the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: links

Links for January 14, 2012: CES, tubing crow, birds in books, long sentences, Minneapolis skyway, puppy power

Aviary: Basically, these drawings of birds in books are completely awesome. BIRDS FOREVER! (I don’t care about birds.) [mefi]

Urban: Kottke linked to this article about how the Minneapolis skyway came to be. And now I link to it, too? Someday I will post my skyway-based screenplay, which centers around the search for the mythical(?) spot where the Minneapolis and St. Paul skyways meet (above the Mississippi river).

Writing: Should one write long sentences or should one write short sentences? Close readers of this site (zero are known) will note that I am partial to the short sentence, with occasional long-sentence interjections.

Music: Read over these popular songs re-written as Shakespearean sonnets. [liquidchroma]

Retro: In today’s things-that-look-like-other-things edition, these notebooks that look like VHS tapes are kind of good?

Work: I went to CES in Las Vegas this week. Mat Honan also went to CES this week. (Read the second link, if you have any time or familiarity with the event!)

Personal: For real. This living creature invades my very life next weekend. CAN YOU FEEL THE HATE EMANATING FROM HER?

Today’s links: F.

Links for January 7, 2012: This space unintentionally left blank

Funereal: “Poland is the European superpower of coffin production.” A good read on how Polish coffins are made from the Financial Times (it might require you to register if you haven’t before; sorry).

Furthermore: Live! I see dead people is a tumblr dedicated to photoshopping deceased band members out of old album covers. [notnoisepollution]

Fashion: This photo gallery of personalized bomber jackets is fairly awesome. Cooler than one might imagine after reading that dry-ass intro. Joshua! Step it the fuck up! [mefi]

Furthermore: Van Halen sneakers. I hope they have good ankle support, given all the jumping. [coudal]

Movies: Stanley Kubrick animated gifs. They are called essential, but I think they can be lived without. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy looking at them for 3 seconds, though.

Flipping: SEQINTEC, a kickstarter project that sought to bring REVERSE SUNGLASSES to the people, was recently funded! Barely! REVERSE SUNGLASSES!

Fitness: The New York Times Magazine issues a lengthy takedown of modern yoga, saying it’s dangerous for a large proportion of those now attempting it. I’ve been wanting to take some yoga classes at a local hippie yoga joint, but the most suitable class is a “men’s yoga night,” which strikes me as really creepy? And hairy?

Local: Forbes ran an article about how Twin Cities-based Best Buy is experiencing a slow demise. Best Buy’s CEO responds. The mustache makes a strong statement.

Today’s links: F.

Links for December 27, 2011: Music and geography and cultural devolution and mob rule and mob cash and pixel fireplaces and cello scrotum and vodka

Music: Richard Florida wrote a piece examining the geography of 2011’s music. Eau Claire, Wisconsin (home of Bon Iver) has the highest number of hits per-capita. Minneapolis doesn’t even make a blip. No kings. [eyeteeth]

Culture: Also! I’ve been meaning to link to this for a long time, but referenced in the above article was a piece by Kurt Anderson from Vanity Fair that argued that culture has devolved over the past 20 years.

Shopping: There were some terrible quasi-riots at the Mall of America today, a 20-person fight in the north food court that got 9 people arrested. Ugh.

The flip side: Cash Mobs organize people to shop locally, without any tangible benefit for the group. (Seems like the Carrot Mob idea — exchanging a certain amount of business for a sustainability promise — would work better, long run.) [notrobwalker]

Hot!: This pixel Fireplace application may be of great use to you this New Year’s Eve. From waxy.

Burning question: Is cello scrotum real?

Fire!: Long ago, I linked to this awesome collection of Indian matchbox covers. Today, I link to this awesome collection of Japanese matchbox covers. Tomorrow? I probably won’t find any more cool matchbox covers. Have I mentioned that should I ever get a tattoo, it will be a modified version of this Indian matchbox?

FACT. [coudal]

Music: Stereogum has aggregated the 10 most NSFW music videos of the year! The sad thing is, I couldn’t get myself interested enough to watch a single one of them all the way through. Is that a commentary on the videos, our culture or my aging id? Anyone?

Lastly: Who wants some Flava Flav vodka? Hemp juice, bubblegum and grape flavors to roll out in 2012. It’s going to be a hell of a year!

Today’s links: F.

Links for December 7, 2011: When should one STOP blogging?

Thinking: This project, by Gaelan Kelly, has my attention! (And that’s saying something at this point.) It’s called “NPR: How the Voices Look in My Head,” and as you might guess, it consists of drawings of radio personalities based only on what the artist IMAGINES they look like. What I like is that it takes what we all do daily – make only somewhat informed judgments based on limited input – to a logical extreme. I’ve thought about this in a bunch of other contexts, and I think it’s related to a project/idea I started (but still want to explore) in which people attempt to recall the plots of books read long ago (or never read). What do they actually know? What do they make up to fill in an important blank? I think it’s even related to this (sorta classic?) video of a girl who holds forth on the plot of Star Wars having never seen the movies.

The question, basically: How does the brain decide what is necessary to conjure? And then, once it has decided that some certain set of things needs to be conjured, how does it go about filling in those slots? Through memory? Association? Through cultural context? Is this exactly what imagination is? [coudal]

Gifts: These lineposters, which depict cities as line representations of their transit systems, might make for good gifts? If you are purchasing gifts for urban nerdbaits? I would like a Twin Cities version. It would have one line, from the sternum to three inches above the sternum. (Seriously, though, they’re sort of lovely?)

Edifices: I think this site – Buildings Listening to Dubstep – should actually be called Dancing by Architecture. And they should be listening to Martin Mull instead of dubstep? (I don’t know what I’m talking about.) [liquidchroma]

Sports: This series by John Branch of the New York Times on hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard is worth your three clicks. Be ready to weep, question your values and give up your last lingering support of nearly any major sport, though. Devastating.

Markets: Indie capitalism. It smells good? “Good things come from and are made locally by people you can see and know.”

Lists: McSweeney’s “Band Math” is a confection. A handmade confection, but a confection nonetheless. Do you even know what I MEAN by that? (I don’t.) [pop loser]

Music: You KNOW the guy holding a ukulele that looks like a Transformer’s head in an Etsy photo HAS to have a scraggly beard. (Sorry, scraggly beard.)

Running: The race at the bottom of the world. Watch 36 athletes run a marathon at the South Pole. Their workout gear is great. Apropos of nothing, it’s very cold here in Minnesota and while running (which I still despise) I have been experimenting with a third sock.

Today’s links: F.

Links for December 2, 2011: The godfather of the straw, and other sucky tales

Sports: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers owns a record label? [daily swarm]

Visuals: This one goes out to all of you penis lovers! Peruse – and re-order! – the 9 greatest penis moments in movie history. This seems like something Mark Lisanti should have written! (I don’t know.)

Local: Who Is Bon Iver?: A tumblr of ignorance and shame. (Subtitle mine.)

Television: David Milch is going to be developing some of Faulkner’s work for HBO. I loved Milch’s “Deadwood,” though, LIKE SO MANY, was completely annoyed with the way the series ended. To this day, I hold a little bit of Al Swearingen in me (his greasy hair).

Question: Is this a Spaghetti-Os pizza or a pizza crust that has been vomited on? (Consider this question to be like a captcha.)

Videos: NME has compiled a list of the worst videos ever. I guess I don’t know anything anymore. About anything. [spincity]

Sound: If you don’t have fun playing with this sound board, The Rap Board, then you are not a human being. I will never not love DMX barking. [coudal]

Innovation: Read about the history of the bendy straw. “Stone refined it by building a machine to wind paper into a tube and coat the outside with a paraffin wax to keep it from melting in bourbon. He patented the product in 1888. Today, Marvin Chester Stone is considered the godfather of the straw.”

Today’s links: F. I have so much more to give. So much more. To give. (But no time to sort it.)

Video: Watch cocktails explode in slow motion

All that, and also the Beastie Boys. Have I ever asked if I ever shut the hell up?

Links for November 22, 2011: Hotdish, stinkbug eggs, naked flying people

America: Spinning off the wonderful site is I HIGHLY recommend that you submit any hotdish-related questions as soon as possible. This is what America is all about. Dialog. Community. Hamburger. Love. (It’s from the people at Liquid Chroma!)

Images: Cédric Le Borgne’s Les Voyageurs are beautiful. They are people of light! Like, flying. And probably naked! [coudal]

Questions: Who are the people currently drawing cavemen professionally, and what informs how they draw them? I drew a carrot man during a meeting the other day! He the green part WAS HIS HAIR.

Ova: If there’s one thing I can promise you, it is this: You will not see any more beautiful image of stinkbug eggs today. You will not.

Study: The more complex and dire a social issue, the more people want to avoid learning about it. Sounds like something not to click on next item please!

Flip side: On the other hand, this complex and dire issue – how Facebook is gaslighting the web, by Anil Dash – is something you should learn about, know about and maybe even do something about.

Video: When Kottke says “I’ve been on the web for 17 years now, I’m a professional link finder, and I have never in my life seen anything like these guys,” I guess it seems like you have to watch? Especially considering there’s lightbulb biting and head-brick smashing?

Faces: Amalgamation is a video that shows a bunch of faces changing. It’s less boring than it sounds. Speaking of changing faces, I tried shaving with a safety razor this evening and it did NOT go well.

Sports: On the Media covers professional wrestling labor relations. I didn’t know all wrestlers are independent contractors! Occupy the turnbuckle! (How great would an OWS storyline be? Maybe with a hedge fund heel?)

Today’s links: F.

Links for November 16, 2011: Double shower head, single dog’s head and how to name your novel

Running: I have begun running and I loathe myself for it. Utterly. (Close readers of the listenerd (ha) may recall having read a little something about this.) No one – and I mean NO ONE – captures the nouveau runner’s mix of addiction, wonder and self-hatred like Charlie Brooker. “I have been murdered and replaced with a suspicious facsimile. In running shoes.” Please read that. Furthermore, Charlie Brooker, much to his credit, is trying to plant the idea that the PACKAGE in this heart-rending John Lewis (a UK retail chain) advertisement contains a dog’s head. (It might.)

Showers: Rob Walker explores a thoroughly modern hotel signage phenomenon, one in which the hotel attempts to initiate a game of chicken with its guest to see who will eventually blink and ruin the entire planet by using/providing too many towels or using/offering incredible water pressure. Also, there is a HUGE dual shower head involved. HOWEVER, Mr. Walker does not answer the question of whether the dual-shower head thing was worth using.

Minneapolis: Minneapolis’ Craig Finn talks about the first time he heard Minneapolis’ The Replacements. All this story needs is Minneapolis’ Prince to make it complete and as obnoxious as is possible. And possibly a bike lane. (Maybe Prince is winter cyclo-commuting via it.)

Gimmicks: These musical business cards by Katharina Hölzl are incredibly cool. Watch the video or read more here.

Self-help: NPR helps you name your first novel. Mine was The Black Black Delphinium of Vatican City!

“News”: Google dropped a new music service today. I will play with it, though it is rare that I find people ready and willing to spend time and energy even entertaining the idea of sharing something with me via Google+.

Local: Normally, I’m not a fan of Bob Collins and NewsCut! (I listened to him on the radio once.) It’s entirely possible that he touches my shadow. HOWEVER, I enjoyed his Letter to the East Coast. “Where you come from, you don’t change as much as merely assimilate — you’ve been around for almost 400 years. Here, the culture is changing and watching it change is about the most exciting thing you can imagine.”

Graphics: Check out these classic albums, their covers reimagined. Whenever I reimagine my own cover, I am no longer bald. And am perhaps a bit thinner. And I have a more symmetrical face. Maybe less of a harsh jaw line. My bulbous forehead recedes. The pain in my right knee subsides. My posture improves significantly. My heart begins pumping more blood, through thick, wide veins, more quickly, delivering much-needed nutrients to all of my bodily tissues.

Among other things.

Today’s links: F. My queue overfloweth.

Links for November 9, 2011: Being Barbie, bathing in ketchup fountains, dripping false honey

Facebook: How many times have I, here, mentioned that I quit Facebook? And that my life is better for it?

Typography: Mayuko, a student at a Japanese university, has created a font out of leg hair. YES, LEG HAIR.

Actors: Adam Wilson writes about Owen Wilson in The Paris Review. (More interesting than that lame-ass sentence makes it sound.)

Science: Experience reality as a Barbie doll or a giant. (Remember when I asked that an oversized Andre-the-Giant-as-a-woman-avatar be set aside for me? Forget that, you sick bastard.)

“In order to accomplish this trick of self-displacement, participants in the experiments lay on a bed and wore a head-mounted display connected to two video cameras. These cameras faced a fake body lying on a bed next to the participant; thus, when participants looked down toward their own bodies, they instead saw artificial bodies where their own should have been. These artificial bodies were either huge (a 13-foot form made of chicken wire) or very small (a Barbie Doll).”

Video: This cannot go unlinked – The GAG Quartet’s “le internet medley” (it references, like, 40 internet memes?).

Dinosaurs: Scientists now believe that the archaeopteryx, the first true ancestor of modern birds, was BLACK. I’m afraid my son, once thoroughly obsessed with dinosaurs, has now moved on to being thoroughly obsessed with superheroes.

Condiments: The chocolate fountain is dead. The ketchup fountain is alive and well. (And not even in Minnesota?). [laughing squid]

Fashion: If you have really grubby hands, you can buy a $90 shirt that is optimized for cleaning off touchscreens.

Television: Would you, perhaps, like to watch every single episode of Law & Order ever made? For $450? CHA-CHUNG. [poploser]

Obituaries: RIP Heavy D.

Food: I try not to put up a bunch of stuff that prominent bloggers have already talked about. But the fact that 75% of honey isn’t honey has not just disturbed me, it has ROCKED ME to MY CORE. [kottke]

Video: What happens when you crack an egg deep underwater

Enough with the thousand-word posts about deeply personal beliefs! Here’s a video of guys in scuba gear cracking an egg underwater! And then a fish eats it!

The Hidden Gems of Saint Paul (some are not hidden)

This post is a continuation of The Best Places to Go in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Black Dog Cafe: There are many things worth noting about The Black Dog Cafe. There’s the fact that the establishment is a bohemian stronghold, holding steady for more than a decade in an ever-changing Lowertown neighborhood. It has weathered dug up sidewalks and diverted streets in an area that seems to be under constant construction.

There’s the solid coffee, the homely sandwiches, the beer and wine license, the neighborhood regulars who have been coming back for years. There’s the fact that it’s a pretty damn decent place to get some work done, mid-week, late-afternoon. And the soundtrack at the Dog is sometimes even quite GOOD, making you jealous enough to pop out your earbuds and listen. (“What is this Monster Mash bullshit?” asked one teen with disgust, in as authentic a word-of-mouth endorsement of an establishment’s aesthetic as can, perhaps, be had these days.)

But all of these characteristics pale in comparison to the true spiritual core of this cafe. They are Lilliputian relative to a single epic painting that once graced the Black Dog’s walls — maybe even for just a month or two — but whose lavender glow suffuses the space to this day.

The Black Dog has long hung the work of local artists from its exposed timbers. And nigh on ten years ago, a truly EPIC painting was hung. Imagine, if you will, an outsized masterpiece, 10 feet high by 6 feet wide (mind and memory may be exaggerating this beast’s scope and quality, but go with it). Limned with a gold filigree frame, it was. In the center of the painting, astride a mighty white steed, sat Napoleon Bonaparte. His war horse rearing, the martial figure sat resplendent in military garb.

And YET. The features gracing the Little Corporal’s mien did not add up to the familiar mug of the diminutive French Emperor. INSTEAD, peering out from beneath that famous bicorne, was the familiar (and, let’s be honest, innately sexualized) visage of one PRINCE ROGERS NELSON. Yes. Prince. (He may have even been wearing a purple uniform? Prince-as-Napoleon astride a white stallion in epic scale. It was incredible.)

Also, the bathrooms here are quite roomy.

The Blue Door Pub: Everyone knows about the dripping cheese coming FROM INSIDE THE BURGER, the craft beer selection, and the ubiquitous TVs forcing sporting events into your line of sight at the Blue Door.

Everyone also knows about the fried green beans. And the peanut butter on the hamburgers. So I will not waste any time recommending nearly all of those things. Instead, I will offer this tip: Should you find yourself waiting for one of the tables (which are frequently in high demand), ask one member of your party to stand diligently outside the Pub while you wander over to the antique mall next door. There, you should look for two things:

1) Bottle openers
2) Pendleton wool shirts

The shop frequently has an excellent selection of both, and I highly recommend buying bottle openers when you need to either break a $20 or alleviate your own guilt for browsing in a thrift shop or antique store for too long.

Micawber’s book store: It is an old and tired man that endorses a neighborhood bookstore. But let’s be honest with ourselves: I just bought a 1984 Dodge Ram pickup truck. What other kind of man could I be? Micawber’s is the rare sort of book shop where, when one asks the proprietress about a novel that’s slated to come out, she will not only be conversant in said author’s oeuvre, but will also know offhand the UK and American release dates of the publication in question. It is the kind of place that has a generous children’s section that isn’t too babyish and that’s easy to sit down and have a read in. It’s the kind of place that offers cogent, well-argued, on-shelf book recommendations that were written by ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS on the staff, and who may even be in the store. There is wood there. And paper. And ideas. You can wander for an hour.

Additionally, if you cross the street to the Finnish Bistro kitty-corner, you can DEFINITELY order a Finnish breakfast, which includes both pickled herring and lox. You dig?

Unique Thrift Store: Let’s not bullshit bullshitters here. Unique Thrift Store has some pretty weird shit going down. It sells big-ass motel art – trees with blue leaves and pink flowers in some sort of hideous-bullshit modern-expressionist morass of a style. It sells bags of toys, grouped in a way that seems to have some sort of inscrutable organizing principle (perhaps organized by weight? Or volume?) for $2 or $3 apiece.

I once bought some Don Ho tumblers there that loop through the absurd and swoop right back toward the divine. I think the place might also sell used mattresses? Which is unsanitary at best and illegal at worst. To look at the clothes section is to look at row upon row of heavily used and frequently stained garments of innumerable eras.

Product turnover at Unique Thrift Store is high. The sewing machine you see there one morning is replaced by two others eight hours later. This place moves product. It also moves people. Located off of Rice Street (and around the corner from The Lamplighter, Saint Paul’s only strip club), the Unique draws patrons from all walks – down-on-their-luck dads looking to outfit the family home, thrifty hipsters trying to find the leather jackets of a just-right era, power-shopping deal-hunters who have a load of laundry in the ‘mat next door, kids begging parents for cheap toys, assholes trying to procure reasonably priced kitsch barware. Everyone. It’s almost always grubby, frequently crowded and more-often-than not chaotic. I recommend it.

[Please note: I might do a couple more of these.]

Links for November 6, 2011: Nickelback, Smerdyakov, Sausage parties and John Lennon’s tooth

Experimentation: Bohemian Rhapsichord turns Bohemian Rhapsody into an instrument. That is sort of fun to play with. The interface reminds me of an Andrew Kuo infographic. [waxy]

Rock: 41,000 football (and music?) fans have mobilized to try to prevent Nickelback from playing at the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving day halftime show.

Listicles: This sad list of the 10 Best Villains of Literature doesn’t include Grendel, Grendel’s mother, Karamazov’s Smerdyakov, General Zod or Nickelback.

Landscapes: What is reality and what is a screensaver? Check out Jeff Friesen’s ethereal panoramic photography. Also, here’s a picture of a DROP OF COFFEE!! [notcot]

Light: Sergio Silva’s light design is brilliant and gorgeous. [unconsumption]

Butchery: Sausage party! The T for the New York Times magazine’s design and living issue was inspired by sausage, made out of glass.

Dentistry: Someone bought John Lennon’s tooth for $31,000. It is, if you were wondering, hollowed out, yellow and as disgusting as you would expect a decades-old molar to be. Or moreso.

Today’s links: F.

Links for November 4, 2011: George, Teddy, Thomas and Abe

Monuments: Read up on the making of Mount Rushmore if you love America. (Don’t pay to see Crazy Horse. My two cents. Or ten bucks a person, as it were.) [mefi]

Photos: These pictures from Alexis Mire are pretty cool. Like chicks sort of floating. Clouds. You know. Artsy and all.

Architecture: This is so hot – Free Cabin Porn.

Radio: Watch this interview with Tom Keith.

Today’s links: F.

Links for November 3, 2011: Racists and breastfeeding

*Note: Please note that while these links and lines appear short, I believe they are as good as any ever here collected. (They’re just OK.)

*Images: This paper art from Nick Georgiou is gorgeous. [fubiz]

*Information: This site, Yo, is this racist?, is perhaps MORE USEFUL THAN GOOGLE?

*Blogs: Yelping with Cormac McCarthy. “We do not hear from the man who ate the taco until November of that year, when he returned to the town on the back of a mule.”

*Science: Who wants to read about 18th century breastfeeding? Hey now!

*Local: GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot was found dead today, after the band’s Minneapolis concert.

*Bands: The xx is now blogging.

*Recommended: The Walker’s Off Center blog is pretty good, too, really.

*Today’s links: F.