Friday Ephemera

The Future is Now. (1955) “What do you wear to answer the phone?” // Leather masks. For balls, banquets or fighting crime. // Cautious Twins. (1959) And a town teeming with predators. // Zounds! Youth rock ministry. “The rocking power of awesome music. Totally radical salvation for today’s totally radical kids!” // Adam Gault’s Lantern Fishes. // RISE CD player. // Bang & Olufsen BeoLab-3 speakers. // The museum of retro technology. Monowheels, gyrocars and speaking tubes. // What to do if ET phones back. // Single atom data storage? (h/t, The Thin Man.) // Mandelbot. Self-assembly paper robot. Fold and glue for quality time. // Hod Lipson on self-aware robots. // Perry de Havilland on self-ownership and the state. // Carolyn Porco on Saturn and its moons. // Mel Blanc on David Letterman. (1981) // The Wii light sabre. // In case you missed it, bizarro Star Wars. // Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. A sentimental journey with strange intonation. // 5000 years of religion in 90 seconds. (h/t, BoingBoing.) // Uniqlock. Slightly baffling global timepiece. // Via Coudal, the world directory of pasta shapes. // Something pointless and hugely irritating. // Berkeley’s “anti-war” crowd postures outside marine recruitment centre. Captain Richard Lund replies. // And finally, hepcats, it’s Dizzy.



Mel Blanc! Thanks, David. I've also bookmarked the Retro Technology museum for further study, the pneumatic tubes article was excellent (the Hudson's Bay Company, 1607, still had them here in town when I was a boy).

Alas, it's too bad so many adults never learned the lessons the Cautious Twins did, or we would have less trouble from shysters and fraud artists.

I s'pose it's all well and good though, since at least David's blog takes us "From Here to Eternity" - - or maybe we're just together in "Electric Dreams" - (gosh she's a cutie).

(Ref: )


Thompson Towers also has a selection of pneumatic speaking tubes, through which I can order takeaway, or the deployment of The Weapon™.


I thought this was a better response.

But then I am with Scotty on defense.


It’s hard to go wrong with J.S. Mill, and that one’s particularly apposite. But I was struck by the contrast between the protestors’ loaded and artless slogans (– “Oppose war on every level”, “No military predators in our town” –) and Captain Lund’s reply, which I found oddly moving.

The contrast highlights what might be described as “character”, and the lack thereof. On the one hand, there’s a questioning and reasonable statement by a man whose actions have earned him five minutes of my time; on the other hand, we have a rabble of narcissists with glib slogans and not much else. Who would you rather drink a beer with? Who would you count on in a jam?


Hey you guys, tinyurl has its uses, i suppose, but I'd like to see the actual url before I click it: that's valuable information! Plus, David, you might want to consider that using tinyurl instead of the actual url might diminish your authority rating on search engines... Or maybe not, I don't know enough to do more than ask the question.



Thanks. I hadn’t considered that. I do crave authority, over all living things. And I suppose the layout here does accommodate fairly lengthy URLs.


There's gold in them thar intarweb hills, I say. I have a 1967 vinyl LP version of John Cleese, Tim-Brooke Taylor, Bill Oddie, &c performing "The Curse of the Flying Wombat" as the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again troupe. Unfortunately, I've not had a medium via which to share it. And now, now, it's here, at You Tube, one of the greatest collections of puns ever:

Part 1:
Part 2:

You may want to minimize the video window, or close your eyes, while listening to this, what's there is just distracting. Radio is like that, it's made to be heard without watching.


You learn something new every day. I knew about the pre Monty Python existence of the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again troupe - - yet I didn't before now know about the intervening "At Last the 1948 Show" -

Here's John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and, yes *Marty Feldman* (in his first television appearance) performing, as the "At Last The 1948 Show", the original "Four Yorkshiremen Sketch":

And of course there's "The Shirt Sketch", which should remind us every one to always be on the lookout for shysters and fraud artists:

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