October 17, 2009

from condiments to candy

45 Homemade Foods You Can Make Yourself (But Never Thought You Could)

October 23, 2008

The idea of interacting with the world before my eyes through the mediating forces of a machine which disaggregates reality into a sterile digital code and reconstitutes a small and inferior electronic simulacrum of it inches from my face is distasteful to me.

Canon Powershot G9 Review

September 23, 2008

As I started to read it my heart began quaking! By the time I was three quarters down the page I was bawling, wailing, sobbing, even laughing. My feelings were heartshots ricocheting off inner walls, ricocheting off each other, ricocheting off the very boundaries of my own little world. The metaphysical whiplash lasted for days.

The Online Photographer: The Amazing Gift of Woo Lai Wah — this story is utterly amazing.

September 16, 2008

So much of what I hear and see strikes me as unnecessary. We become wrapped up in national and world news while being almost entirely ignorant of, say, what goes on so much closer to home every day, in the soil, the water, among the people who cross our paths.

gargoyle drumming

April 10, 2008

this is really funny

March 5, 2008

beans and carrots on the White House Lawn

Which candidate will pledge to be the Gardening President? Who will be the one to take the lead in teaching food self-sufficiency and good nutrition to the American public? What a fine example it would set if the food miles traveled by presidential produce added up to zero.

Roots Politics: Planting a Seed -

March 3, 2008


We broke the world. Now what?

February 16, 2008

suffering is optional

It’s obvious we are not going to finish with pain in this lifetime. The Buddha said, “Everything dear to us causes pain.”…Those of us who have chosen relational life have made the choice that the pain is worth it.

The Daily Dharma, tricycle: Pain is inevitable

February 6, 2008

modern primitive parenting

You want. You want. You want cookie. You say, ‘Cookie, now. Cookie now.’

Just in time for the baby boom, there’s a new Dr. Spock in town who will have parents 2.0 everywhere speaking Bamm-Bamm to their babies.

October 15, 2007

BLDGBLOG: Greater Los Angeles

BLDGBLOG: Greater Los Angeles

No matter what you do in L.A., your behavior is appropriate for the city. Los Angeles has no assumed correct mode of use. You can have fake breasts and drive a Ford Mustang — or you can grow a beard, weigh 300 pounds, and read Christian science fiction novels. Either way, you’re fine: that’s just how it works. You can watch Cops all day or you can be a porn star or you can be a Caltech physicist. You can listen to Carcass — or you can listen to Pat Robertson. Or both.

That’s how we dooz it.

September 3, 2007

Jessamyn is important

As I get older, there are fewer and fewer situations where I need to suck it up to do anything or accomplish anything. I’ve sort of created my life this way and overall I’m pleased with that. Vermont’s oldest lifeguard

August 17, 2007


Instructions for Disassembly

July 27, 2007

reduce distraction

These tips for keeping distracting people out of your office appeal to the productive misanthrope in me.

You see some trash, pick it up

A lot of people who are down on the river a lot, they know who I am. They’re like, “Hey that’s the trash man.” And people come up to you, and they are like: “That’s so great that you’re picking up trash. How can I get involved?” And I’m like, “You see some trash, pick it up.”

First Person Singular: Ezra Duong-Van, Volunteer with Potomac Riverkeeper -

July 26, 2007

I did a recipe in “Red, White and Greens” for Pasta Poma Sarde al Mare: Pasta With Sardines at Sea. It’s a concept that I love. It means they’re in the sea — and not in the dish, which is vegetarian.

Sometimes the Best Ingredient Is the One That Isn’t There -

October 23, 2006

the iPod on Mt. Everest: a Zen teaching

Van Halen on Everest — If I had been there, your iPod would not have worked because I would have ripped it off your skull and thrown it over the north face and said Wake up! You are alive!

My favorite comment in response to an absurd essay in the Washington Post panning the iPod for failing under extremes of temperature and altitude. Presumably published in service of the chocolate-and-vanilla-swirl school of “objectivity” so popular among poor journalists today.

October 21, 2006


Obake, the ultimate transformers, point up the folly of our human security in the unchanging status of things, and obliterate our proud sense of understanding the structure of the world.

via whiskey river, one of my favorite blogs

September 29, 2006

because this is a mr. rogers fansite

YouTube - Mr Rogers plays video games

September 28, 2006

Cultivating a Dynamic Landscape

When you’re making a garden you’re making art. Art is about one’s own experience, and the one experience that is universal is change, so when I choose a plant for the garden, it has to change.

Paul Babikow’s is never the same garden twice.

the loose informality of a trip to Brewcraft

I answered the phone the other day — and I really was ecstatic about this — I answered the phone and I couldn’t think of what my name was. If I could have totally forgotten about it for a longer than I did, I would have said I’d have made it. I was that close. But it came to me.

Larry Gallagher profiles Griz, proprietor of San Francisco Brewcraft, where you “[can’t] get out the door without having a significant human interaction.”

September 21, 2006

reduce, street use, recycle

Kevin Kelly — Street Use

This site features the ways in which people modify and re-create technology. Herein a collection of personal modifications, folk innovations, street customization, ad hoc alterations, wear-patterns, home-made versions and indigenous ingenuity. In short — stuff as it is actually used, and not how its creators planned on it being used. As William Gibson said, “The street finds its own uses for things.”

I welcome suggestions of links, and contributions from others to include in this compendium.

— KK

Thanks to Rebecca’s Pocket for leading me to Kevin Kelley’s latest project.

September 15, 2006

Tips for a healthy home from Judith Lewis.

September 1, 2006

Everyone is out to help me

Mutual Improvement promises to be “even more ambitious and wild” than its previous incarnation, Radical Mutual-Improvement.

July 30, 2006

salad recipe

Oh..... this was an incredible salad

  • Shaved zucchini
  • lemon zest
  • fresh basil
  • chopped sundried tomato
  • lemon juice
  • flax seed oil
  • hemp seeds
  • pepper and sea salt
  • fig balsamic vinegar

Mix it all around and let it marinate for about 1 hr!!!

From Eating Healthy.

July 28, 2006

traditional parenting

Here is the big idea that is at the core of the book and maybe at the core of our uncertainty as parents today. Liedloff feels that every species, including us, has developed time-proven & highly adaptive methods of raising the young. Our problem, she feels, is that when we became "civilized", and so gave our intellect the upper hand, we have lost touch with how humans raise children in the traditional way. So in only the last 3,000 years, we threw away the experience of millions of years. The one set of theories that we tend not to value are the practices of traditional people.

Robert Paterson discusses Jean Liedloff's In Search of Happiness Lost.

July 18, 2006

how to read a lot of books in a short time

Matt’s Idea Blog: How to read a lot of books in a short time

The most useful technique comes from Jason Womack, and synthesizes nicely the most common ideas. In a nutshell, he says he reads the book four times.

  1. Table of contents, glossary, index.
  2. Anything in bold, titles, and subtitles.
  3. First line of every paragraph.
  4. Entire book

Here’s the twist: Steps 1-3 should only take about 10 minutes.

June 7, 2006

On Kenneth Koch and our world

I am such a dumb modern American, living in my suburb, driving my car to work and back, in a constructed environment that exists mainly to serve the exigencies of human lives as they have manifested in just the past 50 years or so. Much of it is shit. No, shit is too good a word for it. At least shit is real, stinky and animal. These buildings that lack character, these ugly roads, this language debased into commerce, I don't know what to call it that can communicate my distaste for it.

gargoyle drumming: On Kenneth Koch and our world.

like a gentle old cop making a soft arrest

How can you pilot a spacecraft if you can't find your way around your own apartment? It's just like retaking a movie shot until you get it right. And you will begin to feel yourself in a film moving with ease and speed. But don't try for speed at first. Try for relaxed smoothness taking as much time as you need to perform an action. If you drop an object, break and object, spill anything, knock painfully against anything, galvanically clutch an object, pay particular attention to the retake. You may find out why and forestall a repeat performance.

Doing Easy by WIlliam S. Burroughs -

May 5, 2006

exercises for lost souls

Radical Mutual-Improvement: Exercises for Lost Souls

March 28, 2006

Like the sole IT guy at a very busy company

I shuffle aimlessly about my living room (a central location for the missions I am called upon to perform), always within earshot of my family, at the ready to handle any crisis, like Superman hovering over Metropolis waiting for a cry of help.

Washington Post: This Dad Is Rerunning in Circles

March 13, 2006

seize the means of design

I think the DIY phenomenon is simply one of the most important things happening in the world right now, in every field. Design is just one of them. It's affecting how people invest in the stock market, how they get their medical information, how they do just about anything.

Washington Post: Making It on Your Own

January 19, 2006

Sewage overflows threaten London Olympics

Sewage overflows threaten London Olympics:

The Olympics site is close to the biggest sewage overflow pumping station in London. The tideway group warned last November that there was currently a 100% chance of sewage overflows in the area between May and October.

To cope with the problem the tideway group recommended that the government build a £1.7bn "super sewer" under the Thames, stretching 22 miles from Hammersmith to Barking.

But the water regulator Ofwat has urged ministers to look at other options, because building a super sewer would add £45 to the annual water bills of Londoners. A separate study, commissioned by Ofwat, warned that the super sewer would be a risky construction project.

You had me at "super sewer."

December 13, 2005

John Perry Barlow in Tripping

It was obvious to me that all of the separateness I ordinarily perceived was, in fact, an artifact of cultural conditioning, and was indeed less "real" than what I was supposedly hallucinating. At that moment, I knew that I was, for the first time, experiencing things as they are, utterly continuous. There is no discontinuity. There is not one thing and another thing. It is all the same thing, The Holy Thing.

John Perry Barlow's narrative in Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures by Charles Hayes

December 1, 2005

I want cheese

I had a dream where Mr. Squirrel ate a huge cake.
I had a dream where a chicken was washing dishes.
I had a dream about a beach . . . Never mind, it’s a secret!

Statements from the repertoire of a talking doll for sale in Japan, marketed as a "healing partner" for the elderly.

November 26, 2005

How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later

In my writing I got so interested in fakes that I finally came up with the concept of fake fakes. For example, in Disneyland there are fake birds worked by electric motors which emit caws and shrieks as you pass by them. Suppose some night all of us sneaked into the park with real birds and substituted them for the artificial ones. Imagine the horror the Disneyland officials would feel when they discovered the cruel hoax. Real birds! And perhaps someday even real hippos and lions. Consternation. The park being cunningly transmuted from the unreal to the real, by sinister forces. For instance, suppose the Matterhorn turned into a genuine snow-covered mountain? What if the entire place, by a miracle of God's power and wisdom, was changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, into something incorruptible? They would have to close down.

How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later by Philip K. Dick.

November 18, 2005

flickr: get a pro account

flickr ad on Rocketboom today (17 November)

November 17, 2005

guess who's coming to dinner?

Most vegetarians prefer not to have their food or utensils touching meat or other animal-derived foods. This preference is similar in concept to keeping kosher. In practical terms, some individuals who have “kept vegetarian” for years may endure significant intestinal distress if they ingest meat or grease. When you’re cooking for your vegetarian guest, please keep utensils separate (for instance, do not use the same spoon for deglazing the roasting pan and then serving plain steamed vegetables) and do not label a food “vegetarian” if it includes chicken, beef, or veal broth.

This article about hosting a vegetarian guest for Thanksgiving includes recipes and delves into some etiquette and lifestyle concerns that I’ve not seen discussed before.

November 8, 2005

National Podcast Radio

George Hotelling nails exactly what's so great about NPR's most interesting podcast.

August 10, 2005

Blog Depression

a nonist public service pamphlet

what we turn our attention to now, however, is the more insidious, prolonged strain of dissatisfaction which stays with a blogger, right below the surface, throughout a blog’s lifetime. the diligent and self aware blogger can resist this destructive undercurrent, make changes, adapt, rationalize, but for many, untreated, it can cause much needless suffering in the form of full fledged blog depression.

[link via This Woman's Work]

May 5, 2005

raymi rocks

Raymi's blog is among the best. Somehow it reminds me of Lynda Barry (is she working on another book?). Tell me about the others that are as good.

turns out i can play the drums afterall and our band is called the jamaican beef patties and we are amazing and sometimes we wear masks when we play, you know the one from SCREAM, yes, that one. and we only take breaks to watch the dogs hump each other. two big and black and hairy cavemen who can't speak. but then i get bored of playing the same beat over and over again so i try and do something else and i get yelled at 'cos it was finally the "bridge" and i turned into a selfish drum nazi.

April 23, 2005


Among the guilty pleasures I may one day have to account for, I admit to being a regular reader of "Hints From Heloise." But the April 17 column in the Comics section reached a low-water mark. "Mark in Philadelphia" suggested that readers use pencils to fill in crossword puzzles. That way, Mark triumphantly declared, you can erase your answers without messing up the puzzle.

I can accept a certain amount of folksiness, some backwoods simplicity and a fair degree of low-tech common sense from Heloise. But this "hint" is a large step in the direction of devolution of the human species. It's on a par with suggesting that we use spoons rather than forks to eat our soup.

-- Donald Evans

Seen in the Washington Post.

April 10, 2005

man dates

Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie "Friday Night Lights" is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.

New York Times: "The Man Date," by the colorfully named Jennifer 8. Lee. I was surprised this article did not mention the ultimate man date: My Dinner With Andre.

March 30, 2005

unconfirmed rumors

That black vein in shrimp is poo!


March 29, 2005

What in the world is stopping you from doing it?

I really would like to stop working forever--never work again, never do anything like the kind of work I'm doing now--and do nothing but write poetry and have leisure to spend the day outdoors and go to museums and see friends. And I'd like to keep living with someone -- maybe even a man -- and explore relationships that way. And cultivate my perceptions, cultivate the visionary thing in me. Just a literary and quiet city-hermit existence.

Ginsberg in the 50s (a brief excerpt from David Burner's Making Peace with the Sixties).

March 1, 2005

green thumb

The Duchess of Northumberland's controversial poison garden has been officially opened.

February 19, 2005

meditation how-to

How to Do Mindfulness Meditation

February 12, 2005


PostSecret features secrets written on postcards and mailed to the website's proprietor. "I wet the bed well into junior high." "I'm secretly fed up with irony."

February 11, 2005

I feel the same way

Flatpack farrago
There has been much talk about consumer greed in the wake of the Ikea riot, about the depravity of people crushing one another for a £45 sofa. But there is less talk about Ikea's greed, and in particular about the way in which this giant of a corporation manipulates its customer's emotions, sending them into ever more hysterical cycles of rage and frustration.
I've always thought the IKEA shopping experience was built to disorient shoppers. The sharp corners between sectons, broken line of vision and the "light room" at the end of the "path" all seem built to break the concentration of the consumer. I have a good six hours of true IKEA stories, including a destroyed relationship and a run-in with the Staten Island mob.

January 26, 2005

nothing adventurous please

4. The manager for Stryper once prayed for me over the phone. It was so awesome. Definitely one of the most moving interview moments yet. She asked me if it was OK if she just started praying for me, and I was like, Let It Rock. She busted out a passionate, heartfelt plea to the Lord on my behalf, and it was so real and so forceful I actually felt something happen in my heart. Something got warm and light inside me. I had never talked to her about my love life, but she told me, Kate, there is a dark figure standing next to you, smothering your little light and trying to smother you. Dear Lord, protect beautiful Kate and let her light shine into the world. She has an important gift to bring to the world!

Kate Sullivan runs down the love advice she's gotten from rock stars.

Is randomWalks hibernating? Should we delete randomWalks and make flux randomWalks? Should we turn our clothes inside-out? Because the failure of randomWalks is owned by each and all of us. Let's make love to the failure. Help each other rip down our Ministries of the Interior. Read Rilke out loud to each other in the nude. Learn to homebrew. Make giant paper-mache skulls and wear them while stabbing each other in the snowy parks with Nerf Fencing epees. Write collaborative poems again and make newspaper hats. Where's the bridge? Has anyone seen the bridge?

January 1, 2005

dr. love

Listen up, you grain-fed honky dickweeds - not just you, WW, but every fucking honky out there needs to hear this. We're not alive for very long. Have you noticed this, dickcheeses? We do not have all the fucking time in the world to draw up cost-benefit analyses on potential long-term pairings. If you're not swept the fuck away by your lady, move the fuck on. If you're not gritting your teeth and biting the palm of your hand like goddamn Squiggy every time she walks by, get over it. If you're not having the best sex of your life - and this is when you do that, dummies, in your mid-fucking-thirties, this is your big fucking shot at great sex, or at least this is where it starts - if you're not blown away, freaking out, breaking out, thrilled, shivery, talking a lot, sending stupid fucking emails to each other, rolling around, sighing, bragging, buying dumb little gifts - then how do you think you'll feel in a few years when you're fucking old and creaky and you have three little doo-doo factories in residence? You fucking dumbass honky-ass losers.

This is how you find the man/woman of your dreams, stupids: You refuse to waste time on the man/woman of your loneliness-fueled spreadsheets. And if you can't get worked up over anyone... well, Jesus, what is wrong with you? Can you get worked up over anything at all? Here in LA, lots of people wax romantic about movies, but when it comes to their real lives, they're fucking numb and alienated and don't see the raw thrill, the breathtaking drama of every little minute. Blahblahblah boringcakes, motherfuckers! The girl who made you your coffee this morning has beautiful green eyes, and she paints weird portraits of her customers and keeps chocolate and rope stashed in her nightstand and she reads books about gardening and she knows what she wants. You could spend the next two months in bed, honkwinders, getting tied up and eating chocolate and watching old movies in the middle of the night. You could be swooning and sighing and feeling like the world is opening up like a flower. So why are you watching "Survivor" with that guy who bores the shit out of you, and pisses you off, and doesn't give a flying fuck about how you feel, ever, and mostly just wants you to get to the point and stop crying? Why are you heating up canned soup and wondering about the long-term viability of negotiating a reasonably satisfying coexistence with someone 3,000 miles away?

Advice from Heather Havrilesky, via Kate Sullivan.

get cookin'

Why do they call it Hoppin' John?

December 14, 2004


We're in a hot market that has just found mainstream acceptance. If poker can support TV programming on five networks, we know it can support a couple of magazine titles.

A new poker magazine hits the stands Dec. 21, reports USA Today.

December 9, 2004

E-nough Is E-nough

Sloane Crosley has written an essay for the Village Voice: "With bad manners just a 'send' button away, we need some rules. Call it technetiquette." I'll leave the odd coinage of technetiquette aside. (Google actually shows a Michael Finley using the term in 1997.) Instead, I'm happy to focus on her number one complaint: Evite.

Ah, the Starbucks of the Internet. The illusion of choice, made to order. Since I've never known anyone who has wholesomely selected a "Girl's Night In" or "Super Bowl" template (perhaps I simply need new friends), Evite as I know it has always been a bit of a nuisance. The following guidelines might get me dropped from the guest lists of future soirees, but if it means no more clip-art martini glasses, I'll take the risk.


Because Evite is a public forum in a private space, I am still working on reminding myself I don't actually have to read the responses. There's nothing more irritating than a private joke played out among a small segment of the invitees.

Tina: "I'll be there . . . as long as I can touch Bob's pineapple."

Jeff: "Happy birthday man, even though we all know your pineapple has been canned since Atlantic City."

I can take or leave the rest of this article, but it makes me very happy to know that others find Evite as deeply irritating as I do. Sloane even recommends using the Hide Guests ability if people insist on using it! This and her other complaints echo the small rant I have been giving about Evite for a few months now. The phrase "Evite is a public forum in a private space" pretty much cuts to the heart of the problem with the tool. It unnecessarily mixes up private and public spheres and like the worst of the so-called "social software" blurs and solidifies social relationships in awkward ways. Telling a friend you are coming to their party should not be a public performance. Read the entire article.

yeah, fuck titles

During the siege of Richmond, some soldiers who cracked the hardtack open to find it teeming with worms were disgusted and threw the crackers into the bottom of the earthen trenches they occupied. An officer of the day yelled at the men, asking whether they hadn't been told repeatedly not to throw the hardtack into the trenches.

Back came the reply, "We've thrown it out two or three times, sir, but it crawls back."

The Washington Post's Civil War columnist (yes, they have one) makes hardtack. A bad sign: not even her dogs will eat it.

December 6, 2004

i heard it on npr

A new cookbook offers 50 variations on the grilled cheese sandwich and was featured on NPR. The author said cumin smells like "a desert at midnight." Also on NPR: Amos Oz, declaiming in his rumbly voice on Israel, his childhood and why he's a chauvinist for Hebrew.

September 12, 2004

Joel on Software - Work

Joel on Software - Work space quality references This post is a summary of and collection of links to information about the quality of workspace provided to software developers. Perhaps it can be useful to other software developers in a position to influence managers or may someday be in a position to make decisions about workspace design themselves.

August 25, 2004


In a study conducted October 24, 2002, I endeavored to determine the relative popularity in America of the homonymic dog names Bodhi and Bodie -- and that of the deriviative or similar names I found during the course of the study, Bodhisattva, Bodee and Bodi.

July 8, 2004

Cool Tools

Reviewer: Stewart Brand
Subject: Better than Whole Earth Catalog...
...because 1) it's current, 2) it focuses on real tools rather than books, 3) it's completely Web-active.

Compulsive reading, eager shopping for real value, better living as a result. Cool Tools 2003

June 28, 2004

storing beans

Watch Your Garden Grow - Beans

Fresh pole beans and bush beans can be stored, unwashed in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not wash them before storing. Wet beans will develop black spots and decay quickly. Wash beans just before preparation.

Green beans can be frozen, dried or canned. Immature beans retain more color and undergo less texture and flavor loss during freezing. All vegetables must be blanched before freezing. Unblanched vegetables quickly become tough and suffer huge nutrient and color loss. Vegetables naturally contain an active enzyme that causes deterioration of plant cells, even during freezing. Blanching before freezing retards the enzyme activity.

Freezing does not improve the quality of any vegetable. Freezing actually can magnify undesirable characteristics. For instance, woodiness in stalks become more noticeable upon thawing. Select vegetables grown under favorable conditions and prepare for freezing as soon after picking as possible. Vegetables at peak quality for eating will produce best results in the freezer.

June 22, 2004

and then I shut my eyes

The main thing I realised was the unbearable lightness of addiction. The ball and chain had floated off, light as a feather. It was as simple as the flick of a switch. You just put 'No' where 'Yes' used to be.

The Observer | Magazine | Trip of a lifetime — an account of an addict's ibogaine experience. That's about what quitting smoking was like for me.

June 13, 2004

turning trash into soil

If Life Hands You Lemons, Make Compost (

He declares himself still a hippie, but then modifies the description to a "guerrilla capitalist." Like the compost itself, he has mellowed with time. He has, after all, come a long way from difficult beginnings. He dropped out of high school, worked as a racetrack blacksmith and descended into drugs and alcohol. When he picked himself up, sober, he bought a chain saw at a yard sale and went door to door looking for tree work. This later blossomed into a bona fide tree company that continues today, along with the nursery in Olney. He operates under a number of enterprises, including Pogo Organic Tree Products (

June 10, 2004


History of Chipotle. Also,, where I learned that a Wendy's subsidiary owns Baja Fresh. This is making me realize it's been months since I last ate at Chipotle.

June 8, 2004

Greatest. Mayor. Ever.

Bloomberg Seeks to Toughen Code for Noise in City

The legislation contains 45 pages of painstaking detail about sound and its resulting fury, with many areas singled out for enforcement, including these:

Barking dogs would have 5 minutes to cease yapping at night, and 10 minutes during the day. (Currently there is no time limit.)

Roaring air conditioning units, now mostly exempt from noise laws when in clusters, would be subject to stricter standards.

Construction projects would most likely be curtailed on weekends and at night, and the industry would be asked to use equipment to reduce sound, like noise jackets for jackhammers.

Ice cream trucks, accustomed to inching down city streets bleating out-of-tune childhood ditties, would have to lose their soundtracks by 2006, replacing them with the little bells of yore. (Taco trucks would meet the same fate.)

June 1, 2004

countless dejected pregnant women and young children

We recommend that humans, especially pregnant women and young children, limit the amount of cicadas they eat as a result of these preliminary findings. We do not believe that eating a small number of these insects will result in irreparable harm, but mercury exposure may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.

UC Engineering Researchers Find Mercury In Cicadas

May 20, 2004

self-sowing flowers

Flowers That Plant Themselves

Many annuals and perennials drop their seeds after they bloom, then those seeds grow and flower the following season, creating unexpected, intriguing new partnerships with other plants in the garden. These self-seeding flowers are also useful because they sprout up and fill open areas of the landscape that would otherwise be prone to colonization by weeds. And, because self-seeders emerge where conditions suit them best, they perform as well, or better, than painstakingly nurtured plants.

I'm thinking about gardening as a radical political act.

May 19, 2004

digging dandelions

When the whole head has matured, all the florets close up again within the green sheathing bracts that lie beneath, and the bloom returns very much to the appearance it had in the bud. Its shape being then somewhat reminiscent of the snout of a pig, it is termed in some districts 'Swine's Snout.'

The withered, yellow petals are, however soon pushed off in a bunch, as the seeds, crowned with their tufts of hair, mature, and one day, under the influence of sun and wind the 'Swine's Snout' becomes a large gossamer ball, from its silky whiteness a very noticeable feature. It is made up of myriads of plumed seeds or pappus, ready to be blown off when quite ripe by the slightest breeze, and forms the 'clock' of the children, who by blowing at it till all the seeds are released, love to tell themselves the time of day by the number of puffs necessary to disperse every seed.

When all the seeds have flown, the receptacle or disc on which they were placed remains bare, white, speckled and surrounded by merely the drooping remnants of the sheathing bracts, and we can see why the plant received another of its popular names, 'Priest's Crown,' common in the Middle Ages, when a priest's shorn head was a familiar object. Dandelion - Herb Profile and Information

The role that mighty taproot plays is to bring up minerals and other nutrients from various soil layers, making them available first to the dandelion itself, and then to whatever fortunate creature eats it. That's why the Chinese call it the "earth nail."

It supplies hefty amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and iron and also contains, zinc, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and B vitamins.

Dandelions, in Such Good Taste (

Luckily there are people in Durango who celebrate these misunderstood weeds. The Dand-elion Duet, consisting of Katrina Blair and Brian Carter, led a dandelion flute-playing workshop this weekend. Carter showed the crowd of 20 how to find the stoutest stems possible and, with the small scissors on a Swiss army knife, cut little diamond shaped holes along the stem, after cutting off the flower head.

"If it’s flimsy you can only get a couple of holes; if it’s real strong you can get a whole octave."

The Durango Telegraph: Digging dandelions

May 10, 2004

organic farming

"The story in this country is that wealth concentrates," he says. "That's unstable. We need smaller operations, local processors, more evenly spread out capitalism."

Alternet: The Not-So-Sweet Success of Organic Farming.

May 6, 2004

you can't live your life in a bubble

Ethel Cogen stands with her bubble umbrella, which she will use as a sheildI had never experienced such a thing. I thought I was living out a scene from The Birds or something. I got that clear plastic umbrella and carried it with me day and night. People laughed at me, but then they'd say, 'That's a really good idea.'

Cincinnati Enquirer: Umbrellas can help in battle of bugs.

April 24, 2004

experience the old-school games

"The Atari Paddle TV Games controller looks, feels, and plays just like the original Atari paddle. Games featured in the device include: Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Casino, Circus Atari,Demons to Diamonds, Night Driver, Steeplechase, Street Racer, Super Breakout, Warlords, Warlords Arcade, Video Olympics, Arcade Pong and Pong. There will be two types of Atari Paddle TV Games units released this summer: single player and two player. The Atari Paddle TV Games will ship for approximately $20 this summer."

Too bad there's not a four player version. Four player Warlords was the most fun four kids hopped up on pizza and coca-cola taking a break from Dungeons & Dragons should know how to have.

April 22, 2004

bringing earth day home

Bringing Earth Day Home ( "Although it is unlikely many of us will spend the day saving a rain forest or preventing the drift of coal-fired power plant emissions, we can make a positive contribution closer to home." The Washington Post offers 10 "simple" actions to reduce your home's environmental impact. More info is available from the EPA. (It's a great concept, but I'm not sure that number 2, "Eliminate lead-based paint," qualifies as simple.)

April 21, 2004

animals like to get high

FT Reviews: Animals & Psychedelics

If even an ant can tell the difference between being straight and high, in this instance by sucking secretions from the abdomen of a lomechusa beetle, what does this tell us about the consciousness of something like a mandrill, which munches the intensely potent iboga root, then waits up to two hours for the effects to kick in before engaging in territorial battle with another mandrill? Equally fascinating is the fact that many animals appear to use psychedelics recreationally — and that not all individuals of a particular species will indulge, just as some humans are more partial to tripping out than others. One in the eye for the stark behaviourists, it would seem.

April 17, 2004

gardner's almanac

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange April/May 2004: April is so exciting in the garden.

April 7, 2004

weaponizing the ipod

Leif's friend, Alex Payne, said the mugger was lucky Leif wasn't armed with the 40-Gbyte iPod, which is a lot bulkier than the mini.

"Phil's the last guy in the world I'd imagine getting into a fight, but it figures that it would involve a slickly-designed gadget in some way," said Payne.

Weapon of Choice: iPod Mini. This wasn't posted April 1.

March 18, 2004


Whether you make a commitment to eating strictly vegetarian or not, cutting back your dependence on meat is something most people acknowledge they know they should do.

Flexitarians--near-vegetarians who eat some meat--are changing the market for veggie foods and recipes, says this AP article. I knew the girl in the lead of the story in college. Also, I love Mollie Katzen's cookbooks, but where are these "happy" but edible chickens?

March 14, 2004

rocks in the garden

Rocks Can Help Create a Natural, Low-Maintenance Garden (

This is the perfect time to design and place landscape stones. Plants are just breaking out of dormancy, so you can see the bones of the landscape. Early bulbs are just appearing, so you can arrange rocks around them.

February 5, 2004

10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books for Racism and Sexism

10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books
Both in school and out children are exposed to racist and sexist attitudes. These attitudes - expressed over and over in books and other media - gradually distort their perceptions until stereotypes and myths about minorities and women are accepted as reality. It is difficult for a librarian or teacher to convince children to question society's attitudes. But if a child can be shown how to detect racism and sexism in a book, the child can proceed to transfer the perception to wider areas. The following ten guidelines are offered as a starting point in evaluation children's books from this perspective.

all families are and should be about is love, love, love

From Terence Neilan's NYT article, "Gays Have Full Marriage Rights, Massachusetts Court Says":

Asked if Vermont-style civil unions would be sufficient, the opinion stated: "The answer is `No.' "

Referring to legislation being considered by the state Senate, Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall and three other judges of the state's Supreme Judicial Court said, "The bill's absolute prohibition of the word `marriage' by `spouses' who are the same sex is more than semantic.

"The dissimilitude between the terms `civil marriage' and `civil union' is not innocuous; it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status."

The opinion added: "For no rational reason the marriage laws of the Commonwealth discriminate against a defined class; no amount of tinkering with language will eradicate that stain."

It also said: "Barred access to the protections, benefits and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most rewarding and cherished institutions."

February 1, 2004

#1 Dad, in this tiny Virginia burg

Looking for the roots of bluegrass? Think Floyd, says The Washington Post.

Fragments From Floyd.

January 25, 2004


Ms. Farley, now 79, is a proponent of natural childbirth and chairwoman of the board of the Maternity Center Association in Manhattan. Being around hospitals a lot, she was disturbed to see how many people died alone, with no one to nurture them through their final days. In 1998, while at a conference dealing with end-of-life issues, Ms. Farley listened to a talk by Dr. Sherwin Nuland, a professor of surgery and an author. He stressed how important it was for sick people to have companionship to help them accept death, and he used the Yiddish word for funeral, "levaya," which means "to accompany."

The New York Times: Final Days: In Death Watch for Stranger, Becoming a Friend to the End.

January 21, 2004

but it's morning, Daddy, the sun is up

In some parts of the world it is considered dangerous to awaken someone quickly as they may not be able to return to their body safely.

Thanks, but would you try telling that to my three-year-old?

January 14, 2004 Maybe they can sign up Britney as a spokesperson!

Bush is proposing 1.5 billion dollar campaign to promote marriage.
We're told that "under the president's proposal, federal money could be used for specific activities like advertising campaigns to publicize the value of marriage". With that kind of money, he could buy every single spot in the Super Bowl ten times over, or alternatively buy every single ad page in every single Condé Nast magazine for an entire year. If that's what marriage is worth, how much will he spend on babies next year, I wonder?

January 13, 2004

the hours

The Poynter Institute's Chip Scanlan notes that we have 8,760 hours to make the most of this year. (According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the average American spends half of those watching television.) Half of me tries to take Scanlan's advice to heart. The other half says, ah, fuck it.

December 30, 2003

kesey yogurt

Two things I learned from this article: Nancy's Yogurt is run by Ken Kesey's brother and sister-in-law, and Stonyfield Farm is 40% owned by Dannon Yogurt's parent company.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Nancy's Yogurt, organic Oregon dairy hits it big.

December 17, 2003

Emit Time: 2012...A Change in How We Experience Time

MP3 recordings of Daniel Pinchbeck at Palenque Norte 2003, a Burning Man theme camp. Author of Breaking Open the Head: a psychedelic journey into the heart of contemporary shamanism, Pinchbeck said of this talk, "I was very proud of this event ... in a quite intense headspace at the time... think I put a lot of information together, and presented the core of what I am hoping to do in the next book."

December 13, 2003

Betty Does Life On Welfare

Some Welfare and Poverty Myths, because this is my last day of regular internet access and I've got a bug up my ass.

People who are on Welfare have always been on welfare and will always be on welfare

Most families are on Welfare for less than two years. Most of them are middle class women who are going through a divorce.

People who are on welfare or get foodstamps should get off their fucking ass and get a job

In my state, and I think in every other state because of the Welfare reform bills that were passed, welfare recipients must be employed no less than twenty hours a week OR full time students, though increasingly states are cutting even this option and mandating that welfare recipients take dead end (and "poverty loop") jobs instead of getting an education which will enable them to fully support themselves and ultimately pay enough taxes to be fully enfranchised citizens.

and that's not all...

December 12, 2003

But I'll still be disappointed

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is on its way to becoming the most acclaimed film of all time.

December 11, 2003


hello, portland: Where are we going to eat? Is there anywhere left? That's Becca on the left, Jude on the right.

December 10, 2003

remembering Ken Kesey

By the second bottle of wine, Kesey said, "America is hard on writers. I call it the Hemingway complex. Who I am, my persona, stands behind my characters. It's as though I'm holding a mask out in front of me and writing through the mask. Who you get is me behind the mask. You don't get that from Shakespeare, or Mark Twain. I have no idea who Melville was, but Ahab will stalk around in my attic for the rest of my life, and that's how it ought to be." Kesey the messenger had become the message. When Hemingway the hunter became Hemingway the hunted, he slipped a shotgun into his mouth and tripped the trigger with his toe. Kerouac's "Road" ended in his mother's Florida ranch house, Kerouac's magnificent youth bloated, unshaven, angry and sodden.

Sparks fly upwards: Remembering Ken Kesey

December 2, 2003

A confirmed "shroomer"

They had four different varieties. I asked them what the mildest one was and they recommended the Mexicans. Within 15 minutes I started to get this warm, tingly feeling. Within half an hour the market had become this vibrant and colourful place.

The Guardian: High times in magic mushroom business - and it's perfectly legal. Mycology in the U.K.

November 26, 2003

i'm just saying

What's up with Trader Joe's selling (what appears beyond doubt to be) re-branded Amy's frozen pizzas? And then marking the box "sold and distributed exclusively by..."? I've been telling anyone who will listen that I suspect TJ's just rebrands generic packaged foods. I'm sure it's tasty and I'm glad it's cheap -- I just wonder why people who turn their noses up at Sun Glory brand canned corn are thrilled to give Trader Joe's the same .59 for the same can.

November 24, 2003

Meleagris gallopavo

Once slaughtered, the turkeys have to suffer one more indignity before arriving in your grocer's meat case. Because of their monotonous diet, their flesh is so bland that processors inject them with saline solution and vegetable oils, improving "mouthfeel" while at the same time increasing shelf life and adding weight.

The New York Times Op-Ed: About a Turkey. The author wants to persuade you to seek out a turkey which didn't suffer the indignities of a factory farm for your Thanksgiving meal, if only because it may actually taste like turkey. Regardless of your intent, the accompanying graphic alone is worth your click.

November 18, 2003

no more prisons is returning soon

Memo to Arnold: Educate, don't Incarcerate!
"Education is my passion," California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger says, and one of the 10 steps by which he proposes to turn California around is to "send more money to the classroom." At the same time, he is determined to spend less. To reach these goals, he should adopt the mantra, "Educate, don't incarcerate!"

For three years, Governor Davis has met the budget crisis by proposing deep cuts in education and increases in corrections. Spending this year for K-12 education is down by $180 per pupil, and higher education by almost $1 billion; at the same time college students pay 30 percent more in fees. Davis has also cut academic and vocational training for prisoners while increasing guards' salaries. Davis continued building the controversial Delano prison and nearly 1,000 new death row cells.
Any time these outside politicians get elected (and with the Internet, hopefully there will be more of them) there is the potential, however unlikely, for a shake-up.

November 13, 2003

beating a dead state

With Arnold's election, the California v. New York wars ended decisively in the Empire State's favor. Lia, however, will not let our poor burrito eating cousins rest in peace. Did you know Arnold promised "fantastic jobs" for every Californian? I recommend he start with the less ambitious task of developing a thai restaraunt to evhead application layer.

November 6, 2003

the Times

Recently in The New York Times

November 5, 2003

Outkast: 4 more years!

Wes Clark says Outkast is NOT breaking up. (QT movie, via anil)

new york keeps breaking my heart

hello, typepad: Shouldn't Mo Vaughn have been on that last train?

October 25, 2003


Handbook for Acoustic Ecology. Sample entry: "Moozak: Generative noun to apply to all kinds of SCHIZOPHONIC musical drool in public places, often designed to serve as a background to profit. Not to be confused with the brand product Muzak." Then, listen to a sample of Muzak recorded in a shopping mall.

October 24, 2003


The Extreme Slow Walk is a teaching of Pauline Oliveros and a practice of Deep Listening. The walker moves in the slowest possible way — one foot moving through each point, shifting weight almost imperceptibly into the ground, transferring balance from one leg to the other, "knowing always that no matter how slow you are walking you can always go much slower...The purpose of the exercise is to challenge your normal pattern or rhythm of walking so that you can learn to reconnect with very subtle energies in the body as the weight shifts from side to side in an extremely slow walk." (Pauline Oliveros, from her forthcoming book on Deep Listening).
The first annual, worldwide Extreme Slow Soundwalk is Nov. 1.

October 23, 2003

workers of the world, relax

TAKE BACK YOUR TIME DAY IS NOT ANTI-WORK. Useful and creative work is essential to happiness. But American life has gotten way out of balance. Producing and consuming more have become the single-minded obsession of the American economy, while other values -- strong families and communities, good health and a clean environment, active citizenship and social justice, time for nature and the soul -- are increasingly neglected.
Tomorrow is National Take Back Your Time Day. I'd play if I hadn't already taken Monday off. Perhaps I'll weasel out early to get into the spirit. If you're lacking for ways to use your spare time, you could always read "The Abolition of Work."

October 20, 2003

Which Tofutti Cutie are you?

Tofutti Cuties Peanut Butter box
Peanut Butter Cutie - This flavor is a perfect
ending to a Amy's frozen tv dinner. Best if
eaten while watching your favorite animal
planet show and relaxing on the leather free

What flavor of Tofutti Cutie is best for you?
brought to you by Quizilla

October 17, 2003

"power walking", get it?

Stride and Seek: Four walks in Washington.

October 11, 2003

Amy's Robot

Amy's Robot doesn't get the attention of The Gothamist, Gawker or The Kicker, but it's every bit as good. (Which is pretty damn good.)

One Problem With This Article

But I focus here instead on the fact that homeschooling families tend to be politically active by margins that should scare the daylights out of anyone whom those homeschoolers might want to take on.

For example, just 29 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds voted in national and state elections over the last five years. But among former homeschoolers who are now in that age bracket, a whopping 74 percent went to the polls. In the next age bracket up (25- to 29-year-olds) the margin is even bigger: In the population at large, 40 percent voted, but among folks with homeschooling backgrounds, 93 percent went to the polls.

The author of this article is assuming the majority of homeschoolers are "conservative Republicans."

October 9, 2003


Our president just asked for an additional $87 billion to continue his antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other "hot spots" around the globe. I'm not disputing his goals, his claims, or his motivations. Right now I don't have the energy.

I'd like this to be a treatise on how misguided President Bush's "war on terror" is. But in truth, I desperately want us all to feel safe. I'd like to rattle off with conviction that we'd be better served by solid economy-boosting measures and the generation of jobs. But right now, I'm spending all my attention, all my energy taking care of things at home. I wonder when George W., chin out, brashly taking on the world, will look back over his shoulder and do the same.

"A Euphamism for Violent Lifestyle Change" (link courtesy of madame insane, via Living on Less)

October 3, 2003


Do you think they clean those Slurpee machines?

October 2, 2003

"Why College Essays are Hard to Write"

"Why College Essays are hard to write", by Erica Jacobs.

the "stinking lily"

Garlic, the Brightest Bulb (

Why not just break apart a head from the supermarket and plant it? Unless it is organic, it may have been treated with a growth retardant to prevent sprouting, and it may not be the best variety for your particular soil or climate. Garlic is now entering a long-overdue era of gourmet discovery, so that there are many different ones to try.

September 26, 2003

Mothering Matters

Although tinkering with the tax code can help, we should start including child rearing in the GDP. Many European nations, including Britain and France, count care giving in their GDP, and offer a "salary" to parents of the very young. Based on that model, a similar child allowance here, paid directly to all caregivers, would virtually eliminate the "why doesn't she have to work syndrome" and really end "welfare as we know it." A child allowance given to all parents is truly "mommy neutral." The money can be used to pay for child care if parents work outside the home or offset bills if one parent stays home.

Still, many people will balk at the idea and ask, 'isn't it the parents' choice to have children? Why should my tax money go to help parents?' To which I say, yes, having children is a choice. It's also a commitment to a 'job' that adds economic value to society. And people choose all kinds of careers. Should a doctor or teacher work for free because that is what he chose? As for why we should support children with our taxes, the main reason is that it's an investment in everyone's future, not just theirs. Today's one-year-olds will someday fund the social security of today's 35-year-olds.

We are a wealthy nation with misplaced values. We could easily channel our money into raising children. It's all about what we value.

What is the value of childrearing?

[link courtesy of Rebecca's Pocket]

September 21, 2003

Wherefore art thou Dromminge?

The Conshohockon store is only the second IKEA unit to organize merchandise departmental grids. First-time customers will be directed onto the familiar IKEA trail, a traffic pattern designed to lead them through the entire store. But, with just a little familiarity, Cashman said, shoppers will be able to easily reach individual departments such as kitchen or lighting. So the new store becomes easier to navigate for the shopper who is accessorizing a room rather than organizing one from the ground up. To make things even easier, IKEA has repositioned the cafe at its new Philly metro location. With a central position that looks out across the store, it is an ideal point from which to plan a shopping excursion.
DSN Retailing Today: IKEA eyes aggressive growth: New Philadelphia prototype hints of future. I'm off the deep end with this IKEA obsession. Any advice?

"food was nearly all I thought about"

The Daily Gullet: Going Wild in Urban America
In addition to figs, I also ate apples, passion fruit, guavas, citrus fruits, fish, seaweed, arugula, and forty or so other wild foods that I gathered and hunted in and around the town of Isla Vista, California, during my last quarter at U.C. Santa Barbara. I was living off the land in an urban setting, and "My Project," as I called it, was my preoccupation for 10 long weeks.
[via boing boing]

"Once and for all, we have decided to side with the many."

The Journal News, serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York: Inside IKEA

Although IKEA is associated with a streamlined modern style emphasizing bright colors, bold patterns and wood a shade paler than blond, the company actually has four distinct style groups:

  • Scandinavian is reminiscent of that look made popular during the 1950s, wood stained to mimic teak and the use of minimum color.
  • Young Swede is geared toward a more youthful customer, either single or with a young family, with unfinished woods customers can personalize, pale wood, strong color and more daring designs.
  • Contemporary reflects current trends, which now include such '70s hallmarks as minimalism, bold colors and graphics.
  • Country features more traditional wood furniture, sometimes painted white, floral fabrics, and, recently, more Swedish folkloric patterns on rugs and embroidered pillows.

" the typical Ikea shopper is more than likely a family with children"

Mercury News: Down-to-earth designs

After testing more traditional designs, flowery fabrics and cushions, the company returned to its core product line. ``We started to dilute our identity. I would prefer that we contribute with something else,'' Simonsson-Berge said.

But Ikea did have to make some adjustments for its U.S. audience. Beds here are larger and mattresses softer. Glasses had to be bigger, too, because we like ice in our drinks. Platters and plates were enlarged to hold Thanksgiving turkey.

Ikea replaces on average 20 percent of its product line every year, said Simonsson-Berge, and the hot category right now is ``the green room.'' That's indoor-outdoor furniture. ``Whether you have a garden or not, the outdoor atmosphere is good for your well-being,'' she said. ``People want more natural living.''

Rattan and wicker have turned out to be the raw material chameleons, she said, working well with either traditional or modern decors.

IKEA history at Epinions?

The company has faced a number of scathing criticisms, including an environmental crisis in the late 80s which led to a 'green' revolution within the company, which now prides itself on innovative manufacturing processes which minimize the environmental impact the blue-and-yellow giant has. Equally concerning was the founder's connection to Per Engdahl, the notorious Nazi sympathizer. I suppose those blonde-haired-blue-eyed Aryan types all band together, but I was still shocked at the torrid underbelly of the friendly furniture chain. However, I can much more easily stomach the management of the modern IKEA chain, which is owned by the charitable, Netherland-based Stichting Ingka Foundation. What a convenient excuse for unfettered consumerism -- it's all for charity! review of IKEA: Welcome to Teutonic Design Supremacy World.

"Most Chilean growers mistook it for Merlot"

Chile, Carmenere do well together.

September 20, 2003

"Things like that don't happen here"

N.Va.'s Land Of Plenty Learns To Do Without (
"It amounts to a petri dish that is incubated at an ideal temperature," said James Warfield, the Water Authority's executive officer. "We create an environment that bacteria like. If it's there, we want to know about it."

September 18, 2003

'spiritual fiduciary misconduct'

'Homeless Hacker' speaks out by Declan McCullagh.

September 17, 2003


dwell forums: unusual flooring materials

September 13, 2003

Tell 'em Elvis said so.

[I]t's bound to be recognized as a movie worthy of the kind of Oscar attention occasionally given to films that challenge audiences subtly. Mr. Murray could collect the Academy Award that he didn't get for "Rushmore."

Anna Faris, who barely registers in the "Scary Movie" pictures — and she's the star — comes to full, lovable and irritating life as a live-wire starlet complicating Charlotte's life. Ms. Faris has already had work; this movie will secure her a career.

But as a result of Ms. Coppola's faith, this is really Mr. Murray's movie, and his respect for his director couldn't be more visible.

Tell 'em Elvis said so. I used to be critical of Mr. Mitchell, but I've come around, and now he's my second favorite film critic. (#1 is Armond)

September 4, 2003

a surprising amount of planning

Transblawg: Where IKEA gets the names

September 3, 2003

red red wine

Rebecca has a roundup of red wine recommendations. A bit late, I'd like to share a wine column in today's Washington Post, "Where Are the New Everyday Reds?" Also of interest may be this list of wine weblogs Dr. Bacchus has collected.

My mainstay is the (cheap!) Concha y Toro "Frontera" Cabernet Sauvignon, and I've recently been pleased by Bogle's "Old Vine" Zinfandel as well as Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet.

August 26, 2003

knowledge for the commonwealth

Virginia Cooperative Extension Monthly Gardening Tips: August.

August 15, 2003

Charles and Ray Eames LOC exhibit

The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (Library of Congress Exhibition), via Coudal's MoOM.

July 27, 2003

I'm betting you're not reading this while lolling on the beach

Before the work ethic was hijacked by the overwork ethic, there was a consensus in this country that work was a means, not an end, to more important goals. In 1910, President William Howard Taft proposed a two- to three-month vacation for American workers. In 1932, both the Democratic and Republican platforms called for shorter working hours, which averaged 49 a week in the 1920s. The Department of Labor issued a report in 1936 that found the lack of a national law on vacations shameful when 30 other nations had one, and recommended legislation. But it never happened. This was the fork in the road where the United States and Europe, which then had a similar amount of vacation time, parted ways.

Europe chose the route of legal, protected vacations, while we went the other -- no statutory protection and voluntary paid leave. Now we are the only industrialized nation with no minimum paid-leave law.
Joe Robinson in the Washington Post. "After writing about our vacation deficit disorder as a journalist, I decided three years ago to start a grass-roots campaign to lobby for a law mandating a minimum of three weeks of paid leave."

July 24, 2003

taking this Polynesian Pop thing too far

We started making a list of all we had to do to extricate ourselves: Sell our house. Sell our car. Find homes for Sarina's pet bird, rabbit and frogs. Pack up all of our furnishings and store them in a warehouse. Buy airline tickets. Cancel our Internet service, cell phone, DWP, gas, telephone, security, newspaper and other services. Find out about schools and pediatric medical care on Rarotonga.
LA Weekly: Features: Rarotonga or Bust.

July 1, 2003

Tilia americana

linden treeThe tree grows in rich, moist, well-drained soil. The tough, fibrous inner bark has been used by Native American Indians and settlers in making rope, mats, and thongs. The wood is light and soft, and is well suited for working. Although rather weak, it has been used for cheap furniture, containers, beekeeping supplies, and various woodenware. Honeybees feed on the flowers, producing what is reputed to be a choice grade of honey. Birds eat the buds, small mammals eat the fruit, and several species feed on the bark and sprouts.
There's a nice big tree in our new front yard. I borrowed a leaf today and was easily able to identify it at the great dendrology site, What Tree Is It? (It's a Basswood, also known as Linden.)

June 11, 2003

newly digital

G (bell)
Prefab bytes assembled for Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital project:

Continue reading "newly digital" »

June 1, 2003

to get some sense of this nation

I think it was then that I realized that it wasn't Mount Rushmore or any other big tourist attraction that was going to turn me on. What was going to fascinate me were purple flowers on the side of the road in Wisconsin that screamed out, "There are colors that you thought were only made up by painters."
"We encountered zero black people in our 14 days, zero Asians and two Latinos." The Rockwells tell the New York Times about their 14-day RV trip around the U.S., timed "to catch our daughter at the very end of her childhood, to enjoy a family experience before she escaped forever into the dreaded wasteland of teen-dom."

May 29, 2003

'betraying spaces'?

I hear the word cheap a lot; I've heard cheesy. A lot of people are fussing about paint jobs that are not finished and about inferior carpentry.
Washington Post: Trading in Trading Spaces.

May 25, 2003


On a totally trivial subject in which I'm extremely interested: "I had a dream of setting up a little projector to display the visuals on a wall or ceiling whenever iTunes was playing." Beyond that, I hope to rent a projector to screen movies at the mad backyard parties I hope to throw once we move into an actual house with an actual yard this summer. (Print out this post for discounted admission! ;)

May 22, 2003

around the world in 80 miles

Fabulous l.a. travel pullout, Judith Lewis, ed.

originally posted by xowie

May 8, 2003

Did You Know?

Virginia's state soil is Pamunkey.

April 24, 2003

'The multi-tasking cabinet she used so efficiently'

It might be hard to believe, but at the turn of the last century, a simple kitchen cabinet featured more convenience than virtually anything offered today. A cook could stand at a pull-out worktop and have everything handy to sift, stir and knead a loaf of bread, and not take a step until she put it in the oven. In the same spot, she could store that good bread in a mouse-proof drawer, slice and chop the dinner vegetables, be confident that ants would stay out of the sugar and that dust would not get into the pots and pans. The Humble Hoosier. See also The Rescue and Restoration of a Seller's Kitchen Cabinet.

April 15, 2003

help us make a difference

On May 4th, my dog Jarvis and I will be waking up extra early to participate in Dogswalk Against Cancer here in New York. If you have a few bucks to spare, please consider sponsoring us!

April 8, 2003

when you shake this thing up and drink it down, it tastes like you're not here for 15 minutes

Any MRE that has a pack of Skittles or M&Ms is considered a good one, he said. Field studies have shown that young soldiers take comfort in name brands and commercial packaging, so some MREs feature morale-boosting snacks like M&Ms, Lorna Doone cookies, Skittles and Jolly Ranchers, which have become popular currency in poker games.
SFG: A lot of cooks in the MRE kitchen: men in lab coats and hair nets whet GIs' frontline appetite.

originally posted by xowie

March 30, 2003 slideshow

I've got an old pair of red/blue 3D glasses near my desk, "just in case" -- Boy Scouts motto, you know, 'be prepared' -- so I was searching for some 3D pictures. There doesn't seem to be any way to view the results as a slideshow, which seems not only fairly obvious but probably trivial with the Google API. In fact, the halfbakery has already considered the idea but I'm not sure the lazyweb has. What do you think?

Continue reading " slideshow" »

March 10, 2003

Hare Harassment

The Pitch (Kansas City), May 23, 2002: Guards tell Krishna devotees to keep off the Plaza's private parts.
They must have said go to jail a hundred times. They said we couldn't be on their private property. They told us that all the fountains, all the benches, all the courtyards and all the trash cans belong to Highwoods.

I said, Well, everything does belong to God, Swami continues. Then a female officer told me, Not here. Here, Highwoods is God.

Despite the threat of jail time, the Hare Krishnas have no plans to stop their twice-weekly chants on the Plaza. Swami still holds out some hope that the security officer who declared that "Highwoods is God" will one day be less caught up in the temporary identity of being a security guard.

March 8, 2003

Phish Resurface

Rolling Stone: Phish Resurface

We had these jam sessions, Anastasio says one night after practice, where we drank hot chocolate with mushrooms and just played, trying to get in tune with each other, for eight hours. One of those jams, he points out, is on a record: "Union Federal," a bonus track on the CD reissue of Phish's 1989 independent cassette release, Junta. We used to rehearse like demons, Anastasio, 38, says excitedly, a big smile busting through his ginger forest of beard. A lot of it was mind games, challenging each other. We'd change roles: I'm always the natural leader. Page, you be that person now. We'd make Fish set up his drums left-handed instead of right: Use your mind to play, not your hands. Or we'd just play one note for an hour -- weird stuff.

The weirdness bloomed in concert: in clubs such as Nectar's on Main Street in Burlington, where Phish first played in December 1984 and honed their writing and jamming chops through 1989; then in theaters and, finally, arenas. Fishman, who turns thirty-eight on February 19th, played most gigs during Phish's first two years flying on LSD. I still play with the feeling I got from those experiences, trying to generate wind and water, he claims quite earnestly.

March 2, 2003

Kimya Dawson

Kimya Dawson rocked the 930 Club last night. Don't miss her MP3s -- "this one is about Pee Wee Herman and Michael Jackson."

February 28, 2003

i love peckham

I Love Peckham, committing reckless acts of wanton improvement in South London.

February 18, 2003

8 millimeter amateur film of marilyn monroe discovered

For several months he staked out the Gladstone Hotel on East 52nd Street, where she was recovering from her divorce from Joe DiMaggio and her summary dismissal from her contract at 20th Century Fox. On one of those truant mornings, Mr. Mangone took an eight-millimeter Kodak camera from his brother, headed downtown and met Monroe just as she was leaving the hotel for a therapeutic shopping spree. Then, just as in the movies, she waved, winked and asked him to come along.
NYT: A Boy's Film of a Day With Marilyn Monroe.

originally posted by xowie

February 7, 2003


Re nedlog's perfectly-timed request for nice fluffy/sprinkly things which give us that warm glow inside (see below, can't do the html): some much-needed flattery, mmm, lovely cup of tea and a sit down and London radio station Resonance FM, described here in the Guardian and apparently, the best radio station in the whole world according to the Village Voice. Resonance FM is great. I particularly enjoy the truly revolutionary 'Calling All Pensioners'. And you can never, I repeat never, go wrong with I've posted that one before and now I'm doing it again. It occurs to me that the biscuit section of NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown not only provides an in-depth glossary of British 'cookie'-related terms (ugh, that hurt), but also makes progress towards being a dossier on biscuits. It's Brit-centric though. We should put together an international dossier on stockpiles of biscuits/cookies.

February 6, 2003

thank you mr. mcphee

It's OK, I found an antidote.

immigrating to canada

Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of new residents. Coming to Canada as an immigrant is an exciting opportunity, but also a great challenge.

If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, you have a number of options when applying for permanent residence status. Read about these programs and decide which class suits you and your family best.

February 2, 2003

someone set us up the bomb

After the shock of losing wears off and an unmitigated free-for-all ensues, the Triads go back to talking their usual shit. There's an explosion and a Triad shouts, "Suck it!" Another player laments his own death: "Damn, dude! Fuck, I had, like, no life left! How'd you not die?" His opponent curses back. "Fuck you! Owned!"
Baang! You're Dead.

originally posted by daiichi

excelsior, you fathead!

Jean Shepherd on mp3; also Greenwich Village, Jean Shepherd & the Web Today by Lorraine McConaghy.

originally posted by daiichi

January 20, 2003

leeches are not rodents

We should all take a nice long look at the Big Game on Sunday in San Diego -- because it may be the last one we'll see for a while, at least until the War ends ... Ho ho. That is a nasty thought, as thoughts go, but it is the melancholy truth. Certainly it will be the last peacetime Super Bowl for another five years, maybe more ... But by then we will all be wearing uniforms, of one kind or another, and only the "Trusted Travelers" among us will be allowed to come and go as we please -- within reasonable military limits, of course, as long as we don't make waves and never gather in groups of more than three, and don't spit.
The last Super Bowl by Hunter S. Thompson.

originally posted by daiichi

January 12, 2003

boards of seattle

Bulletin boards are choked with offers to watch your house, your pet, your kids, your shrubs. People are willing to cook your meals, haul off your junk, clean your eaves, repair anything you need, wire your computer. Some hold fine-print résumés, bold-faced headlines and clever hooks. But I was drawn to Alan's simple, straightforward offer to live in my house.
Chaos & clarity by Richard Seven.

originally posted by daiichi

January 7, 2003

like two separate countries

Dude, where's my California?

originally posted by daiichi

January 5, 2003

applied biotecture

The most striking part of the structure is a tilted wall of windows -- to be installed later this month -- measuring roughly four metres by 10 and facing south. Below the windows will be a wide planter that serves as an indoor garden. It will be irrigated from water from the laundry room. The kitchen and living area, in particular, will be like a liveable greenhouse. "It's supposed to be like a ship, designed to supply your every need, including food," said Lefebvre.
'Earthship' dream home made of 800 old tires and dirt.

originally posted by xowie

January 3, 2003

on shopping for a cell phone

It's really hard to pick a cell phone and a service, as I don't have to tell you. All I have to offer on the topic are these couple of sites, the most helpful that I've found: the forums and CNET's Editors' Wireless Top 5s. I hear Verizon is the only provider who has service on the DC Metro -- that's as good a reason as any, I think.

December 29, 2002

in the Sunday New York Times

A Lost Eloquence
When I ask students early in the semester if they know a poem by heart, I usually hear the names Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss and occasionally Robert Frost. They often say that they can't memorize long poems, but then I ask them if they know the lyrics of "Gilligan's Island" or "The Brady Bunch," and my point is made.
McDonald's Tarnished Arches
Fast-food joints are losing market share to a growing niche of more expensive, and possibly healthier, "fast casual" eateries, like Panera Bread and Cosí, that offer more customized selections. McDonald's itself is expanding its successful Chipotle chain of Mexican-themed restaurants.
Spiritual Connection on the Internet
"Is it much different than kneeling next to your bed at night? The idea is to connect with God anywhere. In the moment you are typing, it's another form of devotion"
Who Owns the Internet? You and i Do
Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, studies how people use online technology and how that affects their lives. He has begun a small crusade to de-capitalize Internet — and, by extension, to acknowledge a deep shift in the way that we think about the online world.

December 27, 2002

the fear in review

After a year of trepidation, unease, and malaise both at home and abroad, the media types who three years ago wouldn’t shut up about what to name our nascent decade now have an answer: the Uh-oh’s. It’s certainly more fitting than the Naughties, the Zeros, the Aughts, or the M&M’s; at least "uh-oh" communicates the sense of threat Americans have endured since 9/11. Uh-oh describes the moment after something precious has dropped, right before the damage has been checked. A person who’s previously been robbed might utter uh-oh after awakening to a thump in the night. Uh-oh often precedes a scream or a sigh. Uh-oh sounds a lot like now.
Uh oh!

originally posted by xowie

December 16, 2002 Officials, Cyclists Push Pedaling for Commuters

We've focused the last 25 years on optimizing the automobile commute. As we run out of space for them, we realize we have to enhance the other alternatives. . . . The streets aren't getting any wider.
Washington, D.C., area planners are paying marginally more attention to commuting by bike, but some are pessimistic it'll catch on.

December 7, 2002

don't tell her about it

Carolyn! Recently read the news -- you got divorced last year and now you're unmarried and pregnant. Nice going! Just the sort of example I'm proud to see in an advice columnist. Planning on getting strung out on prescription drugs, maxing out your credit cards, and filing for bankruptcy any time soon? Wouldn't want you to miss a thing! I mean, you're carrying bastards now; why stop while you're going strong? We all know that marriages that start with parenthood are more likely to crash and burn than marriages in which the partners get to know each other before adding children to the mix, so I assume we lucky readers can look forward to yet another divorce in your column; gosh! Won't that put you in an even better position to dispense advice to other people on how to straighten out their lives and clean up their acts.
From the latest chat with Carolyn Hax, the knocked-up advice columnist.

December 5, 2002

the electric maid

On some level, we all want to be part of the dream of the Electric Maid: a place that's always open and always warm, a place populated by people we know, the juice bar equivalent of Cheers, where folks shout your name as you enter and your stool is perpetually reserved. When Robinson hit on the idea for the Maid, he was thinking that Takoma Park needed a "third place," an inclusive neighborhood gathering spot -- once the barber shop, the park, the soda fountain -- that has disappeared from chain-ridden suburbia. This was no leftist effort, he says. "I'm kind of a radical centrist. I believe in communitarianism."
DC residents are struggling to build a locus of community in the Electric Maid. This article appears just days after dj was trying to point out to me the former location of a similar place, the Beehive.

December 3, 2002

good luck!

What's wrong with Ronald McDonald? Ronald lies to children. (I hit the Jackpot.)

December 2, 2002


Thriftdeluxe is another crafty DIY site, this one based in London. For the record, a few other good craft sites I've found are: digs, get crafty, not martha, rebecca's domestic, and unique projects. (Now to click and see who's still active.) Full disclosure: I'm not at all crafty and haven't tried any of these projects. I do generally try to keep a dying plant nearby to remind me what color my thumb is not.

hoping to find artifacts lovingly called "potty nuggets" and "potty treasures"

Syracuse New Times: The Plunder Down Under.

Tall and narrow, usually built for one and typically made of wood, most had flat roofs. Some had angled roofs and classy models had gables. A half-moon was traditionally cut into the door so no one mistook it for the wood shed, chicken coop or pigsty. Odiferous, dark and drafty, outhouses didn't make good reading rooms, especially in winter.

Unlike current toilets, yesterday's commodes weren't simply the final resting place of their owner's intestinal products. They made convenient dumping grounds for small imperishables that couldn't be burned; and even served as vaults for storing small valuables like cash and unmentionables: grandma's whiskey, dad's porno, the kid's tobacco. Since it was considered unwise and in bad taste to discuss "potty deposits," the owner was usually the only one who knew about the stuff and it was sometimes left in the hole when illness or senility claimed him, or if he had to get out of town in a hurry. Today, these spoils are like juicy wild fruit, available to everyone, just for the picking.

Standing alone against the elements isn't easy and an abandoned thunder house -- not exactly a farmer's pride and joy -- didn't last long. In fact, about all that remains of the majority of these uniquely American temples to the human appetite is the wood cut to create the holes in the benches. Allowed to fall to the bottom of the pit, the "holes" were quickly buried, especially if the family was big. Some of the slabs have survived and when unearthed, are rare, prized trophies by diggers who varnish them, attach plaques bearing the date and time of the find, and hang them on their living-room walls.

and now you're even older

Most students entering college this fall were born in 1984. The Beloit College "Mindset List" has fast become a benchmark forwarded by scattershot email from those for whom feeling old still has some novelty. It's refreshing to see that I (b. 1975) have got something in common with these kids, though: (18.) They have no recollection of Connie Chung or Geraldo Rivera as serious journalists.

November 26, 2002

dateline Opelousas

Sweet potatoes aren't really yams; yams, which belong to the genus Dioscorea, are grown widely in Africa, where they originated, and elsewhere in the tropics but scarcely at all in the United States. What we are dealing with here is Ipomoea batatas, which is not only not a yam but not a true potato. Believed to be a native of Central America, it is closely related to the morning glory, with the same purplish, heart-shaped leaves. Sweet potatoes, which are less dense and starchy than yams, are rich in healthful beta carotene, an important source of vitamin A.
The New York Times: In the Kingdom of the Sweet Potato.

November 25, 2002

bounce rock skate roll

Seems that the better skater you are, the less interaction you'll have with other skaters: you'll be skating too fast for conversations; you'll intimidate beginners just by donning your custom gear - and you'll rarely fall down (providing fewer opportunities for someone who fancies you to help you back to your feet again -- one of skating's sweetest, most genuine gestures).
Freaky Trigger, A Rink Like This.

November 24, 2002

featuring alonzo the mechanical pony

"New Years Eve, nine years ago," recounts Moss. "We had a bunch of this Jager knockoff crap called Beck Torova that nobody would buy or drink for free, not even the bums. Well, one of the bums said 'I'm not drinking that ass juice' and that's how it started."
The Double Down Saloon celebrates its 10th anniversary.

originally posted by xowie

November 23, 2002

with ketchup or nutrasweet and raisins

Ode to ramen.

originally posted by daiichi

November 22, 2002

the flip side of world war II

"I would say tiki, and people would say, `What's that?" said Mr. Fisherman, scratching his goatee, his eyes wide behind rectangular glasses. "Nobody had ever heard of it. I was sad."
NYT, The Return of the Parasol-Topped Cocktail.

originally posted by daiichi

November 21, 2002

feels good when your heart wakes up

The song, says Lewis, is about those periods of being in a "love drought where you feel incapable of love and you can’t get yourself to snap out of your own self-centered world."

"It’s just another hopeful song," she says, "Because, God, it feels good when your heart is no longer slumbering, and it wakes up, and there’s a person or song or friend that snaps you out of your own craziness."

Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis, by Alison M. Rosen.

originally posted by daiichi

November 19, 2002


Egon is driving us out to see the collection. His ponytail is fluttering in the breeze. "A kind of weightlessness." That's how Kafka describes the experience of riding in a bus. "Like a voyage, where all your senses are more alert. Elevated. Because you sit up high." Participant and observer. "And everything is . . . more."
I wish riding the Metrobus every morning made me feel like that. Meet bus collector Egon Kafka.

November 16, 2002

and she likes it and drinks it, and he likes it and drinks it, and they

Would you even read a review of Guinness without your own preconceptions? When you clicked on the link to read this article, you didn't really click it to find out our opinion of Guinness- you already know that we like it and drink it and that you like it and drink it. Something else brought you here. Perhaps it was interest in the widget... perhaps it was interest in the new draught bottle. Perhaps you were wondering if the correct spelling is draft or draught. Well, let me try to satisfy your interests.

November 13, 2002

produce this

As controversial as the show sounds, Darnell noted that 60% of all marriages worldwide are still arranged, although not in most Western countries.
Meet the official offensive reality show of randomWalks.

originally posted by xowie

November 8, 2002

I read it in the paper so it must be true

It's official: the station wagon is back!

November 7, 2002

nobody does it like nyc

Kosher pizzerias have cropped up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Greeks have opened pizzerias in all five boroughs, making a Greek-style pizza with a highly seasoned sauce that finds echoes in the cornmeal-crusted pizzas served at the Two Boots minichain. Italians now share the Arthur Avenue neighborhood in the Bronx with Albanians, and while Tony & Tina's, a pizzeria there, serves decent if not great pizza, it has fabulous bureks — multilayer savory pies made with spinach, cheese and ground beef. And for the increasingly South Asian population in Jackson Heights, Queens, two Famous Pizza shops offer pizza with curry powder and jalapeño toppings. By the slice.
But who's got the best vegan pizza in New York City?

November 5, 2002

guided by voices

Things it hurts to learn: (1) The late Dr. Smith was from the Bronx, not the UK. (2) Flea from RHCP is the voice of Donny.

originally posted by daiichi

October 31, 2002

i've seen monkey poop

Arlington County, Oct. 16. A caller requested that an animal control officer speak with her son, 6, because he was so anxious about her plans to drop lobsters into boiling water for dinner that he took them into his bedroom. The animal control staff person who took the call suggested that she try to calm him by explaining the food chain. If that didn't work, the mother was advised to ask a neighbor to cook them or take the lobsters back to the store.

Intruder Monkeys Around on Porch

Arlington County, Oct. 2. Animal control received a call from a woman who claimed that a monkey had been defecating on her back porch. When asked if she had seen the culprit, she said "No, but I've seen monkey poop and I know that a monkey comes to my back porch." Animal control told her to call back if she saw a monkey.

Every now and then, reading the Washington Post's Animal Watch column pays off.

k&r living

After a late-October class, Mr. Kernighan explained that his goal in the course was to impart an intelligent skepticism about computer technology, an informed sense of its possibilities and limitations. "And you can't do that in the abstract," he said, which is why programming and projects are essential elements in his course. Smiling, he mentioned the often-quoted line from the science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A wonderful phrase, Mr. Kernighan said, "but there is no magic."
Brian W. Kernighan now teaches classes in technology at Princeton. He's the "k" in "the k&r C book" on every computer scientist's shelf (it's never farther than two feet from me, though I rarely read it).

October 22, 2002

From Neiman Marcus's Christmas catalog:

From Neiman Marcus's Christmas catalog: action figures of yourself. (via girlhacker)

October 14, 2002

LAT: "Growers Shed Organic Label,

LAT: "Growers Shed Organic Label, Keep Roots"

October 6, 2002

they call me william holden caufield

Latter-day versions of Holden still drop out and wig out. But they must face tougher situations than, say, taking a phony to a Broadway matinee or fielding a quasi-pass from a former teacher. And the world they observe is a much more dangerous place. Holden worried about the ducks in Central Park. The eponymous hero of the movie "Igby Goes Down" hears obscenities shouted by uniformed schoolgirls in the park as they clobber each other with hockey sticks.
Having just seen Igby, and thinking about it in connection with Tadpole and The Good Girl, I guess I'm not surprised to see this.

October 1, 2002

I'm coming home to you

I await a movie where a New Yorker tries moving to a small town and finds that it just doesn't reflect his warm-hearted big city values.
Said Ebert. He thought it was cute. I saw it in a small town movie theatre - the kind that you imagine in that idealized small town - with a sophisticated small town audience. It was a good old formula film - almost could've been in black and white with music and dance numbers.

originally posted by Greer

Great City Writer / Our Jennifer Steinhauer / Breaks Down the Traffic

Mayor Bloomberg ditched J-Sty when they were touring the world together so he could photo op with our troops in Afghanistan. Still, she manages to be fair in her coverage.

In an ambitious attempt to liberate Manhattan from traffic congestion, the Bloomberg administration will try to turn 10 Midtown streets into express routes by banning turns from them during weekdays when traffic is heaviest....

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose passion for information about traffic patterns is rivaled only by his love of recycling trivia, agreed to test the program after learning that the average speed of a car in Midtown during spring 2002 was 4.8 miles per hour, a mere 1.4 miles per hour faster than the average walking speed of humans...

[UPS driver James Middleton] was not happy to hear about the new regulations. "Every street that is driver-friendly, the city changes, and it's not to fix traffic, it's to raise revenue for the city."

He added, "If the mayor wants to fix traffic, he should ban noncommercial drivers from the city."

Now that's what I'm talking about! NY x (Times, 1, Daily News)

September 30, 2002

Army iPods & terrorscreen lotion

How can hundreds or even thousands be transported without exposing health care workers to contagious or otherwise harmful agents? Perhaps with an inexpensive, disposable plastic pod that seals off the human body much like a giant Ziploc sandwich bag, although one outfitted with a battery powered blower that brings in fresh air and an exhaust fan that filters biochemical particles.
The New York Times: Plastic Pods for Biological Attacks. (The 'i' is for isolation.) Learn about the anti-terror skin cream that also fights poison ivy! Terr-ific!

September 28, 2002

bike to work!

According to the 2000 Census data, 0.44 percent of workers, or 567,042 individuals, commute by bike, compared with 76 percent, or 97.2 million, who drive alone. Cumulatively, if 10 percent of those solo commuters got out of their cars and biked to work -- assuming that a comparable proportion of driving commuters live within a biking range of their workplace -- we would be saving on the order of 2 1/2 billion gallons of gas every year.
Making the case for biking to work. Later, letter-writers chime in.

September 26, 2002

cats and dogs living together! mass hysteria!

A major road collapse has closed a northbound stretch of Manhattan's Riverside Drive, possibly for weeks. A huge hole, about 30 feet in diameter and just as deep, has traffic shut down from 135th to 143rd streets, in Hamilton Heights, though southbound traffic is still getting by. A sewage line broke Wednesday around 4 p.m. and washed away the dirt supporting the road.

September 25, 2002

here comes the neighborhood

NY Water Taxi has opened up new ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan. It's free until October 1!

September 24, 2002

return of the curmudgeon

"I am not a well-read or a well-educated person," WNYC's Steve Post tells the New York Times. "But I have a deep voice, which makes me sound authoritative." Post is back on WNYC as host of The No Show.

Heroic architects must be stopped!

From Herbert Muschamp's masturbatory feature on Lower Manhattan in the New York Times Magazine:

Rem Koolhaas's project satirizes New York's nostalgic obsession with the Art Deco skyscraper by turning three of them on their heads. Peter Eisenman's three office towers can be viewed as a formalist exercise, for example, but they are also a critique of the Cartesian grid. The history of ideas is the context for architecture today.

Well, maybe that's why most "groundbreaking" architecture today is so bad. These guys are designing just to secure their place in the canon of Great Architects, with nary a thought for the only context that really matters to good architecture: how people use it. Maya Lin's memorial is the lone bright spot amongst all the rhetoric.

Say what you will about the uninspiring designs of the LMDC, I'd choose dull architecture over architecture run amok every time.

originally posted by Ben Fried

Giulitweedi's Dome

A group of community leaders and elected officials asked the Bloomberg administration recently to consider opening the first two floors of the Tweed Courthouse, including its splendid rotunda, to the public. Miffed that the administration has yet to respond to their plan, a few dozen people gathered yesterday in front of the courthouse to call for access to the storied building, which was recently renovated at a cost to the public of $89 million.
Robert Moses, Boss Tweed and Rudolph Giuliani all sunk sick amounts of money into what is arguably New York's most beautiful building. But we're not allowed in!

September 22, 2002

As seen on television

I am a designer/builder living near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and I love concrete.
I doubt the pictures in the concrete link could disappoint you. As seen on Extreme Homes on HGTV. I could watch Home & Garden Television for hours if it weren't for Law & Order on TNT. That's how I divide my time these days.

originally posted by Greer


If you want to get pregnant through donor artificial insemination, maybe I can help.

originally posted by Greer

a newer epidemic

The first outbreak of W135 meningitis was discovered in Burkina Faso in February. More than 12,000 people were infected, with almost 1,500 deaths.

originally posted by Greer

September 20, 2002

ginger in my collards, please

When the African-American elite dumps the fat-rich dishes of Southern tradition - collard greens suppurating with pork fat, pigs' feet with black-eyed peas - in favour of the raw vegetables of the "new soul food", a sacrifice of culture accompanies a loss of girth. The raw movement is not a solution, but part of the threat, dividing families by taste and diet.
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto means well, but he overreaches with the whole cuisine-is-social-destiny thing.

September 18, 2002

the wool you've been waiting for

Rivendell Bicycles, seller of fine bike parts and host to an exceptional set of How-Tos entitled Bicycling 101, has created WoolyWarm clothes for cyclists. (thanks, avogadro)

yummy for your tummy

In New York City's Greenmarkets, Craig Colvin, far left, and Katie Booth are called the pesto people. With good reason. Mr. Colvin, who owns Sweet Pea Organics and Bear Pond Farm in Washington Depot, Conn., and Ms. Booth, who works with him at the Greenmarkets, sell pesto that he makes from the organic herbs he grows.

The pestos, dense with flavor, are made with ingredients including Sicilian oregano, cilantro and classic basil (but no nuts), and are $5 a half-pint. A lemon pesto made from basil and field greens is perfect for fish. Mr. Colvin also makes a tart-sweet heirloom tomato sauce for pasta ($5 a pint), and a rhubarb chutney called Rhubarbecue Sauce ($5 a half-pint), which doubles as a barbecue sauce or as a noteworthy foil for foie gras and pâtés.

The products are in the Greenmarkets at Bowling Green and St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery on Tuesdays, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and TriBeCa on Wednesdays, West 97th Street on Fridays and Brooklyn Borough Hall and TriBeCa on Saturdays.
These sauces are delicious. You can also get them at the wonderful new Pumpkin Organic Market which doesn't have a web page yet, so you have to go visit it yourself.

September 13, 2002

the tallest new yorkers

More than five million trees share space with New York's skyscrapers, their roots reaching toward the subway. In every borough amazing trees flourish: Brooklyn has its Camperdown elms in Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery, and of course the ailanthus, the tree that grows in Brooklyn. The Bronx has a rare blue ash at the New York Botanical Garden; Queens offers a tulip tree that may be the tallest in the city. Staten Island has the only natural stand of hackberries in the city, and there are hundreds of varied pine trees in the Arthur Ross Pinetum north of the Great Lawn at West 85th Street in Central Park.

September 10, 2002

did you wash your hands?

Syracuse New Times: Dirty Thoughts: A germ-laden childhood might be a good thing for a person's immune system.

The United States, like most other industrialized nations, has seen a rise in allergic reactions such as asthma, hay fever and eczema. Two British scientists believe this rise in allergic disorders may be the result of obsessive cleanliness, as well as the uses of antibiotics and vaccinations. They maintain that all of these elements deprive the immune system from learning to distinguish between harmful and non-harmful agents.

Among their findings are the discoveries that you are less likely to be allergic if you were not given antibiotics as a child; had older siblings, especially brothers; rarely washed your hands or face as a child; lived in a home with bacteria-laden dust; were brought up on a farm with animals; had a dog; had a childhood infection that was transmitted by fecal-to-oral contamination; and grew up in Communist, rather than Western, Europe.

September 7, 2002

mothership connection

sudama has accomplished a great deal in the way of bringing an important, but sadly unusual, viewpoint to the community. I suspect that one of the reasons he posts far less frequently than I'd like is the sniping from clueless assholes that his posts so often draw.
posted by sennoma at 11:38 PM PST on September 6
Sudama's post, via full bleed?, of a list of ideas how men can take sexism on as their own struggle, has caused quite a fray over at the mothership.

September 5, 2002

googlecooking! g-o-o-g-l-e-c-o-o-k-i-n-g

A few weeks ago I needlessly slandered megnut, so let me make amends by linking to her incredible post on googlecooking. After I get some breathing room from the work at my day job, I'll knock out mediarights, future 500, macfilter, rme, and THEN I'll put a PHPwiki (see flux) up at with a "google this" link. And then it's on!

August 30, 2002

craft corner

Yay! Knit your favourite album covers. Should this go in rW music, I wonder? Via b3ta's latest newsletter. Genius.

August 28, 2002

Roboshop in D.C. -- make that McRoboshop!

Early this morning, as the restaurants and clubs were shutting down in the Adams Morgan neighborhood here, a young waiter named Rick Roman joined a crowd gawking at the new attraction on the sidewalk: an 18-foot-wide vending machine.

Mr. Roman looked through the glass at the dozens of products - bottles of olive oil and milk, cartons of eggs, chicken sandwiches, paper towels, detergent, diapers, pantyhose, toothpaste, condoms, DVD's - and realized what he absolutely had to take home at 12:15 a.m. After he inserted a $10 bill and punched numbers on a screen, the crowd watched a metal bin rise to collect a package of razor blades from one shelf and a can of shaving cream from another.
The New York Times: Shop Till Eggs, Diapers, Toothpaste Drop. The Washington Post article goes into a bit more depth on several fronts:
It's a masterpiece of convenience in the drive-through age. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise, then, to learn that the Tik Tok Easy Shop is actually a division of the people who spawned fast food and helped put a happy face on the exporting of American culture: McDonald's.

August 26, 2002

if this goes well, the gowanus expressway is next

"I just say to myself, gee, what if I could have told my grandchildren I could have walked on the Brooklyn Bridge just as it was being built," said Richard Brody, 49, who descended a cavernous entryway called Glory Hole 52 with his 8-year-old son.
Boston residents line up for 'Big Dig' tour.

I get the news I need on the weather report.

I can't remember the last time it really rained. Our farmer says:

We did get a small fraction of an inch of rain this week, but it was hardly enough to even wet the dust. We are now going on over 2 months without more than a sprinkle. 4 months of really very little rain. The ground, out here, is cracking. Deep cracks several inches wide. I can't plow without first watering the ground, the plow just bounces on top of the concrete like soil. This last week a number of trees started dying. We are sure fortunate to have a good water source for our vegetables. Our spring, as of now, shows no signs of slowing. There are other springs around here, springs that didn't even dry up in the 30's that are now completely dry. There are people around here who are having to sell their cattle because they don't have enough water for their animals.

I understand over 50% of the rest of the country is also in a major drought. That is almost to the level of the 1934 dustbowl days.

I wonder, if we weren't such a large and powerful country, how long it would take before droughts like this started causing food shortages.

I think maybe if we can't grow (or pay to have grown) our own food nearby, maybe we shouldn't be living here. What do you think? I mean, if we can't directly experience the impact we have on the world, how can we possibly judge whether what we're doing is something we ought to be doing?

We went to the pond today, and I wouldn't have been able to take this picture (from May). I can't remember the last time it really silhouettes reflected on a pond. does anyone read these?rained.

August 22, 2002

Our Gardens Continue to Grow

A Brief History Of Grassroots Greening In NYC by Sarah Ferguson.

August 21, 2002

Take your bike on the bus

This has already received good coverage in the Washington, D.C. media, but you can now take your bike on Metrobuses thanks to new racks. I saw my first one yesterday.

August 19, 2002

The Downtown Alliance has

The Downtown Alliance has launched a free wireless network in Bowling Green Park. It gives you free wireless access to the internet from your laptop or PDA. So step out and log on: surf the web, check your email, and send instant messages while relaxing in the park.

How to log on to the Bowling Green Wireless Network, thanks to the downtown alliance and NYC wireless.

August 16, 2002

Cooking with monkey! Oh, my.

Cooking with monkey! Oh, my.

"Take a Walk New York"

Doesn't this sound like FUN!?!

Saturday, August 24, 2002. 9:30 AM. Brooklyn Waterfront Communities: Coney Island, Brighton and Manhattan Beaches, Sheepshead Bay.
Joe Svehlak will lead us on a walk by the sea; lots of New York style variety in these communities. Meet outside of the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station of the B, Q (formerly D), F, or N lines. Bring or buy lunch; lots of good eats along the way (this is a health walk, so we can't say eat at Nathan's). Bring your bathing suit to hang out at the beach after the walk.

Courtesy of Urban Outdoors, the electronic bulletin of the TreeBranch Network.

originally posted by Ben Fried

August 15, 2002

Baltimore on the Hudson

John Waters's home in new York has subversive accents.

August 14, 2002

austin, (em)powered

"The food that people have easy access to does not seem to be very healthy ... We're looking at how the distribution of groceries changes as the community became poorer and more African American, and also a survey of residents about food buying habits. How often they shop. What they buy. Where they buy it."
Washington Post, "Chicago Neighbors Plot A Way to Healthier Food"


"I'm still not great at cutting fish, but really it doesn't matter ... You just take a nice piece of fish, cut it to the right shape, and you're in business."
N.Y. Times, "Sushi Cooks Are Rolling Their Own"

August 11, 2002

PETA wins its sad elephant case

A federal judge ruled that Washington, D.C.'s "Party Animals" project, which features 200 decorated elephant and donkey sculptures scattered about the city, must also include a shackled circus elephant submitted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Right on.

August 8, 2002

a little bit of chicken is a dangerous thing.

In attempt to get my hen, Lucy, to stop brooding in the wake of her litter mate's death, my neighbor Steven, who has a contraband rooster as well as a hen, provided her with a fertilized egg. Last night the chick hatched. I'm interested in the chick. I'm also interested in why I'm so interested in the chick, in why I cannot stop looking at her (I'm hoping it's a her so I can keep her), laughing, calling people in the neighborhood to come and check her out, talking to her, feeding her surrogate mom fresh greens, and generally not wanting to leave home. This is something my forebears were blase about; they took it for granted that they had chicks by the thousands, some of them run over by tractors and eaten by owls. But just one is unbearably precious. Hmm.

She's all different colors, by the way. Light brown with dark brown spots ringed in black. Very dark black eyes. She's a mutt chick. I'll upload a picture soon.

originally posted by judlew

August 6, 2002

I taught I taw a woodpecker..

Ten years ago, I would've thought birdwatching was just so lame. Today, I was looking out the window of this computer room and I think I saw a woodpecker. It disappeared too soon for me to memorize its colour pattern, but I think it's either a red- or yellow-bellied woodpecker. This bird picture list is nifty!

originally posted by Greer

August 3, 2002

i like mayor mike

On his way back to City Hall after a meeting near Times Square on Thursday afternoon, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stepped into a No. 4 train at Grand Central Terminal and immediately wanted to step back out. The cooling system in his car was on its way to failing, just as temperatures were on their way to a high of 96 degrees.


But the mayor's reaction to the hot-car experience was also a textbook case of how New York City Transit officials say riders should respond. Swear angrily as you leave the subway if you want to, but more importantly, do what Mr. Bloomberg did: take down the car number and call it in.
Even a Billionaire Mayor Can't Buy a Cool Subway Ride.

a beautiful place

Walk under Inwood Hill's towering trees, sit on the banks of the Harlem River overlooking the Spuyten Duyvil; you'll easily forget you're in a city dominated by skyscrapers. You may even forget that you're in a city that was ripped apart by an attack on its two tallest skyscrapers, just over 10 months ago. And yet as home to some of the island's last majestic tulip poplars, Inwood Hill maintains a symbolic link to the other end of the island: Both are dominated by their own monolithic testaments to power, the soaring bank buildings to the south, the enormous trees to the north.


Whatever we get — a plaza, a garden, a square, a promenade — we're guaranteed another swatch of sterile flat greenness, corporate landscaping to reflect the commercial interests driving the LMDC's plans. So here's for something different: a grove of tulip poplars. Living things to replace death, majestic trees to last hundreds of years. Just as today's tulip poplars link us to the distant past, a grove at the World Trade Center site will stand as a vibrant memorial into the far future.
New York's Real Skyscrapers via the Morning News.

August 2, 2002

'swarming' catches on in US

"It's the search for peak experience, something that's really going to be special," says Adam Eidinger, a District political organizer. "It happened to me just last week. There was a concert at Fort Reno -- Fugazi." His cell rang. "There's this guy, Bernardo, who's one of the biggest swarmer cell-phone people I know." Came the restless call: " 'Where are you? There are all these people here!' And he wasn't just calling us. He called 25 people. Pretty soon everybody he knew was sitting on the grass, and none of them knew they were going to be there that morning."
Washington Post: Cell Biology.

July 31, 2002

Here's to those stylish hens

Steven Keel, the owner of Egganic Industries in Ringgold, Va., says that sales of his elaborate $1,500 Henspas — low-maintenance, high-comfort homes designed for urban and suburban chickens — are up 15 percent. The McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa, reports they're sending more mail-order chicks (ranging in cost from about $1 to $5 per chick) to addresses in upper-class suburbs.

Lucy has been brooding since Valerie died, so now the virgin Lucy's hatching some other hen's fertile egg. And just in time, because ABC News sez: Chickens Have Become Chic Urban and Suburban Pets.

originally posted by judlew

July 30, 2002


The New York Times' wine tasters hold forth on Wheat Beer, the Antidote to Summer Heat. (Don't miss the tasting report.)

July 29, 2002

i'll drink to that.

When these data were analysed, Dr Barefoot and his colleagues found that wine-drinkers ate less saturated fat and cholesterol, smoked less, and were more active than the rest. Those who drank no alcohol had the worst habits: they ate fewer fruits and vegetables and more red meat, and also smoked more. When the researchers controlled for connections between socio-economic status and beverage preference, they found that wine-drinkers with the same financial resources and social standing as beer-drinkers or teetotallers simply lead more sensible and healthier lives.

Despite allowing themselves the indulgence of wine-drinking, members of this group practised reasonable self-discipline in matters of diet, exercise and smoking. According to the researchers, the lifestyle led by wine-drinkers explains much of their better health. Whether encouraging the abstemious to drink wine would cause them to lead healthier lives is moot.
The Economist, "The key to gracious living"

July 27, 2002

TiVo, take me away

I'm not ashamed to say I'm a fan of John Ritter's work. I am a little ashamed to tell you that John Ritter is co-starring with Katey Sagal in a sitcom for ABC this fall, "Some Show Whose Title Is Eight Words Long" or something. If that's not enough, both ABC and WB have developed shows in which the main character is a thirtysomething man time-travelling back to high school in the 1980s. I'm not making this up!

July 26, 2002

This article from the Urban

This article from the Urban Land Institute asks: "What makes a place a place?" (And why does a "sense of place" feel so scarce in America?)

Changing places has long been a peculiarly American trait: Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1835 that an American changes his residence ceaselessly. When things are going badly—a dead-end job, a failing marriage, rising crime—we cut our ties and move on. In such a vast country, space is our greatest safety valve. No horizon is out of reach. Our abundance of land and our pursuit of new horizons have made us the most mobile, and probably most restless, society on earth, writes David Lamb in A Sense of Place: Listening to Americans. We are refugees in our own country, notes Peter Schrag in Out of Place in America.

originally posted by Ben Fried

July 24, 2002

Just as some cities are

Just as some cities are stopping their recycling programs,
come out in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

There, across a 40-foot span of the Mullica River in Wharton State Forest, engineers will begin next month to build a bridge like no other on Earth. It will be made entirely of - Are you listening? - plastics.

The raw materials don't exactly inspire confidence behind the wheel: 30,000 tons of flakes, smaller than paper-punch dots, made of discarded milk, bleach and detergent containers, and Styrofoam products as ethereal as packing peanuts.

And a new use for old office buildings.

originally posted by Greer

July 22, 2002

NPR's Jacki Lyden interviews Anissa

NPR's Jacki Lyden interviews Anissa Helou, author of a new cookbook, Mediterranean Street Food.

July 18, 2002

Architecture and Death

Poll: Six WTC Site Proposals Lack Appeal.

Of course they do, but as I see it, we've now seen the six worst case scenarios. I'll update this post throughout the day.

July 11, 2002

Mendler: I think the major

Mendler: I think the major resistance we see is not to the idea of green architecture — because it's an attractive, common sense idea in a lot of ways.

The resistance has to do with the fact that everybody is under so much time pressure. So there's a reticence about adding yet another concern to what people already have to do.

Now that we've seen more and more successful projects, people are a little more familiar with the issues, and that reticence is eroding. But I think that's where it comes from: not that doing a green building is a bad idea, but just concern about being able to address that issue with all the others. There is also some concern about costs.

Something I've always been interested in, once I have a place of my own. This website focuses on Texas properties.

Deconstruction is the process of selectively and systematically disassembling buildings that would otherwise be demolished to generate a supply of materials suitable for reuse in the construction or rehabilitation of other structures. The benefits of deconstruction, ranging from the diversion of demolition debris from landfills to the creation of jobs and job skills, have been documented elsewhere. Numerous examples from across the country illustrate how buildings can be successfully deconstructed and how salvaged materials can be collected and distributed for reuse.

originally posted by Greer

dream, dream, dream

On a Slope of Dune, a Big Mixed Salad

July 9, 2002

Tivo, I thought you knew

Tivo, I thought you knew me well. You recorded Lawrence Welk and not Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends?

July 7, 2002

Vegetarians come in more than

Vegetarians come in more than half a dozen flavors, from sproutarians to pesco-pollo-vegetarians. The most notorious are the vegan (rhymes with intriguin' or fatiguin') vegetarians. The Green Party of the movement, vegans decline to consume, use or wear any animal products. They also avoid honey, since its production demands the oppression of worker bees. TV's favorite vegetarian, the cartoon 8-year-old Lisa Simpson, once had a crush on a fellow who described himself as "a Level Five vegan - I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."

Time magazine discovers vegetarianism.

July 5, 2002

Dear Arjuna,     How was

Dear Arjuna,

    How was the They Might Be Giants concert? I would have loved to go, but poker was great so I'm not upset about missing it.

    When you and your iBook move to L.A. this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for these warchalking symbols which indicate WiFi Internet access points. L.A. isn't quite as saturated as, say, San Francisco (scroll down), but it couldn't hurt to bring along your iBook and a copy of MacStumbler when you go apartment hunting, could it?

    Can you make it to dinner on Sunday?



July 4, 2002

DEP --> Online: Air Quality

Washington Metropolitan Area Air Quality Forecast

He's methodical, detail-oriented and a

He's methodical, detail-oriented and a little bit obsessive, but in a good way.
My kind of commute...

July 3, 2002

Shameless Secrets of the Chefs

New York Times: Shameless Secrets of the Chefs

Yes, culinary snobs of the world: Coca-Cola has nuance. And, if you are to believe some of the country's top chefs and take a peek into their pantries, so do Heinz ketchup, Werther's caramels, Hellmann's mayonnaise, Hungry Jack potato flakes and other pedestrian ingredients. You may have even had them in a $30 entree without knowing it.

microwave melting of metals

This page on melting metals in a domestic microwave describes a technique by which one could for example cast silver jewelery at home.

our namesake!

The domestic diva cancelled her appearance on the CBS morning news program late Tuesday after being told she would be asked about the investigation into her stock dealings.

She had been booked to talk about ice box desserts.

It means there will be no repeat of her memorable appearance on the program last week, when Stewart continued to chop cabbage for a salad as host Jane Clayson asked her questions about alleged insider trading.

"I want to focus on my salad, because that's why we're here," Stewart said then.
You know those Martha Stewart Strawberry Planters at K-mart? When they go on clearance at Astor Pl., we pounce!! Looks like the Martha Stewart Everyday Collapsible Tip Bag already is. I guess enough "tips" have already collapsed on her. I'll stop now.

June 30, 2002

"The Tabasco bottle is particularly

"The Tabasco bottle is particularly intriguing because of what it implies about African-American cuisine and the development of the West," said Kelly Dixon, administrator of the Comstock Archaeology Center who is supervising the dig about 20 miles southeast of Reno.

"This was an exotic product and Comstock African-Americans were apparently the ones breaking this new ground," Dixon said.
130-Year Old Hot Sauce Bottle Found

June 29, 2002

Dear Dude,    I like my job.

Dear Dude,

    I like my job. How is the move going? I know you can email from work, a word or two. I hope the weekend isn't too stressful. Call us if you need to talk!
    We're excited about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The Silk Road, it will be great. Look at the Food section from this week: The Flavor Of the Silk Road. Just like we always talk about!
    Listen, this question might change your life: have you heard Aim's Hinterland? Hello to E.



The Plot Ripens (

The Washington Post on community gardens.

June 28, 2002 on John Sayles' Sunshine State.

June 26, 2002

Village Voice: Best Undistributed

Village Voice: Best Undistributed Films
Millennium Mambo (Chie shi man po) (2001) 119 min NY Premiere!
Directed by Hou Hsaio-hsien. 
With Shu Qi, Kao Jack, Tuan Chun-Hao. 
 In Chinese with English subtitles. 
Sat, June 29 at 4, 6:30*, 9:30pm
Q&A with film critic Mark Peranson will follow the 6:30pm screening.

I have to miss Millenium Mambo at bam, but that doesn't mean you do.

Ms. Smith goes to Queens

Ms. Smith said that she was simply trying to underscore that 12 of 14 of the Queens' shelters were already in Community Board 12, where the proposed new one would go, and that she did not like the way Mr. Bloomberg's bodyguard spoke to her.

"Well, darling, I get elected just like the mayor," the state senator said. "And I have the right to stand up for my community. So if he can't take the heat, he can get out of the kitchen."
Ms. Smith goes to Queens: A state senator, upset at the concentration of homeless shelters in her district, almost traded blows with Mayor Mikes' bodyguards yesterday.

Also by Jennifer Steinhauer today: Who let the dogs out? and Bus Strike in Queens Continues.
Will she be mad that I changed her headlines? Is that allowed?

June 22, 2002

You don't know anything except

You don't know anything except what's there for you to see. An act. Lies. Device. Not the pure heart, the pumping black heart.
A few of us saw Amiri Baraka's Dutchman, "one of the high marks in postwar American drama," at the Source Theatre last night. Amiri Baraka was first known as LeRoi Jones and associated with the Beats.
When I wrote that play Dutchman, I didn't know what I had written. I stayed up all night and wrote it, went to sleep at the desk and then woke up, and looked at it and said "what the [f---] is this?" And then put it down and went to bed.
If Baraka showed up in Richard Linklater's "Waking Life", his monologue might go something like this: [Kalamu ya Salaam speaks with Amiri Baraka].

June 20, 2002

Hear that blue jay? Totally

Hear that blue jay? Totally wrong. The birds of Hollywood: An unnatural history. Rest my ears?

June 17, 2002

rW belatedy nods to Bronx

rW belatedy nods to Bronx week. (thanks, NY1)

June 14, 2002

Two from the Washington Post:

Two from the Washington Post: Bourbon, Straight and The Search for the Perfect Hash Browns.

June 11, 2002

washington and riyadh are pretty much tied

My perspective isn't particularly that of a New Yorker (though that's where I moved from, so that's where my habits were most recently molded). I've lived for extended periods of time in (alphabetical order) Amsterdam, Ann Arbor, Athens, London, New Haven, New York, Riyadh, San Francisco, Sydney, and now, Washington.

Each of these cities has something to offer. Each has aspects that make them less desirable. Each reaches balance somewhere. New Haven's certainly the worst of the bunch. Ahead of that, Washington and Riyadh are pretty much tied. Riyadh is more affordable and has more interesting neighborhoods; Washington has public transportation and we're allowed to wear shorts.
Subject: Re: Dinner in another time-zone [was: Re: SmarTrip is here... But is it worth it?]
Newsgroups: dc.general

Have you ever had blueberry

Have you ever had blueberry wine?

June 8, 2002

It got on our menu

It got on our menu kind of as a joke. When we were about to open last year, we were all stressed out, and they asked me, 'What do you really feel like eating?' and I said, 'Macaroni and cheese.'
Los Angeles Times: Mac & Cheese Forever. (Even vegans love their macaroni and Chreese.)

June 7, 2002

Marmite, food of the gods

Marmite, love it or hate it?

June 6, 2002

Wonder Twin powers, activate!

Wonder Twin powers, activate!

Those regular, everday terrorist attacks.

'I have a cell phone myself and I know the importance of safety,' said student Samantha Carter. 'I've been through some of the regular everyday mishaps and emergencies that we face, so I think it's something that I should have - that every student should have.'
Board Of Ed To Consider Allowing Cell Phones In School

June 5, 2002

Two in the Times: a

Two in the Times: a South African wine called Goats do Roam and the growing presence of women among sushi chefs.

For the summer, a guide

For the summer, a guide to using fresh herbs.

June 4, 2002

The Self Education Foundation has

The Self Education Foundation has updated their web site.

May 29, 2002

Who's minding the store?

They labored mightily, pioneering the all-night grocery, and in the process creating a now familiar imprint around the city. Chris Choi, secretary general of the Korean Grocers Association, estimates that Koreans own 2,000 grocery-delis in the five boroughs.

More than 30 years have elapsed since the first generation of Koreans began tempting New Yorkers with their wares. Many have already retired. Who is minding the store now? The expected answer - those immigrants' children - is almost always wrong.

"There's no desire on the parents' part to have their kids take over the stores,'' said Fred Carriere, vice president and executive director of the Korea Society. "They want their kids to go to Harvard and become doctors and lawyers.''
The New York Times interviews three members of the "new" generation of Korean store owners.

May 26, 2002

Well, it is time to

Well, it is time to give my patio garden another go this year. Let's hope I do better than the previous summers. Maybe a little help, okay a lot, is in order.

May 23, 2002

you can't spell female without flame

"There's a big difference between barbecuing and grilling ... Barbecuing is testosterone cuisine; it's a high-performance culinary rite. We girls eat things most guys don't even consider food -- boneless chicken breasts, grilled eggplant, grilled peaches. We think of food as art. That's cooking with girl-itude."
You can't spell female without flame.

May 16, 2002

Curry goes upscale in Great

Curry goes upscale in Great Britain.

May 15, 2002

Ebert (on Episode 2):

Ebert (on Episode 2): Digital images contain less information than 35mm film images, and the more you test their limits, the more you see that. Two weeks ago I saw "Patton" shown in 70mm Dimension 150, and it was the most astonishing projection I had ever seen--absolute detail on a giant screen, which was 6,000 times larger than a frame of the 70mm film. That's what large-format film can do, but it's a standard Hollywood has abandoned (except for IMAX), and we are being asked to forget how good screen images can look--to accept the compromises. I am sure I will hear from countless fans who assure me that "Episode II" looks terrific, but it does not.
I will see a digital projection of Star Wars, but I hope I don't see a digital projection of much else. Roger Ebert agrees.
Kiarostami: I didn't use this new digital camera as a serious work tool. I took it with me more like a still camera, to take some notes with it. But when I actually started using it -- and when I realized its possibilities and what I could do with them -- I realized that I have wasted, in a way, 30 years of my career using the 35mm camera, because that camera, for the type of work that I do, is more of a hindrance than a communication tool. When I say "35mm camera," I'm not just referring to the machine itself, but to what it brings with it -- the whole crew. That's the kind of thing that's not for me or the kind of movies that I make. I like to work with this much smaller camera, which is more intimate and more immediate. For example, for people who appear in front of it, they are not intimidated by it. They are more comfortable in front of the digital camera and so, in every way, it facilitates communication.
I'm much more excited to experience ABC Africa, a documentary commisioned by the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, directed by Abbas Kiarostami, about Aids in Uganda (AK: IFAD came up with the idea for the film. If you ask them why they chose me, you'll probably find that it was because I've been working with and for children for over twenty years. To tell the truth, I had no experience of Africa, just what I'd seen in the press and on TV. I must confess those preconceptions were completely demolished by what I saw.)

May 14, 2002

Why the Elvises, why the

Why the Elvises, why the Spocks, why the guys who paint their bellies at football games? Why the Harleys buzzing toward Sturgis, why the Civil War reenactors?

In the case of "Star Wars," the why starts when you're about 8 years old, and you are sitting in one of those long-ago demolished twin cinemas that used to be in old shopping malls, and it is 1977, and your head has just been blown off. (...)

In one darkened convention room, a endless video loop shows old Kenner "Star Wars" toy commercials, which seem grainy and ancient -- little boys with John Denver haircuts, wearing turtlenecks and corduroys, dash across the back yards of some other era and play joyously with action figures and spaceships. There is something wistful in it, watching these commercials with a roomful of men who were those boys, and realizing that "Star Wars," like any drug, eventually leaves you bottomed out.
Washington Post: Troop Believers

The farmer's abiding friend for

The farmer's abiding friend for thousands of years, the honeybee in America stands on the edge of the abyss.

In recent years, two tiny spider-like parasites have been weakening and killing bee populations across the United States. While the mass media have played up the threat of Africanized "killer" bees in the Southwest, the rest of the country has been losing 80 percent or more of its wild honeybee populations.

Honeybees Stung by Parasites (Washington Post)

Man, I love me some

Man, I love me some canned fruit. I usually rock the fruit cocktail in its many varieties and syrup densities. Like the Del Monte "Fruit Naturals Chunky Mixed Fruits in Fruit Juices," for example. That's some good fruit.
Canned fruit.

May 11, 2002

Best of the [Happy|Pioneer] Valley,

Best of the [Happy|Pioneer] Valley, 2002

May 10, 2002

They live a Spartan existence.

They live a Spartan existence. Sometimes they spend eight to nine hours a day cooking for the masses. These devotees did not spend hour after hour doing this so the landlord could rent their space to a chic restaurant for five times what they were paying.
East Village Landlord Wants the Hare Krishnas Out

May 8, 2002

Life Imitating Art

Mrs. Parker is an artist, and Mr. Parker is a professor of public affairs at Baruch College in Manhattan. Their home is hardly as plain as Aunt May's in the comic book, nor as modest as the two-story home shown in the film. It is a stone Edwardian-style house built in 1916 in the English garden style. Ivy is the only thing climbing these walls.
Remarkably, there really are Parkers at 20 Ingram St. in Forest Hills, Queens. Neither MJ Watson nor Kirsten Dunst live next door, but an Osborne does!

May 2, 2002


For everyone who's ever been to Lower Manhattan - is a forum for people to share their ideas on the redevelopment of the area surrounding the World Trade Center site. The purpose is not so much to discuss the WTC site itself, but the areas around the site such as West Street and the waterfront that have also been targeted for extensive redevelopment. You'll find that it helps a great deal if you have a mental picture of the sites under discussion (which I don't).

The website was designed by my employer, Project for Public Spaces, under the auspices of the Civic Alliance, an amalgam of civic groups that is itself connected to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the somewhat shady body charged with overseeing the whole shebang. We just did a soft launch of the site, so you will notice a dearth of comments at the moment. Register and add comments if the spirit moves you, but don't spread the word to too many others just yet! We are still putting on the finishing touches.

originally posted by Ben Fried

April 28, 2002

Just as I covet

Just as I covet the classic sixes of others, my 3-year-old daughter, Hannah, envies those with a pet of their own. While I like to peer into the windows of brownstones and admire picture molding and period chandeliers, she can be counted on to espy windowsills with sleeping cats. Dog owners in the park have become accustomed to her hammering away with an open hand — a toddler's version of a soft pat — with fingers covered in sand and Tasti D-Lite.

Hannah would love to have her own tail to pull and whiskers to wrench. But ours is a typical undersized Manhattan apartment, where the food processor is jammed somewhere between winter blankets and holiday lights and removing anything from the top shelf of the linen closet invites head injuries. Simply no room for nonhumans.

Until the froglets arrived in the mail.

"In an Apartment the Size of a Teacup, a Froglet Will Do as a Pet." Jennifer Steinhauer is the reason I go to every day. (Today she also wrote about the upcoming renovation of Gracie Mansion, to be overseen by Jamie Drake, Bloomberg's personal designer.)

April 25, 2002

DC area folks: this was

DC area folks: this was in the latest "Capitol Comment" column in the Washingtonian (my emphasis added):

The sounds of summer this year will include Better Than Ezra, Cracker, the Pat McGee Band, and They Might Be Giants. They are among the acts headlining a new free-music series, DC Sessions. The concerts will feature five hours of free music?about four bands a night?from 5 to 10 PM Saturdays on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery. G Street between Seventh and Ninth streets will be closed to accommodate crowds of up to 15,000 people.

April 23, 2002

Soft Shuttlecock was created

Soft Shuttlecock was created specifically for the Frank Lloyd Wright- designed rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum by the artists in celebration of Oldenburg's 1995 retrospective there. While planning the exhibition, Oldenburg and van Bruggen were also developing a project for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, in which four 18-foot high shuttlecocks in plastic and aluminum are situated in the grass on either side of the museum, as if the building were a badminton net and the 'birdies' fell during play. For the Guggenheim installation, the artists playfully engaged the same object, this time rendering it in more pliant materials. Early preparatory drawings show the shuttlecock transformed into a costume for a tightrope walker to wear while crossing the museum's rotunda. The final result was no less a daring interaction with the space. Oldenburg and van Bruggen draped the flaccid feathers of the shuttlecock over several ramps and suspended others from the skylight above with cables. Like the Nelson-Atkins installation, Soft Shuttlecock humorously deflates the imposing structure of the building by diminishing its relative scale, while underscoring the museum's institutional role as a site not only for culture and education but also for recreation and entertainment.

April 21, 2002

Jefferson Heirs Plan Cemetery for

Jefferson Heirs Plan Cemetery for Slave's Kin at Monticello:

One of those descendants criticized the offer on Friday. "Nothing's changed in 200 years, has it?" the descendant, Julia Westerinen of New York City, said after learning of the recommendation by the Monticello Association's membership advisory committee.

The entire process is under

The entire process is under the control of the hen's pituitary gland. This gland is actually the
mastermind of almost any animal. First, it stops producing the hormone that induces egg-laying. Next it sends out another hormone that causes several other
glands to go to work. This causes one to produce increased Seretonin which is the same results you or I would get from taking the popular drug Paxil.

My hens are broody.

originally posted by judlew

April 20, 2002

Mulholland Drive 2

Samuel L. Jackson cursed his luck getting stuck in the 818 area code in "Pulp Fiction." Alicia Silverstone's character in "Clueless" dreaded attending a party in the least cool part of town. They were referring, of course, to that vast expanse of tract homes and backyard barbecues that is the San Fernando Valley. The valley, with its valley girls and mini-malls, never shared Los Angeles's cultural cachet.

But the 1.4 million people who live in the valley, many of them solid middle-class homeowners, may now take political revenge on the city that slights them: the valley is pushing to secede.
Mullholland Drive 2: Residents of the San Fernando Valley are considering secession from LA.

samuel mockbee

Mockbee, who died in December, was also a pioneering architect. He was motivated partly by a desire to right wrongs effected upon the critically disenfranchised black population of the deep south. But equally he was spurred on by a love of architecture, which he saw as both an engine for social change and an art that enabled people to create great beauty. The results have certainly changed Hale County, a tiny corner of Alabama that no one would rightly associate with go-ahead design ideas.

If you drive through Hale County today, you can see Mockbee's stylish legacy in small but striking buildings, made in a range of materials more often used for other purposes. There's a house made from baled hay, and a church constructed from tyres filled with soil and covered in stucco. "Pods", or tiny dwellings, built for students to live in, are a jumbled mass of extraordinary parts - from licence plates donated by a county court judge, to old street signs. A silvery wall of metal printing plates - thrown out by the local newspaper - shimmers in the sun like Frank Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim (although that's made from costly titanium).
I've just come across the life and works of Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio. Golly.

Soy what?

"I think a lot of what we think about milk is caught up in these romantic American notions of milking cows on the farm ... Meanwhile, it's ironic that there is promotion of milk to students of all colors at a time when these students have to sit in school with bloated stomachs and gas."
Even Starbucks has soy milk, but U.S. schools can't take a taste.

April 17, 2002

Tso what?

Not one in 10,000 knows who General Tso (most commonly pronounced "sow") was, nor what terrible times he lived through, nor the dark massacres that distinguished his baleful, belligerent career. Setting their chopsticks aside, patting their stomachs, the satisfied diners spare scarcely a thought for General Tso, except to imagine that he must have been a great connoisseur of hot stir-fried chicken.
The Washington Post asks: Who Was General Tso and Why Are We Eating His Chicken?

April 16, 2002

A handful of rW editors

A handful of rW editors have eaten at Govinda's vegetarian lunch cart (some of us ate there every day), which was located in Liberty Plaza across from the World Trade Center. I just found an interview with Jerry Abrams, who ran the cart for two years. I'm glad to discover he's still alive - now I just wish I could eat some of his tofu scramble. Also, "Brooklyn is the center of the universe."

April 15, 2002

Wachovia Bank, Personal Finance, Banking, Lending and Investing Center

Woodmore is a racially mixed subdivision, with African American professionals making up more than half the population. And it's by far the classiest address in Prince George's County. But the county, The most affluent majority-African American county in the nation, has not seen the price appreciations of other markets in the Washington area. It's also not suffering from the same desperate lack of houses that parts of Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and the District are facing, shortages that fuel prices in those areas. In other words, right now it's the best buy in terms of value for money in the Washington area.
This Washington Post article is from 2000 -- I'd love to know if anything has changed; it doesn't seem likely. See also Rich and Black in The Washington Times.

April 12, 2002

There will be a screening

There will be a screening of Promises this Sunday at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture.

"Promises" is an Academy Award nominee this year for Best Documentary Feature. It was shown late last year on PBS's "POV," and is currently in theatrical screenings around the country.
"Promises" won numerous film festival awards in the last year, and has received positive reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Variety, Il Manifesto (Italy), The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post (Israel), among other international publications.

April 7, 2002

They ramble across the

April 4, 2002

short quiz on organic foods

Why Eat Organic Foods?

Q: What do the following statements have in common??

1. The Green Revolution was a step forward for agriculture.
2. Pesticides have been rigorously tested by the EPA.
3. Pesticides are safe if used as labeled.
4. The higher the dose of pesticide, the higher the risk.
5. Pesticide residues on produce are safe because they are so low.
6. Without pesticides, pest infestation would wipe out many farms.
7. The benefits of pesticides outweigh the environmental costs.
8. Large-scale farms are much more productive than small-scale farms.
9. Organic crops are dangerous because they are fertilized with manure.
10. Organic foods are more expensive than the conventional food that comes from discount stores like Costco or Wal-Mart.
11. The use of genetically engineered crops will reduce pesticide usage.
12. Genetically engineered food will feed the starving masses of the world.
13. Vitamin-A rice will solve the problem many countries have with their eyes.
14. Genetically engineered crops are fully tested for safety.
15. Genetically engineered crops will be a great benefit to all farmers.
16. The genetically engineered crop industry is the most regulated industry in history.
17. The science of inserting genes into cells is extremely accurate.

A: All are false

April 3, 2002

"Mothers come pushing strollers, singles

"Mothers come pushing strollers, singles and whole families come from all over the Del Ray neighborhoods. At least 50 people from my office are members. They all descend on the truck. You can smell the basil 50 yards away. It's the smell of summertime."

We've hungered all winter for our CSA share; nursed from time to time by the news updates from the farm.

March 27, 2002


I just returned from Paris where I rushed repeatedly to gawp at the above beauty, the Institut du Monde Arabe. The south face of the museum is, according to, a 60m-high "ocular device of striking originality, made up of numerous and variously dimensioned metallic diaphragms set in pierced metal borders. These diaphragms operate like a camera lens to control the sun's penetration into the interior of the building. The changes to the irises are dramatically revealed internally while externally a subtle density pattern can be observed. Thus the whole effect is like a giant Islamic pierced screen, giving significance and an audacious brilliance to this remarkable building". Urban75 also has a nice shot of the south face, and these architecture pages contain more thumbnails of this amazing building. I'd thought that the panels were solar powered, but no, merely photo sensitive. The exhibitions are incredible, too. When you stand inside the museum right behind the panels, you can listen to them go 'sshhht' and open and close depending on the amount of light outside. Wow.

March 26, 2002

the basho of honk

I am insane now. I have become the honking, and the honking has become me. I cannot throw eggs. It is bad and wrong. But I can't just do nothing, either.
A nascent anti-honking movement organizes through haiku, in The New Yorker.

March 25, 2002

"John Ivers got tired of

"John Ivers got tired of waiting in line to ride a roller coaster so he decided to build his own...the Blue Flash!"

March 19, 2002

Filters Block 'Sinful Six'

The temptation to be unproductive is so great. We're sucked into the fact that we now have this home entertainment system on our desks.
Filters Block 'Sinful Six' (

March 16, 2002

Putting aside the bad

Putting aside the bad experiences of him, I have to say that he made a
positive impression on me as an artist. He really had what I call
"second nature" which means that his art was utterly direct and
not at all intellectual. I do think of his art as being poetic, and also
about the alchemy of signs and symbols. He definitely made powerful
art about the problems of race, but I think that his most important
contribution was his approach to art making.

John Seed, who worked as an assistant to Jean-Michel Basquiat, recounts some experiences from their brief relationship. The attitude in the above paragraph displays a racist attitude that transcends art - when Black people are successful it's often attributed to a "raw, natural ability" rather than hard work or intellectual prowess.

March 13, 2002

"It will perfume a whole

"It will perfume a whole room," Ms. Goldman said. "And it's incredibly beautiful. It tastes horrible, but that doesn't matter."
The Queen Anne's pocket melon is an heirloom melon.

Heirloom GardeningHeirloom seeds pre-date hybridization

Heirloom Gardening

Heirloom seeds pre-date hybridization (which does not breed true), disease and insect resistance straining, and genetic engineering. Heirloom seeds have been handed down from one generation to the next, preserving the diversity and the beauty of our gardens, the taste of our food, our ability to adapt to changing environments, and now to preserve plant reproduction itself.

March 9, 2002

not bored

Though this may be hard for some to believe, especially in these sentimental times, the so-called Twin Towers at the World Trade Center were hated by many New Yorkers, who before September 11, 2001 would have been happy if the goddamned things had never been built and after September 11th are glad that they're gone. An entire neighborhood was emptied out and destroyed to make way for them. Them -- not just one spectacular tower, but two. And this in a city known for singularities and differences, not repetitions and resemblances! ... "The analogy of the Chicago fire is important. What happened there is that a lot of wood structures burned down. And in their place, of course, wood structures were not put up. The city became a sort of testing ground, the laboratory for the development of the [steel-framed] American skyscaper. So let's imagine that New York can become a laboratory right now -- a laboratory of what?" ... The New York Psychogeographical Association sees only one viable option: turn the site into a huge community garden that would be open to the public twenty-four hours a day and year-round. All kinds of flowers, fruits and vegetables would be cultivated. (The produce could be divided among the gardeners, sold to pay for expenses and/or donated to soup kitchens.) Unlike memorials or parks, which do not change after their creation, gardens are living, growing things.
The New York Psychogeographical Association proposes A New Garden of Eden for the WTC site at NOT BORED!, where you can also find the New York Security Camera Players and these murals in NYC community gardens. Oh, and don't forget to go puppy bowling this weekend.

March 7, 2002

a rose is a rose is a rose

The Help Me Find/Everything Roses site has tons of information on roses, including their Roses E-zine (with stuff like how they name roses), a rose glossary, and a huge list of rose varieties. Did you know there are lots of roses that share names with rW editors? There's Jude the Obscure, Adam's Smile, St. David's, two Georges - George Burns and George Will (yes, George Will), and there are four Clementines (but none with photos, unfortunately). As for myself, I have a strong fragrance and large bloom form. So there. (via Making Light)

originally posted by Chris

Portland's Shelley Siripatrapa is the

Portland's Shelley Siripatrapa is the best chef in the world. So where does she go for a quick fix?

"The Dog House," she says (2845 E Burnside St., 239-3647). "That's the very first place that popped into my head.... I normally get the Vegetarian Dog ($2.75)."

March 6, 2002

We talked about this at

We talked about this at work yesterday, so it's funny that it should turn up in everyone's favorite UK paper today.

Cohabitation and second marriages also lengthened people's lives, but not as much as an enduring first marriage.

Married workers earned 10% to 20% more than single workers. The difference got stronger as the marriage got longer, Prof Oswald said.

With more from RAND
Numerous studies covering 140 years have shown that married persons tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts. Attempts to explain this advantage have typically focused on the following questions: Does marriage have a direct protective effect, reducing the risk of mortality by providing benefits such as improved health? Or does increased longevity reflect the possibility that healthy people are more likely to get married--and therefore that married people are simply healthier from the start of their married lives?

The focus of these questions suggests that the connection between longevity and the married state can be explained only by "protection" provided through marriage or by "positive selection" into marriage because of good health. However, a third consideration may also offer insights into the relationship between marriage and health. If being married is a way of gaining increased protection against illness and death, then persons in poor health may have a greater incentive to seek these benefits by marrying and staying married. This mechanism may be termed "adverse selection" into marriage and, theoretically, could be as significant a factor as positive selection. Yet, while it is often suggested that selection may account for at least part of the marriage advantage, previous empirical work has concerned itself with positive selection and has not considered the possibility that adverse selection may also play a role.

originally posted by Greer

March 5, 2002

Utne Reader presents America's 60

Utne Reader presents America's 60 Best Public Places

An eclectic assortment of favorite hangouts from Key West to Seattle. In drafting the list, we drew upon the work of the Project for Public Spaces, a national advocacy group, and Gianni Longo’s book A Guide to Great American Public Places, as well as suggestions from friends around the country and happy memories of our own travels. We define the idea of public place broadly here, ranging from rib joints to the Grand Canyon, art museums to Coney Island. Our only firm criterion was that these places must be open to everyone at no more than a modest cost.

another reason to love New York City

Mr. Karlov, originally from Moscow, glanced over at his fellow passenger and smiled. "He does not bother me, and, in fact, I find him rather amusing," he said.

Waiting for the A Train, the Sophisticated Pigeon

March 2, 2002

The first of the papaver

The first of the papaver somniferum of the spring bloomed yesterday morning in my garden, a Persian White. I have other poppies, Icelandic and Shirley, Oriental and California, but they aren't nearly as spectacular as the ones that yield opium. This one is an eerie shade of translucent ivory, and the Danish Flags that follow later will look like the white ones stained with blood. I don't harvest them; it's illegal and I don't need it. But I save the dried pods for decorative purposes, and consider them part of my arsenal of herbs: If the world were ending, I'd make some tea.

I've been obsessed with poppies ever since I read Michael Pollan's April '97 Harper's article, "Opium Made Easy," reprinted here. It also got me thinking about addiction, interdiction and the general landscape of therapeutic plants.

originally posted by judlew

March 1, 2002

food for those in solitude

As we grow to human maturity and care for the lives of others, we become creatively and beautifully silent. We evoke words from the other and generate life by our listening... The silent person is not the one who never speaks but the one who knows how to listen well.
Thomas Merton quoted in the quarterly newsletter for hermits and those interested in the eremitical life, "Raven's Bread."

February 28, 2002

This week, Portlanders have

This week, Portlanders have one last chance not only to emerge from the dark shadow of Michael Graves' Portland Building, but also to embrace the kind of architectural opportunity that comes here little more than once in a generation.

It's been more than 20 years since Portland had the chance to embrace architecture's cutting edge, and many civic leaders still bear the scars. In 1980, the city commissioned Michael Graves' Portland Building. Despite its pedigree as the world's first major postmodern building, it's viewed as a failure because of numerous structural problems, its incongruity with the rest of Portland's urban fabric, and the short-lived reign of postmodernism.
This isn't just about having our own billowing metal edifice, or curing the city's much-discussed design malaise with one building. It's about the rarer opportunity for architecture to transcend borders, to match a legendary designer with people who would normally never conceive of being his clients. If Portland lets Gehry go, it will have wasted the chance for an audacious act that would not even occur to leaders in most cities.

Brian Libby (www) urges Portland residents to attend a Portland Development Commission meeting, tonight, to decide the city's architectural and cultural priorities.

February 27, 2002

Great Public Spaces is an

Great Public Spaces is an online effort of the Project for Public Spaces. It's a searchable collection of well-loved parks, markets, streets and buildings in urban areas all over the world. (There's also the "Hall of Shame" for well-hated spaces.) Representation of areas is spotty at the moment, but you can change that by nominating your own favorites.

who knew reading about gardening could be so entertaining?

I was going to do a post on gardening in the city, and then I found Urban Agriculture Notes, a Vancouver-based urban gardening publication chock full o' good stuff, and decided just to point you guys to that instead. Lots of good reading, including:

All sorts of things you probably didn't know about wasabi:

"Wasabi's stature as a highly prized condiment in Japanese cuisine is well known. However, a fact that is not widely recognized or appreciated is that Wasabi contains numerous bio-chemically active compounds, mainly from the isothiocyanate family, that have medicinal, pharmaceutical or industrial applications. These exciting applications are only just beginning to be investigated, most likely because of the plant's high commercial value and its scarcity."

"What's The Deal With Worm Composting?" - a proposed Seinfeld script:

"George moves his worm bin out to the balcony off his bedroom to avoid fruit flies. A roof rat eats through the plastic bin and nests in the bin. Unsuspecting, George opens the lid and is bitten. He is convinced he has rabies. Elaine shows no sympathy.

"Meanwhile they discover that Kramer is a master wormer. For years he has been letting worms eat his garbage in a deluxe mahogany bin which he keeps in his living room, an elegant piece of new age furniture, covered with African statuary. George has been sitting on it during his evangelical tirades."

"Confessions of a Lawn Moron":

"The more I learned about lawn, the more preoccupied I became. Obscure grass lore haunted me. I heard that raccoons roam the streets at night rolling up newly laid sod, looking for grubs. As a family of raccoons had moved in behind the garden and we had just laid a small test patch of sod there, I began to fret. Should I nail the stuff down? Bungy-cord it? Use Krazy Glue? How do you raccoon-proof your lawn?"

And an interesting old Times piece on New York City rooftop beekeepers:

"If pigeon-fancying was the rooftop recreation of choice during the ''On the Waterfront'' era, urban beekeeping is poised to become a hot new bull-market avocation. Two summers ago, David Graves, a veteran bee master who was on the roof helping Ms. Goodman tend the hives, knew of just one beehive in the five boroughs: now he is aware of 13 hives in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. And city beekeepers claim that there could be twice that number."

originally posted by Chris

February 23, 2002

maybe you don't want to know

The New York City restaurant inspection database has the results of the most recent health inspections at all your favorite NYC eateries (DJ - Taqueria D.F. had NO violations, woo), some of which you might not want to know about (umm... bad news about that falafel place). Several similar databases for other cities and regions are available online here, including Seattle, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

originally posted by Chris

February 22, 2002

where da evidence?

From the 11217 I transmit
My area is thick my vision focused
My jitterbugs limp n' learn as I squirm
But I'm a team player so I waits my turn
And when I get the rock I'm going straight to the hole
My average per game is pure black soul
In the 13-X styles the ignorance
Got the clearance to speak intelligence on the block
Digable Planets - For Corners lyrics

February 21, 2002

what to do with the High Line?

"Built in the 1930s as an elevated passageway for freight trains, the High Line runs for 1.45 miles, from 34th Street, along the edge of the Hudson River, through West Chelsea's tree-lined blocks and art galleries, into the heart of the Meat Packing District. Friends of the High Line believes this neglected landmark offers New Yorkers the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind recreational amenity: a grand, public promenade that can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors in New York City. Preservation and reuse will protect the High Line's potential for future transportation use and link the residential, cultural, commercial, and industrial components of these dynamic Manhattan neighborhoods."

Friends of the High Line is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing the demolition of this unique urban space and making it into something new and beautiful - which has been done before quite successfully in Paris.

Their web site has some pretty spiffy stuff, including a very nice gallery, this recent Daily News opinion piece urging Bloomberg to continue his support for preserving the High Line, and other current news about the fight to preserve this lovely piece of old New York.

Elsewhere on the web, you can take a virtual tour of the high line, see what the Preservation League of New York has to say about the high line, and view even more lovely photographs. What would you like to see done with the High Line?

originally posted by Chris

February 19, 2002

New York's Newest Night Owls

New York's Newest Night Owls (NYT)

note to self: read Wild Nights soon.

February 18, 2002

Yummalucious restaurant. Uncle Vanya's Cafe

Yummalucious restaurant.

Uncle Vanya's Cafe (good russian food, good american prices)

In Manhattan, just across the street from a courthouse at 315 W. 54th St. (between 8th and 9th Aves, phone 212-262-0542).

DJ, two friends, and I finally met for the dinner we were supposed to have on September 11th. Uncle Vanya's was chosen for its proximity to the auditorium in which we would be spending almost four hours later that night. It turned out to be a wonderful restaurant, and I will go back. The lighting was just right. The music was "russified" Beatles hits. The waitress was patient and funny (cracking subtle jokes that made me smile). The food was great. (Go eggplant salad!) Some of the entrees were less large than one might expect, but the appetizers make up for that. DJ's tea came with cookies and a little bowl of cherries. Good times were had by all. Hilarity ensued.

originally posted by Greer

February 15, 2002


"The meathead illustrated is a ham meathead, which gives the appearance of a severe burn victim. You can also use corned beef, for the look of someone with the outer layer of his skin peeled off, or turkey for a nice zombie appearance."

originally posted by Chris

February 13, 2002


Just as children are frequently freaked after learning the truth about where they really came from -- "Wait! Wait! Daddy did what?" -- it's quite certain that many modern lovers will be appalled and revolted to learn that the act of kissing began with prehistoric mothers chewing up food -- then pushing it into their children's mouths with their tongues. "Hungry, honey? Then come give Mama a kiss!"
First Kisses - a look back on the history of liplock, from AlterNet.

originally posted by Chris

The Lower East Side Tenement

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is engaged in an ugly Real Estate dispute. I see both sides of this argument, and I have noticed this animosity even in the tours, where they are constantly bad mouthing the neighboring building's owners. Regardless, the Tenement Museum is an incredible place worth visiting multiple times.

Following up on this classic

Following up on this classic discussion, I ventured out with Chris to "Taqueria D.F." I am pleased to report the tortillas were perfect, the beans (refried, vegetarian) a nice consistency and the rice acceptable. I would rate it far superior to Burritoville, but not in the same league as BB or (insert favorite SF burrito spot here). I also found the guacamole slightly thin. I'll definitely be returning.

February 12, 2002

Anyone who's ever done

Anyone who's ever done any food-related websurfing at all has probably already seen this, but it's spiffy nonetheless, and it was recently redesigned: The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

originally posted by Chris

On the subway:It is always

On the subway:

It is always rude to bleed near someone, especially in a crowded train station.

In bars:

We won't even go into how to pick up men or women at a bar, except: if you don't know how, no one can help you. And if you do know how, no one can help you. You're helpless, any way you cut it.

In restaurants:

In the case of being served wine that you didn't order but is obviously better than you wanted, accept immediately and play it cool. Drink your fair share, and stick your friend with the check; the next day, when he brings it up, say "Yeah, but man, that wine was really good, right?"

On the street:

It's impolite to broach strangers on the street and tell them how awful they look. It's also impolite to start fights with homeless people. However, it is unbelievably rude to do both at the same time, while impersonating a homeless person. This has been witnessed.

The Morning News Guide to Urban Etiquette: New York City (via BoingBoing)

originally posted by Chris

new stuff is the new old stuff

POINTLESS, UGLY, STUPID CRAP: 'Just look at all this stupid crap! We found that minibar on Brick Lane, after the market. I nearly died of happiness. But now I just think it's pointless. If there's booze in the house, we drink it. We don't need a minibar!

'And these [red suede ruched] boots! They're just like the ones Suzanne Sulley wore with that trenchcoat in the Don't You Want Me video. But they're ugly. Really ugly. All my friend are so jealous of me for finding them. But I hate them.'
Jessica, 29, is sick of thrifting. I know how she feels.

Alton Brown on KPA

Ever since Martha Stewart wrapped our planet (and others as far as I know) in her chilly perfection many people have become so uncertain of their decor that they simply quit having people over. They sit at night, alone, fumbling paint chips like rosary beads while pining for the perfect valance for the "keeping room". This sort of miasma drives us to abandon all sense of personal style and as an extension, our very personalities. Unable to trust ourselves at flea markets or antique shops, we flock to Pottery Barn to buy artificial flea market finds.
Alton Brown looks at Kitchen Performance Anxiety.

February 10, 2002

I've found a new

I've found a new favorite falafel place. It's on Coney Island Avenue (near the Charlottesville section of Brooklyn) and it's too large to fit in one picture. You pay for your container, pita (3.5), half pita (3), plate with chicken (6) - there are tons of options. Then you approach this salad bar where you jam as much falafel, green onions, salad, pickles, and much more into your pita. At first I was a little intimidated by the hordes of people reaching into the falafel bin with their fingers and wolfing them down 2 or 3 at a time, but I got over that quickly since it tasted so delicious.

February 8, 2002

While a tree may

While a tree may grow in Brooklyn, statistically speaking it’s more likely to be in Queens -- almost half of New York City’s trees (43.6%) are in that borough, according to the latest city tree census. The most common tree in New York is the Norway maple (perhaps because it does very well in sidewalk plantings, as you see here), which, along with London plane trees, comprise over 40% of the city's total tree population. You might be surprised at all the benefits street trees have to offer. Learn a bit more about street trees and how you can help them thrive from NYC Oasis and the most recent issue of the Brooklyn Gardener newsletter.

originally posted by Chris

Money-Grubbing Games

First there is a promise. Then there is no promise. Then there is a promise — until your attention is diverted again.
Paul Krugman breaks down why Bush will never give us the money he promised. [NYT link now gone. dj 2/11] [Rest assured that motherfucker is not going to give us our money!!]

February 6, 2002

Lexington, Va.

Most people pull off the interstate and expect to find a bumpkin town, not a good piece of chocolate, a good cup of espresso, a good theater and streets lined with art galleries and interesting shops.
There is apparently more than one reason to visit Lexington, Va.

February 5, 2002

Today is the 25th

Today is the 25th annual Empire State Building Run Up, sponsored by the New York Road Runners Club. A group of 150 hearty athletic types will be running 86 flights up a total of 1576 steps - a task that the recordholder managed to do in 9 minutes and 37 seconds.

Clearly, this whole thing is both nifty and insane.

originally posted by Chris

February 4, 2002

This simple survey on geographical

This simple survey on geographical linguistics is kinda interesting - particularly the very clear showing of what parts of the country say "y'all" for the plural you. And, apparently, I've been using the New York term for carbonated cola beverages since long before it was geographically appropriate for me to do so.

originally posted by Chris

February 2, 2002

74th Street Between West End

74th Street Between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive: An 1896 Row of 11 Town Houses With One Architect. Streetscapes, from the New York Times.

The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference

The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference not only features a decent list of sushi joints around the globe, but also a handy glossary (did you know monkfish liver is called ankimo?) and all sorts of wildly conflicting sushi etiquette tips.

Mmmmmm. Sushi.

originally posted by Chris

February 1, 2002

Romanticizing the De-Evolution of the

Romanticizing the De-Evolution of the State (The Thresher)

Non-hierarchical networked societies are a grand ideal. I'm no fan of nosey and anal governments poking their fingers into every act, regulating away all vitality. But a total de-evolution of the state at this time would be M.A.D. Over-optimistic fantasies aside, the techno-libertarian reality is a grim Social Darwinist one. We've already seen how this oligarchy functions, with its networked corporate drone-hives, their virtual trillions circulating the globe out of the grasp of the Job-like-masses, who've been permanently downsized and temped (pimped) out, suffering for their faith in the market. And far-left/anarchist fantasies about the potential perfection of wo-man (alleged to have lived in harmonious hunter-gatherer, agrarian or even Neolithic golden ages), after the corrupting state is removed, demonstrate an even more unsophisticated form of wishful thinking. Anarchist devolutionists don't only ignore most of the historical and evolutionary evidence, they fail to explain how we could get there from this far away, without killing off the several hundred million people who really want to go shopping at the mall.

January 31, 2002

Sturtle on what he, as

Sturtle on what he, as a non-New Yorker, thinks of New Yorky stuff like eating while walking that you only tend to notice after being here a while:

"New York is so hip to walking, they've made it okay to eat en route. Most of America is kinda funny about eating away from the table. We'll consume lunch in the car if we've just hit the Burger King drive-through, and we'll even eat on our feet at carnivals and such, but other than that, there seems to be an aversion to eating on the go. In Europe it's even worse; there, if you're not actually seated at a goddamn table in the beer garden and you so much as pop an M&M in your mouth, they'll extradite your ass and put you on the next plane headed west."

That's definitely the kinda thing I noticed after living here a while (here's another: the ubiquity of Goya. I don't know whether they even had it in Kansas, but it's all over the damned place here). What sorts of idiosyncratically mundane stuff have you noticed that's unique about where you live or places you've stayed for a spell?

originally posted by Chris

Dining Out With Babes --

Dining Out With Babes -- babies, that is -- in and around DC.

Fuck Corporate Groceries: "so i

Fuck Corporate Groceries: "so i decided to spend the next [while] not shopping at corporate grocery stores, living instead on food purchased at neighborhood places. i figure this way i'll save money, explore chicago's independent food sellers, eat better(?) or at least, more interesting food, and i won't be supporting the man."

January 30, 2002

First off let me state

First off let me state that this is the coolest looking amp I've seen(for anywhere near its price) can't help but like the diamond blue tolex, stove top chicken head knobs,chrome chassis,and the killer chrome "Ampeg" logo on the front of the amp! O K you ask but how does it sound?

What does it matter how it sounds? My trusty, temperamental Ampeg has been used exclusively as a piece of furniture for almost two years now. It's depressing to look at your endtable and recall that it used to make your ears ring.

originally posted by david rees

January 29, 2002

Speaking of long trips: "Staring

Speaking of long trips:

"Staring at The Map on the 1 train, I saw the veins and arteries of a city so huge and complex you could never know it all, and I got that feeling in my stomach again. But it dawned on me that the New York City subway system is not quite like heaven. It doesn’t go on forever. I could go to all those places. Why, it might not even take that long, providing I didn’t actually get out of the train at each stop. I could maybe do it in a weekend."

In "38 Hours to Canarsie" (published a couple of weeks ago in the New York Press), Craig Coley goes for it.

originally posted by Chris

This honorary soul took the

This honorary soul took the infamous Chinatown Bus to Boston and back in one day for a taste of - the best burrito in the country? Could it be in Boston? What is the farthest you've ever travelled for a Burrito?

January 26, 2002

Go Vegan once posted, or

Go Vegan once posted, or maybe just showed me, or maybe has never seen but will really like The New York That Never Really Was hosted by Echo NYC.

January 24, 2002

Georgette Blau leads an

Georgette Blau leads an NYC tour of Sex and the City haunts.

She also gets around to discussing the way Parker's Carrie lives way beyond her means.

While Carrie makes roughly $50,000 a year as a columnist, she pays about $2,500 a month in rent, or roughly $30,000. Plus, she's bought five pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes, at about $450 a pair, or $2,250; five pairs of Manolo Blahniks at $500 each, or $2,500; three diamond horseshoe necklaces by Mia & Lizzie at $2,400 each, or $7,200; a vintage Chanel suit, $1,200; a Prada black linen duster, $1,120; a Keiselstein-Cord red alligator bag, $5,900; a Keiselstein-Cord snakeskin purse, $1,035; and an Apple computer motherboard, $395.

January 13, 2002

Miniature gardens like Kathy Swenson's

Miniature gardens like Kathy Swenson's fairy garden are blossoming big time in the garden world. Not only are they a creative way to cultivate, they're perfect for people who are limited on space.
Since the initial planting, the garden has grown to become the largest all-American rose garden in Colorado and the only garden in the country maintained by prison inmates.
Lazy Sundays are so nice for watching house and garden shows. Two things I saw this morning on Rebecca's Garden

originally posted by Greer

January 9, 2002

The best pizza I've ever

The best pizza I've ever had was at Antonio's in Amherst, MA. We just recently discovered the best pizza in No. VA at Stone Hot Pizza. And there was just always something about Tony's pizza on 5th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

    Other bests in the Amherst/Northampton, MA area:
  • falafel and pita at The Greek Olive (best pita bread I have ever tasted)
  • burritos at Bueno y Sano (not burrito brothers, but the sauteed spinach and garlic is oh so good)
  • pasta at Fresh Pasta Co. (the beginning of my love for the caper)
  • donuts at Atkin's (apple cidery goodness)
  • hot chocolate at Haymarket (served in these really cool glass mugs)
    Other bests in NYC:
  • jamaican veggie patties and cocoa bread at Christie's on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn (even though I once found a piece of glass in one. I ate most of it and went back for another one that's how good)
  • fries at Pommes Frites (2nd Ave at 8th St)
  • soup at Soho Made Soups (170 Varick St, 3 blocks from the holland tunnel, the jalapeno cornbread is also excellent. )

January 7, 2002

Okay Mr. Koongooz, I like

Okay Mr. Koongooz, I like this game, so I'm going to play along.

    New York City:
  • bagels: New York Hot Bagel (3rd Ave and 88th St)
  • falafel: Mamoun's (best on the planet)
  • pizza: Palisades Pizza (Yonkers) or Cafe Viva
  • vegan ice cream: Michael & Zoe's
  • vegan club sandwich: Quantum Leap
  • Mexican: Mary Ann's
  • soy shake: Veg City Diner
  • Indian: Vatan or Madras Cafe
  • Chinese: VP3 or Vegetarian Dim Sum House
  • burritos: everywhere
    DC area:
  • Chinese: Harmony Cafe (DC) or Vegetable Garden (MD)
  • Indian: Udupi Palace (MD)
  • falafel: Quick Pita
  • burritos: Burrito Brothers (obviously)
  • overall: Soul Vegetarian

I like food.

How about some "best-of" type

How about some "best-of" type lists? What are people's favorite (for example)
pizza, falafel, ice cream, sushi, whatever places? Where can a man get a
REALLY good cup of coffee in NY? The City Bakery has decent joe.
So does Porto Rico, of course. Let's hear your thoughts.
(BTW, Mamoun's gets my vote for best falafel, though Zaytoon's in
Brooklyn comes pretty close)

originally posted by dm8k

January 6, 2002

I'm glad to see everyone's

I'm glad to see everyone's fired up about the Roosevelt Island tram, but it was scheduled to be out of service for maintenance from November 24 until December 19, and was still closed on December 23rd when I searched the island for old fire hydrants. For whatever reason, this is not listed on the official web page.

Please come back, Xowie.

January 4, 2002

One of my hens --

One of my hens -- who goes by Lucy, Lulu, or whatever I'm in the mood to call her -- laid her first egg today. She's six months old, and her hutch mate, Valerie, has been laying like clockwork for months; I thought she might turn out to be a barren little bird, so it was a cause for celebration. I gave them extra handfuls of sage from the garden. It was a nice, brown egg. I used it to make french toast.

I'm mentioning this here because I believe I got the idea to keep chickens from somebody's link to a Georgia gardener's Web site on randomWalks. Now I think everyone should keep two hens: They weed, they fertilize and they make lovely barnyard sounds. They add a certain bucolic charm to the garden. And if you haven't gone vegan, you can't beat the eggs.

originally posted by judlew

My backstage pass to the

My backstage pass to the future arrived today, way beyond the rumor sites, big (even for me) - not a flat panel iMac, iPod, iWalk, segway/ginger/IT/megway or even my busted ass fucking powerbook - it's the SoyaJoy soymilk maker. It comes with instructions, a small pouch of soybeans and a cleaning powder. Should I be cavalier enough to add some vanilla extract or Droste cocoa on the first try?

[T]hey weigh 14 pounds

[T]hey weigh 14 pounds apiece, and yet spend inordinate amounts of time drinking Cosmos and eating lunch and dinner. If I had girlfriends like this, I'd be 1,400 pounds in no time, and they'd drop me for not being thin enough to fit into a banquette.

For another thing, they always say "gal." Who the hell says "gal" in 2002? They sound like Dale Evans.

So, when you think about it, Carrie and company have no choice but to be friends with each other, because who else could tolerate them?

When unemployed in New York, why not live vicariously through the 'gals' on Sex in the City, and the Men they grace with their presences? And why not? New seasion (spoilers) here, or wait until Sunday. I'm thinking of writing up summaries of the episodes, xeroxing them onto little pieces of paper and selling them to Key foods and area Bodegas on Monday morning.

January 3, 2002

Five Things We Will Do

Five Things We Will Do in 2002 ( "In the spirit of renewal, Home section staffers share our personal struggles against clutter and disorder, and our resolve to gain the upper hand against overcrowded closets, teetering stacks of books, messy nests of paperwork, photographs and batter-spattered recipes."

The roof of 77

The roof of 77 Water Street has long been a mystery to me. Randomwalks editor Go Vegan and I used to look out our bosses window, just a level above what appeared to be this fake plane on a fake runway.

But thanks to the book "New York 1960, Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial," we now know that the model sopwith camel plane was built "solely for the delight of denizens of neighboring skyscrapers." Also, in case you've ever wondered about the weird area surrounding 77 Water: "At street level, in addition to water pools traversed by bridges, the designers provided a replica of of an old fashioned candy store that would provide a functioning symbol of an earlier, more personable urbanism. The Corchia-de Harak firm also designed 'heat trees.' illuminated metal umbrellas that would render the open space under the building more usable in the winter." Part of this "candy store" includes handsome round payphone booths that I've always enjoyed using.

Some of this appears to have been motivated by an honest desire to create a nice space for the "people," but there was also the small matter of an entertainment zoning restriction.

January 2, 2002



June 10, 2001

Father's day surprise for stupid

Father's day surprise for stupid rich people. Keep your shoes on around the Komodo!

originally posted by xowie

January 16, 2001

If you like playing in

If you like playing in UVa's steam tunnels, exploring abandoned prison islands, or checking out lost subway stations like I do, you should read this Salon article and go to

November 14, 2000

The shiny apple Is

The shiny apple

Is bruised but sweet and if you choose to eat

You could lose your teeth, many crews retreat

Nightly news repeat, who got shot down and locked down

Spotlight to savages, NASDAQ averages

-Mos Def, apple industry watcher.

October 31, 2000

The City of New York

The City of New York wants to destroy our home and studios in order to push through The Cooper Square Urban Renewal Plan. This plan is a developer's dream. The City will sell as much vacant land as it can to a private developer in a 80%-20% tax-abatement deal that requires the developer to provide only 20% of all new construction as affordable housing units. 80% of the new construction will be market rate units.

This is a Lower East Side community that is low to moderate income and in desperate need of housing in that range. The tax-abatement is not forever. The affordable housing units will only retain that designation for the term of the abatement. That could range from only 12 to 20 years. After that, low income families will face sky- rocketing rents or buy out offers from the developer.

Save 295 Bowery.
The people behind this project are the same as those behind the Gallery Place project in D.C.
Other resources:
Gotham Gazette
Cooper Union Community Development Committee
Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area Study

originally posted by zagg

October 5, 2000

That these apple trees won't

That these apple trees won't be cut down to make way for streets with ''apple'' or ''orchard'' in their names is what counts to many Leominster residents.
The mayor of Leominster, Massachussetts -- birthplace of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed -- ensured the survival of Leominster's last apple orchard, announcing Monday that the city would buy and preserve 169-acre Sholan Farm.

September 29, 2000

"Mickey Mouse is the

"Mickey Mouse is the Anti-Christ." I read two stories about this guy on the same day in Mother Jones and Adbusters a few months ago. Now a director - Richard Sandler - that MK and I met at the Vegan Bakery is making a movie about him. Oh yeah, Richard also has another pretty neat movie.

originally posted by zagg

August 25, 2000

God Bless America, land of

God Bless America, land of the $0.99 Whopper.

originally posted by zagg

March 8, 2000

I'm looking forward to riding

I'm looking forward to riding some of the great Rails-to-Trails bike trails (abandoned railroad lines converted into long, narrow parks) in the greater DC area this summer. One of the best known is the Washington & Old Dominion trail, which connects Shirlington and Purcellville, Va. across 45 miles. If you ride it, be sure to visit some of the African-American historical sites along the route. I was reminded of the rails-to-trails system (which I'd first heard about in an old Banana Republic catalog, believe it or not) by this Washington Post article about an overnight trip on the Northern Central Railroad Trail, which runs from Baltimore to York Pa. Apparently, recent improvements have made the Mount Vernon trail (which was never a railroad) even more enjoyable than when I used to ride it.