No pants, no problem. But cover your face.

As coronavirus cases soar past 4,700 in the Czech Republic, the Eastern European nation’s nude sunbathers are being targeted by authorities for neglecting to cover up their mouths.

“Citizens can be without clothes in places designated for this purpose, but they must have their mouths covered and must observe the numbers in which they can go into nature,” said  police spokeswoman Markéta Janovská. Read the rest

States need programmers who know old COBOL language to process a surge in unemployement claims

New Jersey, Connecticut, and Kansas are among the states whose unempoyment systems are being overwhelmed with new claims, and the systems run on old computer language that stopped being taught before many programmers were born. According to a report on CNN Business, "On top of ventilators, face masks and health care workers, you can now add COBOL programmers to the list of what several states urgently need as they battle the coronavirus pandemic."

"Despite a dwindling number of COBOL programmers, a 2017 report by Reuters found that there are still 220 billion lines of COBOL in use today. 43% of banking systems are built on COBOL and 95% percent of ATM swipes rely on COBOL code." Read the rest

Face Mask Anarchy: When life gives you lemons, improvise.

Until N95's are available for everyone who needs them, you gotta do what you gotta do. @tifffanycuh has collected some the of the best (note: "best" as it's used here is not a safety classification!) improvised covid-19 face masks.

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Anyone can make Tora Smart's DIY no-sew face mask

No, it won't ensure you don't catch covid-19, but some face coverage is better than none when making a trip out of the house. Tora Smart's a how-to vid walks us through a quick and easy way to create a face mask with materials you already have at hand:

"Let’s all make our own masks and let front line health workers get first dibs on the real ones. If we all wear our own when we leave the house, there will be less spread. New information is revealing that some face coverage is better than no face coverage. BUT, please allow care workers to get the real ones first!" Read the rest

Las Vegas lap dance club offers drive-through "social distancing" strip shows

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Little Darlings—the largest 18+ nude club in the US—is offering drive-through strip shows during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Review’s Mick Akers reports:

Little Darlings strip club will begin offering drive-through strip shows for those who want to indulge in some adult entertainment, but do not want to enter the building, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people keep 6 feet in distance between themselves and others.

“We’re going to offer drive-up window strip shows,” said Ryan Carlson, director of operations for Little Darlings. “Guests can drive up to the front door and we’re going to have dancers separate by the 6-foot separation rule and they can enjoy a totally nude show right from the seat of their car.” Read the rest

All of Me is Illustrated celebrates the Ray Bradbury Centennial with a 21st Century take on "The Illustrated Man"

The release of All of Me is Illustrated, Stories by Ray Bradury, celebrates the author’s Centennial with the stories, “The Illustrated Man,” and “The Illustrated Woman,” published together in a 272-page hardcover book featuring over 100 contemporary photographs of illustrated bodies by some of the leading tattoo artists of the 21st Century.

“Bradbury’s tattooed-person tales embedded within this glorious parade of contemporary inked bodies breathes new life into his notions about how tattoo meanings can change, how the viewer of a tattoo can see something different from what the owner might have intended, and how psychology intersects with the desire to permanently inscribe one’s skin.” —from the Introduction by tattoo historian Anna Felicity Friedman

This is not merely a pairing of Bradbury stories sandwiched between a collection of garden variety tattoo photography. Photographer Peter Roessler invites an atypical intimacy between his subjects—or "collectors” as they’re referenced in the book—and their viewers. The collectors featured among these pages are revealing more than the body; they’re sharing the stories those bodies have to tell. As Friedman states in her introduction, it’s the intersection of psychology and the desire to permanently inscribe not just one’s skin, but in these cases the entire body, that ultimately makes this book so compelling.

All of Me is Illustrated is published by RosettaBooks in cooperation with Inked magazine. Featured artists include Paul Booth, Steve Butcher, Jessa Bigelow, Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Yomico Moreno, Andy Pho, TeeJ Poole, Duke Riley, DJ Tambe, Tatu Baby, Carlos Torres, Dmitry Troshin, Jess Yen and Popo Zhang, with photography by Peter Roessler. Read the rest

Debbie Harry debunks the debunking of her brush with serial killer Ted Bundy: “It was him.”

In Debbie Harry’s gripping new memoir Face It, she sets the story straight about the night she got into the car of serial killer Ted Bundy.

Her story factors into the painting by Robert Williams, “Debbie Harry’s Fears,” which the two discuss together in a short video.

It happened in Manhattan during her pre-Blondie years, in the mid-1970s. Debbie was walking cross-town, alone, around 2:00 a.m. on the way to a party for the New York Dolls. She couldn’t find a cab, her shoes weren’t made for walking, and a polite, nice-looking guy slowed his car beside her and offered her a ride. She claims to have never been one to hitchhike “not even during the hippie years,” but she was desperate. And he didn’t seem weird.

She recalls a white car with a stripped interior, which included the removal of the passenger seat interior door handles. Photos of Bundy’s car track with her claim, but her story had been previously debunked, because supposedly Bundy was in Florida at that time, not New York.

After a valiant escape fit for an action movie, she eventually dismissed the experience. “I had not though about that night for maybe fifteen years,” she writes in Face It. Until she happened across a magazine article about the execution of Ted Bundy, and saw his photo. In the story, Bundy’s revealed his M.O. to the journalists who covered his death sentence, and Harry claims what Bundy told them was exactly what happened to her. Read the rest

Purrrre Genius: CatVideoFest 2020 is clawing its way to a theater near you

Cat videos. They’re almost like a universal language; even people who don't love cats love cat videos. And what better way to overindulge than with CatVideoFest 2020, coming soon to a theater near you. What started as an experiment at a Minneapolis art center eight years ago quickly grew into an international phenomenon, and it's sweeping the country, with a curated compilation of the latest and best cat videos culled from countless submissions including “sourced animations, music videos, and internet powerhouses.” The first festival was held outdoors in the summer of 2012 and drew a crowd of 10,000!

Image: Read the rest

The Dresden Panometer gives visitors an immersive experience on a 1:1 scale of the Allied bombing raids of 1945

The Dresden Panometer is a converted former gasometer that exhibits 360°  panoramas created by the artist Yadegar Asisi.

“The 15 m high visitor’s tower provides you with a 360-degree view from the tower of Dresden’s Town Hall and reveals the extent of the destruction in the panorama by Yadegar Asisi, almost 3,000 m² in size.”

Image: YouTube screengrab Read the rest

Not all CDB drops are created equal: I found the best

I’ll admit to having been a CBD denier. I dismissed it as a bullshit trend; the second-most overrated after kombucha. The variety of products I’d tried always left me feeling somewhere between slightly nauseous and groggy. And mentally dull. It didn’t seem to matter what form the product took, or which sort of extra bells and whistles had been added to “enhance” the oil.

Add to that the dizzying variety of distinctions: hemp extract vs. hemp seed oil, full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum, oils vs. tinctures, the addition of terpenes, the claims of “sustainably grown,” “lab tested,” and “pure,” and, most maddening, the all-over-the-map price points that make no clear sense.  Reading ingredient labels left me further confused, but more determined to sort it all out.

I wanted something simple, but my standards were high. A Google search for “organic CBD drops” was a rabbit hole of false leads and dead ends. So I created my own filters, and after researching about a trillion oils, winnowed down the options from there.

Filter #1: Organic

If I opt for organic vegetables, why shouldn’t my CBD oil rise to the same standards? This one simple step eliminated all but a handful of products.

Filter #2: Purity

I wanted plain CBD oil drops, not a Wiccan brew of essential oils, spices, and exotic immunity boosters preserved in alcohol. Furthermore, I’m a grown-up, I don’t need my CBD oil to taste like a candy cane or an orange popsicle, and I couldn’t find any good reason why it should contain another ingredient besides its carrier oil. Read the rest

To Be or Knot to Be: The Museum of Everyday Life seeks submissions for its new exhibition

Glover, Vermont’s eminently arcane Museum of Everyday Life is seeking submissions from “artists, philosophers, collectors, and ordinary people” for their 2020-2021 exhibition on knots.

This is a self-service museum ("turn on the lights when you enter, and don’t forget to turn off the lights when you depart!") housed in a dilapidated barn in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, 30 miles south of the Candadian border. It's a cabinet of curiosities for the ordinary, with previous exhibitions such as "The Incredible Story of the Safety Pin," "A Celebration of the Match," and “Toothbrush from Twig to Bristle in All its Expedient Beauty.” They've mounted puppet shows, indulge in cantastoria, put on parades, and dabble in toy theater, and they even pushed their own boundaries with their 2015 exhibition, "Dust." Their current exhibition through May, “The Pivot and the Blade” explores scissors. Read the rest

"The Fuddy Duddy Walk," is the ‘60s dance craze that never was

Jack Nitzsche was a legend in his own time; an arranger, producer, songwriter, and Academy Award-winning composer. His disparate discography includes collaborations with Phil Spector, the iconic 1966 Batman theme, titles by The Rolling Stones, Doris Day, Ike & Tina Turner, The Monkees, Glen Campbell, and the Ronettes, as well as several film soundtracks, including PerformanceThe Exorcist, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and An Officer and a Gentleman. But one of his earliest known arrangements was for a song so unlistenable it isn’t even named on any of his published discographies.

The title dates from 1963, when a hit song that doubled as a dance craze was the holy grail of the Top 10. But not even the hand of Jack Nitzsche could get this eminently abrasive earworm, "The Fuddy Duddy Walk" by The Entertainers, to join the ranks of "The Twist," "The Mashed Potato," or "The Watusi." "The Fuddy Duddy Walk" is more like proto-punk dance craze anarchy, and it’s not hard to imagine a crowd of pencil-skirted and flat-topped teens covering their ears in buzzkill horror, stampeding from the dance floor and fighting their way to the nearest exit. It’s an aural assault strictly for music masochists, with a nearly unintelligible vocal that codes neither male or female, rock or soul, black or white. Just sweetly painful. Read the rest

If you loved HBO’s "The Deuce," The Rialto Report will leave you spellbound

The Rialto Report is a podcast series and digital library that archives oral histories, images, magazines and books covering the golden age of the adult film industry in New York, from the early-1960s to the mid-1980s. It’s the project of adult film historians Ashley West and April Hall, both of whom served as consultants for HBO’s The Deuce.

Their podcast interviews are in-depth, intimate, and unrivaled, featuring some of the industry’s biggest and most influential names of the era; Seka, George Payne, Candy Samples, Hyapatia Lee, Jerry Butler, Candida Royalle, and Uschi Digard are among other well-and-lesser-known performers and industry stakeholders featured throughout the series.

Certainly, this “golden age” wasn’t exactly golden for all involved. Many performers—both women and men—were exploited, underpaid, mistreated, abused, or worse, and the Rialto Report doesn’t sugarcoat. Their interviews pull no punches and never miss an opportunity, allowing their subjects the space to share their perspectives and tell their own stories—many of them surprising, some of them shocking, all of them intriguing—bringing listeners to the inside of an opaque industry during New York’s epoch of the X-rated.



  Read the rest

Josie Cotton released a new album more than 30 years after it was recorded

It was the early 1980s; MTV was in its infancy, the New Music scene was beginning to hit national airwaves, and Josie Cotton was having a moment. She had an international hit with the infamous Johnny Are You Queer (decried by some as homophobic and banned in Amsterdam, but also simultaneously embraced as an anthem played in heavy rotation at Pride parades), brought her inimitable style to the 1983 movie Valley Girl, and was making charts with the marginal hits He Could Be the One, and with the early music video, Jimmy Loves Maryann.

Just before she was to complete what would have been her third album, Cotton was dropped by her label, Elektra records. She finished the album nonetheless, but later chose to step back from the music industry altogether, and the tracks were packed away, divided, and lost in storage.

Although less-visible than her contemporaries of the L.A. music scene (Josie Cotton is the invention of Kathleen Josey, who is rumored to be a Texas oil heiress whose grandfather was a business partner of J. Paul Getty), Cotton remained a prolific songwriter and singer, releasing several excellent albums over the years, adeptly exploring a variety of genres and reinventing herself with each project, but on independent labels and without much hoopla. A lot of her later work is top notch: Rabbit Hole, Beautiful But Deadly from Movie Disaster Music. See The New Hong Kong, If a Lie Was Love, All I Can See is the Face of Bruce Lee, Super 8 from Pussycat Babylon, and her inspired, under-the-radar collection of exploitation movie themes, Invasion of the B-Girls. Read the rest

This 1930s how-to on making novelties out of mice heads is perfect for the 21st century Internet

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Head Hunter String Holder: a craft from the final gasps of the ethno-human-novelty era of racist tchotchkes

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Indoor Shooting Gallery: Because guns are fun, it’s just that simple.

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