Tuesday, January 31, 2006

When In San Antonio...

be sure and visit the Esquire.

Specialty Produce

I used to always say the worst thing about being a vegetarian was you reached a limit in culinary exploration faster than your meat-eating friends.
I'm taking that statement back after browsing through the amazing selection of fruits and vegetables on Specialty Produce's website.
(By the way, the link works better in IE than Firefox. If you don't see the frame and navigation bar, you'll know what I mean)

4 kinds of fennel
7 kinds of asparagus
Buddah's Hand Citron
Fiddlehead Ferns
Banana Flowers

The list goes on and on! I'm extremely jealous of anyone who lives close enough to San Diego. I would be shopping here every day.

(Specialty Produce)

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Book List This week (#3)

The Secular Bible

Today's secularists too often have very little accurate knowledge about religion, and even less desire to learn. This is problematic insofar as their sense of self is constructed in opposition to religion. Above all, the secularist is not a Jew, is not a Christian, not a Muslim, and so on. But is it intellectually responsible to define one's identity against something that one does not understand? And what happens when these secularists weigh in on contentious political issues, blind to the religious back-story or concerns that inevitably inform these debates? In The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously Jacques Berlinerblau suggests that atheists and agnostics must take stock of that which they so adamantly oppose. Defiantly maintaining a shallow understanding of religion, he argues, is not a politically prudent strategy in this day and age. But this book is no less critical of many believers, who--Berlinerblau contends--need to emancipate themselves from ways of thinking about their faith that are dangerously simplistic, irrational and outdated. Exploring the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, from the perspective of a specialist, nonbeliever, and critic of the academic religious studies establishment, Berlinerblau begins by offering a provocative answer to the question of "who wrote the Bible?" The very peculiar way in which this text was composed provides a key to understanding its unique power (and vulnerability) in the modern public sphere. In separate chapters, he looks at how the sparse and contradictory words of Scripture are invoked in contemporary disputes about Jewish intermarriage and homosexuality in the Christian world. Finally, he examines ways in which the Qur'an might be subject to the types of secular interpretation advocated throughout this book. Cumulatively, this book is a first attempt to reinvigorate an estimable secular, intellectual tradition, albeit one that is currently experiencing a moment of crisis.

The Book List This week (#2)

On the night stand this week:

Since their debut with Blood Simple in 1984, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a unique body of work that seems to project their combined imaginations directly onto the movie screen. By concentrating on the filming of their homage to Raymond Chandler, The Big Lebowski, this book provides a great deal of insight into the way that these extraordinary filmmakers take an idea and transform it into a movie.

Text and illustrations combine to reveal the Coens' combination of quirkiness and craft, and the ways that the singular (or is it binary?) vision of the brothers combines with actors and crew in the group effort necessary to produce a finished film. This book doesn't attempt a critical analysis of the work of Joel and Ethan Coen--the complexity of their vision resists such an approach. Instead, we're treated to a fly-on-the-wall view of the creative process, and it's enough to get the most casual film lover to grab a notebook, rent a camera, and start making movies!

The Book List This week (#1)

I saw this book at my friends Mike and Shelly's house. If there's a more interesting place to eat in the world, I don't know about it. This book covered it all--from the Pickle vendors on the Lower East Side to the history of Delmonico's and 21.
Very cool.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Today's Rotation

20 Songs On the iPod Today:

1) The People’s Limousine – Elvis Costello (King of America Bonus Tracks)
2) Non Alignment Pact – Pere Ubu
3) Countin’ On a Miracle (Acoustic) – Bruce Springsteen
4) Fairy of the Lake – Yonderboi (The Chill-Out Album Vol. 3)
5) Signs – The Five Man Electrical Band
6) I’m Leavin’ You Baby – Junior Kimbrough
7) Hang Down Your Heads – Tom Waits
8) Problem Child – The Damned
9) Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On – The Temptations
10) Souled Out – Tower of Power
11) Is That All There Is? – Fire Water
12) Indoor Fireworks – Nick Lowe
13) Sunny South Kensington – Donovan
14) Next Big Thing – The Dictators
15) Social Champion – Reptile House
16) Take You On A Cruise – Interpol
17) Transmission – Joy Division
18) Glitter – Frogholler
19) Silver Dagger – Bob Dylan
20) Emergency Exit - Beck

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Loompanics going out of business

Loompanics, the freest of the free-speech publishers, is going out of business.
This couldn't come at a worse time, given our current state of government control. If you've never seen Loompanics catalog of 100% American titles, you're in for either a shock or a treat. I always thought I'd have a chance to add these books to my personal library, but now it's looking like they'll be gone forever.
It's also a shame that these types of titles can't be found in libraries. I'm one to criticize, given the fact that I'd never have to defend the right to have this sort of stuff on the shelves but someone, somewhere, should be collecting this type of material.
50% off everything in the store.

Atari ET Video

An indie band has made a music video featuring the story of the misbegotten Atari E.T. game cartridge. The game stank on ice and millions of copies were buried in a landfill -- the song's pretty good too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Garfield cartoon strip randomizer

And as you would expect, the results are about as funny as the real thing.
Garfield Randomizer

10 Banned Albums

Brian Joseph Davis takes 10 famously banned albums, sets them on fire, and then records the resulting playback

10 Banned Albums

Take the ART or CRAP? Quiz!

Is it Art or Crap? Take the quiz and see if a fulfiling career as an art critic is right for you:

Musical 20 Questions

20Q.net: Music Edition

Wednesday, January 04, 2006