Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

Here's hoping you all have a Happy New Year, and may your New Year's Eve celebrations be free of giant bee attacks and other such calamities.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Thirst & Camaraderie

How Fear Came by Rudyard Kipling

The stream is shrunk--the pool is dry,
And we be comrades, thou and I;
With fevered jowl and dusty flank
Each jostling each along the bank;
And, by one drouthy fear made still,
Forgoing thought of quest or kill.
Now 'neath his dam the fawn may see,
The lean Pack-Wolf as cowed as he,
And the tall buck, unflinching, note
The fangs that tore his father's throat.
The pools are shrunk--the streams are dry,
And we be playmates, thou and I,
Till yonder cloud--Good Hunting!--Loose
The rain that breaks our Water Truce.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The miniature worlds of Tatsuya Tanaka

Click any image to enlarge
Tatsuya Tanaka, a photographer and art director, has an ongoing project called The Calendar Project. In it he creates fascinating miniature scenes -- from the mundane to the fantastic.

These sample were taken from Colossal Art, there are more after the fold, and at either of the 2 links.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Washing dishes

With the holiday feasts over, it is time to wash dishes. Above is a video somebody made by putting a GoPro into a dishwasher. There are a surprising number of videos of the inside of dishwashers. I picked a short one because, well let's be honest here, even by my somewhat sketchy standards these are some pretty damn boring videos.

And of course, if you don't have a dishwashers, you'll want some Lux detergent to be easy on your hands when you wash dishes the old fashioned way.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Santa's sleigh seems short on reindeers, but the old guy is magical so's I guess it is OK. Anyhoo ... have a good one all.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

How long will this vile custom last?

The Mistletoe Bough by Francis Wheatley
(click to enlarge)
Above is Francis Wheatley's painting The Mistletoe Bough. It depicts the old holiday tradition of stealing a kiss under a sprig of mistletoe. You can read about the history of mistletoe and how the tradition came about at  Maidens and Manuscripts' post Why do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Considering the recent news of sexual coercion, and the ever expanding #MeToo business, I suspect that eventually in some circles simple flirtation may get swept up in the new Victorianism. I wonder if the mistletoe will survive? Or will it be as scandalous as showing an ankle?

Meanwhile, a poem:

Pick a berry off the mistletoe
For every kiss that’s given.
When the berries have all gone
There’s an end to kissing.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A different Christmas song

Well, if you're tired of Jingle Bells, this aint it. Above is a Japanese Christmas song that mixes up a lot of Christmas tunes, features the bubbly dancing singers in a refrigerator at one point, and repeats the lyric "Santa, Santa, Santa" an lot. Oh, there's also a roast turkey floating around in one scene and the girls also participate in the hallowed Christmas tradition of smashing cakes in each other faces. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Dragon Climbing a 17 Story Pink Tower

Click any image to enlarge
Wat Samphran is a Buddhist temple in Thailand famous for a sculpture of a dragon wound around a 17 story pink tower as if it is climbing the structure. Actually, its interior was a staircase, although it is in bad shape these days. There is also a large Buddha statue as well as other huge statues of animals on the grounds.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Making toilet paper rolls

Yet another one of my oddball manufacturing videos. This one from some Chinese company touting their toilet paper rolling machine. The little shop sure is noisy, I wonder what all that pounding was about? Also, it sure seemed like they wasted a lot of tissue loading the machine, but I suppose it is very difficult to work with the large sheets of it.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Panaramic pictures from the past

Click any image to enlarge
These panoramic photos of European cities were taken in the early part of the 20th Century. It is before there were a lot of automobiles, so the streets have an entirely different feel. The pictures are from Le Boite Verte's Europe photos panoramiques anciennes. There are more after the jump, and even more at the link.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Before there were smart phones

This is a 1905 advertisement from the Seattle Independent Telephone Directory selling residential telephone service. It's clearly aimed at women, who apparently wore lacey dresses and Easter bonnets when they spoke on the phone back in the old-timey days. If you can't read the print on the ad, this is what they tout:

Advantages of a residence telephone
  • Makes engagements
  • Invites you friends
  • Friends can call you
  • Does your shopping
  • Reserve theatre tickets
  • Orders your groceries
  • And corrects mistakes
  • Calls the plumber
  • Hastens the delivery of goods
  • Saves letter writing
  • Calls your husband
  • Saves time and steps
  • Runs your errands
  • Calls the doctor
  • Calls the fire department
  • Calls the police

I'm guessing the home phone service wasn't really a hard sell to women, but the issue of it was the cost, which husbands might object to. The bullet points seem like a list of talking points she might use to convince him the phone bill was worth it.

Aside from that I find the active voice odd. The telephone "makes engagements" rather than you "make  engagements". Strange that they make the phone the agent of action rather than the person.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Day of Infamy

Click any image to enlarge
“Before we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.” – Vice Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” – Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Making pencils

In the above video a person makes a pencil using paper, glue and what I think is a mechanical pencil lead. It strikes me as an odd thing to craft. One doesn't think a pencil as being hand made in the old days -- like churning butter, or knitting or whatever. Instead pencils seem to be things that were always manufactured. Beside, I wonder how easy it is to break the lead in the paper tubes? Are they even practical?

At any rate, below is a video of pencil making in a factory. Oddly, it seems more natural to me than the above crafting.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Revenge and Regret

Under Her Dark Veil by Anna Akhmatova

Under her dark veil she wrung her hands.
"Why are you so pale today?"
"Because I made him drink of stinging grief
Until he got drunk on it.
How can I forget? He staggered out,
His mouth twisted in agony.
I ran down not touching the bannister

And caught up with him at the gate.
I cried: 'A joke!
That's all it was. If you leave, I'll die.'
He smiled calmly and grimly
And told me: 'Don't stand here in the wind.'"