The Yellow Bellflower’s regional roots didn’t figure in Jessica Rath’s decision to sculpt the fruit. Rather, something about the Bellflower’s particular top-heaviness drew her to the variety. She picked it and eight others as subjects for her show, Take Me to the Apple Breeder, after examining hundreds of varieties at the Plant Genetics Resources Unit, a research orchard at Cornell University’s Geneva, New York campus.
This is a very cool exhibition. Read about it and go see it!
12:43 pm • 2 November 2012 • 2 notes
Ralph Gilles is the Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler and an American hero.
11:13 pm • 1 November 2012 • 4,110 notes
Romney-Ryan 2012: Deregulate the rap industry
2:56 pm • 25 October 2012 • 9 notes
“Maybe it’s the default mind-set in Iowa, where hard work is a religion and debt a cardinal sin. Perhaps it’s because the recession did less damage here than elsewhere.”
— Optimism! Yes, Iowa does have it, but not because of some cliche about resident’s working and fiscal mentalities. It’s because the housing crisis didn’t hit all that hard in Iowa, and unemployment never shot sky high either; it currently sits at a comfortable 5.2%, a poorly cut half of California’s 10.2%. That rate is mentioned in this Los Angeles Times story, but not until the fourteenth graf. But this is a story about voters in Iowa, so of course you have to lead with the local color—setting the scene at the Friday night football game, referencing that steely midwesterness. There’s the price of farmland to consider too which, despite the current financial hurt of the summer’s drought (which will be assuaged by crop-insurance payments), is shooting up, up, up, as reported in this New York Times story. The Times gets to the point, that land can sell for close to $10,000 per acre, in graf four. Farmland prices are never mentioned in the “Iowans: they’re optimistic!” piece.
9:36 am • 25 October 2012 • 1 note
Violentacrez, Amanda Todd, jailbait cappers, Fantasy Slut Leagues. All of these stories read like shades of this novel, about the fallout that proceeds a video of an underage girl masturbating going viral, made into terrifying reality. The girl, Daisy, isn’t initially preyed upon like, say, Amanda Todd, but the ways in which the lives of the kids and their families spin out of control rings true. If only these stories could stay in the realm of fiction.
2:28 pm • 22 October 2012 • 2 notes
“Unfortunately, the initiative to require labeling of those ingredients is sloppily written. It contains language that, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, could be construed by the courts to imply that processed foods could not be labeled as “natural” even if they weren’t genetically engineered.”
The Los Angeles Times’ No on 37 editorial doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The gist of the argument is that the focus is too narrow, that there are plenty of other ills going on in the food market—feeding livestock antibiotics, the heavy use of herbicides and pesticides, etc.—and that requiring labeling for GMOs give undue focus to one issues above many. But this quote, which doesn’t seem like that big of a draw back to me, seems to imply that the language is broader than the editorial board makes it out to be. You can’t argue that a measure is overly specific by citing its lack of definition.
And the free-market bit from the end of this editorial, in which its suggested that the onus is on consumers, that we can simply download an app or read labels more closely, is a bunch of bullshit. Finding GMO-free corn starch, which is cited in the editorial, used to be incredibly difficult. The only reason there are boxes that are labeled as such is because people demanded it. That labeling hasn’t hurt corn-starch producers, and it hasn’t hurt retailers, and it hasn’t hurt consumers. So what would be so bad about expanding that kind of labeling, and making a demanded choice into a regulation? If Trader Joe’s is already not using GMOs in its package and prepared-foods, then clearly the supply chain for non-GE corn and soy products exists. I do agree that putting the burden of proof on retailers is somewhat problematic, but not enough for me to think twice about voting yes on 37. Even if you don’t buy into the idea that consuming GMOs isn’t the best thing for your body, the labeling law could work as a wedge to force some much needed space between the government and Big Ag businesses like Monsanto.
12:01 am • 22 October 2012
“Somewhere amidst murder, kinky sex, and Harry’s budding relationships with a collection of random strangers, is a nested story about impeached President Richard Nixon. Homes’s satire on the troubled history of the American Presidency not only adds a layer of complexity to Harry’s character, it also raises questions about our ignorance of American institutions of government. But, as with the rest of the novel, she administers this medicine with a dose of scintillating humor. For instance, in Harry’s theory of Presidential politics, there are two types of Presidents: one type has a lot of sex and the other type starts wars. In short, says Harry, and ‘don’t quote me because this is an incomplete expression of a more complex premise — I believe blow jobs prevent wars.’”
Lisa E. Sanchez reviews A.M. Homes’s new novel. (via millionsmillions)
This book is so unrelenting, and I love Homes for being able to write that way. There’s not preciousness or moralizing that precedes the acts of infidelity, violence, betrayal, etc., that crop up in the narrative. Because there is no equivalent to the cinematic swelling of strings, which exists in some form in nearly every novel, I find the book really disquieting, its tone balanced between comic and deeply creepy.
I’m only on page 80, so you can expect more thoughts on it, for better or for worse.
9:57 pm • 19 October 2012 • 18 notes