jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Sometime last week I came across a passing link, probably somewhere in the Lawyers, Guns & Money comments, to All Birds Are Cats. I started off somewhat baffled, but by the end of the two-minute clip I couldn't stop giggling. "Well, look, if you're not prepared to do the research, Bryan, why make the statement in the first place?"

It seems that John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have made a career for the last thirty years of doing these little two-minute satirical interview sketches, one a week, for Australian television. Some of them are downright brilliant, for example, The Front Fell Off (I have not laughed so hard in ages). Many rely on a grasp of Australian politics that I just don't have, but are still delightful to watch.

Sadly John Clarke died early in April, while 'bushwalking' and birdwatching. On the bright side there's an awful lot of Clarke & Dawe on their Youtube channel, and more to come.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
A Tribute to Carrie Fisher: I grew up on Star Wars: the original was one of the first movies we had on VHS and got watched over and over again, Jedi was one of the first movies I saw in the theatre. And I still hadn't realised how much of an impact it'd had on me until I got unexpectedly sniffly at this video. Gonna have to look up Wishful Drinking and The Princess Diaries, I think.

Frodo Didn't Fail: "Again and again in The Lord of the Rings, we see that strategically pursuing the greater good fails, while remaining true to moral principles succeeds even when it looked foolish."

Love in the Time of Cryptography: "Having your friends and community testifying to your love beats all the selfies in the world."

The Ballad of Maui Hair: "Friend 1: I'm going in for surgery on the 18th. Friend 2: Oh, dear-- Maui Hair: I didn't see the hospital in Maui. *thunderstruck silence* Friend 3: Of course you didn't. Bless your heart."

So A Nazi Walks Into An Iron Bar: the Meyer Lansky Story: "I'm picturing a lot of newsboy caps and comments like 'no no not like that, my bubbe (ofblessedmemory) punches better than that, you grip the brass knuckles like this.'"

Also, hey, it's been awhile since I checked in with my 101 in 1001 list. I've not been ignoring it, just not talking much about it.

101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Will Moore RIP. The comments are insightful, particularly CassandraLeo's, particularly when paired with Five Lies Depression Told Me.

I don't know. At this point I feel confident in saying that I was depressed by summer 2012. That I was probably depressed by September 2011, and likely October 2010, and back and back and back with a little less certainty at each milestone. That being laid off eased up certain pressures but not others, and that after six months, being off work had done about as much good as it was going to. That I remained depressed up through last summer and on into the start of fall.

Still, I'm reluctant to identify as "depressed." I guess maybe I am, if frequent suicidal ideation and sporadic self-harm are anything to go by. I don't know. I feel pretty okay these days, but then oxytocin is a hell of a drug. Ask me in a month.

Too, I'm reluctant to try antidepressants for several reasons. In no particular order:

One, I am not the most reliable observer of my own mental state, and would prefer not to lock myself into something that maybe works with unpleasant side effects.

Two, finding a doctor in this town is a fool's errand.

Three, I would much prefer to sort out the external stressors in my life and see what's left after that.

Four, I've tried drugs once. I was on Prozac for a little over two years, from the end of high school through the first two years of university. It clipped the highs and lows of my emotional state, which I guess was a tradeoff I was happy to make at the time, and also sharply limited any pleasure I took from sex. Not the drive, mind you, just the physical pleasure.

This was under the direction of a terrible, terrible counselor chosen by my parents, at a time when their worry was "clearly there's something wrong with our son, he's not keeping up with his schoolwork." (A caricature, but not, I think, a wholly unfair one.) It's possible that that whole experience has made me averse to the idea of being depressed.

I don't know what the point of this post is, either, other than leaving a record where I can find it later. At about this time, Tucker began to consider that maybe he was clinically depressed and had been for well over a decade.

jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Advice on how to play a gig, by Thelonious Monk: two pages of handwritten notes from Monk. "Don't play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music's just imagined."

I Stopped Trying To Be Quiet During Sex & Here's What Happened: "I often forget to take care of myself, and to give myself the kindness I'd give to someone else."

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship: "Maybe I looked like some nerdy gigolo or this elegant woman's attentive secretary. If we made no sense from the outside, it didn't matter. We were mostly looking at each other."

Snakisms: variations on the old game Snake, each inspired by various philosophical 'ism's (stoicism, asceticism, existentialism, etc). Hilarious.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
Cripes, how has it been nearly twenty years since Clinton Calls For National Week Off To Get National Shit Together: "'I am certain,' Clinton told the American people during the radio address, 'that you, too, have a great deal of shit piling up. Now more than ever, we, as a nation and a people, need this time off to finally deal with all the shit we've let slide.'"

Because we could use one of those right now, i tel yu whut.


Nov. 4th, 2016 06:45 am
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Whee, been a week. Among other excitement: Taranis's wifi card has decided that intermittent faults are the hip new accessory, so I broke down and got an old new laptop. Same model as the one I experimented with last spring. Still not entirely convinced of the need for a new machine but a) I'll need one in the next couple of years for certain, and b) Macbook design is getting worse all the time. (Latest models removed the extraneous Eject/Power button. This wouldn't matter except that now I have nothing to map a proper Delete to, and I require both Backspace and Delete.)

ETA: The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin: "She had been mildly cheered up, she added, by following a Twitter feed with the hashtag #BundyEroticFanFic."

Litany, by Billy Collins. There are poems like "After the Pyre" that leave me ripped open and bleeding, and I understand why. Then there's this one. I don't understand in the slightest what it is that it does to me. (I also don't expect it to do that to anyone else; like Among Others, whatever it is feels too intensely personal to possibly affect the rest of the world.)

The Arches of The Little Prince: "Can you build an arch from a pole to the equator? Can you build an arch from the north pole to the south pole?" Which is all fascinating, but the thing that really caught me is the simple and obvious realisation that you can model arches upside-down with hanging chains.

Hipsterism and Cultural Appropriation: "So to make explicit what lies implicit: when hipsters 'ironically' don clothing associated with working class people, when hipsters 'ironically' profess tastes for products associated with working class people, they are communicating 'we all know I couldn't possibly actually like this, because we all know that this is unworthy and beneath us.'"

The Yale Record Does Not Endorse Hillary Clinton: "Because of unambiguous tax law, we do not encourage you to support the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history, nor do we encourage all citizens to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all by electing Secretary Clinton on November 8."

Also, it's been ages since I paid any attention to my 101 in 1001 list.

101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
Today's xkcd is succint and, as far as I know, accurate.

It links through to an *actual* flowchart, more detailed but still ending up in the same place. Poking around that site brought me to Realities, which I'm mostly pointing out because it includes my favorite word so far this week, "meteorwrong."

That site also links to an explanation for "Did you see it fall? Then no", which is neat.

Here endeth the cool pop-sci for the morning.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I miss The Toast already.

(Me? I'm better than last week, but still not good.)

When You Smile: On Humor and the Heart: "If I can make you laugh, maybe you won't laugh at me."

What makes a city great? New data backs up long-held beliefs: "In a new (yet to be peer-reviewed) study on arXiv.org, researchers report that the completely plausible tenets of good city living laid out in the famous 1961 tome of urban planning, The Death and Life of the Great American City [ed: Of Great American Cities] by Jane Jacobs, do have some credibility in today's data-hungry world." EAT IT, ROBERT FUCKING MOSES.

Speaking of whom, The Dutch Prime Minister Is a Big Fan of Robert Caro: "We were bound for Randalls Island, where Moses based the Triborough Bridge Authority and built an office for himself... because people had to work hard to reach him, and because they had to pay a toll to his agency."

The Devil Signed Onto Twitter.

The Pitch Meeting for Animaniacs: "Animaniacs isn't 'for' kids, you see. It is the anarchic soul of the child. Sensory overload, constant change, sibling rivalry, new adventure. Life happens in a disjointed series of images, until they're locked away at night by an authority whose motives remain opaque."

This is why I'm learning to play viola.

Blockchain Company's Smart Contracts Were Dumb: "Any vulnerabilities in the DAO's code were not flaws in the code; they were flaws in the descriptions -- which were purely for entertainment purposes. The DAO's websites failed to explain to investors that the code allowed a hacker to take $60 million by using a 'recursive splitting function.' But the recursive splitting function itself is part of the DAO's code, and therefore part of the DAO." Fascinating stuff.

Soil Conservation: A Southern History: "Above is Providence Canyon, Georgia. This is one of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders. It is also completely created by erosion from cotton growing."

A guy just transcribed 30 years of for-rent ads. Here’s what it taught us about housing prices: "6.6 percent. That’s the amount the rent has gone up every year, on average, since 1956. ... 6.6 percent is 2.5 percentage points faster than inflation, which doesn’t seem like a lot but when you do it for 60 years in a row it means housing prices quadruple compared to everything else you have to buy."
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Woke up last Saturday morning with the telltale soreness of sinus drain at the back of my throat. I didn't have any other symptoms, though: no headache or stuffy head, no spaciness, some tiredness but not much. Mostly just the sore throat.

The bone-weariness kicked in further on Sunday, and I ended up staying home on Monday. I could have gone in, I guess. Mostly I didn't want to deal with the hour of transit to get there and back again.

I was more or less fine by Tuesday. [personal profile] uilos has picked up something of her own; if it's the same thing I had then it's hitting her a lot worse.

Stupid spring sick.

Every NYT Millennial Trend Story: "Millennials--the demographic group also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, and Daesh--have found it difficult to balance dueling priorities as they exit their parents' basements and enter the real world." (I am told this is even more hilarious with the browser extension that replaces "Millennials" with "Serpent People.")

Masculinity Is an Anxiety Disorder: Breaking Down the Nerd Box: "Man, from my perspective, is not an identity so much as a Long Con, and masculinity is a concatenation of anxiety–founded posturings."

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle: "In 1996, an amateur archaeologist found a single upper arm bone sticking out of the steep riverbank—- the first clue that the Tollense Valley, about 120 kilometers north of Berlin, concealed a gruesome secret."

'I'm not the Obamacare kid anymore': "He was the chubby 11-year-old African-American boy who stood next to President Barack Obama as he signed Obamacare into law at a White House ceremony on March 23, 2010.... As supporters prepare to mark the sixth anniversary of Obamacare's signing, Marcelas is marking another rite of passage -- as a transgender teen."

An interview with Gail Ann Dorsey about Bowie: "He completely, single-handedly altered the course of my life."

Smart Car turned into a snowcar: "Yeah, it's just a thought that came to me and it seemed like the right thing to do."
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Going out of town tonight: Jeff K-- had a spare ticket for BGG.con, and I had four days of vacation that I have to take before the end of the year or else they vanish into the ether. (There are things about my job that I am not fond of, and its vacation policies are high on the list.)

So, have some links.

Pinboard on the Next Economy Conference: Maciej Cegłowski, who I hadn't realised until yesterday is also the author of The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel, livetweets the O'Reilly Next Economy Conference. "We’re moving from a world of widespread unemployment to one where people have three, four or even five jobs. #prosperity"

Ernest Shackelton Loves Me, "a musical about the inspirational romantic connection between a down-on-her-luck electric violinist and the legendary turn-of-the-century polar explorer."

David Mitchell on Earthsea: "Ged's story is told with the calm authority of an age-old Icelandic saga, yet stitched here and there with passages of pure beauty for its own sake." This article is everything I love about A Wizard of Earthsea, and also why that love is fundamentally different from how I feel about books by, say, Tolkien, or Mike Ford, or most recently Ann Leckie's Ancillary books.

Mitchell has (also?) written an introduction to, o my, a beautiful new edition of A Wizard of Earthsea. Based on the samples, the illustrations by David Lupton are exactly perfect.
jazzfish: Two guys with signs: THE END IS NIGH. . . time for tea. (time for tea)
The True Story of Kudzu, the Vine That Never Truly Ate the South: "Kudzu has appeared larger than life because it’s most aggressive when planted along road cuts and railroad embankments-- habitats that became front and center in the age of the automobile."

I'm Getting Really Tired of My Mysterious Flaky Friend: "Mostly, she was just a really good listener, always asking questions and wanting to know more about you -- where did you grow up? What are your parents like? Did they get each other anniversary gifts? Did they use a top-tier security system or own dogs? Stuff like that." This may well be the best thing I have read on the Toast.

Tattúínárdǿla saga: If Star Wars Were an Icelandic Saga: "Meanwhile Lúkr shipwrecks on an island in the Faroes called Dagóba (the name is of unknown origin but probably Celtic) where he meets and is trained by the great warrior Jóði, who was a companion of Víga-Óbívan in his youth; Jóði continues to incite Lúkr to kill Veiðari, but his remarks are confusing in the text as preserved and are probably much damaged by later redactors – the word order is considerably jumbled and many of his comments reflect anachronistic Christian sentiments." Oh man, this is GREAT. (via [personal profile] vass)

Elopement in Situ: "More than anything, I think, we were introverts who didn't want a fuss made; our devotion to one another did not need a public demonstration to be real." THIS. I met Jonathan and Jennifer at Farthing Party, and wish they lived close enough that our paths would cross more often.

The Most Metal Deaths in Middle-earth, Ranked: "Gandalf died after he, 'Threw down my enemy... and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin,' which is the most metal line in the entire trilogy, and possibly all of English literature."

The Sea of Crises: an article on sumo, an attempted coup, and being lost in yourself in Tokyo. Long but worth reading.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
An oldie but goodie: Deep Time Made Simple: "A Biblically Correct 6,000-year geological column drawing on the work of the Rt. Hon Archbishop Ussher." Too many choices for a pull-quote; I'll settle for "48 B.C.: All of Gaul is divided into three parts as Corsica collides with the European Plate." Although AD 1654 and 1754 are exceedingly hilarious as well.

Trash Food: "[T]he wealthy elite in this country are not starving. When they changed their eating habits, they didn't change their view of people. They just upgraded crawfish and catfish."

What Part of 'No, Totally' Don't You Understand?: "Until the end of the sixteenth century or thereabouts, English had a tidier solution to this problem: we had two words for 'no,' which we used in distinct ways." Linguistics is fascinating stuff.

Happy 100th Birthday, Orson Welles, in which a teenaged Welles walks into a theatre in Dublin and, with no professional experience whatsoever, gets cast in several plays.

Shut Up And Dance (movie dance compilation): a fantastic eighties song from 2014, set against the greatest film dance scenes of the last, what, thirty? years, plus some classics. I don't dance and this still gets me bopping in my seat.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Ice Balls: "That Saturday morning I saw our CEO glowing with ego and it occurred to me that maybe testosterone wasn’t that cute of a look. Maybe the estrogen my body makes naturally was what kept me from doing dumb shit like paying 50 people for 3 hours of San Francisco minimum wage so that someone would look at my wedding album."

David Bowie Writing New Musical Based on The Man Who Fell to Earth: "Inspired by the novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, Lazarus features a host of new Bowie songs, as well as new arrangements of previously recorded tunes."

The curious case of the disappearing Polish S: "This is a story of how four incidental ingredients spanning decades (if not centuries) came together to cause the most curious of bugs."

The Mystery of Lê From Hop Sing Laundromat: "Later, I would reach out and talk to Lê's friends, his regulars, some of his former employees. I'd ask each of them the same question: What do you know about this guy? And, invariably, the answer would be the same: Nothing."

Making Sense Of Maple Syrup: notable for a) a change in the syrup grading system, which makes me sad because now the uninformed will no longer buy "grade A"/"#1" thinking it's superior to grade B/#2 and leave the good stuff for me, and b) "Grade B is part of a popular cleanse with cayenne pepper and now we ship all of our Grade B to California because of that." *sigh*

Do not mess with the animal kingdom:

Angry badger shuts down luxury Stockholm hotel, forces police to intervene: "It remains unclear why the badger was angry."

Rogue owl caught after year-long reign of terror in Dutch town: "In one of the many assaults, two members of a local athletics clubs were attacked last month, with one runner requiring stitches for six head wounds caused by the nocturnal bird of prey's talons."

Squirrel blamed for car engine stuffed with nuts: "Evans says the driver recognized the nuts."
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict: "CW: So, you made your own opium den? MARTIN: That's exactly what we did." Once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. (Via a commenter at Lawyers, Guns & Money. There are four sites I know of where the conventional wisdom of Never Read The Comments does not apply: LG&M, Crooked Timber, The Toast, and Making Light.)

A New Physics Theory of Life: "You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant." Fascinating stuff.

Reinventing the Potato: "Consider what happened to apples: By the 1980s, Americans were so fed up with the dominant and inaptly named Red Delicious that all kinds of tastier varieties soared in popularity.... The potato's champions want to bring this same kind of diversity to the humble spud."

How a crazy scientist duped America into believing vitamin C cures colds: "Over the next few years, [Linus] Pauling upped his intake of vitamin C, eventually taking 18,000 mg per day. Vitamin C became his scientific obsession."

Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter: "Round about then, we wondered, if it's not a joke, how should we now refer to Kirby Delauter if we can't use his name (Kirby Delauter)?" (Note the first letter of each paragraph. Someone had a lot of fun with this.)
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
ABOUT fourteen years ago I fell into a career path of software testing and tech writing. I'm good at both those things and they paid well (better than minimum wage, anyhow), so I kept doing them.

It took me a long time to realise that being good at something that pays well doesn't automatically translate into enjoying it.

long, historical, and of limited interest )

I'VE BEEN out of work for coming on four months now. I've spent the time trying to figure out who I am when there's nothing I have to do.

I still have very little idea.

long, introspective, and of limited interest )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Walter Jon Williams on the recent US torture revelations: "So we need to consider whether we are a rogue nation, unaccountable to any law of God or man." No we (you? we. alas) don't. The answer is obvious. The object of power is power, and the object of torture is torture.

On a lighter note...

Famous Author Bios: "Ernest is a writer and a man. He's writing this while eating a rare steak and parasailing."

This Old Man: a mostly-enjoyable, partly-stabbingly-sad exploration of what it's like to be ninety.

Restoring the American Chestnut: "Now here’s the deal: researchers from SUNY-ESF (that’s an environmental science college) have worked for 25 years to develop a true, non-hybrid blight-resistant American chestnut tree... and as of this month, November 2014, they’ve declared success."

My Article On Doing Something I Wouldn’t Normally Do For A Period of Time: "In conclusion: Doing Things I Would Normally Do is existentially horrible, whereas Doing Something I Wouldn't Normally Do For A Period Of Time has brought me great insight into What It Is All About These Days Anyway."

Patented harpoon pins down whale age: "The century-old harpoon fragment was found in May by an Eskimo whaling crew.... The metal projectile can be traced back to an 1879 patent and a narrow window of time in which it was likely to have been fired, indicating that this whale was between 115-130 years old when it died."

A Complete History of the Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris: "I am the man who arranges the blocks..."

And because I will still read anything about Robert Moses, Horrible Human Being: 'The Power Broker,' 40 Years Later. Apparently Caro has just finished work on an annotated edition. Hmm.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Quit The Day Job: "I've quit my job to be a writer at least four times." I love this so much.

Of the Genders there are sixe: "Ben Jonson, circa 1617, trying to bend English grammar on the anvil of Latin."

Because I will read anything even tangentially related to the terrible things Robert Moses did to New York and to American cities in general, 'The Power Broker' Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece: "Caro is 78 years old. Gottlieb, who has edited every one of Caro’s books, is 83. 'He’s always saying, "Actuarially, you have to hurry up and finish this." It's a great remark!' Caro said."

How To Open a Wine Bottle With a Feather: a bit of worldbuilding that's mentioned a few times in the Dragaera books and that I always assumed involved sorcery or witchcraft. Awesome.

Trigger Warning: Life With PTSD: "It took years, and several diagnoses, to land on PTSD. My psychiatrist and I agreed that it was obvious in retrospect, but retrospect took decades to find."

Giant fish cannon shoots 40 salmon per minute, is actually saving the environment: "This isn’t the first time a massive cannon or vacuum has been used with salmon."

F.D.C. Willard, "Occupation: Rodentia Predation Consultant/Physicist." More details: "Dr. Hetherington did not relish revising and retyping the whole text, so, instead, he simply added a co-author: his Siamese cat Chester (sired by Willard). And for legitimacy, he tacked on two more initials, FD (from Felix domesticus) to create 'FDC Willard.'"

Why No One Used Camouflage Until WWI: "One cubist, Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scevola, was put in charge of a whole new department of the French Army devoted to camouflaging buildings, planes, cannons, trucks and installations. He described his task very succinctly: 'In order to deform totally the aspect of an object, I had to employ the means that cubists use to represent it.'"

Nimona. A (complete) comic / graphic novel about a self-appointed sidekick and her villain (kind of). Funny, clever, tense, occasionally sniffly. Worth reading. Out in dead-tree-form in May 2015.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
James Nicoll ([livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll) writes really good book reviews. If you throw money at him he will write more of them.

I Am More Than OK With Not "Having It All": there is so much in this column that is exactly what I believe, from 'pick a dog [or other critter] that fits with how you expect your life to be for the next N years' to "I couldn't imagine inflicting childhood on my own child" to "even if I did miss out on the greatest love you can possibly know as a human being, I was actually just fine with the amount I already had." SO VERY MUCH THIS.

This Is Katie F-​-​-ing Ledecky: A Thesis About Kicking Ass: "This summer, wearing slow swimsuits, and without really being in major-competition shape, she broke every world record in her discipline, long-distance freestyle, over the course of a month and a half. Then she was like, ha! just kidding, so she broke a couple of them again."

The otherworldly and utterly Portland Ursula K. Le Guin: "We have to operate within capitalism, because at this point it's all there is. But if our minds aren’t controlled by it, if we think like free people, writers will figure out how to do our job: To write, get our writing to our readers, and maybe make a living from it."

The Purpose of Kata, which reminds me of nothing so much as the story of the journalist and Pau Casals. The journalist asked, "You're seventy years old and you've been playing the cello all your life, why do you still practice six, eight, ten hours a day?" and Casals answered, "Because I think I'm finally starting to get good at it."

For London's Cabbies, Job Entails World's Hardest Geography Test: a fantastic article on the Knowledge, the London cab drivers' exam and "a real-time, street-level test of memorization skills so intense that it physically alters the brains of those who pass it."

And finally, two essays that, separately and together, are making me rethink the whole idea of what I'm even doing with myself these days:

Avoidance. Oh, and getting out of it. This is perhaps the most useful thing I have read in a very long time. "You're avoiding the thing that’s holding all your dreams? Good grief! Of course you are! That symbolic weight? It's that much potential for hurt and disappointment."

Breaking The Low Mood Cycle, in which it is revealed that the point of breaking the low mood cycle is not to Do Things (though that is a likely side effect), it's to Break The Low Mood Cycle and feel better about being you.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Specimens: "[E]mployees discovered vials labeled 'variola,' commonly known as smallpox, in an unused portion of a storage room in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory located on the NIH Bethesda campus."

Paging Severian cosplayers: Blackest is the new black: Scientists develop a material so dark that you can't see it. "It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss." (Also, insert your own Nigel Tufnel quote here.)

Adding volume markings to your kettle using a 9volt battery, a Q-tip, and vinegar and salt. (where 'kettle' appears to mean 'large metal pot.') Useful.

Breaking Out the Broken English: "The 'Asian accent' tells the story of Chinese-American assimilation in a nutshell. Our parents have the accent that white Americans perceive as the most foreign out of all the possible alternatives, so our choice is to have no accent at all."

These Are the Brave and Fluffy Cats Who Served in World War I: "An estimated 500,000 cats were dispatched to the trenches, where they killed rats and mice."

Every housing ad in Vancouver ever: "Second bedroom is actually a patio, and third bedroom is very small, tiled, and has a toilet and sink in it."

Butter and the Before Time: "Memories of Butter ... is an acceptable name for something only if dairy cows have been obliterated by whichever flavor of apocalypse comes home to roost." The comments are pretty good too: "'Our operative theory was that it was badly mistranslated from French': À la recherche du beurre perdu."
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Meh. Not up for a real post. Have some links and progress, instead.

Velvet Underground star John Cale to showcase new work in London with drones hovering over audience: "The project will see the drones carrying speakers to project the sound, as well as making mechanical noises as they hover over the audience. ... He has rearranged songs from his extensive back catalogue using different tunings to fit the new format."

Turkmenistan hopes 'Door to Hell' will boost tourism: "Our main task is to create an attractive image of Turkmenistan as a tourism destination."

Why people hate art: "[A]ny pseudo-intellectual can translate for a piece of art that says something. It takes an artist or a poet or a real writer to talk about why looking at a given thing is a pleasurable experience. So the artists that dealers selected as fit to get past the critics in order to enter the arena of Contemporary Art, rather predictably, became easier and easier to describe and harder and harder to look at."

101 in 1001 update )


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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