Thursday, December 31, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Beaver gnaw marks on tree

Gnawed by a beaver. Probably a white ash. Could be used for food or building.

Winterlude 2001 Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures, Winterlude 2001, Confederation Park, Ottawa
Australia sculptures

Boxing kangaroos

Koala Bear

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Montreal Jazz Man

I saw this gentleman wearing a jacket studded with musical instruments, funny glasses and headgear at the Montreal Jazz festival some time in the mid to late 80s - he said he wanted to amuse people.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Snow Buntings

Probably won't see them this year, but when the winter's been long they come down from the north and crowd along the roadside eating spilled corn. They make a little blizzard when they fly up when you drive by.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Paul Humphrey, Blue Peter, Toronto, December 12, 2015

Paul Humphrey at the Phoenix (wearing green cummerbund), One of the encores was "Santa Claus is coming to town" sung to Depeche Mode's "Never let me down".

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What a turkey really should look like

This is what they are supposed to look like. The ones that are bred for food would pretty much die in a few days in the wild because they are so fat and can't fly - even in captivity they don't live much longer - all the ones that were 'pardoned' by the US presidents don't live much more than a year after their pardons. The Atlantic

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pipers and flames under a blood red moon

Fergus Ontario Scottish Festival and Highland Games, 1997, pipe band under red moon

Representatives of clans carry torches to light a common fire for the festival to symbolize their unity

Monday, November 16, 2015

Don't put it in your mouth!

Don't put it in your mouth! Japanese toy package warning label. This is why Kinder Eggs are legal in Japan. And Canada. But not the USA Why?.  I gave Kinder Eggs out for Hallowe'en to the kids at my Japanese language school, and there was not a single blue faced kid in the parking lots, so lessons learned! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Barn Swallow Nest

Barn swallows in nest

Osaka Castle, 2000

Osaka Castle, March 2000. When I visited it, the posters in the castle never mentioned that this is a reconstruction - it was first built in 1583 but it was largely destroyed during the civil war in the 1860s, was restored, but then heavily bombed because there was a weapons factory beside it on August 14, 1945.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

recipes for microdol, cibachrome developers

Some suggestions from Artcraft Chemicals customers, c. 1992

Substitute formula for Microdol-X
Water (125°F) 750 ml
Metol (Elon) 7.5 gms
Sodium Sulfite 100.0 gms
Sodium Metabisulfite 7.5 gm
Water to make 1 liter
Add a pinch of sodium sulfite before
adding the elon. This will prevent the
elon from oxidizing. Use the same time
and temperatures as Microdol-X.

* * * *  * * * *
Cibachrome Print Developer
Metol (elon)
Sodium Sulfite
Sodium Carbonate (Mono)
Potassium Bromide
Sodium Thiosulfate (anhy)
Water to make
1.5 gm
23.0 gm
6.0 gm
40 gm
1.8 gm
1000 ml
Note: Use 3 gm if pentahydrate form
Sodium Thiosulfate used.
This developer is meant for single shot
usage in a drum processor. 60-65 ml (2
oz is adequate for an 8 x 10 drum and
120-130 ml (4 oz) for the 11 x 14
cibachrome drum.
Use the above undiluted; quantities can
be doubled or even tripled to make 2
more concentrated stock solution which
must then be diluted before use. Shelf
life is about 5 weeks. Discard if the
developer becomes darkened over time.

The Big Apple, 1989

Dionne Quints photo

It's a very sad story - the first quintuplets who survived were taken away from their family and put on exhibit, this photo was probably sold there as a souvenir, and later when they were returned, some of them were sexually abused by their father. Wikipedia Entry

Sunday, November 1, 2015

No, Lipstick wasn't made illegal in 1770

François Boucher,  "Marquise de Pompadour at the Toilet-Table"
Oil on canvas, 81 x 63 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, via Wikimedia Commons

"In 1770, British Parliament banned lipstick, saying it had the power to seduce men in to (sic) marriage, which was classified as witchcraft" -, 'history fact of the day' October 27, 2015

First off, any law or proposed laws in the UK parliament have to be published in the London Gazette - - this can easily be searched to show no such law was ever proposed in parliament.

This myth seems to have originated from a filler piece in a Richmond, Virginia newspaper from 1861 - fillers, as the name implies, were short paragraphs to fill up space in a paper - they were written on the spot if there was a blank space in the layout of the page that needed to be filled, and they tended to be humorous articles that were not meant to be taken seriously:

False pretences.

--A law against obtaining husbands under false pretences, passed by the English Parliament in 1770, enacts--‘"That all women, of whatever age rank, profession or degree, who shall after this act, impose upon, seduce, and betray into matrimony any of his Majesty's subjects, by virtue of scents, paints, cosmetic washes, artificial teeth, false hair, iron stays, bolstered hips, or high-heeled shoes, shall incur the penalty of the law now in force against witchcraft and like misdemeanors and the marriage, under such disbursement upon conviction of the offending parties, shall be null and void:"’

Happy Day After Halloween

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oculus Rift

Last month I tried an Oculus Rift headset - it was just like looking at two small cell phone displays a few inches away from your eyes - I can appreciate the tracking and ability to virtually manipulate objects, but I don't think it will ever get over the discomfort and eye strain inherent in trying to focus on objects that are nearby but the brain sees as being far away - it might not be good at all for children whose eyes are still developing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015