Saint Urho

Finland has been an item in the news lately as one of the blow-back consequences of Putin’s ill-considered adventure in Ukraine. But that’s not what this is about: We need to smile, at least. Voila! This video.

I stumbled upon this video about Saint Urho while visiting the blog of science fiction author Walter Jon Williams: “Here we have a history of Finland’s totally genuine fake hero, St. Urho. Who was born in a Minnesota town called Virginia.”

Totally true. Originally broadcast on PBS stations WDSE / WRPT.

The Strandbeest

Some years back I was a regular visitor to the Colossal web site… It was more of a arts / craft visual blog than the web publication it is today… but my point being, they posted an article / video of the Strandbeest that left an impression. Now this video from Theo Jansen (the “beest’s” inventor) just popped up. I had to view it.

These constructs are largely wind-powered and self-steering… as you might have guessed from some of the desperate attempts at heading off the beest’s bee-line toward destruction.

In any case, Theo Jansen explains it this way:

“Strandbeest Evolution 2021 provides an update on the evolutionary development. Every spring I go to the beach with a new beast. During the summer I do all kinds of experiments with the wind, sand and water. In the fall I grew a bit wiser about how these beasts can survive the circumstances on the beach. At that point I declare them extinct and they go to the bone yard.”

Happy New Year

by the light of a lit bong…

I’m a sucker for light and I’m a sucker for bongs as well, begging your pardon. Here is an image that combines the two. The light shining through the bong had been filtered through yet another favorite of mine, glass bricks. It has a pleasing geometry, if nothing else.

Fair warning: after a few decades of such happy new years, your lungs are likely to resemble the photo, so be aware. On the other hand, I did once almost drown and if you don’t stay out of the water, it could almost happen to you as well!

Photo / graphic by Roman.

“Hand in Hand”

“Only a formal handshake separates two politicians from a sealed contract. But as both stubbornly try to gain the upper hand within the gesture, their grim intransigence takes on a monstrous life of its own.”

The above from the Swiss Das alte Lager Vimeo channel. It was written and directed by Ennio Ruschetti while at the Zurich University of Arts.

I’m especially fond of this brief video as it is a surreal and succinct and funny performance of what I call “pecking order politics”. It’s a label that tends to trivialize something that is present in all human society and every bit as powerful as more emergent characteristics like class, ethnicity, etc. Though we don’t everywhere deal with it the same way… There are situational “pecking orders” for example… But I won’t go on about it; boring! and my ideas about it probably only half baked. Check out the video instead; it’s a trip.

The Internet Is Dead

the first one is always free

I ran across the Masyanya Kuvaeva YouTube channel through The Russian Reader blog, a site of interest, political or cultural, to anyone interested in whatever is going down in Eurasia. In fact, it’s interesting even if you’re not much interested in whatever…

The CC should have an English translation for this episode; other episodes, you’ll rely on Google.