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Drink like “The Dude”


There’s nothing Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski enjoys more than a nice White Russian. If you’ve never tried the sweet cocktail, The Architecture of the Cocktail shows you how!

how to make a white russian cocktail like the dude in big lebowski

White Russian

With two heavy and one lighter ingredient in a White Russian, you can go a couple of ways creating it. One methodology is to treat each material like a layer to build upon - dark, rich coffee liqueur at the bottom; cool, chilly vodka in the middle and a float of cream on top. The second method is my preferred style of building this drink, though: shaken lightly so that the three combine and the cream becomes frothy. I believe that, together, the sum of their parts becomes a far more memorable textural and flavor experience.

The Notes

Place 6 or 7 square ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour in 1 fluid ounce (30ml) of Kahlua coating the ice. Add in 1 fluid ounce (30ml) of vodka and 1 fluid ounce (30ml) of cream. Shake in a vertical motion for 30 seconds. Strain slowly into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Want to drink like Don Draper? Check that post here.



The First Giant Telescope

Telescopes can be pretty high-tech these days, but the basic way they are designed is not much different from Sir Isaac Newton’s designs 220 years ago! Our Sun shows us the history behind the first giant telescope.

In 1892, François Deloncle, a member of the French Chamber of Deputies, commissioned the construction of a giant telescope as the centerpiece of the Paris Universal Exposition in 1900. It was to be the largest refracting telescope yet constructed, with a lens 1.25 meters (over 4 feet) in diameter and a focal length of 57 meters (over 187 feet), all affixed within a cast-iron tube nearly 60 meters (197 feet) long. Due to its immense size, the telescope had to be mounted in a fixed horizontal position and light from the sky redirected using a movable plane, or siderostat, mirror nearly 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter, which would take nine months to grind.

Although the telescope was not intended for scientific use, it could produce images of 500x magnification and more. The French astronomer Charles Le Morvan used it to take several photographs of the surface of the Moon that astonished the readers of Strand Magazine, which published the photos in the November 1900 issue.

Unfortunately, its immense size and virtual immobility made the Great Paris Exposition Telescope a hard sell. After the Expo, the company that had built it declared bankruptcy and put the telescope up for auction in 1909. When they could find no buyer, it was broken up for scrap metal. However, the 2-meter (6-foot) siderostat mirror was salvaged and put on display at the Paris Observatory. And in 2007, two of the telescope’s lenses were discovered in packing crates in the observatory’s basement.



5 Creative Geniuses Behind Burning Man


The creative genius at Burning Man is truly created from the raw energy and emotion of the festival attendees, from the group consciousness that rises in waves from the desert playa like steam. The men and women who can channel that intense power and beauty and turn it into epic works of art are the cultural shamans of Burning Man. Here are a few of these magic makers, as featured in Burning Man: Art on Fire.

These are five of the many, uncountable creative geniuses behind Burning Man.

1) Marco Cochrane, creator of Bliss Dance (2010) and Truth is Beauty (2013)

Each of these massive sculptures depicts a female nude in a state of joy. The first, Bliss Dance, appeared on the playa in 2010, followed by Truth Is Beauty in 2013. Artist Marco Cochrane imagined the sculptures as a series of three, designed to call attention to the treatment of women and to depict them in a state of beauty, safety, and self-acceptance. Inspired by the traumatic assault of a childhood friend, he dedicates this series to the empowerment of the female, which he believes would return the world to a more peaceful balance.

Cochrane credits the open-minded culture of Burning Man for inspiring the sculptures. “I’m trying to demystify nudity. I see how free women are on the playa, how they can possess a playful energy here that they cannot do in real life.” He channels the energy from the festival and uses his creativity to turn it into an epic, grand, timeless work of art.

2) Dana Albany, The Bone Tree 1999

Dana Albany is a long-time contributor to Burning Man, and the festival has grown because of her creative genius. In 1999, she was asked by Burning Man founder Larry Harvey to create the art centerpiece for the festival. The theme that year was “The Wheel of Time.” Dana thought about the desert, about DNA, about the march of time, and she created the piece of art, “The Bone Tree.”

In an interview on The Leonardo Gallery (which also has an amazing picture of The Bone Tree ablaze), Albany says, “The Bone Tree served several purposes. It was a tribute to the passage of time in which living animals transform from flesh to bone, a final reminder of their presence on earth. It was also an interactive sculpture in that its mobility was derived from participants who pushed it in a sweeping circle around the the Wheel of Time installations. This clockwise orbiting of the Bone Tree around the Wheel of Time acted as a magnet in drawing passersby to follow it and in turn be introduced to the various installations that were featured in sequence that evening. The third aspect of the Bone Tree was performance as it included a miniature stage where Father Time appeared with his acolytes who danced in front of him.” You can also read about the fitting end to The Bone Tree on The Leonardo Gallery site.

Albany has created and collaborated on more art installations featuring recycled and organic materials, including bones for the festival. Browse this gallery on to discover more from Dana Albany.


3) Duane Flatmo, El Pulpo Mecanico, 2012

Mutant Vehicles are a big part of Burning Man. These extraordinary machines require creative talent that extends beyond most artists’ wheel houses. They need artistic vision, plus technical execution, plus mechanical mastery. Duane Flatmo is the creative genius behind these Mutant Vehicles, and the creator of “El Pulpo Mecanico,” pictured below.

Duane Flatmo’s inspiration often comes from found materials. “I kept going to thrift stores and finding so much aluminum,” he says. “I started seeing it as textures: pizza pans, colanders, garbage cans … and decided it would be fun to make a vehicle out of junk parts. I was using intuition to figure out how to make something work, starting with what I knew about kinetic sculpture after 30 years building pedal racers. I had saved newspaper clippings of Burning Man for 20 years, but I’d never attended. When I went out there I was blown away.”

Duane Flatmo, El Pulpo Mecanico, 2012.

4) Kate Raudenbush, The Guardian of Eden, 2007

Kate Raudenbush does not take her creative genius for granted, or underestimate its meaning in our culture. She is highly conscious about the social impact of her art. She says in her Black Rock City TEDx, “art is the consciousness of our culture expressed in physical form.” Her work, “The Guardian of Eden” appeared at Burning Man in 2007, and has an energy of new beginnings, of new life, but also of ancient practices and Eastern tradition and myth. Raudenbush is the perfect artist to channel this message and turn it into huge sculptures for the Burning Man festival.

In Burning Man: Art on Fire, Raudenbush admits, “Burning Man challenges me to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done, over and over again,” says Kate Raudenbush, who designs and fabricates enormous steel climbing structures with an otherworldly ethereality.

Kate Raudenbush, Brain Drop, 2007.

Kate Raudenbush, Futures Past, 2010.

5) Jon Sarriugarte and Krysten Mayte, The Golden Mean (2011) and The Serpent Twins (2011)

Husband and wife team Jon Sarriugarte and Kyrsten Mayte would often be seen driving this remarkable yin–yang pair of illuminated creatures with ten articulated joints that enabled their sinuous pas de deux on the expanse of the open playa. Their daughter, Zolie Mae, was often seen copiloting in her custom winged aviator cap as the light and dark creatures headed back to their home base, where they parked under a forged sign that read, “The Empire of Dirt.”

This family is fueled by creativity that knows no bounds, and their work is a celebration of ingenuity and invention.


If any of your are heading back to dorms this week, we have a special treat that you’re going to love!

Quarry SPOON, racepointpublishing and qgeekbooks are teaming up to host a Back to School Survival Kit giveaway that features a mug, 5-Minute Mug Cakes by Jennifer Lee, and a classics collection of your choosing!

For an awesome recipe from the book, head over to Quarry Spoon for a nutellausa Mug Cake to die for.

And here are the giveaways! Enter all four, or just your favorite:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dollar Bill Dragonfly

Did you every try your hand at Won Park’s origami dollar bill butterfly we shared? Whether you mastered that or could still use a little practice, here’s a dollar bill dragon fly from Origami Masters: Bugs.

Won Park is an origami artist who has been practicing the art of paper folding for more than 30 years. He specializes in folding paper currency from the United States and other countries. He is well known for his meticulous folding execution, his eye for detail, and a finely tuned sense of artistry.

Try out his creation:


A Look at Hendrix’s Woodstock Strat, 45 years later

We talked a little about Jimi’s Strats before, but let’s take a look specifically at the ‘68 Blonde as seen in Jimi Hendrix Gear by Michael Heatley and Harry Shapiro.

Hendrix acquired the white maple-neck Stratocaster played at Woodstock in August 1969, in the previous November; pictures exist of him playing it at his show at Yale University on the 17th of that month. Thanks to the magic of the big screen, the blonde, maple-neck guitar (serial number 240981) remains the one indelibly associated with him. It featured a laminated maple neck and a combination of larger headstock/large logo typical of Strats of the period.

The body color is Olympic White, and the original bears stains from Hendrix’s shirt.


The actual “Woodstock Strat” is an exhibit of the Experience Music Project. Olympic white and with a maple neck, it is somewhat iconic in appearance even though it is to all intents and purposes a stock Strat.

The neck was laminated and therefore did not have the darker “skunk stripe” denoting the insertion of a truss rod from behind. The body is believed to have been matched with several necks, however, in the two years it was used. The body color is Olympic White, and the original bears stains from Hendrix’s shirt.

The nut has been reversed to accommodate upside-down stringing and, as with many of Jimi’s guitars, there is evidence of cigarette burning from when he would wedge a stogie under the thickest strings. If he got carried away soloing, the cigarette would burn down to a stub and mark the wood.

It passed into the possession of Mitch Mitchell, who auctioned it at Sotheby’s, London, on April 25, 1990. It was then valued at £198,000, as bought by Gabriele Ansaloni, who resold it in 1993 for a reported sum of somewhere between $1.3 and $1.8 million. It has since been bought by Experience Music Project, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen stumping up the sum of money involved. “This guitar is iconic to people because it was one of a number of guitars that he just happened to play at Woodstock,” said curator Jacob McMurray. “It’s definitely one of those guitars that has a historic resonance.”

In 1997 Fender issued a replica of the Woodstock Strat, while in 2003, to celebrate what would have been Jimi’s 60th birthday, four clones were created by measuring and dismantling the original. One of these is now owned by current pop star John Mayer. The original was, in 2003, rated the world’s second most collectable Stratocaster by the website, beaten only by Eric Clapton’s legendary “Brownie.”

When Fender launched an Artist Centre in a London rehearsal complex just prior to its first auction in 1990, this was one of the iconic guitars exhibited. The original strings were discarded by Neville Marten, editor of Guitarist magazine, who had previously been Fender’s UK guitar repairer. “I cut off the strings and threw them in the bin. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? Today they alone would probably be worth £50,000 (with Jimi’s DNA all over them)!”

The spotted ocelot-fur strap was still in place, though Hendrix didn’t wear this strap at Woodstock; it seemed he changed it, as later photos confirm.

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Learn more about Jimi’s other guitars:

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