In a nice example of a geographic information system (GIS), "The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy" online survey asks respondents "What generic word do you use to describe carbonated soft drinks pop, soda, Coke or something else?"
When the results are plotted by hometown zip code, the resulting map shows St. Louis as an island of soda, with Coke to the south and pop to the north.
Here's a way to while away the hours (and confirm some hunches, be surprised by others): enter your ZIP code or part of a neighbor's name, and see how the political donations in your (or your dad's) area are being directed.
Man-about-blogosphere Thomas Crone has launched a new spot to keep track of the comings, goings and goalings of his young soccer charges. We have been greatly amused by tales of some of their past exploits, so you might want to keep up, too.
People! I used to harp on it a lot more, but just because my feeble attention flits about doesn't mean I recommend it any less. You*are* still reading the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's blog, right? Here's a great recent entry to get you hooked.
Now, this is not quite as exciting as the person who was, a month or so ago, offering free jock straps (yeah, that was flagged and removed within the hour), but still....what parent wouldn't be The Coolest for bringing this home for the kiddos??
They're not just boppin' over at Jazz St. Louis; now they're bloggin', too. Check out the staff writings and musings about upcoming performances at Jazz at the Bistro, various community events and much more.
You've heard about the groups where people band together to protect themselves against unscrupulous contractors and bad customer service? Now the contractors bite back! This local Craigslister wants to start a contractors' support group, with noble purposes like getting to know the "people that just wont pay" and keeping in touch about stolen tools/equipment (so no one inadvertently buys hot stuff.)
I, for one, am all for the advancing of communication and organizational skills of contractors. From my limited experience, this person has a long road ahead, though.
'Cause I'm on the lam(b)! Ah, is there anything better than a Grandpa Simpson joke?
Yes, there is: undeniable signs of spring. To wit: whilst driving down Hampton today, I happened past Ravetta Photography, just in time to see one of the photog/minders taking little Freckles the lamb (or was it Jelly Bean, or Yoda?) out for a stretch — and, let's be honest, probably a poop — in-between posings with Easter-clad youngsters. Serendipitous, it felt.
Just in time for pre-baseball madness, we offer the following diversion, so you may track the comings and goings of one Paul Pagano...Go Cards!
Thomas Atanazio used a photo I took of the men's room at the old Galaxy on Washington Avenue
to compose the background of a scene in his creative, visually compelling short film "Live Love Work Play."
I think this is the first time I've been listed in the credits of a film. IMDb, here I come!
Cardinal Nation has a new anthem courtesy of Jonathan Toth from Hoth, Huggie Brown and Abe tha Babe. You can listen to "Dem Redbirds" on Jonathan's MySpace page. It'll be on the upcoming Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown album.
Does anyone else remember 1982's "Talkin' Baseball (in St. Lou)" by Terry Cashman? My dad bought the 45. I played the heck out of that and "Pac-Man Fever," which came out the same year. Jeez, I'm old.
Because you probably still can find five extra minutes in your "work"day when you really should be posting to online forums...we point you to St. Louie Louie, currently dominated by men-about-town Bill Streeter and Kopper, and where surely many of the categories are just crying out for your wisdom.
Oh, it'd be a long list, I'm sure, were I to try to sleuth out all the YouTube videos with local connections. (Besides, I'm at home and on my own time now: that's what workdays are made for!)
Instead, I'll just entice you with this, the first foray onto YouTube by STL's very own NonProphet Theater Company, a sketch entitled "Urinal Cake Walk" from their very funny Militant Propaganda Bingo Machine sketch show, which, as it happens, has a performance with a twist later this month.
The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting video about the underground dance scene up north. It includes a mention of the chickenhead, St. Louis' own variation on the two-step. I wish STLtoday would publish cool multimedia content like this.
The year was 1991. The date, July 2nd. The place, Riverport Amphitheater.
Guns N' Roses was in town on the Use Your Illusion Tour. During "Rocket Queen," Axl Rose became enraged at a fan with a video camera and dove into the audience to take it away. Then he stormed off the stage with the rest of the band, sparking a riot that injured more than 50 people and caused more than $200,000 in damage.
And now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch it again and again.
That, my friends, is rock and roll. Or criminal stupidity, although the charges against Axl were later dismissed. Or both. And it happened right here in St. Louis (well, Maryland Heights), which prompted Axl to wear a "ST. LOUIS SUCKS" t-shirt in the video for "Dead Horse."
What if the doctor's office scene in Garden State featured "Tip Drill" by Nelly instead of "New Slang" by The Shins? "You gotta hear this one song. It'll change your life, I swear."
