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26 Mar 17:54

Fitting a Moulage

by Amy

drafting a moulage | Cloth Habit

When I’m really craving a learning challenge I like to try out a new patternmaking method. It’s so much fun pulling out rulers (or in my case, Illustrator) and giving my analytical side something to circle around for a little while.

For my latest challenge I tackled a pattern fitting project I’ve been wanting to try for a few years–a moulage!

What’s a moulage, you ask? The term literally means “molding” or “casting”, and its use in garment making has origins in French couture. Sometimes “moulage” refers to an actual pattern, a skin-hugging hip length bodice that is fitted precisely to a person’s body. Often it refers to the whole process of manipulating fabric on a dress form as a method of developing women’s patterns and designs—aka draping or draping on the stand.

The art of moulage at Christian Dior:

Now you all want to go out and take draping courses, right?

So let’s turn back to the moulage as pattern. My favorite vintage patternmaking book, Dress Design: Flat Patternmaking & Draping, calls the moulage a “French lining pattern”. I suspect that it became known as a moulage precisely because it was connected with dress form draping. Couture houses have a long tradition of creating personalized dress forms that represent their wealthiest or most regular clients, and to get there, a form would be padded out to “map” a client’s body, thus quickening fitting times.

My goal in drafting one is exactly that–I’d like to pad out an older dress form to better replicate my body.

The Pattern

Kenneth King moulage book | Cloth Habit

For my draft I pulled from my shelves Kenneth King’s book, The Moulage. He has been publishing this for several years as a CD book. Thankfully I printed it back when I first bought it because Macbooks no longer have CD slots!

If you are interested in other sources of moulage drafting, Suzy Furrer’s Craftsy course and her patternmaking book are places to learn. Her drafting method is nearly identical to Kenneth King’s; they learned from the same teacher and couturier. (The vintage book I mention above has a drafting method for a similar pattern but is not as thorough.)

In both Kenneth and Suzy’s methods, the moulage becomes a foundation for drafting a less fitted “sloper”, a bodice with a bit of ease, which then becomes the foundation for other garments. I don’t have a need for a bodice sloper, and if I didn’t already have one, there are other (easier) ways of drafting one without having to start with a moulage.

The Fitting

So how did mine turn out?

Drafting the moulage was actually the easy part. I had fun with it! The part that needs the most attention is measuring as it relies on a few really accurate points. Thankfully I had most of these measurements recently taken and just had to double check a few more.

fitting a moulage | Cloth Habit

This is my 2nd fitting. In my first try-on everything was surprisingly close but it all needed to be taken in at various points. Adjusting it all is actually fairly easy since there are so many seams. My pattern has 16 pieces in all, 8 in the front and 8 in the back.

With all these seams and lines it’s been helpful in seeing imbalances on my body. For instance my right shoulder is lower, which causes that diagonal wrinkle near the armpit and pushes a bit of excess fabric into the neckline:

fitting a moulage | Cloth Habit

And my right hip is slightly higher. You can see in these photos that after moving around a bit fabric tends to get hung up on my right hip. (The pants back is a photo from a fitting I did in the fall but illustrates the point!)

fitting a moulage | Cloth Habit

For these fittings, I used an inexpensive cotton twill that I found at Joann Fabrics. It was a perfect test fabric! Twill has a tighter weave than cotton muslin, which gives it a bit more shape and substance. (Muslin has a tendency to squish into the flesh a bit.) Any kind of tighter cotton woven, such as cotton twill or cotton drill, would fit more smoothly.

So where will I go from here? I’m going to tweak some of the remaining issues (a little too much length in back, uneven shoulder and hip), which means I’ll end up with separate right and left patterns. Might sound crazy to some, I know! If you happen to take the Craftsy course, students are often encouraged to move on to their slopers when they achieve “good enough”, since the moulage is just a starting point.

However, I’m going for as perfect as possible for my dress form. For my final version I’m using cotton coutil, a traditional corset fabric. It’s a an unusual choice for a dress form cover, but coutil has a really tight weave with a gorgeous smooth surface. I want a cover that will last a long time!

Have you ever tried a moulage? I’ll admit it’s kinda freaky looking at myself in a body envelope but I’m having so much fun with it!

The post Fitting a Moulage appeared first on Cloth Habit.

27 Mar 18:20

How to make Michael Laiskonis’s milk chocolate rye mille...

18 Mar 00:05

Pacific 231 dress | vintage silk 20s dress • beaded 1920s dress by DearGolden

745,00 USD

Vintage 1920s warm yellow silk crepe dress with silvery-gray beading along the collar, down the bodice, on small tabs on each side of the waist and heavily in a geometric pattern on the skirt. This dress has no closures and slips on easily over the head.


fits like: medium
bust: 34-36"
waist: up to 26"
hip: up to 40"
length: 44"
brand/maker: n/a
condition: excellent, no flaws

This dress is eligible for layaway, send a convo for details. :)

to ensure a good fit, please read the sizing guide:

➸ visit the shop

➸ blog |
➸ twitter | deargolden
➸ | deargolden✩

24 Mar 16:22

Dinderry dress | vintage 1950s lace dress • floral lace 50s sheath dress by DearGolden

Russian Sledges

I eat this

128,00 USD

Vintage late 1950s, early 1960s white, green and a hint of pale blue floral lace sheath dress with short sleeves, fitted waist, extra long and wide sash belt and metal zipper.


fits like: large
shoulder: 16"
bust: 38-40"
waist: 33"
hip: up to 42"
length: 42"
brand/maker: n/a
condition: excellent

To ensure a good fit, please read the sizing guide:

➸ More vintage dresses ✩

➸ Visit the shop ✩

➸ instagram | deargolden
➸ twitter | deargolden
➸ | deargolden
➸ blog |

26 Mar 21:40

Just bought this c1900 black opal necklace made by Murrle...

Just bought this c1900 black opal necklace made by Murrle Bennett— one of the finest producers of Art Nouveau jewelry at the turn of the century. 

27 Mar 14:57

Russian Drinking HornItem from: Gifts from Heads of StateThis...

Russian Sledges

the national archives has been putting images from their booze exhibit up on tumblr:

Russian Drinking Horn

Item from: Gifts from Heads of State

This drinking horn was given to the United States by Nikita Khrushchev when he was Premier of the USSR. It is made from a bovine horn, silver, and niello. 

Discover more gifts between nations at the Friendship Between Nations Family Day! This event is tomorrow, March 28th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Boeing Learning Center at the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can find more information about this event on the events page at


27 Mar 20:04

Watch Ben Gibbard Cover Guided By Voices’ “Tractor Rape Chain”

by Stereogum
Russian Sledges

can't decide whether to click through or not

Ben GibbardBen Gibbard"Tractor Rape Chain" is one of the most classic songs on Bee Thousand, one of Guided By Voices' most classic albums. And even though the aesthetic difference between modern-day GBV and modern-day Death Cab For Cutie seems vast, the bands exploded into the national underground within a few years of each other and probably came up playing a lot of the same dive bars. And as Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard demonstrates in a new solo acoustic cover for SiriusXM, the intersection of the two artists' styles makes some kind of sense. Speed up, slow down, go all around below.

28 Mar 11:46

Wonderfully Weird Southern Town Names

by rreed
Russian Sledges

via saucie

I could live in hot coffee

What do you call a man from Bucksnort, TN? A bucksnorter of course. Some Southern town names are so outrageous they almost seem like jokes, but it turns out there is a story behind each one. Before the Civil War, a man local to present-day Bucksnort sold “snorts” of moonshine for a dollar. Perhaps his name was Buck.

Bucksnort, TN (Ray Rafidi)

And there’s plenty more where that came from. Some Southern town names need no explanation. Early surveyors in Uncertain, TX, weren’t sure which state they were in. Meanwhile, Between, GA is named for resting exactly halfway between Atlanta and Athens. Not sure where to road trip this spring? Try Nowhere, OK, Nameless, TN, or Experiment, GA, or get to the bottom of some of North Carolina’s oddest town names, Big Lick, Meat Camp, and Tick Bite. Hoop and Holler, TX sounds like a fun place to be. The only less prestigious address than Upper Pig Pen, NC? Try Lower Pig Pen, NCLoving and Happyland are both in Oklahoma, but so is Slaughtersville.

Nameless, TN (Wikipedia)

Here are few more of our favorites:

Wooly Booger, WV
Lick Skillet, TN
Needmore, FL
Hot Coffee, MS
Toast, NC
Humptulips, WV
The Holy City, OK
Hog Jaw, AR
Santa Claus, GA (There’s also a Christmas, FL)
Scissors, TX

Hot Coffee, MS (R. Steven Norman, III) 

What’s the most off-the-wall Southern town you’ve been to? Share it with us in the comments.

26 Mar 21:59

My Childhood Hobby Was Satanic, Or So They Told Me

by Joseph Laycock
Russian Sledges

joe laycock autoshare

bonus: dreamy dave frankel

Dangerous games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds Book Cover Title: Dangerous games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds
Author: Josep P. Laycock
Publisher: University of California Press
Release Date: February 12, 2015
Pages: 368
  • Powell's
  • Amazon

What inspired you to write Dangerous Games?

In the preface I’m very candid about my experiences growing up in Texas and being told that my favorite hobby is satanic. When grown-ups told me that playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) was going to drive me insane or cause me to worship the devil, it suddenly dawned on me that adults were fallible: They ran the schools, the churches, and the police, but they didn’t always think rationally or know what they were talking about.

After that, I never saw the social order in the same way again. I became the sort of teenager who has “a problem with authority.”  It wasn’t until I encountered the sociology of religion—especially thinkers like Peter Berger—that I could begin to imagine why D&D was so frightening to Christian conservatives in the 1980s.

Religious studies gave me the tools to finally articulate why these games are so engrossing and also why they were so horrifying to certain conservative Christians.

What’s the most important take-home message for readers?

I think than fantasy role-playing games really can function like a religion, in the sense that players work together to construct an alternative world in which they can meaningfully dwell. As sociologists of religion know, when people can imagine an alternative world they tend to see the social order differently. Much like religion, these games create a new mental space from which players can look back on the world and their lives from a new perspective.

The converse of this comparison is that a religious worldview can be compared to a fantasy role-playing game: As long as the adherents of the religion “play their roles,” the world of the religion is “real” and does not require empirical confirmation. In making this argument, I do not mean to dismiss religion or cast religious people as childish or delusional. I don’t believe human beings can function without some sort of socially constructed framework through which to understand the world, so we are all playing “games” of one sort or another.

But I do I think this insight helps to explain why role-playing games seemed so threatening to some people. Some of the most ardent crusaders against role-playing games seemed to have been deeply disturbed by the idea that their worldview could actually be a game, no more real than the worlds created in D&D. They never came out and said this, of course, but in their jeremiads about the dangers of these games, they occasionally tipped their hands.

I think the claim that D&D is not a game but an “occult religion” was in part an attempt to push down the nagging sense that reality is socially constructed. In this sense, Christian attacks on role-playing games were actually rooted in a lack of faith on the part of the attackers.

Is there anything you had to leave out?

Surprisingly little. My editors at the University of California Press gave me a lot of freedom. However, there are a lot of really fascinating psychological experiments going on right now concerning religion and the imagination. There was a lot of discussion in the blogosphere this summer about a study published in the journal Cognitive Science suggesting that a religious upbringing affects the way children discern fantasy from reality. Studies like this are easily misinterpreted and we cannot use them to draw facile conclusions about the nature religion. However, I would have loved to discuss this and similar studies in Dangerous Games.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about your topic?

During the panic, moral entrepreneurs claimed that D&D was an “occult” practice while gamers

"Occult dnd". Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

“Occult dnd”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

countered that it was “harmless escapism.” The problem with this debate is that it makes it impossible to do a serious comparison of fantasy role-playing games and religion. One gamer expressed to me that fantasy role-playing games have nothing to do with religion and that the comparison itself is offensive. But I think this is a useful comparison that allows us to think about both role-playing games and religion in a new light.

Of course D&D isn’t a “religion” in the way that moral entrepreneurs claimed: players are not actually worshipping deities, casting spells, etc. But something about the game made them think of religion and I think it’s worth asking what that was. I also think these games can be a lot more than just “escapism.” I found a lot of cases of gamers who found these games to be transformative: they thought about the world and themselves differently as a result of playing these games. So the point is not to claim that D&D is a religion or that religion is a fantasy role-playing game, but rather to use the creative tension of this comparison to think about how people create meaning together.

Did you have a specific audience in mind when writing?

The audience I had in mind was the generation of gamers who were directly affected by this panic. A lot of these gamers grew up to become intellectuals. (It is remarkable how many religion and philosophy professors used to play D&D!) While many remember the panic, its full history has never been properly told. I know for some readers this will be cathartic and vindicating.

Are you hoping to just inform readers? Entertain them? Piss them off?

All of the above. There are two parts to this book. The first part tells the history of the panic from the origins of the fantasy role-playing game in the 1960s until 2001. (The panic never fully died, but 9/11 and the War on Terror gave Americans a much more tangible focus for their fears.) In telling this history I found a lot of information that most gamers never knew about.

The full extent of the panic is simultaneously fascinating, frightening, and tragic. For example, The Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa) provided me with copies of documents on how to interrogate adolescent gamers that were sent to police departments throughout the country.

The second part discusses how role-playing games resemble religions and how religions resemble role-playing games. I think that some moral entrepreneurs realized this connection. Their claims that D&D was a religion and not a game were in many ways a kind of defense mechanism that shielded them from viewing their own religion as a game. At the same time, I think that these moral entrepreneurs were fascinated with D&D and that by attacking the game they found a vicarious enjoyment in it. Ironically, many of these figures imagined themselves as heroes who were beset at every turn by demonic forces and evil conspiracies.

Despite my best intentions, some people may find these ideas offensive and feel that either their religion or their hobby has been slighted. But I think most readers will find this book interesting and thought provoking.

What alternative title would you give the book?

For a while my working title was “What The Moral Panic Over Role-Playing Games Says About Religion and Other Imagined Worlds.” I eventually dropped this more provocative title for two reasons. First, I wanted to foreground the importance of play, which is a major theme in the book. Second, I didn’t want the book to be misunderstood as hostile to religion or aligned with the New Atheist movement.

How do you feel about the cover?

I love the cover! It was designed by David Frankel, who attended Hampshire College with me. For those who can’t tell, it’s a parody of the first edition Dungeon Master’s Guide published in 1979. That cover featured a knight and wizard battling an enormous fiery devil that clutched a scantily clad damsel in one hand. (Ironically, the covers of the old D&D books look very similar to covers for some Christian books on spiritual warfare. Both have swords and devils everywhere.) In Frankel’s cover the devil is clutching a rather embarrassed looking middle-schooler, the knight is a soccer mom, and the wizard looks like Pat Robertson. This image demonstrates the irony that the most active crusaders against D&D—those who advanced conspiracy theories involving witches and Satanists—effectively constructed a fantasy world for themselves in which they could embark on heroic adventures.

Is there a book out there you wish you had written? 

This book is obviously indebted to Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens in which he outlines his theory that all aspects of culture are developed from play. I also built on the work of Gary Alan Fine whose 1983 work Shared Fantasy: Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds remains the best work on the sociology of role-playing games. Finally, in researching the history of role-playing games I was blown away by John Peterson’s recent work Playing at the World. The history of role-playing games is murky, contested, and a serious challenge for any historian. Peterson did amazing archival research digging up obscure wargame journals and mimeographs from the 1960s and 1970s.

What’s your next book?

2014 was a year with a lot of controversies surrounding monuments. I’m interested in the way monuments are used to inscribe particular histories and ideas of polity onto the land. I’m also interested in the way rituals are used to construct and change those meanings. The connection between ritual, sacred space, and narrative runs through a lot of my work. In my next book I plan to look at some of the controversies surrounding monuments in America in order to explore how and why sacred spaces and sacred histories are constructed.


Photo courtesy flickr user rachel a.k. via Creative Commons

25 Mar 15:32

The Secret to Finding Hidden Bra Sizes

by Norma

The most asked question about the Marlborough bra pattern is “Will it fit me?” Usually this question comes from someone outside of the size range listed on the pattern. It is an excellent question and many times, my answer is actually yes!

This bit of sizing magic is possible through what is called “sister sizing”. Sister sizes are bra sizes that have the same bra cup volume and underwire size. The difference between sister sizes is usually just the size of the band and frame.

Below is a table showing sister sizing by row as it relates to the Marlborough bra pattern. The Marlborough sizes are in black and the sister size equivalents are in gray.

Sister Sizing Chart for Marlborough Bra Pattern

Sister Sizing Chart for Marlborough Bra Pattern

If your size appears in gray above, you can find your Marlborough size by finding the nearest equivalent size in black on the same row. For example, if you are a 34E you will use the pattern for the 36DD. If you are a 34F, then you will use the pattern for the 38DD. Then it is simply a matter of adjusting the band and frame to get to your band size.

In the first example above, you will be removing ½” from both the frame and the band at the side seams for an overall circumference decrease of 2″. The orange lines in the drawing below indicate where the new seam line would be for this change.

Band DecreaseTo increase the band, you add to the side seam. For example if you want a 42D and are starting with the 40DD pattern, you will be adding ½” to the frame and to the band at the side seam for an overall 2″ increase in band circumference. Again, the orange lines in the drawing below indicate where the new seam line would be for this change.

Band IncreaseNote that for maximum support I draft a fairly firm band for a power mesh with 50% stretch. If you are going down by just one band size or using a firmer power mesh, you may want to mock up a toile to test the band.

Happy bra making!

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27 Mar 22:21

Two Bright Pink Chickens Rescued on the Waterfront in Portland, Oregon

by Rebecca Escamilla
Russian Sledges

via rosalind

there can be nothing more portland

Pink chickens in Portland
photo by Emily Sinovic via Multnomah County Animal Services

Yesterday, two bright pink chickens were spotted wandering on the waterfront in Portland, Oregon. After Portland-area news organization KATU reported the runaway animals, an officer from Multnomah County Animal Services promptly picked up the chickens and brought them to the animal shelter for safe keeping.

Workers at the shelter say that food coloring is often used to dye chicks, an effect that lasts until the animal’s first molting. The practice of dyeing the animals is physically harmless to chicks, but some animal welfare groups frown upon it as it may discourage pet owners from seeing dyed chickens at Easter as a pet that requires a home and care for years.

North Portland resident Bruce Whitman came forward Friday afternoon to retrieve his two pet chickens, claiming that he purposefully abandoned his chickens—whose feathers he dyed with Kool-Aid, beet juice, and food dye—to elicit a response from the public.

Pink chicken
photo via Multnomah County Animal Services

Pink chickens
photo via Multnomah County Animal Services

Pink chickens on waterfront
photo via Emily Sinovic

28 Mar 16:46

Alps crash pilot told ex 'everyone will know my name' - Yahoo News

by gguillotte
Russian Sledges

via firehose

The 26-year-old woman, identified only as Maria W., recalled in an interview with the mass-circulation Bild daily how Andreas Lubitz told her: "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember." "I never knew what he meant by that but now it makes sense," it quoted the "shocked" flight attendant as saying, adding the remark repeatedly ran through her head after hearing about Tuesday's air disaster.
28 Mar 11:38

The Judas Ear

by (RJ Evans)
Russian Sledges

that's [not] a human ear alright

No, Doctor Lecter has not been at it again – this is not a real ear. Its quite remarkable resemblance to the human ear has, however, given it a host of names throughout the ages – some it has to be said less flattering (or at least politically correct) than others.

The fungus is called Auricularia auricula-judae and it is found throughout the world. As you will see, some examples look more ear-like than others – you might even say earily so (to make a very poor play on words). In fact, anywhere you find elder trees you will likely find the Judas Ear.

It was first called the more unwieldy Judas’s Ear and as you have probably guessed it was named after the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. He regretted it fairly soon after and hanged himself from a tree – some stories (outside of Biblical passages) have it that it was an elder tree. In the English speaking world it is mentioned in texts as far back as the seventeenth century.

Said to be sent to grow on the elder tree as a constant reminder to us of the betrayal of the Christ by Judas, its name morphed by the eighteenth century to Jew’s Ear. Although all fungi was generally referred to as Jew’s Meat in the often casually but occasionally sickeningly violent anti-Semitic Middle Ages, later text books regularly took pains to point out that it referred specifically to Judas rather than Jewry as a whole.

Either way, the name is unflattering and it is often called the Jelly Ear, Common Ear Fungus and Kikurage among others. It does not appear exclusively on elder trees, contrary to popular legend – although it has to be said that 90 percent of the time it does.

Although edible it has never had much of a reputation around the dinner tables of the English speaking world. In the past it has been used in Europe as an aid to alleviate a sore throat. You will not hear any trendy chef waxing lyrical about this rather bland tasting fungus. In Asia, it is still regularly used in soups to help with colds and fevers. There is evidence of it being cultivated in China over fifteen hundred years ago.

The Judas Ear grows to between three and centimeters across but is has been found up to 12 centimeters in width. If you touch it, it feels tough, gelatinous and elastic – and is said to feel quite like a real ear. Whatever its size, it is probably true to say that boys have been using it to frighten younger siblings for thousands of years.

First Image Credit Flickr User Nutmeg66
28 Mar 15:40

The North Light | Damon & Naomi

by russiansledges
from Fortune by Damon & Naomi
27 Mar 22:16

loveneverdidrunsmooth: greypoppies:Marchesa Luisa Casati. An...

Russian Sledges

via willowbl00



Marchesa Luisa Casati. An heiress, a muse and a fashion legend, she dazzled everyone she met and shocked turn-of-the-century Europe.  She wore live snakes as jewellery and was infamous for her evening strolls; naked beneath her furs whilst parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leads.  Nude servants gilded in gold leaf attended her.  Bizarre wax mannequins sat as guests at her dining table, some of them rumoured to contain the ashes of past lovers.

Not gonna lie, she looks like she’s cosplaying the Iron Throne.

28 Mar 14:38

Ryan Walsh (@hallelujahthehills) • Instagram photos and videos

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

I guess I'll stop resharing everything Ryan Walsh posts when it stops being acutely relevant to my interests

28 Mar 14:25

▶ Neutral Milk Hotel's "Naomi" - YouTube

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

somehow nobody informed me that naomi yang (of damon & naomi) made a music video for the neutral milk hotel song "naomi"

"Naomi" by Neutral Milk Hotel - Video by Naomi
28 Mar 03:14

Comic Papyrus Font - FINALLY! ~ Sans Serif Fonts on Creative Market

by overbey
Russian Sledges

via overbey ("This seems like a pretty significant advance in the art of typography.")

#troll #masterclass

Presenting Comic Papyrus. You heard right — COMIC FREAKIN' PAPYRUS! Your two most favoritest fonts ever have FINALLY been smooshed together typographically, just as Darwin intended. Cross-bred. Cross-awesomified.
27 Mar 21:20

The Atheism Gap

Russian Sledges

via Ibstopher

CNN’s special report on atheists this week didn’t draw many viewers, and has been kicked around a bit in the blogosphere. Certainly the program had its gaffes. Most important, as other critics have noted, the report trotted out the hoary -- and ridiculous -- claim that 1 in 3 millennials are atheists. (The correct figure is closer to 3 percent.)

But that wasn’t the biggest mistake. By focusing on the lives of atheists, CNN swept into the wings, with only the briefest of mentions, atheism’s significant race and gender problems.

According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.)

The same report tells us that women are 52 percent of the U.S. population but only 36 percent of atheists and agnostics. The gender split has led some male atheists to muse about differences between the male and female brain -- which in turn unsurprisingly generated sharp ripostes. Certainly it makes the atheist movement less attractive to would-be adherents. As one commentator has put it, “Show me a party to which women are invited but that they overwhelmingly choose to avoid, and I'll show you a party to which I'd ask you to remember not to invite me.”

Some feminist atheists contend that the gender split is a distinctively U.S. phenomenon. They point to a 2012 WIN-Gallup International survey tending to show that outside the U.S., men and women describe themselves as atheists at about the same rate.

But the WIN-Gallup data also point to what might be atheism’s larger difficulty: race, nationalism and ethnicity. In the U.S., atheists and agnostics are disproportionately male and white, as we have seen. Around the world -- well, let’s let the data tell the story.

Seven of the 10 least religious countries are in Europe. The other three are China, Japan and South Korea. Seven of the 10 most religious countries are in the developing world, headed by Ghana and Nigeria. When the data are tabulated by region, those most likely to describe themselves as atheists are from north Asia (42 percent) and western Europe (14 percent). At the other end are south Asia (0 percent), and Latin America and Africa (2 percent each).

At some point one has to admit that there is a pattern here. And just to pile on a bit, the estimable Craig Keener, in his huge review of claims of miracles in a wide variety of cultures, concludes that routine rejection of the possibility of the supernatural represents an impulse that is deeply Eurocentric.

Richard Dawkins, well-known apostle of atheism, only damages his cause when he insists that atheists are a race. Even if he was being tongue-in-cheek (and one certainly hopes so), he’s more likely to stir an already boiling identity politics pot. Atheists themselves increasingly fight nasty battles over these issues -- at least online. (That’s how this sort of criticism leads to this sort of response.)

I had lunch a couple of years ago with a Yale colleague who is a committed atheist. He explained away the international data in pretty much the way one would expect: those other countries have to be liberated. They are mired in a false consciousness as the result of oppression and lack of education. In other words, people around the world who continue to believe in God are too stupid to understand the glittering truths that atheists see clearly.

The late Edward Said, in his classic work on imperialism, pointed out that an important step along the road is to describe those who are to be controlled as primitive. Not inhuman, but primitive. Therefore when the imperialist foists his system upon them, he is not oppressing them but improving them.

I’m not judging atheism here. There are atheists aplenty whose behavior is morally superior to that of many a religious believer. Activists in the atheist cause, however, would do well to come up with a better explanation than primitiveness of people of color for the rejection of their message in most of the developing world. In any case, these issues would offer a far meatier topic for CNN’s next exploration of atheism.

To contact the author on this story:
Stephen Carter at

To contact the editor on this story:
Stacey Shick at

27 Mar 19:49

things-u-people-wouldnt-believe:Blade Runner’s Pris Inspired...


Blade Runner’s Pris Inspired Evening Fashion by Kate G.

27 Mar 19:55

Valentin Yudashkin Fall 2015 Collection ~ details

Russian Sledges


Valentin Yudashkin Fall 2015 Collection ~ details
26 Mar 06:45

comedycentral: Click here to watch Kristen Schaal and Jon...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind


Click here to watch Kristen Schaal and Jon Stewart discuss the future of wage equality on The Daily Show.

27 Mar 13:40

The Dégagé Bow.Frank Lloyd Wright.

Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

The Dégagé Bow.

Frank Lloyd Wright.

26 Mar 04:55


Russian Sledges

via rosalind

26 Mar 20:27

East Village building collapses, huge fire after explosion

by brooklynvegan

"Well an entire BUILDING just collapsed on 2nd Avenue and 7th street in the #EastVillage!!" - mikenouveau


Firefighters were on the scene of an apparent explosion on Thursday afternoon in the East Village, and a building at the site appeared to have been partly destroyed while another building was engulfed in flames.

Francis X. Gribbon, the chief spokesman for the New York Fire Department, said the preliminary indication was that some kind of gas explosion preceded the inferno.

"It was probably a gas thing, it looks like," he said. "But that's not confirmed."

He said one injury had been confirmed so far: a critical injury. He said it was not immediately clear if the buildings were occupied.

By 4:05 p.m., Mr. Gribbon said, the event was in the seventh alarm, meaning that roughly 250 firefighters were on the location from about 50 Fire Department units. The buildings are at 121 and 123 Second Avenue. [NY Times]

Gothamist says, "The FDNY has now confirmed there are multiple injuries at the scene. The residential building has a nail salon (E-Nail) and a women's clothing store (Enz's); it is right next door to vegetarian mainstay B&H Dairy" and that "the neighboring building is also engulfed in flames", and that "According to various people at the scene, the second building (which is reportedly 121 E 2nd Street) has collapsed completely. That building contains Sushi Park; Eater reports that Sushi Park was destroyed, but neighboring Pomme Fritte is still in one piece." UPDATE: Eater now reports that the building that housed Pomme Fritte is gone too.

The site of the explosion, 2nd Ave between St. Mark's and 7th, is an area long-associated with music and counter-culture history. The corner of St. Mark's and 2nd Ave, currently Gem Spa Magazines, was the corner where the photo on the back cover of the first New York Dolls' album cover was taken. B&H Dairy is one of the most old-school vegetarian restaurants in NYC. 125 2nd Ave was the home of underground rock record store Wowsville (which closed in 2004 with a show Black Lips played). 119 2nd Ave at the corner of 7th St was the home of vintage clothing and collectables store Love Saves The Day. Across the street from where the explosion happened is the old Orpheum Theatre, which is currently the location of STOMP.

UPDATE 2: As of 4:30 PM, NY1 reported that there are 12 injured and three in critical addition. No fatalities have been reported.

UPDATE 3: NBC New York now confirms that it was a gas line, which construction workers accidentally hit in the sushi restaurant.

UPDATE 4: Gothamist reports that Mayor de Blasio said, "The actual explosion occurred at 121, which caused it to partially collapse, and 123 collapsed as well." 119 and 125 2nd Ave were also both affected.

As of this post. 2nd Ave is now closed from 14th St to Houston.

UPDATE: The band Public Access TV lived in one of the buildings.

Continue reading "East Village building collapses, huge fire after explosion" at brooklynvegan

06 Mar 16:46


Russian Sledges

I think I saw her open for Basia Bulat a few years ago, when she was "Lady Lamb the Beekeeper", and liked it. New stuff is good.

Today’s mainstream pop typically consists of a dozen co-writers for predictable songwriting and unnaturally overproduced crap music, but Lady Lamb is proving to be an exception to that rotten rule.
26 Mar 20:26

Hallelujah the Hills share new video, touring, playing The Bell House with Adam Schatz (dates, streams)

by brooklynvegan

by Bill Pearis


Anthemic Boston indie rockers Hallelujah the Hills released their fifth full-length, Have You Ever Done Anything Evil?, last year but it is just now getting a vinyl release. In support the band have made a video for album track "Destroy This Poem." Written and directed by Ryan Hamilton Walsh, it's a funny look at social media technology going horribly wrong and you can watch it, and listen to the whole album, below.

Also in celebration of the vinyl release, Hallelujah the Hills are playing a few East Coast shows, including Brooklyn's The Bell House on Friday (3/27) with a opening solo set from Adam Schatz. Tickets are on sale. The band have a few other dates and all are listed below.

Continue reading "Hallelujah the Hills share new video, touring, playing The Bell House with Adam Schatz (dates, streams)" at brooklynvegan

23 Mar 16:32

Formaggio Kitchen Kicks Off Barbecue Season on April 4

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

The annual sidewalk barbecue series launches a week from Saturday.

Hallelujah, spring is really here: Formaggio Kitchen welcomes back its seasonal sidewalk barbecue series at 11 a.m. on April 4, a week from this coming Saturday. Get in line at the Cambridge location now (well, maybe not quite yet) for brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, surprises, and sides galore.

Want to put in a pre-order for a hungry group of eight or more? The deadline is each Wednesday by noon for pick-up on that Saturday. Smaller groups can make pre-orders by 4 p.m. on Fridays. More details and a peek at last year's offerings can be found on the Formaggio website.

23 Mar 17:13

Bowie ‘76. 

Russian Sledges

via SuburbanKoala ("draco malfoy")

Bowie ‘76. 

26 Mar 19:14

Video: Downtown Berkeley worker assaults homeless man

by Lance Knobel
Russian Sledges

via overbey ("Wow, who would have imagined this sort of behavior from a privately-contracted police force representing business interests?")

Downtown Berkeley ambassador assault. Image: Bryan Hamilton

Image: Bryan Hamilton

A Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulted a homeless man Friday evening behind CVS in what appears to be a violent incident that was captured on video. That homeless man and an associate were arrested by the Berkeley Police Department before the video came to light. After reviewing the video this week, police asked the district attorney’s office to take another look at the case.

The ambassador involved, whose name has not been released, will be fired Thursday, said Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. A second ambassador, who did not intervene to stop the apparent assault, will be suspended. The video, which appears below, contains graphic language and violence that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

Lance Gorée, operations manager for the DBA, and the manager of the ambassador program for contractor Block by Block, said he received a report of the physical contact last week, but the severity of the incident was not made clear until he and Caner saw the video Thursday morning.

“I was called within the hour of it happening,” Gorée said. “I always get called right away. They didn’t fully represent what happened.”

“It’s clearly totally unacceptable,” said Caner. “We apologize to (the victim) and to the community. This is clearly so out of the realm of acceptable behavior and totally contrary to all of the training provided to ambassadors.”


Read the rest of Video: Downtown Berkeley worker assaults homeless man (636 words)

By lance. | Permalink | 166 comments |
Post tags: Berkeley homelessness, Block by Block, Downtown Berkeley Ambassadors, Downtown Berkeley Association, John Caner, Lance Gorée