Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Making bowling balls

This is a Korean company that makes Swag brand bowling balls. I know nothing about bowling and was surprised by how varied the core of the balls were. Some illumination from the comments to the video:

This brings back a lot of memories as in the early 90’s  I learned to drill bowling balls and had my own pro shop, eventually drilled for highly talented tournament bowlers.   I drilled balls for almost 20 years. This particular ball that they are manufacturing is a high-end ball with a symmetrical or non-symmetrical weight block which allows the driller to position that block in a location That will handle different oil conditions for the bowler plus allowing them to hook or not hook the ball more or less. If you notice on the label of the box each ball at the end of the process is weighed in a way that tells the driller where the center of gravity is, where and how the weight block sits, how much top weight is Positioned in various places on the ball and allows for more flexibility in the drilling process. The simple “ house balls“ that bowling alleys carry for every day bowlers to use off the rack have a pancake weight block or no weight block at all and the process is 90% straightforward and easier as it’s just a simple solid pour and a clean up label and shine.    Nice video as it brings back many memories of my pro shop in Alaska. - rickalford


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Samples of Medieval art

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The Medieval period spanned nearly 1,000 years, from 476 A.D. to the mid-15th century. The Medieval art style was formed by a blend of Roman and northern European barbarian art. It was later to get an infusion of oriental influences via Byzantium. Although some of it was secular, it was primarily religious in nature.  

It did not strive for realism. Rather, since European peasants were illiterate, it was used to illustrate common stories and the lessons they conveyed. Many of their artistic conventions look odd to modern eyes. There is no perspective and so the images look flat. The figures are also elongated and their proportions can be askew. 

A lot of the images are allegorical and the symbols they use, which would have been well understood by their viewers, are baffling to us, which gives them a surreal feeling.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Walking through a terraced rice paddy

Terraced farming lends itself to some amazing photos. They're usually taken from a distance so you can see the full hillsides covered with terraces. This video is a walk through some Indonesian paddies. It gives a good look at them up close and gives an idea of the engineering and labor needed to build them, much less raise the crops. 


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Tropical beaches

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I figure many of my regular readers are from northern climes where you are currently freezing to death and covered in snow. For that reason, I decided to give you a picture post full of tropical beaches that you could enjoy between bouts of snow shoveling, scrapping ice off your car's windshield, and being stupid enough to sit on top of a frozen lake trying to fish.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Railroad crossings

We've all sat at railroad crossings watching a train go by. I'm always struck by the fact that the graffiti artists are generally careful to avoid painting over logos, reporting marks, and other codes on the cars. It is a dance between the railroad companies and the graffiti painters. One thing I don't think about is how the crossing signals work, I just take them for granted. The above video discusses that, and it is interesting what they have to do to get the whole process to work properly.  


Sunday, January 14, 2024

Paintings by Waldemar Fink

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Waldemar Theophil Fink was an early 20th century Swiss artist. He started as a commercial decorative painter. He then studied art in Munich and moved onto becoming a landscape painter. His works featured the Swiss Alps. He painted in the impressionist style, and so his palette is much brighter and more vibrant than you usually see in landscape paintings of mountains.

Waldemar Fink

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Cooking a block of soup

On a cold day in Azerbaijan a fellow prepares a meal. In the title for the post I joked that it was a block of soup, it is actually a dish known as an aspic or a meat jelly. It is made by, after cooking the ingredients, placing them in a mold and pouring the broth over them which, when cooled, becomes gelatinous.  

In the video it comes out looking good. However, as I've mention before, my grandmother was Slovakian and she would make this from time to time and I found it to be ghastly, although some people do like it.    


Sunday, January 07, 2024

Monorails in art

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Because they are associated with sleekness and modernism, Monorails have a cachet in certain circles. Originally presented as a competitor to traditional rail, their limitations have reduced them to competing, none too successfully, against buses and light rail in urban areas. 

While a lot of monorail art is representational, a lot of earlier monorail art leans into the futurism monorails offered. The futuristic cities are always entertaining.

I have posted about monorails before. The most recent being Boynton’s Bicycle Railroad, about an early attempt to run a monorail, and earlier about the Shonan Monorail, which is a small commuter monorail in Japan. 

Friday, January 05, 2024

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Le mot juste

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We relied primarily on these USTR [United States Trade Representative] officials in the Office of China, Affairs, the Office of Innovation and Intellectual Property, the Interagency Center on Trade Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement, and the Office of the General Counsel, and their work was invaluable in ensuring that there were no gaps between the English text and the Chinese text.

Although there were extensive battles over the translations of various terms, the most difficult fight was over whether the term "ying" or "jiang" should be used as the Chinese translation for "shall" in numerous instances throughout the agreement. Our Chinese-language experts at USTR insisted that "ying" was the appropriate Chinese term to use for "shall" because it represented an obligation, whereas "jiang" represented the future tense relating to something a party merely planned to do in the future. However, the Chinese side vehemently disagreed, arguing that the use of "ying" was inappropriate and even insulting. We even decided to consult outside Chinese language experts on this issue, including one who had worked on important agreements with China over several decades while serving with the US embassy in Beijing. They all confirmed that if we wanted the term to convey obligation, we should continue to insist on using "ying." That is exactly what we did. After several conference calls between Ambassador Gerrish and Vice Minister Liao on this issue, the Chinese finally relented and agreed to use "ying." As we went through this "ying versus jiang" discussion internally at USTR, I asked my staff to bring me the famous cyber-intrusion agreement that President Obama had made with President Xi. I wanted to see which Chinese word that agreement had used. After some delay and checking around the government, my staff discovered that neither word had been used in Obama's agreement. That was because the agreement had never been written down. There had not even been a joint press release agreed to. This vaunted "agreement" was nothing but a US press release. I realized again why the Chinese side was so surprised by our approach. They were used to dealing with Americans who were more interested in a show than actual enforceable agreements.

- Robert Lighthizer, No Trade is Free: Changing Course, Taking on China, and Helping America’s Workers. New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2023. (via Language Log)