Joan Crawford“Millions of words can be written– and have been–about how to look lovely. But there’s a final element that no amount of exercising, dieting, or mirror watching can give you. Charm.

Charm isn’t something you can turn on like a tap with a pretty little girl simper. It isn’t anything phony that you can pick up at the door on your way out, along with your coat. You know, animals can spot a phony faster than most people. I mistrust people who don’t like animals or understand them: how one dog can be snooty, one cat imperious, one dog beguiling, one cat sitting there quietly checking on you. Any wise little cat or dog knows at a glance whether your charm is real or manufactured for the occasion– and treats you accordingly. ”

Joan Crawford, My Way of Life, Simon and Schuster, New York.

Artificially Produced Animal Behavior


“A striking example of artificially produced animal behavior has come about as a by-product of drug research. Pharmacologist Peter Witt discovered that spiders spin strange, misshapen webs when they are under the influence of drugs. Each drug compels the spider to produce a different type of web, and in its behavior the spider shows an eerie resemblance to disorientations experienced by human beings under the same drug. The graphlike webs can accurately identify the type of drug much more quickly than the usual lengthy laboratory analysis could.

Pervitin, Benzedrinelike stimulant, makes the spider too impatient to circle the center. It spins only in one small area.

Choral hydrate, the barman’s “Mickey Finn,” puts the spider to sleep after it has completed only a small part of its web.

Caffeine produces the arachnid equivalent to human coffee nerves, making the spider spin a haphazard tangle of threads.

Lysergic acid induces acute concentration, the spider zealously weaves a perfect web, greatly improving on nature.”

Animal Behavior, LIFE Nature Library, by Niko Tinbergen and The Editors of LIFE, Time Incorporated, New York, 1965.

Great White Shark Headmount

Great White Shark


This mounted great white shark head was caught by Clive Green in April of 1975 off the coast of Albany Australia. The shark weighed 2622 pounds and measured 15’9″. The actual jaws were used in this mount– the teeth are REAL. The fiberglass head is professionally done, extremely realistic, superb coloration. This shark also has the distinction of being the last legal great white shark jaw/mount exported from Australia to the U.S. under the Environment Australia Management Authority. Copies of this Export/Import CITES permit are included with this purchase.

… We have consulted with several experts in the field to determine the true value of this most rare item. We were advised there were two ways to do this: ONE being the removal of the jaw from the mount (taking approximately 6 months and $3500 to accomplish)…

OPTION TWO: Selling it as a rare one-of-a-kind collectible, leaving it intact, which we have decided to do. Out of respect to the shark, we felt this was the most honorable thing to do.

$19,500 plus actual Fedex insured freight.

Mounted on varnished solid wood display piece, weighs 73 pounds. Measures 34″ tall x 30″ wide x 35″ from wall mount. Largest primary teeth measure a full 2-1/16″ long.”

From Tell Me Where on Earth.com

Martin Kippenberger Selects Franz Marc’s Horses

Horse in a landscape

Martin Kippenberger: “My parents always took us five children into the Folkwang Museum in Essen. My father would start a competition among us to find the best picture in the place. The winner would get one Deutsch-Mark from him. Naturally we always picked out the picture we thought he would like best, not the one that would have been important to us. We were influenced in this choice by what hung in our own living room, which meant it didn’t take us long for us to choose Franz Marc’s horses. In the end each of us got one Deutsch-Mark. This didn’t exactly help us to think freely. Father just wanted to feel he was right. And he paid his own children for that by using the side alley of art. And we gave him what we wanted. But I saw through this immediately. That’s the way our general understanding of art functions today. Don’t open anything up. Go to a museum and think yourself free?! Ridiculous. The pictures just can’t accomplish this.”

Martin Kippenberger Ten years after, Angelika Muthesius, Hrsg./ Ed. Taschen, Taschen, 1991. 

Franz Marc, Horse In Landscape, 1910

Baby Jumbo, the Daily Mirror Elephant Attends Queen Alexandra’s Garden Party

Jumbo birthday Party

“Baby Jumbo, the Daily Mirror Elephant, entering Marlborough House to attend Queen Alexandra’s garden party.”

Mailed October 9, 1912, to Miss Phyllis Craven, “The Johannesburg.” Grand Parade, Brighton.

“My dear little Phyllis,

Thank you so much for your post card, you sent me, I have not forgotten to write to you this time. This is Baby Jumbo, The Daily Mail Elephant, which was at Weston-Super-Mare, when Marjorie & I were. I thought you would like it. Lots of love & kisses, Alice.”

Tattoos and Their Meanings, presented by the Canada Border Services Agency

RScarab_Cartouche_of_Thutmosis_III_from_KarnakUSSIAN PRISON TATTOOS CAT: A cat tattoo represents a prisoner’s life as a thief. A single cat signifies that the criminal acted alone, while several cats together show that the criminal was part of a gang. The head of a tomcat is considered good luck for a thief. It can also serve as a warning, as it signifies a dangerous criminal who hates law enforcement, especially if worn on the chest. Source The Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume II.
SCARAB BEETLE: This is a Russian criminal tattoo, most likely from prison. The scarab beetle is a symbol of good luck for thieves (so-called protection). The tattoo symbolizes a pickpocket.Definition provided by Vancouver Police Department.

BIRDS ON HORIZON: The bearer likes freedom and is escape-minded. An image of birds flying over the horizon means “I was born free and should be free.”
Source The Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume I.  
SPIDER WEB: A spider web often represents time spent in prison and/or time spent caught in the web of the “gang lifestyle” that is inescapable. It may also represent the beginning of a gang lifestyle.

Tattoos and Their Meanings, presented by the Canada Border Services Agency Organized Crime Section, National Headquarters, May 2008.

Click to access CBSA-TattooHandbook.pdf

Photograph Scarab Cartouche of Thutmosis III from Karnak temple of Amun-Ra, Egypt, Chiswick Chap June 7, 2009.


Strike of the Cabs, London, 1853

London 1853“The great event since you have been gone has been the Strike of the Cabs, as on Wednesday morning London awoke to find she was cabless, & the country arrived by the railway to find they must walk to their destination & carry their luggage or sit upon it till porters and donkeys could be discovered. It is expected that the strike will not last long as it is expensive to keep horses doing nothing, & carriages are being hired for the day & doing the work of cabs at the railways, in the meantime however London is all the pleasanter as you can walk about without being in danger of your life. Before the strike took place Fitzroy had agreed to relax the act so far as to allow 1s. a mile beyond 4 miles & to let them charge 6d. for a 4th person in the cab as well as 6d. for the 3rd. They do not mean to give way on any other point so the battle must be fought out between cabs & public.”

Letter from Lord Stanley to his wife, 29 July 1853, from The Stanleys of Alderley, edited by Nancy Mitford



Receive LIVE MATED DWARF SEAHORSES by Air Mail from FLA. Supply of food, our catalog and simple instructions for raising these fascinating little creatures from the deep. All you need is a Jar or Bowl. Everyone young or old enjoys watching their bizarre movements for hours. Educational, Interesting, and Hardy. GUARANTEED LIVE DELIVERY–Air Mail PPD. $3.50  a Pair-$7.00 SPECIAL: Order TWO PAIR and receive another PAIR FREE.

F. F. MARINE LIFE, P.O. Box 626-MFO Dania, Fla.

Advertisement in Photoplay , October, 1962.

Photograph: Mohammed Al Momany

World Class Big Game Trophy & Western Auction


“A full body Hippopotamus hunting trophy, whose hide alone likely weighed half a ton, is one of 700 exotic and unusual taxidermy mounts being liquidated at auction in Fort Worth, Texas. The hunting trophies, animal rugs, fish and bird mounts being offered to the general public at the World Class Big Game Trophy & Western Auction are from private collections of three renowned big game hunters and two natural history museums.

What could be more stylish and ‘hip’ than an enormous Hippo in your game room? ‘Your friends will likely talk about it for some time,’ said John Brommel, owner of the Corner Shoppe in Austin and sale organizer. Other enormous mounts are a huge shoulder mount Elephant and a 15 ½ foot Marlin. ‘It is twice as big as anything I have ever seen,’ said Brommel

… Of the hundreds of species offered there are 10 bears, including a standing full height Polar Bear, a standing Boone & Crockett Brown Bear and full body Black and Grizzly Bears. The sale contains about 40 full body mounts such as Bengal Tiger, Bongo, Baboon, Leopard, Civet Cat, Velvet and Colobus Monkeys, and African Lion.

…The rare and unusual items are suitable for display over a pool table or in beach homes, cabins, restaurants and bars. ‘There is such a tremendous amount of stuff at this auction, it is a sure bet there will be lots of bargains,’ said Brommel.

In the collectibles grouping are African swords and spears, lots of carved ivory, and skulls including Giraffe, African Lion, and Cape Buffalo. There are numerous high quality hides: Zebra, Springbok, Axis Deer, Alpaca, cowhides, sheep skins, Eel and Snake skins plus Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear and Lion rugs. The sale has an excellent selection of furniture and accessories such as framed art, trunks, cowhorn chairs, couches and footstools; coffee tables, blankets, bar stools, antler chandeliers and lamps, metal art, wagon wheels, cowboy and Indian collectibles like arrowheads, rattles and spears; Indian jewelry, knives, antlers and horns, Remington, Winchester and Weatherby firearms, chaps, spurs, saddles and fossils.”

Fort Worth, Texas, PRWEB, April 10, 2009

Photograph: Dr. Wilmer M. Tanner examines a tiger trophy received by the Brigham Young University Life Science Museum, 1973