Monday, January 31, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXXI


Interesting times in Egypt....

[Source:  Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh via Boing Boing.]

Friday, January 28, 2011

Awesomest Image(s) du Jour XXX

Oof!  Here's someone who went all Jerry Lee Lewis on this poor piano....

...before setting it on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay...

...where a pod of pelicans went all Flock of Seagulls on it!

Oh, to be in Florida now that February approaches....

[Sources:  The Palm Beach Post, AFP via Yahoo! News Photos, National Geographic via Yahoo! News Photos; hat-tip:  Boing Boing.]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXIX


Give a big welcome to Queen Elizabeth's newest subject, born yesterday in the northwest of England.

[Source:  Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images via Daily Dish.]

Friday, January 21, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXVIII

This guy is fabulous. 

And this isn't even his most awesomest image, either (but he doesn't allow downloading from his work on Flickr...which you can peruse and enjoy here.)  His real name is Joel Robison; and, if you like surreality combined with cardboard cutouts of your favorite muppet, you might want to check him out.

[Source:  Boy Wonder on Flickr via My Modern Met.]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXVII - Part Deux

Not so much a melting pot as a "gorgeous mosaic", as former NYC Mayor David Dinkins used to say.  I wonder if Sarah Palin can pick out the "real Americans" using this map...?

One of the most fascinating aspects of this map is that it isn't based on race, but rather solely on the national origins of a surname.  Yes, someone with the surname Nguyen is probably Vietnamese and therefore Asian, but what about Jones or Jackson?  An African-American may carry such a surname, but its origin is with a white plantation owner.  I find this simultaneously sad and cool.

Go to the source below, and you'll be able to click on an interactive map that will allow you to zoom in....

[Source:  National Geographic via My Modern Met.]

Awesomest Image du Jour XXVII

Shades of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, no?  Except with that  edgy-yet-completely-clean japonaise angle (pun intended).

It's also just a totally cool picture -- powerful, engaging, colorful, and slightly confusing.  The photographer is Navid Baraty.

[Source:  National Geographic's Photo of the Day for January 20, 2011.]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Awesomest Image(s) du Jour XXVI

Stop what you're doing and watch this hilarious, pee-in-your-pants-, coffee-spittingly funny human voice-over of animals just doing their thang.  It's British, so you know it's that way that they have.

You're welcome.

[Hat-tip:  Daily Dish.]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXV

There's a beautiful Earth out tonight....

Found this at Futility Closet.  There's an accompanying quote from Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who relates how petty international politics seem when confronted with a view like the one above.  Here's the money quote:  You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that, you son of a bitch."


[Source:  some cool guy named "Hugh" via Futility Closet.]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXIV

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin...born 305 years ago today!

The painting -- Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky -- is by Benjamin West (1738-1820), an Anglo-American painter who also happened to be a close friend of Franklin's.  It is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

[Source:; image source:]

"Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky" by Benjamin West (1738-1820).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXIII

O hai!

Welcome back, Belizean Harpy Eagles!

[Source:  Animal Planet, via Towleroad.]

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXII

Check out Dan Savage and Aaron Huffman's send up of Palin's crosshair map....

Powerful stuff.

[Source: Slog, via Boing Boing.]

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Blood libel"

Or, yet another dog whistle from Team Palin.

It took four days, but Sarah Palin's think tank has finally prepared a scripted response to the almost immediate association with what happened on Saturday in Arizona and her repeated use of gun-related language and imagery during and since the 2008 campaign, and especially during the 2010 campaign when her now infamous cross-hairs map (see my post from Jan. 9) targeted certain congressional districts across the country...including Rep. Giffords'.  Characteristically, Palin defends her own right to "vigorous and spirited public debate" but decries others debating the extent to which her or others' rhetoric has created a climate that, however inadvertantly, facilitates the kind of violence we have now witnessed.

In short:  she can dish it out, but cannot take it.

This kind of response is classic Palin; however, there was something in this last message that stood out...and I do not believe by accident.  Not happy to settle for the now familiar taunt to the "lamestream media", she has upped the ante by accusing "journalists and pundits" of "manufactur[ing] a blood libel."

"Blood libel"...sounds pretty bad, right?  But what exactly is a "blood libel"?  Wikipedia to the rescue!

A "blood libel" is a false accusation aimed at religious minorities, traditionally Jews, to foster revulsion and aid in their persecution.  Whether it's the blood of Christian babies for matzos or poisoning a well or desecrating the host, these libels created a climate of hysteria, resulting in centuries of progroms and, ultimately, the Nazi death camps.

So what's going on here?  Palin's writers could have used any number of other words to describe what they see as the media unfairly ganging up on her.  Witch-hunt.  Jihad.  Vigilantes.  But they chose "blood libel".  Think, when was the last time you heard this particular term?  If you're like me, possibly never.

It is my assertion that Palin and her writers chose this term knowingly.  As a conservative and fundamentalist Christian, she would no doubt be familiar with it.  Interestingly here, however, the accuser and the victim are inverted.  In Palin's scenario, she is the innocent Jew, falsely accused of treachery by the "Christians" -- the media.  This is provocative because we all know Palin wears her Christianity on her sleeve and that many of her ilk widely assume that the "lamestream media" is largely, if not exclusively, controlled by Jews.  In other words:  did Palin get a backhanded, anti-Semetic swipe at her media "enemies" while maintaining an escape hatch by painting herself as the wronged Jew in this "blood libel" story?

You might reasonably argue that she's simply not bright enough to have had this in mind or that I'm grasping at straws, but I would counter with the fact that her supporters' ears will prick when they hear the "blood libel" dog whistle in this carefully crafted message designed to hit back.  And I'm willing to bet not just them.

We'll see.

[Source:  TPM; image:  a 1305 Judensau from Wittenberg via Wikipedia.]

P.S.  It is perhaps also worth noting that Rep. Giffords is Jewish.  (Hat-tip:  The Guardian.]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XXI

Our morning commute.

[Photo by William Albert Allard.  Source:  National Geographic.]

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XX

What, did they misplace their broom!?

It's more like the house misplaced its inhabitants...the whole town, in fact!  This is one of a series by Damien du Toit ("coda" on Flickr), a photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa.  Check out his website here.  The particular image above is from a ghost town in Namibia called Kolmanskop.  Click here to see the others.

[Hat-tip:  Daily Dish.]

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In the crosshairs

As promised, this time they came armed.  And loaded.

We all knew this was going to happen, and now it has.

[Source:  Daily Dish.]

Friday, January 7, 2011

Awesomest Image(s) du Jour XIX

These took me a while to fully digest.

They are print ads currently running in Germany.  Fun!

[Source: Ads of the World, via copyranter, via Daily Dish.]

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XVIII

The Daily Show gives John McCain the puppet treatment.

You ignore Jon at your peril.

[Source: TPM.]

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XVII

Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

Construction on what was to become one of the most iconic bridges in the world began on this date in 1933.  It officially opened on May 27, 1937.

[Source:; image:  photograph by George Steinmetz/Corbis for National Geographic via]

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XVI

Paging Mr. DalĂ­...!

[Source:  Boing Boing.]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour XV


Photographer Darren Kirby (bulliver on Flickr) captured this wonderful time-elapsed image during the Perseid meteor shower back in August.  The circular pattern is the normal star track; a meteor can be detected zooming in at about an 80-degree angle above the 3rd tallest tree from the left; and you can make out the straight path of a jet having flown right across the whole image.

[Source:  bulliver's photostream on Flickr via Boing Boing.]