Sunday, April 11, 2021

The nocturnal paintings of John Atkinson Grimshaw

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John Atkinson Grimshaw was a Victorian painter who is best known for his atmospheric landscape paintings lit only by moonlight and gas lamps. He was a self-taught artist. Also a photographer he used a camera obscura to project his scenes and get the perspective correct. During his life he was criticized for that, although one of his many admirers was the American Artist James Whistler, who admired Grimshaw's use of color and shadow. 

At the above Grimshaw link there are more examples of his work, including some daylight painting as well as a few rather goofy fairy paintings that were so beloved by the English Victorians. 

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Walking in Buenos Aires

The video starts out in the Librería Grand Splendid, an amazing looking bookstore in an old theater. After a brief tour of it, the walker moves to the streets of a business district in downtown Buenos Aires. Some nice old buildings mixed in.


Monday, April 05, 2021

The awakening

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The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marveling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers.... In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.

― Hilaire Belloc


Saturday, April 03, 2021

Happy Easter


Above is an old-timey Victorian Easter card. I'm not sure what the connection between Easter and gentlemen rabbits dueling while mounted on chickens is, but I'm sure there is a good reason for it all. Or maybe not. Regardless, have a good Easter.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

An encounter in the Kuiper belt

Arrokoth is a small object, measuring 22 miles long by 12 miles wide and 6 miles thick, which orbits in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was discovered while the New Horizons space craft was already in flight. New Horizons was redirected to pass within ~2200 miles of Arrokoth to photograph and measure it. 

Arrokoth appears to be two small globular objects that collided at a slow speed and eventually fused together. It is the most distant celestial object yet visited by humans.