When Miles Davis named his album Bitches Brew

Miles Just Called

"Please advise."

A letter sent to Columbia Records art director John Berg and others by Teo Macero, producer of Miles's revolutionary 1970 jazz fusion album. Below, a live performance of the title track "Bitches Brew."

(Thanks, Jordan Kurland!)

Read the rest

Your children "look delicious", writes angry neighbor


In the annals of inappropriate communications, anonymously sending threats to one's neighbors ranks highly. But few have ever ranked so highly as Carrie Pernula, who wrote "The children look delicious. May I have a taste?" in a letter mailed to hers.

The two yummy youngsters in question, according to CBS Minnesota, were elementary school-age children who had been noisy and left stuff in her yard.

Police say that Pernula, 38, admitted sending the note after the parents posted it to their hood's Facebook group and police asked.

To the individual who sent this letter...The answer is NO! NO you may not have my children in any way, shape, or form. And beyond anything physical you may NOT rob them of the security and comfort they feel. The trust they have in other people, or the joy they experience on a daily basis because of who they are. You DO NOT have the right to try to steal this from them by sending an anonymous letter trying to rip their world apart. I will NOT let that happen. What you MAY do, since you were so formal in your letter to ask, is you MAY turn yourself into the police, or you MAY seek help for your sexual and/or homicidal urges. Either way, the children of this community are off limits.

Via Gawker. Read the rest

Wonderful alphabet of superhero letters


Australia-based illustrator Simon Koay reimagined the letters of the English alphabet as superheroes. Read the rest

Stare at the letters of the GIF alphabet. Forever.

Graphic designer, Florian Schommer, created a bunch of animated letters of the alphabet! If only I could read German, so I could know more about what he was thinking. Read the rest

Letters of Note finally in print

Letters of Note, the most excellent blog collecting intriguing letters sent by noteworthy persons, is finally to be an excellent book.

"This spectacular collection of more than 125 letters offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the events and people of history—the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday. Entries include a transcript of the letter; a short contextual introduction; and, in 100 cases, a captivating facsimile of the letter itself. The artfulness of Shaun Usher's eclectic arrangement creates a reading experience rich in discovery. Mordant, hilarious, poignant, enlightening—surprise rewards each turn of the page. Colorfully illustrated with photographs, portraits, and relevant artworks, this handsome hardcover is a visual treat too, making Letters of Note an utterly distinctive gift, and an instant classic."

Previously: Letters of Note -- blog of written correspondence from well-known people Letters of Note, the book Read the rest

Landscape alphabet (c.1818-1860)

In the 19th century, Charles Joseph Hullmandel illustrated a glorious series of landscapes shaped as the letters of the English alphabet. You can see them all in the British Museum's online collection: The Landscape Alphabet (via Juxtapoz) Read the rest

Read the previously unpublished letters of Charles Darwin

More than 1000 letters written between Charles Darwin and botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, including 300 never before published, are now available free online for your reading and research pleasure. Read the rest

Frank Sinatra's "pull my hairpiece" challenge

"I will allow you to pull my 'hairpiece;' if it moves, I will give you another $100,000; if it does not, I punch you in the mouth. How about it?" -- Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra's "pull my hairpiece" challenge Read the rest

An epidemiology alphabet

Learn your letters — from "anthrax" to "zoonoses".

More men join the ranks of Former Eagle Scout

On Monday, I published a letter from my husband, Christopher Baker, to the Boy Scouts of America. In that letter, Baker returned his hard-earned Eagle Scout award and explained that he no longer wanted to be associated with an organization that discriminated against gay teenagers and GBLT parents. By the end of the day, I'd posted six updates to that story—adding letters from other Eagle Scouts who had joined my husband in resigning from a fraternity they had loved and had worked incredibly hard to join.

The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization. The Supreme Court has said they have the right to discriminate. What these Eagle Scouts are saying is that legal precedent doesn't make the discrimination right. Overwhelmingly, they've said that it makes them sad to see the organization that meant so much to them go against the very values of inclusion that it taught them as children. As Baker wrote, "banning openly gay scouts and leaders is not a neutral position any more than separate-but-equal was a neutral position on race."

Yesterday, I received more letters from other Eagle Scouts who want the Boy Scouts of America to know how disappointed they are, and that they choose to stand with the persecuted rather than with the people doing the persecuting. In this post, you can read inspiring words from 13 Eagle Scouts who asked that I share their letters. In most cases, I've included a photo of the letter, and quoted text for easy reading. Read the rest

Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America: *UPDATED*

If you aren't familiar with American Boy Scouting's Eagle Scout award, it might be a little hard to explain how important this story really is. Eagle Scout is a big deal. For one thing, it takes a lot of work to get the position. A scout has to earn 21 merit badges and then spearhead a community service project that they organize and manage themselves from start to finish. Add to that the fact that most kids don't stay in scouts through high school anyway, and you end up with the award representing a relatively small and elite group. Since 1911, about 2.1 million men have earned an Eagle Scout award. And it has serious implications once you graduate high school. There are scholarships. Eagle Scouts who enlist in the military after high school can start off with a higher rank than their peers. The adult Eagle Scouts I know have told me that they've gotten interview call-backs or even job opportunities because the award was on their resumes. Basically, it's more than just this medal you pick up at age 17. For many men, it's a lifelong position—and one that demonstrates a commitment to serving others and caring for the community.

So when Eagle Scouts start returning their medals to the Boy Scouts of America, that matters. Especially when these men are making this decision because they think it's the best way to demonstrate the values of being an Eagle Scout.

The Boy Scouts of America bans participation in scouting by openly gay, bisexual, or transgender kids and bans GBLT adults from serving as scout masters. Read the rest

Philip K. Dick on Blade Runner

"I came to the conclusion that this is not science fiction; this is not fantasy, it is exactly what Harrison said: futurism" [Philipkdick.com via Frankie Boyle] Read the rest

Most highlighted passages on Kindle

The most highlighted passage on Kindle is "because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them," from Susanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Following is Jane Austen: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Then, more from The Hunger Games. A lot more. [Amazon via @laurenleto] Read the rest

Love letter found 53 years late

Postal workers found an ancient love letter, sent in 1958, at a Pennsylvania mailroom. They're trying to track down the intended recipient. Reuters writes: 'The letter had been addressed to Mr. Clark C. Moore, then a junior at the university, which was known at the time as California State Teachers College, she said. It included a return address, but little other information about the sender, who signed the letter, "Love Forever, Vonnie."' Follow @BoingBoing on Twitter. Read the rest