Category Archives: video

animal style

Maskull Lasserre outliers shoes

“Outliers” shoes by Maskull Lasserre
via Dezeen, for trailing a bit of wild behind you.

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female Satin bowerbird

The most notable characteristic of bowerbirds is their extraordinarily complex courtship and mating behaviour, where males build a bower to attract mates. There are two main types of bowers. One clade of bowerbirds build so-called maypole bowers, which are constructed by placing sticks around a sapling; in some species, these bowers have a hut-like roof. The other major bowerbuilding clade builds an avenue type-bower made of two walls of vertically placed sticks. In and around the bower, the male places a variety of brightly colored objects he has collected. These objects — usually different among each species — may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, and even discarded plastic items, coins, nails, rifle shells, or pieces of glass. The males spend hours arranging this collection. Bowers within a species share a general form but do show significant variation, and the collection of objects reflects the biases of males of each species and its ability to procure items from the habitat, often stealing them from neighboring bowers. Several studies of different species have shown that colors of decorations males use on their bowers match the preferences of females.

Uy and collaborators have shown that mate-searching females commonly visit multiple bowers, often returning to the male several times, watching his elaborate courtship displays and inspecting the quality of the bower and tasting the paint the male has placed on the bower walls. Many females end up selecting the same male, and many under-performing males are left without copulations.

Bowerbird basics from Wikipedia.

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Wikipedia also tells us there are improbable fish that live amidst the dunes in Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, and as far as I can tell they are real fish, not prank fish. The park is dry much of the year, but seasonal rains punctuate it with lagoons. Are the fish who briefly make these lagoons their home brought there in egg form by birds — perhaps storks? — or are their eggs cryptobiotic, like free-range Sea Monkeys, waiting patiently in the sand for the rainy season to arrive?

Lençóis Maranhenses lagoons

Lençóis Maranhenses lagoons from Wikipedia.

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“The Centaurs” by Winsor McKay, 1921.

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pug tricks

The University of Virginia’s “The Mind is a Metaphor” database is sortable in various ways, one of which categorically focuses on animals. Personally I have found spaniels to be much trickier than pugs, but maybe there is something here that resonates with you.

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Doris Day will kill you

Be kind to animals or Doris Day will kill you.
Photo from If Charlie Parker was a Gunslinger.

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If you should find yourself lost in the sticks and in need of a decent meal, just go and sit by the monkeys.

look for monkeys

Snippet from Eating and Drinking: An Anthology for Epicures, which I blogged about over here. Indeed, I’ve yet to see any evidence that monkeys are not fickle little fuckers. Look how these British monkeys behaved during the recent Jubilee celebrations, for example. You can tell they’re not going to bother finishing those cupcakes, and that in a matter of moments they’ll be prodding the jelly and throwing oranges on the ground for no good reason.

monkeys at Jubilee tea party

Monkey tea party pic by Ian Turner/BNPS from the Guardian.

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the Tote-Road Shagamaw

The Tote-Road Shagamaw, as captured in Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, has front paws resembling those of a bear and back legs resembling those of a moose, and craftily alternates walking on one set or the other to evade hunters. It is, however, trapped in its habits, and predictably inverts itself every quarter of a mile.

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dog and cat seed bombs
seed bombs for cats and dogs

One way to be kind to animals: provide them with fresh, tender grasses and grains to nibble at or pee on. Seed bombs formulated to appeal to cats and dogs (“a mixture of catnip, cat grass, wheat, oats, and rye”) are $7/sack from visualingual on Etsy.

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Trufa is a vacation home in Spain designed by Ensamble Studio and constructed with the assistance of a cow named Paulina. A hole was dug; hay bales were stacked inside and concrete poured over them; the resulting concrete truffle was unearthed and sliced open; Paulina went to work on the hay. In this manner, over the course of a year, the living space was cleared.

Trufa interior

Paulina the cow

Trufa photos via Dezeen. The interior one is by Roland Halbe.

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axolotl

The axolotl is an endangered Mexican salamander found exclusively in the lakes and canals of Xochimilco. They can regenerate lost limbs, and live for ten to fifteen years if not caught and roasted for someone’s snack. Source: National Geographic.

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Tsumori Chisato cat shoes

Cat shoes by Tsumori Chisato, ¥12,600 at Humor.

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From The Element of Lavishness: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner & William Maxwell 1938-1978:

Niou

coarseness of thought and feeling; want of grace and taste; numerous allusions to matters of merely local interest

Via Dangerous Minds, here is Fran Lebowitz talking about NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who she has a bracingly compelling, funny, and well-reasoned dislike of:

It’s from a book launch party for While We Were Sleeping: NYU and The Destruction of New York. As soon as I finished watching it I sent the link to my most scornful Bloomberg-scorning friend, who recently had me reaching for a notepad when he said that “living in a city where this little cunt is in charge of things is like living in 18th-century Paris.” Is it? It kind of is. Someone really ought to make a list about that. And why am I not trying my hand at writing libelles? Those topical, subversive, witty little pamphlets or one-sheets that flourished in France between the 16th and 18th centuries, often anonymously written because of nastiness or seditiousness or both, were quite obviously the blogs of their day. But not all blogs are libelles.

Am I qualified? I’m somewhat mordant by nature, not short on opinions, and I enjoy hitting the “publish” button but my very full-time day job gets in the way. Working in shorter, sharper forms holds considerable appeal. In my mid-twenties I was pretty thoroughly knocked out by Balzac’s Lost Illusions, the first thing of his I’d ever read, and, although a work of fiction, my first meaningful glimpse of libelles. I didn’t mind the notoriously detailed and lengthy description of printing press technology that occurs very early in the book, and the further I read the more I thought it was utterly brilliant. The main character is an aspiring poet from the provinces who later finds himself mucking about with Parisian journalists and libellistes, and Balzac’s determination to capture the pragmatic aspects of how technological progress changes things alongside the social aspects was exciting to me; it tickled the same vaguely Marxist parts of my brain that my college professors did when they talked about Dziga Vertov’s socialization of the movie camera. Prior to the libelle era, people simply could not vitiate public figures or distribute their most profane little thoughts in print affordably or with any great efficiency because printing presses hadn’t caught up with their urgent need to comment on the culture around them. I was delighted to read more Balzac and see that this was a theme with him — to see, for example, that in Cousin Bette someone seems to be setting up a trust for someone else every other page or so. My understanding — somewhat spotty, but reasonably well informed from having read about this some years ago — is that the trust was fairly new legal technology at the time, a creation of the Napoleonic code; before then, people could not arrange to distribute their money or property outside of the traditional family lines in any sort of reliable way. To provide for a lover outside of marriage or a gay lover, for example, was suddenly a possibility. (To this day the law of succession and probate in the state of Louisiana is quite different from that of other U.S. states because, being a former French territory, it is the only state whose law is based on the Napoleonic code rather than English common law). Anyhow, where was I? I think I was getting around to suggesting that someone ought to study Bloombergian culture in a Balzacian manner, with special attention to the nefarious money-grubbing Ms. Lebowitz so capably describes.

underground journalist

A libelliste’s mechanisms at work, scanned from The Forbidden Best Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France by Robert Darnton. Specifically, he’s “from the frontspiece to Le Gazetier cuirasse, ou anecdotes scandaleuses de la cour de France by Charles Theveneau de Morande, 1771.” I haven’t read the book yet but I’ve got the same author’s The Literary Underground of the Old Regime in my going-out-of-town bag this weekend.

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That same friend I sent the video to has a recurring fantasy about running into Bloomberg someplace — our mayor does take the subway every once in a while, and gets into and out of shiny black SUVs all over town — and loudly exclaiming, as if unaware of himself “I can’t believe he’s so tiny in person!”

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Did you know that in Marie Antoinette’s time women wore dioramas in their hair? The trend apparently started with the use of wire forms padded out with wool and horse hair, which gave them impressive volume, and before long they were perching entire allegories up there. Appraiser and interior architect Soodie Beasley writes that

[w]omen placed in their hair little figurines made from fabric and small objects made from papier maché. Their hairdresser arranged them as sceneries or landscapes. Sometimes, they used their hair as a stage to replicate historical scenes or sometimes to communicate an emotion — sentimental pouf — this type of do was called.

. . . . Marie Antoinette wore her pouf a’ la inoculation in support of the small pox vaccination which showed Aesculapius’s serpent wrapped around an olive tree.

She wore these hairstyles at court and in town, and this had a swift and contagious effect . . .

‘Everybody was talking of the poufs created by the firm of Bertin . . . one famous pouf was that of the Duchesse de Lauzun. She appeared at a reception wearing a most delicious pouf. It contained a stormy sea, ducks swimming near the shore, someone on the point of shooting one of them; on the top of the head there was a mill, the miller’s wife being made love to by an abbe, whilst near the ear the miller could be seen leading a donkey.’

The last paragraph there quotes Émile Langlade’s Rose Bertin, the creator of fashion at the court of Marie-Antoinette. I think the contemporary equivalent (in Manhattan, at least) is people doing unspeakably overwrought things to cocktails, which have become so burdened by displays of creativity that even bartenders are starting to wonder whether their preening is turning people off, and whether we haven’t turned some sort of corner yet. Delightful, innovative, gaudy, pompous, and inane — people have always been this way and always will be, and at any given moment the counterweights may be in need of rebalancing.

Miss Juniper Fox

Miss Juniper Fox, 1777, from the Lewis Walpole Library
via Soodie Beasley.

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The title of my post comes from a scrap of commentary on the ancient Greek poet Hipponax I found floating around on the internet. It used to appear on his Wikipedia page but I don’t see it there now. These qualities are supposedly reasons why his “witty, abusive” verse was not more popular. (He is nonetheless sometimes credited with having invented parody, and his deft dealings with the sordid side of life in Ephesus seem to have made quite an impression on people). The first time I saw it I was struck by the idea that this particular scrap would make a very good manifesto of sorts for a blog, not unlike the mumbo-jumbo in the header on my food blog. Sometimes it’s incredibly helpful to limit and sharpen one’s focus, however perplexing the operational rules may appear to others.

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spring mixture

overgrown ferris wheel via beaucolburn.com

Overgrown ferris wheel photo by Beau Colburn via AnOther.

Shangri-la Leisure Center

Shangri-la Leisure Center
East 9th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave., NYC.

George Barbier, La Luxure

George Barbier, la Luxure, from here.


Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, “Chanson des Jumelles.”

underwater crystals

Fire Island sunset

memorex 90

mixtape contains:

Alternative TV, “Love Lies Limp”

Charles De Goal, “Syncho”

Pizzicato Five, “Twiggy Twiggy / Twiggy vs. James Bond”

Serge Gainsbourg, “Baudelaire”

David Bowie, “Oh You Pretty Things”

Marcel Zanini, “Wana Nene Wana Nana”

Ike Turner w/ Lonnie the Cat, “I Ain’t Drunk”

Bob Lind, “Go Ask Your Man”

Les Rita Mitsouko, “L’Hôtel Particulier”

Music from Saharan Cellphones vol. II, “?”

The Rolling Stones, “Sing This All Together”

Luke Haines, “Inside The Restless Mind Of Rollerball Rocco”

Olivia Tremor Control, “Green Typewriters” [I]

Air, “Cosmic Trip”

New Order, “Ceremony” [single]

Jacno, “Anne Cherchait L’Amour”

Belbury Poly, “A Pilgrim’s Path”

Cibo Matto, “White Pepper Ice Cream”

yr gang is here

Coffee Pots close-up

Coffee Pots jacket

Vintage 1940s or 50s Coffee Pots gang jacket on Etsy.

Cloudy Busey, “Pound Your Town To Hell.”

This and that No. 6

The proper disco for your Tuesday afternoon: B.T. Express, “Peace Pipe,” on Soul Train, via an impassioned comments-section debate about disco (“a bunch of fucking reactionary hippies” vs. people who say otherwise) over at Dangerous Minds. I think this is from 1975.

Alisha Chinoy’s “Zoo Zoo Zooby Zooby” is, strictly speaking, Bollywood Italo disco. The video starts with an ad and the song gets off to a slow start, but I think it’s totally worth sticking with. Use that time to lie down on the bed or the floor of your office and zip yourself into your disco pants. Based on the wiki page for the movie this performance is from, I think the creepy-looking guy in the audience is her brother. Or maybe the “rich and powerful man.” One or the other. Creepy guy vs. disco.

Groupies. I don’t know if they inherently go with disco, but in my mind they are linked. Here are the archives of Star magazine, a short-lived publication about teen groupies. There were only five issues published, between February and June of 1973, and you can flip through all of them.

Foxy Entertainment for 1973


This and that No. 5 is here.

This and that No. 4

Billy Monk photos. From a nightclub in Capetown in the mid-60s.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 23 February 1968

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 23 February 1968 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

They’re silver gelatin prints. Via The Guardian and a commenter there. Very much worth reading; he sounds like an interesting guy. It’s a review of a new book, Billy Monk:

De Villiers dubs Monk ‘the seedy eye of the 1960s’, but he was more than that. He had an eye for the revealing, the intimate as well as the brazen, and he often caught both in the same instant. A bleached-blonde woman in a white trouser suit, holding a bottle of brandy in each hand, shouts or sings across the room, while beside her a sad-looking man sits in quiet contemplation. Another woman, a love bite visible on her neck, gazes lovingly at the bottles of brandy and coke on an adjacent table, while her escort slumbers blissfully on her shoulder. Bottles of brandy and coke are a constant in his photographs, as are short dresses, cheap suits and comatose customers. Monk’s relentlessly intimate reportage often captures the edginess of the hard-drinking life: the steely-eyed gaze of a punter who resents his camera’s intrusion, the defiant stare of a woman baring her breasts for the punters – and Monk’s camera.

This is a glimpse here, too, of another South Africa, an underground scene in which the taboo of inter-racial sex is flaunted. Ultimately, though, Monk’s brilliant snapshot aesthetic adds up to a portrait of wild people having a wild – though not always a good – time. His job, and his reputation as a bruiser, gave Monk the freedom to poke his camera where he wanted, but his eye for the revealing moment was extraordinary. In a short foreword, Goldblatt notes: ‘Monk’s non-judgmental, even cool-eyed awareness of the photographic possibilities of the bizarre pervades the work, and yet this awareness is never denigratingly exploitative.’

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Sally Cruikshank, “Quasi’s Cabaret” trailer, 1980. Described on YouTube as: “Nightclub of the future with live alligators and a tipsy train that serves drinks.” So exciting it’ll make you dizzy! First encountered in an animation class I took in college.

This and that No. 3 is here.

No. 2 is here.

And No. 1 is here.

Christmas stocking blog post

 

Click on the pudding for the first treat.

click on the pudding for a treat!

x-mas pudding via the NYPL digital image gallery

 

I won’t make you unwrap the next one. It’s Ben Hinds’s “All I Want For Christmas (Is A Go-Go Girl).”

 

Santa and his reindeer are all tripping their faces off! Click on the Santa below for an interesting article on how “many of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe.”

Santa is a shaman

 

There, now you are ready for Mark E. Smith reading a Christmas ghost story by H.P. Lovecraft.

 

If you’re going to listen you should have a yule log going at the same time for maximum effect. Here is more than two hours of hot yule log action for you.



yule log via this helpful Gothamist post about NYC bars with fireplaces

 

English readers can go on spacing out in front of the yule log while this next one plays because it will probably be familiar. A small survey of Americans reveals that almost none of us have seen it. Slade doing “Merry Christmas Everybody” on Top of the Pops. A fascinating cultural hairdo artifact!

 

Semi-related inspiration for how to do your eyelashes for Christmas dinner: Carnaby Street at Christmas in the 60s:

Carnaby Street xmas

photo via Retro to Go

 

Are you baking a massive pile of cookies? I am. If you are too, you will be very pleased with the butter calculator I am going to show you. You can go from sticks to grams to ounces to tablespoons, etc., like a magical butter wizard. Click on the cookies below for the link.

xmas cookies

 

Bonus extra for New Yorker subscribers: “Tebic” by Sylvia Townsend Warner. They ran it in the March 1, 1958 issue but it’s quite Christmassy. Click on the issue below for the link.

New Yorker xmas

 

There’s one more thing at the bottom of the stocking: a psychadelic Korean Christmas album from 1969. I don’t think anyone has uploaded the whole album but if you click on the cover below you can listen to “Auld Lang Syne” over at Now-Again Records.

He 5 Christmas!

brief blog post infested with pink rats

I met two rats on the 6 train last night, a pink one and a white one with a pink stripe. The white one had crawled into a pocket at this point. Their names are Chatterbox and (I think) Butter. I asked what she dyed them with and she said pet dye from Petco. She let it nibble on her sandwich.

pink rat on the subway

Surely related: The New York Dolls.

YouTube allsorts No. 2: French mixture

Katty Line, “Ne fais pas la tête” (“How Does That Grab You Darling”). Takes a moment to get started, fyi.

Bob Asklöf, “Dis-Moi Pourquoi,” Swedish teevee in 1966. Someone needs to do a compilation re: impeccable teen emotional eyebrow pop.

Antoine, “Nadine.” This one also takes a moment to get started; it’s from the same person who brought us Katty Line.

“Nadine” was a b-side on the 7″ “Votez Pour Moi,” red vinyl. There’s one on its way to me and I’ll show it to you when it arrives. Google’s translation of that Wiki page I linked to says his first album was called “The Rantings of Antoine.”

Antoine Votez Pour Moi front

Antoine Votez Pour Moi back

There are lots of other Antoine videos on YouTube but they’re pretty goofy. Antoine in his middle years looks like a fun guy to hang out with.

Antoine with cats

Antoine with cow

Antoine sailing

Antoine in the water

François De Roubaix, “Baleines.” Unused soundtrack music for a Jacques Cousteau film about the Antarctic.

Candy Sylver, “How Is Love,” 1977 disco.

YouTube allsorts No. 1 is here.

hunger and its objects

In college I took a philosophy class called Art and Its Objects. We read a lot of Wollheim, but what I really remember is going to my professor’s office, him propping up a Modigliani print on his desk and talking to me with it sat there. So I am going to prop up some things on my blog for you.

Hungry Russian cats in stereo. Haunted by thoughts of having to slog through these to get to the coffee in the morning. Necessity of cat-tending intern and cat-free bedroom with coffee apparatus in it. Potential necessity of rules for intern prohibiting them wearing only tightie whities, socks and plastic sandals.

Tarako Japanese Kewpie pasta sauce.

Walker Brothers Japanese commercial for Look chocolate.

Year Round lion

Lion soup by Milton Glaser, scanned by me from The Year-Round Holiday Cookbook.

Solo Covtina

Women eating hamburgers, from RossoPiceno’s Flickr.

Yuzu, Calamondin, Finger Lime

Yuzu, finger limes, calamondin from ktepi’s Flickr.