For a few months now, residents of Crown Heights, in Brooklyn, have been hearing about a new place called Berg'n. You couldn't focus-group a better teaser for the target clientele: "A beer hall from the creators of the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg featuring the food of Asia Dog, Mighty Quinn's, Pizza Moto, and Ramen Burger." It's a big huge place with long tables with food truck food and a Recognizable Sensibility, situated on the middle of New York's most aggressively gentrifying neighborhood, brought to you by Goldman Sachs. It's going to be popular; the people for which it is intended look forward to the new leisure complex. They will use it to meet and discuss how much the neighborhood is changing.
But this place is opening late. A few months late or a few weeks, depending on when you started paying attention. Delays, whatever, something about the DOB: It's just taking a little while to open the doors to this bar. But that is just fucking UNACCEPTABLE for Brooklyn's Lifestyle Elite. They demand their beer hall NOW NOW NOW.
My apartment building materialized after capitalism lost control of a rogue algorithm six months ago, and also: Where is my beer hall? READ MORE
The Star-Spangled Turban
Hot pink frosting
on my chocolate-
thought cloud, darkening:
any shawl will
serve as well to
bind this open
wound atop me,
mark me off as
not quite level-
headed, tops on
It’s Old Glory
that I choose this
time: I pleat her,
sweep her, set her
on my head as
on a coffin. READ MORE
★★★★★ It was cool, utterly cool, under the gray morning. Was it getting brighter? Someone's mirrored shades, approaching up the street, looked suddenly agleam. Downtown, a fresh wind was blowing down the subway steps. The puddle around the blocked drain on the landing, days old now, had dwindled by maybe half. There were white shoe prints in the black silt layer at the bottom. A cyclist pulled out into the bike lane on Lafayette without looking, forcing an oncoming rider on a Citi Bike to swerve and exclaim. The air felt nice on bare arms, in short sleeves. One's own skin was skin, after all, with live nerves in it, something more than a thermoregulating membrane or a layer of waterproofing. By afternoon, the sun was out and shining down. Different cloud types overlayered one another, and warm eddies chased after cool ones. People played music out their car windows at a sociopathically solipsistic volume, the beats forcing their way through the crowded sidewalks, carrying around the corner and up the block. The dining hubbub at open-air tables reached restaurant-interior levels. During the walk home, the colors in the west seemed unusually dull and ugly, gray and a bleached dead off-yellow. From the apartment window, though, the tinted monochrome clouds had something going on with them after all, a photographic-plate quality, a bright amber-white scribble along the top of an undulating row of connected dark gray puffs, with more of that hot white coming up on their lower edge. Subtly, the white burned into the gray, veining it and then shredding it, and an orange light started burning up from below. Even as this developed, the sky a few handspans higher up remained pure indifferent daytime blue, with a milk-white contrail stretching fat and persistent across it and white cirrus above that, a swath of some other sky altogether. Between the high and the low a gray veil darkened into view, like the smoke of something dirty burning. Then the sun got into the gray and raised bright ripples on it, while the lower clouds darkened to inky cutouts. The smoky veil turned brilliant pink. Below it, along the horizon, ran a whole field of fine parallel lines of magenta and orange, with still some sky-blue lines running among them. Abruptly, the veil went dark again. Hot-coal reds showed behind it, and the stripes on the sky were now pink and purple. Then the brightness was gone, yet in the dull afterlight, the blankly silhouetted clouds were three-dimensional again, shaded and textured by a barely luminous brown.
In 1969, a psychologist named G. Harry McLaughlin published the results of a number of experiments he’d made on speed readers in the Journal of Reading. His fastest subject was Miss L., "a university graduate with an IQ of 140" who had taken a speed reading course and claimed to have achieved speeds of sixteen thousand words per minute "with complete comprehension." He hooked her up to the electro-oculograph, a device that measures eye movements, and let her rip.
Miss L. read Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust at 10,000 words per minute [...] When she was half way through I asked her for a recall [...] Miss L. recalled a number of details but only six [of twenty-four] main points. She did not mention the most crucial point of all, namely that the heroine was having an affair.
There is not much point in even opening A Handful of Dust if you aren’t going to twig to the fact that Brenda Last has betrayed her husband. Surely, nobody who has failed to catch the central premise of a book can be said to have "read" it. Woody Allen has an old and much-quoted joke along these lines: "I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."
On the other hand, though, even the slowest, most deliberate reading is no guarantee of comprehension, a point my friend Ron once made at a long-ago lunch. I’d asked him, "So what are you reading these days?"
Descartes, he replied, with an abstracted air; he’d just finished, he said.
"How did you like it?"
"I read each word."
Some weeks ago I was asked to try out a speed-reading phone app called Spritz: it's one of a number of new products from tech startups that are trying to Disrupt Reading in one way or another. The tech writer Jim Pagels of Slate wrote approvingly of the Spritz-like Spreeder app last year, which he'd been using for the better part of a year. He says he's been able to read a great deal more using it, and added, strikingly, "If only I’d known about [this] while in college, I may have actually gotten through all 1,000 pages of Tom Jones." The slogan of Spritz, Inc. is: "Reading, reimagined"; their product makes use of a technology called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, which more or less boils down to showing you one word, or a few words, at a time. The company claims that their spin on the technique can enable us to read more, read faster and/or retain more of what we read.
RSVP was invented in 1970 by Kenneth I. Forster, a researcher at the University of Arizona. Aside from offering researchers a precisely controlled means of investigating language processing, the system has long suggested certain potential advantages over conventional reading: it requires a high level of attentiveness as the stream of words scrolls by, permitting less wandering of the mind, and it also requires far less eye movement on the reader’s part than does conventional reading.
In the case of Spritz, no eye movement at all is required of the reader; exactly one word is displayed at a time, and each word appears with its "optimum recognition point" in the same spot, and colored in red, in order to aid focus.
I find it quite relaxing to read using Spritz, in a way; because your eyes don’t move, the words just flow by, in a curiously unimpeded manner. You can change the speed from very slow—ordinary reading speed is around two hundred and fifty words per minute—all the way up to a thousand words a minute, which whizzes by at such a rate that I have trouble catching more than the barest gist of each sentence.
Maybe a little too exuberant to play when it's not sunny outside, or, at night, before your guests have gotten to their second drink. Context gives music life, and so context can TAKE IT AWAY. [Via]
1. Without lungs or other respiratory organs, we bookworms breathe through our skin. So we'll never hog the blankets!
2. Our skin exudes a lubricating fluid that makes it easier to move underground, as well as keeping our skin moist. But please, don't try to borrow our lubricating fluid: we need it in order to burrow beneath the earth and your Kiehl's is gonna be better for your T-zone anyways.
3. We bookworms really hate birds. And fishermen.
4. We are simultaneous hermaphrodites—so keep your cisgendered assumptions to yourself! That said, we do need others in order to sexually reproduce, just be prepared to be GGG in the bedroom.
5. We bookworms will consume about one-half to one times our body weight every day! So keep that fridge stocked. (Don't worry: we'll totally go in halfsies on groceries.)
6. We bookworms lack arms, legs or eyes. So a night at the movies? Probably not. A night in a pile of freshly tilled dirt? Yes, please!
7. We bookworms mainly thrive where there is food, a good level of moisture in the soil, oxygen and livable temperature. But the most important ingredient? Love.
8. It's true that bookworms are cold-blooded animals—we're the first to admit that. But view it as a positive: We need someone (maybe it's you?) to warm us up!
9. To help aid circulation through our elongated body, bookworms actually contain five hearts—which means we have five times the love to give!
10. There are nearly 2,700 different kinds of bookworms in the world, and we're all unique. Before you make any assumptions, try to get to know us—we may just end up surprising you! READ MORE
It used to be a given that if you were gay and grew up in a small town and you didn’t want to stay in the closet, you left. You ran to the big city and never looked back. I ran to San Francisco — how original! I have often joked that I moved as far away from home as physically possible without leaving the continent. Of course, since both my hometowns are tourist destinations located at the very ends of their respective peninsulas, in many ways they are more similar than I’d always like to admit. For all the examples of things I fled, there are features just as strong to pull my heart back.
The first time my now husband visited my hometown with me, his reaction (considerably less than the love-at-first-sight-ish one I thought it deserved) was this: “It’s so… quaint. Like, really, really quaint.” It is. If you could map the spirit of a place, Boothbay Harbor, Maine would be somewhere near the intersection of charming and twee, though there would have to be a cold, unforgiving landmark close by as well. Probably some kind of granite outcropping.
Fortunately for me and every other poor kid that grew up there, mild summer temperatures, lobsters, and wild, though nowadays somewhat leashed, scenery have managed to attract tens of thousands of visitors, tourists and “summer people”, every year between the end of mud season and the weekends in October when half the trees in New England lose their inhibitions and shove glory right in your face. When driveways and dooryards firm up and dry out, and the breeze becomes a sexy warm whisper instead of a roaring gale, spring reveals itself in other ways not found in nature.
Shopkeepers take down the plywood shutters from plate glass windows, hang signs and plants, and stack hoodies, t-shirts, bric-a-brac. A multitude of little shops and lobster roll stops come hesitantly back to life, first on weekends and then full-time as Memorial Day approaches. That’s when the teenagers go to work. The first paycheck-earning job I ever had was as a “Hobart Engineer” or dishwasher at a restaurant and bar when I was 15. The state of Maine allowed 15-year-olds to get a work permit with the permission of their parents — permission my mother would no doubt have never given if she’d caught wind of the rumors of massive cocaine use. I never saw any but I heard that what used to be openly horked behind the line was now confined to the locked office upstairs. While I was not inducted into the pleasures of Bolivian marching powder, I was tasked with sweeping and mopping the kitchen alone after closing a couple of times a week with a fully stocked bar only a swinging door away. The adults were all upstairs “gettin’ right hamma’d” and singing along to “Piano Man” at the real bar upstairs. I was such a well-behaved, Bible-believing, church-going young man that it took until the final two weeks of my second season working there before I dove into a bottle of peppermint schnapps. It made swabbing the cement floors a lot more fun but it didn’t ease the task of wrestling the thick rubber mats into a sloppy pile while I mopped.
And one from Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC):
Why do I want the App? So that I can pray for Israel as well as understand, as a policy maker, the magnanimity of the threats and the conflict.
Can you imagine living under this constant threat?…
This speaks to the existential threat that the people in Israel live with constantly.
Red Alert's creator is Kobi Snir, an Israeli developer who worked with the people behind Yo! to build an app that would send push notifications when rockets are launched into Israel. Initial press reports in American tech media focused on this angle in particular—how the useless-yet-VC-funded Yo! suddenly developed a very real and practical application.
The app is visually and functionally simple: When a rocket is fired, some sort of information pipeline between the Israeli military and Red Alert, which the app's creator declined to discuss in an interview with The Times of Israel, lights up, and a notification is sent. A sample alert might read "Rockets Attack: Kiryat Malakhi." You can narrow down the areas you want to monitor, or monitor them all. In theory (and in practice thus far), the notifications give an Israeli enough time to hurry into a bomb shelter.
For users of Red Alert here in the US, where it seems to be wildly popular, the app does something else: It simulates panic. READ MORE
★★★★ Sweltering humidity at its purest, unboosted by any overt solar heat. For once, and briefly, it was worth stepping into the office air conditioning, after the airless stairwell. Then the monstrous chill regained its monstrousness. The outside darkened. Mobile phones whined en masse, if not in perfect synchrony, with arriving flash-flood warnings. Suddenly and quietly a solid downpour was falling–and then came a loud growl of thunder, then a sharp clap of it, then a long sustained boom. Another boom followed, sounding very specifically overhead. The street-side windows were white with rain. A roll and a crash; a roll that turned into a crash. Ten minutes went by, fifteen. The booming abated and the rain became an ordinary steady rain. The sky stayed dark, and it was noticeably cooler. The rain stopped long enough for the fire escape to dry out, then fell again on the evening commute. Once more it stopped, then, with three evenly spaced shell-bursts of thunder, returned for an indefinite soaking.
In the Museum of Chinese in America, two blocks north of Canal Street in New York City, a small, illuminated tile informs visitors that “sometime before 1865,” a Chinese American squirrel trapper known as “Poison Jim” found the mustard plant “growing weedlike in the Salinas Valley.” By selling the seeds, he “unintentionally turn[ed] mustard into a commercial crop” in the United States. A textbook published in 2010 repeats the story, with Poison Jim making and selling mustard until it “became a major California product.”
“Poison Jim Chinaman” was first documented by the little-known writer Owen Clarke Treleaven, who published a six-page story about him in a 1919 issue of the Overland Monthly, a magazine serving middle-class readers a diet of human interest pieces and folksy caricatures of the American West long after its wildest years were behind it. Writers glibly peddled stereotypes about the multiethnic fabric of frontier societies; the issue in which Treleaven’s story appeared also included an article on “Queer Korean Superstitions” and a poem called “Loleeta—An Indian Lyric.”
According to an old stagecoach driver, Leagan, whose yarn makes up most of the narrative, Poison Jim earned his nickname for having “more luck than anyone else ’round here mixin’ poisoned grain to kill off ground squirrels.” But when wild mustard overtook the valley one spring, threatening wheat production, Jim knew what to do: He rounded up a hundred Chinese laborers who swiftly set about clearing the fields, drying the plants, and storing away the threshed seed. When the mustard crop in South Africa failed later that year, a French condiment manufacturer, having gotten wind of a large harvest of mustard seed, showed up in San Francisco to buy Jim’s stock for thirty-three thousand dollars. With his earnings, Jim purchased a small ranch but lived modestly. Several years later, a drought blighted two consecutive grain crops, intensifying already strained conditions in the local “Indian village.” When a dispute erupted there over a stolen sheep, the owner who went looking for it opened fire, killing a man and a young mother. “Then,” Leagan recalls, “we saw what ‘Poison Jim’ was made of.” He stoically gathered up the murdered woman’s baby, then returned four days later to distribute fifteen thousand dollars worth of provisions to the sick and hungry throughout the entire valley.
Leagan’s story takes place “’bout forty years back” from the time of its telling—roughly 1880. If it’s difficult to imagine a Chinese squirrel trapper escaping public scrutiny for decades after suddenly striking it rich, that might be because it didn’t quite happen that way. According to James Perry, a curator and archivist at the Monterey County Historical Society, “Poison Jim, as far as our records relate, never existed.”
VICE Sports and Budweiser meet the Palestinian Women's National Team as they prepare to challenge a men's team to see how football can bridge cultural divides and combat conventions that discriminate against women.
"While the talks between the two companies have thus far been considered friendly, people involved in the discussions said that Mr. Murdoch is determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away." — The experience of truly cheating Death comes with an awareness, a soft, white noise that never quite recedes wholly into the background, that one has not acquired a permanent injunction barring further contact, but merely extracted a non-binding promise—an intimation, really—that while the evasion was fair play, the momentary lapse will be remedied in the fullness of time, the enabling loophole closed, completely and utterly. So Death circles, endlessly, the curve unbroken.
"Bloodfeast" is a new period foods-themed recipe column.Happy Period Day, everyone! Time to roll out the fanfare of cheesy carbs and whatever gluttonous pleasures you lovingly reward yourself with during your moment of bloodspill. Whenever it is my own goddess moon time of the month, I crave A BIG ASS BURGER. I like to call this ritual, “Blood in, Blood Out.” I’ll go to In-N-Out for some animal style or hit up a greasy spoon diner, it doesn’t matter. Red meat and melty cheese dance in my eyes like emoji hearts.
This last time it was period burg time, I wanted something sweet to go with my savory… simultaneously! Enter, Nutella.
Nutella was pretty much a staple in my house growing up. We’d smear it on regular white bread and eat it for a snack. And now I’m about to put it on BEEF. Did you know that one of the original names for Nutella was “Supercrema”? That’s right. Supercream! Giovanni Ferrero, the man who also created THESE delicious balls of magic, came up with this delicious hazelnut spread back in the days when chocolate was too expensive for everyone to afford. What a saint of a man. I wonder if he’ll roll around in his grave after reading this recipe.
Nutella Bacon Burger
1l b grass fed ground beef (makes about four burgs)
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 sweet onions
½ cup nutella
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
⅛ cup almond flour (optional for binding)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 slices bacon
4 brioche buns (if you want to get fancy because “Brioche” just makes you sound even more legit but any bun will do)
½ tablespoon of butter
½ tablespoon of olive oil
Lately I’ve been super obsessed with caramelized sweet onions and have been putting them on everything, so it was only natural they’d make a cameo on this burg. First, peel and slice your onions. Heat a saute pan over medium heat, then add the butter and olive oil to the pan, making sure every inch of the pan is well-lubed. Once the butter starts sizzling, but not burning, toss in the onions. Mix them around so they are evenly coated in the butter/oil, then turn down the heat a bit and let them start to brown. Make sure to add a little bit of butter if needed so the onions don’t stick and burn. The thing about caramelizing these onions is that you will need to let them take their sweet (no pun intended) time. Let them bathe in the pan, relaxing, like they are at the Korean spa. READ MORE
Just another Diamond Day is 44 years old, and Vashti Bunyan has a new album coming out October. Time: Is it just a dumb lie???