Monday, June 30, 2014

Before The Storm

Mr. Nag took this photo of his bike (the Alfredcycle) before the skies opened last night.

Abraham Lincoln's Slippers

These carpet slippers were worn by Abraham Lincoln until the time of his death. They will soon be displayed at President Lincoln's Cottage in D.C. They are on loan from the President Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre. Hayes received the slippers from Alex Williamson, a tutor to William and Tad Lincoln for more than four years.  Williamson attached  a simple note to the slippers stating "Sir, Please accept the accompanying slippers. They were worn by the late President Lincoln up to the day of his murder." It was widely known that President Hayes was a collector of historical artifacts and it was not unusual for people to send him such items.

Replicas of the slippers appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln.

I think these slippers are wonderful and I'd like to have a pair just like them, only smaller (Lincoln's feet were size 14)

More: The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center


New York From 1,200 Feet

American artist Amy Park's watercolours of NYC from above were inspired by photos she took while her partner flew her and her son down the Hudson River. She had a better understanding of the grid of the city after seeing it from above.

Amy Park, You Are Here, 2013, watercolor on stretched paper, 27.5 x 22 in.

Amy Park, 1200’ #9, 2014, watercolor on stretched paper 60 x 48 in.

Amy Park, 1200’ #7, 2014, watercolor on stretched paper 60 x 48 in.

Amy Park, 1200' is on view at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, through July 3, 2014.

More paintings: The Morning News

Social Networking Through The Ages

Social networking is nothing new. It's just taken on different forms over the ages.

Social Networking Throughout The Ages | Bixa Media

Courtesy of: Bixa Media

Via The Curious Brain

Recipe Tattoos

I cook a lot and, although I have hundreds of cookbooks, these days I mostly use online recipes. I place my computer on a counter away from the cooking action (I don't want to lose another MacBook Pro to annihilation by liquid) meaning I have to leave what I'm doing at the stove to go to another counter to read the recipe. I wash my hands each time before hitting the key to get from screensaver back to recipe. Just a wee bit inconvenient.

I Tradizionali is a series of temporary tattoos sized to fit the inside of your forearm, created by Italian designers Marina Cinciripini and Sarah Richiuso to make cooking a little easier.

The video is Italian but shows you how the recipe tattoos work in the kitchen.

i tradizionali_tattoo recipes from I Tradizionali on Vimeo.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thorncrown Chapel

The Thorncrown Chapel is nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is 48 feet tall with 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. Designed by E. Fay Jones, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the chapel was chosen 4th on the American Institute of Architects' top designs of the 20th century.

Unfortunately the Southwest Power Company (SWEPCO) has proposed a 48-mile-long high voltage transmission line across the state that threatens the sanctity of Thorncrown’s pristine landscape. A petition against the proposal can be signed here.

Food Fads Of The Famous

For reasons that are inexplicable to me celebrity diets fascinate us. Italian based photographer Dan Bannino's series called Still Diet captures beautiful images of the food fads of the rich and famous that resemble classic works of art.

Mariah Carey's purple diet

Beyoncé's cleansing diet

Bill Clinton's cabbage soup diet

More at the artist's site
Via theguardian

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Deep in the Amazon, an isolated village tunes in to the World Cup

While Rio de Janeiro and its famous beaches provide the touristic backdrop of the World Cup, the fevered grip of the world’s most popular sporting event can be felt even in some of the most isolated areas of the rain forest, where outsiders seldom visit.
Photo: Mauricio Lima for NYT

The Garden Path

Literary Graffiti

Some of these are brilliant!

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Watership Down – Richard Adams. Virginia, US

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll. London, UK

See more graffiti

Dragon Eggs Tutorial

Crafty readers might like these step-by-step instructions at Imgur for making very pretty dragon eggs.


Discarded Couture

 Discarded Couture creates wearable art and set-design from recycling. Here are some revamped dresses that had been destined for the landfill.

Photography: Rita Steenssens
Hair and Makeup: Erin Bradley
Hats: Lynda Marie Couture Millinery
Model: Mary Wallace of Coultish Management
Dress: Jen Bell Discarded Couture

More: Recylart

Kittens Dressed As Film and TV Characters

A litter of kittens needed homes and Texas-based Photographer Wendy McKee  thought they'd be more adoptable if they were dressed as characters from such films and television shows.

Dr. Who

Dorothy - The Wizard Of Oz

Frodo - The Lord Of The Rings

More: Laughing Squid

Here's A Career You Might Never Have Considered

If you look good in green you might want a job as a green screen fluffer. Used for shampoo commercials these invisible gimpsuited dudes fluff up models' hair to deceive you into thinking that hair can actually look that good (I'm looking at you, Pantene).

Allergic to hair? You could also be a gimpsuited Superman cape-puppeteer.

Boing Boing

Happy 100th Birthday Dubliners!

Dubliners: A Quartet is an audio play written by award-winning playwright Arthur Yorinks and inspired by Joyce’s stories. It celebrates the 100th year in print of James Joyce’s Dubliners, a collection of stories about the lives of everyday Irish men and women. The performances are sold out but you can watch the live webcasts here (June 28, 7pm) and here (June 29, 4:30pm).

Here's a sneak peek:

More: The Greene Space

Perfect Bloody Mary

It's an extra long weekend for many people. This may come in handy for some of you.

Via Muriel's Kitchen

Friday, June 27, 2014

Peaches Browning’s Coat

Peaches Browning (1910–1956) was an American actress who at 16 years of age married a real estate baron 35 years her senior, aptly named Edward West “Daddy” Browning (1875–1934). Unsurprisingly the marriage soon ended in divorce when she discovered he was "odd". (Go here to find out just how odd he was).

Nice coat.

Via Retronaut

11 Paper Place

11 Paper Place from daniel houghton on Vimeo.

11 Paper Place is a love story about two 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper that magically transform into paper people as they are spit out of a malfunctioning printer into a recycling bin.


Hand-Coloured Photographs From India

In the nineteenth century Indian artists adopted the Western technique of tinting of photographs, combining it with their art of miniature painting.

Studio of Raja Deen Dayal 
Azam Jah, son of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad 
Courtesy of Bonhams - London
Signed Raja Deen Dayal in pencil.


Unidentified photographer/creator 
Nawab of Bahawalpur 

Unidentified photographer 
Indian nobles 


Via Blort

Thursday, June 26, 2014

4,500-Year-Old Food From Iraq Found in a Cabinet in England

Mr. Nag has been cleaning out a building in our back yard that is filled to the roof with junk. He probably won't find anything as interesting as this though: Members of the Archaeology and Anthropology department at the University of Bristol were also doing a clean up when they came upon a box containing animal bones, seeds, apple rings and pottery.

The researchers determined that the material was from a 4,500 year old tomb from Ur that had been excavated by archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1920s and 1930s. Bones and seeds (called environmental remains) were rarely collected by archaeological expeditions during that time period so this is a very interesting find indeed.

More: Smithsonian

Hippos In The News

I don't think about hippos often but when I do they're usually performing ballet in pink tutus. I'd always thought of them as cute and harmless.

Then I heard this terrifying story on CBC Radio:

"It was slimy and warm," recalls wildlife guide Paul Templer, who spent part of an afternoon inside of a hippopotamus. "It smelled like rotten eggs," What began as a routine safari ended when Templer was attacked and eaten by a large and notoriously ill-tempered male hippopotamus. "It was a really bad day at the office."
Now this:

A herd of hippopotamuses once owned by the late Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar has been taking over the countryside near his former ranch. Nobody knows how many there are. The local environmental authority, which bears responsibility for them, estimates between 50 and 60, with most living in the lake at the park. But 12 are known to have paddled past the flimsy fence and into the nearby Magdalena River - and maybe many more.
No pink tutus on these guys! I'll never look at hippos the same way again.

Coffee Machine Cuisine

Katja Wulff, the Coffee Maker Chef, has cooked pizza, fish soup, birthday cake, and even "testicle tacos" using only her coffee maker.  As a student she didn't like sharing a communal kitchen so she started cooking noodles in her coffee maker and branched out to more interesting fare. Wulff has a blog that shows you how to cook even if you're cookware challenged.

Here's her recipe for pickled herring and onion, a typical midsummer Scandinavian dish:

1 hour + preparations and cooling 
1 tin of herring fillets
0.5 dl vinegar
2.5 dl water
2 tsp pimento
2 bay leaves
½ dl sugar
1 onion
1 red onion
½ leek 
Open the tin and drain the disgusting liquid stuff. Rinse the fillets and put it in a coffee carafe filled with water overnight.
Divide the herring into small pieces the following day and chop up all of the different onions.
Place everything except the herring (and the water) in the coffee carafe and pour the water into the brewer. Start the coffee maker. Let it coffee maker cook for about 30 minutes and then let it cool. Turn off the coffeemaker. Add the herring and pour everything into a fancy jar. It’s an old Swedish tradition as well that you should decorate the jar with some kind of balloon animal.

She also has her own YouTube cooking show (in Swedish).


Inuk Woman Wins National Quilting Award

(Canadian Quilters' Association)
 Veronica Puskas, who grew up in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region, won the award for Excellence in Work by a first-time exhibitor award at Quilt Canada’s national juried show in St. Catharines, Ontario. Her quilt, called Pillars of Strength, is based on a photo of her mother and grandmother at the Meliadine River near Rankin Inlet in 1950.

If I'd known this was happening just up the road from me I would have gone.

Puskas now lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, my town.

More:  CBC News

Father and Daughter

Father and Daughter is a 9-minute Dutch film about a daughter who remembers her father that won the 2000 Oscar for animated short film. It has no dialogue and shows how much can be expressed without words.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ID bracelet of World War I Officer Returned Almost 100 Years After It Was Lost

Oscar Erickson enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on January 8th, 1917. He was sent to the Western Front as a Lieutenant in the 78th Canadian Infantry Battalion. The Battalion fought in the Battle of Amiens where Lieutenant Oscar Erickson was wounded in both legs so severely that they had to be amputated. His actions on that day earned him the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry.

Recently military historian Peter Czink discovered Erickson's silver ID bracelet in a box of junk silver slated to be melted down. He put it aside and researched the bracelet’s owner. He discovered that Oscar Erickson was the father of famous Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson who had died in 2009 so finding surviving relatives was simple. Arthur’s younger brother Don is 85 years old now and was thrilled to have this memento returned to the family.

More: The History Blog 

Thanks Bruce!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reindeer Wallmount

I wonder is Mr. Nag could fashion a Reindeer Hose Holder like this one out of antlers he has kicking around. We have sizes from small to moose. They used to be mounted on the wall of the shed but the squirrels nibbled on them. Recently I came across this antler-bicycle seat "sculpture" in the backyard but it has no use other than to startle me.

My Garden Last Evening

The East London Group

The East London Group is dedicated to a group of artists who flourished in London between the wars. I follow them on Twitter where I came across this charming piece today:

My Lady Nicotine by Henry Silk

Beldent Almost Identical Experiment Debunks Chewing Gum Myth

Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi's 'Almost Identical' exhibit at MACBA in Buenos Aires set out to debunk the myth that gum chewing creates a bad impression.
Their client, Beldent Gum, put five sets of twins on display. The twins were identical in every way except that one twin was chewing a piece of gum during the entire event. Visitors to the exhibit answered questions concerning the image of the two twins in each set.

Of the 481 people who participated in the experiment, 73% favoured those twins who chewed gum, proving that chewing gum doesn’t give a bad impression. In fact, it's kind of cool.


Thanks Bruce!

Would You Pick Up This Hitchhiking Robot?

HitchBOT the robot will leave the Institute for Applied Creativity at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax on July 27th, 2014. It will stick out its thumb and attempt to hitchhike across Canada to Vancouver, British Columbia, a distance of 6,158 km (3,826 miles). And it be doing it all on its own. "Using speech recognition, speech processing, and social media, it will try to charm its way from one coast to the other."

Although it is able to communicate this bucket of odds and ends cannot move on its own and therefore depends heavily upon the kindness of strangers.  I'd be more inclined to pick it up if it had a sweet little face.

You can follow hitchBOT's progress via Twitter, Instagram, andFacebook.

More: Discovery News

Thanks Bruce!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Gardening: A Dangerous Occupation

Saturday I bent over to cut some dill in my garden and brought my eye down hard on a tomato wire stake (below). Ouch, ouch, ouch! I put a patch over it but took it off to go to the theatre yesterday. Big mistake. I watched the play with one hand covering my throbbing eye.
After two days of excruciating pain I went to emergency today and found I had scratched the cornea. I feel lucky I didn't lose the eye.  Next time I cut herbs I'll wear safety glasses.

Images of the Medieval City

I am very fond of the Middle Ages. I like the elegant fashions, knights, chivalry and dragons. Churches built in that era with their beautiful stained glass are my favourite places to pause and recharge my batteries during a day of frantic sightseeing.
Here are some images that give us an idea of what 15 cities looked like in medieval times.

Paris (15th century)

York (15th century)

Constantinople (15th century)

Santa Maria Novella Armenia Paper

The Santa Maria Novella pharmacy has been making Armenia Burning Papers since the 16th century. Scented with Frankincense and Myrrh, they are used to remove unpleasant odours from a room. Simply take one paper, fold into an accordion shape and light one end, blow out flame and place it on a heatproof dish. The paper reacts like incense.

I spent a long time browsing vintage-packaged soaps and perfumes when I was in the store in Florence last year but overlooked the papers. They will be a definite must if/when I return to Florence. Heck, I'll even buy some for my son who is currently on a Frankincense kick.


How a Tilt-Shift Lens Works

Have you ever wondered how the tilt-shift effect is achieved? Vincent Laforet, a Canon Explorer of Light and well-known photography educator, explains how to use two movements in the lens to change the look of an image.

Tilt Shift Basics from Canon Pro on Vimeo.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Flowers Opening

David de los Santos created this beautiful and calming time-lapse of flowers opening.

Flowers opening timelapse from David de los Santos Gil on Vimeo.


Exercise/Washing Machine

This crossover between a gym bike and a washing machine designed by Si Hyeong Ryu uses human kinetic power to was your clothes.

  • The power generated from the spinning can be used to wash clothes and the unused power can be saved and used as electricity in the future.
  • The washing balls inside shorten the washing time and save the amount of water used in the process.
  • The saved energy can be used when there is no one around or the only person who can run the machine is a kid or an elder.
  • The normal plug in and flexible display system inside the wheel provides let’s the user to experience better riding experience.

More: Yanko Design

Thanks Bruce!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tyree Callahan's Chromatic Typewriter

Bellingham, Washington artist Tyree Callahan outfitted  a classic 1937 Underwood typewriter with sponges soaked with bright yellows, reds, blues and other colour combinations. He types up some beautiful landscapes.

More: Urbanist

Via Steve Vermillion