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

Click any image to enlarge

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.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Filling a piano with water

In the above video a fellow, for reasons I can't quite fathom, fills up a piano with water to hear what it sounds like. I guess everybody has a dream. Anyway, this is a more difficult project than he first expected. He ends of doing a considerable amount of experimenting, fiddling, and water-proofing a piano before he gets it to work.

There is a short ad in the video, but at least it is about coffee.


Monday, May 20, 2024

Link maintenance

I've made a couple of changes to Flares' links. Powerline's article feed stopped working, so I moved it from 'Blogs of Interest" to the 'Recommended' section. Don Surber has moved from Blogspot to Substack, so I updated his link as well. Their new links:


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tramp steamers

Click any image to enlarge

Tramp steamers are ships without a fixed schedule. Instead of pre-arranged routes, they trade on the spot market picking up new cargo upon the delivery of whatever they are hauling. Although they can be any type of ship: freighters, tankers, container ships, etc., in popular imagination they are smaller, older, rust buckets.

There is a sub-genre of movies and literature set on tramp streamers. They feature a cast of colorful passengers, most with dubious motives and questionable pasts, as well as crews full of sketchy characters that are likely up to no good. Of course, there will also be a hot dame or two mixed in to roil the pot. They're almost always entertaining in a cheesy sort of a way.  

I thought insurance issues would have prevented modern freighters from carrying passengers, but apparently you can still book passage on some tramp steamers. Sounds kind of dreadful to me, but who knows?

Friday, May 17, 2024

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

WWI Fokker DVII biplane

The above video shows the construction methods and workings of a Fokker DVII biplane. The planes entered service in 1918, late in the war, but proved to be an excellent warplane. After the war all existing DVIIs were transferred to the allies as part of the armistice. Below are a pictures of surviving planes. 


Sunday, May 12, 2024

Jungle paintings

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A jungle is woods in a tropical zone. It is miles upon miles of trees underneath which is a dense weed utopia. They are difficult to move through and so, like any remote area, they are cloaked in mystery and romanticized. 

To temperate dwellers they contain strange tropes: from safari members nervously muttering "it's quiet, too quiet" as they watch the trees, to Rosseau-like dreams of animals frolicking together in peace instead of eating each other, to ape-raised Tarzan swinging through the trees as he yodels to elephants.  

Above all, they are places where one's imagination can run as wild as the foliage.  

Happy Mother's Day

my mother
is pure radiance.

she is the sun
i can touch
and kiss

and hold
getting burnt.

― Sanober Khan ―

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Stir fried steak & French fries

This a is a Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado. It is a stir fry of steak, onion, tomatoes, pepper, soy sauce, and French fries served with a side of rice. Sometimes the French fries are also served to the side, but a common preparation includes them in the stir fry so they can absorb the flavor of the juices. Looks wonderful to me.

It comes from an infusion of Chinese techniques into Peruvian cuisine. In the 19th century many well-off Peruvians had Chinese cooks as indentured servants. They introduced stir frying (saltado) and many of the ingredients, including the side of rice, to the dish.       


Sunday, May 05, 2024

Ralph Pallen Coleman artworks

Click any image to enlarge

Ralph Pallen Coleman was an American artist active during the first half of the 20th century. He did paintings and illustrations. He started doing work for pulps and local newspapers and worked his way to selling to more mainstream magazines like the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and Home and Garden. Later in his career he turned more towards religious-themed artworks. 

Ralph Pallen Coleman

Friday, May 03, 2024