Natural By Nature
Posted on January 2nd, 2011 at 4:18 pm by Steve

…I’m pretty sure ‘Nature’ didn’t collect a bunch of cow juice, stuff it into a steel can, and compress it with nitrous oxide.

Just sayin’.

You’ve Never Heard “Creep” Like This
Posted on July 28th, 2010 at 10:27 pm by Steve

Spotted this track in the background of the trailer for the new movie about Facebook, and had to buy it immediately! It’s a young women’s choir called Scala performing Radiohead’s “Creep.” You want to listen to this, trust me.

A Bare-Knuckled Bucket of Does
Posted on June 4th, 2010 at 2:11 pm by Steve

Lawrence Yang documents the obvious problem with Verizon’s $100 million integrated ad campaign for the Google/Droid phone. He was inspired by Nancy Friedman, who is a delight to read.

(Be sure also to read Nancy’s linked discussion of anthimeria, which is, loosely speaking, when someone verbs a noun.)

(Below: the actual $100 million ad campaign.)

“Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourette’s”
Posted on May 14th, 2010 at 12:11 am by Steve

Lewis Black on the Daily Show absolutely nails it!

Somerville Breakfast Wars Draw Blood
Posted on April 13th, 2010 at 5:29 pm by Steve

If you’re local to Somerville (like some of us are, or were), then you’ve hopefully enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at either or both of Sound Bites and the Ball Square Café. There’s been bad blood between the two ever since Sound Bites expanded to the building next door, and the owners of the old space rented it to their son, who convinced the old Sound Bites chef to stay behind. The Somerville News’s blog picks up the story:

Police were called to Broadway today as a crowd scuffled and tried to separate the owners of SoundBites and Ball Square Cafe. It wasn’t the first time police were called to mediate Ball Square owner Mike Moccia and Yasser Mirza, of Sound Bites, but it may have been the most intense episode yet with witnesses reporting punches thrown and blood drawn.

Tim Anderson Bubbles Up in the New York Times!
Posted on March 26th, 2010 at 5:17 pm by Steve

Friend of the blog Tim Anderson bubbles up in a New York Times article about Kombucha (a drink many NII bloggers were enjoying back in the mid-90’s thanks to Shwilly B!):

Kombucha’s popularity has also attracted home brewers. Tim Anderson, founder of a 3D printer technology company, moved from Boston to Berkeley, Calif., with his “mother” — passed on to him from a friend who got it, as the story goes, from gypsies in Russia.

Mr. Anderson, an advocate for all things do-it-yourself, made step-by-step kombucha brewing instructions complete with videos for (one of over 200 tutorials he has made on everything from tire sandals to wheelchair shopping carts). Nearly 60,000 people have viewed the kombucha guide to-date, according to the site’s page-view statistics.

“I’m surprised people would pay to get this stuff,” Mr. Anderson said. “The kind you can buy tastes vinegary and dry, whereas the one you can make yourself is so incredibly delicious.”

Mr. Anderson has given kombucha culture to dozens of friends and strangers. Recently he put out a call to get some back after he neglected his brew and let the fermented patty dry out. “You can’t go around saying you killed your mother,” he said. “It freaks people out.”

Nothing Sucks Like a Hoover!
Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:23 am by Steve

J. Edgar Hoover, that is! Via BoingBoing, I came across The Kisseloff Collection, which is author Jeff Kisseloff’s collection of photos and stories stretching back through the 1920’s. Some of the photos are gorgeous, some are disturbing, and some are just weird:

Jeff writes about working with Alger Hiss in the early 1970’s, and in the process going through more than 40,000 pages of FBI files. He recalls many of the nasty, anti-Semitic writings he found in Hoover’s personal collection, and fires off this bon mot about the FBI director:

he had his agents compile lists of left-wingers to be picked up and placed in detention camps in the event of a national emergency. If he compiled lists of right-wingers it was only for dinner invitations.


Twitter Logo == Headless Wheelchair User
Posted on February 11th, 2010 at 10:46 pm by Steve

As the kids say over at The Daily What, cannot be unseen!

(h/t: b&p via The Daily What.)

“Brockman, to the Ants Submits”
Posted on January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am by Steve

What did people daydream about before popular culture? History? Religion? Geneology? Was I suffering from some sort of condition exacerbated by the internet culture of link and remix?

Author James Lileks explores how his own brain works. He travels associatively from Camptown Races to Foghorn Leghorn to Lou Grant to Singin’ in the Rain to Twitter to the Simpsons, and concludes, “I, for one, welcome the day when people no longer say ‘I, for one’.”

Read it and laugh and smile and shake your head.

“We are born alone, we die alone, and we use the Internet alone”
Posted on January 26th, 2010 at 1:08 am by Steve

Christine Smallwood, writing at the Baffler blog, examines the question, “What Does the Internet Look Like?” It’s a long way from the question to the answer, and the journey is well worth it.

After noting that many visions of the Internet rely on images of connectedness, she explores the essentially solitary nature of the Internet search:

We are born alone, we die alone, and we use the Internet alone. You may gather round the screen with friends to watch a video clip (turning the Internet into a television), or hang out while you play music on Pandora (turning the Internet into a radio), or post to your blog, or “comment” on someone else’s blog (turning the Internet into a roundtable, or a bathroom wall, depending). But these are subsidiary Internet uses. The essence of the Internet, the thing it does that nothing else can do, its Internet-ness, is the search. Comedian Dave Chappelle captured this with the skit “If the Internet Were a Real Place,” in which he loitered in a seedy mall like a modern Odysseus, ransacking CD stores, ducking into curtained rooms to indulge various temptations, and running away from spammers. Wandering around the Internet, the thing we are always searching for is the door—the exit ramp off the superhighway, the way home. But it’s hard to find. How do you know when you’re done doing nothing?

Please, read the whole thing.

(h/t to Dr. Hoo for noting that Thomas Frank is one again producing The Baffler in print!)

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