Liverpool museums – large version of And when did you last see your father? 1878

” The people in the painting are composed like characters on a stage. This adds to the sense of drama in an already tense setting. The viewer is left guessing what the boy will answer. The painting deals cleverly with the themes of innocence and childhood. We wonder whether the boy, who will have been told that honesty is a virtue, will realise in time the gravity of the situation. The small size of the boy, his blonde hair and blue suit highlight his innocence. In order to save his father, he may have to lose some of his innocence and lie to the men questioning him.

Yeames does not appear to favour one side over the other, letting the drama of the situation speak for itself. Although we are aware of the purpose of the soldiers’ visit to the house, he invests the scene with a sense of their ‘moral duty’. The Victorians believed that men in the Civil War fought out of a sense of conviction and loyalty. This is shown by Yeames as, despite the situation, he depicts the men’s human qualities. The soldier in the left of the scene is seen comforting the little girl, who appears aware of the significance of the question. “

The Trumptonshire Web

“Here is the clock, the Trumpton clock.
Telling the time steadily, sensibly,
never too quickly, never too slowly.

Telling the time for Trumpton.”

Update: The site looks rather dated now but it’s still up which is great. For aficionados of 1960s/70s Children’s TV there is a lot to read though. My update includes a complete Trumpton episode for to watch on YouTube.

CGTalk – The War Machine, Ted Terranova (3D)

From the page: “Title: The War Machine
Name: Ted Terranova
Country: USA
Software: 3ds max

Here is the story which describes the image…

While searching through the archives of the Royal British Navy I made a Spectacular discovery. I had uncovered the long forgotten field reports for a prototype war machine developed by the Yorkshire Iron Works.

Apparently the British navy was concerned with the widespread use of railways and motorcars to transport goods and military material. The admiralty feared that with a lessening importance in naval commerce the British navy’s role in future conflicts would be reduced so they decided to develop a land ship! I found no plans for this war ship but there was a single rendition of the great machine quelling a rebellion in one of Britain’s Far East colonies. One can see its massive arms smashing through the walls of the local stronghold; the rebelling forces cringing before it%u2019s might. Designed in the tradition of great British warships, the captain and officers rode high atop the vehicle, directing the combat from ornately decorated balconies befitting their status. Lower down the machine was built of simple riveted iron armor. Huge pipes twisted together to harness the massive steam pressures generated by the monstrous boilers that moved the great machine. The crew in these lower levels was not as lucky as the officers above. Here they either shoveled coal into the great furnaces or manned the gigantic long-range cannons. It must have been a fearsome sight on the battlefield.”

All a little bit fanciful but the Union Jack caught my eye.

Germans give chimney sweeps the brush-off


From the Daily Telegraph…

Germans give chimney sweeps the brush-off
By Kate Connolly in Berlin
(Filed: 26/12/2005)

In his top hat, white tie and brass-buttoned uniform, and dangling a brush on a chain over his shoulder, Erhard Feller might have walked off the set of a film about Victorian England.

But the 51-year-old chimney sweep is a vibrant part of working life in modern Berlin and the uniform is standard for him and his 8,000 colleagues across Germany.

Even though most German chimneys are too thin for Santa Claus to squeeze into, Christmas is still the busiest time of year for Mr Feller, who travels on a motorbike between the 310 properties he is responsible for.

The few remaining households with fireplaces and wood ovens are keen to ensure they are in working order during the winter break.

The chimney sweep has a reputation as a bringer of luck. But an increasing number of Germans are angry that the sweeps have a monopoly and they are forced to pay for their services, whether they have a chimney or not.


Home | Near Eastern Studies | Johns Hopkins University

From the page: “In January 2006 Professor Betsy Bryan and her team of students from Johns Hopkins will return for a another season at an archaeological site in Luxor, Egypt. This will be the 11th season in Egypt for Professor Bryan. She is the chair of the Near Eastern Studies Department and Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology. Her area of study is the Egyptian New Kingdom (18th to 20th dynasties) spanning the time from 1567 to 1085 B.C.E. The geographic area that is encompassed by the modern day city of Luxor is rich in finds from the New Kingdom, which was the “golden age” of Egyptian temple building. ”

There is a lot of pictures and commentary here, well worth a return visit. Unfortunately, the rather ‘heavy’ copyright notice disuaded me from posting any images.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Do avatars dream of electric racoons?

Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight journalist inside ‘Second Life’ chatting with Nolligan last night.

From the page: “Do avatars dream of electric racoons?
As part of Newsnight’s Geek Week, business correspondent Paul Mason and presenter Jeremy Paxman broadcast TV’s first ever face-to-face studio session from inside the computer game Second Life.

Here, Paul comes face to face with the designer who made it happen.”

… I said to Newsnight’s real life editor Peter Barron, “why don’t we broadcast Newsnight from inside a computer game.”

I got in touch with Cory Edo – real name Sara Van Gorden – who runs a business in Second Life designing avatars – the idealised 3D personas that people use as their online identities.

Cory recreated the Newsnight set, Jeremy Paxman and myself – the latter with wrinkles and stubble rendered in full 3D realism, sadly – so we could record the historic “two-way” that will go out before my piece on online games.

You can read more about Paul and the Newsnight team here: