The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Diversions'

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

Athanasius Kircher’s Parastatic Microscope

June 9th, 2010 · 2 Comments

I recently obtained a copy of Joscelyn Godwin’s book Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World (Inner Traditions, 2009).  I mention it here so that I can plug it: it’s a wonderful overview of the 17th century savant, studded with 400 examples of his charts, maps, inventions, and other illustrations.  There’s been somewhat of a Kircher […]

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Tags: Diversions · Literature · Technology

Not Dirty, Just Spicy: it was good for us, was it good for you?

May 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment

On Sunday, May 16th, hardcore fans of the suggestive braved suspended subway service and a glorious sunny afternoon to take in some harmless smut at the Ullage Group’s “Not Dirty, Just Spicy” event at Jalopy. Doug Skinner started things off by reviewing the rhetoric of extended double-entendre. To drive the point home, he performed the […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Cartoons · Clubs and Associations · Diversions · Education · Language · Literature · Stereoscopy · Ukulele

Adventure on Barren Island

March 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

Ancient coral or ancient ladies’ swimming cap? On the first day of spring, which in New York City was particularly welcome and unseasonably warm, I took a long walk on the sands of Dead Horse Bay, a quiet inlet tucked away not far from Floyd Bennett Field (the City’s very first airport), now abandoned to […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Clubs and Associations · Diversions · Ephemera · Memories · Places · The Ineffable · Ukulele

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

Another of Life’s Troubling Moments

October 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I found this anonymous pencil drawing at a flea market.  There’s probably a story behind it; perhaps it’s just as well that we don’t know what it is. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Diversions · Education · Ephemera · Mysteries

Low-Tech Stereoscopy: Word Ladders

September 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Word ladders are a relatively easy stereo effect to draw by hand.  Print a phrase on a sheet of graph paper, centering one word per line.  Place the sheet on a light box.  Center your phrase on the left side of a card, and trace the first word.  Then, trace the second word, but move […]

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Tags: Diversions · Stereoscopy

Vulgar Wit

August 22nd, 2009 · 7 Comments

There are plenty of ways to make a point quickly and emphatically, but few are as economical as a good interjection. Compared to the expressions one never runs across anymore except in Shakespeare, eighteenth century novels, and Mad Libs, most recent examples are pretty unmusical, uninspired, and linguistically dull: “wow,” “cool,” “awesome,” “Jesus.” This extends […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Diversions · Education · Language · Literature

A Spirit Drawing From Victor Hugo

June 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Spiritualism was all the rage in France in the 1850s; like many others, Victor Hugo and his household experimented with seances, table-rapping, and channeled communications.  This intriguing drawing dates from sometime around 1854. Hugo’s large body of graphic work may be unfamiliar to some of you: he left behind more than 3500 drawings.  He had a particular […]

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Diversions · Literature

Rubber Stamp Stereoscopy

June 17th, 2009 · 3 Comments

There are many ways to produce a stereo image, some more high tech than others: stereo cameras, two cameras, digital manipulation of a photo or drawing.  One of the simplest is just to place two identical objects a few inches apart, and photograph them.  You then get two perspectives of the same image, and you […]

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Tags: Diversions · Stereoscopy