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Tag Archives: england

Off Modern

An artist collective based out of South London (Elephant & Castle, if you’ve ever taken the brown line to the southern most stop).



The best of the best from the New York Times, when I find time.

The Third Replicator

We humans like to think we are the designers, creators and controllers of this newly emerging world but really we are stepping stones from one replicator to the next.

The F Word

Flesh suggests messiness, privileging the indiscipline of life over the fierce control of art, the unaerobicized body spilling over the contours of an artificial silhouette, be it Christian Dior’s New Look in 1947 or Marc Jacobs’s New Look for Louis Vuitton this fall. Flesh also suggests the threateningly female, moistness and blood, the hothouse clutches of a heavy-breasted mother — off-putting images for male fashion designers, who are more often than not gay. (Think of Karl Lagerfeld’s withering disdain on hearing that a German magazine would now be using only regular-size women in its fashion spreads: “No one wants to see curvy women… . You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.”)

Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory

While looking the shoes over myself, I noticed the label on the inside of the tongue read “Made in Vietnam.” That was all part of the subterfuge, Lin said, adding that there are “different levels of counterfeit. Some are low quality and don’t look anything like the originals. But some are high quality and look just like the real ones. The only way to tell the difference between the real ones and ours is by the smell of the glue.” He took back the shoe, buried his nose in the footbed and inhaled.

The Poetry of Prose

Most striking is that unlike many traditional grammar books, Clark’s reserves its scolding not for students of writing, but for teachers who harbor unduly restrictive views — “members of the crotchety crowd” who “tend to turn their own preferences about grammar and language into useless and unenforceable rules.” Linguistic insecurities and peeves, once they take hold, are exasperatingly difficult to shake. Even though the first edition of Fowler’s book, released way back in 1926, unequivocally states that the proscriptions against ending sentences with prepositions and splitting infinitives are absurd, we’re still arguing about them today, in 2010.

E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated

“I think, historically, there has been a stigma attached to the bookworm, and that actually came from the not-untrue notion that, if you were reading, you weren’t socializing with other people,” Dr. Levinson said. “But the e-reader changes that also because e-readers are intrinsically connected to bigger systems.” For many, e-readers are today’s must-have accessory, eroding old notions of what being bookish might have meant. “Buying literature has become cool again,” he said.

Fixing a World That Fosters Fat

The real problem is a landscape littered with inexpensive fast-food meals; saturation advertising for fatty, sugary products; inner cities that lack supermarkets; and unhealthy, high-stress workplaces.

In other words: it’s the environment, stupid.

Technology Leads More Park Visitors Into Trouble

People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.

The Value of a Tattoo in Higher Education

David B. Wiseman, a psychologist, showed 128 undergraduate students photographs of tattooed and non-tattooed female models, described as “college instructors.” He found that college students prefer tattoos:

UK Reality TV Programme Branded “Freak Show”

A new British reality TV show, which will film two people — one disfigured, the other attractive — living together in a house full of mirrors, has been branded a “freak show” by critics.

The Sofa Wars

The Times/CBS News survey found that people under the age of 45 were about four times as likely as those 45 and over to say Internet video services could effectively replace cable.

Do the Top Billion Need New Goals?

There’s a set of Millennium Development Goals for the poorest of the poor — a cohort of humanity sometimes described as the “ bottom billion.”

But, as yet, there’s no set of such goals for those who are already living lives that many analysts say are consuming resources at a pace well beyond the planet’s carrying capacity, particularly if the habits that attend affluence — from greatly increased meat consumption to unthinking energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions — are adopted by another few billion people.

Oh, I do miss the English breakfast.

John Grierson Narrates Night Mail 1939 (GPO Film Unit)

Welcome to the Working Week


Viktor Vauthier

“There’s now a buzz on the Kentish cheese scene.”

So I had just got done having a conversation and working for a British woman in Whitstable, and I’m walking around the seaside town on a beautiful day, when suddenly a cheese shop catches my eye—The Cheese Box. So Matt (my partner in crime) and I go in, and the clerk asks if we want to try some of “Kelly’s Goat.” Duh, we do. Somehow I find myself buying some, without even trying anything else (one taste = sell), and he hands me a pamphlet and tells me to check them out on youtube (he also asked if I was “much of a cheese head,” I can’t say I am. But I want to be, now!). Well, I couldn’t find them on youtube, but I did find them on KentTV. Wow, what an amazing cheese. Honestly, one of the best cheeses I’ve ever had. It tastes like nothing else, it’s sort of cheddery, farmy, but sort of has a blue cheese tangyness with a creamy texture while still remaining solid—It’s all local too, produce and sold in Kent. Plus it’s of the goat variety, which is easier on the digestive system. I only wish I had discovered it sooner.

Today warrants a special post—I visited Britain’s oldest brewery. However, It’s been awhile sense I updated what I’ve been up to in general. Well, I just finished another film titled ‘Conatus‘. I’ll post that in a separate post, soon probably. I’ve been mostly procrastinating working on a paper, and hanging out with my friend Matt who’s staying with me over the break. I’ve also been preparing to go to Africa, which has been a fairly painless process. I’m still quite looking forward to going home, and it’s not too far off now. I’ve been killing Mad Men season 2, which I highly recommend, as well. Lot’s of filling time, though. It’d be super lonely without Matt around (missing Monica hardcore). One of the time fillers, mentioned earlier, is the transitions to the blog. I started going through all the old posts and categorizing them correctly, and tagging them correctly. I’m only on November 2007 right now. In the end the blog will be much easier to navigate historically and categorically for all, and probably, hopefully, increase traffic. At this point my most popular post is still the one where Andrew birds musical instruments are mentioned. [Side Note: I actually changed the tags of this post. It used to be all clumped together, incorrectly distinguishing the words as tags. I will have discovered that separating words can hurt a posts meta-reference value on the internet by changing this if the post stops getting so many hits. Anyway, I find it interesting.] So, now on to Faversham‘s famous brewery.

Shepherd’s Neame has been around sense 1698. The banners around the brewery haven’t been updated since 1998, where the 6 in “Established in 1698” is also a 9, symbolising their 300 year anniversary in 1998—thus making them 311 years old. Beer, however, is probably at least 8,000 years old. Faversham is a pretty standard town, we didn’t see anything too special. However, in the Kent area there are 375 local pubs or bars that they stock as subsidiaries. Though, there are 890 pubs in general that have their beer on tap in England. They have four seasonal beers (naturally), and some other ales they produce year round, not to mention being Britain’s major producer of more common beers like Asahi, Oranjeboom, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Etc. They also have an attached micro-brewery which produces cool special ales for one-off events and occasions (for instance, they have a special beer every year around Christmas).

The tour was pretty interesting and rewarding. I recently got two new batteries for my camera, but neglected to charge any of them, and so (much to my dismay) ran out of batteries just after the first 15 minutes of the tour. So there aren’t any pictures, and I’ve been slacking in this department lately, in general. Regardless, I can assure you that I learned a lot, and it was a pretty dang cool experience—one I hope to have again (note: there was some seriously obsessed guys on the tour that looked and sounded like they should have been from the movie Sideways. Calm down guys, seriously). I think probably the most memorable part of the tour was when we tasted three of the four ingredients they use for their beers. We tasted several different types of malted barley (different roasts and flavors), some hops (which were really gross, but now I will never forget what it means when something is “hop-y”, and of course their wonderful “liquor” (A.K.A what brewers call the water they use for their beer. In our case it was just water with natural minerals from a really really old well). They also have these massive storage containers that are used to “lager” some of the beer (which requires a second “storing/”lagering” process of fermentation, and results in beers called, duh, “lagers”). In these containers are approximately 1.25 million pints of beer; which the tour guide used for in this punch-line, “that’s a fact, not a challenge.” And, of course, there was a great tasting session at the end. My favorite was “Early Bird,” but I tried a few others as well. Bishop’s Finger is the name of one of the beers, by the way. As are Spitfire (named after world war two planes, and the advertising of which was both controversial, and highly successful—This coupled with the beer actually being really good eventually caused the intended limited run to span into the present). I’ll close with two quotes I found on the tour:

“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.” -Queen Victoria

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” -Benjamin Franklin

This has been up for a few days now, but I figured it was about time that I posted it officially. the film is called “(in) determinate”, or “In Medias Rəs”. The process was really rewarding for me. There’s a lot to be said about it, in my opinion, but I’ll leave it at that.

click here to watch it.