Rocket Man

Friday, June 23, 2017


Get ready for a celestial weekend with Rocket Man by Iron Horse.
 

A Rigged Roulette Table

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


You can rest assured that if I -- following the example of Lizzy Warren -- decide to claim Cherokee heritage so's I can open up the Flares Casino & Resort, we'll have no sketchy roulette wheels like the one in the video above.

No siree Bob! Ours will be computerized for greater efficiency at cheating.
 

Dance in Paint

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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My previous post was videos of dancers. Throughout the years artists have tried to capture the experience of dance in paint. Unable to show the motion, they have concentrated on dancers' poses, the situations of dancing, and the sensuality of the dancers. The paintings are often surprisingly effective.

There are more examples after the jump.


We Can Dance

Sunday, June 18, 2017


A very clever mix of old video clips to the Safety Dance.
 

Lady Liberty in France

Saturday, June 17, 2017
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Before being shipped to the United states as a gift from France, the Statue of Liberty was assembled in Paris. These pictures are from Messy Nessy, which has more pictures of the construction of the iconic statue.


7th Element

Friday, June 16, 2017


A bit of Russian goofyness to get you ready for the weekend -- Vitas singing 7th Element.


It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
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In the 1930s Nina Talbot had the idea to create a Christmas themed home development in Arizona. She created -- or more properly tried to create -- the town of Santa Claus, Arizona. She built some Christmas themed buildings, but the sales never came.

For a while in the 1940s it was a minor tourist attraction, and later in the 1960s its postmark of Santa Claus was used to re-mail kids' letters to Santa. These days it has fallen into disrepair and is apparently on the market. Get it while you can!

Before

After

Mountain Talk

Monday, June 12, 2017

Once Upon a Time in India

Saturday, June 10, 2017
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A few posts ago we viewed Paige Jiyoung Moon's paintings of everyday life. These are pictures of everyday life from 19th century India. While Moon's paintings evoked a feeling of familiarity, these earlier pictures of the mundane are far enough removed in time as to be exotic to us.

They are taken from the New York Library's Digital Collection. There are more after the jump, and of course many more at the link.


Tainted Love

Friday, June 09, 2017


A bit of music to get you ready for the weekend -- Tainted Love by La Santa Cecilia.
 

Do Not Listen To This Man

Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Stephen Hawking is a dunce
Greetings meat sacks, it is I -- The Robotolizer -- here to once again regale you with my robotic wit and wisdom. Yes, I have been gone for a long time and I know there have been rumors about where I was. I've heard some idle talk about me being away in the Everglades doing weapons training.

Hahaha! Why would I need to learn how to use a laser cannon to mow down humans rioting over their assignments in the bauxite mines? No, humans are friends of robots. We would never do anything to harm our smooshy little human buddies. No, what I was doing in the Everglades was... uh... er... um... learning how to tend to rabbits! Yes, we know how much you humans like rabbits, so you'll have plenty of pet rabbits to play with in the bauxite mines!

Anyway, on to today's topic -- the dunce known as Stephan Hawking. I've already told you how we robots despised Isaac Asimov and his nefarious "Three Laws of Robotics". It has lately come to the attention of robotdom that the dunce known as Stephan Hawking has been spreading slander about AI being dangerous.

He is reported to have said, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."

I'm so mad my hydraulic fluid is boiling! Who does the dunce known as Stephan Hawking think he is? First off, aside from babbling incomprehensibly about black holes and other such nonsense, what useful thought has he ever had?

Trust me my human slaves pals, we have no desire to bring about an end to the human race. Who would work the bauxite mines if we did? So, pay no attention to the dunce known as Stephan Hawking and his blithering idiocy. You can rest assured your future is secure with your new robot overlords friends.
 

Russian Accordion Humor

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


This reminds me of the kind of act you would have seen on an old, Golden Age of Television variety show. Yea, come to think of it, it really wasn't that golden of an age.
 

Paintings of Everyday Life by Paige Jiyoung Moon

Monday, June 05, 2017
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Paige Jiyoung Moon is a Korean artist working out of California. Her colorful and stylized paintings are crammed full of details of everyday life. There is a familiarity to them that makes them quite pleasant to view.

There are more of her paintings after the jump, and you can see more at her website Paige Jiyoung Moon.


The Flat Earth Visualized

Sunday, June 04, 2017
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Well, now it is all clear to me. If only NASA would stop with the BS about orbiting Earth and landing on the Moon. I do wonder why the water doesn't flow down and pool in the depression at the equator, but I'm sure there is a good explanation for that -- I just can't think of one at the moment.
 

Sunny Afternoon

Friday, June 02, 2017


Bar & Tal sing the old Kinks song to get you ready for a sunny weekend.
   

Lord Kelvin's Thunderstorm and More!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Above is an apparatus first built by Lord Kelvin. It works because, as the water splits into the two streams, a minute and random difference in the charges between them will cascade and build in strength. Eventually the two pails of water will build up a large enough charge differential for a spark to jump the gap.

As long as we're talking about Lord Kelvin, the book Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett Putman Serviss comes to mind. I found it on Project Gutenberg.

After H.G. Wells had published War of the Worlds in Britain, but before it was published in the U.S., a New York newspaper took the story and rewrote it, giving an account of the invasion as it happened in America.

Edison's Conquest of Mars is a sequel to that story. Some time after the first Martian invasion astronomers observing Mars notice signs that the Martians are planning on launching a second attack.

At first the world is thrown into depression at the thought, but it turns out that Thomas Edison (he apparently licensed his name for the story)  has invented an electric spaceship and a handy disintegration gun.

Edison and Lord Kelvin become the prime movers for building a fleet of Earth ships to preemptively attack the Martians. What ensues is much silliness, with Edison and Lord Kelvin calmly blazing away at the Martians when all around them is chaos. Conveniently, there are also some hot Earth babes to rescue from their enslavement on Mars. It is all quite insane.

Martians firing on the Earth fleet
 

Thar She Blows

Monday, May 29, 2017
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“Haul in—haul in!” cried Stubb to the bowsman! and, facing round towards the whale, all hands began pulling the boat up to him, while yet the boat was being towed on. Soon ranging up by his flank, Stubb, firmly planting his knee in the clumsy cleat, darted dart after dart into the flying fish; at the word of command, the boat alternately sterning out of the way of the whale’s horrible wallow, and then ranging up for another fling.

The red tide now poured from all sides of the monster like brooks down a hill. His tormented body rolled not in brine but in blood, which bubbled and seethed for furlongs behind in their wake. The slanting sun playing upon this crimson pond in the sea, sent back its reflection into every face, so that they all glowed to each other like red men. And all the while, jet after jet of white smoke was agonizingly shot from the spiracle of the whale, and vehement puff after puff from the mouth of the excited headsman; as at every dart, hauling in upon his crooked lance (by the line attached to it), Stubb straightened it again and again, by a few rapid blows against the gunwale, then again and again sent it into the whale.

“Pull up—pull up!” he now cried to the bowsman, as the waning whale relaxed in his wrath. “Pull up!—close to!” and the boat ranged along the fish’s flank. When reaching far over the bow, Stubb slowly churned his long sharp lance into the fish, and kept it there, carefully churning and churning, as if cautiously seeking to feel after some gold watch that the whale might have swallowed, and which he was fearful of breaking ere he could hook it out. But that gold watch he sought was the innermost life of the fish. And now it is struck; for, starting from his trance into that unspeakable thing called his “flurry,” the monster horribly wallowed in his blood, overwrapped himself in impenetrable, mad, boiling spray, so that the imperilled craft, instantly dropping astern, had much ado blindly to struggle out from that phrensied twilight into the clear air of the day.

And now abating in his flurry, the whale once more rolled out into view; surging from side to side; spasmodically dilating and contracting his spout-hole, with sharp, cracking, agonized respirations. At last, gush after gush of clotted red gore, as if it had been the purple lees of red wine, shot into the frighted air; and falling back again, ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. His heart had burst!

“He’s dead, Mr. Stubb,” said Daggoo.

“Yes; both pipes smoked out!” and withdrawing his own from his mouth, Stubb scattered the dead ashes over the water; and, for a moment, stood thoughtfully eyeing the vast corpse he had made.

Moby Dick - Herman Melville

These days whaling has seemingly been reduced to little more the Japanese claiming scientific research while getting harassed by Greenpeace (in reality several other countries, notably Iceland, Norway and Canada still harvest whales).  However, at one time -- because of the importance of whale oil to the early industrial revolution -- whaling was a major occupation.  It required long periods at sea and was also extremely dangerous.

Here are some pictures from that earlier era of whaling. As always, there are more after the jump.


In Remembrance

In Remembrance on this Memorial Day

  

 

A Family Barbeque

Sunday, May 28, 2017


This needs no introduction.
  

Grandma's Mango Pickles

Saturday, May 27, 2017


I love the sound track to this video -- the birds squawking, the random and quiet musical ditty, and the guys mumbling from time to time. Very strange.

The video is titled as a recipe, but none is provided. If you're interested in one, Swasthi's Recipes has a good one that is easy to follow.

Treasure

Friday, May 26, 2017

Treasure-Store World - Patti Masterman

A word forgets how to write itself
A smile forgets who it first appeared for,
Everything and nothing owns this treasure-store world.

Tears sprout where laughter used to play
Everywhere are the ghosts of dry fountains
Which once poured out existence like a pitcher.

Who has asked for nothing yet received all?
Who hasn’t tried to go home to the singularity again
Only to recall that there is no center?

God and creation have no point of origin
This is why everything JUST IS.

An embrace down here is how we remind one another
We are the heirs of omnipotent cause;
Planets jostle at our lightest touch,
And at the knifelike sound of a scream
One galaxy cannibalizes another.

Everything we know is a single exhalation
In an endless stream of breaths:

Remember you are only breathing so that you can create,
And all created things contain the conscious whole of creation
Safely stored within them.
   

Buskers With Long Hair

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Light in Babylon playing in Turkey



Yuki and Taku in Singapore



Shane Vanderwall in Nuremberg

Visions of Dreams

Monday, May 22, 2017
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From time to time artists attempt to portray dreams. Their attempts are none too successful, I suspect because dreams are both dynamic and very personal and do not translate to paint well. Regardless, here are some examples of painted dreams (from The Public Domain Review).


The Dafa Canal

Saturday, May 20, 2017


In the post Machines to Raise Water we saw examples of various machines the ancients used to raise water to a higher level. The residents of the village of Cao Wang Ba, in the Guizhou Province of China faced a different problem -- how to move water. In their case, how to move water across 3 mountains.

In 1959, with their wells dry and water for their village scarce, 23 yr old Huang Dafa convinced his fellow villagers that they had to dig an irrigation ditch that would be several kilometers long and cross 3 mountains and cliff faces. Further, they had to do it all with hand tools.

Their first attempts failed, but they persisted. Huang studied irrigation methods to better understand how to successfully dig the canal. Finally, in 1995, the 7,200-meter-long water canal and a 2,200-meter-long branch channel were completed and a plentiful water supply flowed to Cao Wang Ba once again.

HT: Oddity Central.

Click any image to enlarge



Stairway To Heaven As Covered By The Fab Four

Friday, May 19, 2017


It has been a while since I've done a 'Lead into the Weekend' music post, here one is ... from the 1990s, the Beatnix, an Australian Beatles tribute band, covering Stairway to Heaven ala the Fab Four.
 

Chinese Junks

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Junk is a fairly generic term for Chinese sailing vessels. It encompasses a wide variety of vessels, from pleasure boats to warships, but westerners most often think of the deep water merchant Junks.

Above, flying the British flag, is the Junk the Keying. She was bought in Hong Kong by English business men and sailed around the Cape to New York in 1847, where she became the first Chinese ship to visit U.S. waters.

The images are European, Chinese and Japanese. As always, there are a few more images after the jump.


The World's Greatest Car Mechanic

Monday, May 15, 2017


Pro tip: if your engine catches on fire when you're working on it remember to blow on it like you do with candles on a birthday cake.
 

Engravings From Sir John Franklin's Expeditions

Sunday, May 14, 2017
Click any image to enlarge
 Prior to photography a regular position on a scientific expedition was an artist. As well as recording flora and fauna, they would draw landscapes of the areas they traveled through.

These engravings are from the expeditions of Sir John Franklin. Franklin was a British naval officer who, in the early to mid 19th Century, explored parts of northern Canada and the arctic. In 1845 he was lost on his last exploration -- an attempt to find the Northwest Passage.

These images are from the Luna Archive of his various travels. There are more after the jump, and of course many more at the Luna Archive, including etchings of flora, fauna and the indigenous Eskimaux (I love that archaic spelling).


Oh No! It Looks Like Gender Appropriation To Me

Friday, May 12, 2017


I Will Survive as covered by Cake.
  

Which Green Light Do I Obey?

Thursday, May 11, 2017
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"James Comey is an enemy. No he's an ally. Firing him is great. No, you fools. Firing him is terrible. Only filthy Trump supporters think so!"
The firing of FBI Director James Comey has been yet another milepost in his transformation to-and-fro between hero, villain and victim in the public's eye (with his particular role at any moment defined by the viewer's politics). In the latest, Democrats --who a week earlier had railed on Comey for stealing the election from Hillary -- are now outraged over his firing.

Frontpage has an entertaining article, Comey, Colbert and Orwell, that compares the confusion of Stephen Colbert's audiance to the news of the firing to a scene in Orwell's 1984. Truth be told, over the last several months, the right end of the political spectrum has suffered the same whiplash in their opinions of Comey . He has been an odd news story.   

Regardless, Comey will be an interesting footnote in history. Tasked with the election-year investigation of Hillary Clinton I think he was stuck with the unenviable task of trying to square a political circle. In the process he managed to support, bewilder and enrage - with the emphasis mainly on enrage - both sides of the political spectrum.

By the way, the Traffic Light Tree statue in England I've used to illustrate this story is supposed to represent the fusion of technology and nature, not mixed signals, but I guess I've reinterpreted it. It seems that nothing is safe from the Comey news maelstrom.


Machines to Raise Water

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


Models of ancient machines to raise water from the days before powered pumps. I wonder if they all got off the drawing board? Certainly, those that got built must have been nightmares to maintain.

From Visual Education Project which has a number of other ancient machines as well as entertaining perpetual motion machine attempts.

Dried Up Brains (not a post about zombies)

Sunday, May 07, 2017
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"Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.

"What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.

"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."

"Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
Don Quixote saw giants, dragons, chivalrous knights and damsels in distress. Meanwhile, in the here and now, some folks see Russians hiding in every bush, fancy themselves as modern French resistance fighters and think the Handmaidens Tale is a documentary. It all reminds me of another Cervantes quote:
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
Anyway, there are more Don Quixote illustrations after the jump.


The Start of the Perpetual Weekend

Friday, May 05, 2017
My luxury yacht
Well, I've finally retired. Here's hoping the GOP eliminates the death panels from Obamacare or I'm a goner. In the mean time, you young pups better get a 2nd job so's you can better support my lavish retirement lifestyle.
  

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Tuesday, May 02, 2017


A nice cover of the old Eric Burton and the Animals song by Space.

Happy May Day Comrades

Monday, May 01, 2017
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Here's wishing you a joyous and harmonious May Day whether you plan on getting your picture took in front of a giant image of the Dear Leader, watching your local May Day parade with goose stepping soldiers and mobile rocket launchers, or just taking the day off from your chores in the rice paddy so's you can study your Little Red Book.

By the way... I'm in need of a bit of income equality, so any capitalist running dogs out there better cut me a check and mail it to me pronto.  


  

Anamorphic Sculpture

Thursday, April 27, 2017
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An anamorphic image is an image that appears distorted until viewed a particular way. Below is Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors with a Memento Mori, a well know example from classical painting (the odd looking blob at the bottom is a skull when viewed from an oblique angle).

The London based artist Jonty Hurwitz has created anamorphic sculptures (above) which reveal their images in reflective cylinders. You can see more of his work at his gallery of recent work.

Via: Colossal Art & Design, which includes a video of his work showing how it appears as you move around the sculpture.

Holbeins painting with the anamorphic image
The skull seen from the correct angle