Via The Onion: "... unto those who wait will come great rewards and monstrous thrills"
The World Aquarium at the City Museum is hoping to set a Guinness World Record in the newly created "Largest Exhibit of Two-headed Animals" category. So far, the exhibit includes 10 two-headed snakes and turtles. It will be on display through September 5.
Last week, Glendale resident John Milonas saw an image of the Virgin Mary in the drip pan of his George Foreman Grill after making a hamburger. He's storing the greasy likeness in his refrigerator. Quick, somebody call GoldenPalace.com.
Taking a cue from 52nd City, who in turn took a cue from us (oh, the reflexivity of it all), here are four more websites about St. Louis that have recently shown up on my radar screen:
The Black List
Restaurant reviews, recipes and random thoughts from a simple cave man lawyer
St. Louis Time Portal
Antique postcards of St. Louis
St. Louis Living
Reviews, events, bike commuting and various rants and raves
Independent discussion of politics, development, and civic life in St. Louis' 15th ward
As previously mentioned, I have a thing for local music videos. Here's one for "Greedy" by The Helium Tapes that was directed by David Noble Dandridge. The Helium Tapes is composed of Sunyatta Marshall (vocals), Tim Lohmann (guitar), Brandon Mason (bass) and Joe Stulce (drums).
From Mr. Biggs' Flickr photostream: "If you like looking at bootay, you should spend time at the top of the Gateway Arch."
Talk of the town during a hot summer spell:
*Wheach (seriously, it was mentioned everywhere last week)
*Michigan (ask around and see if half the people you know haven't just or are planning to vacation/move there)
*The little orange tomatoes at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market
Such juxtapositions can only happen on the most esoteric of Netflix queues...or at midnight on the Tivoli's big-screen. Scroll down here to check out this summer's offerings.
To follow up on a post by ArchPundit, according to Google Trends, St. Louis ranks first in the world for searches on baseball, blues, pork steak, mostaccioli and butter cake. Apparently, we're also preoccupied with the following search terms:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to list other searches where St. Louis ranks in the top ten in the comments.
Because....Free Comic Book Day is on May 6!! What's not fun about that? Now, I'll grant you that I'm as wussy a girl as they come and was never "into" comics as an errant youth, but have grown to have an appreciation, however tangential and ill-informed, for the genre. And now you and I can get even more addicted, for FREE!
Add a weekly recipe to an improvisational cook, mix with good measures of wry editorial comment, and what ensues is hilarity...plus some pretty great-looking dishes! That's the formula over at OMGSNAX! (a subsidiary, along with OMGBOOX!, of puhleez.net), the online home of the extracurricular musings of one of the suits over at Maplehood Rekkids. Good fun. Check the archives, too.
Here's a sample of the chef's commentary, this for apple crisp:
"DEVIATIONS & OBSERVATIONS
again with the baking pan size issue -- well, 9x9 is approximately the same as 11x7, right? let's hope so, b/c that's all i've got that's even close.
& deep breath, b/c for such an easy recipe, i made a shocking number of omissions, starting with: cardamom. b/c $12 a bottle = no. especially for a measly quarter of a teaspoon. i'm sure it adds something, but sing it with me: $12.
i used pink lady apples b/c they were the only appropriate baking apples i could find at dierberg's last night around 9pm. totally ignored the merest hint of a suggestion of walnuts, as it's been established previously that i apparently can't stand them. & the irish whiskey? i don't even know where to start. so i didn't. i'm not too broken up about it b/c i generally can't stand the taste of liquor in desserty things, but i just thought i should put it out there that i really screwed around with the recipe a fair amount.
so let me start by saying that there's no way this so-called "20 minutes" of prep time could be accurate in any universe that involves peeling 2 pounds of apples unless it's a magic universe where apples have skins like bananas. but here on earth, they don't, & so 20 minutes of prep time is more like an hour when you factor in all the tedious peeling. which, fine. i'm just saying."
Have you ever wondered how many CSB complaints have been filed about the problem property on your block? Or what permits were pulled for your house before you bought it? Or how many employees work within a quarter mile of a certain address? Or how much residents within a one-mile radius of a business district spend on entertainment in a year? Or how many restaurants are within a half mile of your office? Or what percentage of people who live within a one-mile radius of your house leave for work between 8 and 8:29 a.m.?
St. Louis' profile on MySpace has 5,637 friends.
Mamalogues, by Dana Loesch
Architectural Ruminations, by Andrew L W Raimist
Dividing By Zero Will Get You Nowhere, by Jeff York
Urban Reason, by Josh DiCarlo
St. Louie Louie, by Jeff Kopp
Bill Keaggy has compiled a photographic tribute to the "Unspectacular doors of St. Louis" organized by color. Artistic vision or obsessive-compulsive behavior? Either way, I love it.
Assuredly is this reference to an article in the Post-Dispatch, affirming the commonplace status in the 1800s of binding books in human skin.
A Slice of (Life and) Pizza is a blog based in Chicago and St. Louis (Collinsville, actually) that reviews pizzerias. Kate, the St. Louis half of the operation, gave a big thumbs up to Black Thorn. Along the way, they started a funny Midwest vs. East Coast beef with the NY-based pizza blog Slice. Controversy in the pizza blog world! Props to East Coast foodie Andy Hyatt for sending me the link.
Have a Grape Day is "the wine calendar built for St. Louisans who dream about grapes each day." Its righteous goal is to help people get off their couches and out to local social events. Thanks to John Oates for sending me the link.
St. Louis stencil artist extraordinaire Peat Wollaeger has a blog. Among the things I learned there is that he was selected as a Juxtapoz magazine reader artist for the week of October 10. One of my unrealized dreams for The Commonspace's physical incarnation was to have one of our art shows featured in Juxtapoz. The one we had for Peat and Justin Tolentino would have been a good fit.
There are lots of fun videos on St. Louisan Kenny Kinds' Blue Fortune site. It's worth a visit for the Carl Lewis video alone. I've watched it three times already, and it just keeps getting funnier and more ridiculous.
In the interest of blatant self-promotion, here are some St. Louis-based sites hosted by fatdays.com:
Ameren's website has a neat page that displays real-time information about the number of outages and customers by zip code. As I type this, 96,600 customers are without power. Of course, if your power is out, you can't check the website. D'oh!
Surely the City of St. Louis and the DESCO/Stogels of the world will be the first to bring this concept stateside! (Of course, like "The Office" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", it'll suffer in translation...)
Git 'er down!
Check out this video of Mix Master Mike of Beastie Boys fame on the wheels and local boy Peat Wollaeger on the paint cans. It all went down at the unbelievably loud Pop's. Amanda and I were there, but we didn't have the Cool Kid Card to gain admittance to the balcony to watch Peat paint. I think you had to smoke an entire pack of Camels on the spot to get one.
progressiveSTL by Dylan Hassinger
Ciao Baby! by Shannon McGinn
St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman
Lo-Fi Saint Louis by Bill Streeter
sustainablog by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg
RobThurman.com Blog by Rob Thurman
Not to be outdone by MayorSlay.com's podcast with J-Nicks and Kiki, here's a short video (QuickTime, 2.1 MB, 1:37) I put together from footage shot by Jeremy "JS One" Smith. It features shout outs to St. Louis from funkstyle luminaries, including Popin Pete and Suga Pop from the legendary Electric Boogaloos.
Apparently, "da Lou" has not caught up to "St. Louie" as a nickname for our fair burg.
Update, 7/22/05: I added Pop Master Fabel from the Rock Steady Crew, corrected the spellings of some of the dancers' names, changed the soundtrack to Hunk o' Funk by Jack McDuff and saved the video with higher quality settings (QuickTime, 4.3 MB, 1:54).
There's a bunch of video posted online from the Illest of Them All dance competition that was held on June 18 at Just Dancing Studios in Ballwin. Josh Awesome and Bam Bam from the Buggin' Out crew out of Lawrence, KS won the breakdancing division. Boogie IQ from southern Illinois won the funkstyle competition. The rhythmically gifted (ha, ha) co-hosts of this blog can be seen soul clapping in the background of the videos.
I know it's almost unheard-of for me to be contributing the "urban dance item," instead of Brian, but you can downgrade my street cred accordingly when noting I read this in the New York Times.
Check out the story about krumping, the dance rage akin to breakdance that's sweeping south central L.A. It's interesting in its own right, and read on to find there's even a reference to the Lou:
"Like sessions in the St. Louis jazz clubs of the 1920s, or the 1980s break-dance competitions in the South Bronx, battle zones, both formal and impromptu, serve as laboratories for an evolving and distinctly American art form."
These kids today. Don't miss the slide show, too.
Well, we've got something else to be proud of, St. Louisans: thanks to the efforts of local artist Tim Garrett, St. Louis is an integral link in the chain of the world photoboothing community. Check out Photobooth.net, a resource for all things photoboothic: from a list of photobooths in the wild (shout out to ya, Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT!) to an amusing gallery of photostrips, you'll find plenty to while away the hours at work.
The St. Louis Building Arts Foundation has a new website up about the Century Building, which was built in 1897 as "a marble palace for business and amusement." The site features historical images of the Century, as well as photos of artifacts that were recovered from the building before the evildoers tore it down for no good reason.
501creative has launched the first phase of Trailnet's redesigned website with funding from Lion's Choice. After a long day of bike riding, there's nothing I enjoy more than a hearty roast beef sandwich. Oh wait, I'm a vegetarian.
Nelly's Pimp Juice has its own website where you can buy the "premium energy drink" by the 24-pack ($48). There's also a Dutch version of the site for all the glowing green beverage playas in the Netherlands. Worldwide, baby, worldwide.
If you're looking for something fun to do, check out these events calendars:
Check out "Battleground Minnesota," an entry in the $15,000 INdTV video contest submitted by a group based in Minneapolis. It's about the 2004 election and features hilarious scenes in which young hip-hop artists present Sen. Mark Dayton and Sen. Norm Coleman with bling-bling chains and try to teach Walter Mondale how to DJ.
We're big proponents of the creative energies to be found in this small burg, and it turns out we're not the only ones! Staci Cohen has launched Creative and Passionate Singles as a way for like-minded folks to meet others who, shall we say, don't quite fit the narrow mold of a sometimes-conservative town. Their kickoff event is next week; I'd say, "See you there," but my husband doesn't like me to date...
Welcome to St. Louis' Newest Social Gathering! CAPS is open to all
creative, passionate, and expressive people. Come join us for an
enlightening, inspiring, and laidback alternative to dating...
March 17 at the Sheraton in Clayton
6pm: Appetizers, drinks, and socializing
7pm: Guest Speaker
7:30-8:30pm: Ice breakers
Visit or call Staci Cohen at 314-322-4100 to
Yuri Lane brings together two great tastes that taste great together: beatbox and the harmonica.
Word to the mothership!
WeFunk is a weekly radio show out of Montreal that features "deep funk, underground hip-hop, and rare grooves" laid down and mixed up by Professor Groove and DJ Static. They continuously broadcast past shows on WeFunkRadio.com, where you can also download free MP3s of past shows or buy 13 shows on a CD for $11. If you're using iTunes, you can tune into the stream under the "Urban" category.
What does all of this have to do with grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis? If the November and December issues of The Commonspace had a soundtrack, it'd be WeFunk. I listened to it almost the whole time I was working on the site. WeFunk: 64 kbps of sonic bliss. Hot tub!
Like so many other adventures in writing, Undershorts Magazine started in San Francisco. It serves up "orgasmic" fiction and non-fiction (at least that's how they describe it). Frequent contributers include RFTers Ben Westhoff and Mike Seely.
According to the Zombie Squad website, "A critical part of surviving a zombie outbreak is information." Fortunately, this St. Louis-based crack team of Zombie Extermination Specialists has got the Gateway City covered. You've probably seen their distinctive ZS stickers and tattoos around town. Haven't seen any zombies lately? Exactly.
We at The Commonspace are big fans of the haiku, so it was with great glee that we received the announcement for a new book entitled "St. Lou Haiku" that features fun poems about the Gateway City penned by Mary Elizabeth Ladd and Julie Wiskirchen. Get your copy today from Timberline Press for only $10 (+$2 shipping).
Recently alerted to the existence of this blog, a sometimes-funny/sometimes-painful chronicle of a life that was, on the city's south side.
What do you get when you graphically represent the relationship between presidential campaign contributions and geography? FUNDRACE 2004. According to the map for St. Louis, the top Democratic buildings are 1 N Brentwood Blvd ($14,000), 1441 Hampton Ave ($12,000), 1010 Market St ($12,000), 1 Metropolitan Sq ($10,750) and 500 S Warson Rd ($8,000), while the top Republican buildings are 999 Executive Parkway ($22,000), 611 Olive St ($9,950), 7701 Forsyth Blvd ($6,500), 816 S Hanley Rd ($6,450) and 2730 S Lindbergh Blvd ($6,000). All calculations for FUNDRACE 2004 are based on records filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Meanwhile, over on GOOGLERACE 2004, Dennis Kucinich wins the St. Louis award.
From The Onion:
Gen Obata's star cat, Lilly (she of the giantess-looming-near-the-Arch fame ), has been keeping a keenly observant blog for a while now. Shamelessly, I'll recommend that you start with her mention of The Commonspace, but then I'd start at the top if I were you.
Tell your boss you'll get back to work tomorrow.
The Matrix + factory farming = The Meatrix
This well-done Flash animation is a clever piece of advocacy. Go veg heads!
Sigh. You know you're old when the music that was on the radio when you were growing up is fodder for a nostalgic online quiz. I scored 73. How 'bout you?