Monday, April 19, 2010

Hilariously self-referential

The Economist (Feb. 27th - March 5th, 2010) has a cover story:
The Data Deluge and How to Handle It:
A FOURTEEN PAGE Special Report.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How did I not know this?

OK, with the death of Kodak processing, I've been dusting off my medium-format gear.
(Kodak mailers were cheap. Local processing is now relatively expensive. So I'm being nudged back to DIY black&white. If I'm to be relegated to doing home darkroom, I suppose it might as well be stuff that I can contact-print....)

So I've been playing with my old Zeiss Ikonta. Which brings to mind Eric Newby's pictures from "The Last Grain Race", taken on his late-'30s Zeiss Super Ikonta.

During my Lost Decade (...those years lost to parenting...), Newby published a coffee-table book of JUST his photos from aboard the Moshulu: Learning the Ropes, 1999. (But, since I missed it when it was new, it's now scarce and expensive. Grrr.)
Somehow I never really noticed that this was a different book from his "A Traveler's Life", also a Newby coffee-table book. So there's that.

But it's Thing Two that's really remarkable:

The Moshulu is not only still afloat, but it's
a floating restaurant in Philadelphia. (!)

Now, I read The Last Grain Race nearly 30 years ago. For most of those thirty years, I've been IN Philadelphia about every other year. I've SEEN the shipping at Penn's Landing. And yet, this factoid never entered my consciousness.

It makes me wonder what OTHER obvious bits of knowledge have so far evaded me.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Things Found While Looking Up Other Things

I was at the post office today and learned that the USPS has issued a set of "Abstract Expressionist" stamps. A set which includes one of Motherwell's "Elegies to the Spanish Republic".

And an hour later, my brain made the association and started autoplaying the Clash's "Spanish Bombs".

And looking up the cover photographer (Pennie Smith) of their iconic "London Calling" album led me to finding out that...

...those wild-and-crazy guys over at the Royal Mail have issued a set of 10 "Classic Album Covers" postage stamps.

I don't know which is the most improbable - each one is less likely than all the others... (Let it Bleed? David Bowie?? Joy Division???)

(But note that there's still no "Never Mind the Bollocks..." stamp.)

And easily obtainable at eBay.