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.

Meet the Plastics!

Posted by: James Lileks under Architecture, Technology Updated: May 16, 2014 - 12:25 PM

A Daily Dot article about Extreme Online Personas brought up something you may have missed. It may have been kept from your attention by a kind friend who didn’t want to let you know it exists. I am not that friend.

A new group of young wannabes is hoping a YouTube video can catapult them to international stardom too. Their hook, however, isn’t even as original as you “gotta get down on Friday.” In fact, they’ve decided to stick entirely with what’s worked before. The three members of The Plastics have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to look like their favorite stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Bieber, and some kind of Internet fairy godmother, Madonna.

Yes indeed. 443 likes! Nine thousand dislikes. Doctor made my dreams come true, now I look like Justin too!

It’s almost unlistenable. You know your singing career faces an uphill climb when even your auto tuned moments are out of tune.

Comments are disabled for the video.

DESSERT The rise and fall of everything continues: Yesterday it was the End of Memes, and today it’s the end of frozen yogurt.

"I used to go out for fro-yo like five times a week," said a co-worker at Grub Street HQ recently, with a sigh. "But I can't remember the last time I visited 16 Handles." It wasn't the first time I'd heard this kind of comment recently. A friend who runs a bar in midtown used to stop in for fro-yo a few times a week, but his appetite has cooled. "It's been a while, even though I have enough loyalty points to buy a Maybach." The toppings bars in the shops are still full of colorful gummy bears and rosy diced strawberries, but New York's fro-yo boom has hit dark times.

So it’s over in New York. Well, if it’s over in the center of the observable universe, it’ll be over here soon enough. Or will it? The article cites the reasons fro-yo is stumbling in Gotham: Too many stores, faded novelty, excess rent.

Don’t think we’ve hit Peak Yogurt here yet.

ART I love this Tumblr: tiny Pantone matches, by Inka Matthew. (via Coudal.)

ARCHITECTURE China keeps building big: a new 560-meter skyscraper. I wondered: what’s that in American? The Empire State Building is 381 meters, without the tip. No, I'm not going to do Banana-for-scale.

The flared base is reminiscent of some 70s American buildings. Unfortunately.

The second-tallest building in the world is in Shanghai, under construction: it’s 632 meters high, 121 stories.

I wish we still built lots of tall buildings, but the more I see of these things, the less it bothers me. 

HISTORY The mystery of Dante’s dust, from Atlas Obscura:

Things took a turn for the strange in 1865, when workers were repairing buildings around the tomb in honor of the sixth centennial of Dante’s birth. While removing part of a wall a few yards away from the tomb, the workers found a dilapidated wooden chest hidden inside the wall. When they lifted it up, one of its rotten planks clattered to the floor, revealing a human skeleton inside. An inscription atop the chest, and another inside, said the remains were “Dantis Ossa”—Dante’s bones. 

Feeling justifiably confused, the officials opened Dante’s tomb. It was empty.

And now dust from his tomb has turned up in Florence. Dan Brown, there’s your next one.

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