latte art and espresso porn

The other day I discovered these terrific Flickr sets of espresso drinks through the new interestingness features. Coffee being my daily drug of choice now and for the foreseeable future, all my caffeine anticipators and receptors are all aroused. Yipes.

Speaking of coffee… While I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about a recent read, My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, it was full of coffee-worship, to which I was very sympathetic. For example,

Forty years ago, the Persian Shah Tahmasp, …began to grow senile and lost his enthusiasm for wine, music, poetry, and painting; furthermore, he quit drinking coffee, and naturally, his brain stopped working. …One day, when he had grown even older, he was possessed by a jinn, had a nervous fit, and begging God’s forgiveness, completely swore off wine, handsome young boys and painting, which is proof enough that after this great shah lost his taste for coffee, he also lost his mind.

(PS, Ed, if you’re still off coffee, I’m sorry about posting this).

WSJ

Lest anyone think I’m bluffing in my threat of a few days ago to go Republican, my first issue of the Wall Street Journal came yesterday. Would I be subscribing if I had not gotten a notice from the United frequent flyer program that my miles are expiring and that I could convert them into magazine/newspaper subscriptions? Probably not. But I’ve always liked the WSJ. As much as I loathe the opinion pages, particularly their solidarity with the more religious elements of the Republican party and other things that a Real Conservative should have no truck with, I think their news coverage is quite refreshing, often pretty offbeat, and often full of things that Real Liberals should care more about. Some examples from yesterday’s papers include Mall cops’ somewhat dubious anti-terrorist training, a new stock exchange for Kuwaiti women (apparently, even a segregated trading floor is progress), and an update on the trial of someone involved with the Daniel Pearl murder. (Daniel Pearl himself being a pretty good example of the more liberal journalist types who are part of the WSJ’s news organization).

That said, while their online subscription business might be profitable, their utter invisibility to any major search engine makes me think that there is a huge boat they’ve missed. I had no way of even linking to excerpts of any of those articles above, and instead linked to at least one competitor.

It’s also nice to read something that’s not on a damn computer screen.

Oscillons from the Anti-Sun

Last Friday I picked up the newish Sterolab compilation. I’ve taken a pass on the last few Sterolab albums, and I almost took a pass on this. I already had much of it, but the kicker was the enclosed DVD, containing videos and some BBC performances I’d not seen. I decided to get it just for auld lang syne. Watching it on Sunday, my reaction was much as I expected, a mix of the peppy energy of the music itself, tinged with a great deal of melancholy, because:

  • I miss the 90′s
  • I miss Mary Hansen (sort-of brush with sort-of fame: she stood next to us during one of Sterolab’s opening acts (was it Mouse on Mars?) at a show at the Roxy).
  • We got to keep the lift, hope, and struggle