4.30.2012

Une Femme Goes to Paris...

and does some "window-licking" (the French phrase for window shopping, and much more descriptive). Here are some of my favorites, but you can see them all here.

Ladurée. Yum, macarons...

Mustard-- I didn't know mustard jars could be so pretty.

A tribute to Alexander Calder. In chocolate.

That frilled parasol looks straight out of Gigi!


Thanks, Une Femme, for the vicarious thrills!


4.29.2012

Richard Thompson. Nice job.

(found via Monkey See)

4.28.2012

Wow, they made traffic and overcast skies look pretty.



4.27.2012

Teddy Roosevelt was a badass.

TR riding a moose, 1900. (source)
From TR's Wikipedia entry:
While Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank shot him, but the bullet lodged in his chest only after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and passing through a thick (50 pages) single-folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt, as an experienced hunter and anatomist, correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not completely penetrated the chest wall to his lung, and so declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt. He spoke for 90 minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." Afterwards, probes and x-ray showed that the bullet had traversed three inches (76 mm) of tissue and lodged in Roosevelt's chest muscle but did not penetrate the pleura, and it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in place. Roosevelt carried it with him for the rest of his life.
TR was the youngest president in history, coming to the office at the age of 42 after the assassination of President McKinley.

He was the first president to win a Nobel Prize.

Roosevelt appointed Oliver Wendell Holmes to the Supreme Court.

He invented the term "muckraker".



4.25.2012

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population but one quarter of the world's prisoners.  1 in every 100 adult Americans is locked up. We incarcerate more people than China. (source: New York Times)

Debtors' prisons make an American comeback.

The Criminalization of Bad Mothers.

The militarization of the U.S. police.

While funding for public schools is drastically cut, police departments are receiving large grants to stockpile high-tech combat gear. Des Moines, Iowa, now has two $180,000 bomb robots.  Fargo, North Dakota and its county received $8 million, even though it's one of the safest areas in the country. This despite the fact that the crime rate has been dropping since the 1990s. (source: ProPublica and The Center for Investigative Reporting)

Nonviolent protestors exercising their First Amendment rights are confronted by military vehicles, pepper spray, tear gas, sonic weapons and rubber bullets. (source: The Guardian)

source: Think Progress


Somehow I don't think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

4.24.2012

You Have Been Warned

R Crumb, zap comix #1, 1967

4.23.2012

Random interests

Currently reading:



I'm enjoying it, especially the part about the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Basically, it's the physiological counterpart of our (at times) overzealous super-ego. It keeps us from knocking someone down on the sidewalk and taking their gorgeous boots, but it can also keep us creatively blocked when doing its job too well.

image from here.


Steven Poole of The Guardian has another view. You can read his snarky review here. I agree with him that Lehrer's book has a little too much emphasis on corporate creativity as the ultimate goal, but this is the U.S.A. in 2012, after all. (Go read about Monoculture if this kind of thing interests you.)

Here's the link for Jonah Lehrer's website.


Brian Greene and the multiverse:

video


Found this recipe at Pinterest and made it last night. Really, really good. Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese. Recipe at A Couple Cooks.


Source: acouplecooks.com via LB on Pinterest

4.17.2012

John Waters

Writing in the Wall Street Journal:

 "When I young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you're a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin' down Mastercard. But there's no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I'm mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that. Get a look!"


John Waters' Christmas card photo, found via WhoOrange.

4.16.2012

A Season in Hell

A powerful essay by Mark Dery about the experience of illness (specifically cancer in his case), and not for the faint of heart. Skip the essay and go right to the Flogging Molly song if you scare easily.

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.11
 I remember feeling like we were living like everyone else, struggling at times, trying to raise our kids well, trying to find meaning and have fun. And suddenly, literally overnight, we found ourselves alone in a dark alley, with a new language to learn (that included words like metastasized and cytotoxic and bevacizumab), completely dependent on utter strangers for survival.

Hospitals aren’t like prisons; they are prisons. True, they’re kinder, gentler ones, whose inmates are usually desperate to be admitted, but even the most grateful patient realizes, at some point, that hospitalization is just a more benign incarceration: the lookalike cell and inevitable cellmate; the swill-bucket food; the patient’s powerlessness in the face of the lowliest flunky; his Kafkaesque uncertainty about when and at whose whim he will be transferred from one hospital to another, or sent to the O.R., or discharged to walk the streets as a free man.
 Here's the link to the full essay.

And now for some world-weary fightin music, Flogging Molly's "Rebels of the Sacred Heart":

4.13.2012

Henri. Paw de deux.

via my pal Zuzu.

 Part One of Henri Le Chat is posted on right side bar under Inspired.

4.12.2012

Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals

My favorite is the scenario with the capuchin monkeys at the end, though it's all fascinating.

4.08.2012

Happy Zombie Easter

Source: boingboing.net via LB on Pinterest

Zombie Bunnies and Undead Easter Eggs.

4.06.2012

Spring weekend

"None of us is okay and all of us are fine. It's not just one way. We are walking, talking paradoxes." Pema Chodron


Agatha Christie loved to surf.
"Oh, it was heaven!" she wrote in her memoirs. "Nothing like it. Nothing like that rushing through the water at what seemed to you a speed of about two hundred miles an hour; all the way in from the far distant raft, until you arrived, gently slowing down, on the beach, and foundered among the soft flowing waves."
And the Museum of British Surfing has opened in Devon. Some surfers used coffin lids as surfboards.

1919 photo ©Museum of British Surfing

Tom Waits, singing "Young at Heart":