Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ant Bear / Ant Lion

Thou seek'st to leash the mighty ant bear? Fool, for I shall release the horrendous ant lion to his aid!

Actual size shown here.

More (truly interesting) ant lion info, here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Behold! The Firmament!

Explanations follow thick and fast here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Alan Lomax (1915-2002)

All the gen, here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day

In order to break with the traditional ranting, today's controversial evangelical pastor is... Jiiiiiimmy Swaggart!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ajolote, or Mexican Mole Lizard

You are not to confuse this creature with the axolotl. It is an amphisbaenian, and you can read all about it, and them, here.

Prachya Pinkaew (1962- )

You know this guy, don't you? And this movie? Sure you do. The one where the heroine is an autistic woman, who has a mortal fear of flies and who likes chocolate? The one where she learns martial arts by watching TV? The one where her best friend encourages strangers to throw knives at her head? It's the film of the decade.

And, investigating further, there are more gems from the Pinkaew archive. I particularly like the couldn't-care-less title of the horror movie 999-9999, and the trying-too-hard moniker of the musical Hoedown Showdown. And the 'karmic thriller-romance' Dark Side Romance, about a love affair between two spirits waiting to be reborn. It'll be difficult to find all these movies, but sometimes, if you want trash, you've got to dig for it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Current Favourite Sentence

'It's a queer business to have as our weak point a neurotic Viking.'

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Klaus Kinski (1926-1991)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Friedrich Adolph Paneth (1887-1958)

More information about him here and here,even if this doesn't explain why he's my new hero. Paneth was also a fervent practitioner of the autochrome, which is as good a reason as any to love him.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spanish Humour

I was looking for photos of Klaus Kinski, but I found this en route. Worth the detour.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Current Favourite Sentence

Unfortunately, I have never had a real friendship with one of the large anthropoid apes.

Current Favourite Sentence

"I've seen the danse du ventre at Algiers, but this beats anything."

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Frans Hals (c.1580-1666), The Lute Player (c.1630)

Frans Hals, The Lute Player (c.1625-26)

Caravaggio (1571-1610), The Lute Player (c.1596)

Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639), The Lute Player (c.1620)

Titian (c. 1485-1576), Venus and the Lute Player (c.1530)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Reading in 2008

My older brother has a pie-chart to tell the world about his expenditure. I have a list of percentages to tell the world about the sorts of things I read last year. Here you go.

Novel, genre (i.e. detective stories, romance novels and the execrable Twilight series): 22.2%
Novel, literary (e.g. Christopher Isherwood): 19.5%
Criticism (e.g. Janet Malcolm and Slavoj Zizek): 18.3%
Poetry (read Katia Kapovich if you have a poetry slot in your schedule): 18.3%
Plays: 6.0%
Biography/Memoir (e.g. Christopher Reid's edition of Ted Hughes's letters): 3.9%
Art (books of pictures): 2.9%
Books of short stories: 2.4%
Novel, graphic: 1.7%
Religion (e.g. Jeremy Taylor's The Marriage Ring): 1.2%
Science (e.g. some books by some guys named Steve): 1.2%
History: 1.0%
Miscellaneous: (e.g. Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information): 1.0%
Journals: 0.2%
Food & Drink: 0.2%

22.2+19.5+18.3+18.3+6.0+3.9+2.9+2.4+1.7+1.2+1.2+1+1+0.2+0.2 = 100% right on the nubbin.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


New Year's Walk

I walked up the beach and down the avenue today, in order to get the memory of far too many lobsters out of my head and legs and belly. The whole town had a hangover: I felt that if I shouted all the buildings would put their hands over their ears and say '¡Joé, tio!'. There was: interesting graffiti that led nowhere;

the city, laid out like an expensive dessert on a silver plate;

a foolhardy seabird that came this close to my camera;

an edible snail which had very little choice about how close I came to it;

history and civic pride, and

only two other people taking a stroll in the whole of the old town.

If you take photos of your television with a short enough exposure...

you see the little light moving along, replacing people's mouths many times a second.


We're just back from New Year in crepuscular Cádiz. My family-in-law was well and happy, and I ate far too many lobsters.