Thursday, June 20, 2024

Béla Szakcsi Lakatos

Béla Szakcsi Lakatos (1943 –2022), also known by the mononyms Szakcsi or Sa-Chi, was a Hungarian jazz pianist, keyboardist, arranger and composer.

Born in Budapest, Szakcsi Lakatos studied at the Béla Bartók Conservatory and started his professional career in the mid-sixties. In the 1970s he was part of the Aladár Pege’s quartet, with whom he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival to great critical acclaim, and later he was part of the bands Rákfogó and Saturnus, as well as leader of his own ensemble. He recorded 16 albums and composed several musicals.

Szakcsi Lakatos is regarded as a key figure in the spreading of jazz and fusion genres in Hungary. During his career he received numerous honours and accolades, including the Kossuth Prize and the title of Meritorius Artist of Hungary.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mattias Olsson

Mattias Olsson (1975) started his career as a classical percussionist playing in orchestras and big bands on Ekerö outside of Stockholm. As a sideline to recording and producing bands Mattias Olsson writes music-related articles for several Swedish magazines.

He was born in Hong Kong to Swedish parents. In 1981 he moved to Stockholm. Starting as a drummer at eight years old he started off playing in big bands, pop and classical ensembles.

Olsson joined Swedish pop band Pineforest Crunch who have so far recorded three albums. Pineforest Crunch had a very strong D.I.Y ethos and recorded six demos before getting signed to Abbas' old label Polar. The band had a hit from the first album, "Cup Noodle Song". The single was a hit in Sweden and Japan and led to intensive touring. The second album, Watergarden, was recorded in England with Radiohead producer Jim Warren. Watergarden mixed orchestral textures with Mellotrons and experimental guitars. Parallel with Pineforest Crunch, he started playing drums and occasional keyboards with Reminder.

He has since then played in numerous projects and is now active as a record producer.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Taste, and especially 'good taste', is a tricky subject. 

However, when seeing the new berets by Christian Dior (selling at approximately $1000.00), designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, it is hard not to make a strong statement about poor taste.

It never fails to amaze me what sort of money people are happy to spend only because of a label and name...

Monday, June 17, 2024

Chad Elish

Chad Elish is an event architect, engineer, technologist, director, DJ, and VJ, from Pittsburgh that loves finding new creative ways to fix problems.

Chad is a driving force in the Maker Movement. He helps facilitate making as HackPGH’s President, by producing Maker Faires across the US, and is a founder of Nation of Makers.

He travels across the world to speak and grow the maker community. He’s here to aid in the movement and to help all of the people who weren’t able learn these important maker skills.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Claron McFadden

Claron McFadden (1961) is an American soprano who studied voice at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, finishing her degree in 1984.

She gained international fame when making her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut in the title role of the opera Lulu, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

 As well as singing many of the major oratorio works, McFadden became particularly world-famous for her interpretation of modern and contemporary music. McFadden is currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ismail Hekimoglu

İsmail Hekimoğlu (1932 - 2022) is a Turkish retired non-commissioned officer, writer, journalist and columnist.

His real name was Ömer Okçu, and the pen name "Hekimoğlu İsmail", is the name of his grandfather. He graduated from the School of Armored Troops in 1952 and retired from the Turkish Armed Forces in 1972.

He wrote the novel Minyeli Abdullah in 1967, which was banned for a while and then released.

Due to his articles, lawsuits were filed against him at various times since 1950 and he was taken into custody, was brought to the State Security Court several times and was tried under Article 163.

He was sentenced to one year and spent 72 days in prison on the grounds that he violated the Article.

After suffering a stroke in February 2002, he has difficulty using his left leg and left hand. He was mostly seen with his beret on, not giving up the habit of wearing a beret that he started in his military life. He passed away on January 15, 2022.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Château de Roquetaillade

Château de Roquetaillade is located near Bordeaux in south-west France.

The château has been in the same family for over 700 years and present Franco-British castle owner Sébastien de Baritault gives a tour of the castle, (restored in the 19th century by French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc).

Many interesting anecdotes, including the use of the chateau by Roger Moore.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Rutene Irwin

Rutene Ahuroa Irwin of Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Whakatohea descent, enlisted into the Army at the age of just 14.

This documentary depicts Rutene’s only dream of wanting to make military his career.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ebenezer Teichelmann

Ebenezer Teichelmann FRCS (1859 –1938), known as 'the little Doctor' to his friends, was an Australian-born surgeon, mountaineer, explorer, conservationist and photographer in New Zealand.

He was a survivor of the sinking of the SS Marquette in 1915. He achieved 26 first ascents of mountains and seven first ascents, or crossings, of passes, cols, or saddles, and is credited with reviving climbing in New Zealand when the sport was almost dead.

A keen photographer, he used a full-plate glass camera, which was hauled up many mountains. His photographs were used in books and advertisements and helped to achieve conservation status for West Coast reserves.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Aston "Family Man" Barrett

Aston Francis Barrett, CD (1946 –2024), often called "Family Man" or "Fams" for short, was a Jamaican musician and Rastafarian.

He was best known as the bandleader of Bob Marley's backing band, as well as co-producer of the albums, and the man in charge of the overall song arrangements.

Barrett's "Family Man" nickname came about before he had any children of his own. Barrett foresaw his role as a band leader and started to call himself "Family Man". He subsequently fathered 41 children: 23 daughters and 18 sons. He also claimed to have 23 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Monday, June 10, 2024


 Early 20th century "naughty" picture:

Photographer, model, location and date unknown...

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Beret Spy News


New material by (my brother) Emile, The Beret Spy.

All from the Netherlands. 

Saturday, June 8, 2024

The Hearts of Bwindi


Rangers are the last line of defence, protecting the gorillas and their habitat from the demands of the wider world. The Gorilla Organization works with the Congolese Wildlife Authorities to support the rangers working to protect the gorillas in Central and East Africa. 

Discover their success so far, and how you can support their efforts

Friday, June 7, 2024

Grapes from the Gers


Vintage photos of grape harvesting in the Gers, 1950s.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Christophle le More

Portrait of Christophle le More, bodyguard of Charles V and free man, by Jan Jansz Mostaert, ca. 1527. 

Christophle, who started out as a groom, had a daily wage that was twice that of a sixteenth-century craftsman in Brussels. When this portrait was painted, before Dutch slavery, people of color from all walks of life lived throughout Europe. 

At the court of Charles V there were two in 1520.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Jean Blaye

Meet Jean Blaye, the 91 years old shepherd from the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Learn about Jean Blaye's daily life as a shepherd. At 91 years old, he takes care of a herd of 80 animals by himself.
Merci, Jean-Marc

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Lera Lynn

Lera Lynn is a Nashville based artist/songwriter/producer who got her start in Athens, Ga. She first came to national attention through her writing and performances in the HBO series True Detective. 

Lynn's first LP, Have You Met Lera Lynn, was released in 2011. In 2014, she released an EP entitled Lying in the Sun and also began creating music for the second season of the crime drama series True Detective. 

Working with songwriter and music producer T Bone Burnett, the two collaborated with singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash at Burnett's home in Los Angeles, CA with two of the resulting tracks being included on Cash's 2018 album She Remembers Everything. 

After approving the musical tracks, series creator Nic Pizzolatto cast Lynn as a recurring character who performs the songs in a dive bar frequented by the main characters.

Her 2016 album Resistor was reviewed in Rolling Stone.

Monday, June 3, 2024