Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween

Oh my, Halloween is so fraught with landmines in these politically correct neo-puritan days that even picking out a card can be a chore. Anyway, and at the risk of being insensitive and offending any Children of the Corn that might visit this blog -- Happy Halloween.

Errr.... also, please try to ignore the unhealthy and oddly cannibalistic connotations of a corncob pipe being smoked by a corncob (insert the Surgeon General's warning here, etc., etc.).

Monday, October 28, 2019

A mainland Chinese reflects on living in the West

The Hong Kong situation is revealing fractures in the Sinosphere (Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora) that were previously invisible to us Westerners. This video features a letter written by a mainland Chinese person who discusses the issues facing Chinese living in the West and the isolation the CCP inculcates in many of them. The comments to the video are quite interesting as well.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Real & imagined opium dens

Click any image to enlarge
Opium dens, which started out as an Asian thing, became popular, or at least somewhat trendy, during the 19th century in Europe as well. Some of these pictures are of actual opium dens, others like the one above with all the drugged white women, are staged.

If you want to get titillated by Victorian opium addiction you can always go to Project Gutenberg and read Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey. Just be prepared for a lot of blithering foppery if you do decide to read it.

Finally, as usual, there are more pictures after the jump.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

St Joseph elementary school in Banjul, Gambia

The video labels it as a high school, but in the commentary it is for grades 1 through 9. Vic Stefanu, who filmed it, has a large number of interesting videos at his YouTube site.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Out of reach

A Eunuch’s Dream (1874), Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - W. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bring it on Home to Me

Get ready to ask for a second chance this weekend
with Scary Pockets featuring Joshua Radin and Hunter Elizabeth. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Starting a WWII Soviet T-34-85 tank

The above video shows a 1944 T-34-85 being started after it sat in a barn for a while. It is powered by a 38 litre V-12 diesel. Below is more video of the tank, including shots of the interior of the turret and hull.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Paintings by Naoki Tomita

Click any image to enlarge
Naoki Tomita is a Japanese painter who paints striking urban and suburban landscapes. He applies hiss oil paint thickly and in the process creates a blending of realism and impressionism from his brush strokes.

He also paints portraits, but in these samples, and those after the jump, I've concentrated only on his landscape work.  

Friday, October 11, 2019

Monday, October 07, 2019

Visualizing the Tower of Babel

Click any image to enlarge
Genesis 11:1-9 King James Version:
  1. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
  2. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
  3. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
  4. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
  5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
  6. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
  7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
  8. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
  9. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The images are from Picryl's Tour de Babel.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

A matter of perspective

Patent for the windowed envelope (click to enlarge)
I feel today, with all the possibilities we have in our hands, all the new technology at our disposal, everything is becoming obvious. Nothing is surprising. You can see beautiful things on Instagram, but there is something that doesn't touch you deeply. Everything is normal, while there's nothing that grabs you and turns you upside down. - Ludovico Einaudi

Tuesday, October 01, 2019