This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

The Exploding iPhone, con't.

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Outstate, Restaurants Updated: July 16, 2013 - 12:20 PM

This is the day we dread: too much summer. When we dream of summer in the middle of winter, it’s the warm dry days with a slight breeze. Lakeside perfection. We know we’ll get 90s & humidity, but hey, it’s part of the deal. Then it comes and we start to think: it would be nice if it was cooler. Just a bit. Makes you think of fall as just a short crawl from the oven to the fridge.

Here’s what’s not happening on the web today. If it’s happening, you know about it; why bother you with the obvious?

 

ART Fly vomit: you have to admit, it’s a medium rich with metaphoric possibilities. Taxi mag says:

Los Angeles-based artist John Knuth has created a series of paintings with the help of over 250,000 common houseflies.

Trapped inside canvas-walled enclosures, the flies were fed a mixture of sugar, water, and colored pigment.

The paintings were created as the result of the flies regurgitating the mixture a “million times” over the course of six weeks.

According to the video description, Knuth is “drawn to the tensions between the controlled environment of his studio and the inherently non-social insects’ unpredictable mark-making; a process that he feels mirrors contemporary society”.

Pictures of the tension-drawing and society-mirroring here.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE WATCH The Washington Post has a shocking story on a shocking video about shocking behavior:

The video is only 78 seconds long, barely enough to establish the nationalities of the two young club-goers in the frame and the third holding the camera. But what it shows is so disturbing, so charged with deeply sensitive issues of gender and race, that in the week since it was posted to Facebook it has generated a growing debate on the Korean Web and even coverage in the South Korean press.

The video shows two Western guys humiliating a Korean woman. Sounds bad. The still frame in the piece looks bad. Second-to-the-last comment on the page says it’s from a movie. Korean Herald says:

Two men, however, separately contacted The Korea Herald claiming that the video was edited and was in fact part of a series of short horror films shot in 2011. One of the men said that the video had been shot to show the “horror” of how society treats people with physical deformities. In the controversial video, the men are also shown ridiculing the young woman over the condition of her teeth.

One of the alleged actors, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, provided a screenshot from a Facebook conversation showing the alleged director admitting that the video was staged. The apparent director of the video studied film at a university in Seoul, according to his Facebook account and a university webpage from 2004.

A comment at 9:14:

This is a video made in Bedlam bar in Itaewon in January 2011. All the people were paid actors / actresses. The director is Korean and wanted to get famous for doing some edgy viral videos. This is one of them. He tried to release this over 2 years ago and nothing happened all the websites took it down for its graphic content. I know all this because I am one of the men in this video. I do not condone the actions that I did. But this was a paid acting job no one was hurt. The actress was wearing fake gums to make her teeth look bad and everyone left the shoot smiling and shaking hands.  

And still people comment away afterwards, deploring it. Wonder how long before the piece is amended? Let’s check back tomorrow.

 

FOLLOW-UP The iPhone Electrocution story is in its second and final day. Quartz says it reminds people - meaning, writers looking to invest the story with more meaning than it actually has - that there was the incident of the Exploding iPhone. It’s recounted here by Storm Williams, a UK “technology enthusiast” who presumably has experience with the English language he is holding in reserve for some reason:

According to a new report from Tech Sina, Wang Kai, young professionals, has reported that his iPhone 4 exploded.

The most likely caused for this explosion is probably due to poor storage of the device. Wang Kai told reporter that he sleeps with his iPhone under his pillow. According to the report, smartphone users should:

Do not look at the video when charging

Please do not put the pillow at night.

During the Summer is best not to charge in enclosed places.

Well, that’s news you can use. Charge your phone outdoor. And please, please! do not put the pillow.

 

PORTABLE MEATS I have been a guinea pig for several months, it seems. This article discusses REV, a new Hormel product that wraps various varieties of meat and cheese inside bread-like substances. They are marketed towards the AXE crowd, obviously, being RADICAL in their appearance - to use a word so old it dates me and makes me unfit to comment further, really - but the company says they’re popular with everyone. The article states that they’ve been available locally since May, but will be going wide soon.

May? I’ve seen them for a lot longer than that. I swear I’ve seen them at Target for a year, since I considered buying one as a plane snack, only to think “nah,” because it didn’t look particularly satisfying. So it’s possible that the Target where I shop contains all sorts of secret products that aren’t available elsewhere, and they’re performing highly-targeted marketing experiments based on the choice demographics of the area.

 

OUCH X2 Today’s dashcam video reminds you how to be safe on a scooter in city traffic. It’s simple. Don’t ride one. Make kids who want a scooter see this, just so they know the drill.

 

 

Yikes. But here’s the thing about the world to come: when everyone has cameras going all the time, you’ll expect to see uploaded video from the scooter-driver’s helmet-cam as well. To say nothing of the perspective from the car that rolls into the frame on the left side.

 

Speaking of which:

 

 

The days of single-perspective crash videos will seem like early Edison Kinetoscopes.

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