Sunday, September 30, 2007

Musical Piece Comprised of 37 Parts for the Cello

The remarkable Ethan Winer:

More: Amusing lists of oxymorons and funny names from Winer's website.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Unusual Statues

Click on the photos to see the photographers' Flickr pages:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Three Classic Parodies

Dudley Moore Beethoven Parody

Peter Sellers as Olivier as Richard III

The Nacirema Tribe:
Professor Linton first brought the ritual of the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologists twenty years ago (1936: 326), but the culture of this people is still very poorly understood. They are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east....

Nacirema culture is characterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat. While much of the people's time is devoted to economic pursuits, a large part of the fruits of these labors and a considerable portion of the day are spent in ritual activity. The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. While such a concern is certainly not unusual, its ceremonial aspects and associated philosophy are unique.

The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to this purpose. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls. (footnotes removed) Link

Read about the mysterious fall of the Nacirema here.

More scholarly research on the Nacirema here.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Treasure Trove of Spiffing Links You Probably Missed

Brilliant “Engineer of the Century” invented a human-powered flying machine that crossed the English Channel and a working solar-powered plane.

Solomon Islander who saved JFK’s life finally getting some credit.

A helpful map of Miss South Carolina’s brain.

Drawings by a Japanese soldier held captive in the USSR.

Haplesss little sparrow murdered by mob of domino crazies.

John Donne and the torture debate of 1625.

Finally, someone has done something imaginative with stairs.

Simple-but-brilliant method for changing salt water into drinking water.

Russians find a massive sub-glacial lake sealed off from the rest of the world’s ecosystem for probably millions of years. What lurks beneath?

Thousands of forgotten refugees still in temporary camp 60 years on.

A fascinating collection of (mostly) Polish movie posters.

Foreign policy experts don’t know diddly about making predictions.

Man with 172 IQ lived as a five-year old and collected Mr. Rogers’ episodes. A waste or just a good example?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Film of a Recording of the Goon Show

The German army has a secret weapon: exploding shirt tail fluid. Part One:

Part 2

Part 3