Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year and Sweet Dreams

I'm not sure what this video has to do with the end of 2016 and/or the start of 2017; but it strikes me you can't go wrong with banjo music for either occasion. So, Happy New Year wishes delivered with the accompaniment of Banjo Guy Ollie covering Sweet Dream (Are Made Of This).

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Photos From the Age of Sail

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 The end of the Age of Sail and the beginnings of photography overlap. These pictures, and those after the fold, are a sampling of photos of those old sailing ships. I hope to dig up more pictures of the crews for a following post, but for now these wiill have to do.

An Old Flares Contributer Needs Some Help

Charles Martin, one of  the original founders of Flares Into Darkness, who now posts to PJ Media, has had some health and employment issues. He has ended up broke as a result.

He has started a gofundme campaign to raise a bit of money to help him get back on his feet. If you have a bit of spare money laying about please contribute, he's a good guy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Different Christmas Song

Above is a video by Mbuvi, a Kenyan gospel singer. It is a Christmas song.  It revolves around the Kenyan tradition of returning home to family and friends to celebrate Christmas. I figure that, after a month of Jingle Bells in the background, it is a change. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ghosts of Christmases Past

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“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge demanded. 
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”  
“Long Past?” inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature.  
“No. Your past.”  
Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered.  
“What!” exclaimed the Ghost, “would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give? Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow!”  
Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully “bonneted” the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. 
“Your welfare!” said the Ghost.
-from The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

We all have our past Christmases with their own ghosts. Here, and after the fold, are some ghosts of unknown people's Christmases. Whether these ghosts bring welfare or not is another matter altogether.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Flowers Inside of Light Bulbs

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 From the 1930s through the 1970s the Aerolux Light Corporation made a series of novelty light bulbs that featured filaments in the form of tiny sculptures. Along with animals and other subjects, flowers were popular.

View more of these bulbs, including some videos of them, at Colossal.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Next Nefarious Rooskie Plot

My CIA sources tell me -- and yes, I have unimpeachable spy agency sources so this aint fake news -- they tell me that, after hacking the US election to make Trump President, they now plan on moving on to step two of their Eeeeevil scheme: brainwashing American tweener girls via commie boy bands.

Above is a sample of one of their highly polished and professional boy bands Steklovata, singing their smash hit Novi God. Parents, don't leave your daughters fall under the hypnotic spell of these lads. It's a trap I tells ya, a trap.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Moths & Butterflies Drawn by Naturalists

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 Prior to photography all scientific illustrations were drawn or painted. On the roster of all scientific expeditions was the artist. Here, and below the fold, are some of those old drawings of moths and butterflies. While some of the drawing are just listings of different moths or butterflies, frequently the illustrations show the plants they feed off, and the various stages of the insect's development.

From the Smithsonian Libraries Collection.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Variations on Making Tortillas

Making tortillas in the Mixteca Region, Oaxaca:

Making tortillas in a modern kitchen:

Making tortillas by machine:

Friday, December 09, 2016

Top Secret Military Info Leaked

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 Julian Assange isn't the only one with inside links to leaks. I too have my sources. In fact, my well placed sources have revealed to me the following shocking top secret military news!

With Calexit gaining strength California's decision makers have realized they'll be needing their own military to guard their borders, march in parades, invade Arizona, and what-not. With that in mind they've started producing their own military hardware and are training the cadre of their new army. Above is a picture of a California tank unit practicing blitzkrieg tactics.

By the way... is it my imagination, or is the fellow commanding the tank familiar looking? You can enlarge the image to see him better.

Saturday, December 03, 2016


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In 1665 Fortunio Liceti published an illustrated edition of his work De Monstris. Supposedly a work exploring deformities in nature, as you can see from the illustrations his monsters were quite fanciful. Not that it really explains his made-up monsters, he explained it as nature being like an artist that worked with what it had. As he said, "It is said that I see the convergence of both Nature and art because one or the other not being able to make what they want, they at least make what they can."

From The Public Domain Review. There are more images below the fold.