Sunday, April 29, 2012

Venice in a Day

There is no city in the world like Venice.

Venice in a Day  Via Mefi

Ode to L.A.

Love the Raveonettes!

Via John Gushue . . . Dot Dot Dot

Biba Nova

When I was a little Nag there was a commercial for VO5 shampoo that featured Rula Lenska. Who, you might ask, was she? Damned if I knew. I'm posting this video mainly because it's proof that this "unknown celebrity" actually existed.

The Redundant Variety Hour Via Blort

Who Ya Gonna Call?

If you're experiencing a beermergency in Atlanta you call the Beerbulance.
If you’re experiencing a beermergency, don’t dawdle. Tweet #beerbulance to @redbrickbrewing, and we’ll dispatch our lead-footed Beerbulance drivers. Remember to include your emergency and to geo-tag your tweet. And stay calm. Beer is near!

More at Laughing Squid.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Speak English Like a Brit

Here’s a list of words you’ll hear when you travel to London:

  • Tube = London Underground Network
  • The Knowledge = The cumulative knowledge of London’s black cab drivers that they have to learn to be licensed. They have to learn every street in London.
  • Boris Bus = Boris Johnson’s key platform of replacing the old London Routemaster bus.
  • Red Ken = The name of London’s former Mayor Ken Livingston who leaned VERY far to the left.
  • The Standard = What some call the Evening Standard – the evening paper dedicated to London.
  • The City = The City of London – the square mile bit of central London that goes back 2 thousand years.
  • Square Mile = The City of London also
  • Congestion Charge = Tax on all cars entering the central London congestion charge zone.
  • Silicon Roundabout = Area around Old Street that’s a hub for new media and tech companies.
  • Council Estate = Public housing

Read more at VisitBritain 

If George Clooney Will Be There I'm In!

41 people who have declared themselves to be atheists:

In case you don't recognize some of them this is who they are: Mark Twain, Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Keira Knightley, Stephen Hawking, Bill Maher, John Lennon, Ricky Gervais, Julianne Moore, Keanu Reeves, Bill Shatner, Johnny Depp, Janeane Garofalo, James Cameron, Billy Joel, Jack Nicholson, John Malkovich, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ian McKellan, Albert Einstein, Brad Pitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Jodie Foster, Hugh Laurie, Lance Armstrong, George Carlin, Morgan Freeman, Fred Armisen, Angelina Jolie, Gene Wilder (I think?), Penn Jillette, Teller, Dylan Moran, Patton Oswalt, Seth Green, Norm MacDonald, Eddie Izzard, Cillian Murphy, Jeremy Clarkson, and George Clooney.


Ouija Lunchbox

The perfect carrier for a paranormal sandwich!

Via The Queen is not Amused...but I am.

Vatican City ATMs offered Latin option

Before all you Latin speakers heave a collective sigh of relief, it appears that language option has been removed.

Via Kottke 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Posing Like a Man

Jim C. Hines poses like those dudes on trashy book covers :

He did a similar post in which he posed like women in urban fantasy covers. He wanted to point out the problematic aspects of these covers. His conclusion: "To suggest that the posing of men on covers is anywhere near as problematic as the posing of women seems, well, ignorant and wrong."

Via Miss C

CARCA, The Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association

 CARCA (Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association) is dedicated to the training and use of domestic cats in emergency avalanche rescue procedures. Joyce has expressed an interest in applying to train as a rescue cat. She has plenty of experience digging in her litter box.

You can order a T-shirt to support the group but delivery may take a few weeks because the cats have negotiated a generous napping clause into their collective agreement.

Via Look At This

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

London From The Air

Aerial photographer Jason Hawke has been gliding across the London skies once more, capturing some amazing video and photographs of the capital at night and during the day.

Via  Londonist


Helen Thomas’ husband departs for war, 1917

After breakfast, while he showed me where his account books were and what each was for, I listened calmly, and unbelievingly he kissed me when I said I, too, would keep accounts. ‘And here are my poems. I’ve copied them all out in this book for you, and the last of all is for you. I wrote it last night, but don’t read it now … It’s still freezing. The ground is like iron, and more snow has fallen. The children will come to the station with me; and now I must be off.’
We were alone in my room. He took me in his arms, holding me tightly to him, his face white, his eyes full of a fear I had never seen before. My arms were round his neck. ‘Beloved, I love you,’ was all I could say. ‘Jenny, Jenny, Jenny,’ he said, ‘remember that, whatever happens, all is well between us for ever and ever.’ And hand in hand we went downstairs and out to the children, who were playing in the snow.
Sadly he does not return.

Read more at Futility Closet

A Taste of French-Canadian Habitant Soup

I grew up in Quebec, French Canadian on my dad's side and Irish on my mum's, a common ethnic mix in that province. My mother made a few meals from scratch but pea soup was not one of them. We always had Habitant from a can. When it came to tourtiere we ate La Belle Fermiere from the freezer section of the grocery store. Although I make my own now those brands will still do in a pinch.
As for the observation that the soup is a little salty, a visit to Aux Anciens Canadiens will show that salty is how les Quebecois roll.


Ann Arbor’s Fairy Doors

 In 1993, While Jonathan B. Wright was renovating his century-old home, his young daughters made a delightful discovery: itty, bitty, six-inch doors scattered throughout the space. When opened, there were tiny railings inside that led to other miniature doors. There were even windows springing up, where lights inside would magically turn on and off.
Read more at Atlas Obscura

Barack Obama and Jimmy Fallon Team Up To Slow Jam The News

All over the web today but it's a good one.


Homemade Dalek Dress

Somevelvetmorning made a beautiful Dalek dress and uploaded her work-in-progress photos to Imgur.
Dalek Dress  Via BoingBoing

Alex MacLean

Pilot and photographer Alex MacLean has flown his plane over much of the United States documenting the landscape.  Trained as an architect, he has portrayed the history and evolution of the land from vast agricultural patterns to city grids, recording changes brought about by human intervention and natural processes.

Bruce sent me the link to this site. I spent a very long time looking at MacLean's wonderful photographs.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Juvenile In Justice

Juvenile In Justice is a project to document the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.
Photographer Richard Ross spent five years documenting 250 facilities in 20 states where young people are being held for a myriad of violent crimes and minor offenses – 60,500 nationwide on any given day.

  Read more about the Juvenile In Justice Project Via Flavorwire

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Via Now That's Nifty

Weaponizing Office Supplies

Joerg Sprave shows how to take paper, scissors, pencils, and other office supplies and transform them into dangerous weapons. If you can't make your co-workers respect you make them fear you.

Joyce Carol Vincent: How could this woman lie dead and undiscovered for almost three years?

On Jan. 25, 2006, officials from a north London housing association made a grim discovery while repossessing a bedsit apartment. Lying on the sofa was the skeleton of a 38-year-old woman who had been dead for almost three years.

Carol Morley asked herself how this could happen? She did not want this woman to be forgotten and decided to make a movie about Joyce called Dreams of a Life. 

Read the fascinating article at

Doorbell Sounds Like A Knocker

See how it works:

Bobby Petersen

Sunday, April 22, 2012

IKEA Break-Up Room

Let IKEA facilitate your breakup.

Via 22 Words

Nadine Boughton's True Adventures In Better Homes

This artist's work combines men's and women's magazine images of the 50s to hilarious effect.

Nadine Boughton's Site

Man Card

Via Sober in a Nightclub

The Hum of Zug Island

What on earth is causing the low frequency rumbling sound that has been interfering with the sleep of the residents of Windsor, a Canadian border city, for more than a year. Could it be the Windsor salt mines? Wind turbines? Ship, train or plane traffic? An underground river? The Canadian minister of foreign affairs has sent his parliamentary assistant to get to the bottom of the mystery that has sparked thousands of complaints.


Last year, seismic monitors installed by Natural Resources Canada determined that The Hum most likely emanated from the vicinity of Zug Island, Mich., a fenced industrial zone dominated by steel-making operations and described by one former employee as akin to Dante’s Hell.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Boiler Engineer Repaired His Own Heart

Tal Golesworthy had a dilated aorta but didn't want to undergo  invasive surgery, as well as a lifetime of anticoagulation therapy. Using the knowledge gained from his career as a boiler engineer he created a device that supports the aorta and has lived 7 healthy years with it.

Via  iFixit

Denver Zoo's 'School Garden to Zoo' Program

The Denver Zoo has partnered with Real Food Colorado to work with local farmers to provide fresh, local produce to the zoo animals.  The Zoo,  working with Real Food Colorado and Slow Food Denver has developed a school garden program to raise food for the zoo animals. They are currently piloting the program at four Denver Public Schools, starting with growing greens targeted for the primates. Their first harvest is planned for August or September of this year.  
The theory being if the students become enthused about growing food for the animals they in turn will be enthused about trying the food they grow themselves. 
Boulder Locavore Via Notcot

A TaleOf Two Hoodies

Artist Michael D’Antuono’s depiction of the Trayvon Martin murder.
The Daily What


Via Miss C

When Five Fingers Aren't Enough

I could use this weapon/prosthesis to add a little je ne sais quoi when I flip someone the bird.

Thanks Bruce!

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny died on this day in 1978 of a brain hemorrhage. She was only 31.
I was a huge fan and have kept the albums she put out with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay as well as her second solo album. I still remember the lyrics to all the songs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sea-Monkeys, X-Ray Spex and other things you always coveted but shouldn't have.

If you were a kid in the 50s you read comic books and the ads they carried for magical products like Sea Monkeys, X-Ray Glasses, the Charles Atlas Fitness Program, the Ventrilo Voice Thrower, the Spy Pen Radio. I wanted all of them - desperately. My mother would not front me the bread to buy them and at the time I felt deprived.

Years later when my sons were little I bought them sea monkeys and, to put it mildly, they did not live up to the hype. They were creepy little transparent brine shrimp that grew red veins in their backs before one by bloody one they died. My mother was right, they weren't worth spending good money on.

Read a great article about these disappointing products at Collectors Weekly

RIP Banana

Bruce who by his own admission is not fond of cats sent me this link, knowing I'd like it. And I did -because I like to torture myself by reading sad animal stories, wailing and shedding tears. That's how I roll.

Banana died in my arms yesterday: somewhere around 0630 counting from the time the pain stopped, maybe an hour later if you go by heartbeat. I do not know how long he lived in total; he came into my life as an adult with more miles on him that I’d care to imagine.
Read Banana's story here

1920s French Skates Were the Precursor of Rollerblades

Via Gajits

Zombie Phrenology

Understanding the natural tendencies of the undead

Via The Curious Brain 

Hover Scooter – 1960

How do you get your bounce? I must have one.

Via  La boite verte

TRASHed at Coachella 2012

Global Inheritance invited 100 artists to decorate recycling bins for their for The Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2012. Here are a few:

See more pretty bins and the names of the artists who decorated them at If It's Hip, It's Here

Tommy Tucker, the Cross-Dressing Squirrel

Tommy visiting a children's hospital

In the 1940s Washington, D.C., was more tolerant of cross-dressing. Tommy Tucker, a Washington squirrel was adopted and raised by an indulgent childless couple who loved to dress him up. He had more than 100 outfits to choose from, including such accessories as hats and pearl necklaces. He visited schools and hospitals, sold war bonds during World War II, appeared in a Paramount film and encouraged the 30,000 members of the Tommy Tucker Club to be kind to animals.

Why did he dress in women's clothes? The answer is simple: his tail interfered with pants.
Tommy died of old age in 1949.

See a slideshow of Tommy in his finery at The Washington Post

Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Creative Yearbook Portraits

This class in Russia sat behind the teacher’s desk and drew something on the chalkboard behind then that showed off their personalities. Beats my yearbook pics.

Via Twisted Sifter

Titanic Orphans

Bain News Service photo.

Brothers Michel ("Lolo") and Edmond Navratil, ages 4 and 2, whose father perished when the RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago today were known as the "Titanic orphans" until their mother was located in France. Lolo, the last male survivor of the Titanic, died in 2001.
Via  Shorpy Historical Photo Archive

Slide Into Class

A 4 storey high slide at the Technical University of Munich. 

These students won't be able to regale their grandkids with tales of walking 10 miles in a snowstorm to get to class.


50 Years of James Bond

How many can you name?

John Gushue . . . Dot Dot Dot