Sixteen below when I sent Daughter off to the bus stop. That was sufficient cause to suspend school a while ago. Today: eh. Perhaps they assume kids have been sufficiently toughened and winnowed.

TECH This Wired piece says “Today’s Apps Are Turning Us Into Sociopaths.” Uh huh.

While I am far from a Luddite who fetishizes a life without tech, we need to consider the consequences of this latest batch of apps and tools that remind us to contact significant others, boost our willpower, provide us with moral guidance, and encourage us to be civil. Taken together, we’re observing the emergence of tech that doesn’t just augment our intellect and lives — but is now beginning to automate and outsource our humanity.

He goes on to describe something called BroApp, which he admits may be a parody. It sends “automated daily text messages” to your girlfriend. This does not turn you into a sociopath; if you believed that automated canned sentiment will do the trick and save you some time, you may be one already. Or more likely just selfish and manipulativeg. Really, if you're buying something called BroApp you’re already a Bro, and the app isn’t going to infuse you with additional Bronosity. BroApp even sounds like a long ripe beer belch.

Related, maybe: Here’s something I didn’t know. The name of the Bitcoin exchange that was hacked and shuttered was Mt. Gox. right? Daily Dot:

The joke here is that the name MtGox doesn’t actually refer to a mountain. It’s an acronym for Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange; the site originally started as a place for fans of of the tabletop fantasy card game to buy and sell their cards.

Somehow that fits.

THE FUTURE The tumblr about “Beer Labels in Motion” is exactly what you think: animated beer labels. Some day they’ll actually look like this.

Related, maybe: the Morton Salt girl is updated for its 100th birthday; here’s a look at the logo’s evolution. Interesting how she looked at the customer with a cheerful expression in 1956, then looked away in 1968, as if contemplating something private. She’s never looked at us since.

DESSERT Ben & Jerry’s has some new flavors. Here’s how the site “Hello Giggle” describes the company:

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are kind of living out a childhood best friend dream come true, aren’t they? Making ice cream as a job, coming up with witty pop culture flavors when they feel like it, working together every day, and eternal fame in New England? What more could anyone want?


In April 2000, Ben & Jerry's sold the company to Anglo-Dutch multinational food giant Unilever.[12] Unilever said it hopes to carry on the tradition of engaging "in these critical, global economic and social missions". Although the founders' names are still attached to the product, they do not hold any board or management position and are not involved in day-to-day management of the company.

But other than that, yes, totally awesome in the dream-coming-true department. The new ice cream flavors sound delicious indeed, but I can’t figure out why no one ever attacks Big Ice Cream when it comes to attacking obesity and marketing. Soda, sugar, fast-food - but never ice cream. It’s almost as if it gets a pass because it’s the one thing the critics couldn’t imagine giving up.

URBAN DESIGN The Pentagon Park plan is on again. They want to tear down the ultra-50s office complex and build a half-billion dollar project. The Pentagon tower is an odd and distinctive structure, but there’s no saving it; no one will say it’s historic. Things come and go. Such as: The Richmond and Landour Hotels.

I ran across this while digitizing some old postcards, and finally found out where it was. Here:

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Fair trade. Some details of the site:

Cedar Lake Ice Co. was at Hidden Beach. Wikipedia:

Before 1860, Cedar Lake had a much different shape, and most of the woods surrounding Hidden Beach, particularly to the south east, were areas of water and wetland instead. In 1867 the southeast bay of Cedar Lake was filled in to create a major train yard and in 1878 a large scale ice cutting operation known as Cedar Lake Ice Company was founded on the lake’s north eastern shore, which shipped ice to places as far away as St. Louis. By 1900 Dingley’s boat house occupied the end of a thin peninsula on the eastern side of the lake, which eventually widened and became the site of today’s Hidden Beach. Despite the large railway operations going on nearby, the land surrounding Cedar Lake’s eastern shore was sold to build houses, hotels, and other such structures between 1908 and 1975. 

Elsewhere around town in teh 1940s:

Minneapolitans who know what the city used to look like can probably guess: the big rusting falling-down skid-row of Washington Avenue. It’s here:

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Not so good a trade.

VotD Stick ‘em up! C’mon, man, stick ‘em up! Please? Hey - hey, let go!