Sunday, December 03, 2023

Tsuchiya Koitsu's woodblock prints

Click any image to enlarge

Tsuchiya Koitsu was a 20th century Japanese artist who worked in woodblock prints. He was a member of the Shin Hanga school, which married western influences with a revival of traditional Japanese woodblock techniques. We've visited work from that school previously in the post The artwork of Hiroshi Yoshida

What is striking about Tsuchiya Koitsu is his palette. It is much richer and darker than usually seen in Japanese prints. That is particularly evident in his night scenes.

It should also be noted that while works from Shin Hanga school were primarily sold to Western collectors, that the movement itself -- which was steeped in traditional Japanese methods, themes and scenery -- was also very much a part of the pre-WWII Japanese imperial sensibility.  

Tsuchiya Koitsu

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Fermenting toxic shark meat

The Greenland shark, due to a high concentration of Trimethylamine N-oxide (ammonia) in its flesh, is highly toxic. However, it can be fermented and made safe to eat. It is an Icelandic delicacy. The above video shows a small family business and the steps they take to processes the shark meat. 


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Helen Dryden magazine covers

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Helen Dryden was an early 20th century illustrator who is best known for her covers for the fashion magazines Vogue and the Delineator. She was self-taught and heavily influenced by French and Russian ballet and theater costume and set design. She was an early practitioner of Art Deco, and with her work brought vibrant colors to the covers of magazines.    

Later in her life she was also to work in the area of industrial design, bringing modern sensibilities to the 'form' portion of the 'form follows function' axiom. 

Helen Dryden

Friday, November 24, 2023

Traditional Thanksgiving music

On Black Friday I don't do a TGIF post because the long weekend started Wednesday night. However, I will use this Black Friday as an opportunity to play some traditional Thanksgiving music instead.

Regular visitors may remember a few years ago I went to play some Thanksgiving music and was aghast to discover the genre did not exist. Trend setter that I am, I decided to create the genre for the good of all. My first entry into it was Thanks for the Memory. 

Well, another year has passed and once again I've been too lazy busy to add to the genre's catalog, so this year we once again get Thanks for the Memory, this time performed by Sods' Opera. The lyrics seem to have been modified a bit, but the thanking is still there.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving cooking tip

From the 1958 Edwards Standard Service calendar
(click image to enlarge)

Remember, always make sure your Turkey is smaller than your oven. Anyway, have a good Thanksgiving. Enjoy your company, the food (if it fits in the oven), and your blessings. 


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Korean prank videos

Generally, I dislike the idea of prank videos. All too often they are just intruding upon people to create content for social media. While some are harmless annoyances, others trip well past the bounds of decency to be completely obnoxious. Just look at the case of Johnny Somali for an example of that.  

That said, I'm posting a few Korean prank videos. Call me a hypocrite if you must. 

It all started with my YouTube feed's recommendations. Most of the recommendations are aimed at blocks of people with presumably similar viewing habits, but some seem to be an attempt by YouTube to tailor the videos to your individual taste. Since, in looking for things to post, my viewing habits are very eccentric I get some mighty odd recommendations. 

One day I started getting Korean prank videos. I don't know why. At first, they were videos of guys asking young girls questions, and then saying "thankyou auntie" when they left. Age is a big deal in Korea, and I guess assuming somebody is much older than they are is a social gaffe of hilarious proportions. 

Then these two guys started appearing in my feed. Their bit was to sit in cafes and have ridiculous conversations the other patrons overheard. I've got to say that some of their scripts were pretty funny, and the reactions of the people trying not to laugh and make it obvious they were eavesdropping were entertaining. Although, I think a lot of them caught on sooner or later that this was just a prank.

Be sure to have captions turned on.