Saturday, January 31, 2015

'Friendship Nine' cleared of 1961 civil rights sit-in crimes

James F. Wells (C) greets supporters after a group of black civil rights protesters
 nicknamed the "Friendship Nine" appeared at a courthouse to have their
trespassing convictions vacated in Rock Hill, South Carolina January 28, 2015.

"Black civil rights protesters credited with reinvigorating the 1960s U.S. sit-in movement were absolved by a South Carolina court on Wednesday of the convictions lodged against them 54 years ago after they dared to sit at a segregated lunch counter.

The men, known as the 'Friendship Nine' because most were students at the now-closed Friendship College, knew they would be arrested when they took seats at the popular McCrory's five-and-dime store lunch counter in Rock Hill on Jan. 31, 1961."
More:  Reuters

Carry On Cocktail Kit

I love to travel but I find airplane flights so tedious. I appreciate anything that makes my inflight time more pleasant.

This adorable Carry On Cocktail Kit  provides everything you need to craft two delicious Old Fashioned cocktails mid-flight. Just add bourbon!

Kit Components:
- Carry On Tin - 3.125 in. (W) x 4.25 in. (H) x 1 in. (D)
- Recipe Card
- Spoon / Muddler
- Aromatic Bitters
- Cane Sugar
- Linen Coaster

And don't worry - this collaboration between W&P Design and Punch will make it through security without setting off alarms.



3D Printed Confections

The Sugar Lab makes 3D printing sweeter. They create architectural, intricate and utterly customized sweets--from cubes for your coffee to sugar skulls for absinthe or ornate cake toppers all made using ChefJet 3D printers.

Artist Is Drawing Every Branch Of Toronto's Public Libraries.

 All the libraries is artist Daniel Rotsztain's homage to the Toronto Public Library system. He is drawing  each of Toronto's 99 library branches.

Why has he taken on this project? Rotsztain explains that he is creating a record of a wide range of Toronto’s eclectic architecture, including styles that aren’t often documented or appreciated. 

In Spring 2015, Toronto Public Library will be opening its 100th branch in Scarborough Town Centre and Rotsztain will be there to draw it.

Here is a short video of the artist describing how he works.

Friday, January 30, 2015

NYC, 1981

In 1981, there were more than 120,000 reported robberies and 2166 murders in New York City. There were numerous rapes, assaults and gang violence. After years of increasing crime rates, it seemed unlikely in 1981 that New York would ever reverse course.

NYC, 1981 from Austin Peters on Vimeo.

NYC, 1981 is a documentary short created by A24 Films that explores one of the most statistically violent years in New York City’s history with the people who lived through it. The short was created to help promote the new film A Most Violent Year


Also: NYC,1981, a culture website inspired by the film A Most Violent Year.

Every Country's Highest Valued Export

Click here for larger image

Which export makes your country the most money? Simran Khosla at Global Post used data from the CIA Factbook to label each country by its highest valued export.

Via: Mental Floss

Afghan War Rugs

Carpet-weavers have always been inspired by the familiar objects surrounding them. In the past flowers, birds and water jugs were woven into rugs. Then came war. During the ten-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 850,000-1.5 million civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran. Tanks, helicopters, kalashnikovs and hand grenades became part of the everyday lives of Afghans and instruments of war  began to appear as rug patterns.

After the World Trade Centre attacks a controversial new carpet began to emerge for sale depicting the attack on the twin towers. The patterns of these rugs are copied from U.S. propaganda leaflets dropped from the air to explain to Afghanis the reason for the 2001 American invasion. Purchasers of these 9-11 rugs are often American servicemen and women who buy them in Afghanistan.

Kevin Sudeith, a New York City artist, sells war rugs online at his site 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How embargo turned Cuba into an island of hackers and DIY engineers

"In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower slapped the first trade embargo on Cuba, and in 1961, just before leaving office, he broke off diplomatic relations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the loss of oil imports, shortages got worse. The country lost about 80 percent of its imports, and the economy shrank by 34 percent. So Cubans learned to make do. When something breaks, they patch it up. When something doesn’t work, they fix it. And when something is altogether lost, they invent it. They grill meat on metal chairs. They seal the bottoms of cars, transforming them into boats. From the suffering of 30 years of isolation has sprung a generation of amateur engineers, inventors and welders."
A fan made from a boat propeller, an old washing machine motor and
welded steel rods in El Gabriel, Cuba. Photo by Edel Rodriguez.
A washing machine motor is used to power a key copier.
Photo by Ernesto Oroza.
The rikimbili, prohibited, but widely used in Cuba, is made of a bicycle
with a motor attached. Photo by Ernesto Oroza.

More: PBS NewsHour

Winter Storm Juno Dumps On Somerville, Massachusetts

The blizzard on January 26 dumped two feet of the white stuff on Somerville, MA. Boston University student Alyssa Pierson used her GoPro HERO4 to capture a time-lapse video.

Via Laughing Squid

Ronit Baranga's Creepy Ceramic Tableware

Israeli ceramicist Ronit Baranga's tableware incorporates realistic looking body parts but don't worry, they won't bite (at least I don't think they will).

Via: Colossal

Itty Bitty Brekky

Breakfast is ready? Good, I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!

Via: Blog on a Toothpick

1st confirmed sighting in nearly 100 years of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite Park

The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals. A study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy  placed motion-sensitive cameras in the park to determine occurrence and distribution of rare carnivores in the park. The cameras captured the fox on two separate instances (December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015). These sightings of the fox within the park boundary were the first in nearly 100 years.

More: U.S. National Park Service

Living with the Dead in Cairo

There is a necropolis south-east of Cairo where the dead share their space with hundreds of thousands of people who live, work and shop amongst the tombs and mausoleums. Known as the City of the Dead the necropolis was built in the 7th century AD. Portuguese photographer Miguel Proença recently photographed this incredible suburb of Cairo.

"Many of the inhabitants reside in the territory of four miles to be near ancestors or because they were forced to move from the city center due to demolitions or urban pressures that increased from the Nasser 1950's on. The vast majority of the inhabitants emigrated from farm fields of adjacent provinces looking for work, the high cost of housing in the city center forced them to live in abandoned or rented tombs."

More: Fotografia Magazine

Living Couch

Canadian visual artist Jordan Westre (aka Living Couch) creates quirky collages with a vintage/pop culture bent.

More: Living Couch

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

100 Years of National Geographic Maps

National Geographic's cartographic department celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year and has seen a lot of political changes and shifting borders during that century. Their cartographers have produced 438 supplement maps, ten world atlases, dozens of globes, about 3,000 maps for the magazine, and many maps in digital form.

More National Geographic Maps


Grand Birdapest Hotel

Lithuanian marketing and communications agency Clinic 212 their own handmade miniature Grand Budapest Hotel for the birds of Vilnius. The finished creation has three rooms and took a few nights of work to complete.

More: Feel Desain


Brunch City

This project by Andrea G. Portoles and Be a Crespo illustrates how yummy cities can be by placing tiny iconic architecture of a city atop a food that best represents it.




More: Foodiggity

5 Ways NOT To Handle A Nasty Facebook Breakup

Don't post your relationship drama on Facebook. It can only end badly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Man Gets Stabbed, Takes 50 Years To Die

Antonio Ciccarello, a retired porter, died in September at the age of 97. On the surface there is nothing remarkable about a man his age dying but an autopsy concluded Mr. Ciccarello's death was a homicide.  More than a half century earlier he was stabbed on the way to work.  The medical examiner connected Ciccarello's death from complications from a bowel obstruction to an earlier hernia and that hernia to the stabbing.

It's unlikely that a police investigation is forthcoming.

More: CBC Radio

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pollution In China

Rapid and uncontrolled industrial growth in China has created an environmental disaster. Air pollution in parts of the country can be 20 times worse than the recommended safe norm, algae chokes China’s lakes and waterways and chemicals turn the water blood red.

Boy Tries To Avoid Scattered Rubbish Floating On A Flooded Street
In Shantou, Guangdong Province
Image credit: Reuters

Boy Swims In Algae-filled Water, Qingdao, Shandong
Image credit: Reuters

Girl Walks Through Smog In Beijing, Where Small-Particle Pollution
Is 40 Times Higher Than International Safety Standards
Image credit: Kyodo News
I've considered a trip to China but am reluctant to visit a country that places economic growth ahead of environmental protection.

More photos: DeMilked


Pretending Spring Is On The Way

So long poinsettias. Hello tulips!

Arrowhead Teardrop Car

This darling little car looks just like the product it was designed to sell: a drop of spring water.

“In 1936, The Arrowhead Water Company of San Bernardino, California, commissioned noted car designer W. E. Miller, formerly of the Walter M. Murphy Company, to create a rolling advertisement for their spring water. Miller designed a teardrop shape, calling to mind a drop of water, that was round and wide in the front and that tapered to a point in the rear, making a very strong visual connection to Arrowhead’s product.”
More: The Old Motor


Moment in time: Jan. 26, 1885

Image: Mary Evans Picture Library/The Canadian Press

The Nile Expedition, sometimes called the Gordon Relief Expedition (1884–85), was a British mission to relieve Major-General Charles George Gordon at Khartoum, Sudan. It was the first overseas expedition by Canadians in a British imperial conflict, although the Nile Voyageurs were civilians employees and did not wear uniforms.
"The British picked hardened rivermen schooled in the art of piloting heavily laden boats through rapids. The 386 voyageurs were hired in late 1884 to ferry thousands of British troops up the River Nile to rescue Major-General Charles Gordon, who was besieged by the rebel Mahdist army in Khartoum. The river guides on the Nile Expedition - many of them First Nations - had experience steering lumber booms on the rivers of Eastern Ontario and Quebec as the fur trade faded in importance. In Africa, they piloted modified whaling boats against the current and through rapids on a mission that left 16 of them dead. But they arrived in Khartoum two days too late: Gordon was killed and his troops defeated on Jan. 26, leaving the city and the rest of Sudan to the rebels. "
-- Eric Atkins

The Great White Hurricane of 1888

A major storm is threatening to shut down New York City and forecasters say it may be the worst storm to ever hit the Big Apple. Will it be worse than the devastating blizzard that slammed into the city in March of 1888?  From March 11th to 15th the city was buried underneath a fifty-inch blanket of snow. More than 200 perished in the extreme cold during the Great White Hurricane and fires raged as helpless volunteers watched from afar, their teams trapped in the deep drifts that formed in the howling winds.

My Inwood provides some fascinating original coverage of the event.

"Thousands upon thousands of men, wrapped in the oddest of costumes that imagination can picture, turned out to dig paths through the streets. In many places the diggers had to cut through gigantic drifts in order to release people who were imprisoned in their own houses. "
"The sufferings of homeless people can hardly be told in words. All policemen were ordered to look out for these people, and also to arrest all persons who showed any signs of not being to take care of themselves. Early in the day the police lodging rooms were packed. Men who had money but could get no places to sleep in hotels applied at the station houses for shelter. The police were finally obliged to use their corridors to save men and women from perishing outside."
"In front of all the clubs, in fact everywhere throughout the city, people could be seen feeding the starving sparrows, which flew against the windows in the most pitiful way. This awful violation of the law—for it is at present a criminal offense in New York—was ignored by the police. Nay, a Herald reporter saw a policeman in cold blood criminally feeding breadcrumbs to a sparrow in Twenty-third Street near Ninth Avenue."


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Only Available In Yokohama? Pity.

These spiky hedgehog treats are only found in Yokohama’s Chinatown at Yoseigo, a dim sum takeout joint that’s been in business since 1946. These sweet dumplings are filled with delicious custard cream.

A single dumpling costs about US$0.83 but you can save if you buy a prickle of hedgehogs.

More: RocketNews24


The Fox's Wedding

Legendary Venetian textile company, Fortuny, has introduced its first new fabric collection in more than two years. The collection draws inspiration from Japanese folklore of “The Fox’s Wedding”. The legend is that foxes marry in secret in the forest and only during a sun shower – far from prying human eyes.

The 2015 collection includes four newly designed patterns, two archival patterns and seven existing patterns in new colorways. The line also includes a limited edition series of Ann Wood designed Fortuny foxes wearing reversible Fortuny kimonos.

More lovely foxes: ann wood handmade


Norwegian Reality Show Sends Fashion Bloggers to Work in Cambodian Sweatshop

What happens when you send three Norwegian youths out into the world to meet the people who sew our clothes?

Anniken Jorgensen is one of three 17-year-old fashion bloggers who “star” in a five-part online reality series about the horrors of sweatshop labor in Cambodia. “I can’t take it any more,” she sobs in Norwegian. “What sort of life is this?


Via Ecouterre 

Heroes of Science Action Figures

Datazoid on DeviantArt created these action figures of scientists.  Each figure took between 40 minutes and 2 hours each to complete, totalling around 50 hours of work.

Click here for larger image

Here are his selection criteria:

"The scientist must have been alive at some point in the 20th century. This is a practical consideration, as it really narrows the field down, and it eliminates a lot of the more outrageously-dressed characters, allowing me to work with mostly dudes in suits.
No scientists famous for major medical breakthroughs. Primarily because medical heroes is a category all of its own, and there are hundreds to choose from. I’ve included Alexander Fleming here, because he was primarily a chemist, and because his discovery of penicillin was not a discovery made in the course of trying to cure something."
Alas these aren’t real toys.

Thanks, Bruce!