Wednesday, July 31, 2013

90 Seconds of Paris

I used to visit Paris every year. This video reminds me that it's been awhile and a trip to the City Of Light might be in order.

Paris Impressions from Sebastian Weitbrecht on Vimeo.

Via The Paris Blog

Scrabble Player's Business Card

Competitive Scrabble player's business card has the allowable 2-letter words on the back.

Via Twitter 

Live Through This: Documenting One Woman’s Struggle with Heroin

Tony Fouhse, an Ottawa based photographermet Stephanie MacDonald, a young heroin addict, in 2010.
His book Live Through This documents her recovery.

More at LightBox

Capital Children's Choir Covers Crystal Castles, "Untrust Us"

The Capital Children's Choir, a group of 120 angels aged 7 to 18 who have performed for the Pope and with the Spice Girls, do an eerily brilliant cover of Crystal Castles'  Untrust Us, using only their voices and hands.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
Choral arrangement by: Rachel Santesso
Recording engineer: Andrew Dudman

Via The Hairpin

What Love Looks Like

Six micro-movies on the physics of love. By Louise Ma and Chris Parker.

What Love Looks Like, videos 1-6 from Tangible Graphics on Vimeo.

Via The Curious Brain 

How to Survive a Plane Crash: 10 Tips That Could Save Your Life

While the odds of being involved in a plane crash may be slim, they’re not zero. If it happened to you, would you know what to do to increase your chances of walking away?

Be fast, fit and sit near an exit on a large plane.

More at  The Art of Manliness

Strad 1711 duet Ain't Necessarily So

"The Antonius" Violin, Antonio Stradivari (ca. 1644–1737), Cremona, 1711. Ex. 3
"It Ain't Necessarily So" from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin (1898–1937), arranged by Jascha Heifetz (1901–1987). Performed by Sean Avram Carpenter and Gabriela Martinez, piano.

Violin, Bequest of Annie Bolton Matthews Bryant, 1933 (34.86.1).
Organized by the Department of Musical Instruments The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

RIP Tillie, Unofficial Pinnacle Guide Dog.

"Tillie hiked the mountain as often as 10 times a day and stayed loyal to whatever group she started out with."

Tillie, a 13-year-old Border Collie mix was a fixture around the Indian Fort Mountain Trails and accompanied hikers on their hikes. The much loved mountain guide dog passed away recently.

More at The Queen is not Amused...but I am or at Tillie's Facebook Page

Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrity Lunch Time Recipes

Or perhaps you prefer this:

More at  World of Wonder

Tumbleweed Tango

A balloon dog is lost in a world of danger. One wrong step and his dancing days are done. Only love, and tango, can possibly save him.

Tumbleweed Tango from HUMBLE TV on Vimeo.

Thanks Bruce1

She bears an unfortunate resemblance to Joyce.

My cat is sad because she was young and needed the money, but now the pics have become public.


 Mirror City Timelapse from Michael Shainblum on Vimeo.
Via Colossal

Gas-Proof Pram

It's like going for a walk in an iron lung.
Via Vintage WTF

Guitarist Randy Bachman Demystifies the Opening Chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

The opening chord of the Beatles’ 1964 hit, “A Hard Day’s Night,” is one of the most recognizable sounds in rock and roll history but for a long time no one could figure out how it was done (although there has been much speculation). Legendary Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist Randy Bachman unravels the mystery on his CBC radio show, Randy’s Vinyl Tap (one of my favourite radio shows).

More at Open Culture

Sunday, July 28, 2013

What the Drone Saw

In this new video installation by Omer Fast, a former US drone operator in Afghanistan and Pakistan reveals why 5,000 feet is the optimum flying height for a combat drone.

The film deals with the lives of a fictional drone pilot but is also mixed in with interviews from a real life drone pilot.

Francis Bacon's Paintbrushes On the Auction Block

Paintbrushes and a signed book given by Francis Bacon to Clive Barker, a fellow artist.
Photograph: Christie's Images/PA

A set of artist Francis Bacon's paintbrushes will be auctioned at Christie's in South Kensington, London in September and are expected to fetch around £25,000.
Bacon gave the eight brushes to fellow artist Clive Barker in 1978 are in a paint-splattered butter bean tin encased in a Perspex box.
Head of sale Charlotte Young said: "Out of the Ordinary is a tightly curated one-off sale offering a unique opportunity to acquire something a little different from Christie's South Kensington. Each lot has been selected as either visually striking or with an intriguing story to tell, and many have never before been seen at auction.

More at the guardian

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daleks And The TARDIS In Your Drink

Put a a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants in your G&T.

Buy the ice cube tray here

Via I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet

Superhero Tan Lines

By Australia-based illustrator Mike Jacobsen, buy it here
Via Laughing Squid 

Dog Power

Curious History has posted vintage drawings of working dogs from bygone times. They were apparently called "dog engines". When I was a little nag I used to cry when I heard stories about poor little turnspit dogs.

The Turnspit Dog, 1500-1900 - A dog specifically bred to run on a small wheel in order to turn meat so it would cook evenly. This took both courage, to stand near the fire, and loyalty, to not to eat the roast. Due to the strenuous nature of the work, a pair of dogs would often work in shifts. This most likely led to the proverb “every dog has his day."

Sad Dog Diary

This has probably been around the block a few times but it's new to me.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Oscar's Restaurant Too Good To Be True

Oscar’s in Brixham, Devon, first appeared on TripAdvisor in May. It received glowing reviews and climbed above 37 other establishments in the rankings.
It was praised for its “mind-blowing”, “simply divine” “perfect” and “amazing” culinary creations that “bordered on sorcery”, with some even suggesting it ought to be awarded a Michelin star.
Do you want to dine there? Me too but alas Oscar's is just a figment of someone's twisted imagination.

More at the Telegraph

Cheeky Veggies

The vegetable creations at the Lambeth Country Show are very clever.

Arty choke’ featured a cabbage Charles Saatchi throttling
a red pepper Nigella Lawson and was truly brilliant.

The Boris Johnson figure won first prize.

Hand Drawn1890 Map of Midtown Manhattan

Title: Map of Midtown Manhattan, from 34th Street to 59th Street and from 1st Avenue to 6th Avenue.

Publisher: Sun Manhattan, 1890.


Via Kottke

Salty Alice: 1909

Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee

Three newsgirls waiting for papers in Hartford, Connecticut. The newsdealer says Alice Goldman, the tallest girl, uses viler language than the newsboys do.  They sell until 7 or 7:30 p.m.
Via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beautiful Hydrangeas In Niagara This Year

Paradise Lost?

Photographer, Josephine Pugh, took photos of this derelict manor house in Berkshire, which was abandoned 26 years ago after its last inhabitant died at the age of 96.

The house was built in 1848 on the site of an earlier manor that, according to records, was rented from 1632 to 1638 by John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost.
More at Curious History

Manuel Cosentino's Behind a Little House Project

Italian photographer Manuel Cosentino photographed a small house from the exact same location for nearly two years but the focus of the Behind A Little House Project was not the building itself but the dramatic changes  in the sky just beyond the horizon.

Via Colossal

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


What Teachers Make

 One of the most well known pieces by Taylor Mali, a teacher and slam poet, tells the story of a smug lawyer scoffing at the idea of becoming a teacher because teachers don’t earn much money. The beginning of the poem sets the scene for the second half, in which Mali shreds the mocking lawyer to pieces.

22 Words

Finders Keepers

Gallerist and poet Scott Zieher found a collection of snapshots of gay bikers from the ’60s and ’70s while doing laundry in his apartment building. He didn't know the man who owned them, but the superintendent told him he’d passed away. There was a large glass container of coins the super wanted to keep, otherwise the rest was up for grabs.

More at The Morning News

The Whirling Stilt Dancers of Anguiano

The “danzatores” of Anguiano, Spain are 8 young men in skirts, on stilts who dance and spin during the annual Danza de los Zancos (Stilt Dance) celebration. The video gets interesting at 2:03.

Art Treasures Saved From The Dumpster

Image: Ángel Franco/The New York Times

Darryl Kelly was called in to clean up the apartment of a reclusive hoarder who had died there. The dead hoarder was photographer Harry Shunk who had once been semi-famous and had collaborated with Yves Klein, Christo and Andy Warhol. Amidst the junk that filled 7 dumpsters Kelly found a number of neatly packaged boxes which he kept. When he eventually opened them he found some amazing stuff: "sketches and three-dimensional maquettes by Christo; large-format photographs of the artist Yves Klein directing naked women dabbed in paint; lithographs by Andy Warhol and Paul Jenkins; a menu handwritten by Larry Rivers; museum posters; gallery fliers; magazine clippings; a packet of gold leaf belonging to Mr. Klein."
I guess he won't have to clean out the apartments of dead people any time soon.

Read the whole story at the New York Times.Via ikono

Friedrich Nietzsche's Typewriter

Some of you may know that I have another blog. No one reads it. Most days hits don't go above the double digits. I was pleasantly surprised to see that more people were stopping by today because Dangerous Minds and Nerdcore picked up this post:

Friedrich Nietzsche's typewriter, a Malling-Hansen Writing ball, model 1878.
Photo taken by Dieter Eberwein.
Copyright: The Goethe and Schiller Archive, Weimar, Germany

Friedrich Nietzsche received his writing ball in 1882. It was the newest model, the portable tall one with a colour ribbon, serial number 125, and several typescripts are known to have been written by him on this writing ball. We know that Nietzsche was also familiar with the newest Remington typewriter (model 2), but as he wanted to buy a portable typewriter, he chose to buy the Malling-Hansen writing ball, as this model was lightweight and easy to carry — one might say that it was the "laptop" of that time.
More at The International Rasmus Malling-Hansen Society

(My poor little blog hasn't received this many hits since Kurt Vonnegut died and I'd coincidentally posted his Rules For Writing the previous day.)

Via My Own Private Book Club

The Scrapbooks of Ernest Hemingway's Mother

On Ernest Hemingway’s 112th birthday, the John F. Kennedy Library (which has an extensive Hemingway collection) released, in partnership with the author's foundation, five scrapbooks made by Grace Hall Hemingway, his mother.

This letter from Ernest as a child is sweet:

Dear Mother,
I got your card thanks very much. Our Train was 2.25 minutes late!! so no school.
The Program is all changed around lunch at a different time and alot of other changes. There was a report circulated around that I was drowned and some of my pals thot I was a ghost. May I PLEASE have SOME LONG PANTS. Every other Boy in our class has them, Lewie Clarahan Ignatz smith and every other little shrimp. My pants are so small every time I wiggle I think they are going to split. And I have about 8 or Ten inches of wrist below me cuffs thusly.
Please say I can have them long ones.
Your drowned son
Ernest Hemingway
P.S. My shirt buttons all fly off when I take a full Breath

More at  The Hairpin

Via My Own Private Book Club

The Big Build

Goodyear builds its newest blimp in the company's Suffield, Ohio hangar.


Dave Jordano Photography

I like the work of Chicago fine art photographer Dave Jordano. Below are images from his Prairieland series.
New House Flanking Farmland, Bloomington, Illinois, 2007
Hobby Horses, Route 24, near Weston, IL 2007Chicago fine art
Prairieland / Small Towns

His current project, Detroit Unbroken Down, documents the cultural and societal identity of his hometown Detroit.
See more of his work at Dave Jordano Photography

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to escape from a car sinking in water

Michael Lutzky/The Washington Post

●Open the window as fast as possible — before you hit the water, if you can, or immediately afterward.

●Stay still, with your seat belt on,until the water in the car goes up to your chin. Then take several slow, deep breaths and hold one.

What to do next?


Medieval Pet Names

People in the Middle Ages kept dogs, cats, birds, monkeys and many other kinds of animals, showed them affection and gave names to their pets.

In England dogs were  given such names as Sturdy, Whitefoot, Hardy, Jakke, Bo and Terri. Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of King Henry VIII, had a dog named Purkoy,  from the French ‘pourquoi’ because it was very inquisitive.

Domestic cats were known as Gyb – the short form of of Gilbert – and that name was also popular for individual pet cats. Meanwhile in France they were called Tibers or Tibert was generic name fo domestic cat in France – Tibert the Cat was one of the characters in the Reynard the Fox animal fables.
Other names for cats included Mite, who prowled around Beaulieu Abbey in the 13th century, and Belaud, a grey cat belonging to Joachim du Bellay in the 16th century. Isabella d’Este also owned a cat named Martino. Old Irish legal texts refer to several individual cats and names them: Meone (little meow); Cruibne (little paws); Breone (little flame, perhaps an orange cat), and Glas nenta (nettle grey). An Irish poem from the ninth century describes how a monk owned a cat named Pangur Bán, which meant ‘fuller white’.

Medieval Pet Names
Via Kottke

Everybody Street

Everybody Street is a new documentary featuring iconic street photographers such as Ricky Powell, Martha Cooper, Jamel Shabazz, and Jamel Freedman - all of whom managed to capture the raw essence of New York City through its artists, graffiti writers, junkies, and street people. The film is directed by Cheryl Dunn, a photographer who has been documenting NYC for over two decades.
More at HUH

Breaking News


Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler

“Tall, aren’t you?” she said.
“I didn’t mean to be.”
Her eyes rounded. She was puzzled. She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.
—Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

The above quote in the Paris Review brought back a lot of memories.

Raymond Chandler, master of the hard-boiled detective genre, was born on this day in 1888. Once I got my first taste of Marlowe's witty crime fiction I was hooked. I read everything he'd ever written.
An eon ago a friend who knew I was an avid  Raymond Chandler fan screened a t-shirt for me with Philip Marlowe's face and the words "Not peculiar - just uninhibited" across the front. I wore that shirt until it was a faded rag.

This might be my all time favourite Marlowe quote:
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”
If you enjoy Marlowe's snappy patter you'll like this site.


The swimsuit that makes you look like the victim of a shark attack! Ramp it up with a smear of Heinz.

Buy one here


Century plant blooms in Toronto


The towering agave plant that sprouted through the greenhouse roof at Allan Gardens Conservatory has blossomed for the first — and last — time in its 75-year-old life. It will die in 4 -6 weeks.

Read more at  Toronto Star

Monday, July 22, 2013

Yayoi Kusama 1939

I've posted about Japanese writer and artist, Yayoi Kusama, before. I love this photo of her as a little girl.
Image courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc


Whitehorse City Council Commercial

Whitehorse City Council has found a way to get people interested in municipal politics.

Rediscovered Central Park Design

John Rink Plan of the Central Park, New York, March 20, 1858 Ink
and colored washes New-York Historical Society

This is an 8 ft long design for Central Park that was lost for years before being rediscovered in 2008 in an attic.  John Rink submitted it to the 1857 design competition for the site. It was more Versailles-esque than the Frederick Law Olmstead open space and wilderness design that won the competition. The plan also details a two-winged museum.

You can see it at the NewYork Historical Society.
Via Messy Nessy Chic

Would You Play Departure Roulette?

How adventurous are you? Heineken asked travelers at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to ditch their current plans for a game of “Departure Roulette.” Travelers who happened to pass by Terminal 8 were asked to exchange their current plans for new ones. I'd be tempted.

More at
Via Presurfer

Hot Dog and the City

What do you like on your dog? I like caramelized onions and mustard. Here's a cute video of hot dog preferences across the US.

Via Double Takes

Designed For Cats and Their Human Friends

The CLUC collection is designed with the psychology of cats in mind but also considers the humans they live with. Above is a nightstand/house, a feeder to share human leftovers and a toy, each one beautifully crafted.

Via Notcot

Saving the Fairy Penguins of Phillip Island

These tiny penguins are adorable. In the evening hundreds of them waddle from the ocean to their burrows on Phillip Island, Australia. In the last century people thronged to the island to see the Penguin Parade, building vacation homes that threatened the birds' habitat. They also handled the cuddly creatures, destroying the waterproof seal on their feathers. If something wasn't done quickly the tiny penguins of Phillip Island would have become extinct. Luckily a solution was found.

Read more at  io9
Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Street Photography of 19th Century London

John Thomson (1837-1921) took documentary photographs of everyday people on the streets of London. They were not spontaneous like street photographs today. Photography during that time was a calculated and time intensive process with bulky cameras and glass plate negatives.
These photographs offer an interesting insight into everyday life in London in the late 1800s.

Book cover for John Thomson & Adolphe Smith “Street Incidents” (London, Sampson Low,
Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881)
[Street Incidents]

Photographer: John Thomson
Street Doctors
[Street Life in London]
London School of Economics - Digital Library

Photographer: John Thomson
The Cheap Fish Of St. Giles's
[Street Life in London]
London School of Economics - Digital Library

Link Via Accidental Mysteries,