Monday, July 16, 2012

mid July wandering 2012

Boy with Buddha - photographer: W.L.H. Skeen (1847-1903)
circa: 1870 location: Anuradhapura, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

Cat attacks singing card.

Ok, this is one of the coolest things! 
It's a mini stove that also creates electricity. 

BioLite CampStove Demo & Story from BioLite on Vimeo.

Product Details:
  • Fast to boil: 4.5 minutes to boil 1 liter of water
  • Fire power output (peak): 3.4 kw (lo) 5.5 kw (hi)
  • USB power output: Max continuous: 2W @5V, Peak: 4W @5V
  • Compatible Devices: Powers most USB-chargeable devices including smartphones
  • Fuel: Burns sticks, pine cones, pellets and other biomass
  • Packed size: Height 8.25 inches, Width 5 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs 1 oz / 935 grams
  • Pot weight limit: 8 lbs or 1 gallon of liquid
  • Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic

Sleepy kitteh is relaxed

Huh, this one was unexpected. Johnny Cash impersonating Elvis.

The Origin of Everyday Punctuation Marks.

Question Mark

Origin: When early scholars wrote in Latin, they would place the wordquestio – meaning “question” – at the end of a sentence to indicate a query. To conserve valuable space, writing it was soon shortened to qo, which caused another problem – readers might mistake it for the ending of a word. So they squashed the letters into a symbol: a lowercased q on top of an o. Over time the o shrank to a dot and the q to a squiggle, giving us our current question mark.

Exclamation Point

Origin: Like the question mark, the exclamation point was invented by stacking letters. The mark comes from the Latin word io, meaning “exclamation of joy.” Written vertically, with the i above the o, it forms the exclamation point we use today.

Equal Sign

Origin: Invented by English mathematician Robert Recorde in 1557, with this rationale: “I will settle as I doe often in woorke use, a paire of paralleles, or Gmowe [i.e., twin] lines of one length, thus : , bicause noe 2 thynges, can be more equalle.” His equal signs were about five times as long as the current ones, and it took more than a century for his sign to be accepted over its rival: a strange curly symbol invented by Descartes.


Origin: This symbol is stylized et, Latin for “and.” Although it was invented by the Roman scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro in the first century B.C., it didn’t get its strange name until centuries later. In the early 1800s, schoolchildren learned this symbol as the 27th letter of the alphabet: X, Y, Z, &. But the symbol had no name. So, they ended their ABCs with “and, per se, and” meaning “&, which means ‘and.’” This phrase was slurred into one garbled word that eventually caught on with everyone:ampersand.


Origin: The odd name for this ancient sign for numbering derives fromthorpe, the Old Norse word for a village or farm that is often seen in British placenames. The symbol was originally used in mapmaking, representing a village surrounded by eight fields, so it was named theoctothorp.

Dollar Sign

Origin: When the U.S. government begin issuing its own money in 1794, it used the common world currency – the peso – also called the Spanishdollar. The first American silver dollars were identical to Spanish pesos in weight and value, so they took the same written abbreviations: Ps. That evolved into a P with an s written right on top of it, and when people began to omit the circular part of the p, the sign simply became an S with a vertical line through it.

Olympic Rings

Origin: Designed in 1913 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the five rings represent the five regions of the world that participated in the Olympics: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. While the individual rings do not symbolize any single continent, the five colors – red, blue, green, yellow, and black – were chosen because at least one of them is found on the flag of every nation. The plain white background is symbolic of peace.

“The Symbol”

Origin: Okay, so we’re running out of symbols, but this is a great pop culture story: In 1993, Prince’s dissatisfaction with his record label, Warner Bros., finally reached its peak. Despite his superstar status and $100 million contract, the Purple One didn’t feel he had enough creative control over his music. So “in protest,” Prince announced that Prince would never perform for Warner Bros. again – this unpronounceable symbol would instead.
The symbol for the Artist Formerly Known as Prince combined three ancient symbols: the male symbol, the female symbol, and the alchemy symbol for soapstone, which was supposed to reflect his artistic genius. Prince retired the symbol when his contract with Warner Bros. ran out in 2000. Today, he is again Prince.
The article above, titled What the #!&%?, is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader.

Group of Samurai from

This is quite an extraordinary little film, more interesting by far than I anticipated. Worth watching. Debutantes of 1939

This budgie is hell bent on grooming these little kittehs

Pretty astonishing. The Fire Yogi of Tanjore

Silly fun. Tarp surfing

An Indonesian artist, Agan Harahap, does all kinds of fun and cool things with photographs.

agan harahap's photostream. In this series he puts super heroes or movie characters into historical photographs.

And here he puts masks on political figures.
Lovely photographs of people with dogs on the Anna Krentz blog 

Pug puppyyyyyy. Squee worthy. Thoughts about mirroring.

An Abridged History of Western Music in 16 Genres | cdza

Ever curious about what the hell "the black hole of Calcutta" was? It wasn't either black or a hole but a prison with a horrible name. It was a small dungeon, where British prisoners of war were held and it was very cramped. So cramped, supposedly, that many prisoners died there. But people thought this "black hole of Calcutta" meant that Calcutta itself was a black hole and therefore terrifying. Not true at all. Calcutta (now called Kolkata) is an amazing city, full of wonderful people, the Bengalis, extraordinary culture.

According to Wikipedia, "("the black hole" was 18th century military slang for any military prison - similar to "the glasshouse" in the 20th century British Army or "the brig" in the US Navy".
The above photograph is labelled, "The Black Hole of Calcutta". I think this image depicts where the dungeon once existed.

A fascinating multi-cultural snippet from that Wikipedia article about "the Black Hole of Calcutta" is this interesting nugget: "Portuguese" was the general, albeit confusing, name used for Calcutta's Anglo-Indians: a term commonly used from the early 18th century to the mid 19th century - but no later than 1850.[citation needed] In 1829, Victor Jacquemont (travelling naturalist, to the Museum of Natural HistoryParis) wrote: "There is a fairly large Portuguese population in Calcutta. Few of them, it is true, can boast a purely European origin; there are some, but they are all black, blacker than the natives... " In 1798, ‘Portuguese and other Christian inhabitants’ (i.e., Eurasians and Indian converts) occupied 2,650 houses out of a total of 78,760 city abodes. They were often the distant offspring of Portuguese soldiers who had established the first European settlement in Bengal at Hooghly.
photo copyright bodhibasu  One of the many beautiful temples in Kolkata. This one is
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Typical Rajinikanth over the top hilariously crazy Bollywood (in this case Tollywood)
Epic Indian fight on the train

In 1882 my great grandmother, Lilla Eliott, attended a party with Oscar Wilde. From the Newport Historical Society website.

Oscar Wilde p 1
In 1882, Oscar Wilde embarked on an American tour, in part brokered by Sam Ward. Wilde came to Newport to perform at the Casino Theater and Ward introduced him to his sister Julia Ward Howe. Henry Marion Hall, Howe’s grandson, recalls Wilde’s visit to Howe’s farm in Portsmouth in his memoirGrandmother’s Blue Coach:
Being a small boy at the time my presence at the tea was not requested, but later I was allowed to accompany the guests down into the vallley. The party included Tom Appleton, the famous Boston wit, Adamowski, leader of the Boston Symphony orchestra, Mrs. Paran Stevens, Lilla Eliott, Grandmother’s nephew F. Marion Crawford, and Oscar Wilde, then at the peak of his popularity.
Knowing nothing about a fad then known as “dress reform” I was bewildered at Wilde’s costume when I walked into the vale beside him. He wore a black velvet jacket, knickerbockers to match, dark silk stockings, and low shoes with glittering buckles. A salmon-colored scarf and slouch hat completed his get-up. It struck me as rather queer, but not half so startling as his hair – long, black, and curling to his shoulders… He held a red rose in one hand and sniffed it as he chatted.
Oscar Wilde p 2A small program or invitation to Wilde’s lecture, entitled “The Decorative Arts,” was printed in New York, and is part of the collection of materials which Howe’s descendants have donated to the NHS.  In September of 2010, the NHS will host a lecture by Kathryn Allamong Jacob, author of King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward.150px-Wilde_aesthetic
Baby hedgehog yawns

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