Read

Further Reading: Badass

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon BADASS

Further Reading: ESCAPE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ESCAPE

Casanova prison break

Oct 31, 1756: Giacomo Casanova Breaks out of Prison

On January 5, 1757 Giacomo Casanova executed a daring midnight, cross-rooftop escape from “The Leads”, Venice’s prison, where he had been jailed in solitary confinement for “public outrages against the holy religion”.

Further Reading: NEMESIS

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon NEMESIS

Further Reading: HEIST

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon HEIST

Further Reading: MISCHIEF

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MISCHIEF

Further Reading: ARCHIVE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ARCHIVE

Further Reading: ARTIFACT

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ARTIFACT

Further Reading: Endeavor

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ENDEAVOR

July 9, 1594: Barentsz Expedition Encounters its First Polar Bear

On July 9, 1594 on their first expedition to find a Northeast passage, Dutch navigator Willem Barentsz and his crew came across their first polar bear. Unfortunately for the crew, this bear encounter was the first of their many polar bear problems.

Further Reading: MAPPED

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MAPPED

Further Reading: LOGIC

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MAPPED

Further Reading: Sabotage

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon SABOTAGE

Invocations: In Praise of Folly

In seeking inspiration for Odd Salon FOLLY, we looked to the words of Desidirous Erasmus and the intimate link between folly to happiness and to wisdom, and to the very “play of life”.

Further Reading: FOLLY

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon FOLLY

Invocations: Seek & Ye Shall Transform

The author Robert Louis Stevenson mused on the idea of El Dorado as the ultimate unobtainable dream, a stand in for all of those personal quests in our lives where the perfect version always remains out of reach.

Further Reading: QUEST

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon QUEST

Further Reading: MUSE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MUSE

Invocations: Intercourse of Minds

Our memories are tricky things, adapting and evolving, sometimes unduly influenced by outside sources. Our own minds often can not be trusted to hold anything related to objective reality. But in a essay written in 2013 for the New York Review of books, neurologist Oliver Sacks, himself the author of many wonderful explorations of memory … Read more

Cthulhu

February 1928, Chicago “The Call of Cthulhu” by H. P. Lovecraft is First Published

In February 1928 Weird Tales magazine publishes “The Call of Cthulhu” and Lovecraft’s most celebrated story narrowly escaped the scrap heap.

Invocations: Carpe Diem

The words of the poet Horace remind us that although life is short and the future uncertain, to savor the moments we do have, and seize the day. For as long as we have been counting time with clocks and calendars, writers and artists and melancholy minds have protested the fleetingness of it, the unfairness … Read more

Further Reading: TIME

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon TIME

Feb 6, 1837: The Great Chess Automaton finally shown to be hoax

On this day in 1837 in Philadelphia, a mechanical marvel was revealed to conceal a hidden master.

February 4, 1912: Franz Reichelt’s homemade parachute suit fails spectacularly

On February 4, 1912, the “Flying Tailor” was killed after testing his parachute suit by leaping off the top of the Eiffel Tower.

January 28, 1928: The new volcanic island of Anak Krakatau emerges from the sea

On January 28, 1928: Forty-five years after the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa that destroyed nearly two-thirds of the volcanic island and killed over 36,000 people, a new volcano rose from the sea to take its place. Locals called it Anak Krakatau – “Child of Krakatoa.”

Jan 24, 1848: James Marshall finds gold in the American River kicking off the California Gold Rush

On January 24, 1848: “I have found it!” John Wilson Marshall, a carpenter, called out after finding flakes of gold at a small lumber mill he was helping to build on the banks of the American River in what was still considered a back water outpost in the mountains of Mexican Alta California. It was … Read more

January 897, Rome: the exhumed corpse of Pope Formosus is put on trial, found guilty

In January 897 Pope Stephen VII charged controversial Pope Formosus with crimes against the papacy and called for Formusus to stand trial. However, Formosus had been dead for 7 months before the formal accusation. In a horribly misguided bid to gain favor from Formosa’s enemies, Pope Stephen VII moved to disinter Pope Formosus and have … Read more

Giovani Aldini

Jan 18, 1803: Giovanni Aldini attempts to reanimate the dead

Giovanni Aldini galvanizes the corpse of an executed criminal. “…the experiments I did on the hanged criminal did not aim at reanimating the cadaver, but only to acquire a practical knowledge as to whether galvanism can be used as an auxiliary, and up to which it can override other means of reanimating a man under … Read more

Jan 15, 1919: Boston Great Molasses Flood kills 21, injures 150

It was an uncharacteristically balmy day on January 15th, 1919. Policeman Frank McManus was patrolling the city’s industrial North End when he glanced up Commercial St. After taking a split second to truly register what he was seeing, he frantically called it in. An immense wave of darkness up to 20 ft. tall was pouring … Read more

Jan 10, 1863: The London Underground opens with gas-lit, steam-powered trains between Paddington & Farrington

On this day in 1863, the London Underground opened with gas-lit, steam-powered trains between Paddington & Farrington; a novel solution and much anticipated remedy to the commuter congestion suffocating business in the city.

Topsy the elephant

Jan 4, 1903: Topsy the Elephant Publicly Executed

On January 4, 1903 Topsy the elephant was executed through a combination of strangulation, poison, and a liberal application of the new technology of electric current. A terrifying film made the event infamous, leading to confusion over whether this was part of the epic battle between Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla known as the “War … Read more

Jan 2, 1860: The Discovery of Planet Vulcan

On Jan 2, 1860: Urbain Le Verrier announced the discovery of Planet Vulcan, orbiting between the sun and the planet Mercury. This astonishing discovery finally solved the question of why Mercury orbited so strangely… the only problem was that it was totally wrong.

Notebooks of Marie Curie

Invocations: Science & Beauty

A spirit of adventure, intellectual curiosity, and a passion for science drove Marie Curie to explore, discover, and excel despite the myriad obstacles placed in her path.

Further Reading: Revenge

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon UNDEAD

Further Reading: GRIFT

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon GRIFT

Dancing with the Dead

Images of the dancing dead, of frolicsome skeletons and doomed companions can still be found gracing the walls of churches and burial yards throughout northern Europe. But there used to be many, many more.

The Giaour by Delacroix

Invocations: The Byronic Vampire

For inspiration for UNDEAD, we turned to an unseasonably cold and stormy night in the summer of 1816 and the words of the original English vampire… Lord Byron In April, 1815 on the remote Indonesian island of Sumbawa, Mount Tambora exploded in a spectular volcanic eruption, causing a tsunami, an estimated 10,000 – 50,000 deaths, … Read more

Further Reading: UNDEAD

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon UNDEAD

Stick Figure History – The Cadaver Synod

Posthumous trials, corpse desecration, damnatio memoriae. And popes.

Invocations: Beware the Jabberwock

Monstrosity – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder, and the words we chose to describe them are incredibly important. Our monsters are made the the words we use to describe them. In 1871 Lewis Carroll brought into life a monster with words never heard before. His words transcend and create a … Read more

Further Reading: MONSTROUS

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MONSTROUS

Stick Figure History - Soybean Oil Scandal

Stick Figure History ~ The Soybean Oil Scandal

Oil. Bribery. Scandal. Assassination. A weaselly little man who crippled the stock market in 1963.

John Cage 4'33

Invocations: The Art of Silence

The Invocation at ANOMALY was taken from an essay by John Cage, in which he explains some of the thinking behind his musical pieces, such as his infamous “4’33”.

Further Reading: Anomaly

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ANOMALY

Stick Figure History - Queen of the Mist

Stick Figure History ~ The Queen of the Mist

In 1901 Annie Edson Taylor, in a barrel, become the first recorded person to survive plunging over Niagara Falls.

Odd Salon - Stick Figure History: Great Molasses Flood

Stick Figure History ~ The Great Molasses Flood

In January 1919, the city of Boston was attacked by a speeding wave of sticky sweet death, forever known to history as the Great Molasses Flood.

Joseph Campbell

Invocations: Beyond Words

Inspiration from the words of the late mythology scholar, Joseph Campbell on the power and importance of myth and the inadequacy of mere words. Invocation from Odd Salon MYTH(OS) ~ Aug 4, 2015

Further Reading: MYTH(OS)

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MYTH(OS)

Antoine Saint-Exupery Sahara Crash - Odd Salon

Invocations: Saint-Exupéry’s Silver Lining

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1935 airplane crash into the Sahara Desert, and his reflections on his unlikely rescue. Invocation from Odd Salon ACCIDENT ~ July 21, 2015

Further Reading: Accident

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ACCIDENT

Further Reading: Infamy

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon INFAMY

Further Reading: Covert

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon COVERT

John Le Carre

Invocations: Morals of the Secret World

Reflections on fiction and the mythology of espionage from John Le Carre, former intelligence officer and master of the spy novel. Invocation from Odd Salon COVERT ~ June 23, 2015

Further Reading: Intrepid

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon INTREPID

"Eyes and No Eyes" Odd Salon

Invocations: Open Eyes

Odd Salon INTREPID ~ June 9, 2015 A children’s short story from the turn of the century reminds us to open our eyes and look around us as explorers.

EO Wilson biodiversity - Odd Salon

Invocations: Wonders of the World

Sociobiologist, author, and “father of biodiversity” Edward O. Wilson describes the abundance found in a small patch of forest at dawn. Invocation from Odd Salon MYRIAD ~ April 21, 2015.

Further Reading: Rare

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon RARE

Further Reading: Cursed

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon CURSED

mouse

Invocations: Fireworks & Joy

Thoughts on the exhilaration of genius from the beautiful and haunting Flowers for Algernon written in 1958 by Daniel Keyes. Invocation from Odd Salon GENIUS ~ March 17, 2015.

Further Reading: Method

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon METHOD

Invocations: Nabokov’s Butterflies

Poetry on the joys of lepidopterology, from author and life-long butterfly lover, Vladimir Nabokov. Invocation from Odd Salon METHOD.

Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs

Further Reading: Phenomenon

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon PHENOMENON

Rain of Fishes, 1555 - Odd Salon

Invocations: Damned Things

Inspiration from Charles Fort’s 1919 “The Book of the Damned” in which he laid out the assorted strange and unexplained phenomena he felt science was either ignoring or explaining away.

Crocker Mountains illusion

Further Reading: ILLUSION

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ILLUSION

Bedlam hospital, London

Further Reading: MADNESS

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon MADNESS

Odd Salon PRESERVED

Further Reading: PRESERVED

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon PRESERVED

Odd Salon SPICE

Further Reading: SPICE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon SPICE

Odd Salon CHAOS

Further Reading: CHAOS

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon CHAOS

Odd Salon Before San Francisco

Further Reading: BEFORE SAN FRANCISCO

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon BEFORE SAN FRANCISCO, at the California Historical Society.

Further Reading: EVOLVE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon EVOLVE

Main Street Grass Valley

Further Reading: GOLD, MURDER & SPIRITS

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon GOLD, MURDER & SPIRITS

Odd Salon SECRET - the green lion of alchemy

Further Reading: SECRET

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon SECRET

Odd Salon LOST Cliff House fire

Further Reading: LOST

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon LOST

Odd Salon Fake - Mermaids

Further Reading: FAKE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon FAKE

Learn Something Weird: Too Much Penis

Although no one really knows the exact reasons why Florentine master Paolo Uccello was brusquely ordered to revise his freshly completed fresco of the mercenary John Hawkwood, the strange split perspective implies that perhaps the horse was a bit too immodest for church.

Odd Salon Rogue - Wild Bunch

Further Reading: ROGUE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ROGUE

Odd Salon - Failure

Further Reading: FAILURE

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon FAILURE

Further Reading: ENLIGHTENMENT

Books, research material, and web resources from Odd Salon ENLIGHTENMENT