Trapped in a elevator for 40 hours [Procrastinate on This]

People make fun of me for carrying either a book or e-reader everywhere I go, even if I’m only leaving for a short while. But I’m dead scared of getting trapped somewhere without something to occupy my mind. And I think the below totally justifies taking reading material to the snack machine. In other news, BOOK WEEK II 2012 starts this Monday. Be there or be square — as opposed to awesome and rectangular like a book. [via...

One of America’s Oldest Bars, McSorley’s Serves Up a Glass of History [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Mar09

One of America’s Oldest Bars, McSorley’s Serves Up a Glass of History [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]...

“They were here before you were” is what the sign says on the front window. This iconic New York City bar has served up their homemade brew since the 19th century. While the world outside McSorley’s has dramatically changed, what’s inside has changed very little. St. Patrick’s Day weekend is upon us and people will enjoy piling into a local pub for libations and to celebrate the Irish, regardless of their own heritage. You can bet McSorley’s will be packed several patrons deep. I first visited the place many years ago while some friends were visiting town. We had read about the history and knew that this pub was something special, but were unprepared for what we found. It’s a time capsule back to the 1800’s. The antique bar, no stools, the old fashioned metal taps, no cash register, and sawdust floor. A working coal stove is centrally located and still keeps the place warm during the winter. It’s neat to see Houdini’s handcuffs clamped to the bar and wishbones, covered in decades of dust, hanging from the lamps. It is said these were left by World War I soldiers. When the soldier returned from battle, he would remove the wishbone he had left. The wishbones that remain are from the soldiers who never came home. The exact opening date seems to be in dispute. McSorley’s claims they opened in 1854, but according to notes posted online, the lot was vacant until at least 1881. At this point, when the place is over a century and a half old, who is going to complain about a few decades? Besides, it is listed as New York City’s oldest continually operated bar. The original owner, John McSorley, was born in Tyrone, Ireland in 1827. After a potato blight struck the country, he left for...

The Orphan Blockbuster: How We Stopped Caring and Learned to Love Unlovable Movies [The Ryan Dixon Line]...

Soda is delicious. But to the ancient Callatians, so was the flesh of dead relatives and nowadays no one outside of gourmand serial killers would salivate over a dish of foie gras d’ humain.  That soda and junk food have followed in the footsteps of flesh and cigarettes to become the consumptive Voldemorts of the 21st century presents a great challenge for corporate confectionerians: How to produce products with addictive deliciousness without fattening the populace into lumbering Elephant Men. PepsiCo’s quest of attaining this snacktopia was chronicled recently in a fascinating New Yorker article written by John Seabrook. In the article, Pepsi’s strategies for creating healthier food — developing a brand new type of salt with the atomic-age name “15 Micron Salt” and building a “taste testing” robot hardwired with cultured cells featuring the genetic sequences of the four known taste receptors — seemed more like excerpts from a science-fiction novel than the evolutionary next step for Cool Ranch Doritos. Instead of spending hundreds of millions dollars on cutting-edge scientific research, all the folks at Pepsi really needed to do was look west toward Los Angeles. During the past fifteen years the marketing, distribution, and accounting departments inside Hollywood studios– the real imaginative forces of the dream machine—have discovered a can’t-miss business algorithm: making movies that no one likes but everyone goes to see. Or, to be more precise, the Orphan Blockbuster. Like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Hollywood hive mind has now confused audiences to the point where they can’t tell good from bad.  Let’s look at two recent releases, both on their way to making more money than the GDP of Guinea-Bissau: Fast Five and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Both films may be built with...