Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Victor Fontan


Victor Fontan (1892 - 1982) was a French cyclist who led the 1929 Tour de France but dropped out after knocking at doors at night to ask for another bicycle.

His plight led to a change of rules to prevent it happening again. He was also one of three riders who all wore the yellow jersey of leadership on the same day, the only time it has happened.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Gertraud Traudl Junge

After WWII, Nuremberg judge Michael Musmanno set out to quash rumors that Hitler was secretly still alive.
This footage is part of a series of fascinating, unearthed video interviews he conducted with the last people to see the Fuhrer alive.
Hitlers last secretary, Gertraud Traudl Junge, is wearing a beret during her interview, she can be seen at time stamp 1:00, 1:24 w/o beret and at 1:42 and 2:26. 
Fascinating material.
Thanks Wayne

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Fear' Naught Prototypes

Collectors Only: The Fear' Naught Prototypes.
The 'prototypes' are the Fear' Naught models that didn't make it in production; berets that are absolutely unique, handmade one-only models in 30 and 33.5cm diameter. 
One in each colour combination only @ $50.00.

Basker

In 1963 Swedish SVT TV recorded two documentaries on Basque culture, in which many scenes of lost customs are recorded. 
Ethnographer Argibel Euba discovered these documentaries and put them out to the public again. The title is "Basker"; Swedish for "Basque", but also used to identify a beret. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Paul van Nevel


Paul Van Nevel (1946) is a Belgian conductor, musicologist and art historian. In 1971 he founded the Huelgas Ensemble, a choir dedicated to polyphony from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Van Nevel is known for hunting out little known polyphonic medieval works to perform.
He grew up in a musical family. From the age of 11 to 18 he used to sing four hours a day. His father played violin and encouraged his son to play every instrument in the house. 
Van Nevel teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and has been guest conductor of the Collegium Vocale Gent, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the choir of the Netherlands Bach Society. 
Van Nevel is well known for his fondness for cigars, this interest finding musical outlet in The Art of the Cigar.
Thanks, Frans & Marc

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Sexiest Green Berets

Spanish broadcaster Tele 5 names Blanca Suarez and Hugo Silva the sexiest of Green Berets. Both star in a mini-series which portrays a rescue operation in Mali, run by the Spanish elite unit.

Friday, June 21, 2019

21 June

21 June - the start of winter or summer...
Certainly winter down here in the South Pacific; heavy duty wool beret weather for the next few months and pure envy for those boineros/boineras up north, basking in the sun under your cotton beret!
Enjoy, wherever you are!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Culturally Appropriate Signage

 I have never understood the need to show other road users that you have a "baby aboard"; a sign I so often see on the rear window of cars.
However, I quite like the culturally appropriate sign that French vehicle owners/parents use.
The same for learner driver; the French sign is certainly much better than the plain L seen in New Zealand!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Solex


Solex is a French manufacturer of carburetors and the powered bicycle VéloSoleX.
The VéloSoleX has a 49 cc (3.0 cu in) motor mounted above the front wheel. Power is delivered via a small ceramic roller that rotates directly on the front wheel by friction to the tire.
The first prototype of a VéloSoleX was created in 1941 and used regular bicycle frames such as those under the Alcyon brand and were powered by a 45 cc (2.7 cu in) engine developed by Solex. VéloSoleX were produced commercially and sold starting in 1946 with a 45 cc engine without clutch, then later with a 49 cc engine.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Skull

The skull is a bony structure that forms the head in vertebrates. It supports the structures of the face and provides a protective cavity for the brain. The skull is composed of two parts: the cranium and the mandible. In humans, these two parts are the neurocranium and the viscerocranium or facial skeleton that includes the mandible as its largest bone. 
The skull forms the anterior most portion of the skeleton and is a product of cephalisation—housing the brain, and several sensory structures such as the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. In humans these sensory structures are part of the facial skeleton.
Functions of the skull include protection of the brain, fixing the distance between the eyes to allow stereoscopic vision, and fixing the position of the ears to enable sound localisation of the direction and distance of sounds. In some animals such as horned ungulates, the skull also has a defensive function by providing the mount (on the frontal bone) for the horns.
The English word "skull" is probably derived from Old Norse "skulle", while the Latin word cranium comes from the Greek root κρανίον (kranion).


Monday, June 17, 2019

Ghost Army


In June 1944 in Normandy — shortly after D-Day — two French peasants stumbled upon an unusual sight: Four Americans were hoisting a 40-ton Sherman tank into the air and seemed to be barely breaking a sweat. One of the G.I.s, noting the farmers’ bewilderment, called out, “The Americans are very strong!” 
The baffled Frenchmen could have been forgiven for believing they had just witnessed a scene from a Captain America comic book. In reality, they had wandered into the bivouac of an important and highly secretive military unit — the 23rd Special Troops. What they had seen was not a real Sherman tank, but an elegantly crafted, inflated replica.
Also known as the Ghost Army, the 23rd Special Troops were activated on Jan. 20, 1944, in Camp Forest, Tennessee. The Ghost Army’s mission was straightforward: hoodwink Hitler’s military machine into thinking the Americans possessed more men and hardware than they actually did and deceive their opponents as to their basing, deployments, and movements. 
In short, the soldiers of the 23rd were charged with tactical deception, and their inventory reflected this mission. In lieu of artillery and heavy weapons, the Ghost Army was equipped with truckloads of inflatable tanks, trucks, artillery, jeeps, and airplanes. Recordings of sound-effects were mixed on turntables, then blasted from speakers to emulate the din and activity of nearby divisions — the hammering of pontoon bridges, the movement of convoys, and the salty conversations of soldiers.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Beret from Dachau

Likewise with previous posts on berets and Auschwitz (here and here), I reluctantly post these pictures. 
Being a chronicler of berets and this being a blog on "everything beret", these photos do deserve a place here though.  
Prisoners at Dachau concentration camp were made to wear these blue woolen berets, marked with an embroidered Star of David in yellow.
Nowadays, berets like these sell for astronomical amounts on auction sites. Who could have possibly imagined that, 75 years ago..?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Elisabeth Leonskaja

Elisabeth Leonskaja (1945) is a Soviet and Austrian pianist. She was born to a family of Jewish and Polish origin, living in Tbilisi, then the capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.
When Leonskaja was six and a half, her parents were able to buy her her first upright piano. At 11, she gave her orchestral debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto in C Major (Op. 15), at 13 her first solo recital. 
In 1964, Leonskaja began studies in the Moscow Conservatory. 
Leonskaja left the Soviet Union in 1978 and has since then resided in Vienna. A notable recording of hers is of Edvard Grieg's piano transcriptions of Mozart's piano sonatas K. 545 and K. 533/494, accompanied by Sviatoslav Richter, with whom she built a close friendship and collaboration. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Chyldish Fear Naught Cotton Berets on SPECIAL

On SPECIAL this week are the down to earth, pure cotton Chyldish Fear Naught berets; made for every day wear, fitted with a solid cotton lining and the Chyldish Fear Naught label. 
Available in Raven-Black and 3 earthy colours: Earth, Rock and Indigo - Exclusively at South Pacific Berets.
(For one week only at a 20+% discount, @ $39.40 as long as stock lasts). 

Harry Broad

New Zealander Harry Broad is an award-winning lifelong journalist, having been a former farm magazine editor, and a pest control advocate for conservation. 
Harry is the author of Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand's largest high-country station, which won the 2014 NZ Post Booksellers' Choice Award.
Molesworth is a beautiful book showing stunning photography (by Rob Suisted). Although few, if any, berets are worn on the station, Harry wears his permanently (looking very much like a Tartan 11.5"). 
Harry also reviews books fro Radio NZ and has had a long interest in the history of the South Island's rural and high-country areas.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Crossbow and the Beret


It is 1988-the height of the Cold War. At Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, David Balzen is a straightforward, decisive, and ethical security police sergeant. But when he finds himself the solo hostage negotiator at a top secret research hangar, Balzen soon learns that reality is farther from his reach than he ever imagined.
While bargaining for the release of a female research assistant from a demented physicist, Balzen is confronted with one of man's oldest dreams or, in his case, a nightmare. During a last-ditch effort to save Christine Townsend, Balzen is thrown into the physicist's time machine's beam and suddenly finds himself in Camelot without weapons and tools. With his life at the mercy of King Arthur, Balzen must prove himself worthy enough to be returned to his homeland. When Balzen is commissioned to assassinate an evil rogue, he is provided with a servant girl to assist him who looks incredibly similar to Townsend. Compounding matters, Balzen is about to discover that no one in Camelot or Texas is who they appear to be.
In this military thriller, an Air Force security police sergeant is transported back in time to Camelot where he must defeat the Black Knight in battle, in order to return home.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wendy Mayer


Wendy Mayer is a Welsh artist who graduated with a first-class honours degree in sculpture from Loughborough University School of Art in 2008. Her sculptures are a compelling mixture of surreal portraits which are often presented through the medium of dolls and toys. Much of her work is autobiographical.
Wendy is an incredibly accomplished technician who renders her wax figures from clay sculptures derived from family photographs. There is a strong sense of nostalgia and of the uncanny, resulting in highly charged psychological works.

Thanks Frans

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Baskeri & Basso


Baskeri& Basso is a Helsinki based bistro, rich with French and Basque influences (not just the beret in the logo).

Nicolas "BASKERI" Thieulon (Basbas) and Kalle "BASSO" Kiukainen found inspiration in cosy Parisian bistros, casual San Francisco joints, and small Italian osterias.
They are bursting with joy and passion, and can’t wait to share their exceptional playlists, mandatory kisses on the cheeks, and optional dance interludes. This is what Helsinki’s best atmosphere is made out of.