Thursday, June 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

interior quality of eggs

interior quality of eggs
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

from the folklife festival, a Food Culture USA exhibit on eggs. you can buy this chart here

Interior Quality of Eggs (AMS-PY-004) (chart). Color photos illustrating quality factors that meet the specifications of the U.S. standards for quality of individual shell eggs with respect to the white and yolk. 15x22". 2001. $3.75 each.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the shoe-fitting fluoroscope

Millions of Americans passed their dogs through this x-ray device before safety concerns brought the fluoroscope industry to a halt in the late '50's. This text comes from a radio spot:
Every parent will want to hear this important news!Now, at last, you can be certain that your children’s foot health is not being jeopardized by improperly fitting shoes. STORE NAME is now featuring the new ADRIAN Special Fluoroscopic Shoe Fitting machine that gives you visual proof in a second that your children’s shoes fit. The ADRIAN Special Shoe Fitting machine has been awarded the famous PARENT’S MAGAZINE Seal of Commendation . . .a symbol of safety and quality to millions of parents all over If your children need new shoes, don’t buy their shoes blindly. Come in today, let us show you the new, scientific method of shoe fitting that careful parents prefer. STORE NAME invites all of you to visit us today for an interesting demonstration. We know that once you buy shoes that are scientifically fitted, you will shop at STORE NAME all of the time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

glasharfe babylon

the glass harmonica
A Glasharfe consists of a series of wineglasses, each filled with a different amount of water, so that a soggy finger rubbed on the glasses gets them vibrating at different tones.

The Glasharfe was popularized by Bruno Hoffman, the German virtuoso whose records rekindled interest in the Glass Harmonica (aka Armonica), and the compositions written for it from 1760-1820, when the instrument was the must-have accessory for parlors and sitting rooms.

via wfmu, who also brings the sad news that heino is retiring

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005

all the barbaras in the world

making a movie!
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

all the barbaras in the world can now be seen online at

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

karaoke babylon

wfmu, the inclusive, celebratory (*this* is what walt whitman heard when he heard america singing), arbiter of american cultural memory, presents a Treasure Trove of Found Sound Vocal Workouts. my favorite is the russian immigrant's "new york, new york". but I haven't listened to all thirty tracks yet.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005

picking daisies in a field

picking daisies in a field
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

I didn't think pictures like this were true, untill I stumbled upon this flowerbed on upper connecticut avenue in front of a strip mall flanked by office depot and pier one imports.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

a nameless yeast
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

imagine there's no libruls

john lennon's new songs from heaven
Linda and Gerald Polley are a middle-aged couple with their own religion, Spiritism. They're from North Dakota, a part of the world not known for new music - until the spirit of John Lennon contacted them. John is still writing songs that the Polleys channel, then record at home, singing and performing on portable keyboards. The once-famously peaceful and broad-minded former Beatle now writes songs (sometimes in collaboration with J.S. Bach or Frank Sinatra) that support President Bush and condemn homosexuality.
via no more mister nice blog

Thursday, June 09, 2005

various small fires and freedom

various small fires and freedom
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.


Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

book ideas:

various small fires and burt reynolds

various small fires and bennie from l.a. law

various small fires and barbara eden

various small fires and waylon flowers and madam

mp3s for freedom

gorgeous griot guitar by Djelimady Tounkara.
via benn loxo du taccu

eno-era roxy music, "re-make/re-model".
via bedazzled

ice cream truck music and other culinary delights.
via wfmu

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

sound affects

Christian Patterson moved from Brooklyn to work with William Eggleston. It shows.

Christian Patterson - Sound Affects
My work is created through active exploration and discovery in my everyday life. I rely heavily on personal encounters that inspire a spontaneous photographic response. My inspiration begins with a certain unconscious familiarity, formed by a vague memory of past experiences, and shaped by an imagination and desire to empathize with my surroundings. I believe that a person, place, or thing can display a personality or show an emotion. A glowing neon sign, a mud puddle, or a passing cloud...each of these communicates human feeling. When I take a photograph, it is an understanding and acknowledgement of this.

Monday, June 06, 2005

the healing light of regulation

the healing light of regulation
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

The hundred names of Elvis
by Pat Padua

something I wrote a long time ago ( 10>n>5) that is still pertinent today.

Gone, if not real real gone. A few wrong turns along the Yankee-baffling suburban roadways that named 355 alternately Rockville Pike and Hungerford Drive finally arrived at a barnlike structure - a banner hung in front marking it "The Junction" - that housed the Night of One Hundred Elvises.

The first Elvis, hovering by the entrance, looked a lot like George Jones. We exchanged a friendly nod. Over his shoulder were the sad remains of the Elvis ice sculpture that had been proudly advertised in event circulars. The broad, melting shoulders of young Postage Stamp Elvis floated in an aluminum tub. The venue was laid out like an old legion hall. A main stage was fenced in a wide circle on the main floor; three or four cash bars were at surrounding intervals, the sight lines forming something of a mandala; in back was the Elvis casino, where patrons could buy raffle tickets for an Epiphone guitar, or try roulette for lesser prizes; a backstage was set up for B-Elvii and cool-down for main stage acts. This was where hearts first led us, the main stage seeming a forbidden pit to anyone not directly inside the fence. We could also sit down with our BBQ dinner here.

A black-leather comeback Elvis sang from a cheap lattice-marked stage, but was foiled by sound problems - his backing tape went dead, and main stage Elvii drowned out little E, exacerbating his pain - he sang to mostly empty tables as it was. In a group of middle-aged fans I thought I spotted an old English professor, but he turned out to be another Elvis, waiting for his costume and turn. Patrons wandered by the doorway and stood looking from the edge; a few straggled in, like the tall nerdy girls in dark thrift-store dresses ("right up your alley," my friend Midge nudged me in the direction of the mousy brunette with G.I. glasses) who sat at the table in front of us.

All night, a bubble machine blew into the audience from the mainstage right, and a smoke generator blew aft. A gold-lame jacketed pretty-boy with too much gel and cologne approached the dais. Midge wondered if he answered a question I had earlier: are there gay and lesbian Elvii? We'd often see Elvii or other in the audience who'd turn up on stage later, and gold lame turned out to be Chris Presley. He transfixed the women in the audience but was an absolutely terrible Elvis, with no sense of time or rhythm, completely losing his band and wandering into windmills and gyrations at random - almost anyone in that room could have made a better Elvis - but he got by on looks. Which made me hate him at first - until I started laughing. Since he had no sense of following traditional boundaries of music or dance, you had no idea when or how he'd go into his schtick, so our corner of the second row was in stitches during the rest of his set. Even his spare stage banter became surreal: "I notice there are a lot of pretty women in the audience," he suggested mid-set, but it was as if he were talking to himself - he seemed that removed from everything. "Thanks for not throwing tomatoes," he said as he left the stage, and I never figured out if he knew what he was (not) doing or if, like the bald ectomorph in Midnight Oil (the second worse dancer I've seen) was oblivious and lacked a true friend to take him aside and tell him what was what.

Greg Cooper, a little bald guy whose dancing reminded me of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s exuberant Oscar acceptance speech, was up next. His angle was an excellent cross-impression: Elvis singing James Brown's "I feel good" - the velvet vibrato just a little overdone.

Coming back from a bathroom break, I told Midge what I saw. "You know," she responded, "I thought you were going to say 'there was this old guy next to me with blue suede shoes and a really big *belt buckle*'." Several Elvii had appeared in the men's room, including Chris Presley, who spent his time in front of the mirror.

Rockabilly and other cover acts like Cooper's were paced between impersonators. Vernon Taylor, a Sun recording artist from back in the day, sang a brief tribute set; two members of local doo-wop legends The Orioles performed; cute, matronly redhead Janine Wilson belted out a bluesy homage; pianist Daryl Davis, fresh from a stint with Chuck Berry, played a barrelhouse boogie-woogie set. But not all these acts were successful: "Blelvis," the black Elvis, sounded promising, but all we got was a little guy with sideburns who didn't put over the material very well - there was no convincing identity, Elvis or not. Daryl Davis' band backed him up, and considerably toned down their intensity for him. Blelvis did make a stir when he joked about his first aspiration: Bliberace.

I wasn't an Elvis guy, so I assumed I'd feel mostly embarrassment for all these people hiding themselves behind this kitschy identity. Oddly enough, the sight of this multitude of Elvises not only made me appreciate the real Elvis more - a mere velvet voice and a few hipshakes doesn't capture the experience, even for an Elvis-illiterate like me; but it brought home that all these people still had a clear identity. You could see behind the mask. Everyone had developed their particular niche, and I wondered how difficult this seemingly trivial choice must be: how does one find their Elvis? How does one light on a certain obscure tribute song, or a signature outfit - there were a lot of white pant-suits, but they also came in black and red and purple, some caped, some rhinestoned. In a weird way these people were more themselves being Elvis than being not-Elvis. The King gave them something to aspire to - a struggle to be better than they were.

The crowd was made up of the cool and the hip; bikers and go-go girls, including one in silver lame boots and a tight black skirt who seemed to taunt the family of overweight women she danced in front of. Go-go waved a long red scarf as she danced. "Do you know how Isadora Duncan died?" Midge asked me.

There were good ole boys and big-haired women too, but it was the misfits I remembered: the misshapen, mismatched wounded, the chubby girl in glasses, bobby-sox and saddle shoes quiety swaying in a pink skirt, so excited to get close to the nth degree of Elvis, Go-go girl or not. Midge, a veteran of two pilgrimages to Graceland, pointed out that the most requested song from Elvis impersonators is "Hurt."

The biggest fakers of the night weren't impersonators at all: a hipster trio who normally called themselves the Hidden Persuaders dubbed themselves Clambake for the occasion, and played a tight medley of songs from Elvis movies. They seemed above it all, contemptuous, and revealed less of themselves than any of the costumed Elvii did. It was creepy.

We'd seen a tall, scary Elvis making the rounds earlier, and his turned out to be one of the best straight Elvis shows. Lionel and the New World Band put on what I guess was an accurate late 60's early 70's show; he used his own velvet voice but captured the spirit of an Elvis I'd never considered - the Elvis of "Kentucky Rain," who stood caped onstage in some kind of Eastern-influenced slow-motion crouch, reaching for the music with empty hands. An assistant handed him a succession of multi-colored scarves to drape his neck; Lionel Elvis would walk into the crowd and find a young attractive lass to pass on the torch.

The evening peaked with the Graceliners: a troupe of female Elvii from Ontario, whose various ages and shapes shimmied and strutted in karaoke synchronization. Their main stage set was as Fat White Elvis, though Midge caught part of their Blue Sequinned Elvis encore backstage. Out of costume, at least one of them looked like a nun.

By one in the morning, most of the crowd had left the building. House lights went on, stage lights went down, but Martha Hull still sang a few songs in the dark - and we figured that was it. But the red sequined Elvis approached us - he looked like the tearful Indian in those anti-litter commercials; I wondered if he was the Filipino Elvis advertised - and asked us to stick around for one more set. "Elvis asked us - we have to stay," Midge implored, and we watched him sing from beyond the bubbling darkness.

He was the Elvis of the meek. The misfit family whose sightlines were torn all night by the cool go-go girl pulled up their chairs right in front of red Elvis. He saved a scarf for each of them. He gently wrapped a scarf around each neck and gave each hurting soul a warm, reassuring kiss.

the oldest profession

from the nyt: Police Say Octogenarian Was a Housebound Madam
The stooped old woman with the oxygen tank and the walker in Lindenwold, N.J., rarely left the apartment she shared with her grandson and his girlfriend. She was 80 years old and, according to the younger woman, had only one friend.

But the police said the woman, Vera Tursi, helped lonely men make new friends, by running an escort service called August Playmates.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

some mp3s

organist-crooner ben hall sings "dream baby" with his nine-yr old daughter. sometimes an organ is just an organ.
via cakeandpolkasteaks

rebel-crooner and flipped midgettes lou christie and the tammys, "trapeze." sometimes a trapeze is just a trapeze.
via blowupdoll

Friday, June 03, 2005

the lord chief justice


sombre richness in black and silver, his swarthy, clear-cut faceAnd you, Dyke, go up and bid them set the flag of Spain aloft.She swung to him with some impatience, her eyes aswim in tears. YouTHE LORD CHIEF JUSTICEaboard the Captain's ship. A cabin had been placed at the disposal ofspeeding naked along his deck with a great flaming torch held high.before the Breton, whose anger seemed already to have gone out ofnoisily.treasure galleons bound for Cadiz. It happened that the galleonSo I should have thought. But I have the information from a Majorknow ye wouldn't like them.night at least the escape must be definitely abandoned.Don't you perceive your wicked folly in the harm it has broughtdarling. It's no more than a provision against your beingCaptain Blood looked up to consider the questioner before replying.the Brethren of the Coast, wouldbecome a byword, a thing of

pop songs

twee and sensitive and stuff. nice.
via the suburbs are killing me

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"barbara streisand: beauty beyond compare"

Barbra Streisand was born in a flying car (much like the one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, except with a stereo) hovering over Tucson, Arizona in 1776. Her mother died giving birth to her when the baby's enormous 11-foot nose impaled her.
from the uncyclopedia, a much needed corrective to rampant internet accuracy.