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The week in links


As a desperate attempt to get myself back into the habit of posting regularly before I end up on Liz’s permanent shit-list, here is the best stuff I’ve heard of on the internet last week. Let’s see how long I can ramble about each link? Score me one point for every one that made you say “huh!”, deduct one point for each thing you’ve already seen.


Big show heads up bolt

Updated. Thanks, commenters!

Wow, there are a LOT of concerts in September and especially October. Here’s your handy guide, repurposed from Misael, who you should follow on Tumblr.

  • August 31: Hank Williams III at Culture Room
  • September 11: Crystal Castles at Grand Central
  • September 18: Surfer Blood and The Drums at Grand Central
  • September 18: Toro y Moi at the Electric Pickle
  • September 23: Neil Young at Hard Rock Live
  • September 24: CocoRosie at Revolution
  • October 2: Phantogram at the Electric Pickle
  • October 5: Yeasayer at the Fillmore
  • October 6: LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells at the Fillmore
  • October 14: Vampire Weekend and Beach House at the Fillmore
  • October 15: Matt and Kim at the Culture Room
  • October 16: Built to Spill at the Culture Room
  • October 19: Caribou at Grand Central
  • October 19: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros at the Culture Room
  • October 26: MGMT at the Fillmore
  • October 26: Massive Attack And Thievery Corporation at Bayfront Park
  • October 27: Phoenix at the Fillmore
  • November 7: Wolf Parade at the Fillmore

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All your signs they are harshing my mellow


I’m not supposed to get worked up about stuff like this, but boy all the signs, they are getting to me. Take this little beauty, in a parking lot outside a Cuban restaurant. What’s the matter here, as a numbered list:

  1. There is no grass. Mostly there are dead leaves, plus two types of weeds, and a pile of asphalt. And there is a lot of garbage.

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I don’t want to be the boy who cried American-Apparel-closing-wolf, but American Apparel might be in trouble. Stock up your quasi-hip leisure wear now, kids. Might I recommend a BUTT magazine towel?

by , posted Aug 23, 01:23 PM

Also, let's get rid of detention

teen smoking

Principals are looking for ways to circumnavigate Broward Schools’ zero-tolerance policy. Apparently this has led to students getting arrested, and suspended from school for the duration of legal proceedings, for things like blowing spitballs and extremely minor vandalism, and educators are realizing just how dumb and arbitrary this is. As colleges get more and more competitive and having a “perfect” record becomes essential, the idea of ruining it for kids who happen to get caught doing what the majority of their peers are doing is pretty terrible.

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The singularity cometh

god The singularity, people. It’s when machines become smarter then us. What happens then? They can design machines smarter then themselves, and those machines then design smarter machines still, and we get a rapid escalation of machine intelligence with consequences that are utterly impossible to predict.

When does it happen? Nobody knows, but maybe soon — it sounds like computers are starting to be able to figure more and more shit out. Get ready, the our machine overloards may not be far off.


File under: I'll believe it when I see it

decobike Well, isn’t THIS fancy: Miami Beach has set up a bike rental program that allows anyone to easily borrow a bike for quick rides or the whole day. The system, which works much like Vélib in Paris, lets you swipe a credit card to rent a bike at one of 100 automated stations around South Beach.

Oh, wait, actually they haven’t set up shit. The photo at right is some sort of mockup. Their fancy website currently says “Projected Launch Date September 30th,” but it also says you can sign “starting” August 15th, and, oops, that date’s come and gone and there’s no mention of how you sign up. They also apparently sent a press release to Kyle in May promising to be up and running in July, so these dreams are not exactly new dreams.

