Thursday, November 29, 2012

blog tip: Test Blog

It can be be very handy to have a separate test blog available. When you want to use something new in your side bar, a widget, or a picture, or some code in your template, or a new design, or another font,  you can try it out in your test blog before applying it in your main blog.

To do this you can start a new blog, give it a name, and make sure it won't show up in your profile:

Go to your profile page (by clicking on your avatar)
Click on Edit Profile
Click on Select blogs to display
Make sure your test blog is not marked

To avoid the blog showing up in Google search results go to the dashboard of your test blog and go to Settings. Here you can edit the privacy settings.

next episode: Monsieur Schmit

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pola Negri Painting

Portrait of the famous actress Pola Negri by Tadeusz Styka, ca. 1922 (National Museum, Warsaw).

Polish painter Tadeusz (Tade) Styka (1889-1954) was known for his portraits honoring celebrities of the first half of the twentieth century. He also painted genre scenes, religious and symbolic nudes and animals (especially lions). For his work he received the French Medal of the Legion de Honour. He died in New York City, and is buried next to his father Jan Styka at Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles.

Portrait of Pola Negri by Eugene Robert Richee.

Eugene Robert Richee (1896-1972) was a studio photographer for Paramount from 1925 to 1935. Later he worked for MGM and Warner Bros.

next episode: ?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Waldseemüller’s Map Gores

Waldseemüller’s world map globe gore (1507) showing an ocean between Asia and America.

Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 World Map is the first map to use the name ‘America’. One copy has survived, it is on display at the Library of Congress. He also published a set of globe gores: printed maps designed to be cut out and pasted onto spheres to form globes.

Based on account by Columbus and Vespucci the German cartographer Waldseemüller may have reached the conclusion that the newly discovered lands had to form a distinct continent instead of the eastern coast of Asia. So in 1507 he draw an ocean between the new continent and Asia, the first actual accounts by explores to set eyes on this ocean date from 1512-1513.

When neatly cut and pasted it forms a globe of about 4.5 inches in diameter.

The gores, also containing the inscription America, are believed to have been printed in 1507. Five copies of the gores are still existing; a.o. the The James Ford Bell Library in Minnesota and the University and State Library of Munich posses a gore.

next episode: double Pola

Thursday, November 22, 2012


"GAZA (arab. Ghazza), city in Syria, on the road leading to Egypt, between the Mediterranean and the desert, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the sea. Population about 15 000. Important entrepôt for caravan traffic between Egypt and Syria.

Gaza has few remains of antiquity. The only building worthy of interest is a mosque, formerly a Catholic church, which is assumed to have been built by the Empress Helena. The old city of Gaza, which is thought to have been closer to the sea, is known in the Bible as the northernmost of the five confederate cities of the Philistines. It was given to the tribe of Judah, which took it and then lost it.

Having become a possession of Persia, it was taken by Alexander the Great after a stubborn siege (332 BC.). Constantine made it a cathedral town under the name of Constantia. The Arabs took it in 634, two years after the death of Muhammad. The Crusaders seized it in 1100; Saladin took it from them. In 1799, it was taken by the French commanded by Kléber."

Extract from the Trousset encyclopedia, 1886 – 1891.


next episode: gores

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gene Tierney Day !

Gene Tierney

Actress Gene Tierney (1920–1991) was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 19, 1920. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944).

During her first film she discovered that her voice was too high and it was suggested that she take up smoking to lower her voice. It worked, but she eventually died of emphysema.

Birth name: Gene Eliza Tierney
Children: Antoinette Daria (1943-2010) and Christina "Tina" (1948-)
Autobiography: "Self Portrait" (1979)
Husbands: fashion designer Oleg Cassini (1941), oil baron W. Howard Lee (1958)
Burial location: Glenwood Cemetery, Houston

next episode: Gaza

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dutch-American Heritage Day

New Amsterdam, Manhattan ca. 1658. By Len Tantillo (born 1947), an artist in the tradition of the Dutch masters of the 17th century who reinvents places in the common history of New York.

Today is Dutch-American Heritage Day to commemorate the ‘First Salut’ of November 16, 1776, when Commander Johannes de Graaff of St. Eustatius decided to return the salute fire of the visiting American brig Andrew Doria by firing the cannons of Fort Oranje, the first international acknowledgment of the independence of the United States.

The island of St. Eustatius sold arms and ammunition to anyone willing to pay, it was one of the few places from which the rebellious British Thirteen Colonies of North America could obtain weaponry.

The British took this seriously; in 1778 The Viscount Stormont claimed in British Parliament that "if St. Eustatius had sunk into the sea three years before, the United Kingdom would already have dealt with George Washington".

next episode: Gene's birthday

Monday, November 12, 2012

Caspar van Wittel - Dockyard at Naples

Panoramic view of the dockyard at Naples

View of the dockyard at Naples, by Caspar (Jasper, Gasper, Gaspar, Gaspare) van Wittel (Vanvitelli)  (Amersfoort (1652/3 - Rome 1736). Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, ca. 1700-1718).

The royal palace is visible on the left, and the Castel Nuovo on the right. They are joined by the still existing arches, over which the Certosa di San Martino monastry looms in the distance.

Approximately the same location today.

next episode: a camp

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Female Napoleons

Miss Zena Dare

Yesterday Lisa from There's Gladness in Remembrance showed a female Napoleon, making me wonder: what happened?

It's actually the actress Zena Dare, playing ... Peter Pan. In early theatrical productions of the play, after Peter conquers Captain Hook, the actors form a tableaux in imitation of Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, a painting by Sir William Orchardson.

 Poster by John Hassall.
Peter Pan at the Duke of York's Theatre, 1904. Poster by John Hassall.

This painting shows Napoleon on board HMS Bellerophon on his way to St Helena (July 1815). The emperor stands on the deck, watching the French Coastline receding from view, contemplating his fate.

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon, by Sir William Orchardson (1880). 165 x 249 cm,  Tate Collection.

Here is another Pan Pan:

Pauline Chase as Peter Pan, 1907.

next episode: Naples

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Maude Fealy

Maude says: Vote with your Heart, Vote with your Mind !

next episode: ?

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Kilkenny Castle (old postcard)

At the Sepia Saturday site a place named Kilkenny was mentioned. I don't know much about Ireland, let alone Kilkenny, but to my surprise this rather small city (population: 24400) has many interesting landmarks. For instance, following the Norman invasion Kilkenny Castle was build in 1209-1213.

St. Canice's Cathedral (photo: Andreas F. Borchert) 

In Irish the city is named Cill Chainnigh, meaning 'church of Cainnech'. Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe (aka Kenny) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He also gave is name to the impressive 13th century cathedral, located next to a peculiar chimney 9th century round tower. They even got a city wall, so I am quite impressed!

Panorama of Kilkenny, 2006 (Wikipedia)

next episode: our endorsement

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Waterloo Veteran of the Month: Monsieur Loria

Monsieur Loria of the 24th Mounted Chasseur Regiment (light cavalry) and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Unfortunately he has lost his right eye. From the The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection

next episode: Maude


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