Monday, May 20, 2019

Homemade gypsy pegs

Gypsy pegs are another name this English fellow uses for clothes pins. He's showing how to DIY make them in the video. I dunno, for as cheap as a package of them are this seems like an awful labor intensive way to save a buck or two. I suppose there is some satisfaction to it all, if only in drinking the beers needed to use the cans for metal strips in their manufacture.

The fellow's name is Harry Rogers, and his YouTube channel is full of all sorts of other odd and interesting DIY projects.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

There’s always an end to the glory

Click any image to enlarge
I've noticed that frequently Oriental artwork is not bound by the golden proportion. Rather, the division is one side full of detail and the other a void. Our human reality balanced against something else altogether. These oil paintings, and the text below, is from the website of the Japanese artist Arisa Kumagai.
Leisure Class

I grew up in the red light district.

My family ran a business selling glitzy Italian clothes to mafia, and to the ladies working in the brothel located just behind our fancy shop.

Surrounded by decadent luxury, I was literally pounded in to acquire the taste of leisurely class.

Defined by T. Veblen, people from this class spent until they drop on themselves to attain social dignity.

I was born in 1991,so the history of socio-economic decline synchronized with mine.

I grew to believe that vanity was the only salvation.

In the absence of God, I saw beauty in excessive decoration.

There was swirl of desire, poor and rich. The more prosperous meant more ornamental.

There was gush of beasty energy, life and death. The more vibrant meant more embellishing.

But I found in that whirl a gleam, a residue or a kind of mutant, in the form of a human body.

Now my religion is to worship the surplus, something magnificent and yet something non-functional, like art.

But I also know from my up bringing that there’s always an end to the glory; that it all sinks into the dark, death-like void.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Mongolian breakfast

A simple video showing a family making a Mongolian breakfast. I'm not sure about the milk tea (not a big milk drinker), but it looks interesting. I wouldn't mind trying it.

As an aside, below is a recipe for milk tea, although I think it is more of the Chinese 'bubble' tea variety than what the family in the video were using.
  1. 3/4 cup brewed tea (such as black, green, chai, or jasmine)
  2. 1 cup ice cubes.
  3. 2 tablespoons Sugar Syrup (more or less to taste)
  4. 1/2 cup milk (or soy, almond, or rice milk)
  5. 1/4 cup Tapioca Pearls

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Bela Lugosi movie posters

Click any image to enlarge
Bela Lugosi is famous for his portrayal of the vampire in Dracula. Aside from that film, his Hungarian accent and eventual morphine addiction greatly limited his roles. He was type cast to play only in horror films, and the quality of his roles greatly diminished over time. Still, he is an icon.

These posters, and those after the break, are from his various films. they are from 100 Years of Movie Posters. There are more of his posters at that site. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Evolution rather than extermination

Nomads with Drones
(picture from Nomad Stunts, click to enlarge)
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. - Charles Darwin

Saturday, May 04, 2019

A visit to Moldova

Above a fellow tours Kishinev, the capital city of Moldavia. Apparently Moldavia is the least visited country in Europe, and after his tour I can see why. It is a pretty run-down and depressing looking place.

Below he takes a Moldovan road trip to a dot on the map in the countryside called Ratus. On the trip he listens to Moldavan pop music on the radio, rides in an old Lada as well as a horse drawn cart and muses at an abandoned Soviet bus stop. Ratus ends up being a sleepy little village, but the Moldovans met along the way are friendly and much more cheerful seeming than those in Kishinev.

I'm also pretty sure, but not certain, that Bald and Bankrupt -- the fellow who made the videos -- was the traveling companion of the guy who showed us the roadside cafe on the way to Jaipur.

Finally, inspired by the pop music on the radio I bring you a video of Moldova's Dan Balan's Chica Boom in which a stylish pop star, I assume he's Dan Balan, sings 'chica boom' over and over while a young lady undulates around and sings her lyrics in English while pouring water over herself and so-forth. Uh... it may be slightly NSFW.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Happy May Day Comrades

Click image to enlarge
Have a joyous May Day comrades as we boldly march forward stomping the hoarders, wreckers, Kulaks and other assorted running dogs of Capitalism under our feet on our way to the Workers Paradise. Also, be sure to enjoy -- if the bread lines aren't too long -- your traditional May Day feast of onions, borscht and wodka.

Monday, April 29, 2019

A day in a Tokyo office

In the above video we follow Emi, a 24 year old Tokyo office worker, through her day at work. While I can understand the café, gym and convenience store being in the office building, but the petting zoo is a bit of a head-scratcher.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The siren's call...

Image from Tacos A-Go-Go (click to enlarge)
You can never control who you fall in love with, even when you're in the most sad, confused time of your life. You don't fall in love with people because they're fun. It just happens. - Kirsten Dunst

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Hot zombie babes just want to be your friend (sort of)

Click any image to enlarge
I'm sure that many of my regular readers will be heartbroken to hear that this is my final post on the Russian TV show Vyzhit Posle (The Day After on Amazon Prime). This post covers the third season, the show was not renewed for a fourth. If you're interested my Season One post is Vyzhit Posle, while Season Two is Can true love survive zombification? I'll try to avoid spoilers, but some will sneak in, so be forewarned if you think you might watch it.

Above is a scene of a Moscow woman who had been beaten and robbed in a village and stumbled upon a group of bumpkins for help. Word had leaked out what had happened in Moscow, but the government -- since they were partly to blame for the whackadoodle 'Create a Master Race' plan that so terribly went awry -- covered up what really happened. The result is all the Moscow residents are feared as possible zombie virus carriers, so that's the level of hostility Moscow refugees can expect.

That works nice as a plot device because it ties our outbreak survivors to the hot zombie babes as all being outcasts, and therefore all being worthy of our sympathy. Still, Season Three frequently goes off the rails.

Zombie stories are handicapped from the beginning by having a completely preposterous premise. They can only work when they're not too ridiculous on the edges that surround the central absurdity of the story. Unfortunately, or depending on how you look at it fortunately, Season Three of Vyzhit Posle is freighted with a lot of ridiculousness around the edges.

The new characters are all pretty silly. Above is Kristina, the best of the new lot, although admittedly I may be allowing skimpy costumes and cheesecake poses to cloud my judgement a bit. At any rate, she is a Russian version of the manic pixie dream girl. She hooks up with Skat, the hacker in the bunker from the beginning who's main purpose had been, until he met Kristina, to be a fount of expository dialog.

It looks like they were building him up for a bigger role in Season Four, but in the mean time he has sex with Kristina, listens to her babble about having a no-strings-attached relationship and watches her cutely faint from time to time. One's suspicions as to where her story is headed are borne out when she lights up with joy upon discovering that the hot zombie babes can self-repair themselves. Yup, she is a manic pixie dream girl with an incurable disease. I must say, her attempts at getting herself infected are pretty entertaining.

Above is Valera, the skin head with a heart of gold who in Season One had fallen crazy-mad-in-love with the beautiful, soon to be zombified Aijan (aka Valera's One True Love #1). In the screen cap he's in a partial state of undress and playing tonsil hockey with Nika (aka Valera's One True Love #3). In the background, circled in red, is Katya (aka Valera's One True Love #2). Hey, I told you that this show had a lot of silly soap opera stuff going on and it's only gonna get worse.

Anyway, to make a long story short, after Valera thought he had killed zombie Aijan at the end of Season One he fell in love with Katya, a spunky newspaper reporter who snuck into Moscow's quarantine zone to try to get the truth. Needless to say when zombie Aijan showed up again the ensuing love triangle proved to be problematic. However, it all came to an end when the Eeeevil Dr Lobodo locked Valera and zombie Aijan in a cage, conducted unholy experiments on her and ended up brutally torturing poor Aijan, who at that time only wanted to tear Katya's face off and then snuggle with her sweetie Valera.

By Season Three Katya graduated from print journalist to the host of 'Black Day', which is the State ran TV channel's top-rated zombie show. In that capacity she ended up interviewing Dr Lobodo. That's a bit surprising because she and Lobodo had shot each other at the end of Season Two, but she's under a government contract so she lets bygones be bygones and puts a positive spin on him and paints him as a hero. Due to the whole 'torturing zombie Aijan' business Katya's craven behavior infuriates Valera. So he dumps her and runs to the arms of Nika before going back to the quarantine zone to settle a score with Lobodo. BTW, did I mention that Nika is engaged to Andrey, the Russian special forces guy? I wonder if that is going to complicate things?

Speaking about Dr Lobodo, that's him above with Inge, the naughty vixen who runs the Eeeeevil lab. Due to a rare semi-successful experiment at the lab they're about to have some celebratory bondage game fun. Lobodo has fallen head over heels in love with her, but she just uses sex to manipulate him in her nefarious schemes. In the above scene she is more or less taunting Lobodo after he asked her if she really loves him. It strikes me, especially if you're chained to a bed, that might be a bad approach to take with an Eeeeevil co-conspirator who may, or may not, have a syringe full of zombie flu in his back pocket.

BTW, the resolution of the Valera/Lobodo confrontation is quite the plot twist.

Above we have Nadya (far left), the former yum-yum girl turned alpha zombie queen. She has snuck out of Moscow in search of a refuge in the woods where she can stop slaughtering people left and right and instead live an idyllic and peaceful life. She has hooked up with a couple other hot zombie babes in search of the same. In the screen cap they are shown dancing around, waving torches in the air and wearing tree branches as tiaras. Way to keep a low profile ladies.

Unfortunately for them their seclusion doesn't last long. Soon enough they are found out. No, not by their late night pagan frolics, instead it through the sheer stupidity of Mitya, Nadya's boyfriend. In fact his idiocy so infuriates Nadya that she breaks up with him. Surprisingly she doesn't tear him limb from limb, instead she just storms off in a rage.

Earlier I mentioned silly new characters. Easily the silliest was Rapida (right) shown above confronting Nadya. She's the sort of 'tough' character you find in a bad video game. She wears goofy leather armor in is supposedly a fearsome zombie hunter. However, from what we see of her she is inept in everything she does. For example, in the confrontation above, Nadya starts the scene bound and gagged in the trunk of a car. Rapida begins by pointing her gun at pregnant Nadya's belly and sneering about the abortion she is about to perform with a bullet. True to Rapida's usual blundering, around 20 seconds later her partners are slaughtered by Nadya and Rapida ends up zombified. Quite the zombie huntress.

Finally, after much mayhem, soap-opera hijinks and amusing closed captioning Nadya gives birth to her little monster... errr… I mean darling little baby zombie girl. Above is Mitya, the proud father of the bundle of joy, holding the little tyke. One of my great regrets in the show being canceled is missing out on how, or if, he survives the toddler's terrible twos.

With all my joking in this post about the show, it is actually quite good. As I said in Part II, this is one of the best and most unique takes on the zombie genre I've seen in a long time. It is also much smarter than my review probably makes it seem. For example, the fate of Aijan hangs over, echoes through and informs a lot of the soap opera stuff in Season Three. Dr Lobodo's "I didn't understand" applies to more than just himself.

Finally I spent a long time trying to find a good video of the hot zombie babe's movement. It is very striking, almost birdlike with their arms thrown back and a weird twitch in their shoulders. Below is the best video I could find. There is a lot of action, but sprinkled throughout it are shots of the hot zombie babes in all their glory.

Season I: Vyzhit Posle
SeasonII: Can true love survive zombification?
Season III: Hot zombie babes just want to be your friend (sort of)

Monday, April 22, 2019

The avant garde as seen in a rear view mirror

Five Way Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (click to enlarge)
"Cubism -- highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century that was created principally by the painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, rejecting the traditional techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro and refuting time-honoured theories of art as the imitation of nature. Cubist painters were not bound to copying form, texture, colour, and space; instead, they presented a new reality in paintings that depicted radically fragmented objects, whose several sides were seen simultaneously." [source]
"With his next major work, Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) he (Marcel Duchamp) began to break from Cubism.

There are some familiar traces of Cubism here. For instance, the painting has a limited color scheme of browns and muted yellow, and the subject (the nude figure) is splintered into abstract, geometric forms. But while most early Cubist works focused on static or even motionless subjects, like still lifes or portraits of seated people, Duchamp's Nude depicts its subject in motion.

The barely-recognizable nude is shown from numerous points of view all at once, frozen in time. It's as if Duchamp was trying to paint thirty paintings at once, one for each step down the stairs. The background of the painting is also more faded than the foreground, making it seem like the nude is walking forward to the viewer." [source]

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Commercialism, an Easter fast and Amazing Grace

The above video is the YouTube channel of som's fade. I believe he is Nigerian. His videos are obviously homemade and don't get a lot of views. Kind of like this blog come to think of it, except I'm not Nigerian. I wish him luck in his endeavors.

Anyway, in his video he tells an Easter tale while acts out the parts of Dina and Momma Dina. Dina asks his mom for money for Easter. His mother says no, but promises him she'll cook his favorite meal for Easter. He insults her cooking and ends up on an Easter fast as a result. Will he be able to grovel his way back into Momma Dina's good graces? You'll have to watch to find out.

Below is another video appropriate for Easter. Like the above video, it deals with matters other than crass commercialism. Happy Easter all.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

18th Century hand colored drawings of fish

Click any image to enlarge
These illustrations are from The Public Domain Review's article: Images from the First Colour Publication on Fish (1754). The 18th Century volume Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes was the first European book to show fish and crustaceans from the East Indian seas. Many of the colors, and even some of the creatures, are quite fanciful. There are more after the jump, and a few more at the link.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Olga buys some hair conditioner

A while back a nice Russian lady took us on a tour of a Russian convenience store. Today's video features a Russian fellow and his companion Olga visiting an American convenience store. Olga wants to buy some hair conditioner. You may need to turn on the captions and make sure they are in English to understand what they have to say about it all.

In the bonus video below the fellow ponders the American habit of saying "excuse me" and "sorry" when navigating around each other in store aisles. He thinks that Americans are getting scared and apologizing when they do that. He tries to act out the scenario with Olga, but she mainly just wants to blow dry her hair.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Inside a Matryoshka (Russian nesting doll) factory

View the process of making Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls). The process is surprisingly labor intensive, with very little automation.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Ogawa Kazumasa's hand colored photographs

Click any image to enlarge
Ogawa Kazumasa was a pioneer Japanese photographer, publisher and photomechanical reproduction. In his day he was perhaps best known for his photographs of the Sino-Japanese and the Russo-Japanese Wars. You can read more about him at TAP's article: Ogawa Kazumasa and the Halftone Photograph: Japanese War Albums at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.

He also experimented in hand coloring photos. This post shows some of his hand colored work. There are more after the jump, and even more at Getty Museum's archive of his work. At that archive you can also find many of his non-colored photographs.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Mutant Brain

Get ready for a fragrant weekend with Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums featuring Assassin with Margaret Qualley as the dancer.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

When you need a really big gun

A tour of one of the battleship Iowa's 16 inch guns from the powder room deep in the bowels of the ship to the gun in the turret.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Can true love survive zombification?

Click any image to enlarge
Last week, in my post Vyzhit Posle, I discussed the first season of a Russian TV show called Vyzhit Posle (The Day After on Amazon Prime). It starts with 11 young people being locked up in a bunker while above ground Eeeevil Russian oligarchs bungle an experiment to create a master race. Instead most of the population of Moscow is killed by a virus, except for young good-looking Russian girls who get turned into black-eyed zombies.

It was quite entertaining, and as Season 2 unfolded it turned out to be one of the better treatments of zombies I've seen in a long time. Before George Romero turned zombies into ambulatory corpses, the horror of them hadn't been hordes of monsters trying to kill, instead it had been the act of zombification itself. That is, the removal of human agency from a person was what was terrifying.

In case anybody decides to watch the show, which is full of plot twists and surprises, I'll try to avoid too many spoilers. That said, the show uses two of the girls who had been in the bunker and turned into zombies by the end of Season 1 to illustrate the implications of the loss of their humanity rather than just the rampaging zombie babe hordes.

In the top picture we have Nadya, the Yum-Yum Girl (high priced escort) who turned into a zombie in the final episode of the first season. It looked like Mitya, her good-for-nothing drunk of a hookup, got killed, but it turns out he escaped Nadya. Well, escaped her for a while. Nadya ends up being the alpha queen zombie, and in the above picture she and her zombie BFFs have tracked him down and herded him to her nest in the palentology wing of a museum. Yea, he doesn't look too happy. Also, entertainingly enough, her nest is a pile of stuffed animals. Hey, a zombie chick is still a chick, right?

The next picture is the research file on Aijan, the beautiful Kazakhstani girl who suffered so much in Season 1 as she slowly zombified. Valera, the skinhead with a heart of gold who became her sweetie had promised Aijan that he would kill her if she turned into a zombie. Well, he screwed that up -- the head Valera, gotta shoot zombies in the head -- and they discover she is back in the clutches of the Eeeeevil research lab. The experiments the caption refers to is them injecting her with every disease known to man. Sadly for Aijan, who can't catch a break on this show, things go downhill for her from there.

There is still a lot of soap opera tomfoolery, the occasional plot hole or two, and many goofy translations in their captions, but the show is good. Much of what they pull off as they show the plight of the bunker survivors and the zombie girls is quite effective.

Finally, and this is in no way a gratuitous display of hot zombie babes, below are a few pictures of them scampering about. Mind you, purely so's you can admire the high quality production design of the series.

Season I: Vyzhit Posle
SeasonII: Can true love survive zombification?
Season III: Hot zombie babes just want to be your friend (sort of)

Warning: never try zombie sex tourism - it will not end well

Monday, April 01, 2019

Love and Hate

To My Enemy - Lucy Maud Montgomery

Let those who will of friendship sing,
And to its guerdon grateful be,
But I a lyric garland bring
To crown thee, O, mine enemy!

Thanks, endless thanks, to thee I owe
For that my lifelong journey through
Thine honest hate has done for me
What love perchance had failed to do.

I had not scaled such weary heights
But that I held thy scorn in fear,
And never keenest lure might match
The subtle goading of thy sneer.

Thine anger struck from me a fire
That purged all dull content away,
Our mortal strife to me has been
Unflagging spur from day to day.

And thus, while all the world may laud
The gifts of love and loyalty,
I lay my meed of gratitude
Before thy feet, mine enemy!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Grandma's home cooking

Click any image to enlarge
From a blurb about the book In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World:
"On the eve of a photography trip around the world, Gabriele Galimberti sat down to dinner with his grandmother Marisa. As she had done so many times before, she prepared his favorite ravioli. The care with which she prepared this meal, and the pride she took in her dish, led Gabriele to seek out grandmothers and their signature dishes in the sixty countries he visited."
These are pictures of a few of the grandmas he visited and their dishes. There are more after the jump, and more at Amusing Planet's What Grandmas Around The World Cook.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Vyzhit Posle

My operation recoveries always seem to involve popping painkillers, lounging in a lounge chair and watching goofy TV shows. For this operation's recovery the main show I've settled on is the Russian TV show Vyzhit Posle, which on Amazon Prime goes by its English title The Day After.

The show starts with 11 young people waking up in a cold war era bunker with no idea how they got there, or what's in store for them. Later it turns out that they're there to be test subjects in an experiment cooked up by some Eeeeevil Russian Oligarchs to create a master race (more on that in a bit). However, in the mean time they mainly get hysterical, flirt with each other and pair off.

The above video focuses on one of the couples: Velera who starts out as a rather frightening skinhead but morphs into the hero and Aijan, the beautiful but sensitive Asian girl from Kazakhstan who he falls crazy mad in love with for no apparent reason. At any rate, if you've watched the video you'll know there is a bump or two on their path to true romance -- mainly the fact Aijan gets bit by a zombie girl and ends up zombified herself.

As long as we're talking about zombie girls, you may have noticed in the video clip that Moscow appeared to be a bit deserted except for black-eyed zombie girls. Well, it turns out that the Eeeeevil Russian Oligarchs' plan to create a master race didn't exactly go according to plan. They intended to have all the hot Russian girls become fertile, while the ugly ones went sterile. I dunno… the Eeeeevil Russian Oligarchs claim this was to clear Mother Russia of future riff-raff, but I'm having a hard time following their logic. It just seems like a scheme to create a plethora of hot looking Russian woman down the road to me. Not that I'm objecting to their aim mind you, although sterilizing all the ugly people seems a bit crass.

Anyway, the experiment is a flop. Instead of creating more hot babes a master race it accidentally turns all the hot women into screeching, black-eyed zombies while the virus kills everybody else off. Oops.

Part of the charm of the show is its Russian nature as opposed to how an American show would portray things. For example the women, even the zombie babes, are pretty much girly-girls running around in high heels and dressed to the nines. The guys are of course pretty macho, endlessly threatening each other with guns when they're not babbling about the 'broads' they're locked up with. And some of the captioning is pure gold, such gems as "you are entering a zone of top secrecy" and referring to the promiscuous Russian escort in the bunker as a yum-yum girl.

The plot can be all over the place, with chunks of it just tossed out and forgotten once the story moves on, but all in all the show is actually entertaining inspite of all its plot holes and preposterous storylines.    

Season I: Vyzhit Posle
SeasonII: Can true love survive zombification?
Season III: Hot zombie babes just want to be your friend (sort of)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Going under the knife again

My handful of regulars may remember that a few months ago I had an operation and part of my recovery involved sitting in a lounge chair and watching crappy movies while riddled with pain killers.

Sadly for me my recovery took its toll, all the lounge chair lounging causing problems with my ulnar nerve. So now, since patent medicine miracle cures and internet advice did me no good, I need another operation to fix that problem. Again I'll be off-line for a bit, but it shouldn't be as bad as before.

Ah, the wonders of growing old.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

1960s Florida of tourist memories

Click any image to enlarge
Here's a few pictures of 1960s Florida from a tourist's perspective. Some of the kitsch is gone, some has just evolved. For example, Weeki Wachi, in the picture below got converted from a private tourist trap to a State owned park. The mermaid shows are still being staged.

There are a few more pictures after the jump, and more at Flashbaks post ‘Home to Meet God’ – 1960s Florida in Kodachrome.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Futures morphing into the past

Photo by Brett Leigh Dicks (click to enlarge)

Two Bedrooms, Fireplace And Hardwood Floors - Bernard Henrie

He can see his grandfather standing
on a dark, hardwood floor like the one
of his new apartment, a cuspidor
at his feet;

shadows inch into storage bins
and deaf corners of the house.

the halogen bloom of summer across
tile roofs and shining into the eyes
of dogs with jeweled collars;

the landlady offers lease papers,
he stares into the street;

a Japanese woman passes by,
he notes her lapel floret, her body
slight as his wife's on their
wedding day, she moves into focus
as on a photographer’s glass plate.

His wife had not called all day
and he was unable to remember
when his daughter would arrive
from school;

egg-shell colored hair feels thin
in his hand;

an hour later he turns
to the landlady, but the room
is empty; he finds his silver flask,
swallows a single capful;

grains of dust fall on his shoulders,
his watch is missing, a scuffed left
shoe untied.

In the fireplace mirror,
he notices how old he has become;
blue eyes aged to hardened steel,
unclipped brows drooping to form
a hood; his glasses and cheeks
grow wet;

The effect is a man's face struck
by rain while waiting for a taxi.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Havana tour guide vs a skeptical Ukrainian

Above is a pretty entertaining video of a Ukrainian lady who is not buying a Havana tour guide's spiel about the wonders of Cuba. You can tell she's having great fun calling BS on what he has to say.

The video is by a fellow called Brandon Ferdig who has a lot more videos, although many of them are quite short, at his YouTube channel. As well as Cuba, he's traveled through China, Thailand, Cambodia, East Africa and the United States.

One of his primary interests is poverty and homelessness. I actually first stumbled across him through the below video where he talks to a southern redneck.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Old Caribbean travel posters

Click any image to enlarge
My recent trip to escape the polar vortex cold of Florida was to the Dominican Republic. I quite enjoyed my stay there. The people, the food, the beaches, the poolside and just wandering the streets were all pleasant and relaxing, although the touts could get annoying at times.

If you're ever in Bayahibe stop by the Blu Café. Easily the best restaurant on my trip.

Anyway, for graphics, since I couldn't find any old Dominican Republic travel posters I branched out a bit and went for a small sampling of Caribbean themed posters instead.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Heading south for a bit

My destination - click image to enlarge
Damn you Canada -- this polar vortex business has made Florida intolerably cold. I'm having to wear sweaters nearly every day, I am also fearing that I may get frostbite if I'm not careful, and I don't even want to mention the horrors of cabin fever.

Anyhoo... I'll be heading south for my safety and most likely won't be posting for a bit. See you all later, if you haven't froze to death in the mean time that is.

On the departure of a shipmate

The Old Boat - Frederic Edwin Church 
We do not ask a tamed seagull why she feels the need to disappear from time to time to the open sea. She goes, that's all, and it's as simple as a ray of sunshine, as normal as the blue of the sky. - Bernard Moitessier 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Daydreaming and reality

Painting by Francine Van Hove
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sindbad vs Popeye

There was a time when I regularly posted Wednesday 'Hump Day' fight videos. I'm not going to resume that posting tradition, finding videos of silly fights was getting increasingly difficult, but today I'll post a throw-back Hump Day fight. This one features a brawl between Popeye the Sailor and Sinbad the Sailor, who is played by Brutus. Naturally Olive Oyle is caught in the middle.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

King Tut's restored tomb

Click any image to enlarge
Without ever really thinking about it, I just assumed that King Tutankhamen's tomb was restricted to only archeologists and other guests. It turns out it could be visited by tourists, and they recently did restoration work on it.

From the History Blog article Conservation of Tutankhamen’s tomb complete:
The project team found the wall paintings to be in relatively stable condition, apart from localized flaking and loss of paint that was caused by both inconsistencies in the materials used and their application, as well as damage caused by visitors. Newly designed barriers now restrict visitor access in these areas to reduce the risk of future damage. The paintings were stabilized through dust removal and reduction of coatings from previous treatments, and condition monitoring was also established to better evaluate future changes.

Also addressed were the mysterious brown spots on the wall paintings. They were already present when Carter first entered the tomb, and a comparison of the spots with historic photographs from the mid-1920s showed no new growth. To confirm this finding, DNA and chemical analysis were undertaken and confirmed the spots to be microbiological in origin but dead and thus no longer a threat. Because the spots have penetrated into the paint layer, they have not been removed since this would harm the wall paintings.

Restored, stabilized and with new lighting, ventilation and information panels, the tomb of Tutankhamen offers a much improved experience for visitors as well as more secure, controlled conditions to preserve the priceless archaeological material. That includes a few important pieces on display as well as the tomb itself: Tutankhamen’s mummy on view in an oxygen-free display case, the stone sarcophagus and the outermost coffin made of gilded wood.