11 March 2012


It is very difficult, nigh impossible, to avoid creatures, even when one wants to. Today I saw two mice, innumerable birds, and what I can only attempt to describe as a pigeon trapped in the speaker system at the local train station. There were, at least, bird sounds, and not of the pleasant chirping sort, being broadcasted for all on the platforms. A proper cyborg!

But a creature must not be a cyborg to get my attention. The Lord Howe stick insect, endemic to Australia, was thought for many years to have been wiped out by rats. As adults, they are 6 inches long, and cannot fly, and thus are a supremely easy catch. Here is one of these magnificently vulnerable creatures hatching:

Nor must creatures necessarily be real to hold my interest. Evolution, apparently, plays no part in how absorbing I find them, as is evidenced here:

I'm off to glue strings on my face now....

21 February 2012

a list of common and uncommon collocations, encountered in my reading of the last couple of weeks

measures for the prevention of accidents
men of worth
invariably declined
extensive insights
chains of association
restless capital
prevailing sense
neurotic restlessness
disorganized capitalism
primary ghost
resident specter
unplanned sadness
violin curves of the church
ragged claws
the republic of translation
practiced insomniac
subliminal recesses
linguistically biodegradable
ontological heart condition
the shadow of God
the hidden world
uncertain step
tempting comestibles

17 February 2012

If you're feeling crunchy...

you may find some relief in:

1. Jethro Tull
Yes, cravats and vests and flute-playing can make an honest man of anyone.

The absolute best in gross gourmandism.

3. Animal friends
May I suggest the following 15th century pals from the holy land?

Or perhaps spirit bears are more your style? Sitting around in the mossy forest with this guy, gnawing on some fish, doesn't sounds half bad.

14 February 2012

The Vegetable Lamb: Number 3

At long last, dear readers, it's half-way fit for public consumption!

Number 3

The Vegetable Lamb: Number 3

This issue of The Vegetable Lamb is an exploration of stasis, of absolute zero, but it is also a how-to guide for upsetting it. If you've had enough, it cries, bend that line into an arc! Let everything go to hell in a handbasket! Imagine a ferret fighting a moose!

Find out more on MagCloud

02 February 2012

In the 1960's...

...Pluto was still the 9th planet, Mars had vegetation, and "galaxies slipped between one another like phantoms." And Canada was making films like this.

...Mick Jagger knew how to dance, people could still sing sad songs on T.V., and the inclusion of a sitar was virtually mandatory.

...men wore feathers and striped pants, standing around meant standing around, and moccasins had not yet been appropriated by sorority sisters.

...everyone trustworthy had sunspots on their shoulders, tents were translucent, and hammocks (and the sharing of them) were de rigeur.

Essentially I'm wishing summer would hurry up and descend upon Germany like California.

21 January 2012

Things we like X, or, suggestions for staying animate

1. Dancing around a burning orange, or, rather, a burning orange candle. I know it is totally possible and not an internet myth because I tried it out (successfully) tonight. Why are pith-wicks so utterly charming?

2. Project Nim, a 2011 documentary directed by James Marsh. Like Man on Wire, Marsh's previous film, this is poignant, and entrancing, and more than a little heartbreaking, but it's also a lovely meditation on what's worth emulating in our closest evolutionary relatives, and what's worth leaving behind.

3. Speaking of animals, they make excellent film collages. I like the bears especially, in this old piece by Joseph Cornell.

4. Gotye's 'State of the Art', a song about a Cotillion electronic home organ gone mad. It's a cautionary tale, I suppose, but I want one for my flat. I give you all full license to dance around the burning orange whilst listening to this very song.

16 January 2012

Things we like IX, or, why I'm willing to stick it out till the apocalypse

1) Edward Gorey’s AMAZING ENVELOPES;

2) The sensation of not having died in a plane crash;

3) When aforementioned yet still relatively obscure Hungarian authors try to suddenly go all hipster on you (“I’m sure I could name ten new rock groups from 2011 that you haven’t even heard of”), and you can retort (at least in your head), “With all due respect, Mr. Krasznahorkai, two erotic gay photographers from Berlin introduced me to Joan as Police Woman in 2007 when we [my friend and I] were circumstantially obligated to share a group train ticket with them,” and not be exaggerating. 

4) Charlie Chaplin AND Buster Keaton IN THE SAME FILM

4) The beautiful things Robert Downey, Jr.’s hair must be doing under that hat: