In 1854, a French anatomist named Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire established La Societé Zoologique d’Acclimatation, the first acclimatization society, headquartered in the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where he held a senior position. By 1860, the society had over 2,500 members, including diplomats, scientists, foreign heads of state, and military men. In another forty years, there were over fifty societies around the world, swapping species everywhere from Algiers to Tasmania. Some transplants died quickly, while others thrived, with European rabbits multiplying like, well, rabbits in Australia, European starlings taking down planes and ruining crops in the United States, while the English now battle American grey squirrels (previously). [via Presurfer] [more inside]
"As the seventies began, there were two major schisms bearing down on Austin’s budding country music scene. As the seventies began, there were two major schisms bearing down on Austin’s budding country music scene. The first was political. The cultural upheaval of the sixties was still going full force, particularly in Texas, even in a city that considered itself as forward thinking as Austin did. The second related more narrowly to the music. The only route to success for young Texas country songwriters went through Nashville, a stubbornly conservative industry town considered every bit as reactionary as the Nixon administration. "
The Police Use of Force Project investigates the ways in which police use of force policies help to enable police violence in our communities. (Proposed policy solutions from Campaign Zero) [more inside]
God is God, and I am not. A lovely, long form account of a life well-lived.
Remembering Tandem Computers: "Tandem was an archetype Silicon Valley company with stock options, an emphasis on taking chances, a recognition that sometimes the answer lies in a place where no one else has thought to go." The company was founded in 1974 by Jimmy Treybig. Though largely forgotten today, Tandem's surviving legacy is the NonStop line of servers, now owned by Hewlett-Packard.
All three Gilmore Girls, (Lorelai, Rory and Emily) plus series creators Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino and a whole bunch of cast members show up for the Gilmore Girls cast reunion at the Austin Television Festival. You can watch a video of the [almost] full panel. [more inside]
Would You Want to Smell BBQ All the Time? [New York Times]
"Over the years attempts by states and municipalities to regulate odor have led to a patchwork of legal guidelines subjectively enforced by inspectors who sniff the air and determine whether to make a stink about a stink. In the past the offenders were typically livestock operations and wastewater treatment plants, but more recently odor inspectors are getting calls about smells emanating from ethnic restaurants, coffee roasters and candle and bath shops."
VULCAN Video that is ---How Austin stays weird.
(Please don't move here though)
(Please don't move here though)
"It is a spellbinding narrative, a multilayered tale of murder, insanity, and mystery replete with shocking twists and turns. It is a startling pastiche of late-nineteenth-century characters, from the most elite figures of Austin society to the poorest African Americans. Yet amazingly, it is almost entirely absent from the annals of history." Before London had its Ripper, before H.H. Holmes had his Murder Castle, Austin, Texas had its very own Servant Girl Annihilator... [more inside]
Award-winning Austin lingerie shop Petticoat Fair specializes in hard-to-fit bra sizes. Recently a trans woman was turned away from the shop and started social media protest and boycott campaign, swamping the store's Yelp page with negative reviews. The owner issued a controversial apology and plans to meet with the Transgender Education Network Of Texas to work out a better policy. The story started to percolate through national news and commentary and sites. Meanwhile, the original complainant has called off the official boycott and the store has promised to issue a new policy in the near future. [more inside]
This is a collection of Francisco "Puree Tomatoes" Taccir's blog posts from Myspace and Friendster from 2005 – 2010. Tomatoes was a writer, artist, and addict who was born on February 26. 1977. He died on October 10, 2010 from a heroin overdose. [more inside]
In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
A short and sweet 10-minute documentary on musician and artist Daniel Johnston. [SLYT] [more inside]
From Texas Monthly, a brief oral history from Austin of The Most Important Taco of the Day (there is a recipe included!) At Slate, L.V. Anderson comments on the article noting, "Valera’s and Vasquez’s memories are proof that the mainstreaming of Mexican cuisine happened because Mexican immigrants worked hard in the face of racism, not in the absence of racism." The authors' website, Taco Journalism, has taco-related interviews and reviews.
Early in the 19th century, gas lamps first illuminated city streets, not long after the potential for gas lighting was publicly demonstrated. Less than a century later, electricity was seen as the future of lighting public spaces, thanks in part to technology that was demonstrated around the time of gas lighting. Arc lamps, the predecessor to filament bulbs, were much too bright for lighting homes and businesses, but a single arc lamp could light a whole town. [more inside]
"We're always looking for new venues for advertisement," said Sarah Casebier, vice president of Radiant Plumbing. "We thought this would be a good way to expand our advertising and be more involved in the community." More, more, and more. Here to purchase your own ad.
Austin is booming with jobs, condos, festivals, traffic, hipsters, joggers, and high-concept dive bars.
Does that mean it’s no longer Austin?
Does that mean it’s no longer Austin?
To commemorate the Mayan Apocalypse, video game tycoon Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a lavish soiree at his 65-acre spread along Lake Austin, complete with various scenes of imagined end-of-the-world scenarios. - Sonia Smith in Texas Monthly
After a 5 year absence, construction delays, and rumors of cancellation, Formula 1 is back to a permanent home in Austin, Texas this weekend. [more inside]
Vince Hannemann is The Junk King. A very short documentary by Evan Burns about the Cathedral of Junk, an ongoing art installation made from mass-produced garbage collected since the 1980s.
The Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers Association produced a video comprising of LGBT officers and civilian members of the Austin Police Department to send a message to LGBTQ youth that it does get better... (SLYT)
"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside]
'Don't judge a book by its cover.' America's Susan Boyle? Andrew De Leon [Austin Audition | America's Got Talent 2012] (SLYT)
Over the weekend, Austin had a beer festival. It was a disaster. An apology was offered on facebook. But it looks like this wasn't the first time the organizers tried this game.
The subject came down out of the tree and explained to the officers he found it entertaining to sing from a tree.
Incident reports from police departments can be boring, staid affairs. Not so with those from University of Texas at Austin. This week's highlights include a budding horticulturist with a marijuana growing habit, a non-alcoholic student with catlike reflexes and a man who enjoys singing in trees. Via TM Daily Post.
"Transforming the second chapter of Ellen Ripley's ongoing war with the Xenomorphs into an icecapade is the kind of loony idea that that can only possibly exist after someone has exploded fireworks inside a crowded bar to simulate RoboCop's iconic gas station explosion while the titular cyborg breaks into a musical interlude describing his existential crisis. Anything else would be a step back after that."The Old Murder House Theater is a comedy troupe in Austin known for doing... shall we say... unusual movie adaptations. Last weekend's show: "Aliens On Ice!" (Scroll down for Youtube footage, or check out a two minute summary of the show, from the troupe.) [more inside]
Don Clinchy, with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image videos collection, goes back to August 1, 1966. [more inside]
"A censor pronouncing a ban, whether on an obscene spectacle or a derisive imitation, is like a man trying to stop his penis from standing up." - J. M. Coetzee
If we have, at the back of our minds, a stereotype of the censor or the censor type, it is probably of some nondescript male bureaucrat who comes to work punctually at 8:30 in the morning, locks his office door behind him, and spends the day going through piles of books, underlining dirty passages in red ink and stamping pass or fail on the cover, or else pouring over strips of film with scissors at the ready, ready to snip out images of breasts and bums, who, when the clock at last strikes 5:00, emerges into the daylight, catches the bus home to some anonymous suburb and spends the evening watching reruns of sitcoms on television before donning his pajamas and falling into a dreamless sleep. Or if we're thinking not of full time censors, people who dedicate their professional lives to the business of censoring, but of part time censors, people who like to do a bit of censoring on the side, then we might imagine that retired teachers, clergymen and moral busybodies in general would be attracted to the craft. But the records of the South African system don't quite fit the stereotype.- J. M. Coetzee, Nobel laureate author, speaks at his alma mater University of Texas Austin about his experiences with censorship in his native South Africa during apartheid. Coetzee mentions this essay he wrote about his time at UT Austin and a book he wrote on censorship, here's the preface to it.
The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret. Undocumented workers, an autoimmune mystery traced to aerosolized pork brains from increased line production speed, and what sounds like one of the worst jobs in America.
Time for some Texas twang and honky tonk blues from Austin's own, Mike Runnels: Dream Girl :: Last Date
This guy nearly made the St. Mary's Church gap in downtown Austin, Texas. You could say this guy technically landed it, but he didn't ride away. As far as we know, only Jimmy Levan has ever cleared it clean. [more inside]
Badass Digest is a new blog from Austin's decidedly badass Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and Devin Faraci, formerly of CHUD.com. [more inside]
8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
The Hindi Urdu Flagship Program at the University of Texas, Austin has a number of freely available online resources on Hindi and Urdu, including vocabulary exercises for beginners, video interviews with native speakers discussing various aspects of their language, a Hindi-language podcast on various topics and the ways one can discuss them in Hindi, and several downloadable books in PDF format. [more inside]
A man in East Austin, Tx was removed from his home after it was discovered that he had been digging bunkers under his home, some which were 35ft at the deepest, and included two sub-levels tall enough for adults to stand in comfortably. Though his motives are unknown, many handguns and rifles were also removed from the home, and he as been very cooperative with city investigators.
Liz Carpenter, Texas humorist, women's rights crusader and aide to Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, dies at 89 [more inside]
Slacker is a unique film written and directed by Richard Linklater that follows the life of various characters in a Austin, Texas. Mind-numbingly boring or oddly captivating, Slacker provided an inspiration to other independent movies of the era and helped established the image of slacker as we see it today. Quoting Ebert, "We don't get a story, but we do get a feeling. " A Salon retrospective.
Ride the City maps the best or safest urban bicycle route from point A to B. Presently featuring multi-lingual maps from New York, Chicago, Austin, Louisville, San Diego, and Seattle. Their blog posts updates about new cities added to the grid, or other topics relating to urban bicycling.
From 1988-1994 game designer Richard Garriott ran one of the most elaborate, interactive 'haunted houses in the world from his own house, a sprawling mansion custom built in part to house the event. After 1994 there was a break for Garriott's new house to be built (with more customization just for haunt use). Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later it's back.
Can I get some sushi with my taco? Until a few years ago, Austin's culinary tradition seemed to be limited to breakfast tacos and BBQ. From these humble beginnings, however, has come an bizarre explosion of food trailers. [more inside]
Like eating brains? I know you do. Why not add some new dishes to your collection of recipes that use the "fifth quarter?" [more inside]
Austin music scene ~1990-1995 (an unscientific survey): 8 1/2 Souvenirs 1 - American Analog Set 1 2 - Bad Livers 1 - Bedhead - Butthole Surfers 1 - Duckhills 1 - Ed Hall 1 - Fuckemos 1 - Furry Things - Gals Panic 1 - Glass Eye 1 - Johnny Goudie 1 - Hamell on Trial 1 - The Horsies - The Impossibles 1 - Daniel Johnston 1 - Motards - Pocket FishRmen 1 - Poi Dog Pondering 1 - Pariah - Pushmonkey 1 2 - The Reivers 1 - Retarted Elf - Scratch Acid (yes, I know -- late 80s...) - Shoulders - Sincola - Sixteen Deluxe 1 - Sons of Hercules 1 - Soulhat 1 - Spoon 1 2 - Starfish 1 - Storyville 1 - Twang-Twang-Shock-a-Boom 1 - Ugly Americans - Wild Seeds 1. Previously: 1 2 3
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