The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from November 2011

Children’s Card Games (154)

November 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

“Letter-Grams” was published in 1938 by Milton Bradley.  There have been many crossword card games, but few with such an appealing and chubby typeface, or with such a decorative back. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Imitation Butter

November 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

I had always thought “imitation butter” was margarine; that is, a spread that imitates butter’s oleaginous properties, and could be substituted if butter was unavailable, or too expensive. This simple gag item, however, reminds me that butter has other qualities as well: in this case, the shape and color.  Greasiness is immaterial, because it’s not […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Diversions

The Templar Frog

November 20th, 2011 · 3 Comments

While thumbing through a scrapbook of lodge emblems, I found this anthropomorphic frog, who apparently represents some of the activities of the Knights Templar — that is, the Masonic order, not the original 12th century group.  Frogs can symbolize many things; I can’t say what he means here.  But I like the Templar Frog; and […]

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Tags: Animals · Clubs and Associations

Children’s Card Games (153)

November 16th, 2011 · 3 Comments

“The H-Bar-O Rangers” radio show began in 1932, presenting the adventures of Bobby Benson and his friends, and extolling the merits of H-O cereal.  This card game was published sometime around 1933.  The back shows a lovely drawing of Bobby riding the range with Sunny Jim, the sponsor’s mascot, who was to be phased out […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Pareidolia Training

November 9th, 2011 · 5 Comments

We have a remarkable ability to see patterns where there are none, to see pictures in clouds, smoke, and rocks.  We’re particularly prone to see faces, perhaps because facial recognition is such an important survival skill. “Images d’Epinal,” an old French firm that provided popular prints for generations, has long published pictures with hidden images, […]

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Tags: Education · Forteana · Liminal Graphics

Children’s Card Games (152)

November 3rd, 2011 · 1 Comment

Parker Brothers published “The Game of States and Cities” in 1946.  Each card shows one of the states; and players compete to “Name the State.”  For some reason, the cards all have one corner cut; perhaps to make them look less like Colorado.  I must admit that Michigan doesn’t look quite right to me here. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Bulletin (14)

November 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

Anthology Film Archives will show some of the videos I made with Michael Smith, on Monday, November 14, at 7 pm.  We’re part of a series about comedy; videos by Eric Bogosian will also be on the bill. I’ve been working lately at the Public Theater, as Ukulele Coach for their production of “King Lear,”  […]

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Tags: Bulletins