Thursday, February 24, 2011

Callum the Airdale

A recent encounter with a boisterous Airedale on a beach near Berwick.

They are wonderful dogs with a great afinity with people and if well looked after, a love for families and children. It's such a pity they are not so 'fashionable' these days.

My first encounter with the Airedale was very memorable and a turning point in my young life.

I had just taken on the role of local paperboy and as a dog lover, I was looking forward to meeting all the characters that inhabited the neighbourhood but my naïve enthusiasm was soon dented and re-shaped.

I delivered the People’s Friend to the home of a Jack Russell terrier that chewed it into confetti as soon as it hit the doormat but offered nothing more than a fleeting nipped ankle to humans.

Unlike his more intimidating neighbour who was a psycho biter, a characteristic shared by his family. No amount of dog psychology or distracting treats worked on this guy or its owners. He rarely got his paper delivered but then they never paid the newsagent, so that seemed fair to me. I was simple in my judgements then.

The greatest challenge and respect was Callum the Airedale, he was big, confident and smart. When first we met, I immediately got the impression that I was facing real intelligent here and his apparent mood swings and dynamic attitude changed depending on whether he was with his owner, a sweet old lady or whether he was on his own in the garden and by default, on guard.

His owner was keen that Callum and I should be friends because, much to her surprise, she had had some issues with delivery people in the past. She took time to introduce me to Callum and vice versa and, like many delinquents, he behaved well in the presence of his owner.

The relationship between Callum and I was not conflict, it was a chess match with diplomacy and negotiation surrounding my right to enter and cross his domain. I had to earn the right of passage and show due reverence and respect. If not, he would show me his displeasure with a stiffening of his body and an intransigence that meant ‘Too much! Cease and desist, now’

Perhaps I was wrong but I never challenged him when he was in this mood and would leave and re-visit later to start the respectful dance again.

One day he was nowhere to be seen. So I walked boldly up to the open door and as I held out my arm to deposit the magazine on the porch table, he was there. Standing quietly and looking at me in his curious but firm way. I was exposed, with my arm outstretched hovering over the table, still holding the magazine and just in front of his muzzle.

Looking me square in the eye, he slowly moved his head forward and gently gripped my arm. I was speaking quietly to him, as always. Continuing the dialogue that we had started on day one, only this time I was sounding more than a little nervous.

The duty of the paperboy was to deliver and for some reason I had the view that ‘whatever happens, no-one will be able to say that I did not deliver this magazine.’ It’s strange how your mind thinks when it’s in the eye of, or in this case the mouth of, the storm.

Not to startle him, I half slid, half dropped the magazine slowly onto the table with as little movement and noise as possible and told Callum that he could let my arm loose now because I was leaving. 

Still watching me closely he considered my request for few moments and then did just that, not quickly or suddenly but with the same slow controlled motion he had used to ensnare me. I slowly walked backwards for a couple of steps and then turned and walked calmly but shakily, down the path.

When I got to the gate he was still watching me and I swear he winked as I smiled back at him and walked away. After that we were the best of friends, but always on his terms.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Download ESA ATV-2 Johannes Kepler Info Kit

Drunk Baby wrecks bar in Las Palmas

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pictogram Movie Posters

A great movie poster captures the themes and feelings of a two hour piece of entertainment and boils them down into a single image that can grab the attention of a bleary-eyed passerby and get them interested in the film. Done properly, some movie posters live beyond the movie and become cultural artifacts in and of themselves.

Great movie posters are works of art, fit to be framed and hung on walls. Unfortunately, most movie posters aren’t that great. Instead of going for the iconic, most studios seem satisfied to put together a cheap Photoshop collage, use a fancy font and hope for the best. As long as the title is there in big letters and you can see the star’s face, they could give a damn what the thing looks like.

Inspired by the simple iconic poster, freelance photographer and designer Viktor Hertz has created a series of posters that strip down some classic (and some not so classic) films to their most simplistic. Using pictograph forms, Hertz tells you everything you need to know about the film in stark black and gray. He calls then “Pictogram Movie Posters.” We call them awesome. Here are six he’s recently posted.


Choosing the scene from the classic flick, Hertz has distilled Hitchcock’s thriller into its base components. There’s a girl, a guy, a shower, a knife and it doesn’t end pretty. The distressed effect is a perfect match for the seedy, desperate nature of the film.


“Devil” was a pretty terrible film, but it might have been a little better if this was the poster. You have to admit, it nails the concept. Five people in an elevator, one of them is the Devil. If only the film was as good.


Based on the original and not the recent remake, Hertz’s “Tron” poster has the clean lines and sharp angles of the movie down right. Plus, it’s probably a lot closer to what a computer of the day was actually capable of.

Rosemary’s Baby

Again, simple concept, simple poster. Rosemary has a baby. That baby is the Devil’s seed. It’s a great, subtle image that fits just right with the slow mounting tension of the movie.


Here Hurtz tackles a more modern film, the smash hit “Spiderman.” But this one may be just a bit too literal.

Fahrenheit 451

A poster for Francois Truffaut’s adaptation of the classic Ray Bradbury novel about the dangers of censorship, it’s a perfect image for the dystopian nightmare of a world that outlaws books. It would also look great on the armband of a fascist.


Even Hertz admits he had trouble with this one. Sure, he could have gone with a pictogram guy that was half fish, but then he would run the risk of reminding people how ridiculous the movie was. Better instead to make a world that looks like a drop of water. It’s too bad the producers didn’t use this poster. Then at least one thing about “Waterworld” wouldn’t have sucked.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Model's funny walk

Pride comes before ....

As well as being just plain painful, some falls can also compromise a model's modesty, as was the case at the Hervé Léger by Max Azria show back in February 2009.....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

10 Anti-Valentine Gifts for recently Divorced and that Say 'I Hate You!'

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 1: Heart BURNED Mini Microbes

Giant Microbes has put together a special heart-shaped gift box for Anti-Valentine's Day. It's the Heart BURNED mini collection of microbes and each one is an exact replica of the microbe responsible for Herpes, Pox, HPV, Chlamydia, and the Clap... just five of the sexually transmitted diseases you might wish on that bast--d.
Heart BURNED Mini MicrobesHeart BURNED Mini Microbes
Heart BURNED Mini MicrobesHeart BURNED Mini Microbes

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 2: Bloody Weapons Garland

I'm not an advocate of violence, but I don't mind metaphors, and this 7.5 foot length of Bloody Weapons Garland is explicit enough.
Bloody Weapon garlandBloody Weapon garland

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 3: Bloody Shower Curtain and Bath Mat

While we're on the subject of blood weapons, here's another pretty explicit gift - a matching bloody shower curtain and bath mat. How very thoughtful of you too; such a practical Anti-Valentine from ThinkGeek.
Bloody Shower Curtain & Bath MatBloody Shower Curtain & Bath Mat

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 4: Eat Your Heart Out Display

For a truly original communication of your feelings, this is a mixed media assemblage ready-to-hang (sic) display - a work of art by Suzanna Scott. A buzzard near by, the tin dish holds a human heart and the toy fork is ready to dig in. Eat Your Heart Out!
Eat Your Heart Out!: © Suzanna ScottEat Your Heart Out!: © Suzanna Scott
Eat Your Heart Out!: © Suzanna ScottEat Your Heart Out!: © Suzanna Scott

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 5: Gloomy Valentine (DVD)

This really poignant short animation, produced by Warwick Burton and directed by animator Isabel Peppard, is under 6 minutes, but if it's your pain you want him to see, this Gloomy Valentine creates a piercing impression. On DVD at You can see the video online here.
Gloomy Valentine DVD: © The Dead Heart StudioGloomy Valentine DVD: © The Dead Heart Studio

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 6: Dismemberable Zombie

Now here's a gift for yourself, and it might help you to get over the bum. Whenever you think of your heartbreaker, you can just yank an arm, a leg, a head, whatever... off the Dismemberable and Plush Zombie. I won't give you all the secrets of this pull-apart doll, which you can put back together, but here's one: You can pull the torso off to reveal its intestines! At
Dismember-Me Plush ZombieDismember-Me Plush Zombie

Anti Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 7: Black Heart Brooch

If you're in mourning for your lost love, or you want to remind the beast of what he or she did to you, this handmade, felt Anti-Valentine's Day Black Heart Brooch is the height of heartbroken subtlety, especially when compared to the other hate gifts I've covered. (Nothing gets my dander up like heart break.)
Anti-Valentine's Day Black Heart Brooch: © alopexiaAnti-Valentine's Day Black Heart Brooch: © alopexia

Anti Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 8: Anti-Love Magnet

This and other 'anti-love' magnets can be found at Etsy. There are 14 different ones made by crafter and word lover Moira Richardson. This was my favorite.
Anti-Love Magnet: © Moira RichardsonAnti-Love Magnet: © Moira Richardson

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 9: Duct Tape Roses

Nothing says love like duct tape; don't you agree? Maybe you would rather use this tape for other purposes, but your anti-valentine would not be able to appreciate the sweetness of your gesture.... Duct Tape Roses because nothing says I hate you better.
Duct Tape RosesDuct Tape Roses

Anti-Valentine I Hate You Gift Number 10: My Beating Heart

Here it is; hand over your very beating heart. If it's guilt you want to extract, this Plush Beating Heart from ThinkGeek is your anti-valentine choice. Let that scum bag take your beating heart and keep it. It was a toy to that lowlife anyway. (Yes, it really beats.)
My Beating HeartMy Beating Heart