Thursday, November 19, 2009

Motown's $800,000 Buys Nassau

This has always been a problem, buying anbassadorships, but some of these people don't have the quaifications to run the midnight to 6 AM shift at Bert's Bait and Gas. No experience. At all.

Barack Obama rewards big donors with plum jobs overseas
Nicole Avant, a member of a Motown family dynasty who is credited with bundling up to $800,000 for Obama, was granted the coveted and cushy ambassadorship in Nassau, Bahamas.

I hope she gave daddy a big hug.

Lartigue. One Of My Favorite Photographs

(Update below)

This is surely one of the most evocative photographs I have ever seen. In fact, to me this photograph symbolizes the essence of a pre-war car. Made by French photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue in 1913, at a time when the word photoshop had not been invented. Early photographs were really “stills” without any sense of movement. Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) was one of the first photographers who knew to create a distortion in his photos, thus suggesting movement, if not real speed. The original title of this photo is “Car Trip, Papa at 80 kilometers an hour”. It has long been thought that the car was a Delage and that the photo had been taken on June 26, 1912 during the Grand Prix de l’ACF, held at the Circuit de Dieppe. However, research has proved that no Delage with that starting number participated in that particular Grand Prix and that it is in fact a TheophilĂ© Schneider, photographed in 1913 during the Grand Prix at Picardie (see sources). This amazing silver print, signed by Lartigue in ink, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam. Its estimate was 4000-6000 euros but the hammer fell at a staggering 7800 euros.

UPDATE: Good question Webutante;

Webutante: However, you didn't tell us when this photo was auctioned off for that staggering at Sotheby's. Assume it was recently?

From the dating of the original post, my math tells me that it was autioned off at Sotheby's Amsterdam on 3/15/07.

Additional info; Racing Database lists René Croquet with starting number 6. He finished tenth.

For photo buffs ( I have an old Graflex, not the same as Lartigue, and a bellowed 5X7 and have not been able to duplicate the same distortion):

UPDATE I by Carleton Hughes: "The distortion you mention was not deliberate but was the result of the downward travelling focal-plane shutter on the Graflex camera favoured by Lartigue and others circa 1905-1920. Thus the image will appear leaning forward from top to bottom giving the impression of speed and motion but is in reality due to the vertical shutter curtain slowly travelling from top to bottom." Editor JB: "Carleton is right be it only partly... As you can see the car is leaning forward, yet the onlookers backward. So in fact it is a combination of the shutter technique and a horizontal pan-movement from left to right in order to keep track with the car during exposure. Still, many have tried to copy the effect (especially in car advertising) but -as we understand - never had the result Lartigue had. So the effect of the lucky shot was added as a topping over the technical aspects. The more important question stays... is it a Delage or a Schneider...?”

UPDATE II: Marc Fellman confirms that four Th. Schneider cars participated in the ACF GP on the 12/13th July 1913. Car #16 driven by Henry Champoisseau and Louis Daclin (finished 7th), #20 driven by Rene Thomas & Brombant (finished 9th), #6 the subject of the Lartigue photo driven by Maurice Croquet & Didier (finished 10th) & #12 driven by Fernand Gabriel & Mongeot (did not finish). Cars were equipped with 5.5 litre 4 cylinder engines. History records that Georges Boillot won in a Peugeot but the Th. Schneiders acquitted themselves well among a field of the likes of Boillot & Goux in Peugeots, Chassagne in a Sunbeam and Bablot & Guyot in Delages.

UPDATE III: Per Bjurling suggests a slightly different explanation to the distortion of the photo. Presume that the car is moving forwards. At ground level the distance between the feet of the people and the car tyre touching the ground is relatively short. At head level the distance between the heads of the people and the upper part of the tyre is longer. It took a certain time for the slot to move over the film surface while the camera rotated and the car moved even faster than that. As I understand it the slot in the shutter must have travelled from below and upwards. Anyone with a modern system camera who hasn’t understood this will fail in trying to remake the shot. Editor JB: “I was not implying that people with a modern camera cannot remake the photo. I know from people who tried to remake the shot with a similar or identical old camera. Without being able to get this result....”

UPDATE AGAIN: Jacques-HenriLartigue was approximately 18 years of age when he took this photograph. His father had a camera and Lartigue was absolutely fascinated by it. When a young boy, his father bought him a large, indeed ponderous, 13 X 18 camera on a large tripod. Lartigue had to stand on a stool to focus.

Lartigue was fascinated with beauty, elegance, excitement and fun. He was especially interested in recording his family's exploits as exemplified in this photograph of his brother. "My brother Zissou," Lartigue recalls, "had a vivid intelligence and he invented so many things--wooden horses, crates on wheels, even a velodrome--but I was always the little boy, in a way, kept in the corner, dying to take part. This really grieved me, until one day I said to myself, 'Now I am going to catch all these beautiful things which they do.'...In a daily journal that little Jacques-Henri kept at the time, and has kept ever since, there is this joyful annotation for a day in 1901: "Papa is like God (as a matter of fact, he might even be God in disguise). He's just told me, 'I'm going to give you your own camera.' Now I can take pictures of everything... everything. I know very well that many, many things are going to ask me to have their pictures taken, and I will take them all!" (Aperture, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, p. 7.)

It is interesting that Lartigue never allowed his first photograph to be viewed by others, but below is the second photograph that Jacques-Henri Lartigue took. He was very young, aged eight, and it is an inspiring photograph, simply as a photograph, but it is breath taking in its chosen subject for Lartigue's first photograph to be viewed by others:

His parents at Pont-de-l'Arch, 1902
(poor quality scan by me)

Conyers: 'I'm Getting Tired Of Saving Obama's Can'...

Conyers couldn't even save his wife's can, but then maybe she had more than one can in the cupboard.

Obama Buying Votes Applause

Yep, the last line just about wraps up Obama's popularity. He buys it.

Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cell phones to snap pictures.

"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said.

Standing on a riser wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a cluster of troops and a large American flag behind him, Obama expressed "the gratitude of the American public" and said his meetings in four countries over eight days in Asia will help deliver a "safer, more prosperous world for all of us."

He got a huge cheer when he told them he was increasing military pay. "That's what you call an applause line," he said, before boarding his jet and taking off at 4:11 p.m.

Raises, paying mortgages and gas, giving unions car companies and jobs to Marxist cronies. Maybe his next campaign slogan will be, "It's not just gas and mortgages, vote for me cause I bought you your cars and I'll throw in some big screen TVs just to level the playing field"

Vote LTD, LCD and LIHTC!

Damnit, Get That Mormon Creep On The Phone! NOW!

Nana Pelosi isn't going to be happy about this.


146 Years Ago Today

November 19, 1863

Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes." Lincoln was glad to know the speech was not a "total failure."

Other public reaction to the speech was divided along partisan lines. The next day the Chicago Times observed, "The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States." In contrast, the New York Times was complimentary. A Massachusetts paper printed the entire speech, commenting that it was "deep in feeling, compact in thought and expression, and tasteful and elegant in every word and comma."

My great-grandfather, who served as an officer in the VA-18th, Co E Black Eagle Rifles , did not participate in the Battle of Gettysburg due to being severely wounded in 1862 at Frayser's Farm, wrote in his diary, upon reading a copy from his sister in Ohio sent in December 1863, at Mt Elba, "Greatest oration" above his handwritten copy.

From Russia With Love

Not a 007 nor a bikini clad hottie anywhere in this insight:

Russia Today wrote that week, "Despite Barack Obama's eloquent elocution, ivy school credentials and electric charisma, there is talk that he lacks the most crucial element of any great leader: judgment."

Indeed, an American buffoon