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A dozen gazpachos from Mark Bittman

The simple chilled soup is perfect for steamy August days.
Gazpacho is so easy that children old enough to manage a food processor or a blender can make it themselves. But whether or not you have pint-size sous chefs at your disposal, a recipe that requires minimal effort and in most instances no heat is always a good thing this time of year. So, here is that ubiquitous summer standby done a few ways that you’re probably familiar with and a bunch more that you’re probably not. (If Thai melon gazpacho is already in your rotation, good for you, and I surrender.) The “recipes” here amount to little more than lists of ingredients and quantities, because the method doesn’t bear repeating 12 times: Combine everything in a blender or food processor, process to your desired texture, chill in the refrigerator if you like, garnish and eat.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Aug 3, 2014 - 74 comments

Cool drinks for hot weather

Summer Drinks Around the World: 12 Regional Specialties You Might Not Know
When choosing a summertime bracer, it's all too easy to fall in the same old ruts: I know that I, for one, tend to chug ice-laden seltzer like it's going out of style, opting for a chilled Negroni when I want to go the booze route. But this summer, I've vowed to branch out and explore some of the other refreshing drinks that are enjoyed around the world. From a Colombian beer-and-soda refresher brightened with citrus to a palate-cleansing South Indian yogurt drink, here are twelve lesser-known hot-weather libations from around the world.

posted by Lexica on Jul 17, 2014 - 28 comments

For a moment the darkness is lighted

Didn't get enough fireworks on the Fourth? Got fogged out? US holidays irrelevant anyway? "長岡花火大会2012年2日間の総集編 Fireworks the most beautiful in the japan" is 30 minutes of HD fireworks from the Nagaoka fireworks festival, one of several fireworks festivals in Japan. It has two segments, one each from the first and second night of the fireworks. According to Japan Guide, "both nights feature two straight hours of fireworks...The show's finale covers nearly two kilometers of the riverbank and is the widest span of fireworks in the world." [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Jul 11, 2014 - 5 comments

Summer Is for Skinny People

For some of us, summer is the season of dread, because, for all its many charms, it's also the season during which taking off one's clothes in public becomes customary, at times even compulsory. While I am spiritually and voyeuristically 100 percent on board with partial and total public nudity among those who choose to engage in it (a segment of the population I envy as deeply as some people envy millionaires), my own relationship to bodily exposure is a joint-freezing, breath-seizing nightmare. To couch it in terms of the ranking phobias in American life, I would rather address a large audience while sealed in a coffin aboard a free-falling airplane infested by poisonous spiders the size of Alaskan king crabs than take my shirt off at the beach.
posted by josher71 on Jul 2, 2014 - 107 comments

They Are Sports Bar

Sports Bar are a band from Richmond, Virginia that play fun, fast, lo-fi, riff-heavy upbeat rock songs with lyrics like "My friends are your friends but your friends are bullshit!" and "Waaa-ohhhh-ohhh-wa-oh-OH-oh-oh!" It's the summer party music you didn't know you needed, and because their one album and two EPs can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp: Cassette, Tyler Perry's Sports Bar, and I Want To Waste Away With You.
posted by Going To Maine on Jun 30, 2014 - 16 comments

Advice about how to spend your summer vacation

You could call summers like this a colossal waste of time. But that’s what feels immortal about them—wasting time, colossally, as the gods must do. Taisia Kitaiskaia writes an ode to summer on the Hairpin. The author, a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, also channels Baba Yaga in a regular advice column for the same website. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on May 30, 2014 - 16 comments

The Songs of Summer

To kick off (in the U.S.) the long Memorial Day weekend (traditionally the unofficial start of summer!) the Boston Globe presents an interactive chart of iconic songs of summer from each of the last 100 years! No word yet on the 2014 earworm to be.
posted by Curious Artificer on May 24, 2014 - 60 comments

strawberry-rosemary-gin peach-thyme-tequila raspberry-lavender-champagne

Three bartenders in a backyard teach you how to make three classic summer drinks on a budget: the daiquiri, the gin & tonic, and the mint julep. Not simple enough? How about the only summer cocktail recipe you will ever need?
posted by Juliet Banana on May 19, 2014 - 105 comments

Sochi is the Florida of Russia

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus “Sochi used to be much prettier... These days crooks from Moscow come here to build and sell skyscrapers and apartments, although it used to be such a small, lovely town." via The New York Review of Books article on "Why Sochi"
Putin explicitly links the Games to the humiliations of the recent past: “There is also a certain moral aspect here and there is no need to be ashamed of it,” he said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the dark and, let us be honest, bloody events in the Caucasus, the society had a negative and pessimistic attitude.” The Olympics, he explains, are a necessary part of an effort to “strengthen the morale of the nation.”

posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 6, 2014 - 89 comments

Eat Ice Cream

In his meticulous diaries, written from 1846 to 1882, the Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley complains often about the withering summer heat: “The heat wilts & enervates me & makes me sick,” he wrote in 1852. Sibley lived before the age of air-conditioning, but recent research suggests that his observation is still accurate: summer really does tend to be a time of reduced productivity. Our brains do, figuratively, wilt. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 23, 2013 - 128 comments

Mad dogs and Englishmen

An unusually sustained heatwave oppresses the UK, as temperatures have climbed above 82 degrees Fahrenheit for 11 days, the longest hot spell since 2006. Roads melt in England and Wales, rail lines buckle in England and Scotland, hospital admissions spike and wildfires burn. Swimming-related, army training and heat-related, deaths have increased. The Met Office currently hold a Level Three Heat Advisory for several regions (Level Four is "National Emergency"), while tabloids indulge in traditional "England is hotter than {exotic place}" headlines. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 19, 2013 - 263 comments

Hey I Just Heard You, So Remember Me Maybe?

NPR presents a non-chronological megamix of every hit " Song Of Summer" from 1962 to 2013
posted by The Whelk on Jun 21, 2013 - 45 comments

just benchin 50x my weight nbd

Giant Ants is a wall-to-wall Facebook graffiti made by two giant ants as they plan for summer, have NSFW encounters, and even answer some fan inquiries! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 24, 2013 - 7 comments

"The Fiery Cross guards you at nights."

In the 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan operated a resort for Christian white supremacists called Kool Koast Kamp near Rockport, TX. For just a dollar a day per family, they offered swimming and "big game fishing" in "deep blue surf," educational activities and "watermelon parties." All under the protection of a "fiery cross" and "an officer of the law, the same Christian sentiment." (Brochure pages 1, 2, 3, 4) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2013 - 60 comments

And the pick-up lines are well-rehearsed...

It's not the season for this song but it's certainly the right day for it: Summer's the Worst, a ballad about love and idiocy that's melancholy, clever, and (ahem) really quite lovely.
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 14, 2013 - 2 comments

#nbcfail

NBC is being heavily criticized for its handling so far of the 2012 Summer Olympics. From delaying the broadcast of the opening ceremonies by four hours (and then having to endure terrible commentary) while the rest of world watched live, to cutting out a tribute to terror victims everywhere to not showing Michael Phelps' first medal attempt live (and then spoiling it on a news broadcast before the race actually aired). This is in addition to online viewers not being able to access live video online unless they have a cable subscription as well as problems with the actual stream. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jul 29, 2012 - 301 comments

Hot enough for ya?

Arthur Miller describes New York summers before air-conditioning. (New Yorker Archive)
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jun 23, 2012 - 75 comments

friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets! A photo tutorial for chevrons and another photo tutorial for basic stripes, chevrons, & diamonds. More basics with simple patterns & advanced. The BeyondBracelets thorough video tutorials (& on her blog is a bracelets 101 to gradually progress your skills). For complicated patterns check out these, and also these (with alphabet patterns & instructions), and also this crowdsourced free pattern-sharing site (patterns & tutorials), and finally this dollar-a-pattern pay site. If you're not interested in bracelets you can use the same idea for tangle-free headphones or wrapping tech cords & cables. (previously: lanyards)
posted by flex on Jun 17, 2012 - 33 comments

—Money...?

Remember Infinite Summer? New challenge: Join Lee Konstantinou and the LA Review of Books in reading Gaddis’s classic 1975 novel J R this summer. They're calling it #OccupyGaddis. [more inside]
posted by skilar on Jun 11, 2012 - 20 comments

It's getting hot in herre...

From Japan, a way to rapidly cool down your car on a hot day. (SLYT)
posted by reenum on Mar 18, 2012 - 109 comments

a bit of a trickster

Amalgamation, an animation by Micaël Reynaud based on an animated gif of photos by Michael Jang from his series "Summer Weather" with Music by Memory Tapes. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 6, 2011 - 6 comments

Hollywood home movies, 1965

An unbelievable collection of Roddy McDowall’s never-before-seen silent home movies from the summer of 1965 were uploaded onto YouTube yesterday, featuring impossibly young, impossibly gorgeous stars like Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Hope Lange, and Rock Hudson frolicking on the beach. You simply MUST go to the website and watch them all. The takeaway for me, though, is Sal Mineo slinking out the back door with a guilty-looking blond who may or may not be Bobby Sherman. What were THEY up to? Also mesmerizing: The closeup of Natalie Wood’s freckles, Jane Fonda sticking out her tongue, and Paul Newman’s hunky son.
posted by BoringPostcards on Sep 5, 2011 - 46 comments

Canadian Juneteenth, aka "you don't really need a reason to go to the beach"

Today is a holiday across most of Canada, though there's little agreement as to why we get the day off. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Aug 1, 2011 - 44 comments

Nothing gets this girl excited like a good meat sale!

Freezer Meals on the Cheap.
posted by bwg on Jun 26, 2011 - 94 comments

Beating the heat, and the pollution, in New York rivers

The long-polluted New York rivers are getting cleaner, but can still be dangerous to swim in. There are efforts underway to clean up the Bronx River, but that will take years, if not decades. Until then, signs are posted, warning would-be swimmers, yet people still risk sickness to battle the heat. One current safe solution is the Floating Pool Lady, a barge that was remade into an 82-foot-long city parks department swimming pool. She first arrived in the Bronx in 2008, and she'll return to the Bronx in a week. There's a new Big Idea to bring swimmers back into the rivers: the +Pool, a floating swimming pool located within a river, designed with a series exterior walls to filter the river water and make it safe to swim in. While that's in the early design stages, you can take a chance and jump in a swimming hole.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 24, 2011 - 26 comments

Tea Party Summer Camp

"Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World). Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility." This, and many other fun activities from The Paideia School of Tampa Bay's Tea Party Summer Camp.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jun 15, 2011 - 125 comments

Switchel: The original Colonial era sports drink

It's going to be a hot one today in the northeast. Why not make some switchel to stay cool? [more inside]
posted by usonian on Jun 8, 2011 - 62 comments

The smell of popcorn and Coppertone

The House Next Door has kicked off this year's installment of the "Summer of..." series, where they look back at the summer movies from 25 years ago. For the next few months they'll be revisiting the summer movies from 1986, and you can check out the previous installments to relive the glories of 1985 (Weird Science, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, St. Elmo's Fire), and 1984 (including the magical day Gremlins, Ghostbusters, and Top Secret! opened simultaneously).
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 5, 2011 - 10 comments

Thinker, Tailor

Lessons from a Tailor — directed by Galen Summer and filmed by Ed David. The inspiration for this film came directly from the man himself. When I first met Martin Greenfield at his factory, with the intention of interviewing him for a lifetime achievement award he was receiving for his efforts as an employer and business owner in Bushwick, Brooklyn, it became clear that there was more to his story than mere success in business. Here was a man who had pulled himself up from tragedy and hardship, who had survived one of the most horrific events of the 20th century, the Nazi holocaust, and yet still possessed a lightness of spirit. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 22, 2010 - 2 comments

WOOF! Woof... woof... woo... woo boy

The dog days of summer are here. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 7, 2010 - 89 comments

Summer Breeze

In honor of the first day of summer, one of the most covered "summer" songs of all time - "Summer Breeze." The original - Seals & Crofts. Inside for more: [more inside]
posted by waitingtoderail on Jun 21, 2010 - 50 comments

It’s uncool to stay cool?

As summer arrives, a scientist writes (mostly negatively) about air conditioning
posted by LeLiLo on Jun 2, 2010 - 125 comments

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Ice cream makes most people 'happy!' Some would say 'gay!' This summer many in New York are enjoying [audio | 02:59] the 'Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.' [more inside]
posted by ericb on Aug 10, 2009 - 63 comments

Summer Mix Series

Summer Mix Series is the soundtrack to your summer. Created by yewknee.com, this collection of user submitted mix CDs encourages submissions to have unique, specific themes, giving many of these mixes a more cohesive edge than "Bill's Favorite Tunes June 2009". Listen to summer, 48 CDs and counting! [more inside]
posted by CharlesV42 on Jul 24, 2009 - 17 comments

Back to the future of food

Canning makes a comeback. Is it just another foodie trend? Or is canning back for good? [more inside]
posted by sararah on Jun 30, 2009 - 106 comments

Hides in winter's skirts

I Know Where Summer Goes Photos by Ryan McGinley. Some nudity; fireworks; fun, longing.
posted by klangklangston on Dec 4, 2008 - 43 comments

Rollin' on the River

The Big River Show. So, you've decided spend your summer floating down the Mississippi River. You're going to need a 35-year-old pontoon boat, the proper attire, and something to snack on. Oh, and you might not want to go during a 500 year flood. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 4, 2008 - 14 comments

Are we THERE yet?

The BEST summer vacation EVER!!! [more inside]
posted by pearlybob on Aug 4, 2008 - 58 comments

Watermelon On Tap

I know what you're thinking: "What if I attached a faucet to a watermelon and filled it with spiked watermelon juice so party guests could serve themselves right from the melon?"
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 28, 2008 - 65 comments

Turn Turn Turn!

The art of spin. No, not that spin silly. This one. Yeah, that's the one I'm talking about. Don't worry--it's really simple. All you've got to do is follow these instructions, practice, practice, practice, and then you'll be as good as these guys someday. But try not to act like a dick. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 26, 2008 - 11 comments

Get to the Show

Baseball (flash) from sandlots to majors. Arguably harder than actual baseball.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 23, 2007 - 50 comments

A bay bay

Speaking of 'highly virulent earworms,' today's NY Times suggests that searching for this year's 'song of the summer' may lead to "one sad conclusion." Have today's hitmakers failed to live up to the jams of yesteryear? Others have offered their opinions...
posted by whahappen?! on Jul 19, 2007 - 36 comments

Pop your funk

Disco cellist Arthur Russell is the subject of a new documentary. MP3s for those who don't know him: Sidebar here, here, here (photo may be NSFW), more here.
posted by klangklangston on May 3, 2007 - 10 comments

Beltane Fire Festival

The Beltane Fire Society Fire Festival. Happy Beltane! [Some links NSFW.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2007 - 23 comments

Look, ma, no dogma!

"It's Beyond Belief!" Right here in red-state central, a summer camp for atheist kids.
posted by tizzie on Jul 21, 2006 - 189 comments

Summer begins today. No, really.

Happy Beltane! Today, astronomically speaking, is one of the four Cross-Quarter days, exactly midway between the solstices and equinoxes. To some people, that makes today the start of summer - after all, why would you begin the season that's supposed to be bright and hot on the day when the only direction to go is darker? (Yes, I know they say May 1 - the first site I linked to figures out the exact dates and times mathematically, so I'm more inclined to trust it).
posted by wanderingmind on May 5, 2006 - 16 comments

Orwellian Olympics

Not letting people take in the wrong soft drink. Making a band change its name. 'The new bill will make it illegal to combine words like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising.' I'm kind of starting to hate the olympics.
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 16, 2005 - 49 comments

Watching Grass Grow

Watching Grass Grow is an appropriate activity now that the Dog Days of summer are upon us. For those who are watching their grass lawns wilt and turn brown in the hot weather, there's hope that it will recover as pictorially documented on this site.
posted by RonZ on Aug 1, 2005 - 4 comments

RIP Chet

Chet Helms has been dead for a few days. He was not mentioned here and I somehow missed all this. He was a player in the music biz in his day and kinda looks like me if I stopped trimming my beard for a week or two. RIP.
posted by arse_hat on Jul 8, 2005 - 4 comments

Wind-Borne Plants

From Gliders to Parachutes, from the well-loved "helicopters"to the hated Cottonwood, here's everything you need to know about the wind-borne seeds of Summer.
posted by interrobang on Jun 18, 2004 - 7 comments

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