Stumbled across an interesting documentary on Youtube, about how the Spiritualist movement drove scientific invention. I’ve linked all four parts in a playlist.
The Toynbee Tiler (TTT) has been dropping tiles since the early 80s, trying in various ways to convince folks that the dead will be resurrected if only we colonize Jupiter. Yes, like the best outsider artists, he’s a wee bit nutty. Extremely paranoid and secretive, his identity has never been verified.
If you want to watch one of my favorite documentaries, check out Resurrect Dead. Even if you’re not into the tiles, the movie is wonderfully entertaining.
Though tiles have been found all over the world, the work is primarily centered in Philadelphia. I first learned about the tiles when living in Oregon. Then I moved to Florida. I didn’t have much hope of seeing one myself. But then…we moved to Maryland. And, as it turns out, TTT likes to head down I95 and drop tiles in Baltimore and Washington. WOOHOO!
A couple weekends ago, the Spousal Unit and I went tile hunting in Baltimore. We didn’t find anything new–we just looked for tiles that were already documented. Hey, first time out, we wanted a sure thing.
At first, we looked for anything in the area. Having no luck, we decided to concentrate only on tiles with pictures. We were beginning to have doubts, when we spotted a suspicious splotch in a crosswalk:
And then, OMG:
I can’t even begin to explain my elation. I didn’t cry, but it was close. I was floating.
Flush with success, we found several more:
It’s interesting to see how the tiles have held up over time. Each of the Baltimore tiles links to an earlier photo.
Yesterday, I hoofed around Washington, but all I found was a possible fragment:
There’s been a lot of repaving; nonetheless, I have been scouring boards, and plan on going back with more info.
Y’all know I looooove ouija boards. Here are a couple of videos about their history.
The first I can’t embed, so click through the picture for a short video from Brian Hodge of The Mysterious Planchette:
And here’s a 30 minute interview with Brian Murch of the Talking Board Historical Society:
Aspin Hill Memorial Park is one of the oldest pet cemeteries in the nation. As it happens, it’s also close to where I now live in Silver Spring, MD.
I spent a gorgeous day there last week, walking the rows and taking photos. Lots and lots of photos.
There are some famous critters here, including a few pets belonging to J. Edgar Hoover, and “Jiggs,” the terrier who played Petey in Our Gang. Napoleon the Weather Prophet was a white cat who predicted rain by putting his head down between his front paws. He was never wrong.
Founded in the early 1920s, over 50,000 pets are interred here, a few with their people. Parts of the cemetery are quite overgrown, and would have been impassable later in the year.
I would agitate for cleanup, but I’ll be honest, I love an unkempt cemetery. The overgrown parts are less treacherous than some of the front areas where graves have collapsed and not been filled in. Watch the ankles.
The stones move through time west to east. Name trends come and go. Numerous Ladies and Butches give way to Popeyes and Wimpies, and collies named Lassie and Laddie.
Lots of Happies and Princes, but only one Prince Happy.
Amongst the hundreds of prosaic Spots and Busters, some names stand out.
Some stones tell stories.
And some are sweetly sentimental.
There are dozens of small statues, and some more impressive ones.
And speaking of impressive…
I was enamored of the photo stones, of which there are many. Frosty is my favorite.
I’ll leave you with the last of my favorites, though the number had to be winnowed considerably. You can see the entire, unprocessed photoset on flickr.