Saturday, November 26, 2011

Images, November 26th, 2011

Many moons ago, a woman called Brooklyn Hilary commented on my photos on Flickr. At the time, she was dating a guy called Blaine, and before Hilary and I met and went on many a photo expedition, she and Blaine concocted an idea of me as 'Irishman!' -- see Blaine's sketch above.

From Taschen, a new, beautifully illustrated edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales...

Taschen has opened a pop-up store at 998 Madison Avenue, in NYC. Red Riding Hood, presumably, above.

In other news, there will be an annular or total eclipse of the sun, visible from eight western U.S. states, next May.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forty-eight Years Ago Today

Perfect Lives

Mayor Bloomberg: 'so I prophesied as commanded...'

I know next to nothing about this story (above) except that the bare bones details do not give me confidence in the authorities that rule over us. It seems all too easy to point (as Mayor Bloomberg did) to the so-called 'lone wolf' terrorist theory, when deflecting people from looking at or seeing something else that's going down. All you need is a suspect.

During his statement to the press on Sunday evening, Mayor Bloomberg said that the suspect arrested, Jose Pimentel of Washington Heights, "represents exactly the kind of threat FBI Directer Robert Muller and his experts have warned about."

OK, great. Except now it seems that the FBI declined to arrest and prosecute the suspect. Allegedly, the suspect smoked marajuana with the NYPD's secret informant, and also...

...and also, the suspect tried to circumcise himself when he decided he had in fact converted to Islam. 

For these reasons among others, it seems that the FBI declined to arrest and prosecute Pimental. Perhaps the thought of a defense attorney standing up in court and saying: "my client is a pot-smoking self-circumciser, and the chief witness against him was high at the time,"gave them concerns about the case's merits.

Since Sunday, other details have come out: the suspect was considered mentally unstable but harmless by neighbors and friends of his family in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood in Harlem, where he had recently been kicked out of his home by his mother, and had moved in with his uncle.

I'm reminded of Ezekiel chapter 37, though I'm taking the words completely out of context:

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army...

You can scare people up into an exceeding great army, by just breathing that word, terrorism... or can you, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly? Aside from anything else, as the headline from NBC at the top of this posting says, 'Suspect had expressed anger at U.S. soldiers.' This alone seems well and truly covered as a right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Bank of England 50 Pound Note

Above, detail from the new Bank of England 50 pound note, issued by the Bank on November 2nd of this year. Matthew Boulton (left) manufactured the steam engine inventions of James Watts (right): together the two men were of huge importance to the Industrial Revolution. On some level, the Bank's officials must hope that the ingenuity and canny ways of Boulton and Watts et al might trickle down the 200 intervening years and save and inspire the Austerity Britain of today.

Speaking of austerity, an austere-looking raven (above) has been perched for weeks now, at 103rd and Broadway, here in New York City. Perched on an apple which is held aloft by an outsized clamp, or
vise, the whole thing is one of a series of animal sculptures by artist Peter Woytuk.

If you're not from America, nor a resident thereof, you might wonder at that word, vise. It's the American English spelling of vice, which has other connotations both here, and where English-, Scottish- and Irish-English, are spoken. We, non-American English speakers, know that a piece of paper money is called a 'fifty pound note', and not a 'fifty pound bill.' A bill is a document requesting payment for goods or services rendered, but Americans perversely call a bill, a check. Hardly anyone is left in the world who might try to pay a bill or a check, ...with a cheque.

From bills, to bills, and beautiful birds:

This cute little bird is from Ethiopea. I thought I would test Google Image Search using this image, and these are what turned up as 'visually similar', according to Google's great machines:

Yes, that first image is a bird. The others are airplanes, save one, which is... a ceiling fan!