It was raining when I took this photograph of the historical peninsula in Istanbul, from a ferry in the Bosphorus in 2004. It was printed on an Ilford multi-grade paper and manual exposure variation techniques were applied upon printing (as far as I remember). I like its looking so old (many would have believed if I had said it’s from 1920s right?), with sephia-ish colors, and everything being grainy and fuzzy.
For some of you who haven’t heard of him yet, Gotye is a Belgian/Australian singer who can play a variety of instruments from drums to keyboards as well. Just watch a video of him and you will immediately recognize at once that he is extremely talented! I can safely put him somewhere between Sting and Michael Stripe (R.E.M.), but his songs have more psychedelic flavor inside. I’ve been listening to his recent famous song “Somebody that I used to know” again and again, and I can clearly hear his ingenuity in every second of this mesmerizing song. Something else to admit about him is I love his way of integrating extraordinary artwork with his songs and live shows.
The good news is that, this brilliant mind will play in Chicago with his band on Tuesday, April 3rd. The place is announced to be Park West Venue and tickets seem to cost somewhere between $30-$40. Since nothing is affordable these days, I will try to stick to the cheaper range, if there is one. I recommend that you don’t miss this show if you are in Chicago. Enjoy!
Lee Hotz is the science columnist of Wall Street Journal. In this talk, he gives information about recent scientific studies done in Antarctica, which is one of the harshest environments in the world; more arid than Sahara and colder than Mars, he mentions. Scientists built a camp in Antarctica, where they can drill extremely deep holes down the continent and bring the icy-snow up in the shape of a rod, unmelted. What’s embedded in these ice-rods is actually what makes up the time machine. Antarctica offers a great calendar of earth, from the last ice age to now. Every year, snow falls down layer by layer, from which scientists can immediately find the date. Having the date in hand, since those ice-rods have chemicals, soot and etc. entrapped inside, an incredible amount of information about what was going on during that time can be extracted in labs scattered all around the world.
Hotz also explains why these studies are so important by pointing out that our current knowledge of Global Warming is only an outline. Whatever we know cannot help us predict what will happen in near future. However, if we can analyze the correlations between amount of chemicals, like green house gases, natural events and temperature on earth, we may develop enough capabilities to predict what may happen if the release rate continues increasing.
Have you run out of quarters? It doesn’t matter. Many vending machines accept bills or even credit cards today, nothing more than usual. Let’s go back 60 years in time, when the old coin-operated slot machines hadn’t given place to today’s touch-screen, half-computer vending machines, when they used to bolster up the industry and be a huge vendor of public “amusement.” Can you imagine how innovative was creating a fancy wood/ceramic-decorated cast iron scale with a shiny brass step and a nice looking mirror in front? How exciting was to read your fortune while enjoying being weighed by a super high-tech springless scale? Every theater in the city of Chicago had vending machines of various kinds, carrying things like soap, perfume, towel, soda, candy etc. And Jukeboxes were definitely not playing CD’s or mp3…
“Tis a Mark of Distinction to Have a Watling Scale in Your Theatre”
as said in an issue of Motion Picture Herald Magazine in 1931. Out of sight, out of mind, but haven’t you seen anything with a Watling Company logo on it in Chicago? Look around you. You may see a vintage Watling Scale next to a washroom in a retro-styled restaurant or in the corner of your friend’s rich uncle’s living room. Stop by an antique shop or a flea-market and you may find a good-looking one above $1000!
“The Watling Scale Co., Chicago”
The company has a remarkable story. “The Watling Manufacturing Co.” was the first coin machine firm established in Chicago by Thomas Watling in late 1890s and run by him and his sons later on. When Thomas Watling passed away in 1943, his small start-up had already grown into a prominent coin-operated machine manufacturer. John Watling was the head of the company when it peaked around 1940s. Theaters weren’t their only customers and they were supplying coin machines even to the army in those days.
This talk is a good proof of how sorrow builds humor, and how cruelty can even bolster it.
However, his wrap-up erases your smile when you hear his voice trilling and realize that he has started crying. Then all the irony vanishes, along with the humor it revealed. Spicing it up by calling NYC his savior, Ed ingeniously creates the dramatic compassion he wants at the end.
Probably taken in 2004, I printed this photograph in 2005 in my own darkroom with my old no-name USSR enlarger, and probably on an Ilford paper. It’s been a long time since I last printed my own black&white photograph, but I can’t help posting them despite their age. As promised, this photograph is not your best choice to get over your Post-Christmas depression. The question on the wall translates to “Why ?” and I say no reason.