Friday, October 31, 2008

born on third base, but thought he hit a triple

Govoni Field, Babson College

a: descendant, child; especially: a descendant of a wealthy, aristocratic, or influential family b: heir.

St. Mark's, Venezia

Have you skipped your meds?

13,000 Psychiatric retorts here.

subject and artist both annoyed Google not yet invented

Portrait of Gustave Geoffroy, 1895

"I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."
- Paul Cézanne [1839-1906]

work shall set you free

A Nazi concentration camp slogan.

a man without direction

The Idler interviews Michael Palin [born 1943] here.

Water Art

"Nature Naturing"

The Lady and the Unicorn [late 15th Century] is one of a series of tapestries regarded as amongst the greatest works of art from the Middle Ages.

Saint Thomas Aquinas [1225-1274]: Natura Naturans or Nature Naturing - one in kind with the creative force of Nature herself.

In the very rich hours

Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry [15th Century] is the most important illuminated manuscript - "le roi des manuscrits enluminés" ["the king of illuminated manuscripts"].

The work depicts contemporary life, which remained probably largely unchanged from the Dark Ages until after World War II.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Robert Silvers [born 1968], Starry Night + photomosaic detail [upper left corner], 2002

gridded mosaics

Chuck Close [born 1940], in front of Self Portrait, 2004-2005

"I did some pastels and I did other pieces in which there was just basically one color per square, and then they would get bigger and I could get 2 or 3 colors into the square, and ultimately I just started making oil paintings."

"I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around."

"I wanted to translate from one flat surface to another. In fact, my learning disabilities controlled a lot of things. I don't recognize faces, so I'm sure it's what drove me to portraits in the first place."


Troublemaker – Stefano Unterthiner, Italy.

This young adult Sulawesi black-crested macaque, nicknamed Troublemaker, was more interested in the photographer than foraging for food, so getting a close-up wasn’t difficult.

An earlier reference to photography here.


Study Finds Young People Remain Apathetic About Office Politics

Muse of History

KLEIO [or Clio] was one of the nine Mousai [Muses]; her name derives from the Greek verb kleô, "to make famous" or "celebrate." [from Theoi]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Marines don't need a PX"

"The American Dream is a Pyramid Scheme."
- David Simon [born 1960], creator  of "Generation Kill" would probably associate himself with this circa 2000 graffiti statement in a University of Guelph, McLaughlin Library bathroom.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

"What they know, you can learn; but what you know, they can never learn."
- Senator Daniel Partick Moynihan [1927-2003] reassuring young aide Tim Russert [1950-2008] who felt insecure about his modest, non-Ivy League working-class Buffalo background.

wine barrels for tables

Image source here.

Au Père Louis  
Toulouse's most convivial tavern dating back to 1889. Packed from apéritif hour, it offers a wide range of excellent wines, including Grenache Vieux.


M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade, which was a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older MK2 "Pineapple" grenade used since World War Two and well into the Vietnam War. [source here]

Fragging is a term from the Vietnam War, used primarily by U.S. military personnel, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular officer of one's own fighting unit, often by means of a fragmentation grenade [hence the term].

George Clooney's Lake Como Villa

View Larger Map

Hudson River School

Asher B. Durand [1796-1886], An Old Man's Reminiscences, [1845]; Hudson River School.

California Impressionist

Marion K. Wachtel [1875-1954]


lysergic acid diethylamide

Cary Grant [1904-1986] photographed by Milton Greene [1922-1985]; having had his own positive experiences with it, Grant persuaded Greene to try LSD three times.


H.M.C.S. Haida

Image source here.

"Hamilton, Ontario's Pier 9 is home to the imposing H.M.C.S. Haida, the only ship remaining of 27 Tribal Class destroyers that were built for the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Navy and the Australian Navy between 1937 and 1945. Run by Parks Canada, this legendary battleship is now designated as a National Historic Site. With a total length of about 115 meters and a loaded displacement of nearly 2,500 metric tons, the Haida offers plenty to explore including four torpedo tubes, numerous guns, a wheelhouse, a sonar control room and a mess deck."

The H.M.C.S. Haida is open daily, May to September, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Admission is C$1.90 for youths, C$3.90 for adults and C$3.40 for seniors.

More here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


"I scrupulously carried out the penances which were alloted to me; and yet my conscience kept nagging. You fell short there; you were not sorry enough; you left that sin off your list."

Martin Luther's [1483-1546] blinding revelation: Sola fide [Latin: by faith alone].

He translated the Bible from Latin into everyday German; he replaced a hierarchy of Roman Catholic priests with a priesthood of all believers; answerable to God, not to Rome. Spiritual equality.

Amalfi Coast, Italy


Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he created won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for leveraging small loans into major social change for impoverished families.

Loans as low as $9 have helped beggars start small businesses and poor women buy cellular phones and basket-weaving materials.

"Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its citation in Oslo. "Micro-credit is one such means."


Björk on her country's financial crisis here.

Ford Mustang II

Spike explains why this is one of the worst cars ever:
After the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, a dark, dark cloud formed over Detroit. The cars produced afterward suffered from some of the lowest quality and worst designs in automotive history, as the pursuit of fuel economy and cheaper building costs resulted in some truly abominable cars.

One of the models that suffered the effects the most was the iconic Ford Mustang. Where just four years previous was a luxurious muscle car, boasting well over 400hp in some iterations and timeless style, now stood the Mustang II, which was essentially a Ford Pinto with a pony emblem on the grill.

Suffering from an overly generous helping of mid-70s “ideas”, the Mustang II was a sobering realization of just how bad things had gotten. Performance-wise, the top shelf motor for the 1974 model was a 171 cubic inch V6, generating a depressing 105hp, good for a 0-60 time of 14.2 seconds. Try to imagine going flat out for 15 seconds and still not hitting freeway speeds. And this was the optional motor. Yikes.
An additional six other all time crappy cars analyzed here.

how fresh is your basil?

hoity-toity hoi polloi

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bombs Away

America dropped more bombs in Vietnam than in all of World War II.


It's the fiftieth anniversary of Tennis for Two, amongst the first graphical display video games.

master portraitist

Yousuf Karsh [1908-2002] photography at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts featured by WGBH on October 8, 2008 here.

After Therapy Mints

"These are deliciously strong peppermints in a therapeutic and reusable tin."

"Four out of five therapists recommend After Therapy Mints for their patients who eat mints."

Price: $3

Order here.

inherently subjective

Top Photo: Brendan Smialowski, Voting at Martin Luther King, Jr., Library in Washington, DC, 2008

Bottom Photo: Margaret Bourke-White [1904-1971], Bread Line during the Louisville flood, Kentucky, 1937

political strategery

Studio 54 in 1979

Alec Baldwin [born 1958] recounts his part-time employment at Studio 54 in the fall of 1979 when he was a student at NYU, commencing at 24:43 here.

first of India's modern painters to achieve high recognition in the West

Untitled, ca 1945. Watercolour on Paper.
- F.N. Souza [1924-2002]

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Female reporter: If you could've found out what Rosebud meant, I bet that would've explained everything.
Thompson: No, I don't think so; no. Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn't have explained anything... I don't think any word can explain a man's life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a... piece in a jigsaw puzzle... a missing piece.

Citizen Kane 1941 screenplay here.

Main Street, Buffalo, New York

Max: Thunderdome. How do I get in there?
Aunty Entity: That's easy. Pick a fight!


St. Augustine reading the Epistles of St. Paul, fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli [c. 1421–1497], 1468; in the Church of Sant’Agostino, San Gimignano, Italy.

"O Lord, make me chaste and continent, but not yet."
- Saint Augustine [354-430 CE], as cited by 2008 Economics Nobel Laureate Paul Krugma in a discussion about the U.S. economy.

father of pop art

Richard Hamilton [born 1922] is credited with single-handedly launching Pop Art with his collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? in 1956. A BBC interview with Hamilton here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opie and Richie Cunningham

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Hookah, Shisha

Image source here.

Hookah and Shisha are just two of the many different words for the same tobacco product smoking device. 

take it or leave it

Hobson's Choice.

the end of Scottish culture

Bonnie Prince Charlie image source here.

The Battle of Culloden in 1746 brought the Jacobite cause—led by Bonnie Prince Charlie [1720-1788] to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain—to a decisive defeat.

The victors conducted a form of ethnic cleansing known as the Highland Clearances

New laws attacked the Highlanders' clan system, and Highland dress was outlawed.

Mexicans in the desert

Two Mexicans are lost in the desert. They see a tree in the distance. As they get nearer they see its draped with rasher upon rasher of juicy bacon.

"Hey Pepe", says the first man.

"Ees a bacon tree, we're saved!"

Then he runs to the tree but is gunned down in a hail of bullets.

"What happened?" shouts Pepe. With his last breath, his friend shouts "Run amigo, ees not a bacon tree. Ees a ham bush."


- Russell Crowe's [born 1964] South Sydney rugby team.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tudor Spymaster to Queen Elizabeth I

"See and keep silent." also "There is less danger in fearing too much than too little."
- Sir Francis Walsingham [c. 1532 – 1590]

The Last Shall Be First

But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last first.
- Mark 10:31

A London Advertising Campaign

"This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion."

CREATIVITY explains here. The Gaurdian's perspective here.

control your emotions

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

From 1950; a Coronet Instructional Film.

Scintillating Update: Build Your Vocabulary here.


What rolls down stairs
alone or in pairs,
and over your neighbor's dog?
What's great for a snack,
And fits on your back?
It's log, log, log

It's log, it's log,
It's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
It's log, it's log, it's better than bad, it's good."

Everyone wants a log
You're gonna love it, log
Come on and get your log
Everyone needs a log
log log log




Knighthood Ceremony

محمد بن موسی خوارزمی

View Larger Map

ninth century Persian mathematician Abu Ja'Far Mohammad Ben Musa, also known as al'Khowarazmi from his native town now known as Khiva, Uzbekistan; the father of Algebra.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Greatest Ever TV Show Theme Song

Hawaii Five-O [1968-1980]

Hitler's Architect

Of all defendants, only Albert Speer [1905-1981] admitted guilt at the Nuremberg Trials.

On how he knew the Reich was losing: "The glorious victories of the Fatherland were coming ever closer to Berlin." 

Speer received a 20-year jail sentence for war crimes; for a while he slept most of the day to cut his awake time substantially until the prison authorities became aware of what he was up to. 

He filled a coat pocket with peas and would transfer one to an empty pocket to keep track of each lap around the path in the modest prison garden he tended. Through prison atlases and other books, Speer imagined that he was covering interesting foreign landscapes and calculated that he had walked around the earth at least once. 

A source for some of this information is Albert Speer's own Spandau: The Secret Diaries, which was written in scraps and secretly smuggled out by guards and published ten years after his release in 1976.


"Prediction is very hard, especially about the future."
- Yogi Berra [born 1925]

most important philosopher ever to write in English

"And though a philosopher may live remote from business, the genius of philosophy, if carefully cultivated by several, must gradually diffuse itself throughout the whole society, and bestow a similar correctness on every art and calling."
- David Hume [1711-76], An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, paragraph 9, 1748.


37 year old Andrew Lahde who got an 870 percent gain last year quits Hedge Fund and writes a memorable farewell letter: 
I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America. 
The entire letter, which includes a rant extolling the virtues of marijuana, is here.

He's naive about pot smoking; it can really screw up your life, especially when combined with antidepressants such as Paxil. The genius should spend some of his loot promoting awareness of potentially catastrophic dangers.


"The only thing that stopped me from killing myself; from drinking, was the bears."
- Josh Brolin [born 1968], paraphrasing doomed Grizzly Bear enthusiast Timothy Teadwell [1957-2003] in the 2005 Werner Herzog [born 1942] documentary Grizzly Man, as his inspiration for portraying George W. Bush, which has nothing to do with the appended video. 

Monday, October 20, 2008


the opposite: Clint Eastwood [born 1930], who once owned Carmel's Hog's Breath Inn, which might still serve Dirty Martinis.

short for nebbish. noun: A person regarded as weak-willed or timid.

[Yiddish nebekh, poor, unfortunate, of Slavic origin.]

on misfortune

Blenheim Palace, The birthplace of Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

Winston Churchill's wife attempted to offer her husband comfort on yet another setback. 
Lady Churchill: It's a blessing in disguise.
Sir Winston Churchill: It's a damn good disguise.
After the war, the Monarch offered Winston the highest honour of becoming the first Duke of London, but he declined.

An earlier reference to Churchill here.