Monday, February 6, 2023

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto (1943) is a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. He gave up a prospective legal career to assist his mother in her dressmaking business, from where he learned his tailoring skills.

He further studied fashion design at Bunka Fashion College, getting a degree in 1969.Considered a master tailor alongside those such as Madeleine Vionnet, he is known for his avant-garde tailoring featuring Japanese design aesthetics.

Yamamoto has won notable awards for his contributions to fashion, including the Chevalier/Officier/Commandeur of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon, the Ordre national du Mérite, the Royal Designer for Industry and the Master of Design award by Fashion Group International.

Berets form a good part of Yamamoto’s collection, but one needs a well filled wallet to purchase one.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Jaakko Kivimaki

A great series of portraits of Finnish boineros/as by photographer Jaakko Kivimaki.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Bart Backaert

Together with my brother Frans, Bart is a prominent Flemish boinero, keeping beret wearing alive in Belgium!

Bart has been the head of the Green Department of the City of Aalst for 20 years, totaling over 40 years work for the city. 

Aalst is a leading city where it concerns ecologically sound management, commitment to a diverse natural environment and maintaining a balance between greenery and letting nature take its course. 

Bart is passionate about trees (to use an understatement), as evidenced on his Facebook page de Aardsterrenkijker (many beret photos included!). He also has an amazing talent for captivating stories, told with humor and swagger.

Bart got his first beret at a flea market in Gent, and was hooked. 

More berets followed from trips to the Basque Country and presently, he wears a French Vrai Basque.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Iosif Iser

Iosif Iser (1881 –1958) was a Romanian painter and graphic artist.

Born to a Jewish family, he was initially inspired by Expressionism, creating drawings with thick, unmodulated, lines and steep angles. After studies in Munich and Paris (with, among others, André Derain), Iser worked for the socialist press (Facla and the original version of Adevărul), publishing many caricatures (most of them satirising the Romanian Monarchy). He also started his first series of paintings with Dobrujan themes, usually featuring local Tatar portraits.

Around 1920, Iosif Iser adopted a more luminous range of colours, while softening the textures. He continued his "Tatar" themes with his Tătăroaică în albastru ("Tatar Woman in Blue") and Famile de tătari ("Tatar Family"). He expanded on another series, one that depicted harlequins.

In 1955, he was elected a full member of the Romanian Academy.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sándor Szalacsi

Sándor Szalacsi (circa 1951) is one of the first Hungarian internet celebrities. A television recording of him made him famous and travelled the country in a short time.

The 1989 recording was made for Ferenc Bogdányi's amateur film in Kocsord in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, where a local resident, Árpád Fogarasi, built a nuclear bunker in his garden. The director thought it would be worthwhile to make a report about it and set off to ask the villagers for their opinion on the matter. This is how Sándor Szalacsi got in front of his camera. The film was uploaded to the internet around 2002 and quickly went viral, inspiring several music, video, and flash games.

Several of Szalacsi's expressions in the film quickly became catchphrases, such as "good worker", "object", "takes the socks out of the water ", "three hundred thousand/thirty thousand liters ", "no... yes... it doesn't protect against that", " kéremkapcjojaki", "To ask a question?". His figure soon became the motif of the Internet-based digital " folk art " of the turn of the millennium.

Sándor Szalacsi spent 5 years in prison for killing his wife. Since May 31, 2003, he has been living in a loving home in Nyíregyháza , where he was admitted with the help of his fans. In 2010, more than 700,000 HUF were collected for him through voluntary donations, from which he received an electric wheelchair.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

💪🏼The New Merinos d'Arles Naturel #2🐑!

After the instant sell-outs of the éditions 2021 and 2022, there is now a small batch of handmade bérets naturel under the new Orthez label.

There is only a limited number available and it is unknown if these berets will ever return.

The Bérets Merino d’Arles are custom batch-made berets in natural, unbleached and undyed wool of the Merinos d’Arles sheep.

Merino wool from Arles is very hard to source and expensive as a raw material. The knitting, fulling and felting of these berets follows an intricate and difficult process. After years of trials, South Pacific Berets can now -exclusively- offer these Merinos d’Arles berets in the Auloronesa Universel model, fitted with a black liguette (to adjust the size), black cotton lining and the label of Manufacture de Bérets Béarn.

I dare say, these berets are the very best in quality, comfort and craftsmanship one can possibly find!

Brian Terrell

Brian Terrell is an Iowa based peace activist who has spent more than six months in prison for protesting targeted assassinations at U.S. military drone bases.

Brian and two friends walked onto the Whiteman Air Force Base in central Missouri to present a letter to the base commander calling for an end to the U.S. drone warfare. They tried to make the case that dropping bombs on women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan will not lead to peace -- much less improve our own security -- but will inspire thousands of people to join the violent movements against the United States. They were immediately arrested, tried and sentenced in federal court.

Terrell is a joint coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. He lives on a Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Yang Chengzong

Yang Chengzong(Yang Jeng-tsong), founder of radiochemistry in New China, was born 1911 at Wujiang county, Jiangsu Province. He commenced his study of radiochemistry 1934 in the Institute of Physics-Radium of National Academy of Peking. Yang worked in the Curie Laboratory of University of Paris since early 1947 under the direction of Madame Irene Joliot-Curie, and succeeded in the study of separation of trace amounts of radioelements from weighable quantities of carrier substance. He was awarded the Doctor Degree in 1951.

When Yang was preparing his way home, Professor Frederic Joliot-Curie, the President of World Council for Peace, asked Yang deliver his confidential  message to President Mao Tse-tong: “ must guard the peace and oppose the atomic bomb, you must have the atomic bomb yourself......".Yang returned  to his motherland in fall 1951. It is reported the message had helped the ultimate decision by Chinese authorities to develop the atomic weapon.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Reem Kherici

Reem Kherici (1983) is a French film director and actress of Tunisian and Italian descent.

In 2013 she wrote and directed her first film and in 2017 she wrote and appeared in the romantic comedy film "Jour J" (D Day).

In 2013 she wrote, directed and starred in the romantic comedy film "Paris at any Price"

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Keijiro Matsushima

Keijiro Matsushima was a 16-year-old student at a school in Hiroshima when, on August 6, 1945, he remembers looking up and seeing two American bombers over the city.

Keijiro at the bank of the Ota River in Hiroshima - pausing at the A-bomb dome that is one of the few reminders of the horrors that took place in this city.

"I just thought, ‘Beautiful planes shining in the morning sun’. But the next moment there was a very strong flash and a very strong shockwave and heat wave attacked me," he recalled.

Matsushima describes the people he saw as he made his way out of the city: "Many of them had been so badly burned from head to feet. Their charcoal-grey skin was peeling from their faces, their arms, their necks," he said.

An estimated 45,000 people died on the day of the Hiroshima explosion. But during the following months, years and decades, the death toll continued to rise - up to an estimated 166,000.

“People thought so long as nuclear power is used in peaceful ways, that is OK. But we should have learned the evil of nuclear power from the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasakim,” Keijiro said.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

“Red” Ray Davies

“Red” Ray Davies was a Caerphilly County (Wales) councillor and tireless peace activist whose energy and passion for justice were unabated to the end.

Ray was born during the depression in the Welsh mining village of Llanbradach. His father George was blacklisted for his union activities. Ray experienced hunger and disease during his childhood, including TB and diphtheria. The fire in his belly was ignited by the loss of his mother, who died in childbirth, for lack of a hospital bed or a blood transfusion.

He went to work as a boy miner in 1943, witnessed death at first hand underground, and organised a strike of boy miners after he saw Bevin boys recruited for the war effort receive hard helmets and boots while he had to wear a soft cap and his uncle’s cast-off shoes.

Ray got his Labour party card in 1958, and although he was often at loggerheads with the leadership, his loyalty to its founding socialist principles never wavered. He won his first local election in 1965 and went on to serve for more than 50 years.

Elsewhere, he threw his heart into campaigning for the Palestinian right to self-determination. In Palestine in 2003 he was shot in the head at Balata refugee camp after being caught in crossfire between the Israeli army and Palestinians while escorting ambulances to hospital. At 79 he was knocked unconscious by police during a march in London called to protest against the bombing of Gaza – and received damages.

For more than 60 years he was opposed to nuclear weapons, and in 1991 became vice chair of CND Cymru. He cut the fence at Aldermaston; he broke into Faslane nuclear submarine base, and, aged 85, led the singing at dawn at the blockade of Burghfield atomic weapons establishment in Berkshire.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Antonín Holý

Antonín Holý (1936 –2012) was a pioneering Czech scientist. He specialised in the field of chemistry and cooperated on the development of important antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis B.

He was involved in the creation of the most effective drug (as of early 2009) in the treatment of AIDS. Antonín Holý is the author of more than 450 papers, 400 scientific discoveries and holds 60 patents.

With more than 400 discoveries to his credit, his work has affected millions of people with viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and many other viral diseases. In 2008 he received an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester's School of Chemistry.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Jan Konopásek

Jan Konopásek (1931 - 2020) was a key figure in modern jazz in Czechoslovakia in the second half of the 20th century. He started with Karel Krautgartner, but his fateful partner was the vibraphonist Karel Velebný.

Together they founded the pioneering formations Studio 5 and S+H Q. Konopásek is also one of the few Czech musicians who, after emigrating, worked in top American jazz orchestras.

"He was the last top actor of the first wave of modern Czech jazz, which arose during the gradual loosening of the straitjacket imposed on Czech culture by the communist totalitarianism after 1948," explains Jiří Plocek, the author of Konopásk's biography.

The musician's famous sense of humor was confirmed last spring, when he returned to Czech Radio after many years a tuxedo that had been loaned to him in 1961 for concerts with Karel Krautgartner's JOČR.