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Category Archives: Popular Culture

Before We Started Painting the Town

It is just one of those things, as Cole Porter wrote. I do not intend to let Fourth Edition become a voyeuristic woe-is-me blog just because I happen to be rather ill at the moment. Sadly, I am rather ill at the moment and so Fourth Edition languishes a bit. It probably irritates me more than it irritates you.

If you are a Dane, Spillet med byer might appeal (I’m hopeless when it comes to placing towns in Jutland) and if you are not, it could have a certain absurdish appeal trying to place obscure Danish towns on a map.

Saturday Linkage

Last night I went into the kitchen and announced: “I really like Tanzania.” My poor, deluded brain had been locked into dream-space whilst I had been battling it out on Puzzle Quest. While my fingers had been busy pairing up gems and fighting wyverns, another part of me had been in Tanzania on a veranda, er, playing Puzzle Quest. Needless to say, I was ordered to bed and slept until 1pm today. But I still really like Tanzania.

Saturday linkage:
Not All Men of the Future Wear Polyester Jumpsuits: “In The Antineutral Suit: Futurist Manifesto (1914), Balla railed against “neutral, ‘nice,’ [and] faded” colors, not to mention “stripes, checks, and diplomatic little dots.” Instead, Futurist attire would be “Dynamic, with textiles of dynamic patterns and colors (triangles, cones, spirals . . .) that inspire the love of danger, speed, and assault, and loathing of peace and immobility.””

Speaking of fashion, do you have $8,901 to spare? If so, you might want to bid on an Elsa Schiraparelli item designed for and worn by Marlene Dietrich. I like the idea of a Schiraparelli gown – particularly one associated with Dietrich – it cannot get more arty decadence circa 1930 than that, surely?

Via my Other Half: Neil Gaiman on why books have genders. I could take or leave Gaiman, but it is an interesting idea. I might revisit that in a later entry.

Finally, Pictures of Walls. This site feeds into my preoccupation with public lettering/writing, of course. And funnily enough you also get pictures of walls there – which in turn have pictures on them. Gosh.

Roses Are #FF0000

It’s Valentine’s Day today. I have already my present from my Significant Other: a facsimile of the Kelmscott Chaucer. Aww.

Equally geeky/sweet: Typecaster. “A Flash app [that] lets you drag two fonts from the left side into the stage area… to see how well the two types mix when dating (fonts available are Mistral, Papyrus, Comic Sans, Helvetica, Stencil, and American Typewriter).” I particularly like the type description of Papyrus.

Knotted Brain Much?

The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art: “the world’s largest collection of anatomically correct fabric brain art. Inspired by research from neuroscience, dissection and neuroeconomics, our current exhibition features three quilts with functional images from PET and fMRI scanning, a knitted brain, and two fabric pieces interpreting single neuron recording.”

Their disclaimer amuses this soon-to-undergo-MRI-scan woman: “While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording.”

Found via the scary, slightly incomprehensible Knitting For Nerds which also includes links to knitted nonorientable manifolds (no, I don’t know either) and The Periodic Table sweater.

Oh, Copenhagen

Oh, Copenhagen. How I do not really miss thee but then again I do.

Recently I found Copenhagen Street Style – a Danish blog trying to capture all the hip young things gracing the streets of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is peculiar in the sense that you tend to see muted colours everywhere – black, beige, brown and the occasional daring navy – so I actually do applaud CSS’s decision to feature people who dare break away from the safe colours.

It is just a shame that the featured fashion victims dare-devils haven’t got a clue what they are doing. I get the idea of deconstructing fashion – actually, I also get how deconstructing fashion is circa 1998. I also get the idea of anti-fashion in the sense of reclaiming fashion and style from the hegemony of big bad cooperations and leading fashion editors. But anti-fashion is as much about knowing the semiotics of fashion as it is about rejecting tokenism. And, judging by the majority of the photos on CSS, these so-called fashionistas really do not have a clue. They are concerned about looking ‘cool’ (which in its own right is embracing the idea of fashion as the idea of ‘cool’ changes rapidly) and ‘edgy’. Sadly they just end up looking like prats who are groping in the dark, to quote a well-known poet (or, in the case of the people pictured, like sad fans of the Reynolds Girls).

For your amusement (or horror, depending upon your sensibilities), I also would like to draw your attention to:

I almost miss muted colours now.

Re-Arranging Letters

Facebook has been asked to remove the Scrabulous application as it infringes upon Scrabble’s copyright. Scrabulous is one of the two reasons why I have not grown entirely tired of Facebook yet (the other being Staries where I’m trying to get above 19000 points because I’m a sad individual). I might reconsider my Facebook profile if Scrabulous is pulled – although there is something to be said about reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in fifteen years (what that ‘something’ is I will leave for you, dear reader, to decide).

On a much brighter note, this book just arrived in the post and seeing as I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell last night, that is damn good timing. Thoughts on Strange & Norrell will be posted once I have finished processing it in my head.

Finally, the book widget question. Now Reading appears to be quite useful as a tracking tool rather than as a library tool. By that I mean that it enables me to track what I am reading (thus making the Books 2008 page rather obsolete) but it cannot keep track of my book collection. I’ll keep it for now but any book widget suggestions are still warmly welcomed.

Edit: more on Facebook, Scrabulous and infringing copyrights

Eliot the Fanboy

TS Eliot was a Doctor Who fan fiction writer?!

While ‘Four Quartets’ has received due attention for its literary merits, until now no critic has touched on its merits as a piece of fan fiction.

Well, I laughed.