Tuesday, August 4

Monday, July 24

What do we see when we look at images? We read them, a lot like we read words. We look for meaning in images. But because most of us can't "speak" or "write" images, we find it hard to explain what the meaning is. We do feel them though. We say that we react to images, and it's mostly true because they mostly bypass our consciousness. Not only do we react to images but we learn how to react to them. Watch enough shoot-outs in the movies and we think we know what a shoot-out feels like. We eventually get a little bored and then a new crop of directors have to come up with new ways of getting us to react to them. Today's images from 1933 tell a story. Actually, they tell a lot of stories, stories about Blanche Barrow, stories about America, and stories about images. I can't reall...

Sunday, July 23

Airman Wiley Post completed his turn around the world 30 seconds before today began in New York, having completed the last leg direct from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In doing so, he established the world record for solo flight, but it must be said that he flew at high latitudes, which shortened the distance as compared to the equator. Not to detract from his feat! The state of the art contraption, the "mechanical brain" which allowed him to do it, is beginning to be installed in commercial airliners. Thankfully someone thought to preserve the one that flew with Post. All analogue, I bet. The Nazis are ruthlessly efficient, as we've always heard. No sooner has a deal been struck with the Catholic church than the other major Christian sect is inveigled to organize along party lines. ...

Saturday, July 22

Earlier this year we had a sighting- in the Loch- of old Nessie. Today, in a wooded section next to the lake, a report of something odd crossing the road, seen by a man and woman in a car, neither of whom were aware of the legend of the "monster". I don't think there has been nearly enough attention paid to the Spicer's account. People naturally tend to imagine a thing that resembles a mythical creature they are familiar with- dragon, dinosaur, whale- but what if it's a thing unlike anything we even have myths about? Now that's rather frightening, but in a pleasant way. Ain't hurtin' anyone. While we're in the British Isles, how about something for the ladies? Tuppence will get you tips and hints (and patterns?) to help you with those pounds. Saving them, that is. At the Palmer ...

Friday, July 21

Traveling in strange lands. A really nice cover on Fortune Magazine this month. I guess, for a dollar a copy, you should get a decent cover? There aren't many newspapers I come across in Russian, at least I think this is Russian. I like the commie hammer beating the crap out of the "O" in the title. I don't understand any of it. (are they Jesus' words in red?) I do understand the proud workers and the new canal at the bottom. And I guess these other folks are more proud workers. I like the drawing- it reminds me of the 1960's and my artsy friends who developed a passion for pen and ink. A fierce dragon? No, just another carnival ride. I can't tell if this photo is an actual color item or hand tinted. My guess is... tinted. There does seem to be an element of real danger her...

Thursday, July 20

Shades of grey. Begin with what the Germans call the Reichskonkordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany. It's an agreement to maintain a separation between Church and State- something that also happens to be written into the American Constitution. Funny how Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who was soon elected Pius VII, is widely vilified for signing this thing, which was apparently a sound enough law that it remains on the books to this day. There's a little wormhole in time for ya! But yeah, the Church and the State have a lot of common interests. You could spend your days trying to figure out which is the worse evil (or which is the greater good) or you could ask why either of them have the power to decide our fates. Or ask if they really have any power over us at all? Shades of gre...

Wednesday, July 19

Wow- that Jantzen one-piece is making a big splash this summer. Billed as "molded-fit" and weighing mere ounces, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship- although one with its anxious moments. The cartoon is from England. We haven't heard much from gangland lately, but they're still at work. This banker got lucky- that's about as close as you'll see these two smiling! Not shown- an account of the Feds machine-gunning an actual rum-runner, killing two in the process. Yes, prohibition is about to be repealed, but there are still fortunes to be made. The president spent the day in his room, according to his personal secretary. Newspaper accounts say he was slightly ill after his yachting trip down the Potomac yesterday. I think I know that feeling- well, he still received s...

Tuesday, July 18

Fun with film today. First up- this gal riding on the prow of a speed boat. Kind of risky, but man, is she frisky! I would call this particular cover at least ten years ahead of its time, both for subject and execution. Next up, a reminder that women are the gentle sex. Merely a summer's idyll, ancient Greece evoked, yet... someone may have felt a little "knotty" having their picture taken like this. I hope so. All is business- film business, by Edward Land. Cripe, it took 4 years for this patent to be approved. In all that time think of the number of cool sunglasses that tragically weren't sold! But Hollywood would soon catch up. These German women are in training. No Greek "idle" for them- they have a big job to do, reversing the decline in the Aryan birth-rate. Thanks to t...

Monday, July 17

This may be Roosevelt's first executive order to be enacted- it seeks to control some onerous labor practices in the textile industry. Funny how awful the business of making clothes is, isn't it? This order prohibits child labor (under the age of 16) , and work weeks over 40 hours for line workers. It seems that production was rising again (people gotta have clothes, even in a depression) but factories were reluctant to hire new workers- so 52+ hour workweeks were happening to keep up with demand. Good old capitalism, right? In addition to limiting hours (and hopefully decreasing unemployment, which gets people off the dole, etc) minimum wages were fixed, and time and 1/2 pay for overtime required for mechanics, foremen and etc. Machine time was limited to 80 hours a week, in an eff...

Sunday, July 16

Ground was broken for the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. Like other big infrastructure projects in the US, the idea for this one had been around for decades, and was subject to a lot of debate. A low dam would be cheaper, faster to build, and had the support of business interests in Western Washington. A taller dam would generate more electricity, allow for the irrigation of a huge part of central Washington, and had the support of Washington, D.C. (and the president). The "ditchers" lost and the dam was begun with a base as high as the low dam, but strong enough to support the high dam when and if it was finally approved. Which it was. The site included a lot of tribal land, but there was a depression on, and no one paid much attention to tribal complaints. Like the fact t...

Saturday, July 15

The big day has arrived! A big day for Italy that is. To begin with, in Rome a major pact was signed between Italy, France, Britain, and Germany. They've agreed to a ten year period of peace among themselves. It seems there have been some hard feelings between them (if nations can have feelings?) about the results of that last dust up which the current economic crisis has done nothing to settle. I could have posted another boring photo of ambassadors in tails signing documents but decided to go with an illustration from humor magazine Punch showing Mussolini on horseback holding aloft a dove of peace on his gloved hand. I can't tell you the reference, but I'm guessing that the original was a portrait of a Medici holding a hawk. Just a guess. I can't guess why they went with the Br...