Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Seasonal Cooking Challenge: Midwinter Roasting

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

roasted parsnips
It is fitting that the first (well, second, technically) in my weekly blog series of seasonal, local, NYC greenmarket-approved recipes, occurs on the kind of snowy day that really makes you want to stay under the covers drinking coffee and reading Jane Austen. Yup, I'm talking about roasted root vegetables. While that doesn't sound too glamorous, think of it this way: you're whole apartment will take on a wonderful, rich, homey aroma, and you can even pull your chair up to the oven to get extra warm.

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J.D. Salinger, Author of Catcher in the Rye, Dead at 91

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Jerome David Salinger, whose novels and stories provided generations of postwar readers with a template for introspection, and whose sincere but nevertheless ostentatious seclusion did much to reinforce the mythology of the author in general and his own deeply sensitive work in general, has died from natural causes at his home in Cornish, New Hampsire, aged 91.

Much more to follow.

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When "Green" Gadgets Aren't Really Green

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

ipod bra

These would be "green" gadgets and gizmos that seem really cool and fun, but maybe aren't entirely useful when it comes to the whole "saving the planet" thing (like, perhaps, the Dragonfly farm towers proposed for Roosevelt Island).

To bring a little common sense to green gadget reporting, David Mackay of the Guardian suggests a one percent rule for reporting on green tech: if it’s not offsetting more than one percent of the energy expended by conventional machinery, it’s not worth the valuable media coverage that could be focusing on real impact.

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Sarah Palin Reacts to Sean Hannity's Reactions to the State of the Union Address

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Why? Why do I do this to myself? I liked Obama's point-scoring, casual SOTU. Me, myself, a taxpayer. But I can't resist burrowing into every cloacal undergut of the internet to read all the crazy, automatic, spittle-flecked tirades against this Hitlerian figure in our midst. Why do I do this? Why do any of us do this? It feels bad. It makes me sad and very angry. I don't know. I guess I just hate myself, and to a lesser extent, you.

Here, then, is Sarah Palin's reaction to Obama's SOTU last night; or rather her reaction to Sean Hannity's leading questions about the SOTU. (OMFG SEAN CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ONLY TEN PERCENT OF THE SPEECH WAS GIVEN OVER TO NATIONAL SECURITY!!1!).

Fuck me. Fuck all of us.

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The State of Our Union: Politics As Usual (In a Good Way, Maybe?)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

The state of the union is such that if this president is going to dissuade this nation of goons from its buyer's remorse over his presidency and move forward with the important things he needs to do, he's going to have to get better at scoring pandering populist points. Which he seems to have done pretty well. Consider:

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Stream The Knife's New Opera, Tomorrow, In a Year

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I'm generally do not count The Knife among my favorite artists, on account of them pretty much scaring the shit out me, to the point where I've only ever listened to them a few times, and never for very long. But when they released "Colouring the Pigeons," the lead track from Tomorrow, In a Year, which they collaborated on with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock as accompaniment for a Danish opera, I couldn't stop listening to it for some reason. And now the whole thing is streaming, so I'm gonna go listen to it, and you should do the same. We'll publish a legit review of this next week, but I'm not allowed to write it myself because Jeff klingman loooooves them.

After the jump, a nifty little player thing we lifted from Stereogum.

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Howard Zinn, Dead at 87

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Howard Zinn is dead
  • Howard Zinn, 1922-2010
Howard Zinn—wonderful, strident lefty historian (fuck all this "alternative" historian bullshit)—died yesterday of a heart attack in Santa Monica.

For half a century, Zinn, a WWII veteran, was a thorn in the side of orthodox historians, taking an aggressively sharp eye to the "underside" of American history, unpacking this nation's foundation mythologies to reveal genocide, corruption and hundreds of years of brutality and iniquity. Not surprisingly, Zinn had his fair share of run-ins with institutional authorities, getting fired from his first job at Spelman (an all-black women's college, where he taught Alice Walker) for criticizing their non-participation in the civil rights movement, and having frequent acrimonious clashes with Boston University President Jon Silber, his boss for many years.

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Eminem, Wayne, Travis Barker to Perform With Drake at the Grammys

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:16 AM

It was announced this morning that the Grammys, taking place on Sunday, will host a "special performance" by Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, presumably of Drake's huge, sort of stupid hit single, "Forever." The song features guest verses by both Wayne and Eminem (Kanye too, but he wasn't invited, apparently), and Barker recently released a remix of the track, replete with his insanely awesome live drumming, which you should watch, above. I don't know why his cymbals are so far apart, but whatever works. And make sure you watch the whole thing, 'cause it just gets better and better.

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Found Photos Blog Awkward Stock Photos Is [Stock Expression for Excellence]

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Awkward Stock Photos
We've all thought it at some point: Where the hell did that random yet weirdly perfect stock photo come from, and what free-associating photographer could have known that it would one day be needed to illustrate a story that seems tailor-made for it? That's just one of the fun guessing and hypothesizing games you can play while browsing the relatively new but, we feel, very promising Tumblr blog Awkward Stock Photos. Also, who shoots these? Are stock photographers like a whole separate micro-industry within photography? Or is it something that "real" photographers do to pay the rent, and if so, how do they decide what they submit to a stock photo agency and what they hang in a gallery? So many questions! (Urlesque)

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Artist Duke Riley Demands That Hugo Chavez Hand Over Delaware River Island

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Petty Island
Petty Island (pictured) is a long, narrow, 292-acre stretch of land that sits smack in the middle of the Delaware between Philly and Camden, and currently belongs to the government of our beloved oil-provider to the south, Venezuela, whose state oil company has been using it as a fuel storage site.

Last spring, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced his intention to hand over control of the very toxic island to the state of New Jersey so that it could be turned into a wildlife preserve. All of which sounds nice and cuddly, but what about the rightful owners of the land? No, not Native Americans; not local species of water fowl; not exiled captains of Philadelphia sports teams that had great seasons but bombed in the playoffs. None of the above. Once upon a time, from 1851 through the first decade of the 20th entury, Petty Island was a thriving little kingdom of immigrants ruled by Ralston Laird.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Health Care Not Dead? RECONCILIATION!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Stop the presses! Pusillanimous Democrats may still pass health care reform! Using reconciliation! Like we said in August they would! (Because Dean the Scream told us so.)

Yup, Nancy Pelosi says she can get the 218 votes in Congress if certain CHANGES are made to the Senate bill. This is good news, unless some of those CHANGES involve hookers and candy and magical fairies flying out of my butt. Which they might, so don't hold your breath. (Video below, obvs.)

[via Pareene]

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Jay Leno is Hitler

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Joe Queenan thinks Jay Leno is Hitler. Not in a genocidal way, but as part of a lengthy metaphor in which the current Late Night battles are The Munich Pact of 1938, Leno is Der Fuhrer, NBC is Chamberlain, and Conan is Czechoslovakia. According to Monday's Wall Street Journal's editorial page:

In acquiescing to Mr. Leno's sotto voce demands to annex one-half of "The Tonight Show," NBC thought it could put the whole ugly controversy to rest. Wrong. Interpreting generosity as weakness, Mr. Leno began to maneuver for complete control of "The Tonight Show." Here he was again taking his cue from der Fuhrer, manipulating his outgunned adversary into a position so humiliating he literally had no choice but to surrender. Just as Edward Beneš, president of Czechoslovakia, was forced to abandon ship once he had been betrayed by his erstwhile allies, Mr. O'Brien was forced to abdicate and cede his entire one-hour program to the man he had replaced.

If you're a graying history buff who likes to stay up for The Jay Leno Show, you'll find this whole piece hilarious! (Unless you're a graying, Jewish history buff, in which case you or someone you love probably spent time in a concentration camp.) Otherwise, Conan's off the air, so let Nancy Franklin have the last word here until Conan announces a new show on Fox.

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In Space, No One Can Hear the Cast of a Reality TV Show Scream

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Because of advances in broadcast technology, and the switch from analog to digital transmission, it is harder than ever for aliens to watch our TV shows, leading American astronomer Frank Drake told the Royal Society in London this week.

The Guardian explains:

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Can You Guess Who's Responsible for the Worst Album Cover Ever?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 4:22 PM


Without looking at the unaltered image over here at the A.V. Club, of course.

Boring Icelandic Band Everyone Used to Like is Now on Hiatus

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Despite rumors that surfaced late last year, it appears we won't be seeing a new record from Iceland's favorite post-rock band, Sigur Rós, anytime soon. In a recent interview with Spinner, frontman Jónsi Birgisson (pictured, doing that awesome violin bow thing) confirmed that, yes, they had been working on a new album, but that they then decided to scrap it entirely. And now that "everybody in the band is having babies," as he says, there are no plans to get started again. In the meantime, dude has a solo record coming out in just a couple months. [via Paste]

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Now's Our Chance to Unseat One Homo-Hating State Senator

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Always Good for a Photo-Op
  • Always Good for a Photo-Op
In 2002, then-Republican-councilman Martin J. Golden defeated incumbent democrat Vincent Gentile in the election to represent in Albany Brooklyn's 22nd Senate district, which covers a large swath of the borough's south end. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, he was re-elected, in large part because he ran unopposed. (Gentile had taken over Golden's vacated council seat, where he remains to this day.) Golden has positioned himself comfortably in a gerrymandered, traditionally Republican-leaning district. But, maybe, the honeymoon's ending.

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Is Sweetgrass the Political Film of the Year?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:13 PM

In the first years of this decade, while America committed itself to a global war in which our very way of life generally considered to be at stake, a quintessentially American way was quietly fading into obsolescence in the mountains of Montana. Sweetgrass, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's gorgeous, frequently hilarious sheepherding documentary, now playing, recounts the last years of summer grazing in the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains, with the breathtaking vistas and mythologized rituals of the American frontier now the setting for autumnal absurdity.

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The Details on the Apple iPad You Now Want Desperately

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 2:51 PM

monkeys love the new iPad
  • I pad, therefore I am.
We just locked beloved intern brand new "tech reporter" Allie Essinger to her desk, fed her some sweet tarts and forced her to frantically bullet point all the relevant details about Apple's new iPad, the release of which just concluded. I'm kind of pissed as I was pretty sure it was going to be called the iTrapper Keeper, and am now out $50.

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Broken Bells Video Illustrates Precisely Why Musicians Should Never Act in Their Videos, Even if They Look Like Kevin Spacey

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Get ready to cringe, as James Mercer chases a young boy dressed in pajamas, then makes a bunch of really hilarious frowny faces.

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Fashion and Poetry Are Things You Love

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Even though we are best known as a popular television show for yuppie lesbians, I just wanted to point out that we here at The L also love things like poetry and fashion. That is why we are publishing poetry and running photo profiles of stylish New Yorkers. You also love poetry and profiles of stylish New Yorkers. Ipso facto, you love us. And we love you.

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