Lara Favaretto’s Confetti Cubes, Day 133. Home stretch.
Happy Chas Tenebaum Day!
From the archives: Charles Lang and Otto Faulkenbach working on a Triceratops model, 1938
Explore the Museum’s digital archives here.
Last night’s experiments. Results pending.
Tonight’s itinerary for Drink and Draw
The raven is sometimes known as “the wolf-bird.” Ravens, like many other animals, scavenge at wolf kills, but there’s more to it than that.
Both wolves and ravens have the ability to form social attachments and they seem to have evolved over many years to form these attachments with each other, to both species’ benefit.
There are a couple of theories as to why wolves and ravens end up at the same carcasses. One is that because ravens can fly, they are better at finding carcasses than wolves are. But they can’t get to the food once they get there, because they can’t open up the carcass. So they’ll make a lot of noise, and then wolves will come and use their sharp teeth and strong jaws to make the food accessible not just to themselves, but also to the ravens.
Ravens have also been observed circling a sick elk or moose and calling out, possibly alerting wolves to an easy kill. The other theory is that ravens respond to the howls of wolves preparing to hunt (and, for that matter, to human hunters shooting guns). They find out where the wolves are going and following. Both theories may be correct.
Wolves and ravens also play. A raven will sneak up behind a wolf and yank its tail and the wolf will play back. Ravens sometimes respond to wolf howls with calls of their own, resulting in a concert of howls and calls.
Sources: Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich, The American Crow and the Common Raven, Lawrence Kilham
i like ravens and wolves so that’s cool.
1960s: "Goofy signs seen in Pittsburgh area"
No wonder Pittsburghers fail so miserably at following instructions. It’s not our fault. All around the city there are so many confusing signs that just don’t make sense, like an upside-down sign saying TRAFFIC MUST TURN RIGHT, KEEP MOVING ends with STOP AHEAD.
Decisions, decisions. You know how it is. It’s been that way for a long time in Pittsburgh. We have photographs to prove it.
There are a lot of goofy signs, too. If there were a tournament for the best snarky, funny, ridiculous signs, Pittsburgh would be ahead of the pack. It’s as if they’re the ultimate expression of free speech for local retailers, drivers, construction workers and even corporate types.
After spending a few days raking through three thick folders marked “SIGNS” in our photo archive, we reached a unanimous conclusion: One could write a book about extraordinary signs seen in the most ordinary places in and around our town.
And for some people, collecting those jewels used to be a passion. Just as Jim Romenesko loves highlighting newspaper typos, photographer Ross Catanza of The Pittsburgh Press used to collect — on film — unusual signs he came across. In 1973, Catanza shared his collection with his colleagues. The Pittsburgh Press ran a series of his favorites.
Funny warning signs? You got it. DANGER: MEN WORKING. That, indeed, sounds dangerous, especially considering the photo shows the men NOT working.
There was a photo of a truck carrying a squelch designed to further frustrate an already fuming motorist bringing up the rear: “I may be slow BUT I’m ahead of YOU!”
How about incongruous signs? We’ve seen those, too: A used-cow dealer who sells new antiques.
One photo of a sign posted on a drive-in theater in Meadville could be re-used today: “Closed — Too Cold for Kissin.”
It’s indeed too cold. And a tad sad there aren’t many drive-in theaters around town anymore.
— Mila Sanina