Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Things I Found on the Internet - from April to mid May

This is like some horrible thriller that you reach the end of and think, 'Thank heavens things like that don't go on in the real world.' More here.

I love these gifs, which I found via this. I also found this, which, naturally, I feel very enthusiastic about (hem hem), at David Thompson.

I quite like George Saunders, although I wouldn't describe myself as an unalloyed fan. However, I found this article about him interesting, in part because one passage in it triggered instant recognition from me. The passage is about this new thing called the Internet and how we are learning to deal with it:

"I'd get online and look up and 40 minutes would have gone by, and my reading time for the night would have been pissed away, and all I would have learned was that, you know, a certain celebrity had lived in her car awhile, or that a cat had dialled 911. So I had to start watching that more carefully."

This prompted me to look at everything - everything - afresh. Now I want to try to collect some local friends for the creatures on the list.

It was all Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare, ooh what a clever one, on the spurious-ish grounds that it might have been the anniversary of his birth (or not). Being mildly contrary, I therefore thought it might be as well to remember that Charles Dickens also provided his two bobs' worth when it came to coinage.

My dad was involved in espionage but he always struck me as someone who might have been happier doing something artistic - now I discover that all the time he probably was.

Once again Twitter has thrown up - no, not like vomit, like on the shore with a tide - a number of entertaining and interesting things. It led me to this (make sure you read all the way down), which then led me to this, which reminds me of Seinfeld's Letters from a Nut, one of my favourite books ever. It also gave me this, which is funny, and this, which is beautifully eery, (as is this) and this, which I don't even begin to understand but, as it contains a scientist saying this: "There could be a mirror world where interesting things are going on", I find it fascinating.

This struck me as relevant to the question of gender and irreversible decisions to change gender being made when very young, something that I worry may often be the result of an increasing push to categorise and then to shut down any possible discussion. Why is it necessary to built a category for every human variety? In a similar vein, I heard someone on the radio outlining the way in which the category bi-polar has been expanded to include all sorts of variants, many of which sound worryingly like me on a bad day. Humans are weird. I think that's the only category I can sign up to wholeheartedly, especially since reading yesterday in the newspaper that schizophrenia may be caused by an inflammatory condition, preventable using aspirin

I lost many hours to this Austrian archive, especially its old editions of the Wiener Salonblatt, copies of which Patrick Leigh Fermor mentions in Between the Woods and the Water were always lying about in the households he visited in Hungary and Transylvania. The job of sub-editor for Wiener Salonbatt must have been very demanding, given that the people who appeared in it were all hung about with titles to the extent that any picture caption ended up taking up almost as much space as the picture itself.

This reminded me of this.


  1. The gifs are fabulous...lovely idea....there's so much in this post I may be distracted for a whole day reading it

    1. My advice is to steer clear of the Austrian archive link, unless you want to lose months of your life