"Great Expectations, the Miss Havisham Cake," a remarkable, vermin-infested entry from the Hotham Street Ladies art collective was excluded from the Melbourne Cake Show on grounds of "bad taste." Boo!
On Saturday night, I received a frantic text from my wife instructing me to check postsecret.com "seriously right now." Although I was peripherally aware of the site, full of anonymous secrets collaged onto postcards, I had never visited.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the page loaded and the first postcard was me. Specifically, an old picture of me standing in my living room, wearing a Denver Broncos jersey and giving the camera a thumbs-up. The following handwritten secret had been overlaid:
To impress a girl
I rooted for the Denver Broncos
I hate myself for it
Over the next couple days I received many messages from friends and family, all ZOMGing over my appearance. The reactions broke cleanly into two camps -- about half thought it was hilarious and assumed that I or someone close to me had submitted it as a goof; the other half were convinced that a stranger had used the photo, and found that bizarre and slightly creepy. My wife, a media scholar, immediately pointed out that I was a "creator" whose work has been "poached and reinterpreted."
I wasn't sure what to feel, at first. Tickled? Flattered? Sketched out?
The more I think about it, the more I believe the author must be a stranger with an earnest secret, and not a friend playing a prank. As unlikely as it would be for a random someone to find and use the old pic (public on Flickr since 2006), it makes more sense than someone trying to tease me, through a site that I never read, by suggesting that I faked Broncos fandom (Preposterous!) in order to impress my (NFL-agnostic) wife.
I'm fascinated by the idea of someone using an amateur photograph of a stranger in such a fashion, when most PostSecrets make use of professional imagery from print ads or magazines. This person went to the trouble to find my picture online, print it out, add their secret, and snail mail it to PostSecret -- where it was rescanned and put back online, thus completing the social-media-compost Circle of Life.
I've gotten over my initial case of the willies. I'm dying to meet this person.
Which is, of course, antithetical to everything PostSecret stands for -- but I don't care. If you're out there, sir or madam -- I admire your sense of humor and taste in stock imagery. Please consider getting in touch.
Five-year-old Dyson Kilodavis is a little boy who loves sparkly things: princess gowns, hot pink socks, glittery jewelry. Deal with it.
Richard Metzger over at Dangerous Minds points to a lovely children's book by Dyson's mom, titled My Princess Boy, and shares a surprisingly non-exploitative television interview with the boy's mom, dad, and older brother.
You have to watch the video. Have some kleenex handy. I sure cried. It's right here: My Princess Boy: Meet the most awesome family in America
This child, I think it's clear, is going to be who and what he'll be. But unlike many kids like him, he's not going to grow up thinking there is anything wrong with who he is. This kid is FABULOUS and nothing less! With all of the gay bullying, suicides and the general anti-gay bigotry going on in rightwing circles, Cheryl, Dean and their older song Dkobe, deserve admiration and gratitude from the rest of us, for being such an amazing, wise examples for other people in their situation, with their loving parenting of their "Princess Boy."
(Dangerous Minds, thanks Tara McGinley)
Amazon Link for the book.
A one-two punch for you Boing Boing readers in the juggalo department. First, a faux video ad for Buffet Hut, which perfectly mimics the production style of actual, official "Gathering of the Juggalos" informercials we've blogged here before.
(Thanks, Cheap Little Films, via Submitterator).
When you're done with the free Faygo refills there, read this Guardian UK interview with Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, which proclaims bluntly what's been tossed around online for some time: the duo say they are Evangelical Christians, and kept their faith in the closet for two decades.
They indulged in violent/shock/sexually explicit lyrics on the earlier records to attract a devoted cult of fans, the story goes— then dropped The God Shizz on 'em with "Miracles" and more recent material.
The Guardian interview is funny and disturbing, whatever the truth is—just like the band. As an aside: The interview takes place in Milwaukee. I love how the London-based writer feels compelled to hammer into our heads that ICP is violent by reminding us in the very first graf that Jeffrey Dahmer is from Milwaukee. Eye-roll. I bet he was getting ready for his flight to Wisconsin and Wikipedia'd that, and was like, "Aha! Got 'em!"
Hey, bub. Know who else is from Milwaukee? Laverne and Shirley. Also, Fonzie.
Anyway, it's a fun piece. For me, the news here is not that ICP are evangelicals seeking to convert fans to Christ. It's that despite all the frontin', they're emo souls: comment trolls and bad reviews on Livejournal get under their greasepainted skin:
"I get anxiety and shit a lot," [Shaggy] says. "And reading that stuff people write about us... It hurts."So next time a Juggalo tosses a bowling ball into your windshield and yells "faggot" at you, then blesses you in the name of Christ—before you scream back at him, remember that he is a sensitive person with deep feelings.
"Least talented band in the world," Violent J says. "No talent. When I hear that I think, 'Damn. Are we that different from people?'"
He looks as if he means it - as if he sometimes feels hopelessly stuck being him.
It's just a terrible twist of fate for Insane Clown Posse that theirs is a form of creative expression that millions of people find ridiculous. But then suddenly, palpably, Violent J pulls himself out of his introspection. They're about to go on stage and he doesn't want to be maudlin. He wants to be on the offensive. He shoots me a defiant look and says, "You know Miracles? Let me tell you, if Alanis Morissette had done that fucking song everyone would have called it fucking genius."
Here's a nice little collection of rural Norwegian homes whose roofs have been given over to the traditional turf -- and even small forests.
Turf roofs in Norway are a tradition and you will see them everywhere. Roofs in Scandinavia have probably been covered with birch bark and sod since prehistory. During the Viking and Middle Ages most houses had sod roofs. In rural areas sod roofs were almost universal until the beginning of the 18th century. Tile roofs, which appeared much earlier in towns and on rural manors, gradually superseded sod roofs except in remote inland areas during the 19th century. Corrugated iron and other industrial materials also became a threat to ancient traditions. But just before extinction, the national romantics proclaimed a revival of vernacular traditions, including sod roofs. A new market was opened by the demand for mountain lodges and holiday homes. At the same time, open air museums and the preservation movement created a reservation for ancient building traditions. From these reservations, sod roofs have begun to reappear as an alternative to modern materials.The Grass Roofs of Norway (via Geisha Asobi)
Every year, since 2000, an award is also given to the best green roof proje
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At a going wholesale rate of $200 or more an ounce in the Bay Area for high-quality medical marijuana, it’s a lot simpler than raising money the traditional way, the project’s organizers point out. And – except for the nagging fact that selling marijuana remains a crime under federal law – it even feels more honest to the people behind Life Is Art. They see it as a way of supporting the cause with physical labor and the fruits of the land instead of the wheedling of donors, an especially appealing prospect in an economy where raising money has become more difficult than ever.
Tom Waits and Preservation Hall Jazz Band release limited-edition 78RPM record and matching limited edition record-player
I'm really interested in the creative use of premium physical objects that trade on the value of digital art. It seems to me that the more widely copied and well-loved a digital piece is, the more the limited physical premium will be. Alas, many of the physical premiums offered by bands and authors and so on look like they came out of a Skymall catalog. But stuff like this, well, it's so far in my sweet spot that I'm wondering if I can get back to NOLA for the sale.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Tom Waits On 78 rpm Vinyl (TomWaits.com)
Mr. Waits traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to record two songs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the critically acclaimed project Preservation: An album to benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, "Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing" , and "Corrine Died On The Battlefield". Originally recorded by Danny Barker in 1947, these two selections are the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants.
The two tracks will now be packaged in a special limited edition 78 rpm format record, each signed and numbered by Preservation Hall Creative Director Ben Jaffe. The first one hundred records will be accompanied by a custom-made Preservation Hall 78rpm record player as part of a Deluxe Donation package. The remaining four hundred and four will be available as a standalone record for the Basic Donation package.
(Thanks, Stuart, via Submitterator!)
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Flickr user Enfilm creates insanely detailed, beautiful blueprints for rides and buildings at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris (including plans for lost favorites, such as If You Had Wings). Shown here, the Disneyland Enchanted Tiki Room.
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How To: Brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel
Who knew science had so much in common with prison?
Southern Fried Scientist explains how you can set up your own franchise of Baby Duck Breweries, using a coffee maker, cereal flakes, Vegemite "malt", seaweed "hops", and baker's yeast.
Sanitation is key. If you have an autoclave, sterilize your tools ahead of time. Otherwise, wash everything with an iodine solution or, if there are no other options, ethanol. Contamination is your enemy. Everything must be clean. Boil the handkerchiefs, rubber bands, sample jars, and lids.
1. Grind up your 'grains' (but not so much that it becomes powder).
2. Place your 'grains' in coffee pot (not the filter basket, the carafe).
3. Run 2 cups of clean water through coffee maker and let it sit on the hot plate for an hour. This releases all the good chemicals from you 'grains' and creates a fluid called wort.
4. Strain the wort through the coffee filter and place the filter full of 'grain' into the filter basket. Add the 'malt' to the filter basket. Pour the strained liquid back into coffee maker and add 1 cup of water.
5. Run the wort through the coffee maker 5 times, each time adding 1 cup of water.
6. Pour the wort into the saucepan and boil for 45 minutes. Two minutes before boiling is done, add the "hops".
7. Carefully pour the wort into the canning jars.
8. Let the wort cool to between 60 and 70 F. Once it is cool enough to touch the outside of the jars without burning, pitch the Bakers' Yeast into the mixture.
9. Seal jar with a handkerchief and rubber band over the mouth, and let sit for 3 to 5 days.
10. And table spoon of sugar to the jar and seal with the lids, making sure they're air tight.
11. Store in a cool, dark place where it will not be disturbed for a week.
A cool, smooth brew, flavored with whatever you found. It may be very bad, it may be good. It will be beer.
You can thank (or blame) TapRoot for posting this to Submitterator.
"Were copyright law followed to the letter, little audio preservation would be undertaken. Were the law strictly enforced, it would brand virtually all audio preservation as illegal," the study concludes, "Copyright laws related to preservation are neither strictly followed nor strictly enforced. Consequently, some audio preservation is conducted."US Library of Congress: Copyright Is Destroying Historic Audio (Thanks, Dwiff!)
While libraries supposedly have some leeway in preserving audio recordings, they find it "virtually impossible to reconcile their responsibility for preserving and making accessible culturally important sound recordings with their obligation to adhere to copyright laws". The problem is that the current provisions in law for audio preservation are "restrictive and anachronistic" in our current digitial age.
There are more problems. While the recording industry undertakes some preservation, they will only preserve those recordings from which they think they might profit in the future (what a surprise). For instance, consider a researcher working on vaudeville who may be interested in vaudevillian recordings on cylinders.
"These performers may have been headliners in their time, but today their names are virtually unknown," the study details, "While scholarly interest in these recordings is high, their economic value to the property holder is negligible. However, legal restrictions governing access to a cylinder produced in 1909 are the same as those governing a compact disc made in 2009, even though it is highly unlikely that the 1909 recording has any revenue potential for the rights holder."
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