"Out of the blue, in the middle of a recession, the phone rang. What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site? The founder, Charles Best, thought perhaps the female caller would hang up when he tossed out his best guess: "Something over $1 million," he told her. A day later, Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. (DonorsChoose: previously on MeFi) [more inside]
The comic series Ex Machina [PDF preview] was started in 2004, created by Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Tony Harris. The main character, Mitchell Hundred, is an ex-superhero who hangs up his jetpack and successfully runs for mayor of New York City in an alternate post-9/11 timeline. The last issue (#50), released this week, concluded the series with a harsh yet wonderfully written view of Hundred's political fate. BKV talks about the final issue with IGN [Spoilers].
New York's MTA has a YouTube channel that features some pretty great historical videos from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. [more inside]
The entire five-part television documentary series Brick City is currently available through Netflix streaming. The four and a half-hour Sundance Channel documentary chronicles the summer and fall of 2008 in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Among the people the series profiles are Cory Booker, mayor of Newark and subject of the great documentary Street Fight; Garry McCarthy, the white, Bronx-born police director whose innovative measures have reduced the murder rate in the city; Ras Baraka, a charismatic poet and activist who is also the principal of Newark Central High school; Jayda Jacques, former Blood gang member who now mentors young women in Newark; Jiwe Morris, author of the book War of the Bloods in My Veins: A Street Soldier's March Toward Redemption; and many other interesting Newark residents like the Street Doctor and Ali Muslim. The series has often been referred to as a sort of real-life version of The Wire, and has been well-received by critics
The New York Times has compiled a list of the 50 words which are most frequently queried in their stories. Mirabile dictu (no. 19) that it's redoutable (no. 17)!
The rumours are increasing that there will be a merger between the two left-leaning political parties in Canada, the hapless Liberals under the wooden Michael Ignatieff, and the perennial almost-show New Democrats under the magnificently mustached Jack Layton. Denials all 'round, of course, but as separate parties they have not managed to take down Stephen Harper and his wiley Conservatives.
A mixtape a week for a year... Detroit Techno, Giorgio Moroder, Quebecois Disco, Kraftwerk, Bobby Orlando, Synth Pop and loads more.
Bad credit or no credit? No Problem! Are you on welfare? Social Security? No Problem! You have to see the Special Man
Bad credit or no credit? No Problem! Are you on welfare? Social Security? No Problem! You have to see the Special Man!
Polyrock "could be pitched as Talking Heads under the tutelage of Philip Glass." With cover art that looked like it had been dollar bin for years, Polyrock may have been doomed from the beginning. Somehow their obscure, angsty-but-therapeutic sound has yet to be stolen, despite a semi-recent CD re-release. Romantic Me. No Love Lost Live. (Better than that "No Love Lost," if you can believe it). Cries and Whispers. Love Song. Changing Hearts. Bucket Rider. Working on My Love. [more inside]
When do you know the cupcake fad is dead? When Germans start selling them at McDonald's with names inspired by New York City neighborhoods.
Reviewer leaves during intermission of Wilco's first North American concert on their new tour, writes review anyway. [more inside]
Redesigning Valentine's Day. Brand New - a site dedicated to analysis of corporate brand identity - was asked to redesign VDay by Studio 360. [more inside]
It's not uncommon for the mayors of two cities locked in sports competition to make friendly wagers. But, do the cities' art museums do too? Apparently, they do.
"I'm needy, but I'm not greedy. It's better to be honest." A New York City cabbie returns over $21,000 left in his taxi. A similar case occurred three years ago when a Manhattan cabbie returned half a million dollars worth of diamond rings. Honest taxi drivers can be found on the West Coast, as well.
The New Economics Foundation, also responsible for the Happy Planet Index and Jubilee 2000 campaign, has released a study (full text here) about the values and costs of different professions to society.
David Levine, beloved caricaturist for several publications, but most notably for the New York Review of Books, died last Tuesday at age 83 due to complications of prostate cancer. Since 1963, he contributed over 3,800 caricatures for the magazine, which prominently featured his drawings in promotional material. You can look at over 2,500 of his drawings here, review his website featuring his painting here, and see him interviewed here. Toward the end of his life, his vision failed due to macular degeneration and his relationship with the magazine became somewhat strained. Upon his death, the magazine noted that he was, simply, "the greatest caricaturist of his time." [more inside]
101 new uses for everyday things lists some interesting and sometimes innovative ways to use things you find around the home.
Just ease on into one of the most laid-back grooves to ever weave its way through a New Orleans junkyard, and join the procession as the estimable Dr. John is led through the rusting automobiles on a mule. After that, you'll be ready to enter the Inner Sanctum of Deep Mystic Hoodoo, with the good Doctor as your intoning, night tripping guide through the Zu Zu Mamou hallucinations. You won't be the same, afterwards...
Don't you want to watch a critically acclaimed chef get drunk and shout about the wonders of ham? (video is NSFW, due to cursing) [more inside]
Stephen Sondheim's crossword puzzles for "New York Magazine." Incredibly rare.
Jim Carroll has died. Avant-garde writer, punk rocker, doped-up downtown scenester, never-made-it schoolyard hoop-dreamer. He couldn't have expected to live to see a master's thesis in English at San Diego State written about his journal/novel The Basketball Diaries, or to be interviewed by Jon Stewart about being played by Leo DiCaprio in the movie of his (early) life. [more inside]
A High Tech Building for New Orleans: ‘New Orleans Arcology Habitat’ or NOAH by E. Kevin Schopfer [more inside]
Bottled Tap Water From New York. Sold to New Yorkers. New York City's tap water has been called among the nation's freshest. It's so good that a young entrepreneur is bottling it and selling it for $1.50. To New Yorkers.
The New York Times discusses some of the nation's most atrocious bands in the context of the Vans Warped Tour. We've seen some of these bands on the blue before, but never before has there been this much atrocity in one place. [more inside]
New Delhi legalizes homosexuality. In a landmark ruling, the Delhi High Court has for the first time in India declared the British-era law against homosexual sex unconstitutional. Is this India's Stonewall?
The US House of Representatives today passed a Cash-for-Clunkers bill, giving people up to $4,500 to trade in their old cars for newer, more efficient cars. Inspired by European and Chinese successes, the bill is naturally not without its detractors.
The Girl Who Cried Webmaster: "I’m annoyed and exhausted, I have a considerable load of work to take care of, and after you’ve read what appears below, you’ll probably agree that I’ve earned it."
Why do we have to live with divides between different types of communication? Introducing Google Wave. [more inside]
You've probably seen (and heard) his version of Alice in Wonderland, but have you seen The King and I, Harry Potter, The Sword in the Stone, or Mary Poppins?
NYT article 4/12/09 Interesting article about the Dead on the eve of their tour. Bonus: link on the sidebar that shows reader photos. Find your friends. Or not.
Newspapers might be dying, but does it matter? Here's what journalism 2.0 looks like: Spot.us is crowd-funded news for the masses, ReportingOn is Twitter for journalists, Everyblock is ultra-hyperlocal and Connectifyed tells us it'll analyze our social networks.
Oh those vaunted "first 100 days," they are finally upon us. Roosevelt's legendary time period has long been applied to new administrations, but never so emphatically or with such hope as to the Obama administration. And now you can follow them! For commentary, there's The First 100 Days, for mainstream media there's Obama's First 100 Days, for a comparison between old and new there 100 Days: Starting the Job, From FDR to Obama, for new media there's Obama's First 100 Days, and finally, for a government perspective there's First 100 Days. I smell an idea for an ironic t-shirt...
Welcome to Lily Dale the largest spiritualist community in the world. Just an hour south of Buffalo, NY-- it boasts an extensive summer program of lectures, workshops as well as the world’s most powerful mediums. Stop by for a reading, hunt for ghosts and see the house where the Fox Sisters first got started. [more inside]
If you've ever enjoyed Steve Reich's Different Trains, John Adams' Nixon in China or Harry Partch's The Bewitched, you probably have Betty Freeman to thank. Freeman supported the works of such composers as Philip Glass, John Cage and Witold Lutoslawski (and many, many more), often early in their careers. She was a photographer herself, and the subject of David Hockney's Beverly Hills Housewife. Freeman passed away at age 87.
Death and Life: Madison New Life Band bid farewell to Bishop Daddy Madison in Washington, D.C. Stooges Brass Band plays in New Orleans [second line].
Prospect 1. From the New Orleans Museum of Art in the City Park, to the Lower Ninth Ward's multiple installation locations, Prospect 1's curation is tasteful and moving, sometimes heart breaking but mostly promising. An unbelievable concentration of impressive artist's commentary on New Orleans. And it's free to get around (shuttle service available also) if you simply register. [more inside]
The City Concealed A video tour of New York's infamously toxic Newtown Creek, with historical illustrations. The creek is the site of a 17 million gallon underground oil-spill (50% larger than Exxon-Valdez) which remains to be cleaned up, resulting in a Supreme Court battle between residents and oil companies. (Previously on MeFi.)
At Sammy's at 2016 Main, on September 8, a historic jam session occurred, an impromptu reunion of many of the city of New Orleans's finest musicians. Each player who walked in the door was much more than a mere musician that night -- they were an affirmation of life. Not only did their attendance indicate that they had survived the storm, but their collective presence also indicated that their music would survive, too.The New Birth Brass Band (and friends) tears it the hell up in downtown Houston post-Katrina. The whole show is great, but if you're short on time, parts one and three are especially smoking.
John Leonard is dead. A literary prodigy at thirty-two when asked to edit the New York Times Book Review, Leonard oversaw the NYTBR's glory days between 1971 and 1975. Television critic for New York, monthly books critic for Harper's, regular contributor to The Nation and The New York Review of Books, he also went out of his way to help young writers.
"What would you say if I told you that I filled my entire living room with completely original works of art for less than $300?" Andrea Dickson from Wise Bread has found an unlikely -- though, the more you think about it, almost obvious -- place to find original art from new artists: Ebay. If you can filter through the crapload of "artistic nudes", there are plenty of gems, and usually at buyers' market prices. And, as Andrea's mother mused, when it comes to decorating the house, it beats buying mass-produced art from Costco, which is about as original as a Big Mac.
London Underground blogger Annie Mole experiences the New York subway for the first time here -> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
New Orleans filmmaker Benjamin Reece asks fifty New Orlean's residents a single question: "If you could wish for one thing to happen by the end of the day, what would it be?".
Hooray for New York City! They just had their first (of three) car-free days along a long stretch of Manhattan roadway: it's the Summer Streets program. How refreshing! [more inside]