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
Click any image to enlarge
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.

My Love

Friday, February 02, 2018

Get ready for an unrequited weekend with Kovacs.

Making charcoal in Malaysia

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Following up on the previous rural cooking post, I looked for a video about making jute stick charcoal so we could see the work day part of their lives. I couldn't find a good one, so the above video from Malaysia showing the making of charcoal from mangrove wood will have to act as a stand-in.

It is sub-titled, so you get a good explanation of the process from the charcoal factory's owner. It is also very nicely filmed. It looks like it is a very tiring and dirty job. Tough way to make a living.

Cooking in a rural village

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This is a video taken in what I assume -- although I am just guessing here -- is an extended family compound in a village in Bangladesh. The camera man, along with focusing on the cooking, spends a lot of time filming a long brick building subdivided into separate rooms. There are piles of bricks about, so I suppose this is fairly new.

The video is connected to Limax Trade and Services, a company that makes jute stick charcoal which is used in the manufacture of fireworks. I suppose the people in the video are small business owners in their community. I hope they are having luck in their business dealings.

The apple draws the Earth

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Newton's Apple Tree (click to enlarge)
The apple tree that dropped the apple that so enlightened Isaac Newton is still alive. That's it above. As entertaining as the common version of the story is, the apple didn't actually bounce off his head. As he recounted to his biographer William Stukeley:

After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden and drank the, under the shade of some apple trees ... he told me, "he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. It was occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood. Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself ... Why should it not go sideways, or upwards, but constantly to the Earth's centre? Assuredly, the reason is, that the Earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter. If matter thus draws matter, it must be in proportion of its quantity. Therefore the apple draws the Earth, as well as the Earth draws the apple."

Corazon Espinado

Friday, January 26, 2018

Get ready for a heart broken weekend with Carlos Santana and Mana.

Dressing like a gentleman

Monday, January 22, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
When my brother, wife and myself watched the movie Dunkirk one thing that amused us was the owner of the civilian boat went to sea wearing a tie. Obviously our sartorial choices when we go sailing are lacking.

These are 1942 men's clothing ads from the New York Public Library Digital Collection. In studying them it is clear that I am still an oaf when it comes to dressing like a proper Gentleman. I must try to remember to smoke a pipe and dress in a suit next time I go golfing.

There are more examples after the jump, and of course even more at the above link.

Closing Time

Friday, January 19, 2018

Get ready for a Gooberment Shutdown weekend with Semisonic.

Travel Magazine

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
These are covers from a magazine called Travel. It was published in the early part of the 20th century. The covers are quite striking. They are uncluttered, have fairly simple graphics and feature an extremely vibrant color palette.

More can be seen after the jump, and more at Magazine Art, a favorite site of mine, where I found these samples. Enjoy.

Walking in Ulan Bator

Monday, January 15, 2018

Time to go walking again. Considering the 'shit-hole- kerfuffle I almost used a Haitian location, but making some sort of a statement would not be in keeping with the reason I post these videos. I post them because they show a slice of a neighborhood. That neighborhood may be exotic to us, but to the people living there it is a familiar corner of their universe. It is a place they know like the back of their hand.

Above is a couple of young girls in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, taking us on a tour of their daily walk from their home to a school. It is full of shortcuts, advice and silliness. Enjoy.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Friday, January 12, 2018

Get ready for a love struck weekend with Johnny Cash's version of the well known song.

Old fabrics

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Click any image to enlarge
Much of our image of the ancient world comes through stone. This is of course a distorted view, with much of the transient materials and colors of the historical world lost to us. However, along with paintings and mosaics, there are also some old fabrics left to us that give a brief glimpse to another aspect of the lost world of antiquity. The fabrics shown in this post are from Europe, India and the Americas.  

These images, and the ones after the jump, are all from the following articles at The History Blog ( By the way, that is an excellent site and it is well worth a visit and time spent viewing their archives.

Swedish city returns ancient textiles to Peru
17th c. Indian textile 30 feet long goes on display
Oldest known indigo dyed textile found in Peru
Incredible 17th c. silk gown found in shipwreck
Texel shipwreck yields another great textile
Altar cloth may be sole surviving Elizabeth I gown 
Rarely seen liturgical textiles on display in Vienna 

The million-footed Manhattan

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Broadway Pageant by Walt Whitman
(on the arrival of the first Japanese envoys to the city)

OVER the western sea, hither from Niphon come,
Courteous, the swart-cheek’d two-sworded envoys,
Leaning back in their open barouches, bare-headed, impassive,
Ride to-day through Manhattan.

I do not know whether others behold what I behold,
In the procession, along with the nobles of Asia, the errand-bearers,
Bringing up the rear, hovering above, around, or in the ranks marching;
But I will sing you a song of what I behold, Libertad.

When million-footed Manhattan, unpent, descends to her pavements;
When the thunder-cracking guns arouse me with the proud roar I love;
When the round-mouth’d guns, out of the smoke and smell I love, spit their salutes;
When the fire-flashing guns have fully alerted me—when heaven-clouds canopy my city with a delicate thin haze;
When, gorgeous, the countless straight stems, the forests at the wharves, thicken with colors;
When every ship, richly drest, carries her flag at the peak;
When pennants trail, and street-festoons hang from the windows;
When Broadway is entirely given up to foot-passengers and foot-standers—when the mass is densest;
When the façades of the houses are alive with people—when eyes gaze, riveted, tens of thousands at a time;
When the guests from the islands advance—when the pageant moves forward, visible;
When the summons is made—when the answer that waited thousands of years, answers;
I too, arising, answering, descend to the pavements, merge with the crowd, and gaze with them.
Superb-faced Manhattan!
Comrade Americanos!—to us, then, at last, the Orient comes.
To us, my city,
Where our tall-topt marble and iron beauties range on opposite sides—to walk in the space between,
To-day our Antipodes comes.

The Originatress comes,
The nest of languages, the bequeather of poems, the race of eld,
Florid with blood, pensive, rapt with musings, hot with passion,
Sultry with perfume, with ample and flowing garments,
With sunburnt visage, with intense soul and glittering eyes,
The race of Brahma comes!
See, my cantabile! these, and more, are flashing to us from the procession;
As it moves, changing, a kaleidoscope divine it moves, changing, before us.
For not the envoys, nor the tann’d Japanee from his island only;
Lithe and silent, the Hindoo appears—the Asiatic continent itself appears—the Past, the dead,
The murky night morning of wonder and fable, inscrutable,
The envelop’d mysteries, the old and unknown hive-bees,
The North—the sweltering South—eastern Assyria—the Hebrews—the Ancient of Ancients,
Vast desolated cities—the gliding Present—all of these, and more, are in the pageant-procession.
Geography, the world, is in it;
The Great Sea, the brood of islands, Polynesia, the coast beyond;
The coast you, henceforth, are facing—you Libertad! from your Western golden shores
The countries there, with their populations—the millions en-masse, are curiously here;
The swarming market places—the temples, with idols ranged along the sides, or at the end—bonze, brahmin, and lama;
The mandarin, farmer, merchant, mechanic, and fisherman;
The singing-girl and the dancing-girl—the ecstatic person—the secluded Emperors,
Confucius himself—the great poets and heroes—the warriors, the castes, all,
Trooping up, crowding from all directions—from the Altay mountains,
From Thibet—from the four winding and far-flowing rivers of China,
From the Southern peninsulas, and the demi-continental islands—from Malaysia;
These, and whatever belongs to them, palpable, show forth to me, and are seiz’d by me,
And I am seiz’d by them, and friendlily held by them,
Till, as here, them all I chant, Libertad! for themselves and for you.

For I too, raising my voice, join the ranks of this pageant;
I am the chanter—I chant aloud over the pageant;
I chant the world on my Western Sea;
I chant, copious, the islands beyond, thick as stars in the sky;
I chant the new empire, grander than any before—As in a vision it comes to me;
I chant America, the Mistress—I chant a greater supremacy;
I chant, projected, a thousand blooming cities yet, in time, on those groups of sea-islands;
I chant my sail-ships and steam-ships threading the archipelagoes;
I chant my stars and stripes fluttering in the wind;
I chant commerce opening, the sleep of ages having done its work—races, reborn, refresh’d;
Lives, works, resumed—The object I know not—but the old, the Asiatic, renew’d, as it must be,
Commencing from this day, surrounded by the world.

And you, Libertad of the world!
You shall sit in the middle, well-pois’d, thousands of years;
As to-day, from one side, the nobles of Asia come to you;
As to-morrow, from the other side, the Queen of England sends her eldest son to you.
The sign is reversing, the orb is enclosed,
The ring is circled, the journey is done;
The box-lid is but perceptibly open’d—nevertheless the perfume pours copiously out of the whole box.

Young Libertad!
With the venerable Asia, the all-mother,
Be considerate with her, now and ever, hot Libertad—for you are all;
Bend your proud neck to the long-off mother, now sending messages over the archipelagoes to you;
Bend your proud neck low for once, young Libertad.
Were the children straying westward so long? so wide the tramping?
Were the precedent dim ages debouching westward from Paradise so long?
Were the centuries steadily footing it that way, all the while unknown, for you, for reasons?
They are justified—they are accomplish’d—they shall now be turn’d the other way also, to travel toward you thence;
They shall now also march obediently eastward, for your sake, Libertad.

Fast Car

Friday, January 05, 2018

Get ready for a smooth weekend with a Lemon's slow jamzz of the Tracy Chapman classic.

Vintage Avant-garde

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Sooner or later even things that are modern and daring look quaint. These costumes were made by the German expressionistic artist and dancer Lavina Schulz in the 1920s. They are via La boite verta.

I did like the detail that she and her husband lived without furniture, but lived in their dance tights so they could choreograph dances and design costumes. Sadly, although perhaps predictably, she came to a sorry end, shooting her husband and then herself as financial ruin closed in on her.

The photographs were taken by Minya Diez-Dührkoop, another German artsy-fartsy type who travelled in the same circles as Lavina.

Music for tree huggers

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

This is a video made by the artist Bartholomäus Traubeck. He's cut a disk from a tree trunk and mounted it to a turntable where, as it spins like an old record album, it is optically scanned. The signal from the scan is then analyzed, manipulated and output to an electronic piano.

The highly processed output is billed as the music of trees. Well, if you say so...