Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Curt Querner

Curt Querner (1904–1976) was a German painter.

Self-portrait in the attic (1948)

Querner was born in Börnchen, a village in Saxony not far south of Dresden. The son of a shoemaker, he trained in metalworking and worked for a time as a factory mechanic (Fabrikschlosser).

From 1926 to 1930 Querner studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts.

He exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Junge Kunst, of Józef Sandel, in Dresden.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Klaus Meine of the Scorpions

With more than 100 million records sold, the Scorpions are considered the most successful German rock band worldwide.

Klaus Meine, singer of the Scorpions, reveals why he always wears a beret; the background is a painful experience many years ago:
“During a concert, I jumped from the stage into the audience. Unfortunately, it was a little too high. I hit my head on a beam."
The fans applauded because they thought everything was part of the show. The rock star who lives near Hanover recalls: “I went straight from the stage to the hospital. There the wound was sewn, I was beaten up pretty badly. Since then, this beautiful headgear has been my constant companion."

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Gerhard Hertel

Gerhard Hertel (1924 - 2007) was a German tax officer, local politician, and homeland researcher.

In 1941 - although still a minor – he was drafted into the Wehrmacht and sent to Moldova. He did not return to his hometown until 1945 after the end of the Second World War, as a severely disabled person.

Unveiling of the Kaiser Friedrich II stele at Castel Fiorentino on December 13, 2000

Gerhard Hertel wrote several books as well as numerous essays and short stories, which mainly concerned the history of Freudenstadt. In the book Experiences, Views, Insights from 80 Years, published in 2006, he succeeded in combining his autobiography with the history of the city and thus concluding his life's work.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Hans Driever

Hans Driever (1919 - 1994) was a German sculptor and painter.

In 1939 Hans Driever was drafted into the Wehrmacht but deserted a short time later. After a few weeks in a psychiatric institution, he was discharged with the diagnosis “manic-depressive insanity” (Section 51). Further living conditions until the end of the war are unclear.

The artistic work of Hans Driever began in the 1950s, including the interior design of churches: sacred objects such as tabernacles, candelabras, baptismal fonts, door designs, figures of saints. He often together with his second wife, the painter Meta Driever.

In the last two decades of his life, Hans Driever began to increasingly create surrealist oil paintings. These were only exhibited once in a gallery in 1982, the estate is largely unknown to the public.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Paul Bernard

Paul Bernard (1898 –1958) was a French actor. He appeared in thirty-five films, including A Friend Will Come Tonight (1946).

Bernard often played men of sinister charm, usually negative or twisted characters. He was an accomplished stage actor who always preferred theatre to film.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

They are not Angels / Bataillon du Ciel

They are not Angels is a French film directed by Alexandre Esway, released in 1947, based on the book by Joseph Kessel who had stayed in the paratroopers camp of Free France, England.

On the eve of D-Day June 6, 1944, a French parachute battalion of the Special Air Service was dropped in Brittany to help the Resistance contain the enemy forces en route to Normandy. 

The 1st period tells the chronicle of a training camp in England, a SAS parachute battalion of Free France during the Second World War. 

2nd period: in France, the SAS parachute battalion parachuted into Brittany and sabotaged the German installations with the help of the Breton guerrillas. This is the fictionalized story of Colonel Pierre-Louis Bourgoin, Captain Pierre Marienne and the 2nd SAS Parachute Fighter Regiment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Background Tower

When searching for beret-related material on the web, it is amazing how many pictures come up of a beret wearer (typically female) with the Eiffel Tower in the background (but how many Parisians wear berets these days, eh..?).

Now, I found a variation: the Berlin TV Tower. Located in the Marien quarter, close to Alexanderplatz, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). It was intended to be both a symbol of Communist power and of the city.

It remains a landmark today, visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the third-tallest structure in the European Union.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Michael Knapp

Michael Knapp is Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington.

Dr. Knapp's teaching and research focus on educational leadership and policymaking, school and school system reform, the professional learning of teachers and administrators, and methods of inquiry and policy analysis. Over several decades, he has pursued a program of research that concentrates on the ways in which leadership and policymaking connect to - and exert influence on - classroom teaching and school improvement. In recent years, Dr. Knapp's work as both a scholar and teacher has been probing the meaning and forms of learning-focused leadership in schools, districts, and state systems of education.

While Dr. Knapp's work considers a wide range of settings and applications, he has a particular interest in the education of disenfranchised populations, mathematics and science education, and the professional development of educators.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Hikers in Switzerland

These screenshots are of a beautiful documentary about a Swiss Hiking Group. 

It is 1967, and the retirees meet every Tuesday to walk and share moments of friendship. On this day of May, the group walks in Lavaux before ending in songs around a glass of white wine. 

The founder tells about the beginnings of the group in 1957. 2, 4, 8 ... up to 15 members, in 1967. The group is solid and "for nothing in the world" its members would miss an outing.

In this document from the Horizons program, retirees confide in the microphone of journalist Yette Perrin.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Jean-Michel Jarre

Jean-Michel André Jarre (1948) is a French composer, performer and record producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age genres, and is known for organizing outdoor spectacles featuring his music, vast laser displays, large projections and fireworks.

Jarre was raised in Lyon by his mother and grandparents and trained on the piano. From an early age, he was introduced to a variety of art forms, including street performers, jazz musicians and the artist Pierre Soulages. He played guitar in a band, but his musical style was perhaps most heavily influenced by Pierre Schaeffer, a pioneer of musique concrète at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales.

His first mainstream success was the 1976 album Oxygène. Recorded in a makeshift studio at his home, the album sold an estimated 12 million copies. Oxygène was followed in 1978 by Équinoxe, and in 1979, Jarre performed to a record-breaking audience of more than a million people at the Place de la Concorde, a record he has since broken three times. More albums were to follow, but his 1979 concert served as a blueprint for his future performances around the world. Several of his albums have been released to coincide with large-scale outdoor events, and he is now perhaps as well-known as a performer as he is as a musician.

As of 2004, Jarre had sold an estimated 80 million albums. He was the first Western musician officially invited to perform in the People's Republic of China and holds the world record for the largest-ever audience at an outdoor event for his Moscow concert on 6 September 1997, which was attended by 3.5 million people.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Maurice Tebbs

New Zealander Maurice Tebbs (1932 – 2018) was a creative architect whose legacy can be found in the bricks and mortar of downtown Wellington and around the world.

His architectural designs began in the form of standard 1960s houses and progressed to mammoth commercial projects. 

His stamp was planted firmly on the capital's most public of spaces - Civic Square - in a joint project with  two other architectural giants - Ian Athfield and Gordon Moller.

Wellington's Civic Square

His work spanned decades. Even after retiring, he continued designing houses and residential development projects, maintaining an active interest in the profession he loved. And always, despite the new computerised way of working, retained his old school techniques using a drafting table and T-square.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Daniil Zorin

Moscow based Daniil is a scientist (with a Ph.D. in mathematics), researcher and a software developer with 12 years of experience. Daniil specializes in research on optimization, machine learning, and statistics. 

He has proposed and implemented optimization and machine learning algorithms for various practical problems, and he has experience as a programmer with C++, Python, and C#.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Pakistan Local Cops

A Pakistani man, believed to be mentally unstable, climbed a cellphone tower in Islamabad on Saturday, demanding to be made the prime minister of the country.

Pakistani police negotiators

Police tried to bring him down, but the man maintained that he will only climb down if they promise to make him the prime minister or else authorities should make arrangements for Prime Minister Imran Khan to talk to him.

When he refused to climb down despite negotiations and assurances from police, authorities asked a mimicry artist, Shafaat Ali, to talk to him in Khan’s voice. He talked to the mimicry artist for about five minutes thinking he is talking to the PM himself and later climbed down.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Bérets Merino d’Arles

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

Apart from the specialized artisan work required to manufacture these berets, the raw Merino burel wool from Arles is hard to source and very expensive, making it hard to produce on demand.

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.

About the Merinos d’Arles: these sheep produce a light fleece of only 2 kg of very fine wool in the range between 20/21 micron with a length of 5/7cm.

The particularity of the Merino d’Arles fibre is its curliness; no other wool has so many bows per centimeter. This allows very light products due to its bulkiness and lightweight.

Whereas most Merino sheep are bred with a focus on pure white fleece, the original colour of the wool are shades between milk-white to light brown and grey.

The old Roman city of Arles in the South of France is the centre of French Merino sheep. It was in 1806 that the “Imperial and Royal Bergerie d’Arles” was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte. In Arles the Spanish Merino sheep was crossed with a local sheep breed, the “Mouton Camarguaise”, with the Merinos d’Arles as a result. This was a small, tough animal, sturdy to cope with the hard living conditions on the plain as well as in the mountains, with the finest wool, ideal and well adapted for the dry and hot climate of the vast plains of the ancient delta of Rhone and Durance River.


Zürich, Switzerland

Brooklyn, New York
South Bank, London

Elizabeth Bridge construction Budapest, Hungary, 1963

Plentzia's Bridge, Euskada, Spain

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Jane Fonda

Jane Seymour Fonda (1937) is an American actress, political activist, environmentalist, former fashion model and dedicated beret-wearer.

Born to socialite Frances Ford Seymour and actor Henry Fonda, Fonda made her acting debut with the 1960 Broadway play There Was a Little Girl.

In 1982, she released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling VHS of all time. It would be the first of 22 such videos over the next 13 years, which would collectively sell over 17 million copies.

Fonda was a visible political activist in the counterculture era during the Vietnam War. She was photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun on a 1972 visit to Hanoi, during which she gained the nickname "Hanoi Jane". During this time, she was effectively blacklisted in Hollywood. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women and describes herself as a feminist and environmental activist. 

In 2005, along with Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, she co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Louise Bryant

Louise Bryant (1885 –1936) was an American feminist, political activist, and journalist best known for her sympathetic coverage of Russia and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution of November 1917.

Born Anna Louise Mohan, she began as a young girl to use the last name of her stepfather, Sheridan Bryant, in preference to that of her father. She grew up in rural Nevada and attended the University of Nevada in Reno and the University of Oregon in Eugene, graduating with a degree in history in 1909.

Living in Portland, OR (1909–1915), she became active in the women's suffrage movement. Leaving her first husband in 1915 to follow fellow journalist John Reed (whom she married in 1916) to Greenwich Village, she formed friendships with leading feminists of the day. During a National Woman's Party suffrage-rally in Washington, D.C. in 1919 she was arrested and spent three days in jail. Both she and Reed took lovers outside their marriage; during her Greenwich Village years (1916–1920), these included the playwright Eugene O'Neill and the painter Andrew Dasburg.

In her 1917 coverage of the Russian Revolution, Bryant wrote about Russian leaders such as Katherine Breshkovsky, Maria Spiridonova, Alexander Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky. Her news stories, distributed by Hearst during and after her trips to Petrograd and Moscow, appeared in newspapers across the United States and Canada in the years immediately following World War I. A collection of articles from her first trip was published in 1918 as Six Red Months in Russia. Over the next year, she defended the revolution in testimony before the Overman Committee, a Senate subcommittee established in September 1918 to investigate foreign influence in the United States. Later in 1919, she undertook a nationwide speaking tour to encourage public support for the Bolsheviks and to denounce armed U.S. intervention in Russia.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Michael Uhl

Michael Uhl is a Vietnam veteran antiwar activist, critic and independent scholar, born April 14, 1944, who grew up in Babylon, Long Island, New York. He graduated with a BS in Theoretical Linguists from the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Georgetown University.

In the Army, Uhl received training at the Infantry Officers School, Fort Benning, Georgia and the elite Counter Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland. He served in Vietnam during 1968-69 as a first lieutenant, where he led a combat intelligence team with the 11th Infantry Brigade.

In 1970, Uhl testified at the International Enquiry on US War Crimes in Stockholm, Sweden, and in 1971, he was called to testify before a US Congressional subcommittee investigating the CIA's Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam. Also in 1971 he toured Australia and New Zealand as a representative of the US anti-Vietnam War movement. That same year he co-founded The Safe Return Amnesty Committee advocating for a universal amnesty on behalf of Vietnam era military deserters.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy (1941-2019) grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and served in the Peace Corps in Chile, where he met the love of his life and soul mate, Lita. After living in Brazil and Oregon, they moved to Colchester, Vermont in 1979.

Bill taught a wide variety of courses in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont and helped with UVM's Vermont Grass Farmers Association outreach program. He retired from UVM after 25 years in 2004. He is also the author of Greener Pastures on Your Side of the Fence.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Bill Mitchell

William Francis Mitchell (1952) is a professor of economics at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and Docent Professor of Global Political Economy at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is one of the founding developers of Modern Monetary Theory.

Mitchell coined the term, "Modern Monetary Theory", also known as, "MMT". He coined the term about John Maynard Keynes' claim that for at least 4,000 years money has been "a creature of the state". He is a prominent promoter of MMT in macroeconomics.

Mitchell is a "passionate" cyclist. He was an "active bike racer" when, in 1995, he founded the website Cyclingnews.com.

Bill Mitchell is also a musician who has played guitar professionally in various bands over the years. Mitchell currently plays with Pressure Drop, a Melbourne-based reggae-dub band, originally popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. The band reformed in 2010.