Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Thursday - August 11, 2011

A few days off

Not going to be much posting from me for the next couple of days. I’ve got a window job on a good sized house, and then I have a pair of doors to install. And my usual Sunday work of course. Good thing I spent half of today in the kitchen cooking. Chicken curry, meat sauce, several nice quiches. I’m set.

So here you go ... something to keep you occupied ... majorly clicky clicky but still SFW ...

image image

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Hey, it can’t be redheads all the time ya know. Sometimes it’s a blonde, sometimes you just have to wing it.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/11/2011 at 09:04 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyEye-Candyplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobileswork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - July 01, 2011

photos around the neighborhood

Earlier today, the wife insisted I let her show me the fields across the road at the end of our street.  There are four or five large farm fields, generally hidden behind the trees and hedges and vegetation that grows along both sides of a main road leading into Winchester.
At different spots as you drive you can spot a crop of some kind but folks don’t sight see on this road.  Well, as it happens there is one little space where we can pull a car into and get out safely.  Perhaps in normal times I might have walked it as it’s only a couple of minutes away.  At first I wasn’t keen because I guess I’ve gotten lazy, and must face that truth.  But honestly the back was acting up slightly and it showed itself in my left knee. How’s that for weird?
I’m glad I got off my butt though because the view was really nice and but for her I wouldn’t have thought to bring my camera.

There are four or five large fields growing FLAX.

The wife took this shot.

So after that she said she wanted to do a loop around our area and our village to see a particular field that grows something different almost every year.
But we had to drive in some pretty tight places to get there.


I am always nervous driving on these cart tracks, and that’s exactly what they were originally. A one horse cart track. Most of these roads weren’t even paved till after the 2nd War.  We had no place to back up to where we could pull over, so that car you see here backed up about a quarter mile to a small spot used for just that purpose.


We were just tooling around our back garden in a manner of speaking.  All of this is right on our doorstep. In fact, some of it is right outside our front door.
There are some things about this politically nutty place we would really miss.


Well, as I said. I was merely along for the ride and she did find the field she wanted to see.  However, there wasn’t anything to see. At least, not at that place. But there was at this.  It caught our eye and our breath and I wish I could have taken better photos.

Poppies.  And yes. That kind of Poppy.  As in, medicinal.  The lighter colored poppies are actually Opium poppies and are grown under license for medical use.  They are a good cash crop for the farmer and the program has only been introduced here recently.


The red poppies are wild.  Poppy seed can stay in the ground for as long as 20 years until conditions are suitable for it to grow.  So we never know where or when we’ll see them and have bad luck trying to grow the reds in our garden.  Sometimes we get one lonely flower.



Don’t seem to have a lot of luck with morning glories either.
One year we were flush with them, as shown here, and then the next we couldn’t get any to thrive.
One year we seemed to have the snail and slug problem under control, and it seemed after that everything went to flower hell where we couldn’t control them at all.


The sky has gone back and forth between bright sun and blue skies to dark grey clouds every minute or two all day long.

I can’t believe I’ve spent the better part of an afternoon re-sizing and cropping and posting these few photos.  Time seems to fly. Or is that just something we discover with age?


For now, from me, that’s all for today. As always, Stay Tuned.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/01/2011 at 08:23 AM   
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calendar   Monday - June 06, 2011

Chilean volcano erupts

You might be watching this on TV but I’m posting it anyway ... Mother Nature.
Watch, now the planet savers led my Mr Bore will add this to their catalog of of doomsday predictions.


When all hell breaks loose: Lightning tears the sky apart above the glow of the Chilean volcano

Last updated at 1:04 PM on 6th June 2011

Flames reach up to the heavens as lightning flashes criss-cross the sky.

These extraordinary images show the full force of Mother Nature as a Chilean volcano erupts for the first time in 50 years.

Ash has been thrown six miles up into the sky and the South American government has ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Winds fanned the ash toward neighbouring Argentina, darkening the sky in the ski resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche, in the centre of the country, and its airport has also been closed.


Bunch of spectacular time lapse photos and story HERE


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/06/2011 at 08:26 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - April 27, 2011

photography and awesome technology.

Wow!  Now this really blows me away although no doubt some of you have either seen it already, or are very much aware of the technology. (Drew?)

I’d love to be able to to take a photo and make it like the one with the fellow and newspaper. I’m impressed so don’t burst my bubble. I like bubbles.

Take a look, and there are more at the link of course. Just click the photo below.

Have you ever seen a photo move? Artists develop amazing cinemagraphs that take ‘stills’ to the next level

Last updated at 10:11 AM on 27th April 2011

It is, in their own words, ‘something more than a photo but less than a video’.

Two artists have created a new way to to record your special moments - pictures with movement.

The ‘cinemagraphs’ look like still photos but actually feature a subtle area of movement designed to grab your eye and keep you looking. The effect is slightly eerie - but utterly captivating.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/27/2011 at 05:47 AM   
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calendar   Monday - April 18, 2011

why I don’t fashion blog

Maybe I should just put it down to a major Generation Gap?

This is Jennifer Lawrence, she of the simple stretchy red dress from the Oscars ...


I think she’s very pretty, and I think the outfit looks nice. It has a bit of class, though it isn’t complex. The wrap dress has great texture and the colors are springtime warm. Maybe it’s a little high-waisted for someone so young (she’s 20) but I don’t follow fashion so I try to make allowances. Don’t ask about the bird. I think it’s a tie in to some movie she was in.

Picture from Teen Vogue via celebitchy.

On the other hand, under the fold is another magazine cover featuring a slightly younger actress on the cover, Emily Browning. She’s nearly as pretty, but in a spunkier way. And the outfit? (eye roll) (sigh) (double eye roll). Horry clap. I think this is the kind of vengeance young women wish on the other woman when they find their boyfriend has been messing around. IMO, it’s worse than meeting Prince Charming with creme bleach on your upper lip, raging pink eye, and yesterday’s broccoli stuck in your teeth. Has she been a very very naughty girl, to deserve such punishment? Because, understanding as I try to be, I doubt that I could avoid laughing in her face if I saw her in public in this get up. Especially if I looked down. Fashion? No, this comes under the cruel and unusual category.

But I probably have it all bass ackwards; J. Lawrence is probably wearing the frumpiest horror ever, and E. Browning is “fierce” and “cutting edge”. Which is why I avoid this stuff.

Pics and links originally from the Fug Girls.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/18/2011 at 09:41 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - April 12, 2011

The Forgotten Man

Probably the most thoughtful artwork you’ll see today.


A visit to Jon McNaughton’s website will show this image. If you put your cursor over the image, the name of that President will pop up.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 04/12/2011 at 07:07 AM   
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calendar   Monday - April 04, 2011


I didn’t dislike her on the one hand, but was never a fan on the other. In fact, I never did understand all the fuss made about her supposed beauty.

I’m referring to the late Elizabeth Taylor. 

Soon after her death, the Mail started running a serialized bio, excerpts from a new book.  Truth to tell, I found it very interesting. I didn’t think I would at first, but you know how those things work.  They catch ya with a headline and you start reading and pretty soon you’re into the story.

The papers here run stories that cover both open pages and huge photos and the intent of course is impact.  The type is pretty small though, so I often can’t go through all of something at one sitting and so I go back later. Usually though I forget it.

Well, this week the papers here published a photo of her never seen (they all said) before.  There was no way to avoid it and talk about impact.

I’m guessing, probably correctly, that many of you have already seen the only nude (so it’s claimed) taken of her. For those who haven’t, it’s pretty darn good.
And she was I suppose better looking then I gave credit for but hold on.

Still no Angela Landsbury or Ann Margaret at the same age, imho.


