Tuesday the 13th

No posts for a week. I stayed with my dad for most of last week to go to a family wedding, took my laptop with me to do some work while I was there, but then stupidly forgot to bring the power cord with me. Here’s a relaxing video. I actually really don’t enjoy those “relaxing” videos of people whispering or crinkling things, they don’t relax me at all (and some of them are definitely aiming more at “attractive woman pays attention to you” than soothing sounds), but I like this one. Best enjoyed with headphones.

Here’s some other interesting things:

  • The surprisingly interesting story of chain restaurants like TGI Friday’s whose decor was covered with antiques and curios, where they got them all from on such a huge scale, and what they’re doing with them now fashions have changed.
  • Colour photographs of Paris from 100 years ago
  • 21 Fruits and Vegetables you didn’t knew grew like that

  • The worst ideas of post-war town planning
  • The weirdest Russian textbook around (whole course free)

Every morning there are mountains to climb

I haven’t posted here for nearly a month now. Family illness, upcoming major life changes, unsuccessful job hunts and other stressful things have taken up my time. I’ve had a lot of ideas for posts to make here, but neither the time nor energy to write them. Not a lot of fun happening round this way lately. I got to see Grimes play live though recently, which was something, at least. Here are some interesting links to share.

  • Sun Ra’s business cards from the 1950s. Sun Ra never “died”, he is just vibrating on a different plane these days.
  • Photographs from inside Kowloon Walled City and the people who lived and worked there in the 80s before it was knocked down. Where there is no law, shady dentists proliferate. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the place, here’s some info.
  • Photos of Covent Garden from the 60s when it was still a fruit and vegetable market, and the story of how it was nearly knocked down to build a giant concrete complex of 60s buildings.
  • The disturbing story of Su Meck, who lost her memory in an accident in the 80s. It starts out as what seems like a heart-warming story of a family pulling round their mother struggling to cope with memory problems, but the more you find out about her husband, the more disturbing the story becomes, and the more questionable the original “accident”.
  • Jaya Catches Up– a series on the always delightful The Toast, where the writer reads children’s classics she somehow missed as a child and notices a lot of the weird stuff that passes you by as a kid
  • Accidental Haikus from articles in the New York Times
  • The world’s largest ship-breaking yard in Pakistan.
  • Photos of the Great Guatemalan Sinkhole
  • Good points about creepy overuse of rape scenes in “historical” shows. Realistic hairy armpits and bad teeth are apparently too much for tv, but graphic violence is just par for the course and no big deal as far as tv executives seem to think.

Frimaire, Nivose & Pluviose

I haven’t updated here in a while. I worked long hours throughout January and also moved house. I’ve also now officially deferred my course until next year. I missed too much of the school year when I was ill. I’ll have a little while off, and then look for some work to tide me over. In between all that I turned 31. Ancient, really. I’ll have a bit more time on my hands over the next couple of weeks, so I’d better make use of it. Here’s some links of interesting bits and bobs to tide you over.

    • Here’s a great BBC documentary about 80s synthpop, now available in its entirety on YouTube. There’s a full playlist of all the songs used in the show here.
    • Laura from Behind the Hedgerow blog makes some beautiful clothes for her children.
    • Atlas Obscura is one of my favourite websites both for finding interesting places to visit, and just for casual browsing. It’s full of photos and descriptions of unusual places like this town in Alaska that’s one giant building, or closer to home, the Embassy of the Republic of Texas in London.
    • The BFI presents their selection of top Icelandic films. For a country with such a small population (around 250,000- about the same as my not so exciting hometown), Iceland certainly punches above its weight in the creative fields. Noí Albinoí is one of my favourite films. I haven’t seen all of the others, so I should check them out.
    • The Salvage Project discusses sexual violence in activist communities in the UK. Communities which need fewer of these guys.
    • Links to watch a large selection of films by Andrei Tarkovsky, my favourite director for free online.
    • My favourite Wednesday treat- Rhik Samadder writing about kitchen gadgets. Start with the shivering horrors of the Egg Master.
    • My friend Alex Wrekk has made her zine about being in an abusive relationship and getting out of it free to read online. I’ve got the paper edition from when she officially released it, and it’s well worth the read. In her own words “What if your private life in your relationship is vastly different than what other people see? When do you know you are in an emotionally abusive relationship? How to you gain the strength to get out of it? What do you do when you know you can’t handle the burden alone? What do you do when you feel so alone and terrified of the consequences of leaving, when if it means losing friends, a home, a job and a way life that you love? These are just some of the ideas explored in this zine through a three year personal narrative that also challenges you to examine your relationships with power, to identify how you express the power you have, and also how you relate to the power that of others possess”

  • Angelyne is a pop-culture fixture in Hollywood, known for the huge billboards she hires with just her photo and name and for driving her pink sports car around town. I never realised she made a try at a pop music career in the 80s. It’s pretty good, as a trashy new wave song with slightly disturbing lyrics goes. I found it because there were two articles recently about what an all-round unpleasant person she is to spend time with, and I wondered what the irritating Barbie speaking voice the writers described sounded like, so I went hunting on YouTube.
  • Mallory Ortberg on the poetry of the Beaufort Scale.

Odds and Ends

Here’s some nice things I’ve found lately. Starting with this stop-motion cooking video by PES Studios.

  • A website with all kinds of free printable papers for designers, like isometric dots, polar grids, etc
  • Rainy Mood is well-known, but if you haven’t seen it before, and need some relaxing sounds, it always fits the bill. (Muji of all people, are also giving away a phone app which does the same thing)
  • Photos from Yakutsk, the coldest city in the world
  • “I once saw him in his room packing his case before leaving- he rightly declined my help as irrelevant- and it was like a mosaic, every single item lovingly lowered into the place carefully left free for it. It would have been sacrilege to destroy that almost floral arrangement by lending a helping hand” Stefan Zweig describing Rilke packing a suitcase in the World of Yesterday. Rilke- master of German poetry, master of Tetris 70 years before it was invented. For people unfamiliar with Stefan Zweig, he was a top-selling Austrian author of the interwar period, who was forced out by the Nazis. The Grand Budapest Hotel is based on both some of his short stories and his own life.

    annas museum
  • Anna’s Museum. A small natural history collection, collected and curated by a young girl, and displayed to the public in the downstairs windows of her parents’ house in the centre of Brighton.
  • Photo diary of a doctor working for the summer in a tiny village in Nenets in the far north of Russia. (The original Russian version is here, which has longer explanations of what’s happening in the photos, if you don’t mind google translatese)
  • Always a favourite- “How to tell you’re in a novel by . . .” from the Toast. A large variety of different writers to pick from.