Shared posts

20 Aug 15:15

Harvard’s Name and Alcoholic Beverages | Harvard Trademark Program

by russiansledges
Furthermore, on at least one occasion, wine bearing a Harvard label was inadvertently placed for sale at a liquor store.
19 Aug 23:18

The NFL Is Asking Artists To Pay to Perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

by David Ludwig
Image Associated Press
Associated Press

The Super Bowl halftime show is a coveted gig, but are artists willing to pay to play? According to The Wall Street Journal that's exactly what the National Football League is hoping, as they asked three finalists under consideration for this year's halftime show to make a "financial contribution" to the league in exchange for the slot.

And the response from Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay have been... not great. After all, it's not everyday that international pop stars who can usually charge hundreds of thousands or more for a single appearance are asked to shell out their own money to perform at someone else's event.

While the NFL doesn't pay artists to perform at the halftime show it typically covers travel and performance expenses, which can often run in the millions.

And although breaking even for an appearance isn't normal for most mega stars, they usually take a pay cut to perform for the Super Bowl's over 100 million viewers. (for reference only 12.9 million watched the finale of CBS's How I Met Your Mother).

In addition to the prestige and the exposure, Journal suggests that artists' concert and record sales get a boost from doing the 12-minute halftime show set. But despite the potential for a global audience, fans often remember the controversial and embarrassing moments (Janet Jackson, anyone?) more than the flawless performances.

18 Aug 01:00

The Glossary Given to Audiences of David Lynch’s “Dune”

by Marcie Gainer
Russian Sledges

via bernot

h/t io9.

From Imgur: “I went to see David Lynch’s Dune in the theater in 1984. As we entered, we were given a glossary of Dune terms with our tickets. I understand this is not a common piece of movie ephemera, so I thought you might like to see it.”

The post The Glossary Given to Audiences of David Lynch’s “Dune” appeared first on disinformation.

19 Aug 17:00

Fall Tracking: Boston's Most Anticipated Fall Restaurant Openings

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Russian Sledges

I am really psyched for Townsman

I hate these names:
Café ArtScience

fall openings.jpg

The weather's getting cooler, but the restaurant scene is staying hot with a big crop of openings slated for the coming months. Here's what's currently known about the most anticipated restaurants that are opening up soon. Be sure to keep an eye on this page for updates in the next few weeks, and hit up the tipline with any intel of your own.

The Ames Street Deli / Study
ames street deli.jpg
[Image: Official Site]
What: This adjacent duo will be located in the new Broad Institute building in Kendall Square. Study will serve three meals a day in an "academic" ambiance, while the deli will offer "inventive sandwiches" and cocktails.
Where: 73-75 Ames Street, Cambridge
Who: The team behind Journeyman and Backbar
When: October

Bar Boulud
Bar Boulud Boston rendering.jpg
[Rendering: Tihany Design/Provided]
What: A "French-inspired bistro and wine bar" from world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental, taking over the former Asana space. Boulud previously told Eater:

"I will have only one restaurant here, so there will be everything about Bar Boulud New York, but it will also be about what fits well here. How do we feel here in Boston cooking versus New York? Not that we are too far away, but still there is a lot of DNA of the food scene and also the supply here. You almost feel closer to the coast. I mean, a lot of fish comes from New England, and so it's obvious that New York is fed in part by New England. So I think we'll have a strong focus on that...

And of course the charcuterie program will be an important part. The wine program is about French wine, with the core from Burgundy and Rhône, so chardonnay, pinot noir, hermitage, syrah, mourvèdre, Châteauneuf-style. It'll be French-American in a way, and international, but with a French core. Of course the menu will be seasonal besides some of the classic dishes; seasonality — meaning local ingredients — has been the driving force of all my restaurants forever. Being born and raised on the farm, I always think that way."

Where: 776 Boylston Street, Boston
Who: Boulud and Aaron Chambers as chef de cuisine. (Read his interview with Eater about the project here.)
When: September 16

bisq restaurant.jpg
[Image: Facebook]
What: A sibling to Bergamot (in fact, the name stands for "Bergamot Inman Square,") it'll serve "eclectic small plates" and "innovative charcuterie," according to a release. The 49-seat restaurant will have two bars, one looking into the kitchen. Design features include a wine chandelier. Potential menu items may pop up on the Bergamot menu for testing over the next few months. Wine director Kai Gagnon shared the following thoughts with Eater:

"I'm thrilled to have a forum for wine like BISq: great food in a convivial, even Rabelaisian, atmosphere. We're shooting for the raucous, yet inviting feeling of a Parisian bar à vin with the quality of food that that at Bergamot would lead you to expect. The experience will be highly informed by the wine we will offer: a large selection in multiple formats from all over Northern France (Loire, Champagne, Jura, Savoie, Burgundy, and Beaujolais), Germany, and Austria. The wine list will change frequently (almost daily, to a degree) so that every visit will present a different landscape. Guests will experience the same attention to detail in service and wine presentation that you'd expect from Bergamot but in an informal atmosphere. Our goal is to approach and present wine in the most lighthearted, purely passionate way possible but with all of the expertise and savoir-faire you'd expect from one of the best wine programs in the country. I am so excited to share the wine I love and the passion I have for it with everyone that walks in the door--whether you're getting a glass or two or one of the bottles we've been cellaring for four years."
Where: 1071 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
Who: The Bergamot team — Gagnon, Keith Pooler, Servio Garcia, and Dan Bazzinotti.
When: Fall

The Brewer's Fork
brewers fork.jpg
[Photo: Twitter]
What: A beer garden, wood-fired pizzas, and more in a former dry cleaning shop in Charlestown's Hayes Square. Expect 24 beers on tap, particularly Belgians and locals, as well as a reserve list of fancy bottles.
Where: 5-7 Moulton Street, Charlestown
Who: John Paine (Sorriso, Les Zygomates) and Michael Cooney (The Publick House)
When: Shooting for October, according to Cooney.

Café ArtScience
cafe artscience.jpg
[Rendering: Facebook]
What: As the name suggests, this looks to be, well, an artistic and science-filled playground of food. It's connected to a Paris-based lab called Le Laborataire, a "contemporary art & design center" where Harvard's David Edwards creates culinary inventions, from chocolate that's inhaled to edible food packaging. A recent preview dinner offered approachable dishes like chilled basil potage (with buffalo mozzarella, marinated green tomatoes, and raspberries) and guinea hen (with polenta, fairy tale eggplant, and braised sunflower) — plus egg nog with egg nog spheres.
Where: 650 Kendall Square, Cambridge
Who: In addition to Edwards, the team includes Patrick Campbell (Eastern Standard) as executive chef, Chris Cordeiro (Clio) as sous chef, Renae Connolly as pastry chef, Todd Maul (Clio), and Tom Mastricola (Commonwealth).
When: October 31

Cafe Madeleine
[Image: Provided]
What: A French bakery in the former Amsterdam Cafe space in the South End, serving "quality baked goods made from scratch by classically trained chefs at neighborhood prices." Also, light lunches. Here's the menu. The small space will seat six at a counter, and there will possibly be a patio at some point.
Where: 517 Columbus Avenue
Who: Chef/owner Frederic Robert, a James Beard Award winner who was in business partnership with renowned restaurateur Alain Ducasse for many years. Hana Quon, Robert's sous chef from PB Boulangerie & Bistro in Wellfleet, will be pastry chef.
When: Any day now. UPDATE: Opened on Monday, August 25.

Centre Street Cafe
centre street cafe demolition.jpg
[Photo: Facebook]
What: This Jamaica Plain standby closed recently, but it will reopen this fall, renovated and under new ownership by the Tres Gatos team. "We will continue Felicia's tradition of sourcing as much produce, meat and fish as locally as possible," they promised on Facebook. The popular weekend brunch will remain largely the same (and some items are currently on the menu at Tres Gatos), but the restaurant will have a brand new Italian lunch and dinner menu, featuring pasta made in-house.
Who: Owned by Tres Gatos proprietors David Doyle and Mari Perez-Alers as well as wine director Keith Harmon. Rialto alum Brian Rae is executive chef.
When: Fall

Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 9.34.06 AM.png
[Rendering: Facebook]
What: The old Fenway HoJo's has become a fancy new hotel called The Verb, and O Ya's Tim and Nancy Cushman will open Hojoko there this fall. It'll be a "fun, high-energy izakaya."
Where: 1271 Boylston Street, Boston
Who: The Cushmans
When: Fall

[Photo, from left: Marco Caputo, Anthony DePinto, John DeSimone, and Nicholas Garoufalis/Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
What: Southern Italian cuisine, including Neapolitan pizza, in a vast Downtown Crossing space with a lounge, bottle lockers, and more. "We bring some New World and some Old World together; we try to combine everything," co-owner Marco Caputo told Eater previously. "I bring old-fashioned dishes from my mom, I bring some old-fashioned street food that I used to eat when I was a kid in the streets of Napoli. We try to combine this with the new future."
Where: 45 Province Street, Boston
Who: Co-owners John DeSimone, Anthony DePinto, and Marco Caputo; general manager Nicholas Garoufalis; chef Celio Pereira (an alum of Mamma Maria in the North End).
When: Late September. A rep notes that the menu is ready the build-out is almost complete.

Mother Juice
Mother juice.jpg
[Photo: Facebook]
What: Fresh juice, raw foods, and vegan snacks in a former bubble tea shop in Kendall Square. Mother Juice started out as a food (well, juice) truck.
Where: 625 West Kendall Street, Cambridge
Who: Ellen Fitzgerald and Laura Baldini
When: Aiming for September 2, according to a rep.

Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
rosebud kitchen.jpg
[Photo: Facebook]
What: "Honest food" and "honest drink" in the historic Rosebud space in Somerville's Davis Square. "Folks can expect regional, homestyle comfort food from across the U.S.," partner and chef John Delpha told the DIG. "Our goal is to become part of the fabric of the neighborhood as a simple, laid-back, yet lively [dining] experience for all." At a recent event, the team served hickory-smoked ham sliders with barbecue onions and kimchi mayo.
Where: 381 Summer Street, Somerville
Who: In addition to Delpha, Ian Strickland (The Beehive, The Merchant) has signed on as head bartender. Joe Cassinelli's Alpine Restaurant Group, which also includes Posto and the Painted Burro, is behind the project.
When: Late summer

Somerville Brewing Company's American Fresh Taproom and a Brewery & Taproom in Boynton Yards
[Rendering: American Fresh Taproom/Provided]
What: The makers of Slumbrew have two big projects in the works. American Fresh Taproom, a seasonal 60-seat beer garden, is slated to open soon in Assembly Row. It'll offer snacks, charcuterie, and sandwiches, probably through late October. The company is also building their own brewery in Somerville (they've been working out of Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich.) It's located in Boynton Yards (near Union Square) and will also feature a taproom, with "nothing that's good for you" on the menu — think cheddar beer soup and a "deconstructed" Fluffernutter.
Where: 100 Foley Street, Somerville (Assembly Row) and 15 Ward Street, Somerville (Boynton Yards)
Who: Somerville Brewing Company, founded by Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter
When: Shooting for September 1 (Assembly Row) and late 2014 (Boynton Yards)

[Photo: Kate and Matt Jennings/Provided]
What: Boston natives Matt and Kate Jennings are coming home from Providence, where they just closed their decade-old restaurant, Farmstead, Inc., to open Townsman in the new Radian building on the Greenway. While they haven't revealed much yet, they're known for a commitment to local sourcing and artisanal goods, and Matt is a three-time champion of COCHON555's Boston competition, so it may be fair to expect creative pork dishes and thoughtful New England cuisine. The space is 4,500 square feet.
Where: 120 Kingston Street, Boston
Who: Aside from the Jennings, Brian Young (Post 390) is also onboard.
When: Late 2014

[Photo: Serafina on Broadway in New York City/Official Site]
What: An international chain serving Northern Italian food is making its first foray into Boston, taking over the former Radius space in the Financial District. It's poised to be the start of a larger New England expansion.
Where: 10 High Street, Boston
Who: Seth Greenberg (Mistral, Bastille Kitchen, etc.)
When: Fall

19 Aug 13:00

On the Street…..Broadway, New York

by The Sartorialist
Russian Sledges

via rosalind

the kids these days


Yes, she is a very charming 15 year old.

18 Aug 20:47

Food Porn: Boston Magazine takes an in-depth look...

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Russian Sledges

so good

aldenharlow-150-megjoneswall.jpgBoston Magazine takes an in-depth look at Alden & Harlow's chicken fried rabbit, a popular dish that incorporates blue cheese and chili oil. "Overall, I think it's a really good example of the type of food we do here," chef/owner Michael Scelfo tells the magazine. "It might look simple at first glance, but there's a lot of legwork and a lot of prep that goes into it." [BM]
[Photo: Alden & Harlow/Meg Jones Wall]

19 Aug 15:45

District Attorney Will Empanel Grand Jury In NYPD Chokehold Death Case

by Colin Campbell


Though much of the U.S. is focused on the racially-charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri, a New York City district attorney is moving forward with his investigation of the death of another African-American man, Eric Garner, who also died in a fatal confrontation with police.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan announced on Tuesday that he will soon empanel a grand jury to potentially bring charges regarding Garner's death, which the city's medical examiner ruled a homicide in August.

"Based upon the investigation that my office has conducted to date regarding the July 17, 2014, death of Eric Garner, and after a careful review of the recent findings of the Medical Examiner regarding the cause and manner of Mr. Garner’s death, I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of his death to a Richmond County Grand Jury," Donovan said in a statement. "I intend to utilize that Grand Jury sometime next month to begin presenting evidence on this matter."

Several Democratic members of Congress and other critics have accused Donovan, a Republican, of being too close to the NYPD to objectively prosecute the police officer who aggressively arrested Garner shortly before his death. In a video, the officer appeared to use a chokehold — a banned police tactic — to subdue Garner, who repeatedly yelled, "I can't breathe!"

But Donovan insisted he was simply taking his time in order to be fair in how he approached the case.

"Mindful of the solemn oath to enforce the law that I took when I was first sworn into office as District Attorney in January of 2004, and with a full appreciation that no person is above the law, nor beneath its protection, I assure the public that I am committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation into Mr. Garner’s death, and that I will go wherever the evidence takes me, without fear or favor," he said.

Join the conversation about this story »

07 Aug 10:00

Party Like It’s 1999: Japanese Retrofuturism and Chrono Trigger—Issue 2.3—Futures of the Past

by Michael P. Williams

Twentieth-century Japanese visions of a future that never came to pass.

Read more…

Please consider subscribing to The Appendix. Your patronage supports our continued publication.

19 Aug 12:29

Boston Ballet to Reenact Swan Lake on Public Garden Swan Boats | Boston Magazine

by russiansledges
This week, the team will be at Public Garden to re-create a 1970s photo (above) in which dancers from the company posed in Swan Lake costumes on—what else?—the swan boats.
18 Aug 21:55


by russiansledges
Our good friend and mentor John D Gertsen is packing up and heading west. We have all benefitted from his guidance and friendship and the fortunate among us have experienced his gracious hospitality. Please join us on August 27th as we raise a toast to honor our dear friend. Drinks inspired by John will be served by Josey Packard, Ted Kilpatrick, Joshua Childs , Brother Cleve, Scott Holliday and Jackson Cannon. Following John's example of limitless generosity, proceeds for the evening will benefit the Autism project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. For more than 40 years, Massachusetts Advocates for Children has responded to the needs of children who are vulnerable because of poverty, race, limited English or disability. In 2002 MAC launched the Autism Special Education Legal Support Center. Since it's inception the Center has become a vital force within the autism community in Massachusetts providing training, legal assistance, advocacy, and services to thousands of parents and professionals to ensure that children with autism overcome lowered expectations and receive equal educational opportunities. Tickets are $30 and the fun starts at 7 PM! We hope to see you there!
31 Jul 21:01


14 Aug 21:01


19 Aug 01:42

Ferguson: Survey says white people in US have way more confidence in police than black people

by Xeni Jardin
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Shocking results from a new Pew study. [Previously]

18 Aug 18:40

Admin Ignores Us

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

Admin Ignores Us:
I’m working through the results of a survey on metadata practices with digital scholarship. I asked a question about why metadata services aren’t provided. Several answers were of the variation tha…
15 Aug 19:55

A 200-Year-Old Bottle's Surprising Contents

by (Eric A. Powell)
Russian Sledges

"a type of gin"

selters-bottle-shipwreck-gin-vodka-polandPOLAND, BALTIC SEA—According to a report in Livescience, a 200-year-old stoneware bottle excavated from a shipwreck off the Polish coast contains an alcohol distillate, perhaps vodka or a type of gin called jenever. And, say the researchers, the spirit is still drinkable even after two centuries at the bottom of the sea. Originally the archaeologists thought the bottle contained a popular type of mineral water called “Selters” whose name is engraved on the outside, and which is still sold in the area. But once they popped the cork and analyzed the vessel’s contents, they discovered its true contents. The shipwreck also yielded ceramic bowls, and dinnerware, though project head Tomasz Bednarz says the bottle of booze “is our most valuable find.”

18 Aug 23:00

Pope Francis Is Cool With Killing ISIL If the United Nations Is

by Adam Chandler, The Wire
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide


Decree made from papal plane Monday.
18 Aug 21:49

Why the World Smells Different After It Rains

by Megan Garber

"Petrichor" is the wonderful word that describes the wonderful scent of the air after a rain shower. It comes, like so many wonderful words do, from the ancient Greek: a combination of ichor, the "ethereal essence" the Greeks believed flowed through the veins of their gods, and petros, the stones that form the surface of the Earth. 

In the video above, PBS's Joe Hanson describes the biology that leads to petrichor. "When decomposed organic material is blown airborne from dry soil," he explains, "it lands on dirt and rock where it's joined by minerals. And the whole mixture is cooked in this magical medley of molecules. Falling raindrops then send those chemicals airborne, right into your nostalgic nostrils."

When it's not raining, though, that molecular mixture serves a different purpose: signaling plants to keep their roots from growing and their seeds from sprouting. No use wasting energy on all that, after all, when there's no water to be drunk. (Or, as Hansen puts it, "Petrichor: it's for the plant that's tired of waiting … to germinate.")

So why does the world smell different to humans after it rains? Because of plants, basically. 

18 Aug 16:40

Image transferred to protective tissue, and photographed over...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Image transferred to protective tissue, and photographed over facing page.

From Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis: A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference, v. 4, ed. by William Hyde and Howard Louis Conard (1899). Original from University of Minnesota. Digitized July 29, 2010.

18 Aug 18:38

scottlava: “Sepatown!”

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

<3 <3 <3



15 Aug 20:52

Cotton + Steel August - Frolic coral - fat quarter by MissMatatabi

2.95 USD

August by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel

100% quilting cotton

1 x fat quarter (50cm x 55cm , 19 inches x 21 inches)

If you would like continuous yardage please change the quantity at the checkout.

Parcels are shipped via small packet international airmail from Japan.

Japan Post does not provide tracking numbers for small packet airmail.

A shipping upgrade with a tracking number and insurance can be purchased
for an additional $5. If you would like to upgrade to registered small packet airmail
please let me know.

Thank you.

18 Aug 04:00

August 18, 2014

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Only 4 days left to submit for BAHFest!
18 Aug 18:51

Girls Now Officially Better Than Boys at Everything

by Jessica Roy

It was established long ago, during the cootie-contracting days of yore, that girls rule and boys drool. Women are smarterlive longer, can have multiple orgasms, and also have prettier hair. Men, meanwhile, collect each other's severed dicks in glass jars.

For further evidence of women's superiority, look no further than the recent results of New York's standardized math tests. This year, girls outperformed boys on the math portion of the exam, with 35 percent of female third through eighth graders passing, compared to 33.4 percent of boys the same age. It's a slim difference, but an important one — especially considering the dearth of women in STEM majors and professions.

Maybe if boys tried leaning in more, they might get higher test scores.

Read more posts by Jessica Roy

Filed Under: misandry

15 Aug 05:00

Harvard Bridge in Boston , Massachusetts

Harvard Bridge

This bridge across the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge is notorious not for how it was constructed or where it connects, but how it was measured by an MIT fraternity for a hazing ritual.

In 1958, the chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at MIT used the fraternity's shortest pledge, Oliver Smoot at 5 feet 7 inches (1.7018 meters), to measure the span of Harvard Bridge. Starting at the Boston end on the eastern sidewalk, they laid him down and marked off each length, paiting indicators for every 10 "smoots." The final measured figure was 364.4 smoots plus one ear. From this prank, the smoot became an informal unit of measurement

Smoot would go on to become the president of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as well as having an informal unit of measurement named for him. Through Google's search field, it can convert distances into smoots. When the bridge's sidewalks were replaced in the 1980s, the concrete slabs used were each one smoot long instead of the standard six feet. A plaque celebrating the measurement was dedicated in 2008 on the 50th anniversary, and Lambda Chi Alpha pledges repaint the indicators every year.

17 Aug 13:15

“Mr. and Mrs. Karsy, an inventive and original “team” on the...

“Mr. and Mrs. Karsy, an inventive and original “team” on the variety stage, have created a new and extrodinary musical instrument which is known as the Giant Myriophone (Myriphon). It is the work of a genius and when under full swing produces music similar to that of a full string band. Only two persons are required to produce this immense volume of sound. “The Myriophone has the appearance of a large screen, with a number of wheels fitted on the front. These wheels have strings fitted on them and look much like bicycle wheels. They are set in motion by four lusty stage hands concealed in the rear, and the performers who have a small stick of wood in each hand touch the strings, thus making a note, which can be prolonged to any length. The Myriophone consists of twenty-five discs, each with eighty strings, making 2,000 in all. The sounding boards are made of the same wood as is used in pianos. Regular piano strings are used.” (via » Karsy’s Giant Myriphon)

17 Aug 13:30

Fun With Food Trends

by James Hamblin

This week The New York Times most-read box kept populating with graphical analyses of food trends.

Food comes and goes, and sometimes stays the same, and sometimes changes subtly for years until it becomes this whole other thing. Why? Neil Irwin of the Times The Upshot blog sets up the dilemma with an explanation of how food trends work:

[Foods] start out being served in forward-thinking, innovative restaurants in New York and other capitals of gastronomy. Over time, they become more and more mainstream, becoming a cliché on big-city menus, showing up in high-end restaurants in smaller cities, and eventually finding their way to neighborhood bistros in the hinterlands and chain restaurants across the country.

In the first example, "Fried calamari made a voyage that dozens of foods have made over the years," Irwin wrote. "Now, of course, every strip-mall pizza place and suburban Applebee’s serves fried calamari."

If you are forward-thinking individual living in a capital of gastronomy and you're still eating calamari, check yourself. Also, fresh guacamole is out. Irwin saw it being made table-side at a Chili's, the product of a "voyage from a (once) trendy New York place to Chili’s."

"Goat cheese was nowhere in the public discussion as recently as the 1970s," Irwin wrote in a separate but parallel Times post, "and now appears on the menu of seemingly every half-decent sandwich joint and neighborhood bistro in America."  

So, the challenge posed: "Can we quantify when these food trends emerged, and how quickly they made the transition from urban elites to mass acceptance?"

Yes, and the Times made these charts, among others.

Popularity of Various Foods, 1980-2013

Number of New York Times articles that mention said foods, 1980-2013 (The New York Times)

The entirety of all of the data for these trends is based on mentions in The New York Times. All of it. Transparently, yes. Note the caveat:

"If anything, given the paper’s New York-centric restaurant coverage, we might expect it to be a bit ahead of the curve relative to a broader sample of newspapers from across the country."

Which made me wonder, what other trends did The New York Times start? Using the same database of articles, I did a few analyses of my own.

Popularity of Pants

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "pants," 1851-2013

It's interesting to see how pants really took off around 1970, lulled in the early 1980s, and really came into their own in 2010. 

Of course, the media landscape is dynamic and sinister, and the Times was thinner at various points in the past. Fewer articles necessarily means fewer mentions of any given thing. So what if you look at the graph as a percentage of articles that make mention of pants?

Popularity of Pants

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "pants," 1851-2013

Pants still seem to have clearly fallen out of favor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

I conjecture in this case that New Yorkers took to wearing pants in the 1860s, and then the trend descended to the flyover states, every ma and pa wearing them. So the City renounced them. Until pants fell out of favor in the backwaters, and were reclaimed by the City in the 1970s.

Or maybe it only works for food.

Popularity of Fondue

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "fondue," 1851-2014

I guess this fall, fondue is a fon-don't.

I've been waiting to use that one. Waiting until fondue went out of style. Which I thought it did a while ago? Actually, I have no idea what foods are cool, ever.

Popularity of Ketchup

Number of New York Times articles that mention "ketchup," 1851-2013

Popularity of Gluten

Number of New York Times articles that mention "gluten," 1851-2013

Gluten is, you know, a natural plant protein that has been around since the beginning of plants. It is now the driver of billions of dollars in misplaced diet-minding and concern, and a vague notion that gluten-free means healthy. Thank you, New York Times.

And of course there's a broader point to be made about America here as a cultural melting pot. Irwin's analysis:

There is a broader point to be made about America as a cultural melting pot. After all, hamburgers and hot dogs are both Americanized versions of German dishes, and they have now been supplanted by foods with origins in Italy and Mexico. But rather than consider these themes further, we are now getting hungry and have a few ideas for solving that problem.

That's where the article ends.

It really is great that there is searchable database of the entire history of The New York Times. As you can see, I've spent a fair amount of time playing with it this weekend. You can click through to the actual archival articles, too. (In case you're curious about the mention of fondue in 1860, see "The Irish Problem.") All of this gratuitous knowledge is possible because of the Internet.

Popularity of the Internet

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "Internet," 1851-2013

Oh, no. Can nothing stay popular forever?

17 Aug 14:21

Missouri Gov. Nixon 'Not Happy' Police Released Robbery Video

by Caitlin MacNeal

This post has been updated.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Sunday said he did not approve of the decision by police to release the video that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store.

"We were unaware they were going to release it it," Nixon said on ABC's "This Week" about the video. "We certainly were not happy with that being released, especially in the way that it was. It appeared to cast dispersions (sic) on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw."

Read More →
17 Aug 08:00


15 Aug 14:50

The Word and the world

by J.S. and L.P.
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Catholicism in Asia

POPE FRANCIS is on a five-day visit to South Korea, the first trip by a pontiff to Asia since 1999. Catholicism is increasingly popular in the country and the region. Since 1970, the proportion of Catholics in South Korea has risen four-fold to 11%, some 5m people. That is in contrast to the global average, which has fallen slightly to 17% as traditionally Catholic countries—such as the Philippines—become more secular and people turn to newer Christian movements. (In South Korea there are twice as many evangelicals as Catholics; in China three times as many.) The decline in these countries is offset by growth elsewhere, particularly in Asia. Catholics in India and China are a small share of the population, but they number 19m and 17m respectively, behind only the Philippines. And they are predicted to increase by 2m-3m by 2020.

05 Aug 06:00


by Heather Lou

Closet Case Files: Cutting Table DIY

As promised, today I’ll be sharing how to make the greatest cutting table of all time. I may be a tad biased since I built this sucker with my own two hands, but after a few days of woodworking research I think this is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to build a mobile, durable cutting table that actually looks good.

If you sew a lot, there are few things in the world more desirable than a sturdy table you can work at without stooping over. I have lower back issues from years of sitting at a desk and postponing yoga, and my dining room table was slowly killing me and my body. A comfortable working height is 36 inches for most people (hence why it’s the standard counter height in kitchens) so that’s what we’re aiming for here, although the shorter or taller among you may want to tweak the height accordingly. Just keep in mind that stools are designed to be used at 36″ and 42″ countertops, so sitting may be awkward if you stray too much from those dimensions.

The great thing about this project is that it requires minimal tools. You will have the bulk of the cutting done at your hardware store, which makes it much easier to get stuff home. This tutorial will provide you with a table that is 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. If you want something smaller, you’ll have to tweak the dimensions. In case anyone wants a different take, here is the tutorial I used for reference, although with substantial modifications.

I had a few pieces that were a little too big so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes if you use the following guidelines. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • an electric drill with a drill bit to match your screws
  • an electric sander (if you don’t have one you can get them for around $30)
  • a level (I use a level app on my iphone)
  • measuring tape
  • a handsaw (you can get cheap ones for around $10 and they are a handy thing to have in your toolbox)


  • one sheet of 3/4″ plywood for the tabletop cut down to 3 feet by 6 feet. I used spruce. You can also use pine or maple – just make sure you like the grain. Higher grades of wood are more pricey. This tabletop will overlap each side by about 2″.
  • one sheet of 3/8″ plywood in the same wood as above cut to 67″ x 31″. This will be the bottom level of your table. Make sure to find a sheet that isn’t cupping.
  • (6 x) 2×4′s that are 8′ long in spruce or pine. You will ask all of them to be cut at 5′-4″ – this will give you 6 pieces to act as your long support posts, and 6 additional pieces at roughly 32″ long. 4 of these will act as your vertical legs – the other 2 pieces should be cut down to 31″ to provide the additional horizontal support for your castors at the very bottom. Make sure your 2 x 4′s are nice and straight – you can eyeball them by looking down each side, or ask someone for help. Bowed 2 x 4′s do not a straight table make.
  • (1 x) 2×4 that is 10′ long in spruce or pine. Ask for 4 cuts of 24″ each (the saw takes off a little so you want to use a slightly longer piece of wood). These will brace your legs.


  • (4 x) heavy duty castors, 2 of them locking. I bought 3″ castors that had an overall  height of almost 4″. This plus your legs and the tabletop will give you a total height of just over 36″.
  • (8 x) galvanized steel rigid ties exactly like this. You can find them in the hardware section of the Home Depot. These are great because they let you join all your 2 x 4′s easily and accurately. I also think they look industrial and awesome.
  • A large box of #8 1 1/4″ long wood screws. Get at least 200 – each rigid tie takes 20 screws.
  • A small box of #8 3″ long wood screws, at least 20. You will use these to secure your long and short support posts.
  • 1 can of  stain, if you want it. I am in love with Minwax White Wash Pickle Stain – it lets the grain show through while lightening the wood. And it looks Scandinavian and sexy as hell. I don’t suggest paint for this project. It’s not a good finish for tabletops that get a lot of use – it will look terrible within a few months.
  • 1 can of water based polyurethane. I suggest Minwax Polycrylic; it dries totally clear. Most polyurethanes have a yellow tint.
  • A couple of foam brushes.
  • 3 kinds of sandpaper. At least 3 sheets each of 120, 150 and 180 grit. You will use each one at different times in the sanding/sealing process.
  • a dust mask
  • lint free cloths

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY

All in, the supplies will cost around $200, not including any of the tools. I thought this was very reasonable, especially after looking into getting something custom made (OUCH!) It took me a day and a half to complete the project, a worthwhile investment to save my weary back muscles.


  • Once you get everything home, you’ll need a good place to start sanding. I used my balcony. If you do it inside, try to seal off one room of your house because you will get dust EVERYWHERE! Start with your 2 x 4 pieces. Sand each long side with your 120 grit paper. You may have to work a little harder to sand off any of the markings on the wood. The only bottom and top edges you need to worry about are the ones for the 2 x 31″ pieces. These are the only edges you will see in this project. You basically want to sand off any splinters and rough edges and get a somewhat smooth finish but don’t go crazy. 2 x 4′s are notoriously imperfect.
  • Finish sanding the 2 x 4′s with your 150 grit paper. This prepares the wood for the stain.
  • Wipe all your wood down with a barely damp cloth to remove the dust. Once they are dry, use your foam brush to apply stain to all the long sides, rubbing it off with a dry cloth as you go. The only short sides you need to worry about staining are on your 2 x 31″ pieces.
  • Let your stain dry for a few hours and sand them again, this time with the 180 grit paper. It smooths down the wood that expanded and got rough from the stain.
  • Wipe with a barely damp cloth again and use a fresh foam brush to apply your sealer. Check when you’re done each piece to smooth out any drips. You’ll want 3 coats total; sand again with the 180 grit after the first and second coats to smooth out any bumps. It seems like a lot of sanding but it actually goes by quite quickly! I wrap my foam brushes in saran wrap in between coats so they don’t dry out. Pro tip: Blare some classic rock and feel like a badass while using your sander.
Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY

Sanded, stained and sealed 2 x 4′s.

  • You are going to repeat the exact same sanding process for your two sheets of plywood, but you only have to finish one side of each, since the other will be mostly invisible. Before you sand your 3/8″ plywood, cut each corner so that the plywood will hug your 2 x 4 legs with a handsaw. Be sure to sand the edges of the plywood well, since you don’t want your lovely fabric to catch on snags!
  • Now that you’ve got everything sanded, stained and sealed, we’re ready for the fun part. ASSEMBLY! Before we get started, you may want to remove the stickers from the rigid ties with some Goo Gone. The Goo Gone will also help remove any grime or oil on the steel – wash them with soap and water and let them dry.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-3

  • Lay your 24″ pieces on the ground and thread your 32″ legs through the rigid ties. Add two long supports so you can make sure everything lines up.
  • Start screwing in the 1 1/4″ screws with your power drill. Make sure you go in nice and straight, and back off the drill when they tighten up so you don’t thread your screws. Don’t forget to screw the inside corners too.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-4

  • Once your legs are screwed in, you’ll want to attach the bottom 2 x 24′ bracings. They should start 6″ from the bottom of your legs. Use a measuring tape, pencil and level to keep everything straight.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-5

  • Attach the remaining long supports, using your 3″ screws.
  • Drill your 32″ cross bracing to the inside of each set of legs, making sure your 2×4 is level with the bottom of your legs.
  • Screw in your castors. In my case, I had one castor edge hanging out, but 3 screws per castor should be plenty if the same thing happens to you.
  • Flip that baby right side up. Shed a single, proud tear. And then turn up the classic rock.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-7

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-6

You can get a little lazy sanding the edges of the 2 x 4′s that you know won’t be visible, take it from me.

  • To get your 3/8″ sheet of plywood in, you’ll have to do some creative angling but don’t worry, it will fit.
  • Lay your tabletop on the frame. I didn’t want to secure the table in case I wanted to pull it out and create room for my legs when I’m working, and also for ease of dis-assembly if I ever move to a bigger studio. If you’re staying put, you can use construction adhesive to glue it down, but I found using some silicone furniture pads available at the dollar store prevent it from moving around too much.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-8

  • Finally, you can attach a bar to the sides if you’d like to hang your tools. I got a silver one with some S hooks at Ikea.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-13

And that’s it folks! It’s a few days of work, but I cannot even begin to tell you how much this table has transformed my sewing practice. I don’t dread cutting anymore, and it’s a pleasure to unfold silk and watch it slip around on my beautifully varnished tabletop.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-12

And if your friends and family think you’re a sewing superstar now, wait until you tell them you BUILT this!

Happy making!

Closet Case Files: Cutting Table DIY

15 Aug 13:51

Japanese Fabric Kokka Nani Iro Itsura Textile Jun Kan - C by MissMatatabi

Russian Sledges

multitask suicide, let's open a #dark sewing shop

9.75 USD

nani IRO Itsura Textile Jun Kan by Naomi Ito for Kokka

55% linen, 45% cotton

1/2 metre (50cm x 110cm wide : 19" x 43" wide)

For continuous yardage please change the quantity at the checkout.

Parcels are shipped via small packet international airmail from Japan.

Japan Post does not provide tracking numbers for small packet airmail.

A shipping upgrade with a tracking number and insurance can be purchased
for an additional $5. If you would like to upgrade to registered small packet airmail
please let me know.

Thank you very much.

All images © by Naomi Ito from ATELIER to nani IRO & KOKKA co.,ltd