1. This Photo of Frida Kahlo – I was uber excited when I saw this picture. I did a little research to see if I could find out how Kahlo came to be sitting with Nayantara Sahgal and Rita Dar, the daughters of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (who was the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru and the aunt of Indira Gandhi). I found this article and it doesn’t give a lot more information. It’s most likely that the two women were visiting Mexico in a diplomatic capacity. The article is very interesting though, talking about how saris are essential a garment of protest and resistence. Fascinating!
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[Found by my friend Ami on IG]
2. This 80s Remix of Adele’s ‘Easy on Me’ – Wonderful, makes my heart swoon.
3. This Graphic of the Languages of the World – I love info stuff. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Tell me, why do we think that English should be the universal language?
4. These Earrings from KIKAY – I KNOW I’ll be wearing them ALL the time. They’re super light and I mean, look at them with my hair! (The photo on the right is me.) This shop is dangerous though. I also bought a pair of pink soot sprites (if you are a fan of Studio Ghibli you will remember they appeared in the films My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.) And look at these guillotines – perfect for Halloween (always thinking ahead.) I know I’ll be ordering more earrings and soon.
[Found via Beryl Shereshewsky – If you aren’t watching her videos you need to do so immediately!]
5. This Example of Video Editing – Which is PURE GENIUS! Warning: it’s very easy to go down the rabbit hole on this person’s YouTube channel.
[Found by my pal Angela on Reddit. Thanks Stasie!!!]
6. This Table! – Seriously, how wonderful would this be, dining ON a Venetian canal? This isn’t staged, it’s a real table at a real restaurant – Ristorante Ai Barbacani
7. This “Last” Bookstore – I’ve wanted to go here for a while, but after seeing this story on CBS Mornings now I NEED to go here. A friend of mine went a few months ago (the lucky duck) and sent me a few snapshots but I think you need to see it in person.
1. This Video on the Accents of All Fifty States – Myself, I knowIdon’t have an accent. Well, at least I didn’t think I did (except that one time I had a bunch of people stare at me when I ordered a pop instead of a soda but that was more dialect than accent.) But then a few years ago I went to this conference in California. The first day I was there, before I had been introduced to anyone else, before I had even checked in, I was waiting in the lounge with some of the other conference attendees while they slowly checked us in one by one. I was chatting away with several of the people, most of whom were from California.
After about five minutes the woman across from me said, “It’s so to be with someone from Iowa again!” I looked at her and said, “Wait, how did you know I was born in Iowa?” And she replied, “You accent! It’s great hearing that Iowa accent again.” I couldn’t believe it. Not just because I thought I had some sort of universal (and semi-classy) accent but because I had been living in Wisconsin twice as long as I had been living in Iowa. Though I moved to Wisconsin when I was 18 so I guess the accent was already pretty much permanent. You know what they say, people don’t lose an accent unless they move by 16 years of age, at the latest.
2. This Dance Compilation – I’ve seen a lot of compilations like this but when Kevin Bacon, THE Kevin Bacon, posted it on his Facebook page and wrote, “What a compilation! This might be the best of all dance numbers. Feeling inspired to watch one of the greats tonight. Are you with me?” I thought – I need to watch. And he wasn’t kidding. It’s FABULOUS!!!
3. This Nature Photographer, Tim Flach – this guy is a genius.
4. This Interview of Jason Mantzoukas by Seth Meyers – Been watching a lot of the talk shows – Seth Meyers (probably the most religiously), Colbert, Trevor, Drew Barrymore, the two Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and James Corbin (the last three not as regularly as the rest). During the pandemic I’ve seen scads of interviews and I must say I don’t think I’ve seen one as entertaining as this.
5. This Canadian Artist, Tom Thomson – I recently discovered this artist because of a show called the ‘Murdoch Mysteries‘ (which I obsessed with) and now I’m looking for everything I can, not just about his art but about his life too. It turns out there was quite a bit of mystery surrounding his death and that just makes this all the more alluring.
6. These InStyle Virtual Elevator “Entrances” for the Golden Globe Awards – you can see more of them here but my favorite was Nicola Coughlan’s (and not only because she was wearing a fairy princess dress):
7. This Photographer, Kristina Makeeva – her work is truly magical. (Trying to only choose a few to highlight was incredibly difficult, you’ll want to look at more of her photos here, trust me!)
1. This History of Chestnut Trees – this actually is something to both love and hate. I hate the story behind why we’ve lost the vast majority of the American Chestnut trees in North America (not surprisingly it had to do with some wanker deciding to import a dozen Chinese Chestnut trees to the US from Japan. Because there will always be people who have to have bigger, better, new.) There’s further details on the blight here.
But what I love is history, and the history of the Chestnut tree is fascinating and extensive. These were enormous trees, strong, hearty, and they provided for everyone and everything that lived around them. Another thing I love is that there are people working to bring back the American Chestnut. One organization in particular, the American Chestnut Foundation, leads the show and they are getting close. According to this article from 2019, the final stage/cut should take place this year and then they should be able to start repopulating the Appalachian Forests with blight-resistant American Chestnut trees. Hope!
2. This Article on the Regency Design of Bridgerton – Have you watched Bridgerton yet? If not, get thee to the television and start streaming thy Netflix!
My favorite era in British history has always been the Edwardian era (and I mean design-wise) with the Tudor era in a close second. BUT I must say, this show made me start to wonder if I should rethink that.
3. This Incredible Photograph of the Chicago Skyline – it really does look like flames are shooting up!
4. This Video of Robots Dancing to “Do You Love Me?” – Boston Dynamics is one of the most advanced Robotics company in the world. They have a huge following on social media and for good reason – their robots are incredibly impressive. They created this video for their fans for a holiday treat. AMAZING! (full disclosure – I’m a robotics nerd.)
5. This IncredibleBridge – my friend Kathy sent me this photo. It’s the Golden Bridge in Vietnam. We were trying to decide whether we loved it or found it disturbing. Truthfully, it’s both but in the end we decided we loved it much more than we found it disturbing. I think it’s all a matter of your upbringing and how you look at it.
6. These Pandemic Words – Here’s an article that includes an interview with Ben Zimmer who is the chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. They discussed not only the winning words – COVID was the word of the year – but also some of the nominees. Here are a few that I liked:
gleethreshing (ph) the opposite of doomscrolling, reading some good news for a change.
oysgezoomt (ph), being Zoomed out. You’re fatigued by being overexposed to Zoom.
Very interesting too about the term BIPAC. Need to read more about that.
You know, as a Gen-Xer, I know I was/am fairly absorbed in the decades of my salad days. Most people do this. But I think our generation grew up experiencing the pop culture of previous generations more than current gens. I mean, any of you watch the Cisco Kid or Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy movies on Sunday mornings because the only other alternative was wrestling or religious programming (apparently Saturday & Sunday morning programming was the least expensive.) Where I grew up in Iowa, that is what aired. The major network programming was preempted by devotional television shows.
Of course there was some new shows like the ABC Afterschool Special (usually the topics were rather heavy and sometimes even traumatic or miserable.) This show did not age well and there’s probably a reason why we preferred shows from previous decades…
And there were the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft, Zoom(the amazing thing about watching these intros is you will remember all these kids as if they were friends from grade school), and Clutch Cargo, but overall, kind of slim pickings compared to the today. In fact, when try to find a list of popular kids television shows of the 1970s it will almost always include shows from the 50s and 60s.
(Side note: here’s a wonderful video about a guy who had an original talking candle prop from the Side & Marty Krofft show ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ that he was trying to sell at auction.)
Not that every skit that SNL does is worth seeing but there is certainly a huge number of things over the past two decades that have had significant impact on pop culture and it’s kinda sad that millennials will never know the references.
So why did verklempt become such a popular descriptor? Is it because we’re living in the age of rampant millennial hyperbole? Or does verklempt just ring true in many situations? Is its meaning versatile enough to cover everything from Star Wars references to ailing dogs getting free hamburgers?
The origins of verklempttrace back to the Yiddish farklempt, which refers not to any old overwhelming emotion but to a particular one: depression and grief. Farklempt is the past tense of farklemen, which means “to grip, press” and has roots in the German word verklemmen, “to press, squeeze,” which is related to the German verklemmt (“uptight”). And, following verklempt even further back in time, it leads to the Old English word clam or clom, meaning to “bond” or “fetter.”
But it wasn’t until the ‘90s when we started seeing verklempt being used in pop culture. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but Mike Myers professed his verklempt-ness as Linda Richman in the 1992 Saturday Night Live sketch, Coffee Talk, about — you guessed it — Barbara Streisand.
I mean, how sad is it that generations of people will never see this??? Oy Vey, what a tragedy! What else has this generation missed?
2. This Animated History of the Lego Company – truly fascinating and the animation is fabulous.
I love the creativity of the fans of LEGO. For example, this creation done by LEGO artist Ochre Jelly…
3. This Music Video from Naughty Boys and Beyonce – before I even saw the video I loved this song but then I watched it and I was blown away. It stars two free divers named Alice Modoloand Guillaume Néryunderwater for the entire video. It’s amazing, you have to see it to believe it.
4. This Animal: Leaf Sheep – the only animal that can photosynthesize. I mean, how freaking cute is this???
5. This Illustrator’s List About Why She Misses Going to the Public Library – First, thanks Meta! Second, you will want to be sure to click on post so it takes you to Instagram because there are NINE items on her list and to see them all you have to be able to scroll.
6. This Reboot of Animaniacs (on Hulu) – I’m not a child of the 90s but I still loved this show (probably because I’ve always been a child at heart.) And this reboot is NOT a disappointment.
7. This Photo of Flowers as Bees & Butterflies would see them...
Because I’m always a little skeptical nowadays (as one should be, especially about things found on the internet) I wanted to make sure that the above photo had some scientific verification or at least find a reliable source that verified that insects see UV light. And I found something on PBS, which I deem a reliable source.
[Bonus] This Season Finale by John Oliver – I mean, the ending is amazing and Adam Driver is AWESOME!!! Fuck you 2020!
[And one more BONUS for Fans of The Crown] This Series of Impressions of All the Characters from Season 4….
1. This Children’s Librarian – who set up the best display ever the day after the Vice Presidential debate.
2. These Celebrities teaching us American Slang – I grew up in Iowa where we have no accent and no slang! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha. So not true. In fact, my Mom, whom I adored, used to say things like “be sure when you worsh the dishes in the zinc that you don’t break anything.” And my dad still says the words “Worshington” and “garuntee.” And then there was the pop/soda incident of 1984. I’d rather not talk about it.
A few years ago I few out to a conference in California and the majority of the attendees were native Californians. I’d never met any of them. The first evening I was sitting across a table from a woman who was sort of staring at me. Understand we hadn’t introduced ourselves at this point and weren’t wearing name tags. We’d only arrived and checked in and were having cocktails while we waited for our rooms. After people started getting called to go check-in she came over and sat next to me and said, “It’s so great to talk with a fellow Iowan again!” I asked how she knew I was from Iowa. I hadn’t even said all that much (at least for me) and after all, I hadn’t lived in Iowa for about thirty-five years. She said, “Your accent!” I have an accent? Go on, I don’t have an accent. She insisted I did.
Turns out she had lived in California for quite some time but was born and raised in Iowa as well. As you can imagine we became fast friends. I still can’t tell the difference between her “accent” (or my “accent”) and the accents of the other Californians attending the conference. Apparently I am no Henry Higgins.
ANYHOO, this video is fun to watch. Here are all the people that show up in it and exactly where they were born and/or raised.
Jennifer Garner was born in Houston, Texas but raised in Charleston, West Virginia
Olivia Munn was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Keegan-Michael Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit
Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas
Adam Devine is actually a fellow Iowan, born in Waterloo, Iowa but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska
E-40 is from Vallejo, California
Michael Sheen is, of course, not from America but is from the beautiful Newport, Wales
Jon Hamm is from St. Louis, Missouri!!! (A branch of my family tree hails from there.)
Chloe Grace Moretz was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ike Barinholtz is from Chicago, Illinois
Tiffany Haddish is from Los Angeles, California
Jason Bateman is NOT from the Ozarks but was born in Rye, New York.
Laura Linney was born in New York City (did you know her father was a prominent playwright named Romulus Linney?)
Julia Garner was also born in New York City, in the Bronx.
Jennifer Lawrence was born in Indian Hills, Kentucky near Louisville
Joel Edgerton was born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia (and his reaction to Kentucky slang is wonderful.)
Mark Wahlberg was born in Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts
Adam Sandler (interesting detail about bodegas) is a Brooklyn, New York boy (not a surprise)
Idina Menzel was born in Manhattan, grew up in New Jersey until she was three, then moved to Syosset, New York on Long Island.
3. This Book, Emeralds of Oz by Peter Guzzardi – honestly, there is a lot we can learn from the Wizard of Oz books (plural). Also, have you ever read Wicked (and the sequels) by Gregory Macguire. They really are genius. The first one is best, they get less so as you go along but the vocabulary is almost Tolkien-level of brillance.
4. This Cartoonist for The Guardian, Tom Gauld – I’ve been a fan for ages. His cartoons generally have a very literary slant. I have a couple of his books and am asking Santa for another one for Christmas!
5. This Reenactment of the iconic four-way phone scene from Mean Girls by four young women with disabilities. The intent is to show that people don’t have to be defined by their disability. It’s wonderful!
6. This Famous (infamous) Merrie Melodies scene, Leopold… The Leopold that they keep whispering about is a real-life conductor, Leopold Stokowski.
I also loved it when Merrie Melodies went completely into the adult arena, making cartoons for grown-ups. This cartoon has all sorts of famous people from the era: Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo (Garbo wore size 8AA shoes but between her own self criticism and Hollywood standards the rumor few around that her feet were too big), Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and many more. How many can you name? Oh, and LEOPOLD again!
7. This Young Girl – about five years ago (damn, time flies) my library system staff went to one of the local county fairs to promote libraries. They did this a lot, library advocacy is part of their thing. In addition to handing out materials about what our system libraries provided and they wanted to do something interactive so they put together this simple little activity using pool noodles and artistic letters laminated onto cards so that they would stand up. People could create any message they wanted and have their photos taken and my system put the photos up on social media. There were TONS of them but this one really caught my attention for two reasons – first, because of the word that she choose and second, because of the way she’s holding up the word, there’s just something so powerful about the way she’s standing. I just love everything about it.