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.

My Bowie: Jean Paul Gaultier

bowieGaultier

Who was your Bowie?

OUT.

Tastes like ketchup soda

Michael Grant Smith doesn’t think tomato juice should ever taste fizzy. Experts agree.

Recently, in a storefront laboratory in Chinatown, Piper Kristensen, a bartender and occasional lab assistant who works for the avant-garde bar Booker and Dax in the East Village, studied a SodaStream Penguin. It had arrived fitted with a new feature, a device that was preventing him from carbonating the clear tomato juice he had purified in a centrifuge. He probed the carbonator’s dispensing valve, figured out that its plastic collar had to be raised, and twisted on a rubber band. In short order, he poured a fizzy cocktail of tomato juice, vodka and sugar into elegant cordial glasses.

He handed one to his boss, Dave Arnold, formerly the director of culinary technology at the International Culinary Center as well as an owner of Booker and Dax. Mr. Arnold sipped. “It tastes like ketchup soda,” he said. “Maybe you should go back to the egg cream.”

Mrs. Herschel Parker

mrsherschelparker

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.”

It’s the best

Scrabbling to gobble at the cruise ship trough, then scrambling for a spot to shit it all out

Inspiration for My Papal Archival Hat

Speculum_Sophicum_Rhodostauroticum

As we await artist Tom Sale‘s election to the papacy as Pope Pinky I, the design for my Papal Archivist’s hat proceeds apace. This image, courtesy of friend Ian, offers the inspiration and foundation for my papal archival hat.

A kind of cylindrical Advent calendar is what I envision.

As archivist to Pope Pinky I, I vow to stress style over substance.

He’ll escape. He has to escape.

Runaway Goat Captured By Former African Goat Herder In Brooklyn

(via The Gothamist)

(Still running)

Topiary the Efficient Modern Way

Six hundred topiary balls an hour. At least. Just imagine!

And there’s more — at Alexander Trevi’s Pruned:

In case you were wondering, they [Dutch company Gebroeders Ezendam] also have a GPS-propelled pruning machine. Give it a LIDAR scanning system, so it can build a 3D field map for better navigation and precision grooming. Give it extra processing power, and it can achieve full autonomy. And then some more, and keep on doing so until they reach sentience. At night after work, they’ll escape to their secret topiary gardens in the forests and perhaps in the cities, too, where they transgress from globules and Christmas trees to vegetal phantasmagoria.

Frances Stark [THIS IS NOT EXACTLY A CAT VIDEO]

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!

Weather Advisory

The strong and gusty winds may cause driving difficulties for high profile and lightweight vehicles.

Lightweight objects will also likely be blown around and small branches may break.

Use extra caution if you are traveling or headed outdoors this Saturday evening.

Speaking on behalf of all my fellow creeps

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.

Tonight I will sleep the sleep of the justified.

This is so cool I can’t hardly stand it.

I’ve been way way down lately, so when India’s and Lucy’s friend Heather commenced live-tweeting about Elmore Leonard from the National Book Awards, I got all excited. She and I got going back and forth, and I told her about my crush on Leonard. And we got talking about one of Leonard’s minor gifts — how he never strikes a false note when he writes about music. Anyway . . .

She said she’d try and get me a photo. And she did.

dear clusterflock

In need of cheap lodging for perhaps 4-6 weeks. Have access to same for period required. Physical conditions rough but livable.

Note: Premises likely haunted.

Question: Is this wise?

If a Comment Falls on C’Flock…

Will it make a sound?

Wedding Moment…

I’ll leave you to complete the story.

Strange


Strange to think that if Emmett Till had lived, he’d be seventy-one this day.

I met his mother once.

You’re hurting my eyes

and you’re hurting my mind and I wish the hell you would stop. And not just for my sake.

Please take a breath and reconsider posting that captioned image du jour. Do you know the one I mean? Its import is by and large political; oftimes it will feature a stock photo of a politician (or two) emblazoned with a snappy quip, ill-positioned and rendered in an ugly font. You must know what I have in mind.

I see such images mainly on Facebook, where they’re hard to avoid without hiding all of your posts.

And I wonder: What is the point?

These clumsy graphics you share and re-share are not great nor even good political art. They are not effective pieces of propaganda. They simply confirm sentiments held by the bulk of your contacts.

And they look like they been slapped together by somebody whomping an ugly stick.

So: For my sake and for your sake and for the sake of all that is true and beautiful, will you please pause and consider whether you really want to share that lame-ass piece of dreck?

Standing There Hot and Doing Nothing (Wooly Bully)

It’s like the man said, commenting: “Having hot girls just standing there doing nothing was the coolest thing ever.”

Ganesh-@-Walmart

Lord Ganesh is in a watermelon patch. He don’t need no Walmart.

The Imaginary Chef (Notes toward a Pilot Program Proposal)

My friend Charlie is assistant manager of a small grocery/deli/”sundries” store catering to guests of a Midwestern resort and nearby residents. This week a customer phoned his store, claiming that the chuck roast she’d purchased had not in fact been handed over with her other purchases and requesting that it be delivered to her home.

Charlie’s store does not sell chuck roast.

Delivery, he explained, was impossible because (a) there was no chuck roast available for delivery and (b) only two employees were staffing the store.

The customer returned the following day to pick up her chuck roast.

Charlie asked whether, if this happens again, he might phone me with a request to deliver a phantom cut of imaginary chuck roast to the woman’s home. I consented, adding that I might even volunteer to prepare it for her. Commandeer her kitchen, imaginary chuck roast in hand, and act out the preparation of Boeuf Bourguignon in the manner of Julia Child.

Sheila Ryan: The Imaginary Chef.

Artists’ protest letter to James Johnson Sweeney, New York, N.Y., 1956

In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday: a 1956 artists’ letter of protest against his design for the Guggenheim Museum, which “indicates a callous disregard for the fundamental rectilinear frame of reference necessary for the adequate visual contemplation of works of art.”

dear clusterflock

After a conversation with a dear long-time friend who is descending into the murk of what they call dementia, I’m dazed and confused. One of many cruel details: My fading friend introduced me to the works of Iris Murdoch when I was seventeen or so.

I’m all tore up. Listening to Sandy Denny singing By the Time It Gets Dark and snuffling. But trying to smack some sense into my sorry self-pitying self.

Seeking resources above and beyond the obvious. Most especially, looking for help for LGBT couples and for alternatives to traditional nursing home settings. Where? In or near Dallas, Texas. When? Now.

Grateful for whatever thoughts you may share here on clusterflock or via our contact form.

Stuff Smith: You’se A Viper

For your pleasure on this Weed Day, 2012. Stuff Smith: You’se a Viper.

Dharun Ravi

How do you feel about Dharun Ravi’s guilty verdict? Here’s background from the New Yorker, and the recent announcement in the Atlantic.

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