See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2011 at 12:14 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - April 02, 2011

Loss of Local Color

I saw in the newspaper today that the last movie theater in our county closed for good last night. Movie theaters - a good idea who’s time has gone?

Once upon a time in the land of far away and long ago, the little town I grew up in (pop about 10K then, 32K now) had two movie theaters downtown. We also had 5 grocery stores; all but one of those is long gone. I remember being in the balcony of one of the movie theaters, to see Dean Jones in That Darn Cat, which tells you how young I was then and how old I am now. They closed the balcony area shortly thereafter for “safety” reasons. Two decades later one of the places converted to a duo-plex, and the other one soon went out of business. A few years later and the other theater followed suit. The duo-plex was reopened a few years later and I think it’s still in business. I haven’t been in either one of those places since the very early 80s, so I can’t speak to their interiors, but my childhood memory of them has big cushy seats in it, and a Panavision screen that must have been 80 feet wide. With a power operated curtain 2 stories tall that opened and closed for each showing.

When I was in college up in Binghamton NY there were two in the area that were kept open via federal arts grants. The one in Johnson City was huge, one of those massive plush and gilt relics from days gone by. I bet it had 500 seats. We’d go there to watch second run films on the cheap, and usually have almost the whole place to ourselves. The other smaller theater went the art house route, and did a decent weekend business that way, but I don’t think they were open more than 3 days a week.

Up in the town of Washington here there is another old time movie house, another of those gold paint and red velvet plush places from the past. They were closed for many years, but reopened a few years back. I haven’t been in there either, but I see the marquee every week and know that they run 3 or 4 films at a time. Whether that means multiple showings, or that they’ve cut the place into a bunch of mini-theaters, I don’t know.

The rise of the multi-plex was both good and bad for movie theaters. Good in that they could offer the customer so much more choice. Bad in that almost all of them did it on the cheap, and the partitioning of the grand old giant arenas into many smaller rooms resulted in bare concrete floors, raw walls painted black, and terribly small and uncomfortable rows of seats that had built in cup holders in the arm rests that made them unusable. And then they set the sound level to Deafen Everyone. Worse, they lost the giant projection screens, and with that they lost the magic. Panavision and CinemaScope are long dead*. Films are shot these days with an eye on showing them on standard television with it’s nearly square format. There is some hope with the ascent of HDTV; films can once again be shot in a bit of wide angle.

But that same HDTV is hammering the last couple nails into the coffin of movie theaters. The outrageous ticket price is another handful of nails, along with the knowledge that whatever film you’re going out to see now will be available either on disc or on download for just a dollar or two in less than 90 days.

Let’s ignore for today that the vast majority of modern movies have been total crap that aren’t even worth the one dollar disc rental.  Our local small business video store closed 5 years ago. The Blockbuster in the strip mall at the other end of town closed last year. With delivery venues like Netflix and Red Box, who needs them? It’s easier to just click a mouse and visit your mailbox a few days later. Now even that is going away; just click your mouse and start watching the film right now. What you can’t get On Demand from your cable TV company you can download from the internet; some of the TV’s being built today hook up directly and you don’t even have to figure out how to wire in the computer.

So we sit in our homes and watch films on our really large wide screen TV sets, with our own surround sound multi-channel stereos. And the movie theaters die. And we lose the community event, the polite public gathering, the shared iteration of being part of a culture, that was going out to the movies. Sad.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/02/2011 at 09:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyDaily LifeHollywood •  
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calendar   Monday - February 21, 2011

Czech It Out

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I get all kinds of unusual emails here at BMEWS. A few weeks back I got a letter from this punk rock group in the Czech Republic. “We really like your graphic. Can we use it for our new album?” Sure, I replied, but most of the graphics at BMEWS are borrowed from somewhere else, so try and find the original owner and get their permission.

Today they write back again and send links, and point out that I got credit on the back of the CD cover. Awesome! BMEWS goes multinational! So I check out his link. And I find


This graphic started showing up about 3 years ago. But I didn’t draw it. The above punk band, Laxní Přístup ( which means LAX access ), does give credit on their album liner to “Angry Mobs”. So they’re trying. But the artist is actually one Peter Clarke, who also does photography. He has a page over at Deviant Art and drew “Angry Mob” almost 4 years ago to the day, as part of his collection of doodles called “Little People”.


I don’t have a clue what the guys in Laxní Přístup are singing about. They have a home page where you can download their album for free, including the graphics. Those are also up online, with the lyrics. So at least they aren’t making money off of Clarke’s creation ... though I have seen T-shirts for sale with variations of that image on them elsewhere. Their album, Kdo s Koho?, translates as Who was Who?. It’s pure punk, with a lean towards heavy metal. I like track 2 the best, Doba Temna, which translates as Time of Darkness. Several other songs show decent potential ... but I’m not really into post-millennial punk.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/21/2011 at 12:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyMusic •  
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calendar   Saturday - February 19, 2011

In which …. the wife and I visit a pub in Crawley, Hampshire, Eng. The Fox and Hounds

The day after Valentine’s day, the wife and I revisited a pub we hadn’t been to in a couple of years. Only approx. five miles away from us, I don’t know why we hadn’t made the effort to go back sooner. Could have been the prices which then were fairly high. It was a last minute thought to go out for lunch HERE.


I know I have too many photos here, and believe it or not, I did a lot of editing and culling before posting these to share with everyone. The village of Crawley is so darn pretty and so peaceful looking, it really was hard to resist not putting in everything. Even the bad pix.

There is more then one Crawley, England. This one is in the county of Hampshire, AND, it is recorded in The Doomsday Book. (The Domesday Book is a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror to assess the extent of the land and resources being owned in England at the time, and the extent of the taxes he could raise. The information collected was recorded by hand in two huge books, in the space of around a year. William died before it was fully completed.) Crawley has one main street and one other side street. There are no convenience stores and the FOX and HOUNDS Pub is it for lunch and dinners.  There is one ancient church, St. Mary’s Church.

To own a home in Crawley takes some doing. First of all, you won’t see many listings.  There isn’t any new building going on and hopefully there won’t be but with the push for homes in the “affordable range,” who can predict the future?
Crawley is in what is called “The Stockbrokers Belt.” These are VERY costly homes. 

In the spring, many of these houses open their gardens for public viewing with all proceeds going to various charities.  Some of those gardens are nothing short of spectacular. And please note that in this flower and garden mad country, the gardens are NOT designed by professionals.  Folks here take a great deal of pride in their home designed and worked gardens.  A late friend of my wife’s mom with an eye for flowers and all things growing, worked her place even when she was using a walker.  Up the road from us in a small area of a few houses, I once saw an old lady with oxygen working her patch. No kidding. These people are very serious on the subject.


Unfortunatley, some of my pix, in fact most, were not taken in the spring or summer. I took all these photos a few years ago when the wife took us (her mum was still living and able to get out with help, to lunch here.

I took a walk around the place and even went a bit outside the village itself to shoot a house we passed on the way into the village.  It reminded me of a Shakespearian kind of house and frankly it even looked like it could be haunted.  So after the wife found parking, I walked back to the place and up a hill to reach it.  Wasn’t long before I was stopped by someone asking me why I was taking photos here.
I told em because there were no places like this in the California desert. That seemed to allay any fears I was casing the place. Which in any even looked then and still looks today, uninhabited.

Crawley today looks exactly as it did when I first saw the place about 25 years ago.  But the Fox and Hounds has changed hands even since I have been here (2004), and I can’t say it’s as good as it was on the visit when these pix were shot a few years ago.  Only two choices for salad dressing, and no menus in hard copy. Had to order from written posts on blackboard.  You can see it at the link above. The waitress said their new menus were being printed. Used to be the things posted were items that weren’t all on the menu. Still, there is something I’m going back to try. But if disappointed again we won’t return. Frustrating however not to be able to have Blue Cheese Dressing. And their tarter sauce was not at all to our taste.  It tasted like it had too much vinegar, and the wife’s scallops were she says, like something left too long in the freezer.  It’s the second pub outing for us where the tarter was more like, like, ?  I can’t even think of an example.  I’m sure there are folks who like it, we didn’t.  Next time I have a meal out where tarter is needed, instead I’ll ask for a side of Mayo and a Lemon.  That works okay for me.

Having said all of that, I want to go back and try their Mushroom Stroganoff.  But no salad. Even if it comes with it. Which I doubt. They still bring fresh hot bread to the table, with enough (real) butter to cover only half of what they bring to table.  Wife says what with the big brother attitudes here on health, we we lucky to get any butter to begin with. And maybe that’s why there wasn’t any Blue Cheese.

OK, enough of that. Here are my photos and welcome all to Crawley, Hants.  That’s the abbreviation for Hampshire.

It’s named The Pond House.


And for very inexplicable reasons, I don’t think I ever got more then this one shot in the summer. Or maybe one or two.
I hate the spring and summers for photos cos there’s always too damn many ppl around to spoil the scenery.


Here are a few of the homes to be seen in this village.


This ppl is a Victorian water tower.  I guess they thought a water tank was unsightly and so this was their answer.






a Shakespearian kind of house and frankly it even looks like it could be haunted. It’s about a quarter mile before coming to the Pond at the village start. I thought a half mile. Wife says quarter mile. Since I had to walk uphill, I originally thought it felt like a mile.



All houses shown here btw ... are on the main street of the village. There are other houses tucked away in places you can not go.  The lady who helps my wife do things in our little patch that wife can’t do anymore, does some work in the summer evenings helping an owner who she says has a huge house here, not seen from any road and behind walls and gate. She describes it as massive.


I call it Crawley’s White House and in the summer, you can’t even see it when everything is in bloom in the front.


See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/19/2011 at 07:11 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - February 01, 2011

a few more photos and good night all ….

Looking at the weather thingy and seeing 26 degrees for NJ, I decided to post s few spring shots I got close to home.

Sadly, the apple trees, all of them, were cut down when the barbaric new neighbors moved in and torn down the 20’s cottage next door. Every tree and all the fruit producing trees, gone. There was one tree I’d never seen or heard of before. It had something that looked like and was the size of a cherry. But not the dark red kind you think of when you see the word cherry. This was lighter in color, and didn’t taste anything like a cherry.  It tasted like a ripe plum. But it wasn’t. A good portion of it overlapped on our side for years and years and years. And a beautiful mountain ash. Great shade tree.  Gone.

Anyway, one day long before that house was even on the market, I was taken with the blossoms and thought it would make for a pleasing photo.

Here’s an example of what’s now gone forever. Vandals. Barbarians.


Drove to a village (Wherwell) a few miles from us. All of them old and a river runs right through it. Ancient village church that ppl still attend. Really nice place but very expensive. BTW ... you can be pretty sure that the upstairs floor in this place is no longer level. It would surprise me greatly if it was, because in visiting some other old places like this but from inside, when trying to walk across the floor upstairs, you were still climbing just going from one side of the room to the other.
Notice how small those windows are and how few.  Most of the houses in the village are medieval.  There are strict rules that apply as to what you may or may not do re. painting or alterations.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/01/2011 at 02:40 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - January 26, 2011

some stupid stuff and a couple of nice photos and my usual anger.

One of those icy chill days, haven’t seen the sun in ... ?  Which is ok cos I can see photos of it if need be.
Also a pretty dull and boring day with lots I could post I guess.  Another case of some slime ball rapist who managed the system so well he collected thousands for wrongful arrest after raping a woman. Then when he got into trouble again and was let loose guess what he did. Yeah. And his victim was a five year old girl. He also tried to kill her but failed and when found in a pool of her blood, he wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Hang on, I forgot, he got 12 years for the little girl rape, came out after serving 6, and did it again to another victim.
You can see why Peiper is perpetually pissed off.  What has prison taught this low life EVIL SHIT! If you want to see the whole sorry mess that passes for a justice system.  I don’t go out looking for those things. Not my idea of fun reading. But it’s pretty damn hard to ignore when it’s in your face. And it’s sickening.

Then there are stupidities like this article although not in the same league as the previous.
Apparently, millions upon millions of dollars, the paper says TENS of millions, have been spent on initiatives that are forcing organizations to PROVE that they are not discriminating against minorities.  Imagine that. This falls under the new “equality legislation.”
Read this.  Government accused of wasting millions on bizarre equality drives

I can’t imagine how the following might work. If you were your doctor’s only patient, perhaps between tea breaks it might work. So are you supposed to wait by your computer for a reply and how long?  Take a look at this. A reminder that over here, a doctor’s surgery is an office. Not a place where surgery is performed.

Patients could be told to email their doctor after assessing their symptoms at home rather than visiting in person, under proposals to free up GP’s surgeries.
Wouldn’t that be dangerous? But on the bright side, the fall out may well keep lawyers in high cotton. Ya think?

A school in Exeter, Eng. has sent a 13 year old boy home informing him that his hair was cut too short. He would only be allowed back if he sat in an Exclusion Zone. Does that beat all? In another case at the same school, they made another boy wear a wig because his hairstyle was “unsuitable.”
It probably was seeing some of the ridiculous things some kids think are cool. But hair too short?  Unfortunately, no photos provided by the paper so who knows? But how can hair be too short for school?

A mugger has demanded that prison authorities compensate him for a lost games console worth about $1500, because it was lost when they transfered him to solitary for bad behavior. They didn’t allow him to collect all his property before the transfer. He’s suing.

There is sooooooo much more I could add but will end this with news for the USA, for a change.

A very large company (SERCO) here in the UK, with interests in it seems, everything, and who btw collects our trash every week, runs trains and prisons and god only knows what else, is in a two billion dollar bid to run US security giant, SRA International.
I just thought it interesting.

Here are a couple of photos I shot in calm weather during summer. Sort of helps and I get to share scenes of the area we live in. This being only a few miles away. Six to be closer to the truth.

The photos were shot on Stockbridge Downs overlooking the village which you can’t see much of in these pix. Lilly Langtry visited the village spending some time with a married man who at the time just happened to be The King of England. Somewhere in my files I have the pix of their meeting place in Stockbridge. Very pretty.




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/26/2011 at 09:43 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - January 20, 2011

The Death of Art

Or conversely, the art of death? Something like that. “performance art” reaches new lows in the UK, sensationalizing physical and moral putrescence. Peiper has noted this several times before. We have it here in the USA as well. Deranged members of the unwashed far left bring out pieces of “shock art” in attempts to hammer their way past the shield of inurement so many of us have developed in response to the overstimulation of the modern world. But it doesn’t seem to be done to remind us of our humanity. No, it is not done to refresh our awareness of pain, hurt, depravity, or the more rancid aspects of the natural world. Were that the reason, perhaps I could be more accepting. From everything that I can see, this crap is done just to glorify horror and evil, and to add darkness to our lives. Then they look down their noses at us plebes when we call a spade a spade and label their trash as the trash it is: no, it’s art, they say. You’re just so uncool and simple you can’t realize it. Balderdash!

Here are two examples. I am NOT running the pictures, they are at the links. Consider this an open thread and have your say: maybe Peiper and I are old sticks in the mud, and we can’t see past the poop to see the wonder within. Illuminate us with your erudite elucidations if that is how you see it; change us for the better if you can. But I promise that task won’t be easy. My definition of art is that which adds beauty/glory/perfection to the world; that which enhances the human experience and brings us one small step closer to the angels. You’ve got your work cut out for you if you feel you can argue me into accepting that toasting a loose bowel movement on a pink painted waffle iron is art enough of any kind to enhance anything other than my disgust. But have at it if you will.

PS - in both our countries a very large part of things like these are publicly funded. So it’s your tax money at work; art for our own good I guess, brought to us plebes by our betters.

Instance One:

New Production of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni features gang rapes done by actors wearing Christ T-shirts

A new version of Don Giovanni which includes a gang rape by a group of masked men wearing Jesus Christ t-shirts was today causing a storm in the West End. Critics accused producers of going ‘too far’ - and have been accused of trying to be sensationalist to attract a younger audience. The English National Opera (ENO) production which contains two rape scenes has been described by a reviewer as ‘brutal, ugly and crawl’. [typo for cruel?]

Lothario, played by Iain Paterson, is charactarised as a ‘seedy rapist’ in the production - rather than a selfish seducer of woman. But producers of the 18th century opera by Mozart said today they were ‘pushing the barriers of what opera can be’. The show which is courting controversy at London’s Coliseum is the first by Rufus Norris - a producer who has previously worked as a theatre director.

Oliver Condy, editor of BBC Music, today accused the ENO of using the rape scenes to boost audiences. ‘Don Giovanni is a shocking opera about a man who treats woman in a disgusting fashion. There is no point shying away from it and giving the audience a sanitised version,’ he told The Sunday Telegraph.

Comments by two normal patrons of the arts:

“These scenes are fleeting and hardly register dramatically in one’s mind. Of far more importance was it’s artistic vacuity. Mozart mush be spinning in his grave. The quality of the lead Iain Patterson was disappointing (to say the least), but Katherine Broderick’s execrable Act 2 aria caused theatre-wide titters after Giovanni’s ribald “Brilliant’. Not since ‘the making of the representative of planet 8’ has so much effort been expended to such risible effect. The climax was embarrassingly naff - a genuine bore. We’d discussed leaving at the interval, I wish we’d done so.”

“Filth, sensationalism and being offensive is what these ‘sophisticated artistic’ types resort to to disguise their lack of talent and creativity.”

Instance Two:

The Damien Hirst exhibit where thousands of maggots mature into flies… and then feast on abandoned barbecue

His controversial art has included a pickled shark, a rotting cow and a human skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds

But Damien Hirst’s latest installation, on display at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, may be his most skin-crawling to date.

Let’s Eat Outdoors Today features a perspex box in which thousands of flies plague an abandoned barbecue. ["perspex" is English for “plastic” or “Lucite™"] The piece is divided in two with one side featuring maggots lying in trays on a barbecue while they slowly develop in to flies. In the other side, linked to the first by a small hole, four perspex chairs sit around a table laid for a roast chicken meal complete with beer and wine.

Ominously for the thousands of inhabitants of the sculpture, there is also a large fly-zapping machine that electrocutes them if they make contact.

It is the controversial 45-year-old’s contribution to the Academy’s Modern British Sculpture Exhibition which opens this weekend. In an email exchange with the sculptor Keith Wilson, who has co-curated the Royal Academy exhibition, Hirst explained the thinking behind the exhibit, which he originally devised in 1990.

He said: ‘I was thinking about how we all avoid dirt, but we all ultimately go back into dirt. I was very interested in how we were trying to isolate the horror from our lives and remove it.”

Let’s Eat Outdoors Today follows on from Hirst’s previous work A Thousand Years. This featured maggots hatching into flies that feed on a severed cow’s head. The insects are then fried by another fly-killer.

Follow the link for other examples of Hirst’s bizarre fixation with death, including a whole zebra floating in formaldehyde, and a dead lamb encased in plexiglass.
Comments one True Believer:

Hirst is the modern day equivalent of Michaelangelo. He inspires millions and his latest piece is surely the greatest work of art in the 21st century.

To which I respond, “Crack is whack!”, as does this other fuddy-duddy:
Leonardo would spin in his grave at this puerile rubbish. The world is MAD!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/20/2011 at 03:28 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - December 10, 2010

Flying Art

Not sure what art category to put this one in. Art Deco, Streamline Moderne? I don’t think Bauhaus or Craftsman fits, but the shape of this lovely creature is so 1930’s it has to be in one of them. Art history majors, here’s your chance to flex that 4.0 GPA.

de Havilland DH-88 Comet


Go back in time about 80 years. Give a boy who is nuts about “aeroplanes” a pencil and have him draw you a racing plane. After he zips out a picture of a stubby Gee Bee, specify non-radial engines and a stable fuselage. And within a minute or two, this is what you would get. Like the Supermarine Spitfire that was to come along a few years later, this is the shape that I think is genetically programmed into boy’s minds of what airplanes ought to look like. Fast. Sleek. Deadly. Possibly a bit phallic. But elegant, if not particularly practical.

The de Havilland DH.88 Comet was a twin-engined British aircraft that won the 1934 MacRobertson Air Race [England to Australia], a challenge for which it was specifically designed. It set many aviation records during the race and afterwards as a pioneer mail plane.

This Comet was one of those transition aircraft, built out of wood and covered in linen and varnish, yet equipped with powerful engines and modern flight equipment. And a gigantic gas tank: the Comet had a range of nearly 3000 miles. Sure, it only went 250mph, but it flew at that speed all day long on a tank of fuel.


The airframe consisted of a wooden skeleton clad with spruce plywood, with a final fabric covering on the wings. A long streamlined nose held the main fuel tanks, with the low set central two-seat cockpit forming an unbroken line to the tail. The engines were essentially the standard Gipsy Six used on the Express and Dragon Rapide passenger planes, tuned for best performance with a higher compression ratio. The propellers were two-position variable pitch, manually set to fine before takeoff and changed automatically to coarse by a pressure sensor. The main undercarriage retracted upwards and backwards into the engine nacelles. The DH.88 could maintain altitude up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m) on one engine.

Three Comets were built and entered in the MacRobertson race. After the Grosvenor House, the red craft shown above, won that race, two more were built. The de Havilland company tried to interest governments in the design as a fighter, but to no real avail. The airplanes were sold off and saw service as airmail carriers.

It’s a lovely plane, but the shortcomings are beyond obvious. The engines and the simple 2 angle, 2 bladed propellers are far too small. The pilot sits behind a gigantic gas tank. The nose is so long that forward visibility is just about non-existent; my guess is that flying along about 5 miles up, the pilot could only see the ground 25 miles in front of him. Takeoffs and landings would be totally blind.

But it’s gorgeous. And a few years later, when WWII broke out, the de Havilland company took that same design, stretched it out, blew out the engine nacelles and put some real horsepower in there, stuck on some proper multi-bladed variable pitch propellers, reversed the landing gear pivot, and put the pilot up in front where he ought to be. And created the Mossie, the Mosquito, one of the most effective, fast, and nimble fighter bombers of the whole war.


I never thought you could actually see nimble, but the picture above proves me wrong.
The center of gravity is right under the pilot’s bottom.
This means the mossie was about as “natural” a flyer as could ever be made. And it too was made out of wood and fabric.

All these decades later, only a few of the DH88 Comets still exist. But the Grosvenor House was still airworthy as recently as May 1987

Height: 10ft Length: 29ft Wingspan: 44ft Engines: two 230hp DH Gipsy 6 R Max Speed: 237mph

The plane lives these days among many friends at Shuttleworth Aerodrome, 4 miles west of the town of Biggleswade, straight up the A1 north of London.

Most source info and pics from Wikipedia. More info here.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/10/2010 at 01:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyEye-CandyFun-Stuffplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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