The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from October 2008

The Biggest Game in the World

October 31st, 2008 · No Comments

If you’re still undecided as to how to celebrate your God-given American Freedoms – in this case, when voting next Tuesday – you’ve always got Politics Party Pun to choose for you. Yes folks, this is indeed “the biggest GAME in the world.” Like a cross between, Old Maid, craps, dreidel, and gambling, this game […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Clubs and Associations · Diversions · Ephemera · Politics · Suggestions

Children’s Card Games (31)

October 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We continue our survey of “Old Maid” with this breezy deck from Somerville.  No date is given, as usual; I’d guess the ’40s.  The artist seems fond of triangular eyes, large ears, and pointed noses, giving all the citizens here a decidedly elfin cast. And here’s the Old Maid.  From the look of that date […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Bill Nye on the Future of Punditry

October 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Edgar Wilson “Bill” Nye (1850-1896) was, in his time, a popular humorist, both as journalist and lecturer.  He’s not much read now, but I suggest that he’s still worth a look.  Here, for example, is a slice from an essay on the future.  Edison, by the way, was indeed working on a thought-recording machine. “In fact, Mr. […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Literature · Technology

Children’s Card Games (30)

October 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I don’t know why westerns were so popular in the 1950s.  But they were; and those curious ephemeral artifacts, children’s card games, reflected the fashion.  This example comes from a miniature deck published in 1951 by Russell.  It’s called, with artless simplicity, “Wild West Game.” (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Digital Backlash (1)

October 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

The computer is a useful tool.  We all use it regularly.  The fact that I post here should make it clear to the impartial that I have no beef with these gizmos. But this is a puritanical culture; and many of our fellow citizens view the non-digital with the same dogmatic intolerance with which the Pilgrims […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Dead Media · Eccentrics · Technology

Laws and Sausages (1)

October 21st, 2008 · 3 Comments

It’s been said that the two things you should never watch being made are laws and sausages.  This vintage stereo card shows one of the above. The observation is usually credited to Bismarck; a check of the www reveals multiple versions of it, and no definite source.  Huh.  The image can be safely ascribed to […]

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Tags: Animals · Dietary Mores · Mysteries · Stereoscopy · Symbols

Children’s Card Games (29)

October 17th, 2008 · 4 Comments

We have another circus-themed edition of “Old Maid,” this time in an undated deck from Whitman.  Quite the breezy design, isn’t it?  And here’s the Old Maid. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Moose Milk … and Cookies?

October 14th, 2008 · No Comments

An article in this Sunday’s New York Times celebrates an organization  dedicated to the historical documentation of local ullage (in this case, “local” meaning the 1/3 of the nation comprising the West). ByJESSE McKINLEY TWAIN HARTE, Calif. — Strange where a road trip can begin: a dorm room, a bar stool or Page 283 of […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Belief Systems · Clubs and Associations · Eccentrics · Memories · Misconceptions

The 1924 School Lunch

October 12th, 2008 · 2 Comments

We offer here my talk on school lunches, from “Through the Blackboard.”  It’s stored on another page, so as not to clog the home page.  Happy reading! (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Ancient History · Dietary Mores · Education · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (28)

October 10th, 2008 · 5 Comments

“Sky Trails,” a 1951 miniature game from Russell, was a bit more complicated than most.  There are two kinds of cards, Map Cards and Route Cards.  The Map Cards can be laid end to end to show the route from San Francisco to Shanghai; the Route Cards show the destinations along the way.  The objective […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera