Veiled Muslim women

veiled ladyFor some reason this site has been ranking high in Google Images searches for “burqa” in recent weeks.  I don’t understand it; we feature a grand total of one picture with a burqa in it, and that went up in June.  If you are one of the dozens of people who lands here every day looking for pictures of burqas (or niqabs, or chadors,) below are some links you might like. 

  1.  two ladies on the street 
  2.  a customer in a dress shop chooses a blue burqa
  3. Muslim couple looks at the Eiffel Tower
  4. veiled lady pays her respects to America’s war dead 
  5. black and blue together
  6. veiled women texting
  7. Blackberry hijabi
  8. veiled lady sewing burqa  
  9. black-white-black
  10. jungle print burqa
  11. white and gold gown (face veil down)
  12. bejeweled veil on fashion catwalk
  13. American flag veil
  14. veiled lady snowtubing  

Familiar faces, veiled: Minnie Mouse; “Liberty Leading the People”; “Liberty Enlightening the World”;  Li’l Kim partly veiled (but almost nude); Mary, Mother of Jesus; Condoleezza Rice; Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, veiled


Clever Video

Via Alison Bechdel’s site, an extremely inventive video from Dutch artist Evelien Lohbeck


A seasonal acrostic

An acrostic is a poem in which the first letter of each line, in sequence, will form a name, motto, or other message.  Acrostics often commemorate holidays; for example, many Americans once marked Mother’s Day with a song that began “M is for the many things she gave me.”  And a Google search for “Christmas acrostic” brings up this many results.   

Apparently Arnold Schwartzenegger, who for some reason that eludes me is the Governor of California, views his vetoes as holidays.  Note the heartwarming free-verse acrostic in his latest veto message to the state legislature, via Wonkette :


Ptolemy’s system

The ancients looked at the sky and thought that they could see heavenly bodies rotating around the earth.  In the sixth century BC, Anaximander of Miletus theorized that the stars were mounted on the inside of a transparent spherical shell and that the earth was a solid sphere hanging in the center of this shell.  The Sun, Moon, and planets would have been mounted on other spherical shells.  Anaximander’s theories were often criticized in antiquity, but his idea of revolving concentric spheres would dominate the western cosmological imagination for millenia.   

Anaximander’s theory explained the apparent movements of the Sun and Moon tolerably well, but the orbits of the planets presented it with a challenge.  In particular, if we look at Mars and think of it as revolving around the earth, we will occasionally see it stop, back up, and make a loop in the sky.  The astronomer Hipparchus of Nicaea in the third century BC and the theorist Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD were among those who developed a new theory, according to which the stars and other heavenly bodies moved as if they were mounted on transparent spheres, but spheres that were mounted on other spheres.  So the major sphere might make a cycle around the earth, but each heavenly body seemed to be mounted on a minor sphere that made a cycle (an “epicycle”) around a point on that major cycle.  A very clear animated illustration of Ptolemy’s epicyclic system can be found here.  Here are some more illustrations of this Ptolemaic system:


with descriptions: 


From an old edition of Ptolemy’s Almagest:


Below is a video showing how these systems of illustration might represent one hypothetically possible orbit.

A generous bird

I have a lot of hats.  One of them is a walking hat by Hanna Hats of Donegal, Ireland.  I’m quite fond of it, not least because it was a gift from my father.

When I received this hat, it had a feather in its band.  I was sad when I lost that feather two weeks ago; it hadn’t really matched the hat very well, but it was part of it, and a replacement was in order.  So whenever I was among trees, I kept looking at the ground, trying to find another feather. 

Yesterday, I found one.  It matched the hat much better than the original had done.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the old feather, but here are shots of the new one:


In place



On its own

I can only surmise that some bird with the right plumage, a generous heart, and a highly developed aesthetic sense saw my featherless hat and decided to make a donation.  I’m very grateful.

Atheist Melon

Funny Album Covers

Here’s a website devoted to ill-conceived album covers.  Some of their finds:

Sex and the Female


At Play with the Playmates



Steve 29928, a Naked Ukulele Guy

Here’s a new ukulele-YouTuber to watch, Steve 29928.  What he lacks in clothing he makes up for in talent.  He’s new to the instrument, improving very rapidly.  He’s already put up three performances worth listening to in their entirety.

His cover of UB-40’s cover of “Red Red Wine.”  It’s his latest one, and his best so far, I think.

The Girl from Ipanema

Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love with You“- not the best performance perhaps, but his dog peeks into the frame, and I love that.

Eye Contact


Has anybody seen Aunt Telcia?

More art with clothespins

The other day, I posted about a gallery of artistic use of clothespins on Weirdomatic, and an eerily similar gallery posted on another site a few weeks later.  An artist named Gerry Steca has been working in clothespins for years; here are a couple of his pieces.  For more examples, visit his site.

A monumental piece

A monumental piece