Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rybička - The Classic Czech Pocket Knife

New at South Pacific Berets: another iconic classic!
The rybička is a classic pocket knife, as conically Czech as the radiovka. Since the late 1700’s, Mikulášovice has been the centre of Czech knife manufacturing and it is where famous knife factory Mikov set up shop in 1794. For many generations of Czechs, the rybička, or “little fish”, has been the standard pocket tool and over the years gained popularity across the continents. 
These beautiful little knives are still made in Mikulášovice and now available with laser engraved printing at South Pacific Berets – an ode to that other Czech icon: Pat, the radiovka wearing character from the animation ‘Pat & Mat'. 

Lou Kenton

Lou Kenton (1908 –2012) was an English potter, who served as an ambulance driver with the International Brigade and was its oldest surviving member at the time of his death.
Lou Kenton during the SCW (seated, with beret)
Kenton was born in Stepney, east London to a Jewish Ukrainian family who had escaped the Tsarist pogroms. His father died from Tuberculosis when he was young, and as he left school aged 14 he worked in a paper factory where he first encountered anti-Semitism. This led him to join the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1929.
In early 1937, Kenton left Stepney to join the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. His wife, an exiled Austrian nurse from Nazi Germany, shortly followed him. When he arrived at the International Brigades headquarters in Albacete, he applied to join the International Brigade's Medical Unit. It was from there that he spent nearly two years in action as an Ambulance driver on the front lines, as well as distributing medical supplies to hospitals across the country. He left for Britain in late 1938 on an 'Aid for Spain' fund-raising mission to raise money for a new Ambulance but by the time his tour was over, the International Brigades were withdrawn.

After the International Brigades were withdrawn, Kenton was hugely depressed. One of his missions was to hand the Basque refugees given asylum in the United Kingdom back to the Spanish authorities. It was "the first time I saw the fascist police in their three-cornered hats. All the children were in tears and all of them were hanging on to me as we checked each one and handed them over."
After the Lidice massacre in Czechoslovakia in 1942, Kenton joined the British "Lidice Shall Live" organisation. He was an active member for many years and in the 1990s served as its chairman.
Kenton remained a devout communist, working tirelessly on trade union organisation, unemployed marches and party activities until 1968 when the Prague Spring was suppressed by the Soviet Union. He then joined the Labour Party and remained a member for the rest of his life.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Child Eating Basque

A monstrous giant that devours children, this slide in Bilbao (Spanish Basque Country).  One enters through the mouth and, as it should be, leaves from the back-end.
I wonder what Jung would say about this contraption… Eaten by a Basque with beret. Some kind of initiation, no doubt.
Once the child climbed in, the mouth closes behind him/her and there’s definitely some fear to overcome, on the way sliding out. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vitorino Salomé Vieira (2)

Following yesterday's post on Vitorino Salomé Vieira, I found some interesting related material: Vitorino's own wine label (with beret, of course).
It is a limited edition of 5,000 bottles of the Alentejo wine harvest of 2011, prepared from Aragonez, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet by Adega Mayor.
Vitorino wine is sold in special packs of two bottles including an exclusive CD with six Vitorino songs, composed by musician Alentejo exclusively for this project that unites wine and music.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Vitorino Salomé Vieira

Vitorino Salomé Vieira (1942) is a Portuguese singer-songwriter, permanently wearing a beret. 
His music combines the traditional music of his native region of Alentejo and urban popular song.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Francisco Martínez Soria

Born in Tarazona, Francisco Martínez Soria was five when his family moved to Barcelona, where he went to school, worked as a clerk and then as a salesperson. At the same time he participated in performances of local theatre groups in Gràcia.
During the Spanish Civil War he left his work and focused on theatre as an amateur actor. In 1938 he debuted in Teatro Fontalba with the theatre company of Rafael López Somoza with the work Antonio pasó el infierno (Antonio goes to hell). Two years later he founded his own theatre company with which he worked during the 1940s from Teatro Urquinaona and in the 1950s from Talía theatre.
In 1934 he collaborated as an extra in the black and white comedy Sereno with director Ignacio F. Iquino. He continued working with Iquino in eleven more films. He got his first leading role in 1938 in the comedy Paquete, el fotógrafo público número uno (Paquete, the number one public photographer). He continued playing supporting roles in many films until 1944 when he returned to theatre as an actor and entrepreneur.
His name achieved some fame between 1942 and 1944, when named director and first actor in the theatre company of Teatro de la Zarzuela.
He returned to cinema in the rolesstudd in 1950s. In 1965 he was very successful with the film La ciudad no es para mí (The city is not for me) directed by Pedro Lazaga. From that moment on, his screen character as an affectionate country bumpkin did not cease to appear in films until his death.
Thanks, Simon

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Roland Guérin de Vaux

Father Roland Guérin de Vaux OP (1903 –1971) was a French Dominican priest who led the Catholic team that initially worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls. 
De Vaux' team excavated the ancient site of Khirbet Qumran (1951–1956) as well as several caves near Qumran northwest of the Dead Sea. The excavations were led by Ibrahim El-Assouli, caretaker of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, or what came to be known as the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem.
De Vaux had worked on several excavations when Gerald Lankester Harding, the director of the Jordanian Antiquities Department, contacted him in 1947 to investigate a cave near the Dead Sea where some scrolls had been found. The cave later became known in Qumran nomenclature as Cave 1, the first cave to yield texts which became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
As de Vaux worked at Qumran and its vicinity more scrolls were found and these discoveries brought a small group of young scholars of Hebrew to work on them. These scholars, some of whom worked on their allotted scrolls for decades, included Józef Milik, John Marco Allegro and John Strugnell.
De Vaux chose not to publish a definitive archaeological report for his work at Qumran despite worldwide interest, though he left behind him copious notes, which have been synthesized into a single volume and published in 2003.
In their work The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh heavily criticized de Vaux, describing him as "ruthless, narrow-minded, bigoted and fiercely vindictive," anti-semitic and a fascist sympathizer. The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception has, in turn, been denounced by scholars as consisting largely of a "pattern of errors and misinformed statements".

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anonymous Portugal

The group Anonymous Portugal took several protest initiatives against the Portuguese government. In addition to public events, they attacked several official websites including the government website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gerhard Durlacher

Gerhard Leopold Durlacher (1928 - 1996) was a Dutch writer and sociologist.
Durlacher was born into a liberal Jewish family in Germany. In 1937 he settled with his parents in Rotterdam (Netherlands), after they had fled the Nazis. The flight was not far enough. The family was arrested on October 3, 1942 and transported to Westerbork concentration camp; then to Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz. On May 8, 1945 Gerhard Durlacher was liberated by the Russians. His father died in Bergen-Belsen, his mother in Stutthof. 
From 1964 to the end of 1983 was G. L. Durlacher Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. 
Durlacher wrote several books about his experiences in World War II. Later in life Durlacher sharply criticized the Allies who did not intervene even though they were aware of the fate of the Jews in the territories occupied by Nazi Germany. 
In July 1996 Durlacher died suddenly in his hometown of Haarlem.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Australian Photographer Andrew Wittner

Andrew Wittner is a photographer from Heathmont (Vic.), Australia.
For over 35 years now he has been producing fine quality archivally-processed, silver-gelatin, wood-fiber-based true black & white portrait photographs (not color photographs which have been printed so as to merely appear black & white). He calls them Silverwood Portraits for short, because they have images formed entirely of the pure precious metal silver, and they're backed with wood-fiber paper.
Stunning looking black & white portrait prints that last indefinitely without ever fading or discoloring.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cycle Chic in Cardiff

Cardiff Cycle Chic is a street photography archive that came about over a two year period. It is a unique record of the people that cycle the city of Cardiff.
"Marc works in the German language department at the university, and certainly brings a continental element to the streets of Cardiff with his wonderful beret. And he’s such a nice guy…Magic!"

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. 
This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture".
Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.
His work includes original and innovative examples of many building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. 
Three generations Wright
His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time".

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Women's Timber Corps

The Women's Timber Corps (WTC) was a British civilian organisation created during the Second World War to work in forestry replacing men who had left to join the armed forces. Women who joined the WTC were commonly known as Lumber Jills.
Formed in 1942, the origins of the WTC go back to the First World War when the Women's Timber Service had been formed to help with the war effort. In 1940 to solve a labour shortage and an increased demand for timber the Forestry Commission started recruiting women both as forestry workers but also to work in sawmills. In 1942 responsibility passed from the Forestry Commission to the Home Timber Production Department of the Ministry of Supply and the women became part of the new corps.
As many of the women who had joined the Forestry Commission came from the Women's Land Army (WLA), the WLA took over the administration and recruitment for the WTC and although the WTC was officially part of the WLA it retained a separate identity.  The uniforms were identical except that the WTC replaced the WLA felt hat for a beret and wore the WTC badge.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The 4th Legion Saharan Motorized Company

Legionnaires of 4e CSPL during the Boulevard de Béchar road construction (1961)
The 4th Legion Saharan Motorized Company (4e CSPL) was a Saharan motorized infantry unit of the French Foreign Legion, serving in Algeria during 1955 – 1963. The company was the youngest Saharan motorized company of the Legion. 
Dodges 6×6 of 4e CSPL during a mission in the Hamaguir region (May 1962)
This little known self-governing, autonomous company was established in 1955 as one of the Legion’s four motorized companies (CPLE) being stationed in Algeria. In 1956, the company was designated a Saharan company and received the traditional Saharan uniforms. It joined the Algerian War and participated in till the end of the conflict. The company was disbanded in 1963.
El Raoul, the Sahara. The last mission of 4e CSPL in its history. (February 1963)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


It appears to be a fashion label, ENFANTS RICHES DEPRIMES (Rich Depressed Kids), of which the meaning is a bit beyond me.
At $175.00 per beret, I can see one reason to get depressed though.
Going through the company's catalog, I also found $225.00 T-shirts with the print "Teen Cunt". Depressing all right...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Berets of Camogli

I have to thank my Milanese friend Sergio for the link to these pictures. 
They all come from this web site; vintage photographs of the last 120 years picturing life in Camogli. a small Italian fishing village and tourist resort located on the west side of the peninsula of Portofino, on the Golfo Paradiso at the Riviera di Levante, in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera.
Many photo's show fishermen wearing the typical Italian workers beret, or basco Roma, while others show the local variety: a knitted beret with a pompom on top. 
Life evolves around fishing, with many photographs showing life in the small port, the catch being brought in (giant turtles, sharks and whales included), the various (religious) festivals and architecture. One can spent much time flicking through the pictures...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Scenes of Bohemian Life

Another take on “Bohemian Life”:
Scenes of Bohemian Life is the ninth film of director Konstantin Seliverstov. However, it's for the first time that he is using a classic plot as a base of his film. 
This plot is probably better known to the lovers of opera, than to the lovers of literature. Puccini's La Boheme is loosely based on the novel by Henri Murger. 
Konstantin Seliverstov brings the action of his film from Paris of the 19th century to Saint Petersburg of the 21st century, at the same time keeping the French names of the main characters.