Tag: blogs of note

The secret life of stuff

Bent Objects creator Terry Border has created a host of images you might have seen around the web or in your inbox presenting the secret life of everyday things.

Here’s an experienced grape.

This is not a parsnip – it’s a carrot zombie.

Check out some more at his blog.

I love this quote (from an interview with Neatorama) about what he’s trying to do with his art…

I’ll tell you a secret – a lot of times I’m not trying to be funny at all. I’m just creating the saddest situation I can think of while using a certain object. Sometimes, while I’m photographing a scene, I’m like “Oh man. I’ve gone too far here. People are gonna see how sick I am, and make me get psychological help.” Know what though? Those are always my most popular images. People see them as funny. There are a lot of sick people out there, just like me. Hello out there, all of you sickos!

Letters of note

I think this is currently my favourite blog. A veritable treasure trove of missives significant and otherwise. I could spend all day reading through these letters because they satiate both my curiosity about people’s perspective on historical events and my voyeuristic deviance. The letter truly is a window to the author’s soul. Here are some of my favourites…

I think I have posted this Mark Twain one before – so I won’t redo it – but it is, without a doubt, the best complaint letter ever written…

A piece of 2×4 sent to Jimmy Carter by a builder



Dear Jimmy

The general economy may be in a recession but housing is in a depression. Immediate action must be taken to assist our industry – it equals 5 Chrysler Corporations. Thousands of jobs and companies are being lost along with the tax dollars plus added costs i.e. unemployment compensation. Available and affordable funds must be made available now – a good start would be Brooke-Cranston. Where do you expect our children to live? This piece of 2×4 is not wasted if you get the message and then put in your wood burning stove.


A letter sent by a disenfranchised Tasmanian pupil to his teacher.



Mr Broome

Dear Sir

I write this letter for the good of myself and other boys. Instead of you teachers making school a pleasure you make it a perfect misery to those who happen to be a little backward. Referring to myself, I can say that I never did like school but since I came to Rockdale I have just dreaded the thought of school. This, may I say, has all come from your sneering and poking fun at those who are not quite so well on as others. If a boy happens to have a few mistakes instead of you trying to help him in his difficulty you look over his slate, you either cane him, or spell out aloud his foolish mistakes before over 100 boys who are always ready to make fun. This is why there are so many boys who are always ready to play the truant. And therefore instead of me looking forward to school days I just long for the time when I shall receive a sitificut saying that I may leave school. And as manhood draws on I shall look back on my schooldays as a period of misery instead of a period of happiness.

A Margett

Scholar at (Inferior?) Rockdale Public School

Thomas Edison congratulating a fellow engineer on his ingenuity.



From the Laboratory of Thomas A. Edison

Orange, N.J., Nov. 27, 1926

Mr. W. L. R. Emmet
General Electric Co
1 River Road
Schenectady, N.Y.

My dear Mr. Emmet:-

I want to thank you for your letter of the 23rd, with its enclosure, and at the same time to extend my congratulations to you on the successful outcome of your ideas.

The worst is to come, for it takes about seven years to convert the average man to the acceptance of a solved problem.

With all good wishes to you, I remain

Yours very truly

Thos. A. Edison


And possibly my favourite of all – a conspiracy theorist warning J. Edgar Hoover about the perils of Elvis Presley. I’ll post the whole thing, even though it’s long. Because it is brilliant.



May 16, 1956

Mr. J Edgar Hoover
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington 25, D. C.

Dear Mr. Hoover,

Elvis Presley press-agented as a singer and entertainer, played to two groups of teenagers numbering several thousand at the city auditorium here, Monday, May 14.

As newspaper man, parent, and former member of Army Intelligence Service, I feel an obligation to pass on to you my conviction that Presley is a definite danger to the security of the United States.

Although I could not attend myself, I sent two reporters to cover his second show at 9:30 p.m. besides, I secured the opinions of others of good judgment, who had seen the show or had heard direct reports of it. Among them are a radio station manager, a former motion picture exhibitor, an orchestra player, and a young woman employee of a radio station who witnessed the show to determine its value. All agree that it was the filthiest and most harmful production that ever came to La Crosse for exhibition to teenagers.

When Presley came on the stage, the youngsters almost mobbed him, as you can judge from the article and pictures enclosed from May 15 edition of the La Crosse TRIBUNE. The audience could not hear his “singing” for the screaming and carrying on of the teenagers.

But eyewitnesses have told me that Presley’s actions and motions were such as to rouse the sexual passions of teenaged youth. One eye-witness described his actions as “sexual self-gratification on the stage,” — another as “a striptease with clothes on.” Although police and auxiliaries were there, the show went on. Perhaps the hardened police did not get the import of his motions and gestures, like those of masturbation or riding a microphone. (The assistant district attorney and Captain William Boma also stopped in for a few minutes in response to complaints about the first show, but they found no reason to halt the show.)

After the show, more than 1,000 teenagers tried to gang into Presley‘s room at the auditorium, then at the Stoddard Hotel. All possible police on duty were necessary at the Hotel to keep watch on the teenagers milling about the hotel till after 3 a.m., the hotel manager informed me. Some kept milling about the city till about 5 a.m.

Indications of the harm Presley did just in La Crosse were the two high school girls (of whom I have direct personal knowledge) whose abdomen and thigh had Presley’s autograph. They admitted that they went to his room where this happened. It is known by psychologists, psychiatrists and priests that teenaged girls from the age of eleven, and boys in their adolescence are easily aroused to sexual indulgence and perversion by certain types of motions and hysteria, — the type that was exhibited at the Presley show.

There is also gossip of the Presley Fan Clubs that degenerate into sex orgies. The local radio station WKBH sponsors a club on the “Lindy Shannon Show.”

From eye-witness reports about Presley, I would judge that he may possibly be both a drug addict and sexual pervert. In any case I am sure he bears close watch, — especially in the face of growing juvenile crime nearly everywhere in the United States. He is surrounded by a group of high-pressure agents who seem to control him, the hotel manager reported.

I do not report idly to the FBI. My last official report to an FBI agent in New York before I entered the U.S. Army resulted in arrest of a saboteur (who committed suicide before his trial). I believe the Presley matter is as serious to U.S. security. I am convinced that juvenile crimes of lust and perversion will follow his show here in La Crosse.

I enclose article and pictures from May 15 edition of the La Crosse TRIBUNE. The article is an excellent example of the type of reporting that describes a burlesque show by writing about the drapes on the stage. But the pictures, to say the least are revealing. Note, too, that under the Presley article, the editor sanctimoniously published a very brief “filler” on the FBI’s concern for teenage crime. Only a moron could not see the connection between the Presley exhibit and the incidence of teenage disorders in La Crosse.

With many thanks, and with a prayer for God‘s special blessing on your excellent and difficult work for justice and decency.

Sincerely yours,


This is just an hors d’oeuvre there are more than 200 letters posted so far. Brilliant.

Kutzy, Kutzy Coup

Slowly and surely the people I know who I think should have blogs are starting blogs. And why not? Blogging is great. First there was Izaac. He’s been going strong for a couple of months, and he’s well worth a read. Then I managed to coax my sister Maddie into writing occasionally here.

Now my long time philosophical sparring partner, former housemate, good friend, and potential future workmate Kutz has started a blog. He did ask me not to mention this, but that was a week ago, and he’s since published it to his myriad friends on Facebook. So here’s the link.

He’s opened with a worthy contribution to the conversation about country ministry and where people should go.

There’s a bit of meaty stuff already, and I’d expect more of the same.

Now if only Dave Walker would start a blog…

Sharing the love

I’ve given up on the daily link post. Feed readers will no doubt have noticed and appreciated this already. The multiple posting glitch was so very annoying for everybody. And it just ended up cluttering the page and obscuring the Curiosities posts I’d actually put effort into tracking down and writing up. So they’re gone. You will find my latest five shared items in the right hand column. If you want real time updates send an email to my gmail (which is n m dot(.) campbell at gmail.com – without the spaces, brackets and the word dot – you’ll figure it out, but spammers won’t) and become my friend on google reader.

Anyway, in the absence of a daily post of links here’s a post full of goodness from around the blogosphere – starting with five people I know in real life, and ending with five I’ve never met but who write funny, interesting or insightful stuff that I enjoy reading…

Those I know

  1.  Izaac has finished his series on prophecy which is meaty, engaging and considerate of people with different learning styles (it has diagrams). He’s been blogging regularly for a couple of months now, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon now’s your chance. Do it. 
  2. Tim and Amy took on the blogging thing with gusto. And then slowed down. But they’re worth following because they’re pretty awesome.
  3. Geoff is another guy I’ve known for a long time – since we were kids taking the North Coast Christian camping scene by storm. He’s just started a blog. It looks promising thus far (he’s defined his scope pretty nicely). 
  4. Dr Joel blogs infrequently but in a rantingly engaging way – and often giving an insight into life in the Queensland Health system…  
  5.  Tim has updated his blog twice this week. That’s some sort of record.

Those I don’t

  1.  Jeff has thrown a couple of links my way – and you know that means he’s a purveyor of quality stuff…
  2. Guthers seems to be a man of great taste – beer and coffee. Awesome. He made a bit of a comeback this week after a two month break. Who knows if this return will be permanent – the fact that he writes about coffee regularly is enough for me. 
  3. Reuben went toe to toe with me as we took on one of team pyro’s angry Calvinists on the death penalty a while back.  
  4. Sam and Soph cover all the bases – coffee, Christianity, culture, journalism and they have a cracking white design. Like mine but without the clutter of columns. Rumour has it that Sam and Reuben were caught talking about this blog in a Moore College lecture the other day – I have spies everywhere people…
  5. Justin writes good stuff infrequently. He’s an Anglican minister in the heart of Sydney. He asks good questions. And provides good answers.

In the absence of my regular linkage I think I’ll turn this into a bit of a regular feature. If you’re out there, lurking, and you have a blog – let me know in the comments. I’d be particularly interested to know if you’re one of the five people I don’t know and you’re a reader.

I decided this week that I’m going to try to delurk on 10% of the blogs I read everyweek. Because I like the idea of blogs as conversations. Perhaps you’ll be next.

Also, kudos must go to Ben Bathgate for his excellent page on Mac software that’s worth checking out.

Five types of bloggers

I’ve been thinking a bit about the nature of blogging. I love blogging, and I love reading blogs. It seems to me that in most of the spheres in which I read blogs there are just five types of blogger.

These spheres – if you’re interested – are (on the basis of the names of categories in my Google Reader subscriptions) – People, Christianity, Coffee, How To, Humour, Gadget, Bargains, Web, and News.

The five types of blogger are “The Creator”, “The Curator”, “The Aggregator”, “The Commentator”, and “The Journaller.” There are probably more – and some blogs are mixes of both – I think I’m probably a mixture of all three.

The Creator

The Creator is perhaps the most exciting kind of blogger – they put up new material, their own thoughts, pictures, products, designs and concepts. They are read for their brilliance and because they supply ideas that keep the blogosphere afloat through generating spin off discussions and things that people want to link to.

The Curator

The Appreciator is a blogger who collects the best bits of thoughts and things from around the blogosphere and collates them – different to “The Aggregator” in that their topics can be wide and varied “The Appreciator” tends to provide a picture of themselves based on what it is they curate.

The Aggregator

Like the Appreciator but with a much more defined scope – Aggregators focus on a particular topic and go looking around the interwebs for material along a theme – in many cases they’ll be creators/aggregators providing their own content but more often featuring things from elsewhere.

The Commentator

Commentators are a bit like Journallers but they’re more opinionated – and more likely to make comment on current events than on their own circumstances. Some provide entertaining observations on life around them (rather than their own lives).

The Journaller

Journallers use their blogs as a journal – they don’t tend to care if people are reading or not and their content is usually of a reflective, personal or ranty nature and based on day to day life.

Journallers are also the most likely to be guilty of oversharing – generally because they’re not necessarily expecting readers, and if they are they don’t really care about maintaining readership.

What type of blogger do you think you are? Have I missed any types?


On commenting on other blogs

Sometimes when I am a bit bored, or have some spare time up my sleeve, I choke up my browser by opening up people’s blogs and work my way through them commenting on the post at the top of the page. I don’t comment on every blog I open – but most of the comments I make in that vein are pretty vacuous and I don’t tend to return to continue the discussion or see if they’ve been replied to. But I do like you, all the people who write blogs I read. And I appreciate your efforts in distracting me from my sometimes mundane workplace existence. Here’s my blog link list from the left hand column of my page – if you’re a reader and I haven’t listed you – let me know. I have no doubt forgotten somebody…

Wombat stew

Joel – long time commenter round these parts – has – in a stroke of genius – decided to keep his blog running post PNG prac trip. It’s quite good even if it is written with the smug sense of superiority that comes from being a fully qualified doctor of medicine. It’s called wombat rock and you’ll find it here. Here’s a sample from his latest post to whet your appetite…

“Americans make rubbish cars. We know it. They know it. Nobody is trying to hide it. If they weren’t such a patriotic bunch American car manufacturers would have gone out of business after one look at a Mercedes or Volkswagon, or even a Toyota or a Honda. It seems the ability to win wars is inversely proportional to the ability to make good cars.” 

I feel special

Simone Richardson, writer of excellent songs and blogger of some note linked to me in that post – the second link from her blog in about three weeks. As such, I heartily recommend visiting her blog as a result.
Simone – you can now expect one extra visit from one of my loyal tribe of nine readers.