genius of the week


Banksy (born 1975) is a graffiti artist from Bristol, UK, whose artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world. Despite this he carefully manages to keep his real name from the mainstream media. However, many newspapers assert that his real name is Robert or Robin Banks.

Due to his shroud of secrecy surrounding his real identity and his subversive character; Banksy has achieved somewhat of a cult following from some of the younger age group within the stencilling community.

In 2004 the Space Hijackers gave out spoof vouchers outside a Banksy exhibition to highlight the artist's ironic use of anti-capitalist and protest imagery while doing work for corporations and art galleries.

Another of Banksy's tricks involved hanging a piece of his own Art in London's Tate Modern, and as of March 2005, the New York Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History. In May 2005 Bansky's version of primitive cave painting depicting a human figure hunting wildlife while pushing a shopping cart was found hanging in the British Museum.

On August 4, 2005 it was reported that Banksy had painted 9 images on the Palestinian side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a ladder up and over the wall and an image of children digging a hole through the wall.

Banksy has also self-published several books that contain photos of his work in various countries as well as some of his canvas work and exhibitions, accompanied by his own subversive and often witty writings. His first book, published in black and white, is Banging your head against a brick wall followed by the full color Existencilism. In 2004 he published his third book, Cut it Out.


rest in peace pat

as loyal readers of the year 2015 may have noticed, i recently replaced my personal profile picture as i often do. for the past month or so, the picture featured was of pat morita...the lovable actor of "happy days" and "karate kid" fame. i now have jacque cousteau the equalably lovable oceanographer. that dosen't matter now. anyway..mr. morita sadly passed away almost to the minute of me replacing his picture. it has been brought to my attention that my actions may have been the cause of his untimely passing. i just wanted to express my sadness and apologize for any mystical powerline of fate that this blog may be plugged into......


happy thanksgiving


Tryptophan is an amino acid and essential in human nutrition. It is one of the 20 amino acids in the genetic code (codon UGG). Only the L-stereoisomer appears in mammalian protein.

Trp is a precursor for serotonin (a neurotransmitter), melatonin (a neurohormone), and niacin. The functional group of Trp is indole; see that article for more on its chemical properties.

Tryptophan has been implicated as a possible cause of schizophrenia in people who cannot metabolize it properly. When improperly metabolized it creates a waste product in the brain which is toxic and causes hallucinations and delusions. Trp has also been indicated as an aid for schizophrenic patients.

Trp, found as a component of dietary protein, is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, fish, turkey, and peanuts.

In recent years, compounding pharmacies and some mail-order supplement retailers have begun selling Trp to the general public. Trp has also remained on the market as a prescription drug (Tryptan) which some psychiatrists continue to prescribe, particularly as an augmenting agent for people who are unresponsive to antidepressant drugs. Indeed, Trp has continued to be used in clinical and experimental studies employing human patients and subjects. Several of these studies suggest Trp can effectively treat the fall/winter depression variant of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).


please mind the giant yellow edge

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A man who was struck in the head by a train this weekend was also hit in the head by a New York City subway car three years ago, officials said Monday.

Parker T. Hall Houghtaling, of Stanfordville, 23, was hit in the head Nov. 18 by a Metro-North train as it pulled into the Poughkeepsie station. He was listed in stable condition Monday.

In 2002, Houghtaling was waiting at a subway station in Manhattan when he stuck his head out and was hit by a subway car. He was hospitalized with a shoulder injury, nose fractures and bruises, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

It was unclear Monday what led to either incident.

MTA police are continuing an investigation, Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.


kahn in new hampshire

exeter library
phillips exeter academy
exeter, new hampshire
louis i kahn

i have mentioned the greatness of the architect louis kahn here before, and i shall again. as part of my fantastic getaway to new hampshire this past weekend, i finally got to visit a building which i have been looking forward to seeing in person for a very long time.

"Elemental in its contemporary directness and built also with the sense and durability of the great monuments of history is the Library at Philips Exeter Academy. In the spirit of the grand, classical tradition of the focal organizing space, the reading room is a central hall encircled by balconies containing the stacks and study alcoves. It is a space diagonally overlooked through giant circular openings in the interior screen walls that define the central area. In keeping with the campus tradition, the exterior of the building is a repetition of brick piers, wider as they approach the ground where the book loads are greater, cut back at all four corners to subtly articulate the building's exterior square form. The perimeter study carrels are illuminated from windows above the reader's eye level; smaller windows at eye level afford views to the campus or conversely can be closed by a sliding wooden shutter for privacy and concentration. There is contact with and building upon origins in both the library and the [Kimbell] museum. They span time as an architecture of basic fact and of progression as we move onward, aware of both where we have come form and where we are."

— from Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. p279.


old design

i found this link via the nonist to an online archive of the u.k magazine design. it includes all issues and everything in them between the years 1965-1974......a treasure trove of funky information


the dirty dozen

for my birthday, my most fantastic wife provided me a surprise trip to see one of my favorites...the dirty dozen brass band. if you find yourself in new market, new hampshire, check out who is playing at the stone church meeting house...a nice venue

history: The jazz funeral is a tradition based on centuries old African ideology has, in modern times, become a sacred experience unique to Louisiana which began as early as the evolution of jazz itself. When a "jazz man" leaves the earth, there is first a viewing and service at the church followed by a march to the final resting place. En route to the cemetery, slow mournful dirges comfort the family, and once out of earshot, the elegies turn into a festive celebration of the recently departed. The Jazz Funeral is such an important cornerstone of life in New Orleans that an entire business model was established based on this tradition. Fraternal organizations known as Social and Pleasure clubs arose to provide burial insurance for the lower and middle class Black citizens who wanted to guarantee an appropriate send off to their loved ones. By the mid 1970s, the jazz funeral and the clubs that kept them going were in steep decline. The elder statesmen of New Orleans jazz were starting to fade away, and most of the younger generation were looking to forge ahead with their own musical tastes. But not all of the kids were turning a deaf ear to the old school.

IN 1977, the Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. It was a joining of two proud, but antiquated, traditions at the time: social and pleasure clubs dated back over a century to a time when black southerners could rarely afford life insurance, and the clubs would provide proper funeral arrangements. Brass bands, early predecessors of jazz as we know it, would often follow the funeral procession playing somber dirges, then once the family of the deceased was out of earshot, burst into jubilant dance tunes as casual onlookers danced in the streets. By the late 70s, few of either existed. The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club decided to assemble this group as a house band, and over the course of these early gigs, the eight-member ensemble adopted the venue's name: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.


the high seas

the admiral has been away for the past few days on a surprise trip, but shall return to you shortly to resume providing the useless information you have come to rely upon....


album of the week

feats dont fail me now
little feat

Usual fine mix of rock, blues and country supported with superb vocalizing from this all too underrated group. Lowell George is easily one of the better rock guitarists on today's music scene, and his vocals combined with the singing and excellent keyboards of Bill Payne are one of the most winning combinations in contemporary music. The band is excellent, potentially commercial and it's a real mystery why they have not made it to a larger extent than they have. Band must rank near the top of any meaningful list of today's groups. Best cuts: "Rock And Roll Doctor," "Long Distance Love," "Front Page News," "Feats Don't Fail Me Now."
-Billboard, 1974

1. Rock And Roll Doctor
2. Oh Atlanta
3. Skin It Back
4. Down The Road
5. Spanish Moon
6. Feets Don't Fail Me Now
7. The Fan
8. Medley : Cold Cold Cold/Tripe Face Boogie



i found this from here and i liked it, so if i were in s.f. i would check it out


a 2015 book review

Barbecuing the Weber Covered Way
by Carol Brent & Betty Hughes, Editors
(Tested Recipe Publishers, 1972)

Chock full of heart-stopping recipes like Bacon Crab Rolls and Steak Burgers, this marvelous and colorful collection is not just for red meat fans. Heck no! For lamb alone you’ve got "lamburgers...lamb chops...lamb steaks...lamb loaf and lamb shanks."

The contents are marred by a short section in the rear of the book on vegetables, but the substantial sauces section makes up for it. Try this Sweet-Sour Barbecue Sauce: "1 can crushed pineapple, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup cider, 1/3 cup coarsely chopped green pepper, 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries." If you add 2 cups vodka it makes a wonderful Mai-tai, or with a spurt of whipped cream, served in a chilled glass, an enticing dessert. Make sure those cherries are flavored with Red Dye #2!

thanks to the good folks at pistil books for their efforts in the published realm


genius of the week

"pp512" folding chair
hans j. wegner

Hans J. Wegner born in Tonder in 1914, is representative of the combination of excellent craftsmanship and commitment to modern living that made mid-century Danish design internationally popular. Hans J. Wegner is the most innovative and prolific of all Danish furniture designers.

He got an early start working as a child apprentice to a carpenter. After serving in the military he went to technical college and then to the School of Arts and Crafts and the Architectural Academy in Copenhagen. Even his earliest objects, like a 1937 design for an exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts, an elegant armchair with sloping armrests like relaxed wrists, exhibited Wegner's approach of "stripping the old chairs of their outer style and letting them appear in their pure construction."

He received almost all major honors given to designers, from the Lunning prize in 1951 and the grand prix of the Milan Triennale in the same year, to the Prince Eugen medal in Sweden and the Danish Eckersberg medal. In 1959 he was made honorary Royal designer for industry by the Royal Society of Arts in London. His furniture is part of all major design museum collections in the world: The Museum of Modern Art in N.Y., Die Neue Samlung in Munich and twenty other Museums.


straight thuggin

those crazy kids and their straight thuggin parties:

Nov. 2, 2005: It was called a "straight thuggin' " party and it offended some students and community residents at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. The party took place inside a dorm at the university and some referred to it as a ghetto party. Students were seen in photos from the party wearing low-ride pants, gold chains and baggie clothes. "I think that they meant it as a joke, but I, personally, didn't take it as a joke," said Brittany Hamelers, a U of C student. "It was a mockery of a subculture of blackness," said Latrese Goldson, president of The Organization of Black Students. She said that everyone at the party on Oct. 14 was white. When a number of black students showed up as the party ended, she claims, they were told they were "the most thuggin' there." Natasha Hodnett, who went to the party, said this is all a misunderstanding. "We were just kind of mocking pop culture in a sense," she said. "It had nothing to do with race. Like, I'm sorry we made a mistake. We're sorry we offended people, but we didn't mean it this way at all. We're not racist. We're not trying to attack the plight of black man." Regardless of their intentions, complaints have been brought to university officials, who will hold a forum next week on race and diversity. "It's very important that whenever people understand whenever anything like this happens, in any one of our community members feels marginalized, we're all impacted by this," said Stephen Klass, vice president and dean of students for the university. But, some students failed to see the problem. "If a frat decides to throw toga party, will they have Greek students breathing down their neck?" asked Dan Kimmel. "Comments were made about correlating blackness to what their mockery was," Goldson said. "That's what's the problem, and the fact that they don't understand that is something that the university and our society needs to take responsibility for."


sailing the digital realm

what follows will be a fine collection of links which will keep you busy on a day on which you may wish to use the internet as a source of meaningless fun, or inspired thought. i must extend much thanks to my enterprising brother for such good finds:

say it out loud please
cassette graveyard
chris ryniak: delightfully disturbed
just plain funny
lazy days
star wars episode 4 abridged and fantastic!


doodles drafts & designs

automatic compound bevel wheel cutting machine
ink on linen

this most fantastic exhibition finds itself to my lap via the enterprising eye of my most informed brother:

Engineers, inventors, and designers produce drawings as part of their creative process. They draw to work out and refine concepts and details. They draw to persuade. They draw to give direction. And they draw to record their ideas and to learn from others.

This exhibition presents examples of industrial drawings in the collections of the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Some are working drawings, ideas sketched in pencil or ink. Others are more finished, designed for presentation. A few are printed, either as sales material or as part of a patent application. They visually document American industrial creativity, from inventor's hand and investor's boardroom, to patent office, factory floor, and manufacturer's showroom.


know your facial hair

The Organization for the Advancement of Facial Hair

As you may have already noticed, we are The Organization for the Advancement of Facial Hair. Yes, you've heard it right. Our goal is to promote the advancement of facial hair on all people and equality for all those who grow such. We come in peace to serve the many fellow facial-haired peoples of our society. We exist to aid those who have been discriminated against due to their growing of the godlike matter. We don't ask that you grow facial hair yourself (unless of course you want to), but we do ask that you have the love for it or at least honor those who do grow it and don't think of them differently, as if they didn't have it at all.