Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bannerman's Castle

BLDGBLOG gets a lot of respect around the net these days because, well, they're awesome. And they're obsessives and experts in a very specific sense.

Consider, for example, this neat little article on Sean O'Boyle's photographic study of Bannerman's Isle:

The castle was Bannerman’s vision and his execution. It was creviced and encrusted with battlements, towers, turrets, crenellations, parapets, embrasures, casements, and corbelling. Huge iron baskets suspended from the castle corners held gas-fed lamps that burned in the night like ancient torches. By day Bannerman’s castle gave the river a fairyland aspect. By night it threw a brooding silhouette against the Hudson skyline.

It's doubly cool because the castle (renamed "Butterman's") was used as a setting in John Crowley's AEgypt books.

"This is probably the coolest fish around"

--Per Scott Taylor, who discovered and characterized a fish in Belize that can live out of water for months at a time.

The fish, whose scientific name is Rivulus marmoratus, can grow as large as three inches. They group together in logs hollowed out by insects and breathe air through their skin instead of their gills until they can find water again. ...

Surviving on land is not the only unusual behavior exhibited by the fish. They have both testes and ovaries and essentially clone themselves by laying their own, already fertilized eggs.

"This is probably the coolest fish around, not only do they have a very bizarre sex life, but they really don't meet standard behavioral criteria for fishes," said Taylor in a summary of his paper.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Michael Palin Diaries 1967-1977: The Python Years

Just finished Michael Palin's excellent diaries of his Monty Python years. The level of discipline is remarkable--I usually miss writing down the days that have the most going on. It's also remarkable for just how warm-hearted it seems; not surprising, though, to anyone who's seen Palin's rapport with people across the globe in his travel narratives. Everyone seems to respond well to someone who's genuinely nice.

Great little interview (from the BBC?):

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halstead Street Halloween Parade

Sometimes you have trouble figuring out whether these people are dressing up for Halloween or whether they usually look like this.

Fire! Fire!