Happy New Year!

 Stunning ‘Auld Lang Syne’ from University College Dublin’s choir

Auld Lang Syne’ has long been a song performed as a new year enters, with words that capture bittersweet reflection and a spirit of goodwill. And in the video below, it’s sung so powerfully.

The poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ captures two friends catching up over a drink or two, their friendship having been long and occasionally distant. The words were written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788.

The song’s famous title translates as ‘old long since’, or ‘for the sake of old times’ – in other words, looking back, as a way to look forward.

Titanic first-class menu and victim's pocket watch each sell at auction for over $100,000

A rare menu from the Titanic's first-class restaurant sold at auction over the weekend along with a pocket watch from a man who died in the 1912 disaster at sea and a deck blanket from the ill-fated ocean liner. The items were put up for auction with dozens of other transportation memorabilia Saturday in the U.K.
How much did the Titanic menu sell for at auction?

The menu sold for 83,000 British pounds (about $101,600), according to auction house Henry Aldridge and Son Ltd. Dated April 11, 1912, the menu shows what the Titanic's most well-to-do passengers ate for dinner three days before the ship struck an iceberg that caused it to sink in the Atlantic Ocean within hours.

Featuring such dishes as spring lamb with mint sauce, "squab à la godard" and "apricots bordaloue," the menu shows some signs that it was exposed to water. It was found earlier this year among the personal belongings of a Canadian historian who lived in Nova Scotia, where recovery ships brought the remains of those who died in the catastrophe.

A Titanic menu from April 11, 1912, was sold at auction in the U.K.COURTESY HENRY ALDRIDGE AND SON LTD.

How the menu came to be in the historian's possession is unknown, according to the auction house. He died in 2017, and his family found the menu tucked away in a photo album from the 1960s.

A pocket watch recovered from a Russian immigrant sold for 97,000 pounds (about $118,700), according to the auction house. Sinai Kantor, 34, was one of the over 1,500 people who died in the disaster. He was immigrating to the U.S. with his wife, Miriam, who survived the tragedy.

A pocket watch recovered from a Titanic victim was sold at auction in the U.K.COURTESY HENRY ALDRIDGE AND SON LTD.

After Kantor's body was recovered from the Atlantic, his belongings were returned to his wife, according to the auction house. The items included his Swiss-made, silver-on-brass pocket watch with Hebrew figures on its heavily stained face.

A deck blanket from the Titanic sold for slightly less than the watch at 96,000 pounds (about $117,500), according to the auction house.

The tartan blanket features the logo for White Star Line, the British company that owned and operated the Titanic. The blanket was used on a lifeboat and then taken on a rescue ship to New York, where it was acquired by a White Star official, according to the auction house.
A deck blanket from the Titanic was sold at auction in the U.K.COURTESY HENRY ALDRIDGE AND SON LTD.

The Genius of Steven Wright

1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
3 - Half the people you know are below average.
4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 - If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 - All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, ..... But she left me before we met.
12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark?
13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 - I intend to live forever ... So far, so good.
20 - If Barbie is so popu, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name
25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.
34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work

Street Art by Banksy in Gaza, Palestine


By Banksy in Gaza, Palestine.

In the rubble-strewn streets of Gaza, an unexpected figure emerges – a playful kitten adorned with a sassy red bow. This street art gem is none other than Banksy’s signature touch, adding a splash of amusement to a landscape of devastation.

Banksy’s kitten, with its wild fur and wide-eyed curiosity, feels like a tongue-in-cheek nod to resilience amidst chaos. It’s as if the kitten is saying, “I’ve got nine lives, and not even this rubble can phase me!” Yet, the ruins around tell a deeper, sadder tale of a city bearing the scars of conflict.

In just one image, Banksy manages to capture Gaza’s heartbreaking reality and sprinkle it with a dash of hope and humor. It’s a bittersweet blend of artistry, offering a momentary escape while urging us not to forget.

Nancy Green, the original Aunt Jemima model

 A great woman erased from history by idiots.

The branding of the syrup was a tribute to this woman’s gifts and talents. The world knew her as “Aunt Jemima”, but her given name was Nancy Green and she was a true American success story.

She was born a slave in 1834 Montgomery County, KY. and became a wealthy superstar in the advertising world, as its first living trademark. Green was 56-yrs old when she was selected as spokesperson for a new ready-mixed, self-rising pancake flour and made her debut in 1893 at a fair and exposition in Chicago.

She demonstrated the pancake mix and served thousands of pancakes, and became an immediate star. She was a good storyteller, her personality was warm and appealing, and her showmanship was exceptional. Her exhibition booth drew so many people that special security personnel were assigned to keep the crowds moving.

Nancy Green was signed to a lifetime contract, traveled on promotional tours all over the country, and was extremely well paid. Her financial freedom and stature as a national spokesperson enabled her to become a leading advocate against poverty and in favor of equal rights for all Americans. She maintained her job until her death in 1923, at age 89. This was a remarkable woman.

3D Zebra Stripe Crosswalk in Iceland Slows Traffic with Stunning Optical Illusion

3d crosswalk in iceland

The use of illusion in art is nothing new, but a small town in Iceland is using the effect to help with public safety and traffic issues. In the small fishing village of Ísafjörður, a 3D pedestrian crossing was painted last month in an effort to slow traffic on a narrow street.

The eye-popping illusion gives the effect of walking on air as pedestrians move from one side of the street to the other. Environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla came up with the idea after seeing a similar project in New Delhi, India. Trylla was researching creative ideas on how to slow traffic when he stumbled upon the India project and came together with street painting company Vegmálun GÍH to create the effect. They experimented for several weeks before perfecting the technique and painting the crosswalk.

The visual effect is striking, as the optical illusion shifts depending on your perspective. From the air, the white stripes jump up, making them appear as a column of walls. While at ground level, the bars seem to hover just above the ground. Right now the project is experimental, with the town seeing what effect the creative zebra crossing will have before deciding if they’d like to roll out more in other areas of the village.

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