…together, together, together…

The centaur galloped past the sasquatch, who chased after him but could never keep up.

The giant snake kept quiet as the mages planned poker night.

The mermaid sat on the rock and listened to the boardwalk’s rollercoaster roar by, the pleasant screams of fairgoers echoing through the night.

The cockatrice flapped its wings, mightily, ineffectively, as the ravens flew overhead.

The skeleton eyed the minotaurs pumping weights enviously before shuffling on its way.

…together, together, together…

The sasquatch chased after the centaur, stopping as his stamina waned. Ah, but then a big, beautiful red bicycle caught his eye. A note, tucked into the spokes: “Catch up, I keep winning.”

When the snake returned home, she was greeted by mechanical arms shuffling a deck of cards. The fingers followed her gaze and turned the cards this-way-and-that in response to her movements. The arms were bright blue, her favorite color.

“That’s a waterslide, by the way.” The carnival barker handed the mermaid a roll of tickets by way of introduction.

An egg-shaped ballon, fitted with a basket and a propeller, landed next to the cockatrice.

“Could you teach us to move like that?” the voice behind the skeleton was gruff and timid. The skeleton turned around. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah, well, we’ve seen you in that there dance class? At the gym,” a second minotaur mumbled shyly. “Yer so light on your toes… could you, erm, give us some tips?”


You may know mead — an ancient alcoholic beverage made from water, honey, and yeast — as a drink that’s popular among Renaissance fairgoers and Game of Thrones fans.

Meadmaker Andrew Geffken is on a mission to add another group to that list: the average beer drinker. At Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, Md., he’s experimenting with modern takes on this age-old drink.

The current problem, Geffken says, is that mead just isn’t cool enough to woo hip craft beer drinkers. But with a little help from hops — many a beer drinker’s favorite ingredient — he thinks he can change that.

Geffken isn’t the only meadmaker attempting to revive this old-timey beverage — mead’s popularity has risen rapidly in recent years. Charm City — which Geffken opened with co-owner James Boicourt in 2014 — currently makes enough mead to burn through 5,000 gallons of honey each month.

This Modern Meadery Is Making Honey Wine Hip — With Hops

Photos: Morgan McCloy/NPR

Behold the overindulgent awesomeness that is a 125.5 lb hot dog. It was just unveiled at the Miami-Dade County Fair by Brett Enright, founder of Juicy’s Outlaw Grill. Enright currently holds the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Commercially Available Hamburger, which weighs 777 lbs, costs $5,000 and has to be ordered two days in advance. He’s hoping that this monstrous hotdog will also prove to be a record breaker.

“Weighing in at 125.5 pounds — the naked dog tipped the scale at 51 pounds; the rest of the heft came from a gargantuan bun and gallons of condiments — the dog was cooked for three hours on a 100-foot mobile grill that travels from fair to fair on the bed of a 27-ton tractor-trailer.”

After this particular hot dog was photographed and weighed, it was sliced up and served to fairgoers for $1 per serving with all proceeds going to charity. However Enright says that, like his giant burger, the colossal hot dog can be special-ordered for parties (or ravenously hungry giants) for a mere $1000.

[via Neatorama]


A Fair to Remember: Colored Lantern Slides from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition

One century ago, San Francisco’s 1915 World’s Fair closed its doors, ending one of the most unique events in American history.  For 288 days, the fair brought together an odd array of individuals that seemingly belong in different chapters of the history textbook.  Civil War veterans could watch as Henry Ford produced a car every ten minutes on his assembly line.  Original miner 49ers could traverse a fake mine and see a glowing, radioactive mineral called radium.  Patty Reed, a surviving member of the infamous Donner party, could walk through General Electric’s model house and marvel at their flameless toaster.  At a time when only 20 percent of Americans had electricity, fairgoers could pay to take an airplane ride or make a transcontinental phone call to New York.  It was a moment of change, and a fair to remember.

The fair itself, also known as the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), marked two monumental achievements.  The first was the completion of the Panama Canal.  The United States began construction on the canal in 1904 and finished in 1914.  Dubbed “The 13th Labor of Hercules,” the canal shortened the shipping route from New York to San Francisco by 7,700 miles.  The new sea route enhanced American business, and helped make San Francisco one of the world’s preeminent port cities.

The second achievement was the reconstruction of San Francisco.  Less than a decade before, San Francisco was reduced to rubble by one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. The 1906 earthquake decimated the young city.  Many believed the reconstruction could never restore San Francisco to its prior glory, or would at least take generations to complete.  Less than a decade later, however, the rebuilt San Francisco hosted one of the largest gatherings of all time. Over the course of its 10-month span, nearly 19 million people attended the World’s Fair.  At the time, California’s population was roughly 3.5 million.

The National Archives has photographic records from many of the world’s fairs.  Few, however, are quite as striking as the colored lantern slides from the Panama Pacific International Exhibition.  Lantern slides were a popular form of photography in the 19thand early 20th centuries.  Photographers would often develop images onto light-sensitive lantern glass, cover the image with an additional layer of protective glass, and bind the two layers together with paper tape.  In some instances, such as the examples in this blog, slides were hand-colored using oil paints, dyes, or pigments.  The lantern slides could then be projected to a viewing audience, and were ideal for educational or professional settings.

Photograph of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at Night, 1915. Local ID: 16-SFX-85.

These slides here are all part of the series, Panama-Pacific International Exposition (National Archives Identifier: 512822) .  The photos were taken by Joseph Abel under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture.  Abel was a scientist with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry, and Chief of Exhibits for the Bureau’s exhibit at the PPIE.

See more stunning vintage lantern slides at : A Fair to Remember: Colored Lantern Slides at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition | The Unwritten Record

In the late 1800s, the hot new fad sweeping the country was “target games.” If only there were some way to combine this new craze with the old standard pastime of horrible racism …

Hey, somebody did it!

Popular games included “Hit the Coon” and “African Dodger,” where you literally just threw balls at black people, and then laughed because you weren’t them.

Live targets were eventually replaced with fake heads, but 19th-century fairgoers still wanted to cause at least some discomfort for black people, so they came up with the African Dip.

In this progenitor of modern dunk tank games, the thrower would hit a target, triggering a release, which caused the dunkee (shockingly enough, always a black person) to fall in the filthy and freezing water. It was good, harmless fun for all! Except for anybody who wasn’t white, of course.

Hey, Sorry, But 5 Of Your Favorite Things Are Racist

We’ve paired up with the amazing Redundant Shop to offer our fairgoers workshops throughout the Singapore Art Book Fair duration! So why not learn a skill or two and create something of your own!

For sign-up or get more details on the respective workshops: http://redundantworkshop.bigcartel.com/!


Which column features the Angkor Wat dupe?

Builders for the 1931 Exposition coloniale internationale in Paris created a full-scale replica of Angkor Wat for fairgoers. 

Answer here.


Postcard of a full-scale Angkor Wat replica at the Exposition coloniale internationale, Paris (detail), Braun & Co., 1931
Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, Cambodia, photographer unknown, ca. 1880–1899


George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., known for inventing the original Ferris Wheel, was born on this day in 1859. The first Ferris Wheel debuted at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The “Ferris Wheel Waltz,” written by G. Valisi and Harry C. Clyde, was a souvenir fairgoers could purchase for 50 cents.

You can also see a stereograph that shows the first Ferris Wheel on DPLA, here

Source images (1, 2) from the New York Public Library. 

(Crafted with help from extabulis.)

@caffeinatedbulwark liked for a starter

The matches for the day had concluded by the time Blake was out of the stadium.  Weiss evidently had a meeting with her sister, and Ruby and Yang wanted to spend time with their uncle, which left the faunus to her own devices.  That had been fine by her; aside from her plans to continue her new book, she was actually fairly hungry, and the temptation of that tuna ramen was too strong to ignore.  So she chose to brave the loud crowds of fairgoers for once, and start for the ramen stand in the fairgrounds.

When she arrived at the stand, the old man behind the counter knew her instantly, just as before.  Instead of a silent nod, however, she asked for it to go, and he obliged.  She passed him the credits, he handed her the rather large box, and she started back for the far side of the courtyard where the crowds were thinnest and it was the most quiet.

The late afternoon was still warm, but the first hints of fall were on the air with a cold breeze.  The sun was just beginning to lower, and just beginning to tint the world gold.  It glinted off everything, sending amber flashes from all directions.  As she was checking her scroll, one particular one caught her eye and she glanced up.  The breeze tossed the red leaves of the courtyard trees, and the light that filtered through one of those trees glanced off the green armguard of the tall man she’d nearly run into.

“Sorry about that.” She recognized him quickly, and gave him a light, friendly smile. “You’re Yatsuhashi, from team CFVY.  I saw your match today–I’m sorry that you lost, but you and Coco fought amazingly today.”