Shared posts

29 Jul 21:27

Prized local cheesemaker quietly closes her doors - Food & dining - The Boston Globe

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges


SOMERVILLE — Lourdes Smith closed her cheese production here so quietly that it took a couple of months for customers who didn’t see her regularly at farmers’ markets to notice. But Boston area chefs noticed and Smith was stunned at the reaction. She shuttered Fiore di Nonno, the mozzarella business she ran for a decade, at the end of April. She supplied chefs, cheese shops, and specialty markets with fresh, handcrafted, buttery orbs, creamy strands of stracciatella, and luscious, velvety burrata filled with fig or mascarpone. She had a devoted following.
30 Jun 15:30

Green Gazpacho Recipe -

by overbey
Russian Sledges


2 cups diced honeydew melon 1 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and diced 1 small onion, diced 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon lime juice salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
28 Jul 17:19

Recipe Lab: Gazpacho, Seville-Style, to Sip in Summer

When prepared as they do in southern Spain, zesty gazpacho is more drink than soup, served in a glass instead of a bowl. (Article plus video.)
30 Jul 10:07

Years In The Making, Boston Public Market Opens

by Deborah Becker and Shannon Dooling

Thursday marks the grand opening of the new Boston Public Market. It’s the first of its kind in the country — a year-round market with all of its goods sourced right here in New England.

Over 10 years in the making, the 30,000-square-foot building — originally a Big Dig building — currently houses 38 vendors, with room for more.

The market’s CEO, Liz Morningstar, gave us a tour earlier this week.

Mimi Hall, programming manager for the Trustees of the Boston Public Market, speaks Wednesday about how the market's kitchen, tucked in the back of the building, will be used for cooking classes and community events. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

Mimi Hall, programming manager for the Trustees of the Boston Public Market, speaks Wednesday about how the market’s kitchen, tucked in the back of the building, will be used for cooking classes and community events. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

Interview Highlights

On what’s unique about the market:

The thing that is most unique about the Boston Public Market is it’s the first all-locally sourced market of its kind in the United States, so everything sold here is either produced or originates in New England. Ninety-three percent of our vendors are all from Massachusetts, so it’s incredibly local. We have 15 farms here. Of those 15 farms, nine of them are all family owned. Our closest farm is actually in East Boston.

On whether the vendors will change:

I expect they will.

People ask me, how will you know if it’s successful, or what will it be like in a year from now, and what I would say is I expect it’ll be very different. I think we’re going to have change; it’s built that way, that’s what the business plan suggests, that it should be something that is rotating as an incubator space, as a space for new product to come to market.

A selection of cheeses for sale from Jasper Hill Farm at the Boston Public Market (Hadley Green for WBUR)

A selection of cheeses for sale from Jasper Hill Farm at the market (Hadley Green for WBUR)

On one of the vendors: Jasper Hill cheese:

Jasper Hill is world winning, fabulous bleu cheese. So they’ll be selling whole chunks of cheese that you would go home and use in your own kitchen, and then they’re doing grilled cheeses. So this idea of a double concept, of a whole food with a prepared item.

We’ll have online coverage of the market’s first lunch rush Thursday.

Visitors at the Boston Public Market sample Taza Chocolate. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

Visitors at the Boston Public Market sample Taza Chocolate. (Hadley Green for WBUR)


29 Jul 03:12

UAW Affiliate Wants Police Union Kicked Out Of AFL-CIO

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

UAW Affiliate Wants Police Union Kicked Out Of AFL-CIO:

Claiming police have “utilized union resources to defend brutality and anti-Blackness,” United Auto Workers Local 2865’s Black Interests Coordinating Committee (BICC), penned a letter calling on the AFL-CIO to end its affiliation with IUPA.

In its letter, the UAW affiliate states:

We, UAW Local 2865, call on the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to end their affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations. It is our position that this organization is inimical to both the interests of labor broadly, and Black workers in particular. Historically and contemporarily, police unions serve the interests of police forces as an arm of the state, and not the interests of police as laborers. Instead, their “unionization” allows police to masquerade as members of the working-class and obfuscates their role in enforcing racism, capitalism, colonialism, and the oppression of the working-class. We ask that the AFL-CIO recognize this history and take steps to serve the interests of its Black workers and community members.

The letter goes on to state that “police unions fail to meet the criteria of a union or a valid part of the labor movement.”

While it is true that police are workers, and thus hypothetically subject to the same kinds of exploitation as other laborers, they are also the militarized, coercive arm of the state….The police force exists solely to uphold the status quo.

Policing in the U.S. has always served the needs of colonialism, racism, and capitalism by protecting the property of those who would steal land and exploit the labor of others. Neither the property of indigenous people nor the products of the labor of both workers and slaves has ever come under protection of the institution of the police. It has only ever been the property of the powerful that the police protect. Maintaining this system of relations is the so called “order” that police have sworn to defend.

“If labor is to ever truly exert its power and challenge the corporate rule of the U.S.,” the UAW affiliate writes, “we will need to break the illusion that the police are part of the family of unions that make up organized labor.

29 Jul 19:28

Mad Max: Fury Road Trivia Poor Gyro Captain.

Russian Sledges

via baron

Mad Max: Fury Road Trivia

Poor Gyro Captain.

29 Jul 19:16

Jon Stewart’s secret White House visits

Russian Sledges

via baron

Jon Stewart’s secret White House visits:

Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal’s office.

In February 2014, Obama again requested Stewart make the trip from Manhattan to the White House, this time for a mid-morning visit hours before the president would go before television cameras to warn Russia that “there will be costs” if it made any further military intervention in Ukraine.

To engage privately with the president in his inner sanctum at two sensitive moments — previously unreported meetings that are listed in the White House visitor logs and confirmed to POLITICO by three former Obama aides — speaks volumes about Stewart and his reach, which goes well beyond the million or so viewers who tune into The Daily Show on most weeknights.

29 Jul 19:29

Slaughterhouse Scraps Can Be Used to Make Mittens

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Swiss scientists discovered a way to warm your hands with slaughterhouse scraps, and it’s not as gross as it sounds. The butchering process yields a host of byproducts that’ll never be sold in a grocery store, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless. Cast-offs like bone, tendons and skin are rich sources of collagen, and scientists figured out a way to spin yarn from this waste, which can be used to produce clothing. Waste Not, Want Not Collagen is the primary component of connective
29 Jul 18:52

Evangelical College Ends Health Coverage To Avoid Even Declaring Objection to Birth Control

by Tierney Sneed

Wheaton College has taken its battle over Obamacare's birth control mandate from the courtroom to its campus.

The evangelical college in Illinois told its students last week that it would be ending the health insurance plans it had been offering them due to its case against Obama administration, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The school terminated its plan not due to the fact that it was being forced to pay for contraceptive coverage -- it is not -- but that it is in a legal battle over whether it should even have to notify the government that it is seeking a religious exemption to providing contraceptive coverage. The current policy for religious non-profits gives them an exemption, at which point the government directs insurers to provide birth control coverage through a separate policy not paid for by the non-profit.

Wheaton contends that even the act of notifying the government of its religious opposition to birth control coverage makes it complicit in providing birth control. A federal appeals court has rejected Wheaton's contention, so rather than comply with the requirement that it notify the feds, Wheaton is ending all health coverage for students.

Read More →
29 Jul 19:31

Drudge Report Asks Whether Pope Francis Is The 'Antichrist'

by Caitlin MacNeal
Russian Sledges

ultimate pope achievement

The Drudge Report on Wednesday pondered whether Pope Francis, who has recently fallen out of favor with some conservatives, is actually the "antichrist," noting that the pope's "stand on homosexuality, Islam, capitalism, and the New World Order" fuel chatter.

Drudge links to an article on Charisma News explaining, "Why So Many People Think Pope Francis Is the Antichrist." The post asks whether Francis' role as antichrist signifies the second coming of Christ.

Read More →
29 Jul 17:21

University Of Cincinnati Police Officer Charged In Killing Of Unarmed Black Man

by Eyder Peralta
Russian Sledges

'Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the officer's actions "asinine" and "totally unwarranted."'

'Deters said he was also still looking into the way the other officers handled this incident. In the incident report, a second university officer appears to say that he saw DuBose's car drag officer Tensing. The video appears to contradict that incident report.'

Mourners Shanicca Soloman cries in the embrace of friend Terrell Whitney outside funeral services for Samuel DuBose at the Church of the Living God in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Mourners Shanicca Soloman cries in the embrace of friend Terrell Whitney outside funeral services for Samuel DuBose at the Church of the Living God in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati on Tuesday.

John Minchillo/AP

Announcing the indictment of a white University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a traffic stop, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the officer's actions "asinine" and "totally unwarranted."

"This doesn't happen in the United States," he said. "It might happen in Afghanistan or somewhere else, but people here don't get shot during a traffic stop."

A grand jury handed down an indictment on murder charges against Officer Ray Tensing, who, as NPR member station WVXU reports, had previously said he shot Sam DuBose because he was being dragged by his car and he had no other choice but to shoot. Tensing had stopped DuBose because he was missing a front license plate.

Deters said the body cam video completely contradicts that version of events.

"It was so unnecessary for this to have occurred," Deters said. "This situation should never have escalated like this."

DuBose's killing has sparked protests in Cincinnati and garnered national attention because it's yet another incident of perceived police brutality over what should have been an unremarkable civil violation.

Before the video was released, the University of Cincinnati closed its campus and asked students to leave as they prepared for potentially violent protests.

Mark O'Mara, the attorney for DuBose's family, called on Cincinnati to honor who "Sam was ... and that was peaceful." Any reaction by the community today, O'Mara said, should be peaceful.

DuBose's mother, Audrey, was emotional.

"I'm so thankful that everything was uncovered, because I've been a servant of the lord for as long as I've been living on Earth," she said.

During a press conference, Deters played video from a camera on Tensing's uniform. (We're not posting it, here, because it is graphic. But WCPO-TV has posted it.) It shows Tensing pull DuBose over outside the university campus.

Tensing asks DuBose multiple times for his driver's license. DuBose looks in his pockets and tells him to look up his name.

"Be straight up with me are you suspended?" Tensing asks DuBose, who answers patiently and with no aggression that he has a license and he should look it up.

What happens next moves very fast. It appears to show DuBose's car slowly rolling off and within seconds — perhaps a second — Tensing has fired a single shot.

It hit DuBose's head who was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It's so senseless," Deters said. "I feel sorry for his family and I feel sorry for the community. This should not happen." The charge of murder, Deters said, is defined as the "purposeful killing of another."

Deters said he was also still looking into the way the other officers handled this incident. In the incident report, a second university officer appears to say that he saw DuBose's car drag officer Tensing. The video appears to contradict that incident report.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit
29 Jul 20:51

Birkin Bag Is Fine, But Namesake Actress Wants 'Birkin Croco' Rebranded

by Lucy Perkins
The Birkin Croco is made of dyed crocodile skin.

The Birkin Croco is made of dyed crocodile skin.

Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

A lot of people who want a Birkin bag — a handbag popular among celebrities that can cost more than $100,000 — will get on multiple-year waiting lists to get one. But its namesake wants nothing to do with one version of it.

Specifically, Jane Birkin no longer wants to be affiliated with the popular crocodile-skin version. Her request comes after PETA published a graphic video on how crocodiles are allegedly treated before being killed.

In a statement to Agence France Press, the British actress and singer said, "Having been alerted to the cruel practices reserved for crocodiles during their slaughter to make Hermes handbags carrying my name ... I have asked Hermes to debaptise the Birkin Croco until better practices in line with international norms can be put in place."

Hermes is the maker of the bag, and denies that the farm in the video is one it owns. It says that an investigation is underway at the Texas farm that is depicted in the PETA video.

"Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags," the company wrote in a statement.

The first Birkin bag was allegedly created for the actress in 1984 by Hermes CEO Jean Louis Dumas. Dumas sat next to her on a flight, the Daily Mail reports. Apparently, Birkin was discussing how she was having a hard time finding the perfect leather weekend bag, which she described.

Not long after, a bag arrived at her apartment with a note from the CEO.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit
29 Jul 16:00

Will Thompson IN at Yvonne's

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Russian Sledges

no mention of felipe's in will's bio

The "modern supper club" is opening in the former Locke-Ober space downtown, and Thompson will be directing the beverage program.

When the storied Locke-Ober is reborn as Yvonne's, a "modern supper club" that will open "soon," diners can expect an extraordinary bar program: Will Thompson is on board as beverage director. Thompson's epic resume includes stints at Drink, Brick & Mortar, No. 9 Park, Lone Star Taco Bar, Deep Ellum, and Straight Law. The latter is a well-regarded gin and sherry bar that he developed inside of Taberna de Haro in Brookline. He also worked with O Ya's Tim and Nancy Cushman to launch their first New York City venture, the Roof at Park South.

Other previously announced staff includes chefs Tom Berry (Proprietors in Nantucket) and Juan Pedrosa (The Glenville Stops), as well as pastry chef Kate Holowchik. Co-owner Chris Jamison is also behind Lolita Cocina in Back Bay, and he's opening Yvonne's with business partner Mark Malatesta. Sox great David Ortiz, aka "Big Papi," is also a partner in the venture.

Yvonne's will feature "eclectic dishes that pay homage to Locke-Ober's classic yet internationally informed fare," according to a previous report by Boston Magazine, which includes a sexy photo of an Argentine-inspired flank-steak matambre. Keep an eye out for a secret entrance and a swanky library bar.

In hush-hush supper club fashion, the upcoming restaurant has been keeping pretty quiet on social media, but follow along on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook in case any updates pop up.

28 Jul 14:42

Here is the most heartbreaking photo that proves T.T. The Bear’s Place is no more

by Michael Marotta
Russian Sledges

via everyone on facebook, including a friend who notes: "Not sure why Vanyaland is being so coy as to the signs' destination. DJ Panda was pretty upfront with me that they're going to the Verb Hotel, along with the mural behind the stage."

If Saturday night was a celebration, the days after have served as a wake. After 40 years of music T.T. The Bear’s Place hosted its last show over the weekend, and yesterday crews were busy

The post Here is the most heartbreaking photo that proves T.T. The Bear’s Place is no more appeared first on Vanyaland.

28 Jul 01:57

A Sort of Joy

by blprnt

Performing MoMA’s 120,000 object collections database

Continue reading on Medium »

28 Jul 17:51

The Tragedy of iTunes and Classical Music

by Robinson Meyer
Clement / Flickr

When the developer Erik Kemp designed the first metadata system for MP3s in 1996, he provided only three options for attaching text to the music. Every audio file could be labeled with only an artist, song name, and album title.

Kemp’s system has since been augmented and improved upon, but never replaced. Which makes sense: Like the web itself, his schema was shipped, good enough, and an improvement on the vacuum which preceded it. Those three big tags, as they’re called, work well with pop and rock written between 1960 and 1995. This didn’t prevent rampant mislabeling in the early days of the web, though, as anyone who remembers Napster can tell you. His system stumbles even more, though, when it needs to capture hip hop’s tradition of guest MCs or jazz’s vibrant culture of studio musicianship.

And they really, really fall apart when they need to classify classical music.

Digital music software has never been well adapted to classical music. iTunes only added a “Composer” tag in 2004. Two years later, the developer Stan Brown published a guide on his website to “taming” Apple’s software for classical music. Since then, other hacks and kludges have followed. But digital music was so endlessly efficient that classical fans, especially the younger ones, embraced it and adopted it.

Certainly that was the case for me, a music-school student in the late 2000s. In the waning hours of a camp or festival, you’d squat with the other kids on the carpet, set up Firewire cables between everyone’s laptops and hard drives, and move music files back and forth. (I still have a DRM-locked copy of Candide in my library that will forever require Will Carmichael’s iTunes password, which I do not know.)

But as streaming services have flooded out MP3s, the situation worsened. Apple, which long paid classical more mind than other big tech companies, debuted Apple Music with dismal classical options, as NPR’s Anastasia Tsiouclas and The New Yorker’s Alex Ross have documented.

And even beyond the streaming service, the new version of Apple’s signature music software seems especially broken. In the name of creating a “complete thought around music,” iTunes 12 has crammed a streaming service and a media library and a recommendation service and a file store and a device manager into one interface. The sum is that nothing “just works”—and MP3s especially don’t work well. I wondered: How were professional musicians handling the change? And how did they organize their music in the first place?

After all, their job requires them to have quick and fluent access to a library of working recordings.

I had another interest here. Earlier this month, Apple released the new and likely final versions of its iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. They shipped with interfaces that looked more than three years out of date. The blogger John Gruber said that this was because “what remains of the iPod software team” had been absorbed by the Apple Watch division. Apple has already discontinued its iPod Classic, the last media player that could conceivably let you tote around your entire music library in one device. The company is floating to a streaming model.

If classical listeners are ill-served by streaming services, though, they will stick with music files; and that means they represent, as a bloc, the set of listeners who will continue to maintain personal libraries of owned music even as the larger public rents their digital music instead. How are they adapting?

* * *

As it turns out: poorly.

First, the bugs. The new version of iTunes disappears music. It confuses live tracks and studio versions. And its search bar cannot even find songs which it contains in its library.

“To give you a really specific situation, there are two settings of the Te Deum text by Benjamin Britten. And it would seem to me that if you type in ‘Britten’ and ‘Te Deum,’ you would see some of them,” the composer Nico Muhly told me. “But it says, ‘no results found.’”

I want to submit to the record here that Muhly’s hard drive contains seven different files that could be reasonably called the Britten Te Deum. In fact, it contains more than 2,000 files, or 11.9 gigabytes, of music by Benjamin Britten. It also contains 97 different settings of the Te Deum text.

“What’s extraordinary about it is that I tagged everything really, really well. It’s in Artist, Album Artist, all these things are organized,” he said.

But when “Britten Te Deum” is searched—and he sent me a screenshot of this—nothing comes up. “It’s not like, let me show you too many results. It just does not compute.”

(Even when the search function does locate a file, he says, pressing ‘return’ to play it does not start playing the highlighted file, but the first file listed alphabetically in iTunes. “Which of course is only Aaliyah.”)

Timo Andres, a composer and pianist, reported fewer problems with the new version of iTunes, though he echoed that it had some odd behaviors. With his music files, he had moved the composer to the “Artist” field. The performer, conductor, and other information went to the file’s general comments field. “I started to do that because there is no performer field,” he said.

Andres has also started to use Apple Music, but has stumbled again with labeling. Apple Music only searches for songs in its library by Kemp’s original three tags—artist, album, and song title—which, combined with often flawed metadata, makes searching for a specific recording of a specific piece arduous, if not impossible.

So many of the problems seemed to come down to metadata. According to Jeremy Morris, a University of Wisconsin professor, Kemp’s tagging system took off when it was adopted by the Compact Disc Database (CDDB). The CDDB is the database which iTunes used to detect what was on a CD while ripping it.

Classical is not the only genre that works poorly with this tagging system, said Jonathan Sterne, author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format, a history and meditation on the technology. Audiobooks, lectures, and sound art don’t really adapt well either.

If anything, said Sterne, the long-playing record and the compact disc—the two great audio formats of the late 20th century—might have been special cases.

With both the CD and the LP, he said, “it just so happened that things that were of interest to the broader world of people who made recorded media, and people who were in the music industry, lined up with those of classical performers and audiences.”

Audio formats before the LP also failed to capture classical music, at least by our measures. Sterne recently bought a 1928 Victrola, he said, and it came with a 78 marked “classical music.” The record boasts five minutes of Debussy. That’s not, to be clear, a five-minute work by Debussy, nor in fact any labeled work at all: It’s just five minutes of some Debussy piece. For more than a century, classical music has been marketed as prestigious, even though what’s being sold may be distant from what the composer first wrote.

“There’s lots of issues” with MP3 tagging beyond classical, said Sterne. “Engineers, producers get left off records. Studio musicians are often left off in ways that were often much more detailed in liner notes.” A week ago, he was trying to find out the engineer who recorded Jay Z’s “Death of Autotune.” The MP3 ID tags didn’t say, nor could he find the answer in five minutes of googling. That’s exactly the kind of information, he said, that would have been printed in liner notes.

* * *

If classical’s messy software is ever fixed, it will require, first, better metadata.

“I get really obsessed with specific vectors of classical music performance—I’ll spend weeks listening to just one performer, or one work, or both,” said David Yee, a software developer who trained as a classical musician, in an email:

Being able to explore a particular movement of one of Mahler’s symphonies as performed by various orchestras in different halls would push all my buttons. The reason you can’t do that now has everything to do with titles—some recordings will refer to the movement by number, some by tempo marking; some put the catalog number in the track title, some in the album title.

New software that could provide more granular and specific access to songs in a huge classical library in some ways has to come after better metadata (both the fields to provide that metadata and community/label effort to provide that metadata). Once that’s in place, you can imagine putting together a day’s worth of listening that focuses on just one movement, or being able to add a complete symphony from a box set of Beethoven’s complete works with a single click.

I have two thoughts here. The CDDB, the industry’s leading database of MP3 metadata, is now privately owned and controlled, but it began as a crowd-sourced project with volunteer contributions. There is no reason this now-private database couldn’t be supplemented by a more robust, more complete database of audio file information maintained on a wiki-like basis.

“I want to take every other part of iTunes and propel it into the sun—everything from suggestions to equalizers,” said Yee. Andres and Muhly both expressed a similar desire for simplicity; some independent iOS and Mac developers have wondered this week why iTunes, the file management software, couldn’t be a separate application from Apple Music, the streaming service. To use iTunes now, it seems like, requires understanding not only Apple’s current music strategy but also its previous several.

But if Apple is committed to a cruft-ridden iTunes, other developers could step in the void. It’s not just classical music libraries: Many users with their own sizable libraries want software that lets them listen to MP3s and AACs. Plenty of minimalist text editors for Macs and PCs persist in the world. If iTunes is beyond repair, it might now be time for some minimalist media management software.

This article was originally published at

29 Jul 12:28

Loeb Design Library Collaboration with ITS | Harvard Library Portal

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

hey, I got a (minor) shout-out for a (minor) project in this piece about a (bigger, sexier) project

The Frances Loeb Library at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) supports research, teaching, and learning for the GSD, Harvard, and broader international design communities. The library's strengths—20th- and 21st-century architecture, urban planning and design, the history and practice of landscape design—are supplemented by subject areas that support past and current curriculum needs. Together with the resources distributed throughout the Harvard Library system, the Loeb Design Library provides access to a comprehensive collection documenting the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design. Recently, the Loeb Design Library team collaborated with staff from Harvard Library's Information and Technical Services (ITS) on two important projects that yielded positive results for the GSD as well as the staff of the Loeb Design Library and its patrons.
28 Jul 16:13

1940s Jacket / Arrowhead Blush Jacket / 40s by wildfellhallvintage

64.00 USD

Pretty dusky pink 40s jacket, originally from a suit set, great arrow detail and coppery buttons, crepe lining in very tidy condition! Fabric is a wool or wool blend gabardine. Please check the measurements for best fit and condition notes below.
Item ships first class worldwide.

c o n d i t i o n
Shows some yellowing at the top of shoulders and a faint linear discoloration down left front side, see close up of 2 small holes at back of right shoulder. Very nice color overall despite the slight variations. Tiny pull below right pocket, sold as is.

size: XS-small
length 23
shoulder 14.5"
sleeve 21"
bust 32-34" (max when buttoned, most comfortable at 32" when fully buttoned)
waist 27-28"

shop previews on instagram @wildfellhall

★check out our vintage lingerie shop right here!

Thank you for stopping by!

28 Jul 16:23

artbooksnat: Yurikuma Arashi (ユリ熊嵐)The memorable patterns and...

Russian Sledges

so good

need to find high-res/vector versions real bad


Yurikuma Arashi (ユリ熊嵐)

The memorable patterns and digital designs of Yurikuma Arashi are highlighted in the pages of Yurikuma Arashi Perfect Guide (Amazon US | JP).

28 Jul 15:47

themanofwater: Patti Smith and  Robert Mapplethorpe


Patti Smith and  Robert Mapplethorpe

28 Jul 20:26

Shakesville: Sandra Bland Case: Updates

by russiansledges
The possibilities are these: Bland died from an untreated head injury after State Trooper Brian Encinia bashed her head against the pavement and police staged her suicide; Bland died from an epileptic seizure (recall that Encinia's response to Bland telling him she had epilepsy was "Good") and police staged her suicide; Bland was killed or died in some other way in police custody and her sucide was staged; or Bland indeed took her own life, after she informed police of previous suicide attempts and they utterly failed to prevent another while she was in their care. There is no version of events where police are not culpable for Sandra Bland's death.
28 Jul 12:38

purl soho | products | item | linen grid (purl soho)

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

have I told you about my weakness for any textile that resembles graph paper

Linen Grid is Purl Soho's first original fabric collection, a perfect expression of our love for classic design and subtle beauty. These linens fascinate us with their contradictions: irregular and rustic, elegant and graceful; spare and crisp, warm and approachable. Linen Grid is one hundred percent fine yarn-dyed linen. Cool and breezy, machine washable and sturdy, Linen Grid is perfectly suited for everything from everyday kitchen linens and staple garments to heirloom baby gear and stunning bedding. Get inspired!
27 Jul 16:57

Google officially ends forced Google+ integration—First up: YouTube

by Ron Amadeo
Russian Sledges

too late, assholes

In a blog post published today titled "Everything in its right place," Google acknowledged that forcing its users into Google+ was a bad idea. The company said it will no longer require Google+ accounts to use any of its products, and it will continue to strip Google+ integration out of all of its products. "It doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use," the company said.

The next product to be de-plussified is YouTube. The YouTube blog announced that "in the coming weeks," comments will no longer require Google+; as of today, comments made on YouTube won't show up on Google+, and vice-versa. Google also says that in the future, YouTube users will be able to delete the Google+ accounts they were forced to make, without losing any data. (Don't do that right now because you will lose data.)

YouTube's Google+ integration was almost universally disliked by users. It led to an influx of spam, and many of the site's popular personalities came out against the new comment system. To this day, some popular channels still have comments disabled altogether. The cofounder of YouTube even came out against the system, asking, "Why the f*** do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?"

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

28 Jul 13:28

[toread] Metal Captcha -

by overbey
Russian Sledges

via overbey ("ATTN: MultitaskSuicide")

metal band logos as captcha
28 Jul 10:05

Robert Gates, America's Unlikely Gay-Rights Hero

by David A. Graham

Eagle Scout. Young Republican. CIA recruit. Air Force officer. CIA director. Secretary of defense.

It’s not the resume of a radical civil-rights campaigner, but Robert Gates has now integrated two of the great bastions of macho American traditional morality—first the U.S. armed forces, and now the Boy Scouts of America. In both cases, Gates pursued a careful, gradual strategy, one that wasn't fast enough for activists. In both cases, he was careful to take the temperature of constituents. And in both cases, once he was ready to act, he did so decisively. In the end what seemed to matter most was not Gates’s personal feelings but his determination to safeguard institutions he cared about and his deft skills as a bureaucratic operator.

Before the Obama administration began moving to eliminate the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy there was barely any indication of Gates’s views on LBGT issues—though not none. In 1991, while director of central intelligence, Gates ordered an inquiry into whether CIA personnel had ever been blackmailed into espionage because they were gay. When he found no cases, he ended the practice of asking employees about their sexual orientation as part of polygraph tests. From 2002 until he took over the Pentagon in 2006, Gates was president of Texas A&M University, a famously culturally conservative school. (In 1984, students sued, successfully, to force the school to recognize a gay-student organization; the ruling effectively removed all legal prohibitions on LGBT student groups nationwide.) At A&M, Gates worked to improve student diversity overall—including racial minorities and LGBT students—and appointed the school’s first administrator specifically in charge of diversity.

Related Story

The End of the Boy Scout Ban on Gay Adults?

Given the rapid advance of gay rights over the last decade, it’s tough to remember just how different the stage was in 2006, when Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” had had plenty of critics since it was enacted in 1994—President Bill Clinton himself would have preferred simply opening the military to gay servicemembers—but it was still firmly in place. The Bush administration was not interested in lifting the ban, and Gates took a cautious approach. He repeatedly told reporters that he was not reviewing or reconsidering the policy.

When, several months into his tenure, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said that “homosexual acts between individuals are immoral,” Gates tried to avoid discussing the comments, and said of DADT, “As long as the law is what it is, that's what we'll do.” (Pace, who retired in September 2007, reiterated his personal opposition to homosexuality during an exit hearing with Congress, but also endorsed gay service in the military.) When, two months later, the military ejected 58 desperately needed Arabic linguists because they were gay, Gates still said the policy wasn’t under review.

Even after President Obama was elected and Gates accepted an offer to stay on as secretary, he remained cautious. Though the president pledged to repeal DADT during his first State of the Union, Gates expressed a preference in March 2009 to “push that one down the road a little bit,” infuriating gay activists. Yet in June, he was clearly expecting the policy to end and was exploring whether “there’s a more humane way to apply the law until it gets changed.” A similar pattern held in 2010, as Gates warned Congress not to repeal DADT before he had a policy in place for the aftermath and insisted courts not make the decision. He also issued a survey on gays to servicemembers, a step that LGBT activists, who saw it as putting civil rights to a vote, disagreed with. Yet there Gates was in the fall, saying DADT’s demise was “inevitable” and testifying to Congress in favor of repeal—before the courts did it. (And that survey? It turned out the troops were totally fine with LGBT comrades.)

Once DADT was repealed, Gates moved quickly to enforce discipline and get the change implemented in the military, and shot down any hopes that soldiers, sailors, and marines who disagreed with the policy could leave their commitments early.

