Link Dump

Funnily enough, tho this blog is called “The Humble Nailbanger,” your humble narrator probably tends to work as an electrician more than as a carpenter, and so was pretty happy to find these links:

iSquint is “an entertainment lighting technology blog that covers new products, services and trends within the industry.”

The Lighting Archive “is developing a collection of actual plots, focus charts, cue sheets from real shows. We will place an emphasis on historical productions and designers who have made important contributions to our field.”

The Theatrical Lighting Database – Modern theatrical lighting is a uniquely American art form, which until now has been exceedingly difficult to study due to limited access to original lighting documents. This collection contains actual plots, focus charts, cue sheets and much more from four landmark productions digitized from the collections of the New York Public Library.

The database seems to be drawn from the Lighting Archive, at least based on my cursory exploration.

Jim on Light-Jim, talking about many things concerning lighting.  I found this last night, and got completely lost in the first two posts, following links and finding all sorts of cool things.  I’m looking forward to exploring much more here.

Much more to come.

I finally doped out how to order my damned blogroll, though I must admit I wasn’t really trying all that hard. What I was most concerned with is linking to some of the good folks and excellent sites that have somehow found and linked me. So please check out the sidebar and go see what some other knowledgeable folks have to say about the work we do:

OneNYCStagehand:  I link this site pretty regularly, but it merits mentioning again. One Stagehand’s view of things. With over thirty years of experience of working in NYC as a stagehand, I’m just another old geezer who spends a great deal of time in the dark.

News from the “Real World” – Community, Leadership, Experimentation, Diversity & Education: Pittsburgh Arts, Regional Theatre, New Work, Producing, Copyright, Labor Unions, New Products, Coping Skills, J-O-Bs…Theatre industry news, University & School of Drama Announcements, plus occasional course support for Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni.

Backstage at Life behind the scenes….

Theatreforté: Reporting live from our underground bunker in Columbus, Ohio, where we sift through the mass of theatre reporting from the entire country (and beyond) and serve-up the tastiest stories (sometimes with commentary) to whet your appetite for more from the best theatre resources online.

I’ll add more as I sift back through various links and comments…

I don’t have a heck of a lot of time to play around with it and I’m still learning my way around my new host and software, but I’m still embarassed to admit that I didn’t realize that a commenter here on the site has a blog of his own:

One NYC Stagehand

Sorry about that. Definitely go check him out…his latest post, Accidents as a Way of Life, is interesting and has a link to the horrifying fire at a Great White show which killed some appalling number of people.

Thus far, I myself have been really lucky and haven’t been around for any major events. I was, however, involved in the cleanup for a major one. I’ll write more eventually, but it was no fun, even if it did make me a pretty nice bunch of paychecks.

A great two parter (I, II)from RawStory dealing with the first WTC bombing, Patrick Fitzgerald and new AG nominee Michael B. Mukasey.

Paris Photo 2007 preview: 120 Picks.

Israel’s cost to the Arabs.  The damage done to the Arabs by Israel’s creation is an untold story in the West. To understand it, you have to set aside the Israeli narrative and the idea of Arabs as fanatical, backward warmongers irrationally bent on destroying a modern, democratic and peaceable state.

This is interesting if you’re into reading stats and like them shown to you via youtube. Some samples from Did You Know?:

If you’re one in a million in China, there are 1,300 people just like you.

The 25% of the Chinese population with the highest IQs is greater than the entire population of North America.

Notice: not the United States…North America. We’re doomed, man…some simple math will tell you that we ain’t got shit on the Chinese. As one of the oilmen sort-of said in Syriana, the only recourse for the US is to deny them the resources they desperately need.

I love this post highlighting the ingredients of McD*nald’s Chicken McFuggits, quoted from the Omnivore’s Dilemma:

“The ingredients listed in the flyer suggest a lot of thought goes into a nugget, that and a lot of corn. Of the thirty-eight ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, I counted thirteen that can be derived from corn: the corn-fed chicken itself; modified cornstarch (to bind the pulverized chicken meat); mono-, tri-, and diglycerides (emulsifiers, which keep the fats and water from separating); dextrose; lecithin (another emulsifier); chicken broth (to restore some of the flavor that processing leeches out); yellow corn flour and more modified cornstarch (for the batter); cornstarch (a filler); vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a preservative. A couple of other plants take part in the nugget: There’s some wheat in the batter, and on any given day the hydrogenated oil could come from soybeans, canola, or cotton rather than corn, depending on the market price and availability.

According to the handout, McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but form a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. These chemicals are what make modern processed food possible, by keeping the organic materials in them from going bad or looking strange after months in the freezer or on the road. Listed first are the “leavening agents”: sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate. These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. Then there are “anti-foaming agents” like dimethylpolysiloxene, added to the cooking oil to keep the starches from binding to air molecules, so as to produce foam during the fry. The problem is evidently grave enough to warrant adding a toxic chemical to the food: According to the Handbook of Food Additives, dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector; it’s also flammable. But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to “help preserve freshness.” According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.”

Anyone who knows or works with me knows the effects of my industry on sleep…some months (like this one) I get tons of sleep…7-8 hours a night plus a very indulgent nap. Other months find me working 16 hour days for weeks, or even just a day or two of starting at 10pm and working until 4pm the next day. Somehow, I’m still an insomniac, and have been since I was a kid. So reading this was eye-opening and fascinating at the same time. Some of his unedited comments from the last entry (sic):

my mental aptitude is completely shot. words that come out of my mout are completely random; nonsensicle. i have found a good way of keepng myself awake and active is wlaking around the neighbordhood. the fresh air, sun, and public environment somehow tells me brain it is not appropriate to fall asleep in the outdoor public setting, which somehow is relieving some of the severe urges to sleep. in addition to complete mental exauhstion, i am physically deprived. i cannot eat a thing, only takng in liquids. my appetite is completely gone, i havent eaten in 14-16 hours or so. time is beginning to drag, an percetion of it is slightly more difficult.

That “nonsensicle” sounds like something you could buy from an ice cream man in “Yellow Submarine.”

I hate to admit how much television I can find myself capable of watching, but the next season of Deadliest Catch starts in a few weeks. As someone who actually seriously considered going to Alaska to fish for crab, I can’t get enough of that show. Arg.