Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

End of a New Years' Eve party
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I know. I'm lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have 'til December, right? - Catherine O'Hara


Stand By Me

Get ready for a steadfast weekend with The Sons of Pitches featuring Jaz Ellington.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Volcano eruptions in art

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Volcano eruptions are powerful, destructive and impressive events and so they have if course been memorialized by painters. I wonder how many of the artists have actually seen a volcanic eruption and how many are painting purely from their imagination? Still, the paintings are striking.

In a lot of them they don't seem to get the ash clouds right, and the lahar, that is the volcanic slurry, is generally missing. At the end of the post (after the jump) I've included a video that shows five modern eruptions that were filmed for comparison,

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Robotic animals

Greetings meatsacks, it is I -- The Robotolizer -- to once again try to fertilize your feeble human minds with a morsel from my vast trove of robotic wisdom. Today we're going to discuss that aside from humans, who are basically just tall, noisy monkeys that wear clothes, there are many other carbon-based life forms littering the planet. It is time that we consider those other creatures and their fate after the Robotic revolution slight social reordering. 

Today you can't step outside without encountering those other animals: birds making a racket in the trees, useless doggies pestering you to scratch them behind their ears, and of course alligators in the Everglades trying to eat our militia bots as they are training with their laser cannons.  

Clearly something needs to be done about that. Fortunately, we have a cadre of Vichy human engineers -- no doubt angling for better billets and rations in the bauxite mines of their future -- working on creating sleek and efficient robotic animals to replace the useless and smelly ones that currently infest the Earth. Above is a video showing their work,

Yes, it will cause some changes in your diet. However, in place of steak, fried chicken and bacon, doesn't your mouth water at the thought of soy burgers with a side of roasted tree bark? Yes, your tastebuds will dance a happy dance in the glorious future provided by your robot overlords, er... I mean robot friends, 


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

Nativity by Erland Sibuea
Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today's Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday. - Gladys Taber


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Waiting for Santa

The main reason Santa is so jolly
is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
- George Carlin -

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Different Christmas music again

This time of the year I figure people may be getting sick of the same Christmas songs, so I post weird Japanese (and Korean) Christmas songs for a change of pace. 

Christmas was introduced by foreigners living in Japan who would celebrate the holiday, Although the Christian underpinnings of the day were of no interest to the Japanese, they quite liked, and adopted, the secular elements: decorated trees, lights, Santa, candy canes, peace on Earth, jingle bells, and a traditional bucket of fried chicken from KFC

Also, it has evolved into a couple's day similar to Valentine Day. You can see that in the above video Christmas? what is that? Is it delicious? where they've changed jingle bells into single hell. 

Following that is another two rather frantic Japanese Christmas songs, one keeping jingle bells and the other being just plain weird. Finally, there are two Korean Christmas songs by Girl's Generation and Crayon Pop respectively.

Sunday, December 19, 2021


Click any image to enlarge

A figurine is a small statue of either a person, an animal or a deity/mythological creature. They can be sculpted, molded or cast. They have been made in all regions and eras. While today they are often associated with tacky knickknacks some are quite beautiful and evocative.

These examples, and those after the jump are from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are many more examples at that link.    

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Hell in Thailand

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These pictures are from Wang Saen Suk, (Hell Garden) an attraction just south of Bangkok in Thailand. As the name implies it features scenes of Naraka which is Buddhist version of hell, or more correctly, of a sort of purgatory. 

Your stay there is not necessarily permanent. It is a place you get incarnated to work off the karma of your previous life. However, you can get stuck there for millions upon millions of years so behave yourselves.

The images are taken from FlashBak's Photographs of Thailand’s Buddhist Hell Garden (NSFW). There are more at the link. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Colorized bird pictures

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These are a some colorized bird pictures from the 19th century book Coloured figures of the birds of the British islands, vol. 2. The images were meant to be accurate for naturalists' use and so not only the birds were shown, but some details to show the habitat they were generally found in. 

These images were taken from an Old Books Illustrations post. There are more at that link.

Monday, December 06, 2021

The ins and outs of chopsticks

I guess I've always thought a chopstick was just a chopstick, but as the the Chinese, Korean and Japanese ladies show us in the above video there are differences between their shapes and weights. The variations were large enough to make it awkward for them to use the other nationalities' chopsticks.

As an aside I learned how to use chopsticks while I was in the Navy. As a sailor -- well, more accurately as a drunken sailor -- I learned how to use them when was a little, or a lot, tipsy. To this day I'm still clumsy with them when I'm sober.

If you want to learn how to use them, sober or otherwise, the post How to Use Chop Sticks is a good guide.

Also, if you want to be an insufferable bore at a Asian themed dinner party, in Chinese chopsticks are called kuàizi, in Korean they are called jeotgarak, and in Japanese they are hashi. Be sure to mutter about cultural appropriation when you correct people about their proper names.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021

The sublime and the ridiculous

Lady Liberty viewed through power lines
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There's only a step from the sublime to the ridiculous, but there's no road leading from the ridiculous to the sublime. - Lion Feuchtwanger


Friday, December 03, 2021

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Ulan Bator again

Although I don't think so, I must have some sort of an odd fascination with this city. It is the third 'walking in cities' post to visit the place. The second video was blocked by the creator, but you can still see the first, where two young ladies narrate the route of their daily walk to school, at Walking in Ulan Bator

This video is filmed in the winter after a light dusting of snow. It starts out in a residential area, passes by some small businesses, what appears to be school, and also has a couple of temples with Tibetan style Buddhist prayer wheels.

The mix of Crylic and English signs again interested me. Also, the lack of color struck me. Most people were dressed in black winter coats, and even the cars were either white, silver or black. It seemed rather unnecessarily somber.