Friday, January 31, 2014

Traditional Russian Wedding Pictures

These are the worst wedding pictures I have ever seen and, if you can stand it, there are more at Sad and Useless, the most depressive site on the internet

Lenin has given our marriage his seal of approval, comrades.
 Let the merriment begin!

You are my stallion and I am your mare

This is the happiest day of my life. Seriously.

Priyatnogo Appetita! (Bon appétit!)

Norwegian airport launches first dog-sled taxis

A dog sled picked up the first two passengers from Kirkenes Airport on Wednesday morning, taking them on a 45-minute trek through the snow to the nearby Kirkenes Snow Hotel.

Cost of the trip: 2300 NOK ($372). That should buy a lot of kibble.

Via Nothing To Do With Arbroath

Thanks Bruce!

This Is Norway

Everything you ever wanted to know about Norway and Norwegians.

Awesome Cinedrones


 Cinedrones design makes it possible to film in extremely challenging environments.
This is a selection of productions from the past year.

Psychedelic Plastic Infinite

 Plastic Infinite is a 7″ animated picture disc by UK-based duo Sculpture made to accompany a new track by the same name. Created like a zoetrope, the disc animates when played under a strobe light or filmed at 25fps.

If you're willing to risk an acid flashback you can order one here.
Via Colossal

John Gutoskey's Mandalas

John Gutoskey's beautiful mandalas are upcycled from found objects.

"Mandala No. 2" assemblage 42"h x 42"w x 1.5"d 2010 SOLD Mandala constructed on 3/4" furniture grade birch plywood with metal game spinner, dice, peg game, bingo markers, lotto numbers, gum wrapper chain, checkers, Contack pieces, pop bottle caps, mah jonng tiles, American Bricks, milk bottle caps, dominoes, poker chips.

Mandala Mirror assemblage Available in 24", 30" and 36" 2010 These mandala mirrors are one of a kind and made to order. They are made from a variety of items.These may include such things as dominoes, Lotto & Bingo numbers, soda pop bottle caps, milk bottle caps, gum chain, poker chips, cigar bands, dice, checkers, mah jongg tiles, anagrams and other toy and game pieces
Artist's site


Where To Hide In Case Of Nuclear Attack

Blogging to keep you safe.

This image shows the safest places to hide in case of a nuclear blast, from a guide developed by a Federal interagency committee. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Best $1 House You'll See This Week

In Vancouver, British Columbia you're hard-pressed to find a home for less than a million dollars.
But the town of Boston Bar in the beautiful Fraser Canyon is offering up two historic houses for $1 apiece and all you have to do is retain their historic exteriors.
The houses sit on a city lot of approximately 5,000 square feet, and are about 1,100 square feet apiece and are located right in the heart of Boston Bar, across the street from a swimming pool and community centre.The houses were built around the turn of the 20th century for Canadian Pacific Railway employees.
More at CBC News

Think Ink Black Roses for Valentines Day

Does the fabulous Miss Cakehead give her beloved a Whitman Sampler and some washed out pink roses from the Valumart for Valentine's Day? Nosiree! In true Miss Cakehead fashion she has chosen dramatic black roses created by placing dark red roses in vases filled with a Kraken’s ink in place of water. This ink is then transported up the stem, via the xylem, to the leaves and petals turning them black.

The one day popup Think Ink floral shop opens in conjunction with Kraken Rum and proceeds from the sale of these stunning blooms will aid Project Redsand, which is dedicated to the restoration of the historic Thames Sea Forts.

More at Neatorama

Tim's Vermeer

 Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, wondered how 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer painted so photo-realistically before photography? So he set out to test his theory. The project took eight years and took him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces, on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney, and even to Buckingham Palace to see a Vermeer masterpiece in the collection of the Queen.

Here's the trailer for the Penn & Teller 2013 film about the project:

Film Website

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life as a Truck-Stop Stripper

"Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo go Gonzo as they pose as strippers and experience something that can be best described as a Marina Abramovic performance crossed with a bizarro episode of Wife Swap directed by David Lynch's daughters, set in the type of place where a one eyed guy who shot himself in the head dispenses meditation advice to two naked women."

VICE United States

Japanese Synchronized Walking

Shuudan Koudou  (Group Movement) is synchronized team precision walking and an exhibition is  put on yearly by the Nippon Sports Science University. Very intricate and a bit weird.

Via Blort

NFL Haute Couture Helmets by 48 Top Fashion Designers

Are you looking for a fancy helmet? Together with the NFL and CFDA, Bloomingdale's enlisted 48 top fashion designers ranging from John Varvatos to Diane von Furstenberg to create their own version of Haute Couture Football Helmets which are now being auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the NFL Foundation.

Bid here until Feb 4
Via If It's Hip, It's Here

Tom Waits Map

Jonas Nordstrom, a Swedish Waits fan, has catalogued every place name and geographical reference in every Waits song ever recorded. His findings are collected in the Tom Waits map of the World, with pins marking each place, along with the associated songs, albums and lyrics.

click here to see the songs

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dog On Vehicle 1992

Finnish artist Pentti Sammallahti 's wonderful photograph Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992 (dog on vehicle) from the series 'The Russian Way'

Via  @Marilyn_Res

The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

Violet Jessop survived the sinking of the sister ships the Titanic and the Britannic and was also aboard the third of the trio of Olympic class vessels, the Olympic, when it had a major accident.
Violet worked as a ship stewardess on the Olympic and Titanic and was a nurse on the Britannic.
I would have kept my feet on dry land after the first catastrophe but Violet continued to work on ships in various capacities.  In 1948 at the age of 61she signed on with Royal Mail for one last stint at sea.

She died in 1971 of congestive heart failure at the ripe old age of 84.

I wonder if her nickname was Jinx.

Read more about Violet Jessop at Today I Found Out

How Marilyn Monroe changed Ella Fitzgerald’s life

During the ’50s  Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo, a popular Hollywood venue, because of her race. Here, Ella tells the story of how Marilyn Monroe changed her life:
"I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt … she personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”

More at  Groove Notes

Monday, January 27, 2014

Looking Across The Niagara River At My American Friends

Hi guys!

Dogs That Follow

"This dog just appeared out of nowhere and followed us for an entire week during our trekking trip in the Himalayan outback . . . When I decided to get up at 4 a.m. to climb the next 5000 m peak for sunrise he accompanied me as well. On the top he was sitting for the entire 30 minutes on this place."

When I saw that beautiful dog I was reminded of the dogs that followed us when we were hiking in County Clare in Ireland. I took photos of two of them.

This boxer followed us whenever we passed his house. Apparently he spends his whole day
accompanying hikers.

Mr. Nag with a dear old dog

The 1920s Guide To NYC Tourist Etiquette

Valentine's City of New York guide book was published in 1920. This post at Gothamist explores the ins and outs of tourist etiquette according to the guide. Here are a few helpful tips:
  • Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop... and won't know. 
  • Don't cross the street in the middle of the block. In Paris they arrest you for that, in New York they simply run you down. 
  • Don't buy the Woolworth Building, Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Tower, the City Hall or any prominent structure. 
  • Don't hand your baggage to a porter outside Grand Central unless he wears a red hat. 
  • Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable. They are also "smart."
I'll try to remember not to buy the Empire State Building next time I visit the Big Apple.

Collective Nouns In Pictures

British design firm Woop Studios creates very nice images to illustrate collective nouns. Some are familiar; others are new to me.


You'll Be Too Scared To Litter Once You've Seen This

 David Lynch’s 1991anti-littering public service announcement is ominously terrifying. Frederick Elmes (the cinematographer for both Wild at Heart and Night on Earth) was director of photography.

Dangerous Minds

It's As If The Tip Of Manhattan Fell Off

Photographer James Balog deployed revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the Arctic to gather undeniable evidence of climate change.
"Chasing Ice", an award winning 2012 documentary film, records the largest glacier calving known to man. Glacial calving happens when an iceberg breaks off from the larger ice shelf.


The Collapse Of Niagara's Honeymoon Bridge

Photo: Jack Smith/The Globe and Mail

On Jan. 27, 1938, Niagara's Honeymoon Bridge, built in 1897, collapsed after tonnes of ice piled up at its base. Thousands of curious onlookers were drawn to the spectacle. The final pieces of the Honeymoon Bridge sank in April, after the springtime thaw and it was replaced by the present day  Rainbow Bridge in 1941.

The Globe and Mail

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Finches Rocking Out

Paris-based artist CélesteBoursier-Mougenot originally trained as a musician. His "From Ear To Hear" installation features red-billed zebra finches and Gibson Les Paul electric guitars. Their feet alight on the guitars which are posed on stands, like perches, making random, unintentional music.

Here is a video from his 2010 show at Barbican Curve Gallery:

“From Here to Ear” runs from Jan. 18, 2014  through April 13, 2014 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Aerial Views Of London Landmarks

Century old glass slides of aerial views of London from the collection of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society at the Bishopsgate Institute.

Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace and The Mall

St. Paul's

More lovely photos at Spitalfields Life

Upcycled Piano Staircase

Tim Vincent-Smith at kilometer zero running eye blog was given two upright pianos. Using only materials from these two ex-instruments he built this stunning staircase sculpture and mezzanine level bed.

Thanks Bruce!

There Is No Pink Light

Pink does not exist. Take that girly girls.

Via 3quarksdaily

Would You Pay $1.1 Million for Pee Wee's Playhouse?

I'd move into Peewee's Playhouse in a heartbeat. Such a fantastic house filled with toys, gadgets, talking furniture and appliances! What's not to love? The perfectly coiffed Miss Yvonne aka "The Most Beautiful Woman in Puppetland" is the agent! Who could resist her charms? This fictional listing at Movoto will take you back to the 80s. 

Catch a dizzying panorama of the playhouse at the Official Website

More at Movoto

Via Presurfer

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Dark Hedges

Along Bregagh Road, near the village of Armoy in Northern Ireland, lies a tranquil byroad called The Dark Hedges where 300 year old beech trees have reached up and intertwined with each other, creating an ethereal tunnel of trees with shadow and light playing through the entwined branches.

Image Credit
Driving on the narrow winding roads in Ireland terrified me but even I might like to drive through these ancient beech trees.

More at  Oddity Central 

Ian Strange "FINAL ACT"

Visual artist Ian Strange was commissioned by Canterbury Museum to create light-based interventions inside four New Zealand homes that were damaged by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. 16,000 families were displaced when their homes were slated for demolition.

The project is called Final Act. Strange worked with demolition and salvage teams to restore the homes close to their pre-quake state, then they cut geometric shapes out of the structures so that the beams of light (and life) could shine through and filled and photographed them.

More at Complex Light and Design

Thanks Bruce!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings

Jewelry historian Monica McLaughlin finds the most unusual antique fine jewelry for her column at The Hairpin.  Collectors Weekly has gathered some of her insights in a fascinating post as well as some bizarre pieces McLaughlin has discovered over the course of her career.

A glass eye was set in a yellow gold band for this ring from 1970.
(The Hairpin, via

This enamel, gold, and emerald poison ring from the Victorian Era
also features ram’s heads, an occult symbol.
(The Hairpin, via

Taxidermy jewelry was one way women in the industrializing world hoped
to keep in touch with nature. This gold brooch from the 1880s features a
real hummingbird head with a gold beak.
 (The Hairpin, via
I guarantee you won't find jewellery like this at Walmart!

Interesting reading and more pics at Collector's Weekly.

Oh God for one more breath

On the morning of May 19th, 1902, a huge explosion ripped through Fraterville Coal Mine in Tennessee killing 216 miners on the spot. 26 miners made it to a side passage where they suffocated while waiting for help to come. They had just enough time to write a few words to their loved ones.

Letters of Note posted one of these, a heartrending letter written by Jacob Vowell to his wife, Sarah Ellen, mother to their 6 children, one of whom, 14-year-old Elbert, was by his side in the mine. 

Read a transcript of Jacob's letter here.

How Do Physicians Choose to Die?

A recent RadioLab podcast, titled The Bitter End, pointed out a large gap between what doctors do to save lives and what they would choose to be done to them when death is imminent. When you ask people how they’d like to die, most will say that they want to die quickly, painlessly, and peacefully. Yet most also say they would opt for interventions that would extend their lives.

But not physicians.The graph below shows the answers that physicians gave to the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study when asked if they would want various interventions at the bitter end. The only intervention that doctors overwhelmingly want is pain medication. In no other case do even 20% of the physicians say “yes.”

Via Duck Soup

Well Loved Bears

 Much Loved  by Dublin-based photographer Mark Nixon is "a moving portrait gallery of people’s beloved bears and the occasional rabbit, monkey, or giraffe, many hugged and kissed down to bare threads to emerge as affection-ravaged amputees and bittersweet survivors of the immortal combat of growing up."

Teddy Moore
Age: 43
Height: 14 inches
Belongs to: Daragh O'Shea

Age: 44
Height: 11 inches
Belongs to: Jean Cherwaiko

Age: 47
Height: 9 inches
Belongs to: Maria Hurley

Image credit: © Mark Nixon courtesy of Abrams Image
See more adorable teddies, complete with biographies at Brain Pickings

I am very fond of cherished bears and have a few of my own:
The Nag's Bears
Don't tell the others but this one is my favourite:
I bought Tuffy many years ago at a church rummage sale in a small town in coastal Massachusetts. Don't tell the others but I love him best.

How Cooking Can Change Your Life

In this RSA Short, food writer Michael Pollan explains how to eat well by following one simple rule.

How To Separate Yolks From Whites

 Now we both know.

Starpath Is A Glow-In-The-Dark Walkway

Starpath is an ultraviolet-powered glow-in-the-dark footpath developed by U.K.-based resurfacing company Pro-Teq. It absorbs UV light during the day and releases it at night. It is sprayed directly onto existing concrete, tarmac, and other hard surfaces without removing existing surfaces and is ready to use in less than 4 hours.The bedazzled pathway above is in a park in Cambridge, England.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Chandelier Of Lost Earrings

Manchester, England architectural artists Lauren Sagar and Sharon Campbell have created a mass participation project titled The Chandelier Of Lost Earrings. This glass installation uses 3,500 single earrings donated by those who had lost the other earring of the pair. The earrings collected span several generations; women donating items from their grandmothers as well as their daughters. Many of the donated earrings were accompanied with personal stories and memories that have become a part of the legacy of the finished piece.

Chicago Gangland Map 1931

Click here for larger image

A Map of Chicago's gangland from authentic sources: designed to inculcate the most important principles of piety and virtue in young persons, and graphically portray the evils and sin of large cities.
- Author Bruce-Roberts, Inc. (Chicago)

Link Via Chicago Past

The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs

In the last century embroidered photographic postcards from Spain, Portugal, Germany and other European countries were created for tourists. These days artists like Maurizio Anzeri  and  Hinke Schreuders take the craft of embellishing photographs with needlework to a new level.

Embroidered postcard, Ebay item

Embroidered Photograph © Maurizio Anzeri / Saatchi Gallery

Hinke Schreuders, embroidered photo

More at Design Observer

La Maison Blanche

What would happen if American public figures behaved like French politicians i.e. François Hollande, Ségolène Royal, Valérie Trierweiler, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand?

An amusing what if? article at The Economist

Robotic Super Socks

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a"super sock"  intended to assist patients dealing with neuromuscular disorders in the foot and ankle caused by conditions like strokes, multiple sclerosis, or even cerebral palsy.

"Pneumatic artificial muscles—three in the foreleg and one in the back for the ankle—work alongside lightweight sensors to facilitate the actual movement for the wearer. And the prototype was able to produce a sagittal motion of the ankle—rocking the foot from side to side—of 27 degrees which is enough to reproduce a normal walking motion."
Read more here

Flight to the French Riviera, 1949

This vintage Air France travelogue highlights the attractions of the French Riviera. (Turn down the sound before you play it).

Thanks Bruce and Blort!

Monday, January 20, 2014

London in 1927 & 2013

During the 1920s, cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene captured stunning images of London; these were recently revived and restored by the BFI, and shared across social media and video websites.

Simon Smith attempted to capture his shots using modern equivalents of his camera and lenses.

London in 1927 & 2013 from Simon Smith on Vimeo.

Thanks Bruce!

WWII Bunker Cut In Half To Make A War Memorial

WWII Bunker 599 was part of the New Dutch Waterline (NDW) series of water-based defenses that dates back to 1815.  It was built to hold soldiers during bombing raids. Dutch studios RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon split the building down the middle to create a unique war memorial.

Movie shows concrete bunker cut in half by RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon from Dezeen on Vimeo.

"The sliced up bunker forms a publicly accessible attraction for visitors of the NDW. It is moreover visible from the A2 highway and can thus also be seen by tens of thousands of passers-by each day. The project is part of the overall strategy of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon to make this unique part of Dutch history accessible and tangible for a wide variety of visitors. Paradoxically, after the intervention Bunker 599 became a Dutch national monument."

More at this Link

Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Living Inside the Box

Can you imagine living in a shipping container home? Architect Michele Bertomen and David Boyle bought an empty 20-by-40-foot lot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They planned to build a traditional house but the estimate of over $300,000 for the building envelope was way too high. So the couple built their home from shipping containers at a cost of only $50,000 for the building envelope and it looks pretty good.


For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry

Artist Paul Bommer has produced a new edition of his print inspired by 18th century poet Christopher Smart’s eulogy of his cat Jeoffry.

Detail from the poster

Smart resided at St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics, with only his cat Jeoffry for solace. Was he mad or was he committed as a result of politicking by his father-in-law (who was also his publisher). We may never know but we do know that Smart derived much joy from his cat, perhaps the only pleasure he had in his life.

Here is the eulogy on which the print is based:
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For First he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean.
For Secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For Thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore-paws extended.
For Fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For Fifthly he washes himself.
For Sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For Seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For Eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For Ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For Tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider’d God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incompleat without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his fore-paws of any quadrupede.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord’s poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually – Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in compleat cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in musick.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master’s bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is affraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly,
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroaking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God’s light about him both wax and fire.
For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadrupede.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the musick.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.
-Christopher Smart (1722-71)
Read more about Smart at Spitalfields Life
You can purchase the print here