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Not too shabby…!

Yes, yes…the picture is sideways. All the better to display the wonder of the HONKING HUGE ROCKET.

Oh, I suppose some of you had rockets to beat this one all hollow, but this is pretty special for us. It was quick, smoky but very, very good.

But of course we celebrate the Fourth. Barbecue, beer, fireworks. Being a foreigner is like having a Jewish parent and a Catholic parent…you get ALLL the holidays.

On firework occasions (of which there are three: Guy Fawkes, New Years and the Fourth), we get a small pre-boxed assortment and one good rocket finale. Our local purveyor of Things that Go Boom likes us, I think. He always picks out the selections for us, chooses us a Ta Dum for the end and gives us a good price (rumor has it he makes the Bonfire Night fireworks himself in the basement, but I can neither confirm nor deny).

Oh, and there was one called Moons of Uranus which was nice, but not nearly as obscene as I hoped.

Hope you had/are having/will have a great Independence Day, depending on time zone.

July 4, 2012 — 10:07 pm
Comments: 19

Global what now?

I called home and spoke to the folks last night. My dad informed me it was 107° in Nashville. Been over 100° for ages and no rain for weeks. They put out bowls of water for the birds.

And I’m thinking, “oh, hell, I bet the AGW crowd is making all kinds of hay out of this.”

So, please to be taking a good, hard look at my weather up there. That’s for reals, and that’s what it’s been all Summer: days in the mid-sixties, nights in the mid-fifties.

And I know what you’re thinking: the weather famously blows in England, but this is something special. Particularly the temperatures.

(That thing on Friday, with the sun and clouds and lightning and rains of fish and hail shaped like Winston Churchill’s pizzle? That’s totally typical for the seaside).

They’ve reached out for “CO2 causes every kind of scary weather!” in a panic, and we mustn’t let them go back to warmening just because it’s hot in July sometimes.

July 3, 2012 — 10:00 pm
Comments: 15

We has a winner

S2 takes the dick with Andy Griffith (congratulations; you know what to do).

The rest of you, back here. Friday. 6WBT.

— 7:44 pm
Comments: 11

Kilroy, B.C.

This spooky image was made by one man (a man, I assume), about 5’10” tall, using just his right hand to apply pigment…

…upwards of 30,000 years ago, making this thing and all the artwork in Chauvet Cave about twice as old as that in the famous Lascaux caves, discovered in 1940. Actually, it looks to me like there were two pigments, a dark charcoal-y pigment followed by a pale yellow one, giving the drop shadow effect that makes these pop off the wall in such an alarming way. Chauvet was discovered (also by accident) in 1994 and there has been controversy about the dates, but the carbon dating of pigments and bones has been repeated several times from many different spots in the cave.

I actually think the drawings in Chauvet are more sophisticated than Lascaux (though similar in style), and beautiful…and I’m not just saying that because you’re supposed to think ugly, primitive crap is wonderful. I generally hate folk art in all its ugly, primitive crappiness. These drawings are well-observed and rendered in a suprisingly sophisticated way, given that the artist(s) had nothing but dirt and soot to work with.

If you like this kind of thing, you can burn many a happy hour at Don’s Maps, the website of Don Hitchcock. who I assume is an archeologist (a modest fellow with no About Me page). Yes, there are maps, but mostly there are hundreds of pictures of archeological sites and artifacts from around the world.

UPDATE: oh, pooh! Fie! And also piffle! That hands image isn’t a real cave image, it’s a computer reconstruction of how the “bison made of dots of red” wall art was created. Thanks to Crabby Old Bat for swinging the clue bat. The rest of the art is still way cool, though.

July 2, 2012 — 10:16 pm
Comments: 21