Sunday, November 23, 2008

Balls to the Wall

Here's a new encaustic painting hot out of the studio titled Balls to the Wall #1. This framed piece is made up of encaustic wax with oil pastel and xerox transfer additions, measures 5-3/8" square, and is available at my Etsy shop. I'm planning to do a series of Balls paintings - I'll post them here as they are finished.

So where does the expression "balls to the wall" come from? A 2006
article in Slate sheds some light on the subject:
Somewhat disappointingly, it has nothing to do with hammers, nails, and a particularly gruesome way of treating an enemy. The expression comes from the world of military aviation. In many planes, control sticks are topped with a ball-shaped grip. One such control is the throttle—to get maximum power you push it all the way forward, to the front of the cockpit, or firewall (so-called because it prevents an engine fire from reaching the rest of the plane). Another control is the joystick—pushing it forward sends a plane into a dive. So, literally pushing the balls to the (fire)wall would put a plane into a maximum-speed dive, and figuratively going balls to the wall is doing something all-out, with maximum effort. The phrase is essentially the aeronautical equivalent of the automotive "pedal to the metal."

It's also the title of a totally awesome 1984 song by the heavy metal band Accept. Here's the video (warning: content includes synchronized headbanging, fingerless gloves, and lost Germans wandering around a junkyard at night):

>Balls to the wall - Accept

Now if you're in need of a palette cleanser or you're unable to embrace your inner metalhead, here's Cannonball by The Breeders:

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