Fake Fear

This is our entry in THE SNOW MELTS SOMEWHERE’s FRIENDLY FRIDAY: FAKE challenge.

We had wanted to visit Chiang Mai in northern Thailand for years. In 2017, we were finally able to do so.  One of our best experiences there was Art in Paradise, the Chiang Mai 3D Art Museum.  Along with many other tourists having fun, we inserted ourselves into works of art and posed for ridiculous photos.  The family in the photo below are using a dangerous swinging bridge to cross a terrifying gorge (but they don’t really  appear to be afraid).

According to their website, there are also Art in Paradise museums in Pattaya and Bangkok, which we will be sure to visit given the opportunity.

Man with a Beard — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side

This is our second entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side.

While visiting Paris this month, we took in the Palais de Tokyo — a modern art museum. (We had decided to avoid the “main” attractions because of the crowds but read that this was one of the better “second tier” museums. Paris has some pretty high tiers.)

Modern art museums with contemporary exhibits seem to have several that are interactive. One exhibit in the Palais de Tokyo has very large electronic screens that project the profiles of those who stand behind them. We spent several minutes looking at various screens while our fellow visitors posed. One of our favorite subjects was this man:

Neon Boneyard — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Has the letter “O”

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter O – Needs to have the letter O anywhere in the word.

Two weeks ago, we used the entrance sign of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, for our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter “N”. This week we are publishing a photo of another exhibit in response to the Letter “O” challenge.  The Neon Boneyard features more than 200 rescued and restored neon signs from Las Vegas casinos, hotels, and other businesses.  The one is the sign from the famous, but now defunct,  La Concha Motel.

This photo was taken on October 25, 2017. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 200, f/4.4, 1/60 sec, focal length 10.7 mm (35mm-equivalent of about 70 mm)

The Shoes of Majdanek

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Scale.

We visited the Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC yesterday. It is mostly a photographic and video display. With displays in chronological order, one follows a timeline in which a people — very much like us in the beginning — slip into barbarism and the eventual destruction of their nation.

With the old, mainly black and white, images, it is easy to feel slightly detached from the events depicted.  That is, until one reaches the display shown in the following photograph, with some of the 4,000 shoes on display taken from people before they were murdered. This is a tiny fraction of the actual shoes found at the Majdanek concentration and extermination camp just inside Lublin, Poland. (This camp was also used for sorting and storing the property and valuables of victims of other camps.)  This camp, which was  operated by the Nazi SS from October 1941 until it was liberated in July 1944,, was one of many such camps. The first thing one thinks about is one’s own shoes and how they could easily be included as a very small part of a pile of such immense scale.


This photo was taken on October 11, 2017. Specs are:

Olympus TG-5, ISO 100, f/2.0, 1/20 sec,  focal length 30mm (35mm-equivalent)

For more information about this museum, visit their website at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Car – Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: June 25, 2017

This is our entry in Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: June 25, 2017.

Today we visited the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.  The Hirshorn is undergoing a major renovation of its art exhibits inside and there are slim pickings for anyone expecting to find open rooms with art on the walls, with the possible exception of the amazing Big Man figure that is perhaps too risqué for our followers…

The exhibit shown below is just outside the entrance to the Hirshorn. We wondered if this could be a new enhanced parking enforcement technique – the new parking “boot.”

The Car
The Car

This photo was taken on June 25, 2017. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/80 sec, 18 mm

The SR-71 Blackbird at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center

We recently visited the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport. This facility is part of the National Air and Space Museum, although many tourists usually associate “Air and Space” with the original Smithsonian’s museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

One of the most popular exhibits at Udvar-Hazy is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.  Here are some views from the front.

SR-71 Blackbird Front View
SR-71 Blackbird Front View

Here is a view from behind.

SR-71 Blackbird Rear View

Here are some views from above, clearly showing the Blackbird’s signature black paint. The second photo shows the logo of Lockheed’s Skunk Works division that designed the SR-71.

SR-71 Blackbird from Above
SR-71 Blackbird from Above

The SR-71 Blackbird is the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. Its last flight from Los Angeles to Washington Dulles International Airport on March 6, 1990, took 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds. Here are some closeups of one of the engines that made that speed possible.

SR-71 Blackbird Engine
SR-71 Blackbird Engine

For more information about the SR-71 aircraft at Udvar-Hazy and stunning pictures, visit https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/lockheed-sr-71-blackbird.

Future posts will feature other important exhibits at the Udvar-Hazy Center, including the Space Shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay, and a Concorde.






North Carolina Transportation Museum

The North Carolina Transportation Museum is a 60-acre look into the past of the Southern Railroad’s steam locomotive repair facility in Spencer, North Carolina. The museum’s four large buildings include the Back Shop, the Master Mechanic’s Office, the Flue Shop, and the Bob Julian Roundhouse of the historic Spencer Shops. There are also auto and aviation exhibits.

The museum is open every day of the week except Monday. There is an admission fee for the museum; for twice this fee, visitors can also enjoy a 25-minute narrated train ride on the property, pulled by an antique diesel engine, in addition to viewing the museum exhibits.

Visitors can also (for additional fees) ride in the diesel cab with the engineer or ride the turntable. There are other on-site special programs (e.g., birthday caboose), tours, and events (e.g., Day Out with Thomas, Polar Express train ride).

Scenic day trip excursions are offered this year to Charlottesville, Virginia, on October 29 and to Toccoa, Georgia, on  October 30. The fare per person ranges from $160 to $1120, depending on amenities.

For more information about the North Carolina Transportation Museum and its offerings, visit the website at http://www.nctrans.org/.