When I first heard of the passing of
New York City street/graffiti artist
Jeffrey Gamblero, AKA Korn, I was bummed I didn't have any shots on hand to share.
After all, I've
seen his wicked creations all over the city, and followed his progress on Instagram, but somehow neglected to post a few good photographs from my about-the-town ramblings.
Then today, I was walking, pretty much at random, down a side street in deep industrial Bushwick, and, lo, this delivery truck decked out by Korn just rolled up and stopped momentarily right in front of me. Read More...
In whatever abode
you currently dwell, it is probably a McMansion
compared to the modest quarters inhabited by the middle-class residents of an 1611-era Henricus settlement, a replica of
which is maintained at the Henricus Historical Park,
just south of Richmond, Virginia.
The manor for
Plantation is no larger than the average sized suburban kitchen.
It is/was, in essence, a one-room building, with a kitchen table in the
middle, and a giant fireplace taking up a good third of the room.
See the photos...
I accidently signed up for a full Richmond, Va. 2014 Anthem marathon, thinking I would run the half. At first I figured
I'd just jog as much as possible, taking breaks every mile or so to snap pictures. I ended up running the entire marathon though.
Here is the live blog from that day...
And Then You Kill Him...
How to hunt bear: First you go to a Dunkin' Donuts. Go around to the dumpster in the back,
and get the trash bag filled with day-old donuts. You take the donuts, and a shotgun, into the woods. You dump the donuts on the ground. Then you wait for the bear.
For the bear who comes along and just stumbles upon all the donuts, it will suddenly
be the greatest day of his entire life.
And then you kill him...--
Brad Hagen (badly paraphrased), Bushwick comic,
Open Mic Night,
When you move to New York, you really notice the grime that covers the city. It's a thin blackish film that blankets all the public areas, the subway stations and trains, the creaky bodegas, and back seats of taxis. You can't help but to come in contact with it, and you learn to wash your hands frequently.
After a few months, you more or less forget about it, the film.
This shared grime is what makes this city's people so creative, my friend Hellbound Dave has ventured. Like many of Hellbound's speculations, it may very well be deeply true in a spiritual, and perhaps even in a factual, sense.
Whenever it rains heavily, New York City's East Harbor sewage treatment facilities spill their excess waste water into the Gowanus Canal. So when in NYC try not to flush when it rains.
For Open House New York,
urban planner (and canoeist) Owen Foote offered self-guided canoe trips along the Gowanus, as a way to bring attention to the canal.
Although designated as superfund site to clean up centuries of industrial dumping, the waterway still isn't totally rehabilitated, given the ongoing sewage run-off issue.
The canoe trips provided a fascinating glimpse into the industrial underbelly of the city,
even as they were a bit unnerving, as we endeavoured to come into contact with the filmy green water as little as possible.
See the Gowanus Canal slideshow here...
Whenever a situation needs to be goosed a bit, Tania calls in the Mayor of Williamsburg (Not an actual elected official). He's on the right in this photo, the handsome gent with the dreadlocks and top hat.
We took this group selfie, above, after leaving the
Three of Cups, an East Village dive lounge occasionally haunted by Lady Gaga, so someone said. It's downstairs from the fancy Italian restaurant of the same name.
A lady passing by on the station ramp advised us to open our mouths wide when we get our photos taken, because it always makes one look happy. We look like we're starring in a sitcom from the 1980s. Read More
Like the prize fighter, the consumer today is pummeled for the all-mighty dollar.
Advertisements and product placements continually assault the senses from buses and billboards
when you're out in public, or from watching television or reading a magazine at home.
It is the job of the artist, or everyone really, to fight back.
Culture-jamming we used to call it, back in the day. Ron English is one of
the artists currently working to subvert the images and messages we get from corporations paying to get them in front of us.
Click here to see a slide show of the opening...
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, Bushwick, NYC
but with meaty tortas ...
And you get to watch the tortillas roll out, as the Mexican polka plays.
We found Bird's Farm more or less by accident, driving Alabama Route 43 south from Eutaw,
as a scenic diversion off the highway, to New Orleans.
Not a lot happening in those back-country parts, so it can be a bit unsettling to suddenly see a row of surreal creatures
lined up in a field, all fashioned from hay bails and assorted junk. Or the towering Tin Man, assembled from 55-gallon drums
Jim Bird, the namesake of the farm, had been forging this rough art at least since 1993, when he made for his wife,
who was off on a trip, a caterpillar from misshapen bales of hay. The wife was "was pleased when she saw the caterpillar,
but not all that surprised," dryly notes
a Web site for rural southwest Alabama visitors.
Sometimes a piece of writing so closely describes the truth, that it itself becomes the truth. Charles Darwin's "
On the Origin of Species," first published in 1859, made its argument so thoroughly, so absolutely, it literally willed evolution into being in the human consciousness.
Once in plain site, evolution made its own case, of course. But today the writing that first fully described evolution is anything but an emptied vessel.
Driving the rolling back roads of Virginia, I've often daydreamed of a hard-bitten tobacco farmer two centuries back sitting down at a heavy oak kitchen table during some winter nights to read this English Nat'rlist's recently published account of how his own livestock changed over time.
Darwin writes to make his case for this farmer. And for everyone. OtOoS is technical writing at its finest, writing about a concept so subtle and so complicated that it literally took the human race about 200,000 years to understand, and yet the writing is so clear that assumes no technical knowledge on the part from the reader, apart from basic fluency in the English language and some patience. Read More...
At first glance, the
International Space Station is not what you'd call very aerodynamic. It would have been impossible to shoot something this boxy, and with so many delicate extremities akimbo, up into orbit.
In orbit since 1998, the ungainly but resilent ISS was build by five different space agencies—no mean feat in collaboration among agencies of the bureaucratic governmental sort.
The secret was to build the ISS in space itself, by assembling a set of smaller modules, noted
It's more difficult than you'd imagine, plucking random digits from a computer. 'Puters are rational beasts that only follow very specific instructions.
A random number is, by its very definition, something that can't be anticipated by an algorithmic formula. Yet, computers are called upon all the time to produce random output. Picking songs from a playlist at random, for example.
How can you tell if a series of digits are truly random? The answer can be quite philosophically – and mathematically -- complex.
When I heard Eric Clapton had
covered JJ Cale's "Call Me the Breeze" as a tribute to Cale's passing, my initial reaction was despair. Must this man continue beat the life from all Cale's songs? A Clapton fan I am not, you can tell.
But, upon reflection, I've come to view the cover as an inspired, even essential, choice. And not just because Clapton, much like some funeral director for talented but under-appreciated genius guitarists, knows how to pay tribute, even if he does carve a bit of the dearly-departed's legacy out for himself (cc: Robert Johnson).
No, the genius of Clapton's cover is that it brings perhaps what is the quinessental
JJ Cale song home from a lifelong journey. Read More...
What the Node docs don't tell you about callbacks is, of course, a trick question. Because the official documentation says NOTHING about callbacks, and many
otherintroductoryNodepages are vague about how callbacks actually work.
Which is strange, given that Node was built, in large part, around callbacks.
All code in Node is executed asynchronously -- meaning as soon as Node executes one call, it will execute the next, even if the first function hasn't returned its results yet. A callback provides a way to ensure that any function depending on the results of another function (say a slow one that reads files from a disk), will not continue to execute until the function that it relies on, designated as a callback function, has been completed.
Hence the name "callback" -- Once the callback function has finished, then, and only then, does it return control to the function that called it.
As central of a role that callbacks play in Node, I was surprised to find very little documentation on them.
And the documentation that did cover them offered specific examples but not much in the way of explanation.
Read More Here...
When is a bar not a bar? When it is someone's bedroom made up to look exactly like a bar.
If you live on the first floor in some prime East Williamsburg retail acreage, and your bedroom just happens to possess a storefront window on one of most trafficked corners of the neighborhood,
Lorimer and Jackson streets, and if you are growing tired of spending your dead presidents on $5 Tecates at the nearby 20something pickup joint, wouldn't it kind of make sense to, using found objects around the arty neighborhood, to refashion said bedroom into a resemblance of a bar, so you can throw open your front door and just see who wanders in? Read More...
Spoiler Alert! Eudora Welty's
short story "Old Mr. Marblehall" is about a man who lives two completely separate lives. In each life, he has a wife and a young son. One family lives on the one side of Natchez, Mississippi; the other family lives in the opposite side of Natchez. Neither one is aware of
Mr. Marblehall, or Mr. Bird as he is also known, stays in one home for a spell. Then he begs off on one of his periodic "health trips," and disappears for a few weeks. He then repeats the process at the other home. And so he shuttles between the two homes, on and on, the two wives, the two sons.
Blessed is each day I don't have to shake a banner heralding $5 pizza on the corner of Dumbarton and Lakeside Avenue,
I thought driving back from Roy's Big Burger tonight.
But like the lass who was bouncing the sign this evening, I'd execute my banner shaking duties with rhythmic gusto, with the help of some Dead in the earbuds and a six of Miller Lite hidden in some nearby bushes. At least I'd like to think so.
What better way of demonstrating the depthly volume of your new gallery space than by having large,
sometimes menacing, balloon creatures loom over everything? The rain outside was torrential,
and mighty cold, but worth sloshing through last Friday eve for the debut of Succulent,
a Greenpoint gallery, run by street artists Cern and Sek3,
that had plenty to gaze enjoyably upon.
Many of Brooklyn's finest street artists were Da House, both literally and figuratively.
"It's all about architecture," one told us. "The great street artists are either architects,
or should have gone to architecture school."
The ever-swelling crowd drank through all the alcohol, but still managed to loosen up agreeably by
eve's end. Anyone, it was rumored, could don the balloon monster exoskeleton and go
about terrorizing the patrons.
Because its the year 2014 and we can take pictures with our telephones, here is some of our fave art from the show.
Click to see the slideshow!..
Of the five major bridges crossing into Manhattan over the East River,
the Williamsburg Bridge
is the one most adorned by graffiti/street artists. It connects two artistic-minded NYC
communities, the Lower East Side in Manhattan and Williamsburg on the Brooklyn side.
Unlike the over-crowded Brooklyn Bridge, the Willie B offers wide passageways, recently installed,
for both the peds and the wheeled. The spongy black pavement provides an ample palette for the
quick-handed. For whatever reason, the city's public works department rarely cleans the graffiti from the bridge.
So walking the Willie B can be a visual hunt for quick art and/or dispatches from some other dimension. Some of the messages
that tattoo the century-old infrastructure are funny. Some are crude. Some are thoughtful. Some are randomly odd.
Some involve words, and others are just images, sometimes barely so. All get overwritten, in time, by other street art,
of equal or unequal value. Click to see the slideshow!
The guy who sang "Happy Together"
led a fascinating life. Kaylan careened through rock n' roll (& pop culture) history for four decades,
making friends with Zappa, Hendrix, Lennon, Nilsson, Brian Jones, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry,
Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley, Tom Jones, Ramones, Springsteen, Psych Furs and on and on.
Flo & Eddie -- as Kaylan and his lifelong on-stage partner Mark Volman became known -- knew *everyone* in the biz.
A little bit of disciplined high school music training went *a long way* in the rock n roll era, evidently.
Picking a font is a bit like choosing what clothing to wear.
Its not about self expression--remember that plush velor purple jacket
in your closet you love, but rarely wear? It's more about utility--something
ruggedly solid for easy use and easy on the eyes.
In other words, when it comes to style, a little goes a long way. Read More....
The Uncertainty Principle is not difficult to understand. It is not weirdly spooky and beyond explanation. It does not involve electrons copying themselves, appearing in two locations at once, or somehow sensing our presence. Rather, the Uncertainty Principle simply states that, at quantum levels, you can not measure something without disturbing what you are measuring. I'm listening to tapes of physicist Richard Feynman lecturing to his CalTech students in 1962 on the law of quantum interference, in which an event that is observed has different properties than an event that
goes unobserved. Click to Read More...