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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XII


19 March 2012

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No. 6,451 (cartoon)

Why the big smile?

Hate is happiness manifest!

20 March 2012

Autobiographies I’ll Never Write

“You’re never going to learn, ever ever ever,” Andy opined.

What a great idea for the title of my autobiography! Unfortunately, I’ll never use it because I have no interest in writing one. And so, I’ll add Andy’s title to I Wish I Would Have Thought About That Before, I Shoulda Known Better, Higgledy-Piggledy: My Sideways Existence, and many more as promising titles for an autobiography I’ll never write.

21 March 2012

Kiviaq Recipe

Ferment yeast the right way and you get bread or beer (liquid bread). That’s good. Ferment grapes and you get wine. That’s good. Ferment auks and you get kiviaq. Is that good? Try the recipe and find out.

Start by skinning a medium to large seal, leaving a layer of fat inside the skin. Sew the skin into a bag, then stuff with around five hundred auks. After removing as much air as possible from the furry sack of birds, coat it with seal fat and leave under a large rock for from three to eighteen months.

Open the lardy larder and eat the fermented birds, feathers, beaks, and all.

Birds’ feet, bone appétit!

22 March 2012

Four Immortal Places

It’s illegal to die in Longyearbyen, Norway (there’s no room for the dead; the permafrost is already full of bodies that won’t decompose), Itsukushima, Japan (to retain the purity of the island), as well as Sarpourenx, France, and Falciano del Massico, Italy (the cemeteries are full).

Should I ever contract a terminal disease, I may move to Falciano del Massico, or perhaps Sarpourenx. It would be nice to end my life by breaking one more rule on the way out.

23 March 2012

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Digital Artifacts (Sóror Mariana: peça em I acto)

I made this piece to see what’s there when there’s nothing there.

I began with a digital copy of Sóror Mariana: peça em I acto, a book by Júlio Dantas that was published in 1915. I selected three apparently blank pages, then adjusted the contrast to reveal the digital artifacts created by the compression algorithms in the digital artifacts. I was going to do a series, but I think one triptych is enough.

24 March 2012

Pink (not Grey) Slime

Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture call it “pink slime.” J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute, refers to pink slime with a four-letter acronym, BLBT, or Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings.

Regardless of the nomenclature, Beef Products Incorporated creates the bovine goo by using cow detritus that would once have been destined for a dog’s breakfast or landfill. Workers heat the fatty dregs to lower viscosity of the meat muck, then feed the cow pulp into a centrifuge. Finally, they add ammonia to the warm, flesh slurry to kill heat-loving pathogens.

Gerald Zirnstein, the microbiologist who coined the term “pink slime” while working for the USDA, noted that the ammonia has aesthetic benefits as well.

“If that ammonia wasn’t there, if it wasn’t added to kill the bacteria, it would also come in as a grey product and you’d have grey slime,” he explained. “Grey slime!”

Beef Products Incorporated flacks maintain that the slime in question is as “safe and as nutritious as ground beef.” And I, for one, have no doubt that the ammoniated meat coming from a centrifuge is every bit as tasty and healthy as had it come directly from a chock-full of antibiotics cow freshly harvested from a feces- and mud-filled holding pen.

25 March 2012

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Hilary

I almost never photograph my friends except when asked. Hilary needed a head shot for her business, so I made one. It shows an attractive, smiling woman; that’s what it was supposed to do.

I’ll probably never look at this photograph again. I prefer to my visual memories of my friends to remain a halcyon pastiche of images, including the ones I’d never photograph.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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