News & Politics

NetNomad 38

This week from the NetNomad: "Wear the Bulletproof Vest, Please" ... Burma Shave ... Tibetan Butter Sculptures ... IMDB Photo Galleries ... Lewis Taylor.
In Passing... (//

The line between the private and the public is becoming increasingly blurred, thanks to cell phones and the self-righteous "look at me talking on a cell phone" people who often use them. Who cares if you have a very important meeting at 3:15! The author of "In Passing..." collects snippets of overheard conversations that "were so comical or tragic or cool that I couldn't help wanting to have a place to share them or save them." The end result is strangely compelling. A sampling of snippets: "But you can't live on Skittles and beer, either." "Well, would you please wear the bulletproof vest?" "Ugh, I can't stand coconut. It always reminds me of... it's like little shreds of human flesh."

Burma Shave (//

There was a time, long ago, when ads often tried to belong to the community, much like the sitcom that everyone would watch on Thursday night. Some of the most successful were the Burma Shave signs that for decades lined the highways and bi-ways of America. There would be three or four signs in a row, each with a line of text from the ad. "My job is Keeping faces clean/ And nobody knows/ De stubble/ I've seen. Burma-Shave." Or how about "Is he Lonesome/ Or just blind--/ This guy who drives/ So close behind? Burma-Shave." There's plenty more where these came from.

Tibetan Butter Sculptures (//

This is one of those sites you really have to see to believe. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to accept, for example, that these sculptures, created using colored butter, really are works of art. The butter sculptures are not as well known as the Tibetan sand art, known as mandala, but the sculptures play an important part in Tibetan Buddhist culture. They are usually made from yak butter, and displayed on altars and shrines in monasteries or family homes. And as the pictures show, they really are quite extraordinary. The gallery features a glossary on the meaning of the various sculptures and there's even a section explaining how to make your own.

IMDB Photo Galleries (//

As much as we've come to rely on the Internet Movie Database for it's remarkable information on current and past movies and actors, the lack of photos has always been somewhat frustrating. Well, that flaw is changing, albeit slowly. Now when you type in names such as Emily Watson or Harrison Ford, you'll find a full bio, along with a photo! And links to others, should they be available. There is no indication whether this feature might be expanded to include all the artists in their huge database, but in the meantime there is also a separate photo gallery, featuring movie stills and celebrity photos.

Lewis Taylor (//

His is a tale worthy of an epic novel: A young guitarist, singer, producer and writer finds the likes of David Bowie and Paul Weller seeking his services. The early promise of fame and fortune are squandered, however, and the boy wonder ends up working in a greengrocer. Of course the story does not end there. With the release of his new CD "Lewis II," Taylor is back on track, creating grandiose, soul-infested music, the likes of which have never seen the light of day. It is almost a shame to call him a young, white and British version of Marvin Gaye, but there you go. The site features an interesting bio, links and a number of sound clips; bear in mind as you listen to the new songs that Taylor played virtually every instrument!
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