Sep 1999
Oct 1999
Nov 1999
Dec 1999
Jan 2000
Feb 2000
Mar 2000
Apr 2000
May 2000
Jun 2000
Jul 2000
Aug 2000
Sep 2000
Oct 2000
Nov 2000
Dec 2000
Jan 2001
Feb 2001
Mar 2001
Apr 2001
May 2001
Jun 2001
Jul 2001
Aug 2001
Sep 2001
Oct 2001
Nov 2001
Dec 2001
Jan 2002
Feb 2002
Mar 2002
Apr 2002
May 2002
Jun 2002
Jul 2002
Aug 2002
Sep 2002
Oct 2002
Nov 2002
Dec 2002
Jan 2003
Feb 2003
Mar 2003
Apr 2003
May 2003
Jun 2003
Jul 2003
Aug 2003
Sep 2003
Oct 2003
Nov 2003
Dec 2003
Jan 2004
Feb 2004
Mar 2004
Apr 2004
May 2004
Jun 2004
Jul 2004
Aug 2004
Sep 2004
Oct 2004
Nov 2004
Dec 2004
Jan 2005
Feb 2005
Mar 2005
Apr 2005
May 2005
Jun 2005
Jul 2005
Aug 2005
Sep 2005
Oct 2005
Nov 2005
Dec 2005
Jan 2006
Feb 2006
Mar 2006
Apr 2006
May 2006
Jun 2006
Jul 2006
Aug 2006
Sep 2006
Oct 2006
Nov 2006
Dec 2006
Jan 2007
Feb 2007
Mar 2007
Apr 2007
May 2007
Jun 2007
Jul 2007
Aug 2007
Sep 2007
Oct 2007
Nov 2007
Dec 2007
Jan 2008
Feb 2008
Mar 2008
Apr 2008
May 2008
Jun 2008
Jul 2008
Aug 2008
Sep 2008
Oct 2008
Nov 2008
Dec 2008
Jan 2009
Feb 2009
Mar 2009
Apr 2009
May 2009
Jun 2009
Jul 2009
Aug 2009
Sep 2009
Oct 2009
Nov 2009
Dec 2009
Jan 2010
Aug 2010
Sep 2010
Oct 2010
Nov 2010
Dec 2010
Feb 2011
Mar 2011
Apr 2011
May 2011
Sep 2011
Oct 2011
Nov 2011
Feb 2012
Mar 2012
May 2012
Apr 2023
May 2023
Jun 2023
Jul 2023
Sep 2023
Oct 2023

Patrick Bateman knew the value of a good business card in the eighties - but then so did the gangs of Chicago. It was a more refined time when gangs identified each other by exchanging cards, emblazoned with amateur art and colorful nicknames, betraying an overlapping interest in violence, smoking pot, racism, dissing other gangs, and unicorns. Via. #

Ten years is a long time on the internet, isn't it? This blog turned ten two months ago - and Derek's Big Website of Wal-Mart Receipts is now ten years old, too. I uploaded everything shortly before leaving on Thanksgiving vacation, 1999, started sending out emails and submitting to 'best of the web' sites, and within a week or so hits started coming in. It didn't change a whole lot in the big picture of the world (although there's rumors that Fark was influenced), but in those pre-blog days of "websites", 1998 - 2000 was a wellspring of independent wierdness. #

Today's airline bombing fears are driven by political and terrorist acts, but most early aircraft bombings had something else in mind: insurance payouts. The Albert Guay incident in 1949 and UA flight 629 in 1955 were both planes brought down by explosives placed by murderous relatives interested in a big payout; sadly, both succeeded in killing their target, but in both cases the culprit was brought to justice. Suicide-for-insurance is also believed to have played a part in several airline bombings. #

Kottke has posted a cool caricature map of Europe circa WWI - what he doesn't explain is that the poster is part of the book Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, a young adult steampunk title that came out last month from Simon Pulse. The map linked by Kottke is very true to the style - caricature maps are a real thing, and you can see more here. #

Ogeorgeism: a euphemism for marital infidelity, used only once in history by my measure. I'm enjoying the archives of the Fargo Argus, a long-defunct, wittily-written newspaper from this area. In June 1880, the Argus wrote, regarding the infamous Christiancy divorce, "The minister accuses his wife of ogeorgeism, while she returns with the accusation of cruelty." The etymology of the word seems lost to the ages. For a thorough documentation of the Christiancy divorce story, also from Quondam Washington: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5. #

Lignum Vitae: The Wood of Life. Merlin's staff was rumored to be made of this wood, a fact not lost on Harry Potter afficianados. As a hardwood, it is highly decorative in furniture; as an oily wood, it is a self-lubricating bearing for shipbuilding. #

Mythopoeia: the act of creating, usually through writing, a new mythology. JRR Tolkein was the first to coin the term, in a poetic response to C.S. Lewis. Tolkein is also cited as a shining example of the mythopoeic genre of fiction: The Lord of the Rings is at once derivitive of medieval mythology, but unique in its character as a fully-fledged mythos complete with creation myths, varying scales of deities and mystical creatures, spiritual good and evil, magic, and mysteries of the universe. Being mythopoeic pretty much guarantees falling under either the 'fantasy' or 'science fiction' (see Star Wars) umbrellas - while the best of the mythos-manufacturing genre are acknowledged and rewarded for their skills by the Mythopoeic Society and their annual Mythopoeic Awards. #

In 1867, the purchase of Alaska was ridiculed as "Seward's Folly." Russia had been trying to unload it on some unsuspecting buyer, and Canada was nowhere near far enough west as to make it worthwhile to them. Now, a hundred and fifty years later, was Seward right? Nope, not really. Sure, the gold rushes and oil and population growth have resulted in tax revenue, but according to a new report out of the University of Iowa, the U.S. Government has, since we got Alaska, spent way more on Alaska than we've gotten out of it. Palin cracks aside, it's good to know that we're not getting our money's worth for Alaska - but, really, tax money isn't a profit-gaining prospect for a country. If anything, the report should be a gauge for correcting spending imbalances, rather than calling a whole state a failure; Seward wouldn't approve. #

The University of Waterloo's Department of Applied Mathematics occupies a stark and geometrically striking building, built in May 1968, called the Math and Computers Building, or "MC". The design wasn't utilitarianly beauty-free: according to apocrypha, the architecture was intended to look like a slide rule from the side - but also, to protect the valuable computers inside, the walls are designed to collapse outward in the event of a nuclear strike. Via. #

I always buy cameras at a thrift shop if it has film in it; I, sadly, have yet to get a camera with viable pictures. I've bought secondhand digital cameras with pictures still on them (here's a few), though. The blog I Found Your Camera, however, hopes you'll send them in, because maybe, just maybe, the original owners are still looking for them. If not, at least we can all be voyeurs for just a few minutes, enjoying the vacations and holidays of others - and, unlike the olden days of being trapped for hours of vacation slides at Uncle Phil's, you can leave whenever you want. #

blog advertising is good for you
Looking For "Wookies"?