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I wish I’d thought of this…


New Jersey graphic artist Michal Krauthamer ‘shops The Donald’s face onto various Queens of England. It works shockingly well. (I found them in this Anorak article, which includes my favorite examples).

It helps the joke that they’re good clean Photoshops, but then I would say that.

I once did a comic P’shop of Her Maj. Once. A commenter I’d never seen before (or since) turned up and posted with menace “Do not. Photoshop. The Queen.”

I’ll be honest, fam, I was skeert.

January 31, 2017 — 7:40 pm
Comments: 16

I can’t do this any more


I have a separate Twitter account just to watch lefties. I have this carefully curated follow list of the most egregious SJWs I could find. It’s always good for a laugh.

WAS always good for a laugh. This is The Week Twitter Stopped Being Funny. The amount of howling crazy out there is terrifying.

Clinically dangerous levels of crazy. I can’t take it. I’m shutting down social media for a while.

Not that this will entirely protect me. I’ve met a few deranged buggers in real life, too.


January 30, 2017 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 20

Transgendered chicken edition


Not my artwork. Reverse image search doesn’t tell me the illustrator either. This drives artists crazy – the internet is great at disseminating art, but not so great at making that work for artists.

If you hang around chicken groups long enough, somebody is bound to tell you the story of a hen that turned into a rooster. Not just a lead chicken getting bossy, as they nearly all do, but literally turning into a rooster, with a comb and a crow and everything. I was agnostic on the subject.

Then I accidentally stumbled over an article that explains it. A bit. It’s kind of short.

A female bird has two ovaries, but normally only uses the left one. If that ovary is damaged — say by an infection — the right ovary becomes active. It can happen to any bird, apparently.

But the right ovary produces more testosterone. There’s a political joke in there somewhere, I feel sure.

So the affected bird stops laying (usually) and grows male plumage. There’s a lovely picture at the link of a peahen with the full peacock deal going on. They become sterile – or, at least, never fully develop as males. In one example, the male who favored her continued to court her after the chance. What a puzzled bird that must be.

I wish there was more there on behavior. It’s hard to imagine an evolutionary reason for a useless backup ovary, unless the man-hen maybe takes a role in protecting the flock.

At the bottom of that article is a link to a scan of another article about a particular gender bending hen. The expert quoted says the right ovary actually becomes a testicle, but she also says “A whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men” is in the Bible. It is not.

Good weekend, all!

January 27, 2017 — 9:33 pm
Comments: 19

BBC, you so silly!


Oh, BBC – I can think of dozens of words for ladybits. I wouldn’t think this is a gaping hole in our vocabulary. ehhhhHHHHEHEHEHEHE.

Wait – SNIPPA?!?

BBC is a menace, though, for real. It’s pretty obvious our friends in the Fourth Estate are coordinating attacks on Trump, desperately trying to get something to stick. And some of it will stick over here, sadly. BBC dominates the news, and commercial outlets are just as bad, anyway. If all you ever get is bad information, how can you make good decisions?

Actual conversation overheard this morning, “No, Mum, it’s not just like the rise of Hitler. Yes, I know you remember the rise of Hitler, but he didn’t build walls.”

Oh, check out this article from US Snooze. Opening paragraph:

As President Donald Trump took office Friday, police in the nation’s capital walloped protesters, reporters and legal observers with batons and doused them with skin-burning pepper spray as projectiles sporadically flew in the other direction.

Walloped. Doused. Skin-burning pepper spray. See, the things the bad guys do are written in clear, muscular language. By contrast, “projectiles sporadically flew” — gently, occasionally and all by themselves, I guess. Probably paper airplanes.

Or, alternatively, protesters threw rocks at the police and the police fired back with pepper spray.

It went on in this vein, ‘…sprayed a stoop-backed older woman and a man on crutches before repeatedly striking a journalist…’ And ‘“You are all going to jail!” an officer declared after giving a penned-in group a fresh coat of pepper spray…’

Fresh coat of pepper spray. This isn’t journalism, it’s a High School Advanced Placement creative writing course.

January 26, 2017 — 10:15 pm
Comments: 19

Nope, nobody had her


RIP Mary Tyler Moore. Nobody had her in the Dead Pool, so we can mourn without ulterior motive.

It was a sad exercise, doing an images search of her name. She’s another star who opted out of looking like a nice old lady and went instead with ‘youngish but terrifying zombie waxwork’. Her last husband was her plastic surgeon, was he not?

But I won’t speak ill. She was a towering figure, in as much as TV was somehow a towering medium back in the day.

January 25, 2017 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 10

What is this sorcery?


For the past two days, we’ve had intermittent bouts of a thing the locals call ‘freezing fog’. I don’t remember encountering this in Rhode Island (or Tennessee, for that matter).

Super thick, super cold. Visibility was so bad yesterday afternoon, I had to go slower and slower on my bike because I couldn’t see jack. Turns out, the fog was hitting my glasses and progressively coating them with ice.

Ohhhhh…I guess that’s what makes it freezing fog.

The picture isn’t mine. It’s from this Yahoo article about the phenomenon. Only, they call it ‘freezing smog’ and claim it’s down to still air and pollution, with so many people burning coal and wood for heat during this cold snap.

I call bullshit. I don’t know what it is on the Continent, but it’s just plain old (clean breathing) freezing fog here in the rural South of England. Most of the people in the comments are calling bullshit, too, but only because it’s Yahoo and nobody trusts them.

For the kzillionth time, wouldn’t it be great if there were a news organization that earned a reputation for reporting the facts as accurately as possible, so we didn’t have to squint at Every Single Thing we read?

January 24, 2017 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 24

Say, I’d have a doctor look at that


I don’t if you guys were aware, but last year they had an effing huge Hieronymus Bosch exhibition in the Netherlands, in his hometown, to mark the 500th year since his death. Unprecedented, once in a lifetime thing — they pulled together the largest collection of Bosch paintings ever assembled (something like 18 of the 25 known paintings and 19 of the 20 surviving drawings).

I’m a huge fan, so I couldn’t miss this one. His hometown is a little off the beaten track, no direct train. So a bunch of us decided to club together, rent a people carrier (that’s a minivan to you and me) and drive over.

Annnnnnnnd…it sold out.

Then a friend called this week and told me a nearby cinema was doing some kind of film exposition of the show. And we went. And it was good. Not as good as seeing them in person, but giant digital closeups probably turned up things I would never have seen standing in front of them. Optimum would have been to do both, of course.

They do a lot of these things here – where they stream live performances or have special one-time-only presentations like this one beamed to rural movie theaters. Is this a thing in the States?

Don’t know if you can get the DVD over there, but it’s The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch. And the same group has done others. Mucho recommendo.

I’ve never seen so many improbable things going into and coming out of butts in my life.

January 23, 2017 — 11:53 pm
Comments: 17

Over the hills and far away


I have no idea what will come, but today my friends are smiling and my enemies are glum. It beats the alternative.

Good weekend, everyone!

January 20, 2017 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 28

A question for the marrieds


Another from the inn I posted about yesterday. All my flash photography looks shit but sharp, all my hand-held shots are lit like old masters’ but shaky and out of focus. But if you want to see that thing in all its glory, here you go (yes, this four poster has a ceiling to it, and yes it’s carved, too).

Weird question. Someone in one of my FaceBook groups said he’d done an informal survey of his married co-workers (goodness knows what made him think of it), 90% of whom said that the woman sleeps on the left side of the bed and the man on the right. That is, as you stand at the foot of the bed facing the headboard, she is L and he is R.

It’s true of Onkle B and me. It’s true of these two in this 17th C bed. How’s about you?

January 19, 2017 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 35

Come in, Lord Satan. Have a seat.


One of our oldest local inns is closed this week for general renovation. I got a chance to walk around and take pictures today. Hoo boy, was there some beautiful furniture! Not original, except for some spectacular wall carving, but they’ve bought antiques appropriate for the period.

Hard to photograph dark brown furniture, alas. I hate using flash, but there was no other way to get sharp images.

This guy lives in an inglenook AND SOME DAY HE MUST BE MINE. I don’t know anything about him except he’s real, probably 16th or 17th C, and they call him the Unlucky Chair.

There was an article in the Mail today about how Ikea is killing the antiques trade. Probably Mail hyperbole, but it is true that so-called ‘brown furniture’ is at a very low ebb at the moment. We must start haunting the auction sites — O, how I love me some brown furniture.

But they’re talking about the 19th C stuff. Beauties like Goat Chair don’t go cheap.

January 18, 2017 — 10:20 pm
Comments: 7