Timely note

This year's calendar

Every January I visit the calendar shop at the regional shopping mall and pick up a few at half-price to provide a variety of art on my walls for the coming year. This year, I struck out. Everything of any interest was gone — no medieval or renaissance art, no pre-Raphaelites, no Edward Gorey, not even Ansel Adams. There were plenty of puppies, of course, but I prefer dogs as friends, not as artistic subjects. Fortunately, I earlier ordered this year’s Girls und Panzer calendar, so I do have a way to keep track of passing time.

January and February

Although there are only six pages (seven if you count the cover), they are poster-sized, 24″ tall (including the binding strip at the top) and 16.5″ wide. (Right-click and open the links in new windows to see the images at high resolution.)

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Odds and ends

Life is annoyingly busy, and I will have less time than usual for maintaining my websites until the middle of December. Expect even less activity here than usual. There might occasionally be posts of miscellaneous nonsense, such as what follows, but probably not much more.


Magical algorithm 1

Flickr recently introduced a “camera roll” feature that displays thumbnails of your pictures arranged either by the date taken or according to its “magic view,” which sorts them into subject-based categories. The algorithms for the latter need a little refinement.

Magical algorithm 2

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A game to play next time you read a second-tier fantasy novel. (Via J. Greely.)


Some trigger warnings for other literature.

1944, near Naples

Italy, 1944:

88 airplanes were a total loss. Eighty-eight B-25 Mitchells – $25,000,000 [1944 dollars] worth of aircraft

Vesuvius, 1944

Update: More on Vesuvius here.

Anthony Sacramone’s list of the twelve funniest books ever written is better than most such lists, though it’s missing Terry Pratchett, Robert Benchley and a few others. ((I was pleased to see that someone else remembers Will Cuppy.))

“Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of science!”

North Korean slogan or TED talk tidbit? (Via Jonah Goldberg.)

A large serving of silly nonsense is below the fold.

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Boo, boo, etc.

It’s Halloween today, right? Time to get the bag of chocolate out of the freezer.

There’s a fine line between spooky and silly, as Frëd illustrates in this footnote to American history.


There’s a lot of anime suitable for Halloween, from the many iterations of Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro (including in particular Hakaba Kitaro) to Soul Eater and Hozuki no Reitetsu. If I had to pick just one, though, it would be Kenji Nakamura’s Mononoke. Here’s one of the two-episode stories:

The entire show is on YouTube, but it’s available for such a reasonable price that there’s no excuse not to buy your own copy of this probable classic. ((I don’t declare anything a “classic” until it’s at least ten years old, and Mononoke is from anime’s year of wonder, 2007.))


Boris Karloff drinks tea.


If you’re looking for a proper Halloween post, Isegoria has a bunch of them.