Monday, July 31, 2017

R.I.P. Sam Shepard, Banjo Player

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, died Sunday at the age of 73. He was a renaissance man who was also a musician. I wonder how many of his obits will mention his backup performance on banjo on Smells Like Teen Spirit on Patti Smith's 2007 album Twelve?

Storm Says "Let Me In"

A few days ago I posted a video of hailstones the size of golf balls pummelling Istanbul. Here's another video of the same storm as it takes control of the revolving door of a hotel.


AstroTurf Lingerie

Because everyone wants to feel like they’ve got grass growing on their chest and nether regions. Or is that just me?

More Here

Tiny Embroidered Landscapes

Britta Marakatt-Labba creates miniature worlds containing scenes from everyday life, political reflections and stories about the Sámi culture and history.

More here

International Garden Photographer of the Year Macro Art Winners

IGPY awards a special prize for close-up pictures of plants and gardens in miniature.

Mandy Disher - Astrantia

1st Place
Stephen Studd - Giant Carrot

Stacey Lowry - A Tree Is Born

More here


Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Animated Trump Parody Music Video

TWEET is a parody music video created by HATEIOHEAD, a collective of citizens who are embarrassed by the current government and its leader.


It's Double Dutch Time!

Double Dutch has the spotlight at Lincoln Center this weekend, with two days of free demonstrations, an exhibition, panel discussions, and the Double Dutch Summer Classic National Competition.
There will be a showing of Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show, the 1981 Emmy award winning documentary video about personal achievement and teamwork, featuring the Fantastic Four and other championship rope jumping teams. Here's a preview:

You can see the whole doc here.


Bird Palaces of Ottoman-Era Turkey

In Ottoman-Era Turkey birds were thought to grant good deeds to those who built homes for them so birdhouses were not merely rudimentary shelters but were ornate pieces of miniature architecture that ranged from one-story homes to multiple-story bird mansions.

More: Colossal

Thanks Bruce!

Dead Heavy Metal Legend Will Tour As Holograph

Scanpix Norway / Reuters
Ronnie James Dio (the guy who created the devil horns hand sign) died in 2010 but the former Black Sabbath frontman will be touring Europe and the US. A hologram made with audio recordings pulled from his entire career will allow you to experience full concerts complete with a backing band.


Thanks Bruce!

60's Surf Tribute to Port Stanley

Cousins Sam Allen of Toronto and Paul Hickling of London ON are channeling the 60's surf-rock sound as an ode to their fond memories of summer days spent on the beach of Port Stanley.

More: CBC News

Sunday Links

Unraveling the emotional depth of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks (above)

The Sequel Songs of George Harrison: Paul McCartney was “the cute Beatle,” Ringo Starr was “the funny Beatle,” and George Harrison was “the sequel Beatle.”

Jared Kushner Plays the Lottery and The Mooch has a nosh.

The "A Bit More" button doesn’t reinvent the appliance’s form. It finds its soul instead. I too adore my Breville toaster. Via

The 12-Hour Goodbye That Started Everything 

The Sicilian bar in “The Godfather” where Michael Corleone learns Apollonia's name still open for business

How Goya Got His Groove Back: Just as Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes set to work on painting what interested him, the King came knocking. Very cute.

Decision fatigue? A Neuroscientist's strategy for limiting decisions: Pick 2nd menu item

I was so sad when The Toast bid us adieu last year and rode off into the sunset but was excited to discover that they just couldn't quit us and returned to post one day of new content for literally no reason! Joan Didion and Anna Wintour: Best Friends Forever is hilarious.

Girl gangs: Portraits of Chicano girl culture from the 1990s Thanks Bruce!

The Hoarders Who Never Clean Their Nightmare Desktops I'm obsessive about keeping my desktop totally clean so this upsets me a bit. Via

10 People Who Found The Best Things In Thrift Stores, Flea Markets And Garage Sales

Property of the week: a Dutch eco-home built into the earth Beautiful!

Watching and Lamenting the Death of the New York Diner: What’ll it be for the New York diner? BLT (light on mayo), 2 eggs over easy, or extinction?

@darkstockphotos tweets disturbing stock photography found on the web. Totally creepy. Via  

IKEA catalogue 2017: Defining "domestic bliss" in different cultures 

After filming the shower scene in Hitchcock's "Psycho," Janet Leigh stopped taking showers for years The film had the same effect on me.

Facebook worker living in garage to Zuckerberg: challenges are right outside your door. As the Facebook CEO travels across the US to ‘learn about people’s hopes and challenges’, the cafeteria workers at his company struggle to make ends meet.

Extraordinary Swedish greenhouse creates a Mediterranean climate around a three-bedroom home.

The TELUS Health Brain Project is a large-scale outdoor exhibit that brings brain health, art and imagination to the streets of Toronto. Via

The Ghost Villages of Newfoundland A controversial government resettlement program left centuries-old fishing villages abandoned. I'll be there  in a few weeks so might see some of these.

The Worst White House Kitchen in History? Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t care what she ate. She had no palate, she wasn’t interested in food, it gave her no pleasure—or at least people have been saying these things ever since she became a public figure in the 1920s.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Tipsy Robot

You'll get no smiles or friendly chatter from the bartenders at the Tipsy Robot Bar in Vegas but you will get a decent drink whipped up by a robot. Enter your order on a tablet or through the Tipsy Robot app that you've downloaded onto your phone. Once you've ordered, you get an alert telling you that your drink is ready. One question: How much do you tip a robot bartender?



Crazy Hailstorm In Istanbul

A violent storm in Istanbul yesterday with hail up to 9 cm in diameter reported.

Making pancakes with lasers

Via Holy Kaw!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Heritage Minutes Roadtrip

Heritage Minutes is a collection of bilingual Canadian 60-second short films, each depicting a significant person, event or story in Canadian history. Rebecca and Jim are visiting a location for each of 87 minutes. You can follow them on their journey here and here and learn about Canada.

“Study art” signs by John Waters

Many years ago John Waters saw a sign (above)  for an art school in Baltimore. He was struck by its political incorrectness and decided to parody it.

Waters created the signs in 2007 and is exhibiting them at the prestigious Venice Biennale this year.

More here


Organization Makes Very Cool Halloween Costumes For Kids In Wheelchairs

Ryan and Lana Weimer have five children, three of whom were born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which requires the use of wheelchairs. Ryan always made his kids the coolest Halloween costumes and he and Lana started Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit organization that makes epic costumes for children in wheelchairs.

You can donate to the organization here.
More: Just A Car Guy
Thanks Bruce!

Kito The Advertising Dog

Thai ridgeback, Kito, is the star of multiple advertising spots for Electrabel, a Belgian energy company. They use Kito, the energy consuming dog, to address the issue of energy consumption in a humourous way. In the video below we see him in his new role as a dogfather as he tries to manage his life and is now consuming even more energy.

Via  MetaFilter

The Medieval Fantasy City Generator

The Medieval Fantasy City Generator is a web application that “generates a random medieval city layout of a requested size."

Click here for interactive image


Xerox Is Not A Verb

The typewriter-written letter, dated August 2, 1979, is directed to a mis-gendered "Mr. Michiko Kakutani" in response to an article in which Xerox's name is used as a verb.


Bento Box Backpack

Japan’s iconic boxed lunch serves as inspiration for a bag big enough to hold multiple meals. It comes with three removable zippered pouches bearing lifelike images of bento favourites.

The Bento Backpack can be ordered here.

My Old Desktop

Nova Scotia-based illustrator and photographer Chris McVeigh's “My Old Desktop” series features computers from the ’80s and ’90s made from Lego bricks, complete with office accessories and illustrated, step-by-step construction instructions for each kit’s assembly.

See more of McVeigh's Lego building kits here.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Evolution In Flipbook Form

This flipbook traces 600 Million years of  human evolution.

Purchase it at the EVO evolution webshop 


In The Trenches

Andy Belsey creates realistic looking  models of WWI trench sections from everyday objects. So far he's modeled 9 different sections which he documents at


Romania’s Communist-era Bike Is Reborn

Romania's bicycle brand, Pegas, stopped production at the beginning of this century but is making a comeback. In order to appeal to the young audience of today the company created The Internet of the People, a website that shows what the internet would have been like if it were invented during  the glory days of the Pegas, complete with old fashioned communist-era blackouts.

The Internet of the People from Bicicletele Pegas on Vimeo.

Bat BnB

BatBnB is a line of accommodations for bats. If mosquitos find your flesh irresistable you might be interested in hosting bats on your property in these designer digs. Bats are one of the planet's greatest natural forms of pest control and can eat thousands of mosquitos in a single night.

They're available for pre-order on Indiegogo.


Pursuit (4K)

Pursuit (4K) is a stormlapse film by storm-chasing wedding photographer Mike Olbinski. View in full-screen mode.

Pursuit (4K) from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.


Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters

Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted? They are often hyper-sexualized, unnecessarily brutalized, stereotyped, and used as tokens.

Amanda Shendruk has analyzed naming conventions, types of superpowers, and the composition of teams to see how male and female genders are portrayed in DC and Marvel comics.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Surviving the Post-Trump Apocalypse

With Donald Trump threatening to break the US's commitments to bring climate change under control, artist Chih Chiu confronts the looming environmental crisis with Voyage on the Planet, his self-contained survival kit which recycles the oxygen produced by a single plant.

Survival Kit


Ride 'em Hoseboy!

Firefighters in Belcourt, North Dakota did a test run of their new fire hose rodeo competition.


Pablo Escobar’s Narco Hippos

In the 1980s, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was rich enough to have his own private zoo. What happened to the animals when Escobar was killed in a shootout?


Microbial Brooches

These felt brooches by Vancouver-based artist Hine Mizushima resemble microscopic organisms such as Paramecium, Euglena, Amoeba and Daphnia commonly found in swamps, freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and rivers.

More here 

Urban Campsite Amsterdam

UrbanCampsite Amsterdam is a collection of artistic micro shelters that pop up  in an underused part of the city every other year. This year's exhibition theme is "The Art of Tech-Living". Each dwelling can be booked on Airbnb through August, with prices ranging from €85-140 per night.

Sleeping Pod,” Studio Made Photo by Jeroen Staats

GigaBed,” Studio Valkenier Photo via UrbanCampsite

Tubalow,” Boomhuttenfest Photo by Jeroen Staats

More here


Petit Pli Clothing Expands To Fit Kids As They Grow

At last, clothes that fit your kids even after dramatic growth spurts! Royal College of Art graduate Ryan Mario Yasin used his background as an aeronautical engineer to devise a set of permanent folds that let clothes "unpack" when pulled, so they stretch over children as they get bigger.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Roman Roads of Britain

Sasha Trubetskoy has created this map of Britain's Roman-built roads that you can purchase here.

Click here for larger image
Related post

Thanks to Mr.Nag for sending this to me.

Radio Program for Lonely Canines

Photo via Deine Tierwelt

A German radio station pumps out music for lonely pooches on a 24/7 program called “Hallo Hasso” which is designed to make canine listeners feel less lonely when their owners are not at home.
Host Stephan “Stocki” Stock and his colleagues at RadioTon started researching what kind of music usually appeals to dogs, and learned that it should have as little drum and electric guitar as possible, and should be very slow. The program can be accessed online here. My dog, Lizzie, showed zero interest when I tuned in.


Freedom Riders

(Image credit: Kevin)
"On May 4, 1961, the first group of Freedom Riders -seven African Americans and six whites- left Washington, DC, on two Greyhound buses. Their plan was to ride through the entire Deep South (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana). But they were so severely harassed and attacked -beaten, bloodied, and jailed, their buses firebombed and destroyed- that they made it only as far as Birmingham, Alabama."

How Game of Thrones Helped a Farmer in Northern Ireland Save His Livestock Farm

Great Big Story visited with farmer Kenny Gracey of Forthill Farm in County Armagh, Northern Ireland who shared his story of how Game of Thrones kept him from losing his livestock farm.


Detailed Dollhouses You'll Wish You Could Live In

From dollhouse furniture specialists to DIYers just trying to make their kids happy Curbed  introduces us to the Instagrams of the makers of some amazing micro homes.


Life in the City

For well over a decade, German photographer Michael Wolf has been exploring the complexity of modern life in megacities. There is a major retrospective of his work at Les Rencontres d’Arles 2017.

The phrase “street photography” comes loaded with expectations
—which is what makes Michael Wolf’s always-original bodies of work
an important reminder of why the world’s streets continue to captivate our attention.


What’s for Breakfast? Lego.

this appetizing LEGO breakfast uses unusual ingredients from designboom on Vimeo.

Via swissmiss

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sara Berman’s Closet

A frugal Jewish immigrant from s shtetl in Belarus fashioned a sovereign identity through clothing and decor. Great story!

Sara Berman’s Closet from NewYorker on Vimeo.


People Answer Questions About Love Before and After Drinking

Will people be more honest about love after one or two? This video from Cut attempts to answer that question.

Japanese Cat Is Two Kitties In One

Japanese Twitter user @TOKAITRICK_bot took this photo of a stray cat with an unusual marking on its face. I hope all the internet attention will find this little guy a home.


Paper Portraits Of Famous People

These detailed pieces of art by Nayan Shrimali are made with paper, a paper cutting knife and acrylic colours assembled carefully to depict the different personalities of the subjects.

Frida Kahlo

Nicola Tesla


More here 


Awaken by Tom Lowe is set to open next year. Shot over the course of five years in more than 30 countries, it explores humanity’s relationship with technology and the natural world.

More here

Thanks Bruce!

How To Be A Hedgehog

De Herinacio: On the Hedgehog by Polish animator Ala nunu Leszynska is a charming video,based on the drawings of hedgehogs in one of the British Library's medieval bestiaries.

De Herinacio. On the Hedgehog from ala nunu leszynska on Vimeo.


Via Blort

1940s America By Bus

Take a trip around the USA by Greyhound via this public domain film from the Prelinger Archivess.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Colour Of Time

Marina Amaral from Brazil alters black and white photographs to build a bridge with history.

House of Small Cubes

This film by Kunio Katō won the Oscar for best animated short in 2009.

Via The Chawed Rosin

Pfifferlinge Pasta

Blogger buddy perfect for roquefort cheese tried a new recipe for spaghetti with braised Pfifferlinge (aka chanterelles), onions and sundried tomatoes. It looks delicious.

Recipe here

Mr. Burns/Donald Trump

Trump Unmasked Designer Toy available for purchase here.

Star-Studded Safety Video For BA

British Airways enlisted comedian Chabuddy G to himself enlist famous British faces ready to explain how to buckle your seatbelt and fold away your table during takeoff.

More here

Cthulhuian Font Unleashed Upon The Internet

Finally a font that that expresses the ethos of the octopus-headed cosmic entity known as Cthulhu! Although humans struggle to pronounce the true sounds of the language of R’lyeh we can now reproduce the written language thanks to StapletonMcTavish who has unlocked the secret of the Cthulhuian alphabet.
Via Neatorama

Charming Film Shot On An iPhone

Détour is a playful film about a tricycle in search of its young owner made by French director Michel Gondry and it was shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Detour took about two weeks to make, during which Gondry used the video software Filmic Pro, which costs $14.99 in Apple's app store. It was shot as part of Apple's iPhone advertising campaign.

More here

Related: Tangerine, a full length film shot on the iPhone 5

Sunday Links

Hummingbirds often brave downpours to gather the nectar needed to avoid starvation.
This Anna’s hummingbird shakes off rain as a wet dog does, with an oscillation
of its head and body (Sources: Victor Ortega-Jimenez and Robert Dudley)

Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Hummingbird's Frenzy: High-speed cameras show us what makes these birds perfect flying machines. Incredible!

Black is an invisible colour This is a very interesting blog post about Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian.

The inspiring final push in Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope Terry is a Canadian hero. Even today this young man's courage brings a tear to my eye. Via

"Incubus," the horror film made entirely in Esperanto, starring William Shatner  Bizarre.

The Role of Cats and Dogs in Cases of Spousal Abuse  For a battered Victorian wife animal intervention could sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Via

Rebekah Del Rio performs "No Stars" (Twin Peaks 2017) Haunting and lovely

Ouch! Surgeons Find 27 Contact Lenses in "Forgetful" Woman's Eye

Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Tapestry This 77 metre long medieval wall-hanging brings to life the events, locations and story of GofT.

10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: There are plenty of mathematicians and engineers who write great papers. There are fewer of them who are also jugglers, unicyclists, gadgeteers, first-rate chess players, codebreakers, expert stock-pickers, and amateur poets. Via PfRC

COPS - Trump Edition (Bad boys, whatcha gonna do?) 

From coffee shops to airports, Googie architecture is a futuristic style that embraced space age USA

The170-Year History of Foodporn Via 

Basement Reels, a Canadian-based group, makes 5min short films, both serious and silly, tailored to the Tamil diaspora community. Via MetaFilter

Elegant Underground Winery in Southern Italy Architects from the Flemish studio De Vylder Vinck Taillieu created this underground winery in the ancient city of Matera. Under the carved vaults, Enoteca dai Tosi is both a wine bar and a wine cellar.

20 Beautiful Words That Will Make You Fall in Love With the French Language

Two days in an underwater cave running out of oxygen As hours turned into days he realised he might not be found in time. Via Bruce

How India’s Gig Economy Is Trapping its Workers in the Cycle of Poverty "But hey, they're micro-entrepreneurs in the gig economy. That's pretty good, right?" Actually it's not good at all.

10 of the best public gardens in Italy  The Grandi Giardini Italiani – the country’s largest network of gardens – are celebrating its 20th anniversary. Come è bello!

What happened when Walmart left  “They screwed us real hard by leaving us like that. It’s so sad they thought they could just walk away.” Thanks Bruce!

8 of KFC's Weirdest and Most Wonderful Promotional Stunts: The fried chicken chain has done everything from sunscreen to space travel.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

When You're Told Your Cat Drawings Are Crap But You Know They're Not

Has anyone ever told you that you can't draw cats? Perhaps it's because they haven't seen your models. Heloisa, an artist from Brazil posts hilarious super-realistic creations on a Twitter account called Poorly Drawn Cats.


Electric Mayhem Muppets

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem were the house band from The Muppet Show. Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, and Animal first appeared in 1975 on The Muppet Show pilot “Sex and Violence.”
Illustrator and designer Michael De Pippo's retro posters imagine a one night only gig by the band.

The Electric Mayhem Band performed Goodbye Yellow Brick Road with Elton John on The Muppet Show in 1978: