What I learned this week, May 21, 2017

Will Bike For Beer: The Five Most Bike-Friendly Bars and Restaurants in Dallas

On a sunny Sunday afternoon — one of those pre-summer days that’s hot but not quite the surface of the sun — cyclists have swarmed Deep Ellum. They may not outnumber the patio-seeking brunch crowd, but there are dozens of them. These are not the typical bikers who are mashing around White Rock Lake as fast as possible in head-to-toe moisture-wicking fabric.

These riders, dressed casually in jeans and peddling leisurely on cruisers, are going somewhere. And more and more, their destinations are Dallas bars and restaurants.

My Xootr Swift folding bike in the cool bike rack in front of the Cold Beer Company
Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas


Guy Sucks At Photoshop, Spends 10 Years Mastering Microsoft Paint To Illustrate His Book

Turns out, sometimes our resistance to learn something new and master a new skill can lead to something pretty amazing. Pat Hines, who couldn’t be bothered to learn Photoshop and illustrated his ebook using good old Microsoft Paint, is the proof. “I suck at Photoshop and other programs, and have worked exclusively in Microsoft Paint for over ten years… I honed my craft working long overnights at a hospital reception desk…,” the guy writes. That’s why when it came to choosing the program to create illustrations for his novel Camp Redblood And The Essential Revenge, he looked no further and just went for something he was already good at.


15 Dallas Hiking Trails You Probably Never Knew About

Umm, I knew about all of these.

Wasps at the Trinity River Audubon Center


Map Shows How Much Land the Government Owns In Every State


10 Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned About Street Photography

After shooting all sorts of things from 2011 to 2012 without ever finding myself and feeling my photography, I discovered my deep passion for street photography in the first month of my 365 project in 2013. Since then, I’ve not only spent almost every single day on the streets of the world to capture wonderful moments, but I’ve also built my life around it.

Vivian Maier


5 Things Cyclists Do You Didn’t Know Are Perfectly Legal

It’s true that city cycling is on the rise in the United States, and that has come with some backlash.  The mere sight of a bicycle can send some motorists into a fury — often due to drivers not knowing the law. This has caused an alarming number of injury accidents that were completely preventable. Odds are, that annoying thing the person on the bike is doing — is completely legal.

Bicycle Drag Racer on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge


For the world to be interesting, you have to be manipulating it all the time

Acoustic listening devices developed for the Dutch army as part of air defense
systems research between World Wars 1 and 2.

 


 

What I learned this week, May 14, 2017

After 500 years, Leonardo da Vinci’s music machine is brought to life

Rather than plucking the strings, as a harpsichord would, this instrument, called the viola organista, lowers the strings onto spinning wheels which are wrapped in horse hair. This acts as a bow would on a violin. The resulting sound gives the impression of a group of string instruments. The project took Zubrzycki 3 years and 5,000 hours to complete.


The Harlan Ellison Show

The star of the long-running Harlan Ellison show is 82 now. A stroke two years ago slowed him down somewhat, though not nearly enough to stop him from working. What his admirers fear above all is the loss of his voice—sometimes annoying, sometimes sappy, always funny, always insistent, and always arresting. As George Edgar Slusser puts it, “In its ubiquity and insistence, this voice becomes both guardian and guarantor of the stories, projecting a sense that here is not dead but living discourse—words spoken and re-spoken that are worthy of being guided through the years, mediated to other human beings, and reassessed in terms of their relevance again and again.”

It is this voice—Harlan Ellison’s voice—that deserves preservation for generations of readers, of writers, of 12 year olds who dream of other worlds.


What if We Discovered an Alien Civilization Less Advanced Than Our Own?

Fourth, what would we do if we really found rock-solid evidence of a pre-industrial civilization on a planet around another star? We couldn’t communicate with them by any currently known method. Unless physicists make some kind of wildly unanticipated new discovery, there is no practical way that humans could travel there, either. Potentially we could send miniature interstellar probes to examine the planet and learn more about its inhabitants. A project called Breakthrough Starshot is exploring the kind of technology needed to do something like that. Such probes would be so small and speedy that the aliens there would have no idea they were being watched


Oysters, Despite What You’ve Heard, Are Always in Season

The life cycle of a particular species, the temperature and quality of the water in which an oyster grows, and how the mollusk is handled after leaving that water all can affect its health and taste — and your health.

“Essentially if you buy oysters that are grown in healthy waters and they’re handled properly, then there’s no problem with eating them any time of the year,” said Donald Meritt, an aquaculturist at the Horn Point Oyster Hatchery at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


Saudi Arabia Whines US Has Too Much Control Over World’s Oil

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has asked the U.S. to stop producing so much oil, according to a report Thursday.

OPEC’s report blames the U.S. in particular because hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has greatly increased American oil production. The new production has led a lengthy period of very low oil prices. OPEC claims raising global oil prices will “require the collective efforts of all oil producers” and should be done “not only for the benefit of the individual countries, but also for the general prosperity of the world economy.”


6 Reasons You Should Watch Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Before Season Three Premieres


How Alamo Drafthouse Is Changing the Moviegoing Experience

 


I have had a crush on the actress Natalie Dormer, ever since The Tudors. I saw this short “The Brunchers” on ShortsTV and really enjoyed it – even if it isn’t anything more than a bit of fluff. I was glad to find it was available to watch on Netflix.

You’re welcome.

What I learned this week, May 07, 2017

Meet the device that could bring back cassettes

This is the coolest shit thing I’ve seen in a long time.


The Serious Eats Guide to Shopping for Asian Noodles

I have just discovered frozen Udon – a new staple.


Beyond “Sissy” Resilience: On Becoming Antifragile


Solargraphy – Sun Trails and Long Exposures Like You Have NEVER Seen

Pinhole camera photographs with exposure times of several months. Oh yeah!

 


Just in case you haven’t already seen this:

I’ve always wondered what is the ultimate use of the internet. This is it.

They did the whole fracking album. The whole thing.

Now I’m going to have to go listen to Sgt. Peppers a few times.

What I learned this week, April, 30, 2017

When Squirrels Were One of America’s Most Popular Pets


Restaurants in my Hood

BigDash Ice Cream & Pastries, 717 Lingco Drive, Richardson. If you’ve never tried Syrian sweets before, your’e in luck; the friendly folks at BigDash will fill you up with pistachio-laden ice cream and gorgeous crepes.

 

Bubba’s Cooks Country, 6617 Hillcrest Ave. It doesn’t get much more laid-back than this. With art deco decor, silky gravy and killer chicken fingers, Bubba’s is a prime date night destination for anyone looking to keep it simple this year.

 

SpicyZest, 13920 Josey Lane, Farmers Branch. DFW’s lone Sri Lankan restaurant is in Farmers Branch, and if your sweetheart loves to spice things up, this fiery fare will do the trick.

 

Desta, 12101 Greenville Ave. Ethiopia’s flavorful fare is well represented in DFW, and for someone who’s never experienced injera before, an Ethiopian meal can be especially fun. Try a beginner-friendly spot like Desta.

 


I link to this site in my sidebar, but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. When I need a bit of entertainment or inspiration, I go there and click “Random”

But Does It Float


What would happen if we killed all the mosquitoes?


I really enjoy this video, and so should you.

What I learned this week, August 7, 2015

Bikes locked up in front of Parkway, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bikes locked up in front of Parkway, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Restaurant Bounce, After Katrina


Woman writing in a Moleskine Notebook, Wichita, Kansas

Woman writing in a Moleskine Notebook, Wichita, Kansas

Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life


Magazine Street, New Orleans

Magazine Street, New Orleans

Why Are Bicycle Sales Declining (for the 14th year)?


hamburger

Top 10 Restaurants in Dallas, TX

I don’t know if these are really the “top ten” – it tends to list middle-road sandwich places – but there are some interesting choices here.


British artist Richard Long has given us his ‘Dallas Rag’

I absolutely have to go see this.


The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten


Why Eating Fresh, Just-Caught Fish May Be a Thing of the Past

Actually, this seems like a way to drive the “little guy” out of the marker – who can afford that sort of ultra-freezer?


Wind/Pinball: Two novels

Murakami baby!


One of my favorite things ever is riding in the monthly Dallas Critical Mass ride. It runs from Main Street Garden Park in Downtown Dallas to a different, usually secret, destination – the last Friday of every month. To find out more, check out the Facebook Page.

Here’s a nice video of the last one – which ended up at a party (DJ, ice cream truck, keg, tamales) in the Sheep Barn at Dallas Fair Park.

The month before, June, was epic in that the ride was caught in a massive thunderstorm and we had to take refuge under the overhang of Dallas City Hall.

Here’s a 8X speeded up version of the ride.

And, if you have the patience to sit through it, is the whole thing.

What I learned this week, March 20, 2015

Decatur Street, Halloween, 2012

Decatur Street, Halloween, 2012

They’re Weird and Proud: America’s Quirkiest Cities

doreen3


100 Skills Every Man Should Know: The Instructions


Sharknado 3 Gets Premiere Date, Global Release and One Hell of a Title

I haven’t actually seen Sharknado or Sharknado 2 – but I am a big fan. For me, it’s a very good thing that the Sharknado franchise simply exists. I want to know that there are things that are out of the bounds of taste and sanity… that the world is a bigger and more wondrous place that we even imagine.

Plus, that title – Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Plus Plus – Mark Cuban cast as the President and Ann Coulter as the Vice President. The only thing better would be a subplot involving an illicit passionate affair between the two. We can only wish.


This Quick Trick Can Help When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed


Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Getting Density Right

Density is often touted – by myself included – as key to unlocking a more sustainable, liveable, cost efficient future. Getting density right is central to creating communities where it is possible to do a variety of everyday activities within walking distance from home – like visiting a health clinic, buying groceries, or getting your haircut. Walking has implications for our health, our sense of place, our connectedness to our communities, and our need to reduce our environmental footprint.

So all density is good, right? Not so fast.

Trinity River Bottoms (click to enlarge)

Trinity River Bottoms
(click to enlarge)


Art Deco mural from Fair Park in Dallas

Art Deco mural from Fair Park in Dallas

25 Years After Art Heist, Empty Frames Still Hang In Boston’s Gardner Museum


Backyard burger and wiener roasts targeted by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency has its eyes on pollution from backyard barbecues.

The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a “catalytic” filtration system.

The $15,000 project has the “potential for global application,” said the school.

The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ “pit masters” from propane-fueled cookers.

Charged with keeping America’s air, water and soil clean, the EPA has been increasingly looking at homeowners, especially their use of pollution emitting tools like lawn mowers.

EPA wants to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower.


18 Headphone Brands Ranked from Worst to First

What I learned this week, March 13, 2015

Kindle

Call Me Ishmael

8 books to lift you out of darkness

When Shaka Senghor (Watch: Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don’t define you) was nineteen, he shot and killed a man — and was sentenced to spend the second nineteen years of his life in jail. At first, Senghor sat in his cold cell and rationalized his worst deeds. “In the hood where I come from,” he says, “it’s better to be the shooter than the person getting shot.” Then, Senghor found solace in literature — and his perspective was transformed in prison.


My Xootr Swift bike with picnic supplies loaded in the pannier.

My Xootr Swift bike with picnic supplies loaded in the pannier.

How to Set Up a Serious Folding Commuter Bike : Xootr Blog

I actually rarely commute on my Xootr folding bike – I view it as more of a versatile, fun mode of transport. I took a used Craigslist Giant Mountain bike and outfitted it with racks and fenders – use it as my commuter and light cargo bike.

Commuter Bike with Dallas skyline in the background

Commuter Bike with Dallas skyline in the background. I need to take an updated photo – this one doesn’t have the fenders installed.


Magazine Street, New Orleans

Magazine Street, New Orleans

How Bicycling Brings Business

Bicycle Second Line New Orleans, Louisiana

Bicycle Second Line
New Orleans, Louisiana



Herb Alpert, Whipped Cream

Herb Alpert, Whipped Cream

Herb Alpert’s ‘Whipped Cream Lady’ now 76, living in Longview and looking back

Do I remember the album cover from back in the day? Even though I was only eight when it came out – of course I do.

One bit of useless trivia, Leon Russell (as Russell Bridges, a member of the “Wrecking Crew”) played piano on the album.


5 SXSW Eateries Off the Beaten Path

For my Austin peeps and visitors.


Bike lane on Yale, near my house.

Bike lane on Yale, near my house.

Why bike lanes are battle lines for justice


15 Of the Best Jack Kerouac Quotes

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”—The Dharma Bums


Look At This Tiny Drone [Video]

This would mean the end of privacy, if wind didn’t exist