The Crisis That Is Human Resources

Aug 6, 2022

 Employment Agency from Chumps at Oxford, 1940.

What is called Human Resources departments do not really represent the vision of the business owner although they are hired to execute it. These departments are separated from the management of the business; they have their own vision and decision even if they claim otherwise. In fact, their main purpose is to disappoint and make it almost impossible for any one to get the job, and when they choose the best candidate in their opinion, that person may not be of the best interest for the company. The business owner is the one who should sit and talk to the applicants no matter how many of them. The process should be direct for fairness and for success and progress. If the manager is unable to meet with the job seekers, then he is unfit to even administer his own business. Lately, the Human Resources was re-branded with a new name: Talent Acquisition, and this shows that there is something wrong with this section that exists in almost every business. On the other hand, employment agencies are a different thing as their job is to send seekers to whoever wants to hire people. The Human Resources poses a risk and is detrimental not only to the business it works from within, or from the outside, but also to employment and society in general.

The Internet Top Picture Colorist

Aug 1, 2022

Olga Shirnina

By Ehab H.

Olga Shirnina is the Internet top picture colorist and probably one of the world’s best. Besides the House of the Romanovs, she colorized other royal families photographs, Hollywood stars and many old miscellaneous pictures. Her colorization style is very special, real, authentic and full of life. I had the pleasure to ask Ms. Shirnina a few questions:

Editor: Who or what encouraged you to get into the world of photo colorization?
Ms. Shirnina: I'm a German/Russian translator. When one has to translate a long and boring text there is always a temptation to do something else, at least for a while. First I just played with graphic editors entertaining my friends with photomontage. Some images worked out well except black and white. I searched the Internet for ways to add colors to black and white images and made my first attempts. Then I got a book about color theory to translate and it helped to structure my knowledge about colors, I learned a lot about color harmonies, complementary colors, etc. And of course I wanted to put it into practice. It was so interesting that I got involved in this more and more. Then I was invited by Mr. Doug Banks from the UK to a Colorists community and saw how many people from different countries, professions and ages have the same hobby as I do. It was amazing and gave a new impulse to my work.
Editor: What makes the colors of your pictures look ‘real’?
Ms. Shirnina: In my first steps, I followed the lessons I found on the Internet but the results didn’t satisfy me for reasons: 1. the techniques were too complicated and 2. the colors didn't look ‘real’. So, being a lazy person, I tried to find an easier way. The main idea was very simple: I took colors from modern color photos and used several layers to achieve the result ‘as if that old picture was taken with a smartphone or a modern camera’. It is not always possible because of the quality of old photos but if people say ‘it looks as if it was taken yesterday’ then it was a success.
Editor: Is there a story behind the handle ‘Klimbim’ or why you decided to use it?
Ms. Shirnina: I needed something short and simple to mark my colorings and since it wasn't something serious to me, kind of entertaining, so I thought of ‘Klimbim’ ⁠— a German word meaning something like ‘knick-knack, odds and ends, bits and bobs, etc.’
Editor: What was the first picture you colorized that became trending, spread like wild fire and brought unprecedented attention to you?
Ms. Shirnina: No idea! I enjoyed my hobby peacefully and felt comfortable among the Colorists community where all were so friendly to each other at the time. I didn't think about publicity because I was sure that colorization is not to everyone's taste. And then I noticed that I am getting more and more visitors to my pages. The reason probably was that from Hollywood beauties, which is very good for trying new techniques, then I changed to historical photos and there are many history lovers and experts. After someone posted my colorings on Russian websites, I got tons of critics: they noticed the smallest buttons on the uniforms and if the color was ‘wrong’, etc. But it taught me indeed to be more careful with details. Anyway, I think the most popular coloring I have made is that of the Romanov family. Firstly, it really turned out well and secondly, it still causes discussions because of the Tsar’s shirt. Many people think that it should be Khaki or ‘Russian green’ but in fact it was Raspberry-Red! Mr. Andrey Malov, an expert in military uniforms, helped me to colorize this image correctly in the historical context.

 Colorized photograph exclusively presented by Ms. Shirnina: A.P. Chekhov reading his play 'The Seagull' to the artists of the Moscow Art Theater, 1899.

Editor: Do you know if any of the descendants of the House of Romanovs expressed their admiration of the colorized photographs or your work?
Ms. Shirnina: Not that I know of. Actually, most of their photos I colorized are for the book “The Romanov Royal Martyrs”. May be some of the descendants have seen it.
Editor: Are there any other hobbies that you have besides colorization?
Ms. Shirnina: Reading, traveling and sometimes cooking. Lately I discovered a great recipe of how to fry delicious quails fast and easy. And tomorrow I'm going to buy strawberries from local farmers and make a flavorsome jam.
Editor: What is your favorite music or who do you usually like to listen to?
Ms. Shirnina: My music collection is sort of eclectic: classic, pop, folk and rock but almost all not modern things. Liana "Fado", Russian folk songs, Maria Callas and Orthodox Chants, Eugen Cicero and Glenn Gould, etc., depending on what I'm doing or in what mood I'm in. A friend told me, not long ago, about Jeff Buckley and now I'm a fan of him though his music makes me sad sometimes.

In turn, I’d like to say on behalf of the Herald Tribune magazine, keep up the good work Ms. Shirnina, you really are doing a unique job and we truly wish you the best of luck in your life, career and hobbies.

