Patricia Volk tells Terry Gross about how Elsa Schiaparelli changed women’s underwear:
Women’s underwear before World War II was kind of elaborate. It was usually made of silk and it had pleats and it had to be ironed. This was in France. There was no such thing as ‘drip dry’ and when the war started, most of the men went to the front and the women had to take jobs. There was gas rationing and so everybody had bicycles and you had to be licensed to ride a bike in Paris and in one year bike licenses tripled: it went up to 11 million. The way women dressed with these long skirts and this very elaborate underwear didn’t lend itself to riding a bike so Schiap changed panties completely. First of all, there was famine, so she got rid of the buttons and put elastic in the waist so that as you were losing weight, your panties would stay on. Then, she made them out of drip-dry material, so you didn’t need a maid to iron them … and she added a double-slung crotch and suddenly women could ride their bikes with a lot more freedom.
Image via Vintage Everyday
Web App of the Day: Churnalism
Need a screening tool for signs of Churnalism? Head over to the Sunlight Foundation’s newly launched plagiarism checker app that can run any piece of text against its extensive database of U.S. press releases, RSS feeds and Wikipedia entries for possible overlaps.
Ireland’s Central Bank Issues Commemorative Coin to Celebrate James Joyce’s Ulysses, Misquotes the Text
The bank inserted an extra word (“that”) into a sentence taken from Ulysses. Not the biggest error, but still.
“While the error is regretted,” the bank said in a statement, “it should be noted that the coin is an artistic representation of the author and text and not intended as a literal representation.”
Meantime, some Joyce scholars think its fun. Via the Guardian:
Mark Traynor, manager of the James Joyce Centre, which is dedicated to promoting the author’s life and work, called the slip-up “unfortunate”, but said there was “certainly a humorous side to it too (no ‘flip side of the coin’ pun intended)”.
“For one thing, Joyce was an author who embraced errors. As Stephen remarks in Ulysses, ‘A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery’,” said Traynor. “So if there is any value in the little mistake by the minters it is that it has bred a new, unexpected narrative. What should have been a fairly mundane launch of a commemorative coin has suddenly reached a much wider audience than expected.”
It also just goes to show, Traynor added, “that – even after the cessation of copyright on Joyce’s major works – you still can’t reproduce a couple of sentences without causing a bit of scandal”.
Image: Front and back of the Ulysses commemorative coin.
Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” section is full of ads posted by people who, in most cases, didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to ask someone out. I think of it happening on a subway, or in a bar, or in line at a Subway. It turns out the most common place it happens in the United States is Walmart. Which makes more sense, actually.
Dorothy Gambrell made this map for Psychology Today, based on where the 100 most recent Missed Connections in each state happened. Apart from the flood of Walmarts, the most striking thing is Indiana’s top spot: “at home.”
Read more. [Image: Dorothy Gambrell/Psychology Today]
What’s goin’ on, Indiana.