This is just too hard to resist posting about: the Japanese have invented an exploding piggy... READ ON
The people behind the sunny pair of Hostel movies (the sequel being the movie I wish I'd never seen) claim inspiration from an urban legend that in some awful corners of the world, there exist services that allow someone--after a bidding war--to walk into a room and shoot a willing participant, whose family is then compensated. May that legend ever stay urban. But in the case of designer kidnappings, the customer is also the victim, or, really, "victim." NYC-based artist Brock Enright is usually credited... READ ON
I mean, they're already scatting in a nonsensical language (Vonlenska aka Hopelandic in English) that may be post-rock's answer to Klingon. Which already makes them superlative in my book. As their site explains:
on von, Ã¡gÃ¦tis byrjun and takk, jÃ³nsi sang most songs in icelandic but a few of the songs were sung in 'hopelandic'. all of the vocals ( ) are however in hopelandic. hopelandic (vonlenska in icelandic) is the 'invented language' in which jÃ³nsi sings before lyrics are... READ ON
The WGA is officially on strike, but this doesn't mean a surfeit of brunching scribes playing with their Webkinz or perusing Fantasy Football matchups. For WGA members, the strike means 4 hrs/day of picketing:
"I've heard that a couple of people are greeting the news that their presence is required on the picket line with the very human and yet disappointing, 'Cool... So, um, what happens if we don't show up?'" a WGA email... READ ON
THE BOOKSTORE: Los Angeles Public Library, Los Feliz Branch
THE DICTIONARY: Miriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
THE WORD: red giant
Instead of boring you with a blurb about red giants (and assuring you that it'll be a long time before our sun becomes one), I thought I'd take a look back at the words selected this week, and try to assemble something from them--something ridiculous, in that it's random and hopefully a little fun. I've been trying to manufacture some theme out of the... READ ON
THE BOOKSTORE: ok, it's really just my bedroom bookshelf
THE DICTIONARY: Oxford Pocket American Dictionary
THE WORD: "diaspora"
How timely...Just today I was reading an Adam Gopnik essay about when the Jewish Museum invited him to be the Purimspieler, and how in his angst over what to expound on he visits a rabbi who says the Book of Esther is "'the comic book, a book for court Jews, with a fairy-tale, burlesque spirit.'" Gopnik reels: "I was stunned. This was, as they say, the story of my life. A... READ ON
THE BOOKSTORE: (well, you don't have to buy them unless you lose or destroy them) Los Angeles Central Public Library, Downtown LA
THE DICTIONARY: Webster's New International Dictionary, 3rd Edition, 1976
THE WORD: "consigliere"
Now, obviously there are other, more frequently employed synonyms for adviser, but this one is just way more fun in that it generally evokes organized crime (think Robert Duvall's turn as Tom Hagen in The Godfather). Consiglieres are not usually in the bloodline, nor are... READ ON
THE BOOKSTORE: Skylight Books, Los Angeles
THE DICTIONARY: American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 2000
THE WORD: "loopy"
c.1390, probably of Celtic origin (cf. Gael. lub "bend," Ir. lubiam), influenced by O.N. hlaup "a leap, run." In ref. to magnetic recording tape or film, first recorded 1931. Computer programming sense first attested 1947. The verb meaning "to form a loop" is first recorded 1856. Looped "drunk" is from 1934; loopy "crazy" is from 1925. To loop the loop (1902) originally was a... READ ON
Growing up, a trip to the library was usually doomed to be frustrating because I could never decide which books to check out; hence (and with Sunday School visions of King Solomon's, er, radical problem-solving techniques still in my head), I removed any agency I had in the matter & plucked books at random, careful to avoid reading the spines--I even carried this contrivance all the way to the check-out, staring at my nail beds while the books were swiped, bagged, and shoved my way. I'd finally allow... READ ON
I'm currently visiting my old haunts in NYC, and on my shortcut today through Gramercy Park I saw a sign that warned of a $350 fine for honking! The East Coast-West Coast stereotype seems to hold true: no one honks in LA, and everyone honks in New York. Why is this? Now I know that LA has its own exorbitant but perhaps understandable fines--riding in the carpool lane will set you back some, and now running red lights at some intersections will dock you $400--but I really thought the sign was a joke at... READ ON
7-Up was originally called "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda."