Monday, February 29, 2016

Keaton Music Typewriter Demo

Basic demo of a rare 1953 music typewriter. The Keaton Music Typewriter looked very different from a regular typewriter. It had two keyboards, one which was moveable and one stationary.

The Keaton Music Typewriter was first patented in 1936 (14 keys) by Robert H. Keaton from San Francisco, California. Another patent was taken out in 1953 (33 keys) which included improvements to the machine. The machine types on a sheet of paper lying flat under the typing mechanism.
More here

Alberta Temperance Posters c:1912

The Temperance Movement, which advocated against excessive consumption of alcohol, first emerged in organized form in the early 19th century in England and the United States. In Canada, prohibition legislation was passed by individual provinces. These posters outlining the evils of drink were circulated in Alberta, which outlawed alcohol in 1916, but allowed it to be sold again in government stores after a plebiscite in 1923.

More here

Japanese Inventor Offers Weaponized Wig to Trump

Celebrity inventor and “Greatest Scientist in History” Dr. NakaMats throws his support behind the Republican front-runner in the form of the mightiest weapon known to man: Guard Wig. The Guard Wig was originally created as a tool to prevent molestation with the first models available in blond and dark brown. However, this time Dr. Nakagawa has created a new one suited just for the billionaire’s specific tones and highlights.

The diagrams from Guard Wig’s patent show it with and without metal spikes
and shows how it may easily be thrown from the top of the user’s head.
The wig contains a chunk of iron inside (possibly with spikes) along with a coiled strap that can be used to retrieve it after being thrown at the fallen enemy.
More: RocketNews24:

The Leap Day Bachelor List of 1888

Today is February 29 aka Leap Day, once recognized as the only day women could propose marriage to men. In honour of the day Meredith Mann of the NY Public Library Collection Department has posted a 'bachelor list' published by Chicago's Daily Inter-Ocean in December 1883. The editors had evidently decided that women could make better use of their quadrennial opportunity if they had a better lay of the marriageable land:

More:  The New York Public Library

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Could Secret To Feline Longevity Be Coffee And Red Wine?

Jake Perry is an 85-year-old Texas plumber who may have discovered the feline fountain of youth. Two of his cats have broken the Guinness World Record for oldest cat. A part Sphynx, part Devon Rex named Granpa Rexs Allen made it to age 34; the second, a mixed tabby named Creme Puff, lived to age 38.  According to Perry about a third of his many cats have lived to be at least 30 years old—about twice the average feline life span.

Jake holding a photograph of Granpa, who lived to the age of 34.

I'm not sure I'd want to have a houseful of geriatric cats that might outlive me but read this story, it's interesting.

Leap Year Explained

Why do we get an extra day in February this year?

Via  Holy Kaw!

A Spectator Holds Up A Sign At The Academy Awards, April 1974



The Temples of Angkor

American videographer Tyler Fairbanks shot this video over 3 days during a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Music by Gregory Noblin.

Kiss my ass

In 1970 Attorney General of Alabama, 29-year-old Bill Baxley reopened the 16th Street Church bombing case that had resulted in the deaths of four African-American girls in 1963. He received a lot of criticism including a threatening letter from white supremacist Edward R. Fields, founder of the "National States' Rights Party" and "Grand Dragon" of the New Order Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
In his reply Baxley did not mince words:

Letters of Note

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Random Photos Turned Into Exciting Movie Posters

For the past two years Redditor Your_Post_As_A_Movie  has taken random photographs and turned them into movie posters for films you’d want to see. Using a variety of filters and clever manipulation techniques, ordinary images are “moviefied” and made to look more dramatic with a title, tagline, and list of actors/actresses in starring roles.


Exercise AND Wash Laundry With This Eco-Friendly Bicycle

The Bike Washing Machine is a human-powered washing machine that encourages you to multitask and conserve water while boosting your fitness. It was designed by students at Dalian Nationalities University in China.The pedals help spin and rotate the front wheel, which is actually a clothing drum. Any excess energy created by burning off calories is used to power a display screen that keeps the cyclist aware of the wash cycle’s progress.

I wonder how much pedalling it would take me to complete a wash cycle.  If I couldn't finish a load in one session it wouldn't be very useful.

More: MyScienceAcademy

How Great Artists Depict Winter

Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565)

Winter scenes, technically more challenging than summer ones, were relatively
rare in western art until the early Renaissance. One of six panels representing the
seasons (though only five survive), Bruegel’s vastly detailed masterpiece marks a
major shift from symbolic representation of the seasons, the previous European
  tradition, to an exclusively secular scene. It is a fine winter day, and townsfolk are
skating and playing hockey, but the hunt has not gone well.
The hounds look exhausted, and the hunters have just a single fox among them.

The Magpie by Claude Monet (1868-69)

Monet was a master of the winter scene – he painted more than 100 of them,
and when Edouard Manet saw the Impressionist’s snowscapes he abandoned
any effort to make his own. This is Monet’s largest winter painting, depicting
a single black bird on a fence in Etretat – but what’s most thrilling about the work
 is the shadows on the snow, done not in black but in a convention-shocking blue.

The Drum Bridge and Yuhi Hill at Meguro by Hiroshige (1857)

One of the images from One Hundred Views of Edo, his wildly popular series of
ukiyo-e prints, this image depicts a rare stone bridge in the city we now call Tokyo.
Captured at an oblique angle, the bridge seems dwarfed under the snow-filled sky,
and the passersby, shrouded under bamboo hats, get lost in the landscape.
Hiroshige’s winter scenes are perhaps his most sensitive; under snow,
even the big city feels impermanent.

More sublime paintings here

Freedom Sculpture

This powerful piece by American sculptor Zenos Frudakis is located at 16th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process." - Zenos Frudakis

Read more 

Thanks Bruce!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Secret Life and Art of Henry Darger

Henry Darger was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian. He has become famous for his outsider art which was only discovered after his death. This documentary tells us about his life and art

Altoids Tin Martini Kit

Learn how to make a Martini kit from an Altoids tin because who knows when a gin and vermouth emergency might arise? You will need an Altoids tin, some tiny bottles (the smallest one is from a miniature Tabasco sauce bottle), a tiny ziploc bag, a folding paper cup (about the easiest origami there is), and the stopper cannibalized from a dollar store water pistol.

More: Instructables

Amazon Japan Opens Dedicated “Cat Store”

Amazon Japan recently opened up a Cat Store to help cat owners find the perfect gift for their pet, offering more than 26,000 cat-related items - cat food, collars, toys, litter boxes, cool bed tents,  cat towers, scratching posts and more.

Joyce, my cat, disdains attempts to pander to her species. She prefers a piece of crumpled paper to a catnip mouse and our upholstered furniture to the six scratching posts we have strategically placed around the house. But if she was a toy loving feline I would definitely buy her a military tank.

More here

What Separates Humans From Animals

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clocktower Atop Police Building Slashes Asking Price

The 5,500-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse apartment that contains the elaborate domed clock tower atop the former New York City Police Headquarters has cut its price 12% to $35 million. Now that it's so affordable perhaps I'll put an offer in.

The dome contains the home’s circular living room, which has ceilings roughly 25 feet high and views of the Empire State Building. Four sets of French doors lead out to terraces and balconies. A space above the living room, which had previously been used for clock maintenance, is now an entertaining space where the tower’s four clocks can be seen (and heard) up close. Steel beams inside the dome are visible above.

 Via WSJ

Las Lajas Sanctuary

This South American Church in the middle of the Guáitara river canyon in Colombia looks like a European castle.
Image Credit Flickr User Houston Marsh
The canyon was the site of a Marian apparition in 1754. Legend says that the Blessed Virgin appeared to an Amerindian mother and her deaf and speechless daughter who had taken shelter in the canyon during a storm. Immediately the daughter gained the ability to speak and hear. A blind man travelled the area collecting funds to build a place of worship at the site. When he had collected enough money a small chapel was built and the man miraculously regained his eyesight. The current magnificent structure was built between 1916 and 1949.

More Kuriositas

A Collection of Impossible Dogs

Impossible Dogs by Grant Snider on Incidental Comics


The Dowager Countess' Finest Burns

Downton Abbey is one of my favourite shows and I shall miss it now that it has run its course. Maggie Smith's character, the Dowager Countess, could always be relied upon to deliver wonderfully acerbic quips. Here is a collection of her best:


World's Loneliest Chimp Hugs Human Visitors after Years of Isolation

Pens the chimp's tragic story began thirty years ago, when he was abandoned off Africa’s Ivory Coast along with 65 other chimpanzees that were used by the New York Blood Center (NYBC) for hepatitis research. Over time the others died. After three years of isolation on a remote island, Ponso finally received a visitor this year – Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center. The lonely chimp’s happiness was obvious from his ear-to ear-grin and the way he almost immediately hugged Estelle when she reached out to him.

Unfortunately, his joy was short-lived as he had no choice but to return to his life of solitude after his human visitors left. The Humane Society of the United States is currently trying to raise money for Ponso and other chimps abandoned on remote African islands and a group called SOS Ponso has started a crowdfuning campaign that has already surpassed its €20,000 goal. They plan to use this money to provide food and urgent veterinary care for the world’s loneliest chimp.

A Taste of Vienna

It took one week of planning each frame, one year of production and 2 TB hard drive space to create this time lapse video.

A Taste of Vienna from FilmSpektakel on Vimeo.

Produced by:
Thomas Pöcksteiner // Peter Jablonowski

Via Blog on a Toothpick

If I Fits I Sits

Leeds-based baker Insomnia Tulip, of Lou Lou P’s Delights, created these sandwich cookies with cats cosily curled up in sinks.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Paper Dioramas Of Scenes From Wes Anderson Films

Spanish artist Mar Credo's cut paper dioramas include scenes from Wes Anderson films. So far, he's recreated scenes from The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Royal Tenenbaums.

The Darjeeling Limited
Margot and Etheline Tenenbaum from “The Royal Tenenbaums”

The Grand Budapest Hotel


Music Video Featuring The Winners Of Blackboard Art Contest

After a pair of students from Kochi Nishi High School won a chalkboard art contest to find classroom artists who could turn a chalkboard into a masterpiece, they were approached by the band White Jam to create a new piece of art that would become the “blackboard version” music video.

More about the process at RocketNews24

Snap, Crackle, Beat!

The Rolling Stones shilling for Rice Krispies because nothing shouts rock and roll like a bowl of breakfast cereal.

Brian Jones co-wrote the jingle with the J. Walter Thompson ad agency. It was shown in England in 1964.


Rare Giant Jellyfish Bred at Zoo Vienna

Zoo Vienna has successfully bred a rare sea dweller, Giant Jellyfish Rhizostoma luteum, for the first time in captivity. The baby jellyfish are about 4 centimetres tall and are now on exhibit in the Zoo’s Aquarium. When mature the Jellyfish has a bell diameter of up to 60 cm (2 ft) and can reach a max weight of 40 kg (88 lb).

More: ZooBorns

Thanks Bruce!

Monday, February 22, 2016

London's 7 Official Walking Routes

This video from Londonist shows the city's seven official walking routes — from behemoths like the London Outer Orbital Path to the manageable-in-a-day Lee Valley Walk.

Download a tube map of walking routes here.

Mark Ryden - The Gay 90's: West

"Memory Lane" is an automaton diorama by Los Angeles artist  Mark Ryden . It was part of the exhibition The Gay 90's: West at Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles CA.


Watch Kandinsky Create an Abstract Composition

In this brief film from 1926, we get to see the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky as he turns a blank canvas into one of his distinctive abstract compositions.

New Travel Posters From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

These posters by NASA for cosmic tourists were created by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s design studio, assembled to help scientists plan future missions and to connect those ideas back to the public.

The posters are available free for downloading and printing at:

More here 

Thanks, Lemon

Hank Green muses on the loss of his greyhound Lemon, as the camera remains fixed on his feet.

The Physics Of The Perfect Chocolate

Image credit: Moyan Brenn of flickr, under c.c.-by-2.0,

The flavor and texture of a perfectly prepared chocolate is unlike any other culinary delight in all the world. Yet if you’re not careful, your chocolate could wind up a disaster:
  • it could be crumbly in texture
  • it could have “lumps” or a graininess to it rather than a silky smoothness
  • it could be dull or waxy in appearance
  • it could get that gross white coating on the outside, known as chocolate bloom.
Knowing the science of chocolate will help you avoid these pitfalls.

More here


Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Business Cards Of The U.S. Nuclear Program

The business cards of the companies that helped build America's nuclear program, collected in Rolodexes by engineers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1960s and '70s, give us an unusual glimpse into the transformative technological project.In 2012 the Center for Land Use Interpretation acquired a set of seven rolodexes from the dispersed collection of former Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Ed Grothus, who operated a salvage company of lab cast-offs, known as The Black Hole.
Matthew Coolidge is the founder of the The Center for Land Use Interpretation and the force behind Los Alamos Rolodex: Doing Business With The National Lab, a project and book that examine the cards.

Via Doobybrain

Place Your Kitty Under The Protective Paw Of Bastet

In Ancient Egypt cats were held in the highest esteem and penalties for injuring or killing one were severe. They worshipped Bastet, a Cat Goddess, often represented as half feline, half woman. The main center for the worship of Bastet was at the city of Bubastis. Large catteries were maintained by the Temple priests and a vast cemetery of 300,000 mummified cats has been excavated outside the city. Thousands of small cat sculptures, probably left with offerings to the Temple by devotees, have also been recovered at Bubastis.

The Cat Museum of San Francisco will place your kitty under the protective paw of Bastet. Just click here. (Due to a huge number of requests there is a waiting list).


The Last Colour Carbon Transfer Printer in Canada

John Bladen Bentley has spent 15 years perfecting a form of colour printing from the 19th century. He spends five days making a single photographic print. He is one of only four men worldwide who can still do the complex process of colour carbon transfer printing.

Bentley has no apprentices. "I've had students who have begged me to show them what I do. But after a week, once they see how difficult it is, they leave."

NASA's message to aliens

In September 1977, NASA launched Voyager I from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The craft carried a golden record that contained a message to aliens from the people of Earth. Here's what it said.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright Animated Video

In 1957 this conversation with 90 year old architect Frank Lloyd Wright aired on The Mike Wallace Show. Brooklyn creative agency Quoted Studios extracted audio excerpts and paired them with animated graphics to create this six-minute video.

More here

That Time Hunter S. Thompson Ran For Sheriff

In 1970, Hunter Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, on a Freak Power ticket, His platform promised to sod the streets, legalize marijuana, ban hunting and fishing to all non-residents, disarm the sheriff department's deputies, put dishonest drug dealers in stocks, and change Aspen's name to "Fat City."  Here's a documentary about the ill-fated campaign:

More here

How To Win An Election

Political advisor Mark McKinnon explains how candidates use the art of storytelling to win elections. I worked on and managed election campaigns for more than two decades and I agree that a good story is key.

How to Win an Election from The New York Times - Video on Vimeo.


Vintage Prams

When my boys were babies I used a huge black vintage pram. One day I took them for a walk and Number One Son got tired so I plopped him into the pram with Son Number Two who was about three months old at the time. The weight at the foot end of the pram caused the rusted hinges at the head end to let go, catapulting baby Patrick into the air. He landed on the sidewalk with a thunk but his flight through the air didn't faze him at all. I immediately purchased a new carriage with all the bells and whistles but I do love the designs of the older models.

More at  I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet

The Tarkhan Dress

The survival of highly perishable textiles in the archaeological record is exceptional; the survival of complete, or almost complete, articles of clothing even more so. It is therefore remarkable that a garment has been dated by University College London researchers to between 5,100 and 5,500 years old. That places it way back to the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt, and possibly even earlier.
Known now as the Tarkhan dress, it was originally discovered in 1912 in an ancient Egyptian cemetery near Cairo. Archaeologists didn’t think much of it at the time, letting it languish in a “great pile of linen cloth.” Then, upon its rediscovery in 1977, it was sent to the Victoria and Albert Museum for conservation and its true age was revealed. It is the world's oldest dress and the oldest woven garment known to archaeologists.

IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light

No more stumbling around in the dark when you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night! Using high tech motion sensors, the IllumiBowl toilet night light turns off and on automatically as soon as you enter the room. Set it to the color of your choice or let the LED do the work with its color-rotate mode with eight hues to enjoy.

Save 15% on the IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light in the Boing Boing Store.

Tiffany Glass Dome at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago

The stained glass dome design depicts four trees, the trunks of which arch towards the oculus of the dome, while their leaves, rendered in autumnal colored drapery glass, form a canopy against a turquoise sky. Each lay-light panel features a central area of green and white striated glass, framed by a band of drapery glass leaves, in turn framed by a border of emerald green drapery glass.

Perfect Roast Vegetables

This formula will give you perfectly roasted veggies every time.

Make a lot. Serve some as a side or as a main over pasta, in a frittata, on a pizza, in a stew with beans or with some sauce under puff pastry.  Make a soup with pureed veggies and milk or coconut milk. Go wild.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Burning the Holy Moose

This project was carried out by students in environmental art at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. After reading texts on the old mythology about the moose and the importance of fire and offerings they created a common story of offering a wooden moose to the gods. A 7 meter tall wooden moose was built in the Finnish wilderness and offered to the gods, as part of a costumed drama act. Local people collaborated and attended the final event.

Thanks Bruce!