Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy and Cute New Year!

video slow loris (click)
The Slow Loris is related to the Lemur.  It does everything very slowly.  It's bite is toxic! It also is rumored to have a concealed firearm permit and a Glock 9mm, so as warm and fuzzy as it seems, it is not defenseless.

Monday, December 30, 2013



Shrikes are robin sized birds. They are known as "butcher birds" for their feeding habit. They catch insects and small vertebrates then impale their prey on thorns, the spikes on barbed-wire fences or any available sharp point.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

                                                              IS  A 


                                             OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas, the begining.

In the early years of Christianity Easter was the main holiday.  The birth of Jesus was not celebrated until introduced in the fourth century by church officials.   Pope Julius I chose Dec. 25 in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan (Roman) Saturnalia festival.  (Dec 25 was the traditional date for such festivals since Babylonian times.)  By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced.  Doing so, however, risked a certain loss of control by the blending of the two events.

First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432, England by the end of the sixth century, and Scandinavia by the eighth.   By the Middle Ages, Christians attended church on Christmas, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar would be crowned "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink.  If owners failed to comply, the visitors would terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens. During a period of religious reform, Cromwell and the Puritans outlawed its celebration in England, America, and Ireland during the 1600’s.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

V V Vattican vs Anglicans, Religious Cricket World Cup

Vatican seminarians play cricket in front of the Vatican flag

The head of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has accepted a challenge from the Vatican to play their first ever cricket match.  Priests from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are planning to compete - appropriately enough - at Lord's in London next September.  The Vatican cricket club, founded in October, includes priests from Australia, India and Pakistan. The umpires will be Muslim or Jewish.  Pope Francis, who played basketball in High School, is a cricket fan.

Vinnie Myers, an Unusual Hero

 Little Vinnie's tattoo parlour
Vinnie Myers is a most unusual hero.  A skilled tattooist (Vinnie’s Tattoos) his business centers on a single  tattoo ------  3 D nipples on women who have had mastectomies.   He first took on the challenge at the request of a surgeon with a seriously distraught patient.  Clients come from all over the world for his services, a mechanism for restoring some self dignity  He has tried to return to a more general practice several times but is unable to ignore the needs of these special clients. Well done Vinnie  --- the  Michelangelo of nipple tattoos.

PS: yes Virginia, reindeer do have to make pee.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lost Scrolls in Herculaneum

Scroll from villa of the papyri, held in Paris
For centuries scholars have hunted for the lost literature of ancient Greece and Rome, missing works of Plato or Cicero, etc.  In Herculaneum in southern Italy, destroyed by a volcano in 79 AD, archaeologists have discovered an entire library of papyrus scrolls turned into solid lumps by high temperatures.  More than 400 burnt charcoal looking scrolls have largely defied efforts to be opened or read.  Some have been lost in the effort. Science has developed some promising techniques currently being experimented with in hopes of recovering some data.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Run Forrest Run!

Depression-era levels of unemployment; people losing insurance; middle class sinking into poverty; school violence; ever growing abuses of big government - and all we can do is debate whether Santa, a fictional character, IS WHITE OR NOT!!!! Run Forrest Run!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Leonardo's Real Contribution - A factoid

De Vince is most remembered as one of the world's greatest artists, responsible for classics like the Mona Lisa, the Baptism of Christ, and the Last Supper.  But in reality, only 15 paintings exist that can be attributed to him, with another 3 or 4 contested pieces likely to have been his work. On the other hand, his sketches and notes from more than 30 autopsies cover thousands of pages from a time when human anatomy was one of sciences greatest mysteries. His diagrams and explanation of the heart were unrivaled until the 20th century.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

As Comic Book Heroes Corner the Entertainment Market...

..it was only a matter of time till there was a Santa Upgrade.

(Where are all the kiddies?)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Henry Calvin (May 25, 1918 – October 6, 1975)

Born in Texas as Wimberly Calvin Goodman. He was an actor, known for Zorro (1957), and Babes in Toyland (1961).

   If you know these characters then you were a mouskateer!


‘The more words there are on a gallery wall next to a picture, the worse the picture.’  - Flaubert

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Mystery in Our Lady's eyes

Spanish useful  http://www.sancta.org/videos.html

jpr;The analysis involves a Fourier Transform of the image then spatial filtering then an inverse transform to acquire the clean image. This can be done with mathematics in a computer or  simply with optical lens.
I've done both in the lab but never of a shroud.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Church is On The Way Back.

pope francis
Our Pope has been named Time Magazine's Man of  the Year, strong evidence the world recognizes that the Church is addressing its problems.   Interestingly, the announcement came the same day that a Catholic Church child protection watchdog in Ireland published an audit of the Christian Brothers failure to effectively handle sexual abuse complaints against 375 brothers since 1975. That's right, 375 brothers, some of whom had multiple complaints.  The Brothers ran schools under the authority of the Irish Government.  The dichotomy, old vs new, self indulgent corrupt clergy vs service to man,  can't be missed.  Via Pappa.... 

true story

A mother with numerous children had the practice at mid day of napping  for a short period of time.

 She instructed her children;
       "Now momy is going to the couch and is going to be dead for an hour. No one is to bother me!"

It happened one day that someone called at the front door.The visitor asked;
"Is your mother at home?"
"Yes" answer the three year old. "She is dead on the couch now!"

Every nearby state, county, and local ambulance/squad car descended on the home within minutes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Irish Do A Monster Movie

The Irish Film Board funds about 13 movies a year.  This was their recent and first attempt at a horror flick.  Kinda cute, but typically Irish. Beautiful scenery, lots of inside jokes, a love story, and a typically Irish plot.  Aliens invade, live on human blood, but are poisoned by blood with high alcohol content. And from there goes the story.

the Scots make a movie

The Decoy Bride is a movie set on the fictional island of Hegg, supposedly located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzKabVjQFQQ

jpr: most excellent film staring me favorite Scottish  lass Kelley MacDonald. We'll see the thing a second time!

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jesuit, Poet, Manly, young corpse

My favorite pomation

"Pied Beauty"

Glory be to God for dappled things—

  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                Praise him.

Monday, December 9, 2013

If I were Ultra Rich I'd invest in Star Trek Action Figures

A painting by Christopher Wool recently sold at Christie's for $26,400,000.  26.4 million? Art? Earth? Hurry and Beam me the hell outta here.
"Apocalypse Now" 4'x5', 1988 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Thanksgiving after thought.

Buffet Table Decoration for Thanksgiving with Turkey

The tradition for this part of the clan is to gather on Thanksgiving at Mara’s house where the darling child, with help from others, prepares a spectacular meal.  One can hardly get through the appetizers.  And as I sat, stuffed to the limits, I was again reminded of Thanksgiving at 838, and the one time of the year when you knew there would be ‘enough.’  And I think about the cardboard charity boxes that fed us, the ones that so excited mom.  Have no idea from where they came, church and nuns probably, and others who made the goods available to them.  Wish I knew so I might thank them in my prayers.  Think I’ll thank them anonymously, as they originally intended.  They have no idea what their kindness meant to hungry little boys.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy birthday Mickey

happy birthday mikey

The department says the cake is legal but a fire permit is required!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Affordable Zen

jeremy brett

Jeremy Brett (born Peter Jeremy William Huggins; 3 November 1933 – 12 September 1995. He was
an heir of the Cadbury chocolatier family. Famous for ten years of TV series Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
me muther's favorite actor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX6a--uu6QM

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lithophonic stones

 a sampling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMpXk_L9OM0

Lithophonic stones are a natural geologic occurrence in a limited number of deposits across our globe. The crystal content and spacing in the stone make them chime when they're struck and can be used to create specific notes in different carved shapes or by the length of flat pieces.Such stones sound like bells, drums, and gongs when they are played.

 The giant 'Preseli' bluestones from Mynydd Y Preseli in Pembrokshire, south-west Wales ended up at Stonehenge, almost 200 miles away have been discovered to be lithophonic.

Monday, December 2, 2013

puer natus

the chant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3XkU1c2uTM

jpr: we hill folk will chant this at midnight  Christmass...oh  yeah A-Capella!.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

favorite British word of the day

"PLONK" as in "Valpolocella!- why are you drinking that plonk?"  To paraphrase TSElliot, I have measured out my life in sips of Plonk.


Pope Francis waves while in Rio de Janeiro on July 26, 2013.
In his recent  "apostolic exhortation", Pope Francis wrote:
Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.

Finally, a real pope.