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harry shearer le show / listen to his latest broadcasts or dig through the archives

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bob "dady-o" wade's lone star cafe iguana finds new home back on the range

via adman
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These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.
via wfmu blog
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BURGOYNE DILLER: Apparently, New York City had been voted a certain amount, or rather, granted a certain amount of money. A certain budgetary limitation was set up, but the funds would become available. Now understand, this means money to be spent. Therefore, you had to have people working to earn that money, and this comes to putting people to work. When I was called in there, it was an extraordinary situation because the thing had been just started in that past month or so, and what we were doing -- our job was to put people to work. But we had a doublefold responsibility. You can't put people to work at nothing. The only thing you could do immediately was to say, "Well here, try experimenting with some mural ideas," if you felt the man was capable of this work. You see, the work was submitted to a committee, and it was decided whether he could be an easel painter. Now that's easy. We all can paint, you see. Or a sculptor, you know -- "go off and prepare some sketches for a sculpture." You could put them to work immediately, but in a division like the mural division or architectural sculpture, it was a different thing, because we had to get the sponsorship of public institutions in order to assign anything. Those people we felt were more immediately able to start developing projects we assigned to just general thinking about the things, about the mural, because don't forget, very few men had had the opportunity of working on walls. We felt that if they just exercised a little bit until we could find them a sponsor, you see, why we'd be that much up on the game. I know that in my case it was a question of spending half the day, you know, on the committee, accepting the artists, enrolling them and assigning them to what I thought was reasonable that would help in the total picture that was developing. Then the other half or more of your time was spent in going out to city agencies and talking with people in public libraries and so on and having them request a mural. Now the commitment at the time on their part was really that they would have the mural. They could order a mural through the head of the department, through their agency and, as in the high school, for instance, if they were a grade school or a high school, or whatever, you'd have to go through the Board of Education and have the Board of Education make the request. But the original request came from the school itself. So we'd have to talk to the school principals and so on and say, "Well here, we've looked at your building, and we think there's an opportunity of having a mural in the auditorium, or in the hallways or something. It might be appropriate, and if you'd be interested and if they were, why we'd develop it from there. As fast as we could get these institutions committed to the sponsorship, then we could assign artists to make tentative sketches for the job. It was a problem really of, as I said -- we had to have men at work in order to use the money that had been designated for the area and for the activity. If you didn't have it, of course, the funds would probably be withdrawn. It was an impossible sort of task, but one that you thought you had to do something about. I think that in most cases it wasn't too difficult to secure sponsorship of high schools and libraries. I mean it took some considerable amount of talking perhaps and so on, but once they realized that this was something that was within their own discretionary powers, and that the work would be subject to their complete approval, they didn't feel too great a hesitancy about ordering, or becoming sponsors. I think the greatest threat to their acceptance would have been that work could have been put in there over their own decision of what they wanted. This couldn't be. By the way, this was a tremendous source of newspaper comment. You know the headlines in papers like the Journal-American and other papers, particularly the Journal-American, was anti-New Deal and so on, but you know these murals were being rammed down the public's throat and a communist mural had been torn down off the wall because it had these Red symbols in it and so on and so on. This was foisted down the taxpayer's throat and so on and so on. As a matter of fact, it didn't happen. It was silly because the thing that they charged was the Red Star of the Soviet Republic was the rear end of a Shell Gas truck that had a red star on it, you know the gas station has ...

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colin wilson the outsider

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The Fake Freeway Sign that Became a Real Public Service

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The Sign can only represent the Object and tell about it. It cannot furnish acquaintance with or recognition of that Object; for that is what is meant in this volume by the Object of a Sign; namely, that with which it presupposes an acquaintance in order to convey some further information concerning it. No doubt there will be readers who will say they cannot comprehend this. They think a Sign need not relate to anything otherwise known, and can make neither head nor tail of the statement that every Sign must relate to such an Object. But if there be anything that conveys information and yet has absolutely no relation nor reference to anything with which the person to whom it conveys the information has, when he comprehends that information, the slightest acquaintance, direct or indirect -and a very strange sort of information that would be- the vehicle of that sort of information is not, in this volume, called a Sign.
- cs pierce
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on trade signs

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hardware store display items on ebay

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my local bank (boa). i noticed theyd laid off the armed guard a while back, guess i wasnt the only one who noticed. geesh!

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Anything still on your to-do list?

I always wanted to publish a list of the clients who donít pay.

Itís a lousy practice. Do you think thereís more of it going on, and if so, why?

These men are sloshing around with millions and millions, and they are arrogant and they think they can get away with anything, and through the years they pretty much have.

Whatís the definition of luxury for this crowd?

Weíre still in a period of heavy consumption, because the appetite is still there, but now itís sort of underground. Once they have the four houses and the jet ó at least one ó and they have the yacht and the art collection, then what do they do? I canít say that this is the trend that it was shaping up to be before the recession, but the next thing I think is philanthropy. Because the rest is basically things, and things arenít enough.

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The oldest theory of art in the West is to be found in Plato, in Book X of ďThe Republic.Ē There, Socrates defines art as imitation. He then declares that it is very easy to get perfect imitations ó by means of mirrors. His intent is to show that art belongs to the domain of reflections, shadows, illusions, dreams. He proceeds to map the universe in terms of three degrees of reality. The highest reality is found in the domain of what he calls ďideas,Ē the forms of things. Ideas are grasped by the mind. The next degree of reality is possessed by ordinary objects, the kind carpenters make. The artist only know how ordinary objects look, as rendered in painting or drawings. The carpenterís knowledge is higher than the artistís: his beds, for example, hold the sleeping body or, more strenuously, bodies locked in love. The highest knowledge is possessed by those who grasp the idea of the bed, understanding how it supports the body. The lowest knowledge, if it is knowledge at all, is the artistís ability to draw pictures of beds. They only show appearances.

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beach refuge: water tank tower, shipping container, tents

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jack lenor larson


via reference library
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trains and boats and planes

Screens, Buses, Kegs, and Cranes

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greg allen's prince cowboy

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papalotes de colores - mexican pavilion, shanghai expo 2010

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chew MAIL POUCH tobacco barn paintings

We found a barn in Washington County, Pennsylvania with tall and narrow lettering. I asked Harley Warrick about the unusual lettering and he said, "The letters are just like Don Shires, the person who painted it, "tall and skinny." Another barn in Ritchie County, West Virginia is located on a seldom-traveled road and owned by a retired schoolteacher. I asked her why Mail Pouch would advertise in this location and she explained that "I was a friend of Samuel Bloch," one of the Mail Pouch owners.

Over the years Mail Pouch barns have the tendency to "ghost." This occurs after the barn has been painted many times. But why do some barns "ghost" and not others? Most barns were painted by Harley Warrick and he told a fellow barn hunter, Lonnie Schnauffer, that it was just as easy to cover the old sign and start with a new painting. I wonder why more barns don't "ghost." I imagine this question will never be satisfactorily answered.

My wife Thelma and I always check barns for initials and dates. This tells who painted the barn last and the year. The initials are usually found on the blue border although previously initials were located near the roof so that the eaves gave protection from the weather. The most common initial we find is "HW" for Harley Warrick. We also find "MT" which I believe is Mark Turley. "RW", "DM" and "TN" are initials we only found once. The barns with legible dates indicate most barns were painted every three to four years.

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deep water horizon response

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the painters palette

via things
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This book does a fabulous job of fleshing out Smith's life and work, for those who are unfamiliar with him, or who like myself, simply knew him as the compiler of the AAFM, a work that would inspire a host of folk music revivalists in the 1960's, not least of whom was Bob Dylan. Understanding Smith's obsessions with collecting and pattern-discovery shed some light on the origins and meaning of the AAFM. The story of the AAFM as it is described here is that Smith was commissioned by Moses Asch, the founder of Folkways Records to assemble a compilation of folk music. Smith, in essence became a deejay, selecting tracks from his massive library of 78's. The tracks he selected were from records produced "between 1927, when electronic recording made possible accurate music reproduction, and 1932 when the depression halted folk music sales" (30). His primary selection criteria were songs that were odd or exotic "in relation to what was considered to be the world culture of high class music" (30).

Smith, the authors included in this volume observe, was the quintessential modernist - living and working largely in isolation. Thus, Greil Marcus is led to characterize the AAFM as Smith "imposing his oddness, his own status as one who didn't belong and who may not even have wanted to, his own identity as someone unlike anyone else and someone who no one else would want to be, on the country itself" (184). This imposition, when added on top of the record companies' original commodification of folk music, was undoubtedly the death blow to folk music as a phenomena of local culture. Marcus describes it in this way:

In folk music, as it was conventionally understood when Smith did his work, the song sung the singer. The song embodies tradition; the singer's body was simply the vehicle that delivered the song. He or she could not intervene in the song, or in the story or predicament it described. The performance was not an event; when the song played, there was no history. But Smith's work is modernist: the singer sings the song (184).

It comes as little surprise, then, that the oddity embodied in the AAFM was embraced by the counterculture movement of the 1950's and 1960's. The peculiarity once representative of particular places and people became a commodity that could be sold and purchased as a sign of one's oddness. Robert Cantwell describes the ultimate conquest of the AAFM: "[Its] color only an aspect of a more comprehensive effacement that yields up an imagined people of no-race, no-time, no-place" (199). This triad of "no-race, no-time, no-place" has, of course, become familiar to us today as a fundamental and oppressive falsehood of modern global consumerism.

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