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Dog vs. Elevator + Eggs

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • October 25, 2013 - 12:28 PM

Going Up! Life imitates a Charlie Chaplin movie. It’s the eggs that provide the perfect touch.

HISTORY <henryhiggens> The Thing in Ding yields Viking bling:</henryhiggens>

A Viking parliamentary site that dates to the 11th century has been found beneath a parking lot in Scotland.

The site, located in the town of Dingwall, Scotland, was dubbed a "Thing" site, referring to its name in antiquity. Like other Thing sites, this one was likely a place where ancient Norsemen gathered to settle legal disputes, uphold laws and make key political decisions.

Livescience says they found a piece of a drinking vessel from the 13th century. Quick, go read it now before the know-it-alls pour into the comments and say something sour like “and in 800 years they’ll dig up a big gulp cup and wonder why our vessels were so ugly.” Meanwhile, slumbering under another parking lot:

A lead curse tablet, dating back around 1,700 years and likely written by a magician, has been discovered in a collapsed Roman mansion in Jerusalem, archaeologists report. . . The mansion itself covers at least 2,000 square meters (about half an acre) and contains two large open courtyards adjacent to each other. It was in use between the late third century and A.D. 363, when it was destroyed in a series of earthquakes on May 18 or 19.

The text is written in Greek and, in it a woman named Kyrilla invokes the names of six gods to cast a curse on a man named Iennys, apparently over a legal case.

"I strike and strike down and nail down the tongue, the eyes, the wrath, the ire, the anger, the procrastination, the opposition of Iennys," part of the curse reads in translation. Kyrilla asks the gods to ensure that "he in no way oppose, so that he say or perform nothing adverse to Kyrilla … but rather that Iennys, whom the womb bore, be subject to her…"

This is familiar to anyone who watched HBO’s “Rome.” Lots of nailing. Very specific body-part cursing. Didn’t work, but they could be a superstitious lot. On the other hand, when you get these when mousing over the page . . . . . .

. . . you’re tempted to craft some curses of your own. I strike and strike down and nail down the hands, the ire, the code, the click-through rate desired by, the marketing consultant, of livescience. We’ll see if that works.

BYGONE Via Coudal, some decaying Russian movie theaters. You'll note the intersection of bad Soviet architecture - if that’s not redundant - with bad 70s architecture. If that’s not redundant. Both had the same paucity of spirit. The Skyway could have been built in Moscow and it would’ve fit right in.

Here’s a Flickr slideshow of some lost Toronto theaters, for perspective on how they used to get it right. 

Then there’s this from Gizmodo, where a writer discovered something pretty awesome: Postcards!

New York City was a different place in the 1940s. It was a time before video billboards and LED lights, and skyscrapers were still a source of city-wide awe and pride.

“Still” suggests that they aren’t any more. The selection consists entirely of cards from a linen portfolio. Never the best source for postcard views. Google around for better examples; you might find things like this.

The Hudson Terminal Building. It had great bulk and dignity, and told the citizenry they lived in an age of marvels. Shame it had to go.

Take a look at this picture of the building. Everything's smaller than today. But the buildings look bigger.

FINALLY: That beer you like is coming back, in cans - and look at these gorgeous labels. 

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