The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from March 2009

Children’s Card Games (52)

March 27th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Our last specimen of the venerable game of “Hearts” is a deck currently on sale in toy stores.  It tells us no date or publisher, only that it was made in China. Most “Hearts” decks have four suits; this one, for some reason, has only three: clovers, hearts, and horseshoes.  The 9 of stars, the […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Moses Battles the Pterodactyls (7)

March 27th, 2009 · No Comments

[Yes, Virginia, there is a Charles Darwin; and we continue to fete his bicentennial by serializing my talk on the impact of his theories on American culture.  Have a seat.] A few days after the Scopes trial had pooped out, Bryan died.  Mencken exulted, “We killed the son-of-a-bitch,” and ran a rather nasty obituary, calling […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Literature · Misconceptions · Politics

Happy Birthday, John Keel

March 25th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Today is the birthday of John Keel, the author of Jadoo, The Mothman Prophecies, and many other books close to the heart of the Ullage Group.  For those of you who are counting, he’s now 79.  Anthony Matt and I visited him Sunday: we took him out to lunch, helped him shop for groceries, and […]

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Tags: Animals · Forteana · Literature · Mysteries

Children’s Card Games (51)

March 20th, 2009 · 1 Comment

We continue our gallery of the game of “Hearts” with an undated deck from the E. E. Fairchild Corp., of Rochester, N.Y.  And a vibrant color scheme they’ve given us, too. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Moses Battles the Pterodactyls (6)

March 20th, 2009 · 4 Comments

[The serialization of my talk on Darwin's odd cultural impact marches forward.  We take a break from the Scopes Trial to ponder the history of caveman cartoons -- and the curiously tenacious popularity of the brontosaurus.] Well, the legal news is always engrossing, but let’s turn for a moment to the funny pages.  It’s as good […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Belief Systems · Education · Politics

Children’s Card Games (50)

March 14th, 2009 · 5 Comments

And we have another round of “Hearts.”  Like our last, this deck was published in 1951 by the Whitman people.  It’s a miniature deck, and features strange little beings. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Moses Battles the Pterodactyls (5)

March 14th, 2009 · No Comments

[Open wide, for another tasty dipperful of my talk on the apparently ceaseless squabble between Darwinians and anti-Darwinians.  I gave this talk at a couple of Fortean conventions a few years back; I'm posting it here to celebrate Darwin's bicentennial.  See the earlier dippersful for more details; meanwhile, the Scopes trial is in progress.] The Scopes trial […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Misconceptions · Politics

Children’s Card Games (49)

March 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments

It’s high time we had a round of “Hearts,” that simple and charming card game that became a staple for the kids.  This edition was published by Whitman in 1951.  The player with the least points wins; and that Jinx card adds 11 to your score.  Beware that sly cat, Hearts players! (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Moses Battles the Pterodactyls (4)

March 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments

[We continue to mark Darwin's bicentennial by doling out my talk on his cultural wallop.  So far we've run through some misconceptions, the melancholy tale of the brontosaurus (to whom we will return), and the background of the Scopes trial.  We're ready to meet some of the principals.] Bryan is such a complex character that it’s a […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Misconceptions · Politics

The New TV-B-Gone SHP

March 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

We have heard reports that the Ullage Group is fixated on the past and that ullage means old things and concepts. To some extent this is true. There are many ullage topics of interest frozen in the glacier of the past. So let’s have a hot post about something new. The TV-B-Gone is a key […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Technology