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December 10, 2018

Susie Wolff: Portrait of a Racing Driver — Angela Palmer


Unveiled at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this past September, this striking work by Scottish sculptor Angela Palmer recreates in crystal glass one of the customized racing helmets worn by Susie Wolff (below) during her career in Formula 1.

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From the Edinburgh Reporter


Formula 1 race helmets are tailor made to exacting design specifications to provide maximum physical protection for individual drivers.

To create the portrait, Angela Palmer worked with a team of master glass blowers in Stourbridge near Birmingham (a world-famous center for glass manufacturing), who made a mold of Wolff's helmet in brass.

Molten lead crystal glass, at a temperature of 1400°C, was then mouth-blown into the mold, forcing the crystal into every detailed crevice.

December 10, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing


Speak it, Garfield.

Or, as Dr. Maxwell Maltz wrote in his long forgotten 1960 classic "Psycho-Cybernetics":


"The best response is no response."


December 10, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pilgrim Spy (Colditz Conundrum) — Tom Shore

Pilgrim Spy

Fantastic true* story, whose subtitle is "My secret war against Putin, The KGB, and the Stasi."

It starts out rather humdrum and doesn't become compelling until about halfway through, when we learn the identity of the KGB major who regularly appears at scenes of spring and summer 1989 East German freedom advocate eruptions but never intervenes; rather, he observes quietly from the shadows, smoking.

An elderly cleaning lady at Stasi HQ identifies him: Vladimir Putin, a frequent visitor.

Another piece of the puzzle slots in when we learn the details of closely held Operation Konev, a Russian plan scheduled to begin on October 7, 1989.

That happens to be the day Gorbachev will be visiting East Germany to celebrate its fortieth anniversary.

Konev is a Red Army Faction (RAF)-led plan to assassinate Gorbachev in East Germany, which would very likely trigger a massive Russian response ordered by hardliners in Moscow that would mirror those in 1956 Hungary and 1968 Czechoslovakia.

Shore proceeds to stalk, trap, and kill one of the RAF plot leaders, and the assassination attempt never happens.

Below, Gorbachev and Honecker during the 1989 visit.

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George Orwell wrote, "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Shore, then a member of SAS, was a rough man.

Now 66, the author was 37 when the events in the book happened.

He published his story because he knew if he didn't, the events depicted might never be described in their entirety.

Unfortunately for him, his British publisher didn't do him any favors by titleing the book "Pilgrim Spy"; the American publisher chose the even more confusing and misleading "The Colditz Conundrum," which is how Amazon lists it when you search.

Aka Colditz Conundrum

To muddy the water even further, Amazon (U.S.) shows the cover of the British version (above).

Makes you wonder if Putin's long arm reached out....

To that end, soon after the book was published this past September in England, it was decried as a fabrication combined with plagiarism.

And so we find ourselves in the "wilderness of mirrors,"** as David Martin termed the labyrinth of truths, half-truths, and lies that together form our perception of the shadowy secret world.


**Excellent book

December 10, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

World's most beautiful dustpan

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It's not even close.

From the website:


The harimi dustpan is made of thick layers of paper, the surfaces of which are coated with persimmon tannin, a natural paint that provides some water resistance and increases durability.

Unlike plastic dustpans, the natural materials do not generate static electricity, making for easy use.

Features and Details:

• Dimensions: 12.2"W x 11"L

• Weight: 2.4 oz

• Made in Japan


$13.33 (dust not included).

December 10, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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