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October 26, 2020

'Westworld' — Opening Credits

Absolutely stunning.

I never tired of watching and listening to this wonderful introduction to each episode.

October 26, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

2,300-Year-Old Scythian Woman's Boot

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From Outdoor Revival:

2,300-Year-Old Scythian Woman's Boot Preserved in the Frozen Ground

The Altai Mountains run through Central and East Asia for about twelve hundred miles from the southeast to the northwest, spanning China, Mongolia, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Much of the land contains burials from thousands of years ago which have been preserved due to the permafrost that covers the area.

Not only does the permafrost preserve the bodies, but also personal items buried with the deceased as well.

As the Egyptians mummified their corpses and buried personal items and goods that would be used in the afterlife, so did the Scythians, a nomadic tribe that inhabited the area from about the ninth to the second century B.C.E.

Many beautiful objects have been found, but a pair of women's boots may arguably be the most attractive object discovered to date.

The boots, made of leather and other textiles, are decorated with beads, woolen braid, and sewn-on patches with gold leaf.

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[Beaded lotus leaves are spaced around the boots in graceful patterns, and the soles are decorated with more beads and small rectangular pieces of pyrite.]

The pyrite shows no sign of wear, leading researchers to believe the shoes may have been worn by an extremely important woman for special occasions or that they were made for her to wear when she was buried.

British Museum curators have speculated that Scythians prized the soles of their boots, as they sat around communal fires exposing them to the view of their neighbors.

The boots, which now reside in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, have been carbon-dated to about two thousand three hundred years ago.

As the Scythians were nomads, everything they owned had to be lightweight and small.

According to The British Museum, a number of small collapsible tables have been found in tombs in the Altai mountains.

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[Approximate extent of Scythia within the area of distribution of Eastern Iranian languages (shown in orange) in the 1st century B.C.E.]

Scythians apparently loved decoration and had highly skilled craftsmen who worked with wood, gold, bronze, textiles, and iron to craft tools, clothing, gold plaques, jewelry, and other decorative items for headdresses for chiefs and horses.

The only things the pastoral nomads left behind were meticulously fashioned tombs covered with mounds of soil.

Most graves hold important people who would have had the financial means to have such tombs made for them.

Curators for the British Museum say that Scythians crafted wooden structures at the bottom of deep holes.

The roof of a structure would be covered with moss, larch, and birch bark while the inside was lined with dark felt.

A coffin made from a log was placed inside this elaborate tomb, and the body would be laid to rest with its possessor's valuables.

Warrior horses, important in Scythian society because they provided mobility, milk, meat, and hides for clothing, might be slaughtered and placed in the shaft as well, facing east.


[Gold Scythian belt buckle, Mingachevir (ancient Scythian kingdom), Azerbaijan, 7th century B.C.E.]

Most horses were buried with elaborate headdresses that often gave the animal the appearance of a mythical beast and the elaborate reins, halters, saddles, and headdresses they wore in life.

Most of the human bodies found had been covered with tattoos and had evidence of falls and broken bones, some of which seem to have been caused by violence.

Some of the remains showed diseases such as breast cancer, suffered by a woman in her twenties who had died from injuries consistent with a fall from a horse or infections such as that caused by bovine tuberculosis and prostate cancer, found in a middle-aged ruler who probably spent the last few months of his life in bed.

[via Crack San Francisco Correspondent©® Richard Kashdan]

October 26, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Marc Jacobs quarantining at the Mercer Hotel in NYC for 70 days

From the New York Times:

"I was so prepared when it [the pandemic] happened," Mr. Newbold said. "I was ready to bug out. Marc could tell you. It's like, 'Well, Nick's ready to go anywhere.' I was like, 'I have passports, we have cash, I have a car. I know where to go.'"

The furthest they got was the Mercer Hotel, where Mr. Jacobs spent 70 days as one of three residents at the hotel. (Mr. Newbold maintains his own apartment downtown.)

At the suggestion of Sofia Coppola, one of Mr. Jacobs's close friends and collaborators, Mr. Newbold took out his Sony a7ii hand-held camera and began chronicling the surreal experience of one man living in an all-but-deserted hotel with a staff of four.

"I couldn't believe how long Marc was staying at the Mercer and that it was just a few of them there," Ms. Coppola said. "I was like, 'I hope you're filming this.'"

A 28-minute film titled "A New York Story" resulted, falling somewhere between documentary and humorously bizarre art house piece, beginning with Mr. Jacobs checking in and ending with him checking out and driving off with his husband when the lockdown is lifted.

Mr. Jacobs plays every character in the film: the concierge greeting himself at the front desk, the bouncer at the hotel's club the Submercer, where he goes for a drink (Diet Coke) on Saturday night, the maintenance person he summons to the room to change a light bulb in one of the film's more subtly funny moments.

It's one thing to know that Mr. Jacobs is a mere mortal, but it's another to imagine him ordering Seamless, making his bed, operating an espresso machine, or changing a light bulb.

"That's the one thing Marc won't do," Mr. Newbold said.

The narrative is the last man in the city at a vacant hotel, "going in with one mind-set and coming out with another," Mr. Newbold said.

Mr. Jacobs left his room only to shoot the scenes for the film.

There's also a strand of pearls that the designer wears in every scene.

Make what you will of it.

Ms. Coppola gave editing notes.

Bill Sherman, the composer known for his work with Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well for being the musical director of "Sesame Street," did an original score.

The film can be seen on Mr. Newbold's YouTube channel.

It doesn’t promote the Marc Jacobs brand, at least not directly — the designer styled himself in a combination of hotel uniforms and his own clothes.

If anything, it underscores Mr. Jacobs's need for creative outlets under any circumstance.

"An artist needs to create," Mr. Newbold said. "Otherwise what else is there?"

What did Mr. Newbold get out of it?

Another task mastered.

"The funny part is, I don't really want to share this," he said of the film. "I'm happy we did and that's enough, but Marc and I were chatting the other day. He loves to share. He talks about the importance of sharing experiences and art as part of the process. Even the little videos I do for Instagram. I don't really post them on my Instagram, Marc posts them. He's the vessel."

October 26, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Straw control


If you've ever lost your straw in a soda can or had it fall out, you'll be pleased to discover a use for the hole in the tab.

Slot your straw through and it's held in place, making it much easier to manage.

October 26, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Foam Throwing Axe


From the website:

Zax is a throwing axe that's funky, foam, and fun-sized!

Give this toy tomahawk a toss and it'll safely stick to almost any flat surface.

The three Softek foam suction cups on the "blade" make it easy to grip to flat surfaces and stay there until you find a new target.

Whether you want to challenge a friend to an accuracy contest, experiment with your own trick shots, or simply feel awesome, Zax will make the cut (without actually making a cut)!

Features and Details:

• Color chosen at randome (gray or green)

• For indoor and outdoor use

• 11" x 6.5" x 0.75"

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October 26, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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