All things weird and wonderful, 51

14 05 2015

I don’t understand this.

But I laughed.

Redditor In4theKill

So, just go with it.

~~~

h/t Cute Overload

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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.





Everybody knows that the Plague is coming, 4

6 08 2014

File under: why would anyone be surprised?

First up: Professor John Ashton, the president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, who writes:

“In both cases [Aids and Ebola], it seems that the involvement of powerless minority groups has contributed to a tardiness of response and a failure to mobilise an adequately resourced international medical response.”

and World Health Organization director general Dr Margaret Chan:

“We must respond to this emergency as if it was in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. We must also tackle the scandal of the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in research [on] treatments and vaccines, something they refuse to do because the numbers involved are, in their terms, so small and don’t justify the investment. This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism acting in the absence of a moral and social framework.”

Second, Allan Sloan, who is surprised enough to be outraged that American companies would park their “incorporation” overseas so as to avoid taxes:

Inverters don’t hesitate to take advantage of the great things that make America America: our deep financial markets, our democracy and rule of law, our military might, our intellectual and physical infrastructure, our national research programs, all the terrific places our country offers for employees and their families to live. But inverters do hesitate — totally — when it’s time to ante up their fair share of financial support of our system.

Profit-seeking companies seeking to maximize their profits?! Who ever heard of such a thing?

And those who don’t invert?

Wall Street is delivering a thumbs down to Walgreens’ announcement of a $15.3 billion plan to complete its acquisition of Europe-based Alliance Boots and decision not to pursue potential major tax savings by shifting its headquarters overseas.

Bad capitalists!

Since all is not gloomy, allow for a bit of intellectual-property absurdity:

Wikimedia, the US-based organisation behind Wikipedia, has refused a photographer’s repeated requests to remove one of his images which is used online without his permission, claiming that because a monkey pressed the shutter button it should own the copyright.

Cheeky monkey*!

David Slater/Caters—and monkey!

*Actually, a crested black macaque

~~~

h/t to a coupla’ folks at The Stranger: Charles Mudede, and Ansel Herz  (twice!)





Hold me closer, tiny dancer

2 06 2014

Black cat:

009

and tiny basil:

013

It’s the first Monday in June, is why.





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





Thinking like the sea

4 08 2013

Good gifs are amusing for about as long as they last, which, all things considered, ain’t bad.

This also means they’re highly disposable: you want a quick hit, and that’s it.

Still, string a bunch of them together under a common theme, and, well, they can take on a kind of extended absurdity—as with Research in Progress.

As with all absurdity, you gotta be able to giggle at how fucked we are.

~~~

h/t Eszter Hargittai, Crooked Timber





All things weird and wonderful, 19

6 03 2012

Bought this in 1999? 2000? at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design student art show. I got a couple of good pieces, but this is my favorite.

Appropriately absurd, don’t you think?

~~~

I saved the artists’ names for the other pieces, but for whatever reason, I don’t have this one. If you happen to know who created this marvelous print, please let me know!