Shared posts

21 Jan 00:00

Lessons learned

by Jason Kottke

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

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?

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

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


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

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.


10 Jan 01:13

My Diner Completes Its Move to Melrose

by Dana Hatic

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.


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.


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.



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.


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.



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

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

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

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?”


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

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



Upcoming hair decision!

28 Oct 16:16

The Nightmare Machine

by Erin


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.


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
19 Oct 15:12

Monday links

by KimFrance

Sharing for the second link. Matty, I thought it was going to be fanzone crazy for you, but instead it's a book of costumes I want.



11 Oct 00:26

Bee’s Knees in Allston Is Only Temporarily Closed for Renovations

by Dana Hatic

Kenny, is this true? Give us the property management dirt.

There's been an ownership change

Boston hasn’t seen the last of a specialty food store that papered over its windows last week. As it turns out, Bee’s Knees Supply Company in Allston is only temporarily closed, and as the business moves forward following ownership changes, it will undergo some renovations and menu changes, according to Elliot Kim, who is the Allston store's general manager.

A Twitter post from the company last week that announced the closure of the Allston location was apparently sent by someone no longer affiliated with Bee’s Knees, and it has since been removed, Kim said. "That was not the ideal way for us to share with the community, as far as us going through renovations," Kim told Eater.

Moving forward, Kim said, Bee’s Knees will focus on delivering the same high-quality products and food to the Boston area, but the team will do some renovations to the space and redevelop the menu. "So this is actually a really good restructuring," he said.

"There’s a lot of moving pieces, obviously right now. Those need to be solidified before we give any kind of time projection," Kim said. "There’s a lot of things that may be entertained." Bee’s Knees will have the same concept and same quality, as well as a renewed commitment to serving the neighborhood, according to Kim.

04 Oct 00:08

Pricks of the Month: 13 Enamel Pins for October

by Haleigh Schiafo

so i'm going to by the hocus pocus one of course. kenny, you need the nancy one

Rejoice! It’s October, and you know what that means: Halloween. Of course, for the weirdos and witches of the world, we live every day like it’s All Hallow’s Eve. But for the next month, the rest of the world has caught up with our darkling ways. Ghosts, ghouls, black cats, and Jack-o-lanterns are everywhere, and it’s time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

These pins capture all the spoopy excitement of Halloween, but of course, we’ll be wearing them all year round.

Spellbound Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Cavity Colors

The Sanderson sisters seem to have cast a spell on all of us; a spell to keep us strangely attracted to Sarah Jessica Parker’s witchy wiles and coming back for nineties nostalgia year after year. It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus, and it isn’t Halloween without it. Cavity Colors//$13

Black Cat Kewpie Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Lady No Brow

We’ll admit it, sometimes we can’t resist a little kitsch. A chubby-faced kewpie doll dressed as a black cat carrying a smiling jack-o-lantern is the perfect ode to cutesy vintage Halloween. Lady No Brow//$10

The Masterpiece Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Nadafinga Pins

Mad Monster Party is the severely underrated spooky cousin to Christmas classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. The familiar animation style of Rankin/Bass combines with our favorite monsters to bring us this red-headed bombshell of a creation, Francesca. Nadafinga Pins//$10

Monsters Club Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: The Creeping Museum

It’s not just a costume, it’s a way of life. Your monstrous ways extend far beyond October 31st, as does your love for all things black and orange. The Creeping Museum//$8

Spoopy Skeleton Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Bombasine

Everyone’s favorite misspelling turned viral meme, the term “spoopy” somehow envelops the silly fun of Halloween even better than its real word counterpart and we’re not ashamed to use it. Bombasine//$11

Wolfman Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Monster Club Co

The wolfman is a beloved classic monster, so wear this pin to all your Halloween movie viewings, and hold onto it to whip out around that special time of the month (the full moon; a Dracula pin might be more appropriate for that other time of the month). Monster Club Co//$12

Candy Corn Pentagram Pin

enamel pin
Credit: JXRXKX

This pin says, “I worship at the alter of Halloween candy,” and we fully support that. All hail the Lord of dark chocolate. JXRXKX//$5

Beetlejuice Gravestone Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Hope Sick Co

Here lies the ghost with the most. Keep his name out of your mouth so he stays undead and buried. Hope Sick Co//$8.50

Nancy Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Eat Her Brains

The nineties was a great time for witches, and Nancy is no exception. Sure she’s crazy, but we’ll be stealing her eyeliner and choker game for the rest of forever. “Relax, it’s only magic.” Eat Her Brains//$7

Jack-O-Lantern Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Creepy Co

Nothing says Halloween quite like a classic Jack-o-lantern. This one has a vintage look, and appears to have seen a ghost. Or perhaps he’s a bit concerned about the pumpkin spice everything craze. Creepy Co//$11

Strange & Unusual Club Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Lunar Crypt Co

“I myself am strange and unusual.” Lydia Deetz’s club seems like just the place for Dirgelings. Where do we sign up? Lunar Crypt Co//$8

Vladislav The Cat Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Staring Yeti

“Vladislav used to be extremely powerful. He could hypnotize crowds of people. Great orgies. 20-30 women. He could turn into all sorts of animals. But now he never gets the faces right. He would kill anybody. Men, women. Children. Burning… everything. It was totally great.But he suffered a humiliating defeat…at the hands of his arch-nemesis…The Beast. And, he’s never been the same.” We feel you Vlad, we feel you. Staring Yeti//$10

Fright Night Enamel Pin

enamel pin
Credit: Woe & Shucks

“It’s freaking bats! I love Halloween.” Enough said.

Author information

Haleigh Schiafo

Haleigh Schiafo

Haleigh is a lover of all things magical, mystical, haunted, and historical. She is a buyer at Gypsy Warrior and co-founder of Babe Coven. When she's not doing one of those things, you can probably find her exploring the woods, lurking in a cemetery, or petting a cat. You can follow her on Instagram if you want to see pictures of her doing those things.


The post Pricks of the Month: 13 Enamel Pins for October appeared first on Dirge Magazine.

24 Sep 17:29

The most amazing whistler in the world

by Jason Kottke

This guy is a better whistler than me.

Steve Wiles is a band director from Oklahoma who is a extremely talented whistler. Wiles can whistle two melodies at the same time.

Competitive whistler Christopher Ullman is pretty good too — he doesn’t kiss before competitions and his best friend is a tube of Chapstick.

When Roger Whittaker whistles, he sounds like a damn bird! Pavarotti was also not too shabby a whistler.

Tags: audio   Christopher Ullman   Luciano Pavarotti   music   Roger Whittaker   Steve Wiles   video
21 Sep 22:32

Wang Shu

by admin

// wang shu

// wang shu

// wang shu

Wang Shu wall via El País.

16 Sep 07:48

The Illustrated Book of Poultry

by Jason Kottke


Illustrated Poultry

Illustrated Poultry

Illustrated Poultry

Illustrated Poultry

Illustrated Poultry

The Illustrated Book of Poultry by Lewis Wright, first published in 1870 and revised several times in the decades following, was “regarded as the most desirable of the English poultry books”. Poultry was very popular in Victorian England and the book housed a tremendous amount of practical poultry knowledge. From a Harvard Library blog post:

“Hen Fever”, as it became known during the Victorian Age, was an unprecedented obsession with owning, breeding, and showing the finest chickens in the world. The genesis of the poultry fancier owes much to Queen Victoria and her royal menagerie. In 1842, she acquired exotic chickens from China, and whatever the Queen did, the public would soon try to imitate and incorporate at home. The Illustrated London News reported “Her Majesty’s collection of fowls is very considerable, occupying half-a-dozen very extensive yards, several small fields, and numerous feeding-houses, laying-sheds, hospitals, winter courts, &c.”. From this point forward, poultry was no longer viewed as common farmyard critters, but valued and appreciated throughout the classes of Victorian Britain. The import and breeding of poultry was not just a leisurely hobby, but a profitable endeavor with sky rocketing price tags for the finest examples.

But the books also contained many wonderful illustrations of the finest examples of chickens and other poultry in the style of Audubon. The different breeds have amazing names like Buff Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, Dark Dorkingtons, and Gold Pencilled Hamburghs.

I pulled the images above from a 1911 edition of the book. (via @john_overholt)

Update: I removed a link to a reproduction of the book on Amazon because a reader reported that the quality was not great. (thx, alex)

Tags: art   books   illustration   Lewis Wright   The Illustrated Book of Poultry
16 Sep 07:47

Between Fable and Reality: The Art of Darla Teagarden

by Sarah Ghoul

I want to make witchy props

Please welcome S. Elizabeth to our growing team of staff writers! Sarah is no stranger to Haute Macabre, having contributed as a guest blogger many times over the years. She was a contributing writer for our friends at CoilHouse Magazine, on the BloodMilk Blog, Death and the Maiden, and was the creative force behind Skeletor Is Love. View her previous contributions to Haute Macabre here, and visit her personal blog at

The Gift

The Gift

The discovery of Darla Teagarden’s mixed media photography and conceptual self-portraiture was a thoroughly unexpected pleasure and a bit of a revelation to me when I initially became introduced to her work a few years back.

First, I suppose, because the image I chanced upon was a portrait of a friend, Angeliska Polachek–small world!–and secondly, although I knew my friend to be quite beautiful, Darla had transformed her into an otherworldly enchantress, a shimmering, splendid, utterly sublime creature. I’m not even the slightest bit embarrassed to admit that this was the very same way I pictured her, when I conjured the lovely Angeliska’s reflection in the mirror of my imagination!

As a fantasist who doesn’t quite always see things as they are, I view our world through a splinter of glass in my eye, a feverish vision of of circumstances and scenarios, slightly distorted and different. Darla Teagarden’s surreal photographic narratives, which walk that delicate line between fable and reality, resonated very deeply with this dreamer in me.

Angeliska Polachek as Titania

Angeliska Polachek as Titania

For the richly detailed imagery that comprises the highly atmospheric vignettes that she photographs, Darla draws on an intriguingly varied background consisting of experiences as a stylist, model, production designer, vintage clothes buyer and cabaret dancer. Through these myriad lenses, her projects are deeply imbued with fragile secrets and intense emotion, and I’ll confess, I have been following her subsequent work quite closely since the beauty of that first tremulous photo captured my heart.

Read further for this extraordinary artist’s insights and inspirations regarding her creations, as shared with Haute Macabre.

Poem for the Unnamed Witches

Poem for the Unnamed Witches

Haute Macabre: You provide the viewer with a narrative through photography; it shares a story, tells a tale. While I understand that you don’t wish to convey utter reality, I would also hesitate to call your work fiction or fable. Would you say that your photos then inhabit the space in between? And why do you think that space is such fertile ground for your work?
We all sort of live between fable and reality, anyway. There’s that side of us which walks into a misty forest, let’s say, and in an instant we make the moment richer in relation to our own experience. Connecting our inner lives to day-to-day situations is a way we can better understand ourselves. Cinema has allowed us new emotional access, and photography is related. I guess what I’m saying is, photography helps me understand myself and my issues.



…and as a visual story-teller, what are the kinds of stories you like best to share?
I love sharing symbolic insight and abstraction. I’ve always maintained that when I go into a concept it has to be succinct, like a poem. I love the challenge of being succinct while conveying something that could, if given the opportunity, fill a an entire film. I guess I like stories about survival most. We are all going to die, yet we still have to make choices.



I have enjoyed reading about your perspective on failure. Fail big and often, you seem to say–don’t be a giant, fragile weenie, just go out there and do the thing! I’d love to hear about your inspirations and influences in terms of Doers of Things and Fabulous Failures.
I have always surrounded myself with people who seemed to care less about the perceived consequences of failure and more about the need ‘to do’. The need to do should outweigh fear or else you’re going to be paralyzed. Of course, this is a goal and not always the case, but I try to accept possibility either way before I try something new. When I first began doing my photo projects, I knew I would suck. I did, and the proof is floating forever in the ethers of the web. However, I knew I had something to say. I knew I had to do something that made me less miserable, something that could alleviate injury… and, If i get better at it along the way, great. My inspirations have always been friends who need, not want, to express themselves because, I need it too. I guess it’s a tribe.



“Altars” was a collection of self portraits about living with mental illness, inspired both by your own life as well as the lives of friends and family members. Was your intent to educate or advocate, or perhaps to confront and work through some of your own struggles?
I would like to say my intention was to educate and advocate, but in the end, it was really just therapy for me. Yet, by coming from a singular place, it becomes broad and easily shared. It feels good when someone says, oh! I know this ! It’s a feeling of unity.

Mr. Goff

Mr. Goff

Mr. Goff, Guru of Grief, is a series that appears to be dealing with themes of mourning and loss. Can you speak to how this series came about, and who Mr. Goff is to you?
That series was in two parts, Mr. Goff and The Lamentation of Mrs. Fly. ( one of him alone and one with both of us).Mr. Goff is among the very few people I’d known in my youth, which is a big deal for me because I’ve lost so many friends to drugs, suicide, AIDS, mental illness, and the pure need to distance myself for survival. Anyway, he and I share the love and experience of one person named Nick Bohn- a visionary young man who died from a drug overdose after years of severe, poorly treated schizophrenia. He got me to move to New York were he was working with Kembra Pfahler, Little Annie and other like New York artists as a filmmaker. His life was frightening and chaotic but amazing, and inspired me to grab my own piece of New York. Mr. Goff and I reconnected recently and I felt to need to be with him in a piece of art to mourn Nick, but to also celebrate our survival in a simple visual poem. It’s in the shape of a fable but it’s all about mourning people who are gone , people who shaped you. Friendship.

Vesper (White Bat)

Vesper (White Bat)

And most recently, your Noble Creatures series, can you tell about that?
Noble creatures is about being misunderstood. For whatever reason I find it difficult to express what I’m about and what I need from people in real life. I just suck at it, but I keep trying nevertheless. These creatures are saying, “give me a chance or leave me alone.” It’s just a simple nod to people doing their best to be who they are without beating themselves up to fit somebody else’s ideas. I don’t mean to be precious–I am saying with a certain amount of humor, I’m pretty OK with myself these days, “Here’s my wings, here’s my many eyes, here’s my shell, my burdens, my dangerous bits… deal.”



Much of your work, though certainly abstract and surreal, is considered self portraiture. I’m curious as to where you see such your art as it relates to the “selfie society” that we’re thought of as living in today?
It’s the same in that the ‘selfie generation” is merely looking back at themselves to see themselves and hope others see them too. I am here! See me! But, there are rather significant differences in self portraiture, generally. Conceptual self portraitures are deliberate stories in relation to space that may or may not require the focus to be on the performer. My body and those of my collaborators are catalysts for story telling. I don’t require my ‘image’ to be the story but that of the environment created around the body. Selfies say, ”see me, I’m REAL !” Conceptual portraiture says, ”Feel this ghost”.



Any fantastical ideas percolating that may manifest soon? Any future projects on the horizon?
I want to explore the idea of being saved. We’ve all been saved and maybe even saved somebody. I like the idea that we have the capacity to save someone, from death, from despair, from going down the wrong path, from being blind, loneliness, obscurity, from illness, others, from ourselves. I like how vulnerable we really are. I love that, even with all the casual cynicism, we are still unreasonable romantics.

Thank you kindly, Darla, for giving your time to answer our questions.
See more of Darla Teagarden’s work on her website or follow her on Instagram for news and updates.

Burial Ground In Post

02 Sep 04:48

The Woodcuts of Bryn Perrott

by Erin


Bryn Perrot‘s amazing woodcuts  are my new droolworthy-thing-I-seriously-need.  You can’t really get a sense of scale from the photos, but these are all nice big wall hanging pieces, not wee little rubber stamps. Although they would make AMAZING rubber stamps.

Did I mention that there are pet portraits?