PST - 76 comments

Let's see if Jesus will bring you candy!
If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971). This film based on the pro-Jesus/anti-Commie teachings of Baptist minister Dr. Estus Washington Pirkle (3/12/1930–3/3/05) warns what will happen to America if the citizens do not give up their depraved ways and turn to God and Jesus for salvation. Fun for the whole family! Also by Reverend Pirkle: The Burning Hell & The Believer's Heaven. Good times.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:56 AM PST - 22 comments

Happy Birthday, Jack Chick!
Happy Birthday, Jack Chick! Belated Birthday Greetings! The undisputed king of kings of Christian Comic literature, the inventor of “Chick Tracts” -- Jack is 83 years young this year and still cranking out those little comics So where is the love?! Finally some films are being made of his work: "Titanic" “The Thief” "One Way" and "La Princesita" are but a few. The question remains -- Can any of these every surpass Jack’s own masterwork "The Light Of The World"
posted by Strawman at 12:32 AM PST - 62 comments