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S2_04: Spooky things, vampire math, and visual treats

S2_04: Spooky things, vampire math, and visual treats

Hi there and welcome to another edition of Tiny Wonderful Things, half-spooky edition as we meander closer to the end of October. A minor housekeeping note: I used to make select issues public on tinywonderfulthings.com, but since season 2 started, I've changed it up so that the entire current season will remain public and un-gated, while previous season(s) will only be viewable to subscribers, which is also free.  

Today's featured image is taken by Callie Chee for Smithsonian Magazine's Photo Contest. They're ghost mushrooms a.k.a. bioluminescent Omphalotus Nidiformi.

The history of Halloween merchandise

Illustrator and animator Julia Pott curated a visual feast of a piece that takes you into the cuteification of death and the morbid during October. Includes mentions of a Witch Cream sold in Salem in the 1890s, and a Casper timeline.

Math x vampires

Writer and library enthusiast Ella Morton writes about the apparently numerous studies using mathematical modelling to determine how feasible it would take for vampires to wipe out Earth's population, and if so, how long it would actually take. And if you didn't know, there are three types of vampires: “asymptotically satiated vampire,” the “blood maximizing vampire,” and the “unsatiable vampire.”

Cats used to deliver mail

Aside from being witchy companions and supervisors, cats actually can hold down jobs (well, barely, if we're being honest). This article—another visual treat—by Bethan Bell for the BBC covers all the odd jobs cats have had, including delivering mail. Here's an anecdote from the time they tried this in Belgium in the 1870s with a 37-cat trial:

Although all the cats - and notes - eventually turned up, the feline disposition unsurprisingly proved unsuited to providing a swift or reliable postal service and the idea was dropped.

Frozen flowers around the world

Azuma Makoto is a flower artist who does astoundingly captivating botanical sculptures. This series from 2021 captures the process of creating frozen flower installations. Next up (today actually), Azuma is releasing another round of digital bouquets in his Metaflorist project.

Data but make it fashion

This Instagram account uses data and infographics to dissect trends in fashion, from scouring Google for info on which shows were the most searched to analyzing everything Taylor Swift ever wore to the VMAs (red lipstick 73% of the time).

.txt messages

A.K.A. Snippets, notes, and favorite bits

"All you need is love, shocks, and laughter."
—From Spencer [2021]

P.S. I just came out with my first poetry collection, Interstellar Flower Delivery! This is a free and ad-free newsletter so if you've been enjoying this journey of wonder-seeking with me, consider purchasing and reading my book. Have a wonder-full week.