Thursday, March 31, 2011

Awesomest Image/[Coincidence] du Jour LXXII


...premiered on Broadway on this date in 1943.

Coincidentally, today is also Shirley Jones' birthday.  The show that would give us one of her most memorable roles premiered on her 9th birthday.

Happy Birthday to both!

[Images sources:  1943 Album Cover, 1955 Film Poster; story source:]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXXI

These are very amusing:

Click here to see the 10 others.

[Source:  My Modern Met.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXX

Unbeknownst to me while in Maine this past weekend for a funeral, this was taking place not 45 miles up the road a piece:

It's an annual fundraiser for Maine Handicapped Skiing that has regional firefighters compete in full gear at the Sunday River ski resort in Newry, Maine.

I'm happy to report to my cousin that the team from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, placed first. 

[Image Source:  AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty via WaPo; local story:  Sun Journal.]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXIX

Tomorrow morning, I am leaving on a jet plane...for Boston -- the first leg of a journey to Maine for a funeral.  This image was taken in Boston; in fact, you can see Logan Airport's control tower immediately to the left of the big, orange supermoon from March 19th.

I haven't been to Boston in a million years, and I'm sorry that I'll be just passing through.

[Source:  Dennis Di Cicco/TWAN via NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXVIII

Ya gotta love the Swiss.

First they went over the Alps (Gotthard Pass).  Then they tunneled 9 miles through the Alps from Göschenen on the north side to Airolo on the south side (Gotthard Rail Tunnel).

Now they've just cold busted through them at the bottom...

...with this thing.

Welcome to the Gotthard Base Tunnel, due to open in 2016.  35 miles long, you'll transport yourself from steely-grey, northern skies to sunny, sub-tropical Ticino in minutes!

Check out a map of the area here.

However, it must be said, that what we'll gain in convenience and speed will come at the expense of one of the world's great train rides.  Hopefully, the old 1881 rail tunnel will remain in use for a more leisurely and romantic approach to crossing the Alps.

Knowing the Swiss, it will.

[Source:  Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann via Boing Boing.]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXVII

Col. Gaddafi is but the latest thorn on the rose that is North Africa.

Not quite 210 years ago, President Jefferson decided he would no longer pay protection money to the Barbary states for safe passage of U.S. ships on the Mediterranean Sea.  To drive the point home, he sent American warships to announce the fact.  The first battle was August 1, 1801. 

The American ship -- the USS Enterprise -- emerged victorious.

The past is prologue.

[Source:  The Atlantic via NPR; image source:  Wikipedia, ca. 1878 drawing by U.S. Navy Captain William Bainbridge Hoff.]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXVI - Part Deux

Yeah, what!?

Something fun from Japan...just 'cuz.  These are whooper swans from Hokkaido's Notsuke Bay, photographed by Stefano Unterthiner.

[Source:  National Geographic.]

Awesomest Image du Jour - LXVI

Happy 326th Birthday, Johann!

Below is an image of Bach's Violin Sonata No. 1 (BWV 1001) in his own hand.


[Source:  Wikipedia.]

Friday, March 18, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour - LXV

A day late, I grant you...but well worth the wait:

This image of the aptly-named Emerald Isle was captured by NASA's MODIS Rapid Response System on October 11, 2010.  Given Ireland's wet, temperate climate (hence the incredible green), cloudless days that make a picture like his possible are very rare indeed.

As always, click to enlarge.

[Source:  NASA's Earth Oservatory:  Image of the Day for St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2011.]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXIV

Go ahead and jump!

I found this image (and 11 others) on My Modern Met, where they were letting people know about a digital camera competition currently accepting submissions:  Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2011, presented by in conjunction with The Royal Photographic Society.  [Click here for the official contest website.]

This year's prize is £20,000.

[Source:  My Modern Met.  Image:  Jump by Wayne Lawes (UK), 2010 winner for Creative License.  Click here for this and other 2010 winners.]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Awesomest Image(s) du Jour LXIII

Happy 191st Birthday, Maine!

Maine became the United States' 23rd State on this day in 1820, as a result of the Missouri Compromise.  Up until then, it had been known as the District of Maine, officially a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

My mother's direct paternal line has been there since at least 1660...and in the same town (Auburn) since 1799.  I'm the first of that line to have been born "away" (New York).

But we did return, and I grew up there...graduating from the same high school as my mother, grandfather and great-grandfather.  I hated being there as a teenager, but I love coming back now for visits.  There's a weather-worn quality to the place that I once thought was simply shabby.  I now understand that it's a hard-fought patina, well-earned and under-appreciated by our modern society that designs and expects planned-obsolescence.

I'll be travelling there at the end of next week for a funeral; and, though the occassion is sad, I cannot say that I'm not happy to have even this excuse to sneak in a quick visit.  The lady whose life we'll be celebrating, like me, was born "away" (Massachusetts), but her life was always connected to Maine, and she spent the majority of her life as a permanent resident.  To me, she represented the best parts of the place:  a quintessentially Yankee brew of independence and interdependence, frugality and hospitality, simple approaches to complex challenges like climate and terrain, pragmatism, joyful exuberance and a great sense of humor.

It'll be good to be back.

[Image source:  Wikipedia.]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LXII - Part Deux

In case you were wondering....

Easy as pi!

[Source:  Wikipedia via Boing Boing.]

Awesomest Image du Jour LXII

Milan at night.

The brilliant white light from which the streets radiate out is the historic center.  The image was captured by an astronaut back on February 22 of this year.  Click the image to enlarge.

[Source:  NASA's Gateway to Astronaut Photography via NASA's Earth Observatory.]

Friday, March 11, 2011

Awesomest Image(s) du Jour LXI

Awesome as in awe-producing...and not in a good way.

Via The New York Times:

Kyodo News via Associated Press

Kyodo News via Associated Press

Keichi Nakane/Yomiuri Shimbun via Associated Press

Kyodo News via Associated Press

I can't even imagine....

[Source:  The New York Times.]

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LX

Be careful...don't touch; it's hot!

This spectacular image of a portion of the Sun was taken this past March 3rd on West Summerland Key, Florida, by Alan Friedman.

Click to enlarge (and then use the magnifying glass to further enlarge); it's seriously freaky.

[Source:  Alan Friedman via Discover Magazine via Towleroad.]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LIX

"Aschermittwoch" by Carl Spitzweg.

"Ash Wednesday" in English.  It was painted between 1855 and 1860 and hangs in the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie.

[Source:  Wikipedia.]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LVIII

Happy Fat Tuesday, Everyone!

[Source:  BBC - Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.]

Monday, March 7, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LVII

Wait...nobody move!  I dropped a contact lens!!

Can you imagine?  Holy cow!  (Literally...this is India.)

I also say "holy cow" because this is a street scene in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), the capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.  The metropolitan area has a population exceeding 15 million, which makes it, according to Wikipedia, the eighth largest urban agglomeration in the world.

[Source:  National Geographic Photo of the Day; photographer:  Randy Olson.]

Friday, March 4, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LVI

Recent inter-U.S. migration statistics:

For interactive maps and features of the comings and goings of Americans by region and states, click through to the Pew Research Center.

[Source:  Pew Research Center via The Map Room.]

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LV

La bella luna!

Ok, ok, I know what you're all thinking:  the moon...big deal...feh.  But go ahead and click on the image to enlarge, and I think you'll agree it's pretty spectacular.  It's a composite of over 1,300 images taken over a two-week period this past December by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Follow the LRO link to get even more incredibly-detailed views.

[Source:  NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.]

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LIV


This is but one piece by artist Brian Dettmer, otherwise known as The Book Surgeon.

Click on the source links below for more incredible eye-candy.

[Source:  My Modern Met; Brian Dettmer's website.]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Awesomest Image du Jour LIII - Part Deux

Could this picture be more ridiculously adorable??

No.  No, it couldn't.

You're welcome.

[Source:  some place called Garden & Gun via The Awl.]

Awesomest Image du Jour LIII

Indeed...who's to say?

[Source:  Fuck Yeah Cartography via The Map Room.]