The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from April 2008

Thinking Backwards

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

The great mad painter and pulp writer, Richard Shaver, was convinced that the sun had become poisonous, and had repolarized our brains, so that we think backwards.  We mistake beauty for ugliness, and evil for good.  That’s why we act the way we do. I suspect he was wrong about the sun; but he may […]

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Tags: Belief Systems

Children’s Card Games (4)

April 25th, 2008 · 4 Comments

“TwinKins” (“An original card game for boys and girls”) was published by the Arrco Playing Card Co.  Again, there is no date.  Players score points by pairing boys and girls from the same country. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Bulletin (1)

April 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

We’re happy to report that the Ullage Group now owns a functional 1932 Violet Ray Generator.  One of your founders (Doug) and charter member Dr. Mamie Caton bought the device at an antique store in upstate New York.  We tested it before purchase; the spectacle of four clueless adults trying to work a potentially broken […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Clubs and Associations · Dead Media · Diversions · Microlithomania

Children’s Card Games (3)

April 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Your third selection comes from a curious game called “Golden Egg.”  There is no date, price, copyright, or publisher; all we are told is that it was made in Hong Kong. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Blasphemy Contest

April 14th, 2008 · No Comments

Blasphemy is a wacky bit of homo sapiana; it requires a deft two-step of belief and disbelief.  Without belief, there’s no point to it; without disbelief, no taste for it.  This bittersweet combo is well-suited to the Italian palate. Few languages, apparently, are as fertile in blasphemy.  One of the preferred formulas is the yoking […]

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Tags: Diversions

The Ullage Group and Forteana

April 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments

We started this as a sort of Fortean Society, as you may have gathered from the occasional remark.  Since there’s some confusion over the term, we might as well clarify matters. First off, both founders (Doug Skinner and Anthony Matt) have been active in various Fortean groups — loosely defined as groups that bandy about […]

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Tags: Clubs and Associations · Forteana

A New Biography of Charles Fort

April 10th, 2008 · No Comments

Fort fans will be intrigued to hear that a new biography of Charles Fort, by Jim Steinmeyer, is due out soon.  I’ve just read an advance copy, and urge you to keep an eye out for it.  Steinmeyer has scoured the archives, and come up with much fresh material; Fort’s delightful letters alone are worth the trip.  Fort’s […]

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Tags: Forteana · Literature

Children’s Card Games (2)

April 10th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We have another one for you: this comes from “Farve-Firkort,” a game from Denmark.  No date or publisher is given.  I think the name means “Four-card in color”; any Danish speakers please chime in with corrections. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Animals · Card Games · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (1)

April 4th, 2008 · 1 Comment

  Somewhere in the ullage of our culture floats that odd artifact, the card.  Cardboard rectangles are used for many things: postcards, business cards, gaming cards, fortune-telling cards, trading cards. One of the most ephemeral is the children’s card game.  The games themselves are usually simple time-wasters, cheap toys to divert a bored kid for an […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera