Wednesday, June 28, 2006


[Some sort of sports team - soccer? - mascot]

A riveting set of photos take in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, arguably one of the worst places on earth in which to live. These photos were taken by a Russian citizen, and feed my slow-traffic-past-the-horrible-highway-accident fascination I have with the DPRK. I'm not sure what interests me about the place; not so much the 1950s time-warp look of the place, but more that it seems like a huge theatrical set. All of the people are playing their assigned parts:

[a traffic policewoman, directing non-existent traffic congestion]

[The tomb-like husk of the Ryugyong hotel]

[The Juche Tower lit at night; with no object to provide human scale, it looks particularly evil in this photo]

[North Korean citizens looking at the photographer: he explains in the forum posted above that they hadn't seen any Caucasian people before him. ]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


One of my favorite books when I was six or seven was Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, a book about a pig family who drive across a pseudo-European landscape on a family trip. One of the pages featured an eclectic array of military vehicles cavorting on a beach. As I grew older and commenced my adolescent war-nerd reading, I discovered that the cars in Scarry's drawing were based upon real vehicles, such as the Austin armored car, the Kettenkrad and the A7V.

One vehicle that I never found out the origin of was a small jeep-like car carrying a quartet of foxes; I recently discovered that this car is real also, and is called the Haflinger:

These cars are quite small, have 2-cylinder air-cooled gasoline engines, and aren't geared fast enough for highway travel. They were made in the 60s and 70s by Steyr Daimler Puch, a company known better in the US for their mopeds.

The car's namesake, a small, sturdy horse:

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