March 29, 2014

Documenting The Great Depression

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Marion Post Wolcott (b. 1910) worked for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression and spent her career documenting poverty and racism. Many of her works are considered iconic portraits of the times.

Wolcott died in 1990. You can find more of her work on The Library Of Congress website and Shorpy
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Belzoni, Mississippi 1939
Black man entering theater through the "colored" entrance.


Capels, West Virginia 1938
Coal miner waiting for a ride home.


Greensboro, Georgia 1939
Street scene on the main thoroughfare.


Melrose, Louisiana 1940
A crossroads bar, store, juke joint and gas station in the cotton plantation area.


Belle Glade, Florida 1941
Migratory workers by a juke joint.

March 25, 2014

I blame Pinterest.

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Specifically, I blame Caitlin Cowell, who has the most fascinating board I've ever seen. It's called "hiSTORY" and it has pictures of everything from foot-binding to bubonic plague. She finds this stuff all over the place!

On the right top is one of the Greenland mummies found in 1972. I didn't even know there had been mummies in Greenland! This one is at least 500 years old...and Caitlin found the photograph.

Then she posted a picture (right, bottom) that just horrified me: an old-time photograph of three young brothers, one of whom was clearly dead. The dead child was posed in a chair and his brothers stood uneasily beside him.

It turns out this was a common practice back in the day, when young children often did die and photographs were rare.
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Click on images to view larger.
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For families who chose to have a photograph taken, this might well be the only viable memory of the child they would ever have.

I don't do "shock" very well on this blog. I'd like to think of Palace Puppy's Weblog as a gentle place, a place with pretty little flowers and peace signs and happy memories of days gone by. I do post about some oddities, but it just wouldn't fit to have scads of pictures of dead people, even if it fascinates me (and maybe you?).

So I created another blog with just a few pages. I won't link to it in my Pages Menu at the top of this page, but I'll give you the URL here. I warn you that it's not ordinary Palace Puppy fare.

It's called Memento Mori Photographs.

I hope you'll visit it if you're interested!

March 23, 2014

Vintage quarantine signs

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My husband had the measles when he was six or seven. He was gravely ill for a long time, and his memories of that time are horrific to me, though I suspect that his memory is veiled by a fog of pain and fever dreams. The Health Department put a sign on his house and for a small child, that was one of the most confusing aspects of his illness. All he knew is that people had to stay away.

I found an old quarantine notice on the internet during one of my random journeys so I decided to post it here; then I found more so I'm including them, too.

Click on any of the quarantine notices below to read more about the disease.

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typhoid fever photo typhoidfever.jpgdiphtheria photo diptheria.jpgscarlet fever photo scarletfever.jpg

March 21, 2014

Four cool websites

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I love Unhappy Hipsters for several reasons, the main being because I find it hilarious. The writers use pictures from design websites and rewrite the captions, that's it in a nutshell. But I'm a resentful person when it comes to design websites; this thing of putting an old door on sawhorses and calling it a desk...that's what we did when we were poor and now they're calling it $3000 art design! What the hell. So I feel this website is excellent payback. It pokes fun at the models and the furniture and the ideas, which is great by me. I know...I'm a witch sometimes.

But tell me the following isn't funny!
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Another website that amuses me to no end is Fuck Yeah Dogs On Computers. It's exactly what the name says. You know I can look at dog pictures for hours on end, so there's that. But these are dogs on computers. Some are funnier than others, but that's true of dogs in general. Like Unhappy Hipsters, this website has the greatest captions, though they're not as varied as UH. I mean: dogs on computers. There's just so much you can say. 

Slow Robot is also a collection of images and videos from the internet, mostly Tumblr, I think, and it's just good fun. There are also some very touching entries about children and animals. I ended up spending at least an hour reading the archives on the site and I think it's very worthy of your time.

Finally, check out ModiFace. It's a virtual makeover; you can use your own photo (or someone else's) and just follow the directions. Most of the changes involve plastic surgery (eye lifts, face lifts, something called "smile correction" and so on), after which you can choose new hairstyles and modify even those. You don't have to sign up and the website doesn't keep your images (unless you want it to), so it's pretty risk-free. I was going to post a "before and after" photo here, but I modified an enemy and I don't want to show how good she could look with a bunch of plastic surgeries and a whole lot of makeup.

This should keep us busy for awhile!

March 17, 2014

Great Times In Parenting

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First are Theo (dog) and Beau (baby) who have gone absolutely viral with Mom's photos of naptime. This has touched something deep in a great many people. These two are beyond cute.

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I'm sure you've seen the pics but I find I need to see them daily. Go to Mom's blog for many  more and watch the progression as puppy and baby grow.
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This parent gets so very crafty with markers, I could hardly choose which pic to post here. I just love these, and there are lots more right here.
This is one very busy baby, and Dad is quite gifted with, what, photoshop? How does anyone make pictures like this?

Oh well, I love them either way. Here's baby working on the car.

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See baby painting the bedroom, doing a cannon-ball into the bathtub and throwing a birthday party on Dad's blog!
Another crafty Mom creates amazing activities using pics of her sleeping baby. This mom has a book published but there's still plenty online to see.

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And finally, I laughed way too hard at World's Best Father. I have no idea how he made these photos, but they're an arrangement of Baby doing incredibly dangerous things while Dad reads the sports page or looks on calmly. Baby sticks a knife in the toaster, baby mows the lawn, baby runs the blender...you get the idea. All the while, Dad's "World's Best Father" coffee mug is in plain sight.

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See much more here!

March 7, 2014

Blog headers

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I blogged a few blog headers awhile back and here are some more. I like these much better; I've sneaked them off of various websites and I can't remember which ones, so I can't attribute them to anyone.

Anyway, if you want to use one, right click on the image and "view image" for the full size. You can then save it to your own computer and resize it if you wish.
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March 1, 2014

"Unexplained" image explained

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I've run across this photo a few times on the internet; it's haunting for several reasons, the main being because it's just so creepy.

The thing that I can't get past is the clothing on the little boy. He looks like a child from the early 1900s in those shorts with leggings underneath...and he looks paralyzed with fear.

Bryan Johnson from Listverse gives an explanation of this photograph in his article about urban legends based on video footage. Before I quote Johnson, let me say that the other cases on his list are clearly videos but this looks like a photograph, no doubt.

But, Johnson references a 3 minute, 49-second video called "Satan's Sphinx" that, according to urban legend, was put on the internet to recruit subjects for mind control experiments.
Click image to view larger.
Johnson says about the video
"[...] the Satan’s Sphinx video contains a high pitched audio track that will irritate the viewer. It holds images of blood, death, and murder that are continually run over the screen. The pictures rotate so fast that it becomes impossible for people to individually identify them. At this point, incoherent whispering is heard and the screen begins to flash. People get dizzy, but don’t want to turn the movie off."
Better yet, the urban legend says that anyone that actually views all of "Satan's Sphinx" will succumb to suicide.

Don't look too hard for the video; the government has scrubbed it from the internet. Uh huh.

The image was seen by a lot of metal music fans when a band from South Dakota, Hellhorse, used it on the cover of their 2011 CD, "Decade of Dust".

Now we know!