Friday Four

Friday, April 19, 2013

Editor's Note: There will be no post tomorrow due to weekend travel.

1. Calling canes the "22-inch rims of 19th century cruising culture", Wayne Curtis writes an entertaining article about walking canes.

Victorians often get tarred as a stodgy and uptight, but not by those who've seen some of the walking sticks they promenaded around with. Naked women carved in ivory were a popular motif, as were couples intertwined to look like complicated knots. Some top knobs hinged opened to reveal elaborate fornication scenarios; one might reasonably conclude from these that the 19th century was wholly unfamiliar with the missionary position. Oh, and here's another: a lusty jackass is having its way a naked woman⁠. Still, canes weren't all about sex. Another cane is topped with a carved ivory bust of an Asian man; you pulled his ponytail and water (or some caustic you've put into the reservoir in the shaft⁠) spews out of his mouth. It can projectile spit up to eight feet.
The article also caused me to smile as I recalled randomly spotting a woman using an elegant cane a few years ago.

2. I am sure that I am not the only one who has marveled at times about how differently some people rate (and even describe) their own appearance than others. Dove has gone beyond this and incorporated the phenomenon into a marketing campaign:
Gil Zamora is an FBI-trained forensics artist with over 3,000 criminal sketches under his belt. Dove (through Unilever's U.K. office) and Ogilvy Brazil hired him to interview and draw seven different women--two sketches of each. The first sketch was based on each woman's personal description of herself. The second was based on a description provided by a stranger the woman had just met. Of course, the differences are vast. Watching these women come face to face with the version of themselves in their mind and the version everyone else sees is extraordinary.
Follow the link for a couple of examples and the video.

3. Neat! I can claim to have been the first person nicknamed by my daughter. She sometimes calls me "Dah-dee-dah". Also, she's putting together simple sentences, now. The first I heard was "Make more," which she said after I made some "confetti" from an extruder as we were playing with Play-Doh a few weeks ago.

4. Interesting: A Lifehacker post describes a way to use Google Voice to block robo-callers from your cell phone or your land line. The National Do Not Call List has become such a joke that I unplug the land line when Pumpkin is napping and Mrs. Van Horn isn't here. (She's  a physician: which is the only reason we bother with a land line any more.) The post also has a few other ideas for doing effectively the same thing.

-- CAV

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