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24 Feb 03:47

Poverty, Libraries, Jobs, Me

by griffey

A bit earlier today I saw a handful of librarians on Twitter posting a link to a Library Director’s job with what appeared to be an appalling salary of $7.25 an hour.

You too can be a library directory — for a mere $7.25/hr.

— Shield Maiden (@byshieldmaiden) February 24, 2015

Wanna be a library director for minimum wage? This is totally disgraceful. — Amanda Cintron (@Xaila) February 24, 2015

Each of these tweets have been re-tweeted a dozen or so times as I’m writing this, so people are sharing it. Heck, I clicked through when I saw the salary, curious what sort of place thought they could get someone for that price, and where you could possibly live on that salary.

The answer? Just down the road from where I grew up, that’s where.

Elliot county

So the marker there is the library in question, and the little town north of it that’s circled, that’s my home town of Olive Hill, KY. The library is in the county seat of Elliott County, KY, in a town of just about 600 people called Sandy Hook. Here’s a larger map to give you some additional context about just exactly where this is located.

Elliott County large


This part of the world is where I spent the first 22 years of my life, as a kid and teenager in Olive Hill and then as an undergrad at Morehead State University just down the road. If you check the Google Street View of where the Library in question sits,  it is right next to an elementary school where I played basketball as a boy.

So when I say this, I say it with the conviction of someone who knows: there is very, very little likelihood that anyone posting about this on Twitter has ever seen poverty of the sort that they have in Elliott County, KY. Hell, the entire concept of the “War on Poverty” started just down the road from Elliott County, an hour southeast in Inez, KY, where LBJ launched his famous efforts to eliminate poverty in the US.  Elliott County is the 49th Poorest County by Median Household Income in the entire United States of America. For some more reference, the median household income for Sandy Hook in 2010 was $14,313.

If there is anywhere in this country where kids need a library to help them dream, this is that place.

I was curious after seeing this tweet…

@adr @griffey There might not be a single place in Canada poorer than that part of Kentucky.

— Steve Casburn (@casburn_lib) February 24, 2015

…so I decided to take a look. And if this news report is to be believed, it’s true…the poorest postal code in Canada (B1W, the Cape Breton – Eskasoni First Nation) has a median household income of $19,392 Canadian, or $15,401 US. So there is literally not a single place in Canada that is poorer than Sandy Hook, KY.

With that said: should a library director be paid $7.25/hr? No, of course not. But in this part of Kentucky, believe it or not, that is a decent salary. Not because it is objectively an amount of money that someone deserves for doing their job, but only because the area around it has been forgotten. This part of the world has been given up on by the former industries that sustained it, by the clay and the tobacco and the lumber that were the only reasons money ever flowed into the economy of the area in the first place.

This is a place that I love, this Eastern Kentucky. Even now, decades after I left, I can close my eyes and see the soft clay streaking the soil. I can feel the limestone bones that make up the gentle foothills of the Appalachians. I can smell the warmth of a tobacco barn on a Fall evening.

These are people that need help. I hope they find someone for that job that can not only show the children of Elliott County that there is a wider world, but that just maybe one of those kids will find a way to help save my Eastern Kentucky.

24 Feb 00:50

PeriodO – Periods, Organized

by russiansledges
he PeriodO project is creating a gazetteer of scholarly assertions about the spatial and temporal extents of historical, art-historical, and archaeological periods. This gazetteer will ease the task of linking among datasets that define periods differently. It will also help scholars and students see where period definitions overlap or diverge. In the long term, it may also help researchers to assign temporal coordinates to documents that use undefined period terms.
20 Feb 19:13

The BitterSweet Life on Twitter

Russian Sledges

via bernot

Interviewed a little girl this morning that feeds crows and they bring her gifts in return. Here's her collection.

19 Feb 21:26

Liholiho’s island-minded cocktails are anything but tiki - SFGate

by russiansledges
Liholiho’s drinks, then, are deceptively more grown-up than the names indicate. There’s nary a garnish. The glassware verges on brutalist. A drink like the Castaway doesn’t come within 10 miles of a tiki mug. Instead, served in a petite, tapered flute, it’s an exercise in briskness, driven by salty manzanilla Sherry and green Chartreuse. He even adds a bit of falernum, typically a syrupy Barbadian liqueur, that has been salted to redirect what’s usually a tiki flavor in a more marine direction. The Bluth is one of his boozy inventions, fecund from the old-timey bite of both 5-year-old rum and Abbott’s bitters. It’s haunted by a liqueur flavored with a fruit that “Arrested Development” fans already have in mind. “The banana is aggressive,” I have in my notes, which admittedly is a phrase I never thought I’d write. Although the Surfer Rosa may be Hawaiian Punch red in the glass, it, too, is more a study in astringency than in sweetness. The color is from hibiscus-infused mezcal, underscored by the double growl of vermouth and Benedictine. The name isn’t beachnik; it’s a tribute to the angsty Pixies album, just as the Tropicalia is a nod to Brazil’s midcentury cultural avant-garde.
19 Feb 15:50

Avalanche buries one in Cambridge

by OnlyMrGodKnowsWhy
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Around 6:30 p.m., snow slid off the roof of Simoni Rink at the Gore Street Park, hitting four people and burying one. WCVB reports two people were taken to the hospital.

Original Source

20 Feb 02:03


Russian Sledges

via firehose

20 Feb 01:05

Fruit Exploring in Kyrgyzstan

Russian Sledges

via saucie

Fruit Exploring in Kyrgyzstan:

Walking the Apple Walnut Forests of Kyrgyzstan

In early September of this year, I traveled to Kyrgyzstan to go fruit and nut exploring in their ancient wild fruit forests. Kyrgyzstan has some of the oldest apple genetics in the world, and as a budding apple orchardist and student of permaculture, I wanted to see how these apples grew in the wild. I had heard that in this faraway land (including Kazakhstan), apples grew without any management strategy and are insect- and disease-free. This turned out to be mostly true, and with my permit to import seed, I set out to collect as much knowledge (and seed) as I could from these forests.
My trip started in the village of Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan, home to the largest walnut forests in the world (1.6 million acres). I brought a machete to these Kyrgyz forests in anticipation of hacking through the wild, jungle-like apple ecosystem. My roots in permaculture had me dreaming of an environment below these apple trees that was full of the beneficial plants needed to create healthy and disease- and insect-free apples. In actuality, the overstory was dominated primarily by walnuts(Juglans regia), with apples (Malus sieversii) and hawthorns (Crataegusspp.) irregularly sharing the canopy. The understory featured a forest floor of closely trimmed grass and cow and sheep patties. I couldn’t have used a machete if I had tried.
To be honest, the lack of a “wild” feeling was a bit of a letdown at first. I was supposed to be in this jungle-like fruit forest where natural chaos abounds. In this apple forest scenario, I had forgotten about the people connected to these forests. The Kyrgyz people are pastoral (some nomadic) with diets heavy in meat and dairy. Almost everyone has livestock, and the history of grazing their animals in these walnut-apple forests goes back more than 400 years. This is a long time period, and cultural relationships have developed within these forests to create a system where everyone and everything seems to benefit.
Here’s an example: Walnut leaves produce a smell that repels insects and keeps them from bothering the animals and the apples. Blemished apples containing these pests usually drop to the ground and are eaten by the grazing livestock. The grass eaten by livestock in the forest is believed to be anti-parasitic* and provides for a large part of their diet during the growing season. In exchange for health and nourishment, these animals fertilize the soil and create perfect conditions for walnut harvesting by keeping the grass low. Most people in Arslanbob derive the majority of their income from the walnut harvests, and walnuts are even a form of currency during certain times of the year. The blemish/disease/insect-free apples are harvested by the townspeople for their own consumption, because all domestic fruits go to market. We also must not forget the organic meat and dairy received from this relationship as well.
Suddenly, I realized that this place is not just a walnut-apple forest, but an integration of people and animals with food- and income-producing trees. It is a wild orchard, planted by no one and cultivated by everyone over hundreds of years. Shame on me for being let down when I didn’t see a jungle-like fruit forest. Humans are an inextricable part of nature whether we like it or not, and the instinctual behavior exhibited from the Kyrgyz people for more than 400 years is as much a part of polyculture as a plant guild.
This realization has impacted the way I view orcharding. My horizons are a little wider, and I can’t wait to experiment with integrating my life into an orchard system. I have an idea of where to start, but as a beginning orchardist, I’ve got a lifetime of relationships to make.
*I say the grass is anti-parasitic only because my guide told me so. After some thought and research, I think the animals may be ingesting some juglone, a natural chemical produced by walnuts that is known to be anti-parasitic and also somewhat toxic to some other plants, from the soil, walnut leaves, husks and/or roots.
About the author: Eliza Greenman is a former MOFGA apprentice at Super Chilly Farm and a former MOFGA journeyperson at Sandy River Apples. When she wrote this article, she was the property manager for the Three Streams Collective in Montville, where she designed and implemented fruit and nut orcharding systems. Now she is the orchardist for Foggy Ridge Cider in Southwestern Virginia and is starting her own orchards on neighboring land there.

View full article at:

18 Feb 05:52

Skyline Wrapping Paper

by Honey
Russian Sledges

via firehose

 photo citywrap5_zpsbnmydqc4.jpg

 photo 41100_skyline-wrapping-paper_zpsrx0sxdli.jpg

Super-sized sheets of wrapping paper printed with building facades from around the world. Wrap your gifts to create 3D buildings that come together to form mini skylines. Unique wrapping paper perfect for that special architect in your life. The best way to keep the pile of presents under the tree looking organised. Buy here.

 photo skyline-wrapping-paper-3_zpsilszzt0a.jpg

 photo 5f0e2bb1026edb5b24ea4dd00a718e3a_zpsd8k3zgcr.jpg

18 Feb 18:11

Pop Culture Pulsar: Origin Story of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Album Cover [Video] | SA Visual, Scientific American Blog Network

by djempirical
Russian Sledges

via firehose


i wonder how much this guy could get in royalties, if he were litigiously inclined?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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The world of science visuals has become a large and varied place. In this blog we call out great art and design from our hallowed pages and elsewhere.

The SA Visual writers:
Michael Mrak, Jen Christiansen, Monica Bradley, Jason Mischka, Ryan Reid, Jason Arias, Liz Tormes and Bernard Lee.

More »

Jen Christiansen is the art director of information graphics at Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @ChristiansenJen.

More »

Contact Jen Christiansen via email.
Follow Jen Christiansen on Twitter as @ChristiansenJen.

Sure, I was familiar with the graphic—and I’m not alone. Drop this image (right) on someone’s desk and chances are they’ll reflexively blurt, “Joy Division.” The band’s 1979 Unknown Pleasures album cover leaned entirely on a small mysterious data display, printed in white on black. No band name, album title or other identifiers. An interesting move for a debut studio album.

The cover image became an icon but remained mysterious. Even as knowledge spread about the band’s inspiration point—a preexisting pulsar data visualization (more on this below)—the true origin of that visualization continued to be a bit of a riddle. Somewhere along the way, I became obsessed with the narratives behind pulsar discovery and stacked plots, along with a growing desire to learn all that I could about the image and the research it was connected to. What follows is an abridged story borne of that obsession, starting with a video screened at a data visualization conference and ending with an interview with Harold (Hal) Craft, the radio astronomer who created the plot from data collected at the Arecibo Radio Observatory.

*          *          *

In late 2012 I saw the Unknown Pleasures album cover in a new light. VISUALIZED conference attendees were treated to a screening of Data Visualization, Reinterpreted: The Story of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Album (directed by Eric Klotz and Volkert Besseling). Check out the video below for an interview with the album cover designer, Peter Saville.

As Saville explains, the cover is directly linked to a figure in The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy (1977 edition)—a stacked plot of radio signals from a pulsar. My interest was piqued. I’m far from a music and album art expert but visualizing astronomical phenomena is part of my job description. Although I jotted down notes, my intention to look further into things faded.

Then, nearly two years later, when chatting with artist Philippe Decrauzat about his influences, my jaw hit the floor. His collection of favorite 1960s and 1970s Scientific American graphics included the stacked plot. It had been printed as a full-page figure in the January 1971 issue; white radio pulses on a field of cyan. My interest was piqued anew, to say the least.

When folks refer to the Unknown Pleasures cover, they generally just say that it shows a series of radio frequency periods from the first pulsar discovered. But what does that really mean? How does the physicality of a pulsar result in radio frequencies that translate into the famous stacked plot? What produced the data, how was it collected, who created the plot and what is its significance?

First, a short pulsar primer (keep an eye on this blog in the coming months for a more in-depth discussion on the history of pulsar visualization and explanatory graphics). From Jacob Shaham’s February 1987 Scientific American article “The Oldest Pulsars in the Universe:

“[Radio pulsars] are thought to be rotating neutron stars: huge, spinning ‘nuclei’ that contain some 1057 protons and neutrons…. The large clump of nuclear matter, which has a mass about equal to that of the sun, is compressed into a sphere with a radius on the order of 10 kilometers. Consequently, the density of the star is enormous, slightly greater than the density of ordinary nuclear matter, which is itself some 10 trillion times denser than a lead brick. Currents of protons and electrons moving within the star generate a magnetic field. As the star rotates, a radio beacon, ignited by the combined effect of the magnetic field and the rotation, emanates from it and sweeps periodically through the surrounding space, rather like a lighthouse beam. Once per revolution the beacon cuts past the earth, giving rise to the beeping detected by radio telescopes.”

Although the image on the cover is largely cited correctly as depicting the first pulsar discovered (CP 1919), it’s not the first isolated plot of that pulsar, which was made in 1967. That honor goes to Jocelyn Bell Burnell from the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, England, as published in Nature on February 24, 1968. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

I quickly learned that I’m not the first to jump down the rabbit hole in search of the creator of the stacked plot. Adam Capriola has documented his search with regular updates, and notes three key pre-album occurrences of the figure. I checked out those three artifacts to see if they would lead to more information about the creator of the plot and/or its significance. In reverse order of printing:

1. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy, edited by Simon Mitton. Prentice-Hall of Canada, by Terwin Copplestone Publishing, 1977. No source credit for the plot can be found in the text, other than a general book-wide “diagrams and graphs by Michael Robinson” nod. There’s a great four-page summary about pulsars and several diagrams but not much detail about the stacked plot itself, beyond the figure caption.

"Successive pulses from the first pulsar discovered, CP 1919, are here superimposed vertically. The pulses occur every 1.337 seconds. They are caused by rapidly spinning neutron star." From The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy.

2. Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data, edited by Walter Herdeg, The Graphis Press, Zurich, 1974. Included in a catalogue of data visualizations on scientific topics, attributed on the credits page to the Arecibo Radio Observatory.

"Von einem Computer erzeugte illustration von achtzig aufeinanderfolgenden Pulsperioden des ersten Pulsars, der beobachtet wurde. Die Durchschnittsbreite der Pulse ist weniger als eine 50tausendstel-Sekunde. Das Diagramm wurde vom Arecibo Radio-Observatorium in Puerto Rico hergestellt. Aus Scientific American, 'The Nature of Pulsars,' von J. P. Ostriker (U.S.A.)." From Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data

3. “The Nature of Pulsars” by Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Scientific American, January 1971 (pages 48–60); Credited to Arecibo Radio Observatory in the issue’s illustration credit box on page 4.
I’m clearly biased, but this article provides a neat and accessible view into the early days of pulsar data collection and theory (particularly when paired with “Pulsars,” by Antony Hewish, Scientific American, October 1968). It highlights the significance of the plot in the caption and hints to the nature of the research it was connected to (pulse shape and irregularity) but, sadly, doesn’t directly name the plot creator as part of the Arecibo credit line.

"EIGHTY SUCCESSIVE PERIODS of the first pulsar observed, CP1919 (Cambridge pulsar at 19 hours 19 minutes right ascension), are stacked on top of one another using the average period of 1.33730 seconds in this computer-generated illustration produced at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico. Although the leading edges of the radio pulses occur within a few thousandths of a second of the predicted times, the shape of the pulses is quite irregular. Some of this irregularity in radio reception is caused by the effects of transmission through the interstellar medium. The average pulse width is less than 50 thousandths of a second." From "The Nature of Pulsars," by Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Scientific American, January 1971.

By now I had also combed through early discovery articles in scientific journals and every book anthology on pulsars I could get my hands on to learn more about early pulsar visualizations. The more I learned, the more this descriptor in the 1971 Ostriker caption began to feel significant; “computer-generated illustration.” The charts from Bell at Mullard were output in real time, using analogue plotting tools. A transition in technology from analogue to digital seemed to have been taking place between the discovery of pulsars in 1967 to the work being conducting at Arecibo in 1968 through the early 1970′s. A cohort of doctoral students from Cornell University seemed to be embracing that shift, working on the cutting edge of digital analysis and pulsar data output. One PhD thesis title from that group in particular caught my attention, “Radio Observations of the Pulse Profiles and Dispersion Measures of Twelve Pulsars,” by Harold D. Craft, Jr. (September 1970).

A trip to Cornell’s rare book room confirmed a hunch. Sure enough, there was the image in Craft’s thesis, along with two other stacked plots.

From "Radio Observations of the Pulse Profiles and Dispersion Measures of Twelve Pulsars," by Harold D. Craft, Jr. (September 1970).

On February 16, 2015, I sat down with Craft just outside of Ithaca, N.Y., and asked him about his recollections of Arecibo, the data visualizations in his thesis and the Unknown Pleasures album cover.

Craft on pulsar research at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in the late 1960s: 

Original Source

18 Feb 05:00


Russian Sledges

via firehose

Whoa, and if you overlay a Fibonacci spiral on a golden spiral it matches up almost perfectly!
18 Feb 22:12

Amazon Greenlights a Full Season of ‘The Man in the High Castle’ After It Becomes Amazon’s Most Watched Pilot Ever

by Rebecca Escamilla
Russian Sledges

via rosalind

The Man in the High Castle

Amazon has greenlit a full season of The Man in the High Castle–based on Philip K. Dick‘s Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel of the same name–after its pilot received so much attention that it was Amazon’s “most watched pilot ever,” according to Vice President of Amazon Studios Roy Price. The show stars Rufus Sewell, Luke Kleintank, and Alexa Davalos, and features executive producer Sir Ridley Scott.

The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality.

While the pilot is currently available to stream on Amazon, the series is planned to premiere later this year or in 2016 to Amazon Prime members in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

The Man in the High Castle

Here we go! #WCC #mothership #MITHC #costumes

— Audrey Fisher (@AudreyFish) February 18, 2015

images via Amazon

Thanks, Jason Laskodi!

18 Feb 19:56

kateordie:archiemcphee: Today the Department of Unexpected...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind



Today the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship is sighing happily while looking at these awesomely adorable photos of a pair of BFFs who happen to be a Little Owl named Napoleon, aka Poldi, and a Belgian Malinois named Ingo. These fast friends live with Tanja Brandt, a professional animal photographer and collage artist based in Dusseldorf, Germany, who photographs the unusual pair while they’re all outside enjoying the fresh air together. Napoleon is the runt of a brood of 7 little owls hatched by a professional breeder. Ingo often assists Brandt while she photographs other birds, including her Harris’s Hawks, which easily dwarf little Poldi.

"I go outside with them together — Napoleon on my hand, Ingo is free running. I do the same with my big Harris Hawks, but they are also free and can fly. Not so with Napoleon. It’s too dangerous. Every cat would kill him, he don’t know hows [sic] to live free.
And so, this is why they trust each other. They respect each other and they can read each other. Ingo knows every reactions from the wild birds and if they are angry, he goes another way […] with the wild birds, he is very soft (not with other dogs or something else).”

Click here to learn more about Poldi and Ingo. For more photos of them, as well as photos of Brandt’s other avian friends, visit Tanja Brandt’s 500px page.

[via Bored Panda and 500px]

The buddy cop movie WE deserve!

Poldi and Ingo!

18 Feb 23:29

The Capybaras of Saitama Children’s Zoo Enjoy the Hot Tub and Hot Springs on a Chilly Winter’s Day

by Lori Dorn
Russian Sledges

via rosalind

The very many capybaras of the Saitama Children’s Zoo enjoy a sit in the hot tub and a shower under the hot springs on a chilly winter’s day in Higashi-Matsuyama, Japan. Capybaras are considered to be semi-aquatic and very social animals, making hot tub gatherings the ideal place for these wonderful giant rodents.

Capybaras Showering


Capybaras in Bath

images via Saitama JAPAN Just North of Tokyo

via Tastefully Offensive, Boing Boing

18 Feb 13:27

“The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.”

by PZ Myers
Russian Sledges

via bernot via Luke.stirling

That quote is from a good article in Nature on how sex is non-binary — my only quibble would be with that “now”. You’d have to define “now” as a window of time that encompasses the entirety of my training and work in developmental biology, and I’m getting to be kind of an old guy. Differences in sex development (DSDs) are common knowledge, and rather routine — and coincidentally, I’m giving an exam on sex chromosome anomalies today.

The article works through a lot of basic concepts: chimeric sex, genetic vs. cellular vs. organismal sex, and the development of sexual characters. I was so happy that they did not trigger one of my pet peeves, the claim that we all start out as female — we don’t, we start out sexually indifferent.

That the two sexes are physically different is obvious, but at the start of life, it is not. Five weeks into development, a human embryo has the potential to form both male and female anatomy. Next to the developing kidneys, two bulges known as the gonadal ridges emerge alongside two pairs of ducts, one of which can form the uterus and Fallopian tubes, and the other the male internal genital plumbing: the epididymes, vas deferentia and seminal vesicles. At six weeks, the gonad switches on the developmental pathway to become an ovary or a testis. If a testis develops, it secretes testosterone, which supports the development of the male ducts. It also makes other hormones that force the presumptive uterus and Fallopian tubes to shrink away. If the gonad becomes an ovary, it makes oestrogen, and the lack of testosterone causes the male plumbing to wither. The sex hormones also dictate the development of the external genitalia, and they come into play once more at puberty, triggering the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts or facial hair.

That’s exactly right.

The major point of the article is something a lot of people deny: that sex is complicated, there’s more than two states of human existence, and most importantly, that biology verifies the existence of a continuum of sexual differentiation. Drag this article out next time someone tries to argue that biology supports their simplistic version of a discrete sexual dichotomy.

Yet if biologists continue to show that sex is a spectrum, then society and state will have to grapple with the consequences, and work out where and how to draw the line. Many transgender and intersex activists dream of a world where a person’s sex or gender is irrelevant. Although some governments are moving in this direction, Greenberg is pessimistic about the prospects of realizing this dream — in the United States, at least. “I think to get rid of gender markers altogether or to allow a third, indeterminate marker, is going to be difficult.”

So if the law requires that a person is male or female, should that sex be assigned by anatomy, hormones, cells or chromosomes, and what should be done if they clash? “My feeling is that since there is not one biological parameter that takes over every other parameter, at the end of the day, gender identity seems to be the most reasonable parameter,” says Vilain. In other words, if you want to know whether someone is male or female, it may be best just to ask.

I’ll also add that it’s not just biology that supports the idea that sex is a spectrum. It’s also the case of psychology and sociology — any science that has to address sex differences.

18 Feb 17:14

▶ Painting On Water: Turkish Marbling AKA Ebru Class In Istanbul 2 - YouTube

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

new fixation

10 Dec 17:00

Marbled paper, what a curious name

by Jason Kottke
Russian Sledges

5:32-6:19 is pretty satisfying

Wow, the art of making marbled paper, a short film from 1970.

Charmingly British, just like the film about the Teddy Grays candy factory or the putter togetherer of scissors. Super cool how the inks are placed on a water bath, swirled expertly to make patterns, and then transferred to the paper. Also of note: the segment on the conservation of old books starting at around 9:55...I never knew they took them apart like that to dunk the pages in water! Sadly, the Cockerell Bindery ceased operation in the late 1980s with the death of Sydney Cockerell and its contents were sold at auction. (thx, matt)

Tags: books   how to   video
16 Feb 05:16

The Sickeningly Low Vaccination Rates at Silicon Valley Day Cares | WIRED

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges


The rates are more egregious at a Pixar-associated day care. Only 43 percent of children there are immunized.
16 Feb 05:00

mizzle-shinned, adj.

Russian Sledges

via firehose

'Having one's legs red and blotched from sitting too near a fire. Cf. mizzle-kyted adj.'

16 Feb 10:25

Martin Luther playset is the best-selling toy of all time

by Cory Doctorow
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

I need this

Playmobil's German "Little Luther" toy sold 34,000 pieces in 72 hours. Read the rest

13 Feb 15:00

North Carolina’s Counter Culture Coffee Emeryville roastery opening next month

by Tara Duggan
Russian Sledges

via overbey


Counter Culture Coffee training center

Cupping at the Counter Culture Coffee training center in New York City. Photo: Alan Tansey

When Brett Smith opened Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina in 1995, he created a model that remains unusual in today’s coffee roasting world. Smith’s company focuses on sourcing and roasting coffee, and then training people how to best prepare coffee drinks with the beans. But it doesn’t operate cafes.

In March, Counter Culture will break out its first West Coast roastery and training center in Emeryville after 20 years of only roasting in North Carolina. The Northern California branch will be followed by another training center in Los Angeles later this year. Counter Culture has eight other training centers around the country, all in the East Coast. The new roastery will be joining local companies like Peet’s, McLaughlin Coffee Co. and Highwire Coffee Roasters that have headquarters and roasting facilities in Emeryville.

“We wanted to come West and part of it was driven by Emeryville’s relative central location as we continue to grow in the West Coast,” says Smith, who is also looking at other West Coast markets like Seattle. “It’s a great market. We think there’s a lot of opportunity to come over there and share our coffee with a lot of great people. It’s certainly a great coffee town.”

Ya think? Usually, it’s the other way around: West Coast coffee companies like Four Barrel send their coffee to New York restaurants, or Portland’s Stumptown opens a roastery there. With Santa Cruz-based Verve opening soon in San Francisco and so many other home-grown coffee roasters expanding around the Bay Area, you have to wonder how an East Coast company will fit in.

“We hadn’t really thought of that,” Smith joked. “Coffee is an amazing business. It can feel crowded at times. It’s relatively easy to get in the business with a roaster and some good coffee. But what we really try to focus on is what we do best–sourcing unique coffees based on long-standing relationships we’ve had with farmers and working with them to experiment on different ways of growing.”

Counter Culture Coffee founder Brett Smith. Photo: Christy Baugh

Counter Culture Coffee founder and president Brett Smith. Photo: Christy Baugh

Smith also points to the company’s extensive training program for wholesale customers’ staff, in whole and half-day sessions on skills like beginning espresso and cupping fundamentals. The company also does a lot of public outreach with free talks and tours not just about coffee itself but sustainability issues around producing it.

Counter Culture coffee can already be found at a few Bay Area cafes like Coffee Cultures in the Financial District, Stanza Coffee locations in San Francisco and Modern Coffee in Oakland; it’s also sold at Dean & Deluca in St. Helena.

After opening, the Emeryville roastery will be open to the public for tastings and tours every Friday at 10 a.m. The space is being designed by architect Jane Kim, who is also responsible for Milk Bar in New York and Counter Culture’s New York training center.

Counter Culture: 1329 64th St., Emeryville. Opens in March.

12 Feb 14:00

Facebook now lets you choose who controls your account after you die

by Jacob Kastrenakes
Russian Sledges

I think this might be a good thing?

Facebook is putting its users in control of what happens to their accounts after they die. Starting today, users in the US will be able to chose to have their accounts deleted after death or grant another person on Facebook permission to manage an account on their behalf. Facebook calls this person an account's "legacy contact," and users will be able to choose that person through the website's or app's security page.

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15 Feb 17:45

Boston Could Record More Snow In One Month Than Chicago's Ever Had In A Winter

Russian Sledges

via firehose

Snow and dangerously high winds roared across parts of New England in the dark of night to face an army of road crews and emergency workers Sunday, who had readied themselves for the fourth winter onslaught in less than a month. The odds favored the ominous weather.
13 Feb 14:20

Glitch playing cards

by Cory Doctorow
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Glitch aesthetic meets sleight of hand -- or games of chance. Rather good glitch-aesthetic and varied across each card. ($14) Read the rest

13 Feb 19:24

It's no hoot: Oregon city to post signs about attacking owl - SFGate

by overbey
Russian Sledges

via overbey ("I’m imagining this quote coming from Leslie Knope.")

"It's just making people aware that there's an owl there that for whatever reason swoops down and goes after people's hats," he said.
12 Feb 23:08

sixpenceee:Flower petals cause the appearance of blood stains on...

Russian Sledges

via carnibore


Flower petals cause the appearance of blood stains on the grave of opera singer Jane Margyl in Batignolles cemetery in Paris.

13 Feb 14:50

MBTA piercer

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

MBTA piercer

13 Feb 03:52

Note wars erupt in Somerville

by adamg
Russian Sledges

via suburban koala

AWC reports finding both this note at a parking space in Somerville, a city where, unlike Boston, space savers are theoretically never allowed.

There was, of course a response to the note - shown below. Even now, we can imagine the note writers in their kitchens, furiously writing additional notes on the sides of old paper grocery bags.

12 Feb 06:16

Tens of Thousands of San Francisco Commuters Possibly Exposed to Measles

by Gabrielle Bluestone
Russian Sledges

guess where I am

A San Francisco resident infected with measles traveled to and from work on the BART train for three days—possibly exposing tens of thousands of people, according to reports.


10 Feb 21:37


Russian Sledges

via firehose

popular shared this story from Textiles - CHRISTOPHER PAYNE.

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11 Feb 16:52

Control room of reactor #4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant....

Russian Sledges

via carnibore

Control room of reactor #4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Ukraine, April 26, 1986