Tuesday, May 31, 2016


R O M A is a lovely video of The Eternal City by Oliver Astrologo

R O M A from Oliver Astrologo on Vimeo.

Philip Barlow - The City

Philip Barlow's lovely oil paintings resemble blurred photographs.


Dead man's fingers?

If I were walking through the forest and saw these poking through the ground I'd run like hell. Xylaria polymorpha is a saprobic fungus growing from the bases of rotting or injured tree stumps in woodland areas. Its elongated upright, clavate, or strap-like stomata rise out of the forest floor, much like the fingers of a corpse.


High Steel

This documentary directed by Don Owen in 1965 follows the Mohawk Indians of Kahnawake working in Manhattan erecting the steel frames of skyscrapers. The Mohawks also relate stories from their quieter community life on the Kahnawake Reserve in Quebec. It caught my interest because I grew up across the river from Kahnawake and went to high school with kids from the reserve around the time this film was made.


Dads are the Original Hipsters

Dads are the Original Hipsters is a blog that takes old family photos that show dads from all walks of life that look and act exactly like the hipsters of today. Here are a couple of examples of hipster dads:


And for your added enjoyment I've added a photo of my own Mr. Nag, the quintessential hipster dad:

Monday, May 30, 2016


Mária Švarbová is a self-taught photographer and art director based in Bratislava Slovakia. I like these swimming pool photographs a lot.

Photo, Concept: Mária Švarbová
Costume, Styling: Zuzana Hudakova, Martina Siranova
Models: Simona, Vladka, Michaela, Stanka, Lukas, Lea, Ivanka/M management/


Edible Six Pack Rings

Millions of animals have been harmed by plastic can rings. Saltwater Brewery in Florida has created a set of 3D-printed edible and biodegradable can rings that double as food for sea turtles and other susceptible species known for getting their necks trapped inside of rings. This design also represents a neat form of recycling, being constructed from byproducts of the beer-brewing process.


Louis Armstrong and His All Stars in the Gold Coast of Africa 1956

"60 years ago this week, Louis Armstrong and His All Stars found themselves in the Gold Coast of Africa, soon to become the independent nation of Ghana. Edward R. Murrow had a camera crew filming Armstrong for the eventual theatrical documentary, "Satchmo the Great."Armstrong and his entourage had just been entertained by local dancers and musicians and now it was their chance to play a number for the African audience. Armstrong called off "Royal Garden Blues" at a fast tempo. At first, the Africans seemed perplexed--until one ancient man got up and started shuffling around. Lucille Armstrong spotted him, ran out and showed him how to move to the American beat."

Read more 

Chinese Funeral Parlor Repairs the Dead by 3D Printing

In an area of China that is prone to serious accidents Longhua Funeral Parlor has decided to offer 3D printing to repair damaged bodies before they’re put on display to spare the sensibilities of the deceased’s family members and friends. Those who can afford it will be able to repair damaged bodies by 3D printing replacement parts. The technology can be used to make corpses appear younger or better looking and the parlor also does hair implants and adds makeup.


Stonehenge Rock Source Identified

Scientists have discovered that Stonehenge's smaller bluestones come from a nearby outcropping, located about 1.8 miles (3 km) away from the site.
The discovery of the rock's origin could help archaeologists unlock the mystery of how the stones got to Stonehenge.

Mr. Nag and I were there last week. Here he is posing in front of the stones:

Read more


You Must Choose


Reverie of Vietnam

Oliver Astrologo took a breathtaking 1650Km north to south journey through Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, the caves in Trang An, fabric merchants in Hoi An, the temples of Da Nang, the historical old capital Hue, the Mekong Delta and the beaches at Phu Quoc.

Reverie of Vietnam from Oliver Astrologo on Vimeo.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rare Nazi Coding Device Discovered on eBay

A rare piece of Nazi machinery used by Adolf Hitler to communicate with his generals during World War II has been discovered.

Almost 80 years since the Lorenz teleprinter was used to complete an intricate Nazi coding machine known as the Lorenz cipher, a woman in the UK suburb of Essex found it in her shed. Mistaking it for an ancient telegram machine, the owner placed an ad for it on eBay and the National Museum of Computing (NMC) purchased it for just £9.50.
Once it was cleaned at the NMC’s site in Bletchley Park a swastika detailing on the device, and a special key for the runic Waffen-SS insignia were discovered.

More:  Digital Trends

Cité Memoire

Montreal has created a multimedia exhibition called Cité Memoire (Memory City), transforming the old town into a living tribute on its 375th birthday.

And it's interactive. You can become part of the action by downloading the app and wearing headphones.


Sunday Links 5

This will make your life easier: 19 Things You Didn't Know You Could Wash In The Dishwasher.

The Bright Side Of Awful Things finds the serendipitous silver linings in terrible things in science, history, current events and more.

Sea sponge the size of a minivan discovered in ocean depths off Hawaii

Photographers documented disappearing London in the 1870s

A fine tribute to Madeleine LeBeau on the LRB blog. Vive la France!

For decades, unidentified bodies have been consigned to the back rooms of morgues and all but forgotten. A handful of campaigners are on a quest to find out who they are.

Maps and sites of Elizabethan theatres in London

Going someplace and looking for the best places to eat? You need this.

At first I thought this was a joke. Men who want to be dogs.

Who knew? There are websites that cater to coulrophiliacs, people who love and even lust for clowns.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

China's Fake Boyfriends

When they reach their late twenties unmarried women in China are labelled "sheng nu" or "leftover women".  There is an overwhelming societal pressure to settle down and marry young. A film by Daniel Holmes looks at the cultural and historical reasons behind the pressure.
Li Chenxi has no desire to get married.As Chinese New Year looms she makes her annual journey home to face greater than ever expectations. In search of a solution that staves off the marital pressures, Li Chenxi decides to commit the ultimate deception: She hires a handsome boyfriend in Beijing to take home to meet her family and friends.

Via Al Jazeera English

2000 Pigeons Illuminate New York’s Night Sky

New York once had a network of rooftop pigeon lofts stretched across the five boroughs. Property development and population shifts have caused the practice to wane but Duke Riley's new art piece, Fly By Night reflects back on and makes visible this largely forgotten culture.
For nearly a year Riley has been training a flock of 2,000 pigeons of all different species to fly in formation and on every weekend evening through mid-June thousands of his pigeons will take flight at dusk, each equipped with a tiny LED light attached to their talons, creating a stellar light show.

Duke Riley's Fly By Night from Creative Time on Vimeo.


Drink Your Way Through The World's Wines

La Cité du Vin is a museum in the heart of France’s wine country, Bordeaux, with a focus on wine regions all over the world. The building is reminiscent of a wine decanter and houses 20 themed areas, a 250-seat auditorium that will show aerial films, expert-led tasting sessions, a visual look at the immersive history of wine, art galleries, and a reading room. It houses several restaurants and a wine bar stocked with bottles from 80 countries.


Smart Earpiece Language Translator

The Pilot Smart Earpiece Language Translator  allows wearers to speak different languages but still clearly understand each other. Simply put, when one person speaks, the other hears it in their language.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Barbers of Freetown

Barbers play a special role in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They act as counsellors, listening to clients agonise over their love lives or confide in them about family crises. The barber shop provides a safe space for people to sit back and unwind. Sierra Leone-based journalist and photographer Olivia Acland has been documenting the barber shops of Freetown.

The owner of this barber shop, Ronald, decided to have it painted in this way
as he "likes American and English people's style".

This barber shop beside Freetown's stadium stays open as late as 11pm
to catch anyone needing a shave on the way in or out of an event.

Barber Kolenzo and his sister relax in the shop waiting for customers.

More: BBC News

How London Got Its Pavements

Here's how an embarrassing event involving the House of Commons' Speaker led to London's pavements

Arctic Foxes Build Gardens On Tundra

Winnipeg-based biologists working near Churchill have discovered that Arctic foxes  are "ecosystem engineers".

Their organic waste and the remains of the animals they kill allow almost three times as much vegetation to bloom around their dens compared to elsewhere on the tundra, according to University of Manitoba biologists James Roth, John Markham, Tazarve Gharajehdaghipour and Paul Fafard.

Arctic fox den gardens in August 2015
The plants attract herbivores such as caribou, lemmings and hares, while the remains of geese killed by foxes attract scavengers such as polar bears, wolves, gulls and ravens.
More: CBC News

My Garden This Morning

A few days make a huge difference in the garden this time of year. I went away for a week and came back to this.

Where’s Warhol?

In Where’s Warhol?, written by Catherine Ingram and illustrated by Andrew Rae, a tiny cartoon Andy hides in scenes packed with art historical references.

A time-traveling Warhol lurks in Washington Square Park with Basquiat; watches Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. He pays visits to the Bauhaus, Marie Antoinette’s execution, a Frida Kahlo Retrospective, and Groovy Bob’s art scene. The disco at Studio 54 teems with characters from Warhol’s milieu: Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John, Basquiat, Keith Haring.

More here 

World's scariest school run?

To attend class, backpack-carrying pupils from Atuler village in Sichuan province must take on an 800-metre rock face, scrambling down rickety ladders and clawing their way over bare rocks as they go.

Uproar over the students’ hair-raising commute brought promises of government action. The region’s Communist party secretary said a steel staircase would be built to connect the deprived hamlet with the outside world while a permanent solution was found.
More: The Guardian

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Star Trek:TNG One-Piece Swimsuit

Take the plunge with these Star Trek:TNG swimsuits modeled after the ST:TNG uniform.

Buy here

Canuck the crow steals knife from crime scene

Canuck, Vancouver's most notorious crow, is being accused of swooping away with a knife from a crime scene. The badass avian and its antics are regularly chronicled on social media, including a dedicated Facebook page that has a profile photo of the bird holding a knife in its beak.

More here

Naughty 1930s Nightclub Matchbooks

The classic matchbook dates to 1892, when inventor Joshua Pusey patented a design for paper matches tipped with sulphur-phosphorus solution and attached to a sheet of cardboard. His design was quickly acquired by the Diamond Match Company, which made its first bulk sale of Pabst Beer-branded matchbooks in 1894.

This collection advertised naughty nightclub fun.

More here


Louisa’s album, and other memories of an ancient house

Louisa Boscowen Goldsmid’s album is a threadbare scrapbook with a stained fabric cover. Inside it are a set of watercolours. Louisa spent time at Notting Hill House, which belonged to her grandfather, with her three children in 1817 and 1818 and painted a number of exteriors and interiors. The pictures are noteworthy because they depict the interior of the house as fully furnished and inhabited (which doesn’t always happen in pictures of late 18th/ early 19th century interiors).

More: The Library Time Machine

A Picture of American Suburbia

American artist Celia Reisman loves to create paintings from memory of various residential neighbourhoods in Philadelphia and other US locations.

More: Creative Boom

Batemans Bay Overtaken By Mass of Bats

Batemans Bay in New South Wales, Australia is in a state of emergency because it has been overrun by a swarming mass of 100,000 bats. The grey-headed flying foxes are on almost every surface and in every tree in the town. The bats make a constant racket and residents cannot open their windows or hang their washing out.
Since they are a protected species they cannot be culled and authorities are considering hosing trees down with 'bat deterrent', and using giant inflatable tube men in an attempt to scare them away.

More here 

Thanks Bruce!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dollhouses Capture 300 Years of British Domestic Life

Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse is an exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. until January 22, 2017. The 12 historical dollhouses are records of British residential architecture and home decor over the last 300 years, showcasing everything from a stately Georgian townhouse to a '30s modernist country villa to a '60s high rise.

Tate Baby House (1760)

Amy Miles House (1890)
Hopkinson House (late 1980s to late 1990s)

I want to see this show!

More: Curbed

Giant Tintypes, Created with Room-Sized Cameras

The world’s largest tintypes, shot using a colossal room-sized cameras, are by London-based artist duo Walter & Zoniel as part of a project titled The Untouched.

More here

Traveling Cars

Swiss photographer Kim Leuenberger photographs tiny toy cars in dramatic situations.


Stereoscopic Images of Victorian Natural History

Photographer Jim Naughten traveled to natural history storerooms to photograph specimens from every realm of the animal world posthumously preserved. He used the 19th-century stereoscopic technique to capture the objects, so that they can be viewed in three dimensions.

Jim Naughten, “Sheep” (2014)
Animal Kingdom: Stereoscopic Images Of Natural History, out in June from Prestel, includes 50 of Naughten’s photographs of Victorian and Edwardian specimens from the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Museum of Life Sciences, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Horniman Museum, and others. The book comes with a foldable stereoscopic viewer that can be propped up on the page.

Don't Peggy Olsen Me, Motherfuckers!

Two years ago at the height of the magnificent Madmen series singer Neko Case put Playboy in its place.

Case is currently on tour with KD Laing and Laura Veirs.

The Electric Dylan Controversy

On July 25, 1965, Dylan performed with a rock band at the Newport Folk Festival, setting off the "Electric Dylan Controversy". Some sections of the audience booed Dylan's performance. Leading members of the folk movement criticized him for moving away from political songwriting, and performing with an electric band.

The Evolution of an Accidental Meme

In 2012 Craig Froehle crafted a graphic to illustrate his point in an argument he was having with a conservative activist about why “equal opportunity” alone wasn’t a satisfactory goal and that we should take into consideration equality of outcomes (i.e., fairness or equity). He took a public photo of Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, a stock photo of a crate, clip art of a fence, and then spent a half-hour in Powerpoint concocting an image that he posted on Google. The original post (above) racked up around 3,000 +1s and over 1,000 shares. It was then adapted, modified, and repurposed in a variety of ways and widely shared.

Read more