Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

_statues of dictators

The 17th of December 2011 saw the death of the "Dear Leader" of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il. Reputed to have been the largest single customer of Hennessy Cognac at a time when 2 million members of the North Korean population starved to death Kim - Il maintained his leadership through an elaborate cult of personality. One tactic this diminutive ruler employed, like many dictators before him, was the extravagant and monumental reconstruction of himself as a giant statue. Below is Jong-Il's statue, or rather an image of it from the North Korean military newspaper "Chosun People's Army" as well as a few more examples from around the world;

Kim Jong-Il, one of the 'Three Mt. Baekdu Generals' dressed in military uniform at the Revolutionary History Museum of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, revealed on 11th May 2010

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

_swift, safe, sure. the george bennie railplane system of transport.

In Britain we tend to lag behind the rest of the world with regards to advances in mass transit systems. Japan has had the bullet train since the mid 1960s as well as more recently the MAGLEV in China and South Korea while we drag our feet with the implementation of connecting our capital with the rest of the country using a high speed rail network. This lag does however betray a national rail engineering pedigree; Stephenson is the “father of the railways”building the world’s first public railway while the first commercial MAGLEV line ran at Birmingham airport, owing its existence to Professor Eric Laithwaite. One other lesser known rail project is the George Bennie‘Railplane’ of 1929 based in Milngavie, south of Glasgow.