Category Archives: ephemera

Schnozzology, a pseudoscientific hoax

From the April 2, 1899 edition of the New York Times, we get an article about “nasology”.

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The Commies are coming?

I was born far too late to have lived through either of the “Red scares”, but that doesn’t mean their detritus isn’t available for me to find. Here is one example:

COmmies

The publisher of this one is far from “lost”: The American Bar Association is still around, probably as strong as ever. Their “Standing Committee on Education against Communism”, however, appears to no longer exist.

Do note the “bar” in the ABA’s logo, though.

Literary Digestion; or, a new idea for a post a day

Over two (!) years ago, I started blogging here with the idea that I would post something every day, or close to it. Obviously this hasn’t been the case. Originally I was working in the attic of my grand mother’s house. Later on, I moved and had to work annoying hours.

Now, though, I live closer to work and have found something else to keep me occupied “on the blog”: The back file of the Literary Digest.

The Literary Digest was a very popular and influential newsmagazine back in the 1900s through the mid 1930s. It is really only remembered today for spectacularly botching its prediction of the 1936 presidential election. A sort of “Dewey Defeats Truman” before that other famous messup.

Fortunately for us, the issues pre-1923 have entered the Public Domain and can be freely spread around, which is what I propose to do in this new series. Here is to hoping I can make an interesting post every day out of these old stories and ads.

Your author.

Estate sales are creepy things

I don’t know how widespread the term is, but in United States English, an “estate sale” is when someone dies and their heirs sell off their property. There is nothing inherently sinister in this, but usually they just put price tags on every thing and let you look around.

Upshot of this is that you end up looking at someone’s life almost exactly as it was when they died, and end up inferring very sobering things about them.

I went on an estate sale today, the second time I had done so in my life. The first one was very sad. From what I could gather, the woman was single, Jewish, and I suspect lonely but gave her time to breeding dogs.

The one today was interesting in a less sad way. There were two people, a couple, who lived in this moderate sized home in an older part of a medium sized town on its own (not really a bedroom community). What I remember was:

  • They had wired the house for telephone and/or doorbell bells everywhere. Very interesting, but I didn’t see any old phones from Ma Bell anywhere.
  • I almost bought a lazy Susan for the bottom, but decided against it.
  • The basement had a one-time coal hole.
  • I did score a PC for 100 USD that I ended up reformatting and reinstalling Windows 10 on. I intend to give this to someone else.
  • The dude was evidently very into “multi level marketing” back in the 1990s judging by the amount of old magazines on the subject in the kitchen.
  • There was a good deal of class to the house, but none to me poking around it.
  • There were VHS tapes and cassettes around.
  • The person conducting the entire affair was annoyed that there were no bags in the house.

I may blog more about the PC I bought, as I am going to work on it now.

Turds!! – A college student pranque

According to WikipediA, this immage was gotten up and spread about by some Indiana University students many many years Ago (1890). For the better education of the students of to-day, it is transcribed below.

Contains offencive language.

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Personal ugly mony

While possibly not the first, unquestionably the biggest collection online of artistically1 defaced mony is the “ugly money” page at Johnny Burritoe, seen here.

I turned up some of my own by accident when I was given the below as change sometime recently.

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