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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
From Our Abecedarian Blog . . .

Today — March 31, 2015

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

On the basis of two bits of evidence (but please send us more examples), we've determined that British humo[u]r can move any mountain (to the tune of The Shamen's "Move Any Mountain" or not).  Exhibit A: In Maurice Dolbier's Nowhere Near Everest: An Ascent to the Height of the Ridiculous, we find a character who boldly "contrived the removal of Mount Everest and the substitution of a smaller peak, in an attempt to create an international incident."  Exhibit B: In the series one, episode two of Absolutely Fabulous, a character is sued by British Heritage for shifting some ancient standing stones out of the way:

Eddie: Sued?  Why are being sued, darling?
Bubble: Well, that last fashion shoot you organised.  Apparently, someone moved a couple of rocks, or something.
Patsy: Moved a couple of old rocks?  My God!
Eddie: Stonehenge, Pats.  Anyway...
Patsy: So?  They should be glad of the publicity.

Britain's effortless ability to move any mountain through humo[u]r is unmistakable.

 

. . . read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Substitutes for Christianity here include the spiritual drugs of aestheticism, idealism, ritualism, dilettantism, and intellectualism, as well as tinctures of Plato, Kipling, Tennyson, Emerson, Carlyle, Browning, and Shakespeare.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The devil takes a little sin for a ride, from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here are some good intentions from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Is Today The Day? (permalink)
31
March 2015

“Today is the day for the big game.”

—McGraw-Hill, The Complete Book of Reading, 2001

From the outrageous to the inspirational to the hilarious, here’s a daily reminder to break out of the old grind and do something unexpected, for the fun, the challenge, or the heck of it.

If today simply isn’t your day, click here to have a different day.


Music Box Moment (permalink)
Do you deserve a nostalgic breather?  Through the delicate workings of the music box, even the most dramatic compositions seem to play only for you.  You’ll hear even a very familiar piece in a whole new way.  Courtesy of home recording pioneer Ken Clinger, here’s today’s music box selection.  It will sound surprisingly good even through built-in computer speakers, and it will cut through the ambient noise of the office without being distracting.

Featured in Today’s Music Box:
String Quartet #15 - Movement 1 (Haydn)
performed by Ken Clinger
If you could use another Music Box Moment, choose a piece:


There’s a Signpost Up Ahead (permalink)
One's life path is marked by crossroads and signposts.  If you are confronted with making a choice today, perhaps the signpost displayed here will help to characterize your situation and guide you to make a decision.  If you need more guidance, refresh this page for another symbol.  If both signs are the same, perhaps any choice will lead to the same outcome.

The signs are inspired by a system of symbols entitled "Spiritual Diagnosis," developed by Dr. Robert McNary of Montana.  Dr. McNary actually creates nine-faceted mandala charts for people and interprets the symbols with uncanny accuracy.  Dr. McNary's web site is RockyMountainAstrologer.com.
> view a larger version of your signpost . . .
Yesterday — March 30, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

The phrase "ghosts of dead toys" delivers just one Google result from 1908.  Our illustration appears fours years earlier, in St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.



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This May Surprise You (permalink)

You've heard of somnambulists, and you've heard of escape artists, but here's both at once.  The caption reads, "Sylvester, once more sound asleep, sets himself free."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.



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This May Surprise You (permalink)

As we see in this vintage map, Florida once occupied most of North America.  But one could also make an argument that most of North America was once Scotland, just as absurdist playwright N. F. Simpson has argued that the Mediterranean could technically fall under Scottish law:

Lawyer:  It would be enough to show that it [the Mediterranean] is in what — for the present purposes — can be deemed to be Scotland, and here we might usefully explore the possibility that Scotland, as we know it, may not always have occupied the precise position north of the border that it is commonly thought of as occupying today.  We are assisted here by the known fact that the general configuration of the Earth's surface, such as it is, was not arrived at overnight.  It is the end product of a not unlengthy process involving widespread upheaval over a period of several millennia, during the course of which things were in a considerable state of flux ... and it should not be difficult to demonstrate as an a priori possibility that Scotland — or what was subsequently to become known as Scotland — might, in one of the remoter periods of geological time, have occupied, however fleetingly, and prior to making its journey northwards to the position on the map that it has occupied ever since, [the Mediterranean].  If so, there would be a strong prima facie case for a reappraisal of the whole situation with a view to bringing the whole matter fairly and squarely within the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts....
Senior:  Sounds promising.
Minister:  Yes — I think one could give voice to a tentative eureka there.
[From Was He Anyone?, first performed in 1972]

. . . read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

You've heard of being raked over the coals, but here are some rakes under the coal [we're here all night], from Purdue Debris, 1917.



[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .



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