A lazy and cool man cuddling a fluffy and cute cat is a sight that warms up our hearts and makes them beat fast![more inside]
It's actually difficult to describe Shel Silverstein's 1962 album Inside Folk Songs. But if you're inclined to have a very odd half-hour or so, you might enjoy it. [YT playlist] (The humor is darker than you might think if you only know his poetry.) Side A: Bury Me In My Shades, Have Another Espresso, Bananas, Liz, You're Always Welcome At Our House, Civil War Song, Boa Constrictor, 25 Minutes To Go [more inside]
Curtis Harding's Psychedelic Soul [GQ] “A veteran singer who cut his teeth over a decade ago doing backing vocals for Cee-Lo, Harding seems to do everything with soul: The way he talks about his passion for film, style, and music, is soulful. The ease with which he rocks a Saint Laurent jacket is soulful. Most importantly though, his music has soul in every note, every guitar lick. If soul is an "experience," unable to be confined by descriptors, the title track from Harding's new album, Face Your Fear, is an excellent illustration of it. The groove is slinking and relaxed, Harding riding the beat just behind the drums, delivering every word with an unwavering confidence, but also a very human tenderness. His voice never raises above a whisper, but the quiet energy he packs into every syllable will have you hearing his melodies in the back of your mind for days. It's the rare song that could soundtrack a wedding or a funeral, at once celebratory, sad, groovy, and of course, very soulful.” [more inside]
Before acid house dramatically transformed British nightlife at the tail end of the 80s, there was the warehouse party scene. Terry Farley, Jay Strongman, Norman Jay (MBE), Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Paul Trouble Anderson and more talk about the parties, venues, music and lifestyle of the London party scene up until the music began to change. Plus: An oral history of one warehouse party on the cusp of the change, Hedonism, out in the terminally unfashionable London suburb of Alperton. Plus plus: Drum n bass pioneer Jumpin Jack Frost talks to Casper Melville about growing up in sound system culture in London in the 70s and 80s and what happened when the rave hit.
Last Saturday I visited the abandoned Coventry Evening Telegraph building. It’s an amazing place, vacated in 2012 but most of the interior untouched since the 1950s. Here are just a few of the photos I took. The site is being looked after by arts collective @CETpopup for the next few months ahead of the inevitable demolition / repurposing. Go & see it now, before it’s all lost. So let’s start the explore of a building that once had 600 people working on the evening daily. (SLTwitter photo thread)
Christopher Priest broke the color barrier at Marvel and reinvented a classic character. Why was he nearly written out of comics history?
Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe [pdf] is a free book written to accompany a 2012 art exhibition of the same name at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The exhibit and book focus on "Africans living in or visiting Europe in what has been called the long sixteenth century, from the 1480s to around 1610. The exhibition and essays seek to draw out not only their physical presence but their identity and participation in society, as well as the challenges, prejudices, and the opportunities they encountered."
Keep Your Hands on the Wheel and Don't Look Down, an Outside Magazine writer rides with the snowplow drivers on Colorado's infamous Highway 550.
Pioneering female becomes first wolf in Belgium in a century "The first recorded wolf on Belgian soil for at least 100 years has made her bloody mark." So begins this article from the Guardian.
The History and Future of Dimensions. Science writer Margaret Wertheim has written a whirlwind essay on the idea of 'dimension' that encompasses Aristotle, Renaissance artists, Cartesian geometry, relativity, and the strange constructs of string theory.
Bubbling Trains ~ Accessibility Fireworks ~ Roads of America ~ Gulf of Finland
Helsinki-based GIS enthusiast Topi Tjukanov makes lovely visualizations of e.g. road and traffic data.
Helsinki-based GIS enthusiast Topi Tjukanov makes lovely visualizations of e.g. road and traffic data.
This is what a frozen lake sounds like (Facebook video) - exploring the acoustics of ice-capped water, which you can experience by skipping a stone across the surface (YT - skip to 3m 43s) | Playing on ice and frozen water, previously
"When you are having your morning cup of tea before taking a jeep “safari”, some of them would have left for the day’s job, often four or five kilometres away, walking along jungle roads, possibly seeing the steaming dung heaps of an elephant or the pugmarks of a tiger that has gone by a mere half hour ago. He will pause for a bit, ears alert for a crackle of branches as an elephant shifts weight from one leg to the other, or wait for the cackle of jungle fowl. If the forest holds its silence, he will walk on to the waterhole that has to be cleaned or bushes by the side of the road that have to be trimmed. If he is back when you are having your evening cup of tea, perhaps, you could treat him to a cup, too." [more inside]
"Spending more on health care sounds like it should improve health," said Daniel Dutton, a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. "But our study suggests that is not the case and social spending could be used to improve the health of everyone," said Dutton, lead author of a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Man of Culture: Chobani's Hamdi Ulukaya - "In 2012, Chobani opened its second U.S. production facility—the world's largest yogurt plant at 1 million square feet—in Twin Falls, Idaho. Again Ulukaya reached out to find workers from the local refugee center. Approximately 30 percent of Chobani employees are immigrants, speaking more than 19 different languages."
"Enter Sandman," but the drums are played with dildos (need I say NSFW?)
Scandinavian egg coffee uses the egg whites to clarify, while Vietnamese egg coffee uses just the yolks to create a creamy texture. [more inside]
It's a terrible time to buy a graphics card [PC Gamer] “Not too long ago we warned of a potential impending surge in graphics card prices. Unfortunately for those looking to upgrade graphics cards or buy a new GPU, that prediction has come true, and then some. Right now is the worst time in the history of graphics cards to buy or upgrade this all-important gaming component. I've run through the list of current generation GPUs, and I've even looked at previous generation GPUs. The price changes in the past two weeks are staggering.” [more inside]
Floor Charts.com | Join me as I archive government charts & props from Congress, the White House and more. (Avg. cost per chart: $20 - $60)
Fresh air for sale Before long, Lam and Paquette had developed a small industry and others began to cotton on to the opportunity. There is now luxury air, cold-pressed air, 100% mountain air. There is air canned for the benefit of mothers (“Keep awake and command the household in a natural way.”) There is air for work. Air for kids. Air for grandparents. [more inside]
"She has made dozens of accurate predictions in recent years, including the demise of Gordon Brown, the credit crunch, and Oscar glory for British film The King’s Speech." In the Vale of Evesham, the paganistic rites of the Asparamancer have resulted in predictions for the year ahead. "...her unusual methodology came from her dislike of tea and her lack of success with broccoli..." 2018 predictions include a revival in books, that humanity will survive, the UK will do poorly in sport, and it doesn't look good for Theresa May's future. A recent prediction, that winter will bring wet weather and flooding in Britain, has proven to be astonishingly accurate. 'Mystic Veg', as seen on daytime TV, can also be found on Twitter; her predictions for the last two years.
People who study empathy have a thousand different terms and semantic distinctions when it comes to what empathy is and what forms it can take. “There are nearly as many definitions of empathy as there are scientists who study this phenomenon,” writes Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki. But most people agree that there is a distinction between empathy in the form of listening, and trying to understand someone’s experience—what many researchers call “empathic concern”—and empathy that takes the form of actually trying to take that experience on yourself—something called “personal distress.” (via RPS)
An accidental investor battles to cash out from the bubble of the century. "I tore through old boxes of odds and ends I’d hoarded over the years. I found the coin mixed in with some euro pocket change, with the unmistakable B with vertical slashes embossed on it. The coin itself was worthless of course, but the cryptographic private key printed on the back, underneath a tamperproof holographic sticker, was linked to an anonymous digital wallet holding 1.0 BTC. Discovering I hadn’t thrown it out brought a momentary wave of relief, followed by acute anxiety, as I realized the single coin in my hand could buy a new Ford Fiesta, and I had no idea what to do with it."
There was no wave of mea culpas from the 'anti-imperialists' who denied the Bosnian genocide after Ratko Mladic's guilty verdict (Previously, Previouslier, yet Previouslier). That's because conclusive evidence, even criminal convictions, wont stop those war crimes deniers, who are now actively whitewashing Assads war crimes
Things got a bit weird-but-fun in 1984 when performance artist Laurie Anderson released her album Mister Heartbreak [40m]. Side A: Sharkey's Day [video], Langue d'Amour, Gravity's Angel [more inside]
Before Roe v Wade, Jane was a network of women who provided abortions to Chicago women. The service was launched in 1965 by Heather Booth, then a 19-year-old student at the University of Chicago. Her friend's sister was pregnant and desperately wanted an abortion. Booth found a doctor who was willing to perform the procedure secretly. "By the third call, I realized I couldn't manage it on my own," Booth says. "So I set up a system. We called it 'Jane.' " At first, Jane connected women with doctors. But eventually, the group's members started performing abortions themselves. With time, Jane grew into an all-women network with dozens of members, ranging from students to housewives.
Room escape game developer Neutral (previously - I kind of know how you feel, phunniemee - I found out about this by randomly checking Bart Bonte's site) has returned from the unknown once more with his latest game, SIGN. (If you thirst for more, welcome to
In April of this year, Paramount will release the third movie in the "Cloververse," an incredibly loosely tied together anthology, which began with Cloverfield in 2008, and 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016. As was the case with the first two movies, an alternate reality game set in the Cloververse has begun in the run-up to the movie. [more inside]
Tired of the sanitised, filtered, and happy depictions of the everyday lives of her friends and family on social media, Kaviya wanted to talk about things and issues that not many like to discuss or even acknowledge in public. So, much in the vein of #100DaysOfHappiness and #100DaysOfExercise, the Mumbai-based artist decided to take up her own 100-day challenge on Instagram; but hers is #100DaysOfDirtyLaundry [all links NSFW, probably].
Han Bennink on the Cheese Kit Diptych. Part one of a three-part video documenting Bennink's performance at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in 2005. Not only is edam good drummer, a käse is made for the relevance of humor in art. [more inside]
How many people have you had in your drawers? At one time? For a mere $235,000 you can have somewhere to store gargantuan hosiery. Roadside America rates it as "major fun" and really, how could it not be? [via Boing Boing]
A women's basketball team in the Depression, and farmer's wives in the 60s Here's the link for the Iowa Porkettes: Farmers Wives Take Over
A Conversation with Judith Pintar, writer of the 1991 interactive fiction game Cosmoserve. Pintar and Jimmy Maher talk about the history of interactive fiction, game settings, identity and empathy and how she is using interactive fiction in teaching now.
Talia Jane (previously) reflects on the backlash & aftermath of the open letter she wrote two years ago about the low wages she was paid as a customer service employee at Yelp.
Shaenon K. Garrity, the comic artist/writer behind Narbonic, Skin Horse, and the X-Files recap webcomic Monster of the Week, has a new project Horror Every Day, a sort of electronic tearaway calendar recommending a new horror movies tied extremely vaguely to anniversaries or holidays or some such, with nice illustrations and occasional content warnings. Occasional mild spoilers, I suppose. Previously Previously Previously
‘It was an electric time to be gay’: Sarah Waters on 20 years of Tipping the Velvet [The Guardian] “What’s it about?” people sometimes asked me, when they had heard I’d written a novel – and I always had to brace myself, slightly, to answer. There was the awkwardness of explaining the rather risque title. There was the fact that I outed myself the moment I began to reveal the plot. And then there was the plot itself – because, oh dear, how lurid it sounded, how improbable, above all how niche, the tale of a Victorian oyster girl who loses her heart to a male impersonator, becomes her partner in bed and on the music hall stage, and then, cruelly abandoned, has a spell as a cross-dressed Piccadilly prostitute and the sexual plaything of a rich older woman before finding true love and redemption with an East End socialist.”
Thirty-four years ago today, NBC premiered The Master (publicity still), a ninja action series starring Western film veteran Lee Van Cleef (as the ninja) and Timothy Van Patten, half-brother of Dick Van Patten, as his hot-headed young sidekick. Each week, Max and The Master drive into a new town (in Max's custom van) and end up protecting/rescuing a damsel in distress from greedy land developers, union-busters, crimelords and their thugs, a surprisingly high number of other ninjas, and the occasional terrorist. (Here's Van Cleef promoting the show on Carson.) Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 know the show from Master Ninja I and II, repackaged video versions of the first four episodes. Cancelled after 13 episodes, the entire series is viewable on YouTube: [more inside]
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Two Tone was both a record label and movement that combined imported Jamaican Ska with homegrown British punk to form a uniquely British multi-racial, multi-ethnic musical (and sartorial) style that has gone on to have a worldwide impact. They also had complicated relationship with another UK youth culture at the time: skinheads.
MLK Now - "In the year before King's death, he faced intense isolation owing to his strident criticisms of the Vietnam War and the Democratic Party, his heated debates with black nationalists, and his headlong quest to mobilize the nation's poor against economic injustice. Abandoned by allies, fearing his death was near, King could only lament that his critics 'have never really known me, my commitment, or my calling.' " (via) [more inside]
Need a 45 minute break? Like, from anything? Here's piano artist (painter? poet? priest? alchemist?) George Winston's 1982 album Winter Into Spring [44m]: Side A: January Stars, February Sea, Ocean Waves (O Mar), Refletion [more inside]
The Sedona 5's Excellent Adventure On the morning of November 19, 1995, a federal budget stalemate between President Clinton and the U.S. Congress had forced the national park system to shut down, and the entire Grand Canyon had been closed to visitors for the past five days.”
What Did We Get Stuck In Our Rectums Last Year? (2017 Edition). Sticking things in our rectums previously. [more inside]
The U.S. Fertility Rate Is Down, Yet More Women Are Mothers The increase has been especially steep among groups of women who hadn’t been having as many babies: those with advanced degrees, and those who never marry. Today, 55 percent of never-married women ages 40 to 44 have at least one child, up from 31 percent two decades ago, Pew found. [more inside]
Why Cats Love Boxes, According to Science! There's also a (captioned) video on Twitter, starring Artemis, a black cat, which are clearly the best cats. [more inside]