Put Your Money Where Your Indie Rock Is

Eliot Van Buskirk: “With CD sales declining and labels whining, it might seem crazy to view recorded music as fertile ground for investment. But for thousands of fans-turned-music-investors on SellaBand and Slicethepie, it makes perfect sense to gamble on a favorite band’s future…

By having fans fund albums, these sites hope to channel money toward projects more likely to succeed. It’s like holding a fundraiser to usurp the executive producer’s traditional moneybags role, while crowdsourcing the A&R (artists and repertoire) guy’s job.” (Wired Listening Post)

Who will Obama choose as veep?

Nope, you're wrong: “The selection of a vice-presidential nominee is potentially the most important un-democratic election in the world, though Vladimir Putin might disagree. There is only one voter in each party — and he certainly does not answer pesky questions from pollsters. The entire closed-doors decision-making process would be familiar to members of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. And the amazing thing about this traditional exercise of the divine right of presidential nominees is that nobody in America objects… [even in] a year when Democrats have been hyper-vigilant about any perceived deviation from voter sovereignty.” (Salon)

Where the Goblins Live

“Gnomes are extremely small, human-like creatures who wear pointy red hats, all have beards (the men, not the women) and live in holes beneath the ground. They are benevolent, caring for animals, but also sympathetic to humans. Several subspecies can be distinguished: wood gnomes, garden gnomes, dune gnomes (at the coast), farm gnomes and mill gnomes. Or at least some people believe so; in the olden days, gnomes were an accepted fact of life, as is attested by the widespread knowledge of them, but their ever rarer sightings have confined them to the realm of folklore.

This map shows the extent of the gnome habitat in Europe: vast but fragmented, from Ireland in the west to an eastern boundary deep in Siberia, and from high up in Scandinavia to a southern limit running throught Belgium to Switzerland and down into the northern Balkan. Southern countries like France, Spain, Italy, Albania, most of ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece are (almost) completely gnome-free. Heavy concentrations of gnomes can be found in the British Isles, Scandinavia, the Alps and Carpathians and areas of Belarus and the Ukraine.” (Strange Maps)