Sunday, November 13, 2016

LUDICROSITY (I hereby copyright that)


I copyright that word henceforth and herewith.

I want a dollar any time anyone uses it.

Remember "Luminosity"? Well, this is like the opposite, web pages to shrink and ruin your brainpower and will -- in other words, American media.


Remember, you read it here first.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A New Series: One line poems

I think I'll start something new.  One line poems.  Here is the first:

The sky underneath I stood.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Very First Photograph

In 1826, Joseph Niepce invented a process by which the sun could make its own pictures, so he called it a "heliograph" after Helios, the sun.

It was the quest of the ages, to eliminate the middle person, usually an artist, and to have the light of nature make its own pictures.  So, it became known as "photography", drawing with light.  But the name "heliography", the sun drawing its own pictures, is probably closer to the spirit and philosophy of the discovery of photography.  You can read Susan Sontag and other authors about Photography and its intentions and relationship to Truth -- it is admissible as evidence in a court of law.

The remarkable thing is that it was a chemical invention (can we get STEM funding?).  The three parts of paint are 1) pigment, 2) vehicle/medium, and 3) binder/glue.  What pigment was sensitive enough to light to turn quickly enough into self-actuating images?  Silver.  Silver halide combined with sulfur to blacken it swiftly in chemical reactions. 

The glue was Mercury, and there were "urban legend" stories that circulated for years that Niepce died at a young age, along with many young French photographers, from Mad Hatter's disease, mercury poisoning, but research and better biographies in the past quarter century have overcome those tales.  Niepce lived to be 68 and was a business partner of Louis Daguerre, who made the photographic process faster and less deadly.

The first heliographs took hours to make.  The image above, believed to be the very first photograph in 1826, took 8 to 10 hours of exposure.  Daguerre's early images took 4 to 6 hours to expose.  So the technological advances of photography sought faster exposures, down to micro fractions of a second that allowed Dr. Edgerton to capture the crown of a drop of milk.  Cameras with "manual" shutters were capturing 1/2000 and 1/5000 second exposures  a hundred and fifty years later.

In the 190 years since Niepce's breakthrough, Eastman, Land, Oscar Barnack of Ernst Leitz, and others have improved the mechanisms and chemistry and science of photography until the advent of the digital age.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Trouble with Medicine

The problem with current medicine:

Doctor: "The test revealed nothing."

Patient: "Then you gave me the wrong damn test."

Doctor: Shrugs. Meh. "I'll send you to a Specialist."

Patient: "How can you send me to a specialist when you don't know what this is?"

Doctor: "He'll have other tests."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

NOT a Mystery

Killed by Death:

Inspector: "His face... that horrible expression... mouth open like that..."

Witness: "Yes, we found him that way, it looks exhausted..."

Inspector: "And that stuff oozing from his ears..."

Witness: "It can only mean one thing..."

Inspector:"... someone in the house was singing Hamilton again."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Coining a new word, Millennianoma

I'm coining a new word, Millennianoma.

Remember, you read it here first.

I want 50 cents every time it's used.

I hereby declare a copyright, David Ainsworth Cook, July 19, 2016.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Hand? A Draw? Drawing a Drawing Hand?

So, you can draw your hand?  Good.

Can you draw the hand you're drawing with?  In ink, when you can't erase?  In 5 minutes?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

An Old (and Boring) Toy is New Again

Lido made several Zorro toys back in 1957-1959, but some of them were in awkward and kind of boring poses.  The 4 - inch figure with his hand pointing weakly downward and his sword oddly in his left hand might just be the worst.  Toy collectors prefer the Marx Toys version over this one...

I got one that had lost his sword, so I rehabilitated him... or you could say I modified or converted him.  With hot water, I softened his gun arm and raised it into an action position, and I drilled a hole to give him the secret papers...

A limp and boring toy became ZORRO and THE SECRET PLAN !!!

I took one that was complete and bent him using hot water, too.  He transformed from weak and boring Zorro into ACTION ZORRO the Avenger!!!

Zorro, Zorro, ZORRO!

We can't throw Roy away!!

These old broken and toxic looking Marx toys sold for a dollar apiece.

Broken hands, ugly dark stains of vinyl... but, some replacement Mego hands and some homemade paper hats, and new saddles, and Roy and Trigger are ready to ride the range again.

I had one of these in 1960.  Kids broke the fingers trying to put Roy's gun in his hand.  Brittle and fragile vinyl, like playing with a polystyrene model...  The accessories were a soft rubber vinyl that caused the body vinyl to stain and melt... ugh...

Happy Trails to you!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Captain America Kicks Ass

Childhood friends who used to say "What's Marvel?", who would have ever thought that a Captain America movie could top the charts, rule the worldwide box office, make a billion dollars, and kick DC and Warner Bros off the sand hill?

(photo rights belong to Marvel, Disney, the Avengers, Tony Stark Industries, Stan Lee, et al, not me)

Watching Groot Grow

Dear MARVEL, we need a short inter-film called "Watching Groot Grow"...

(apologies for the picture, rights to Marvel, Disney, Groot, his family, et al)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Remember... ONLY Superman can fly

I have been telling about this for years, the Superman costume I had as a kid and the warning label that said "only Superman can fly".

Here are pictures (my apologies to the eBay sellers I took these from):

As soon as I saw the box I remembered it...
And I've always had fond memories of my cape with a picture of Superman on it...
I don't have that costume, but I do have a scar on the top of my left ear when I did indeed insist that I too could fly.  I didn't.  The window did not break my fall, it broke.

My two images of Superman are from the Fifties: George Reeves on television and the comics art of Wayne Boring and similar art on products.

Friday, April 15, 2016

If DC doesn't know anymore, how can we?

I posted a comment on an article in Forbes by Scott Mendelson about why the latest DC Warner Bros movie seems like a flop instead of a success at $300 million.  Here is what I said:

"Here are the reasons why a hit feels like a miss:
1. This wasn’t a debut, these are familiar characters.
2. Previous entries such as “The Dark Knight” scored higher.
3. The comparison was to Avengers and this missed it by half.
4. It attempted to redefine a “fun” genre into “difficult”.
5. It managed to offend, betray, and insult two generations of committed viewers and half its audience and most critics.
6. The studio seems to be ignoring the audience."

Basically, DC and Warner act like Frankenstein after he made the monster, they don't know what they created and they don't like it.  I don't mean the latest movie, I mean their entire 78 year history and their complete library and stable of characters.

If they don't like their own and don't understand their own, how can we?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Ghost of Hamlet's Father

"If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son’s weak mind." -- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I have this theory, you see, that Hamlet is not dead, he's just the old dad and no one has listened to him for so long that he just wanders around at night in his boxer shorts.

It's something... when no one listens to you, no one wants to hear, they just go right on.

What a feeling, when no one listens.

This week in Georgia, the legislature passed a campus carry gun law even though teachers, students, parents, police, campus security, 29 college and university presidents, and the Chancellor of the Board of Regents opposed it and said please don't.  They may as well have wandered around the capitol in their boxer shorts in the breezy nights.

I wonder if they can hear ballots and voting machines when those are operating?

I don't expect deaths or flag draped coffin funerals, no, but there is a terrible feeling of being dead... in that feeling of not being heard... in not being listened to...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Pearl of Great Price, the extraordinary claim

The extraordinary claim of Christianity among religions is that it is about you personally.

That is different from ancient beliefs that focused tribally on the needs and wants of a host of ancestor spirits or on the needs and demands of far flung gods who either exhibited indifference or made terrible demands.  It takes very little reading to get the idea that the gods looked down and laughed or went off drinking and hunting or whatever, making trouble but offering little comfort.

Later religions aren't much more personal.  The Taoists emphasized the impersonal nature of existence.  There is no finding or knowing Chi.  Might as well go fishing as go seeking. Fishing is more satisfying. I mean, you can feed someone a fish and you satisfy them for a day, or you can teach them to fish and send them away for a lifetime.

To many people it is a frightening and indifferent world, this vast existence, and impersonal.  Many atheists cite a hyper-rational awareness of numbers, just how many people there are and how vast the universe is... and they can't imagine a personal god who could know individuals, care about them or have plans for them.

But, the Bible starts that way.  It begins with one person to whom God speaks, then two people, and He speaks to them as individuals and as a couple.

Then the book of Genesis talks about their children.  Cain is shown in the practice of his religion, and the Bible says that God would not see Cain.  The Hebrew word is sha'ah, which means "look" or "see".  It gets poetically embellished and interpreted by translators in subsequent translations, but it means that God would not see Cain, God would not look at Cain.  But to know and to be known... the scriptures talk about knowing God and being known by God.

The eyes of the Lord are on them that fear Him.  And the first thing He says is, Be not afraid.  Don't let your hearts be troubled.

In that vast civilized, urbane and mathematical kingdom of Chaldea, God spoke to Abraham, one man, and called him out personally to be a father and blessing to many. Throughout the stories, God speaks to individuals such as Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Hannah, Hagar, Elijah, David.  Personal.  Individual.

In the gospels, Jesus knows people by name, knows their stories.

Jesus told parables. He told a parable about someone who found a pearl of great price and when he found it he went and sold all that he had so that he could have that pearl, so that he could have the treasure.

Jesus is the man who paid everything.  You are the pearl.  You are His treasure for whom He gave everything.

What an extraordinary claim!  There is no other claim like it.