Thursday, September 29, 2011

Xiaorenshu: 小人书 Collecting "little picture books" nostalgia |

Little picture books: nostalgia in palms:
A box of old, yellowed comic book opened the door to my memory.

"It is not unusual for collectors to shell out as much as 400 yuan (about 62 U.S. dollars) for a single picture-story book; the same books used to go for just 0.2 yuan over 30 years ago. The most expensive volumes fetch more than 10,000 yuan apiece.

Lin Rongqiang, a 46-year old businessman in Beijing, has more than 13,000 such books in his private collection. "In my childhood, I had few hobbies other than reading xiaorenshu," Lin recalls.

Lin's most recent purchase was a 700-yuan xiaorenshu that he bought o complete a series within his collection. When he began collecting in 1999, picture-story books could be purchased for just one yuan apiece. Speculators have driven prices up since then."

Xiaorenshu, which literally means a little picture book of scenario drawings, consists of highly detailed panels accompanied by a text of about 90 Chinese characters. The books were often adaptions from literary classics, such as "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" and "Journey to the West".

Jiang noted that xiaorenshu used to play a significant role in mobilizing the masses, shaping public attitudes and opinions, particularly during the 1950s and the 60s.
Between 1925 and 1945, picture-story books dealing with the theme of land reform, as well as China's battle against the invading Japanese, were published in areas that had been liberated by the Communist Party of China (CPC). "Xiaorenshu was then a vehicle to carry the government's policies," Jiang says.
Xiaorenshu continued to enjoy a "golden age" of sorts, thanks to the late Chairman Mao Zedong who employed it to encourage people to support the CPC's practices and policies. For this very reason, over 260 million xiaorenshu were published between 1951 and 1956, Jiang recalls.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to start backyard beekeeping - Houston Chronicle

Backyard beekeeping is easy - Houston Chronicle:
Honey bees sit on a honeycomb. Photo: Heribert Proepper / AP

Backyard beekeeping is fun and not difficult, but planning is important. It takes about four weeks to get a hive up and running, Burger says.

Order the queen and workers in fall for delivery in spring, the beginning of the bee season. "You want gentle bees," he says. He recommends buckfast, a race developed in England. "I have lots of garden tours, and I've yet to have anyone stung," he says. "It's a one-shot deal. Since bees die after stinging, they don't want to sting. I let bees walk on my finger."

Order beekeeping equipment. You'll need a box or hive plus a veiled hat and gloves. Burger also recommends a smoker, a stainless steel device that emits smoke to calm bees.

He estimates startup costs at $250-$300, plus $80-$120 for the bees, depending on the time of year ordered.


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Request documents to scan from National Archives ! October 8, College Park, Maryland Wikipedia: Meetup/NARA 2

Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meetup at the National Archives
Attendees will be able to get NARA researcher cards and then in the afternoon we will invade the research rooms to scan documents.

Who and what
Please join Archivist of the United States David Ferriero (!) for the next US National Archives backstage pass and scanathon, hosted at their College Park, Maryland facility.
This event will be a larger, repeat performance of our first NARA backstage pass (Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 1). (For more details, please see the write-up about the event on NARA's blog.)

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Titan Missile Base Auction - 155' ceiling heights $1.5 Million - eBay item 190132455924

Titan Missile Base Central Washington - (eBay item 190132455924 end time Oct-13-07 18:55:49 PDT):

That's a Titan 1 missile complex. One such complex consists of 16 underground buildings and several above ground support structures sprawling over 57 acres in central Washington.

Read more: 6 Images of Abandoned Weaponry You Won't Believe Are Real

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection exhibited at RISD Museum |

Vast Baker collection exhibited at RISD Museum | Art | | The Providence Journal:
"Titled “Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection,” the show will feature more than 100 artworks, ranging from an early Hockney painting (“Plastic Tree Plus City Hall” from 1964) to works by present-day art stars such as Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

About the half the pieces, which also include works by the British Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley and the India-born sculptor Anish Kapoor, were donated to the museum during Baker’s lifetime. The rest were purchased through a special acquisitions fund set up after his death.

“He liked to tell people he had this disease called ‘accumulitis,’ ” says RISD print curator Jan Howard. “He meant it as a joke, but there was certainly an element of truth to it. Like anyone who’s passionate about something, he had a hard time saying no.”"

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Robot Boxing Season Revs Up + Boxing rules for robots -

World Robot Boxing Season Revs Up -

Real Steel movie and classic science fiction robots

Noisy Boy

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Earliest UK football & rugby trading cards #Memorabilia |

Plymouth Argyle Football Club 1929-30 Team PhotoImage via Wikipedia
Red and yellow not the only cards to collect in football | This is Plymouth:
Earliest UK football & rugby trading cards
Some examples include, from 1922, cards printed and given away with 'The Champion' comic for boys ... Each card depicted club captains ... in the 'Famous Footballers' Green Back collection of 1925 from Gallaher.

Ogdens, a manufacturer of cigarettes, first began including cards in their packets as early as 1887. Another set of 50 appeared in 1914 and produced by WA and AC Churchman.

75 cards printed by Carreras in 1934 – again, beautifully drawn and lifelike etchings – included Home Park favourite Jimmy Cookson. In 1936, the Carreras collection of 48 cards under the title 'Popular Footballers'. On the reverse of each card was a description of each player and his club details. As for the album, that could be purchased from tobacconists for one penny.

Another very early set came out in 1907 when James Taddy & Company released 595 cards of 'Prominent Footballers'...

Cohen Weenen cards featured the captains of Division One, Division Two and Southern League teams.

Many of the cigarette companies just issued one set of cards associated with football. In other years they would vary their subjects in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Cricketers, nature (eg. birds of the world), transport (eg steamships) and history were other very popular subjects.

But why, you may wonder, did companies come up with the idea of all these delightful cards?
Manufacturers used to wrap cigarettes in paper and place a protective piece of card inside. Those small pieces of cards became prime spaces on which to advertise, but more importantly to make the customer buy further packets because of their collectable appeal.

See the complete article: Red and yellow not the only cards to collect in football

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Real Veal + Real Steel Poster for Hugh Jackman’s Bovine-Boxing Movie -- Vulture

See the Poster for Hugh Jackman’s Robot-Boxing Movie, Real Steel -- Vulture:
"Champions aren't born. They are made." ...out of metal. Because they're robots!

One commenter offered this poster as an alternative :)
Real Veal Original poster here

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Old Pop Bottles glass on auction + "Trugrape" soda | JJ's Auction Service

JJ's Auction Service:

Lot M324

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall TV series: 38 Poster ads: Best of the Ads |

Fall TV Report Card: We Grade the Ads | Photo 1 of 38 |

Christina Ricci in a series that seems to fit her character, and her figure, quite well

This woman is insane and highly detestable, thus very effective.
A jock version of Sandra Bernhard. Nice poster, weird TV.

More colors and patterns with Zooey Deschanel

House, M.D. Another crazy, psychotic character with endearing qualities
House (TV)
Nice angle

(Steven Vincent) Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 Posters [11x17] (

Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City Gambling Poster [11x17] Boardwalk Empire Bathing Beauty Poster [11x17] Boardwalk Empire Vaudeville Poster [11x17] Boardwalk Empire Babette's Supper Club Poster [11x17] Boardwalk Empire King Neptune Poster [11x17]

Boardwalk Empire Poster [11x17] - Captures Atlantic City in the heydays of Prohibition
Do we care anymore? Did we care to begin with? Ashton Kutcher? That actually makes sense.
The title of the show never seemed appropriate for the characters.

See this article at Ad Week

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