Shared posts

03 Mar 17:08

Malden Updates: Honey Honey Dessert Cafe and Golden Garden Have Arrived

by Dana Hatic
Sarah

I know I was complaining about being fat, but who wants to come to Malden and get fat with me?

Two new spots have opened since the start of the year

A new cafe and a spot for Chinese cuisine have both opened their doors in Malden recently, bringing all manner of snacks and dishes to the city. Honey Honey Dessert Cafe opened mid-January at 480 Main St., while Golden Garden made its debut at 9 Highland Ave.

Honey Honey is located near the Malden Center MBTA orange line stop, and it serves hot and cold espresso beverages, brewed coffee, and tea, along with smoothies and ice cream. For food, the cafe offers a selection of sandwiches, breakfast pastries and bagels, and assorted specials, including wonton soup, house-made dumplings, fried chicken wings, and curry vegetables with rice.

Honey Honey Dessert Cafe Facebook
Honey Honey Dessert Cafe

About a mile away from Honey Honey, Golden Garden is now open on Highland Avenue, with ample seating and a full menu that features a lineup of steamed buns, congee, dumplings, noodle soups, and so much more. There is another Golden Garden in Belmont.

Honey Honey Dessert Cafe [FB]
Golden Garden [Yelp]

19 Feb 16:20

lie lie land….

by Queen Michelle

I don't know about you but I'm genuinely struggling to watch the news these day.

It's lies, lies and more dammed lies which is why this new London street work by Bambi put a great big smile on my face this week...

The work, entitled Lie Lie Land, features a dancing Theresa May and Donald Trump in the pose made famous by the movie La La Land.

 It can be found at the corner of 40 Cross St and Shillingford Street, London N1 2BA.

Bambi says “Lie Lie Land is a parody of the blockbuster Hollywood movie La La Land. The original film poster for La La Land is pasted everywhere in London - on buses on bus-stops on billboards, a happy couple dancing without a care in the world. The film was released during a dark political time in our world when our government lied about trident and literally held hands with Donald Trump.”

 Bambi is the pseudonym of a contemporary British street artist. Her works focuses on contemporary female identity and its relationship to patriarchal culture. She also keenly highlights political and social injustices. This is the first street work unveiled by the artist in recent months, and is the first of a series of works she has planned for 2017.

As for the film itself, Meh Meh land might be more accurate.

I'm a huge fan of musicals and was really looking forward to it. Yes it looked really pretty in parts but the whole thing just felt a little insipid to me and that's before it dawned on me that even after 5 minutes had passed I couldn't recall a single song from the whole damm movie!!!

I think I'm going to go and put "On the Town on. Now there's a real musical...

Queen Marie

17 Feb 02:06

Burial Ground: Mourning’s Ascension

by Samantha
Sarah

who wants to do a photoshoot? i have a tattered victorian parasol...

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Cloaked in fog and a haunting sense of displacement, Burial Ground’s Jamie Mooers and Bill Crisafi present Mourning’s Ascension.

Today, until midnight EST, use code “NETTLE” for 20% off your entire purchase at checkout on BurialGround.org.

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Chase+Scout

07 Feb 22:47

Dada

by swissmiss
Sarah

YFDSJKFSKJLFS YES FUCKING YES

This got me very excited: Open Culture shared a link where you can Download All 8 Issues of Dada, the Arts Journal That Publicized the Avant-Garde Movement a Century Ago (1917-21)

03 Feb 23:56

The Skeleton Rocker: A Cozy Reminder of Our Mortality

by Maika Keuben
Sarah

Love the dream story!

Skeleton Rocking Chair no cushion

Until this moment I had no idea that my house has been desperately missing a skeleton rocking chair. Modeled after a mid 19th century Russian chair, these beautiful, elaborately hand-carved rockers were made in the US in the 20th century, most likely during the 1930s. With an estimated auction value of $2,500 to $3,5oo, this isn’t the most affordable seating one could choose, but who can put a price on the opportunity to rest one’s weary bones by literally sitting on death’s lap?

These stunning chairs remind me of a repeating nightmare I had as a child: I was aboard a ship out on the open ocean in a terrible storm. The ship had no railings and I couldn’t go below deck. The only available seats were numerous rocking chairs (I wasn’t allowed to sit on the deck itself), but as soon as anyone sat upon one of them, the rocker would pitch that person overboard into the dark, turbulent water. Try as I might, eventually I grew so weary of wandering the deck that I had no choice but to sit on one of the rocking chairs, from which I was summarily tossed into the sea.

As I sank down into the water, which was surprisingly calm beneath its raging surface, I was strangely aware yet unconcerned about not being able to breathe and instead focused on the appearance of colossal rocking chairs floating before me. They ranged in size from ten to thirty feet tall. Some were very simple and plain, others were ornate. Though they appeared unoccupied, each slowly rocked back and forth.

As I studied them I suddenly understood that each of these enormous chairs belonged to the ghost of a ship’s captain who’d died at sea. I always woke up shortly after this revelation, wishing I could’ve spoken with the maritime ghosts. Now I feel as though real-life has improved on the rocking chairs from my dreams.

Skeleton Rocking Chair white

[via 1stdibs and Io9]

02 Feb 23:26

ash to art…

by Queen Michelle

In May 2014, the Glasgow School of Art suffered an awful awful fire that caused significant damage, including the loss of its celebrated Charles Rennie Mackintosh Library. On hearing the news or seeing the smoke, people burst into tears, myself and Queen Michelle included. The Art School is a building that is close to everyone's heart.

But not just the hearts of people in Glasgow. People throughout the country and all over the world have been helping to raise money since that day to help pay for the restoration of this precious place.

 Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth of JWT London decided to help with the cause, and devised a campaign that asked celebrated artists to create new works out of ash from the wreckage.
Twenty five artists including Simon Starling, Sir Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jenny Saville and Douglas Gordon have contributed to the campaign, and the artworks will be auctioned at Christie's London on March 8.


Hartley and Hepworth explained Ash to Art saying -

"It seemed appropriate to use a by-product of the School's fire as the tool of its rebirth. By putting debris from the fire into the hands of artists, it places the future of the School firmly in the hands of the UK's creative community."

Pieces include a ceramic etched with the words “Art is dead. Long live Art” by Grayson Perry, shown at the top of the post.

Perry said: “It’s a tragedy. It’s the most famous art school building in Britain. It’s also the masterpiece of Mackintosh. It’s a double tragedy. I was very excited when I received the box of charcoal. I had an idea almost immediately and the idea of making an urn was an obviously thing to do. The idea of memorialising or celebrating the difficulty – honouring the wound. It’s something I’m trying to do. Move on and make the most of it.

The group of 25 international artists has seven Turner prizes between them, each creating pieces of photography, sculpture, paintings and more. A note was sent to each artist with pieces from the damaged building, explaining what the debris was – some sent charred timber or pieces of furniture – and the project concept. Ash to Art hopes to reach their £32 million target.

Queen Marie

25 Jan 00:18

Why Trump and his staff lie

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

I thought about deleting my twitter and all my political retweets in order to remain neutral for a job, but fuck it, I haven't found a job with an arts only twitter and I sure as fuck am not going to find one now with funding all but completely slashed.

Over at Bloomberg, Tyler Cowen provides an explanation as to why Donald Trump and his staff are lying.

By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing, including their standing with the public, with the media and with other members of the administration. That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates and expects to continue to distrust them in the future.

Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

This is interesting throughout, particularly the bit about “higher-status mistruths and lower-status mistruths”.

Note that these tactics do not require a strategic masterplan.1 We know Trump acts mostly on instinct, so all the lying is just how he’s found success doing business in the past. I’ve been listening to The Power Broker on audiobook for the past few months and the similarities between how Robert Moses operated (particularly in NYC at the height of his powers) and Trump’s tactics are downright eerie, right down to the outright lies, ignoring outside counsel, and favoring short-term results over deeper long-term consequences.2 Both men had so much power and (especially in Moses’ case) capability that they could have really helped people and made a difference in the lives of millions but instead used it mainly to get their own way.

  1. Deeeep breath. Ok. In a weird way, I feel like I understand this aspect of Trump…and it makes me uncomfortable to identify with him in this way. I don’t really make plans or set goals. My about page states “I don’t have a plan.” I approach life tactically, not strategically. And I think Trump does too. (Part of my discomfort here is the realization that a tactical approach to life may require privilege. Maybe Trump doesn’t have to think long-term because he was born two steps from home plate. I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it…another privilege.) Of course, where I use knowledge to spread the power of good ideas around to the widest possible audience (I hope!), Trump uses lies to consolidate and wield his own personal power.