OK, so, two things. Wait, no three things. One: This will be great if it happens. South Beach is the prefect zone to get around by bike (many of our residents are carless), and the city could actually make a lot of money with this program. Two: Today, on August 19th, I just rode around the zone where these 100 proposed stations are going to supposedly be, and there’s not a single sign of construction anywhere. Until I see some holes in the ground and rental machines being installed, this is just talk. Three: This floats or sinks based on how easy it is to use. In Paris, you need a special credit card with a chip built in to use the system, which effectively bars all American tourists. The Decobike program talks about a program for residents that requires a $185 deposit and a $15 monthly fee for “unlimited” 30-minute rides. That’s not happening — anyone who wants to bike regularly already owns a bike. Any the hourly rental# page has no information about rates or how impulse rentals work.

See you back here September 30.

Previously: I argue that a bike rental program wouldn’t work in Miami. Of course this is different — confined to South Beach, it could work swimmingly.


Reasonably priced conceptual photography for your eyehole

Moore Estates (West) by Matthew Moore

A fourth-generation farmer who’s family land is being gradually being surrounded by the suburbs (sound familiar?), Matthew Moore has been exploring the loss of the American family farm in his work. In this piece, he and his father planted crops in the shape of a proposed development on a recently purchased plot of land.

This is one of the loveliest pieces I’ve seen recently on 200×20, a site that sells editions of 200 8×10” prints for $20 — affordable art for you people — plus larger sizes for those who can afford to pay. Click the picture to read more and buy yourself a print.

Update: Did you know that, for a couple of hundred bucks, you can buy a real Ansel Adams photo? These are real silver gelatin prints from Adams’ negatives, printed by Adam Ross. Ross is a master printer who Adams personally trained to print these photos, and printed his work for the last ten years of Adams’ life.


This is not

word Ok so, i know i like to complain about computer things, but get this one: i go to open a Microsoft Word document, right? And two dialog boxes popup right over each other. The one on top says: “you can’t open this document because there’s a dialog box open right now” (mind you, i didn’t have word open before i clicked the document). The one unerneath says something about the “” and would I like to stop editing it. GAH!

Word is always asking me what to do about “” — confusing questions that seem to have no correct answer, only “Yes” and “No” (“Yes/No dialogs are always a bad idea”), and there’s not a “I don’t care, just get this out of my face” button.

So what’s the solution? For now, I’m installing Open Office. It’s free, it opens MS Office documents with no problem. The great thing is that Microsoft has a new version of this stuff out — 2010. Personally I took one look at Office 2007 (the one where they got rid menus?!) and went back to the 2003 version. What a disaster.

Bill Gates has done a lot of good more recently, but his company is going to be living crap like this down for a long time.


Sometimes you just need a little lovin'

tortoise sex

While up in the Hamptons last week, I came across these two tortoises going at it hot and heavy early one afternoon. I was walking down a path through a little animal refuge near a military airport, and I hear a grunting coming from behind a bit of shrubbery, something like maybe a gigantic frog, and I investigate and it’s these two, enjoying each other’s bodies in their pleasantly shaded little spot of the woods.

You’ve never thought of tortoises as really sensual creatures, have you? But they are, and sometimes it’s worth remembering.



“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” Your favorite grammatically valid English sentence for the next five minutes.

by , posted Aug 11, 10:00 AM

Jersey Shore Liveblog, TONIGHT

jersey shore miami beach Jersey Shore is MTV’s attempt to show that basic trite human drama is so powerful — so captivating — that it’s compelling even when it involves the most annoying group of people ever assembled into an hour long faux-reality drama. And sure enough, it was a hit! But I’ll be honest with you — I tried watching the first few episodes of Jersey Shore, and I couldn’t take it. Snooki, who was viciously parodied on SNL, seemed like the only interesting character in a group of homogeneous dimwits?

But so of course MTV had a hit on their hands! And how better to capitalize on success than to keep it going? Which is where we come in — the second season was filmed on South Beach this May, and premieres tonight. Is it going to be watchable? At all? Find out, along with The Heat Lightning’s television liveblog brain-trust! Tune in tonight at 10 pm — MTV on your televisions dial, THL liveblog on your web browser

See you tonight. Meanwhile, here’s a bonus PDF — the agreement that guarantees The Situation $45,000 per episode and a $180,000 bonus for every episode of the series if the Nielsen ratings are 4.0 or above.


New Work Miami 2010 at MAM

tm sisters

A survey the Miami Art Museum is currently conducting asks whether they should “participate in artistic conversations that are unfolding internationally,” or “focus on issues pertaining specifically to Miami.” The only other option is “not sure,” and I find this to be a pretty odd way to phrase a question, because it seems that the obvious mission of an art museum is to figure out how to do both those things at the same time. Ironically, the MAM has been doing a good job of balancing the two imperatives for years, and the two exhibitions currently up are a good illustration.

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Klosterweek: a reader's guide

we love u

By now, you have no doubt been convinced that you should be reading more Chuck Klosterman. You also probably believe that this entails buying the man’s books, because that’s what he does, right? Write books. He must, because I have a few of them on my shelf right over there. Except that he doesn’t, actually. Not really. Guy writes essays for magazines, okay? Most of the books are assemblies of these essays, with other stuff thrown in. (Fargo Rock City is an exception, but even that one started as a Spin article, and I’m passing on his novel because I thought the fiction thing in IV was sort of boring.) Mostly they are essays about stupid shit, made interesting by Klosterman’s perverse/bizarre opinions/beliefs, for which he argues so persuasively that you are left feeling not quite sure about whether your leg has been pulled. Does he actually believe that, for example, “teenage girls are the new teenage boys, which is why the Dixie Chicks are the new Van Halen, which is why country music is awesome”?

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What's up with Red Lobster's broccoli?

I feel like a bit of a jerk for not having photographed it, but boy is Red Lobster serving some lame, limp-ass broccoli these days. Totally unsubstiantiated(!), but here is my best guess at how their broccoli got to my table:

  1. Roundup-resistant* broccoli planted and harvested sometime during the administration of George W. Bush.
  2. Frozen, shipped by boat to the USA.
  3. Thawed out a few months later, pressure-steam cooked on a conveyer belt contraption.
  4. Re-frozen.
  5. Cross-country road trip, delivery to S. Fla Red Lobster.
  6. Re-thawed, allowed to sit in fridge for a minimum of 72 hours.
  7. Microwaved for 20 seconds, served.

There is no solution. In the future I shall endevor to eat elsewhere, or order the mashed potatoes.

* Do you know how farming is done these days? My favorite picturesque detail is that vegetables are genetically modified to be resistant to Round-up, which normally kills all plant matter dead. The fields can then be liberally doused with the stuff, which proceeds to kill everything but the thing you’re about to eat. Presumably there is also a water rinse involved later in the process. Yum!


Sleigh Bells at Respectable Street

sleigh bells

The Sleigh Bells show last week in West Palm Beach (of all places) had that special buzz that comes only on a band’s first tour after a breakout album, when they’re just getting their first taste of power. The crowd in front of the stage was an intense, sweaty, dense throng for the entire set, and SB singer Alexis Krauss seemed genuinely touched. She passed her microphone around the front of the crowd during Rill Rill and let us sing the chorus. She answered questions from the audience during the (obligatory!) equipment malfunction. She gushed about the audience’s energy and briefly crowd-surfed towards the end of the set. It was short, intense, and hot.

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With NOAA currently estimating a 61-80% chance of BP oil hitting Miami Beach’s shores soon, it’s about time for us to start getting ready. Click to spill some oil.

by , posted Jul 8, 03:03 PM

30th anniversary of the Mariel boatlift

Mariel boatlift

Fabiola Santiago’s article about how Miami changed in 1980 includes several great (if poorly presented — curses to the Herald’s website) slideshows of the Mariel boatlift. Conspicuously absent: photos of the Liberty City riots, which also happened that year, and to which the article itself gives equal billing.


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