Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Bio from his website:
HANDIEDAN (Hanneke Treffers, 1981) is an Amsterdam based artist and designer. In 2002 she graduated in photographic design at the Academy of Arts and Design St. Joost in the Netherlands. Although her degree says photography, she has also become well versed in apparel design, illustration, flash animation, website design, as well as creating her own fine art.
HANDIEDAN’s mixed media artworks are a delicate cut and paste mixture wrapped in contemporary antiquity. She meticulously combines classic pin-ups and movie images with paint, ink, yellowed sheet music, old fashioned playing cards, money, stamps, Chinese papers, old wood, rusty metal and doodles as a playful mixture of filigree and a newfangled amalgamation of imagery.
His prints can be purchased here, but they sell out like lightning.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Arak is the anise flavored liquor that is popular in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, and is most consumed in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Eqypt. It is an unsweetened spirit and is distilled initially from grapes and then re distilled after the addition on aniseed. I cant really find much on this spirit but would definitely be interested to try it.
Sambuca is a another anise flavored beverage, and while it gets its flavor form the star anise plant and not the anise flower I still feel it belongs in this group. The star anise is a plant native to southwest china that has an extremely similar flavor to anise. Sambuca is made from the mixing of sugars and star anise oil to pure alcohol. The origins of the name like many other liquors are disputed. Molinari a producer of Sambuca claims that the name is derived from the Arabic for Zammut which was used for the anise flavored drinks being imported form the east. However the Oxford English dictionary claims that it is derived from the term sambucas, which means elderberry, and is often an ingredient in traditional Sambuca.
Ouzo is a drink that also has disputed origins. While there are many claims as to where it originated and how, large scale production did not start until after the Greeks gained independence. The island of Lesbos became the center of production for the beverage. Ouzo gained even more favor in the early 20th century Absinthe fell out of style and the Varvayanis company began to produce and market a "high quality" Ouzo distilled in copper vats. In Greece ouzo is typically served mixed with water or served straight up, I certainly encountered in in the straight up form more often, but then again I don't know what should be expected for a gratis drink. More commonly in the west is it mixed with cola and can often be bought in pre mixed bottles. Like other anise beverages ouzo starts with pure high proof alcohol being mixed with anise seed. Ouzo may contain other additions such as star anise, cloves, and cinnamon.
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Biathlon has its origins in Norwegian military patrols who were equipped with cross country skis and rifles. The first organized competetion to combine skiing and target shooting was held by these patrols in 1776, and continued in regular intervals through the 1800's. This lead to the founding of Trysil Rife and Ski Club, the first club of its kind, whose goal was to promote national defense locally. In 1902 Germany began holding military patrol races in the same style as the Norwegian competitions.
Military partrol races were then shown as a demonstrations port at the first Winter Olympic Games in Charmonix, France. Military patrol races would continue to be shown as demonstrations ports at the 1928, 1936 and 1948 Olympic Games. Finally in 1949 at the 44th session of the International Olympic Committee the Military Patrol would be accepted as an official event. However some changes were made, a proposal by Sweden the event was made an individual competition, opening it up to civilian competitors instead of just military personnel.
The name of the event was changed to simply Patrol Race to reflect the change. It isn't until the rules for the 1955 Winter Olympic Games are drawn up that the word Biathlon first appears. The Union International de Pentathlon Modern, the main managing body for many foot races, would go on to become the ruling body for Biathlon competition. The first Biathlon World Championships did not take place until the 1958 in Saalfelden, Austria and had only 25 athletes from 7 different countries competing in it.
Event thought the Biathlon was accepted as an Olympic event the first Olympic Biathlon competitions were not held until 960 when the event premiered in Squaw Valley, California. The original rules had competitors shooting rifles loaded with various large bore rounds at cardboard targets. The shooting distances were originally 250, 200, 150 and 100 meters. The race was original 20km with shooting sections laid out at equal intervals along the route. As technology and popularity progressed the cardboard targets would eventually be switched for glass targets, and then again for mechanical targets. The large bore rifles would be replaced with a standardized 22 caliber long round, with specific standards set for rife length, weight, and muzzle velocity. In modern competition the shooting distance has been adjusted down to 50 meters for all 4 shooting rounds, 2 of which are shot standing, and 2 of which are shot in the prone potions. It wasn't until the 1992 games the first Womens event was added to the Olympic roster.