Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging


Filler whales. I had to think about that for a minute.

Eye food for thought

We’re All Gonna Die—100 Meters of Existence

Thursday, May 28, 2009


How soon we forget.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Boundary Line

Anyone can be an artist, even litterbugs.

And from the same web site:

I seemed to have gotten myself into another bog concerning art and the artist, see here and here, the latter who says:
In my own practice I am, for the most part, very much a "straight" photographer[1] in the documentarist tradition. (I won't reproduce the footnote which is interesting in its own right)
I certainly consider photographs by Felix to be "art." And, to boot, so many are of the "artist at work."

I guess I'm a label sort of guy (this is perhaps from years of trying to put a label on symptoms so we have a name for it, not just the symptoms. Human beings are not able to take "I don't know what you have" as an answer. They want some definitive named disease, which is not always, in fact frequently is not, possible.) In any case, I do think people have an idea of what an "artist" is, at least their artist. And I would agree that I was wrong and it doesn't make a tiny bit of difference what the person is thinking (i.e. one's personal aestheic), it is the output which should be judged as "art" or "not art." (It is possible that there is not a clear divide between the two. This violates all I hold dear, Aristotelian that I am. But we may something called "fuzzy" art, like "fuzzy" logic.)

Take the case of the paint by numbers above. It is certainly conceivable that, with modern image ware, one could deconstruct the Mona Lisa in such a way that even a child (especially a child) could duplicate this great work. What now? What do we call the product of such an endeavor? Certainly not "art" by an "artist."

The the link to the Growlery above is to a post about serial photographs of the same thing. Time in a bottle (Jim Croce). Is each individual frame "art" or is the picking and choosing of the frames the secret? What about a wonderful picture taken by a monkey? (I would dearly like to try this)

Even more difficult to sort out is the whole area of fakes. Not just exact copies of known masters, but, for instance, paintings in the "style" of an artist that are judged, by experts, to be by that artist. The controverys over fake Vermeer's comes to mind. The Girl with the Red Hat at the National Museum in D.C. in particular. (I always hated that picture anyway). Interestingly enough, for our discussion:
"Most scholars agree that Vermeer utilized a camera obscura in the composition and execution of "The Girl with a Red Hat". It is possible that he chose a wood panel support to replicate the gloss of a camera obscura image, which was normally projected onto glass. In particular, the diffused specular highlights of the lion head chair finial resemble the unfocused effect of an image seen in a camera obscura. Vermeer expert Arthur Wheelock points out, however, that Vermeer did not simply paint on top of an image projected by a camera obscura. While camera obscura effects were emulated in portions of the painting, in other places, the expected effects are not seen.
Of course where would we be in our enjoyment of life if we didn't have Kyril Bonfiglioli's novels including "Don't Point That Thing at Me." (And here I always thought the "The Thomas Crown Affair" was based on these novels, but it wasn't. The first TCA came out in 1968 and the novels in the 70's. For a good review of Bonfiglioli see here.)

The more I think about it, the more it seems that the whole issue of art forgeries and fakes tend to put a perspective on the questions "what is art" and "what is an artist." People actually go to jail for art crime! Apparently:
Art crime includes forgery, fraud, theft, smuggling, and vandalism of fine art, antiquities, and ethnographic objects
Please, tell me, if you are about to be put in the slammer for art "forgery" does that not mean that someone has defined art? Futhermore:
Elmyr de Hory eventually became known worldwide as one of the most talented and greatest art forgers. Even after his death, Elmyrs works still attracted attention. Some of them even sold for the same prices as the originals. Like many famous painters, he would die penniless after a series of unfortunate events.
That last line has got to get to you.

Great Expectations

So many posts, and posts, and posts. Too little time....
From here:

"...and the dialogue is written by guys who move their lips when reading Bazooka Joe fortunes."

So much to discuss, but one could start with the influence of the concept of a Bazooka on the male children in America who now have managed to screw the B. Jesus out of the World.

Rainchecks distributed all around...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging (a little late)

First we'll start with some classics:

The tongue is deliberate.

Texture on the back


Good early try

Orsen Welles Crabs

Weldon has talent. he didn't say what this was. I have no idea.

In the "I couldn't resist" catagory

Usually my favorite tiger gets the zinger. But, in this case, Calvin opens up the classical can of Oligochaetae. General Long you have competition.

(Now to the tardy crab post. Watch this space.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Front Covers

I mentioned this in a comment over at JSBlog. It is really interesting what's on the cover and what's inside of a 1960's paperback. Here are some examples:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging


Actually, this is a turtle. But, it serves as a nice introduction.

This is either a sun, a crab, or Dr. C. Rainbows are in season here.

Hunter draws my idea of a raptor crab.

I don't know what this is. It looks a little like Jimmy Durante. And, of course, those are bubbles.

No, UN, that is not a raptor on the fly. It is a B52.

Dr. C. and a crab.

Charles Krauthammer - supposedly an M.D.

Charles Krauthammer writes an op-ed for the Washington Post. Charles Krauthammer advocates torture. Even worse, he pretends to speak for the American people:
On the morality of waterboarding and other "torture," Pelosi and other senior and expert members of Congress represented their colleagues, and indeed the entire American people, in rendering the reasonable person verdict. What did they do? They gave tacit approval. In fact, according to Goss, they offered encouragement. Given the circumstances, they clearly deemed the interrogations warranted. (emphasis added)
Forget for the moment that Pelosi did no such thing. Waterboarding is torture. The current President of the United States has reaffirmed this. He has also stated categorically that we will not use torture in interrogation of prisoners.

I am almost always cynical about things, particularly politics. The current storm concerning Nancy Pelosi is certainly designed to obfuscate the liability of the former President and Vice President in approving the use of torture on prisoners. Support for this, as is very evident in Charles Krauthammer's columns, is criminal and should be punishable by fines and imprisonment. Certainly this would happen in a civilized country.

Charles Krauthammer, you are no Medical Doctor.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I live in a village, really. I've been hearing these guy's mom (or dad) making awful sounds at night for years. The other day I saw her (or him) out in broad daylight. A little brazen you might think. These two guys just sat there in the gloaming and stared. I guess that's what owls do. (Why it was the Owl Cafe in Alamagordo, I don't know. That's when Opie juiced the big one).

[Apology for the quality of the shots. Had to squeeze them off across a fence. The flash went off too, but they didn't blink! (heh, heh)]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Morning Yuk!

From here:
Oldest Human Hairs Found in Hyena Dung

Sarah Hoffman
Natural History Magazine sarah Hoffman
natural History Magazine – Mon May 11, 12:19 am ET

The oldest known human hair belonged to a 9,000-year-old mummy disinterred from an ancient Chilean cemetery.

Until now: a recent discovery pushes the record back some 200,000 years. (And the newly discovered strands received a rather less dignified burial.)

While excavating in Gladysvale Cave, near Johannesburg, South Africa, a team of researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand discovered an ancient brown-hyena latrine. Upon inspection, hyena coprolites - fossilized dung - appeared to contain uncannily hair-like structures.

Lucinda Backwell, a paleontologist in the group, took a sediment block containing several coprolites back to the lab for a closer look. She and a colleague carefully removed forty of the "hairs apparent" from one of the coprolites and subjected half to scanning-electron microscopy. Sure enough, fossilized hairs they were, and five showed remarkably preserved surface scales.


I had assumed that this referred to Prince Charles

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging

This is one of about 22 crab pictures that we recently received in a contest. We hope to present these on a separate blog in the very near future.

We think that the thingy in the middle is a crab; however it could also be a Martian

There definitely is a crab in this picture.

Javion has presented Dr. C. as rather sinister. Today, I feel a little sinister, but I am right handed.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Torture - The Sin That Keeps on

I think we have enough information to indicate that multiple officials in the Bush Administration ordered and approved the use of interrogative techniques for which a consensus exists are techniques of torture (e.g. waterboarding). Strangely, though, we find ourselves somewhere in the Nuremberg trials at the point where the Nazi officials have been shown to have committed crimes against humanity but the Court has not yet decided what to do about it. Is it conceivable that the Nuremberg Court would have simply closed their briefs and let people such as Goring or Borman go about their business? Hardly.

So, what are we to do? Bad things that happen have a way of diminishing in horror as time goes by. The absolute inhumanity of, say, the Battle of the Somme, or Hiroshima, or even the obliteration of retreating Iraqi soldiers and civilians in the infamous "Highway of Death" in the First Gulf War tends to become diluted in our collective memory. One has to conclude that humans are eventually able to think the unthinkable, a banality of slaughter. And nowhere is that easier than in America where we sit comfortably watching it all on T.V.

What we are to do is to address this issue head on. There can be no half way measures. This is something that reflects on the very core of our beliefs about ourselves. If it leads to disruption and acrimony, so be it. I cannot conceive of an America that let this evil pass.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Crab Blogging

Disguised as a lemon ....

Hard to imagine how we would use four legs

Well, not a crab but a levitating horse