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Japanese born Shinya Kimura creates beautiful custom motorcycles. He’s best known for what is referred to as ‘Zero Style’, a concept that can be traced back how to save money on car repairs to the Japaneses aesthetic tradition of wabi sabi:
A Zero-style bike is typically based around a rigid gooseneck, a pre-1984 Harley Davidson engine, springer front end, spoked wheels and often includes parts of the bike remaining in bare metal. The inspiration came from wabi sabi (austere refinement) and the beauty of the raw materials and incorporating the essence of wa (harmony) into his designs. (source)
Something beautiful for your Saturday afternoon.
I recently spent six weeks in Mexico in a small village bordered on one edge by the sea and on the other by a large fresh water mangrove estuary. The natural state of things was intensified by the rainy season, this meant a lot of bugs. The beautiful sea shore was a mine field of sand flies while everywhere else was swarming with bat-size mosquitoes. After six weeks, my skin was a mess of red welts and the scabby remains of bites I’d over scratched.
En route to Canada I spent a few days in Puerto Vallarta in a relatively nice, well-sealed air conditioned hotel. On my second morning there, I woke up with about ten red itchy welts along the outside of one of my legs. Irritated, I shared this information on Facebook and my aunt, who has spent a lot of time traveling in North Africa, informed me that it might be bed bugs and that if we had them, we would surely carry them in our clothing and luggage along with us wherever we went. Immediately, I became obsessed – examining sheets, duvet covers, in between mattresses and within the smaller folds of my clothing and suitcase. Apart from being disgusting, one of the most difficult things about bedbugs is that they are nocturnal, very small and good at hiding; so it’s not easy to determine if you have them.
After that morning, apart from the odd set of bites I could trace to time outside, I didn’t seem to get any additional welts and my bed mate remained mostly bite free; in the absence of a bed bug sniffing dog, I’ve decided that we did not have bed bugs; but not before spending hours on Google reading about them and looking at horrible pictures.
The most interesting thing that I read about the pests is the phenomenon of ‘Post Bed Bug Stress Disorder’, which I can very much relate to though I don’t think mine is a serious case:
Many formerly rational people are waking up in the middle of the night inspecting themselves or their children for bed bug bites. They often feel phantom bed bugs crawling on their bodies while lying in bed. Perhaps the most worrisome are those individuals who are sleeping in ounces of DEET, spearmint oil or other less-friendly concoctions in the hope that bed bugs — real or imagined — will be thwarted from biting them …
These people are suffering from what I like to call PBBSD — Post Bed Bug Stress Disorder — an illness characterized
by irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety and bed bug hallucinations. Yes, these people also suffer from the physical effects of bed bug bites, but the bites go away. (source)
In 2008 a former Fox News employee successfully sued the maintenance company at NewsCorp headquarters for post traumatic stress syndrome brought on by a bed bug infestation in the building.
“My client is so acutely injured that she can’t take the subway and she is being seen by a doctor three times a week,” said Mr. Schnurman [the plaintiff’s lawyer], who has handled “hundreds” of bedbug cases, most of which have been settled out of court. “She would literally take off all her clothes at the door and put on house clothes before she would even touch her baby. (source)
Oh, and by the way: bed bug infestations are on the rise.
Image: Whose that jumping on the bed?!? by Sappymoosetree
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“We are thrilled to offer this spirited event on America’s most patriotic day,” said Wayne Norbitz, president and CEO of Nathan’s Famous [hotdogs], Coney Island competition sponsor.
Food competitions are a big deal in America. Today at the annual Coney Island hotdog eating competition, high jinx ensued as previous champion Takeru Kobayashi was arrested after taking the stage in protest after Joey “Jaws” Chestnut was awarded the top prize. Kobayashi wasn’t allowed to compete because he refused to sign an exclusivity contract with Major League Eating, the organisation responsible for the event. With all this brouhaha, we thought we’d do some hard hitting journalism and give you some facts about eating for sport:
In a 2007 piece for the Huffington Post, actor Ryan Reynolds summed up competitive eating aptly: “we are ALL bound together by the vibrant spirit of competition and grotesque displays of boundless, unapologetic shitheadery.”
Happy Independence day America!
Image Credit: Hot Dog by benjibot
In no particular order:
Dakota McFadzean: Tries to create a new comic each day, usual
ly published on his site once a week. Funny, sad and a bit nostalgic, McFadzean’s best work is like Peanuts for a new generation. Notable strips: Post Apocalyptic Puppy and anything featuring Dakota himself.
A Softer World: Written and photographed by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau, it’s a unique take on the genre using photos instead of illustrations. Offering a social commentary on the most mundane of experiences, it is sad, weird and often laugh-out-loud funny.
XKCD: Simple drawings, complex ideas; “a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.” The guy who writes and illustrates these self-describes as a graduate with a degree in physics whose previous experience includes working on robots at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. This strip was nominated by Dan Zambonini.
Beatonna: Excellent collection of mainly historically-based comics with a particular interest in the crazy Victorians. Written by Kate Beaton (whose personal website seems to be down at the moment) and nominated by Dave Joyner.
Garfield Minus Garfield: Nothing else to say really.
Honourable mentions go to Concerned (nominated by Jim O’Donnell) and User Friendly (nominated by John Greenaway – sorry I just didn’t get it!).
Do you have favourite online
comics? Please share in the comments.
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Poetry has always been passionate and even a wee bit sexy. From Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Kissing Helena, “Kissing Helena, together/With my kiss, my soul beside it/Came to my lips, and there I kept it …” to Dylan Thomas’s In My Craft or Sudden Art, “When only the moon rages/And the lovers lie abed/With all their griefs in their arms …” sex and love have been a natural theme throughout the ages.
In an excellent acknowledgment of this fact, a group called the Poetry Brothel are looking to throw off the shackles of black, itchy woolen turtlenecks and berets, and reclaim the fun, quirky spirit of poetry:
The Poetry Brothel is foremost interested in showcasing a diverse roster of emerging and established poets. However, our events are also interactive performance art pieces based on the concept of the prewar brothels in the United States and Europe. Each night The Madame presents a rotating cast of both male and female poets engaged in a night of literary debauchery and private poetry readings. The poets act as “whores,” making audience members “johns,” but instead of physical intimacy, the poets offer the intimacy of their poetry in private, one-on-one readings. For a small fee, all of the resident “whores” are available for these sequestered readings at any time during the event. Of course, any good brothel need a furtive “front” or cover; ours is
part saloon and part salon, offering a full bar with absinthe, live music, live painting, fortune-tellers, gypsies, and gamblers with newly integrated performances and installations from our poets and other artists at each event. (source)
Where can I sign up?
Image: The Poetry Brothel xxx by mirosim