Archive for April, 2017

A Note from Vincent Van Gogh

April 30th, 2017 Comments off

Headshot photo of the artist as a cleanshaven young man. He has thick, ill-kempt, wavy hair, a high forehead, and deep-set eyes with a wary, watchful expression.

Like everyone else,

I feel the need of relations and friendship,

of affection; and I am not made of stone or

iron, so I cannot miss these things without feeling,

as does any other intelligent man, a void and deep need.

I tell you this to let you know how much good your visit has done me . . .


Building the Empire State Building 1929-1931

April 28th, 2017 Comments off

Fearless men

or just doing what they had to do

to earn a living?

Marie Curie and The Big Bang Boys of 1927

April 27th, 2017 Comments off
Twenty-nine of history’s most iconic scientists in one photograph – now in color!

I can’t get over how fantastic this image is. It was originally captured in 1927 at the fifth Solvay Conference, one of the most star-studded meetings of scientific minds in history. Notable attendees included Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac and Louis de Broglie — to name a few.

Of the 29 scientists in attendance (the majority of whom contributed to the fields of physics and chemistry), over half of them were, or would would go on to become, Nobel laureates. (It bears mentioning that Marie Curie, the only woman in attendance at the conference, remains the only scientist in history to be awarded Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields.)

All this is to say that this photo is beyond epic. Now, thanks to the masterful work of redditormygrapefruit, this photo is more impressive, still. Through a process known as colorization, mygrapefruit has given us an an even better idea of what this scene might have looked like had we attended the conference in person back in 1927.

Twenty-nine of history’s most iconic scientists in one photograph - now in color!


Forgiveness Denied

April 26th, 2017 Comments off

The brothers  had avoided each other for years. No longer the kids who romped and played, worked the farm,  and chased the girls; now their faces were creased with the burdens of life, their brows lined with unspoken pain.

It was over.  James  made the first move by calling his younger brother and saying he wanted to talk.They would meet at the river, neither had to ask where.

Thomas was there first, sitting on the porch of the cabin, perched at the river’s edge. He stood when James drove up, and watched him get out of  his truck. 

Thomas’  first words, after all those years were, “You got old.” 

“Yeah, well where’s all that black wavy hair you spent so much time combing?” James threw back.

“Guess I combed it right out of my head,” Thomas said, running his hand through his thinning gray hair. 

They started walking the familiar path along the river, stopping to observe the changes they saw from when they were boys. James took out a cigarette and sat on a boulder.

“No wonder you can’t keep up with me, if you’re sucking on those things!” Thomas said.  He pulled a small bottle out of his back pocket.

James laughed, “Yeah, you kill yourself one way and I’ll kill me another.” He threw a stone in the water.

“Ma would have a fit if she could see us today, wouldn’t she Tom?”  

Before he answered,  Thomas took another sip. “Naw, she’d be happy just to know we were talking again.   I’m sorry Jim.”

“Me too Tom.  Too much like Papa I guess.  He never could give an inch either.”

Thomas put the liquor back in his pocket and James flicked his cigarette into the sand.

“Edith wants us to get together for a picnic.  Think we could do that?” James asked.

Thomas cleared his throat, “Yeah, I think we could do that.”

They walked back to the cabin.  James opened his truck door and then turned back to his brother.  “That gun was mine you know.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Thomas said. “Papa left it to me.”

James cursed.  “I want the gun Tom. I’m the oldest. It should go to the oldest.”

“No.  Papa gave it to me.”

James struck the truck cab with his fist and cursed loudly. He turned as if to say something else,  but instead sent a cold, piercing stare, climbed into the truck, and drove away.

Thomas pulled the bottle out.  “Guess the picnic is cancelled,”  he said dryly.

fiction by M. Taylor

Valentino and Jadaan

April 26th, 2017 Comments off

Rudolph Valentino and the Arabian stallion Jadaan are pictured in full desert regalia, ready for a dash over the sands for cameras recording “The Son of the Sheik.” This costume and the Jadaan trappings are still on display in the tackroom of the W.K.Kellogg ranch at Pomona.

Jadaan had natural beauty, poise, grace and a vibrant personality.  His head and shoulder poses were described by some of Hollywood’s top cameramen as the most impressive they had ever photographed.

Valentino first saw him in Palm Springs.  Jadaan was in his prime and in his element, the sandy desert. Valentino was immediately interested in the prancing stallion.  The price was $3,000 at the time. Valentino was about to make another desert film and he wanted to ride the ten year old horse in the movie. Although he wanted very much to own Jadaan, the studio decided to rent the animal instead.  The movie ran long and it cost more money than they thought to use him.

It wasn’t very long after the final sheik film that Valentino died.  His idolizing, mourning  fans turned their affection to this magnificent Arabian Stallion and made him the most famous horse in the world at that time.


#3 Thomas Jefferson

April 25th, 2017 Comments off

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Third President (1801-1809)

By his own instruction, Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone notes his authorship of the Declaration of Independence, his founding of the University of Virginia, and his responsibility for Virginia’s Statute of Religious Freedom. But it fails to mention his presidency.

That omission, however, does not mean that his administration lacked significance. On the contrary, Jefferson’s White House tenure marked one of this country’s greatest territorial acquisitions, the Louisiana Purchase.

Under his leadership, the country also stood its ground against interference from Africa’s Barbary Coast pirate states in the American-Mediterranean trade. Unfortunately, these successes were ultimately eclipsed by the popular wrath resulting from the disastrous implementation of a trade embargo designed to curb British and French infringements on this country’s shipping. Smarting from the sting of that wrath, Jefferson thus ended his presidency, regarding it as a best-forgotten “splendid misery.”

The earliest known portrait of Jefferson, this likeness is one of two versions derived from sittings with artist Mather Brown in London in 1786, during Jefferson’s tenure as American minister to France. This version went to John Adams and was part of a portrait exchange between him and Jefferson that betokened their warm friendship. 

Mather Brown (1761-1831)
Oil on canvas, 1786 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Bequest of Charles Francis Adams

Quote: John Muir

April 23rd, 2017 Comments off

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

Whilst in London, stop by for a chat with Franklin and Winnie!

April 22nd, 2017 Comments off


Bronze statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill sitting ‘talking’ together on a bench in Mayfair (where Old Bond Street meets New Bond Street).
This statue is called ‘Allies’ and was a gift from the Bond Street Association (the shops and businesses of Bond Street) to the City of Westminster to commemorate 50 years of peace. 

Lawrence Holofcener, a sculptor with dual nationality created this landmark and it was unveiled on 2 May 1995 by Princess Margaret.This is a fun photo opportunity as there’s enough room to squeeze yourself between these iconic gentlemen and join in their conversation!


Dr. King Quote . . . “Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

April 22nd, 2017 Comments off

I have seen hate, and all the

time I see it, I say to myself

hate is too great a burden to bear.

I don’t want to be like that. . . .

But it is only through love that

we have hope kept alive.  But

not only that, hope is based on

faith that life has ultimate


Martin Luther King, Jr.

‘Streams’ by Jimmy L. Simpson

April 21st, 2017 Comments off


by Jimmy L. Simpson

Within the festive mood of spring,

Two mated geese upon the wing,

Took refuge on my pond and stayed,

Along with goslings newly made.

I watched them wade and swim and dive;

Six babies glad to be alive,

While mom and dad together stood,

As keepers of the neighborhood;

And I a child of God as well,

Was part of something good to tell,

For once when I was young and new,

I learned along with others too,

How life for creatures great or small,

Becomes the greatest gift of all,

When out of nowhere as it seems,

We learn to navigate life streams.

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