The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from March 2012

Children’s Card Games (167)

March 29th, 2012 · 5 Comments

  “Monkey Shines,” an undated game from Whitman, asked the players to amass a set of four similar cards, and then make the appropriate animal noise.  The other players had to chime in; the last to follow was penalized with a “monkey ticket.”  When a player accumulated three of them, he was the monkey, and […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The “Bowery News,” 1947

March 28th, 2012 · 8 Comments

Cartoons about hoboes are familiar; less so are cartoons by and for hoboes.  The Bowery News began life as the Hobo News; it was aimed at hoboes, panhandlers, Bowery bums, dishwashers, and barflies, and called itself “The Voice of Society’s Basement.”  It ran poetry, stories, cartoons, photos, and news from the hobo community.  It was […]

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Tags: Cartoons · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (166)

March 22nd, 2012 · 6 Comments

Menko is an old Japanese game, more recently popularized in the west as Pogs.  Players compete to flip over opponents’ cards; each card usually has a picture of a hand as well, to add rock-paper-scissors to the game. I usually like to give just one example, but these are unusual and fun to look at, […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

A Prayer

March 17th, 2012 · 6 Comments

We return to Benjamin DeCasseres for this characteristic prayer, from his book Saint Tantalus. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Literature

Phyllis Benjamin

March 13th, 2012 · 6 Comments

I learned yesterday of the death of Phyllis Benjamin, long the President of the International Fortean Organization.  She had been battling cancer; a stroke in January had further debilitated her.  She died last Friday, on March 9. Phyllis organized many Fortean conventions, under the names of FortFests and FortNites.  John Keel invited me to my […]

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Tags: Forteana

A Two-Headed Turtle from 1888

March 9th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Two-headed turtles are not particularly rare.  I’ve seen a couple; films are online.  You can even buy one from a turtle supplier, if you have the money (they’re expensive). I’ve never seen such a detailed description, though, as the one that appeared in the May 1889 issue of St. Nicholas magazine.  In “A Queer Pet,” […]

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Tags: Animals

Children’s Card Games (165)

March 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

The backs of these cards identify them as “The Inka Culture.”  Each card carries some motif from the Andes.  There is no date or publisher on my copy.  I don’t know if the Incan designs are genuine, but they’re bold and stylish. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera