Category Archives: regular

RayFish Footwear

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OK, so this is a pretty incredible (as in I’m still not quite sure I believe it) product.

These guys (RayFish) have a process they call “bio-customization” which is basically creating a transgenic stingray.

Using the DNA on file in our genetic library, you can combine the skin patterns and coloration from dozens of different species. Access the richness of natural selection. Evolve an infinite variety of shoes.

Yeah. Shoes. So basically, they have a tool on their website where you can “design” a custom stingray–the actual fucking animal. Then they grow one and harvest the leather from it to make your shoes.


They have a little video that doesn’t really do it justice, you should follow that link up there and play with their tool.

They’ll end up running about $1800, and while I’m not about to drop that on some shoes it actually seems pretty reasonable to me. I mean for a custom genetically engineered creature (well I guess it takes two, one for each foot) to be harvested specifically for your shoes.

Rayfish Footwear - Yellow/Red
Rayfish Footwear - Blue/White
Rayfish Leather - Blue/White

Pretty fucking wild.

How Are Bees Organized?

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How Are Bees Organized?


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I managed to come off like an enormous asshole in that post.

Mea Culpa.

Lehrer’s Rules

Written by jabinante. Filed under regular, writing. Tagged . Comments Off.

Friday, December 4th was the final broadcast of NewsHour (with Jim Lehrer.) During it he laid out his personal rules for journalism. I only wish everyone in the field could follow them.

• Do nothing I cannot defend.

• Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.

• Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.

• Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.

• Assume the same about all people on whom I report.

• Assume personal lives are a private matter, until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.

• Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.

• Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions.

• No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.

• And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business.”

/via PBS Ombudsman Column

Personally I think the quibbles are BS

The History of Thanksgiving

Written by jabinante. Filed under regular. Tagged . Comments Off.

1621 – “The First Thanksgiving”

1637 – Governor Winthrop declares a “day of thanksgiving” to celebrate the safe return of men from Massachusetts who had gone to Mystic, Connecticut to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot women, children, and men.

November 1777 – The Continental Congress declares a day of Thanksgiving to thank God for an American military victory over a powerful British general.

July 1861 – Confederate Congress declares a day of Thanksgiving to thank God for their victory over the Union in the First Battle of Bull Run

April 1862 – President Lincoln declares day of Thanksgiving to thank God for the Union victory over the Confederacy at Shiloh

September 1862 – Confederate Congress declares a day of Thanksgiving to thank God for their victory over the Union in the Second Battle of Bull Run

August 1863 – President Lincoln declares day of Thanksgiving to thank God for the Union victory over the Confederacy at Gettysburg

December 1865 – President Johnson establishes a national Thanksgiving holiday to celebrate the Union victory in the Civil War

October 1931 – President Hoover becomes the first president to actually make a rhetorical connection between the national holiday of Thanksgiving and the pilgrims

In other words, Thanksgiving was first the “thanks, Indians, for helping us colonists survive in your harsh New World” feast. Then, for around 240 years, Thanksgiving was a string of unrelated “thank you, God, for letting us slaughter the people who disagreed with us” days. Then for another 60+ years, it was the “thanks, God, for letting the North beat the South in the Civil War” holiday. And now, for the past 70, it’s been the Indian & Pilgrim thing again. Well, the Pilgrim thing coupled with pleasant/unpleasant family reunions and the baking of turkeys, pies and casseroles.

About the only true thing in the whole mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of Wampanoag people. What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, theft of our lands, and never-ending repression.

Most of this is from Jake’s yearly thanksgiving post at Lying Media Bastards with some additions from elsewhere on the web.

I’m Lame

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for not posting much the last week or so. You should see my fever° right now, it’s pretty out of control. This week/end will be catchup time :D

M4W: Goggle’d, valve’d and care-fully embroider’d.

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STEAMPUNK SINGLES ADS are printed by hand on authentic parchment or linen rag of the period, using hand-mixed blue-black squid ink and a puckity-puck steam-powered letterpress that’s attached by eight quarter-inch hemp ropes to an aubergine- and salmon-striped 20-foot-high zeppelin bearing a whimsical mustache and top hat made of real silk. Over 14 hours every Saturday, the grudgingly candid ad is drafted, corrected, re-edited, press-printed, duplicated via fake steam-powered mimeograph, dried, cured, re-dried, brass-cured, antiqued, and then carefully sealed with ruby-colored wax, which is impressed by the personal signet crest embossed in reverse on the ring of the be-goggled steampunker’s hammy right paw. The new ad is then carefully laid into a hand-stitched calfskin correspondence jacket which has been monogrammed in gold using a single strand of deceased stallion’s hair, then fitted with tiny, handmade brass hinges, a non-functional isinglass view screen, fine lace bookmarks with parti-colored appliques of Jules Verne and a longhand index page displaying a line drawing of a bicycle made of vintage plumbing supplies and six kerosene lamps wearing monocles or pinces nez. Once the week’s new singles ad has been installed in its lambskin jacket, it is covered by a satin lambskin-jacket jacket. Then, using a set of fantastical nickel and tin “correspondence tongs” — which have recently been retrofitted with crushed velvet, embroidered “tong handle pads” — the jacketed jacket is carefully placed in an extraordinary handmade commander’s chest, made of mirror-shiny interleaved exotic hardwoods and lined — child’s casket-like — with the finest chinoiserie tapestry linens and button-embroidered correspondence padding and correspondence padding case goggles. The chest’s wondrous exterior features a fully-functional pendulum-driven clock, more brass hinges, and more kerosene lamps, as well as a surprisingly un-jolly band of 4 mechanized chimps wearing fezzes and dinner jackets, biting unlit meerschaum pipes and, “playing” terrifying brass violins via a jerky series of armatures whose nearly non-functional steam-driven valves produce billows of dense black smoke and a deafening cacophony of thuds, hisses, and claps that gratefully drowns out the simians’ automatonically screeching quartet; still the steamchimps keep playing, eternally, joylessly, endlessly — staring, coal-black doll-eyed at nothing in particular, and compelled by steam and lonely ingenuities to perform, unheard and unapplauded, for no one in particular. After the massive rounded lid is lowered and bolted by 23 brass clasps — and taking extraordinary care to work around the wheezing chimp violinists and their barren, ironically un-smoking pipes — the chest is wrapped repeatedly in rounds of authentic maritime chains (which have been padded with the same materials as the chest’s exquisite lining and highlighted with thumb-sized silhouettes of Queen Victoria made of the same material as the tong handle pads) so as to avoid damaging the pristine exterior of the chest. At last, the chest is secured by a series of over 200 locks and lock-like lock facsimiles made variously of valves, valve cases, tubes, steam, steam tubes, glass, strong tea, velvet, tin whistles, magnifying glasses, wool, ivory, chutney, armatures, anglicanism, scones, fountain pens, fountain pen valves, fountain pen valve armatures, dictionary stands, goggles, goggle cases, goggle case cases, goggle pens, velvet goggle valve wipes, parchment cylinder case valves, port wine, white chapel, granite, goggle tubes, Yeats, stone sharpeners, eyepatch boxes, snuff lamps, magnifying glass shelf rod holder bins, a broken sextant, and much, much, much, much more brass.

Because, let’s be honest; That’s kind of where they belong.

The Of Mississippi Code

Written by jabinante. Filed under regular. Comments Off.


Drunk on success, Dan Brown rewrites Absalom Absalom!

It begins:

Aging woman Rosa Coldfield was sitting in a room as hot as a Hotpoint oven that had been left on for a very long time even though nothing was cooking yet that anyone could sense or smell. She could almost taste the Southern aspects of the air that was full of air things like hot molecules and the paint chip things that fall off the walls in old houses as they sit like two eyes cut with dull southern scissors from an old magazine about sharks or other fish that have eyes or travel. “Fahrenheit was a Pollock,” Rosa uttered audibly, to no one in particular, although Quentin was also sitting in the hot room with two eyes. “Poland is not hot,” Rosa colluded, exhaling the air that had been in her lungs for a few seconds before she talked chillingly about the temperature man. “This is a hot room,” she finished, forecasting a way of saying to Quentin that the heat of the enormous room was like an angry animal that moved like a more slow animal and with eyes like scissors or not. Quentin silently acknowledged her fiery observations with keen intelligence and iced tea in a small man-like hand which was still attached cunningly to one arm. So was the other one, white with wise countenance of being in this precarious room with the woman I mentioned earlier. It was still really hot, certainly.

Good lord, my brain.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river

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With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

Yesterday & Today

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Dealing with a big webconference, I apologize for the dearth of posts. I’ll probably catch up this afternoon :)