But we do have burgers - Fargo style!  Bizjournals says we’re going to get a NoDak burger chain:

JL Beers, a Fargo, N.D.-based restaurant that's expanded to several locations throughout the Dakotas, will open Twin Cities locations as part of a new franchising deal.

I’ve been there. Long narrow joint with 3,264,829 beers. Give or take. Hence the name, I guess; it’s not JLBurgers, so adjust your expectations accordingly. The burgers were pretty good, though; one of those places that offers innumerable customization options.

But why don’t we have an In-and-Out Burger? Good question.(TM)The 'CCO article notes that we don’t have a Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, and that’s true. But we did. Right? I didn’t hallucinate that half-decade Krispy Kreme incursion, did I? And I know there was a Dunkin’ Donuts at 70th and Penn before it became a bagel shop. This was before Dunkin’ became famous for its coffee, as opposed to its confectionary pastries, and I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. 

Somehow, someone discovered that this particular institutional roast, mass-produced on an unimaginably fast scale, is superior to the boutique coffee offered by an upscale chain so conscious of its image it sells CDs that seek to align the independent, thoughtful, tasteful sounds of certain artists with your conception of the company and its products. As opposed to just giving you a cup of joe.

Most coffee-shop coffee strikes me as burnt and winey. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is for people who want just coffee, okay, hot and fresh and good, and they don’t want anyone to think they went to McDonald’s.

As for Dunkin’ Donuts in this market, I have a suspicion (journo-speak for “too lazy to even Google it") that they bought Mister Donut, converted them to DDs, and left us bereft. So I remember, anyway. 

Okay, I'll google it. Jeez.

 Well, I’m right. DD bought Mr. D and converted the North American stores. The brand remains popular in Japan, which has ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED stores. Sorry to shout, but that means there will be peculiar commercials. Let’s see what they have.



Hold on, you say: aren’t Japanese brands required to have cute mascots with simplistic facial features? Coming right up:



Happy? Good.


PARODY The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator:



Don’t know if that’s a generator in the true sense of randomizing things for infinite combos, but you’ll probably tire of it before it repeats itself. Via this New Yorker article on the decline of book-cover art. The author has a good point, and the rise of self-publishing means it’s only going to get worse. It also means it’s less relevant, since the titles are just thumbnails on an e-reader. On the other hand, the author says:

Getting to design your own book cover is the sort of ultimately maddening power that probably shouldn’t be entrusted to vain mortals. It’s a little like getting to choose your own face. What kind of face would best express your inner self? Maybe more important, what kind of face will make other people like or respect or want to sleep with you? Do these two hypothetical faces bear any resemblance to each other? Can you imagine a face that would combine their best features?

There’s often an embarrassing disconnect between how people try to present themselves and how they’re actually perceived, which is why they ask their friends to tell them honestly how they look in something—and why publishing houses hire professional designers for books’ covers and allow their authors very little say over them.

William Shawn’s ghost just put his hand over his eyes and shook his head from side to side, almost imperceptibly.



The Brutalist architectural style was popular in the mid-twentieth century. Any time you see a giant, cement building with a thick, angular silhouette — you can thank Brutalism.

Almost right. It was popular with no one but a few architects and taste-deprived clients who forced the monstrosities on everyone else, and you don’t thank Brutalism, you blame it.

That said, they have pictures of Brutalist buildings that might be good settings for sci-fi dystopias. Some aren’t Brutalist, but just . . . bad. I don’t even have to read the comments to know there’s some people who say “actually I think these are cool” complete with Confession Bear.

No one's submitted our own Brutalist building . . . yet.