Tag: HD detritus

There’s a method* in his madness


* J. Karwowski’s Method of Preserving the Dead


Found on an old hard drive. In 1903 a gentleman named Joseph Karwowski (“a subject of the Czar of Russia, residing at Herkimer”, New York) took out a patent on “certain new and useful Improvements in Methods of Preserving the Dead”, to wit encasing them in cubes of glass. He claimed that excluding the air would preserve them “for an indefinite period in a perfect and life-like condition.” The process would involve encasing the body in a layer of sodium silicate which was dry heated to solidify it, then further surrounded by a cube or cylinder of molten glass. Evidently a man of thrifty instincts, he also allowed for the cheaper and less labour-intensive possibility of preserving just the head “if preferred”, Futurama style.

Not that I or anybody else in their right mind is considering actually carrying out this operation, but…

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Are you pyknický?

Are you pyknický?


More hard drive detritus! I’ve cleaned the images up a lot, because the originals look like somebody–definitely not me– just snapped the pages from some kind of text book. Nothing so methodical or high tech as a scan. As usual I don’t know where these slightly unnerving pictures came from. My highly scientific detective work (playing around with Google Translate for a while) led to the conclusion that the captions are in Slovakian. The drawing of various faceless nude people (last image on this page) has a bit of a prison camps behind the Iron Curtain vibe. Hard to tell the age of them. The somatotype thing came to prominence in the 1940s and 1950s, so presumably these illustrations are from that period or slightly later.

Also as usual, corrections or additional information are welcome.

Typ pyknický presumably means endomorphic type, i.e. prone to fatness, but I like to…

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Large Papier Mache Heads

Large Papier Mache Heads



“To be worn over head and rest on shoulders. Full size. Fine natural painted. Heads kept in stock can be shipped on short notice.”

Freemasons: plotting in secret to run the world and conceal an age-old conspiracy, or getting drunk and running around wearing a donkey head? On the evidence of this old catalogue of “Burlesque and Side Degree Specialties, Paraphernalia and Costumes” by De Moulin Bros. & Co., I’m afraid the latter scenario seems much more likely. Sorry, conspiracy fans.


This is more hard drive detritus. I don’t know where these images came from or why I originally stored them. I know only that they’re from late 2001 or early 2002, and they therefore predate the books or sites that came out over the past few years with nutty material from…

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