Have Some Dessert Honey

“WuhOOOOW”

Totally charmed by this guy.

[via the Daily What]

February 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. 1 comment.

Be More Like Pittsburgh

This post has nothing to do with the NFL or sports.  I don’t really even like sports.  Only athletes.  See the right hand column for my very favorites.

Moving on to why Durham (or any place) should be more like Pittsburgh:

Iron City looks out for its bicyclists.

[via Zachary Slobig @ GOOD]

January 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

The History of American Political Opinion

Seems like a good time to post this.

From the video’s creator:

Using county-level data, I spatially and temporally interpolated presidential vote returns for the two major party candidates in each election from 1920-2008. The result illuminates the sometimes gradual, sometimes rapid change in the geographic basis of presidential partisanship.

[via Morgan Clendaniel @ GOOD]

January 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Jim Fallows on Throwing Like a Girl

Two things:

1. Natural movements aren’t always innate.

2. We need to stop with the ‘throwing like a girl’ talk.

Jim Fallows:

A surprising number of people think that there is a structural difference between male and female arms or shoulders—in the famous “rotator cuff,” perhaps—that dictates different throwing motions. “It’s in the shoulder joint,” a well-educated woman told me recently. “They’re hinged differently.” Someday researchers may find evidence to support a biological theory of throwing actions. For now, what you’ll hear if you ask an orthopedist, an anatomist, or (especially) the coach of a women’s softball team is that there is no structural reason why men and women should throw in different ways. This point will be obvious to any male who grew up around girls who liked to play baseball and became good at it. It should be obvious on a larger scale this summer, in broadcasts of the Olympic Games. This year, for the first time, women’s fast-pitch softball teams will compete in the Olympics. Although the pitchers in these games will deliver the ball underhand, viewers will see female shortstops, center fielders, catchers, and so on pegging the ball to one another at speeds few male viewers could match.

Even women’s tennis is a constant if indirect reminder that men’s and women’s shoulders are “hinged” the same way. The serving motion in tennis is like a throw—but more difficult, because it must be coordinated with the toss of the tennis ball. The men in professional tennis serve harder than the women, because they are bigger and stronger. But women pros serve harder than most male amateurs have ever done, and the service motion for good players is the same for men and women alike. There is no expectation in college or pro tennis that because of their anatomy female players must “serve like a girl.” “I know many women who can throw a lot harder and better than the normal male,” says Linda Wells, the coach of the highly successful women’s softball team at Arizona State University. “It’s not gender that makes the difference in how they throw.”

Unfortunately, as Linda Wells later describes, young girls are often frozen out of the oral tradition of learning how to throw and there aren’t any good technical manuals to pick up the slack.

The challenge, I suppose, is like that of writing a manual on how to ride a bike, or how to kiss. Indeed, the most useful description I’ve found of the mechanics of throwing comes from a man whose specialty is another sport: Vic Braden made his name as a tennis coach, but he has attempted to analyze the physics of a wide variety of sports so that they all will be easier to teach.Braden says that an effective throw involves connecting a series of links in a “kinetic chain.” The kinetic chain, which is Braden’s tool for analyzing most sporting activity, operates on a principle like that of crack-the-whip. Momentum builds up in one part of the body. When that part is suddenly stopped, as the end of the “whip” is stopped in crack-the-whip, the momentum is transferred to and concentrated in the next link in the chain. A good throw uses six links of chain, Braden says. The first two links involve the lower body, from feet to waist. The first motion of a throw (after the body has been rotated away from the target) is to rotate the legs and hips back in the direction of the throw, building up momentum as large muscles move body mass. Then those links stop—a pitcher stops turning his hips once they face the plate—and the momentum is transferred to the next link. This is the torso, from waist to shoulders, and since its mass is less than that of the legs, momentum makes it rotate faster than the hips and legs did. The torso stops when it is facing the plate, and the momentum is transferred to the next link—the upper arm. As the upper arm comes past the head, it stops moving forward, and the momentum goes into the final links—the forearm and wrist, which snap forward at tremendous speed.

So why don’t girls learn how to do this?

The crucial factor is not that males and females are put together differently but that they typically spend their early years in different ways. Little boys often learn to throw without noticing that they are throwing. Little girls are more rarely in environments that encourage them in the same way. A boy who wonders why a girl throws the way she does is like a Frenchman who wonders why so many Americans speak French “with an accent.””For young boys it is culturally acceptable and politically correct to develop these skills,” says Linda Wells, of the Arizona State softball team. “They are mentored and networked. Usually girls are not coached at all, or are coached by Mom—or if it’s by Dad, he may not be much of an athlete. Girls are often stuck with the bottom of the male talent pool as examples. I would argue that rather than learning to ‘throw like a girl,’ they learn to throw like poor male athletes. I say that a bad throw is ‘throwing like an old man.’ This is not gender, it’s acculturation.”

[Jim Fallows @ the Atlantic via Angela Vasquez-Giroux @ the Idler]

January 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

Douglas Coupland’s Predictions for the Coming Decade

I read this a couple of months ago, but only now, in these early days of the new decade*, does it feel right to stamp out the ubiquitous optimism with some good doubt.

Douglas Coupland, a Canadian curmudgeon, lists 45 predictions for the coming decade. Here are the ones that strike me as particularly probable:

2) The future isn’t going to feel futuristic

It’s simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn’t feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.

5) You’ll spend a lot of your time feeling like a dog leashed to a pole outside the grocery store – separation anxiety will become your permanent state

8) Try to live near a subway entrance

In a world of crazy-expensive oil, it’s the only real estate that will hold its value, if not increase.

10) In the same way you can never go backward to a slower computer, you can never go backward to a lessened state of connectedness

24) It is going to become much easier to explain why you are the way you are

Much of what we now consider “personality” will be explained away as structural and chemical functions of the brain.

38) Knowing everything will become dull

It all started out so graciously: At a dinner for six, a question arises about, say, that Japanese movie you saw in 1997 (Tampopo), or whether or not Joey Bishop is still alive (no). And before long, you know the answer to everything.

And here are some that don’t seem likely at all:

7) Retail will start to resemble Mexican drugstores

In Mexico, if one wishes to buy a toothbrush, one goes to a drugstore where one of every item for sale is on display inside a glass display case that circles the store. One selects the toothbrush and one of an obvious surplus of staff runs to the back to fetch the toothbrush. It’s not very efficient, but it does offer otherwise unemployed people something to do during the day.

11) Old people won’t be quite so clueless

No more “the Google,” because they’ll be just that little bit younger.

13) Enjoy lettuce while you still can

And anything else that arrives in your life from a truck, for that matter. For vegetables, get used to whatever it is they served in railway hotels in the 1890s. Jams. Preserves. Pickled everything.

14) Something smarter than us is going to emerge

Thank you, algorithms and cloud computing.

20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989

Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition.

32) Musical appreciation will shed all age barriers

Draw your own conclusions after reading the full list at the Globe and Mail.

[Article via the Browser. Image via Maet32’s photobucket]

* The 21st century began on January 1st, 2001. Therefore, the first decade of the 21st century ended a few days ago. We can argue about this if you want, but that exercise would be wholly redundant.

January 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

Aaron Merritt’s Year In Review

I’ve mentioned Aaron in this space before, but that was a furtively self-serving moment wasn’t it?  Today’s post isn’t about me.  As Aaron explains, it’s…

For me specifically.

But then, teachers in general.

But- also- everbody.

This post isn’t like the others, but then, neither is Aaron.

Enough of this.  LESS WORDS, MORE PICTURES.

December 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Gwen McCarter’s Top 10 Most Wonderfully Bad Fashion Trends of 2010

10. Man jammies

[image via Cool Hunting]

9. Alpen-clogs

[image via My Style]

8. Hammer time parachute pants for women

[image via Celebrity Beauty]

7. Bubble lady hips

[image via SugarScape]

6. Stirrup-pant revival

[image via the Cheap Girl]

5. Tights masquerading as pants

[image via Can We Please Stop and Reflect]

4. Winky-ass pants

[image via Winkers Design]

3. Furry shoulder pads

[image via TrendHunter]

2. Lady Gaga meat dress

[image via Huffington Post]

1. Unisex jeggings

[image via NY Daily News]

December 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 1 comment.

Jimi Trout’s Top 10 Yarn Tastings of 2010

Submitted by: Coraghessan A. Cat

1. STITCHES South Knitting Expo Yarn Tasting
Atlanta, Georgia; www.knittinguniverse.com/stitches/south/
Easily the highlight of the 2010 yarn tasting season.  This year’s 50g
skeins were divine, featuring subtle hints of nepeta and lemon.
Breathtaking.

2. The National Needlehearts Association Yarn Tasting
Zanesville, Ohio; www.TNNA.org
Outstanding selection of double-knits; impeccably crafted, remarkably
complex, simply stunning.

3. Interweave Yarn Tasting
Loveland, Colorado; www.interweavestore.com/
The hippest yarn tasting of the year, every bit as good as your
friends said it was.

4. Lion Brand Yarn Company Yarn Tasting
New York, New York; www.lionbrand.com/
Dazzling array of medium-bodied skeins, presented in typical regal fashion.

5. Red Heart Yarns Yarn Tasting
Charlotte, North Carolina; www.redheart.com/
Red Heart Yarns = Red Hot Flavors, particularly in the 25g class.

6. Knit ‘N Style Magazine Yarn Tasting
Stanhope, New Jersey; www.knitnstyle.com/
Charming venue, crowd-pleasing yarns, always a good time.

7. Craft Yarn Council Yarn Tasting
Gastonia, North Carolina; www.craftyarncouncil.com/
Highlighted by a lively panel discussion on Fair Trade fibers.

8. Naturally Caron Yarn Tasting
Washington, North Carolina; www.naturallycaron.com/
Solid, if unspectacular, entry into the yarn-tasting circuit.

9. Crochet Today Magazine Yarn Tasting
New York, New York; www.crochettoday.com/
A mild disappointment given the amount of hype, but still worth the
price of admission.

10. Vogue Knitting Yarn Tasting
New York, New York; www.vogueknitting.com/
Unfortunately not the yarn-tasting trendsetters they used to be;
slightly more fun than a nap.

Jimi runs (ran?) Trout Mask Replica.  Miss you Troutie.

December 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 1 comment.

Scott Wotring’s Top 10 Albums and Things from 2010

Top 10 Albums:

1. Surfer BloodAstro Coast
What struck me as nothing more than a simple rock record, transformed with each listen into a collection of the year’s best pop songs.  The hooks are abundant, the lyrics are genuine, and as a bonus, I saw them drink Four Loko on stage before it was cool!

2. The Tallest Man on EarthThe Wild Hunt
This album is more than King of Spain, although most songs have that element of folksy twang that make it both unique and accessible.  I play this stuff when I’m alone and mumble the lyrics all day.  It’s bold and beautiful, like the doggone TV show.

3. The DrumsThe Drums
I first heard this album while jogging.  By song four I was wondering Is This It?  I’m a sucker for that shimmering New York City garage rock sound, and this album nails it.  See them live if you get the chance.  The singer is a jazzy wonderboy.

4. Miniature TigersFortress
A smattering of happy-go-lucky pop songs, perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun.  Guaranteed to show up on a Chevy Volt commercial next year.

5. WavvesKing of the Beach
‘Cause I’m just having fun… with you! — that pretty much sums it up.  Jess and I blasted this album on the way to the beach.  It was the right sound at the right time this summer.

6. Chihei HatakeyamaGhostly Garden
Best ambient music of the year.  Ghostly Garden is 48 minutes of nothingness, atmospheric sounds that fade into the background and becalm Scott Wotring.  Good music for reading and writing.

7. LCD SoundsystemThis is Happening
Though not as original as Sound of Silver, this album kept with the long-form, satirical, indie dancerock that makes LCD so fucking cool.  Twice this year I danced publicly to this album, once at the beach, and once in front of a camera.

8. Beach HouseTeen Dream
Beach House is sentimental without being sappy.  Their songs evoke sadness, but only tease with the deathblow.  This album would drown in sorrow if not for the band’s considerable talents as musicians.

9. Gold PandaLucky Shiner
Best electronic album of the year.  In the crowded genre of chill electronica, Gold Panda (born Derwin Panda) stands out with his eccentric beats and spiffy synth hooks.  The sound is both adventurous and agreeable.  Four Tet with a longer shelf life.

10. Titus AndronicusThe Monitor
This album makes me want to guzzle a bottle of whisky and punch someone right in the face.  It’s modern and raw, with an unrestricted view into the mind of a man contemplating the truths and evils of everyday life.  Punk rock for the middle-aged.  The walk home is gonna be a real shit show!

Top 10 Things:

1.  Hopscotch Music Festival
2.  Raleigh to London to Paris to Amsterdam to Hamburg to Raleigh
3.  Brussel sprouts with sriracha and lime
4.  Stuff You Should Know podcast
5.  Warrior Dash
6.  The Room
7.  Caribou at Cats Cradle
8.  Google Maps
9.  Linville Gorge Backpacking Trip
10.  Six-pack Challenge

December 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Julia GP Haupt’s Top 10 Knife City Creamery Posts

So lucky to have Julia as a reader! What a lady!!

Julia: The following is not a Top Ten List of your ten best blog posts. It’s my top ten list of posts that stuck with me (some for good reason, and some for no apparent reason). But I read and loved all of your posts (all as in 90%).

1. Yoke Cake!

[image via Amyland Cake Company]

2. And I’m Proud to Be an American

[image via fieq mayhem]

3. Freddie de Boer’s Digital Book Club

[image via flixter]

4. 10 Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia

[image via xkcd]

5. Favorite Poemer Delivers Again

[image via Luke Johnson]

6. Smaced in the Privets

[image via gconnect]

7. The Cringe at the Heart of Christmas

[image via fandango]

8. Professional Packer

[image via mtbr]

9. Refurbished Bicycles Make Good Gates

[image via dude craft]

10. Incredible McDonalds Burger Experiment

[image via snack girl]

December 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

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