Where In The World Is Matt?

I discovered this video as I was finishing uni. Every now and then, when the stress of my dissertation and the weight of “the rest of my life…” looming over me got too much, I would watch it and challenge myself not to smile once. You know what? I never managed. Sometimes I could make it a full minute before relenting to the absurdity and overwhelming good-naturedness of the concept, but never more than that.

So imagine my excitement the other day when I stumbled across a newish sequel!

A little more co-ordinated; just as much fun.

I hope they brighten your day like they do mine!

What videos inspire you and make you laugh?

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Link Love

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I’ve spent another day both working and hostessing, so today’s post is just a tiny link share.

3 fellow NaBloPoMo-ers…

…who deserve a look

2 sites that make me smile…

and 1 friend…

…who is very dear (and needs to post more often.. hint hint)

I’m looking for good reading. Do you have anything to share? Whether it’s your own or something you’ve enjoyed lately, I’d love to see!

Good evening to you all!

Biggest, Slowest, Fastest, Mostest… as declared in 1963

One thing I cannot resist are old books. I can’t afford the money and shelf space for old books just for the sake of them being old, as much as I would love an entire library full, but books that paint a picture of the world at their time of origin are something I seem to be unable to pass up.

The Guinness Book of World Records has become a common sight every Christmas; filling every bookstore, supermarket gift display and any shop where they can think of an excuse to stock it. It’s never something that’s interested me terribly. But while browsing a beautiful little antique shop the other day I came across a 1963 edition, printed while it was still a relatively new phenomenon, and I just had to buy it.

Instead of the holographic cover, flashy pictures and yelling titles, it’s quite British and restrained, while obviously finding great joy and pride in compiling weird facts. Is it strange that I find it much more exciting to read about what or who was the tallest, loudest and heaviest in 1963 than today?

Some of my favourite tidbits:

(This one for sheer weirdness. I wonder who holds the title now!)

Swallowing

The worst case of compulsive swallowing was reported by the American Medical Journal in December 1960. The patient, who complained of only swollen ankles, was found to have in his stomach, a 3-lb. piece of metal, 26 keys, 3 sets of rosary beads, 16 religious medals, a bracelet, a necklace, 3 pairs of tweezers, 4 nailclippers, 39 nail files, 3 metal chains and 88 assorted coins.

(This one because hiccup attacks make me panic, just in case I end up like poor Mr O’Leary. And I love the usage of the word “hicked”.)

Hiccoughing

The longest recorded attack of hiccups was that afflicting Jack O’Leary, of Los Angeles, California. It was estimated that he had “hicked” more than 160,000,000 in an attack, which had lasted from 13th June, 1948, to 1st June, 1956. His weight declined from 9 stone 12 lb. to 5 stone 4 lb. People sent 60,000 suggestions for cures of which only one apparently worked — a prayer to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

(And this one because it makes me laugh in horror. Does that make sense? Just me? Oh..)

Fastest Psychiatrist

The world’s fastest psychiatrist was Dr Albert L. Weiner of Erlton, New Jersey, who dealt with up to 50 patients a day in four treatment rooms. He relied heavily on narcoanalysis, muscle relaxants and electro shock treatments. In December 1961 he was found guilty on 12 counts of manslaughter from using unsterilised needles.

And then there’s the inside jacket cover lined with delightful newspaper quotes, such as:

“One of the most superlatively dotty and entertaining compilations to be published for years.”Observer

“Will be devoured by recipients of all ages. Will be in high demand for Christmas Presents.”Smith’s Trade News (I wonder if the person who said this got to see how prophetic it turned out to be)

“This book is a dilly”New York Times (The word “dilly” is enough to make me love this one)

I’m looking forward to pages and pages of browsing, and for the first time I’m tempted to buy a current Guinness Book of World Records this Christmas so I can see how things have changed between 1963 and 2011.

Do you have anything from the olden, or even not so olden days that offers a glimpse into life at the time? I’d love to hear about it!

8 reasons to carry a camera everywhere

If I leave the house without my camera, I feel like I’m missing a piece of myself. I know not everyone feels that way, so here are some more visual reasons to have it with you at all times:

With your trusty camera at your side you –

1. – are always able to capture those special memories as they happen.

breakfast, jasmine tea in a floral tea cup on a pink and white polka dot table cloth, with a teapot behind

(Photo taken on a phone camera - no exif available)

2. – will never miss a sunset!

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Equipment vs Creativity

Tree in the snow in Cassiobury Park with a dramatic blue sky and clouds as the sun starts to go down.

(Photo taken at 1/4000, f/3.5, ISO 400)

My photo was picked for Group 1 of the Landscape assignment over at PioneerWoman! As usual, she’s put together a wonderful selection, the best out of thousands of beautiful submissions. I’m thrilled to somehow be in there amongst them. Go and take a look at the gorgeous landscape photos there! Group 2 is now up as well.

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“The single most important component

of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”

Ansel Adams

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Jack Turner – Press Photographer

Jack Turner - Press Photographer.

Jack Turner - Press Photographer. 1914

How great is this image? Jack Turner, press photographer nearly a hundred years ago. Suitcase-sized camera slung over his shoulder, cigar clamped between his teeth, bowler hat, and that wonderful expression.

Old photos are so often sombre affairs, I love when they’re full of character and show their subjects as real people, instead of “olden day” people from some time so distant that they were nothing like us.

P.S. A little further research uncovers Ted Hood, the photographer who took the photograph above.

Ted Hood photographing Leo Basser. 1937

Didn’t they look so ultra suave in those days? I want his hat and his jacket and his gorgeous camera, and I want to be a slick photographer just like him… except… you know, less stubble.