The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

Retro Roadmap

With Retro Roadmap, Mod Betty makes it easy for you to find Cool Vintage Places - (grand)mom & (grand)pop places that have stood the test of time while still retaining their authentic charm.

Life finds a way...

Jurassic Parkour. Also American Ninja-Saurus. And T-Rex doesn't want to be fed; T-Rex wants to dance. Yes, T-Rex is a pretty ballerina.

Want to try it yourself? Amazon has you covered.

On thin ice

Every winter in Russia's east, the rivers that vein the enormous open spaces of siberia freeze solid. Photographer Amos Chappel joins one group of men who make a living on these frozen highways.

Welcome, iPad users, to Zombocom.

The only limit is yourself. [via mefi projects]

We don't see the fairy tale from this side of the stage.

Dance of the Little Swans - auditions and the first years at the Vaganova Ballet Academy.

Each year to remain at the school, dancers pass an exam:
Class 0. Class 1. Class 2. Class 3. Class 4. Class 5. Class 6 (1, 2). Class 7 (1, 2). Graduation exam.

The Goal:
Ballerina - a documentary following 5 dancers from the Vaganova Academy at different stages of their career
Mariinsky Company Class
The Kirov (now Mariinsky) Swan Lake
Diana Vishneva (a Vaganova Academy graduate) as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty

Their own personal Jesuses

In the northern Romanian region of Maramureș, roadside crucifixes are part of the countryside landscape and a symbol of people's spiritual views. Traditionally, they were handcrafted locally and so they were also visual displays of local art. But local handcrafting skills are quickly disappearing and their preservation hardly encouraged. And so the locals switch to representations of Jesus mass produced somewhere in the world. The new plastic Jesus does not reflect the old spirit of the villages but a new trend instead, a mix of consumerist practicality and kitsch. In an ongoing series, photographer Vasile Dorolti tries to capture these People and Crosses, before they disappear.

More crucifix photos (FB login required).

Interview with the photographer.

More photography by Vasile Dorolti.

Indistinguishable from magic

20+ drones; 16,500 LEDs; 3 shamisen players; 1 Mt. Fuji: Filmmaker Tsuyoshi Takashiro orchestrates a performance combining drones and the Oyamakai shamisen ensemble.

An endless series of interchangeable party anthems and syrupy love songs

What Happened to Country Music? Lyrical themes of Billboard #1 Country hits, 1965-2015. [via mefi projects]

A man and his botfly

Parasites Are Us: How biological invaders challenge our idea of self and other
The maggot was never invited into Coyne's head. For those weeks it lived there, however, wasn't the maggot in many ways literally Coyne? After all, other than the tip of its breathing tube, the maggot existed completely inside his body. Besides, the maggot was flesh-and-blood Coyne in the most literal sense: Almost the entirety of its physical bulk consisted of Coyne's tissue.

"It was eating my muscles and tissues and scalp," he said. "It's turning human flesh into fly flesh."

"And when I went swimming or took a shower, it would sort of freak out because its airhole would be cut off, then it would really go nuts. You know, make a lot of pain. So I tried to avoid getting my head under water."

Botflies feed on the mammal's tissue until, after about six weeks, they've grown big enough to survive on their own, and then they exit through the hole in their host's skin. Coyne happened to be the host this time around.

The emotional nuances of being a sex worker

"Is what we offer love? It is when our clients don't know the difference. And, in this emotional economy, I'm not sure I know the difference either. I don't come to Showgirls just for the money, though it might have started that way. I come to be held and hotly desired, comforted and supported. I come to be needed too."

Burnistoun, twinned with Quimper, Verona, R'lyeh

South Burnistoun Housing Association deals with a complaint (slyt)

Bosch Work Memes: Typing bird-god words per minute

The feverish apocalyptic stylings of Hieronymous Bosch are detailed, and oddly fitting of various workplace. To better appreciate the individual characters in his pieces, and how they may provide a mirror to office life, gaze upon the Bosch work memes tumblr. Also available via Twitter and Facebook [via mefi projects]

How are you, Sir?

Hello Hello Dinosaur

The Most Enthusiastic Dads

These male pufferfish want to be everybody's baby daddy.

The referenced research paper has two lovely sets of photos showing the nests, mating behaviour, and paternal egg care:

The male dug valleys at various angles in a radial direction,
constructing a nest surrounded by radially aligned peaks and valleys, which appeared to play an important role in the female mate choice, although definite factors affecting this choice remain unknown.
Torquigener albomaculosus males maintained the outer structure of the nest and irregular patterns in the nest, comprising fine sand particles, before mating. When a male found a female approaching his nest, he stirred up the fine sand particles in the nest with his fins. When a female came into the nest, the male moved to the outer edge of the nest and repeated a rush and retreat directed at the female. If the female decided to spawn, she slowly went down to the seafloor in the nest, and the male then approached the female. The female and male vibrated their bodies and released gametes on the bottom of the nest within approximately 1 s.
After mating, T. albomaculosus females left the nest site, whereas males stayed there to care for the eggs. Males flapped their fins, and they often sucked the sand into their mouths and spat it out on the bottom of the nest. Thus, males cared for the eggs by stirring the sand and accompanying attached eggs. Males also cared for the eggs by removing debris that washed into the nest and by driving away fishes that passed close to the nest.

Previously: Crop circles in the sand (with video)

The Increasing Problem With the Misinformed

"The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business." Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers' trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.

Obama Out

Obama gives his final, hilarious remarks to the 2016 White House Correspondant's Dinner (SLYT)

Satan is an individualist

Every movement needs it's Magician and Surrealism had Kurt Seligmann, a painter who was heavily into the Occult.
Gallery owner Rowland Weinstein was surprised that Seligmann's works was largely forgotten or unknown.
Here you can explore his prints and his written Magnus opus is still available.
A Biography and the full title quote and a couple more.

World Penguin Day Week

Did you observe World Penguin Day? Opus did, and then managed to stretch it to a full week*.

*with a slight diversion for a day of hairballs.

The robust tuberous begonia lends beauty and freshness to the carpet.

Every two years in Brussels, they build a huge carpet out of flower petals and sod grass in the main square. The Flower Carpet is 75 m long x 24 m wide and is typically made out of 600,000 flowers. Why do they do it? Why not! It's pretty.

Here's a YouTube video of the construction of the carpet in 2014.

And here's a video of the Opening Night for the carpet in 2014, complete with light show and fire crackers.

Dance around a flowery pole, or topple the capitalist war machine!

"May Day: America's Traditional, Radical, Complicated Holiday," from the Smithsonian NMAH blog. Part One, Part Two.

please enter your phone number in the most excruciating way

How NOT to ask people to key in their phone numbers on web forms.

I have a story to tell.

Once there was a boy who had a large dog. The dog was called Xentrix. (SLYT)

Hell Interface is "an alias used by Boards of Canada for a handful of released tracks. These songs tend to be more bizarre and unorthodox than their normal releases" as described by the source for everything BoC , which comes as no ordinary feat, considering their usage of number station samples (previously), Branch Davidian references or desert listening parties.

The enigmatic brothers released other three known tracks under this moniker, including a reworking of the 1985 Coronel Adams dance single that reached top 10 in the UK Trapped (also an allegedly earlier version from A Few Old Tunes), The Midas Touch (also a reworking of an 80's dance single, this time Midnight Star's 1986 single of the same name) and the Christmas "carol" Soylent Night.

Ron Mael at the Tropicana Motel

The definitive guide to paradise, Hollywood style.

We got each other, and that's a lot

Fan Jeremy Fry dances to Bon Jovi at a 2009 Celtics game. Via this Aeon link: How being awesome became the currency of our time.

Why Spinoza still matters

At a time of religious zealotry, Spinoza's fearless defence of intellectual freedom is more timely than ever Steven Adler, professor of Jewish Studies, in Aeon.