Photo Challenge

WPC Challenge for week 8 — 15 May 2015

THE FORCES OF NATURE 

Hoo boy~! Another toughie, one screaming out for twisted interpretation and bent rules. So be it …

CAN NATURE RESURRECT THE DEAD?

Perhaps not.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 19.38.29But human imagination (pay attention, there’ll be more in this vein later on) can and often does, and where it fails in deed it stars in concept.

It wouldn’t be hard to interpret this image (<– left) as a piccie of someone’s dear departed from about a hundred years ago. It’s been done before, I tell you … but all I see is a bunch of fungal weeds alichened unto a portrait. Ouch. Moving on (yes please-Ed)(more…)

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Now What?

C  THE  R

in my other blog I posted about the Rio statue that backgrounded bits of the animated movie ‘Rio’ (love that Jewel~!).

I used a couple of images from the prime source, plus a few googlers—but just now revisiting the prime I saw something interesting.

(Sadly in previous issues of the Mac OS I could have given you a lovely shot but the ‘Mavericks’ variant was a giant destructive leap away from Apple’s usual wonders into a dark Yeuch world.)(Some geek’s idea of progress—and also the last ‘update’ I’ll bring in from Apple for a very long time.)

ANYWAY

this is what caught my eye, jaggy bits notwithstanding. Look at it and tell me what you see—?

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 20.16.38

—if you missed it, drop a plumbline from C the R’s left hand (it’s on the right) and about level with the hemline of his jacket …

I can’t believe I’m the only dude in the whole world to have noticed?

Anyway:  click the snap to go to the source if you want to check it for yourself.

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KISMET

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WINTER—A BIT PARKY?

IN THE interests of trying to retain some hint of contact between our common languages of English and American (and Ozz and NZ and any others that might also have sprung from the common well)(or dribbled …) I should really

EXPLAIN

that ‘parky’ in this context means a tad on the cool side. You know, as in chilly—like in ‘brass monkey weather’. Oh dear, you aren’t familiar with that term either? Okay … it is literally—

“Eek!”

“Now what?”

“Bloody cold out here tonight!”

“Oh! Yep. Parky enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, no arguments there.”

—all very well and good. Except that the reference to ‘balls’ might need some explanation lest your jumping to undeserved conclusions sully my reputation for being of drawing room standard. So rather than yet another brief Argus summary I’ll let the good ol’ Apple onboard dictionary beat me to it, like so—

one image is worth a thousand words—Confusious

One picture is worth ten thousand words—Confusesus

—but in the scheme of things that’s neither here nor there.

My topic was literally ‘parky’ as in the parking of a car. I imagine that in some parts of the world a state of anarchy exists on the highways with concomitant causality count but here in NZ We, the People, are nothing if not as well drilled as our sheep. Probably better so, in fact …

SO YESTERDAY

I was hoofing through the pleasant wee suburb of Windsor when it occurred to me that although most Southlanders have independent natures on the roads, this lady was indeed using her initiative—

the hiker ...

—and getting the best of both worlds. I stood staring in rapt contemplation of an absolute masterpiece of devil-may-care flamboyant sang froid in the parking department. I watched as long suffering locals—obviously accustomed to a local character, beloved enough to make allowances—fitted themselves around what any damned Aucklander might have deemed an obstacle.

I even enjoyed listening as my hyperactive imagination coined a conversation between two little old ladies in the front seat—

“Errr … Myrtle?”

“Yes, Dear?”

“We seem to be a wee bit sticking out—?”

“Oh, don’t fret Dear. We can always walk to the kerb from here …”

—and walk they must have. I just hope they had enough rations to last the trip …

SO THAT’S WHY

I like Southland (believe it or not). Down here people have gumption enough to damn the torpedoes and go full ahead, devil-take-the-hindmost. Southlanders carve out their own future and are earthy enough to not even blink when some old poops talk about frozen brazen simian balls or practise original parking techniques. Their tolerance of eccentrics bodes well for our future …

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NIL DESPERANDUM  

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CREDIBILITY RULES

ALONG WITH A HEALTHY

scepticism. I’m as gullible by inclination as anyone—I too love a good ghost story. But sometimes rational analysis kicks in and presses the “BS alert” button. Hard. Perhaps it’s the subconscious working 24/7 on my behalf (and I thought them CIA types were paranoid?!).

TAKE THEE A PEEK

at this image below. The accompanying story says it was found in some deceased French aristocrat’s collection of plates from WW1, etc etc. (Probably in the cupboard under the stairs—you get the picture.)

This one is the first in line, I haven’t even glanced at any of the others yet ‘cos I just wanted to bleat my gut reaction to it:

Authentic Or Bust

—you’d have to actually go there and see it bigger. My discomfort stems mainly from that OOPART (Out Of Place Artefact) namely one in number bust of someone or other (and who cares whom)?  I too have Photoshop (okay, only Elements, but why split hairs) and am still learning how to drive it … but that bust looks … Photoshopped.

I THINK

it may be something to do with the quality of the lighting, or even the angle of presentation—to me it seems that human nature dictates that one’s lovely bust should be greeting any visitors to one’s dug-out square on; but anyone bimbling down that ramp with a song in his heart and trill on his lips would see it at an angle. No? Or is it like one of those pictures with the subject looking square out such that no matter where you go in the room it’s looking right at you? And the ‘soil’ at its point of contact with the ground. Brrrr.

Either way it’s for you to ponder, or not—I’m off to look at the rest of ’em. And yes, the picture is an active link to source. Enjoy …

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KISMET 

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GOOD GOD

and

GOOD GRIEF~!!!

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NO …

grief is never good. The above is just a literary expression of astonishment, as is the title of this post. In the English I use it may mean differently to a Muslim or devout Christian, Jew, or any variants thereof.

IT EXPRESSES MY ASTONISHMENTMERS

when I read the news article referenced below. Not only are we being hit with another plague (camel-based this time, it seems) but God has also generated a masterpiece of a means of rapidly transmitting it worldwide—

On Thursday, the Saudi Arabian health ministry confirmed 13 more cases of patients contracting MERS-CoV, the acronym for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, as well as two more deaths. MERS-CoV is an infectious disease with no known cure and is considered more deadly than SARS–which killed some 800 people during a 2002-2003 outbreak that first started in China. Since 2012, 83 people have died and 285 people have contracted the virus in the Kingdom alone. It has spread to the neighboring United Arab Emirates. Reports also suggest pilgrims from as far afield as Malaysia and the Philippines contracted the virus while on hajj in Mecca.

Read More:  LINK

—and I must admit I’d have been a bit disappointed if He’d come up with anything less. It’s every Moslem’s duty to bimble over to Mecca and gallop umpteen times around the sacred rock at least once in his lifetime (I don’t know and really don’t care if the same is incumbent upon Muslim females—shouldn’t they be all-encompassed in heavy you-can’t-see-me clothing and kept sequestered away at home, barefoot and pregnant?) and they gather from all quarters of the globe. Having gathered and enriched the local priesthoods they then have to go home of course … taking the virus with them. God’s plan, and probably as infallible as one would expect. Perfect.

IT WOULD BE PERFECTbig G 1

if it targeted only His chosen peoples. But if early signs hold true it will be an indiscriminate pandemic and we blasted collateral Godless atheists are going to cop it too. Not good. But all is not lost, read on—

A vaccine candidate for MERS was created in June of 2013 via a pathway using a nano particle with the surface protein of the virus molecule combined with a adjuvant derived from a rare butterfly. When it was tested it showed a powerful protective response against the least amount of exposure to MERS. The co. Is Novavax & it had similar test results against H7N9 that were published in the Nov. 2013 NEJM as a answer the response of a pandemic. Novavax’s technology is also safer because they don’t use a dead or attenuated live virus and faster because the egg based step is phased out. What seems to have happened in the Middle East is a antigenic shift of the MERS virus from animal to human to H2H. The co. has said in some situations it would be able to respond to a pandemic in a few months. There are reported cases of MERS in Mecca, in 6 months millions of people will come from all corners of the globe for Hajj. Every yr. Person to person contact is So close some die in a resulting stampede. In this environment MERS will spread like wildfire feeding off the human cell’s metabolism. When the pilgrimage is over and the people go back to their countries the WHO will have a pandemic on their hands. I hope the agencies are thinking of this and Novavax’s MERS candidate…

Read More:  LINK (the same as the above link)

big G 2SO ONCE AGAIN

it all boils down to Science versus religion. God is sending these damned things and we (the rational) are fighting them. Do we stand a chance? I’d say so—after all, the end religiously booked for us is not bugs, or flood, but fire, next time. And don’t give up hope … get lots of fire insurance and extinguishers. Go to Australia, they’re very good at fires over there, every year God clobbers them and they have a wealth of experiences (and lessons learnt) to share . Australians are new people, uncontaminated as yet with all the old prejudices against blasted Jews and Christians and Mohammedans and things.

BUT STAY AWAY

from Mecca — and your local mosque …

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KISMET

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THE NATIVITY SCENE

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I’M AN ATHEIST

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but I love it! The Nativity Scene is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as snow, holly, Good King Wossisphace and Xmas puds.

HERE IN NEW ZEALAND

we are of course diametrically removed from winter. Our Santas wear lightweight cotton red suits and their beards are the skimpiest they can get away with. Nativity 1I’ve seen Santas in sandals, how the hell they crank up that jolly smile whilst holding a sticky infant balanced on one knee beats me. That, Sir/Ma’am, is genuine ‘above and beyond the call of duty‘ …

But the Nativity Scene sets the scene and is seen everywhere. Nativity is ubiquitous and here’s just a wee sampling—sadly uncredited (I forgot to note when and where—bad dog, Santa will put coal in my water bowl instead of rum this year, I just know it).

THIS FIRST

I do know was taken in Gore, the wee church in King Street. I remember it especially for the superlative cleanliness of the devoted parents (even if the lil’ guy does seem a bit disinterested). Those whites are whiter than white—I think they missed their calling, they should have been in advertising.

THE SECOND

is also from Gore, across the road from one of the other churches. It seems that in days of yore the pioneers took housing God seriously, He had His pick of shacks to doss down in until Sundays.

Nativity 2

THE THIRD

I honestly don’t know—I think a Sallie Army shop somewhere. One thing I do note as I stroll the streets seeking targets of opportunity is that some folks go to a great deal of trouble whereas others couple ingenuity with goodies available at hand.

THE FOURTH

is one such. Dee Street in Invercargill. I very much admire talented people and folks who do the best they can with what they’ve got; which in this case was an arrangement and a concession to the times.

Recently there was a motorbike convention in Invercargill, ostensibly a race on the beach in honour of Burt Munro (‘The World’s Fastest Indian’)(Indian being a breed of motorbike at the time ol’ Burt did the impossible).

Nativity 3

(I’d happened across this talented craftsman when he was beavering away creating a wooden sculpture of a motorbike, sadly he was just a little out in his timing—the Convention moved on before it was completed.)

BUT HE DIDN’T

miss Christmas, as the ingenious use of articles to hand and a wee bit of imaginative improvisation shows in the fourth photo. In fact I was a bit preoccupied and only realised after I’d toddled by what it was. A quick about turn, couple of snaps then into the shop for a nosy-beak.

First up, the world’s largest doberman came over to check me out but it turned out she was also the world’s friendliest doberman—not that I’m at all nervous around dogs bigger than me. The guy was very amiable and we chatted, he has some lovely stuff in his place. There but for talent and skills would go I.

Nativity 4THE SPOUSE

is (and always was) an Elvis fan. Me, I can take him or leave him but some of his numbers do rate high on my list. His ‘You Were Always On My Mind‘ is an absolute winner. I like his ‘Dixi’ but have never found it as other than part of a compilation; sad.

LIKE I SAID

the guy (John Timpany, of Solid Furnishings at 86 Dee Street) has talents and is quick off the mark. I just loved the way he recruited ol’ Elvis to the cause and fitted him in. The King, I think, would be saying “Thank you for making me a part of this” and meaning it.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE DEVOUT

to enjoy the Christmas story. Even we atheists can appreciate art when it appears—just a real pity I didn’t catch the concrete yard’s Nativity in time for this post, I’ll snap it en passant next time and give it a place of its own, even though for the last two times they’ve left out the donkey. Dammit, I liked that donkey …

a shepherd?

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CARPE DIEM

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Better The Devil

YOU KNOW

and love, rather than some fly-by-night trying to gobble  your soul—or failing that, trying to lighten your wallet. Exorcism as a career option has to be better than prostitution: ya got it, ya sells it, ya still got it … in both cases. But exorcism is less messy. Either way someone gets screwed.

TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE

it arrived fresh tonight from Der Spiegel—

The exorcist (cripples healed on the side)

He’s good~! Has he packed the joint, or what?

A WEE UGANDAN ‘FATHER’

on a mission to Europe, top-gun devil remover—just another day at the office—

With some 500 priests on hand to hear confessions, the day included a holy mass, three speeches by Bashobora and prayers for healing. Bashobora, who has reportedly visited Poland several times in recent years, works for the Mbarara Diocese in Uganda, and also reportedly appealed to his followers at the ceremony for financial support to combat malnutrition and support educational programs in Africa”

—read more: LINK (Der Spiegel)

DID THEY

advertise this event? To score 58,000 souls they must have. Can you imagine the commercials beforehand, and the blurb in all the news media—

  • Demons outed!
  • Pearls tossed before swine!
  • 500 priests, no waiting!
  • Cripples made to walk!
  • Get your soul saved here!
  • Secondhand crutches going cheap!

BUT THE SHOW

was obviously a crying success, judging by the faithes of the faceful—

miraculous enthusiasm (no devils allowed)

miraculous enthusiasm (no devils allowed)

—which actually reminds me of the time (I blogged about it) some years ago when I attended an open air “Jesus 78” rally … right on dusk; just as all the thousands were doing this (see orgasmic smiles above) a jet-liner took off from Mangere airport and climbed out over the top of us. I cracked up (got a very indignant poke for it) ‘cos it looked like nothing so much as many hundreds of savages worshipping Big-Metal-Bird-In-Sky.

About ...

About …

Who knows … someone will have made a buck (and perhaps that Bird scared away all the blasted devils).

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KISMET

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I MAKE NO BONES

 

OF MY CONTEMPT

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for organised religions, which I regard as businesses dedicated to the milking and fleecing of the gullible or desperate. Toss in cults and other opportunists—anyone who makes a dishonest buck in like fashion*.

THIS MORNING

whilst refreshing on something else I happened across this aside and thought it worthy of comment—

“Many of the outer walls, usually just a few feet high, are intact. Mauricio points out the little island of Idehd, where priests fed turtle innards to an eel, the sea deity, kept in a well, before sharing among themselves the rest of the turtle as a sacrament”

read more:  LINK

—make of it what you will …

KISMET 

* tax-free, too. Nice ‘work’ if you can get it~!

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Making A Prophet

..

by MISREPRESENTATION

for a prophet’s profits

is a Confidence Trick. I recently posted on a long-running con and feel the need to elaborate—

IF WE DO NOT LEARN
from the past we are doomed to repeat it (Santayana, sort of).
Already it’s repeating itself, to a whole new crop of sucke—  innocents. In New Zealand in the sixties there was a strong wave of anti-Mormon (is that one ‘m’ too many?) propaganda in the form of leaflets artlessly tossed about, letterbox drops, anonymous posters etc. From memory one of them began “The Maori cooked the Pakeha, He was a tasty dish”  …. something something … and finishing with the tables being turned, the Maori ending up “in a Mormon stew”. All a bit racist and things these days but that’s honest reporting on my part:

a con 2

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MORMONS AND THINGS

like any other good sales force (and they are good at it, make no mistake—vast sums are spent in making sure) prefer to do their prospecting where they see a market for their product. Hence the swarms of Mormon and other ‘missionaries’* frequently surfacing on our streets like bad gas in a bog.

Not only a market but an easy mark, and the uneducated/unsophisticated are pretty damned easy marks for a confident spiel. No snake-oil guys ever had it better than the South Seas Paradises, I tell you; and these days the prospect of being guest of honour at an outdoor barbecue are effectively zero. A snip!

EVEN BETTER

if you have an unprovable invisible product that cannot be tested or challenged. If they don’t buy it, on to the next! It’s a numbers game after all, and you only need make a few sales to guarantee a reliable income. The good ol’ franchise will recoup it’s investment in your education many times over—and good salesmen (oops, missionaries) can go all the way to the top.

A CASE IN HAND

The con that Jehovah’s Seventh Day Witnessons (or similiar) are trying in Invercargill right now. A repeat of what fizzled out back in the sixties, but why not keep trying? Hence that flier above, and from their site these images—I don’t know how interested the average Fijian is in dead pharaohs and things, but they can adapt their tune to the tastes of the audience.

SO LONG AS a con 4

they get them hooked. The younger the better, when minds are open to absorbing, and neither aware of nor up to fighting the techniques being brought to bear on them. Kids love communal activities, especially a good rousing sing-song. And if they get a few ‘freebies’ … all the more better, no?

IN NEW ZEALAND

we have ‘truth in advertising’ laws that are being selectively applied. Not good. A law should apply impartially to all. So if (say) medicine has to prove—at vast expense—that a drug is actually beneficial and achieves at least enough of the claims made for it — why not every bugger? Equally? You know, that old rubbish about “Equal before the law”?

A RELIGIOUS SALESMAN

should likewise have to demonstrate his product to the satisfaction of an impartial board in law. Either that or close up shop and ship out — with any due compensation for past misrepresentations and unfilled promises made. No?

http://www.adventist.org.fj/vodafone-arena

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KISMET

* The cheek of it! We send missionaries to the savages, not … … oh.

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AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES

or

HE COULD BE

light-years ahead of the mob. It’s hard to tell. I use to dismiss rubbish like this out of hand—

“Consciousness, once thought to be only the product of brain chemistry, is now viewed as the eternal driving force for all that exists, and through physical form, manifests itself in order to experience”

—read more:  LINK  

—but these days I can’t be so dogmatic, regardless of how offensive my once-was-rationality finds it. I find myself mentally shrieking at the screen: “Oh, yeah? Says who, Bub? Other than you, that is!” and dread the (more…)