Profile: Mary Costes

Mar 22, 2022

Mary Costes with a high toque made of black feathers with a side arrangement of yellow flowers by Louise Bourbon. Photo by d' Ora. Credit: Ullstein Bild

 Photo dedicated to Egyptian magazine, Al Lataif Al Musawara in September 1930
 Mary, a candidate at the Grand Prix of Elegance at the Great Palace, walks in front of the jury on June 23, 1932 in Paris, France. Credit: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone

After September 2, 1930, Mary Costes, the 27-year-old film actress, became a world famous personality when her husband Dieudonné Costes, along with Maurice Bellonte, flew from Paris to New York in 37 hours and 18 minutes. Their house at 14 Marronniers Street was teeming with visitors and well-wishers. At the time, Mary had only been in Paris for 3 years and was willing to go to Hollywood once her contract with her film company would expire. Mary, born Princess Mary Vatchnadze, is of Caucasian origin and descends from an old Georgian family.

Myrna Loy Wearing From Saks Fifth Avenue

Mar 20, 2022

A rare, uncirculated photograph of Myrna Loy wearing a dress from Saks Fifth Avenue was originally published by Vogue magazine on October 15, 1935. The costume was a ruby-red velvet, wide-skirted dress with a close-fitting bodice outlined in Point de Venis along with a Reboux's flirtatious red feather hat. Jewels were from Brand-Chatillon.

Midnight Mystery, 1930 Film Critique

Mar 11, 2022

Ivan Lebedeff, Betty Compson and Hugh Trevor in Midnight Mystery, 1930.

Sally Wayne was right about her interest in novels. That certain interest saved Gregory Sloane for a murder he didn't commit. Her detective twist at the end was great, but there are points that are not convincing, not her acting but scenes that could have been added or handled better. When Sally went upstairs crying with Tom following her after finding Mischa's body and seeing Gregory pleading for his innocence, she closed the door and started the Valine/Poison experiment. The scene was not clear enough to show that Sally was well aware that Tom is following her and is certainly coming to her room. It could have been someone else that drinks the mixed alcohol. The most important scene which the entire film is dependent on is Tom's confession. When asked how she knew he was going to confess and she said it was from a novel, that was a relatively weak point because he simply may have not confessed. When Sally took Tom's button from Mischa's hand and while the rescuer, as he said himself at the end, watched her, he didn't say anything at the time though it was alarming. A simple and quick scene could have been added for a smooth sequence and to prepare the viewer that there was a dummy or more in the house that will be later used for Mischa's corpse. It was sudden without any previous reference to see that Gregory had one and dressed it for that purpose.

A Song That No Longer Exists

Feb 23, 2022

"You'll Be Sorry Just Too Late" was apparently a popular song by Billy Gaston, released in 1907. Oliver Hardy sang part of it in The Laughing Gravy's 3 reel version in 1931 which starts after the twenty fourth minute in the film. Although the lyrics and the sheet music exist on the Web, I'm yet to find one single record of the song apart from Hardy's performance, but thanks to Mr. Hardy for letting us know about the tune. Published by Shapiro Music Publisher, Cor Broadway & Thirty Ninth Street, New York, the lyrics are:

I feel blue, all through you,
And you ought to feel so too;
When you’re cross, it’s your lose,
You just cannot be my boss.
Though I love you, that you know,
Say you’re sorry or else I’ll go.
If I do, bad for you,
You’ll go lonely all life through.

You’ll be sorry just too late,
When my love has turned to hate.
Then you miss my kiss each day,
And a little girl at play;
Say you’re sorry, cross your heart,
Then I’ll give you one more start,
If you are, don’t hesitate,
You’ll be sorry just too late.

Don’t forget, you’ll regret,
Soon my heart will be to let,
You may bide, by it’s side,
But it will be well occupied.
Say you’re sorry, then I’ll know,
That you don’t want me to go.
Don’t refuse, you may loose,
I have lots of beaus to choose.

Love From Salmagundi

Feb 18, 2022

Undated Love Letter written on a Salmagundi Club paper was sold on eBay on January 3, 2018 for undisclosed amount as mentioned by WorthPoint. I think the time of the letter ranges from early 1900 to 1940s. It is probably missing one page as the back side is marked with "2" and starts with "sufficient" being lower case and written mid sentence. The way Charles expresses his love to Betty is poetic, artistic and sweet. The letter reads: "Can anyone blame for loving you then as I do seeing it is all so true. Until I see or hear from you time will stand still. Were life to offer me nothing more would it not suffice to have been loved and love a masterpiece. "Truth is Beauty and Beauty is Truth" the poet said. I say Truth is Betty and Betty is Truth. That is all I know and is good for me. Adieux, Charles."

~ Missing paper.

"... sufficient for the whole human race to be absolved for this weakness as God had created us as we are full of desire and surrounded with temptation. The story of Adam and Eve brings me back to the realms of art i.e. pictures. Pictures make me think of Titian and you recall to me Titian's Venuses. If Art has done nothing more for me it has given me the power to see life with its own eyes. When I clasp you in my arms it is as if I possessed an Italian Venus of the Renaissance so full of life and richness that it had burst from its frame and encompassed me taking on warmth and breath. These are not words but what I really feel at the time and the memory lives after. When your head with its rich dark hair is thrown back in sweet, soft abandon exposing the poetry of your neck and shoulders with one elbow raised and the other arm outstretched and your lovely feet gently crossed then it is a perfect Titian. In the dim light I see you it would be a sensuous poem of Verlaine."