  2. Moses was brilliant and certainly capable of deep strategic thought, but according to Caro, as his responsibilities, power, and self-confidence increased, he relied on what had worked for him previously with little regard for the circumstances of particular situations. It was literally “we’re doing it my way or (no) highway”.

Tags: books   Donald Trump   politics   Robert Caro   Robert Moses   The Power Broker   Tyler Cowen
23 Jan 18:17

Chickens In Sweaters

by swissmiss

What better way to start out this Monday morning than with pictures of chickens in sweaters.

21 Jan 00:00

Lessons learned

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

Some of these I really want to work on

Last month, game designer Elizabeth Sampat took to Twitter to share some life lessons she’d learned. Perhaps you’ll find some of them as interesting and useful as I did.

The maximum amount of work you can ever possibly do in a relationship is 50%.

When someone says they can’t do something, 75% of the time it means “There are things not worth sacrificing to make this happen.”

Never feel bad for dropping people from your life. Friends, family, whoever.

Don’t rely on a single person for all your emotional needs, even if monogamous. It’s not a poly thing, it’s a diversification of assets.

Brussels sprouts and spinach are delicious, it’s just that your mom couldn’t cook.

Mallory Ortberg’s “what an odd thing to say!” is the world’s best polite response to someone saying something insulting.

You can’t self-control your way out of sadness.

Tags: Elizabeth Sampat   lists
20 Jan 23:53

52 Weeks of Printmakers: Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh

by Jen
Sarah

I want to make prints (on fabric)! I bought set of carving tools years ago and think I'll by some lino blocks.

Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh is a multidisciplinary artist and teacher, and one of the most prolific artists I know. Almost every day, Dawline posts something new that she’s working on. She and I kept showing up at the same events in the Bay Area, but it wasn’t until I hosted a post-election craft day that I got to see her work in person. While the rest of us drew or printed, she was working on an elaborate linoleum block of David Bowie.

Dawline was the first person I thought of when I decided to embark on this project, and I’m so happy to share her interview – and her work – with you this week.

JH: When kids say that they want to be artists, most grownups assume that they want to become painters or illustrators (or, occasionally, sculptors) – but never printmakers. How did you find your way into this medium? What other media do you work in?

DO: was first introduced to linoleum block printing in 9th or 10th grade. I can’t even remember what we did – but what I remember most is putting the lino on the radiator to soften it up during the winters and stabbing myself in the hands constantly. I was fortunate to go to school in a district and at a time when we had a substantial art department, so I got a chance to experiment and take classes in graphic and fashion design, painting, drawing and film photography. I think photography is where I developed a deep love of process – from choosing a subject, composing the shot, shooting a roll, hand processing the film, and then all the steps of composing and enlarging a photograph instilled a true appreciation of aesthetic and craftsmanship at a young age. We even leaned how to hand cut and hinge mats. All of that paved the way for me to integrate printmaking into my work – there’s a lot of thought and set up that goes into it.

How would you describe your work?

I often describe my work as being figurative, graphic (in the design sense, not the explicit sense) and narrative. Most of my work is part of one long story, even if I’m the only one who knows the full plot. My work is strongly influenced by advertising, Ukiyo-e prints and pop culture –little snippets of stories of daily life.

What’s the first thing you ever remember making?

One of my earliest artmaking memories is of painting in my room in a sailor suit – white shirt, big collar. This is an important detail because I remember getting really dirty. It was watercolor. I may have been around four years old. It was probably an abstract.

Most working artists I know have more than one stream of income – something that pays the bills other than just art sales. In addition to making art, you also teach a lot. How do you balance everything? Or do you?

This is my first year as a teaching artist, and I love it. There’s so much to be learned from showing people how to see things differently and translate what they are seeing and thinking about into something tangible that I find it helps me concretize some of my own thoughts regarding my practice. Making my own art work is something I feel that’s crucial to my sense of wellbeing, so I squeeze it into many facets of the day that might be considered “downtime” – whether it’s walking my dog and taking reference photos, sketching people on the train during my commute or keeping my phone and a sketchbook by the bed. That’s probably not the healthiest choice, and may not be for everyone, but it keeps me engaged. I never feel like I’m neglecting my artistic practice, and it’s easier for me to jump into longer projects when I have the time because the ideas and muscle memory are always fresh.

What are you currently working on, and why?

For the past year or so I’ve been making my way through family albums and stray photos and making linoleum blocks based on these photographs as a way to recreate a quasi-historical narrative. When I think back on some of my earlier work, a lot of my portraiture revolved around friends and their stories. As time goes on I feel drawn to exploring some of the bits of my own family and history, and being a bit more personal with my work. It’s my contribution to the tradition of an oral and pictorial history, one that I feel will change dramatically as our relationship to photography and the way we document our lives changes. I’m thinking specifically of social media, and the way that it encourages people to share information about themselves daily that has no precedent – from the deeply mundane to the explicitly specific. I also saw a commercial for some software app that makes it easier to get “perfect” pictures of your kids by making it so that you can switch out their frowns for smiles, or lighten the room or what have you. It’s packaged in an innocuous way, but it literally changes history. In recreating some of these old snapshots – with their inherent mystery and imperfections and unanswered questions I feel like I’m dialing back the clock on that a little.

Do you have a dream project (or two)?

Boy, do I! One of my biggest dreams has been to do an illustrated or graphic novel treatment of the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s so vividly visual with a message that should be remembered. Now I feel as though I should just carve out some time to do it…

I’d also like to figure out a way to go on an artist residency – somewhere beautiful away from computers.

What’s next?

More teaching this year. I’m also looking forward to possibly curating a gallery show later this year, which is exciting. I have work in a couple of shows coming up – one at Sleeth Gallery at West Virginia Wesleyan College opening 1/19 for a show called “Home”, and at the Richmond Art Center for their “Teacher is Artist” show, which runs 1/10- 3/4.

How can people find you?

www.dawlinejaneart.com

Instagram: @disfordilettante

Twitter: @dawlinejane_art

Facebook: Dawline-Jane Art & Illustration

18 Jan 21:00

Citing privacy concerns, BPD cancels plans to buy software to monitor social media for now

by adamg
Sarah

A reminder to not shut up about things that are disturbing

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans announced tonight that he has canceled plans to buy software that would let the department monitor social media for potential public-safety threats and ferret out Internet-based crimes because the offerings the department was considering are overkill and raised privacy issues.

Moving forward, we will continue the process of inspecting what is available and ensuring that it meets the needs of the department while protecting the privacy of the public.

Evans said he will work with City Councilor Andrea Campbell (Dorchester), who chairs the council's public-safety committee, on hearings to better gauge public concerns and help draft a proposal for social-media monitoring that would protect both the public and the privacy rights of citizens.

At the same time, he instructed the Boston Regional Intelligence Center - the department's intelligence unit - to "consider re-drafting the request for proposals to ensure that the Department acquires the appropriate level of technology, while also protecting the privacy of the public."

11 Jan 21:27

T’ahpas 529 Opens in Melrose With So Much Spanish Food and Wine

by Dana Hatic
Sarah

BRING IT ON

The new spot is the work of a pair of local restaurateurs

A new Spanish restaurant and wine bar made its debut in Melrose shortly before the end of 2016 and is now going strong in the new year. T’ahpas 529 is up and running at 529 Franklin St., serving tapas, Spanish wines, and so much more.

The restaurant is the work of Lorenzo and Emily Tenreiro, who are also behind Coffee Tea and Me and La Qchara, both located in Melrose, as previously reported. (When the T’ahpas project was first announced almost a year ago, Grill 23 alum Erik Powers was onboard as executive chef, but he is no longer involved; he’s over at Boston Chops in the South End these days.)

T’ahpas 529 has been open since the end of December, according to posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The menu includes items like jamón Ibérico, ham croquetas, roasted quail, patatas bravas, and seared duck breast, along with some seafood options like octopus, sauteed shrimp, and calamari. There are also charcuterie offerings, and to drink, there are plenty of Spanish wines, cocktails, and some craft beers.

T’ahpas 529 is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

T'ahpas 529 Will Bring Small Plates and More to Melrose [EBOS]

10 Jan 23:03

Posters For Womens March

by swissmiss
Sarah

Boston folks: meeting up on the Common?

women march protest posters

A series of protest posters for free download and print for the Womens March.

(via)

10 Jan 01:13

My Diner Completes Its Move to Melrose

by Dana Hatic
Sarah

BRUNCH LIFE IS COMING. Can't wait until we have more that 17 too similar pizza variations and Turners.

The Southie diner has been closed since June

A South Boston diner that was forced to close over the summer has reopened in a new spot. My Diner debuted in its new location at 399 Main St. in Melrose on Friday, bringing back its comforting menu and neighborhood vibe.

My Diner closed its original South Boston location in June 2016 after 12 years in business, as previously reported. The building was sold to developers with plans to put condominiums up on the property. Though owners Ela and Ben Bashllari attempted to relocate within the neighborhood, they were unable to do so and eventually landed on the new location in Melrose. My Diner made its comeback on Main Street at the end of last week and shared the news in a post on Facebook.

The restaurant is known for serving whipped cream-topped waffles, plenty of eggs, and a whole turkey every day, done up into hash, chili, and more. The new location is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week.

My Diner in Southie Will Close After 12 Years [EBOS]
My Diner Plans on Making a Comeback in a New Location [EBOS]

07 Jan 04:21

How to be productive in terrible times

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

keep in mind

In Productivity in Terrible Times, Eileen Webb writes about the challenges of getting things done in the face of uncertain and worrisome times and offers some strategies that might help.

When your heart is worried for your Muslim friends, and deep in your bones you’re terrified about losing access to healthcare, it’s very hard to respond graciously to an email inquiring about the latest microsite analytics numbers. “THE WORLD IS BURNING. I will have those content model updates ready by Thursday. Sincerely, and with abject terror, Eileen.”

It is not tenable to quit my job and hie off to Planned Parenthood HQ and wait for them to make use of my superior content organizing skills. It is not a good idea for you to resign from stable work that supports your family and community because you’re no longer satisfied by SQL queries.

I don’t know about you, but I have been struggling mightily with this very thing. I’ve always had difficulty believing that the work I do here is in some way important to the world and since the election, that feeling has blossomed into a profound guilt-ridden anxiety monster. I mean, who in the actual fuck cares about the new Blade Runner movie or how stamps are designed (or Jesus, the blurry ham) when our government is poised for a turn towards corruption and authoritarianism?

I have come up with some reasons why my work here does matter, at least to me, but I’m not sure they’re good ones. In the meantime, I’m pressing on because my family and I rely on my efforts here and because I hope that in some small way my work, as Webb writes, “is capable of enabling righteous acts”.

Update: Meteorologist Eric Holthaus recently shared how he copes with working on climate change day after day.

I’m starting my 11th year working on climate change, including the last 4 in daily journalism. Today I went to see a counselor about it. I’m saying this b/c I know many ppl feel deep despair about climate, especially post-election. I struggle every day. You are not alone. There are days where I literally can’t work. I’ll read a story & shut down for rest of the day. Not much helps besides exercise & time. The counselor said: “Do what you can”, which I think is simple & powerful advice. I’m going to start working a lot more on mindfulness. Despair is natural when there’s objective evidence of a shared existential problem we’re not addressing adequately. You feel alone.

I also wanted to thank those who reached out on Twitter and email about this post…I really appreciate your thoughts. One reader sent along this passage from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities:

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

(thx, gil)

Tags: Eileen Webb   Eric Holthaus   how to   Italo Calvino   working
17 Dec 15:02

NO! Poncho

by swissmiss
Sarah

this poncho expresses how i feel about most things

NO! Poncho

This poncho expresses how feel about the current U.S. politics.

15 Dec 00:34

Some pawsitive news for Brighton: Board approves cat cafe - and Greek food

by adamg
Sarah

at first i thought this was a cat cafe that served greek food and i was so excited

The Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday gave unanimous approval to filling a long vacant, once fire ravaged block on Chestnut Hill Avenue with a place where people can spend an hour petting cats and then fill up on gyro and souvlaki.

Diane Kelly plans to stock her Purr Cat Cafe with up to 20 felines from local shelters at 167 Chestnut Hill Ave. Customers will book a block of time at what would be Boston's first cat cafe, pay online, then enter through an airlock-style door and spend time petting cats and using the free WiFi.

"We do think this is the purr-fect location for it," Kelly's attorney, Nicholas Zozula said, adding, "there's more of those if you like."

Zozula said the cafe would be among 100 or so cat cafes in the US. "I don't know why Boston's so far behind in the cat-cafe curve," he said.

He predicted the bulk of the cafe's customers would be BC students and nearby residents who would stroll over for their cat-petting cravings.

Last month, Kelly told the Brighton-Allston Improvement Association that she's looking at seating for up to 40 people.

Zozula said litter will be picked up twice a week - and that the cafe will have a special rooftop filtration system to deal with odors in between pickups.

The cat cafe will not prepare or serve any food.

The block has been empty since a fire in 2012 destroyed the three restaurants that used to be there.

After approving the cat cafe, the board heard a request for a permit for Gyro City, whose owner, Paul Christopher, opened his first gyro place on Peterborough Street in the Fenway, in another block rebuilt after a major fire.

After being cautioned by board Chairwoman Christine Araujo, "No puns, please," Gyro City attorney Joe Hanley said the 40-seat restaurant would provide full-service Greek cuisine in the block's remaining two storefronts. He said Christopher will be applying for a beer-and-wine license. He added the restaurant would have three patio seats outside.

The board also approved the restaurant unanimously. It also needs approval from the Boston Licensing Board to serve food.

14 Dec 01:05

A powerful memorial to racial terror lynchings

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

woah

Lynching Soil

The Equal Justice Initiative is filling jars with soil from the sites of lynchings to honor the victims and to create a memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.

Between the Civil War and World War II, thousands of African Americans were lynched in the United States. Lynchings were violent and public acts of torture that traumatized black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. EJI has documented more than 4000 racial terror lynchings in 12 Southern states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950 — several hundred of these victims were lynched in Alabama.

Lynching profoundly impacted race relations in this country and shaped the geographic, political, social, and economic conditions of African Americans in ways that are still evident today. Terror lynchings fueled the mass migration of millions of black people from the South into urban ghettos in the North and West in the first half of the 20th century. Lynching created a fearful environment in which racial subordination and segregation were maintained with limited resistance for decades. Most critically, lynching reinforced a legacy of racial inequality that has never been adequately addressed in America.

Rob Holmes recently visited and took some photos of the jars…just row after row of them. “Stunning,” he said.

Update: See also this map of lynchings in the US.

Tags: crime   murder   racism   video
11 Dec 22:59

How the Puritan war on Christmas failed: Young'uns just couldn't stay away from drunken sex at Yuletide

by adamg
Sarah

abstinence education works great

New England Folklore recounts how even Puritans would unbuckle their hats and whoop it up over Christmas break, despite the best efforts of stern leaders such as Cotton Mather:

Historians have analyzed New England birth records from the early 18th century, and they've found that the largest number of children were born in September and October, roughly nine months after Christmas. Even more interesting, many of these children were born only seven months after their parents were married. In other words, they were conceived illegitimately during Christmas, and their parents only married once they realized a child was coming.

06 Dec 01:30

Preaching to the Chickens: How Civil Rights Legend John Lewis’s Humble Childhood Incubated His Heroic Life

by Maria Popova
Sarah

This is cute! I love water colors and chickens.

The unlikely pen that furnished a revolutionary talent for words that move and mobilize mind, body, and spirit.


Preaching to the Chickens: How Civil Rights Legend John Lewis’s Humble Childhood Incubated His Heroic Life

Civil rights icon and nonviolent resistance leader John Lewis (b. February 21, 1940) is rightly celebrated as a true “healer of the heart of democracy.” He is also a testament to how the humblest beginnings can produce lives of towering heroism. Long before Congressman Lewis became a key figure in ending racial segregation in America, little John was one of nine siblings living on the family’s farm in southern Alabama. It was in that unlikely environment, heavy with labor and love, that young Lewis found his voice as a leader.

Writer Jabari Asim and illustrator E.B. Lewis tell the improbable and inspiring origin story of this largehearted legend in Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis (public library) — a superb addition to the greatest picture-book biographies of cultural icons.

preachingtothechickens9

Little John Lewis loved the spring. He loved it not only because it was the time when the whole planet came alive, but also because it was the season of the chicks. Winter was too cold to bring them safely into the world, and summer was too hot. Spring was just right.

preachingtothechickens8

John’s mother cooked the family meals from vegetables she grew — collards, tomatoes, sweet potatoes — and other goodies. She cleaned the family’s clothes in a big iron pot, stirring them in the boiling water and washing them with homemade soap before hanging them on the line to dry.

Yes, Lord, plenty of work on a farm.

preachingtothechickens7

preachingtothechickens2

One day, John is put in charge of the chickens and so begins his foray into leadership. His heart ablaze with the dream of becoming a preacher, the boy begins practicing before his willing — or, at least, tacitly agreeable — avian audience. E.B. Lewis’s luminous watercolors are the perfect complement to Asim’s lyrical prose, which together carry the story of how John Lewis incubated his talent for wielding words that move and mobilize mind, body, and spirit.

preachingtothechickens4

John loved to tell the chicks the Good News. When he fed and watered them, he spoke about the value of hard work and patience.

preachingtothechickens5

preachingtothechickens6

Complement the wonderful Preaching to the Chickens with the illustrated biographies of other cultural icons: Louise Bourgeois, E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, Jane Goodall, Paul Gauguin, Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse, Albert Einstein, and Nellie Bly.


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23 Nov 22:42

The trans community of Christopher Street

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

I'm a sucker for b&w portraits

Trans Christopher St

Trans Christopher St

Trans Christopher St

Over a number of recent summers, well-known portrait photographer Mark Seliger has been documenting the transgender community that gathers on Christopher St in the West Village. Since Seliger’s website is slow and bloated, I’d recommend checking out coverage of the photos on The Advocate, The New Yorker, American Photo, and PDN. I lived on Christopher Street for several years1 and definitely recognize a couple of people in Seliger’s photos.

It was in the Village, on Christopher Street and the nearby piers, where many trans and queer people first shared space with others like them. For generations, these places provided mirrors for those who rarely saw reflections of themselves. On Christopher Street, there were multitudes of potential selves: transgender, transsexual, non-binary, genderqueer, femme, butch, cross-dresser, drag king or queen, and other gender identities and sexual orientations that challenge social norms.

Seliger has collected the photos into a book, On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories and the photos will be on display at 231 Projects in Chelsea until early January.

  1. What an amazing and challenging place to live. While the rest of Manhattan (and the West Village) was either gentrified or gentrifying quickly, on Christopher St, you could still find aspects of “old New York” some long-time residents are so nostalgic for. When I lived there (roughly 2009-2014), it was still very much a place where LGBTQ+ people (especially those of color) could come and be their authentic selves with other members of their community, an opportunity denied them in their neighborhoods in Queens or Jersey City. But there was also crime: people openly selling drugs on the corner, robberies, open prostitution, anti-gay violence, and every single weekend from mid-spring to mid-fall, there was property damage up and down the street from visitors absolutely trashing the neighborhood. In response to the crime, the NYPD basically set up a command center on the street with mobile patrol towers and massive lights. Some summer Saturday nights felt like a war zone.

Tags: LGBT   Mark Seliger   NYC   photography
17 Nov 00:00

The 14 Features of Eternal Fascism

by Jason Kottke
Sarah

yaaaaaay :(

In 1995, Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco wrote a piece for The New York Review of Books on fascism.1 As part of the article, Eco listed 14 features of what he called Ur-Fascism or Eternal Fascism. He began the list with this caveat:

These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

Here’s an abbreviated version of Eco’s list:

1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”

2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”

7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”

8. The humiliation by the wealth and force of their enemies. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”

10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”

11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”

13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”

I found this list via Paul Bausch, Blogger co-inventor and long-time MetaFilter developer, who writes:

You know, we have a strong history of opposing authoritarianism. I’d like to believe that opposition is like an immune system response that kicks in.

It difficult to look at Eco’s list and not see parallels between it and the incoming Trump administration.2 We must resist. Disagree. Be modern. Improve knowledge. Welcome outsiders. Protect the weak. Reject xenophobia. Welcome difference. At the end of his piece, Eco quotes Franklin Roosevelt saying during a radio address on the “need for continuous liberal government”:

I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.

And Eco himself adds: “Freedom and liberation are an unending task.”

  1. You’re probably going to be hearing that word a lot in the coming months, so before we get to Eco’s list, here’s a quick dictionary definition of fascism: “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization”. That’s imprecise as hell, but “authoritarian” and “nationalistic” are components you’ll always see associated with fascism.

  2. As an exercise as you read through the list, think about statements and policies made by Trump and his team that reflect each point. As I said, it is not difficult.

Tags: Donald Trump   Franklin Roosevelt   lists   Paul Bausch   politics   Umberto Eco
14 Nov 23:24

Women In Science on Scarves

by swissmiss

women in scienceZAEH

This collection titled Women Who Inspire by Brooklyn based Slow Factory is just what the world needs right now. It’s a line of eco-friendly and fair trade based scarves dedicated to women in science. Boss ladies that paved the way. I am wearing my Amelia Earhart scarf every day and am channeling her courage as much as I can. You should put a boss lady around your neck as well.

Also, you should know that Slow Factory is a labor of love of one of the most generous, good hearted, strong women I have ever met: Céline Semaan Vernon.

11 Nov 00:29

And Still I Rise

by swissmiss

In this video Maya Angelou recites her poem, “And Still I Rise” which she published in 1978.

10 Nov 00:54

A Dirge for America

by Jinx Strange
Sarah

Time to throw off that gray modesty, sorry Hugo Ball.

It is a beautiful Autumn morning in Wisconsin and Donald J. Trump is our new president. Last night, I watched in horror as this state, like so many others, turned red. This morning, I see more sadness, outrage and fear than I’ve ever seen in my adult life.

There is a lot of (I hope) hyperbole flowing right now amid high emotions, and the servile and conflict-averse are trying to tell everyone to calm down. It isn’t a matter of whether anyone has a right to be afraid, but how afraid they need to be.

Don’t let anyone take your anger. Don’t let anyone scream “I told you so” about their magical candidates. Everyone who did not actively try to stop this is complicit in it. We will feel the effects of this dark decision for decades. It’s okay to be angry. You should be angry.

What we do at Dirge is more important than ever. This morning, I gathered my heartbroken staff, and said, “What can we do?”

hunter-s-thompson

We have to be even more visible for our vulnerable readers, which is probably most of you, now. We have to be a weaponized platform for your voice. We have to be more critical, more aggressive. We have to take a stand anywhere and everywhere.

We have to be an unassailable fortress for weird people. We have to be an institution that does not submit to rule by the least of us.

I have your backs more than ever. I don’t know what the next four years will bring – no one does, and that uncertainty is fueling a lot of this fear right now – but Dirge will continue to be a platform for us. We will continue to fight for our culture, our way of life, and stand defiant against misogyny and racism.

As our managing editor Matt O’Connell said, “We have to get louder and weirder.”

We are going to be a Dirge for America.

We are going to fuck shit up.

Author information

Jinx Strange

Jinx Strange

Editor-in-Chief at Dirge Magazine

The only professional glampire on LinkedIn.

The post A Dirge for America appeared first on Dirge Magazine.

08 Nov 00:39

Do your job, local suffragette urges

by adamg
Sarah

I used to eat lunch/cry behind sunglasses on my lunchbreak near this lady.

The statue of suffragist Lucy Stone (the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree) on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall was freshly bedecked with flowers yesterday, as Leslee captured.

Posted under this Creative Commons license and in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.

02 Nov 21:59

Parking lot tree

by Jason Kottke

Parking Lot Tree

The tire tracks in this parking lot make a tree pattern in the snow, a self-producing infographic of the cars’ collective pathway to their parking spaces. It’s fun to trace individual tracks — I’m fascinated by the one that comes in, starts right, turns back to the left, then heads back down before turning toward the left again into a space.

The photo was taken in a Shell Centre parking lot near Waterloo Station in 1963. Photographer unknown. (via @robnitm)

Update: Nicholas Felton shared an annotated single-car version of a car’s tracks in the snow.

Update: A reader randomly picked up a copy of a book recently called The World From Above, “a pretty brilliant collection of aerial photographs, mostly black and white, published in the mid 60’s” and the parking lot photo was in it. No photographer listed, but the photo is credited to dpa, the German Press Agency. (thx, david)

Tags: infoviz   photography
28 Oct 20:59

Photo

Sarah

Upcoming hair decision!





















28 Oct 16:16

The Nightmare Machine

by Erin

neuschwanstein_haunted

It sounds like the start to a horror movie. Scientists (it’s always scientists, isn’t it?), studying machine learning algorithms, grow bored of teaching their computers to find cat videos on the internet or to beat humans at board games.  It just happens to be October, so rather than setting their sights on solving actual real-world problems, they decide that the totally normal, sane, scientific thing to do is to teach our future AI overlords TO SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF US.  Thanks, science. I’m sure that will come in handy for them.

f4e03d4ae7516e427314b14ed3280fb5

You can check out the images generated by MIT’s  Nightmare Machine, and even vote on which images are more frightening to help fine-tune the terror. And, as a reward, it will custom-generate a gallery of scary faces tailored to your personal taste in terror.

What could possibly go wrong?

26 Oct 01:18

Nazi helmets remade into pots and pans

by Jason Kottke

After World War II, the helmets of German soldiers were refashioned into colanders, pots, and other kitchen utensils. This video from the British Pathé archive shows how the repurposing happened.

Tags: Nazis   video   World War II