Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ's Alpine Trickster

Comforting thought: The silence of the bird and the lily by Søren Kierkegaard

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) implored people to learn from the silence of the lily and the bird. In other words to learn to refrain from speaking. He believed that we should learn this because we humans possess the power of speech and so we should learn the art of silence. According to Kierkegaard our…

Amazingly intricate surreal art about lockdown by Marija Tiurina

Amazingly intricate surreal art about lockdown by Marija Tiurina

When the covid-related quarantine began back in March I had this idea to start a big watercolor piece that would be constructed out of people's submissions. Imagine a large painting that is like a weird salad where everyone's thoughts, memories, dreams and ideas are mixed in a bowl and dressed with my imagination - well,…

How real women dressed over the ages

How real women dressed over the ages

A lot of fuss and attention is given to how wealthy women dressed in ancient times. Yet for every affluent woman there would be 10 other women of more humble origins, toiling and working in low paid and thankless jobs. Here are some really incredible videos that showcase how these women dressed over time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t__RhUyZMDM…

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 throughout…

Travel: Weird subway ads in Japan

Seven Unique and Moving Fictional Books Set in Japan

Japan is a country close to my heart and since I first went there a few years ago, I have become a big fan of Japanese fiction and Asian fiction translated to English. Japanese fiction tends to emphasise the liminal and fantasy aspects hidden at the edges of everyday reality and also exploring the inner…

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 to…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

1. Nick Cave performing Stagger Lee in Copenhagen is electrifying I have seen Nick live three times so far and his live performances of this song Stagger Lee are always a big highlight. The song escalates and gets harder, darker and more intense as it goes on. This is definitely my favourite Nick Cave song…

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection | Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Hauntingly relevant ancient Mesoptamian Proverbs about love and friendship

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue. ~ Assyrian Proverb "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller with Charlie Chaplin Tell me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.…

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Twankle https://twitter.com/SlenderSherbet/status/1278930494827237376?s=20 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…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books

Here’s a collection of the best and treasured history books that I don’t think I could ever part with. They are quirky and delve into a little known aspect of history making them delightful lazy weekend reading. I hope you can get a hold of them, if you do...please let me know what you think…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Lost Wisdom and its two other companion books Lost Crafts and Lost Lore are beautifully typeset and laid out. Their contents are a cabinet of curiosities - a wunderkammer of the same sort as the Book of Barely Imagined Beings, which I have mentioned in the past. Although in this case Lost Wisdom runs the…

François Schuiten’s steampunk cityscapes 'Les Cités obscures'

10 Interesting Things I found on the Internet #13

1. Chilled out hip-hop grooves from Emapea - Seeds, Roots & Fruits https://youtu.be/uGZJ2UALHME 2. These book-rescuing heroes don't wear capes https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/hjey9s/turkish_garbage_collectors_open_a_library_with/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x 3. François Schuiten’s steampunk cityscapes 'Les Cités obscures' Immense skyscrapers and towering monoliths dwarf the citizenry in François Schuiten’s 'Les Cités obscures', a graphic novel series (1983–present) that captures the steampunk modernist aesthetic. Read…

Book Review: All that Remains: A Life in Death by Sue Black

Book Review: All that Remains: A Life in Death by Sue Black

Scottish Forensic Anthropologist and Professor Sue Black's memoir about her life confronting death won the Saltire Book of the Year in 2018. Forensic anthropology (in case you are wondering) is the study of human remains in order to solve criminal cases. I was very excited to read this book. Yet the first few chapters of…

Hanako the 226 year old koi

Hanako the 226 year old koi

Hanako means flower girl in Japanese. Hanako lived the majority of her life in the pure spring waters of a pond at the foot of Mt Ontake near Oppara. It's believed that the purity and relative isolation of the pond contributed to her longevity. Hanako lived through the English conquering of both Australia and New…

Book Review: The Sky Atlas: The Greatest Map Myths and Discoveries of the Universe by Edward Brooke-Hitching

Book Review: The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke Hitching

Edward Brooke Hitching, history-hound, lover of quirky things and writer for the ever-popular and erudite quiz show QI, has written The Sky Atlas. A treasury and history of some of humankind’s most beautiful maps and charts. Yet this book is more than that, it’s a sparkling and glittering array of sky-bound achievements. It’s a visual…

Fritz Khan's painting Der Menschen als Industriepalast in dreamy animation

Fritz Khan’s painting Der Menschen als Industriepalast in dreamy animation

Fritz Kahn's Der Menschen als Industriepalast by Henning Lederer.   Fritz Kahn combined industrial and mechanical functionality with the working wonders of the human body. He was a creative genius whose work remained undiscovered for many years. Until a curious curator Uta Von Debschnitz unearthed them. Kahn was a Berliner who did well for himself…

Entrance to the Night by Michiel Schrijver Michiel Schrijver

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #12

1. Haunting and cinematic Norse music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aMKnHkeJEQ&feature=youtu.be 2. Tatsuya Tanaka's tiny whimsical worlds Each of these mini masterpieces represent a vibrant and quirky aspect of Japanese life (both past and present) made from the flotsam and jetsam of our everyday world. https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1278810685984522240?s=20 https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1272407163709739008?s=20 3. The price we pay for awareness With every level of consciousness…

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Treat thine ears and eyes to a new genre of music - bardcore! Perhaps you're looking for that tavern banger that you enjoyed back in 1365. Or perhaps you want to reminisce on the summer solstice when you gathered with jolly folk at Stonehenge, got wasted on mead and were visited by a strange celestial…

A placid and beautiful Highland Cow, found roaming on the Isle of Skye. Copyright Content Catnip 2010.

Travel: A History of the Beautiful Highland Cow

Highland Cows or as they are commonly known in Scotland Highland Coos are an ancient breed known to have grazed the rugged Scottish landscape since the sixth century. Their genetic origins are still up for debate. They may be native to Scotland or introduced by the Vikings to Great Britain. One scientific train of thought…

Natalie Wong's exquisite and strange coral murals made from paper

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #11

1. Natalie Wong's exquisite and strange fantasy coral murals made from paper https://youtu.be/KjuITFhgP0s Read more 2. This guy who really wanted McDonalds but could only go through the Drive-Thru https://twitter.com/vickie19761/status/1268158165377482753?s=20 3. How to break free of the stimulation nation Some advice from the always relevant Dr Eric Perry Here are some steps that I use…

Ancient Word of the Day: Hibernal

Ancient word of the day: Flukra

As the southern hemisphere turns now towards the colder months we are all finding comfort into our nests and getting cosy for the winter. In New Zealand and the southern parts of Australia we are experiencing snow in the alpine regions. So it seems appropriate now to talk about the many ancient words for snow.…

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet

His Bloody Project by author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the triple murder and subsequent trial of accused 17 year old crofter Roderick McRae, who brutally slays three people in his remote village in 1896. Roderick lives with his family in a tiny croft on a property and land owned by the laird. His…