lördag 27 april 2013

Origines of the Gnome Hat

In the painting above of Jacques-Louis David in 1788, an interesting item is exposed. The painting reflect a motive from ancient Greece, the seduction of Helen by Paris of Troy. The Illiad by Homeros, where this story is told is supposed to relate to a time approximately a thousand years B.C. If we suppose that this is an indication that the hat of the garden gnome has that kind of history, it is older than 3,000 years. There is good proof of this as a mural painting of the Greek go Priapos was found in an excavation in Casa dei Vetti, Pompeii, Southern Italy, and thereby ought to be at least about 2,000 years old. The painting of Priapos expose him earing a hat similar to the ones used by our contemporary garden gnomes.

One question though of interest is, where did David get the idea of equpping Paris with such a hat? The classisist painter David is connected to the era of Romanticism and the historic accuracy of his motives could be discussed. But what about this one?

torsdag 21 mars 2013

President Elbegdorj rides on a stamp

Just now I managed to find this extra ordinary piece of a stamp. Apparently President Elbegdorj is celebrating his ancestry by appearing in front of some traditionally clothed Mongolian riders. This points back to a proud ancestry and ancient times when Mongolia ruled the world. You could see it as a clear line from the days of Kubilai and his invasion of Japan, but hopefully President Elbegdorj don't have any such ambitions. Rather it might be a way of increasing his chances in the upcoming Mongolian Presidential Election in late May this year.

It  would be a small sensation to see either the Swedish King or Prime Minister on the back of a horse. But then again they don't possess the bravery of President Elbegdorj. After all he was one of the protestors on the Sukhbaatar Square back 1991.

tisdag 19 mars 2013

Kubilai Khan's Great Fleet and the Economics of Reality

My father is a collector of stamps and his been doing this since he was seven years old. This means that I have an eye for stamps whether I like it or not. On my last trip to Mongolia I found a rather intriguing stamp picturing the great Kubilai Khan and his enormous fleet that were sent to conquer Japan in 1281. Unfortunately, Kubilai forced his hand and gave an order to complete the fleet in just one year, instead of five which should have been necessary. This resulted in a fleet of few really seagoing vessels, but in fact converted river boats lacking an essential trait of a seagoing vessel: the keel.

This was combined with Kubilai's adoption of the finer qualities of financing in that time China; printing paper money. Unfortunately the printed paper money was not secured in any form of precious metals or the like. As the fleet sank in the Japanese sea, those possessing paper money printed to finance the building of the fleet reconned that the value of the money was reflected in the value of the fleet, all of a sudden reciding on the bottom of the sea. This led to the first known hyperinflation.

So what can Kubilai teach us from his mistake more than 700 years ago? Don't laugh, as we are in exactly the same position, as our money are not secured in any precious metals or the like. Sadly enough it reflected in our ability to keep economic growth sustainable; something that at the present seems unlikely in the long run. But as John Maynard Keynes so wisely said: "- In the long run we're all dead!"

onsdag 20 februari 2013

The rat was primarely focused on the apples, not the legs...

tisdag 19 februari 2013

From the rodents perspective the home looked quite different. Little did the residents know about the surveillance they were put under...

tisdag 30 oktober 2012

An updating of my travels to Farawaystan countries

visited 32 states (14.2%)

onsdag 11 juli 2012

Om räven själv får välja

Hur skulle det vara om till exempel rävar själva fick välja var de skulle äta? En brittisk dokumentär visade för några år sedan att då den lokala korvkiosken stängde, då kom stadens rävar fram och käkade det som människorna ratat tidigare. På liknande sätt anpassar sig djur och fåglar runt omkring oss efter de möjligheter som vi skapar för dem. Ormvråken har blivit motorvägarnas obestridde härskare och på soptippen bestämmer trutarna och på stadens restauranger regerar kajorna...