Monday, February 28, 2011

The houseboats of Kerala, India

Kerala is a populous state that contains almost 10% of India's water and is internationally known for its houseboat vacations. The houseboats are converted kettuvallams, formerly used to carry up to 30 tons of rice and other goods to ports along the water. They are made by tying coir and wood together, and not a single nail is used.

Kerala was named one of  "50 destinations of a lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler in 2000.

“A cruise along the mirror-still lagoons, picture-book lakeside, palm-fringed canals and shimmering rivulets of `God's Own Country' is the most enchanting holidaying experience in the country. With a cruise along the palm-fringed waterways turning to be part and parcel of holidayers' itinerary, the traditional kettuvallam has emerged as the mascot of Kerala Tourism.”

The office hat

Why carry a briefcase to work when you can just wear it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Florida's vanished attractions

The Aquamaids of Florida's Cypress Gardens

"More than 150 Florida roadside attractions have closed since the heyday of the 1950s and '60s. Victims of interstates that bypassed the two-lane amusements, changing tastes in entertainment and stricter government regulations, many of Florida's mom-and-pop sites are on the endangered list."
Washington Post, 2007

I'm off to water ski for a week.
See you at the Putt-Putt.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everyone's talking 'bout love

Cupid and Venus
Guillaume Seignac 

Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love, was the mischievous offspring of Venus, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. She often disciplined Cupid for misusing his powers. When Venus jealously dispatched Cupid to foil the romance of the beautiful mortal Psyche, he fell in love with her instead. Cupid appealed to Jupiter to immortalize Psyche, and they married. In Greek mythology the allegory is played out with Eros, Aphrodite and Zeus. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Faroe Islands

 An igloo in Kvivik

The Faroe Islands are located north of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The islands are home to about 50,000 people living on 1,400 square miles of land. Irish monks are thought to have first settled here, sometime in the middle of the 6th Century. Norse settlers soon followed and were firmly established by the early 7th Century. The Old Norse language they brought with them evolved into modern Faroese that is the native language. Today it is a self-governing province of Denmark, and its economy is based on fishing and sheep goods. Kvivik is particularly rich in Viking history.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Inside a vintage timepiece

Mechanical engineering is a lost science.
No one knows how to do this anymore.
Someday it will be forgotten.


Graffiti near a Metro station in Rome.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Castle Mespelbrunn, Germany

This Medieval castle was built in 1427 and was extensively modified during the Renaissance, from 1551-69. It has remained unscathed by war due to its remote location in Northern Bavaria. Today the castle is owned and occupied by the heirs of Count Ingleheim Echter von Mespelbrunn and is open to the public.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Trouble in Swedish healthcare system

Swedish hospitals are so overcrowded that there is a shortage of emergency call buttons to alert nurses, reports several news agencies.

Adult patients have been given bells to ring, and children have been given pans and spoons to bang, which hospital employees purchased themselves.

Patients have also been placed in areas where there is no skilled personnel to look after them.

A union for health professionals publicized the problem this week after years of complaining to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.

"Maria Tenggren, an employee at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, said the hospitals 'long ago passed the limit of what is acceptable. We have for years nagged about the problem of overcrowding, but nothing happens,' she said."

Chinese painter Chen Yong

Snow Horses
Chen Yong, Xi'an China

Viennese artist Rosa Schweninger

 Child with Rabbits

Schweninger was a popular Austrian painter in the late 19th Century.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eve cigarettes

The newest way to express your love of pretty things. That's Eve. The first truly feminine cigarette. With pretty filter tip. Pretty pack. Rich, yet gentle flavor. Eve. For the lady with taste. Also with menthol.

I remember those things. 
Reminds me of Herbal Essence shampoo.

L'il wrangler

Is he going to sneeze or sing?


Man was condemned to wander the Earth 
like hordes of leper telephones.
 Patti Smith, Babel, 1974

Spanish Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Two Women at the Window