Monday, April 27, 2009

We ♥: Math + Wit - Calculators = Fun

Every Monday, artist Craig Damrauer shares one of his witty and jocose equations as part of his series NEW MATH. They are worth following.

Here are some of our favorites:

Friday, April 24, 2009

How'd He Do That?!

How does one stay alive long enough to get this good at something like this? It's incredible. No only does it seem like the bike is an extension of his body, but the tricks he pulls seem as though they'd require such an internalized sense of physics, not to mention a complete lack of good judgment. But, seriously, how does he do these things?! Be sure not to blink around 3:08!

(Oh, and nice song choice!)

The guy's name is Danny MacAskill. It's sort of a relief, because I was thinking of becoming a bike stunt artist person—doing harrowing, mind-blowing tricks and living my life always on the brink of death—but I think Danny has it covered.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lomo Love Boat Party!

Friday, April 24, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lomography Gallery Store
41 W. 8th Street

10% off all day & Happy Hour on the Lomo Love Boat:
Come in from 10:30am to 9pm for 10% off on any non-bundled item!
From 6pm–9pm it’s Happy Hour on the Analogue Deck of the Lomography Love Boat. Grab a delicious drink to raise your sails, and check out the cool tunes spun by DJ Burger Knight to float your boat.

More info HERE.

Snow-Diving for Mice!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Bird's Satellite's Eye View of Earth

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2005

To commemorate the 39th annual Earth Day, NPR has posted some astonishing aerial shots taken by GeoEye satellites. Here are some of our favorites:

Iguazu Falls (the border of Brazil and Argentina)

Niagara Falls


[All GeoEye Satellite Images via AP]

Be sure to check out the rest of the images at the NPR blog.

One more? OK!

The Pearl and Hermes Atoll, 1,230 miles northwest of Honolulu

Happy Earth Day!

The Daily Show Visits Sweden!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Stockholm Syndrome
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paul Rudd & Jason Segel Are Funny

Magnetic Movie

Magnetic Movie from Semiconductor on Vimeo.

"The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?"

More info here:

An Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nepotism: An Interview with Nicole

Over at Dealerscope today, there is a rad interview with Lomography shop manager and YSC contributor Nicole Bogatitus, in which she discusses the analog revival, photography & community, and retail during the recession.
"Film still has warmth and depth to it that digital has not yet been able to duplicate. There are many that are still fiercely loyal to film and will not go digital, as they realize that digital is not a replacement for film but simply an alternative. There's also the spontaneity that shooting with film allows you; with film you don't know what result you are going to get until you get your film back. It seems there is a whole generation that has grown up with the completely digital lifestyle and film is something that is entirely new and exciting to them."

Click HERE to read the full interview!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monk Time!

The Monks by the harbor in Hamburg, Germany

The Monks - The Early Years 1964-1965The great crate-digging label Light In The Attic is keeping up an impressive record of reverentially rejuvenating and reissuing somewhat lost or forgotten canonical classics. They recently dusted off Serge Gainsbourg's Lolita-level masterstroke, Histoire De Melody Nelson, to wide acclaim.

Now they're looking to cast their lofted light on proto-punk pioneers and monastic mavericks The Monks, a band of American GI's formed in the mid-60s while stationed in Germany. As Iggy Pop noted, The Monks "may be the only legitimate anti-war rock group to come out of the 60s."

Black Monk TimeIt would take too much room to really do their story justice, but you can catch up on the history here. The two reissues from LITA—a collection of early demos and the remastered classic Black Monk Time—both come with wonderfully thorough liner notes from Kevin Howes. Suffice it to say, lots of folks in the know (The Monks have garnered a devoted cult following since their origins) have argued that these guys laid the groundwork for everything from punk to psych to Krautrock.

Hear and see for yourself...

"Love Came Tumblin' Down" from The Early Years 1964-1965:


Monday, April 13, 2009


Tweenbot Bebe by Kacie KinzerTweenbot Intrepid by Kacie Kinzer

NYU student Kacie Kinzer built some basic, unidirectional robots and set them loose in Washington Square Park to see if people would assist them in getting from one side of the park to the other. In her own words:
"Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."

Kacie's project will continue with future tweenbot models (one of which is seen above), investigating more scenarios in which robots rely on human intervention.

Here's the website:

Photos of the Day: Water Tower

The same sky through different lenses...

water tower | greenpoint, bklyn | lca+ | by nicole

water tower | greenpoint, bklyn | holga | by ben


Click the little easel at the bottom right for full-screen...

View more presentations from D .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Best Thing About Easter

Remember:  Discount Cadbury Eggs Available The Day After Easter!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sound & Vision: Nature's Got Away

Claire Scully
(click to enlarge)

Sound: "Mockingbird Diet" by Karl Blau (from Nature's Got Away)
Vision: "Giant bird and miniature landscape, part of a series of four 56 cm x 38cm paintings inspired by an old collection of natural history books" by Claire Scully

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Obama's Nuanced Explanation of "American Exceptionalism"

How do you think he did?

Now here's a challenge: Imagine George W. Bush's response to the same question? Or McCain's? Or, better yet, Sarah Palin's?!

Don't Eat the Wooly Pig!

These are Mangalitsa pigs:

[photo by Tamas Dezso, via]

Mangalitsas, also referred to as "wooly pigs," are hardy pigs from Hungary. They like to be outside, can survive in mountainous cold, need more living space than other kinds of pigs, and have lately been the subject of many a food column due to their uniquely marbled muscle tissue, which makes them, apparently, good and expensive eatin'.

Don't be fooled! Look!

Wooly Pig
[photo via]

It is a-freaking-dorable! Don't eat it!

Steal This Book (Idea)

With apologies to Abbie Hoffman, I think this may be a novel idea 
(pun intended)

Jimmy Carter has won a second term as president and successfully transitions the US to a green economy, relying mostly on energy generated by wind and solar sources.  This is a boon that seals Democratic domination of politics.  OPEC is put off by losing US dependence on them for oil and teams with the Soviet Union to limit US energy independence.  Together, they develop a weapon called "Ra" (or sun god) to block out the sun and cripple America's energy infrastructure and economy, making the US dependent on dirty fuels once again.  OPEC whacks prices up to $200 a barrel to extort the US.

We need a hero in the story to try to stop this and I think the young Congressman from Tennesee, Al Gore, may be a good candidate for action hero.  I envision the story unfolding in realtime as a Dan Brown/Tom Clancy-type thriller with a green taste to it.  Together with his sidekick/staffer, the down-and-out Dennis Kucinich, he skips out on a G7 Conference in West Germany to kick some gas(s) and save the day.  Still need to work out that part.

What are some tweaks that can be made to this core idea?
From the Idea ClearingHouse

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Things to Read, Drinks to Drink: Kevin Canty's A Stranger in this World, & the Pimm's Cup

Kevin Canty's A Stranger in this World, & the Pimm's Cup

While some drinks are tied to a season (e.g. Mojitos in the summertime, Egg Nog in the Winter), others are inextricably linked to particular events. In the states, one can hardly think of a Mint Julep without thinking of the Kentucky Derby. Similarly, our friends across the pond (and many domestic fans as well) associate the Pimm's Cup with Wimbledon. While this year's championship matches won't begin until June 22, warm spring weather has us making the first Pimm's Cups of the season. Of course, the summer always begs for good reading. In particular, I'm always eager to read short story collections over the summer. What better collection to re-visit than Kevin Canty's A Stranger in this World?, which includes the story "Blue Boy" (which is possibly the best story about an adolescent lifeguard ever)?

First, a quick note about Kevin Canty:
He's written several books, A Stranger in this World being his first. He's got a new collection called Where the Money Went coming out from Nan A. Talese Books in July. If the stories in the new book are anything like Canty's other work, then we're all in for a treat. The pieces found in his debut are a bit bleak, often quite funny, and filled with the kind of stark and straightforward observations that make Richard Ford and Barry Hannah's stories memorable in that line-by-line way. This isn't a happy book—not by a long shot. But it's one that's as necessary, I think, as, say Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and The Stories of Richard Bausch. Also, Canty's brothers are musicians Brendan Canty (Fugazi drummer) and James Canty (guitar, The Make-Up, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists), which is awesome.

A quick note about Pimm's:
Invented in 1823 by James Pimm, an oyster bar owner in London, Pimm's No. 1 recipe is a gin-based alcoholic beverage whose exact recipe is a closely-held secret. Pimm's also produced other recipes, of which only Pimm's No. 6 cup (a vodka-based recipe) and a seasonal Winter Cup are still produced. Pimm's No. 1 is a spicy mixture infused with bright, crisp citrus notes, and though its base spirit is gin, there's no real correlation to heady juniper notes that people typically associate with gin.

And, finally, the Pimm's Cup:
There are several variations of the Pimm's cup, and some are controversial among purists. That said, we're running with a fairly traditional fruit cup recipe, which incorporates fresh fruits and that substitutes the traditional borage garnish with some crisp cucumber (which has become not only an acceptable substitution, but an almost expected one).

1) The Glass: This is a drink you're going to want to build in the glass. Most recipes call for a collins or a zombie glass, but the friendly bartender who first showed me how to make the Pimm's Cup (Thanks, Gaber) likes to use a short hurricane-style glass, in this case a glass made to serve Duvel. Not only does it look nice, but the fluted mouth of the Duvel glass lends itself really well to this spicy, sweet, aromatic cocktail. Of course, there's wiggle room on this point (notice in the video below that New Orlean's master bartender Chris McMillian uses a large Cabernet/Merlot glass). In any case, I like aromatic drinks in wide-mouthed glasses that allow all of those awesome botanicals to jump up and punch you in the nose.

2) The Liquor: Pimm's is only about 25% alcohol by volume, so don't grimace at the amount of booze here—pour 4 oz. of Pimm's into your glass.

3) The Mixer: I'm of the school that says that fresh ingredients are always better than the stuff that comes from a can or a soda gun. That said, you're going to want to squeeze 1 oz. of fresh lemon juice into your glass and combine that with about .75 oz of simple syrup and a splash of soda water. Chris McMillian goes with a straight ounce of simple syrup, but I like the tartness of the lemon to come through, which is why I'm running with a bit less simple syrup and that splash of soda, to essentially make an ounce of tart lemonade in the glass with your Pimm's.

4) The Fruit: Some like their Pimm's cups with a few simple slices of citrus (lemon, lime, orange) and a spear or wide peel of cucumber, while others like the full-on fruit salad. I fall somewhere in the middle and like a Pimm's Cup that's got a bit of color and variety: a couple of fresh strawberries (halved), 4-6 raspberries and blackberries, even a slice of apple and blueberries are fine by me (though some would really balk at that suggestion). Avoid any wet fruits other than citrus (mango, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, banana, etc) as those flavors would almost certainly skew the bright and spicy lemon and lime hues here. Add your fruit, but be careful not to overdo it. 2 strawberries (halved), 1 wedge each of lime and lemon, 1/2 and orange wheel, and 4-6 berries is a good start.

5) The Ice: Once you've got your Pimm's, lemon, simple syrup and fruit in the glass, go ahead and ice it up to the rim. You'll want to use cracked or cubed, as opposed to crushed ice so as not to water down your drink, and don't be shy with the amount of ice: you want this drink cold.

6) Mix it up: Pour the whole contents into a mixing cup or shaker cup and pour it back into the glass.

7) The Topper: Once you've got your contents back into the Duvel glass, you can adjust the sweetness of the drink with your last mixer. You can run with a lemon-lime soda like Sprite, or err on the dry side with soda water or carbonated mineral water. I like a ratio of about 75% soda water to 25% Sprite, or something closer to a press (50% soda, 50% Sprite). Any more Sprite than that, and it's too sweet for me.

8) The Mint & The Cucumber: Finally, you'll want to garnish with a cucumber wheel, a spear of cucumber, OR a wide length of cucumber peel and a fresh sprig of mint. Pop in your straw and wedge your mint sprig near the base of the straw so that when you dip down for a sip, you get a nice nose-full of mint and cucumber. Watch Chris slap the mint before garnishing and do as he does. It really wakes that mint up.

The Final Product: The finished drink should look more or less like the one above: the color of iced tea, slightly fizzy, packed with tasty garnishes, and oh so cold.

Here's Chris McMillian mixing up a Pimm's Cup at his home base, the Library Bar in the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans:

Creature Feature: The Opossum's Bum Rap

Here is a fun and informative video from Quest, a "multimedia series exploring northern California science, environment and nature." Our good friend Lauren Sommer is one of the producers, and in this segment she visits the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA, to learn about that mangy marsupial, the oft-derided opossum.

According to associate producer Joan Johnson, they get a "bum rap":
The truth is, if you ever get the chance to know one like we did, you'll see they are really sweet creatures. Most of the times that they find themselves in direct conflict with humans, it’s the human's fault. Their habitats are shrinking due to our development plans, which force them to live closer and closer to us. If you leave your pet food outside… well, who doesn't take a free snack when it's offered up? And the poor creatures only live for two to four years, so please folks, give the opossums a break!

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Irony of It All

In our cynical times, irony is overtaking satire.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Interviews 50¢

Have you guys seen this series of interviews featured on Slate? Jovial NPR journalist Alex Chadwick sets up a table at various street fairs, transit stations, and other public spaces across the country and offers 50¢ to passersby willing to candidly chat a bit about themselves. Some of them are really wonderful. Here are some of my favorites...

And I can't leave this one out...

Watch more episodes here.

Everyone has a story.

Dude: Dark Night of the Soul


Thursday, April 2, 2009