Tuesday, November 18, 2014

who cares about little boys who talk too much?

Yeah, no.

Apparently, happiness is a warm hammer. Who knew?

Does sunscreen harm coral reefs? Surprising answer: yes.

The Tower Bridge in London is now glass-bottomed. Why? Got me. Because people look like little ants that far above the ground?

This is fascinating: Hogewey, near Amsterdam, has no walls, no bars, no gates. The patients stay because it's where they live. They have shops, salons, entertainment options--and houses furnished terrifyingly accurately to the periods they best remember--the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s.

It would be like a time warp. The caretakers of the patients pose as gardeners--ubiquitous, but non-threatening.

Scientists are planning to clone a woolley mammoth, based on a collaborative project that has merged enough active DNA strands from enough different mammoth discoveries to warrant a successful effort--potentially. The bigger question: is this a good idea? What are we going to do with a woolley mammoth once we have one?

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most impressive directors of animated film we have. Tomorrow, those who have the tech can get three of his best works on Blu-Ray, for HD glory never seen before:

Kiki's Delivery Service

Princess Mononoke

The Wind Rises

Considering each of these is worth seeing in standard, in HD they must be truly epic.

Sixteenth-century cosplayers? Some of these are seriously impressive. I'd like to see more of the series.

Painter, illustrator and photographer Hannah Rothstein designs Thanksgiving meals to be reminiscent of the work of famous artists. To be fair, it never would have occurred to me that Mondrian would use gravy as a separation medium, or that Pablo Picasso would shatter the plate, but they're all interesting takes on the concept.

In the meantime, for another take on food as art, how about hand-knitted food? You can't eat 'em, but that doesn't mean they don't look good enough to try.

While the Paris Longchamp Grand Prix races were far from a casual event, between 1910 and 1920 they were enough of a draw that photographers took both posed and casual shots of the fashions for public view. Some of the looks are quite stunning.

Going back a bit earlier, how about some cabinet cards from burlesque dancers in 1890? While of course much of the attire is part and parcel of the times in which they lived, still, some notable things stand out for me. For example, Ella Chapman's stockings (or tights, it's hard to tell): are they sequined or actually beaded? That sounds stunning visually, but uncomfortable to wear. Though Minnie Marshall's jacket dress is something I'm seriously tempted to attempt remaking.

The one common motif they all have is that they look like strong women, not merely curvaceous, but actually powerful. While curves were in, and corsets added to that impression, the overall sameness of their legs, the size of their thighs, bespeaks to a specific style of dance that must have, at the time, been nigh unto universal. One wonders who trained burlesque dancers, and how? Obviously they could act; many could improvise and were gifted comediennes; but it's that specific musculature on their legs that makes me wonder how they trained.

For vintage photography buffs, the earliest known photograph to feature a recognizable human being was taken in Paris, France, in 1838, by Louis Daguerre. Yes, that Daguerre, the invention of the daguerrotype, a specifically-processed, silver-plated sheet of copper that could engrave images via gunpowder flashed into a shadowbox, essentially. It was a great step forward for the time as a process, but how did this image capture the human figure?

Simple: he stood stll long enough. There are many, many unseen people, horses, carts and carriages in that photograph, that we will never see, because their movements meant they were out of frame before the exposure time ended. This one man, however, was having his shoes shined, and thus held his position long enough to be captured for posterity.

There was a secret message in Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch that even he never realized. History is strange.

Having never heard the term "thundersnow" before, I gleefully announced it to Miss Neome--who, since she grew up in Wisconsin, knows this as an everyday word. Oops. Well, it's new to me, and it landed in Buffalo, New York, to the tune of seventy inches. Eep.

I love John Malkovich for these. Especially the recreation of Dorothy Lange's famous Dustbowl photo. (If you haven't seen the original, compare it: it's a stunning recreation.)

And finally, have some NYC camouflage. That is all.

So, I haven't been here for a while. It wasn't my intent to abandon blogging, and I seriously regret that I missed blogging any of the haunts this year, because while this October was fairly dismal overall, there were some standouts that were worth blogging. I didn't do that.

Not necessarily interested in going into the reasons as to why, because past a certain point, this blog becomes a confessional, and I'm trying to avoid that. In large part due to the fact that it was so very much a confessional for the grid in its early days.

I'm going to leave it as "struggling with personal issues" and work harder on blogging more frequently--even if they're likely all going to be clip posts for a while. At least it will get me back in the habit, because it's a habit I really don't want to lose.

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