Sunday, August 29, 2010

Curved Elegance: Stylish Cars!

I know I haven't really done anything related to cars yet, but I thought I'd post some thoughts related to them. I find it sad that the flowing curves that used to grace cars and carriages of the past have been abandoned in favor of bland, disposable, 'modern' shapes that go out of date just in time for us to buy a new model with different angles and features. There are so many models to cover, I can only highlight a few here... I'll write about more later as I come upon them!

In honor of the cars with sweeping curves, I present to you the following Delahaye automobile from 1947:

Unfortunately, my understanding is that French taxes during the 1950's drove this luxury brand out of existance... :(

Here's another example (Delahaye Roadster car model 135 MS):

Here's another lovely curved model... (Porsche 356 Preens):

Scene at 10 Downing Street:

The 1953 Corvette is another great example:

Jaguar from 1952:

Great closeup of a Jaguar XK 150...

This Maserati bumper picture is great!

Here's an awesome clip on some of the history of the Jaguar XK 120... this is a truly beautiful car!

I've found actually there are two manufacturers of vehicles which have at least recently still made classically inspired vehicles... as I find more, I will feature them.

First, Jaguar has had a resurgence in their retro vehicles during the 1990's and 2000's, although they were unfortunately recently discontinued. Here's a clip of the new S-Type which is themed on the Mark II (this ad here does a great job of showing the old and new):

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Here's a picture of the UK variant of the new S-Type: (from Wikipedia)

Additionally, I've noticed that Morgan Motorcars in the United Kingdom still makes cars that look like they were designed in the 1930's and before! Check out their website...

I'll close this out with a picture of the new Jaguar S-Type (2005) at night:

Update: one more XK120 video!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Northanger Abbey is Adorable!

Originally when I read Northanger Abbey, I found it to be a fun read... but I never really enjoyed it nearly as much as I do now, having seen iTV's period drama adaptation!

I'm going to go through a couple of pictures to show you a few glimpses of the loveliness in the film... simply: the story is beautiful, the characters are deep and yet funny as well as personable, and the costumes and music are absolutely wonderful! I strongly recommend this film! These are just a very few and only cover about 1/3 of the movie length... my hope is they will encourage you to see the whole thing... I will probably post more on specific style/fashion posts later, because some of the outfits are just so noteworthy that they deserve more than a cursory overview!

Catherine, the heroine, discovers love in spite of her ridiculous notions, fueled by the popular gothic novels of the Regency. Mr. Tilney actually sees through her and enjoys teasing her quite a bit... making the larger part of the film rather sarcastic and very funny! 

I love how innocent and naive Catherine is, she remains her honesty and propriety regarding the world and relationships even to the very end after getting mixed up with some influences who do not have her best interest at heart. In short, Catherine is a very cute sort of heroine... it's quite difficult to think ill of her, unless you insist on having jaded characters... that you will not find her to be! (I don't think she's weak, I think she's just naive... she never let's up on what she believes is right, which is a clear sign of strength)

The film also has a number of serious moments and they really add depth. This isn't just a comedy, it has a good deal of moral opinion and advice built into it, just like Jane Austen's other novels. Thankfully though, it of course ends well... although I won't tell you how the story gets there. You will have to read the book and then watch this film!

PBS Trailer:

Please go here to find the iTV Jane Austen series trailer:

 (note: there are some scenes which may require a little discretion from my good readers, depending on your opinions on modesty)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Piano Improvisation: Reflections in August

The melody for this piece is inspired off of the music in the 2008 Sense and Sensibility from the BBC by Martin Phipps. I clearly did not fully imitate him and varied greatly, so I think I'm good on the whole fair use thing.

Here's a download link, I wish I had a little player for the blog, but I'm still working on figuring out the best way to do that... :) Again, I play by ear and don't understand music theory, so not all of you are necessarily going to like it... enjoy!

Click here to download Reflections in August, Tonight on the Piano: Various Experiments, Justin Gist Preuninger

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brigadier General Mordecai Gist + Maryland Governor's Office

As it turns out, I am Brigadier General Mordecai Gist's 1st cousin, 8th removed! I had the special privilege of meeting the Governor at a fundraiser a year ago, and when he saw my middle name, he instantly remembered the existence of the portrait you see now. Governor Martin O'Malley has been known for participating in 1812 reenactment activities at Fort McHenry, so similar era. I believe he is something of a history buff, as he knows all the details about Gist and other figures of the era. His walls are full of various historical figures, as the panorama I was so kindly permitted to take will show you... :D As my work was recently having a retreat in Annapolis, I was finally in the area to see it, and his staff was so gracious as to help arrange my visit and allow me to take the pictures here!

Please visit the wikipedia article hereto linked, because the history of who Mordecai Gist was and the service he rendered Maryland would take too much space to fully and justly relate here. Suffice to say, Gist fought a number of battles bravely, particularly in South Carolina and was present at the Surrender of Cornwallis. He later settled in South Carolina.

Click on the picture to enlarge... there is a lot of detail!!!

And some closeup pictures:

This is a cutout of the panorama above. :)

Photographs taken and posted by Justin Gist Preuninger, with permission from the Office of the Governor of the State of Maryland

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More social features!

I've just created a special facebook page for my blog, which will automatically receive new articles from the blog, as well as random postings I might make on the fly. Please feel free to join my page at on facebook by clicking here!

All of these combined will be mentioned via twitter alerts at