Earlier this year, before the “David Bowie Is” retrospective opened in Toronto, David Bowie revealed his top 100 must read books. The list provides a captivating look into the mind behind Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom. I like that Bowie’s list is expansive and diverse – including comics, autobiography, history, counter-culture, travel writing, poetry and lots of fiction. I also like that the books are relatively new, with only two selections being written before he was born. Bowie is known as “a voracious reader” who is reputed to read as much as “a book a day”. Here they are in reverse chronological order.
Earlier this week a vote was held in congress on HR 2775. This was a vote to reopen the federal government and temporarily raise the debt limit. Despite the dire consequences of this senate amendment not passing, there were 144 republican representatives who voted against it. Below is a twitter timeline of all those representatives.
It should be noted that representatives John Mica, Tom Petri, and Sam Graves are not included because they don’t have twitter accounts. Here is the complete list of republican representatives that voted to send the United States into default.
I was feeling a little sASSy so I figured I’d compile a list of words that contain the word ‘ass’ in them. I mean, why not? Sorted initially by the number of letters in the word and then alphabetically the list contains nearly 1,250 ass words. I feel it’s fairly comprehensive but if I’m missing a word please let me know. Enjoy.
Since October 1st, elusive street artist Banksy has been leaving his mark in New York during a month-long residency called “Better Out Than In“. This weekend, as part of his live exhibition, Banksy set up a stall in Central Park where an unknown man sold “100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases” to the general public for $60 each. The stall contained about 25 spray art canvasses – eight paintings were sold (two were bargained down to $30 each).
Photo courtesy of Banksy.
For comparison, in 2007 Banksy’s work “Space Girl & Bird” was purchased for $576,000, and in 2008 his canvas “Keep it Spotless” was sold for $1,870,000. The BBC estimates the pieces sold yesterday could be worth as much as $31,000 each. Accompanying video can be seen on BanksyNY youtube account.
Another year has gone by and it is Banned Books Week once more. I have been listing the top 10 most challenged books annually on my blog since 2009. I’d be remiss not to do it again. 2012 saw an increase in challenged books. Last year there were 464 challenges reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (compared to 326 in 2011 and 348 in 2010). You can see the top 10 list below.
- Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
- Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
- The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
Additionally, in 2010, I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association.
If you take Dolly Parton’s song about temptation and slow it down to 33.3 RPM it sounds a lot like Bruce Springsteen. Dolly Parton – Jolene Slowed 33 RPM
If you take Bruce Springsteen’s song about temptation and speed it up to 45 RPM it sounds a whole lot like Dolly Parton. Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire 45 RPM
There has to be some sort of secret meaning here but I haven’t been able to figure out yet.
This video shows a matryomin ensemble called “Da” at the auditorium of Jiyugakuen Myonichikan in Tokyo on 22 Jan. 2011. The ensemble consisted of 167 musicians playing Amazing Grace. It sounds wonderful – in a strangely creepy sort of way.
Recently the ensemble group Da broke a world record for the “Largest Matryomin Ensemble” by gathering over 277 musicians in concert.
Here is a link to the mp3 if you want it: Amazing Grace by Da
Since Twitter allows you to search the tweets of just the people you follow (in addition to “all” and “top” tweets), it is easy to create a Linkblog of all your friends. Simply enter “filter:links http” into your search bar. Easy and productive. This is great little trick if you are the type of user that gets on twitter to find cool links to read, watch, or listen to.
My buddy Howard has posted version 1.9 of his “For the Love of Our Robot Overlords Mix” over at his blog. It a great mix of songs all about robots. The heart of the mix is a suite of songs about female lovebots, but collection also includes themes such as Man Becomes Robot and Robot As Pet. Give it a Listen and check out the track list below. Then go grab your copy before the robots take over or they’ll vaporize you with their heat ray.
I was upset to read that Slayer’s guitarist Jeff Hanneman died yesterday morning at age 49. In honor of Jeff’s passing I present to you my most favorite two second Slayer video ever.
These two ushers had a hell of a night during the August 25th 2010 Slayer show at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. They stood like that the entire night. Magness Arena really doesn’t have a lot of concerts (Though I have seen Pixies and Jane’s Addiction there) and I don’t think these poor ladies had any idea what they were in for.
According to the North American Vexillological Society, Denver has the 3rd best looking flag in the nation. In a 2004 internet survey, the design qualities of the flags of 150 municipalities in the U.S. were rated and Denver’s came in just under Washington D.C. (#1) and Chicago, Illinois (#2).
The top three worst designed flags originate from Rapid City, South Dakota (#148), Huntington, West Virginia (#149), and lastly Pocatello, Idaho (#150). The flag for Pensacola, Florida is horrible but didn’t make the list.
Personally I’m particularly fond of the flags hailing from Oakland, California (#47), Ocean City, Maryland (not listed), New Orleans, Louisiana (#5), and Mesa, Arizona (#146 but they have since created a new flag).
My father is a big fan of The Three Stooges so I’ve spent many a Sunday morning watching the Stooges clown around in black and white on the television. That’s why it was such a treat to stumble upon this rare color film of the trio. Filmed in 1938 at the Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann. The film was shot without sound and held no other purpose beyond having fun.
video courtesy of Brad Smith
I’m a little late to the party this year but the 2013 SXSW Music Showcase Torrent is up for your downloading pleasure. I try to post a link to the torrent every year but Greg Hewgill’s website has torrents for SXSW years going all the way back to 2005. This year the torrent contains 999 files totaling 6.13 GB of music from bands playing at this years South By Southwest Music & Media Conference. Keep a close eye on Greg’s website because he will most likely be putting up a second torrent with more bands in early March.
If you’re not interested in downloading/seeding but still want to listen to the music you might want to try this (currently not working) SXSW FM page.