Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey Day

Turkey photo via The Gothamist.

The Scientific American explains Thanksgiving.

Whirls and Twirls

Working on another post about the LeWitt exhibit. Here's a video of one of the walls by JackAdam on Vimeo:

Sol Lewitt Wall Drawing #1112 & #1152 from jackadam on Vimeo.

Also, a photo essay of the painting process, and a piece about the process in The Believer.

Embarrassing moment for a Fluxus kids

Beck's grandfather was Al Hansen; he was a fabulous artist who made collages out of Hershey bar wrappers in the shape of Stone Age Venuses, and wrote the primer on Happenings. Al's daughter Bibi lived with him in New York when she was a teenager, at the peak of the Fluxus period. She has hilarious stories to tell, because unlike my parents--who always made sure dinner was on the table and knew when to shop for school clothes--Al was completely oblivious. So Bibi, after being home alone for a few days without food, opened some cans of tomato soup in the kitchen cupboard--and they turned out to be signed Warhols.

Interview with Hannah Higgins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A $10 Million Pet

Penn State says we can make a woolly mammoth! Now we should just breed it enough to make it small, domestic, and hypoallergenic. (via Gwenda Bond)


Friends of mine have a fireplace: we determined, after some research, that the best place to go is either The Woodman (in Park Slope) or Key Food.

On a related note, Tarzian Housewares happens to carry Swiss Fire gel - if you're planning for fondue. This stuff is difficult to find; Sur La Table carries it sporadically, but multiple employees tell me they sell out the minute they get it in.

My little apartment is fireplaceless, but the fondue maker is very good for toasted marshmallows on cold days. I am hoping to make homemade marshmallows this winter; I will post a recipe as soon as I find one. Hope it's in time for the first snow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Networking books

I want a social networking site for books, please.

Internet Gods, are you listening?

I want to create a profile with my favorite authors, titles, and excerpts. I want to gush about my favorite editions. I want strangers who love Amy Hempel to write on my wall and tell me about one of Hempel's former students who has just published a collection of short stories. I want to know when an author I'm reading is participating in a panel in the city. I want to read reviews and comments from other users and other publications. I want to be able to read excerpts from literary magazines or brand-new novels. I want to read the first two pages so I get excited to rush to the bookstore after a long day at work and a long commute on the crowded subway. I want to be so excited to open that new book that I can't even take the time to take my gloves off. I want to peek at the book in the bag as I walk out of the store - no, I don't even want a bag, I want to carry it so I can open it as I walk.

I will happily list my location and photographs of my bookshelves if this is granted to me. I will happily receive advertisements from publishing houses. I will happily buy a drink at a bar where my new favorite author is reading, and I will pay full price for the hardcover. If it's good, I'll buy multiple copies as gifts.

Facebook will not suffice. I want something more specialized. I want to judge other people by their favorite writers. If authors want to participate, I would be happy to send little messages with flattering notes or constructive criticism, whichever they need more.

I want to make more connections with people on the internet that read. Blogs do not put this content together in a perfect form. Perhaps the social networking world could do better.

Feeling ambitious

(A photo I took of my friend Sarah on our most recent baking day.)

"I don't want no trouble. I just want to make pies. That's all I want to do, make pies."

Thoughts for tonight's baking adventure:
Chocolate Bourbon Truffle-Turtle Tart
Pear Gruyère
Candy Apple Pie
Bailout Pie
Pie Chart

Carrot flowers

They look a lot like asterisks to me. We made some for dinner Monday night and I must say, they punctuated the green beans. If you need instructions, check out Apartment Therapy.

You too can browse the internet

Life Magazine contributes its photo archive to Google.

Kafka's handwriting is about to be released as a font. (via BookNinja)

Chad W. Post of Three Percent linked to BookTrib today. A good find: book reviews and links galore.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sol LeWayfamousnow

The LeWitt exhibit at MASS MoCA made it into CoolHunting. They are so famous now. Internet famous.

Investigating nothing in particular

Binoculars from Paraphernalia. (via My Love For You is a Stampede of Horses)

Philadelphia, land of Ben Franklin's free library, is shutting down 11 libraries in order to save money. (via Silliman's blog)

Slate loves Buster Keaton's "The General."

Eavesdropping on Tom Stoppard. (via Maud Newton)

Some beautifully scanned Russian Avant-Garde books. If you're going to go PDF, this is the way to do it right. (also via Silliman's blog)

Miss college? Audit courses from Oxford for free, via podcast. Or check out Oxford's ten most irritating phrases, to remind yourself what your classmates might say. (also via Maud)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lewis Hyde on Creative Commons

(Image via UMASS.)

From NYTimes.com:
The law of conservation of charge, the eponymous stove, the precise path of the Gulf Stream: Hyde shoves aside each of Franklin’s “discoveries” to uncover thick foundations of pre-existing knowledge and scientific collaboration. The point of all this is not to prove that Franklin wasn’t a genius but to show that his genius didn’t burst out of thin air. “It takes a capacious mind to play host to … others and to find new ways to combine what they have to offer,” Hyde writes, “but not a mind for whom there are no masters, not a ‘unique.’ Quite the opposite — this is a mind willing to be taught, willing to be inhabited, willing to labor in the cultural commons.”


(Image via Slate.)

"Meh" made it into the dictionary.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanksgiving, economy cycle back around

The Gothamist links to a nice collection of photos of New York from the 1930s.

It is a relief that the recession has not made the city revert to existing only in black and white.

Time person of the year

Congratulations, Barack Obama: you are up there with Elizabeth II, Stalin, Churchill, and "The Computer."

They've had some pretty silly people over the years: remember 2006, when the honoree was "you"?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Richard Ford quotation

(Image via SlyOyster.)

"Middle-range literary convention really persuades us that, when we have momentous conversations, there are guns going off in the background and symbols clashing, when in fact we're talking to our realtor in the front seat of a car," Ford observed. (The Australian)


I usually peruse Craigslist for silly missed connection stories and free furniture, but last night I discovered the wonder of Household Items.

From an entry advertising a fondue maker:

Are you lucky enough to have a lactose intolerant spouse? Looking to prove to them that you know very little about him/her? Well, take a queue from my boyfriend and buy them this fondue pot that they'll get absolutely no use out of because cheese will kill them! It's really the perfect gift! I was certainly bowled over by the amount of thought and effort that went into it, and your lactose intolerant spouse will be too!

This Tuesday

On our drive back from Ohio, I read an issue of Tuesday: An Art Project. I happen to have a weakness for postcards in general, but there was something lovely about having a series of postcards printed on fine, thick paper with both poetry and images.

This may be my favorite new little literary magazine. (Indubitably I've professed love for Ninth Letter on this blog before, and you know how I feel about the Kenyon Review.) Tyler Meier recommended these to me, because the outside of the journal folds out to be a poster and the inside is full of things you can mail.

There is something about the presence of a crowd of poems settled into your lap that quietly demands your attention. I highly recommend a back issue for a long drive, if you have one coming up in the next few weeks.

Things to read

1) Jonathan Lethem's review of 2666.

2) The women who took care of Marc Chagall and the way they changed his art. (I'll admit I wish I could look at his art without knowing he left his 19-year-old girlfriend for his best friend, and that he cut his daughter out of his life because of his last wife.)

3) The Golden Notebook. I think I've mentioned our project, but Barack Obama liked it, and perhaps you trust his taste.

Iraq War Ends

I received a copy of this paper on my way to work this morning. Gawker and Blackbook have kindly revealed the source of this Times issue. (But I must admit the whole issue's quite impressive - it's thick, it has ads, the layout and printing are impeccable. The paper is just the right weight, and there are little touches in each corner: it's dated July 4, 2009, and to the left of the title, it says, "All the News We Hope to Print." The man who handed it to me had a very lovely Irish accent and carried a newsbag outside the Bedford stop in Williamsburg. Well planned and well executed, dear Yes Men.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Follow the flu instead of the election.

Google now has a map so you can check out the flu trends in the United States.

Cool map, Google. Unfortunately, I had the flu last week, and I certainly didn't have the chance to Google it - I was busy having the flu. As were many people around New York, and even more in Ohio this weekend.

I suppose it is best if you are feeling miserable and in the mood for company.

Things I am into today:

1) Christine Callahan's photos. (via CoolHunting)

2) Charles Schultz's use of ellipses. (via LitKicks)

3) Doing an apartment entirely in Sharpie Marker. Though I am certain that more than $10 worth of Sharpies went into this project.