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Après Moi, le Déluge

5 Oct

A long hiatus, I know. This article, though, seemed positively Amethystian:

Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated to Fiji, due to rising ocean levels

How do you even rig that? I’m wincing at the idea of Kiribati trying to relocate to the U.S. and all the xenophobic redneck outcries we’d have about it here. Imagine Fiji, which is so much more, uh, how do we say . . . provincial. I mean, I guess the people of Kiribati also have a lot more in common with Fijians, ethnically and culturally, so maybe it’s OK? The article mentions that kids from Kiribati regularly study at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

Still, over 100,000 people. That’s a serious population boost for a nation of only 849k.

Sez my friend Laura, who works on a cruise ship:

This has been going on for a while. I was able to go here this year when my ship strangely had a port of call there. Nothing there… no running water, no electric… no sewage… it’s crazy. But the people love it there and don’t want to leave. We (and many other cruise companies) have since been forced to stop supporting them with donations because it’s making them want to stay there to receive their hand-outs. It sucks to move them… but otherwise they’re goners for sure. Over time, of course.

Anyway, I do think about this a lot, and have ever since the tsunamiquake in 2004. The photos of Maldives, man. They were just . . . done. Like, you’d think that this would be the case for pretty much all of the low-lying, nonvolcanic archipelagos of the South Pacific. Yeah? And what about all the little villages on the unfrozen edges of Greenland, once it melts? Is Kiribati just the only one of them with its act together?

And That’s What It’s All About

12 Jun

This funny little article, It’s Not About You, is so perfectly phrased, I just gotta share. Nos. 2 and 3 particularly resonate with me. The importance of minding one’s own business and not attempting to control other people’s lives, because that is appalling and how dare one, is a lesson I didn’t learn as young as I’d have liked. And also what a real apology is, and how an apology actually isn’t “I’m sorry . . . YOU FEEL THAT WAY, THAT IS, and P.S., I’m still awesome and didn’t do anything wrong.” Because that is how a child apologizes. I’m still surprised every time I see a grown-assed grown-up apologize like that for all intents and purposes, which is basically all of the time. Eyes all cast to the ground. Yeah, you definitely saved face by doing that.

Anyway, Ijeoma Oluo says it better than me in her blog, so read it. Very tidy, very nice.

More Like “Holy Roman Vampire,” Am I Right, People

15 May

Whoa. Here’s an animated time-lapse map of Europe from 1000 A.D., replete with synthstringy Ridley-Scotian Game of Thrones music. I’ve watched it about eight times now. It pleases me.

(There are complaints of inaccuracy in the comments, but they are from YouTube commenters, the Internet’s infestation of human silverfish, so I recommend, uh, not reading them.)

Yo Quiero Tener Su, Bebe

14 May

Well, it’s apparent that I need to not have a job if I want to keep a blog regularly. Hmmm. Processing.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of a bus graffito that I like.Image

Back soon. Someday.

BMIs Are Bunk

30 Apr

Here’s an interesting little project, spearheaded by fitness blogger Hanna Brooks Olsen and journalist Sarah Anne Lloyd:

They’ve conspired together on a project to illustrate the meaninglessness of the invented-200-years-ago-yet-still-often-utilized-by-health-professionals Body Mass Index, or BMI. It’s just a Tumblr of people holding signs with their BMIs written on them, but it’s eyebrow-arching to see how sometimes a perfectly healthy-looking individual will be classified as “normal” and sometimes will be classified as “obese” or “underweight” or whatever. Oh, right, because that’s dumb, because the BMI doesn’t account for above-average heights or muscle density or really any variation on what was the norm in the early 19th century.

(My BMI and I are mixed in there somewhere, if anyone’s up to the challenge.)

It’s also been telling to read about how much trouble the impresarias have had getting people to confess their BMIs to the Internet. It’s arbitrary, folks. They were still putting cocaine in soda when it was made up.  That’s the whole point. If you agree, feel free to contact Hanna and Sarah with your own BMI photo. They’d appreciate it.

In Current Scaring-the-Christ-Out-of-Me News

30 Apr

We have a terrifying commercial for something named Fashion Shack, featuring, um, teenaged girls.

 

Not sure what makes it more scary: the music, the freaky sotto voce-over, or the Chiller font. To all three, I implore: Why?

It’s Really Obscure; You’ve Probably Never Heard of It

27 Apr

First of all, do you guys know about Atlas Obscura? After Imgur, it’s my #1 Internet rabbit hole. Atlas Obscura is a thing of where some wise guy (or guyess) had the idea of making an all-inclusive database (an “atlas,” if you will) of the world’s bizarrest and mind-wonderingest places, and then allowing us, the public people, to chime in with auxiliary info about the places. And check in at the Mir Diamond Mine in Siberia or the rainbow-toned Fly Geyser in Nevada or that lake in India with hundreds of ancient human skulls scattered around the banks that no one ever bothered to clean up. And add photos. There are some seriously stupendous photos up in this site. I can and will sit around and click “take me to a random place” for hours.

I also turn to Atlas Obscura as a de rigeuer step of travel-planning. I’ve discovered myriad dinosaur theme parks and teapot-shaped gas stations and secret speakeasies and ruined Victorian bathhouses this way, and I’ve got countless more fantasy-trips conjured up thanks to it. AO does me a great service by existing and is a huge boon to, you know, my life. My life being what it is.

So, there’s that, but then also, tomorrow is Obscura Day! Glad you asked. Once a year, Atlas Obscura’s fans and minions host dozens of events involving local weirdness, in cities across the globe, from Brooklyn to Berlin. My own dear high school (and current) pal Bess Lovejoy, author of a forthcoming book about traveling corpses, will be hosting Seattle’s chapter this year, with a tour of the spewkity INScape building, fka the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s vintage administration building-slash-prison that’s been lately revitalized as an arts space. Reportedly, immigrants were routinely held there for years at a time. The tour entails everything between the ground floor and the attic, including the ancient toilet graveyard and Alcatraz-style coverage of the individual cells, and will be curated by INScape project manager and developer Sam Farrazaino.

We’ll also be stopping by the petite Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore, housed within the building, and its collection of pieces on such crackpot conspiracies as: Sasquatch, D. B. Cooper (don’t get me started on D. B. Cooper, folks), the Maury Island UFO/Air Force crash thing in the ’40s, sundry Gold Rush ghosts, that doctor lady who starved people in the 1910s, Kurt Cobain (don’t get me started on that guy either, actually), and the world’s allegedly deepest hole in Ellensburg. Not sure why, but the museum also has, seemingly just for me, a huge foosball table-sized model-map of the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Queens, with a tiny fountain and tiny cars and tiny Shea Stadium. (What is this? A World’s Fair FOR ANTS?)

Afterward, we’ll retire to the nefarious and historical Panama Hotel Coffee and Tea House, site of a mass Japanese internment raid during WWII and which has a weird hidey-hole cut-away window in the floor with sad artifacts in it, for a quick trivia game on local history. Written by me, but that’s neither here nor there, is it.

Here are the deets on all of the world’s Obscura Day festivities. If you’re in Seattle and would like to join us tomorrow, don’t be fooled by the headline here: it’s no longer sold out and has been fortified with an extra batch of tickets. We’d love to see you there.

Seattle’s Obscura Day tour of INScape starts at 3pm on Saturday, April 28th; the group will meet in front of INScape at 815 Seattle Boulevard South, across-ish from the Uwajimaya parking lot in the International District. Tickets are $10 and include admission to the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore. Buy tickets at obscuraday.com.

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