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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

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cropIt's not just artists that like to be helpful!

Why yes, I am going to write about vacuum cleaners. It's my blog and I can write what I wanna. (Yeah, the wizard picked up the Scalzi top tier bundle, even though we already have most of the books, one we didn't was his collection Your Hate Mail will be Graded, aaaaaaaand evidently, though we both started our websites at roughly the same time, I didn't discover Whatever after a lot of these were written, even though it's been a favourite for years.

And wow, he's changed in interesting ways, mostly—I'd say—in the ‘yanno, life's too short to waste my time arguing with ijits’ kinda way. Though I would like to know whether he still feels Dubya is the top contender for worst 21st ca president, or whether that orange guy supercedes him. I mean, by Scalzi's lights, Dubya succeeded in overturning an election, whereas TFG only attempted it; otoh, Orange, with his vaccine denial, has gotta be responsible for more deaths, right? I'm really not jaqing off, I'd be honestly interested.)



cropYesterday, as a treat for doing all the items on my list of things to do, (something I accomplish on the order of 1–4x/yr, mebbe?) I settled in for a deliciously long plagiarism video by one of my favourite youtubers, HBomberguy. I watched the nearly 4 hour epic in one go, but it's helpfully marked in chapters, and has a quite natural division point at the half way mark. Or you can watch this 20 minute out-take to get the general flavour, if not the righteous fury Brewis brings to the table.

Two things really stood out to me, or mebbe three:

1. as an aside, HBomb told a story about riding with some much-bigger-names in the video-logger world than him in a uber, going to a conference about their profession. He made a clever, relevant joke, and $Bigger said casually, ‘I'll have that’ and tweeted the joke to her following as her own, without credit. Bomb was a bit steamed, but didn't feel getting into a war with her much bigger following was worth the pain.



cropLike the assortment of beads featured yesterday, this week's gonna be a grab-bag of various topics—yesterday, lampworking, today, gift-decorating, tomorrow, well, check in and see!

Speaking of various and sundry, f2tE expressed an interest in making linocuts together.

It's one of the many media I've always wanted to try but never got around to attempting. Now that the internet exists, my first step in researching something about which I'm ignorant is to hunt around and find someone into $whatever-topic and see what they have to say. (The biggest difficulty is filtering out all the links whose goal is merely to sell you something, as opposed to actually just teach you out of the goodness of their hearts. Fortunately, artists—genuinely passionate ones about their craft, anyway—tend to be generous souls who enjoy gaining converts to their particular discipline, and that, I can generally identify.)



cropWhoops, sorry about the no-posting last week, I was kinda busy, among other things, actually making beads. (Go me;)

So, ofc, it's times to clear out the odds and ends of linkies...

  • Last week was Thanksgiving, but for some it is a National Day of Mourning. Via bb, which has a bunch of links to explore.
  • John Oliver on the Israel-Hamas war. Yeah, there's something wrong when a comedian has the sharpest take on this ugly mess...
  • I guess Henry Kissinger didn't precisely foment strife in that region, but not, it seems, for want of trying. Via FTB.
  • Thaddeus Stevens was on the right side of history, so his story was of course buried, (let alone that of his housekeeper and co-abolitionist Lydia Hamilton Smith.)
  • Roz Kaveney seems likely also to be on the right side of history...so she's been fighting the same dragons of bigotry for half a century now. Cuz they just won't stay down.
  • Std Err (Marcus Ranum) brings a military historian's sensibilities to this delicious takedown of the movie Napoleon.
  • Free covid tests for US citizens are back. Via bb.
  • Gravity defying hills: in which your car seems to roll uphill. I experience the opposite version of this all the time riding my bike, in which my eyes tell me I'm going downhill, but my pumping legs assure me I'm climbing.



cropHeh. I gots stuff to do, so today's just linkies. That I would like to clear off my virtual desktop, so it's as nice and clean as my physical desktop, which I tidied up yesterday after months of letting it go (I even wiped off keyboard, and my goodness it was grosssssssss—so nice to the touch now;) Enjoy.

  • I love mint green, but not if it's made with arsenic. Yes, they really did make wallpaper with arsenic. Heck, they dyed clothes with it! If ever there was an argument for government safety regulation, toxic wallpaper is it...
  • This map of the Mississippi's meanders is gorgeous and informative in the way that Edward Tufte detailed in his splendid The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Lovely. There's lots of other interesting stuff on ‘The Public Domain Review’ site.
  • 25 words that don't mean what they used to —too lazy to actually check out the author's bona fides (though the words about which I've heard this sort of thing before, e.g. ‘nice’, line up with my understanding) but if ‘bun’ or ’bunny’ used to mean squirrel rather than rabbit, that's cool.
  • The Eames were the go-to designers of last mid-century, and the eponymous institute has a nice online exhibit of the toys they collected.
  • Not sure what link sent me off to this gentleman's web log but I admit to being charmed by the fact that his site even more old-fashioned than mine, despite its focus on robotics. Dunno how much of it I'll end up reading, but it looks interesting and well-informed.
  • CNN has a feature about a textile artist who's documented natural dyestuffs. Over the years I've encountered a lot of this, heh, stuff before, but Lauren MacDonald's new book In Pursuit of Color: From Fungi to Fossil Fuels: Uncovering the Origins of the World's Most Famous Dyes looks gorgeous.



cropWell, I only managed three pages last week, which means...I've got a couple ready to go for this one!

Finally listened to that NPR essay on sitting (specifically in front of a computer...which I'm doing right now, ofc) and why it's so toxic. It's about a 20 minute listen (if you skip the ads and ending credits) but the single most fascinating bit came along at the 18:30 mark, in which the reporter was found to have dropped her blood sugar by her whopping 42% just by taking a 5 minute walking break every 25 minutes; her fatigue increased and mood/productivity dropped substantially when she wasn't able to get up for 8 hours; similarly her blood pressure was 4–5 points lower when she took breaks.

Soooo, just between one day and next, there were huuuuuuge benefits for getting up. Perhaps part of the reason the pomodoro timer method (where you do 20 minutes of something, then go to something else) works is that you get up to change stuff up.


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