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[Video Link] Here's Reason TV's Net Nanny of the month award:

June's busybodies want to shield your eyes from bikinis and remind you that they're not above ripping your garden out (even if you are complying with city codes).

But top dishonors go to the police chief who admitted on camera that his officers had "more important things to do," but still championed a measure that fines folks for swearing in public.

Presenting Reason.tv's Nanny of the Month for June 2012: Middleborough, Massachusetts Police Chief Bruce Gates!

Bikini Banners and F*cking Cops Cracking Down on Curse Words!

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At Brooklyn's 36th Street subway stop, one of the steps is slightly higher than the others. This causes many many people to trip on their way up the stairs. Filmmaker Dean Peterson set up his camera to capture the stumbles. Concern trolls, get to your logins… (Paper)

UPDATE: And… the stairway is now closed.

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An editorial in the 200th anniversary issue of the New England Journal of Medicine looks at mortality and health through the centuries, and includes this chart of causes of death from the turn of the last century, which makes for quite a comparison. We're doing great on kidneys, but hearts not so much.

During the 20th century, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions assumed more dominant roles (see bar graphTop 10 Causes of Death: 1900 vs. 2010.), although outbreaks of infectious disease — from eastern equine encephalitis (1938) and kuru (1957) to legionnaires' disease (1977), AIDS (1981), and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (1993) — necessitated ongoing vigilance against microbes. New concerns also came to medical attention, from the terrifying consequences of thermonuclear war (1962) to the indolent but devastating effects of environmental pollution (1966) and climate change (1989). Optimism about prospects for the health of future populations persisted but remained tempered by concern about the pathologies of civilization. An obesity epidemic, feared in 1912, has come to pass. Our previously steady increase in life expectancy has stalled and may even be reversed (2005).

The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine
(via Beth Pratt)

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I'm a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac's California cocaine trilogy of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, and Tusk. It's amazing that this year Rumours turns 35. Ken Caillat, who co-produced and engineered the record, has just written a new book that I'm really looking forward to reading titled "Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album." From a CNN interview with Caillat:

 Up-N-Adam Wp-Content Uploads 2012 04 Fleetwood-Mac-Book

At the time they were recording the album, all five band mates were going through painful breakups: (John and Chrstine McVie) were divorcing, (Lindsey) Buckingham and (Stevie) Nicks' long-term relationship was coming to a bitter end and Fleetwood's wife was about to leave him for his best friend. It's all personal drama that Caillat chronicles in his book.

"In retrospect, it's a miracle that we were able to finish 'Rumours,' " he said. "But later, I came to understand that 'Rumours' probably succeeded because it was brilliant group therapy.

"Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album" (Amazon)

"Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' at 35: Still the 'perfect album'" (CNN)

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Sound it Out # 29: Cat Power - "Ruin"

Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) has finished her first album of new material since 2006’s The Greatest. It’s called SUN and it’s out on September 4. Chan played every bit of music on the record, and it comes on the heels of what sounds like a brutal breakup with Giovanni Ribisi. We'll have to wait and see how much of that pain ends up on display in the rest of the songs. The first single is called "Ruin" and you can grab it below. It's perky by Cat Power standards, with a nifty keyboard bit that complements Chan’s haunting voice. Her signature fierceness is there, and the song rocks. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record.

 

 

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King City collects Brandon Graham's magnificent Tokyo Pop comic serial in one mammoth, $11 (cheap!) trade paperback edition, and man, is that a deal.

Take the sprawling, weird, perverse cityscape of Transmetropolitan, mix in the goofy, punny humor of Tank Girl, add ultraviolent gang warfare, the impending resurrection of a death-god, and a secret society of cat-masters whose feline familiars can serve as super-weapons and tactical material, and you're getting in the neighbourhood of King City.

Graham's black-and-white line drawings have the detail of a two-page spread in MAD Magazine and a little bit of Sergio Argones in their style, if Argones was more interested in drawing the battle-scarred veterans of a Korean xombie war who consume each others' powdered bones to drive away the madness.

Despite the fact that this is a very, very funny story, it manages to be more than a comedy. Joe the cat-master's lost love, Pete the bagman's moral crisis, and Max the veteran's trauma are all real enough to tug at your heart-strings, even as you read the goofy puns off the fine-print labels on the fetishistically detailed illustrations showing King City and its weird and wonderful inhabitants.

JWZ wrote "It's the best comic-book-type thing I've read in quite some time. The trade is a huge phonebook-sized thing and it's awesome." He's right.

King City

(via JWZ)

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NewImage

On Tuesday June 26, 2012, Heritage Auctions is hosting a reception and preview of its upcoming illustration art auction featuring The Jerry Weist Collection of
science fiction and fantasy art, pin-up, pulp and paperback art, and classic golden age/mainstream illustration art. Above: Gil Elvgren's "Skirting the Issue" (1956). Below: Wally Wood's "Mars is Heaven!" complete 8-page story, Weird Science #18 (EC Comics) (1953).

NewImage

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St Colin and the Dragon is a perfectly great 27-page kids' comic about a dragon that hatches in a faraway kingdom and the dumb things that the residents of the kingdom try to get rid of it. They give it an endless parade of sheep to eat, in the hopes that it will mature, grow wings and fly away. But no such thing happens. So Colin, the king's disgraced ex-squire, decides to join the knights who ride out to challenge it. All the big, tough guys are defeated, but Colin figures out what the dragon really wants and saves the kingdom. And then things get weird. In a good way.

St Colin was created by Philippa Rice, whose long-running My Cardboard Life comic (more aimed at grownups) uses the same torn-paper style that makes St Colin such a treat.

I read St Colin to my four-and-a-half-year-old at bedtime earlier this week, and it's had two re-reruns since, because she loves it. There's also plenty of grown up fun in the humorous and sometimes wry dialogue.

You can buy St Colin on its own for £6.50, or together with the massive, perfect-bound My Cardboard Life book for £15.00, should you want one book for the kid(s) and another for the grownup(s). I certainly recommend both to you.

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Sound it Out # 28: Daydream Vacation- "Dare Seize the Fire"

I’m pretty sure Dave Einmo is some kind of pop music savant. He has a band called Head Like a Kite in which he’s the only consistent member and where he combines movie samples with rock-leaning electronic grooves and often has interesting guests join in with vocals. One of those those singers on last year’s Dreams Suspend Night was Asya, formerly of the band Smoosh (Remember Smoosh? They were the band of cool tween sisters from Seattle that you saw all in all the “bands to watch” lists 6-7 years ago...they were like the anti-Hanson. Asya started singing for Smoosh when she was 12. She’s 20 now).

So, Asya’s first song with Head Like a Kite was called “Daydream Vacation” and she and Dave recently decided to be a full time band called just that. I like it that Einmo named Head Like a Kite after a lyric from The Shins and that Daydream Vacation is a play on Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation. This is a man who is not afraid to pay tribute.

Daydream Vacation’s debut, self-released record is called Dare Seize the Fire and they’ve generously offered this free download of the title track. (If the HTML5 widget below doesn’t work for you, you can go here to listen). It’s an extremely fun, summery song that went directly onto most of my playlists.

If you happen to be in Seattle, you might want to head on over to their record release party on Saturday night. It should be a fun time.

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