Saturday, 13 April 2013

A seal in Øresund

There are a number of seals in Øresund, although I have not yet managed to see one. Or actually I have seen one, although I was hitherto not aware of it! Today, when looking at some of my evening photos from February 21, I noticed that there is a seal resting on a stone in the water!

The seal appears to have some kind of light marking installed on it - maybe to make it easier for ships to identify it?

Friday, 12 April 2013

Two modern houses in Hittarp

Most houses here in Hittarp are fairly traditional, but there are also a few more "modern" ones - like these two:

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Early photographs of the Monte Carlo Casino

The Monte Carlo Casino, photographed probably about 1890.

When these photographs of Monaco and Monte Carlo were taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Casino hade been an international success - and the primary source of income for the ruling Grimaldi family - already for over thirty years.

Monaco with Monte Carlo in 1905.

The man behind the success was the French businessman and property developer François Blanc, who in 1863 took over the casino business. It did not take long for "the Magician of Monte Carlo" to make the Casino to a virtual money machine, both for himself and other investors - and, of course, the Grimaldis.

Among the investors in the company inititated by Blanc were some quite interesting names:

To manage the new venture, a company—the Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers—was formed with capital of 15 million francs. Among the prominent investors were Charles-Bonaventure-François Theuret, Bishop of Monaco, and Cardinal Pecci, the future Pope Leo XIII. Blanc became the single majority stockholder in the company and received a 50-year concession, which would last until 1913. Blanc used his connections to quickly raise the required capital, and began the massive construction. On Blanc's insistence, the Spelugues area where the gambling complex was located was renamed to make it sound more attractive to casino visitors. A few suggestions were considered, and the name Monte Carlo was chosen in Prince Charles' honor.

The Casino in 1905. The gardens were laid out in 1883.

The new gaming room, the Salle des Amériques, was inaugurated in 1881.

A foolproof way of finding out whether a contemporary piece is music or not

Concerts or recitals of classical music nowadays often include works by contemporary composers. Regrettably, many of these contemporary pieces are extremely boring, mainly because they lack the basic ingredient of music - melody.

In reality much of so called contemporary classical music is not music at all, only noise refined by notation. 

One almost foolproof way of finding out whether a contemporary work belongs to the category music, is by looking at the soloist(s). If - at a well rehearsed concert/recital - you can see a stand with the score placed in front of the soloist(s), it means that you are in for a piece of contemporary music, i.e. noise refined by notation. 

A professional soloist - singer or instrumentalist - does not need the score when performing music at a properly rehearsed concert or recital.

Watch these videos, and judge yourself, which category they belong to:

Sometimes listening to refined noise and sound effects can be a rather pleasant experience, but they should not be mistaken for music. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

An homage to the early portrait photographers

This portrait of a Swedish soldier - a distant relative of mine - must be the oldest of these photographs. I think it  is from the 1870s or early 1880s. 

The other day I found an old photo album in my attic. It was among other stuff that once was sent to me after a relative had passed away. Most of the people are unknown to me, but I think that names are not important in this case. The purpose with my sharing these old photographs - most of them are from the late 1800s and early 1900s - is to pay homage to the early photographers, who produced some outstanding pictures, without possessing the advanced digital tools of their present day colleagues. The two first images of soldiers are from Sweden, the rest are by a number of early Finnish photographers.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

An installation in the Church of St. Mary in Helsingborg

Recently I saw this beautiful "installation" in Helsingborg's Church of St Mary:

Structures in the Port of Helsingborg

Structures in the Port of Helsingborg. (April 5, 2013.) 

A giant floating gold dredge in California in the early 1920s

An early 1920s "monster" gold dredge in California.

This is an early 1920s photograph of a large floating gold dredge in California (unfortonately I have no information about where in California). Monstrous machines like this one scooped up millions of tons of gravels - and a lot of gold - in the early 20th century. Several of these giants still exist in state-sponsored heritage areas.

Today technological advances have again made dredging popular. Small dredges allow a single person to access and process gravel banks that were inaccessible to the giant dredges of the early 1900s. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Anchor handling tug supply vessel Loke Viking passing by in Øresund

Loke Viking in Øresund, with the northern part of Helsingør in the background.

Tonight, just after eight, another seldom seen visitor, the anchor handling tug supply vessel Loke Viking (85,2m x 22m) passed by in the Sound. The ship is on its way to Aberdeen, where it is expected to arrive on April 10. 

Loke Viking, which was delivered by the Spanish Zamakona shipyard in 2010, is one of the ships in the Viking Supply Ships fleet.

Bulk carrier Nord Neptune in Øresund

Early this morning the Danish bulk carrier Nord Neptune was on its way southwards in the Sound. The Nord Neptune left Dunkerque on 5 April and is heading to Ust Luga in Russia.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Gulls galore in Helsingborg

The Black-headed Gull is a common sight on the shores of Øresund. I rather like these social birds, although  they are described as noisy and quarrelsome by the UK RSPB ...

These black-heads were searching for food in Helsingborg this afternoon: