Lovely lokta notecards

I like to write letters. Theselokta notecards are my favorite.

I usually keep a few styles of lokta paper notecards around. The butterflies are particularly lovely and encourage me to find green ink.

Usually, I write with Noodler's Heart of Darkness, and ink that is designed to stand the test of time. Lokta paper is known for its durability and is resistant to mold, rot and bugs. The paper has a wonderful texture and simply looks beautiful, showing the pulped fibers it is made of.

There are claims in the packaging of how eco-friendly, local economy-friendly and indigenous peoples-friendly the makers of this paper are. These are all great things.

Writing on this paper takes a Medium nib or a very, very careful hand with a Fine and you must use ink that will flow. The paper accepts the ink, does not feather very much but even quick-drying ink will take a moment or two.

Beware the smudge!

The messages you send to loved ones will last forever on notecards that look lovely enough to keep!

Now you have to write things that are worth standing the test of time. It is fun tho, I treat writing letters on these a lot like I do taking photos with 120 roll film, every shot costs a few dollars, make it worthwhile!

I am sure folks toss my works of art into the trash.

Nepal Greeting Card and Envelope Set: Butterfly Notecards, Handmade Lokta Paper via Amazon Read the rest

Wonkette posts bizarre cease-and-desist letter it received from "Diamond and Silk"

Diamond and Silk are a social media duo famous for supporting Trump and claiming, without evidence, that Facebook "censored" them. Wonkette is a news, politics and culture website. Bianca DeLaRosa writes for it, and recently offered the opinion that Diamond and Silk were notable as "Black White Nationalists" due to their support of Trump's policies and their own ethnicity. Diamond and Silk threatened to sue Wonkette, it claims, over this opinion piece, and the cease-and-decist letter is amazing.

The consensus among lawyers on the internet is that the "Diamond and Silk Legal Team" is probably not, technically, a lawyer. I'm having trouble with the idea that the letter's even real. It's so strewn with spelling mistakes and mangled legal terminology that it reads like a joke about a stupid person pretending to be a lawyer—an exemplar of Poe's Law, the maxim that it is impossible to distinguish parody from authenticity on the Internet.

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In-laws toy with woman's food allergy in horrifying letter to agony aunt

My In-Laws Are Careless About My Deadly Food Allergy is a letter sent in to The Cut's Ask Polly column. It's the second-most amazing agony aunt letter I've ever read.

I have a very severe allergy to mushrooms ... Since then, most meals we have shared at my in-laws’ house have had very limited options for me. Somehow, they manage to find a way to add mushrooms to almost everything. One time, they made a point to make a special plate of mushrooms and pass it around. My mother-in-law said, very rudely, “I would’ve liked to add mushrooms directly to the salad, but SOMEBODY has problems with it!” They even added mushroom powder to the mashed potatoes at one holiday dinner. My mother-in-law claimed it was a new recipe she’d found.

This is just the beginning; it'a rollercoaster ride into mycological madness.

Following is my number 1, posted by Slate's Dear Prudence in 2012. First, the shot...

My mother-in-law hates me ... the problem is that after each visit, I wind up with a bad case of diarrhea; my husband does not. I don’t know if the other in-laws are affected, because if I asked, it would get back to her. I suspect that my mother-in-law is putting something in my food or drink.

Then the chaser.

You had suggested swapping plates with my husband to see if my mother-in-law would react. However, as you noted, that would have required bringing my husband into my confidence. I did not feel it was wise to do that, because he already didn’t believe that his mother treated me badly.

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Mail an old-fashioned letter, made of actual paper, via the internet

Mail A is just like sending email, but it imprints your message onto a thin, highly portable lignin-cellulose substrate using a solution of carbon black in petroleum distillates. Then it envelops the resulting document to protect it, prints the recipient's address on that, and then apparently something else happens and it eventually arrives.

For this they want at least $1.52. Attention hackers: apparently it is possible to do all this without even using a website! You can get your own cellulose preparations and inscription chemicals. Yet it is still not free of charge to "send" the result? Some soldering skill might be required too, I haven't looked into it. (via HN) Read the rest

Sriracha, yowza, and sheeple among 300 new words in Scrabble dictionary

Four years since the last edition, Merriam-Webster's Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is on now shelves. From The Guardian:

Included in the new edition are some long-awaited two letter words, notably OK and ew.

“OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,” said lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster. “Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.”

There’s more good news for Scrabble players with the addition of qapik, a unit of currency in Azerbaijan, adding to an arsenal of 20 playable words beginning with q that don’t need a u.

The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, Sixth Edition (Amazon)

image: thebarrowboy CC BY 2.0 Read the rest

Play with letters in this fantastic Segmented Type Playground

Marcin Wichary, a wonderful designer/typographer/writer who I had the pleasure of working with at Medium years ago, created this fantastic "Segmented Type Playground." Learn more via Marcin's Twitter thread about the project. (Among many other prior projects, Marcin created the playable Pac-Man Google Doodle back in 2010.)

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2008 was the earliest use of the word "mansplain"

Rebecca Solnit's 2008 essay "Men who explain things" popularized the concept and the general awareness of this gentlemanly practice, but the word itself was not used therein. Instead, "Mansplain" was apparently first uttered on Livejournal a few weeks later by phosfate, a now-vanished psuedonymous user. This is revealed in Merriam-Webster's new official definition, crediting Know your Meme for the discovery. [via Kottke]

The splain of mansplain isn't new. It's been used to mean "explain" in texts showing informal speech or—as when Ricky Ricardo admonished his beloved in I Love Lucy—in imperfect English for at least a century. Since the advent and consequent blossoming of mansplain, splain has been attached to other morphemes to create words modeled on mansplain. Mother Jones put the word leftsplaining into the headline of an article by none other than Rebecca Solnit (about how people on the political left should stop expounding on the failings of lefties to fellow lefties). A politician under the mistaken impression that potlucks are a unique Iowa tradition was accused of potluck-splaining when he tried to illuminate non-Iowans on how the communal meals work.

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Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Japan-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and A Pale View of Hills, is 2017's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The novelist was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

On living on cultural peripheries:

Ishiguro left Japan in 1960 at the age of 5 and did not return to visit until 1989, nearly 30 years later, as a participant in the Japan Foundation Short-Term Visitors Program. In an interview with Kenzaburō Ōe, Ishiguro acknowledged that the Japanese settings of his first two novels were imaginary: "I grew up with a very strong image in my head of this other country, a very important other country to which I had a strong emotional tie ... In England I was all the time building up this picture in my head, an imaginary Japan."

When discussing his Japanese heritage and its influence on his upbringing, the author has stated, "I'm not entirely like English people because I've been brought up by Japanese parents in a Japanese-speaking home. My parents didn't realize that we were going to stay in this country for so long, they felt responsible for keeping me in touch with Japanese values. I do have a distinct background. I think differently, my perspectives are slightly different." When asked to what extent he identifies as either Japanese or English the author insists, "People are not two-thirds one thing and the remainder something else.

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Muslim 8-year-old's letter to Trump: "Ain't gana happen, bro"

This excellent letter to Trump was written by the young son of a family friend. Not only is he right about everything, but right in a way that really gets under the Trumpkins' skin. A real gift, that! Read the rest

When Miles Davis named his album Bitches Brew

"Please advise."

A letter sent to Columbia Records art director John Berg and others by Teo Macero, producer of Miles's revolutionary 1970 jazz fusion album. Below, a live performance of the title track "Bitches Brew."

(Thanks, Jordan Kurland!)

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Your children "look delicious", writes angry neighbor

In the annals of inappropriate communications, anonymously sending threats to one's neighbors ranks highly. But few have ever ranked so highly as Carrie Pernula, who wrote "The children look delicious. May I have a taste?" in a letter mailed to hers.

The two yummy youngsters in question, according to CBS Minnesota, were elementary school-age children who had been noisy and left stuff in her yard.

Police say that Pernula, 38, admitted sending the note after the parents posted it to their hood's Facebook group and police asked.

To the individual who sent this letter...The answer is NO! NO you may not have my children in any way, shape, or form. And beyond anything physical you may NOT rob them of the security and comfort they feel. The trust they have in other people, or the joy they experience on a daily basis because of who they are. You DO NOT have the right to try to steal this from them by sending an anonymous letter trying to rip their world apart. I will NOT let that happen. What you MAY do, since you were so formal in your letter to ask, is you MAY turn yourself into the police, or you MAY seek help for your sexual and/or homicidal urges. Either way, the children of this community are off limits.

Via Gawker. Read the rest

Wonderful alphabet of superhero letters

Australia-based illustrator Simon Koay reimagined the letters of the English alphabet as superheroes. Read the rest

Stare at the letters of the GIF alphabet. Forever.

Graphic designer, Florian Schommer, created a bunch of animated letters of the alphabet! If only I could read German, so I could know more about what he was thinking.

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Letters of Note finally in print

Letters of Note, the most excellent blog collecting intriguing letters sent by noteworthy persons, is finally to be an excellent book.

"This spectacular collection of more than 125 letters offers a never-before-seen glimpse of the events and people of history—the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday. Entries include a transcript of the letter; a short contextual introduction; and, in 100 cases, a captivating facsimile of the letter itself. The artfulness of Shaun Usher's eclectic arrangement creates a reading experience rich in discovery. Mordant, hilarious, poignant, enlightening—surprise rewards each turn of the page. Colorfully illustrated with photographs, portraits, and relevant artworks, this handsome hardcover is a visual treat too, making Letters of Note an utterly distinctive gift, and an instant classic."

Previously: Letters of Note -- blog of written correspondence from well-known people Letters of Note, the book Read the rest

Landscape alphabet (c.1818-1860)

In the 19th century, Charles Joseph Hullmandel illustrated a glorious series of landscapes shaped as the letters of the English alphabet. You can see them all in the British Museum's online collection: The Landscape Alphabet (via Juxtapoz) Read the rest

Read the previously unpublished letters of Charles Darwin

More than 1000 letters written between Charles Darwin and botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, including 300 never before published, are now available free online for your reading and research pleasure. Read the rest

Frank Sinatra's "pull my hairpiece" challenge

"I will allow you to pull my 'hairpiece;' if it moves, I will give you another $100,000; if it does not, I punch you in the mouth. How about it?" -- Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra's "pull my hairpiece" challenge Read the rest

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