It’s been a good run…

Clusterflock is what introduced me to the most interesting parts of the web. I love this site and all the people involved, but I think it’s time to officially shut it down. In the forthcoming weeks I’ll be converting this to a static site for archival and security purposes. What this means is the url structure and all the content will remain, but comments will be closed permanently and there will be no CMS to create new posts.

Thanks, everybody, we’ll see you around the web.

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.

The Good Soldier of Cinema

Herzog on Ebert:

The good soldier of cinema. I kept calling him that and he kept calling me that. He saw in me a good soldier in cinema. I said you are even more. He was a wounded soldier. He was ill and struggled and was still plowing on relentlessly. And that was completely and utterly admirable and I love him for that.

from the archives: October 26, 2010

foley_sitdownplease-640x430

Roger and Me and Lucy.

Abridged

This is the story of a snake, a bear, and a little girl. Three great friends living together on the forested slopes beneath a mountain. There is a glade within the forest. Evergreens surround the meadow-grass, fireweed, and bee balm. The mountain’s snowcap is visible on clear days. Warmed by the sun, the three friends lay in a lazy pile near a broad, flat boulder. The bear licks the bottoms of the girl’s bare feet. The coiled snake dozes on the boulder. Summer is over but the days remain pleasant.

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A day late and a dollar short,

frogbeebunny

but that’s me all over.

Image courtesy of @asimone, who tweeted last week that “this feels very Sheila to me.”

“The bees make it,” noted Andrew. He knew I’d dig the bees.

Also, the upright rabbit kind of reminds me of Andrew.

We made some cupcakes

1birds 2bees 3bugs 4bunny 5shroom

Happy Easter, happy spring, everyone!

From the Archives

And I mean the way-back days. Sheila Ryan Coiffed like a Pinhead. One of the first things I remember seeing in my early days here. For the record, I believe the chick in the photo is now a regular on American Horror Story Asylum. I am addicted.

dear clusterflock

Give me. Your dirty love.

That is all. I love y’all all up.

Internet hatred burns eternally

Clusterflock.com? More like Cluster-steal ideas from other blogs just because noboody reads them so it’s easy to get away with.com

What’s the word for when people steal ideas from other people and then fail to properly cite the person who had the original – and usually much funnier – idea in the first place? You know that thing that college kids are always being kicked out of school for?

Oh, that’s right. It’s murder. Clusterflock is guilty of murder.

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Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity

Mike Brodie Train Photo Image

Brodie began to photograph his travels in 2004 when he acquired an old Polaroid camera. “A friend gave me a Polaroid camera I found on the back seat of her car. I took a photo of the handlebars of my BMX bike and it looked incredible, so I kept taking pictures, it was that simple.” From 2004-2006, Brodie shot exclusively on Polaroid film, earning him the moniker the Polaroid Kidd; a name he would tag on box cars and walls. From 2006 – 2009, Brodie switched to 35mm film. During this five-year span, Brodie rode over 50,000 miles through 46 states documenting the people and places he encountered along the way.

‘Planet Homebuddies’ Chinese Sitcom Modeled After ‘Friends’ to Launch Online

Planet Homebuddies Cast

“We noticed that working around the clock on weekdays and hanging out with friends on weekends is how most of today’s youth in China live their lives, with more and more adopting a ‘homebody’ lifestyle. Our new series will serve as the voice of today’s 20- to 30-year-old set in China, and examine this emerging trend.”

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Dang me!

So Brian Beatty (y’all know Brian Beatty), he posts on Facebook

Sitting here high, just getting ideas
You’d have to be a big fool to live like I do

(quoting, more or less, Roger Miller)

which he (Brian) says “may be the best country lyrics ever”

so I post a link to a clip of Miller singing a snippet from “Chug-a-Lug”

and my friend Lou, she pipes up and tells how

I was on a plane with him once flying from LAX to Albuquerque. The luggage thingy was chewing up our luggage and he picked up his mangled garment bag and said “Dang.” True story.

and I’m thinking, Dang me, that’s good.

Alchemy

If you beat a dead horse long enough, it turns to gold.

Apologies to the horse.

Lowly Dung Beetles Are Insect Astronomers

SAMSUNG DIGITAL MOVIE

Even the humble dung beetle, its life spent barely an inch above the ground, pushing balls of waste, steers by starlight.

“Dung steered by the stars,” as my longtime friend Steve said.

Or, as Oscar Wilde wrote in “Lady WIndermere’s Fan”:

DUMBY. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Faint Praise

Your hair is as healthy and shiny as any I’ve ever seen, although it’s true that scruffy, dull locks suit many people, too, and total baldness implies toughness or sophistication.
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Headline of the day

Live chicken in backpack stolen; $100 reward offered

Old Gregg

It’s time to revisit The Mighty Boosh once again. NSFW unless you work someplace way cooler than most of us do.

Joseph Spence || “We Shall Be Happy”

Brian Beatty brought this to mind tonight, for which thank ‘im.

A friend of mine once envisioned a parched old leathery cartoon (animated) sea turtle hunkered over a guitar, singing and playing in the manner of Joseph Spence.

She’s not there (She’s still here)

From a letter penned in 1993 by my friend Lee, who can now scarcely find words at all.

Steve & I saw Indochine last night. Horrors! I’ve lost the ability to sit still that long even for La Deneuve. When I left the movie I was saying to Steve that it was remarkable how they handled the time in the movie and this blah blah metaphor for the blah blah relationship between France and Indochina and how leaving the Japs out compressed the blah blah and effectively blah blah. This morning I woke up still thinking about it — or seeing it, really — and there on the screen of my mind was the word SONY. No wonder they left out the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Well, I loved it anyway. A French Gone with the Wind. [April 1993]

from the comments

SC on December 7th, 2012:

Fifth grade field trip to visit Senator Strom Thurmond. I’m wearing a light brown corduroy suit (in May, in South Carolina), a white shirt, and a green (don’t know why) tie. My class gathers in Thurmond’s office. Thurmond shows up (with orange hair, even way back then) and socializes with the girls, and only the girls, in the class. Several young women sit in Thurmond’s lap while socializing. Our teacher asks the class to gather around Thurmond’s desk for a group photo. Photos are taken. Then, there’s a warm sensation around my tie and some sort of salty liquid in my mouth. My friend Jonathan looks at me and screams “Bathroom! Bloody nose!” then he puts his hand on my face, possibly to help, but he ends up making a bloody handprint on my shirt. I run to the bathroom and bleed for a while in a sink while security guys mill about like personal bathroom attendants. I take my shirt off, button my corduroy coat to the top, turn the collar up, and spend the rest of the field trip testing various theories of invisibility.

Swirling in the Service of the Lord

We had no idea our hosts were evangelical Christians with a sinister agenda. But when we arrived at their compound, the look of it was bad enough to give us pause. Each detached “unit” was brand-new, but they were all made to look like crackers’ shacks. I made a sneering remark alluding to “Tobacco Road”.

It wasn’t long before they invited us to leave. At the farewell dinner, I annoyed our hosts by singing a parodic hymn of praise and thanksgiving, “Swirling in the Service of the Lord.” Then we helped ourselves to macaroons and bagels “for the road”.

Before I set off walking for the car, I went down to the basement and scooped up a boxload of drugs, also “for the road”. Waiting for the freight elevator, I spied a pair of shoes in a bin of items collected for a fundraising sale. I nicked them. “Like walking on peas,” they were.

At some point during the night, I had to wear a badge indicating that I was a Woman Who’d Had One or More Abortions. But that was a different story, I think.

Speaking, as we were, of online connections

and of the gratitude we feel toward clusterflock, did y’all know that Sarah Pavis has been Kottke’s guest editor this week?

There’s time to catch up, but I draw your attention especially to Stories from kottke.org readers on connecting with people online, a collection of accounts solicited by Sarah.

Dear Clusterflock,

I’m still thankful for all you guys.

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