Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Part of an funked-up image from Scorpion Dagger

Scorpion Dagger Tumblr

Among the scattered ruins of our once-great society now reduced to detritus and gifs of Jensen Ackles (also called Tumblr), every once in a while you stumble across a page that reminds you why the internet was once considered a glorious digital realm. This month, that page for me is Scorpion Dagger, a Tumblr feed that collects northern and early Renaissance paintings, and repurposes them into GIFs for your amusement. Artist James Kerr has found something he’s good at, and turned it into a bizarrely compelling factory of images. On the time-wasting scale of one to Minecraft, it rates a solid “delightful thing to look at while waiting for this meeting to start.” (And they’re not all composed simply of classic art elements; some of them include weirdly refashioned pop culture, like the note-perfect Star Wars one below.)


These digital collages are inspired pieces of animated fuckery, transforming a nice set of abs into a violation of each of the Ten Commandments, or God spilling coffee on his robe leading to a reality-altering conniption fit. While it’s always nice to discover a great new book or album, there’s a special magic to locating a strange new source of entertainment online. Sure, it’s far more fleeting in its applications, but it’s also satisfying that I can recommend it to someone and know that seconds later their day will be brightened, albeit temporarily. On the online road of life, sometimes you’ve got to stop and smell the roses that have been digitally animated to turn into knife-wielding bandits that mug passersby. [Alex McCown]

Barrel-aged cocktails


Whiskey has to age in a wooden cask—that’s what makes whiskey whiskey. The type of wood and time allowed for soaking changes its chemical makeup, resulting in the varying flavors across regions and brands. Take that lesson and apply it to cocktails: put them in a barrel for a while, and their flavors deepen and grow more complex, altering the original substance into something much different. That’s what my partner and I have been doing for the past six months with a mini barrel at home. Mini barrels are ideal for home barrel-aging because the small size imbues the wood’s flavors in the cocktails quickly, and provides four or five fancy drinks per batch, by which time you’re ready to move onto the next cocktail aging experiment. So far we’ve done a negroni, Manhattan, and Butchertown, and each one has been awesome, if unusual. The already strong flavors can get even weirder, but they’re always worth testing out. As corroborated by our guide, Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (his how-to is here), five to six weeks seems to be the ideal time to age your cocktail, meaning you can have an exciting, original drink every six weeks. Mini barrels are easy to find online, and one barrel yields several cocktail batches. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

Pacifica Body Butter


My favorite store in my neighborhood is Merz Apothocary, especially this time of year, when my skin feels so dry it may just shrivel right up into dust, mummy-style. Fortunately for me, Merz has a wide variety of moisturizing lotions available, but especially in winter, I gravitate toward the Pacifica line of body butters it carries. Not only are they great for a variety of purposes—hand lotion for your purse or desk, or to keep in your gym bag for your post-workout shower—they offer a brief escape from this vile winter weather, as its fragrances, as the name implies, are island-themed. Lotions that mix scents like fig, vanilla, guava, and coconut readily bring to mind lovely tropical paradise, not 20-below windchill. So while these body butters make my skin soft, they also remind me that the sun is shining somewhere, even if not in Chicago any time soon. [Gwen Ihnat]

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