pg. 21, Father’s Short Temper by Paula Kitchens (Scholastic, 1958)
In 1924 Stenman moved in and began making furniture, also out of newspaper, rolling it into logs, cutting it to length with a knife, and gluing or nailing it into usable finished pieces (one placard reads THIS DESK IS MADE OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR).
Stenman died in 1942, and his family has maintained the house ever since, showing it to curious visitors. “I think probably the most common question is just ‘Why?’” Beaudoin says. “We just really don’t know where he got the idea to build a house out of paper. He was just that sort of a guy.”
“Hmph,” replied Eeyore. “If you’d wanted to make sure everyone knew about this gathering you could have sent an email or even a simple MMS. Not all of us spend our time walking about the woods looking for signs on trees.”
Rabbit ignored Eeyore’s complaint. “Eeyore, did you get a Facebook friend request from a certain boy who used to frequent these Woods?”
“You mean Christopher Robin? Sure did. I took one look at it and clicked ‘Ignore,’” Eeyore said, quite matter-of-factly.
“You did what?!” Pooh cried.
“But, Eeyore,” Piglet whimpered. “That was just what this meeting was about—to decide wh-wh-wh-wh-what and h-h-h-h-h-how to do with—I mean say to—I mean…but Eeyore!”
“No disrespecting what’s clearly a very Emportent Meeting,” Eeyore began, “but to me it’s simple: Christopher Robin left to do who-knows-what-and-where, and we stayed here. Both of our lives went on. The way I see it, Christopher Robin was feeling lonely and sad last night—maybe his girlfriend just dumped him, maybe he got rejected from the graduate program he was hoping to get in to. He’d probably been drinking, and he started getting wistful for days-gone-by, so he searched us all on Facebook and so-on-and-so-on and there we have it. Trust me, Christopher Robin is probably relieved I did it. He’s probably sitting in his apartment right now in a pair of ripped sweatpants, eating ice cream out of a tub and re-watching The Wire and thanking his stars he doesn’t have to actually still be friends with his old, mopey pal Eeyore.”
“What wire?” asked Pooh, trying to understand the last part of Eeyore’s story.
“Oh, it’s just a television show about how people’s petty concerns and the labyrinth of institutional bureaucracy make it almost impossible to effect positive systemic change,” sighed Eeyore.
“Is there bouncing in it?” Tigger asked.
“But this is all besides the point!“ Rabbit said irritably. “Or, it is precisely the point. That is—what do we do about Christopher Robin? Eeyore has already taken it upon himself to ignore the request, but that’s to be expected from him. Still, the question remains: what do we do? I suggest whatever it is, we all, Eeyore aside, do the same thing.”
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 2013.9.30
No one would accuse me of being overemotional. In fact I’ve come in for the opposite critique. But if I were to isolate a telling trigger of tender thoughts, it would be the precise nothingness of experience, which is another way of saying the crushing completeness of it. These episodes unfold as false epiphanies, often when I am walking aimlessly outside, aware of trees articulated by leaves, the shadows thrown by anything not contained in larger shadow. All of it jumps out at me as a painted study of light and color. The landscape is a map of itself. My eyes get wet, as if hoping to blur the truth.
Everything everything everything: that’s what starts to loop in my head as the sunny air throbs with significance. I suspect this flood of data will kill me, the scene collapsing from sheer unity. It’s momentous, naturally, beautiful, though five minutes later I am forced to acknowledge that there has been no change, no great upheaval, just a flaring of the senses. Soon they’ll recalibrate, tune out all that insufferable noise and static once more. I lose what I was meant to learn, in order to bear what I cannot know.
"To find out what kind of caffeine ingestion Joey, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel and Monica had over the 10 seasons of Friends, we need to make a few assumptions. First, given their famous mugs, we’ll assume that they drink 20 oz. coffees. Second, we’ll assume that each friend consumes maybe two of these enormous drinks each episode. Finally, we assume that this kind of coffee mainlining happened over each of Friends’ 236 episodes. If each friend drank two mugs of coffee over each episode, the whole gang downed, in total, 445 gallons of coffee. "
—Have you ever wondered how much coffee the pretend people on the ‘Friends’ television show drank? You have? Really? Let me tell you something: It would not kill you to read a book every now and then. Seriously.
Alex Balk for The Awl
German designer/artist Elisa Strozyk does some really amazing work with wooden tilings and textile experimentation. Pictured above:
"sherwood" 1620 × 910 linen, mahogany, walnut, moor oak
" M O S T L Y R E D ", 2011 wooden rug with dyed wood
MISS MAPLE pendant lamp, 85 x 85 x 35 cm material: wooden textile, steel
"Wooden Textiles" convey a new tactile experience. We are used to experience wood as a hard material; we know the feeling of walking across wooden floors, to touch a wooden tabletop or to feel the bark of a tree. But we usually don’t experience a wooden surface which can be manipulated by touch. "Wooden Textiles" is a material that is half wood-half textile, between hard and soft, challenging what can be expected from a material or category. It looks and smells familiar but feels strange, as it is able to move and form in unexpected ways. The processes to transform wood into a flexible wooden surface is its deconstruction into pieces, which are then attached to a textile base. Depending on the geometry and size of the tiles each design shows a different behavior regarding flexibility and mobility. There are various possible applications, for example as floorings, curtains, drapes, plaids, upholstery or parts of furniture.
via Futurotextiles coverage at Cool Hunting
If a monopolist did what the wireless carriers did as a group, neither the public nor government would stand for it. For our scrutiny and regulation of monopolists is well established—just ask Microsoft or the old AT&T. But when three or four firms pursue identical practices, we say that the market is “competitive” and everything is fine. To state the obvious, when companies act in parallel, the consumer is in the same position as if he were dealing with just one big firm. There is, in short, a major blind spot in our nation’s oversight of private power, one that affects both consumers and competition.
This blind spot is of particular significance during an age when oligopolies, not monopolies, rule. Consider Barry Lynn’s 2011 book, “Cornered,” which carefully detailed the rising concentration and consolidation of nearly every American industry since the nineteen-eighties. He found that dominance by two or three firms “is not the exception in the United States, but increasingly the rule.” Consumers, easily misled by product labelling, often don’t even notice that products like sunglasses, pet food, or numerous others come from just a few giants. For example, while drugstores seem to offer unlimited choices in toothpaste, just two firms, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, control more than eighty per cent of the market (including seemingly independent brands like Tom’s of Maine).
Firms shouldn’t be penalized for practices that are parallel but not actually harmful, nor for mere “parallel pricing.” An interpretation of law that makes nearly every gas-station owner into a felon is questionable.
But just as the nineteen-seventies went too far, the reaction to the nineteen-seventies has also gone too far. As part of a general retreat from prosecution of all but the most extreme antitrust violations, the United States has nowadays nearly abandoned scrutiny of oligopoly behavior, leaving consumers undefended. That’s a problem, because oligopolies do an awful lot that’s troubling.
Consider “parallel exclusion,” or efforts by an entire industry to keep out would-be newcomers, a pervasive problem. Over the eighties and nineties, despite “deregulation,” the established airlines like American and United managed to keep their upstart competitors out of important business routes by collectively controlling the “slots” at New York, Chicago, and Washington airports. Visa and MasterCard spent the nineties trying to stop American Express from getting into the credit-card industry, by creating parallel policies (“exclusionary rules”) and blacklisting any bank that might dare deal with AmEx. It was only thanks to the happenstance that both put their exclusions in writing that the Justice Department was able to do anything about the problem.
The rise of the American oligopoly makes it an important time to reëxamine how antitrust enforcers and regulators think about concentrated industries. Here’s a simple proposal: when members of a concentrated industry act in parallel, their conduct should be treated like that of a hypothetical monopoly. Of course, that doesn’t make anything necessarily illegal, but abusive or anticompetitive conduct shouldn’t get a free pass just because there are three companies involved instead of one. (I have co-authored a detailed academic paper, with former New York antitrust bureau chief Scott Hemphill, about how this should play out.)
Ric Hjertberg’s blog Wheel Fanatyk is a wonderful source of articulate commentary on excellent tools.
"NE Cycle Supply" on one side, "Keene, NH" on the other.
A central crank moves the four arms in and out at once to adjust rim diameter. To the left of the circular grill-like disk … a selector from which you choose the rim’s drilling: 24, 28, 32, 36, 40. Each of the disks circumferential rings has small radial bars, spaced at the intervals needed for each spoke number. When you choose a number, the selector locates at the ring with precisely spaced bars that index the rim for perfect hole location.
In person, the machine is surprisingly small. It looks more like a sewing machine than factory tool. Do any of you know about it? Is there a New England Cycle Supply catalog from early days that lists and describes this beauty? Please offer any insights.
I scooped it up against any monetary objections. Back in Seattle, it’s now completely disassembled. In the next couple weeks I will strip and paint it in black enamel.
Can’t wait to try it on a rim and show you the finished product. What a gem. Designed to work on bicycle parts but built with the spare elegance and efficiency of a bike. Human powered, as nice to look at as to use. Indescribably lovely.