Thursday, November 30, 2023

Paddington Bear Goes Pop Culture

Chowing down with The Sopranos

JaytheChou digitally adds Paddington Bear into pop culture films, games and TV shows.

A visit with Paddington (are they cousins?)

With the Interstellar crew

See more: Moss and Fog

RIP Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan Dec 25, 1957 - Nov 30, 2023

Shane MacGowan, Pogues songwriter and Irish music legend, has died aged 65. He wrote about Irish culture and the experiences of the Irish diaspora and brought Irish folk music to the rock scene. I’ll be thinking of him when I listen to Fairytale Of New York, as I always do, over the holidays.

Read more: The Guardian 

Oscar Peterson's musical tribute to Canada

In the early 1960s, Oscar Peterson was renowned as the best pianist in all of jazz music. His Canadiana Suite made its debut on CBC's The Wayne & Shuster Hour in 1964. It is a tribute to the diverse landscapes of Canada, drawing inspiration from his travels by rail across southern Canada. One of the songs in the suite, "Place St. Henri," pays homage to the Montreal neighbourhood where Peterson grew up.

This is how a pine tree grows

This 300 day time-lapse video shows a pine tree growing from seed.


Thank You for Waiting

Poet Simon Armitage reads his poem Thank You for Waiting, taken from his collection The Unaccompanied 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Bison In The Snow

American bison take a stroll along a snow-packed roadway in Yellowstone National Park. They also use their massive heads to plow away the snow that covers the grasses they need to survive the winter.

Via Kraftfuttermischwerk

World's Skinniest Hotel?

PituRooms is a seven-bedroom property in Java that stands on a long abandoned plot of land. Measuring just 2.8-metre wide this hotel might be the world's skinniest. The rooms are tiny, of course, but they look comfortable.

The hotel has a bar, restaurant and terrace with panoramic views of the city.

See more: PLAIN Magazine

George Harrison Died On This Day In 2001

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Did any of you run into this guy over the long weekend?

Orlando International Airport has owned Duane Hanson’s “The Traveler” since 1986. The hyperrealistic sculpture is located in the Terminal A concourse between the East and West security checkpoints, near the food court.

Trailer for Menus-Plaisirs — Les Troisgros

In new food documentary,  Menus-Plaisirs — Les Troisgros, Frederick Wiseman turns his attention to fine dining at three-Michelin-starred restaurant Troisgros. The restaurant has been holding 3 Michelin stars for 55 years over four generations.

Read More: Eater

Glowing Terrarium Dresses

via  blort

Monday, November 27, 2023

LEGO Reenactments of Famous Psychology Experiments

Stanley Milgram’s 1961 obedience studies

Tomer Ullman is head of Harvard’s Computation, Cognition, and Development lab. His interest in AI led him to stage Lego recreations of famous psych experiments.

Many years ago, as a Psychology major, I studied the Milgrim experiment (image above) which explored the willingness of participants to follow the orders of authorities when those orders conflict with the individual's moral judgment. I never expected to see it rendered in Lego. But here we are.

Read more:  Open Culture

Photograph Of The Day

Tod Papageorge, “The Beaches, Los Angeles” 1979 - 1982

via the new shelton wet/dry

Sea lion trapped by plastic debris

A Steller sea lion was trapped on a seawall with a collar of old fishing nets wrapped around its neck and could not escape. Two volunteers for the Ocean Friends Team used a rope to fix the stressed animal closer to the breakwater, and it took the two men about an hour to cut the plastic rubbish off. They named him Lucky.

Making a Pitchfork

It took 6 years to make a pitchfork by hand from hackberry shoots. They were works of art. In 1997, Casimir Brescó, at 76, was the last active forcaire left in Alentorn, Catalonia. 

Ceramic Art Of The Day


Waterpot, ca. 1850

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday Links

A Geisha HouseOSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons @ Flickr Commons

The dark reality hidden behind the kimono Geisha underwent brutal training and torture in the name of beauty. Abuse, baldness and lead poisoning were hazards of the profession.

Dorothy Loves New York and I love Dorothy. At 98 she continues to explore her New York City neighbourhood and still enjoys a good cocktail. Her tipple of choice is a shot of whisky in an ice-filled highball glass which happens to be my favourite as well. (I’m hoping it is the key to her long and well-lived life.) Read the NYT article about her.

She did what? She sold her body for gingerbread

 The Greatest Dictionary Collection in the World From “unabridged” to “slanguage,” Madeline Kripke’s library is a logophile’s heaven (or hell).

I‘m in favour of anything that helps get me going in the morning. (via blort)

Are you looking for something to read? The Long List For The 2024 Tournament of Books is out - 58 works of fiction of which I have read only one (The Guest) although I have The Bee Sting waiting patiently for me to get to it. Most of these books appeal to me but it would probably take me two or three years to read them all. 

Every year since 1947, the city of Oslo has sent a Christmas tree to London. This year’s tree is on its way

Time’s Top 100 Photographs of 2023.

Adrift : Fighting a storm in the Kuril Archipelago in January 1960, Soviet barge T-36 ran out of fuel and was carried out of its lagoon and into the open ocean.

The Story of Valerie When Carola Baer was a lonely expat songwriter living in San Francisco in 1990 she recorded an album that was never released. The single existing copy of that album went missing and she was sure she would never see it again. Flash forward 26 years…

Swastikas on Canadian postage stamps

Did a magician help vanquish the Nazis in World War Two? He allegedly used canvas and plywood to disguise 1,000 tanks as trucks in the north, and created 2,000 fake tanks, plus a fake railway line, fake water pipeline, fake radio conversations and fake sounds of construction in the south. The tanks even had their own pyrotechnics.

 How to fold fitted sheets It looks easy but I’d probably screw it up.

Soothing scenes of snow falling on glass houses at night (AI generated).  via Kraftfuttermischwerk

Popeet allowed you to perform magic in your own kitchen!

Lace Face

The First Human Satellite I can’t believe he actually wanted to do this. 

Music For Sunday Morning


Saturday, November 25, 2023

Bison in Canada Discover Ancient Petroglyphs

Bison herd with one of the newly discovered petroglyphs overlaid on the sky. Wanuskewin Heritage Park

The elders of the Wahpeton Dakota Nation had long prophesized that the return of the plains bison to their ancestral lands would portend a welcome turn of events for Canada’s First Nation peoples. They may not have known, however, that it would take just eight months for this prediction to come true.

Bird Speed Comparison

The penguins, as you might expect, won’t win many races.

(The Awesomer)



Beautiful Iceland.

Nick Drake Died On This Day in 1974

During the early hours of 25 November 1974, Drake died in his bedroom at his boyhood home in Far Leys.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Times Square Greeters Guild

Dapper Brit in a smoking jacket pays stroll-by compliments to random people on the street around Times Square. (He’s actually comedian Troy Hawke)

Via Laughing Squid

One Pan Thanksgiving

Were any of you bold/crazy enough to attempt this monstrosity yesterday? You're probably recovering from salmonella today from the undercooked chicken. My opinion? I’d rather wash 3 sinks full of dishes than eat this mess. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thursday, Canada

 Hi Canada. It’s that time of year again.

Photograph Of The Day

Snow accentuates the colourful houses in Bonavista, Newfoundland. Photograph by Mark Gray

Il Timpano (The Drum)

The scene from the superb 1996 film, The Big Night, in which the pasta dish timpano is made and served. I must watch this movie again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

A Thanksgiving Quiz

Are you the worst person at Thanksgiving? I hope you aren’t.

1. Are your pants unbuttoned before the appetizer is even put on the table?
2. Are you wearing a pilgrim hat and drinking your fourth High Noon?
3. Did you loudly ask what the turkey’s pronouns were, then smirk into your Modelo?
4. Did you explain the origins of the holiday to the children’s table using one to three racist terms?
5. When called out for using one to three racist terms, did you then proceed to use four more?

 More Thanksgiving Quiz questions: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

The Auroratone, A Trippy Treatment For PTSD

Auroratones were films invented by psychologist Cecil A. Stokes in the 1940s that helped WWII Vets overcome mental health problems. Patterns were produced by using crystallizing chemicals and polarized light, which were then synchronized to a variety of recorded musical tracks. This one features Bing Crosby’s voice over psychedelic images:

Crosby contributed five recordings of the fifteen known Auroratones free of charge and paid for overseas shipping so the films could be shown to soldiers on active duty and medical leave.

Read More: Open Culture 

Thanksgiving Menus From the Late 19th Century

Cranberries are still a staple at the Thanksgiving table but when was the last time you were offered terrapin? These vintage hotel menus show how Thanksgiving dinners have changed over the years. 

More: Vintage Everyday

A Thermite Thanksgiving (a repost)

This post has been an American Thanksgiving classic on Nag On The Lake since 2007:
Oh no, the family is arriving in five minutes and I forgot to put the turkey in the oven! Whatever shall I do? Cooking a twenty-five pound turkey in under thirty seconds with ten pounds of thermite. (Best done outdoors).

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

New Song By Björk and Rosalía Raises Funds To Combat Open Pen Fish Farming

Björk and Rosalía are donating all their rights to income generated by this song to the AEGIS non-profit organisation to combat Norwegian-owned commercial salmon farming operations that threaten to disrupt native ecosystems in Iceland.

Hey Babe, Take a Scooter Ride on the Wild Side

Just when I thought I’d seen everything: This 1984 Honda Scooter ad featuring Lou Reed.

(via FB friend Chung)

I’ll have the turfing and some fufer please

Janelle Shane at AI Weirdness asked DALL-E3 for images of a Thanksgiving Day table labeled with text. This is what she got:

All Aboard!

Travel through picturesque landscapes as you make your way to the summit of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Retro Foldable Stroller


via everlasting blort

Handmade Titan Balaclava

Brrr, it’s getting chilly out there. I bet this Colossal Titan balaclava by artist Jaffa Saba would protect you from the elements but unfortunately it’s sold out.

Glued to a crocodile, swallowing fossils, or shoes melted by lava...

Jim Jourdane is a freelance illustrator living in France. His illustrations for the book Fieldwork Fail show the everyday mistakes made by biologists, archeologists, entomologists, and volcanologists.

Via:  My OBT

Jeff Bezos Rowboat

Bobby Fingers makes weird stuff, like this rowboat shaped like the head of Jeff Bezos. It’s a disturbingly realistic likeness. Watch it and marvel.

via Memo Of The Air 

Canadian Artwork Of The Day


Northern Lake Lawren Harris c. 1923

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Sunday Links

Photograph: Espaces Atypiques

There is something very Wes Anderson-y about this 100-year-old French railway station (image above). Sure, it needs a lot of work but it has many original features, including the tiled signage that speaks to its former life as a railway station.

Bring back Death In The Afternoon (Via PfRC)

Le crinkle cake

A group of storybook cottages in Los Angeles are a “a unique time capsule of the 1920s” and are still desirable today. Few people know that the entire village was a scam, and the man who built the houses was a con artist. Read the story

The 12 Best Whiskey Advent Calendars of 2023 (I would like to receive one of these.) : The journey of your life in numbers and dates. Looking at this site makes me glad that I live in Canada and not a few minutes away across the border.


Eternal Sunset allows viewers to tune in and watch the sun setting in different parts of the world at any time of the day. (via)

NASA will send your name into space

Here are 25 vegan recipes that people can enjoy on their own or as an accompaniment to the festive bird.

I can’t believe this is real (but it is): EggoVac  (via Rusty’s Electric Dreams)

Are there only six stories in history? Apparently yes. (via)

VFTTD, where the bad guy usually falls to his death in a mesmerizing and stress relieving way. (via everlasting blort)

Edward Lear’s recipe for amblongus pie, 1872 (you won’t want a second slice)

A couple of years ago we stayed at a boutique hotel just two blocks away from this Minimalist Amsterdam School home. The  neighbourhood is lovely and Amsterdam is so walkable. I can’t buy the property but I’m tempted to make a return visit just to wander around the city.

See rare images of Salvador Dali’s home and studio in Portlligat on the Spanish coast. 

‘It never ends’: The book club that spent 28 years reading Finnegans Wake

It’s getting chilly outside. Time to pull out the cozy sweaters, light a fire and make soup! I made a broccoli-cheddar soup a few days ago and this cabbage and farro is next up.  

How is he supposed to remember to put out the bins and bring in the tortoise? I’m including this week’s column by Tim Dowling because he always brightens my day.

The gap in life expectancy between men and women in the United States has grown to its widest in nearly 30 years. Men are dying much earlier than women. (New York Times)

The Duchess - Bo Diddley's first lady of rock 'n' roll

"Chumbox" advertising shows how desperate Elon is to attract advertisers: X rolls out new ad format that can't be reported, blocked

And I’ll leave you with…Elaine!

Music for Sunday Morning

 An oldie.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

When Niagara Falls Was Turned Off for the First Time in 12,000 Years

On June 12th, 1969, the course of Niagara Falls history was changed forever as 27,000 tons of rock were dumped upstream to dam the portion of the Niagara River supplying water to the American Falls. The result was almost instantaneous - millions of gallons of water falling more than 175 feet each minute was suddenly nothing but a trickle. 

Best First Date of All Time

My last first date was 45 years ago but it appears that they are as awkward and unpleasant now as they were back then.


When you want choice…

This unnuanced ad from 1985 would probably cause an international incident today. 

(Thanks Bruce) 

Friday, November 17, 2023