Jesse Collins, and then some.

A blog dedicated to those who would rather be at the cottage.

Archive for January, 2008

Another shot from the Library of Congress

Friday, January 18th, 2008

A carpenter at the TVA’s new Douglas dam on the French Broad River, Tennessee.

This photograph is gorgeous. He’s wearing the type of skull bucket that I want to create as the iconographic style for Moxy Webworks.

This dam will be 161 feet high and 1,682 feet long, with a 31,600-acre reservoir area extending 43 miles upstream. With a useful storage capacity of approximately 1,330,000 acre-feet.

All that I have are these, to remember you.

Friday, January 18th, 2008

If like me, you get a kick out of old photography and ephemera—the thrill of looking through a window into the not-so-distant past—then you’ll share my excitement about the American Library of Congress/Flickr pilot project.

To set the scene, the Library of Congress is the national library of the United States, located in Washington, D.C.; Flickr is an internet success story: a photo-sharing site, where users can upload their own photographs, view others and comment on and tag ones that catch their interest. And a “tag” is a keyword assigned to a piece of information (a picture, a geographic map, a blog entry, a video clip etc.), describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification and search of information.

Here’s the skinny: The LoC has uploaded thousands of copyright-free images to Flickr, hoping that users will be able to tag them, and possibly add some insight to ones for which they have only partial information.

We want people to tag, comment and make notes on the images, just like any other Flickr photo, which will benefit not only the community but also the collections themselves. For instance, many photos are missing key caption information such as where the photo was taken and who is pictured. If such information is collected via Flickr members, it can potentially enhance the quality of the bibliographic records for the images.

From the announcement on the Library of Congress blog.

But the pictures themselves are the star of the show; it’s like rummaging through your grandparents’ attic, if you’re grandparents happened to have been globe-trotting vagabonds with an endless appetite for any and all interests and pastimes.

So when I rolled up my sleeves to dig in to the images, here’s the first one I see.
[James Mullen, 2B, 1909-11 (baseball)] (LOC)

A shot from 1910 – 1912, of a ball player from my adopted hometown—in Canada. Too cool.

So if you want to check out the images yourself, and maybe even login to Flickr and add some info you might have, visit the LOC Flickr pages. And be prepared to kiss your afternoon goodbye.

You might also want to check out Shorpy.

Storming Normandy, on a budget.

Monday, January 14th, 2008


On the road again.

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Murph asked for it – here it is. The best story about Bolivia’s Road of Death is the BBC’s.

There’s a mountain-biker’s tragic account and Dark Roasted Blend has a great series of images, as well.

But the best video of driving a mountain road is Top Gear’s below. Take a Gravol, an enjoy.

Is he or isn’t he? Only his ghostwriter know for sure.

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this theatre-of-the-absurd American Primary season is following some of the marginal candidates.

Some of you may have even seen the original post I made about how much I liked Ron Paul, updated with a retraction some time ago when I learned about a newsletter published under his name that was filled with racist commentary. Then the mainstream media got wind of that story (Wolf Blitzer on CNN interviewed Paul about it) and it really started to muddy the waters for Paul.

It really is too bad. Not just because it exposes the bad things that can happen when you’re asleep on the watch (Paul claims the articles where published under his name but without his knowledge or endorsement – that’s not just asleep; that’s comatose), but also how some great ideas might get taken off the table. The baby is going out with the bath-water, but this bath-water is really rancid.

One of the things that Paul has brought to national attention is the whole concept of the Federal Reserve. While discussions about banking generally make my eyes glaze over, Paul appeared in a doc that explained the whole concept pretty thoroughly. It’s a question that Americans should be asking (and Canadians, as well, being their largest trading partner): is the Federal Reserve accountable, open, necessary, good, evil–or even understood? Who’s driving this bus?

It was Paul’s comments about the Fed that led me to this documentary, Zeitgeist. I know enough about film-making to understand that it’s surprisingly easy to skew a point-of-view and give it weight and meaning. The presentation of information can truly mislead. Moreover, controversial documentaries can stir the pot, but the sources in Zeitgeist are poorly credited even if some of the message might be sound.

But I’m curious to hear what others think about this position: is the Federal Reserve the enslaver of a free people? Or is that just a left-wing propagandist bogeyman?

And the final clip in this post about Paul’s unswerving Republican beliefs… Here he rips a very smarmy and didactic little prig from Fox News, who seems infatuated with his own voice and drips condescension (“Sir…”) Paul initially takes it in stride, but then ramps his response up to stinging indictment of the other candidates.

When I haven't been fishing, I've been looking at these on the dial-up: