Scrapbasket

Some scrap items found on my phone:

1)

I had to stop following Caroline Calloway on Instagram which is too bad, there’s a genius to sentences like this.

2) A view in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh is beautiful.

3) Rocks

4) I believe the source here is an interview with Years & Years singer Olly Alexander in Issue 11 of The Happy Reader, but can’t confirm, no longer have the issue.  The phrase “Who is the hot boy?  Who is the boy that will always bring the looks?” does not appear exactly in a Google search.

5) Seen in Hollywood:

6) Cat on a tray:

7) Portrait of the blogger as a boy:

 


is this a good photo?

was trying to capture the stark steepness of the street across the lake, and the special but unrelenting quality of afternoon sun in LA, and also how LA can look very lush and inviting while also having a kind of washed down, contained, prison-like aspect.

Thought this Vox piece about Antelope Canyon by Rebecca Jacobs was insightful on the meanings of photography in Instagram Age.

What’s the meaning of a tour where they tell you how to photograph it?

 first see the rocks early the next morning with a tour group, which is the only way you are allowed to visit them. Before our guide tells us his name, which we find out is Anthony, he asks us the most crucial question of the day: “Do you all have iPhones?”

Anthony instructs all of us except the kid with the Samsung to open our camera apps, click the icon in the top right corner, and swipe to a setting called “Vivid Warm.”

DeLillo times!


What? Are You Jealous?

The painting evokes a sense of Pacific paradise in which sexual relations are playful and harmless. According to Professor Peter Toohey, “this jealousy is not the product of a threat to an exclusive sexual relationship or jilted love affair – it is the result of one of the sisters having enjoyed more sex than the other the night before”.

So says Professor Toohey.  Gauguin.org counters:

Despite the title, there seems to be no rivalry between the two women, who are not talking. Rather, the question might be directed at those who would see the painting in the future and might envy Gauguin and his models their tropical dolce far niente.

We’ve discussed the incredible titles of Gauguin paintings before.

Over at Paul-Gauguin.net, you can view his works according to some ranking of popularity.

Last place:

Breton Village Under Snow.

First:

Here in LA, at LACMA, we have:

And a few others, none of them currently on view:

How about a wood carving?:

“Be in love and you will be happy.”

Gauguin’s ankle was injured in a fight in 1894.  This is sometimes referred to as “a drunken brawl,” or “a brawl with sailors,” but in this book

we’re told that

on an outing to Concarneau, he and Anna and a couple of friends got into a squabble with some children

(we’ve all been there, you’re at the beach and you get in a fight with some children).

Local sailors came to the youngsters’ assistance, and in the ensuing brawl, Gauguin broke his ankle.

Anna by the way was not Gauguin’s wife and mother of his kids, but his mistress, seen here:

who would dance with a little monkey for society gentlemen

Gauguin: what a piece of work!

Self Portrait with Halo and Snake

 


Vivian Maier

stole that straight from Artnet.

The tale of who owns Vivian Maier’s work is interesting.  Through some twists, John Maloof, the Chicago real estate developer (?) who found and bought most of the physical photos at a storage auction, does not at present own the copyright:

Until those heirs are determined, the Cook County Administrator will continue to serve as the supervisor of the Maier Estate.


The Tinder King

It’s 1539.  Henry VIII is 48 years old and single.  Wife 1 didn’t work out, Wife 2 got beheaded, Wife 3 died.  The Hunt For Wife 4 is on:

King Henry VIII of England was considering a royal marriage with Cleves, so following negotiations with the duchy, Hans Holbein the Younger, Henry’s court painter, was dispatched to paint Amalia and Anne, both of whom were possible candidates, for the freshly widowed king in August 1539.[2] After seeing both paintings, Henry chose Anne.

Anne:

There is a tradition that Holbein’s portrait flattered Anne, derived from the testimony of Sir Anthony Browne.

Is this Amalia?:

Wikipedia says so but the Royal Collection won’t admit it.

When he met Anne in person Henry was bummed:

succinctly put in:

 


Cool photo

Marines Hit Three Feet of Water as They Leave Their LST to Take the Beach at Cape Gloucester, New Britain.  Photographer appears to be Sgt. Robert M. Howard.


Mississippi Mound Trail

On one of the episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour Bob Dylan himself says that the actual highway 61 is boring now, nothing but ads for riverboat casinos.  That may be true south of Vicksburg but north of the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and the Catfish Row Art Park, I found the road compelling.

Mississippi Fred McDowell was born of course in Rossville, Tennessee.

It was Dave [David L. Cohn] in God Shakes Creation who said, “The Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg.” He was always welcome at the Peabody; they were glad to see him – he stayed there whenever he was in Memphis – but they never even gave him a cup of coffee, and he thought it was rather amusing that they had so little appreciation of this publicity.

So says Uncle Shelby, of Greenville and Memphis:

Since we’d been to Memphis we steered towards Oxford Miss to visit Faulkner’s house:

On Highway 61 lots of blues type sites, Muddy Waters’ birthplace for instance:

marked by signs for the Mississippi Blues Trail.  But many signs tell you you are also on the Mississippi Mound Trail.

Mounds make a thousand or more years ago by some lost culture, perhaps connected to the people who built Cahokia:

And where in the beginning the predecessors crept with their simple artifacts, and built the mounds and vanished, bequeathing only the mounds in which the succeeding recordable Muskhogean stock would leave the skulls of their warriors and chiefs and babies and slain bears, and the shards of pots, and hammer- and arrow-heads and now and then a heavy silver Spanish spur.

So says Faulkner in his essay Mississippi.  In Sanctuary he says:

The sunny air was filled with competitive radios and phonographs in the doors of drug- and music- stores.  Before these doors a throng stood all day, listening.  The pieces which moved them were ballads simple in melody and theme, of bereavement and retribution and repentance metallically sung, blurred, emphasised by static or needle – disembodied voices blaring from imitation wood cabinets or pebble-grain horn-mouths above the rapt faces, the gnarled slow hands long shaped to the imperious earth, lugubrious, harsh, and sad.

You can only listen to so much of that though; when I pulled over for Dunn Mounds I was listening to Maron interview Jennifer Lawrence.

The Raven map tells the story of the Delta.  Another flooding bottomland is the Nile delta:

where they also kept slaves, and built mounds.

great tour of the Blues Trail sites here on Wiki by Chillin662.


Training Literature Field Unit No. 1

Helytimes began in 2012.  Our idea was

  1. become good at writing for the Internet
  2. a writer should have a website
  3. have a space to collect, digest and share items of interest.

We’ve tried to come up with a mission statement or guiding purpose, but the truth is, this is stuff we had to get out of our head.

The healthiest thing to do was share it.

The best way to put it might be a place to share crazy interesting things we’ve come across.

Since then we’ve published over 1,050 posts.  We’re just now starting to get good at it, in our opinion.

Here are the twenty-one most popular posts:

  1. No On Measure S (by guest Hayes)

The moral here is probably that we should start a local LA news-and-takes site written by other people.

  1. Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot (1974)

  2. Mountaineering Movies on Netflix Instant, Ranked

  3. Fred Trump

  4. Cinderella and Interrogation Technique

  5. The Great Debates 

  6. Karl Ove Knausgaard

  7. Fascinated by: Ray Dalio

  8. How Big Was Mexico City in 1519?

  9. American Historical Figure Who Reminds Me Of Trump

  10. Losing The War by Lee Sandlin 

  11. Conversations With Kennedy

  12. Oil Wells In National Parks

  13. THE WONDER TRAIL 

  14. Gay Hobo Slang

  15. Vertigo Sucks

  16. Jackie Smoking Pregnant

  17. The story of Cahokia

  18. Ireland should take in two million refugees 

  19. Twenty Greatest Australian Artistic Accomplishments of All Time 

  20. The White House Pool 

One lesson here might be to have more local LA journalism written by other people.  Keep meaning to start a whole site for that but I do have a full-time job plus several other projects.

In our opinion the most successful post on Helytimes was

Record Group 80: Series: General Photographic File Of the Department of the Navy, 1943-1958 

although it didn’t crack the top 21, just felt like a time where we added something of value to the Internet and readers responded.

It’s about the work of the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, also known as the Training Literature Field Unit No. 1, assembled by the great photographer Edward Steichen.

One thread of Helytimes is attempts to reach into the past and find the sources that give us understanding of the past.

Two personal favorites:

Everything is something.

and

Special Snowflakes

This has been the annual performance review and address to the Helytimes readership:

That photo taken by one of Steichen’s guys, Wayne Miller:


Dorothea Lange

Three of the four Arnold children. The oldest boy earned the money to buy his bicycle. Western Washington, Thurston County, Michigan Hill.

Let’s look

Child living in Oklahoma City shack town

at a sample

Cotton picker, southern San Joaquin Valley

of the

Woman in pea picker’s camp. California. “I seen our corn dry up and blow over the fence back there in Oklahoma”

8073 or so 

Children of migratory Mexican field workers. The older one helps tie carrots in the field. Coachella Valley, California

Dorothea Lange photos

Pregnant migrant woman living in California squatter camp. Kern County

Japanese mother and daughter, agricultural workers near Guadalupe, California

At the Library of Congress

Mexican girl who picks peas for the eastern market. Imperial Valley, California

In a carrot pullers’ camp near Holtville, Imperial Valley, California. Woman from Broken Row, Oklahoma

Farm Security Administration (FSA) camp for migratory agricultural workers. Meeting of the camp council. Farmersville, California

Children of migratory workers, hauling water, American River camp, San Joaquin Valley, California

Mexican quarter of Los Angeles, California. Average rental is eight dollars. Some houses have plumbing. See card 1799-C for detailed information


Ansel in Playboy

This Open Culture post leads me to Ansel Adams interviewed in Playboy, found here:
I’ll explain it this way: Both William Henry Jackson and Edward Weston photographed the American West extensively. But in my opinion, only Weston’s photographs qualify as art. Jackson, for all his devotion to the subject, was recording the scene. Weston, on the other hand, was actually creating something new. In his work, subject is of secondary importance to the total photograph. Similarly, while the landscapes that I have photographed in Yosemite are recognized by most people and, of course, the subject is an important part of the pictures, they are not “realistic.” Instead, they are an imprint of my visualization. All of my pictures are optically very accurate–I use pretty good lenses–but they are quite unrealistic in terms of values. A more realistic simple snapshot captures the image but misses everything else. I want a picture to reflect not only the forms but what I had seen and felt at the moment of exposure.
Playboy: Give us an example.
Adams: My Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico has the emotion and the feeling that the experience of seeing the actual moonrise created in me, but it is not at all realistic. Merely clicking the camera and making a simple print from the negative would have created a wholly different–and ordinary–photograph. People have asked me why the sky is so dark, thinking exactly in terms of the literal. But the dark sky is how it felt.
When photographer Alfred Stieglitz was asked by some skeptic, rather scornfully, “How do you make a creative photograph?” he answered, “I go out into the world with my camera and come across something that excites me emotionally, spiritually or aesthetically. I see the image in my mind’s eye. I make the photograph and print it as the equivalent of what I saw and felt.” That describes it well. What he called seeing in the mind’s eye, I call visualization. In my mind’s eye, I am visualizing how a particular revelation of sight and feeling will appear on a print. If I am looking at you, I can continue to see you as a person, but I am also in the habit of shifting from that consciously dimensional presence to a photograph, relating you in your surroundings to an image in my mind. If what I see in my mind excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense and also an ability that comes from a lot of practice. Some people never can get it.
More:
Playboy: When did you know you could accomplish it?
Adams: I had my first visualization while photographing Half Dome in Yosemite in 1927. It was a remarkable experience. After a long day with my camera, I had only two photographic plates left. I found myself staring at Half Dome, facing the monolith, seeing and feeling things that only the photograph itself can tell you. I took the first exposure and, somehow, I knew it was inadequate. It did not capture what I was feeling. It was not going to reflect the tremendous experience. Then, to use Stieglitz’ expression, I saw in my mind’s eye what the picture should look like and I realized how I must get it. I put on a red filter and figured out the exposure correctly, and I succeeded! When I made the prints, it proved my concept was correct. The first exposure came out just all right. It was a good photograph, but it in no way had the spirit and excitement I had felt. The second was Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, which speaks for itself.

More:

They were the ones Weston called the fuzzy-wuzzies. They would go out into the street and find some old bum with a matted beard, and they’d get a tablet of Braille and make the old man put his fingers on the Braille. They would place him in an old chair, looking up through a cloud of cigarette smoke that was illuminated by a spotlight. The title would be Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. That must have been done a thousand times. There were also slimy nudes.

 

I am an Ansel Democrat:

Playboy: You said that earlier. We assumed you were speaking rhetorically. Weren’t you?
Adams: Definitely not. We are on a disaster course. A revolution may happen first; and, of course, that may be a disaster anyway. I don’t say it would be a Soviet revolution, but it could very well result in a different order of society. It could be a socialist setup that might work for a while. We don’t know. The point is, I think there may be a revolution if there is not greater equality given to all citizens. We have consistently considered the employer, especially the large corporations, as the most valuable part of the American society. We have consistently overlooked the enormous importance of the farmer, the technician, the educator, the artist, the laborer. I’m not calling for a revolution; I’m calling for greater equality to all citizens. If that doesn’t happen, something will.
You see, I believe in a Federalism under which you would pay your taxes to a properly elected and conducted central Government that would, in turn, provide essential services–which would include medical care and other essentials–to the population. I do think there is a basic obligation for everyone to make his maximum contribution to society, but we talk about opportunity for everyone, and the fact is that it is perfectly obvious that equal opportunity does not exist. It’s about time we woke to that fact and clarified the whole social-political structure. Or we’ll be awakened.
Remember, ten percent unemployment, no matter how high that is, is an average. There are places and segments of the population with much higher unemployment. People will not continue to tolerate those conditions. What we need is a new set of political commandments that call to attention some of the basic provisions of the Constitution that are often overlooked by our contemporary leaders. There are inalienable rights that are supposed to be guaranteed. It is absolutely criminal that our Government has consistently supported rightist governments that deny citizens’ rights while being paranoid about any liberal concept, which is the concept upon which our country was founded. But, remember, it took a revolution here.

And finally, his martini recipe:

Playboy: While we’re on the subject, that is some strong martini we’ve sampled. Will you share your recipe with us?
Adams: The martini I am drinking now is simply diluted–that way, I can have several. But the ones you’re sipping come from a Hotel Sonesta bartender in Cambridge. You take a good-sized glass and fill it with fine vermouth. Then you marinate some big lemon peels in there for days. As the vermouth evaporates or is used up, replenish it. All you need is a glass, ice, vodka and a lemon peel. Rub the lemon peel around the rim of the glass, drop it in, and you have a very dry martini.

April 19. Patriots Day.

Worth remembering that the American Revolution started when the federal government sent troops to take away people’s guns and ammunition.

More men from Needham died on April 19, 1775, I believe, than from any other town except Lexington:

The detail in that footnote!  What she remembers, the old blind woman: how many of the soldiers had thrown away their coats!  It was under the will of this venerable lady that he first received a legacy!

History gets so much more interesting when you get into how do we know this?  what is the source?  who claims this?  who saw it happen?

The Needham Public Library.

Amos Doolittle wasn’t there but he showed up a few weeks later:

My favorite book on this topic is:

Tourtellot is really kind of funny when he rips into his least favorite patriot, vain old John Hancock:

that illustration up top from:

a British book – is there a pro-Redcoat bias?


Best photos I took in 2016

img_5276

Vancouver Island

img_8672Joshua Treeimg_9272Gaililee, RI
daf8272a-51e1-4083-b4c8-a509b10a5a54Death Valleyimg_5124Tofinoimg_5793Cambridge
img_7339-3Victoria
img_7126-1New Zealandimg_9451Two Harborsimg_3649Los Angeles

 


Thurgood’s take, and Yoichi Okamoto

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-22-15-am

From Stephen L. Carter’s 2017 predictions, via Tyler Cowen.  (Helytimes is increasingly becoming a Tyler Cowen processing center).

Thurgood:

That photo is by Yoichi Okamoto:

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-29-17-am

Looking a bit like Fredrik Wikingsson there, and here are more by Yoichi:

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-29-06-am

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-28-54-am

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-11-28-46-am

found at this NYT slideshow of his work from 2013.


Twins Seven Seven

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-12-52-57-pmvia Tyler Cowen I learn about Nigerian artist Prince Twins Seven Seven

or more formally Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Wyewale-Toyeje Oyekale Osuntoki.  He received his nickname because he was the only surviving child from seven distinct sets of twins.

twins

He came to the United States in the late 1980s and settled in the Philadelphia area, although he traveled abroad frequently. His life entered a turbulent period, filled with drinking and gambling, he said. Destitute, he found work as a parking-lot attendant for Material Culture, a large Philadelphia store that sells antiquities, furnishings and carpets.

When the owner learned that Prince Twins Seven-Seven was an artist, he had him decorate the store’s wrapping paper. Later, he was given a small room to use as a studio.

from his obituary

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-12-58-13-pm

t771


SUNDAY TAKE: The Economist

The Economist

Nearly Cloudless Scotland, As Seen From the ISS The International Space Station's Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams tweeted this photo recently with the caption "We had a great view of Scotland today…very rare to not be covered with clouds."

Nearly Cloudless Scotland, As Seen From the ISS
The International Space Station’s Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams tweeted this photo recently with the caption “We had a great view of Scotland today…very rare to not be covered with clouds.”

I’m tryna get that big picture view on things.  How does it all work?

What's going on in Bonn?

What’s going on in Bonn?

The search for answers led me to this magazine.

img_7659

What to make a magazine that has ads like this?

img_7652

Just a casual classified:

barge

As part of my ongoing effort to  become a guy who considers buying barge-mounted power plants, I became a subscriber.

The editor of The Economist is Zanny Minton Beddoes:

zanny-minton-beddoes

Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo Monika Flueckiger. This was taken at Davos, duh.

The Economist states its mission on the table of contents:

img_7675

Per Wikipedia:

It takes an editorial stance of classical and economic liberalism which is supportive of free trade, globalisation, free immigration and cultural liberalism (such as supporting legal recognition for same-sex marriage or drug liberalization).

To say it takes that stance is to put it mildly.  The Economist believes in free trade and globalisation the way other people believe in gravity.  For example, casual assumption what is “sensible” for Paraguay:

paraguay

Per Wikipedia again, linking to this 1999 Andrew Sullivan snark attack:

[Andrew Sullivan] also said that The Economist is editorially constrained because so many scribes graduated from the same college at Oxford University, Magdalen College. 

Not true!  Zanny Minton Beddoes was in  St. Hilda’s College at Oxford University!

Sullivan says:

as a weekly compost of world news and economics, it’s very hard to beat–a kind ofReader’s Digest for the overclass. It’s written in the kind of Oxbridge prose that trips felicitously into one ear and out the other, and it subtly flatters some Americans into feeling that they are sitting in on a combination of an English senior common room and a seminar at Davos. Besides, it’s hard to dislike a magazine that can run a photo of the pope meeting with Bill Clinton over the caption: “That’s 1,000 Hail Marys.”

That’s all true.  The subtle flattery is what I’m paying for.  Plus I love a good compost.

Sullivan has harsher criticisms, some of which still seem relevant seventeen years later.  I like his take that The Economist‘s no bylines policy is suspiciously socialist.  He’s criticizing The Economist for not being free markety enough!

More from Wiki’s “Criticism, accusation and praise“:

The Guardian wrote that “its writers rarely see a political or economic problem that cannot be solved by the trusted three-card trick of privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation”

To which The Economist might respond, “and where are we wrong?”

True to their hero, Adam Smith, The Economist hovers between brilliant and goofy.

img_7581

Here are some things I’ve learned from reading The Economist in the last three weeks:

  • “global internet traffic will surpass one zettabyte for the first time this year, the equivalent of 152m years of high-definition video”
  • Under Emperor Augustus, military wages and pensions absorbed half of all Rome’s tax revenues.
  • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund owns more than 2% of all listed shares in Europe and over 1% globally.  Its largest holdings are in Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Nestlé.  The fund is worth $882 billion.
  • The United Arab Emirates recently started a Ministry of Happiness
  • There’s so much cannabis grown in Albania that in 2014 it might’ve had a value equal to half of the country’s GDP
  • bluefin tuna are down 97% from their peak in the early 1960s
  • Japanese people are obsessed with Portland

How about this take:  reporting on the Russian elections, where only 48% of people bothered to vote on the selected candidates they were allowed to, here’s how The Economist sees the problem:

Mr Putin’s latest victory turns the Duma into more of a sham.  As a result, he risks becoming detached.  In the view of Gleb Pavlovsky, a political analyst and former adviser to Mr Putin, Russia’s leaders are like pilots flying in heavy turbulence with the cockpit dials all painted over.

What a take!  Like: democracy is meaningful mainly as a source of information for dictatorial technomanagers!

Wonder if I would’ve been smarter if instead of classes in college I read this magazine cover to cover every week, as Bill Gates says he does.

jess


SUNDAY TAKES!

Here are some takes and items for your Sunday enjoyment!

The coach on Netflix doc series Last Chance U:

coach

The most compelling, complex character on “TV” right now


Sales:

In an old folder of articles I found this one, about Peter Thiel’s Zero To One

thiel-3

Thiel and his ideas are interesting to me.  I’m open to the Vali/OwenE take that he might just be a kinda smart guy who got lucky and thinks he’s a genius.  He definitely should not be on the Supreme Court.

I loved Zero To One, but Thiel’s support for Trump makes him seem like a much darker and more troubling figure than I felt he was when I was reading it.

Two interesting points in the article that had new meaning in light of Thiel being a Trump guy:

thiel-1

Is that something like what Trump did (old grouchy white men?  white American nationalists?  you’d think they’d be served by a lot of political competitors but maybe there was a hole in the market)?  What about this?:

thiel-2

Unfortunately, Trump is good at sales and Hillary Clinton is kind of bad at sales.

Sometimes this campaign we get a reminder of how good at sales Bill Clinton is.  Here is Bill talking about the Clinton Foundation.  This clip is used by GOP and conservative sites as I guess kind of scummy because Clinton compares himself to Robin Hood:

Maybe comparing yourself to Robin Hood is a little much, but when I hear Bill explain the Clinton Foundation as asking for money from people who have a lot of it and giving it to people who don’t have any, it makes it sound a lot better.

Does anyone effectively refute the claim that almost 10 million more people in more than 70 countries have access to life-saving medicines through the Clinton Health Access Initiative?


Silence Of The Lambs

sotl-3

Not topical or relevant at all but for forever I’ve had in my phone a bunch of screenshots of this movie, one of the most gripping movies ever.  Saw it on TV some months ago and was struck by how much of it is just a closeup of a person’s face.  How unsettling/compelling!

Baltimore can be quite a fun town if you have the right guide

Baltimore can be quite a fun town if you have the right guide

This guy:

sotl-2

 


This jumped out at me

In a not otherwise “sexy” article about English literary critic William Empson’s book The Face Of The Buddha:

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-00-27-pm

William Empson:

william-empson


Millennials

Enjoyed the caption on this one, from National Geographic’s Instagram:

fullsizerender


Mediocrities

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-2-35-00-pm

Thomas Frank, profiled in the Politico 50 list:

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-11-42-45-am

Frank went to University of Kansas, University of Virginia, and University of Chicago.  Can he be trusted?


Doing some reading about AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically modified animal

Am I ugly?

    Am I ugly?

A growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon, with a promoter from an ocean pout, was added to the Atlantic salmon’s 40,000 genes. This gene enables it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer. The purpose of the modifications is to increase the speed at which the fish grows without affecting its ultimate size or other qualities. The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.

Asked Anonymous Investor to take a look at the financials of the AquaBounty company.

I haven’t looked into the science, but if their salmon is all that they claim, AquaBounty should have a big pricing advantage. Because their fish grow so much faster than a normal salmon, they should be much cheaper to produce, and sell — undercutting their competitors.

This reminds of the tiny speculative biotech companies I invest in.  There’s no money coming in, only money being burned.  But you’re hoping someday for a big FDA approval that will open sluices of torrential cash.  In this case, the FDA approval has come  But the primary problem (they have a few) is that major buyers like Kroger and Target vowed not to carry the product.  My guess is the company will eventually make inroads, just as Monsanto, Syngenta, etc, have in the past. But it might take a long time. Big money usually wins in the end. And the hippies, as always, will go whining back to their yurts.

AquaBounty is selling for around 64 million dollars.  Not a bad price for a what looks like a pretty decent lottery ticket.

Not sure why AquaBounty only trades in London.  The volume is extremely thin.  This is a stock not on many people’s radar.

I do know that AquaBounty is controlled by Intrexon (the same company trying to battle Zika via their patented breed of mosquitos). They own over 50% of AquaBounty.  Intrexon trades here under the ticker XON. It’s a 3 billion dollar company.  (A year ago it was worth more than 6 billion).  Intrexon does a lot of interesting Monsanto-type things, and the stock is sort of a darling of Wall Street.  But lately doubt has crept into the story.  Intrexon has been slow in providing evidence for many of it’s scientific claims.  The company says they don’t want to divulge their trade secrets by releasing too much data.  Skeptics speculate that they’re not disclosing much, because, they believe, much of the science probably doesn’t work.

Interesting.  Here’s what Intrexon (NYSE: XON) has been up to:

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-1-27-19-pm

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the birth of these adorable kittens,” noted Blake Russell, President of ViaGen Pets. “As the largest global provider of genetic preservation services for companion animals, we look forward to expanding the life-enriching connections that people form with their pets. Our goal is to bring this opportunity to all pet owners and their families.”

Sure.  Anonymous Investor adds:

 In the salmon world, AquAdvantage salmon are considered “ugly”. In a test 95% of salmon chose to mate with wild salmon over AquaBounty salmon.

Reginald

American Dad co-showrunner Brian Boyle has a very fine set of glasses with the AD characters on them.

img_7411

One fan’s opinion? the show should do more with Reginald.

img_7409

Reginald


 The Flemish Giant

Somebody at work mentioned that the biggest kind of rabbit is called a Flemish giant.

img_7452

Well worth the image search.


Boston accents:

bostonians

A good, clear discussion of an often misunderstood issue from this classicbostonians-2


On the subject of Boston:

img_7358

In Australia this kind of coconut frosted cake is known as Boston bun.  Everyone was baffled when I told them I’d never heard of it.

A Boston bun is a large spiced bun with a thick layer of coconut icing, prevalent in Australia and New Zealand. Traditionally the bun contained sieved potato, and modern versions sometimes contain raisins. It is often served sliced, to accompany a cup of tea. The origin of the name is unknown.

In New Zealand they’re often called a Sally Lunn, especially in the North Island


Still reeling

aus-states

from good times in Australia.  A bizarro version of the United States, upside down and weirdly (to a USA observer) developed in all kinds of ways.  For instance, Australia people talk about “the deep north” as like a joke on the way we talk about the “deep south.”

Important to remember that on the other side of the equator, you have to flip countries upside down to think about them.  Their south is our north.  If you think about that pointy part of Queensland as Florida, the Northern Territory as Texas, Tasmania as Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, Melbourne as Boston and Sydney as New York, you’re still way off but getting somewhere.

Ok but flip Australia upside down in your mind.

Ok but flip Australia upside down in your mind.

Huge thanks to the many people of New Zealand and Australia who helped me out.  Puts me in mind of this week’s scripture, Matthew 25:35.


Bummed to miss

Had to come back to the USA before the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, so I missed Lionel Shriver of We Need To Talk About Kevin fame apparently light it up with a wild speech about cultural appropriation (attacking what seems to me to be a ridiculous straw man?)

I can’t find a photo of her wearing a sombrero, as she is alleged to have done.  Did she really refer to herself as a “renowned iconoclast”?


Which Australian state library is the best?

I enjoy Melbourne’s State Library of Victoria so much:

state_library_of_victoria_3009e

photo by Wiki user Brian Jenkins

I mean how can you not admire that they have Ned Kelly’s armor on display?:

ned-kelly

Some great illustrations on Ned’s wiki page:

a_strange_apparition_ned_kellys_last_stand

“A strange apparition”: when Kelly appeared out of the mist-shrouded bush, clad in armour, bewildered policemen took him to be a ghost, a bunyip, and “Old Nick himself”.

a bunyip:

bunyip

Let’s take a virtual look at Australia’s other state libraries:

Tasmania:

state-library-of-tasmania

Hmm.

Would a better state library be a step towards helping Tasmania’s insane illiteracy rate?

New South Wales:

Mitchell Library without banners

nsw-int

Impressive.  Classic if slightly dull exterior, solid interior, I rate it a 9 (out of 11).

Queensland:

qnsl-ext

qnsld-int

A big swing on the exterior, the interior kind of interesting but also kind of a like a weird mall.  I’ll give it a 7.

Northern Territory:

parliament-house

No independent library building, it’s housed in the Parliament House which is kind of cool.  DNQ for the rating system.

Western Australia:

state-library-of-wa

slwa-int

Trash exterior, interior so weird as to be kind of interesting.  8.  

The old version, once housed in Hackett Hall, appears to have been pretty cool:

231751pd-hackett-hall-before-alteration-december-1960-image-courtesy-state-library-of-wa

South Australia:

ext

Ok…

mortlock-wing

Aw yeah!  11/11.


Short Books

Australia/New Zealand publishing is so good at short books.  I read a bunch of short books while traveling.

img_7360

This one began as speech Flanagan gave, focusing on his disgust for the abuses, catastrophes, and inhumanity at Australia’s offshore detention centers for asylum seekers, but also about a general disappointment in political and cultural life:

Conformists par excellence, capable of only agreeing with power however or wherever it manifests itself, they are the ones least capable of dealing with the many new challenges we face precisely because those challenges demand the very qualities the new class lacks: courage, independence of thought and a belief in something larger than its own future.

The new class, understanding only self-interest, believing only in the possibilities of its own cynicism, committed to nothing more than its own perpetuation, seeks to ride the tiger by agreeing with all the tiger’s desires, believing it and not the tiger will endure, until the tiger decides it’s time to feed, as the mining corporations did with Kevin Rudd, as News Limited is now with Julia Gillard.

He goes on about the alternative:

ad-1

ad-2

ad-3

If I may make a crude summary Flanagan’s argument could be he wishes Australia remembered Matthew 25:35 a little more.

Flanagan and I once shared a publisher, and I’m told his books are masterpieces, especially Narrow Road To The Deep North.

Also good, and more lighthearted if at times equally scorching:

pieper

Here’s a taste, where Pieper is digressing about a dog he adopted:pieper-2

Took a page out of Vali’s book and wrote Mr. Pieper a short and simple fan letter complimenting him on his book.  He wrote a gracious note back.  Gotta do this more often.

I can’t write to the great New Zealand short story writer Katherine Mansfield because she’s dead:

mansfield

If I could, I would compliment her on “The Garden Party.”  This story starts out so boring and stodgy and Victorian I really thought I was in for it.  But it pays off.  Spoiler alert this is the last page:

mansfield-2

What life was she couldn’t explain.  No matter.  He quite understood.

Isn’t it, darling?’ said Laurie.


Southbank

img_7200

This scene, on Brisbane’s Southbank, really reminded me of this one, in Paris a hundredsome years ago:

sunday



Richard Bell

img_7207

Impressed by this massive painting at the Milani Gallery in Brisbane by Australian indigenous artist Richard Bell.

(The price in Australian dollars is 55,000.)

Bell caused controversy in April 2011 after revealing that he selected the winner of the prestigious Sir John Sulman Prize through the toss of a coin.

 


When Will You Marry?

when-will-you-marry

What a title for a painting.  Heard of this Gaugin painting in an article about Qatar’s art scene.  Reportedly some Qataris bought it for $300 mill.  Says Wiki, back in 1893:

Gauguin placed this painting on consignment at the exhibition at a price of 1,500 francs, the highest price he assigned and shared by only one other painting, but had no takers.

Gaugin didn’t always crush it with his titles (Study of A Nude, etc) but sometimes he nailed it.  Here is Where Are You Going?

where-are-you-going

(sometimes less interestingly called Woman Holding A Fruit)

Of course best of all, Where Do We Come From?  What Are We?  Where Are We Going? at the good ol’ Boston MFA.

where-do-we-come-from

Charles Morice (fr) two years later tried to raise a public subscription to purchase the painting for the nation. To assist this endeavour, Gauguin wrote a detailed description of the work concluding with the messianic remark that he spoke in parables: “Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not”. The subscription nevertheless failed.

You can read about Geoff Dyer’s frustrating experiences with these paintings and Gaugin and Tahiti in:

white-sands

I was bummed I missed that dude at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, bet we could’ve had some laughs.


Hamatsa emerging from the woods – Koskimo

Curtis photo

good photo from the Edward S. Curtis archives / Library of Congress.

Princess Angeline

Princess Angeline (Duwamish)


Great lost works of art

 

imageedit_2_9293772004

Let me add to Wikipedia’s list a work by my former roommate Sean Denis Boyland, acryllic (?) on photograph (?), that I’ve crudely approximated above.  Begun and completed in the East Village of Manhattan, or perhaps Chelsea, Massachusetts, possibly in the summer of 2003, the artist bought an enlarged framed photo on the street and painted on it.  The key was the elegance of the brushstroke which I just can’t replicate here.

Anyone who has further remembrance of this work is encouraged to contact Helytimes.

Re: lost artwork, always taken some perverse pleasure that I saw one of the most famous missing paintings ever, Rembrandt’s Storm on The Sea Of Galilee, before it was stolen from Boston’s Gardner Museum in 1990.

storm on the sea of galilee

Discussion question: how much does it matter that the original painting is missing when there are extremely good photographs of it?

Three good losties from Wiki’s gallery:  Van G’s Scheveningen beach in stormy weather, stolen 2003:

Van_Gogh_-_Strand_von_Scheveningen_bei_stürmischen_Wetter.jpeg

and Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise, stolen from the Ashmolean during a fireworks show on New Years’ Eve 1999:

View of Auvers

As the thieves ignored other works in the same room, and the stolen Cézanne has not been offered for sale, it is speculated that this was a case of an artwork stolen to order.

And how about Flinck, Landscape with an Obelisk?

flinck


Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

IMG_5364 (1)

found by the Bookbinder.