The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from January 2010

Children’s Card Games (83)

January 29th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Another Old Maid has entered my life.  This deck was published by Playtime House; in addition to the artist (and I can’t help but suspect that we may have a self-portrait here), we meet such characters as Tommy Tuff, Hedy Hula, Billy Bum, Ubangi Bess, and Shirley Strut — all with clean lines and oversized heads like […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Pianocktail

January 26th, 2010 · 2 Comments

[As a postscript to “Pandora’s Music Box,” let me add this lovely imaginary instrument from Boris Vian.  It appears in his novel L’écume des jours (The Scum of the Days).  A number of artists have built plausible models of the Pianocktail; documentation can be found, here and there, on YouTube.  But let me translate the […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Literature · Music · Technology

Opening “Pandora’s Music Box”

January 26th, 2010 · 1 Comment

The Ullage Group’s sixth public outing attracted our largest turnout yet.  We ran out of chairs and pews; some had to stand, fidgeting. After an introductory sermonette, Lisa uncorked the ullage, and poured out the traditional offering to our hosts at the Jalopy Theater, Geoff and Lynette Wiley.  She then discussed the cultural history of […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Clubs and Associations · Diversions · Education · Ephemera · Music · Non-cinema · Ukulele

Children’s Card Games (82)

January 19th, 2010 · 4 Comments

In “Wings: The Air Mail Game,” a 1928 game from Parker Brothers, you deliver mail across the country, from Boston to San Francisco.  This offers the opportunity for some deft pen sketches of aerial views.  Nicely done, I think. (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Ullage Group presents Pandora’s Music Box: Odd, Forgotten, and Long-lost Musical Instruments

January 19th, 2010 · No Comments

For your listening pleasure, the Ullage Group returns this coming Sunday, January 24th with a cacophonous and fun-filled afternoon of unusual, under-appreciated, forgotten, and one-of-a-kind musical instruments. Part show-and-tell, part performance, all noise! Your ears will never be the same again. Doug Skinner will discuss and demonstrate some of the patent instruments and “gizmo harps” […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Clubs and Associations · Music

Children’s Card Games (81)

January 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

“My First Card Game” was published in 1983 by Discovery Toys; the original publisher seems to be the German firm of Altenburg-Stralsunder.  It’s certainly bold, as designs go.  And I’ve seen worse monkeys. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Defining “Spiritual”

January 1st, 2010 · 4 Comments

I’m puzzled by the word “spiritual.”  I understand it as a noun, meaning a genre of vocal music.  But as an adjective, it has me stumped. When I meet someone who spatters his or her sentences with it, I sometimes ask what it means.  She or he usually refuses, often with projectile hostility.  One woman […]

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Tags: Education · Language · Mysteries