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.

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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
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 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.