Photos of the Day, and Instagram

Featured image The photo of the day–one of them, anyway–was taken by me, in November 2003 when I was in London on business. Which reminds me–things have been dull lately, I could use some more business trips like that one. It is a beautiful photo, I think, taken on the bank of the Thames. The lighting is entirely fortuitous: I couldn’t do this on purpose in a million years. Click to enlarge: »

Civil War Figures, In Color

Featured image Two young men, a Briton and a Dane, have devoted remarkable skill and energy to colorizing Civil War-era photographs. The Daily Mail has some of them, and there are more here and here. The photos all possess a striking immediacy–Mark Twain looks as though he is about to snarl at you–but here are just two. First, Ulysses Grant, my favorite historical figure. Grant was a kind, often diffident man who »

Photos of the Day

Featured image Via InstaPundit, a gallery of 20 black and white photographs, some of them famous, which have been colorized. Nearly everyone likes black and white photography in principle, but it does, somehow, distance us from the subject. The reality of the past, when rendered, contrary to our expectations, in color, is startling. This is true in matters large, like the Civil War (click to enlarge): And World War II: And in »

Was the World a Better Place 100 Years Ago? Photographic Evidence

Featured image Yesterday Glenn Reynolds linked to this very beautiful set of black and white photographs, most of which are around 100 years old, although some go back to the Civil War. Glenn notes, “It’s sad to see how much better Detroit looked at the beginning of the last century. . . .” Well, yes: but that is a low bar. My reaction is, it isn’t just Detroit. The whole world looks »

Photos of the Day

Featured image National Geographic magazine has published thousands of the world’s most striking photographs over the years, but if you think about it, the ones they published are only the tip of the iceberg. The magazine’s archives contained many thousands of photos that had never seen the light of day. So they decided to make some of them available online. It is a remarkable collection. The oldest date to the late nineteenth »

Electrifying California

Featured image Over a period of decades, Edison Electric Company documented the electrification of southern California in approximately 70,000 photographs. Recently Edison donated or loaned these images to the Huntington Museum, which has now put some of them online. They are historically interesting and, in many instances, aesthetically beautiful. They remind us of the romance of southern California in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Click to enlarge: I like the sign at »

End of the Year in Pictures

Featured image As we approach the new year (Go Stanford!, by the way), why not a few of the best images to get us up to the brink of the first glass of champagne: »

Postcard from the Island of Individual Mandates

Featured image Readers may be aware that Pope Benedict made a visit to Cuba last week. It was the first pontifical visit to that island nation since 1998, when John Paul II visited and prompted Fidel Castro to relax his government’s imaginary grip on the faiths of its people. Since the Communist revolution in 1959, Cuba has been officially atheist. It’s just one example, in a place full of them, of an »

Theater of the Absurd Seasons

Featured image Here in Minnesota, we have enjoyed an unusually mild winter, and now it seems to be rushing pell-mell into summer. The thermometer has edged over 70 degrees several times this week, and today I think it got up to 75 or so. This is truly extraordinary for mid-March in Minnesota; March ties with February as Minnesota’s snowiest month, on the average. A few days ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune posted »

Media Alert

Featured image So I’ll be turning up on Bill Bennett’s radio show tomorrow morning around 7:35 am (eastern time) to talk energy, Iowa caucuses, the conservative movement, and whatever else we can get to in two segments.  You can look up your local station, or listen live-stream through the magic of the Interwebs, at As a preview, I’ll have a long post up tomorrow morning with my pre-Iowa caucus observations, how »

A Power Line Happy New Year

Featured image Here’s two minutes of pure beach bliss, shot in hangover-friendly super slow-mo and with a soothing soundtrack that will go perfectly with a Bloody Mary. »

Photos of the Year

Featured image Every year, National Geographic magazine awards prizes for the best photographs of the year in the categories nature, places and people. The winners for 2011 are here. A lot of them are spectacular; this shot of a dragonfly in the rain, taken in Indonesia, won the grand prize: This one of a zebra fleeing a waterhole in Tanzania is another of my favorites: Some of the non-nature ones are very »

There Is No Excuse Whatsoever For This Post

Featured image Except that, when photographs of Marilyn Monroe that have been unseen since 1952 suddenly are made public–3-D photos at that!–who can resist? These pictures, taken by an amateur at a party to which MM was helicoptered in, are being auctioned by the photographer and are expected to bring up to $100,000. For that, they probably will throw in the 3-D viewer. But you don’t have to pay any such sum, »

Photos of the Day

Featured image Retronaut is a fun site that I don’t get to often enough. You can spend a lot of time there. Last night I stumbled across something of which I was not only unaware, but which I would have assumed to be impossible–color photographs of Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition to Antarctica, which began in 1914. There are a number of great photos at the link; here are just a couple: »

Photo of the Day

Featured image Autumn is coming to Minnesota. No matter how many times you’ve been through it, it sneaks up on you every year. I took this photo off my deck this morning: It may have been the most beautiful day of the year; unfortunately, my son and I spent a good part of the afternoon watching the Minnesota Gophers get crushed by Michigan 58-0, their worst defeat in the Big Ten, ever. »

Photo of the Day

Featured image Yahoo reproduced 16 photos that were submitted by readers to a National Geographic contest. Collectively, they are very cool; I recommend checking them out. This one is of dolphins. The person who took it wrote: I had just finished photographing surfers when this school of dolphins came through. For once I had my camera with me and was able to get the shot! OK, here is one more, of a »