Saturday Scenes

Thu 28 July 2011

The Gimli Glider

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:26

On the 23rd of July 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 ran out of fuel flying at 41,000 feet. Both engines failed and the plane glided to an emergency landing at Gimli, an abandoned Royal Canadian Air Force Base in Canada. This gained the aircraft the affectionate nickname “The Gimli Glider.”

But how could a commercial jet simply run out of fuel? The sequence of events is somewhat convoluted but in the end, it came down to a conversion fault.

Fear of Landing » The Gimli Glider

The maintenance crew worked out how many litres of fuel were needed to make up 22,300kg of fuel, then subtracted the 7,682 litres on board and then used the fuel gauge on the refuelling truck to fill the aircraft tanks with the remaining required litres of fuel.

Canada was at this time changing from imperial to metric. The Boeing 767 was the first plane in the fleet to measure fuel in kilograms rather than pounds.

The maintenance crew had a multiplier of 1.77 for converting from litres. Somehow, no one noticed that this figure was for a conversion to pounds, not kilograms.

The flight required 22,300kg on board. The maintenance crew reported that the plane had 22,300kg of fuel on board. It actually had 22,300 pounds of fuel, just over 10,000kg. Less than half of what they needed to reach their destination.

However, quick actions on the part of both the pilot and the co-pilot brought the plane to ground safely. The Gimli Glider remained in service until 2008.

On 23 July 2011, people took photographs which were measured in millimetres and inches and pixels and bytes. And every single one was beautiful:

And here are those who submitted:

We want to see MORE photographs of places! Simply tweet the location of your photograph (taken on a Saturday) to @SatScenes to be included.

Follow SatScenes for more details and you’ll never miss another edition.

Fri 22 July 2011

Another Self-Portrait Saturday

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 15:29

I herewith declare Self-Portrait Saturday to be an official annual Summer tradition (well, an annual Winter tradition for upside-down SatScene submitters). You can enjoy our previous collections here:

Who Are You: June 2009

Who Are You: June 2010

And now we’ve done it again!

This Saturday, we had a number of gorgeous traditional submissions but also a tremendous amount of interesting self-portraits, including action shots and artistic close-ups. I have really enjoyed the variety that you all have come up with. Take a look!

And these are the lovely people* who posted this week.

* not all scenes are self-portraits. It’s not a requirement, only a request. The traditional submissions are generally self-evident but just to be clear, I’ve marked the images which are not self-portraits with an asterisk.†

† Although I’m not 100% sure about HeideSpruck in Mannheim. The likeness is phenomenal.

Thu 14 July 2011

But is it Art?

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:57

On the 9th of July in 1962, Andy Warhol opened a one-man gallery exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition consisted of thirty-two 20-inch canvases, each with a portrait of a can of Campbell’s soup.

There are various theories as to why the artist chose soup cans for his art but the most likely is that it was gallerist Muriel Latow who suggested the idea in the first place.

Andy Warhol Soup Cans

[Andy Warhol] said, ‘The cartoon paintings… it’s too late. I’ve got to do something that really will have a lot of impact, that will be different enough from Lichtenstein and Rosenquist, that will be very personal, that won’t look like I’m doing exactly what they’re doing.’ And he said, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ ‘So,’ he said, ‘Muriel, you’ve got fabulous ideas. Can’t you give me an idea?’ And, so, Muriel said, ‘Yes.’ ‘But,’ she said, ‘it’s going to cost you money.’ So Andy said, ‘How much?’ So she said, ‘Fifty dollars.’ She said, ‘Get your cheque book and write me a cheque for fifty dollars.’ And Andy ran and got his cheque book, like, you know, he was really crazy and he wrote out the cheque. He said, ‘All right, Give me a fabulous idea.’ And so Muriel said, What do you like more than anything else in the world?’ So Andy said, ‘I don’t know. What?’ So she said, ‘Money’ … And so Andy said, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful.’ So then either that, or, she said, ‘you’ve got to find something that’s recognizable to almost everybody. Something you see everyday that everybody would recognize. Something like a can of Campbell’s Soup.

Everybody did recognize it and the exhibition made Warhol famous. His later pop art gained acclaim after the West Coast debut and although the Campbell’s Soup canvases were initially sold at $100 a piece, his art quickly became valuable collectors’ items. The highest price paid for a single Warhol painting was $100 million, painted a year after the soup exhibition.

And almost fifty years later, people are still debating their artistic value.

On the 9th of July in 2011, the following digitised colour prints were deemed both artistic and valuable Saturday Scenes:

Just don’t go trying to sell them for $100 million. But if you do, I want a cut!

Here are the photographers and documenters who have taken these fine photographs:

Next week: Self-Portrait Saturday! Just like every other Saturday except that you are invited — encouraged even! — to turn the camera around and take a photograph of yourself. We’ve done this two years in a row now:

The rules are simple: You have to take the photograph on Saturday, just like every other week! Simply send it in with a location and we’ll end up with a great collage.

You don’t have to take a self-portrait if you don’t want to but it sure is fun to see the faces behind the lens.

See you on Saturday?

Thu 7 July 2011

A Steampunk Sort of Saturday

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 17:33

On the 2nd of July in the year 1698, Thomas Savery patented an early steam engine. The patent does not include illustrations but is described as “a new invention for raiseing of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefitt of water nor constant windes”. Sounds useful? Although the basis for steam engines was there, the general public did not seem particularly impressed with Savery’s invention.

He wrote a book in order to convince the doubters that his steam engine was revolutionary.


I am very sensible a great many among you do as yet look on my invention of raising water by the impellent force of fire, a useless sort of a project, that never can answer my designs or pretensions … I can easily give grains of allowance for your suspicions, because I know very well what miscarriages there have been by people ignorant of what they pretend to. These I know have been so frequent, so fair and promising at first, but so short of performing what they pretended to, that your prudence and discretion will not now suffer you to believe any thing without a demonstration.

It’s always the same. I am sure there are plenty of people who suspect that perhaps Saturday Scenes is a useless sort of project but we can offer a direct demonstration to prove that is not the case.

On the 2nd of July in the year 2011, these visionaries took photographs simply because it was Saturday. Let me demonstrate:

And these are the visionaries who took them:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy!

Just take a photograph on Saturday and send it to Satscenes. It couldn’t be easier than that!

Fri 1 July 2011

Murderous Neighbours

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 18:30

On the 25th of June in 1953, John Christie was sentenced to hang for murdering his wife. He was caught when he moved out of flat in Notting Hill. The next tenant discovered a small alcove in the kitchen which had been covered over with wallpaper. Inside the alcove were three dead bodies.

After Christie was arrested, he confessed to seven murders, including that of his wife. He also confessed to murdering his neighbour Beryl Evans. Her husband, Timothy Evans, had been hanged three years earlier for the murder of their daughter, partially on the basis of testimony by John Christie. It seems clear that at least Evans knew about the murder at the time, whether or not he committed it. However, his own confession of the murder included details which were not true and when this was questioned, he implicated Christie. A later investigation concluded that Evans had probably murdered his wife but not their daughter. Popular press considered this conclusion to be a cover-up of the flawed investigation into the original murder. Eventually, Evans received a posthumous pardon. The controversy over this helped lead to the abolition of capital punishment for murder in the UK.

BBC ON THIS DAY | 25 June 1953: Christie to hang for wife’s murder

Mr Curtis-Bennett told the jury Christie had begun showing signs of hysteria as long ago as 1918. During World War I he had served in the army and lost the ability to speak for three-and-a-half years after being caught up in a mustard gas shell explosion.

It was, he concluded, no exaggeration to say Christie was “as mad as a March hare”.

And you would have to be as mad as a March hare to not enjoy this selection of Saturday scenes from the 25th of June, 2011! Take a look:

Take a moment to visit the Twitter streams of our Saturday Scene submitters:

Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!

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