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.