Wednesday, December 6, 2023

J. B. S. Haldane

John Burdon Sanderson Haldane FRS (1892 –1964), nicknamed "Jack" or "JBS", was an English scientist who worked in physiology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and mathematics.

With innovative use of statistics in biology, he was one of the founders of neo-Darwinism. He served in the Great War and obtained the rank of captain. Despite his lack of an academic degree in the field, he taught biology at the University of Cambridge, the Royal Institution, and University College London.

Haldane was a professed socialist, Marxist, atheist, and secular humanist whose political dissent led him to leave England in 1956 and live in India, becoming a naturalised Indian citizen in 1961. He worked at the Indian Statistical Institute for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


The Sarakatsani are an ethnic Greek population subgroup who were traditionally transhumant shepherds, native to Greece, with a smaller presence in neighbouring Bulgaria, southern Albania, and North Macedonia.

Historically centred on the Pindus mountains and other mountain ranges in continental Greece, most Sarakatsani have abandoned the transhumant way of life and have been urbanised.

The traditional Sarakatsani settlements, dress and costumes make them a distinct social and cultural group within the collective Greek heritage. Their distinctive folk arts consist of song, dance, and poetry, as well as decorative sculptures in wood and embroidery on their traditional costumes, which resemble the geometric art of pre-classical Greece.

In medicine, they use a number of folk remedies including herbs, honey and lamb's blood.

The Sarakatsani traditionally have spent the summer months in the mountains and returned to the lower plains in the winter. The Sarakatsani were not always nomads, but only turned to harsh nomadic mountain life to escape Ottoman rule. The Sarakatsani were found in several mountainous regions of continental Greece, with some groups of northern Greece moving to neighbouring countries in the summer, since border crossings between Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia were relatively unobstructed until the middle of the 20th century. 

After 1947, with the beginning of the Cold War, borders between these countries were sealed; and some Sarakatsani groups were trapped in other countries and not able to return to Greece.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Jonathan Lamome

At 37, Jo (Jonathan) Lamone has a rich professional background and experience across France and its territories from Narbonne via Aude, Reunion and even the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

Jo has travelled for many years with an important professional background since he holds a CAP charcuterie-caterer as well as a CAP pastry chef -glacier-chocolatier-confectioner.

Today, the southerner is taking over the reins of the grocery store in Tréflez (Finistere, Brittany). A man with many hats who likes to exploit them while maintaining the relationship that is close to his heart and is apparent from the first sight. 

The hat he wears though is of course a béret!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Wolfgang Rihm

Wolfgang Rihm (1952) is a German composer and academic teacher.

He is musical director of the Institute of New Music and Media at the University of Music Karlsruhe and has been composer in residence at the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Festival. He was honoured as Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2001.

His musical work includes more than 500 works. In 2012, The Guardian wrote: "enormous output and bewildering variety of styles and sounds".

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Maison Constanti

Since 1923, Maison Constanti has been making bread in the purest French tradition. 

After years of research into a new chocolate, the Constanti Beret Collection was unveiled in 2021, along with its dedicated website.

As a century-old maison, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, the Constanti family imagined the beret, a chocolate sweet, a tribute to the Pyrenean territories and to the French art of living.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Gilles Mihălcean

Gilles Mihălcean (1946) is a Canadian-born sculptor living and working in Montréal.

Over the years, his works have been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe.

A self-taught sculptor, Mihalcean began his career in 1969. After teaching at Université Laval from 1972 to 1979, he has devoted himself entirely to sculpting.

However, he was also worked as a lecturer at the Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa.

He rose to prominence in the 1980s, with major exhibits at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Power Plant in Toronto, as well as commercial galleries such as Galerie René Blouin, Chantal Boulanger, Roger Bellemare and Circa.

Thursday, November 30, 2023


In their popular video series on YouTube and TikTok, Vincent Bernard-Comparat, 36, and Arthur Edange, 34, the founders of Gueuleton, can seem like a spoof of a French tourism ad: over a soundtrack of upbeat tuba, the self-described bons vivants don black berets and dig into duck confit and pâté en croûte, laughing into the camera with a glass of wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. A tricolor flag is sewn into their aprons.

It was in Bordeaux that they met: three bon vivants who became friends on the banks of the Garonne, in a city that promotes the French art of living throughout the world. At the beginning of Gueuleton, there was a Gersois, a Vosgiens and a Lot-et-Garonnais, all three united by the same passion for gastronomy and the terroir.

They turned their common passion into a common adventure and this is how Gueuleton was born, a project of friends with one ambition: to share the love for gastronomy with as many people as possible.

So, they threw themselves headlong in and opened the first Gueuleton in 2013, in Agen. On the menu: wine, charcuterie and cheese, aperitif classics that are now part of Gueuleton's DNA.

The Gueuleton project with many more restaurants, bars, a distillery, a magazine, their own breeding program of Black gascon Pigs and even berets!

Savy with social media the project grew exponentially.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rambo @ Warburtons


Sylvester Stallone's stars in the Warburtons Bread commercial, premiered during the Britain's Got Talent show on 11th April 2015.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Monday, November 27, 2023

Charles Clinton Parry (1840-83) was part of a highly artistic family, which included his brother Hubert, the composer best known today for the hymn Jerusalem

From an early age, Clinton displayed signs of instability. This later turned to alcoholism and mental illness, alienating him from his wife and four children. After a time working in South Africa and New Zealand, he died, separated from his family, in Australia.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

No Guarantee...

I'd like to think otherwise, but no, wearing a beret is not necessarily a guarantee for intelligence.

Daniil Orain is a Russian YouTuber, posting videos of "everyday Russians" about (sensitive) subjects.

One of these subjects, the Holodomor, the starvation of millions of Ukrainians in 1932–33 as a result of deliberate Soviet policies, gets some interesting points of view in this video:

And Vasillly may be a good boinero, well-informed he is not. 

Thanks, Frans

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Jim Henderson

Pro-Palestinian marches have been taking place across the UK to urge an end to Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Poppy selling army veteran Jim Henderson, ex Royal Corps of Signals, 32 Signal Regiment in Northern Ireland and boinero, was attacked as he tried to leave Waverley Station in Edinburgh as hundreds of protesters filled the station on November 4 in a demo against the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza.

Henderson said he was punched and kicked as he tried to pack up his poppy stall at Waverley Station

Friday, November 24, 2023

Don Lanphere

Donald Gale Lanphere (1928 –2003) was an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist, known for his 1940s and 1950s work, and recordings with Fats Navarro (in 1948), Woody Herman (1949), Claude Thornhill, Sonny Dunham, Billy May, and Charlie Barnet.

He was born in Wenatchee, Washington. Lanphere moved to New York City as a member of Johnny Bothwell's group to become part of the bebop jazz scene. In New York, Lanphere was in a relationship with Chan Richardson, who later married Charlie Parker.

In 1951, Lanphere was arrested and charged with heroin possession in New York City. After his release from jail, he worked in his family's music store in Wenatchee. He began performing in the Seattle area after becoming a born again Christian in 1969, at which time he also stopped using drugs and alcohol.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Hugh McConnell

Hugh McConnell was a member of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC); an exclusive invitation-only members club for racecar drivers who are judged to have achieved success in the upper levels of motor sport for a number of seasons. Except under exceptional circumstances, members must have been born in the United Kingdom or Commonwealth.

Pictured here with an Austin 20/6 Landaulette at Brooklands in 1931. Hugh McConnell died during WW2.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The Donzère-Mondragon Dam

The Donzère-Mondragon Dam (or André-Blondel dam), located in the French commune of Bollène-Écluse) is a hydroelectric dam and lock built in 1952 at the southern end of the Donzère-Mondragon canal, in the Vaucluse department in France. It was registered in the list of historic monuments in France in 1992.

Umberto Bratti, a Donzere-Mondragon canal and power worker, 1952

The Donzère-Mondragon Dam is one of the largest hydroelectric dams in France, with a total installed capacity of 450 MW. The dam has a height of 58 meters and a length of 5.8 kilometers, and it consists of five turbines that generate electricity from the flow of water through the dam.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Elizabeth Adela Forbes

Elizabeth Adela Forbes (née Armstrong; 1859 –1912) was a Canadian painter who was primarily active in the UK.

In 1909 she pursued cures and restorative periods for cancer in France and London, but died in 1912. 

Pictured "A Shepherd of the Pyrenees". 

Monday, November 20, 2023

The Raiders

South African soldiers listen to their orders for the dangerous raid through the enemy lines to El Daba on 3 November, 1942. 

This was during the Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October-11 November 1942). 

From The Eighth Army Archive [His Majestys Stationery Office, London, 1944].

Sunday, November 19, 2023


Abdullas Book of Beauty. From Punch, or the London Charivari, March 6, 1935.

As fresh as dewy cowslips but newly brought to Town

So soon will she be radiant in tulle or satin gown;

This season sees her dancing into the London morn

Whilst wildfowl call and flutter across the lake at dawn.


No walks with Scamp and Ginger – no homely schoolroom tea-

No giggles over Wodehouse beneath the cedar tree,

How cool the great walled-garden, the woodland-rides how green!...

Only adored Abdullas will speak of what has been. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

At the Scrapyard in 1963

Scrapyard worker, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, 1963. 

Photo shows a scrapyard worker beside a set of Linderman Alista cutting jaws which were used to reduce scrap before being baled and sent for melting at the Edgar Allen Steel Cos scrap facility in Rotherham.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Winifred Buller

Winifred Buller was a British aviation pioneer who served with the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps in WW1.

Mrs Buller was the first woman to fly professionally in 1914. Mrs Buller became a professional pilot with Caudron and Co.

Inset is a portrait of British aviator John Alcock (1892-1919), one of the first men, together with his navigator, Arthur Whitten Brown, to fly non-stop across the Atlantic, a feat they achieved in 1919.