What I See ~

Voyages Around Van 2 : Don’t Look Back

Originally posted on The Immortal Jukebox:

‘Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers in love. But always meeting ourselves.’ (James Joyce)

‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ (William Faulkner)

‘Can’t repeat the past? … Why of course you can!’ (Scott Fitzgerald)

‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.’ (Scott Fitzgerald)

Van Morrison like all true artists carries an Eden within him that he returns to over and over again when he needs spiritual refreshment and musical inspiration. This home place contains: the real and imagined streets and avenues of 1940s and 1950s Belfast; the boats in the harbour; the creeping morning fog and the booming foghorns; the scent of Shalimar and beeswax; the sounds of the musical saw and the real as prayer voice of Mahalia Jackson coming through…

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Hawking Discovers Alien Signals

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Ssshh_Dont_contact_Aliens!_230Imagine opening your browser this morning to find the startling news that alien life had been discovered.

The reports confirm that Steven Hawking, using a Titan supercomputer, began analyzing data from SETI’s telescope array in a most novel way. Using this brilliant technique, he and his colleagues discovered signals from intelligent life. At first it reads like a science fiction story but you soon find that Hawking and his colleagues have tapped into an extra-terrestrial television like transmission.

Amazingly they are watching, and reporting to the world, the first blurry images of the alien civilization’s display of themselves on the Titan monitor.

You watch in amazement as images of the strange alien race emerge from your screen. Alien races and landscapes, wacky sitcoms, low budget reality shows have been indiscriminately beamed into space. Wait a minute, sitcoms, reality shows?Moon_Hoax_1859_NY_William_Gowans

We can trust CNN, Fox News and MSN right? Pretty soon skepticism emerges. Questions are raised. Eventually you realize we’ve been taken in by a clever hoax. Despite the deception it was kind of fun and it’s hard to not appreciate the deception. For a shining moment, people around the world set aside their petty rivalries and believed in the marvel from above.

This is exactly what happened on this day in 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the discovery of life on the moon goes viral after it appears in the New York Sun newspaper.

Known as “The Great Moon Hoax,” the articles were supposedly reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. Hmmm, Edinburg Journal of Science, sounds legit.

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It was written by Dr. Andrew Grant (a fictional character) who was described as a colleague of the most famous astronomer of the day, the very real Sir John Herschel.

 Sir John Herschel

Sir John Herschel

A good hoax has to be based on some facts and Sir John had just set up a powerful new technologically advanced telescope in Cape Town, South Africa. As Grant described it, Herschel had found evidence of life forms on the moon including fantastic animals like unicorns, beaver that stood on two legs and furry winged humanoids resembling bats.

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In the articles, Grant offered a vivid description of the moon’s geography complete with rushing rivers, huge amethyst crystals and lush vegetation.

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 Richard Adams Locke

Richard Adams Locke

From the day the first article was released, the Sun’s sales increased significantly. Dang this was exciting stuff and readers ate it up, couldn’t get enough. Of course none of it was true, but Richard Adams Locke, the Sun reporter who most likely wrote the articles, thought it was great satire making fun of the Reverend Thomas Dick, who claimed in his bestselling books that the moon alone had 4.2 billion inhabitants.

Readers were completely taken in by the articles and failed to realize it was satire. The craze over the Herschel discoveries even fooled a committee of Yale scientists who traveled to New York in search of the Edinburgh Journal articles. Ah, sorry guys but that moon story … not true.

On September 16, 1835, the Sun admitted the articles had been a hoax. People were generally amused by the whole thing, and sales of the paper didn’t suffer.

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If you want to read the articles check the links below:

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Oh Captain My Captain

Happy Feet Two - European Premiere - Inside Arrivals

Dang Robin, you had some dialogue in Goodwill Hunting that changed how I look at relationships. Maybe you didn’t write it … but I felt it. Remember first seeing him on Mork and Mindy? America was thinking, “who is this guy, he’s funny”.

Maybe you remember some of these movies, there are a lot more but I just listed a couple I like…

popeye

Popeye

 

The World According to Garp

The World According to Garp

 

The Survivors

The Survivors

 

Moscow on the Hudson

Moscow on the Hudson

 

Good Morning, Vietnam

Good Morning, Vietnam

 

Cadillac Man

Cadillac Man

 

Awakenings

Awakenings

 

The Fisher King

The Fisher King

 

Hook

Hook

Toys

Toys

Aladdin

Aladdin

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire

 

Jumanji

Jumanji

 

Jack

Jack

The Birdcage

The Birdcage

 

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting

 

Flubber

Flubber

Patch Adams

Patch Adams

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

Bicentennial Man

Bicentennial Man

Insomnia

Insomnia

One Hour Photo

One Hour Photo

Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society

Oh Captain my Captain – Walt Witman

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head;

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

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Got More Than 15 Minutes

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Today is Andrew Warhola’s birthday, August 6, 1928. After being incorrectly credited as “Warhol” in an early published drawing he decided to permanently remove the “a” from his name. [above: a self-portrait of Warhol eating cornflakes]

Andy Warhol, who began painting in the late 50’s, took the advice of an art teacher who told him to paint the things he liked. Well, he liked ordinary things like comic strips, canned soup, and soft drinks, and so he painted them.

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Warhol operated out of his silver-painted studio in Manhattan called, The Factory. The Factory was Warhol’s original New York City studio from 1962 to 1968, famed for its groundbreaking parties. The Factory was the hip hangout for artsy types, amphetamine users, underground artists, social curiosities, and hangers-on, along with the Warhol superstars.

Andy Warhol and members of the Superstars: Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey, director; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 9, 1969 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Andy Warhol and members of the Superstars: Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey, director; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 9, 1969 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

velvgmwHe sponsored the influential rock group the Velvet Underground (left). Warhol, with Paul Morrissey, acted as the band’s manager. In 1966 he “produced” their first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, as well as providing its album art.

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He designed the cover art for the Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers (1971) and Love You Live (1977), along with the John Cale album The Academy in Peril (1972).

Sticky Fingers

Sticky Fingers

Love You Live

Love You Live

Academy in Peril

Academy in Peril

One of Warhol’s last works was a portrait of Aretha Franklin for the cover of her 1986 gold album Aretha.

Aritha

Aritha

Warhol also strongly influenced the new wave/punk rock band Devo, as well as David Bowie.

The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is $105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”.

Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), depicts a body twisted in the mangled interior of a silver car. It was painted by Andy Warhol at the age of 35. It is the last painting of the artist that was left in private hands. The painting is 8 by 13 foot in dimensions, and it was displayed only once in public during the last 26 years.

Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), depicts a body twisted in the mangled interior of a silver car. It was painted by Andy Warhol at the age of 35. It is the last painting of the artist that was left in private hands. The painting is 8 by 13 foot in dimensions, and it was displayed only once in public during the last 26 years.

He became a fixture on the fashion and jet-set social scenes and was famous for pithy cultural observations like, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

On February 22, 1987, he died in the hospital of a heart attack shortly after a gall bladder operation.

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The American pop artist used photography as a medium of art towards the end of his career and had a tendency to snap people in spontaneous moments.

Warhol's shot of John Lennon was taken in New York in 1979, a year before he was shot dead, and shows the boyfriend of fashion designer Halston poking his tongue out behind the Beatle.

Warhol’s shot of John Lennon was taken in New York in 1979, a year before he was shot dead, and shows the boyfriend of fashion designer Halston poking his tongue out behind the Beatle.

Liberace

Liberace

Mick Jagger with author William Burroughs

Mick Jagger with author William Burroughs

Lou Reed and Ronnie Cutrone.

Lou Reed and Ronnie Cutrone.

Springsteen

Springsteen

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

John 'Jellybean' Benitez and Madonna

John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and Madonna

Sting

Sting

Dylan Warhol Andy-Warhol-and-Mick-Jagger-at-Warhols-Factory-in-1977

Andy Warhol (1966) filming of the Velvet Underground in a rehearsal. Click “Watch on YouTube”.

Check Out This Lineup!

newport68

Saturday August 3rd

  • Alice Cooper1968newport_02
  • Canned Heat
  • Chambers Brothers
  • Charles Lloyd Quartet
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • Electric Flag
  • James Cotton Blues Band
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Sonny & Cher
  • Steppenwolf
  • Tiny Tim

tinyTim

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Sunday August 4th

Jerry Garcia with Ken Kesey

Jerry Garcia with Ken Kesey

  • Blue Cheer
  • Eric Burdon & the Animals
  • Grateful Dead
  • Illinois Speed Press
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • The Byrds
  • Things to Come

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Not listed on the official poster but also played somewhere on the grounds:

  • Lovin’ Spoonful
  • Rhinoceros
  • Sky Pilot
  • The Turtles

19680914_0280_previewThe first Newport Pop Festival was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, on the weekend of August 3–4, 1968. It is believed to have been the first pop music concert attended by more than 100,000 paying concertgoers. Rolling Stone Mag estimated there were closer to 140,000. Admission to the festival was $5.50 per day. Concert goers recall helicopters dropping flowers on the audience.

Here’s some cool footage of The Grateful Dead & Jefferson Airplane on Stage at The Newport Pop festival August 4’th 1968. All Photos are from the show. There is not much out there from 1968. But this footage is from HistoricalFilms.com. I do not own it but they give you a free low res download and this is it :)

Not from the ’68 show but they played this … plus I just like it. Quicksilver Messenger: Fresh Air

 

 

Good Buddies: Ford & Gandhi

Gandhi-Ford1

Ford Writes Fan Letter

You may not know this but Henry Ford was an avowed pacifist. After living through the First World War he found himself disgusted by war. When Hitler invaded Poland, Britain and France he found himself in despair over the then current global situation.

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The automaker also disliked imperialism and was hopeful that Mahatma Gandhi’s campaign to push British rule out of India would be successful, establishing Indian home rule.

On this day in 1941, Ford wrote a letter to Gandhi offering his support and admiration. In part it read: “I want to take this opportunity of sending you a message…to tell you how deeply I admire your life and message. You are one of the greatest men the world has ever known. May God help you and guide your lofty work.” Ford considered Gandhi’s leadership and unwavering commitment to peace an example the rest of the world could follow.

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Gandhi didn’t receive the letter until December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Gandhi was overjoyed with receiving such a heartfelt note from the great industrialist and considered it a good omen for his work. Greatly pleased, he decided to respond in kind by sending a portable spinning wheel, one of the old-fashioned devices that Gandhi famously used to produce his own cloth.

Gandhi advocated the boycott of the machine made European clothing as it caused large scale unemployment in India. He took to making hand-made cloth called Khadi that was inexpensive and suitable for poor Indians. Most importantly, it showed Indians how to be self-reliant. Gandhi spun cloth in jail and also used it as a meditative process.

The portable spinning wheel, called a charkha in Hindi, "folds into a bundle about the size of a portable typewriter and has a handle for carrying. When unfolded for use it is operated by turning a small crank which runs the two wheels and spindle of the device",

The portable spinning wheel, called a charkha in Hindi, “folds into a bundle about the size of a portable typewriter and has a handle for carrying. When unfolded for use it is operated by turning a small crank which runs the two wheels and spindle of the device”

 

Mr. T. A. Raman Presents a Portable Spinning Wheel to Henry Ford

Mr. T. A. Raman Presents a Portable Spinning Wheel to Henry Ford

The wheel, autographed in Hindi and English, was shipped some 12,000 miles sending it across the world, over submarine-infested waters, and personally delivered to Ford by T.A. Raman, the London editor of the United Press of India. Ford kept it as a good luck charm as well as a symbol of the principles of simplicity and economic independence that both he and Gandhi championed.

T.A. Raman’s description of delivering the charkha to Ford

T.A. Raman’s description of delivering the charkha to Ford (click to enlarge)

martin-luthur-king-and-gandhi-cartoon

'When I turned the other cheek, it surprised him ... and that's when I let him have it.'

GADO-daily-27sep2012-839139_525_380_w

 

 

Happy Birthday Rembrandt

800px-B320_Rembrandt

Today, July 15, 1606, is Rembrandt’s birthday. Born Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn he is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and of course the most important in Dutch history. [Image above: Self-portrait in a cap, with eyes wide open, etching and burin, 1630]

His contributions came during what historians call the Dutch Golden Age. Rembrandt has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization” because of his perceived empathy for the human condition.

His most famous works include:

Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632)

the-anatomy-lesson-of-dr-nicolaes-tulp-1632

tumblr_luva4u8TO51qz6f9yo1_500

Belshazzar’s Feast (1635)

belshazzar

the Million Dollar Man's Feast flat

Night Watch, his most celebrated work (1642)

rembrandt_night_watch

tumblr_mgqlrnn9r11s30dxpo1_500

Bathsheba at Her Bath (1654)

Rembrandt_-_Bathsheba_at_Her_Bath_-_WGA19090

rembrandt-bathsheba-at-her-bath-parody

Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild (1662)

Netherlands-4183_-_The_Syndics 04_JaimieWarren

Rembrandt was a prolific self-portraitist producing over 40 self-paintings, a few drawings and 31 etchings of himself.

1

A young Rembrandt, c. 1628, when he was 22

2

Self-portrait, c. 1629

3

Self-portrait, 1630

4

Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret and Furred Mantel 1634

5

Self-portrait, at 34, 1640

6

Self-Portrait, oil on canvas, 1652

7

Self-portrait, Vienna c. 1655

8

Self-Portrait, 1660

9

Self-Portrait with Two Circles, 1660

Self-Portrait as Zeuxis, c. 1662

Self-Portrait as Zeuxis, c. 1662

Self-portrait, 1669

Self-portrait, 1669

Self-portrait, dated 1669, the year he died

Self-portrait, dated 1669, the year he died

Curious Beginnings

Flag_of_the_Smithsonian_Institution_svgJohns-James_Smithson-1816

June 27, 1829: James Smithson Dies

Talk about odd beginnings, when James Smithson died, he left everything to his only nephew….

…unless his nephew died without any heirs. In that case he decreed that the whole of his estate would go to, “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Curious as he left his estate to a country, a country he had never visited!  [top picture is the Smithsonian Flag]

Smithson at Oxford, 1786

Smithson at Oxford, 1786

Smithson was a fellow of the esteemed Royal Society of London from the age 22. He published numerous papers on mineral composition, geology and chemistry.

As it would happen, six years after his death, Smithson’s nephew, Henry James Hungerford, dies without heirs. President Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate the transfer of the funds. Two years later Rush sets sail for America with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, eight shillings, and seven pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000.

smithsonian-map-washingtondc

After much haggling by too many politicians the Smithsonian Institute was finally established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”.

The “Star Spangled Banner” – the actual flag that flew over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during a British naval bombardment and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the poem that would become our national anthem is housed at the Smithonian

The “Star Spangled Banner” – the actual flag that flew over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during a British naval bombardment and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the poem that would become our national anthem is housed at the Smithonian

North Atlantic Right Whale model

North Atlantic Right Whale model

Termed “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 137 million items, the Institution’s Washington, D.C. nucleus of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo—many of them historical or architectural landmarks—is the largest such complex in the world.

Enola Gay

Enola Gay

Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers

Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers

 

 

 

 

 

The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting marvels of aviation and space history such as the Wright brothers’ plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space. John Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution’s great benefactor, is interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building.

Wright Brothers Flier

Wright Brothers Flier

Original Mercury Spacecraft Freedom 7

Original Mercury Spacecraft Freedom 7

The unveiling of the Fénykövi Elephant on March 6, 1959. Image from Smithsonian Institution Archives

The unveiling of the Fénykövi Elephant on March 6, 1959. Image from Smithsonian Institution Archives

Do you see a human head and body on the engraved stone to the right? Scientific studies show that humans deepened the natural grooves on this stone and smoothed planes and curves to create an image. This may be one of the earliest representations of a human figure.

Do you see a human head and body on the engraved stone above? Scientific studies show that humans deepened the natural grooves on this stone and smoothed planes and curves to create an image. This may be one of the earliest representations of a human figure.

Richard Matzkin, Lovers Reclining , at National Portrait Gallery

Richard Matzkin, Lovers Reclining , at National Portrait Gallery

 

 

 

No-Hopers

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No-Hopers

A dishwasher, two mailmen, a teacher and a mill worker, described as a band of “no-hopers”, defeat the powerhouse, the “Kings of Football”, the polished English soccer team at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

1950 American Team

1950 American Team

Today in 1950, what is referred to as the “Miracle on Green”, the American team composed mostly of amateurs, defeated the English team known at the time as the “Kings of Football”. It’s members had a record of 23 wins, only 4 loses and 3 draws since the end of World War II! All were professional players hand-picked from England’s powerful domestic teams.

By contrast, the American teams had lost their last 7 international matches. Bookies gave the Brits 3-1 odds compared to the Americans 500-1! The new coach for the American team agreed, telling a British reporter, “We have no chance.”

Action from England v US, 1950

Action from England v US, 1950

The English team assaulted the Americans with one clear shot after another, but goalie, Frank Borghi (who drove a hearse in St Louis) managed to tip them all.

Frank Borghi

Frank Borghi

Goal!

Goal!

With 10 minutes left in the first half, forward Joe Gaetjens scored with a diving header. The English team lashed back frantically in the second half but nothing got past goalie Borghi. The 30,000 Brazilians went wild (knowing the British loss helped their own team) carrying Gaetjens off the field in celebration (top photo).

Cya George

640px-George_Carlin_1969

George Carlin died today in 2008 of heart failure. He was 71. Born in New York City, Carlin dropped out of high school and joined the Air Force. When he was stationed at Barksdale AFB in Bossie City, LA he began working on the side as a disc jockey at radio station KJOE in nearby Shreveport.

George_Carlin_In_concert_at_the_Zembo_Mosque,_Harrisburg,_Pa d5zqysUWWSK0Rl5zxtwG6ynE1wH

Ah George, he was labeled by his superiors as, an “unproductive airman” and eventually discharged early in 1957. During his time in the Air Force he had been court martialed three times, and received several nonjudicial punishments.

George Carlin

He worked as a radio announcer and disc jockey in Boston and Fort Worth TX after his discharge. George was half of a comedy duo with Jack Burns, and made his first solo appearance on the Tonight Show in 1962.

You could see Carlin on many television variety shows of the 60’s, where his famed routines included:

The Indian Sergeant (“You wit’ the beads… get outta line”)

Stupid disc jockeys (“Wonderful WINO…”)—”The Beatles’ latest record, when played backwards at slow speed, says ‘Dummy! You’re playing it backwards at slow speed!'”

Al Sleet, the “hippie-dippie weatherman”—”Tonight’s forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely scattered light towards morning.”

 god

A routine from his third hit album, Class Clown (also 1972) grew into the comic’s now-famous profanity-laced routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” When first broadcast on New York radio, a complaint led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban the broadcast as “indecent.” The Supreme Court later upheld the order, which remains in effect today. He was even arrested several times, once during an appearance in Milwaukee, for violating obscenity laws.

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that’ll infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war. ”

~George Carlin, Class Clown, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television

George-Carlin1

george-carlin

GeorgeCarlinHappy1

Carlin was asked to be the first guest host of the new sketch comedy show called, Saturday Night Live. He gave his last live comedy show in Vegas just weeks before his death.

WTF-1

GEORGECARLIN

 

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