Mrs Hill

We didn’t always have a spiffy Museum of Art down there by the Civic Center. The original Oklahoma Art League, founded in 1910, had no permanent location at all; it took the Depression (and the WPA) to find a home for the League’s collection. The Oklahoma Art Center was finally incorporated in 1945, and in 1958 moved to what is now State Fair Park.

Then: the schism. In 1968, the OAC bought a substantial collection of the dreaded modern art, prompting several members to set up shop elsewhere as the Museum of Conservative Art. The C-word was eventually dropped, and the two groups were eventually reunited in 1989.

In 1994, Carolyn Hill (no relation) took over as director of the renamed Oklahoma City Art Museum. The museum’s finances, hitherto parlous, were eased into the black, and the search for a new location began. Ground was broken in 2000 on the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, on the site of the old Centre Theater. Contrary to popular mythology, this was not a MAPS project: all the funding ($40 million or so) was private, and Mrs Hill was instrumental in getting it lined up.

After fourteen years at the helm, Carolyn Hill retired; she died yesterday, aged seventy-two. The groundwork she laid will outlast the next half a dozen directors combined, I suspect.

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Fashion clippings

Who knew? “The further south you drive in Tulsa, the more layers of clothing people wear to mow their lawns.”

Apparently you have to get all the way down to 31st just to find people wearing shirts.

I don’t live in Tulsa, so I can’t really map myself onto this grid, though there have been times I’ve been worthy of 61st or so and times I’ve been way the hell out in Owasso, IYKWIMAITYD.

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Do not ingest at 3G speeds.

Cupcakes in iPhone mode

(Via My Food Looks Funny.)

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Not a snap judgment

Given contemporary culture’s preference for the edgy over the edifying, it seems almost anticlimactic to report that scratching a serious artiste often reveals a person with serious issues.

Model Rie Rasmussen, on the subject of fashion photographer Terry Richardson:

“He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of. They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves.

“His ‘look’ is girls who appear underage, abused, look like heroin addicts … I don’t understand how anyone works with him.”

Rasmussen actually confronted Richardson:

“I told him what you do is completely degrading to women. I hope you know you only [bleep] girls because you have a camera, lots of fashion contacts and get your pictures in Vogue.

“Instead of arguing with me, Terry ran out of the bar. Then the next day, he called my agency and complained I called him names in front of clients in Paris. It was the most cowardly thing I have ever seen.”

The Jezebel blog went out looking for models with complaints against Richardson, and had no trouble finding them. Not that Richardson is inclined to be particularly penitent [link seriously NSFW] these days.

But of course he has his defenders:

[H]e’s such a sweetheart that I can’t understand how people can be so mean. I don’t even see their point.

This is apparently a definition of “mean” that hasn’t occurred to most people, including Tavi:

I don’t think I or anyone else who was so disgusted upon hearing about such awful experiences were just trying to be “mean.” It’s not bullying or trolling or the same as writing “Miley can’t sing!!!1!” in the comment section of a Youtube video. It’s being concerned and infuriated at how jaded someone has to be to actually find this kind of thing acceptable. Some of the models could barely speak English.

And, let’s clarify: you don’t love women just because you have sex with them and like taking pictures of their ladyparts. I’m not saying that’s all Richardson does, but “love” entails “respect” and also “the basic human decency to not use pictures of someone’s ladyparts for your photography show without her permission” and also “the basic human decency to not pressure a girl into giving you a hand job because OH MY GOD I WILL LITERALLY NOT BE ABLE TO PRESS THE FLASH BUTTON ON MY CAMERA UNLESS YOU TAKE NOTICE OF THE FACT THAT I HAVE NO PANTS ON. ALSO I’M A PROFESSIONAL.”

As I finished this up, Radiohead’s “Creep” oozed through the speakers. Evidently the Karma Police are paying attention.

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To the surprise of no one

As mentioned last week, Whole Foods announced that yes, they would be locating a store in the Big Breezy, and yes, it’s where most of us (or at least Steve Lackmeyer, anyway) thought it would be.

Here’s the press release:

Whole Foods Market recently signed a lease enabling Chesapeake to move forward with the construction of a 35,000 square-foot store along North Western Avenue between North Classen and N.W. 63rd Street to anchor the next phase of Chesapeake’s development activities around its 50-acre Oklahoma City headquarters.

Whatever Aubrey McClendon wants, sooner or later he gets.

Scheduled to open by year-end 2011, the new Oklahoma City Whole Foods Market will be the largest natural and organic supermarket in the state. In keeping with Whole Foods Market’s recently announced national initiative to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2010, the supermarket in Oklahoma City will be built to strict green building standards. The Oklahoma City store will incorporate an energy efficient design, alternative refrigerants and advanced eco-friendly systems.

WFMI is trending toward slightly-smaller stores: in today’s earnings report, they report that “since the Company’s first quarter earnings release, the Company has reduced the size of three stores in development by an average of 14,500 square feet each.” And with limited space available at that end of the Classen Curve, 35k may be pushing it, especially with all those people from Edmond looking for a place to park.

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All your bugs are belong to us

Spotted by Fightin’ Mad Mary in and around her Southern California neighborhood:

Government Insect Trap

California being a donor state, they’ll presumably get back fewer bugs than they contribute.

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No point

They say there’ll always be an England, though evidently the youngest subjects of the Crown are in grave danger these days:

The traditional children’s party game pin the tail on the donkey is under threat because parents consider it a health and safety risk.

The claim comes from retailers and parenting experts who say mothers and fathers are increasingly reluctant to put pins into the hands of youngsters.

Inexplicably, the new party favorite has far greater potential for damage to one’s person:

Tesco claims that sales of pin the tail on the donkey games have been outpaced by the piñata, an import from Mexico.

Nicole finds this risible:

Seriously? A game where a dizzy blindfolded child swings with a bat at a suspended object is safer than a potential tiny stick with a pin? Bats give longer reach to the potential beaning trauma.

Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t say these things out loud:

[B]efore we get all smug about it, remember, there but for the grace of obnoxious pushy individualists willing to holler go we.

Of course, should it happen here, eventually the name “piñata” will have to be replaced with something less ethnic-sounding, lest someone take offense.

Let’s see: a figure, made of decidedly non-durable material, that distributes goodies when pressure is applied…

Got it. “Come on, kids, we’re gonna beat on the Senator!”

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Higher reasoning power

The logic displayed here is utterly impeccable:

I stopped at the liquor store this afternoon to pick up a fresh bottle of vodka because, you know, it’s a day that ends with a y.

Could there possibly be a better reason? I suspect not.

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He’s gotta have it

Knicks fan Spike Lee has temporarily sublet his soul to the Boston Celtics:

“We need LeBron,” he said. “I feel we have a better chance to get LeBron James if Cleveland loses this series to the Celtics. The quicker Cleveland loses, the better our chances are of getting LeBron.”

There is, of course, a limit to Lee’s devotion:

“I’m not putting on any green and I’m not going to kiss the Blarney Stone or do the shamrock thing. I hate the Red Sox as much as I hate the Celtics and the ghost of Johnny Most and all those guys. This is the first and last time I root for Boston on anything, but for this one possible result it’s worth it.”

As always on this topic, King James had nothing to say, though the Cavs are down 3-2 to Boston at the moment.

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The wonderful one-hoss Ché

The world’s largest retailer is cordially hated by rather a lot of folks in its home country, a situation which Greg Hlatky proposes to solve with a bit of rebranding:

Stores in or near centers of enlightened thought should change their name to Wal-Martí. Instead of some little grey-haired grandma welcoming you there should be a bearded revolutionary in fatigues and beret (cigar acceptable). The face of management wouldn’t be some paunchy, middle-aged guy in shortsleeves but an Oriental in a Mao suit. This should send a thrill up the leg of every progressive customer. Nothing else need change.

Target practice, anyone?

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The David Brooks Brothers approach

The Republican party apparatus, suggests Stacy McCain, is a faux meritocracy:

When somebody’s college roommate doesn’t get the job, the next alternative is to hire “Joe Resume,” the immaculately groomed guy in the $700 suit who can deliver a persuasive 20-minute Powerpoint presentation. An ability to deliver the superficial appearance of competence, of course, is a poor substitute for actual competence, but Republicans place a lot of emphasis on looking good in a suit.

That the well-groomed Republicans got their asses kicked in 2008 by a campaign orchestrated by a slob like David Axelrod demonstrates the shortcomings of the Dress For Success school of political strategy. And before that, the polite Republicans got their asses kicked in 2006 by a campaign orchestrated by Rahm F***ing Emanuel.

To those of us for whom “persuasive 20-minute Powerpoint presentation” is a contradiction in terms, it’s yet another reason to resist the embrace of the GOP, though I suspect that Sarah Palin’s bullet points might actually have one redeeming social value: muzzle velocity.

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Where to take this leak

Roberta X, on the urgency of stanching the flow from that Gulf oil well:

I wish ‘em well in that effort. Darn it, I need that stuff for my car! Save the shrimp for cocktail sauce! Can’t we use a few of the zillions of Federal laws to stop up the leak? Surely the Congressional Record and the Code of Federal Regulations are printed on something fluffy and absorbent, aren’t they? They couldn’t be that blind and improvident, could they?

Unfortunately, they don’t think that far in advance, and I suspect I could have cut off this sentence a lot earlier.

So we fall back on pre-sliced, rustproof, easy-to-handle, low-calorie, Simpson’s Individual Emperor Stringettes, free from artificial coloring, as used in hospitals.

It’s either that or hair.

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New tests of sock retention

From Wikipedia’s article on the Yamaha Electone organ:

Playing the Electone is a physically engaging activity requiring considerable dexterity and coordination. The performer sits facing the console at a comfortable distance, with the lower manual at about elbow height and with their feet suspended slightly over the pedals. Their right hand typically plays the upper manual, while their left hand plays the lower manual, though in practice both hands may often play the same manual, especially if each mimics a different instrument or orchestral section. As they play, they may change registrations with conveniently-located finger controls located near the manuals. Their left foot plays the pedalboard with dancelike motions that can range from lively to languorous depending on the character of the music, Meanwhile, their outstretched right foot rests firmly on the expression pedal, which they pump gently in order to change the instrument’s overall volume or to accent their music dynamics. When they wish to make more pronounced dynamic changes, they simply use firmer heel or toe pressure on the pedal. They may also occasionally play the pedalboard briefly with both feet. (Many Electone performers play barefoot so as to achieve greater precision with the pedals.) Some Electone models also include a second expression pedal, known as an effects pedal, which can produce changes in pitch or other effects; toe switches on the main expression pedal with which the performer can change registration; and a knee lever, operated with the right knee, with which the performer can sustain notes (as with a piano’s sustain pedal) or produce other effects.

Which may or may not prepare you for the following:

(Seen at SF Signal.)

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Beyond Goldfinger

Emily Garber, who runs Stupid Nail Polish Names, is interviewed by Salon, and offers this observation:

I’m happy to see some flexibility in the connection between nail polish colors and their names. How dull would life be if you woke up in the morning and had to decide whether to put on “Light Baby Blue With Fine Silver Glitter” or “Moderate Cerulean With Matte Finish”? Knowing that I’m wearing #57FEFF on my toenails is not likely to make me smile. On the other extreme, it’s pretty silly to have a name with absolutely no connection to the color it represents. Naming a nail polish is like titling a painting. A good name is complementary, not redundant, to what it describes. Just because your painting is of a guy on a horse doesn’t mean you have to call it “Man Riding Stallion,” but nor should you call it “Octopus Strangling Banana.”

I’m hoping that the reason she doesn’t smile is because she knows that #57FEFF looks like…


What would you call that? “Cyanotic” seems a bit extreme.

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What’s at steak here?

Has this happened to you?

Let’s talk about steak for a moment. Was the last one you ate good? How about the one before that? Be honest.

The first bite, in all probability, was juicy and tender. Not bad. A brief hit of beefiness, enough to spur you on to bite No. 2. But by bite No. 4, there was a problem: grease. The tongue gets entirely coated in it. It is at this point that many hands reach for that terrible abomination called steak sauce. It’s acidic and zingy and cuts through grease, but it blots out the weak flavor of the steak.

Just incidentally, this weekend I noticed, right next to Heinz “57″ Sauce on the grocer’s shelf, a lower-priced store brand labeled “59.” Now “60″ would have been overdoing it: 59, after all, is prime.

Come to think of it, “prime” may be the problem:

In the 1960s, graders began cutting a side of beef and looking for the dots and swirls of fat within the exposed rib eye. This fat is called marbling. The more marbling in a rib eye, the higher the grade. Other than that, not much has changed at the USDA. What a beef grader prized in 1926 is the same thing a grader prizes today: fat.

And while fat is wondrous stuff, there’s a lot more to a steak than mere fat levels.

The government, of course, can’t give you anything resembling consistent information on the subject:

First, the government was pro-fat (to protect consumers against the scourge of lean beef) and then it was anti-fat (to protect consumers against capitalists responding to the earlier regulations) and now the pendulum is swinging to the fat end again (to protect the consumers against last decade’s government)…

I expect, though, that some misguided Federal loon will eventually come up with a new standard for steak — and, inevitably, for steak sauce, which, once adjusted for inflation, will be numbered something like 176.4.

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Some day all homes will be like this

Well, maybe not yours or mine, but we can dream, can’t we? I mean, a water slide from the master suite down to the pool?

Now this is living

What’s not to love?

Sure, it sounds fancy and bizarre, but think about it — a century ago if you told people that in the future we’d all be pooping in closets in our houses and liking it… wait. Let me start that over.

Take two: if you time traveled back a century and told people that in the year 2010 we all have indoor plumbing in the developed world, they’d be surprised, right? But it’s gone from being just for the rich to completely standard. (Note: I have done no research and this is all based on faint memories of The Great Brain books.) So why can’t indoor water slides be completely standard, too? And why can’t we not bother waiting until 2110, but get them now?

And is this an acceptable trade-off for the flying cars we didn’t get?

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