Random Linkage

Vintage Airline Posters – a huge collection

Thought and Sight – travel and vintage stuff; a wonderful site

America’s Most Exclusive College – Interesting.

POSYDON – a proposed “positioning system for deep ocean navigation”

Rainbow Mountains of China – Amazing

Space Travelers – 10 people to claimed that they visited other planets; probably no one you’ve heard of but interesting anyway

Miniature Pottery – Wow

Caterpillars – Amazing photographs of caterpillars

Childhood photos of rock stars

Honeycomb Maps

Thoughts and Catchphrases and Such

A few days ago on Facebook I suggested that people who are getting way too worked up about certain issues should “just go kiss some puppies”. That slightly odd phrase had just popped into my head somehow and I didn’t give it even a second’s thought. But later it occurred to me that it’s actually a pretty good silly catchphrase. You know what I mean? Chill out; get over it; get a grip; take a chill pill; get a hobby; go kiss some puppies.

I’d love to see it catch on but I know it won’t because I’m me, not a famous Hollywood script writer but I’m going to use it whenever it seems appropriate. It will be my catchphrase and the way the world is now I’m thinking there will be many opportunities to use it.

It also occurs to me that it might be a good “Thought for the Week,” a cute way of telling people to just let go of whatever’s bugging them or a suggestion for a quick stress buster: Go kiss some puppies.

(I need a nice, shareable image to go with that.)

Quotes From Here and There

This is kind of why I hate having the reputation for being responsible – you drop one ball of the fifteen you’re juggling and everyone points and screams about it, never observing that you’re managing to juggle FOURTEEN FLIPPING TENNIS BALLS.here

Then they snuck their piece into the display area of the exhibit. Its presence raised no eyebrows. In fact, it was promptly awarded a ribbon for merit.there

What do you say when you want people to smile?here

So I’ve bookmarked and copied and watched YouTube videos on how to this that and the other, and I’m not entirely sure “the other” is legal in this state…there

Get a Grip!

There are times when I wish I was a celebrity, or at least that this blog got several thousand page views a day, because I have something I want to say to everyone in America, something I want everyone to hear and listen to. Oh well, I’m going to say it anyway: Everyone just get a grip! (And read the whole thing, not just the parts you like or the parts you don’t like.)

I have things to say to people on both sides of the Confederate flag issue. First of all, you all need to understand that it means different things to different people. I keep seeing images of the flag on Facebook with the words, “If you are offended by this you don’t know history.” That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. If you can’t understand why some people find it not merely offensive but also deeply hurtful then YOU don’t know history. In fact, if you don’t understand that, you are shockingly, impossibly ignorant of history. Or else, you’ve just made up your own fantasy history or you are choosing to believe someone else’s fantasy history. Or, at best, you are picking and choosing the parts of history you like and ignoring the rest.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are one of the people who are offended by the Confederate flag, you need to understand that not everyone who displays it is racist. To some people it is a precious symbol of their culture. It’s not an exclusive culture and certainly not racist. Most of its members would be happy to let you in if you have a fondness for dirt roads, pickups, country music, hound dogs, cowboy boots and the like. And if not, they will still treat you decently even though they may not understand you. Most people who display the confederate flag really and truly do not care what race or ethnic group you belong to. Many of them come across as ignorant because they have had too little contact with people of other races but they are not intentionally racist.

Just because a lunatic carrying a confederate flag shot up a black church does not mean that every person who displays it is hateful. The U.S. flag has often been waved by people who believe that all Muslims should be murdered, gay people are going to Hell, all immigrants should be sent home, and all women should stay barefoot and pregnant and everyone understands that does not mean everyone who displays the U.S. flag is hateful. I know! I know! That is different. It really is. The Confederate flag carries a history that is undeniably one of racism and hatefulness but to the majority of the people who display it, it no longer holds that meaning. That is what you need to understand and accept.

And to those of you who are crying about the impending disappearance of your beloved symbol of the South: News flash! The Confederate flag has not been banned! Get a grip. Some states have decided to stop flying it in front of their state capitol buildings. So what? It has not been an official symbol of anything for over 150 years and does not belong in front of any official building. And several retailers have decided to stop selling it. So what? Retailers decide to stop selling products all the time, for all kinds of reasons. Given it’s popularity, there is no doubt that other businesses will spring up overnight for the express purpose of making and selling Confederate flags. And if you happen to think that it should be banned, you need to get a grip. Banning anything only makes it more popular. If you don’t know that then you really don’t know history.

Personally? I am from the south but I have no fondness for the confederate flag. I guess you could say that I find it slightly offensive. Even aside from the race issue, and in spite of the innocent things it represents to some people, I see it as representing a kind of willful ignorance. I would like to see people voluntarily give it up. But they won’t and that’s okay. Mostly, I think everyone should just leave everyone else alone. Let everyone have their symbols and don’t take anything too personally. After all, they’re only symbols. They don’t really mean anything at all.

Random Linkage

25 Years Under Water – No, it’s not Oklahoma.

Image Recognition Gone Weird – Strange computer generated images

Breatharians – O-kaaaay…?

Safer Than We Think – There’s not much need to fear giant space rocks.

Machines Alive – Whimsical or disturbing? You decide.

“See-through” trucks – Maybe a good idea.

Gentleman’s Surprise Chair – I’m not a gentleman (nor any kind of man) but I WANT it!

Oddity Mall – A wide variety of odd things that you can buy

Jim’ll Paint It – He uses Microsoft Paint to create whatever weird pictures people ask for. Things like, “Jeremy Clarkson getting fired from his new job as a McDonalds trainee” and “Compo from Last of the Summer Wine stabbing a man-eating shark in the eye during a nuclear war”.

Don Featherstone – The man who invented the plastic lawn flamingo has died.

World’s Ugliest Chicken?

Alternative to Canned Air – Could be useful.

Thought For the Week

It is mildly unnerving to reflect that the whole of meaningful human history – the development of farming, the creation of towns, the rise of mathematics and writing and science and all the rest – has taken place within an atypical patch of fair weather.

Bill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything

Oh No, She’s Talking About the Weather Again

We have every possible kind of weather here in Oklahoma. Literally every possible kind of weather. Rain, drought, tornadoes, blizzards and now we’ve got a freaking hurricane. Okay, honestly, by the time a hurricane gets here it’s technically a “tropical depression” (What an appropriate name: “depression”) and this one isn’t any worse than the weather we had for the entire month of May – nothing but more rain and not as heavy as they were saying on the news last night. But still – look at it on the weather radar and you can see that it’s a freaking hurricane. It’s not even raining at the moment; it’s just damp and gloomy. But I’m tired of it and, somehow, it makes me feel a tiny bit better to say, “It’s a freaking hurricane!”

Random Linkage

11 Reasons Why Things Are the Color They Are – I almost stopped reading this after the first three, thinking this is all stuff everybody knows and it is mostly stuff like that but there are a couple of interesting bits later in the list.

Bendable Glass – Shiny! Imagine what they will be able to do with this.

29 Things Every Crazy Cat Lady Needs – Some of these are pretty nifty, some are more like… um… No.

Dinosaurs to Birds – article I want to read later

Pencil Sculptures – Wow

Ultimate Health Drink?

Victorian Fairly Tale Art – Wonderful!

Penguin Mirror – Weird

Weird Pictures – Just a collection of weird and funny photos. A few NSFW but mostly okay.

Limitations

So, have you heard about everyone being all in a tizzy over Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal pretending to be black?

First of all, I want to make it clear that I get it. I really do. I get why this upsets people and why so many people think it is “not okay”. I know that much history. But at the same time isn’t it a little ironic (Is that the right word? Ironic?) that this is going on at the same time that people are also spun up about Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner and we are all supposed to be completely supportive of that change? (Yes, yes, I know – that’s different.)

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Rachel Dolezal issue. On the one hand, aside from any matters of race, she lied. She misrepresented herself. But on the other hand, try to imagine a world in which it is completely okay to define ourselves any way we like – a world in which anyone can truly be anything they want to be. If we could all be any race we wanted to be would race even matter? Isn’t that what we’ve always wanted? A world in which race doesn’t matter?

Quotes From Here and There

“What’s true for you may not be true for me” is an out-and-out lie. Actual truth is, and can only be, absolute. It is measured against fact, against reality. If it can’t be so measured, then it’s not a case of being true or false – it’s a matter of opinion.here

I like men, and if they were sexist, I knew a good joke or teasing would change their mind. Feminists just faint and quit, or maybe faint and sue you for harassment. Poor things: acting like Victorian woman who faint at the sight of table legs.there

Why must the “word problems” we give our children to solve be boring? Let the problems capture the imagination, and then math homework will be a joy.here

Clothes now have so many labels that a pair of jeans can come with 700 words attached.there (Labels: another good reason to sew your own clothes)

Cat Envy

I’m sure it’s happened to all of us. We see another human’s Furry Overlord and fall in love. We have disloyal thoughts about how much prettier and sweeter he is than our own Furry Overlords and we wish we could be his human. We feel guilty and return home wondering if our Furry Overlords will smell our disloyalty on our hands.

This is my brother’s cat. His name is Garfield. He’s chubby and has a thick neck. He’s slightly long-furred but the fur on his tail is much longer than the rest of him. He came to me immediately for petting and cuddling and he didn’t make a sound the entire time I was there. Well, at least I get to visit him once in a while.

My Brother's Cat

Mid-Week Music Break

I’m not a huge fan of Chopin. Well, at least not a passionate fan like some people. But sometimes it just feels like the right time for Chopin and that time is usually a hot summer day. Is that weird?

Anxious

My favorite holiday is coming up soon. The 4th of July (American Independence Day) is my favorite holiday. Not by a huge margin. I do love Christmas and Thanksgiving, but July 4th is the best because you get to just hang out with family and relax. And the weather is nice. No coats and snow chains required. And, although there is always lots of good food, it’s not such massive quantities that you end up over-eating for a month and a half.

Unfortunately, I have missed the past two Independence Days. Two years ago stuff happened and we didn’t get to go to the family party. Last year something minor but unavoidable got in the way and, again, we didn’t get to go and it was just like just any other day, which made me feel a little bit sad and upset. One’s favorite holiday should never feel like just another day.

By the way, of all the holidays the 4th of July is the one I would most like to host at my house but for a couple of reasons it’s never going to happen. One is that I live so far out in the woods that nobody wants to come to my house. The other reason – the most limiting reason – is the Oklahoma weather and our summer tradition of burn bans, which includes a ban on cooking outside. It depends on the weather and we don’t have one every year but we wouldn’t be able to plan more than a week, maybe two, ahead of time. Otherwise, here would be the perfect place because it’s legal to set off fireworks. (if there’s no burn ban)

But anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. I don’t want to be superstitious but it’s hard to not feel like the universe is conspiring to prevent me from enjoying my favorite holiday and I keep thinking, “What’s going to happen this year?” Two years ago I made a dress that I intended to wear on the 4th of July and when we didn’t get to go anywhere I decided to save it and wear it the next 4th of July but again didn’t get to go. This year I’m starting to think I might want to wear something else anyway, which kind of bugs me because I’ve been saving this dress for two years. It kind of makes me look fat, though (Shut up. Fatter) and I have other dresses I’d rather be seen in. I have pretty much decided to put off the decision until that morning but I know until then I will not stop thinking about it along with everything else.

History of Ties

This is interesting. In addition to a brief history of the necktie it explains that one weird line in the song Yankee Doodle Dandy. And all my life I just thought it was meant to be silly.

Random Linkage

Pluto and Eris – The debate continues.

No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake – Oh damn. Another thing I don’t need that I have to try.

Odd front entry – I don’t know what happened here but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t qualify as a handicap access ramp.

The Mystical World of Mushrooms – Great photos of fascinating and bizarre mushrooms. Most of these I’ve never seen before.

Online Etymology Dictionary – Oooo! I must spend some time with this later.

Weather in a Box – Nifty. If you had this thing you might actually wish for rain.

Fantasy Forests – Beautiful photographic art

Dream House – I don’t care that some people think this house is haunted. It’s beautiful! My ultimate dream house looks something like this.

A Spot of Tea History

You know… It has never occurred to me to ask “Why are Brits so obsessed with tea?” any more than I would ask, “Why are Americans so obsessed with coffee?” Actually, as a tea drinker, I am a bit more puzzled by the latter question than by the former. (but not really)