The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from May 2009

Children’s Card Games (61)

May 29th, 2009 · 14 Comments

“Makin’ Groceries” was published in New Orleans in 1987, by Mel-Mar Productions.  All of the cards represent local brands of food: ice cream, crab boil, red beans, potato chips, etc.  The players compete to match and accumulate groceries.  As the instruction card says, “We have chosen some of Louisiana’s finest and most original food products that […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Bulletin (7)

May 29th, 2009 · No Comments

I’m happy to inform you that “The Puppet Show,” a vastly entertaining traveling exhibit of puppet-related art, is now at the Frye Museum in Seattle.  The show includes a number of the videos that Michael Smith and I did over the years; the Frye Museum is at 704 Terry Avenue.  Further particulars can probably be […]

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Tags: Bulletins

Children’s Card Games (60)

May 22nd, 2009 · 5 Comments

The “Space Age Edition” of Old Maid was published by the Russell Manufacturing Company in 1960.  Most of its pairs are, like this one, cartoon versions of NASA spacecraft.  However, the UN building, Albert Einstein, and a skin diver are also part of the roster.  I guess they help keep the kids on their toes. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Medicine and Methodology

May 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

[Here is, approximately, the outline Dr. Mamie Caton and I followed for our bit in our Medi-Vaudeville event.  I prepared it to allow interaction with Mamie (who was too busy to write anything herself) and with the audience.  And I'll pursue it on another page, to keep the home page tidy.] (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Politics · Symbols

Children’s Card Games (59)

May 15th, 2009 · 6 Comments

“Dandy Candy,” a “Built-Rite Toy,” parades anthropomorphic junk food before its young audience.  Pies, cakes, candy canes, gum drops, and other sugary citizens laugh and frolic before jagged pastel backgrounds. I suppose the idea is to encourage children to up their sugar intake.  I had no interest in sweets as a kid; my family, of course, was appalled, and warned […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Faust House

May 12th, 2009 · 7 Comments

I made this sketch of that curious old building, the Faust House, on a trip to Prague a few years ago.  I post it here for whatever pleasure it may trigger. The Faust House, for those unfamiliar with it, sits on Charles Square; it houses the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, and is not open […]

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Tags: Eccentrics · Places

Children’s Card Games (58)

May 7th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Ah, the Old Maid returns: here she is in a nicely rendered “Peter Pan Card Game” from the Whitman Publishing Company.  Again, I’ve selected the painter from the deck, since I always wonder if the anonymous artist has slipped in a self-portrait. And here’s the Old Maid. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Browning’s Error

May 7th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Today is Robert Browning’s birthday.  If he were alive today, that beard of his would be even longer. I suspect few read him today; I don’t know the statistics.  If so, it’s a pity.  I cracked him open not long ago to examine his portrait of a spiritualist, “Mr. Sludge the Medium,” and have been reading him […]

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Tags: Literature · Misconceptions

The U.G.N.D.P.

May 3rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

In May 1776, the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of “Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer.”  Since then, our presidents have occasionally marked off a special day for prayer; and in 1988 Reagan fixed the first Thursday in May as “The National Day of Prayer.”  Humiliation and fasting have apparently been cut. Not all presidents have hopped […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Politics · Symbols

Children’s Card Games (57)

May 1st, 2009 · 2 Comments

“Letters and Numbers,” from the Russell Manufacturing Company, is a curious creation.  It’s essentially an alphabet book; some of the letters are repeated to pad the deck out to 40 cards, which are arranged into four suits (Planet, Moon, Star and Comet) of ten cards each.  Several games are suggested; but children are encouraged to […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera