Author Archive | Haystack
Vermont artist Jennifer Stocks-Dearborn sculpts realistic clay babies for parents who have lost infants or unborn children. Much in the tradition of Victorian post-mortem photography, these “memorial art dolls” bear the likeness of the deceased. Leon Thompson of Seven Days writes:
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…Stocks-Dearborn’s art began with anything but laughter. As much creativity does, hers originated in darkness — death, to be precise. Her 16-month-old daughter Madison died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) on October 8, 2000. Within the next three years, Stocks-Dearborn married and had two sons. But the healing process from her daughter’s death did not really begin until April 2006, when a friend forwarded an email about Canadian sculptor Camille Allen’s “Marzipan Babies.”
“As I stared at these tiny, hand-sculpted babies made from clay, I thought, I can do that,” Stocks-Dearborn recalls. “And I did. I remember sculpting my very first piece, and how my anxieties and overwhelming tidal waves of emotions subsided.
As Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Magazine piece argues, the Koch brothers prefer to stay in the shadows because they do not want the products they manufacture to become widely associated with their controversial and self-serving political agenda. With recent protests in Madison spotlighting their war on workers and the middle class, however, many people have found themselves wondering if any of the products they buy have been bankrolling these corporate douchbags.
Here is a list, compiled at the DailyKos:
Georgia Pacific Products: Angel Soft toilet paper • Brawny paper towels • Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups • Mardi Gras napkins and towels • Quilted Northern toilet paper • Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper • Sparkle napkins • Vanity fair napkins • Zee napkins • Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
Georgia Pacific Building Products: Dense Armor Drywall and Decking • ToughArmor Gypsum board • Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood • Flexrock • Densglass sheathing • G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters) • FibreStrong Rim board • G/P Lam board • Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing • Blue Ribbon Sub-floor • DryGuard Enhanced OSB • Nautilus Wall Sheathing • Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing • Broadspan Engineered Wood Products • XJ 85 I-Joists • FireDefender Banded Cores • FireDefender FS • FireDefender Mineral Core • Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF Wood Fiberboard, Commercial Roof Fiberboard, Hushboard Sound Deadening Board, Regular Fiberboard Sheathing, Structural Fiberboard Sheathing
INVISTA Products/Brands: COMFOREL® fiberfill • COOLMAX® fabric • CORDURA® fabric • DACRON® fiber • POLYSHIELD® resin • SOLARMAX® fabric • SOMERELLE® bedding products • STAINMASTER® carpet • SUPPLEX® fabric • TACTEL® fiber • TACTESSE® carpet fiber • TERATE® polyols • TERATHANE® polyether glycol • THERMOLITE® fabric • PHENREZ® resin • POLARGUARD® fiber • LYCRA® fiber
[Full article at DailyKos]
From “The Rats of London” at victoriangothic.org:
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If you were a rat in mid-century London, [Jack Black] was your nemesis. “Moist as rabbits, and quite as nice,” was how he described the rats he cooked for his own consumption. Sewer rats, he insisted, were just as good as barn rats, if you gave them a few days’ chase before killing them.
Rat-catching was a regular profession among London’s poor, allowing one to leverage a childhood spent peeking under floorboards and playing with filthy animals into a full and rewarding career. Armed with quick dogs and well-trained ferrets, Black and his colleagues ’sterminated rats by the hundred, collecting their fees on a cash-only basis. It was a “peculiar and exciting” line of work, according to Ike Matthews, who wrote the book on rat-catching; one where you could be own boss and turn long sojourns into the country with your hunting animals into a remunerative business.
Dalton Conley and Jacqueline Stevens make a pretty compelling argument in a recent NY Times op-ed:
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With the Senate preparing to debate filibuster reform, now is a good time to consider a similarly daunting challenge to democratic representation in the House: its size. It’s been far too long since the House expanded to keep up with population growth and, as a result, it has lost touch with the public and been overtaken by special interests.
Indeed, the lower chamber of Congress has had the same number of members for so long that many Americans assume that its 435 seats are constitutionally mandated.
But that’s wrong: while the founders wanted to limit the size of the Senate, they intended the House to expand based on population growth. Instead of setting an absolute number, the Constitution merely limits the ratio of members to population. “The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000,” the founders wrote.
Readers may be familiar with the infamous Sokal Affair, where a physicist successfully published an utterly nonsensical article in Social Text, a journal of postmodern cultural studies, in order to demonstrate its poor editorial standards and idealogical biases.
Recently, professor of medical education John C. McLachlan pulled the same stunt on an “International Conference on Integrative Medicine” held in Jerusalem in 2010, where he was invited to present a paper on the promising new field of ass reflexology. He described his findings as such:
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Recently, as a result of my developmental studies on human embryos, I have discovered a new version of reflexology, which identifies a homunculus represented in the human body, over the area of the buttocks.
The homunculus is inverted, such that the head is represented in the inferior position, the left buttock corresponds to the right hand side of the body, and the lateral aspect is represented medially.
Thomas Edison had notoriously bad judgment about the viability of his many inventions. He once embarked on an expensive scheme to construct entire houses, including furniture, out of cast concrete. This via IEEE Global History Network:
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Edison’s concrete housing effort began around 1908. Portland cement (which Edison did not invent) was coming into fashion as a construction material. Edison and his team worked on perfecting a formula for mixing concrete (a mixture of cement and filler materials such as sand or gravel) and building re-usable steel molds to cast the walls of houses. By 1910, he had cast two experimental buildings — a gardener’s cottage and a garage — at his New Jersey mansion Glenmont. He announced in the press that he did not intend to profit from the venture, but would instead give away the patented information to qualified builders.
The publicity generated by this announcement attracted the attention of philanthropist Henry Phipps who proposed using the concrete houses to solve New York City’s housing problems.