What happens is that Patrick goes plonking around on the web and finds useful and worthy information about stuff like books, computers, and politics. Me? The minute my mind wanders, I find I’m looking at a 17th C. painting of Jesus Christ eating a roast guinea pig. The first time Patrick showed me the web, back in 1993, he went off for a few minutes to do something, and came back to find me reading a discussion of saints and foot fetishism. I had no idea how I’d gotten there.
This keeps happening. I have come to accept the web as a sort of Rorschach Blot. Here are some of the things I’ve found while looking for other things, starting with the…
85Silicon Graphics MIPS R12000 microprocessor. He appears to us to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but then again we’re not really experts on dinosaurs. Directly to the right of the dinosaur appears some of the names of the engineers who participated in the design of the chip, which was internally code-named the Trex. The silicon reptile is about 50 microns high.Famous heroes of the kabuki stage depicted as frogs, by Ichiyfbsai Kuniyoshi (1798-1861).
A wall painting from a church in Broughton, Buckinghamshire, c. 1470, showing Jesus being dismembered by swearers. You know all those guys in period dramas who swear by God’s wounds (“Zounds!”) and God’s knucklebones and the like? This is a warning against the practice.
In the same genre, this 15th C. wall painting from Michaelchurch Escley shows Jesus attacked by tools used by sabbath-breakers.
Jesus eating a roast guinea pig at the Last Supper. The cavy in question is that thing lying on its back on the central platter. This picture was painted for a church in Cuzco by a native artist who knew perfectly well what people eat at festive meals: red peppers, papayas, and roast guinea pig. (I found this on a site dedicated to the many excellences of Cuzco (or “Qosqo”), which site combines a wonderfully erratic grasp of English with an obvious passion for its subject.)
Back in July ‘01 I noted the availability of statuettes of Our Lord and Savior invisibly participating in baseball, football, basketball, track, hockey, and soccer alongside His children. No doubt due to overwhelming demand (it pays to advertise in Making Light!), they’ve now added a other sports, including martial arts, skiing, biking/rollerblading, gymnastics, ballet, and golf. The new set’s a little disappointing, though; instead of getting into the game, He just stands there looking benevolent.
Does a painting of The Blessing of the Vodka Shop count as a religious image?
A transitional object:
Biblical plaguedomes, from Products of the Apocalypse, are a gruesome variant on snowglobes. The basic model so far is a Swarm of Locusts globe you shake to make bitty floating locusts attack a harassed-looking man. They’re also developing a Three Days of Darkness model. These people should be encouraged.
Other utterly miscellaneous pages:
The Unofficial SFWA Awardball Statistical Abstract, subtitled “A Slightly Irreverent Look at SFFWA’s 31-Year Love-Hate Relationship With The Nebula Award.” Michael Kube-McDowell takes on the statistics of the Nebula Award with the same kind of loopy obsessiveness you see in baseball fans. (Yo, K-Mac! You need to update that thing.)
Beowulf ond Godsylla, ‘nuff said.
Theory.org.uk Trading Cards are “…a pack of 24 cards featuring theorists and concepts close to the hearts of people interested in social and cultural theory, gender and identity, and media studies.” They don’t seem to have been meant to play with, but of course you can always argue about them:
Foucault tops online Trading Card popularity poll!
The estate of Michel Foucault was celebrating yesterday as news emerged that the French thinker had gained top ranking in the first online poll at the Theory.org.uk Trading Cards site.
Almost a quarter of the hundreds of votes cast on the site were for Foucault (23%). Fellow queer theorist Judith Butler came joint second, alongside Postmodernity (17% each).
Sociology fared badly, with Anthony Giddens (8% of votes) and Erving Goffman (5%) slumped at the bottom of the heap. Curiously, Theodor Adorno, critical theorist of yesteryear, didn’t do so badly (10%).
Analysts were divided over the results. Whilst some felt that it reflected the innate superiority of post-structuralist thought, others argued that it represented the triumph of superficial “trendy” theories over better-established sociological perspectives.
Furthermore, some commentators felt that the votes cast did not necessarily reflect an appreciation of each card per se. Anne Higgins, Chief Analyst at ADP Statistics, argued that “Users were simply voting for their favourite character. Many browsers visit Theory.org.uk for its Foucault content, and obviously will favour the Foucault card. That doesn’t actually mean it’s the best card. The Psychologists card got relatively few votes, perhaps because no-one likes psychologists. But in fact the card attacks the approach of many psychologists, and is my personal favourite.”
The Enchante Kiddie Karousel is constantly being redecorated, but day in and day out it’s the most relentlessly saccharine page on the web. Not for the faint of heart.
A collection of famous last stands, including Thermopylae, Hastings, Sempach, Waterloo, the Alamo, Camerone, Little Big Horn, Isandhlwana and Rorke’s Drift, El Alamein, and Bastogne. We pause here to remember the second most famous remark made at Bastogne, by then-Lieutenant Colonel Creighton Abrams of the 4th Armored Division: “They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.”
A recording of a 911 call from Joe, who’s taken shelter in a phone booth and “needs a bambulance.” It started, he says, when he hit this m@#$%f@#$%ing deer…
Allegedly, in the fall of 1943 a U.S. Navy destroyer was made invisible and teleported from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Norfolk, Virginia, in an incident known as the Philadelphia Experiment.It’s exemplary writing of its kind. These guys know how to lay a story to rest while fully appreciating that it was, in fact, a darned good story.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has stated that the use of force fields to make a ship and her crew invisible does not conform to known physical laws. ONR also claims that Dr. Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory was never completed. During 1943-1944, Einstein was a part-time consultant with the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance, undertaking theoretical research on explosives and explosions. There is no indication that Einstein was involved in research relevant to invisibility or to teleportation.
A collection of musician jokes. (Q: Barenboim, Levine and Mehta all went down in a plane crash. Who survived? A: Mozart.)
The Angry Corrie, “Scotland’s First and Best Hillwalker’s Fanzine.” I don’t know the people, I don’t climb the munroes, but any time I go near this site I find myself reading large chunks of it. It’s as true a fanzine as ever pubbed its ish.
Photos of puddings, including spotted dog, boiled (or drowned) baby, treacle-dowdy, jam roly-poly, cabinet pudding, and a floating island pudding in the form of the Galapagos Archipelago; with appropriate quotations from the works of Patrick O’Brian. This is from the website for Lobscouse & Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels of Patrick O’Brian by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas.
While we’re vaguely on the subject, How to determine the amount of batter to use in cake pans of different sizes and shapes; along with other formulae and calculations, plus odd facts like the standard bag-and-tip decorator needing twenty pounds of pressure to work.
Passepartout’s Alternate Rose FAQ, in which he explains mysteries such as shovel-pruning, what’s so special about David Austin’s English Roses, the color orange, rose cones, how all rugosas are the same plant, “substance”, improving the color of your roses, how to deal with rose names in languages you can’t pronounce, organic fertilizers, and much more. There’s also a wonderful chart that translates terms found in catalogues. Some samples from the FAQ:
Q: Hybrid Perpetual? What’s that?
A: It describes the stage in rose-addiction when rosarians become too critical of their perfectly good roses and throw them away. HT’s are the most susceptible, being perpetually discarded after a few years. Hence, the name.
* * *
Q: I found a rose on my newly purchased property in Santa Anita del Vista Ray Mar, California. It’s got pink flowers, thorns, grows about five feet tall. Can someone tell me what rose this is?
* * *
Q: What’s this Leonidas rose?
A: It92s a recently introduced HT. It used to be available only from florists, but they weren’t making enough money selling it, so the breeder decided to place it on the open market.
Q: Ooooo. I *must* see it. Be right back!
A: (tuneless whistling for a while)
Q: I’m back.
A: What do you think?
Q: Weeeellll. It’s different.
Q: It’s… it’s, brown. Am I supposed to like it?
A: If you are a slave to rose couture, yes, you must like it, and rave about it, too. Only newbies and dullards would do otherwise.
Q: I see. I’m so bourgeois. I do see its subtle shadings. Yes, and it really is in the avant garde of rose fashion. I’ll just get me five or so.
A: Before you go, have you ever smelled the pungent fragrance of Austrian Copper? Only the best rosarians cultivate it.
Q: Ooooo. I must smell it. Be right back!