February 7th, 2021
Cat handbags: A woman in Japan, known as Pico, designs handbags that look like real cats. Using faux fur, a handbag might appear to be a pure white kitten, a black and white cat about to pounce, or a green-eyed grey feline that wants to cuddle. One of Pico’s creations is a knapsack which, on the wearer’s back, looks like a house cat on its haunches clawing at a screen door. Pico’s work became known on social media, but she makes them in limited numbers because she is busy raising her young children.
Car Museum: Many famous automobiles have appeared in movies over the years. Anyone with a hankering to see their favourite movie vehicle can visit the Celebrity Car Museum in Branson, Missouri (U.S.). More than 100 such cars are collected there, from the Ford Explorer in Jurassic Park to the Flintstone’s granite car to the Batmobile from the 1966 TV series. The museum is the brainchild of the Velvet family, who have been car collectors for years. Displays change because the family regularly buys and sells cars. Visitors are welcome to pretend to be a movie star behind the wheel.
Body art: Born in Italy, Johannes Stötter is an artist who is an impressive body painter. He uses human models as his canvas and creates realistic looking animals, insects, reptiles, fish, and more. As the models can’t stay in place indefinitely, he takes photos of the finished work. Often, it’s difficult to tell there is a human being (or two) in the photo. For example, he painted two models to look like a crocodile. He painted one curled-up model to look like a beautiful butterfly. Two models, one on top of the other, appear to be a scaly lizard. Aside from his painting, Stötter is also a trained musician.
Crazy furniture: A furniture maker from Auckland, New Zealand, has found a way to make his creations unique. Henk Verhoeff uses his carpentry skills to design and make furniture that looks like it’s warped or cracked – but it is not. In reality, every drawer opens perfectly on a dresser that appears to be crooked and broken, and a hole in the door of a side table is camouflage for miniature shelves on the inside. It is quite a feat for Verhoeff to accurately cut the angles so the moving parts work properly. Verhoeff’s work became known when his daughter posted some images on social media.
—Henry David Thoreau
“Oh, who can tell the range of joy Or set the bounds of beauty?”
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1. What did amateur astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp discover in 1995?
2. The five basic senses are hearing, sight, smell, taste, and what?
3. A vicissitude is a legal exception or a change of luck?
Change of Luck
4. What are the Leonids?
5. A fedora is a type of wild cat or a felt hat?
Did You Know?
Tennis Star: Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1997, Naomi Osaka is one of the world’s best female tennis players and first Asian player to reach the top tier. Encouraged by her father, she started playing at age three.
Paved with wood: Before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this American city’s streets were constructed out of wooden blocks. Today, only two or three alleys made of wood remain, and they have been restored and preserved.
Flat and white: A landform near Sydney, Australia, called Wedding Cake Rock looks like its name. The fragile, flat, white limestone formation is markedly different and differs from the darker sandstone near it.
Unusual ride: The Dodo Manège is a children’s carousel in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Rather than the usual horses, children ride on extinct or endangered animals, such as the dodo, the horned turtle, and the panda.
Music and movies: Jamaican American composer and pianist Don Shirley (1927-2013) was famous for his performances with the Don Shirley Trio, which featured piano, bass, and cello. He is the subject of the 2018 movie, Green Book.
On the Lighter Side
Do you want to hear a joke backwards? Start laughing.
What’s red and moves up and down? A tomato in an elevator.
Teacher: “Class, when I ask you a question, everyone answer at once. How much is 6 x 3?”
Class: “At once!”
How do you fix a broken gorilla? With a monkey wrench.
I have hands but I can never clap. What am I? A clock.
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