Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Victorian Inventor of the Wheelie

Today daredevil cyclists have a passionate following but you'd be mistaken if you thought this was the first generation to perform death defying bicycle tricks.
Way back in 1897 trick bicycle rider Daniel J. Canary was called "the father of us all." Canary performed amazing feats on the high-wheel, but when he got his hands on the newly-invented "safety bicycle," similar to the bikes we know today, he did even more: he invented the wheelie.

Read more at The Appendix

W1A, BBC Mockumentary

W1A is a satire about the BBC shown on the BBC.  A film crew follows Ian Fletcher, Head Of Values, around corporate headquarters as he attends pointless meetings with useless staff. If nothing else the show demonstrates that the public broadcaster has the ability to laugh at itself. The video below is  a preview of the fourth and final episode.

Elvis Costello And The Attractions Shop For Groceries In 1978

Geraldo Rivera goes shopping with Elvis Costello and the Attractions who were touring to support their 1978 album This Year's Model.  Behold the glamourous life of punk rockers on tour!  Elvis ponders the merits of olives vs capers! The video appears to be raw footage for a 20/20 segment that may never have happened. Elvis buys milk, capers and avocados - sounds like a party.

Via Dangerous Minds

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Handyman's Tour of Versailles

If you've ever visited the magnificent Chateau de Versailles outside of Paris you may have wished that you could see it without the hordes of tourists that descend upon it every day. I know I would like to sneak in after hours to explore the palace in peace and quiet.
Canadian photographer Robert Polidori was given that opportunity. In the 1980s he won a contract to document the ongoing restoration of the palace and saw spaces that tourists never see. Here are some of his photos:

Backstage plants at l’Orangerie, in the gardens of Versailles,
taken in 1983, Camera Work

Taken in the Salle les princesses royales,
2010, Galerie de Bellefeuille

Marie Antoinette’s la Meridienne bed,
photographed in 2007, Arthur Roger Gallery

1985, Galerie de Bellefeuille.

Much more: Messy Nessy Chic

Fictitious Dishes by Dinah Fried

 Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals is a project by designer and writer Dinah Fried, who cooks, art-directs, and photographs meals from famous fiction.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, 1963
'Then I tackled the avocado and crabmeat salad...Every Sunday my grandfather
used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the
bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comic.'

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, 1980
'Stopping before the narrow garage, he sniffed the fumes from Paradise with
great sensory pleasure, the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing,
cataloging, categorizing, and classifying the distinct
odors of the hot dog, mustard, and lubricant.' 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
'On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams
crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys
bewitched to a dark gold.'

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, 1915
'There were old, half-rotten vegetables; bones from the evening meal,
covered in white sauce that had gone hard; a few raisins and almonds;
some cheese that Gregor had declared inedible two days before;
a dry roll and some bread spread with butter and salt….'

Each photograph is accompanied by the passage in which the recipe appeared and with facts about the respective author, novel, or food.

Much more at Brain Pickings

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Sad Lunches American Office Workers Eat At Their Desks

Sad Desk Lunch is so, so sad.

Here we are. Eating our sad tupperware lunches. Oh yeah, just to make it better? Eating lunch at your desk can expose you to more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Via 22 Words

Monday, April 14, 2014

Japanese Speaking Bird

The Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa) is not only a pretty bird but is also intelligent. These birds are renowned for their ability to imitate human speech. This video shows one having a conversation with its owner.

I don't understand Japanese but comments on reddit say the conversation  translates as follows:
Bird:” ‘Uhm Hello, this is the Ono family.” 
Bird: “What’s wrong?” 
Owner: “Abe-chan, you’re a little too early. Once the phone’s picked up, then properly say hello.” 
Bird: “Okay, understood.” 
Owner: “Do you really understand? I’m counting on you. Hello, this is the Ono family residence in Gifu.” 
Bird: “Okay, I understand!” 
Owner: “Got it.”
Via TwistedSifter

Herding Cats

"Anybody can herd cattle. Holding together 10,000 half wild shorthairs, now that's another thing altogether!" A clever ad for EDS.
This has been around for a long time but it made me laugh so I had to post it.


The Library Dioramas of Marc Giai-Miniet

French artist Marc Giai-Miniet constructs tiny bookish worlds. These incredibly detailed dioramas, while lovely, have a decidedly sinister air about them.

More: Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design

Fed Up

This documentary takes a frightening look at the relationship between the food industry and childhood obesity.

Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history.

Via Blog on a Toothpick