Lucky Dip – Tuesday, September 10th

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This giant piece of artwork is made up of thousands of potted flowers and plants arranged on an massive staircase in Sicily. Photo by Andrea Annaloro, via [Twisted Sifter]

I’ve posted this to Twitter already, but it’s worthy of many repeats. WalMart workers in North Carolina stage an in-store flash mob. Fantastic. [Dangerous Minds]

That RuPaul, always coming up with some creative and fun idea to express himself. Like an internet series called RuPaul Drives where he drives around with various famous people, in this case, Henry Rollins. [Rocker]

New York Times food critics share their horror stories, and disguises. [Work Fails and Job LOLs]

And finally, two different takes on the world in miniature; the first a guy who makes dollhouse scale models of New York City; the second, miniature clay artworks on the outside of Altoid tins. [Messy Ness Chic] [Twister Sifter]

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Lucky Dip – August 29th, 2013

I can’t help it, I continue to be enthralled by Quentin Crisp.

Think about this the next time you chow down on calamari – the octopus (and other cephalopods) may have brains in its tentacles. (Border Collies of the sea, people, smarter than you realize!) [Scientific American]

“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” The amazing Zen Pencils channels Bill Watterson.

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Long exposure shots of ferris wheels. This one by Thomas Hawke, more on Twister Sifter. (Torontonians, there’s a shot of the CNE wheel in there too!)

It’s funny because it’s true – why is it that tourists love fudge so very much? [Gawker]

Three cheers for the tasty (and healthy) gin and tonic. Huzzah! [Slate]

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Lucky Dip – Monday, August 27, 2013

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This brings new meaning to the phrase “Animal House.” Photograph by Kai Fagerström [Twister Sifter]

The above house is in Finland, but it could play stand-in in the movie version of Al Jourgensen’s war with raccoons. [Slicing Up Eyeballs]

There was a time where I’d be all ranty about bloggers taking freebies, screeching about “ethics” and “selling your soul” and such. Now I just sigh sadly and move on to the next news story. (But I will emit an evil chortle if it comes out that this guy living on free stuff does actually run out of toilet paper.) [Toronto Star]

The ocean is awesome. [Discover Magazine]

Because who doesn’t need a cardboard cut-out of David Hasselhoff? [Gawker]

3D printers are crazy cool, but sometimes, things go awry. [Flickr]

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Lucky Dip – August 19th, 2013

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Picture of the day – many pictures. I have no idea where this comes from (I found in on a Tumblr, uncredited) but damn, I want one.

I admit it, while I am adamantly child-free, I am a sucker for a well-dressed little kid, and have been known to contribute stylin’ outfits to my wee niece’s wardrobe.(But what does it mean when toddlers dress like adults and grown men go about in shorts and sweat socks and ball hats?) Also -  what’s with the aviator glasses? Are those back in for adults, too? Ick. [Buzzfeed]

Speaking of kids – not all of them are special snowflakes, and it might be a good thing to let them know that. [The Atlantic]

Bands you should know more about, but probably don’t – Shonen Knife. Really, you need to listen to some Shonen Knife, right now, I know you do. [Dangerous Minds]

Listen up hipsters – the hot new food trend is… roadkill. So get on out there with your fixed-gear bicycle and run yourself down some squirrel or pigeon. [Gawker]

The recent interest in Vivian Maier has provoked stories of other street photographers to emerge. Like these great shots by Bob Mazzer of people on the London tube during the 70s and 80s. [Telegraph]

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Lucky Dip – Thursday, August 15th

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I’m not much for Star Trek and all that stuff, but when space gets its galaxies together to make roses, that’s something pretty awesome. [Twisted Sifter]

Y’all know that the thing about carrots improving your eyesight was a lie to trick the Nazis, right? [Gizmodo]

Turns out it’s maybe not such a great idea to bury 6000 bodies under the huge stone floor of an abbey because those bodies eventually decompose and shift and such. So workers are disinterring piles of bones to rebuild the floor before the whole thing collapses. Of course, instead of reburying those bones, it would be even cooler to just decorate the place with them. [BBC News]

olinguito

The discovery of a new mammal is a rare and wondrous thing, and it really doesn’t hurt if the little bugger is adorable. Meet the Olinguito. [Huffington Post]

Speaking of cool animals, when visiting a zoo, expect to get what you pay for. If the admission is cheap and the “lion” looks remarkably like a dog, then it probably is. Never mind that you can probably buy a real lion for much cheaper than the average Tibetan Mastiff. [Gawker]

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Lucky Dip – August 14, 2013

kanako

Messy Nessy interviews Parisian artist Kanako. [Messy Nessy Chic]

I love, love, love this essay aimed at young oddballs, and wish someone had written it 30 years ago, when I was one. [NPR]

Speaking of awesome things I wish were around when I was a kid – Makies, the world’s first 3D printed dolls, are now for sale. And they’re named after famous scientists/computer programmers (including Hopper, for Grace Hopper who was the “creator” of the term computer bug after finding a moth in a mainframe.) [BoingBoing]

Free Rebekah! The raccoon made famous for dancing with a “hillbilly” has been seized by authorities! [Gawker]

40 totally cool world maps, Plus one even cooler map made with a spirograph. [Twisted Sifter] [BoingBoing]

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Lucky Dip – Back Again

feelinglucky

Wait, what? Yeah. Only different from the old Lucky Dip column. Instead of links to food stories, I’m going to be doing a daily collection of stuff I think is cool, from articles and blog posts to images and videos. I don’t know why or how long it will last, but I want a more permanent record of the things that I’ve come across and liked than just retweeting stuff on Twitter, never to be able to find it again. (Okay, so it’s really like a Tumblr without joining Tumblr.)

It may not happen every day. At times, it may not happen every week. And I’m getting back to writing stuff for me, as opposed to keeping an audience happy, so this will be a collection of stuff that I dig and if readers enjoy it too, well that’s great and if not, tough cookies.

Or tough candy.

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The 2-Song Rule (aka. Turn Your Goddamned Phone Off and Watch the Show!)

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In 1991, I stood in the middle of the Guvernment nightclub, house lights blazing, the crowd so silent you could hear a pin drop, as Blixa Bargeld, lead singer of the German Industrial band Einturzende Neubauten screamed at an audience member for filming the performance. Back then, pre-Internet and pre-Smartphones, bands had a genuine fear of people filming and bootlegging their shows for profit.

The guy in question was technically filming the show “for profit”; he was John Dubiel, a local videographer and curator of the infamous Industrial Video Show, a monthly event that showed, well, industrial videos, from official band videos, to old Irving Klaw S&M footage, to blazing robot wars, to the concert footage that Dubiel would film himself as he travelled around North America to attend concerts.

In some cases, he was performing a public service, filming and showing bands that wouldn’t or couldn’t come to Canada. I once travelled with Dubiel to Detroit to see Foetus, an artist who refused to come to Canada because of Customs issues. Other than the few of us from Toronto, hunkered in the balcony of St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit, keeping Dubiel out of view of security, Toronto Foetus fans would have to make due with the footage Dubiel shot that night. It would be their only chance, in that era anyway, to see Foetus “live”.

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Abercrombie & Fitch, Marketing to Fatties and the Death of “Cool”

cool_joe“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids.”

Do you see anything wrong with that statement? I mean besides the obvious douchbaggery behind it? Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch only wants young, attractive (thin), “cool” people to wear the clothes his company sells.

But are all popular, pretty people “cool”?

When I was a young teenager, which is presumably the target market for stores like Abercrombie, the “cool” kids were the ones who hung out off campus so they could smoke. The girls looked like Joan Jett, and jean shorts were only considered appropriate if you were washing the car.

The popular kids, the sporty ones, hell, the RICH ones, with a tennis court and a pool in the front yard and a 30 ft yacht moored in the back, they looked like the models in the Abercrombie ads. Very, very few of them were “cool”. They were pretty, had nice clothes, nice cars and were assured nice university educations, but their lives were too easy and too pretty for them to be cool. They were popular – they ran the student council, they were on all the sports teams, other kids aspired to be like them. But did they have that edge, that spark, that thing about them that drew people to them (as opposed to perfect teeth and shiny hair)? Nah.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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Remember those essays? The first day back to school, the teacher was still setting up the year’s curriculum, ordering books, etc., and so you’d get handed a piece of loose leaf and a fresh new pencil and directed to start off the school year with the child’s worst enemy – the familiar essay.

We lived in the poor part of town. Nobody I knew came back on that first day of school with stories about Disneyland, or Europe. Camping maybe, but it was never one of those fancy camps where you learned French or how to play the oboe. It would have been a week at Grandpa’s fishing lodge (shack) getting eaten alive by black flies and leeches.

The rest of us spent the days at home, or at a grandparent’s or babysitter’s house if our parents worked. There would be trips to the lake (aka. a mile long forced march in the hot sun), or the beach (for this you definitely hoped for a drive, otherwise it was a 2-mile forced march in the hot sun, up a huge, steep hill to get home), but usually it was a “make your own fun” kind of summer where you spent the days in the woods, at the playground, in a wading pool in the backyard, or lolling around watching “stories” with Grandma in the cool of the living room with the blinds down.

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