One golden eagle, one skull of a male raccoon, skin of one whooping crane

Despite a tremendous weekend that included Lightning Love and The Daredevil Christopher Wright in Ypsilanti, the Hounds Below at the Lager House, a live conjunto band and dancing at the Blue Diamond, a lot of Blatz, Modelo and PBR and a lot of reading,  all of which should have been plenty of fodder, I’ve been coming down with a little sniffle of writer’s block this week, professionally, bloggingly, and otherwise.

But while I’m convalescing, here are some things you might like to know:

The Night Train now booked (on your FACE)

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Old Detroit footage at MOCAD

Films from the Prelinger Archives: Lost Landscapes of Detroit is tomorrow night at MOCAD, so get out your shovel and some tough winter boots (no, I still haven’t bought any) and resist the temptation of your warm couch. This should be great. From the press release:

… An eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen archival film clips exhibiting life; cityscapes, labor and leisure from ‘vanishing Detroit’, as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers from the 1920’s to the 1960’s …

“How we remember and record the past reveals much about how we address the future” points out archivist Rick Prelinger, who will be on hand to preface the screening with a brief talk on the value of ephemeral films, on the changing nature of historical memory, and what consequences will arise from the emerging massive matrix of personal records.

You know what’s great? The Prelinger Archives are available for free on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons License.

Bottled Monsters

If you like Letters of Note, you may or may not love A Repository for Bottled Monsters, the blog of the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Among the many papers published near-daily on the blog are letters home from army surgeons, correspondence from the Surgeon General’s office, thank-yous for donations, inventories both routine and outlandish and requests for authorization to purchase artifacts. Some of this stuff is tedious but a lot of it is absurd and delightful, like this 1878 letter from Francis Atkins, Army Surgeon, to the Surgeon General:


I have the honor to enclose copy of receipt issued this day to me by Post Quartermaster for one box addressed to the Army Medical Museum.

The contents are,

1)      One Golden Eagle – shot near here Dec 2, 1877. I have roughly dressed it so as to leave the plumage on the skeleton, that the curator may use it as preferred, applying salt or alum.

2)      One skull & bal. [balance] of skeleton of a male Raccoon found dead here Dec 2, 1877.

3)      I also send in behalf of Asst. Surg. W.E. Whitehead the skin & extremities of one whooping crane (I believe) shot near here in fall of 1877 – arsenic and Plaster of Paris were used.

Once in a while this blog also publishes freaky medical photography, intriguing books and fun facts, like: did you know that Alexander Graham Bell wrote a book about eugenics?

I have Suzanne Fischer, Public Historian, to thank for this fabulous discovery.

#a repository for bottled monsters#alexander graham bell#facebook#golden eagles#letters of note#MOCAD#national museum of health and medicine#prelinger archives#raccoons#whooping cranes