Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Incandescent Light Bulb Song

Stanley Kubrick's photos of 1940s New York

Before becoming a legendary director, Stanley Kubrick was a poor kid from the Bronx who did photojournalism for Look magazine in the 1940s in and around New York City. He shot on the sly, often times his camera concealed in a paper bag with a hole in it. Of the some odd 10 000 black and white photographs he took while working at the magazine, VandM chose a total of 25, which have now been made available as prints. See the entire collection here.
Radley Balko

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marie Antoinette murdered this day in 1793

1788 painting by Ludwig Guttenbrunn of Queen Marie-Antoinette as the Muse of Music. The Queen had a great love of music and was a patroness of the opera. She also paid for the music lessons of poor children.

"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."

–Edmund Burke, October 1793

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Killer!

surfing dolphins

from Yahoo, who reproduced 16 photos submitted to a contest being held by National Geographic. More cool photos at the link.
Lindy Bill

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ned Kelly, found

In Australia, the law finally has its man. The skeleton of Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous outlaw, was confirmed by forensic scientists Thursday as being among remains found at Pentridge Prison in the southern city of Melbourne—albeit missing most of the skull. Known for leading daring bank raids and blazing through police shootouts wearing homemade armor—including a helmet that resembled a tin can—Kelly ranks among the 19th century's most notorious outlaws, with a myth as strong as U.S. sharpshooters Jesse James and Billy the Kid. In a time of steep poverty he was something of a hero to the rural poor, who identified with him in his battles against authority. His execution in 1880 polarized Australian society

via Cronaca

The Jerilderie Letter

Originally penned in 1879 by Joe Byrne as dictated to him by Ned Kelly, this letter was first published in the 1948 edition of Australian Son. Introducing it, Max Brown said, ‘Following is an 8,300 word statement I have called The Jerilderie Letter. This is the document Kelly handed to Living. The text is from a copy of the original letter made in 1879 or 1880 by a government clerk, and is printed here with such spelling, punctuation, etc, as the clerk or Kelly and Byrne, or all three possessed. Nevertheless, it is one of the most powerful and extraordinary of Australian historical documents, and represents over half of Kelly’s extant writings and by far his best single written statement.

An excerpt from the Jerilderie Letter. Was Kelly a mere bandit or a genuine Irish rebel?

"...I have been wronged and my mother and four or five men lagged innocent and is my brothers and sisters and my mother not to be pitied also who has no alternative only to put up with the brutal and cowardly conduct of a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed sons of Irish Bailiffs or english landlords which is better known as Officers of Justice or Victorian Police who some calls honest gentlemen but I would like to know what business an honest man would have in the Police as it is an old saying It takes a rogue to catch a rogue and a man that knows nothing about roguery would never enter the force an take an oath to arrest brother sister father or mother if required and to have a case and conviction if possible

Any man knows it is possible to swear a lie and if a policeman looses a conviction for the sake of swearing a lie he has broke his oath therefore he is a perjurer either ways. A Policeman is a disgrace to his country, not alone to the mother that suckled him, in the first place he is a rogue in his heart but too cowardly to follow it up without having the force to disguise it. next he is traitor to his country ancestors and religion as they were all catholics before the Saxons and Cranmore yoke held sway [probably what is meant here is Thomas Cranmer and the Book of Common Prayer] since then they were perse cuted massacreed thrown into martrydom and tortured beyond the ideas of the present generation What would people say if they saw a strapping big lump of an Irishman shepherding sheep for fifteen bob a week or tailing turkeys in Tallarook ranges for a smile from Julia or even begging his tucker, they would say he ought to be ashamed of himself and tar-and-feather him

But he would be a king to a policeman who for a lazy loafing cowardly bilit left the ash corner deserted the shamrock, the emblem of true wit and beauty to serve under a flag and nation that has destroyed massacreed and murdered their fore-fathers by the greatest of torture as rolling them down hill in spiked barrels pulling their toe and finger nails and on the wheel. and every torture imaginable more was transported to Van Diemand's Land to pine their young lives away in starvation and misery among tyrants worse than the promised hell itself all of true blood bone and beauty, that was not murdered on their own soil, or had fled to America or other countries to bloom again another day, were doomed to Port Mcquarie Toweringabbie norfolk island and Emu plains and in those places of tyrany and condemnation many a blooming Irishman rather than subdue to the Saxon yoke Were flogged to death and bravely died in servile chains but true to the shamrock and a credit to Paddys land What would people say if I became a policeman and took an oath to arrest my brothers and sisters & relations and convict them by fair or foul means after the conviction of my mother and the persecutions and insults offered to myself and people Would they say I was a decent gentleman, and yet a police-man is still in worse and guilty of meaner actions than that The Queen must surely be proud of such herioc men as the Police and Irish soldiers as It takes eight or eleven of the biggest mud crushers in Melbourne to take one poor little half starved larrakin to a watch house."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gillian Welch - Six White Horses

David Rawlings: vocals, banjo, harmonica
Gillian Welch: vocals, hands, feet

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gillian Welch Pulls No Punches On Conan With “That’s The Way It Goes”

Gillian Welch: “Nothing has ever sounded as beautiful as acoustic instruments on analog tape, and when you record everything at once, you capture our favorite sound, the sound of the instruments and the voices combining in the air, as opposed to the more common process of combining them electronically or digitally later."

related: Digital music explosion leaves some music fans hungry for vinyl

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ayn Rand on the Front Page of Ecuador’s Major Newspaper

El Universo, the newspaper with the largest circulation and the paper that publishes my weekly column, ran a mostly blank front page today that features only this quote from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed."

from Cato@Liberty

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freeborn Man

This would have more appropriate for the 4th

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Billy The Kid photo sells for $2.3 million

This here is Billy The Kid. And this here photo of Billy just sold at auction for $2.3 million. To one of them Koch brothers. From Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction:

130 years ago, legendary outlaw Billy the Kid had his “picture made” in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, posing for what is now considered the most recognizable photo of the American West. A single, original tintype is the only authenticated photo of the Kid in existence today...

via boing boing

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Make love not war

Amid the shocking images that emerged from Vancouver on Wednesday night – cars engulfed in flames, masked looters, bloody fists and broken storefronts – one image in particular stood out for showing none of those things.
admirable ponokee

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Questions surround feds' raid of Stockton home

One of the most insane things I've ever heard - the Department of Education has their own SWAT team.

Good thing there wasn't a family dog, it no doubt would have been shot.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bank of America Gets Padlocked After Homeowner Forecloses On It


Fearing the Phase-Out of Incandescent Bulbs

In design circles, an energy law has sparked anxiety and stockpiling.

>>BUNNY WILLIAMS, the no-nonsense decorator known for her lush English-style rooms, is laying in light bulbs like canned goods. Incandescent bulbs, that is — 60 and 75 watters — because she likes a double-cluster lamp with a high- and a low-watt bulb, one for reading, one for mood.

Darren Henault, a New York decorator, is stockpiling silver-bottomed bulbs.

“Every time I go to Costco, I buy more wattage,” Ms. Williams said the other day. She is as green as anybody, she added, but she can’t abide the sickly hue of a twisty compact fluorescent bulb, though she’s tried warming it up with shade liners in creams and pinks. Nor does she care for the cool blue of an LED.

It should be noted that, like most decorators, Ms. Williams is extremely precise about light. The other day, she reported, she spent six hours fine-tuning the lighting plan of a project, tweaking the mix of ambient, directional and overhead light she had designed, and returning to the house after dusk to add wattage and switch out lamps like a chef adjusting the flavors in a complicated bouillabaisse.

more at the NY Times

Friday, May 27, 2011

Let's also remember widows and survivors this weekend

A very moving post at the link tells the story about the image.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Antikythera Mechanism

Credit and Copyright: Wikipedia

Explanation: What is it? It was found at the bottom of the sea aboard an ancient Greek ship. Its seeming complexity has prompted decades of study, although some of its functions remained unknown. Recent X-rays of the device have now confirmed the nature of the Antikythera mechanism, and discovered several surprising functions. The Antikythera mechanism has been discovered to be a mechanical computer of an accuracy thought impossible in 80 BC, when the ship that carried it sank. Such sophisticated technology was not thought to be developed by humanity for another 1,000 years. Its wheels and gears create a portable orrery of the sky that predicted star and planet locations as well as lunar and solar eclipses. The Antikythera mechanism, shown above, is 33 centimeters high and similar in size to a large book.
from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tim Fowler

Antikythera clockwork computer may be even older than thought

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hi, I'm Rusty. This is my story.

Dogs Against Romney is back for the 2012 campaign, and has established a website and twitter page. The group is devoted to publicizing the notorious incident where Mitt Romney strapped the family dog Seamus in a dog carrier attached to the roof of his car, and then kept him there for a twelve hour-long trip until the dog relieved himself and ended up covered in excrement.

More Imelda May!

I'm pretty sure it was Sipp who first put me on to Imelda May.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Biggest find since the Dead Sea Scrolls?

They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave.

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin.

The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books has denied smuggling them out of Jordan, and claims they have been in his family for 100 years.

Jordan says it will "exert all efforts at every level" to get the relics repatriated.

The director of the Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

"They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," says Mr Saad.

"Maybe it will lead to further interpretation and authenticity checks of the material, but the initial information is very encouraging, and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

more at the BBC

Stick a fork in the Lead Codices

here kitty kitty

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A wonderful tribute to the Lebanese people…

A group of well dressed people “liberate” the Hizbullah-controlled Beirut Airport Duty Free Central Area, for a few minutes, dance the Lebanese Dabke (Debka). Everyone joins in.

Weekly Standard:

Most of the dancers are professionals, hired by M&C Saatchi MENA, to promote their client, Beirut Duty Free, while others swept up by the emotion just joined in. The aim of the spot, some Saatchi employees explain, was to leave passengers with a memory of Lebanon they could take with them on their journey
Gateway Pundit

Sunday, March 6, 2011

mystery solved

When I posted this a couple of years ago, a conversation ensued wondering what the shoulder held weapon at 27 seconds was. Mystery solved! Thanks to intrepid researchers Steve Harris and Goldworldnet at the Politics for Pros thread on Silicon Investor, we have concluded it's a Carl Gustav 20mm M/42 recoilless rifle, developed by the Swedes in 1940. Good work fellas!

the word of the day is 'transphobia'

“Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,” Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the US, advocated for more “inclusive” sex education in US schools, with curricula based on liberal hetero and homosexual expression. She claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.

Comprehensive sex education is “the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,” Schneider proclaimed, “and we must make these issues a part of every middle and high-school student’s agenda.” “Gender identity expression and sexual orientation are a spectrum,” she explained, and said that those opposed to homosexuality “are stuck in a binary box that religion and family create.”

more at Protein Wisdom

NEA official admits it's really all about power

Steve Bartin

Friday, February 25, 2011

Homegrown Tobacco: Local, Rebellious and Tax Free

The cigarettes Audrey Silk used to smoke — Parliament Lights — are made at a factory in Richmond, Va. The cigarettes she smokes these days are made and grown in Brooklyn, at her house.

Audrey Silk, with Bingo, estimates she will save thousands of dollars by processing her own cigarettes

Ms. Silk, a retired police officer and the founder of a smokers’ rights group, grows her own tobacco and dries the leaves in her basement

Ms. Silk’s backyard is home to raspberry and rose bushes, geraniums, impatiens and 100 tobacco plants in gardening buckets near her wooden deck. Inside her house, around the corner from Flatbush Avenue, in Marine Park, she has to be careful stepping into her basement — one wrong move could ruin her cigarettes. Dozens of tobacco leaves hang there, drying on wires she has strung across the room, where they turn a crisp light brown as they age above a stack of her old Springsteen records.

She talks about cartons and packs in relation to crops and seeds. Planted in 2009, her first crop— 25 plants of Golden Seal Special Burley tobacco — produced nine cartons of cigarettes. Ms. Silk would have spent more than $1,000 had she bought nine cartons in parts of New York City. Instead, she spent $240, mostly for the trays, the buckets and plant food.

But for Ms. Silk, 46, a retired police officer and the founder of New York City Clash (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), a smokers’ rights group, it is not just about the money. It is about the message. In the state with the highest cigarette taxes in the country, in a city that has become one of the hardest places in America to find a place to smoke, Ms. Silk has gone off the grid, growing, processing and smoking her own tax-free cigarettes from packets of seeds she buys online for about $2. She expects to produce a total of 45 cartons after planting two crops — the first in the summer of 2009, the second last summer — and estimates that she will have saved more than $5,000.

“It’ll make the antismokers apoplectic,” said Ms. Silk. “They’re using the power of taxation to coerce behavior. That’s not what taxation is supposed to be for.”

There are no federal, state or city laws prohibiting New Yorkers from growing tobacco at home for personal consumption. Still, Ms. Silk has kept her homegrown tobacco a secret for the most part since she planted the first crop, though she has offered cigarettes to her boyfriend and a few neighbors. This month, however, she changed her position on keeping quiet, after the City Council approved a bill banning smoking at parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.

“The only way we’re going to win now, since you can’t reason with the irrational, which is the City Council or any lawmakers,” Ms. Silk said, “is you have to take the position of giving them the finger.”

full article at the NY Times

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Outlaw Amish

Wearing a black-brimmed country hat, suspenders and an Amish beard, "Samuel" unloaded his contraband from an unmarked white truck on a busy block in Manhattan. He was at the tail end of a long smuggling run that had begun before dawn at his Pennsylvania farm.

As he wearily stacked brown cardboard boxes on the sidewalk, a few upscale clients in the Chelsea neighborhood lurked nearby, eyeing the new shipment hungrily.

Clearly, they couldn’t wait to get a taste.

But he wasn’t selling them anything they planned to smoke, snort or inject. Rather, he was giving them their once-a-month fix of raw milk — an unpasteurized product banned outright in 12 states and denounced by the FDA as a public health hazard, but beloved by a small but growing number of devotees who tout both its health benefits and its flavor.

Samuel is part of a shadowy community of outlaw Amish and Mennonite dairy farmers who risk fines, loss of equipment and product, and even imprisonment to transport raw milk across state lines and satisfy a burgeoning appetite for illegal raw milk in places like New York. In January, The Daily rode along on one of these smuggling runs.


Samuel’s smuggling run started in Pennsylvania's Amish country, where his family farm is located. As Amish doctrine prohibits him from operating an automobile, he paid a non-Amish person to drive.

The final destination was an unmarked converted factory on the eastern edge of Chelsea. Upstairs, the milk deals went down in an unadorned room teeming with a crowd similar to what one might find at a Michael Pollan book signing.

more, with an accompanying video

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rand Paul's first speech in the US Senate

Time to push for parental notification?

Planned Parenthood enabling felonies in New Jersey...

...and in Richmond

Three more Live Action videos released

For Lila Rose, Planned Parenthood video 'sting' is about revolution

Lila Rose, the young founder of the organization that released 'sting' videos targeting Planned Parenthood this week, is one of a new generation of right-wing media insurgents taking on touchstone topics like abortion through the lens of civil-rights activists.

Surber: Why fund Planned Parenthood?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Greed Said to Be Throwing Feng Shui Off Balance

...recent events have fueled fears that greed may be debasing the practice of feng shui, the Chinese system of geomancy by which the auspicious positioning of objects is believed to ensure harmony, health and fortune.

Some practitioners, worried that their profession may be falling into disrepute, recently formed a trade association that they hope will uphold quality standards and public confidence.

NY Times
Jungle Trader

another isolated incident

Monday, January 17, 2011

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Ranks right up there with On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, in my opinion.

full text

Friday, January 14, 2011

Milky Way Over Ancient Ghost Panel

Long before Stonehenge was built, well before the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, ancient artists painted life-sized figures on canyon walls in Utah, USA -- but why? Nobody is sure. The entire panel of figures, which dates back about 7,000 years, is called the Great Gallery and was found on the walls of Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park. The humans who painted them likely hunted Mammoths. The unusual fuzziness of largest figure led to this mural section's informal designation as the Holy Ghost Panel, although the intended attribution and societal importance of the figure are really unknown. The above image was taken during a clear night in March. The oldest objects in the above image are not the pictographs, however, but the stars of our Milky Way Galaxy far in the background, some of which are billions of years old.

Credit & Copyright: Bret Webster
Tim Fowler

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Hound Dog was #1 on my birthday. What song was #1 on your birthday?

Anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans

In December of 1814, British forces led by Sir Edward Pakenham landed at the lower Mississippi River.

The American Colonel Andrew Jackson established a defense in Chalmette, near New Orleans.

His outnumbered forces included US Army regulars, local militiamen, pirates, and free blacks.

On the 8th of January, 1815, the British attacked and were repelled, losing 2,036 of more than 10,000 men.

The Americans lost 71.

More on the history of the Battle of New Orleans at Pauline's Pirates and Privateers