Archive for April 2015

Vintage Circus Posters   Leave a comment




“Circus Corty-Althoff — The Banola Family. Known as the greatest gymnasts in the world. The flying family.”

Everything now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.
Juvenal (circa A.D. 100)


“Circus Busch. Saxon, the strongest Man in the World.”


The circus, as it we think of it today, originated in Britain in 1768 by inventor Philip Astley. Astley presented shows that included horse riding tricks, acrobats, music and clowns. None of these elements were new to the British public, but Astley was the first to combine them into a single show.

Astley did not call his “Amphitheatre of Equestrian Arts” a circus. That title was awarded to a later rival’s show in 1782, and became the generic term.

In 1793 Englishman John Bill Ricketts brought the circus to the U.S., opening in Philadelphia.

The traveling circus tent was invented by American Joshua Purdy Brown, replacing the usual wooden construction with a full canvas tent. His system became commonplace by the mid 1830s.

The unique character of the American circus emerged: a traveling tent-show coupled with a menagerie and run by businessmen. It was very different model from European circuses, which for the most part remained under the control of performing families.

P. T. Barnum improved on the circus format, introducing circus trains as transport between towns. He also introduced the “freak” show, exhibiting people who were excessively tall or short, fat or thin, or with medical conditions that gave them unusual appearances. Barnum’s format became popular in Europe around the 1900s.

The number of horse riding performances gradually declined in favor of clowns, acrobats, gymnasts and jugglers, stunt acts such as fire eaters and acts involving animals. The incorporation of animals in circus acts or in menageries has almost ceased after concerns over the standards of their accommodation, training and elements of their performances.

These posters, drawn from the Circus Museum in the Netherlands, demonstrate some of the wide-ranging themes used by European circuses across the 20th century.



“Circus Busch. Peter Alupka. The first ever talking cat.”




“Circus Strassburger”




“Circus Busch. The Sensational! Marino, Destroyer of cars. The strongest driver in the world.”


Circa 1918




“Looping the loop in the open ring. Laughing in the face of death! The World Champion Nic. Diavolo. Circus Maxo.”



Posted April 28, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The River’s Flow   Leave a comment


As I watch the streams meander, I can hear the seasons call

Water soothes the jagged stones, and shadowed day is done

The moon arrives, and sun declines, as if from earth, it falls

Does it melt into the river’s flow, as the seams blend into one?

I can hear the seasons call, as the seams blend into one

Red River in Winnipeg, North End view

March 8, 2015




March 15, 2015




March 29, 2015


April 5, 2015





Posted April 28, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Baltimore in Chaos   Leave a comment


The US city of Baltimore has declared a state of emergency amid violent protests over the death of a black man fatally injured in police custody.

A week-long curfew has been announced and as many as 5,000 National Guard troops could be deployed. After dark, a community building that was under construction was engulfed in flames.

Earlier, dozens of people were seen confronting police, and 15 officers were injured.

African American Freddie Gray, 25, died on 19 April after a week in a coma. The justice department is investigating exactly where and when his spinal injuries were sustained.

 Officials have suspended six police officers who were involved in the case.

Monday’s clashes began hours after Gray’s funeral. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it was very clear there was a difference between the “peaceful protests of those who seek justice” and the “thugs who want to incite violence”.

Authorities were “deploying every resource possible to regain control of the situation”, she said.

Looting erupts



Always some idiots that take advantage of an extremely ugly situation. Seems to be a run on toilet paper!







These police ride very big, muscular horses.


Black leadership on the steps of Baltimore City Hall


Dozens of major fires set by rioters. In one case a rioter tried to cut a fire hose near a hydrant.




Posted April 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Ten cities that face major earthquake hazard   Leave a comment

Markosun's Blog


I’m glad I live in Manitoba.  I dislike blizzards and -30 wind chill.  But at least I don’t have to live with the threat of my apartment building shaking and collapsing on top of me.

Recent photo from Chile:

These are the top ten cities in the world that face the most serious threat from earthquakes.

San Francisco

More than any other U.S. city, San Francisco is known for major earthquakes, most famously the 1906 quake that caused a fire that destroyed much of the city. Later research into the earthquake led to the discovery of the San Andreas Fault. Frisco remains at high risk for a big one: Between now and 2032, there’s a 62 percent chance of a quake stronger than 6.6 on the Richter scale.


Situated on the North Anatolian fault line—one of the most active in the world—Istanbul has been on earthquake watch for…

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Posted April 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

President Obama becomes Comedian in Chief at the White House Correspondents Dinner   Leave a comment


Posted April 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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U.S. Navy Super-Advanced Drone achieves autonomous air-to-air refuelling   Leave a comment


The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) designed for carrier-based operations. Developed by the American defense technology company Northrop Grumman, the X-47 project began as part of DARPA’s J-UCAS program, and subsequently became part of the United States Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The X-47B is a tailless jet-powered flying wing capable of semi-autonomous operation and aerial refuelling.

The X-47B first flew in 2011, and as of 2015, its two active demonstrators are undergoing flight and operational integration testing, having successfully performed a series of land- and carrier-based demonstrations. In August 2014, the US Navy announced that it had integrated the X-47B into carrier operations alongside manned aircraft. Northrop Grumman intends to develop the prototype X-47B into a battlefield-ready aircraft, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system, which will enter service in the 2020s. The X-47B demonstrators themselves will become museum exhibits after their flight testing is complete.


An X-47B demonstrator receiving fuel from an Omega Boeing 707 tanker while airborne over the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Test Range on 22 April 2015

The machines are taking over! Skynet?

Posted April 27, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Jet Skis on the Red River in April!   Leave a comment

April 26, 2015

Summer has come early to Manitoba. It was +22 C (72 F) today in Winnipeg and people were outside in droves. Astonishingly there was a couple jet skis cruising the Red River today.  It is usually mid-June before those water sleds appear on the rivers of The Peg.  But there they were.

april 26

Another sign of summer was the ice cream trike moving down the street. Not exactly ice cream weather, but it was the image that was cool.

april 26a

The river walk was inundated west of the Midtown Bridge, but dry east of the bridge. The walk seems to get slightly lower as it nears the Legislative grounds.

april 26e

april 26c

april 26f

The current on the Assiniboine River was rushingEven the ducks and geese had to stick to the shore.

april 26d



Posted April 26, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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