November 30, 2009

Bros. Grimm’s The Old Woman In The Wood, 1920


Arthur Rackham, 1867-1939.

Posted by the Flea at 11:28 AM

Putting the prod in productivity

There is evil, there is premeditated evil and then there is Write or Die. With an improved desktop edition, it is even eviler.

Progress Bars! Pretty!

Now there are visual indicators to show you your progress relative to your goals. In addition to these I have refined the warning animation, now there is a gradual fade to red instead of formerly where it would quite obviously get redder every second. Once you start typing again there is another gradual fade back to your preferred background colour.
Posted by the Flea at 11:23 AM

Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells A Story

Posted by the Flea at 11:21 AM

November 29, 2009

The Marriage Proposal


Albert Beck Wenzell, 1864-1917.

Posted by the Flea at 09:48 AM | Comments (3)

Moving on to the freestyle beard portion of our contest

I am looking at you, Ben. You know what you have to do.

Posted by the Flea at 09:42 AM

Kill Memory Crash: Utiu

Posted by the Flea at 09:41 AM

November 28, 2009

The Tiffany Ceiling - Macy's on State Street, Chicago 5th floor, 1907


Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848-1933.

More. Also, Macy's on State Street.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)

Buy Empire

Library and Archives Canada has posted a number of World War I images to Flickr alongside other late Victorian and Edwardian material (via Boing Boing). I am particularly taken with an Empire Marketing Board poster ad for Irish Free State bacon and Australian sultanas.

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | Comments (4)

If it weren't for those pesky bloggers

Michael Gerson describes "old media dinosaurs" as "the basis for the entire media food chain"; this definintion rendering us pesky bloggers not only bottom feeders but ungrateful bottom feeders. Without old media, new media is nothing.

Mark Steyn offers a spirited rejoinder in defense of the blogosphere.

That's laughably untrue in the Warmergate story. If you rely on the lavishly remunerated "climate correspondents" of the big newspapers and networks, you'll know nothing about the Climate Research Unit scandals - just the business-as-usual drivel about Boston being underwater by 2011. Indeed, even when a prominent media warm-monger addresses the issue, the newspaper prefers to reprint a month-old column predating the scandal. If you follow online analysis from obscure websites on the fringes of the map, you'll know what's going on. If you go to the convenience store and buy today's newspaper, you won't. That's the problem.


Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (1)

Re-Flex: Politics Of Dancing

Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM

November 27, 2009

George Washington As A Master Mason, 1856


Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, 1816-1868.

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM | Comments (1)

The Original Hollywood Rebel

Big Hollywood profiles Harlan Ellison.

“My role in life is to be a burr under the saddle. I didn’t pick that for myself, it just happens that’s the way I am. I wish I could be one of the really sweet guys, but for me nobody has a good word. That’s because my allegiance is to art, to the work. I have no allegiance to magazines, producers, studios, networks or anything. The work is what counts.”

A small note to the Big Hollywood writer: People do not paint with canvas, even if their names are Picasso or Dali. Ellison will notice, trust me.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (1)

The Adventures of Lil' Cthulhu

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

Cheryl Cole: 3 Words

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

November 26, 2009

Tusken Raiders, 1977


Ralph McQuarrie, 1929-.

More. Also.

Posted by the Flea at 07:09 AM


Theodore Dalrymple claims Le Corbusier was to architecture what Pol Pot was to social reform, saying "it is no coincidence that he willingly served both Stalin and Vichy."

A terminal inhumanity—what one might almost call “ahumanity”—characterizes Le Corbusier’s thought and writing, notwithstanding his declarations of fraternity with mankind. This manifests itself in several ways, including in his thousands of architectural photos and drawings, in which it is rare indeed that a human figure ever appears, and then always as a kind of distant ant, unfortunately spoiling an otherwise immaculate, Platonic townscape. Thanks to his high-rise buildings, Le Corbusier says, 95 percent of the city surface shall become parkland—and he then shows a picture of a wooded park without a single human figure present. Presumably, the humans will be where they should be, out of sight and out of mind (the architect’s mind, anyway), in their machines for living in (as he so charmingly termed houses), sitting on machines for sitting on (as he defined chairs).

Read the whole thing; Dalrymple's hat tip to the graffiti of uneducated slum denizens is a classic. Also true.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (1)

Fortuna imperatrix mundi

Rockstar INXS enthusiasts might wonder what happened to J.D. Fortune, one time lead singer of INXS once again running his life out of the back of a car. For Fortune's sake, I hope it turns out there are second acts in Canadian lives.

Lukas Rossi offers JD Fortune a helping hand - ET Canada Feb 18, 2009.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Storm Large: 8 Miles Wide

Via Knowledge is Power.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

November 25, 2009

The Atlantic Cable Projectors, 1895


Daniel Huntington, 1816-1906.

Key to the painting.

Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM

Severe reactions to swine flu vaccine in Canada

A batch of the vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been recalled following an unusual number of severe allergic reactions to swine flu vaccinations. Of every 100 reports of adverse effects, five are "serious cases" such as, for example, death.

GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Gwenan White told AFP that the affected doses of its Aprepanrix vaccine had caused reactions to the heart and lungs. Ms. White added that some 172,000 doses are involved, although she declined to reveal how many of those had already been used.
Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Osmotic energy

Norway's Statkraft Osmotic power plant is a prototype for generating electricity from an interaction between fresh water and sea water.

"It is a form of renewable energy which, unlike solar or wind power, produces a predictable and stable amount of energy regardless of the weather," explained Stein Erik Skilhagen, in charge of the project at state-owned Statkraft, which specialises in renewable energies.

Osmotic energy is based on the principle that nature is constantly seeking balance, and plays on the different concentration levels of liquids.

When freshwater and seawater meet on either side of a membrane -- a thin layer that retains salt but lets water pass -- freshwater is drawn towards the seawater side. The flow puts pressure on the seawater side, and that pressure can be used to drive a turbine, producing electricity.

Just enough to power a coffee maker at the moment but an idea with some potential. Or we could just drill, drill, drill. You know, like the Norwegians do.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Reagan Campaign Ad: No More

Shades of HillBuzz.

Also: "I accept your nomination for President of the United States."

A passage at 15:00 sounds all too familiar: "The Republican plan for solving economic problems is based on growth and productivity. Large amounts of oil and natural gas lay beneath our land and off our shores untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, more taxes and more controls than more energy."

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

Enya: Pax Deorum

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

November 24, 2009

Moroni Hides the Plates in the Hill Cumorah


Tom Lovell, 1909-1997.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | Comments (1)

Lost the bottle

Visualizing empires decline.

Directly related: A cowardly Navy, a cautious SAS and Britain's humiliation by a pirate rabble. A short quote from the piece, I am too sick at heart to discuss the rest.

On February 16, 1940, the destroyer Cossack, acting on Churchill's personal orders, steamed headlong into neutral Norwegian territorial waters in defiance of international law, boarded the German freighter Altmark and freed 299 captive British merchant seamen.

Legend held that the first the prisoners knew of their deliverance was a shout down a hatchway from a sailor on deck: 'The Navy's here!' The episode passed into folklore, exemplifying the Royal Navy's centuries-old tradition of triumphant boldness.

On October 28, 2009, the armed Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Wave Knight met Somali pirates transferring the British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler from their yacht Lynn Rival to a hijacked Singaporean container vessel. When warning shots from Wave Knight failed to deter the pirates, its 100-strong crew stood by and did . . . absolutely nothing.

Your fate is what you make. We richly deserve ours.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Things don't have to be real to be needed

You may think I have become a shill for Xbox. Which I sort of have.

You are all watching Glee, right?

Posted by the Flea at 07:12 AM

Brooke White: Radio Radio

Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM

November 23, 2009

Historical Monument of the American Republic, 1867-1888


Erastus Salisbury Field, 1805-1900.

Larger. About. Related.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Glacial beauty

Views of glaciers seen from space.

To a geologist, glaciers are among the most exciting features on Earth. Though they seem to creep along at impossibly slow speeds, in geologic time glaciers are relatively fast, powerful landscape artists that can carve out valleys and fjords in just a few thousand years.
Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Human landscapes from above

Jason Hawkes offers a bird's eye view.

Recently, Hawkes has been carrying his Nikon D3 aboard helicopters around the world, hanging out the doorway and capturing landscapes - most somehow affected by humans - below.
Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Cheryl Cole: Parachute

Hat tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

November 22, 2009

Title page to the Complete Works of Jacob Boehme, 1764


Dionysius Andreas Freher, 1649-1728.


Update: Now wondering about those dates.

Posted by the Flea at 09:59 AM | Comments (2)

Refuse to be sullen and cynical and silent and stupid

Truepeers offers advice and support to an exceptional young man. Testify, my brother.


I've always admired your writing. I've known smart, mouthy young guys, since I grew up at a time just before the schools and postmodern victimary ideologies conspired to shut up the young men who wanted to dominate the classroom with their spirited if often half-baked ideas. Believe it or not young guns used to be common if you went to the right schools. Sure, the overly-confident youth could be a problem in its way, one that was addressed by guilt-promoting ideologies. However, my last experiences, before I had to leave the academic world behind, was of young people now turned sullen and cynical and silent and stupid by the reign of PC and its demands for performance of self-incrimination/confession of "privilege", or assertion of victimhood, neither of which are often appropriate to a self-respecting youngster. I witnessed the rise of a reign of speech enforcers, people who thought it was their high duty to shut up obnoxious "privilege", indeed anything too normal or even anachronistic (as if the bad guys of old still mattered). What resulted, on one one level, was a lot of sexless males and genderless females - no one too boisterously natural - without much respect for truth beyond (cynicism of) the reigning pieties of victimhood... That was a much bigger problem it seemed to me.
Posted by the Flea at 09:58 AM

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

There is nothing sacred to the left; only opportunities for sacrilege.

Airline pollution activists Plane Stupid are on a collision course with the advertising regulator after launching a graphic cinema campaign that sees CGI polar bears falling to bloody deaths to highlight the impact of carbon emissions.

The media will show you sick apocalyptic fantasies like this but they will not show you the martyrs of 9/11. All I can say is thank God for Trey Parker and Matt Stone. For want of satire we would be left with direct action.

Posted by the Flea at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

2001: A Who Odyssey

Posted by the Flea at 09:53 AM

Pixie Lott: Use Somebody

Posted by the Flea at 09:48 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2009

Self Portrait of the Artist in His Museum, 1822


Charles Willson Peale, 1741-1827.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Nelson wept

The Royal Navy has apologized for sending up the Spanish; the culprit, a gunnery target flag in Spanish livery. This is bad enough on its face - seriously, sod the Spanish - it is none of their concern what happens in British territorial waters.

What is worse is the spectacle of the Royal Navy apologizing for nothing. After all, they choose to pretend the send up was unintentional and therefore have nothing to apologize for.*

Which is a lie. Obviously.

An MoD spokesman yesterday insisted the Spanish had been mistaken, but pledged to take action so a row did not flare in future.

He said: 'HMS Scimitar was using Flag No1 during gunnery practise – not the Spanish national flag. Flag No1 is traditionally used on gunnery targets due to its high visibility however we recognise its similarity to the Spanish national flag and will use an alternative marker during gunnery practise in this area in the future.'

The men who chose those colours were men and, had the Spanish complained at the time, would have thought it a very great joke and loaded the guns for another volley. Once upon a time, I expect the Spanish would have been men enough to appreciate the humour. These days we may expect an "human rights" complaint against the Royal Navy.

* "For which to apologize." Filthy prepositions.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Lindsey Graham destroys Eric Holder

For students of rhetoric.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

Lee Aaron: I'd Love To

Am I the last to hear Lee Aaron dropped metal for jazz? Of particular interest to Canadian men of a certain generation.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

November 20, 2009

Resistance, or The Black Idol, 1903


František Kupka, 1871–1957.

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

I am not a dark person and I don`t consider myself dark

Flea-readers in New York from November 22 through to April 26 of next year might stop in at the MoMA for a Tim Burton exhibition.

Taking inspiration from popular culture, Tim Burton (American, b. 1958) has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of personal vision, garnering for himself an international audience of fans and influencing a generation of young artists working in film, video, and graphics.

Related: Not a Tim Burton per se but DIY vinyl wall art for Flea-readers who are either not headed to the MoMA or who cannot wait until they do.


Apartments, however, are usually a pain to paint and then paint to cover-up your awesome paint, and an especially big pain when you move around as often as I do.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Bobby Mcferrin improvisation with Richard Bona

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

November 18, 2009

Lithuania: Wilderness, 1864-1866


Artur Grottger, 1837-1867.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (5)

Jeremy Clarkson for Prime Minister

Andy Wilman explains the 2001 reboot and subsequent success of Top Gear, a Flea-fav and - I have this on reliable authority - one of the most illegally downloaded shows on the planet.

The show looked 'f***ing old-fashioned' next to new formats such as Changing Rooms, says Wilman now, and after it was finally axed in 2001, he and Clarkson got together over a pub lunch to draw up a manifesto for a brand new Top Gear.

First, it would have a news section so 'important but boring' cars could be dispensed with quickly. Second, it would be filmed before an audience in an old aircraft hangar that would become 'an oasis for people who like cars'.

Third, they would have an all-male line-up. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, 'it would always be an unfair show,' says Wilman.

'The BBC would say: "You should get Professor Suchabody on, talking about the environment,' and we would go: "F*** off."

Related and "Recommended by the Flea"™: Forza Motorsport 3

Segue: WWTDD? compares the opening of Hollywood blockbuster "The Dark Knight" and the latest installment of Call of Duty.

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 - was released Tuesday and in the first 24 hours it made $310 million. ‘The Dark Knight’ holds every Hollywood speed record, and it took that 10 days to reach 300.

In a bear market you could do worse than to consider a career in the video game industry.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (1)

Dolce & Gabbana L'eau the One Fragrance

Featuring Scarlett Johansson who speaks French like an American intellectual when really we would all be better off picking up a little Spanish or possibly Mandarin.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (1)

Dune 7

Grasping for the Wind solicited book bloggers in science fiction, fantasy and horror to suggest the worst or most disappointing endings in science fiction and fantasy novels. I reproduce most of Omphalos SF Book Reviews' comment on "Hunters of Dune" as it needed to be said and is for the ages (much more at the link).

... the worst ending in SF undoubtedly is also the longest and most drawn out ending in the history of the genre: Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune. These two monumental piece of junk books were penned by Brian Herbert and his “writing” partner Kevin J. Anderson in an attempt to wrap up Frank Herbert’s monumental, epic and amazingly well crafted Dune chronicles.

Can I tell you a secret? Lean in close now. The Herbert’s have ears all over the place and I don’t want them to hear this…again. The series was complete when Frank died. The whole point of the six Dune books that Frank Herbert wrote were to show one thing: How Leto II successfully put humanity onto the Golden Path, or a path towards a societal configuration that would ensure the immortality of the race. The first trilogy of books tell the story of Leto II coming to power, and the empire he inherited from his father, Paul. The fourth book, God Emperor of Dune, shows Leto’s plan at its most vulnerable point. Without providing any spoiling detail, Leto made it work. The last two books, Heretics and Chapterhouse, were about a different story in the Dune universe where the characters saw a risk to the Golden Path. At the end of Chapterhouse Frank Herbert left a few rhetorical question that Herbert the Younger and Anderson spun into the “greatest cliff-hanger in the history of the genre.”

Yeah, right. A close reading of Heretics and Chapterhouse reveal all the answers that anyone needs. But, with a few notes that they claim to have found in Herbert’s attic, and the mythical outline for “Dune 7″ that was reportedly found in a safety deposit box in the months after Herbert and Anderson claim to have gotten together to draft an outline for the plot of Dune: House Atreides (the first of six useless, needless prequels to the first Frank Herbert Dune novel, and the first baby-steps in a blatant, clumsy reengineering of an absolute classic of literature), they have indeed gone where no man should ever go. Frank Herbert’s Dune is, in my mind, unassailable. It’s the best book that SF has to offer, and it probably always will be. It was a masterful updating of even then-dated motifs and tropes, a romantic tale of adventure, a coming-of-age tale par excellance, a singular statement on the state of politics in the 60’s, and the landmark novel of the ecological age of that our culture has been working itself towards ever since. Hunters and Sandworms are not only unworthy of shelf space near Dune, they shouldn’t even be used as library door-stops.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

Yarabi: El Sila

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2009

Wheel of Fortune, 1885


Alfred Agache, 1843-915.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

Milow: Ayo Technology

This one grew on me. Hat tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Google flushot: Finding flu vaccine information in one easy place

So long as that place is called the United States of America. Thanks Google! Better yet, Thanks Canada for the "free" health care!

This year, it's especially important to have clear information on what you can do to prepare for the flu season. With this in mind, we are happy to share a new feature for the U.S. which allows you to more easily find locations near you for getting both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine. After expanding Google Flu Trends to a total of 20 countries and 38 languages, allowing more people to see near real-time estimates of flu activity, we began brainstorming with the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS), their flu.gov collaborators and the American Lung Association on the flu shot finder and other ways Google can be helpful to people this flu season.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

Dr. Google

Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM

November 16, 2009

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818


Caspar David Friedrich, 1774-1840.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM | Comments (1)

On the plus side, India might use it

The Royal Navy scrambles to give away half its next generation carrier force. Before it has been built.

One of Britain's new £2bn aircraft carriers could be sold off under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence. India has lodged a firm expression of interest, the Observer has learned.

The sale of one of the two 65,000-tonne vessels would leave the Royal Navy with a single carrier and could force Britain to borrow from the French fleet, which itself has only one carrier and is reluctant to build more.

Yet we mock the Victorians for their fears of degeneracy and decline.

Related: Barely concealed great-power sparring between China and India.

Inexorably and almost invisibly, Nepal has emerged as the focus of the competition between India and China to seize the strategic advantage along the Himalayas.
Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

This is the world of Riese

Riese is a promising on line steampunk from the Vancouververse.

If you need proof that creating “television” is a completely different game these days, look no further than the Vancouver-produced science fiction series Riese . To begin with, the series launched not with a television pilot, but with a nine-minute episode on YouTube and the video site Koldcast.

SFFaudio links interviews with Riese series producer Nicholas Humphries, co-creator Ryan Copple and actress Sharon Taylor.

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM | Comments (1)

Brazilian Girls: Nouveau Americain

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

November 14, 2009

Illustration from Robin Hood, 1917


Newell Convers Wyeth, 1882-1945.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

Subverted by the future

Bech Nielsen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan suggest a bit of baguette that stymied the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) outside Geneva was dropped by a time-traveling bird was sent from the future to sabotage the experiment.

There's more.

In a series of audacious papers, Nielsen and Ninomiya have suggested that setbacks to the LHC occur because of "reverse chronological causation," which is to say, sabotage from the future. The papers suggest that the Higgs boson may be "abhorrent to nature" and the LHC's creation of the Higgs sometime in the future sends ripples backward through time to scupper its own creation. Each time scientists are on the verge of capturing the Higgs, the theory holds, the future intercedes. The theory as to why the universe rejects the creation of Higgs bosons is based on complex mathematics, but, Nielsen tells TIME, "you could explain it [simply] by saying that God, in inverted commas, or nature, hates the Higgs and tries to avoid them."
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

Geoffrey Oryema feat. Peter Gabriel: Land of Anaka

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

November 13, 2009

Jupiter and Thetis, 1811


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1780-1867.

Posted by the Flea at 12:48 PM

Scorpions & Berliner Philharmoniker: Lady Starlight

Posted by the Flea at 12:41 PM

November 12, 2009

Harem Pool, c. 1876


Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1824-1904 (hat tip to Ben).

Posted by the Flea at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)

Star Wars golf bags

Star Wars golf bags might be right up your street.

Remember those fun and cool Star Wars Golf Club Covers from last year? Now you can extend your gear with some new Star Wars-themed golf accessories.
Posted by the Flea at 12:03 PM

Barbie and Bratz D&M

Posted by the Flea at 12:02 PM

Stonebridge feat. Therese: Put 'em High

Posted by the Flea at 12:01 PM

November 11, 2009

The Kensingtons at Laventie, 1916


Eric Kennington, 1888-1959.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Top Secret war videos

These US Army, OSS and secret agent training videos should come in handy. For example, this OSS Cairo field report.

Describes secret operations at the British Political Warfare Executive School located near Cairo, Egypt, and OSS personnel undergoing training for morale operations activities in the Balkans. Trainees work in calisthenics, history, geography, language, radio broadcasting and monitoring, propaganda leaflet composition, portable printing press operation, interrogation techniques, and vehicle operation and maintenance. Includes a panoramic views of Cairo, OSS headquarters, the training camp, the pyramids and sphinx.
Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Strategic partnership

Just when you thought it was safe to buy French wine: Russia is set to buy up to four Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France and allow for at least two to be produced jointly in Russia.

Never at a loss to pass up a commercial deal that could hit Western strategic security interests, the French government is on a fast track to sell Russia one or more helicopter carriers that will provide the amphibious capability it now lacks in the Black Sea ...

Such a capability could allow the Kremlin to move troops and tanks into neighboring Georgia more quickly, for example allowing Russian Spetznaz, or Special Forces, to invade in a matter of hours rather than the days it took in its August 2008 invasion.
Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

China bears

Billionaire hedge fund investor Jim Chanos believes mainland China's economy is on the verge of collapse.

Chang argues that inconsistencies in Chinese official statistics — like the surging numbers for car sales but flat statistics for gasoline consumption — indicate that the Chinese are simply cooking their books. He speculates that Chinese state-run companies are buying fleets of cars and simply storing them in giant parking lots in order to generate apparent growth.

Another data point cited by the bears: overcapacity. For example, the Chinese already consume more cement than the rest of the world combined, at 1.4 billion tons per year. But they have dramatically ramped up their ability to produce even more in recent years, leading to an estimated spare capacity of about 340 million tons, which, according to a report prepared earlier this year by Pivot Capital Management, is more than the consumption in the U.S., India and Japan combined.

This, Chanos and others argue, is happening in sector after sector in the Chinese economy. And that means the Chinese are in danger of producing huge quantities of goods and products that they will be unable to sell.
Posted by the Flea at 07:51 AM | Comments (2)

Night Walk - Night Ride

It's a Toronto thing. Also a "Canadian content" thing (via Taylor Empire Airways).

Travel back to 1984 Toronto. This is a cutdown of what aired most late nights on Global. Apparently its largest audience consisted of prisoners.
Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Lady Gaga: Bad Romance

Hat tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (3)

November 10, 2009

Judgment of Cambyses, 1542


Dirk Vellert, 1480-1547.

Related: "The remains of a legendary 50,000-strong army which was swallowed up in a cataclysmic sandstorm in the Sahara Desert 2,500 years ago are believed to have been found."

Italian archaeologists Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni, twin brothers, have discovered bronze weapons and hundreds of human bones which they reckon are the remains of the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 BC), Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent the soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa in 525BC. Their mission was to destroy the oracle at the Temple of Amun after the priests there refused to legitimise his claim to Egypt.
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM

Escape route

A not as yet iconic flow chart of The Lord of the Rings.

It charts the itinerary of the story’s main characters, individually and in group, showing when they meet, separate and rejoin each other. The progression is from left to right, not only in tune with the traditional (Western) reading direction but also mirroring the trajectory in the story itself, which starts in the Shire on Middle-Earth’s western edge and leads to Mordor in the east.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

The Great Toonolian Marshes and the Lost Sea of Korus

Spectacular - truly spectacular - Martian landscapes.

Since 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars, currently circling approximately 300 km (187 mi) above the Martian surface. On board the MRO is HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, which has been photographing the planet for several years now at resolutions as fine as mere inches per pixel.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (1)

Built a Time Machine to Kill Hitler

I have had days like this.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Blancmange: Living On The Ceiling

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

November 09, 2009

The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, c. 1499–1500


Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519.

Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM

Be prepared

India buys ten C-17s.

India buys 200 tons of gold.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | Comments (3)

Total attack

L. Ron Hubbard articulates a "human rights" strategy familiar to Canadians who have been paying attention.

And you say "Why are you against human rights? If you know something about this subject, you just follow it right straight up. Total attack. In other words, you don't defend Scientology; you just attack on this line of human rights.
Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Busta Rhymes: Arab Money

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

November 08, 2009

Christ of St. John of the Cross, 1951


Salvador Dalí, 1904-1989.

Posted by the Flea at 07:32 AM

Night Witches

The scary Russian women pilots of World War II.

One cold spring day in 1943, two junior lieutenants, Tamara Pamyatnykh and Raisa Surnachevskaya, were on a routine patrol over a Soviet railway junction. Suddenly they were confronted by an armada of 42 German bombers - they reacted immediately.
Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn


LEGO playsets that never were... DUNE.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Carl Sagan ft. Stephen Hawking: A Glorious Dawn (Cosmos Remixed)

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2009

The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be Broken up, 1838


J. M. W. Turner, 1775-1851.

Posted by the Flea at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)

As if a million voices cried out

She may not have worn the outfit for 20 years.


But Carrie Fisher is causing a stir on the internet with the infamous bikini she donned in Stars Wars.


The actress, who played Princess Leia in the classic sci-fi movie, was photographed while sunbathing during a break from filming Return Of The Jedi alongside her stunt double.

And the pictures have just been leaked onto the internet, more than 20 years since they were taken.
Posted by the Flea at 11:03 AM

T'Pau: Heart & Soul - Top of the Pops 1987

Posted by the Flea at 11:01 AM

November 06, 2009

Chapter House: Dune, 1985


John Schoenherr, 1935-.

Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM

Tears for Fears: Mad World (Top of the Pops 1982)

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

School Band Rap

This epic local commercial arrives via Mind the Gap with a hat tip to the Sister of the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

November 05, 2009

Breaking Home Ties, 1954


Norman Rockwell, 1894-1978.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Civil rights commission does its job

Left outraged.

Could the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights actually subpoena U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.?

That scenario is unlikely, but it suddenly has entered the realm of possibility. The Civil Rights Commission is making a full inquiry into a controversy about a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and several of its members and has escalated its investigation.
Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Eric Prydz: Pjanoo

Posted by the Flea at 07:51 AM

November 04, 2009

An Attack on a Galleon, 1905


Howard Pyle, 1853-1911

Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM | Comments (5)

Fossilized lightning

Fulgurites, or “petrified lightning”, are the glassy trails of lightning strikes left in sandy soil or exposed rocks.

Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM

Gina X: No GDM

Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM

November 03, 2009

Allegory of the Camaldolese Order, 1599-1600


El Greco, 1541-1614 (hat tip to Ben).

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Cell size and scale

From coffee bean to carbon atom.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

The secret of Worcestershire Sauce

Found in a skip.

After more than 170 years, the original recipe for Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce has been revealed. It was found in notes dating from the mid-1800s that were dumped in a skip by the sauce factory.

Brian Keogh, a former Lea and Perrins accountant, discovered the notes, which were neatly written in sepia ink in two leather-bound folios, and rescued them.

Vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, onions and garlic. And under spice and flavouring: Cloves, soy sauce, lemons, pickles and peppers.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (4)

An historical inevitability

Senior Chinese air force commander Xu Qiliang claims it is "imperative" for the PLA air force to develop offensive and defensive capabilities for outer space. Which is both alarming and extremely cool.

Put it this way, no matter the rest it is a relief to me to hear someone who believes in technological progress, a patriotic spirit and the necessity to preserve civilization.

"The PLA air force must establish in a timely manner the concepts of space security, space interests and space development," Mr Xu added, "We must build an outer space force that conforms with the needs of our nation's development (and) the demands of the development of the space age."

Superiority in outer space can give a nation control over war zones both on land and at sea, while also offering a strategic advantage, Xu said, noting that such dominance was necessary to safeguard the nation.

"Only power can protect peace," the 59-year-old commander added.
Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (3)

Christopher Walken: Poker Face

Via Agent Bedhead.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

Merv Griffin: I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

November 02, 2009

The Death of the Grave Digger (1895)


Carlos Schwabe, 1877-1926.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (1)

Respiratory problems

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has made formal requests for assistance from the United States, the European Union and NATO as 60 people have died from "respiratory problems" in a week.

Swine Flu could be a problem.

"The threat weighing on Ukraine's national security which we cannot fight alone forces me to ask our close friends and strategic partners for urgent help," Yushchenko wrote.

Ukraine has also ordered 16 tonnes of antiviral drug Tamiflu from Switzerland, the president's office said. The health ministry said 60 people had died from respiratory problems in the past week, without indicating how many had succumbed to H1N1.
Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM


Manoeuvres involving 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops carried out war games against a "potential aggressor".

Poland, which has strained relations with both countries, was cast as the "potential aggressor". The documents state the exercises, code-named "West", were officially classified as "defensive" but many of the operations appeared to have an offensive nature.

The Russian air force practised using weapons from its nuclear arsenal, while in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which neighbours Poland, Red Army forces stormed a "Polish" beach and attacked a gas pipeline.
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Yendri: We Are Everywhere (East)

YouTube is having hiccups on this one at the moment. I am posting it just the same in the hopes it will be up and running soon.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

Rape Tunnel: A Love Story

The following in questionable taste - bad taste, in fact - and is definitely not safe for work. But I am compelled to post if for the FDR reference which is brilliant.

Hat tip to Ben.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2009

Untitled (1978)


Zdzisław Beksiński, 1929-2005

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Le Manège Carré de Sénart

Le manège carré de Sénart: For all your steampunk carousel needs.

François Delarozière has done his utmost to find how to square a circle to imagine the Manège Carré Sénart. With 18-meter-long sides, an over-300-m_ area, the highest point around 14 meters and a 40-ton weight, the extraordinary machine can take 49 persons on board on every ride. If this carrousel is complete while moving, it is so monumental that it is already an attraction. Its moving elements – that are all unique and custom-built – evoke an imaginary and singular menagerie of Sénart: 3 giant buffalos, 4 climbing insects, 10 insects on rail, 3 fish heads and some other poetic and dreamy jokes…
Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

La Santa Muerte

According to Wikipedia, Santa Muerte - or “Saint Death” - is a "deity or saint-like figure worshiped or venerated in Mexico, probably a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs." In this instance, take "syncretism" to mean "resurgent paganism".

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

A copycat thing

Details begin to emerge following the death of Timothy Hampton, a British nuclear expert working with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO). It transpires Hampton may not have committed suicide by flinging himself 17 floors down the stairs; he may have been flung.

Under a year ago, an American died at the IAEA in strikingly similar circumstances, his body being found at the bottom of a stairwell.

A UN spokeswoman said an investigation into that case continues, though Austrian police have concluded it was suicide. She said: ‘This might have been a copycat thing in the CTBTO.’
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Distance: My Demons

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM