Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cookie Fortune (Typo)

Handsome is that handsome dose [sic].

Daily Numbers: 0 3 5
Lotto Six #'s: 22 4 29 32 8 76


related link

I Love You, I Hate You

Knock It Off

September 18, 2008

To the blond prada wearing woman on the R5 express train. How about backing off of the bran and flax seed breakfast...everytime I sit next to you on the train, I think that your hot until you blast off a ten killaton fart repeatedly and look at me like I'm the asshole. You're hot but your ass smells and your killling my play with the rest of the ladies on the car.


September 19th 2008 10:21 AM (6 days ago) | Posted by: Miz Val

I wet my pants laughing so hard at this love/hate.

Funny thing is the people that live in that area do think their shit is ice cream and everyone is running for a spoon.

Guess the writer proved them wrong huh .

Humorous Horoscope

Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, 2008

Gemini (May 21 to June 20)

It's good you are having a great time on your own because people are starting to get annoyed with your attitude.

-- click here for more Horoscopes by Caroline James

Bar Napkins & Beer

From Last Thursday or Friday


Really good questions and some half-baked answers about the bailout

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cookie Fortune

Nature, time and patience are
the three great physicians.

Daily Numbers: 0 5 5
Lotto Six #'s: 8 40 20 33 3 21

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last Chance

Amble Gallery & Books Presents:

by The Love Movement
14 September 2008 - 5 October 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life Is A Verb by Patti Digh

Bust Your Toast Rules

Any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it. - Henry David Thoreau

As my plane touched down, I could see the heat waving to me from the tarmac, a harbinger of sweat and grumpiness. It was a day in which even your sweat hurts, stings, burns, and people just plain bother you.

“Let’s do some planning before dinner,” I said to David when we met at the hotel. We sweated our way to a café, one where I used to eat when I lived in D.C., a café that shall remain nameless unless you happen to know of a place near Dupont Circle with a bookstore in the front and restaurant in the back. I’m just saying.

Only four tables were occupied. It was a little after 3:00 pm, so the lunch crowd was back at work and the dinner crowd was dreaming of 5 o’clock.

“Could I get you something to drink?” the waiter asked.

“Do you have Earl Grey tea?” I asked. He nodded yes. “Then I’ll have that.”

“A cup of coffee, black,” David added. We talked as the waiter left: I was hungry—hadn’t had anything before my flight—but I just needed a little something to tide me over until dinner.

“What can I get you?” the waiter asked when he came back with our drinks, smiling pleasantly. “Nothing for me,” David said.

“What I’d really love,” I answered, “is a piece of toast and this side of avocado slices,” pointing to the menu.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the waiter said, beginning a statement that would mark The End of Modern Civilization as We Know It. “I’m sorry, but it’s past toast time.”


“Past toast time?”

“Yes, ma’am, it’s past toast time.”

I slowly turned to look at David who was smiling the smile of a man who is unsure what will happen next.

“Wow. And here I never actually knew that there was an official toast time.” The waiter nodded, now impatient, what with all my incredulous blinking cutting into his smoking break. Evidently it’s always cigarette time.

“Well,” I said sweetly, “I just never knew you could actually go past toast time. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if you have bread and a toaster, it’s pretty much always toast time.”



“That’s some toast rule,” I said instead. “I’ll just have the side of avocado slices then.”

He blinked. “Well,” he said slowly, “I’ll ask. I don’t believe that’s possible.” He left.

“What’s to ask?” I asked David. “What’s to believe? This isn’t a religion we’re talking about—it’s avocado slices. They’re on the menu,” I said plaintively.

Suddenly, on that hot humid Washington day, I had been transported to a Denny’s in Eugene, Oregon. My name was Jack Nicholson, I was playing the role of piano prodigy Bobby Dupea, and I was starring in a movie called Five Easy Pieces, just trying to get a plain omelet, tomatoes instead of potatoes, and some wheat toast. “No substitutions,” his waitress said. “Only what’s on the menu.” I’m sure he was as incredulous as I was. “You’ve got bread. And a toaster of some kind?” he asked. “I’ll make it as easy for you as I can. I’d like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.”

The waiter arrived back at our table. “I’m sorry,” he said with a smile, “but They told me that giving you avocado would break every rule known to man.”

Every Rule Known To Man. I couldn’t make this up. Forget my irritation at the invocation of “They.” Every rule? Every Single Rule? That’s some exciting avocado. I want me some of that avocado.

I was Yossarian trying to save a bombardier and facing Catch-22: “Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; but soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions…If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of Catch-22. ‘That’s some catch, that Catch-22,’ he observed. ‘It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agreed.”

“But it’s on the menu,” I said. I pointed to the menu. “Right here, see?”

“Yes,” he answered,” but sides only come with entrees. We can’t serve sides without entrees.”

My lord, there is so much I don’t know. I am sometimes just plain overwhelmed by the fact that not only can I not remember more than three places of pi, don’t really know how to change a tire or speak Urdu, and keep losing my calendar, but somehow—how, oh how is this possible?—I have gotten to this advanced age without ever knowing that sides depend on entrees.

“Well, then,” I said simply, “we wouldn’t want to break every rule known to man.” He left for his Cigarette Time which evidently extends far past Toast Time and isn’t subject to the vast vagaries of Customer Time. I quietly reached into my bag, pulled out The Camera, and started taking photographs of the menu, knowing that the Toast Rule and Side Rule would be a source of great inspiration to me much later in life, like now.

excerpt from LIFE IS A VERB by Patti Digh
pages 99-101
artwork - page 103
courtesy of Leah Piken Kolidas
published by skirt!

Patti Digh's award-winning blog, 37days, focuses on challenges for living more intentionally.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Collector

About where the books and pamphlets I write about come from...

John Ptak looks through one of the journals of yesteryear.

JF Ptak Science Books LLC

"I've been asked a few times this week about the source of the materials that I write about. The overwhelming majority of the books and pamphlets are right here, in my store or warehouse, so I see alot of this stuff everyday, currency of the realm and all that. Most of the odd things that are found in my blog--flagpole painting, zipper repair, finding England in the Great Pyramid, building the Great Pyramid in Detroit, and so on) have come to me via the Library of Congress, where for many years I managed to purchase/trade for bits and pieces of their surplus. One large purchase in particular from the LC--the 90,000-item "Pamphlet Collection--has provided thousands of the sublime mundane, naive surreal masterpieces that I've found so irresistible. Most of this material hasn't found a place in my store, which as you now know specializes in classics in modern physics and mathematics, but I do hope to be able to place them as a collection at some dim point in the future. I would love to generate a few books out of them, and I think that a choice 500 of them or so would make a tremendous show somewhere (Brooklyn?) as a Found Art, Unexpected Dadaist, The Surprise of the Naive Surreal, show or some such thing, showing a marriage of design, outsider intellect and sublime mundane. There are at the very least several thousands of these things from the Pamphlet Collection that are gorgeous and so unexpected, that are such intellectual (or non-intellectual) surprises, that they would (I think) make for a bang-up show.

"And so that's where these things come from. They come to be posted by chance, generally because I bump into one of these things while looking for something else."

--John Ptak

posted entry via:

Ptak Science Books

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two Views

Christine M. Flowers:

An Obama-nation on immigration

First, Barack Obama insulted rural Pennsylvanians, among others, by calling them bitter, clinging to their guns and religion. He said it at a private fund-raiser in San Francisco wine and cheese country, where the sky is as blue as the voters, and apparently thought the rubes would remain blissfully ignorant of his disdain.

But the guy is big on bilingualism. And now he's trying the same thing again - this time in Spanish.

The Obama campaign has just come out with new TV and radio ads trying to link John McCain with racism. And he's given this smear a "muy caliente" multicultural twist. The TV ad features derogatory comments about Latinos presumably made by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. Limbaugh, of course, is unhappy. He says that his comments were taken out of context. (In an election year, imagine that!)

But I don't care about Limbaugh. For one thing, he and I are borders apart on immigration reform. For another, he's perfectly capable of defending himself against the junior senator of Illinois and his crew.

What I do care about is the false impression Obama is trying to create by encouraging Latinos to believe that John McCain and George Bush are not only racist but anti-immigrant as well.

Flashing pictures of the GOP candidate and the president in the same frame, a disembodied voice implies that "they" derailed immigration reform.

It goes on: "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families."

Neither Bush nor McCain were successful in their efforts because of congressional gridlock brought on by fierce public opposition. Ironically, this was one of the few times that rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans agreed on something: Secure that border first. (*)

That battle will continue well beyond this election cycle. And I continue to hope that the misleading labels are erased, and we can finally talk some sense about immigration.

But the time is obviously not now, and the person to do it is definitely not Obama.

What the Democratic nominee is trying to do is appeal to a demographic he desperately needs in November.

The senator from Illinois is trying to convince Latino voters that he's on their side and that the other guy is aiming to deport their families. This is what his Spanish-speaking surrogate says on the radio: "Don't forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party."

Nice way to twist the truth.

Obama seems to think if he just keeps beating that drum long enough, voters will fall in line. They won't need to know if the lyrics are true - they'll just fall for the seductive rhythms.

In pandering to Latinos who voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton during the primaries, Obama has shown that, contrary to his campaign's accusations, he's the one playing the race card in this election. Only this time it's brown, not black.

excerpted from Obamanation On Immigration
by C.M. Flowers

published Sept. 19, 2007
Philadelphia Daily News

counterview plus link to ads:


Practically family--Obama ads in Spanish

This in from my friend Molly Layton:

Here's an example of the ads for Obama that [Molly's son] David's production company, Picture Box, is producing out of Austin, TX. Picture Box is composed of my son David and two other guys, and they are producing all the Spanish language commercials for Obama. David just returned from Las Vegas where he shot footage of Obama for more ads. Viva la Vida!

I loved the ad even without understanding much of the language! After watching McCain attack ads so misleading they are tantamount to outright lies, I'm glad to see Obama sticking to the facts while skewering back.

Posted by Libby Rosof
Thursday, September 18, 2008


in addition to viewing the Obama ad, read the comments section from the link provided by Artblog. interesting stuff...


(*) Immigration Deception

"It [the immigration reform bill] was killed by a firestorm of talk-radio rage and a Republican-led filibuster. The very bill that [Senator John] McCain now mourns is the one he sidled away from as his own party weakened and killed it. It’s the one he says he would now vote against.

"For Mr. McCain to suggest that [Senator Barack] Obama opposes the “path to citizenship” and “guest worker program” compounds his dishonesty. Mr. Obama supports the three pillars of comprehensive reform — tougher enforcement, expanded legal immigration and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here.

"Mr. McCain is also leading a party whose members rabidly oppose the path to citizenship. So, in deference to them, Mr. McCain now emphasizes border security as the utmost priority. Except when he’s pandering in Spanish."

The New York Times
Editorial (excerpt)
published Friday, Sept. 19, 2008
page A18

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Pop Vs Soda Map

When on a hot summer’s day you buy a carbonated beverage to quench your thirst, how do you order it? Do you ask for a soda, a pop or something else? That question lay at the basis of an article in the Journal of English Linguistics (Soda or Pop?, #24, 1996) and of a map, showing the regional variation in American English of the names given to that type of drink.

The article was written by Luanne von Schneidemesser, PhD in German linguistics and philology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and senior editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. And although there might be weightier issues in life (or even in linguistics) than the preferred terminology for a can of soft drink, there’s nothing trivial about this part of the beverage industry.

“According to an article last year in the Isthmus, Madison’s weekly newspaper, Americans drink so much of the carbonated beverages sold under such brand names as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew, and 7-Up that consumption averages 43 gallons per year for every man, woman, and child in the United States,” Von Schneidemesser begins her article. “The Statistical Abstract of the United States (1994) confirms this: 44.1 gallons per person in 1992, compared to the next most consumed beverages: beer (32.7 gallons), coffee (27.8 gallons), and milk (25.3 gallons).”

It must be that ubiquity of soft drinks that has made this pop vs soda map the single-most submitted map to this blog, sent in by over 100 contributors. The map details the areas where certain usages predominate.

* coke: this generic term for soft drinks predominates throughout the South, New Mexico, central Indiana and in a few other single counties in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. ‘Coke’ obviously derives from Coca-Cola, the brand-name of the soft drink originally manufactured in Atlanta (which explains its use as a generic term for all soft drinks in the South).

* pop: dominates the Northwest, Great Plains and Midwest. The world ‘pop’ was introduced by Robert Southey, the British Poet Laureate (1774-1843), to whom we also owe the word ‘autobiography’, among others. In 1812, he wrote: A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because ‘pop goes the cork’ when it is drawn. Even though it was introduced by a Poet Laureate, the term ‘pop’ is considered unsophisticated by some, because it is onomatopaeic.

* soda: prevalent in the Northeast, greater Miami, the area in Missouri and Illinois surrounding St Louis and parts of northern California. ‘Soda’ derives from ‘soda-water’ (also called club soda, carbonated or sparkling water or seltzer). It’s produced by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in plain water, a procedure developed by Joseph Priestly in the latter half of the 18th century. The fizziness of soda-water caused the term ‘soda’ to be associated with later, similarly carbonated soft drinks.

* Other, lesser-used terms include ‘dope’ in the Carolinas and ‘tonic’ in and around Boston, both fading in popularity. Other generic terms for soft drinks outside the US include ‘pop’ (Canada), ‘mineral’ (Ireland), ‘soft drink’ (New Zealand and Australia). The term ‘soft drink’, finally, arose to contrast said beverages with hard (i.e. alcoholic) drinks.

This map was found here at the popvssoda website, dedicated to gathering info on the usage of pop, soda, coke and other variant terms throughout the US.


Imagery & Text via Strange Maps (click for other interesting maps and information)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Humorous Horoscope

Sept. 14 through Sept. 20, 2008

Leo (July 21 to Aug. 21)

Acting like a pleasant person makes you a more pleasant person. It's been some time since people have enjoyed your company.

click here for more weekly horoscopes by Caroline James

On This Day

Monday, September 15th
The 259th day of 2008.
There are 107 days left in the year.

On Sept. 15, 1963, four black girls were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, in the deadliest act of the civil rights era.

On Sept. 15, 1857, William Howard Taft, the only person to serve as both United States president and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born.

On this date in:

1776 - British forces occupied New York City during the American Revolution.

1789 - The U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.

1821 - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador became independent from Spain.

1857 - William Howard Taft, the 27th president who later served as chief justice, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1917 - Russia was proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government.

1935 - The Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of their citizenship and made the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.

1940 - The Royal Air Force inflicted heavy losses on the Luftwaffe as the tide turned in the Battle of Britain during World War II.

1950 - During the Korean War, United Nations forces landed at Inchon in the south and began their drive toward Seoul.

1997 - The IRA-allied Sinn Fein party entered Northern Ireland's peace talks for the first time.

2001 - President George W. Bush identified Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and told Americans to prepare for a long, difficult war against terrorism.

2003 - The WUSA, a women's professional soccer league, shut down after three seasons.

2004 - National Hockey League owners agreed to lock out the players. (The 2004-05 season was eventually canceled.)

2005 - President George W. Bush, addressing the nation from storm-ravaged New Orleans, acknowledged the government failed to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina and urged Congress to approve a massive reconstruction program.

2006 - Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, agreed to plead guilty to two criminal charges in the congressional corruption probe spawned by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The Green Mind of Republicans

"[Senator Barack] Obama's views might more closely resemble your own, but should he win in November, the climate-change debate will remain essentially static. If [Sen. John] McCain wins, the official Republican position transforms, shifting the entire framework of the discussion toward the environmentalist side. If you actually believe global warming is one of the great threats facing America, it's hard to see why you wouldn't vote for McCain. Of course, in the real world, calculations aren't made so rationally."

--Jonathan V. Last
Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion Columnist

Friday, September 12, 2008

FLOWERS... A Weekly Comedy Of Conservative Commentary

Feminists' biggest nightmare: Stepford Sarah

FEMINISTS were spitting-mad at Barack Obama the other day.

Gloria Allred held a news conference at which she excoriated the Democratic nominee for implying that Sarah Palin, a sitting governor, was a cosmetically enhanced pork chop.

Kim Gandy spoke for the National Organization for Women when she said, "All women should be outraged at this affront to an accomplished professional and loving mother."

Nancy Pelosi, fresh from giving theological lessons to Pope Benedict, issued a statement: "I am deeply disappointed that Sen. Obama has shown such disrespect towards the hottest guv from the coolest state."

You can wake up now.

What really happened is that all those high-profile women who usually attack any conservative who fails to worship at the Altar of the Ovary kept mum. Even worse, they said that Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment was really directed at John McCain.

Anna Quindlen, the sassy Pulitzer Prize winner who has hoodwinked some folks into thinking she's a good Catholic, had this to say about Palin: "Amid the drumbeat of female Amazonian competence occasioned by the Palin nomination ran one deeply discordant assumption, the assumption that women are strong and smart and sure and yet neither sentient nor moral enough to decide what to do if they are pregnant under difficult circumstances."

THERE IT IS: Unless you agree that women have the right to derail a pregnancy, you're a knuckle-dragging misogynist.

Even if you yourself have a uterus.

Yup, Palin just can't win. She's got the plumbing for NOW membership, just not the lemminglike philosophy. And because of that, making fun of her isn't sexist. For feminists, and the men who want to date them, it's a sworn duty.

The Obamazons believe that Palin will be vice president only when pigs fly. Imagine their faces when they look up on Nov. 5 and see lipstick in the trees.

excerpted from No Stepfords For Sarah
by Christine M. Flowers

published Friday, Sept. 12, 2008
Philadelphia Daily News


the flying pigs campaign

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Food by Patrick

Veal chop with rosemary

The canonical way to cook veal is with tarragon, but I decided to use rosemary instead because I have it fresh. I pulverized a bunch in my heavy Thai mortar with salt and pepper, mixed it with olive oil to make a paste and marinated the chop in that. Then seared both sides in more olive oil at high heat, deglazed the pan with vermouth, and finished it off in the oven at 375 for another 6 or 7 minutes.

The rest of the meal was a baguette and buttered green beans. Wine was a $15 Marques de Riscal rioja - can’t remember the year. It was tasty, but a white would have been a better pairing.

click here for previous Food by Patrick entries plus music information from Matador Records

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall Exhibitions

fall exhibitions



Walkthrough with artist Douglas Blau and ICA Senior Curator Ingrid Schaffner

To open the season, ICA is pleased to present new work by New York artist Douglas Blau. This will be Blau's first exhibition of new work in nearly a decade. The exhibition also features an earlier piece The Conversation Piece (1993/1995), which depicts political dialogue in all its variety, from tête-à-têtes to the legislative body, throughout the ages. Douglas Blau creates picture epics and episodes from uniformly framed collages of printed matter. Postcards, film stills, images of paintings and photographs, pictures of all kinds are cut and pasted into individual collage elements. These are composed into sequences, strips and grids, based on formal and narrative associations that flow from frame-to-frame. The big picture is depiction itself.


Walkthrough with collector Eric Sack and ICA Associate Curator Jenelle Porter

This career-spanning survey is organized around specific themes and ideologies critical to Robert Crumb's work. These include social satire, sex, blues and jazz music, mind-altering substances, autobiography, and biography. The show spotlights collaborations from Crumb's early San Francisco days in the 1960s and 1970s, to recent work with his wife, cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb. Extending far beyond comics, this exhibit of over 100 works—including early comics, greeting cards, collaborations, and sketchbooks, as well as drawings and sculptures—is the most substantial portrait of Crumb to date in the United States.


Walkthrough with artist Kate Gilmore and ICA Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Stamatina Gregory

Kate Gilmore loves a challenge. For her performance-based video works, she sets up a difficult physical task—a precarious tower of strung-together furniture to climb, for instance—dons lipstick and a fancy dress, and documents herself making the attempt. She has jumped rope on a perforated wooden platform while wearing stilettos (Double Dutch, 2004), ascended a slippery ramp in rollerskates (Cake Walk, 2005), and forced her satin-clad body through a tiny tunnel (Main Squeeze, 2006). For the Project Space, Gilmore has constructed a new challenge and stars in a corresponding video, to be shown alongside several earlier video works.


Walkthrough with artist Odili Donald Odita and ICA Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Stamatina Gregory

Odili Donald Odita's large-scale, abstract wall paintings operate at the intersection of Western modernism and African culture. Borrowing strategies of destabilized perception from Op art—a tradition condemned by formalist criticism—and adding narrative and multicultural inflection, Odita both embraces and critiques the modernist tradition. His vast, animated expanses of fractured, rhythmic planes, equally informed by television test band patterns, African textiles, post-colonial discourse, sensory overload, and digital technology, speak to a contemporary experience of dislocation and decenteredness. This is the 16th commission in ICA's Ramp Project Series. For the Ramp, Odita has designed and executed a dynamic work that responds to the unique architecture of the space.

* Free admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania for the public is sponsored by the Glenn R. Fuhrman (W87/WG88) Fund.

Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289 · 215.898.5911

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prayers at an Exhibition

Bhutan's Art and the Monks Who Protect It

"Now that I am here, I feel like a dumb man in a chapel."

Cowering slightly in a corner in ruby and orange robes were two shy visitors, Lama Karma Tenzin and Lopen Sonam Wangchuk, monks from the remote Himalayan Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan. They had arrived in New York six days earlier on a weighty mission: to appease and console, through daily prayer and meditation, a fleet of protective deities.

For the next four months the monks will live in Greenwich Village and spend their days at the Rubin, on West 17th Street in Chelsea. Twice daily they will perform puja rituals in the museum galleries to safeguard the spiritual well-being of the sacred artworks, which have traveled here for “The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan,” an exhibition that is to open on Sept. 19.

Buddhist belief holds that these objects actually embody the deities and lamas, or holy men, whose images and life stories they portray. Most of these objects have never traveled outside Bhutan, and the Bhutanese government let them go on the condition that they be spiritually chaperoned, as it were, by a changing roster of monks during the exhibition’s two-year journey from museum to museum.

The first comprehensive exhibition of Bhutanese sacred art in the United States, it made its first stop at the Honolulu Academy of Art in February. The 87 objects in the Rubin show — ancient bronze sculptures inlaid with gold and turquoise, long horn trumpets, more than 40 intricate and colorful thangka paintings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries — offer an unparalleled glimpse into the spiritual and artistic riches of a nation that today possesses the world’s most intact Vajrayana, or Tantric, Buddhist culture, having never been conquered, invaded or colonized.

Unlike the objects in the Rubin Museum’s permanent collection of Himalayan art, the works in the show are still consecrated objects, having been culled by exhibition curators and the Bhutanese government from among Bhutan’s 2,007 active temples, monasteries and dzongs, or fortress-monasteries.

The works in the exhibition are not only national treasures, said Ramon Prats, the museum’s senior curator, “but also living icons, whose sacredness must be maintained.”

To that purpose, five monks from central Bhutan relocated for the show’s duration in Honolulu, where in addition to fulfilling their spiritual duties they developed a taste for Costco pizza and learned to paddle surf.

In New York, Lama Karma and Lopen Sonam, who both hail from eastern Bhutan, will perform the same rituals the other monks did: morning purification, which involves a hand mirror and blessed saffron water, and evening prayers to reassure the protective deities and lamas that the objects are in safe hands and will be returning to Bhutan soon. Visitors will watch them create sand mandalas and demonstrate how to make tormas, small prayer cakes used as offerings.

What they will do in their slivers of free time remains to be seen. Less than a week into their visit, they confessed in an interview in the Rubin’s cafe that they were still terrified to leave their apartment without their translator, Tashi Dorji, an amiable Bhutanese graduate student in international affairs at Columbia University.

Lopen Sonam, who is 24 and teaches English at Trashigang Dzong, an imposing white fortress in far eastern Bhutan, had never traveled outside his country. Much of what he has seen and experienced in New York is a lifetime first: first escalator, first automatic revolving door, first traffic light, first skyscraper. The tallest building in Bhutan is six stories high, he said.

“That is the biggest surprise: the buildings here are so big, taller even than they look on television,” he said. (Television, along with the Internet, arrived in Bhutan in 1999.)

Lama Karma, 37, once visited Hong Kong but had still been concerned about adapting to city life. In Bhutan he heads a monastery that has no electricity and is accessible only by a 12-hour hike from the nearest road.

“Coming from a remote place, I worried how I would deal with such a busy place,” he said, speaking in his native language, Dzongkha, as Mr. Dorji translated. “Now that I am here, I feel like a dumb man in a chapel,” he said — that is, Mr. Dorji explained, like a man so awestruck by a temple’s wonders that he cannot speak.

click here for complete NY Times article

by Jaime Gross
plus additiional photographs by
Ruth Fremsom

Editorial Humor & More

Sarah Palin: an A+ on being untested

John McCains's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president has taken everyone by surprise, even John McCain. Coming from the unexplored land of Al-as-Ka, on most maps a blank spot labeled "Beware of Snowbeasts," little is known about the enigmatic Palin. It's clear she's a woman and she also wears glasses, meaning she's either very smart or wants to look that way. She's also the kind of candidate Republicans love - possessing extreme conservative views but little record of acting on them, making her palatable to independents and the easily fooled. Conflicting stories abound as to how McCain met her, ranging from speed-dating to Craigslist, but nobody's explained why she got the job. What's the deal?

click here for complete column by Elliott Kalan


To the Editor:

What a hilarious sight to watch the Republican Party in St. Paul repudiating the nearly eight-year record of the Republican Party in Washington and then asking us to trust the Republican Party to extricate the nation from the mess the Republican Party has created.

