The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from August 2011

The Language of the Crows

August 31st, 2011 · 2 Comments

Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) was an ardent naturalist, and earned a bit of notoriety in his time for his research into the language of birds.  In his 1807 work, Quelques mémoires sur différens sujets, la plupart d’histoire naturelle, ou de physique générale et particulière (Some notes on different subjects, mostly on natural […]

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Tags: Animals · Language

Children’s Card Games (147)

August 26th, 2011 · 3 Comments

“Squadron Scramble” was an “Authorized Air Youth Game, Approved by the National Aeronautic Association.”  It was published sometime in World War II by Whitman.  American, British, Japanese, and German aircraft were shown from the top, side, and front.  You collected three of a kind; and tried not to get stuck with a “Keep ‘em Flying” […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Solrésol: The Phonetic Alphabet

August 25th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Solrésol has had somewhat of a revival in recent years, due at least partially to a popular article by Paul Collins. The system is an early attempt at an auxiliary artificial language, developed by François Sudre in the 19th century, and based on the seven notes of the diatonic scale.  He spoke it with solfeggio […]

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Tags: Language · Music

Children’s Card Games (146)

August 18th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Animalloys” was a set of cigarette cards from the Imperial Tobacco Company, of Great Britain and Ireland.  Each card had 1/3 of an animal on it; you could combine them to produce new and unusual creatures.  This is an alligator, armadillo, and buffalo.  I assume that Dad was supposed to give these to the kids, […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

On the Absence of Acrostics in Raymond Roussel

August 15th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Raymond Roussel does seem like the kind of writer who would write acrostics.  His works are steeped in wordplay.  The procédé is based on homonyms; “Parmi les noirs” throws in a rebus and a cryptogram; there’s a sonnet with a hidden message in La Poussière de Soleils; and so on.  Acrostics seem inevitable.

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Tags: Language · Literature

Children’s Card Games (145)

August 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

In 1953, the Albany Times-Union published a set of “Lucky Safety Cards.”  If you got the right number, you won $5000, which I suppose taught children about the numbers racket.  Hans and Fritz were probably not the best spokesmen for safety and obedience. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera