Friday, August 30, 2013
( 3:10 PM ) The Rat
JAPANESE PASTRY BEDS LET YOU BE THE FILLING, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:10 PM
Saturday, August 24, 2013
( 3:41 PM ) The Rat
Skyline Chess create beautiful, hand cast chessmen based on iconic buildings from our home city of London...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:41 PM
Thursday, August 22, 2013
( 7:50 PM ) The Rat
VERY 'VALLEY OF ASHES.'
A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that, when asked to provide their immediate reaction to the sound of the word "America," 98 percent of respondents replied by describing the sight of a near-empty parking lot of a decrepit suburban strip mall on a late February afternoon...
Speaking of which, there's interesting stuff on the original valley of ashes in this book.
A growing city found a new use for this waste: Hauled to a massive ash dump on Barren Island in Jamaica Bay, the refuse was then used to fill in New York marshlands that were subsequently covered over to build houses and marinas. Once that effort was complete and no more waste could be squeezed onto Barren Island, a new ash repository opened—The Corona Dump in Queens, where massive amounts of toxin-laden ash and assorted other trash were again used as landfill to reclaim salt marshes for development. When that was done, the black and gray waste accumulated into a smoldering mountain of ash ninety feet high, a fetid, volcanic landscape. The place was depicted by F. Scott Fitzgerald as 'the Valley of Ashes' in The Great Gatsby...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:50 PM
( 7:46 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:46 PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
( 2:49 PM ) The Rat
A $13,000 BASKETBALL? SEEMS LIKE A GREAT IDEA! via WCC.
The basketball, the product of Hermès, is handstitched calfskin leather, and as you'd imagine, it's not exactly meant for you to film dunk videos in your driveway. The ball is crafted in the style of the company's 'Birkin' bag, but you already knew that...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:49 PM
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
( 6:11 PM ) The Rat
COPPER MAY PLAY KEY ROLE IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.
Copper is found in a wide range of the foods we eat, including red meat, shellfish, nuts and many fruits and vegetables, as well as in many vitamin supplements. It also leaches from copper pipes into the water we drink. While we take in copper from foods, it is most readily absorbed into the bloodstream in its "free" form, say researchers—when it is suspended in water.
The research, which lay out the case against a long-suspected culprit in Alzheimer's disease, is published Monday in the journal PNAS...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:11 PM
( 12:12 PM ) The Rat
BEIJING ROOFTOP VILLA TO BE DEMOLISHED. This never happens to Bond villains. Wait, no, this always happens to Bond villains. (Worth clicking through for the photos, I promise.)
After making headlines around the world, an opulent, illegally built rooftop villa, complete with rocky formations and lush greenery, sitting atop a Beijing high-rise apartment, will be demolished...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:12 PM
( 12:33 AM ) The Rat
HERE IS WHEN YOU WILL DIE. More details here, via AB. (That being said, there are a lot of other factors involved besides your sex and country of residence; see here for instance.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:33 AM
Monday, August 19, 2013
( 2:53 PM ) The Rat
HOT DOGS OR LEGS? A SELFIE MEME FOR AUGUST. I'm pretty sure they were doing this just before the Roman Empire fell...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:53 PM
( 9:52 AM ) The Rat
JOHN HOLLANDER, R.I.P.
'His mind was singularly capacious, filled with baseball statistics, detective novels, mathematical formulas, vintage wines, German hymns, you name it,' Mr. McClatchy wrote. 'It is said of a man like John Hollander that when he dies it is like the burning of the library at Alexandria.'
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:52 AM
Sunday, August 18, 2013
( 10:40 AM ) The Rat
WHY WOMEN CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, via the unfortunately-initialed BS. As Jean Paulhan said in another context, Enfin une femme qui avoue!
It wasn't supposed to be this hard. Like many women, I grew up believing we were equal to men, that we could have sex whenever we wanted, children whenever we chose, and work wherever we desired. For years, as a professor at Harvard Business School, I was the only woman in a room of alpha men and still I always felt equal. And I was. Then five years ago I was offered the chance to become president of Barnard College. There was barely a man in sight, and the change gave me a front-row view of what women are thinking and feeling now. We have opportunities today—to choose our educations, careers, spouses—that would've stunned our grandmothers. But now we're dazed and confused by all the choices. Feminism was meant to remove a fixed set of expectations; instead, we now interpret it as a route to personal perfection. Because we can do anything, we feel as if we have to do everything.
In other words, women today face towering expectations: a pileup of the roles society's long heaped on us, plusthe opportunities feminism created. Every day I meet young women who dazzle me. But I also see the pressure they're under. To be mothers and astrophysicists. Hard-bodied size 2s with perfect 4.0s. To be perfect. And these expectations aren't limited to a few spheres of their lives. They're everywhere...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:40 AM
Saturday, August 17, 2013
( 2:06 PM ) The Rat
THE SUITS OF JAMES BOND. Some days, I love the Internet.
Matt Spaiser is a graphic designer located in New York. If you have any questions about James Bond's clothing feel free to send him an email...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:06 PM
Friday, August 16, 2013
( 12:17 PM ) The Rat
COCA-COLA LAUNCHES 'NATURAL' COCA-COLA LIFE.
In addition to the type of sweeteners and bottle material, the marketing imagery for Coca-Cola Life also comes equipped with all the requisite accoutrements of a "green" or greenwashed product. From the earth-tone colors of the logo and consistent use of green, outdoor settings, it is clear Coca-Cola is trying to show this product as having a closer connection with nature and the environment.
Even the wooden "antique" bottle cases harken back to an earlier, healthier era for the soda industry (at least, healthier in the sense that it was before the high-fructose corn syrup era). Riffing on Michael Pollan's mantra to "Only eat food your grandmother would recognize as food," Van Mensvoort jokes, "Drink Coke only from crates that your grandmother would recognize as crates"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:17 PM
( 10:29 AM ) The Rat
ONE OF THE BEST DYACS EVER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:29 AM
Thursday, August 15, 2013
( 9:08 PM ) The Rat
INSIDE AMERICA'S DEER-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.
During their (unsuccessful) attempt to take a deer not three blocks from downtown Duluth one night (with a permit, of course), Brian Borkholder, a member of the local Arrowhead Bowhunter's Alliance, tells Cambronne "Shooting deer in Duluth is like going down to Lake Superior and scooping out a cupful of water. More water will fill that hole. It's the same with deer."
That has much (if not everything) to do with deer feeding, which is highly regulated or banned in many parts of the country but which both hunters and anti-hunters do anyway, and often with abandon. Many people, including those who are opposed to hunting, put corn or other feed in their yards, just to attract deer because they want to look at them. But deer are voracious, and once they're done with the feed, they'll start in on the landscaping, or nearby crops, until they become too populated for the landscape to support. By then, car collisions (and possible human fatalities) will escalate, along with disease from parasites.
Hunters are often as complicit in artificially driving up deer population. Some use high-octane attractant that Cambronne describes: "If corn is Doritos for deer, these products are more like meth or cocaine." One of these products even comes in a white powder. "Although instructions on the bag suggest cutting it with water, most hunters just pour out a line on the ground. The next day it will be done, and deer will be back looking for another fix."
Deerland is neither an indictment of poor hunting practices nor a screed against backyard deer feeders. It's more of a backstory on how we've enabled deer to alter landscapes—for example, when their numbers grow, they mow trees with such veracity that caterpillars decline, and then so do the birds that prey on them and help keep insects in check...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:08 PM
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
( 9:35 AM ) The Rat
QUICHE THIEVES IN FIVE-HOUR POLICE STANDOFF, via WC.
Angela Marshall, who runs the cafe with her husband, said: "Apparently they were hungry and wanted some quiche. There was a little bit of money in the till, but I think they just wanted food and then it got out of hand"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:35 AM
Monday, August 12, 2013
( 7:01 PM ) The Rat
Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty respecting the boundaries of others, and recognizing what their own boundaries are. You grew up in an environment where boundaries were very confusing. It was difficult to identify the respective roles of mother and father. It was hard to know if you were the child, or the mother or the father.
This confusion raises many questions. Whose pain did you feel? Was it yours? Was it your mother's? Was it your father's?
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:01 PM
Monday, August 05, 2013
( 10:38 PM ) The Rat
A BUSY SEASON FOR THE METROPOLITAN OPERA CHILDREN'S CHORUS.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:38 PM
( 7:47 PM ) The Rat
TOP TEN HORRIBLE BOOK COVERS, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:47 PM
Saturday, August 03, 2013
( 1:33 PM ) The Rat
INCA CHILDREN GOT HIGH BEFORE DEATH.
Three Inca children found mummified in a shrine near the peak of a 6,700-meter Argentinian volcano consumed vast quantities of corn alcohol and coca, the plant from which cocaine is derived, for a year before they were sacrificed as part of their society’s religious practices. The children, a 13-year-old girl known as the “Ice Maiden” and a boy and a girl between the ages of 4 and 5, were likely sedated to keep them compliant in the death ritual, according to the authors of an analysis of the mummies published Monday (July 29) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:33 PM
( 11:14 AM ) The Rat
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT...
Shamba Shape Up is a wildly popular reality show, with upwards of 10 million weekly viewers across Africa. Each week, two hosts cheerily descend on a struggling farm. They look for issues, tell the owners what they’re doing wrong, and give tips on how to shape up. It’s a familiar reality show format, with a key variation: everyone is nice to each other.
"In Kenya, we don’t watch TV just to see some poor guy getting yelled at," says David Campbell, creator of Shamba Shape Up. "Culturally, we’re just more polite"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:14 AM
Friday, August 02, 2013
( 5:27 PM ) The Rat
PEOPLE LIKE FACEBOOK BECAUSE IT'S LIKE GAMBLING.
The machine zone is the dark side of "flow," a psychological state proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. In a flow state, there is a goal, rules for getting to the goal, and feedback on how that's going. Importantly, the task has to match your skills, so there's a feeling of "simultaneous control and challenge."
In a 1996 Wired interview, Csíkszentmihályi described the state like this: "Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz."
Schüll sees a twist on this phenomenon in front of the new slot machines of Vegas, which incorporate tiny squirts of seeming control to amp up their feedback loops. But instead of the self-fulfillment and happiness that Csíkszentmihályi describes, many gamblers feel deflated and sad about their time on the slots.
The games exploit the human desire for flow, but without the meaning or mastery attached to the state. The machine zone is where the mind goes as the body loses itself in the task. "You can erase it all at the machines," a gambler tells Schüll. "You can even erase yourself"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:27 PM