December 15, 2008
In Mamas Kitchen was born in the experience of living in New York where a bodega exists within blocks of a Jewish deli which is around the corner from an Italian salumeria which shares space with Chinatown which abuts Soho's gourmet stores. While this speaks of the legendary variety available in New York, it also tells of similarity, for in every bodega, every salumeria is someone shopping for the food that sustains physical life with a recipe that nourishes our hearts.
Codpaste is a 14-part podcast about the history and practice of sound collage and mashups. A collaboration between Vicki Bennett (People Like Us, previously) and Ergo Phizmiz (previously), Codpaste is an entertaining and instructive wander through such topics as cartoon music, Negativland, easy listening, and William S. Burroughs. There's even a curriculum [30mb pdf] to go with it! Most episodes are about 30 minutes long, feature the same editing techniques and sound sources that they discuss, and are enhanced by Ergo and Vicki's wonderfully quaint accents.
Fuel Economy: The MPG illusion. Quick, which of the following reduces gas consumption more? a) trading in a 33 mpg car for a fuel-sipping 50-mpg car b) trading in a 14 mpg SUV for a 16-mpg SUV hybrid. Answer: They are both roughly the same. This not surprising once you apply a little math. "Miles per gallon is a ratio. Gas consumed is an inverse of that ratio. A ratio and its inverse do not have a linear relationship. They have a curvilinear one."
Modesty Blaise has been my childhood heroine, ever since I was old enough to read the daily strip in the comics section of the newspaper. As she and Willie Garvin swashbuckled their way through adventures, she was a role model unlike any other woman I'd known. Books and movies about her were popular in my youth. Now, decades later, the entire series is being offered in print, as a series of graphic novels each containing three full stories using the original artworks accompanied by the author Peter O'Donnell's commentary and thoughts, including 'censored' strips like one in issue #12 . He was also the creator of my other favourite comic, Garth.
Just in time for Christmas, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity brings you the Clean Coal Carolers! Their repertoire includes such classics as Frosty the Coal Man, Deck the Halls (with Clean Coal), Clean Coal Night, and Oh Technology. Of course, the Scrooge-like bosses of the ACCCE, suffering from an incredible lack of Christmas spirit, took the Carolers off their website only a couple of days after they were posted — but thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can still revel in the festive sounds of the season. [more inside]
Out of Sight : Photographer Sarah Wilson photographs the prom at Texas' School for the Blind & Visually Impaired. [via] [more inside]
Musical Fruitcake. Almost all Christmas songs are a little schlocky. But some are even worse than that.
Jon Swift, satirist blogger (previously on MeFi), has identified an important new school of film criticism. He calls it Derrièrism—since all schools of film criticism must have French names—and asserts that the main criteria a movie should be judged by is whether the viewer's ass shifts in his or her seat while watching it. He claims Derrièrism is on the rise, citing Andrew Breitbart's soon-to-be-launched Big Hollywood, a site that will include film reviews and criticism by thoughtful cinéastes like House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, Reps. Thaddeus McCotter, Mary Bono Mack and Connie Mack, former presidential candidate Fred Thompson, MSNBC correspondent Tucker Carlson and conservative commentators Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and others. [more inside]
The Stone Roses are set to reform. It's almost 20 years since they released their extremely fine album creatively titled The Stone Roses. The band that was a big part of the Madchester movement have been bumping into each other at Manchester United games and no doubt seeing the money that the footballers are making decided it was time to regroup. The rumours are not certain, but some say it is 75 percent likely and media reports everywhere indicates it is probably happening. [more inside]
Fuck You, Penguin. A blogger tells cute animals what's what. (Slightly NSFW - profanities in text.)
"We believe the request ... to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate," said Karen Meleta, a ShopRite bakery spokeswoman. Bottom line: Adolf Hitler Campbell, who turns 3 today, is not going to get the cake of his (and my) dreams.
What the financial crisis means for sex, lipstick, beer, college endowments, Iceland, love and marriage, Spam, recycling, holiday parties, car sales, sports, baseball free agents, psychics, NASCAR and narcissism...
Something for a kid you know, or your own inner child. Speakaboos offers online stories with the written word below the illustrations, as if read from a book: fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folk tales, lullabies. You can watch the stories without registering. You will have to sign-up (for free) for the future function of recording your own "that will allow kids and parents to record their own voices reading (or singing!) their favorite story, song, or nursery rhyme." Christmas stories. [more inside]
"I was the 2000 Women's World Champion Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeller. The what? you ask. Well, it goes like this..." [previously]
TweakGuides presents a very long examination of software piracy as it relates to PC gaming: "PC piracy and related topics such as DRM seem to have become so shrouded in illogical excuses, hysteria, scaremongering and uninformed opinions that having a sensible discussion on the topic is virtually impossible." [more inside]
We introduce Plushie, an interactive system that allows nonprofessional users to design their own original plush toys.
Anti-drug propaganda is invariably lame, but the latest campaign for Frank, the UK drugs information helpline are actually very clever. Meet Pablo the Drug Mule Dog, Nostril and Baggie.
"A classical vampire story in many ways, though it possesses none of the opulence or hedonism that are such a mainstay of vampire mythology," says one critic of the Swedish film Let the Right One In, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. In a lengthy interview the author gave recently, he says: "I wanted to approach my subject completely seriously and absolutely reject all sort of ”romanticized” notions about vampires, or what we’ve seen earlier of vampires, and just concentrate on the question: If a child was stuck forever like, in a 12-year-old existence and had to walk around killing other people and drink their blood to live – what would that child’s existance really be like?" (Props to Bageena) [more inside]