Monday, February 28, 2022

The monumental solitude of the desert

Egyptian photographer Karim Amr, based in Cairo, captures the majesty and breathtaking beauty of the desert. 

images © karim amr | @krimamr
See more: designboom

Baking Dogs

In 1924 dogs were placed in veterinary gas ovens. The heat was thought to provide animals with the same benefits a steam bath has on the human body.

via Vintage Everyday

The Carnival Masks of Jacmel

"Carnaval 86" "Djab" Mask, unknown artist, 1986. ANTHONY H. FISHER/INDIGO ARTS GALLERY

Carnival in the town of Jacmel is a showcase for Haiti’s artists. The town’s festivities are renowned for stunning papier-maché animal masks.

Soothe Your Soul With Twelve Hours Of Corals and Anemones

Every time I see a video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium I share it because they are all so beautiful.

Meet ‘Super Mario’, the man who’s lived on cruise ships for two decades

Via AeonVideos  

Summer Of Soul

As Black History Month 2022 draws to a close I'll leave you this little bit of soul:
Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Making Wire Trees

It just gets better and better.

Carmen Herrera Life and Work

Carmen Herrera (1915-2022) was a Cuban-born American abstract, minimalist visual artist and painter. Here she discusses her work.

Sunday Links

These Boxing Glove Armchairs pack a punch at CA$26,518 per set.(above)

When Sir Billy Connolly was knighted he wrote this letter to his friend Eric Idle.

During Covid I have been trying to get my travel fix through virtual walks. I've been wanting to go to Japan for a very long time but the Tokyo Explorer channel will have to suffice for the time being. (via everlasting blort)

 Take a  tour of a leisure facility of satirical home-made machines. (read more)

The NYA Times-Contrarian is a small-printed section on Neil Young’s official website designed to look like a weathered newspaper (“NYA” stands for “Neil Young Archives”). It’s updated regularly by Young and a few other writers. (via Perfect for Roquefort Cheese)

Patented by an insane person

To be placed in my 'Dumb As A Bag of Hammers' file: "As late as the 1950s, an association for the blind in a southern city used to post sighted monitors at the entrance for its Christmas party, so that the blind guests who could not see each other’s color would be able to segregate racially." Via Futility Closet

It’s rare to become addicted to esoteric hallucinogens. But it’s not impossible. The Curious Life and Mind-Altering Death of Justin Clark

Is it OK to use Romano cheese instead of Parmesan? And if I don’t have spaghetti on hand, can I just use fish? Reader Comments for TheNYT Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

Mustachioed fox has a bossy interspecies girlfriend: Tundra and Cleo

This week's house envy is Hop House, a former brewery which dates back to circa 1830; Scott of the Antarctic's parents lived in and ran the brewery, and there is a family grave in beautiful Holcombe Old Church. 

On March 28, 1912, bacteriologist Almroth Wright wrote a letter to the London Times arguing that women should be denied the vote and in fact kept away from politics altogether in light of their psychological shortcomings. Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston, wrote this reply

Cover Lay Down was started in 2007 to celebrate folk artists and songwriters through coversongs, and explore the margins and meanings of folk music in a 21st century world. (Because in the folk tradition music belongs to the community.) 

When one of the eucalyptus trees on the Eames property became a threat to the iconic house it was removed and the wood from the tree was repurposed as 100 special collectible Eames Eucalyptus Skate Decks

A tiny cabin in Tasmania with breathtaking views. (Thanks Bruce)

Global Street Art is the largest online street art archive.

The Italian Town where residents dine like 16th-century dukes.

This Modern Cat Tree is a damn sight better than the cardboard box tenement I've cobbled together for Carmen. (CA $12,677 - yikes)

From campground to crab shack to suburban backyard, the picnic table is so ubiquitous that it is nearly invisible as a designed object. An Illustrated History of the Picnic Table (via Things Magazine)

Singer-songwriter Mark Lanegan died this week. Here he is singing Flatlands with Chelsea Wolfe.

London Almost a Century Ago


Via Blort

Music For Sunday Morning


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Sting - Russians

 Sting wrote "Russians" during the Cold War when Russia and the United States had nuclear missiles pointed at each other. 


On the verge of crushing two old cable cars, a nostalgic scrap dealer delves into his memories and imagines the life they once shared.

Brief Encounters Official Trailer

"Everything comes together and for that instant my life makes sense."

Gregory Crewdson is an American photographer. He photographs tableaux of American homes and neighborhoods. I love his work and would like to see this film.

Previously here and here

Ode To Berlin

Paul Klingberg has created a tribute to the city he loves.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Intricate Roman Mosaic Found Under London Street

Image: MOLA / Andy Chopping

Archaeologists in London have announced the discovery of the largest Roman mosaic found in the British capital in half a century. The decorative dining room floor was unearthed on the building site of a new development in Southwark.

Read more:  COOL HUNTING

What Happened To Jables?

Jack Black was the very last guest on Conan O'Brien's final show.


"These computer generated objects can create compelling visuals on-screen and interactive experiences in real life."
They are part of a master's research project focussed on designing and choreographing movement through 4D printing. No effects were created in post-production.

(Thanks Bruce)

Playing For Change: When the Levee Breaks

Legendary multi-instrumentalist, John Paul Jones, is accompanied by Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and over 20 musicians and dancers from seven different countries, in this Song Around The World version featured in Peace Through Music: A Global Event for the Environment.

via Miss Cellania

Human Towers Build on Catalan Tradition

By climbing up backs and balancing on shoulders, Catalonians of all ages stack their bodies on-top each other to build castells, or human towers. 

via 3 Quarks Daily

Captives on the Front Lines

This is the story of two Yezidi former child soldiers who survived ISIS. It is difficult to watch.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Stone Sushi

This 'sushi' by Japanese artist ha_ma_73 is actually made of carved and polished stones.

Snowday For Furries


(via everlasting blort


Brasilia Seen From Above

This bird's-eye view of Brasilia provides the architect's perspective and the project's very essence.

More: Google Arts & Culture

My Dinner With Werner

This film was inspired by the real-life "complicated friendship" between filmmaker Werner Herzog and actor Klaus Kinski. It is a story about a 1987 dinner date with a murder plot as the main dish.



50 Rare Photographs

Frequent contributor Bruce sent me a wonderful collection of Rare Historical Photos. These are a few of my favourites:

See more

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Souvenir Souvenir

Souvenir Souvenir, a short film by French director Bastien Dubois, is about Bastien’s attempts to initiate a dialogue with his grandfather about his time as a French soldier in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62). This film was awarded Best Animated Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021.

via Aeon Videos

Bertrand's Paradox

Jonathan Weisberg (University of Toronto) explains Bertrand's Paradox, a famous paradox in probability theory.

Via 3 Quarks Daily

Colourful Russian Houses

See More: Present and Correct and Fyodor Savintsev

Rafael Araujo - Golden Ratio

Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo's work is done by hand, without computer software, using classical architectural drawing tools (a compass, protractor, squares and rules).

And there are two lovely colouring books!

See more: Cultura Inquieta

Water Heart

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Ivan Reitman's little-known first film.

Canadian film and television director, producer and screenwriter, Ivan Reitman died last week. While he was at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario he “produced and directed Orientation [in 1968], the most successful student film ever made in Canada.”

via TMN

Electric scooter/portable office

This folding electric motorcycle by Japanese manufacturer ICOMA can be stored under a desk. Or can actually be the desktop.

Via Cultura Inquieta

The Incredible Sonovox

Some weirdness from Kay Kyser. The performer whispers the words while the speakers stand in for the voice box.


Fragments is a Deutsche Grammophon project that oscillates between classical and electronic music - between old and new. The series begins with modern artists reinterpreting the music of French composer Erik Satie. Here is Satie: Gymnopédie No. 3 (Henrik Schwarz Rework):


This is a repost from 2009. It's a very sweet short film.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Pass The Ball

3 second animation of a ball.
Pass it to someone in another country
They pick up where you left off.

40 animators
40 months in the making...

via everlasting blort 

The Bombay Highway Code - A poem, a postcard and a love letter

"But every mode of transport has its place upon the road
so you must become acquainted with the Bombay highway code …"


via Aeon Videos 

Malcolm X on CBC Front Page Challenge

Aired 3 weeks before his death on Feb. 21, 1965

Atomic Tests Viewed From Los Angeles

An atomic bomb lights up the night sky over Los Angeles City, on March 7, 1955. The glow lasted 20 seconds beginning at 5:20.

Between 1951 and 1992, the United States conducted 928 atomic tests at the Nevada Test Site about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the city of Las Vegas. These blasts illuminated the night sky as far away as Los Angeles, located some 240 miles (386 km) away. Detonation times were advertised beforehand and so were the best spots for watching. Amusing Planet  has posted some of the photographs that were taken of these events.

Los Angeles Civic Center buildings by Nevada A Bomb blast, 1955.
Photo credit: Wesselmann/USC Digital Library

A 'corner store' for Hollywood props

 A behind-the-scenes look at a corner store where Hollywood prop masters buy the food and drinks appearing in movies and TV.

@issprops Check Out Hollywood’s go-to Corner Store here at ISS! #prophouse #fyp ♬ Oblivion - Grimes

Self portrait 2018 by Pollyanna Johnson

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Crybaby Caravan

A song about the the crybabies who held my nation's capital hostage for three weeks because they didn't want to wear masks.

Sorry, I wanted that stirred, not shaken …

Via everlasting blort

Squirrel Funeral

Daguerreotype with "Genushe" etched on back of copper plate (ca.1845-46). From the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City). I assume Genushe was a pet squirrel.

Check out  TYWKIWDBI for an added treat. 

Sunday Links

Scenes from the Passion: Valentine's Day
George Shaw (b.1966)
Government Art Collection

Some good news: After various international rescue efforts over six years, a large Indonesian crocodile with a motorcycle tire stuck around its neck in Indonesia has finally been freed. Read more: Smithsonian Magazine

How Far Can I Walk in 10 Minutes? If you enter a location into the Walking Distance Map you can view a map showing how far you can travel within a set number of minutes.

It's not you, it's me: How to break up in the age of online dating (Thanks Bruce)

'Discover the beauty & value of the everyday, the ordinary & the overlooked; industrial landscapes, whippets & wastelands, red bricks & rust.' Not fond of paintings of rainbows and unicorns? Perhaps you'll like @GrimArtGroup

The secret of the slide: How in the World Did Luge Happen?

A charming collection of illustrations of animals around the world

“Consider a fork in your pie or a bite of your burger to be their tongue in your mouth. If you’re unwilling to accept their saliva, everybody’s mouths and hands need to stay on their own side of the table.” Pressing questions for the return of real life 

Are you looking to get away from it all? The Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage in Tobermory, Scotland is only accessible via a 25 min walk along a coastal footpath and there is NO vehicle access. (via)

Haruki Murakami's five favorite books.

This week's house envy is a compact mid-century residence in Pasadena, CA.

For nearly 70 years, these 2 murdered boys were known as the 'Babes in the Woods.' Now they finally have names

You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s: Tracking down the model in a 1961 bread ad. It's a good story.

Does anyone else remember The Blown Away Guy?

Almost all the buyers at the Paul Manafort Foreclosure Sale wore wraparound sunglasses and were uninterested in, as one put it, “being in the news.”

If I had to name one food I couldn't live without, I would choose pasta. This roundup of the best pastas in the US had me craving carbs a for breakfast this morning. (I resisted the temptation).

The Weirdest Objects Found Inside Books : "I started noticing treasures within the treasures -- little bits of random ephemera left inside books, often untouched for decades. I found family photos, old advertisements, letters and postcards, even some crumbs of food." (Thanks Bruce!)

Déneigement Montreal

After discovering six adopted brothers and sisters, these siblings believe their story is more than a sprawling family secret. (via Miss Cellania's Links)

The Gentle Author, one of my absolute favourite bloggers and publishers, is launching a better alternative to 'the serial killer tours of Spitalfields that monetise misogyny'. See the crowdfunder. (I once met him at a talk he was giving about his book East End Vernacular)

No-knead Gatorade bread Just replace the water with a classic electrolyte-replenishing, thirst-quenching beverage.

Music For Sunday Morning

I do love Sharon Van Etten

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Magnificent Papercraft

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata designs intricate landscapes using layers upon layers of white paper.

See more: Colossal 

Welcome To The Neighborhood!

The first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood debuted on this day in 1968. I miss his calm and gentle presence. 

Via perfect for roquefort cheese

I'll Have The Karl Marx Sandwich to Go

La conquête du pain is a communist- anarchist boulangerie in Montreuil, France. The name is taken from the book by Peter Kropotkin, a 19th century anti-capitalist. Pierre Pawin, one of the founders says "“we are not an alternative to capitalism, we are in capitalism. But we handle it differently because we make different political choices concerning prices and salaries.”

I found this in my Facebook Memories today. I posted it 5 years ago but it appears that the bakery is still going strong.

Storm Eunice Roars Through The UK

Millions in the UK experienced severe disruption this week as record-breaking winds from Storm Eunice caused death and injury, huge structural damage, transport chaos and widespread power cuts.

The oldest known map of the cosmos

A bronze ‘sky disc’, thought to be the world’s oldest map of the cosmos, is the star attraction of the British Museum's 'The World of Stonehenge' exhibition.  It was unearthed by metal detectorists operating illegally who damaged it with their spade and sold the entire find for £13,300… It’s since been valued at £8.3 million

Read More:  Country Life

Happy Caturday!


Friday, February 18, 2022

Jane Austen Used Pins to Edit Her Manuscripts

 In announcing the acquisition of Jane Austen's novel, the Bodleian Library wrote:

The Watsons is Austen’s first extant draft of a novel in process of development and one of the earliest examples of an English novel to survive in its formative state.
The full pages suggest that Jane Austen did not anticipate a protracted process of redrafting. With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies – the three patches, small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text.

Read more: Open Culture 

Bowl'd Banana by Mary Pratt

Canadian painter Mary Pratt is one of my favourite artists. Her hyper-realistic paintings of domestic subjects are very evocative.

Bowl'd Banana Mary Pratt 1981

A Truly Twisted Bike Safety Film (1963)

What kind of mind thought this one up? A group of children, all wearing ape masks, rides their bicycles to the park for a picnic. Along the way, all but one are eliminated for violating basic bike safety rules. 

Via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Cold War Spy Kitties

In the 1960s the CIA had a program to create cyborg cats that could act as Cold War spies. Does this sound like a good idea to you? 

Now you know. You're welcome.


You cycle with the bull, you get the horns…

Cyclists participating in a Central California bike ride got more than they bargained for when they came upon a territorial bull. Some racers tried to go around the bull and got through. Others were not so lucky. The bull charged and struck three riders total. But all's well that ends well and everyone was able to go for a couple of beers after the incident.

Via DasKraftfuttermischwerk

Mama Mia! I am ready to dance for joy.

In this 1964 episode of the ABC’s classic science program, Why Is It So?, Professor Julius Sumner Miller re-attempts a favourite experiment but things don’t quite go to plan. 


 Via Massimo

The Nebra Sky Disc


Paper Pop-Up Meme Compilation

This collection of pop-up cards featuring familiar memes is the brainchild of PaperPaul. He is currently working on a one-of-a-kind pop-up book as an art project that captures the beauty of memes in paper. 

I was hoping to buy the cat card above that looks exactly like my cat Carmen but unfortunately the cards are not for sale. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Cult Culture

Entertainment made by cults.

via MetaFilter


This clever noirish animation by The Petrie Lounge (2002) features Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, Norval Morriseau, Pablo Picasso, Hieronymus Bosch and George Grosz.

Walk-Through Kaleidoscope

The Stufish design is the biggest kaleidoscope ever built for people to actually walk through.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

La Forma Urbis Romae

Download this Archaeological Map of Ancient Rome created by Rodolfo Lanciani from 1893 to 1901. Archaeologist, professor of topography, and secretary of the Archaeological Commission, Lanciani was a pioneer in the systematic, modern study of the city of Rome. The map depicts the groundplan of every architectural feature in the ancient city, from large public monuments to small shops, rooms, and even staircases.The original document is almost as tall as a two-storey building. About one-quarter of the collection was digitized and made available to the public in 2017.

Invisible man not wearing trousers is from The Old Line, 1934.

Via Abecedarian 

Nice Set Of Wheels

Remember the days before cars were the size of tanks? This Lotus Etna Concept Car by Giorgetto Giugiaro, built for Birmingham Motor Show in 1984, is a thing of beauty. You can have it for just € 125,000!

Apocalypse Pooh

I previously posted this video twelve years ago and when it came up in my Facebook memories I thought it was worth another look. This combination of Winnie The Pooh and Apocalypse Now (1987) by Todd Graham was one of the first widely distributed mash-ups in history.

Underwater Photographers Of The Year 2002


'All You Need Is Love'
Pekka Tuuri (Finland)

The 2022 winners capture amazing ocean spectacles and species.

More here

(Thanks Bruce!)


 Circus is a poetic short story written by Tom Waits, narrated by Ken Nordine, and illustrated by Joe Coleman.

Candy Cane Snail


Monday, February 14, 2022



via FB pal Hal 

The Yellow Sunshade


"The Yellow Sunshade" by C G Hamilton Dicker (Member of The East London Group) from 1930

Happy Valentine's Day

 Weighing over 400 pounds, this is the heart of a Blue Whale.

The Expert

Via Memo Of The Air

Creatures of the Deep

This fabulous video features deep-sea animals filmed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's remotely operated vehicles in the depths of Monterey Bay and beyond. Make sure you watch it in full screen mode.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Sunday Links

The Amazing Music Scores of George Crumb The avant garde composer used highly unconventional, and graphically gorgeous, techniques (photo above) to represent his music on the page.  (via FB pal Hal)

The Walk Of Life Project Hypothesis: Walk Of Life by Dire Straits is the perfect song to end any movie (an oldie via MeFi)

A rocking teen scene time capsule: A Teenager's Art Deco Bedroom (1929)

They do what they want A staggering 83 active-duty soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg died in the 18 months ending June 2021. They did not die in combat.

So many of the words we use today have been attributed to Shakespeare. Click the word to see the passage (Thanks Bruce)

The epitome of greed and excess? This 105,000 sq.ft. home has 21 bedrooms, 49 bathrooms, a spa and salon, a nightclub, bowling alley, movie theater, and 360º ocean views. It is on the market for $295m. 

Feeling anxious or lonely?  Watch Squirrel Dialogues (Via Rusty's Electric Dreams)

"My wife’s idea of a hot date is a trip to the dump." I always get a laugh out of Tim Dowling's column in the Guardian

Where is Smithy's Kaff? A mystery from 1981

'Turn on your mobile phone, set the system language to “Chinese,” and watch as the interface instantly converts to Chinese text. Now, look closely at the characters.'

Dazzling Hoards  (thanks Bruce)

How did I ever miss this series? IKEA Heights, a soap opera secretly filmed in IKEA

The Science of Measuring Snowfall It’s a little more complicated than you might think.

Population Density Around the World: a new interactive map allows you to explore how many people are living within a set distance from any point on Earth.

Craziest Breakup Text in the History of Texting? "You are rude to my cat and that makes me feel uncomfortable." Nothing crazy about that. (thanks Bruce)

The hottest commodity of the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library in Boise, Idaho is a book by an 8-year-old self-published author who snuck his book into the library

I was disappointed to see Angela Liddon of the Oh She Glows brand supporting the so-called Freedom Convoy. The link between the wellness movement and white supremacist groups 

Braun Collector celebrates the beauty of vintage Braun design. I was almost brought  to tears when I saw my old Multipractic Plus 1983. It served me well for 35 years until finally the plastic bowl cracked and I couldn't get a replacement. (via things magazine)

QAnon nearly took over this small town but concerned citizens weren't about to let that happen.