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Beautiful art by Chen Huimin

Thanks yet again for this one (and for being led to this great art resource) to ensemble5, and for all these other treasures that I have gratefully snaffled from her over the years.


Jessie Willcox Smith - Vintage Book Illustrations

“I Love My Little Cat”

(click the image for I AM A CHILD - children in art history, a wonderful art resource for childhood)

“The Seven Ages of Childhood:
5. Then the Scholar, With Eyes Severe and Hair of Formal Cut”


(click the image to read a scanned online copy of the original vintage book!)

Jessie Willcox Smith, according to Wikipedia, “was a prominent female illustrator in the United States during the Golden Age of American illustration and ‘one of the greatest pure illustrators’”.

Thanks to Gatorindo (David) and ensemble5 for these!


If you like this...

[Try clicking the childhood tag - just a suggestion!]







A particularly nice Christmas video (particularly for cat lovers) - very little actual advertising, more about sharing at Christmas. It's worth watching full-screen, too (click any image to play - opens in a separate window).

There's a book to go with it in support of Save the Children's Children's Literacy Programme.

Thanks so much to ensemble5 for this one!




Thanks to ensemble5 for this one!



“Elle”, a watercolour by Cynthia Barlow Marrs - from her portfolio Sketch Portraits


I found this, as I have so many good things, on the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5 (if you click her tag at the top of this post, you'll see what I mean!).



"Jeune femme allongée sur un banc, 1913 (The blue lantern)" by Carl Larsson

From the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5, who got it from this very nice Carl Larsson art blog.



A sample of the beautiful photography of Anna Ådén, a fine art and freelance portrait photographer living in Umeå, northern Sweden (click each image for the various sources)

I found this photographer here on the beautiful pages of Annie Hall, and I was introduced to Annie (as to so many beautiful things and people) by ensemble5. A visit to both of these Categorians is highly recommended.


If you like this...

[Try clicking the winter or sweden tags, among others...]


*Broken link fixed!*


A wonderful surreal film by Nicolas Devaux, whose other work is well worth checking out, e.g. here

(My personal prize for the most cretinous comment seen so far this year on YouTube, an award for which there is fierce competition, goes to the person who saw a few minutes of this film and triumphantly announced that it was "a fake".)

Thanks to romancinme and ensemble5 for this one!



A celebration of the Curiosity Rover Mission, with beautiful images and music

Thanks to ensemble5 (whose beautiful pages are well worth visiting).


[How far is it to Mars? (nice video animation)]


In her final days as Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita (Suni) Williams of NASA recorded an extensive tour of the orbital laboratory and downlinked the video on Nov. 18, just hours before she, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency departed in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft for a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The tour includes scenes of each of the station's modules and research facilities with a running narrative by Williams of the work that has taken place and which is ongoing aboard the orbital outpost.

Suni, who is of Indian and Slovenian extraction, is a Captain in the US Navy, where she was a helicopter test pilot, and (I discovered) has a very impressive career in both the USN and NASA.

Click on any screenshot to play the video... 25 minutes of privileged viewing not to be missed!


Columbus, the European Laboratory, one of many on the Space Station (this one on the right hand side) where a lot of medical experiments are done


A sleep station module, containing 4 of these sleep stations...


"It's sort of like a little phone booth. It's also like a little office, with a computer and some toys and books and other things that make it sort of like home"


No gravity, so each of the 4 sleep stations...


...are in a separate wall


One of the space suits in storage, a miniature space vehicle...


"...your head turns inside the fixed helmet, you need a wide angle of vision and usually it's pretty sunny out there, so you need sunglasses, which make you look pretty cool"


A tour of a space toilet...


...with more information on cleaning up null-gravity messes than you may want to know!


Heading down from here, we get to "one of the coolest places on the Space Station, like a glass bottom boat"

You might want to take a look at this link (opens in a separate window)...

[Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the Cupola Module of the International Space Station observing the Earth below]


...the Cupola, with windows all around... (over Africa at the moment)



"That's the Soyuz spacecraft that's taking us home to Planet Earth today"


After showing us the exercise equipment, Sunita heads for the Soyuz spacecraft (a long way!)


A diversion to fly down the PMM, a big silver canister when seen from the outside - essentially a closet where things are stowed, "and a lot of fun to play in - and much bigger than the Soyuz"


Entering the Russian segment (Kevin, the next Commander, is doing the filming) "you don't need a passport either"


A long way, passing Yevgeny coming in the other direction


The Russian segment was the first section to come up to the Space Station, in 1988. The Station has been manned 12 years, and been up in space 14 years.


After another long passage... "here we are in the heart of the Space Station, really - the Service Module or Central Post". The service module is also the place to come when there's an emergency (fire, depressurization, toxic atmosphere) - "we gather here to figure out how to deal with whatever it is".


Controls to help fly in visiting spacecraft if they need it, and Russian and American computers that "help to control anything we need to on the Space Station"


Two Russian crew members, and on the wall behind them, pictures of Russian heroes of the space programme "which reminds us of our roots"


After showing us a lot of other stuff, Sunita heads down another long stretch to the Soyuz spacecraft that will take her home later today


...and at the end of that passage, she drops down another long shaft, arriving at...


...the docking probe which incoming spacecraft use to dock to the ISS (and we get an explanation of that, too)


Squeezing into the top section of the Soyuz (this part gets burnt up on re-entry - in a few hours time, in fact)


Looking up, that's Kevin, the next ISS Commander, looking down into the Soyuz


Squished into the tiny Descent Module, which has been getting made ready over the past couple of days, Sunita sitting in one of the three personalized custom-made seats (which she'll be using later today for real). "It's a pretty safe ride home... behind us is the parachute, all of our survival gear just in case we land in some strange place on the planet and nobody's there to rescue us right away..."


Some of the instruments, including hand controllers you can fly the module with

Listening to this lady, you would think she is talking about taking the bus home after a day at the office, instead of re-entering the Earth's atmosphere in a tiny capsule after a few months commanding one of humanity's outstanding political and scientific achievements. (She did get home safely, by the way.)

I take my hat off to her, and to NASA for providing us with the privilege of seeing so much detail of what goes on up there.

(Thanks so much to ensemble5 for this share.)

If you like this...

[A view of Endeavour docked to the International Space Station - and some thoughts to go with it]


"October" by James Tissot (1836-1902)

Found on the beautiful pages of ensemble5 - a visit to her pages is highly recommended (and so is clicking her tag at the top of this post!)

(The linked page is a great art resource, BTW... click the palette below if you would like to see a list of more art sites featured on my pages.)







I think about the life I live
A figure made of clay
And think about the things I lost
The things I gave away

And when I'm in a certain mood
I search the house and look
One night I found these magic words
In a magic book

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

There's a hand to rock the cradle
And a hand to help us stand
With a gentle kind of motion
As it moves across the land

And the hand's unclenched and open
Gifts of life and love it brings
So keep your hand wide open
If you're needing anything

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open
Let the sun shine through
'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you

'Cause you can never lose a thing
If it belongs to you
You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you

You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you
You can never ever lose a thing
If it belongs to you



A beautiful song, written and beautifully sung by Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer, actor and civil rights activist who was strongly influenced by Billie Holiday. Abbey died in August 2010.

If you like this, you will find a really interesting New York Times article about her life and work here.

Thanks again to ensemble5 for this one.



Artwork by Joanne Raptis - the original author of these great words is unknown!

Found on the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5.



"Aftertase" by the Taiwanese artist Jungshan (whose other work is well worth checking out)

Found on the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5


If you like this...

[The work of Hu Jundi]




"Follow me", a beautiful song by Kimiko Itoh, set to the music of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez

From the soundtrack of the anime/computer animated science fiction film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

One of many beautiful things to be found on the pages of ensemble5 (forwarded to me by Elegantlady (Roberta)).



"Rainy Days" by the Melbourne-based photographer Amy Weiss

Found on the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5.



Music by Jannis Zotos, Lyrics by Maria Polidouri. Maria Simoglou - vocal, Maria Anissegou - cello, Antonis Anissegos - piano. Live at the "B flat", Berlin

A beautiful piece of music, beautifully performed. Thanks to ensemble5 and Gatorindo (David) for this one!





One of a great series of science videos with voices of famous presenters transformed to music

Found on the wonderful pages of ensemble5.



A picture of Audrey Hepburn, one of many taken of her and other celebrities by the American fashion and celebrity photographer Mark Shaw

Found on the always-delightful pages of ensemble5


Cynthia Decker Digital Art 3D

"Narcissus"


"Haiku"

Cynthia Decker writes:

"...The images in this gallery are not photographs, nor did they begin as photographs. They are 2-dimensional still images that have been rendered from 3-dimensional digital environments that I created. The places and ideas depicted in my gallery exist only in my imagination, and hopefully now, in yours as well.

"The art of 3D rendering incorporates various traditional artistic techniques, but relies on pixels instead of paint, a computer mouse instead of a brush, and digital geometry instead of clay..."

Read the full description...


Thanks to ensemble5 for introducing me to this artist.


[More from Cynthia Decker]