Friday, October 31, 2008

RIP Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel, the Pulitzer Prize- winning author and enduring radio-show host whose oral histories chronicled the travails and triumphs of America's working class, has died. He was 96.

Terkel died today at his home in Chicago, his son, Dan Terkel, said in an interview. ``He just went very quickly and was in no pain at all,'' Dan Terkel said. ``He lived a very long, full, satisfying though sometimes impetuous life.''

Born in New York, Terkel became synonymous with Chicago, the city where he moved at age 10 and rarely left. His parents ran a boarding house and a men's hotel during the Great Depression, giving the young Terkel a steady diet of the struggles of ordinary people whose stories became his life's work. More

The magical world of Bob Dylan

The American film director and photographer Jerry Schatzberg shot the Blonde on Blonde album cover in 1966. The image shows Dylan outside the Meatpacking District of New York wearing a black-and-white checked scarf. This is just one of many photographs of Dylan posing in a variety of shots by Schatzberg, who was good friends with him between 1965 and 1967. The pictures will be exhibited at Proud Central in London. See more.

Poor Old Batman

Superman Makes Batman Redundant


The many faces of James Kuhn

"Forget masks, forget face-lifts, because an imaginative artist has found an even better way to change his face and he's doing it every day, for a year."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain supporters in Pennsylvania

I am a political cynic but this brought tears to my eyes. It's appalling.

Seen at 3quarksdaily

The Tire to market groceries

Would you buy your groceries at a place that reeks of vulcanized rubber?
It would be cool if they only sold tire shaped goodies like Cheerios, rotelle and of course, one of my childhood favourites, Wagon Wheels.

Brigid Berlin Needlepoint

New York Post covers to cozy up to. Brigid Berlin gives this traditional ladylike craft a wicked Warholian twist.
See more

500 Frank Zappas

Click on the image to see more Frank.
fz ebay mags.jpg Via Notcot

The Wolfman

Instead of watching videos I could be running through the woods howling and yapping in a schizophrenic blur.

Via bad banana blog

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vintage Halloween Photos

I thought this photo set was creepy yet lovable.

Halloween - a Flickr set Via Plep

Speed Crazy

When The Nag gets behind the wheel she's the boss! Terror takes over and the Camry becomes a weapon of death! This is so good.

Seen at Funky Junk Trunk

Monday, October 27, 2008

High Heel Torture

Women cast off their corsets long ago, yet high heels - which make it just as hard to move freely - keep getting more precarious. Read more.

The last time I wore really high heels was at a wedding in Toronto. I stood around eating hors d'oeuvres and drinking champagne. This activity led, inevitably, to frenzied dancing. I found myself limping back to the hotel room in such pain that I was forced to shed the shoes and walk down Yonge Street in pantyhose-clad feet. "Never again," I swore to myself. I am short and heels make me look more statuesque; they give my stumpy legs an almost shapely look but I can no longer put up with the pain they inflict. There are myriad articles on the internet outlining methods of coping with high heel pain. They can all go straight to hell. I've broken the high heel habit and have embraced walking shoes with a passion heretofore reserved (circa 1970) for a combination of a cute boy with a Beatle haircut and a tab of MDA.

Cost of crash: $2,800,000,000,000

Make sure the buggers are held to account.

Angkor Wat circa 1930

A vintage film of World Heritage Site, Angkor Cambodia

I Love Lucy Pilot (1951)

Did I ever mention that I love I Love Lucy? When I was a child that theme song was a call to arms - I'd come flying in from whatever I was doing (most likely fighting with my sisters or playing with Barbies) and plop myself down in front of the old B&W, prepared to chuckle and guffaw. I even loved that lush Desilu heart that appeared in the credits. I thought I'd seen every one at least 5 times but I somehow missed this pilot episode. This is where the fun began.

This is just the first part. Watch the other segments of this pilot at Classic Television Showbiz: I Love Lucy Pilot (1951)

Le Garde-meuble, a periodical devoted to furniture design

Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne (Furniture repository, ancient and modern), a bimonthly periodical published in Paris, exerted an enormous influence throughout the world by promoting French styles in furniture, fabrics, and interior decoration for a nearly a century, beginning in 1839 during the reign of Louis Philippe and ceasing in the waning years of the Third Republic around 1935.

Created by furniture designer and publisher Desire Guilmard, the periodical consisted entirely of illustrations of designs for furniture, window treatments and room settings.
Looking for prie dieus, Canterburies or toilettes? This site at The Smithsonian Institution Libraries Digital Collections has pretty illustrations of all these and more.
H/T to John for directing me to it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Come on up, eh

In the event of another Republican win my Democrat friends might want to consider Canada's E.L.I.T.E. immigration plan .

Man's Best Friend

This Italian ad for the Intenational Organization for the Protection of Animals features canine guests at Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. They sit alongside a single human, Judas, and the byline reads: “One of you betrays us 150,000 times every year.”

Art on 4 wheels

On my recent trip to Paris I wandered around the marché d'Aligre after market hours. I noticed lots of painted vans parked around the area. I thought they were sort of cool. Here are a few photos I took:

Does anyone out there know anything about these vans? Is there some sort of tradition attached to them?

1000 artworks to see before you die

The Guardian has compiled an ambitious list of 1000 artworks to see before you die.
Are they the world's essential artworks? You can comment here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What if you threw a party and nobody came?

It almost happened to me many, many moons ago. I set out snacks (likely chips with sour cream and onion dip, although I can't be absolutely certain) and waited for people to come so the fun could begin...and waited...and waited. I sat there in a bewitching outfit watching the hands of the clock make their slow rotation. I decided a glass of wine was needed and then another and so on. By midnight when people finally started rolling in I was talking on the big white telephone, if you know what I mean. I am told it was a great party. Too bad I missed it.

Facebook in a Crowd tells the story of Hal Niedzviecki's ill-fated attempt to turn cyber friends into real friends. Having been there once upon a time I feel his pain.

Historic Destinations Rated

National Geographic Traveler published this survey, conducted by the Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, of more than a hundred historic places around the world. An international panel of 280 experts evaluated the destinations based on six criteria. Read more at National Geographic Traveler

Here's what they had to say about Niagara-on-the-Lake where I live and blog. Sad to say it rings true.

Ontario: Niagara-on-the-Lake - Score: 67

This may be the most beautiful small town in Canada. It is quite touristy, but has done a great job of preserving its charm.

It is a very attractive small town on a waterfront, and anchors one of Canada's finest scenic parkways. It displays a high level of building and landscape conservation. A nationally significant theater and a location in a wine region are plusses; the almost complete gentrification of the town is a major problem. To many Canadians, it is the town that tourism killed.

Tourism is based on the Shaw festival and the history of the town. Local people benefit from commercial interests—bed-and-breakfasts of a high standard, attractive shopping area, restaurants, etc.

A theme park by any other name. But then that's what many of the visitors seem to expect and may even enjoy. The surrounding vineyards are arguably carrying much more integrity, although they are also being threatened by poor urban and regional planning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

A Dr. Seuss style cautionary tale snagged from my Facebook buddy, Moira.

Don't watch this before you go to bed!

Something truly creepy from Miss Cellania

Absolutely a-maze-ing

Drawing from the Medieval city plan for Toulouse, Isabelle de Beaufort and Bernard Ramus created a maze in Cordes-sur-Ciel, France where the abandoned house at the center of the maze represents the lair of the legendary dragon that lurks beneath the streets of Toulouse. More

The photographs are incredible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The wurst art evah!

Sausage art is now popular in Russia. They have made some major masterpieces out of sausages and wurst and put on display so that anyone can eat them.

See more meaty masterpieces at English Russia

True graffiti

Earlier this year, a classic mural by the late artist Keith Haring was recreated on Houston Street and Bowery in New York. The original had been created in 1982 and lasted just a few months before it was painted out. The new version, repainted by Gotham Scenic, was unveiled on what would have been Haring's 50th birthday (May 4th), but a few months later it underwent a dramatic transformation. Read more

Mao Badges

See more Pins and Badges from the Cultural Revolution
Via Plep

Monday, October 20, 2008

New and improved Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill

Just a few days ago I posted a video of this recent Banksy installation. It may seem redundant to you but I couldn't resist posting this superior Notcot video.

NOTCOT: Banksy's Village Petstore & Charcoal Grill from Jean Aw on Vimeo.

French Laundry at Home

I linked to this blog a long time ago but haven't been back to it in a very long time. Cookbook and has posted Lists and Menu Suggestions:

Now that I've cooked every dish in The French Laundry Cookbook, I think it's appropriate to do a bit of a retrospective, don't you think? I've had some time now to think back on the good and the bad... the surprise successes and the dismal failures... the things I loved and continue to make today, and the things I'll never make again.

Many thanks to Metafilter for bringing me back to this site.

The Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek

A flickr set of the babes of Star Trek

Via RaShOmoN

Albinoni - Adagio in G minor


I'm reminded of this video based on Renaissance's Turn of the Cards with vocals by the wonderful Annie Haslam, a favourite of mine many years ago.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

They must have been hungry

Mob Eats World Record Sandwich Before It Can Be Measured | Serious Eats


"Iran failed on Friday to register the sandwich as the world's largest sandwich in the Guinness book of World Records after people rushed forward and began eating it—before it was measured."


When I went to Italy in 2007 I made sure to check out all the Caravaggio works that were on our route. I developed a deeper appreciation of the artist after seeing The Penitant Magdalen and Rest During the Flight into Egypt at the Galleria Pamphili in Rome (one of my all time favourite galleries). Caravaggio used the same model in both works. She is Mary Magdalen in one. In the other she is the Virgin Mary.
I was pleased to find this BBC video at Uncertain Times, source of so much Nag fodder:

Lego Anatomy

Anatomy Of A Lego Minifig

Thursday, October 16, 2008

RIP Edie Adams

Tony-winning actress Edie Adams, a blond chanteuse with a funny streak who was married to the late comedian Ernie Kovacs, has died. She was 81.

DIY Googly Eyes!

One Hundred Percent EDIBLE Googly Eyes!

Halloween in Japan

This creepy Bento box is just one of Eight Eerie Examples of Halloween in Japan

Torturing Democracy

In January, 2007, the Archive and Washington Media decided to join forces, as we had done on documentary film projects over the past 20 years. The results are seen on this web site: The documentary, "Torturing Democracy," and the first stage of a comprehensive Torture Archive that aims to serve as the online institutional memory of the essential documentary evidence.

It is profoundly disturbing. Via

Monday, October 13, 2008

Layton turns eye to rust belt

Jack Layton paid a last minute visit to the campaign office in Thorold yesterday and injected a whole lot of energy in the last days before the election. It was so packed I was unable to take any pictures.
"Layton said communities along Highway 401 throughout the Golden Horseshoe are hurting like they have never before. He visited seven communities – Windsor, Essex, St. Thomas, London, Welland-Thorold, Hamilton, and Guelph – in 16 hours.

'When you lose a good middle-class job, you are losing a lot,' Layton said in Thorold.

Nearby Welland is still reeling from the announcement last month that John Deere is closing its plant at the end of February, throwing some 800 employees out of work.

'In these difficult times you've got to have leadership that understands the personal stories of Canadians,' he told reporters in Thorold after accusing Harper of not caring about the 400,000 manufacturing jobs that, he says, have disappeared."read more

Bonnie et Clyde

Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot perform an homage to Bonnie and Clyde. It mesmerized me.


Mel Tormé, 1963

Dig those chicks, the groovy set and Mel's cool moves.

Comin' Home, Baby - Mel Tormé on The Judy Garland Show
Via Uncertain Times

Food Rants

It's National Yorkshire Pudding Day. Jay compares this dish to a rectal tumour. Yum!
And you thought you hated Yorkshire Pudding? Jay is full of so much rage over this dessert that I’m afraid he’s ready to go to England and kick them in their jacked up teeth.

See some great Food Rant videos at this site dedicated to eating, drinking and being snarky.


Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America

Walmart Spreads Across America

Sunday, October 12, 2008

China Gold

I went to see this show at the Maillol Museum in Paris recently but adhered to the "no photos allowed" sign. I'm glad that Sylvie Fondacci took these photos and that you can see some of this terrific work by modern Chinese artists.

China Gold Exhibition - Musée Maillol Paris

Awesome Alphabets

ReubenMiller : 22 of the World's Most Creative Alphabets

Hunter, Ralph and 3 bottles of whiskey

Writer Hunter S. Thompson and illustrator Ralph Steadman discuss old times over a drink or nine!

Via Information Junk

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tony Curtis, last of the great Lotharios

Tony Curtis comes towards me in a wheelchair, wearing a white sleeveless T-shirt and very short white shorts. “Good to meet you,” he says. He takes my hand, brushes it with his lips and almost imperceptibly looks me up and down. At 83, despite baldness and a paunch, the legendary Hollywood Lothario still knows how to turn on the charm. Read more

A Break For the Nag

I work 10 hour days 7 days a week during a campaign. My son knows the drill and brought all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner and cooked them up. I left work early and had a great holiday meal with my family. Mr. Nag did most of the cleanup. How lucky am I?

Hooded Fang's Dance Cuts on Harper's Arts Cuts

Stephen Harper says that artists waste taxpayers' money and that 'ordinary' people don't care about the arts. He also said that 'ordinary Canadians' don't worry about losing their jobs. He would be wrong on both counts.
Music by members of Hooded Fang, video by members of Hooded Fang and Sofia Bohdanowicz.

Hat tip to my Facebook friend, Bailey.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Horse: A Mirror of Man

Theories about equine physiology and health often mirrored theories about humans, and the literature of both was inherently linked. Bloodletting, astrology, and ancient texts were used by both physicians and veterinarians to heal their patients, and many discoveries, including the circulation of the blood, developed in tandem.
Medieval and Renaissance veterinary medicine looked to ancient veterinary texts for its inspiration, just as physicians for human healing did. In the case of horses, veterinarians relied on a set of Classical and Byzantine Greek texts called the “Hippiatrica”.

The Horse: A Mirror of Man found at Uncertain Times.

Horrors wrought out of yarn

Why Would You Knit That?! The name says it all. This blog features a myriad of hand crafted abominations.


Charlie Chan's Aphorisms

Nearly as legendary as his finely honed detective skills was Charlie Chan's ability to punctuate his dialogue with aphorisms appropriate to the moment. Whether it was in the midst of the most dangerous situations or while enjoying a quiet interlude with one of his many children, Mr. Chan always had a timely truth poised on the tip of his eloquent tongue. Via

Absence of proof open cell door. (Charlie Chan in Panama)

Accidents can happen, if planned that way. (Dark Alibi)

Action speak louder than French. (Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo)

Admitting failure like drinking bitter tea. (Charlie Chan in Egypt)

Making Mac-O-Lanterns

Find out how to make your own at bad banana blog

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill

While New Yorkers have been consumed by the stock market meltdown, a tiny little pet store quietly opened four days ago at 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City.

See more Banksy pet shop weirdness at Wooster Collective

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cuddly Plush Zombies

Everything is cuter when it's plush - even zombies.


I Could Care Less

John Cleese addresses a common misuse of language that may be top dog in my menagerie of pet peeves.


10 Common Dreams And Their Meanings

This is a list of the interpretations that the Association for the Study of Dreams has given to the most recurring and common types of dream. I occasionally dream of being chased, being naked and falling - not recently though.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Like art? Like rats?

Rats in Art is the site for you.


John McPenguin

Short but hilarious.


Name that rock star

Chop Shop's “collection” tee featuring 31 classic rock, punk and post-punk celebrities whose stars burnt brightest from 1972-1982. I want one.

On This Day- Montreal's Night of Terror

I don't know why I have no knowledge of this event - I lived in Montreal and was certainly old enough to have seen it in the news.
Montreal is in a state of shock. A police officer is dead and 108 people have been arrested following 16 hours of chaos during which police and firefighters refused to work. At first, the strike's impact was limited to more bank robberies than normal. But as night fell, a taxi drivers' union seized upon the police absence to violently protest a competitor's exclusive right to airport pickups. The result, according to this CBC Television special, was a 'night of terror.'

Monday, October 06, 2008

Operation Supermarket

My Soul My Universe Where Were You All Those Days

Farhad Moshiri & Shirin Aliabadi. Operation Supermarkt. Singapur Biennale 2008
Click the image to see slideshow.

Warhol's Polaroids

A new retrospective at London's Hayward Gallery (October 7 2008 - January 18 2009) brings together the films, screen-tests and videos of Andy Warhol. The exhibition also includes his Polaroids, used by the artist as aids for painting portraits, which provide a fascinating insight into the man who wanted to capture the world like a camera.
Artist Robert Rauschenberg (above) looks a little worse for the wear.
Click to see slideshow

Japanese matchbox labels

A beautiful set of Japanese matchbox labels on Flickr.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lift of the penguins

Brazil launches airlift to return penguins washed ashore on Rio beaches. More than 1,000 penguins have washed up on Brazilian beaches - 2,000 miles north of their traditional breeding grounds.
Hundreds of the flightless birds are being airlifted back to the South Atlantic by the country's air force.

Just add bagpipes

A do-it-yourself dancing highlander, from Frank Bellew's The Art of Amusing (1866). Cut him out, stitch him to a glove, and make little socks for your fingers.

Found this at Futility Closet

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A fungus firing its spores to the tune of the Anvil Chorus

Nicholas Money, an expert on fungi at Miami University, has been playing around with very fast video. Ultra fast. As in 250,000 frames-a-second fast. He knew exactly what this kind of video was made for. To film fungi that live on dung as they discharge their spores. These tiny fungi can blast spores as far as six feet away, boosting the odds that they’ll land on a clean plant that a cow or other grazing animal may eat. The fungi develop inside the animal, get pooped out with its dung, and fire their spores once more.

Via 3quarksdaily

The Campaign

I've had a good feeling from the start about the campaign I'm working on in the Welland Riding. We're outsigning the other two parties and voter contact has been quite positive. NDP leader Jack Layton visited the riding and conducted a town hall meeting that focused on the dramatic job drain this area has experienced. Conservative leader Stephen Harper also came to the riding and for reasons that are unclear to most folks here made an announcement concerning flavoured cigarettes! Then, during the national leaders' debate, he stated that average Canadians aren't worried about job loss. Well I can tell Mr. Harper that average Canadians in this riding are more than concerned as their lives are being reduced to ruins as jobs leave the region like water through a sieve.
Yesterday ultra-conservative Toronto Sun columnist, Christina Blizzard, wrote an article that confirmed the positive vibe we've all been getting:
You just sense that, barring any sudden, stunning upset or a personality transplant for Dion, Welland will be shifting on Oct. 14.
It won't be Dion's Green Shift they pick. They'll be making an orange squash -- to Jack Layton.

It's too early to break out the champagne but we are all encouraged.

This is the world we live in


Friday, October 03, 2008

William S. Burroughs - Shotgun Paintings

During his later years in Kansas, Burroughs developed a painting technique whereby he created abstract compositions by placing spray paint cans in front of, and some distance from, blank canvasses, and then shooting at the paint cans with a shot gun.
I'd never heard about this aspect of Burroughs' work before but it fits with the image I have of him. I always learn something new at Uncertain Times.