Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mid January 2017

What an election! The insanity goes on.

By now, I need to watch the Saturday Night Live skits for therapeutic reasons. 

SNL - Weekend Update 01/14/2017

SNL - Alec Baldwin returns to brutally mock Donald Trump's Russian pee-pee party

HyperNormalisation is a 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. The film was released on 16 October 2016 on the BBC iPlayer. In the film, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex "real world" and built a simple "fake world" that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

The term "hypernormalisation" is taken from Alexei Yurchak's 2006 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, about the paradoxes of life in the Soviet Union during the 20 years before it collapsed. A professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley,[5] he argues that everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretence of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the "fakeness" was accepted by everyone as real, an effect which Yurchak termed "hypernormalisation".

HyperNormalisation 2016

Excellent and concise! Worth looking at and amusing too. > NPD - A guide to learning to deal with narcissistic personality disorder by - Get to know your President

Oooh, those eyes. It's a  Dalmatian pelican. Photographer: Helmut Moik 

Those eyelashes.
It's a

                                                                                                               Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri)

A bit how I feel about now with this election, trying to get out of the pit.
Athanasius Kircher, Mundus subterraneus (Amsterdam, 1678)

Some marvelous archaeological mysteries

Really lovely marbling work. Just when I think that's perfect, he does something else more beautiful and then something else. So cool.
Jones Pitsker: Bouquet Marble Pattern

Ethnic groups in Afghanistan in 1979/1980, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan

As a kid I was given a Harris tweed coat to wear. A kind of gray green with brown leather buttons. It was an okay coat, a bit itchy but it was either too hot in a New York City September or much too cold in a NYC November. There were a few weeks in October, when it was just right for the weather.

I always wondered what was so special about Harris tweed. Delighted to watch this interesting video now.

How Tweed Gets Made

Jan 05, 2017 | 524 videos 
Video by Nick David and Jack Flynn

This charming documentary for the Harris Tweed Authority, The Big Cloth, explores a unique island industry with a global following. The cloth is woven on the Island of Harris and Lewis in Scotland—it’s also the only cloth to have an act of parliament protecting the industry. The filmmakers Nick David and Jack Flynn capture the complicated and mesmerizing process of weaving tweed, and give us understanding of how the cloth is a vital part of the island’s heritage through the words of weavers themselves.

Incredible to see the painstaking work to make Moroccan tile. Humbling.

How to Sing Two Notes At Once (aka Polyphonic Overtone Singing): Lessons from Singer Anna-Maria Hefele

Bethesda Fountain in the middle of Central Park, one of my favorite places in the world, as it was in 1868.

Ooh, I love secret caches!

10 Recently Discovered Secret Caches

Ahh, Frankincense, one of my favorite insense smells. So interesting how it is collected from trees, like from this grove near the town of Salalah, Oman.

Here, a child prodigy at age 15 in 1896.
And here, at the end of his life, age 90 on July 3rd, in 1972

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A little bliss and other cool stuff January 4th 2017

Ohhh! The bliss! The bliss!  This is exactly how I look when I get a back massage.
I could watch this over and over.

Want to see something cool?!
GREASY FINGERS | Finger Tut | Pnut | Finger Dance Style via MetaFilter

A fish recognizing a human face

Some good chuckles.Dogs Waking Up Their Owners Compilation


Ha! So typically uneducated about the world! How Ronald Reagan based his foreign policy on Tom Clancy books: President told Margaret Thatcher to read Red Storm Rising thriller to understand Russia

Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising tells the story of how the Soviet Union's largest petrochemical plant was destroyed, which sparked the first shots in World War III, as the Russians saw only one way to solve their problem: seize supplies in the Persian Gulf. The author is pictured in 2002, he died in 2013

J.R.R. Tolkein was a marvelous illustrator, as well as author. Here are some of his works for The Hobbit, 1937

Such a marvelous story teller! Reading each character with such color. 
J.R.R. Tolkien reads from The Hobbit

JRR Tolkien reads from The Hobbit (Part 2)

When verbal abusers say, "Just joking."

Mind blown by many of these discoveries. Via the BBC website.

1. You could probably outrun a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
2. Ronald Reagan suggested that Margaret Thatcher read Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy in order to understand Soviet thinking.
3. German tourists can travel to more countries without a visa than any other nationality.
4. People played with a fifth suit of cards in the 1930s.
5. There are about three million shipwrecks lying on the ocean floor.
6. YouTube was originally meant to be an online dating site.
7. Parents are worse at telling if their child is lying than complete strangers.
8. London Underground journeys take more than four times longer for disabled people.
9. Air rage is more common on flights with a first-class cabin.
10. Boris Johnson knows how to sing Ode to Joy in German.
11. The spice turmeric may help stave off dementia
12. The world's most dangerous school run may be in south-western China, where children have to climb down an 800m cliff.
13. The oldest world title in sport is for real tennis and it dates back to 1740.
14. Male sparrows retaliate when females are unfaithful by providing less food.
15. Fish can recognise human faces.
16. Sadness causes more road accidents than tiredness.
17. The tattoo policy of the US Marine Corps is 32 pages long.
18. Exercising four hours after learning can help you remember information.
19. The speed Batman reaches while gliding through the air would probably kill him on landing.
20. Elderly monkeys choose to have fewer friends.
21. Albania awards diplomatic passports to its international football players.
22. Trevor Nunn has directed every one of Shakespeare's plays.
23. Prime Minister Theresa May owns more than 100 cookbooks - but none by Delia Smith.
24. The fertility drug Pergonal was developed using gallons of nuns' urine.
25. Even in the early 1970s, women in the UK frequently had to get a male relative's signature to get a loan.
26. Every winter, great white sharks swim for 30 to 40 days to congregate at a particular spot halfway between Mexico and Hawaii. No-one knows why.
27. Fewer than one in five listed statues in the UK are of women.
28. Every English elm is descended from a single tree imported by the Romans.
29. The "Arsenal" letters outside the football club's stadium are an anti-attack measure.
30. "Burn" is the most heavy metal word in the English language, and "particularly" is the least.
31. Australia is moving 7cm (2.75in) north every year
32. There are at least 42 different fares for rail travel between London Euston and Birmingham, ranging from £6 to £119.
33. Extroverted CEOs make their companies less money.
34. One female Greenland shark is around 400 years of age, making the species the longest-living vertebrate known on Earth.
35. Only about half of perceived friendships are mutual.
36. Holding your coffee cup from above in a claw-like grip is the best way to prevent it from spilling.
37. A hot bath could be better than cycling at lowering the blood sugar levels of type-2 diabetics
38. Being the sole breadwinner is bad for men's health but good for women's.
39. Most dogs prefer praise to food.
40. A fifth of UK parents regret the names they gave their children.
41. New Yorkers would pay $56 a month to trim a minute off their commute.
42. Georgetown University in Washington sold 272 slaves in 1838 to help pay off the institution's debts.
43. Mayors in Pakistan can run cities from jail.
44. It would take 112,000 years to fly to the nearest Earth-like world travelling at 25,000mph.
45. Woody Allen spends $100 a week on lottery tickets.
46. In the Grand Canyon, the US postal service delivers mail by mule.
47. It's possible to be arrested for being drunk while riding a mobility scooter.
48. Intelligent people tend to be messier and swear more than others.
49. Protesters at a Republican party convention are banned from carrying tennis balls but are allowed to carry guns.
50. Bees spit water at each other in hot weather.
51. In some remote areas of Malawi, parents pay a man to have sex with their daughters at the age of 12 or 13.
52. Mosquitoes carrying malaria are repelled by chickens.
53. At US airports, the usual limits on taking liquids through security do not apply if the liquid is holding live fish.
54. There is a scientific reason why some people have "uncombable" hair.
55. Some porn sites have a voiceover function for blind people that explains what's going on.
56. So many Ford Sierra Cosworths were stolen or written off that surviving models have become very valuable.
57. The son of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar works as an architect in Argentina.
58. There is a way to get people with strong views to consider alternative arguments (that doesn't involve shouting or violence).
59. Doctors estimate dying patients will live twice as long as they actually do.
60. How drunk you think you are depends on how drunk your friends are.
61. A pack of Smarties is more likely to be missing red than any other colour.
62. Dating app Tinder has 37 options for defining gender, beyond male or female.
63. Three British and three Dutch World War Two ships have vanished from the bottom of the Java Sea.
64. Someone has a job making wooden tanks for Islamic State.
65. You can get pregnant while already being pregnant.
66. Industrial spills may be more dangerous in cold weather.
67. London's benchmark interest rate, Libor, was invented by a Greek banker arranging a loan for Iran.
68. The most historically accurate recent Oscar contender is Selma and the least is The Imitation Game.
69. The new Bank of England £5 note is not suitable for vegetarians...
70. ...But you can use it to play vinyl records.
71. Fidel Castro's obituary cost the New York Times more man and woman hours over the years than any other article in the newspaper's history.
72. Pigeons can distinguish real words from nonsense.
73. Under triathlon rules, competitors are allowed to help each other.
74. There are only 28 websites on the internet in North Korea.
75. A litre of cow urine is more valuable to an Indian farmer than a litre of milk.
76. More than 200 UK drivers are at least 100 years old.
77. Giraffes are four species, not one.
78. Most British tourists in the Spanish resort of Magaluf are on their first holiday without their families.
79. People spend 1.3 years of their life on average deciding what to watch on television.
80. Heading a football can reduce your memory for 24 hours.
81. Urinating men are eroding the world's tallest church.
82. The world's top institution for undergraduates, measured by Nobel prize winners per 10,000 students, is the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.
83. Your doctor's political preferences can influence the treatment they recommend.
84. Close-protection security consultants work on the principle that a client should never be more than eight seconds from rescue.
85. Teenage acne is not all bad news: Unblemished skin ages faster.
86. The mammal that kills the most members of its own species is not the human, the bear or the wolf, but the meerkat.
87. Putting an image of a flat screen TV on a box containing a bicycle reduces the chance of damage during delivery by up to 80%.
88. Riding a rollercoaster can help you pass kidney stones.
89. You can run over a golf ball with a steamroller and still not damage it.
90. About 1.7% of the UK population identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
91. Replacing the artificial colouring in blue M&Ms would require twice the current global supply of the natural alternative.
92. Cod have regional accents.
93. Rainbows can also occur at night.
94. You can't return or rescind a Nobel prize.
95. Drivers in China who dazzle other road users with full-beam headlights are made to stare into the lights for a minute as punishment.
96. The UK's National Sperm Bank has taken on only seven men.
97. Chimpanzees are as good at recognising each other's bottoms as humans are at recognising faces.
98. Trees on city streets may worsen rather than reduce air pollution.
99. Women can improve their chances of winning board games against men by playing rock music in the background.
100. A 66-year-old albatross is still fertile.

John Berger (RIP) and Susan Sontag Take Us Inside the Art of Storytelling (1983)

Take the fair face of a woman, and gently suspending, with butterflies, flowers and jewels attending, your fairy is made of most beautiful things.'
These words, taken from a poem by Charles Ede, acted as the inspiration for the painting above. Sophie Gengembre Anderson, the daughter of Charles Gengembre, a Parisian architect and his English wife, was born in France in 1823. Largely self-taught, Sophie studied briefly under Charles de Steuben in Paris, before the family left for the USA in 1848. They lived initially in Cincinnati, Ohio, then later in Manchester, Pennsylvania where Sophie met and married the English Artist, Walter Anderson.

In 1854 the Andersons moved to London, England where Sophie continued to produce fine figurative paintings in a highly detailed, naturalistic, pre-Raphaelite style. The couple finally settled in Falmouth, Cornwall, where Sophie lived until her death in 1903. She frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, and this painting is a good example of her work and her love of intricate detail. The flowing locks of this golden-haired beauty are particularly fine, as are the tiny butterflies that form her crown.
Take the fair face of a woman by Sophie Anderson


So cool! This woman,  Lisa M. Ca, set up a photobooth gizmo, using her own cellphone to take pics. What marvelous pics of birds! Such expressions! Such faces! Her Tumblr page, Ostdrossel.

Booth to Capture Close-Ups of Feathered Friends

Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Blue Jay
Mourning Dove
Bird Photo Booth - About $200 bucks with shipping, booth plus weather proof camera