Category Archives: Retrotechnology

Coin-operated morticians are not easy to find

Just in case you’ve always wanted a vintage coin-operated morgue diorama with clockwork morticians and mourners, you are totally in luck! Thanks, Morbid Anatomy!

Posted in Medical Illustration and History, Retrotechnology, Yikes! | Comments Off

Of satellites, maps, and worldbuilding

It’s kind of mind-boggling how much technology has changed our relationship with maps over the past decade. I remember when my mental approximation of geography was based either on (depending on the appropriate scale) globes with pastel continents on them, … Continue reading

Posted in Artists & Art, Data Visualization, Littademia, Maps, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

For quantifiably chic kitchens

A new trend? Measurement/conversion towels seem to be everywhere. . . Towel by Bailey Doesn’t Bark, at Anthropologie ($32)

Posted in Conspicuous consumption, Design, Education, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

Russian water computers + garden design = underused steampunk plot

If you’ve been secretly hankering to read an Umberto Eco novel about the Illuminati building a giant proto-computer underneath Versailles, do I have the blog post for you!

Posted in Blogs and Blogging, Ephemera, Frivolity, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

taking choices back from technology: David Imus’ old-fashioned new map

Slate recently had a story by Seth Stevenson on Oregon mapmaker David Imus, who spent thousands of hours painstakingly crafting a two-dimensional wall map of the US. While yet another schoolroom wall map might sound like a complete nonstory, Imus’ … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Education, Maps, Retrotechnology, Web 2.0, New Media, and Gadgets | Comments Off


“People are practically printing books with their smartphones,” Mr. Fletcher said, in a tone suggesting that he did not think this was such a good idea. Delightful. From the New York Times review of the Grolier Club exhibition “Printing for … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Ephemera, Littademia, Museum Lust, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

The “collapse of science fiction”?

“One way you can describe the collapse of the idea of the future is the collapse of science fiction. Now it’s either about technology that doesn’t work or about technology that’s used in bad ways. The anthology of the top … Continue reading

Posted in Ephemera, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

This tea robot is too cute to exist

OMG, sTEAmpunk! I don’t even know what to say about this tea infusing robot other than IT IS SO ADORABLE. I want to buy them for everyone, regardless of whether they like robots or drink tea. (If you get one … Continue reading

Posted in Conspicuous consumption, Frivolity, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

“A masterful congress of word and image, science and art”: I think Darwin would approve

Artist, naturalist and calligrapher Kelly Houle is seeking support through Kickstarter for her “Illuminated Origin of Species” project: Houle promises “a masterful congress of word and image, science and art, in celebration of the grandeur in this view of life.”  … Continue reading

Posted in Artists & Art, Books, Ephemera, History of Science, Littademia, Medical Illustration and History, Random Acts of Altruism, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

God is more than a flying brain

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam From Paluzzi et al., Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2007 For a few years, Nature Reviews Neuroscience stuck to a humorous theme in its cover art: everyday objects that mimic brains. A dandelion, spilled … Continue reading

Posted in Artists & Art, Biology, Medical Illustration and History, Museum Lust, Retrotechnology, Science | Comments Off