Monthly Archives: April 2014

Slip of the Tongue: Talking About Language

Slip of the Tongue explores a wide range of topics in linguistics through reflecting on the author’s life and surroundings. Author Katie Haegele is a respected memoirist who makes sense of the world around her by looking at the ways we use language: to communicate, to make art, and simply to survive. She takes us through her life by describing her family’s rich linguistic history and her own coming of age as a feminist and an artist, and introduces us to her hometown of Philadelphia, a city lively with graffiti, poetry, and the remnants of its colonial heritage. She connects history to the present with research, interviews, and musings on digital technology and the contemporary state of the English language. If language is what makes us human, Slip of the Tongue, a book as brainy as it is heart-warming, is a celebration of that humanity in all its complicated beauty. More than a clever language book, Haegele is personal and conversational—able to explore her subjects with both intellectual vigor and a lot of heart. A memoir that takes a niche subject outside of academia.

Punk in NYC’s Lower East Side 1981-1991

Much has been written about the glamorousand short-livedNew York City punk rock scene of the late 1970s. Less has been written about the second-wave punk scene that followed in the 1980s. Unlike the earlier scene, the ‘80s punk scene took place largely outside of the established downtown clubs, in the streets and squats of the Lower East Side. 

Punk in NYC’s Lower East Side, 1981-1991the first installment in Microcosm’s Scene History Seriesoffers a glimpse into this important cultural moment, which has had such a lasting impact on American subcultures, from Hardcore, to Skinhead, to, most crucially, Anarcho-Punk. 

Drawing on both archival documents and original interviews, this zine explores the music of the era’s bands, including Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, False Prophets, Urgent Fury, No Thanks, and Reagan Youth. At the same time, the scene is situated within the broader social context, from the election of Ronald Reagan to the Tompkins Square Riots. Woven throughout is the tragic story of New York City’s most legendary anarcho-punk, Reagan Youth’s Dave Insurgent.

Bikenomics At Work in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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As a result of the mining legacy of the Gogebic Range (Northern Wisconsin and the western end of Michigan’s upper peninsula, two great railroad lines were built to haul out iron ore out of the region. And since the surrounding towns were built before cars took over the landscape, our downtowns, neighborhoods and schools are all located within an easy walk from the railroads. Now, these abandoned rail lines run right through the center of five cities on the Gogebic Range. And having two rail lines eliminates any argument about whether they will be converted for use by bicycles and pedestrians or motorized vehicles. Even so, despite these near-perfect conditions, many efforts to build a bike trail along this corridor were unsuccessful. Objections centered on the question, “why spend money on bike trails with all those pot-holes that need filling?”

In the beginning, the rationale for the trail system was generally recreational or related to tourism. Then we learned that more and more young people were looking for a place to live where they can have a high quality of life, rather than finding the best job. So we focused on the need to attract and retain young workers. And then the major employers in town got excited. Similar to what happened in Houston, TX, they understood that in order to attract young people who wanted to live nearby and work for them, they needed to create an attractive environment. They focused on building a stronger community and developing a network of regional bike trails. With their support, credibility, name recognition and connections, we jumped the hurdle and started to build traction for this long-held dream. Every single municipality, chamber of commerce and school district along the proposed sixteen mile trail passed resolutions of support for the trail’s vision. Now we have $1.2 million in place to build trailheads and the first phase of the trail, including the retrofit of a historic train trestle over the river separating Wisconsin and Michigan. And another million dollars of grant funding for phase II is going out the door as we speak.

Bikenomics is right, by demonstrating the economic justification for bike trails, it is much easier for the community to support, and even demand action on the project. For us the justification was attracting and retaining young people to build a workforce for our local employers, for others it may be some other economic angle.

If you’re interested, here is some more information on the Gogebic Range Next Generation Initiative to attract and retain young people.

Dwelling Portably Boxset: 1980-2012

The first four Dwelling Portably books discounted in a snug box set sleeve, containing  A wealth of knowledge, experience, and stories, collecting 1980-19891990-19992000-2008, and 2009-2012.

Full of information about living without a permanent residence, this complete collection contains helpful and informative tips for living far outside of cities and bereft of technology. All of the tips and advice have been edited down to what remains relevant in a technologically changing world, and it is crammed full of informative tips for biking, tents, showering, cooking, and living. Whether camping on the edges, living simply, or getting by on the road and loving it, this book is for modern nomads choosing alternative lifestyles to working 9–5 in the same place

Everyday Cheesemaking: How to Succeed Making Dairy and Nut Cheese at Home

Everyday Cheesemaking is an introduction to DIY home cheese making made simple and accessible.  K.Ruby Blume introduces you to the concepts, equipment, and ingredients necessary to making cheese at home successfuly, the very first time.  The book offers clear instructions, humorous stories, dozens of recipes and troubleshooting tips as well as information on running a small home goat dairy and non-dairy cheese recipes.  With a lightly humorous and practical approach this book is perfect for anyone who is itching to get started and impress their friends and family with delicious homemade cheese.