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: “......you 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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Eduard 'Hroznýš' Marek

Eduard Marek was born in 1917 in Prague. In 1936, he joined the first TGM aviation regiment as a volunteer, and after demobilization in 1939, he took over the management of the family real estate office. During the war, he was imprisoned for three months for helping a Jewish friend, illegally worked in the scouts, and participated in the Prague Uprising.

After the war, he restored his real estate office and led the Junák section. After the communist putsch in February 1948, he co-founded a resistance group, the following year he was arrested and sentenced to ten years for anti-state activity, he was released seven years later.

His wife was sentenced along with him, their then five-year-old son ended up in an institution in Počernice.

Marek was a lifelong scout. He maintained the movement's ideas even during the long years when scouting was banned in the Czech lands.

For many years, Hroznýš was an active visitor to camps, educational courses and other scouting events, where he inspired younger generations with his life story, insight and incredible energy. In 2019, Czech scouts also presented his story at the World Scout Jamboree in the USA.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sándor Ambrus

István Ambrus Sándor (1959 –2008) was a sculptor and graphic designer from Transylvania.

His great-grandfather and grandfather were stonemasons and he learned a lot from the latter in his childhood and consciously prepared for the sculpting career. He studied sculpture at the Ion Andreescu University of Fine Arts in Cluj -Napoca until 1983. Instead of a job as an art teacher, he chose the status of a freelance artist. He was a window dresser, a stonemason, and later worked in a goldsmith's workshop. He started sculpting in his studio in Cluj. He had individual and group exhibitions in and around Cluj and also guided Hungarian tourist groups in Transylvania.

He met Ferenc Szeverin, the manager of the Dombóvár Gallery. Thanks to him, he moved to Hungary in 1989. After the initial occasional jobs, he made unique jewellery and sculptures. He created the wall and parapet coverings of the Festival Theater in MÜPA in the capital, as well as the scenery for the performance of the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble in Kalotaszeg.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Dionyzas Varkalis

Lithuanian Dionyzas Varkalis, Klaipėda luminary, restless fighter for justice, Sąjūdis activist, museum owner, founder of the Blacksmith Museum in Klaipėda, died last July. 

He was one of the brightest personalities of Klaipėda, a living legend of the city. And having reached a respectable age of 87, the famous citizen did not lack energy and strength not only for blacksmithing, museology and arts, but also for politics.

While living in Klaipėda, D. Varkalis discovered a collapsed 19th century building in the old town: the forge, preserved it, organized the construction so that there would be a place to install the blacksmithing museum.

D. Varkalis was a research associate of the Museum of the History of Little Lithuania.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Guido Ceronetti

Guido Ceronetti (1927 –2018) was an Italian poet, philosopher, novelist, translator, journalist and playwright from Turin, Italy.

In 1970, he founded the Theater of the Sensitive. His works are archived at the Cantonal Library of Lugano. He wrote columns for La Repubblica, La Stampa and Radio Radicale.

Emil Cioran dedicated to his book Il silenzio del corpo ("The Silence of the Body") a chapter of the essay Exercices d'admiration (1986).

Ceronetti died in Cetona, Italy on 13 September 2018 from bronchopneumonia at the age of 91.

Saturday, January 21, 2023


Blaqnick & MasterBlaQ present the official Instrumental to Berete, featuring Mellow & Sleazy.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Prison for Beret Wearing in Uganda

Musician and opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine (C) during the press conference encouraging his "people power" supporters to continue wearing their trademark red berets in Kampala.

Uganda's military announced that red berets had been banned, and civilians in possession of them could be punished with up to five years in prison(!).

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Clifford Harper (3)


France 1940 - Spanish Anarchists in exile

1937 - Winter on the Madrid front

1936 - Madrid, November 19th. The death of Durruti

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Clifford Harper (2)

Anarchist book jacket

Following yesterday's post on Clifford Harper, some of his artworks of boineros/as in pen and ink.


The Spanish border 1950's. The Anarchist Francesc Sabate Llopart - 'El Quico' - crosses into Spain to carry the fight to the fascist government, for whom he became 'Public Enemy Number One'

Spanish Republican Nurse 1936 

George Caffell forced open the gates to Goodge Street station, liberating the tube for use as an underground shelter against German bombing raids during the second world war

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Clifford Harper

Clifford Harper (1949) is a worker, illustrator and militant anarchist, born in Chiswick, West London. His father was a postman and his mother a cook. Expelled from school at 13 and placed on two years probation at 14, he then worked in a series of "menial jobs" before "turning on, tuning in, and dropping out" in 1967.

After living in a commune in Cumberland, he started a commune on Eel Pie Island in the River Thames near Richmond, Surrey, in 1969. In 1971, he took part in the All London Squatters organization, squatting in Camden, North London, then Stepney Green, East London, and Camberwell in South East London, while being very active in anarchist circles. 

In 1974, he settled in Camberwell, where he has lived ever since. Harper has long-term health issues and suffered a heart attack in 2006.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Clearance at South Pacific Berets!

Taking stock at South Pacific Berets among an everlasting shortage of space means a good reason for a clearance sale!


Some berets are taken out of production, sometimes a manufacturer ceases to exist, other times a line of custom made models sells out... There may be tragedy behind it, but for the customer it can be good news - berets with a massive reduction in price.

The boinas Espinosa and Tolosa Tupida have been a staple of South Pacific Berets from the very beginning, 15 years ago. Until the beginning of covid, I have always had a steady supply of these berets, but after 3 years trying [unsuccessfully] to restock, I reluctantly have to give up on this range of berets.
The last boinas with headband can be found here; the last one-size models here.

UČA berets is one of Europe’s oldest beret manufacturers, since its inception in Vršac in 1924.
UČA produces berets for many of the European armies, as well as various types of Basque berets. Even at the regular retail price, these berets are great value for money – now on Clearance Sale at a large discount!

The UČA military berets can be found here; all Basque models here.
The Hispano Basque is an old French beret label that was reinstated exclusively for South Pacific Berets; berets made specifically to our specifications of weight, diameter, colour.

From the onset, these berets were priced very competitively, offering a large range of colours and diameters. The standard series of Hispano Basque berets can be found here; the Bleu de France range here and the (yellow & purple) Bold and Beautiful range here.
Many more berets have been reduced in price; such as the Portuguese Boinas Burel, Laulhère’s berets in Harris Tweed...

...the recycled coffee-bag Coffee2Go berets and Italian Grande Piattos.