Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week. A variety pack of recommendations:
PODCASTS: There is a new mini-season of "Start Up" going on right now. It's amazing. Season 1, which you should listen to if you haven't already, is one of the best podcast seasons in the podcast universe. Then Season 2 was pretty bad. But now this mini-season is better than ever. Also there's a new mini-season of "The Memory Palace" and it's predictably excellent.
LINE OF POETRY: "I dwell in Possibility—"
Emily Dickinson, natch. It's so good, right up to the em dash. Which brings me to...
NETFLIX (STREAMING): My long-awaited recommendation for the Top 15 Scandinavian Movies Available on Netflix Not Including Bergman remains an unfinished dream, but I can offer yet another teaser: "Together" is a really fun, really strange movie that you can stream on Netflix. Oh also "Upstream Color," while not Scandinavian, is fun and really strange as well, and genuinely challenging as art, which I know how that sounds, but you know what, I crave things like that, and really, if we are to use precious hours in our precious lives to watch movies, shouldn't we get that, not every time, but from time to time? Like for example...
A couple of weeks ago at Town Pump I watched an older man (maybe mid-50s) sing karaoke to this song and found it deeply moving. In the song, Buffett addresses the ocean ("Mother, mother ocean, I've heard your call") and says things like, "I have been drunk now for over two weeks." It's mellow and pitiful, in a way I find pretty endearing. "I'm down to rock bottom again," he sings. I like it more every time I hear it.
This song was written by Tommy Riggs, a North Little Rock native who used to fire pistols and break down crying onstage at his shows in the early '60s, and later released an X-rated comedy LP. I learned about him (and this song) from Harold Ott's most recent column for Rock Candy.
Roy Smeck was as famous as a ukulele & lap steel guitarist could be in the 1920s and 30s (or anytime, I guess). He played FDR's inaugural ball in 1933. He played the Ed Sullivan Show, toured the world, starred in movies. His nickname was "The Wizard of the Strings."
A new, international trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" landed on the Internet today. I watched it immediately and read analyses of scenes accompanied by GIFs, just like I did when the other trailers were released, and, at least judging from my Facebook feed, just like many, many other white guys born in the '70s or '80s did. At least weekly, sometimes more often, I browse Amazon's selection of Star Wars Legos, ostensibly for my 5-year-old son. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a fairly hard to find (at least at normal price) Kylo Ren action figure for my son. He's the new movie's big bad guy, the one with the cross light saber. For two weeks, my son carried that toy around with him everywhere he went — placed in a crouch next to his waffles, with him outside on the swing, clasped tight in his hand while watching "Curious George" — and said the words "Kylo Ren" perhaps 1,000 times. Then the toy disappeared. Miraculously, my son isn't bothered by this, but I wonder and worry about it several times a day.
All of this is to say that the "Star Wars" marketing machine (i.e. Disney, at least lately) is an ingenious, if insidious, force that I — especially as a parent to two fairly nerdy and impressionable boys — am too much of a sap to escape.
This, my favorite Facebook post from 2015, is wise counsel from Graham Gordy for geeks like me:
I'm sure The Force Awakens is going to be great, guys, but in 1999, I went to a midnight screening of The Phantom Menace and watched a theater full of costumed goobers have their dreams pummeled into the ground by Jar Jar Binks a la Liston vs. Ali. You haven't seen heart-rending until you've watched 40 grown men walk out of a movie with their plastic light-sabers dragging on the ground behind them like limp, admonished penises. Again, it will be wonderful, but for your own well-being, you all need to caalllmmm dowwwwnnnn.
— Lindsey Millar
I recommend stopping by and grabbing a cup of coffee from the combination Spokes bikeshop/Orbea Headquarters/coffee shop location on Main Street. It is certainly the best coffee you'll find in the River Market area and easily beats out whatever funk your office is calling coffee. No food to speak of but let's be fair, it's a bike shop. Lay off. Plus, it took no time at all for barista Cynthia to learn my usual drink order as well as the pronunciation of my abnormal name, Cyclesome Drinkabunch. — Bryan Moats
We've been plowing through some addictive Netflix and Amazon shows in the Ramsey household and these are all really obvious choices but sometimes you need the nudge to embrace the obvious, so: "Transparent," "Better Call Saul," "Nurse Jackie." And we enjoyed "Love," and we sort of enjoyed "The Americans" but then it all becomes too hokey somehow and we quit. /more/
This is a recipe, guys, that’s much more appropriate for cold weather. Now that the frantic wheezing of spring is almost upon us, I’m sure you all want to be picnicking outside in the clover and sunlight, laughing and kissing each other and gobbling down asparagus and quail eggs, not hunched over a smoky hearth ladling out gloppy, brownish Lebanese comfort foods. But because I have no sense of anything appropriate or right, here it is: Mujadara, one of my favorite dishes in all the world. /more/
I don't understand Tumblr, and its very existence makes me feel insecure and prematurely aged in only the way that a social media platform you don't understand can do, but today I found a wonderful Tumblr called "70s Sci-Fi Art." (I'm using that word the wrong way, aren't I? Is that how you refer to it, as "a Tumblr"? I'm done for.) /more/
I generally don't love westerns. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the simplistic moralizing, all black hats and white hats and bullshit showdowns. Maybe it’s a consequence of growing up as the geekish asthmatic in a household of competent, muscular men who build houses and drive tractors. Maybe it’s just the fact that watching people squint into the desert sun makes me feel uncomfortably thirsty. /more/
So here's a Halloween thing to do: Listen to an Arkansas Tech University professor of psychology talk about the smell of death! Ilan Shrira was a guest on NPR's "Science Friday" today, talking about putrescine, a compound found in decaying corpses. You know you want to hear it, so go to their website and hear him talk about his experiments on campus. (Guess what he discovered! People run from the smell of death of rotting corpses!) /more/
The irony of people thinking there's ghosts in the cemetery, somebody told me once, is that while there are plenty of dead folks in your average boneyard, very few of them probably shuffled off their mortal coil INSIDE the cemetery — which, if I remember my superstitious bullshit correctly, is how ghosts get attached to a place to begin with. That said, the dead do speak, and if we want to understand where we're going as a city, a community and a species, we should probably listen. To that end, my Halloween pick is the free cell phone tour of the storied Oakland & Fraternal Cemetery, at 2101 Barber Street in East Little Rock. /more/
Van Gogh, Picasso, Kahlo, Rousseau, Modligliani, Dali, Motherwell, Pollock, Lichtenstein, Rothko: Works by these and other masters in the collection of the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, N.Y., will come to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on Saturday as part of a national tour. The exhibition includes more than 70 masterworks, including paintings and sculpture.
A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
Quick & Easy Fruit Cake online delivery in this websites.
Fresh and delicious cakes are widespread in the online websites.