Monday, January 25, 2010


This was the big and foreboding question posed in the commentary column of a recent edition of my local paper, the Chicago Shimpo.* ( I love you Shimpo).

If Kelly Kulick and her historic victory this week have anything to say, it is a live and kicking! (and striking).

*Yes, there are other locals, like the
Tribune or Sun-Times, but let's be honest, they are bad. Expect more posts on some recent reportage from it...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

~ zurichness ~

Following the trend of catching up, this is another post of events some 2 months past.

This brings us time-traveling to late mid-November, location: Zürich, Switzerland. Walking down Geroldstrasse you come across a strange dispenser on a post. It is nothing other than a bag for dog poo, with handy non-lingual visuals to guide you through the process of using the bag as a glove, and picking up after a pooch (and such a cute spotted one at that).

This is a nice resource for the people walking their dogs, but then I suppose even for the good Samaritan as well? I once read The Ecology of Stray Dogs by Alan Beck, a 70's urban ecology classic. He estimated an ungodly amount of dog waste that Baltimore absorbs into the grass and concrete every year. Shudder to think; better still, read about it! The photos of the dogs in the book are quite charming and the whole book is now available for free as a PDF online.

Walking down the road further still, past the crazy Freitag shop, and you come to Heils-Armee Brocki, a very nice Salvation Army Thrift shop if I ever saw one (go here to let the tidal wave of salvation music flow over you). Xa - the reason for which I was even in the city - had received advanced intel on this spot, and it did not disappoint. She bought two pairs of boots, and I picked up the two lovely, used items:

A set of pick-up sticks. One of my favorite games of all time, this set clearly got soe good use. An "H. Huber" appears to have been the owner according to the marker on the flap. The masking tape the flap must be over 10 years old, but still is sticky like new (those Swiss do not compromise on product excellence). I an happy to report the sticks have good action and are highly playable.

Another find was this copy of "Hobby" magazine circa 1954, completely in German, so I have no idea what it says, but I don't really have to. The pictures tell it all - specs and stories on hypersonic jets, car manufactury, blueprints of high speed underwater cameras, adventure narratives about tree houses, and LP player innovations, all inflected with a healthy dose of science fiction - everything for the young boy and the boy within most grown men. It is complete eye candy from a graphic design point of view in a way that can only be understood in seeing it, and perhaps first hand, in its loose, smooth and floppy magazine pages. The best couple franks spent

small richness of zürichness /

Monday, January 18, 2010

"a recalcitrant status quo"

"America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to school teachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum-and livable-income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood."

The Living in a World House essay

to be found in

Saturday, January 16, 2010

galactic scone

When staring down at the plate and the incidental sugar that sprinkled off breakfast is like looking up at the sky.

I don't even know the last time I was somewhere dark enough to see the Milky Way otherwise (perhaps Oregon 2007?)