Thursday, January 19, 2017

Quote for the Day

Tetsuya Tanaka's Dioramas

The weekly trivia night started again last night after a break for Christmas.

Usually we have a meal at the club before the battle begins. Staring at a couple of pieces of broccoli on my plate, I mentioned that earlier in the morning I had seen photographs of some dioramas where the artist used broccoli pieces for trees. The artist, who is Japanese, has apparently made one diorama a day for 5 years. God knows where he gets the time. I said that I would post the photographs as the next Bytes post so here they are Jess, Thomas, Kerrie (Wayne and Carol are on a cruise).

A diorama, according to the dictionary definition, is a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.

The Australian War Memorial has a large number of dioramas depicting battlefields from WW1 onwards:

A Gallipoli diorama.

In 2013 restoration and conservation works began on those dioramas. The above photograph will give an idea of scale: cleaning the Pozieres diorama.

A detail from one of the AWM dioramas showing the realistic portrayals.

The Australian Light Horse

Which brings me to the story of the Japanese artist and his fun dioramas.

The artist is named tetsuya Tanaka and you can see his dioramas day by day for 5 years at:

Most of what is written on his website, Miniature Calendar, is in Japanese, but the following extract was in English:
Everyone must have had similar thoughts at least once. 
Broccoli and parsley might sometimes look like a forest, or the tree leaves floating on the surface of the water might sometimes look like little boats. Everyday occurrences seen from a pygmy’s perspective can bring us lots of fun thoughts. 
I wanted to take this way of thinking and express it through photographs, so I started to put together a “MINIATURE CALENDAR” These photographs primarily depict diorama-style figures surrounded by daily necessaries. 
Just like a standard daily calendar, the photos are updated daily on my website and SNS page, earning it the name of “MINIATURE CALENDAR”

It would be great if you could use it to add a little enjoyment to your everyday life.
I marvel at the mind that looks at a piece of broccoli and sees a forest, that gazes at an iron and imagines Star Wars. Here is a selection of photographs . . . 

Funnily enough, I haven’t been able to find a pic of the artist, or any information as to how he does it every day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quote for the Day



The Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” was originally “Be prepared to die for your country”.

‘Be prepared to die for your country… so that when the time comes you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are to be killed or not.”

- Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement.


There is an actual leather category of “Genuine Leather”. However, it is a lower grade leather.

Usually on the underside of a belt or inside a leather good, the leather quality will be stamped one of three things: genuine leather, top-grain leather, or full-grain leather. 
  • Genuine leather doesn’t just mean that the product is made of real leather (which it is), but it also means it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather.   Genuine leather generally doesn’t last as long or look as nice as higher-quality leather. You’ll typically find it in belts from mall stores, shoes from lower-priced department stores, and bags or other goods in the lower-leather price range.  Goods marked as genuine leather will be several layers of low quality leather bonded together with glue and then painted to look like a better-quality leather. It’s what is left over when the other, higher grades are stripped away.  This grade of leather is acceptable if you’re just buying something cheaply and don’t care too much about its quality. It won’t last very long, so it probably shouldn’t be something you use every day. 

  • Top-grain leather is the grade of leather you’ll find in “fine” leather goods and is the middle-of-the-road quality of leather. It’s used in the vast majority of purses for women as well as small leather goods for men like wallets that are sold by well-known designer brands.  It’s made by splitting a piece of full-grain leather and sanding away any imperfections in the hide and stamping a fake grain on it. Usually, it’s then treated and coloured to provide a completely uniform look. The finished product ends up being a bit plastic-y, and not nearly as durable as the best quality leather — full grain. It will not age well with use, and will end up looking old and worn after a time. This finish of leather is great, however, if you don’t care as much about durability and more about the colour of your leather item, or its resistance to stain. 

  • Full-grain leather takes the entire grain of hide, with all the imperfections and inherent toughness of the material.   It’s often used for heavy-duty leather items, like weapon holsters and utility belts. But it can also be used (with great success) for dress belts, briefcases, dress shoes, work boots, and numerous other leather goods.  This type of leather is naturally marked with imperfections from the animal, like a brand or a scar, but products from pricier companies won’t use these flawed hides.  Full-grain is hard-as-nails leather that will develop a rich patina as it ages, looking more and more beautiful as you use it. It’s widely recognised as the best and highest-quality leather money can buy.  Often much more expensive, full-grain pays dividends with its durability. If you invest in an item made with full-grain leather, you will probably have that item for the rest of your life if you take care of it properly. 

  • If you can you should avoid leathers like bonded leather (scraps of leather glued together to form one piece), patent leather (leather treated with a glossy plastic finish), and corrected grain leather (lower quality leather printed with a fake grain).

A flock of crows is called a murder.


Joseph Gayetty (1827 - ?) was an American inventor credited with the invention of commercial toilet paper. It was the first and remained only one of the few commercial toilet papers from 1857 to 1890 remaining in common use until the invention of splinter-free toilet paper in 1935 by the Northern Tissue Company.

Each sheet of pure Manila hemp paper was watermarked "J C Gayetty N Y". The original product contained aloe as a lubricant and was marketed as an anti-hemorrhoid medical product. His advertisement in 1859 called his product "The Greatest Necessity of the Age" and warned against the perils of using toxic inked papers on sensitive body parts. A different advertisement, also printed in 1859, says his business was located at 41 Ann Street, and he was selling 1,000 sheets for one dollar.


Toilet paper 1

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quote for the Day

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. 

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.” 

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012) was an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction author.

Bizarre Christmas and New Year Cards

Now that Christmas and the period of goodwill to all has finished for another season, here is a look at some inappropriate Christmas and New Year cards, including a large selection of vintage cards, and some that are just plain weird . . . no comments needed.


Second Runner-Up, Most Inappropriate Christmas Card:


First Runner-Up, Most Inappropriate Christmas Card:


Winner, Most Inappropriate Christmas Card: