Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Lakes and Berets

Le lac Lanoux
Le lac d'Espingo

Le lac de la Glaire [Glère]
Lac de Caillaouas, terrasse de la Maison des ingénieurs
Le lac d'Oo

Monday, March 28, 2022

Abeid Amani Karume

Abeid Amani Karume (1905 – 1972) was the first President of Zanzibar. He obtained this title as a result of a revolution which led to the deposing of His Majesty Sir Jamshid bin Abdullah, the last reigning Sultan of Zanzibar, in January 1964. 

Three months later, the United Republic of Tanzania was founded, and Karume became the first Vice President of the United Republic with Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika as president of the new country. He was the father of Zanzibar's former president, Amani Abeid Karume.

Allegedly born at the village of Mwera, Zanzibar, Karume had little formal education and worked as a seaman before entering politics. He left Zanzibar in the early years of his life, travelling among other places to London, where he gained an understanding of geopolitics and international affairs through exposure to African thinkers such as Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi. 

Picking Peaches

Old man picking peaches in sud-Touraine, France

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Kirkjubøargarður (Faroese for Yard of Kirkjubøur, also known as King's Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses in the world, if not the oldest. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands.

The old farmhouse of Kirkjubøur dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. The legend says that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note that there is no forest in the Faroes, with the exception of a wood in northern Tórshavn, and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson family, which has occupied it since 1550, still lives there. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called "King's Land" (kongsjørð).

When my Belgian friend Frans visited Kirkjubøargarður, he discovered this representation of a man wearing a beret. Unfortunately, no details on its age or maker.

Thanks Frans

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Jacques Orteig, the animal of Eaux-Bonnes

He was nicknamed “the animal of Eaux-Bonnes”, guide and hunter Jacques Orteig (1834).

Born in Aas in the Ossau valley (Béarn) he enjoyed a local celebrity status in the Pyrenean world during his lifetime.

He was endowed by nature with a robustness and a fool proof endurance, knowing the mountains perfectly and being an excellent hunter and good climber.

A curious mind and researcher, he was the first to climb the Balaïtous via the east and the Las Néous glacier in 1865, before revealing this route to Henry Russell who would use it in 1870.

In 1876 he built a comfortable refuge hut on the Aucupat plateau that could accommodate about twenty people and intended to facilitate their ascents to the neighboring peaks: Ger, Amoulat, Arcizettes.

Jacques Orteig died on January 3, 1904 at the age of seventy.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Juan Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio (1911 –1995), nicknamed El Chueco ("the bowlegged") or El Maestro ("The Master"), was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times.

He abandoned his studies as a teenager to pursue auto mechanics. In 1938, he debuted in Turismo Carretera, competing in a Ford V8. In 1940, he competed with Chevrolet, winning the Grand Prix International Championship and devoted his time to the Argentine Turismo Carretera becoming its champion, a title he successfully defended a year later. Fangio then competed in Europe between 1947 and 1949, where he achieved further success.

He won the World Championship of Drivers five times—a record that stood for 46 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher—with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati), a feat that has not been repeated. He holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One – 46.15% – winning 24 of 52 Formula One races he entered. Fangio is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, which he won four times in his career, more than any other driver.

After retirement, Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Swedish Lotta Corps

The Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization (communicatively known as Svenska Lottakåren, SLK, lit. 'The Swedish Lotta Corps') is an independent auxiliary defence organization in Sweden. The organisation is part of the Swedish Total Defence (Totalförsvaret), the national defence strategy of Sweden.

The organisation was created in 1924 as a Swedish version of the Finnish equivalent organisation Lotta Svärd (created in 1918), which subsequently inspired other Scandinavian and the Baltic states to create their own organisations based on the same principles. These are collectively called "Lotta movements" as the majority of these organisations have adopted the name Lotta as the general designation for organisation members.

The organization currently consists of approximately 5,000 women of all ages throughout Sweden. Svenska Lottakåren's purpose is to recruit and educate women for tasks in the Swedish total defence, and to conduct comprehensive defence training. Svenska Lottakåren works in both the Armed Forces and in Civilian Emergency Preparedness. The organization is politically neutral and is one of the country's largest female networks.

In 1989 the Swedish military started allowing women into all positions within the Swedish armed forces. This meant that the Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Organization was no longer the only true option for women to get an active role in the defence of Sweden. An equivalent change in Denmark the same year had led to the dissolution of their "Lotta movement" Lottekorps. However, in Sweden the organisation would remain as they still held important roles in the Swedish defence, as well as their cultural value.

In 2008 the organisation updated their graphical profile and changed their communicative name into Svenska Lottakåren ("The Swedish Lotta Corps").

Thanks, Frans

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Pussy Riot - Diana Burkot

“I was in prison last week. The police arrested me at home because I had been at an anti-war demonstration.”

“People who wonder why more Russians don’t take to the streets do not understand how suffocating this regime is. Long before Putin started the war, he systematically wiped out all opposition. Thousands of people were arrested and fired in last year’s mass protests for Alexei Navalny. They can no longer feed their families because they participated in a peaceful demonstration. Russia is not a democracy, but an authoritarian state that increasingly resembles a dictatorship. You can’t just destroy that by demonstrating. First, Putin’s new law punishing supposedly fake news about the war banned you from using words like ‘war’ or ‘raid’, now even people wearing peace signs are being arrested.”

“I am ashamed to come from the country that started this tyranny and support the Ukrainian people. I will always continue to fight against the regime. That’s just what I have to do. But it’s not just about Russia. There is no country where you should not speak out. Human rights are being violated everywhere, gender equality is under pressure, there is racism and police brutality. Everywhere.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

More Australian Humour of Dr Professor Neal Portenza

More Australian Humour of Dr Professor Neal Portenza 

Dr. Professor Neal Portenza @ Falls Festival, New Years Eve, 2012/2013

Performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Comedy Up Late for ABC1. 

Neal Portenza Has A Go at Television.

René Goscinny

René Goscinny (1926 –1977) was a French comic editor and writer, who created the Astérix comic book series with illustrator Albert Uderzo.

Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926, to Jewish immigrants from Poland. Raised largely in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he attended French schools, he lived for a time in the United States. There he met Belgian cartoonist Morris. After his return to France, they collaborated for more than 20 years on the comic series Lucky Luke (in what was considered the series' golden age).

He fulfilled his military service at Aubagne, in the 141st Alpine Infantry Battalion. Promoted to senior corporal, he became the appointed artist of the regiment and drew illustrations and posters for the army.

In 1959, the Édifrance/Édipresse syndicate started the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote. Goscinny became one of the most productive writers for the magazine. In the magazine's first issue, he launched Astérix, with Uderzo. The series was an instant hit and remains popular worldwide.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Jilly Johnson

Jilly Johnson (1953) is a British former model, actress and Page 3 Girl.

Jilly Johnson joins the 'Red Berets' at Waterloo station, London to launch the new cereal 'Special K Red Berries'

Johnson was born Jilly Gosden on 17 November 1953 in Australia. Her family moved back to Surrey, England when she was eight.

In the 1970s and 1980s together with Nina Carter, she was in the girl group Blonde on Blonde.


In 1975, she became the first model to appear topless in the Daily Mirror

She has written two novels: Double Exposure (1994) and Playing for Love (1997).

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Cuthbert Mark Dignam

Cuthbert Mark Dignam (1909 –1989) was a prolific English actor.

Born in London, the son of a salesman in the steel industry, Dignam grew up in Sheffield, and was educated at the Jesuit College, where he appeared in numerous Shakespearean plays.

He learned his craft touring Britain and America with Ben Greet's Shakespeare company. His range extended from the Louis Macneice radio play, The Dark Tower in the 1940s to the TV thriller, The XYY Man in the late 1970s.

Along with Philip Guard and John Bryning, Dignam can be heard on the fade-out of the Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus", during which is played a 1967 BBC radio broadcast of King Lear, with Dignam in the role of the Earl of Gloucester.

Dignam was married three times, divorced twice (his character in The XYY Man frequently complains about the expense of maintaining multiple ex-wives).

Friday, March 18, 2022

Chant des Partisans

The "" was the most popular song of the Free French and French Resistance during World War II.

The piece was written and put to melody in London in 1943 after Anna Marly heard a Russian song that provided her with inspiration. Joseph Kessel and Maurice Druon wrote the French lyrics. It was performed by Anna Marly, broadcast by the BBC and adopted by the maquis. The lyrics of the song revolve around the idea of a life-or-death struggle for national liberation. After the war the "Chant des Partisans" was so popular, it was proposed as a new national anthem for France. It became for a short while the unofficial national anthem, next to the official "La Marseillaise".

Anna Marly also wrote and performed a more introspective song, "La Complainte du Partisan", which was later adapted and translated into English as "The Partisan". It was most famously covered by Leonard Cohen. The two songs are sometimes confused.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Margrit Ensinger

Margrit Ensinger (1926) is a German actress and radio play speaker.

Ensinger took acting lessons from Gisela von Collande in Hamburg from 1946 to 1948. She had her first engagement from 1948 to 1950 at the Deutsches Theater Konstanz under the direction of Heinz Hilpert.

Between 1953 and 1964 in particular, Ensinger also worked for radio, in some cases in well-known productions such as The Last Day of Lisbon by Günter Eich or Ingeborg Bachmann 's last radio play The Good God of Manhattan.

Margrit Ensinger was married to the actor Peter Arens until his death. Their daughter Babett also works as an actress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Elias Burton Holmes

Elias Burton Holmes (1870–1958) was an American traveler, photographer and filmmaker, who coined the term "travelogue".

Travel stories, slide shows, and motion pictures were all in existence before Holmes began his career, as was the profession of travel lecturer; but Holmes was the first person to put all of these elements together into documentary travel lectures.

In 1914, Holmes married Margaret Oliver, whom he had met on one of his expeditions. They lived primarily at an estate called "Topside" in the Hollywood Hills that was a former riding club. Holmes also had a duplex, "Nirvana", in New York that was packed with treasures from Southeast Asia.

Burton Holmes has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2004, 200 reels of Holmes's documentary footage, long thought lost, turned up in an abandoned storage unit. They are currently housed in the George Eastman House film museum.