Tabs and Sloppy Eating
Art crime, today in crabs, and Pinot Noir drunk driving
The Associated Press reports that on Sunday:
A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum and shouted at people to think of planet Earth.
The dastardly gâteaunard also threw roses to onlookers as he was taken into custody and charged with premeditated smearing. As Lemony Snicket observed, people love violence and sloppy eating which makes this: the perfect crime.
Also Today in Art Crime: Twenty-five paintings on display at the Orlando Museum of Art are either lost works by Jean-Michel Basquiat with an extremely unlikely backstory that were discovered by two ex-felons and are worth $100 million or flagrant forgeries on modern cardboard. Who can say.
There’s so much crab news today that I made a real header for it:
In SFGate, Katie Dowd reported on what the San Francisco District Attorney called the “most egregious case of unlawful crabbing activity in San Francisco's history,” when a Vallejo fisherman allegedly set more than 90 crab traps around the protected Farallones. How to Crab: Want to draw a crab, but not sure how? “#InsertAnInvert is a series of invertebrate drawing guides done in collaboration with actual experts,” writes @franzanth on Tumblr. High quality PDFs are free on Patreon, including Squid N Squad, Trilobyte Time, and more. This isn’t technically “today” in crabs, but crab time moves sideways. Laser-controlled nano-crab robots could be used in “delicate surgical situations like unclogging arteries, or excising cancerous tumors,” reports Samantha Cole in Vice. How will they control robots with lasers inside your arteries, you ask? None of your business, that’s how, now shut up and eat your nano-crabs. Researchers from Northwestern University created the world’s crabbiest hamsters, using gene editing technology to make adorable fuzzy little “mutant rage monsters.” And finally, Charlie Loyd wrote a new post for his rarely-updated Tinyletter about (deep breath): crab-claw sails, aerodynamics, global maritime shipping and shipping efficiency in general, climate change, weather forecasting accuracy, aircraft stability, and the downsides of our modern over-reliance on predictability in logistics.
Asparagus, for example, is hard to keep fresh, and a great deal of work is part of a project of moving it from the northern hemisphere to the southern in the first half of the year, then vice versa. As a hint at the scale of this kg×km operation: 5% of all cargo that leaves LAX, one of the planet’s largest cargo airports, is asparagus, yet the US is by a wide margin a net importer of asparagus. In science fiction we like to imagine that peer species would see us humans as remarkably plucky, or lamentably violent, or whatever, but in the cold light of statistics, the most distinctively human trait may be our mania for asparagus.
Bo Burnham released “The Inside Outtakes” yesterday. “Five Years” and “The Chicken” are both outstanding.
Elon Musk’s mission to kill us all with secondhand embarrassment continues. Our Regrettable Platform tightens its belt instead of going from a merely absurd valuation to a truly ruinous one. Is AOC a normosexual? Josh Gondelman investigates. Is Eric Adams correct that “New York sits on a store of rare gems and stones” with “special energy?” Ingrid Burrington investigates. NYMag launches new Emily Gould house-hunting vertical. Even in third-wave-gentrified Hudson, where an anti-Airbnb activist is Airbnbing her house, median rent for a one bedroom is only $1,787, so why is anyone still looking for an apartment in New York? Important children noted. Nancy Pelosi’s husband caught Pinot Noir drunk driving. New Mexico’s largest wildfire started as a controlled burn that “overwintered beneath the ground, continuing to burn slowly until it re-emerged in early April.” The future will be amazing if you like fire and jellyfish.
Verge editor Kevin Nguyen still knows how to write apparently, since his feature on birding is a delight to read.
The data that eBird collects is obviously useful in the field of ornithology. But its more urgent application, according to Chris Wood, director of eBird, is comprehending our dying planet. “Birds as indicators of natural systems overall,” he explains. Any data that is spatial and temporal is useful for climate scientists. But birds especially, because of their susceptibility to minor temperature fluctuations, can be more reliable signals of change. He apologizes for the cliché, then evokes the notion of a canary in a coal mine. To me, the metaphor says less about birds but more powerfully suggests that we all live in a coal mine.
And Brooklyn College professor Matt Crump caught his students cheating when they invited him into the group chat where they did the cheating, and then forgot they had done that. I think the moral is: all college students are probably cheating now?
Today’s Song: Labrinth, “Mt. Everest”
~ "Tabs and sloppy eating," the man said, and sighed. "I guess the crowd will like that." ~
If you’re American I hope you had a good holiday weekend and were not involved in any of the twelve mass shootings since Friday. Follow me @fka_tabs or meet me on Null Island.