Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Paul Landacre's wood block prints

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Paul Landacre was an L.A. based American artist who specialized in wood block prints. He was self taught and active from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Stylistically he is considered a modernist, and indeed his works gradually grew more abstract over time. There are more images after the jump.

Paul Landacre

Sunday, June 27, 2021

F86 Sabre walk-around and flight

Two videos that look at a Korean War era F86 Sabre jet fighter. It is a much simpler machine than a modern fighter jet. The sound in the above video starts out distorted from the wind, but the problem is quickly cleared up.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


Click any image to enlarge

In the development of railroads aircraft engines and propellers, and eventually even jet engines, were explored as means of propulsion. First tired in Russia with the Aerowagon in 1917, variations on the concept were imagined, prototyped and put into limited use through out the 20th century.

These are images of those trains. At the end of this post, after the jump, is a video of the Bennie Railplane in action. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Early in the occupation of Japan

James N. Methven, a pilot of a cargo plane, recalls an encounter with Japanese troops early in the occupation of Japan. He was flying to Fukuoka with a Captain and Sergeant who were delivering a payroll. When he landed his plane was met by a Japanese unit that didn't know the war was over. Needless to say, it was a sticky situation.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

On the father of the prodigal son

Return of the Prodigal Son
Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt portrays the father as the man who has transcended the ways of his children. His own loneliness and anger may have been there, but they have been transformed by suffering and tears. I see the immense beauty of the father's emptiness and compassion. ― Henri J.M. Nouwen


Friday, June 18, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Toru Fukuda's wooden insects

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Toru Fukuda is a Japanese woodworker and artist. He is best known for his small carved insect pieces. The colors come from inlaying different colored woods. These images, and those after the jump, are samples of his work. You can find more in the above link to his gallery pages. 

Toru Fukuda

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Walking in Ulan Bator II

This is our second visit to Ulan Bator for a walk. The first, Walking in Ulan Bator, featured two young girls showing us their route from home to school. It was in winter, and much of the walk was through a neighborhood of Soviet style apartment buildings. It was a bit dingy.

This walk is through more of an upscale downtown area, and it is in the summer so there is no snow, ice and slush. Much more prosperous and pleasant looking and much of the architecture is quite nice. However, unlike most Asian cities there are no street vendors. I suppose the weather precludes that for most of the year, so the habit just never formed. 

I did find the number of English language signs surprising -- they even labeled their police cars in English. I was expecting more Cyrillic lettering.   


Friday, June 11, 2021

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Allen & Ginter cigarette cards featuring weapons

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These are 1887 trading cards from the Allen & Ginter 'Arms of All Nations' series. The series feature weapons of the world, as well as historical weapons. The cards were included with cigarette packs as a promotion. Cigarette trading cards were popular in the late 19th century, with series featuring actors, actresses, sports, royalty and a myriad of other topics.

These images, and those after the jump, are from the Met's digital archive. There are more at the above Allen & Ginter link.     

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Cooking cornbread in Appalachia

These videos are from Tipper Pressley's YouTube channel Celebrating Appalachia. I've chosen three where she is cooking and telling stories, but there are other videos on the channel that cover more general topics: life, language and the culture of Appalachia.

For our non U.S. readers, the Appalachia mountains run down the east side of the U.S., stretching 2000 miles from Canada in the north to Alabama in the south. At one time the region was very remote and poor, and it developed a distinct culture in its relative isolation. It is still looked down upon by many outsiders.  

Friday, June 04, 2021

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Perspective of the mundane

Image from Chelsea College of Arts
A Day - Chong Hyon-jong

A day is ten thousand years
a moment veritably an eon.
Where does the day end?
It never ends.
Somewhere the sun rises
somewhere it sinks.
(Just as love rises then sinks)
Heat knows no end.
Nor do ashes.
The wind’s chest is limitless
and so are the river’s sighs.
The sky with all its folds
the heart with all its chambers,
so goes laughter endless
as are tears.
No way to contain the body heat of the whole of creation
infinity unfolds, channels its course full to the brim.
The sky with all its folds
the heart with all its chambers,
a day never ends.