Leonard Boasberg

Wayne, Pa., Sept. 5, 2008

published Saturday, September 6, 2008
The New York Times


click here for Tony Auth (Archives)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Palin Veeps What She Sows


THE CHERRY on top of Wednesday's Sarah Palin speech - and the frenzy of interest over her candidancy - came the morning after, in the form of a celebrity- news item: Jamie Lynn Spears reached out to potential First Baby Mama Bristol Palin and sent her a gift from a Hollywood store.

The item was later denied by the Spears camp, but the story helps crystallize a few underlying strains in the country's fascination with Palin and her family, a fascination fueled rather than dampened by her convention appearance.

The applied veneer of celebrity culture over presidential politics shouldn't be a surprise, but it is a disappointment, given how much is at stake in November. Palin might represent a fresh face that could bring positive change in Washington, but we suspect she's just the latest novelty in the Longest Presidential Race in History.

From the time John McCain's choice was announced, Palin's story - Troopergate, Juno in Juneau, a husband who wants Alaska to secede from the union, her experience being mayor of a town of under 10,000 - has become a distraction from the serious issues this election should be about. It may give us plenty to talk about, but they are the wrong things to be talking about. Was that the Republicans' intent?

We must admit, it was refreshing to hear a Republican acknowledge the messiness of families. "From the inside," Palin said, "no family ever seems typical." She deftly and affectionately introduced her family, calling her husband "quite a package." Though she and her husband say they are proud of Bristol's choice, they didn't acknowledge the irony that if Palin could, she would eliminate that choice from her daughter and every other daughter in the country.

We are impatient with the complaints from Palin and other Republicans that the liberal media - they say it like it's a bad thing! - are smearing her and attacking her family, which should be off-limits.

Republicans: If you define your candidate as a hockey mom, her family isn't off-limits.

The Republicans' obsession with the "executive experience" that Palin is able to offer is maybe because that's all she does offer. But there is no template for what executive decision-making involves: We asked people who should know and got as many answers as people we questioned. One of those was Don Kettl, the recent head of University of Pennsylvania Fels School of Government, who says, "We know it when we see it." Surely being in charge of a large organization qualifies, he says, but it doesn't necessarily show the capacity to handle the White House.

And keep in mind: The entire population of the state of Alaska would fill only half our city. Knowing how to get things done in Alaska doesn't give you instant knowledge of how things get done in Washington.

Whatever the case, we also know this: Quite a few other presidents couldn't boast of executive experience, either. Thomas Jefferson was one. So was Abraham Lincoln.

The red meat Palin threw to the hungry crowds at the Republican convention showed how hungry they were. But John McCain needs to deliver meat and potatoes, and be clear about how exactly he intends to solve the real problems facing our country. The country can't afford to be distracted by novelty much longer.

published Fri., Sept. 2, 2008
The Daily Views Editorial Page (A17)
Philadelphia Daily News

FLOWERS... A Weekly Conservative Comedy

Sarah Palin, GOP Wonder Woman

TAKE that, Barack. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Hillary. Deal with it, Nancy - and Harry.

Get ready to sweat. Sarah Barracuda is here. And she's headed to a town near you.

On Wednesday night, the governor of Alaska showed the rest of America what John McCain already knew: She's definitely ready for prime time.

And how.

She talked about national security. She talked about energy. She talked about taxes.

Utterly knowledgeably.

But this isn't what we were listening for. Those of us who fervently hope that Team Obama won't be taking over the White House come January were looking for something else, something intangible. Something to convince us McCain hadn't made a mistake in choosing an unknown from the icy north to be his second in command.

She had us at hello.

Or rather, "Thank you."

Palin rose above all of the dirt and innuendo thrown at her by the liberal peanut gallery, nutroots and Obama surrogates and showed the kind of character that can't be supplied by campaign managers or conjured up in pretty speeches. Unlike the senator from Illinois, who has based his entire candidacy on dreams and ambiguity, the governor of Alaska spoke the language of real life. Fluently.

I'm not a person who likes to play identity politics. It doesn't matter to me what color you are, what gender, or with whom you're likely to fall in love. Substance matters more than the irrelevancies of race, sex and the color of your hair.

For once, I thought, I'm probably on the same page as the National Organization for Women. Girl Power!


How stupid of me to forget.

Feminists desperately want a woman in office, but only if she sounds like Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi.

But no pro-life, moose-shooting NRA member who wins beauty pageants and has the audacity to bring a child with Down syndrome into this overpopulated world need apply.

It wasn't what they ordered.

Palin is an accomplished, intelligent, honest, compassionate and courageous woman. She has her flaws, as Daily Kos gleefully points out, updated hourly. But she is a compelling choice to stand beside McCain.

Still, this lipstick-wearing pit bull doesn't make the cut for NOW President Kim Gandy and the feminists who march in lockstep behind the Pied Piper of Reproductive Rights.

She's a woman, sure. Just not "the right woman."

And just like Clarence Thomas, who was vilified by black activists because of his conservative views. They wanted a black man on the Supreme Court.

Just not that black man.

Well, ladies and gentleman of the Democratic Party, get ready.

There's a Revlon-wearing pit bull headed to Washington.

excerpted from THE PALINATOR
by Christine M. Flowers

published Friday, Sept. 5, 2008
Philadelphia Daily News


Weekly Conservative Commentary from sister publication, the Philadelphia Inquirer

GOP likes Palin: really, really does

"The delegates who arrived in Minnesota are not the same ones who will be leaving. If anything, they like Sarah Palin even more. Really, really like her. That's not just me."

excerpted from Back Channels
by Kevin Ferris

published Sept. 5, 2008

McCain vows 'change is coming' in big finale

GOP presidential hopeful pledges to end 'partisan rancor'

John McCain, a POW turned political rebel, vowed Thursday night to vanquish the "constant partisan rancor" that grips Washington as he launched his fall campaign for the White House.

"Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming."

bonus round:

Cindy McCains's outfit pegged & priced at $313,100

Former Senator Santorum visits, promoting a movie

Pa. delegates hear him make a pitch for a takeoff on leftist filmmaker Michael Moore

Rick Santorum also expressed approval of McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, saying that the people a politician surrounds himself with become the policy he makes.

"When I see him take her and say, 'She shares my values,' that makes me feel a lot more comfortable about who John McCain is and his values," Santorum said. "For those of us who are conservatives, he has done everything he could to reach out to us."

Running Against Themselves

Three days into the Republican National Convention, it is clear that the G.O.P. has settled on a message: “Washington is not working.” The phrase is included in virtually every speech and every statement in St Paul.

We agree completely that Washington is in desperate need of renewal and reform. We’re not even going to quibble about the fact that Barack Obama said it first. The problem is that American voters have yet to hear — from John McCain or his warm-up acts — any serious ideas on what, exactly, is wrong with Washington, apart from the fact that a Democrat might win the White House, never mind how to truly fix it.

The difficulty for the Republican ticket in talking about change and reform and acting like insurgents is that they have been running Washington — the White House and Congress — for most of the last eight years.

Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominee, was a combative and witty relief at a torpid convention. But it was bizarre hearing the running mate of a 26-year veteran of Congress, a woman who was picked to placate the right-wing elite, mocking “the permanent political establishment in Washington.”

And we couldn’t imagine what Mitt Romney was thinking when he denounced “liberal Washington” and then, at the convention of the party that brought you unimpeded presidential spying, declared: “It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother!”

As hard as he tries, Mr. McCain cannot escape the burdensome shadow of President Bush because his policies offer no real change. On the all-important issue of the economy, Mr. McCain has no prescription for ending the mortgage-driven crisis or for fixing the huge fiscal problems Mr. Bush has bequeathed the nation. He wants to make even deeper cuts in corporate taxes, eliminate the alternative minimum income tax and make permanent the Bush tax cuts that vastly favor the wealthy and that he once correctly opposed.

His only idea for balancing the budget seems to be controlling earmarks, which Republicans now denounce with the sort of single-minded fervor they used to reserve for Democratic-appointed judges.

Permanently extending the tax cuts would reduce tax revenue by $1 trillion over four years. If Mr. McCain eliminated every earmark (including money for the gas pipeline that Ms. Palin wants to build in Alaska), the savings would total about $18 billion a year. He hasn’t offered any idea of where he’ll get the rest of the money.

He has not explained how he plans to rein in out-of-control financial firms and avoid a repeat of the mortgage disaster. Mr. Bush’s ideological opposition to sound government regulation is in large measure to blame for the economic crisis, but when Mr. McCain talks about fixing Washington, that subject never comes up.

Mr. McCain also has yet to explain to voters how he intends to go on paying for the war in Iraq — and also fix a dangerously stretched and overburdened military. Mr. McCain talks about energy independence. But his primary solution is not a solution: drilling and more drilling.

Mr. McCain says he is the candidate who will better protect the country from terrorism. But about all he has to offer is his pledge to continue the war in Iraq. We have yet to hear an explanation for how he plans to do that while also salvaging the war in Afghanistan — the real front line in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Now that everyone agrees that Washington needs fixing, we hope Mr. McCain will offer more than partisan boilerplate when he addresses the convention on Thursday night.

Published: September 3, 2008
Editorials/Letters Page (A26)
The New York Times

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Today In History

September 04th
The 248th day of 2008.
There are 118 days left in the year.

On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

On Sept. 4, 1908, Richard Wright, whose books "Native Son" and "Black Boy" exposed the harsh effects of American racism, was born.

On this date in:

1781 - Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers.

1888 - George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera and registered his trademark: Kodak.

1917 - The American expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World War I.

1951 - In the first live coast-to-coast TV broadcast, President Harry S. Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.

1957 - Ford Motor Co. began selling its ill-fated Edsel line.

1967 - Michigan Gov. George Romney said during a TV interview that he had undergone a "brainwashing" by U.S. officials during a 1965 visit to Vietnam. The comment is widely believed to have derailed his campaign for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination.

1972 - Swimmer Mark Spitz became the first person to win seven gold medals at a single Olympic Games when the United States won the 400-meter relay in Munich.

2002 - Singer Kelly Clarkson was voted the first "American Idol" on the Fox TV series.

2006 - "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, 44, died after a stingray's barb pierced his chest.

2007 - Toy maker Mattel Inc. recalled 800,000 lead-tainted, Chinese-made toys worldwide, a third major recall in just over a month.

info culled from Highlights in History

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the Book of States USA.


Happy 9th birthday today Jaleel!



