Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Honda Curtiss

Soichiro Honda was the riding mechanic in the winning car (driven by Shinichi Sakakibara) in the Fifth Japan Motor Car Championship in November, 1924.

The son of a blacksmith, Honda left school at age 15 to work for Tokyo Art Shokai.  The company was involved with "manufacture and repair of automobiles, motorcycles and gasoline engines".

The car was powered by a 90 HP, 8.2 liter OX-5 engine from a Curtis "Jenny" biplane.  The car is on display in the Honda Collection Hall museum in Japan.

Soichiro Honda was involved in racing until 1936 when he and his brother, Benjiro, were involved in a terrible accident. Soichiro was driving and was thrown from the car in a rollover.  Benjiro was seriously injured.  He raced one more time before retiring.

Honda went on to build motorcycles and automobiles under the family name.

Additional information and photos are here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Mike Johnson competed in the freestyle category of the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Portland, Oregon, on October 25, 2014.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Horse play

Viper versus Lamborghini


Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated on the short animated film Destino.  The music and storyboards were completed in 1946, but budgetary concerns caused the project to be shelved.  In 2002 Roy Disney resurrected the project and the animation was done at that time.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Let it snow

Slovenian photographer Marko Korosec was able to capture the results of ten days of high winds accompanied with freezing fog and snow on top of Mount Javornik.  Additional images here.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Surfer girl

Ha'a Keaulana strength trains by running across the ocean floor with a 50 pound boulder.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

You can't make this stuff up....

A pop up street urinal that comes up and goes into service at 10:30PM and drops down out of service at 6:30AM.  Located in Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

War Horse Joey

Joey, the life size puppet horse used in the National Theatre's production of  War Horse, is lead into fields around Flanders to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and the Christmas truce of 1914.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chris Labrooy

Striking digitally manipulated images to resemble full size sculpture.  Other examples here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Baillon collection

Shipping magnate Roger Baillon had dreamed of opening an automobile museum, but that plan never came to fruition.  He amassed his cars in sheds on the family farm in western France.   His grandchildren were surprised to learn that the 60+ cars from the 1930's through the 1950's are possibly worth more than $18 million.  They are scheduled to be auctioned in Paris on February 6th.  

More of the story and additional images are available here.

Herd of cats

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Low down duo

Download 2015

You can download a free 2015 calendar from APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) here.  If weather related images are not your choice you can check out the other options by visiting and selecting 2015 APOD calendar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Big boy toy

Amusement parks from time to time have a need for lifts capable of reaching some very high places. Sometimes there are needs for service and maintenance; while at other times they might be called upon for rescuing people from rides that have stalled in high places.

Universal Studios Singapore has two lifts that can extend 135 feet. There are limits to just how far they can extend in relationship to the angle at which they are extended. Units without outrigger supports need a fairly wide stance for stable extensions of the longer booms. However, a wide stance makes them difficult to maneuver in limited spaces. A compromise is reached with a unit that has an adjustable stance. Wheels in close to the body for moving into position and then hydraulic cylinders that spread the wheels apart as the unit moves into position to begin work. The two photos show the difference in the space between the wheels before and after extension.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sweet Beetle

On the street outside my hotel.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bundled up against the sun

Daytime temperatures in Singapore are in the high 80's with very high humidity.  It can be counted on to rain every afternoon.  This man's company has a standard work uniform that is black trousers and short sleeve shirt.  He and several other members of his team choose to cover exposed skin for protection from the sun.  It makes me uncomfortable to think about dressing like that in the heat and humidity, but it seems to work for them.  Having ninjas working with us is interesting.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This little piggy

You never know where your meal is being prepared.  This piglet was on a skewer over a fire in an alley in Chinatown.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On the street

While it may look like a vehicle many decades older this little Nissan Figaro is probably from around 1990.  Hard to believe that this cutey has survived on the mean streets of Bangkok.


These ladies laughed at absolutely every joke I told them.

Varying inventory

Today I made my way to MBK- one of the largest retail complexes in Bangkok.  Literally hundreds of stores at the site.  The inventory of the shoe store greatly exceeded the display space and simply covered the floor in a huge pile.  The jewelry display cases were empty in another store although there were a number of persons working at phones and computers.

First responder

The streets of Bangkok are for the most part packed with cars, trucks, tuk tuks, and cycles.  Getting to a fire quickly would be a challenge.  Perhaps the small pickup based unit makes the task a little easier.

Buddha head

This Buddha head was encapsulated by the tree as time passed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's blue

The Christmas tree at my hotel is blue.  Elvis had a thing for blue; Blue Suede Shoes, Blue Hawaii, Blue Christmas..... Let's give a listen.

Horsepower on a stick

There are a lot of different types of boats on Bangkok's Chao Phraya River.  When you are in a hurry to get somewhere a trip in one of these can be very quick indeed.  They are powered by a variety of engine types both diesel and gasoline with some equipped with turbo chargers.  The engines are not fixed to the boat.  The engine pivots as well as tilts up and down. Steering is accomplished by moving the entire engine via the tiller.  Water depth is accommodated  by tilting the engine.  They spin a prop about 12" in diameter.

Ban Sang

It wasn't entirely fair to say nothing was going on at Ban Sang.  They actually had an aquarium and not only was it quite nice- it was also free.

Buddha, what up with all the chickens?

I was able to get the correct ticket for the train today and made my way to Ayutthaya.  It is a World Heritage Site.  You can read more about it here.

Utility cycle

Due to a misunderstanding when purchasing my train ticket yesterday, I was issued one for the wrong destination.  When I realized the error I was in rural Thailand half way to Cambodia and the railroad was down to a single track.  I got off in a place called Ban Sang.  Nothing going on there so I simply bought a return to Bangkok and waited an hour and a half for it to come by.  I was able to capture a picture of this couple cruising by in their utility motorcycle.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Deadly combo

This would seem like the weapon of choice for a situation where a knife fight might turn into a gun fight.  Displayed at the Thailand National Museum.

Cable nightmare

A rat's nest of cables and wires seems to be fairly common in Bangkok.  It must be a nightmare to trace faults.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fish food

For about $5US you can have these fish nibble on your feet for 15 minutes, while for $4 you can get a full body massage that lasts 30 minutes.  Doesn't seem to be a difficult decision to me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I flew to Bangkok yesterday.   It is hotter here than in Singapore but perhaps not as humid.  Bangkok seems to run full speed around the clock, or so it would seem based on the street noise throughout the night. I came across this VW bus repurposed as a bar at a night market near my hotel.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Car ownership in Singapore

I passed this Rolls Royce sitting on the street while walking back to my hotel.  Car ownership in Singapore is expensive.

Initially you must purchase a Certificate of Entitlement.  The COE is good for 10 years.  Small cars (less than 1.6 liters) are about $50,000 while larger ones are about $70,000.  The purchase price of the car is then taxed at 110%.  A small car with a "window sticker" of $30,000 can end up costing well over $100,000.

Having that much invested in your ride might give some people second thoughts about parking it on the street.  If you can afford to spend upwards of $1,000,000 for your ride you might want to keep it close to home like this guy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Old friend

I first ran into this guy two years ago sealed into the floor of the parking garage of Resorts World, Sentosa. Went there today to reconnect and found him to be doing well. Take care of yourself old friend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Green space

Finding green space in a place with 5.5 million people isn't easy.  Some structures are designed to bring  it home to you.

Ice Kacang

Desert today was Ice Kacang.  This Malaysian treat includes orange jello cubes, corn, beans, several components I was unable to identify, as well as multiple mystery flavoring syrups over a bowl of shaved ice.  Unusual for sure, but also a nice cool down in the heat/humidity of Singapore.

Lizard on a stick

If you have a craving for lizard on a stick you can find satisfaction in Singapore's Chinatown

Kevin Twomey

Mechanical calculators are dinosaurs and few survive.  They are complex machines and seldom do you have an opportunity to peek at the inner workings.

Kevin Twomey has taken the time to document a variety of the old calculators.  You can view more of his calculator images here, or take some time to look through his entire website-

Monday, December 1, 2014

Banana bonus

I forgot to mention that the hardware sisters treated us to a couple of bananas from their personal bunch.  These ladies made our day.  What a nice interlude to an otherwise working day in the hot and humid conditions of Singapore.

Hardware sisters

Two very happy sisters have a hardware store in Singapore.  They supplied some much needed stainless steel hardware and a pleasant interlude to a day of work in hot humid conditions.