A Family Barbeque

Sunday, May 28, 2017

This needs no introduction.

Grandma's Mango Pickles

Saturday, May 27, 2017

I love the sound track to this video -- the birds squawking, the random and quiet musical ditty, and the guys mumbling from time to time. Very strange.

The video is titled as a recipe, but none is provided. If you're interested in one, Swasthi's Recipes has a good one that is easy to follow.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Treasure-Store World - Patti Masterman

A word forgets how to write itself
A smile forgets who it first appeared for,
Everything and nothing owns this treasure-store world.

Tears sprout where laughter used to play
Everywhere are the ghosts of dry fountains
Which once poured out existence like a pitcher.

Who has asked for nothing yet received all?
Who hasn’t tried to go home to the singularity again
Only to recall that there is no center?

God and creation have no point of origin
This is why everything JUST IS.

An embrace down here is how we remind one another
We are the heirs of omnipotent cause;
Planets jostle at our lightest touch,
And at the knifelike sound of a scream
One galaxy cannibalizes another.

Everything we know is a single exhalation
In an endless stream of breaths:

Remember you are only breathing so that you can create,
And all created things contain the conscious whole of creation
Safely stored within them.

Buskers With Long Hair

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Light in Babylon playing in Turkey

Yuki and Taku in Singapore

Shane Vanderwall in Nuremberg

Visions of Dreams

Monday, May 22, 2017
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From time to time artists attempt to portray dreams. Their attempts are none too successful, I suspect because dreams are both dynamic and very personal and do not translate to paint well. Regardless, here are some examples of painted dreams (from The Public Domain Review).

The Dafa Canal

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In the post Machines to Raise Water we saw examples of various machines the ancients used to raise water to a higher level. The residents of the village of Cao Wang Ba, in the Guizhou Province of China faced a different problem -- how to move water. In their case, how to move water across 3 mountains.

In 1959, with their wells dry and water for their village scarce, 23 yr old Huang Dafa convinced his fellow villagers that they had to dig an irrigation ditch that would be several kilometers long and cross 3 mountains and cliff faces. Further, they had to do it all with hand tools.

Their first attempts failed, but they persisted. Huang studied irrigation methods to better understand how to successfully dig the canal. Finally, in 1995, the 7,200-meter-long water canal and a 2,200-meter-long branch channel were completed and a plentiful water supply flowed to Cao Wang Ba once again.

HT: Oddity Central.

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Stairway To Heaven As Covered By The Fab Four

Friday, May 19, 2017

It has been a while since I've done a 'Lead into the Weekend' music post, here one is ... from the 1990s, the Beatnix, an Australian Beatles tribute band, covering Stairway to Heaven ala the Fab Four.

Chinese Junks

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Junk is a fairly generic term for Chinese sailing vessels. It encompasses a wide variety of vessels, from pleasure boats to warships, but westerners most often think of the deep water merchant Junks.

Above, flying the British flag, is the Junk the Keying. She was bought in Hong Kong by English business men and sailed around the Cape to New York in 1847, where she became the first Chinese ship to visit U.S. waters.

The images are European, Chinese and Japanese. As always, there are a few more images after the jump.

The World's Greatest Car Mechanic

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pro tip: if your engine catches on fire when you're working on it remember to blow on it like you do with candles on a birthday cake.

Engravings From Sir John Franklin's Expeditions

Sunday, May 14, 2017
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 Prior to photography a regular position on a scientific expedition was an artist. As well as recording flora and fauna, they would draw landscapes of the areas they traveled through.

These engravings are from the expeditions of Sir John Franklin. Franklin was a British naval officer who, in the early to mid 19th Century, explored parts of northern Canada and the arctic. In 1845 he was lost on his last exploration -- an attempt to find the Northwest Passage.

These images are from the Luna Archive of his various travels. There are more after the jump, and of course many more at the Luna Archive, including etchings of flora, fauna and the indigenous Eskimaux (I love that archaic spelling).

Oh No! It Looks Like Gender Appropriation To Me

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Will Survive as covered by Cake.

Which Green Light Do I Obey?

Thursday, May 11, 2017
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"James Comey is an enemy. No he's an ally. Firing him is great. No, you fools. Firing him is terrible. Only filthy Trump supporters think so!"
The firing of FBI Director James Comey has been yet another milepost in his transformation to-and-fro between hero, villain and victim in the public's eye (with his particular role at any moment defined by the viewer's politics). In the latest, Democrats --who a week earlier had railed on Comey for stealing the election from Hillary -- are now outraged over his firing.

Frontpage has an entertaining article, Comey, Colbert and Orwell, that compares the confusion of Stephen Colbert's audiance to the news of the firing to a scene in Orwell's 1984. Truth be told, over the last several months, the right end of the political spectrum has suffered the same whiplash in their opinions of Comey . He has been an odd news story.   

Regardless, Comey will be an interesting footnote in history. Tasked with the election-year investigation of Hillary Clinton I think he was stuck with the unenviable task of trying to square a political circle. In the process he managed to support, bewilder and enrage - with the emphasis mainly on enrage - both sides of the political spectrum.

By the way, the Traffic Light Tree statue in England I've used to illustrate this story is supposed to represent the fusion of technology and nature, not mixed signals, but I guess I've reinterpreted it. It seems that nothing is safe from the Comey news maelstrom.

Machines to Raise Water

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Models of ancient machines to raise water from the days before powered pumps. I wonder if they all got off the drawing board? Certainly, those that got built must have been nightmares to maintain.

From Visual Education Project which has a number of other ancient machines as well as entertaining perpetual motion machine attempts.

Dried Up Brains (not a post about zombies)

Sunday, May 07, 2017
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"Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.

"What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.

"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."

"Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
Don Quixote saw giants, dragons, chivalrous knights and damsels in distress. Meanwhile, in the here and now, some folks see Russians hiding in every bush, fancy themselves as modern French resistance fighters and think the Handmaidens Tale is a documentary. It all reminds me of another Cervantes quote:
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
Anyway, there are more Don Quixote illustrations after the jump.

The Start of the Perpetual Weekend

Friday, May 05, 2017
My luxury yacht
Well, I've finally retired. Here's hoping the GOP eliminates the death panels from Obamacare or I'm a goner. In the mean time, you young pups better get a 2nd job so's you can better support my lavish retirement lifestyle.

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A nice cover of the old Eric Burton and the Animals song by Space.

Happy May Day Comrades

Monday, May 01, 2017
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Here's wishing you a joyous and harmonious May Day whether you plan on getting your picture took in front of a giant image of the Dear Leader, watching your local May Day parade with goose stepping soldiers and mobile rocket launchers, or just taking the day off from your chores in the rice paddy so's you can study your Little Red Book.

By the way... I'm in need of a bit of income equality, so any capitalist running dogs out there better cut me a check and mail it to me pronto.  


Anamorphic Sculpture

Thursday, April 27, 2017
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An anamorphic image is an image that appears distorted until viewed a particular way. Below is Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors with a Memento Mori, a well know example from classical painting (the odd looking blob at the bottom is a skull when viewed from an oblique angle).

The London based artist Jonty Hurwitz has created anamorphic sculptures (above) which reveal their images in reflective cylinders. You can see more of his work at his gallery of recent work.

Via: Colossal Art & Design, which includes a video of his work showing how it appears as you move around the sculpture.

Holbeins painting with the anamorphic image
The skull seen from the correct angle

Fixing a Flat

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The above video shows how to apply a patch to a large $30,000 tire from an earth moving machine.

Glass Viruses

Saturday, April 22, 2017
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 Luke Jerram is something called an 'installation artist'. His installations have featured such things as Hot Air balloons floating around playing music, pianos scattered around cities folks could play on, little gold figurines scattered about that people could find and keep, and so forth.

This post is about his Glass Microbiology series of sculptures. Working with scientists and glassblowers, he has created glass sculptures of various diseases. There are more examples of them after the jump and at at the link.

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A great version of the spiritual by the Dixie Hummingbirds. 

LEGO Egg Decorating Machine and More!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

If you haven't decorated your Easter eggs yet you can always build one of these handy devices to assist you with the job. From JK Brickworks, which has information about the egg decorator, as well as the Hatching LEGO Eggs (below), and many more LEGO projects.

Sugary Cereals With Prizes Inside

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Brigid at Borepatch's put up the post When Your Cereal Selection is Based on the Prize in the Box - Growing up in the 60's. She looks back at the sugary cereals of her youth and the little toy prizes that came in them. It is a nice trip down memory lane.
My brother and I were raised on the sugar-sweetened joy of the 60's.   My favorite Western RanchHands were Twinkie the Kid and the Hostess Cupcake. We drank Koolaid (Soda Pop was an expense that was only the rarest of treats in my house), or better yet, cold water from the garden hose. We watched TV when we could, but mostly we ran, we jumped, we covered miles of ground on our bikes. TV was a treat, not a weekend-long marathon and the backyard was our empire, one of constant motion. None of us had an ounce of spare flesh on us, we were lean and healthy from all the outdoor playtime.

And our cereal came with prizes in the box. 
Follow the link above and read the whole thing. By the way, speaking of prizes inside, here is a link to an old post of mine about Cracker Jack.

Vintage Farm Magazine Covers

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
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 After following the adventures of Farmer Bill and his New Tractor, I decided to look up some old farmer's magazine covers to see what he read. So I went to MagazineArt to see what they were like.

From the titles of the articles, while a few were concentrated mainly on the business of farming, others were more focused on the rural/outdoors lifestyle. Those types had a heavy dose of old style Americana about them. Some also had romance stories, so some must have been aimed primarily at the farm wives. 

There are more samples after the jump, and of course many more at MagazineArt.

The Sounds of Venus

Saturday, April 08, 2017

While the U.S. concentrated on landing probes on Mars, the Soviet Union sent a number of probes to Venus. One of them, Venera 14, had a microphone aboard. Above is a video with a soundtrack from Venera 14.

Not surprisingly the sound isn't all that interesting -- sadly, no outer-space monsters roaring in the background. However, the accompanying images from the surface of Venus are well worth a look.

Horseless Farming With Ford Tractors - 1917 Film

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Little Billy Todd leaves the farm and discovers Ford tractors and true love. The Ford tractor plant seems to be from before assembly lines. And the tractor sure spews a lot of smoke.

Old Slot Machines

Saturday, April 01, 2017
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I am not a gambler, so I have no nostalgia for slot machines. Still, I've seen them here and there in my travels and they're always fascinating in their own way. Gaudy and loud as they try to suck coins and/or tokens out of your pockets.


Billy Jean

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Billy Jean covered by Honeywagon

Revolver & Camera

Monday, March 27, 2017
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 While modern gun cameras are not unusual, this 1943 version mounted on a Colt 38 is an oddity. This photograph, with an inset of six photos taken by the gun camera, was taken in New York, but nothing else is known about the gun. The picture was posted to Flikr by the National Archives of the Netherlands who hope they can get information about it.

The Wintergatan - A Marble Driven Musical Instrument

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Following my post about Pipe Organs, we have another complex musical instrument: the marble driven Wintergatan. While not as imposing as pipe organs, it is still quite impressive (albeit in a silly sort of a way). Above is a video of it in action, and the below two videos show how it works.

Pipe Organs

Sunday, March 19, 2017
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Pipe organs are ancient instruments. The Greeks originally used water to force wind through pipes, but by the 6th Century AD bellows were being used to produce the wind flow for them.

In Christian churches, both visually and through their sound, they became part of the majesty and mystery of religion itself. Their installations were elaborate and quite beautiful.

Here, and after the fold, are some of those installations. Also, since we should hear as well as see the pipe organs, at the end is Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Enjoy.

Chuck Berry - No Money Down

Saturday, March 18, 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

Chicken Attack

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Well, this one defies description. All I can say is... watch it to the end and you'll be treated to Japanese chicken yodeling.

The Patented Pigeon Camera

Sunday, March 12, 2017
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In the 19th Century, and early 20th Century, homing carrier pigeons were common. They were primarily used to deliver messages, however they they had other uses. In 1903 Dr Julius Neubronner, an apothecary in Germany, used them to deliver medicines to a sanatorium in a nearby city.

He eventually began to experiment with mounting small cameras on the pigeons with shutters on timers that could take pictures while the birds were in flight. He submitted a patent for his first Pigeon Camera in 1907. At first it was rejected. The patent office thought it impossible for the pigeons to carry the weight of the camera, but it was finally approved when he provided pictures they had taken.

His technique became popular when he exhibited his pigeon cameras at the 1909 International Photographic and the International Aviation exhibitions. He would send his pigeons aloft, develop the pictures when they returned and sell them as postcards.

Photography from aircraft soon eclipsed the popularity of Dr Neubronner's pigeon cameras. I wonder what he would think of today's drone mounted cameras?

Sources:  Pigeon photography, Now that's a bird’s eye view.

Finally -- a Realistic Battle Scene in a Movie

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Man, do these extras chew the scenery in their death scenes, or what?

Spanish-American War Graphics

Saturday, March 04, 2017
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 The Spanish-American War has largely faded from America's historical memory, but it was very consequential in the move of the U.S. from a purely continental power to a naval and a 19th century imperial power. The notions of imperial America vs America taking its place at the table of World Powers were batted about at the time. Those conversations still echo in our national dialog.

I started by looking for propaganda posters about the Spanish-American War, but there were very few of them. However, there was a wealth of graphics of battles and editorializing about its aftermath.Enjoy, and as always there are more after the jump.