Monday, April 30, 2018


A wry collection of life’s everyday contradictions.

IRONY from Amy Nicholson on Vimeo.

Jeremiah Denton Used Blinks To Inform About POW Torture

Jeremiah Denton was held for almost almost eight years as an American prisoner of war in North Vietnam after the A-6 Intruder he was piloting was shot down in 1965. During his captivity Denton was forced to participate in a 1966 propaganda interview which was broadcast in the United States. While answering questions and feigning trouble with the blinding television lights, Denton blinked his eyes in Morse code, spelling the word "TORTURE", confirming for the first time to U.S. Naval Intelligence that American POWs were in fact being tortured.

Denton was awarded the Navy Cross, the Nation's 2nd highest military honor for his heroism as a P.O.W.

This Is What Your Tongue Looks Like When You Talk

Watch this real-time MRI film of people speaking and singing. You can see the lips, tongue, soft palate, and larynx moving together to form words.

It looks kind of creepy but fascinating.

Via Miss Cellania

Get In The Swing Of Things

Chinese insurance companies offer lower health premiums to those whose phones register 10K steps a day. Mark Rowswell, aka Chinese comedian Dashan, tweeted that a restaurant in China is offering a "swinging cradle" for its patrons to hit their daily steps quota while dining, drinking, and smoking.

Via Boing Boing

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Canuck Black

In this animated short directed by Rebecca Archer a homicide file lies open in front of two frustrated cops. Behind a one way mirror sits their main suspect, a hulking black bear named Canuck Black.

CANUCK BLACK from Rebecca Archer on Vimeo.

The Million Dollar Mermaid

Australian champion swimmer Annette Kellerman was a vegetarian, teetotaler, and firm believer in women's physical liberation. One day, in 1907, while training at Revere Beach in Boston for a race, she wore her signature one-piece men’s bathing suit instead of the confining women’s bathing costume of the era. She was arrested for indecent exposure. While already well known as a swimmer she became even more famous after the arrest. She used her fame  to preach a new kind of healthy, active, holistic lifestyle for women. “When I say exercise and diet will make a woman healthy and beautiful, I don’t mean she’ll have a classical nose and gorgeous blonde hair,” she told The Pittsburgh Leader. “I have about three hairs myself and I don’t approve of my nose at all. I mean a woman can acquire vitality, health, magnetism and symmetry.”

The 1952 biopic “Million Dollar Mermaid” starred Esther Williams as Kellerman

More here 

Music For Sunday Morning

Sunday Links

Little Egyptian faience model of a hedgehog (above) from a tomb at Abydos, made around 1,500–1,300 BC @AshmoleanMuseum

Guidelines for Handling William Faulkner's Drinking During Foreign Trips From the US State Department (1955)

The Summer of ’78 2,924 color slides, pictures made in parks across New York City’s five boroughs late in the summer of 1978. No one had looked at them for 40 years. Lots of bell bottoms, no cell phones.

50 Ways The World is Getting Better: A reminder that progress is there even when it doesn’t feel like it.

What would most delight a serious Joni Mitchell fan?  How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording?

Scarlett O’Hara House’s neighbor in Beacon Hill is on the market  The 1,795-square-foot townhouse at 3 Rollins Place in Beacon Hill abuts the so-called Scarlett O’Hara House which, as it turns out, is not really a house at all.

In the Place Where Prince Lived Rebecca Bengal and photographer Alec Soth, his onetime next-door neighbor, went looking for the places Prince had called home.

Roman Recipes and the Senses: The most famous recipe book is Apicius’ De re coquinaria or On the subject of cooking. I'd make the mussels with lentils but I appear to be out of liquamen and defrutum.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty of reduplication: Have you ever been to Baden-Baden or Walla Walla? Have you worn a tutu or a lava-lava? Have you eaten a bonbon or suffered from (let’s hope not!) beriberi?

I would love to see this new exhibition in Tokyo that traces Japanese lifestyle changes through vintage graphic design and products 

A Window into the World of Diane Arbus Photographs from the portfolio, “A box of ten,” reveal some of the photographer’s secrets

HotDiggety Dog! The Kennel Club In Piccadilly Has A Whole Dog Library

Feeling the Love from Japan's Traditional "Boar Eye" Inome Window It looks like a heart but is thought to have originated from the shape of the eye of a wild boar and has been around for over 1400 years. Via

How Gabriel García Márquez Created a World in a Sentence
: The novelist Mary Morris explains how the opening line (above) of One Hundred Years of Solitude shaped her path as a writer.

 How Much Fish How big would a fish have to be before a cat can't steal it?

Find out more about your name Type in any name and see its origins, statistics and popularity rankings. There have been 371k Marilyns in the US since 1880.

The American Scholar's list of the ten best sentences in English literature.Via 

Short-lived, almost-forgotten satire mag ‘Americana’ took a shiv to FDR’s America Publishing historians cite it mainly for two things: its impressive roster of contributors and its exceedingly brief publication run. Via

The Online Bicycle Museum A nice collection of vintage children's bicycles

Deli Meat Clerk Helps Picky Cat Choose The Right Meat 

Giant, Intact Egg of the Extinct Elephant Bird Found in Buffalo Museum. Fewer than 40 such eggs are held in public collections today.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

London Slang Map

ARGOTOPOLIS, The map of London slang is a collaboration between Adam Dant and Jonathon Green, lexicographer of slang, organised around relevant locations in the capital.

Click here for larger image
Here are a few that caught my eye:

Open Your Kimono: to reveal one’s business plans

Sleep with Mrs Green: to sleep in the open air

Snob’s duck: a baked sheep’s head (which is far cheaper than a real duck)

Wrinklies: old people

Paddington Spectacles: the sack which is placed over the prisoner’s head prior to the hanging
More slang: Spitalfields Life

Adam Dant's MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND can be ordered here

Video game inspired by Syrian refugees

Bury me, my love is a video game about the conflict in Syria. The aim of the game is to try and get a refugee to safety in Europe.

The Phantom Of The Airport

Pepper the cat has become the feline phantom of JFK Airport. She escaped from her carrier at the airport’s International Terminal over a week ago and remains on the loose, disappearing into the super structure above the airline kiosks when approached.

More here

Soviet Spy Camera

This gold ring is actually an extremely rare fully functioning Soviet-era spy camera used by the KGB.

It’s being sold on eBay with a Buy It Now price of C$25,000.

Last Great Master of Ukiyo-e

I leave my brush in the East
And set forth on my journey.
I shall see the famous places in the Western Land.
Across his lifetime Utagawa Hiroshige is thought to have produced a colossal 8000 prints. The Public Domain Review has gathered highlights from the collection housed at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Unexpected Rainfall on the Big Bridge at Atake, 1857

Blooming Irises in Horikiri, 1857

Friday, April 27, 2018

Cold War Soviet Spy Map Quiz

From 1950 to 1990, the Soviet army created incredibly detailed maps of much of the world, Can you guess the world city from its cold war Soviet spy map?

Requiem Pour Pianos

Photographer and pianist Romain Thiery accompanies his images of abandoned pianos for his Requiem for Pianos series. Lovely.

Via Boing Boing

Teacher in Ghana Teaches Computer Programs Without A Computer

Owura Kwadwo Hottish teaches Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in a rural farming community in Ghana, and he does it without a computer. Hottish improvised with a detailed chalkboard diagram that showed everything you’d need to know about the type of program.
His creative improvisation has drawn worldwide attention. Hottish was invited by Microsoft to attend their Education Exchange conference in Singapore, and the company has partnered with him to provide both devices and software for the students as well as professional development for its teachers. Normal Gadgets, a cell phone and computer repair shop in Bloomington, Illinois, refurbished and donated 20 laptops to Hottish.

More here

Wayaland, your place in the future?

Wayaland is a concept from architect Pierpaolo Lazzarini that takes its inspiration from Mayan architecture and Japanese temples. It is a floating city comprised of modular pyramids with housing, hotels, shops, spas, gyms, bars and cinemas that aims to provide a new offshore living experience within a self-sustainable community.

WAYA from Lazzarini Design on Vimeo.

Lazzarini has launched a crowdfunding campaign to initialize the building process of Wayaland with a smaller, two-floor module. Starter homes will set back prospective residents £350,000.

More here 


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Paternoster Vents 2002

Paternoster Vents, also known as Angel's Wings, is a stainless steel installation by Thomas Heatherwick in Paternoster Square, London that illustrates design working effectively with function. The sculptures are fabricated from dozens of identical stainless steel isosceles triangles, welded and finished with glass bead blasting. They act as ventilation shafts for an electricity substation in the basement underneath.

The original plan called for an unsightly large block adjacent to the offices, essentially filling the space and turning an open square into an alley.

Via IanVisits

What happens to your car after you drop it off at the dealership?

Daniel Sheikhan left his Mercedes AMG dashcam on when he dropped it off for service. He was not pleased when he watched the footage and discovered that the transmission service he paid $700 for never happened.
*WARNING: very nasty language.



Photos for mom

St. Petersburg-based photographer Albina Galeeva is 38, is not married and has no children. Fatigued by maternal and societal expectations to achieve these milestones she decided to show everyone that she's doing just fine. She put an ad on various dating sites, inviting men to act out the dating, sex, marriage, honeymoon and children scenarios that she has not achieved in real life.

More: The Calvert Journal

Project aims to sequence all species on Earth

 The Earth Biogenome Project (EBP), an international initiative scheduled to be officially launched in 2018, has an ambitious goal: to sequence the DNA of all known species on planet Earth over a period of ten years.

Read more

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Notes On A Scene From Grease

Grease director Randal Kleiser breaks down the now-iconic "You're The One That I Want" scene.

'À La Mode' Is a Lonely Survivor of a French Culinary Code

Cherry pie à la mode. ALOHA75/CC BY 2.0
Today most of know that the term à la mode on a menu refers to desserts topped with a scoop of ice cream but in America, à la Nesselrode and à la Maryland are à la gone.
In the 19th century, high-end restaurants in America didn’t lengthily describe their menu offerings. Instead, brief, meaningful wording indicated to diners the sauce and cooking style of their meal. According to Henry Voigt, one of America’s foremost menu collectors and scholars, people who encountered these terms on their menus quickly understood what they meant.

More: Gastro Obscura

Eerie wedding dresses at Beirut seafront 2017

Comey's Cheeky Cocktails

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Border collies run like the wind to bring new life to Chilean forest

In 2017 the worst wildfire season in Chile's history turned 457,000 hectares of landscape into a charred wasteland.

A crack team was brought in to help restore the damaged ecosystem. Border collies, Das, Summer and Olivia, were outfitted with special backpacks full of seeds and set loose to race through the ruined forests, dropping seeds along the way. The hope is that these seeds will take root and sprout, bringing the forest slowly back to life one tree at a time.

More here

The Rubik's Contraption

See a Rubik's cube being solved in 0.38 seconds. Don't blink.

Read more about it here.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The World Inside a Spanish Globe

This globe (c. 1907) is unlike any other currently known. Inside are beautiful illustrations, encyclopaedic entries and a planetarium that re-enacts the revolution of the planets around the sun at the turn of a cog.

The World Inside a Spanish Globe from Cambridge University on Vimeo.

It is part of the collection of the University of Cambridge’s Whipple Museum of the History of Science.


Where the Amish Go on Vacation

"Each winter, for close to a century now, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families have travelled from their homes in icy quarters of the U.S. and Canada to Pinecraft, a small, sunny neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida. Arriving on chartered buses specializing in the transportation of “Plain people” from areas such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio, they rent modest bungalows and stay for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. It’s vacation. For many, it’s the one time of the year that they spend with people from communities other than their own."

Photography by Dina Litovsky

More: The New Yorker


This short animation by Seoul-based motion graphics artist Kwon Oh Hoon asks the question "What is the first thing you think of when you wake up on a Monday morning?"

MONDAY from KWON OH HOON on Vimeo.

Lovely Music : Rachael Yamagata - Duet


The Pigeon Photographer

These turn of the century aerial photographs were taken by birds. They are from a book about Dr. Julius Neubronner who developed the camera to track the flights of his pigeons. The camera was harnessed to the pigeons and would automatically take pictures during their flight.

More here 


How to draw with colored pencils on black paper

Artist Kathleen Darby takes viewers through her step-by-step process of drawing a colorful bird on black paper.

Via Boing Boing

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Charm Bracelet Tells The Tale Of Life Inside a Concentration Camp

Some 140,000 Jews—including numerous musicians, writers and artists—were held in the Theresienstadt ghetto labour camp. Greta Perlman, a young Czech Jew, was one of them. While there she assembled a charm bracelet that documents her four years surviving the Holocaust. Internees were sometimes able to make artworks clandestinely in the camp workshops, but a large group of charms like this is very rare. They were either given to Perlman as personal mementos or collected by her in exchange for food, when she worked in the camp kitchen. She may have gathered the pieces into a bracelet later, in the United States. 

The bracelet is currently on view as part of the newly installed permanent collection at the Jewish Museum of New York. 

Pickle, Biscuits And Dog Poo: A Stink Map Of Bermondsey

Artist Steve Overbury has combined Bermondsey's nostril-catching qualities in days gone by into a fantastic hand-drawn map of the area.
Click here for a closer look

Buy it here

Via Londonist

Sunday Links

Inside the Strange World of Dried Hummingbird Love Charm Trafficking

Stories Behind 10 Of The Most Haunted Paintings In The World  Via

The Haunted Monkey Jacket; Or The Unexpected Hazards of Second-Hand Clothing

The Happy Dilettante: One Poetry Lover's Life in Poetry, Illustrated (April is poetry month)

The Long Way Home When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the crew of an American seaplane were caught off guard near New Zealand. Unable to return across the Pacific, they were forced to fly home “the long way” — all the way around the world.

Can You Guess What America Will Look Like in 10,000 Years? A Quiz

Going somewhere? Ultimate Female Travel Packing Lists... to everywhere  Via

Levittown:William Levitt did more than anyone else to invent the nightmare we know as suburbia. Levitt wouldn't sell to any family that wasn't white.

 Self-confessed bevpert, kfan, reviews the Sonic Peanut Butter Fudge Shake (he thought it was amazing) Via

How to (Almost) Get Away With Murder: Three healthy people died at 3635 Pitch Pine Crescent in Mississauga, Ontario, in less than four years. In this in-depth multimedia piece at the Toronto Star, Amy Dempsey unravels how a series of missteps and errors at every phase of the investigation nearly allowed one couple to get away with murder — three times.

Architectural wander: a walking tour of Tbilisi’s eclectic neighbourhoods Now I want to go there!

I can’t hear you. Excessive noise is the top complaint diners have, ahead of service, crowds, or even food issues. Restaurant noise levels are climbing. Here’s how to fight back

"This story starts with my dog taking a shit on the bathroom floor, and ends with me cleaning out a meth house." Via

The House On Ancaster Creek By Williamson Williamson This treasure is not too far from where I live.

Despite limited access to the internet Improvisation Is the Heart of Cuban Animation 

Illustrated Guide to Updated Fairy Tale Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts  Via

Winnie Fritz was a farmhand at 6, a Army nurse unit commanding officer in Vietnam in 1970 at 22, a nurse to presidents and kings at Walter Reed at 23, a pilot, and the clinical operating officer of an international health system at 31.  Thanks Bruce!

The Jealous Wall: The Trendy Fake Ruins of 18th-Century Europe

Any Sandy Denny fans out there? I worshipped her. Seven and a Half Short Notes on Sandy Denny

Musical World Map

The Man Who Saved Havana As its greatest old buildings were falling down, a fearless historian named Eusebio Leal remade the city into a stunning world destination. Many years ago I arranged a tour of Niagara on the Lake for a group of Cuban architects who were working on the Havana restoration - Leal may have been one of them, I'm not sure. I was so happy when I finally visited Havana and got to see their work.

A trove of wonderful vintage film footage at guy jones YouTube channel. Via

The Willendorf Venus crochet pattern Via

Music For Sunday Morning

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Snow Rollers

Thousands of round, hay bale-shaped snowballs littered the countryside in northern Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin a few days ago. This phenomenon is the result of a very specific set of weather conditions:
"A light layer of snow with a certain moisture content needs to be on top of a harder packed layer of snow. The top layer needs to be light enough to be blown by the wind, but wet enough to stick to itself as it travels over more snow."
More here

Motion Design

Felipe Mahalem is a motion design director working at R/GA and living in San Francisco. He began @fmahalem as a project for research and development in 3D and animation.

Via Cross Connect Magazine

Fox cub gets head stuck in a wheel!


Who's a good boy? Max is.

Why Did These Beautiful Doomed Octopuses Pick Such An Inhospitable Place To Nurse Their Eggs?

Image: Phil Torres, Dr. Geoff Wheat

In 2013, geochemists sent underwater vehicles to explore the Dorado Outcrop, a rocky patch of seafloor off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Two miles below the waves they found hundreds of beautiful purple octopus mamas huddled around the vents, incubating their eggs. They belonged to an undiscovered species in the genus Muuscoctopus  which are known to be loners, yet these were grouped together in dense clusters.
The group was doomed. Muuscoctopus only breed once in their life, producing eggs, protecting them and dying once their offspring swim away. But why did these mothers choose a spot that could not support their eggs?

Jennie Trout

Today's Google doodle is Jennie Kidd Trout. She was the first woman in Canada to become a licensed medical doctor, in March 1875 and was the only woman in Canada licensed to practise medicine until July 1880, when Emily Stowe completed the official qualifications.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Don't Believe In Vaccines?

The Salk vaccine was developed in 1952, tested in 1953-54, then used widely.


The storytellers who read aloud to Cuban cigar rollers

In a practice that started in 1865 and still continues today, lectores (storytellers) in Cuban cigar factories read to the workers while they roll cigars.


3D Printed Roman-Style Helmet

This 1st Century Roman inspired helmet, printed entirely out of 316 stainless steel and SLA plastic, was created by


Fistful of Stars

Journey to the Orion Nebula and experience the birth, life, and death of a star.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Adorable Vespa Revamp

The Vespampère is a electric revamp of the vintage classic from 1948. A mobile phone becomes an integrated component, effectively serving as the vehicle’s dashboard.

More: Urbanist

20 Years of Lauryn Hill

As Lauren Hill embarks on her The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour 2018 this mini documentary by Nerdwriter’s Evan Puschak celebratess her music, influences, and people she’s influenced.


50,000 Year Old Stew

In 1984, a few guests gathered at the Alaska home of paleontologist Dale Guthrie to eat a stew crafted from a once-in-a-lifetime delicacy: the neck meat of an ancient, recently-discovered bison nicknamed Blue Babe. I hope these dinner guests appreciated well-aged meat because Blue Babe had perished 50,000 years ago.

More: Gastro Obscura

Airstream Launches Trailer for Spontaneous Adventurers

Airstream has launched a compact, lightweight fiberglass motorhome called Nest. It's easy to tow and was designed for the spontaneous traveler.

It's awfully cute but I suspect that the US$46,000 price tag would make it unaffordable for most people.

More here

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bat Bot

Scientists have created a fully self-contained, autonomous flying robot that mimics bats.

Thanks Mr. Nag!

An Artist Excavates the Neglected Histories of a Gentrifying Neighborhood in Detroit

The Cass Corridor neighborhood has been one of the most hyperbolic examples of the impact of gentrification on Detroit. In her 65-minute documentary, Last Days of Chinatown, Nicole MacDonald explores the history and erasure of a once-thriving Chinese population in the area and the displacement of the poor and “unimportant” people to accommodate the march of progress.

Last Days of Chinatown Trailer from Nicole Macdonald on Vimeo.

Read more

World’s Fastest (Backwards) Runner

After a career-ending knee injury, Aaron Yoder discovered he could run in reverse, pain-free.


Underground Circuit

" Underground Circuit is a collage of hundreds of video clips shot in the subway stations in New York. Station to station, the movement of the commuters in the outer rings suggests the repetitive cycle of life and urban theatricality and texture. The inner-most ring includes people sitting on benches waiting; the central drummers act as the controller of the movement, inspired by the concept of the Four-faced Buddha in Chinese folk religion, the god who can fulfill and grant all wishes of its devotees."

Underground Circuit from Yuge Zhou on Vimeo.


Jessica So Ren Tang's Cultural Embroidery

With embroidery, Jessica So Ren Tang explores her Asian-American born identity - the dualism of being too Asian to be American, and too American to be Asian.

Everyday Plastic

Photograph Ollie Harrop/Everyday Plastic

Keeping all his plastic for a year forced  Daniel Webb to rethink. He accrued a mountain of the 4,490 plastic items he used in a year and made it into a mural, now on display at Dreamland in Margate, England. The project is entitled Everyday Plastic.

We are overproducing and overconsuming, he says, and recycling is not the answer.

 More here

How Birds Get Oxygen Inside Their Eggs

This episode from NPR's Skunk Bear channel shows the system that allows chicks to get oxygen while they are still in the shell.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

1958 Nash Metropolitan converted to an electric vehicle

Someone is selling this super cute 1958 Nash Metropolitan that runs on batteries for $12,500. It has a range of 45-55 miles. I want it.

More: Boing Boing

Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo

Cleo was a young Cree girl who was apprehended by child welfare workers in Saskatchewan in the 1970's. Her siblings say she was stolen, and then raped and murdered while trying to hitchhike back home, her body left at the side of the road somewhere in the United States. This is an absolutely riveting podcast series.

More here

Jason vs The British Milk Council

Jason's out of a job but he's not going to take it lying down.
Donna at The British Milk Council wasn't amused:

Voices from the Deep

Voices from the Deep is an exhibition at in London's Postal Museum that displays a selection of over 700 personal letters that have been trapped at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in a sunken ship for nearly three quarters of a century.

"It shouldn't have been preserved, but because there was no light, there was no oxygen, it was darkness, it was like putting a collection of organics in a tin can, sealing it up and putting it in a fridge freezer."

Try Our White House Specials

Is the insane news cycle driving you to drink? Cartoonist Gemma Correll suggests you try one of these politically themed cocktails to take the edge off.