The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from November 2008

Children’s Card Games (35)

November 28th, 2008 · 4 Comments

  Our next “Old Maid” is a cheaply produced deck, simply marked as “Made in Hong Kong.”  Some version of it can still be found in dollar stores, among the toys sold as party favors. And here’s the Old Maid. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Bigfoot Meets Mozart

November 26th, 2008 · 2 Comments

(I delivered something like the following at an event called “Bigfoot Night,” curated by Kevin Maher and Meg Sweeney Lawless, at the Sci Fi Screening Room in NYC, 11/17/08.)

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Education · Forteana · Music

Children’s Card Games (34)

November 21st, 2008 · 4 Comments

We have some bold graphics here from “Spots and Stripes,” a variation on dominoes, put out sometime in the ’50s by Arrco.  Players matched patterns of spots and stripes; a few spotted and striped animals acted as wild cards. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

A Micronation Postscript

November 21st, 2008 · No Comments

The story of Lundy is familiar to all micronation buffs: a small island off the coast of England, declared a sovereign nation by its owner, Martin Harman, in 1925.  But it’s good to see its lovely stamps, issued in that unique denomination, the Puffin. (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Animals · Places · Politics

Go Aggies!

November 21st, 2008 · 1 Comment

In 1923, the USSR was established; the earworm “Yes, we have no bananas” was released; Firestone began selling inflatable tires; a ‘talkie’ made its first public debut; New York revoked Prohibition; insulin became widely available; the Walt Disney Company was founded; the first planetarium opened in Munich; the first electric shaver was patented (by Jacob […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Animals · Bulletins · Education · Places

Geography Awareness Week

November 17th, 2008 · 3 Comments

November 16 marked the beginning of National Geography Awareness Week.  Whether “national” indicates an emphasis on native geographical awareness, or is meant to suggest that we as a nation need to brush up on world geography, is unclear.   Without getting too theoretical, I’d like to point out that geography is a social construct.  Unlike […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Eccentrics · Places · Politics

Children’s Card Games (33)

November 13th, 2008 · 3 Comments

This Old Maid, published by Milton Bradley (again, the date is scrupulously concealed, but it’s an old one) is notable for a guest appearance by the famous Dr. Busby.  “Dr. Busby” was one of the more popular card games of the 19th century; and, like “Old Maid,” went through many editions.  Some of the artwork […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Stereoscopic Cat Food

November 13th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Let me add this image to my earlier remarks on cat food.  The caption reads “Rat on Toast — for Dinner.” (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Animals · Dietary Mores · Stereoscopy

Philosophy: A Shameful Sonnet

November 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment

The sonnet is a neglected form these days.  Verse of all stripes is unpopular — at least under that name, although it still defines popular music.  It’s all in the branding, I suppose. And current taste often brands the sonnet as precious, artificial, or old-fashioned.  Fair enough; although you could tar most American entertainment genres with […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Literature · Symbols · The Ineffable

Children’s Card Games (32)

November 7th, 2008 · 1 Comment

“Space Race” was published by Edu-Cards in 1969.  Among its scenes of outer space excitement was this doleful predicament.  I do hope they have a compass or something. (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera