Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Monday,

as usual,


 was a quiet day for us, a couple of friends from the UK called but the afternoon and evening we just watched a few DVDs, the first, Great Adventurers: David Livingstone and Stanley, a good semi-documentary about two of Britain’s great explorers, John Rowlands, a runaway from Wales who at the age of 16 or so who left Great Britain and sailed to America where with the help of a benefactor changed his name and fame to Henry Morton Stanley, and  Scots Dr. David Livingstone,  the DVD is a good listen, the tropical scenes being shot in what appears to be the Palm House at Kew, but that apart, informative and a great insight, not only into the two men, but the culture of the times, take John Rowlands, at the age of six his family could not afford to feed him, so they sent him to the work house where he remained until he was sixteen years old or so and ran away to get a job as a cabin boy and sailed to America,
 there are not many, if any films that I feel sorry for the murderer, but seeing Dr, Crippen I was almost cheering for him! American-born Hawley Harvey Crippen (nicknamed "Peter"), killed his wife, of that there is no doubt, but this film gives an insight into why, and ponders the question did he really mean to kill her? or was it by shear happistance that he administered a fatal dose of what was at the time considered a sedative to his drunk wife just to calm her down, we shall never really know, but a masterful performance by Donald Pleasence as Crippen in any event,

we rounded off the evening with the Andromeda Strain, a space probe tasked with collecting space dust to look for extraterrestrial life actually finds life, but not as we know it, for the time, 1971, not so much great special effects, but a look into technologies to come as the team races to save the plant from this new life form, and with the end of that we were off to bed.


I Was Totally Amazed,

when I looked at these photographs,


 they were taken in Chile, 

 by Chilean freelance photographer Francisco Negroni, who captures nature at its most brutal with lighting and fire at its centre, 

 the photographer originally studied advertising photography and tourism, but once he witnessed his first volcano, he knew that it would be his focus going forward,

 due to the expenses and difficulties of travelling in the Chilean backcountry, Negroni carefully tracks  upcoming eruptions and risk factors to maximise the potential of each trip, He travels light, only with a backpack containing a laptop, camera, tripod, and three lenses, and he camps in his car for longer excursions, 

 presently, Negroni shoots for reporters and journalists, and has published his work with National Geographic, the Associated Press, and Terra,

 You can see more of his weather and landscape photographs, which are also available as prints, on his website,

as I mentioned before, the photographs are stunning, the more I look at them the more I like them, and for the adventurous, Negroni also leads personalised tours and workshops, and yes we would just love to go on one of his workshops, please send tickets for both of us to the usual address!


Whilst Looking For Nothing In Particular,

I came across this,


an abandoned 3-wheeler, it was the brainchild of Victor-Albert Bouffort, 

 who was an aeronautics engineer, 

which could explain the streamlining of this vehicle, designed after WW2 it has only 3 wheels, apparently tyres were hard to come by, but this is not all that this incredible man invented, in 1932, Victor was 20 years old, it was at his parents' home that he designed and in 1938, he helped build the Elytroplan – a high-stability aeroplane, He replied to a request from the army to design a small all-terrain vehicle that could be dropped by parachute, Bouffort set about designing the four-wheel-drive Fardier,


a simple, light vehicle, it was driven by a small air-cooled two-cylinder Citroen engine, in 1970, Lohr Industrie started building the Fardier – which would later be used by the French army's parachute troops,


at around the same time, Victor Bouffort designed a prototype for a small tracked vehicle – the VP 90: a Patrol Vehicle with a maximum speed of 90 km per hour, in the 1960s, Victor Bouffort became interested in the traffic problems facing major towns and cities,  He started work on designing several city cars, including the Valmobile – a magic 70 cm long suitcase that could transform into a scooter in only two minutes, no manufacturers were interested in the project when he unveiled it, and ironically, they advised Victor to go and demonstrate it to the Japanese,   

which he did! He ended up signing a contract with the Japanese company Hirano which built thousands of Valmobiles, for a much better look at this remarkable man's achievements, have a look here, for an interesting read.


I Know It Is The Second Photography Post,

but again such fabulous images,


that I just had to post them, 

 photographer Levon Biss shoots highly detailed images of insect specimens for his continuing series Microsculpture, combining 8,000 to 10,000 individual shots to produce the final piece, 

 included in this selection are the shield bug and tricolored jewel beetle, which were both collected by famous naturalists, the former was collected by Charles Darwin during a visit to Australia in 1836, and brought back to the UK on the famed HMS Beagle, the luminescent tricolored jewel beetle was collected exactly two decades later by his contemporary Alfred Russell Wallace,

 Biss has current exhibitions at the Hessischer Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, Germany through August 5, 2018,

 and Naturama in Svenborg, Denmark through November 25, 2018, 

in addition to his first US exhibit Microsculpture: The Insect Photography of Levon Biss, 

 which opened at the Houston Museum of Natural Science,

 earlier this month, the reason for taking so many photographs and combining them is that by creating an 8gb file, viewers can almost continuingly zoom in to reveal great detail, or indeed super huge highly detailed prints can be made,

you can view interactive versions of his highly detailed composite images on his Microsculpture website

 You can buy limited edition archival pieces on his online print shop, and no I am not on commision! I am just amazed at the microscopic detail of his photographs.


Monday, 16 July 2018

Sunday,

and we were out for lunch,


 to The George restaurant and bar, we have eaten there many times before, it is in Chaiyaphruek 2 Road, if you are going away from Pattaya heading towards Sattahip on the Sukhumvit Road, when you arrive at the Chaiyaphruek traffic lights turn right and the restaurant/pub is about 100 yards along the road on the left hand side, 

 outside a new sign is being erected,

 inside we passed the well stocked bar and joined Mr. Tony and Barry who had stopped by for a coffee, after chatting away Barry made a move for home, 

 and for us it was time for our starters, liver pate for Diana and Mr. Tony,

Cesar salad for myself,

 on to our main courses,

 a selection of beef, pork and chicken plus vegetables for the Sunday 3 course 395 baht carvery,

 for dessert ice cream, strawberry for Mr. Tony,

 vanilla for Diana and myself,

 on to coffees,

 Mr. Tony kindly dropped us off on Beach Road, 

 where we walked to Dongtan Beach,

 for a quick pose,

 and talking of quick, this guy was, he just ducked behind a few wires,

and came out here, it does not look very colourful in the picture, but it was the most beautifully coloured red squirrel,

arriving home it was feet up for the late afternoon and then evenings films, starting with Bad Day at Blackrock, featuring an all star cast, including Spencer Tracy, Lee Marvin, Earnest Borgnine, and a few others, the plot concerns a retired ex-servicemen trying to give a medal to a Japanese farmer at Adobe Flats, but he has just disappeared, but where?

next a highly watchable, light slapstick comedy, Dodgeball, and so funny in places, we had both watched the film before but it still made us laugh out loud, some of the actors are of course Ben Stiller and Rip Torn, but surprisingly there are a number of actors who give cameos, like Chuck Norris, David Hasselhof, William Shatner and even Lance Armstrong, great fun,

finally to round off the evening a disturbing look into the mind of a killer in The Cell, a gifted psychologists inserts herself into a nightmare that holds the key to saving a woman's life, in exploring the killer's mind you meet his and her demons, it I have to say is stunningly photographed, and for some reason I feel very underestimated, as one reviewer stated, 'it was imaginative and fascinatingly done and is unparallelled by anything ever seen in cinematic history. The Cell is an incredibly well-made film, and it deserves to be recognized', my thoughts entirely, and with that we were off to bed.


Lets Start The Week With A Brain Teaser,

if I run forward in a spaceship that is travelling at the speed of light,


will my speed exceed the speed of light? it all comes down to E = mc and relativity, but the answer is a bit more complex than that, and a bit long too, so I will post it at the end of today's post.


And Another Small Quiz,

apparently there was a football game over the weekend,


 so can you find the football amongst the Pandas? scroll down if you give up,
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so easy when you know where!