Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DrinkYour Way Around the World

Ring in the New Year 24 times over

What happens only once a year yet 24 times in a day? The New Year. No matter the language, the cultural background, or the geographic location, almost everyone rings in the New Year at midnight on December 31. So celebrate it time zone by time zone with some place-specific drinks and snacks.


Top 20 New Year’s Eve Party Accessories

Want to make your New Years Eve special? Listicles party accessories are bound to make it a night to remember.
Blogging may be light today because I'll be out shopping for the Party Rat Lights and Lava Lamp Glasses below.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The year in pop culture

I saw this on a number of sites but I clicked on it here (an excellent blog)

I was looking for an excuse to visit Sicily again

Like the Moondance Diner before it, another New York icon has been forsaken by New York and found love in another country. Kim's collection of videos is going to Sicily. The town of Salemi is planning to launch the Neverending Festival, a non-stop public projection of Kim's Video Collection DVDs in their new home.
I love quirky movies and I love Sicily. The best food in Italy. Really. Salemi is near Trapani, one of 2 areas of Sicily I haven't visited (the other is the Aeolian Islands). I'm feeling a strong pull.

Tealight Candle Fireworks

Electrabel used 300,000 tealight candles and stop-motion photography to create this spectacular video to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2009. The video looks like fireworks produced from tiny flames on the floor.

While you're at it check out this display as well:

Thousands of candle-filled banana leaf-boats (krathongs), decorated by Thai people, were tied together and set afloat on the waterways during the annual Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival held in Thailand, which marked the beginning of their three day celebration of light.

Vintage Vespas

I love these Vintage Vespa Images .
Lifted from Blort.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Taryn Simon

White Tiger (Kenny), Selective Inbreeding
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and Foundation
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
In the United States, all living white tigers are the result of selective inbreeding to artificially create the genetic conditions that lead to white fur, ice-blue eyes and a pink nose. Kenny was born to a breeder in Bentonville, Arkansas on February 3, 1999. As a result of inbreeding, Kenny is mentally retarded and has significant physical limitations. Due to his deep-set nose, he has difficulty breathing and closing his jaw, his teeth are severely malformed and he limps from abnormal bone structure in his forearms. The three other tigers in Kenny’s litter are not considered to be quality white tigers as they are yellow coated, cross-eyed, and knock-kneed.

© Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon's photographs are very affecting.
Via the always interesting gmtPlus9 (-15)

LA Confidential

I love Been-Seen's movie atlas feature. The most recent one is LA Confidential:
If you don't mind peeking through the embellishments, LA Confidential is a great way to see Los Angeles. By embellishments I mean the trappings imposed on the city by the filmmakers to create a Fifties crime drama. It's named after the city. It's steeped in it. And it was filmed almost entirely on location, with only a few actual sets created for the movie.

How To Know If You Are A Beer Snob

I'm not much of a beer drinker so this is the one type of snob I probably am not.


The practise of having domestic servants is widespread in Brazil. The majority of the servants arrive in the big southern cities like Rio from the impoverished north, with little to no prospects and often on the wrong side of the country’s 88.6 percent adult literacy levels*. Correspondingly, they are paid very little – and it is here that Balco’s project touches upon the delicate topic of modern slave labour.
This article appeared in Don't Panic Magazine. I forget where I first saw it. If I stole it from you let me know and I'll give you some linkage. Read a lot more about the project at artist Andrej Balco's site.

The Music They Made

A sound collage featuring a sampling of musicians who died this year.

Shakespeare Howls

A charming collection of 50's themed cocktail napkins with Shakespearean captions.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

RIP Delaney Bramlett

"For a couple of years, in 1969 and 1970, Delaney & Bonnie, the gifted duo comprising the singer-songwriter and guitarist Delaney Bramlett and his vocalistwife Bonnie, were the names on the lips of the rock cognoscenti. Eric Claptonenthused about the Bramletts' blue-eyed soul after hearing The Original DelaneyAnd Bonnie – Accept No Substitute, their 1969 album, and asked them to open for Blind Faith, the supergroup he had formed in the United States with SteveWinwood of Traffic and the former Cream drummer Ginger Baker.

'For me going on after Delaney and Bonnie was really, really tough, because I thought they were miles better than us,' Clapton recalled in his autobiography last year. 'Their band was made up of all these great Southern musicians, who had such a strong sound and performed with absolute confidence ... Needless to say it wasn't long before I dropped all my responsibilities as being part of Blind Faith and started to hang out with them."

I caught Delaney and Bonnie on the legendary Festival Express tour in Toronto many, many years ago. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to them, though, because I just wanted to see Janis.

Must Drink More Milk

Russian Dolls from Made in Mundo

Abandoned London

A couple of years ago I had the idea that it might be fun to take photos of London without humans - yes, I was motivated by that scene in Westminster from 28 Days Later. Unfortunately, not being a film director I was not really in the position to have half of London sealed off for photos - but realised that on Xmas morning there could be an opportunity. More at IanVisits

When viewed as a slideshow the photos look quite eerie. Via

Saturday, December 27, 2008

White Rabbit

Remember the introduction to Star Trek?
Space... the Final Frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Apparently they took this mission very seriously


Beer goggles without the calories

I'm not sure if they mimic the alcohol induced condition that makes even the plainest members of the opposite gender appear very attractive by the time last call rolls around. When I was much younger I fell victim to that condition on more than one occasion and went home with Brad Pitt only to find myself with Danny Devito in the morning.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Dashing through the snow: Town unites to rescue trapped horses

"It was just a week before Christmas when two starving horses were discovered in the rugged mountains of the B.C. Interior - hip bones protruding, backs blanketed in ice, weakened bodies teetering between life and death.

Logan Jeck, 21, came upon the pair while retrieving two tourists' snowmobiles in the snow-covered terrain. He went home and told his father, David.

David Jeck, a horse owner, sent his daughter back the next day with two things: a .44 Magnum rifle and a bale of hay.

'If they look like they're in distress, put them down,' Mr. Jeck instructed his daughter, Toni. 'If they look like they're able to survive, feed them.'" Read more

People Who Deserve It

There are many familiar types here. I get aggravated just reading about them.
This blog is not written with malice or scorn, but with a sincere desire to witness the upward progression of the human race. And some people are ruining it for everybody.

People who wear sunglasses inside.
Savages who pee on the seat.
This kind of conduct only perpetuates the acceptance of degenerate behavior.

On this space log, you will find examples of socially responsible reasons to punch someone in the face. And remember, we do it for the kids.

One omission is the person who walks slowly in front of you at the mall when you're trying to finish your Christmas shopping. I came within a hair's breadth of inflicting serious violence this season. This blog is guaranteed to bring out your inner puncher.

Via Urlesque.


I must have one of these! I'm referring to the fish-dog although the guy and the car are cute too.

Fish-Dog | Made in Mundo

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt, Sultry Singer and Actress Dies

Eartha Kitt singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become a symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died from colon cancer. She was 81.

Caravaggio's lost nativity

In 2007 I traveled to Italy with the intention of seeing some of Caravaggio's works. I saw many but The Penitent Magdalen and The Rest During the Flight into Egypt at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome blew me away. Those of guys wrestling not so much. I regret that I am unlikely to ever see the nativity painting below which was stolen in 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily.

Jonathan Jones on Caravaggio's lost nativity
The evidence strongly suggests both that the painting's theft is a Mafia crime - and that it is no more likely to come back to the Oratory in a recognisable condition than that Palermo's streets will fill with the resurrected victims of assassinations and murders, bullet holes vanishing, bombed bodies whole again, strangled throats unmarked.

Read more

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blue Christmas - First Aid Kit

Blue Christmas - First Aid Kit

Most expensive Christmas trees in the World

Baby Nag came home last night and immediately asked, "Where's the tree?". This is the first time we've foregone a Christmas tree (although they have been smaller in recent years). This is not to say we don't have some xmas atmos going on. We have poinsettias, candles everywhere, a forest of greenery and lights strung hither and yon. Who knew that the kid wanted a tree? He's seemed indifferent to the xmas shrub for the last 15 years.
I decided that if I can't have this I don't want anything.

On This Day - Dec. 24, 1925

On This Day
It was a most auspicious start for 'a bear of very little brain.' On Christmas Eve, 1925, the London Evening News published a short story by writer A.A. Milne. Among its characters was a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. But it wasn't until the 1980s that the story behind the inspiration for the bear came to light. Winnipegger Fred Colebourn explains Winnie's background to CBC's Midday.

The 'silly old bear' was not pure invention; he was inspired by a real-life bear in the London Zoo. The bear, named 'Winnie' (short for Winnipeg), was a donation from Fred Colebourn's father, Harry, a Canadian Army veterinarian in the First World War. Before becoming a star attraction at the zoo, Winnie was the mascot of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade.

Lina, Babe Ruth and Lucy

Elatia Harris's tale of three pretties with illustrations by Kate Vrijmoet.

The morning of the dream, Lina, my poodle puppy, weighed in at 19.2 lbs. What if Lina got as big as a pony? In the early days of a global financial crisis we cannot fathom, I have taken on a moon-colored puppy that eats and eats. And I have had the dream I know is dreamt the length and breadth of my family-oriented neighborhood, where visible disturbances of prosperity are so very few. I dream I am asleep, and Lina enters my bedroom prowling for food. She takes fluid strides on her hind legs, her eyes avid, sweeping the room. She’s taller than a man, and spectrally thin under bright scant fur, as thin as the zoo bear that survived the siege of Sarajevo for 200 days, too weak to eat the apple a soldier finally brought her. My baby -- rising up in her need, and enormous. And she cannot be sustained.

Read the rest at 3quarksdaily

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The flag of equal marriage

This is a protest flag for equal marriage rights in the United States. The flag only has two stars, for Connecticut and Massachusetts (the 5th and 6th states in the union), the only states with legalized same-sex marriage.


Spanish language movie posters

Via RaShOmoN

Yellow Treehouse Restaurant

Designed by Pacific Environments Architects, the Yellow Treehouse Restaurant in Auckland was constructed by sourcing all products and services out of the Yellow Pages. Read more about it here.
Via bad banana blog

6 to 8 Black men

6 to 8 Black men by D. Sedaris (may be a repost)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Pez Museum in Burlingame, CA

My younger son used to collect Pez dispensers and has quite a collection up in our attic, old ones, rare ones, etc. I like to think of it as his retirement fund.

Via Laughing Squid

Suddenly It's Christmas

I am a huge fan of Loudon Wainwright and I approve this message.


World's Biggest Floating Christmas Tree

I wonder if my son who is teaching in Rio saw this amazing display. This will be his first Christmas away from home.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, -- The inaugural event of the 13th consecutive edition of the Christmas Tree of Bradesco Seguros e Previdencia, the biggest floating Christmas tree in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, brought together thousands of people this Saturday (November 29, 2008). Considered the third greatest event in the city of Rio de Janeiro, after Carnaval and New Year's Eve, the Tree brings something new for 2008 in the form of 'A melody of peace for the Brazilian family.' The spectacle of lights and colors has taken on a musical touch. An electronic carillon, imported from Italy and similar to the one used in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, has been installed within its structure to reproduce Christmas carols with bells played manually by professional bell-ringers. There are also fireworks scheduled for every Saturday.

Barcelona Memory Game

My friend Prodigal sent me this customized Flickr Memory Game . He knew I'd love it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Own Superhero

It snowed like a sonofabitch yesterday. I anticipated an impossible commute so I brought work home with me the night before and toiled over correspondence and a press release all day. Mr. Nag drove home from working all night in Toronto and immediately segued into tasks usually performed by guys in leotards and capes. He shoveled out driveways for the infirm, delivered chicken soup he'd made himself (with ginger and coriander) to a friend who was housebound with a bad knee and for a grand finale drove an ambulance for paramedics who couldn't get their vehicle out of a snowdrift.

Aurora Borealis

Photograph: Rolf Hicker/Barcroft Media

Image gallery of the breathtaking formations of the northern lights over Yukon, Canada. I think the photo above, taken near Tombstone Mountain Lookout, Dempster Highway, Yukon, looks like a Lawren Harris painting.

The Pianocktail

The Pianocktail by Florica and Oscar on Vimeo:
Summary on how the Pianocktail works:
1. you sit on the stool so the piano knows you are ready to play your drink.
2. Play a tune you would like to taste.
3. Stand up to let the Pianocktail know you are done playing and would like your drink.
4. Taste your song.


The Catalyst

Loads of photos of famous people + cats

Hunter S. Thompson

Jayne Mansfield

John Lennon

Friday, December 19, 2008

Who said it?

The boy or the Bunnies? Quiz
We challenge you to determine if the quotes below come from 'How To Talk to Girls,' written by 9-year-old Coloradan Alec Greven, or from 'The Girls Next Door,' by Playboy Bunnies Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.

Via Facebook friend Sean.

Mapping the Inauguration

Today in Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, a 40-by-40-foot map to plan out next month's presidential inauguration was revealed to the public.

One can't help but imagine that prior to this, members of the military swarmed around this map or looked on from above in the bleachers to play scenarios of what will happen and what might happen in a sort of cartographic war game, although they weren't scheming a military invasion of Iran but rather the invasion of the nation's capital by the populace. read more

Nichols and May

Listen to the great Nichols and May

The Black Panthers Trial

The Black Panthers Trial: Courtroom sketches by Robert Templeton

"On May 21st, 1969, police found the body of 19-year-old Alex Rackley on a riverbank in Middlefield, CT. Rackley was a member of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary Black Nationalist organization founded in 1966 in California. At the time of Rackleys murder, the organization had several thousand members operating in regional chapters in major American cities; the Panthers growth and their call for violent action against racist institutions made the Party a subject of investigations by local and federal law enforcement agencies. A victim of the resulting paranoia among some Party members, Alex Rackley was murdered by fellow Panthers who suspected him of being an informant.

The state charged Bobby Seale, founder and national chairman of the Black Panther Party, and Ericka Huggins, head of the Partys New Haven chapter, with conspiracy to kidnap and murder Rackley; the prosecutors sought the death penalty. Many speculate that the charges against Seale and Huggins, neither of whom was present during the commission of the murder, were issued in an effort to destroy the Party."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just what I NEVER wanted!

From the Barry Manilow snow globe and the Thatcher nutcracker to the swan pin cushion shoe, the naffest presents you won't want in your stocking this Christmas.

Am I alone in thinking the Thatcher nutcracker is kinda cool?

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel, 2007, Laser-cut museum board, bass wood, wire, string, paint
Working with laser cut museum board and materials typical to architectural model making, Joel Stoehr has created a sculpture inspired by New York City entitled Tower of Babel. In this work, Stoehr re-imagines the city as an all encompassing, infinitely expanding tower, unable to be parsed into particular neighborhoods or boroughs. Within the work, the notion of control over one’s physical and psychological proximity to the architecture, and the inhabitants of that architecture, is lost. The collective unconscious of the city is transformed into an anonymous crushing urban overload.


Dogs Chasing My Car in the Deserts

An interesting photo collection by John Divola 1996-2001.
I've always wondered what car chasing dogs do when they actually catch up with a vehicle.

Photos taken by Hunter S. Thompson

Gildiner's Gospel

My friend of 30 years (we met in a psychiatric hospital, don't ask) Cathy Gildiner, novelist, psychologist, rower and overachiever (and I mean that in a good way) is now a blogger. Read Gildiner's Gospel and watch her country life video. She's the fair haired gal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barney's 2008 Christmas video

The Barney Christmas videos are the only positive feature of the Bush presidency.

Love Mashup

Chris Han's Love Songs, mashup of 33 songs with "love" in the title

Mark Critch gives Gordon Ramsay the Christmas treatment

From the brilliant This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Via John Gushue

Trench Warfare in Colour

Hans Hildenbrand, one of nineteen photographers employed by the Kaiser to document the war, was the only German to take photos of the war in color. Hildenbrand, who first started experimenting with the "Autochrome" color technique in 1909, founded a society for color photography in 1911 his native Stuttgart.

His scenes are all posed, not for reasons of propaganda, but rather because the film he was working with wasn't sensitive enough to capture movement.

Beautiful photos via Uncertain Times

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This sounds like a good gig

"I work as a film location scout in New York City. My day is basically spent combing the streets for interesting and unique locations for feature films. In my travels, I often stumble across some pretty incredible sights, most of which are ignored every day by thousands of New Yorkers in too much of a rush to pay attention."SCOUTING NY


Historic Quebec 1940s

Historic Quebec 1940s

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beware of the Doghouse

An ad with a lesson: Buy her jewelry and get out of the doghouse. It wouldn't work on me - I don't even wear a wedding ring. Mr. Nag is going to have to be more imaginative if he wants to avoid sleeping with Snoopy.


Mom and Daddy, Please Don’t Steal For Me This Christmas

Here is a pathetic Christmas song, sung by a little girl named Suzannah, called “Mom and Daddy, Please Don’t Steal For Me This Christmas.”
I found it in the back of my Christmas vault.

Listen to the song

Dreaming of electric sheep

Moe the electric sheep will mow your lawn when you're on vacation. He's very cute but could use a slather of oil to eliminate the squeaking.
I done seen this at Been-Seen

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a FIESTA Giveaway!

Ravings of a Mad Housewife is giving away four 4-piece place settings of beautiful Fiestaware to a lucky reader. I do hope I win!
Many thanks to the Reluctant Housewife for turning me on to the contest.

The Economic Crisis Hits the Markson Family Monopoly Board.

It's been quite a while since I last visited McSweeney's. I thought this was funny:
Dear Pamela—

I realize you're angry at how Friday night's Monopoly game ended. I'm writing this note to explain why certain things occurred the way they did, and, hopefully, to chip away at the chilly silence that has characterized our relationship the past few days.

Since we haven't spoken, I'm not aware of your stance on the causes of our dispute. I believe our major issue was the housing crisis, which began with your properties on Ventnor Avenue and Marvin Gardens.... Read more at McSweeney's Internet Tendency

The Chairman Smiles

The former Soviet Union, Cuba, and China: three countries where posters played an important political role and received a large amount of artistic attention. This is a selection of 145 political posters, famous masterpieces as well as equally beautiful but unknown examples drawn from the collection of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. Check them out.

Winter Wine

I love the prints created by Niagara on the Lake artist (and friend) CAMPBELL SCOTT.
The one above is titled Winter Wine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest Winners

National Geographic Traveler partnered with Photo District News on the ultimate travel-photo contest.

Jonas Peterson's winner was taken while he shot scenes on a farm in Queensland, Australia. "Molly Nolan, the girl in the photo, became bored," Peterson says, "so I told her to look for tigers. Knowing Australia has no tigers, she reacted angrily. I turned to take photos. When I looked back, I saw her. Looking for tigers."

Leon Redbone and Dr. John, Frosty the Snowman

Via John Gushue

Sergey Rimashevsky

Belarusian artist Sergey Rimashevsky paints otherworldly pictures of children.

See more of his work here

Butterflies by COLOURlovers

"One particular place to find amazing colors in nature is the Butterfly and lucky for us there are 17,500 species of butterflies in the world.

They use their bright colors to ward of predators by tricking them into thinking they are poisonous (some actually are) or by camouflaging themselves into plants or bigger insects."

Wandering words

52 great travel quotes. Here are a few:

‘Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage.' - Regina Nadelson

‘Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.' - Lawrence Block

‘Traveling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, "I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station."' - Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

‘I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.' - Susan Sontag

‘The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.' - Rudyard Kipling

See all the quotes at

Friday, December 12, 2008

Japanese Subway Manner Posters

Tokyo Metro's monthly Manner Manner Poster campaign utilizes bold, cartoon-like depictions of a certain antisocial behavior subway riders should avoid doing... on the subway, at least. Barfing after passing out drunk, loud cellphone yakking and practicing golf swings with wet umbrellas - normal activities on North American subways - are no-no's on Tokyo Metro's sprawling subway system, though perfectly all right if done in the privacy of your home.

'Teenage Stories' :The Gorgeous Work of Julia Fullerton-Batten

"The girls I photograph in these miniature villages interact with them much like children interact with their real surroundings, living inside their own dreams and fantasies rather than living in a specific house on a specific street. In their minds they can be giants moving through our world whilst always remaining separate to it, cocooned in their own dream like existence."-Julia Fullerton-Batten

See more at Lunatica Desnuda

Necessary Angels

They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India's Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own. - National Geographic Magazine



30 Horrible Electrical Accidents, Illustrations From A 1931 Book
Bre Pettis has uploaded 30 illustrations of electrical accidents from the 1931 book “Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern”.

Bleed The World

I'm sure some of the celebrities in the Feed the World effort would object to being used in
this video.