by Damon Beres
A small secret: I enjoy a drink with my reading every now and then, but I'm not fancy. After grabbing Haruki Murakami's long-awaited "1Q84" last year, I opened a Brooklyn Lager and started reading.
A bit more enterprising is Flavorwire's Emily Temple, who's put together a list of 10 great novels and the cocktails you should pair them with. One simple, perfect match is J. D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" with an Old Fashioned: "We know Holden is a Scotch and Soda man himself, but it’s the Old Fashioned that most reminds us of existential angst and dark evenings in New York City in the fifties," writes Temple. Check…
• 1 sugar cube
• 3 dashes Angostura bitters
• dash of club soda
• 2 ounces rye whiskey
• 1 orange slice and/or 1 maraschino cherry
Other inspired picks: a Salty Dog for "Moby-Dick," an absinthe-green Death in the Afternoon for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and the over-the-top French 75 for "The Great Gatsby." See all of the pairings at Flavorwire »
(Image courtesy Emily Temple and Flavorwire.)Read More >>
by Beth Dreher
Self-proclaimed Brooklyn "data head" Jonathan Soma has loaded the blog with dozens of intriguing census data maps from the 1870s-1890s. The maps reveal little-known trivia about the U.S. For example, did you know that there was almost a state called Sequoyah? They also cover real estate valuesacross the country and much more. You can use your mouse to zoom in and see the minute details of…
The best part? The maps really look cool. Maybe I'll find a space for one of them in my kitchen.Read More >>
by Caitlin O'Connell
Amid the frenzied back and forth over which voter groups will be most important come November, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist shines a new (and amber) light on the issue: Are parts of the country with a higher density of breweries more likely to vote Democrat?
To answer the question, "Joe Sixpack" created a chart detailing the density of breweries in all 50 states and D.C., color-coding them according to whether they voted for Obama or McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Turns out there is a a visible correlation between states that supported Obama and states with a higher concentration of breweries.
Here is how Sixpack explains his findings. In some cases, where a higher density of breweries equates to a higher population density, Obama performed well because he does well in urban areas. However, other states with a lower population but an abundance of craft breweries—Vermont and Colorado, for example—also went for Obama. In those cases, Sixpack credits the brew vote…
Though his sudsy analysis is not foolproof, Sixpack draws on recent events to support his theory. He cites the White House's decision to publish its house beer recipes, as well as the Obama campaign's decision to have a craft brewer speakon behalf of small business at the Democratic Convention, as evidence that the Democrats are well aware of the importance of the "brew…
Photo credit: Pete Souza/Wikimedia CommonsRead More >>
by David Noonan
I never miss Time's online feature "Pictures of the Week."Every Friday, the magazine's photo editors post dozens of incredible images from around the world. Many involve big stories, like the fighting in Syria and the anti-American demonstrations in Pakistan and other countries. But others capture smaller moments of surprising beauty—huge 1950s American cars awash in a Havana…
It's a great way to keep up with the news, and it's a great reminder of just how big and interesting this world really is. So, check out this week's edition today.
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by Chuck Davis
The Hugo Awards created the category of Best Professional Artist in 1955. The recognition is well warranted, given that book covers and magazine illustrations have set the tone of speculative fiction as much as the writing itself.
There have been 17 different winners over the years, with some artists winning more than once. The most recent member of this elite group, artist John Picacio, put together a portfolio of the work of all of them at Tor.com. It's a real stunner.Read More >>
by Perri O. Blumberg
by Rachel Mount Hofstetter
I consider the mobile app Instagram to be like magic for photos: I snap a picture of my breakfast sandwich, add a filter, and suddenly my egg and cheese goes from 'eh' to crave-worthy. And then people 'like' it, affirming that yes, I really should have an egg and cheese on a flaky biscuit every morning of my life.
Now, my Instagram pictures can be just as delicious as the food they capture. Baking for Good offers "Snapshot Cookies," which are customized to feature your photos in edible form. Of course, I wonder if it's strange to put a picture of food on a cookie, but hey, an egg sandwich on a cookie? How could that be bad?Read More >>
by Andy Simmons
by David Noonan
We're been big on baby pandas in our house ever since Tai Shan made his debut at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. in 2005. So when I heard about the birth earlier this week of a new panda cub at the same zoo, I headed straight for the Washington Post.
Fortunately, when the cute but minimal panda feature ended, this slideshow of "fascinating creatures from around the world" popped up. They're not all pandas, but they'll do.
(Photo by Shealah Craighead/Wikimedia Commons.)Read More >>
by Lauren Gniazdowski