Friday, July 31, 2020

A Place to Bowl

Astoria Bowl in Queens is "anachronism, a vestige of the sport's mid-century heyday era... an oasis in the truest sense of the word, a place of pure recreation and levity in a city where life tends to be serious and weighty."

A Place To Bowl from Turtle Down Films on Vimeo.

Via Boing Boing

Mew, a furry, purry theremin

Meow sounds are manipulated by the direction your hand moves. And this kitty won't scratch your furniture because it has no paws!

Mew from Emily Groves on Vimeo.


Pee-wee For President!

Since Pee-wee linked to my blog earlier this week (thanks Pee-wee!) I'm going to help with his presidential campaign by plugging his nifty merchandise.

Golly, I sure hope he wins!

Available for purchase at the Pee-wee Store

Tweet of The Day



Royal College of Art students collaborated with global technology company OPPO to design products focused on humanising technology.

Matthieu Muller's Animate robotic toy-building kit is targeted at children between the ages of six and 10. It introduces them to electronics by enabling them to create toys using cardboard, batteries, cables, buzzers, sensors, motors and LED lights.

Via Things

The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy

The early fandom was a very cuddly place. Later, not so much.


Happy SysAdmin Day!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Ross McSweeney's Kinetic Wave Machine

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross McSweeney (@ross.mcsweeney) on

Via: Neatorama

All Inclusive

"The observational documentary All Inclusive drops viewers head-first into the strange rituals of tableside conga lines, captain meet-and-greets and pool cannonball contests that characterise the cruise experience."

Via Aeon Videos

Watch "The Last Days of Immanuel Kant"

Philippe Collin’s The Last Days of Immanuel Kant from 1996  follows the  philosopher as he’s anticipating his death, "yet it’s a physical comedy filled with neo-slapstick intimacy—one of the rare cinematic heirs to the works of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton."

Ultimately this is a movie about the body winding down while the mind is fully ablaze.

Read more: The New Yorker

How Ikea’s vegan meatballs are made

I like to add these little chunks of goodness to soups, pasta sauces, grain bowls, etc. I was hoping that the video would show me how to duplicate them at home since Ikea closed their pickup store in St. Catharines this past winter. Unfortunately this is not a DIY recipe but it is a good video. Stockholm-based 3D designers Studio Taktil made this advert detailing its ingredients and production process.

IKEA PLANTBALL from Studio Taktil on Vimeo.

Read More: It's Nice That

This Was a Wasteland. He Changed Everything .

Almost 50 years ago David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Working with Mother Nature, not against her, he planted grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers. He devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape.

Tweet Of The Day

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New $2 coin features work of Haida artist

The Royal Canadian Mint has launched a new toonie to commemorate the legacy of Haida artist Bill Reid on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The coin features a red and black Haida grizzly bear painted by Reid in 1988

Read more: CBC News

The first half of 2020 in 39 seconds

How do you like it so far?


Via Everlasting Blort

Tweet Of The Day

Mathematics Applied To Nature: How the bee Tetragonula builds its comb

Stingless bees of the genus Tetragonula construct a brood comb with a spiral or a target pattern architecture in three dimensions.
Figure 1. Combs of two species of the stingless bee Tetragonula showing structures of (a) target patterns (Tetragonula carbonaria), (b) spirals (Tetragonula carbonaria), (c) double spirals (Tetragonula carbonaria) and (d) more disordered terraces (Tetragonula hockingsi). Images courtesy of (a) Elke Haege; (b–d) Tim Heard.
"Bees from the genus Tetragonula specialize in sophisticated feats of architecture built from hexagonal beeswax cells. Each individual cell is both the landing spot for an egg and a building block for structures that can grow up to 20 levels high, Brandon Specktor reports for Live Science. Stingless bees’ hives can come in several shapes, including stacks of circles in a bulls-eye, a spiral, a double spiral, and a group of disorderly terraces"
Read More: Journal of The Royal Society Interface 

Macramé Baby Yoda

Everyone fell in love with Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian TV series. Now you can craft one of your own!
You can make different sizes by varying the thread (or yarn) size.

Full instructions at Make

Only in Toledo

Only in Toledo from Dan Lior on Vimeo.

If you feel inclined you can donate to help buy him a truck at

Cardboard UFO

This chain reaction experiment involves a cardboard flying saucer and 25,000 matchsticks.


Via Memo Of The Air

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pic Of The Day

The coffin of Representative John Lewis in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday.
Pool photo by Jonathan Ernst

Good morning!

Operation Fu-Go

In 1945 the Japanese launched 9,300 large, bomb-laden, hydrogen balloons, carried east across the Pacific Ocean by the jet stream at high altitudes to cause destruction and chaos in the U.S. and Canada.

Read more here

Via FB pal Hal

103 years ago today African-Americans marched to declare that black lives matter

Image: Library of Congress

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 28, 1917, nearly 10,000 African-Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, in silence, to protest racial violence and white supremacy in the United States. The “Silent Protest Parade" was the first African-American demonstration of its kind and marked a watershed moment in the history of the civil rights movement.

More here

Monday, July 27, 2020

Manhatta (1921)

Billed as ‘a study of the modern Babylon-on-the-Hudson’, the short film Manhatta (1921) captures the rapidly developing cityscape of New York in the early 1920s. It consists of 65 shots sequenced in a loose non-narrative structure, set to Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name.

Link: Aeon Videos
Via Perfect For Roquefort Cheese

Pic of the Day

Namibia - Toby Coulson

The Life of Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland died this weekend at 104. Sister of actress Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship, she’s best known for her portrayal of Melanie (Melly) Wilkes in 1939’s Gone With The Wind, despite losing the Oscar that year to fellow cast member Hattie McDaniel.

In the 1940s she successfully sued Warner Bros in a landmark ruling that became known as the “de Havilland decision” that helped break the stranglehold of the US studio system.“I was told I would never work again, if I won or if I lost,” she later recalled. “[But] when I won they were impressed, and didn’t bear a grudge."

Read more about her life and see loads of fabulous pictures: if it's hip, it's here

The Amazing Aisling Bea

Everyone could benefit from a laugh to get the week started so here you are:

Why haven't I heard about this delightful woman before?

Via Memo Of The Air

Life After Quarantine

Some of us have covid hair and 10 extra pounds.

Via my friend David.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Tape Measure Trick

That was not what I expected.

Via Miss Cellania

Pic Of The Day

Black Panther Shadows His Leopard Mate
- by Photographer Mithun H

Via  Colossal

Music For Sunday Morning

Sunday Links

Wooden Figure Of A Lady With Built-In Clavichord And Draws, c. 1780, Germany (above) Very strange.

Robert Mahar's Pinterest account is indeed a Wunderkammer Via Memo of the Air

Six Cats Under: You are a cat lady who has died. Your challenge as a ghost is to get the cats to free themselves from your apartment. Via Miss Cellania

This is sweet: When Your Outdoor Harp Session Turns Into a Disney Movie

This converted 19th-century print house in London is full of character. I love the pair of stuffed peacocks.

The Winganon Space Capsule: Oklahoma, We Have A Problem

Easy peasy DIY: Make a teddy bear out of a towel. Via Memo of the Air

Visit Cats In Art History, a virtual exhibit.

This villa in the Costa Rican jungle is breathtaking.

Update on the urgent race to develop a #COVID19 vaccine  It's not a slam-dunk. Thanks Bruce!

Social distancing signs and posters: how many kangaroos is 1.5m? 

Trailblazing Example of Accessible Design: The Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois, was built 40 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. It's beautiful.

The Class Of RBG: The remarkable stories of the nine other women in the Harvard Law class of ’59. Thanks Bruce!

London has never been this quiet in 2,000 years 

Bas Uterwijk uses AI to create portraits of famous historical figures This has made the rounds this week. It is worth a look if you haven't seen it.

The Victorian Spork 

You are poet William Carlos Williams. It is late at night and you are hungry.  Gotta Eat The Plums! 

Now they tell me! Why Painting Walls Gray Is a Mistake 

The Handwritten First Draft of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing

Photographs that document the changing prairies of the Canadian West 

You wouldn't have to circle the block for hours looking for a parking space if you had this Folding Car

What 100 Writers Have Been Reading During Quarantine

The untold stories of a working-class East London borough that pioneered rave culture

The Spawning Of Big Mouth Billy Bass Via MeFi

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Tweet Of The Day

Via Everlasting Blort

Niagara Falls tour boats highlight US and Canada's Covid-19 divide

 This video shows the different approaches that Canada and the US have taken to tackling the coronavirus pandemic – and their dramatically contrasting outcomes.

The US side of the Niagara lies within New York state, an area with a population of 19.5 million, and which has seen 414,000 Covid-19 cases and 32,000 deaths.
On the Canadian side, Ontario – with a population of nearly 15 million – has seen 38,000 coronavirus cases and 2,755 deaths.
This is why a majority of Ontarians want the Canada-US border to remain closed for the time being

Read more: The Guardian

Taylor Swift - cardigan

 Official music video by Taylor Swift performing “cardigan” – off her album ‘folklore.’

Johnnie the Tractor-Driving Monkey

"I trust him with my life driving the tractor. He can hold it on a hill and keep it from slowing down. You should see him holding that wheel as he skirts the hill and I work behind.We take it in turns to drive and toss off the hay to the sheep and cattle." - Farmer Lindsay Schmidt

Source: Weird Universe

Pic Of The Day

Bat embryo Via TYWKIWDBI 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tweet Of The Day

Via @Mekellie

Coming Out

A sweet stop-motion short about a little trans dinosaur by Cressa Beer:

Via @Mekellie


17 year old Isamu Yamamoto is one of the world’s best freestyle skateboarders. He won his first world championship in 2014 at the age of 11.

Via Kottke

Qantas' last jumbo jet draws farewell message in the sky

After half a century Qantas has retired the Boeing 747 from its fleet. The last one to leave the country drew the Qantas kangaroo logo in the sky on its way to an airplane retirement home in the Mojave Desert in the United States.

Via Boing Boing

Photo Enhancer Uses AI to Restore Old Family Photos

Genealogy website MyHeritage has launched a free, easy-to-use Photo Enhancer tool that uses deep learning technology to turn blurry or faded family photos into sharp snaps in a single click. (You have to sign up for an account)

Here's one of my husband many years ago, chosen because it was the blurriest photo in my collection (not because of the epic hair).

See more: PetaPixel

**Edit** Note that you are only allowed a few free downloads so use your free downloads judiciously. After that you are asked to pay C$269‎ per year to use the software.


Radioactive metamorphosis is a two-way street. So what about the spider who bit Peter Parker? What ever became of him?

MAN-SPIDER from Tom Oxenham on Vimeo.

Japan's New Bullet Train Is Earthquake-Proof

Japan intended to roll out this new train for the now cancelled 2020 Tokyo games. It can go 224 miles per hour, but will be capped at “just” 177 for operation. The makers also say the train is earthquake-proof because of its onboard power source and different modes for tackling dangerous track.

Read More: Popular Mechanics

An Italian Land Artist Carved Joe Biden’s Face Into a Field of Wheat

Image: Dario Gambarin

Italian land artist Dario Gambarin took 10 hours, using a tractor, plow, and rotary harrow, to carve this performance piece in a field near Verona, Italy. He titled it “Jump and Fly” (2020).
 Gambarin was inspired Biden’s words: “My own father had always said the measure of a man wasn’t how many times or how hard he got knocked down, but how fast he got back up.”

Via Hyperallergic

Pic Of The Day

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Elderly Taiwanese Couple Model Clothes Abandoned At Their Laundromat

83-year-old Wan-Ji and his wife, 84-year-old Sho-Er are dressing up and posing on social media in the clothes left behind at their laundromat and they look stunning.

A Corvid Accessory

The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project

The British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France have worked together to digitise 800 illuminated manuscripts from the period 700-1200, sharing them online for the first time. The project was funded by The Polansky Foundation. 400 manuscripts held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and 400 held by the British Library were selected because of their importance for the history of French and English relations in the Middle Ages, as well as for their artistic, historical or literary value.

The manuscripts can be viewed here and here

See highlights from The Great Canterbury Psalter

Digital Sculptures Visualize Amazonian Birdsong

Australian artist Andy Thomas created responsive abstract interpretations of bird sound recordings from his 2016 trip to the Amazon in 2016.

VISUAL SOUNDS OF THE AMAZON 2 from Andy Thomas on Vimeo.

Via Colossal

Wall Art Made From Exposed Wiring

Usually electrical wiring is hidden within walls, but September Architecture and Interiors exposed it to create wall art for a Vancouver restaurant.

More here

Pic of theDay

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In the Garden

It's been a long time since I posted garden pics. That's because it's been so hot  I have to wait until dusk to venture outdoors. Kind of like a vampire.

Rock 'n' Roll Marionettes

George Miller is a Glasgow-based artist, singer, musician and iconic pop figure who, unlike me, used his lockdown time productively. He created marionettes that are the spitting image of some of the biggest stars of rock ‘n’ roll, country, and R&B. Aren't they fabulous?

More: Dangerous Minds

Via Rusty's Electric Dreams

Pic Of the Day

John Gay photographer cycling along a London street with a step ladder strapped to his back 1943. Via @soxgnasher


Incidental Comics

Smells Like Teen Spirit Cover In Classical Latin


Tweet Of The Day

Music & Clowns

"Jamie has a rich personality – he’s empathetic, funny, and a lover of some of the finer things in life, including music, food and clowns. But because he has Down’s syndrome and is close to nonverbal, his internal world is all but a mystery to his loving family."

Music & Clowns from Alex Widdowson on Vimeo.

Via Aeon

Classical Gas - 3000 Years of Art in 3 Minutes.

This video for Mason Williams' hit "Classical Gas" debuted on The Summer Brothers Smothers Show in 1968. It was one of the earliest records to use a visual to promote it on television, making it one of the earliest music videos. Each image lasted only two film frames, or twelve images a second!

Via Boing Boing

Lost Motions

This amazing stop-motion video by Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films is created from 800 laser-cut figures.

'Lost in motions' from Black Sheep Films on Vimeo.

Via The Awesomer

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Scream And Shout And Let It All Out In Iceland

Remember Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy in the 70s? Now you can scream your lungs out into the vastness of the Icelandic landscape. The “Let it Out” campaign draws inspiration from psychological theories about the stress-relieving effects of screaming. Record your scream on the site and they’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful, wide-open spaces.

Via perfect for roquefort cheese

Tube train treadplates for sale

148cm x 10cm. Heavy metal treadplate from Craven Ltd of Sheffield
Treadplates are the heavy-duty strips of metal that sit under the doors on tube trains. Do you fancy one for your doorway? The London Transport Museum is selling these treadplates marked as CRAVENS 1961.

ianVisits cautions that they are being sold in the condition they were removed from the train in and it might take a bit of elbow grease to clean them off.

Meander Maps of the Mississippi River (1944)

Harold Fisk, a geologist and cartographer working for the US Army Corps of Engineers, drew maps of the ever-shifting banks of the Mississippi River from southern Illinois to southern Louisiana.

They look like beautiful art and you can purchase prints at The Public Domain Review.

Eight of the world's greatest gardens

I enjoy watching garden videos, even as my garden becomes dessicated and overrun with weeds. This series from NOWNESS is absolutely stunning.
Here's a preview:

Watch the whole series

Via Boing Boing

Aspic Aquarium

Remember the days when aspic was the worst horror you could imagine?

Thanks Bruce!

Advice from 100 Year-Olds

LifeHunters asked three unique and lovely centenarians what their most valuable life lessons were, and also their regrets.

Via Hypnophant

Inspired by the buzz of crickets

"Types Of Crickets" is an ambient composition inspired by stories of the beach and features a mesmerising computer-generated landscape. The crickets from the track's title were recorded by one of the artists at the very beach where the famous napalm scene from “Apocalypse Now” took place.

More:  The Calvert Journal

Monday, July 20, 2020

How To Make An 11-Layer Cake

Just look at this 11-layer cake by Brooklyn-based baker Auzerais Bellamy (no relation) made with ganache, buttercream, blondies, and devil’s food cake!

It looks too complicated for a mediocre baker like me but I've provided a link to the recipe so you can bake it and send me a slice. Please!

Recipe: Eater

Wake Up!

From The Lincoln Project

Tweet Of The Day

Via Everlasting Blort


Catspeak | 3 Quarks Daily

Dr. Wise on Influenza

 "During the 1918 flu pandemic, unmasked protesters against mask laws also abounded, but coverage of their stunts took months to move from local papers to national outlets, who eventually covered the San Francisco Anti-Mask League's strident refusals. The devastating epidemic, however, estimated to have infected one third of the world, was almost entirely absent from silent film at the time."

Read more:  Open Culture

Meditating on Bonington's 'An Estuary in Northern France'

Do you need to clear your mind? Paintings can transport us to other places. The National Gallery, London encourages us to escape to the sandy bank of a quiet shore for a slow look at 'An Estuary in Northern France'.

Amazing Armenia

Joerg Daiber's tilt shift video of Armenia is lovely.

Via Memo of the Air

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Pic Of The Day

Moxibustion therapy at a hospital in Fujiang province.
Dried plant materials are burned near the surface of the skin.
This is considered healthy practice in hot weather.
Wang Dongming/CNS/Peple Visual

Celui qui tombe

Yoann Bourgeois trained in trampoline, juggling and trapeze. Between 2006 and 2010, he performed with choreographer Maguy Marin’s company and combined the disciplines of circus, dance and acrobatics.

Thanks Bruce!

Music For Sunday Morning

Sunday Links

Johnny Swing makes furniture from coins (above) with each design requiring thousands of nickels, quarters, half-dollars or dollar coins.Via bookofjoe

Swan Lake Bath Ballet

20th-century garden landscapes A showcase of Britain’s most extraordinary gardens and landscapes from the twentieth century to present day.

Townscaper : An instant town building toy.

100 Wishes Of Hatcham: Residents of Hatcham, New Cross Gate, London have created 100 Delft Blue ceramic tiles to visualise their wishes and words of wisdom.

AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Now Entirely Online: The 48,000 panels share stories of care and craftsmanship, memorializing 125,000-plus victims of HIV and AIDS since 1980.

Hot water freezes faster than cold. Now you know.

The annoying boxes puzzle 

The Secret History of Washing Machines It began with The Drum in 1782…

With this shortcut all you need to do is say  ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ and it will kickstart a chain of events.

How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask  Via Pasa Bon

Larry Burrows took this iconic photograph in Mutter Ridge, Nui Cay Tri, South Vietnam in October 1966. Here's the story behind the photo 

In 1854, a new railway station opened in London, but only the Royal Family was allowed to use it — this was Queen Victoria’s private railway station at Nine Elms.

If a Centaur and a Gorgon Had a Child 

 Beer Mats of the 1970s Satire Via FB pal Hal.

Now you can live like a Golden Girl The iconic ranch house used for the exterior shots of Blanche Devereaux's Miami home is on the market and it's lovely.

Andean condor can fly for 100 miles without flapping wings Condors are expert pilots but we just had not expected they would be quite so expert.

Hue love it : A fantastic collection of old paint charts, catalogues and home colour books.

How to rescue a raccoon from a dumpster

Behold Vermont Beautiful aerial photographs of my favourite American state. We took a lot of holidays there when my sons were growing up and I have many fond memories of those times.

Why so sad? Your chicken has no arms? No problem Via Rusty's Electric Dreams

Krasnoyarsk Compared to New York 

A Forgotten Futurist's Vision of Paris Albert Robida was a graphic novelist who has been described as a lesser-known Jules Verne.

Cambridge University Professor Cooks 4000-Year-Old Recipes from Ancient Mesopotamia Is it vegetarian if you use blood?