The Quarks Archive

Random bits, strange and/or charming. Or likely to make you angry. Or possibly just here so I know where to look for it later. Wander through them as you will.

Google Operators (15 Apr 11)
Because you can get hella fancy with that stuff, yo.
No, really: Commas matter [via] (24 Mar 11)
Teach the Controversy! (14 Oct 10)
I think my personal favorite is Reptoid Liz.
Fan Death: Know the facts, protect yourself (07 Oct 10)
Before you say it, you're too late: someone is already using 'Fan Death' as a band name.
Grandicrocavis viasesamensis: Theories about North America's largest flightless bird. (29 Jun 10)
Six minutes long. Well worth your time.
Information is Beautiful (23 May 10)
Because it is.
No. [via] (07 May 10)
More adventures in Tumblr obsessive compulsion.
What HTML5 and CSS3 Will Mean for Web Design (05 May 10)
I know this will require that everyone use updated browsers, but... hokey smokes. When can I start?
The Alot Is Better Than You at Everything [via] (19 Apr 10)
Also, internet eagles.
Serpents on a Dirigible! (14 Jan 10)
My friend Margaret Ronald wrote this. Like her other creations, it is so very fabulous.
Who Conquered the Middle East, and When [via] (28 Dec 09)
A completely fascinating time-lapse map, especially if your world history is a little fuzzy.
Shaun Tan: 'Eric' [via] (20 Nov 09)
A short, lovely story in words and drawings.
Witnessed: The Birth of a New Species [via] (18 Nov 09)
Peter and Rosemary Grant, studying Darwin's finches -- which are actually tanagers -- and thus present at the creation. If you've never read 'The Beak of the Finch,' by all means do so. Amazing science writing.
'We Don't Lie to Google' [via] (11 Nov 09)
On the cultural signifiers of grammar employed in search-engine queries.
Caveman Science Fiction (28 Sep 09)
Dresden Codak, purveyors of hilarity and/or brain-breakage since 2005.
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? (20 Aug 09)
Oh, Felicia Day. You are so awesome, and such a righteous geek.
Watching Whales Watching Us (16 Jul 09)
A lovely piece of science journalism by Charles Siebert, courtesy of the NY Times Magazine.
May It Please the Court (30 May 09)
From Maira Kalman's art-blog-thing 'And the Pursuit of Happiness,' which is possibly the best thing going in the NYT aside from maybe Frank Rich.
Accident, Mass. Ave. [via] (29 May 09)
Jill McDonough won the Pushcart Prize for this.
Ricky Gervais and Elmo go Off-Message (30 Apr 09)
'It's called acting, Mr. Gervais.' Note how the Elmo puppeteer never once goes out of character.
What It Feels Like for a Girl (10 Apr 09)
Suddenly giving me yet another dose of respect for those drag queens at the Black Party.
(Imperial) Shore Leave in SF (10 Apr 09)
Because who doesn't want to visit the City by the Bay?
Яolcats [via] (10 Apr 09)
Translations of Eastern Bloc Lolcats. (In eastern bloc, cat lols you! Or something.)
The True(?) Story of the Biggest Diamond Heist Ever (12 Mar 09)
If it didn't sound so much like something that should be made into a movie, you'd swear that somebody needed to make a movie out of it.
Hail and Farewell, Vegetable-Peeler Guy (05 Mar 09)
A sweet old man, a fixture of the Union Square Greenmarket. I was gonna buy a peeler from him as soon as I had a kitchen of my own.
How Big is Will? (05 Mar 09)
Warning: Toddler adorableness.
Dear Sir Obama... (03 Mar 09)
The future of the nation speaks.
More Short Comics About Historical Figures (22 Aug 08)
Again, Canadianicity probably helps. Ms. Beaton's Live Journal ( is comedy gold.
The Internet Pinball Database (22 Aug 08)
Because sometimes you really need to know this stuff.
Among the Stormtroopers [via] (05 Jun 08)
Not the heartless killing-machine clone warriors you thought they were.
How to Talk to a Human (29 Mar 08)
For future reference.
The Secret Life of Vegetables (01 Feb 08)
Short Comics About Historical Figures (29 Jan 08)
I assume that some of these are even funnier if you're from Canada.
In All Likelihood the Biggest Glove Ever [via] (07 May 07)
Whoa. Required a 60-inch circular, hello.
'70s Italian Horror Movie Invades Our Universe [via] (06 Apr 07)
Can't wait to find out more. I think.
children's drawings, re-created [via] (05 Apr 07)
Use the green arrows to navigate.
Star Wars/A New Hope: What Really Happened [via] (22 Jan 07)
R2 was the secret leader of the rebellion, and it all makes an eerie sort of sense.
Helm's Deep, in Candy [via] (19 Jan 07)
I particularly like the Tootsie Pop catapults.
Tiny Houses by Tumbleweed (07 Jun 06)
Can you imagine? Perhaps in a meadow in a forest somewhere, near a lake that nobody else knows about.
Zombie Cockroaches! [via] (19 May 06)
Go on, tell me this isn't hugely unsettling.
Tiny Bag End (15 Jan 06)
Many, many pictures. Be ready.
Blippity Fling-Flang [via] (11 Sep 05)
Make anything sound like Pogo on a really bad day.
The Messenger Looks Back [via] (07 Sep 05)
Small, beautiful, fragile, and the only home we know.
Of Blenders and Mason Jars [via] (01 Sep 05)
Who knew?
Nerd ABC's (16 Aug 05)
Now--if only I had a small, impressionable child to give these to...
The Comprachicos (15 Aug 05)
Note to self: There's gotta be a good story in here somewhere.
Have Your Seen This Man? (12 Aug 05)
The eternal question.
DIY Petrified Wood (12 May 05)
Some assembly required.
Some stretches. (04 Apr 05)
IT band & hamstrings, plus a glut medius exercise. You may be disinterested, but I'll want to come back to this later.
Really Exotic Plants (25 Mar 05)
Tee hee.
CLI 101 (17 Mar 05) a newbie-friendly guide to the CLI.
The Fantastic in Art and Fiction (12 Feb 05)
Materials from Cornell's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection.
Today's Space Weather (12 Feb 05)
Sunspot activity, comets, near-Earth asteroids, meteor showers, auroras, et al.
Some Lovely Shots (10 Feb 05)
...of some lovely shots. (20 Jan 05)
Online tuition in the paleography of Scottish documents, 1500-1750.
Evolution of the Telephone (02 Jan 05)
With thanks to Grendel.
Yeah, But Can Your BMW Do This? [via] (11 Dec 04)
Wow. (A ~5 MB video file.)
Highway to Hell? (17 Nov 04)
Boston's Big Dig: Legendarily overbudget public work? Or harbinger of the apocalypse?
UnGreek to You. [via] (02 Oct 04)
For those times when Lorem Ipsum seems just so last Thursday.
A History of Punctuation [via] (29 Sep 04)
The interrobang has an HTML entity? No kidding‽
Figures of Speech [via] (17 Sep 04)
For everything (trope, trope, trope) there is a season.
Lincoln on an Emu Egg (13 Sep 04)
(Doo-daaah, doo-daaah.)
Linux on a Badger (11 Sep 04)
Other animals of family Mustelidae can be used in place of a badger, but an adapter may be required. See Appendix II for details.
Encyclopedia Arda (10 Sep 04)
Between this and wikipedia, no geeky question too obscure.
Field Guide to Fonts (09 Sep 04)
If Roger Tory Peterson was a fontophile: figure out the font used on whatever you happen to be looking at.
The IPA (07 Sep 04)
Aka the International Phonetic Alphabet, aka the singer's friend. Also great for telephone note-taking.
Logo R.I.P. (21 Aug 04)
Bootleg Objects (21 Aug 04)
Hack Amazon! (16 Aug 04)
For instance, the art of Short Links to Books.
Origami CD Case [via] (09 Aug 04)
Like a paper pope's mitre, but vastly more practical.
Lovely Clocks [via] (29 Jul 04)
What's a Libretto, Doc? (18 Jun 04)
An analysis of of one of the Western canon's great works.
Pop v. Soda (02 Jun 04)
Where do *you* live?
Folkloric Japan (18 May 04)
A fascinating online photo-reference to Japan's Buddhist and Shinto mythology.
Ugly Wedding Dresses. (11 May 04)
[Insert your own crack about the sanctity of marriage here.]
Chekhov Takes Manhattan. [via] (11 May 04)
She said she was 'shocked' and 'outraged' at how Barnes & Nobles would kick out an author who was trying to give a reading.
A Good Story [via] (05 May 04)
About the monster that lives under the old church.
ThEnigma Live! (04 May 04)
Hey, look! It's the blue puzzle man! From that excellent X-Files episode!
Myths About Spiders. [via] (14 Apr 04)
On the eating of spiders whilst asleep, and other falsities.
The Sound of Nazgûl (09 Apr 04)
I dare you to read this and then not spend the day singing 'My Favorite Rings.'
Free Martha! [via] (03 Apr 04)
On the other hand, Brini's way to world domination is now clear. Well, clearer.
Ghost Town. [via] (01 Apr 04)
Elena likes to go for motorcycle rides in Chernobyl. She takes photos.
Autobot! (31 Mar 04)
I think it's a Mazda RX-8.
Dancing robots. [via] (31 Mar 04)
Specifically, 4 Sony QRIO robots. Must investigate further.
200 Robots (big) [via] (31 Mar 04)
Will take a while to load. Many image files. Still: robots=cool!
Ten Lil' Plagues! (10 Mar 04)
For Passover fun.
Ed Anger, R.I.P. [via] (02 Mar 04)
A pall falls over the checkout line.
Avalanche! [via] (20 Feb 04)
Not really sure what's going on here, but it's cool anyway, and as LSSP says, "320,000 ping-pong balls can't be wrong."
Headless Wonder Chicken! (20 Feb 04)
A true tale of barnyard science.
Fabulous Paper Toys [via] (20 Feb 04)
crafty hilarity
Tibetan Orthography 101 (18 Feb 04)
Blobs! In! Spaaaaace! (12 Feb 04)
Well, actually Blobs In A Suborbital Plaaaaaane.
Ken Shaves His Beard (12 Feb 04)
Gung Hay Fat Choy! (12 Feb 04)
SF welcomes the Year of the Monkey.
Rare Exports (07 Feb 04)
(Since 1793.)
Galerie de Masques [via] (07 Feb 04)
Musée de Binche, Belgium.
Pink Tank (07 Feb 04)
Very pink.
Worst. Toy. Ever. (29 Jan 04)
Of course it's Japanese.
IKEA Player's Walkthrough (25 Jan 04)
Meet Cooper Black (22 Jan 04)
Strange Fruit (17 Jan 04)
Panoramic Mars (14 Jan 04)
Carson speaks. (05 Jan 04)
Pharyngula's Top 10 (04 Jan 04)
The Art of the Apology (31 Dec 03)
Tolkien Crackpot Theories (29 Dec 03)
Correction. [via] (29 Dec 03)
Doom Bunnies (17 Dec 03)
Time Cube! Yes! (16 Dec 03)
The Eater of Meaning (16 Dec 03)
Organists Amok (16 Dec 03)
Omniglot (15 Dec 03)
Moscow Underground (14 Dec 03)
Forgotten NY (14 Dec 03)