One for the Russophiles

Via HH’s blog, the Library of Congress’ Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record collection. I’ll let Hollister tell the tale:

on the eve of the first world war and the Russian Revolution, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii talked Nicholas into backing his plan to capture the Russian Empire on digichrome glass plates. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, he completed surveys of eleven regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation.

Well worth searching/browsing for a while; it makes me want to pull out my copy of Arseniev.

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I wonder what the graffiti says? Also, looks like a Turkman ak öý or gara öý  – the Central Asian version of the ger – to me.


“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”

I don’t think I’ve ever posted pictures of this little cutie from my trash treasure collection. It’s 8k of magnetic core memory from a GE-235 (I think) digital info processing unit – warning – 235 link is to a pdf, but a worthwhile one. If you open the pdf, check the disk drive in the upper right of page two. It’s footprint was roughly the size of a chest freezer and it had big@ss pneumatic hoses that actuated the arms carrying the heads. Also check the printer control panel on page four – I have just the panel itself in the basement, waiting for me to get inspired.

This is why core dumps are (or were) so named – little donuts, one per bit.

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They weren’t exactly mass producing these back in 1966.

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The nameplate:

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And click here for a ‘did he really say it’ regarding the post’s title.

Staffordshire hoard

…has a Flickrstream (via Making Light) and, of course, a web site. If you’ve been under a rock or out of satellite range for a few weeks, a Saxon hoard was discovered in Staffordshire (Mercia) on July 5 by Terry Herbert (using a metal detector).

Let the crowdsourcing begin. A comment on the picture below:

You say these are stylised arms, are they not actually zoomorphs of Woden’s ravens? It is common to have back biting creatures and these two are clearly birds. The zoomorph of raven to hand could represent Woden reaching into the world of man through his birds.*

Other commenters are skeptical, but any reference to wolfbirds Hugin and Munin is a win in my book.

staffravenarms

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Definite zoomorph on a hilt.

staffhilt

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For those whose thirst for Saxon objects is unslaked, the British Museum has Sutton Hoo info available on line.

One last personal bit. I can’t encounter British archeological artifacts without thinking of the year I spent in Wales as a child. We visited castles, Roman sites – you name it. My folks also got my sister and I a subscription to Treasure magazine. I loved the whole thing, but one of my favorite features was “The Wonderful Story of Britain” – Treasure also introduced me to The Borrowers, but that’s neither here nor there.

trsaxon

Typhoon Nangka

Ooh, shiny.

This is a timelapse from 7am until 9pm of Typhoon Nangka hitting Hong Kong.
Check out the rain walls at 0:50, 1:10, 1:45, 4:10, lights going up at 4:30. Its interesting how the clouds change direction while the typhoon moves from the south to the north-east (camera looking north).