Prompt for 2017-06-22

Jun. 22nd, 2017 10:45 pm
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Today's prompt is "going back to where it all began".

Colin Kolles to take over Sauber helm

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm
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Former Force India boss Colin Kolles is tipped to succeed the ousted Monisha Kaltenborn at the top of the Swiss team Sauber.
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A former F1 driver has urged Max Verstappen to "keep quiet" and "not worry", amid speculation he wants to move on from his current team Red Bull Racing.

Bratches eyes pay-TV future for F1

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:40 am
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New F1 boss Sean Bratches says the sport will continue on the path of switching more coverage to pay TV platforms.
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Jean Todt has not denied that a new team might be lining up to enter formula one.

Ferrari takes engine upgrade to Baku

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:20 am
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Ferrari is taking an engine upgrade to this weekend's grand prix on the streets of Baku.
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Gerhard Berger's nephew is not ready to confirm reports he will make his F1 test debut in Hungary.

I Need More Space

Jun. 22nd, 2017 10:30 am
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Posted by Ellis Morning

Beach litter, Winterton Dunes - - 966905

Shawn W. was a newbie support tech at a small company. Just as he was beginning to familiarize himself with its operational quirks, he got a call from Jim: The Big Boss.

Dread seized Shawn. Aside from a handshake on Interview Day, the only "interaction" he'd had with Jim thus far was overhearing him tear into a different support rep about having to deal with "complicated computer crap" like changing passwords. No doubt, this call was bound to be a clinic in saintly patience.

"Tech Support," Shawn greeted. "How may—?"

"I'm out of space and I need more!" Jim barked over the line.

"Oh." Shawn mentally geared up for a memory or hard drive problem. "Did you get a warning or error mes—?"

"Just get up here and bring some more space with you!" Jim hung up.

"Oh, boy," Shawn muttered to himself.

Deciding that he was better off diagnosing the problem firsthand, Shawn trudged upstairs to Jim's office. To his pleasant surprise, he found it empty. He sank into the cushy executive-level chair. Jim hadn't been away long enough for any screensavers or lock screens to pop up, so Shawn had free rein to examine the machine.

There wasn't much to find. The only program running was a web browser, with a couple of tabs open to and an investment portfolio. The hardware itself was fairly new. CPU, memory, hard drive all looked fine.

"See, I'm out of space. Did you bring me more?"

Shawn glanced up to find Jim barreling toward him, steaming mug of coffee in hand. He braced himself as though facing down an oncoming freight train. "I'm not sure I see the problem yet. Can you show me what you were doing when you noticed you needed more space?"

Jim elbowed his way over to the mouse, closed the browser, then pointed to the monitor. "There! Can't you see I'm out of space?"

Indeed, Jim's desktop was full. So many shortcuts, documents, widgets, and other icons crowded the screen that the tropical desktop background was barely recognizable as such.

While staring at what resembled the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane, Shawn debated his response. "OK, I see what you mean. Let's see if we can—"

"Can't you just get me more screen?" Jim pressed.

More screen? "You mean another monitor?" Shawn asked. "Well, yes, I could add a second monitor if you want one, but we could also organize your desktop a little and—"

"Good, get me one of those! Don't touch my icons!" Jim shooed Shawn away like so much lint. "Get out of my chair so I can get back to work."

A short while later, Shawn hooked up a second monitor to Jim's computer. This prompted a huge and unexpected grin from the boss. "I like you, you get things done. Those other guys would've taken a week to get me more space!"

Shawn nodded while stifling a snort. "Let me know if you need anything else."

Once Jim had left for the day, Shawn swung past the boss' office out of morbid curiosity. Jim had already scattered a few dozen shortcuts across his new real estate. Another lovely vacation destination was about to endure a serious littering problem.

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2017 Azerbaijan GP Pre-Race Stats

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:27 pm
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Posted by JackStatMan

After a disappointing race last year the Baku City Circuit reappears, this time as the Azerbaijan GP rather than the European GP.

Each lap of the track is a mammoth 6.003km, shorter only than the 7.004km of Spa Francorchamps. After 51 laps of (hopefully) racing, the total distance is 306.153km with 20 corners per lap. Some people will incorrectly claim that the circuit has a 2.2km long straight, these people are wrong. The actual “straight” is 1.2km, or 1.6km with one minor kink. The 2.2km long section is flat out, but it is not a straight by any definition of the word.

As there has only been one previous race at the track there aren’t really very many stats to give, especially as the race had Rosberg on pole, Rosberg fastest lap, Rosberg win and every single lap led by, you guessed it, Rosberg. However his retirement does mean that a new winner in Azerbaijan is guaranteed, the only question is will the car be silver or red?

Last year Vettel finished in second and Perez in third, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them up there again, Force India are generally very good on these kinds of track. More points could be on the cards for rookie Lance Stroll too, after debut points at his home grand prix he will be hungry for more and the Williams should perform well.

The Silly Stats

I know very little about Azerbaijan, but apparently the Karabakh horse is the national animal of Azerbaijan, one of those horses could run a lap of the Baku City Circuit in 6:29.664

The post 2017 Azerbaijan GP Pre-Race Stats appeared first on The F1 Stat Blog.

Get Thee to a Biographer!

Jun. 21st, 2017 03:50 pm
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Posted by Kirsty Stonell Walker

You should by this point know what I'm like.  I really adore finding out about the waifs and strays of art history, finding those women who fall between the cracks and bringing their lives, well, to life because honestly everyone has an interesting life in one way or another.  Even if your moment under the artist's pencil (or even the artist) was brief, I bet something else happened in your life.  No-one only gets only one moment of interest.  So I have a little fact-heap of ladies I look into, finding out more about them until I have enough to bring you.  Imagine my delight when I set about researching two of Rossetti's models which had been somewhat overlooked - Would I find out that they had gone mad?  Did they have unexplained children? Have scandalous love affairs and appalling marriages?

In the past I have found out all of these things about Victorian models.  This time things were a little different.  This is the story of Agnes Manetti and Ada Vernon...

The Laurel (1864) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Let's start with Agnes Manetti, because I've always found her a nice, larger-than-life character.  She was described by William Michael Rossetti as 'a Scotch woman in London, with a handsome pleasing face, more especially a fine profile.' So far, so good, but it doesn't last as he goes on to describe her as 'of no rigid virtue' and looking like Napoleon.  He knows how to flatter a girl, that one.  William Michael is not the most reliable of character witnesses, being a bit of a pig at times, but also he is usually recollecting much after the event, sometimes as much as 40 years, so I suppose I ought to forgive him.  But I don't.

Agnes Manetti (1862) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The problem is that we tend to take what people like William Michael say as gospel, which it should be as he was actually there.  However, he is a careless biographer of people he does not consider important and so the women who were mere fleeting fancies get the history applied to them that William Michael thinks appropriate.  When it comes to someone like Fanny Cornforth, his recollections are stronger because he loathed her so much.  With people like Agnes Manetti, he could probably barely remember her.  He certainly couldn't remember her surname.  Was he even thinking of her at the time?  When asked about Agnes in 1904, William Michael recalled that his brother's 'principle painting from her is named Monna Pomona'.

Monna Pomona (1864) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
 Slight problem is that the model for the painting wasn't Agnes...

Okay, so enough of William Michael's nonsense, is there anyone who actual remembered her?  Gosh I wish there was a promiscuous slut-bag who fancied everyone and kept a diary...

Oh, George Price Boyce, how lovely to see you again!
My favourite hot Victorian diarist, George Price Boyce came to my rescue once more.  If you have never read his diary I thoroughly recommend it because George was a one for the ladies and made it his business to meet all the models, give them presents and feed them.  I appreciate a man who gives a girl breakfast, and so it was with Agnes Manetti.  In 1862, Boyce saw images of Agnes, who he referred to as 'Fatty Aggie M' when he visited Rossetti.  He seems to imply in his diary entry of October 22 1862 that Rossetti has been using Agnes as his 'Joan of Arc' even though William Michael identified the model as a 'Mrs Beyer'.  Anyway, in January of 1863, Agnes comes round to breakfast at Boyce's bachelor pad and he draws her then gives her 'a little Florentine mosaic brooch' which I'm sure isn't a euphemism.

La Castagnetta (1860s) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Rossetti drew Agnes many times in a two year period, but only seemed to use her in a couple of paintings.  La Castagnetta is believed to be her, as is a watercolour of Sweet Tooth, an image of a girl eating fruit (which is one he repeated with Fanny Cornforth at this time too).

Sweet Tooth (watercolour) (1864) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Aggie (Sweet Tooth) (1864) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
There are a number of images of Fanny Cornforth eating and much is made of the link between these and her weight.  Possibly too, for someone called 'Fatty Aggie', there is a link being made between her sensual love of eating and her weight, also linked to sensuality.  Thinking about it, if Aggie is seen has a bit loose in her morals, as was Fanny, is there a link being made between fat, eating and debauchery.  Look at those grapes (or whatever they are) hanging out of her mouth!  Saucy wench!

The Hair Net (1862) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
So, to the research! Come on, with a name like Agnes Manetti, she won't be too hard to find....  So what do we know?  She was called Agnes, that we know as at least two people call her that, without speech-marks mostly, and she might have been Scottish, or 'Scotch' (a term which I think only applies to the drink, frankly).  I could not find an Agnes Manetti, but there are certainly a ton of Scottish Agneses (Agni?) in London in the 1860s.  Okay, so we'll start with Manetti, which was felt to be an odd name for a Scottish girl (discounting the Italian influx, obviously).  There we have more luck.  There are two gentlemen in London in 1861 with the surname 'Manetti'.  First of all we have Joseph, a Tuscan bank clerk (the best kind of bank clerk) who married first Frances (who died), then Martha, but neither wife was Scottish, let alone had 'Agnes' in their name.  On then to the fabulously named Raimondo Felix Manetti, a Spanish sculptor, who married Fanny Mills, a London girl.  They travelled about quite a bit by the look of them, so possibly they had come down from Scotland before settling in London, but Fanny was far too young, having only been in born in 1850.  No luck on any front there then, but I may have a suggestion about part of her name...

In March 1860 the journal The Scottish Gardener ran an article about 'The Manetti Bubble'.  The Manetti shrub rose was wildly popular, although not everyone was a fan, the article calling it 'fair at first sight, but the more we know of him the less we value him'.  It's hard to know how Agnes came by the surname but by Boyce's recollection of her, it appears she took it herself.  Could she have named herself after a type of popular Scottish rose?  It's tempting to wonder if she was called Agnes at all in that case because another shrub rose is the 'Agnes'.  Did she just name herself after roses?  As Boyce does not call her "Agnes" (in speech-marks), suggesting he knows it's a made up name (like he does with "Fanny"), I think we should believe she was called Agnes, but as for the surname, who can tell?  Rossetti was a lover of flowers and used them intelligently in his paintings so possibly he christened Wee Scottish Aggie after the rose she was. After all, as William Michael says she is beautiful in Monna Pomona.  Only that's not her.  That's Ada Vernon.  Damn it!

Ada Vernon (1863) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
See, there's another problem.  When two models look alike, who can tell which of them is the right model?  Enter stage left, Ada Vernon, the real model for Monna Pomona, and how do we know?  Because George Price Boyce fancied her.  Of course he did.  From his diary in February 1864, Rossetti 'has been painting on the drawing of "Ada" and the apple.  It is most exquisite.'  There is a letter to Ada from Rossetti, dated January 1864, postponing their meeting but asking her to come the next day 'as early as you can manage - and please come with your hair very nice indeed.'  Not only Monna Pomona has been misidentified as Agnes, but there is some doubt about The Laurel which has both women's names against it, depending where you look.  Both women were dark haired, dark eyed and beautiful.  Even less is reported on Ada Vernon, so we have no idea how rigid her morals were or where she apparently came from.  All we know is that she was going to marry a gentleman called Hemblen, according to the Rossetti Archive.  The above drawing was apparently given to her as a wedding present.  Apparently.  Okay, so Hemblen isn't a very common name, she'll be easy to find, right?

Ada Vernon (1863-5) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The above picture of Ada was part of a job lot that Boyce bought from Rossetti in 1865.  Something that caught my eye was the fact that Boyce put quotes around Ada's name the first time he spoke about her, which immediately put me on my guard.  First of all I searched for 'Hemblen' and variations and any marriages around that time to anyone with a name like Ada Vernon.  Lawks, nothing at all.  I also searched for Ada Vernon, again with not much hope, and certainly nothing that really fitted.  However there was a young man in Chelsea at that time, called Edmond Hamblen.  Sadly he ended his days without marrying Miss Vernon, and he was last seen in the 1901 census living with his widowed sister.  So what if Ada intended to marry but for some reason it just never happened?  Are there any unmarried Ada Vernons who might fit our bill?  Oddly, I was drawn to one who died in Croydon in 1917.  Ada Mary Vernon, born in 1842 in Worcestershire, had been an art needleworker.  It's not out of the question that she was in some way connected with the Morris family in the early 1860s, via embroidery, and that was where Rossetti found her.  I agree, it's tenuous...

Miss Ada Vernon, actress

Possibly a slightly more plausible explanation is Miss Ada Vernon, who was an actress, which might explain Boyce's quotation marks around her name.  Miss Vernon seemed a busy, if not successful actress in the early 1860s, mentioned in The Era for her portrayal of Mary in The Farmer's Story (November 1865).  She was given the review that 'with further practice [she] will probably be able to realise a serious situation more forcibly than at present.' Thank you, I think.  When reviewed for her role in The Rivals, Tatler felt she was 'excellent', but from the faint praise given by her many reviewers she was never really a threat to Ellen Terry.  She appears in Rossetti's art around the same period as Ruth Herbert, so possibly he met her through Ruth.  Who can tell?  What becomes clear is that neither Ada or Agnes had families who remembered, nor children who carried the story down. Neither of them were in Rossetti's life long enough to become ingrained in the stories, nor so they seem to have written their histories themselves.  Was Agnes one of the hundreds of Scottish girls, working in service in London who was given a pretty name to suit her face?  Was Ada an actress or an embroiderer?  Why didn't she marry Mr Hamblen?  Had things turned out differently I might have been the author of Hoots! The Fall and Rise of Agnes Manetti but some people get lost in time. 

Especially if you are a woman.  A childless woman. An unmarried woman. No-one will remember you.

Well, that's a jolly note to end on, but this is the lesson of Aggie and Ada. Childless, unmarried women leave no memories sadly, which is brutal but true. By 'childless' I mean a woman without any descendants, either theirs or step-children or even nephews and nieces. It's interesting who comes crawling out of the woodwork on anniversaries of artists births and deaths, with tales of their model relatives.  Reading the centenary pieces on Rossetti you'd think most of London had posed for him, some of them even after he had died.  It stems from family narratives, great aunt so-and-so telling the story of when Rossetti painted her, or when she let Boyce give her a mosaic brooch (my new favourite euphemism). If you have no access to the younger generation who will carry your flame you will just have to do it yourself.

For a Victorian model to be remembered it helps to have been memorable, and I don't just mean in the good way.  Irritate the hell out of the right people and they will hang onto that grudge forever.

Just ask that nut-throwing, illiterate, thieving prostitute, Fanny Cornforth.

Carey plays down 2018 triple header

Jun. 21st, 2017 02:10 pm
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Chase Carey has played down the 'triple header' that will take place in F1 next year.
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Chase Carey has played down speculation next year's 21-race calendar could actually drop to 19 grands prix.
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Toto Wolff says Mercedes will "take our time" in deciding whether to keep Valtteri Bottas for 2018.
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Toto Wolff is still reluctant to talk about the possibility of Mercedes supplying customer engines to McLaren next year.

Honda not ruling out F1 help

Jun. 21st, 2017 01:30 pm
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Honda is no longer ruling out accepting help as it looks to finally get up to speed in F1.
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Next year's football World Cup is one reason organisers of the Russian grand prix pushed for a date change for 2018.
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Monisha Kaltenborn has played down the impact the potential McLaren-Honda split might have on Sauber.

McLaren eyeing Sainz as 2018 plan B?

Jun. 21st, 2017 12:50 pm
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McLaren is lining up Carlos Sainz as a 'plan B' in the event Fernando Alonso quits the team after 2017.

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