Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

May 11th, 2009:

Odd Lots

  • The rest of Bichonicon was uneventful enough (and I was tired enough) that I decided it wasn’t worth a whole ‘nother entry. Aero won a ribbon on Saturday, but did not win points. Carol and I ate too much fast food. We came home. End of story.
  • I did briefly run into St. Louis native Nancy Frier, granddaughter of the man who founded Alox Manufacturing Company, maker of shoelances, kites, marbles, military radar corner reflectors, and lots of other odd bits. She had visited a marble factory in West Virginia and showed me a video of glass marbles being made on a machine very similar to the one Alox had used. It’s a great video, and when she uploads it to YouTube I’ll post a link here.
  • And I found two bottles of Diet Green River. The trick is to look in small local grocery stores or local chains, like Garden Fresh Markets or Shop and Save. Have not yet checked the local Butera, but it’s on my list.
  • A reader chided me that “All your damn dogs look alike. Post more pictures of Carol.” He’s right about the dogs, I guess, but I have posted quite a few pictures of Carol in my photo gallery. In fact, here’s an almost 40-year run of the two of us together.
  • From the Words I Didn’t Know (or at least understand) Until Yesterday Department: “Kukla” is Russian for “doll.” The eponymous little guy on the seminal Kukla, Fran, and Ollie kids’ show had been built as a doll for a friend by puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, who liked the doll so much that Tillstrom kept him, and made him the star of the show.
  • From the Words I Didn’t Know Until Yesterday (And Didn’t Think Were Necessary) Department: A merkin is a wig for women’s genitalia; basically, a pubic toupee. Sheesh. English has a word for everything.
  • Here is A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages. I think it’s truer than people will admit, especially the Pascal entry. Thanks to Bruce Baker for the link.
  • Blandishments: Salt-free mustard and ketchup.
  • A guy scraped Twitter data for the phrase “just landed in” and mapped the air travel data, hoping to create a new tool for epidemiology. Germs like jet aircraft for various reasons, and this is the first genuine use for the Twitter system that I’ve ever heard of.
  • I follow Icecap as part of my ongoing climate research, and it’s interesting for another reason: It consists of a navigation column and three narrow content columns. I’ve never seen another blog with a layout quite like this, and I like it. Narrow is better than wide, especially for small print. Scanability (given that I don’t read every entry) is high.
  • Finally, some images speak for themselves. This is one of them. (Thanks to Baron Waste for the link.)