Shared posts

22 Sep 05:01


by Ian

"Reasons" being firewalling the employee internet, of course.


22 Sep 02:46

Streams Flow into Rivers


Sadly accurate representation of how many think of this.

sleep is dumb

Today’s comic is about music streaming (inspired by @zoecello’s great posts on music business)

18 Sep 12:39



For Rosalind, in particular.

13 Sep 04:16

Art of the day: jetsam.


Dylan is so good at drawing garbage, you guys.

Art of the day: jetsam.

12 Sep 13:00

Detail from page 346 of Family Man, now...


Ah, Rector. I know that feel.

Detail from page 346 of Family Man, now online!

He’s…he’s having a rough night, guys.

03 Sep 05:35

Li’l bit of the next childhood superheroine redesign...


Looking forward to this one.

Li’l bit of the next childhood superheroine redesign project drawing.

18 Sep 10:05


18 Sep 11:03

sketchshark: I’m exposing Chaos’ addiction. My cat is a...


I’m exposing Chaos’ addiction. My cat is a faucet-water junkie. 

20 Sep 22:32

I Am Legion [Noisia x Foreign Beggars] - Make Those Move (Free Download)


Jango Fett's jam of choice for schooling Dirtbag Obiwan.

Free Download: Summer Tour Dates: Get the Album & Merch: Like: http...
19 Sep 03:26

Gettin' Cheeky With It

sleep is dumb

This is approximately how annoying I am when I'm in a good mood.

12 Sep 20:52

Were Your Google Credentials Leaked?

by Erin Styles

You should probably check.

Early on Tuesday, Google announced that a potential 5 million usernames and passwords associated with Gmail accounts have been leaked. It is unclear how many of them are current vs. outdated credentials. According to Google’s blog post, “less than 2 percent of the username and password combinations might have worked.”

Visit our email look-up tool to see if your account was part of the leaked data.  

We strongly suggest that you take this opportunity to change your Gmail account password and generate a new, strong password using LastPass. To protect our users, those who have reused their LastPass master password as their Gmail account password have been temporarily deactivated. For your security, note that it is very important to never use your LastPass master password for other logins.

If you’ve experienced trouble with your account, please contact LastPass Support so we may assist you in reactivating your account and creating a new, stronger master password.

Be Secure,
18 Sep 14:17

Pen and Cape Society: The Super Choice Adventure Comes to an End

by Christopher Wright

So the Pen and Cape Society website has posted the fourteenth and final chapter of the Super Choice Adventure. Jim Zoetewey, author of The Legion of Nothing, closes it out quite nicely I think.

It was fun to play with the other authors. I hope it was a fun read. If you're visiting for the first time because of it, welcome! Pull up a chair, page through the fiction, feel free to correct my grammar and spelling. :D

18 Sep 23:55

CVLT Nation Interviews MYRKUR

I would like to start off by complimenting your self-titled release. As a debut, it’s one of the strongest I’ve ever heard, and on Relapse of all labels. Your sudden appearance has been noted, how did Myrkur come to life?

Thank you for that! And yes, Relapse, they are a good and intelligent record label. It didn’t really come to life as some sort of event, the way a band would. I am just me writing and recording music in my house in Denmark, and I have been doing that for many years. I have lived in that particular house since age 12, and around this time, my grandmother gave me her piano that she bought when she was 16 (and paid off for probably 10 years). She was a classical pianist, but was ultimately told her hands were too small to truly learn the difficult pieces. She gave the piano to me because I have longer fingers.

So, I have made music for many years. Myrkur is a side to me, an expression of what echoes the deepest inside me, and the musical universe I hold most dear to my heart.

In what little information the Internet gleaned regarding Myrkur, I read Relapse signed you based off an experience of hearing you sing in a forest. What was sung that inspired this ambitious signing?

“Du Gamla, Du fria!”

Norse mythology is a common element among black metal. What stories contributed to your album the most?

I write music in a little more abstract way than something that follows a certain story. But I find inspiration in the Ældre Edda, the Icelandic sagas and poems about Aseguderne, Jætterne and man. Perhaps mostly in the goddesses and female figures such as Valkyrier, the female power figure that helped bring the slain warriors into Valhalla.

In the era of Danelagen, more and more evidence points towards female warriors that fought alongside the vikings. These women are called a Skjoldmø (a shield maiden), and I find this thought quite fascinating when you think about what people would like you to believe was women’s role in the 800-900s, or even what women’s role is today. The below painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo depicts a Skjoldmø dying on the battle field.


Your music has an ethereal quality backed by obvious skill; clearly you are not new to black metal. Are there any prior projects of note that you participated in that contribute to the sheer weight of your sound?

I would say many different things have contributed to my musical background. I grew up playing the violin in a symphony orchestra and also piano, and I come from a family of other musicians. And then listening to and singing choral vocals and in girl choirs, as well as Nordic folk-music and folklore.

In having played music prior to Myrkur, what fueled the desire to create a one-person black metal project?

Being isolated a lot and having the freedom to do the kind of music I wish to do, and mix the different sides of myself and sounds that I wish. I just wrote and recorded music with no intention of releasing it or even playing it for anyone. And I think the lack of ‘plans’ with this music from my side turned out to be a positive thing. It gave me freedom to just express what is inside me, with absolutely no thought about what would someone else think of it. In other music projects I do, or bands I have played in or will play in, there tends to be more people involved, and therefore more people to make decisions. For Myrkur, it is only me who decides what is right. Myrkur is the musical expression that is the most sincere and honest for me out of everything that I do.

Your music makes a balancing act of juggling beauty and ugliness, creating something altogether new that transcends both. If there were to be a singular message or feeling you would want a listener to take away from Myrkur, what would it be?

Ultimately, it must be up to the listener what music makes them feel. People associate different sounds with entirely different things from one another. But I can say that I like black metal because it dares you to go into a dark place that few people want to go today. A dark place inside yourself, because we are all made of contrasts, and no one should restrict themselves to being a one-dimensional creature. Or deny their true nature and ancient powers.

Your dedication to black metal is clear, what is it about the style that draws out your voice, in all its forms?

Saying I am dedicated to black metal feels a little limiting, or perhaps a bit vague in today’s era.

As you mention, the music I make resonates in many different musical universes, perhaps resulting in a new sound of its own. So I try to not put a genre label on Myrkur.

But I love, honor and respect the message and sound of black metal that is rooted in nature; in all things pure and frozen, like the Nordic blood that runs in my veins.


Considering your debut is an EP, what details can you divulge about your impending full-length or next release in general?

I wish to continue down this musical path that I am on and explore more. Some of the new songs I am writing at the moment are perhaps a bit more aggressive. But I still love the epic, melodic guitar riffs and the ethereal choral vocals.

Thank you for sharing your time with Cvlt Nation’s readers, do you have any parting words?

Vær hilset fellow metal supporters, I hope you are in a cold and dark place listening to some uncomfortably loud music.


Pre-order MYRKUR here!

Check out the MYRKUR Facebook page!

06 Dec 02:37


16 Sep 15:00

Pilot E95S Fountain Pen Overview

by Brian Goulet

This is kind of a throwback design-wise in some ways.

It’s no secret, I’m a fan of Pilot. And pens like the new Pilot E95S show you why. Sure, I’m a retailer of theirs and you should always take what I say about products I sell with that in mind, but I try to be pretty honest and objective despite that. I won’t go saying that the E95S is the best pen ever made, but I will say that it’s a pretty unique pen and one that I was more impressed with once I had it in my hands than I was just looking at pictures.

The E95S is known in Japan as the Elite 95S, which for copyright/trademark purposes had to be named something different in the US. So the “Elite" became “E”. The pen comes in two different color options: black with gold trim and burgundy and gold with gold trim. The black one is pretty straight-laced, but the burgundy/gold is really interesting. That’s actually the color I like more, but it’s a personal preference thing.

It’s a small pen, a really small pen! Only measuring 119mm long (4.7in) closed, it kind of looks like a stick of mascara or lipstick or something! But when you open up and post the pen, it lengthens up quite a bit to 147mm (5.8in), which is about the length of a ‘normal’ pen. This makes it a nice, compact pen. It’ll be a little too short for bigger-handed folks like me unless you post it, but the almost effortless sliding cap actually makes it a pleasure to do so.

The E95S is really light, too, only weighing about as much as a Lamy Safari, even though this pen is made of metal. It’s a cartridge/converter pen that uses the proprietary Pilot/Namiki cartridges and comes with a Pilot Con-20 squeeze converter. It’ll also fit the similar squeeze converter that fits the Parallel and Metropolitan (that’s not available apart from these pens). Here’s the thing though, the Con-50 won’t fit in it, the metal band around the converter is too wide to fit in the pen. And the Con-70 is just way too big, don’t even think about it.

Pilot E95S comes with Pilot Con-20 converter and accepts Pilot/Namiki cartridges

Now let’s talk about how it writes. It’s awesome. I really haven’t met a Pilot nib I don’t like at this point, they just really know how to do their nibs (which they make in-house). And this nib is cool, it’s 14k gold and inlaid into the pen body which gives it a really unique and kind of vintage look. It’s also smooth and has a lot of spring to it. Press the nib and you can get some line variation, but I’d go easy on this because it’s not advertised as a soft or flex nib at all. Don’t overdo it. But wow, that EF nib especially is really, really small, and writes with a little bit of tooth which is perfectly alright and expected given how thin a line it draws. The fine and medium nibs are very smooth, and the medium in particular is a nice, wet writer. 

Here are my personal thoughts on the pen, take it or leave it:

Take it:
  • Very light, portable
  • Incredibly easy (and fun) to cap/uncap 
  • Classy looking, definitely looks the price
  • Price is great, at $170 list ($136 at it’s the most affordable 14k gold nib pen I sell
  • Inlaid EF, F, and M nib is unique, looks cool, and writes really nicely

Leave it:
  • Con-20 limitation means you’ll never be able to see your ink level
  • Because the pen is light, I wonder how well it’ll hold up to abuse. Treat it well.
  • Short length means it pretty much has to be posted to be usable, by most hands

The Pilot E95S might not be the easiest name to remember, but one glance at the pen and it’ll definitely stand out to you. If you’re in the market for a Pilot Vanishing PointPilot Stargazer, or Pilot Falcon, basically a gold-nib pen that’s really convenient as a pocket pen, I would certainly give this one a look. Pick one up for $136 at, and if you have any questions be sure to ask in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet
17 Sep 03:46

Advanced Economic Theory

sleep is dumb

Intern! Hey! Intern!

15 Sep 23:30

My thoughts after hearing about Apple Pay


yuuuuup. (via osiasjota)

15 Sep 15:08

Monday Matchup #13: Lamy Studio, Black with Fine Nib and Delta Black

by Rachel Goulet
Welcome back from the weekend, fountain pen lovers! Sometimes you just need something reliable and comfortable to get you through the week. This week’s Monday Matchup is just that. We’ve paired the black Lamy Studio with a fine nib with Delta Black ink. The Lamy Studio is classy and sophisticated. Almost like the “little black dress” of any pen collection — it’ll always perform elegantly and make you look good. Match that with dependable ink like Delta Black, you’re guaranteed a successful and productive week.

Caitlin used this week’s matchup, along with a Noodler’s brush pen, to sketch an incredibly adorable drawing of an English bulldog. Alex provided a writing sample to show off the duo’s abilities.

What do you think of this week’s match? What’s your “Little Black Dress” fountain pen combination? We’d love to know!

Hope y’all have a happy Monday!
16 Sep 03:53

Work Experience

sleep is dumb

In tonight’s comic, we get to the bottom of cats.

12 Jul 03:16

The Poetic Species: Legendary Sociobiologist E.O. Wilson in Conversation with Poet Laureate Robert Hass on Science and Poetry


I love Ed Wilson. This is indirectly via someone, but I don't remember who now.

“The social drive shaped the uses of imagination. It made it possible for humans to share their invisible inner worlds with each other.”

“Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge,” William Wordsworth wrote in 1798; “it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science.” And yet, perhaps short of Diane Ackerman’s gorgeous poems for the planets and a few scientific papers published in stanzaic form as a prank, the interplay of science and poetry in the pursuit of human knowledge is far from obvious, let alone celebrated, in today’s culture.

One of the most beautiful celebrations of this invisible mutuality took place on December 6, 2012, when literary nonprofit Poets House and the American Museum of Natural History hosted an unusual and wonderful event exploring the intersection of science and poetry — a dialogue between legendary Harvard sociobiologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. Their wide-ranging conversation is now collected in The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass (public library), titled after Wilson’s famous description of Homo sapiens as “the poetic species” on account of how heavily our cognitive infrastructure relies upon metaphor and associative thinking.

Since the conversation took place shortly after Wilson’s controversial — highly acclaimed and highly criticized — book The Social Conquest of Earth, Hass begins with a tongue-in-cheek question about how Wilson manages to get in so much trouble. The celebrated scientist answers with extraordinary elegance, speaking to the crucial role of science in opposing dogmas — a task never met without resistance:

Good scientists, like good innovators of any kind, are entrepreneurial, and they’re the ones that are most likely to get into trouble. And I’ve always enjoyed being in trouble. In science, trouble means progress.

Indeed, one need only look at Galileo’s troubles to appreciate the poignancy of this observation and to be reminded that ignorance, not knowledge, drives science.

One of the most fascinating and timelessly urgent inquiries the two discuss is one of equal concern to science and the humanities — the question of free will. Hass reflects:

On the literary and the philosophical side of things, this debate is about the question of free will, about the relation between human choice and the idea of fate. So many of the old stories are about fate being fulfilled or frustrated. It has always been an intense human fascination, how much freedom we have and whether we have any at all. I remember at a poetry reading in San Francisco once, during the question and answer period, an earnest young woman — she was quite pregnant, I remember—raised her hand and asked if there was such a thing as free will. The old poet Kenneth Rexroth looked at her as if he were a little ashamed of himself for having given the impression that he could answer such a question, and then said, very kindly, “We can’t know, and we have to act as if there is.” I thought that was a good answer.

Responding to Wilson’s assertion that “the deadly violence … seems to be a hallmark of our species” and “it’s our basic nature to be conflicted” — an assertion Stephen Pinker has famously defied — Hass echoes Alan Shlain’s exploration of how the invention of writing usurped female power in society and shares an observation:

For poets it’s always been interesting to notice that the culture that showed up when humans passed over the event horizon of writing was a male warrior culture.

Reflecting on Wilson’s extensive work on the evolution of culture, Hass adds to history’s greatest definitions of art by considering the creative impulse:

One of the interesting things about this idea is that it has so many echoes in art making. Artists almost always start with a kind of play based on elements that are fixed and variable, things that conventions express, set forms in music, set patterns in comedy, fixed rhythms in poetry, on the one hand, and, on the other, departures from those conventions that lead to new ways of seeing and feeling. In a way, it’s the same oscillation, between sensations that make us feel safe, part of the group, and sensations that make us feel free and on our own. The formal imagination in art — the half-conscious shaping that occurs when an artist is at work — is always working on this problem.

Wilson, who has long advocated for the importance of imaginative thinking in science and has previously argued for the cross-pollination of science and the humanities, speaks to the power of art in shaping the evolutionary history of culture:

The humanities, and especially the creative arts, are the natural history of Homo sapiens. The descriptions based on them describe the human condition and human nature in exquisite detail, over and over again in countless situations. When verbal descriptions are novel in style and obedient to the most basic principles of human nature, when they connect old memories, create new images, and stir emotions all together, we call that great literature. The important innovator produces a tableau of relationships in a story that describes not just the particularities of a place in time, but something that is true for humanity as a whole for all time.

Hass considers the social wiring of our brains and how the science of the social imperative, which Wilson has spent decades studying, feeds into the creative heart of our humanity:

The social drive shaped the uses of imagination. It made it possible for humans to share their invisible inner worlds with each other. I often think of this in relation to dreams. Once they could speak, humans could tell each other their dreams. They could find out that everybody has dreams, that there is this parallel world of meaning-making or traveling that goes on in the resting mind.

Wilson agrees, building an elegant bridge back to biology to illuminate the human paradox:

We dream together, and as a result the cultural products of human nature are vastly expanded and enriched. And approaching from the other side of the divide, biology progresses and connects with the humanities. What biology seems to be doing at the moment is to reveal the roots of ambiguity that define human nature. We’ve been talking, for example, about the eternal confliction of the human mind, between self-serving behavior for the individual and for its offspring, versus service to the group. This clash of evolutionary forces can never result in an equilibrium. If it goes too far toward individualism, societies would dissolve. If, on the other hand, it goes too far toward obedience to the group, the group would turn into an ant colony. So, we’re creatively conflicted, moving back and forth between sin and virtue, rebellion and loyalty, love and hate.

He then returns to the reconciliatory power of the humanities, but he echoes Rilke’s famous counsel to live the questions as he adds:

The creative arts are the sharing of our inner desires and humanity’s struggle. The humanities are our way of understanding and managing the conflict between the two levels that created Homo sapiens. The conflict can never be resolved. And we shouldn’t try too hard to reach a resolution. It defines our species and is the fountain of our creativity.

Hass makes a beautiful aside — then again, the entire conversation is a string of asides, which is precisely what makes it so enchanting — about the question of animal consciousness and how it first rattled poets’ belief in human exceptionalism, then enabled an embracing of science as a complementary celebration of the existential mystery:

The idea that every creature has its own reality scared poets at the beginning of the twentieth century, made some of them feel we were groping blindly — it in effect kicked us out of a comfortable anthropocentric community — but it also allowed some modern poets this sense of absolute mystery at the core of existence. It came of knowing that we would never know exactly what a bird’s experience is, or what an ant’s experience is. It has been an unhousing of the imagination, and it was brought on by the thrust of science to be at home in the world by understanding it. It said we move among great powers and mysteries and only glimpse their meanings, the meaning of what it’s like to be another creature, and therefore also the meaning of being a self, a person.

(For more on the history of this inquiry, see Joanna Bourke’s excellent What It Means To Be Human.)

Describing the powerful experience of seeing remarkably accurate 3,000-year-old carvings of birds and fish in the tombs of Cairo, Hass considers once again how science and the arts converge in our quest for meaning and sensemaking:

Science, partly by the kind of patient observation that noticed the hump on the Nile crow’s back and partly by leaps of imagination and by shared testing and dialogue, has made enormous progress in understanding certain things about the world, but the skill of those artists made me feel that we have always been pretty much in the same place with the same kind of knowledge and the same pull back and forth between ways of seeing.

But the sameness of these fundamental ways of seeing is being threatened as these seemingly eternal objects of our fascination — the wild creatures that inspired artists and scientists alike to look closer, to gasp, to wonder — are facing a heartbreaking fate. Wilson addresses this with a naturalist’s cool rigor and a moral philosopher’s passionate conviction:

I am an extremist. I believe in wildernesses. I’ve been there. I’ve studied thousands of species living there, in ecosystems much the same as they were millions of years ago. I believe, I think, in reference to the species that we might still save — and a growing number of them are endangered — that we need parks, big ones, lots more of them. I think we should be thinking about giving a large part of the world’s surface to wild land. To do so is not just being a conservationist — not just saving species — we must hold on to the rest of life… I don’t mean to make a political statement. I’m making a moral statement. We have to develop a new and better ethic to save the rest of life.

And therein, perhaps, lies the great power of poetry as an ally to science — the power to mobilize people’s imagination and open up their hearts for “the rest of life,” for our intricate connection not only with one another but also with all of Earth’s creatures. Hass captures this capacity beautifully:

We have to work at it. Wonder is one place to start. I was asked to go to my granddaughter’s kindergarten class and to talk about poetry. And I didn’t know if I would know how to do it, but I brought the book I had with me—which was the collected Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, and there is a poem of hers called “The Fish,” and it begins, “I caught a tremendous fish.” So I opened the book and said to these little kids, “Just say this poem with me, okay? ‘I caught a tremendous fish,’” and this group of kids all on the floor looked up at me and said, “I caught a tremendous fish.” And — I simplified the imagery a bit — I said, “It was very old and its skin,” and they said, “It was very old and its skin,” and I said, “Looked like roses on old wallpaper.” And they said, “Ooh.”

And I thought, this is a cinch.

Indeed, this is the broader power of art. Riffing off pioneering modernist architect Louis Sullivan’s assertion that art doesn’t fulfill desire but creates it, Hass reflects:

The way in which art creates desire, I guess that’s everywhere. Is there anyone who hasn’t come out of a movie or a play or a concert filled with an unnameable hunger? … To stand in front of one of [Louis Sullivan's] buildings and look up, or in front, say, of the facade of Notre Dame, is both to have a hunger satisfied that you maybe didn’t know you had, and also to have a new hunger awakened in you. I say “unnameable,” but there’s a certain kind of balance achieved in certain works of art that feels like satiety, a place to rest, and there are others that are like a tear in the cosmos, that open up something raw in us, wonder or terror or longing. I suppose that’s why people who write about aesthetics want to distinguish between the beautiful and sublime… Beauty sends out ripples, like a pebble tossed in a pond, and the ripples as they spread seem to evoke among other things a stirring of curiosity. The aesthetic effect of a Vermeer painting is a bit like that. Some paradox of stillness and motion. Desire appeased and awakened.

Wilson sums up with a beautiful — sublime, really — parting thought that captures the heart of the conversation:

Science and art having the same creative wellspring, which I believe can be expressed aphoristically: the ideal scientist thinks like a poet and works like a bookkeeper.

The Poetic Species is a wonderful read in its entirety, short yet infinitely simulating. Complement it with Wilson’s advice to young scientists and Dorion Sagan on why science and philosophy need each other.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

Share on Tumblr
15 Sep 05:01

smash bros

by Ian

People are weird.

smash bros

10 Sep 01:08



Where is his plate?
via Osiasjota

10 Sep 06:06

fuck-yeah-feminist: This deserves so many reblogs. Feminism is...


Via Osiasjota


This deserves so many reblogs.

Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.

Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.

Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.

11 Sep 14:57

The Balcones Controversy

by Lew Bryson

VC, fucking things up.

Author - Dave BroomThe extraordinary reports coming out of the Balcones distillery in Waco, Texas may yet be seen as the first of many such scenarios as venture capitalists set their sights on the craft distilling industry. The distillery founder, Chip Tate, has refused to attend board meetings with the venture capital group that owns a majority stake in the company; the VC group has, in turn, accused him of what amount to terroristic threats. Whiskey-lovers are up in arms, fearing the outcome for this iconic craft distillery; the Twitter hashtag #nochipnobalcones is spreading.

Here’s what’s happened. The distillery was established — indeed, was literally built — by president and head distiller Chip Tate in 2008 and has subsequently become one of the flagships of the U.S. craft scene internationally. With demand for the Balcones range rising, Tate needed to increase capacity and in, 2013, he and second round investor Michael Rockafellow accepted a substantial offer from a group headed by Greg Allen, along with a number of smaller investors, which bought out Stephen Germer (Balcones’ initial investor), giving them a majority stake in the company.

Allen’s background is with his family’s food processing business. Prior to that he worked in Goldman Sachs’ mergers and acquisitions department and as an attorney specializing in venture capital financing and emerging growth companies.

Chip Tate

Chip Tate

It appears that a combination of differing philosophies as to future strategy, a clash of personalities, and concerns over the rising costs of the distillery expansion has resulted in a deterioration in relations between Tate and the new board, with them moving to significantly reduce his role within the company he founded. As a result of this, Tate refused to attend board meetings.

On August 22nd, the boardroom battle ended up in court, where judge Gary Coley granted a temporary restraining order enforcing a 90-day suspension on Tate. According to the board, his “unconscionable and reprehensible” behavior could delay the $10 million distillery expansion project. They also alleged that Tate had threatened the life of chairman Greg Allen and suggested he would rather see the distillery burn than have it wrested from his control, claims which most commentators feel were made in the heat of the moment and are hardly credible.

While Allen has made some documentation available to the court, the restraining order has gagged Tate, preventing his side of the story to be heard. (For the record, we have not attempted to speak to him, nor have we received any communication from him.) A hearing in the case is set for Sept. 18.

It leaves a number of questions. The extreme reaction of the board to the apparent rise in costs of the new facility (inevitable in any distillery build) has raised questions as to the financial stability of Allen’s investment group, and makes some analysts wonder whether the Allen-led consortium was investing in Balcones with the intention of selling it at a profit soon after the expanded plant was in production.

If so, this will not be the last time we will see this happen. Investors unfamiliar with the long-term nature of the whisky business are liable to only see potential profit, with no great understanding of the deep pockets required to invest in plant, warehousing, and inventory. What further complicates matters where craft distilleries are concerned is that they are not just buying into a brand, but a highly personalized vision. Without Chip Tate, is there — can there be — a Balcones?


The post The Balcones Controversy appeared first on Whisky Advocate.

11 Sep 03:36

Ibeyi - River


Can't remember whose share I saw this on... but worth sharing again. Very much.

The Oya EP is available to download now: Directed by Ed Morris.
11 Sep 03:45

Ibeyi - Mama says - live


A song that I think is about the death of their father.

Extrait du concert des deux jumelles de Ibeyi, Lisa-Kaindé et Naomie Diaz, à l'EMB Sannois. Daughters of the great Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz, the twin si...
10 Sep 16:52

Faber-Castell Basic Fountain Pen Overview

by Brian Goulet

These look reasonably nice.

Video Outline:

  • Unboxing (1:33)
  • Color 0ptions (3:00)
  • Features (3:52)
  • How it writes (6:32)
  • Comparable pens (9:53)
  • Take it or leave it (10:22)

Graf von Faber-Castell is a German pen company that has been around since 1761 (woah!), but they're new to us at They have two lines of pens, higher-end ones sold under Graf von Faber-Castell, and Faber-Castell, which is their more affordable line. One of the models in the Faber-Castell line is the Basic, and I think you will be seriously impressed.

The Basic is available in 4 finishes: Polished Metal, Matte Chrome, Black Carbon, and Black Leather. These range in price from $38-45, as of the posting of this blog. They are snap-cap, push-to-post, and have a strong, sturdy clip. They're pretty long pens, and when posted are REALLY long, too long, really to use practically. But the weight/balance isn't thrown off as much as you might think because the cap is really light.

Faber-Castell Basic in Black Carbon

Nib sizes are available in extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad, and they write really nicely. The extra-fine steals the show in my opinion, I did not expect to get such a fine line from a German nib. Typically it's the Japanese companies like Pilot and Platinum that rock the fine nibs, but Faber-Castell does a real good job with this one. The fine, medium, and broad nibs are pretty much standard European nibs though, wet, juicy, and smooth. The range of line width between EF and B is impressive. Be sure to check out the Nib Nook to compare writing samples of them all along with every other pen we carry.

The Basic is a cartridge/converter pen, but there's a snag here. You can use standard international cartridges (short or long), but the converter has to be the proprietary Faber-Castell converter, a 'normal' standard international converter (like this one) will not fit in the body of the Basic, it's too tight of a fit. That's kind of annoying, I admit, especially because the pen doesn't come with a converter. It's $5 to add one on though, so if you want to use bottled ink you might as well just factor that in to the cost of the pen.

To summarize my thoughts on the Basic, here are my take-it-or-leave-it points:

Take it:
  • Great value, entry-level
  • Professional looking
  • Really fine EF nib
  • Smooth nibs overall
  • Removable nib/feed for cleaning (friction fit)
  • Looks super classy
  • Feels really well built
  • Unique!

Leave it:
  • Converter not included
  • ONLY fits Faber-Castell converter, but standard international cartridges
  • Posted is way too long, but still usable

If you've been following me at all, you know that I have a pretty extensive pen collection, and it's not so often I find something truly different than anything else I have. But the Basic is just that, and I totally dig it. You can see more pics, get up-to-date specs and pricing on if you're interested in buying one for yourself. I think it's certainly worth checking out.

Write On,
Brian Goulet
10 Sep 07:51

Pen and Cape Society: Super Choice Adventure, Chapter 11

by Christopher Wright

The Pen and Cape Society has just released the eleventh chapter of the Super Choice Adventure, a group fiction project where you, the reader, gets to vote who writes the next chapter.

Chapter 11 was my turn, and things got a little out of hand.

By "a little out of hand" I mean "the average chapter has been around 1400-1500 words and my initial draft came in at 3600 FREAKING WORDS so I pared it down to 2750 FREAKING WORDS which is still too much but I ran out of time so there it is."

Anyway: The Super Choice Adventure Page, for those of you who are curious but who haven't been following it. And Chapter 11, my ridiculously overgrown contribution, for your consideration and enjoyment.

09 Sep 03:31

No Nuts


Captain Pedantry approves of this message.

sleep is dumb


08 Sep 04:00

September 08, 2014