Waste a Few Minutes with Peter Stults’ Parody Movie Posters


If Inception were released in the 1950s, who would have starred in it? Can you imagine what the promotional poster would like?

Luckily, you don’t have to. Designer Peter Stults has created a series of posters for modern blockbusters that reimagine them as vintage films with a vintage cast.

Clearly, it’s for a laugh, but there’s something beautiful about these mock posters that transcends their comic value. And though they are obviously less flashy, they come off more magical than today’s sharp, computer-assisted designs.

To view the posters, click here. Be sure to check out Avatar and Superman, and wait until you see who he has starring in Die Hard.

Maryland: a House Divided


There are two contentious issues that will likely be on the ballot in November, and each one cuts Maryland voters in half. One is the Maryland Dream Act, and the other is gay marriage.

The Dream Act is a measure that would give in-state tuition rates at community colleges to illegal immigrant students (who have graduated from a public high school in that county and whose parents pay Maryland taxes). It passed in the state legislature, after which Republicans ran a signature drive that put the act up for referendum.

The success of that petition has was a morale-builder for Maryland’s minority party, who have vowed to use the same tactic against a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, were the General Assembly to pass one (and, with the recent support of Gov. O’Malley, they just might).

The referendum strategy isn’t a slam dunk for Republicans, though it’s certainly got to make Democrats uneasy. A recent poll found among likely Maryland voters, forty-eight percent favor the Dream Act; forty-nine percent oppose. Gay marriage is similarly divisive: forty-nine percent favor; forty-seven percent oppose. With a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, that’s a dead-heat for both.

Expect Maryland to get extra tense around November. On the upside, it may bring more people to the polls than in years past.

This Week in Research: Baking with Love, Virtual Autopsies


It’s not often that science tackles subjects like love, or good intentions — for one, they’re fuzzy and hard to fit on a spreadsheet. But according to a recent study by Kurt Gray of the University of Maryland, good intentions matter. According to Gray’s research, a shot given by a caring nurse hurts patients less than one given by an indifferent nurse. Food given with a message of love tastes better than the exact same food with an indifferent message (the one used in the study:  “Whatever. I just don’t care. I just picked it randomly”). For a medical setting, Gray’s results show that bedside manner matters. For the rest of us, the message is a simple one — be nice. But Gray, head of the Maryland Mind Perception and Morality Lab, takes it one step further:  “To the extent that we view others as benevolent instead of malicious, the harms they inflict upon us should hurt less, and the good things they do for us should cause more pleasure,” the paper concludes. “Stolen parking places cut less deep and home-cooked meals taste better when we think well of others.” So assuming that other people are nice (instead of jerks) will end up helping you in the long run.

From love to cadavers.  We’re a culture infatuated with the possibilities of technology, something that gets reflected in our crime TV shows. On CSI,  the impossibly good-looking medical examiners are always using fancy high-tech “virtopsy” (that is, virtual autopsy) technology to scan and view video images of murder victims insides. Sounds great (and less messy), right? Well, according to experts at Johns Hopkins, these technologies are helpful in some cases, but the traditional autopsy is still “the gold standard for determining why and how people really died,” says pathologist Elizabeth Burton. When a virtopsy is used, common diagnoses get missed; the study blames medical overconfidence in imaging technologies. Furthermore, families and loved ones often find the traditional autopsy distasteful.  Which isn’t to say that these technologies are useless. But, according to the experts, it should best be used in addition to — not instead of — the traditional method.

Downtown Warehouse Sale Today

You know that I am a huge fan of my friend, David Wiesand and his merry band of craftspeople, so I wanted to share the news about McLain-Wiesand’s annual Warehouse sale this Friday, January 20th at party central, a.k.a. the Showroom!MW SaleOne of the most fun things about this sale is seeing some of the prototypes that David has whipped up!MW showroom1At an auction last year, both he and I bid on an amazing turtle shell, but he won, and then made a casting of the shell and mounted it on a block of wood.turtle shellDavid is now being represented by John Rosselli’s showroom in NYC, so his popularity is about to skyrocket!MW Showroom2This is an excellent opportunity to get some of David’s pieces while he’s still a relative “unknown”.MW Showroom3
Let me know if you’re coming and I will see you there!

McLain Wiesand          1013 Cathedral St.     Baltimore, MD 21201        Tel 410-539-4440

Purple Friday Caravan Schedule


The Ravens caravan will be traveling around town today. Ravens Cheerleaders, Playmakers, Marching Ravens, Poe and Rise & Conquer will be on hand to greet the crowds. (See schedule below.) Wear your Ravens purple to support the team and score free giveaways and fanfare.

For more information go to the Ravens website. 





7:15-7:45 a.m. Alonso’s 415 W. Cold Spring Ln. Baltimore
10:30-10:55 a.m. Giant 3299 Emmorton Rd. Abingdon
12:00-1:00 p.m. M&T Bank – The Gallery 202 East Pratt St. Baltimore
1:30-1:55 p.m. Giant 8805 Centre Park Dr. Columbia
3:20-3:45 p.m. Verizon 6711 Ritchie Hwy. Glen Burnie
4:30-4:55 p.m. Smyth Jewelers – Annapolis Town Center 1910 Towne Centre Blvd. Annapolis
6:45-7:15 p.m. Bill Bateman’s Bistro 8810 Waltham Woods Rd. Baltimore


Craving Gourmet Bargains? Baltimore Restaurant Week’s Upon Us!


For those of you who have started to sing the blues (or bang your flatware) because Baltimore County Restaurant Week is coming to an end this Saturday, January 21, sing those tunes no more, for Winter Restaurant Week is coming. Starting today, January 20, and ending next Sunday, January 29, some of Baltimore’s favorite restaurants are sharing their food at prices even I, a poor college student, can afford. Over 70 restaurants are participating this winter, including the renowned Cinghiale and The Capital Grille, and a (controversial) Baltimore staple, Café Hon. Three-course pre-set menus are offered at $20.12 or, with wine, $30.12. More than 40 restaurants are even offering two-course pre-set lunch menus for $15.12. If these low prices are not incentive enough, the organization is hosting a “Lunch on Us” sweepstakes this year: Each day, a lucky contestant’s awarded a $25 gift certificate. To enter and grab more information, go to the Baltimore Restaurant Week Facebook page; also visit the website. See you there. Happy eating!

Cathy Lee is our Baltimore Fishbowl spring intern — she attends Johns Hopkins.

The Boys and Girls We’ll Always Be: Poetry by Leslie F. Miller


Leslie F. Miller’s sexy and daring debut poetry collection, BOYGIRLBOYGIRL, will be published this spring by Finishing Line Press. In Leslie’s own words: “The collection is about the boys and girls we know. It’s about the boys and girls we are. Betsy Lerner, literary agent and author, calls it, ‘anxious, angsty, and full of longing.’ She says that in my best poems I find ‘the loneliest knife in the drawer and [sharpen] it.’ Richard Peabody, editor of Gargoyle, calls my poems ‘arty’ and ‘electric.’ My daughter likes this book, too, though she thinks I’m a little weird.”

To pre-order by March 5th, and help determine a hearty press run, please go here.


you’d expect a girl named penny
to keep a bright one in each shoe
but penny had a feather
blue-black spear that poked an inch
beyond the toe
made the teacher glower
speckled egg
in a world of white
could spell parasite
before the class could read
had dogs to eat her homework
but chose the crows
pages poked with three-toed feet
composition with pointed beak
math with funky white out
oh penny I loved you then
your mother’s rescued birds
all those feathers
on the checkerboard floor
black silk beneath our summer feet
frost white polish shining on our toes
I pocket what I find
but thirty years of pennies is a mountain
thirty years of feathers and still I cannot fly   

improper noun right out of the womb
always hitching over the side
of your swim trunks
to wag your thing at a girl.
jimmy, sweet, sweet noun
and never enough of you
like your Sunday morning offering
behind the church rectory—
summer’s possibilities ahead
ours all gone.
swollen verb
wrestling bra hooks and buttons
shaking everything loose
heart jacking.
you were born to drive the big rig
haul ass with lumber and tools
made to wedge dirt beneath your nails
hammer all the pretty girls.
you were always so good
with your hands.
twenty-two years
and my skin still remembers.
twenty-two years
you’re still under there.   


The Failures of "Smart Growth" in Maryland


Smart growth — the anti-sprawl urban planning theory that encourages transit-oriented development, walkable city centers, and mixed-use development — sounds like, well, an intelligent idea. No wonder our governor is a proponent. But despite the best efforts of O’Malley and other interested parties, Maryland experts think our state’s potential for smart growth is weak, and being threatened from many sides.

The University of Maryland surveyed planners, developers, and land-use advocates — all stakeholders in the growth of our region. For one, the state has designated special areas — Priority Funding Areas, or PFAs — for smart growth development. But UM’s survey found that the planners and developers preferred to work outside of these PFAs, largely because of the various regulations and ordinances they have to follow.

As a result, the current system “is barely moving the needle on most widely accepted measures of smart growth,” says Gerrit Knaap, head of the university’s National Center for Smart Growth. Knaap’s report argues for more flexibility in the system.

What do you think is the best way for Maryland to grow?