The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday March 11th, 2015
Episode 234
Previous episode: 2015-03-09
Next episode: 2015-03-13


Today we remember a futuristic show at the Gallery d’Authentique. It is also the day the parchment nautilus was first described. It is the Feast Day of St. Montague, and in the garden, there are frogs.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is March 11th, 2015.

It was on this day in 1934 that the Gallery d’Authentique showed “Visions of the Future,” a show featuring a dozen different artists and craftsman, showing their impressions of the world a hundred years hence. Architectural drawings and advertising mock-ups featured prominently, along with a half-dozen mannequins clothed in the presumed adornments of tomorrow.

While most of the displays were as ridiculous as one might expect, the futurist Martha Darren produced several sleek, sensible designs. “This does not look like the future,” said one critic, annoyed. “At least, not a future that anyone would wish to live in. It lacks pageantry.” Darren’s designs were picked up, years after her death, by a major computer manufacturer. This is known as “having the last laugh.”

And it was on this day in 1658 that naturalists first described the parchment nautilus. (The native peoples on the islands where the nautilus was found presumably already knew about it.) Males and females display extreme apparent dimorphism, although this is an illusion. The females secrete a thin egg case, which they carry with them everywhere. After the eggs are hatched, they continue to use it to trap air to aid with buoyancy. Because they carry the egg case in a particular fashion, they appear to have a shell. The males are nearly identical, but do not carry such an egg case. The confusion led to them being classified as different species for many years, until they could be studied in captivity.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Montague, patron of railways. As this saint was actually struck by a locomotive, this patronage is in questionable taste. It would perhaps be inaccurate to say that Montague was martyred, as the train presumably had no hostile intent. Montague was a minor abbot of a minor monastery, and it has been suggested that his canonization was a matter of political expediency rather than actual divinity.

In the garden, the garden itself is full of cricket frogs. George has sampled one and found it unpleasant. Presumably the cricket frog did not enjoy the experience either. Buds are beginning to form on the spicebush and the mock-orange, and that peculiar smell of algae-encrusted mud permeates the air. It is not entirely unpleasant, although you would not wish to wear it as a perfume. It would be a good time to plant peas, if you are of such a mind.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wormhole Tea Company, purveyors of fine and scientifically improbable teas. Red Wormhole --- “Where Is The Other End Of The Tea?”

Also brought to you by the Echo Harbor Book of the Soil. Order seeds now. It is imperative. You have been warned.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for March 11th, 2015. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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