Weaning yourself off the New York Times

The amazing New York Times is no longer going to be free online starting in January 2011, and Newcorps papers including the Sunday Times are charging starting this June. I love that writers will get paid for what they produce. That usually means good things for me and my ilk. But at the moment, I’m a poor NYT junkie. I’m still not sure how much they’ll charge, or if they’ll work out a student deal. I really want to pay a reasonable flat subscription rate ($50-$80, yes, USD).  It’s incredible writing and news, and I hate not to have it in my daily life.

That said, I’ve been experimenting with reading the Guardian and BBC. It’s not the same, but I’ll find my way.

Slang Editorial by Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles


Oh, Tiger

Fair enough. People really need to back off his family now. I just wish that he made this speech back in late December/January.

Tiger Woods by Maino

Oooh… crime wine.

There’s seems to be a huge to-do about Buckfast wine in Scotland: even though it tastes like crap, people load up on it, go out, and commit crimes. (It’s got a load of caffeine in it, too.) The monks who make it say that it’s a symptom of a problem, not the cause. I just find it amusing/disturbing that so many people drunkenly brandish the bottle as a weapon.

Gin & Juice covered by The String Cheese Incident

So happy.

I finally zapped an ancient stain from a favorite American Apparel sweatshirt using a good dose of Stain Devil(s). And it was a curry stain! Those are usually hopeless. I guess it works because they care about cleaning.

Caxambu by Almir Guineto


I’ve developed a funny relationship with order and control ever since I was in my teens. I was the most disorganized and sloppy person in my high school, but I ended up being something of a hyperneatnik by the time I got to gradschool. Part of this was a deliberate decision on my part, but some of it has really spun out of my control. Namely, the parts to do with chronically counting everything and magically thinking that if I envision loved ones dying, they’ll be safe. Intrusive thoughts and accelerated heartbeats are really annoying, but it’s easier once you realize it’s not really you.

Anyway, big favor to ask: unless you really have obsessive compulsive disorder, please don’t pull an “OMG, I’m so OCD u guyz!” Really. Just because you’re slightly Monkish doesn’t mean you have a problem. You don’t want to have a problem, believe. Move onto another issue if you must. I’m sure “Wow, I’m so full. I’m so anorexic u guyz!” will catch on. No? Really? Hm, wonder why not…

Everything In Its Right Place (Oakenfold 2008 Remix) by Radiohead

Due to a recent change in Brain Chemistry (for the better)

I’ve been alright, but I’ve having the darndest dreams lately.  Then I downloaded this song. Then I looked in the mirror and caught myself dancing to it.

In a Dream by Skybox


Lately I’ve been bogged down with:

-living in Edinburgh Airport
-writing essays about how horrible the world is
-staying warm

Eple by Royksopp

Surge, then pullout

I wasn’t able to stay up for last night’s (this morning’s) speech, but I’m going to listen to if off NYT tonight. Then watch Rachel Maddow. Then hope that this all works for the best.

The National Anthem by Lupe Fiasco (with some help from Radiohead)

Medgrow and Oaksterdam

The legalization of medical marijuana is slowly expanding throughout the US. Schools have been popping up to teach people to grow the green stuff for the booming population of patients. (That means you can stop rewinding through season two of Weeds to figure it out!) Apparently, some areas of the US are more lucrative than others…

If I were still in the US and not doing the whole academic thing, I’d totally do this. Honestly. It’s damn near recession proof, and if it does get shut down, I’m young enough to bounce back. Actually, if it did get shut down in the US, I could simply take my certified grower/seller skills, head to the Netherlands, get work, and pursue that citizenship I’ve always wanted. And I’d have enough to money to finally afford intensive Dutch lessons. Wow. This may not be a bad idea…

Quitters Raga by Gold Panda

I want one in my town! (Or in my house…)

What do you do when the mobile library’s stopped coming to town and phone booth might get taken away? Smush ’em both together! Apparently, there are 30 of these library/phone booths in Somerset. BT, the company which makes the iconic phone booth, is holding a contest for new ideas for converting the boxes. You can learn about adopting a kiosk here.

I love when mashups come to life.

I’m Onto Something (That’s What She Said) by Super Mash Bros.

Not like I was planning a visit anyway–

Switzerland has passed a ban on building new minarets. There are 150 mosques in Switzerland, but only 4 have minarets, and apparently only two more were planned. (That’s less than the number on this racist poster!) Apparently, four was more than enough and six was too much for the SVP (tiny religious party of ignorant people), so they went to far as to ban new structures. The majority government isn’t crazy about this, and everyone seems surprised. This also smells like a breach of human rights (I certainly think it.) Why didn’t the whole “can-this-legally-be carried-out” issue come up during the vetting of amendments?

This might have gone down (at least with too many Americans) back in 2002-2003, but the Swiss have definitely missed the jingoistic racism bus. This is like the Von Dutch trucker hat of laws: unnecessary, cringe-worthy, enough to make you want to burn the pictures. Hopefully, this rightist trend will become an awkward memory, and not a new reality.

Rhodespierre by Trellis (from the Green Wing Soundtrack)

And now, a post Thanksgiving Holiday I can endorse:

StoryCorps has come up with The National Day of Listening: the day after Thanksgiving, you record a conversation/interview between you and someone you love. This could be a friend, sibling, parents, grandparent, anybody. You’ll be surprised by what they’ll say. You don’t have to use StoryCorps equipment (there’s a handy-dandy DIY guide on the site) but the StoryKits are top of the line. And your recording will be stored in the Library of Congress.  The National Day of Listening is both cheaper and way more valuable than Black Friday. NDL, dare I say, kicks BF’s ass.

Time to Listen by MGMT vs. Talib Kweli (DJ Topcat Remix)


Happy Black Friday!

Dear America,

Happy Black Friday. Some of you on the East Coast are already wide awake, camping outside of of your local Best Buy/Victoria’s Secret/Sports Authority. Don’t burn your fingers on that Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/McDonald’s cup of coffee that will fuel you from 5 AM to 9. You ate a lot yesterday, so don’t be surprised if your aisle run is a bit off it’s game. But it’s OK. The pilgrims wouldn’t have wanted you any other way. Speaking of holidays centered around murders,please don’t stomp anyone to death this year. The motorized hamster for your child isn’t as appealing it if it’s drenched in blood.

And for crap’s sake, stop buying things you don’t need. The last thing you want to do is reach home, open the trunk of you car, and realize it’s all worthless.


PS How come Black Friday wasn’t a huge deal when I was a kid? (Mind you, I’m only 23.)

Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell by Das Racist and Wallpaper

Wow, an Animal Collective song I actually enjoy

The Animal Collective Game
Unlike a lot of music bloggers (and hypem users) I don’t like Animal Collective that much. (avoids flying tomatoes) Hey, easy; just because someone says they don’t like something doesn’t mean they think it’s bad.

For whatever reason, “What do I want? Sky” works for me… after the 2:45 mark. Maybe I need my organized chaos to be wound particularly tightly.

What Would I Want? Sky by Animal Collective


The days are too short

Here in Scotland, the sun rises at about 8, and sets at 15:30. And you start seeing long shadows at noon. Seriously. Honestly, there are moments when the seratonin just dips. I hate going into class at 15:00, leaving at 16:00, and fighting the urge to call the Scottish answer to Safe Ride. Apparently, in the summer, the sun rises at 4:00, sets at 10:00. Happy/manic medium can be achieved if you stick around long enough, I guess.

I live in the hotel-like David Russell Apartments, which is apparently good for Green Tourism. It’s also good for my cardiovascular system because it’s a friggin mile away. Pictures to come. This place is nice, but not nearly as awesome as living in the repurposed hospital in Leiden. Meh.

The View by Modest Mouse

May 2023
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