Opens Tomorrow

Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey.

Dear Clusterflock: What was the most comforting condolence sentence you ever heard?

Stolen from Metafilter. I don’t have a MeFi account, so I can’t even favorite things over there, much less comment. So I figured I’d re-pose the question here.

The MeFi thread is great, but bring tissues. I loved this one most:

My uncle, Albert Crary, was an extraordinary man. Not only was he an explorer and scientist of both poles (The Crary Mountains in Antarctica were named by him and the A.P. Crary Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Station was named fo him) but he gathered stories like no one I’ve ever met. At his public memorial in Washington DC at, I believe, the Cosmos Club, speaker after speaker got up and told about his staunchness, his incredible endurance, but most importantly, they all told a funny story about him: The time he fell off the ice shelf and what he said to the preacher after his rescue when the preacher came looking for a good sermon. The time he went shopping for supplies in South America when they were running a geophysical line across a South American swamp. The time my father put my brother up to calling him and acting like a dumb reporter asking the stupidest questions imaginable about the ice island T3.

Months later, we had a private memorial in his hometown of Canton, New York. One-by-one his nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends got up and told more stories. To all of us he’d been the source of fun, support and laughter when we were growing up – he never let any of us take ourselves too seriously, but he was always there when anyone needed help. When my turn came, I got up, told my story and then said this:

Everyone deserves an Uncle Albert, we were just fortunate enough to have had one.
posted by BillW at 5:23 PM on March 30

(Via the wonderful Ed Yong.)

There may or may not be a party

We’re planning to have a barbecue at our house this Sunday. You’re not invited but I can’t stop you from coming. I’ll smoke pork shoulder, beef brisket, and chicken legs all day on Saturday in preparation for the party. You can’t have any of them. The meat will be accompanied by three different kinds of homemade barbecue sauce: hickory & molasses, brown sugar & cayenne, and Carolina mustard. You’ll never taste any of my condiments. My wife is making her famous vegetable slaw, three kinds of potato salad, and that thing she does with fresh fruit and pecans. None for you, though. I soak dried beans myself and bake them in a tangy sauce that’s loaded with bacon and sweet onions. You can have some of that. Only baked beans for you.

We made some cupcakes

1birds 2bees 3bugs 4bunny 5shroom

Happy Easter, happy spring, everyone!

dear clusterflock

Give me. Your dirty love.

That is all. I love y’all all up.

Photo without caption

Snow White Reality

Ken Fox’s Wall of Death

The crowds look down from above and are fragranced by a rising incense of engine fumes. The point is to thrill the audience, not to scare them. The riders begin by circling the floor, then up on to a ramp, and finally they are riding perpendicular to the wall, arms outstretched, rising and dipping, sometimes high enough to leave tyre marks at the very top, prompting squeals from the crowd. For superstitious reasons, they only ever travel in an anti-clockwise direction. They get so close you could reach out and touch them, make some sort of brief physical connection with that speeding miracle of guts and grace and centrifugal force.

(via The Scotsman)

Read more

Mrs. Herschel Parker


Bain News Service, publisher. Mrs. Herschel Parker. From the Bain Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Mr. Parker (Herschel Clifford Parker) was a Columbia physics professor and a founding member of the Explorers Club. In the spring of 1911 he married Evelyn Naegele. They honeymooned in Alaska.

Mrs. Herschel Parker last saw Professor Parker in 1919. In 1925 she petitioned a Brooklyn court to grant a divorce, citing abandonment and failure to support.

According to Mrs. Herschel Parker, the professor had said, “I am tired of looking after a wife and family. A man with my genius owes himself to mankind in general and cannot be tied down by family routine.”

Class of ’92

I look across the table and you stare back at me. Our eyes lock above your corn on the cob captured between those little fork-handles. I never knew anyone who used them, and yet here you are at this picnic and you brought your own. Were we enemies, or friends, so many years ago? It doesn’t seem to matter now; the important part is that we’ve survived.
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How do you take your coffee?

“I love the way it makes me feel,” said Trina. “It gives me a sense of euphoria.”

The couple admits they perform their caffeinated enema at least four times a day. Once, Trina said she did “nine or 10″ in a 24-hour period.

(via ABC News)

In-N-Out’s invisible billionaire burger heiress

Torres is one of almost 90 hidden billionaires discovered by Bloomberg News since the debut of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in March 2012. Among them: Dirce Camargo, the richest woman in Brazil, and Elaine Marshall, the fourth-richest woman in America.

Like Camargo and Marshall, Torres maintains a low profile. Her most visible presence has been on the drag strip. She competes in the National Hot Rod Association’s Super Gas and Top Sportsman Division 7 categories, alternating between a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and a 1984 Chevrolet Camaro, according to NHRA results. Her third husband, Val Torres Jr., is also a race- car driver.

(via Bloomberg)

Rented boyfriends keep parents at bay

“I offer such a service only because I’m bored and know fewer female friends at work,” said Ding Hui, 27, a salesman in the plastic industry in Shanghai, with a monthly salary of more than 10,000 yuan ($1,600).

Ding said trust building is very important, and the job is all about acting, which proved to be tough for him.

“I was exhausted as I had to flatter others for seven days and had to think before I spoke. I don’t want to do it anymore,” he said.

(via China Daily)

From the Archives: Good Threads

Naming protocols.

Two Doors Down and Across the Street

“Fix me something to eat.”

“What do you want?” Read more


Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 10.10.09 PM

With David Bowie’s “Star Man”. Et cetera. 2007.

“I’m David Bowie!”

“Yeah! Me, too!”

Please do me this one favor and watch all of this and you’ll be glad that you did.

Monsters! I’m David Bowie!


Christmas letter from Lloyd and Joy Shank:

We don’t want to alarm any of you right at Christmas but we opted for holidays in the bunker this year. It won’t be long and a one-burner camp stove will be the best present anybody ever got. We prayed on it but what’s what is what the plan says is what’s on the way. Hold on Joy’s gone jumpy again. Okay. So we bought a dozen FEMA trailers for near nothing and buried them all in a circle. They are all connected so you can run laps in here, which will help when the boys get sports going again after the End.
You remember that big hail storm in June? It was our faith-based auto dent repair business that got us the money for our retreat. Anyway we figure money will be no good pretty soon, but ammo’ll get you a lot of whatever’s left. We got a thousand boxes of 12 gauge shells and enough .223 and 9 mil to make a drug lord shit biscuits.
Joy keeps wanting me to buy more needles. I say Damn, how many needles—but she does her fingers that way all up around her face, so I drive over to that sewing store and get all they have again.
We caught Donnie and Bobbie and Nubby trying to sneak in a dog and a girl and a set of leather sheets. I don’t know—you have to have some flexibility if you want to get through world destruction. Joy is worried that without their phones they will hallucinate voices, so we got them each a MP3 Bible. That and the 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzles ought to keep them busy. One’s a nativity scene and the other is a scene with Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds.
Speaking of drugs I got Joy a 5-gallon paint can full of her bi-polar medicine. Don’t want to run short of that! Also, don’t worry about us and food—we have one room with half a dozen freezers in it, all full of brisket. We are still on county electric, but when that gets snuffed we have a nice generator we got new at Big Lots for $299. I plan to use some duck tape and plastic to convert one of the bathrooms we don’t use into a smoker.
So the boys have plenty to do, and Missy, Lizzy, Krissy, and Aprilday can help keep the place neat. The girls are really growing now that we are underground.
I guess God works in ways he hasn’t thought much about. If we are all still here next year, well, we will still be ready. We don’t want anybody to suffer, but sometimes that’s the price you people have to pay to make the little bits come together like letter cereal making sense in your bowl.
So don’t forget to lock up and turn everything off, and we will see you when everybody falls in for roll call in the New day.

Duck! (ha ha) Love Lloyd, Joy, Donnie, Bobbie, Nubby, Missy, Lizzy, Krissy, Aprilday, Tyrone, Wanita, and Ching-may.

Greetings from Rockton

c’flock in the foreground, disney in the mid-ground, qwirkle in the farground.

Dear Clusterflock,

I’m still thankful for all you guys.

Wedding Moment…

I’ll leave you to complete the story.

For Rick Neece and Dan Jensen

All of us wishing y’all many more years of love and happiness.

Things Behind the Sun

He began singing “Thoughts of Mary Jane,” and you could hear the sound of the buttons on his jacket hitting the guitar, the sound of the chair creaking, and midway through, just as it seemed like he was getting warmed up and settling into the performance, he changed directions, changed songs. No one could tell if he’d forgotten the chords or lost the words or simply grown bored and decided to move on. He settled into a rolling guitar figure, beautiful and stuttered and strangely uplifting, and he began singing the opening lines to a new song, new to me at least:

Do you curse where you come from?
Do you swear in the night?

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Elephant in the Room

My heart is broke. Thank you Sheila, Joel, MGS and others for trying. I miss all y’all and the y’all who no longer show up here. I know life goes on. Folks move on. It’s all good. I guess. Still, for the record, I miss. XOR

Project Nim

From the director of Man on Wire, Project Nim:

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

(via marginal revolution)

speaking of…

I get it—but still. They endured pain to bring life into the world. I’ll be suffering to prevent life. It’s a kind of death, a vasectomy, and not only for my swimmers. I have a buddy whose father—a surgeon—gave himself a vasectomy. Yanked down his pants, tied himself off with surgical hose, arranged a mirror, applied local anesthetic, and got to work. When I asked him about it later, he said he didn’t trust anybody else with his soul. I know what he meant.

smoke signals

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