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22 May 21:08

It’s OK To Take Your Air Conditioner Out For One Week And Then Put It Back Again

by Kelly Conaboy


Live a little, in my opinion.


It is very hot today, and it was very hot yesterday, and it was very hot the day before. Some of us may have put in our window unit air conditioners so we would be able to sleep at night and so our dog would be more comfortable, because we certainly love him so much and we’re just so happy he’s here. But tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day? Those days aren’t going to be so hot. In my opinion, it’s fine to take your air conditioner out and then put it back in again later.

I may be out of ideas for blog posts, but you do have to admit that this is something to say.

To some, it may sound crazy. The air conditioner is already in, you successfully installed it without breaking it or accidentally murdering anyone, and it’s going to be very hot again very soon. Why take it out and deal with the whole thing with how you have to put it on a towel because of the dripping, only to put it back in again in a handful of days and hope you don’t break it or kill anyone in the process? Well. I’ll tell you why, and it’s because: You have to enjoy your life while you have it.

The air conditioner, if it’s not doing you any good, is so bad. It’s bad even while it’s doing you good (loud, makes the air bad, energy reasons, whatever, etc.) but it’s especially bad while it’s not. It blocks the light from the window; it’s unattractive; it makes it so you can’t open the window. It makes it so you can’t look out of the window at the beautiful trees and birds. And it’s not good to look at. Mostly those two things: the window, and how it’s not good to look at.

It’s springtime, baby. I think it would be nice for you to be able to get one last week of not having that stupid air conditioner in one of your windows, blocking your light, and your air, and looking like some big ugly box, no offense to our friends the air conditioners. Take it out of there. Put it back in later. I know it sounds like a whole big to-do, but it’s actually only going to take a few minutes. And do you know how many minutes of days your going to have of nice window once you take it out? You do the math. It’s 60 times 24 times however many days you leave it out before you put it back in again.

That’s a lot!!!!!!!

Enjoy your life. Sleep with the windows open — all of the windows. Take out your air conditioner if you think you’d be happier without it for the next week. Then put it back again.

I love you.

It’s OK To Take Your Air Conditioner Out For One Week And Then Put It Back Again was originally published in The Hairpin on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

22 May 08:46

The colors of Mister Rogers’ cardigan sweaters, 1979-2001

by Jason Kottke

I think Mr. Rogers and Kurt Cobain are the reasons I wear cardigans (And office AC. And pullovers are generally terrible. And boobs.)

Mr Rogers Sweater Colors

Using data from The Neighborhood Archive, Owen Phillips charted the color of every sweater Mister Rogers wore on his PBS television program from 1979 to 2001.

Some sweaters were worn once and then never again, like the neon blue cardigan Rogers wore in episode 1497. Others, like his harvest gold sweaters, were part of Rogers’ regular rotation and then disappeared. And then there were the unusual batch of black and olive green sweaters Rogers wore exclusively while filming the “Dress-Up” episodes in 1991.

Some things about the sweaters and Mister Rogers:

- His mother knit the sweaters. Sorry, MISTER ROGERS’ MOTHER KNIT HIS CARDIGAN SWEATERS! I have not heard a more perfect detail about anything recently. He talks about his mom and the sweaters in this video — “I guess that’s the best thing about things. They remind you of people.”

- As you can see from the visualization above, Mister Rogers’ sweaters got darker as the show progressed. I will not speculate about what that might have meant.

- The Mister Rogers Marathon on Twitch is still going.

- But if you miss the marathon, there are plenty of episodes available on Amazon Prime.

Tags: color   Fred Rogers   infoviz   Owen Phillips   TV
05 May 03:01

Computer-generated moths

by Jason Kottke

everything is terrible, here are computer moths

Moth Generator

Moth Generator

Moth Generator

Twitter bot @mothgenerator posts images of computer-generated moths with computer-generated names. From a NY Times article on Twitter science bots:

Also dedicated to winged creatures, this bot tweets make-believe moths of all shapes, sizes, textures and iridescent colors. It’s programmed to generate variations in several anatomical structures of real moths, including antennas, wing shapes and wing markings.

Another program, which splices and recombines real Latin and English moth names, generates monikers for the moths. You can also reply to the account with name suggestions, and it will generate a corresponding moth.

(via @nicolehe, who has a Twitter bot for her fiddle leaf fig plant)

Update: Because of the tweet accompanying this post, Moth Generator generated a new moth called “The Twitter bot posts images of realistic-looking computer-generated moths moth”. Neat!

Moth Generator

Tags: Twitter
05 May 03:01

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

by Sonya

you can rent these costumes!

designer Agnieszka Osipa // photo Helen Warner

Polish designer Agnieszka Osipa’s creations feel like home to me, embodying a sort of feral holiness I associate with Slavic folklore and imagery. Its grand and decadent but wild, refined yet chaotic — her fashion often inseparable from the moody, atmospheric dreamscapes she creates with her photographers. Each image is uniquely powerful, with intricate beading and delicate lace covering gowns and headdresses like diamond-bright goosebumps: details liable to draw blood.

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Slavic lore is a major theme throughout Osipa’s designs and imagery. “This is where I am from,” she told Belle Exotique Magazine in 2015. “I feel that Slavic culture is often regarded as minor compared to other cultures of the world. I try to change that by showing how rich and inspiring it can be, when you really dig into it. I search legends, demonology, and fairy tales from the Eastern region of Europe and try to include the forms and symbols into what I make.”

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa rents out her costumes and also takes commissions — if ever you were in the market for a truly breathtaking, spellbound dress or crown for an occasion demanding nothing less than ethereal perfection, this should be your first stop. To see more of Osipa’s tactile delirium, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.  

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Images via Instagram


27 Apr 23:38

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Why do you want to work here?



Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I'm starting to wonder if I don't have some deeply repressed fantasy where I'm a middle aged woman who participates in overly blunt job interviews.

New comic!
Today's News:

HEY BRITAIN! Soonish is available in the UK. We've used metric units, added the letter "U" after every "O" and as a courtesy, every book will be lightly dampened with cold rain.

Available for preorder!

26 Apr 01:41

The writers strike and the rise of Trump

by Jason Kottke

Andy! Weren't you going to go back in time and kill Hitler in a way that avoids the writer's strike? Good call.

The members of the two large writing guilds representing more than 12,000 Hollywood writers recently voted to strike.

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West, announced the results of an online strike authorization vote in an email to members. The unions said that 6,310 eligible members voted; 96 percent of the vote was in favor of a strike.

A three-year contract between the guilds and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the makers of films and TV series, expires at midnight on May 1. Negotiators were set to resume talks on Tuesday, with funding of a failing union health care plan a sticking point.

Last time there was a writers strike in 2007, networks moved to replace their scripted shows with reality programs, including the resurrection of a fading reality show called The Apprentice.

During the last work stoppage, CBS ordered additional seasons of its flagship reality competition shows to fill airtime. And then there’s NBC.

Trump’s “The Apprentice” had been removed from the network’s lineup amid low ratings. But a new programming chief came aboard in 2007, and the network decided to revive the competition show, but with a twist. And when the writers’ strike meant no more new episodes of “The Office” and “Scrubs,” NBC replaced the Thursday night shows in 2008 with “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

That’s a curious butterfly effect. The writers strike made room for The Celebrity Apprentice on TV. The Celebrity Apprentice gave Trump seven more seasons of primetime TV visibility. Trump parlayed that visibility into the highest political office in the land.

Tags: 2016 election   Donald Trump   Hollywood   politics   TV
14 Apr 21:38

Unsettling Ceramics by Sara Duyer

by Maika Keuben


All we want to do today is chase after this skittering teapot creature, which is the work of San Francisco-based ceramic artist and painter Sara Duyer and undoubtedly contains some incredibly powerful elixir.

Sarah Duyer teapot

Duyer also created these marvelous skeleton and severed finger ring bowls, both of which look like perfect places to store all the Blood Milk jewels we ordered during their recent sale.

Sara Duyer skeleton ring bowl

Sara Duyer skeleton ring bowls

Sara Duyer severed finger ring bowl

Find Sara Duyer: Website // Twitter //Shop // Etsy


14 Apr 01:53

Wednesday links

by KimFrance

Mostly just sharing because I love Marimekko

  • Here’s the story of Marimekko. (Curbed)
  • 11 shows to look forward to if you loved Big Little Lies. (Elle)
  • Here’s a trailer for the new season of Orange is the New Black. (Flavorwire)
  • “Wild goose chase,” “Lie low,” and more phrases you may use without realizing you’re quoting Shakespeare. (Mental Floss)
  • I love this news anchor’s reaction to forgetting she’s on the air. (Jezebel)


13 Apr 23:43

Giant meteorite sculpture is at the center of a stunning UK Holocaust Memorial proposal

by Jason Kottke

This is striking and smart

Anish Kapoor Holocaust Memorial

Anish Kapoor Holocaust Memorial

British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid Architects have proposed a massive sculpture resembling a meteorite for the centerpiece of the UK Holocaust Memorial.

Meteorites, mountains and stones are often at the centre of places of reflection, especially in the Jewish tradition. They call on the vastness of nature to be a witness to our humanity. A memorial to the Holocaust must be contemplative and silent, such that it evokes our empathy. It must be a promise to future generations that this terrible chapter in human history can never occur again.

All ten shortlisted proposals can be viewed on the design competition site.

Tags: Anish Kapoor   architecture   art   Holocaust   UK   Zaha Hadid
13 Apr 02:06

Aleutian Dreams: photos of the Alaskan fishing industry

by Jason Kottke

One of the engineers at work made a career change from fishing off the Aleutian islands to software.

Corey Arnold

Corey Arnold

Corey Arnold

For a project called Aleutian Dreams, photographer and fisher Corey Arnold has documented the lives and landscapes of the fishing industry in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a job-wanted sign and hung it outside of a bathroom near Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal. It read: “Experienced deckhand looking for work on a commercial crab or halibut fishing boat in Alaska — hard worker — does not get seasick” I was 24 years old, energetic and ambitious, with a few years of salmon fishing experience but naive to the world of high seas fish-work. After a few shifty respondents, I was hired by a seasoned Norwegian fisherman and flew on a small prop plane past the icy volcanos and windswept passes of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, eventually slamming down onto the short runway in Dutch Harbor. The experience would forever change the direction of my life and shape my identity as both a fisherman and photographer. Isolated from the mainland by some of the world’s roughest waters, Dutch Harbor is a thriving, working-class commercial fishing port surrounded by steep mountains and lonely windswept valleys. It’s a place where industry and nature collide in strange and beautiful ways, a place where people harvest seafood on a massive scale, and share their meals and their refuse with local wildlife — from rapacious bald eagles to curious foxes.

(via the guardian)

Tags: Alaska   Corey Arnold   fishing   photography
13 Apr 02:04

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Smalltalk


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I wonder what percentage of my comics are just me scolding my younger self.

New comic!
Today's News:
11 Apr 01:38

Paper Horror Houses You Can Download, Print and Build for Free

by Brenda S G Walter

Oooh! My sister and I had a book of paper miniature buildings and we made Roman temples and European castles (I think)

Have you ever wanted to own a haunted house or abandoned asylum, but just don’t have the resources? Do you crave the smell of craft glue and sharpies? Today, Dirgeling, is your day.

I am currently furnishing a witch’s cottage in 1:12 scale. A warning to the wise—making dollhouse miniatures will cast a spell on you! While searching the dark corners of the web for furniture ideas, I discovered a site called Haunted Dimensions. It features the work of Ray Keim, a multi-media artist and design wizard who makes props and models for Universal Studios and is a key member of their Halloween Horror Nights team. Out of the kindness of his dark heart, Keim has made paper model versions of his larger haunted house models freely available for download. Yes, you heard me. Free. All he asks is that you credit him and not repackage or sell his work. Other than that, you can craft to your heart’s delight!

Fancy a replica of the Norman Bates house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho?

Credit: Ray Keim. For the model, click here.

Or the Haddonfield, Illinois home of Michael Myers from John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)?

Credit: Ray Keim. For the model, click here.

If you’re feeling elegant (and ambitious), you might consider Phantom Manor, a Victorian nightmare in paper and glue.

Credit: Ray Keim. For the model, click here.

I chose to make a paper model of the Skoolhouse, which was a part of Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando (2008). Keim writes that it “stood at the entrance to a spectacular jack-o-lantern forest.” I’m all about that.

Credit: Ray Keim. For the model, click here.

When you download and print the PDF from the site, you will get detailed instructions and the building pieces, ready to cut. All of the pieces are in living color, but in honor of DIRGE and my love of German Expressionism, I decided to print them in black and white on plain white cardstock. (You really can’t use regular paper for this project, or you’ll get drooping walls and a flaccid steeple. No one likes a flaccid steeple!)

For added dimension, I used a fine-tipped permanent black marker (sweet fumes!) and added detailed lines and shadows. I also used a black colored pencil for more subtle shading. It was incredibly relaxing. Before assembly, I also used a craft knife to cut out the little window panes.

Once your pieces are cut, follow the instructions and glue them together using tacky glue. Hot glue doesn’t seem to work very well because it adds too much bulk to seams with tight tolerances. Here is my little Skoolhouse awaiting its steeple.

After attaching the steeple, I got out the glue gun and went wild with miniature moss, which can be found in the floral section of most craft stores. I also added some pebbles near the foundation to give the structure a little weight, and a silver skull door knocker.

I also cut a little flap in the bottom of the house to let in the demons so that I could put a battery operated tea light inside.

Because these wonderful models are tiny, you are going to want to make a bunch of them. Assembling the Skoolhouse was time consuming but extremely relaxing and rewarding. And now I want to make a bunch of pumpkins and fence posts and cauldrons out of polymer clay.

Miniatures are the devil!

If you are looking for other paper models to play with, check out RavensBlight, who has a whole page of haunted toys to cut and assemble.

Book safes, a haunted lighthouse, “dark lights” for the kids, and little coffin boxes for all of your creepy goodies. These are only a few of the amazing paper projects available at RavensBlight.

I wish you wicked crafting. Don’t forget the moss!!

Author information

Brenda S G Walter

Brenda S G Walter

By day, Brenda poisons young minds as a college professor.  When she is not teaching classes such as Science and the Supernatural, she is writing about monsters, witchcraft, horror films, heavy metal, and gothic culture.  She might also be drawing apocalyptic landscapes or haunted houses while watching Creature Double Feature.  You can find her on Facebook and Instagram as Elderdark Nightmoth.

| Facebook |

The post Paper Horror Houses You Can Download, Print and Build for Free appeared first on Dirge Magazine.

03 Apr 00:27

The ‘Ask Baba Yaga’ Book Is Almost Here!

by Silvia Killingsworth

Getting Baba Yaga's hut tattooed on the back of my arm

A collection of old and new questions.

Last we checked in with Hairpin pal Taisia Kitaiskaia, the poet, author of the forthcoming Literary Witches, and former ’pin columnist, she had recently sold her book based on “Ask Baba Yaga” (the archives of which you can read here), and advice column dispensing wisdom from the Slavic witch-oracle.

Now the book is done, and due to come out from Andrews McMeel on September 26, and you can pre-order your copy NOW from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, and BAM! You can find more info about the book on Kitaiskaia’s site. VERY EXCITING!!

The ‘Ask Baba Yaga’ Book Is Almost Here! was originally published in The Hairpin on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

28 Mar 15:41

“Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen”

by Jason Kottke

The title of this video is “Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen—MUST WATCH END!!” and there is literally nothing else I can say to entice you to watch it if you’re not already hooked by that.

Tags: video
03 Mar 17:08

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

by Dana Hatic

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

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

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension

Burial Ground: Mourning's Ascension


07 Feb 22:47


by swissmiss


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

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

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

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.