Crate of Curios part 28

Another beautiful blooming Sunday, slightly chilly, albeit the cold-resistant people are already out in shorts and short sleeves. Jewelry sellers were out in Thiseio, people taking Sunday walks and queuing in the coffee shops to get their takeaways, so except for the still-ubiquitous masks life felt almost… normal. As the Sufi poet said – “This too shall pass”. The same, however, goes for this evening hour and as I need to get up early tomorrow, let’s get to opening this week’s Crate without further ado.

  1. We like to pooh-pooh selfies as a modern malady that our forebearers supposedly were blessedly free from. As it shows, what kept them from plastering their visages everywhere was rather a lack of finances, proven by the Countess da Castiglione, a famous socialite of 19th century, who bankrupted herself paying for her over 700 portrait photos.

2. Why do we consider people with a negative outlook more intelligent than their counterparts with a sunnier disposition? There are a few theories about that.

3. The English language has a funny feature – it uses a number of animal names as verbs. Not all of those verbs do justice to the creature in question.

4. The feel-good feline for this week is Smol Paul, the wobbly tuxedo kitten (by now more of a cat though), living his best life and getting up to shenanigans in Holly’s Home for Manky Moggies. (Paul is wobbly due to cerebellar hypoplasia, a type of inborn brain damage to the part of the brain that controls motor impulses.)

5. Ever wondered how low we can go in Europe in terms of temperature? Find all the answers on this map.

6. And to finish off for this week – a little comic from Nathan W. Pyle for the introverts among us.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!


If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.
The Crate is now also available on Medium.

Crate of Curios part 25

Spring is definitely here with the moody weather, blossoming trees and resulting allergic sneezing that adds additional spice to the pandemic atmosphere. However, looking back now at the 1-year anniversary of the pandemic, things have improved at least to a degree – the behind-the-mask sneezes that a year ago aroused visible panic in the nearest vicinity now barely raise an eyebrow. And on this stoically optimistic note, let’s proceed to opening this week’s Crate of Curios.

1. One of the best things you can do for yourself if you happen to be a) even vaguely interested in history and/or fiction and b) using Facebook, is to check out the page of Victorians, Vile Victorians, as their morning posts are a delight to read next to your morning beverage of choice.

2. Continuing on the note of delightful things – good art is definitely one of them. And yet… there are occasions when bad art is even better. Peruse the collections of the Museum of Bad Art and you’ll see what I mean.

3. You know these foggy mystical forests of fairy tales where any number of magical creatures can pop up at any moment? At least one of those actually exists in Devon, England and it’s called Wistman’s Wood.

4. How to find out your job description based on the type of writing you do? Take the test.

5. There are admittedly different ways to read a book, but one of the most useful ways seems to be to read it as a writer.

6. And as I started this Crate with talking about the weather, it seems to be only appropriate to finish it on the same note.

And that was it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!


If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.
The Crate is now also available on Medium.