Sunday, July 21, 2024

Paintings of gas stations

Click any image to enlarge

Gas stations are ubiquitous in the U.S. Of course they are the subject of paintings. However, a large percentage of those paintings are of old-timey gas stations rather than modern ones. I guess it is the call of vintage cars and nostalgia.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Walking in Wuhan

Because of the Great Firewall China controls what is posted on Western platforms. China carefully curates it image, preferring to portray themselves as sparkling and modern. Hence the endless shots of high-speed rail, robot delivery vehicles, brand new buildings and so forth. 

Logic tells you there is something Potemkin-villagey about all that. Aside from that, a lot of Chinese street videos are nothing more than collections of pretty Chinese girls aimed at Western simps, so finding a good walking in cities video was a bit of a challenge.

The above is a walk through what appears to be middle class neighborhood in Wuhan, China (insert your own covid joke here). I think it is morning, the shop keepers are setting up their stalls and storefronts. He wanders through several streets and alleys. One thing that is striking, a lot of the vehicles and almost all of the scooters are electric, so the traffic sound is much quieter.

As an aside, the video was posted about a month ago. Since then, the upper Yangtze River basin has had a lot of rain and experienced heavy flooding. The Wuhan riverside area was flooded, and some of the interior streets as well.


Sunday, July 14, 2024

Still life with hamburger

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Today we have still lifes featuring the humble hamburger. Well, a couple of them aren't technically still lifes since they have people in them, but most fit the definition. 

The meat patties are not that visually interesting; it is the condiments, lettuce, and the buns that give the burgers color and attractiveness in the paintings. Also, the paintings that are framed as more traditional still lifes, with fries, drinks, wrappers and a background, work better than the ones that just focus on the burgers alone.     

Bon appétit.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Space clouds and you!

Space isn't entirely empty, there are a lot of loose particles, gas, and plasma spread through it. Interstellar clouds are areas of greater concentrations of that material. There are a number of interstellar clouds in our vicinity of the galaxy. In fact, we are currently moving through the Local Cloud and headed towards the denser G-Cloud which Alpha Centauri is located. Of course, all of this takes millions of years.

Could the passage through interstellar clouds influence the Earth and Solar System?

Also within our vicinity is a ribbon of clumps of denser interstellar medium known as Local Ribbon of Cold Clouds. It is theorized that 3 to 4 million years ago we passed through one of these dense areas. 

The Solar System is protected by the heliosphere. The heliosphere is a bubble of charged particles the Sun emits that buffers the Solar System from interstellar radiation and materials. However, it is believed that the encounter with one of the dense Cold Clouds could collapse the heliosphere significantly and expose the planets, including Earth, to the interstellar medium. There is some geological evidence that this did happen at the time we may have passed through one of the Cold Clouds.

There is then the question as to what, if any, effect this may have had on the Earth? There is a rough correlation between the time of passing through the Cold Cloud and the start of the Ice Ages. Correlation is not causation, but the timing is interesting. If nothing else, the rain of interstellar particles and radiation causing noticeable climate fluctuations seems to be both possible and plausible.


Sunday, July 07, 2024

Paintings by Giovanni Segantini

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Giovanni Segantini was a19th century Italian painter. He was born in Austria and had a difficult childhood after his parents died. He was shuffled between relatives and spent time in reformatories. In fact, it was chaplain at the reformatory who noticed Segantini's artist skills and encouraged him to pursue them. He eventually moved to Italy, which he considered his home, and later to Switzerland. 

He painted rural and Alpine scenes. He was quite successful during his life.

Portrait of Giovanni Segantini
by Luigi Gallina

Friday, July 05, 2024

Radar Love

Get ready for a preternatural weekend with Audio In Motion featuring Alec Inglett.


Thursday, July 04, 2024

Happy 4th of July

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - Thomas Jefferson 


People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other. But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That’s not our America. Our United States of America is not about us versus them. It’s about we the people! - Camila Alves 


Wednesday, July 03, 2024

July 4th Eve firecracker post

On this July 4th Eve, which some people unimaginatively call July 3rd, we have a video of Chinese firecracker and fuse factories. For the most part the work is dirty and looks to be tedious piecework. I hope they get paid a decent salary. Give a thought to these poor worker bees as you light the fuses on your fireworks tomorrow.


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Paintings of bridges

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Bridges are a common sight as they span rivers, roads and any other obstacles. Of course, they are frequently drawn or painted. These examples are primarily of larger bridges. Enjoy. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Analog and digital

The word 'computer' after analog and digital implies more of a connection than is probably warranted. It would be like always sticking 'motor vehicle' after cars or airplanes. Yea, they get you there, but they do it in vastly different ways. Anyway, this is a good discussion of the two means of computing.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Alfredo Roldán paintings

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Alfredo Roldán is a contemporary Spanish artist. He primarily paints women and still lifes with complex compositions.  Roldán draws his inspiration from early 20th century artists, you can see the influence of Modigliani and Picasso on him. I quite like his use of colors and patterns.

Alfredo Roldán

Friday, June 21, 2024

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Jerk chicken and roasted breadfruit

Freelance Chucky fixes his grill and purchases ingredients for a meal of jerk chicken with a side of breadfruit. He appears to be higher than a kite. The video is filmed, and I suppose edited and posted, by his German friend. Sadly, we find out in a later video that Chucky died about a month ago in a motorcycle accident.


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Oskar Schlemmer paintings

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Oskar Schlemmer was a German artist active in the first half of the 20th century. He was an early member of the Bauhaus School. Bauhaus was a movement that attempted to merge all of the visual arts types -- architecture, theater, painting, etc. -- into a single uniform style. Bauhaus inspired art featured straight lines, simple planes and a general lack of ornamentation. It was very influential at its height, but the rise of the Nazis put an end to it. Adolf Hitler greatly disliked it. 

Schlemmer started out designing costumes for their theater (and his costumes are every bit as ridiculous as you might imagine), but he eventually moved on to painting. With Hitler's rise he was forced out of his academic positions and maintained a low profile for the rest of his life.

Oskar Schlemmer self-portrait

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Making toilets

Nothing but class from Flares 24/7. Again, we visit a small Indian factory. This one is making both Western style (above) and Asian style (below) toilets. The work is still dirty and laborious, but at least it is not as dangerous as most of these places generally look.


Sunday, June 09, 2024

Paintings by Ferdinand Loyen Du Puigaudeau

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Puigaudeau was a late 19th century/early 20th century French artist. He was an impressionist painter and friends with both Gauguin and Degas. He painted village life and a lot of sunsets and sunrises, as well as moonlit nights. In his lifetime he exhibited rarely and was not particularly successful. 

Ferdinand Loyen Du Puigaudeau

Friday, June 07, 2024

Wednesday, June 05, 2024


Wading ashore at Utah Beach
(click image to enlarge)

You get your ass on the beach. I’ll be there waiting for you and I’ll tell you what to do. There ain’t anything in this plan that is going to go right. — Colonel Paul R. Goode (pre-attack D-Day briefing to the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division)


A railroader's cafe

Above is an old trade video promoting railroads. Rather than the usual shots of railroads driving hither and yon accompanied by cheerful music and a chipper narration, this video delivers its message via a scripted presentation. 

The video is set in a cafe that the railroaders all gather in after their shifts. It features a spunky waitress, a short order cook who is a font of railroad statistics, several off-duty railroaders and a mysterious stranger who we would never guess is the reporter writing the upcoming story about railroads they're all discussing.  

Altogether the staff and cliental of the place seem oddly obsessed over trains, but I guess it gets its message across.


Sunday, June 02, 2024

Kangaroo art

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Lately, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, thoughts of Kangaroos have infiltrated my mind. I wonder why? Anyway, here is some kangaroo art.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Walking in Petra

This is a different walking in cities post in that this is a walk through an abandoned city. Instead of a mass of locals, we are in a mass of tourists. Petra is in southern Jordan and much of it was carved out of the cliffsides of the canyons that surrounded it. It utilized an elaborate system of cisterns to store water which made it a sort of artificial oasis. It was in the vicinity of trade routes, so for a time it was a relatively affluent city, although at its height it only had a population of around 20,000 people. 

The above video gives you an idea of the canyons it sits in, below is a longer video showing more of the city and its surrounding area.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Dreams interrupted

Civil War field hospital

Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
they think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.
- Siegfried Sassoon -


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Old Motor magazine covers

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Motor is a technical journal that caters to gas station owners, automobile repair shops, parts suppliers, and dealers. It was first published in 1903 and is still active, although it has moved from print to digital media. 

These covers are from 1904 through the 1940s. When the magazine started the covers featured a lot of women. However, they moved on to having humorous covers featuring visual jokes. Of course, during WWII they switched to patriotism and War Bond drives.

These examples are from MagazineArt, there are more at that link.