the balloonists


Inspired by the story of Sophie Blanchard, the first professional female balloonist. Sophie was a character who obviously enjoyed flair. She cultivated an air of danger when she flew, forsaking the staid baskets of her compatriots for a tiny chariot that barely held her weight (some have described it as looking like an oversized champagne bucket). She also sometimes fired off fireworks from the balloon…which ultimately proved her undoing, the balloon catching fire and dropping Sophie unto her death.

I came across this story in ‘Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air’ by Richard Holmes. A fun read! 

Sophie Blanchard (1778-1819) was the first female balloonist in the world. She made more than 60 ascents in hot air balloons, and was given the title of “Aeronaut of Official Festivals” by Napoleon Bonaparte.

She made her first ascent in 1804, and even though she was not the first woman to ride in a hot air balloon, she was the first to pilot one on her own, and to make a career out of it. She continued to perform remarkable stunts – such as crossing the Alps in a balloon – until her death in an accident in 1819.

100 anime characters from the 60s 70s and 80s

In each Spyro game, your goal and reason for traveling is always different.

In the first Spyro game you’re saving your own world from Gnasty Gnorc and his minions, which is your own treasure that has been enchanted to turn against you. You don’t interact with anyone who isn’t an enemy (other than the balloonists) because every inhabitant has been crystallized. You’re literally traveling through your own home to free your friends.

In the second Spyro game, while your main goal is to take out Ripto, your goals to progress are largely unrelated to him, and rather just attempting to help out the inhabitants of Avalar with everyday issues (a war between two species, tikis coming to life, helping people win bets, dealing with bullies, shutting off or turning on machinery, etc). By gaining the trust of Avalar citizens, you get their talismans, which help you defeat Ripto.

In the third Spyro game, your goals are almost entirely Sorceress-centric. The sorceress has taken over the forgotten realms and wreaked havoc, but the eggs she plans to use have been scattered around, and you need to earn the trust of civilians by destroying the Sorceress’ army of Rhynocs (as well as beat the citizens at games and help them with quests) in order to get the eggs from them.


Nadar (photographer)

Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (6 April 1820 – 23 March 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist. Examples of Nadar’s photographic portraits are held by many of the great national collections of photographs. 

Gallery : Eugène Delacroix, Charles Baudelaire, George Sand, Sarah Bernhardt, Émile Zola, Gustave Doré, Jules Verne, Hector Berlioz.

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Félix Nadar (1820-1910), Self-portrait.
Animation of the “Revolving” selfportrait by Nadar.

Picking up Pokemon Variants ( too-much-green‘s Influenced By Father version) with Jigglypuff! (Or, I was just going to do Jigglypuff until I started thinking too much about how Wigglytuff would be affected.) Funnily enough I’d never drawn any of the three before today (at least that I recall, and certainly not seriously!)

Descriptions of each under the cut!

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