BMEWS
 
When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Saturday - October 03, 2015

ROTFLMAO

Here’s a link to the other nine photos of this pair, taken by cat owner Paul Mealey in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

TOM and JERRY

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2015 at 03:06 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - January 29, 2015

So Much For France

je suis la merde de poulet



Big brave Fwance, caving to pisslamic pressure already. So much for free expression, so much for art.
I am Charlie? No. I am chicken shit.
Cheese eating surrender monkeys. They never change.

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Silence
Shoes and prayer mat
2008

To name what is not named,
to show what is not shown, to bind what is remote.
My work rests on this concept and operating mode
that proceeds by transgressing what remains forbidden and undisclosed.

Zoulikha Bouabdellah

The self-imposed starting point of Zoulikha Bouabdellah’s work is to see the world in a different way. In her Silence installation, the artist presents prayer mats whose circular shape cuts draw an ‘opening’ on the ground on which rest gilded court shoes. The Islamic religion forces people to remove their shoes before taking place on the carpet that delimits the space for prayer. However, Zoulikha Bouabdellah’s installation plays with limits in order to bring us to the edge of the sacred and the profane. Muslim women stand at the threshold of these two worlds – a threshold, which according to Mircea Eliade, also determines the distance between two modes of being.

Through a rather subversive work, the artist intends to lift the veil on a woman’s relation to Islam. Between respect of the religious tradition and fantasies of westernisation, she reveals her ability to invent for herself freedom spaces within a rigid framework. In this instance, Zoulikha Bouabdellah pays a tribute to the women who are not afraid to assert themselves in order to exist, beyond the silence surrounding the prayer or the question of the female condition in the Arab world.

I’m surprised she made cut-outs in the rugs. I would have put the shoes right on them, and used these sandals and other sexy western FMPs in various colors to really stress the conflict. This work is radical in her closed world, but in ours it is as if “Piss Christ” showed Jesus standing next to a porta-potty; the idea is there, but it’s rather timid. The hole in the rugs though, I like that. An opening, an opportunity. Perhaps an escape. Plus it still adheres to their rules, and brings in the whole vagina thing. Good for her.

‘Blasphemous’ artwork removed from Paris exhibition
Artwork showing women’s shoes on Muslim prayer mats is removed from exhibition after warnings of possible violence

An artwork depicting high-heeled shoes on Islamic prayer mats has been removed from an exhibition after a Muslim group warned of possible violence in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.

It is considered disrespectful to step on Muslim prayer maps with shoes.

Ms Bouabdellah has replaced the artwork, “Silence”, previously exhibited in Paris, New York, Berlin and Madrid, with a video installation showing belly-dancing to the French national anthem, with swirling red, white and blue shawls symbolising the national flag.

The decision sparked protests from other artists who complained that freedom of expression was being undermined only weeks after 12 people were killed when gunmen attacked the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Another four people were killed at a kosher supermarket, and a policewoman was shot dead near a Jewish school.

Ms Bouabdellah, 37, said on Wednesday that the “lack of understanding” of her work was probably related to “heightened emotions” after the attacks. 

She makes excuses for them. Self-effacing. Her response should have been to fart in their general direction and to complain that their fathers smelled of elderberries. Or worse.

PS - and so much for the UK Telegraph, which ran this story but did NOT run a picture of the artwork. Cowards


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/29/2015 at 03:28 PM   
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calendar   Friday - December 05, 2014

BILLED AS THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL. AT 9.

Well, this outta get tongues wagging. Not sure what I think.

The make up ppl say she isn’t even wearing actual lipstick.  Read the article for info on that.

There is no question in my mind that although she is already becoming a successful pre teen model, this is one very beautiful young girl.
Now come the serious question.

Can her look be seen as a sexy one?

Her mother says no and that anybody who sees her daughter as “sexy” is a pedophile.

Not so sure I agree.  I think a pedophile prefers children to begin with. Least that’s what I have read.  They target children almost exclusively. 

However, I think there’s a huge difference between criminal behavior or leanings to that, and seeing the image here as quite a sexual appearance for a 9 year old.

See the link and take a good look at all the photos.

One thing is certain tho.  She doesn’t get these looks from mummy.  There’s a goddess at work here somewhere.

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EXCLUSIVE - ‘You must think like a paedophile to see sex in these pictures… go see a doctor’:  Mother of world’s most beautiful girl defends ‘provocative’ images that show her nine-year-old daughter in hotpants

Kristina, aged nine, is ‘world’s most beautiful girl’ with supermodel career
Mother posts images to millions of followers oan Facebook and Instagram
But critics say the pictures of nine-year-old in shorts are too provocative
Men have posted comments such as ‘sexy legs’ and mum was attacked
Today Glikeriya hits back at ‘paedophile critics’ with sick imaginations

By Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline

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The mother of a child supermodel dubbed ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’ has attacked ‘paedophiles’ who say she is sexualising her daughter by posting provocative pictures of her.

Kristina Pimenova is just nine years old but has become a worldwide sensation after pictures of her triggered a storm of criticism on Facebook and Instagram.

Today her mother Glikeriya Pimenova, who runs the social media accounts and posted the pictures, hit back in an exclusive interview with MailOnline, saying: ‘I do not accept those accusations about sexualisation of my child.

‘I am certain in my mind all her photographs are absolutely innocent. I have never asked her to take this or that pose, and in fact I must say she does not especially like it when I am photographing her, so I do it quickly and when she doesn’t notice.’

Innocent pictures of Kristina, whose impressive achievements have already seen her starring in adverts for Armani, Roberto Cavalli and Benetton, became the subject of disturbing comments online.

But Glikeriya, 39, told MailOnline: ‘You must think like a paedophile in order to see something sexual in these pictures, so it is time for you to see a doctor.

‘Some years ago I posted a picture of little Kristina on the beach in the Maldives hugging her three soft toys and laughing.

‘She was holding all her toys in front of her chest and hugging them, and you know what comments I got to this picture?

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‘’Oh, she is covering her breasts because she thinks she has something to hide!’ Can you believe it? I think people who post something like this have serious psychological problems.’

Sipping fruit tea and clearly stung by the accusations, Glikeriya insists ‘All her ‘poses’ are natural. She is just a little girl who is attracting a lot of attention and unfortunately some of this attention is coming from strange people with huge personal problems, keen to throw dirt at anyone.’

Glikeriya insists the problem is a minority who visit their own prejudices onto entirely innocent and beautiful pictures.

Her portfolio from a remarkable six year ‘career’ is simply astonishing, including Vogue and Armani, yet critics see a dark side with one commentator branding a photo of her in shorts as ‘creepy’ while a male user wrote worryingly: ‘I like it’.

Sitting in a fashionable Uzbek restaurant in the elite Krylatskoe district of Moscow, Glikeriya calmly sought to correct what she sees as the misplaced criticisms of her own motives, and her daughter’s poses.

‘We lived in France when I was expecting Kristina,’ explained Glikeriya, dressed simply in jeans, a pink jumper and Loius Vitton scarf. At the time, her husband played for FC Metz.

‘I went to Moscow to give birth and soon afterwards returned to France, so Kristina was born in Russia,’ she said.

‘Until the age of three we lived in France and I was astonished to see the amount of attention she attracted from people who saw her.

‘In any public place we visited, people just surrounded her and keep repeating ‘Oh, such a sweet child’, ‘look at her’, and similar comments.

‘Kristina really enjoyed such attention but it was only abroad, I am afraid. When we came back to Russia it was a shock for my child.

‘I remember she was sitting in her pram as I pushed her, and she kept smiling to everybody who passed by, but nobody cared. She turned to me with pure shock on her face - what’s wrong?

‘But I knew she was cute and decided to give it a try. I browsed the internet and found the model agency for children with the most attractive and easy to understand website, and sent them Kristina’s photographs.

‘We were invited for a chat and she was added to their database. Her first photo session took place a little before her fourth birthday. When she turned four, we had our first portfolio done.’
I do not accept those accusations about sexualisation of my child
Glikeriya Pimenova

Her ‘career’ exploded as Kristina’s image was demanded both in Russia and worldwide. Her daughter’s Facebook has more than 2.1 million likes, and she has 315,000 followers on Instagram.

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CONTINUES HERE WITH MORE PIX COMMENTS AND VIDEO


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/05/2014 at 02:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyEconomicsEye-CandyFinance and InvestingFamily •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 15, 2014

Life of Pi: A Truly Beautiful Film

We watched Life of Pi last night. Fantastic.

Add this one to the rather short list of magical films. Slightly artsy, beautiful to watch, and an easy enjoyable storyline that makes you consider the infinite. This is an adorable movie, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Life of Pi won several Oscars, a couple BAFTAs, an Academy Award or two, plus a Saturn award from the Sci-Fi/fantasy film folks.

How short is the list? Well, I haven’t seen every film out there, but for modern films my list goes

The Gods Must Be Crazy
Like Water For Chocolate
The Secret Of Roan Innish
Chocolate
The Shipping News
Moonrise Kingdom (just barely)
Don Juan DeMarco (maybe)
Life of Pi

I’m sure there are others. And I’ve probably forgotten several more. But all of these have that special something that makes them sparkle in your heart. They glue you to the screen, and when they’re over you come away happy, thoughtful, and fully satisfied.

I looked it up online, and Life of Pi was supposed to be in 3D. Really? I have a 3D TV set, but we didn’t know, so we didn’t watch it that way. It wasn’t at all necessary, and that special effect shizz might actually be a distraction. But thinking about it, I can see where the 3D stuff would fit in. Big whoop.

It’s in English, although there are versions in other languages out there. Not that you hardly even need the dialogue; you absorb the story right into your skin. Cinematic osmosis.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/15/2014 at 05:06 PM   
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calendar   Sunday - July 06, 2014

sweet sweet steampunk

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Sweet fantasy rides. More pics and some story at this link.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/06/2014 at 04:51 AM   
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calendar   Friday - April 18, 2014

a photo from phlikr

I’m not sure exactly what I was looking for when I landed on Flickr.  That wasn’t my original destination.
But I found this and it took my fancy.
There are three other pix of this from different views.  I liked it, his composition in all his stuff is darn good.

Fog road

Old railroad bridge near sundbylille, Frederikssund, Denmark. The bridge was a part of the never completely finished slangerup railroad. The railroad was completely laid down in 1954.

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David Cartagena


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/18/2014 at 03:15 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - January 23, 2014

the great flood of 2013.

A bit unusual for us but .... caught these very striking black and white photos of recent floods here.  I like Blk & Wht a lot.

Photographer Matilda Temperley

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There’s quite a bit to see and thought they are well worth the time to see.  I have read and I have heard that most really great pictures are like 90% simple luck.
I think Vilmar once told me something like that if not exactly that.  But ... I think the luck part is perhaps being at a certain place you found yourself and something just happened to be going on.  Good photography, really good photography, is having an eye for composition.  And I do not think that can be taught.
Ppl like Vilmar for example, are born with it. They aren’t aware they have some kind of special anything.  I have no eye whatever, so if by chance I get a really good shot, now that my friends truly is .... nothin’ but luck.

There are 29 photos.  I wouldn’t call them spectacular, but they are dramatic as only black and white can make them. 
There’s a rather interesting video titled, Muchelney, the Somerset village turned island by flooding
which is on the facing page at my link.

My link here starts with #3. My mistake so see the first 2 also.  With regard to the first photo.  Please take a close look at the left side. My old eyes don’t see as well as they once did, sad to say. 
What do you folks make of whatever it is on the left.
There seem to be two weird looking sci-fi objects over there, and I really can’t see em well enough to work out what exactly they are.

great flood of 2014

photos from The Telegraph


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/23/2014 at 09:56 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - January 21, 2014

‘It is time – for a Guinness’

Caught this today in morning paper ..... found it of interest.  Nothing else to say about it.


Guinness planned to advertise in Nazi Germany with posters featuring Zeppelins and Swastika flags

Campaign drawn up by company in 1936 - the year of the Berlin Olympics

Pictures featured Berlin stadium with Swastika flags and a Nazi soldier

Guinness’ London office vetoed the plans, but Irish office asked for posters

The artwork, which is now thought to be worth £1.2million, was never used

By Chris Pleasance and Chris Brooke

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These days, it’s known as the quintessential Irish drink and is a firm favourite in British pubs. But Guinness almost faced a very different fate – as the tipple of choice for Nazi Germany.

These draft posters, found by former brewer David Hughes and dating back to 1936, reveal the firm’s planned advertising campaign for the Third Reich.

Drawn by John Gilroy, who produced most of the company’s classic advertising, the collection was produced in 1936, the same year as the Berlin Olympics.

The images, which were never used, include a smiling German soldier holding a pint of stout with the slogan ‘It is time – for a Guinness’.

One picture features a Wehrmacht soldier holding a pint with the caption, ‘It’s time for a Guinness’, while another features toucans with beer glasses balanced on their beaks flying above the Olympic stadium which is draped in Swastika flags.

The paintings are all originals, made using oil on canvas, and would have been used to mass-produce poster copies, but were never actually used.

The images, which are now thought to be worth £1.2million, feature in a new book, Gilroy Was Good For Guinness, written by former Guinness brewer David Hughes.

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In the book is a memo from executives at the drink maker to SH Benson, their longtime advertising partner, which shows that the Irish and London offices did not agree on the campaign.

It says: ‘Dear John. Another hot potato, I’m afraid. This one comes from St James’s Gate [Guinness’s Dublin headquarters], who are busy wooing an importer in Berlin.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Hughes said he believes it is unlikely that Guinness, SH Benson and Gilroy were aware of the true horrors of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

He said: ‘In 1936, people were a bit naïve about Nazi symbolism and what it came to mean.

‘People were starting to believe the Germans were dangerous. Guinness in London did not favour getting into the German market but in Ireland there was a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards Nazi Germany.’

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/21/2014 at 11:58 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - December 18, 2013

gladys cooper, one talented and beautiful english rose, born on this very date in 1888

EYE CANDY from another time.  Sure wish it could come back.

By the time I discovered her as a movie goer and later movies on tv, she was an older woman and often played someone’s auntie or the hard nosed strict head mistress of a school.  It always seemed to me that she was in every single movie ever made in the 1940s’ and a good part of the 50’s. She was a much in demand character actress, and quite believable in every role she played.  Still, she was not a household name but her face would have been familiar to many.  For fans of the Twilight Zone, if you recall the episode of an old woman frightened of death, who was played by Robert Redford, then you’ve seen her. 
Well, quite by accident, I was not looking for her and didn’t even know her name, I found a bunch of photos and was really surprised by what I found.
Am happy to share the treasure. 

GLADYS COOPER, Dec. 18, 1888 - Nov. 1971

Biography
Widely acclaimed as one of the great beauties of the stage, British actress Gladys Cooper had the added advantage of great talent. Daughter of a London magazine editor, she made her stage bow at age 17 in a Colchester production of Bluebell in Fairyland; at 19, she was a member of the “Gaiety Girls,” a famous and famously attractive chorus-girl line. Graduating to leading roles, Cooper was particularly popular with young stage door johnnies; during World War I, she was the British troops’ most popular “pin-up.

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.” Switching from light comedy to deep drama in the 1920s, Cooper retained her following, even when leaving England for extended American appearances after her 1934 Broadway debut in The Shining Hour. She made subsequent New York appearances in Shakespearean roles, thereafter achieving nationwide fame with her many Hollywood film appearances (she’d first acted before the cameras way back in 1911 in a British one-reeler, Eleventh Commandment).

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Cooper was often cast as aristocratic ladies whose sharp-tongued cattiness was couched in feigned politeness; her film parts ranged from Bette Davis’ overbearing mother in Now Voyager (1941) to the hidden murderess in a Universal “B” horror, The Black Cat (1941)
She won her third Oscar nomination for her role as Prof. Henry Higgins’ mother in My Fair Lady (1964), starred as the matriarch of a family of genteel swindlers on the TV series The Rogues (1964), and even found time to co-star with a very young Robert Redford on a 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone.

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/18/2013 at 03:15 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - December 12, 2013

curtain up, Q the orch.

It always happens to me or almost always. I boot for specific reason or reasons. I need to find something lost. I see an email waiting for me from a friend in music, and naturally whatever it was I was originally looking for drops down a slot as I discovered my friend has found something I lost long ago and so sent me a link. Well, what would you do?  I had to go to the link and now my original plan is number three in the que.  In another 30 seconds I forget what my plan or search was for and so abandon all hope of finding my way back. 

At about that point my wife comes through for her morning tea and I stop her and tell her to look at the inside page of one of our papers.  Take a look at London I tell her.  Paper says flights cancelled or diverted and the air lanes are a mess. Late and missed flights etc. All due to London fog.  Ah ha.  That’s where I was when I started.  London fog. I thought the photo and article fairly interesting especially since I could combine the story with music.  ( I was going to post Sinatra’s “Foggy Day in London Town” but on reflection decided I really didn’t like that version much. ) So back on track, right?  Well, not so fast P.
Cos while I grabbed a photo and scrolling for the story I wanted to copy here, hold the phone.  What’s this?  Woo-Hoo and CRIVENS I never saw Dianna Rigg like this before.  I had a major crush on her once.  I think I’m still in love with the memory.
So I got sidetracked again because hey people …. this is a love story. Mine. I had to see what this was about.  So my original story now recalled, once again got put in second place but hey at least it’s back in the game.

It feels like a million years since I saw a stage play.  I rather enjoyed the odd two or three I saw and especially was thrilled many years ago seeing Walter Matthau on stage in DC, in “The Odd Couple.” It later became a TV series.  Now if you looked that up you’d see how long ago it was.  I always had a somewhat passing interest in reading about theaters and plays etc. and read reviews even though I don’t attend.

But this caught my eye and attention.

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Not the greatest or smartest looking photo I’ve seen but she’s still a beauty here, even among the weird looking .... what?  Are they dancers? Whatever they were supposed to be. I don’t think I’d have cared to be in the audience.
Anyway .... this is the next part that came with the photo.  I think I might want the book.

Not all right on the night

In his research for a new book, The National Theatre Story, Daniel Rosenthal found that even star-studded shows don’t go without a hitch. He recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg.

Stage managers are a phlegmatic breed and, if the house style of their nightly show reports at the National Theatre is anything to go by, their sense of humour is bone-dry.

Since 1963, National Theatre actors have given tens of thousands of performances at the Old Vic and on the South Bank, but, with just one performance per run audio or video recorded for archive purposes, only a tiny fraction of these shows endure. For all the rest, the most tangible records are the reports typed up by the stage manager soon after curtain-down, and stored in the NT Archive.

These pro-forma, A4 sheets ( A4 is Brit speak for 8x10) give basic information, including start and finish times for each act, length of interval, details of any absentees and who covered their roles. Sometimes a performance is momentarily brought to life by the section headed “Remarks” or, latterly, “Comments”. Here, stage managers always hope to write “Full house. Clean show. Standing ovation”, and, far more often than not, no problems are noted. But in live theatre it will never be all right every night…

Jumpers (Old Vic, 1972–73)

Stage manager: Jackie Harvey. Cast included Diana Rigg, and a mechanical prop tortoise
Wednesday 23 February 1972 “Fluff from Miss Rigg’s gown caught in her throat early in Act 1 and remained until interval: very painful; affected her voice.”

Tuesday 29 February 1972 “Tortoise head fell off during Act 1. This is the third time that this has happened. Please could the design be changed.”
-end-


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/12/2013 at 04:24 PM   
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calendar   Monday - November 18, 2013

just the thing. house hunting?  here ya go.

This could be yours for £400,000

A mere $644,954.76 USD

Such a bargain. Who-ha.

From the outside it looks like your average semi-detached family home - quiet and unimposing

But house hunters viewing this property had a shock when they stepped inside.

Click the photo here and find out why.

It’s pretty okay, I suppose.  But .....

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/18/2013 at 10:00 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - November 17, 2013

eye candy sunday eve. and art for the more serious minded. lol

Yeah I know. I’ve used her in the past but.  I really like her. And that smile. What I really like a lot is, there isn’t any photoshop and the lines around her beautiful eyes are not hidden. She isn’t an actress or a model either. Just natural woman.  I think she’s another Goddess.
Her name is Charlotte Tilbury, and she’s a world class movie and model makeup artist.

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This is Celine Dion, and before today I had never heard of her. But I liked this blk and wht photo of her.

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OK ... I know the art lovers among you won’t be satisfied unless I also present something to stimulate the ... mind as well as the eye.

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See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/17/2013 at 08:35 PM   
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calendar   Friday - November 15, 2013

something worth looking at

Just couldn’t resist posting this.
I’m a sucker for this kind of photography.

There ya go Drew.  Possible answer to mouse problem.

Owl be seeing you: Adorable moment fluffy owlets take a peek at photographer outside their nest

Incredible pictures feature in National Geographic 2013 photo contest

By Daily Mail Reporter

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This is the adorable moment three fluffy owlets spotted a photographer taking their picture - and tried to get a closer look.

Graham McGeorge had been visiting Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia for two months hoping to spot the young birds.

And one day after the trio’s parents headed out to try and catch food they heard him shuffling around nearby.

Mr McGeorge, who is originally from Scotland but is now living in Jacksonville, Florida, said: ‘It takes just over an hour to get to the swamp and I spent two months there on weekends and travelling up after work.

‘It’s extremely rare to see them because they nest within the trunk and any crevice in the tree is usually made by woodpeckers.

‘The adults are eight to ten inches tall and the owlets much smaller so unless you know where the nest is you won’t see them.

‘They are so elusive they hunt at night so you have to be pretty fortunate to be able to photograph them.

‘Usually people won’t see them until they go to start flying but both parents were away from nest so when they heard me they got really inquisitive.

‘I happily waited for a long time watching them poke their heads out every 30 or 40 minutes intervals. It was fascinating behaviour to be able to witness.’

MORE PHOTOS HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/15/2013 at 04:39 PM   
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calendar   Sunday - November 03, 2013

ART VALUED AT A BILLION DOLLARS FOUND IN GERMANY

No doubt this will be in tomorrow’s paper, and wow. Watch for a movie on this one.  Maybe it’s just my own intense interest in this era and its history, and the wow factor of this fellow living so long ghost like.

Gurlitt has managed to survive his entire life without any official bank account, pension or insurance.

When stopped by customs, extensive checks found that he was not registered with the police - mandatory in Germany - the tax authorities or social services.  He drew no pension and had no health insurance.

‘He was a man who didn’t exist,’ said one official.

When you read the article below, do you get the same feeling I did which was; they were waiting for this guy.  Somehow, in spite of the explanation about routine checks, after all these years of traveling and selling the art works, was this the very first time he went from Switzerland back to Germany and ran into a check?  And on this occasion alone he showed himself to be nervous and so caught the attention of authorities?
Could just be me.  But I think he was grassed. I really do.

One thing is certain though.  This is one hell of a major art find.  This stuff was all reported lost in the bombing of Dresden.  But it has to be his if his father bought them originally.  OK, granted.  The sellers were trying to get the hell of Germany. They were Jews running from the Nazis.  His father bought at fire sale prices. He was unprincipled, some would even say he was worse then scum since he was part Jewish himself. The fact remains however, he paid and in some cases traded escape for paintings. If he hadn’t, the owners might all be dead. So ... this last surviving son owns them. Perhaps.
Like, if the original owners or any family members don’t come forward.... ???  He’ll have one hell of a tax bill tho and maybe even jail.

Read it all and see what you think.

1,593,600,000.00 USD

£1billion art collection seized by Nazis found in shabby Munich apartment: Experts believed 1,500 pictures by artists including Picasso, Renoir and Matisse had been destroyed by RAF raids

More than 1,500 paintings found including pieces by Picasso and Matisse
Collector Hildebrandt Gurlitt ordered for them to be destroyed in 1945
But in a routine search on a train from Switzerland to Germany, his son was caught with 9,000 euros cash earned from an illicit art deal
Officials searched his small rented apartment in Munich and found the art
Experts claim most were acquired from Jews in exchange for escape

By Allan Hall

A treasure trove of artworks worth almost £1billion seized by the Nazis and reportedly destroyed in RAF bombing raids during WW2 has been found behind rotting food in shabby apartment in Munich.

Experts have hailed the discovery of the 1,500 pictures, thought to have been lost or bombed, as a sensational find.

The story of the lost masterpieces of such painters as Pablo Picasso, Renoir, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall is revealed in this week’s edition of Germany’s Focus magazine which broke the story of the incredible find by customs officials.

Art historians examining the collection claim up to 300 of the Gurlitt collection appeared in a Nazi exhibition called Degenerate Art - displaying what they deemed to be poor.

The rest were bought at ‘shamefully’ low prices from Jews in exchange for an escape route out of the country.

One of the paintings is a portrait of a woman by the French master Matisse that belonged in the collection of the Jewish connoisseur Paul Rosenberg, who had to leave behind his collection before his escape from Paris when the country fell in 1940.

His granddaughter Anne Sinclair, the wife of disgraced former top banker Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been fighting for decades for the return of his pictures stolen by the Nazis, but according to Focus she ‘knew nothing’ of the existence of this painting.

It was found, alongside around 1,500 other pieces, in the Aladdin’s Cave behind a wall of tins of beans and fruit in the decrepit flat of loner Cornelius Gurlit in the Munich suburb of Schwabing. 

This artwork by some of the giants of the 19th and 20th centuries was deemed ‘degenerate’ by the provincially-minded Nazi hierachy, stolen from collectors - many of them Jewish - and ordered to be shut away by Hitler and his henchmen.

Other works discovered in the flat are by Emil Nolde, Franz Marc, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Liebermann.

The astonishing story of their recovery is like the plot from a thriller.

Dealer Hildebrandt Gurlitt had acquired the paintings and sketches in the 1930s and 40s for a pittance from terrified Jews and reported them all to be destroyed at the war’s end during the ferocious bombing of Dresden.

Nothing was known about the collection until September 2010, almost 100 years later, when customs carried out a routine check on a train from Switzerland.

Stopping his sole surviving son - who had never worked and who had no visible means of income - they discovered he had an envelope containing 9,000 euros in cash, and a stash of empty envelopes.

Many wealthy Germans deposit money illegally in Switzerland to evade high taxation rates on their savings in their homeland and such checks on people are commonplace.

He appeared nervous and the officials issued a search warrant for his £600-a-month rented flat.  It was entered in the spring of 2011 and the paintings discovered.  But, controversially, customs slapped a ban on information about the raid.

Ever since, art historians have been trying to find the heirs to the sketches, oil paintings, charcoals, lithographs and watercolours around the world while prosecutors pursue tax evasion charges against Gurlitt who sold artworks off piece-meal over the years to live on.

One painting by Max Beckmann - The Lion Tamer - he hawked at the Cologne auction house of Lempertz for nearly £750,000 shortly before the collection was seized.

The recovered works are now in a security wing of Bavarian customs in Garching near Munich where a team of experts are trying to find the heirs to the rightful owners.  ‘This is a sensational find,’ said a spokesman for German Customs.  ‘A true treasure trove. It is an incredible story.’

The collection has meant that Gurlitt has managed to survive his entire life without any official bank account, pension or insurance.

When stopped by customs, extensive checks found that he was not registered with the police - mandatory in Germany - the tax authorities or social services.  He drew no pension and had no health insurance.

‘He was a man who didn’t exist,’ said one official.

When his apartment was entered investigators discovered a mountain of past sell-by date of tinned and bottled food. Behind the decomposing food, next to a barred window, were found the missing artworks.

But behind-the-scenes, owners of paintings, many of them Jewish, were being forced to sell them at rock-bottom prices to art dealers in exchange for an escape to safer countries.

Gurlitt is a name well-known to art aficionados, a family who once catered to the elite of the German art collecting scene. Hildebrand Gurlitt was among the most respected art historians in Germany by the time the Nazis came to power in 1933.

He was a champion of modern art - and therefore, initially, hated by the Nazis.  He was relieved of museum directorial posts by the regime and also persecuted because of his Jewish grandmother.  But the Nazis also needed him because no-one had the contacts within Nazi Germany - and outside - that he had with collectors.

He was tasked by Goebbels personally with ‘versilbern’ - turning into cash - the degenerate artworks of the Jews for the regime. He did this with some zeal and was rewarded by being offered the future post of director of the ‘super’ museum of art that Hitler planned to open in Linz, Austria, where he had once lived.

Gurlitt acquired ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of artworks at knock-down prices, according to Focus.  After the Nazi’s Degenerate Art exhibition, he took control of some of the exhibits too.

At the end of the war Guirlitt said the firebombing of Dresden in February 1945 had destroyed his collection at the family home in Kaitzer Strasse.

His Jewish roots and his initial disfavour with Nazism made him, in the eyes of the Allies, a victim not a persecutor and he was never charged with fleecing Jews out of selling their collections for pennies.  He carried on dealing in art until 1956 when he was killed in a car crash.

It wasn’t until his son was stopped on the train three years ago that the secret of his collection was revealed. 

‘But we were stunned with what we found. From floor to ceiling, from bedroom to bathroom, were piles and piles of old food in tins and old noodles, much of it from the 80’s.

‘And behind it all these pictures worth tens, hundreds of millions of euros.’

Focus reported that investigators later found a bank savings book of Cornelius Gurlitt with half-a-million euros on deposit in it, the fruits of his sale of the artwork over the years.

Ironically, although Gurlitt faces jail for tax evasion and money laundering, many of the paintings could be returned to him if their rightful heirs are not found. 

LOST AND FOUND ART SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/03/2013 at 04:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
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