Shared posts

26 Feb 14:57

This Microscopic View of a Spider Embryo is Strangely Adorable

by Christopher Jobson
AmN

euh... adorable is maybe not the word

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Spider embryo. Molecular characterization and embryonic origin of the eyes in the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Göttingen University.

Taken from recent research into the development of eyes in spiders, this microscopic image shows what a common house spider looks like as it develops inside an egg. For some reason, it’s disturbingly… cute? This little cthulhu-like spider embryo is nearing the final stage before hatching and appears to be stuck in a tiny self hug. You can learn more about the embryonic origin of eyes in common house spider over on BioMed Central. (via Reddit, Göttingen University)

26 Feb 14:24

Knit Fruits and Veggies by ‘MapleApple’ Look Good Enough to Eat

by Christopher Jobson

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Latvia-based MapleApple, a mother and daughter duo, knit a bountiful harvest of produce solely from wool and acrylic yarn. The faithful recreations of turnips, carrots, lemons, and leeks are available as individual pieces or sold together as large sets. All pieces are child-safe and you can see much more in their shop.

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26 Feb 08:03

New Photorealistic Mural by ‘Smug’ on the Streets of Glasgow

by Christopher Jobson
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via @smugone

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Photo courtesy Megan Hughes.

This great new photorealistic mural from graffiti artist Sam Bates (aka Smug) popped up in Glasgow last week. The piece is just one of several wildlife-themed contributions by the artist over the last year as part of the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail that began in 2008 to help rejuvenate the downtown area. You can watch Smug at work on this video from Spraying Bricks and see more of his work on Instagram. (via The Scotsman)

22 Feb 22:00

Merlin The Raven At The Tower Of London

by the gentle author

Chris Skaife & Merlin

Every day at first light, Chris Skaife, Master Raven Keeper at the Tower of London, awakens the ravens from their slumbers and feeds them breakfast. It is one of the lesser known rituals at the Tower, so Contributing Photographer Martin Usborne & I decided to pay an early morning call upon London’s most pampered birds and send you a report.

The keeping of ravens at the Tower is a serious business, since legend has it that, ‘If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall…’ Fortunately, we can all rest assured thanks to Chris Skaife who undertakes his breakfast duties conscientiously, delivering bloody morsels to the ravens each dawn and thereby ensuring their continued residence at this most favoured of accommodations.“We keep them in night boxes for their own safety,” Chris explained to me, just in case I should think the ravens were incarcerated at the Tower like those monarchs of yore, “because we have quite a lot of foxes that get in through the sewers at night.”

First thing, Chris unlocks the bird boxes built into the ancient wall at the base of the Wakefield Tower and, as soon as he opens each door, a raven shoots out blindly like a bullet from a gun, before lurching around drunkenly on the lawn as its eyes  accustom to the daylight, brought to consciousness by the smell of fresh meat. Next, Chris feeds the greedy brother ravens Gripp – named after Charles Dickens’ pet raven – & Jubilee – a gift to the Queen on her Diamond Anniversary – who share a cage in the shadow of the White Tower.

Once this is accomplished, Chris walks over to Tower Green where Merlin the lone raven lives apart from her fellows. He undertakes this part of the breakfast service last, because there is little doubt that Merlin is the primary focus of Chris’ emotional engagement. She has night quarters within the Queen’s House, once Anne Boleyn’s dwelling, and it suits her imperious nature very well. Ravens are monogamous creatures that mate for life but, like Elizabeth I, Merlin has no consort. “She chose her partner, it’s me,” Chris assured me in a whisper, eager to confide his infatuation with the top bird, before he opened the door to wake her. Then, “It’s me!” he announced cheerily to Merlin but, with suitably aristocratic disdain, she took her dead mouse from him and flounced off across the lawn where she pecked at her breakfast a little before burying it under a piece of turf to finish later, as is her custom.

“The other birds watch her bury the food, then lift up the turf and steal it,” Chris revealed to me as he watched his charge with proprietorial concern, “They are scavengers by nature, and will hunt in packs to kill – not for fun but to eat. They’ll attack a seagull and swing it round but they won’t kill it, gulls are too big. They’ll take sweets, crisps and sandwiches off children, and cigarettes off adults. They’ll steal a purse from a small child, empty it out and bury the money. They’ll play dead, sun-bathing, and a member of the public will say, ‘There’s a dead raven,’ and then the bird will get up and walk away. But I would not advise any members of the public to touch them, they have the capacity to take off a small child’s finger – not that they have done, yet.”

We walked around to the other side of the lawn where Merlin perched upon a low rail. Close up, these elegant birds are sleek as seals, glossy black, gleaming blue and green, with a disconcerting black eye and a deep rasping voice. Chris sat down next to Merlin and extended his finger to stroke her beak affectionately, while she gave him some playful pecks upon the wrist.

“Students from Queen Mary University are going to study the ravens’ behaviour all day long for three years.” he informed me, “There’s going to be problem-solving for ravens, they’re trying to prove ravens are ‘feathered apes.’ We believe that crows, ravens and magpies have the same brain capacity as great apes. If they are a pair, ravens will mimic each other’s movements for satisfaction. They all have their own personalities, their moods, and their foibles, just like people.”

Then Merlin hopped off her perch onto the lawn where Chris followed and, to my surprise, she untied one of Chris’s shoelaces with her beak, tugging upon it affectionately and causing him to chuckle in great delight. While he was thus entrammelled, I asked Chris how he came to this role in life. “Derrick Coyle, the previous Master Raven Keeper, said to me, ‘I think the birds will like you.’ He introduced me to it and I’ve been taking care of them ever since. Chris admitted plainly, opening his heart, The ravens are continually on your mind. It takes a lot of dedication, it’s early starts and late nights - I have a secret whistle which brings them to bed.”

It was apparent then that Merlin had Chris on a leash which was only as long as his shoelace. “If one of the other birds comes into her territory, she will come and sit by me for protection,” he confessed, confirming his Royal romance with a blush of tender recollection, “She sees me as one of her own.”

“Alright you lot, up you get!”

“A pigeon flew into the cage the other day and the two boys got it, that was a mess.”

“It’s me!”

“She chose her partner, it’s me.”

“She sees me as one of her own.”

Chris Skaife & Merlin

Charles Dickens’ Raven “Grip” – favourite expression, “Halloa old girl!”

Tower photographs copyright © Martin Usborne

Residents of Spitalfields and any of the Tower Hamlets may gain admission to the Tower of London for one pound upon production of an Idea Store card.

You may also like to take a look at these other Tower of London stories

Alan Kingshott, Yeoman Gaoler at the Tower of London

Graffiti at the Tower of London

Beating the Bounds at the Tower of London

Ceremony of the Lilies & Roses at the Tower of London

Bloody Romance of the Tower with pictures by George Cruickshank

John Keohane, Chief Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

Constables Dues at the Tower of London

The Oldest Ceremony in the World

A Day in the Life of the Chief Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

Joanna Moore at the Tower of London

19 Feb 10:16

London’s Abandoned Eiffel Tower Replica

by MessyNessy

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When a tower made of 7,500 tons of steel and iron was unveiled at the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris, it was an immediate triumph, made even more victorious in light of the controversy which had surrounded the Eiffel Tower prior to its opening. Protesters had argued to “imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame … the Louvre … the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream… like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.” After proving her critics so dreadfully wrong, the iron lady of Paris was so popular and financially successful that it became the envy of Europe. And over the channel, the British hatched a plan to build their own ‘bigger and better’ Eiffel Tower of London…

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The idea was launched by British Member of Parliament, Sir Edward Watkins, who infamously proclaimed “anything Paris can do, London can do bigger!” He even had the cheek to ask Gustave Eiffel to build the tower, to which Eiffel refused on the grounds that it would simply ruin his image with his countrymen as a good Frenchman.

So instead, Watkin launched a contest in 1890 to design the “Great Tower of London”.

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The competition pamphlet, an illustrated catalogue of the 68 competitive designs submitted for the project (the winning entry pictured above), begins by singing the praises of their French inspiration…

“One of the objects of greatest interest at Paris is The Eiffel Tower…Taking into consideration the enormous popularity of the Eiffel Tower and the consequent pecuniary benefits conferred on those interested in that undertaking, it is not too much to anticipate that, in the course of a short time, every important country will possess its tall Tower”

Noting that the Eiffel Tower cost £280,000 to build, the pamphlet assures that the London project has “found the willing support of many capitalists, who felt convinced that if the scheme were properly laid before the public there would be no great difficulty in accomplishing the object.”

Alas, for lack of funding, public support and a solid design, the English Eiffel Tower just wasn’t to be.

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The winner was the No. 37 and they did actually start to build it in 1893 on the site now occupied by the English national football ground, Wembley Stadium. Designed to surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower by 34 meters, the pamphlet describes the project’s competitive ambitions…

“This Tower would stand at a considerable elevation instead of as in the case of the Eiffel Tower being at the river level…It is proposed that the tower shall be much more spacious and of greater altitude than the Eiffel Tower, with the a view to its being still more useful, and to accommodate a larger portion of the public. Special facilities such as restaurants, theatre, shops, Turkish baths, promenades and winter gardens and a variety of other amusements, which will not only afford a healthful recreation for the million, but, it is anticipated, will insure a profitable return for the shareholders.”

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After an unsuccessful appeal for public subscription, Watkin’s company formed to manage the project could only proceed with its own funds, prompting Watkin to scrap the competition winner’s octagonal design and scale back to a cheaper, four-legged design that bore much more resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. Work began on the tower as the surrounding park began to be laid out with a cricket pitch and a boating lake, in readiness for the first visitors.

Wembley Park opened to the public a year later with an unfinished tower still under construction. In 1895, Watkin’s health was fading and he retired just as the first and only stage of his tower was completed, standing at approximately 47 meters high.

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Behind schedule, lacking funds and even found to have disastrously unsteady foundations, the structure was doomed. In 1899, the company went into voluntary liquidation and construction stopped, never to begin again. It sat unfinished and abandoned for 8 years before it was entirely demolished using dynamite in 1907.

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Here are some of the other proposed designs for the English Eiffel Tower that never was…

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I suppose they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…!

See the full illustrated catalogue of the Watkin’s Tower designs here

19 Feb 10:13

Drape Yourself in Literature with Book Scarves from FreshComfy

by Christopher Jobson

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If you like getting lost in a good book, here’s your chance to literally cover up in one. Thailand-based FreshComfy prints the covers and pages of classic books on lightweight chiffon scarves. Books include retro covers for The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, or even illustrated maps from Lord of the Rings. See more in their shop! (via Lost At E-Minor)

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19 Feb 08:16

Tout est bon dans le cochon

by Sonia Ezgulian

Le week-end dernier, j’ai réalisé mon rêve de confectionner mes cervelas. Et en prime du pâté de tête et des saucisses. Ces journées « tue-cochon » me rappelle un moment raconté dans « Le cochon, dix façons de la préparer » paru aux éditions de l’Epure, hélas épuisé.

 

La préface de ce livre :

Un cri strident déchire les premières lueurs bleutées du froid cinglant d’un matin de janvier. Le cochon est pendu par les deux pattes arrière et sa terreur se traduit alors  par des halètements de plus en plus aigus et saccadés. D’un geste précis, le “tueur” lui tranche la carotide et la jugulaire en prenant soin de ne pas entailler la gorge pour éviter les saignements intérieurs. Les uns maintiennent l’animal agité de soubresauts nerveux, les autres utilisent ses pattes comme un soufflet pour le vider de son sang – aussitôt brassé pour empêcher la coagulation. Le cochon est alors installé sur un autel de paille pour être buclé et lavé.

Le tueur, notre “saigneur”, comme l’appelle respectueusement l’assemblée, commence l’extraction des viscères puis, armé de son fendu et de son portant, le découpage et le désossage, d’une main experte qui en dit long sur son expérience, sur la connaissance de l’animal. Côtes, filet mignon, longe, jaille (aussitôt portée en cuisine pour que les femmes la cuisinent), épaules, jambons, poitrine (servant à confectionner le roulé), manteau de lard…

La tradition veut que chacun des acteurs de la mise à mort ait sa part de “fricassée” : un bout de boudin, de foie, de poumon, de cœur, de gras et de crépine. La fête du cochon vient briser la monotonie de l’hiver et resserrer les liens entre villageois, paysans, amis. Après la moisson et les vendanges, c’est le troisième évènement qui rythme le monde rural. Le groupe clairsemé des matinaux grossit d’heure en heure. Ceux qui viennent en visite ou pour le coup de main forment désormais une “famille” réunie dans la liesse autour d’un verre et des premières tranches de boudin. Pourtant, en dehors de toute considération religieuse, le cochon est le seul animal à déclencher autant de passions. Pour ses détracteurs, sa vue suscite le dégoût, son nom est une insulte, sa goinfrerie effraie. Pour ses défenseurs, la liste des arguments est longue.

Sans tomber dans la véritable vénération qu’éprouvaient les Romains, surtout pour les truies, engraissées avec des figues pour avoir un foie délicat (on notera, perplexe, une recette d’Apicius, à base de vulve de truie vierge et de tétines, qualifiée de mets d’exception) ; sans succomber à un fatal péché de gourmandise, comme Louis XVI qui fut intercepté à Varenne à cause d’un détour par Sainte-Ménéhould pour y déguster les fameux pieds de cochon locaux ; sans céder à l’adage populaire qui veut que dans le cochon tout soit bon (hormis la viande, les poils se hérissent pour les brosses, les os servent à fabriquer de la colle et des ustensiles, la peau le cuir des parchemins, les boyaux des cordes d’instruments de musique et le suif des chan-delles) et que l’on soit toujours à l’abri du besoin quand on en possède un (ni les chèvres, ni les vaches n’ont eu l’honneur de symboliser les fameuses tirelires), on peut apprécier la fête du cochon comme un moment simple, un “hymne de vie” qui prône des valeurs fortes et essentielles comme la puissance de la nature, le respect, l’amitié et la solidarité.

 

18 Feb 23:38

Why Dozens of U.S. President Statues Sit Deteriorating in a Rural Virginia Field

by Christopher Jobson
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All photos courtesy Patrick Joust.

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Somewhere in Virginia on the outskirts of private farmland sits the completely bizarre sight of nearly 40 giant U.S. president busts crumbling amongst the weeds. The mammoth heads—each estimated to weigh in excess of 7,000 pounds—were originally commissioned from a Houston artist as the centerpiece for Presidents Park, a ten-acre open-air museum with presidential sculptures and informational plaques located in Williamsburg, Virginia. First opened in 2004, the museum closed just 6 years later due to lack of attendance and most of the heads were eventually moved to a private farm where they sit today.

Photographer Patrick Joust recently made a trek to the presidential graveyard and shot these amazing photos of the eroding statues. The pieces are already faded and peeling from the elements and display a number of structural scars from repeated moves. The post-apocalyptic scene is reminiscent of the final moments of Planet of the Apes, or a modern take on the giant mysterious heads sprawled across Easter Island. A few of the presidential busts have been a bit more lucky: Abraham Lincoln’s bust now rests in front of the the Lincoln RV Park in Williston, North Dakota, and Theodore Roosevelt’s bust sits outside the Roosevelt Inn in Watford.

You can see more of Joust’s photography on Flickr and by following him on Facebook. (via The Virginian-Pilot, Smithsonian)

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16 Feb 21:20

Why is the UK still printing its laws on vellum?

Why is the UK still printing its laws on calf-skin?
16 Feb 07:41

A Mysterious and Abandoned Fishing Village Outside of Budapest Captured in Perfect Reflection

by Kate Sierzputowski

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A few years ago photographer Viktor Egyed accidentally stumbled upon the town Szödliget a few miles outside of Budapest, and to his delight found this small abandoned fishing village filled with clusters of A-frame huts. Deciding the weather was not ideal, Egyed came back a few years later when he was able to capture the town in a hazy fog, the perfect condition to highlight the glasslike reflections of the structures in the lake below.

The feeling of the small lakeside town is just as dreamlike as the imagery suggests. “This small abandoned fishing lake has its own very unique atmosphere,” said Egyed to Colossal. “It is an idyllic place for people who want to escape from the rushing of life for a little while.”

You can see more of Egyed’s photographs on his Behance page here.

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12 Feb 22:19

No need to be sad with this comprehensive study of shoegaze

by Chris Todd
From the end of the C86 scene through to shoegaze itself via grunge and ending with Britpop - Still in A Dream proves itself to be a truly comprehensive release.
09 Feb 21:35

Iggy Pop Reads Walt Whitman in Collaborations With Electronic Artists Alva Noto and Tarwater

by Josh Jones

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Image of Iggy Pop by Patrick McAlpine, via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t know why no one thought of this ages ago: an album of Walt Whitman’s poetry, set to moody, atmospheric electronic music and read by former Stooge and current American badass Iggy Pop. It makes perfect sense. Though Pop may lack Whitman’s verbal excesses, preferring more Spartan punk rock statements, he perfectly embodies—in a very literal way—Whitman’s fearless, sexually-charged “barbaric yawp.” And both artists are very much American originals: largely self-taught Whitman cast aside 19th-century decorum and formal constraints to write wildly expressive verse that celebrated the body, the individual, and American industrial noise; self-taught Pop cast aside 20th century rock formalism to create dangerously expressive music that celebrated… well, you get the idea.

I don’t know if he would have written “Now I wanna be your dog,” but in contrast to “the popular, well-educated poets of the time, those sensitive noblemen,” Whitman wrote—says Pop in his own distinctive paraphrase—“Fuc% as$.” 

You know, I think he had something like Elvis. Like Elvis ahead of his time, one of the first manic American populists. You know you’re looking at pictures of him, and he was obviously someone who was very much involved with his own physical appearance. His poetry is always about motion and rushing ahead, and crazy love and blood pushing through the body. He would have been the perfect gangster rapper. Whitman says, even the most beautiful face is not as beautiful as the body. And to say that in the middle of the 19th century is outrageous. It’s a slap in the face. 

Of the many rock and roll interpreters of literary greats we’ve featured on this site, I’d say Iggy Pop’s reading of, and commentary on, Whitman may be my favorite.

Unfortunately, we can only bring you a short excerpt, above, from Pop’s collaboration with instrumental duo Tarwater and German electronic artist Alva Noto (who recently scored Alejandro Iñárritu’s The Revenant with Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Ryuichi Sakamoto). This two-minute sample comes from a 2014 album these artists made together called Kinder Adams—Children of Adam, which features several abridged renditions in German of Whitman’s most famous book, Leaves of Grass by various voice actors, then a complete reading by Pop, set to a throbbing, haunting score.

Now, Pop, Alva Noto, and Tarwater have come together again to revisit Whitman with a seven-track EP simply titled Leaves of Grass. Like the early, self-published first edition of Whitman’s book, this work will only reach a few hands. “Released on Morr Music with no digital version planned,” reports Fact Mag, “Leaves of Grass is only available in a limited vinyl edition of just 500 copies, complete with embossed artwork.” You can purchase a copy of this artifact here (act fast), or—if you prefer your more traditional Iggy Pop without the literature, moody, post-rock soundscapes, and rarefied formats—wait for his new album in March with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, sure to hit digital outlets near you. Whether or not he’s reading Whitman, he’s always channeling the poet’s energy.

Related Content:

Iggy Pop Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s Classic Horror Story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”

Tom Waits Reads Two Charles Bukowski Poems, “The Laughing Heart” and “Nirvana”

Walt Whitman’s Poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” Brought to Life in Three Animations

Orson Welles Reads From America’s Greatest Poem, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” (1953)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Iggy Pop Reads Walt Whitman in Collaborations With Electronic Artists Alva Noto and Tarwater is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

09 Feb 17:17

Top 20 des spécialités culinaires d’Afrique du Sud qui défoncent le reste du Monde

by benoi
AmN

south african cuisine

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Comment résumer simplement la gastronomie sud-africaine ? Un savoureux mélange entre la gastronomie africaine qui était là à l'origine, on ajoute ensuite des influences anglaises, néerlandaises, allemandes et françaises dues aux différentes colonisations. Et pour finir, on saupoudre le tout d'épices et de techniques indiennes qu'on doit à la route commerciale qui longeait les côtes du pays. Sans plus attendre, on passe à table.

    POUR COMMENCER

  1. Biltong
    Pour l'apéro, c'est la spécialité qu'il vous faut : de la viande de boeuf épicée séchée qu'on coupe en lamelle.

    Carving Biltong

  2. Droëwors
    L'équivalent de notre saucisson, les droëwors accompagneront parfaitement le biltong pour un apéro réussi.

    Vivat Bacchus - South African platter

  3. Bobotie
    Tellement simple et tellement bon. De la viande hachée, du lait, des amandes, de la confiture d'abricot et du curry que vous mélangez bien et vous faites tout cuire.
  4. Tjips
    L'Afrikaans est une des nombreuses langues officielles, on ne commande donc pas des "chips" pour des frites mais des "tjips". Petite particularité sud-africaine, les pommes de terre prennent souvent un bain de vinaigre juste avant pour leur donner un petit goût supplémentaire.
  5. Roosterkobek
    Les Sud-Africains raffolent du barbecue, ils font donc tout naturellement cuire leur pain directement sur la grille.

    Roosterbrood (1 van 2)

  6. Chakalaka
    Un des exemples de l'influence indienne sur la gastronomie sud-africaine, le chakalaka est une marinade de légumes légèrement relevée au curry et aux piments.

    Chakalaka is a fantastic vegetarian "chameleon" recipe. Use it as a condiment, as a vibrant accompaniment to rice or some mealiepap, or even as a standalone stew. Whichever way you have it, it is supremely delicious!  Get the recipe at http://arousingappe

  7. Boerewors
    Non ça n'est pas une simple saucisse ! C'est la saucisse des "boer" (des paysans) faite à base d'un savoureux mélange de viandes de boeuf, ajouté à de la viande d'agneau ou de porc auquel on ajoute une bonne grosse poignée de différentes épices comme la coriandre. Cette saucisse est le résultat de la colonisation néerlandaise au court du 17ème siècle.
  8. Vetkoek
    Ce petit pain pané accompagne les plats salés et les plats sucrés.

    Vetkoek with Curried Mince

  9. Sosatie
    De simples brochettes de viandes telles que l'agneau ou le mouton qu'on fera cuire avec des abricots secs.

    Sosaties on the braai

  10. Potjiekos
    Le nom du plat a donné le nom à la recette. Le Potjiekos est une petite marmite de nourriture, derrière ce nom il s'agit d'un ragoût préparé en plein air, sur le feu. On doit cette petite marmite aux Hollandais.

    Potjiekos!

  11. ... lire la suite de ce top sur Topito
06 Feb 10:35

What Procrastination Does to Your Body

by Stephanie Lee on Vitals, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

Waiting until the last minute can actually do a number on your body. If you have a paper, presentation, or something else due soon, the normal response is to procrastinate. It may feel gratifying, but all that stress and tension has serious effects on your health.

Read more...











06 Feb 05:51

Top 7 des différents styles de manga expliqués, pour enfin avoir de la culture générale

by François
AmN

different sorts of mangas (mangas for dummies)

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Crédits photo : Topito

C’est toujours compliqué de décrire un manga de manière simple. Les gens ont tendance à croire qu’un manga c’est juste des personnages avec de grands yeux et des filles avec des gros nichons. Alors oui c’est un peu ça. Mais pas seulement. C’est aussi plein de genres différents, abordant des thématiques variées touchant plein de publics.

  1. Shônen Nekketsu (Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto)

    Les Nekketsu visent un public de jeunes ados pré-pubères à l’acné difficile. Tout d’abord on a un jeune héros qui décide de devenir le meilleur du monde dans son domaine. Ensuite, il s’entoure d’amis clichés, comme le pote/rival au passé sombre et violent, la meuf bonne, et le mec nul. Ensemble ils poussent à la salle pour démonter des méchants. On retrouve des valeurs comme le courage, l’amitié, la persévérance, et l’utilisation de la violence pour résoudre des conflits.

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    Crédits photo : Reddit

  2. Shônen Pantsu (Negima, Love Hina)

    Toujours pour les ados dont les hormones bouillonnent, le Pantsu, qui vient du mot « pants », soit « culotte », raconte souvent l’histoire d’un jeune babtou fragile entouré de demoiselles dont on voit souvent leurs sous-vêtements. Ces dernières vont à un moment tomber amoureuses de lui. Mais généralement, c’est l’amie d’enfance qui réussit à se taper le héros à la fin. Comme quoi la friendzone peut être vaincue.

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    Crédits photo : soogeek

  3. Magical Shôjo (Sailor Moon, Sakura chasseuse de cartes)

    Ce genre de manga est pour un lectorat de jeunes aimant porter des mini-jupes. Il met en scène des jeunes filles possédant des pouvoirs surnaturels. C’est avec leurs capacités et leurs vêtements courts qu’elles combattent le Mal, mettant souvent en difficultés leur parcours scolaire. A la fin elles sauvent le monde mais n’ont pas leur brevet. Merci l’Education Nationale.

    sm_scene_02

    Crédits photo : madman

  4. ... lire la suite de ce top sur Topito
06 Feb 05:48

The Very First Coloring Book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book (Circa 1879)

by Ayun Halliday

The_Little_Folks_Paint_Book

Funny how not that long ago coloring books were considered the exclusive domain of children. How times have changed. If you are the sort of adult who unwinds with a big box of Crayolas and pages of mandalas or outlines of Ryan Gosling, you owe a debt of gratitude to the McLoughlin Brothers and illustrator Kate Greenaway.

First Coloring Book 1

Their Little Folks’ Painting Book burst onto the scene in around 1879 with such fun-to-color outline engravings as “The Owl’s Advice,” “A Flower Fairy,” and “Little Miss Pride,” each accompanied by nursery rhymes and stories. The abundance of mob caps, pinafores, and breeches are of a piece with Greenaway’s enduring takes on nursery rhymes, though grown up manual dexterity seems almost mandatory given the tiny patterns and other details.

First Coloring Book 2

Seeing as how there was no precedent, the publishers of the world’s first coloring book went ahead and filled in the frontispiece so that those tackling the other hundred drawings would know what to do. (Hint: Stay inside the lines and don’t get too creative with skin or hair color.)

First Coloring Book 3

Also note: the copy represented here has been carefully hand-colored by the previous owners, with one contributing some exuberant scribbles in pencil. See the full book, and download it in various formats, at Archive.org.

Related Content:

Download Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The New York Public Library, Bodleian, Smithsonian & More

The First Adult Coloring Book: See the Subversive Executive Coloring Book From 1961

Download 15,000+ Free Golden Age Comics from the Digital Comic Museum

The Very First Coloring Book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book (Circa 1879) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

06 Feb 05:47

5 Things Friday: 2/5/16

by Erica

Time for the weekly-ish round-up of randomness! 5 Things Friday is my way of shoe-horning in and discussing things that don’t necessarily belong on an urban homesteading blog, just because I’ve been thinking about them the past week.

This week: George Carlin is my kind of life philosopher, how to get one over on the internet, a 12 minute podcast I highly recommend and more.

5 Things Friday

1. What I’ve Been Eating

I purchased a whole pig back in November from my friends at Adalyn Farm.

The saying about a pig is, you eat everything but the squeal. My experiences enjoying the culinary satisfaction of pig heart, liver and jowl meat tells me this is very true. I’ve rendered lard and made stock and Canadian bacon but for fast family meals, our favorite piece-o-pig has become the “cutlet.”

The cutlet (at least in this case) is a thin slice of pork shoulder, run through a mechanical meat tenderizer. A quick three-stage dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs leaves these cutlets ready to skillet-fry.

I’ve used these pork cutlets a bunch of different ways, but the kids favorite is what my son calls “Japanese Pork Cutlet” – which just means we drizzle the fried cutlet with a Japanese-style teriyaki sauce (Tonkatsu sauce would be more authentic.)

With rice and a fast cabbage slaw it’s not the healthiest meal around – but everyone gobbles it up.

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2. What Tool I’m Loving

The thing about the internet is, in many ways it’s the great liberator – the sum total of all human knowledge, condensed down into a form you can keep in your pocket. Pretty radical stuff.

But the internet can also be like a poorly trained, 130-pound dog, dragging you around from interesting smell to interesting smell until eventually you just wind up confused about why you are sniffing a stranger’s butthole.

As a blogger I am online far more than is really healthy, and I’ve learned the trick to surviving the interwoobles is knowing when to put your willpower in someone else’s hands. I use a browser plug-in called Anti-Social, which allows me to strategically turn off those parts of the internet that are most likely to whisk me away into butt-sniffing territory.

This is a $15 plug-in (I’m not affiliated with it in any way) that’s easy to use, annoying to circumvent, and helps me get more stuff done online.

Highly recommended.

anti-social-plug-in

3. What’s Going On With My Book?

Quick update! My book, The Hands-on Home, is getting really nice reviews on Amazon. Thank you to everyone who’s purchased a copy and taken the time to leave a review.

My husband took the kids to Costco the other day and saw my book right along side The Barefoot Contessa. That’s crazy! My publisher tells me Sam’s Club just confirmed a pretty big order to stock Hands-on Home this spring as well.

I’ve also gotten reader reports of my book in Elliot Bay Books, Ravena Gardens and Anthropologie, plus lots of great smaller indies throughout the Pacific Northwest.

This is all quite exciting! Thank you guys again so much for all your support.

Hands-On Home

4. What I’ve Been Listening To

I love podcasts. Podcasts are to radio what blogs are to magazines: a slightly less commercial, more personal way to tell stories and explore and solve problems. Long-time readers may remember my brief attempt at podcasting. One day, I hope to get back to producing my own podcast – it’s a medium I really enjoy.

For now, I seek out the best of other people’s podcasts. I’m a long time fan of Root Simple, Radio Lab, A Way To GardenPermaculture Voices and Living Homegrown. And you probably know that I am a regular contributor to The Survival Podcast.

One of my new (to me) favorite podcasts is a weekly celebration of scientific randomness called Ockham’s Razor. The last several episodes have covered Alzheimer’s disease, the design of the ideal self-sustaining eco-town, and sea worms.

Each episode is in the 12 minute range, and since Ockham’s Razor is a production of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the quality is excellent.

OckhamsRazorPodcast

5. What Quote I’ve Been Pondering

George Carlin is a personal hero of mine, contributing more to my outlook on the universe than is probably psychologically healthy. His stand-up comedy was no-quarter social critique about everything from race and religion to government and language, just barely disguised as two-drink-minimum fun.

A few Carlin quotes:

  • Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.
  • A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.
  • I love and treasure individuals as I meet them; I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.
  • The planet is fine. The people are fucked.
  • By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.
  • I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.
  • Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’ Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.

But it’s this one that’s been most resonating with me lately: “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.”

inside-every-cynical-person

Oh George – how well you know me.

I remember when I believed the mythology of the shining city on the hill – and even argued for it, while older and more sophisticated people with more visa stamps in their passport smiled at me indulgently.

From where I stand now, everyone looks at least a little dirty, everyone looks slightly culpable. It’s shades of unacceptable, and you just cross your fingers and hope you’re part of a team that’s a bit nearer to “pale smoke” than “wrought iron” on the great color swatch of evil.

It’s hard to feel idealistic or righteous in situations like these. But you know, maybe righteousness isn’t the point. Maybe just getting on with it as best you can is the point.

Or, as George Carlin once said, “Always do whatever’s next.”

So, what’s next for you?

05 Feb 09:55

Lush : un nouvel EP en avril

by Julien
AmN

15 april : an EP

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Lush avait annoncé son retour sur scène l’automne dernier, sortant pour l’occasion une réédition vinyle de leur best of ainsi qu’un coffret regroupant toutes les sorties du groupe et quelques raretés.
Mais ce n’est pas tout car « Blind Spot », un EP contenant quatre titres inédits, est attendu pour le 15 avril avant une tournée qui passera par le festival This Is Not A Love Song (Nîmes) en juin.

Out Of Control
Lost Boy
Burnham Beeches
Rosebud

 

lush blind spot ep 2

05 Feb 00:11

This is what Leonardo DiCaprio’s Private Uninhabited Island Looks like

by MessyNessy

Blackadore-Caye-Fishermans-Cottage

Ten years ago, Leonardo DiCaprio bought an island in Belize with plans to build the world’s first eco-restorative resort that would “restore” the over-fished waters, eroding coastline and deforestation. The island is called Blackadore Caye. Leo discovered it while vacationing on a nearby resort in 2004. Fishermen would use this island to manage their catches and chop down the mangroves for firewood while they were there and it was expected to sink back into the sea from erosion in just a few years. In other words, DiCaprio is essentially going “to save” Blackadore Caye, healing the environment by the nature of its design while serving as a luxury eco-resort to guests. It’s expected to be finished in 2018 and I’m torn between optimism and cynicism, but let’s hear them out…

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As part of its mandate to restore the environment, the resort will have guidelines dictating what guests can and cannot bring to the island, which is a 15-minute boat ride from San Pedro. “Plastic water bottles, for example, will not be allowed on the island,” the N.Y.T. writes. The vision of the project is to increase the biological health of species on the island and surrounding waters and be powered completely by renewable energy.

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A research station on climate change, leading restoration programs, local organic foods, zero fossil fuel use, 100% solar powered living, composted waste systems are a few of the hallmark green features listed.

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But while promising the greenest luxury development ever built, there are still some questions to be asked. (I went to the website‘s “contact” page and was upset to find that Leonardo DiCaprio’s number wasn’t there).

Blackadore-Caye-eco-resort-by-McLennan-Design-for-Leonardo-DiCaprio_1

You can’t help but wonder whether building 50 luxury “off-the-grid” villas on a 100 acre island has a net positive impact on the environment. Is that a restoration move or a development? Won’t there be yachts parks off the island dragging anchor chains around the world’s second largest barrier reef? I’d like to be wrong but human development has typically proven to lower the quality and diversity of an ecosystem.

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beachJust take for example, what happened after Leonardo starred in that movie The Beach. Controversy arose during the making of the film due to 20th Century Fox’s bulldozing and landscaping of the natural beach setting of Thailand’s Ko Phi Phi Lee to make it more “paradise-like”. A lot of damage was also done due to the tourism that came after the film’s popularity. Lawsuits dragged on for years filed by environmentalists who believed the damage to the ecosystem was permanent and restoration attempts had failed.

While human design can be regenerative, the design process is highly knowledge intensive. For those curious, the type of development Leo is planning is called regenerative design and you can read up on it here. And in his defense, DiCaprio has been doing an amazing job drawing attention to climate change, and I think he deserves praise for that. Here’s an excerpt from Leo’s speech at the UN in 2014.

To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action. […] We need to put a pricetag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse.

Someone else could do worse.

But I know what you’re thinking. Where are the dinosaurs?

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Sources: Restorative Islands/ McLennan Design. More photos of the island on The New York Times

03 Feb 23:32

French Phrases Hidden in English Words (A Cartoon Crash Course)

by MessyNessy
AmN

good!

mentalfloss

I think one of my proudest moments in grade school was the time my teacher asked the class if anyone knew where denim came from. I over-excitedly raised my hand and blurted out, “Nîmes! The city in France!” My grandparents were from Nîmes and they had bestowed me with the rather obscure fact that the English word “denim” was a play on the fact that it was a textile which originally came from Nîmes → de Nîmes. As it turns out, the English language is full of hidden French phrases. Even if you speak French, you may have never noticed the connection. Take a look at this artful little crash course in French phrases hidden in English words…

02 Feb 08:29

Du parapente dans une aurore boréale

by Le Maitre de la Boite

Regardez Horacio Llorens faire du parapente de nuit sur un fond d’aurore boréale pendant que sa voile change de couleurs.

parapente-aurore-boreale

parapente-aurore

02 Feb 01:44

Top 10 Ways to Fix Your Terrible Posture

by Melanie Pinola

Good posture isn’t just about looks . How we sit, stand, and walk affect both our health and our moods . So stop slouching and get centered with these top 10 posture tips.

Read more...











01 Feb 08:29

Un pont circulaire sur une lagune en Uruguay

by Le Maitre de la Boite

Pont-Circulaire-lagune-01

Le Laguna Garzon Bridge créé par les architectes new-yorkais de Rafael Viñoly Architects est un pont circulaire sur pilotis dont chaque voie de circulation utilise un demi-cercle opposé et est entourée de passages piétons qui font le tour pour permettre aux gens d’admirer la vue.

Le but était à la fois de permettre à plus de voiture de passer tout en réduisant leur vitesse naturellement.

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27 Jan 09:59

The Power of Power Naps: Salvador Dali Teaches You How Micro-Naps Can Give You Creative Inspiration

by Josh Jones

dali naps 3

In high school, I had a history teacher who was, in his spare time, a millionaire owner of several marinas. He taught, he told us, because he loved it. Was he a good teacher? Not by the lights of most pedagogical standards, but he did intend, amidst all his lassitude and total lack of organization, to leave us all with something more important than history: the secret of his success. What was it, you ask? Naps. Each day he touted the power of power naps with a proselytizer’s relentless enthusiasm: 15 minutes a few times a day, the key to wealth and happiness.



We all thought he was benignly nuts, but maybe he was on to something after all. It seems that many very wise, productive people—such as Albert Einstein, Aristotle, and Salvador Dali—have used power naps as sources of refreshment and inspiration. Except that while my history teacher recommended no less than ten minutes, at least one of these famous gents preferred less than one. Dali used a method of timing his naps that ensured his sleep would not last long. He outlined it thus, according to Lifehacker:

1. Sleep sitting upright (Dali recommends a Spanish-style bony armchair)

2. Hold a key in your hand, between your fingers (for the bohemian, use a skeleton key)

3. Relax and fall asleep (but not for too long…)

4. As you fall asleep, you’ll drop the key. Clang bang clang!

5. Wake up inspired!

Dali called it, fittingly, “Slumber with a key,” and to “accomplish this micro nap,” writes The Art of Manliness, he “placed an upside-down plate on the floor directly below the key.” As soon as he fell asleep, “the key would slip through his fingers, clang the plate, and awaken him from his nascent slumber.” He claimed to have learned this trick from Capuchin monks and recommended it to anyone who worked with ideas, claiming that the micro nap “revivified” the “physical and psychic being.”

Dali included “Slumber with a key” in his book for aspiring painters, 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, along with such nostrums as “the secret of the reason why a great draughtsman should draw while completely naked” and “the secret of the periods of carnal abstinence and indulgence to be observed by the painter.” We might be inclined to dismiss his nap technique as a surrealist practical joke. Yet The Art of Manliness goes on to explain the creative potential in the kind of nap I used to take in history class—dozing off, then jerking awake just before my head hit the desk:

The experience of this transitional state between wakefulness and sleep is called hypnagogia. You’re floating at the very threshold of consciousness; your mind is sliding into slumber, but still has threads of awareness dangling in the world…. While you’re in this state, you may see visions and hallucinations (often of shapes, patterns, and symbolic imagery), hear noises (including your own name or imagined speech), and feel almost physical sensations…. The experience can essentially be described as “dreaming while awake.”

The benefits for a surrealist painter—or any creative person in need of a jolt out of the ordinary—seem obvious. Many visionaries such as William Blake, John Keats, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge have made use of waking dream states as wellsprings of inspiration. Both Beethoven and Wagner composed while half asleep.

Scientists have found waking dream states useful as well. We’ve already mentioned Einstein. Brilliant mathematician, engineer, philosopher, and theoretical physicist Henri Poincare also found inspiration in micro naps. He pointed out that the important thing is to make ready use of any insights you glean during your few seconds of sleep by writing them down immediately (have pen and paper ready). Then, the conscious mind must take over: “It is necessary,” wrote Poincare, “to put in shape the results of this inspiration, to deduce from them the immediate consequences, to arrange them,” and so forth. He also suggests that “verification” of one’s hypnagogic insights is needed above all, but this step, while critical for the mathematician, seems superfluous for the artist.

So the micro nap comes to us with a very respectable pedigree, but does it really work or is it a psychological placebo? The author of the Almost Bohemian blog writes that he has practiced the technique for several weeks and found it “relatively successful” in restoring energy, though he has yet to harness it for inspiration. If you asked empirical sleep researchers, they might tend to agree with my history teacher: “Sleep laboratory studies show,” writes Lynne Lamberg in her book Bodyrhythms, “that a nap must last at least ten minutes to affect mood and performance.” This says nothing at all, however, about how long it takes to open a doorway to the unconscious and steal a bit of a dream to put to use in one’s waking work.

Aside from the very specific use of the micro nap, the longer power nap—anywhere from 10-40 minutes—can work wonders in improving “mood, alertness and performance,” writes the National Sleep Foundation. Short naps seem to work best as they leave one feeling refreshed but not groggy, and do not interfere with your regular sleep cycle. The Sleep Foundation cites a NASA study “on sleepy military pilots and astronauts” which found that “a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%.” Lifehacker points to studies showing that “power naps, short 10 to 15 minute naps, improve mental efficiency and productivity,” which is why companies like Google and Apple allow their employees to doze off for a bit when drowsy.

One stress management site observes that the 10-15 minute power nap does not even require a pillow or blanket; “you don’t even need to go to sleep! You just need a comfortable place to lie on your back, put your feet up, and breathe comfortably.” Such a practice will not likely turn you into a world famous artist, poet, or scientist (or millionaire marina-owning, altruistic high school teacher). It will likely rejuvenate your mind and body so that you can make much better use of the time you spend not sleeping.

via The Art of Manliness

Related Content:

How a Good Night’s Sleep — and a Bad Night’s Sleep — Can Enhance Your Creativity

Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity & the “Incubation Period”

How to Take Advantage of Boredom, the Secret Ingredient of Creativity

Music That Helps You Sleep: Minimalist Composer Max Richter, Pop Phenom Ed Sheeran & Your Favorites

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

25 Jan 11:38

Octopuses Might Be Alien…

by Darren
[life] Don’t freak out, but scientists think octopuses ‘might be aliens’ after DNA study … LOVECRAFT WAS RIGHT!! … ‘Octopus DNA is highly rearranged – like cards shuffled and reshuffled in a pack – containing numerous so-called “jumping genes” that can leap around the genome. “The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving abilities,” said US researcher Dr Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago. ‘
25 Jan 01:58

The Shirk Report – Volume 353

by twistedsifter
AmN

only for the cat

beshirk (6)

the-friday-shirk-report

Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 25 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Twitter, RSS and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

 

25 IMAGES

Friday!
Can I play?
Some say she’s still holding her fists to this day
A-Maze-Ing
All at once now
I can cartwheel too!
Am I the only one more concerned about the LEOPARDS???
Burger King, no
Rise peasants
I’ll just rub my own belly
The important thing is that he still made it into the water
Start Wandows Ngrmadly
Facebook remembers
gtfo
Stoptional
You know it’s cold outside when
Instant de-pantsing
This cat passes out like a human
Oh no you don’t
Well this is adorable
Like a boss
This guy’s face is money
Good guy bird bro
#firstworldproblems
Until next week

 

10 ARTICLES

How a 90-Year-Old Missing Person Became a Hit on Spotify (thx for sharing Margie!)
Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years
A Trip, a Fall and a Whole New Life
The man who cycled from India to Europe for love
The tube at a standstill: why TfL stopped people walking up the escalators
The Best Facts I learned from Books in 2015
I’m the most magnanimous motherfu#%er you know
OMFG Teach Your Kids Accurate Names for Body Parts Already
Venus Flytraps Are Even Creepier Than We Thought
How to Eat Street Food Without Getting Sick

 

5 VIDEOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HERE’S TO A CHILL WEEKEND

 

beshirk (6)

 

24 Jan 19:58

Second extrait du prochain album d’Iggy Pop composé avec Josh Homme

by Olivier

24 Jan 10:59

Josh Homme et Iggy Pop sortent un disque ensemble, on écoute un extrait

by Julien

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C’est le New York Times qui l’annonçait hier, Josh Homme et Iggy Pop ont enregistré un disque ensemble intitulé « Post Pop Depression ». Entièrement financé par les deux compères, il sortira le 18 mars via le label Loma Vista.
Neuf titres enregistrés avec Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) et Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), pour un album que Homme qualifie « de suite logique » au « Lust for Life » d’Iggy Pop sorti en 1977.

Des concerts sont prévus avec Troy Van Leeuwen (QOTSA) et Matt Sweeney (Chavez) pour compléter le casting et la première apparition du « groupe » est prévue ce soir chez Stephen Colbert.

Voici « Gardenia », un premier extrait en écoute :

 

22 Jan 08:37

Portraits of Chinese Rockstars Imagined as Monumental Temples

by Christopher Jobson

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Chinese artist DU Kun has long harbored a reverence for music and rockstars. A musician himself, the Beijing-based painter is awed by the creation of music, aspects of fame, and the intangible aura of being a revered rockstar, something he tries to capture is these temple-like portraits of famous Chinese recording artists titled “Revels of the Rock Gods”.

Each oil painting depicts the face of a musician as if it were a temple built in devotion to a god and borrows elements from Buddhist and Confucian architecture. Eyes are depicted as windows, tree branches or waterfalls as flowing hair, and the surface of skin as ornate wood facades gilded with gold.

Kun is currently exhibiting the “Revels of the Rock Gods” series as part of his first solo show in Japan at Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo through February 13, 2016. You can explore close-up details plus an archive of Kun’s work on his website. (via Hi-Fructose)

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19 Jan 23:36

Montserrat: The Modern Pompeii

by noreply@blogger.com (Admin)
June 1995 is a month that those living on the idyllic Caribbean island of Montserrat will remember for the rest of their days. The island’s volcano, on the Soufrière Hills had been dormant for many hundreds of years. Yet in that fateful month it erupted – and it hasn’t stopped since.

Much of the island was devastated. A further eruption followed in 1997. In a short time the small island nation’s capital, Plymouth, founded in Georgian times, had been buried by almost 40 feet of mud and other debris. Much of the airport and the dock were destroyed and the entire southern part of the island, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, was rendered uninhabitable.

Today, Plymouth is a ghost town mostly submerged under the sludge and mire of a volcanic eruption. It is sealed off, locked inside the island’s self-imposed exclusion zone. Few visitors are allowed inside the exclusion zone, for fear of a sudden pyroclastic eruption which would swiftly extinguish their lives.

The exclusion zone extends outside of the once thriving and lively capital city and covers about half of the island. The coastline was expanded greatly by the eruptions and these areas are also off limits to visitors. The caution of the authorities is well warranted. As recently as 2010 a new vulcanian explosion sent pyroclastic flows cascading down the sides of the Soufrière Hills towards the sea.

The authorities allow so few visitors in to the exclusion zone as they still sting from the accusation that the death toll (19) of the 1997 eruptive event could have been avoided had the people of the south of the island been adequately resettled in the north following the 1995 eruption.

Image Credit Flickr User MikeSchinkel
After the last explosion the lava dome at the top of the hills partly collapsed and this sent an extraordinary pillar of ash to an altitude of 20,000 feet. The nearby islands of Antigua and Guadeloupe experienced ash falls. Yet surprisingly, despite the carnage that nature has wreaked the parts of the island which escaped devastation remain beautifully verdant.

Around five thousand people remain on the island, which is almost ten miles long and seven wide. Yet ten thousand people were forced to flee or face almost certain destitution as the volcanic activity had destroyed their home, business, means of employment or all three. Most ended up in the chillier environs of the United Kingdom.

Image Credit Flickr User signalpad
The British government launched a three-year $122.8 million aid program to help rebuild the economy. It also provided an additional $4.5 million to fund the ash-cleaning programme. Yet although these figures are large there is no doubt that that they are sorely inadequate to restore the island to its pre-eruption prosperity and some complain that the UK has done little to help or support its Montserrat (who were granted full UK citizenship in 2002) both on and off the island.

Image Credit Flickr User Pat Hawks
The part of the island unaffected by the eruption is very much open for business with everything you would want on a Caribbean vacation. Nevertheless, it seems the fate of Plymouth and other parts of the island of Montserrat is to remain buried under the mud and the ash – a modern day Pompeii it seems.

Image Credit Flickr User Nick Brooks
Image Credit Flickr User Pat Hawks
Image Credit Flickr User Brian Digital
Image Credit Flickr User Nick . Hawks
Image Credit Flickr User UWI Seismic Research
Image Credit Flickr User Pat Hawks
Image Credit Flickr User UWI Seismic Research
Image Credit Flickr User Nick Brooks
Image Credit Flickr User UWI Seismic Research
Image Credit Flickr User Nick Brooks
Image Credit Flickr User Nick Brooks
Image Credit Flickr User Nick Brooks
Image Credit Flickr User MikeSchinkel
Image Credit Flickr User MikeSchinkel
First Image Credit Flickr User MikeSchinkel 
Exclusion zone map - wikimedia