Saturday, 31 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Men & Boys & Price Of Their Toys
CREDIT: © Thomas Callaway/DoDFire.com
WHERE: NS Mayport. WHAT: George & Jeb Bush's planes pass one the other.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
Thursday, 13 Feb 2003 on an official visit to Naval Station Mayport, Florida, US President George W. Bush's official conveyance 'Air Force One' passes a smaller airplane, his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush's aircraft. The picture was taken by Thomas Callaway, Batt Chief, NS Mayport F&ES. Aircraft maker Boeing's AF1 web site has information about the presidential plane, which includes    pictures of what is sometimes jokingly called the 'Flying Oval Office'.
Friday, 30 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: It's A Jungle Out There, Mildred
CREDIT: © New York Public Library/NYPL.org
WHERE: New York, NY, USA. WHAT: wildlife in the Big Apple.
MAP: USA. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
The New York Public Library at NYPL.org is a vast treasure house of resources. Anything so big can be daunting just by its size, so we have homed in on a single resource, but we will explore further in upcoming features. A news release for the 'Urban Neighbors: Images of New York City Wildlife' exhibition, which ran 11 October 2002 through 01 Feb 2003, was headed, "Unexpected Variety of New York City Wildlife Revealed in New York Public Library Exhibition". The exhibition lives on as a web presentation in nine sections, and the news release gives a readable account of the diverse subjects and items on offer in the online presentation.
The nine sections are:  Introduction;  Historical Neighbors;  Street & Backyard Neighbors;  Park & Green Places Neighbors;  Shore & Wetlands Neighbors;  Salt & Freshwater Neighbors;  Tiny Neighbors;  Unwelcome Neighbors; and  Occasional & Unexpected Neighbors. A rich resource, even at just this first level, but the treasures go on into second and third levels of delight.
All sections are available from page sidebars, and linked from each illustration in the sections, a sub-section expands with a satisfyingly large illustration magnification. For further study, there is a wildlife sighting log, plus a selection of resource links.
Reading in Section , Shore & Wetlands Neighbors, that New York's "578 diverse miles of shoreline include beaches, rocky banks, salt marshes, and landfill waterfront", we went to the section about Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting on specially built platforms in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge within sight of JFK Airport. The visit made to the Big Apple by a Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), is not to be missed in the  Occasional & Unexpected Neighbors section.
Thursday, 29 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Cornwall Cloudscapes Near Dusk
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Cornwall, England. WHAT: cloudscapes at dusk.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
Yesterday on CornwallCAM.co.uk Charles Winpenny was showing this fine pair of dusk cloudscapes. Today, if you are quick (content may change by the time you visit), you may see the sunrise pictures from the following day. Charles forecast snow, but that never arrived.
Wednesday, 28 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: The Sydney Side The Insiders See
CREDIT: © Sydney Morning Herald/SMH.com.au
WHERE: Sydney, Australia. WHAT: winter scenery from newspaper reader gallery.
MAP: Sydney, Australia. Thumbnail click pop-up larger images on source pages.
In the world of newspapers, readership numbers (circulation is usually a good indicator of revenue) and picture quality (in terms of both journalistic impact and technical quality on the page), do not go hand in hand. We could direct you to several titles where revenue can hardly be a sufficient explanation for the abysmal quality in both disciplines; and the web versions are even worse! If the SMH.com.au (Sydney Morning Herald) newspaper web site in Australia is representative of the printed version, then the citizens of Sydney have something of which they may be proud, irrespective of circulation. In the future, a token but impoverished web site will be the sign of a newspaper that has given up the fight and marginalized itself.
This paper is savvy enough to have a photo galleries section on the web site. There is a Snapshots feature too, that is updated daily with pictures from around the world, and is worthy of a regular visit. Editors of lesser publications please note! It is neither difficult nor expensive to do in relative terms, but it does take energy, imagination, creativity, and thinking in the readers' shoes. That puts it out of reach for so many titles whose traditions and aspirations are deeply rooted in the days of film and paste-up, no matter what capital investments have been made in the latest hardware.
The SMH readership seems to have been inspired by the quality of their newspaper, and they have their own Reader Pics gallery. A recent photo competition, 'Your Sydney Views' has produced many high quality entries. The competition has yet to be judged for the winners to be announced. When that happens we will revisit, but meanwhile, on that web page we spotted a gallery named 'Winter Wonderland.'
We are familiar with the usual picture subjects of Sydney: the Harbour Bridge, which has featured here earlier; the Opera House, which we will get around to one of these days; and lifesavers on Bondi Beach. We particularly enjoyed the winter scenes because they present a side of Sydney not usually seen from a worldwide perspective. The four we chose to feature are (L to R):  Snowgum by Yohan Jeevaratnam;  Winter Storm, North Curl Curl by James Cleary;  Scenery, Mt. Selwyn by Dixon Deng; and  Royal Botanical Gardens by Peter Kane.
Such a rich resource, executed so admirably, deserves our further attention, and we will be returning for more featured selections in the near future.
Tuesday, 27 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Good Life On The Yorkshire Coast
CREDIT: © Keith Jordan/YorkshireCoastCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Muston, North Yorkshire, England. WHAT: annual scarecrow competition.
MAP: Muston, North Yorkshire. Thumbnail click pops-up source page.
The village of Muston, inland from the coastal town of Filey in North Yorkshire, England, holds an annual scarecrow building competition. For the September 2002 edition, this couple represented a British TV sitcom called 'The Good Life'. The US version starred Larry Hagman, the JR Ewing character in the later 'Dallas' series. Another tableau represented 'Only Fools & Horses', seemingly a UK only phenomenon , but other more internationally known characters, such as Dolly Parton and the ubiquitous Harry Potter, made appearances. The cricket match among the churchyard memorial stones had a macabre surrealist feel, we thought.
Monday 26 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Hewlett-Packard+YOU+Photos=Prize
CREDIT: © Angela Tang/HP.com
WHERE: worldwide. WHAT: Hewlett-Packard photographic competition.
Following on from yesterday's Wainwright competition, we have details of an open photo competition that we thought might tempt a few readers into making an entry. As part of their $300m 'YOU + HP' marketing campaign, Hewlett-Packard are calling the competition 'YOU Take Five!' (US English, from twelve language choice). We slogged our way through over fifty galleries, many containing multiple sets of five pictures, and offer an opinion that HP seem to be looking for contributions from ordinary people, with ordinary views of what constitutes a visual reality of their world.
We chose a gallery by Angela Tang from Concord, California, USA, that we thought embodied the spirit of the competition. Angela looked at the world around her within a two block radius, then photographed a selection of the graffiti art she saw. Angela tells us, in the comments accompanying her gallery, "… we all walk by paintings everyday, without really noticing how vivid they can be. These were all taken within two blocks from my office downtown." She adds, "I think we are lucky to live in such a free and colorful world." We wish Angela good luck when the competition is judged.
For those who prefer a hi-tech experience of the site, there is a twelve language interactive Flash presentation, subject to detection of the required resources.
Sunday, 25 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Wainwright Photo Competition '03
CREDITS: (L to R) © John Wright; © Lyndon Davies; © Sylvia Hillyard
All three are members of The Wainwright Society/Wainwright.org.uk
The Wainwright Society held a photographic competition in 2003, to be judged by Derry Brabbs. His decisions were (left to right):
1st place - Derwentwater & Coledale Round by John Wright
2nd place - Gable from Beck Head, Kirk Fell by Lyndon Davies
3rd place - Haystacks & Buttermere by Sylvia Hillyard
Congratulations to all three winners, and thanks to StridingEdge.com and Eric Robson for putting up the prizes. Derry Brabbs gave an illustrated presentation at the Wainwright Society's AGM in Kendal Town Hall on Saturday, 24 January 2004.
Saturday, 24 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Last Survivor Of Mummy's Curse
CREDIT: © Sonny Stengle/TourEgypt.net
WHERE: Qurna, Egypt. WHAT: the last survivor from the Howard Carter team.
MAP: Egypt. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
The man in today's picture is Sheik Hussein Abd el Rassuhl (1910-1997), said to be the last survivor from the Howard Carter team that discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The picture appears on a page of photos of Egyptian people on the TourEgypt.net web site. As a young water carrier with the team when it discovered the tomb in 1922, the boy posed wearing Tutankhamun's pectoral jewelry for a newspaper article that was widely read. You may read photographer Sonny Stengle's account of his meeting with Hussein in Qurna, across the Nile from Luxor.
Jimmy Dun, the webmaster for TourEgypt.net, has an article about Thebes that is based on the Stengle story. The nonsense about curses is revealed in an article by John Warren: the list of team members and their ages at death should finally lay that old tale to rest. Visitors interested in Tutankhamun may enjoy another Jimmy Dun article, this one concentrating on the boy king whose name survived into modernity.
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, is Britain's oldest public museum, and its Griffith Institute has the largest specialized Egyptological archive in the world, with a scholarly online presentation 'Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation', which goes into great detail. There is, however, a succinct summary of Howard Carter's life and work. There is also a scholarly presentation on Carter's five seasons of sponsored excavations in Egypt 1915-1922, which culminated in the Tutankhamun find. The About.com web site has a readable account in six parts, focussed mostly on the 1922 discovery. The Egypt State Information Service (SIS) web site has various related sections, including a page of historic photographs of the discoveries.
Friday, 23 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: What Is Scotland Like, Then?
CREDIT: © Andy Bannister/LakeDistrictDesktops.com
WHERE: Northwest Highlands, Scotland, UK. WHAT: mountain & seascapes.
MAPS: Coillegillie; Slioch; Cove; and NWH. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
Another recent enquiry was, "What is Scotland like, then?" This was from a young lady who wanted to go on an LDS (Mormon) church mission from southern Utah. Although the missionaries may suggest places where they would like to go, the allocated destination is decided by the church authorities rather than negotiated.
The question in return was almost, "What is God like, then?", because of the infinite and unknowable nature of both answers. I am sure that if the choice and the allocation are one and the same, then all parties will find benefit. For a partial answer to the Scotland question (the other question being beyond the scope of this web site), we turned to a bonus gallery on Andy Bannister's LakeDistrictDesktops.com, where we had recently been viewing some images of mainland Torridon, and the nearby Isle of Skye. Left to right the pictures are of the beach at Coillegillie, south of Applecross; Slioch over Loch Maree; and the coastline northwest of Cove on Loch Ewe.
As always you may visit Andy for free download of these pictures in a format suitable for desktop wallpaper. New pictures are added to the English lake District section every other day. The recent crop contains a couple of pictures that we thought so good that they have graced our own desktops for several days.
Thursday, 22 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Meanest Town In Contiguous USA
CREDITS: © William Albert Allard/NationalGeographic.com
© United States Department of Commerce /US Census Bureau
WHERE: Steelville, Missouri, USA. WHAT: mean center of contiguous USA population.
MAP: Kansas City, Steelville, St. Louis; contiguous USA and Steelville, MO.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image control.
We mean no disrespect to the town of Steelville, Missouri, when we say that in 1990 it was the meanest town in the forty eight contiguous states of the USA. We are sure it is a fine town, populated by real nice folks. Populated is the key to this: we mean 'mean' only in the sense of the place that is the mean center of population. Asked "Where is the population center of the United States?" the CPL (Chicago Public Library) begins the answer like this:
There are two measurements of the center of population of the U.S., the mean and the median population centers. These measurements are calculated every ten years, when the census is done. The mean center of population, or the population center of gravity, is that point at which a weightless, rigid, and flat representation of the 48 conterminous states and the District of Columbia would balance if identical weights were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person. The median center of population, or the numerical population center, is the point at which half of the population is to the north and half to the south of that point, with those persons also evenly divided east and west of that point."
In the 1990 survey Steelville, MO, was the closest town to the mean center, and in 2000 the honor shifted 12.1 miles south and 32.5 miles west to Edgar Springs, MO. The centers of population have been marching inexorably southwestward since the first census was taken. The USCB (U.S. Census Bureau) maps show this graphically for the 1790-2000 (mean) and 1880-2000 (median), and 2000 (mean, median, and geographical). The maps are available as PDF downloads from the USCB, and although they are 2.6MB, 1.3Mb, and 2.2mb respectively, they do support much greater detail resolution with the locations clearly shown.
The USCB home page is a starting point for an exciting journey into the population statistics of the USA. For the reader who asked, the 2000 population of Clark County, Nevada, wherein lies the town of Las Vegas, was 1,375,765, and for the state of Nevada 1,998,257. These figures represent population growths between 1990 and 2000 of 85.6% and 66.3% respectively, though these rates are estimated to have slowed to single year figures of 6.5% and 5.4% in 2001.
In an earlier feature, the start of an occasional series on extremities, we featured the southernmost tip of China: we will now add centers, averages, and odd geographical relationships into the series: so to the reader who asked which country lies due east of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, the answer is mainland Denmark; and Lerwick in the island of Shetland, is approximately the same distance from the Norwegian coast as it is from Aberdeen, the most northerly city in the UK.
Wednesday, 21 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Works Like Magic, Even When Wet
CREDIT: © Andrew Leaney/Leaney.org
WHERE: Ullswater, English Lake District. WHAT: steamer pier in the rain.
MAP: Pooley Bridge. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
There is, we suppose, a tendency to take pictures when the sun is shining, rather than when the clouds roll over the sky. Photographically there are good reasons for this, but it does give a somewhat misleading representation of a place to those from afar. It rains in the English Lake District, where we lived before coming to southern Utah. It rains a lot: sometimes in an hour the precipitation is more than what we receive in a year where we now live.
Some of the best days out are had when it rains, the soggy discomfort being just a minor detraction. This picture arrived in RGB format, which supports color in an image, though it can also be used for monochrome images, or images converted to monochrome. We think the latter might be the case, though either way we like it very much.
The pictures was taken by Andrew Leaney in November 2003 at Pooley Bridge Pier, which lies at the northern end of the lake where it outflows. Just a month earlier Andrew was at the next pier on the steamer's route around the lake. His picture from that day, the steamer Raven leaving Howtown Pier, makes quite a contrast. Asked what the weather is like in those parts, answer with confidence, "Magic, but variable!"
Tuesday, 20 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: The Transatlantic Turdus Family
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, England. WHAT: red breasted British robin.
MAP: Pool. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
When food is scarce, British robins especially can be trained to approach closely, or even to take food directly from human hands. It is said that mealworms are irresistible to these birds. Although they are cute, the males will fight each other to the death over a territorial claim. The picture shows a robin whose territory includes Charles Winpenny's garden. We presume they live peaceably in the shared space. We had occasion to update a 2002 feature about European and American robins, and the information is reproduced below.
Robin feature first published on 10 May 2002
Jean Palutikof has a page about the indicators of climate change in the UK on the climatic research unit web site. He says "A recent analysis of 65 species shows that 20 species have tended to lay their eggs 4-17 days earlier in the year over the past 25 years. Birds have evolved to lay their eggs so that nestlings are hatched when food is available and there is food when they leave the nest. Laying dates are therefore strongly related to spring (especially March) temperatures." There is a data table showing the date on which 5% of the observed robins (erithacus rubecula) had started laying. This species, shown in the left hand illustration, is the much loved British robin that is so often shown on Christmas cards cutely perched on a spade handle with head cocked, which is something they actually do in reality!
Where I live now there is a throng of much bigger, but equally attractive, american robins. Ed Badger is the webmaster for the town of Hudson, NH, where they also have American robins. Ed has a page recording the birds visiting the feeding station at 12 Saint Laurent Drive, Hudson, New Hampshire. The illustrated list contains some other colorful visitors: northern cardinals, blue jays and American goldfinches. There is an unwelcome visitor too, a red tailed hawk (a species that appeared in an earlier item at that link), which is unafraid of Ed, and has killed at the feeding station.
For North American readers, the 435 illustrations by John James Audubon are a national treasure. The American robin (turdus migratorius) features in plate 131 of that enormous work. Many of Audubon's prints are still for sale, but for those of us with challenged disbursable incomes Haley & Steele, sellers of fine art since 1899, offer an Audubon information gallery, and a FREE (3.5Mb, email address required) PDF format guide by Robert McCracken Peck & Ron Tyler, packed with beautiful illustrations.
In the more modern medium of photography, there is a comprehensive information section on the USGS (US geological survey) web site, and Kevin Dougherty has an American robin webcam in his backyard. The slick NWF (National Wildlife Federation) eNature.com web site has lots of excellent pictures, including the clay-colored robin, a rare visitor to the Rio Grande valley in Texas, all in searchable galleries that can even return all the common species based on a US zipcode query. The web site of Monte & Christopher Taylor offers pictures of 785+ bird species, mammals, and cetaceans, all photographed by the site authors, of free and wild creatures. The Taylors have a picture of an American robin, and also a picture of the much rarer (though poorer quality image) of the rufous-backed robin.
Monday, 19 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Lifeboat, Scoutcars, & Tallships
CREDIT: © Keith Jordan/YorkshireCoastCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. WHAT: lifeboat launching.
MAP: Scarborough. Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.
Watching a lifeboat being launched must be one of the best days in the life of any small boy under the age of one hundred years. To see one launched into the raging fury of a gale is particularly exciting. Here the Scarborough Lifeboat, from the town of the same name in North Yorkshire, England, is being launched in calmer surroundings. The picture is in Keith Jordan's archive at YorkshireCoastCAM.co.uk for the first week of August 2003. There is more…
The web page also contains pictures of the 2003 National Scout Car Races (you may be more familiar with the terms 'soapbox derby' or 'pinewood derby'), the sailing ships 'Grand Turk' & 'Hispaniola', and a yacht race! What a grand day out at the seaside. Scarborough was the place where we had the best fish & chips we have ever eaten, in a café just across the esplanade from the Viking Longship fairground ride.
Sunday, 18 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: More Similar Than You May Think
CREDIT: © G. Eastman/Eastman.org; © A. Gertsacov/PTBarnum.org.
WHERE: 19th century USA. WHAT: Abraham Lincoln & PT Barnum.
Thumbnail clicks pops-up source page or larger image.
Yesterday we wrote an update about the controversy over who said, "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time." We were unconvinced that it was either of the two main suspects, Abraham Lincoln and Phineas T. Barnum. How different these two men seem at first glance.
This gave us a segue into our occasional series on important or interesting photo collections. This is our second feature, the first was an item about the 1930s Olindo Ceccarini Collection.
The picture of Lincoln is from the George Eastman (founder of Kodak) House, American 19th-Century Holdings gallery. If you visit, in addition to the Lincoln  portrait by Mathew B. Brady, you will see George B. Atzerodt  a Lincoln assassination conspirator, and the gallows  where the guilty men were hanged. The last two pictures were taken by Alexander Gardner. The picture of Barnum is from a photo collection assembled by Adam Gertsacov, a former Clown Laureate in Greenbelt, Maryland, who performs as Barnum from his operating base at the Acme Clown Company.
Saturday, 17 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: See One, You Have Seen Them All
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/CAMwrangler.com
WHERE: Pine Valley Mountain, St. George, Utah. WHAT: gathering storm clouds.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image. There is 1,000x750 pixel version.
A visitor said, "When you have seen one cloud covered mountain, you have seen them all!" To the visitor who requested more pictures of this mountain, enjoy! The aphorism [almost] from PT Barnum that you can [please] some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time, is at least as true of web sites as it was of circuses. The picture may look sunny, but the wind ahead of the storm was so strong that a fire hydrant had to be pressed into service as a tripod.
UPDATED 06:15GMT. Barnum or Lincoln? A reader has taken us to task over the 'quotation' about 'pleasing', which in the 'original' was 'fools'. We have added '[almost]' and parentheses around 'please' in an attempt to clarify this without too much editing of the original. An attribution to President Abraham Lincoln has been denied; the authority quoted is often 'Spofford', who we think may be Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1864-1897), the sixth Librarian of Congress. Readers interested in Barnum may enjoy 'A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. Barnum' by Joel Benton, which is available in full, for online reading.
Friday, 16 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Photo Vote Without Fear Or Favor
CREDIT: © BBC News, East Midlands Today/BBC East Midlands.
WHERE: East Midlands, UK. WHAT: New Year's Day 2004 photo competition.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up the BBC EMT photo competition web page.
Thursday, 15 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Austere Landscapes Of Northern Chile
CREDIT: © Rob Broek/RobBroek.nl. WHERE: Northern Chile. WHAT: landscapes.
MAP: Chile. Thumbnail clicks pops-up larger image on source pages.
We started the week with an item entitled 'Austere Landscapes Of Northern Chile', which featured a gallery by Rob Broek. At the time we said that for balance we would feature another selection of pictures from that gallery, but ones that showed people, animals, and plants: today we deliver on that promise. As before we note that the site is in Dutch, but that this is not a problem because pictures make up the majority of the content. For curious visitors, translations of the site homepage, and the Chile section head page, are available thanks to the SYSTRANBox service. We enjoyed our own visit, and sometime in the future we will revisit Rob's galleries for another feature. [Thanks again to Jenny Cockshull for the lead to this web site.]
Wednesday, 14 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Faceless Even Bodiless Portraits
CREDIT: © Christine Coombes/PepperPhotography.com
WHERE: southeast England. WHAT: unconventional wedding & portrait photographs.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.
Christine Coombes is Pepper People Photography at PepperPhotography.com in the southeast of England. After examination of two   works by René Magritte, occasioned by the review of a previous item about perspective, we went looking for portraits without faces. We think that wedding photography is likely to be a relatively conservative market, so we thought it was a bold move by Christine to feature a number of less than conventional pictures in her web site portfolio. The constraints of aspect ratio precluded two   other pictures that admirably fitted the selection brief. Hmm… it seems that there is more to this than meets the… er… er…
Tuesday, 13 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Vintage Ceccarini Star Portraits
CREDIT: © Olindo Ceccarini Collection UCR/California Museum of Photography
WHERE: Hollywood, California, USA. WHAT: 1930s vintage star portraits.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up database multi entries with enlargement buttons.
Never let it be said that the rich, famous or infamous, or deceased even, are in any way excluded from being featured here. As an occasional feature, a phrase loaded with ready made excuses for failure to implement, we will be visiting some online photo collections that we feel have gravitas, significance, or capricious appeal on the day. Today, left to right, we feature Shirley Temple, Maureen O'Sullivan, Norma Shearer, and Greer Garson, in portraits taken in the 1930s.
These images are from the Olindo Ceccarini Collection Online at the UCR/CMP (University of California, Riverside/California Museum of Photography). Containing fifty six images, this particular collection is not extensive. The database manager, with a search facility and album creation system, will appeal mainly to academics.
However, for the rest of us the interface designers have thoughtfully placed a 'Begin Search' button, followed by a 'Browse' button, that will fetch you up at a text list of section contents. There is a 'BROWSE ENTIRE COLLECTION' item below the list.
Here is the site introduction: 'The Olindo Ceccarini Collection contains 182 three-color separations covering a variety of subject matter. The majority of these 1930s images are of actresses such as Shirley Temple, Joan Crawford, and Ginger Rogers. There are also images of California Missions and coastal tourist sites. Ceccarini's photographs were mainly used as illustrations in advertisements. Finally, the Olindo Ceccarini Collection contains two notebooks, one outlining the three-color separation process and the other describes carbo printing.
The Olindo Ceccarini Collection Online is only a sample of the whole. This web page contains 56 typical images plus database entries referencing the two technical notebooks. The Olindo Ceccarini Collection is made possible in part by The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation.'
When we visited the image link for the 'Mission San Fernando' entry was broken.
Monday, 12 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Austere Landscapes Of Northern Chile
CREDIT: © Rob Broek/RobBroek.nl. WHERE: Northern Chile. WHAT: landscapes.
MAP: Chile. Thumbnail clicks pops-up larger image on source pages.
Rob Broek has traveled worldwide from his home in the Netherlands. We chose four landscapes from his gallery for Northern Chile, which contains ninety nine images. The site is in Dutch, but this is not a problem because pictures make up the majority of the content. For curious visitors, translations of the site homepage, and the Chile section head page, are available thanks to the SYSTRANBox service.
Later this week, for balance, we will feature four more pictures from Rob's Chile gallery. These will show people, animals, and plants, in contrast to today's all landscape feature. [Thanks to Jenny Cockshull for the lead to this web site.]
Sunday, 11 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Pretty, Unusual, & Awesome Cloud
CREDIT: [L] © John H. Farr/FotoFeed.com [R] © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com © Robert Clark/NationalGeographic.com © Russell White/DropBears.com
WHERE: [L to R] Taos, New Mexico, USA; St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada; Point Parker, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia; Pine Valley Mountains, St. George, Utah. WHAT: unusual or attractive cloud formations.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up [1-3] source pages  larger image views.
We hope that a visit to any of the source sites for the first three pictures will prove rewarding; as an afterthought we added a picture of our own local mountain range, Pine Valley Mountain. The two outer pictures are attractive cloud formations gracing western USA arid landscapes, but the two center pictures show some exceptional atmospheric conditions. Center left is a white rainbow, and center right is a giant 1,000 km long, 10,000 high roll cloud known as the Morning Glory.
The white rainbow is explained, by the photographer, on the pop-up page linked from the thumbnail. Two  [ 2] Australian web sites featuring the Morning Glory are the local Burkeshire Council's site, and a local glider flying enthusiast's site. For detailed investigation, we recommend two   web pages, one from each web site.
Saturday, 10 January 2003
Pix Of The Day: Overloaded WORT Mono Clearance
CREDIT: © Rob Gray/RobGray.com
WHERE: Australia - Kosciuszko NP, nr. Canberra, & Glasshouse Mts., nr. Brisbane.
WHAT: fine art monochrome photographs at reduced sale rates.
MAPS: Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, and Glasshouse Mountains, QLD.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up presentation images on source pages.
Anybody who lives in a giant WORT (Weird Off-Road Truck) named 'Wothahellizat', calls Australia the Tasman Peninsula, and takes great landscape pictures, is a prime candidate to be featured here! Such a person is Rob Gray.
She who must be obeyed in Rob's life has decreed that his back catalog of monochrome photographs must be sold off to make room in the marital home. An 8x10 is offered for $25AUD (under $20US or just over £10). The preview gallery had twenty nine titles available when we visited, though this will change as stock sells out, and new titles are added. Available sizes are detailed alongside the images.
Click on the thumbnails to go to a catalog view of an image, or one of these numbers to go to a presentation page with an even larger image. We chose (left to right):  Albina Storm;  Early Cloud, Misty Lake;  Last Stand; and  High Country. All were taken in the area of Kosciuszko NP in New South Wales, except the stand of trees, center right, which was taken in the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland
There are plenty of things to see on the site: Rob has suggestions for those contemplating the nomadic life; there is a free computer desktop wallpaper section; Rob's road diary makes interesting reading; there is a fuller mono images section; and also a color images section. The entire web site has been archived by the National Library of Australia as a 'publication of national significance'.
Goodnight To The Night Mail: End Of The TPOs
CREDIT: © Allan Yeo/AllanYeo.co.uk
WHERE: England. WHAT: end of the TPO (Travelling Post Office) service.
Thumbnail clicks link to image gallery on the source site.
Ian Scott-Parker writes: Like many small boys I had a model railway. Hornby Dublo (in part named after the 00 scale of the track, produced by a division of Meccano, a company that made a strip metal construction toy system) was the standard in those days. My father was a man who preferred potential purchaser angst to feckless buyer remorse: after careful examination of the available products he decided I would have a Rovex system, from a small and almost unknown manufacturer at that time.
Hornby electric models ran on a three rail system at the time, whereas Rovex had a more realistic two rail system, and the use of plastics allowed more finely detailed models. A successful toy manufacturer named Tri-ang eventually bought out the small specialist Rovex company, and eventually took over Hornby Dublo. It must have given my father some satisfaction to have picked a winner at such an early stage.
I had an oval track, a fine engine with some rolling stock, a 'through' station, a signal cabin and signals, plus the obligatory tunnel. Even back then in the post WWII austerity era, within my soul burned the wicked flame of consumer society desire. I like to think that I was ahead of my time, as in so many things. The object of my yearning was a TPO (Travelling Post Office) set. Eventually my academic prowess earned me my just rewards. I was ahead of my time there, too, as that was the last time I saw fit to exert myself in the pursuit of any kind of attainment or excellence.
Allan Yeo's web site at AllanYeo.co.uk is dedicated to the TPOs. Tonight, as I write, the TPOs will run for the last time. They are being replaced by static high speed sorting machines and road transport. A BBC web site article has the details. Allan has a picture gallery about TPOs, from that we have selected just a small sample in the featured thumbnails. The trains, both real and model, had a system    for transferring mailbags as the train passed through stations without stopping. Does any child these days know what a traductor arm does? I feel an unfocussed and altogether inexplicable and ineffable sense of loss.
Friday, 09 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Glacier Oriental Panorama Award
CREDIT: © Danny Burk/DannyBurk.com
WHERE: Glacier National Park, Montana. WHAT: oriental panorama.
MAP: Glacier NP, Montana, USA. Thumbnail click pops-up larger source page image.
Today's picture selection won Danny Burk an 'Editor's Choice' award from the NPN (Nature Photographers Network) in 2003. The picture is featured in Danny's own 'Favorites' gallery, and is entitled 'Oriental panorama, Glacier N[ational] P[ark], July 2003'. Check out Danny's Midwest NPN Group, and his photographic workshops.
Close to the Canadian/US border in northern Montana, Glacier National Park has stunning scenery. The Webshots.com web site has one contributor code named RidgHikr, who has uploaded a compendium gallery of Glacier images, plus [2*] [3*] two other galleries of RidgHikr's own images of the park. Compelling viewing at all of today's links!
*Some versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer have problems with these two links.
Thursday, 8 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: World Record Bid For Photograph
CREDIT: © Christies.com. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
WHERE: Christie's auction house, London. WHAT: record Daguerreotype sale.
The name Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-1892) may not trip lightly from your tongue. Until recently J-PGdP was considered to be a minor photographer, working in an early method of photography known as Daguerreotype, named after its inventor. Christie's auction house in London held a sale of eighty six photographs from the collection of a single owner. Sale 6762, Lot 13, entitled 'Athènes 1842 Temple de Jupiter Olympien pris de L'Est', was appraised at a pre auction estimate of £90k-£120k ($150k-$200k).
BJP (British Journal of Photography) reported that on the day our featured picture fetched £565,250 ($942k) approximately five times its median appraisal value, and a new world record. What is more, eight of the Daguerreotypes in the Christie's auction fetched more than £100k ($166,666). Four more examples of J-PGdP's work may be seen     in an online exhibition at the BndF (Bibliothèque nationale de France). The web site is partially in English, but for this feature, 'Voyage en Orient', we were unable to find an English version, and this Google translation is patchy because of the page formats. We felt it worth the struggle to page through the web feature because of the high image content and partial translations.
Wednesday, 07 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Special Nature Of Extremities
CREDIT: © Michael S. Yamashita /NationalGeographic.com
WHERE: Hainan, China. WHAT: China's southernmost point.
MAP: Hainan, China. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
Manitou was the Algonquian Native American spirit of place, a supernatural power that permeates the world, possessed in varying degrees by both spiritual and human beings. Persons invested, or with an awareness, of such powers, 'fey' is the word they use in Scotland, will have experienced the sensation of the presence of manitou in many places. As a working knowledge of the geographical relationships between places began to develop, especially through the work of early cartographers, then some places became endowed with a sense of such a special nature, simply because of their relationship to other places.
The Viking Ultima Thule, and the Roman Cape Finisterre, come to mind as examples. When Medieval monks in northern England expanded their domains, they called the area Furness (a contraction of Further Ness). Land's End and Lizard Point, in the English county of Cornwall, have been featured here in past issues.
We will be featuring a variety of geographical extremities in forthcoming items. Today's picture shows the southernmost tip of China, on the island of Hainan, traditionally considered the end of the civilized world. Accessorizing a yellow chiffon outfit with white heels and a mauve umbrella does seem to prove the point. For a brief moment we thought that might even be our own dear Queen, then we saw that without a hat that could not be the case.
On a serious note, we will be delighted if someone is able to inform us on the meaning of the inscription on the rock. We thought perhaps it might be the Chinese characters for 'Land's End', if this is correct, we thought that would make a nice photographic pairing with the well known English signpost equivalent.
Tuesday, 06 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Most Viewed Picture Of Two Years
CREDIT: © Andy Bannister/LakeDistrictDesktops.com
WHERE: Howtown, English Lake District. WHAT: aerial view of Ullswater and Hallin Fell.
MAP: Howtown, Cumbria, English Lake District. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
Ian Scott-Parker writes: I have to confess that the headline, while of itself accurate, is probably misleading. The picture is of Howtown, and Hallin Fell, on the eastern shore of Ullswater lake in the English Lake District. The image only appeared on Andy Bannister's LakeDistrictDesktops.com web site on 28th December 2003, but already it has become my own most frequently viewed picture of 2003-2004. That statistic may of course change over the next 359 days.
About fifteen years ago, I worked in the outdoor center at Howtown, seen as a cluster of buildings in the bottom left hand corner of the picture, one of the periods of upheaval in my life. In the afternoons or evenings, I would often walk from the center down to the lake steamer pier, then along the lake shore round the back of Hallin Fell. If time permitted or inclination motivated me, I would ascend the fell from the steeper far side, which is a little used route. The descent and return to base was down the easy grassy slopes to Martindale Church, which sits on the hause at the top of those wiggly road hairpins that can just be seen on the far left of the picture.
If you are possessed of a studio size monitor the picture is available at 1000x750 pixels. You may also like to view previously featured pictures of the area by Tony Sainsbury, and Andrew Leaney. Tony's picture shows the view across the lake from Hallin Fell; and Andrew's picture shows Hallin Fell on the left, with the viewpoint for today's feature picture on the left. Download your own free 1280x960 pixels copy of Andy's picture from his web site, suitable for use as desktop wallpaper.
Monday, 05 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Formica Rules In Post WWII Caffs
CREDIT: © Adrian Maddox/ClassicCafes.co.uk
WHERE: London, England. WHAT: socio-cultural anthropology.
MAP: Tour de Caff. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
What red Michelin Guides are to high class dining, ClassicCafes.co.uk is to the humble caff. Although mainly concerned with premises in London, the site does range further out into the south east of England for some coastal locations, and even travels as far as Wales. It is not so much a guide to caffs, more of a socio-cultural anthropology of the survivors of the Formica revolutions of the 1950s and 60s.
Webmaster and caff polymath Adrian Maddox has gone on to write a book based on the web site. The site is rich and deep, and so we suffered acute editorial angst trying to decide how best we might structure this piece, until finally we decided to feature four pictures from section heads, in the order that a visitor might tackle them on the site. We hope this scheme works for you.
Left to right, the images and their sections are:  INTRODUCTION - Railway Cafe, Kings Cross Arches (deceased);  CRITERIA - Euro Sandwich Bar, Swallow Street, Piccadilly;  CAF&; QUOTESCAFÉ QUOTES - Zippy Restaurant, Goldhawk Road; and the rather quirky  PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY - Pellicci's in Bethnal Green Road.
Those who enjoy the written word may receive pleasure from the INTERVIEWS:  Iain Sinclair from 'Lights Out For The Territory';  interior space designer Quentin Reynolds;  Mr. Burkeman of the Copper Grill in Eldon Street;  a profile of Pellicci's by Clancy Gebler Davies of the London Evening Standard; and  Lorenzo Marioni of The New Piccadilly profiled by Matthew Sweet in the Independent on Sunday. Five interesting insights into the world of caffeine and Formica.
Sunday, 04 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Styles For Dispensing Caffeine
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Birmingham, England. WHAT: canal and floating café/diner.
MAP: Birmingham. Thumbnail clicks pops-up larger images.
Birmingham, England, has more canal mileage than Venice, Italy! This narrow boat of 'The Floating Coffee Company' has been converted into what we have called a café/diner. Neither term is really valid in the UK, where the blue collar pronunciation is 'caffy' often abbreviated to 'caff'; the phenomenon of diners never happened in the UK.
Café conjures up images of elegant airy sunlit sidewalk tables, whereas the British version is indoors, dark, and steamy. Ordinary caffs, unless under Italian ownership, usually serve insipid instant coffee but good strong tea. This is fortunately changing as consumers become more discriminating about coffee. Caffs often serve good plain food, something they share with their American diner cousins, but the essential elements of the diner format are missing. Charles has provided an excellent introduction to two upcoming features, the first on caffs and the second on diners.
Birmingham is often called England's 'Second City', thought of more as a declining smoke stack manufacturing town from the Industrial Revolution than somewhere one might visit for pleasure and cultural enjoyment. It has been the butt of many unfair jokes: this Waitrose.com article starts with one, but goes on to describe some of the good places to eat and drink in the city. We do wonder if the joke tellers have ever been to Birmingham, or Brum as it is sometimes known, or are just retreading cheap jibes in the hope that they may somehow be perceived as sophisticated.
Saturday, 03 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Minnie The Moocher & Turnup Root
CREDIT: © Bob Gruen/BobGruen.com
WHERE: music performance venues. WHAT: jazz & blues progenitors of rock.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Bob Gruen has stood beside some of the best known names in Rock 'n' Roll, and he has pictures to prove that on his web site. The gallery list of legendary bands and solo performers runs to eighty four entries, each with their own section. There is a POTD (Picture Of The Day) section that makes up with insight what it lacks in punctuality; the interview by Carlo McCormick outlines Bob's career; and the 9/11 pictures provide a sad counterpoint, a world away from the show biz razzle dazzle. We will leave you to discover other features for yourself, such as John Lennon in Cuba.
These five choices from Bob's galleries do not necessarily indicate our own musical preferences, though they do probably indicate we are of a certain age. Left to right you see:  Cab Calloway;  Little Richard;  Muddy Waters;  Chuck Berry; and  Bo Diddley. Click on the thumbnails to view each performer's gallery on Bob's web site, and click on the numbered links to read a short biography we have selected.
Cab Calloway's first Chicago nightclub gig was at the Dreamland Café in 1928, the year Bo Diddley was born. Cab's first big hit and theme song of 1931 was 'Minnie The Moocher'. The typically idiosyncratic name Bo Diddley has given to his web site is 'Bo Bo Diddley's Turnup Root'. The span of Bo's life has seen interesting times.
Cab died at the age of eighty seven on 18 November 1994 in Hockessin, Delaware, after a stroke earlier in that year. Bo was scheduled to celebrate his seventy fifth birthday on last Tuesday, 30 December 2003, in the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, we have been unable to load Bo's Turnup Root official web site. Perhaps the celebrations got a little out of hand, and somebody knocked it over.
Friday, 02 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Handguns & Hard Times Out West
CREDIT: © Gary P. Sumner/SingleSixRanch.com
WHERE: Single Six Ranch, Prescott, Arizona. WHAT: $5,900,000 agricultural property.
MAP: Prescott, Arizona. ALL thumbnails pop-up same source page with images.
We watched 'Bowling for Columbine' during the holidays. Michael Moore's investigation of the relationship between American gun ownership, and violence in American society, is described in an IMDB (Internet Movie Database) entry. George Parker of Orange County, California, offered this IMDB user comment, "As entertainment it's a conglomerated mess of stuff, none of which is particularly interesting or new or creative… just opinions, interviews, speculation, unanswered questions, news clips, etc. As a documentary it's an obvious agenda-driven mix of half truths, skewed stats, erroneous inferences, etc. which plays out like so much propaganda."
We are unable to argue with the description, but we strongly disagree with the conclusion that the movie does not work. All the elements George Parker describes come together to be more thought provoking than a focussed, cleanly stated argument would have been. One IMDB reader even saw Moore as a nominally left wing advocate, but as a long time NRA (National Rifle Association) member, arguing the case in favor of gun ownership. Making people think is often a more difficult thing to accomplish than swaying their opinions.
The foregoing explains why our web surfing log for the first time contains entries for sites concerned with firearms, just in case Robert Mueller, the Director of the FBI, or Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security, should ever express an interest in our surfing habits. Today's feature is about a gun designer and manufacturer, and the 1,200 acre ranch in Arizona that he bought as a second home.
Chuck Hawks is our chosen guide to firearms: a retired professional photographer whose work has been featured here in the past, Chuck also shares our love of travel and motorcycles. His product reviews of the Ruger Single Six , Blackhawk and Vaquero , and the Super Blackhawk  revolvers will interest those on whom firearms exert a fascination. In the unlikely event that we ever consider a firearm purchase, we accept Chuck's opinion that "The New Model Ruger SA revolvers are probably the safest revolvers ever made…" The guns are manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., whose headquarters are in Southport, Connecticut.
Alexander M. Sturm and William Batterman (Bill) Ruger began their company in 1949 with a successful design of a .22 calibre pistol. After Sturm died in 1951, Ruger continued to manage the company alone, until his death in 2002. From 1949 to 2002 the company manufactured twenty million firearms. The company's firearms division motto, coined by William B. Ruger in the 1950's, is 'Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens.' The company claims to be the largest firearms manufacturer in the USA, and has now diversified into investment casting, golf equipment, and sportswear. The titanium casting facility in Prescott, Arizona, is one of the largest in the USA.
The company Bill Ruger ran for half a century makes an interesting study from the viewpoints of both business and design. From the business perspective, the company has always made a profit, and has never been in debt. From a design perspective Ruger led everything, refining and improving rather than inventing. The company's original product, albeit subject to this R&D change, is still available. The Entelics web site has a detailed page that discusses the design ethos of the company. The leadership has now devolved to William B. Ruger Jnr., at a time when the firearms industry faces many commercial and legislative challenges.
Bill Ruger bought what is now called the Single Six Ranch in Prescott, Arizona, as a second home. The ranch was sold by Sturm, Ruger & Co., and is now being offered for sale by Gary P. Sumner for Arizona Land & Ranches, Inc. at an asking price of $5,900,000. If you enquire about purchasing, please mention us to Gary: he might even think of using us to design a sophisticated web site for his next big sale. Perhaps, sadly, the funds for this are not available: the third quarter 2003 earnings report from Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (available as PDF file) lists the sale of the Single Six Ranch at the same $5.9 million at which it is now being offered for sale. Hard times.
Thursday, 01 January 2004
Pix Of The Day: Riven Beauty From Fingers Of Ice
CREDIT: © Ann Bowker/Mad About Mountains
WHERE: Blencathra, Cumbria, English Lake District. WHAT: summit under snow.
MAP: Blencathra. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
Before glaciation Blencathra was just another big pudding of a plain grey hill. Then the icy fingers of a glacier tore at her southern front, producing a savage beauty. Round the back, where the rising glacier smoothed her contours, Blencathra shows none of this ferocity. Ann Bowker took these summit pictures between Christmas 2003 and New Year, when once again the snows returned to the mountain. You may also see the mountain in other moods        , with pages from Anne's archive section, which cover different seasons on Blencathra between 1999-2003.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)