Over on Jezebel, there's a huge article on the rise and fall of Bloomfield Hills native, Lisa Frank. It's a pretty good long read about the sticker mogul's descent into madness. With sections entitled "Inside the Rainbow Gulag" and "You Mess With the Unicorn, You Get the Horn," you know you want to read it.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
It's that time of year again. The days are short, the air is crisp and frats are stealing conifers from university property, and you're probably thinking about getting yourself an ol' tannenbaum. If you're having trouble deciding what type of tree to get, look no further, I've got a handy guide for you here.
First of all, if you want a tree that'll last, I suggest going to a self cut place. Most trees being sold in lots were cut before thanksgiving hand have been shipped here from parts unknown (North Carolina). Often these trees are painted green to look fresher. Gross.
Now, other websites might just give you a ranking like this:
1. The true firs (Genus Abies)Now the above would be a useful list, but it fails to take into account the nuanced differences between species within different genera. Oh, and a note about labeling. In the following list, the first number indicates the overall rank while the letter number combination is its rank within that group of plants. e.g. White fir is ranked sixth overall and the fourth among firs (F4); Serbian spruce is fifth overall and first among the spruces (S1).
Soft needles that smell of tangerines when crushed. Good needle retention. You can identify firs by the "Four F's:" firs are friendly (needles not sharp); fir needles attach flush tot he branch; fir needles are fragrant (they smell like tangerines!); fir needles are flat in cross section. Firs have good needle retention, so if you get one that has been pre-cut it'll likely keep most of its needles off your floor. Also, due to their great natural color, the firs are unlikely to be painted/died green.
2. Douglas-fir (Genus Pseudotsuga)
In botanical common names the en dash signifies a taxonomically incorrect name. Here it means the DouglasDashfir is not really a fir. But heck, it's pretty close. These guys have pretty good needle retention, but often have a very stout trunk, so you might need a pretty hefty stand.
3. Spruces (Genus Picea)
Sharper needles, retention is not as good. Don't smell as good as the firs and Douglas-firs. Spruces can be identified by the "Four S's:" spruces have sharp needles; spruce needles are square in cross section (some are more diamond shaped); spruces are stinky (they smell piney, but not in a great way); spruces are stubbly (when you remove the needles, small peg-like sterigmata remain on the branches).
4. Pines (Genus Pinus)
Bunched needles. This genus can be a bit of a mixed bag.
5. (tie) Arborvitae/Northern White-Cedar (Genus Thuja)
If you find a small one of these, an ideal specimen, maybe it'll look right. Remember what that dash in the common names kids, the Northern White-Cedar isn't a true cedar (Genus Cedrus).
5. (tie) Juniper/Eastern Redcedar (Genus Juniperus)
These can be OK if they are small and have been pre-trimmed into a proper taper. Upon close inspection, they just wont look quite right.
6. Any other conifer
Even the tamarack or larch (Genus Larix), which loses its needles.
7. Artificial trees
These are literally the worst. Why not just get a custom Fathead of a tree for you wall? Why not a potted palm tree?
1. F1. Nobel Fir--Abies procera
With its short, soft, stiff, dense needles you really can't go wrong here. Great fragrance helps too. Native to the high mountain west.
2. F2. Fraser Fir--Abies fraseri
Slightly longerCan have slightly shorter needles than A. procera. Still an outstanding tree. Native to high mountains in the Appalachian Range. A very, very close second.
3. F3. Balsam Fir--Abies balsamea
Very closely related to A. fraseri. Slightly thinner needles. Sometimes called Canaan fir. Native to northern temperate and boreal forests. Truth be told, all of these three firs are outstanding trees.
Medora looks like a great documentary. Check out the trailer above and just try not to be moved. It reminds me of when Coach Taylor started coaching the East Dillon Lions. Except Medora is about basketball and real life. You can check out interviews with Davy Rothbart about Medora here and over on MarkMaynard.com. And stay tuned for Rich Retyi's forthcoming review of the movie.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
You've heard of BART, but now there's DART--Detroit Area Rapid Transit. Well at least there is DART in the imagination of jwcons. It's styled after the DC Metro system. Also, maybe you could inch those imaginary Red and Orange Lines out west to Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. I know there are tons of imaginary people here who would love to be able to use commuter rail to get to Detroit. Also, maybe the imaginary people in the Grosse Pointes might want a train into Detroit.
|2014 Calendar from Sloe Gin Fizz|
Gentle reader, are you having trouble finding gifts for your friends and family? Do you want to make sure the money you spend this season stays in the community? Well, you're in luck, we have worked tirelessly to assemble an outstanding list of locally made gifts.
Gentle readers, this just in: a little birdie told me that if you are a U of M student, faculty or librarian and you tweet your favorite article on JSTOR to @JSTORSupport, they'll deliver you a free hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. It's nice to see those cool folks at JSTOR coming out to support the community for finals. I'm sure there are some reasonable caveats, like you probably have to be on or near one of the Ann Arbor Campuses. So if you're reading this from the Biological Station, or Camp Davis, you might be out of luck. Still, this is pretty awesome:
Get ready for tea time: UM students/faculty/librarians Tweet us a JSTOR article, we deliver coffee/tea/hot chocolate to you.— JSTOR Support (@JSTORSupport) December 11, 2013
Thanks JSTOR Support!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
|Luke Andrews—barkeep at The Bar at 327 Braun Court|
Ann Arbor has some of the best third spaces in the world, staffed by professionals with different backgrounds, different temperaments, different skills and different stories. They create the atmosphere that brings people back to Old Town, The Last Word, Raven's Club and the 8-Ball. Many of them have been slinging drinks and listening to stories for years and turnover at many of Ann Arbor's best bars is surprisingly rare.
It's time to sing about these unsung barkeeps—ask them about their experiences and their craft, learn a little more about their relationship to their bar. Essentially, to better know our barkeeps.
This semi-regular feature will pop up on Damn Arbor from time to time giving insight into the people behind the bar and hopefully entertaining, enlightening and doing something else that starts with the letter "e".
One last thing, a nod to Mark Maynard's exit interviews, which I just happen to be modeling in this first installment. Normally I'll interview these people before they leave. Luke is the exception.
Ok, so technically they are therapy dogs who are there for stress reduction. Nevertheless, if you are feeling a little down, or stressed out, or you're just missing your own pup, come to the Shapiro Library tomorrow from 1-4 pm. More information here.