thingsmagazine: Nashville, Tennessee, Lee Friedlander


Nashville, Tennessee, Lee Friedlander


Jurgen (6)

jurgen thumbRequirements of Bread and Butter

humanscalecities: El menguante espacio de libertad que dejamos…


El menguante espacio de libertad que dejamos a niños/as

How children lost the right to roam in four generations + The Case for Free-Range Parenting


scribe4haxan:The Impaled Queen ~ by Deharme…


The Impaled Queen ~ by Deharme…


weputachipinit: I for one am glad I can now extend…


I for one am glad I can now extend toothbrushing by an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Thanks, Kolibree!

Something brilliantly odd about “track forgotten teeth”

“Kolibree…has Bluetooth connectivity and packs an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope to keep track of its orientation within your mouth.” Plus, it provides rich feedback on a “mobile dashboard” accessible from your smartphone. 


Air Bridge (8)

innes thumbSurely to God I'd had enough of life behind bars.

Andy Serkis

gollumHe's demonstrated the artistic legitimacy of mocap.

fairy-wren: Red Billed Fire Finch


Red Billed Fire Finch


kiameku: Vija Celmins Reverse Galaxy 2010


Vija Celmins
Reverse Galaxy


The Sunday Series: Sunday April 19, 2015

Sunday April 19, 2015

The only holiday I like is Record Store Day.  Like "Read a Book" day, it is the one holiday where you can surrender your passion to a common cause - which is to keep the local record store open in your neighborhood.  If you don't have a record store in your neighborhood, then that means you live in a place that has no importance whatsoever.  People are fed many ways.  I think most people would consider a 7/11 or Trader Joe's as an essential business to live nearby.  I, on the other hand, would prefer a record store than a shop full of food.  You eat, but then what?  Music has a lasting presence in one's life, and therefore I feel it is much important than a good meat department.

There are those who complain loudly about the negative aspects of Record Store Day, which is hysterical, because there are none.   To stand in line in hopes of getting that specific piece of vinyl that is being released that very day is part of the pleasure as well as the disappointments in not obtaining the sacred item you're in line for.  One wonders while standing there, if there is a possibility of not getting that specific record.  Of course it is, because perhaps the store forgot to order that product, or due to its limited edition status, so there were not enough copies to go around. So yes, I was disappointed when I didn't get the Serge Gainsbourg collection of his soundtrack work - but it was a sense of failure with a great deal of anticipation and adventure attached to it.

I must say it was a shock to me that I found four copies of the "Charlie Feathers" 10" album of his King recordings in the bin.  Originally issued on 7" 45rpm and 78rpm format. This collection is a must if one has even the slightest interest in rockabilly music.  The guitar work of Jerry Huffman is like a series of switchblade cuts on one's body.  When I put the needle on this record, I hear human misery.  So yes, music to me is like putting a mirror in front of my face - it has to represent the inner and deeper feelings in my soul.  Food just keeps me going till the next meal, but music like Feathers, keeps me fed on a spiritual/sexual plane that can't be denied.  Rockabilly music is all fucking, violent death, cheap liquor, and desires being mis-placed at the wrong place and time.  Satan's favorite music.  And one is dying just to taste the bottle that Satan had his diseased mouth over. After playing these four songs, I feel like spitting the blood out of my mouth.

On the same trip to the record store, I found another great 10" album by Chris Barber and his jazz band.  The album is called "Jazz Sacred and Secular."  Barber is a British trombone player, and is one of the key players in the Soho London music scene of the 1950s.  He was famous for having Lonnie Donegan in his band, who later became the figurehead that in a certain fashion, started the British Invasion in the early 1960s.  Shuffle genius and architect to the do-it-yourself type of music, he made a major presence on a lot of British musicians.   The beauty of this recording is that it is like listening to a well-received long distance call.  Although from the UK, it reached out to New Orleans.   Chris Barber actually spent time in New Orleans, and that one visit had a profound effect on his whole life.  This 10" disk is a combination tribute to Duke Ellington as well as the New Orleans life.  The mood is happy, but of course, it has traces of deep sadness.  Music unlike food serves on different levels. If you taste food and it's too bitter or sweet, one may choose to spit it out.  Music, on the other hand, is a texture that one craves for - due to its emotional responses within the grooves of the record.   Barber's version of "Black and Tan Fantasie" is originally from Harlem, but here it is placed in Soho, London.   Even the British spelling of Fantasy gives this recording a sense of being placed out of the storefront window, looking in, and just absorbing the goods in the store although you're outside.   The sense of location changes, but nevertheless they are real places - and each place has a vision or a history.   Even if it is made-up, it is still real, because what you're hearing is a place that is imagined or desired for.

A bad day is a world without a turntable and a good pair of headphones.  I live in a very dangerous world - although it is in my imagination, I have the music to back-up that landscape of desire.




Radium Age: Context (42)

bennie railplane1929 "Bennie Railplane" advertisement

arjunpanday: Beach. Dubai, 2014


Beach. Dubai, 2014


fairy-wren: Violet Sabrewing


Violet Sabrewing







The Fourth Man (1)

raft thumbFour men occupied the raft. Three of them were white.

Miklos Rozsa

RozsaConducts-HiLoHis early Hollywood music was darker than we recall.

Guilty pleasures?

At the FT, Jenny Linford on the "new milk chocolate" movement (FT site registration required - NB I am very happy with the old milk chocolate too):
Danish chocolate maker Mikkel Friis-Holm of Friis-Holm produces two “dark milk” bars, one at 55 per cent cocoa solids, the other at 65 per cent. Having experimented with different beans and fermentation periods, Friis-Holm settled on a “full-bodied and tasty” cocoa from Nicaragua. What he wants from his dark milk bars, he says, is to move through creamy and caramel notes but “importantly to end up with cacao flavours”. This way, milk chocolate is no longer the “stepchild” of plain. “At first people bought it as if they had bought a naughty magazine,” laughs Friis-Holm. “They would hide it under the dark bars!”

scribe4haxan:Paul Rumsey…


Paul Rumsey…


10 Best Adventures of 1945

lewis thumbFrom Stuart Little and Animal Farm to That Hideous Strength.

ageofdestruction: the sun, photographed by sdo, 15th april…


the sun, photographed by sdo, 15th april 2015.

19 images over 5 hours. images inverted and colour palette applied in post.

image credit: nasa/sdo, aia/eve/hmi. animation: ageofdestruction.


glitchferal: Millumin – Screen 1 2015-04-06 at


Millumin - Screen 1 2015-04-06 at


thecultureengine: house for a cellist, CUT Architectures


house for a cellist, CUT Architectures


smithsonianlibraries: “Hello Fish? This is Bird…”Isn’t the…


“Hello Fish? This is Bird…”

Isn’t the future amazing?


Tosh Berman at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Rare Bird, my publisher, was kind enough to invite me to sign  my book "Sparks-Tastic" at the Los Angeles  Times Festival of Books this coming Saturday April 18 at 10:30 AM.   Early, yes, but also the best time to visit the book festival before it gets too sunny and hot. 



olivia_smChris Rossi's Meadowland to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival

littlelimpstiff14u2: Preview: Leilani…


Preview: Leilani Bustamante’s “Haunt” at Modern Eden Gallery

March 14th marks the third solo show for San Francisco based surrealist Leilani Bustamante (covered here) at Modern Eden Gallery, “Haunt”. Her work often voices themes of mortality exploring elements of death, rebirth, and beauty. Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ supernatural story “The King in the Yellow”, her show offers newly haunting, romanticized scenes that follow an abstract narrative. In the story, characters such as artists and decadents are followed by an ominous entity known as “The Yellow King” which induces fear and slowly leads to the unraveling of their self identity. They are further plagued by the theme, “Have you found the Yellow Sign?”, an eerie symbol of nonhuman origin and purpose that is never fully explained.

Bustamante offers her own iterations in macabre paintings like “The Yellow Sign” and “Cassilda”, one of Chambers’ leading heroines. The King is portrayed as a shrouded being decorated in bones, playing to her ongoing exploration of surface appearances, versus what lies underneath. Although we see them here in moments in time, Bustamante summarizes the story’s terror in osteological motifs of decay and growth, as well as stylistically. Her use of metallics and Art Deco-graphic elements, for example, mirror Chambers’ setting of an imagined 1920s in the future. “The Yellow King” was once considered a forbidden work that, like its characters, could induce madness in the reader. “Haunt” captures this same fascination of the unknown, while finding the beauty in fear and despair.




Stuffed (6): Potato Chips and Democracy

chip thumbWhat does its chip/crisp flavor range tell us about a country?

Charlie Chaplin

chaplinAuteur of the unforgettable fork-dance of dinner rolls.

asking for what you want, getting what you want

banned books week poster before and after

This has been a heady National Library Week for many librarians I know and me in particular. There’s been a lot of online agita and, unlike the way these things usually go, some things wound up changing for the better. Here’s a list. Apologies if I link too much to facebooky stuff.

  1. Someone mentioned that they found Demco’s “Spanish” spine label a bit troublesome since it had a sombrero and a set of maracas (Mexican, not Spanish, and still stereotypical at that) and misspelled español (without the tilde). A few people complained to Demco. Demco listened, agreed, removed the items from their online store. Not all of their multicultural labels are perfect, but it was nice to be heard.
  2. ALA’s Banned Books Week poster which was put in the ALA Store this week got a lot of pushback. Does the woman look like she is wearing a niqab? What’s the poster trying to communicate? Andromeda spells out well what some of the issues with the poster are. People wrote to ALA. ALA listened. Took a while to respond. Came back with a few posts from the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom
    1. Statement on the 2015 Banned Books Week Poster
    2. How Do We Design a Banned Books Campaign
    3. Response Concerning the 2015 Banned Books Week

    I particularly found some of the crosstalk interesting about whether objecting to a marketing poster was in the same family as objecting to something being in the library collection. I know we can be a mouthy contentious bunch, but given that, some of this discussion seemed to take place on new ground and it was curious to me how much my years in the MetaFilter trenches has helped me manage these sorts of discussions.

  3. Daredevil is a great show on Netflix about a blind superhero which did not have any descriptive audio which many found ironic. People complained. The Accessible Netflix Project started a petition. Netflix fixed it.
  4. After my last post about SpaceX, I decided to expand it into an article for Medium which I did with some nice photos and a lot of linking. A few days later, Flickr actually added an option for users to have public domain and CC0 licenses on their photos. This is, to me, a HUGELY great outcome. I wrote another short article about this.
  5. On a more personal note, Jason Goldman wrote a post on Medium to talk about how he was going to become the new White House Chief Digital Officer. I left a comment on that article talking about how part of getting people involved in civic engagement is helping them to trust the online world (i.e. doing the opposite of everything has done). This comment got a nod in Goldman’s next article now that he’s taken office. I am very very pleased about this.

Bonus link the #journalofneutrallibrarianship hashtag is a pretty good time if you like Twitter. And I wrote a nerdy article about research and Wikipedia that I think you might enjoy if you haven’t seen me blabbing about it all over the place for the past few days.

How to lie with Wikipedia


“It’s 100% a love story. The best love stories are the ones where they don’t end up together. We very…”

“It’s 100% a love story. The best love stories are the ones where they don’t end up together. We very deliberately tried to make it like a love story. She has girl, she loses girl, she tries to win girl back. Just trying to make it feel like it was existing within the tropes of a romantic love story, then letting the reins go. It’s sad. That’s my favorite feeling in movies, that ache.”

- Greta Gerwig, on Frances/Sophie’s relationship (via violentwavesofemotion)

The Semiotics of Semioticians

rowland thumbSemiotician, analyze thine own signifiers.

Code-X (59)

Joutsen outerwear (Finnish)Nordic Brooding




bowiesongs: Laurie Anderson, “Self Portrait Into the Edge of a…


Laurie Anderson, “Self Portrait Into the Edge of a Mirror,” 1975.


HNTBW covers: Italy and Brazil

The first foreign editions of How Not To Be Wrong are coming out!  Italy is first, this week:

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 14 Apr  11.00.AM


And after that, Brazil in June:



helmutnewtonphoto:1963 Francoise Hardy.


1963 Francoise Hardy.


Radium Age: Context (41)

Darracq-Poster1905 Darracq automobile advertising poster!

“Andrew Thomas’s life insurer knows exactly when he arrives at his local gym. The company is notified…”

Andrew Thomas’s life insurer knows exactly when he arrives at his local gym. The company is notified when he swipes his membership card, and 30 minutes later, it checks that he is still there, tracking his location through his smartphone.

The insurance company has a vested interest in keeping Mr. Thomas alive and well. In return for sharing his exercise habits, his cholesterol level and other medical information, Mr. Thomas, a 51-year-old medical publisher who lives in Johannesburg, earns points, which translate into premium savings and other perks. By staying in good shape, it is less likely that Discovery, his insurer, will have to pay out his life and disability policies.

- Giving Out Private Data for Discount in Insurance -

Daniel Clowes

clowesInventive, smart, funny, poignant, brilliantly weird.

Spain’s hologram protest: Thousands join virtual march in…

Spain’s hologram protest: Thousands join virtual march in Madrid against new gag law - Europe - World - The Independent

Late last year the Spanish government passed a law that set extreme fines for protesters convening outside of government buildings. In response to the controversial Citizen Safety Law, which will take effect on July 1, Spanish activists have staged the world’s first ever virtual political demonstration. After months of massive flesh-and-blood protests against the so-called ‘gag law’, thousands of holograms last night marched in front of the Spanish parliament in Madrid. Organised by the group Holograms for Freedom, ghost-like figures holding placards took aim at the imminent draconian measures, arguing that holographic people are now afforded greater freedoms than their real-life counterparts.

the-two-germanys: Give Me Convenience or Give Me…


Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
Promotional postcard
San Francisco: Alternative Tentacles, 1987.

kill, kill, kill the poor


I am a beautiful wreck

I am a beautiful wreck


scribe4haxan: Moloch ~ by John Singer Sargent…


Moloch ~ by John Singer Sargent…


haruchonns:人魚姫画:池田浩彰The Little Mermaidillustration:Hiroaki Ikeda



The Little Mermaid
illustration:Hiroaki Ikeda


Nella Larsen

NellaLarsen3An unwilling agent of social subversion.

György Lukács

Lukács-comisario-alimentos-hungría--outlawsdiary02tormuoftA beautifully conflicted Marxist intellectual.

prostheticknowledge: Pinhole CinemaProject from Fuwari Lab is a…


Pinhole Cinema

Project from Fuwari Lab is a cardboard headset with tiny holes that project an alternative viewpoint inside it:

Workshop to make a pinhole cinema that can be enjoyed by wearing the head. To make your own movie theater in a box of size that can be mounted on the head … Images are projected therein, enters from a small hole drilled in the box …

More (in Japanese) here


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