Sep 282015

Before there were movies, there were paired daguerreotypes. “THE STORY OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE HAT AND CLOAK” was the number one Storypicture-Pair-o-Gram in 1859:


People would see it and just go absolutely insane. Crowds were so big that once they had to put it on display inside a factory, and everybody was pushing and jostling so much that parts of the factory collapsed. Later some of the people came back and burned the factory.

Today we know that most of the Pair-o-Gram riots were tied into anxiety about the looming Civil War. It was harder to work that out while it was actually happening, though, and they continued to be cited as a cause of the Civil War well into 1861.

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Jul 242015

Maisie is in Argentina and went to a soccer game. It was San Lorenzo against Arsenal de Sarandí. Everyone was a San Lorenzo fan because in the Argentinian league you can’t have fans of the opposing team at a home game because people will fight them. Their guide explained that it was a very sad thing for the country, that the people could not be trusted with the privilege of supporting an opposing team (or coming face to face with such support and not resorting to violence).

Here are some of the fight songs that were sung at the match:


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Apr 072015

When most people read Dante, they stop at the “Inferno.” I get that, since it’s about Hell and torture and all that. But if you don’t get to the “Paradiso,” you’ll never experience Dante’s depiction of Heaven, and I think his torture scenes there are just as good.

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Mar 272015
(click this friend for secret and scary images)

The chronicles of former times lie concealed –
housed below, hidden in earth-halls.
The king ordered it. He knew what words were worth.
He showed the people the extent of their power,
demonstrated how eternal life is book-bestowed.
The people were advanced enough to understand that stuff.
But other things they had no clue about – like what to do
after the books were written. So they guessed,
and hid them underground. These were still
not normal times. There were instances of
people being smart, but it was sort of only by
chance. The maze of book-hiding tunnels sure was elaborate,
though. It drove deep into the planet’s dirt-flesh.
Like the flesh of men, it had to protect itself,
with lava. Steam scalded those who held the spades.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” they said.
Up above the king rode around on a…
Continue reading »

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Jan 162015

A teenaged scientist in the lab.

A sweatshirt I bought at a Clippers game a while back came with a Wall Street Journal subscription, as part of some promotion I don’t quite get. That’s how I came across the inspiring research:

“Some teens doing homework while listening to music and juggling tweets and texts may actually work better that way, according to an intriguing new study performed by high-school seniors.”

—“Study Finds Some Teens Can Excel at Multitasking,” the Wall Street Journal.

I was so amazed by these teenagers and their goals that I decided to find out more about the world of teenaged science. You can read my new article about it here:

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Dec 102014

It’s a nice companion piece to her official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery:

God forbid something should ever happen to the National Portrait Gallery, but if it does I think it’s fine if to use the raccoon picture as the the official portrait. We don’t need to go through all the trouble of restoration when we have something that can pretty much give off the same general feeling.

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