Monday, October 31, 2022

Yayoi Kusama Loves Pumpkins

Yayoi Kusama, All The Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, acrylic pumpkins, LED lighting, black glass, mirrors, wood, metal, 292 x 415 x 415 cm. Picture credit: © Yayoi Kusama

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has created pumpkin sculptures, paintings,  infinity rooms, charm bracelets and even pumpkin-printed shoes.

Read more here


On This Day 1891: The Coal Creek War

On October 31, 1891, during the Coal Creek War labour uprising to protest convict leasing, a group of miners seized the Knoxville Iron Company stockade at Coal Creek in Tennessee.
The “convict lease system” was a private-public partnership in which prisoners were leased to private companies for their labor. The convict lease system was used to undermine union organizing and perpetuate a form of slavery by imprisoning African Americans on false charges and forcing them to provide free labor. 
Over the course of the convict wars, striking miners freed hundreds of convicts. In some cases, the miners provided them with fresh food and civilian clothes.

Plain English

Don't try to make sense of English spelling rules because they are totally inconsistent.

Via Laughing Squid (where you will find a video of Lucille Ball teaching Ricky how to read English)

Regina Spektor: Tiny Desk Concert


(Via The Awesomer)

AI Imagines Cats In Halloween Costumes

Artificial intelligence researcher Janelle Shane used text-to-image generator DALL-E2 to dress her cat for Halloween and got some strange results. 

This cat was supposed to be wearing an anteater costume but looks more like a unicorn wearing an expensive vest:

This is supposed to be a tortoiseshell cat wearing a tapir costume. I'm not sure what it looks like. Definitely not a tapir though:

Indonesia From Above

Gorgeous drone footage of Indonesia.

Via  Memo Of The Air

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Links

Photography: Architecture de Collection

If you are an Art Nouveau fan looking for a pied-a-terre in Paris this 1898 apartment (image abouve) designed by Art Nouveau giant Hector Guimard might be right up your alley (or should I say allée?)

The Final Curtain looks at derelict and empty cinema buildings across the UK. (Via Things Magazine)

Slow Roads by anslo is a relaxing driving game you can download for free. (via Boing Boing

This unique Invisible House reflects its surroundings. (Washing these windows would be a huge chore.)

Inexpensive simple meals for fall. They all look so good I don't know which one to make first - maybe the ricotta polpette. (The New York Times)

The Azulejos of Portugal These beautiful tileworks feature figurative scenes that are usually tied into their location.

Trick or sweet: The history of Halloween and how it ultimately equaled candy corn overdose.

Dark Tourism: Which do you prefer, a restful beach holiday or a trip to sites that are connected to death or disaster?

'Prebunking' teaches people how to spot disinformation.

James Hancock playing a hydraulophone outside the music building at Stanford University.

Just in time: 149 Vintage Halloween Radio Shows from the Golden Age of Radio

This is a fabulous music site: Death Is Not The End (via Things Magazine)

Will definitely make this fall salad (from Smitten Kitchen, of course)

Music For Sunday Morning


Friday, October 28, 2022

Elvis: On This Day In 1956

On October 28, 1956 Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show where he was televised receiving a polio vaccination backstage. This single event is credited with raising immunization levels in the United States from 0.6% to over 80% in just six months, and likely saved many lives. 

The Real Ophelia

For many years I had a print of this painting of Ophelia by Millais hanging on my wall but I did not know the story behind it. This video tells the story of artist and poet Elizabeth Siddal, the model who posed for the painting.

Happy International Animation Day!

To mark International Animation Day the National Film Board of Canada blog is showcasing the work of animator Claude Cloutier. His most recent work, Bad Seeds, takes us to a bizarre world populated by carnivorous plants that can change shapes the way a chameleon changes colours.
See more of Cloutier's work: NFB Blog

The Morning Bus Project

After the horrific Sandy Hook school murders 10 years ago photographer Greg Miller, like all parents, was apprehensive about sending his child to school. The following Monday he took a photo of his own daughter waiting for the schoolbus at the end of his driveway and then his friend’s son. Then he started asking other friends. Since that time he has photographed about 50 children. These powerful photographs evolved into The Morning Bus Project. Recently Miller travelled to Uvalde Texas where 18 children and their teachers were brutally murdered in their classroom.

More: PetaPixel

Orient Express Gets First Redesign In Almost 100 Years

The iconic Orient Express has always been the epitome of opulent travel. French architect Maxime d'Angeac has given the train its first design update in almost a century,  characterised by contemporary luxury with rosewood details, marble-covered tables and bronze column capitals. It is scheduled to launch in 2025.

Read more: Dezeen

Hackney Mosaic Project

My blogger pal Everlasting Blort posted a link to a Tweet about the Shepherdess Walk Mosaics in London (see one of the mosaics above). I recognized it as one of the wonderful creations of the Hackney Mosaic Project which was set up in 2012 by mosaicist Tessa Hunkin who guides the work of a team of dedicated volunteers. 
A few years ago I posted an article from the Spitalfields Life blog about the Hounds Of Hackney Downs mosaics that I found interesting.

Here's a documentary short film about the project shot in October 2019 that shows a number of the mosaics created over the years.


If you're in London and want to see the mosaics this map will take you to them:


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Insects Flying Up Close And In Slow Motion

Ant Lab films twelve species of moths and beetles in-flight at 6,000 frames per second! 

Not All Streets Are Created Equal

How unequally is NYC designed? A new tool from Transportation Alternatives, lets users compare data to see how neighbourhoods are mapped unequally and how this affects health, safety and mobility.

Read more: It's Nice That

The Monobloc

This chair is the best-selling chair in history but is it good design?

Via DasKraftfuttermischwerk

The Artwork of Jaco Putker

The Pig Suite No.7: Pearls Before Swine

Contemporary Dutch artist Jaco Putker combines digital and traditional techniques to produce surreal images. 

The Blocks Of War No. 2

The Girl from The Woods

See more: Vintage Everyday

Engine Trouble

How warm will it get? Let's go back in time to the last time CO2 levels reached the 400s.

An animation from Nate Milton

Oh My Gourd

It took a lot of pumpkins and a few years to make this Halloween stop-motion video.

Via  Moss and Fog

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Do Not Touch Anything! Ever!

The German book Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern (193I) illustrates how one might die of electrocution. Don't pee off a bridge or put your key in the lock to your apartment.

More ways to avoid electrocution: Dangerous Minds

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Don't Forget To Clean Your Bat!


First Photo of Niagara Falls (1840)

This daguerreotype, thought to be the first photograph ever taken of Niagara Falls, was donated to Newcastle University in England in 1926 where it sat in a box for many decades. It was taken by businessman Hugh Lee Pattinson when he stopped at the Falls while in Canada on a business trip. It took more than twenty minutes for the scene to affix on the silver-coated copper plate inside his camera; afterward, he enveloped the plate in warm mercury fumes, slowly drawing the image to the surface.  

Killing My Lobster: The Coffee Wars

A Ken Burns-style documentary on the Coffee Wars of San Francisco. (A repost from 2010)

Monday, October 24, 2022

Poodle Skeleton

I'd probably scream if I saw this coming at me on a dark and stormy Halloween.
Via Miss Cellania's Links

Dragonfly Biology

Who is the most effective predator on earth? This guy!

13 Levels of Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving master James Hall shows how you can create your own Halloween masterpiece.

Tokyo Build

Perfectly executed models of Tokyo buildings and architectural details.

Greatest Pencil Sharpener Ever!


(via my friend Alan Parker)

Half man, half ant! MANT!

"I've been meaning to have the office fumigated but I've just been too damn busy." 

via Memo Of The Air

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday Links

Christiane Charlotte (Lotte) Elster's sketchbook of teens back in the day includes attires, hairstyles, activities and even names. The original is at Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim. View in full at Digitalt Museum.(via)

I have discovered some of this shrub that is impossible to kill in a far corner of my garden. It has made me quite despondent. 

Visiting ridiculously weird attractions in every US state would be a great road trip to take if gas weren't so expensive. (I might skip the alligator petting zoo in Arkansas) Via Web Curious 

This week's house envy is a rebuilt Nieby Crofters Cottage

People living in a 15 Minute City can access all essential health, educational, retail and leisure needs within a short fifteen minute walk or bike ride. Do you live in one?I don't but often wish I did.

It would be fun to explore Scotland's witch trail during the Halloween season (my friend Alan dug this one up) 

George Orwell is coming to my inbox. and he'll come to yours if you like.

An intriguing story: How did a Baptist minister from Edward Hopper’s hometown come to own hundreds of pieces of the artist's works? (The New York Times)

Trailer for a documentary about what it's like to live in a house from a famous movie.

The Changeling Murder shows how myths could be weaponized against women who defied society’s mold.

Hipster Beer Names Would you be more or less likely to drink a beer named "I Hate Myself"? (via perfect for roquefort cheese)

Why would someone go on a Gone Girl–themed river cruise, or even a cruise in general? Why not? What I saw during eight deranged days with Gillian Flynn.(via Pocket)

There is an Arabian City in Florida (of all places!) that has the largest collection of Moorish Revival architecture in America.

She was one of thousands of people who are brought to New York hospitals each year, identified only as “unknown.” The Hermit Baroness  (NYT)

Knitting Machine


via everlasting blort 

Music For Sunday Morning


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Green Asphalt?

Roads can be recycled forever.  Why don't more cities do it?


(Thanks Bruce!) 

Cake or Death

This Eddie Izzard video is a repost from 2009. It's still funny.

A Grain Of Sand (2009)


This documentary from Wandering Eye tells the story of Brendon Grimshaw who bought the tiny deserted Moyenne Island in the Seychelles for £8,000 in 1962. Over the years he turned this abandoned piece of land into a paradise with some help from his friend Rene Lafortune. He brought birds and endangered tortoises to the island, planted 16 thousand trees and built almost 5 kilometers of paths. He lived there, mostly on his own, until his death in 2012. Moyenne Island became the world’s smallest national park. (Full video below)

Friday, October 21, 2022

LEGO Ferris Wheel

Berthil van Beek built this giant Ferris wheel for the Eurobricks TC23 competition. It picks up tiny basketballs and soccer balls and takes them on a ride.

via The Awesomer 

En Pointe!

A short film about pointe shoes. Commissioned by The Australian Ballet.

Daal, Let's Get Into It!

The Indian holiday Diwali, known as the festival of lights as it signifies the victory of light over darkness, is being celebrated on October 24. It is the perfect time to cook an Indian dish.YouTuber Schmindian and his dad love daal and have made a video that shows how to make an easy, healthy and economical Red Lentil Curry. 

Cat Opera

This unique 1800s opera with unknown origins is called the Duetto buffo di due gatti (Funny duet for two cats). 

Find out more about its possible origin: My Modern Met

Artwork Of The Day

Going To The Match, a painting by LS Lowry described as an "iconic masterpiece" has been sold at auction for a record-breaking £7.8 million. It depicts depicts a throng of football fans gathered at the former home of Bolton Wanderers.

More: BBC News

Facial Reconstructions Of Medieval Scots

In 1957 workmen discovered three stone coffins in a medieval crypt in Whithorn, Scotland. Excavations at the site unearthed more graves containing artifacts and human remains. Now, an amazing series of 3-D facial reconstructions of a bishop, a cleric and a young woman is making it easier to imagine what life was actually like in medieval times.
The unidentified woman (above) died in her 20s and was buried on a bed of seashells near the priory’s high altar—a clear indication of her high status. Her symmetrical skull suggests she was extremely beautiful

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Many Anemones

The next few days will be warm and sunny and I'll be giving the garden an end of year tidying up. Thought I'd share an autumn photo.

Fredericton, New Brunswick Reimagined in Lego

Chris Thomas, a Canadian mixed-media artist now living in Toronto, missed Fredericton, his adopted hometown, and decided to capture its soul with a big city vibe.

“I made a city block and then thought, ‘what if Joe’s Diner was in Toronto?’ So I created something that looks like Joe’s Diner but it’s not Joe’s Diner. It’s a big city version of what that might look like.
via  CBC

Sandpipers hunt while being hunted

200,000 sandpipers migrating from Canada’s Arctic to South America take a break to feast on shrimps. A peregrine falcon takes advantage of the situation.

Doing What Comes Naturally

Dam cute: A baby beaver builds a dam in a rehabilitation facility. 

The Most Divisive Halloween Candies

Is there anything people won't argue about? The History Guy looks at the backstory for some controversial seasonal confections.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Moronic Parents Call Kid's Cheerful Drawing "Witchcraft"

The student's mural, via NBC News

A girl who painted a mural for her high school in Grant, Michigan got screamed at by psychopaths and received little support from those who approved the design. The hatefest left the poor kid in tears. I'm sickened.

Read more: Boing Boing 

The Line now under construction in Saudi Arabia

This drone footage shot by Ot Sky shows construction underway on the linear city, which is being built in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. The megacity is part of the controversial Neom project that will see 10 regions developed in the region.

Via Dezeen

Previously: Some call it a futuristic paradise, others call it a dystopia. (NPR)



See more: @Jonzioman

(via @SevillaTapas)

Quote Of The Day

October is not only a beautiful month but marks the precious yet fleeting overlap of hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. - Jason Love


The sequences in this video are cross-sectional photographic scans of pieces of hardwood. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

London in the 1930s

I enjoy watching remastered and remixed old-time videos. This one by Nass, featuring various London sites in the 1930s, is well-done.

From things magazine (one of my favourites)

Everyday Meals With Milliways

This "cooking show" is actually a clever ad for gum that highlights plastic pollution.

750,000 Piece Domino Run!

The Dutch Domino Team set a new amateur record with this 750,000 piece 3D amusement park themed run that took over 17 minutes to fall down.

Artwork of the Day

October Shower Gleam - J.E.H. MacDonald (1922)

(via Junk Boat Travels)

Three Hands Washing Up Liquid

Do you ever feel like you could use an extra hand?


Monday, October 17, 2022

Country Singers Do Opera

Two country singers, Austin Brown and Rob Lundquist from the group Home Free, decide to give opera a try and they do a damn fine job on Nessun Dorma. 

(Via my friend Alan Parker)

Oscar Wilde's last hotel bill



The World's First Concrete Cycle

I don't know why anyone would want a 134.5 kg bike (can you imagine hauling it upstairs to your apartment?) but here it is:

via bookofjoe


This horror short is about two sisters are forced inside a mosquito net (moshari) to survive — but can they survive each other?

Road Space Comparison



via Memo Of The Air

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Chainsaw Clarinet

Just when I thought I'd seen everything! Nathan Pryor made the instrument for a friend who is a professional clarinetist in a symphony orchestra, as well as the owner of a wood milling business.

How about a clarinet made of a chainsaw?

via Neatorama

"American Pie" With AI-Generated Images

via 3 Quarks Daily

Sunday Links

In a new series photographer Kodai Kawahara captures the Umbrellas of Tokyo

Looking at these luxury survival bunkers makes me claustrophobic (via everlasting blort)

Way back in the more glamorous days of aviation I used to read the Vicky Barr series about a stewardess-sleuth and dreamed of becoming a flight attendant. Daily Life at a Stewardess School in Texas in 1958 

How to knot a tie (Do people still wear ties?)

Deaditors, they turn every ​“is” into a ​“was” (via Perfect for Roquefort Cheese)

Chill to the calming sounds of Kmart c1973 

Cars had some clever features a century ago (via everlasting blort)

This apple and cheddar salad looks fabulous!

If you think you're having a rough day watch this.

You can actually wear Todd Oldham's Paint by Number Horse from his Fall 1990 Collection! (via Rusty's Electric Dreams)

What does DALL-E2 generate when asked for the most popular Halloween candy by state?

"In the age of algorithms, the only way to replicate any semblance of luxury is to take the keystrokes less traveled."An article about why a trip to one of the world's most Instagrammable places is not always what one would hope for.

Hebrides Redacted: Removing notes from Mendelssohn overture shows plight of humpback whales. (via Perfect For Roquefort Cheese)

I like the little ears on this kitty cat wireless keyboard (via Boing Boing)

This looks lovely: Nipponia Kosuge is a project that seeks to transform and revitalize a Japanese village of just 700 people that is at risk of disappearing.  

How the first ever telecoms scam worked (in France, in the 1830s) Thanks Bruce!

Music For Sunday Morning

I'm not sure if this is a repost but it's still great.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Bicycle Ballerina

Lea Schaepe of Potsdam, Germany, practices the 130-year-old sport of artistic cycling.

Via  Boing Boing

The Aerwins Xturismo

The hovercraft you've been eagerly awaiting since you first saw The Jetsons has finally made its debut. The Aerwins Xturismo has a range of around 40 minutes and can travel at around 62 mph is already for sale in Japan. ($777,000US)

DIY Predator Mask

This Predator mask is made from from Amazon boxes, craft paper, and toilet paper. You can purchase the template to make your own mask from Epic Cardboard Props ($10US)

The World's Ten Cleanest Countries

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality from the cleanest to the dirtiest in the world. 


Making Maps

A short film about map-making technologies circa 1961.

via The Map Room

Friday, October 14, 2022

Goblin Sandwiches

I was extremely disappointed to discover that there are no actual goblins in this sandwich:

From the Nicole Di Bona Peterson Advertising Cookbook Collection entitled How to Run a 1946 Halloween Party.