Monday, October 15, 2018

Ratites, man

Ratites are a special, peculiar kind of bird. Flightless, they've developed common strategies to compensate. Also all very strong. They include ostriches (from Africa), rheas (South America), emus (Australia), and the extinct moas (New Zealand).

New Zealand, because of its pre-human isolation, is rich in flightless birds. The other places aren't so much. Yet there they are, seemingly related and spread out over the globe. Scientists are torn over whether they have a common geographical origin, perhaps on the supercontinent of Gondwanaland, or if it's entirely a matter of convergent evolution.

They are enchanting to watch, I know.

Friday, October 12, 2018


There are weird ideas and grand ideas and funny ideas, and some that have a bit of each quality. You can get them and find the results just don't add up. Or worse, there might be no results at all. Getting ideas is the relatively easy part. Then you have to see them through.

I recently had an idea and was able to work it into...something at least. It wasn't as drawn out and painful as the process can be. So hopefully I've done something right, hit upon a process that might be productive in the future. The experiment is ongoing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


While the Punch and Judy show has roots in the Italian commedia dell'arte, where the traditional figure of Pulcinello first appeared, it's in practice one of those irreducibly British cultural practices. I kind of have a feeling that this was one of those things I tried talking to my friends about when I was a kid and pretty much got blank stares. I'm not British but I sort of had that background, and they didn't.

Notice that in this instance the puppeteer uses his natural, very masculine voice for Judy. This could be either to downplay the domestic violence which is surely in the offing or just to give his own larynx a break.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Blessed relief

Numerous times in the past I've gone out when it was overcast or drizzling, taking my umbrella along. Ah, but then it either stops raining or never starts. The day weather might even clear up, the bastard! Which if that happens I might clean forget to bring the umbrella home with me.

Tonight I thought that might have happened, but then I checked the bag I was carrying and found I'd placed the umbrella in there just to avoid that situation. So I've started thinking a step or two ahead, even if I momentarily forget doing so.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Years past

From Bringing Up Father. The comical Irishman's dowdy ballbusting wife threatens to crowd into his workplace, so he sets to work covering up evidence that he spends his workday in a drunken stupor. I mean,  you could get offended by something like this, but it might be healthier to just stand back and marvel. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

One for the books

There comes a time in every year where it becomes obvious that my allergic sniffles aren't just that, and that I've picked up an autumn cold. The good thing about this is that I find I'm somewhat "weatherized" by the time winter starts. Yesterday and especially today made for a clear starting point of that time this year.

It was inconvenient to me that this very day the local bus routes were delayed beyond all recognition, and for shady and apocalyptic reasons at that. Still, for me personally it's probably better that this happen today than tomorrow. For reasons.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

But the dealer just stares...

The Clash's epic song "The Card Cheat" impresses me more and more as time goes by. At the time they recorded it I'm sure no one was expecting them to venture so far into Elton John territory, to the extent that doing so posed a real risk.

I've never considered the possibility of having stuffed animals act out the lyrics. It's a memorable effect. Kind of reminds me of Stepan Chapman's "Revenge of the Calico Cat".