“Before me as I write lies an inch-square bit of brown leather --- not, you would think, an inspiring subject for a tale. But perpend. This fragment of human skin, for such it is, has been since 1829 in the possession of three persons only: The original owner, my grandfather, and myself. Inconsiderable in size and unimpressive of aspect, it was nevertheless potent to influence the direction of my future studies…
While yet a small boy, my grandfather would often show me by request this singular relic and I never wearied of hearing how he came by it. As a matter of history, its first proprietor, the late Mr. William Burke of Edinburgh, in the circumstances hereafter to be related, was publicly anatomized, his carcass thereafter flayed, his hide tanned, and his skeleton by order of Court preserved in the Anatomical Museum of Edinburgh University, where it remains as a memorial of his infamy even unto this day. Mr. Burke’s integument being cut up into sortable parcels to suit buyer’s tastes and exposed for sale by private bargain, my grandfather, who was then but a young man, invested a modest shilling’s worth. Wealthier purchasers bought larger lots --- I have heard that the late Professor Chiene had a tobacco pouch made of this unique material. Personally, despite my predilection for crime, I prefer India-rubber.” --- "The Wolves of the West Port" [more inside]
posted by Diablevert
on Aug 24, 2011 -
Dog and Deco.
My name is Pickles McConchie. I’m a 15 year old Art Deco and camera loving Terrier from Scotland. I like to travel the country with my bitch and pose in front of art deco factories and industrial buildings from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, as well as other twentieth century architectural gems.
posted by The Discredited Ape
on Jul 12, 2011 -
Philosophy fundraiser mountain walk-a-thon.
Prominent philosophy professor Crispin Wright will walk the length of the Pennine Way
, a 250+ mile mountaintop trail in the UK, to raise funds to support his philosophy students. (The link on the Pennine Way is worth reading.) Along the way he'll stop each day to answer a philosophical question voted on by the people who contribute to the fund.
posted by LobsterMitten
on Jun 25, 2011 -
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 24, 2011 -
The Unst Bus Shelter website
has been updated, and remains as charming as ever, 10 years on. It has been occasionally mentioned on the Blue, but the new version of the site shows that it just keeps on getting better. The shelter has even been praised by UK film critic, Mark Kermode who visited it
when it doubled as a two person cinema
. It has also hosted the crown jewels, beer drinking hamsters and music festivals.
posted by quarsan
on Mar 17, 2011 -
Mr Mowatt said he had always wondered what lay under an 8ft stone in the garden and eventually curiosity got the better of him, "On the screen... I could clearly see what I thought was a white skull
, with two eye sockets, looking back at me." [more inside]
posted by BadMiker
on Nov 4, 2010 -
World War II was a time that called for many things from many different people. However, one Polish soldier stepped above and beyond the call of his nature. He carried ammunition, he helped his squad members get better at wrestling, and he drank and smoked with the rest of them - Wojtek, the soldier bear
. [more inside]
posted by lizarrd
on Aug 12, 2010 -
Painting +puzzle +compulsory 'Da Vinci' ref.
Glasgow artist Frank McNab Previously
has an interesting series of paintings on display in an exhibition at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.
Running until the end of October the paintings have the common theme of 'Libraries in the Community" and are a celebration of both the buildings themselves and their patrons.
Check out the link not just for the obvious quality of the works on display but also to see if YOU can be the one to solve the riddle hidden within the paintings themselves.
posted by Wrick
on Aug 28, 2009 -
tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove
to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers
like Isaac Gulliver
, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly
posted by Abiezer
on Oct 9, 2008 -
Poet, playwright, novelist, mural painter, experimentalist, illustrator; a “fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glasgow pedestrian”; and perhaps “the greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott,” Alasdair Gray has a new book out
. [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Feb 20, 2008 -