Today sees the publication of Bonnie Burton's (previously) long-awaited new book, Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy. Read the rest
Now, he's back with his best book yet: The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, an erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history of one of humanity's core undertakings -- getting other people to care about stuff that matters to you.
The Mysterious Package Company’s (previously) audience is bifurcated into two groups which seem to overlap only slightly. The first group buys one or more of the six (soon to be seven) “experiences” and sends it either to themselves, or more likely to an unsuspecting victim … and then waits for the fun or horror to start. The second group subscribes to a quarterly newspaper called Curios & Conundrums (more about that in a moment). If an experience is sent to yourself, it’s a collectible rather than a mystery; but if sent to someone who has no clue what it is or what’s coming next, then it becomes the unexpected and thus unsettling occurrence the folks at the Mysterious Package Company have in mind. Here is their video for “The Century B*e*a*s*t,” their first Kickstarter project sold last summer.
In the end, "The Century B*e*a*s*t" seemed too scattered and drawn out, with 10 mailings sent out over almost a year. The older experiences are more compact with fewer mailings, a lower price, and have more impact. If you’ve never done anything like this before, and wish more immediate satisfaction, I would become a member of the Mysterious Package Company and send either “R*i*s*e*n” or “The K*i*n*g in Yellow” to yourself or a friend—they will begin shipping with 30 days of your order and are both creepy.
Costing only $99 is the least expensive experience which consists of a single mailing, “The W*e*e*p*i*n*g Book,” which is genuinely dark stuff and prompted at least one terrified recipient to call the police. Read the rest
As a longtime fan of sparkling, zero-carb flavored water beverages, I thought I'd check out the new offerings from Dasani, whose own unsweetened slim-can drinks come in a range of popular flavors—and a lighter price tag than Perrier and La Croix.
I decided to try Dasani's Sparkling Bread Mold flavor first, and I must say that I'm delighted with the results.
Floral, moldy and yet delicately balanced, it only hints at a full taste of unseen mycobiomes, with crisp fungal notes hitting the nose moreso than the tongue. These mildew whispers gather to a full-throated sporal experience as the flavor settles in.
If at first it seems a slow way to acquire a taste for gulping clumps of algae in polluted lakes, or standing rainwater from brownfield reclamation sites, remember that the key to these fashionable sparkling waters is subtlety, a careful naturalism that's hard to crack without the crutches of sugar or lead-acid battery slime.
Complex notes of penicillin and petrichor are augmented by tertiary aromas of flower petals and basement dust, leading to a satisfying, sustained mildew finish.
All in all, I can't recommend Dasani Sparkling Bread Mold water enough, especially to fans of organic matter that has putrefied then dried out to leave only a vaguely acrid scent of death.
Garnish with an old crouton and enjoy over ice on an oppressively humid day, in a swamp-cooled shed with wet carpet.
Note: Oddly, the cans I tested were subject to a misprint whereby each was stamped "Raspberry Lemonade" instead of "Bread Mold." This had no effect on the flavor whatsoever. Read the rest