(YouTube.com/watch?v=gwpGXfHmY-A) Geddy Lee played a significant role in my impressionable teenage years. His band, Rush, taught me about class warfare (“Subdivisions”) and payola (“The Spirit of Radio”); his lyrics sent me more than once, full of burning questions, to the encyclopedia (turns out Ayn Rand is the name of a real person—who knew?); and his manly yet sensitive tenor provided genteel accompaniment to many a game of Dungeons & Dragons (Basic Set, Second Revision). Lee is a modern-day warrior; he’s today’s Tom Sawyer. And if he deigns to honor us with some timely advice on how to ride a toboggan without making jelly of your brains or getting your tongue stuck to the sled, we should feel compelled to take it.
(HowToHistory.com/video-tutorials) Throw away your New Year’s resolutions. Do it now. Chances are you won’t fulfill even half of them, and I’d hate for you to end up like me at the end of this year past: Still five pounds overweight, still underemployed, still a compulsive user of compressed air. (Just one more little pfft, right across the keyboard. C’mon.) Instead, you should look at How To History and its video tutorials on forgotten skills, and reverse-engineer a list of New Year’s resolutions that looks like this: “In 2011, I will learn how to sharpen a drawknife, comb wool, turn milk into mozzarella cheese, construct belt buckles from horse nails, make charcoal, sew a French seam, and forge a pilium shank.” OK, so a few of those stray into the Society for Creative Anachronism’s pastures green, but wouldn’t you give a horse-nail belt buckle to make your own mozzarella, and to be able to shank anyone who tried to steal it for their own pizza?
WHAT NINE EYES YOU HAVE
(9eyes.tumblr.com) Here’s what you do: Drive straight down 45th Street until you see the police action, then make a hard left and keep going until you see the gaggle of prostitutes; make a slight right as you avoid the children with handguns. My place is the one right behind the guy with the blurred-out face who’s gleefully flipping off Google Street View’s nine-lens, car-mounted camera with both raised hands. Jon Rafman’s 9 Eyes blog draws notable single images from Street View and presents them without comment, no matter how weird they are. He makes no effort to explain the Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger asleep on an amusement park bench, or the family warming itself by the flames of its burning recreational vehicle, because for some instances in life there are no explanations. There are only directions to be followed.