Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday link-dump

Accidental free-time this afternoon! Let's get some recent infuriators out of the tab-heap! (with apologies for how old some of these are...)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I think he didn't like them

Wow, this boing boing product review is a brilliantly artistic reaming of a terrible product (LED "candles"), which the author felt required somber background music and deep, grievious disappointment.
tiny candle in the darknessTo call these candles at all is an insult to every pig that died to yield the tallow fat that lit the literary and creative endeavors of mankind up until the electric era.
Worth a listen. I have yet to find any lamp-like LED product that didn't make me feel this way; there are some tragically appealing but useless stone garden lights in my furnace closet as prime examples...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today's Twitter funny...

It doesn't TAKE all kinds. We just HAVE all kinds.
(via Medley)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I love heritage tomatoes

But really, reading Why Supermarket Tomatoes Suck makes me want to skip tomatoes altogether from October through May...(sob)
It is more profitable for them and their large fast food and supermarket customers to handle and sell tomatoes that are harvested in two or three passes when they are green, indestructibly hard, and impeccably smooth skinned and have a couple of weeks of shelf life ahead of them. Taste does not enter the equation. "No consumer tastes a tomato in the grocery store before buying it. I have not lost one sale due to taste," one grower said. "People just want something red to put in their salad."
Ack! Gotta get a garden plot up and running!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not always what you imagine

Here are some misconceptions about introverts that resonate with me -- that's right, nay-sayers, I am a person who dances, jokes, and makes small-talk, but actually recharges while in woods, reading, or by myself. Yes, high-school interviewer, the answer is "introvert" -- thanks for not waiting for an answer! Anyway, it's useful to see these laid out...

(via kottke)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday baby-blogging: Summer frolics edition

Finally some new kid pictures, yay!

Speck and Brian make toddler fake smiles for their moms
Ran into an old gym class pal at the playground...

Much watery frolic ensued (complete with cute ball-sharing and hops)...

Speck sits in Dad's lap while clicking to save a baby dolphin!
This one looks innocuous, but the thing here is that Speck is driving --
she's a regular master of the mouse as of the last couple of weeks!

Rip van Sullivan startles to life

Andrew Sullivan notices that the Republican Party has left him (and rationality) behind:
On these terms, today's GOP could not be less conservative. I'd insist it's less conservative than Obama. It does not present reality-based reform for emergent problems. It simply reiterates dogma and ruthlessly polices dissent or debate.
new elephantI don't know what it will take to undermine the ascendancy of the Tea Partiers and other frothy right-wingers, but I hope that some sanity can return before they drive our country to financial ruin and the loss of any moral authority that our national ideals once gave us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No really, we were trying to find him too!

Apparently Pakistan is rounding up the informants who helped the CIA locate bin Laden, and their fate is unknown. But these guys are our friends, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Link dump: Cheerful edition

  • Ever wonder where your tax dollars go? Enter a few numbers and find out using this spiffy White House form.

  • Vitamin Poppers May Make Less Healthful Choices -- got my healths all covered now!

  • (In)(di)visibility -- a fascinating exploration of differences in how we treat people relative to "failings" that they can be "blamed for" (e.g., weight) versus those they "can't help" (e.g., autism) and what it says about those doing the judging.
    But for most of us, achieving the state expected of us wouldn’t just be a matter of trying, it would be the equivalent of earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics while simultaneously working swing shift as a police officer and raising triplets as a single parent — and we’d never get to stop. Maybe someone can actually do this, but expecting it to be a routine occurrence is, frankly, an expectation not supported by existing evidence.
  • When Did You Know Your Gender? -- another of those questions (like "when did you choose to be straight?") that make you rethink your assumptions/privilege.

  • How Teens Understand Privacy -- as a much more subtle and multifaceted matter than we tend to give them credit for!

  • Lost in Translation -- the experience of taking on something new, mastering it (you think), gaining humility, and learning some more... Funny and insightful.

  • Top Ten Myths About the Brain
Amusements and cheer:
Just plain awesome:

An amazing collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma and dancer Lil Buck -- Ma just keeps on pushing the boundary of where people think a classical cello should go. This is lovely and joyous.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poem of the day

You, as you are, you're just right.
Your parents, your children, your daughter-in-law, your grandchildren,
they are, all for you, just right.

Happiness, unhappiness, joy and even sorrow,
for you, they are just right.

The life that you tread is neither good nor bad.
For you, it is just right.
Whether you go to hell or to the Pure Land,
wherever you go is just right.

Nothing to boast about, nothing to feel bad about,
nothing above, nothing below.

Even the day and month that you die,
even they are just right.
- fragment of a Shin Buddhist poem in Taitetsu Unno's book,
River of Fire, River of Water
(via whiskey river)

Where tribute ends and remake begins...

Madonna in golden bra daysHave been listening to Lady Gaga recently, and I like her stuff very much, but it's impossible to have been a teen in the 1980s and not hear classic/early Madonna in many of her songs (as well as influences from other stars of a similar era). I picked up that the bridge in Born This Way was a hat-tip to Vogue, but I had no idea that the parallels ran this close; give anything 30 years and it's new again, in the right hands at least. More power to her for having learned the right lessons from that previous incarnation -- boppin' pop + continually repackaged outrageousness can make for serious longevity!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Graphical good taste

I tend to an excess of seriousness in picking my wines, but am in no way above appreciation of this categorization of wine labels as an alternative way to make sense of the crowded shelves. Hilarious (and not without truth)!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The air's just fine where *I* am!

I'm pretty much just going to cut and paste from Atrios about the state of our economy and the lassitude (or stupidity) in dealing with it:
The overall May 2011 unemployment rate still hovered around 9% and the rates for African Americans (16.2%) and Latinos (11.9%) were even higher, not to mention the youth unemployment rate (24.2%). But guess what the most relevant rate for those Washington insiders themselves might be?money growing on trees! Probably the rate for individuals over 25 with at least a bachelor's degree.

Now that was a relatively puny 4.5% in May. Which explains why the Village can concentrate on worrying about the deficits.
Deficits, schmeficits. We need to do something to create jobs -- short-term, long-term, make-work, whatever -- before the bottom really falls out of things. When 60% of the unemployed have been out for more than 6 months, you're looking at a huge swath of people just giving up...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Peaceful stimuli for a Friday afternoon

Two bits that are pretty neat:
  • A video montage of images and short clips that make neat visual or intellectual pairings. I don't want to spoil it for you by saying more...
    (via dooce)
  • Similar but different, out-of-phase pendulums make a constantly varying and remarkably beautiful set of patterns. Almost poetic.
Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

When logic and selflessness meet

This is pretty touching: some elderly Japanese former engineers have volunteered to clean up the contaminated nuclear reactor, sparing the futures of the young people who would otherwise do the work. I can hardly begin to respond to this...