Monday, December 30, 2019

God's Belly Button Fluff

The Swedish Language Council’s "new word list" contains 35 words that became part of the daily conversation in 2019 – not necessarily brand new words. Here are three of them:

aspludd: A dusting of aspen tree seeds that blanketed parts of Sweden in May was coined "God's belly button fluff" by a biologist.

dra รฅt helvete-kapital: Cash savings you can use to quit your job, leave a cheating partner, walk out the door without having to stop to worry about money aka 'go to hell capital'.

gretaeffekten: The positive effect teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has had on environmentally-friendly behaviour.

Via PfRC

The Butterfly Map

Butterflies is a Leaflet powered map which allows you to explore images of butterflies from the Natural History Museum's digital records. The map shows over 150,000 butterflies which have been organized, classified and mapped using deep learning.

Zoom in and click on a butterfy to find out more about it.

Read more: Maps Mania

Crate Stacks 2019

Munich-based  photographer Bernhard Lang's aerial photos show beverage industry crates as you've never seen them.

Via Petapixel

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Decade in Dumbasses

Will the past ten years go down in history as the dumbest decade ever? Futurism has compiled a list of the idiots, morons and rubes who made the 2010s insufferable. From anti-vaxxers to Elon Muskrats to congress, they're all here.

Via MetaFilter

Sunday Links

Baby Yodarita 

Toast the new decade with a Baby Yoda Margarita 

15 Inspiring Landscape Photographers

The Secret Afterlife of Lost German Luggage  Via Davelog

Like jazz? Here's a treat for you: The Best Jazz Albums of 2019 

Gary Janetti portrays Prince George as a cleverly snide wee boy who likes to mock his royal kin.

If you've seen The Irishman (great film) you might want to read this piece: Who Really Killed Jimmy Hoffa?  (And was the frozen salmon a red herring?)

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America's Magazines a Century Ago: The art of Joe Christian Leyendecker.

Percy the Fainting Pigeon

Wow! This would improve my abysmal air travel experience.  A review of Air France's La Premiere from Paris to Beijing Thanks Bruce!

Another end-of-year list Things Removed from Body Orifices in 2019 

The King William's College General Knowledge Quiz  has been frustrating quiz connoisseurs since 1904. The paper consists of 18 sets of 10 questions, each set covering a particular theme, which in many cases is far from obvious.

 Men would be silent and women would shed tears Chinese text messaging shorthand.

This is awful. Abandoned at sea, the cargo crew adrift without wages, fuel or supplies: A podcast

Good story: My Semester With the Snowflakes  "At 52, I was accepted to Yale as a freshman. The students I met there surprised me." Thanks Bruce!

King Herod’s Holiday Tweetstorm “So ridiculous. Christ must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned chariot race with a friend! Chill Jesus, Chill!”

Cheer up, it's not as bleak as it seems. Ten wildlife success stories to sing about in 2019 

Dine Like a Doomed Pompeiian

A mystery in the world’s oldest desert Some believe they’re footprints from the gods, others think they’re formed by dancing fairies or UFOs.

Tweet of the day

Sounds Like VanSpirit

Bringing the European Continent a little closer together with an old rusty van and some microphones.

Via MetaFilter

Music For Sunday Morning

We are going to see this guy in Glasgow in May!


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Siouxsie and the Banshees

This is great.

Squirrelly Burrito Joint

This burrito joint in Lexington, Kentucky was built for a very exclusive vegan clientele: squirrels. GirlsGirlsGirls Burritos built a popup mini version of their restaurant designed for members of the Sciuridae family. The menu featured peanut puree, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, acorns, and a variety of different nut butters.
Here's the ribbon cutting:

Here comes a customer!

Pop Culture Icons as Ancient Ruins

In his Pop Culture Dystopia series Prague-based artist Filip Hodas visualizes a post-apocalyptic future, where all that’s left behind are the relics of our not-so-distant past.

More here

Making An Agatewear Teapot

Agateware ceramics were popular in England during the 18th century. In the video below ceramic artist Michelle Erickson recreates an agateware teapot from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Making an Agate Teapot from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

Robotic Workmates

Agility Robotics has developed a pair of robots that work cooperatively. When the job is done they celebrate with a little happy dance.


Via Miss Cellania

Tweet Of The Day

A Monastery In The Sky

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The First Christmas Movie

Santa Claus, the world's first Christmas movie, was made in 1898 and was directed by George Albert Smith.

Read more about it at Boing Boing

Salvador Dalรญ's Christmas Cards Were Too Avant Garde for Hallmark

In the 1940s and 50s Hallmark began reproducing the art of Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe and other artists on its Christmas cards. In 1960 surrealist artist Salvador Dalรญ designed ten holiday greeting cards for them but eight were deemed too unsettling to use. Hallmark only produced two of the Dalรญ cards, a nativity scene and a depiction of the Madonna and Child, but traditional consumers weren't ready for an avant garde Christmas and the cards were dropped from their product line.

Images: Hallmark Archives
Via: Open Culture

Full Moon

Night skiing without artificial light

FULL MOON - Night Skiing Without Artificial Light from El Flamingo Films on Vimeo.

The Insects' Christmas

Ladislaw Starewizc's "The Insects' Christmas" (1913) is one of the earliest examples of stop-motion animation.

Spend Christmas With Jamila Woods

Here's something to listen to along with a pre-Christmas dinner cocktail. Chicago artist Jamila Woods’ wonderful LP LEGACY! LEGACY! pays tribute to legends like Eartha Kitt, James Baldwin, and Muddy Waters. She celebrates 12 of her heroes, along with the cultural lineage they have created for her.

Here is her tribute to Eartha Kitt:

Here's the playlist:

More about the album and the songs: Pitchfork

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tweet Of The Day

Via FB pal Hal

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Via Miss Cellania

Feral Hogs Are Now Building Pigloos

Images via Wikimedia Commons
Are feral hogs an ecological disaster? Planet of the Apes with pigs?  "Many experts thought the pigs couldn’t thrive in cold climates. But they burrow into the snow in winter, creating so-called pigloos — a tunnel or cave with a foot or two of snow on top for insulation. Many have developed thick coats of fur."

More: Boing Boing

Oldest Known King Eider Survived Oil Spill

Male King Eiders are super colorful sea ducks commonly found
in the Arctic waters of the Bering Sea. CC photo by Ron Knight

A male King Eider that was oiled as an adult during an oil spill in Alaska in 1996 survived 23 years after oiling and release, and according to federal banding information, this may well be the oldest known King Eider.

Read more: International Bird Rescue 

Merry Intergalactic Christmas

Toronto mom Angela Young and her two wee beasties celebrated both the 2019 holiday season and the 20th Anniversary of the Beastie Boys music video for “Intergalactic” by recreating part of the celebrated video for this year’s holiday card. They did an amazing job.

See the original video


Pretty Paper

The wonderful Canadian/Kiwi singer Tami Neilson singing a Willie Nelson Christmas song.

The Shepherd

The year is 1957, an RAF pilot is heading home from Germany for Christmas. Fog sets in, all radio communication is lost. Frederick Forsyth's “The Shepherd” read by former As It Happens host the late, great Al Maitland.

Transcript | CBC Radio

Monday, December 23, 2019

To Be Queen

 Becoming Watermelon Thump Queen in Luling, Texas is a really big deal.

To Be Queen from The New York Times on Vimeo.

By Farihah Zaman and Jeff Reichert. Read the story here:

Flowers Blooming

Via Everlasting Blort 

Little Theatres of Memory

French artist Marc Giai-Miniet is a painter, engraver, and designer. He makes eerily realistic miniature dioramas: laboratories, workshops and factories are divided into rooms or floors with specific areas where disquieting activities might take place.

Photo © Marc Giai-Miniet.

Photo © Marc Giai-Miniet.

See more


Via Miss Cellania

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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Giant Fabric Butterfly and Moth Sculptures

North Carolina-based fiber artist Yumi Okita creates large, one-of-a-kind sculptures of insects inspired by existing species.

More:  Colossal

UNICEF Photo of the Year 2019 Is Heartbreaking

© Hartmut Schwarzbach, Germany (Argus Photo Agency) 
Only the rats like it here. The harbour of Manila’s Tondo district: here, the children make a living by fishing plastic bottles out of the bay’s polluted water and selling them to recyclers. With a bit of luck, they can earn 50 Philippine pesos a day, about 90 euro cents.

Hartmut Schwarzbach, born in 1956 in Elmshorn, studied photo design and photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund. The living conditions of children in Asia and Africa have been his main focus as a photographer and documentary filmmaker.

More here 

Jingle Bells (mongolian version)


Adult Wednesday Addams

Wednesday Addams is all grown up and it's time for her to get a haircut.

Via my FB pal Hal

Music For Sunday Morning

Sunday Links

Photograph Collection of a 19th-Century Sexologist Via Everlasting Blort

One hundred news stories that gripped the world in the 2010s 

I can't think of a fucking thing to tell you, except that I'm always in the market for fine mescalin. An Xmas Letter From Hunter S. Thompson

Listen to Brian Eno's mournful cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"

Definitely an espace atypique: Former cooperative cellar with a Brutalist architectural style 

Sensible Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Chop off your shoulder-length hair, wrap it around your decommissioned womb, and return it to the heavens inside a paper lantern.

What Lies Beneath The Painted Hallways at SF Art Institute?

'Dude With Sign' holds up signs that capture what people are thinking.

Gary Larson’s Sketchbook -

Meet the artist who designed a hotel room that’s difficult to stay in. By making life difficult for visitors, Christopher Samuel wants to give them a taste of the access problems faced by disabled people. Via

Before and After: See the Amazing Results of the Restored Ghent Altarpiece

How To Unroll a Fragile 2,000-Year-Old Buddhist Scroll: First, construct a humidified chamber.

A brief history of the BBC Christmas Tapes 

Siberian hermit, 75, who ‘lives in 18th century’: Agafya Lykova is the last of a family that settled on the Bolshoi Abakan River in the 1930s and lived in isolation until a geologist search party stumbled on them in 1978.

According to every Christmas movie I’ve ever watched, Christmas spirit is in great peril every year. That’s why we need overpriced fondue pots more than ever. The 2019 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog

Photographs of refugees living in the decaying health spas of the Soviet Union 

Vegan roast roadtest: The vegan ham, once cooked, is vibrantly orange. Offensively so, according to my mother, who has left her slice uneaten on the side of her plate. My father has, miraculously, gone back for seconds. He will regret this later.

Copycat Ikea Swedish Meatballs 

"I always said that when my time came I’d want to go fast. But where’s the fun in that?" The Art of Dying

A new study shows an animal's lifespan is written in the DNA: Humans have a “natural” lifespan of around 38 years, according to a new method we have developed for estimating the lifespans of different species by analysing their DNA. Thanks Bruce!

If the Niagara Frontier is bombed : what to do in case an atomic attack. Now I feel prepared. Via FB friend Hal

A Personal Act of Reparation  The long aftermath of a North Carolina man’s decision to deed a plot of land to his former slaves Via

Icebound - The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship's logbooks

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Tweet Of the Day

30-plus years of ‘Garfield’ comic strips at auction

Cartoonist Jim Davis is offering up more than 11,000 “Garfield” comic strips hand-drawn on paper in an auction that will stretch into the coming years. The strips featuring the lasagna-eating feline span from the launch of "Garfield" in 1978 to 2011, when Davis began drawing the comic digitally. They will be offered exclusively through Heritage Auctions over the coming years in a series of Signature, monthly and weekly Sunday Internet Comics, Animation and Art Auctions.

Read More

It's The Longest Night Of The Year

Biscuit Tin Democracy

Photograph: Twitter/NZ Parliament
In New Zealand a 30-year-old biscuit tin has become a mainstay of parliamentary democracy. Laws that MPs have proposed to be debated in the house are represented by plastic bingo counters in an old biscuit tin labelled "Members’ Bills." Each plastic counter represents a bill, and when there is space on parliament’s order paper for a fresh round of proposed laws, a member of the parliamentary service digs into the tin for a lucky dip.

Read more: The Guardian

World War II Escape Scarves

During the second world war, the British army created a secret organisation called MI-9, in charge of providing the pilots with escape means. Christopher Clayton Hutton, a RAF skilled pilot, developed a set of objects for that purpose, the escape scarf being the most iconic object of the set.

More here
Via Everlasting Blort

Friday, December 20, 2019

Things you shouldn’t bring to a Christmas party

Wrong Hands

Can Red Reclaim His Spot As King of Deers?

Once a legend, hero, and leader of the pack, Rudolph now lives alone in a trailer on the outskirts of the North Pole.

Via Geekologie

Tweet Of The Day

Winter Solstice in Latvia

In the Baltics many traditions survive from the ancient pagan celebrations of the winter solstice – the longest night of the year. Over the centuries these old pagan traditions have blended with the Christian ones.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Photo essay: The last glass-eye maker in Britain

As the last maker of glass eyes in Britain, ocularist Jost Haas reflects on a trade that combines intricate craftwork, medical knowledge and psychological support.

"Tucked inside a well-kept but entirely ordinary-looking house, on a cherry tree-lined street in deepest suburbia, Jost’s workspace is a tiny front room, with blank white walls and carpet tiles on the floor. It has two desks in it – one for paperwork, the other littered with eye-making kit, including numerous glass rods and a gas Bunsen burner, which is hooked up to the mains. It’s here that Jost makes protheses while his patients watch and wait in a chair tucked to one side."

Read more: Wellcome Collection

Circle World

Holiday season got you down? Take a  journey through a magical world that is eternally creating itself. It's seriously distracting.

Via MetaFilter

Street Map Haiku

I think this is so clever! OpenStreetMap Haiku is a map that will write you a personal poem based on your current location. I shared my Niagara on the Lake location and they gave me this haiku:

Via Maps Mania

DIY Baby Yoda Christmas Ornament

Someone fetch me some scissors and some glue. Ima gonna make this.
Via Boing Boing

The World's Most Expensive Airplane Ride

YouTuber Casey Neistat got to travel in ultimate luxury in exchange for making a video of the experience. I am green with envy.

Via TwistedSifter

The Liverbirds

In the mid-1960s, four teenagers from Liverpool were changing the face of pop music. Their names were Mary, Sylvia, Pam and Val.

More: The New York Times

Tweet Of The Day

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Walking Bicycle

I don't know why you'd want one but here you are:


Pickle Man

 Facing certain death by ALS, Arthur Cohen decides to leave a legacy of pickles.

Pickle Man from Nastasya Popov on Vimeo.


Tweet Of The Day

Requiem 2019

In this film, directed by Rutger Hauer and Sil van der Woerd, the last remaining blue whale shares its story of extinction with its only enemy: mankind.

Requiem 2019 from Sil van der Woerd on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Frosty the Cheeseball Man is a jolly happy soul

Kitschy cook, Charles Phoenix, has created a dish that's destined to become a Bellamy holiday tradition: Frosty the Cheeseball Man.

Check out his new book, Holiday Jubilee, for more retro festive feasting.
Via Boing Boing

What If Earth's Age Was Just One day?

Take a 24-hour trip through the history of our planet.


Dual Axis Optical Illusion

A Lissajous curve appears to rotate around a vertical axis when viewed regularly or when moving your head from side to side, but appears to rotate around a horizontal axis if you move your head up and down.

Via Geekologie

Monday, December 16, 2019

Tweet Of The Day

From Fish To Candle

The eulachon’s buttery flesh is so rich in oil that a dried fish will actually light and burn like a candle. Watch eulachon being caught, processed, and used as candles.

Via Weird Universe

Cake House Looks Like A Crack House

This confection is decorated with graffiti and trash. Yum!

Via English Russia. I did an image search but couldn't find any information on the confectioner.

The world's first 3D-printed neighbourhood

Photo: Joshua Perez

New Story, a nonprofit whose aim is to end global homelessness, is using a giant 3D printer called the Vulcan II to create new homes in rural Mexico for people earning less than $3 per day. Each one takes 24 hours to build and lets local families upgrade from a shack to a two-bedroom house.

Could this be part of the global housing solution?

More here

The Prado Museum Updates Masterpieces to Illustrate the Impact of Climate Change

The melting of glaciers, rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather events will not leave any continent intact. The Prado Museum collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund to digitally update four paintings for the recent Madrid Climate Change Conference that illustrate the urgent need for action on climate change.

Read more: Open Culture

Porsche 356 - 90 Cabrio

Jordi Reixach makes a miniature version of a Porsche 356 - 90 Cabrio model, at 1: 6 scale, piece by piece.

See more of his creations at his site.

Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tweet Of The Day

Optimist or imbecile?

Mice Brawling in London Tube Station

Station Squabble is a perfectly timed photograph by Sam Rowley taken for the Natural History Museum in London's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Via  Insider

The Deep Sea

The Deep Sea is an interactive page  where you scroll down into the ocean to see the depths at which different animals and plants dwell. Try it, it's fun.

Via Kottke

Sunday Links

World's oldest extant basketball court - 1893, Paris (above) Via 

A Twitter feed showing composers doing normal shit Via FB friend Hal

The Kentucky Cardinal, a bourbon-centric cocktail named after the nightly train service that once connected Chicago to Kentucky. Bottoms up!

Back in the USSR by doll photographer Lara Vychuzhanina

You might never be a Nobel Prize winner but you can eat like one: This Restaurant in Sweden Offers Every Meal Served at the Nobel Banquet Since 1922

Mining Accident Dolls

Chalkdust puzzle Christmas card 2019: The card looks boring at first glance, but contains 9 puzzles. Via Futility Closet 

Tipsy, the Expert Midtown Mouser Who Helped Police Solve a Murder Two weeks after the body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a Connecticut mill pond, a cat helped police find the murder weapon in the East 40th Street apartment where the woman had been killed. Via

Cyclist creates festive reindeer on map app

 The community of the deodars: Altadena’s Christmas Tree Lane 

Repairing a hand-knit sock with a knit-in-place patch You're welcome.

A decade of destruction in New York City  Via PfRC

A Drive Around Lake Michigan in November, Searching for One Thing or Another

Purple Rain and She’s Gotta Have It Among 2019 Picks for National Film Registry

The Last Shakers? The last members of the celibate sect whose population has been in decline since the Civil War.

82 Vintage Cookbooks, Free to Download

The adorable Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago are decorated for Christmas. Link

DIY Rocket Inspired Atomic Camper

When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away  Mr. Long had become a chimera, the technical term for the rare person with two sets of DNA.

 9 Rules of Wile E. Coyote 

The story of these children was horrifying. For some it didn't get much better. Ceausescu's Orphans 30 years later

Music For Sunday Morning

Friday, December 13, 2019

Picturing a Voice

In the late 1800s Welsh singer and philanthropist Margaret Watts-Hughes invented a device called an Eidophone that combined the auditory with optical phenomena. It consisted of a mouthpiece leading to a receiving chamber, over which was stretched a rubber membrane, or diaphragm. Her experiments with this device involved sprinkling a variety of powders onto its surface, then singing into it to see how far these powders would leap. Beautiful images were produced by placing the Eidophone's diaphragm face up: the figure would then be sung into existence, and the glass plate then placed on top to capture it. She called the images "Impression Figures".

Single pitch Impression Figure by Margaret Watts-Hughes, pigment on glass, date unknown.
 Courtesy of Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Plant forms, an Impression Figure by Margaret Watts-Hughes, pigment on glass, date unknown.
Courtesy of Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Plant forms, an Impression Figure by Margaret Watts-Hughes, pigment on glass, date unknown.
Courtesy of Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Vegan Gamers Can Finally Enjoy Christmas Dinner In A Can

Everyone knows that gamers have more important things to do than to cook a Christmas dinner. That's why UK-based video game retailer GAME invented the easy peasy Christmas Tinner in 2013. The company finally realized that vegan and vegetarian gamers were wasting away at their keyboards and has released  animal-free varieties of its table for one in a can.

One turn of the can opener and a nine course meal is served.


Festive Dogs 1990 - 2015

Bristol based photographer Peter Thorpe has been making wonderful Christmas cards featuring his two rescue terriers, Paddy until 2002 and Raggle since 2004.

Festive Dogs 1990 - 2015 from peter Thorpe on Vimeo.

Via Everlasting Blort

Conserving one of the oldest photographs in MoMA's collection

Lee Ann Daffner, MoMA’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservator, explores the sensitive chemistry of removing tarnish from early photographic images.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

J'adore Mr. Bean

Christian Dior's ad for the new J'adore Absolu fragrance stars the always glamorous Charlize Theron. crookedpixel decided that embedding Rowan Atkinson, of Blackadder and Mr Bean fame, into it would make it even more sublime.

See the original ad 

Via Boing Boing

Natural Mystic

This drone footage of Sam Favret skiing through the solitude of the Aiguilles Rouges of Chamonix is breathtaking.


Car Turn

I want a car that can do this.

Thanks Bruce!

The Deer Mother of Winter Solstice

Taking flight from the darkest longest night of the year, she brought the life-giving light of the sun back to the land, in her antlers.

Remembering The Deer Mother of Winter Solstice from Danielle Prohom Olson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How a new alphabet is helping an ancient people write its own future

In the 1980s, two kids in Guinea in West Africa took out pens and paper and started drawing. They drew curves, straight lines, arches. They were constructing letters.

They wouldn’t have dreamed that the script they invented would change lives and open the door to literacy for millions of people around the world. Read about two brothers who created an alphabet to help keep their culture and language from dying out.

The Big Data of Big Hair

A public dataset of 37,921 portraits was culled from yearbooks from 115 American high schools in 26 states between 1905 and 2013.

View the full interactive here


Alphabets Heaven

Music video for Alphabets Heaven takes you on a strange noir journey.

Via everlasting blort 

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