Palin Around


McCain rejects Palin questions as 'faux media scandal'


Lemonade stand in N.C. dubbed best in U.S. by magazine

"Fresh! 2008" August 29 - September 27

Projects Gallery opens its 2008-09 season with Fresh! 2008. Inspired by Philadelphia’s rich and multi-faceted artistic talent, this invitational exhibition highlights this city’s emerging artists. The palpable energy of the current art scene has been garnering increasing attention and critical respect. Fresh! is an unique opportunity to bring together disparate artists united not by imposed thematic or material concerns but as a chorus of individual voices heralding the vibrant, varied directions of contemporary art. Selected by gallery Director Helen Meyrick because of her immediate visceral response to their work, these artists diversely employ sculpture, photography, painting and drawing. Regardless of chosen style, material, or subject, these artists are a breath of fresh air.

Fresh! provides these artists a blank canvas on which to make their mark in the Philadelphia arts arena. Participants include: Cat Badger, Rosanne D'Andrea, Talia Greene, Brooke Holloway, Carl Marin, Itsuki Ogihara, Marilyn Rodriguez-Behrle, Lynn Rosenthal, Mia Rosenthal, Krista Rothwell, Gregory Farrar Scott, Heather Sundquist, and others. Many of these artists are recent graduates from several of Philadelphia’s finest art schools, including Moore College of Art and Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.


What does Jeff Koons say to all of the other artists who are living today?


I'm There. Are You?

"just picked up my tix for Joos show at FU church.

if you've never been to this venue, be prepared. It's usually hot (temp. wise) plus they don't sell beer or booze.

See Ya!

...Sept. 9th that is."

SJ's Show Update:

They only sell bottled water at the FU [First Unitarian] Church but you *are* allowed to bring in a Forty if you wan't...

Just no drinking outside (open-container law) and it is *strictly* enforced.



"Your honor," the District Attorney stated, "we will prove South committed a felony. He put a cold game on the floor."

"Proceed," said the judge.

"West led a trump against four spades," the DA related, "and South drew trumps, cashed the king of hearts and finessed with dummy's jack. East took the queen and led the ace and a low club.

"Declarer ruffed and led a heart to the ace. When West discarded, South ruffed dummy's last heart and tried a diamond to the queen. He lost two diamonds and went down."

"My client was unlucky," South's counsel argued.


Would you find South guilty?

South has nine sure tricks and can take one more no matter how the East-West cards lie. After South draws trumps, his safest play is to take the top hearts and lead a club. East wins and leads a high club ... and South discards his last heart! Whether East leads a low heart next (South would discard), breaks the diamonds or leads a club (yielding a ruff-sluff), South is home.

Bridge by Frank Stewart
published 9-1-08
Washington Post

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Review & Redux

“That Lucky Old Sun”

Brian Wilson sings with boundless enthusiasm on “That Lucky Old Sun,” his first full album of new songs since 2004. That was when he remade and completed “Smile,” the attempted masterpiece he had abandoned amid drug use and mental illness in 1967. In “Oxygen to the Brain” on the new album, he sings, “I wasted a lot of years.”

Lately Mr. Wilson, 66, has overcome his stage fright and toured extensively, performing the complete “Pet Sounds” and “Smile” along with other hits he wrote for the Beach Boys. “That Lucky Old Sun,” which was commissioned for a performance last year at the Royal Festival Hall in London, is a latter-day sequel to those two albums. It applies their elaborate structures and sounds to a concept: a day in the life of Los Angeles, from one dawn to the next.

Los Angeles becomes the same sunny city Mr. Wilson defined with the Beach Boys in the mid-1960s, now tinged with regrets for lost time. “Goin’ Home” declares, “At 25 I turned out the light/’Cause I couldn’t handle the glare in my tired eyes/But now I’m back.”

Produced by Mr. Wilson, the music is packed, even overstuffed, with echoes of his Beach Boys marvels: chugging rhythms, creamy vocal harmonies, oom-mow-mow nonsense syllables and favorite instruments like bass harmonica, temple blocks, chimes and French horn. “That Lucky Old Sun” is an uninterrupted suite of 17 tracks that lasts 38 minutes, barely longer than “Pet Sounds.” Except for the title song, a pop standard by Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith, Mr. Wilson wrote the album with his band’s keyboardist, Scott Bennett, and with Van Dyke Parks, who provided wordplay-laden lyrics for “Heroes and Villains” and other “Smile” songs. (Mr. Parks also wrote songs for Mr. Wilson to sing on “Orange Crate Art,” a 1995 album that portrayed California with a wider historical sweep.)

The lyrics — and nutty spoken-word passages written by Mr. Parks — sketch a Los Angeles filled with lovers and dreamers, but they circle back to Mr. Wilson’s own story. In “Midnight’s Another Day,” a spacious, swaying ballad about chronic depression, he sings, “Swept away in a brainstorm/Chapters missing, pages torn” and climbs toward a choral revelation, “All these people make me feel so alone.”

Mr. Wilson and his collaborators strive mightily to make “That Lucky Old Sun” a new career landmark, and after the simplistic ditties that filled his previous solo albums, it’s a breakthrough. But too often the songs are patchworks of Mr. Wilson’s past glories, making references that are far too recognizable. For all its determined optimism “That Lucky Old Sun” ends up as more an affirmation of Mr. Wilson’s legacy than an expansion of it.

Critics’ Choice - New CDs
published Mon., Sept. 1, 2008

The New York Times

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most recent chinese cookie fortune:

Depart not from the path which fate has you assigned.

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