Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Happy New Year: Let's Dance!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 31, 2013 11:53 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
At the Edge of an Old Year. At the Shore of Another Year.


Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind
by Carl Sandburg

The past is a bucket of ashes.


The woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.


The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.


It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
… and the only listeners left now
… are … the rats … and the lizards.

And there are black crows
crying, "Caw, caw,"
bringing mud and sticks
building a nest
over the words carved
on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The only singers now are crows crying, "Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are … the rats … and the lizards.


The feet of the rats
scribble on the door sills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.

And the wind shifts
and the dust on a door sill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 31, 2013 5:51 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Restart the Presses!


As a nostalgic indulgence....

"The thinking here is that if vinyl records, straight razors, slow food and absinthe cocktails can all mount comebacks, there is no reason print can’t as well. The keys are marketing, perception and, frankly, snob appeal, plus a few minor tweaks.... Restart the Presses! - Op-Art -

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 31, 2013 12:53 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Votes Are In And the Award for Wimp of the Year Goes to the Deballed....


Michelle switched seats after Obama got up to speak.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 31, 2013 11:39 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 30, 2013 8:50 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Would It Take to Improve MSNBC? A Flamethrower Would Be A Good Start.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 30, 2013 3:35 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Family that Went to the Moon


On April 23, 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts Charlie Duke and John Young embarked on the third and final EVA of the mission, exploring the Descartes Highlands via Lunar Roving Vehicle. During the EVA, before setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Duke placed a small family photo he had brought along onto the lunar surface and snapped a few photos of  it with his Hasselblad film camera. This is one of the photos.

The portrait shows Charlie, his wife Dorothy, and their two sons Charles and Thomas. It looks like they are sitting on a bench in the summertime.

The family photo, gingerly wrapped in clear plastic and slightly crumpled from being stashed in the pocket of a space suit, was left on the Moon. It presumably still sits there today, just inches away from Charlie's boot print --€” which, presumably, is also there. Universe Today


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 4:27 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Painters on Brooklyn Bridge


“Eugene de Salignac (1861–1943) was an American photographer who worked for the Department of Bridges in New York City

“He had no formal training in photography. At the age of 42, his brother-in-law found him a job as an assistant to the photographer for the Department of Bridges, Joseph Palmer. After 3 years of apprenticeship, Palmer suddenly died, and in October 1906, de Salignac assumed his duties.” | Retronaut

For the full shot from sometime around a century ago...


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 3:50 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Published on Dec 28, 2013: so this happened today"

The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys is of the opinion that: This Is How Every Parkour Video Should End

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 3:16 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Which Dreamcatchers?

Yes, it's come to this.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 12:39 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Have a Trillion. Have Another. Go On. We've Got Seventeen. We've Got Trillions to Spare!

Hey, you know what they say, "A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon we're talking about NO MONEY!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 11:58 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The awful question is no longer "Is this a lie?" but "How big of a lie is this?"

Healthcare Enrollment Surged Prior to the Deadline for Coverage on January 1 |

And when you read the headline "White House Rejects Idea Of Creating An Obamacare CEO" why would you have a moment's doubt that one is currently being selected if not already hired and being trained?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 11:01 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Looking Back: 2013: A Year of Inspiring Democratic Quotes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 29, 2013 2:33 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Land of Sleep, Land of Slow Water

"I live in a city that doesn't sleep, but I grew up in a town that never wakes.

I visit the strange, somnambulent place I used to call home, and examine the way my feelings about it have changed over the years." -- Ransom Riggs

Published today. Extraordinary.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 28, 2013 5:46 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Saturday] [Sunday] [Monday] [Tuesday] [Wednesday] [Thursday] [Friday] [ Rinse and Repeat] Morning Links

IM..... PRESSIVE: Saturday morning [and every other damn day for years ] lovingly and intelligently chosen and hand-crafted and organic and sustainable links. GET SOME AT - Maggie's Farm. Get some.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 28, 2013 11:55 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
A Matter of Time

"Teeming with wildlife like deer, giraffes, monkeys and dolphins, this sculpture bursts with the beauty of the natural world.

At the centre, inexorably linked to each constituent part, is a man. He holds a globe in his hand to represent our dominant species' unique duties as custodians of the planet. Crafted entirely from driftwood, the vast, thought-provoking masterpiece was created by sculptor Paul Baliker, 59...."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 28, 2013 11:07 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Eyvind Earleョ

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 28, 2013 5:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Google Zeitgeist | Here's to 2013: 2013's Government Inspected and Approved Memorable Moments Tastefully Arranged

There's nothing slicker than these pod people.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 27, 2013 7:48 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Alternate Robertsons Headline

"GLAAD really blew it this time." [Ducks]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 27, 2013 5:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
What Kind of a Year Was It?


"It was the Year of the Zombies. Not in the sense of most of humanity dying from a horrible plague and then reanimating as mindless flesh-eating ghouls. No, it was much worse than that. Because as bad as a zombie apocalypse would be, at least it wouldn’t involve the resurrection of Anthony Weiner’s most private part." Dave Barry’s Review of 2013, the Year of the Zombies - The Washington Post

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 27, 2013 4:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Looking Back: The Most Tragic First World Problems Of 2013

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 27, 2013 1:58 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I can tell right now you don't know shit about dynamite."

It's a good thing that nobody's working today because this one is highly unsafe for work, children, and tender sensibilities from coast to coast.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 26, 2013 3:58 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Happy Birthday to Me on This, the Feast of Stephen

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 26, 2013 9:57 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The first picture of the Earth and its moon in a single frame


"This picture of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon -- the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft -- was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA's Voyager 1 when it was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth.

The Moon is at the top of the picture and beyond the Earth as viewed by Voyager. In the picture are eastern Asia, the western Pacific Ocean and part of the Arctic. Voyager 1 was directly above Mt. Everest (on the night side of the planet at 25 degrees north latitude) when the picture was taken. The photo was made from three images taken through color filters, then processed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Image Processing Lab. Because the Earth is many times brighter than the Moon, the Moon was artificially brightened by a factor of three relative to the Earth by computer enhancement so that both bodies would show clearly in the print." -- NASA

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 26, 2013 2:08 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 25, 2013 8:07 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Ye Olde Christmas

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 25, 2013 5:27 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Christmas night,
It clutched the light,
The hallow bright
Above my brother,
I and tangled spines
We smoked the screen to make
It what it was to be
Now to know it in my memory:

... and at once I knew I was not magnificent
High above the highway aisle
(Jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 24, 2013 5:55 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Handel - "Messiah"/ The Choir of King's College, Cambridge

For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be callèd Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. -- Isaiah

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 24, 2013 4:05 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free"

A Robertson family Christmas

"....But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

"Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

"Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

"And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Review & Outlook: In Hoc Anno Domini - -- This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 24, 2013 10:02 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Shout Hallelujah, come on get happy / Get ready for the judgment day!"

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

"Everything was in confusion in the Obamas' house. The FLOTUS had discovered that the POTUS was carrying on an intrigue with a girly boy, who had been played "swaddled manlet in Onezie pajamas" for POTUS in that little room off the Oval Office, and FLOTUS had announced to POTUS that she could not go on living in the same WHITE HOUSE with him. This position of affairs had now lasted five years, and not only the POTUS and FLOTUS themselves, but all the members of their cult and party, were painfully conscious of it. Every person in the WHITE HOUSE felt that there was no sense in POTUS AND FLOTUS continuing to pretend they were living together now that there were no more elections to be stolen, and that stray people brought together by chance in any crack den had more in common with one another than POTUS AND FLOTUS and daughters WHAT’S-HER-NAME? and WHO-IS-SHE-AGAIN?, the staff parasites of the family and household slaves of the Obamas. The FLOTUS did not leave her own room, the POTUS had not been at home from the private locker room and sauna at the golf club for three days. The daughters ran naked all over the WHITE HOUSE; the Jarrett quarreled with the mother of the FLOTUS, and wrote to HILLARY CLINTON asking her to look out for a new situation for her; the "swaddled manlet" of POTUS had walked off the day before just at closet-cuddle-time; the BIDEN THING, and the POLAXED PELOSI had given warning."

[With apologies to Tolstoy and Anna Karenina.... and Judy Garland now that I think of it!]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 23, 2013 5:51 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"O come, O come, Emmanuel, / And ransom captive Israel, / That mourns in lonely exile here / Until the Son of God appear."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 22, 2013 2:55 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: Santa Claus Goes to School, Takes a Pledge, and is Still White

While the news world has forgotten last week's question, "is Santa white?," and gone duck dynasty hunting, last week's question has been answered for all time with the revelation that "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa School.

Upon graduation from the Santa School, all surviving Santas receive a diploma and take the pledge:

"This certifies that …. has honorably and diligently completed the course in the study and art of Santa Claus. As holder of this diploma, I fully realize the responsibility and privilege that is mine in spreading joy and happiness to the children of this world through their beloved friend and servant, Santa Claus. I hereby sincerely and solemnly promise to give my best, my all to carry out the principles Santa Claus stands for."
Who could ask for more?

Santa before finishing school: "He had potential. It would take the heat of battle to make him reach that potential; to be all the Santa he could be."

Trial by fire: "Some say the slackly diapered toddler is the greatest threat Santas face, but those are by and large an anomaly in long days and nights of hysterical children one is forbidden to smother with a pillow. Hence, this is still the acid test."

The finished product: "We pride ourselves with turning out the most sustainable, organic, and locally sourced Santas anywhere. Even the jelly in the belly bowl is made from sustainable quinoa in a subaqueous solution."

The certificate tells the tale: "Look for the Union Label. Stock no substandard Santas. Do it for the children."

[HT: Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 20, 2013 1:21 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Midnight Masterpieces: Moondance

Van Morrison & The Caledonia Soul Orchestra Live At Rainbow Theatre London 1973**

"It’s useful to consider Moondance as a perfect work of art.

It’s unassailable. In the classic rock canon. Beyond anyone’s opinion. One for the ages. And as I was saying above, you can project a lot onto it emotionally (like you can with, say, Blood on the Tracks), so it’s very dear to a lot of people’s hearts. I think of Moondance like Leaves of Grass, except that Walt Whitman went about refining his transcendental masterpiece, literally, for four decades (up to the time he was on his deathbed) while Morrison laid his down in a matter of days when he was just 24 years old and left it to be mixed by someone else." = = Richard Metzger / Dangerous Minds

[ ** The Caledonia Soul Orchestra was the band created by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison in 1973. The band is often considered one of the tightest performing backup groups of the 1970s. The band was named after an eighteen minute instrumental outtake on the His Band and the Street Choir album.
In 1973 Van Morrison and the Caledonia Soul Orchestra went on a three-month tour of the United States, and Europe with the result of which was the seminal live double album It's Too Late to Stop Now. The title is taken from the last line in the lyrics in one of Morrison's songs: "Into the Mystic" from the 1970 Moondance album. In live performances with The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, he would close the concert with a dynamic, stretched out version of the Astral Weeks song, "Cyprus Avenue" and then shout out "IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW!" as he quickly exited stage. -- schuerbuikske / youtube]


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 18, 2013 11:45 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
TEOTWAWKI! It’s the end of the world as we know it.

How The Media Will Report The Apocalypse



Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 18, 2013 8:01 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Success:" We will be flying today at a cruising altitude of 4 feet for 12 seconds.

We seldom have an image of the exact moment when the history of the world changed. But we do have this one from one hundred and ten years ago today at 10:35 AM.

Click to Enlarge

"This is it. This is the moment, and you can see Wilbur. He's caught in mid-stride. You can see Orville on the machine. It's just all_ all right there. it's that moment frozen forever."
The following telegram was sent from Kitty Hawk:

Four flights Thursday morning. Longest fifty-seven seconds.
Inform press.
Home Christmas.



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 17, 2013 2:18 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti - It's a man's world...

James Brown performed with Pavarotti on May 28,2002 at a concert titled, "Pavarotti & Friends" benefiting the people of Angola. [HT: The Fat Man]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 16, 2013 8:20 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Objects In the Rear View Mirror of Your Life


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 16, 2013 12:16 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Cold Equations and Obamacare


Existence required order, and there was order; the laws of nature, irrevocable and immutable. Men could learn to use them, but men could not change them. The circumference of a circle was always pi times the diameter, and no science of man would ever make it otherwise. The combination of chemical A with chemical B under condition C invariably produced reaction D. The law of gravitation was a rigid equation, and it made no distinction between the fall of a leaf and the ponderous circling of a binary star system. The nuclear conversion process powered the cruisers that carried men to the stars; the same process in the form of a nova would destroy a world with equal efficiency. The laws were, and the universe moved in obedience to them. Along the frontier were arrayed all the forces of nature, and sometimes they destroyed those who were fighting their way outward from Earth. The men of the frontier had long ago learned the bitter futility of cursing the forces that would destroy them, for the forces were blind and deaf; the futility of looking to the heavens for mercy, for the stars of the galaxy swung in their long, long sweep of two hundred million years, as inexorably controlled as they by the laws that knew neither hatred nor compassion. -- Tom Godwin “The Cold Equations”

"I believe what we are witnessing will turn out to be

the single largest and most catastrophic government policy failure in US history, as well as the most public IT failure in world history. There have been larger (in years and dollar amounts) IT failures, but they have usually always involved systems that never went into production, or if they did, that impacted a relatively limited number of people. Let’s summarize:
  • as well as many of the state exchanges still do not live up to the necessary quality aspects of a successfully functioning IT system: reliability, performance, functionality, compatibility, lifespan, deployment, support and cost.
  • The vast majority of enrollments to date have been in Medicaid; a much tinier fraction have been people actually signing up for insurance plans.
  • Meanwhile, vastly more people have lost insurance coverage due to Obamacare than have gained it.
  • The enrollment figures to date are far below those needed for the system to be financially viable, and there are indications that those who are pushing through to sign up are those more likely to be a financial drain on the system, rather than a boost.
  • There is no payment system in place for those who do sign up; instead, they are supposed to contact the insurance company directly, which may or may not have their information.
  • The deadline for buying insurance is just days away.
I believe that over the next several weeks, the ‘cold equations’ of Obamacare as it actually exists and is currently implemented – as opposed to the magic thinking version on the Left — are going to lead to more and more unavoidable disasters — train wrecks, in the metaphor that Jim Geraghty has been using since before went live. Vastly more Americans will have both their bank accounts and their personal health damaged than those that will benefit under Obamacare. Obamacare and the Cold Equations by Webster at And Still I Persist...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 12, 2013 10:53 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cry   Sign the Beloved Country

Ah, South Africa.... "It's getting better all the time....."Nelson Mandela memorial interpreter 'was a fake'

The interpreter, who wore the clearance pass of a government official, stood just feet from Mr Obama as he made his widely-praised speech, and also interpreted for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, who apparently faces such a high threat level that he recently spent £12.4m on security upgrades to his private home..... Mr Buxton said the man had provided sign language for a speech for Mr Zuma at a military event last year. At that apeparance, a deaf person in the audience videotaped the event and gave it to the federation for the deaf, which analysed the video, prepared a report about it and submitted a formal complaint to the African National Congress (ANC).
The latest embarrassment was compounded by the news that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s house in Cape Town was burgled as he spoke at the event.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 11, 2013 10:43 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Would Jesus?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 11, 2013 10:18 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Winter from Paul Klaver on Vimeo.

Shot in Dutch nature reserve the Oostvaardersplassen during the production of De Nieuwe Wildernis (The New Wilderness). This was one of the coldest winters in Holland with record breaking temperatures. Music: Hans Zimmer - Light

NB: This is much better if you select the Full Screen option.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 10, 2013 9:15 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Greatness of Dirty Jobs

["Do listen to the TED talk. The story about lambs is worth the price of admission."]

Mike Rowe: One of our better citizens.

"I’m personally tired of stories about people who follow their dream, ignore the naysayers, struggle mightily, eschew every other viable opportunity, suffer for decades, go into debt, and finally achieve some monumental breakthrough that leads people to marvel at their fortitude and perseverance. Tales of inspiration are important, but do they all have to revolve around the same narrative of never giving up on your “true calling.” I think we need more stories about people who do whatever it takes to thrive, and somehow manage to find happiness and passion in whatever they choose to do. Isn’t that more empowering than identifying one specific “passion,” and making every happiness contingent upon attaining it? " WATCH: Stories You Won't Believe From Some of the World's Dirtiest Jobs | TEDTalks


"As for your personal characterization of Glenn Beck, I can only assume you have information not available to me.

In my time with him, I saw nothing “horrible, psychotic, hateful, or nasty.” I smelled no burning sulfur, no smoldering brimstone, and saw no sign of cloven hooves. To the contrary, I found a very passionate guy who employs about 300 people, works his butt off, and puts his money where his mouth is. Do we agree on everything? Of course not. Am I “disappointed” by that fact? Not at all. The real question, Shannon, is … why are you? To be clear, I’m not here to tell you what to think or whom to hate. Like everyone else, you’re free to pick your devils, choose your angels, and attach the horns and halos accordingly.But the guts of your question – even without all the name-calling and acrimony – reveal the essence of what’s broken in our country. You want to know “how I can associate” with someone you don’t like? The short answer is, how can I not? How are we ever going to accomplish anything in this incredibly divisive time if we associate only with people that we don’t disagree with? Devil or Angel, Whichever You Are « Profoundly Disconnected


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 9, 2013 11:29 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Sirens remove
        the soul from its vessel,
failing to slake
        the thirst or the ocean.
billowing under Gemini and Scorpio, mute
oarsmen -- doubloons
nailed to the mast
        retain it, retain. What we learn
from literature will not avail us.

Music, ocean, ear, all
        swell the tides of our bones,
        gathering us
        down into the undertow,
        bearing us onward, outwards,
        far from the place we stand in.
Our island with its' charmed forest.
Our lagoons, each with their Circe.
Her perilous enchantment. This habitation
        entered on all our maps --
        the place, the forest, the guardians
of that path, this dank lair, the gate of shadows,
and all that which, revealed, enmeshes and presents
        that grail which we would drink from,
        dead or elsewhere. This
vision we are almost certain of.
                It does not avail us.

Only the moon prevails,
        solely la lune seule
                because of the light in the forest
                because we are the light, unknowing,
                and the leaves which it illumines, knowing.
The words of which
The sound of which
        --it could be breakers --
removes us, removes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 9, 2013 11:15 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink

"From above, the land is like one endless, unpunctuated idea — sand, tumbleweed, turkey, bunch stem, buffalo, meadow, cow, rick of hay, creek, sunflower, sand — and only rarely did a house or a windmill or a barn suddenly appear to suspend the sense of limitlessness." - - Life Along the 100th Meridian





Photography from "Dirt Meridian" by Andrew L Moore


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 7, 2013 11:48 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
2015 The Ford Mustang at 50: "I had a pony. Her name was Lucifer"

2015 Ford Mustang as reveled by Ford and yes, Virginia, there is a convertible.




1964 Ford Mustang -- Serial Number: One

First Ford Mustang owner still has the keys 49 years after trading a Chevy:

The way Gail Wise tells it, she was just looking for a car to get her to her first job out of college, and was growing tired of her parents' '57 Ford Fairlane, when she went to Johnson Ford in Chicago. After a tour of the showroom turned up nothing of interest, the salesman said “I’ve got something in the back that's really new" — a light blue Mustang convertible, fully loaded with a 260 V-8 and a power top.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 7, 2013 1:46 PM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[UPDATED] Moab Towers & Magic Backpacks "I lied to my dad. I told him I was just going camping"

Do not watch if sensitive to heights and people practicing extreme stupidity to overcome the boredom of their lives. Last week in Moab two base jumpers made their last jump straight down to the base. Not a good afternoon for those who have to carry the bodies out, but a thrill a second for those going in... until the last few seconds.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 6, 2013 2:17 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roll Out the Barrel or "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time"


"Desiring to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, Annie Edson Taylor decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress. Several delays occurred in the launching of the barrel, particularly because no one wanted to be part of a potential suicide. Two days before Taylor's own attempt, a domestic cat was sent over the Horseshoe Falls in her barrel to test its strength. Contrary to rumors at the time, the cat survived the plunge and 17 minutes later, after she was found with a bleeding head, posed with Taylor in photographs.
"On October 24, 1901, her 63rd birthday, the barrel was put over the side of a rowboat, and Taylor climbed in, along with her lucky heart-shaped pillow. After screwing down the lid, friends used a bicycle tire pump to compress the air in the barrel. The hole used for this was plugged with a cork, and Taylor was set adrift near the American shore, south of Goat Island.
"The Niagara River currents carried the barrel toward the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, which has since been the site for all daredevil stunting at Niagara Falls. Rescuers reached her barrel shortly after the plunge. Taylor was discovered to be alive and relatively uninjured, except for a small gash on her head. The trip itself took less than twenty minutes, but it was some time before the barrel was actually opened. After the journey, Annie Taylor told the press:
“If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat... I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall."
Annie Edson Taylor @ La Wik

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 6, 2013 12:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Welcome to the New Age:" United State of Pop 2013 (Living the Fantasy)

The amalgamated fantasies of youth for 2013. Some will just live it. Most will just continue to live in their parent's basement.

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Bob Dylan

A mashup of the 25 biggest hits during 2013 in the U.S.

Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up
Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man
Capital Cities - Safe & Sound
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky
Eminem feat. Rihanna - The Monster
Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly - Cruise
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Imagine Dragons - Demons
Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake - Holy Grail
Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z - Suit & Tie
Katy Perry - Roar
Lady Gaga - Applause
Lorde - Royals
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton - Can't Hold Us
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz - Thrift Shop
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
OneRepublic - Counting Stars
P!nk feat. Nate Ruess - Just Give Me A Reason
Rihanna - Stay
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. - Blurred Lines
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin - Don't You Worry Child
Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
Will.I.Am feat. Britney Spears - Scream And Shout

Okay, I know. You haven't been paying attention and neither have I. I don't make the pop culture anymore, I just report it.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 6, 2013 11:55 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Si Se No Puede No, No Podemos


Who says there's no good news?

Obama Approval Down Most Among Hispanics in Past Year President Barack Obama's job approval rating averaged 41% in November, down 12 percentage points from 53% last December, his high-water mark since his first year in office. Hispanics' approval has dropped 23 points over the last 12 months, the most among major subgroups, and nearly twice the national average. His approval rating also showed above-average declines among low-income Americans, nonwhites, moderates, and moderates who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party.


Looks to me like pretty much everybody has started to tip-toe towards the exit on this Shamwow scam man.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 5, 2013 8:37 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Shamwow President: Much Sham Little Wow

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 5, 2013 5:51 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Katniss Everdeen Kills Everything -or- "I love the smell of Mayhem in the morning"

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Why Don't You Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Fire Away!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 5, 2013 10:52 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Window Is Bigger Than the World

Serving Suggestion: Full Screen, lights off, volume up. Even better, go 'Original' for 4K.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 4, 2013 9:15 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When the Rough God Goes Riding the Liberal God Dies Again

Sometimes it's possible to set Sultan Knish to music. This is one of those times:

I was flabbergasted by the headlines
People in glasshouses throwing stones
Gaping wounds that will never heal
Now they're moaning like a dog in a manger

And it's a matter of survival
When you're born with your back against the wall
Won't somebody hand me a bible
Won't you give me that number to call

When that rough god goes riding
And then that rough god goes gliding
They'll be nobody hiding
When that rough god goes riding on in
Riding on in

There'll be no more heroes
They'll be reduced to zero
When that rough god goes riding
Riding on in
Riding on in
Riding on in

Instead of this golden age, the tyranny of the avatar grows,

coercion increases, protests spread and the project decays into a totalitarian state or is overthrown. The golden age never arrives. The ideal is slain by the real. And the true believers go into mourning for what might have been.
The tyranny of the ideal is the most brutal of all
tyrannies for men and women are not ideal; they are real. Its plans are bound to fail and yet it has such a passionate grip on the minds of its believers that it is bound to rise again and again.
And so this cycle of the liberal god who dies and rises again, dies and rises, keeps repeating.
As long as the tyranny of the ideal remains a rallying cry, as long as men and women choose to believe that a better world can be created through central planning, forcible redistribution and mass reeducation then the cycle will continue. No matter how often the liberal god dies, he will rise again.

The secular god of the progressive ideal has become an entity of life, death and rebirth.
Its failures only incite its followers to believe that it will come again. It does not matter how many gulags and mass graves lie in its wake. It is a matter of faith. And in a secular world, there is nothing left to believe in except a better world. Obama is dying now. ObamaCare, his great work, has failed. Like Ra and all the others, he will pass into the darkness and the ideas will reemerge again in a new avatar. Sultan Knish: The Liberal God Dies Again

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 4, 2013 2:34 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Snit and Wizdumb of Obama

From comments @ "Some Reid staffers exempt from Obamacare exchanges"

1. I will have the most transparent administration.

2. I have Shovel ready jobs.

3. The IRS is not targeting anyone.

4. If four Americans get killed, it is not optimal.

5. There are going to be bumps in the road. (referring to Libya and Egypt protests/attacks).

6. ObamaCare will be good for America.

7. You can keep your family doctor.

8. Premiums will be lowered by $2500

9. You can keep your current healthcare plan

10. Just shop around, for that healthcare I claimed you wouldn't lose.

11. I am sorry you lost your healthcare, (you know the health care you have to shop around for, ya the same health care I said you could keep, yup, that's the one).

12. I did not say you could keep your health care. (Regardless that 29 recorded videos show I did)

13. ObamaCare will not be offered to illegal immigrants.

14. ObamaCare will not be used to fund abortions.

15. ObamaCare will cost less than 1 Trillion Dollars.

16. No one making under $250,000 will see their taxes raised one dime.

17. It is Bushes fault. (this can be inserted in between every statement).

18. It was about a movie.

19. I will fundamentally transform America. (This one sadly is very true)

20. If I had a son.

21. I am not a dictator.

22. I will put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division, conflict and cynicism".

23. You didn't build that.

24. I will restore trust in Government.

25. The Cambridge police acted stupidly.

26. I am not after your guns.

27. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. The BHO of (2006).

28. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics.

29. "If I don't have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition.

30. I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.

31. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

32. The Public Will Have 5 Days To Look At Every Bill That Lands On My Desk

33. It's not my red line it is the worlds red line.

34. Whistle blowers will be protected.

35. We got back Every Dime we Used to Rescue the Banks, with interest.

36. I am good at killing people.

37. I will close Gitmo. (but instead built them a $750,000 soccer field).

38. The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't, but she is a typical white person

39. I am not spying on American citizens.

40. By, on, on, by, Friday uh afternoon things get a little uh, uh challenged uh, uh ( when left to think for himself without a Teleprompter).

41. I am a Christian.

42. John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.

43. It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy.

44. UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems. (Attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare).

45. What’s good for illegal immigrants is also good for people who are losing their health insurance because of Obamacare.

And the biggest lie of all

I Barrack Hussain Obama pledge to preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 4, 2013 9:36 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle

a_solareclipsefromtheiss.jpgSolar Eclipse as Seen from the International Space Station

The Universe as Seen by Dante Alighieri

As the geometrician, who endeavours
To square the circle, and discovers not,
By taking thought, the principle he wants,

Even such was I at that new apparition;
I wished to see how the image to the circle
Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;

But my own wings were not enough for this,
Had it not been that then my mind there smote
A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish.

Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy:
But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,

The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.
[L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle]

The Divine Comedy : Paradiso : Canto XXXIII by Dante

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 3, 2013 3:04 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Picard Maneuver

More importantly the material used was changed to wool and the uniforms became two-piece. According to Blackman -

We moved on to wool gabardine. When you’re doing heroes, when you want the characters to look heroic, there are certain things that you must do to make them seem that way - Broader shoulder, narrow of hip, as vertical as possible, chest out, ready to go after evil. As well as being more comfortable for the actors, changing the uniform to a shirt and pants combo, rather than a jumpsuit, meant that Patrick Stewart’s shirt almost constantly rode up, thus creating the iconic Picard Maneuver. Starfleet Uniforms Part 3: 2350s - 2370s

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 3, 2013 11:45 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"How Not to Do It:" The Circumlocution Office by Charles Dickens

"It was this spirit of national efficiency in the Circumlocution Office that had gradually led to its having something to do with everything."

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office....

This glorious establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving--HOW NOT TO DO IT.

Through this delicate perception, through the tact with which it invariably seized it, and through the genius with which it always acted on it, the Circumlocution Office had risen to overtop all the public departments; and the public condition had risen to be--what it was.

It is true that How not to do it was the great study and object of all public departments and professional politicians all round the Circumlocution Office.

It is true that every new premier and every new government, coming in because they had upheld a certain thing as necessary to be done, were no sooner come in than they applied their utmost faculties to discovering How not to do it.

It is true that from the moment when a general election was over, every returned man who had been raving on hustings because it hadn't been done, and who had been asking the friends of the honourable gentleman in the opposite interest on pain of impeachment to tell him why it hadn't been done, and who had been asserting that it must be done, and who had been pledging himself that it should be done, began to devise, How it was not to be done.

It is true that the debates of both House and Senate the whole session through, uniformly tended to the protracted deliberation, How not to do it.

It is true that the [State of the Union] virtually said, Ladies and gentlemen, you have a considerable stroke of work to do, and you will please to retire to your respective chambers, and discuss, How not to do it.

All this is true, but the Circumlocution Office went beyond it.

Because the Circumlocution Office went on mechanically, every day, keeping this wonderful, all-sufficient wheel of statesmanship, How not to do it, in motion.

Because the Circumlocution Office was down upon any ill-advised public servant who was going to do it, or who appeared to be by any surprising accident in remote danger of doing it, with a minute, and a memorandum, and a letter of instructions that extinguished him.

It was this spirit of national efficiency in the Circumlocution Office that had gradually led to its having something to do with everything.

Mechanicians, natural philosophers, soldiers, sailors, petitioners, memorialists, people with grievances, people who wanted to prevent grievances, people who wanted to redress grievances, jobbing people, jobbed people, people who couldn't get rewarded for merit, and people who couldn't get punished for demerit, were all indiscriminately tucked up under the foolscap paper of the Circumlocution Office.

Numbers of people were lost in the Circumlocution Office. Unfortunates with wrongs, or with projects for the general welfare (and they had better have had wrongs at first, than have taken that bitter English recipe for certainly getting them), who in slow lapse of time and agony had passed safely through other public departments; who, according to rule, had been bullied in this, over-reached by that, and evaded by the other; got referred at last to the Circumlocution Office, and never reappeared in the light of day. Boards sat upon them, secretaries minuted upon them, commissioners gabbled about them, clerks registered, entered, checked, and ticked them off, and they melted away. In short, all the business of the country went through the Circumlocution Office, except the business that never came out of it; and its name was Legion.

From Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 3, 2013 10:21 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Message to Police

HT: Liberty's Torch

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 3, 2013 4:47 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Turners


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 2, 2013 8:44 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
285,000 Brush Strokes = 1 Morgan Freeman

kyle.jpgiPad Art - Morgan Freeman A Finger Painting by Kyle Lambert.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 2, 2013 2:52 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
To Brooklyn Bridge

by Hart Crane

Joseph Stella, Brooklyn Bridge

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty--

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
--Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,--
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City's fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

Brett Weston, Brooklyn Bridge -- 1946


Posted by gerardvanderleun Dec 1, 2013 9:43 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH