Dereliction of Duty

Saturday, July 14, 2018
The Bad Shepherd by Jan Brueghel the Younger
There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. -- Kurt Huber

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Friday, July 13, 2018

Get ready for a self-centered and cranky weekend with Frida Snell.

I want to see this movie

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Above is a review of Night Wars. It appears to be a cinematic tour de force of the first order. Particularly impressive are the scenes where, while sleeping with loaded guns, the protagonists return to Vietnam in their dreams to participate in fire fights.

If you just want to see the sleep fights, and they are a sight to behold, you can go to time stamps 6:00 and 9:12.

Walking in Yangon

Monday, July 09, 2018

Time for yet another random walking around video. This one is through the streets of Yangon, Myanmar.

While there is no such thing as a connoisseur of walking videos, I've watched enough of them to begin to spot differences in them. In this one I particularly like his camera work. While usually the camera in these things just point ahead, he tends to focus on points of interest, sometimes even turning as he passes them. A nice touch.  

You Can Never Go Home Again

Friday, July 06, 2018

Get ready for a oddball fusion weekend with Gangstagrass.

Happy 4th of july

Wednesday, July 04, 2018
Uncle Sam - It's all right! There's no fighting! The noise you hear is just my family celebrating!

The illustration is from 1902. It is hard to read, but the kids in the picture are labeled: Philippines, Hawaii, North, Porto Rico, South, Mass., Texas, New York and Alaska, with the black boy bearing no label. The concerned looking lady in the white robes is Peace.

Enjoy the 4th all.  

Drawings of jellyfish

Sunday, July 01, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
Ernst Haeckel was a 19th century German biologist. After the untimely death of his young wife he became fascinated by jellyfish (medusae). Their ethereal and fragile beauty touched a chord in his sorrow. 

These samples of his illustrations are from Public Domain Review. There are more after the jump.


Everybody Anyone

Friday, June 29, 2018

Get ready for a melancholy weekend with Itsuroh Shimoda.

Making rubber bands

Thursday, June 28, 2018

If you're going to be blazing away with rubber band guns, then you're going to need rubber bands. Looks like a nasty place to work.

Another way for a kid to shoot his eye out

Sunday, June 24, 2018

When I was a kid we made rubber band guns using clothes pins. I imagine I would have craved one of these had they been around.

Of course, since the word gun is in the name rubber band gun, you can imagine how some folks might view their sale. In fact, in 2010 some nitwit in New Zealand bought one in a New Zealand shopping mall and then waved it around and joked about robbing a McDonalds with it. He ended up arrested, and perhaps the trial judge at his sentencing got a bit a carried away as well. From the Queensland Times:   
A judge has called for rubber band guns to be banned after a man wielded one of the weapons at customers at an Ipswich shopping centre ...

“I find it inconceivable that items of this nature are on sale in Queensland,” Judge Koppenol said.

“Quite apart from the damage that a fired rubber band could do to the eye of a victim this weapon would give the distinct appearance, in my opinion, from a distance of being an actual gun.

“I cannot see any benefit and a significant detriment from the continuation of the sale of items of this nature.”

When The Hurt Is Over

Friday, June 22, 2018

Get ready for a weekend of self-flagellation with Mighty Sam McClain.

Leaders on toilet paper

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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I've been remiss in my coverage of the latest affairs of Turkmenistan. For example, I completely skipped over Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow's (the former dentist and current president for life of Turkmenistan)  decree banning black cars and instructing his citizens to repaint their cars white or silver. Oh, and then there's the giant statue of him riding a horse which replaced the twirling statue of the previous leader, the beloved Turkmenbashi. You can see the giant horse monument below.

With that introduction to the post, you may wonder why I started it with a picture of Presidents Trump and Obama on toilet paper.

Well, it all started in the city of Dashoguz when several children were detained and tried for the crime of defacing pictures of Berdimuhamedow. Their hooliganistic acts included drawing goatees and mustaches on his pictures, as well as trampling them underfoot. Matters got even worse when it was discovered that local residents had taken to using newspaper with his picture on it as toilet paper. Oh, the horror!

From the article Turkmenistan Police Inspect Toilets for Use of President’s Newspaper Photos as Toilet Paper:
While inspecting another Dashoguz school for similar defiling of the president’s photos, police found bits of newspaper – some of which had Berdymukhammedov’s face on them – used as toilet paper in the school toilet. The director was fired, and an ample investigation into this practice began. It has reportedly led to the dismissal of several civil servants.

Apart from police officers inspecting both public and household toilets for incriminating evidence of defiling president Berdymukhammedov’s portrait, staff at landfills all over western Turkmenistan were instructed to be on the lookout for soiled pictures of the country’s supreme leader.

“There is a special janitor at each landfill site whose job is to inspect garbage, to look for soiled newspaper photos, to establish the house or flat of the newspaper subscriber and to report it to the police,” reports.
Sooo... we may not have giant golden statues and streets full of white cars, but at least we can wipe our butts with novelty toilet paper without fear of getting arrested. That is, so far we can, but these days ya' never know (OK -- link to an old story, but whatever).

 Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

Ads for alcohol

Saturday, June 16, 2018
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Here is a small collection of old beer, wine and liquor ads. I love the delighted expression on the guy's face in the ad above. The pure malt tonic below was an advertising strategy of the early 20th century. Sometimes, as well as advising the tonics to mothers, it was also suggested to let the little ankle-biters have a nip as well. You can read about that at Just What the Doctor Ordered.

There are a few more ads after the jump. Enjoy.

Trouble Every Day

Friday, June 15, 2018

Get ready for a riotous weekend with Son of Orange County.

Navigating a sprint boat

Thursday, June 14, 2018

More sprint boat racing. This video shows shots from several angles on a sprint boat. Included are good views of the navigator giving hand signals to the driver to steer him through the course.
You might notice the boat is from New Zealand. That's where the sport originated. It first spread to Australia and then to the States.

Sprint boat racing and bikinis

Monday, June 11, 2018

We may no longer  have the bikini portion of the Miss America pageant, but at least we still have sprint boat racing!

Er... not that the two topics are remotely related, but I needed an excuse to link to bikini pictures, so there is that. At any rate, enjoy the racing and the bikinis.

Kate McCannon

Friday, June 08, 2018

Get ready for a bedswerver weekend with Colter Wall.

Comey the fall-guy?

Thursday, June 07, 2018

I haven't posted much politics lately. Other sites certainly do a better job of dissecting the apparent sleazy antics of the CIA, FBI, DOJ and the Obama administration. What triggered this post was the leaked news that the IG draft report found that James Comey was insubordinate in his handling of Clinton's email server. From Business Insider:
The Department of Justice's inspector general has concluded that James Comey defied authority at times during his time leading of the FBI, ABC News reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with a draft report on the matter.

The report, when finished and officially released, will cap Inspector General Michael Horowitz's inquiry into the FBI's handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The report is said to focus on senior FBI leadership at the time, like Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, rather than on Clinton.

One source told ABC News the draft report about Comey described his conduct as "insubordinate." Another source reportedly agreed with that characterization but could not confirm that the exact term had been used.
Needless to say the leak is spin. It neatly places the blame on Comey while insulating his superiors and of course Obama. I suspect the actual report will be more complex than that.

That said, if true one wonders what Comey thinks of being setup as the fall-guy?

Making bricks in Myanmar

Monday, June 04, 2018

When I post these type of YouTube videos -- walking in a city, manufacturing processes, etc. -- I look for a particular type of video: one not too long or short, with decent camera work and natural sounds without music as the soundtrack. It means I often have to watch a lot of videos to find one that works for me.

While going through brick factory videos, mixed in with the usual promotional videos, there were a number of clips that focused on the exploitation of child labor in the brick factories. The featured dirty and tired looking kids describing truly horrific working conditions.

This video starts with shots of a couple of young children hauling baskets of clay out of a pit. However, the longer you watch the less it seems they are exploited little urchins. Along with several adults, only two of them are hauling the clay. The adults are smiling and seem amused by it, as if they kids are just showing off for the camera. Furthermore, in the background there are a couple of other kids sitting on the edge of the pit just watching.

I got the impression that the brick factory was probably a family operation and the kids were just there with their families. Perhaps closer to an 19th century farming family than a Dickensian sweat shop. Then again, who knows? A video can be edited to tell a story from most any slant.

Gimme Shelter

Friday, June 01, 2018

Get ready for a sanguinary weekend with Paolo Nutini.

Chaos and Order

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Click image to enlarge
"There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.

If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself.

What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. what we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish."

- Chuck Palahniuk

In Remembrance

Monday, May 28, 2018
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As you enjoy this Memorial Day be sure to spend some time remembering those it honors and the 'last full measure of devotion' they paid to our country and freedoms.

You Are My Sunshine

Friday, May 25, 2018

Get ready for a jilted weekend with the Leftover Cuties.

15,000 Dominoes

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Well, who am I to criticize another person's pastime? Built by Heveh5 who has many more domino projects at her YouTube page.

Dan Cherry's Tools

Monday, May 21, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
Dan Cherry is a collector of old tools. He arranges items from his collection and photographs them. He uses color, material, type of tools and texture to create his compositions.

I thought I might have posted his work already, but I couldn't find it if I did. At any rate, these are from La Boite Verte's Des Outils Anciens Meticuleusement Arranges. As well as after the jump, there are more examples there and at Dan's Instagram page. Enjoy.

Self Esteem

Friday, May 18, 2018

Get ready for a diffident weekend with Eric John Kaiser.

Human Zoos

Monday, May 14, 2018
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Carl Hagenbeck was a 19th century German who collected wild animals and exhibited them in zoss and circuses. He is the zoo designed who , rather than using cages, first built enclosures to show the animals in a more natural setting.

Along with exhibiting animals he also displayed humans from far off lands in what were supposedly realistic depictions of their exotic homelands. From the article Human zoos: When people were the exhibits:
The first big ethnological exposition was organized in 1874 by a wild animal merchant from Hamburg, Carl Hagenbeck. "He had the idea to open zoos that weren't only filled with animals, but also people. People were excited to discover humans from abroad: Before television and color photography were available, it was their only way to see them," explains Anne Dreesbach, who published a book on the history of human zoos in Germany a few year ago.

The concept already existed in the early modern age, when European explorers brought back people from the new areas they had traveled to. Carl Hagenbeck took this one step further, staging the exhibitions to make them more attractive: Laplanders would appear accompanied by reindeer, Egyptians would ride camels in front of cardboard pyramids, Fuegians would be living in huts and had bones as accessories in their hair. "Carl Hagenbeck sold visitors an illusion of world travel with his human zoos," says historian Hilke Thode-Arora from Munich's ethnological museum.
Aside from the public's understandable fascination with foreign lands in an era before cameras and airplanes, the idea of human zoos was also steeped in the casual racism of the day -- with the belief that different ethnic people occupied rungs lower than Caucasians on the evolutionary ladder.

Most human zoos ended in the early 20th century, with the last occurring in 1931.

Help Me Make It Through The Night

Friday, May 11, 2018

Get ready for a nocturnal weekend with Nora Jones.

Automata of Kazuaki Harada

Monday, May 07, 2018

Kazuaki Harada is a Japanese artist who specializes in wooden automata. His work ranges from small, whimsical devices to large installations for kids that are installed in museums and galleries.

I Haven't Got Anything Better to Do

Friday, May 04, 2018

Get ready for an ennui infused weekend with Astrud Gilberto.

Happy May Day Comrades

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May your wait in the breadline be short and fruitful and -- should you be fortunate enough to be in a gulag getting reeducated -- may the whips be made of silk.

Sears once sold DIY house kits

Monday, April 30, 2018
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Sears is a company in financial trouble under the pressure of online businesses. It is a bit ironic, because Sears started as largely a catalog business that pressured brick and mortar stores of its day.

One of the many things they used to sell were DIY house kits. From the Messy Nessy article Remember when you could Mail Order an Entire House in a Giant DIY Kit?:
The average kits included approximately 25 tons of materials, with over 30,000 parts including pre-cut and fitted lumber and up to 750 pounds of nails. Plumbing, electrical fixtures and central heating, all new developments in house design in the early 20th century, were included in the kit at an additional cost. No detail was overlooked.

The Sears catalogue homes were truly “modern homes”, although some of the earliest kits like model No. 115 (...) and The Natoma (...) didn’t have bathrooms because such indoor conveniences weren’t yet ‘standard’ in American home life. Expanded floor plans and extra finished living spaces could also be included in the kit at an additional price.

Once delivered, houses were assembled by the new homeowner, but it was traditional to get help from relatives, friends and neighbours, just as rural communities had pitched into help with barn-raisings on farms. Sears Roebuck promised that “a man of average abilities could assemble a Sears kit home in about 90 days.”
The Messy Nessy link has much more information, more kits and pictures of Sears houses that are still standing.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Friday, April 27, 2018

Get ready for a kleenex soaked weekend with Carlos Santana, Indie.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma.

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Friday, April 20, 2018

Get ready for a lost in translation weekend with  Зоркий featuring Manizha.

Which is Chernobyl's monument?

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Click image to enlarge
Sonnet 55 - William Shakespeare

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
   So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
   You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

Riding a motorcycle in Brazil and a hostel tour

Monday, April 16, 2018

Normally I post videos of people walking through a neighborhood, this one features a motorcycle ride instead. It is a trip through a favela in the hills above Rio de Janeiro.

Below is another video when a young lady gives a tour of the hostel she is staying in. The hostel is in a favela about Copacabana beach.

Heart-Shaped Box

Friday, April 13, 2018

Get ready for an indebted weekend with Ásgeir.

Candle powered toy steam boat

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Called pop pop boats, there are a lot of videos of how to make these little toy steam boats. The jaunty music is a bit annoying, you might want to turn down the sound when you watch it.

Bas Relief Battles

Monday, April 09, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
Battles, even forgotten battles, have long been remembered in stone and poetry. Here, and after the jump, are some of those bas relief commemorations and a short poem. Who knows, maybe the self-proclaimed gentle souls that presently topple statues will come for these next.
Lydia Puckett by Edgar Lee Masters

Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war
The day before Curl Trenary
Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett
For stealing hogs.

But that's not the reason he turned a soldier.

He caught me running with Lucius Atherton.

We quarreled and I told him never again
To cross my path.

Then he stole the hogs and went to the war --

Back of every soldier is a woman.

Dock of the Bay

Friday, April 06, 2018

Get ready for and idle weekend with the Marty Ray Project and CJ Wilder.

Figure 8 car racing

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Now they would be classics, then they were just old clunkers headed to the junkyard in a roundabout manner.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Eins Zwei Polizei

Friday, March 30, 2018

Get ready for a weekend of dancing Nazis and/or Bollywood with Mo-do.

Waiting for spring in the organ grinder's garden

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Click to enlarge

The Organ Grinders' Garden  by Mildred Plew Meigs

In the winter, in the winter,
When the clouds shake snow,
I know a little garden
Where the organ grinders go;

A cozy little garden
Where the fountain makes a fizz
And round about the lattices
The sunbeams sizz;

Where underneath the bushes
In the nodding afternoons,
The frisky little organs sit
And spill their tinky tunes;

While tingle, tingle, tangle,
Go the pennies in the cup,
As all the baby monkeys
Practice picking pennies up.

In the winter, in the winter,
When the sharp winds blow,
I know a little garden
Where the organ grinders go;

A giddy little garden
Where the fruit is always ripe,
And every grinning grinder
Sits and pulls upon a pipe;

While all the father monkeys
Hang their fezzes on the twigs,
And teach the baby monkeys
How to master little jigs;

Until at last the mothers come,
As day begins to fade,
And tuck the baby monkeys up
To snoozle in the shade.

In the winter, in the winter,
When the clouds shake snow,
I know a little garden
Where the organ grinders go;

A garden where the grinders
And the monkeys on a string
Are pleased to wait serenely
For the coming of the spring.

Storm in the Labrador Sea

Monday, March 26, 2018

The above video shows the Draken Harald Hårfagre, a replica Viking ship, amid icebergs and in rough weather as it transited the Atlantic. Doesn't look pleasant at all. As one of the crew members says near the end, "it's pretty amazing what size boats can actually handle seas like that, but if I were a Viking I would have turned right the f--- around and gone back in."

I Put A Spell On You

Friday, March 23, 2018

Get ready for an obsessed weekend with Théo.

Soviet postage stamps

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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The title is self explanatory. Here, and after the jump, is a small collection of Soviet postage stamps.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Friday, March 16, 2018

Get ready for a criminal weekend with the Lounge Kittens.

Riding on neglected rails

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Above is a video of a train crawling along a poorly maintained stretch of track. That got me wondering, especially with legislation about infrastructure repair on the horizon, what is the ownership of railroad tracks -- public or private?

It turns out railroad tracks are privately owned. I guess the whole issue of land grants to RR companies back in the 19th century should have been a clue to me about that fact. Regardless, the laws surrounding RR tracks must be complex. I suppose trains from other companies must have to lease time to travel on tracks, and who knows how RR right-of-ways impact local zoning, etc.

It seems like a railroad would be a utility, but I guess they are something different.

This section of neglected railroad track is owned by Pioneer RailCorp. They bought it from Maumee and Western Railroad and, from the comment accompanying the video, Pioneer had upgraded most of the rest of the track they had bought from Maumee and Western. This little section sure looks harrowing to run on.

The second attack on Pearl Harbor

Monday, March 12, 2018
Japanese H8K seaplane (click to enlarge)
Japanese war planners soon recognized that “crucial targets” such as the Pearl Harbor shipyards, maintenance shops and fuel-reserve facilities had been largely undamaged, according to an exhibit at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Honolulu. From those shipyards America mobilized an astoundingly speedy and effective effort to repair vessels damaged in the December attack.
The Japanese hoped to stymie that salvage work with Operation K, a bombing raid using the first two prototypes of the H8K amphibious plane.
While extremely successful, the first Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor had left several important targets -- fuel tanks, and dry docks -- undamaged. Three months after the first attack, they launched a second attack comprising of two long range H8K planes, each with four 550 lb bombs.

However, when they got over the target it was clouded in, and they dropped their bombs blindly. One hit a hillside and broke some windows, it is unknown where the other bombs fell.

I found this item via Bob's Blog which has a link to further information.

Beautiful Tango

Friday, March 09, 2018

Get ready for a footloose weekend with Hindi Zahra.

The Falkirk Wheel

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

In 2002 the Falkirk Wheel was opened in Scotland. It replaced a series of 11 locks that connected to canals that had a difference in height of 115ft. As you can see in the videos, it is a giant wheel that spins to cars which contain the boats to be moved between canals.

Above is a time lapse showing it in motion and immediately below in explanation as to how it works. The final video shows a ride from inside a boat using the wheel.

House Guests

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Click to enlarge
I'm sill around, I have house guests so posting is light.

I used the picture above to illustrate my visitors. Well, except my visitor isn't Putin, and I don't much look like the much beloved President of Turkmanistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Come to think of it, I also don't have a giant statue in my house nor is their an audience watching our visit. Other than that is nearly a 100% accurate representation of my house guests.

Regardless, I'll be back on line  eventually.

Riding the rails

Monday, February 19, 2018

Take a trip on an English private railroad. The description says it is the "largest ...  railway of its size" which seems like an odd wording. Could referring to myself as the "largest person of my size" make any sense?

Anyway, that quibble aside, it is an amazing toy. Chugging around on it looks like a hoot and the grounds are quite beautiful.

Ball N' Chain

Friday, February 16, 2018

Get ready for an encumbered weekend with Big Mama Thornton.

Bestiary Beasts

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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A bestiary was a medieval book describing animals, both real and mythological. They weren't scientific descriptions. Rather, they were allegorical, often times having a moral to the animals description. What entertained my about the illustrations from bestiaries was the expressions on the animals faces. Many of them are quite ridiculous.

Defeat and Victory

Saturday, February 10, 2018
A damsel mourning a dead knight
“Son, a real battlefield lacks dignity and honor. When lives are being spent—actual human lives—those high-minded concepts lose their meaning. All that matters is victory. If you have blades, you’ll use blades. If you have rocks, you’ll use rocks. If there’s nothing but sand, you’ll throw the damn sand. A true war is only waged when men don’t want to live to see what failure looks like. You do what it takes to win. You go wherever necessity takes you.” ― B. Justin Shier

I Put a Spell on You

Friday, February 09, 2018

Get ready for a weekend of magical hijinks with Malia.

Link added

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Just a little bit of housekeeping to report -- I've added a link to Ace of Spades HQ.  It is a site I go to on a daily basis. I don't know why it was never on the blogroll.

Starting an old truck

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Well, I guess that didn't go according to plan.

Old caravans

Sunday, February 04, 2018
The first caravan the Wanderer (click any image to enlarge)
Caravans are what the English call what we call campers. They call them caravans because the first camper ... er ... caravan that is, was inspired by the seemingly romantic lifestyle of gypsy caravans. in the 1860s Dr. Gordon Stables, retired from the Navy, commissioned a gypsy-style caravan to be built. He named it the Wanderer and travelled in comfort, even bringing a servant along who slept in a tent.

Soon other wealthy, and generally eccentric people took up caravanning. From the website of the Period and Classic Caravan Club:
Most of the rich early caravanners took their servants with them. Having the same experience as the gypsies, but with the comforts of home. Beds, stoves, plus storage and writing cabinets were found in these new, horse drawn caravans. This new style of holidaying was seen by some as very odd and beneath a gentleman. These early caravan users were often shunned and it took many years before they would become accepted.
Of course eventually cars replaced the horses, and mass production brought the caravans within the price range of the middle class.

These pictures, and the ones after the jump, are from the club's website linked above. There are more pictures there, as well as more historical information.