Gates’s push for the end of DADT never relied on the soaring rhetoric of rights and justice that people like Obama used. Gates spoke with the dry, careful language of a bureaucrat, speaking in terms of unit cohesion, military readiness, and obstacle recognition. When he indulged emotion, it was to praise soldiers risking their lives—the same language a defense secretary would use for straight soldiers. The decision was more than anything a triumph of pragmatism. Gates carefully studied the effects repeal would have on the military and decided the downsides were minimal; and he looked at the way the country was changing and realized that the policy would have to end soon, and that he wanted it to end on the Pentagon’s terms to ensure the military’s stability and long-term health.

The DADT fight offers a template for the opening to gay scoutmasters. Gates had expressed tempered sympathy for gays in scouting as far back as 1993, when he told Wichita Rotarians, “Values central to Scouting are under challenge today as never before: challenges to our belief in God, challenges from Americans who are gay. Scouting must teach tolerance and respect for the dignity and worth of every individual person, certainly including gays.”

The Boy Scouts had already begun to dismantle some of their anti-gay policies when Gates was elected president in late 2013. A lopsided vote in May 2013 ended a ban on gay scouts but kept prohibitions on gay scout leaders and volunteers in place. Just as he had at Defense, Gates initially took a carefully diplomatic position. “I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made,” Gates said in May 2014. “I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.” He said he wouldn’t reopen the decision during his term as president.

At some point in the last year, he had a change of heart.

The shift seems to reflect much the same calculus that guided Gates through the DADT decision. At the Pentagon, he had first avoided discussing repeal because it seemed too likely to create institutional instability; but once he decided that the writing was on the wall and that refusing to change was the greater risk to the organization, he moved swiftly and effectively to impose his new will. The point was to guarantee institutional survival.

In May 2015, one year after saying he wouldn’t reopen the issue of gay scoutmasters, Gates did just that. In short, he decided once again that if the institution he led didn’t change its policies now, a judge was likely to force it to do so later.

“I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”

“The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said. “Between internal challenges and potential legal conflicts, the BSA finds itself in an unsustainable position, a position that makes us vulnerable to the possibility the courts simply will order us at some point to change our membership policy.”

Gates warned that a court order would disarm the Boy Scouts’ ability to act of their own volition, and suggested that doing anything besides opening would be an existential threat.

“I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement,” he said.

Monday evening, Gates got his wish, as the BSA’s 80-member board voted to approve the change. (A smaller executive committee had already approved it.) The new policy may not satisfy everyone. Traditionalists are upset about the move, while progressives feel it doesn’t go far enough—troops that are chartered by churches and other religious organizations would still be permitted to set their own standards. Regardless, the policy marks a serious shift for BSA, and it cements Robert Gates’s place in history: as one of the least likely but most successful proponents for gay equality in institutional America.

27 Jul 15:06

Pupils at Carlisle Indian school, Pennsylvania, c.1900

by John VE
Russian Sledges

via bernot

27 Jul 17:11

UConn Huskies' new stadium name shortens to 'PAWS ARF'

by Peter Berkes
Russian Sledges

via firehose


UConn has sold naming rights for Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney, and the new full name of the stadium will be Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.

Acronym of UConn Huskies' new stadium name: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field is PAWS ARF h/t Johnny Mac

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 27, 2015

PAWS ARF. Or, P&WS ARF, which looks basically the same.

PAWS ARF. Because their mascot is the Huskies, which are dogs, which

  1. Have paws, and
  2. Bark, which is sometimes written out by people as "arf."
24 Jun 04:08

vintagegal: “The first thing a Cry-Baby girl learns: our...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind ("his best role")


“The first thing a Cry-Baby girl learns: our bazooms are our weapons!” Cry-Baby (1990) dir. John Waters

27 Jul 16:00

If White People Food Were Described Like “Exotic” Food

by Jaya Saxena and Matt Lubchansky
Russian Sledges

'The province of “California” is home to many juices, which, according to ancient wisdom, are rumored to have healing properties.'

These potato dumplings are charmingly known as "tater tots" in the regional dialect.

Read more If White People Food Were Described Like “Exotic” Food at The Toast.

24 Jul 20:30

gifsboom: Video: Guy Goes Swimming with 12 Golden Retrievers

Russian Sledges

via Ibstopher ("On golden pond?")