Monday, January 31, 2011

FoW Updates & Dropping a Definite Article


No one, except maybe Al Gore, calls the Internet the information superhighway anymore. Yet, in some nostalgic way, I still find the metaphor fitting. Websites, like highways and interstates, are constantly undergoing annoying construction. Not too mention, when I see a "Pardon Our Progress" sign while moving 400 ft. in an hour or I find a site that says "Coming Soon" on its homepage, I always end up holding back the urge to beat something with a tire tool or throw my mouse through the wall.

All that said, we here at FoW are making a few changes to our site over the next couple weeks. The most obvious is that our domain name has changed to http://www.fistfulofwords.com/. For now, typing in the blogspot address will still land you at here. However, you no longer have to type the "The."

Other than TS posting his feature article about Egypt tomorrow rather than today, we will still be posting on our normal schedule. While you will not see any signs or pages that mention progress, construction, or coming soon, we do ask that you bear with us as we make some changes in the coming days.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy this high budget reenactment of the conversation about changing FoW's site name that took place among Elaine, TS, Liam, and Hokum. TS is played by Eisenberg and the role of Hokum is appropriately filled by JT.


 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fistful of Links

Let's face it, during the daily grind of the work week you check all of your typical sites. Fistful of Links is a weekly catch-all of stories or videos we think are important or inane and wildly entertaining. From news outlets to personal blogs, this weekly list of links is as varied as our authors. Check in every Saturday to catch up with what we're reading and what you shouldn't miss. Enjoy!

"Can Wal-Mart Make us Healthier?" an online debate forum / The New York Times
- Wal-Mart is pressuring manufacturers to remove trans-fats, as well as excess salt and sugar, from their pre-packaged foods. It is also lowering produce costs. To Elaine, it seems like a fairly good step in the right direction.

"Does Football Have a Future" by Ben McGrath / The New Yorker
-A long but enjoyable discussion/recap of the developing elements in the NFL/Concussion narrative.

"Interactive Display Window" by Marcus Wallader
-Video: Short clip of a digital approach to store front advertising.

"Snow Angel" by Lauren Friedman / My Closet in Sketches
-The latest sketch of a cool outifit from a fashion blogger we are fond of here at FoW. Also, check out the video of the making of the sketch (complete with a rap backing track) here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wail On Skydog: Why Duane Allman Is The Greatest Guitarist Of All Time

By: Erica Thomas

Allman playing slide with a Coricidin medicine bottle
Duane Allman, the greatest guitarist to ever play, was dead before most people really get started.

Somewhat obscured by history and often overlooked in favor of superior showman Jimi Hendrix, Allman was a rare combination of technical master and soul-filled player capable of inspired improvisation before his death in a motorcycle accident at 24.

In addition to co-founding The Allman Brothers Band, Allman was a sought after session musician. His contributions, he performed with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge and most famously on Derek and the Dominos 1970 classic Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,  showcased skill and maturity associated with an elder blues man, not a skinny, white kid who was barely old enough to vote.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today's 1000

Because when I saw the trailer I thought to myself, "What can Pixar bring to life next?"...

...followed by, "If they try to tell me my toilet brush comes to life at night, I'll never poop again."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today’s 1000

Sriracha Sauce... Because if your hot sauce has any less than 3 languages on the bottle... you are not Hardcore...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birmingham, Birmingham (the greatest city in Alabam)

 Image from http://bit.ly/fCK2qM
by Elaine Dunaway

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you had a desire to visit Birmingham, Alabama. Or, perhaps, you live in Birmingham. Another possibility: you once lived in Birmingham and now visit periodically to see your family. Regardless of what brings you to Birmingham, allow me to offer a suggestion on how you might spend your afternoon somewhat off of the beaten path.

First off, let’s assume that you’re not into waking up early and thus want to begin your day around lunchtime. Rather than patron Moe’s, Chick-fil-A, or Newk’s (which tend to be my bread-and-butter these days), I suggest heading downtown to Urban Standard. Located on 2nd Avenue North between 23rd and 24th Street, this establishment is utterly charming. While you may come for the food or coffee, you’ll stay for the environment. Urban Standard inhabits an old office building with years of mortar chipped away strategically to reveal original bricks, is filled with antiques for sale, and has a motley assortment of tables and couches. With available Wi-Fi and a consumer group of students, professors and hipsters, Urban Standard practically reeks of intellectual productivity. Since I’ve brought you here for lunch, allow me to review those choices in which I personally have indulged. The chicken salad sandwich is divine – a chunky cut of chicken, mixed baby lettuces, cranberries, tomatoes, and pecans – with the choice of a hearty wheat or white bread. The pimento BLT is also quite good, though I find that the bacon (which, by the way, is delicious bacon) rather overpowers the taste of pimento cheese. If you are a proponent of pimento cheese, this will bother you; if you are more of a bacon devotee, you may find this a bonus. Also on the pimento BLT are cucumbers, arugula, and pickled red onions (surprisingly enough, no tomatoes – I’m perplexed – where does the T come from?). As a side item, I’d say the only way to go is the balsamic orzo salad. I have a longstanding love affair with orzo salads and this one is my favorite. Once you’re done with your meal, I highly recommend trying one of the cupcakes. In my opinion, the best is the strawberry. You’re welcome for that bit of insight.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fistful of Links

This is a new feature we are trying here at FoW. Rather than fill up our own Facebook page or Twitter feed on a daily basis, FoW will compile a list of what we're reading each week. Let's face it, during the daily grind of the work week you check out all of your typical sites. Fistful of links is a weekly catch-all of stuff we think is important or inane but wildly entertaining. From news outlets to personal blogs, this weekly list of links should be as varied as our authors. Check in every Saturday to catch up with what we're reading and what you shouldn't miss. Enjoy! - TS

"'Wire' creator responds to top cop's criticism" by David Simon / The Baltimore Sun
- The creator of TS' favorite television show responds to criticism. David Simon is a great American.

"No Money, Mo' Problems: Why even successful bands struggle financially" by Emily Zemler/AltPress
-A fascinating and sad look into where the money goes in the music industry.

"Kristen Stewart: Coming on Strong" by Eve MacSweeney / Vogue
- Let's face it: Elaine simply couldn't stay away from this article due to its relation to Twilight. Alas...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today's 1000 Special Edition

According to FoW's typical schedule, you should be reading a column from Thomas Hokum. However, today is Hokum's birthday and since he previously drew the short end of the scheduling stick for Christmas Eve and New Years posts, we thought it would be magnanimous of us to give him this day/week off.

Thus, in Hokum's honor, we present to you a special edition of Today's 1000: three advertising tips for community programs.

Be sure to check out our first edition of Fistful of Links tomorrow morning.

Happy birthday Hokum and, as always, happy reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's 1000

Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Redon.flower-clouds.jpg
Odilion Redon is one of the most unusual, fantastical painters I've ever encountered. Above, one of my favorites, Flower Clouds.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fistful of Reviews: Lazy Bums, Great Guitar Work, & A Debut Album by Auditorium

Debut album from Auditorium / Released January 18th
Image via http://www.auditoriummusic.com/
By T.S. Oldman
A music fan who listens to Pandora Radio on a regular basis is the athletic equivalent of a person who buys an electric muscle stimulation belt to tone their abs. In other words, they’re both lazy bums. Sure, at one time or another, Pandora has made us all more informed consumers of music by indicating that that Jack Johnson and G. Love are musically related. However, just as the electro-shock belt doesn’t eliminate fat, listening to Pandora doesn’t provide context for new music from artists who haven’t been entered into the giant (I’m guessing) Pandora catalogue.
And while I haven’t used Pandora Radio in months (nor do I own a lazy-abs belt for that matter), this weekend I did find myself struggling to unearth the right musical comparisons as I listened to the debut album, Be Brave, from the group Auditorium.
I’ll get to Auditorium’s comparables eventually. But first…Getting to know Auditorium.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's 1000





Quick backstory: Elaine took a picture of this frog on a summer research trip to Costa Rica. Can anyone guess what type of frog it is? Bonus points if you know the scientific name!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Looking For Love (In All The Wrong Places)

By: Erica Thomas

There are always strings attached in real life.
Friends with benefits, f$ck buddy, whatever you want to call it, it’s a bad idea. No Strings Attached, the new Natalie Portman Ashton Kutcher rom-com attempts to tackle the subject of best friends who are also sex friends. I don’t have to see this movie to know how it’s going to end. Natalie Portman will realize that she can’t spend her whole life avoiding relationships just so she doesn’t get hurt.  Then she will see that the perfect man is actually right in front of her. Surprise! (The fact that Ashton Kutcher is in this equation is just wrong on so many levels). Then NP + AK 4 EVR will ride off into the romantic comedy sunset.  

Uh huh. 

In real life, things are never so tidy. Someone gets attached, feelings get hurt, friendships are destroyed. Movies like this encourage the fantasy (which is definitely floating around in one person’s noggin in this arrangement) that people can be changed.
That when someone says “I don’t want a relationship,” it should be interpreted as “But please, I want you to try and change my mind.” 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's 1000

A good life motto but only for people who live in warm weather climates.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's 1000

Nothing says celebration after a BCS National Championship like littering. 

Even if you're not a college football fan it's a site to behold Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Alabama after a win. And, for what it's worth, the view from Autzen Stadium (after the jump) in Eugene, Oregon is pretty amazing as well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hair and the Art of Being Female

Emma Watson. Image from http://on.fb.me/ck1p9v
by Elaine Dunaway

When Emma Watson cut her hair in November of last year, the world went crazy. Sure, we’re all obsessed with celebrities, but the degree of attention given her pixie cut was astronomical. Entertainment Weekly had the first official shots of her new ‘do, Marie Claire was quick to follow suit with an article and photo shoot for its December 2010 issue, and the cyber world was abuzz with photos and interviews regarding her motivations. So why all of the fuss? I believe it speaks society's obsession with female haircuts, something which I experienced first-hand a mere two days ago. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 5 Funny Books to Get Non-Readers in 2011

By Thomas Hokum

There’s nothing more frustrating for an avid reader than trying to get a friend or relative who couldn’t care less about the written word to pick up a book. I currently suffer from this affliction and have for some time, but recently I had a breakthrough. One of my friends who never reads actually completed a book I gave him. I was stunned. And suddenly I realized humor was the key. So with the New Year at hand (2011 in case you haven’t been paying attention) I feel the need to share the wealth. Without further ado, here are my top 5 funny books for the New Year….

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today's 1000



$433.77
Thanks, Obama.
The new cost of my health insurance per month thanks to the Obama Administration's idea of health care reform. Yours is going up too.

Letter 8: Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas, Jingle-Belle:

It’s a week in Alabama for me. It’s a big relief to get out of Denver for a hot minute. (From one of Charlie’s students drinking my orange juice from the fridge to another kiddo cutting class to curl her hair in the hallway – stick a fork in me, I am done with this semester.) Need any extra hands? I kid, I kid (::WiNK!:: <-- to steal some of your goofy girl formatting). Prepare yourself for the follies of holiday idleness – video games, endless meals and snacks, friends, family, staying up late and marathon-style naps. And try to do your best to refrain from sneering at my lack of attempt to find something meaningful to do with my time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fistful of Reviews: Robot Love & Relationships from Non-Hipster, Lelia Broussard


Image from leliabroussard.com
Unless you’re opening for a big time artist like the Black Eyed Peas or Lady Gaga (Jason Derulo in 2010), I imagine that being an opening act generally sucks. And truthfully, concert goers (including myself) deserve most of the blame for that fact. We arrive late. Chat with our friends. Respond positively when a cover is played (which is probably demeaning). And cheer wildly when the opening act asks if we’re ready to see the headliner (which is definitely demeaning).

One way to overcome uninterested audience members is to be so talented that the crowd immediately connects with your music even if you’re singing about a robot falling in love. And with her latest studio release, Lelia Broussard won’t have to put up with inattentive crowds for much longer.