Archive for the ‘True Stories’ Category

Sophia’s Squat Shops

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bulgarian “Squat Shops” emerged in Sophia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Bulgaria rejected fascism and communism in favor of capitalism.

In the late 80’s, private ownership of production was legalized in Bulgaria. Among the first businesses to appear were these small “Squat Shops,” operated out of floor-level cellar windows. Despite more legitimate storefront space becoming available, these small portals remained operational and lucrative – miniature convenience stores catering to the cigarette fix of the passing pedestrian or the midday thirst of those waiting on bus stops, for which patrons have no objection to stooping to street level. An idiosyncratic, now common element of the Bulgarian capital, over time the shops have evolved elaborate displays, framing the small street level openings with bottles of alcohol, coffee, and cartons of cigarettes, often in eye-catching bright colors. –Ivaylo Getov.

Did you get that? No one was allowed to own a private business in Bulgaria until about 30 years ago, and they’re still recovering from that brutal economic oppression.

[Click on any image above for detail. Found via here.]

Advertisements

Fang Blenny

Thursday, 13 April 2017

I presume that’s the skull of a fang blennie, and one species injects an opioid venom to mess with their predators’ brains.

The fang blennies have, generally speaking, evolved into rascals. Their ancestor probably used its fangs to scoop flesh out of bigger fish, much like the non-venomous bluestriped fang blenny does today. It’s a visual mimic of a cleaner fish, which allows it to get in close without raising an alarm. Then it strikes. “A total asshole move, of course, since that bigger fish is going to take this out on the next innocent cleaner wrasse it encounters,” says biologist and study co-author Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland.

[Description and image found here, via here.]

USS Porter

Monday, 10 April 2017

ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 15, 2015) The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) pulls alongside the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) before a replenishment-at-sea. Porter is participating in Joint Warrior, a United-Kingdom led training exercise designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-warfare environment in which to prepare for global operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Rohn D. Wallace/Released)

There’s an interesting timeline posted at USNI regarding the missile attack on the Syrian military airbase on 6 April 2017 that I haven’t seen elsewhere, and it gives hints about the strategy behind it… and more.

[Image and caption found here. USNI is updating their post as more information is released.]

Yoneji Inamura’s Contribution To The World: 20,000 Beetles

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Although [Yoneji] Inamura created several sculptures out of beetles, he spent 6 years in the 1970s constructing this one, which has become his masterpiece and the largest sculpture he ever made. When it was done he donated it to the city.

The sculpture, made from rhinoceros beetles, winged jewel beetles, drone beetles, longhorn beetles and other types of local beetles, depicts the senju kannon bosatsu (1000-armed bodhisattva), a popular Buddhist deity in Japan.

[Click on the smaller images to enlarge. More here, found here. Somewhat related posts here.]

Meretricious Rhadamanthine Hot Links

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Johnny Rotten weighs in on Briexit… and Donald Trump.

Roger Daltrey weighs in on Briexit… and Donald Trump.

Luke and Sean share a shirt.

Earliest known definition of “cocktail” as a beverage appeared in 1803. The actual origins of the word are disputed; here’s one analysis.

Groucho Marx once hawked cocktail napkins.

Ever wonder why cocktails are served in different glasses? Me neither.

No idea what the 1927 Jiggling Chair was supposed to remedy.

Attempted Escape of the Maniac from The Wild Witch of the Heath, 1841.

This is mildly amusing. Move your curser, then do it real fast.

From the You Gotta Be Kidding Me Department:
Cloned Woolly Mammoths are planned to be introduced to an Arctic Siberian park in order to stop “global warming climate change.”

Horrific April Fools Day pranks of the 19th Century, and some were lethal. More pranks here.

[Top: Original image of the TV-HiFi console hottie found here.]

Stuff like this makes me wanna puke.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Apparently it was an exercise required of applicants to a government job. The woman who posted this on Twitter said she was asked to leave after she voiced her disgust about the “I’ll Bet You’re A Bigot” test. (Note that they couldn’t even spell “Nostradamus” correctly.) I wouldn’t hire ANYONE who chose to participate in such an idiotic exercise, and walking out is the appropriate response, IMO.

And that’s exactly what she did.

Reminds me of this ill-conceived mind experiment, and the work of photographer Jill Greenberg (whose claim to fame is making toddlers cry as a political statement).

Puke.

[h/t @paperghost]

Johann Friedrich Fleischer’s Contribution to the World: Lunar Humidity Distiller

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

lunar-humidity

“I will tell you this much however, that the rays of the Sun and Moon and Dew must be collected in a clean Jar or Vessel, separated from Rain and dirt, stench, smoke, and also from flying and wandering animals. The ways of attraction are many, but it is as well at home, as in an open place in the wind. As also a most fit and convenient Receptacle.”

Alchemist Johann Friedrich Fleischer‘s invention is described in his paper Chemical Moonshine, published in 1739. A subsequent publication in 1797 included the illustration above, by Sigismund Bacstrom, for its frontispiece

[Image found here.]

Block Parties Here Are Incredible.

Monday, 20 March 2017

“Hey, Bob! What’s going on this weekend?”
“The Stones are coming back again.”
“Aw, crap.”

“The [Nankai] Hawks were sold and moved to Fukuoka City in 1988 or 1989. Since the stadium was abandoned, the City of Osaka, working with a trade group, turned it into a giant outdoor home show with rows of various model homes from several construction companies.

“If I remember correctly, the houses were a failure, as most Japanese in the greater Osaka area were not interested in western style housing and the quality of construction was not up to their expectations. I think the stadium was finally demolished in the late ’90s.”

[Found in here, additional images and story found here and here.]

Corned Hot Links on Rye with Sauerkraut & Swiss

Sunday, 19 March 2017

From the Fun Facts To Know & Tell Department:

“On my first trip to Ireland I was told how the fisherman’s sweaters were woven to indicate origin so washed up bodies might be identified.”

Wanna chip in and buy a town? Tiller, Oregon is up for sale.
Let’s do this.

Vitiligo is a non-fatal yet incurable disease that causes patches of skin to lose pigmentation. This young woman pwns it with markers.

The U.S. Navy’s “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal investigation is still ongoing with more indictments. Here’s the timeline.

Lost your Official Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon Ashtray again? Get a replacement here.

Guy nailed himself with a bear tranquilizer and lived [via].

Amazing door lock from 1680 tracks the number entries [via].

I forgot to ask. How’s your mesentery doing?

Did your Samsung TV stop showing program listings? Ours did, so we unplugged it, plugged it back in. No dice. Did the same with the antenna. Nope. Replaced the batteries in the old remote. Didn’t work. Bought a new remote. No success. Samsung tech support couldn’t suss it out either. The Missus figured it out – we’d had a power outage, and when she reset the date and time, she missed resetting the year. PROBLEM SOLVED.

[Top image:  Napoli amusement park, 1950.]

“What the hell’s a two-lane Highway? OuttaMyWay, Butthead!”

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

wide-ride

Cadillac prototype illustration by automotive designer Wayne Kady. [Found here.]


%d bloggers like this: