warm and weird #2: hairy ice, gecko stickiness, persian rugs in apartheid south africa

ɯαɾɱ αɳԃ ɯҽιɾԃ

LAZY MOM_luckypeach-05-birthday cake.jpg
All images Lazy Mom

Welcome to week two of ɯαɾɱ αɳԃ ɯҽιɾԃ! You might have noticed that the last category each time is a colour, a Crayola colour name to be exact. Very open to suggestions or request for other categories though—get in touch!

(mostly) historical snackchat

A Social History of Jell-O Salad: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon

Betty Crocker’s Absurd, Gorgeous Atomic Age Creations – “There is a card for Fonduloha (pineapple, turkey, mayonnaise, curry, peanuts, coconut and canned mandarins, put back into a pineapple shell)”

Our messed-up relationship with food has a long history. It started with butter.

The historians cooking up mythical beasts“Making a cokentryce calls for needle, thread, and a lot of meat”

What Indians ate in the 12th century

Painting the first taste of freedom – an artist paints former inmates’ first post-release meals



How Geckos Turn their Stickiness On and Off – (it involves toe hair control)


The Last of New York’s Custom Wigmakers“I couldn’t close my closets,” he said. “I had more hair than I knew what to do with.”

Barbering for freedom

The Fishy Origins of Human Hair

Notes toward a theory of hair


A bloody difficult woman: Malayalee dancing girl versus the East India Company

Fahmida Riaz, the woman who decolonized feminism

Persian rugs and the aesthetics of whiteness in apartheid South Africa

Fighting fascist democracy: the young radicals of Bangladesh

Remembering the Howard University librarian who decolonised the way books were catalogued


Why Soviet Russia Created Mayan Playing Cards

A typographic tour of the signs of Manhattan’s Chinatown – “Should this type of design be considered cultural appropriation, comparable to instances of “yellow face” or a regrettable lower-back tat?”

On Uyghur comedy and cultural citizenship

Charting margins and peripheries in (Asian) independent publishing – “Many of the earliest examples in East and South East Asia can be traced to places where punk music took root, from the Philippines to Indonesia and Japan—not surprisingly, all places with colonial histories and/or other widespread, multi-layered Western influences”

Sex worker, con woman, murderess: the story of Troilokya who terrorised Calcutta in the 1800s

In Iraq, and ancient boardgame is making a comeback

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The Impossible—But True—Evolutionary Tale of Flatfishes

Agnes Martin finds the light that got lost – “Painting a canvas blue wasn’t enough. It was like dropping a curtain. All along I knew the world went on and on beyond the surface of the thing.”

Treasures from the color archive – “Among those relics is Dragon’s Blood, reputed in antiquity and in the Middle Ages to have got its vividness from the wounds of dragons and elephants locked in mortal combat”

fitbits for pigs, bugsgiving, eating black forest cake in lahore

welcome to my new newsletter

Martha Edelheit, Tattoed Lady, 1962, oil on canvas

Hello friends and welcome to my (new) newsletter.* Here’s some things I’ve been enjoying lately. Most are articles; some might be an image or a tweet. I’m awfully suspicious of the way sites now tell you how many minutes something will take to read, but am using ~ to indicate fairly longreads here. I’ll leave these first few public, but going forward these will be for (free!) subscribers only, out every week. Please tell everyone you know and encourage them to subscribe; the world’s getting warmer, but maybe we can make it a little weirder too.


Words spoken before all others – the Ohenten Kariwatekwen or Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address

Roaches taste like Blue Cheese, and other Bugsgiving revelations

Thanksgiving in Mongolia ~ (graphic)

How a single mom created a plastic food storage empire

Wombats’ cubed-shaped poop could solve a manufacturing mystery


We thought the Incas Couldn’t Write. These Knots Change Everything

No Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan? on the BJP’s anticolonial-yet-ethnonationalist renaming spree

This very excellent dictionary of lost words

A conversation between poet-grammarians

The Race Man – on Wesley Yang’s Souls of Yellow Folk

Examples of Tajik national dress from the official government guidebook

♫ +

How the Kung Fu Fighting melody came to represent Asia

Welcome to the witch capital of Norway

Sweet Bitter Blues – on the popularity of blues music in Tokyo

Music without a destination – “The childlike dreaminess of some of Debussy’s music, his tendency to caress his musical materials like a kitten sitting in his lap, can veer into a sickly sweetness.”

Bidoun Mix 4: Ma’an Abu Taleb –  on Arabic music criticism plus a mixtape

Divine Intervention – on the Maibi, Manipur’s mystic mediums


Fashioning normal – “What sort of psychotic wears Loeffler Randall heels without tottering? “

Tajikistan’s Hijab Ban and the Politics of Fashion in Post-Soviet Central Asia

The eternal seductive beauty of feathers

In fashion, oranges may be the new black – on silk spun from citrus peel

Yuja Wang and the art of performance

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singularity watch

Fitbits for pigs & the Internet of Animals “Using machine learning, Rooda’s team trained the algorithm on hundreds of samples of porcine death squeals, so it can pick them out from more routine snorts and grunts.” 

CV dazzling is out of control

LA party teen update

forest green

A country’s identity is hidden in its camouflage

Eating black forest in Lahore

Army green – “Those arsenic greens were as vivid as they were deadly; anodyne army green, while no less dangerous in the broadest sense, works a far more banal juju.”

*My personal tinyletter still exists and you’ll still receive sporadic essays and updates if you’re signed up there I might be biased but I extremely recommend doing this too.

warmer & weirder

a new newsletter

You might know me from my writing, or Lisa Frankfurt School or just my Twitter. Some of you might even remember the link roundups I used to do at THE STATE. Warm and Weird is a weekly newsletter of things I’m enjoying elsewhere on the internet.

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