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The Heat Lightning: Online

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ANR has a Mid-Issac Message For You

The apocalypse is here and its name is John Hancock.


Signs of the Apocalypse and/or the End of Summer

I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which is which.

  • Let’s get reductive: Everyone is in love with Liz Tracy’s video about a woman, her butthole, needles, and ink. Everyone. You too, you just don’t know it yet.
  • Your favorite summer jam™ is now being repackaged as a folk song.
  • People are being elected! Somehow. Just not online.
  • Camper is selling the ugliest mandals $115 can buy. This isn’t new, exactly, but still a sign of something ominous.
  • Otto Von Schirach is dirtying the internet yet again. I’d put this in the “Summer” category just because this is reassuringly consistent.
  • In closing: cocoa costs versus coca costs putting Colombia in a conundrum. Batman.



by John Spain, posted Aug 15, 11:38 AM · Comment


State stereotypes mapped courtesy of Google. Spoiler alert: Florida is weird, humid, trashy and hot.

by John Spain, posted Aug 9, 01:36 PM · Comment

Memorial Day Weekend Linkage

So whether you’ll be over at Wetlab for the last Friday of cheap beer for a while, on a towel with Misael, joining LegalArt for an evening of video installations and Peroni, fleeing Miami Beach, or staying indoors and avoiding the shit weather, here’s a few ways to kill some time before your 3 days of freedom:



Over on Thought Catalogue, one man chronicles his quest to get DENIED a a medical marijuana card in the golden state.

by John Spain, posted May 14, 10:24 AM · Comment


Scientific American just wanted to let you know that online dating isn’t any better than offline dating and that furthermore you’ll probably die alone. Our advice: get a cat.

by John Spain, posted May 8, 10:15 AM · Comment [1]


Feminism aside and all,“Thanks to Spanx” is enough of headline to be worth sharing.

by John Spain, posted Mar 13, 02:01 PM · Comment


So I quit the Boy Scouts after getting a lecture on the 10 Commandments and saying to myself “I’m the only one here who doesn’t smoke a ton of pot but I’m being chastised for saying ‘god dammit’?” This week marks the Scouts’ 102nd anniversary and Wired reprinted a really interesting article asking whether the Boy Scouts are still relevant. Religious (and potentially discriminatory viewpoints) aside, the values they promote are so backward that I can’t think of an organization more in need of a refresh.

by John Spain, posted Feb 10, 10:26 AM · Comment [2]

Post Wings n' Beer Superbowl Food Coma Links

  • Don’t forget kids: foosball is the devil.
  • It’s about time Lemmy got his very own Shiraz. I’m thinking he’ll stick with Jack though.
  • You probably read about this at least a hundred times over the weekend via Facebook. If not though, you don’t need Forbes to tell you you’re unhappy. Either way: Miami has been named America’s Most Miserable City. Most of this seems to be related to the housing industry, which leads to …
  • Hurricane Season and insurance and oh god why are we talking about this already! A bill to shrink the pool of homeowners covered by Citizens Property Insurance, supposedly the insurer of last resort, passed the House on Friday. Suddenly switching people from a state-backed insurance pool to unregulated insurance with inadequate notice sounds rather stupid yet TOTALLY the type of back-assward thing Florida would do.
  • Cargo Pants are the zombies of the fashion world. The George Romero back from the dead lurking horror kind, not the 28 Days Later disease infected raging killer kind. While we’re at it, other zombie types you may be unaware of.
  • Unpublished Coffee Table Books. I’m pretty sure I could write this one.
  • Friend Ted started a podcast revolving around interviewing people with weird and/or interesting jobs. Give it a listen if you ever wondered what it was like to be a radio host in Wyoming or a Golf Ball Diver.



Via Waxy, a story about why one ten-year attendee is skipping SXSW this year. Considering the volume of boring newsfluff pouring out this year, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

by John Spain, posted Jan 31, 03:34 PM · Comment


“Yeah, if they take what I say seriously, they’ve got a real big problem.” Miss Piggy, a puppet, calls out Fox News as not being news, but the fact that she did so was not in fact news. In other non-news, my head hurts.

by John Spain, posted Jan 30, 02:30 PM · Comment

Bandwagon Jumping, anyone? Shit Miami Girls (and Guys) Say

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Former THL fave Chuck Klosterman turned a misinformed rant on an album into an incredibly stupid commentary on gender, prompting rebuttals all involving different varieties of the phrase “Old Man Yelling” to varying effect. However, Jen is the only one to connect the dots and realize that if Klosterman isn’t our generation’s Andy Rooney, he soon will be.

by John Spain, posted Jan 26, 10:23 AM · Comment [6]

Liz Tracy’s new role at The Heat Lightning: commenter

You may or may not have already heard my news. I’ve written about it twice, and it’s going to start getting really redundant here. And wait, yes, it is about to get really redundant right here. That’s right. I’m saying goodbye again. Hold your horses, this one’s directed at THL. With all of these posts, it kind of seems like I’m dying not just moving 20 minutes north.

As the new music editor at the New Times Broward-Palm Beach, I will be saying good-bye to Miami, moving to Broward, and to The Heat Lightning – the blog which I birthed with Alesh a year and a half ago.

I’m not a public emoter past anger, furious anger, and the occasional hurt feeling tear. Every time I try to be a human, I feel like Data when he was implanted with the emotion chip. That’s why writing this farewell has taken me forever, or a week to be accurate.

When I moved to Miami as a kid, I hated it. I really hated it and everyone in it. It was only in ninth grade when I met my best friend Liza a recent arrival from New York that I fell in love with this shitty city. Liza illuminated all the beauty of this foreign place with her always seemingly rational perspective. The banyans, the sun, the sand. How could I not embrace it and make it my home?

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The best part about the SOPA blackouts? Watching people on Twitter flip the hell out.

by John Spain, posted Jan 19, 11:53 AM · Comment


Mid to late January is good for one thing only: waiting for February, which itself is only good for contemplating suicide. So here are some links to take your mind off the fact that you’re not being showered in gifts and egg nog at the present moment.

  • Is it funny that I’m posting this on SOPA blackout day? I mean I think it’s funny that I’m posting this on SOPA blackout day. How to access Wikipedia on SOPA blackout day. Also: the R.I.A.A. is still staffed by total dicks (even when it isn’t SOPA blackout day).
  • Fake product reviews are the glue that hold internet comedy together.
  • Did not wearing a helmet save Gene Hackman’s life when he was hit by a car while cycling in Key West? Of course not, but assuming that helmets are the one-size-fits-all answer to bicycle safety only creates a false sense of security, argue the folks over at Lovely Bicycle.
  • Between the Republican Primary catfights and football, there have been a lot of non-story stories going around. To that end: Tim Tebow exists, and people write godawful crap about him.
  • Related, sort of not really: G.O.P.-Friendly Super PAC or Mary J. Blige Album?
  • The Story of my Life, bro.
  • Tax season is more or less upon us and yet again I seem to be the only person I know who actually does their own return. If you can add and you actually care about people, AARP is still accepting volunteer applications for their Tax-Aide program. I’ll be writing about my own experiences doing volunteer tax prep shortly.
  • I’m going to go on record and say that the last Magnetic Fields albums was farcically disappointing. “Oh you people like goofy pop songs? Well here’s 30 minutes of overproduced chamber music. Hope you like harpsichords!” Anyway, people seem to have high hopes for the next album Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, the first single for which is streaming online now. It features guys in drag and is woefully short. Fun!
  • In closing, someone needs to get Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd on the phone.

by John Spain, posted Jan 18, 10:23 AM · Comment [1]

In case you haven't heard about Time Piles, Dylan Romer explains his trippy new art app

dylan romer time piles

This was originally published on the Huffington Post Miami and the HuffPo Tech section. Read it again here!

Lets talk about it from Time Piles on Vimeo.

I love how I wrote this about Dylan and the first image on this video of the interview is me with my tongue out. Thanks, Dylan.

Buy Time Piles. Don’t suck.

For years, South Florida-bred artist and daytime software developer Dylan Romer ran around town with a laptop, a camcorder, and an XBox 360 controller. Armed with a BFA from FIU, an MFA from UF, and a homemade program, he created live psychedelic video art that screened at galleries around Miami. He captured events as they happened — people booty-dancing at shows, performance artists writhing, drummers pounding — and translated the images into choppy renderings of reorganized time. Through his program, the world looks like a moving collage of double exposed images.

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