Lithuania: Now Smaller

DID YOU KNOW…? Lithuania used to be a lot bigger. And more important. As in, other countries used to ask to be ruled by Lithuania. True story. In review: Small and obscure now, previously was a great big deal, calling all the shots for a few centuries. There was also something with the Grateful Dead and their Olympic basketball team. And they built the basketball equivalent of Stonehenge. That’s all I’ve got. Except this.

Do You Need a Tote Bag? I’d Like to Meet You

I know there is someone out there, somewhere, who needs another tote bag. Raise your hand, I know you’re out there. The universe doesn’t make any sense without you in it, Mr. Unknown Quotient, because they are seriously making a goddamn metric hump-ton of tote bags these days and I have no freakin’ idea who needs another one. Seriously. I like artists and crafty people. I live in Brooklyn. I get all lathered up when I hear someone I’m talking to screen prints things.  That is awesome! Way to create, friend! But if you ask me to buy one of your screenprinted creations on a tote bag I’m going to say no because I’ve got 462 of the things stacked up like extremely ineffective cord wood in my closet and hanging from hooks in my hall where I should have jackets. The furthest I can stretch my concept of multiple […]

Yes, You Can Just Throw Money at the National Debt

While there’s not an app for that (not yet), there’s a convenient website where you can go and give extra money to the government to pay down the national debt. Yes, people use it. And you have options! The Bureau of the Public Debt may accept gifts donated to the United States Government to reduce debt held by the public. Acting for the Secretary of the Treasury, Public Debt may accept a gift of: Money, made only on the condition that it be used to reduce debt held by the public. An outstanding government obligation, made only on the condition that the obligation be retired and the redemption proceeds used to reduce debt held by the public. Other intangible personal property made only on the condition that the property is sold and the proceeds from the sale used to reduce the public debt. And people actually use it! Last year […]

1981 Post-Punk Boxed Set For Free Download

We all know it and we all complain about it: the internet tends to privilege the up-to-the-second cult of newness in it’s music delivery methods. Blogs killed albums, everything’s a badly ripped leak, and kids these days are all listening to MP3s compressed to shit. Grumble grumble grumble, get off my lawn, etc. But it’s not all gone to hell. The same gifts of compression, free storage, and sharing have enabled the quiet obsessives, the crate diggers, the mix makers. Case in point: Musicophilia’s 1981 Boxed Set. 10 discs and over 400 bands from that year, documenting the energy and variety of what is very loosely termed ‘post-punk’. Why 1981? 1981 probably wasn’t the peak year for any sort of “pure” cultural or musical strain of what defined “post-punk” as an ethos or as a sound (I’d give that title to 1979).  But I chose to focus on 1981 in […]

The Road Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of the Leatherman

The Leatherman was a 19th century itinerant who walked a circuit through New York and Connecticut at a precise pace and timing, appearing in the same towns (and at the same porches for supper) on his route every 34 days, year round. Named for his apparently self-made suit of patched leather clothes, the Leatherman was a mysterious figure who rarely spoke and resisted close contact or medical treatment throughout his life of wandering.  The caves where he once bedded down have since become popular for geocaching and a book–The Old Leatherman by Dan DeLuca–written about the various accounts of his travels have made the Leatherman something of a local legend. His grave, though, is a public hazard: The cemetery, owned by the Ossining Historical Society, is within 16 feet of a highway, Route 9. That proximity is already a safety issue, Historical Society President Norm MacDonald said, and potential expansion […]