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Recommendations for April 1, 2012.

Song: “Ekki Mukk” by Sigur Ros
This is a song about…whatever it is Sigur Ros songs are about. Trees? Love? God, possibly? I don’t speak Icelandic, and I wonder if it would help me if I did. But this band just scratches an itch that nobody else can get to.
Article/Video: The Mimic Octopus
There isn’t a whole lot to be said about the mimic octopus except that it is an amazing thing to watch. It can change both color and shape almost instantaneously, not only as camouflage but to imitate other animals— and not just their coloring, but their bodily structures and movements. 
Song: “Bright Night” by Dntel
Dntel, whose real name is Jimmy Tamborello, is (among other things) “the other guy” from the Postal Service. His solo work shares a lot with the music from that project; he has a distinctive palette of sounds, and a sensibility that is easy to recognize. Dntel tends to be a bit less clearly structured, a bit less “pop,” a little more abstract, but still evokes a similar kind of mood.
Article: “The Best Birth Control in the World is for Men” by Jon Clinkenbeard
Yep. Fifteen-minute outpatient procedure prevents pregnancy with near 100% reliability for ten years, and is completely reversible during that time with a similarly simple procedure. Too good to be true? Possibly. I have no more information about it. But at a moment when, for reasons passing all rational understanding, we are once again arguing about birth control and who should have access to it, having as many options on the table as possible seems like a good idea.
Article: “The Camaraderie of the Underrated: JC Gabel Relaunches The Chicagoan” by Janet Potter
I’m recommending this not so much for the article itself, but for the new version of The Chicagoan. I’m entirely in support of anybody who wants to publish articles longer than 500 words, and it seems like a good time for a new place for serious writing about Chicago. I am not sure that The Chicagoan will be that— it has only had one issue— but it is off to a good start, from what I have seen.
Column: “On the Far Slope of the Uncanny Valley” by Nitsuh Abebe
A thoughtful piece on the question of whether you are what you like, and on the difference between referencing and creating.

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