All things weird and wonderful, 44

24 08 2014

Oh, those wacky Bulgarians:

Oleg Popov/AP Photo

It seems Bulgarians have been treating Soviet war memorials in their country as a kind of palimpsest, albeit one in which the previous image is incorporated into the new one rather than erased.

The Russians are unamused.

I have some sympathy for the Russian position, not least because I am almost always moved by war memorials. A plaque, some names, dates: I stop, and read, and sigh. Some times I tear up.

And, of course, the Soviet sacrifice, both military and civilian, during World War II was immense, and Allied victory would not have been possible had the Soviets broken.

Still, I have to applaud the Bulgarians, here. They know the memorial matters—why else choose it for periodic makeovers?—and in so re-imagining it, re-mind us (or, at least, me) of the, ahem, absurdity of this human life.





All things weird and wonderful, 43

8 08 2014

We humans are a strange lot, given all too often to the unwonderful.

Scott Eric Kaufman, who writes for both Lawyers, Guns & Money and Raw Story (as well as his own blog, Acephalous), happens to attract the kind of folks who engage him in all kinds of weird and some kinds of wonderful conversations (see, for example, here, here, here, here. here, here, and here—and there are more, including the one where he asks for it.)

The following (setup: he’s buying a bunch of tuna for his elderly finicky cat) is one which he says “may be the greatest conversation I’ve ever had“:

POLITE DRUNK MAN: You don’t eat all them cans, now?

SEK: Wasn’t planning on it.

POLITE DRUNK MAN: TV say they full of Menicillin.

SEK: Mercury?

POLITE DRUNK MAN: Menicillin, bad for the children, real bad.

SEK: I promise not to share it with any kids.

POLITE DRUNK MAN: Menicillin’s terrible, make ‘em have miscarriages.

SEK: The kids?

POLITE DRUNK MAN: Ain’t even get a chance to be kids, they born miscarried, or with arms.

SEK: I’ll keep that in mind.

POLITE DRUNK MAN: Dead babies with arms, that’s what Menicillin do. Best watch out.

SEK: I will, promise.

This. . . well, this is weird wonder gold.





All things weird and wonderful, 42

28 07 2014

Well, this is a no-brainer:

h/t Cute Overload





All things weird and wonderful, 41

12 07 2014

A two-fer, but really, the same idea:

On land:

And under the sea:

This is our world!

How little we know of it, of the creatures within it, of our own place in all of it.

~~~

h/t Cute Overload (& again)





All things weird and wonderful, 40

29 06 2014

Primates: I use non-H. sapiens primates—our cousins—on my computer display.

My current wallpaper is of two bug-eyed lemurs; the one before, of a Japanese snow monkey examining its paw while steaming in a pond.

This one is examining something else:

Marsel van Oosten

Marsel van Oosten

Bet she knows more about operating that smartphone than I do.

~~~

Via





All things weird and wonderful, 39

29 05 2014

I’ve totally got a thing for storms, big big big storms.

Not enough to be a stormchaser, but I totally get the urge to find the kind of weather that looks beautiful as it kills you.

That’s shot by Stephen Locke, and he’s got a coupla’ websites to showcase his skills at capturing these beautiful beasts.

New York has almost everything, good and bad, but it lacks the weather—or, more precisely, lacks the sightlines to the kind of weather that makes me want to run outside and throw my arms wide and head back and let it all rush through me.

Wisconsin and Minnesota had that. Even in Minneapolis, which is a respectable city, there was enough open space to see how the big sky made us all small.

To be made small by pettiness—my own or someone else’s—diminishes me. But to be made small by something overwhelming is to be caught up in the overwhelm and, absurdly, made large.

~~~

h/t Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer





All things weird and wonderful, 38

2 05 2014

First it was dancing bears, and now climbing bears!

Freestyling, even!

Nicely done, bears, nicely done.

h/t: Sullivan








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