30 August 2013

First modern field guide

American Robin with Dogwood (1978)

Roger Tory Peterson (1908–1996) was an American naturalist, ornithologist, artist and educator. He held to be one of the founding inspirations for the 20th century environmental movement.

In 1934 he published his seminal Guide to the Birds, the first modern field guide. 

Since, looking at the outdoor world has never been the same. He gave the tools that once belonged only to the field biologist to the ordinary person, who could now easily learn about and understand the natural world. 

Baltimore Orioles in Flowering Dogwood

He developed the Peterson Identification System. He is known for the clarity of both his illustrations of field guides and his delineation of relevant field marks.

« My identification system, explains Roger Tory Peterson, is visual rather than phylogenetic; it uses shape, pattern, and field marks in a comparative way. The phylogenetic order, which is related to evolution, is not emphasized within families. Similar-appearing species are placed together on plates and the critical distinctions are pointed out with little arrows.»

Paul R. Ehrlich, in The Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds (Fireside, 1988), said this about him:

« In this century, no one has done more to promote an interest in living creatures than Roger Tory Peterson, the inventor of the modern field guide.»

Barn Owls

His seventh grade teacher, Blanche Hornbeck, enrolled her students in the Junior Audubon Club, taught them about birds and often walked them to a nearby forest where she used nature to teach writing, art and science. 

It was during that year on an April morning that Roger Tory Peterson had an experience that shaped the rest of his life. 

While hiking with a friend, the boys spotted a seemingly lifeless clump of brown feathers on a tree, very low to the ground. Although merely sleeping, the boys thought the Northern Flicker was dead. Later, he described the experience: 

« I poked it and it burst into color, with the red on the back of its head and the gold on its wing. It was the contrast, you see, between something I thought was dead and something so alive. Like a resurrection. I came to believe birds are the most vivid reflection of life. It made me aware of the world in which we live.»

Blue Jays with Autumn Oak Leaves (1976)

Breasted Grosbeaks (1978)

Cardinals with Multiflora Rose (1973)

Cinnamon Screech Owl

Common Snipe (incomplete watercolor, 1920s)

Florida Scrub Jays (1958)

Golden Eagle

Greenland Gyrfalcons (1979)

Northern Mockingbird Doing Wing Display (1978)

Peregrine Falcons (1986)

Puffins (1979)

The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person's life. It ultimately makes people protective of the environment in a very committed way. It is my opinion that the study of natural history should be the primary avenue for creating environmentalists…

– Roger Tory Peterson

28 August 2013

The Henry Dreyfuss affair

Henry Dreyfuss (1904 –1972) was an American designer. As one of the celebrity industrial designers, he dramatically improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens of consumer products. 

Western Electric Model 302 telephone (1930)

Hoover Model 150 vacuum cleaner (1936)

New York Central Railroad streamlined Mercury train (1936)

John Deere Model A and Model B tractors (1938)

NYC Hudson locomotive for the Twentieth Century Limited (1938)

Westclox Big Ben alarm clock (1939)

Royal Typewriter Company Quiet DeLuxe (1947)

Iron for General Electric (1948)

Honeywell T87 circular wall thermostat (1953)

Princess telephone (1959)

Bankers Trust Building at 280 Park Avenue NYC (1963)

Trimline desk telephone (1968)

Polaroid SX-70 Land camera (1972)

25 August 2013

Bons souvenirs

Mihály Zichy (1827–1906) was a Hungarian born artist who is best known by the majority for his contributions towards the Romantic movement, though best known to eroticaphiles for the many erotic pencil drawings he drew after settling in France after 1871. 

It is unknown how many of these erotic drawings he produced altogether or what motivated him to produce them. Most are very beautiful and have a brilliant energy. 

These drawings all show various sexual depictions including classic bedroom scenes between couples in many positions, acts of fellatio and cunnilingus, mutual masturbation between same sex couples and some particularly emotive and powerful drawings of sex between centaurs.(Text source)

Wikipedia briefly tells us about erotica

On tumblr, a stunning collection of erotic images from over the centuries: Old erotic art

23 August 2013


Khrushchyovka is a type of low-cost, concrete-paneled or brick apartment building, which was developed in the USSR during the early 1960s, during the time its namesake Nikita Khrushchev directed the Soviet government. These buildings are found in great numbers all over the former Soviet Union (and former communist states in eastern Europe as well). 

I went @ flickr and look at photos filtered by "soviet apartment". More colorful than I thought!

© Austronesian Expeditions: Soviet era apartment blocks, Petropavlovsk

© Knut-Arve Simonsen: Arkhangelsk city, Russia

Ulaanbaatar Rising - An Exploration of the capital city of Mongolia