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Dragon slaying - World War I-era propaganda from Great Britain and Austria-Hungary. 



Developers need to create apps that solve problems I already have and stop creating ones intent on creating new things for me to do..


The China Blog: Don’t Bet Against the House



The port city of Dalian’s transformation into a major metropolitan center corresponded with Bo Xilai’s long tenure as mayor, and his rise to power.

By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham 

On Monday, a few dozen journalists assembled at a press conference in Guiyang to be told by local court officials what most of them had surely already figured out: China’s “trial of the century,” the prosecution of fallen politician Bo Xilai, was not taking place that day. The news reports that had sent media organizations scurrying to set up shop in Guiyang, a small city three hours southwest of Beijing that is part of Guizhou Province, were false; Bo’s trial date and location remain a mystery. The foreign correspondents who had made the trip didn’t return home with front-page stories about the country’s most eagerly anticipated courtroom appearance. Instead, they had to write about being sent on a wild goose chase

The reporters’ willingness to travel all the way to Guiyang on the basis of thinly sourced reports might seem odd to the casual observer. But for those of us in the China-watching business, it’s understandable: Bo Xilai has not been seen in public since his spectacular fall from grace on the Ides of March last year. Once the Party Secretary of Chongqing and a potential candidate for the super-elite Politburo Standing Committee, Bo has since been stripped of his membership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and accused of massive corruption, though the government has not yet filed formal charges against him. Whenever, and wherever, he is tried, Bo will assuredly be found guilty and face either life in prison or a death sentence.    

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(Source: lareviewofbooks)


Vivian Maier’s street photography was recently “discovered” just a few days after she died at the age of 83. The Chicago nanny took over 100,000 photographs and many say she may rank among the top street photographers of the 20th century.


Fantastic piece. Take a few minutes to watch it all.

Check out Vivian’s work at: &



January 29, 1845: Edgar Allan Poe’s ”The Raven” is published.

Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem was published toward the end of his life - he died in 1849 of mysterious causes after suffering for years in poverty and alcoholism, particularly after the death of his wife, Virginia. As Poe was writing “The Raven”, Virginia was dying of tuberculosis, which lent a personal touch to the poem’s subject matter (and also to that of some of Poe’s other poems). The titular raven, Poe wrote, was a symbol of “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance”. The poem itself is full of allusions, from the “bust of Pallas” to “Night’s Plutonian shore” to Seraphim and the balm of Gilead.

“The Raven” was first published in the Evening Mirror, and then in February of 1845 in The American Review under the name “Quarles”. It was an immediate hit among both critics and casual readers, although one notable non-fan of the poem was Ralph Waldo Emerson, an important figure in the Transcendentalist movement of American literature - a movement Poe deeply disliked. Of “The Raven”, Emerson commented ”I see nothing in it”. The poem also turned Poe into a well-known and well-respected author, but unfortunately, he remained destitute for the rest of his life; of this sad set of circumstances he wrote (in a letter to Frederick W. Thomas) in May of 1845:

I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life – except in hope, which is by no means bankable.

Illustrations by Gustave Doré.


December 21, 1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released.

Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length cel-animated feature film in history and a major landmark in animation history. Prior this film’s release, the Walt Disney Company had seen much success with its short films, which launched its character Mickey Mouse to popularity. In 1934 Disney began work on its most ambitious project yet - a feature length animated film. At the time of its production, Hollywood derisively referred to it as “Disney’s Folly” - the world’s first full color animated feature film cost $1.5 million to produce. But by the end of its run, the movie had grossed nearly $8 million internationally, making it the highest-grossing sound movie ever produced until Gone With the Wind. It also won its creator an Academy Honorary Award, which described the film as “a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field”. This award was presented to Walt Disney by Shirley Temple in the form of one full-sized statuette and seven miniatures.