Alida Valli

I watched the end of the “The Third Man” this morning before the World Cup match between Brazil and Colombia.

I was drawn to an actress I’d never heard of before who looked and sounded just like a young Judi Dench.

Alida Valli was an italian actress who gave Hollywood a try – and featured as the murder suspect in The Paradine Case by Alfred Hitchcock – but the expectations placed on her of being the next Ingrid Bergman failed to materialise.

At one stage in her career, she was touted as the most beautiful woman in the world, and in the photos below, you can see why.




Voice of Captain Scarlet dies aged 86

The guy who voiced Captain Scarlett died today, aged 86.

Francis Matthews, actor who voiced Captain Scarlet, dies aged 86 | The Guardian.

I remember watching this show as a kid and have the voice of the Mysterons burned into my cerebral cortex.

“This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know that you can hear us earth men.”

Listen to its menacing tone below…



Fantastic stuff!



Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez (Pedro) with Groucho Marx

These old videos are very, very funny.

Of course I’ve seen all the Marx brothers movies, but I’d never seen “You Bet Your Life”, Groucho’s own TV show from the 50s and early 60s.

Watching some of these old clips I was rolling about in laughter so much I was getting sore tummy muscles.

I recommend you also do a YouTube search for “You Bet Your Life Outtakes”.

You won’t be disappointed.

Epic Foot Powered (Treadle) Lathe

Below is a great video of a guy building a foot powered woodworking lathe which uses a flywheeel to maintain rotational force.

Personally, I would rethink the treadle construction and maybe use some bearings to give some longevity, but it’s just so awesome all the same!

I built a pole lathe years ago, which was connected to my lightweight shed to pull the pole back up after the down stroke from the treadle. This caused the whole shed to shake in unison with the lathe so that everyone knew when I was turning wood ;).

It looked something like this.

The idea behind a pole lathe is to use a treadle (and your foot) to push down causing the work piece to turn .

A rope is attached to the treadle at one end and a bendy pole or sapling at the other.

The rope is looped over the work piece to make it turn on the down stroke, which also tensions (bends) the pole or sapling.

During the down stroke you use your chisel to remove material from the work piece.

You take away the chisel from the work piece on the upstroke, which is provided by the pole returning to its untensioned (unbent) position.

A pole lathe works surprisingly well and can be made very cheaply.