Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

A Zippy query

December 31, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy has a flat 2-d version of the Pinhead on a bench in earnest conversation with a similarly flat female figure (not at all Pinhead-like):


The question is: what is that female figure, with its diamond cut-out just below the neck?

I got no connection, and was unable to get Google Images to see the figure as anything but a tree (despite my attempts to brush out the greenery). Symbols for women’s toilets have round heads rather than trapezoidal ones, and have no cutouts. Google searches for female figures with diamond cutouts pulled up some dresses with such cutouts:

(#2) Nicholas black diamond cut out gown

and some Wonder Woman images:

(#3) Wonder Woman cartoon, with abdominal cutout

but nothing like the figure in #1.

On the chance that the figure was actually a public artwork or a type of bench or chair with the female figure on it, I tried several more searches, but was led instead to some really interesting public/street art and ultimately to the Museum Kampa in Prague in my last post, where I found some unexpected penguins (but no women with diamond-shaped cutouts).

So I throw myself on my readership of this blog (and Facebook and Google+). Anyone recognize the figure?

News for penises: artwatch

December 29, 2017

Penises are a not uncommon feature of artworks — especially folk art and (of course) male art, but also “fine” art; especially as a natural concomitant of nudity, but sometimes as the focus of the artwork; and especially in works meant for private viewing, but also in public art. Occasionally, it all comes together, in pieces of public art that are about penises: giant phallic sculptures, wall paintings and the like. Phallic sculptures appear occasionally in this blog (or AZBlogX, if I’m not sure that the Fine Art Exemption applies to the case in hand), and there’s been at least one wall painting: an enormous depiction of a pendulous penis, in Brussels, in my 9/23/16 posting “News for penises and their simulacra”. And now this erect phallus, on Broome Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan:


Operator symbols

December 27, 2017

From Kim Darnell on Facebook:

Surely I am not the first comic geek to study linear algebra who looked at the symbol for direct sums [see here] and thought, “That’s just the symbol for the X-Men rotated 45 degrees.”

This, of course, makes me wonder what superpowers the mutant known as Direct Sum would have.

There are, in fact, Unicode symbols for “circled plus” (used for the Direct Sum operator) and also “circled times” (though I’m not clear on what operator the latter is used for):

⊕ ⊗ vs. + ×


The power of the pen

December 25, 2017

Zippy continues his visit to North Carolina — yesterday Salisbury, today Charlotte — with Xmas pleasure and puzzlement about the antique technologies of pen and paper:


The public art work is The Writer’s Desk (2005, by Larry Kirkland) at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library:  a bronze quill pen in an inkwell at the top of a stack of books, surrounded by typewriter keys, pencils, and hand stamps.


Xmas follies 2017: the shirtless men of the season

December 17, 2017

Another crowded seasonal category — I’ve already been through music, decorations, clothing, and food — in which there seems to be no end of entertaining folly.  In this case, no end of shirtless men in Santa or elf costumes (down to a cap and nothing else).

On color coding: a red Santa cap can be worn by Santas or elves, while green or green+red indicates an elf.


Xmas follies 2017: the food

December 17, 2017

On a recent grocery shopping trip, Kim Darnell encountered this remarkable holiday offering:


A wedge of brie representing a tree, with gummi bears as ornaments, plus dill sprigs as greens, quince spread and fig spread to go with the brie, and a sticker assuring us that the whole thing is handcrafted (no mechanical production lines for this company!).

Brie and gummi bears: how could such a travesty come about?


Moby Chick, Moby Duck, Moby Dip

December 17, 2017

… and more, starting with Moby Chick in today’s Bizarro:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip — see this Page.)

Watch out for the big white one — you could lose your leg!


Xmas follies 2017: the decorations

December 15, 2017

From Kim Darnell, a link to the Bored Panda site, with a posting “When My Grandmother Does The Christmas Decorations” by Viktorija G. and this excellent image:

Napkin folding for Xmas pleasure


The news for penises, St. Lucy’s Eve edition

December 12, 2017

Tomorrow’s the day to set your hair on fire, especially if you’re a young Scandinavian girl. But while you’re waiting for Advent to culminate in Christmas, you can savor the lights of the season:



The Hollywood sign in a time of troubles

December 8, 2017

Among recent editorial cartoons on sexual harassment cases are three that use the Hollywood sign as a symbol of things gone wrong in la-la land.