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A very sweary New Year. Fresh hell daily. See flyer for specials.


     “There are scents that dogs can smell and we cannot. There are wavelengths of light we cannot see. Why should the remark, ‘Perhaps there are thoughts we cannot think,’ surprise you?” -Richard Hamming

Here’s the recording of last night’s (new year’s eve, 2021) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA), ready to re-enjoy.


Thanks heaps to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost here’s a page with not only the above MOTA show but also other ones going back quite a way.

And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided almost an hour of the above eight-hour show’s most locally relevant material, as usual, without asking for anything in return, and to Kevin MacLeod, who composed and provided Sleazy Weasel, MOTA’s official intro and outro theme since barely an instant after the beginning of time itself. They’ve made a documentary about his life and work, and it’s out now.

Email me your writing on any subject and I’ll read it on the radio this coming Friday night, just like I’ve been doing every Friday night since February of 1997.

BESIDES ALL THAT, here’s a fresh batch of not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your right:

Betty White was going to be a hundred years old soon, but she died a couple of days ago, after eight decades of radio and teevee and show biz in general. She had a smart mouth; she swore like a sailor, and everyone loved her.

Betty White, high-rez, 1954, sparkling in thought, word, deed and eyes.

Speaking of sparkling, /this/ page shows the progress of the James Webb telescope on its way to the L2 point. Congratulations! Your item [fabulous infrared space telescope] has been shipped. Estimated arrival date, January 23. Please contact our customer service representatives if you have any questions. (FAQ: Yes, James Webb was a racist. Also that was a long time ago when everyone was racist, and he truly never had sex with that woman, who was in her thirties, not her teens, and fully consented to all contact, plus he’s dead. It’s too late to cancel your order.)

Meanwhile, back on Earth.

Earth, continued.

Stevie Wonder improvises about a broken keyboard.

Luca Stricagnoli’s latest. Banjo, this time.

An evening with Ana Vidovic. Classical guitar. (65 min.)

Like Jimmy Durante said: “That’s a trumpet!” (Three syllables.)

Dogged determination.

And the hits just keep on coming. (via Everlasting Blort)

Medieval marginalia. (via Everlasting Blort)

Snaps of drunken new year’s eve revelry of the early 1920s, when the world smelled like pipe (and coal) smoke, wet wool, stale sweat, cloying perfume, and incompletely combusted kerosene. Also, these gatherings were immediately after a devastating worldwide epidemic of disease and death, which explains everyone festively breathing in each other’s face from four inches away, as in, /Fuck you! Ha ha!/ /Fuck you too! Ha ha ha. Die! Ha ha ha ha! Wheee!/

The biggest mistakes all gun owners make. (Slideshow.)

The education of Louis.

Illusions of the year.

Tilda Swinton as libraries. (Further in the Tilda Swinton as architecture series.) (via Everlasting Blort)

These snakes are all on the same path, yet each one thinks it’s got free will. “I go where I want to. You can’t tall me where to go.” (via Clifford Pickover)

These boxes are not moving. (via Clifford Pickover)

These boxes are.

Watch Miles make a lovely Japanese-pattern Strat. Smell the smells: wood chips and sawdust, epoxy resin, solder flux and, at the end, hot vacuum tubes. That new-guitar series of smells. (20 min.)

Flowers that look like something else. (via Clifford Pickover)


Women in WW1. The short clip of them entering a war blimp’s gondola, climbing past the giant propeller– imagine what that was like for them. It would be like someone now riding a glass elevator up into the belly of a giant alien spaceship /that you helped the aliens build/. It would be like when the handsome dog-man soldier holds Jupiter in his arms and they rise up into the sky in a shaft of light in /Jupiter Ascending/. It was magic-level future technology. Compare it to mucking out horse stables.

Interesting aircraft of WW2, the war after the War To End All Wars, as well as being the war before all the wars since then. It was kind of a big deal, I’m told.

Fast trains that other, more advanced, countries have had for decades, whooshing past in the snow. I like to think about the people inside them, just sitting there quietly reading a book on their phone, or texting someone on the phone or even talking to someone on the phone. Concentrating on the phone. They’re probably not smoking a cigaret or a pipe, nor even looking out the window; who does that anymore? What’s out there but something to leave behind?

Crashing through the snow. In a front-blade snowplow train. Say that. Good, eh? Beluga. Galoshes. Macadamia.

Comet telescope photo guy Michael Jaeger’s twitter page.

Mechanical gallery.

Jake Lambert’s picks for pictures of the year.

Siena International Photo Awards. (Click to see the full gallery.)

Pelicans testing animals to see if they can be eaten. This? No. This? No. How about this? No. But it’s all in the attitude. It’s not pelican’t, after all. It’s pelican. This? No.

2022 calendar of extremely accurate birds. (via Everlasting Blort)

The History Channel. First it was all Hitler all the time, then ancient Egyptian spacemen, then the Loch Ness monster, then Hitler again, or rather his submarines, then submarines searching for the Loch Ness monster. Now it’s shaken out and come full-circle back to pure history: serenading space alien ghosts in an abandoned whorehouse, just like everybody used to in the Old Country. (Song begins at 2:35.) But I’m reminded again, by the various face piercings, fat Sharpie-marking-pen eyebrows and giant weird blotchy neck tattoos, that times have indeed changed, especially for credulous young women on a year-end ghost hunting party with two creepy men (and a camera crew), and anything truly goes anymore.

Dramatic glider launch. (via b3ta)

I love this guy demonstrating being prepared. I especially love it that they don’t freak out and shoot him but rather just go away, because after events of the last few years I’m tired of seeing something like this but where officers go nuts, swarm the guy down, scream at him to /STOP RESISTING! STOP RESISTING!/, get the restraints on him and maybe strangle or shoot him anyway and then get away with it, despite the insane escalation being entirely on their account. These particular cops are calm, measured, adorably sheepish in the face of the camera, and they’re probably good guys. A good guy, cop or not, learns a new thing, recognizes when he’s wrong, sucks it up and stops being wrong, and that’s the end of it. That’s how you can tell.

“Help! I’m bein’ oppressed!”

Encouraging because they caught the theif, but discouraging because, to catch the guy and get all the police help, they had to tag their remaining stealable property with dozens of expensive locator tags and place security cameras all over, including in trees, to view the thief ruining the /other/ cameras with spraypaint. Personally, when I called the police because thieves did thousands of dollars worth of damage to my car right there in the middle of town, in the apartment parking lot, they wouldn’t even come out to look at it, much less dust for prints. The cop said on the phone, basically, “Yeah, that’s been happening around here.”

You’re a mean one, Mister Spock.

What do you mean, Smile? We are smiling. This is the smile of our people. This is how our people smile. Kids, hey, smile the way /they/ smile, go on… See? See how weird that is? That’s enough, kids, you’re scaring him… Just take the picture, fella, okay?

Office Xmas Party 1925, the video.

Rerun: a cartoon from summer.

Balloons. (via BoingBoing)

Negative space rice dancer. (via Clifford Pickover)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Banana Time cut. (30 min.)

Johnny Clock.

Spooky awesome.

Tom Swift and his Ultrasonic Cyclo-Snowtractor.

A compelling case for self-driving cars. Give this a minute and you’ll give it another four, then you’ll watch the whole rest of it. Once upon a time every elevator employed a driver. There was a point where people stopped feeling weird about an elevator driving itself. The robot car driver can see in all directions all the time, even in the dark; it has 29 cameras and LIDAR; it knows to the inch where objects and pets and people and other vehicles are, and what direction they’re all going, and how fast. Whenever one robot driver learns a new danger or trick or technique, and they’re all learning all the time, soon all robot drivers know that too. Most of the huge amount of death and damage on the roads up to now comes from a very short list of common human driver errors that robot drivers /already can never make/.

Random delights.

A hydrogen generator project.

Eye Liner, a short film. Best with real headphones. Interesting sound choices.


Haka metalized.

“Makes children and adults as fat as pigs.” (via BoingBoing)

Mummers mumming. Sorry, /mummering/.

You’re invited to the wedding of Cornelia Vanderbilt and John Cecil in 1924.

“I’ve nevah seen a bouncy-castle and not /immeeed-yutly/ stripped bare and jumped onto its inviting /boing/.” (The crab mac-and-cheese looks pretty good. Speaking of crabs.) (via b3ta)

Crabpot cam. With sound! How we get the crabs.

L.A. in the 1930s.

The aftermath of the great 1929 Auto Show fire. (It was in a big tent. See, in those days circus-type tents were waterproofed with paraffin thinned with gasoline.)

Rerun: Charles Nelson Reilly on the Hartford Circus tent fire.

I’m watching and enjoying all four years of /Picket Fences/ all over again after so many years have passed. And I looked up the actors, starting with Fyvush Finkel (his real name), who played Douglas Wambaugh, the Bugs-Bunny-like Jewish lawyer; he lived until 2016, twenty years after the show ended. In, the entry for /Picket Fences/ is large and all over the map, and speaking of maps, one of the tropes attributed to the show is /Mountains of Illinois/, to mean when wrong features appear that aren’t necessarily a big deal but you notice. In this case it’s palm trees, when the show is set in Wisconsin, but I wondered about if there are mountains in Illinois –probably not, I thought. Well, there turn out to be, and there’s a ski resort near the town of Galena, Illinois with at least one (shallow) ski run nearly a quarter of a mile long. And that same resort is home to the famous concrete summertime Alpine Slide, which, um, here, it looks like fun, and it must be very safe because you don’t have to wear a helmet or anything, and you can go down it with your little child on your lap and both hands on your camera.

Also, apparently, they have a twenty-second-long zipline-like ride the operator is serious about cinching you into, yanking the seatbelts home to bring your bellybutton into contact with your spine. It might be that someone fell off that ride once, and so they’re extra careful ever after.

I had to look it up: “Cranking it” is a term for hurried masturbation. That’s the way the kids all talk now.

And art. Happy new year.

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