Found in an NYC Junk Shop: Forgotten Postcards between Two Haiku Masters

Found in an NYC Junk Shop: Forgotten Postcards between Two Haiku Masters

Found at the bottom of an old mailbox in a New York antiques store, what’s written on the back of these postcards perfectly captures the iconic arts scene in New York’s early 1960s– a city that was hosting the likes of Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Jack Kerouac and countless more forgotten artists, jazz musicians and poets of an era gone by…

The handwritten notes and unreleased poetry brought to life with illustrations, are all from a Haiku poet known as the Arizona Zipper, addressed to Cor Van de Huevel, another Haiku poet particularly influential in bringing Haiku to New York and the United States in the 1960s. Together, the pair were the pioneers of American Haiku poetry in the 1960s. But for those that don’t know, … Read the rest

Celebrating 70 years of Magnum Photos in New York

Martin Parr, Henri Cartier Bresson, David Alan Harvey, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg, Bruce Davidson.

When it comes to photography it’s hard to draw up a more impressive shopping list of names.

USA. New York City. 1951. A new face for the new world. Photo by Dennis Stock.

USA. New York City. 1951. A new face for the new world. Photo by Dennis Stock.

USA. New York City. 1956. Wall Street. Photo by Leonard Freed.

USA. New York City. 1956. Wall Street. Photo by Leonard Freed.

But they are just some of the legends past and present to join the ranks of Magnum Photos, and now in their 70th year the collective is celebrating its history and just how far it has come. In an exhibition – Early Magnum: On & In New York – Magnum looks back at the city that shaped it, a chance to take stock and reflect on … Read the rest

BWA for BLM Offers Space for Dialogue Between Black Female Artists in NY, LA, Houston, and London

A three-month long show offers a space for dialogue between black female artists and curators between New York, LA, Houston, and London. The collective Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter (BWA for BLM, for short) was formed in July of last year out of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement and the seemingly endless number of unarmed black men killed by police. In such a short period of time, the group has become impressively established in the art world, and now presents in all seven rooms of Project Row Houses in Houston. 

Their first appearance together at The New Museum followed a call by artist Simone Leigh during The Waiting Room, her show that, separately, looked at the notion of medicine in African Read the rest

Orbit at The Whitney

In February, The Whitney Museum of American Art presented Red In View (Orbit), a 10 day continuous performance art piece by artists MPA, Amapola Prada, and Elizabeth Marcus Sonenberg. The project was a simulation of life in an enclosed habitat, which mirrors the experience settlers may one day find on Mars. For the duration of Orbit, the artists were governed by the climax clock, a schedule of moments of heightened intensity that allowed the performers to express themselves in the contained space.

The project culminated in “Assembly,” a final live performance outside of the enclosed space, in which the artists channeled their experience in Orbit and the “red emotions” – sexuality, anger, and human physicality, to reveal the colonizing effects of life on earth. Through this … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 11

Sometimes certain songs become closely associated with places. There was one elevator I used to wait for and I would always end up humming the main theme from Peter and the Wolf. When we visited Hawaii last, we both kept singing the No Doubt song, “Walking in a Spider Web”. Now the song seems to be the Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again”

There is an anything-goes wild-west attitude here sometimes. I’m reminded of a story I heard of a man who lived in the Aleutian islands (due north of here) who got a letter from the IRS saying he owed back taxes, to which he replied, “Come and get it.”
We are at the outer reaches of the empire.

Didn’t think it was … Read the rest

Most Popular Baby Names in Europe

This blog has lots of fascinating graphics displaying geographical information.

The data is sourced from Wikipedia, so it is about 97% likely to be accurate.… Read the rest

Molecular Animation

Article and photos

I did this stuff in the mid-90s (although the technology then was not as sophisticated). When I moved to New York in 1997 I had to choose between a job doing more cellular visualization at Columbia Medical School or doing Web production at Ziff-Davis. The Web seemed more exciting at the time and the ZD office was a shorter commute, so that’s the path I chose. I wonder how different my career would have been if I had chosen differently.… Read the rest

History of Dutch Surnames


“Surnames were not required by law until 1811 when emperor Napoleon annexed the Netherlands. Since many Dutch people thought this convention would only be temporary, some deliberately chose confusing or comical names. For example:
De Keizer – probably a wordplay on Napoleon when people registered their name; Who are you? I’m the emperor.
Rotmensen – rot, adjective meaning “rotten” + mensen “people”
Poepjes – poep, noun meaning “poo/feces”, + jes plural diminutive
Piest – piest, third-person singular form of the verb piesen meaning “to urinate/to piss”
Naaktgeboren – naakt, adjective meaning “naked”, + geboren meaning “born”
Zeldenthuis – zelden, adverb meaning “seldom”, + thuis meaning “at home”… Read the rest

Baby Names

Baby Name Wizard has a few interesting visualization tools for mapping the prevalence of infants’ names over time.

Here you can see how “J” names for boys have changed over the past 130 years.

“Jacob” is apparently the most popular name for boys at the moment.… Read the rest


WalkScore is a site that rates towns and neighborhoods based on how easy it is to get around on foot – The way it works is essentially based on how close a place is to businesses. So in a way, the site is as much a measure of population density and zoning regulations as anything else.

When I think about the places I would want to live, it ultimately comes down to the single issue of how pedestrian-friendly the place is. Living in New York was great for this reason, and Lubbock, TX was terrible. As a kid, we lived across the street from a library, but the street was a 12-lane highway with no place to cross. We had to wait for my dad to … Read the rest

Etana – “Bad Mind”

I heard this song on “The Joint”, channel 80 on XM/Sirius. It was a complete earwig for me – just couldn’t get it out of my head, like the first time I heard Rhianna’s “Umbrella” or Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. I wonder if this will be the big song of the summer. When I lived in New York, particularly in Harlem, it seemed each summer there would be one song that I heard constantly throughout the day, from cars and apartment windows and those guys who walk around with boomboxes on their shoulders; although that doesn’t seem quite so common anymore.

Her MySpace page has a download link:

I listened to some more of her songs on but I didn’t particularly care for any of … Read the rest


My last name is Slaybaugh.

Some in my family have wondered what it means in its (presumably) Germanic origin.

Does it mean ‘Limp’ or ‘Sleeping River’?

Here are my findings.

This site

says that one common Amish name is Slabaugh (Schlappach)

I’ve seen other similar names, such as Schlabaugh and Schlabach

This English-German dictionary

defines ‘Schlapp’ as:

  • ‘flabby’
  • ‘flaccid’
  • ‘flagging’
  • ‘floppy’
  • ‘limp’
  • ‘muscleless’
  • ‘slack’
  • ‘spiritless’
  • ‘weak-kneed’
  • ‘yellow’

‘ach’ on its own means ‘Oh!’ and seems to be an odd suffix, but, according to

‘schlappmachen’ means ‘to break down’

‘schlappmachend’ means ‘breaking down’

‘schlappgemacht’ means ‘broken down’

Ah, pride

Although, the original name could have been Schlabach, in which case, the etymology could have been ‘Schla’ + ‘bach’.

‘Bach’ means brook or stream

‘Schla’ … Read the rest