Tag: Games

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things I Love (2-15-2021)

  1. 1. These Magnifying Monocles by LUKA – am I advertising that I’m getting old? Yep. Am I doing it in an incredibly cool and stylish way, damn straight. There are many more styles. They are a tad expensive but I can’t tell you the number of times I had to go find my magnifying glass before I got this. Now I always have one with me. And when I actually start leaving the house I bet it’ll come in even more handy.

2. This Short Film, Mobile – no words necessary really, just as cute and funny as can be.

3. This New Series on CNN ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’ – this show will make you want to hang out with Stanley Tucci, long for delicious Italian food, and kick your wanderlust into high gear. It’s a three-fer.

4. This Game from the Creator of The Oatmeal – it’s crazy addictive, mostly because the guy who created The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, is so damned funny so you’ll keep wanting to play just so you can see more of his hilarious cartoons in between the game play. What a riot!

5. This New Version of ‘Biko’ by Peter Gabriel – this one makes me even more emotional than the original.

In honor of Black History Month, we are proud to bring the message of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” back to the forefront, 40 years after its initial release. Inspired by the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody, this song’s relevance still holds true with the unfortunate police brutality that continues to take place in the USA, Nigeria and many places around the world. More than 25 musicians from seven countries join Gabriel for this global rendition to share a message of unity, peace, and hope, including Beninese vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma, and bass legend Meshell Ndegeocello.

6. This Enchanting Mexican Songstress singing Una Vida (here’s the English translation of the lyrics) – not only is her music beautiful but her videos are wonderfully artistic. Frida Kahlo would definitely have approved.

7. This Lawyer’s Technological Snafu – it makes me giggle every time I see it! (At this point everyone has seen this, unfortunately it’s a drawback of only sending out a blog post once a week.)


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Five Things I Love (6-1-2020)

1. This article about the Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle and Friends – I’m sure most of the rest of you menopausal broads (and even those of you who simply grew up as a Gen Xer) remember Bullwinkle, the good-humored moose and his best buddy Rocky, who happened to be a flying squirrel. My favorite part of the show was ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’ but everything was great including ‘Peabody’s Improbably History,’ ‘Dudley Do-Right,’ and ‘Aesop & Son.’

Bullwinkle J. Moose

This article starts out right away with a very relevant and obvious story. Turns out that Rocky & Bullwinkle were teaching us a lot about politics through satire. Seems like maybe we should all start watching it again.

Mr. Chairman, I am against all foreign aid, especially to places like Hawaii and Alaska,” says Senator Fussmussen from the floor of a cartoon Senate in 1962. In the visitors’ gallery, Russian agents Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are deciding whether to use their secret “Goof Gas” gun to turn the Congress stupid, as they did to all the rocket scientists and professors in the last episode of “Bullwinkle.”

Another senator wants to raise taxes on everyone under the age of 67. He, of course, is 68. Yet a third stands up to demand, “We’ve got to get the government out of government!” The Pottsylvanian spies decide their weapon is unnecessary: Congress is already ignorant, corrupt and feckless.

Hahahahaha. Oh, Washington.

That joke was a wheeze half a century ago, a cornball classic that demonstrates the essential charm of the “Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends,” the cartoon show that originally aired between 1959 and 1964 about a moose and a squirrel navigating Cold War politics.

“How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Sophisticated Political Satire” by Beth Daniels, Smithsonian Magazine, September 7, 2017

2. This wonderful video about how mimes may be endangered

3. This delicious and nifty recipe for Porridge in Pink With Raspberries & Greek Yogurt From Maria Speck

4. Regency Novel or Pandemic Life? They really are nearly identical. Perhaps that is why I have accommodated better than most?

5. I’m a big game person – love all kinds of games. Recently I’ve been playing a game that kept advertising an app called Happy Color and it looked kind of fun. I downloaded it just to try it out and I’m totally obsessed. It’s really helpful with reducing my stress level. The app is free but you do have to watch an ad when you first start. You can watch more ads while your coloring if you want to earn credits for help on finding a spot that you might have missed coloring. Trust me, you may need it, especially for pictures with loads of detail. There’s also a cool function where you can save both a copy of the picture you color and/or a short video of the coloring process. Here’s an example!

6. Liz Climo

7. All of these extraordinary examples of leadership, grace, dignity, and bravery displayed by Americans faced with adversity:

This video of Mennonites singing in protest of the George Floyd murder (Mennonites are normally apolitical)

This Genesee County Sheriff (Flint, Michigan) named Chris Swanson who went out and asked the protesters – “What do you want us to do?” The response was “Walk with us!!!” And he did.

These protesters who leapt in front of people who were trying to loot an area Target and stood in front of the store to block people from entering.

These white women, who formed a line of protection between the black protesters and the police.

A line of almost all white women formed between police officers and black protesters at Thursday night’s rally in
downtown Louisville calling for justice in the death of Breonna Taylor. (Photo: Tim Druck)

These black protesters who protected this police officer. The officer became separated from his squad during a riot.

The cops in Queens who knelt in solidarity with demonstrators protesting racists police violence

Here’s one last article that includes many other places where police joined protesters marching against the violence and brutality that black and people of color have faced in American for centuries. It’s time for CHANGE! History is happening in front of our eyes.

Five Things I Love (4/27/2020)

  1. 1. Stanley Tucci making a Negroni – if you haven’t seen this video yet, you have to watch it. It’s true, I could watch Stanley Tucci reading a phone book (there’s a handful of actors that I can say this about and he’s one of them,) but this is entrancing.

2. The Film Short made while isolating by one of my favorite history buff/film makers. I love her sense of humor.

3. Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary – how many can you figure out? I managed to get 15 out of 15 (yes I’m bragging, but full disclosure I was a Children’s Librarian for 12 years before becoming a library director so I have a bit of an advantage.) I’ll put the answers at the bottom of the post.

4. Gabe Kaplan beating the pants off of Robert Conrad in a race from the Battle of the Network Stars. Raise your hand if you remember this show! I do, I do!!!

https://twitter.com/super70ssports/status/1222315769981218819?lang=en

5. This video of Mr. Rogers & Julia Child cooking together. I would have given anything to meet Mr. Rogers but I can say I got to meet Julia Child back when I worked at Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee during her ‘The Way to Cook’ book tour. She’s as fabulous as you would hope she’d be and so wonderfully tall. As a tall person myself I was overjoyed about that.

6. This article on ‘5 Reasons to Bake Pretzels with Walter the Baker‘ – yesterday was National Pretzel Day and when I think of pretzels I can’t help but think of the book Walter the Baker. For those of you who haven’t read the book, here is a lovely video story time. Walter the Baker is one of my favorite Eric Carle books. It may be because it’s about pretzels. It may be because it has a Duke & Duchess in the story, (good or bad I’m partial to stories that include royalty.) It may be because I love all Carle’s books.

Anyway, being in isolation, pretzels are the perfect thing to make at home, assuming you have flour – I hear it can be difficult to find in some areas. How yummy!

7. Last but definitely not least, these Coloring Sheets inspired by WES ANDERSONS & HAYAO MIYAZAKI films. O……M…..G, I’m in heaven!!!

And the answers to the Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary are:

  1. Green Eggs & Ham
  2. Charlotte’s Web
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  4. Good Night Moon
  5. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  6. Cat in the Hat
  7. Rainbow Fish
  8. Stone Soup
  9. Three Little Pigs
  10. Alice in Wonderland
  11. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
  12. If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
  13. Goldilocks & the Three Bears
  14. The Giving Tree
  15. Where the Wild Things Are

How’d ya do?