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November 28, 2022

November 24, 2022
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
  • Gifaanisqatsi -‌- random 'Koyaanisqatsi' [trailer] generator.

  • Dollar Street lists family portraits around the world, with their monthly incomes noted -‌- kind of an abbreviated version of Peter Menzal's Material World book from 1994.

  • Gord McCaw's Vancouver Neon collection at Facebook.

November 21, 2022
  • Fantatstic -‌- Joni and Elton in dialogue in a special episode of Rocket Hour where at one point she explains 'the hexagram of the heavens'... the part of that song which makes me think of 'King Nine Will Not Return': Jets!

November 20, 2022

November 17, 2022

November 13, 2022
  • I'm approaching 3D Printing by learning TinkerCad, with which I've created my first .stl file. Always been intrigued by CAD software -‌- fascinating.

  • Re-reading Look Homeward, Angel, this time in its original form, and am once again puzzled by Mr. Gant's railing against Mountain Grills. My younger self's knee-jerk assumption was that it was just his way of saying Mountain Girls but given the context, that doesn't make sense. And the expression wasn't new to me when I first read this; just a few months previously I'd acquired Hawkwind's Hall of the Mountain Grill. But finally, an explanation, once published in the Thomas Wolfe Review: Mountain Grills and hoggish minds: W.O.Gant's allusive invective, which attributes the expression to Edmund Spenser, who wrote about a Grylle in his epic poem, The Færie Queene, which was a man who'd been converted via some enchantment into a hog, who'd then been given the chance to revert, but turned the offer down.
      O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

  • Now this is interesting: an ACLU map of states with Criminal Laws against Defamation -‌- 24 states have laws that make it a crime to publicly say mean things about people, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment. These laws violate the First Amendment and are disproportionately used against people who criticize public officials or government employees. Before you look, guess which states those might be.

  • And since it keeps coming up, and I can't find a scan of it anywhere, I'm posting Harvey Pekar's Why I haven't visited the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame from April 2001.

November 10, 2022
  • About the Korean concept of nunchi, understanding also what's not being said, reading between the lines.

  • Moss and Fog takes a look back at some wild retro futuristic cars.

  • Used by me today, to make the $5 thrift store clock readable: analog clock-face generator at, which has all kinds of patterns available for printing out & etc.

November 7, 2022

November 4, 2022

November 1, 2022

October 27, 2022
  • Photo from /r/France, a French bakery sign [in English] describing the difference between Macaroon, Macaron, and Macron.

  • Inside a massive abandoned town of Disney-esque castles. What was supposed to be a luxurious urban development for wealthy foreigners has become an eerie half-finished ghost town in Turkey. Not my idea of castles, too small; these remind me of the old turreted townhouses popular in NE DC, and the boring pseudo-Levittown in the Homer Price "Wheels of Progress" story, where every house in the development is the same.

  • Although similar products from the competition are available I can't find Planter's Peanut Block anywhere, not even on Mr.Peanut's corporate site. They aren't on Roger's Discontinued Food (that I really miss) page, although that delightfully 1.0 wwweb site does list (in addition to Noodles Romanoff recipes) Five Flavor Life Savers with Lemon and Lime, essential flavors I didn't realize had gone missing until I reviewed their history in What Are the Flavors of Five Flavors Lifesavers? which says Raspberry & Watermelon replaced Lemon & Lime in 2003.

October 24, 2022
  • Indie the Introvert -‌- "Cartoons, often about dogs," by Sirin Thada.

  • Incredible: Best Microscopic Photos 2022 at Bored Panda. The ant's face, #8, is making the rounds; I really love the colors of #10 and many others. Images of Distinction, indeed.

October 17, 2022

October 13, 2022
  • Trevor Traynor photographs Newsstands of ten countries. On 5/27/22 Newsstands was launched as a collection of 100 NFTs minted on the blockchain. The collection sold out 10/02/22. Nevertheless, you can see them all right there on his site.

  • The World's Water -‌- a visualization from the USGS.

  • 'Time Out' ranks the ten coolest neighborhoods. I've only been to one of them, Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, so what do I know; but I might nominate another with a similar sounding nick-name: the Kitsilano district of Vancouver.

October 9, 2022

October 7, 2022

October 5, 2022
Four Brothers in Warrenton
With my brothers at an Irish restaurant Sunday in Warrenton, Virginia
(click for bigger)
six years ago

September 25, 2022

September 22, 2022
  • The Morality or Religious Police are really mixing it up in Iran, where they're rioting and the women are burning their legally-mandated hijab head-scarves in protest. I first learned about these 'police' from a co-worker who'd spent time in Saudi Arabia, said their cars have green lights (instead of blue) and if they saw too much skin they'd mark it with green spray paint -‌- it's the color of Islam; often the light at the tip of a mosque's minaret is green. Their actions in the Kingdom have apparently been limited since 2016; this is the first I've heard of them in Persia (where they're known as the Guidance Patrol). More at CNN, Iran protests rage as Mahsa Amini's father says authorities lied about her death.

September 19, 2022

September 17, 2022
  • In 2020 NPR reported the Cruel Story Behind The 'Reverse Freedom Rides' of 1962, whose target was Hyannis, Mass, and the Kennedys there. But what and who were those original Freedom Riders? Hard to understand without context (interstate bus lines were segregated illegally); as ever, there's a good background in Wikipedia. An editorial in the Washington Post, Why our raging geography wars could make 2024 a nightmare says conservatives are vibrating with glee over what DeSantis is doing, shipping refugees north.
    (archive link)

  • Vulture ranks the Marilyn Monroe movies. Reading this, I've really got to catch up on some of the earlier films. I would swap 'The Seven Year Itch' with 'Some Like It Hot' in this ranking, and Groucho's response to her 'Love Happy' audition's worth repeating: "The whole room revolved when she walked."

  • Slate says fast-food is racing to ditch the dining room, shifting to drive-thru only (because nobody goes inside to eat anymore). I remember when McDonald's was new, without inside seating, just a row of cold-tile benches along either side; also realizing I never eat fast food anymore -‌- being retired, the only time is while on travel (maybe, never my first choice).

September 14, 2022

September 10, 2022

September 8, 2022
  • All eyes on England, as Queen Elizabeth has passed away -‌- Operation London Bridge Operation Unicorn is in effect. In the UK and the Commonwealth, life stops for two weeks. God Save the Queen!
Union Jack

September 7, 2022

September 5, 2022
Idle time in Sea-Tac at the end of Concourse B
After the cachophony of the Vegas airport, Sea-Tac is an oasis. See these comfy chaise-lounge chairs we found facing the windows at the end of Concourse B, on our way back home from the Alaska cruise? Other unexpected but welcome amenities: none of those tiresome security announcements, plus easy-to-read digital clocks hanging from the ceiling every few gates.
  • Speaking of US airports, at The Verge, the Humiliating History of the TSA. Not even death can exempt you from TSA screening.

  • While in transit, I picked up a discarded Financial Times and found an article about one of the earliest songs I ever liked and the woman who wrote it (although I never heard her rendition, until now): Freight Train -‌- how Elizabeth Cotten's song was revived by the skiffle boom. We even have video -‌- note how, unlike most southpaws, who re-string their instruments and play them backwards, she just rotates a right-handed guitar 180° and plays it upside-down, as Jimi Hendrix did.

  • In the Atlantic, Foreign candy puts American candy to shame. Who knew the Mormons had developed a Hi-Chew sweet tooth? It's what I offer on Halloween, prompting one trick-or-treater to exclaim "He's handing out Hi-Chews -‌- this is my new favorite house!"
    (archive link}


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Last cinema visits:
"Everything Everywhere All At Once"

"Ad Astra"
Current reading: O Lost by Thomas Wolfe

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