John Waters-inspired Russian Nesting Dolls

These John Waters Inspired Russian Nesting Dolls Are Everything
Each set is based on one of the director’s most popular films

by Cody Gohl (, 9/12/2016)

Etsy seller BoBo Babushka is well-known for creating fabulous Russian nesting dolls inspired by cult TV shows and movies, but her latest offering might just be the most divine one yet.

Pink Flamingos (Etsy, Bobo Babushka)

Pink Flamingos (Etsy, Bobo Babushka)

The newest collection features dolls from some of legendary director John Water’s most beloved films.

In addition to the Pink Flamingos set, Babushka is selling dolls based off of Female Trouble:

Female Trouble (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Female Trouble (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)


Polyester (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Polyester (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

As well as an entire set dedicated to the iconic Divine herself:

Divine nesting dolls (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Divine nesting dolls (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Check out Bobo Babushka’s full store, here.

Posted in Art, Baltimore Babylon, Baltimore Films, Divine, Dreamlanders, Edith Massey, John Waters, Kitsch, Mink Stole | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

1920s Hopkins Professor Sought 34 Gallons of Rye for Research During Prohibition

By James Stimpert (Johns Hopkins University Hub, 8/11/2016)

A rather unusual permit application resides in the Records of the Office of the President in the Johns Hopkins University Archives.


James B. Watson’s “Permit to Purchase Intoxicating Liquor, etc., for Other Than Beverage Purposes” (1920) (Johns Hopkins University Archives)

In April 1920, Professor John B. Watson, a psychologist credited as the father of behaviorism, applied for a permit to purchase 34 gallons of rye whiskey for “scientific research for educational purposes.” He wished to research the effects of alcohol on human functions, which might not seem surprising—except for the fact that Prohibition had become the law of the land just three months earlier.

It was illegal to “manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, or furnish any intoxicating liquor except as authorized,” though consuming alcohol was not prohibited. Watson had to apply to the Office of the Federal Prohibition Commissioner for permission to obtain alcohol for use in his lab.

Watson apparently obtained the desired whiskey from the Pikesville Distillery. Alongside the permit is May 1920 correspondence with Watson’s colleague, Professor Edward Thorndike, who had conducted similar experiments. Watson outlined his plan and solicited Thorndike’s views, to which Thorndike responded, “I think your experiment is a very beautiful one indeed.”

In a comment to Thorndike, Watson describes having subjects throw darts from a certain distance over several hours, while he studied their performance as they consumed alcohol. He observed that, “One or two of the individuals became practically drunk, but apparently the drunker they got the better they shot!”

Continue reading at the Johns Hopkins University Hub.

Posted in 1920s, Booze, Pikesville Rye, Vices | Leave a comment

Oyster Growing on a Set of False Teeth

(Weird Universe, 11/26/2012)


Oysters will grow on almost any surface, including false teeth, if that’s what happens to be available. The tooth-growing oyster shown above was found in the Chesapeake Bay in 1898, and sent to the Smithsonian where they were put on display and became quite a popular attraction. But soon a paternity battle erupted around them. The story was told in the Saint Paul Globe (Nov 30, 1902).

Continue reading at Weird Universe.

Posted in 1900s, Oysters | Leave a comment

“Alternatively Yours”: City Paper founder Russ Smith profiled in Johns Hopkins Magazine

RafaelAvarezCrabtownWhile reading Rafael Alvarez’s Crabtown, USA, I came across the chapter on his early days at City Squeeze, the self-published tabloid founded in 1977 by Johns Hopkins grads Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch, which became the City Paper in 1978. As Alvarez observed, the Smith-era City Paper “seemed like it existed solely to unnerve The Sun.” Smith and Hirsch sold the paper in 1987 to Scranton, PA-based Times-Shamrock Communications, but – irony of ironies – in 2014 the City Paper was purchased by none other than…the Baltimore Sun Media Group! (Smith went on to found the New York Press, which may have existed solely to unnerve the New York Times during Russ’ reign from 1988-2002.) I wrote for City Paper in the early ’80s and must confess that, though I disagreed with his politics, I liked Russ Smith. I mean, who else hires writers based on what drugs they did in college and whether they liked Dylan? (That was the gist of my interview, which was held at 2612 N. Charles Street – formerly the childhood home of my grandmother, Ruth Stone Warner! It later housed the offices of her brother William F. Stone’s architectural firm!) Anyway, as I was thinking back to those days, I came across this detailed profile of the enigmatic Smith. – Tom Warner

Alternatively Yours
by Dale Keiger (Johns Hopkins Magazine, February 2003)

The weekly New York Press is loud, vulgar, disrespectful, and unpredictable. That suits founder Russ Smith ’77 just fine.


Bruce Springsteen once penned a lyric about “a rich man singin’ in a poor man’s shirt.” Now consider Russ Smith ’77. He’s rich enough to afford a penthouse in Tribeca, keep two kids in private school, and complain about estate taxes. He makes the occasional guest appearance in the pinstripe-and-white-shirt pages of The Wall Street Journal, but for more than 14 years he has written for a journalistic poor man’s shirt, a free newspaper called New York Press.

The Press, which Smith founded in 1988, is a gadfly: loud, vulgar, self-indulgent, disrespectful, and bracing. It has been on the wrong side of journalism’s tracks for all of its existence. It raises too much hell, publishes too much crude language, and carries too many explicit sex ads to be mainstream. Yet it prints too much right-wing commentary — much of it written by Smith — to be a member of the alternative orthodoxy. If The Village Voice is Joan Baez — earnest, iconic, and getting long in the tooth — the Press is the Sex Pistols, loud, crude, and sneering at how predictable and respectable the alternative press, including the Voice, has become.

Every Tuesday morning, 116,000 copies of the Press appear in news boxes on the street corners of Manhattan. A typical issue has about 120 pages, two-thirds of them devoted to listings and advertisements for clubs, restaurants, galleries, theaters, real estate, and the goods and services provided by people who call themselves Mistress Monique and Electra, the “wicked wonder.” Editorial content might include a personal essay by a college senior one month from graduation, an article about New York lounge singers, an interview with Motown’s Funk Brothers, and comics by Lynda Barry and Tony Millionaire. Plus a weekly feature called “Mugger.”


Continue reading “Alternatively Yours” at Johns Hopkins Magazine.

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, Baltimorons, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment