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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
From Our Abecedarian Blog . . .

Today — July 30, 2014

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

Says lyricist Howard Dietz, "I bought two ... speed boats, one with a top to ward off the rain, and one without.  They were called 'Stuff' and 'Nonsense.'  'Nonsense' had been owned by Fred Astaire."

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt notes: "Nonsense" was presumably Astaire's name for the boat (which Dietz presumably built on in dubbing "Stuff" thusly)--because it's considered bad luck, isn't it, to rechristen a boat?  I mean, how could it not be 'bad luck' to rechristen a boat?  Pretty much everything is 'bad luck' to the nautical mind, unless it's one of the very specific things deemed to be 'good luck.'

. . . read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Under Nordlysets Straaler by Sophus Tromholt (1885).


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
You've heard of "forced perspective," but we call this unusual effect "horsed perspective."  From Across France in a Caravan by George Nugent Bankes, 1892.


. . . read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Where am I?"  An illustration from Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894).


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Is Today The Day? (permalink)
30
July 2014

“Today is the day for you to make a decision.”

—Lynn MacKay, Wisdom from Heaven, 2003

From the outrageous to the inspirational to the hilarious, here’s a daily reminder to break out of the old grind and do something unexpected, for the fun, the challenge, or the heck of it.

If today simply isn’t your day, click here to have a different day.


Music Box Moment (permalink)
Do you deserve a nostalgic breather?  Through the delicate workings of the music box, even the most dramatic compositions seem to play only for you.  You’ll hear even a very familiar piece in a whole new way.  Courtesy of home recording pioneer Ken Clinger, here’s today’s music box selection.  It will sound surprisingly good even through built-in computer speakers, and it will cut through the ambient noise of the office without being distracting.

Featured in Today’s Music Box:
Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Gluck)
performed by Ken Clinger
If you could use another Music Box Moment, choose a piece:


There’s a Signpost Up Ahead (permalink)
One's life path is marked by crossroads and signposts.  If you are confronted with making a choice today, perhaps the signpost displayed here will help to characterize your situation and guide you to make a decision.  If you need more guidance, refresh this page for another symbol.  If both signs are the same, perhaps any choice will lead to the same outcome.

The signs are inspired by a system of symbols entitled "Spiritual Diagnosis," developed by Dr. Robert McNary of Montana.  Dr. McNary actually creates nine-faceted mandala charts for people and interprets the symbols with uncanny accuracy.  Dr. McNary's web site is RockyMountainAstrologer.com.
> view a larger version of your signpost . . .
Yesterday — July 29, 2014

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
Here's a contentless book scanned by Google and spotted by TheArtOfGoogleBooks.  It's technically Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (1756).


. . . read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Heather Has Two Mommies (1989): Two Mothers of One by Roof Roofer a.k.a. Rufus Randell, 1896.


. . . read more from Precursors . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
Exquisite things are invariably surrounded by fairies.  From A Tramp Abroad Etc. by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1897).  The caption reads: "An exquisite thing."


. . . read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Death's Ramble": an illustration from Humorous Poems by Alfred Ainger (1893).


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .

July 28, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to how literally now means figuratively, from Doctor Nikola by Guy Newell Boothby (1896).  The caption reads: "We literally flew."


. . . read more from Precursors . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "He seemed a dog adrift."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .



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