Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Walking at the Pak Khlong Flower Market

The walk starts in a regular market in Bangkok, Thailand and the moves to the part of the market that sells flowers. I half expected to see Chompoo, Peun, Prim, Foon and Art, but it looked like it was early in the morning so maybe they were sleeping off one of their benders at Go's bar.

OK, enough of my stupid jokes. It was filmed in December of 2020. The mask usage seems to be fairly random.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

The delivery of meaning

Images from Messy Nessy 
(click any image to enlarge)

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow


'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words -- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course,' he added as an afterthought.

A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm.

'You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,' he said almost sadly. 'Even when you write it you're still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that you write in the Times occasionally. They're good enough, but they're translations. In your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?'

Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on:

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?' 

- George Orwell

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Apocalypse and miracles

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These images are from the Book of Miracles, a German early Renaissance work that shows various miracles, natural disasters and visions of the apocalypse drawn from Biblical sources and legends. There are more examples after the jump.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Korean sword dancing

A while back I did a post on Cossack sword dancing. Today we follow that post up with some Korean sword dancing. Above is a video of young ladies from Chungnam Arts High School doing a sword dance. Their swords are no where near as long and dangerous looking as the Cossack swords, but the costuming and choreography is very nice. 

Korean sword dances are called Geom-mu(검무). All the examples of Korean sword dancing I saw featured women; I'm not sure what the story behind that is. The dances appear to be more formalized and theatrical than the Cossack dances. Below are a couple of other examples of Korean sword dances.

Friday, February 12, 2021


Get ready for a match made in heaven weekend with WORLD ORDER and SKE48.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Welding in space

The above video explains cold welding, a process in which two surfaces of the same metal can adhere to each other in a vacuum. This of course can cause problems in satellites and other space vehicles. The video offers a nice demonstration of how cold welding occurs and discusses some of the issues it causes in the space programs and their solutions. 


Sunday, February 07, 2021

Walter Molino's art of disaster

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Walter Molino was a 20th century illustrator and caricaturist. He did the cover art for Italian magazines that featured lurid tales of disaster. His over the top illustrations teasing the stories, most of which actually had happy endings, are quite striking and entertaining. 

(HT Flashbak and

Walter Molino by Joe Zattere

Friday, February 05, 2021

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

A tour of PT boat 658

These little boats sure packed a lot of fire power. The layout of the interior spaces was of interest to me (at 78 feet it is a little under 3 times as long as my little 30ft sailboat). PT-658 was built by Higgins and commissioned in 1945, so it represents the culmination of PT boat design based on WWII experience. 


Saturday, January 30, 2021

What comes around...

Herd Immunity by Carlos Fdez

Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in. ― Ashly Lorenzana


Friday, January 29, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Beauty is youth at all ages

Click any image to enlarge

These are graphics from Palmolive soap ads from the 1920s through the 1950s. Palmolive's ad agency used several templates for the ad layouts, with one of the most common being a strong graphical image at top with teaser text (the rather incoherent phrase that acts as the title of this post is one of the teasers). The image to the left shows the full ad that the above image is taken from.

The Palmolive ads are aimed at women, and they stress youth, beauty and romance. Occasionally the interests of the day surface -- during the war years the men appear in uniform, there is a spate of ads featuring the Dionne quintuplets, while early ads featured an Egyptian motif that was probably a result of the finding of Tut's tomb and the burst of interest in Egyptology at the time.

By contrast today's soap ads are much more fixated on natural ingredients, moisturizing, scents and skin care. I wonder what the future holds? 
These ad images, and those after the jump, were taken from the Duke University Archive's Palmolive Company collection. There are more examples at the link.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Juho Könkkölä's elaborate origami art

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Juho Könkkölä is a 23 year old Finnish origami artist. The samurai warrior pictured above took him 2 months of planning and a month to fold from a single piece of paper. Below are more pictures of his paper samurai as well as other examples of his work (you can see more at the portfolio page of his website). 

The post ends with a video of the steps he took in folding the origami samurai. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Cossack sword dancing

Cossack sword dancing started out as a pantomime of fights in battles. It has evolved into showing off as you dance around while twirling swords. Above is a collection of various people doing a sword dance. I wonder what an American helicopter mom would think of their tyke swinging swords around like the lad in the video.

Below is a video by Evgeny Kolot, a Cossack martial arts instructor demonstrating a sword dance in slow motion. It is nicely filmed and rather hypnotic. There are other good videos on his channel.

Friday, January 15, 2021

She's Got You

Get ready for a short end of the stick weekend with Sharon Little and Tim Sonnefeld.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Life goes on

A stagecoach passed by on the road and went on;
And the road didn’t become more beautiful or even more ugly.
That’s human action on the outside world.
We take nothing away and we put nothing back, we pass by and we forget;
And the sun is always punctual every day.

― Alberto Caeiro

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Converting sound into an image via an eidophone

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In my earlier post Reconstructing sound from a silent video we saw a method of reconstructing audio by observing the minute variations of a surface's edge caused by sound vibrations. In this post we see images made by sound vibrations.

Megan Watts Hughes was a 19th Century Welsh singer and scientist. She developed a machine she called an Eidophone which allowed her to create graphic captures of her singing notes by disturbing particles on a membrane. Some of the pictures are very striking.

These are taken from the Public Domain Review's post Picturing a Voice. There are more examples at the link, as well as a discussion of her eidophone and other early attempts to visually capture sound.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Cambodian grilled fish, radish curry and honey chicken

These videos are of Polin, a young Cambodian woman, cooking various meals. No recipes are offered, just shots of her gathering some ingredients and preparing the food. This is a style you see in a certain genre of cooking videos -- no dialog and an emphasis on traditional living with pretty scenery mixed in.

A while back I posted Cooking snake soup, which was a video of two Cambodian sisters in the same style (I think one of them was Polin). In the comments to that post I mentioned some of these Vlogs had gotten in trouble for cooking endangered animals. Polin is connected to these dodgier Vlogs. From a Coconuts Bangkok article:

Our first-hand introduction to the world of primitive tech videos took place on an enormous resin plantation, about two-and-a-half hours outside Phnom Penh.

The set was in the back of an expansive, well-kept property just meters from the shore of the Mekong. There we found a house fashioned from wooden rods with a thatched roof. Inside, it was completely empty – a prop.

There was a small pond and a pen for the ducks, but both were empty as the ducks were being kept at the couple’s real home. Three fighting cocks sat in wooden cages —  though it was unclear if they were destined to be part of a production. 

Huong Raty, the producer of NLTV, was wearing pressed slacks and a Lacoste shirt when he came out to greet us. The 31-year-old had a gold ring, a nice watch, and carefully styled hair. His wife, Touch Polin, in contrast, arrived wearing traditional Cambodian clothes, her outfit for that day’s shoot.

The video they were shooting during our visit, Cooking Cassava with Coconut Milk in My Village would be uploaded the next day, not to NLTV but to another channel they produce, one called Polin Lifestyle (PL) channel. 

The production set-up was simple but professional. Shot on a tripod with an SLR, they worked with the efficiency of a crew that clearly produced these videos on a near-daily basis.

Polin slowly and deliberately cut and stripped a cassava root while being given instructions by her husband off-screen. When the camera stopped filming, she retired to the shade of the house while two men came to the table to quickly slice up what was left.

The full video, which shows Polin arriving on a riverbank in a boat, digging up the cassava roots, then later cooking them with coconut milk, follows the basic tenets of other primitive technology-type videos. There’s no talking, no background music, a lot of long shots, and plenty of repetitive action. There is a calming effect to watching it, much in contrast to the frenzied eating seen in the videos produced by PTKH and similar channels.

Not all of their videos are as innocuous, however. The top videos on their main channel, NLTV, mostly focus on Polin, sometimes accompanied by other women, cooking and eating large game (the videos that allegedly featured protected animals have been deleted from their channel).

Unmentioned in the above article, to me the videos at the Polin Lifestyle YouTube channel are closer to the Chinese Vlogger Li ZiQi (my post about her is Homemade wheat beer and crayfish)

Below are a couple more Polin's videos, with no endangered species in either. In the first she makes a white radish curry and a fish stew, in the second she goes to a beekeeper and gets some honey, which she uses to make a honey glazed grilled chicken.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Zhou Yi - the Sugar King

Click any image to enlarge

Zhou Yi is a Chinese patissier who has earned the tile of 'Sugar King' due to his intricate and beautiful fondant cake icings. These examples of his work are from the Veri-art post Zhou Yi - "Incredibly Detailed And Beautiful Handmade Cake". There are more after the jump, and many more at the link.

Zhou Yi