Friday, November 30, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Emergency! Emergency!

John Sell Cotman - Ruined House
I knew this day was coming. Flares uses a free template and some of the graphics files are hosted on another site. I knew that at some point those files might no longer be hosted there, and it looks like that day has arrived. Flares has lost some background tiles and/or styling.

Time to do some remodeling I guess. Please bear with the mess as I shift to a new template.

UPDATE 1: My first concern was how the older posts would render in a new layout. My posts use an image/embedded video on top, generally followed by some text and then more images as needed. Because a lot of Flares' traffic comes through searches I wanted to make sure the old posts didn't look ridiculous. This seems to work.

I also think some people come more for my links than my idiotic posts, so I've pushed the 'Blogs of Interest' and 'Recommended' links to the top of the right side bar. I'll eventually move some things on top of them, but I won't push them down too far.

UPDATE 2: I am happy with the right rail layout, but I do need to add a contact form to it. Now and again I do get emails from Flares visitors and I want to keep that possibility on the site.

I've dropped the "Yet Another Great Blog" tagline. Hated to do that since it is actually another name for Flares, but I am working on making the header less tall so I can pull up more of the blog content in the browser window. I added Social Media links to the post footer.

I've also started to fiddle with the styling a bit. I'll be tweaking it as I go on.

The mobile view bothers me because the links get lost. I need to try to figure out if I can fix that.

UPDATE 3: I've done a couple more tweaks to the styling and I believe I am done for now. I have to admit this has been about the laziest blog redesign I could have possibly done, but it seems to have worked out.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Equestrian statues

In the post Onward we stagger I suggested that the statue of William Darby on a motorcycle was essentially an equestrian statue, with the motorcycle replacing the horse. Here, and after the jump, are more conventional examples of equestrian statuary, with the rider mounted on a proper horse. Enjoy.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday stampedes

The weekend started yesterday, so there is no reason for my usual Friday music video to get you ready for it. Instead, in honor of Black Friday shopping lunacy I'm posting a couple of stampede videos.

The first (above) is from an idiotic movie called 10,000 BC. Who knew wholly mammoths were used in the construction of the pyramids? For that matter, who knew the pyramids used to look like that? At any rate, as part of a slave revolt a herd of silly looking CGI mammoths are stampeded down a ramp to stomp on soldiers and eeeeevil overseers. Quite an inspirational scene.

Below we head off to Skull Island where much better looking CGI dinosaurs stampede through some westerners on safari. For the amount of dinosaurs there are you would think more of the safari guys would get squashed, but whatever. Also, the predator dinosaurs seem to have a pretty stupid hunting strategy -- shouldn't they just pick off the weakling at the back of the herd instead of getting mixed up in the herd where they can get stomped on as well?

Any way, if you go shopping today have fun, but try to be neither the stomper nor the stompee.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Click image to enlarge
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty. – Edward Winslow

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Animatronic Ice Age Animals

If you're in need of some animatronic animals (and who isn't?) check out Peter Miao's YouTube feed for Zigong Dinosaurs World Science & Technology Co.,Ltd. Above is a video of some of their Ice Age animals sort of moving and roaring and what-not.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Onward we stagger

Click any image to enlarge
I guess this is a form of an equestrian statue, with the horse replaced by a motorcycle. it memorialized William Darby and is located in Fort Scott, Arkansas. Darby is the WWI officer who put together Darby's Raiders, the unit that eventually evolved into the U.S. Army Rangers.

Found via Roadside Wonders.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day

From the Army times article Nov. 11, 1918: Wasted Lives on Armistice Day:
On November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front in France suffered more than thirty-five hundred casualties, although it had been known unofficially for two days that the fighting would end that day and known with absolute certainty as of 5 o’clock that morning that it would end at 11 a.m. Nearly a year afterward, on November 5, 1919, General John J. Pershing, commander of the AEF, found himself testifying on the efficiency of the war’s prosecution before the House of Representatives Committee on Military Affairs.

The encounter was amicable and respectful since members were dealing with the officer who had led America to victory in the Great War. However, a Republican committee member, Alvan T. Fuller of Massachusetts, deferentially posed a provocative query: ‘This question is somewhat irrelevant to the matter under discussion,’ Fuller began, ‘but I would like to ask General Pershing if American troops were ordered over the top on the other side on the morning of the day when under the terms of the Armistice firing was to cease … and that those troops who were not killed or wounded marched peacefully into Germany at 11 o’clock. Is that true?’

Pershing answered with his customary crisp confidence:

"When the subject of the armistice was under discussion we did not know what the purpose of it was definitely, whether it was something proposed by the German High Command to gain time or whether they were sincere in their desire to have an armistice; and the mere discussion of an armistice would not be sufficient grounds for any judicious commander to relax his military activities. … No one could possibly know when the armistice was to be signed, or what hour be fixed for the cessation of hostilities so that the only thing for us to do, and which I did as commander in chief of the American forces, and which Marshal Foch did as commander in chief of the Allied armies was to continue the military activities…"

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Harvesting redwood trees

Above is a film from the 1940s showing redwood trees being cut down, transported and processed at a lumber mill. Amazingly the old-timey lumberjacks fell the trees with only axes, saws and wedges making us modern folk look like little more than chainsaw dependent soyboys in comparison.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The catfish of DOOM

In 1855 an earthquake struck Tokyo causing considerable amounts of damage and killing 7,000 people. Popular legend held that giant catfish, who lived underground, caused earthquakes. After the 1855 earthquake a number of prints circulated with a catfish theme.

These few examples, and those after the jump, are from the Pink Tentacle post, Namazu-e: Earthquake catfish prints. At that link are many more examples of those prints as well as captions explaining each print.

There's a sudden void in my life

Anybody else feeling depressed and disoriented after the election? I mean, how will I ever survive without a deluge of campaign ads.

Man, no jazzy campaign commercials with smiling heroes to cheer me up, no voice messages on my answering machine telling me to vote 'yes' on proposition 3, my mailbox barren of slick flyers educating me as to what a criminal and cad the other fellow is sure to be. Nothing -- just campaigning silence.

I feel adrift. Whatever will I do with all my time now?

Monday, November 05, 2018

A song for the election

Well, it is a song about the wrong election, but whatever. Regardless, no matter how the vote goes there will be hysteria. Better to take it all in stride. Have a good one no matter what.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

5 days in a Mumbai slum

In the above video an incredibly cheerful Lithuanian fellow spends 5 days visiting and living in a Mumbai slum. It is a bit odd of a video to put it mildly. He pretty much ignores the slummy aspect of the slum in a slightly goofy euphoria over the people who live there. At least his heart is in the right place.

By the way, the comments to the video are interesting. Not all are so rosy as our Lithuanian friend and so they add a different perspective to what the video shows.