Welcome to Content Catnip

Content Catnip

Quirky Internet Wunderkammer


Comforting Thought

Bite-sized comfort and spirituality in a turmultuous world


Terry-Watkinson-Dawn-at-Stillwater-Creek

Comforting Thought: The blue of distance, the green of time

“The colour of hills that recede layer upon layer into the horizon. Well this is the green of time. The green that grows from nothing, anything if left for long enough.” It comes at first as mildew and mould. A misting of green-grey, or mustard-green, the green of decay. But then it grows into a verdant palette of new life: leaf green, lime green, the green of fresh new shoots.

Comforting Thought: Victor Frankl knew a lot about finding meaning even in the worst situations

Comforting Thought: Viktor Frankl knew a lot about finding meaning even in the worst situations

Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. He was a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and in his famous book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ he describes how he was called upon to inspire his fellow prisoners, how he intuitively understood what they needed. He observed that under those awful circumstances,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Viktor Frankl knew a lot about finding meaning even in the worst situations”

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Ancient Word of the Day

Words dredged up from the pelagic zone of language


Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena's Owl

Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena’s Owl

The Greek goddess Athena had as her sacred animal familiar the owl, also known as the Athene Noctua in Latin. The Romans, fond as they were of stealing from the Greek pantheon, renamed Athena to Minerva. Athena and her owl are considered to be symbols of wisdom, in both cultures. Athene Noctua Athena’s owl orContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena’s Owl”

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10 Cool Things I Found On the Internet

A weekly palate cleanser of quirky wonder


The Tower of Cambridge Colleges by Mathew Elwood

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #91

Noekken Som Hvit Hest by Theodor Severin Kittelsen Nøkken som hvit hest, 1909 ‘The Nix as a white horse’ is a painting by Norwegian artist Theodor Severin Kittelsen (b. 1857 – d. 1914) He is well known in Norway but less so in other parts of the world for his nature and fantasy paintings depictingContinue reading “10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #91”

Ghost Coral by Rogan Brown

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #90

In edition #90, we take a gander at the threads worn by medieval maidens, wear plastic helmets in the hairdressers, understand female shamanism and sip some healthy drinks and much more. I hope you enjoy these… The colours of medieval fashion were natural, warming and comforting I love the deep marigolds and oranges here. TheyContinue reading “10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #90”

The ghosts of war by Boris Groh

10 Interesting Things Mega Monstrous Halloween Edition 2022

Gird your loins, prepare your neck to be punctured and your mind to be remote controlled for this week’s spooky, creepy infusion. Expect to go into weird overdrive because it’s Samhuinn/ All Hallow’s Eve/ Halloween. The brief period when the veil between the realms of past present and future thins out and creatures half-formed andContinue reading “10 Interesting Things Mega Monstrous Halloween Edition 2022”

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Book Reviews

Mind-expanding fantasy, quirky history books and more


Book Review: The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: Faber & Faber Genre: Fiction, Psychological thriller, Literary Fiction. Review in one word: Subconscious Originally published in Dutch and winning the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel captures in bloody, beastly and corporeal detail the lives of a dysfunctional farming family in the rural Netherlands, some time inContinue reading “Book Review: The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld”

Book Review: Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flynn

Book Review: Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flynn

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: William Collins Books Genre: Non-fiction, anthropology, environmental science, natural history, animal rights. What happens when humans foresake and ruin landscapes? They are never truly abandoned. Instead they are engulfed by the non-human world and they become teeming with many other foresaken wild lifeforms. The weeds, plants, insects, birds and large mammals moveContinue reading “Book Review: Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flynn”

Book Review: A Cat's Tale: A Journey Through Feline History by Baba the Cat

Book Review: A Cat’s Tale: A Journey Through Feline History by Baba the Cat

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Cats Publisher: Henry Holt Books Review in one word: Bonkers Imagine, if you will, a book that is so cheeky, so guileful and slinky that it could only have been written by a worldly feline and dictated to a lowly human author. In fact because Baba is so condescending toContinue reading “Book Review: A Cat’s Tale: A Journey Through Feline History by Baba the Cat”

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Artists, Writers & Musicians In Their Own Words

Unique and inspiring art by interesting people


Boplicity # 2 Collage by Wayne HW Wolfson

Artists and Writers In Their Own Words: Wayne Wolfson

Northern Californian artist and writer Wayne H.W. Wolfson is completely self-taught and has had an expansive career. He has amassed a large body of work in a riot of colours and eclectic styles. This makes him one of the most striking, interesting and chameleon-like artists around. I have written and compulsively doodled since my earliestContinue reading “Artists and Writers In Their Own Words: Wayne Wolfson”

"Valley flowers" 50 cm by Monica Olivia

Artists & Writers in their Own Words: Monica Olivia

Introducing my poetic, spiritual, wise and beautiful friend from Norwegian Lapland Monica Olivia. She is a self-taught Sámi artist who makes art of mind-blowing beauty using a palette of vivid hues found in the most northerly regions of the earth. Monica also has a spiritually nourishing and beautiful blog ‘Ask the Mountains‘ where she writesContinue reading “Artists & Writers in their Own Words: Monica Olivia”

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The Natural World

Organisms, real, imagined, extinct and extant.


The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand

The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand

Here is another rough diamond plucked from the caverns of Content Catnip’s vault, this post from 2014 and resuscitated for your enjoyment. I still love megafauna just as much, even now. Introducing the Sky Bastard who once sparked universal terror in the hearts of my Māori ancestors. Common Name: Haast’s Eagle Scientific Name: Harpagornis moorei (DiscoveredContinue reading “The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand”

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Te Ao Māori

All about the indigenous culture of Aotearoa, New Zealand


Terry-Watkinson-islands-in-the-clouds-1

Comforting Thought: Saying sorry will go a long way

Kuoa rongo ake au… Akakoa iti noa te kuru pounamu He taonga tuku iho kia kaha, kia toa, kia māiai, kia mataara kia manawanui I have learned… A thoughtful note to someone you’ve avoided Saying sorry will go a long way

Moonlit duet by Kaii Higashiyama (2003)

Words and Music: Call on a karakia

Kua rongo ake au… Mā te karakia mā te īnoi, mā te noho puku Ka taea e au ngā mea katoa I have learned… That I can call upon a karakia When I look for solutions to the Challenges that face me.

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Content Catnip TV

Transportative videos made by Content Catnip


Content Catnip TV: Team Lab Borderless, Tokyo

Content Catnip TV: Team Lab Borderless, Tokyo

TeamLab Borderless in Tokyo is a remarkable audio-visual attraction in Tokyo and a must-see in the city if you ever visit. It’s on expansive, harbour-facing area of Odaiba which is encircled by the very scenic train ride, along with excellent shopping centre Diver City, which features a showcase level of award-winning ramen restaurants from throughoutContinue reading “Content Catnip TV: Team Lab Borderless, Tokyo”

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Travel Tales

Nostalgic travel from the time before ‘you know whathappened


The terrace houses of Sevilla, Spain

Travel: The Beautiful Terrace Windows of Triana, Sevilla

Back in 2010 during a particularly sweltering summer, I visited Andalucia and soaked in the beautiful architecture in Sevilla. The best way to see all of the charming neighbourhoods and historic monuments was going the tourist routes with an open-top bus. This also afforded me excellent views onto all of the terrace houses with theirContinue reading “Travel: The Beautiful Terrace Windows of Triana, Sevilla”

A fat guy wears a T shirt saying - 'There are rumours floating around that I may be divine' - Chodza pogloski ze jestem boski

Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature

When I was in Poland in 2019, I didn’t hesitate to visit the Kolejcowo in Świebodzki Station in Wrocław. This is the largest model railway in Poland, but also a rather amazing depiction of how life in Poland actually looks. Everything, right down to the petrol stations, graffiti, and the shops actually exists in realContinue reading “Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature”

Cuba Dupa Wellington 2021

Each year at the end of March there is a street festival in Wellington. Cuba Dupa is always vibrant, vibrational and brings out the wild and vivacious side of the little city. Even though I’m a total introvert, strangely enough I really like loud concerts and street festivals where I can dance and have aContinue reading “Cuba Dupa Wellington 2021”

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Obscure Music

Unusual little-heard music to inspire creativity


The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

Kulning is an ancient, sweet and sorrowful form of Scandinavian music used to herd cows and goats back down from their high mountain pastures in parts of Norway and in certain provinces of Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen. In practical use since medieval times, the mysterious tones were also thought to be a deterrent to potential predators like wolvesContinue reading “The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening”

An awesome playlist low-fi / house / ambient / psychedelic artists from New Zealand

Awesome low-fi / house / ambient / psychedelic artists from New Zealand

Skip to the end for an amazing playlist of these artists on Youtube Aldous Harding From Christchurch, Aldous Harding is known throughout the world for her strange, unnerving stage presence and her delicate and yet raw brand of folk. She’s quite enigmatic and unlike any other artist. You may take a while to warm toContinue reading “Awesome low-fi / house / ambient / psychedelic artists from New Zealand”

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Quirky History

Lesser-known morsels of olden day stuff


Surreal vintage mental health posters of Japan

Surreal vintage mental health posters from Japan

I found these amazing Japanese advertisements and vintage posters advertising Abilify, Zoloft, Ritalin, Serenase and other medications that are used for a variety of different mental health conditions. Despite me not knowing how to read Japanese, the storytelling here through design is evocative, straight-forward to understand and incredibly imaginative. It brings to mind Dali andContinue reading “Surreal vintage mental health posters from Japan”

Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles

Netsuke are uniquely Japanese and sublime in their beauty. They are tiny objects carved of ivory, ceramic, wood, tortoise-shell, gold or many other materials. They tell the story of the culture of Japan during the old Edo period and before. Netsuke featured fishermen and farmers, who rubbed shoulders with scholars, samurai warriors, royalty and evenContinue reading “Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles”

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Twankle To twang your fingers on a musical instrument or absent-mindedly strum or play an instrument without thought. Other concatenations include: Twiddling, twandling, tootling, plunking, noodling, thrummling or tudeling. Tudeling (origin) German dudeln – to perform badly. The crappiest song that almost everyone can play on the piano Chopsticks was invented in 1877 by composerContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Twankle”

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