FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Alain De Botton: Writer In Residence, Heathrow
08.20.2009
05:15 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
Lending further merit to my sense that the shape of things to come will have “Ballardian” contours, London’s Heathrow Airport has just established Alain De Botton as its first “writer in residence.”  Leaving aside such notions as to how De Botton’s supposed to “reside” in an airport (he’s sleeping in an adjacent Sofitel), the author of The Art of Travel and How Proust Can Change Your Life starts his day like any other writer—at a desk, typing at his laptop.

De Botton’s desk just happens to be, though, in the middle of Terminal 5, and his typing appears in real time on a screen behind him.  What’s he writing about?  De Botton’s book title says it all: A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary.  If you think this smells like a stunt, you’re right.  As Dan Glover, from Heathrow’s PR agency, says,

the campaign sought to stimulate ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
|
08.20.2009
05:15 pm
|
Celebrity Perfumes: Who Wants to Smell Like Carlos Santana or Gene Simmons?
08.20.2009
05:08 pm
Topics:
Tags:


imageDid you know that Carlos Santana has his own perfume? (He’s got two actually, one for women and man’s cologne) Or Kiss? Michael Jackson even had six different kinds! Antonio Banderas, too. Hell, even Alan Cumming has his own perfume! WHO wants to smell like Alan Cumming? It doesn’t make any sense! The Incredible Hulk and Spiderman have their own colognes, not to mention Austin Powers (it’s called “Mojo” and smells like someone pissed on candy). Above is an amusing vintage clip from MTV circa 1996 about some hits and misses in the celebrity scent sweepstakes. Seems that no one wants to smell like Prince and MJ’s scents weren’t that popular either…. and boy did they pick a bad name for Anna Nicole Smith’s fragrance, eh?

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
08.20.2009
05:08 pm
|
Food Of The (Watery) Future: Snorkel Rice
08.20.2009
04:11 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
I usually shoehorn my more dystopian views of the future into one of two possible models: The “Ballardian,” the one of malls, high rises, and airport concourses, and the “Waterworld-ian,” the one of pet sharks, rising sea levels, and one-eyed Dennis Hoppers

Sharks aside, that last model might have just become a bit more endurable now that scientists have unlocked a way to engineer a rice plant that can “elongate rapidly in response to being submerged.”  These plants, as Nature reports, “could also boost the production of rice in Asia and Africa, where up to 40% of crops are subject to flash floods or deep water.”  To watch these amazing plants “snorkel” up and possibly save us all, follow this link to some unembeddable BBC footage.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
|
08.20.2009
04:11 pm
|
Route 36: The World’s First Cocaine Bar
08.20.2009
02:40 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
“Welcome to Route 36, will that be ‘normal’ cocaine or ‘strong’ cocaine with your complimentary bottled water?”  Keeping up with today’s drug theme, what’s being described by The Guardian as the world’s first cocaine bar (first “official,” anyway) is now open for business in Boliva.  With its corrupt officials and “anything goes” atmosphere, Bolivia, it seems, offers such outlaw operations an ideal business climate.  Ideal, though, isn’t perfect:

Since they are an after-hours club and serve cocaine the neighbours tend to complain pretty fast.  So they move all the time.  Maybe if they are lucky they last three months in the same place, but often it is just two weeks.  Route 36 is a movable feast.”

Apologies to Frank Loesser, but I guess this makes Route 36 the oldest established permanent floating coke bar in South America.  But unlike Damon Runyon‘s crew of crap players, what do these guests rely on for amusement?  Why, Jenga, of course.

And much like those towers of falling blocks, attempts to curb Bolivia’s exploding cocaine economy is crumbling fast: President Evo Morales, himself a cocoa grower, is not only fighting for the rights of his fellow growers, he recently booted the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) out of Bolivia.

In The Guardian: The World’s First Cocaine Bar

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
|
08.20.2009
02:40 pm
|
Afghanistan: The Higher Price Of Opium
08.20.2009
01:32 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
As the vote-counting begins today in Afghanistan, I’m reminded that politics, by design, can often assume dimensions that are both abstract and confusing.  I think we can all agree, though, those qualities are completely missing from the accompanying photos and this description of the living conditions in Saba:

Open the door to Islam Beg’s house and the thick opium smoke rushes out into the cold mountain air, like steam from a bathhouse.  It’s just past 8 a.m. and the family of six—including a 1-year-old baby boy—is already curled up at the lip of the opium pipe.  Beg, 65, breathes in and exhales a cloud of smoke.  He passes the pipe to his wife.  She passes it to their daughter.  The daughter blows the opium smoke into the baby’s tiny mouth.  The baby’s eyes roll back into his head.  Their faces are gaunt.  Their hair is matted.  They smell.  In dozens of mountain hamlets in this remote corner of Afghanistan, opium addiction has become so entrenched that whole families—from toddlers to old men—are addicts.  The addiction moves from house to house, infecting entire communities cut off from the rest of the world by glacial streams.  From just one family years ago, at least half the people of Sarab, population 1,850, are now addicts.

image
 
From The Sacramento Bee: Afghanistan—Village of Addicts

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
|
08.20.2009
01:32 pm
|
Eight-year-old boy becomes youngest person in the world to wing-walk
08.20.2009
12:11 pm
Topics:
Tags:

imageTiger - “yes, that is my real name” - Brewer took to the skies on the wing of his grandfather’s biplane at 11am and returned to ground about 25 minutes later.

Speaking afterwards, Tiger said: ‘It was amazing flying on the wing but very windy. I feel brilliant to be the world record holder.’

The London-based youngster is the grandson of Vic Norman, who operates the only formation wing-walking team in the world.

Grandfather Vic said: It was wonderful to fly Tiger, it meant so much to have him on my wing - he was a natural’.

His mother, Zoe, had been very relaxed at what her son wanted to do.

‘My siblings and I have all grown up doing all sorts of weird things and I wouldn’t let him do it if I didn’t think it was perfectly safe,’ she told Sky News Online.

‘He’s with my father and I trust him absolutely.’

As for Tiger himself, he earlier described himself as ‘excited, and a teeny bit nervous - and happy.’

‘I’ve stood on a biplane but I’ve never flown on one,’ he said.


Young Tiger On A High After Record Wing-Walk


(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
08.20.2009
12:11 pm
|
100% of Fish in American Streams Have Mercury Contamination, But Look on the Bright Side…
08.20.2009
02:01 am
Topics:
Tags:

image

 

I like how the AP writer tries valiantly to put a positive spin on this. It may well be that 100% of all fish in America has some level of mercury contamination, but only one fish in four has dangerously high levels.  Dude, we are so screwed…

WASHINGTON (AP) - No fish can escape mercury pollution. That’s the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country.

The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.

But while all fish had traces of contamination, only about a quarter had mercury levels exceeding what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people eating average amounts of fish.

Federal study shows mercury in fish widespread

As seen on Steve Silberman’s Twitter feed

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
08.20.2009
02:01 am
|
Freaky Optical Illusion
08.20.2009
01:53 am
Topics:
Tags:


They’re hollow! Sikhote says, “We produce dogs, cats, wolfs and other animals and people. All items are high quality painted by Russian artist Avakyan and other St-Petersburg full time professional artists. Can be made by porcelain, wooden carvings and gipsum.”


Thanks Winslow Robertson!

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
08.20.2009
01:53 am
|
Danie Mellor: From Rite to Ritual
08.20.2009
01:36 am
Topics:
Tags:

image

From the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory (Australia). This painting, depicting a blending of indigenous and Masonic initiation tropes, just won the museum’s top award. From the site:

Danie Mellor - From Rite to Ritual
Mixed media on paper
h 207 x w 154 cm

From Rite to Ritual explores the encounter between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, or settler cultures. In this case the meeting place is the interior of a continental Freemasonic lodge (a ‘blue’ lodge), and comments on the importance of secret and public ceremony and initiation in both cultures; it speaks of the challenges of settlement, and the differences in spiritual enactment and belief.

Neat! (Also check out this mind-boggling list of the ways in which our daily lives are impacted by the legacy of Freemasonry.)

Posted by Jason Louv
|
08.20.2009
01:36 am
|
Concert Hands: Evil Device Forces You to Play Piano
08.20.2009
12:00 am
Topics:
Tags:


Concert Hands:

The great thing about the Concert Hands is that it enables anyone who has ever dreamed of playing the piano, but just never had the patience to take years of lessons, to now achieve that dream. The Concert Hands has been tested on people from ages 8-80 with incredible results. ‘It?

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
08.20.2009
12:00 am
|
Page 2159 of 2186 ‹ First  < 2157 2158 2159 2160 2161 >  Last ›