Sunday, 31 January 2021

Diana Went To Work,

I had a quiet day being a househusband,

hoovering, dusting, watering the plants and taking some unsightly algae from the aquarium, in the afternoon I watched a movie, Doomsday, from the films description, "A lethal virus spreads throughout Scotland, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands. To contain the threat, acting authorities brutally quarantine the country as it succumbs to fear and chaos." substitute Scotland and insert Great Britain and it pretty much sounds like now! great storyline, scenery and action, and very gory, if you like the Mad Max type of movie this is for you,

my evening meal,

started with avocado with prawns,


main course a chicken shortcrust pastry pie, 

which sounded nice but was well lite on the chicken, but it must have been filling as I was too full for a desert,

I listened to music for some of the evening then decided on a film, Gangster Squad, we had watched the film before, but so long ago it was worth watching again, and good fun it was too, and very gory just like Doomsday,

just before10.00 in the evening Diana called, so off to the bus stop to walk her home,

 then feet up for The Dig, I only mentioned we were looking forward to seeing yesterday and here it was tonight on Netflix, what a wonderful movie, thoroughly recommended if you enjoy true life archaeological films, I have nothing bad to say about the film, for myself it could not have been better, except, it would have been nice to see the finds as displayed in the British Museum at the end of the film, we rounded the early morning off with one from New Tricks, with the end of that we were off to bed.

Lets Start Sunday With A Quick Quiz,

what creatures eyes are these?

maybe not human,

firstly is the creature aquatic,

or land based?

perhaps neither, it might fly!

if you think they are eyes you are looking at, you are seeing an example of pareidolia, the inclination to see an object where it physically doesn’t exist, but some human eyes do look have a fairly common condition, in which a person’s irises are multi-coloured, sometimes in the forms of spikes radiating around the pupil or swirls that split the tissue with different hues known as heterochromia iridum, but all of the images above and the video below,

are by designer and artist Rus Khasanov, who fuses multiple optical tricks into a single work, splashes of glittery, inky liquids crawl across the screen, resulting in a series of bubbles that mimic magnified shots of human eyes, for more of the Russia-based artist’s work, check out his Behance and Vimeo, pages where he shares a range of Technicolor photography-based projects, what a strangely hypnotic video, as an side I do not know how the effects are achieved,

but looking at this photograph of the artist at work, I am guessing that he uses a water based medium and floats oil based paints on it, perhaps having a video camera below the work station.

I Often Make Posts About Books,

and here is another about a very rare book,

or I should say several of them, 

on both covers a continuous edge inscription: 'In grateful acknowledgment to dear honor on the 5th of autumn month 1757. On the occasion of the joyful meal, about the blyde birth of Willem Zelandus van Borssele, who wants to have the gentleman upholster the noble chair of his father , for the benefit of the country and the church, wish with reverence, AL Callenfels, S. Mandelgreen and L. Taillefert.D.Z '. Signed at the bottom of the front cover 'S. Mandelgreen fecit ',

the fact that the binding features the signature of the binder is a special feature. No other Dutch luxury books from the eighteenth century has the name of the maker, except for two other books from Mandelgreen,

edge lettering on the covers is also rare, only a few Dutch volumes, including a series of ten volumes by Mandelgreen, have such an extensive text on the covers, the miniature books very appropriately contain texts such as the Bible, a national history and other works important for education, Mandelgreen worked in Middelburg between 1736 and 1758, He is mentioned as printer in the municipal accounts in 1756 and 1757 and was also an auctioneer. Only a few editions of him are known. In 1758 he entered into a collaboration with the printers Callenfels and Taillefert for the publication of the Middelburgsche Courant, in the eighteenth century it was unusual in the Netherlands for bookbinders to sign their work. An exception to this rule is the binder Suenonius Mandelgreen, who works in Middelburg, apparently his signature appears four times on mostly extraordinary pieces, but Mandelgreen is not Dutch, what an amazingly rare set of books indeed, 
above another b
ookbinding from 1755 by master craftsman Suenonius Mandelgreen, Zeeuws Archief, illustration Archief familie Van Borssele van der Hooge 145A. for a closer look at the above book, and the story behind it, have a look here.

If You Live In America,

in any of these 15 states,

Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, as well as Washington D.C. image via USA Today, you will be happy too hear, or not, that the Brood X, also known as the Great Eastern Brood, which is a species of periodical cicada that will re-emerge after 17 years of living underground, these large winged creatures are mostly harmless, although their buzz isn’t that pleasant to the ears, as it happens we have featured these very bugs on the blog a couple of times before, once on the 16th April 2016, and one earlier on the 15th April 2013

when Diana tried some, also in the post is a recipe for cooking them, yummy! back to the ones about to hatch out, “The end of May through June, it can get pretty loud – if you are in an area where they are numerous, there can be hundreds of thousands, or millions, of them,” said Howard Russell, an entomologist (insect scientist) at Michigan State University, unlike greenish, annual cicadas, periodical cicadas are known for their black bodies and bold, red eyes. Their mass, in-unison emergence every 17 years is one of nature’s great mysteries, “They are always there, that’s what people don’t realize,” said John Cooley, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut who studies periodical cicadas, judging by the noise they make, and the numbers of them, I can see a run on ear plugs come the spring!

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Up And Out,

I made my way to the bus stop,

you would not have thought a lockdown was in place, the number of people walking into the park was amazing,

and this is where I am going, the Beckenham Bacon Hospital, for my Covid-19 jab, in at 08.25, out at 08.35,

15 minuets compulsory wait in this heated marquee, 

and I was on my way for the weekends shopping at Sainsburys,

back into the park and home, feet up and watch some television after Diana left for work,

in the evening my meal,

smoked mackerel and dry toast,


for my main meal a Sainsburys roast that I heated up, which was quite nice as it happens,

eyes down and tuck in,

for dessert grapes and strawberries,

just before10.00 Diana called so off to the bus stop and home, feet up for a Poirot rounding off the evening with a New Tricks, with the end of that we were off to bed.

I Am Often Amazed,

at the lengths people go to make themselves look more attractive,

especially some one as young as Zhou Chuna, a Chinese influencer with over 300,000 followers on microblogging platform Sina Weibo, pictured above before having 100 invasive cosmetic procedures over 3 years, in a bid to improve her looks, 

and here she is now, 

despite claiming to have experienced severe side-effects due to her addiction to plastic surgery, like memory loss and permanent scarring, the 16-year-old says it’s all worth it,

Zhou always tells her online followers that she used to be very ugly before she discovered plastic surgery, She described her eyes as too small, and her nose as too big, and reminisced about how her colleagues made fun of her because of her appearance. They gave her humiliating nicknames, made cruel jokes, and always gave her the hardest tasks on class clean up duty, while the pretty girls always had it easy. She quickly realized that her life would not get better unless her looks improved,

at age 13, Zhou Chuna started pestering her parents to pay for a double eyelid surgery, a popular surgical procedure among Asian women, and despite early resistance, she got them to finance her dream. People tried to discourage her, saying that the plastic surgery would make her look too old for her age, but she only noticed an improvement in how people treated her, “Everyone’s attitude towards me became more friendly after the double eyelid surgery, and I tasted the sweet fruits of plastic surgery,” the young girl told her followers, adding that it wasn’t long before she went under the knife for the second time, then the third, and so on, over the last 3 years, Zhou Chuna allegedly underwent around 100 different cosmetic procedures, from simple fillers, to ear cartilage rhinoplasty, “Barbie eye surgery”, breast implants, and liposuction, She slowed down the rate at which she went under the knife when the pandemic hit China, but she still had 20 procedures in the last year alone, and she’s not planning on stopping anytime soon,

“I will never be satisfied with my appearance,” the 16-year-old said. “I always think I will look better after the next plastic surgery I get. Someone once asked me if I have any regrets about my plastic surgeries, but the only regret I have is not having started them sooner, it’s impossible for me to not get plastic surgery,” China’s youngest plastic surgery addict said. “I’m ok if I don’t eat or drink water, but I can’t live without plastic surgery. No, I like plastic surgery and I don’t mind anaesthetics. When I wake up, I know that I will more beautiful in just seven days, I am never afraid of pain, I am afraid of ugliness,” Zhou concluded, plastic surgery at 13 years old, now here is a thought, going to the other extreme, am I too old at 70 to start improving my looks?

If Factual Films About Archology Appeal To You,

you may well like Netflix's new offering, 

called The Dig, the story is about the discovery at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, in Suffolk, England, it is the site of two early medieval cemeteries dating from the 6th to 7th centuries. Archaeologists have been excavating the area since 1939, above the The Dig recreated the Sutton Hoo burial site, credit Netflix,

the film stars Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James, the story is set in the late 1930s, it focuses on the real life figure of Edith Pretty (played by Mulligan), a widow with an interest in history living near the town of Woodbridge in Suffolk, above Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes as Edith Pretty and Basil Brown in The Dig, credit Netflix,

the helmet is one of the most important finds at Sutton Hoo photo credit Geni CC BY-SA 4.0, it is thought the ship was the final resting place of King Rædwald. Those hoping to see a body were disappointed – anything organic dissolved long ago. Soil samples revealed that even the bones had been eaten away by natural acid, BBC News notes the dig revealed “263 finds of gold, garnet, silver, bronze, enamel, iron, wood, bone, textile, feathers and fur.” Why was it so significant? Not only was it a spectacular find, but it changed perceptions on Anglo Saxon England, the materials in the chamber came from across the globe, broadening the scope of what was thought to be a less sophisticated civilization. As depicted in the film and quoted by the Times, archaeologist Charles Phillips refers to an image of “marauding barterers”, Sutton Hoo made a big splash in archaeological circles. However the Nazi menace meant the general public didn’t find out about the remarkable story till 1951. The treasures were secreted in a London Underground tunnel, as experts waited for the coast to clear, now here is an amazing thing, Pretty could have reaped the rewards, instead she donated the items to the British Museum, I am so looking forward to watching this film, it is just my cup of tea.

Many Homes Have Altar Or Temple Shelves,

in Japan,

they are called kamidana, (literally, “god shelf”),  

architect Naohiko Shimoda has taken the concept to create actual miniature shrines in an awe-inspiring scale,

Naohiko Shimoda is a practicing architect but at the request of a client he took on a side project to create this spectacularly detailed miniature kamidana, it was designed specifically for an inner corner, you can see more of Shimoda’s work on his website, as well as follow him on Instagram, many years ago when we lived in Thailand we had a temple shelf, but nowhere as detailed as this one.

Most Alphabet Books I Have Seen To Help Youngsters Read,

have a theme to them, animals, plants and flowers, toys, you get the idea,

but I have never seen one that uses buildings, Johann David Steingruber (1702-1787) was an architect in what is now Germany. In 1773, he published this alphabet book which used letters as outlines for building shapes, some like the Z above sort of look OK,

but others like the R above look totally mad!

a more fanciful architectural alphabet from 1753 can be found here, alphabet buildings, who would have thought it?

Friday, 29 January 2021

Another Early Start For Diana,

at the bus stop in the cold and rain,

the good news was that the bus was on time,

so I made my way home,

it was now 04.10 in the morning as a Marks and Spencer lorry started to be unloaded, I had a quiet day, it would have been nice to go out, except for the rain and the lockdown, after my evening meal Diana arrived home, it was a long day for her, thankfully this is the last early start for the next few weeks, next for us it was feet up for a couple from Midsomer Murder, rounding off the evening with one from New Tricks, I will only be making this one post today, as I have a very early appointment for my Covid-19 inoculation on Friday morning, I am first in the queue at the hospital, with that we were off to bed.