Kottke remaindered links and the tab attic

I was thrilled to spend last week editing Kottke.org. It’s a fun time introducing a larger audience the stuff I like on the Internet. When posting on Kottke, I obviously post a lot more often than I post here, and from time to time I’ll have a problem with pacing. I’ll see something awesome, but not have the time to write it up right then, and then 5 other awesome things show up for which I have to make time. But then I’ve gone and posted too much that day, and so the original awesome thing will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll just leave the tab open and get back to it.

To me tabbed browsing is equal parts blessing and curse. I’ll open a link in a new tab with the intention of doing something with it, and I’ll leave it there forever if I have to. When I started this post I had 75 tabs open. I have a problem. (There’s a Firefox extension that makes it so anytime you restart Firefox, the tabs don’t load until you click on them again. This extension is an enabler, and makes the whole tab attic idea possible. Tab attic: noun describing the brain space occupied by unopened tabs you know are in a row up above somewhere, but you’re not ready to use. The more tabs you have open, the heavier the tab attic is.

In any case, I wanted to share a bunch of links that definitely could have gone on Kottke last week (maybe some of them still might?), but didn’t because they got locked up in the tab attic. This post took a ton of time and I realized because it’s actually 10 Kottke.org posts in one.
Damien Hirst and the great art market heist.

Hirst is not only the world’s richest artist, but a transformative figure who can be assured of his place in history. Sadly – for him and for us – this is not because of the quality of his work but because he has almost single-handedly remade the global art market in his image: that is to say, the image of the artist as celebrity clown, the licensed working-class fool who not only shits on us from on top of his pile of cash, but persuades us to buy that shit and beg for more. This cockney chancer routine, perfected in the 60s by the likes of David Bailey and Keith Moon, has deep roots in British pop culture. We have a lot of affection for guys like these, who seem to be getting away with it, sticking it to the man.

Also, here’s Felix Salmon on How Damien Hirst recaptured his market.

I Was a Cookbook Ghostwriter.

The answer: they don’t. The days when a celebrated chef might wait until the end of a distinguished career and spend years polishing the prose of the single volume that would represent his life’s work are gone. Recipes are product, and today’s successful cookbook authors are demons at providing it — usually, with the assistance of an army of writer-cooks.

Gwyneth Paltrow denied having a ghostwriter in a Tweet with a grammatical mistake.

Jorge Louis Borges on The Task of Art.

For a poet, the symbols are sounds and also words, fables, stories, poetry. The work of a poet never ends. It has nothing to do with working hours. Your are continuously receiving things from the external world. These must be transformed, and eventually will be transformed.

Extreme Maple Syrup. This one I was going to post because it mentions my friends Jamie and Matt in the first paragraph, and I was going to tie it to Making the Grade: Why the Cheapest Maple Syrup Tastes Best which has been in the tab attic since November.

Martin Picard! You make the macho chefs of America look like sissies—except maybe your fellows in the group that calls itself the International Hoof and Snout Mafia: Chris Cosentino; Fergus Henderson; Anthony Bourdain; Matt Jennings, of Farmstead, in Providence; Jamie Bissonnette, of Coppa, in Boston, and a former vegetarian. Inventor of foie gras poutine, popularizer of head cheese, butcher: Picard, at his Montreal restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, has for almost a decade been outdoing just about everyone in decadent down-home cooking.

-I don’t know if this one would have made it in, but it was opened as a maybe, and I am in tab attic prune mode. Sasha Frere-Jones: Good Things About Twitter.

That’s the vegetables. What else is on Twitter? A poetic spambot named Horse_ebooks that spits out isolated phrases like “monopoly on your radio” or fragments like “33 Dependence on chance may seem a burden and a limitation on fraternity.” Occasionally this found poetry comes with a link to a terrible e-book such as Pizza Recipes, which would seem to be the original purpose of Horse_ebooks. Adrian Chen of Gawker recently reported on the feed’s origin (Russia) and purpose (inept commerce) and poetic engine (maybe automated, maybe human). Why do more than fifty-five thousand people follow Horse_ebooks? Because he/it tweets “Pocket Change Written Plan Ball Games Family Haircuts” and, after you’ve read the name Santorum for the 456th time, these are the words that keep hope alive.

The Secret Ingredient. “Liquor companies love to claim they use closely guarded, centuries-old recipes. usually it’s just marketing.”

As Breaux points out, even if he were to determine the exact formula for Chartreuse or Campari, it’s not as though customers would come clamoring for his imitations. The makers of the originals are “going to outspend me in marketing,” he says. Breaux notes that the best-selling spirit globally is vodka, behind which there are no significant production secrets at all. It’s essentially pure ethanol; the main added ingredient is marketing.

-I really like talking about pig breeds and breeding habits, so I was excited to share this article from a couple months ago. Hogs Wild by Ian Frazier should remind you of Ossibaw pigs, a post I put on Kottke the summer before last.

In frontier times, farmers let their hogs run loose, then collected them with the help of dogs on butchering day. Many hogs chose to skip this event, naturally. After America became rich, circa 1890, sportsmen with money imported Eurasian wild boars to stock hunting preserves. When these animals escaped and crossbred with feral swine, they created a tougher and even better-adapted (some say) feral hog. The fact that wild swine have been living in America for centuries does not dissuade wildlife biologists from referring to them as a “non-native” species. Feral hogs of the species Sus scrofa live on every continent but Antarctica, and also on many islands and archipelagoes. Except in the original range of the Eurasian wild boar, feral hogs are non-native everywhere.

-One of the best parts of editing Kottke.org are the people who send in links. I still haven’t quite hardened myself to not feeling guilty about not using these links. This is a job for sociopaths, I think. In any case, former ShareBro Jonah Keri, sports statistics advocate, Grandland.com writer, and all around bon vivant sent me this link and I thought it was a no-brainer for posting, but didn’t have the time to get through the article, or even start it. I’m fascinated by this topic for a movie, and the fact that it rose organically out of the Internet. How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big-Budget Flick. I’ve posted about this project twice before, and Jason may have, as well, but this is a great definitive profile of James Erwin.

The encyclopedias proved that he had talent and erudition, but they didn’t bring him any attention—the buyers were mainly libraries—and barely earned him minimum wage. But writing the encyclopedias did teach him a crucial set of skills. He now knew how to mine history for tragedy and comedy. He could instantly recall huge swaths of fact. (Erwin competed on Jeopardy! in 2009, walking away a two-time champion and $23,598 richer.) Perhaps most important, he could compose large blocks of text with astonishing speed.

Kevin Nguyen of the Bygone Bureau (why are you here? go there!) sent over a bunch of awesome things that…fuck. These really should have been posted. Well, two of the links, the rest were boring. Kevin’s taste is only slightly attuned to mine. Now I’m just being a jerk to goad Kevin into an angry Tweet.
Dance the flip-flop by Robin Sloan:

Sculpt eight different vases. PHYSICAL

Take photos of those vases. DIGITAL

Find those photos and combine them somehow into a single vase. DIGITAL

Print that new vase in plaster with a 3D printer. PHYSICAL

Take photos of that new vase. DIGITAL

Make an animated GIF! DIGITAL

And I don’t know how to describe sssspace.tumblr.com except as Kottkeporn. This one would have been perfect.

Also, if you think 75 tabs is a lot, Jason uses 3 different browsers at the same time.

Kottke remaindered links and the tab attic

This Week On Unlikely Words

Hope you all enjoyed the Kottke.org guest editing this week. If so, you should subscribe by RSS or email or check out Unlikely Words on Twitter, Tumblr, or on Facebook.
Hi all. I’ll be guest editing Kottke.org this week, so posting might be a light to non-existent over the next couple days.

For all you new visitors, welcome to Unlikely Words! Take a look around, there’s plenty of internet here. To get you started, here are a few of my favorite posts: Jason already told you about Everything Don Draper Said, Everything John Locke Said, and the Comprehensive Election Round Up, but you might also want to check out Everything Tracy Jordan Said, Marshmallow Peeps On the Internet – A Study, and the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator. I also write @eatBoston about Boston food, and 815 Sentences About Lost, which is self-explanatory. If you want to get in touch, say hi here.

This Week On Unlikely Words

Marshmallow Peeps Links

This article about a new Peeps related lawsuit, and this post on how to make Peepshi are as good a reason as any to repost my Peeps related research from last year: Marshmallow Peeps On the Internet – A Study. Follow that link to find 155+ different information sources about Marshmallow Peeps. An excerpt:

From Boing Boing, the (Masters of Internet Peepness), Mike Leavitt’s Anna Nicole Smith Rest in Peeps. Mike also did Barack Obama in Peeps. Other Peeps art can be found at David Ottogalli’s PeepsShow. It gets a little wackier at Skoozot Gallery and Fanpop Peeps, but Painting Each Day plays it a little straighter. And we mustn’t forget Peeps photography. Pink Pickled Peep is one of the weirder Peep art pieces I saw, and if you’re in Milwaukee, you might remember Peep Show which hasn’t happened for years, but is apparently happening again this year? I just don’t know what to do with these Motorbot Dunneeps, but they’re so cute, as are these Peepachus.

I would call marshmallow Peeps ‘the Bacon of the nineties’ for the way they captured the hearts and minds of internet users everywhere. Both bacon and Peeps are bad for you and delicious, and for some reason, that makes the crazy things you do with them so viral. Much Traditional Media ink has been spilled attempting to chronicle the Peep phenomenon and none of it has gotten any closer to figuring it out than any of the more recent coverage of the bacon meme. You can view some of the attempts in Salon , The Phoenix, Slate, More Intelligent Life, and the New York Times. Here’s a Brand Study of Peeps upon the brand’s 50th anniversary, which was in 2003. Read more


Creepy as hell!

Marshmallow Peeps Links

Chuck Klosterman Blog Part 2

Continuing the series of maintaining blogs for some of the authors I enjoy (Michael Lewis and Part 1 of Chuck Klosterman) because they won’t maintain them themselves, here’s another round of Chuck Klosterman on the internet.

Chuck Klosterman’s favorable and effusive review of Benji Hughes’ A Love Extreme:

Even after nearly three decades of MTV, we still tend to see musicians with our ears, which (I can only assume) is what the musicians would want.

Last week, Klosterman was on The BS Report with Bill Simmons (who calls Klosterman ‘Close-terman’ can we figure out if that’s how it’s supposed to be pronounced?) for 2 sessions. In the first they discussed the merits of pro sports (Simmons) vs college sports (Klosterman) and the second where they discussed newspapers, popularity and tenure.

Klosterman echoed David Carr’s thoughts that newspapers should have been charging on the web since the beginning and colluding to do so now is one way to save them. He also pointed out Simmons’ hypocrisy in criticizing sports columnists who have been where they are for ages. Simmons suggested that a lot of the best younger writers were leaving newspapers to go to the tubes, while Klosterman suggested that these guys might not be the best because internet is a popularity contest, judged by how much attention you can draw to yourself as opposed to how good you are.

Most interesting to me was a point Klosterman made a couple times that popularity begets popularity and the bigger websites are only going to keep getting bigger (though, wee Unlikely Words will soldier on!).

Lastly, spoke at the Highline Ballroom last night with all-girl Mötley Crüe cover band, Girls Girls Girls. I’ll assume the evening went well and post a review if I see one.

Chuck Klosterman Blog Part 2

Fluffernutter Massachusetts’ Official State Sandwich?

The Massachusetts legislature is debating a bill to declare an official sandwich. The bill, (H-2932), submitted by Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein (for the second time, actually) is “An Act designating the fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the commonwealth.” (Full disclosure: As a resident of Union Square, Somerville, where Fluff was invented, and a lifelong Fluff fan, I wholeheartedly support this bill.)

This got me curious about whether there are other Official State Sandwiches out there. Via FoodTimeline.org, I found that 2 states have sandwiches known as “traditional foods” (Iowa’s Loose Meat Sandwich and Nebraska’s Runza Sandwich), but this is obviously not the same thing. Even a state in Mexico has an official sandwich (Vera Cruz’s Pambazo). Someone suggested, as a joke, that the Oreo become the Official State Sandwich COOKIE of Utah (which doesn’t count because it’s a cookie and a joke), and in response to the bill being submitted in MA, a Florida radio duo began lobbying Florida to declare a official state sandwich.

Meanwhile, bloggers in Indiana and New Hampshire have previously begun movements agitating for a state sandwich of their own. Delaware’s might be the Bobby, but there wasn’t anything definitive on the nets, so send me a message if you’re in the know and I’ll add a link. As far as I can tell, though, the only “Official State Sandwich” out there is Carle’s Bratwurst, the Official State Sandwich of Ohio (recognized as such in a 2006 omnibus bill recognizing 64 other people, places and things as official symbols of Ohio).

Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected to link to the official Marshmallow Fluff Homepage, complete with history, recipes, and fun. Obviously the Fluff Festival as well.

(This post was inspired by my friends at Grand, an awesome shop in Union Square that is celebrating their one year anniversary this weekend. (No Fluff was promised to me for this plug.))

Fluffernutter Massachusetts’ Official State Sandwich?