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.
No. More? Okay.
Reading the comments here and there about the stadium-area development, you almost get the sense that people have pre-existing ideas about the world they can plug into anything that happens anywhere, and be proven right. This proposal to replace one structure with an expanse of green and some office buildings proves the validity of the political perspective I also offered in the story about zebra mussels. My work here in the comments section is done, at least until there is a story about the TSA or genetically-modified organisms. We’re all impressed, and thanks for playing.
Some have complained that the buildings are bland . . .
.... but I don’t agree. I think they’re perfect for the site. It needs a wall, and that’s what it gets. It has symmetry, which balances the other messy elements it can’t do anything about. In a way, the buildings recall the great 20s and 30s apartment buildings around Central Park, and their conservative design enhances the modern style of the stadium by contrast. Of all the big BIG plans we’ve seen for downtown, this one might be the best.
FOOLED YOU It’s called The Coyote Illusion.Warner Brothers drew blurred lines to indicate speed and activity - also because it was more suggestive than a literal depiction of limbs moving quickly. Mainly because it was easier. As it turns out, “motion blur increases apparent speed.” The proof:
Since I mentioned animation, barely-related good news: there’s a new Toy Story short coming. And it’ll be 30 minutes.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU There’s been a sudden drought of irritating headlines that use the YOU format - you know, ’36 things you’re doing wrong, Best Solar Flare You’ll See today, etc. I thought the trend was dying, but no. Today’s thing YOU are supposedly doing, from the Daily Dot: “Not Only Are You a Criminal, You’re Bragging About it on Facebook.” The editors must have loved that one! People can’t help but click on that.
It’s an Amnesty International site that analyzes your pictures and contacts and figures out whether you’d be beaten to death in Nigeria for drinking alcohol and associating with unrelated persons of the opposite sex, and so on. There’s a surprise.
FOLLOW-UP The link yesterday about the restaurant owners who took to Facebook to demolish their brand in front of the entire internet? It was all Teh H@XORZ.
Obviously our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked. We are working with the local authorities as well as the FBI computer crimes unit to ensure this does not happen again. We did not post those horrible things. Thank You Amy &Samy
By all means, read the comments, which include all sorts of speculation about what’s really going on at the restaurant. Forbes piles on some more.
This does seem to suggest someone guessed her password, though. She’s not capable of coming up with lulz-related text like that.
BTW, does it bother anyone that the Facebook comments link says “View Next Comments”? Shouldn’t it be “view more,” or “view additional comments”?
ADS Tweet what’s boring and they’ll make it brilliant! It’s an ad campaign you may have missed with a rather innovative site. By which I mean almost incomprehensibe. Of course, this is fake:
You can tell it’s fake because no one in the waiting room is looking at a phone or other type of glowing rectangle.
This morning was gorgeous, and promised just the day we’ve been waiting for, no? Sun! Heat! How hot? A few days ago my Yahoo weather app said it would be 97 today. This was downgraded to 91 a day later. Still one might hope. Then the clouds drew a clammy hand over the sun, and you felt a fool for having believed. But now it’s sunny (hold on; checking . . . yes) and we’re back on track for the first day of the year when people complain about the heat.
Please don’t do that.
ARCHITECTURE I like the stadium. But will it wear well? The Metrodome achieved a sort of timeless banality, after all, so devoid of style it almost became a style on its own. The problem with building something that fits the contemporary standards is always the verdict of the fickle future, which rolls its eyes at the things the past thought hip. Well, we’re never going to build one of these again . . .
. . . and probably just as well. The form may be old and familiar, but it feels too collegiate, and too big for the style. That’s just a barn. The new design avoids the curvy forms of the past few years, the fluffy puffy style that made sporting arenas look like confections; it’s not a jumble of off-putting shapes piled at random to disguise the function. It’s simple. It almost has the posture of a bear hunkered down and ready to spring. And then there’s that awesome maw:
Intimidating more than welcoming, perhaps - but then you walk in and see the field below, and suddenly you’re king of the world.
ART! It’s called the Frieze Art Fair. A HuffPo piece says:
In the wake of the Frieze Art Fair in New York, we tried to make sense of the overwhelming amount of mirrored objects, food sculptures and shelving units masquerading as art. We don't know about you, dear readers, but we find the emperor's new clothes effect to be highly troubling.
Really? Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad. Let’s take a look.
Okay, it’s that bad. In related art news, from Cartoon Brew:
In last weekend’s NY Times Sunday Magazine, the paper published a profile of artist Paul McCarthy in connection with his new show WS (which stands for “White Snow”). The epic performance piece, which opens June 19 at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory, will consist of “a massive, fantastical forest with towering trees, two off-scale houses, equipment and props from classic film-sets, and layers of film and sound.” During the piece, McCarthy—as Walt Disney—will participate in an orgy with Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
All that is well and good,
No. No, it’s not. But we continue:
what alarmed me about the piece is why Times writer Randy Kennedy compared McCarthy’s portrayal of Disney to Hitler in the article’s second paragraph.
More at the link. Of course Disney is compared to Hitler! The Jewish thing, you know - which has been debunked, but never mind. Also the hatred of “degenerate” culture, perhaps; Walt wasn’t one of those transgressive types who liked to break down barriers and shock the bourgeoise. So, sure, Hitler.
The picture from the Times shows the artist looking like Walt Disney, grinning, with his pants down. This is a reminder that we live in a mucb more vital culture than the one where Walt was shown with his pants on.
CAPSLOCK AND LOAD Fans of Gordon Ramsay probably remember the meltdown at Amy’s Bakery Baking Company; fans of Buzzfeed have noted the “Most Epic Brand Meltdown on Facebook Ever.” If you don’t mind reading streams of profanity in all caps, then by all means check out the restaurant owners going up against . . . reddit, which is like 4chan with a few atoms of remnant conscience. If all this is new, then watch the excerpt for backstory. Also, I drove past that place just a few weeks ago. If only I’d known!
TIMEWASTER You may enjoy this. Via ABC news:
It’s the 37th birthday of the classic Atari game Breakout, and if you type “Atari Breakout” as a Google image search query, you can play the 1970s brick game right inside your browser.
That you can. Enjoy! I lasted for 45 seconds before I was bored and flitted off to something else, but that's the internet for you. I''m surprised I have the attention span to get to the end of this, because there's always another page to OH LOOK PUGS IN KNIT CAPS THEY'RE ADORABLE
Simple, addictive, frustrating, full of useless exhileration - perfect time-waster. Have fun.
THEN AND NOW A find from the postcard collector’s show. Can you identify this Minneapolis street? It’s rather difficult, since everything you see is gone.
I'm pretty sure it's now . . . this.
The building in the distance is the old Post Office. The next one from the left, the Onieda. The "Minnesota Loan & Trust" was the Bank of Commerce.
Time was not kind to the street, was it.
Busy day; more later.
YouTube’s new map shows the most popular videos at the moment in particular locales around the nation. According to their unerring computational analysis, Twin Citians have been riveted by the tense and ominous colloquy of two lynxes.
We thank the fellow for uploading that, and beg him to TURN HIS CAMERA SIDEWAYS next time.
The map for the entire country is here. If you’re busy at the moment, I’ll save you some work: most of the country is watching the True Blood season 6 trailer. Play around the age settings a little; makes for an interesting lesson in tastes and interests. Warning: the 65+ section is nothing but Wilford Brimley cussing videos.
PIZZA The video goes on about 38 seconds longer than it should, but it does make you want to search the internet for “Zeus Gorham Munkist.” Good luck.
What’s he selling? An app that locates pizza. “Our pizza-to-mouth indicator shows the exact travel distance required to enjoy a fresh slice, and our steam technology lets you know when you’ve arrived.” If you have to look at the app to see if you’re really in a pizzaria, you might want to train yourself to look up more often.
TV NOOO. No. Deadline says:
With little fanfare, Saturday’s hourlong season finale of Cops actually marked the venerable docu-reality series’ last original airing on Fox.
Twenty-five years on the air. Over 850 episodes. It was cheap to make and still brought in three million viewers, so someone in the boardroom must have realized that the show will never answer the question of what bad boys are going to do when the Sheriff John Brown comes for them. Besides run away, that is, then apologize profusely when tackled and tased, explaining they were Scared, and had Warrants.
Yes, it does tend to repeat itself. No, there really hasn’t been anything to top the naked guy in the barbershop hosing everyone with a fire extinguishers. But it’s still like nothing else. Sigh.
But! When Fox’s lack of interest became obvious . . .
the producer, Langley Prods., started looking for a new home. They’ve found it at Spike TV, where Season 26 of Cops will debut in September, airing in its long-time Saturday 8 PM time slot.
And the guys from “Inner Circle” breathed a sigh of relief. At least one more year of royalty checks.
ART Test of your architectural knowledge: identify this painting’s location.
You say: oh, come on. Marina City. Give me a tough one. All right:
I got that right away, which is why I'm mention it. If I didn't know I would have shut up about it. Tt’s from this collection of building portraits. Answer at the end of the post.
TECH Here’s a piece on the best way to make a great Vine. Number five is pretty good:
My daughter was showing me a Vine someone made of a pet baby squirrel. It had five sequences in six seconds. There’s nothing wrong with letting a sequence go for two or three seconds, as much as that might fly in the face of everything we’ve learned from Michael Bay. I uploaded a 6 second Vine that was one sequence with no cuts. Which, in terms of today’s length of attention, is like the opening of “Touch of Evil.”
Business Insider notes:
Cute animals always make great vines. Be sure to use the #cute hashtag so more people can find it.
It would be terrible if they couldn’t.
MEME-READY Charles Ramsey, the man who helped rescue the kidnapped women, speaks to ABC. It’s an interesting change in style from his 911 call, which was, shall we say, rated NC-17 for language.
THE ANSWER Okay, here's the second building in the painting.
I recognized it right away, because it’s a memorable building, mostly because it looks like it has a skin condition. Those pleats in the aluminum panels aren't decorative - heaven forbid anyone would put a decoration on a skyscraper in 1956. They’re supposed to use the power of Wind to keep the building clean.
It was originally known as Socony Mobil Building, back when the company felt it was important to have a big tower in New York. (They left for Virginia in 1987.)
FINALLY: A Chicago Tribune photographer comes to Minneapolis and shoots the Nicollet Mall, in grim black and white. We look drab and achingly lonely and deserted. Also, a guy with a mullet. I wondered why he couldn’t do color - it’s not like he’s opposed to it - but then I thought, no, downtown is not particularly vibrant in late April.
Today's a different story. Sunshine! No snow! Occasional hopeful shoots of green! Grand day out there; hope you get out to enjoy it.
Great episode, right? Right. It wasn’t about anything Important; we did not see how a Major Historical Event affected the characters’ lives. It was a show about advertising, and it was lean and focused. Don Draper like you haven’t seen him in years! Pete Campbell, sputtering and bleating as his nose is rubbed in his own pile of leavings! (Poor Pete.) Roger plucking a client out of the air - literally - and some vintage Northwest Orient stewardess garb as well.
But don’t listen to me; the best recap, as ever, is by Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture. Although I am disappointed he didn’t note how they do the Bunny Dip when serving drinks in the first-class lounge.
This week’s animated GIF, of course, is Pete’s staircase pratfall.
ARCHITORTURE Headline: “China’s Architecture just keps getting more bizarre.” How bizarre? This is possibly the first architecture link that might be NSFW. Some of the buildings are just ugly - it’s difficult not to hear the end of the Monty Python theme when you see this.
Here’s a list (in Chinese) of the ugliest new buildings in China, courtesy of archy.com This one is unnerving:
Especially since the translated text says it’s a The Federation of Trade Unions kindergarten. Nothing says “a happy, safe learning environment” like the eyeless face of an insect robot. Although it’s not really an insect robot. The text notes: “Building Description: monkey building.” That’s true of so many structures. Then there’s this one:
Building Description: “peripheral disgusting green circle is how is it? Original Ronchamp Chapel twin brother ah!”
Twin brother ah indeed; that’s Corbu’s Notre Dame du Haut. Click through them all if you like, and make sure you translate the text. “Building Description: blunt ‘rocket’ shape, people speechless.” Sounds about right. Or this:
Building Description: Shaanxi weeks resembles the northern gate of the giant cigarette has recently become a hot spot network. From a distance, with a yellow "filter" pillars "Monkey King off the Monkey King Bar, or the Jade Emperor, learn to smoke?" Users have tucao. From the the Qiuku resembles Suzhou door to Liaoning Fushun "Circle of Life", an endless stream of fanciful landmark. Behind the huge amounts of money to build, they can play the corresponding value of practicality is still unknown.
That they can, indeed.
LISTS The 10 Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores. How many do you think are real, and how many are made up? The first one quotes a customer who wants a signed copy of a Shakespeare play. It’s possible the customer was joking. Perhaps the entire article could be called “10 Droll Jokes Bookstore Employees Fail to Get.”
ART NPR says a restoration efforts have found a 15th century Vatican fresco that shows the New World - or at least what they thought it looked like. This will lead to conspiracy theories, of course. There’s no way a painter in Italy could know such things! He was transported there by Masonic exploratory committees that went to America in 1359 to plant artifacts to make it look like the Vikings had been there in 837! Misdirection, that’s what they’re all about.
Okay. But if the Masons are such a supersecret all-powerful cabal, why do they have their own buildings and charities and membership drives? To hide in plain sight, of course. Brilliant!
Anyway. In related news that overuses the only adjective the internet knows besides “iconic,” io9 links to “Stunning posters” for all six original Star Trek movies. Most of these reimagined posters make sense only if you know the movie.
AWWWW The Huffpo says: Baby Goat Plays On Pig In Amazing Viral Video
Amazing? Standard barnyard antic, really. Here you go. Warning: amazement may not result.
Now send it to someone else, because it’s a Viral Video.
I’m much more partial to the Russian pit ball having a complicated relationship with a stick, complete with almost-comprehensible vocalizations.