Yes, the video got yanked yesterday for a copyright violation. Apparently they don’t want anyone discussing the work, or seeing an enticement that may want you to enjoy the product. Noted!

I don’t understand how some full movies are up on YouTube. Entire movies that are obviously not in public domain.

Ah well. At least I wasn’t trying to scam anyone. On an unrelated note, I tried to use a voucher my wife got on Amazon for carpet cleaning.

“The mailbox is full.”

Not a good sign. Googled around to find a review of the company; found one yelper who said that they upped the price after they’d finished, and the manager was rude, walking around the house and commenting on the interior in a derisive way. Googled the owner, and did not come away suffused with faith in the enterprise, shall we say. One call to Amazon, and the charge was reversed.

Wait a minute, you say: one call to Amazon? How did you call Amazon? They take calls? They have phones? It’s on the bottom of the order, but it’s for Amazon Local only.

Rumor has it that the actual customer service number can be found at the bottom of this page. I don’t print it here in case it’s wrong, and people link here, then get angry because I AM WRONG and make comments about it.

Oh, speaking of which:

A story about Roman multi-implement cutlery.

Let’s go to the comments.


and we think we're so clever these days don't we....
- kate, staffordshire, 29/1/2010 19:47

And this one:

It should come as no surprise at all, that the Romans were capable of producing a 'multi-tool' as they so eloquently put it in the USA. We tend to assume that because we have computers, combustion engines, i-pods and i-phones and i-macs and bumbleberries that we are so far advanced than the 'ancients'.

Technologically, we are. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t do some astonishing things with the limitations of materials and fabrication techniques. Roman ingenuity is a fascinating subject.

Let me put this another way: the Romans tended to assume that because they had aqueducts, plumbing, fountains, heated floors, barrel-vaulted ceilings, concrete, and substantial permanent roads, they were so far advanced from the “ancients.” And they were. We continue with another comment:

Perhaps it is a result of our shallow acceptance of Darwins evolution theory where the only natural way is one of 'progression'. Therefore in all areas (philosophy, art, technology, medicine, mathematics and science) we MUST be more advanced.

Who’s this we? Obviously medicine is more advanced. Obviously science is more advanced. Philosophy and art, we can argue.

We seem to have created an overly-complicated world in an effort to reach a higher goal. And we have used technology, objects and 'things' to take us there. Unfortunatly we have, effectively, engineered a solid corporeal craft to travel into the 'intangible' realms of destiny and fate. Forgetting along the way, the 'magic' which makes the journey possible in the first place. There is alot more to life than simply matter.

All this about a spork. What did these people do before the internet? Whose ear did they bend? Did they just keep it all in? Would they even think these things and spew such nonsense if they weren't haunting the comments section of the internet looking for places to say what HAD TO BE SAID?

I suppose you coud say the same thing about the entirety of this site, though.

This article at Scientific American on the discovery of enormous plasma arms radiating from a nearby galactic cluster notes that earlier conjecture about its mass was used as evidence for the existence of dark matter. Let’s go to the comments:

Zwicky was unaware that subclusters exhibit peculiar velocities resulting from mergers.

Attributing dark matter to complex galaxy clusters is a very complex undertaking subject to very large potential errors.

The Romans used to have the exact same argument!




The weekly look at the way things used to be, and the expectations they had about the consumer. For example: consumers would be attracted to clowns, and were insecure enough to be lectured about their taste in ceramics by a gum company. We begin, as always, with:


For once, Elsie is flummoxed.

No one puts the “ox” in “flummoxed” like Elmer, I suppose. I’m flummoxed by the “Woof” part, which is never explained. The ad doesn’t even sell anything, as you can see below:

Mid-war ads had a particular style: they kept the brand alive and reminded you why there wasn’t much of it around. You are also invited to consider how much time, money, and American ingenuity was required to provide ice cream to the troops.

In the end, Elsie grabs the mike for some speechifying of her own. The mike, of course, is a Borden’s Condensed Milk can.


Once the king of vacuums. Also the “Boss,” if you believe the wikipedia entry. They went head-to-head with Hoover, and ended up getting subsumed in the Electrolux amalgamation.

The old company HQ:

Ah, and look what’s right up the street:

Zoom in for the logo. Coke built beautiful bottling plants. I’ve never seen one that didn’t have some architectural merit, usually Moderne in some form or another. They did as much to inject the style into the vernacular of the street as the 1930s Federal building initiatives. Across the street, an example of a factory with classical details:

Abandoned. Wonder what they made there. Possibly vacuums. Anyway, the Eureka looked a lot like the classic Hoover . . .

. . . . but it had something else Hoover lacked: a Disturbulator. I love that word. It must be revived.


Man, he had a lot of varieties. This is a closeup of a huge two-page ad.

Mr. Boston was made by . . . Mr. Boston, an independent distillery that was eventually bought and shuttered. By 1986 the brand had run its course, they thought. Copy such as this (courtesy of Modern Drunkard) surely wouldn’t appeal to modern audiences.

He is a jolly fellow, one of those rare individuals, everlastingly young, a distinct personality and famous throughout the land for his sterling qualities and genuine good fellowship. His friends number in the millions, those who are great and those who are near great, even as you and I. He is jovial and ever ready to accept the difficult role of “Life of the Party,” a sympathetic friend who may be relied upon in any emergency.

What a grand chap! He was purchased and revived in the 90s. According to this site, it’s useful if you haven’t any Dayquil:

I try to avoid the cliche that this or that cheap hooch tastes like cough syrup, but I can think of no better description of Mr. Boston Wild Cherry. This stuff is rough. It tastes simultaneously sweet and sour, but not in the good soup way. It's more as if a cherry Pop Tart were dissolved in a vat of vinegar. The only reason I didn't immediately demand an FDA recall is that it has the decency to be 70 proof, so you only need a couple swallows to quiet your cough long enough to crawl back to the medicine man for a different prescription.

Speaking of cheap vices:


Of course it had a mascot once. Of course:

They were first made in 1887. While looking around for a Google Street View pic of a ghost ad for the cigar, I found this storefront in New Kensington PA. Sigh. However did it last? You don't really want to say "hoorah for economic decline," because that's what saves these storefronts sometimes.

Block after block of that. The downtown is entirely destroyed.

Here's something I don't get. Take a look at this photo.

Now take a look at this Google Street View. At least I found the Owl sign on the picture above, but . . .

View Larger Map

Explain that. I can't. I suppose I can - the little building in the street view map was demolished for some reason. The satellite view shows nothing there. The still picture from Flickr suggests that the sign was revealed by demolition . . . except that the building on which the OWL sign is painted is a different color, and the paint sign isn't anywhere on the Google Street View.

It just gives me a . . .

It's still made! Stll comes in powder form, too. It's another old brand that never died, but has absolutely no public profile now.

3 big extras! Relieves fast, unlike those tablets specially formulated to get around to curing your headache eventually; it's gentle, so your guts don't spasm uncontrollably, and "should" never leave you jittery. Ideally.

Meaning, it's aspirin without caffiene. Also works with neuralgia, although I don't think they used the word in the strict sense of spinal-cord pain.

She doesn't look as if she's just had something gentle in action. In fact she looks downright horrified by something. Who shot this ad, James Whale?

That's it for today. New Comics, and blog at work, and Tumblr, and so on, and so on. See you around.








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