Original image

Talking Pictures: Love and Marriage

Original image

Talking Pictures is a spankin'-new column in which, every week or so, I'll post an array of fascinating found snapshots that have writing on them, all arranged around a particular theme. I discovered them either in swap meets or flea markets or in the vast collections of snapshot-obsessed friends -- most of whom had never bothered to turn their photos over to check whether anything interesting was written on the backs.

For me, words are what make old photos come to life. A few scribbled lines can turn a blurry black-and-white snapshot of people who seem a million miles and a million years away into an intensely personal sliver of experience that anyone can relate to. It becomes something not just to look at, but to listen to.

This week it's all about love. (I figure it'll be a nice palate-cleanser before next week -- Halloween -- which will be all about death.) Fair warning: a couple of these are raunchy! But such is love.

Let's begin with flirting, which hasn't changed nearly as much, judging from the photo above, as the clothes people wear to picnics. Below, an example of the lost art of being suggestive without actually saying anything rude.

The long, trailing question-mark says it all, I think:

One finds a lot of mash notes when combing through old photos. This is one of my favorites:

Little Billy is ready for takeoff -- and love.

To my weakness
from Bob
Love Always

Just remember Angel. I have a tag on you and you're not for sale.
All my love,

To be viewed from a distance. I might eat you up.

Below -- you can imagine how my jaw dropped when I found this one. Hotza! Also, I think she crossed out "lust" and wrote "love" instead. Playing hard to get?

I found this in a huge bin of disorganized snapshots in an antique shop. I was really hoping the nice old lady who ran the shop wouldn't read the back as I paid for it. Luckily, she'd misplaced her bifocals. (I went ahead and blotted out her face ... for obvious reasons, I think.) See what I mean about the lost art of romantic subtlety?

The inevitable outcome:

Were you happy then, baby? I was.

Of course, love -- or the lack of it -- can make you miserable, too.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love can also be super creepy:

For some lucky couples, though, it all seems fated from an early stage ...

... even if your friends don't agree.

She doesn't look so sure:


You can find two previous installments of Talking Pictures here: Hide This Please and Life During Wartime.

Follow me on Twitter

Original image
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
Original image
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]


More from mental floss studios